Government warned about possible Wikileaks release

The Government has been briefed by US authorities about the expected release of sensitive diplomatic files on whistleblower website WikiLeaks, Downing Street confirmed today.

Reports suggest that the files could include hundreds of cables relating to UK interests, and might include revelations about secret intelligence sources and practices.



Washington is braced for the release within days of thousands of documents on the website, which has previously published secret details of allied military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.



"These revelations are harmful to the US and our interests," said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley last night. "They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world."



Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman this morning declined to discuss the nature of any confidential communications which may have been obtained by WikiLeaks.



The spokesman said: "Obviously, the Government has been briefed by US officials, by the US ambassador, as to the likely content of these leaks.



"I don't want to speculate about precisely what is going to be leaked before it is leaked."



It is thought that the documents may include reports from officials in Washington and diplomatic posts around the world about issues on which the UK and US have collaborated closely, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.



Washington could be embarrassed by the publication of candid and forthright assessments of foreign governments made by its officials.



WikiLeaks has not been specific about the timing of any release, which is widely expected to happen this weekend.



Mr Crowley warned that publication could erode trust in the US as a diplomatic partner.



"When this confidence is betrayed and ends up on the front pages of newspapers or lead stories on television or radio, it has an impact," he said.



The State Department "has known all along" that WikiLeaks possesses classified documents, but it was not possible to predict exactly what information would be made public and what impact it would make, he said.



"We wish this would not happen, but we are obviously prepared for the possibility that it will," he said.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballIt's not a game to lose, writes Paul Scholes
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Chemistry Teacher - Jan 2015

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: We are currently looking to recruit a Che...

Special Needs Teachers Required - Nottingham

£110 - £145 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are rec...

Special Needs Teachers required - Derby

£110 - £145 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are rec...

English Teacher - January 2015

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: English Teacher role in a successful Acad...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes