Archive | March 9, 2015

Locations of NSA Global Spy Stations*

Locations of NSA Global Spy Stations*

In the 19th century it was Britain which propagated lofty ideals of white superiority through its own imperialistic policies. Today, such blatant racism has faded though the NSA scandal demonstrates that some of Britain’s former English speaking colonies have banded together in a crass effort to take advantage of people of colour. From South America to the Pacific, many countries are waking up to the fact that white privilege and racism still play an unfortunate yet significant role in geopolitics.Nikolas Kozloff

By Jon Queally

A new batch of Snowden documents offer an unprecedented look into the close relationship of the surveillance agencies of the so-called “Five Eyes” nations and how a close look at a secretive base in New Zealand reveals new details about a global network of listening stations are operating to fulfill the NSA mantra on communications data which says, “Sniff it all, collect it all, know it all, process it all and exploit it all.”

Reported on Saturday by The Intercept in the U.S. and the Sunday Star-Times in New Zealand, the documents offer a detailed look at the “alien-like” station located in Waihopai Valley and reveals who and what kind of information the station targets, its inner workings, and how its operations link to an international network of spy facilities run by the other so-called “Five Eyes”—comprised of the intelligence agencies of the U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

With names like “Jackknife,” “MoonPenny,” “Scapel,” and “LadyLove” – the Five Eyes maintain enough listening bases around the world to capture the bulk of the entire planet’s digital and telephonic communications.

Regarding this global network of surveillance stations, the Sunday Star-Times reports:

Altogether, these bases can snoop on the entire world, friend as well as foe.

The leaked documents do not talk about “Waihopai”. They use the station’s secret Five Eyes code name Ironsand (“IS”). It’s not clear why Waihopai is Ironsand.

An NSA map shows it is one of a global network of oddly-named satellite interception stations. These stations are the eyes of the Five Eyes alliance.

Australia has a base near Geraldton, a small port city on the west coast of Australia. Its codename is Stellar.

The British station in Oman has the codename Snick. Britain’s Kenya base is known as Scapel. Britain also spies on satellites from Carboy, a station in Cornwall, and from a base in Cyprus called Sounder.

The American equivalents of Waihopai are Jackknife in Washington State on the Pacific coast, Timberline in West Virginia and Coraline in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. The biggest of these is the Moonpenny base in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

According to the reporting, each of these bases is relatively identical and all of the information collected at the various sites in sent back to the NSA via a series of databases controlled and monitored by the agency.

Earlier this week, The Intercept and the New Zealand Herald revealed how the Waihopai base was being used to spy on communications across the Pacific Islands and share intercepted data in bulk with the NSA and the other Five Eyes. In turn, the other stations across the world are each responsible for collecting data over their assigned geographic area.

Saturday’s reporting expands on what has previously been disclosed about the New Zealand operations at Waihopai. According to the Star-Times, “Everything inside the top secret station except the staff is foreign.”

As the report continues:

All or nearly all the major surveillance systems at the Waihopai base are US-supplied and could be found identically at the other stations. All the phone calls and Internet communications they intercept and sort at the base then go into NSA databases.

The only difference between this and an NSA base on New Zealand soil is that it is New Zealanders who arrive each day to maintain the NSA surveillance systems.

Sniff it all, collect it all, know it all, process it all and exploit it all – the jocular spyspeak slogans are a perfect summary of a truly global surveillance system.

The Five Eyes alliance is a global digital vacuum cleaner which can scoop up prodigious amounts of information – far more than the human mind can really comprehend.

Writing for The Intercept, journalist Ryan Gallagher reports that the primary target for the Ironsands station in New Zealand has been the “large international telecommunications satellites that provide communications to and from all of New Zealand’s Pacific Island neighbours and other Asia-Pacific nations.”

In terms of fallout and reactions to the latest revelations, Gallagher added:

New Zealand’s prime minister John Key insisted that the revelations were wrong, but then refused to explain why, telling a press conference he had “no intention of telling you about how we do things.” Meanwhile, GCSB chief Sir Bruce Ferguson admitted that “mass collection” of data was indeed being undertaken in the Pacific, and said it was “mission impossible” to eliminate New Zealanders’ communications from the data being swept up.

Responding to the latest revelations on Saturday, GCSB declined to comment. In a statement issued to The Intercept and the Sunday-Star Times, the agency’s acting director, Una Jagose, said: “We do not comment on operational matters. Everything we do is authorized under legislation and subject to independent oversight.”

NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines said in a statement that the agency would not comment “on specific, alleged foreign intelligence activities.” Vines added: “The National Security Agency works with foreign partners to address a wide array of serious threats, including terrorist plots, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and foreign aggression.  NSA’s activities with foreign partners comply with U.S. laws and the applicable laws under which our partners operate.”

Source*

Related Topics:

The Five Eyes Silencing Snowden, Silencing Us*

Google gives new meaning to “Orwellian”

Between the State of the City of London and the Crown*

An Iranian Leads the Coalition Assault on ISIS*

An Iranian Leads the Coalition Assault on ISIS*

By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

According to Reuters, Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite militia fighters (with the support of Canadian Special Forces and US weapons, trainers and air strikes) are presently engaged in a major assault to retake the Iraqi city of Tikrit from ISIS.

Until recently, the western media rarely mentioned the figure commanding these forces. His name is Major General Qasem Soleimani, and he’s the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force. This creates an embarrassing situation for Obama. The US still officially designates Soleimani as a terrorist for his alleged role in a 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US

Given all the sabre rattling against Iran by congressional Republicans (cheered on by Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu), the US media has been loathe to acknowledge that Iran has been spearheading the offensive against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. In Syria, Soleimani is widely credited with helping President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide against rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns.

The US political elite prefers to spoon feed Americans the cartoon version of US foreign policy, in which Americans only go to war against evil doers. For this reason, they have greatly downplayed the role of Soleimani and other Iranian military “advisers” in the battle against ISIS. A recent explosion of interest in General Soleimani on Twitter and Facebook has forced them to come clean.

According to the BBC, this isn’t the first time Soleimani has aided US military efforts in the Middle East. In 2001, he provided military intelligence to the US to support its invasion to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan, and in 2007 in participated in US-led talks in Baghdad over the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

As best I can ascertain, Soleimani has been a prominent figure in containing Iraqi sectarian violence since 2011

He has commanded Iranian forces active in the Syrian civil war since the latter half of 2012.

Source*

Related Topics:

Apparently Iran’s Military Mastermind was Behind Biggest Victory against ISIL to Date*

Undercover Iraqi Journalist on ISIS and Why the U.S. Will Fail*

Village by Village Iraqis Push Back ISIS

Iraqi Forces Arrest ISIL’s US, Israeli Military Advisors*

US And UK Planes are Air-Dropping Weapons And Supplies to ISIS*

U.N. Report on How Israel Coordinates with ISIS inside Syria*

As Putin Signs BRICS into Law 100+ U.S. Armoured Vehicles Turn-up in E. Europe*

As Putin Signs BRICS into Law 100+ U.S. Armoured Vehicles Turn-up in E. Europe*

Putin signs law on ratification of $100 billion BRICS New Development Bank deal  

Latvia has confirmed more than 120 armored units, including tanks, have been delivered by the US. According to the Latvian Ministry of Defense, these include M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2A3 Bradley armored vehicles.

The move to deploy yet more tanks and armored vehicles was welcomed by Latvian Minister of Defense Raymond Vejonis.“The presence of our allies (US and NATO) in Latvia is a confirmation of solidarity and security in the region,” Vejonis said in a statement on Twitter.

The tanks were delivered to Latvia via Riga Freeport after being offloaded from the carrier ship Liberty Promise on Monday. US Army General John O’Conner who witnessed the tanks arriving on Latvian soil said, “Freedom must be fought for, freedom must be defended,” as reported by the US Embassy Riga Twitter feed.

He also added their delivery would “demonstrate resolve to President Putin and Russia that collectively we can come together,” while General O’Connor also mentioned, they would stay “for as long as required to deter Russian aggression,” as reported by AFP.

Following the secession of Crimea to Russia, the US has been keen to boost its presence in the Baltic States and Poland to help guard against ‘perceived’ Russian aggression. There are currently more than 150 American troops in Latvia.

On March 6, NATO forces carried out drills with their Latvian counterparts. As part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, Canadian and American soldiers, in cooperation with their Latvian partners conducted exercises in winter conditions. These included training to spot enemy positions as well as calling in indirect fire support. They took place at the Adazi training grounds.

Similar drills also took place in Poland. Live-fire training exercises were conducted at Drawsko Pomorskie in the north of the country, while troops from Poland’s 12th Mechanized Division were also involved.

The ‘temporary’ deployment of US troops in Poland and the Baltic states has been extended through to 2015, which was confirmed by a spokesman for the US Embassy in Poland.

A 1997 Russia-NATO agreement forbids the alliance from having troops permanently stationed in the Baltic States, so the deployment remains a temporary mission. However, it’s not immediately clear when, if ever, NATO would consider the ‘perceived’ threat of Russian aggression is no longer valid and would withdraw the troops. Drills incorporated into Operation Atlantic Resolve have been taking place since April 2014.

The US is keen to expand the operation from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Romania and Bulgaria have already joined to create a ‘southern’ flank, while Hungary, the Czech Republic and Georgia could also agree to take part, according to a US Army official spearheading the effort.

“So by the end of the summer, you could very well see an operation that stretches from the Baltics all the way down to the Black Sea,” said Colonel Michael Foster, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is based in Italy. “As you connect countries, there is almost a line of US troops,” as cited by Defense News on March 2.

Russian Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antonov says Allied forces are ignoring diplomacy and NATO is using the situation in Ukraine to push closer to Russia’s border. However, he dismissed drills being carried out in the Baltic States, Poland and the Black Sea were a threat to Russia.

“Instead of uniting forces to fight evil, the worst of which is terrorism, Western nations are drawing new divisive lines, trying to realize containment schemes against unwelcome states. Today, Russia has been chosen as the target,” Antonov said on March 5.

He cited another example of a NATO military parade on February 24, held just 300 meters from the Russian border, in the Estonian town of Narva. About 140 pieces of armor and 10 times as many troops, including US soldiers, took part in that event.

Moscow saw it as a stab in its direction, but Estonia defended its right to host a parade, saying it can move military whichever way it likes on its territory – the same argument used by Russia when accused of military build-up along its borders.

A freight train carrying a whole column of American armored vehicles was caught on camera in Latvia in December. Dalbe Railway Station, where the train was reportedly spotted, is less than 300 kilometers from the Russian border.

The train was carrying at least 38 vehicles and several semitrailers, including eight Bradley Fighting Vehicles, nine M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), four petrol tankers, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTs), High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), an M88 Hercules Armory recovery vehicle, a couple of trucks, some tactical engineering and medical vehicles, at least four containers and a pair of railcars with ammunition.

NATO are not only bringing their own tanks and armored vehicles to the Baltic States. They are also pushing Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to purchase weapons from richer allies.

Estonia recently negotiated the acquisition of the $55-million Javelin anti-tank missile system. It has also signed what’s been described as “the largest procurement contract ever” for purchasing 44 infantry combat vehicles worth €138 million ($154 million) from the Netherlands.

Latvia is splashing out more than €54 million ($60 million) on a package that includes 123 British combat vehicles. Lithuania bought a €34-million ($38 million) GROM air defense system from Poland in September.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Earthquake that Stopped Before Hitting Ukraine and Russian Borders*

No Gas from Russia to Europe

City of London’s Imperialist Designs on Russia

Playing with Iran to Alienate Russia and Destabilize Iran*

U.S. – Saudi Deal to Destabilize Russia and Syria Backfires*

U.S. undermining Hungary to undermine Russia*

The EU wants Russia to Bail out the Ukraine and the EU*

BRICS Announce $100 Billion Reserve Bypassing Privately Controlled Central Banks*