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WASHINGTON – The U.S. government, apparently aided by freelance computer hackers, chased WikiLeaks from an American commercial computer network and temporarily stopped the leak of embarrassing diplomatic documents. But within hours, the website was back online, publishing from a fortified bunker in Sweden.
The virtual chase Wednesday was mirrored by a real-life pursuit as European authorities hunted for the site's fugitive founder, Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden on rape charges.
Undeterred, Assange continued releasing confidential government documents. Some showed how the Obama administration and Congress helped persuade Spain not to pursue charges against members of George W. Bush's administration for allowing torture of terrorism suspects.
Amazon.com Inc. prevented WikiLeaks from using the U.S. company's computers to distribute State Department communications and other documents, WikiLeaks said Wednesday. The WikiLeaks site was inaccessible for several hours before it returned to servers owned by its previous Swedish host, Bahnhof, which are housed in a protective Cold-War era bunker. Tech blogs have compared it to a lair from a James Bond movie.