LONDON (AP) - WikiLeaks published a new set of cables Wednesday, and in adefiant message posted online the secret-spilling website promisedthat the leaks would keep on flowing despite the arrest and jailingof its founder on sex allegations.
WikiLeaks is under pressure on many fronts: its editor-in-chiefJulian Assange is in prison fighting extradition to Sweden. Nearlysimultaneous moves by credit card companies Visa and MasterCard tostop processing donations to the website have impaired its abilityto raise money, and mysterious cyberattacks have periodicallycrippled its servers.
In a message published to Twitter on Wednesday, spokesmanKristinn Hrafnsson shrugged off the pressure.
On Tuesday evening, "the latest batch of cables were released,and our media partners released their next batch of stories,"Hrafnsson said. "We will not be gagged, either by judicial actionor corporate censorship. ... Wikileaks is still online. The fullsite is duplicated in more than 500 locations. Every day, thecables are loaded more than 50 million times."
WikiLeaks has benefited from a massive groundswell of onlinesupport. Twitter is choked with messages of solidarity. The site'sFacebook page has 1 million fans. And tech-savvy supporters areorganizing boycotts and other stunts.
The latest cables cover the details of British-Libyan relationsin the run-up to the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber AbdelBaset Ali al-Megrahi, a sensitive subject that roiled relationsbetween Washington and London. Another cable describes, in detail,the eccentricities of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, while the WikiLeakswebsite also details an underground Halloween party - complete withmoonshine, top-shelf liquor and prostitutes - thrown by a wealthySaudi prince in the city of Jeddah.
"Behind the facade of Wahhabi conservatism in the streets, theunderground nightlife for Jeddah's elite youth is thriving andthrobbing," the cable notes. The party-happy royal's name has beenredacted.
Meanwhile, Assange faces a new extradition hearing next week, inwhich his lawyers say they will reapply for bail. The 39-year-oldAustralian is accused of rape, molestation and unlawful coercionstemming from separate sexual encounters in August with two womenin Sweden. Assange denies the allegations.