Whistleblower website WikiLeaks is teaming up with news outlets to release a “massive cache” of classified US military field reports on the conflict in Iraq, Newsweek magazine reported recently.
Newsweek quoted Iain Overton, editor of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based journalism nonprofit, as saying the material constitutes the “biggest leak of military intelligence” ever.
Newsweek said the stash of Iraq documents held by WikiLeaks is believed to be about three times as large as the number of US military field reports on Afghanistan released earlier this year by WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks, in collaboration with The New York Times, Britain’s Guardian and Der Spiegel of Germany, published 77,000 Afghan war documents in July and has said it will release another 15,000 related documents soon.
Overton told Newsweek that his organization was working with WikiLeaks and television and print media in several countries on stories and programs based on the Iraq documents.
He declined to identify the news organizations involved but said they would release the material simultaneously several weeks from now.
Overton also said his organization was aware that information in the documents could potentially put lives at risk and “we’re taking it very seriously.”
Newsweek said it was unclear what role WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is playing in the current project.
Assange, 39, is facing an investigation by Swedish prosecutors over rape allegations, charges he strongly denied this week in an interview with AFP.
Assange also said “the Swedish case has caused delays, significant delays in all of our projects.
“It’s been an enormous disruption,” he said.