Washington — Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that he has authorized “significant” actions related to the criminal investigation of WikiLeaks as the website faces increasing pressure worldwide for publishing sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables.
“National security of the United States has been put at risk,” Holder said. “The lives of people who work for the American people have been put at risk. The American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that I believe are arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way. We are doing everything that we can.”
Holder, speaking at a news conference on financial fraud, declined to answer questions about the possibility of the U.S. government shutting WikiLeaks down, saying he does not want to talk about capabilities and techniques at the government’s disposal.
His comments came as a Swiss bank announced that it had closed the account of Julian Assange, the website’s founder.
“The decision comes after it was revealed that Assange provided false information regarding his place of residence when opening the account,” Swiss PostFinance said in a news release.