I still thought it wrong to regurgitate this data, as it will lead to more secrecy, bilateral problems and potentially even conflicts – the things that Julian Assange claims he is seeking to avoid. Yet I told NPR that the idea of prosecuting the Wikileaks founder for treason was far-fetched; he is not a US citizen and it was not clear to me what kind of charges could be brought against him in the US courts.
Now, however, with the publication of data which will be useful background reading for any would-be terrorist, the situation has changed. Wikileaks is now no longer just a nuisance or a purveyor of embarrassing diplomatic information; they may potentially be aiding and abetting terrorists and foreign powers wishing in future to strike at vulnerable targets in the West.
What does that mean in reality? If attacks do take place, and can in any way be linked to the data that Wikileaks has made public, Mr Assange and his colleagues should regarded as accomplices. For the time being, it means I sincerely hope US authorities find ways to charge the Wikileaks chief at least with theft and handling stolen items. I'd also hope his native Australian government would examine bringing charges against him for endangering the Australia's security and that of a key allies such as the United States.
The charge against Mr Assange in Sweden is a separate and different matter. In this, he is innocent until proven guilty and the two issues – that is, his role in running Wikileaks and his personal conduct – should not be conflated, as much as Wikileaks want to claim a Millennium Trilogy-type conspiracy is being organised.