CIA To Investigate Wikileaks Documents
“In some cases, CIA sources and methods have been compromised, harming our mission and endangering lives,” Panetta said.
This comes just days after news that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is considering seeking asylum in Switzerland because he fears for his safety.
Assange, who is Australian, has previously said that he feared he might be forcefully detained by the U.S. government after his website leaked information obtained from an American soldier.
Wikileaks, which was founded in 2006, received media attention after uploading some 400,000 documents detailing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Assange has defended what is considered the largest leak in U.S. military history, many U.S. intelligence officials echo Panetta’s sentiment that the documents pose a threat to national security.
“Another irresponsible posting of stolen classified documents by Wikileaks puts lives at risk and gives adversaries valuable information,” said Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
According to Panetta, lives are now in danger because of “a damaging spate of media leaks on a wide range of national security issues.” He also added that leaks from CIA employees “cannot be tolerated.”
While Panetta didn’t specify which leaks he was referring to, an anonymous U.S. intelligence official said, “A number of leaks over time – and across our government – prompted Panetta to remind agency employees of their obligation to protect America’s secrets. Unauthorized disclosures of classified information can harm security, and he wanted to emphasize that important point.”
Assange, who spoke at a Geneva press conference on November 4, said he stands behind the leaks and wants the U.S. to investigate incidents of alleged humans rights abuses in the Middle East.
Reach Reporter Brooke Matthews here.