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White House condemns latest WikiLeaks release (updated)

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:18 PM
Original message
White House condemns latest WikiLeaks release (updated)
Edited on Sun Nov-28-10 01:27 PM by ProSense

White House condemns latest WikiLeaks release

WASHINGTON (Reuters) The White House condemned on Sunday WikiLeaks' "reckless and dangerous action" in releasing classified U.S. diplomatic cables, saying it could endanger lives and risk hurting relations with friendly countries.

State Department documents released by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks provided candid views of foreign leaders and sensitive information on terrorism and nuclear proliferation, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

The documents show Saudi donors remain chief financiers of militant groups like al Qaeda and that Chinese government operatives have waged a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage targeting the United States and its allies, according to a review of the WikiLeaks documents published in the Times.

"These cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only U.S. foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

By their nature, the cables often contained incomplete information and were not an expression of policy, he said.

more


Updated to add:

Wikileaks Out

David Kurtz

The New York Times has posted its piece on the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

For our Spanish speaking readers, El Pais has posted its package on the leaked documents.

The Guardian write up of the State Department cables has also been posted. In its usual understated style, the paper declares that the "United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis" by Wikileaks.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs just issued the following statement, after the publication of the cables began:

We anticipate the release of what are claimed to be several hundred thousand classified State department cables on Sunday night that detail private diplomatic discussions with foreign governments. By its very nature, field reporting to Washington is candid and often incomplete information. It is not an expression of policy, nor does it always shape final policy decisions. Nevertheless, these cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world. To be clear -- such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government. These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies. President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal. By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals. We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.


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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. No comment? n/t
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:48 PM
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2. I wonder how this leak that is being claimed field reporting
that is candid and incomplete more sensitive than our private conversations..... Under a collection of rights for persons who live as free people, their privacy is in some cases tantamount to their families security. Yet we have been living without that basic privacy where persons might have acted reckless and dangerous with personal medical, banking records that have run countertuitve to a families goal of safety.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Both are problems - and the Obama administration has already moved to deal with your concern
Just this month, the Obama administration has started working on internet privacy - and the person who will head it is someone who gives me great confidence - Cameron Kerry, who is a very good person in his own right. http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/11/obama-administrat... As you can see, privacy advocates have welcome this.

But, your concern - valid as it is - hijacks the thread. The problem here is that many diplomatic efforts may have been undermined. One concern is that the NYT is reporting that both Bush and Obama have used our diplomats as spies. This being out there - especially as there likely are specifics, can completely compromise our career diplomats - both in terms of undermining any trust they have built up and in terms of their safety. It also can harm any opponents to oppressive governments who have been our sources. (Consider that in countries like Iran, our information may be coming from Pro - democracy people.

I understand that some of the people involved tn leaking are of the opinion that we are being lied to and this is creating transparency. However, there are times when sources do need to be kept secret. The impact of this will likely be that our efforts at diplomacy will be harmed and people will be reluctant to speak to any American.

Here, I think that it was wrong for both the Bush and Obama administrations are using diplomats as spies, but what we don't know is what led to deciding to do that. Were our many intelligent organizations so compromised either by failures or things like exposing Plame that we had no real choice? I hope both the intelligence and foreign relations committee investigate this.
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