U.S. condemns posting of secret Afghanistan files online

10:40, July 26, 2010      

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The White House on Sunday condemned the disclosure of a huge cache of classified U.S. military documents on the war in Afghanistan online, saying the leaks could threaten national security.

The leaks, containing more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the Afghanistan war, appeared Sunday on the whistleblower site Wikileaks, representing one of the biggest leaks in U.S. military history.

National Security Advisor James Jones said the United States "strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security."

In a statement, he bemoaned that "Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents," as the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted.

The documents, posted by Wikileaks covering a period of time from January 2004 to December 2009, were reports written by soldiers and intelligence officers mainly describing lethal military actions involving the U.S. military. They includes "intelligence information, reports of meetings with political figures, and related detail," according to the site, giving a blow-by-blow account of the war over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 1,000 U.S. troops.

The documents cover most units from the U.S. Army with the exception of most U.S. Special Forces' activities. The reports do not generally cover top-secret operations or European and other international forces operations. They were made available in advance to the New York Times, British newspaper the Guardian and German weekly Der Spiegel. The publications posted lengthy reports on their website about the leaks Sunday afternoon.

The logs revealed U.S. officials' suspicion that Pakistan's spy agency has for years guided the Afghan insurgency, U.S. troops covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired and used heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles to target coalition aircraft, as well as a secret taskforce led by U.S. special forces to kill or capture top Taliban targets without trial.

In the statement, the White House said since 2009, the United States and Pakistan have deepened bilateral partnership. Counter-terrorism cooperation has led to significant blows against al Qaeda's leadership, as the Pakistani military went on the offensive in Swat and South Waziristan.

The leaks came at a time when the United States is facing increasingly difficult situation in Afghanistan, and against a backdrop of the capture of two U.S. Navy sailors by the Taliban south of Kabul on Friday.

Source: Xinhua


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