WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is threatening to go “nuclear” if he is killed or arrested, releasing a “poison pill” of secret documents even more devastating than the ones that already have sparked diplomatic chaos around the globe, according to the British tabloid The Daily Mail.
Assange’s British attorney, Mark Stephens, called the documents a “thermo-nuclear device” intended as an insurance policy to guarantee Assange’s safety.
Stephens noted that several conservative American politicians, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, have called for Assange to be executed. In addition, GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Assange a “high-tech terrorist” on "Meet the Press" Sunday.
“We've seen a number of suggestions that he should be assassinated, again from credible sources around the world,” Stephens told the Daily Mail. “This is all about a man who is a journalist. He received, unbidden, an electronic brown envelope that journalists receive.”
Those attacking Assange are “criminalizing journalistic activity,” Stephens said. And he described the revelations as “a thermo-nuclear device in the information age.”
Interpol, the international police organization, has issued a warrant for the arrest of Assange, an Australian thought to be in hiding in Britain.
The warrant stems from encounters that Assange had with two women in Sweden in August. Stephens has denounced the charges as “political theater.” Assange is subject to arrest at any time.
Assange’s “poison pill” is thought to include embarrassing revelations about the BP oil spill, aerial video of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that caused civilian casualties, sensitive information on Bank of America, and secret documents that discuss the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, according to the Daily Mail,.
Thousands of the site’s supporters have downloaded the “nuclear bomb” from the WikiLeaks website, Stephens claims.
However, the documents can be opened only with a 256-digit key or password that is thought to be virtually impossible to hack.
If anything happens to Assange or the website, Stephens says, the digital password will be distributed automatically, and the documents will be released.
Other revelations continued to bleed out Monday from the 250,000 sensitive State Department cables that have already been posted to the site. Among the latest leaks:
- A document was exposed that lists in detail a host of sites around the world that U.S. officials worry could be vulnerable to terrorist attack.
- Evidence a senior Chinese political figure directed the hacking of Google, which led to the company's leaving China.
- Iran is dismissing cables that indicate Arab countries are terrified that the Shiite Islamic nation may develop nuclear weapons. Iranian presidential adviser Esfandiar Rahim Mashai told Spiegel Online that U.S. authorities leaked the documents themselves to pit governments in the Middle East against each other.
- A leaked note from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charges that Saudi Arabia is the No. 1 bankroller of terrorist activity. In a secret memorandum, Clinton wrote that the Saudi kingdom remains “the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide" and that "it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” according to The Daily Telegraph.
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