Wednesday, August 25, 2010
WikiLeaks leaks CIA report
CNN) -- The whistle-blower website WikiLeaks on Wednesday posted what it said was an internal CIA report into the perception that the United States exports terrorism, but one U.S. official said it does not divulge spectacular developments.
The three-page document, dated February 2, 2010, asks, "What If Foreigners See the United States as an 'Exporter of Terrorism?' "
"These sorts of analytic products -- clearly identified as coming from the agency's 'Red Cell' -- are designed to simply provoke thought and present different points of view," said CIA spokesman George Little.
A U.S. intelligence official said, "it's always disturbing when classified information is inappropriately disclosed." However the official added, "this is not a blockbuster paper."
The document, promised by the group in a Twitter message on Tuesday, is labeled "secret," the lowest level of classification.
The website set off a firestorm recently when it posted some 76,000 U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan. The group has said it has another 15,000 documents, which it plans to release soon.
The U.S. Defense Department has demanded WikiLeaks return all documents belonging to the Pentagon and delete any records of them. Officials in Afghanistan have also criticized the leak.
The founder and editor of the website, Julian Assange, was arrested in absentia last week in Sweden on charges of rape, but the warrant was revoked less than a day later by Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne.
Assange told the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera on Sunday the accusations are "clearly a smear campaign."
"The only question is, who was involved?" he asked, declining to say who he thinks is behind the effort.
Separately on Tuesday, the attorney for the alleged victims told CNN rumors that the Pentagon or CIA was somehow involved in the sex crime accusations against Assange are "complete nonsense."
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also has criticized the organization's last leak of documents saying it would have a significant negative impact on troops and allies, revealing techniques and procedures.
Assange has defended the leak by saying it can help shape the public's understanding of the war. He said the material was of no operational significance and that WikiLeaks tried to ensure the material did not put innocent people at risk.
Assange reportedly has spent his life developing the tech skills needed to set up WikiLeaks. When he was a teenager in Melbourne, Australia, he belonged to a hacker collective called the International Subversives, according to the magazine Mother Jones.
He eventually pleaded guilty to multiple counts of breaking into Australian government and commercial websites to test their security gaps, but was released on bond for "good behavior," the magazine said.
As WikiLeaks has grown and published increasingly high-profile items, Assange has found himself the target of what he says are many legal attacks.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:26 PM