Politicians have not shied away from expressing their outrage over WikiLeaks’ release of secret State Department cables — from the call to treat Julian Assange as an enemy combatant to the suggested execution of the leak’s source. According to a newly released Rasmussen poll, the majority of Americans also have negative feelings on the massive leak — 51% of respondents answered affirmatively when asked if the leak was an act of treason.
Twenty-eight percent said the leak wasn’t an act of treason, while 21% indicated they were not sure. In a similar vein, when asked if media outlets provide a public service or hurt national security by releasing secret government documents, an overwhelming majority (72%) suggested it hurt national security.
A majority of Republicans (62%) believe the leak was treason, while a plurality of Democrats (40% yes, 37% no) express the same sentiment.
When WikiLeaks released more than 90,000 classified military documents about the war in Afghanistan in July, Pew Research Center conducted a survey on the issue and found results that suggested a considerably less drastic public reaction compared to the latest leak — 47% of respondents indicated that the document release harms the public interest, while 42% said it serves the public interest.
The margin of error for the latest survey is ±3.0 percentage points.