Statement by U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry on WikiLeaks
November 29, 2010
The owners of the WikiLeaks website claim to possess some 250,000 classified documents, many of which have been released to the media. These documents were purportedly downloaded from U.S. Defense Department computers and appear to contain U.S. diplomatic personnel's assessments of policies, negotiations, and leaders from countries around the world, including Afghanistan, as well as reports of private conversations with people inside and outside other governments.
Whatever WikiLeaks' motives are in publishing these documents, releasing them poses real risks to real people. We deeply regret the disclosure of information that was intended to be confidential. And we condemn it. For our part, the United States Government is committed to maintaining the security of our diplomatic communications and is taking steps to make sure they are kept in confidence. We are moving aggressively to make sure this kind of breach does not happen again.
It is important to be clear that diplomatic personnel's internal reports do not represent a government's final determination of official foreign policy. In the United States, they are just one of many elements that shape our policies, which are ultimately set by the President and the Secretary of State.
When it comes to Afghanistan, our policy has been made clear by President Obama in his speech on December 1, 2009 at West Point and again at the NATO Lisbon Summit just a few days ago. The United States is absolutely committed to building and strengthening a long-term partnership with the Afghan people and the Afghan Government. Our shared goals do not change based on the release of purported diplomatic reporting from the past.
Secretary Clinton and I have spoken with President Karzai and we are all committed, along with President Obama, to looking forward and focusing on those issues that are key to the success of the Afghan people and the security of the American people.