Wikileaks: "US Does Not Believe In Press Freedom"

(ITN)

Thousands of confidential US State Department documents have been released by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

The documents show that Saudi donors remain chief financiers of militant groups like al-Qaeda and that Chinese government operatives have waged a co-ordinated campaign of computer sabotage targeting the United States and its allies, according to newspaper reports.

The Pentagon has condemned the website's release of classified documents to newspapers as "reckless" and said it was taking steps to bolster security of classified US military networks.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the US Defense Department "has undertaken a series of actions to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future", citing steps to prevent the downloading of classified computer data to removable devices.

The US administration's unflattering assessment of David Cameron is set to be made public by the Guardian.

Journalist Simon Hoggart said: "There is going to be some embarrassment certainly for Gordon Brown but even more so for David Cameron who was not very highly regarded by the Obama administration or by the US ambassador here."

The US administration has warned that the release of the files would put "countless" lives at risk, threaten global counter-terrorism operations and jeopardise America's relations with its allies.

The Foreign Office said in a statement: "We condemn any unauthorised release of this classified information, just as we condemn leaks of classified material in the UK."

"They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have said, may put lives at risk.

"We have a very strong relationship with the US Government. That will continue."
ITN