Support for WikiLeaks Evaporates as New Release of War Documents Looms

WASHINGTON -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is threatening to release a second set of classified Pentagon documents related to the Afghan war, but fallout from his first document dump has left him with virtually no support.

The White House is against him. The Pentagon is against him. American public opinion is against him. Even a journalism advocacy group has called the document release "incredible irresponsibility."

Last month, the self-proclaimed "whistle-blowing" website released some 91,000 secret military documents that government officials say expose and threaten the lives of Afghan civilians who have cooperated with U.S. and NATO forces.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs accused Assange on Friday of seeking more attention for himself and said if Assange chooses to release these documents he's simply helping the enemy.

"I think if you go... back to the initial release of documents and find what the spokesman for the Taliban said specifically about names that they found in those documents... they knew how to deal with those individuals," Gibbs said. "I think we're clear on what that means."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who took questions from sailors in San Diego late Thursday, said if WikiLeaks goes through with this again it will have direct consequences on the battlefield.

The documents "convey a huge amount of information about our tactics, techniques and procedures," Gates said. "How we fight, where we are vulnerable. We know from intelligence that both the Taliban and Al Qaeda have given direction to comb those documents for information so I think the consequences are potentially very severe."

Gates added that so far the military has no specific information about any Afghan's being killed as a result of being exposed from the first set of documents late last month.

Nevertheless, the administration is not the only voice calling for Assange to use restraint.

A new Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll shows two thirds of Americans believe WikiLeaks should be condemned for leaking military secrets. Sixty one percent of those polled consider it an act of treason.

Even Reporters Without Borders, an organization that fights for international press freedom, sent Assange a letter saying it regrets the "incredible irresponsibility" shown by releasing the initial 77,000 secret war documents.

"We supported WikiLeaks on many cases and on many things before, but this is going way too far and we can't support that," Clothilde Le Coz, a spokeswoman for Reporters with Borders, told Fox News on Friday.

The group supported "Collateral Murder," a highly edited video released by WikiLeaks in April that depicted the strafing and death of two Reuters photographers accidentally targeted by U.S. Army helicopters in Iraq.

Le Coz said not only does Assange demonstrate a lack of sympathy for the sources and lives he's putting in danger, but he may give cause for international governments to control content on the Internet.

Meanwhile, the White House has not threatened any legal action against Assange. Retribution is focused squarely on the Army intelligence analyst who is accused of leaking the documents and video to Assange. Pfc Bradley Manning is being held at the Marine Corps' Quantico Brig in Virginia while he awaits formal charges.