As we saw with the Wikileaks dump on Afghanistan, the damage done to the cause in that country was considerable - not the least of which the exposure of Afghan civilians who are assisting America to Taliban reprisals due to their names not being excised from the documents.
A doc dump on Iraq would be even worse. It comes at an extraordinarily delicate time in Iraqi politics as the country wrestles with a political crisis brought about by a failure to create a government in the wake of the parliamentary elections. Any revelations about Prime Minister Maliki or the opposition could be extremely damaging.
But that won't stop the release:
Although the Iraq conflict has faded from public debate in the United States in recent years, the document dump threatens to revive memories of some of the most trying times in the war, including the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.
It could also renew debate about foreign and domestic actors influencing Iraq, which has been wrestling with a political vacuum since an inconclusive election in March.
One source familiar with the Iraq documents said they are likely to contain revelations about civilian casualties, but expected them to cause less of a stir than the Afghan leak.
Lapan said the Pentagon team believed it knew which documents WikiLeaks may be releasing since it had already reviewed the Iraq war file. That could speed up its assessment about potential fallout.