Obama: Issues in Leaked Documents Led to Review

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma today issued his first com­ments on Wik­iLeaks’ release of Afghanistan war doc­u­ments, say­ing he is con­cerned about the leaks, but that they don’t reveal any new issues.

“While I’m con­cerned about the dis­clo­sure of sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion from the bat­tle­field that could poten­tial­ly jeop­ar­dize indi­vid­u­als or oper­a­tions,” Oba­ma said, “the fact is that 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 last fall.” 

The pres­i­dent made the com­ments from the White House Rose Gar­den after meet­ing with mem­bers of the House and Sen­ate on a vari­ety of issues, includ­ing Afghanistan war fund­ing, job cre­ation, and ener­gy policy. 

Wik­iLeaks, a whistle­blow­er Web site, cre­at­ed con­tro­ver­sy July 25 by post­ing more than 90,000 secret mil­i­tary reports from Afghanistan. 

Oba­ma said the peri­od cov­ered in the reports – from Jan­u­ary 2004 to Decem­ber 2009 – show short­com­ings in U.S. pol­i­cy in Afghanistan that led to his review last fall and his deci­sion to increase U.S. troop strength there by 30,000.

“For sev­en years we failed to imple­ment a strat­e­gy ade­quate to the chal­lenge in this region,” Oba­ma said today. “That’s why we sub­stan­tial­ly increased our com­mit­ment there, and insist­ed on” the coop­er­a­tion of Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Oba­ma said he hoped the House would vote today to sup­port fund­ing for the war in Afghanistan, which the Sen­ate approved unan­i­mous­ly last week. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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