USA — Pentagon Assesses ‘Leaked’ Documents

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2010 — The Pen­ta­gon today con­demned the actions of the group Wikileaks.org, which released thou­sands of clas­si­fied U.S. mil­i­tary doc­u­ments on its web­site last night.

“The leak­ing of clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion is some­thing we take very seri­ous­ly,” Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, a Pen­ta­gon spokesman, told reporters today. 

“We are in the process right now of assess­ing the doc­u­ments,” Lapan added. 

The doc­u­ments, report­ed­ly giv­en to sev­er­al U.S. and inter­na­tion­al media weeks ago, are said to detail field reports from Afghanistan, as well as Pak­istan rela­tion­ships with the Tal­iban. The more than 90,000 doc­u­ments cov­er the peri­od from Jan­u­ary 2004 through Decem­ber 2009, accord­ing to news reports. 

The Pen­ta­gon has yet to con­firm the impact of the reports, as it’s still ear­ly in the assess­ment process, Lapan said. 

“As they are made avail­able, we will be look­ing at them to try to deter­mine poten­tial dam­age to lives of our ser­vice­mem­bers and our coali­tion part­ners; whether they reveal sources in meth­ods and any poten­tial dam­age to nation­al secu­ri­ty,” he said. “Since this was just released last night, we’re still in the process going through that assessment.” 

Of the reports the Pen­ta­gon has seen, they fall into a cat­e­go­ry of basic, unit-lev­el report­ing, Lapan said. 

“We’ve only seen a frac­tion of the doc­u­ments that are report­ed to be out there, so until we get a look at all of them, we can’t know exact­ly what the extent of the dam­age may be,” he said. 

It could take the Pen­ta­gon weeks to make such deter­mi­na­tions, Lapan said. But much of what the Pen­ta­gon has dis­cov­ered ear­ly in the inves­ti­ga­tion is that the doc­u­ments are clas­si­fied at a “secret” lev­el, and not “top-secret,” which is reserved for more sen­si­tive mate­r­i­al, he said. 

The dis­closed doc­u­ments reveal “the type of report­ing that goes on at the tac­ti­cal lev­el on a rou­tine basis,” the colonel said, not­ing exam­ples such as road­side bomb inci­dences, civil­ian and mil­i­tary casu­al­ty reports and intel­li­gence and infor­ma­tion gathering. 

“There’s noth­ing we’ve seen so far that is par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant,” Lapan added. 

At this point, he said, the Pen­ta­gon is con­cen­trat­ing on the infor­ma­tion that’s been made pub­lic, and is not inves­ti­gat­ing the source of the leak. Lapan explained that any num­ber of mil­i­tary and civil­ian defense employ­ees have access to such documents. 

Also, the Pen­ta­gon is not look­ing to lim­it the num­ber of peo­ple with access to “secret” mate­r­i­al, he said. 

“We have lots of sys­tems in place,” Lapan said. “And at the very top of that is the respon­si­bil­i­ty that those who are entrust­ed with access to that type of infor­ma­tion pro­tect that from unau­tho­rized disclosure.” 

The Pen­ta­gon, how­ev­er, will even­tu­al­ly attempt to nar­row down the source of the leak, he said. How­ev­er, Lapan could not dis­close whether a for­mal inves­ti­ga­tion on the mat­ter would take place. 

“As we’ve said, we put a great deal of trust and con­fi­dence in indi­vid­u­als not to betray their oath to their coun­try,” Lapan said. 

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

More News and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →