WASHINGTON A criminal investigation into the leak of tens of thousands of secret Afghanistan war logs could go beyond the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday, and he did not rule out that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange could be a target.
“The investigation should go wherever it needs to go,” Gates said.
Gates would not be more specific, waving off questions about whether Assange or media outlets that used the Wikileaks material could be subjects of the criminal probe. But he noted that he has asked the FBI to help in the investigation “to ensure that it can go wherever it needs to go.”
The Army is leading an inquiry inside the Defense Department into who downloaded some 91,000 secret documents and passed the material to Wikileaks, an online archive that describes itself as a public service organization for whistleblowers, journalists and activists.
The leak July 25 of what the website calls its “Afghan War Diary” involved raw intelligence reports and other material dating to 2004.
The Pentagon inquiry is looking most closely at Pvt. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence specialist who was already charged with leaking other material to the website. Manning, 22, has been moved from ...