The State Department has issued warnings to hundreds of foreign government employees, human rights activists and business people named in yet-to-be published leaked diplomatic cables -- and has even moved some sources to safer locations.
Obama administration officials told The New York Times they did not believe anyone had been attacked or imprisoned as a result of the 2,700 cables released by WikiLeaks so far. However, the State Department is reportedly more concerned about the documents that have yet to be published by Julian Assange's website -- almost 99 percent of the 251,287 papers obtained by WikiLeaks.
Officials warned that a large number of foreigners who passed information to American diplomats could be at risk if their details were not fully redacted by WikiLeaks. They include a businessman who talked about corruption, a gay person in a violently homophobic country and a high-ranking government figure who criticized his bosses.
The State Department refused to give out names of people it had contacted in recent weeks, saying that only a few had been relocated inside their home country, while others had been moved abroad. "We feel responsible for doing everything possible to protect these people," said Michael H. Posner, assistant secretary of state.
Human rights groups accused WikiLeaks of carelessly putting lives at risk in July, when it released 70,000 documents about Afghanistan but failed to remove personal details of Afghan civilians who had helped the U.S. military. The Taliban announced they would scour the documents for the names of informants. When WikiLeaks published 400,000 classified papers on the Iraq war three months later, the names of civilians and sources had been redacted.