Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and possible Republican presidential candidate provided a harsh assessment of what he believes to be an appropriate punishment for the source of the latest WikiLeaks transmission of U.S. embassy cables, saying that "anything less than execution is too kind a penalty."
"Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason," Huckabee said, according to a report from Florida Independent. "They've put American lives at risk."
"They've put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk, and they knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents, they were entrusted and anyone who had access to that level of information was not only a person who understood what their rules were, but they also signed, under oath, a commitment that they would not violate it. They did. And I believe they have committed treason against this country, and any lives they endanger, they're personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands. And, in addition to their reckless irresponsibility, an act of criminal intent, I think the New York Times has shown an utter, reckless disregard for any responsible journalism by printing something that they know that they obtained in a way that is is not appropriate."
Responses by other potential 2012 contenders, perhaps hoping to steel their foreign policy credentials in advance of a presidential campaign, have been similarly severe in their response to the latest WikiLeaks drop, though none have gone as far as to directly call for such a violent reaction.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took to Facebook Monday and urged the Obama administration to call for a manhunt on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that would be carried out with "the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."
Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania Senator and potential presidential contender, said Tuesday that Assange was guilty of "terrorism," and should be prosecuted as such.