From just the small treasure of American embassy memos recently published by WikiLeaks, the anticipated revelation of over 250,000 remaining cables has generated some noteworthy leaks relevant to the Metroplex area. As expected, many reveal the cooperative relationship between the State Department and military contractor Lockheed-Martin.
A 2007 confidential cable, 07BUCHAREST1286, from the Romanian embassy documents just to what extend military contractors act as an arm of the state. An excerpt read:
… a controversy over the Teo Peter award could enable our critics and opponents on the Romanian political scene to undermine other important initiatives which are just gathering momentum. First and foremost among them is our accelerating effort, alongside Lockheed-Martin, to persuade Romania to pursue an F-16/JSF option to replace the country’s aging MiG fleet.
The intent of the memo stressed that they continue “to build on the positive momentum in our close defense and security partnership.”
In Norway, a 2008 cable made a request for “senior-level advocacy for the F-35” manufactured in Fort Worth by Lockheed. The memo was marked confidential and apparently reached the Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense. It should be less than surprising that Lockheed was ultimately successful in its Norway bid.
Despite a previous memo approvingly noting that “senior defense and state officials played a key role in persistently lobbying,” the “Lesson Learned” memo that followed the Norwegian decision to purchase F-35s said it was important to “confirm there was no USG political pressure to buy the plane.” In the future, the memo suggested that further lesson would be insuring “the whole country team involved,” “Working with Lockheed Martin to determine which aspects of the purchase to highlight” and “Jointly develop a press strategy with Lockheed Martin and collectively determine the role the Embassy will play in this strategy,” among others things. These leaks reveal how closely the State Department bureaucrats believe their interests are aligned with and contingent on American-based multinational corporations.
Over the past two centuries, empires have manifested from the traditional colonial military armed forces to the more illusory model of politically favored corporations entrenching themselves in the bureaucracies of State Department-held client states. It is a more hidden form of empire, but the threat it poses no less endangers our liberties, which serve as incontinent (if only temporary) obstacles to the national security state.
That is why WikiLeaks and soon others like it are providing such a valuable service, exposing to the public just what the war on terror and endless occupations have engendered.Image credit: Brian Hokanson, under a Creative Commons license