Gates: 'Guilty' Verdict on Wikileaks' 'Moral Culpability'

Secretary of Defense 'Mortified, Appalled' by Massive Intel Leak

ByABC News
July 31, 2010, 5:29 PM

July 31, 2010— -- In an exclusive interview on "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," to air this Sunday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the huge cache of secret documents obtained by the website WikiLeaks left him disgusted.

"How angry are you about it?" Amanpour asked.

"I'm not sure anger is the right word. I just -- I think mortified, appalled," Gates said.

"And if I'm angry, it is because I believe that this information puts those in Afghanistan who have helped us at risk. It puts our soldiers at risk because…our adversaries can learn a lot about our techniques, tactics and procedures from the body of these leaked documents," he said.

"You know, growing up in the intelligence business, protecting your sources is sacrosanct," Gates, who served as Director of the CIA in the early 1990s, explained.

Amanpour asked him about a Taliban spokesman who told a British news organization that the militant Islamic group would be hunting down informants named in the documents.

"I mean Admiral Mullen said that this leak basically has blood on its hands," Amanpour said.

"Well, I mean given the Taliban's statement, I think it -- it basically proves the point," the secretary said.

"And my attitude on this is that there are two areas of culpability. One is legal culpability. And that's up to the Justice Department and others. That's not my arena. But there's also a moral culpability. And that's where I think the verdict is guilty on WikiLeaks," Gates said.

"They have put this out without any regard whatsoever for the consequences"