WikiLeaks Unites Democrats And Republicans
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated the White House’s stance on the leaked documents, saying Monday that the “United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified documents.”
“It puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems,” she added.
Likewise, Republicans have stated similar feelings, which is good news for President Obama. The lack of contention means the political fallout may be small at home. Abroad, however, is another story.
“I think the greatest harm ... is the loss of trust that other governments will have in dealing with the United States of America,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican from Michigan who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange “is putting into danger our foreign policy and perhaps the lives of certain Americans around the world," Hoekstra said on "Good Morning America" today.
Despite the criticism coming from the United States and other World Governments, Assange defended posting the more than 250,000 documents, saying, “Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington could not tell a lie. This document release reveals the contradictions between the U.S.’s public persona, and what it says behind closed doors.”
But many in power do not buy that argument. Republican Congressman Pete King of New York, who is the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he thinks Assange should be tried for violating the Espionage Act. He also called on Secretary of State Clinton to “declare Wikileaks a foreign terrorist organization.”
Attorney General Eric Holder responded today by making it known he plans on holding Julian Assange responsible. He promised to prosecute any individual, regardless of nationality, who broke U.S. law by making the documents public.
“Let me be clear,” the attorney general said. “It is not saber rattling. This is an active ongoing investigation.”
While there is a great divide in opinions over whether leaking the documents was right, Secretary of State Clinton made her feelings on the issue known.
“Some mistakenly applaud those responsible," Clinton said. “There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people… nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations.”
Reach reporter Andria Kowalchik here.