Australian Foreign Minister Backs Assange, Blames US For Leaks
“The bottom line here is that the core of all this lies with the failure of the government of the United States to properly protect its own diplomatic communications,” Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, told Melbourne Talk Radio today.
Rudd said that the U.S. government is responsible for the leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic memos and warned against condemning Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. Rudd is correct, the person who leaked the info to Assanage should be object of investigation, not the publisher.
Assange is under fire for releasing sensitive documents from American embassies that expose sensitive cover-ups and embarrass Washington. The Justice Department is currently exploring ways in which it can charge Assange with espionage.
“To have several million people on their distribution list for a quarter of million cables — that’s where the problem lies and the person or persons responsible for their unauthorized release, who then gets engaged in the business of disseminating the content of that information, be it WikiLeaks, or anybody else, well that’s a matter to be tested by the police,” Rudd said.
Assange writes in an opinion piece published by ‘The Australian’ that there is a great need for WikiLeaks and denies that the site’s publication of classified information has ever endangered a single life.
“WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed,” Assange wrote. “But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.”
The 39-year-old Australian went on to write that Wikileaks acts as a balance of power and is needed to keep governments honest. “WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.”
In other news, the U.S. Department of State recently announced it will host World Press Day in Washington—an event aimed to celebrate freedom of expression and uncensored flow of information. We nominate Julian Assange to make the keynote address.