Assange could be prosecuted for unplanned WikiLeaks release

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Muriel Kane
Raw Story
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Since the unanticipated release this week, in complete and unredacted form, of all 251,287 U.S. State Department cables held by WikiLeaks, there has been plenty of blame to go around — and the possible repercussions have grown increasingly dire.

Most obviously in danger are the informants in places like Iran, China, and certain countries in the Arab world whose names have now been made public.

In addition, Glenn Greenwald points out that “it likely increases political pressure to impose more severe punishment on Bradley Manning if he’s found guilty of having leaked these cables.”

And finally, it is now being reported that “Julian Assange could face prosecution in Australia after publishing sensitive information about government officials amongst the 251,000 unredacted cables released this week.”

According to The Guardian, “Australia’s attorney general, Robert McClelland, confirmed in a statement on Friday that the new cable release identified at least one individual within the country’s intelligence service. He added it is a criminal offence in the country to publish any information which could lead to the identification of an intelligence officer.”

WikiLeaks, for its part, has announced that it is suing The Guardian for violating a confidentiality agreement when that paper’s David Leigh published a password to the cable database in his book, Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.

Leigh, however, denies that charge heartily, tweeting, “Deranged nonsense from Assange, attempting to deflect blame on to Guardian for his own chaotic mistakes. Sad to watch.”

Adding to the confusion, a former associate of Assange’s has now revealed in a piece for The Guardian that Assange was insistent all along that “all the cables must eventually be made public” — although presumably not in unredacted form.

Full story here.

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