You can read a PDF of the original here, in case you find the text that follows too crazy to believe. Keep in mind that these are the people prosecuting a war in Afghanistan, and look at the sense of realism and logic that they possess. Stanley Kubrick could not have done a better job if he had fabricated such a letter for Dr. Strangelove, Part 2.
GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
1600 DEFENSE PENTAGON
WASHINGTON D. C 20301 1600
AUG 16 2010
Timothy J. Matusheski, Esq.
P.O. Box 15758
Hattiesburg, MS 39404
Dear Mr. Matusheski:
I understand that you represent yourself to be an attorney for WikiLeaks and that you, on behalf of that organization, sought a conversation with someone in the United States Government to discuss “harm minimization” with respect to some 15,000 U.S. Government classified documents that WikiLeaks is holding and is threatening to make public. In response, I was prepared to speak with you yesterday at 10:00am EDT and convey the position of the Department of Defense. Despite your agreement to be available by telephone yesterday morning, we could not reach you at that time.
The position of the Department of Defense is clear, and it should be conveyed to your client in no uncertain terms:
WikiLeaks is holding the property of the U.S. Government, including classified documents and sensitive national security information that has not been authorized for release. Further, it is the view of the Department of Defense that WikiLeaks obtained this material in circumstances that constitute a violation of United States law, and that as long as WikiLeaks holds this material, the violation of the law is ongoing.
The Secretary of Defense has made clear the damage to our national security by the public release by WikiLeaks of some 76,000 classified documents several weeks ago, and the threat to the lives of coalition forces in Afghanistan and to the lives of local Afghan nationals as a result. As the Secretary has also stated, we know from various sources that our enemies are accessing the WikiLeaks website for the purpose of exploiting WikiLeaks’ illegal and irresponsible actions, to pursue their own terrorist aims.
The threatened release of additional classified documents by WikiLeaks will add to the damage. Among other sensitive items, we believe the classified documents contain, like the first batch of released documents, the names of Afghan nationals who are assisting coalition forces in our efforts to bring about peace and stability in that portion of the world.
Thus, the Department of Defense will not negotiate some “minimized” or “sanitized” version of a release by WikiLeaks of additional U.S. Government classified documents. The Department demands that nothing further be released by WikiLeaks, that all of the U.S. Government classified documents that WikiLeaks has obtained be returned immediately, and that WikiLeaks remove and destroy all of these records from its databases.
Jeh Charles Johnson
- Pentagon Refuses WikiLeaks’ Offer to Help Review Classified War Documents (politicsdaily.com)
- Pentagon says no to ‘sanitized’ WikiLeaks release (alternet.org)
- Pentagon Rebuffs WikiLeaks’ Request for Help (blogs.wsj.com)
- Correspondence From The Pentagon To Wikileaks Surfaces, Confirming They Have Talked (mediaite.com)
- Pentagon denies WikiLeaks talks about documents (sfgate.com)
- WikiLeaks says Pentagon offers Afghan files help (cbc.ca)