The Afghan War documents leak is the disclosure of a collection of internal U.S. military logs of the War in Afghanistan, also called the Afghan War Diary, which were published by Wikileaks on 25 July 2010. The logs consist of 91,731 documents, covering the period between January 2004 and December 2009. Most of the documents are classified Secret As of 28 July 2010, only 75,000 of the documents have been released to the public, a move which Wikileaks says is "part of a harm minimization process demanded by [the] source". Prior to releasing the initial 75,000 documents, Wikileaks made the logs available to The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel in its German and English on-line edition which published reports per previous agreement on that same day, July 25, 2010.
The leak, which is considered to be one of the largest in U.S. military history, revealed information on the deaths of civilians, increased Taliban attacks, and involvement by Pakistan and Iran in the insurgency. Wikileaks says it does not know the source of the leaked data. The three outlets which had received the documents in advance, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel, have all concluded that they are genuine when compared to independent reports.
The New York Times described the leak as "a six-year archive of classified military documents [that] offers an unvarnished and grim picture of the Afghan war". The Guardian called the material "one of the biggest leaks in U.S. military history ... a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and NATO commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency". Der Spiegel wrote that "the editors in chief of Spiegel, The New York Times and the Guardian were 'unanimous in their belief that there is a justified public interest in the material'."
Some time after the first dissemination by WikiLeaks, the US Justice Department were considering the use of the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917 to prevent WikiLeaks from posting the remaining 15,000 secret war documents it claimed to possess.