Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are on the U.S. military’s list of enemies, alongside al-Qaida and the Taliban, a recent report revealed.
Recently declassified U.S. military documents indicate that the U.S. military has designated Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the state, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The documents “record a probe by the air force’s Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London.”
According to the documents, military personnel “who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with ‘communicating with the enemy’, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death,” said the news outlet.
The revelation comes after Assange, in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday evening, said that the United States was not his or WikiLeaks’ enemy.
Assange has been engaged in a protracted struggle against various governments for publishing secret documents it obtains from a network of whistleblowers.
Called a “high-tech terrorist” by Vice President Joe Biden in 2010, Assange has repeatedly called for President Obama to stop his pursuit of WikiLeaks and its sources.
Assange and his organization landed in the U.S. government’s crosshairs after Wikileaks published secret U.S. government documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assange’s speech was delivered via video feed because he is unable to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was granted political asylum.
He also accused Obama of exploiting the Arab Spring for his re-election efforts.
“Mohamed Bouazizi did not set himself on fire so that Barack Obama could get re-elected,” said Assange. Bouazizi was a Tunisian fruit vendor whose 2011 self-immolation is credited with sparking the uprising that toppled former Tunisian dictator Ben Ali.
Amnesty International hailed WikiLeaks’ release of U.S. diplomatic cables, and the news outlets that poured over the cables, as the catalyst for the Arab Spring.
Assange is currently wanted in Sweden for questioning about sexual assault allegations, but that case could fall apart following a recent police report, which revealed that the condom used as the key piece of evidence against Assange does not contain his DNA.
His supporters view the case in Sweden as part of the United States’ war against WikiLeaks.