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What the WikiLeaks scandal means to you

11:31 PM, Nov 29, 2010   |    comments
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That's according to Christopher Hill, a former four time U.S. ambassador, and the current dean of the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Hill says those working in China, for example, are working for the benefit of all U.S. consumers. Think of all the products you use that come from that country.

"When embassies are working abroad, you're not just working for people in Washington, they're working for people all over the place," Hill said.

Hill says the WikiLeaks release of classified State Department documents are damaging for U.S. foreign policy.

"The release of our country's diplomatic dispatches is a criminal act," Hill said. "It's a serious matter, it hurts our national security. I would agree with those who say it also puts lives at risk."

Hill says future diplomatic relations are now in jeopardy because of the leaks.

"It has created a situation where many people who traditionally have talked to our embassies over the years, may not want to do so anymore, or they may want to be even more careful about what they say," Hill said.

During his 33 years in foreign service, Hill served as ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, Poland, South Korea and Iraq.

"We don't want someone else reading our internal mail," Hill said. "Now thanks to WikiLeaks, we have a lot of people reading internal mail and no organization, whether it's the U.S. government, whether it's an automobile company, whether it's a Denver TV station wants the entire world to be reading their internal mail."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange defended the release.

"Because not publishing anything at all would mean not publishing the abuses by that organization," he said.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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