WikiLeaks promises "major announcement" in Europe
Clinton condemns any leak endangering Americans
The WikiLeaks website has promised a "major announcement" in Europe on Saturday, in a message on its Twitter feed, amid speculation it will release thousands of secret documents about the Iraq war.
"Major WikiLeaks announcement in Europe at 10am tomorrow," said the message posted Friday, appearing to confirm the site is preparing to leak what the U.S. military and NATO fear will be tens of thousands of classified military papers.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned "in the most clear terms" the leaks of any documents putting Americans at risk.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, she declined to discuss the specifics of the WikiLeaks disclosures.
"But I do have a strong opinion that we should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organizations which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service-members and civilians at risk," she said.
The Pentagon earlier warned that the threatened release of a massive cache of secret military documents by the WikiLeaks could endanger U.S. troops and Iraqis, but not offer any new insights into the war.
"By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us," Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said in an email.
But I do have a strong opinion that we should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organizations which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service-members and civilians at risk
U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton
The Pentagon had identified what it believed were roughly 400,000 documents that WikiLeaks would likely release, after having been contacted by news organizations who had been given the files by the website, another spokesman, Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.
The documents are based on "significant activities" reports from military units that convey "raw" intelligence, but do not shed new light on a war that has been thoroughly documented, he said.
"They are essentially snapshots of events, both tragic and mundane, and do not tell the whole story," Morrell said.
"That said, the period covered by these reports has been well-chronicled in news stories, books and films and the release of these field reports does not bring new understanding to Iraq's past."
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen earlier warned that the lives of soldiers and civilians could be endangered if WikiLeaks released confidential documents.
"Such leaks are very unfortunate and may have very negative security implications for people concerned," Rasmussen said at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
"Leaks may put soldiers as well as civilians at risk," he added.
The whistleblower website published 77,000 classified U.S. military documents on the war in Afghanistan in July and is expected to publish another 15,000.
The documents on Afghanistan, revealing details of civilian victims and supposed links between Pakistan and the Taliban insurgents, infuriated the Pentagon.
Human rights groups were also worried that the names of Afghans aiding U.S. forces had not been erased, laying them open to reprisals.
Such leaks are very unfortunate and may have very negative security implications for people concerned. Leaks may put soldiers as well as civilians at risk
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen