WASHINGTON: US State Department documents released by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks provided candid views of foreign leaders and sensitive information on terrorism and nuclear proliferation, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The Guardian and Le Monde also published the documents showing Chinese government operatives have waged a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage targeting the US and its allies. The WikiLeaks documents also show US Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes any military strike on Iran would only delay its pursuit of a nuclear weapon by one to three years, the Times said on its website.
The cables also showed that Iran has obtained sophisticated missiles from North Korea capable of hitting western Europe and the United States was concerned that Iran was using those rockets as “building blocks” to build longer-range missiles, the Times said.
The advanced missiles are much more powerful than anything US officials have publicly acknowledged that Iran has in its arsenal, the newspaper said.
The Pentagon immediately condemned WikiLeaks’ “reckless” dump of classified State Department documents and said it was taking steps to bolster security of US military networks.
The White House said the leak could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders and may put at risk the lives of named individuals living “under oppressive regimes.”
Echoing US concerns, Britain condemned the release of the documents. “They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have said, may put lives at risk. We have a very strong relationship with the US government. That will continue.”
Earlier, WikiLeaks reported that its website was under attack, but said later that media outlets would publish some of the documents it had released even if the group’s website crashed.