Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Top-secret base Pine Gap might involve Australians in drone strikes on innocent civilians

Fear Pine Gap role could lead to Australian war crime prosecutions, 9 News, By Richard Wood Aug 21, 2017 Australians directing US-led drone strikes from the top-secret base Pine Gap base, near Alice Springs, could face war crime prosecution if innocent civilians are killed.

Leaked documents from the US National Security Agency provide a rare insight into the crucial role Pine Gap plays in collecting data from satellites which help guide drone strikes and special forces operations against terrorist targets, The Intercept and the ABC report.

Their findings were based on documents from within the NSA, leaked by former analyst Edward Snowden.

 Emily Howie, the director of advocacy and research at the Human Rights Law Centre, told The Intercept the Australian government should provide greater accountability on its role in US drone operations.

“The legal problem that’s created by drone strikes is that there may very well be violations of the laws of armed conflict … and that Australia may be involved in those potential war crimes through the facility at Pine Gap,” Howie told The Intercept and the ABC.

The first thing that we need from the Australian government is for it to come clean about exactly what Australians are doing inside the Pine Gap facility in terms of coordinating with the United States on the targeting using drones.”

The leaked NSA documents reveal the crucial role Pine Gap plays today in the US war on terror.

One document, titled ‘NSA Intelligence Relationship with Australia’, says: “Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap (RAINFALL) [is] a site which plays a significant role in supporting both intelligence activities and military operations.”

But the harvesting of satellite information for drone strikes and other military operations has sparked concern about Australia’s involvement.

US-led drone strikes have jumped in recent years but there has also seen a spike in civilian deaths caused by them…..Since US President Donald Trump came to power in January, the number of drone strikes and special forces raids have increased, while officials have striven to scrap rules aimed at preventing civilian death in such attacks…….http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/08/21/12/23/concern-pine-gap-role-could-lead-to-australians-being-prosecuted

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August 25, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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