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UK's Own Gitmo Hides Some Dirty Secrets

The Orange Party
June 01, 2009

The shameful cover-up by the foreign secretary who lied to parliament over illegal secret renditions on the tiny crown island of Diego Garcia has been exposed, while the government’s disgraceful dirty little secret has been systematically wiped from the official record.

Time and again the … government has scoffed at suggestions the island was used as a Guantanamo (Gitmo) style black-site prison.

Now two terror suspects who were flown by the CIA to the UK territory and later allegedly tortured have been named and evidence about their treatment has been revealed for the first time, according to the Guardian. …

After repeated denials by ministers, fresh evidence prepared for the commons foreign affairs committee by Clive Stafford Smith, of the human rights group Reprieve, show two men, referred to by foreign secretary, David Miliband, had been rendered through the island in 2002.

And the government had systematically destroyed flight logs for the US airbase, according to LibDems foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davy.

The government has an appalling record over the tiny island in the Indian Ocean since leasing it out to the US in the 1970s. Then locals were forced out to live in poverty more than 1,000 miles away in Mauritius, so the island could be turned into a US military base.

One of the alleged terrorists held at Diego Garcia cited in the Reprieve evidence before he was flown on to Gitmo is the subject of a police investigation into “possible criminal wrongdoing” by the CIA and an MI5 officer.

Stafford Smith said: “It is time for the UK government to come clean about its role in the detention and to reveal who else has been held on and rendered through Diego Garcia, what happened to them there, and where they are now.”

Unlike Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, no-one can drop by Diego Garcia, even with a UK passport. Anyone entering territorial waters will be arrested. The island, which has a huge airstrip, is full of US military …

The government has a shameful record over the use of the island and the treatment of its people. In 2004, Blair exiled the whole population from the Overseas Territory when he issued an Order of Council stopping the islanders from ever going back, using the ‘royal prerogative’ without recourse to parliament or the crown.


Secret PAN satellite leads Cape milspace launch surge

BY Craig Covault
May 26, 2009

A new military satellite so highly classified the U.S. government will not even divulge which military or intelligence agency owns it is undergoing final checkout for liftoff this summer at Cape Canaveral.

The placement into the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch schedule of the $500 million class secret mission, on a large booster and close to launch – but with no public disclosure of who will command it – is highly unusual.

The satellite weighs at least two tons and is code named “PAN.” …

The mission is part of a surge in military spacecraft launch operations at Cape Canaveral, which has already launched three military flights in 2009. The Cape is to launch as many as five more during the second half of the year starting with PAN.

The late placement of PAN in the public schedule, minus any other information, could signal that the Defense Dept. and intelligence agencies are beginning to stiffen secrecy around the growing number of U.S. military space flights. …

The PAN designation is likely a meaningless term used simply so the mission can be called something that will not give away its identity during integration with the launcher. …

The Defense Dept. acknowledges openly that the NRO manages imaging, signal intelligence, and ocean surveillance missions and their relay satellites.

The Air Force operates communications satellites and missile warning spacecraft.

In addition the Missile Defense Agency is openly launching new spacecraft to develop advanced warning sensors while the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing technologies that aid all of the agencies. …


US ready for 'conventional' war with N. Korea

29 May 2009

The US is “prepared” to engage in a ‘conventional’ war with North Korea but it requires time to adjust to the new front, says the military.

Gen. George Casey appearing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday said the US was ready to enter an old-fashioned war with North Korea if necessary.

However, he said, “It would probably take us a little bit longer to shift gears” away from the type of counterinsurgency fighting that now occupies the Army. Casey was referring the US two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We’d move forces as rapidly as we could get them prepared,” Casey insisted. …

While thousand of US soldiers stationed in South Korean bases are on high alert, the US defense secretary, Robert Gates, maintains that North Korea’s actions have not reached a crisis level that would warrant additional US troops in the region. …


Military ‘cyber command’ to accompany Obama’s security efforts

Stars and Stripes
May 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare, The New York Times reported …

The military command would complement a civilian effort announced Friday by President Obama to overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks …

The decision to create a cybercommand is a major step beyond those taken by the Bush administration, which authorized several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks …

Obama made no mention of the proposed cybercommand in a speech Friday about cybersecurity.

However, he noted that Defense Department networks are constantly under attack, and servicemembers lost the ability to use thumb drives and other external memory devices last year after a virus affected thousands of department computers.

He also mentioned that the Russians launched an effective cyber attack during their invasion of Georgia last year …