How the US Helped Create Al Qaeda and ISIS


How the US Helped Create Al Qaeda and ISIS

 

Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.

The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked, “by any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the LAWYERS said the U.S. would be in violation.”

During the 1970′s the CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a barrier, both to thwart Soviet expansion and prevent the spread of Marxist ideology among the Arab masses. The United States also OPENLY supported Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia, and supported the Jamaat-e-Islami terror group against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least, there is Al Qaeda.

Lest we forget, the CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization during the 1980′s. Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the RUSSIANS in Afghanistan.

America’s relationship with Al Qaeda has always been a love-hate affair. Depending on whether a particular Al Qaeda terrorist group in a given region furthers American interests or not, the U.S. State Department either funds or aggressively targets that terrorist group. Even as American foreign policy makers claim to oppose Muslim extremism, they knowingly foment it as a weapon of foreign policy.

The Islamic State is its latest weapon that, much like Al Qaeda, is certainly backfiring. ISIS recently rose to international prominence after its thugs began beheading American journalists. Now the terrorist group controls an area the size of the United Kingdom.

In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take a look at the organization’s American-backed roots. The 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups, like ISIS, to take root. America, rather unwisely, destroyed Saddam Hussein’s secular state machinery and replaced it with a predominantly Shiite administration. The U.S. occupation caused vast UNEMPLOYMENT in Sunni areas, by rejecting socialism and closing down factories in the naive hope that the magical hand of the free market would create jobs. Under the new U.S.-backed Shiite regime, working class Sunni’s lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unlike the white Afrikaners in South Africa, who were allowed to keep their wealth after regime change, upper class Sunni’s were systematically dispossessed of their assets and lost their political influence. Rather than promoting religious integration and unity, American policy in Iraq exacerbated sectarian divisions and created a fertile breading ground for Sunni discontent, from which Al Qaeda in Iraq took root.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq. After 2010 the group rebranded and refocused its efforts on Syria.

There are essentially three wars being waged in Syria: one between the government and the rebels, another between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and yet another between America and Russia. It is this third, neo-Cold War battle that made U.S. foreign policy makers decide to take the risk of arming Islamist rebels in Syria, because Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a key Russian ally. Rather embarrassingly, many of these Syrian rebels have now turned out to be ISIS thugs, who are OPENLYbrandishing American-made M16 Assault rifles.

America’s Middle East policy revolves around oil and Israel. The invasion of Iraq has partially satisfied Washington’s thirst for oil, but ongoing air strikes in Syria and economic sanctions on Iran have everything to do with Israel. The goal is to deprive Israel’s neighboring enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial Syrian and Iranian support.

ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror used by America to topple the Syrian government; it is also used to put pressure on Iran.

The last time Iran invaded another nation was in 1738. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions. Despite what the Western media’s war cries would have you believe, Iran is clearly not the threat to regional security, Washington is. An Intelligence Report published in 2012, endorsed by all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, confirms that Iran ended its nuclear weapons PROGRAM in 2003. Truth is, any Iranian nuclear ambition, real or imagined, is as a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.

America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad, and at home to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.

By rapidly increasing both government secrecy and surveillance, Mr. Obama’s government is increasing its power to watch its citizens, while diminishing its citizens’ power to watch their government. Terrorism is an excuse to justify mass surveillance, in preparation for mass revolt.

The so-called “War on Terror” should be seen for what it really is: a pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized U.S. military. The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions. Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite.

In fact, more than seventy American companies and individuals have won up to $27 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last three years, according to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity. According to the study, nearly 75 per cent of these private companies had EMPLOYEES or board members, who either served in, or had close ties to, the executive branch of the Republican and Democratic administrations, members of Congress, or the highest levels of the military.

In 1997, a U.S. Department of Defense REPORT stated, “the data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and an increase in terrorist attacks against the U.S.” Truth is, the only way America can win the “War On Terror” is if it stops giving terrorists the motivation and the resources to attack America. Terrorism is the symptom; American imperialism in the Middle East is the cancer. Put simply, the War on Terror is terrorism; only, it is conducted on a much larger scale by people with jets and missiles.

Garikai Chengu is a research scholar at Harvard University.

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A sick joke!: U.S. and allies threaten sanctions in Libya


A sick joke!: U.S. and allies threaten sanctions in Libya

Libya has been in a state of upheaval since its former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed three years ago. (AFP/File)

Libya has been in a state of upheaval since its former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed three years ago. (AFP/File)

In a joint statement issued late Saturday by the governments of the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy, the group threatened sanctions against violent parties in Libya if a ceasefire and negotiation process is not implemented. **(I would suggest that these governments mind their own business and leave Libya alone. We are cleaning their mess, so they have no right what so ever to even make a comment or implement or condemn or even advise. They were the ones who brought chaos to Libya and left us Libyans to collect the pieces.)

“We stand ready to use individual sanctions in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2174 against those who threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya or obstruct or undermine the political process,” the statement said. ****(You can shout and throw tantrums as much as you want and do as many sanctions as you want WE KNOW YOUR GAME AND YOU ARE NOT SCARING US, INTIMIDATING US OR BRAKING US…. WE ARE UNITED AND THAT IS SOMETHING YOU DO NOT WANT.)

The resolution was unanimously adopted by the five permanent members of the Security Council, and all 10 rotating members on August 27. It calls for an end to the fighting between the government and multiple rebel groups, an inclusive dialogue, and prior notice regarding weapons transfers.

In Saturday’s statement, the group said they “strongly condemn the ongoing violence in Libya and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“We are particularly dismayed that after MEETINGS in Ghadames and Tripoli, parties have not respected calls for a ceasefire,” they noted. *****(You are dismayed? oh poor you, what a problem we have caused you!!!! its your proxies who did not respect the cease-fire, NOT US. BUT WE ARE NOT STUPID TO SIT THERE AND NOT TO SHOOT BACK….)

“We condemn the crimes of Ansar al-Sharia entities, and the ongoing violence in communities across Libya, including Tripoli and its environs. Libya’s hard-fought freedom is at risk if Libyan and international terrorist groups are allowed to use Libya as a safe haven,” the statement said. *****(They condemn their proxies & allies  really? Well if they want to cease-fire they should stop financing them so they would stop doing any further atrocities. We have the proof that they are the ones who are financing them through Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, some of the prisoners of Ansar Sharia confessed so who are they condemning again???? Libya did not fight for its freedom because it had its freedom with the Jamahiryia, you the west came along with your no-fly zone and you started bombing all the Libyan infrastructure, hospitals, mosques, innocent civilians and mostly children, the great man river, you bombed Libya to the stone age so that you the west could rebuild it by stealing our resources, you murdered in cold blood the president of the country and his son and showed it world-wide the gruesome murder, you helped the foreign mercenaries which you paid and trained to gain power the same way you are doing now in Iraq and Syria; so please explain to me which freedom did we fight? You wanted us to lay down and die and allow these terrorists that you so much condemn to become a government for the few like you have in your countries. So please when you talk about freedom be more respectful because from the moment you toppled Qaddafi our freedom stopped.)

“We are also concerned by (ex-military general) Khalifa Hifter’s attacks in Benghazi. We consider that Libya’s security challenges and the fight against terrorist organizations can only be sustainably addressed by regular armed forces under the control of a central authority, which is ACCOUNTABLE to a democratic and inclusive parliament,” the group affirmed.  *****(Your concern about your CIA SPY ASSET Haftar really???? When he tried to do the first coup de tat and failed with the money of USA/U.A.E/SAUDI ARABIA he took refuge at the house of the Ambassador Deborah Jones of the United States, he is doing your bidding YOU are playing in both sides  so please stop the hypocrisy we know your game. From where does Hafter gets his ammunition? planes? and the finance? but from you of course….  You have the audacity to tell us how to run our own country after the mess you left! What government are you talking about? The one that was not elected democratically? it was forced down our throats, well we showed you that its unacceptable and we have chosen democratically  our own government together with the Honourable tribes  which you call terrorists. This government is cleaning your mess.)

The five nations said they “fully support” the work of the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Bernardino Leon, “and urge all parties to cooperate with his efforts.” Leon is the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which was established in 2011 “at the request of the Libyan authorities following six months of armed conflict to support the country’s new transitional authorities in their post-conflict efforts.

“After the Ghadames and Tripoli MEETINGS, negotiations should be pursued with goodwill and adopting inclusive policies, with the aim of finding an agreement on the location of the House of Representatives elected last June 25th and laying the foundations for a Government of National Unity,” the group said****(There is no way that the legal Government and the Honourable tribes will sit down at the same table with the terrorists and discuss of National Unity…. All the Tribes are united and all prisoners are free, so we have already a NATIONAL UNITY what remains is to kick out the FOREIGN MILITIAS who are your allies…)

“We agree that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis,” they added. “We stress the importance that the international community acts in a united manner on Libya on the basis of the principles and understandings agreed at recent meetings, namely in New York and Madrid.” *****(Well your ultimate goal is to divide as into 3 pieces FRANCE GETS THE PART OF CYRINAICA, ENGLAND GETS THE PART OF TRIPOLITANIA AND YOU AMERICA GETS THE BEST PIECE FEZZAN. Stop trying to manipulate everything to your advantage we are sick and tired of your nagging and incompetence. Put this in your psychopathic minds WE WILL BE THE FIRST COUNTRY IN HISTORY THAT YOU DID NOT SUCCEED TO PUT YOUR PUPPET GOVERNMENT AND WE WILL KICK YOUR ASSES OUT OF OUR COUNTRY BECAUSE WE ARE UNITED.)

The statement also warned against interference from outside parties, and urged “all partners to refrain from actions which might exacerbate current divisions in order to let Libyans address the current crisis within the framework of UN-facilitated talks.” According to UN figures, some 287,000 people have had to flee due to the fighting in and around the cities of Benghazi and Tripoli, leading to a “critical” humanitarian situation. ****(Who are you to dictate us what to do? You should worry about the EBOLA virus that start hitting your countries and leave us alone to deal and clean the mess you left.)

Libya has been in a state of upheaval since its former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed three years ago

What Laws of War? We do what we want! The USA administration don’t care, as usual, of people’s lives: they do not care about the lives of the Americans themselves…


Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters (Garikai Chengu)

Obama-not-negotiate-but-finance-terrorists-TOS

~ by Dave Lindorff ~ This Cant Be Happening ~

In a perverse way, maybe it’s progress that the US is now admitting that it doesn’t really care about how many civilians it kills in its efforts to “decapitate” a few suspected terrorist leaders.

Still, it’s disturbing in the extreme to see this admission reported without comment in the US corporate media, which treats the information like just another announcement about how the latest war is being fought — say what kind of ammunition is being fired by the Reaper drones being sent into Syria, or what kinds of bombs the F-16s are dropping.

Here was the White House announcement, as reported by Michael IsIkoff in Yahoo…

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The War on Terrorism is Terrorism: How the US Helped Create Al Qaeda and ISIS


alfatah69:

The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions.

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

obomba-daash-isis2

The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions.

America is using ISIS in three ways:
1) to attack its enemies in the Middle East,
2) to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad,
3) and at home to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.

Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite.

~

The War on Terrorism is Terrorism

How the US Helped Create Al Qaeda and ISIS

by Garikai Chengu – Counterpunch

Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic…

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Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair by Annie Machon


Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair by Annie Machon

I desperately wanted to change MI5 so that it performed a useful job well and lawfully, but I did not then feel that I would have been able to do that either from outside the organisation or from a lower level job. In every potential situation, I therefore came up against a dead end. To complain would mark you out as a troublemaker. To leave took you outside any potential ability to alter things. — David Shayler

But I soon realised that people regarded you with suspicion if you asked too many questions, so I learned to keep quiet … I knew that open protest was not likely to to be successful. If one got a reputation as a revolutionary, one would be regarded as suspect and written off. — Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General MI5

I know all too well that I’m taking on the Establishment, but I am no traitor. All I am guilty off is exposing wrongdoing at the highest level. As a result of that my life has been changed irrevocably. This is not the prosecution of someone who has given away State secrets, but of someone who has embarrassed the Government. — David Shayler

You are working for an intelligence agency and you find it to be rotten to the core. What do you do: do you keep your head down and pretend not to notice what is going on all around you, do you raise your concerns with your superiors, or do you go public with what you know?

This was the dilemma facing David Shayler, an intelligence officer in MI5, the British internal intelligence agency. David Shayler took the riskiest option of the three and went public with what he knew, in doing so putting his life and freedom at risk.

MI5 and the government went on the offensive, doing their best to discredit David Shayler and the sordid tale he had to tell. Facing arrest and possible imprisonment, David Shayler fled to France.

In the meantime, Annie Machon, David’s girlfriend and herself an MI5 officer, appalled at the treatment of David, went public too to say that what he was telling was the truth.

And if that was not enough, Richard Tomlinson, an MI6 officer, spoke out at the abuses and lack of accountability at MI6.

David Shayler voluntarily returned from France to face trial. He was one of the first to try to make use of the Human Rights Act, which should guarantee the right to a fair hearing.

Unfortunately it was anything but. What David Shayler faced was a political show trial. He was even gagged and not allowed to speak in his own defence.

Writing several years after they first went public, Annie Machon documents in Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair what all the furore was about.

David and Annie witnessed at first hand:

  • how MI5 failed to foil at least four major IRA terrorist attacks

  • that MI5 compiled dossiers on British citizens for holding dissident political views

  • a blind eye turned to a known Libyan terrorist organising terror networks in the UK

  • illegal persecution of an innocent journalist

  • MI6 funding of an Al-Qaeda coup in Libya to topple and assassinate Colonel Gaddafi

In Spycatcher Peter Wright wrote of how MI5 ‘bugged and burgled its way across London’. Writing a generation later, Annie Machon shows that not a lot has changed: drunken officers who lose sensitive files, turf wars between the various agencies, turf wars between different sections within MI5, bureaucratic bungling, cavalier attitude to human rights, blatant lying to Ministers and an oversight committee, dirty tricks and smear campaigns against perceived enemies, enemies of the intelligence agencies that is, not enemies of the state, etc etc.

There were so many cock-ups in dealing with the Provisional IRA that it is a wonder they were ever defeated. This bodes ill for defeating Islamic terrorism. Irish terrorists were at least ‘decent’ terrorists. They shared the same values as us, they gave a warning when they planted a bomb, they were not intent on killing people, whereas, hate-filled Muslim terrorists are intent on slaughtering the maximum number of innocent civilians.

Prior to working on counter-terrorism, Annie and David were working on counter-subversion, monitoring and infiltrating fringe groups like SWP, Communist Party of Great Britain, and the anarchist group Class War. It is easy therefore to see why the pair were made less than welcome when they attended a fringe meeting at the Anarchist Bookfair 2005. But, they did not have to attend, and it in no way justifies the smear campaign that has been running against them. Annie describes some of the dirty tricks that were run, and the question has to be asked: are the smear campaigns that are being run by allegedly dissident groups, less the lunatic fringe and more dirty tricks by front organisations, or dissident groups that have been infiltrated and hijacked, as was Class War? [Anarchist Bookfair 2005]

Highlighting the abuses of human rights, that monitoring political dissent, is not what the intelligence services should be doing, was not guaranteed to enhance one’s career prospects.

David Shayler was prosecuted because he caused embarrassment, and to serve as an example to others who may be tempted to speak out. Is this what caused Dr David Kelly to take his own life (assuming he did and was not killed to silence him), an honourable man who spoke out against the lies on the illegal war with Iraq?

There is a confusion between ‘damage to national security’ and ‘harm to the national interest’. The former is easy to interpret, the latter is open to abuse, and too often is interpreted as embarrassment to those in power, and believe it or not not, there is a security classification of ‘causing embarrassment to HMG’.

We saw this in the Shayler Affair, and are seeing it again with the infamous memo where George W Bush allegedly wished to bomb the Qatar offices of Aljazeera. That part is believable, less believable is that Tony Blair acted to dissuade Bush.

We have here parallels with the Shayler Affair where a a Civil Servant and a Parliamentary Researcher are to be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act as their actions are deemed ‘prejudicial to the national interest’. But whose interest is that, as surely is it not in our interest, as a democratic society, to be told that the supposed leader of the free world, was contemplating bombing a TV channel in a friendly country, but was dissuaded by his comrade-in-arms in war crimes, the odious Blair?

The suppression of free speech ‘in the national interest’ is reminiscent of acts carried out ‘in the good of the people’ so favoured by totalitarian regimes, so no surprise it finds favour with Tony Blair.

The mainstream media as usual are a disgrace. They reported as ‘facts’ the anonymous unattributable briefings on the Shayler Affair, but rarely checked with the principle actors the truth of what they were being told.

We have learnt recently that the Muslim terrorists involved in the Tube bombings in London on 7 July 2005, were known to the intelligence services, had travelled to terrorist training camps in Pakistan, had met known or suspected terrorists in the UK, were mixing with extremist Muslim clerics, but failed to keep tabs on them due to lack of resources.

Would this tragedy have happened if the appropriate resources had been found? Would resources have been available if they were not being squandered on monitoring political dissidents? Questions that the relatives of the dead should be asking, and demanding answers.

Since Tony Blair came to power, we have had a succession of Terrorists Acts, each more Draconian than its predecessor. What is this legislation for? Is it for dealing with real terrorists, or is it for dealing with political dissent, for clamping down on the domestic population?

Would we not be more successful in dealing with terrorists if we had more competent security agencies, rather than passed legislation whose only function is to suppress political dissent?

Anti-terror legislation was used for dealing with protests at the G8 Summit in Scotland in Summer 2005. It was invoked again Autumn 2005 to deal with an elderly gentleman who was manhandled out of the Neo-Labour Party Conference by a bunch of thugs for daring to shout out ‘rubbish’ at the government’s policy on Iraq during a speech by Jack ‘boot’ Straw. An elderly gentleman who had fled Nazi persecution in Europe.

When we tie in the abuses that we see all the time, the steady erosion of our civil rights in the name of the bogus ‘war on terror’, with with the abuses that Annie Machon has laid bare within the intelligence services, then we have every reason to be worried.

The off-the-record briefings and smear campaign run against Dr David Kelly were near identical to that run against David Shayler.

In the US, if someone breaks cover and blows the whistle, the administration shrugs and moves on. There may even be an independent inquiry, to which the whistleblower is invited to give evidence, the whistleblower is not prosecuted. ***(that was once upon a time the US took the advice of the UK and changed the law) In the UK, the whistleblower will be smeared in off-the-record briefings, probably prosecuted to serve as an example to others. If they try to give evidence, as David Shayler did to Tony Blair’s Intelligence and Security Committee, they will be ignored, or as we saw with David Kelly after his death, an inquiry will be launched which is nothing more than a cover-up and a whitewash. Having refused to hear evidence from David Shayler, members of the PM’s ISC went on to brief against him.

Lord Hutton, who on behalf of Tony Blair carried out the cover-up and whitewash on Dr David Kelly, was also one of the Law Lord who sat in judgment on David Shayler.

The difference between the US and the UK is that free speech is protected. Although this has started to change post-911 with the Patriot Act. Those who have spoken out regarding the 911 cover-up have been ignored, gagged or threatened, so even in the US the climate is changing for the worse. [see 9-11 Revealed]

Tony Blair is not satisfied with merely shooting the messenger, he also wants to shoot those who carry and repeat the message. In the Shayler Affair threats were issued against anyone who either tried to help or reported on what David Shayler was saying.

A former editor of Punch now has a criminal record for writing on the Shayler Affair, a student at Kingston University lost her course place after being arrested and detained for offering to mobilise public support for David Shayler when he was on the run from the authorities in France.

We are now seeing history repeat itself with threats against the media if they cover the infamous memo containing allegations that George W Bush wished to bomb the offices of Aljazeera in Qatar, a friendly country.

Annie Machon’s description of MI5 is one of incompetence and bureaucratic bungling. MI5 management that lie to Ministers and an oversight committee to cover up their incompetence and bungling. Competent officers leaving, leaving behind the failures who have nowhere else to go. Having once worked in a similar environment, my experience was very similar.

With MI6 it is more sinister. The picture painted of MI6 is that of an agency out of control. When not busy trying to kill people, MI6 is planting stories in its in-house newspaper The Daily Torygraph.

MI6 financed an Al-Qaeda plot to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi. Although the coup and assassination attempt failed, innocent civilian bystanders were nevertheless killed. But let us assume their hair-brained scheme had succeeded. If it had, Al-Qaeda would now be running Libya. Would the world have been a safer place?

One reason David and Annie went public on the MI6/Al-Qaeda plot was that they were one of the few who knew of the plot and feared the fate that later befell Dr David Kelly to silence them.

Violence begets violence. We see that all over the Middle East. We see it in Israeli-occupied Palestine, we see it in the illegally-occupied Iraq.

After the failed assassination and coup attempt, a different approach was tried with Colonel Gaddafi. Softly, softly diplomacy. As a result Colonel Gaddafi has come in from the cold, has given up any WMD programmes (assuming he ever had any), he is cooperating in the war on terrorism, and Libya is slowly, slowly moving towards democracy.

Contrast the Libyan diplomatic approach with the illegal war and occupation of Iraq.

A well written and researched book and Annie Machon should be complimented for having had the courage to write it. A pleasant and realistic change from the breathy, jolly-hockey-sticks account we have of MI5 in Open Secret by Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General MI5, an account where it is jolly good fun to bug and burgle one’s way across London and steam open other people’s post.

I still thought the essence of the Cold War and spies and stuff was fun. You know, going around listening to other people’s telephones and opening their mail and stuff.

We expect the establishment not to forgive Annie and David, and that has been their experience. If they keep their heads down, they are left alone. If they speak out, then they receive undue attention.

What they fear is ending up like Dr David Kelly, the man who exposed the lies behind the illegal war with Iraq. A man who was found dead in a wood with his wrists slashed. And for that reason they are careful to protect some of their sources, as they do not wish to see them end the same way.

In this they are not alone. Gerald James was the boss of Astra, once a firework company and the company that provided the propellant for the Iraqi super-gun. When Gerald James spoke out, he found his life was under threat. [see Gerald James, In the Public Interest, Warner Books, 1996]

All this is understandable. What is less understandable and deeply regrettable, are the attacks on the integrity of these two coming from within the dissident community. The only possible explanation, apart from the usual lunatic fringe, is that those making the attacks are agents of the state doing their best to destroy the credibility of those who have dared speak out at their former employers.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to see a little light shed into the deeper recesses of of our intelligence agencies and wants to better understand how our civil rights are being eroded.

Annie Machon has written a devastating critique of our intelligence agencies and the need for reform. Grounds if nothing else for a public inquiry into their operation.

We need an intelligence agency that is there to protect democracy, that is accountable, not one which is there to enslave us.