`Iraq WikiLeaks bigger than Afghan leak`

WikiLeaks will now release "massive cache" of classified US reports on Iraq.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 10:38 AM IST

New York: A large number of secret documents relating to the Iraq war will be released in the next anticipated spill by WikiLeaks, many times more than the 90,000 documents concerning the Afghan war made public by the online organisation in July.

"The material is the biggest leak of military intelligence that has ever occurred, but the Iraq documents are reportedly three times as large as the Afghan War Diary 2004-2010," Iain Overton, editor of The Bureau of
Investigative Journalism, told Newsweek magazine.

Overton`s London-based non-profit agency is presently working with WikiLeaks and TV and print media in several countries on programs and stories based on the content of the Iraq documents.

These are all expected to be released on the same day, several weeks from now.

WikiLeaks had made available in advance 92,000 Afghanistan-related documents to The New York Times, Britain`s Guardian and Germany`s Der Speigel.

The information supported subsisting suspicions like links of Pakistan`s ISI with extremists and extra-judicial killings by US forces.

The Pentagon, however, blasted the whistleblower online organisation for endangering the lives of local informers in Afghanistan mentioned in the documents, and asked it not to release 15,000 documents.

While WikiLeaks published 76,000 documents on its own site, it has not yet published the 15,000 documents and is reportedly vetting the material properly so as not to endanger anyone.

Overton told Newsweek that the media outlets dealing with the Iraq War documents have "significantly learned from past experiences" regarding disclosure of materials that could put lives in jeopardy.

"We are hugely aware that this is an issue, and we`re taking it very seriously," he said, adding that his bureau`s media partners are also "aware of the need to ensure that information is properly redacted”.

PTI