The release by Wikileaks of a mountain of secret Afghan war documents has set off a bomb in Washington. A manhunt has been launched to find out who is responsible for the biggest security breakdown in US military history.
On Capitol Hill, senators and congressmen are demanding an inquiry, while others are looking into legal ways of clamping down on whistleblowers.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “I think our reaction to this type of material, a breach of federal law, is always the same, and that is, whenever you have the potential for names and for operations and for programmes to be out there in the public domain that it – besides being against the law – has a potential to be very harmful to those that are in our military, those that are co-operating with our military and those that are working to keep us safe.”
Some in Washington are also realising their world of secrets has entered a new era, where organisations beholden to no-one are able to solicit classified data from people all over the world, and publish it on the internet for all to see.