Two large wooden crates.
From the first crate: a steady trickle of oil.
From the second crate: something pushing against the side, nothing coming out.
MASTER OF LEAKS addresses the audience, as at a press conference.
MASTER OF LEAKS
It must be stressed that 99.999% of pipes do not have leaks. In fact, their major vulnerability is as a target for terrorists. We have infrastructure in place to respond appropriately to any such situation. It should also be stressed that oil spills are an anomaly – a very unfortunate anomaly, but they should not be seen as the result of irresponsible conduct but as an unfortunate natural occurrence that we do everything in our power to respond to. And it must be said, we do everything within our power to respond to legitimate claims for compensation.
Oil drips from first crate.
Second crate shakes.
MASTER OF LEAKS listens, as if taking question from a reporter.
No, I think the court’s decision was appropriate.
Yes, I understand that this cuts the maximum fine that BP must pay by billions. This was a ruling based on facts – the number of barrels of oil that spilt was exaggerated.
In fact, as Master of Leaks, I support BP’s decision to request a further cap on compensation. The Department of Leaks is an intra-governmental body – we are not bound by national prejudices.
Yes, I think the BP spill should be considered negligence not gross negligence and a sensible cap on that – indeed, a generous cap on that – is $1,100 per barrel.
Second crate shakes and sways.
No, I do not see any hypocrisy in the treatment of leaks. It is natural that oil should leak from the ground and we do everything within our power to respond to such circumstances. The leaking of government secrets is entirely a different matter, though both fall within the jurisdiction of the Department of Leaks.
Second crate shakes.
Yes, I firmly believe that government information must be protected.
No, that doesn’t contradict the policies of the NSA. In fact, it is imperative that the information that we spy on does not get leaked.
I don’t see a connection between the Chelsea Manning case and the BP oil spill.
Yes, it is true that the Caspian Oil rig exploded in Azerbaijan in 2008.
Yes, both rigs had a plug which contained nitrogen gas in the cement to speed the drying process.
Yes, it is true that nitrogen gas can leave holes in the cement, allowing methane to rise up and explode.
Yes, it is true that it is not common practice among most companies to use nitrogen gas to speed the drying of cement plugs.
I cannot comment on the disappearance of any people connected with the explosion in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is an unstable state.
Yes, it is true that the cause of the Caspian Gas Leak was not released by BP.
Yes, it is true that the US State Department had access to this information.
Are you just going to ask me questions that you already know the answer to?
Yes, it is true that this information was revealed in the cables that Chelsea Manning leaked.
Yes, I still consider that leak inappropriate.
Could the deaths of eleven men have been avoided?
This is speculation.
This is not my territory. It should be stressed that this was an explosion we were dealing with that lead to a spill. Leak is not a word that I would use.
Chelsea Manning is a traitor.
Yes, I do think that her punishment was appropriate.
Look, strained times lead to difficult decisions. Do I think that traitors and terrorists must be contained? Yes.
Do I think that the benefits of their containment outweigh concerns over their rights? Yes.
Do I think it was appropriate that Chelsea Manning was kept in a 6 foot by 8 foot cell for twenty-three hours a day? Yes.
Second crate shakes violently.
A good civilization is like a good ship, splendid in its sturdiness.
Every leak must be contained for us to survive.
No, I do not see that such information had any public good. On the contrary, the leaking of information only makes us vulnerable to our enemies.
Flurry of imagined questions.
No, I do not see any…
No, no, no.
No further questions.
MASTER OF LEAKS leaves.
The oil continues to drip.
Second crate shakes.