WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department has an active investigation into the publication of sensitive government documents by WikiLeaks, Attorney General Eric Holder said.
"We have an active, ongoing, criminal investigation with regard to this matter," Holder said during a news conference on another matter. "We are not in a position as yet to announce the result of that investigation, but the investigation is ongoing."
During the weekend, WikiLeaks distributed for publication at least 250,000 internal cables from the State Department. WikiLeaks previously released documents from the Pentagon and on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WikiLeaks' action "puts at risk our national security, but in a more concrete way it puts at risk individuals who are serving this country in a variety of capacities, either as diplomats, as intelligence assets," Holder said. "It puts at risk the relationships that we have with important allies around the world."
Holder did not answer directly a question about whether WikiLeaks should be treated as a news-gathering organization and receive the protections usually afforded to media organizations.
"All I would say is that I condemn the action that it has taken. And I think one can compare the way in which the various news organizations that have been involved in this have acted as opposed to the way in which WikiLeaks has," Holder said. "And I'll let other people decide whether it should be or not."