Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is considered an “enemy of the United States,” according to declassified Pentagon documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
That designation, which includes the Wikileaks site itself, put them on par with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The Pentagon counter-intelligence documents revealing the designation related to an investigation of a British-based U.S. Air Force systems analyst accused of expressing support the site and attending pro-Assange demonstrations in London, where the Wikileaks founder remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy resisting extradition to Sweden.
The analyst was suspected of “communicating with the enemy,” a crime under the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice which carries the death penalty. The investigation was eventually closed when the Air Force failed to find evidence of an actual leak to the site, but legal writer Glenn Greenwald points out that the Wikileaks “Enemy of the State” designation makes any unauthorized disclosures to the site by military personnel a capital offense.
The revelation came the same day that Assange addressed a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations via satellite from Ecuador’s embassy in London, urging the Obama Administration to “cease its persecution” Wikileaks and its supporters:
“It is time for the United States to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources. It is time for President Obama to do the right thing and join the forces of change — not in fine words, but in fine deeds.”
The event was hosted by Ecuador’s U.N. mission and not officially sponsored by the United Nations.