Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cables and Leaks: Friends and Foes

Cables and Leaks: Friends and Foes
By Erick San Juan

So much has been written about the Wikileaks, or I should say – too much, and anything in excess is not good especially when it is creating a scenario where friends are being pushed to become enemies in the process.

The Philippines is a victim in this propaganda scheme, wherein a leak came out that “China has constructed a lighthouse on Subi Reef in the disputed areas in the South China Sea which Chinese troops are occupying but is being claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam.”

Methinks, the timing of the “leak” is suspect in laying the groundwork of intrigue between China and the Philippines, in lieu of the bilateral signing of military hardware deal. That was very substantial to our country which, unfortunately, has one of the weakest armed forces in East Asia. Our AFP is fighting a long-running insurgencies with both Communists and Islamic rebels.

It was a relief to know that the Wikileaks’ RP scenario was met by cooler heads and was actually downplayed by our military through the officials of the Department of National Defense, saying that the lighthouse had been constructed even before the Declaration of Conduct was signed in 2002. The said Declaration of Conduct prohibits any claimant country from constructing any structure in the area.

Eight years after the signing of the DoC, the implementing guidelines have yet to be finalized. China has been consistent with its position that the South China Sea is a bilateral issue among claimant countries and has tried avoiding discussion of it in ASEAN meetings. ASEAN, however, succeeded in having it discussed at the Asean-China summit in Hanoi last September. It was there that they agreed to meet in Kunming City on December 22 to 23 for the implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, a gathering which I believe will be fruitful amongst the claimants sans Uncle Sam.

Amidst the scripted “Subi reef lighthouse” courtesy of Wikileaks, the meeting of Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Gen. Ricardo David Jr., with China’s Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on December 7 and People’s Liberation Army Gen. Chen Bingde on December 8 in Beijing, was reportedly a success. Reiterating the stand of Beijing on the issue of the South China Sea disputes, Gen David said that peace and harmony shall be maintained in the region and together with the rest of the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries, the disputes will be resolve peacefully.

Tensions in the South China Seas started since the saber rattling became an open secret. When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the Asean Regional Forum a couple of months ago, that the U.S. “has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea,” where the islands are located. Clinton added that “We oppose the use of threat or force by any of the claimants,” as "America’s future is intimately tied to that of the Asia-Pacific.”

Going back to Wikileaks’ cables and leaks, according to the article of F. William Engdahl (Wikileaks - A Big, Dangerous US Government Con Job) - Most important, the 250,000 cables are not "top secret" as we might have thought. Between two and three million US Government employees are cleared to see this level of "secret" document, and some 500,000 people around the world have access to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPR net) where the cables were stored. Siprnet is not recommended for distribution of top-secret information. Only 6% or 15,000 pages of the documents have been classified as even secret, a level below top-secret. Another 40% were the lowest level, "confidential", while the rest were unclassified. In brief, it was not at all that secret.


What is emerging from all the sound and Wikileaks fury in Washington is that the entire scandal is serving to advance a long-standing Obama and Bush agenda of policing the until-now free Internet. Already, the US Government has shut the Wikileaks server in the United States though no identifiable US law has been broken.

The process of policing the Web was well underway before the current leaks scandal. In 2009 Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller and Republican Olympia Snowe introduced the Cyber Security Act of 2009 (S.773). It would give the U.S. President unlimited power to disconnect private-sector computers from the internet. The bill "would allow the president to 'declare a cyber-security emergency' relating to 'non-governmental' computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat." We can expect that now, this controversial piece of legislation will be a top priority when a new Republican House and the Senate convene in January,2011.

The raging information war via the freedom to surf the internet will now be curtailed for the benefit of the globalists who don’t want to be exposed on their agenda to deceive the world. Let us all be on the lookout for such deception and careful not to be carried away with the hype created for the convenience of the few.

Many Filipino scholars believe that the U.S. government has never recognized Philippine sovereignty over the Kalayaan group of islands. In 1992, the U.S. even signed an oil exploration with China in the KIG. Our policy makers should read between the lines. Let's be wary of double talks so that we can protect our national interests and so as not to sacrifice our national security and sovereignty.

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