Kerry: Don’t ‘Overhype’ Wikileaks; Crocker: Don’t ‘Abandon’ Afghanistan

By Alex Pepper

Jul 27, 2010 11:15am

ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reports: Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry today downplayed the importance of the WikiLeaks documents on the war in Afghanistan. “It’s important not to overhype or to get excessively excited about the meaning of those documents,” Kerry said at a hearing this morning. Kerry blasted the release of the classified documents as “unacceptable”. “It breaks the law and equally importantly it compromises the efforts of our troops – potentially – in the field,” he said. The Massachusetts lawmaker warned that since the documents are “primarily raw intelligence reports from the field” they should be “processed properly.” “I think people need to be very careful in what they read there,” he said. The key witness at today’s hearing was Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Iraq and Pakistan during the Bush administration. Crocker, now the dean of Texas A&M’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service, noted that “impatience is on the rise in this country,” but cautioned that there is no “quick, cheap fix.” “This will be a long, hard fight,” he stated. “The consequences of abandoning that fight could be far more costly.” Crocker told lawmakers he was worried about how the adversary in Afghanistan views the July 2011 timeline for beginning the drawdown of US troops there. “I’m concerned they simply see July 2011 as a date on the calendar, the point they have to hold out to, and then they’re okay,” he said. Some Congressional Republicans want to see Crocker replace the current ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry. -Matt Jaffe

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