WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Thursday denounced the disclosure this week of 75,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan war by the Web site WikiLeaks, asserting that the security breach had endangered lives and damaged the ability of others to trust the United States government to protect their secrets, The New York Times reports.
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Mr. Gates portrayed the documents as “a mountain of raw data and individual impressions, most several years old” that offered little insight into current policies and events. Still, he said, the disclosures — which include some identifying information about Afghans who have helped the United States — have “potentially dramatic and grievously harmful consequences.”
Gates said the release endangers troops, the U.S.'s allies and key relationships needed to gain intelligence.
“Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics, techniques and procedures, will become known to our adversaries," he said.
Mr. Gates said the documents’ disclosure had prompted a rethinking of a trend nearly two decades old, dating from the Persian Gulf war of 1991, of trying to make intelligence information more accessible to troops in combat situations so they can respond rapidly to developments.
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