The Congressional Research Service in the U.S. says that the publication by Wikileaks of the Afghan War Diaries is not “criminal.” It was not unlawful to publish the information, according to the report (which can be downloaded from here). The CRS report concludes: “although unlawful acquisition of information might be subject to criminal prosecution, the publication of that information remains protected.”
In Australia, Attorney General Robert McClelland (who is apparently unaware that Julian Assange is in the UK and not Sweden) said that Australia may pressure Sweden to prosecute Julian Assange or others linked to his whistleblower website WikiLeaks if planned releases of military documents outlining the Iraq and Afghanistan wars pose a risk to serving forces. Interestingly, the Attorney General would not comment on whether Australia had already assisted “other countries” in “pursuing” Wikileaks. It would also be interesting to see the authorities try to prove that troops were endangered, and if troop safety is the high water mark for public debate, why Australia chose to endanger its troops by sending them to Afghanistan, a country that never attacked nor threatened Australia, an act which is itself a violation of international law. The Attorney General, acting as war propagandist, claimed that Australian and other troops are “placing their personal safety at risk in the interests of defending their nations [and] promoting international security,” without explaining how the Afghan mission has anything at all to do with either goal.
An independent journalist has dedicated himself to questioning, and then exposing the apparent fabrication by Jeanne Whalen of the Wall Street Journal of a supposed letter sent to Wikileaks by five human rights organizations—a letter which Wikileaks itself affirmed it never received. It appears that a few of the signatories are neither human rights organizations, nor represented by persons entitled to speak for such organizations. The WSJ refuses to provide a copy of the original letter. For more see these two articles: first, “Why is Jeanne Whalen Stonewalling Me on Her WikiLeaks Story?,” then the latest, “More Errors Found in WSJ WikiLeaks Article.”
Also interesting and informative is coverage of Julian Assange’s London press conference on 30 September 2010, which without a live feed was tweeted by the audience and tracked and then analyzed on GeorgieBC’s blog: “The City University Debate ‘Too Much Information?’”
- Australia could charge WikiLeaks over US document release (theage.com.au)
- UK defence chiefs silent on Afghan civilian deaths revealed by WikiLeaks (guardian.co.uk)
- WikiLeaks chief lashes out at media during debate (foxnews.com)