After lashing out at WikiLeaks for the consequences of the site’s massive leak of secret documents, Robert Gates announced that the FBI will be joining the investigation into the leak. The Defense secretary also said the incident may actually result in policy changes in terms of how information is communicated to troops.
“We endeavor to push access to sensitive battlefield information down to where it is most useful — on the front lines — where as a practical matter there are fewer restrictions and controls than at rear headquarters,” Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. “In the wake of this incident, it will be a real challenge to strike the right balance between security and providing our frontline troops the information they need.”
He said the documents provided negligible insight into the actual policy and events of the effort in Afghanistan, and will have “potentially dramatic and grievously harmful consequences.” Gates promised to prosecute whomever played a role in the leak and said the FBI is getting involved so that, ominously, the investigation can “go wherever it needs to go.” He wouldn’t comment on whether Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will be charged.