'This Week' Transcript: Pelosi and Gates

(UNKNOWN): I'm a combative person, so I wanted (inaudible)

MULLEN: The truth is, they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.


AMANPOUR: Highlights from the Wikileaks story that's really shaken up Washington and capitals around the world. We'll talk about that and more on our roundtable with George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Paul Krugman of the New York Times, and in Madrid this morning, Ahmed Rashid, the Pakistani journalist who is the world authority on the Taliban.

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?

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