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(generated from captions) Quick! Do the maths! Do the maths!

He's 50, 60 years of age. He didn't

know! He couldn't do the maths! I

used to teach maths in Queensland.

It's probably my fault. How old is

he, Dave? I don't know! If you type

Wikileaks into a search engine,

you'll be directed to a website

that's at the centre of a massive

storm today. So Wikileaks is the

whistleblower site that publishes often leaked and sensitive

documents in the so-called name of

freedom of information. It's often

controversial but some are saying

it's now just bordering on dang

truss. At this hour, American and

coalition forces are in the early

stages of military operations to

disarm Iraq, to free its people and

danger. to defend the world from grave

Fast forward seven years and, while

coalition forces have pulled out,

America maintains a 50,000-strong

presence in Iraq. Over the weekend,

Wikileaks began publishing nearly

400,000 leaked war documents. They

claim the US is covering up

incidents of torture and hiding the

number of civilian deaths.

According to Wikileaks over the

course of the war, 31 civilians

have lost their lives every day,

more than 66,000 in total. Would

what's worse, Australian-born

founder Julian Assange claims

there's proof of war crimes. We

could see from the Iraqi military

the torturing of over 1,000 people

United and the lack of intervention by the

United States.

But while America has not

challenged the authenticity of the

documents, they say their release

will put the lives of Iraqi

collaborators in danger. There are

300 manufacture plus Iraqi names

that we thought were -- 300-plus

Iraqi Thames that we thought were

considerably exposed here because

they were ones who were cooperating

with us. It's the largest

classified military leak in history,

uncovering 15,000 previously

unreported civilian deaths. So as

Wikileaks prepares to release more

sensitive files, is this really in

the public interest or just the

reckless act of a rogue Internet

activist? Joining us with his

opinion is Tasmanian independence

and former intelligence analyst and

whistleblower Andrew Wilkie. Now,

you publicly opposed the Iraq war

from the outset, eventually

resigning over it. Do you feel

Wikileaks is endangering liveser

performing a service? Who knows.

The start point to the answer is to

understand that whistleblowers do a

public service. They have an

important role to publicise what

they perceive to be official

misconduct. On balance I think

WikiLeaks has an important role to

play. The question is here have

they crossed the line? Are they

reckless? Have they put people at

risk? WikiLeaks say no. The people

who say they are putting people at

risk, people like the US government,

the problem is there they've got

such a track record of obfuscation

and disinformation themselves I

don't know who to believe in this

case. You say there that the US

have said that this may put lives

at risk. Is it not fascinating that

they haven't flat-out denight the

claims in the documents? -- denied

the claims in the documents? I

think that is absolutely

fascinating. I note that the Iraqi

government has said that they're

totally a fabrication and the US

government hasn't. I have a high

level of confidence that this is

fair dinkum material, that the sort

of claims that WikiLeaks are now

making about the number of people

who have been killed, who have been

tortured - I suspect that there is

some truth or maybe a lot of truth

in those claims but I make the

point again, you know, we they'd to

be really careful here. I'm a

whistleblower myself. I support

whistleblowers. I support the role

WikiLeaks has generally to

publicise official misconduct. But

if they have crossed the line and

they are genuinely putting people

at risk, I think that's

unacceptable. I know the

information on Wikipedia is not

always accurate so calling it

WikiLeaks for a start is a bit

dodgy. But do you think that this

guy is really -- has really looked

through all the information to find

out that any collaborator is not

identified in the information and

that people aren't at risk? Um, it

would be very, very hard. I think

the figure today is 400,000

documents. It would be very

difficult for them to be sure that

there is nothing in there which is

going to endanger anyone. So I

suppose, you know, on one hand I'm

strongly in favour of

whistleblowers and the media that lets whistleblowers publicise their

concerns but I suppose in my heart

I do have a certain restlessness

here. I would find it a bit hard to

be confident that they have not put

someone at risk or perhaps exposed

some sort of operational procedures

or so on. Andrew, you have put up a

members' bill to protect

whistleblowers so it is the line

for you between freedom of information and undermining

national security - where is that

line for you? Oh, look, it's

somewhat subjective. You know, take

my personal example, I could have

walked out of the Office of

National Assessments 67.5 years ago

with a briefcase full of

incriminating documents and I

decided not to. I'm the fella who

criticises governments for misusing

information. Even f if you're a

whistleblower you have an

obligation to not be reckless, to

not put lives at risk, to not

disclose genuine secrets, to not

disclose technical or general

capabilities. But as long as you

don't do that, you get on the front

food and talk to the media, if

you're a credible witness and the

events you're describing are coming

to pass, you get your message

across without jeopardising lives.

It will be fascinating to see how

the story unfolds. Thanks so much

for joining us tonight. Thank you.

Now, this is an intriguing story.

First things first, who is this guy

Assange. The thirst thing about

that, Charlie is it's a huge story

internationally. Much bigger

internationally than here. Double-

page spreads on him. He spent much

of his time in Victoria growing up

with cureous people. He's a

mathematician. He's clearly a

genius of some kind, whether you

think he's misdirected or otherwise.

They can't let this go on. The CIA

and Pentagon can't let it go on.

It's the question of where they

stop a bloke like this, the whistleblower's whistleblower. As

Charlie said, they haven't denied

the facts as he's said they are.

Will they try something? I don't

know. He says he's not running for

his life but he has to take more

security now. The last interview he

did overseas he did with a

bodyguard so he must be getting

scared. They can't let this go on.

How does he get the information He

gets it from leaks inside the

Pentagon. Who want to get it out.

That's why I said he's the whistleblower's whistleblower's whistleblowers.

What's his background? Jeest He's

either a visceral antiwar person or

visceral freedom of speech person

but either way it's a moral, it's

an ethical, it's a political, it's

a democratic and it's a personal

dilemma. When you toss in an a

politically loaded phrase like -

national security", where do you

stop? Where does freedom of speech

end and protecting national

security begin? And quite frankly,

like Andrew, I don't know the

answer. Let's see what comes out of