A long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as vital to its national security has been released by Wikileaks.
The US State Department in February 2009 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.
I’ve no doubt the apologists who fancy themselves as raging against the machine will still try, but even they are going to struggle mounting a public interest defence for this one.
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
The US missions were asked to list all installations whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security or national security of the United States.
In Britain, for example, the list ranges from Cornwall to Scotland, including key satellite communications sites and the places where trans-Atlantic cables make landfall.
I think this sums it up nicely:
It is not perhaps a major security breach, but many governments may see it as an unhelpful development.
It inevitably prompts the question as to exactly what positive benefit Wikileaks was intending in releasing this document.
Unless of course you believe that we are that much more empowered knowing the location of that Congo cobalt mine?