Friday, 27 February 2004

Blair's Fury At Short Over UN Spying Claim

Tony, FOR SHAME! How dare you make us look as bad as you! Spying on the UN is not something we should be involved in!

Premier slams rogue MP over 'irresponsible' bugging claims

Clare Short was told to shut up yesterday after appalling the Government with her claim that British spies bugged UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Barely able to conceal his fury, Tony Blair called her "totally irresponsible" and accused her of undermining security. He warned he would "reflect" on her future.

The ex-Cabinet minister could now be stripped of the Labour whip, kicked off the Privy Council and even be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. But last night Ms Short was defiant. She said: "Either the PM has to say it's true, which he doesn't want to say.

"Or he's got to say it's not true, and he'd be telling a lie. Or he's got to say something pompous about security."

Ms Short astonished MPs by accusing the security forces of breaking international law in the run-up to the war on Iraq.

She told Radio 4: "These things are done. In the case of Kofi Annan's office, it's been done for some time.

"I know. I've seen transcripts of Kofi's conversations. I've had conversations with Kofi, thinking 'Oh dear, there'll be a transcript of this'." Asked if British spies were involved, she said: "Yes, absolutely."

At his monthly No 10 news conference Mr Blair refused to deny Ms Short's allegations, while stressing that was not an indication they were true.

Then he laid into the rogue MP who has been a constant critic since she quit Cabinet over Iraq.

He declared: "Our security services, particularly today, perform a vital task. Many work in circumstances of great danger. Those who attack their work undermine security. It's wrong.

"We're going to be in a dangerous situation if people feel they can spill out details of operations, whether false or true, and get away with it."

Asked if Ms Short should remain a Labour MP, Mr Blair said: "These are issues I'll have to reflect upon. I regard what she said as totally irresponsible."

Later Ms Short, who said she was on a "journey of conscience", ridiculed Mr Blair's claim she had put lives at risk. She said: "There's no danger to anyone in making this public." Asked about the threat of being disciplined, she added: "I'm not trembling in my shoes. I've nothing to lose."

Full story...

Britain's spying shame

Duplicity, evasions - but no answers

If you look up the words duplicitous and evasive in the dictionary it'll say, "See Tony Blair"

It is time for an full, independent public inquiry into the case for war

by Peter Kilfoyle

The revelations of Katharine Gun should not have come as too big a surprise. After all, we have come to expect the worst of our security services when they are guided by men and women of little principle. Yet when we bug our allies to undermine them at the UN, we are plumbing new depths.

When the powerful feel threatened, there is little they will not do to protect their power. Thus, the downfall of Richard Nixon began with his burglars sifting through Democrat files at Watergate. Was the request by Frank Koza of the United States National Security Agency to GCHQ for illegal help qualitatively any different? When Peter Wright's book Spycatcher suggested an intelligence plot to oust Harold Wilson, many of us were not surprised either.

Why should we feel any better towards our security agencies today, when they appear to be more motivated by politics than by security? They begin by being selective and they degenerate into being subversive. It should be of no surprise that the prime minister reacted to the dropping of the case against Katharine Gun - and Clare Short's allegations - by attacking them.

Answering a question that he was not actually asked in his press conference yesterday, he said those who "attack the work they [the intelligence services] are doing, undermine the security of the country". This is a a breathtaking sidestep from the real issue of whether we spied on our allies and on the UN. Have we been acting illegally yet again? The prime minister's charge that Ms Gun and Ms Short are "irresponsible" will not wash.

The public wants a full account of what our intelligence services have been up to. The national interest demands a full account too, not further evasions and duplicity. There are two Congressional inquiries into the rationale for the Iraq warunder way in Washington. They will unearth more in a week than a dozen Butler commissions will manage in a lifetime. Unlike our system, US inquiries are designed to illuminate rather than obfuscate. It is perhaps why the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - in its report, WMD in Iraq - drew upon official National Intelligence Estimates, which had been declassified up to July 2003, for its conclusions and recommendations.

From the earliest days, it was dissidents within the US intelligence community who were conducting a debate with the administration on the pro-war strategy. Can we imagine the British intelligence community dropping its supine posture towards the political establishment in such a frank way?

The recent revelations concern attempts to subvert the decision-making of the UN's security council. At such a critical time the UK was party to illegal spying at the behest of the US. Such a role for our country would be consistent with our peculiar notion of a special relationship, our reward for which is access to American intelligence. The existing cosy intelligence relationship has been complemented by a close alliance between Bush and Blair. The president, failing to get unqualified CIA support for his wilder claims on Iraq, relied on Donald Rumsfeld's Office of Special Plans for other intelligence.

Full story...

Thursday, 26 February 2004

Oxfam accuses UK of hidden arms trade

Ever wondered why some nasty person might want to blow you up on the number 27 bus? Well here's why. We are selling weapons to people who should not be being sold them, they then use those weapons to blow up children and kill babies. How nice to know that my government sanctions and probably encourages this, and they want me to respect them? I have more respect for the smelly pile of shit that I just stepped in than I do for Phony Tony and his Corrupt Cronies.

Arms companies and the government are evading export controls by supplying countries with components rather than complete weapons systems whose sale would be banned, according to a report published today by leading aid and human rights groups.

They accuse the government of double standards by exploiting loopholes enabling it to get round international embargoes and its own human rights guidelines.

There has been an eleven-fold increase in the number of weapons components licensed for export in recent years, says the report by Oxfam, Amnesty International, and the International Action Network on Small Arms.

The loophole has enabled British arms components to be sold to countries including Zimbabwe, Israel, Indonesia, Uganda, Colombia, Nepal, and the Philippines.

A shift in policy was discreetly announced by Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, in 2002. He added new criteria including the "importance of the UK's defence and security relationship with the incorporating country".

His move was prompted by the sale of British components for American F-16 fighter aircraft destined for Israel and used in raids on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Full story...

Short: UK spied on Kofi Annan

A lesson in government by deception, we are now a vassal state of our former colony, the government is dishonest, corrupt and smells like six day old unwashed socks. Phony Tony needs be be sacked and the placed in stocks in Tower Green.

Oh yeah, and with reference to Herr BlunKet's new anti-"terrorism" legistlation, notice how it's MI5 the INTERNAL security service which is being enlarged, not MI6 which is the EXTERNAL security service. More fascism by the back door!

British agents spied on the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, in the run-up to the Iraqi war, former international development secretary Clare Short claimed today.

Ms Short made the claim while being interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme about the implications of the collapse of the Official Secrets Act case against GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun.

Asked whether British agencies had been involved in spying activities against Mr Annan, Ms Short - who quit the cabinet in protest against the war - said: "I know, I have seen transcripts of Kofi Annan's conversations.

"Indeed, I have had conversations with Kofi in the run-up to war thinking 'Oh dear, there will be a transcript of this and people will see what he and I are saying'."

Ms Short was asked whether she believed that British spies had been instructed to carry out operations within the UN on people such as Kofi Annan.

She replied: "Yes, absolutely."

Ms Short was asked whether she knew about such operations when she was in government.

She said: "Absolutely, I read some of the transcripts of the accounts of his conversations."

Asked whether she believed that was legal, she said: "I don't know, I presume so. It is odd, but I don't know about the legalities."

The news is likely to dominate the prime minister's monthly press conference this morning.

Full story...

Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Lockerbie: CIA witness gagged by US government

Lockerbie is just another in a long line of plane crashes that aren't what they appear to be...

A former CIA agent who claims Libya is not responsible for the Lockerbie bombing is being gagged by the US government under state secrecy laws and faces 10 years in prison if herevealsanyinformation about the terrorist attack.

United Nations diplomats are outraged that the US government is apparently suppressing a potential key trial witness. Diplomats are now demanding that the CIA agent, Dr Richard Fuisz, be released from the gagging order. Fuisz, a multi-millionaire businessman and pharmaceutical researcher, was, according to US intelligence sources, the CIA's key operative in the Syrian capital Damascus during the 1980s where he also had business interests.

One month before a court order was served on him by the US government gagging him from speaking on the grounds of national security, he spoke to US congressional aide Susan Lindauer, telling her he knew the identities of the Lockerbie bombers and claiming they were not Libyan.

Lindauer, shocked by Fuisz's claims, immediately compiled notes on the meeting which formed the basis of a later sworn affidavit detailing Fuisz's claims. One month after their conversation, in October 1994, a court in Washington DC issued an order barring him from revealing any information on the grounds of "military and state secrets privilege".

When contacted by the Sunday Herald last night, Fuisz said when asked if he was a CIA agent in Syria in the 1980s: "That is not an issue I can confirm or deny. I am not allowed to speak about these issues. In fact, I can't even explain to you why I can't speak about these issues." Fuisz did, however, say that he would not take any action againstanewspaperwhich named him as a CIA agent.

Congressional aide Lindauer, who was involved in early negotiations over the Lockerbie trial, claims Fuisz made "unequivocal statements É to me that he has first-hand knowledge about the Lockerbie case". In her affidavit, she goes on: "Dr Fuisz has told me that he can identify who orchestrated and executed the bombing. Dr Fuisz has said that he can confirm absolutely that noLibyannationalwas involved in planning or executing the bombing of PanAm 103, eitherinanytechnicalor advisory capacity whatsoever."

Fuisz's statements to Lindauer support the claims of the two Libyan accused who are to incriminate a number of terrorist organisations, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, which had strong links to Syria and Iran.

Lindauer said Fuisz told her he could provide information on Middle Eastern terrorists, and referred to Lockerbie as an “example of an unsolved bombing case that he said he has the immediate capability to resolve”.

Lindauer says Fuisz told her CIA staff had destroyed reports he sent them on Lockerbie. Lindauer also refers in her affidavit to speculation that the USA .shifted any connection to Lockerbie away from Syria to Libya in return for its support during the Gulf war.

She added that Fuisz told her: “If the [US] government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack today. I could do the right thing … I could go into any crowded restaurant. and pick out these men. … I can tell you their home addresses … You won’t find [them] anywhere in Libya. You will only find [them] in Damascus. I was investigating on the ground and I know.”

The 1994 gagging order was .issued following disclosures by Fuisz during other legal proceedings about alleged illegal exports of military equipment to Iraq. The order claims that the information held by Fuisz is vital to the “nation’s security or dip.lomatic relations” and can not be revealed “no matter how compelling the need for, and relevance of, the information”. The submission also makes clear that the government is empowered to “protect its interests in this case in the future”, thereby gagging Fuisz permanently.

Full story...

Swiss air crash controller killed

This is decidedly fishy, when was the last time you heard of a bereaved relative stabbing an air-traffic controller because he was involved in a plane crash? It just doesn't track... Make sure you read the Vialls article linked to at the end of this piece...

The air traffic controller on duty when two planes collided over southern Germany in July 2002 has been killed at his home in Zurich.

Police are looking for a man, speaking broken German, who fled on foot after stabbing the controller in front of his wife after a brief exchange of words.

They said they could not rule out a link between the killing and the crash.

Seventy-one people - mostly Russian schoolchildren - died in the disaster. The controller was not publicly named.

Swiss police said a link to the crash was a "central issue" in their hunt for the attacker, who is described as being powerfully built and aged around 50.

"(Revenge) cannot be ruled out," public prosecutor Pascal Gossner told Reuters news agency. "We are looking into whether there is a link between the killing and the air accident."

But added: "We will also be looking into the personal circumstances of the victim".

The prosecutor said it was "speculation" that the murder was an act of vengeance on behalf of the bereaved families. "You have to say he spoke broken German. But you cannot say he was from Russia."

A lawyer for families of the crash victims said they were distressed at such a connection being made.

"We reject any violent act... The families do not want to be associated with this," Gerrit Wilmans told Reuters.

The dead man's employer, the Swiss air traffic agency Skyguide, said it was appalled by Tuesday's killing and that its employees were "in shock".

Full story...

Vialls - There Was No Collision Between Russian & DHL Jets

CIA 'had 9/11 hijacker details'

"Terrorist" attacks used to justify war is probably one of the oldest tricks in the book. The problem is a lot of us still fall for it every single time...

US officials were given the first name and telephone number of an 11 September hijacker more than two years before the attacks, the New York Times has said.

Quoting German officials, the newspaper says the CIA was given the name and number of Marwan al-Shehhi by German intelligence, who wanted him tracked.

They reportedly did not hear from the Americans until after the 2001 attacks.

A US commission into the attacks will investigate whether there was a failure to pursue the lead aggressively.

Marwan al-Shehhi is believed to have taken the controls of American Airlines Flight 175, which flew into the south tower of New York's World Trade Center.

According to the New York Times, German officials gave the CIA his first name and a telephone number in the United Arab Emirates in March 1999.

They had obtained the details by monitoring the telephone of Mohamed Heidar Zammar, a suspected Islamic militant in Hamburg, the paper said.

A senior German intelligence source said that after they passed on the information, they did not hear from the Americans until after 11 September.

"There was no response" at the time, said the official.

Full story...

Blunkett to announce new anti-terror plans

Goody! Yet more anti-terrorism legistlation from the man who abrogated the European human rights charter. Our descent into fascism continues apace! Plus now he's vilifying those of us who dare to oppose his plans, he wants ideas ok David, here's one: Why don't we stop selling weapons to oppressive regimes, that would stop them doing what they do and therefore their no-longer disaffected citizens would have no reason to want to come over here and blow themselves up under Big Ben! This legistlation misses the point so badly I don't think Mr Blunkett is playing the same game as the rest of us!

But I forgot, I need to stop criticising the government and just bend over and take it up the arse like a good little consumer.... Go and spend some money on a credit card or do something, but make sure I spend money because otherwise I won't get that funky new doohickey and if I don't get that funky new doohickey then nobody will like me and I'll no longer be cool and I'll be an ugly unattractive person and no women will sleep with me and dogs will cross the road when they see me coming and I'll get cancer and then get blown up by a terrorist and then get BSE on the way to hospital where I'll be raped by a pedophile that should have been screened by the police but didn't and now he's raping little old ladies in hospital.... aaaaaaaargh! So much fear, not enough adrenaline!

Obey! David Blunkett will today announce further proposals to combat the threat from al-Qaida terrorism, drawing a parallel between today's threat and "extreme periods" of history such as the American civil war or wartime Britain.

The measures - widely leaked to the Sunday papers - are expected to include allowing bugging as evidence in terrorism cases and giving MI5 1,000 extra staff, but possibly stopping short of allowing internment for UK nationals suspected of terrorism, or reducing the burden of proof in terrorist trials.

MPs will then debate whether to renew the provisions of the 2001 Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, which derogates from European human rights legislation to allow the internment of foreign nationals on the say-so of the intelligence services.

In a series of interviews ahead of this afternoon's announcement and debate, the home secretary attacked civil rights campaigners for "poisonous" personal attacks on him.

Mr Blunkett said his controversial internment powers will remain an "essential component" of the government's anti-terrorism measures, but extending similar powers to British citizens would be a "grave step" which would be "difficult to justify".

Mr Blunkett compared today's terror threat to US president Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the American civil war, or the period of internment in wartime Britain, although he admitted that those periods were "more extreme times".

Regarding the forthcoming anti-terror law reforms, the home secretary said of his consultation paper: "We are not advocating any particular course."

He confessed that he risked "being derided as ineffectual" for publishing a consultation paper this morning that raised more questions than it answered.

He said he was "fed up" with the "brickbats" aimed at him by human rights campaigners. "Let's hear some new ideas, not just poisonous personal attacks," he said.

Full story...

GCHQ Whistleblower Charges Dropped

Excellent news, the System must be afraid of what would come out in a trial. What is in the public domain is probably only the tip of this iceberg and if Katherine is a smart lady then she probably has stashed evidence that could burn the whole rotten edifice of government to the ground. Nice one! Like I said last time, if you ever see Katherine in a pub please buy her a drink and say thank you to her.

A former intelligence officer who exposed an American request for British security services to tap the telephones of foreign diplomats, in the run-up to the Iraq war, walked free today after the case against her was dramatically dropped.

Katharine Gun, 29, was told she will not face trial after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence against her.

And the CPS, which refused to go into the reasons for its move, was under mounting pressure to reveal why it had suddenly halted the action against Ms Gun.

Her lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC, said: "Katharine Gun is entitled to know - and, perhaps more importantly, the public is entitled to know."

Ms Gun was arrested last March but it took eight months until charges were laid against her in November. And it took another three months before the CPS told her lawyers yesterday that they would drop the case.

She was charged under the Official Secrets Act of 1989, accused of disclosing security and intelligence information and sacked from her job as a translator at Government Communications Headquarters.

The allegations against her centred on the disclosure of a request allegedly made by a US National Security Agency official.

Full story...

Tuesday, 24 February 2004

More Discrimination Needed In Judging Spying and Spies

by Trowbridge H. Ford

In no field is there less concern about the context - the political, economic, social, humanistic, and moral environment - in which activity takes place than in studies of spying and spies. As more and more general histories are written of countries' quantitative performance in these areas, and of the individual agencies and operatives involved, spying, intelligence, and operations are increasingly treated as all of a similar kind where the least important spy tends to be equated with the most important, a real coup is little different from the most mundane, perhaps even counterproductive, communication, and a crucial covert action is discussed in the same vein as the most horrendous blunder. In the process, the reader tends to make too little distinction between the most serious betrayals and rather innocent help; crucial information and the most understandable disclosures; and invaluable actions and strategic stupidities, essentially oblivious of what was really done, by whom, why, and with what outcome.

Take, for example, the treatment of Professor Haldane, Donald Maclean, John Cairncross, Melita Norwood, George Blake, and lesser alleged spies in British histories against the backdrop of what they say about communist sympathizers, and fellow travellers. On the back cover of the latest book on VENONA - the NSA and GCHQ program to decrypt secret KGB and GRU messages: it says: "Nigel West here identifies for the first time the real names of several important Soviet British spies - including the famous scientist J.B.S. Haldane and the Hon. Ivor Montagu, and discloses that there are nearly 300 as yet unidentified former Soviet agents in America and Britain." On the front cover, there is a photograph of NKVD Major-General Vasil M. Zarubin, the handler of Soviet atomic spies in America during WWII, and under it is this headline from the Daily Express: *Controversially Exposes Two Traitors at the Heart of the British Establishment.'

Hardly has one digested West's claims about how fortunate it was that Britain's cryptanalyst center at Bletchley Park, GCHQ, had continued to decrypt fragments of Soviet secret messages about spying after the American effort at Arlington Hall had ceased - satisfied with its electrocution of the Rosenbergs as the leading Soviet atomic spies, the exposure of Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White as NKVD agents, atomic physicist Klaus Fuchs's incarceration as a Soviet spy, Maclean's escape to Moscow, and an unnamed Australia diplomat had followed suit to Prague (p. xiv) - than we are informed about Haldane: " would not be surprising to know that the GRU had co-opted the author of The Inequality of Man and chairman of the editorial board of the Daily Worker, for which Springhall's wife worked." (p. 76) David Springhall, long-time member of the Central Committee of Britain's Communist Party, was imprisoned in 1943 for passing along information about operations by the Special Operations Executive in Hungary to the GRU.

Haldane, apparently aka INTELLIGENSIA - an expert on warfare who Moscow was most desirous of recruiting, and a friend of atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs and intellectual Montagu - though, never supplied the Soviets with any information while the Non-Aggression Pact with Nazi Germany was in force, is most dubiously connected to the atomic spying by Allan Nunn May without any use of decrypted intelligence (pp. 71-5), and VENONA decrypts were only used to give subversive substance to claims by his former wife Charlotte that he engaged in secret CPGB activities which she made no attempt to clarify when she could (pp. 82-3). Then, having just been told that Haldane and Montagu both worked for awhile for the Daily Worker, West acted as if the case against Haldane as a most important Soviet spy had been proved.

Actually, West's own narrative seems to argue exactly against what he is trying to prove. Haldane, while he might have been INTELLIGENSIA, was a most reluctant Soviet recruit during 1940, as the VENONA decrypts demonstrate. At his first meeting with GRU handler Simon Kremer on July 25th, he declared 'that he had not obtained a single contact' (p. 69), though he had been instructed to do so. At their next meeting on August 16th, INTELLIGENSIA had still not made contact with any military men, though he had even been given the address of one. While West attributed his failure to the fuzzy-headed ways of academics which still, somehow achieved success, Kremer wrote off INTELLIGENSIA thus: 'He does not deny the main point that for a month he had not been in touch with the British Army colonel picked out for work with us although the latter does come to LONDON. I have told the X GROUP via NOBILITY (Montagu) to give us someone else because of this.' Obviously, West doesn't understand what 'no' means.

As for West's efforts to make Haldane the important atomic spy who recruited May, and helped move him around North America to collect scientific intelligence for Moscow, it miserably fails. Apparently, West is referring to 'K' aka SCOTT, the spy whose reports on demagnetizing ships, and making the bomb so excited the Soviet scientist Igor Kurchatov, and dictator Stalin that they immediately implemented his recommendations. While I have already indicated that he was Peter Wright, West makes no further effort, either here or later in The Crown Jewels' text (pp. 231-4) and in its Postscript (pp.272-8), to determine who this spy was, settling for INTELLIGENSIA as the spy when the profile better fits the future MI5 agent than the London scientist: "...a highly intelligent individual, perhaps an academic, living in the provinces and not entirely proficient at dealing with military personnel, who nevertheless occasionally mixes in circles which give him access to information about the enemy's radio beams and the measures taken to render detonators safe." (p. 76)

By the time the reader finishes the book, and recalls the content of Wright's, Spycatcher, the case against Haldane is so dubious as to be unbelieveable. West is obviously trying to kill off any suspicion that there was really an important spy ring in Oxofrd, which Ursula Kuczynsky aka SONIA handled, and whose most important agent was the secretive Wright. The only reference to the former Security Service officer of any substance was saved to the last page of the Notes: "According to Peter Wright (Spycatcher (1987), p. 375) HASP (the VENONA material the Finns had collected) showed that Ursual Kuczynsky 'was already running a string of agents' in 1941. In fact the only relevant VENONA, dated 31 July 1941, refers only her husband." (note #5, p. 370)

There are big problems with this explanation. First, while West promised to show the relevant decrypt (p. 54), he never did, so one doesn't really know the state of SONIA's alleged ring on this date. More important, he supplied an excerpt from her book Sonia's Report, showing that she had just arrived in England then (p. 55), so she had another five months to build up the string of agents Wright was referring to.

More important still, West ignored Wright's own discussion of Haldane's and Montagu's passing on information to the CPGB - showing that the allegations were hardly new - which ultimately ended up in Moscow, apparently thinking by avoiding it, he could build up the case against them for Wright's benefit. About the colleague working with Wright on submarines, he wrote: "J.B.S. Haldane, for instance, who was working in the Admiralty's submarine experimental station at Haslar, researching into deep diving techniques, was supplying details of the programs to the CPGB, who were passing it on to the GRU in London." (p. 186) But this time, Haldane had actually joined the CPGB, putting everyone on notice about his interests and allegiances. Montagu, though Wright predictably got his first name wrong by calling him Owen, worked in a more direct capacity for the Soviets at the Labour and Communist parties. (ibid.)

Compare the legal, if not legitimate, political activity by Haldane - which West has made out to be spying through guilt by association, and other unethical means for chief spy Wright's benefit (See his conclusion, p. 84.), with what he wrote about Maclean, one of the Soviets' most important spies. He and William Weisband aka LINK, a linguist working at Arlington Hall where American cryptographers were trying to decipher the coded messages, were, according to two NSA experts, the two most significant spies mentioned in the traffic. Weisband informed Pavel Klarin, an NKVD officer who had been seconded to Amtorg, the Soviet trading organization, of the cipher agency's existence, and of VENONA's pursuit of the atomic spies. The Foreign Office's Maclean aka HOMER, according to West, told Moscow about British post-war plans during the preparation for the invasion of the French Mediterranean coast (ANVIL), the Anglo-American ones for post-war Germany, FO despatches including telegrams from Churchill to Roosevelt, Allied reactions to the deteriorating conditions in Eastern Europe, and Britain's post-war relation with the USA - what led to so much foot-dragging in London when HOMER's existence, and possible identity became increasingly clear.

Weisband could not have told Moscow anything about the program that it did not already know.

When Konstantin Volkov, a Soviet defector West somehow also overlooked, threatened to expose Kim Philby aka STANLEY from Ankara at the war's end, adding to the miseries that GRU cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko was already causing Moscow, the KGB not only saved the Cambridge spy at Volkov's expense but also supplied coded messages which would throw VENONA sleuths off not only Maclean's trail but also Philby's when they finally got round to it, as Wright duly recorded in Spycatcher:

Most of the messages to (KGB officer Boris) Krotov from Moscow Center concerned instructions on how to handle the various agents under his care. Eight crytonyms were mentioned in all, three of which referred to as the 'valuable argentura (spy ring) of Stanley, Hicks, and Johnson,' two who were routinely referred to together as David and Rosa, and three others. (p. 183)

Now, the KGB had thrown cryptographers off by speaking of JOHNSON aka Sir Anthony Blunt instead of Maclean, who Volkov had also threatened to expose; made the three unconnected spies except for their experiences at Cambridge into a spy ring; and had thrown in the Rosenbergs apparently for good measure, though West never mentioned the covername DAVID, and ROSA was an unidentified KGB agent in the London traffic, hardly a likely candidate for Ethel Rosenberg.

West compounded drastically overstating Weisband's spying by understating vastly Maclean's. His most important effort for the Soviets was to make sure that President Truman learned of the Aide Memoire that Roosevelt and Churchill had signed, calling for the use of the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan, if necessary, when the British Prime Minister was calling for tearing up of all agreements with Moscow, and using the bomb instead on Stalin. To prove the point, Maclean passed along precis of the telegrams Churchill had sent to the American President on June 5, 1945, objecting vociferously to the Polish settlement that Harry Hopkins had reached with Stalin, revelations that his handler, 'Henry' aka Anatoli Gorksy, considered so important that he included their FO code in transmission to prove their authenticity for all concerned. Even the most ignorant codebreakers could see the FO designations standing out in the unknown messages.

The Soviet leader, consequently, was most relieved to hear Truman's tripartite commitments at the Potsdam Conference. When Churchill attempted to keep British forces in the Soviet zone in order to have a forward base for Operation Unthinkable, a rollback of the Red Army which Marhal Zhukov took seriously enough to put it on the highest alert, Truman was reminded of the tripartite agreement which necessitated their withdrawal. Consequently, when the unconditional surrender of Japan went ahead as planned, the British Prime Minister was sent to the political sidelines by the electorate in the General Election rather than snatching victory from defeat by surprise.

When Secretary of State George Marshall was confronted with the possibility of Western Europe's political and economic collapse because of Britain's rollback in Greece, and on the welfare state front, Maclean did everything he could to make sure that Washington did not fill Britain's growing political vacuum in the Eastern Mediterranean, and that London did not take advantage of the Marshall Plan. Maclean helped kill the American proposal for an international commission to control the Bosphorus, leaving Truman to go it alone when there was a confrontation with the Soviets in the Dardanelles over Greece and Turkey. The British Embassy in Washington where Maclean was serving considered the proposed Marshall Plan so unimportant that it transported its possibilities by sea mail to London, making the project's adoption more difficult, and Britain more dependent upon the USA than ever. For good measure, Maclean continued to keep Moscow informed of US atomic development, especially its quantity of uranium planned for bombs, as coordinator of the Allied research contortium, despite Truman's refusals, and the McMahon Act's prohibitions to render Britain further assistance.

Once Stalin had his own atomic bombs, Maclean teamed up with Guy Burgess aka HICKS to make the USSR a real threat in East-West relations, what dedicated communists had long been calling upon Moscow to do. While Burgess supplied Stalin with Major Ferguson Innes's December 1949 intelligence report about unlikely American intervention in South Korea if the North invaded, and four months later another report indicating British ignorance of the level of Soviet military assistance to Beijing, what caused the Soviet leader to give Pyongyang the green light, Maclean's reports, emphasizing American miscalculations in intervening, encouraged the Soviets to persevere in the adventure. It was only because of Moscow's miscalaculation by boycotting the Security Council that the UN was able to mount a defense, and Truman's astute handling of the crisis that prevented it from becoming a nuclear showdown, one which the West could not have won.

Cairncross's spying record, compared to this, was certainly less important, though Cambridge professor Christopher Andrew undertook a crusade to prove that he was the worst of the so-called Magnificent Five. According to Andrew in The Sword and the Shield, secret documents, especially the Maud Report, from the British War Cabinet in September 1941 - stating that it was quite possible for a bomb to be built within two years, and that Britain had set about building one, a task which could take up to five years - what Cairncross, Lord Hankey's private secretary, passed along to his handler Gorsky, were the crucial, though delayed, catalyst for the Soviets building their own bomb. (p. 114)

Andrew based this contention upon what David Holloway had written in Stalin and the Bomb, though he overlooked Holloway's downplaying the reports' significance because of the time frame, and the scientific uncertainty involved (pp. 83-4), what another agent, 'K', completely dissolved with his detailed report on atomic research in America and Britain, dated December 1942. Then Andrew marginalized 'K' as much as he could, ultimately making him and his handler, Vladimir Barkovsky, just one person! ( Index, p. 689), while adding the wildest claims by G. A. Robinson in private letters to the author about what Cairncross told the Soviets of British weapons research in the post-war era from the Treasury. (Notes, p. 600, n. 18) Andrew even made the substance of Cairncross's spying for the Soviets sound like an utter disappointment while working with the ULTRA program at Bletchley Park. (p. 126)

Andrew's assessment of Cairncross's efforts is so biased in approach, and so perverse in its outcome that it does not constitute research, but a vendetta by one who feels that the spy has sullied his university's reputation. While Andrew contended that this estimate was based upon the Vasili Mitrokhin Archive, "the most complete and extensive intelligence ever achieved by any source", it had nothing to say about Cairncross, a most strange condition if it is what it is professed to be. Instead Andrew relied upon the claims he had already made in KGB, adding only those that Robinson had made in letters, dated Oct. 19, 1997, and Sept. 14, 1998, about Cairncross's efforts at the Treasury, contrary to what his handler Yuri Modin had written in My Five Cambridge Friends, now that the spy was safely dead.

In the process, Andrew completely misrepresented what Modin had written about Cairncross's spying. While Modin had dressed up his atomic spying on the Scientific Advisory Committee to hide 'K' efforts, what Andrew has no interest in determining, he ignored Modin's account of how Cairncross's information had been ignored because of the more pressing matter of stemming the German onslaught (pp. 132-3), what was achieved at Stalingrad.

Instead Andrew acted as if Cairncross's spying on ULTRA, especially his informing the Soviets of the massive German build-up in front of the Kursk salient in July-August 1943, and how the Red Army could knock out the new Tiger tank, was only partially, and belatedly acted upon because of Moscow's distrust (pp. 120-1), what made Cairncross so bitter about his belated recognition that he refused to keep the Order of Red Banner decoration Moscow Center awarded him, and gave up spying at Bletchley Park. (p. 126)

Now this clearly was Cairncross's most important spying, what he was elated about, but it was his handler, Krotov, who refused to let him keep the award. (Modin, pp. 138-9) Moreover, since the award was given in 1944, it was hardly overdue. Andrew's reason for leaving out the information about how the Red Army stopped the Tiger tanks, especially at Kurskaia Douga where an unprecendented 17 panzer divisions had been amassed - what Moscow considered his greatest achievement - is obvious. Since it prevented the Germans from winning the war, something everyone should have sought, it mitigated greatly the severity of Cairncross's spying. With the Soviet victory, he moved on to SIS because there was no more need to be at Bletchley Park.

An even greater perversity has plagued Andrew's, and West's evaluation of Melita Norwood's spying. About HOLA aka RITA and TINA, Andrew wrote that she was "...both the most important British female agent in KGB history and the longest-serving of all Soviet spies in Britain." (The Sword..., p. 115) In making this assessment, Andrew has relied completely upon a Mitrokhin note, vol. 7, ch. 14, item 17, ignoring the VENONA decrpyt in West of the message that Moscow sent to the London rezidentura on Sept. 19, 1945 when the Soviets were trying to contain the Gouzenko defection. (p. 175)

The text indicated that the KGB was reactivating CPGB activist Mrs. Norwood to help shelter Ursula Kuczynsky aka SONIA, the handler of Fuchs, many unidentified GRU spies in Britain, and the mysterious 'K', apparently MI5's Peter Wright. Mrs. Norwood was clearly a decoy to cover for the spying of others, and to put her activities above those of SONIA's and Edith Tudor Hart's is the height of folly. The success of the deception, which the KGB knew Western services would take seriously, is seen in their pursuit of Eugenia Peierls, and her husband, atomic scientist Rudolf Peierls, when Norwood was instructed to keep her spying secret from her husband.

Norwood's actual spying, despite her intentions, seems to have hurt the Soviets more than it helped, a possibility the spy chasers never consider. While information about strategic changes, technological breakthroughs, especially in armaments, and covert action surprises are usually helpful to an adversary, continuous, low-level spying, particularly on the economic front unless its recipient has the infrastructure to take advantage of the new information, can be downright disastrous. Japan clearly benefited by its technological spying on the West, but the USSR was only hurt by being told constantly of the economic and technological breakthroughs the West was effecting.

The economic reforms from 1965 through the 1970s and into the 'eighties in the USSR, though clearly designed to take advantage of increasingly stolen techology within growing industrial associations, and at the expense of the central planning mechanism, only accelerated industrial chaos by causing increasing dissatisfaction with performance. Management, despite increasing instructions from above, was never able to increase efficiency by taking more risks, facilitating competition, building machines to fit better users' needs, encouraging innovation in product line, and gaining capital easier. Little wonder that Gordon Lonsdale, Mrs. Norwood's handler for a time who would at least agree with him this time, bitterly complained to Blake, as Andrew has noted (p. 411), about the lack of results from all the spying upon the performance of Soviet industrial enterprises, and international trade.

As for Blake's spying, it seems most limited in character, and superfluous in nature. The MI6 officer in Berlin was the fallguy for the final discovery that all the alleged British and German agents in the East Germany between 1953-5 had been compromised, a process started by Philby, and continued by the West German BND's Heinz Felfe. Actually, the agents were largely a fictitious creation, like The Trust which ensnared SIS's Sydney Reilly, by Felfe to gain control of the Federal Republic's Soviet counter-intelligence, and when the ruse was finally discovered, Blake was conveniently available to be blamed for the betrayals, Andrew claiming, with characteristic overstatement, that upwards of 400 agents were executed. (p. 399)

The same exaggeration plagued Andrew's account of Operation Gold, the Berlin Tunnel caper. Of course, the operation, according to him, was a great success which Blake single-handedly sabotaged. (pp. 399-400) In so claiming, though, Andrew overlooked completely the role of the GRU's Lt. Col. Pyotr Popov in the process, the KGB having long reclaimed the wayward digger of tunnels and the like. Then there was Wright, as I have already indicated, who kept Moscow informed of daily tapping, and what the West was looking for. To take Blake's spying as a great triumph is to devour the deception that KGB chief Yuri Andropov later declared. The reason why Blake was treated so harshly when he was tried in 1961 was because Britain was finally able to punish one of its wayward intelligence agents. But even here, Blake frustrated his captors, escaping from Wormwood Scrubs after only five years of incarceration.

In sum, instead of Maclean, Weiland, Haldane, Cairncross, Mrs. Norwood, and Blake being similar spies, they were all quite different in terms of what they did, why, and with what outcome. Only Maclean was a spy in the traditional sense, a traitor whose efforts affected most adversely the West, especially his native Britain.

'Kelly was Murdered' Says UK Intelligence Insider

Nice to have a government of murdering scumbags, isn't it?

Shocking new details about the death of Dr David Kelly emerged exclusively today on the Alex Jones radio show. Michael Shrimpton, a UK national security lawyer who was a guest on the show, revealed that sources within MI5 and MI6 are `furious' that Kelly was murdered.

Shrimpton spoke in depth about the details of Kelly's murder on 17th July 2003, information which has been withheld by the British press.

With apparent backing from the organisations whose members he claims to speak for, Shrimpton presented their view that Dr Kelly had been murdered by a team of assassins and the charade of an apparent suicide was then played out to cover this up.

Speaking with impeccable credentials, including contributions to the Journal for International Security Affairs and having previously given a closed-doors confidential briefing the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Shrimpton exploded the much-reported myth that Dr Kelly had taken his own life.

He spoke of the probable method of Kelly's death, the group which most likely carried out the assassination, who arranged it and finally where the responsibility lies. Additionally, he explained the political context and motive for Kelly's murder.

David Kelly went missing on 17th July 2003 and was found dead on 18th July. In the previous days, Kelly had testified before Parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee that he was not the source of a BBC story which had accused the Government of making false claims about Iraq's WMD. When Kelly's body was found, the British press quickly reported it as a suicide, though several analysts had their doubts.

On Jones' show, Shrimpton explained how he had learned that David Kelly was the BBC's source before the BBC disclosed this fact. He went on to explain that his source from within the intelligence community knew David Kelly personally, and did not believe that he had committed suicide. After making their own enquiries, says Shrimpton, this source determined that Dr Kelly had not committed suicide, but rather had been assassinated.

Apparently at ease to discuss these explosive disclosures, Shrimpton explained that there was advance knowledge of Kelly's death in Whitehall, but that the deed itself was most likely carried out by the French external security organisation, DGSE. There was no indication that anybody in MI5 or MI6 had been involved. He went further by suggesting that the hit squad itself was composed of Iraqis from the former regime's Mukhabarat intelligence organisation, recruited from Damascus with the help of Syria's own intelligence apparatus. They were apparently then flown into Corsica, seven days prior to the murder. He doubts that any of the hit-squad are still alive.

Officially, Kelly's body was said to have been found in a copse, in a wood, but the forensic tents were set up in the adjacent field, suggesting, says Shrimpton, that the body was found in the field. This has not been explained to his satisfaction.

The incision in Kelly's wrist was probably to conceal the injection of both Dextroprypoxythene, the active ingredient in Co-Proxamol, and Succinylcholine, a muscle relaxant, rather than as evidence of his bleeding to death, as highlighted by a group of six doctors in letters published in the British press. Shrimpton further agreed with the doctors by pointing out that Kelly only had one Co-Proxamol tablet in his body and that this was not sufficient to kill him.

According to Shrimpton, Kelly was murdered because he had been talking to the press and there was a fear of what else he might discuss with journalists. Furthermore, Kelly was due to return to Iraq and may have learned fresh information on that trip which Whitehall could not afford to trust him with.

Shrimpton's appearance on Jones' show gave him the first public opportunity to bring forward his information, since the story has been effectively censored by the British Press, who according to Shrimpton are concerned about losing the pro-Euro Tony Blair as Prime Minister were they to publish details of Kelly's assassination. Blair's departure, he says, could threaten Britain's proposed adoption of the Euro as the national currency.

Whilst this story begins to circulate in the USA, the coverage in the UK may well remain nil, whilst maneuvering behind the scenes attempts to pre-empt Shrimpton's accusation of government-sanctioned murder of one of its own operatives.

Only with public support, and a belief that this information should be widely known, can this information be brought into the wide open and covered by the mainstream media.

Full story...

Monday, 23 February 2004

An authoritarian state is in the process of construction

John Upton hits the nail on the head this Monday morning and voices in the mainstream what has been trying to say for at least 18 months! I do not normally post newspaper articles in their entirety but in this case I'll make an exception because this is an important piece and should be read by everyone who lives in the UK. If we are not careful one day we will wake up and we will have no freedoms. I know you think I'm being paranoid but the article below is proof that I'm not the only one!

Without a single terrorist attack in Britain, our liberties are being removed

The news that M15 is to increase its numbers by a thousand is merely the latest instance of David Blunkett's rampant authoritarianism. The secret state's claim that it is losing the never-ending, unprovable war against terror will play its part in the government winning a far greater prize. Across the range of his responsibilities - immigration, policing, the criminal justice system and prisons - Blunkett has either proposed or actually introduced measures whose repressive nature should shock us. That, by now, we may have become inured to them, does not take away from the fact that New Labour is trying to radically change the constitutional environment in which we live.

The home secretary has, among other things, sought to remove sentencing powers from judges; weaken safeguards for those accused of criminal offences; remove the right of jury trial; criminalise asylum seekers; and form a national gendarmerie. While five of the British citizens detained at Camp Delta are to be repatriated with the possibility that they will not face criminal charges, the government continues to run its own little Guantanamo at Belmarsh prison. A number of foreign nationals suspected of having links with terrorism are being detained indefinitely and without trial. Blunkett is assembling a body of repressive legislation of a type not seen in western Europe since the second world war.

There is a stock of evidence to suggest that the home secretary is pursuing a deliberate line which, if unchecked, will result in a significant constitutional shift. The source of this change does not originate with Blunkett or his New Labour predecessor, Jack Straw. Its roots are to be found in the clash between Thatcherite attitudes to criminal justice, immigration and - to a lesser extent - terror, and those integrationist values expressed in the post-1945 social democratic consensus.

Blunkett has continued to build on the foundations laid by Howard, Waddington and Baker. But where the Conservative government had to wage an ideological war against still powerful enemies, New Labour is free, thanks to the Iron Lady, to pursue an agenda which expressly rejects that which has gone before - witness the abolition, at a stroke, of the 1,000-year-old office of lord chancellor.

The timing of these proposals has been fortuitous for the government. Circumstances have conspired to allow Blunkett to announce policies and pass laws that would have been any Thatcherite home secretary's dream. Without a single terrorist attack taking place, or a single civilian in the UK being killed, a climate has been created so that when we are told by the home secretary that our liberties must be removed in order to ensure our freedom, we meekly accept.

The fact that the government has had to derogate from its 1998 Human Rights Act obligations in order to legitimise its policy of internment at Belmarsh is proof that it is talking the language of rights without understanding its meaning. New Labour rights chatter is a devalued currency.

We shouldn't wonder at this. If Blunkett's public pronouncements are examined, they reveal an obsession with authoritarian concepts. In several speeches, he has compared the situation in Britain with that of the Weimar republic, his message being that tough measures taken today will prevent even tougher ones being taken later.

It would be fascinating to know whether Blunkett is familiar with the work of the infamous Weimar - and later Nazi - jurist, Carl Schmitt, whose aphorism "Sovereign is he who decides on the exception" comes closer to describing Blunkett's political practice than does all the cosy communitarian talk about social capital, partnership and mutuality in which the home secretary likes to indulge.

Schmitt was the first political philosopher explicitly to speak of "the other", the enemy who must be identified not only in order to be defeated but also to sustain the coherence of the state. For Schmitt, politics was war. Blunkett's politics also appear to depend on mobilising the masses against the marginalised - those suspected of crime or terrorism, and immigrants and asylum seekers.

The symptoms of the underlying structural change affecting our constitution can, most recently, be seen in the announcement that a British "FBI" is to take over the fight against serious crime from the police. Whatever the arguments for its establishment, there is also important symbolism in dismantling the functions of regional constabularies in favour of a government-controlled super-agency. A fundamentally different, authoritarian paradigm of the state is being created before our eyes.

In his essay, On the Character of a Modern European State, Michael Oakeshott wrote of two modes of association known to Roman law, which may assist in mapping this constitutional metamorphosis. Societas, in its pure form, encompasses the ideal of disinterested rule-based partnership, and universitas suggests focused leadership and directed purpose. In explicit political terms, the former suggests the functioning of participative practices and the workings of democratic institutions, while the latter lays an emphasis on centralised government and teleological leadership - at whose extreme lies totalitarianism. In theory, liberal democracy rests somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum.

In Britain, which lacks a formal separation of powers, notions of reasonableness are crucial in coordinating the workings of the state. But we are no longer dealing with a reasonable government. We are dealing with one that is failing to respect traditional constitutional values of justice and balance. This government believes less in participative democracy than in governing as an exercise in domination. With each increasingly draconian proposal, the home secretary removes a constitutional safeguard or gathers more power into the executive. By placing the country on a permanent war footing against "the other", we advance rapidly towards the polarity expressed by universitas.

Shouldn't this government's strident moves towards corporatist, directorial government give us pause? The time has surely come to formally delimit the powers of the different actors - government, parliament and judiciary - in the constitution. The home secretary relies on the fact that most of us are not affected by his illiberal experiments to govern by way of the exception. We remain docile in the face of his extraordinary measures against those we are encouraged to consider as outcasts. But if he is allowed to continue imposing measures unsuited to our liberal conception of the state, how long will it be before we too become "the other"?

John Upton is a barrister specialising in criminal law

Full story...

Iranian Election in Perspective

by Trowbridge H. Ford

In an age which boasts of democracy blooming, it is difficult to understand why the media are so loath to discuss how a country's electoral system really works, especially if it belongs to one allegedly hampering human rights, and how the results affect what the government does, and how it effects the country as a whole.

Most of the time, the media is happy to report the hoopla associated with predictable campaigns - like those for the American Presidency, and the British Parliament - and leave the rest to readers' imaginations even if it results in massive fraud, and doesn't serve in giving public expression to the people's wishes. The fact that Britain, America, and Spain went to war against Iraq despite the fact that a vocal majority of citizens was clearly opposed to it speaks legion about the state of self-government in today's developed world. And we are stuck with its results for the rest of the century whether we like it or not at the polls as there is nothing now that can be done to undo it.

Here one only has to recall the failures of the states in America to fix the electoral system which permitted George W. Bush to steal the 2000 presidential election. The United States hads a highly decentralized electoral system of single constituencies where winners take all, run by politically motivated agents who can do all kinds of things to determine the turnout and results in elections if so inclined - the result only being reviewed in the closest, most controversial contests.

In many states, there are also the widest provisions for so-called independents voting - what has been instituted to allegedly get more people to participate in the process but has actually encouraged partisans of one party registering as independents, and crossing over to vote in the other's primary to help determine that it fields the weakest candidates. If anything, many of its systems will only get worse with the installation of electronic voting because a result can be rigged by the private provider without any telltale evidence afterwards that it has occurred.

The electoral outcome is compounded by the fact that American parties, unlike their British counterparts, are such loose coalitions of people, funds, aims, and organization that their results are hardly predictable, given the necessary horse-trading that is necessary to get anything done. Thanks to the enhanced role of the media, party disorganization and disarray after an election is also compensated for by organized interests at the center, and back at the grass roots getting what they want.

Britain's media just reinforce the demands on voters, and expectations of interests about outcomes from party centers in London where candidates are screened for seats so that there will be no embarrassing conflicts with their leaderships.

Prime Minister Tony Blair is already gearing up to fight his third General Election with his large majority of dutiful MPs who are willing to hold their noses, and go along with anything he demands as long as they continue to hold their seats - something the Conservative opposition has hardly been willing to even contest. The legal impediments - votes versus deposits - against people forming new parties in Britain are so notorious that hardly anyone but screwballs with a sense for comic relief even attempt it.

Margaret Thatcher's government taught one and all forever of the dangers of parties engaging in infighting about who does what, and why. As a result of the Prime Minister's unexpected U-turns, especially regarding counterterrorism in Northern Ireland, and ultimatums about European integration, the Conservatives set upon stabbing one another in the back, started by the sacking of Foreign Minister Sir Geoffrey Howe in July 1989, from which it has yet to recover.

For anyone upset about how things are so managed in America, there is only derision and disgust. When Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate for the White House in 2000, decided to run as an independent this year, the media, thanks particularly to Democratic Party prodding, denounced it as the self-serving act of a spoiler without even giving him a chance to explain why he is running. Republican leaders even joined in complaining about his candidacy to help legitimize the Supreme Court deciding the 2000 presidential election in Bush's favor by an unprecedented intervention in the Florida recount during extra time. Of course, the complaints fail to explain how the situation in Washington and Baghdad could be any worse by anyone else running, and acting as if pressing domestic issues are properly to be postponed consideration until the endless crisis in the Mideast is somehow resolved.

In all this replay of the past, Democratic Party leaders overlook the fact that it was President Clinton's wheeling and dealing in the Oval Office, highlighted by his sexual encounters with Monica Lewinski, and about which he lied to a grand jury, which put at risk the chances of Vice President Al Gore being elected to succeed him, especially when Clinton pulled out all the stops at home, and abroad to avoid being removed from office. Gore was so upset by Clinton's behavior that he refused his assistance and support in gaining the White House, ethical judgments which clearly cost him many more votes among Democrats than went to Nader.

Given this electoral context in Britain and America, it is hardly surprising that the media are so outspoken, yet so uninformative about the elections currently being conducted in Iran. Voting in Iran has constantly been portrayed as the struggle between a clear majority of reformers dedicated to achieving some kind of Western democracy against an embattled theocratic minority, set upon making Iran into another Taliban-dominated state, as if the problem with Afghanistan was with it rather than Osama bin-Ladin's Al-Qaeda.

One should remember that the Taliban was willing to avoid an attack by handing over bin-Laden for prosecution by an independent state, provided America supplied sufficient evidence showing that he was behind terrorist attacks, especially the one on the USS Cole - what the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood, and attacks of 9/11 rendered a dead letter.

In the process, the media has given substance to the White House's claim that the regime in Teheran is clearly part of 'the axis of evil' - what one could see coming from as far back as the election of President Khatami in 1997. Actually, the election has proven that Amerca is once again The Great Satan, and its allies demons of lesser proportions.

We were never given a clear idea of what Iran's constitution is - what institutions it is composed of, how they are supposed to work together, what they can do and not do, what they have done, etc. There was never any serious discussion of how the disparate reformers were ever going to bridge their differences regarding social and economic policy. All the stories were geared to show how its increasingly secularized youths with Western ideas were taking over power from the clerics.

As for the electoral system, it seems to be a system of proportion representation in which the country is divided into various electoral districts, and each voter has as many votes as there are seats being contested. To get elected, a candidate has to be supported by 25% of the total voters in the district, and if there are still candidates who do not receive the necessary votes, there will be runoffs later. Of course, elected ones are expected, as are candidates in other regimes, to uphold the established system, plegeding allegiance to it.

In the parliament, Majlis, which was desolved so the current election could take place, the reformers, including President Khatami, did little to make a mark upon public policy despite all their rhetoric. His Alliance for Democratic Rights swept into power in the 2000 election, but its member parties were so divided over implementing a free-trade, market oriented economy at the expense of state-owned enterprises while trying to address the deprivation of various rights that it literally fell apart. Even liberal papers in Iran were complaining before the election that reformers had been too cautious in what they attempted, taking public support for granted.

In this context, the 12-man Council of Guardians, conservatives who vetted the proposed candidates, may have even been doing the electorate a favor by barring 2,300 of them to start with, many of them so-called reformers, including 87 sitting members of the Majlis. Certainly, there were still several hundred liberals running for the 290 places in the assembly, and by restricting the number somewhat, it forced the electorate to focus interest more on those candidates who had a real chance of winning. Still, despite the barring of Khatami's brother Mohammed, the Majlis's Deputy Speaker, from running, the reformers in Teheran could not even re-elect Speaker Mahdi Karrubi.

Then one must look upon potential reformers with a sceptical eye. In the Western media, a reformer is anyone who wants to change, or better still, get rid of Ayatollah Khamenei's theocracy. This includes all kinds of supporters of the former Shah, and those who want to convert Iran, like Turkey and post-Saddam Iraq, into an Iranian Republic. The type of people we are talking about here are former members or supporters of the Shah's dreaded regime, its secret police Savak, retired military veterans, and agents overseas. Many of these people have a long history, starting with the Anglo-American overthrow of Mohammed Mossadeq back 1953, of working with Iran's external enemies, especially CIA, MI6, and the Mossad, and one can understand why the Council of Guardians would be so demanding about the loyalty of prospective candidates. Many of the reformers want the state-owned oil industry restored once again to British and American private hands

It was because of the help these intelligence agencies gave supporters of the Shah that the Iraq-Iran War was fought to restore him to power, Saddam Hussein was supplied with all kinds of WMD, and shown how to use them against Iranians, Shites, and Kurds in the hope of ending the mullahs' rule, and the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner in 1989 to help force Iran to honor the peace treaty with Iraq. "After the 1979 revolution," William Blum has reminded us in Rogue State, "the Iranians found CIA film made for SAVAK on how to torture women." (p. 50) For those inclined to believe that this is just more fantasy dreamed up by conspiracy theorists, this was reported in The Independent by the well-respected Robert Fisk on August 9, 1998.

In sum, the message of the mullahs that Iran is under attack by America, Britain, and especially Israel has been more persuasive with its electorate than any pleas for dealing with foreign investors and their own social agendas, and the election returns show it. While the turnout was less than that in the 2000 election (67%), it was still more than when George Bush was allowed to steal the White House. And the slightly above 50% taking part was indicative of the necessary supporters of reformers returning simply abstaining. Little wonder that a surprisingly smiling Ayatollah Khamenei saw the returns thus: "Those who lost the elections were America, Zionism and the enemies of the Iranian nation."

Friday, 20 February 2004

The Bank Robbers

Here's one of the reason that the System wants you to spend your time worrying about "terrorism" and Internet pornography - because you are being royally fleeced by this monstrosity we call "Fractional Reserve Banking" and the ruthless greedy people who invented, implemented and are perpetuating it. Hell, you might as well just bend over, pull your trousers down and spread your cheeks beacuse you're getting shagged up the arse anyway - especially if you work for the Royal Bank of Scotland!

Click the image to see who designed it...Bank chiefs were accused of "pure greed" yesterday after the Royal Bank of Scotland made a £6BILLION profit last year.

The record figure is almost certain to trigger another bonanza for RBS's seven leading bosses who shared more than £12million in 2002.

Meanwhile unions say 25,000 staff earning an average £11,500 are being offered below-inflation pay rises - some for the fourth year in succession.

The RBS profit - a 29 per cent rise - is the biggest ever made by a British bank and equivalent to more than £300 for each of its 20million customers.

For shareholders it means a £223million rise in the dividend.

Eddie Weatherill, of the Independent Banking Advisory Service, said yesterday: "It's shameless, pure greed.

"Even City analysts are telling me the increase is so big it looks like profiteering at customers' expense."

Much of the increase was due to 18,000 jobs axed since the financial giant - which also owns Coutts and Direct Line insurance - snapped up NatWest for £21billion in 2001.

The ruthless cuts earned the bank's chief executive the nickname Fred "the Shred" Goodwin.

RBS also cut its wage bill by £4million in 2003 despite adding almost 10,000 staff following eight takeovers.

Finance union Unifi said: "The bank is effectively asking staff to take a pay cut. Fred Goodwin told us we had delivered everything asked of us and the bank was committed to returning our 'trust and loyalty'.

Full story...

Case set to be dropped against GCHQ mole who blew whistle on US bugging

Good that Katherine is being released, bad that it's happening because the government is obssessed with secrecy. The thing is that they aren't worried about "disclosing sources" or any of that bollocks they always tell us. It's being done to cover their arses because if the trial goes ahead they will have to disclose evidence that will prove that they are lying fascist bastards who invaded Iraq for reasons as yet undisclosed - but ones that bear no relationship to the reasons we were given. If you happen to bump into Katherine in a pub please buy her a drink and give her a pat on the back.

The prosecution is preparing to abandon the case against a former GCHQ employee charged with leaking information about a "dirty tricks" spying operation before the invasion of Iraq, the Guardian has learned.

Katharine Gun, 29, is due to appear at the Old Bailey next week where she has said she will plead not guilty to breaking the Official Secrets Act.

She has said her alleged disclosures exposed serious wrongdoing by the US and could have helped to prevent the deaths of Iraqis and British forces in an "illegal war".

The case is potentially hugely embarrassing for the government and would open up GCHQ operations to unwelcome publicity. Also damaging and politically threatening is her plan to seek the disclosure of the full advice from the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, on the legality of the war against Iraq.

The government would almost certainly refuse to disclose such advice, arguing that opinions of its law officers are traditionally protected from the outside world. Ms Gun's lawyers were likely to argue she could not get a fair trial without seeing the attorney's advice on the war and the disclosure of GCHQ's activities.

Ben Emmerson QC, her counsel, told London's Bow Street magistrates court last month that she was being prevented from saying anything to her lawyers about her work at GCHQ.

Sources familiar with the case last night strongly indicated that the prosecution will ask the court to drop the case against her at a pre-trial hearing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Ms Gun, a translator at GCHQ, was arrested in March but not charged until eight months later.

The long delay suggests that even then there was a fierce debate in government and GCHQ circles about the advisability of a secrets trial against an employee who said she acted out of conscience over an issue which divided the country.

Prosecutions under the Official Secrets Act need the consent of the attorney general. But the prosecution can advise the case should be dropped if a trial was considered to be against the public interest.

In sensitive cases in the past, the prosecution has dropped charges if the judge orders the disclosure of information the government and intelligence agencies say they cannot release.

Full story...

How and Why Al Haig Torpedoed Richard Nixon as "Deep Throat"

by Trowbridge H. Ford

Like all important spies and covert agents of the Cold War - Richard Sorge, Peter Wright, Donald Maclean, William King Harvey, Kim Philby, Richard Helms, and Oleg Penkovsky - Watergate's "Deep Throat" has experienced the familiar fall from glory, once the coup had been accomplished, and the crisis avoided. What was originally seen as a threat to the American Republic's very existence, a consitutional crisis which the public-spirited official somehow managed to prevent, has been reduced to a rather minor episode whose source is increasingly doubted even to exist. Fred Emery, in Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon, did not consider "Deep Throat" even worthy of mention.

In considering these actions as a form of spying, one must appreciate that on the American scene, it was often employed to enhance or destroy domestic competitors rather than to fix any Soviet agents. For "Deep Throat", this meant using The Washington Post's news managers so that Nixon's runaway administration could finally be brought to heel before "DT's" role in the process was exposed. His identification was compounded by the fact that the newsmen promised not to reveal their source until he died, a commitment threatened by the real "Deep Throat" outliving all the other candidates. This was apparently settled by The Post's CEO Katharine Graham, the sentimental choice, recently dying, and historian Arthur Schlesinger indicating in his eulogy for her that they might be burying "him" too.

When the bitter President was finally forced to resign in August 1974, the most likely candidate for "Deep Throat" was Nixon Chief of Staff, General Alexander Haig, the source who permitted the research of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to see the light of day. Haig's feeble attempts in Inner Cricles to deny the charge - e. g., he was in Pittsburg when "Deep Throat" informed Woodward by phone or in person in Washington that E. Howard Hunt was involved in the Watergate break-in, as if leaving for the steel town at 3:55 p.m. would somehow give him an alibi for not talking any time during the day (pp. 323-4), or that he was giving a lecture at Fort Belvoir when "Deep Throat" informed the reporter of Attorney General Mitchell's and Nixon Special Counsel Charles Colson's role in the scandal, as if the lecture was given after midnight when the meetings took place. When Haig got a second chance to explain who "Deep Throat" was in Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency, he said he was anyone but himself, a coherent person, like David Gergen or Leonard Garment, who knew the big picture, information only the FBI possessed. (p. 498)

The reason why more people did not suspect Haig is that they just considered him another faceless bureaucrat who had been dragged in from the Pentagon to assist National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger as his military aide. Actually, Haig was much like Lt. Col. Oliver North of Iran-Contra fame, a military professional who amassed great power while working with SOD Robert McNamara and Army Secretary Cyrus Vance during the Kennedy Administration. As the showdown with the Soviets shaped up during the Missile Crisis, Haig, as a planner of actions against Cuba, had organized Operation Fraternity, a naval armada by Central American despots which would force JFK's hand over an American invasion, what the President failed to do during the Bay of Pigs fiasco. "His duties with the Department of the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense included policy affairs with special emphasis on Cuba and the Dominican Republic." (Current Biography, 1973, p. 161)

Operation Fraternity involved armed forces from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Colombia taking part in Inter-American maneuvers in the preparation of leading officers played an unprecedented role in staff planning. Of course, these regimes were classic banana republics - ones with an obsession for getting rid of the communist one in Havana - and had all been invovled in various ways in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. These countries constituted the vulnerable southern flank in the Caribbean if Castro's Cuba was to expand his revolution, and their military juntas were most desirous of getting rid of him before he got rid of them. Of course, they were noted for their death squads for eliminating leftists, criminal connections with American Mafias through various fruit companies, dictatorial control, covert relations with Washington, and drug dealing for financing their operation. This pattern, as Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall have written in Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, went unchallenged until the mid-1970s.

When JFK again copped out of having a showdown with Khushchev - saving us all apparently from nuclear annihilation - Haig, while officially responsible for relocating the anti-Castro veterans in American life, plotted to make it look as if the communists were using Lee Harvey Oswald in another powerplay at Washington's expense. The Defense Intelligence Agency was persuaded to put together a report which stated that the ex-Marine had visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City in October, and had been seen with Cuban intelligence agents in Havana a few days before the Dallas assassination. To make it look as if Castro was on the move, the Pentagon arranged for Captain Joe 'Glenn' Hyde's U-2 plane to go down on a routine mission over the island on Nov. 20th, apparently the result of unfriendly fire contrary to the terms of the Missile Settlement. For good measure, Cuban-armed guerrillas, it seems, in Venezuela kidnapped US Army Lt Col. James Chenault. To stop the apparent communist coup, Haig organized Operation Americas, an expanded version of Fraternity which Pultizer prize-winning reporter Hal Hendrix was covering, and was coordinated with Hunt's Second Naval Guerrilla Operation, to finish off Castro's regime.

The next day, the nation's newspapers, especially The LaGrange Daily News - Hyde's hometown in Georgia - were filled with stories about the disappearance of his spy-plane while on a reconnaisance mission over Cuba, reminiscent of how the shooting down of Major Rudolf Anderson's U-2 on October 22, 1962, and his killing had sent the Missile Crisis into free fall. "It was a camera in a sleek black U2," the Daily News reported in a front-page story, "described by Allen W. Dulles, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), "as the most important espionage of the 20th century, that first spotted missiles in Cuba in October, 1962." Current flights were continuing to make sure that the missiles had been withdrawn, and not returned. While the Strategic Air Command was looking for wreckage of the plane, and the whereabouts of the pilot around where an oil slick had been spotted, the Navy and Coast Guard were conducting an intensive sea rescue in the area known as the "Ten Fanthom Curve" in the hope of finding Hyde alive.

The only trouble with all the plotting against the President was that the wounding of John Connally - hitman Richard Cain had not test fired the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, and, consequently, when he shot at JFK, he hit the Texas Governor - prevented the assassination from being blamed on the communists. Connally thought that he had been double crossed, and was demanding to punish the real perpetrators. Haig, consequently, had to make preparations for the President's funeral rather than orchestrate America's response to his assassination from the White House. He destroyed the DIA report on Oswald; covered up as best he could Hyde's fate, the "deceased" apparently given a new identity like a Mafia informer, and persuaded, it seems, the nice terrorists to release Chenault unharmed. While Hyde's body was never recovered, even from the plane's wreckage on the sea floor, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Fifth Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal for flights - what his smiling family survivors happily accepted six months later at Greenville Air Force Base, Mississippi - which did not include the apparently fatal one.("Hyde Obtained Vital Data in Spy Flights," LaGrange Daily News, May 4, 1964, p. 1) If Hyde had actually been killed, one would have thought that he at least would have picked up a Purple Heart too. Operation Americas was hastily changed by Haig into defensive maneuvers off Colombia's Atlantic coast.

To make up for all the military missions which had fizzled out in the Caribbean, Haig helped give America's renewed commitment to South Vietnam's defense teeth by making the most of the so-called Tonkin Gulf incident. Thanks to continued briefing of hawkish General Harold Johnson, Haig, along with fellow planner Lt. Col. DeWitt Smith, helped initiate a course of action which replaced inept South Vietnamese juntas by a fully engaged America, committed to preventing a communist takeover. They drew up a long list of possible options for America, culminating with an all-out ultimatum to Hanoi and Moscow, to cease and desist their insurgency or face all-out war. Under the circumstances, the Army's Chief of Staff settled for what Washington finally committed itself to - full mobilization, mass introduction of American troops into South Vietnam, and deployment of naval and air force units to conduct a sustained bombing campaign of the North, including the mining of its harbors, and the interdiction of its supplies, in preparation for its invasion. (Inner Circles, p. 137)

When Nixon won the Presidency in 1968, he had not forgotten what Haig had done, especially his efforts in November 1963 to help make him the front runner in the upcoming election by achieving a settlement of the Cuban problem at JFK's expense. The former Vice President had gone to Dallas when Glenn Hyde's U-2 was "shot down" despite receiving threatening postcards apparently from Oswald, and had advertised his vulnerability at the President's expense by making public appearances, especially on the floor of the Bottlers' Convention right across from the Trade Mart where JFK would speak the next day, a process culminating in the "Guard not for Nixon" story in The Dallas Morning News on the fatal day. It was this which led to the Secret Service celebrating in Fort Worth the night before because of the apparent lack of any serious threat to the President, and had it in a most relaxed mode when the fatal shots whizzed down in Dealey Plaza - what some conspiracy theorists have used to make it part of the plot. The problem with Connally, however, had prevented LBJ's and America's humiliation by either doing too much or too little in the face of the apparent communist power play. Still, Nixon wanted Haig to be Kissinger's military assistant, and he was hired on the spot when he assured him that he could lead the revitalization of the NSC.

Haig, while preparing and soon delivering the President's daily intelligence briefing, was responsible for making sure that NSC acitivities were leak proof. Concerned that the Pentagon Papers, what he was asked by McNamara to assist in the preparation of but declined, would expose the covert operations which did in JFK, especially since maverick Daniel Ellsberg had joined the project, Haig became alarmed when NSC secrets, especially the bombing of Cambodia, started leaking to the press. First Kissinger prevailed upon Mitchell and Director Hoover to tap Morton Halperin's home phone, and a few days later, Haig visited Assistant Director William Sullivan to make sure that the phones of Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Winston Lord, and the Pentagon's Colonel Robert Pursley were included. Of course, Kissinger officially ordered the taps, but upon Haig's advice. In the end, 17 wiretaps were installed, and while they never revealed the source of any leaks, the logs Haig read in Sullivan's office provided all kinds of targets for White House covert operations.

In June 1970, Haig became one of Nixon's official men, replacing Lawrence Eagleburger as Deputy NSA, and when the Bureau persuaded the White House to drop the taps in February 1971 because of recent Supreme Court decisions, Kissinger's Deputy was obliged to find other men - The Plumbers - to do the tasks. Hired in July, and headed by Howard Hunt, who both Nixon and Haig wanted to compensate for his anti-Kennedy efforts, they ran their operations, starting with the leakers, out of the Executive Office Building where the Deputy NSA was also located. In September, the Plumbers broke into the Beverly Hills office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis Fielding, to find out what work he was doing, especially since the publication in June of The Pentagon Papers had proved, despite all the worry, so unrevealing, and what his psychological profile was. Then Hunt, using a CIA-supplied wig and disguise, tried to persuade Dita Beard in a Denver hospital to denounce a memo which claimed that International Telephone and Telegraph, the cover company for all kinds of Washington covert operations, had donated $400,000 to Nixon's reelection campaign in return for favorable treatment in an antitrust suit.

The trouble with the Plumbers, though, was that so many intermediaries were increasingly involved - Colson, Presidential Assistant John Ehrlichman, campaign director Jeb Stuart Magruder, former CIA "Executive Action' director William King Harvey, and Presidential Counsel John Dean - to protect Nixon's and Haig's role that they began free-lancing operations for almost anyone and for almost any reason. While Watergate stands out in this regard, there were plans against Las Vegas newspaper publisher Hank Greenspun, columnist Jack Anderson, Hoover, and Alabama Governor George Wallace. Greenspun's safe was thought to contain all kinds of information about Nixon dirty tricks, but the Howard Hughes organization refused to supply the getaway necessary for the break-in. Hunt assistant Gordon Liddy wanted to assassinate Anderson over the Beard matter, but was finally restrained. The neutralizing drugs that CIA's Dr. Edward Gunn discussed with Hunt and Liddy for Anderson might well have been used on the uncooperative Hoover who died of an unexpected heart attack right after Nixon told him late at night on May lst that he was finished as Director. Then there was the incapacitating assassination of Wallace by Arthur Bremer on May 15th, what had all the hallmarks of Harvey's Manchurian Candidates, and what the Plumbers had relocated in the house that their secretary Kathleen Chenow had rented in Bremer's Milwaukee to effect.

Little wonder when the Watergate fiasco joined the list, Haig immediately went into action to stop the rot, and prevent threatening blowback. Even by Haig's standards, a sitting President could not guarantee his re-election by assassinating loyal Americans. Consequently, when the case against the arrested burglars started to fizzle out two days later, Woodward called "Deep Throat", "an old friend and sometimes source who worked for the federal government" (All The President's Men, p. 23), who explained that Watergate was about to "heat up" with the discovery of Hunt's White House employment, a claim that the reporter immediately established by talking to him at the Mullen Company, thanks to a transfer by the White House switchboard. Then Bernstein called Haig, "a former official of the Nixon administration ... who knew the inner workings of the White House" (p. 27), who implicated Colson as being behind the break-in, former Attorney General Mitchell for being responsible for the hiring of burglar James McCord, and his right-hand man Fred LaRue for ordering any wiretaps. By this time, the Deputy NSA was a Nixon appointee, though the reporters still tried to maintain the myth that Haig was not one of all the President's men. (See "Cast of Characters", pp. 9-11.)

In sum, "Deep Throat" was well in evidence by even Haig's admission before he made his official entry, with each reporter using him to help build upon what he had told the other, and Nixon's White House was already in the deepest trouble. No sooner had the burglars been indicted than Haig said that Mitchell, now the former manager of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, had a slush fund to finance all the dirty tricks, indicating that the conspiracy went far higher than the accused. His White House colleagues, including the President, had been doing politically dirty tricks - "ratfucking" - with all the information which had been gleaned from the FBI national security wiretaps, and it had all been captured on tapes of conversations in the Oval Office. "Deep Throat's" revelations explained how Hunt's silence was procured, and why his Gemstone Files of dirty tricks had to be destroyed. Finally, Haig, who had seen to the installation of Nixon's taping system, revealed that some of the Oval Office tapes had been deliberately erased.

In sum, "Deep Throat" had laid the foundation of the President's removal from office. The only misstep Haig had apparently made was to implicate Bob Haldeman in the conspiracy after he had left the NSC in October to become Army Deputy Chief of Staff, a post he used to see that the Pentagon's remaining bits about Oswald in the JFK assassination were destroyed. Actually, gratuitously implicating Haldeman was a clever ruse which made it seem that the White House-free Haig was certainly not "Deep Throat", and that he definitely was not part of the conspiracy. "If you shoot too high and miss," "Deep Throat" explained with self-satisfaction for Woodward after the screwup, "then everybody feels more secure." (p. 196) Little wonder that Haig replaced Haldeman as Chief of Staff to preside inexorably over Nixon's removal from office after Hunt's burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist was revealed at his trial in April 1973.

As further confirmation of this thesis, I wrote a "Letter from Washington" for Private Eye in November 1982. I hoped that it would revive interest in the fading House inquiry into the JFK assassination by inducing Haig to sue the magazine for libel - what people like Sir James Goldsmith had done for rich awards. While the article repeated some of the earlier claims, it went on to discuss his role in the Pentagon after the JFK assassination: "Haig was more successful in his planning against the Dominican Republic where he encouraged officers to overthrow Juan Bosch's regime in 1963, and to prevent its return in 1965 by another coup which was carried out so as to justify direct American intervention." (Nov. 20, 1981 issue, p. 11)

To increase pressure on Reagan's Secretary of State, I also wrote the following letter to Haig, hoping that its allegations would whet his appetite for a suit:


Dear Secretary of State Haig,

Enclosed is a copy of an article that I had published on you in Private Eye, dated November 20, 1981. While I would have preferred to have had it published in a better known, more respected journal, I shall take advantage of what facilities I can when it comes to your enormous crimes and dangerous activities. In my estimation, you are much more than just a disgrace to our country: you are a threat to mankind because of your will to power, redoubled desire to succeed because of a sense of guilt for previous crimes, and a perversion of all standards of morality and political behavior.

In future articles, I plan to discuss your leadership in trying to prevent, quite unnecessarily except for your sense of guilt, diclosure of The Pentagon Papers; in ending Howard Hunt's runaway crimes out of fear of exposure; in undermining Nixon's re-election chances as "Deep Throat" for the same purpose; in dragging out the investigation of Watergate to save yourself at the expense of the President and his men; in engineering Nixon's resignation; and in helping get him a pardon out of the basest self-interest.

I look forward, of course, to any court challenge that you may choose to make over what I have published or shall publish. Regarding the enclosed article, I would like to expose further your role in trying to railroad Lee Harvey Oswald two different ways; the arranging the "downing" of Captain Joseph Hyde's U-2 plane for your own strategic purposes; in collaborating with the CIA's Helms and Hunt to make it appear that Castro had a motive, capability, and opportunity for killing President Kennedy; in having a contrived explanation of the murder at communist expense which was ruined by Governor Connally's wounding; in arranging with the CIA, as you are currently, the demise of Castro's regime for your own purposes; in fogetting about both Hyde and his U-2 plane, etc., ad nauseam.

I can assure you that I find no pleasure in dealing with your disgusting behavior. I am writing a political biography of a reasonable English politician. I am only taking time out because of the enormity of your crimes, and the threat they represent to world security.

Sincerely yours,

Trowbridge H. Ford

cc., various interested parties.


The only thing the letters apparently achieved, as I never heard anything from Haig, was to speed his resignation/firing a few months later. Little did I realize that by this time, the former NATO commander was far less dangerous than the other occupants of The White House. During Watergate and its aftermath, he became committed to de´tente, finally having become convinced of the dangers of nuclear annihilation in any showdown with the Soviets - what the strategists now in its Situation Room and at the Pentagon still had to learn for themselves.