02 December 2010

Assange or Cinton - who's the law-breaker?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is looking for legal means to shut Julian Assange up. Presumably she believes the WikiLeaks founder has violated some law or other in his career of exposing troublesome secrets. The irony is that one of the secrets Assange revealed in his latest data dump is that Clinton herself is orchestrating illegal activity.

In a cable headed "Reporting and Collection Needs: The United Nations Ref: State 048489" issued in Clinton's name, U.S. diplomats are instructed to collect a mass of personal information on UN officials including credit card and frequent flier account numbers. This is sometimes called identify theft and it is illegal under both U.S. and international law.

State Department spokesmen have insisted that thousands of messages go out under the Secretary's name but she isn't necessarily familiar with their contents. That may be, but if it goes out under her name, she is responsible for it. One spokesman even hinted that it came from another department, but the man who classified the document, Michael Owens, is acting director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, an agency listed as part of the Department of State. No doubt here, the buck stops with Hillary.

So who should we be arresting? Julian Assange or Hillary Clinton?

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