'This Week' Transcript: Pelosi and Gates

Thank you all for joining us this morning. Let me go to you first, George. What about this leak? How bad is it for the war effort? And how bad is it for a government which really has to reassess what it does with state secrets?

WILL: Well, these were lethal without being helpful, lethal in the sense that they compromised both methods and, more important, sources themselves. Not helping, in the sense that they're not a bit like the Pentagon Papers, which showed in the Vietnam War that the government internally had a very different understanding of what was going on in Vietnam than it was saying publicly.

That's not the case here. These are redundant anecdotes about what we all knew from good journalism and honest government about this.

What we're left with now is still the question of the mission. In your interview with Secretary Gates, he said the following: "We are in Afghanistan because we were attacked from Afghanistan." Notice the preposition. We weren't attacked by Afghanistan, in the sense that we were attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor. We were attacked from there.

And National Security Adviser James Jones has said that we have to be there because otherwise the terrorists would have more space to plot and train.

AMANPOUR: Exactly.

WILL: We were attacked from Hamburg, in a sense. You can plot in this kind of war anywhere.

AMANPOUR: Well, yes, but the real ground war is in Afghanistan.

And let me go to Ahmed Rashid, who is the authority on the Taliban. Ahmed, what is your assessment of how Wikileaks and all the material and information that came out of that could affect the war?

RASHID: Well, again, I don't think that there has been any really major new information given in these Wikileaks. The impact has been quite extraordinary in America, in Europe, and other places simply because this war has not really been properly followed by the public.

The media has not followed it. And as a result, I think people are being quite shocked about the degree of detail and content that have come out. But I don't think anything drastically new has come out. Now there is a risk of sources, et cetera, which the Taliban are going to follow up on.

AMANPOUR: Precisely. And I wanted to ask you about that. You know already they have said that they're going to be searching and scouring this treasure trove. Do you -- do you foresee that there are going to be bodies turning up in Afghanistan amongst people who've really been helping the United States?

RASHID: Well, I hope that, you know, these -- a lot of these leaks are quite old, and people have moved on. A lot of the names may be false names. I hope we're not going to see bodies, but certainly this is something -- the Taliban are extremely good at following debates in the West, the Western media, debates in parliaments in Europe, in the Congress. They will have seen this new vote just now, where so many of the Democrats seem to be voting against the war.

They are expert now at following up. And if there are people to be followed up upon, they will do so.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me put that to Donna Brazile and to Paul Krugman. The idea that they are really smart, they read the Western press, they have a very highly sophisticated, whether we like to think that or not, media operation.

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