LONDON — WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange said Thursday his organization is preparing to release the rest of the secret Afghan war documents it has on file. The Pentagon warned that would be more damaging to security and risk more lives than the organization's initial release of some 76,000 war documents.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell described the prospective publication as the "height of irresponsibility."
"It would compound a mistake that has already put far too many lives at risk," he said.
Speaking via videolink to London's Frontline Club, Assange brushed aside the Pentagon's demands that he stop publishing their intelligence. He gave no specific timeframe for the release of the 15,000 remaining files, but said his organization had gone through about half of them.
"We're about 7,000 reports in," he said, describing the process of combing through the files to ensure that no Afghans would be hurt by their disclosure as "very expensive and very painstaking."
Still, he told the audience that he would "absolutely" publish them. He gave no indication whether he would give the documents to media outlets The New York Times
, The Guardian
, and Der Spiegel
— as he has before — or simply dump them on the Wikileaks website.