Monthly Archives: October 2011


Gould and Werritty Relationship

British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould has refused to answer my questions about his relationship with Werritty. With multiple Whitehall sources having pointed first me and then the Guardian, Times, Mail and Independent to a link between Fox-Werritty and Mossad, this refusal is unacceptable. Just what was the Ambassador’s relationship with Werritty and how much did he know?

This is the reply I received to my questions to Matthew Gould:

As the Prime Minister made clear in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the matter is being looked into by the Cabinet Secretary who is producing a report. We are working with the Cabinet Office on this and cannot prejudice its outcome by commenting in advance.

But I was not asking Gould for opinions, but rather for a series of simple facts. Knowledge of the facts of the case cannot prejudice a report – unless the purpose of the report is to be extremely selective about the facts allowed to come out.

These are the questions I put to Matthew Gould:

You are widely reported in the media to have met Mr Werritty with Liam Fox at a meeting in the MOD before your posting to Tel Aviv.

1) Was this part of your official series of pre-posting briefing meetings?
2) Who organised the meeting? Was it organised by another official, eg in Heads of Mission Section (if it still exists) or the geographical department?
3) At what stage did you know that Werritty would be in the meeting?
4) How was Werritty introduced to you?
5) Who did you think that Werritty was? In what capacity did you believe or presume or were you told that Werritty was at the meeting?
6) Was there any aspect of the discussion which you would normally view as classified? If so at what classification?
7) Was any note made or minute or letter written as a result of what transpired at that meeting? Did any other action arise?
8 ) What was the classification of any note, document, minute or letter arising from the discussion at that meeting?
9) Had you ever met Werritty before?
10) You and Werritty reportedly both attended an anti-Iranian conference in Israel, as did Fox. What contact did you have with Werritty at that conference or in its margins? What did you discuss?
11) Please list the total number of occasions on which you have met, corresponded with (including email), or spoken by telephone with Werritty.

I am willing to bet the report gives almost none of these answers. As it is apparently due out in the next half hour, let me remind you what my outraged Cabinet Office source told me a week ago had been stitched up in advance:

Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary, has fixed with Cameron the lines of his investigation to allow him to whitewash Fox. This will be done by the standard method of only asking very narrow questions, to which the answer is known to be satisfactory. In this case, the investigation into Werritty’s finances will look only at the very narrow question of whether he received specific payments that can be linked directly to the setting up of specific meetings with Fox. The answer is thought to be no; that is what Fox was indicating by his extraordinary formulation to the House of Commons that Werritty was “not dependent on any transactional behaviour to maintain his income”.

So O’Donnell will announce that Werritty received no specific money for specific meetings with or introductions to Fox.

But the deal between Cameron, Fox and O’Donnell is that O’Donnell will not address the much more important question of who funded Werritty and why. Having claimed there was no wrongdoing, O’Donnell will say Mr Werritty’s finances are private and should not be made public. It was on that basis that Werritty agreed to give financial details to Sue Gray in the Cabinet Office yesterday.

The Cabinet Office will only look for direct evidence of a little grubby money-making for introductions to Fox. But what is actually happening is much worse and much more serious. Who paid for Werritty’s eighteen overseas trips with Liam Fox and his stays in exclusive hotels in the World’s most expensive destinations? What does he live on?

The answer is that Werritty is paid by representatives of far right US and Israeli sources to influence the British defence secretary. It has been discussed within the MOD whether Werritty is being – knowingly or otherwise – run as an agent of influence by the CIA or Mossad. That is why the chiefs of the armed forces are so concerned, and why there is today much gagging at the stitch up within the Cabinet Office.

Newspaper revelations may have caused O’Slimebag to deviate the tiniest bit from this formula. but I am willing to bet this is still basically the stitch-up we will see,

View with comments

Prisoner Swaps

I am ganuinely glad to see Gilad Shalit go home, and to see so many Palestinians reunited with their families. In conflict resolution we tend to refer to such events as “confidence building measures”, and there is no doubt that prisoner releases have to be a part of any eventual solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. But this is hardly an unprecedented event – I can remember three or four similar ones, with no long term effect. Still, on balance a good thing.

I find the wall to wall media coverage so laughably one-sided that I am surprisingly relaxed about it. Anybody likely to be paying the slightest attention to a news channel is going to know some background on the Israeli occupation and the plight of the Palestinians, so the ludicrous one-sidedness of the BBC and Sky News is much more likely to provoke derision than to have the desired propaganda effect.

I had the peculiar thought this morning that the crazed extremism of the Netanyahu government, with their walls and accelerated settlement building, may not be a bad thing in the long term. Another year or two of this kind of land grab and a two state solution will become patently impractical, and unacceptable to all Palestinians. As someone who has always favoured a single, secular democratic state in Israel/Palestine, I am hopeful that the two state idea, which is a Zionist trap into which well meaning but despairing liberals fell, will lose support when it becomes clear that the proposed Palestinian state is becoming an ever shrinking, increasingly disconnected series of tiny waterless and resourceless bantustans.

View with comments

Mainstream Media Wakes Up

A week late, but the mainstream media has finally learnt (not least through my telling them) that it was the Mossad link that was really worrying Whitehall about Fox.

And I have an article in the Mail on Sunday.

The Indie on Sunday story of a Fox-Israel plot against Iran is a great deal more credible than Obama’s announcement of a plot by Iranian used car salesmen to employ the Canadian Mounties to assassinate Justin Timberlake outside the Won-Ton Chinese restaurant in Champaign-Urbana (I may have got some of the details of Obama’s fantasy wrong, but what’s the difference?)

It is now absolutely essential that Matthew Gould. British Ambassador to Israel, answers the questions I have put to him.

View with comments

Radio 4 on Fox

Peter Oborne managed to get me on a BBC Radio 4 programme he was guest hosting, Week in Westminster, and presumably due to his involvement I was, for the first time in three years, not cancelled at the last moment. You can listen here by clicking on the first “listen now” button. I am on briefly after about 9 minutes, but it is all worth hearing.

I have repeatedly recommended Oborne’s books The Rise of Political Lying and The Triumph of the Political Class, both essential reading.

Incidentally my single sentence reference to Mossad was edited out, but I think my meaning remains clear.

View with comments

Guardian Confirms Mossad Fears

A mainstream media source has finally plucked up the courage to publish the widespread concern among MOD, Cabinet Office and FCO officials and military that the Werritty operation was linked to, and perhaps controlled by, Mossad – something which agitated officials have been desperately signaling for some days.

“Officials expressed concern that Fox and Werritty might even have been in freelance discussions with Israeli intelligence agencies” write Patrick Wintour and Richard Norton-Taylor in the Guardian.

As I have been explaining, the real issue here is a British defence secretary who had a parallel advice structure designed expressly to serve the interests of another state and linked to that state’s security services. That is not just a sacking offence, it is treasonable.

UPDATE

It seems to me the questions now starting to be asked about the connection to Israel and possibly to Mossad might well have had a major effect on Fox’s sudden throwing in of the towel. If he did not believe that resigning would stop some further investigation, he might as well have toughed it out over the weekend; nobody has ever accused Fox of being thin-skinned.

The need for answers to my questions to Matthew Gould is in fact now greater, not less.

View with comments

Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty

An interesting and insufficiently explored aspect of the Werritty scandal is the role of Matthew Gould, UK Ambassador to Israel. Gould met with Werritty and Fox at least twice, at a pre-posting briefing meeting in the MOD and at an anti-Iranian conference in Israel. It is quite probable he had many more contacts with Werritty than that. As Werritty’s financiers specifically sought to promote the interests of Israel though Werritty, and it is thought by some within the MOD and Cabinet Office that they may have been acting on behalf of Mossad, these links with Matthew Gould are crucial.

Matthew is a good man, of whom Robin Cook thought highly. I have this morning sent him this email:

My dear Matthew,

Belated congratulations on your Ambassadorship and I do hope that you and your family are enjoying life in Tel Aviv.

I wish to ask you some questions on your role in the Adam Werritty affair. This email and the response will be published on my blog. I appreciate you will probably pass this on to News Department but it seemed impolite to address questions about you to somebody else, and you will need to provide them with the answers anyway. As I am sure you are aware, I can get a number of MPs very easily to ask these questions for me, but I hope you will be so good as to ensure that full and true answers are provided to me.

Anyway, here are the questions. I should like a brief but fully true answer to each individual question:

You are widely reported in the media to have met Mr Werritty with Liam Fox at a meeting in the MOD before your posting to Tel Aviv.

1) Was this part of your official series of pre-posting briefing meetings?
2) Who organised the meeting? Was it organised by another official, eg in Heads of Mission Section (if it still exists) or the geographical department?
3) At what stage did you know that Werritty would be in the meeting?
4) How was Werritty introduced to you?
5) Who did you think that Werritty was? In what capacity did you believe or presume or were you told that Werritty was at the meeting?
6) Was there any aspect of the discussion which you would normally view as classified? If so at what classification?
7) Was any note made or minute or letter written as a result of what transpired at that meeting? Did any other action arise?
8 ) What was the classification of any note, document, minute or letter arising from the discussion at that meeting?
9) Had you ever met Werritty before?
10) You and Werritty reportedly both attended an anti-Iranian conference in Israel, as did Fox. What contact did you have with Werritty at that conference or in its margins? What did you discuss?
11) Please list the total number of occasions on which you have met, corresponded with (including email), or spoken by telephone with Werritty.

I apologise for the long list of questions but you will understand the level of precision I am attempting to obtain and thus most of them require only very short answers.

I would point out that Werritty is in precisely the same position as me; merely a private individual and taxpayer. In asking these questions I am quite as entitled to your attention and time, and to be given information, as Werritty. I trust I will be given the answers; knowing you I am sure you will wish to be open, honest and helpful.

Craig

These are of course exactly the questions which the opposition and mainstream media ought to be asking, but I rather fear they are not. The Cabiner Office “Inquiry” is deliberately not asking.

View with comments

The Real Werritty Scandal

This information comes straight from a source with direct access to the Cabinet Office investigation into Fox’s relationship with Werritty.

Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary, has fixed with Cameron the lines of his investigation to allow him to whitewash Fox. This will be done by the standard method of only asking very narrow questions, to which the answer is known to be satisfactory. In this case, the investigation into Werritty’s finances will look only at the very narrow question of whether he received specific payments that can be linked directly to the setting up of specific meetings with Fox. The answer is thought to be no; that is what Fox was indicating by his extraordinary formulation to the House of Commons that Werritty was “not dependent on any transactional behaviour to maintain his income”.

So O’Donnell will announce that Werritty received no specific money for specific meetings with or introductions to Fox.

But the deal between Cameron, Fox and O’Donnell is that O’Donnell will not address the much more important question of who funded Werritty and why. Having claimed there was no wrongdoing, O’Donnell will say Mr Werritty’s finances are private and should not be made public. It was on that basis that Werritty agreed to give financial details to Sue Gray in the Cabinet Office yesterday.

The Cabinet Office will only look for direct evidence of a little grubby money-making for introductions to Fox. But what is actually happening is much worse and much more serious. Who paid for Werritty’s eighteen overseas trips with Liam Fox and his stays in exclusive hotels in the World’s most expensive destinations? What does he live on?

The answer is that Werritty is paid by representatives of far right US and Israeli sources to influence the British defence secretary. It has been discussed within the MOD whether Werritty is being – knowingly or otherwise – run as an agent of influence by the CIA or Mossad. That is why the chiefs of the armed forces are so concerned, and why there is today much gagging at the stitch up within the Cabinet Office.

This has parallels to the Christine Keeler case but is much, much worse.

That the British Defence Minister holds frequent unrecorded meetings in the Ministry and abroad with somebody promoting the interests of foreign powers is much, much worse than a little cash-grubbing. That the person representing the foreign powers is actually present, apparently to all as a ministerial adviser, at meetings of Fox with important representatives of foreign nations is simply appalling.

That we are being so easily misdirected to a narrow cash question – and that the media have followed that misdirection – is ludicrous.

View with comments

Werritty Finances

A civil service mole has promised me some insider news about Gus O’Donnell’s planned whitewash of Fox relating to how they will treat Werritty’s finances in the investigation. This entry is being posted 45 minutes after I leave home to meet them, by an unorthodox route and method of transport, to an improbable location. Oh, and neither of us is carrying a mobile phone either. So don’t bother, you’re stuffed.

View with comments

Fox

I remember the gay-baiting student Liam Fox as active in the banning of a Gay Society at Glasgow University Union in the early 1980’s. As President of Dundee University Students Association, which at the time had close ties with our Glasgow counterparts in the Scottish campaign against the NUS, I tried to change their mind, and that was my first memory of the odious little bigot.

Being sick in bed this weekend and paying little attention to the news, I had presumed that Fox’s “ex-flatmate” Adam Werritty was of his own age, a flatmate from students days or impecunious early employment. I also presumed that Werritty had been Fox’s best man back in a similar period. I am surprised to find that the 40 year old Fox picked up the 24 year old Werritty at a meeting in Edinburgh Unversity only ten years ago, shortly after that Werritty moved into his flat, and after they had known each other just four years, Werrity was apparently Liam’s closest buddy on earth and became his best man.

Fox accommodated Werritty in taxpayer funded accommodation and around the best man period was funding him on his MPs expenses – before the “Atlantic Bridge” fake charity wheeze. Fox was found by the expenses scandal investigation to have “overclaimed” over £20,000 in mortgage payments and was forced to pay it back. It is unclear why Fox was not prosecuted. He also charged mobile phone bills of over £17,000 to the taxpayer. There must now be an investigation of how many of those calls were to Adam Werritty.

The fact that when Liam Fox was shadow health secretary, Werritty ran a health consultancy, and when Fox became defence secretary, Werritty became a defence consultant, tells you all that you need to know about this relationship. Tory attempts to fog the big picture by focusing on what exactly was discussed at individual meetings are irrelevant. I commend this Telegraph article by James Kirkup, who deserves a prize for best use of the phrase “by coincidence”.

View with comments

Three Cheers For Ken Clarke

I am an unabashed fan of Ken Clarke, and long have been. He was stating a simple truth when he created a furore by noting that some rapes are worse than others, a truth denied by politically correct feminist idiots who see rape not as what it is – a sordid and vicious crime of violence – but as a metaphysical act, incapble of degree, like the Eucharist. Murders can be aggravated or mitigated, but not rapes. What bollocks, and good for Ken for speaking sense.

He has now quite rightly castigated Teresa May’s claim that cat-owners cannot be deported as “childish”. Actually the frothy mouthed racist bigots cheering on their poster girl are much more dangerous than childish, but Clarke is right again. Doubtless a sacking offence.

Over 55,000 people were deported from the UK last year, and just 112 managed to stay here by using Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights – that is one in every 550 deportees, or 0.18%. Article 8 reads:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

How the Tories manage to disagree with that is beyond me. Bunch of xenophobic idiots – apart from Ken Clarke, who as a young man plainly wandered into the wrong party.

View with comments

Meredith Kercher Case

To cut through the enormous wave of rubbish that swept the net for 48 hours about Amanda Knox, I wanted to publish the text of the statement she made to police trying to frame Patrick Lumumba. It is evidence of how appalling the media coverage is that I can’t track down through the gush this actual factual text, which the media plainly would want us to forget. Can anyone point me to it?

View with comments

Diplomatic Blowback

Here is something you won’t find in any western media. Part of the actual Russian speech or “Explanation of Vote” for their veto of the UN Resolution on Syria. It is worth reading. It is my own translation from the website of the Russian mission to the UN. There will be an official UN translation circulated in New York, but there will not be major differences:

“The situation in Syria cannot be considered without reference to events in Libya. The international community should be alarmed at statements to the effect that the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Libya, as read by NATO, provide a model for future NATO action for the implementation of the “responsibility to protect”. One can easily imagine that tomorrow this “exemplary model” of “joint defence” can start to be introduced into Syria.

Let me be clear to all; Russia’s position with regard to the conflict in Libya in no way stems from any special ties with the Gadaffi regime, to the extent that several States represented around this table had a great deal warmer relationships with the Gadaffi regime than Russia. It is the people of Libya who have determined the destiny of Gadaffi.

Im the view of Russia, in that case members of the UN Security Council twisted the provisions of Security Council resolutions to give them the opposite of their true meaning.

The requirement for an immediate ceasefire instead resulted in large-scale civil war, with humanitarian, social, economic, and military consequences which have extended far beyond Libya’s frontiers.

The no-fly zone resulted in the bombing of oil installations, television stations and other civilian targets.

The arms embargo resulted in a naval blockade of the West coast of Libya, including for humanitarian supplies.

The “Benghazi crisis” has resulted today in the devastation of other cities. Sirte, Bani Walid, and Sephi.

This then is the “Exemplary model”. The world must abolish such practices once and for all.”

This post of mine said almost exactly the same thing, and incidentally is both my most viewed and most linked post this year. The fact is that what the Russians say is precisely true. NATO action in Libya went way beyond what the Security Council had actually authorised, which was a no fly zone to protect civilians, a ceasefire, and negotiations between the parties.

Having absolutely abused UNSCR 1973, plainly NATO was seriously damaging the ability of the Security Council to work together in future, and making quite certain that China and Russia would not for many years agree to any SC Resolutions which might be open to similar abuse. I know the American Envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, and have in the past worked with her and had great respect for her; she was genuinely committed to the fight against apartheid. But her histrionic walkout in reaction to a Russian statement which was both plainly true, and an eminently forseeable result of Amercia’s own rash actions, was just pathetic.

View with comments