US embassies around the world are warning allies that WikiLeaks might be poised to release classified cables that could negatively impact relations by revealing sensitive assessments and exposing US sources, a State Department spokesman said.
The State Department has prepared for the possible release — which WikiLeaks has said would be seven times larger than the Iraq files released last month — by reviewing thousands of diplomatic cables and "assessing the potential consequences of the public release of these documents," spokesman PJ Crowley said.
Crowley said State does not know "exactly what WikiLeaks has or what they plan to do," but the consequences to American interests could be severe. The cables, for instance, could reveal that senior government officials in other countries are the sources of embarrassing information about the inner workings of those governments, thus making it more difficult for the State Department to obtain such intelligence in the future.
Crowley added that "the lives of people who provide us valuable information and perspective are being put at risk. They help us understand what is happening around the world and inform our policies and actions."
WikiLeaks has bedeviled the Obama administration with a series of damaging revelations about US policy overseas. In July, it released more than 70,000 military reports on the war in Afghanistan and in October nearly 400,000 reports on the Iraq war. "Next release is 7 [times] the size of the Iraq War Logs," WikiLeaks stated in a posting on its Twitter page on November 21.
The cables could also show that allies sometimes take private actions that contradict publicly declared policies.
"We condemn what WikiLeaks is doing," Crowley said. "Its actions are gratuitous, harm relations among countries and erode the trust that enables governments to cooperate and collaborate and work together to resolve regional and global challenges. Little good will come from what WikiLeaks has indicated it plans to do."
News reports from around the globe indicate that foreign governments are bracing for the impact of the revelations.
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Leaks might hurt global US ties
US has warned Israel and Turkey of potential embarrassment after WikiLeaks said it will release thousands of classified diplomatic cables that could affect bilateral ties by revealing sensitive assessments made by US.
The US also briefed the UK about the expected release. Meanwhile, reports said the WikiLeaks files could harm also Moscow's relations with US. Italy also fears 'negative repercussions' from Wikileaks report.