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US military and CIA fill the Shannon Slots

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Thursday October 25, 2007 18:07author by Edward Horgan Report this post to the editors

1 million troops over half a million dead

Afghanistan was the first target in 2001 in revenge for the 9/11 attacks on the US. Ireland offered Shannon airport to the US for this attack.
The attack on Iraq had no such revenge motivation, just a grab for oil, as recently confirmed by Alan Greenspan, former US Treasury secretary. Ireland has allowed 1 million US troops pass through Shannon since March 2003.
Now, Iran is the next likely target, probably within the next few months. Shannon and Irish airspace will again be used in direct and indirect support for any such attack on Iranian nuclear facilties. The fallout once again will be human lives, but this time there will also be nuclear fallout. It is long past the time for action to prevent Ireland's participation in these crimes against humanity.
US Troops pass through Shannon 24 Oct 2007
US Troops pass through Shannon 24 Oct 2007

Shannon Airport
1 million troops – 1 million dead?

Peace Demonstration at Shannon Airport on Sat 27 October
Time: 2 pm
Location: At terminal building if possible
Otherwise at checkpoint near WESTAIR roundabout.

Between March 2003 and Sept 2007 - 1,059,382 US military personnel have passed through Shannon on 8,698 flights. Estimates for numbers of people killed in Iraq due to US attack and occupation vary from half a million to over one million.

Meanwhile, Aerlingus is abandoning Shannon, and other civilian airlines are likely to follow this example.

An average of 640 US troops on five flights per day have passed through Shannon
CIA rendition planes are still refuelling at Shannon.
No US military or CIA planes are being searched by Gardai
Peace activists are still being are being harassed by Gardai and brought before the courts on spurious chargers

Restore Shannon / Heathrow link
Break Shannon / Iraq DEATHROW link

Likelihood of US air attack on Iraq over the next few months
Shannon and Irish airspace will be used to support this further illegal act of war
Action is needed now to demilitarise Shannon airport and restore Irish neutrality and sovereignty.

For more information contact
Edward Horgan 085-1026631
Conor Cregan 087-6981831

Please forward this to all your peace contacts

Omni US Troop carrier and US gov Exec Jet Shannon 24 Sept 07
Omni US Troop carrier and US gov Exec Jet Shannon 24 Sept 07

Irish Aer Corps, US troop carriers ATA and OMNI Air At Shannon 20 Sept 2007
Irish Aer Corps, US troop carriers ATA and OMNI Air At Shannon 20 Sept 2007

author by anonpublication date Thu Oct 25, 2007 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Link to recent Irish Times article on the subject, ( reg required)

funny picture breakingnews chose to use for the airport slots story

author by Edward Horganpublication date Fri Oct 26, 2007 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In my report above on the peace demonstation at Shannon on 27 Oct 2007 at 2 pm, I should have said that the next US target in the Middle East will be IRAN, not Iraq. Iraq of course is still a daily target by the US airforce. Now that most of the British and US troops have been forced off the Iraqi roads by insurgents, the US has retaliated by increasing the number of attacks by fighter aircraft. Because there are fewer US troops on the ground, US military intelligence is less accurate, and the numbers of civilians being killed on a daily basis is increasing.

The US governement is also making increasing threats and accusations against Iran, claiming that Iranian support for insurgents is preventing US victory. This sounds very like statements by the Nixon administration in the early 1970s claiming that Cambodia and the Ho Chi Minh Trail were preventing US victory in Vietnam. This was followed by the carpet bombing of Cambodia, which was more of a desparate act of revenge rather than a viable military strategy.
We are now likely to see a similar strategy in the Middle East with a US air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Like Cambodia in the 1970s this will achieve nothing except needless carnage and nuclear fallout. Bush will claim it as victory, and use it as a smoke screen to hide the US defeat in Iraq. The US government and US military are very keen to avoid the sort of humiliating withdrawal they were forced to endure in Vietnam, so this Iraq defeat will be accomanied by a public relations campaign saying that the US really won the Iraq war. Meanwhile, many Iranian dead will be added to the Iraqi and Afghani dead.
And we in Ireland will have been knowingly complicity in the US wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.
In the aftermath of all this, Shannon airport could continue to play a useful role for the US, that is the role of providing a softer terrorist target that targets in the US mainland.

author by Guy de Cervenspublication date Sat Oct 27, 2007 13:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the US is correct to claim Iran is supporting Resistance in parts of Iraq. An attack against Iranian would however do nothing to decrease such support. It would indeed greatly increase it. In fact Iran has promised worldwide attacks if they are attacked and I would tend to believe they have the ability and will to carry out such threats. They would have a much greater ability to carry out such attacks than any small group of al Qaida inspired amateurs, which is presently the great fear in the West.

How will this impact on Irish interests?

Obviously our economy is being badly damaged by the oil price increase which is resulting from the threat alone. An oil price increase orchestrated by the US, it’s oilman president and it’s corporate supported military and intel community. We are in for extremely bad days ahead if the price of oil stays anywhere near present levels. In fact, if they don’t fall back below €50 a barell before the end of the year, we are in very bad trouble. In reality it looks like crude will be over $100 by 2008, without an actual attack on Iran. What action is our government taking to protect our economy from this imminent devastation?

Ireland faces a lower overall level of security threat than countries more directly involved in crimes presently being committed against Iraq and the wider Middle East. This is largely due to our history and Irelands clear borders but has not been helped by our assistance to the US war machine in Shannon. Most of all it does not provide a guarantee for the future.

The overblown threat of an al Qaida inspired group attacking Ireland has been much talked about but in reality is no more a danger than the bogey under your bed. Foreign interference by the US and UK is a much greater danger to the security and welfare of Irish people. Hunger and cold, lack of proper medical care and decent paid employment is a greater danger to our national security.

Our government however, with its close ties to the security services of the very countries carrying out such detrimental interference in our economy could be deemed as engaging in an act of treason, as could all those involved in assisting them at Shannon, Baldonnel and elsewhere.

The Government instead places the mantle of suspicion on Muslims living in Ireland and any group they could possibly claim are violence-prone. What extensive files our military and police must have on protestors at Tara, Shannon and Rossport while the real terrorists from the CIA, MI6 and other agencies are being wined and dined in military bases and posh hotels by the very people who should be watching them, in the true sense of Brotherly co-operation.

1,600 top level people in the public sector will get salary increases of on average 7.3% this year, so at least some people are happy with the current regime which they run and support.

Good Cop, Bad Cop
Good Cop, Bad Cop

author by Guypublication date Sat Oct 27, 2007 18:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes, you can take it that if Iran is not attacked they will not launch attacks worldwide. This is their ace-in-the-hole and they are not about to use it if they don’t need to.

You claim that by attacking Iran first the US will “limit their ability to carry out attacks”. Not so. Attacks on Iran will not in the least limit any pre-planned attacks across the globe; in fact they will only guarantee a backlash. Iran can quite easily stop oil shipments out of the Arabian Gulf as we saw in the ‘70’s. The only other routs for Iraqi oil is via Kurdistan and Turkey, which is now being destabalised by the Turkish army.

I don’t agree Ireland is as much, “at the mercy of events we cannot influence especially so if we remain neutral” as you seem convinced. We have a part to play in influencing world events, as we are in fact part of the world. Forces who would continue to bully the world will of course, as you do, try to convince us we need to be meek, shut up, and join the US in its criminal endeavor and ill thought out adventure. They will say there is nothing else to be done. Yes there is. We can stop supporting these US actions which are cranking up the price of our oil.

You are completely wrong to thing, “It's beyond the control of any government either in the US or Ireland to influence oil prices.” So far the US has bumped up oil prices by invading Iraq and just talking about attacking Iran. They also poked Turkey by Congress passing the Armenian Genocide resolution, pretty much guaranteeing a Turkish action that would further raise tensions in the region, thus forcing oil prices up even more. These are the sort of factors analysts at the CIA calculate daily. The same calculations oilmen like Bush have done for them too. They are, afterall, in the business of selling oil and the dearer it is the better.

I don’t share you illusion that the US has not committed any crimes against Iraq and that they are in the process of bringing ‘democracy’ to bring stability. This is absolute rubbish and I don’t think anyone reading these pages will even consider your opinion anything other than regurgitated US propaganda and unworthy of a response.

You don’t seem to understand the economy we have in Ireland at present was built on the pre-invasion cheap oil and is not going to continue with the expensive oil thanks to the US. We had one of the highest standards of living but it is fast disappearing along with your precious US multinationals.

author by Joepublication date Sat Oct 27, 2007 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Phoenix, May 5, 2000, Vol. 18 No. 9, Pgs 20-21

Goldhawk - HUSHHUSH!

THE ABOLITION of Ireland's neutral status has been accelerated by a secret agreement with the American and British governments - without even a nod in the direction of the Oireachtas or the Irish public - to join a state-of-the-art, global telecommunications spying apparatus. This is revealed in a special European comission report on the Anglo-American integrated, world-wide network of electronic initelligence collection platforms (120 satellites and ground stations) code-named ECHELON. It produces military, political and economic intelligence by intercepting telecommunications and clandestinely plundering computer files.

In June, Ireland will become part of a secret alliance, joining Canada, Australia and New Zealand to help America's NSA (National Security Agency) and Britain's GCHQ (Government Communications HQ) communications spy systems to snatch computer secrets from all over the world.

Spy bosses in Washington and London sucked Ireland into ECHELON with fascinating ingenuity. First approaches came from the FBI in 1993 to Garda HQ and the Department of Justice to join a mysterious body called ILETS (International Law Enforcement Telecommunications Seminar). So closely involved has Ireland become with ILETS that in 1997 Dublin Castle was chosen as the venue for a meeting of ILETS and ECHELON experts. Information about ILETS is not made available on "security" grounds. So secret are the arrangements about ILETS that the European Parliament report describes it as "a previously unknown international organisation."

Ostensibly, ILETS is about co-ordinating international phone tapping by police agencies to comabt organised crime and drugs smuggling. Most people are against crime - the way they are against sin - and claiming that ECHELON is about controlling crime is a clever ploy. But ECHELON is not a police surveillance system - it is run by the US and British intelligence services for military, political and economic reasons - as the mission statements of both the NSA and GCHQ make clear.

ECHELON uses the same basic technology as the Internet, enhanced by gigantic computers, to trawl through millions of phone calls, e-mail and faxes searching for key characteristics. It has been compared by experts in Brussels with a series of giant vacumm cleaners in space which suck up communications and re-transmit them to fixed points where they are monitored by super-computers and sifted for specific intelligence.

The ECHELON spies on friend and foe alike (Robert Maxwell and Tiny Rowland where among its targets). While the CIA claims it is used for monitoring the Russian Mafia or mad Muslim Osama Bin Laden and his embassy-bombing chums in Afghanistan the reality is that ECHELON is about keeping America great (and Britain hanging on its coat-tails) through stealing information from economic rivals by hidden electronic and non-traceable means.

ECHELON is the 21st century grandchild of a wartime radio monitoring network spawned by the secret 1941 agreement - the UK-USA Communications Intelligence Pact. During the Cold War the UK-USA Pact incorporated Canada, Australia and New Zealand using old technology to monitor multi-channel telegraph systems and short wave radio. But in a series of technological leaps, this scattered network used for spying on the Soviets and their allies metamorphosed into ECHELON.

Two things have created this super-spy web - the development of ultra-fast, huge-capacity computer systems and the now common use of microwave radio links to carry burgeoning telecommunications traffic throughout the world. It was once a "passive" system which merely monitored target traffic. But ECHELON now has an "active" component which allows NSA or GCHQ analysts to covertly "hack" into information on the hard disks of computers linked into any telecommunications system, including the Internet.

In June, Ireland will join ECHELON. Precisely why the Anglo-American intelligence alliance wants Ireland as a partner is a mystery. It may be that they hope to secretly use the Eircom satellite communications station at Middleton, Co. Cork, to extend the capability of the British spy facility at Morwenstow, Cornwall, further west. New Zealand was included in the Pact for geographical reasons - extending coverage in the Southern Ocean - just as Ireland may be needed to give a wider "footprint" in the eastern Atlantic. Or it could be that the NSA believes US or multinational software or other high technology companies are doing things in Ireland behind the backs of the defense establishment in Washington. The military interests of Uncle Sam and the economic interests of fast buck high tech firms have clashed many times in recent years.

Whatever the reason, from June onwards neutral Ireland will be part of the ECHELON Anglo-American military intelligence pact - an alliance which Germany, France and Italy now know is targeting their commercial secrets. The former head of the CIA asked about ECHELON in a Paris interview last month justified US electronic spying on France by pointing out that a French defence firm had used bribes to get a multi-million dollar contract in Brazil. When the CIA told the Brazillian government, the contract was awarded to a US defence firm, he said.

The fact that C3 (Garda Intelligence and Security) will get a few crumbs of information about Irish druggies in Amsterdam from ILETS/ECHELON should not obscure its real purpose. The Brussels report which identifies Ireland as ECHELON's new recruit says: "there is wide-ranging evidence that major governments are routinely using communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade."

Following the publication of the European Commission report (the catchy-named Scientific and Technical Options Assessment Vol.2/5 - get it at European Union House, Molesworth Street). The Department of Justice gave its standard answer to media queries about phone tapping. "Warrants are issued only in very exceptional circumstances under the 1993 Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages" ... blah, blah, blah.

Few people can credit that it is possible to monitor millions of phone calls around the world simultaneously. But it is - with computers of the sort used on the Enternet. Fewer still can comprehend that it is possible to sift out useful intelligence from such a vast flow of information. But that's where computers come in again. Much of the ECHELON "product" is derived from computer-read "peripherals" rather than human conversation. Peripherals are the destination, source and duration of a target communications.

In Northern Ireland, over the past 30 years, British intelligence was overwhelmed with information. It developed "knowledge management" software to handle the raw material from Operation Vengeful - the Big Brother network which produced a vast daily flow of facts on vehicle and personal movements from overt and covert observation posts, CCTV cameras, vehicle check-points and house raids.

More advanced forms of this "knowledge management" system have allowed vast expansion of the Enternet - allowing computers to translate information in a way formerly done by humans. In effect, the ECHELON computers are programmed to "think" - interpreting things like changes in call patterns or increased or decreased communications use by specific targets.

The biggest secret of ECHELON is that it is more that just a passive communications interception network - it's also an active "hacking" system which allows British and American intelligence to covertly examine and copy computer files all over the world. In effect, it provides a key to open the 21st century equivalent of filing cabinets - computer hard disks with their confidential stores of information data - justifying its Enter-net name.

It doesn't require any technical knowledge to understand this. If a teenage nerd in a Welsh pit village can break into high security computers in the US - as happened last month - then the reverse can and does happen. Thus Caymen and Swiss bank records are as easily accessible to ECHELON as Third World state secrets or private information on a home computer linked to the Internet.

It must have caused teeth-grinding annoyance to the Enternet bosses when they learned that their French and German counterparts - annoyed at the blatant way the Anglo-Americans are spying on their former Cold War allies - had co-operated to produce the Brussels paper which not only made ECHELON secrets public but revealed the existance of ILETS - the covert organisation of which Ireland is a member.

The Sceientific and Technical Options Assessment Vol 2/5 Euro paper explains how collection platforms (eavesdropping satellites) detect all radio transmissions within their "footprint" (the area of earth within their view). These include all LF, MF, VHF, UHF, and SHF (microwave) broadcast and point-to-point transmissions. In short, anything that moves in the entire radio spectrum.

Back on the ECHELON system, selected transmissions picked up by satellite are re-transmitted by secure down-link to receiving stations like Menwith Hill and Morwenstow in England or to Australia or the US, depending on the satellite's position. This is an important fact for the Irish. Ireland is on the eastern edge of the Atlantic from whence can be "seen" satellites in certain orbits. This may explain why little Ireland, like New Zealand, has been cunningly coaxed into the Big Boys Spy Club.

What the Brussels experts didn't mention and what Irish ministers may not concede, is the real purpose of the system. A contemporary ECHELON briefing paper given to GCHQ recruits and which has fallen into Goldhawk's hands, reads as follows:

"It's hard for an outsider to imagine the immense size and sheer power of GCHQ's super-computing architecture. When you come to GCHQ you'll encounter the latest state of the art Cray systems. Tandem based storage and high end work-stations. D-RAID (Distributed Redundant Aray of Inexpensive Disks) architectures are used for the storage of very large amounts of data. Indeed, GCHQ has one of the largest long-term bulk near line storage systems in the world...

"All GCHQ systems are linked together on the largest local area network in Europe - which is connected to other sites around the world via one of the largest wide area networks on earth.

"GCHQ employs the best. And rewards them accordingly. But if you're really right for us, you're driven by much bigger goals. You want the chance to work with vital impact on the political, military and economic well-being of our nation."

Lasy year, Robin Robinson an officer with the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) in Downing St resigned his position after claiming that both British and foreign companies routinely had their telecommunications intercepted for reasons unconnected with national security.

In January of this year, Robin Cook assured David Andrews that the UK (which employs 12,000 personnel in 20 eavesdropping locations throughout the country) would never spy on a neighbour for commercial purposes.

US Ambassadors residence on 60 acres given for 999 years in 1949
US Ambassadors residence on 60 acres given for 999 years in 1949

author by Frank Millerpublication date Sun Oct 28, 2007 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"They also poked Turkey by Congress passing the Armenian Genocide resolution, pretty much guaranteeing a Turkish action that would further raise tensions in the region, thus forcing oil prices up even more."

The Democrats were behind the Armenian Genocide resolution. The plan is to piss of the Turks who allow the US to supply their forces in Iraq via Turkey. If as a consequence the Turks forbid the US to use their bases then the game is up in Iraq. How can that be in the interests of Bush? Unless Bush is actually a Democrat?

author by Edward Horganpublication date Mon Oct 29, 2007 20:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Demonstration was called for Shannon on 27 Oct to coincide with nationwide anti war demonstrations in the USA. Hundreds promised they would attend but many had more urgent business. Several had halloween parties to organise, others had children to mind, one had a cow to pull out of a bog-hole, and others were too exhausted after attending the Shannon Heatrow Slots demo last week. Incidently, I met Bishop of Kilaloo the Rev Willie Walsh at the Shannon Heatrow Slots demo. I asked him why the clergy, including himself were so silent on the morality of killing innocent people, and asked him to speak out on US military and CIA use of Shannon airport. I wait in hope for his epistle.

Four peace activists managed to breach the Garda Security Dragnet and put on a half hour demo at the terminal building. Up to 50 gardai were on duty in various guises. The usual peace activist harrasment applied.
We were eventually asked to leave the terminal building area, and since the rest of the our demonstrators had been stopped at the security checkpoint a mile from the airport, we decided to join them for a mass demo at the Westair roundabout.
Food and refreshments were provided by the Food not Bombs Brigade.
Special thanks are due to the Gardai who swelled the ranks of the day's protest.
Jokes aside, what is happening at Shannon is very serious indeed. In addition to 640 US troops per day, the CIA torture planes are back using the airport about one per week.
Some of us really do care that we are helping to kill thousnads of innocent people and to torture hundreds of people.

The next demonstration at Shannon is any day you personnally want to come to Shannon and make your own sincere individual protest.

Protesters reach Terminal building having breached the Garda Security 'Ring of Steel'
Protesters reach Terminal building having breached the Garda Security 'Ring of Steel'

Gardai interrogate Peace Activist
Gardai interrogate Peace Activist

Part of the large demo crowd
Part of the large demo crowd

author by Edward Horganpublication date Mon Oct 29, 2007 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been reliably informed that aircraft number N478GS, believed to be operated by or on behalf of the CIA landed and as was refueled at Shannon on Sat last 27 Oct 2007 at about 20.04 hours.
This aircraft has been cited by the European Parliament and by the Council of Europe investigation committees as having been used for the transport or rendition of prisoners for torture.

Related Link:
author by Scepticpublication date Mon Oct 29, 2007 22:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Edward, this photo shows the guards having a friendly chat with the man wearing a beret. Not interrogating him.

author by Fredrikpublication date Mon Oct 29, 2007 23:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am pleased to see that people still show their opposition to the war, and solidarity with those affected by it.

author by John Jefferies - Anti-War Ireland (Cork)publication date Tue Oct 30, 2007 09:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tim Hourigan has written an excellent letter which is printed in today's Irish Examiner (30/10/07). See link below....

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