Echoing verbatim comments earlier this month from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY), Vice President Joe Biden today condemned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a “high tech terrorist” during an appearance on Meet the Press.
During the appearance Biden also insisted that Assange had “put lives in jeopardy” and had damaged alliances the world over. This was in stark contrast to Biden’s much less publicized comments from just days ago, in which he claimed the releases had done no damage but caused some embarrassment.
Biden also reiterated comments by other officials that the Justice Department is “looking into” taking some action against WikiLeaks, but declined to offer any details of what this might be. Though Biden scoffed at the notion WikiLeaks were journalists, there seems to be no small difficulty in moving against the group under US law, where freedom of the press is, at least ideally, guaranteed.
This has left the US struggling, despite apparent popular support for doing so, to come up with some remotely legal basis for censoring the group. Indeed, Congressional hearings originally aimed at inventing some new law allowing for Assange’s imprisonment seem to be falling apart in the face of a preponderance of warnings from experts that such a law would inevitably be unconstitutional.