Wikileaks is just weeks away from posting a huge cache of classified documents related to the US war in Iraq in what one journalist says will be history's biggest military leak.
Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, told Newsweek his non-profit organization is working with Wikileaks and several TV and print media outlets in advance of the release. It's not unlike the time Wikileaks published secret records concerning the war in Afghanistan, when it gave advanced copies to The New York Times, Der Spiegel and The Guardian on the condition they publish reports on an agreed-upon date.
The airing, Overton told Newsweek, will be the “biggest leak of military intelligence” ever.
Wikileaks' posting of some 77,000 documents drew criticism from the Pentagon and some human rights groups, which complained they endangered the lives of Afghan civilians who cooperated with the military. Overton said leaders of the latest project have “significantly learned from past experiences.” While his organization doesn't plan to post documents in their entirety, other media partners are “aware of the need to ensure that information is properly redacted.”
He also said the partners will be making financial contributions to help defray production costs
Newsweek has said the Iraq material “portrays US forces being involved in a 'bloodbath,' but some of the most disturbing material relates to the abusive treatment of detainees, not by Americans but by Iraqi security forces.”
The involvement of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the project remains unclear. He recently requested a new lawyer to defend him against rape and molestation charges in Sweden. ®