Leaks create fresh doubt about Afghan war; Kerry says documents largely meaningless

WASHINGTON (AP) - The monumental leak of classified Afghan war documents has sent the Obama administration into damage control mode.

The leak threatens to create deeper doubts about the war at home, cause new friction with Pakistan over its spy agency and raise questions around the world about Washington's ability to protect military secrets.

The White House called the torrent of more than 91,000 secret documents "alarming."

It's one of the largest unauthorized disclosures in military history and the material could reinforce the view of congressional opponents that one of the nation's longest conflicts is hopelessly stalemated.

The leaks also come at a time when polls finding that a majority of Americans no longer think the war is worth fighting. The leaks are not expected to prevent passage of a $60 billion war funding bill.

Meanwhile, John Kerry, a senior Democratic senator, is largely dismissing the significance of classified documents. .

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, the panel's chairman, Sen. John Kerry, said people should not "overhype or get excessively excited about" the disclosures.

He said the release was unlawful and could potentially endangered U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But he also said the secret documents should be given little weight because in many cases they reflect raw intelligence, not carefully calibrated assessments of trends on the ground.

Kerry's committee is holding a hearing on the prospects for achieving a reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgency.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)