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Video: Pentagon fears leaks put informants at risk

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    >>> and pentagon officials fear the massive document dumped by the website wikileaks will endanger american and afghan lives. "the times of london" reports the names and addresses of homes when the secret documents were leaked. this morning wikileaks founder julian assange denied.

    >> some of those classifications were misimplied internally.

    >> nbc's jim mick luchefky joins us live from the pentagon. this is always the worst fear regarding these documents, it might put lives in danger.

    >> absolutely. if those names are released, particularly those of civilian afghan informants that they will be targets of the taliban and, quite frankly, julian assange's excuse there is pretty flimsy before after all he said his organization, wikileaks would review all those documents and scrub out or not even release those documents that contain the names of innocent afghans who may be caught up in this and whose lives would be put at risk. but as we learned this morning, there was an acknowledgment that wikileaks is looked at only 2,000 of the 90,000. that leaves 88,000 that have not been examined by anybody at wikileaks and they can contain just about anything. ultimately, though, people here at the pentagon acknowledge that the blame lies with whoever initially leaked this information. the pentagon investigation has been under way for a couple of days now, as you would expect. it's not clear that they have gotten too far there. their prime suspect remains a private 22-year-old bradley manning, who is in custody, already suspected of leaking materials to wikileaks . but if he knows anything at all about this latest leak to wikileaks , military officials tell us he's not talking, tamron.

    >> nicthey're a part of the strategy, obviously, just not might, but to convince them that they can perhaps trust the soldiers on the ground and then when you hear this report that names were leaked, that makes it all the more difficult for this strategy of reaching out.

    >> absolutely. that's a good point. not only are those named put at risk, but those who might potentially cooperate with the americans. probably not going to do it now. you know, often allies, u.s. allies have told the pentagon, the state department , why should we cooperate with you because whatever we tell you is going to end up on the front pages of "the new york times." that's one of the complaints, actually, specifically from pakistan. every time u.s. officials traveled to islamabad to sit down and try to gain increased cooperation from pakistan, inevitably, we are told, they complain about press leaks that then jeopardize anything that they're going to do in conjunction with the u.s.

    >> all right, jim miklaszewski at the pentagon for us this morning. thanks, mik.


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