Bashing whistle—blower website WikiLeaks for releasing confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, former President George. W. Bush has said that people who leaked the documents should be prosecuted as it will be hard for the U.S. to keep the trust of foreign leaders.
Mr. Bush, during a live chat with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Leaks are very damaging and people who leak ought to be prosecuted,” the NY Daily News reported.
The 64-year-old former U.S. President who was interviewed by Mr. Zuckerberg, however, refrained from criticising his successor, President Barack Obama.
“I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president criticise his successor, so I don’t want to, and I’m not going to,” he said.
“If you believe in what you’re doing, then the criticism means nothing. The worst thing you can do as a leader is change who you are because there’s critics.”
While Mr. Bush decided to hold back on criticising Mr. Obama, political heavyweight Sarah Palin slammed the Obama Administration for not being able to stop the leak.
“Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ’America by Heart’ from being leaked, but U.S. Govt can’t stop WikiLeaks’ treasonous act?” Ms. Palin wrote on Twitter.
Ms. Palin was referring to her own battle earlier against Gawker, which posted pages of her book online before its publication date, according to the Daily News.
On Facebook, Ms. Palin wrote “Serious Questions about the Obama Administration’s Incompetence in the WikiLeaks Fiasco.”
“What steps were taken to stop WikiLeaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material?” she said. “Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”
In another development, the Western media reported that The New York Times, which was an original recipient of documents in the first two WikiLeaks leaks, was spurned by the online organization, this time around.
The Washington Post reported that NYT received the documents through U.K. based The Guardian, which has been an original recipient all three times.
Meanwhile, Mr. Assange told Forbes magazine that the next leak concerning a U.S. financial firm would be in 2011, and he compared the revelations to the Enron trial.
“It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume,” said Mr. Assange, refraining from giving away any details just yet.
“You could call it the ecosystem of corruption,” said the 39—year—old former hacker from Australia.
“But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self—interest,” he said.