Julian Assange, as the founder of WikiLeaks, certainly shows a lot of bravado in the face of nations that have the potential to go after him for high crimes. Espionage is not a charge to be taken lightly. Terrorism either. But it has mattered not to Assange, a computer hacker whose greater interests have been in publishing sensitive, confidential, secret, and often embarrassing and sordid information.
It was not enough that WikiLeaks released very sensitive information twice before. The kind of information that can elicit reprisals like prison or death for people whose identity is revealed by said documents, not to mention compromising personal and national security and diplomacy of multiple people and nations.
What is worse is that the president of the greatest nation on this earth, stood back idly. First, 75,000 documents. Second, 390,000 documents. Third, more than 250,000 documents.
So then, the obvious surfaces. Why the complacency? Even the liberal Washington Post is now clamoring for responsible action.
The Obama administration has the ability to bring Assange to justice and to put WikiLeaks out of business. The new U.S. Cyber Command could shut down WilkiLeaks’ servers and prevent them from releasing more classified information on President Obama’s orders. But, as The Post reported this month, the Obama administration has been paralyzed by infighting over how, and when, it might use these new offensive capabilities in cyberspace. One objection: “The State Department is concerned about diplomatic backlash” from any offensive actions in cyberspace, The Post reported. Well, now the State Department can deal with the “diplomatic backlash” that comes from standing by helplessly, while WikiLeaks releases hundreds of thousands of its most sensitive diplomatic cables.
Because of its failure to act, responsibility for the damage done by these most recent disclosures now rests with the Obama administration. Perhaps this latest release crosses a line that will finally spur the administration to action. After all, the previous disclosures harmed only our war efforts. But this latest disclosure is a blow to a cause Democrats really care about – our diplomatic efforts. Maybe now, finally, the gloves will come off. Or is posting mournful tweets about the damage done to our national security the best this administration can do?
Inaction is tacit acceptance of the destructive and criminal activities of WikiLeaks. A lack of leadership is cleary on display from the White House.