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Friday
Nov262010

Ahead of Latest WikiLeaks' Release, State Dept. Warns Allies

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo Courtesy - BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the website WikiLeaks set to release a new trove of sensitive information, the U.S. government is already bracing for the worldwide fallout, pre-emptively warning allies in the hope of lessening the blow once classified documents go public.

WikiLeaks and its controversial founder Julian Assange are reportedly prepared to publish a cache of information including hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables that could embarrass the U.S. government as well as other governments around the world. WikiLeaks said its next release will be seven times the size of its last leak in October, which contained some 400,000 Pentagon documents about the war in Iraq. Last July, WikiLeaks also published roughly 70,000 documents about the war in Afghanistan.

Senior U.S. officials warn that the next round of WikiLeaks documents would be considerably more damaging than the two previous WikiLeaks document dumps.

"This is outrageous and dangerous," a senior U.S. official told ABC News. "This puts at risk the ability of the United States to conduct foreign policy. Period. End of paragraph."

Although the State Department said it did not know specifically what could be released, the scope of the documents goes far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, essentially detailing day-to-day operation of U.S. foreign policy, including summaries of confidential discussions with foreign officials and intelligence sources, and dissidents and opposition figures.

The big worry among U.S. authorities is that the documents would reveal names and detailed discussions with individuals who expected that their conversations with U.S. officials would be kept confidential. In the case of intelligence sources and dissidents in oppressive countries, this could put lives of U.S. sources at risk.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio