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. evoys see their foreign counterparts is the latest document dump Wikileaks received last year from Army Private Bradley Manning, currently awaiting court marshall.
Assange, in a statement today, suggested there were other leakers aside from Manning who turned over documents.
Assange said there were people who entrusted us with the documents," and went on to described them as "good and courageous people inside government who believe in transparency and more ethical foreign policy."
Holder's declaration that he would seek to hold Wikileaks responsible was met with praise from across the aisle.
Rep. Peter King, R- NY, 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.
The latest batch of documents span a variety of communications ranging from flippant remarks about foreign leaders to deadly serious security concerns.
Many of the sensitive cables deal with the imminent threat from Iran, revealing that the U.S. now believes Iran has missiles, obtained from North Korea, capable of striking Western Europe. Fearing mounting danger, Arab leaders are seen pleading with the U.S. to do something.
Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. to intervene against an ascendant nuclear Iran, but is unwilling to confront a fellow Muslim country or sacrifice its own citizens, suggested Defense Secretrary Robert Gates at a meeting with French envoys, according a secret diplomatic cable recently made public.
During a conversation with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in 2008 about encouraging China to sign a resolution condemning Iran, Gates said the Saudis "always want to 'fight the Iranians to the last American,' but that now it is time for them to get into the game," according the cable.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah repeatedly urges the U.S. to "cut the head off the snake." The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates says "Ahmadinejad is Hitler" and told one U.S. top State Department official that "the threat from al Qaeda would be minor if Iran has nukes."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that the leak would not affect his country's policy to any other countries, The Associated Press reported.
The cables also reveal the delicacy of negotiations with Iran over the release of the three American hostages taken prisoner last year. One of the hostages, Sarah Shroud was released this summer.
The cables depict a grim prospect, in which the U.S. government is warned by French diplomats its damned either way -- if they too vocally call for the hikers' release, or if they quietly try to negotiate behind the scenes.
The French warn "the Iranians have in the past tried to 'blackmail' them," trading release of a French national for an Iranian national.