So the US authorities don't like foreign spies in their midst or on their territory (Russian espionage ring, 2 July). Some of us are deeply troubled by the presence of the US spy base at Menwith Hill – in our midst and in beautiful Nidderdale. The base is celebrating 50 years of operations this year. Menwith Hill is the largest American spy base outside the US. It operates with no meaningful accountability or parliamentary and public scrutiny and is out of control of the UK government. They do what they like. It goes on mushrooming and relentlessly developing.
For Americans all round the world, 4 July is Independence Day, marking the historical event in 1776 when the US Declaration of Independence announced that the 13 American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, were now independent states and thus no longer a part of the British empire.
Menwith Hill celebrated Independence Day a week before. Maybe this was because traditionally at Menwith Hill we are there on 4 July with an alternative view. Once again we will be calling for independence from US military and foreign policy. However, we know that empires come and go. We hope that many people will join us tomorrow.
Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases
• I see Tony Blair is to be presented with a medal by former US president Bill Clinton for "bringing liberty" to people around the world (Iraq papers show Goldsmith warning to Blair, 1 July). I'm sure John and Linda Catt – now classed as "domestic extremists" thanks to Blair's raft of enabling acts – will join with the relatives of Iraq's million dead in wishing the man further success.
Kyleakin, Isle of Skye
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