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Kerry changes tack on WikiLeaks documents

Sen. John Kerry, whose windsurfing came to symbolize what critics derided as his tendency to heed the politics of the moment, has trimmed his sails over the significance of the recent leak of some 92,000 U.S. military documents on the Afghan war.

On Sunday evening, as news broke of the disclosure -- the documents were provided to The New York Times and others by the organization WikiLeaks -- Kerry rushed into the fray:

Statement By Chairman Kerry On Leaked Documents On Afghanistan And Pakistan
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement this evening in response to the New York Times story on the leak of classified documents concerning Afghanistan and Pakistan:
"However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America's policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent."

Today, Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, struck a more nuanced tone. "I think it's important not to over-hype or get excessively excited about the meaning of those documents," Kerry said at the start of a committee hearing on prospects for negotiating an end to the Afghan war.

He said the release was unlawful and could potentially endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But he also said the secret documents should be given little weight because in many cases they reflect raw intelligence, not carefully calibrated assessments of trends on the ground. Some of the documents, Kerry said, are "completely dismissible," but others are not.

Queried about the shift, Kerry spokesman Frederick Jones explained that "all we had before us [on Sunday] was the New York Times piece," which highlighted the cooperation between the Pakistani intelligence service known as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Taliban.

Kerry "was initially very concerned about the links. That's an issue the senator has spoken about in the past and addressed directly with principals in Pakistan and here," Jones said. "But as he and the staff had a chance to examine the records more closely it became clear that they did not cover the most recent time period." In fact, they dealt with the period before December 2009 when Obama announced his new Afghanistan strategy and before the Pakistan military embarked on its offensive against domestic insurgents.

"These facts lessened the significance of the documents in the senator's eyes," he said.

But - Jones added - "he still believes the documents are important and to the extent they raise questions about whether ... reliance [on Pakistan as an ally] is misplaced, they remain very important as we frame our ongoing mission."

By Ellen Nakashima  | July 27, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
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As bad as Obama has been, just imagine for one moment where our country would be if this (Kerry) phony had been elected President.

At least Obama comes out directly with his failing programs, Kerry would have fluctuated just like toilet paper in the wind.

Posted by: 27081 | July 27, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The entire electioneering plumbing of our country has been screwwed by the unlimited capital provided by the corrupt private banks that OWN our Nation's Federal Reserve..There are NO LAWS, teams are officially installed depending on cash supply and demand, everyone knows the Rich Elites can get away with GENOCIDE as long as they have the bucks to bribe, swindle and assassinate ANYONE in their imperialistic way...Deathknells of a GROSSLY selfish Elite who have hijacked the American Hope to retain their position at the Vulture's Perch..Your lies will send America down in the same miserable fashion as that last Quagmire, Inc. debacle known as Vietnam...Be sure to destroy their infrastructure, ecology and future on the way out, you depleted uranium-spreading Nazi WAR CRIMINAL PIGS!!!

Posted by: frak | July 27, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Prior to John Kerry commenting on anything else he should offer the people of his home state an explanation on why he is evading paying $500,000. in taxes on his new 7 million dollar yacht.

Seeing he is worth over 700 million dollars he can well afford to pay what he should!

P.S. Will he be taking any underprivledged children on his boat or only campaign donors and lobbyists?

Posted by: mwhoke | July 27, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

seems like old times... another John John flip flop!
He once was for WikiLeaks before he was against them.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | July 27, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

All Americans want to hear is that the state use tax is paid on the yacht.
Why a woman who took old John Heinz III for his money would marry a corpse looking stiff as Kerry is amazing.
In fact, the only weirder thing is that John Kerry could ever make it as a gigolo.

Posted by: sperrico | July 27, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I posted some preliminary statistical analysis of the Wikileaks data on my personal blog including some maps that you probably wouldn't normally see. Please take a look at it if you are interested.

Posted by: PeterLarson | July 27, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

this stuff wouldn't happen anymore if the leakers were eliminated.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | July 27, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

You have to forgive Kerry, he has a yacht on his mind.

Posted by: johnsonmarc51 | July 28, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Obviously now Senator Kerry has decided to join Obama administration in whitewashing the significance of WikiLeaks documents which corroborated ‘The sun in the sky’ report published by Matt Waldman just a month before.

However neither Senator Kerry nor Obama administration can wish away the reality on the ground which is Pakistani ISI’s fueling of Afghan insurgency which is causing daily fatalities of US/NATO troops in Afghanistan.

The ISI is said to compensate families of suicide bombers to the tune of 200,000 Pakistani rupees, claims Matt Waldman’s report. Thus US AID TO BANKRUPT PAKISTAN FINANCES THE DEATH OF US/NATO SOLDIERS in Afghanistan. So in a way, US is financing the death of its OWN troops in Afghanistan.

Since US wants to shove under the rug the sordid saga of US financing the death of its OWN troops in Afghanistan since 2002, US deserves to be duped by Pakistan.

But then all that matters to Washington is its own domestic political compulsion, not what happens to Afghanistan.

So Obama will have his victory a la Vietnam style just like Nixon/Kissinger and Taliban government will return to power, also just like a la Vietnam style within two-three years. All the sacrifices of US military will be in vain and US government would have thrown away billions of dollars for nothing, just like Russians before. By that time Obama, Hillary and Petraeus will be gone from the scene.

Only question left will be ’will US continue to have to feed billions of dollars to Pakistan as ransom money after Taliban takeover of Afghanistan’ so that Pakistan can protect US from future terrorist attacks? And if US does not, then will Pakistan return to same old terrorism, citing US walk-away from the region just like back in 1996?

Posted by: basundi44 | August 1, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

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