Top Officials Respond to WikiLeaks Posting

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is adding his voice to the public chorus condemning the online leak of tens of thousands of documents detailing the war in Afghanistan.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mullen said he was appalled by the disclosure, adding that exposing such information could endanger the lives of U.S. troops.

Mullen acknowledged that many of the documents are out of date; still, he urged new precautions to ensure a leak of this magnitude never happens again.

The online whistleblower WikiLeaks.org released some 91,000 top secret classified documents about the war in Afghanistan on Sunday. The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel got an advance look at the documents, some of which present chilling accounts of American and Afghan troops targeted and killed by militants. In others, U.S. officials allege that the Pakistani military's spy service cooperated with militants.

The White House condemned the disclosure of the secret documents, which cover, roughly, a six-year time period from January 2004 to December 2009.

"These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people," National Security Advisor General James Jones said on Monday.

General Jones added that the U.S. would continue its support of Pakistan. The U.S. gives Pakistan more than $1 billion a year, according to The Times.

"Counter-terrorism cooperation has led to significant blows against al Qaeda’s leadership," said General Jones. "The Pakistani military has gone on the offensive in Swat and South Waziristan, at great cost to the Pakistani military and people. The United States and Pakistan have also commenced a Strategic Dialogue, which has expanded cooperation on issues ranging from security to economic development."

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador, said that the documents did not reflect the current on-the-ground realities, according to The Associated Press, in which his country and Washington are "jointly endeavoring to defeat al-Qaida and its Taliban allies."

The leak is being called one of the largest unauthorized disclosures in the military's history.

UPDATE SINCE THIS STORY WAS FIRST POSTED: This story has been updated to include statements made by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Tuesday.

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