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White House Condemns WikiLeaks' Document Release - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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WASHINGTON, (AP) – WikiLeaks’ decision to release classified U.S. diplomatic files endangers U.S. diplomats, intelligence agents and democratic activists who seek America’s help, the White House said Sunday.

Shortly before the statement from presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs, several news organizations posted stories on the Internet based on the hundreds of thousands of classified State Department documents that WikiLeaks had made available to them.

Gibbs said the diplomatic documents, known as cables, contained candid and often incomplete information that didn’t express policy and didn’t influence decisions.

Still, Gibbs said, such cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders and could “deeply impact” U.S. interests as well as those of allies and friends.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Gibbs said President Barack Obama supports open and accountable government, but the press secretary called the WikiLeaks action “reckless and dangerous” and 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,” Gibbs said. “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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