THE PENETAGON called on the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks to “do the right thing” tonight.
US authorities want the website’s administrators to hand over 15,000 unpublished documents and delete material from its website – the details contained in which are putting lives at risk according to the US military.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that he hoped Wikileaks would concede to their demands, and added that the US military was the rightful owner of the material.
Last month, Wikileaks was responsible for the publication of over 90,000 documents concerning the conduct of allied forces in Afghanistan, known as The War Logs.
The material was given to Wikileaks by a member of the US military before the website’s editor, Julian Assagne, passed the documents on to several media outlets – The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel.
The War Logs outline how mistakes made by troops have led to the deaths of hundreds of Afghan civilians – and that many of these incidents have gone unreported by the British and American authorities.
The US defence department has accused Wikileaks of “having blood on its hands” by publishing some of the material it was given.
Of the tens of thousands of documents given to the website 15,000 documents remain unpublished. Wikileaks journalists felt these documents contained information that, if exposed, could endanger lives.
When asked what the next step would be if Wikileaks refused to grant the Pentagon’s demands, Morrell said: “If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, then we will figure out what other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing”.