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George W. Bush Cancels Denver Appearance Because Assange Might Speak

Saying that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange "has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States," an aide to former President George W. Bush just announced that Bush is canceling a appearance in Denver scheduled for Saturday because Assange has also been invited to address the gathering.

Here's the statement issued by Bush spokesman David Sherzer:

"Six months ago, President Bush accepted an invitation to speak to the YPO Global Leadership Summit in Denver on February 26, 2011. This week, upon learning that Julian Assange had recently been invited to address the same summit, President Bush decided to cancel his appearance. The former president has no desire to share a forum with a man who has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States."

Assange, who is in the United Kingdom, presumably would address the summit from there. He's currently fighting extradition to Sweden for questioning in a rape case and even if he could travel to the U.S. might be pursued for questioning about the thousands of State Department diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has obtained.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.