Monday, December 06, 2010

Founder of WikiLeaks threatens massive retaliation if arrested

WASHINGTON — Julian Assange, the beleaguered founder of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, has threatened to release many more confidential diplomatic cables if legal action is taken against him or his organization. Mr. Assange’s threat poses a problem for the Obama administration as it explores ways to prosecute Mr. Assange or the group.

On Monday, as Mr. Assange’s lawyers said he would meet with the British police about criminal charges involving sexual encounters in Sweden, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Justice Department had “a very serious, active, ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature” into the WikiLeaks matter.

“I authorized just last week a number of things to be done so that we can hopefully get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable,” he said at a news conference, declining to elaborate.

Mr. Holder’s statement followed Mr. Assange’s assertion that “over 100,000 people” had been given the entire archive of 251,287 cables “in encrypted form.”

“If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically,” Mr. Assange said Friday in a question-and-answer session on the Web site of the British newspaper The Guardian.

His threat is not idle, because as of Monday night the group had released fewer than 1,000 of the quarter-million State Department cables it had obtained, reportedly from a low-ranking Army intelligence analyst.

So far, the group has moved cautiously. The whole archive was made available to five news organizations, including The New York Times. But WikiLeaks has posted only a few dozen cables on its own in addition to matching those made public by the news publications. According to the State Department’s count, 1,325 cables, or fewer than 1 percent of the total, have been made public by all parties to date.
Read the rest here.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Okay, so now he's been arrested. Let's see what will happen next!

CJ said...

I understand what he's trying to do, and some of the releases have been useful in exposing some governmental shenanigans. But at the end of the day, I don't want an unelected foreigner deciding what's good for our republic. I won't shed any tears if they put him under the jail.

Matthew M said...

Now that he has been arrested let's see if he follows through on his threat.
I have mixed feelings on this issue.
As a believer in free speech and press and the people's right to know, there is a downside. freedom should be tempered with moral and ethical discipline. For instances, as has been pointed out elsewhere, are lives being put at risk? Not only American but others, not just diplomats and politicians but ordinary people not forgetting the military operations put in danger.
Does it give aid and comfort to our enemies like terrorists and terrorist states? Again putting lives in danger.
There is one more possible downside that has not been mentioned to my knowledge. Let's say all this information is released, seized upon by our enemies who use it to make simultaneous attacks all over the world causing chaos as well as destruction. What better excuse is needed for governments to take control of all internet access? What better excuse to invoke martial law on every free country including our own? Can't happen here you say? After 9-11 never say never again.
We may be seeing the beginning of the end of life as we have known it in the west.
Perhaps this is what "THEY" are waiting on.