Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's legal, financial options narrowing

The U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks offer unvarnished insights into the personal proclivities of world leaders.

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Washington Post Staff
Monday, December 6, 2010; 4:36 PM

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have begun to feel the backlash from releasing sensitive American diplomatic cables. An arrest warrant for Assange arrived at Scotland Yard today, as AP reported:

The lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was negotiating with British police on Monday to discuss the arrest warrant Sweden has issued for the man who unleashed a tidal wave of secret documents on the Internet.

Lawyer Mark Stephens told reporters in London that the Metropolitan Police had called him to say they had received the warrant from Sweden for Assange, who has been staying at an undisclosed location in Britain.

The prospects for the Wikileaks site also narrowed as PayPal cut off its account, restricting its flow of donations. Federal workers and prospective Foreign Service hires were also advised not to read or share leaked data:

Obama administration officials reminded rank-and-file federal workers and contractors late Friday to steer clear of WikiLeaks, the controversial document-sharing Web site.

"Classified information, whether or not already posted on public Web sites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. government authority," officials warned.

Yet still documents are being released detailing private aspects of American diplomacy around the world, including shining the light on the struggles of American diplomats in Pakistan:

At a January 2008 meeting with the U.S. ambassador, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called himself pro-American and praised the U.S. government's move to "arrange" the naming of the new Pakistani army chief.

The candid conversation, unveiled in leaked cables published by WikiLeaks, has been splashed across Pakistani newspapers. Even in a nation of avid gossipers, evidence that Pakistani politicians held such revealing discussions with U.S. diplomats has been met with shock - and held up as proof of American meddling and control.

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