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WikiLeaks Should be Declared 'Enemy Combatants', says Fox News contributor

Christian Whiton says whistleblowing website presents serious challenge to national security after leak of Iraq war logs

By Sam Jones

October 27, 2010 "
The Guardian" -- A Fox News contributor and former state department adviser has accused WikiLeaks of conducting "political warfare against the US" and called for those behind the whistleblowing website to be declared "enemy combatants" so they can be subjected to "non-judicial actions".

In an opinion piece on the Fox News site, Christian Whiton lambasts Congress and the White House for failing to tackle the leaking of hundreds of thousands of files about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and demands action.

"First and foremost, it is important to understand that this is a serious challenge to our national security," he writes. "It's not about government transparency or free speech, which is the claim WikiLeaks and its leader, a certain Julian Assange, are making. Rather, this is an act of political warfare against the United States.

"WikiLeaks is a foreign organisation that obtained these documents as a result of espionage and it means to use the information to thwart and alter US policy. Mr Assange said as much himself."

Whiton's demands follow the release by WikiLeaks last week of 391,832 reports dubbed the Iraq war logs, which revealed evidence of the systematic use of torture by the Iraqi government installed by the US.

The pundit accuses the Obama administration of falling "asleep at the wheel" and offers five courses of action:

• Indict Assange and his colleagues for espionage.

• Explore whether they can be declared enemy combatants, "paving the way for non-judicial actions against them".

• Freeze WikiLeaks' assets and impose sanctions on any financial organisation working with them.

• Allow the US cyber command to "prove its worth by ordering it to electronically assault WikiLeaks".

• Hold "meaningful" congressional hearings to discover how such a massive leak could have happened.

Whiton ends with the following plea: "How much will our information-collection capabilities have to be diminished, and how many of our friends and collaborators around the world must die, before President Obama and his friends on Capitol Hill start caring more about national security?"

Assange has also been attacked by the Times columnist Hugo Rifkind – albeit in far more moderate terms.

"I find Julian Assange … a frighteningly amoral figure," he writes today. "It's partly the concept of unredacted leaking in itself that makes a mockery of everything journalistic ethics ought to be.

"Indeed, it does worse: it takes the agonised deliberations that occur in every newsroom over what to publish, and what harm it might cause (which often get it wrong, but do at least occur) and casts them as partisan and Goebbels-ish. Assange himself embodies this. For him, every criticism is a smear, and every critic has an agenda, probably emailed over by the Pentagon. Frankly, it's insulting."

In Denial: US 'Shoots Messenger' to Save Face in WikiLeaks Scandal

By Russia Today

Washington's denying it ignored numerous cases of Iraqi torture and killing over the past six years. The allegations stem from 400,000 secret U.S. files on the war in Iraq, leaked by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. The documents detail U.S. forces handing prisoners over to Iraqi interrogators, despite overwhelming evidence of inhumane treatment.

Many detainees were said to have died violent deaths. U.S. military officials say their orders were not to intervene directly. Washington's refusing to investigate the allegations, despite an outcry from half a dozen Arab countries.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern says the American media's now trying to divert public attention from the WikiLeaks report, by slamming its founder Julian Assange...

Posted October 27, 2010




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