WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Defense Department on Wednesday said it is not in direct contact with Wikileaks, a website that published tens of thousands of classified documents related to the Afghanistan war, and has plans to publish more.
Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said the website contacted no "competent authorities" in the Pentagon, and the department " has had no direct contact with WikiLeaks," although the website's operator intends to use the media as intermediary.
Wikileaks already has released 77,000 classified documents, and the site's publisher said he plans to release about 15,000 more. " Those documents should be returned," Whitman said. "There should be no further posting of these classified documents, and those that have been posted should be removed."
The Defense Department is not interested in negotiating with Wikileaks, Whitman said, noting that it's against the law to release classified documents. If Defense Department officials participated in trying to sanitize or redact these documents, he said, they still would be guilty of releasing classified documents.
The Army's Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI are conducting an investigation into the leak of the documents.