On July 29, 2010, the then Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, ordered the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Ronald L. Burgess, to stand up an Information Review Task Force, to lead a comprehensive review of the documents allegedly given to WikiLeaks in concert with interagency participants.
While speculating about the fate of Julian Assange -- in the face of U.S. wrath over the massive WikiLeaks disclosures of politically-sensitive diplomatic materials -- most media reports have focused on the likelihood of Assange's extradition to the U.S. to face criminal charges. Less discussed, however, is the possibility of irregular rendition, which could pose a far greater threat to Assange's life and safety. Unfortunately for Assange, the key to his fate lies in the hands of his political foil U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Washington Post’s coverage of US State Embassy cables that suggest the US has been secretly backing Syrian opposition groups snowballed into a big story today. With the regime gunning down more protesters, senior Obama Administration officials took the opportunity to rehash the talking point that the disclosure of information obtained by WikiLeaks could endanger lives.
Whether the US is working to undermine the Syrian government or not became a key topic for Acting Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark C. Toner, who currently fills this position because PJ Crowley was forced out of the position after being too forthright about his position on alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning.
*Scroll to about the 5:40 mark to watch the exchange on Syria.
Fox News’ James Rosen bluntly asks, “Is the United States Government, through any programs or means, trying to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria?” Rather than answer the question, Toner immediately reacted, “Well, the premise of your question is whether we are engaged in…” Rosen cut him off saying, “There was no premise,” and “it was a flat-out question.”