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Fascism, state terror and power abuse

MI5 insigniaBritain's Intelligence Agencies: MI5 (Home Office/MOD) and MI6 (Foreign Office/MOD)

The SS - 'Security Service' (official title), MI5, is Britain's domestic military intelligence division. The SIS or 'Secret Intelligence Service', MI6, is Britain's foreign military intelligence division. Though described as 'services' they are a cross between government departments and plain clothes military units.
Known as The Secret State they operate as a 'state within a state' having only token democratic accountability. They go to great lengths, including lying to elected ministers and use of the archaic 'Official Secrets Act' to stave off embarrassing revelations about what a waste of our public money they are and to deflect all scrutiny of their work. The IOPS (Information Operations Planning System) department of MI6 plants stories in newspapers and on newswires. Champions of the arbitrary telephone intercept, could they contain occult Gestapo elements?

To request access to personal data MI5 hold on you under Part II, section 7 of the data protection act 1998 write to: The Data Controller, The Security Service, PO Box 3255, LONDON, SW1P 1AE. The search will cost £10.00

Essential Background reading:
'Defending the Realm: MI5 and the Shayler Affair', Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding, Andre Deutsch, 1999.

I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation as to why MI5 include an occult symbol, 'the all seeing eye', as part of their previous official insignia. If you know why, please tell me.  Comments here

01Jun02 - Defence Regulation 18b

22May02 - The Irish Times - MI5 inclined to lie, says ex-agent

15May02 - Guardian - Must spy Harder - David Shayler on BBC 'Spooks' series

16Apr02 - AP - British spooks to get secret union

27Mar02 - World Net Daily - Intelligence Agencies form Global Alliance in MoscowDavid Shayler

24Mar02 - Reuters - Security forces suspected in Castlereagh break-in

30Dec01 - David Shayler's Class War revelations - The Class War Files

14Jan02 - MI5 balk at files being opened

23Sep01 - Law forces MI5 to open its files

07Sep01 - MI5 offers to spy for Private firms

What does the occult symbol on MI5's 1950's logo mean?

05Mar01 - The Big Breach, Richard Tomlinson's book on MI6 available to download for free

01Mar01 - Richard Tomlinson, Military Intelligence in the UK media

18Feb01 - MI5 and police ordered illegal break-ins at mosques

03Feb01 - Echelon IP addresses hacked?

14Jan01 - Sunday Times  - Richard Tomlinson, a rebel spy on the run - download Rich Text Document here - Richard Tomlinson has been consistently refused an employment tribunal since he was sacked from MI6

19Sep00 - UPI - Spying on Politics

27Aug00 - Guardian - Jackie Stewart teamed up with MI6 renegade

27Aug00 - Observer - Conceived in Sin - Nick Cohen 

29Aug00 - Observer - Don't shoot the messenger

22Jul00 - Guardian - Second MI5 officer attacks security service

25Jul00 - Guardian - Opening the Floodgates

All seeing eye in the top of the triangle - What are the aims of the Illuminati, the organisation signified by the 'eye in the top of the pyramid' at the top of the MI5 insignia

12Jun00 - London Guardian - Tinker, tailor, soldier, journalist - Has Fleet Street been over-run by the intelligence agencies?

Gadfly - IOJ - Inside Story of an MI5 Cell

28May00 - The Sunday Times - MI5 tells supergrass to sign gagging order

21May00 - The Sunday Times - Top spy chief leads drive to gag press

21May00 - The Sunday Times - Spy chiefs urged arrest of Rimington

21May00 - The Sunday Times - Editorial: The truth will out

16Apr00 - Independent - MI6 spread lies to put killer in power

14Nov99 - The Sunday Times - Runaway spy found lurking in the small ads

10Mar98 - MI5 Press Release - Shock Horror! Security Service have a telephone

17-19Oct97 -The Ditchley Foundation - The Future Of Secret Intelligence Services In Democracies: Scope, Justification And Control

1998 - Security services forced to comply with privacy law

Hakylut & Company

1968 - The Prisoner - fact or fiction? - who runs global intelligence agencies?

See intelligence links on my badlinks page
Press Gagging Orders -

The alternative MI5 homepage
Intelligence Services Unaccountable and Out of Control?

01Jun02 - Defence Regulation 18b

Internment in 'State of Emergency'

One of MI5's most secret documents is a list of about 15,000 'subversives' compiled for the 'War Book'. These people would be considered for internment without trial under Defense regulation 18b in time of war or state of emergency.

Source: Defending the Realm, Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Feilding, Andre Deutsch, 1999, p85.

MI5 inclined to lie, says ex-agent

By Dick Grogan - 22May02 - The Irish Times

BLOODY SUNDAY INQUIRY: The former British secret agent, David Shayler, has asserted that his serving MI5 colleagues will be inclined to lie to investigators "as they know that telling the truth might embarrass or expose their bosses, from whom they have no legal protection or trade union representation".

In a signed statement to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal which has been seen by The Irish Times, he criticises MI5 management and claims that officers who speak out would find that "any career prospects would be severely curtailed" while officers could not simply leave MI5 and work for a similar organisation "as could any whistle-blower from, say, BP, who could find a job with Shell or Esso".

Mr Shayler, whose statement has not yet been sworn into the evidence, comments that if Mr Martin McGuinness really did tell the alleged MI5 agent/informer known as Infliction that he fired the first shot on Bloody Sunday, then the release of this information "has already blown his identity, unless Martin McGuinness told lots of people the same thing".

In the latter case, he adds, Mr McGuinness (who was the acknowledged second-in-command of the Derry Provisional IRA in 1972) would have a clear list of individuals he suspected of being agents of the security services.

Mr Shayler was arrested under the Official Secrets Act last year when he returned to Britain from France, and he faces charges in relation to MI5 documents allegedly passed to a British newspaper which carried revelations that the agency kept files on British Labour politicians and certain show business personalities.

A statement supplied to the inquiry by an MI5 agent identified as Officer L, asserts that he was the author of a "top secret" document on Provisional IRA links with Libya between 1971 and 1996, which is allegedly one of the documents taken by Mr Shayler without authority and passed to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Officer L says he wrote this 135-page document in March 1996, when he was the desk officer responsible "for the investigation of PIRA's links with the state sponsors of terrorism".

In his own statement, Mr Shayler outlines how he joined MI5 in 1991 and in 1992 joined the Irish section, T2, which dealt with threats from Ireland "on the mainland". He left that section in 1994 to work on the Libyan desk until he resigned in October 1996.

He states that when he encountered references to Infliction, he spoke to another officer in the section which ran the agent, and this person used the phrase, "This guy's a bullshitter".

He was told that Infliction had at one time been totally believed and was regarded as reliable, but in a later case information given by another source had contradicted Infliction and had been found to be accurate.

Mr Shayler says he never saw Infliction's report about Martin McGuinness.

"When I saw the report of it in the Guardian, I spoke about it to my girlfriend Annie Machon, who was also an officer of the Security Service in T5 section," he states. She had also replied that Infliction was a "bullshitter".

Must spy harder

According to the BBC, the new spy drama Spooks lifts the lid on life in the British secret services. But with its silly plotlines and cool, Armani-suited agents it couldn't be further from reality, says former MI5 man David Shayler

David Shayler Guardian,4273,4413622,00.html

Wednesday May 15, 2002

They say that James Bond is a 15-year-old boy's idea of the height of sophistication: martinis shaken not stirred, souped-up cars, beautiful women with alluring foreign accents, exotic casinos, microscopic gadgets that can kill a man at 10 paces and all the intrigue of espionage.

Unfortunately the life of the average intelligence officer (IO) - or "spy", in the popular parlance - whether he works for MI5 or its sister service, MI6, is much more mundane. It is more cheap plonk at tedious Whitehall receptions than martinis shaken not stirred in Monte Carlo casinos; more pushing paper between an IN and an OUT tray than pushing drugs in a sting operation; and more sleepless nights worrying about paying the mortgage on the meagre pay of a desk officer than nuits blanches with überbabes and innuendo ("Fancy a refill, darling?"). If the IO is burning the midnight oil, it is much more likely that he is preparing a memorandum for his group leader than spying on suspected members of al-Qaida.

Publicity for Spooks, the BBC's latest offering about the world of intelligence, claims that it captures the workaday realism of a job at the heart of Britain's secret state. Looming out of the schedules and plugged in the Radio Times with the strapline: "MI5, not nine to five", the BBC's latest attempt at original drama is blighted from the start because the work of the routine desk officer is just that: nine to five. Or to be more precise, nine to five fifteen.

In other puff material, the programme boasts that the verisimilitude of its portrayal of our domestic security service - or Box, as it is known in the trade - was vouched for by a former MI5 officer, Nick Day, who acted as consultant. What they don't mention is that Day worked for the service for less than two years and has begun to appear in public as the face of MI5 to counter-act what it no doubt sees as my scurrilous disclosures. In fact, I was the original consultant for the programme when Kudos, the producers, first came up with the idea two years ago. I even came up with the title Spooks - as a joke.

I also advised Kudos that their proposed plotlines of violent anti-abortionists and international rightwing extremist conspiracies were the stuff of liberal-left fantasy rather than any reflection of the real and vital work MI5 does in protection of our security and our democracy. Quite simply, there is minimal sympathy for anti-abortionists in Britain and even if that weren't the case, the Metropolitan police special branch would be much more likely to carry out this work alongside its investigations into animal rights extremists and eco-warriors.

Of course, no drama can accurately and comprehensively depict real life. It would be too tedious, too incoherent. Drama has to be more exciting than real life. The murder rate in Inspector Morse's Oxford makes New York and Johannesburg look like the tranquil backwaters of Tunbridge Wells. Yet that series makes us suspend our disbelief because such characters as Morse and Lewis are believable, peculiarly English coppers and, in reality, people do get murdered in Oxford (just not at the rate in the programme). Having witnessed the work of the intelligence services first-hand, I find it very hard to suspend disbelief when reading Le Carré - George Smiley is far too intelligent and principled to work for MI6. Yet in the absence of any official disclosure about the work of our services, I can see why the characters and plots in Le Carr seem to capture the reality of spy work to those who have not worked on the inside.

But Spooks has none of this. It lamely rehashes every cliche in the book, while introducing dangerous misconceptions about MI5. The first episode saw MI5 officers making arrests. In reality, MI5 has no such power. Special branch or the anti-terrorist squad take over investigations when executive action, as it is known in the trade, is imminent. Similarly, MI5 is not stupid enough to put out misinformation on the record, yet the first episode showed the service trying to cover up a terrorist attack on the part of anti-abortionists by bizarrely claiming it was an unexploded second world war bomb.

At the same time, all the characters in Spooks are attractive, cool, bright young things dressed in designer togs, taking snap operational decisions. In reality, even operational decisions are made by committees of senior grey men - think the Cabinet Office briefing room (Cobra) - who are more likely to wear Marks & Sparks than Gucci suits. And this is nothing to do with English aversion to stylish dress. It is rather the product of mundane economics. It is never explained in Spooks how officers living in central London can afford such lavish designer labels and cosmopolitan lifestyles on a salary 10% higher than a civil servant of equivalent grade. On a similar subject, all the young male characters wear open-necked shirts. They wouldn't get far in the real MI5, where a tie - and a sober one at that - is de rigueur. I should know. I was once pulled up in my annual report for ties said to be "too loud".

Spooks shows us a world of hi-tech, flat-screen, super-fast computers. When I left MI5 in 1996, officers used to court colleagues leaving the section for their laptops (usually Toshibas the size of a desk, rather than the natty little matt-black machines we know today); or else they would spend their lives laboriously drafting their briefs in longhand for secretaries to type up on typewriters. Well, at least they were electric.

Even the colour scheme of the TV version of MI5 headquarters has been glossed up - all cool black, light wood and glass tables, instead of the sombre greys and frosted glass of Thames House. And Spooks plays up to the worst element of Britain's intelligence services: their excessive and unnecessary secrecy, prompting jokes in the trade about Secret Squirrel. In the first episode, the officers used aliases for routine work and kept the real nature of their employment from their spouses. In this day and age, MI5 officers are advised to tell spouses, family and close friends where they work because it is simpler than concocting a needless cover story that requires time, effort and endless discipline to maintain. (Many an officer's cover has been blown by him or her signing a credit-card slip in their real name and signature.)

So despite all its claims, Spooks is just another routine drama, more Saturday teatime kids' stuff, like Bugs, than the late-night sophistication of Sopranos or 24, the US's drama based around a day in the life of the CIA anti-terrorist unit. If the producers of the programme think they are offering verisimilitude then they've been had. Once again, we find ourselves looking across the Atlantic for new and challenging drama, stuff that was once the preserve of the Beeb.

· David Shayler worked for MI5 between 1991 and 1996. He offered advice to the producers of Spooks, and a rival intelligence programme which was not commissioned.,4273,4413622,00.html

British spooks to get secret union

April 16 2002 at 12:50PM


London - Britain's spies are to get trade union protection, but it will be strictly undercover.

The staff association for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6, is to join up with the First Division Association, the union for senior government managers. The arrangement will extend trade union support to staff of SIS, which handles Britain's overseas intelligence operations.

First Division Association general secretary Jonathan Baume said, "Like other public servants, SIS staff face issues such as training, appraisal, pay, pensions and promotion".

The union will help the SIS staff association deal with individual grievances and enhance its "overall effectiveness", he said.

The identities and activities of SIS staff will be strictly confidential, Baume said.

The SIS had no comment. - Sapa-AP

Intelligence Agencies form Global Alliance in Moscow

Spies 'R' Us

Russia hosts gathering of espionage chiefs from 39 nations

By Toby Westerman

27 Mar 2002

1:00 a.m. Eastern

An unprecedented worldwide gathering of spy chiefs, including representatives of the CIA, FBI and Britain's MI5, has just taken place in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to the Italian news daily La Stampa.

The meeting was called the "International Forum of Secret Services" national spy agencies.

Some 100 heads of intelligence services from 39 nations gathered in a large, Soviet-era hotel, the Pribaltiskaia, to not only discuss temporary mutual assistance, but also to consider Russian proposals for the development of a permanent international spy cooperation organization.

"There is no alternative to the process of our unification," proclaimed Nikolai Patrushev, director of the FSB, one of the successors to the Soviet KGB, as the Russian government speaks enthusiastically of a "new level of cooperation" with the West.

Discussions, according to one participant who spoke to La Stampa, have been "concrete and practical." The conference also did agree to establish a permanent international intelligence organization to coordinate anti-terror efforts, according to the Voice of Russia World Service, the official broadcasting service of the Russian government.

During the conference, "glances were exchanged" and meetings were held in the utmost secrecy, with many of those attending described as shadowy figures whose names and titles "one does not recognize," La Stampa observed.

The spy conference follows upon calls by Russian President Vladimir Putin for increased international intelligence cooperation in the war on terrorism.

"Headway in the struggle against terrorism," Putin stated during the conference, "supposes close coordination among national intelligence agencies," according to the Voice of Russia.

While Patrushev called for "unification" of spy agencies, and Putin urges "close coordination" of intelligence agencies around the world, Russia has recently been caught attempting to spy on some of its partners.

According to various press reports, British counterintelligence has recently apprehended an employee of one of Britain's largest defense contractors for allegedly stealing confidential material and sending it to Moscow.

Iam Parr, a 45 year-old worker for BAE Systems, a supplier of civil and military electronic equipment, was charged under Britain's Official Secrets Act.

BAE Systems produces a variety of sensitive technologies, including radar used in terrain-navigation systems for jet fighters, night-bombing equipment, night-vision field equipment, and helmet-mounted combat electronic devices.

Moscow is also currently embroiled in charges of espionage in Japan. A Russian trade representative was recently charged with attempting to obtain U.S. military secrets from a former Japanese air force officer.

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Russian embassy in Tokyo has responded angrily to the charges and has issued an implied threat to the Japanese government regarding the long-anticipated treaty formally regularizing Japanese/Russian relations.

The allegations of espionage were "inspired by those forces that are not interested in concluding a peace treaty between the two countries [Japan and Russia]," the Russian embassy thundered, declaring that those forces "still live in the epoch of the Cold War &" Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Among the issues disputed between Tokyo and Moscow is the fate of several islands in the Kuril archipelago lost to the Soviet Union during the final days of World War II and still held by the Russian Federation.

In February 2001, the United States was rocked by the arrest of counterintelligence expert Robert Hanssen, who later pled guilty to two decades of spying first for the Soviet Union and then for the Russian Federation.

The Hanssen case still reverberates through the U.S. intelligence community, while the extent of the damage he caused remains unclear, as does the effect it may still have on U.S. intelligence capabilities.

Security forces suspected in Castlereagh break-in

24 March, 2002 15:33 GMT;jsessionid=YVGPEBSCB1IDICRBAE0CFFAKEEATGIWD?type=topnews&StoryID=735096

By Kevin Smith

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Fresh details of an audacious break-in at an anti-terror unit in Northern Ireland's most heavily fortified police station has reinforced suspicions the raid was carried out by the security services, Sunday papers say.

The break-in, during which sensitive files were removed from Special Branch headquarters at Castlereagh police station in east Belfast, has baffled police and security experts alike.

Newspaper reports on Sunday focused on the known facts of last week's break-in, while questions of motive, what was taken, and who was involved remain the subject of speculation.

The Irish edition of the Observer reported that security cameras which could have filmed the raiders entering the complex, tying up the lone duty officer and rifling through documents, were not connected to video recording equipment.

The men involved showed army security passes to gain entry, bolstering the "inside job" theory, the paper said.

It quoted police sources as saying the raiders took notebooks containing codenames of informants inside the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the dissident splinter group the Real IRA, and several pro-British "loyalist" guerrilla organisations.

Codes used in the notebooks were "not massively encrypted" and could easily be broken, one source was quoted as saying.

The Sunday Times reported that the stolen material contained details of Special Branch's informer contacts within paramilitary groups which waged war for 30 years over British control of the province.

More than 3,600 people were killed in the conflict -- known as the "Troubles" -- between the province's majority pro-British Protestants and the pro-Irish Roman Catholic minority.

"This is the most serious leakage of information we have had in the current Troubles and it could not have been carried out without inside information," a senior police officer was quoted as saying.

The paper reported that officers investigating the break-in planned to question members of MI5 intelligence service and operatives within the secretive undercover Force Research Unit (FRU) of the British army in Northern Ireland.

The FRU is suspected of setting fire to a police station in County Antrim in 1990 to prevent one of its agents being exposed in a probe by then chief constable John Stevens into collusion between Protestant paramilitaries and the security services.

The Dublin-based Sunday Business Post said intelligence stored at the unit would have included information on David Rupert, a U.S. citizen used by MI5 to infiltrate the Real IRA, and on leading loyalists who might have known of security force involvement in the killings of republican lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989 and Rosemary Nelson 10 years later.

One theory the media examined is that the theft was carried out by disgruntled members of the security services, angry at radical reforms to Northern Ireland's Protestant-dominated Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) as part of the 1998 peace agreement.

Both Ronnie Flanagan, the Northern Ireland chief constable, and Northern Ireland Secretary of State John Reid have launched separate enquiries into the highly embarrassing break-in.

Reid described the incident as "a breach of national security" and vowed to uncover the truth.;jsessionid=YVGPEBSCB1IDICRBAE0CFFAKEEATGIWD?type=topnews&StoryID=735096

The Class War Files

1. David Shayler's Class War revelations

31Dec01 - Tony Gosling

One thing that has become clear to me through the revelations of MI5 whistleblower David Shayler is the extent to which, like the police drugs and vice squads and special branch the Security Services are liable to slip into bed with those they are supposed to be monitoring and, if in the public interest, arresting.

The Gadaffi Plot and the Bishopsgate bomb revelations appear to show that the Security Services (MI5 and MI6) have been lying to ministers, failing to stop known terrorist bombs and even committing terrorist acts themselves. There is a fundamental problem that any act of terrorism can be and is used to justify the continued massive public spending on the secret state.

According to ex-MI5 officer turned whistleblower David Shayler, MI5's 'infiltration' of Class War looks more like a 'propping up' operation. Shayler revealed while in Bristol recently that a Metropolitan Police officer was recruited specifically to penetrate Class War. This he did very successfully, getting his hands on the membership database, one imagines, rather easily. So successful was the spy that he began taking on many of the administrative tasks at Class War. As the routine jobs nobody wanted to do started to be done with what was in effect a subsidy to the organisation, membership figures crept higher and higher and reliability and efficiency of Class War increased dramatically. When the copper was finally pulled out of Class War, largely due to Shayler's efforts within MI5, the organisation became a shadow of its former self.

One wonders if the same would happen to the Socialist Workers Party if MI5 pulled out of there? The 1999 book 'Defending the Realm, MI5 and the Shayler Affair' (by Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding) reveals that MI5 recruited 25 agents specifically to spy on and penetrate the SWP. The tiny party are, after all, Bolsheviks plotting with the Russians to overthrow the British Government.

Since then the SWP have become almost as intransigent as the labour party when it comes to insisting members toe the party line. Could it be MI5 have a bigger part to play than we thought in creating that party line in the first place?

So I courteously request MI5 pull their agents out of the SWP, the sooner the better. My guess is either it would find it difficult to carry on or else fall into the hands of true socialists. I imagine the MI5's main reason for not pulling out of the SWP is to prevent the latter.

Any spooks reading this who wish to leak info to me which does not jepoardise national security (as opposed to the security of a New World 'Festung Europa' Order) but they feel the public should know about...???

You know how to do it and you know where I am ;-)

Read it: MI5 and the Shayler Affair, Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding, Andre Deutsch, 1999, ISBN 0-233-99667-2

edited from my PEPIS bulletin #34

2. Letter from Class War on the above topic

[Skull and Cross Bones logo]

Class War
P.O. Box 467
E8 3QX

07092 170105

10th January 2002

Dear Tony Gosling

As you are aware, we are far from impressed that you chose to distribute allegations about Class War in your Pepis bulletin [PEPIS#34 ed.]. The fact that these allegations come from a former MI5 officer (i.e. somebody who was paid by the government to spy on people like me, and if you are part of the radical movement, people like you) and you failed to check your facts with us before publication is disappointing to say the least.

Class War 79 (Spring 2000) covered Shayler in detail, and a copy was posted to him c/o Punch magazine. Larry O'Hara has also asked some pertinent questions of Shayler and his partner Annie Machon. Neither appear to have the backbone to flesh out their allegations, or indeed answer any questions about their own motivations.

Shayler has had every opportunity to give the full facts (as he sees them) about Class War, be it in Hollingsworth's book or in his Punch article on Class War (Punch, March 22 2000). Notably the smears about Class War "being propped up" or having "dissolved" appear in neither publication, when it was surely relevant. Instead the allegations surface two years later in yours. Could you at least do us the decency of telling us what Shayler has said in Bristol, when and to whom?

As you do not appear to be very well read - about either David Shayler or on the contemporary Anarchist movement - I enclose the following:

- Class War 79, which covered Shayler at length
- Larry O'Hara's writings on Shayler from issues of his magazine "Notes From The Borderland"
- The current issue of Class War, along with some leaflets and our London bulletin.
- A leaflet on the case of Anarchist prisoner Mark Barnsley, a victim of the very state Mr Shayler worked for.

We look forward to hearing from you on these matters.

PAUL MARSH, for Class War.

3. If only life were 'Class War' simple - my reply

13th January 2002

Dear Paul,

I wouldn't expect Class War to easily admit to having been infiltrated. Your assertion that because these allegations have not surfaced before they lack credibility is not reasoning. Shayler feels more confident in exposing wrongdoing by his former bosses as the secret state's case against him crumbles.

I am, in fact reasonably well read on the Shayler case and consider both your and Larry O'Hara's pieces biased. They seem to come from a lack of having actually met the pair. More importantly though you seem too 'Class Proud' to admit to security breaches. The allegation that the agent was pulled out because of Class War's lack of effectiveness might also be difficult for you to take on board.

Shayler's allegations about your agent were fleshed out with substantial background material and I wouldn't have passed on the allegation if they weren't. He described the debriefing of this particular agent who bragged about beating up uniformed police officers as part of his cover and that he was a heavy morning Carlsberg Special Brew drinker.

Too often radical groups (and governments come to that), when faced with uncomfortable allegations, fail to question their own motives and weaknesses. We therefore fail to adapt and grow with the times as we must, if we have the best interests of ordinary people at heart.

Part of the problem comes from the kind of narrow campaigning group Class War is. The world would be a duller place without Class War's irreverence and sense of humour (I was a subscriber for a couple of years round about 1994) but I am far less comfortable with your underlying premise that everybody in the upper or middle classes are the enemies of 'the people'. If they were I don't imagine there would be many of 'the people' left. Your premise owes a lot to a Marxist world view of 'us' and 'them' which is over simplistic.

If only life were that simple. I imagine the nightmare Class War demonstration where the local working class NF skinheads turn up to support your campaign against the Lords and go and beat up Lord Ahmed for you. He is one of the only people in parliament who is campaigning for monetary reform, an end to private monopoly on our money. Something absolutely crucial for the destruction of capitalism, something I have never seen your publications mention.

Anyway, back to Shayler's allegations about Class War's and your penetration by MI5. I received a circular nearly two years ago now saying that Class War was folding up. This could have been disinformation but I assumed it was true since it was corroberated by anarchist friends of mine. Just to check I phoned directory enquiries and found there was no listing for Class War either.

Machon and Shayler's motivations are clear as a bell to me. They joined the 'reformed' Secret Service in the good faith that they could help with that reform and have an exciting job to boot. When they found it was still blundering, incompetent and lying to press and public they bravely decided they couldn't stomach it.

If I'm right then you and Larry's accusations against Shayler and Machon are playing into the hands of the ruling hierarchy of what could, in years to come, become this countries secret police. Some would argue it already is. The fact that you may never have met Stephen Lander, Michael Pakenham etc. is no reason to align yourselves with them in their mission to put Shayler behind bars. When the legal case against a writer or whistleblower is weak the kinds of character assassinations circulated in your magazine play straight into the hands of the secret state.

I suggest you meet up with Shayler and Machon while they are still at liberty to discuss, confidentially and with an open mind, all they know about MI5 action against Class War then publish the discussions. My fear is that you may have already have done so much damage through your attacks on the couple that they may not trust you.

Anyway I hope this can all be resolved and the truth come out not behind closed doors but to the public as a whole. Please be assured I want to get to the truth about the relationship between MI5 and groups such as Class War and I will do whatever I can to help you. The implications of the 25 SWP agents are massive and potentially very damaging to the credibility of the SWP. I am suprised you did not pick up on those.

Oh, and by the way, you may not believe me but I'm actually pleased to hear you're still going. It's the Landers and the Pakenhams of this country, who I believe to be bitter enemies of free speech and freedom, that I want to see exposed for what they are.

Tony Gosling

14Jan02 - MI5 balk at files being opened

BY DANIEL MCGRORY,,2-2002021585,00.html

MI5 EXPECTS a flurry of requests from people who want to see their security files after a new ruling by David Blunkett.

The Home Secretary agreed that MI5 should release the intelligence files they hold on an estimated 300,000 people, as long as the information did not threaten national security.

Security chiefs said yesterday that they were concerned that allowing open access to files could betray how agents collect their information, as well as giving away other secrets about their operations.

Several of the present Cabinet, including Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, can now ask to see the files kept on them in their younger, radical days. Peter Hain, the Foreign Office Minister, was kept under close surveillance during his time as an anti-apartheid protester in the early 1970s. The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, is thought to have been monitored for his union activities during the national seamen’s strike in 1966.

It will still be up to Mr Blunkett to allow any individual to see their file. A Home Office spokesman said: “Anyone can write asking to see their file but it is still up to the security services to advise the Home Secretary whether national security is affected.

“The security services are still not obliged to confirm or deny whether a file has been kept on individuals. This is more of a technical change than people imagine. It does not mean that there will be a sudden free-for-all on thousands of MI5 files.”

What is not clear is the right of appeal an individual will have if their request to see their file is refused. Mr Blunkett agreed with the National Security Panel that MI5 had too much power to block access to files. The Home Office denied yesterday that it tried to cover up this change by slipping Mr Blunkett’s decision into the Commons library on the eve of recess.

Last year a tribunal ruled that the Home Office had acted unreasonably in allowing the domestic security service to impose a blanket ban.,,2-2002021585,00.html

"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound." (Edward Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Cheers Mobbsey!

Gerry Adams - bugged by MI5 even though Tony Blair promised him he wouldn't beLaw forces MI5 to open its files

Sunday Times - September 23 2001

James Clark and Maurice Chittenden

MI5 is to be forced to open many of its secret files to the public for the first time. A landmark legal decision to be published this week is expected to give thousands of people the chance to view much of the information held on them.

An independent tribunal has accepted that a blanket ban on releasing information introduced by Jack Straw, the former home secretary, is unlawful under the Data Protection Act.

In future people will be able to apply to see files held on them by the security service, although much sensitive information will still be held back.

The decision will allow Straw, now foreign secretary, to view his own file, charting his activities as a left-wing student leader in the 1970s.

A senior Whitehall source said last week that the "compromise" solution had left MI5 furious and would send shockwaves through the intelligence community.

MI5 holds information on about 300,000 people, most of whom are no longer regarded as suspects. Indeed, many of the "enemies within" are now respected broadcasters, authors and - like Straw - members of the government.

MI5 uses a "traffic light" system for its files. Red files are dormant and the most likely to be released. At the moment, even security agents cannot access them without permission from a senior officer.

Such files are likely to include papers on John Prescott's activities during the 1966 national seaman's strike; Foreign Office minister Peter

Hain's anti-apartheid protests in the 1970s and a young Peter Mandelson's schoolboy attendance at Young Communist League meetings.

The tribunal's decision means MI5 will have to admit for the first time whether a file exists on an individual if it is asked. The contents of the file will also have to be handed over to the individual unless MI5 can prove to the satisfaction of Whitehall that the information it contains is dangerous to release. Sensitive information such as the names of case officers and informants will be deleted automatically.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes. Baker believes that MI5 holds a file on him from his days as a local councillor when he opposed a road scheme on the grounds that it would be environmentally damaging.

MI5 offers to spy for Private firms

By Steve Boggan 07 September 2001

Leading article: Private spy

MI5 has told some of Britain's biggest companies that it may be prepared to provide intelligence on their business partners and rivals abroad.

For the first time, the security service this week openly invited representatives from industry and finance to its headquarters in Millbank, London, for a seminar called Secret Work in an Open Society.

The Independent has learnt that in between coffee and a buffet lunch, those attending were given a talk by Sir Stephen Lander, MI5's director general, on "What is the security service for?", during which he said companies ought to ask for help more often.

Since the end of the Cold War, MI5 has been trying to evolve into a service more interested in catching criminals and terrorists than foreign spies. This week's move will be seen as another attempt to re-invent itself as a more user-friendly service.

Among the companies invited to attend were BT, Rolls-Royce, HSBC, Allied Domecq, Consignia, BP, Ernst & Young, Cadbury Schweppes and BAE Systems. Of the 64 executives invited, a high proportion were in market development, security or risk-assessment.

"Sir Stephen said he was sure that MI5 could help business more if only it were asked," said one delegate. "In situations where we are working abroad, he said MI5 might have information on companies or individuals it could help us with if it did not involve breaching legislation on data protection or human rights.

"He made the point that, increasingly, organised crime, drugs and money laundering are our common enemy. When getting into deals abroad - particularly Eastern Europe at the moment - you can get into bed with the wrong people if you don't have good risk- assessment information on them. Basically, he was anxious that MI5 shouldn't be thought of solely as a domestic organisation ... In return, he said there might be occasions when we can pass information back."

The list of delegates gives an insight into the sort of executive MI5 is trying to reach: Nigel Carpenter, BP's deputy head of group security in the eastern hemisphere; Mike McGinty, security director at BAE Systems; Mike Harris, information security manager for Consignia; Michael Weller, BT's head of government security; and John Smith, head of security for the Prudential Corporation.

The seminar was organised in conjunction with the Whitehall and Industry Group, a body that aims to bridge the gap between business and government. Its patrons include Lord Haskins, chairman of Northern Foods and the Better Regulation task force in the Cabinet Office; Sir Andrew Turnbull, permanent secretary to the Treasury; Sir George Mathewson, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group; Sir Richard Wilson, Cabinet Secretary and head of the Home Civil Service; and Digby Jones, director general of the Confederation of British Industry.

The practice of using the country's intelligence service to benefit companies is one performed in the United States for a number of years. There is evidence that it has used a communications eavesdropping system called Echelon to gather sensitive information on rivals in the European Union that has been passed on to US business.

There is no suggestion that the British services intend to go that far, but this is thought to be the first time MI5 has brought in so many senior executives.

Even though they were not explicitly asked to keep the meeting secret, none of the delegates approached by The Independent yesterday returned calls. In spite of a number of approaches, MI5 failed to comment.

What does the occult symbol on MI5's insignia mean?

One correspondant writes:

In Egyptian mythology the all seeing eye symbolises Raa or Amon-Raa, the sun god and the greatest of all Egyptian gods

So did this 'Raa' help Pharoah when God told him to give the Jews their freedom? See Exodus 8-15 [TG]

The Eye of Horus?? Horus was a sun god of Egyptian mythology, usually depicted with a falcon's head [Dictionary definition]

ZetaTalk: Illuminati

Take a look at this. I never did like triangles much, could this be why!

Know more?  Want to comment? Email me

The Big Breach - from top secret to maximum security - by Richard Tomlinson

The following links no longer work as the book is available from bookshops in the high street and online

Acrobat PDF
Zipped -
Unzipped -

MS Word
Zipped -
Unzipped -

Zipped -

01Mar01 - Richard Tomlinson - UK Military Intelligence agents in the UK media

France, 1 March 2001

To whom it may concern,


I would like to clarify certain misunderstandings about my book, The Big Breach, in particular rumours that it was written by Russian intelligence.

Contrary to what certain newspapers, particularly the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, and The Times have reported, The Big Breach was not in any way written, sponsored or published by Russian Intelligence or any of their agents. It was written entirely by myself and the text was not added to or altered (except for the usual minor editing changes). I have never even met or spoken to any officers or agents of Russian intelligence, let alone allowed them to have any input into the writing or publishing of The Big Breach.

My belief is that MI6 have spread these rumours through their agents in the media such as Mr Dominic Lawson, Mr Andrew Roberts, Dr Christopher Andrew and Mr Oleg Gordievsky to disrupt sales of the book, to discredit me, and to distract public opinion from the central theme of the book, namely that MI6 needs better legal and democratic oversight.

Instead of making these spiteful and unnecessary attacks against me, MI6 should redress their obvious shortcomings. National security will be far better protected once they have done so.

Yours sincerely.

Richard Tomlinson


Dr Christopher Andrew - Professor of Modern and Contemporary History - Chair of the Faculty of History, Cambridge University

Mr Andrew Roberts - Sunday Times journalist and official royal historian said to be a mate of Prince Charles'

Mr Dominic Lawson - editor of the Sunday Telegraph ex of The Spectator - son of ex-Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson

MI5 and police ordered illegal break-ins at mosques

Jason Burke, chief reporter

Sunday February 18, 2001

The Observer,6903,439636,00.html

British security services ordered illegal burglaries in Muslim places of worship to gather information on alleged Islamic militants, a key MI5 and police informer has told The Observer .

In one of the most detailed descriptions of secret operations on the British mainland, Reda Hassaine, an Algerian former journalist, has revealed how he infiltrated the tight-knit community of Islamic militants in the UK for MI5 and the Special Branch, the police squad with responsibility for gathering information on suspected terrorists.

Hassaine, an asylum-seeker, disclosed how officers blackmailed him into carrying out the burglaries by threatening him with expulsion if he refused. They also advised him on how to defraud the British welfare system to enhance his meagre earnings from them.

The revelations will deeply embarrass the security services and lead to further accusations of incompetence as yet another operative tells his story. It will also raise serious questions about the services' dealings with vulnerable groups like asylum-seekers.

'Any suggestion that asylum applications could be contingent on "co-operating" with the UK security services raises the most serious concerns,' a spokesman for Amnesty, the human rights group, said.

During two years as an informer, Hassaine was asked to steal scores of documents from senior preachers at mosques in north London. Some were communiqués from extremist groups overseas; others were seemingly innocuous.

Hassaine, 37, even told his handlers about a dirty tricks campaign against Muslim militants in London being run by the French intelligence service, the DGSE. Though it too involved burglaries of mosques and Islamic groups' premises as well as the funding of a newspaper supporting the terrorist Osama bin Laden, Hassaine was advised to help the French.

Though Hassaine has been badly beaten by Muslim hardliners and now faces almost daily death threats, the Home Office has refused his asylum application.

03Feb01 - Echelon IP addresses hacked?

from anon. hacker... true or false????  I'd say it has a good chance of being true or I wouldn't have posted it up here! {TG}

Message 1

Between 20-25 percent of all the IP addresses given below are part of the ECHELON system and are used extensively by MI6 and the NSA to spy on British and continental citizens (the last 50 alone were intercepted with my accessing this site). Most of the 62s and 212s are clean: they form part of the Telekom network. Nonetheless there are around ten rogue 212s and three or four rogue 62s. The 193s are particularly interesting because they are well integrated within the RIPE system. Nonetheless, check out the 193s between Frankfurt and Wurzburg on arbitrary strings or as direct "pings".

Many carry little in the way of WHOIS information and are detached from RIPE with direct feeds to London (no nodes). But with a little persistence you'll be able to link them to the Whitehall/Vauxhall area and military bases outside of London.

Quite a few have been around for months, and here again I will provide you with additional analysis and a more detailed breakdown on the addresses later. In the meantime, if you have some decent traceroute software, I wish you the best of fun. Please feel free to send your findings to other interested websites, such as Expect another 30 addresses later.


---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 62,180.220.43 ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----


Message 2

Today's earlier submission of ECHELON / MI6 IP addresses and network listening stations, which are involved in the wholesale commercial theft of other people's hard work, seem to have struck a note.

Most of the 193s, particularly those concentrated the the southeast of Wurzburg in Germany, are ECHELON listening posts. In fact, Germany has to contend with a huge amount of illegal MI6 activity and is indeed the focus of most of ECHELON's espionage (theft of commercial secrets, patents, new products and technology, in addition surveillance of American and British dissidents etc.) You'll find much of ECHELON's electronic snooping terminals southeast of Frankfurt, running in a wide strip from Wurzburg to Furth, which is a few kilometres to the west of Nuremberg, including: Aschaffenburg, Lauda, Rottendorf, Kitzingen, Ochsenfurt, Marktbreit, Bamberg, Ansbach, Forchheim and Erlangen. Run searches on any of the IPs (including the 194s, 195s, 62s, 212s, 217s, 213s and all the others that don't seem to fit) and trace routes to and from all of them. If you've got the right sort of intelligence software with mapping, resolution, imaging, charts and ping and echo facilities you'll find some pretty bizarre nodes and links along the way. Most of the 62s, and 212s are not live feeds, but can be used as a means to see all the 193s and 195s in between. There are however a couple of 62s and 213s way out on another planet ("blackholers"). Whatever, you're bound to ask yourself: "What the fuck is going on here?" Check these out, and enjoy:

[Begin numbers]

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[End all]

Spying on Politics


Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2000

WASHINGTON – The sudden eruption in Britain of a Cold War-era spy scandal, with an alleged East German 'mole' inside the top London think tank on international affairs, has thrown up a startling pattern of Soviet-bloc espionage targeting not military secrets but peace movements and politics.

The Stasi, the nickname for East Germany's State Security Service, claimed to have deployed at least 28 strategically placed spies in the upper reaches of the British establishment.

Three of them were providing reports from the heart of the then-ruling Conservative Party, headed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Another was providing documents prepared for the ruling body of the chief opposition party, the national executive committee of the Labour Party. And another was providing internal documents from the Social Democratic Party, a centrist and breakaway group from Labour that at one point threatened to overtake the parent party as the main challenger to Mrs. Thatcher's Conservatives.

The presence of the Stasi mole code-named 'Eckart' inside the Royal Institute of International Affairs, did not come as news to MI5, Britain's veteran counter-intelligence operation. They had been tipped off under an intelligence-sharing agreement with the U.S.-based Central Intelligence Agency, after CIA officers took advantage of the chaos in East Berlin after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall to plunder the Stasi files.

But the presence – and political targets – of the remaining moles has remained secret until German code-breakers finally cracked the ciphers under which the British operational files were protected. The story broke in London over the weekend, after British academic Dr.b Anthony Glees, director of European politics at Brunel University, analyzed the decoded index to the Stasi files.

"This is a unique and compelling archive, and the importance of its discovery should not be underestimated," Dr. Glees said.

"We have long known that the Stasi were active in Britain at this time, but we have never before known exactly what they were doing. (This index) shows that British agents were able to provide the East German regime with key insights into the realities of British political and strategic thinking."

That is the point. The conventional view of Cold War spying was that military and nuclear secrets were the main targets. But the work of the Stasi 28 in Britain suggests that East Berlin, reckoned by far the most loyal of the satellites of the Soviet bloc, was focusing instead on the inside story of politics and policy-making.

There was a flurry of political protests in London against the recommendation by MI5 not to prosecute 'Eckart' under the Official Secrets Act. But MI5 sources claimed that it was "not at all clear that a conviction could be guaranteed," an indication that it might be difficult to prove that real secrets – as opposed to policy analysis – had been betrayed.

Chatham House, as the Royal Institute of International Affairs is named, after the 19th century prime minister who lived in the classic Georgian house on St. James Square where the think tank now boasts one of the finest addresses in London, is the place where Britain's foreign policy establishment thinks aloud. The favored setting for visiting dignitaries to deliver policy speeches, it also publishes International Affairs, one of the world's top foreign policy quarterlies. It hosts academics and foreign policy specialists and publishes a range of quasi-official policy papers.

"But this is not a place that gets secrets in the classic sense," commented one insider yesterday. "This place is about discussing and disseminating foreign policy ideas and concepts, not about military hardware or war plans."

Intelligence analysts have noted a similar pattern in the way the Stasi targeted Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway. DESTA, (standing for Destabilization, Terrorism and Disinformation), a highly regarded Nordic newsletter on security affairs, devoted an entire issue this year to Stasi operations in Scandinavia, and again the focus on politics, rather than military secrets, is striking.

The Norwegian agent Akker, recruited in 1966, specialized in reports of meetings between Social Democrat parties and leaders throughout Europe. Agent 'Toeppfer,' also recruited in 1966, reported on diplomatic policy-making toward East Germany by various Western European countries. Other agents reported on Norwegian politics, on the formation of Norway's economic and foreign policies, and its links to the European Union.

In Sweden, agent Kiesling was recruited in 1982 to report on the Swedish peace movement and its relations with similar groups inside the Soviet bloc. Agent 'Dom' specialized in reports on Sweden's anti-apartheid movement. Agent 'Martin' was recruited in 1986 and reported on Swedish links with Namibia and the SWAPO independence movement. Another agent, 'Pioner,' reported on Swedish and other countries' links to Mozambique – which at the time was an East German ally.

There is no doubt that the Stasi were also looking for hard military information, like British military planning and Swedish capabilities in defending against chemical and biological warfare, but the Stasi seems to have been fascinated by the way Western politics worked and the way policies were made. Maybe it was a division of labor between the Soviets and the East Germans, and maybe the Stasi found it so hard to penetrate military secrets that they took whatever their agents could get, however tangential the information might have been.

The Swedish authorities also decided not to prosecute the Stasi agents who had been exposed, Justice Minister Laila Freivalds told the Swedish Parliament in February. Some 20 possible cases were pending, she noted, but no decision to prosecute had been taken because "it had not been possible to establish criminal activity and besides, the statute of limitations applied in some cases." (This means that the alleged offense had taken place too long ago to still count as a crime.)

It remains as a remarkable footnote to the history of the Cold War that one of the Soviet bloc's most-feared spy agencies should have spent so much time probing the thinking of Western European politics and the semi-public process of policy-making. But then even Stasi agents had to justify their stipends and their expenses.

"No classified documents would ever go anywhere near Chatham House," noted Rupert Allason, the former Member of Parliament and author of a series of works on intelligence. "Whoever 'Eckart' was, he would be perfectly entitled to pass Chatham House material to the Stasi, and the security service (MI5) would only be interested on the basis that their surveillance could identify a Stasi officer working in London under diplomatic cover."

But then MI5 had penetrated the Stasis's London network already. In 1985, a Stasi couple working under deep cover, Reinhard and Sonja Schulze, were arrested after five years in London, running a 'safe house' in the quiet suburban street of Pownall Gardens in Hounslow, West London.,4273,4055860,00.html

Jackie Stewart teamed up with MI6 renegade

Antony Barnett and Martin Bright Observer

Sunday August 27, 2000

British intelligence agents landed a job for renegade spy Richard Tomlinson with the Formula One motor racing team owned by Jackie Stewart, the former Grand Prix champion and friend of Prince Charles.

The deal was part of a pact MI6 made with Tomlinson in 1996 aimed at stopping the former agent from revealing secrets about the workings of Britain's intelligence services. The deal also involved a loan from MI6 of several thousand pounds to help Tomlinson pay off his debts.

Tomlinson worked in the marketing department of Stewart's team from May 1996 until he left in November to travel to Australia. It was then that the authorities discovered he was trying to publish a book about his work in MI6.

Last night Stewart confirmed he gave Tomlinson a job but said he was unaware of any links with the intelligence community.

'I was approached through a friend who said he knew someone who wanted a job,' Stewart told The Observer last night. 'He was a very personable man and very good academically. It was quite a long time ago and from memory I think he had something to do with the Foreign Office, but I can't be sure.'

In an article in today's Observer, David Shayler, the MI5 officer who returned to Britain last week and is facing charges of breaching the Official Secrets Act, uses the example of Tomlinson to show how poorly he believes he was treated.

Shayler said: 'This all contrasts remarkably with the attitude taken towards former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson. After alleging impropriety, he was the beneficiary of an immunity deal which saw him receiving a substantial amount of taxpayers' money and a new job in return for silence.'

Although it had been understood that Tomlinson was paid £25,000 to keep quiet, the former MI6 agent says it was more like £14,000 and was a loan. He also claims £1,000 was used to pay part of Shayler's legal fees while he was in jail.

After being sacked by MI6 for allegedly 'going on frolics of his own', Tomlinson left for Spain in early 1996. The intelligence service promised him a job and immunity from prosecution if he kept quiet.

Tomlinson claims he was given a 'dull job' in marketing and quickly became frustrated.

He asked MI6 to find him another job but when they failed to deliver he left the Stewart racing team to go to Australia. It was then that he was arrested. Tomlinson, who now lives in Italy, became the first former MI6 officer to be jailed for breaking the Official Secrets Act since George Blake, the KGB traitor, 36 years ago.

Conceived in sin

Nick Cohen

Profound constitutional questions have been raised by the actions of MI5 and MI6. They should not be allowed to get away with murder any more

The Observer - Sunday August 27, 2000,5673,359717,00.html

When David Shayler appeared on Have I Got News For You last year, Paul Merton showed that alternative humour which has made him a millionaire by delivering the Wildean jibe that Shayler was a fatty bozo. Even the Telegraph could not produced wit to match this. In retrospect, Shayler's stock had nowhere to head but up.

He was thanked by strangers in the street for his sacrifices when he returned from exile last week. The greetings were delivered in Beaconsfield, which was not known previously as a Little Moscow of the Buckinghamshire red belt. The newspapers agreed that the tide was with Shayler. They reported the Government had ducked an Official Secrets Act prosecution against him for revealing his most damming secrets - MI6's definite knowledge of and alleged complicity in a coup attempt in Libya, and MI5's lazy handling of warnings of the bombing of the Israeli Embassy which led to the building being wrecked and the probable unjust conviction of two Palestinians. Rather than take the serious charges head on, the authorities had gone for Shayler for the laughably petty crime of telling the Mail on Sunday that MI5 kept files on politicians.

As the politicians were Peter Mandelson and Jack Straw, two of the most conservative figures in the history of the Labour movement, I can see why many think the case will be far funnier than Have I Got News For You has been since those forgotten days when Merton had to struggle on a mere upper-middle-class income. The argument doing the rounds is that MI5 will end up being derided as a collection of numpties whatever happens. If Mandelson and Straw are real security threats, then Shayler was right to reveal the presence of traitors at the heart of Government. If they are not, and they quite clearly are not, then Shayler revealed nothing except the dangerous fantasies of a far-right secret police.

I'm all for laughing at the spooks, but mockery can let them off too lightly. Straw is meant to be the Minister who controls MI5. Mandelson has to deal daily with its bureaucrats in Northern Ireland. They are members of a government which determines the budgets and powers of MIs 5 and 6. How are they likely to behave when they learn that they have been spied on for years after they left the Left by the wizened, vindictive souls of the 'intelligence community'?

The best answer comes from fiction. Robert Penn Warren's 1946 novel, All the King's Men, about the politics of the American South has just been re-published. It has a corrupt politician telling his sidekick, the narrator, to find the dirty secret of a judge who has got ideas above his station.

'"But suppose there isn't anything to find?"

'And the Boss said: "There is always something."

'And I said: "Maybe not on the Judge."

'And he said: "Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something."'

Quite so. Successive American presidents allowed J. Edgar Hoover to ignore the rise of a Mafia and persecute civil rights campaigners because they were terrified about what he had on them in his files. There is at least a suggestion that New Labour politicians are being told to watch what they say.

In March, Peter Hain, the Foreign Office Minister, bravely deplored the prosecution of my colleague Martin Bright for fighting MI5's attempts to find the sources of our articles on the Shayler case. Within days, the Times and Telegraph were reporting that the Conservatives had 'revealed' that Hain was a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and, as such, was unfit to represent Britain. It is impossible to decide whether this was a warning from the secret state to a democratic politician not to get ideas above his station. I wouldn't dream of speculating myself - no responsible citizen wants to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, after all. Yet it is indisputable that Robin Cook was lied to quite spectacularly when MI6 told him Shayler's Libyan accusations were 'pure fantasy'.

As far as we know no official has been investigated for allegedly deceiving the Ministers who are meant to control them. Being a cynical Leftie, I think New Labour would have given the most bigoted factions in the security services everything they wanted without the need for threats. Those Pollyannas among you who believe in the democratic respectability of our system have no choice, however, but to regard Shayler's allegations about the files as the most serious charges of constitutional impropriety he has levelled.

See also:
Special report: David Shayler
Special report: freedom of information MI5 Freedom of information bill,5673,359717,00.html

Don't shoot the messenger

David Shayler


Sunday August 27, 2000

Although I am very happy to be back in Britain after three years, I have hardly been rejoicing. Failing intervention by the Attorney-General, I expect to appear in court soon facing possible imprisonment for breaching the Official Secrets Act.

But the real criminals in this affair are the British Government and the intelligence services. The Government has a duty to uphold the law. It cannot simply be ignored because crimes are carried out by friends of the Government.

In November 1999, I sent the Home Secretary Jack Straw detailed evidence of involvement by MI6 officers in a plot to murder Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. Although the assassination failed when attempted in 1996, innocent Libyan civilians were killed.

In a dossier I presented to Mr Straw, I included the names of those who had also been briefed about the plot within MI5. Mr Straw merely indicated to journalists in off-the-record briefings that he was 'looking into the matter'. Robin Cook labelled my evidence 'pure fantasy', an assertion now contradicted by an MI6 report posted on the Internet last February.

When presented with this compelling evidence these very senior Ministers should, of course, have called in the police immediately. We would never countenance two police officers conspiring to murder a criminal. Why should we accept that two MI6 officers could do the same to Colonel Gaddafi?

This week, I will be writing to both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service asking them to investigate the role of the Government in this case. As part of any inquiry, Special Branch would have to have unfettered access to Government discussions about my case. Should the Government frustrate this process, it would lay itself open to accusations of either obstructing or perverting the course of justice. And what has Sir Stephen Lander, now head of MI5, done to protect the reputation of the organisation he runs?

When I joined MI5, I was told it obeyed the law and always had the utmost respect for civil liberties. So inevitably I am left wondering why Sir Stephen did not perform his clear public duty and call in Special Branch to investigate the Gadaffi plot as soon as he realised that MI6 did not have Ministerial authorisation to plot to assassinate a foreign head of state. In August 1998, I also pointed out publicly that MI5 had evidence of the plot on its file SF754-0168.

Sir Stephen is, sadly, a man who keeps quiet about crimes committed by MI6 but stands by while a properly-motivated whistleblower is persecuted. I fear he has already connived in misleading the Government over MI5's failure to prevent an IRA attack on the British mainland in 1993, a matter I will seek to have disclosed at my forthcoming trial.

The Government's failure to ensure that two MI6 officers are brought to justice for their part in planning a murder is what I would expect of despots and dictators. It is not only an abuse of power. It is an insult to those who respect the rule of law, including the vast majority of the British public.

It is corruption. It is sleaze. And sleaze was where New Labour came in as a supposed breath of fresh air after the Conservatives had grown corrupt.

The Attorney General's office is still determined to prosecute the editor of Punch magazine early next month for claiming that institutional failures in the intelligence services failed to prevent the IRA bombing of Bishopsgate in the City of London in 1993. That was the biggest terrorist attack on the British mainland in history.

This all contrasts remarkably with the attitude taken towards former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson. After alleging impropriety in the intelligence services to the Sunday Times in 1996, he was the beneficiary of an immunity deal which saw him receiving a substantial sum of taxpayers' money and help in finding a new job in return for future silence.

This tragic episode is fast becoming British Watergate. Until Nixon was exposed, the American public was generally prepared to tolerate some secrecy surrounding the work of government because they trusted their elected representatives. But our Ministers should not forget that once their president had been impeached, Americans were no longer prepared to take that government on trust. As a consequence, the American people have now won the most liberal freedom of information policy in the world. Dumb commentators still suggest glibly that 'secrets must remain secret'. That argument is an affront to the public's right to know how our intelligence services operate on their behalf. Secrecy and the ludicrous legislation which props it up is inimical to freedom of expression.

These naive commentators do not have the wit or intelligence to realise that they undermine the proper ability of the press to hold the most secretive and unaccountable areas of government up to public scrutiny. If people want to live in a country where the intelligence services work in absolute secrecy with no respect for the rule of law or basic human rights, they should go and live in Libya, Iraq or Iran.

As the head of Britain's intelligence services, Tony Blair now has a simple - and honourable - choice. To expose the truth. My message to the servants of the state remains simple. Don't shoot the messenger. Don't let MI6 get away with murder.

Opening the floodgates

When Jestyn Thirkell-White broke cover, he ruined MI5's strategy for dealing with David Shayler Special report: David Shayler

Mark Hollingsworth


Tuesday July 25, 2000

There is one individual so embarrassing and infuriating that Sir Stephen Lander, the head of MI5, must pray nightly for the earth to open up and swallow him.

That man is David Shayler, the portly Middlesbrough fan and MI5 officer, who so notoriously departed from the intelligence agency in 1996 with a sheaf of secret documents allegedly under his arm, to blow the whistle on numerous malpractices and talk to the press.

Despite the existence of a recent and draconian piece of legislation - the 1989 Official Secrets Act - MI5's bosses have since been forced to fume helplessly, first as the French refused to extradite him; next as a copy of a highly secret intelligence report detailing British complicity in a Libyan assassination plot was posted on the internet; and finally as, last week, the courts ringingly refused to order the Guardian and Observer to hand over correspondence and notes about their dealings with the fugitive.

But until now, Lander and his frustrated intelligence colleagues have had one single - but highly important consolation. Shayler has been, apparently, alone in his complaints.

So MI5 have repeatedly said that he is disgruntled and bitter - a solitary voice in the wilderness and not credible. The foreign secretary, Robin Cook, taking his cue from Whitehall, claimed Shayler's Libya allegations were "pure fantasy".

However, that fundamental strategy has now been destroyed. Jestyn Thirkell-White, a former colleague of Shayler's in the secret world of MI5, has broken cover in the Guardian. In last week's interview, he backed many of Shayler's allegations of mismanagement, excessive secrecy, lack of accountability and unwillingness to reform. He denounced the Special Branch harassment of Shayler's British supporters as "acting like the police state from which they are supposed to be protecting us".

When I recently travelled to western Europe to meet Thirkell-White (who now works for a prominent merchant bank), I did not find a wild man. A quiet and carefully spoken 32-year-old who lives with his family, he is no attention-seeker.

Educated at a public school and Christ's College, Cambridge (a 2.1 degree in philosophy), Thirkell-White joined MI5 in 1991 after noticing a cryptic advertisement in the Independent on Sunday. Headlined "Godot Isn't Com ing", it was the same one that enticed Shayler. He holds moderate liberal views and was a CND activist for many years. But his grandparents had served in the colonial service in Burma: joining the secret world was not an alien concept.

Thirkell-White left MI5 a disillusioned man. He was not angry, but disappointed. When Shayler revealed a series of blunders and cover-ups, he knew from inside that many of them could be true.

He had always agreed with Shayler's analysis of MI5's failings (both resigned from the organisation in 1996) but was originally deterred, as well as appalled, by the harassment and the imprisonment of his former colleague. (Shayler spent four months in a French jail fighting the UK extradition attempt).

When I met him, he had been thinking about going public for several months. It was a considered and measured decision. However, he was determined to say nothing that was harmful to the nation. (In this he was successful. Security experts have confirmed that he has made no disclosures about MI5 that are genuinely damaging to national security.) He never sought money.

It was MI5 management's unwillingness to reform that eventually wore down Thirkell-White. Like Shayler, he believed that targeting terrorists meant that MI5's internal procedures needed radical modernisation. But there was institutional resistance. MI5's endless committees were cumbersome. Security always seemed to be the excuse to do nothing.

Thirkell-White knew Shayler reasonably well and was part of the same intake. He understands why his former colleague went public: there was no mechanism for internal dissent within the closed organisation.

Thirkell-White too, seems to have had no confidence in the so-called staff counsellor. As a former permanent secretary and a Whitehall insider, no one ever went to see him. Staff were expected to tell the personnel department they had seen the counsellor so there was little trust. Thirkell-White's generation clearly felt any complainant would be reported back to the director-general.

Jestyn Thirkell-White has no plans to make any further statements. And MI5, although deeply dismayed, are not intending to make the foolish mistake of attempting another prosecution.

But he may have opened the floodgates for other former intelligence officers to tell their story in a similarly moderate and measured fashion. And the Official Secrets Act now appears unable to prevent them from speaking out.

In achieving this, Mr Thirkell-White has performed a public service.

The author wrote, with Nick Fielding, Defending the Realm - MI5 and the Shayler Affair, Andre Deutsch

Second MI5 officer attacks security service,4273,4043199,00.html

Second MI5 officer joins attack on service

Mark Hollingsworth

Guardian Saturday July 22, 2000

A second MI5 officer, Jestyn Thirkell-White, has decided to speak out to the Guardian in the wake of attempts on behalf of MI5 to harass the press.

He backs many of the allegations of mismanagement made by his former colleague, the renegade MI5 officer David Shayler.

"I think it is totally wrong that there has been no serious investigation into Shayler's allegations," he says. "Instead, the government has harassed his friends. I thought the arrest of his student supporter Julie Anne Davies, and another of his friends for so-called money laundering - he was never charged - was unjust and outrageous. It was totally disproportionate to the alleged offence. MI5 and special branch were acting like the very police state they are supposed to be protecting us from."

Mr Thirkell-White, who resigned from MI5 in 1996 and now works as a banker, says: "I do not accept Jack Straw's statements that Shayler's revelations have in any way damaged national security." This included Mr Shayler's claim that the sister overseas espionage organisation, MI6, had colluded in an assassination plot by opponents of Col Gadafy in Libya, and that Libyan intelligence officers had been active in London.

Mr Thirkell-White also agrees that the organisation has been in desperate need of reform and modernisation.

"When David went public, I expected an independent inquiry, because the allegations were serious enough to warrant proper investigation: instead, MI5 appointed a former deputy director, John Alpass, who was a friend and colleague of MI5 chief Steven Lander, to conduct a broad review of all three intelligence organisations - MI5, MI6 and GCQ. That was quite wrong."

Mr Thirkell-White and Mr Shayler served together in T Branch (anti-terrorism), where Mr Thirkell-White was trying to block flows of arms and money to the IRA from Eastern Europe and the US.

He backs up one of Mr Shayler's most seemingly bizarre allegations - that MI5 officers wasted vital hours in the search for IRA bombers dickering about the wording of warrants, because of bureaucratic "turf wars" with the police special branch.

MI5 had successfully seized control of anti-IRA operations from the police in the early 1990s, while searching for a new role at the end of the cold war.

"The endless redrafting was nothing to do with protecting people's civil liberties. MI5 were desperate to keep their new role and en sure the special branch could not regain that role. They were desperate to ensure the special branch could not point to any procedural mistake."

Mr Thirkell-White joined MI5 from Cambridge alongside Mr Shayler in 1991. Like him, he was startled to discover the archaic nature of the organisation. Officers still wrote out reports in longhand, for a secretary to draft and then retype after laborious corrections. "It was appallingly inefficient."

"A lot of officers were asked to write endless briefings, just to generate work. It was too hierarchical, and too many layers of management.",4273,4043199,00.html

The Illuminati - [one occult group signified by an 'all-seeing eye' in a triangle] - what are their aims?

The Illuminati are an occult order - Collins English Dictionary Definition: 'a masonic sect founded in Bavaria in 1778 claiming that the illuminating grace of Christ resided in it alone.'

Why not check out your own encyclopaedia or dictionary?

1.  Abolition of monarchies and all ordered government
2.  Abolition of private property and inheritances
3.  Abolition of national culture and identity
4.  Abolition of family life and the institution of marriage, and the establishment of communal education of children away from their parents
5.  Abolition of all religion

These aims quoted by Nesta Webster in 'World Revolution' p.34

Thoughts on the 'all seeing eye' - anon.

The all seeing eye is well known in the world of freemasonry. Just look at a U.S. dollar bill.

The links go back to George Washington et al and the formation of America. Even the word "America" is a corruption of La Merica, the freemason promised land which the Knights Templar fled to after the European purges.

Tinker, tailor, soldier, journalist,4273,4028313,00.html

Has Fleet Street been over-run by the intelligence agencies? David Leigh unravels the hidden network of spooks at the heart of the British press.

Guardian - Monday June 12, 2000

British journalists - and British journals - are being manipulated by the secret intelligence agencies, and I think we ought to try and put a stop to it.

The manipulation takes three forms. The first is the attempt to recruit journalists to spy on other people, or to go themselves under journalistic "cover". This occurs today and it has gone on for years. It is dangerous, not only for the journalist concerned, but for other journalists who get tarred with the espionage brush. Farzad Bazoft was a colleague of mine on the Observer when he was executed by Saddam Hussein for espionage. In a sense it didn't matter whether he was really a spy or not. Either way, he ended up dead.

The second form of manipulation that worries me is when intelligence officers are allowed to pose as journalists in order to write tendentious articles under false names. Evidence of this only rarely comes to light, but two examples have surfaced recently, mainly because of the whistleblowing activities of a couple of renegade officers - David Shayler from MI5 and Richard Tomlinson from MI6.

The third sort of manipulation is the most insidious - when intelligence agency propaganda stories are planted on willing journalists, who disguise their origin from their readers. There is - or has been until recently - a very active programme by the secret agencies to colour what appears in the British press, called, if publications by various defectors can be believed, information operations, or "I/Ops". I am - unusually - in a position to provide some information about its operations.

Let us take the third allegation first. Black propaganda - false material where the source is disguised - has been a tool of British intelligence agencies since the days of the second world war, when the Special Operations Executive (SOE) got up to all kinds of tricks with clandestine radio stations, to drip pornography and pessimism into the ears of impressionable German soldiers. Post-war, this unwholesome game mutated into the anti-Soviet Information Research Department (IRD). Its task was ostensibly to plant anti-communist stories in the developing-world press, but its lurid tales of Marxist drunkenness and corruption sometimes leaked back to confuse the readers of the British media.

A colourful example of the way these techniques expanded to meet the exigencies of the hour came in the early 70s, when the readers of the News of the World were treated to a front-page splash, "Russian sub in IRA plot sensation", complete with aerial photograph of the conning tower of a Soviet sub awash off the coast of Donegal. That was the work of Hugh Mooney of the IRD, which was eventually closed down in 1977.

Its spirit did not die, however. Nearly 25 years later, readers of the Sunday Telegraph were regaled with with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story was written by Con Coughlin, the paper's chief foreign correspondent and it was falsely attributed to a "British banking official". In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years.

The origins of that November 1995 newspaper article only came to light when they were recently disclosed by Mark Hollingsworth, the biographer of renegade security service officer David Shayler. Shayler had worked on MI5's Libya desk at the time, in liaison with his counterparts in the foreign espionage service, MI6, and had come away with a detailed knowledge of events, and a bundle of secret documents to back them up.

The allegations were confirmed from an unexpected direction. The Sunday Telegraph was served with a libel writ by Gadafy's son. The paper was unable to back up its suggestion that Gadafy junior might have been linked to a fraud, but pleaded, in effect, that it had been supplied with the material by the government.

In a long and detailed statement, which entered the public domain in the course of a judgment given in an interlocutory appeal on October 28 1998, the paper described how, under Charles Moore's editorship, a lunch had been arranged with the then Conservative foreign secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, at which Con Coughlin had been present. Told by Rifkind that countries such as Iran were trying to get hold of hard currency to beat sanctions, Coughlin was later briefed by an MI6 man - his regular contact.

Some weeks later, he was introduced to a second MI6 man, who spent several hours with him and handed over extensive details of the story about Gadafy's son. Although Coughlin asked for evidence, and was shown purported bank statements, the pleadings make clear that he was dependent on MI6 for the discreditable details about the alleged counterfeiting scam. He was required to keep the source strictly confidential.

Throughout the formal pleadings, the Telegraph preserved the figleaf of its sources by referring to a "Western government security agency". But this veil of coyness was blown away by City solicitor David Hooper in his book on libel published last month, Reputations Under Fire, in which he says: "In reality [they were] members of MI6."

So, unusually, an MI6 exercise in planting a story has been laid bare. Now, there is no suggestion that Con Coughlin is dishonest in his work. He is a perfectly conscientious journalist who I expect did his best to substantiate his facts and undoubtedly believed in their truth. But nevertheless, those facts may not have been true. And I believe he made a serious mistake in falsely attributing his story to a "British banking official". His readers ought to know where his material is coming from. When the Sunday Telegraph got into trouble with the libel case, it seems, after all, to have suddenly found it possible to become a lot more specific about its sources.

This was not an isolated example of recent MI6 I/Ops. In August 1997, the present foreign editor of the Independent, Leonard Doyle, was also in contact with MI6 while he was at his previous post at the Observer. I know, because I became involved in an MI6-inspired story as a result. Doyle's MI6 contact supplied him with intelligence information about an Iranian exile who, while running a pizza business in Glasgow, was also attempting to lay hands on a sophisticated mass spectrometer which could be used for measuring uranium enrichment - a key stage in acquiring components for a nuclear bomb.

We were supplied with a mass of apparently high-quality intelligence from MI6, including surveillance details of a meeting in an Istanbul hotel between our pizza merchant and men involved in Iranian nuclear procurement.

I should make clear that we did not publish merely on the say-so of MI6. We travelled to Glasgow, confronted the pizza merchant, and only when he admitted that he had been dealing with representatives of the nuclear industry in Iran did we publish an article. In that story we made it plain that our target had been watched by Western intelligence.

Nevertheless, I felt uneasy, and vowed never to take part in such an exercise again. Although all parties, from the foreign editor down, behaved scrupulously, we had been obliged to conceal from our readers the full facts and had ended up, in effect, acting as government agents.

Now, after the Tomlinson/Shayler defections and the subsequent revelation of MI6's continuing I/Ops programme of which my Iranian experience was plainly a part, I think the cause of honest journalism is best served by candour. We all ought to come clean about these approaches, and devise some ethics to deal with them. In our vanity, we imagine that we control these sources. But the truth is that they are very deliberately seeking to control us.

The second intelligence tactic of manipulation which gives concern is the habit of allowing spies to write under false names. It was Tomlinson, I suspect, who, having worked in the area, first blew the whistle on this one. And it was a recently published book - MI6 by Stephen Dorril - which once again added the final piece of the jigsaw.

Two articles appeared in the Spectator in early 1994 under the byline Kenneth Roberts. They were datelined Sarajevo, and Roberts was described as having been working with the UN in Bosnia as an adviser. In fact, he was MI6 officer Keith Robert Craig (the pseudonym was a simple one), whose local cover was as a civilian "attached" to the British military unit's Balkan secretariat.

At the time, Bosnia was the site of attacks and atrocities from neighbouring Serbia, and also the focus of some passionate reporting from British journalists. The British military was there in a UN peacekeeping role, but anyone who read Roberts's articles might have begun to wonder whether it was not a better policy for British troops to go home and leave the Serbs a free hand.

The first article on February 5 rehearsed arguments for a UN withdrawal, pointing out that all sides committed atrocities. The second piece complained, baselessly, about "warped" and inaccurate reporting by journalists, including the BBC's Kate Adie.

It is possible, of course, that Craig was merely overcome with private literary urges whilst marooned in the Balkans, and thought it more politic to express his own opinions under a nom de plume . But one of the traditional roles of I/Ops is to plant stories. What is not clear is how the introduction to the Spectator was made, or whether Craig confided his real trade to the then editor of the Spectator, Dominic Lawson. In his recent book about MI6, Stephen Dorril points out that Dominic Lawson's brother-in-law, Anthony Monckton, was himself a serving MI6 officer, who was to take over the Zagreb station in the Balkans in 1996. (Rosa Monckton, his sister and Dominic Lawson's wife, was the late Princess Diana's close friend.)

These relationships - which the disenchanted Tomlinson knew all about because he had himself served undercover in the Balkans in the same time-frame - have only slowly emerged into the public domain. There is no reason to believe the then editor of the Spectator did anything improper at all, and certainly no reason to think that he was acting as an agent of MI6, whether paid or unpaid. But, as an editor, wittingly or not, it must be a bad idea to end up in a position where an MI6 officer is writing for your publication on matters of political controversy, under a false name.

The final malpractice which the Tomlinson/Shayler defections have brought to light is the continuing deliberate blurring by MI6 of the line between journalist and spy. This is an old crime - Kim Philby, former foreign correspondent of the Observer would have had plenty of stories to tell about that. But it should be exposed and stopped. Tomlinson himself, by his own account, spent six months in 1993 travelling around Croatia and Serbia trying to recruit informants, under the guise of a British journalist. Dorril, in his book, publishes the further assertion that the Spectator itself was unknowingly used as cover by no fewer than three MI6 officers working in Bosnia, Belgrade and Moldova.

The most dismaying allegation floated by Tomlinson was that he had heard within MI6 of a "national newspaper editor" who was used as an agent, and had received up to £100,000 in covert payments, accessed at an offshore bank, via a false passport obligingly supplied by MI6 itself. This claim set off a hue and cry, during which the hapless Dominic Lawson, now editor of the Sunday Telegraph, issued his denial, and other editors came under suspicious scrutiny.

In fact, I believe Tomlinson has been wrongly reported. Those who have talked to him in detail say that he has no first-hand knowledge, but merely knew of something a colleague obliquely mentioned. Hearing the words "editor" and "national newspaper", Tomlinson jumped to the wrong conclusion, and then started guessing. Spies are, after all, very like journalists in their methods - but merely less reliable. What those in the newspaper business know is that there is all the difference in the world between "the editor" and "an editor". Newspapers have, for example, education editors, environment editors and defence editors (not, I should say, that I have any evidence against any individual members of these categories).

And a senior journalist at that level - who could travel, see things, report back - would be of more practical use in the business of espionage than, say, the editor of any national newspaper. So the hunt is still on for the miscreant. And, make no mistake, this kind of behaviour by journalists is dangerous and wrong.

Our first task as practitioners is to document what goes on in this very furtive field. Our second task ought to be to hold an open debate on what the proper relations between the intelligence agencies and the media ought to be. And our final task must then be to find ways of actually behaving more sensibly.

This article appears in the current edition of the British Journalism Review. Copies, £4.95 from BR&D Ltd (01702 552912).



"The security service does not kill people or arrange their assassination," proclaims MI5's official website in a tirade of denials about the organisation's perceived misdemeanours.

"It is subject to the rule of law in just the same way as other public bodies," it adds. So the Hilda Murrell file will therefore remain open for some time yet.

But anyone who believes the MI5 spin that our domestic security service is, and always was, squeaky clean and never used any underhand tactics in the pursuit of its cause (whatever that cause happens to be - which still remains a bit of a mystery) might like to ponder a little reconnaissance mission undertaken by Gadfly at an abandoned office block in north London.


On the corner of the major north London junction of Euston Road and Gower Street - just a stone's throw from University College Hospital and the Slade School of Art - lies an unremarkable demolition site.

The site is located immediately above Euston Square Underground Station and will soon become a brand spanking-new administration block servicing the nearby Glaxo Wellcome Foundation. That site is 140 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BY.

Until some five years ago 140 Gower Street was the anonymous headquarters of MI5 before it moved to the palatial splendour of Thames House next door to Labour's Millbank headquarters in Westminster. It housed the director-general, her secretariat, a particularly sensitive registry and some of the most top secret (and controversial) of MI5's active service units.


It was from 140 Gower Street, according to the late Peter Wright, that MI5 "bugged and burgled its way across London." The same premises also bore "the stench of failure" according to another former MI5 aficionado.

But Gadfly can make a startling revelation about number 140 Gower Street. When this run-down and decaying post-war concrete monstrosity was starting to be demolished last year, Gadfly was walking along Gower Place one summer's evening and found the back door open.

So an impromptu inspection took place. The premises could have been a redundant dole office or local council annex - until you reached the seventh floor.


Inspect the predictable row upon row of small, empty offices and there is little to report. One such office, however, grabbed the attention because it had barred windows. Enter this office and the adjacent office had been converted into a prison cell. It had all the trappings: a steel door with spyhole; heavy-duty Chubb lock; emergency alarm. The cell itself bore only a wooden bench and foot-operated lavatory.

Which begs the question: who had the pleasure of being locked-up inside 140 Gower Street by MI5? "The Secret Service is a civilian organisation and its officers have no executive powers, such as the authority to detain or arrest people," its current website boasts. "It is not a 'secret police force.'"

Anyone wanting to know more about this little mystery will jolly well have to table a parliamentary question to find out, although it is unlikely that the Home Secretary will succumb. However, Gadfly feels it remains considerably more interesting unanswered.


But Gadfly can offer legal proof of this little recce. Also found strewn around the deserted building were some old MI5 files of a particularly tedious nature. In the interest of national security, however, Gadfly dropped them into a nearby police station only to be arrested on suspicion of burglary and locked up in a police cell for some six hours before being released without charge - clutching the obligatory photocopy of the detention record.

Last word, however, to the chaps down at Thames House. "Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1989 is sometimes criticised as prohibiting disclosures even about such matters as the colour of the Thames House carpets and the menu in the staff restaurant," it boasts.

The MI5 wag continues: "These criticisms are misguided: it is not an offence for a member of the Service to disclose that the Thames House carpets are blue, or that the staff restaurant serves a particularly good Chicken Madras!"

from Investigative Journalism Review

MI5 tells supergrass to sign gagging order

May 28 2000

The Sunday Times

THE security service MI5 has demanded that a former undercover agent sign a gagging agreement promising to obey its advice and never to disclose his role nor seek to publicise it, writes Liam Clarke.

In the latest twist to the government's efforts to hush up undercover operations in Northern Ireland, the security service has demanded that the agent's girlfriend, who has also worked for it, should sign as well.

The document was given to Raymond Gilmour, a former Northern Ireland supergrass who infiltrated the IRA and INLA for the RUC in Londonderry in the 1970s and early 1980s. Gilmour, who has been warned by MI5 that he is still under threat from the IRA, has been living in mainland Britain since 1984 under a different identity supplied by the RUC.

Although Gilmour has already written an autobiography vetted by the government, the agreement demands that he and his girlfriend "shall not seek to publicise" their association with the crown "for any purpose whether for their benefit or for a third party".

Last night Gilmour said: "I still have obligations to my publisher, Little Brown, and if I refused to take part in publicity for it I would be in breach of contract." He said he had been offered a one-off payment of about £12,000 to sign the MI5 contract.

John Wadham, who has agreed to act as Gilmour's solicitor in the case, said last night: "If somebody puts their life at risk by helping the police to contain very serious crime then they should be supported and assisted."

The three-page document, a copy of which has been obtained by The Sunday Times, was drawn up by MI5's legal adviser.

Gilmour said: "I gave up my job as a trainee butcher to work for the police. It was at their behest that I joined the INLA and IRA. I thought of myself as an undercover policeman and am proud of what I did, but I was equipped to do nothing except hijack cars and engage in terrorism."

The demand that Gilmour sign the undertaking came after he asked his security service contact for help with a financial problem. It is the latest attempt by the government to end disclosures of undercover activity by former agents.

Last Thursday The Sunday Times was barred from a hearing involving a soldier alleged to be Martin Ingram, the military intelligence whistle-blower. Last year Ingram's disclosures of security force dirty tricks in Northern Ireland, including the burning of a police station to destroy evidence, resulted in gagging injunctions against the paper.

The Sunday Times is seeking to have the reporting restriction set aside.

Top spy chief leads drive to gag press

21May00 - from The Sunday Times

Michael PakenhamONE of Whitehall's top spymasters runs a secret committee that is co-ordinating a wide-ranging crackdown on journalists investigating intelligence scandals.

Michael Pakenham, third son of Lord Longford, the controversial peer, is chairman of the committee, which is so clandestine that the Cabinet Office refuses to disclose its name.

Pakenham's powerful committee is responsible for co- ordinating how Whitehall bosses deal with "unauthorised disclosures" by renegade intelligence service agents such as David Shayler and Richard Tomlinson.

The Sunday Times has established that the committee's members are behind the recent crackdown on the press, which is causing growing concern among civil liberties leaders and newspaper editors.

Pakenham, 56, is probably the most influential spymaster in Britain. It is no secret that he chairs the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which sets priorities for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, the government's eavesdropping centre. As JIC chief he is responsible for ensuring that Tony Blair and other ministers have advance warning of security threats.

Officially, Pakenham's other, more secret, committee monitors policy on disclosures by members or former members of the intelligence services. But in reality it spends an increasing amount of its time discussing policy on gagging journalists.

The committee meets on an ad hoc basis and has up to 20 members, mainly representatives of the intelligence services MI5 and MI6, the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign Office.

Scion of a famous Anglo-Irish family, he joined the Foreign Office, taking up posts as British ambassador in Luxembourg and minister at the British embassy in Paris. He was promoted after the 1997 election to the post of deputy secretary, defence and overseas, a grandiose title which conceals his real job as new Labour's spymaster-in-chief.

One case recently discussed by Pakenham's committee is that of Liam Clarke, Northern Ireland editor of The Sunday Times. Clarke is facing possible arrest by Special Branch over a series of articles about Martin Ingram, a pseudonym for a former member of a covert British Army intelligence unit in Northern Ireland. Ingram alleged that operatives from the unit were complicit in murder and had destroyed police evidence by burning their inquiry headquarters.

Clarke was the latest journalist to face the prospect of a police inquiry for seeking to probe the murky world of Britain's secret services.

This weekend it emerged that another Sunday Times journalist is facing questions from Special Branch over alleged breaches of the secrecy laws by an intelligence services insider.

Detectives from the Yard's financial investigation and special access centre have written to The Sunday Times's lawyers demanding information about an article which reported allegations by Tomlinson, the former MI6 officer, that MI6 had a mole inside the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank.

Richard TomlinsonThe article reported Tomlinson's claim that the mole, codenamed Orcada, had betrayed to MI6 Germany's negotiating position on the Maastricht treaty. He was also paid large sums of money to hand over information on Germany's proposed interest-rate movement and other economic secrets.

Last week Yard officers, accompanied by armed Italian police, raided Tomlinson's hotel room in Rimini, Italy, and seized his computer, diary and mobile telephone.

Tomlinson said: "I opened the door and they poured in at gunpoint. All my legal papers have been taken."

In a letter to The Sunday Times's lawyers, police wrote: "A criminal investigation into alleged breaches of the Official Secrets Acts 1911-1989 is being undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Special Branch. Part of this investigation revolves around an article in The Sunday Times newspaper."

The article was written in September 1998 by The Sunday Times Insight team. Detectives have asked David Leppard, the Insight editor, to disclose whether he was in direct contact with Tomlinson "for any material relating to this article". The newspaper is resisting the demand.

Insight: David Leppard, Paul Nuki, Gareth Walsh, Nick Fielding

from The Sunday Times

Spy chiefs urged arrest of Rimington

James Clark, Home Affairs Correspondent

21May00 - from The Sunday Times

SENIOR MI6 officers were so angry with Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of its sister service MI5, over her plans to publish her memoirs that they lobbied to have her arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

When that failed after objections from other intelligence staff, elements within the agency launched a dirty tricks campaign against her, according to a senior source.

Figures within MI6 - the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) - leaked news of the book, and an alleged £1m fee, to a tabloid newspaper, a senior Whitehall mandarin has told The Sunday Times.

He said "furious" MI6 officers had insisted at a secret Whitehall meeting about 10 days ago that Special Branch officers should arrest Rimington at her home that day, "even if it means taking her door down".

The meeting was called after she sent a draft of her manuscript to the MI5 chief, Stephen Lander, her successor at the helm of the service, more than a month ago.

After an arrest was ruled out as too embarrassing, SIS staff turned instead to the press, the source claimed, adding that private negotiations about the book between Lander, Rimington and the head of MI6 were still going on when the leak took place.

"They are livid, really livid," he said. "They view this as a betrayal, as profiteering and as an invitation to other intelligence officers to do the same. They wanted her arrested under the Official Secrets Act straight away."

The book was almost certain to be published in some form, despite reservations, he said. "She's written it quite sensibly, apparently, but there will be a number of things they will insist on taking out."

The book, which according to a literary source already has a publisher, could have far-reaching consequences for official secrecy. It sets at least two legal precedents that will make it easier for soldiers, civil servants and intelligence staff to write about their work, provided they are prepared to allow scripts to be vetted.

Rimington, 64, a career intelligence officer, ran the domestic security agency between 1992 and 1996 at the height of the war against the IRA and was in charge of the MI5 section that targeted elements of the National Union of Mineworkers during the 1984 strike.

She was the first, and only, woman to head an arm of British intelligence. Since leaving the secret world, she has joined the boards of several companies and charities and given lectures around the world.

Her relationship with MI5's sister service at Vauxhall Cross was always rocky. MI6 was angry when she outmanoeuvred it to claim the lead role in fighting the IRA, even though it was MI6 that first began negotiations with the Provisionals. MI6 was also unhappy about her moves to bring more openness to her service.

Her book is understood to contain revelations about the negotiations with the IRA that were conducted initially by MI6 and then taken over by MI5, as well as chapters on domestic threats, Russian intelligence and internal politics between the services. However, much of the text concerns her private life, upbringing and family. "It's more about why she did things than what she did," said a source.

The book will be dedicated to her two daughters, both of whom went through periods of "difficulty" during Rimington's years away from them at work.

The source said: "She wants to do it for them too, it seems, in order to show them why she was away so much and how important it was. Often they didn't know where she was. It appears to be a sort of cleansing, perhaps reaching a certain time in life and trying to put a few things right."

The truth will out

Editorial: 21May00 - from The Sunday Times

Whitehall appears to be suffering from a virulent form of the disease that deludes top civil servants every so often into believing they can deflect newspapers such as The Sunday Times from doing their jobs. Not content with calling for our Northern Ireland editor to be arrested, and issuing blanket injunctions against our reporting the illegal activities of the army's Force Research Unit (FRU), a secret committee of the Cabinet Office has decided to rein us in over an Insight report in 1998 that MI6 had a paid man in the Bundesbank who revealed Germany's negotiating position over the Maastricht treaty.

The mandarins' tardy attempts to put pressure on Insight follow hard on the heels of the Ministry of Defence's hamfisted efforts to silence our reporting of FRU's shenanigans during the Ulster emergency. This newspaper will resist them both, just as it has resisted and ultimately defeated every serious attempt to silence it for the past 40 years, from the publication of Richard Crossman's cabinet diaries to the thalidomide affair and the debacle over Spycatcher.

The defence ministry's backdoor efforts to muzzle us are marginally preferable to Whitehall's moves against Insight. Misguided though he is, Geoffrey Hoon, the defence secretary, has the grace to attempt a defence of his injunction against us in our letters page today. Mr Hoon shelters behind legal thickets but will not admit that The Sunday Times has revealed how servants of the crown have conspired to sabotage a legal investigation. Michael Pakenham, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee which advises Tony Blair on security matters, tries to keep his role in curbing investigative journalism out of the public eye. He may as well reconcile himself to failure. For the threat that he and those who do his bidding pose to this newspaper and other journalists merely strengthens our resolve. Nor will it deter us from finding out more about the activities of FRU and double-dealing in the European Union.

Mr Hoon and Mr Pakenham have the power to use taxpayers' money to set Special Branch onto us, to threaten us with injunctions and to obstruct us. It has been tried before and failed. The truth has a habit of coming out and we shall do our best, without breaking the law, to ensure that it does.

from The Sunday Times

MI6 spread lies to put killer in power

(above is the original headline as it appeared in the Independent newspaper - web version headline has been changed - TG)

Revealed: Healey admits role in British dirty tricks campaign to overthrow Indonesia's President Sukarno

By Paul Lashmar and James Oliver - 16 April 2000

The world's press was systematically manipulated by British intelligence as part of a plot to overthrow Indonesia's President Sukarno in the 1960s, according to Foreign Office documents. The BBC, the Observer and Reuters news agency were all duped into carrying stories manufactured by agents working for the Foreign Office.

Last night, Denis Healey, Labour's defence secretary at the time, admitted the intelligence war had spun out of control in Indonesia. At one point the British were planting false documents on dead soldiers. Lord Healey even had to stop service chiefs from taking military action. He said: "I would not let the RAF drop a single bomb although they were very anxious to get involved."

The left-leaning Sukarno was overthrown in 1966 and up to half a million people were massacred by the new regime. Now a Foreign Office document obtained by the Independent on Sunday reveals the full extent of the "dirty tricks" campaign orchestrated from London, and how the world's journalists were manipulated.

A letter marked "secret and personal" from propaganda expert Norman Reddaway to Britain's Jakarta ambassador, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, brags about the campaign which aimed to destabilise Mr Sukarno by suggesting his rule would lead to a communist takeover. One story "went all over the world and back again", writes Reddaway, while information from Gilchrist was "put almost instantly back into Indonesia via the BBC".

This included an allegation, with no apparent basis in reality, that Indonesian communists were planning to slaughter the citizens of Jakarta.

Reddaway, a specialist with the FO's Information Research Department (IRD), writes: "I wondered whether this was the first time in history that an ambassador had been able to address the people of his country of work almost at will and virtually instantaneously."

Showing his low opinion of journalists, he boasts that "newsmen would take anything from here, and pestered us for copy". He had been sent to Singapore to bolster British efforts to overthrow the Indonesian president and support General Suharto. His brief from London had been "to do whatever I could do to get rid of Sukarno", he revealed before his death last year. He therefore embarked on an extensive campaign of placing favourable stories with news wires, foreign correspondents and the BBC, and also used the pages of Encounter, an influential magazine for the liberal intelligentsia which, it later emerged, had been funded and controlled by the CIA.

His letter even suggests that the Observer newspaper had been persuaded to take the Foreign Office "angle" on the Indonesian takeover by reporting a "kid glove coup without butchery".

Last month, Abdurrahman Wahid, the country's current president, gave his support to a judicial inquiry into the massacres of 1965-66 and, in an interview broadcast on state television, promised to punish those found guilty.

Newly discovered cabinet papers show that British agencies, including MI6, had supported Islamic guerrillas and other dissident groups in an effort to destabilise Sukarno. The disorder fostered by the British led to General Suharto's takeover and dictatorship, and a wave of violence unseen since the Second World War. The massacre set the stage for almost 35 years of violent suppression, including the 1975 invasion of East Timor, which was only reversed last year.

The cabinet documents (which are separate from the revelations of Reddaway) were uncovered by David Easter, a historian at the London School of Economics. His research - which is published this week in the journal Intelligence and National Security - shows that the cabinet's defence and overseas policy committee asked the head of MI6, Dick White, to draw up plans for covert operations against Indonesia in January 1964. According to Dr Easter, these operations began in the spring of that year and included supplying arms to separatists in the Indonesian provinces of Aceh and Sulawesi.

These actions were complemented by a propaganda campaign run out of Britain's Far East HQ in Singapore by the IRD, which had close connections with MI6. The unit was behind stories that Sukarno and his tolerance of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) would lead to a communist dictatorship in Indonesia.

Reddaway was a key part of this. His letter, written in July 1966, was released to Churchill College, Cambridge, which holds the private papers of Sir Andrew Gilchrist.

Last night, Lord Healey owned up to the Foreign Office misinformation campaign.

Lord Healey said: "Norman Reddaway had an office in Singapore. They began to put out false information and I think that, to my horror on one occasion, they put forged documents on the bodies of Indonesian soldiers we had taken. I confronted Reddaway over this.

"The key thing here is that Indonesia was infiltrating its troops into Borneo and had organised a coup against the Sultan of Brunei with whom we had a treaty. So we reacted similarly. I think it has been long known that British Special Forces - the SAS, SBS and Gurkhas - were used to tackle the Indonesians. But everything was done on the ground. I would not let the RAF drop a single bomb although they were very anxious to get involved."

Lord Healey denied any personal knowledge of the wider MI6 campaign to arm opponents of Sukarno. But, he added: "I would certainly have supported it."

According to one of the country's leading commentators on security matters - Richard Aldrich, a professor at Nottingham University - the episode shows Britain's post-war operations at their most effective. "It represents one of the supreme achievements of the British clandestine services," he said. "In contrast with the American CIA, they remained politically accountable and low-key. Britain has a preference for bribing people rather than blowing them up."

Professor Aldrich added that modern journalistic deadlines had made today's media even more open to manipulation than it was 30 years ago.

Runaway spy found lurking in the small ads

from The Sunday Times November 14 1999

Nick Fielding

WHO could it be, this former spy seeking work in the small ads in the latest issue of Private Eye, the satirical magazine?

Step forward Richard Tomlinson, formerly of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service and now, by way of France, New Zealand and Switzerland, a would-be snowboard instructor in the Bavarian Alps.

And what are his prospects of more lucrative employment via Private Eye? After serving six months in jail for breaking the Official Secrets Act, Tomlinson has been on the run for breaching bail conditions.

Since he left Britain 15 months ago he has acquired skills in international travel and negotiation: he was arrested at gunpoint in France, expelled from New Zealand and America and prevented from going to Australia. After spending much of the past year living in Switzerland, he was again forced to move on in the summer and settle in Germany.

His new media expertise is also impressive, though he denies leaking the names of 117 MI6 officers on the internet via a Californian website.

In addition, he can offer hands-on experience of executive troubleshooting. As an MI6 officer he worked in Russia, Bosnia and in the murky world of Iranian arms dealers. Alas, there is one slight problem: the former spy might be arrested if he came to Britain.

"I've obviously got to go through unusual routes just to sell myself," Tomlinson said last night. "I can't just walk into Croydon dole office and ask for a job. MI6 normally help their former officers find jobs, but they won't do anything for me."

In 1996, Tomlinson approached The Sunday Times to complain about his dismissal from MI6 and his plans for an industrial tribunal - which was never allowed. He then went to ground and threatened to write a book about his time in the service. He was subsequently convicted of breaching the secrets act and jailed.

"I earn a living at the moment, but I need something a bit more permanent. I do 'due diligence' work for various clients, mostly on the internet, but I'm trying to get a job as a snowboard instructor," he said.

He still plans to publish his book but the prospect of a literary career seems as distant as ever. "I sent an outline to Fourth Estate [a publisher] a few months ago and despite the fact that it contains nothing that compromises security, they had their computers seized. It's just an interesting lifestyle story really.

"MI6 seem determined to prevent me publishing. They have copyright on anything to do with my work on MI6, but not on anything since."

His choice of Private Eye to sell himself seems appropriate. It appears to be popular reading - various old covers of the magazine were found at MI5's headquarters in Gower Street, London, when the service moved buildings.

The magazine's record on responses to ads, however, is hit and miss. An advertiser seeking "angels" for a West End musical once secured £13,000, one Hell's Angel and two actresses who wanted to dress up in wings. One ad "Spike Milligan would like to meet a rich, well-insured widow - intention, murder" was not so successful.

from The Sunday Times

MI5 Press Release



089/98 10 March 1998


A public telephone number - the MI5 Phoneline - has today been set up by the Security Service ("MI5") to make it easier for people to pass on information which could help the Service do its work.

The number - 0171 930 9000 - can be found through Directory Enquiries and will appear in new telephone directories under "Security Service" and "MI5".

Reliable information is essential to help the Service identify threats to the United Kingdom's security, wherever in the world they originate.

People have always been one of the Service's most important sources of information. They can help to counter a terrorist group, uncover a hostile foreign intelligence operation, or thwart the export of parts for nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

They may be public spirited individuals who notice activities which they think are a threat, and who want to report their concerns.

Others may be people who are personally involved in the groups investigated by the service, or who are closely associated with them and who want, for whatever reason, to volunteer information secretly.

Whoever they are, the MI5 Phoneline will make it easier to get in touch with the Security Service. Callers' identities will be protected with greatest care - the Security Service places the highest priority on the safety of people who help in this way.

For the same reason, the Service uses the information it receives with equally great care.

Because the service will have to be sure that callers are who they say they are, staff manning the system will ask for information about the caller and their circumstances.

The MI5 Phoneline is not designed to replace the 999 system for emergencies which need an immediate response from the police or emergency services, or the anti- terrorist hotline - 0800 789 321 - which is for giving police information about a terrorist incident which has happened or may be about to occur.

The Phoneline will be staffed initially during extended office hours - from 0730 until 2330 - seven days a week. There will be a limited number of lines available, so at busy times, particularly in the first few days of operation, callers may find it difficult to get through. The Service hopes that anyone with genuine information willbe patient and try again later. People can write to the Service if they prefer, at The Enquiries Desk, PO Box 3255, London SW1P 1AE.

Notes to Editors

1. The Service's job is to protect national security. Its main tasks are the fight against terrorism, espionage and the spreading of weapons of mass destruction. It also acts, at their request, in support of the police, HM Customs and other law-enforcement agencies to counter serious crime.

2. Questions and answers on the Phoneline are attached.


1. How can ordinary members of the public help? Can they volunteer to be spies?

The Service continues to rely, as it always has done, on members of the public to assist it in various ways. Members of the public who genuinely believe they have information relevant to the Service's functions and which they can substantiate should ring the Phoneline.

2. Why now?

The Service has been considering having a public telephone number for some time. The decision to introduce the line now reflects a judgement that the potential benefits, in terms of developing new sources of intelligence and acquiring useful information, are likely to outweigh any disadvantages. It is also consistent with the moves over recent years towards making the Service more accessible.

3. How can members of the public find out more about the Security Service?

The Phoneline is not intended as a means of contacting the service about employment opportunities, of seek information about the Service or registering a complaint under the Security Service Act 1989. The Security Service does not have a press office and operators will not be able to answer enquiries from the media or the general public about the Service or its work. They will, however, be able to advise on how such enquiries might be pursued, A 36 page HMSO booklet describing the Security Service and its work was published in 1993. The current edition was published in 1996; a revised edition will appear shortly.

4. A Snooper's Charter?

The Phoneline is being established only for the purposes specified in the 1989 Security Service Act that govern the operations and functions of the Security Service. The Service will need to satisfy itself that any information it receives is genuinely relevant to its statutory functions before acting on it. Callers offering information which is not relevant to the functions of the Service will be invited to contact the appropriate authorities.

There will be no connection with information lines set up by other agencies, for example the Benefits Agency fraudline. the Security Service will not use information which does not relate to its statutory functions.

5. What sort of calls does the Service not wish to receive on the Phoneline?

The Service does not wish to receive calls in the following general categories:

6. Isn't it confusing to have yet another hotline, in addition to 999 and the Anti-Terrorist Hotline?

The Security Service Phoneline is not a "hotline" (ie a means of reporting information relating to imminent or recent acts of criminality, whether or not terrorist- related.) Anyone with information about activities which pose an imminent threat to life or property should contact the police.

7. What about the Secret Intelligence Service ("MI6")?

The Security Service's decision to set up a Phoneline reflects its judgements about its own operational priorities and functions as laid down in the relevant legislation. The Security Service (MI5) and SIS (MI6) are two separate organisations with different statutory functions.

8. Will calls be recorded?


9. When will the line be manned? What happens to calls out of hours?

The switchboard will be manned initially from 0730 to 2330 seven days a week. Out of hours, callers with urgent information for example about imminent acts of terrorist or other crime will be given a recorded message advising them to contact the police or the emergency services.

10. Will callers have to give their name?

Preferably but not necessarily. However, the Service will need to establish the bona fides of any caller offering information which it judges to be significant

11. What if someone hacks into the answerphones?

Secure arrangements will be used.

12. Will information obtained via the Phoneline be shared with the police?

Yes, where it is relevant. Where the police or other law enforcement agency is likely to have to respond immediately as a result of the information being offered, the caller will be advised to contact those authorities direct.

13. What about fax and e-mail?

Fax facilities will be available where necessary, but there are currently no plans to have a public e-mail address.

14. Is this a public relations exercise or a reflection of greater openness?

The decision to set up the Phoneline now has been made on operational grounds as a means of helping the service to carry out its work. However, it is consistent with other initiatives the Service has taken in recent years (and especially since 1993) to inform the public about its roles and responsibilities and to build on the invaluable public co-operation and support it already receives.

15. Where can people find the number?

The Phoneline telephone number will be available from BT Directory Enquiries under "Security Service" and "MI5".


17-19 October 1997  The Ditchley Foundation -

Ditchley had last considered secret intelligence in 1988, with the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union in place, the existence of intelligence agencies still unavowed in several countries, and the whole activity so shrouded in official reticence that even the holding of the conference had attracted eminent disapproval. We met now in a transformed international setting, and with at least some of the veils cast aside.

But with the Cold War over, what was it all now for? We were in no doubt that diverse threats remained to international order and legitimate national interest. The world was complex and uncertain; deviant political leaders were not a phenomenon entirely of the past; the exploitation and inexorable spread of technology brought new national and societal vulnerabilities. Military conflict, in particular, had not vanished from the global scene, and good military intelligence was a force multiplier essential for successful outcomes. Crime and terrorism - not always tidily distinguishable - increasingly crossed frontiers and commanded large resources and technical skills. If governments were to serve their people well in countering all these menaces, actual and potential, they needed pertinent, dependable and timely information.

All that said, it was evident that there were many fewer fiercely-closed societies than a decade ago for Western governments to interact with, and technology had itself massively enhanced the flow of open information. Was secret intelligence still needed on anything like the old scale, and how much value could it really add? Sometimes very little, we conceded; sometimes however, and crucially, a lot. We recalled the classic difference between mysteries - things inherently unknowable, like Saddam Hussein's future intentions - and secrets - things kept hidden, like his chemical-weapon holdings; and we knew that secret intelligence could offer no sure access to the former. But opponents in adversarial settings were almost always minded toward concealment in one way or another; CNN, however rapid, was not always right or balanced; in other situations, needed data might become openly available too late for timely action; and secret intelligence could help in special degree towards sorting, integrating, calibrating and verifying the open flood.

We paused on commercial intelligence only long enough to note the dangers of its being collected by governments. It was understandable that they might wish to counter corruption or unfair competition operating to the detriment of their citizens, but the activity - especially if directed against activity in countries viewed as friendly - risked damaging relationships, not least within the intelligence field itself.

International cooperation engaged a good deal of our intention. The desirability of shared understandings of the world was evident, for example in relation to Europe's aspiration towards a Common Foreign and Security Policy. There were areas of specific activity, as possibly in how to deal with the commercial dissemination of high-quality encryption capability or in combating international drug-related crime, in which most democratic governments might have similar interests and should therefore be capable of working together on intelligence. Bosnia and the pursuit of Saddam's WMD capabilities had brought home to UN authorities, once apt to find the very notions of secret intelligence and of communications-security repugnant (and still suspicious of national manipulation), that these were essential components of a capacity to act effectively. And the costs of secret intelligence activity made ideas of burden-sharing and specialisation among like-minded countries in principle persuasive.

The difficulties however were extensive. It was, for instance, far from certain that UN activities involving a wide diversity of participants could command either the skills to use intelligence well or the disciplines, and genuine commonality of interest, to guard it and its sources. Some of these considerations weighed even upon cooperation with political friends; and thorough-going money-saving interdependence required an identity of recognised long-term interest, and perhaps also of governmental culture, that could not generally be taken for granted. Particular "clubs", varying with issues and usually marked by a clear leadership country or group, were often the best practical route to cooperation. Nevertheless, our sense overall was that there needed to be more international sharing, especially in analysis as distinct from collection.

The need for better cooperation and coordination held good also, so several participants argued, at an earlier point, within nations: understanding, interaction and two-way dialogue could still be improved both among different collection agencies and between data-gatherers, analysts and decision-taking users. In at least some of our countries agencies and users still seemed insufficiently aware of and responsive to one another's needs and capabilities; systems as a whole might need further reform to improve flexibility, relevance and reaction times (and perhaps also to sharpen skills in relating risk to importance and cost in targeting). We noted, too, that amid the data deluge private-sector competence might have a contribution to make, for example in analysis. We reached however no clear consensus on whether matters would be improved by the creation of intelligence "supremos" in executive charge of the whole field, though centralised assessment had strong support.

We wrestled with the concept of value for money in intelligence effort, and how it was to be measured and made operational. The notion of a straightforward market in which users paid for the particular intelligence efforts they wanted found no friends; even if value and cost were (and in fact they were not) in a tidy relationship, intelligence was a long-term broadly-based activity in which action-supporting outputs could rarely be neatly connected - especially before the event - with specific resource inputs. The principle of "customer pays", even if bureaucratically workable at all, might encourage a short-termism wholly at odds with the reality that many aspects of intelligence-gathering required patient and in a sense speculative long-term investment. The customer was often better qualified to influence where existing capability should be applied than where investment in future capability should go. There was however merit, we acknowledged, in regular post-mortem to examine value and to learn lessons; and it was suggested even that occasionally a "Team B" approach, with rival assessment deliberately fostered as challenge to mainstream structures, could yield healthy dividends. We heard voices - albeit contested ones - suggesting that the mainstream was prone to overvalue secret as against open sources; and that processes were too slow to adapt to the information revolution and the implications of the cyberspace arena.

We recognised, with a near-unanimity which might scarcely have been evident a decade ago, the crucial importance of persuading publics, as citizens and taxpayers, that secret intelligence was needed and useful, efficiently managed and not improperly conducted. The task was not easy against a background of opinion largely formed by a mix of imaginative fiction and occasional scandal, focused upon cloak-and-dagger activity that in reality formed at most a very small part of total effort. Failures - the emergence of the unforeseen, or penetration by hostile interests - tended to be evident, and successes - often in the form of disagreeable events headed off and so not happening - hard to advertise or to prove. Publics wanted to feel secure, but could readily be tempted to suspect a misuse of secrecy as cover for incompetence or wrongdoing. All this placed a high premium - higher than intelligence professionals had in the past been disposed to accept - upon justification and trustworthy oversight; and this became a major theme in our conference.

Oversight in the form of internal-to-government accountability to elected political leaders on every aspect was, so it was claimed, salutarily established in most (not all) of our countries. But this could not nowadays alone command public confidence; external political scrutiny was increasingly essential in order visibly to stimulate and demand good system performance, to defend the intelligence contribution where necessary, and to guard against malpractice - though we heard suggestions that political overseers might be excessively drawn to concentrate, for publicity reasons, upon this last. In some of our countries external scrutiny had made large advances within the past decade (and earlier worries about indiscretion among scrutineers had generally proved over-anxious). International dialogue and exchange of experience might strengthen these advances. In one or two countries however, perhaps for special reasons, oversight had still not taken root, to the detriment both of public respect and probably of system performance.

We noted, but did not find time to plumb, the contribution towards oversight and consequent public reassurance that might be made by the regular processes of financial audit, by the law and the courts, and by special devices like ombudsmen or commissioners to review particular categories of activity. Predictably, divergent opinions were to be heard about the contribution of the media, with some participants stressing their inescapable weight in forming opinion and others their role as competitors to intelligence and their propensity to exaggerate, demonise or trivialise its work. The majority perhaps felt, in this as in other fields, that the wise course was to help the media understand (even if the will to do that was fairly uneven) rather than to attempt exclusion.

Our discussion of the growing role of the intelligence agencies in countering crime raised several issues. We recognised that there was often a unique contribution to be made, and that provided that contribution was made in the service and under the authority of due law-enforcement authorities there was every reason to exploit it. There was misgiving expressed, though not generally shared, about consequent threats to proper civil liberties; and also a recognition that awkward trade-offs could arise between intelligence considerations like the protection of sources and the effective deployment of information under proper rules of evidence in the prosecution of malefactors.

The fields of crime and terrorism highlighted awkward issues about the ethics of intelligence-gathering where it rubbed up (not often, but not never) against the boundaries of normal domestic law, or where it entailed doing business with, and acquiescing to some degree in the continued activity of, unsavoury characters. Here again - if perhaps to the relief of some - time prevented our delving as deep as the issues warranted; we did little more than acknowledge the awkwardness of reconciling aspirations to strict propriety with the practical imperatives of protecting the public in arenas where adversaries played by no rules. Perhaps some doctrine of proportionality - a little law-breaking or blind-eye-turning to secure a big public benefit? - might help; but we left that mostly for Ditchley's next conference on intelligence.

PARTICIPANTS Chairman : The Honorable R James Woolsey Formerly Director, Central Intelligence

AUSTRALIA Ms Margaret Twomey First Secretary (Liaison Officer for the Office of Material Assessments), Australian High Commission, London

CANADA Mr Anthony Campbell The Honorable Edwin A Goodman PC OC QC Member, Security Intelligence Review Committee Dr Wesley Wark Associate Professor of History, University of Toronto Dr Reginald Whitaker Professor of Political Science, York University, Ontario

FRANCE Monsieur Olivier Debouzy Lawyer, August & Debouzy, Paris; formerly foreign service officer Monsieur Jean-Louis Gergorin Professor Christopher Andrew Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, University of Cambridge Mr Jimmy Burns Reporter, Financial Times Mr Dale Campbell-Savours MP Member, Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee Mr Stephen Hawker Minister of Defence Professor Peter Hennessy Professor of Contemporary History, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London Mr Michael Herman Former civil servant, author The Rt Hon Tom King CH MP Chairman, Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee Sir Colin McColl KCMG Chief, Secret Intelligence Service, 1988-94 Mr John N L Morrison Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, Ministry of Defence Mr David Omand Director, Government Communications Headquarters Mr Michael Pakenham CMG Deputy Secretary, Cabinet Office, and Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee The Baroness Park of Monmouth CMG OBE Formerly HM Diplomatic Service Mr David Rose Writer and broadcaster Sir David Spedding KCMG CVO OBE Chief, Secret Intelligence Service Mr Kevin Tebbit Deputy Under-Secretary of State (Defence), Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Gerald Warner KCMG Intelligence Co-ordinator, Cabinet Office, 1990-96

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Dr Morton H Halperin Senior Vice President, Twentieth Century Fund The Honorable Jeffrey K Harris President, EOSAT Mr Ted Price Formerly Deputy Director for Operations, CIA Ms Elizabeth R Rindskopf Formerly General Counsel to the CIA and senior legal adviser to the US Intelligence Community Mr Elliot Stein Managing Director, Commonwealth Capital Partners Mr Thomas Twetten Formerly Deputy Director for Operations, CIA Dr Judith S Yaphe Formerly Senior Analyst, CIA

Security services forced to comply with privacy law

From: - 1998

Hundreds of thousands of secret intelligence files held by MI5 and MI6 could be destroyed after the Data Protection Commissioner ordered the security and intelligence agencies to register their huge databases under the Data Protection Act.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, formerly the Data Protection Registrar, has been negotiating with MI5 , MI6 and GCHQ to register under the 1984 Data Protection Act for more than five years.

Security chiefs have resisted the move claiming that they are entitled to blanket exemption from complying with the Data Protection Act 1984 which incorporates the Data Protection Principles into UK law.

These require that data is collected fairly and lawfully, that it is accurate and kept up to date, and is only used forr the purposes stated in its entry on the Data Protection Register.

But following the introduction of the Data Protection Act 1998 earlier this year, the Commissioner informed intelligence chiefs that they could face court action if they failed to register under the Data Protection Acts.

This week the Assistant Data Protection Commissioner Jonathan Bamford, told the Investigative Journalism Review: "We had made it clear to these agencies that we expect them to register under the Data Protection Acts and comply fully with the Data Protection Principles."

He added: "We will investigate any complaints - now called 'requests for assessment' - that we may review in relation to these agencies in the same way as far as any other data user."

The Commissioner confirmed that the three agencies have now sent application forms to register under the Data Protection Acts. The application for GCHQ has been returned and it's entry now appears on the Data Protection Register.

The Investigative Journalism Review has also learned this week that the head of MI5, Sir Stephen Lander, has received an application under the Data Protection Act from the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker.

In his letter to Sir Stephen, dated 12th July, the MP for Lewes wrote: "As you will know, the Office of the Data Protection Registrar is of the view that the UK's security and intelligence agencies are duty bound to comply with the Data Protection Principles and thus the Data Protection Acts"

It continues: "Accordingly, I would appreciate it if you would kindly now advise me as to the procedure you plan to adopt in order to process this request, and also the prospective time-scale that will apply to this application."

The Home Office would not comment on this application this week. Both it and the Foreign Office, which over see the work of MI5 and MI6 respectively, referred the Investigative Journalism Review to the Cabinet Office.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office indicated that the government will not intervene over the Commissioner's tough line on the security and intelligence services: "This is a matter concerning the Data Protection Acts and is therefore a matter for the Data Protection Commissioner

From: Investigative Journalism Review

Hakylut & Company

Sir Peter (Grenville) Cazalet
British business executive
chair 1998-1999

Sir William Purves
British retired banker
chair 2000-now

Sir (Philip) John Weston
British diplomatist and company director

Hakylut Foundation

Sir Peter F. Holmes
British Petrolium Executive
President 1997-now

Hakylut Society

Kenneth Raymond Andrews
Vice-President 1983-90

'The Prisoner' - Quote from 'The Chimes of Big Ben':

The Prisoner is a 1960's TV series (available on VHS and DVD) where a British secret agent tries to resign and finds himself kidnapped and taken to a place called 'The Village'.  Here he is given the number 6 and the authorities, here in the person of number 2, try to get him to explain why he resigned.

No.2: "It doesn't matter which side runs the Village."

No.6: "It's run by one side, or the other?"

No.2: "Oh, certainly. But both sides are becoming identical. What in fact has been created - an international community. The perfect blueprint for world order. When the sides facing each other suddenly realize that they are looking into a mirror, they will see that this is the pattern for the future."

The Prisoner website

See intelligence links on my badlinks page

The Security Service, or MI5, official pages

Democracy requires citizens to be informed so that they can meaningfully exercise their right to participate in the democratic process. The media play an essential role in facilitating the process of providing information to citizens. This is particularly important in regard to information about official wrongdoing. Experience shows that when wrongdoing does take place, investigative journalists are among those best placed to expose it. Indeed, because of the great public interest in the conduct of government, including corruption and other kinds of misuse of public office, the european court of human rights has frequently noted the important "watchdog" role of the media.

Tony's Index