- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
WikiLeaks: Pentagon ready to discuss Afghan files
STOCKHOLM (AP) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Wednesday the Pentagon has expressed willingness to discuss the online whistleblower’s request for help in reviewing classified documents from the Afghan war and removing information that could harm civilians.
The Pentagon denied it was willing to collaborate with the group, but acknowledged that it had arranged for a phone call last Sunday between its general counsel and a person claiming to be a lawyer for WikiLeaks.
“The Defense Department will not negotiate some ‘minimized’ or ‘sanitized’ version of the release by WikiLeaks of additional U.S. government classified documents,” wrote Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer.
Whitman had initially told reporters there had been no “direct” contact between the Defense Department and WikiLeaks. He said he still stands by that assessment, because the phone call between Johnson and Matusheski never took place.
In an interview Wednesday, Matusheski told The Associated Press that he never had a scheduled phone call with Pentagon officials on Sunday. Instead, he said he has had several recent phone conversations with an agent from the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, which is investigating the document leak.
The agent, he said, also called him twice on Sunday morning, but never reached him.
Assange said Wednesday that “contact has been established” but added it was not clear whether and how the U.S. military would assist WikiLeaks.
“It is always positive for parties to talk to each other,” Assange said. “We welcome their engagement.”
He reiterated that WikiLeaks plans to release its second batch of secret Afghan war documents within “two weeks to a month.”
The first files in its “Afghan War Diary” laid bare classified military documents covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. The release angered U.S. officials, energized critics of the NATO-led campaign, and drew the attention of the Taliban, which has promised to use the material to track down people it considers traitors.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- EDITORIAL: Senate rejects Adegbile for Justice post
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again