WASHINGTON, United States (Reportase One) – The United States will conduct an investigation into leaks of classified documents until their source is found, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday (11/4).
“We will continue to conduct a thorough investigation until we find the source and how extensive (the leak) is,” Austin told a news conference.
Reuters has seen more than 50 documents labeled “Confidential” or “Top Confidential” posted to social media in March. The documents allegedly reveal the military capabilities of countries allied and foe of the US.
Austin was the first top US official to comment on the leak.
He said the Pentagon was aware the documents were uploaded on February 28 and March 1. However, they are not sure if other documents were leaked on the internet before.
CIA director of US intelligence agency William Joseph Burns said the leak was unfortunate, but he did not elaborate on what he meant by the “moderately intense” investigation by the Pentagon and the Department of Justice.
“We also need to take lessons from that in how we tighten up procedures,” Burns said.
Investigators are looking for which group or individual had the ability and motive to leak the documents, the worst incident since the publication of thousands of documents on WikiLeaks in 2013.
The US Undersecretary of Defense for intelligence and security Milancy Harris is leading a Pentagon review of the impact of the leaks, a US official told Reuters.
Some of the most sensitive information covers Ukraine’s military capabilities and deficiencies, and one of the documents mentions the presence of a small number of Western special forces members in the country.
The US Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the leak of the documents.
Several national security experts and US officials have said they suspect that the leaked information could have been an American, given the wide range of topics covered in the documents.
More theories will emerge as the investigation progresses, they said.
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Translator: Mecca Yumna
Editor: Anton Santoso
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