Monday, October 24, 2011

WikiLeaks suspends release of secrets to seek cash


LONDON (AP) – WikiLeaks — the online anti-secrecy organization whose spectacular leaks of classified data shook Washington and other world capitals and exposed the inner workings of international diplomacy — may be weeks away from collapse, the group's leader warned Monday.

Although its attention-grabbing disclosures spread outrage and embarrassment across military and diplomatic circles, WikiLeaks' inability to shake the restrictions imposed by American financial companies may prove its undoing.

"If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year," founder Julian Assange told journalists at London's Frontline Club. "If we don't knock down the blockade we simply will not be able to continue."

WikiLeaks, launched as an online repository for confidential information, shot to notoriety with the April 2010 disclosure of footage of two Reuters journalists killed by a U.S. military strike in Baghdad.

The Pentagon had claimed that the journalists were likely "intermixed among the insurgents," but the helicopter footage, which captured U.S. airmen firing on prone figures and joking about "dead bastards," unsettled many across the world.


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