WikiLeaks: US Army to review files
Stockholm - WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange said on Wednesday the US Army has expressed willingness
to discuss the online whistleblower's request for help in reviewing classified
documents from the Afghan war and removing information that could harm
"This week we received
contact through our lawyers that the General Counsel of the US Army says now
that they want to discuss the issue," Assange told AP by telephone.
There was no immediate
comment from Washington.
WikiLeaks has asked the
Pentagon for help in reviewing the documents to purge the names of Afghan
informants from the files.
Last week, US State
Department spokesperson Mark Toner said he was not aware of any effort by
department officials to contact WikiLeaks.
Assange said on Wednesday
that "contact has been established" but added it was not clear
whether and how the US Army would assist WikiLeaks. The General Counsel is the
chief lawyer of the US Army.
Second batch of Afghan war document
"It is always positive
for parties to talk to each other," Assange said. "We welcome their
He reiterated that
WikiLeaks plans to release its second batch of secret Afghan war documents
within "two weeks to a month".
The first files in its
"Afghan War Diary" laid bare classified military documents covering
the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.
The release angered US
officials, energised critics of the Nato-led campaign, and drew the attention
of the Taliban, which has promised to use the material to track down people it
organisations, including the Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without
Borders (RSF), have criticised WikiLeaks as being irresponsible.
WikiLeaks describes itself
as a public service organisation for whistleblowers, journalists and activists.
"We encourage other
media and human rights groups who have a genuine concern about reviewing the
material to assist us with the difficult and very expensive task of getting a
large historical archive into the public's record," Assange said.
The Australian was in
Sweden in part to prepare an application for a publishing certificate that
would allow WikiLeaks to take full advantage of the Scandinavian nation's press
That also means WikiLeaks
would have to appoint a publisher that could be held legally responsible for
the material. Assange said that person would be "either me or one of our
WikiLeaks routes its
material through Sweden and Belgium because of the whistleblower protection
offered by laws in those countries.
But it also has backup
servers in other countries to make sure the site is not shut down, Assange