WASHINGTON - In a disclosure of some of the most sensitive information yet revealed by WikiLeaks, the website has put out a secret cable listing sites worldwide that the United States considers critical to its national security. U.S. officials said the leak amounts to giving a hit list to terrorists.
Among the broad and varied locations cited in the 2009 diplomatic cable from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are undersea communications lines, mines, an anti-snake venom factory, a Congo cobalt mine and suppliers of food and manufacturing materials.
The Pentagon declined to comment yesterday on the details of what it called "stolen" documents containing classified information. But a spokesman, Col. David Lapan, called the disclosure "damaging" and said it gives valuable information to adversaries.
The State Department echoed the Pentagon's statement. "Releasing such information amounts to giving a targeting list to groups like al-Qaida," agency spokesman P.J. Crowley said. British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the disclosure, telling the BBC it was a "reprehensible" act committed "without regard to wider concerns of security, the security of millions of people." WikiLeaks released the 2009 Clinton cable on Sunday.
Meantime, the lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is arranging for British police to question the man who unleashed a tidal wave of secret documents on the Internet. Lawyer Mark Stephens told reporters last night in London that the Metropolitan Police had called him to say they had received the arrest warrant from Sweden for Assange, who has been staying at an undisclosed location in Britain.
Also, the Swiss postal system Monday shut a bank account held by Assange, leaving him and his website with few options left for raising money.