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Middle East
Officials react to WikiLeaks info
US analysts have pored over documents and used word searches to pull out names and other issues deemed very sensitive.
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2010 21:42 GMT
US officials have reacted negatively to information set to be released by Wikileaks [AFP]

Torture, claims of murder at military checkpoints, new cases of private security contractors killing un-armed civilians, and for the first time an official civilian death count in Iraq.

These are just some of the details contained in the biggest leak of US military secrets ever.

A team of more than 100 analysts from across the US military, led by the Defence Intelligence Agency, has been combing through the Iraq documents they thought would be released in anticipation of the leak.

Called the Information Review Task Force, its analysts have pored over the documents and used word searches to try to pull out names and other issues that would be particularly sensitive, officials have said.

The task force has informed US Central Command of some of the names of Iraqis and allies and other information they believe might be released that could present a danger, officials have said.

They also noted that - unlike WikiLeaks' previous disclosure of some 77,000 documents from Afghanistan - in this case they had advance notice that names may be exposed.

Here are some reactions to the report details published thus far:

Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary

By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us.

Snapshots of events, both tragic and mundane ... do not tell the whole story.

That said, the period covered by these reports has been well-chronicled in news stories, books and films and the release of these field reports does not bring new understanding to Iraq's past.

Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, US defence department spokesman

We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world, including our enemies.

By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us.

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state

I do have a strong opinion that we should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any classified information by individuals and or organisations, which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service members and civilians at risk.

Ryan Crocker, US ambassador to Iraq in 2007-08

I'd really be worried if - as looks to be the case - you have Iraqi political figures named in a context or a connection that can make them politically and physically vulnerable to their adversaries.

That has an utterly chilling effect on the willingness of political figures to talk to us - not just in Iraq but anywhere in the world.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato secretary general 

I can't comment on the details of the exact impact on security, but in general I can tell you that such leaks ... may have a very negative security impact for people involved.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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