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WikiLeaks' next big leak
The secretive whistle-blowing website is gearing up to publish devastating new material on an incident involving U.S. forces in Afghanistan. What should we be expecting?
An Afghan soldier surveys a valley in Northwest Afghanistan.
An Afghan soldier surveys a valley in Northwest Afghanistan.
Getty
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vc Bradley Manning is behind bars for allegedly leaking classified information to the whistleblowing group WikiLeaks.org — but the damage may already be done. WikiLeaks is set to publish new, damaging material apparently obtained from Manning which could prompt as much controversy as the "Collateral Murder" video — purportedly showing U.S. soldiers killing a group of Iraqis, including two Reuters journalists — it released last month. Here's what to expect: (Watch an ABC report about WikiLeaks' latest threat)

What is WikiLeaks planning to release?
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the site would publish classified documents this week on a May 2009 incident in the Afghan village of Garani which reportedly left 140 civilians dead, including many teenagers and children.

Is there video of the attack?
Yes. According to Assange, WikiLeaks plans to release combat footage of the killings — what Assange calls "the Garani massacre" — later on this summer.

What is the Pentagon doing about it?
It is investigating Manning to find out exactly what he leaked to Assange's team. The disgraced 22-year-old claims to have sent 260,000 State Department cables to WikiLeaks, and many "sensitive videos." Assange is reportedly "living on the run," even though he has says he has no knowledge that U.S. authorities are actively seeking him.   

Can the Pentagon suppress the video?
Probably not. According to the New Yorker, WikiLeaks' content is held by as many as twenty servers around the world and the site uses some of the world's most sophisticated anti-hacking technology. "A government or company that wanted to remove content from WikiLeaks would have to practically dismantle the Internet itself," reports Raffi Khatchadourian. 

Can't Pentagon lawyers shut the site down?
Because WikiLeaks is not based in a particular country — and Assange's team work from several different locations — no legal precedent exists to shut the site down. In addition, the government of Iceland recently passed a law protecting sites such as WikiLeaks from prosecution for whistleblowing. Assange was involved in the creation of the law, which could see the country provide a safe haven for the WikiLeaks team.

Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Daily Beast, New Yorker

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