BERLIN — The online whistle-blower WikiLeaks said it will continue to publish more secret files from governments around the world despite U.S. demands to cancel plans to release classified military documents.
"I can assure you that we will keep publishing documents — that's what we do," a WikiLeaks spokesman, who says he goes by the name Daniel Schmitt in order to protect his identity, told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday.
Schmitt said he could not comment on any specific documents but asserted that the publication of classified documents about the Afghanistan war directly contributed to the public's understanding of the conflict.
"Knowledge about ongoing issues like the war in Afghanistan is the only way to help create something like safety," Schmitt said. "Hopefully with this understanding, public scrutiny will then influence governments to develop better politics."
He rejected allegations that the group's publication of leaked U.S. government documents was a threat to America's national security or put lives at risk.
"For this reason, we conveyed a request to the White House prior to the publication, asking that the International Security Assistance Force provide us with reviewers," Schmitt said. "That request remains open. However, the Pentagon has stated that it is not interested in 'harm minimization' and has not contacted us, directly, or indirectly to discuss this offer."
The NATO-led ISAF security force is mostly deployed in Afghanistan's less volatile north.
The Pentagon has maintained that the Defense Department had no direct contact with WikiLeaks about possible efforts to redact those documents to make them less of a security threat.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said late last month that it was "absolutely, unequivocally not true" that WikiLeaks had offered to let U.S. government officials go through the documents to make sure no innocent people were identified.