...by the global policeman. Courtesy of Wikileaks:
¶11. (S/NF) SBA also establishes a procedure by which theUSG can request from the GOP the right to board Panamanian-flagged ships (one-third of all the ships in the world are flagged in Panama) in international waters. If drugs are found on-board, the GOP can cede jurisdiction of the ship, drugs and crew to the USG, with the critical exception of Panamanian citizens. To date all such requests have been approved. While it is unclear whether Panama has the legal right to cede jurisdiction over its citizens on the open sea, the 2006 case of the M/V Perseus V, where eight Panamanians were taken to the U.S. and tried and convicted under SBA, has made it a political impossibility right now (see Ref d). Also per Ref d, we have requested guidance from the Department on how to respond to the GOP's Dip Note on the status of the Panamanian sailors. The importance of the Panamanian fleet makes SBA invaluable in attempts to interdict drugs on the high seas, and Post is concerned this case may make it more difficult for the GOP to fully implement it. ¶12. (S/NF) Panama has also participated in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a potentially important tool in the bid to prevent WMD proliferation. To date no request to board a Panamanian flagged ship has been made under the PSI.