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Friday, August 06, 2010

Pentagon Asks WikiLeaks to ‘Do the Right Thing’ - NYTimes.com

Pentagon Asks WikiLeaks to ‘Do the Right Thing’ - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon demanded on Thursday that WikiLeaks “do the right thing” and remove from its Web site tens of thousands of classified documents about the war in Afghanistan, and return to the military thousands of others that it had not yet made public.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said the Web site’s disclosure last week of a six-year archive of some 77,000 documents gave the Taliban and other militant groups insights into American military tactics and techniques, showed how the United States protects its troops in war zones and revealed the names of Afghan informants and how the military cultivates them.

Most of Mr. Morrell’s briefing focused on the information WikiLeaks had already made public. But Pentagon officials are especially concerned about 15,000 additional documents that WikiLeaks has withheld so far to remove identifying information.

“Public disclosure of additional Defense Department classified information can only make the damage worse,” Mr. Morrell told reporters at the Pentagon. “We are asking them to do the right thing. We hope they will honor our demands and comply with our demands.”

Mr. Morrell’s appeal is the Obama administration’s latest response to the disclosure, which has set off a criminal inquiry by the Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, prompted a sweeping Pentagon review of the documents to hunt for any information damaging to troop safety and national security, and increased pressure on President Obama to defend his war strategy.

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