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News Link • Afghanistan

Afghanistan war logs: Story behind biggest leak in intelligence history

• Nick Davies via
US authorities have known for weeks that they have suffered a haemorrhage of secret information on a scale which makes even the leaking of the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam war look limited by comparison.

The Afghan war logs, from which the Guardian reports today, consist of 92,201 internal records of actions by the US military in Afghanistan between January 2004 and December 2009 – threat reports from intelligence agencies, plans and accounts of coalition operations, descriptions of enemy attacks and roadside bombs, records of meetings with local politicians, most of them classified secret.

The Guardian's source for these is Wikileaks, the website which specialises in publishing untraceable material from whistleblowers, which is simultaneously publishing raw material from the logs.

Washington fears it may have lost even more highly sensitive material including an archive of tens of thousands of cable messages sent by US embassies around the world, reflecting arms deals, trade talks, secret meetings and uncensored opinion of other governments.

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