Wikileaks chief to NDTV: Info on ISI-terror link authentic

Wikileaks chief to NDTV: Info on ISI-terror link authentic

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New Delhi Julian Assange, the man who owns and runs the Wikileaks website has become a household name after he published leaked top secret US military documents, which reveal US intelligence on links between the ISI and terror.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV's Prannoy Roy, Assange said that every piece of information on the ISI's links with terror is genuine and authentic.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Prannoy Roy: How authentic do you think this information is?

Julian Assange: The information has been authenticated as coming from the US military. These are internal US military reports. Most of them are reports from the military about a battle they have just had or just about to have, a sub section of them are intelligence reports from informers of various kinds. Those informers' information can be split up into three. Some of them inform because they are concerned about the situation and they tell what they think is the truth. So they have Talibans who have moved into a house next door, they do not want them there, so they are informing. Others inform just for the money. So, they build any wild stories that they believe that the US military wants to hear, something on where Osama bin Laden is, something about the Iranians...so they do it just for money. So, they get a continued stream of money in this way, and others inform for advantage.

Prannoy Roy: The leak has been welcomed, but there is little in it that was not already known, what do you think is the value of the leak?

Julian Assange: It is really a high resolution period of the entire period of war. It is really the raw ingredient that the Pentagon was using to draft its policies, and the White House was using to come up with its policies. It is not what a mid-level bureaucrat thinks, or a mid-level analyst or a high level policy maker thinks. Rather it is the troops at the ground who said that they saw, or informers at the ground said that they saw. So all these decisions that the Pentagon has made, we could see what was the information that was going to them, and could other type of decisions have been made.

We can see the full scale of the war - How it has been increasing, and in what sort of way. So it really is a historical archive. It is not going to change the vague general perception that people have about the war. Everybody can see that it is escalating that it is been going on from nine years. That there are too many civilian casualties, that areas of Pakistan, including the ISI are supporting Taliban. That perception is not going to change. On the other hand, having a perception and knowing is different. This is a validation of what we have suspected, and gives us a relatively firm ground to stand on while making our decisions. For example, it is one thing to say that the parliament has corrupt politicians and everyone in the street knows that, but to actually know which politicians are corrupt and when they engaged in corrupt transactions. So, it is that level of details of specific events and regions that gives us a concrete understanding of the war, we can then go on to make accurate changes in observations and policies.
Story First Published: July 30, 2010 06:49 IST

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