Article first published as US and Its Allies on High Alert as WikiLeaks Releases another Set of Documents on Blogcritics.
The US is worried over the next release of classified documents by the whistle blower website “Wikileaks.” BBC News reported that the US government briefed several of its allies that the Wikileaks may release diplomatic cables exchanged between their countries. The US authorities are of the view that the revelation may cause potential embarrassment for the diplomatic relations with its allies.
The classified documents that are supposed to be exposed may contain corruption allegations against foreign governments and leaders by the US diplomats working in foreign embassies in various countries according to Reuters. Politicians and leaders of the governments are said to be implicated with corruption charges in reports sent to the US government by its foreign diplomats.
Reports say the UK, Israel, Turkey, Denmark and Norway are among those countries that may be named in the documents. These countries are warned in advance by the US government to expect the worst regarding the diplomatic relations between them. Other sources say the US relations with India may also be damaged after the Wikileaks’ new release.
The whistle blower website “Wikileaks” released 400,000 documents pertaining to the US war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The contents of those documents did not cause much furore, as they have already been exposed in some way or other. The released documents just confirmed the already rumoured issues such as killing of more than 15,000 civilians by the US marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. The website released a video earlier this year that showed the US soldiers killing two journalists working for Reuters news agency in Iraq, mistaking the cameras carried by the photographers as weapons
Yahoo News | ANI | 25/11/2010
The plan by whistle-blower website Wikileaks to release millions more classified US documents will put lives at risk and damage national security, the US State Department has warned. The BBC quoted a spokesman as saying it would do harm to US international relations if the leaks contained diplomatic cables. The Pentagon said US military interests could also be damaged.
State Department spokesman, PJ Crowley, said the release of confidential communications was "harmful to our national security. It does put lives at risk. It does put national interests at risk". Crowley said that diplomatic cables involved discussions with governments and private citizens, and their release could erode trust in the US as a diplomatic partner.
"They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world," he said. "When this confidence is betrayed and ends up on the front pages of newspapers or lead stories on television or radio, it has an impact," he added.
He said the State Department had known for some time that Wikileaks had obtained some of its classified documents. A statement on the Wikileaks Twitter site said: "The Pentagon is hyperventilating again over fears of being held to account."
Reuters | Oct 23, 2010 | 7:18pm IST
WikiLeaks said on Saturday its release of nearly 400,000 classified U.S. files on the Iraq war showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilians died than previously thought. Uploaded on the WikiLeaks’ website, the files detailed gruesome cases of prisoner abuse by Iraqi forces that the U.S. military knew about but did not seem to investigate. In Baghdad, Iraqi officials responded to WikiLeaks’ move by pledging to probe any allegations that police or soldiers had committed crimes and any culprits would be prosecuted.
The whistle-blowing website’s founder, Julian Assange, who was sharply criticised by the Pentagon for publishing the secret reports, said the release should throw light on what had happened in Iraq, thwarting an official "attack on the truth". "We hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded," he told a news conference in London.
Working with Iraq Body Count, a group run by academics and peace activists that estimates Iraq casualties, WikiLeaks had calculated that the documents revealed about 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths, Assange said. "Adding in the combatant deaths reported in these logs … we are now able to say that more than 150,000 people have been killed in total since 2003, of which about 80 percent were civilians," Iraq Body Count co-founder John Sloboda said. The Pentagon decried the website’s publication of the secret reports — the largest security breach of its kind in U.S. military history, far surpassing the group’s dump of more than 70,000 Afghan war files in July.
PENTAGON DEPLORES LEAK
U.S. officials said the leak endangered U.S. troops and threatened to put some 300 Iraqi collaborators at risk by exposing their identities. "We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world," said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. Britain’s Ministry of Defence condemned the release of classified material, saying it could put the lives of British soldiers at risk.
On the eve of anniversary of 9/11 attacks on twin towers, a pastor in the US, campaigned for celebration of the anniversary as Koran burning day. The area is said to be remote where the pastor gives his sermons. But, the news spread very fast throughout the globe.
The President Obama gave an emotional appeal to save the lives of troops in Afghanistan. Obama’s spokesman condemned the ideas of the pastor. The US’ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opposed the move. The Chief of US forces in Afghanistan David Petraeus contacted the pastor on phone and requested him not to burn Koran as it would risk troops’ lives in Afghanistan, as if they had been safe till then. All varieties of Christian religious bodies condemned the thought of burning Koran.
But, the pastor in question who preaches sermons, denied every sermon of these people and said he would go on as planned. Of course, he stepped back on the anniversary day with a lot of persuasion (!) by top officials. But, two copies were reportedly burnt unhindered at some other places in the USA.
BBC News | 8 September 2010 | 22:15 GMT
Taliban leader Mullah Omar says his fighters are winning the war in Afghanistan and that the NATO led campaign has been "a complete failure". In a rare statement, the elusive leader called on US President Barack Obama to withdraw his troops "unconditionally and as soon as possible". NATO has boosted its presence in Afghanistan to 150,000 soldiers in a bid to finally defeat militants. However, the US has set July 2011 to begin withdrawal, if conditions allow. Critics of the move say it has emboldened the Taliban.
Mullah Omar’s statement, which marked the end of the Muslim festival of Ramadan, was posted on jihadist websites and relayed by the Site Intelligence Group. "The victory of our Islamic nation over the invading infidels is now imminent and the driving force behind this is the belief in the help of Allah and unity among ourselves," he said. "In the time to come, we will try to establish an Islamic, independent, perfect and strong system." He claimed that those behind the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan which overthrew the Taliban "admit themselves that all their strategies are nothing but a complete failure". He also commanded his fighters to observe the Taliban’s code of conduct and avoid harming civilians.
BBC News | 28 August 2010 | 08:29 GMT
Taliban insurgents have attacked two coalition bases in eastern Afghanistan, NATO forces say. Coalition forces repelled attacks, killing 18 militants and capturing others, the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said. There were no coalition casualties in the fighting, in Khost province, south-east of Kabul, Isaf said. The Taliban said about 30 fighters, including suicide bombers, were involved in the two separate assaults. The attacks on Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province and nearby Camp Chapman began at about 0400 (2330 GMT). In a statement, Isaf said "insurgent forces attacked the installations with indirect and small arms fire".
According to Isaf, its troops called in helicopters to assist in repelling the attacks and that 13 militants, four of whom were wearing suicide bomber vests, were killed in the fighting. The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, in Kabul, says that elaborate attacks on forward operating bases are not unusual and that Taliban insurgents are increasingly using this more sophisticated guerrilla-style attack. Camp Chapman was the scene of a major attack in December, when a suicide bomber entered the base and killed seven CIA employees. That was the most deadly attack on US intelligence officials since the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983.