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Updated: July 30, 2010 10:02 IST

Thousands of more classified documents missing: Gates

PTI
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U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates at a press conference at the Pentagon. Photo: AP
AP U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates at a press conference at the Pentagon. Photo: AP

"It could be a substantial additional number of documents. And we have no idea what their content is, either," The U.S. Defense Secretary said.

Days after the WikiLeaks went onto release more than 92,000 classified documents pertaining to the war against terrorism, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that thousands of such classified papers are missing from the Department of Defense.

"At least from my perspective, it has only been very recently that I was aware of the magnitude of the number of documents that had been leaked," Mr. Gates said at a joint Pentagon news conference with Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"The reality is, at this point, we don't know how many more there are out there. It could be a substantial additional number of documents. And we have no idea what their content is, either," Mr. Gates said.

The WikiLeaks - a whistleblower website - has acknowledged that it has more documents in this regard.

"My impression is that the head of WikiLeaks has acknowledged that he has thousands of additional documents that he has not yet posted. So we have his own statement to that effect," Mr. Gates said.

Responding to media questions, the Defense Secretary replied in negative if there has been any official attempt to reach out to WikiLeaks.

"Not that I'm aware of (having any kind of dialogue with WikiLeaks). I'm not sure why we would. Do you think he's going to tell us the truth?" he asked.

"I have no idea. The investigation should go wherever it needs to go," Mr. Gates said when asked if Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder faces criminal prosecution.

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