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article imageClinton says Wikileaks release ‘attack on int’l community’

By Lynn Herrmann     Nov 29, 2010 in Politics
Washington - Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, has condemned the Wikileaks release of 251,287 classified documents, calling the action “an attack on the international community.”
Speaking to a group of reporters, Clinton said: “I will not comment on, or confirm, what are alleged to be stolen State Department cables. But I can say that the United States deeply regrets the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential, including private discussions between counterparts or our diplomats’ personal assessments and observations.”
Attempting to reassure the public at large, Clinton added: “I want to make clear that our official foreign policy is not set through these messages, but here in Washington. Our policy is a matter of public record as reflected in our statements and our actions around the world.
"I would also add that to the American people and to our friends and partners, I want you to know that we are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information.”
In full damage control mode, some involved in the US political process are seeking to lay blame on Wikileaks and any who have supplied the whistleblower site with government documents. .
New York Representative Peter King has called on Clinton to identify Wikileaks a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” that should be outlawed in the US.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) told Fox News: “People who do this are low on the food chain as far as I’m concerned. If you can prosecute them, let’s try.”
The Pentagon has called the release by Wikileaks a “reckless” dump and is also in damage control mode, saying it is now taking necessary steps to increase security of US military networks, The Telegraph reports.
As the classified dump continues being dissected, many are countering the US government’s attempts at damage control. Some in the international community see the released cables as a sign of failed diplomacy on the part of the US government.
One of the cables released regards CIA officers who kidnapped German national Khaled El-Masri in 2003, transporting him to a secret CIA-operated prison in Afghanistan where he was tortured for several months before being dumped on an Albanian hillside. Then-deputy chief of the US mission in Germany John M. Koenig cautioned German officials to “weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.” as they considered international arrest warrants for the CIA officers.
In a press release, Ben Wizner, Litigation Director of the ACLU National Security Project said: “We have long known that both the Bush and Obama administrations have shielded perpetrators of torture and rendition from accountability for their illegal acts. We now know that U.S. diplomats have also sought to shut down accountability efforts abroad. The United States' employment of diplomatic pressure to influence the legal proceedings of a democratic ally was improper and unseemly, particularly where the goal of that interference was to shield U.S. officials from accountability for torture.
“Even as many of our closest allies have acknowledged and addressed their official complicity in the Bush administration's human rights abuses, the United States has yet to reckon with its legacy of torture. The best way to restore our standing in the world, reassert the rule of law and strengthen our democracy is to support, not obstruct, meaningful accountability for torture.
More about Hillary clinton, Wikileaks release, Damage control
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