U.S. warns embassies: These new Wikileaks docs could be really bad

Crowley said State does not know “exactly what WikiLeaks has or what they plan to do,” but the consequences to American interests could be severe. The cables, for instance, could reveal that senior government officials in other countries are the sources of embarrassing information about the inner workings of those governments, thus making it more difficult for the State Department to obtain such intelligence in the future.

“Without getting into specifics, typical cables describe summaries of meetings, analysis of events in other countries and records of confidential conversations with officials of other governments and with members of civil society,” Crowley said. “They are classified for a very good reason. They contain sensitive information and reveal sources of information that impact our national interests and those of other countries.”

Crowley added that “the lives of people who provide us valuable information and perspective are being put at risk. They help us understand what is happening around the world and inform our policies and actions.”