Wednesday, 26 August 2015


The following was not allowed to appear on the Guardian comments page.
I wonder if the (necessarily) secret MI6 and its principals (and principles for that matter!) get the attention they deserve?

Sir Richard Dearlove was head of MI6 between 1999 and 2004, and Sir John Scarlett was chairman of the joint intelligence committee from 2001 to 2004 and thereafter to 2009, head of Service. They are therefore both in highly influential and central roles during the critical period. Both have given evidence to Chilcott. Although both have semi-public C.V.'s, their actual involvement and influence, is shrouded, particularly as it relates to the co-ordination with other agencies and the extent to which it was known the stated causes for action were flimsy or false. This observation applies even more to their colleagues and employees of the organisation, who beside a couple of whistle-blowers, are not heard from at all.

Both Dearlove and Scarlett have had long and glittering careers in the Security Service, the former at one stage head of the Washington Station and Scarlett head of the Moscow one. On the face of it, it appears there may have been a degree of tension between the two figures based upon Scarlett's close working relationship with Alastair Campbell on the disputed "sexed-up" and fraudulent "dossier", on which so much reliance was placed. Sir Richard is on record as telling ministers in July 2002, that in the US "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" by which we may assume he thought the same was happening here. He has apparently written a book on the subject that he proposes to publish (if the government lets him!) after Chilcott reports, which might or might not be another contributory factor to the delay in publication. He is also on record as thinking the Muslim terrorist threat has been over-stated and counter-productive in security terms.

Meanwhile Sir John, now a Director of Times Newspapers, was reported by the Guardian in 2011 as stating in a memo to Tony Blair's advisors at the time, "the benefit of obscuring the fact that in terms of WMD Iraq is not that exceptional". Of course this rather infers that the story told to the public to justify invasion, was at the time, known to be either unreliable or false.


This talk by Annie Machon to the Cambridge Union in 2011 is also very revealing. 

Tim Veater 

This one was!

And in this connection, as to the actions (or inactions) of our secret security services a proper, independent, searching and swift inquiry is still required into the small but related matter of the death of a certain Mr Kelly, the London Tube Bombing of 7/7 (the relatives of the bereaved are still waiting) and the suspicious death of Gareth Williams employed by MI6 at the time (2010) And whilst they are at it they might like to throw in the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher (1984), the downing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, incorrectly blamed on Gaddafi of course, the apparent suicide of Stephen Milligan in 1994, the Chevaline Al Hilli killings, etc! not to mention all the recent strange events in which we are implicated if only by virtue of not objecting to the lies put out about them. We could in fact set up a permanent department of inquiries. Perhaps this will be one of Jeremy Corbyn's first acts on appointment.
  • 01
    The establishment are highly unlikely to want a spotlight shone on their activities or the veracity of their accounts.
    Mr Cameron told the U.N. that people who question such, are as dangerous as ISIS.
    Of course the man is a dangerous fool but it seems a nervous one too.
  • 01
    Yes, I agree and that was implicit in this and an earlier comment regarding leading individuals in the security service that the Guardian (for some unexplained reason) have seen fit to delete. Strange as nothing in it wasn't already in the public domain. I am apparently considered worthy to have my comments "pre-moderated"! I don't know whether to take this as a compliment of a criticism.

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