Washington DC

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in countries such as China, Iran and North Korea could face harassment, imprisonment or death following the latest release from the Wikileaks US diplomatic cables trove, reports Dylan Welch, The Sydney Morning Herald’s national security correspondent (3/9).

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At the time of the first publication by WikiLeaks of secret US government information, which included  details of  Afghan informers, the point was made here that the difficulty for the US government in dealing with this could only be understood in its American constitutional context: “The Constitution and national security, 5 August 2010.

The US government has been rendered impotent by constitutional developments in the US, and its unwillingness to test these.

 

“It demonstrates yet again,” we pointed out “ the advantages of the constitutional system we have inherited. We would be foolish to change it because of some irrational hatred of our oldest constitutional institution by what is a small but noisy minority.

“Not only is the publication of this purloined information obviously a potential death sentence for those named and possibly those close to them.  It means that further cooperation by just about anybody with allied intelligence in this and any future conflict will obviously be highly unlikely’” we added.

“This cutting off of a signal source of intelligence will not only seriously endanger allied and Australian service men and women, it could contribute significantly to the defeat of our forces in this and future conflicts.”

…all State Department cables released.. 

(Continued below)

The news that  WikiLeaks has now released its full archive of more than 250,000 U.S. State Department cables — many of them uncensored.  Former supporters of Wikileaks are astounded.According to the Voice of America (2/9) the State Department  says  the release could jeopardize the lives of sensitive sources, including opposition figures.

WikiLeaks staff members could not be reached Friday for comment. This led to former allies Wikileaks and The Guardian blaming one another.   

According to the Voice of America, WikiLeaks said this week that it had decided to release the cables because a journalist for the Guardian newspaper revealed the password to unlock the entire unredacted archive in a recent book. But a Guardian spokesman denied any wrongdoing by the paper. And Reuters (3/9) reports that Julian Assange late last year( 2010)  told associates his website's entire cache of U.S. diplomatic cables "must somehow" be released.

The point is the material should not have been released.  Once the  US government realised the documents had been stolen, it should have acted.

We asserted here last year that the Obama administration is paralysed by the extremely liberal interpretation of the Pentagon Papers case. The Western alliance is endangered by this paralysis. We believe these assertions remain true.