Pentagon Alerts Defense Panels to New WikiLeaks Drop

Wednesday, 24 Nov 2010 01:56 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The Pentagon warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the website “intends to release several hundred thousand” classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26.

The documents “touch on an enormous range of very sensitive foreign policy issues,” Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King wrote yesterday in an e-mail to the defense panels.

“We anticipate that the release could negatively impact U.S. foreign relations,” she wrote, telling committee staff members that “we will brief you once we have a better understanding of what documents the WikiLeaks publication contains.”

King said The New York Times, the U.K.’s Guardian and Der Spiegel of Germany “are each currently working with WikiLeaks to coordinate the release of these State Department documents.”

These three publications were given advance access to two earlier WikiLeaks releases of U.S. military documents: almost 400,000 related to the Iraq war dated between 2003 and 2010 and about 75,000 from the same period on the Afghanistan war. The Iraq documents were published on Oct. 22 and the Afghanistan documents on July 25.

‘Raw Observations’

When the Iraq documents were released, a Pentagon spokesman, Marine Colonel David Lapan, described them as “raw observations from the tactical level of combat operations” and said their publication posed a risk to national security. In her e-mail to lawmakers yesterday, King had similar comments about the State Department documents.

“State Department cables by their nature contain everyday analysis and candid assessments that any government engages in as part of effective foreign relations,” she wrote. “The publication of this classified information by WikiLeaks is an irresponsible attempt to wreak havoc and destabilize global security. It potentially jeopardizes lives.”

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman confirmed that the e-mails had been sent to the two committees.

The Pentagon “had indications for some time” that WikiLeaks planned to release more documents, Whitman said in an interview yesterday. “As a result, we felt we had a responsibility to notify key leaders with oversight responsibility of the department like we normally do,” he said.

State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said WikiLeaks has previously said that it plans to release additional classified documents.

‘Due Diligence’

“We are doing due diligence,” Crowley said in an e-mail yesterday. The department is “assessing the possible impact on our on-going diplomatic activity and notifying both Congress and other governments what may occur.”

Crowley told reporters today in a briefing that “we’re in touch with our posts around the world,” which “have begun the process of notifying governments that a release of documents is possible in the near future.”

The State Department has had similar conversations with members of Congress “to let them know what we are prepared for,” Crowley said.

“The kinds of cables that posts send to Washington are classified,” he said. “They involve discussions we’ve had with government officials, with private citizens. They contain analysis, they contain a record of the day-to-day diplomatic activity that our personnel undertake.”

WikiLeaks receives confidential material that governments and business want to keep secret and posts the information on the Internet.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Sen. Mike Lee Pleads: Abolish Common Core

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 12:52 PM

Utah Sen. Mike Lee called on Americans to join him in the effort to abolish the federal Common Core education standards  . . .

While Obama Ponders ISIS Action, UK's David Cameron Takes Charge

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 12:15 PM

U.S. politicians and pundits have been impressed with the way Great Britain's Prime Minister has led his nation during t . . .

Medicare May Cover End-of-Life 'Death Panel' Talks

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 10:56 AM

Five years after the political firestorm over 'death panels,' the issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end- . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved