G-7 talks could gauge allies’ reaction to leaked US documents – KGET 17

HANOI (AP) — While the Biden administration sees minimal damage from the disclosure of highly classified documents related to the war in Ukraine and US views on its allies and partners, that assessment will get its first real test when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets in Japan with colleagues from six of America’s closest foreign friends.

Three days of talks between Group of Seven foreign ministers starting on Sunday could shed light on whether the revelations have eroded trust between the allies or are just the latest embarrassment for the US, which has been grappling with the fallout from leaking highly sensitive secrets over the past decade.

Blinken said on Saturday he had heard no concerns from allies, but the revelations and the arrest of a relatively low-profile leak suspect will loom large over the G-7 meeting, the first major international diplomatic conference since the documents were leaked online and made public.

“We have been working with our allies and partners since these leaks occurred, and we have done so at the highest levels, and we have made it clear that we are committed to the protection of intelligence and our commitment to our security partnerships,” Blinken told reporters in Hanoi. before leaving for Japan.

“What I’ve heard so far at least is appreciation for the steps we’re taking and it hasn’t affected our cooperation,” he said. “I just didn’t see it, I didn’t hear it. And, of course, the investigation is taking its course.”

That argument can only be wishful thinking, especially when the world is digesting what is being revealed almost daily with new discoveries.

In addition to military analyzes of Ukrainian capabilities and Russian losses, the leaked documents also reveal assessments of Taiwan’s defense capabilities and internal arguments in Britain, Egypt, Israel, South Korea and Japan.

“Now, as you know, the suspect is in custody, but it’s also important, I know, that measures are taken to further protect the information,” Blinken said. “But to date, based on the conversations I’ve had, I haven’t heard anything that would affect our cooperation with allies and partners.”

However, the US has had similar problems before, most notably when then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was forced to apologize for a number of embarrassing revelations in the 2010 Wikileaks leak of US diplomatic cables.

Clinton specifically said she was forced to explain the US position on Argentina, Israel, Italy and other allies after the Wikileaks fallout.

On Friday, the man charged in the latest leak, Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, 21, appeared in court as prosecutors unsealed the charges and revealed how billing records and interviews with friends on social media helped identify the suspect.

The classified documents that Teixeira allegedly posted on the online social gaming platform have not been publicly certified by US officials. But they look authentic in the main.

Those documents range from briefing slides showing Ukraine’s military positions to assessments of international support for Ukraine and other sensitive topics, including under what circumstances Russian President Vladimir Putin can use nuclear weapons.

Confidential documents have strict guidelines on how they should be handled, secured and destroyed. They are required to be kept in secure facilities, protocols that Teixeira would have violated if the copies were taken to his home.

Regardless of the legal implications for Teixeira and the findings of an internal administration investigation, Blinken and top aides are unlikely to escape scrutiny over the leaks, which are at least the fourth from U.S. sources since 2010.

Wikileaks’ 2010 release included 251,287 State Department cables, written by 271 US embassies and consulates in 180 countries and dated from December 1966 to February 2010. The cables were shared by Assange with his three media partners, plus El País and others, and published in stages from 28 November 2010, with source names removed.

WikiLeaks said it was the largest set of classified documents ever released into the public domain.

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