Latest WikiLeaks postings name names

Aug. 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Nearly 134,000 U.S. cables posted on the Web recently by WikiLeaks list names of people who spoke in confidence to U.S. diplomats, government officials said.

State Department officials and human rights activists raised concerns that diplomats in authoritarian countries could face reprisals, including arrest, violence or being dismissed from their jobs, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Since late 2010, WikiLeaks provided the Times and other news organizations access to more than 250,000 State Department cables. The Times and other publications removed names of people determined to be vulnerable to retaliation.

WikiLeaks also published some cables on its Web site that were edited to protect diplomatic sources until Monday, when the latest batch of cables were posted on the anti-secrecy organization's site.

The published names included those of a U.N. official in West Africa and a foreign human rights activist in Cambodia who had spoken to U.S. diplomatic officials with the understanding their names would not be publicly identified, the Times reported.

WikiLeaks said in a statement Monday disclosing the cables was "in accordance with WikiLeaks' commitment to maximizing impact and making information available to all."

The statement said posting the documents would give people of different backgrounds and nationalities a chance to interpret the cables.

State Department spokesman Michael Hammer had no comment on the authenticity of the communications. He said the United States "strongly condemns any illegal disclosure of classified information."

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