By James Sherrod
It would seem the Snowden Archive is the gift that keeps on giving. Newly released documents by the intercept, reveal details of the Australian government operating as an extension of the National Security Agency and the United States Military without consent of the public. These documents highlight a specific facility in the heart of Australia known as JDFPG, or Pine Gap for short.
Promoted publicly as a joint facility important to Australian security, this facility is operates as an outpost for US military and intelligence operations.
At the time of these documents the Pine Gap facility had the capability to collect detailed information from electronic signals originating from all of Eurasia and parts of Africa. In layman’s terms hat means this facility can spy on at least 75% of the global human population. This information can then be used in real-time to provide intelligence and targets directly to the Unites States Military all over the world..
If you are an average citizen like most of us this information can be somewhat abstract. Most of us would consider something like the ability to monitor missile launches around the world a good thing. Pine Gap goes far beyond that. The capabilities of this single facility sound like something that belongs in the fictional world of Skynet. Lets say you are one of the 5 billion people who live in range of Pine Gap’s all seeing eye and you decide to make a phone call. The United States Government has the ability to know who you called, for how long, from what location, and what you said. This is just one example of the incredible capability the US has to collect information around the world.
As you start to get a small understanding of the massive global surveillance system that the US has in place, I want you to think of it as the shaft of a spear. So what is the point of collecting all of this information? Why does the Unites States, or any government, need to be able to monitor every electronic signal on earth? What is the tip of this spear?
In a recent interview two whistleblowers outline how the US drone program is being used as a particularly sharp tip of the spear. Former drone program technicians Cian Westmoreland and Lisa Ling
explain how facilities like Pine Gap are used to collect and process information to queue up targets for the US military. Facilities like Pine Gap are used by the United States to collect information and identify humans to be killed by drones hovering nearby. Both Westmore and Ling were personally motivated to come forward by the civilian casualties at the hands of this complicated machine.
I urge you to listen to their comments and coverage on this issue here. https://radio.abc.net.au/
Governments like Australia are inclined to let the United States operate from within their borders because they increase the security and defense capabilities of their own nation with little cost to their national budget. The price for this protection is that Australia is complicit in whatever actions the US military takes without having any control over the decisions being made.
If you are a citizen in Australia it is important to pay close attention to the foreign policy and military actions of the United States because, as we now know, you are officialy involved.