Put a Cork in Wikileaks
Most people agree that the secret information published by Wikileaks and Julian Assange is incredibly harmful to our country, and that we need to put a cork in Wilileaks as soon as possible. These leaks jeopardize the success of U.S. diplomacy, the War on Terror, and all other goals of U.S. foreign policy. Who wants to communicate with U.S. diplomats about sensitive topics knowing that the communications may cease to be confidential? How can the international intelligence community share information with us about possible threats? How can our own intelligence staff report their findings frankly knowing that it may be publicized at any moment? Won’t this only encourage staff to to be less open and frank about their findings? So how do we fix this, especially since Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen.
First, simply limit as much as possible the security clearances to only those with the absolute necessity to the privileged information. Pfc. Bradley Manning, the army Private accused as the source of leak, has bragged about the ease of downloading this information. Drag him in, find out how he did it, and make sure we close that door and any others that may be discovered during his interrogation. Also, find out how he was contacted/recruited to do this, so we might find others who may be working with Assange. There is no excuse for the ease of such a leak. By doing this, and limiting the amount of people with access, this will dramatically diminish the risk of another leak.
Also, prosecute Wikileaks sources to the absolute fullest extent of the law. Sources should be made into examples to deter future sources from considering a similar stunt. When other people see the prosecution of fellow leakers, they should be afraid to pass along information of their own. There is a host of federal laws in which we can prosecute Pfc. Manning. Let’s throw the book at him.
As for Assange himself, we need to do everything in our power to legally make his life difficult. Not knowing the international law restrictions, it may be difficult to do much as he resides in Sweden. But we can certainly work with the Swedish government to to some degree. For instance, Assange has been accused of rape. Let’s work to get him convicted. It may not come with the punishment that it should for his theft of classified material, but he would at least be in prison for a time until we can get our act together and not have to worry about future leaks.
The overall theme here is to make an example out of the people who do this. We need to create as much of a deterrent as possible to to keep other Wikileaks copycats from doing similar things, and to deter sources from leaking information to Wikileaks and similar future sites.