State Dept. spokesman heavily uses Twitter to battle WikiLeaks fallout

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has been heavily employing Twitter to hit back at the latest WikiLeaks document dump that began nearly two weeks ago.

The most high-profile leaks have involved thousands of State Department cables that included diplomatic conversations and sometimes embarrassing observations about world leaders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was called an "alpha dog" and likened to Batman in one cable (with President Dmitry Medvedev being Robin) and whose country was likened to a "mafia state" that was sliding backwards on human rights and democratic institutions, has been especially critical over the information revealed in the leaks, and has been championing WikiLeaks.


"If there is democracy, it must be a full one. Why did they jail Mr. Assange? Is that democracy?" Putin said at a news conference Thursday. "You know what our villagers say: while someone's cow is mooing, yours better be silent."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on sex crimes charges.

"So I would like to shoot the puck back at our American colleagues," said Putin. "Do you yourself think that the U.S. diplomatic service is a crystal clear source of information?"

Crowley's tweets over the past week have been defending the diplomatic corps while taking shots at WikiLeaks and its supporters.

On Monday, the day before Assange's arrest, Crowley tweeted:

Julian #Assange comes clean as opportunist, threatens to put others at risk to save his own hide.

On Tuesday:

Contrary to what some are saying, @ does not have a formal policy on students tweeting or posting links about #WikiLeaks.

On Wednesday, Crowley tweeted a trio:

Some mistakenly applaud those responsible for leaking @ cables, but there is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people.

The U.S. government did not write to PayPal requesting any action regarding #WikiLeaks. Not true.

Conspiracy theorists are at it again. The U.S. is not pulling strings in the Assange case. This is between the UK and Sweden.

And on Thursday, he was again defending his department:

While Julian Assange places journalists in authoritarian societies at risk through the release of cables, we are protecting them.

No country believes in press freedom more than the United States. We practice what we preach.

The U.S. will be hosting World Press Freedom Day in Washington this May, the State Department announced this week.