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British MPs demand scrutiny of US military bases amid spying reports
8 months ago

RAF Croughton Front Gate Sign (Photo from wikipedia.org)

British MPs have called for American military bases in the UK to be properly scrutinized under cross-party proposals after evidence emerged that they are being used for mass spying activities and drone attacks.

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The draft proposals that have been tabled by all three major parties demand that the government overhaul outdated rules under which Washington’s network of UK bases and outposts operate, following claims of British complicity in US drone strikes in the Middle East and eavesdropping on European allies, The Independent reported.

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The amendments, which would be debated next month, would have to be adopted by the government to become law. But peers and senior MPs say the current legislation – now over 60 years old – is inadequate.

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British oversight of US bases is currently based on the 1951 Status of Forces Agreement, which was drawn up long before technology such as drones or mass surveillance were in existence.

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Under the current laws, a US base is nominally under the command of a British officer. Under the new proposals, a scrutiny panel would be set up which would include a “member holding high judicial office” as well as a person “with expertise in the particular technology used and services carried out by the visiting forces.”

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“These amendments are designed to enable light to be shone on an area causing increasing public concern. They will enable proper scrutiny in parliament so that minsters responsible can decide whether steps should be taken to review laws and agreements which, in the light of innovative uses of modern technology, appear increasingly outdated,” Lord Hodgeson, one of the Conservative peers backing the proposal, told The Independent.

Under the proposal, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, who also is responsible for reviewing the activities of Britain’s spying agencies, would have to produce an annual report to ensure that US bases are operating within the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The government admitted last year that there is currently no requirement that US bases comply with RIPA.

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“The government cannot claim that the American bases in the UK are accountable to anyone but the Pentagon under current legislation. It is time we made what happens to UK citizens on UK soil the responsibility of the UK government,” said Baroness Miller, one of the Lib Dem peers backing the new rules.

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RAF Croughton - a US Air Force base and CIA relay station in Northamptonshire in southern England - was used last year to funnel data back to Washington from the network of diplomatic spy posts across Europe, known as the Special Collection Service.It also has a secure link with a US counter-terrorism facility in Djibouti, which is used for drone strikes in Yemen. Meanwhile, RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire is a National Security Agency (NSA) listening facility.

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Campaigners say the Pentagon’s controversial drone campaign has killed 2,400 people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen in the past five years, with at least 461 civilians killed in Pakistan alone.

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The Ministry of Defence (MOD) insisted that USAF staff in Britain “neither fly nor control” any drones. But Kat Craig, legal director of Reprieve - a group that &ldquoromotes the rule of law around the world” - was not impressed by the MOD’s insistence.

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“It is a scandal that there is so little oversight by the British government of potentially criminal activities taking place on our own soil. Moves to ensure the current unquestioning support is brought out of the shadows are therefore very welcome,” said Craig.

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http://rt.com/news/uk-us-military-bases-198/

8 months ago

Now, that's what I was talking about earlier. It's about time that the Europeans started looking at these American military bases over there and either kick us the hell out or at least make sure they're involved in what's taking place in their own backyard, so to speak.

Oh, those Pesky P's!!!
8 months ago

100% agree, Susan!

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Ray, this is hard to remember, but I try! Also, it CAN be fixed!

When you copy "Quotation mark - P ", you get a "funny face" emoticon!

This only appears AFTER you have posted. "Oh, NO!"

a group that &ldquoromotes the rule of law around the world” -

Okay, THERE IS A WAY TO STOP THE "FUNNY FACE" FROM APPEARING!

Or, if you need to, to EDIT the post to ERASE the "Funny Face", which kindof looks inappropriate in a serious subject!

That is, to put A SPACE BETWEEN the Quotation Mark and the P!

Here goes..... " Promotes the rule of law around the world"

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When you are QUOTING FROM SOME PUBLICATION AS HERE, the emoticon will do that! So, you have to remember to PROOFREAD FOR THAT PARTICULAR COMBINATION... But it's okay even if you miss it - YOU CAN CHANGE IT IN THE EDITING.

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See, for some reason the emoticon thinks that " P" after the Quotation mark, looks like its tongue sticking out....!!!!

I have learned to always CHECK my postings AFTER I posted them, sometimes they don't come out exactly the way I thot they would....

Hope this has been of help to EVERYONE posting....



This post was modified from its original form on 26 Jan, 11:57
8 months ago

HaHa ... I saw the emoticon in his posting and wondered about that. This is honestly the first time I've seen that. My problem when using quotations is that it puts strange letters in my posting. I try now never to use quotes. Thanks for that post Barbara!

QUOTES AND APOSTROPHES
8 months ago

Oh, Susan - that's another thing! Glad you brought that up!

This is WEIRD - I've found this thru trial & error! I have posted SO MUCH that is from other sources like magazines, etc.!

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Here is what you do to eliminate the "strange letters" when using quotes.

First, I just used quotes here myself, and the "strange letters" didn't come up. {I'll have to wait & see until after I post; but I don't think they did!}

Now, let's say I find an article at another website, talking about: a group that "advocates the rule of law" around the world - let's say, that's part of what I want to COPY from the website.

First thing you notice - you'd have to have the article in front of you, say, after you copied it to here, and b4 you edited it.

When you've posted the article here and b4 you've edited it, you see that the quotation marks LOOK DIFFERENT from the ones we use here: " is what we use here, also ' for apostrophe.

But, in the article you've just copied, you see that the " and the ' look a little different - small difference, necessarily, but DIFFERENT.

Aha! there's the rub!

So, what you do to edit - it's tedious, if there are a LOT of quotes, but what else can you do? - you CHANGE ALL THE " IN THE ARTICLE IN FRONT OF YOU, TO OUR ". And, for good measure, I always change the ' also, to our '.

Again, it's tedious, but the only alternative is, as you say, to avoid those marks altogether. Which means you can't post some things.

After doing a lot of post-posting editing, I learned to do this editing BEFORE pressing "post reply". Now it is just what I do regularly...

So, you got that? If I copy from another website: a group that "advocates the rule of law" around the world - the quotation marks b4 "advocates" and after "law", I just erase and re-type with OUR marks!

Tedious, but.... annoying as heck, but...

Have no idea why it's set up this way.

Hope this helps...

8 months ago

Thank you so much Barbara. I had no idea how to correct that. As I said, I had a small idea why it was happening, but not what to do. I'll definitely make that little change. That's just awesome. Thanks ~

8 months ago

 I agree

8 months ago

Glad I spotted that emoticon and thot to do this!

8 months ago

I always throught it was NSA or GCHQ spying on our group, I will repost the thread again later today, somewhat busy at the moment,

8 months ago

Oh, you don't have to re-post, this is a good OBJECT LESSON!

Ray, Pliz DON'T RE-POST!!!!!!!
8 months ago

WAIT, WAIT, RAY, DON'T DELETE YOUR POST!!!

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As a HOST of this group, you CAN - BUT -

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THAT WILL DELETE ALL THE FOLLOWING POSTS!!!!!

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AND THERE GOES ALL MY HARD WORK.....!

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PLEASE LEAVE THE POST EXACTLY AS IT IS, IT IS AS I SAID, A GOOD "OBJECT LESSON" - just use this for FUTURE REFERENCE....

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THANX!

GOOD "OBJECT LESSON" - just use this for FUTURE REFERENCE..
8 months ago

Beautiful said, and those ugly emotes never bothered me... ty all for being awesome 

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