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Karzai fuming at US documents leak

The release of secret documents has endangered the lives of Afghan citizens who have co-operated with the international forces, president Hamid Karzai has said.

Mr Karzai said he has ordered his Cabinet ministers to study more than 90,000 secret US military documents on the Afghanistan war that were posted on the internet by WikiLeaks on Sunday.

He called the release of papers, naming Afghans who sided with the Nato-led force, "shocking" and "irresponsible" and said "their lives will be in danger now".

Mr Karzai said he is particularly interested in the papers that address civilian casualties and militant and terrorist sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan.

Suspicion for the WikiLeaks document leak centres on Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old soldier who is being detained in Kuwait, charged with "mishandling and leaking classified data". Manning was blamed for leaking a classified helicopter cockpit video of a 2007 firefight in Baghdad.

Detained after he bragged of providing classified material to WikiLeaks, Manning was later charged with accessing more than 150,000 classified US state department cables, which have yet to surface. So far, no US official has linked Manning directly to the WikiLeaks documents.

One US official who has examined some of the WikiLeaks documents said everything he had seen could have been obtained by Manning by surfing a US defence department intranet system known as the "SIPRNet," or Secret Internet Protocol Router Network.

Intelligence analysts such as Manning - and even troops in the field - can access military field reports from Iraq or Afghanistan, state department sites and even some intelligence sites.

American intelligence experts are blaming changes since the September 11 2001 terror attacks against the United States, which promoted information sharing, as the cause of the government's loss of control of the nation's secrets. Former CIA director Michael Hayden said: "Frankly, we all knew this was going to happen."


From Belfast Telegraph