Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What happened to David Shayler?

In 1997, David Shayler, a former member of MI5 (the UK's internal "intelligence" "service"), became a whistleblower, claiming to the Mail on Sunday that British "intelligence" "services" had, in 1996, paid money to assassinate Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

Thanks to our government's fantastic media-gagging powers, us lowly British proles had to hear about this from other countries' media. The British media was not even able to report that it had been gagged.

Because of the gagging of the British press, Shayler was not able to make a public interest argument, nor have his case heard in full publicly. Interestingly, it was our old authoritarian pals, David Blunkett and Jack Straw who signed the 'Public Interest Immunity certificates'. This is interesting because Straw, and other now senior Labour figures, had almost certainly been on the receiving end of domestic intelligence attention during their supposedly radical past. This kind of targetting of left wing individuals and groups has been comprehensively documented by Robin Ramsay over the years in his excellent journal, 'Lobster'. Straw was also the person to whom Shayler originally sent his dossier of evidence behind the allegations.

Because of cases like that of Katherine Gunn, many people seem to suppose that our "intelligence" agents have whistleblowing rights. They don't.

And if the following piece of reporting from the Australian paper, 'The Age' doesn't send a shudder up your spine, I don't know what will:

The British media widely reported on Monday that lawyers acting for Mr Shayler had accused the government of trying to "intimidate" Justice Moses. But on Tuesday the newspapers - many of which had mounted their own legal case against the application of the certificates - reported simply that the court had heard legal arguments relating to Mr Shayler's trial. "The judge ruled that they (the legal arguments) cannot be reported," The Guardian reported.
After the judge's ruling on Monday, several articles detailing Mr Shayler's anticipated evidence - and the government's efforts to keep it secret - were withdrawn from newspaper websites across the country.

Right from Shayler's original breaking of the story, through his flight to France, the attempted extradition and through to 2000 with his trial and conviction, one had the distinct impression that he was seen as a credible whistleblower. Even by the BBC (though, admittedly this was at the time the Tories were just passing the baton to ZanuLab, before it became such an obvious state propaganda machine).

Then something odd occurred.

Shayler got involved in the 9/11 Truth Movement. Now this covers a great many people, many of whom hold divergent and varying views, with equally varying scholarly or investigatory credentials. He didn't join the 'moderate' end of the group however, perhaps investigating the money trail, or supposed intelligence failures. Instead he dived straight into the 'No Plane' and 'Hologram' theories. He not only became an instant write off for whistleblower-watchers; he was also accused by others in the 9/11 Truth Movement of being a state agitator, who's modus operandi was to discredit the moderate 9/11 Truth elements. Given his background it doesn't seem an unreasonable accusation.

Yet the entire episode seems completely bizaare.

In early interviews Shayler came across as calm, articulate and critical. The treatment he received by the government and level of access he was given by the media meant he could have remained a staunch and credible critic of the government even once he begun moving beyond his particular areas of knowledge or expertise. This is the path other whistleblowers such as Craig Murray have taken.

Yet he chose to align himself with an incredibly derided group, derided even by other people who are furiously anti-government and critical of state and media. When you see the early Shayler, you don't see someone who in a few years, is likely to be promulgating the idea that no planes hit the WTC, only holograms.

Yet it gets worse. Much more recently, he has taken an even more bizaare turn. A few years after joining the Truthers, he then announces, in a very Ickean fashion, that he is the Son of God.

Sidenote on Icke: I met Icke a few years back, shortly after he returned from his U.S. adventures. He began promulgating the lizards idea shortly after this trip, seemingly having picked the idea up from some odd Americans. This, it turns out, is Icke's perpetual pattern. I happen to know three people he has received information and evidence from over the years (all three also have very different perspectives and backgrounds). What was striking is that he repeated almost verbatim, in his books and talks, whatever the person, or people he was spending time with at that moment were telling him. This explains the various phases he has had - flip flopping for example between anti-semitism and repudiation of anti-semitism; it was a reflection of the people who surrounded him at the time.

He came across as someone who was dangerously gullible, who also was able to present these ideas with a tremendous air of authority because of his feeling that he had 'inside connections'.

Here's the problem: Some of the things Icke has said and published are true. (N.B. I'm NOT talking about the lizards here....). I can vouch for three of his sources, though their contributions only cover quite a modest part of his various claims and theories. Yet its easy to discredit the lot in one go and even be wary of being associated with his more plausible claims - I was wary myself of writing the last three paragraphs because of this automatic association.

So it's here I find the comparisons with Shayler quite disturbing. Whilst Icke has been like a kite, bouncing around in whatever direction the prevailing winds took him, Shayler was more like a tree, rooted solidly at first, then suddenly caught by a hurricane, roots ripped out, and tossed into a stinking swamp. I can't help but ask what happened to either, or both men. The messianic turn in particular makes my head hurt. It was like Shayler had his bolt of truth right at the start, shot his load, then came up empty. Icke, not being a whistleblower, was like an empty vessel just waiting to be filled.

Whistleblowers like Murray and Edmonds have certainly been through some seriously tough times. Edmonds was more or less ignored by the MSM whilst her government engaged in an unprecedented level of censorship whilst Murray was purposefully driven out of his job and painted as mentally ill by his previous employers and colleagues. Both have been 'through the wars', and yet managed to come out the other side as prominent, and critically minded thorns in their respective governments' sides. What went wrong with Shayler? What prompted Icke to have a funny turn and suddenly become some kind of "conspiracy prophet"? There's no doubt that life is very difficult for whistleblowers or high profile dissidents after taking their stand, especially in employment terms. Yet as the likes of Murray and Edmonds have shown, its still entirely possible to get one's life together again.

And let's not forget the Panorama episode that almost wasn't from way back in 1998.

The British government has since expanded its powers of censorship - one can only wonder what else has escaped attention in the last, trying, decade. And that's only counting actual cases of 'hard stops' by the government - how much more of a chilling effect has this had more generally? I know I regularly excoriate the media for being useless self-censoring clowns, but when dangerous criminals such as Peter and Paul Griffin can win libel cases against the Guardian and the BBC, despite British Customs holding damning, smoking gun, evidence and the U.S. slapping sanctions on them, I can at least see mitigating factors (that's not an excuse by the way if any of you yellow bellies are reading - do your f**king job already instead of leaving it to us bloggers FFS....)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Libya - the hidden hand of the Griffin family

After returning from a two week holiday where I kept myself in a blissfully news free vacuum, I was delighted to read the Sunday Telegraph's report on Mandelson vis-a-vis Libya. Whilst it was great to see Mandy's mendacity once again cast into the public light, there was a missing piece to the Libyan puzzle not mentioned by the Telegraph:

Whilst I'll leave others to debate the other backroom interests (and there are plenty in Anglo-Libyan relations) behind the decision to release Megrahi (and the reasons for Mandy, Brown et al for lying regarding any behind the scenes negotiations), there is one particular cluster of reasons to wonder at Libya's hidden hand over the British government - that is the tail end of the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network.

In previous posts, and a published article, I have highlighted the British end of the Khan network, a story that forms part of a web of interconnected conspiracies and scandals linking together elements in the governments of the U.S., U.K., Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, North Korea and even Iran. These 'elements' have been involved at a very deep level with international conspiracies involving nuclear technologies, drugs and money laundering. It is regarding these networks of interests that Sibel Edmonds has recently been able to testify - where they linked to a certain Congresswoman, Jean Schmidt.

Nowhere was the British part of the Khan network more closely connected than with its interests in Libya. And it was Libya's apparent betrayal of the network that led to it being welcomed back to the Western fold. This is an extremely important point that is NOT being discussed in the MSM on the current Libyan/Lockerbie issue. It was the father and son team, Peter and Paul Griffin, through various front companies such as Weargate Ltd, who provided the business end of the UK part of the network to Libya. British Custom's own investigation into the Griffins revealed not only the extent to which Peter Griffin was directly involved in the Khan network, but also specifics, right down to the plans for component workshops, being traded with Libya.

Back in 2003 when Libya 'came in from the cold', it was announced across the MSM that the Anglo-American intelligence effort supposedly monitoring the network had carried out a crippling strike when it raided the BBC China, with components for nuclear weapons manufacture intended for Libya. This was a lie. It was in fact the Libyans who 'blew up' the network, forcing the hand of the Anglo-American services to act; the instigator of the raid was the Libyan regime, not the Anglo-American operation that had supposedly been working against the network (in fact, just monitoring it without interference right back to the 70s (!!!)). Part of the deal was that this would be played to give the West a much needed, and overdue, "victory" in "The War Against Terror" (TWAT) and a reprieve for their apparently underperforming intelligence agencies.

Out of the various links and beneficiaries in the Khan network, Libya had the closest relations with the British side. As such, given that most of the evidence linking parts of the British establishment to the Khan network (Customs, MI5, MI6), was in Libya, this issue had to be dealt with very carefully. With new British businesses, investment and travellers pouring into Libya, there was a substantial liklihood that someone could stumble on evidence regarding one of the Griffin's front companies. Any third party going public with this evidence would lead to a lot of British Officials with a lot of explaining to do. It will be no surprise to readers then to learn that British Intelligence services had already been in negotiations with Libya prior to their "renouncement" of pursuing WMD programmes.

The long and the short of this is that the Libyan regime still has the British government over the barrel of the Khan network. At an instant, the Libyans could reveal the role that British front companies (with the knowledge of Customs and "Intelligence") played in providing Libya with components and know-how for building nuclear weapons. They no doubt seek to maximise this advantage for as long as possible.

Custom's own confidential 2005 report stated:
‘From material available, Peter Griffin appears to be a member of the A. Q. Khan network working closely with B. S. A. Tahir and others. He has a long history of personal and business dealings with Dr. A. Q. Khan and there is evidence to show that for many years, Peter Griffin has been engaged in the proliferation of technology and equipment to Pakistan’s WMD programme...[Griffin] played a hugely significant role in assisting the Libyans in their quest to develop a nuclear weapon.’

Whilst this may not have played a direct role regarding the decision to release Megrahi you can bet that it was very prominently in the minds of the British officials who are in the know about the Khan network and Britain's position within it. Indeed, one of the things I hope to help discover over the coming months and years is exactly who knew (knows) what. I suspect Mandelsnake, with high profile connections that also place him squarely within the drugs and laundering triangle along with the nuclear network (and I suspect, if I can research back far enough, with BCCI), knows a great deal indeed.

It should also be noted, in the context of Anglo-American relations, that the Griffins are now on the U.S. wanted list. They are still at large, and unharrassed in the U.K. (Paul) and France (Peter), and continuing to operate their businesses.


Background reading: 'Britain Spinning in the Sibel Edmonds Web'

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sibel Edmonds breaks her gag order - and you WON'T hear about this on the BBC

UPDATE (25/08/09): Sibel Edmonds' deposition now available online - get it while you can.

Well the silence from the MSM on both sides of the Atlantic is deafening. You WILL NOT see this on the BBC or any other mainstream outlet, and this is despite the media being explicitly invited.

Sibel Edmonds, the ex-FBI translator, turned whistleblower, is currently giving evidence in a case for the Ohio elections commission, where incubent Congresswoman Jean Schmidt is involved in a libel case against her challenger, David Krikorian. Krikorian alleged that Schmidt had been corrupted by 'Blood money' from Turkish interests.

Edmonds own case has been ongoing throughout the last few years. And despite a few notable exceptions, the MSM has had its head in the sand on her case. She alleged that parts of the U.S. government had been compromised by Turkish, Pakistani and Israeli interests which had also assisted directly in the A.Q.Khan nuclear proliferation network, which provided parts and know-how to North Korea, Iran, Libya and Pakistan.

She was hit with the draconian 'state-secrets privilege' and all of her testimony to U.S. officials was retroactively classified. She's been in a legal limbo since, desperately trying to find ways around the gag order. This is despite several people in the know confirming that she was credible, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) for example, said "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."

However, unexpectedly for the FBI and the Department of Justice, Edmonds has been subpoenaed to testify in the Schmidt / Krikorian case, which is ongoing as I write this, with regular updates from Brad Blog. Despite the FBI attempting to stop her testifying, and failing, it seems - according to the citizen journalists present (because no "real" journalists could be bothered) - she is delivering evidence that she has previously witheld as a result of the gag order. Unfortunately she is only able to provide answers to questions she is asked rather than a broad delivery of what she knows, but just what she has said so far has been explosive, naming many currently serving members of the U.S. government and implicating them directly in bribery and espionage on behalf of Turkey.

Sibel is - in effect - able to legally break the gag order on this one, and hopefully this could open the floodgates.

The British angle

British officials and organisations have also taken part in the A.Q. Khan network (and the - related - drugs network also linked to Turkey, but that's yet another long blog post or article....). The British side includes Customs and Excise, MI5, MI6 and from the research I've done it looks like some of the key individuals go back to our old friends, the BCCI.

I wrote an article, published in 'Lobster', no. 56 last year that detailed the British interests involved in the network that Edmonds was describing. You can download the article HERE. I was motivated to take an intense interest in the British angle to Edmonds' case after bitterly noting the complete failure of the British MSM to take the Sunday Times' lead. The Times published an article in January 2008 outlining the main aspects of Sibel's allegations. They put it on the front page and also produced three follow up articles. The remainder of the British MSM, as usual, was about as useful as a one legged man in an arse-kicking contest.

Recently, two of the British nationals named directly as collaborators in the Khan network were father and son team Peter and Paul Griffin, were classified as wanted terrorists by the U.S. They won libel cases several years ago against the BBC and the Guardian, who both alleged that they had links to the network. How they won these cases still boggles my mind as the confidential 2005 customs report into Peter Griffin's activities left no doubt at all that he was hip deep in the network (and had been since the 70s!!!!)

Its a shame the Edmonds case has exploded again right now as I'm about to depart for a holiday in Edinburgh, so apologies for the rough nature of this blog entry (I'll add more links as soon as I have time, right now I'm packing to leave tomorrow though).

As the Griffins are now on the U.S. wanted list, and nothing appears to have been done by the UK authorities, I intend to track them down myself, and logistics allowing, attempt to carry out citizens arrests on them on camera. I want to force the issue, and whilst I'm in Edinburgh I plan to catch up with Mark Thomas who is doing a show for the Fringe, asking the audience to vote on things they want him to try to change. I'm going to ask for his help in tracking down the Griffins.

I'll update this blog post sporadically with updates on Edmonds, as this story develops over the next few days in between trying to relax on holiday.

I'll also be providing all the information I have on the British side of the network and my own research online once I'm back from holiday. Stay tuned!