As occurred with the Afghanistan documents, the Iraqi war documents were initially thought likely to contain the names of Iraqis who cooperated with U.S. forces -- though it was not immediately clear if such names survived WikiLeaks redaction effort.
In July, WikiLeaks published a raft of secret documents from Afghanistan that the website obtained from a single rogue soldier, Army Spc. Bradley Manning, who had access to secret intelligence contained on military computers.
Among the documents Manning leaked was a classified video showing an Apache helicopter attack in 2007 that killed civilians and two Reuters news photographers. Manning is currently in a military brig near Washington, D.C., awaiting a court martial.
The Afghanistan documents contained the names of locals who cooperated with U.S. forces, and it was expected the Iraqi war documents likely would contain such names, as well.
The Pentagon has continued to express concerns about WikiLeaks releasing unredacted information containing such names because of the potential harm the individuals might face from insurgents.
"Our concern is mostly with the threat to individuals, the threat to our people and our equipment," said Lapan.
After WikiLeaks released 70,000 documents in July relating to the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon quickly set up a 120-person task force to review the documents for potential damage. Lapan has said that in anticipation of a release of Iraq War documents, that same task force has spent the past few weeks reviewing a database of 400,000 "significant acts" from the war in Iraq.
Lapan said the task force looked for names of Iraqi individuals that might be included in the documents and passed this information to U.S. Central Command Centcom, which presumably would pass them on to U.S. forces in Iraq.
Despite the military's concerns that individuals would be threatened following the publication of the Afghan documents in July, the Pentagon said no such cases had been recorded.
"I don't have any information that from the first 77,000 documents that any individuals were killed. But then again I don't think we have perfect knowledge either," Lapan said.
The investigation into the leaked Afghan war documents has focused on Manning, who worked as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. He is now under military detention in the Washington, D.C., area under charges that he a classified video showing an Apache helicopter attack in 2007 that killed civilians and two Reuters news photographers.
The Pentagon has slammed WikiLeaks for its actions.
"We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world, including our enemies," the Pentagon said in a statement. "We know terrorist organizations have been mining the leaked Afghan documents for information to use against us and this Iraq leak is more than four times as large. By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us. The only responsible course of action for WikiLeaks at this point is to return the stolen material and expunge it from their websites as soon as possible."