Wikileaks: White House Implores Assange To Desist, But Why Should He?

by
staphni
President Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the war logs jeopardised national security and put the lives of Afghan informants and US soldiers at risk. "I think it's important that no more damage be done to our national security," Gibbs told NBC's Today show today. The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said yesterday that the website had contacted the White House — with the New York Times acting as intermediary — to offer US government officials the chance to go through the documents to make sure no innocent people were identified. But the White House did not respond to the approach, he said. Assange dismissed allegations that innocent people or informants had been put in danger by the publication of the documents. US defence secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called the release of the documents deeply damaging and potentially life-threatening for Afghan informants. "Mr Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family," Mullen said. But Assange also has supporters in the US. Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, argues that Wikileaks has become a journalistic necessity. It is the result, be believes, of the US supreme court's failure to support journalists in their attempts to protect their confidential sources. He writes: "Wikileaks, in short, is a response to journalists' loss of control over their information."