In a press conference on Monday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says that there is evidence of war crimes to be found in the controversial Afghan War Diary recently leaked by the site. The Diary is composed of thousands of pages detailing the United States’ military activities in Afghanistan.
The leaked documents have sparked outrage from officials in the U.S., U.K., and Pakistan; it is unclear yet whether the outrage is legitimate or merely a desire to repress information that could be harmful to those parties. The U.S. has said that the documents are a threat to national security. “It has the potential to be a threat to combatants that are fighting in the area, it has the potential to destabilize the trilateral relationships between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S. And it has the potential to place the intelligence community at some level of risk if their sources are being compromised publicly,” said former intelligence analyst Bob Ayers.
Wikileaks has stated that they have a system in place to catch any information that could be harmful to those whom the leaks are about, and that the Afghanistan documents were 7 months old and not current enough to affect soldiers’ safety. Ayers counters: “The fact it is seven months old is immaterial. It is irrelevant. They are not going to change their patrolling patterns in seven months, they are still going to patrol the same way. So now what you have done is you have informed the enemy of information that can assist them in planning how to attack NATO forces in Afghanistan when they are on patrol.”