The chief Wikileaker who the U.S. promised today 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 Web site, told ABC News today he believes his safety and freedom are in danger. He responded to questions by email 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 today by Secretary of State HillaryClinton who said the dump of secret documents "puts peoples lives in danger," particularly those sources who provided the U.S. with information about abuses in foreign countries.
"U.S. officials have for 50 years trotted out this line when they are afraid the public is going to see how they really behave," Assange said in his email. "The facts are that we wrote to the State Department asking for a list of any specific concerns that might have. They refused to assist, and said they demanded everything, including those documents that revealed abuses, be destroyed."
The Obama administration's top diplomat and lawyer put Wikileaks and Assange on alert today, 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.
Clinton called the release of hundreds of thousands of secret cables "not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests [but] an attack on the international community: the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."
"Some mistakenly applaud those responsible," Clinton said. "There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people… nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations."
Holder said he advocates closing any gaps in current U.S. legislation that would prevent the federal government from fully prosecuting a foreign national like Assange, who published secrets of vital American national interest.
"To the extent that there are gaps in our laws, we will work to close those gaps. Which is not to say… that anybody at this point because of their citizenship or their residence is not a target for or subject of the investigation that's ongoing."
"Let me be clear," the attorney general said. "It is not saber rattling. This is an active ongoing investigation."
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.