US Not Ruling Out Legal Action Against WikiLeaks

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the U.S. government is not ruling out the possibility of taking legal action against online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the administration is considering several steps following the release of more than a quarter million classified State Department documents.

He says there is an ongoing criminal investigation into how the documents were made public.

Gibbs says President Barack Obama was briefed on the size and scope of the document leak by national security aides last week.

Gibbs says it would be an understatement to say the president was "not pleased" to hear that the information would be released.

The weekend release of documents reflecting, in some cases, unflattering assessments of world leaders has caused embarrassment
to the administration.

Lawyers for a former National Security Agency employee accused of mishandling classified information won't have to share the names of their expert consultants with the government.

Thomas Drake was charged after an investigation into leaks of classified information to a newspaper. His supporters claim he's being punished for blowing the whistle on inefficiencies and mismanagement at the NSA.

Prosecutors argued in a motion that Drake's attorneys had to disclose the names of their expert consultants months before trial.

They said that was a necessary step if the experts wanted access to classified information.

U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett called the request "unusual" during a hearing Monday. He then declared the motion moot after assuring prosecutors that a court official would perform the necessary background checks on defense experts.


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