Last updated: 28 july, 2010 - 13:43 GMT

How do Iraq Wikileaks compare to Vietnam Pentagon Papers?

Daniel Ellsberg

Mr Ellsberg secretly made photocopies of classified documents

In what has been called the largest leak in United States military history, three major news publications have released details of what they say are thousands of unreported incidents from the war in Afghanistan.

They say they received more than 90,000 classified military documents from the whistle-blowing organisation, WikiLeaks.

They detail the killing of Afghan civilians by Nato forces, as well as Nato concerns that Pakistan and Iran are actively aiding Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

The White House condemned the publication, saying it covered the period between 2004 and 2009, President Obama pointed out that US strategy had changed in December 2009 under the Obama administration.

It said the publication put the lives of Nato and Afghan military personnel at risk and threatened national security.

Some have compared the release of the secret military documents to the publication of the 1971 Pentagon Papers: a top secret study of US government decision making during the Vietnam War which was credited with turning the American public against the war.

Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers.

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First broadcast 26 July 2010

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