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November 29th, 2010
07:43 AM ET

WikiLeaks: Public has 'right to know'

(CNN) - A day after the whistleblower site WikiLeaks began publishing details from a massive collection of confidential U.S. diplomatic documents, the chorus of criticism from government leaders grew louder Monday. Top U.S. officials were quick to denounce the publication of the leaked documents Sunday. And the U.K.'s foreign office followed suit Monday, saying it condemned any release of classified documents. "They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the U.S. [has] said, may put lives at risk," the office said in a statement.

The full set of documents includes 251,288 cables sent by American diplomats between the end of 1966 and February 2010, WikiLeaks said in a statement announcing the release. Of those, 8,017 originated from the office of the secretary of state, and more than 15,600 are classified as secret, WikiLeaks said.

Today on American Morning, John Roberts interviews WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson about the latest document dump.

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soundoff (15 Responses)

    GEORGE W BUSH didn't bother about explaining to us too much of anything! He'd just stand up in his press conferences and tell us what he was going to do! He'd half-answer the questions and strangely, there were times some journalists microphones were ut off in the middle of their questions! I was watching! There was no real 'transparency', because they didn't think we needed to know much! THE REPUBLICANS REACHED ACROSS THE ISLE AND THE DEMOCRATS RESPONDED IN A BIPARTISAN MANNER TO MOST OF THEIR DECISIONS!

    December 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm |

    @Gail, I agree with you 100%. As far as the controversial public is, there's not a wikileaks 'need to know' when it comes to the security of the nation(s) YET! I even said 2 years ago that OBAMA did HIMSELF a grave disservice when he promised us he was going to run a more TRANSPARENT government! Now before the man can even SPEAK to the nation, DISCUSS an issue with his advisory committee, or MAKE suggestive resolutions, the MEDIA JOCKS have already TAKEN it, RAN with it, POLLED it, and PICKED IT APART!!

    December 3, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  3. Gail

    The public DOES NOT need to know everything especially when it comes to security of the people excuse me, I mean nation(s). Shut the leaks down! Are 'the terrorist threats' being released to the the public??? Of course not!! Shut down A-SAP this irresponsible protocol that has become the norm! Tell us all about it after the prosecution has taken place! Time to think of 'cone of silence' or 'stealth' rather than this blab it all philosophy going on. PLEASE humor us a little bit. Bite someone else in the butt .....Surprise them not us!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  4. Brenda Coven

    As a democratic nation we the people have every right to know what's going on with our government. Half a million "secret" documents? Come on! Thomas Jefferson must be turning in his grave.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  5. Nc_larry

    America is not Nazi Germany.

    Germany destroyed people who dared to exposed the truth. So did communist Russia and China.

    Truth obstructs national security according to Hitler

    Just as after Hitler's Reichstag fire false-flag, he and his associates hid truth for the sake of "national security," Bush and his administration's highest-level officials demanded that the 9-11 Commission not conduct a deeper probe into the mass murder of 3000 people and refused it permission to question terror suspects. ACLU has revealed that the Bush officials hid the truth and covered-up the crime, arguing that otherwise, "the panel would 'cross' a 'line' and obstruct the administration's efforts to protect the nation." (Press TV, '9/11 panel was warned not to probe too deeply', March 18, 2010)

    Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and CIA Director George Tenet were those ACLU has learned made the demands for the cover-up of truth.

    Non-Truther suppression and other security risks

    Hiding the truth, these U.S. government officials "cit[ed] the need to 'safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks,' and demanded that the Commission not make further attempts at conducting a deeper probe into the September 11 terror attacks" according to Press TV.

    Read more:

    November 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  6. Alison

    Wikileaks not only endangers the security of many states, but it endangers the lives of individuals mentioned in these documents. The public has a right to know? Yes, but the public is uninformed regarding most matters of international politics. They have not had the opportunity to study international relations in specific regions in-depth, so how can most people form an educated opinion? You are providing propaganda for the uninformed masses... and that is where the real danger lies.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  7. Pat

    I have to agree with you about our very crooked government. You are right about our freedoms being sucked away little by little. As history is researched, we are heading towards Socialisem The average person does not take the time or does not have the knowledge to research every move to research every crooked deal the government makes.

    Please post the proof that this guy went to the government months ago. If this is true then he has the right to publish the documents.

    I also beleive that the government has rights to conseal confidential information but it is their responsibility to keep under lock and key.

    November 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  8. JOHN

    It's done. What would be fair is to share similar data from all nations, as all are involved in a level of deceit over their populations.

    Clearly we, is the US - diplomatic service, have little education about communicating securely, let alone with any common sense.

    It's all water under the bridge. What's not true about perceptions, that is all they are. We all have them.

    On a local basis we have surrendered our civic duties to the Kardasjians and Housewives of "whatever" county or city.

    Benevelent world citizenship went out the door decades ago.

    Lets be open and honest with Americans and then show ourselves to the world that we actually believe in the values that brought us this far.

    November 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  9. leeanne

    What's wrong with you people? You support being lied to every day. This guy came to our government months ago and TOLD them he had these documents and gave them all the time in the world to go over them and remove anything too "sensitive". Remember the Pentagon Papers?? He is now a hero. He told the truth. Something you will never get from a media owned by 5 corporations. Something you will never get from your government. Remember the Northwoods Report? Go look it up. Remember the war diaries wikileaks released last year?? The government spewed this same BS about endangering lives and national security. Every court in the land said "no they didn't". The only thing in danger here is these crooked and corrupt individuals who do whatever they want, whenever they want to whoever they want, and get away with it. The video that was released shows the absolute MURDER of innocent people and 2 children. Then the governments on both sides LIED. The guy who came forward with the video knew he would go to jail, and was willing to do so for the GREATER GOOD! DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I am sick of people who buy in to everything they hear on the news. WAKE UP!!! 10 years from now, this guy will be a hero. Mark my words. Your government is so afraid you will find out about their corruption and their global agenda they will kill this guy to keep him quiet. AND YOU WILL BELIEVE THAT IS GOOD. OMG snap out of it. Tomorrow you will learn of a bank corruption scam 10 times greater than the Enron ordeal! Let's see how you feel then! Worthless money grubbing scum that is protected?? THAT WOULD BE YOUR GOVERNMENT. Who doesn't care about thousands of deaths in the name of a fake WAR?? DO GOODER GROUPS?? WE will see how you feel when YOUR RIGHTS ARE GONE. That day is near.

    November 30, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  10. ronvan

    Unfortunately, the laws protect worthless, money grubbing, people like this! At minimum I would declare him and his BS group, NOT WELCOME, in this country and pull his "rights" so set foot on american soil. This is NOT about freedom of speech! It is about one moron who is against the war on terror and could care less about it hurting or killing someone! The young soldier, 19 I think they said, is going to be locked up for the rest of his life, but I would bet that all of those "do gooder" groups will come out of their slimy holes to preach and rant & rave about "rights"!

    November 30, 2010 at 4:55 am |
  11. orang john

    although it is neccessary for the public to know the truth it is pure wickedness to claim or practise freedom of speech to say at the detriment of other people right to survive espicially the countless lives of american soldier at the front against the war on terror i think the the founder of wikileak should be punish under the american law

    November 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Average American

    YO... Jennifer ... it's NOT treason because Wikileaks isn't AMERICAN.

    November 29, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  13. S. Taylor

    The information in Wikileaks possession are documents stolen from the United States Government. The owner of Wikileaks is guilty of receiving stolen property. What is so hard about prosecuting this!

    November 29, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  14. Jennifer A. White

    regarding the folks leaking sensitive political/military information; can anyone remember how to spell T-R-E-A-S-O-N?
    This needs to be prosecuted, and quickly.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  15. Average American

    The public doesn't have the right to know anything that comes from classified or stolen documents.... or that would endanger other people. Surprised the US Government can't stop the anti-American terrorist group named Wikileak. Should black-op them.

    November 29, 2010 at 7:53 am |