Obama administration reviews handling of US secrets

US orders gov't agencies to review protocols for protecting top secret information amidst Wikileaks release.

Obama stern 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Obama stern 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration ordered government agencies Monday to immediately review procedures for safeguarding classified information in the wake of the disclosure of thousands of secret State Department documents by Wikileaks.
According to a memo obtained by The Associated Press, the Office of Management and Budget told agencies to establish security assessment teams to ensure that employees do not have broader access to classified information than what is needed to do their jobs.
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OMB director Jacob Lew said the failure of agencies to safeguard classified information was unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
"Any unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a violation of our law and compromises our national security," Lew said in the memo.
The administration's order came a day after the online whistle-blower group WikiLeaks released thousands of State Department documents that disclosed candid impressions from diplomats and other world leaders about America's allies and foes. The memos also unveil occasional US pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea.

The White House condemned the decision to release the documents and on Sunday said that the Wikileaks defied US demands that it not publish the files, which the government considers to be stolen.
The agency review process will be led by OMB, along with the Information Security Oversight Office and the Office of Director of National Intelligence.