A leaked Department of Defense report shows officials expected Chelsea Manning's 2009 release of war documents to Wikileaks to cause less harm to national security than initially claimed.
The report, obtained by BuzzFeed on Tuesday, assessed the potential of damage on U.S. forces in Iraq.
More than 20 federal agencies, including the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, State Department and Homeland Security Department prepared the report, analyzing over 740,000 pages of documents released by Wikileaks. Completed on June 15, 2011, the report was used during Manning's court martial and parts of it remain redacted.
Regarding Manning's release of Iraq-specific military documents, the report concluded "with high confidence that disclosure of the Iraq data set will have no direct personal impact on current and former U.S. leadership in Iraq."
However, not all of Wikileaks' released documents were harmless.
A different leak pertaining to the war in Afghanistan and released the same year as Mannings' leaks, the report assessed, wouldn't impact U.S. forces specifically, but could harm "intelligence sources, informants and the Afghan population."
The report also noted that the Iraqi and Afghani civilian casualties released through Wikileaks "could be used by the press or our adversaries to negatively impact support for current operations in the region."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's arrest in connection with these latter documents a "priority" for the Justice Department.