Det har lenge vært spekulasjoner om hva som foregår bak piggtrådgjerdene og sikkerhetsmurene på USA-basen Menwith Hill i Storbritannia. Menneskerettsgrupper og enkelte politikere har stilt krav om mer åpenhet, noe myndighetene har avvist.
Nå har The Intercept offentliggjort hemmelige dokumenter som gir et lite innblikk i de lyssky aktivitetene som foregår på basen. Det dreier seg om at NSA bruker basen i hemmelige raids mot Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika der folk blir kidnappet og drept.
Now, however, top-secret documents obtained by The Intercept offer an unprecedented glimpse behind Menwith Hill’s razor wire fence. The files reveal for the first time how the NSA has used the British base to aid “a significant number of capture-kill operations” across the Middle East and North Africa, fueled by powerful eavesdropping technology that can harvest data from more than 300 million emails and phone calls a day.
Over the past decade, the documents show, the NSA has pioneered groundbreaking new spying programs at Menwith Hill to pinpoint the locations of suspected terrorists accessing the internet in remote parts of the world. The programs — with names such as GHOSTHUNTER and GHOSTWOLF — have provided support for conventional British and American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But they have also aided covert missions in countries where the U.S. has not declared war. NSA employees at Menwith Hill have collaborated on a project to help “eliminate” terrorism targets in Yemen, for example, where the U.S. has waged a controversial drone bombing campaign that has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths.
Nettavisa The Verge skriver:
This leak fuels existing suspicions that the UK’s role in American covert drone strikes is greater than it admits — potentially implicating it in the civilian deaths that have resulted. In 2012, a Pakistani man took the GCHQ to court over the wrongful death of his father in one such strike, accusing the agency of passing «locational intelligence» to the CIA. The case was dropped in 2014, after the court decided that considering the case would involve accusing the US of war crimes.
In response to this latest report, the GCHQ told The Intercept that all its work «is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework,» and «is entirely compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.» But the remaining secrecy around Menwith Hill, even to British lawmakers, is unlikely to reassure privacy and human rights advocates.
Drapsoppdrag og bortføringer som utføres «fullstendig i samsvar med den europeiske menneskerettskonvensjonen», mon det. Da vil vel NSA godta offentlig innsyn i det som foregår – eller? Idet dette skrives (om morgenen 7. sept. 2016) var nyheten ikke omtalt i New York Times, The Guardian eller Washington Post.