WikiLeaks has potential to put US troops into harm's way: WH

Last Updated 30 July 2010, 05:48 IST

The issue was discussed at the monthly situation room Af-Pak meeting at the White House convened by US President Barack Obama.

"We believe that this has the potential to put troops, those that cooperate with our efforts, into harm's way," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.
Gibbs clarified that the White House did not see any of these documents prior to their being put online.

"We worked with The New York Times on some questions that they had. They were able to see some of the documents beforehand," he said.

The New York Times was one of the three media outlets which were given prior access to the documents before it was released by WikiLeaks.

"I think they (The New York Times) handled this story in a responsible way. I reiterate that we did not see those documents, nor were we contacted about seeing those documents beforehand," Gibbs said.

WikiLeaks was not something that took up any real measurable amount of time in today's meeting, Gibbs said when asked about the time consumed at today’s meeting on this issue.

"I think each of the principals, including the President, has commented on the operational security risks that 90,000-plus secret documents, classified documents being put on the Internet poses to our troops, poses to those that are cooperating in efforts to make Afghanistan and Pakistan more secure. And we'll go from there," he said.

In his remarks to the press, Obama on Tuesday had expressed concern over disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations.

"The fact is, these documents don't reveal any issues that haven't already informed our public debate on Afghanistan. Indeed, they point to the same challenges that led me to conduct an extensive review of our policy last fall," Obama said.

Obama said that for seven years, the US failed to implement a strategy adequate to the challenge in this region from which the 9/11 attacks were waged and other attacks against the United States and its friends and allies have been planned.

(Published 30 July 2010, 05:48 IST)

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