Let’s be clear: both major sides of Australian politics are seemingly willing to let the Wikileaks head out to dry if the order comes from Washington. We’re an obedient client state, after all:
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says he has not been asked by the United States to put Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under criminal investigation.
Last month the whistleblower organisation enraged the US by releasing more than 90,000 classified documents about the war in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defence has set up a taskforce to investigate the potential impact of the leaks on Australian troops based in Uruzgan province.
Speaking at a foreign affairs debate with his Coalition counterpart Julie Bishop, Mr Smith said there had been no request from the US to consider criminal charges or restrict his travel.
“But quite clearly we’re working closely with the US on these matters,” he said.
“These are very serious matters for concern.”
Ms Bishop says if the Coalition was in government it would consider restricting Mr Assange’s travel.
“If an Australian citizen has deliberately undertaken activity that could put at risk the lives of Australian forces in Afghanistan or undermine our operations in any way, then I would expect the government of Australia to do all it could… to identify the source, to take the appropriate action,” she said.
The files released by Wikileaks detailed more than 100 incidents in which Coalition forces killed civilians.
Mr Assange defended their release saying they reflected the true nature of the war.