The US military was so fearful of classified information ending up on Wikileaks it considered ways to undermine the organisation, a newly published secret report on the site appears to show.
In an ironic twist, Wikileaks has now published what appears to be an assessment of the site and the danger is poses to US military confidentiality, apparently from the US Army and Counterintelligence center and dated 18 March 2008.
Most of the report is a measured analysis of the site's activities, modus operandi, funding and history, which then details numerous documents allegedly leaked to Wikileaks relating to US military activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond that it sees as having handed intelligence to agencies hostile to the US.
Eventually, however, the document turns to possible counter-measures, including placing fabricated information as a means of discrediting its reliability, spreading propaganda, and of prosecuting anyone within the US military, intelligence or government departments found leaking to it.
"The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions," it notes.
A justification for following this course of action is considered to be that other countries have attempted to do the same.
"The governments of China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and several other countries have blocked access to Wikileaks.org-type Web sites, claimed they have the right to investigate and prosecute Wikileaks.org and associated whistleblowers, or insisted they remove false, sensitive, or classified government information, propaganda, or malicious content from the Internet," says the report.
That the US military was concerned over the danger posed by Wikileaks is probably not a surprise, but that this document itself has leaked will prove a huge embarrassment, assuming it is genuine. That wouldn't have been in the mind of the author when compiling the report.
Wikileaks itself believes the plan to attack it did not come to fruition.
"As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective." It says in its official introduction.
The date of March 2008 puts the report's creation within the dying days of the US administration of President Bush. It is possible that the Obama administration would be less likely to act on such an analysis.
Wikileaks sprang to prominence in the US a few months after the report's date, publishing email messages allegedly hacked from the mailbox of vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.
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