Wikileaks Cable Release 'Attack On World'

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denounced the release of classified diplomatic cables as an ""attack on the international community"".

She spoke after the release of some 250,000 messages from US envoys around the world by the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

The cables offer candid and sometimes unflattering views of world leaders and frank assessments of security threats. But Mrs Clinton said diplomats often needed confidentiality to be effective. ""This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests,"" she said.

""It is an attack on the international community: the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.

""I am confident that the partnerships that the Obama administration has worked so hard to build, will withstand this challenge.""

The White House has ordered government agencies to tighten their handling of classified documents after the latest Wikileaks release.

Attorney General Eric Holder said there was an ongoing criminal investigation into the release and anyone found responsible would be prosecuted. Mrs Clinton said it was essential that the diplomatic community be able to conduct private communications.

""The work of our diplomats doesn't just benefit Americans but also billions of others around the globe...

""Every country, including the United States, must be able to have candid conversations about the people and nations with whom they deal. And every country, including the United States, must be able to have honest, private dialogue with other countries about issues of common concern."""