In order to prepare for the anticipated release of sensitive intelligence on the US-led Iraq war, officials set up a 120-person taskforce several weeks ago to comb through the database and “determine what the possible impacts might be,” said Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman.
The Department of Defense is concerned the leak compiles “significant activities” from the war, which include incidents such as known attacks against coalition troops, Iraqi security forces, civilians or infrastructure in the country.
The documents are expected to be released early this week and WikiLeaks is thought to again be working with former media partners – The New York Times, the Guardian and Germany’s Der Spiegel – for a simultaneous release, the report adds.
According to a piece in Editor & Publisher, defence secretary Robert Gates has has demanded that military officials must now get clearance from the Pentagon for press interviews.
Gates allegedly sent a memo ordering military and civilian personnel across the globe to first gain permission before sharing stories with the media, which would prevent a repeat of the General Stanley McChrystal affair.
The order, issued by Gates on Friday in a brief memo to military and civilian personnel worldwide and effective immediately, tells officials to make sure they are not going out of bounds or unintentionally releasing information that the Pentagon wants to hold back.
The order has been in the works since long before Gen. Stanley McChrystal stunned his bosses with criticism and complaints in a Rolling Stone article that his superiors did not know was coming.
Yesterday Channel 4 news wrote in its evening email, Snowmail:
[The film] reveals the state of relations between the Brits and the rather hapless Afghan army – who spend much of their time shooting in the wrong direction – or arresting, then releasing a local man who may, or may not have done anything wrong.
Suddenly the troops come under heavy fire as the insurgents start shooting straight at them. Our team are pinned down with the soldiers as bullets fly overhead – even into one soldier’s head, whose helmet luckily saves him. Not much ground is won at the end of it all – but it’s a remarkable watch.
Story from the beginning of this week – the US government is using a PR firm to run background checks on journalists sent on embedded assignments with the US military.
“Rendon examines individual reporters’ recent work and determines whether the coverage was ‘positive’, ‘negative’ or ‘neutral’ compared to mission objectives, according to Rendon officials. It conducts similar analysis of general reporting trends about the war for the military and has been contracted for such work since 2005, according to the company,” reports Stars and Stripes.