Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie 310

The Sunday Times has a story claiming that Snowden’s revelations have caused danger to MI6 and disrupted their operations. Here are five reasons it is a lie.

1) The alleged Downing Street source is quoted directly in italics. Yet the schoolboy mistake is made of confusing officers and agents. MI6 is staffed by officers. Their informants are agents. In real life, James Bond would not be a secret agent. He would be an MI6 officer. Those whose knowledge comes from fiction frequently confuse the two. Nobody really working with the intelligence services would do so, as the Sunday Times source does. The story is a lie.

2) The argument that MI6 officers are at danger of being killed by the Russians or Chinese is a nonsense. No MI6 officer has been killed by the Russians or Chinese for 50 years. The worst that could happen is they would be sent home. Agents’ – generally local people, as opposed to MI6 officers – identities would not be revealed in the Snowden documents. Rule No.1 in both the CIA and MI6 is that agents’ identities are never, ever written down, neither their names nor a description that would allow them to be identified. I once got very, very severely carpeted for adding an agents’ name to my copy of an intelligence report in handwriting, suggesting he was a useless gossip and MI6 should not be wasting their money on bribing him. And that was in post communist Poland, not a high risk situation.

3) MI6 officers work under diplomatic cover 99% of the time. Their alias is as members of the British Embassy, or other diplomatic status mission. A portion are declared to the host country. The truth is that Embassies of different powers very quickly identify who are the spies in other missions. MI6 have huge dossiers on the members of the Russian security services – I have seen and handled them. The Russians have the same. In past mass expulsions, the British government has expelled 20 or 30 spies from the Russian Embassy in London. The Russians retaliated by expelling the same number of British diplomats from Moscow, all of whom were not spies! As a third of our “diplomats” in Russia are spies, this was not coincidence. This was deliberate to send the message that they knew precisely who the spies were, and they did not fear them.

4) This anti Snowden non-story – even the Sunday Times admits there is no evidence anybody has been harmed – is timed precisely to coincide with the government’s new Snooper’s Charter act, enabling the security services to access all our internet activity. Remember that GCHQ already has an archive of 800,000 perfectly innocent British people engaged in sex chats online.

5) The paper publishing the story is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It is sourced to the people who brought you the dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, every single “fact” in which proved to be a fabrication. Why would you believe the liars now?

There you have five reasons the story is a lie.

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310 thoughts on “Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie

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  • technicolour

    Phil: I don’t see an issue because according to my friends I am an anarchist. In fact, I am not ‘an’ anything, since no one has yet invented a philosophy with which I completely agree, nor a political theory in which I cannot pick holes; never mind the fact that definitions of anarchy vary wildly in the details. Broadly I object to being ordered around, I object to other people being ordered around, I do not believe in hierarchy; I believe in democratic equality, and the people with whom I largely agree include Herbert Read and AS Neill. I think what you are saying about the SNP and other parties is sadly probably correct. I think it’s pretty obvious that entrenched power structures are corrupting; and that, although they can lead to some positive consequences (Bevan and the NHS, say) their overall track record is abysmal. I have a lot of time for the Paris Commune system and for anarchist Catalonia.

    And yet, according to you I am – I can’t be bothered to look back at the insults, but the problem. That’s what I mean by the bludgeon.

  • Macky

    @Phil, here’s a report that mentions the impacts of Snowden’s whistleblowing, and it highlights the paradox of the good it has resulted, together with the increased zealously to stop such whistleblowers.

    Seems to me that it goes without saying that if whistleblowers cannot expose corruption & illegalities, then these become increasingly rampant; with no such safeguards, eventually the systems become discredited, and cease to work as efficiently as originally designed to.

  • Phil


    Ok get all upset about my 6am rant as insulting you. Of course you ignore that you insulted me immediately before that. Your insults were not as profane as mine but tough. You don’t get to throw insults and then define the acceptable parameters of the response.

    Your latest comment contradicts what I ranted against, which was your saying that you cannot see the SNP being corrupted to support war. So now you can. Good.

  • Bert

    To me there were two obvious weaknesses in this story. Having some grasp of computers I understood immediately that if these clowns cannot encrypt to a level that would defeat all attempts at decryption they are dips-sticks. And the guys at GCHQ are very definitely not dip-sticks when it comes to encryption.

    Encryption is very asymmetric: it is easy to encrypt and very difficult to decrypt. Any clown can encrypt a message that no-one (including the best that GCHQ; the NSA; the Russians; the Chinese; the Israelis; the French; …) have to offer. In plain tongue the Russians could not have decrypted anything that was adequately encrypted by anything other than an extra-ordinary stroke of luck – and such as stroke of luck would be like winning the EuroMillion lottery 10 times in a row.

    My other reason is given as Craig’s second reason above. Killing people left right and centre is not the way it is done. There is a spy exchange as Edward Heath had to over-see in te early seventies and things get back to normal.

    Messrs Broccoli and Wilson must be laughing their socks off: obviously, someone has been watching too much Skyfall.


  • technicolour

    Phil, nope, not “getting all upset”, tchah, just couldn’t be bothered to re-read. If the SNP can go the way Craig is trying to get them to do (ie make decisions based on the votes of their members rather than impose them from top down) then there is hope, as there is anytime real people are involved. If not, then they will become like everyone else.

  • Mr Tsipras

    I think two of these points aren’t as air-tight as you make them out to be.

    unless you believe that the Times is willfully creating pro-State propaganda without the involvement of the State (which is NOT your position), then the State is responsible for the use of the word “agents,” whether it’s accurate or not. Remember your argument is that MI6 or other arms of the state deliberately placed this propaganda which is false. But that still leaves them placing the propaganda, the same people who know the proper use of the term “agent.” The fact that the wrong term was used might support the perspective that the Times made up the story, but the rest of your argument and most of the comments here say just the opposite, that this is deliberate UK disinfo. Fine, maybe it is, but then you can’t use the inaccurate terminology as evidence against its authenticity. Who knows, whether it is real info or disinfo, whoever gave the Times this story might well have used the word “agent” because it is what the public understands (James Bond is “secret agent,” etc.)

    Another point I’m not convinced by is about the names of agents in the files. While there well may not be names of specific assets (in the US terminology) in the files, there might be names and code names of officers and cutout organizations in them that MI6 could reasonably fear would endanger the lives of assets. Even the documents we’ve seen make reference to officer names and names of cooperating agencies, companies, and NGOs. It’s not insane to think that there is identifying info in the files that could be used to target specific people who were not obviously known to foreign powers without it.

  • intp1

    15 Jun, 2015 – 1:09 am
    “I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what MI5 and MI6 actually do”

    It is fairly simple, along with GCHQ they work on behalf of commercial/Foreign Govt/Deep State interests (The Realm)

    As an ex MI6 officer once penned, referencing to the early 60s
    ” We were already America’s streetwalkers”

    They work for these interests against their main adversary, if not a very worthy one – We, the public.
    We are to watched very comprehensively whether legally or not, and at all opportunities we are to be scare-mongered and marketed at, so that their crimes continue and our eyes are diverted from their betrayal.

  • Mass of chaos

    Hi Mr.Craig
    This is bullshiet because I send this info on one page on the morning in Sunday and British guverment know about my evidence what I have. This is history about guverment and when this see sunlight you can see how all people lie. I’m is from Poland and I know I have many problem with them I send many email only my phone and email is blocked and all my message what I send is spam. I don’t have chance be say truth. Survivallence if for guverment be can looking for data from private person about pass guverment and block this info by don’t can by write in newspapers. Problem for MI6 is that I’m copy this handwriting dokument in hidden in many space and this is not dokument from mi6 is from pryvate home. When I send this I give my Name surname and phone Nr be somebody make contact with I live in UK and I know many think what guverment is scary about this. All guverment is lobbing and mi6 working for him. This is truth.

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