WikiLeaks Maybe Wasn’t Totally Careful About Not Releasing Information That Could Kill People

By
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

When WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of secret documents related to the war in Afghanistan, members of the United States government condemned, in predictable ways, the disclosure of sensitive information that they clearly did not want in the public domain. "This will hurt the war effort," they'd say, or, "This will put lives at risk." But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange thinks all this hand-wringing is a big charade — he has gone through great lengths to ensure that the documents released will not endanger any lives. Fifteen thousand documents, in fact, remain unreleased until they can be censored enough to ensure that the identities of informants are not revealed. According to a report in the pay-wall-imprisoned Times of London, though, Assange didn't do a very thorough job.


Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the U.S. military have been put at risk by WikiLeaks' publication of more than 90,000 classified intelligence reports which name and in many cases locate the individuals, The Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

The article says, in spite of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's claim that sensitive information had been removed from the leaked documents, that reporters scanning the reports for just a couple hours found hundreds of Afghan names mentioned as aiding the U.S.-led war effort.

One specific example cited by the paper is a report on an interview conducted by military officers of a potential Taliban defector. The militant is named, along with his father and the village in which they live.

It's always a good idea in life to double-check your work before handing it in, a practice that takes on extra importance when your mistakes could get people murdered.

WikiLeaks Reportedly Outs 100s of Afghan Informants [CBS News]
Intel experts: Leaks might be lethal [Politico]