December 15, 2010
What WikiLeaks Cables Really RevealBy Vasko Kohlmayer
There has been much complaining from the politicians about how the WikiLeaks disclosures have imperiled our national security. The most frequently pointed to document by those who make this claim is a State Department cable titled "Critical Foreign Dependencies."
The document was put together at the behest of Secretary of State Clinton, who asked U.S. embassies around the world to list objects and installation "which, if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the United States."
Clinton's petition yielded a long list of varied facilities around the globe. They include gas pipelines; port terminals; vaccine suppliers, factories and plants; industrial complexes; shipping lines; undersea cable landings; and such.
It is obvious that many embassies disposed of Mrs. Clinton's request by simply listing various assets within their country of operation with little thought of how they relate to America's national security.
Some of the more curious items found in the cable are a cobalt mine in Congo, a bauxite mine in Guinea, an anti-snake venom factory in Australia, an insulin plant in Denmark, and a foot-and-mouth-disease vaccine plant in Argentina. For the record, there has been no outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the United States since 1929. Even then, only animals were affected.
In a recent article, the Christian Science Monitor quoted John Daly, a non-resident fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University:
The same article also quotes Terry O'Sullivan, a researcher at the University of Akron and an analyst of global critical infrastructure for the Department of Homeland Security, who stated that "I'd say this publication of a raw list, at least, is not any grand threat to the security of the nations involved or the United States."
Notable also is the fact that there are no secret installations listed in the cable. As has been pointed out, the list could easily have been compiled by anyone who has an internet connection and who knows how to conduct a Google search.
Despite this, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley declared that the release "amounts to giving a targeting list to groups like al Qaeda."
The statement's tenor rings blatantly untrue in light of what is actually in the document. In fact, most of the information it contains would appear so trite and unavailing that the conspiracy-minded would be excused for suspecting that the cable is some kind of decoy intended to mislead and confuse terrorists. In any case, a reasonably intelligent terrorist could easily come up with a compilation of assets far more crucial to our national security.
The hyperbole used by the government regarding this document is simply not warranted by the information it contains. Its purpose is to whip up hysteria and divert the attention of the American people from its own culpability in the WikiLeaks debacle.
Let us, however, go beyond the obvious, because there is a profound and important lesson to be drawn from this particular document.
The largest number of items on the list comes under the heading of "energy." It includes oil wells, gas pipes, refineries, ports, and various installation for processing oil and natural gas. It also happens to be the case that most of these energy assets are located in countries controlled by bad regimes.
One such country is Saudi Arabia, which the State Department Cable consider the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism. The cable lists several crucial energy assets there.
In Russia, the document names the Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction, which it describes as "the most critical gas facility in the world." This facility, which is allegedly critical to America's energy well-being, is located in a country that State Department officials described as "a virtual mafia state."
What the information in Mrs. Clinton's cable reveals is that America is greatly dependent on odious regimes for its energy needs.
The question every citizen should ask is why this is so.
After all, the United States is a country blessed with more energy resources than any other nation on the planet. We have considerable reserves of crude oil. We have massive reserves of coal. We also have vast reserves of shale gas and oil. We have extensive uranium deposits.
Last year, Human Events examined an energy report issued by the Congressional Research Service. Its conclusion: "The United States has largest energy reserves on Earth."
The data clearly show that the United States could be and should be completely energy-independent. So why are we not? Why is the world's energy-richest country the world's largest importer of energy? How have we arrived at this absurd state of affairs?
The answer is simple: Because of the insane policies of our own government.
It is our government that does not allow us to drill for and process our oil. It is our own government that makes it impossible to build a nuclear power plant in America. Did you know that there has been no nuclear plant built in this country in more than three decades?
It is our own government that makes it almost impossible to start a coal plant. It is our own government that makes laying a gas pipe a nearly insurmountable task. It is our government that puts obstacles in the path of those who want to utilize America's immense reserves of shale gas and oil.
And now the same government who has brought on this preposterous situation wants you to get angry with an Australian programmer who has "exposed" the non-secret that we depend on corrupt foreign regimes for our energy needs.
The anger of the American people should not be directed at some Australian guy, but at our own government for what it has done. We should ask our government officials this: Why have you made the energy-richest nation on the planet dependent on unscrupulous foreigners for energy? Explain it to us, if you can!
Do you see how we are being manipulated? The government uses the cover of national security to whip us in a frenzy over the non-revelations contained in the leaked documents to blind us to the obvious. We focus all our attention on the scapegoat while the government gets away with its misdeeds.
Sad to say, this is the government's modus operandi. Politicians ruin things and then blame others for the messes they have themselves made. They have already made a woeful mess of America's energy, of America's health care, of America's currency, of America's finance, and of virtually everything they have ever touched. When things go sour, however, they never accept responsibility, but they feverishly look for scapegoats whom they then subject to public shaming and legal lynching.
This time, they will use documents like the infamous "Critical Foreign Dependencies" cable to bring an Australian programmer up on the bogus charges of imperiling our national security by publishing non-secrets. This is a truly unfortunate situation, since it is the politicians who should be answering for the misdeeds revealed by those documents.
It is our government officials who have deeply compromised our national security by making us dependent on unsavory foreign regimes for our energy needs.