WikiLeaks Plans Major Annoncement; Prompts U.S. Alert To Iraqis

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A Pentagon team has been reviewing copies of Iraq war documents the website WikiLeaks may release in coming days and plans to notify Iraqis named in the documents in an effort to minimize potential damage from the security breach, defense officials said.

The Pentagon set up a 120-person Information Review Task Force originally to look at Afghanistan war documents released by WikiLeaks, and to identify people who were named in the intelligence reports.

Pentagon officials fear the leaked documents could be used by the Taliban to hunt down those identified as working with the U.S.-led war effort.

In recent weeks, the task force has been looking at Iraq war documents the Pentagon believes were given to the controversial website by PFC Bradley Manning, who has been charged with giving sensitive material to WikiLeaks. PFC Manning hasn’t commented since his arrest.

A defense official said the task force was identifying Iraqis who are named in the documents, and who might need protection or assistance if their names are released.

“We are prepared to take steps to notify people named in the documents,” said the official.

The Iraq war documents are expected to be released by WikiLeaks in the coming days.

The Pentagon believes WikiLeaks has more than 400,000 documents from the Iraq war, mostly raw, low-level intelligence reports.

The defense official said the department had chosen not to notify people named in the documents because it doesn’t know if WikiLeaks will redact the names.

“There are a lot of names [in the documents,]” said the defense official. “We can’t chase every single person. And we have to see what happens. Maybe no one’s name will be released.”

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(Read More: WSJ)