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.


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

1 2 3 11
  • Tom

    Well said, Craig. It’s clear just from looking at the Telegraph and Mail over the past few days that the poodle press are being briefed for another round of smearing Snowden. Clearly they realise that most people didn’t believe their lies the first time.

  • Mary

    I was a bit bleary eyed watching the paper review this am on Marr. Chakrabarti was going along with this ‘story’/pack of lies. Her fellow reviewer was John Nicolson MP SNP.

    That was quick. It’s on the iPlayer already.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05ztgfp 4 mins 30 secs in

  • Mary

    An aside. It gets worse on the BBC. They have given the airwaves to Alan Mendoza of the Henry Jackson Society to comment on the question ‘Are nuclear weapons ever justified?’ In the Big Question programme which followed Made. You can guess which line he takes.

  • Resident Dissident

    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.

    This is of course not true.

    “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.”

    How do you know? The fact that they don’t want FCO officials writing down details in an uncontrolled fashion doesn’t rule out that they may do so in encrypted files.

  • craig Post author

    Resident Dissident,

    I know. I worked right alongside them for 20 years. Many MI6 officers are my friends. I was told very, very frequently. In your fantasy world MI6 may lie outright to British Ambassadors, but in real life they don’t.

    They note sources like this

    “A direct source with frequent access to Vladimir Putin and some policy influence”.
    “A direct source with infrequent social access to Vladimir Putin.”
    “A direct source with access to relevant committees”
    “An indirect source with occasional access to the Putin family.”
    etc.

    If you actually wanted to think, rather than simply denigrate, you would realise that if you set up an intelligence agency, the obvious first rule is that you don’t write down agents’ names. They have in every MI6 station and in HQ special highly insulated rooms called “Boxes” with no wires or cables where you can talk.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks. Good post.

    There also has been a campaign in some quarters to attribute potential danger to US/UK agents to Wikileaks’ revelations. The names of Assanage and Israel Shamir appear to have been linked by some in these contexts.

    I know you’ll have written about this elsewhere, Craig. But do you have anything to say re. those allegations? Are they equally without basis in fact? Is it all simply propaganda? It would be interesting to know more. This – the Snowden situation – has a bearing on the Assange situation.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Is that – Craig’s facsinating, insider’s view, post, at 10:55am – not an Official Secret? Along with the colour of the carpets and the brand of toilet paper? Lidl’s economy brand? 🙂

  • Resident Dissident

    “In your fantasy world MI6 may lie outright to British Ambassadors”

    I never suggested they did. It would be quite feasible (and sensible) for the names to be held by those who do not communicate with the outside world or British Ambassadors.

    Perhaps you should also note that the Sunday Times did not say that agents were named in the information:

    “The newspaper quotes a series of anonymous sources from Downing Street, the Home Office and British intelligence saying that the documents contained intelligence techniques and information that would enable foreign powers to identify British and American spies”

    (iam quoting from the Guardian as I don’t subscribe to the Sunday Times)

  • craig Post author

    ResDis

    Let me be clear. I was told, directly by MI6, frequently, that agents’ names are NEVER written down. It is not a surmise.

    If they mean officers – their lives are not n danger because the Russians do not kill MI6 officers. If they mean agents – who can be in danger as they are often traitors to their own country – the names will not be there. So nobody’s life is n danger. QED.

  • Anon1

    What do you think the Russians will do with the 1 million cracked files now they are safely in Putin’s hands? Make origami? According to the Sunday Times article, Downing Street said there is “No evidence of anyone being harmed”. I don’t think that’s really the issue here, as you say the worst that can happen is a sending home. What is of interest to the Russians and Chinese is all manner of intelligence gathering techniques which Snowden has laid bare.

    There did appear to be something decent about Snowden’s revelations and I still respect him more than the oily Assange, but it was a big mistake going and dumping everything on Vlad’s doorstep.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Hmmmm. Craig, what happens if an officer who knows who the agents are dies suddenly? How is the information recovered? Does more than one officer know the identity of every agent?

    Kind regards,

    John

  • craig Post author

    Anon1

    You too are drifting into the realm of fiction. I think you will find our intelligence gathering techniques are identical to the Russian and Chinese intelligence gathering techniques. Nobody has invented psychic powers.

  • Resident Dissident

    “the names will not be there.”

    But details of the techniques used and information provided could be (which is what is claimed in the Sunday Times article) which could lead to their identity being exposed and their lives endangered.

  • Resident Dissident

    JSD

    I could also add that there must be a record of their bank account details is they are paid.

  • craig Post author

    ResDiss

    Normally they are paid in cash. I have personally handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars to MI6 officers to make such payments.

    A bank transfer would go to eg a company in the Caymans.

    You really are clutching at straws to try to find a fault in the very plain truth I have explained.

  • Anon1

    “Anon1

    You too are drifting into the realm of fiction. I think you will find our intelligence gathering techniques are identical to the Russian and Chinese intelligence gathering techniques. Nobody has invented psychic powers.”

    You are living in a bygone age, Craig. In the computer age, the spying capabilities of Western agencies are far more advanced than those of their Russian and Chinese counterparts.

  • Resident Dissident

    “You really are clutching at straws to try to find a fault in the very plain truth I have explained.”

    You ignore the point that the Sunday Times article does not claim that names of agents were divulged.

  • MJ

    “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”

    It’s an indication of the contempt with which the majority of the populace is held that it is not even considered necessary to introduce the barest veneer of authenticity into these stories.

    Judging from some of the comments it’s difficult not to conclude that that contempt is probably justified.

  • nevermind

    Great article, Craig, even if somebody was hurt by the revelations, in the current cold war games/propaganda period we would have heard about it, Snowdens name would be dragged through the media ad nauseum for having divulged secrets and handed these poor well paid stooges to a certain death, would he not?

    The snoopers charter is evil!

  • Harley Gay

    A false flag inoculation in time saves nine lives. But its not a standalone “revelation”, we have to wait for the rest of the spin campaign (and its actors) to arrive at some indication as to where this is all leading to eg at its Rumsfeldian $2.3 trillion simplest – it may be setting up the hoi polloi for a hit on Snowden.

    At its worst, a hit on Putin.

  • nevermind

    “In the computer age, the spying capabilities of Western agencies are far more advanced than those of their Russian and Chinese counterparts.”

    Thanks for the laugh Anull1, we take your word for it, your such a good Tamago, hahahahahaha

    Thats why they are cracking codes and copying lists of 4 million US public employees, they are soooo incompetent, hahahaha

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Does MI6 organise assassinations? Is their stated policy that they do not, just another lie? And what about MI5? Do they organise assassinations in Britain (including using various paramilitary organistaions in Northern Ireland)?

    It has been reported that one retired MI6 officer claimed that she personally had organised the assassination of the Congolese leader, Patrice Lumumba.

    ‘Lord Lea wrote: “Referring to the controversy surrounding the death of Patrice Lumumba in 1960, Bernard Porter quotes Calder Walton’s conclusion: ‘The question remains whether British plots to assassinate Lumumba ever amounted to anything. At present, we do not know’ .

    “Actually, in this particular case, I can report that we do. It so happens that I was having a cup of tea with Daphne Park – we were colleagues from opposite sides of the Lords – a few months before she died in March 2010.

    “She had been consul and first secretary in Leopoldville, now Kinshasa, from 1959 to 1961, which in practice (this was subsequently acknowledged) meant head of MI6 there.

    “I mentioned the uproar surrounding Lumumba’s abduction and murder, and recalled the theory that MI6 might have had something to do with it. ‘We did,’ she replied, ‘I organised it.'” ‘ [from the article linked to below]

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/democraticrepublicofcongo/9965387/MI6-organised-execution-of-DRC-leader-Lumumba-peer-claims.html

  • Anon1

    “Anon1

    Aaah I forgot those oriental types can’t understand computers.”

    Ridiculous comment, Craig. Russians and Chinese can be brilliant but for them it is a matter of budgets. You’re never slow to pull the race card, though, are you, even in the most unlikely exchanges. I think you’ve admitted in the past that you know fuck all about computers which is probably why you think there is no danger to operations from the revelation that spooks don’t pass around post-it notes.

  • nevermind

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hqhnaAmRH4

    And when cyber induced power cuts hit GCHQ, their diesel generators spring into life, the abacus has already calculated the next ten steps, without power.

    Such primitive orientals, makes you wonder what non doms doing in Japan teaching english to these technically lesser developed individuals, apart from making money, not paying taxes and pretending to know about the MI’s.

1 2 3 11

Comments are closed.