United States – U. S. Empire Secret Shopping List
WikiLeaks Staff, 5 December 2010, 21.00 GMT
– Visa and Mastercard beneficiaries of State Department lobbying effort
US diplomats were asked to secretly gather intelligence on the status – and vulnerabilities – of critical infrastructure and key resources in their host countries, new material from the Embassy Cables has revealed.
The cable, sent on the 18 February 2009 and released by WikiLeaks today, contains the first version of the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative “Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources” list. It contains all overseas sites considered to be of critical importance to the US government. It details a long list of often obscure facilities around the world that the US perceives to be vital inputs to its operations, with a particular focus on war-fighting.
Facilities such as the Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction in Russia are included, described as “the most critical gas facility in the world”. MacTaggart Scott in Scotland is listed as “critical to the Ship Submersible Nuclear” while Yemen’s Bab al-Mendeb is a “critical supply chain node”.
Embassy staff are asked to provide basic information on any facilities they feel should be added to the list, in addition to “any information Post has regarding conditions in country causing Post to believe the CI/KR [Critical Infrastructure / Key Resources] is an active target or especially vulnerable due to natural circumstances”. In a further blow to State department denials that its embassy officials participate in intelligence-gathering activities, the cable notes “posts are not being asked to consult with host governments with respect to this request.”
The cable containing the Qatari Embassy’s response to this request, sent on 26 March 2009, shows the detailed information and attention paid to the sites on this list. It also provides evidence of the measures the US is taking to secure such overseas facilities, including offering aid or grants, or promoting the use of US services and technology in security measures. The document, while marked “SECRET//NOFORN”, was placed on SIPRNet, a classified network accessible by an estimated 2.5 million civilian, military and private sector employees.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said:
“The latest release from the Embassy Cables reveals US embassies were asked to gather information on key infrastructure and resources without the knowledge of, or consultation with, their host governments.
“This further undermines claims made by the US government that its embassy officials do not play an intelligence gathering role.
“In terms of security issues, while this cable details the strategic importance of assets across the world, it does not give any information as to their exact locations, security measures, vulnerabilities or any similar factors – though it does reveal the US asked its diplomats to report back on these matters.
“This leaked cable was, like the rest of the Embassy Cables, available to 2.5 million people, including civilian, military and private sector personnel – a very wide distribution for information claimed to be of such high sensitivity, and relating to so many foreign governments”.
Complete Cable: http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/02/09STATE15113.html