When we first heard of the latest Wikileaks "cablegate" fiasco, we speculated that Hillary Clinton may be forced to resign for what is rapidly becoming the biggest crisis for US foreign policy since the Bay of Pigs. Today, in an interview with Spanish El Pais, Julian Assange goes one better and says that if it is proven that he approved the spying on UN officials, then Obama should resign. As a reminder as per one of the released cables, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
asked for UN personnel's telephones, emails, credit card details and
frequent flier numbers. Let's recall that Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment under somewhat comparable circumstances. The only difference is that back then Woodward and Berstein were not on the receiving end of what is becoming an endless barrage of death threats for doing their journalistic duty. This time around, the "deep throat" is the target of an international witch hunt, where however is moot: the early attempt by the like of Joe Lieberman to censor the internet is doomed from the beginning. However, it does show that in the past 40 years little has changed at the top echelons of power when the sordid truth of "Standard Operating Procedures" are revealed. And, unfortunately, things have only gotten worse. Also, keep in mind that Wikileaks has so far released only a small fraction of the 250,000 cables that will ultimately be declassified by Wiki. One wonders just how long the world can maintain the damage control before foreign relations between both friends and enemies are terminally frayed.
More from AFP:
"The whole chain of command who was aware of this order, and approved it, must resign if the US is to be seen to be a credible nation that obeys the rule of law. The order is so serious it may well have been put to the president for approval," Julian Assange told Spanish daily El Pais.
"Obama must answer what he knew about this illegal order and when. If he refuses to answer or there is evidence he approved of these actions, he must resign," he added during an Internet chat interview published online.
WikiLeaks threw US diplomacy into chaos when it started releasing more than 250,000 classified State Department cables on November 28, creating an international firestorm as American diplomats' private assessments of foreign leaders and politics have been publicly aired.
According to one of the documents, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked for UN personnel's telephones, emails, credit card details and frequent flier numbers.
The United States and other governments said the release of the documents broke their laws.
Assange gave the interview to El Pais on Saturday from an undisclosed location. The 39-year-old Australian is believed to be in Britain, and a report said he could be arrested this week.
To be sure, life for Wikileaks over the weekend has gotten progressively more difficult: first Paypal rolled over, and agreed to stop all Wikileaks transactions, and now even the site's last bastion: it's Swiss hosted site wikileaks.ch, is intermittently off and on.
He said WikiLeaks had "dozens" of people who were helping the organisation deal with the cyber-attack and set up the mirror websites "but it takes a lot of time for us to manage the process".
"We are automating that process and will soon have hundreds. If there is a battle between the US military and the preservation of History, we have insured History will win."
Assange said he and others who work for WikiLeaks had received "hundreds" of "specific" death threats from "US military militants".
Oddly enough, despite broad speculation that the British authorities are well aware of where Assange is located, his arrest has so far been elusive, making many wonder just what is contained in the 1.4 gigabyte file floating in torrentspace, which is considered to be Assange's prison insurance...