Whatever the current Administration wants, it takes. Its history of multiple land grabs verifies this. At the same time, what it doesn’t want, it gives away. In recent years, for example, the State Department has simply given away a number of American islands to Russia. It has done it on the sly, without public debate, or congressional approval.
West of Alaska and north of Siberia lie the islands of Wrangell, Herald, Bennett, Jeanette and Henrietta. In the Bering Sea, at the westernmost tip of the Aleutian chain lie Copper Island, Sea Otter Rock, and Sea Lion Rock.
Together these islands represent more square miles of real estate than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. They’ve been in US hands for more than a century. Not only are these islands strategically significant, they also represent potential gas, oil, mineral and fishing rights.
Recently, retired US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Carl Olson, who heads an organization called State Department Watch, called up the Census Bureau and asked if it would be including these islands in the Census. The answer that came back shocked him: “Census Bureau officials were informed by the US Department of State that these islands remain under the jurisdiction of Russia.”
Needless to say, the people who live on these islands, though few will not be included in the US Census.
The island of Wrangell, largest of those ceded to Russia, has 50 – 100 inhabitants, formerly Americans. It also hosts 18 Russian soldiers and one officer to keep tabs on them the first is in the Pacific.
In effect, the Russian army has occupied an American island with US State Department approval. The island’s citizens are no longer considered to be Americans.
When the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, all of the Aleutian Islands, including Copper Island, Sea Otter Rock and Sea Lion Rock were included. In 1881, US Navy Captain Calvin L. Hooper landed on Wrangell Island, securing it for the United States. In that same year, the US Navy also established a presence on Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta. The British gave up their claim to Herald Island, allowing the Americans to take it over.
The possession of these islands was a non-issue until the 1970’s, at which time the issue of fishing zones came to the fore. In those years, fishing zones 200 miles from national shores went into effect. Russia’s coastline, and the US coastline, under this configuration, were less than 400 miles from each other. This created the need to establish a maritime boundary.
Under the Bush Administration, a US/USSR Maritime Boundary Treaty was created. It was passed by the Senate and ratified in 1991. The Soviet Union however, refused to ratify it on grounds that it didn’t sufficiently benefit that nation. In spite of this, former Secretary of State James Baker, and the USSR’s Eduard Shevardnadze signed a secret executive agreement binding both countries to the treaty.
Now, the Russian government is demanding hundreds of millions of pounds of additional fishing rights from the US that would significantly undermine the Alaskan fishing industry. This in turn would affect the state’s economy.
When queried about these matters, the State Department expressed confusion and a lack of clarity as to precisely what is the state of affairs.
While all this real estate has been quietly ceded to Russia, four American Pacific islands – Washington, Fanning, Makin and Little Makin – have been ceded to the island nation of Kiribati without the benefit of a treaty. Chances are, most of our readers have never heard of Kiribati.
Other lost islands once owned by the US are Nassau Island, Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank (the first is in the Pacific, the last two are in the Caribbean,). These islands all became American territories under the Guano Act of the late 1800’s. The census Bureau reports that “claims to these islands have not been certified” by the State Department.
While China and other dictatorships are seeking to acquire all the real estate they can, US administrations are quietly giving away its real estate, rocket and nuclear secrets, sovereignty, and who knows what else.
Tell me, am I just paranoid, or is there an ominous pattern here?