From the New Yorker, emphasis mine:
Recently, he posted military documents that included the Social Security numbers of soldiers, and in the Bunker I asked him if WikiLeaks’ mission would have been compromised if he had redacted these small bits. He said that some leaks risked harming innocent people—“collateral damage, if you will”—but that he could not weigh the importance of every detail in every document. Perhaps the Social Security numbers would one day be important to researchers investigating wrongdoing, he said; by releasing the information he would allow judgment to occur in the open.
A year and a half ago, WikiLeaks published the results of an Army test, conducted in 2004, of electromagnetic devices designed to prevent IEDs from being triggered. The document revealed key aspects of how the devices functioned and also showed that they interfered with communication systems used by soldiers—information that an insurgent could exploit. By the time WikiLeaks published the study, the Army had begun to deploy newer technology, but some soldiers were still using the devices. I asked Assange if he would refrain from releasing information that he knew might get someone killed. He said that he had instituted a “harm-minimization policy,” whereby people named in certain documents were contacted before publication, to warn them, but that there were also instances where the members of WikiLeaks might get “blood on our hands.”
Over the past two days I’ve been listening to people defend Julian Assange. Primarily members of my own party, all caught up in this seemingly inexorable drive for “truth”. It makes me sick, honestly. In my opinion, there is no excuse for being callous to loss of human life or to the privacy of innocent people.
Those of you who are anti-war yet defend Assange are really out there. Blood is blood, whether spilled in a war or as a result of Julian Assange's need for attention.
Governments do have a right and a need to maintain certain secrets, and they have a responsibility to protect those secrets. I hope Assange and his volunteer staff are held accountable.
Finally, dumping un-redacted documents online with no context is just playing for fun; it is not journalism. And, it is not about truth. Assange is no hero.
Adding....Assange is an attention seeking missile. Sooner or later, we will all pay in one way or another. How many will cry when he publishes social security records online, or private medical databases, and on, and on. As Kevin Drum said, we all have secrets, and there is nothing wrong with that.