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Monday
Nov292010

WikiLeaker Seeks to Expose 'Lying, Corrupt and Murderous Leadership'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The chief WikiLeaker whom the U.S. promised Monday to prosecute said his Internet site was just beginning to unload its diplomatic secrets and said the documents will skewer "lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil."

Julian Assange, the Australian who heads the secret-sharing website, told ABC News Monday he believes his safety and freedom are in danger. He responded to questions by e-mail from a clandestine hideout.

He was undaunted by vows from the U.S. and Australia to prosecute him and said the forthcoming diplomatic cables are aimed at "lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil."

"We're only one thousandth of the way in and look at what has so far being revealed. There will be many more," he wrote defiantly.

Assange also dismissed a warning Monday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said the dump of secret documents "puts people's lives in danger," particularly those sources who provided the U.S. with information about abuses in foreign countries.

The Obama administration's top diplomat and lawyer put WikiLeaks and Assange on alert Monday, promising to prosecute any individual, regardless of nationality, who broke U.S. law by making public hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables.

"[To] the extent that we can find anybody involved of breaking American law who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described...they will be held responsible. They will be held accountable," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference.

"Some mistakenly applaud those responsible," Clinton said. "There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people...nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations."

Though dedicated to bringing to light secret government documents, WikiLeaks operates in the shadows, running a sophisticated website, manned by an international team from a bunker in Iceland.

The current raft of documents, some 250,000 diplomatic cables that span decades and include various -- and sometimes embarrassing -- details about the way U.S. envoys see their foreign counterparts, is the latest document dump WikiLeaks received last year from Army Private Bradley Manning, currently awaiting court-martial.

Holder's declaration that he would seek to hold WikiLeaks responsible was met with praise from across the aisle.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he supported the efforts Holder was taking and said Assange's "purposeful intent to damage not only our national interests in fighting the war on terror, but also undermines the very safety of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Both Holder and King agreed that WikiLeaks should not treated as a media outlet, but a criminal entity intimately involved in the effort to steal secret documents and make them public.

King also called on Clinton to declare WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization.

Over the course of the year, WikiLeaks has released secret military documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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