The WikiLeaks scandal is far from over, says Philip Shenon in The Daily Beast. The Army has arrested an intelligence analyst, Specialist Bradley Manning, and charged him with sending WikiLeaks, a secretive whistleblower website based in Sweden, an "explosive video" released in April showing an American helicopter attack that killed 12 people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news agency employees. But Manning has reportedly admitted that he also downloaded 260,000 classified diplomatic cables and leaked them to WikiLeaks, too. When the documents get out, Manning allegedly bragged, "Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack." How bad would it be if the classified cables were made public? Here, an excerpt:
"'If [Manning] really had access to these cables, we've got a terrible situation on our hands,' said an American diplomat...
The cables, which date back over several years, went out over interagency computer networks available to the Army and contained information related to American diplomatic and intelligence efforts in the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, the diplomat said....
'These are classified documents,' (State Department chief spokesman Philip J. Crowley) said. 'We take their release seriously.' He said the public release of diplomatic cables could do damage to national security since they could reveal the 'source and methods' used by the United States to gather intelligence overseas.
Even more alarming, diplomats say, is the idea that foreign leaders will now read what American diplomats have written about them in secret cables sent to Washington — evaluations of the leaders' personalities, intelligence and honesty, among other things."
Read the full article at The Daily Beast.
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