Could Julian Assange’s latest data dump force Hillary Clinton to resign, or even spark World War III?

It’s day two of “cablegate,” and fierce debate continues to rage over WikiLeaks’ unveiling of thousands of diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies to the government. Beyond diplomatic embarrassment, what will the fallout be? Here, five possible outcomes commentators have floated:

1. Obama shuts down WikiLeaks
The White House has already made it clear it wants to take legal action against WikiLeaks. But the government could seize the WikiLeaks domain without the need for a trial, says Mike Maznick at TechDirt, simply by exercising its Homeland Security powers. That could, however, be seen as government censorship. “The backlash to such a move would be overwhelming.”

2. Julian Assange is jailed, or even executed
WikiLeaks’ idiosyncratic Australian founder is the target of most critics’ ire over “cablegate” and some warn he could soon be headed for jail — or worse. If the courts decide Assange leaked this information to deliberately cause harm to the U.S, he could be tried on espionage charges. The U.S. has demanded his passport be cancelled, and he is on Interpol’s most wanted list for allegations of rape in Sweden. Conservatives including Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin have called for him to be hunted down or executed. It’s not all bad for the Australian, though: Ecuador has offered him asylum.

Read more… 

As published in http://theweek.com


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