- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 28, 2010

WACKY-LEAKING

American ambassadors around the world are warning of damage to U.S. foreign policy from another secret-document dump Sunday by the website WikiLeaks, which was widely denounced after releasing classified reports in July and October that endangered informants in Afghanistan and Iraq.

James Jeffrey, the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, condemned the website as an “absolutely awful impediment to my business, which is to be able to have discussion in confidence with people.”

“I do not understand the motivation for releasing these documents,” he told reporters in Baghdad on Friday. “They will not help. They will simply hurt our ability to do our work here.”

In Ottawa, Ambassador David Jacobson contacted Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon to warn him about the document dump. Alain Cacchione, a Canadian foreign affairs spokesman, confirmed the conversation to Canadian reporters and said the Canadian Embassy in Washington was engaging with the State Department over the damage that could come from the release of more secret reports.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said U.S. ambassadors around the world were consulting with foreign governments.

“These revelations are going to create tensions in our relationships between our diplomats and our friends …,” he told reporters Friday.

WikiLeaks last week announced that it would release four times the number of documents it revealed in October, when it posted 400,000 secret military reports on Iraq. In July, it released 77,000 documents on Afghanistan.

In August, the organization Reporters Without Borders condemned WikiLeaks for endangering the lives of Afghan informants by releasing documents that identified collaborators by name.

“It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks,” the group said in a letter to the website.

In another twist in the strange story of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Swedish government last week issued another arrest warrant against him on charges of rape and sexual molestation. The charges originally were announced in August and then dropped.

Mr. Assange, an Australian citizen, has denied the charges.

DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Tuesday

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