Levin Releases Letter to Defense Secretary Gates on WikiLeaks Documents

Friday, July 30, 2010

WASHINGTON – Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., today released a letter he sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week regarding the classified military documents published by WikiLeaks. A PDF of the letter can be viewed here.

The text of the letter follows:

July 28, 2010

The Honorable Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C.

Dear Secretary Gates:

Last Sunday, thousands of classified military documents were published on the internet by an organization called WikiLeaks. Since classified information is, by definition, material that reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security if made publicly available, I am concerned about the nature and extent of the damage caused by the release of these documents and the steps that the Department of Defense is taking to address the problem.

Accordingly, I would appreciate your prompt response to the following questions:

1. What is the Department’s assessment of the extent to which the documents disclosed on Sunday contain information that was not previously available in the public domain? In the Department’s judgment, what are the most significant new disclosures resulting from the release of these documents?

2. What is the Department’s assessment of the extent to which sources and methods were divulged as a result of the release of these documents?

3. Has the Department conducted a damage assessment to determine the extent to which individuals may have been put at risk, the enemy may have learned about our tactics and techniques, our allies may be less cooperative in the future, or we may have suffered other specific damage as a result of the release of these documents? If so, what are the conclusions of that assessment?

4. What steps is the Department taking to identify the individual or individuals who released these documents and to prevent future leaks of this kind?

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Carl Levin