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‘Vital to US security’ leaked

6 December 2010 01:33 pm - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as ‘vital’ to its national security has been released by Wikileaks.

In February 2009 the State Department asked all US missions abroad to list all installations whose loss could critically affect US national security.

The list includes pipelines, communication and transport hubs.

There are obvious pieces of strategic infrastructure like communications hubs, gas pipelines and so on. However, other facilities on the list include:

Cobalt mine in Congo
Anti-snake venom factory in Australia
Insulin plant in Denmark
In Britain, the list ranges from Cornwall to Scotland, including key satellite communications sites and the places where trans-Atlantic cables make landfall.

A number of BAE Systems plants involved in joint weapons programmes with the Americans are listed, along with a marine engineering firm in Edinburgh which is said to be "critical" for nuclear powered submarines.

The geographical range of the document on installations is extraordinary, our correspondent says.

If the US sees itself as waging a "global war on terror" then this represents a global directory of the key installations and facilities - many of them medical or industrial - that are seen as being of vital importance to Washington.

Some locations are given unique billing. The Nadym gas pipeline junction in western Siberia, for example, is described as "the most critical gas facility in the world".

It is a crucial transit point for Russian gas heading for western Europe.

In some cases, specific pharmaceutical plants or those making blood products are highlighted for their crucial importance to the global supply chain.

The critical question is whether this really is a listing of potential targets that might be of use to a terrorist, our correspondent says.

The cable contains a simple listing. In many cases towns are noted as the location but not actual street addresses, although this is unlikely to stop anyone with access to the internet from locating them.

There are also no details of security measures at any of the listed sites.

What the list might do is to prompt potential attackers to look at a broader range of targets, especially given that the US authorities classify them as being so important.

It is not perhaps a major security breach, but many governments may see it as an unhelpful development, our correspondent says.

It inevitably prompts the question as to exactly what positive benefit Wikileaks was intending in releasing this document, he adds.

Former UK Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind condemned the move.

"This is further evidence that they have been generally irresponsible, bordering on criminal," Sir Malcolm said. "This is the kind of information terrorists are interested in knowing."

But Wikileaks lawyer Mark Stevens denied that Wikileaks was putting people and facilities at risk.

"I don't think there's anything new in that," he told the BBC.

"What I think is new is the fact that it's been published by Wikileaks and of course we have the Wikileaks factor because a number of governments have been embarrassed by what's happened..."(BBC)

The link: http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/02/09STATE15113.html

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  Comments - 13

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  • Kamal Monday, 06 December 2010 09:32 PM

    agree

    billy Tuesday, 07 December 2010 03:53 AM

    this is nothing, here in sri lanka sunday leader published all lankan army camp locations in eastern province during the war!

    ind Tuesday, 07 December 2010 03:58 AM

    No use. No one talk agaist their terror. They are the number one human right violator.

    knight Rider Tuesday, 07 December 2010 04:06 AM

    Julianne could save the world from all the US hypocrisy.. the second major attack on US since 911.

    SINHALAYA Tuesday, 07 December 2010 04:13 AM

    AT LEAST FROM NOW ON MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS & DO NOT INTERFERE OTHER NATION'S PROBLEMS....

    TMA Tuesday, 07 December 2010 04:24 AM

    Hey! wheres' Sri Lanka? U mean our patriots roared 4 nothin :(

    guru Tuesday, 07 December 2010 05:11 AM

    This might help the terrorist? You mean US I guess!
    US is always making terrorists doent matter what.
    Then they cry out loud and destroy everything in the name of security for their own long term benifits. Who made Osama or Taleban? Didnt they helped LTTE openly one time?

    guru Tuesday, 07 December 2010 05:12 AM

    I think wiki leak secretly helped by US and Aussie.

    Sun Monday, 06 December 2010 01:43 PM

    Wow.......there you are US.......now we knw wht US upto....

    gammon Monday, 06 December 2010 02:46 PM

    I cant see anything wrong init but useful info to tighten the security in those critical installations. Dont try to see everything "wapara ehen"

    Fair N Square Monday, 06 December 2010 05:15 PM

    sadly no mention of the Petrol wells in Iraq, from where US gets " GAS" as they call it for next to nothing prices given by the puppet govt of Iraq @ the expense of the Suffering masses whose national wealth is plundered.

    weha Monday, 06 December 2010 05:19 PM

    i think wiki leaks is going too far this time. this might help the terrorists.revealing corruption is one thing but compromising a nations security is another thing.

    max Monday, 06 December 2010 05:31 PM

    US is the most dangerous terror in the world..!!


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