Thursday, July 29, 2010

FP morning brief 7/29

U.S. military fears that Wikileaks may have endangered Afghan allies

Top story: The U.S. military is digging through the over 90,000 classified documents that were released by WikiLeaks last Sunday to determine if they revealed the identity of the NATO forces' Afghan allies. The New York Times, which was allowed to examine the documents prior to their release, said that its own review uncovered dozens of examples where the documents provided the names of informants, or other information that made it possible to identify them. By exposing the identity of Afghans cooperating with the United States and NATO, WikiLeaks has potentially put them at risk of retribution by the Taliban.

In one 2007 report, for example, a document released by WikiLeaks describes a meeting between U.S. soldiers and an Afghan leader, who informed the soldiers about the actions of a local insurgent leader and his heavily-armed force. The report identifies the Afghan leader by name, and also names a number of other informants who were part of his network.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the release of information that might endanger the lives of Afghans who are working with U.S. forces, calling it "extremely irresponsible and an act that one cannot overlook."

WikiLeaks has delayed the release of approximately 15,000 documents in order to remove any identifying information regarding the informants mentioned in them. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange responded to criticisms that he might have endangered some Afghans' lives by making this information public, saying, "If we had, in fact, made that mistake, then, of course, that would be something that we would take very seriously."

Arizona immigration law hits a speed bump: A federal judge blocked some parts of Arizona's controversial new immigration law on Wednesday, one day before it was scheduled to go into effect, accepting the Justice Department's argument that it preempts federal law enforcement's jurisdiction on immigration enforcement.

Middle East
The lawyer defending a woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran is missing.
Hamas banned lingerie displays in clothing stores in the Gaza Strip.
A group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a bombing that targeted the offices of the Arabic news station al-Arabiya.

The second U.S. sailor who had gone missing in Afghanistan was found dead.
North Korea's foreign minister arrived in Burma for diplomatic talks.
The Thai government lifted the state of emergency in six more provinces.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expanded the power of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB.
British Prime Minister David Cameron defended his criticism of Pakistan's record in fighting terror.
Greek police clashed with truck drivers, who are protesting a government order for them to end their strike.

A regional meeting of foreign ministers in South America will attempt to defuse the rising tensions between Venezuela and Colombia.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is disappearing faster than expected.
14 alleged members of a Mexican drug cartel are on trial in Guatemala.

Nigeria's financial regulator will charge 260 people and organizations with abusing the stock market.
South African unions threatened to strike in seven days.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for an attack against security forces in eastern Algeria.
-David Kenner
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

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