On Fox News Sunday, conservative commentator Liz Cheney said
“I would really like to see President Obama move to ask the government of Iceland to shut that Web site down,” Cheney said. “I’d like to see him move to shut it down ourselves if Iceland won’t do it.” Wikileaks.org is hosted on a server in Sweden.
Hayden was asked about Wikileaks and the possible repercussions that will come from the secret-spilling site publishing 77,000 intelligence documents on the Afghanistan war.
“This is an interesting aspect of a cyberwar [that] would not exist in physical space. So how now do we deal with this? Can we sustain espionage? Will it be possible for America to spy if this cultural trend is not modified or muted . . . ?” he said. “We have less control of our secrets than some other states.”
Well, the Obama administration has a moral responsibility to stop him from wreaking even more damage.
Assange is a non-U.S. citizen operating outside the territory of the United States. This means the government has a wide range of options for dealing with him. It can employ not only law enforcement but also intelligence and military assets to bring Assange to justice and put his criminal syndicate out of business.
The first step is for the Justice Department to indict Assange. Such an indictment could be sealed to prevent him from knowing that the United States is seeking his arrest. The United States should then work with its international law enforcement partners to apprehend and extradite him.
This memorandum declares that “the FBI may use its statutory authority to investigate and arrest individuals for violating United States law, even if the FBI’s actions contravene customary international law” and that an “arrest that is inconsistent with international or foreign law does not violate the Fourth Amendment.” In other words, we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.
This should be done, ideally, through international law enforcement cooperation. But if such cooperation is not forthcoming, the United States can and should act alone. Assange recently boasted that he has created “an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking.” I am sure this elicited guffaws at the National Security Agency. The United States has the capability and the authority to monitor his communications and disrupt his operations.