Australia Eyes Assange Arrest as Cables Published

Attorney General Says Intelligence Official Naming Could Lead to Prosecution

The Australian government is looking to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tonight following the publishing of the remainder of the unredacted US State Department cables, saying that at least one member of Australia’s spy agency has been named in the documents.

The release of the unredacted cables has caused a number of media outlets, including those that were once pro-WikiLeaks, to angrily condemn the group and Assange in particular, though interestingly enough the official release from WikiLeaks came days after the cables had already gone public.

Indeed, WikiLeaks had been redacting documents and releasing them at a snail’s pace before the release of a book by The Guardian’s David Leigh, who in telling the tale of opening up the cables actually published the password for the encrypted file. WikiLeaks is thus blaming the Guardian for the release.

At any rate, by the time WikiLeaks released the unredacted cables today, they were already available to the public from a myriad of sources, and journalists (and presumably intelligence agencies) around the world were already eagerly rifling through them for information. It seems hard to believe that Assange, in admitting that one cannot unring a bell and releasing the documents straight from WikiLeaks, was doing anything all that revolutionary.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.