The US Defense Department has formally declared WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as an enemy of America, according to documents obtained by an Australian newspaper under freedom of information laws.
This official declaration puts Assange on par with other US enemies like Al Qaeda.
Declassified Air Force counterintelligence documents declared that military personnel who make contact with WikiLeaks or “WikiLeaks supporters” are at risk of being charged with “communicating with the enemy,” reports The Sydney Morning Herald. This charge stems from an article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that carries the death penalty.
Working alongside several domestic and European news agencies, WikiLeaks has published thousands of US diplomatic cables. Some of them have been considered highly embarrassing by the US government, while others have been said to represent serious threats to national security.
Assange’s US attorney, Michael Ratner said: “It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the ‘enemy.’ An enemy is dealt with under the laws of war, which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial, etc,” in the Herald story.
The WikiLeaks founder addressed a sideline meeting of the UN General Assembly via video link from the Ecuador embassy in London today, in which he accused President Barack Obama of exploiting the rising discontent in the Middle East for personal political gain.
With who exactly?
He also called on the US to drop their pursuit of WikiLeaks. “It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, our people and our sources,”he said.
Here’s full video of Assange’s UN sideline address. What do you think of Julian Assange? Hero to the people or arrogant profiteer? Sound off!