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Outraged lawmakers demand WikiLeaks be shutdown

world Updated: Nov 29, 2010 16:43 IST

Cutting across party lines, US lawmakers expressed their outrage at what they called "illegal" publication of classified American documents by WikiLeaks, and asked the Obama Administration to use all legal means to shut down this whistleblower website.

"The release of classified information under these circumstances is a reckless action which jeopardises lives by exposing raw, contemporaneous intelligence," said Senator, John Kerry, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"This is not an academic exercise about freedom of information and it is not akin to the release of the Pentagon Papers, which involved an analysis aimed at saving American lives and exposing government deception," he said.

Instead, these sensitive cables contain candid assessments and analysis of ongoing matters and they should remain confidential to protect the ability of the government to conduct lawful business with the private candor that's vital to effective diplomacy, he said.

WikiLeaks' deliberate disclosure of these diplomatic cables is nothing less than an attack on the national security of the United States, as well as that of dozens of other countries, said Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

"By disseminating these materials, WikiLeaks is putting at risk the lives and the freedom of countless Americans and non-Americans around the world.

It is an outrageous, reckless, and despicable action that will undermine the ability of our government and our partners to keep our people safe and to work together to defend our vital interests," he said.

"Let there be no doubt: the individuals responsible are going to have blood on their hands," Lieberman said and urged the Obama Administration to use all legal means necessary to shut down WikiLeaks before it can do more damage by releasing additional cables.

"WikiLeaks' activities represent a shared threat to collective international security," he said.

This latest release of classified and other sensitive US documents by WikiLeaks is extremely irresponsible, said Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the incoming Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Those who leak and publish such information are doing great harm to our nation, and are potentially putting American lives in danger," she said.

This newest batch of documents appears to contain troves of classified reports related to our nation’s conduct of diplomacy and foreign policy, including reports of critical discussions with our allies, she added.