Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday sharply criticized WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, likening him to a “high-tech terrorist.” Biden told NBC’s Meet the Press that the Australian could be considered a criminal if he “conspired” to obtain classified documents from the government with a member of the U.S. military –- a reference to Army Private Bradley Manning, who has been accused of leaking thousands of classified government documents to Wikileaks.
“This guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world,” Biden said of Assange. The vice president added that the leaks have made it “more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends.” On Thursday, Assange was released from a London jail after posting bail following his arrest for alleged sexual assault crimes in Sweden, which is seeking his extradition.
Biden noted that world leaders often now insist on meeting with him alone, rather than having staffers in the room, because they fear additional leaks of classified information. “It makes things more cumbersome. It has done damage,” he told NBC.