Washington: The US State Department says
it is studying the computer hard drives used by an Army
intelligence analyst in Iraq, trying to assess the potential
damage if allegations are true that the analyst leaked tens of
thousands of classified diplomatic documents to a
Department spokesman PJ Crowley said yesterday that
the Bureau of Diplomatic Security is helping in the forensic
analysis of the data stored on one or more hard drives from
computers believed to have been used by Army Spc Bradley
Manning, who has not been charged with any crime, is
being detained in Kuwait pending an Army criminal
investigation of unauthorized leaks of classified information.
"We take this seriously," Crowley said. "Any release
of classified material to those who are not entitled to have
it is a serious breach of our security and, you know, can
cause potential damage to our national security interests."
Former computer Hacker Adrian Lamo says Manning
claimed in a series of online chats that he downloaded 260,000
classified or sensitive State Department cables and
transmitted them by computer to the website Wikileaks.org.
Crowley said examination of the hard drives, which
arrived in Washington on Thursday from Baghdad, should allow
officials to verify what documents Manning may have downloaded
and whether he sent them to an unauthorized recipient.