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Obama in damage control over war leak

07-28-2010 08:37 BJT

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday tried to control the damage of the leak of over 90,000 classified reports about the Afghanistan war, saying the documents don't reveal anything new.

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to the media after a bipartisan meeting with Congress members in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, July 27, 2010. Obama said on Tuesday that he was concerned about the leak of U.S. military documents about Afghanistan, but the papers don't reveal new information. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to the media after a bipartisan meeting 
with Congress members in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., capital 
of the United States, July 27, 2010. Obama said on Tuesday that he was concerned about 
the leak of U.S. military documents about Afghanistan, but the papers don't reveal new 
information. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
Speaking at the White House, Obama said he's "concerned about the disclosure," but "these documents don't reveal any issues that haven't already informed our public debate on Afghanistan."

"They point to the same challenges that led me to conduct an extensive review of our policy last fall," argued Obama.

The leak, made public by website WikiLeaks, involved reports written by U.S. soldiers and intelligence officers in Afghanistan mainly describing lethal military actions involving the U.S. military. Put together, they amount to a blow-by-blow account of the war over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 1,000 U.S. troops.

The U.S. government has already launched an investigation as to the origin of the leak. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old private charged in an earlier leak to WikiLeaks, was named a "person of interest" in the new investigation.

Obama said the leak won't change the war strategy. "We have to see that strategy through," he said.

The House of Representatives is to vote on a 59-billion-dollar war funding measure later Tuesday that would pay for Obama's troops increase in Afghanistan. Obama urged lawmakers to "pass the necessary funding to support our efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, agrees with Obama's assessment that most information contained in the leak was "already known to those observing the war over the last nine years," and the exposure "should not be used to argue that the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is doomed to failure."

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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