of inactivity following the arrest
of top U.S. military leaker Bradley Manning, Wikileaks
roared back to life this week, releasing a virtual stockpile
U.S. military documents on operations in Afghanistan, many of
them classified. Wikileaks chief Julian Assange, whose own
organization operates in utter
secrecy, criticized the U.S.'s lack of transparency and justified
the leaks by saying they revealed questionable behavior by Pakistan
and detailed 195 accidental civilian deaths on the hands of the U.S.
and its allies.Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint
Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen condemned the leak at a
press conference. Speaking to reporters, Mullen remarked that "Mr. Assange can
say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his
source are doing. But the truth is they might already have on
their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan
family."That prediction may have been proven
correct. A spokesperson named Zabihullah Mujahid who
represents the Taliban, said that the group's leadership was thankful
for the leaks and was pouring over the leaked documents searching for
the names of the U.S.'s supporters in Afghanistan.Mujahid
states, "We are studying the report. We knew about the
spies and people who collaborate with U.S. forces. We will
investigate through our own secret service whether the people
mentioned are really spies working for the U.S. If they are U.S.
spies, then we know how to punish them."The Taliban
spokesperson bragged of past killings of local officials which he
claims were informants. He even recalls one occasion in which
Taliban officers strapped "two alleged traitors to explosives
before detonating them in public." Other "traitors"
have been murdered by means such as beheadings, shootings, or
hangings.Like journalists, the U.S. government says it tries
to protect its sources and supporters. Defense Secretary Gates
commented, "I spent most of my life in the intelligence
business, where the sacrosanct principle is protecting your sources.
It seems to me that, as a result of this massive breach of security,
we have considerable repair work to do in terms of reassuring people
and rebuilding trust, because they clearly—people are going to feel
at risk."President Obama has condemned the leak.
Before the leak, his administration's officials had reportedly
Assange to not release all the documents, saying they could endanger
lives.Assange admitted in media interviews that he did not
review even the majority of the released documents personally.
It now appears that the documents may not just contain civilian death
reports, but also records of U.S. supporters.