BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland Congressman says it was an act of terrorism when online whistleblower WikiLeaks again posted thousands of secret documents on the web. The calls for justice are growing. Adam May explains what was in those documents.
The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation and Congress is calling for swift justice to put the brakes on this major threat to national security.
The leak of a quarter million secret documents by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks alarms Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, chairman of a powerful House intelligence subcommittee.
“This leak will hurt us throughout the world. It means people in countries will not want to talk to us because they’ re concerned it will end up on the front page of The New York Times,” Ruppersberger said.
The classified diplomatic communications include a suggestion from the king of Saudi Arabia that the US attack Iran over its nuclear program, even giving a description of an Iranian intelligence source. One note describes Afghan President Hamid Karzai as “driven by paranoia” and another calls German leader Angela Merkel, “rarely creative.”
The Obama administration also condemns the leak of this classified material as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins mending fences with foreign leaders.
“The United States deeply regrets the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential,” Clinton said.
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Iassange, has not revealed who gave him the documents but officials believe it was Army Private Bradley Manning. He’s in a military prison in Virginia, charged with leaking other classified information that investigators believe he downloaded onto a Lady Gaga CD while serving in Iraq.
“This is extremely serious to our country. Lives could be lost. I feel anyone involved in this, whether it’s one person or a conspiracy, need to be investigated and if the evidence is there, they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Ruppersberger said.
These documents could be the tip of the iceberg. WikiLeaks claims to have more classified information ready to publish.
The Pentagon says they have improved the way they secure classified information since the leak.