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Britain's Middle East Spy Station

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 at 7:42 PM

police state

Britain's Middle East Spy Station

by Stephen Lendman

It doesn't surprise. Washington operates the same way. It's longstanding imperial policy. It relates to waging war on freedom.

On August 23, The Independent headlined "Exclusive: UK's secret Mid-East internet surveillance is revealed in Edward Snowden leaks."

Did Snowden provide information to The Independent? He categorically denies doing so. Perhaps its "exclusive" stopped short of telling all. More on that below.

"Data gathering is part of a (.5 billion) web project still being assembled by GCHQ," said The Independent.

It's involved in "intercept(ing) and process(ing) vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt."

It taps and extracts data from underwater fibre-optic cables "passing through the region."

It processes them. It passes them onto Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It hands them to NSA.

Government officials lie. They claim lawless spying is vital in waging war on terror. It's an "early warning system," they say.

It's no such thing. It's a ruse. It's about control. It's about advancing imperial priorities. It wants threats challenging it eliminated.

It's about espionage. It's for economic advantage. It's to be one up on foreign competitors. It's for information used advantageously in trade, political, and military relations.

The Independent stopped short of revealing the station's precise location. Why it's up to its editors to explain.

A previous article discussed Britain's war on freedom. It's being systematically destroyed. Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger was ordered to destroy Edward Snowden provided documents.

They pertain to lawless NSA spying. They explain GCHQ's complicity. It's a longstanding relationship. They operate extrajudicially. It's official policy.

NSA and GCHQ want none of their illicit activities revealed. At issue is serious government wrongdoing. It has nothing to do with preventing terrorism. It's for control, espionage and intimidation. Police states operate this way.

Britain's Middle East station is especially valuable, said The Independent. It accesses submarine cables passing through the region.

Data gotten from all sources "is copied into giant computer storage 'buffers' and then sifted for data of special interest."

"Information about the project was contained in 50,000 GCHQ documents that Mr. Snowden downloaded during 2012."

"Many of them came from an internal Wikipedia-style information site called GC-Wiki."

"Unlike the public Wikipedia, GCHQ's wiki was generally classified Top Secret or above."

The Independent's article followed Metropolitan Police initiating a "terrorist investigation" regarding material found on David Miranda's computer.

He's Glenn Greenwald's partner. He was in transit from Berlin to Rio de Janeriro. He threatened no one.

He violated no laws. His laptop, cell phone, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and game consoles were confiscated. It was done lawlessly.

Gwendolen Morgan represents him. She's suing on his behalf. She seeks judicial review. She wants assurance that property police wrongfully seized won't be examined.

She demands to know if it's been passed on to others. If so, to whom, why, and whether they compromised Miranda's privacy.

Scotland Yard apparently ignored her. They examined Miranda's  hard drive anyway. They claimed it contained "highly sensitive" material. They said disclosure "could put lives at risk."

They lied. Information Snowden provided exposed government wrongdoing. Everyone needs to know. It's a national priority. It needs to be stopped.

London's Guardian published Snowden's material. Thousands more documents remain to be disclosed.

The Guardian agreed not to report anything potentially compromising national security. It hasn't done so. It won't. It wants government wrongdoing alone exposed. It's vital to do it.

Britain demanded the Guardian not publish information on how UK telecom firms secretly collaborate with GCHQ.

They do it to intercept "the vast majority of all internet traffic entering the country," said The Independent.

"The paper had details of the highly controversial and secret programme for over a month."

"But it only published information on the scheme - which involved paying the companies to tap into fibre-optic cables entering Britain - after the allegations appeared in the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung."

Glenn Greenwald has access to Snowden's information. After Miranda's mistreatment, he said he'll be far more aggressive in  reporting henceforth.

"I am going to publish many more documents," he said. "I have many more on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did."

GCHQ's data-gathering operation is a work in progress. It's part of a sweeping spy operation code-named "Tempora."

It's goal is global digital communications collection. It includes emails, text messages and more. It wants to know everything about everyone. It wants to be Big Brother writ large. NSA operates the same way.

"Across three sites, communications - including telephone calls - are tracked both by satellite dishes and by tapping into underwater fibre-optic cables," said The Independent.

GCHQ collects information on "political intentions of foreign powers." It's after much more than that. It's all-embracing. It's lawless. It doesn't matter.

GCHQ "target(s) anyone who is overseas or communicating from overseas without further checks or controls."

GCHQ and NSA spy domestically. They claim otherwise. They deny blanket data-gathering. They claim operations are security related.

They say "terror and organized crime" are targeted. They lied. They've been caught red-handed. They're waging war on freedom.

On August 23, London Guardian contributor Glenn Greenwald headlined "Snowden: UK government now leaking documents about itself."

He addressed The Independent's article discussed above. He quoted Snowden saying:

"I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent."

"The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger."

"People at all levels of society up to and including the President of the United States have recognized the contribution of these careful disclosures to a necessary public debate, and we are proud of this record."

"It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post's disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others."

"The UK government should explain the reasoning behind this decision to disclose information that, were it released by a private citizen, they would argue is a criminal act."

Who's the source for The Independent's disclosure, asked Greenwald?

Britain's been "abus(ing) and lawless(ly) exploit(ing) its Terrorism Act." It did so against David Miranda.

"(S)uddenly serious dangers (to) public safety" are cited. Disclosures Britain's government wants follows.

America operates the same way. It "aggressively target(s) those who disclose embarrassing or incriminating information about the government in the name of protecting the sanctity of classified information, while simultaneously leaking classified information prolifically when doing so advances (its) political interests."

The Independent's Oliver Wright responded, saying:

"For the record: The Independent was not leaked or 'duped' into publishing today's front page story by the Government."

Greenwald didn't say it was duped. Who's the source for its disclosure, he asked? It's a legitimate question. It deserves an honest answer.

If The Independent's information wasn't leaked, where did it come from? Who supplied it? It wasn't Snowden or anyone working with him. Most likely Britain's government was involved.

A Final Comment

On August 22, London's Guardian headlined "NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies."

It did so "after a court ruled that some of the agency's activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian."

Information revealed "provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA."

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, YouTube, Skype, and others are involved. A December 2012 top secret NSA newsletter entry disclosed the huge costs, saying:

Renewing FISA court ordered "certifications" on a temporary basis (instead of annually as required) "cost millions of dollars for Prism providers to implement each successive extension - costs covered by Special Source Operations (SSO)."

Snowden calls NSA's SSO its "crown jewel." It handles all surveillance programs. It relies on telecom and Internet provider partnerships to do it.

It's how NSA accesses all communications. It highlights disturbing questions. NSA officials lie. So do complicit companies. They do it repeatedly.

Since the Guardian and Washington Post first revealed NSA's program on June 6, they first denied it existed. They claim information's only supplied in response to specific legal requests from authorities.

Earlier information showed they lied. New details provide added confirmation. Companies were asked to respond. Google refused.

CEO Eric Schmidt's closely connected to powerful Bilderberg movers and shakers. Their agenda includes controlling the global political and technological landscape.

Schmidt thinks privacy is quaint and outdated. He's turning Google into the ultimate Big Brother. He's working with NSA to do it. So are other online and telecom companies.

They operate lawlessly. They breach privacy with impunity. They do it without required authorization. They do it because who'll stop them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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