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Australia blames U.S. for documents getting to WikiLeaks

By the CNN Wire Staff
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Australia Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in November.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Australia Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in November.
  • WikiLeaks began releasing documents on November 28
  • The group claims to have more than 250,000 documents
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is arrested in London Tuesday

(CNN) -- Australia's foreign minister put the blame for the release of tens of thousands of pages of diplomatic cables and military information through WikiLeaks squarely on the United States Wednesday.

"I have been pretty consistent about where the core responsibility lies in this entire matter and that lies with the release of an unauthorized nature of this material by U.S. personnel," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told the Reuters news agency.

"My responsibility as the foreign minister is to ensure that this individual is treated no differently to any other Australian around the world who find themselves in legal difficulties," Rudd said.

"I take that responsibility very seriously because he has, in my view, complete entitlement of presumption of innocence before the law, and our job as the Australian government is to ensure that he has full access to normal consular and legal services that we would seek to provide to any Australian in these sorts of difficulties in any country around the world."

Julian Assange's legal tangle

WikiLeaks has been under intense pressure from the United States and its allies since it began posting the first of more than 250,000 U.S. State Department documents November 28.

Since then, the site has been hit with denial-of-service attacks, been kicked off servers in the United States and France, and found itself cut off from funds in the United States and Switzerland.

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