T he leakage of classified information by former US Army soldier, Bradley Manning, to whistleblower website, WikiLeaks, is a source of embarrassment for the US government, a former Pentagon official tells PressTV.
Manning has been formally charged with involvement in the largest leakage of classified information in the American history.
The 24-year-old is accused of passing hundreds of thousands of military field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks between November 2009 and May 2010 when he was serving in Iraq.
He could face a life sentence for disclosing classified documents.
PressTV has conducted an interview with Michael Maloof, former Pentagon official, to share his opinion on this issue.
The following is a transcript of the interview:
PressTV: How do you especially as a former government official assess Bradley Manning, the intelligence breach and the ensuing embarrassment for the US government?
Maloof: Number one it is an intelligence breach from the standpoint the classified information was leaked out. It is not WikiLeaks fault, it would be the way the system runs that it would be Manning’s fault.
Secondly it is an embarrassment because much of the information that was leaked was not necessarily national security related. It was meant to hide embarrassments and embarrassing statements.
But the fact that the system itself does not preclude or allow distinctions of that kind, the fact that it was classified, thereby puts him in jeopardy and probably he will get a life sentence as a result of it.
PressTV: Mr. Maloof, in context of affecting US actions worldwide, do you believe disclosures such as the WikiLeaks trove have it all changed the US foreign policy?
Maloof: I think it probably has not changed foreign policy at all. I think what it has done, is reveal just how bad and slipshod US policy especially in the Middle East has been and what it has done has caused the system for a classification to tighten up and be much more restrictive and who has access to what information.
So that kind of a change has occurred. It has not altered the behavior of the United States whatsoever in terms of its actions and I doubt that it ever would.
For that matter, people probably do not recall what was said in many respects but people overseas I am sure remember that it was quite embarrassing, some many of the revelations but I have not seen any change in behavior by the United States as a result of those revelations and that is a very unfortunate development.
PressTV: Bradley Manning’s case has been closely followed by a devout group of supporters. Is his legacy going to be spoken about for years to come in the US considering the extent of the information he released?
Maloof: I think the revelations themselves and the extent of the revelations probably will be discussed. It does constitute the largest amount in volume in terms of classified matter which has been leaked.
It is not a serious; however some other leaks that occurred during and right after the cold war particularly like the Walker case were very damaging to national security.
The information that he leaked was more embarrassing. It did not really affect national security as such from the US perspective. It was just more of an embarrassment giving some of the comments that were revealed and some of the attitudes that were portrayed, but it was not a damaging national security matter from previous espionage cases that we saw with Ames and Walker in previous years.
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