In comments today Admiral Michael Mullen, the highest ranking military commander in the United States, declared that Julian Assange, founder of the Sweden-based WikiLeaks whistleblower group may have blood on his hands for the leak of classified military documents.
On Sunday, WikiLeaks released some 92,000 classified documents related to the Afghan War, on a myriad of subjects including unreported civilian deaths. US officials have “strongly condemned” the release, claiming it is a threat to national security and might harm the continuing war effort.
Several officials have suggested that the revelation of previously covered-up civilian killings might lead to revenge attacks on US troops, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also warned that detailing the truth about the Afghan War “may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world.”
The inability of the military to keep its ostensibly “secret” data from showing up in the Western media en masse may also effect the willingness of other nations to share intelligence with them, according to some officials.
US officials have detained Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst accused of being involved in the leak. Officials have also broached the subject of trying to prosecute Assange and other members of WikiLeaks, though it does not appear that the group has actually broken any laws, and is being accused primary of “undermining the war effort.”