Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has published a set of top targets to undermine U.S. national security.  (Source: The Confluence)

Among the targets listed are relatively unsecure dams on the U.S.-Mexican border, such as the Rio Grande's Falcon Dam. It is unclear how the leak constitutes "whistleblowing" or whether Wikileaks has abandoned its guiding principals.  (Source: Yankee Phil)
Latest leak seems to have little to do with whistleblowing, more to do with damaging U.S.

Wikileaks is trending on tenuous ground in terms of credibility.  With over 95 percent of the site's documents directly pertaining to the U.S., the site seems to be clearly attacking the world's biggest military-economic power.  That has led to American corporations like Amazon and Paypal cutting off the site's services [1] [2].

Rather than back down, though, Wikileaks is blazing ahead.  It started this week by formally publishing another damaging diplomatic cable, stolen from the U.S. State Department by a disgruntled army specialist who currently awaits trial for espionage.

Wikileaks Shares Top List of Places to Target U.S.

Where as some of the site's past activity seemingly could be construed as "whistleblowing", which the site claims to be founded upon, this latest leak has little to do with U.S. wrongdoing, but clearly is dangerous to its national security.

The leaked cable reveals dozens of places on every continent, including mines, manufacturing complexes, ports and research establishments which the U.S. government consider locations "whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States."

The cable is classified secret and not meant to be shared with non-U.S. personnel.  Now it is in the hands of individuals worldwide, including terrorists who could use it as blueprint of where to attack.

Among the locations in the document are dams on the U.S. border and the Panama Canal.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley blast the release, commenting in the The Times of London, "There are strong and valid reasons information is classified, including critical infrastructure and key resources that are vital to the national and economic security of any country.  [Assange] may be directing his efforts at the United States but he is placing the interests of many countries and regions at risk."

Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee in Britain remarks, "[Wikileaks and Julian Assange gave] a gift to any terrorist (group) trying to work out what are the ways in which it can damage the United States."

It is unclear exactly how the recent leak fits into the site's supposed code of ethics.

But it does make a strong case that the site is targeting the U.S.  And it may be getting desperate.

Facing the loss of its primary funding Paypal account, and problems with hosting the site posted an appeal for donations and hosting in forums across the internet.  Site volunteers write:
In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, we need your help.

if you have a unix-based server which is hosting a website on the Internet and you want to give wikileaks some of your hosting resources, you can help!
No Laughing Matter

The site's attempts to grab international fame and infamy did earn it and its founder, Julian Assange a nod in the latest edition of Saturday Night Live [video].  In the skit, which earned the show season-best ratings, Bill Hader poses as Mr. Assange.  He delivers the starting monologue, stating:
Hello, America, I'm Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, and I've taken over your airwaves," announces Assange as he interrupts a speech by President Obama (Fred Armisen). "This week, my organization released thousands of classified cables, revealing embarrassing details about the international diplomatic community. The leaks did not inspire revolution as I had hoped so tonight I present a new WikiLeaks, where the leaks are even more embarrassing and the details are even more sordid. That project is "WikiLeaks: TMZ.
Mr. Assange [Hader] then launches into a segment of "top" U.S. "secrets" such as upskirt shots that show U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wearing no underwear.

But if senior U.S. and British intelligence officials are to believed, Wikileaks' publication of the list of confidential "juiciest" terrorist targets is no laughing matter and could cause big problems for the U.S. and its allies in the future, including the loss of life.

They did, however, manage to deal another blow to the site's campaign.  European news outlets are reporting that the site's Swiss bank account, one of its few remaining sources of funding was terminated, with the bank complaining that the site submitted false details when making the account.

On Monday U.S. government officials vowed action in an ongoing criminal investigation into Wikileaks behavior.  Attorney General Eric Holder comments, "National security of the United States has been put at risk.  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.  I authorized just last week a number of things to be done so that we can, hopefully, get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable as they should be."

While Mr. Assange is already evading detainment on Swedish rape charges in Iceland, the U.S. may be able to prosecute other people who have volunteered to help with the leaks.  It is rumored that some of these individuals reside in the U.S.

Wikileaks recent efforts haven't gone unappreciated by some, at least.  The Taliban, the Afghani insurgency known for its brutal murder of opponents, praised the site's release of U.S. war memos, which it says will help it hunt down and murder traitors.  While it's unclear whether the memos actually contain any info that provides such hints, the Taliban already murdered one tribal elder claiming that the leaks exposed him as a U.S. collaborator, according to Newsweek.

Update 1: Monday 12/6/2010 4:20 p.m.-
As of about 4 p.m. it appears that has been taken offline.  It's unlikely that this will be the last we hear from the site, though.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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