January 26, 2008

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

OK, COUNT ME AS A LITTLE ANNOYED. If this story (and this story) in The Times of London are actually true, then America's precious nuclear secrets have been sold to Turkey -- Turkey, for God's sake -- for a mere pittance by corrupt officials. Yet our Government does nothing -- and in fact denies everything.

As a taxpaying American, this aggravates me to no end. Now look. I have no idea if this actually happened. But if it did, let me just say: I am not paying thousands of dollars each year to create, store and protect these secrets just so some lame-o bureaucrats can get money from their foreign paymasters. Thus, it would be nice if our Government would, you know, stop this and punish those responsible. Either that, or it could drop all the pretenses of having secrets in the first place.

That actually not might be a bad idea, now that I think of it. Instead of having secrets, we could invite our friends and allies -- oh, and France and China too -- to a giant auction each year. There, we would auction off our latest and greatest research to a select pool of approved buyers.

Just think of the billions of dollars we could reap from this, particularly if we got rich countries to bid against each other. Then, we could plow some of the proceeds back into research, thus coming up with even deadlier and more dangerous devices, and auction the new secrets created as a result. A few of these auctions, and we'd have all our Treasuries back from the Chinese before you could say Jack Robinson. Plus, we'd have plenty of work available for all our hard-working nuclear scientists, because they'd have to come up with counter-devices to guard against the secrets we'd sold. We could pay down our debts AND have a new cottage industry right here in America!

If we wanted to have some fun with the whole thing, we could sometimes auction off "secrets" that weren't really secrets, but were carefully designed misinformation. That would cause the buyers to waste years of effort and money on projects that had absolutely no chance of coming to fruition. If I recall rightly, we actually did that back during the Cold War, and it might not be a bad idea today. I would love to think that's what actually went on here, except that would mean our Government is brilliant and Machiavellian.

Anyway, I'm not saying, I'm just saying. It is, of course, a good idea for the Government to keep secrets when the secrets involve fissionable material. However, it doesn't do anyone -- much less hardworking, taxpaying citizens like me -- if the secrets are going out the door as fast as they come in. If this happened, maybe it might be a good idea for the Government to publicly do something about it.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 26, 2008 12:13 AM | TrackBack
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