Tales from the Trail

Republican puts crosshairs on Holder over WikiLeaks

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder  should quit if he can’t stop WikiLeaks from disclosing government documents, Darrell Issa, incoming chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee said Sunday on Fox News.issa

“He’s hurting this administration.  If you’re hurting the administration, either stop hurting the administration, or leave,” Issa said.

As chairman of the oversight panel when the new Congress convenes Wednesday, the California Republican has the authority to investigate the government for waste and fraud and will be able to issue subpoenas to obtain information he believes he needs.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has angered the United States by releasing secret diplomatic cables on his website and teaming up with newspapers around the globe to amplify the impact of the disclosures.

“If the president says ‘I can’t deal with this guy as a terrorist,’ then he has to be able to deal with him as a criminal, otherwise the world is laughing at — at this paper tiger we’ve become,” Issa said of Assange.

Washington Extra – Pirate justice

The U.S. government would surely love to get its revenge on Julian Assange, and the Justice Department says a criminal investigation has already begun. But specialists in espionage law tell us that peculiarities of American law make it virtually impossible to bring a successful case against Assange, even if he were to set foot on U.S. soil. Evidence would be needed that defendants were in contact with representatives of a foreign power and intended to provide them with secrets, evidence that has not yet surfaced. SWITZERLAND/

So although the leaked documents may make intelligence sharing harder in the future, and may make foreign governments reluctant to trust the U.S. with sensitive information, retribution could be tough.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee took aim at whoever leaked the documents, saying they should be tried for treason and “executed.”  Others might yearn for a bit of pirate justice, for both Assange and the leaker.

Backlash over WikiLeaks release of Afghan war documents

There may be more shoes to drop from WikiLeaks if it releases another 15,000 documents on the Afghanistan war that the whistleblower website is reviewing. It is already seeing some backlash after releasing 75,000-plus documents on the Internet.

The Times of London reported Wednesday that the leaked documents expose informers helping U.S. forces and have put hundreds of Afghan lives at risk.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange responded in an interview from London with NBC’s “Today” show. “We are checking to see whether this is in fact credible. It is probably unlikely. We have taken care to in fact hold back 15,000 for review that should it have this type of material in it. If there are those names in there and they are at risk, this would be because of a misclassification by the U.S. military.”