Outcomes Of Wikileaks Investigation

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26th October 2010, 06:04pm - Views: 531





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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE



Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545



MSPA 502/10

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Outcomes of WikiLeaks investigation


A Department of Defence Task Force has completed its investigation into the

unauthorised release of classified military documents relating to International Security

Assistance Force (ISAF) activities in Afghanistan by the organisation ‘WikiLeaks’ on

25 July 2010.


The Task Force conducted a detailed examination of the leaked materials to identify

references to Australian interests and Australian personnel.  These results were

compared with operational reporting and Defence public statements to determine the

potential impact on Australian interests and personnel, including the protection and

operations of forces deployed in Afghanistan.


The investigation found that the leaked materials were predominantly tactical-level

reporting, the majority of which was low-level operational reporting of activities such

as patrols, community engagement and routine operational activities.  Some of the

documents also covered foreign diplomatic reporting.


The Australian Government’s concern, in calling for a review of the materials, was to

ensure that as a result of the leaking of the materials, steps were taken by Defence to

mitigate any risks to Australians, our partners, those with whom we work including in

the local community, and our ongoing operations.


The Task Force found that significant operational issues relating to Australia referred

to in the leaked materials had already been publicly reported by Defence and, in most

cases, reported in greater detail than in the leaked materials.  


Many classified operational reports published by WikiLeaks would not routinely be

made public by Defence, for operational security reasons. The investigation found

that the leaked documents have not had a direct significant adverse impact on

Australia’s national interests. Operational areas of Defence have confirmed that

necessary measures have been taken to mitigate against risks to operational security.


The review concluded that no local sources were clearly identified and steps have

been taken to mitigate the risk of this occurring.


The investigation also found that current Defence processes for public reporting of

significant operational events are appropriate, and that Defence achieves high levels

of transparency while protecting information that could put the lives of Australian

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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE



Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545


Media Releases are available via e-mail if you register at www.defence.gov.au/media

Defence Force personnel, our ISAF and Afghan National Security Force partners, and

Afghan civilians at risk.


The Task Force is now examining the recent publication by WikiLeaks of around

400,000 documents relating to the war in Iraq. The investigation will take some time,

given the volume and complexity of the material. The findings of this investigation

will also be released in due course.


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664







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