US demands WikiLeaks return military documents

The Pentagon today demanded that the whistleblower website WikiLeaks "return immediately" leaked US military documents after the site released tens of thousands of secret files.

Washington: The Pentagon today demanded
that the whistleblower website WikiLeaks "return immediately"
leaked US military documents after the site released tens of
thousands of secret files.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the Defense
Department "demands that Wikileaks return immediately to the
US government all versions of documents obtained directly or
indirectly" from Pentagon databases or records.

The website`s disclosure "of a large number of our
documents has already threatened the safety of our troops, our
allies and Afghan citizens who are working with us to help
bring about peace and stability in that part of the world," he
said.

"The only acceptable course is for Wikileaks to
take steps immediately to return all versions of all of these
documents to the US government and permanently delete them
from its website, computers and records."

WikiLeaks is believed to have released some 92,000
classified documents on Afghanistan.
Morrell said that any additional public disclosure
of classified information "can only make the damage worse."

A batch of documents WikiLeaks released on July 25
contain a string of damaging claims, including allegations
that Pakistani spies met directly with the Taliban and that
the deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of international
forces have been covered up.

The documents also included some names of Afghan
informants.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, 39, an Australian
former hacker and computer programmer, said he believed
publication would help focus public debate on the war in
Afghanistan and on possible atrocities by US-led forces.

The FBI and Pentagon are investigating the case and
have been questioning a US soldier who has been charged with
giving WikiLeaks classified video showing a July 2007 US
Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed several
people.

Bureau Report