Judge seeks WikiLeaks damage assessments

2012-04-25 10:00
Fort Meade - A military judge said on Tuesday that she wants to see several federal agencies' assessments of the damage caused by WikiLeaks' publication of government secrets.

Army Colonel Denise Lind ordered prosecutors during a pretrial hearing to provide the documents so she can decide whether they should be turned over to Private first class Bradley Manning's defence lawyers.

Manning is being court-martialled for allegedly giving the anti-secrecy website a trove of classified documents and video clips.

His attorneys are seeking damage assessments done by the CIA and the Departments of Justice, State and Defence to back up its claim that the leaked documents did no harm to US interests.

Lind says she will rule on Wednesday on another defence motion to dismiss all charges against the 24-year-old intelligence analyst.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a briefing on Tuesday that release of the information caused damage and "enormous turbulence" in relations with some countries.

Impacts on individuals

"Our view of the entire WikiLeaks incident has not changed at all in terms of the negative effects," she said.

Nuland said there hasn't been much impact on actual reporting from embassies back to Washington.

"Our embassies abroad continue to do a superb job of working with governments and societies where they are accredited and giving us a good strong picture of what's going on," Nuland said.

 "That doesn't change the fact that there was enormous turbulence in many of our bilateral relationships when this happened and that there have been impacts on individuals, as you know."

Asked for examples of how WikiLeaks might have compromised or damaged US foreign relations, Nuland declined to comment further, citing the pending legal case.

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