The man behind WikiLeaks, the website that published more than 91,000 secret U.S. military documents on the Afghanistan war as well as previously secret video of a deadly American helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007, doesn’t much care whether government agencies are enraged by his actions.
Julian Assange has described himself as an “information activist” — get the information out there and let what happens happen, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks has said publicly. But it’s also been said that Assange rarely sleeps in the same place two nights in a row because of concerns about his own safety.
Assange, 39, started WikiLeaks.org in 2007, describing the site’s mission as an “uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking.” The site now reportedly hosts more than 1 million documents, and there are thousands more to come related to Afghanistan, Assange said Monday in a press conference.
And it’s not just Afghanistan ; it’s foreign and domestic secrets from all over the world. “We have built up an enormous backlog of whistleblower disclosures,” he said.
Past WikiLeaks posts include the U.S. Army’s protocol at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp (2007), Church of Scientology documents (2008) and content from Sarah Palin’s e-mail account (2008).
The release of the Afghanistan war documents has been condemned by U.S. and Pakistani officials as both potentially harmful and irrelevant. White House national security adviser Gen. Jim Jones said the information “put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk.”
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