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White House Furious Over Leaked Classified Documents

By: Joel Brown, CBS News
By: Joel Brown, CBS News

Government investigations are underway after a whistle-blowing website posted tens of thousands of documents detailing what's happening on the ground in Afghanistan.

It's one of the largest leaks of classified documents ever and the Obama administration is furious saying it poses a big threat to forces on the ground.

The White House had some tough words for the website that published over 90,000 classified documents about the war in Afghanistan.

"It poses a very real and potential threat to those that are working hard every day to keep us safe,” says White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

The files were obtained and put online by a website called Wikileaks.

The site's founder defended his decision to go public with the documents.

"There does appear to be evidence of war crimes in this material,” says Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

He says some documents reveal cover-ups when U.S. or allied soldiers killed afghan civilians.

Others indicate that Pakistan’s spy agency has helped Taliban fighters attack U.S. and Afghan forces.

That's something Pakistani leaders deny.

White House officials say most of the documents deal with things that occurred before President Obama took office.

They criticized the decision to release the documents but they also said that much of what was in them was not new.

CBS News National Security Analyst Juan Zarate says most of the documents appear to be field reports and may not be fully accurate.

But, he agrees with the White House, publishing them gave the enemy new details on how the U.S. gathers intelligence.

"They’ll learn from them, they'll try to pull out what they can from them, and I wouldn't be surprised if some people get killed because of this,” says Zarate.

The founder of Wikileaks says this is just the beginning.

His team is reviewing another 15,000 war documents before releasing them.


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