Baghdad, Oct 27 (AP) US enemies already are combing through data released last week in a trove of Iraq war documents for ways to harm the American military, the Pentagon's No 2 official has said.
US Deputy Defence Secretary William J Lynn yesterday called the documents "stolen material" and said they give adversaries key insight on how the US military operates. He did not say which groups, or how the Pentagon knew they were researching the documents.
"There are groups out there that have said they are indeed mining this data to turn around and use against us," Lynn told a small group of reporters during a brief visit to Baghdad. "We think this is problematic."
The Pentagon furiously opposed the documents' release Saturday by the whistle-blower WikiLeaks website. Lynn's remarks came a day after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told CNN that the nearly 400,000 papers did not put troops at risk because the names of any soldiers or Iraqi civilians have been redacted.
The US has said that the WikiLeaks release of secret Afghan and Iraq war documents threatens national security.
WikiLeaks posted about 77,000 Afghanistan war logs on its site in July, and the Pentagon concluded that no US intelligence sources or practices were compromised by the posting. A few weeks later, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said he was not yet aware of any Afghan people who were killed as the result of the leak, "but I put emphasis on the word 'yet'."
Lynn said the leaked information would not change the way the estimated 50,000 US troops in Iraq operate. But he said he is mulling ways to keep more documents from leaking in the future, such as having computer systems monitor for irregular data searches.