The latest release of Wikileaks documents – a trove of US diplomatic cables which offer, among other things, unflattering and candid assessments of world leaders – has deeply angered American officials.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wikileaks’ actions undermined US foreign policy efforts and amounted to “an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conventions and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity”.
New York Congressman Pete King has called for the US Attorney General to designate Wikileaks a terrorist organisation and to prosecute founder Julian Assange for espionage.
Much of the criticism of Wikileaks, though, revolves around the notion that releasing such information risks lives.
Identities of informants could be compromised, spies exposed, and the safety of human rights activists, journalists and dissidents jeopardised when information of their activities is made public, the argument goes.
US military officials contend that allowing enemies access to their strategic and operational documents creates a dangerous environment for American troops serving abroad.