Saturday, January 08, 2011

U.S. State Department Warns Foreign Governments Not to Retaliate Against Confidential Sources Exposed by Wikileaks

"[T]he U.S. has assisted in moving individuals to safer locations since WikiLeaks began releasing sensitive State Department cables in November."---RFE/RL (1-6-11)

The U.K. Guardian (12-23-10) has reported that Wikileak's Russian connection, the notorious anti-Semite Israel Shamir, has been accused of passing sensitive cables to Belarus's thuggish dictator Andrei Lukashenko.

Yesterday, Philip J. Crowley revealed in a State Department briefing (1-7-11) that the U.S. government is moving confidential sources to safety who may be in danger because they spoke to U.S. officials.

The U.K. Guardian (1-7-11) reports:

According to the New York Times – also involved in the publication of cables along with Le Monde, El País and Der Spiegel – a few sources have been moved within their own country, and several others moved overseas. US officials declined to go into detail, the paper said.

Newspapers have been at pains to remove sections of the cables that could compromise or identify sources, but the state department was concerned about what might happen with the remaining bulk of the cables yet to be published, the Times said. US officials had been through most of these and sent many to relevant embassies for diplomats to check, it added.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (1-8-11) reports:

The U.S. State Department has warned foreign governments not to retaliate against human rights activists, journalists or others whose dealings with American officials have been revealed in secret diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said certain governments have been told that if they take "adverse actions" against sources cited in the cables, it could harm their relations with the United States. He did not name any governments.

Crowley said that in a few cases, the U.S. has assisted in moving individuals to safer locations since WikiLeaks began releasing sensitive State Department cables in November.

"We've identified several hundred people worldwide that we feel are at potential risk,” Crowley told reporters “It is a range of people from civil society, journalists, government officials. And in a few instances, we have provided assistance to individuals at risk, and we will continue to reach out to them, to monitor their situation."

Crowley said a team of State Department officials has been reviewing the cables released by WikiLeaks to determine who could be endangered.

The U.S. spokesman declined to provide more details, saying additional information could jeopardize the safety of people potentially at risk.

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