WikiLeaks earns little reaction from officials - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

WikiLeaks earns little reaction from officials

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - You've likely heard of the renegade site WikiLeaks - known for posting classified and anonymous news sources. Well, one of the latest posts discusses the Guam military buildup.

Chair of the Guam Military Buildup Committee, Senator Judi Guthertz, says she's not surprised by the information contained in cables between the U.S. and Japan recently released on WikiLeaks. According to Japanese news reports, information in the cables claim the number of U.S. Marines to be transferred to Guam where overblown for political reasons.

"I don't believe that has really changed," she said. "I think the military is still talking about 8,000 Marines and 2,000 more transitional Marines assigned here; I have not heard that figure change really in my discussions with the Department of Defense."

Details of the negotiations allegedly contained in the cables also imply the U.S. fudged the figures in order to put pressure on Japan to accept the deal. KUAM News spoke with Officer in Charge of Marine Corps Pacific Forces for Guam and CNMI Colonel Robert Loynd said, "I don't pay much credence to them they are speculative comments outside my lane and I'm not qualified to comment on them."

Joint Guam Program Office's John Jackson also remains tight-lipped, saying questions on the leaks should be forwarded to the nation's capitol. "Because our Washington office really does that coordination between the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, State Department and Congress, so what we do here obviously is that same type of coordination between local government, local representatives of the government of Japan and military services here," he explained.

According to The Japan Times, a cable dated December 2008 shows a billion-dollar road was included in negotiations in April 2006. This too was not a revelation to Guthertz who says the road was taken off the table during early negotiations for the buildup, speculating that is was perhaps too expensive.

The senator told KUAM News that's where the real changes in the plans may be seen, noting, "I think perhaps the timing of which they come here would be stretched out but that is still there goal. As a matter of fact they want more that 8 thousand marines to come here according to what Japan has told the United States because Japan would like to empty out all the Marines and bring them to Guam."

Jackson, too, does not seem to find the information revealed by WikiLeaks to signify much change for Guam in light of the upcoming buildup. "As of now, it's still on track," he said.

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