Some 92,000 documents were made available by WikiLeaks July 25, with an advance opportunity to study them provided to three publications: the New York Times, the Guardian (UK), and the German magazine Der Spiegel.
WikiLeaks representatives announced at the time that they were holding another 15,000 documents for review, due to possible security dangers to individuals in Afghanistan whose names might be made public. The group offered to work directly with the Pentagon on a “harm minimization” effort.
The press briefing was called to reject that offer and demand, instead, that WikiLeaks turn over to the Pentagon all US military intelligence records in its possession and erase them on its own servers. Morrell declared, “We’re not getting involved in harm-minimization conversations. We’re asking them to return stolen property.”
Morrell said the Pentagon was engaged in no direct contact or negotiations with WikiLeaks, but was using the news media to present its demands.
“We are asking them to do the right thing and not further exacerbate the damage done to date,” he said. He continued, in an open threat of unspecified retaliation, “If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, we’ll figure out what other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing.”
This sounds much like a Mafia boss demanding the return of surveillance recordings, although the Pentagon gangsters have a wider range of “alternatives,” ranging from a judicial detention order to a cruise missile.
Morrell denounced the website as a “brazen solicitation to US government officials, including our military, to break the law.” Actually, it is the US military-intelligence complex that is the world’s greatest lawbreaker, waging illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens of other countries. WikiLeaks is being targeted because it has done what the cowardly American corporate media will not do—inform the American people of what the US government is doing in their name.
In the last week there have been several calls from right-wing media pundits and congressmen that the US government carry out direct action to take down WikiLeaks servers and deny it access to the Internet. The Pentagon has a vast cybersecurity apparatus connected to the National Security Agency, which spies on most of the world’s electronic communications, including e-mail, telephone calls and Internet chat.
Originally published at World Socialist Web-Site, click the link for more information or to read more.