Air Force Abandons WikiLeaks Threats Against Servicemembers’ Families

Backs Off Threat to Try Average Americans as Spies for Reading Docs

The US Air Force has backed off of its puzzling threat to prosecute members of servicemembers’ families for “espionage” if they read WikiLeaks today, insisting that the “guidance” they released was actually not sanctions by headquarters and was not in keeping with official policy.

The guidance was dated Friday but only became public knowledge yesterday, and insisted that anyone who read the documents faced prosecution under the Espionage Act, warning members of the Air Force to make sure their families in particular didn’t attempt to read the cables.

Later, a spokeswoman for the Air Force sought to justify the guidance, insisting it was meant to “give guidance to military and civilian servicemembers and employees to control their young’uns,” because apparently having young people reading about foreign policy was a big problem.

But the threat, like so many before them, was illusory and immediately abandoned when people began to question it. The Obama Administration has still not reversed its ban on millions of federal employees reading the documents, and the Air Force has still banned websites which contain information related to the cables from their computers.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of