AABCC Press Release 6 February 2003

Is Powell using Pine Gap to tell lies?

"When the issue is the annihilation of Iraq and its people, we need to be confident that any evidence from the US can be trusted," Denis Doherty, National Co-ordinator of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign, said today.

"But it is difficult to trust the claims made by US Secretary of State Mr.Powell before the United Nations, given the lies they have inflicted on the world in the past.

"In 1991 the United States claimed that Iraqi troops were massing on the border with Saudi Arabia. This was shown later to be a fabrication." Mr Doherty pointed out.

"The same was true of a report that Iraqi soldiers were throwing babies out of humidicribs in Kuwait. This was later exposed as a fraud concocted by a PR company. "At the UN, Mr Powell used phone intercepts and pictures obtained through Pine Gap, the US military base near Alice Springs, using its Keyhole Satellites.

"This is confirmed by Prime Minister Howard's statement that Mr Powell would be using Australian intelligence in his speech.

"The Australian Government does not have access to all areas of Pine Gap and does not know everything that happens at the facility," Mr Doherty said. "The US has built and controls all the satellites and their ground stations, including Pine Gap.

"There is therefore no way to ensure that intelligence from Pine Gap is not being manipulated to make a case for the war that the Bush administration so clearly wants," Mr Doherty said.

"What is beyond question, however, is that the 800 cruise missiles scheduled to rain down on Iraq will have had the co-ordinates of their targets calculated at Pine Gap.

"Australians will be complicit in a massacre of civilians, a crime

against humanity," Denis Doherty concluded.

For further information, contact Denis Doherty on 0418 290 663