Around the same time as Julian Assange was criticizing the U.S. to a selection of leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, the Sydney Morning-Herald released a new report revealing the U.S. government considers Assange and Wikileaks to be 'the enemy."
According to previously classified Air Force documents about an analyst with top-secret clearance they believed might be helping Wikileaks because he went to pro-Assange rallies, Assange and Wikileaks are directly referenced as 'the enemy,' in the reports:
The counter-intelligence investigation focused on whether the analyst, who had a top-secret security clearance and access to the US military's Secret Internet Protocol Router network, had disclosed classified or sensitive information to WikiLeaks supporters, described as an "anti-US and/or anti-military group".
The suspected offence was "communicating with the enemy, 104-D", an article in the US Uniform Code of Military Justice that prohibits military personnel from "communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy".
As the Morning-Herald points out, the maximum penalty for 'communicating with the enemy' is fairly serious: death. Marc Ratner, Assange's attorney, didn't sound pleased with the development when he spoke with the Herald. "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," he said. "[The Morning-Herald's parent company] Fairfax has been investigating whether the Australian government has been informed that Assange, an Australian national, could face U.S. extradition," NBC News explains.
For now, Assange is still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. That didn't stop him from speaking to a sideline meeting of the General Assembly, though. Speaking from the embassy in London, Assange "attempted to draw parallels between himself and the instigators of the Arab Spring - claiming that they had all been let down by Obama," reports the AP. "It must come as a surprise to Tunisians for Barack Obama to say the U.S. supported the forces of change in Tunisia," he said. There's hope the diplomatic deadlock between Ecuador, England and Sweden may see some resolution after this week. The BBC reports foreign ministers for Ecuador and England are going to meet on Thursday to 'seek a solution' for their extended houseguest.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.