x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Clinton's damage control efforts continue with more leaks to come

US secretary of state says her efforts to "re-establish trust" will go on as more embarrassing revelations are expected.

 

Hillary Clinton, who contacted dozens of foreign leaders after the latest WikiLeaks disclosures, will continue to do so for "the next weeks," the US Secretary of State told journalists traveling with her Saturday.

"I haven't seen everybody in the world, and apparently there are 252,000 of these things (leaks) out there in cyberspace somewhere," she said, noting with a smile that they had not yet all been published.

"So I think I'll have some outreach to continue doing over the next weeks just to make sure that as things become public, if they raise concerns, I will be prepared to reach out and talk to my counterparts and heads of state and governments," she went on.

"I take on the responsibility because I'm talking to them anyway. I've invested a lot of efforts in building these relationships.

"I really believe that we had to re-establish trust, to re-establish relationships, so I take this very personally."

Speaking of President Barack Obama, Clinton said: "I know he's made recommendations for calls... As he's calling people on other matters, of course it [WikiLeaks] is on the list to raise."

Clinton was talking on the plane taking her back to Washington after a trip to Central Asia and Bahrain during which she came under constant pressure over the leaks.

The WikiLeaks website was fighting to stay online after Sweden issued a new arrest warrant for its elusive chief and it battled cyber attacks and government attempts to silence it.

The whistleblowing website's founder Julian Assange briefly broke cover to say he had boosted his security after receiving death threats amid the storm unleashed by his site's publication of some 250,000 US diplomatic cables.

"I'm not making light of it (but) what you see are our diplomats doing the work of diplomacy, reporting, analyzing... in a way, it should be reassuring, despite the occasional tidbit that is pulled out and unfortunately blown up," Clinton said.

"The work of diplomacy is on display. It was not our intention to release this way (but) there's a lot to be said for what it shows about the foreign policy of the United States."

US warns soldiers in Iraq from looking up WikiLeaks website

The US military in Iraq is trying to prevent soldiers from viewing WikiLeaks documents and has posted a web advisory suggesting they could be breaking the law, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The warning, posted Friday, pops up on the US military's unclassified network, NIPRNet, before soldiers can access news and other websites and tells troops they should not view, download, or forward the secret releases.

But Staff Sergeant Kelli Lane said the military was not blocking the Internet. "USF-I has not blocked any news websites from being read," the US army press officer said in an e-mail to AFP.Lane said that the advisory only serves as a warning and does not prohibit armed forces personnel from viewing the news websites. She did not say which news websites were affected.