Monday, 24 September 2007

MI6's Sir John Scarlett: A Career of Increasingly Dangerous Failure



by Trowbridge H. Ford

Part I - The Making of the Palme Assassination Fiasco

As intelligence agencies have grown in importance in the governance of developed states, their organization, personnel, operations, performance, and outcomes have been increasingly covered up except for the obvious comestic exercises about their very existence, and cryptic comments about their role when operations leak out to the public. Political affairs have now reached the point where there is really a inner, permanent government - where their presence and performance is paramount in whatever is attempted - and the outer democratic organization whose political complexion can be changed by the electorate without any real impact on what happens in the inner circle. It is how Western states have managed for their political elites - the people who come from the privileged classes, control the countries' ecomonic resources, and guard their destiny - to stay in power no matter what conditions seem to require, and the voters apparently demand. In short, we are now living in the aftermath of how the traditional state managed to channelize demands for self-government in ways which would only enhance its powers, not its service to its populations.

Just look, for example, for the directors of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) aka MI6. They are hardly even known by name, much less for anything about their performance, except for the fallout from the most ill-advised preventive war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Sir Colin Figures, the director during the mid-1980s, is hardly known to have existed, much less what he did, and his successors, Christopher Curwen, Colin McColl, and David Spedding, are equally most evanescent characters. The first time they are given any real attention is when they die, as their obituaries attest. The only reason we know more about Richard Dearlove, the director during the showdown with Iraq, is because of the investigations by Lords Hutton and Butler into the war's terrible consequences, big and small. And the same goes for the current director, Sir John Scarlett. The only thing we know for sure about them is that their office is in that new, ugly building on the Thames Embankment, and that they sign all official documents with the letter 'C', a symbolic recognition of its first director, Admiral Mansfield Cumming.

Stiil, researchers must provide an account of their performance if the public is ever to hold them, or better still their political bosses at the polls, accountable, though the process is made ever more difficult because of the serious misconceptions about how the system actually functions, the restraints provided by the Official Secrets Acts - what makes any leaking of official information a kind of theft - against any potential leaker, the reluctance of the courts to grant public interest immunity on what whistleblowers choose to reveal, their willingness to grant injunctions to prevent the disclosure of damning revelations, the inability of the FOIA to make up for these inadequacies, the ability of the Secretary of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee to grant so-called "D-Notices" to prevent the media from revealing information which does not suit their apparent interest, etc. Still, as time passes, more and more critics of the system, both foreign and domestic, manage to provide information, one way or another, which help provide more convincing explanations to what really happened because of failures by individuals and institutions.

John Scarlett's character was highly determined by his familial and educational background. The son of a South London physician of Scottish origin, he attended Epsom College, aka Royal Medical Benevolent College, thanks to the terms its founder, John Propert, set down in 1853 for boys in such strapped circumstances attending secondary school. Freemasonry played a prominent role in the school's establishment and development, so much so that the Old Epsomian Lodge, home of its graduates and like-minded crusaders, was recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1911 as one of its lodges. In characteristic Masonic-fashion, Scarlett, a gifted student uninterested in its extensive sports program, was appointed president of its XVI Society whose existence and function are nowhere to be found on the school's website.

To impressionable minds, the Masons were the last vestige of the Knights Templars, the leading Crusaders of the Middle Ages - noted for their esoteric philosophy, heretical ceremonies, and
blasphemous and indecent initiation rites - who were eradicated, starting in 1307 by France's King Philip IV, with the connivance of Pope Clement, after Europe's princes proved unwilling to mount another crusade to recover the Outremer from the allegedly cruel Saracens. The Templars were also suspected to being too close to Moslems in their financial and military dealings, especially their dreaded Assassins Order. The Old Epsom Club even holds one of its four annual meetings in the College's Main Hall every November. The school supports the rather secretive tenets of Freemasonry - a vigorous kind of Nonconformism with highly nationalistic overtones.

This outlook was strengthened when Scarlett went on to Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he received a First Class, History Honours Degree in 1971. He was most interested in what tutors Karl Leyser and John Stoye had to offer rather than more modern stuff. Leyser was an expert on how early medieval German kingdoms became established, especially in Saxony against the rampaging Hungarians, while Stoye wrote a book about how the Austro-Hungarian empire saved Vienna from the similarly inclined Ottomans - what nicely complemented what Scarlett had already learned about the High Middle Ages. As a result, Scarlett became a firm believer of the infidel threat to Europe, whether they be religious or secular ideologues.

The College's most famous Fellow since 1938 was A. J. P. Taylor who was holding forth then most widely his anti-establishment views about how it should conduct the Cold War, making him and his ilk Scarlett's betes noires in his adult life. Taylor sounded hardly different from Cambridge's infamous Moscow spies, Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross. Taylor particularly objected to British foreign policy since the French Revolution, repudiating its aims, methods, and principles. He was in favor of an alliance with the Soviets after WWII, objected to the Suez adventure in 1956, became a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament two years later, and blamed the failure of the 1968 Prague Spring on its leaders, particularlary Alexander Dubchek.

Scarlett was so upset by Taylor's 'brain-washing' of the public at large that he joined SIS immediately upon graduation. After an introductory tour of how MI6 operated in East Africa, lasting about three years, he was back in London, and he soon got badly burned by the KGB in an double agent 'dangle' despite what Oleg Gordievsky predictably claimed in David Rose's Observer about the new director, "A singular spy". Of course, one can have such a reputation much more easily if few of the relevant facts are known. This was when Anglo-American counterintelligence was in the greatest disarray because of the fallout from Watergate, and Nixon's forced retirement. The Soviets were having a field day because of the disinformation double agents Anatoliy Golitsyn and Yuri Nosenko were providing the feuding, disorganized counter spies on both sides of the Atlantic. Since former CIA CI Chief James Angleton had been sacked, they hardly knew what to make of anything, and Moscow knew it, all too well.

The 'dangle' was arranged in response to Oleg Lyalin's 1971 defection in Britain, and his over-the-top revelations about what the KGB planned to do during the next confrontation with the West - everything from poisoning its water systems to assassinating its leaders, especially Nixon and his cronies. As a result, Britain expelled every apparent Soviet intelligence agent it could imagine (Operation Foot). The KGB was forced to reorganize, and in 1975 it decided to seek revenge. The plan was to take advantage of the 'sleeper' that the Soviets had deeply implaced for such responses within the US Navy which was struggling to regain the military initiative against its sister services in the conduct of the Cold War.

In 1959, Nikoli Federovich Artamonov, a former Red Banner Fleet destroyer captain, and the current Naval Attaché in Warsaw, defected to the West via Sweden by motorboat.. While in the Polish capital, he had taken a new 'wife' - though his first one and their children still resided in the USSR - and they understandably decided that the arrangement work better in the West rather than back in Moscow. Artamonov took the name of Nick Shadrin, and became an American citizen, working for the newly formed Defense Intelligence Agency. He even testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee just before Khrushchev visited America, apparently to help it learn more secrets about the ships he arrived on, and how the new Soviet leader planned to conduct the Cold War. Soon Shadrin was teaching sailors at the Groton submarine school how to speak convincing Russian so as to avoid any chance of ending up in Lyabyanka prison after any covert mission, and how the Soviets conducted anti-submarine operations.

To reconnect with Shadrin in 1966, the KGB had Igor Kochnov, an agent in its Washingtom embassy, to volunteer to work as a double agent for the CIA. Kochnov even telephoned DCI Richard Helms at his residence on June 18th to make the offer, stating that he could improve his standing to spy if he worked with Shadrin, and Helms arranged for a joint Bureau-Agency handling of the volunteer under its new jurisdictional agreement while he worked with Shadrin, codnamed "Kittyhawk", apparently in recognition of the effort to regain supremacy for the sea from what the Wright brothers had started for the air at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina all those years ago. While Kochnov acted as if he was most interested in where defector Yuri Nosenko was being held because of the continuing questions about who really assassinated JFK, he was more interested in getting Shadrin to pass on naval secrets, even doctored ones, to the Soviets.

While the CIA and FBI continued to argue about Nosenko's bona fides, Shadrin improved his ability, it was thought, to confound Soviet naval operations by getting a Ph.D. in 1972 in strategic studies at George Washington University - what was passed along to America's NATO allies, especially Britain. Unfortunately for the West, the Soviets had a walk-on of their own, John A. Walker, Jr., a communications specialist in the Norfolk headquarters handling Western submarines in the Atlantic. "He had access to reports on submarine operations, technical manuals, and daily key lists," Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew wrote in Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, "that were used to unscramble all of the messages sent through the military's most widely used coding machines." (p. 351)

The best evidence that the containment of Soviet subs was not working, despite Shadrin's best efforts, soon occurred when either an American or British attack submarine rammed a Soviet, double-hulled boomer in the Barents on October 9, 1968 when it unexpectedly slowed down, and the trailing NATO one rammed it, causing it to seek emergency repairs in Norway. (pp. 399-400) And there were more collisions, the Soviets hoping that they could prove that the intruder had been sunk. The Americans were just trying to strike fear in their apparently cueless Soviet counterparts. It was even thought until the Cold War was finally over that the USS Gato and the Soviets' Black Lila had been sunk during these confrontations off Scandinavia's Atlantic coast.

The high point of this crazy process occurred when Captain Whitey Mack's attack sub USS Lapon was able to track the surprisingly quiet Soviet boomer sub of the new Yankee class after it sailed through the Denmark Strait which separates Greenland from Iceland in late September 1969, thanks to feedback that Kocknov, now back in Moscow, supplied Shadrin about the Red Banner Fleet's latest operation. While Sontag and Drew made out that the American sub just happened to find this apparent 'needle in a haystack' because of the skipper's lucky guess of where it might be going (p. 183ff.), it could only have been achieved by Soviet input, especially since its hunt was delayed by its getting caught in the net of deep-sea fishing trawler - what Walker then provided his Moscow's minders with Norfolk's response to. The New York Times claimed falsely in a front-page story on October 9, 1969 that the mission had been successful because the sub made all too much noise. Moscow's purpose in engaging in the whole charade was to show Washington that it could post without detection nuclear-armed IMBMs right off America's east coast - what was intended to make it get over its fixation on another surprise in Cuba, and get on with détente with the USSR.

The culmination of the whole process (Operation Ivy Bells) occurred when the USS Halibut was in the final stages of tapping the Soviet cable across the Sea of Okhotsk to the Petropavlovsk sub base on the tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula for which it was awarded four citations in five years. In 1975 when it finally was tapping the messages from Moscow to its Pacific subs - what was intended to assure Washington that there would not be any Soviet surprises there either, and what Kocknov, now being handled by MI6's Peter Brennan so that Moscow would not suspect CIA involvement in the venture, had made possible by telling Shadrin to look for the signs which showed where the cable went into Okhotsk and where it resurfaced on Kamchatka - Yuri Andropov's KGB finally decided it was time to extricate Shadrin from his exposed position.

As usual, Anglo-American intelligence played right into the KGB's hands by somehow wanting similarly to exfiltrate the long-suffering Kochnov, allegedly part of DCI William Colby's plan to recruit more new agents, though he would still seem more useful working in Moscow rather than in Washington. After a CIA agent in Moscow had arranged for a meeting between him and Shadrin in Vienna - though no one has ever explained why Shadrin needed to be there - he and his wife Ewa arriving there on December 18, 1975, he disappeared after a second unaccompanied meeting with Kochnov on the same day that Carlos the Jackal took the members of an OPEC meeting hostage, and CIA station chief in Athens Richard Welch was gunned down by similar terrorists. "Igor Kochnov," Mark Riebling casually wrote in Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and the CIA, "was never heard from." (p. 329)

But Shadrin apparently was. At least, that was what MI6's agent in Moscow Peter Brennan thought when he heard shortly thereafter that a "renegade Soviet Navy officer" wanted to sell secret information. When Brennan took the bait, the fat was in the fire, and before it was over, the Soviets expelled all 18 members of the British Embassy in Moscow. When relations started to improve, Scarlett was sent to the Soviet capital, and he too was soon in touch with, it seems, the "renegade officer" as there was no reason to think that Shadrin had been killed, and Soviet leader Leonid Breshnev had denied President Ford's assertion that the KBG had kidnapped him. And if Shadrin had been killed, where was his body? Scarlett was some months later recalled to London, as Rem Krasilnikov, the head of KGB CI against Britain and America at the time, wrote in 2000 in KGB against the MI-6, to avoid being exposed in the scandal.

From that moment on, Scarlett was committed to getting back at the Soviets by any means because of his humiliation. While his recall shows that he was not somewhere in East Africa at the time - throwing the other claims about where he served into the gravest doubt - he apparently served in London where he took over running Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB agent in Copenhagen - thought to be Britain's most important spy - and then in Stockholm after 1979 when Andrew Jeremy Stafford left until 1982 when he returned to London to take over the running of Gordievsky, now in the KGB rezidentura there. During this time, Scarlett did everything he could to make Scandinavia's Social Democrats, especially Sweden's Olof Palme, look like Soviet stooges, Moscow itself totally out of control, probably even planning a first strike on the West, for no reason, and Britain and America as countries which others, especially those in Scandinavia, could implicitly trust. If it had no been for the actions of others, though, especially spies Rick Ames and Robert Hanssen, and a few other unexpected surprises, it would have ended up in disaster for us all.

Scarlett's attempts to make it look as if the Social Democrats, especially, were Soviet agents of influence were completely belied by the facts. When Palme took over Sweden's government again in October 1982, he made no attempt to interfere with the Swedish Navy's operation NOTVART, an attempt to catch Soviet submarines intruding into its waters - what resulted instead in the sinking of an American submersible, killing a handfull of its sailors, and badly damaging apparently a British attack sub which had to be escorted by another one back to Britain. Still, Palme interferred in the commission he appointed to investigate it to make sure that it was not too specific in its claim about who did the offending, and he sacked his Foreign Minister, Lennart Bodström, who declined to do the same when he discussed the matter. In 1985, Sweden held the largest maneuevers since WWII in its far north, involving 22,000 troops, to show everyone that it would not allow anyone, from either East or West, to invade its territory, and on November 17th, the statsminister prevented a shipment of 80 HAWK missiles from Israel to Iran from landing on Swedish terrority to make it look as if all shipments came originallly from there.

Still, Scarlett's SIS saw fit to see to the publication of Anatoliy Golitsyn's in 1984 latest disinformation, New Lies for Old, despite the fact that David Martin's Wilderness of Mirrors, and Cleveland Cram of the CIA in his 12-volume study of operations from 1954 to 1974 had already completely destroyed his credibility - what the Agency understandably under the circumstances took another decade to acknowledge when it published his monograph, "Of Moles and Molehunters", in its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. Henry Hurt's book about Shadrin's disappearance, The Spy Who Never Came Back, published in 1981, "...not only revived the old Golitsyn-Nosenko controversy but also made it more current by citing the appearance of a mysterious KGB man referred to as 'Igor'." (Quoted from
Cram's article on the internet.) Scott Miler - a follower, like Golitsyn, of former Agency CI Chief Angleton, believed that Igor Kochnov was a KGB plant, and that Shadrin should never have gone to meet him without the FBI having had him under surveillance.

Now Miler had teamed up with MI6's old hands, Stephen De Mowbray and Arthur Martin, to give the "greatest importance and relevance" (p. xvi) to what Golitsyn claimed. De Mowbray and Martin, as Peter Wright has described in Spy Catcher, would follow Golisyn to the ends of the earth in looking for Moscow's moles, and now he contended that he had found the last of the rotten apples. Either
Europe would stop its fragmenting - what Palme, apparently a planted KGB agent in the leadership of its Social Democratic Party (p. 55), started with his demonstrations in favor of a North Vietnamese victory in Vietnam - or it would witnesses the fruition of the 'false flag' operations - the new Trust - which former KGB chief Alexander Shelepin had arranged in the late '50s. Golitsyn was even more suggestive that Palme was the agent when he talked about how a KGB agent in its Stockholm residency, it seems, had hoodwinked Palme in Tag Erlander's office in September 1961 to spy for the Soviets. (pp. 287-8) By the book's end, Golitsyn could hardly restrain himself any longer, announcing that Palme was working with Communist leader Adam Rapacki to achieve a nuclear-free zone in central Europe. (p. 349)

After Gordievsky's defection to Britain in July 1985, he filled in its intelligence community about Palme's being a Soviet agent of influence, explaining that it was accomplished by news company Novosti's N V. Nejland when he was working in Stockholm in the early 1970s. Then MI6's agent in Olso, E. O. 'Mack' Falkirk, was able to steal from Palme's office in October the agenda he had for his meeting with the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow the following April, indicating his plans to go ahead with a Nordic Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone. Falkirk had earlier recruited KGB agent Boris Yuzhin whose spying for the West had enabled the Norwegians to catch diplomat Arne Treholt the previous year with NATO plans in the Far North - what would be vital to the Soviets if NATO and the Americans pulled off any surprises there - and was now back in Moscow to report on what its responses would be to any such moves. To muddy the waters, SIS then sent Edinburgh's Professor John Erickson, who had helped organize domestic opposition to Palme by the European Workers' Party, to Stockholm to complain about his inaction against, it seemed, aggressive Soviet submarine intrusions.

In December, Falkirk said he had learned that the CIA resident in Stockholm, Jenonne Walker, had expressed her serious worries about what was afoot when she hosted a Christmas party for some Swedish officials. Two high-ranking Swedish naval officers allegedly told her that Palme was a traitor, and that something had to be done about it. This was after Palme had removed Björn Eklind - captain of the sigint intelligence ship Orian, a most important vessel since Britain's similar ship, HMS Challenger, was again inoperative because of breakdowns - who was most opposed to allowing American seaman to serve on his ship in the hope of reassuring Washington of Stockholm's seriousness in defending its territory. Ms. Walker had been so convinced about the alleged threats that she had Agency bugging specialists help a team from Säpo's Section for Company Defence (FSG) deploy listening devices in the KGB residence in Stockholm on the night of Palme's assassination in the hope of catching the Soviets committing some surprise.

To help convince others that this was the case, Gordievsky provided information about Operation RYAN, Moscow's response to apparent Western first strikes - what became the basis of 1,000 reports that Scarlett made up about the Soviets' 'darkest secrets'. In doing so, SIS pretty much left out the causes of these responses - NATO's annual exercise ABLE ARCHER, US Admiral James 'Ace' Lyons' Ocean Safari Excerise, etc. - and analyis of this information was left to the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) which was under the leaderhip of former MI6 director Sir Colin Figures. The JIC was convinced that even Gorbachev "...was a liar who shared traditional Kremlin aspirations. (Quoted from Mark Urban, UK Eyes Alpha, p. 43.)

After Palme's assassination, Scarlett arranged for Gordievsky and Cambridge history professor Christopher Andrew to publish two volumes of the KGB responses to Western provocations until the statsminister's assassination after it had passed without alarming blowback, though Andrew tastefully avoids using any of the material in his own work.

To head off the increasingly likely Cold War showdown, Vladimir Kryuchkov's FCD allowed Vitaly Yurchenko to defect shortly after it had allowed Gordievsky to escape. Gordievsky could not be allowed to stay in place in London for fear that he would compromise any countermeasures that the Soviets had for any Western surprises, and if he was simply arrested, it would oblige the West to adopt new secret plans which the Soviets would have to determine. To pacify Scarlett and his SIS associates, Yurchenko explained that Shadrin had indeed died while being kidnapped by the KGB - what would show, whether true or not, that Scarlett had not been entrapped when he became the curator of the "renegade Soviet Navy officer". To reassure the Americans that they had no more moles to worry about, Yurchenko identified that not only Agency agent Edward Lee Howard but also NSA walk-in Ronald Pelton. Thanks to spies Rick Ames and Robert Hanssen the KGB had just developed, it could afford to do without others who had outlived their usefulness.

When the false defector suddenly decided in November to go back to the USSR with false defector for the other side, Valery Martynov, as part of Yurchenko's honor guard, the KGB believed that SIS and CIA would give up on their plans, but such was not the case when Palme stopped the HAWK missile shipment on the 17th. Immediately, 'Charles Morgan' aka Felipe Vidal asked Ivan Romanov aka Jovan von Birchan in Stockholm's Continental Bistro if he was willing to assassinate Palme for $2,000,000.

While Romanov did not take the offer seriously, 'Morgan' became more insistent in January after President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive NSDD-207, giving Oliver North's Operations Sub-Group of the Terrorist Incident Working Group full powers to combat alleged terrorism as other counterterrorist organizations saw fit. Then 'Morgan' repeated the offer to Romanov, as Swedish military intelligence officer Joel Haukka reported: "It was decided that Olof Palme was going to be assassinated and you don't have to worry about any police protection. I stand firm by my offer on 2 million Dollars." (Quoted from Haukka's report: "Samtal med Jovan von Birchan 4 april 1986".) 'Morgan' supplied Romanov with detailed plans to show that the plot was serious - he then told Haukka, and called Alf Karlsson, Säpo's Chief of Anti-Terrorist Division, and police officer K. G. Olsson about the threat. Romanov even had meetings with SDP member of the Stockhom City Council, Inger Båvner, and with Olsson in February, stating that an attempt upon the statsminister's life "...was just a question of time".

SIS was not willing to take any liberties with Gordievsky after he defected - unlike the Agency with Yurchenko - for fear that he might be a similar false defector, especially since his prematurely deceased brother Vasili aka GROMOV was known to be a KGB illegal who had operated in Sweden, or that the KGB might assassinate him if it learned where he was. While Gordievsky had told Scarlett everything that SIS wanted to hear about KGB operations and its agents of influence, it still feared that he might be part of some new Trust, as Golitsyn was still claiming. This was even after MI5 had allowed Michael Bettaney - a disaffected, alcoholic Security Service officer whose experience handling agents in Northern Ireland, and working for K Branch handling Soviet counter-intelligence - to continue to work in place though colleagues were incresingly complaining about his performance, what finally induced him to spy for the Soviets.

While KGB resident in London Arkadi Guk apparently took the information supplied by Bettaney as mere Security Service provocation, and would have nothing to do with him, Gordievsky behaved as required, informing MI6 of his attempts. Bettaney was claiming that covert operations in the kingdom against Arthur Scargill's miners, the National Council for Civil Liberties, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and in Berlin with the Brixmis forces to check on Warsaw Pact military build-ups, directed especially by the Force Research Unit's Lt. Col. Gordon Kerr, were threatening world security. Bettaney was not only prosecuted for his liberties but also allowed to underline his efforts by having a prepared statement read about his efforts after his conviction. For good measure, Bettaney's former colleagues, Miranda Ingram, and Cathy Massiter, resigned in protest over his handling, and MI5's performance - what resulted in a Security Commission inquiry which ordered a complete reorganization of its personnel system.

MI5 was still not satisfied with the diversions it had engaged in to hide what Bettaney had attempted. When he was on remand in Brixton jail - after having been sentenced to twenty-three years in prison - and allowed to mix with IRA prisoners despite apparently MI5's instructions to the contrary, giving them information about FRU's counterterrorism work against them. Bettaney even let them know that an informer he had handled, apparently the famous 'Steak knife', had complained to Stella Rimington, its future director general, about his reluctance to get the British military to collude in operations against the Provisionals. MI5 became so alarmed by his disclosures, Mark Urban wrote in Big Boys' Rules, that it increased security measures, some officers even having to move their residences, (p. 99) although he, now released from prison, is still muzzled from discussing anything about the alleged caper after all these years.

The reason for the blackout is fear that he might say something about the whole can-of-worms which happened afterwards. After 'Charles Morgan' and apparently others could not recruit an assassin in Stockholm to kill Palme, other recruiters tried in London to hire former SAS soldiers and professional hitmen to do the job, but without success. Ultimately, SIS decided, it seems, to use Captain Simon Hayward, Ops Officer of the 14 Intelligence Company's South Detachment, to do the hit while he was on leave, and doing a reassessment of the statsminister's bodyguards for Major David Walker's KMS, Ltd. security firm Walker, a friend of US Navy Secretary John Lehman, Jr., had been introduced to Ollie North, and his firms were helping the Contras make trouble in Central America, especially in Nicaragua against its Sandinistas. Hayward was the ideal choice because he was already under a cloud for having apparently helped carry out the Shoot-to-Kill murders during the emergency in South Armagh in the fall of 1982 - what Greater Manchester Police's Assistant Chief Constable John Stalker was investigating - and few people knew of the Company's existence, generally confusing it with Kerr's FRU.

While Hayward was apparently preparing for his new role by setting up Francis Bradley in Toomebridge, County Londonderry, for a practice assassination in the back, once the Provos shot up the Ballygawley police station in December 1985 (for more, see Raymond Murray, The SAS in Ireland, pp. 348-65, and n. b. that the officer in charge, Soldier 'A' who fired only one shot, was attached to the 8th Infantry Brigade, and was unable to attend the inquest in March 1987), MI6 assured the Security Service in Stockholm that it had nothing to worry about from Britain, as Duncan Campbell later recounted in the New Statesman:

"All the sources agreed that the former SAS and other possible killers approached had turned down the contract, and had then passed details of the approaches to Special Branch or MI6 contacts. In turn, MI6 had passed a warning to Säpo, the Swedish secret police. One source said that the purpose of the killings was to destabilise Sweden and its powerful liberal stance on such matters as apartheid."

The sources of the reassurances were discredited Special Branch Detective Chief Inspector David Palmer-Hall, who liased directly with MI6, and former Special Branch commander Rollo Watts, who worked for Saladin whose parent company was KMS, Ltd. In sum, SIS had the Swedish Security Service looking for multiple threats against its leadership, coming from countries like South Africa and the USA.

Consequently, when the KMS reassessment party, headed it seems by Hayward, arrived in Stockholm on February 25th, setting up its monitoring operation across from the Palme apartment in its Old Town, the UK media was completely absorbed by what had happened to Bradley back in Northern Ireland. The party getting established in Stockholm showed that it was acting in an official capacity since the statsminister was far away, visiting villages around Östersund, and few citizens knew where they lived. Unofficial assassins would have been up there, trying to kill him - what was apparently happening unless they were just decoys. When the Palmes returned to their apartment, they noticed in a shack across the street the reassessors who spoke a kind of German patois over their walkie-talkies while carrying out their duties. It seemed most appropriate since threats against Palme were starting to become hot and heavy. (See, e. g., Jan Bondeson, Blood On The Snow, p. 76ff.)

While many reseachers of the assassination claim that the statsminister, fearing he might be shot, talked to all kinds of people - e. g., Iraqi Ambassador 'Baghdad Bob', former SDP Secretary Sven Aspling, and current secretary Bo Toresson - on the fatal day, and they speculate that they may have had something to do with the assassination, none have speculated that Hayward spoke to him, and arranged to test the performance of his bodyguards when he and his wife went off, unannounced, to the Grand Cinema on Sveavägen on the night of February 28th. This would explain the presence of a twosome with walkie-talkies, one aka 'Grand Man' who checked at the theatre if anyone was waiting to follow the Palmes home when the movie finished, and the gunman who caught up with them outside the Dekorima shop. Moreover, it would explain why the Palmes were apparently relieved to see him - thinking that everything was alright - only to belatedly discover that he was the actual gunman. (For more on this probability, see Gunnar Wall, Mörkläggning, pp. 925-30.)

While the assassination went off like clockwork, there were two important bits of evidence about it which escaped investigators' notice. Anders Delsborn, a taxi driver, saw the shooting:

"I heard two pistol shots from the other side of the of the street. I saw the killer standing by Palme, who suddenly collapsed. Then I saw the man's gun and smoke coming from the barrel. I heard the shots through the trafffic noise, and I could see quite clearly the man standing there, holding the pistol in his right hand. It looked like a Wild West revolver - it was so long." (Quoted from Chris Mosey, Cruel Awakening, p. 11.)

Delsborn established that the assassin was right-handed - what made attempts to pin the killing on left-handed Christer Petersson a hopeless task. Also, why would the hitman advertize a shooting so clearly by holding up the revolver so that anyone could be smoke still emerging from its long barrel? The simpliest answer is to make sure that it was not accidentally fired again as it was put in a pocket to hide it. Hayward, what he later wrote under the pseudonym James Rennie, has explained in The Operators that he suffered from "cackhandedness" (pp. 90, 102, 106, and 132-4) when firing a weapon with his right hand, but did not explain that it was because he had lost joints on its middle and ring fingers while serving in Cyprus. Rennie indicated also that he always had to worry about dealing with a weapon's safety with his right thumb - what would be the case if your middle and ring fingers were unnaturally short. In sum, Palme's assassin raised the revolver to put its safety on for fear that he might shoot himself if he put it in his pocket without doing so.

Little wonder that Bondeson made no mention of Delsborn's evidence about the hitman from Mosey's account - simply dismissing what "the London Times correspondent" (pp.33-4) wrote as just more wild fantasies by "Palme Detectives" aka "conspiracy theorists". Actually, Mosey was a correspondent for The Observer who often supplied articles about the statsminister which suited SIS's interests. (See, e. g., his article "Secret nuclear weapons row breaks in Sweden" in the April 28, 1985 issue, p. 17.) And Bondeson overlooked Mosey's earlier Swedish version of the assassination whose introduction clearly indicated that Palme had stopped the HAWK missile shipment to Iran - thanks to what Richard Reeves had written in "The Palme Obsession" in the March 1, 1987 issue of The New York Times Magazine - and that Mosey knew about the assassination before anyone in Stockholm, even calling prematurely Ann-Louise Paulsson, the police switchboard operator, to confirm the fact.

There were no calls to the bugged KGB residence in the Stockholm Embassy, though, Säpo, thanks to the initiative by CIA chief Jenonne Walker, awaiting a call from Stig Bergling in the hope of fleeing to the USSR with his new wife. KGB spies Ames and Hanssen had tipped off the KGB of such an eventuality, and Bergling had no intention then of going. The FBI was, consequently, left waiting forever for a call from 'sleeper' Sergei Motorin, announcing the Berglings' arrival in Leningrad. KGB Viktor Chebrikov even alluded to the futility of the shooting by announcing during an unprecedented press conference during the morning before the shooting that all the double agents of Operation Courtship had been rounded up. (See Christopher Walker's front-page piece in The Times the next day.)

This left the shooting - the trigger to a non-nuclear preventive war against the USSR to conclude the Cold War - without any telltale trail back to Moscow. And this was after Navy Secretary had "...sent forty-four of its fifty-four East Coast attack submarines with full weapons load on a twenty-four-hour notice rushing toward the North Atlantic." (Gregory L. Vistica, Fall From Glory, p. 214) They were to sink the Soviet boomers and their accompanying attack submarines after they hastily went on station in reaction to the surprise in Stockholm. Then a large NATO ground attack force was gathering around Narvik in preparation for an assault across its Finnmark to the Kola Pininsula where the main Soviet submarine base was located - the spearhead being led by Admiral Carl Trost's Task Force Eagle, three carrier-based assault groups, for which Marine Captain Steve Little had set up an advance party north of Tromsö. The plan would coopt the NATO forces to go along with the spearhead despite Olso's order against its holding exercises near the Soviet border.

To keep the plan going ahead despite the uncertainty about why and who killed Palme, SIS sent over an agent, most probably Scarlett's Gordievsky, to keep the myth going that Duncan Campbell had reported about South Africans planning to do so because they opposed Sweden's stand against apartheid. Three days after the shooting, MI6 called Karl-Gunnar Bäck, secretary-general of the Swedish Civil Defence League, and told him that it had vital information about the asssassination, requesting to come to Stockholm to see that it was passed on to those investigating the murder. SIS claimed that the leader of a covert company "A&J Services", apparently Major Robert Wilson, had organized it because Plame was cutting out middle-man money needed to arrange a Borfors arms deal with India - what Bondeson ends up settling for in explaining the assassination.

With the Swedish police thrown off the track yet again in catching Palme's murderer, Lehman's subs closed in on Soviet ones in the Barents, and under the Artic icepack in the hope of sinking them, but to no avail, thanks to the countermeasures Moscow had taken. NATO's Anchor Express Exercise became a nightmare when its advance forces, including some Norwegian engineers, ran into deadly avalanches in Vassdalen, killing 17 of them, and resulting in amphibious landings by Dutch and British troops on the Norwegian coast after an all-night emergency session by its leadership, including British Secretary of Defence George Younger, had cancelled the much more ambitious plan. Then Admiral Carl Trost's Task Force Eagle never showed up, the sensible seaman deciding to mutiny rather than go ahead with the most reckless venture.

While Lehman made one more attempt to revive the preventive war, it didn't succeed either, leaving Palme's assassination with no purpose, and still no paternity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Trow, guess who. It's Mike from The Local. I heard you had a meltdown and left the forum. And now so have I. What a bunch of yokels. They don't even know how to debate anymore. The longer I stayed there, the more you seemed sane, which says a lot ;-)

Oh well, hope you're doing well. Take care.