WASHINGTON (AP) — In a disclosure of some of the most sensitive information revealed yet by WikiLeaks, the website has released a secret cable listing sites worldwide that the U.S. considers critical to its national security.
The locations cited in the diplomatic cable from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton range from undersea communications lines to suppliers of food, medicine and manufacturing materials.
The Pentagon declined to comment Monday on the details of what it called “stolen” documents containing classified information. But a spokesman, Col. David Lapan, called the disclosure “damaging” and said it gives valuable information to the country’s adversaries.
In the message, marked “secret,” Mrs. Clinton asked U.S. diplomatic posts to help update a list of sites around the world “which, if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the United States.”
The list was considered so confidential, the posts were advised to come up with it on their own: “Posts are not/not being asked to consult with host governments in respect to this request,” Mrs. Clinton wrote.
Attached to Mrs. Clinton’s message was a rundown of sites included in the 2008 “Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative” list. Some of the sites, such as border crossings, hydroelectric dams and shipping lanes, could hardly be considered secret.
But other locations — such as mines, manufacturers of components used in weapons systems, and vaccine and antivenom factories — likely were not widely known. The Associated Press has decided against publishing their names because of the sensitive nature of the information.
The Swiss postal system on Monday shut down a bank account held by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, leaving him and his website with few options for raising money. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks‘ Swedish servers again came under suspected attack.
Also Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. again condemned the leaks and said the Espionage Act is just one of the laws the United States could use to prosecute those involved in the WikiLeaks releases.
Mr. Holder declined to say which other laws might come into play. Possibilities include charges such as the theft of government property or receipt of stolen government property.
Associated Press writers Anne Flaherty and Alicia A. Caldwell in Washington and John Heilprin in Geneva contributed to this story.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
What does the middle-class conservative think about everything? Find out here.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall