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08 September, 2016

British people kept in dark over UK/US drone missions

The US likes to get the UK directly involved in its activities so at the UN and other international agencies it will have the support of European allies, says Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, and author of a book on drone warfare.

Newly released documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden have shed light on US spying operations from a base in the UK. The leaks include details of how surveillance data gathered there was used in American targeted killings in the Middle East and North Africa.

[...]

We always knew the UK was working together with the US on these drone operations. But now we have much more information that details how Menwith Hill has been used to collect vast amounts of data that is used not just for surveillance, but actually given over for military operations. So, that’s directly linked the UK complicity with drone warfare that many of us think is illegal and violates international law. So, I think that people who have been protesting the way the UK has been working hand in glove with the US in the drone program have a lot more direct questions now to ask of their elected officials.

[...]

... the British people have been kept in the dark about how significantly the UK is involved in this program. And it parallels how the American people have been kept in the dark for years about the extent of the drone program. In fact, it was a group like ours and legal groups that took the US government to court that forced our government to even admit that it was using such a thing as drones. So, both governments have tried to hide the reality from the public.

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