Pine-GapPine Gap is a joint United States-Australia military spy base located on Arrernte country near Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Pine Gap is one of the most important U.S. military bases outside of America, used in both surveillance and military operations. Although much secrecy has surrounded the base, information about its purpose has slowly come to light through leaked documents and research.

Pine Gap was originally built during the cold war to collect information on the testing of Soviet missiles. Today surveillance and intelligence gathering is still the major function of the base, including the interception of cell phones and satellite communications. It is thought that the US controls all of its spy satellites from Pine Gap.

Pine Gap collects data as part of the “Five Eyes” (FEVY) intelligence network, which enables it’s members- United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and New Zealand- to collect and share information. Documents  leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that this included information collected on citizens.

Pine Gap provides the data that enables the targeting of U.S. drone strikes in countries with which the U.S. is at war, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. These drone bombings are known to kill many more civilians than the people originally targeted, including hundreds of children.

US military and intelligence operates overtly and covertly on many fronts globally. The Australian government is complicit in the deaths, injuries and displacement of many people through its involvement in US-led coalitions in war zones, and in the facilitation of execution-style drone strikes. The Australian Government has allowed the US military, along with its private war industry contractors, to embed in Australia, on land that was never ceded by the traditional custodians, with no consultation of the people of Australia.

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Mainstream Media

Other Media, Blogs, etc:

YouTube (Pine Gap):

  • The World from Below – Pine Gap and Drones (19 Sep 2014)
    Interview in three parts with Richard Tanter from the Nautilus Institute and Emily Howie from the Human Rights Law Centre.
    Segment 1 (8 mins): We discuss the history of the military and intelligence base at Pine Gap, Northern Territory Australia. We talk about the law that applies, including the role it plays in the drones war.
  • Segment 2 (14 mins): We discuss Australia’s involvement in the drone wars, including the death of Australian Christopher Harvard in Yemen.
  • Segment 3 (3 mins): We discuss the role of Pine Gap in mass surveillance operations.
  • Journey To An American Spy Base (Bob Plasto, 1987; 50 mins)
    Documentary exposing the secrets and deceits behind the operations of US spy base in Pine Gap, Australia. Directed by Bob Plasto and released in 1987, the film features interviews with CIA operatives and a revealing exposition of the facilities at pine gap with the Australian Defence Minister at the time, Kim Beazley.
  • Home On The Range (1982; 53 mins)
    Australian independent political documentary about the US installations in Australia at Pine Gap near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Covers the the Loans Affair and the sacking of the Whitlam Labor Government in 1975, the Christopher Boyce spy trial, the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in foreign territories and its former agent Victor Marchetti as well as government secrecy, security, intelligence, foreign affairs and policy.

YouTube (drones general):

  • Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars (Robert Greenwald, 2015; 1 hr)
    “Unmanned” investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad, observing their effect on the War on Terror, the lives of individuals, and U.S. foreign policy.

Nautilus Institute:

Spy Program

Drones (general):