10-22-2016  12:06 am      •     
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House on Friday implored the website WikiLeaks to stop posting secret Afghanistan war documents as the Pentagon pressed its investigation of the leaks, bringing a soldier charged with handing over classified video back to the U.S. for trial.
Obama administration officials said the investigation of the release of tens of thousands of classified documents could extend beyond members of the military.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said posting the war logs on the Web jeopardized national security and put the lives of Afghan informants and U.S. military personnel at risk.
Asked what the Obama administration could do to stop the posting of more war secrets, Gibbs said, "We can do nothing but implore the person that has those classified top secret documents not to post any more."
"I think it's important that no more damage be done to our national security," Gibb told NBC's "Today" show Friday.
The Pentagon inquiry has been looking most closely at Pvt. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence specialist who was already charged with leaking video to the WikiLeaks website.
Manning, 22, has been moved from Kuwait to Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, where he will be held while awaiting trial on charges stemming from posting of the video on WikiLeaks, the Army said in a statement Friday.
The classified helicopter cockpit video showed a 2007 firefight in Baghdad that left a Reuters photographer and his driver dead, and two small children seriously wounded by US military gunfire. Their father was killed nearby as he tried to recover the journalists' bodies.
Throughout the video the voices of the helicopter gunners can be heard ridiculing the unarmed people on the ground and raging against their superiors who take several minutes to give them permission to begin firing.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview aired Thursday that WikiLeaks had contacted the White House - via The New York Times acting as intermediary - and offered to let government officials go through the documents to make sure no innocent people were identified. The White House did not respond to the approach, he said.
Assange dismissed allegations that innocent people or informants had been put in danger by the publication of the documents.
"We are yet to see clear evidence of that," he said in the Australian Broadcasting interview.
WikiLeaks describes itself as a public service organization for whistleblowers, journalists and activists.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the release of the documents deeply damaging and potentially life-threatening for Afghan informants or others who have taken risks to help the U.S. and NATO war effort.
Theirs was the most sober assessment of the ramifications of the leak this past Sunday of raw intelligence reports and other material dating to 2004.
"Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family," Mullen said Thursday.
Gates said the military's investigation "should go wherever it needs to go" and that he has asked the FBI to help. Gates would not rule out that Assange could be a target.

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