US brands Assange, WikiLeaks ‘enemies of state’
Sydney: The American military has designated Julian Assange and his whistle blowing WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States.
The Australian citizen and his website has been placed in the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents revealed that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with ‘communicating with the enemy’.
As per the US laws this is a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to the paper, US vice-president Joe Biden labelled Assange a ‘high-tech terrorist’ in December 2010 and US congressional leaders have called for him to be charged with espionage.
Meanwhile, Assange remains holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault.
He was granted diplomatic asylum on the grounds that if extradited to, he would be at risk of extradition to the US to face espionage or conspiracy charges arising from the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.