Pentagon: WikiLeaks Endangers Soldiers, Afghans
The Obama administration has been saying there's nothing much new in those field reports from the Afghan war, but posting more than 91,000 of them on the Internet is a whole other matter. The military said Thursday the leak may have already cost the lives of American soldiers and their allies.
Admitting the damage caused by the hemorrhage of classified documents is worse than originally thought, Pentagon officials in effect accused WikiLeaks and its source within the U.S. military of murder, CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reports.
"The truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters.
In what appears to be an attempt to build a criminal case against Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the director of the FBI to ask the bureau to join the investigation.
"The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners," Gates told reporters.
The documents reveal the names of Afghans who provided intelligence to the United States. Their lives are now in danger and their exposure will send a chill through anyone else thinking of helping.
"Will people whose lives are on the line trust us to keep their identity secret?" Gates asked.
The documents also provide a roadmap to the American military's tactical procedures such as a moment-by-moment log of what U.S. troops did after Spc. Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban. And it could get worse.
"It could be a substantial additional number of documents, and we have no idea what their content is either," Gates said.
Meanwhile, Assange is still free to hold press conferences, but Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old private suspected of providing the documents to WikiLeaks, is being moved from a prison in Kuwait to the brig at Quantico, Va., while investigators ready more charges against him.
Assange has vowed to release 15,000 more documents, and investigators believe Manning downloaded even more than that.
More WikiLeaks Coverage
Report: Evidence Links Manning to WikiLeaks
Biden: U.S. Making Gains against al Qaeda
Will WikiLeaks Leak End Gov't Info Sharing?
Holder: DOJ Aiding Pentagon WikiLeaks Probe
WikiLeaks: We Don't Know Who Leaked Documents
WikiLeaks Reportedly Outs 100s of Afghan Informants
for more features.