nazi australia

Pine Gap likely involved in the assassination of Gen Suleimani
Patrick O’Connor, WSWS, Jan 14 2020

imageA section of the Pine Gap facility. Photo: Felicity Ruby

In the aftermath of the illegal assassination of Gen Qassem Suleimani on Jan 2, no-one within the Australian media and political establishment has raised the question as to whether the Pine Gap spy base in central Australia played a role in the killing. If it did so, senior Australian government officials are implicated in war crimes. The failure of the press and the opposition Labor Party to demand an explanation from the government of PM Morrison is another demonstration of the ruling elite closing ranks behind Pindo imperialism. The Morrison government, with the tacit backing of Labor leader Anthony Albanese, has responded to Faschingstein’s drive for war against Iran by doubling down on its support for US imperialism in the Middle East and internationally. The Pine Gap facility began operations in 1970, falsely billed as a “space research” centre. In reality it functioned as a major sigint gathering facility for Pindostan, primarily directed against the Soviet Union. Since the end of the Cold War, Pine Gap’s role has expanded further, with additional infrastructure built at the desert site and hundreds of extra staff hired. According to Professor Des Ball of the Australian National University, Pine Gap has been used to intercept long-distance phone calls, satellite transmissions, anti-missile signals, and ballistic missile electronic communications. In addition to this, Edward Snowden revealed in documents published in 2017 that over the last two decades, Pine Gap has played a critical role in assisting Pindo military operations, including identifying targets for missile attacks and drone assassinations. An Aug 2012 NSA “site profile” of Pine Gap stated that it has a special section, known as the “geopit,” equipped with “a number of tools available for performing geolocations.” The document used the Pindo codename “RAINFALL” for Pine Gap and explained:

RAINFALL detects, collects, records, processes, analyses and reports on PROFORMA signals collected from tasked entities.

“PROFORMA signals” are comms data of radar and weapons systems such as surface-to-surface missiles, anti-aircraft artillery and fighter aircraft. This revelation followed the publication of other documents by Snowden in 2013 that showed that Pine Gap played a central role within a NSA program codenamed X-Keyscore, that collects electronic data on people around the world, permanently storing phone numbers, email addresses, log-ins and user activity. All the “Five Eyes” have high-level access to the NSA data, including on Australian citizens. The Snowden revelations confirmed previous media reports of Pine Gap’s role in Pindo drone assassination operations. In Jul 2013, journalist Phillip Dorling wrote an article based on unnamed sources including former Pine Gap personnel for the Melbourne Age and the SMH. He explained that Pine Gap allowed the Pentagon to process intercepted electronic communications and provide target information to the field within minutes. Dorling reported that the Pentagon was “critically dependent” on Pine Gap for locating targets marked for extra-judicial execution by Obama 44. He wrote:

The Pine Gap facility feeds into the Pindo drone strike program and other military operations. Personnel sitting in air-conditioned offices in central Australia are directly linked on a minute-by-minute basis to Pindo & vassal military operations in Afghanistan, and indeed anywhere else across the eastern hemisphere.

Given this record, it would be unusual if Pine Gap intelligence played no role at all in the assassination of Gen Qassem Suleimani. Details about the hit operation continue to emerge. According to the NYT, a Reaper drone fired two missiles at a convoy of vehicles that was departing Baghdad airport, near an air cargo terminal. The bombing killed Suleimani, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis of the Iraqi government-backed PMF and at least three other people. Iran responded last Wednesday by launching limited missile operations against two Pindo military bases in Iraq, Ayn al-Assad airbase in Anbar and one in Erbil. The ratcheting-up of tensions has paved the way for Trump to prepare a devastating war of aggression against Iran, threatening a far wider conflagration engulfing Russia and China. The Australian government is complicit in this drive to war. Canberra has been directly involved in every Pindo provocation in the Middle East in recent decades, including the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq from 2003. Now the government, again without challenge from within the political establishment, is preparing to line up with an even greater war crime, the US-led “regime change” offensive against Iran. The assassination of Gen Suleimani underscores the urgent need for the development of an internationally unified anti-war movement. Among the primary demands of such a movement in Australia will be the immediate and unconditional end to the Pindo-Australian military alliance and the closure of all Pindo-connected military and intelligence bases including Pine Gap.

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