Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The NIE And The Media

Today the Mainstream Media (MSM) has been waxing lyrical over the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) from the United States Intelligence Community saying that Iran is not and has not been building a nuclear weapon since 2003.

According to the BBC’s Paul Reynolds “the question of sanctions remains active because Iran is still defying Security Council calls for it to suspend uranium enrichment.”

However Justin Webb is his ‘analysis’ said “US hawks are horrified by the report.”

I’m glad Mr Webb in his highly paid job in Washington can add such gravitas to the story, perhaps he could do us a favour and actually clarify who these ‘hawks’ are and why are they 'horrified'?

If you read the BBC report, buried underneath the ‘outstanding reporting’ that is so typical of the BBC, the actual NIE report isn’t as ‘firm’ as the pundits in Television Centre like us to believe.

Before I launch into fisk mode, lets make one thing clear about anything to do with the subject of Intelligence Reporting and Gathering and how to ‘read’ them.

Intelligence reports of this kind,be it from The Director of National Intelligence from the National Intelligence Council or from the Joint Intelligence Committee here in the United Kingdom are couched in a language that is ambiguous and is open to interpretation, reflecting the very real world uncertainties that these people have to operate in. This is why it is called a National Intelligence Estimate.

Often you will see words or phrases like “we judge,”, “we assess”, ” we estimate”, “probably” very likely”,” we cannot dismiss",” we cannot rule out”,"we cannot discount” peppering all these documents to reflect the fact that intelligence gathering and reporting is by its very nature is an ‘art’ and not a 'science'.

Secondly the word “Confidence” is related to the quality of the information that the judgment is based on. “High Confidence” for an example means that the high grade information has also been verified or tested against other sources and as such is ‘reasonable’ to assume it is accurate. However a “High Confidence” judgment is not a fact or a certainty, however, and such judgments still carry a risk of being wrong. “Moderate Confidence” generally means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible,but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of “confidence”.

Finally it is important to bear in mind that the information that is being sought is often at the heart of an opponents defence planning and is guarded by counter-measures to disguise or mislead. These can range from physical security measures such as guards or placement in a secure environment like an underground bunker, electronic counter measures like firewalls or ‘roaming hackers’ through to counter-intelligence measures being run by the opponents intelligence network using all the tricks in the book like ‘false flag’ operations, ‘agents in place’ and other aspects of Human Intelligence (HUMINT), decoy documentation and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).

The great military thinker Clausewitz stated as such in his seminal unfinished work On War:

“BY the word "Information," we denote all the knowledge which we have of the enemy and his country; therefore, in fact, the foundation of all our ideas and actions. Let us just consider the nature of this foundation, its want of trustworthiness, its changefulness, and we shall soon feel what a dangerous edifice war is, how easily it may fall to pieces and bury us in its ruins. For although it is a maxim in all books that we should trust only certain information, that we must be always suspicious; that is only a miserable book-comfort, belonging to that description of knowledge in which writers of systems and compendiums take refuge for want of anything better.”

Even in Iraq, today we are still uncertain on the scale and nature of Saddam’s WMD programme therefore when the likes of the BBC start running pieces like this, which totally fits in with their ‘group think’ alarms bells start ringing.

To quote from the Key Findings of NIE Report, it actually points out:

-We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities wereworking under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.

- We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (Because ofintelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program.)

- We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.

- We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.

- Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determinedto develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.

It adds later in the document some important caveats:

We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willingto maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt it to restart the program.

We assess with moderate confidence that Iran probably would use covert facilities—
rather than its declared nuclear sites—for the production of highly enriched uranium for aweapon. A growing amount of intelligence indicates Iran was engaged in covert uranium conversion and uranium enrichment activity, but we judge that these efforts probably were halted in response to the fall 2003 halt, and that these efforts probably had not been restarted through at least mid-2007.

We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.

So far from the blanket “Tehran has always maintained its nuclear programme is being developed purely for peaceful purposes.” It is far from clear what Iran is trying to do in its nuclear policy.

And the timing of the report is interesting, as I have already stated it was unlikely that the US was going to embark on any military options in 2008, due to the Presidential Elections, however if this NIE is ‘accurate’ then a choice might have to be made in 2009 or 2010. All this report does is default the decision until then.

By that time Hickory Dickory Clinton or Obama might be in charge……

Thursday, 22 November 2007

25 Million Names Lost From HMRC

Just following up on the 25 Million Name Data-set that has been ‘lost’, it seems that my spider sense was tingling last week.

John has covered all the basis with his usual skill in his piece here ,however the gift of ‘second sight’ came to the fore when we first highlighted in our piece on the HMRC and its problems were first shown here although Nick Robinson has the e-mails here .

Just to recap, BBC-B looked at the HMRC who are now around like a blind man as can be shown on this link although the FAQ's isn’t going to settle any nerves.

We examined at length how the Lyons Review and the subsequent restructuring including the regionalisation of offices (moving everything North in other words) has compromised the internal integrity of HMRC in order to shore up votes for the Labour Party, a process started by John Prescott and Gordon Brown.

We looked in detail the relationship between off shore company Mapeley , Capita and Capgemini has almost total to the HMRC,and how the ‘snouts in the trough’,with their panache for cutting courners have damaged National Security.

But the real questions remain as the walls close in on ‘King Brown and his goons, and yet again the BBC have been found wanting.

One has to ask how many false tax credits have been handed out over the years as well?

Why are staff hired on short term contracts? Why are some of them foregin nationals?

Why is the central database in Worthing being shut down and moved to Washington in the North East when staff are already overstreched?

My ‘spider sense’ tells me that the dataset will be ‘found’ in some Government building and there will be no doubt that we will get a statement saying ‘Don’t panic, everything is alright’, however the whole story smells of corruption.

In the meantime the data set probably In the meantime the data set has been copied and sent to ‘unhealthy’ interested parties. This is the biggest failure of security in modern times. This is the probable reason why Gus Macdonald was issuing out Civil Service gagging orders OVER TWO months ago to HMRC employees regarding internal matters.

I spoke to somebody who works in the field of sensitive information in another EU country but has worked in the UK.After the laughter at our incompetence subsided my contact told me “You might as well handed over your nuclear secrets because the structures and ‘culture’ in the UK Government is so oblique looking you are like a bucket full of holes when it comes to information storage’. My contact went further and said ‘The problem you guys have is the civil service is so politicised that they are all looking over their shoulders to cut cost and appease their bosses”

Spin and leak in other words.

This isn't a problem just for the UK but now is an additional problem worldwide.

The implications are very grave, the fact that Al Qaeda’s main source of revenue is now credit card fraud and identity theft makes them likely customers for this information. Likewise Organized Crime (who works hand in glove with terrorism) now has the possibility of applying for mortgages or bank loans using false identities-they only time you become aware of this is when your bank account is being debited for that villa in the Cayman Islands.

This isn’t simply a case of ‘loosing’ the data-the whole integrity of National Security has been thrown away because of a politically motivated piece of gerry-mandering set up by the man with the shaking hand and bunker mentality.

What is worse the same jokers are also involved in PFI projects involving Met Police and the Security Services. I fear more revelations are to come involving the Civil Service.

This is why tonight you are being treated with stories about millionaires kicking a ball around and not the indepth reporting that this sorry tale needs.

Friday, 16 November 2007

News: Democrats Defeat Wire-Tap Amendment

Source: From Reuters

U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday, defying President George W. Bush,passing a bill tightening legal oversight of the power of intelligence agents to use wiretaps to eavesdrop on terror suspects.

The vote in the Democratic-led House was 227-189, largely along party lines.The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. If it passes both chambers, the White House has threatened to veto the measure, warning it would hamper electronic spying efforts, subjecting the United States to increased risks.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the bill "fails to give our intelligence community the tools it needs, and it fails to protect companies facing massive lawsuits for allegedly stepping up and answering the nation's call for help after the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer defended the measure, saying, "This legislation gives our intelligence community the tools it needs to listen in on those who seek to harm us while addressing concerns that (a Bush-backed) bill passed in August could authorize warrantless surveillance of Americans."

Democrats rejected Bush's demand for retroactive immunity for any telecommunications company that may have taken part in the warrantless domestic spying program begun after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

The White House said it was prepared to work with Congress on a possible compromise bill that "would strengthen the nation's intelligence capabilities while respecting the constitutional rights of Americans."

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requires that the government receive the approval of a secret FISA court to conduct surveillance in the United States of suspected foreign enemy targets.Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Bush secretly authorized warrantless surveillance of communications between people in the United States and others overseas if one had suspected ties to terrorists.

The legislation would replace a previous law passed in August under fierce pressure from the administration that expanded the powers of the US intelligence services to use wiretaps in global terror probes.A warrant would be needed only if the American was a target.Nearly 40 lawsuits have been filed accusing AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel Corp of violating Americans' privacy rights in helping the government's warrantless domestic spying program.

News: US Courts Pour Cold Water On Wire-Tap Case

Source: AP

A federal appeals court dealt a near-fatal blow Friday to an Islamic charity's lawsuit alleging it was illegally wiretapped by federal investigators, saying that a key piece of evidence the charity planned to use is a protected state secret.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that a top secret call log accidentally turned over to the now-defunct U.S. arm of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation's lawyers by the U.S. Treasury Department can't be used as evidence.

Al-Haramain, which was labeled by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, alleged it had been illegally wiretapped by the Bush administration without a warrant.

The charity's lawyers voluntarily turned over the document to FBI agents after it was given to them.The appeals court said that ruling was "a commendable effort to thread the needle," but still ran counter to the state secrets law, which precludes the disclosure of sensitive information in court that could jeopardize national security.

"Such an approach countenances a back door around the privilege and would eviscerate the state secret itself," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

News:Lieutenant General Bill Rollo Gives His View On Progress In Iraq

Source: MOD News

Lieutenant General Bill Rollo is the Senior British Military Representative to Iraq and Second in Command of the Coalition forces gave his views to MOD News.

When asked about the troop reductions in Iraq, the Lieutenant General said:

"The force numbers are a result of careful analysis of the troops required to carry out tasks that we anticipate doing next summer. But everything is subject to events, and if they are different to what we currently anticipate, we will do something else."

He also added regarding any 'differences' within the coalition and with General Petraeus command in particular:

"Our plans are fully coordinated with the US. I've found that General Petraeus is always very conscious of his allies. He is prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that our respective interests are taken on board. From a personal and professional level, it works very well."

"I think the surge, together with the change in attitude of the Sunni population, has had a very substantial effect on security across Iraq. It's designed to enable political and economic progress, and the challenge for the Iraqis and us is to make use of the opportunity. Dynamics are different in the south. There is no Sunni insurgency and the provinces face low level intra-Shia violence and criminality. The best people to deal with both are the Iraqis."

With the situation in Basra uncertain and the rise of the power of the milita's, and the the cleric's the he stated:

"There are fundamentalists in Basra, but the Iraqi security forces are gradually exerting their own control. Traditionally Basra was a relatively open society. It may return to that tradition.There are a lot of pressures on the secular society and Iraq is in a period of acute social trauma and instability. But I see no reason why elements of that secular society won't re-establish themselves."

With regard to the future,and the calls to withdraw troops from Iraq he was measured but seemed to put cold water on the idea:

"You can't live here, as I do, and travel around without being conscious of the severity of the challenges facing Iraq. Nevertheless, when I go out, I come back encouraged, as I see, slowly and unevenly, the country coming back to life."

"I think the surge, together with the change in attitude of the Sunni population, has had a very substantial effect on security across Iraq. It's designed to enable political and economic progress, and the challenge for the Iraqis and us is to make use of the opportunity. Dynamics are different in the south. There is no Sunni insurgency and the provinces face low level intra-Shia violence and criminality. The best people to deal with both are the Iraqis."

"It can be intensely frustrating for soldiers, who are working hard to make a difference – and doing so. But we're not the first British soldiers to be in this position and I doubt we'll be the last."

Troops levels are expected to drop to 4,400 in April with a review to drawdown to 2,500 later in the year.

News: British Soilders Foil Suicide Bomb Attack

Source MOD News

British soldiers serving in southern Afghanistan have foiled a suicide car bomber who attempted to attack their patrol as they were returning to base.

The incident, which lasted a matter of seconds, happened as the soldiers, from 473 Special Observation Post Battery, 5 Regiment Royal Artillery, were heading back to the camp in Gereshk.A white Toyota Corolla, which contained a suicide car bomber, suddenly pulled out and attempted to drive into their convoy of Pinzgauer vehicles.

The first Pinzgauer swerved to avoid the car and the top cover sentry, Corporal Lee Wilbor, fired a single shot through its window, causing the driver to collapse at the wheel. But the Toyota carried on, swerving erratically into the path of the rear vehicle, whose soldiers opened fire causing the car to veer out of the way before it dramatically exploded.

This incident was announced during the week when Captain John McDermid of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, killed by a roadside bomb in Sangin.

News:British Troops Push North Into Musa Qaleh

Source: MOD News

British troops launched an offensive on the 14th and have pushed forward into the area around the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qaleh.

The town of Musa Qaleh, located in the north of Helmand Province, was taken by ISAF forces in the autumn of 2006 and handed over to the control of local Afghan's.

Local Afghan's held the town for 143 days before the Taliban launched an offensive, retook the town.

Marines from 40 Commando and soldiers from Right Flank Scots Guards using Warrior and Mastiff Armoured Vehicles are back on patrol in the area outside the town, and are conducting aggresive patrols.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Eaton explained the latest planned offensive:

"This is part of a longer term strategy to keep the Taliban unsettled and confused. We have frustrated them in what they consider to be their heartland by manoeuvring into the area, and by disrupting their resupply and other operations."

He added

"It is also crucial to be able to tell local Afghans, ‘ISAF is here at the invitation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to support you and that we are going to help remove the Taliban from your homes and your lives'."

He summed up the operation:

"The Taliban are not wanted in Musa Qaleh, something the local Afghans have made clear before and we will continue to maintain a presence in the area to show them that they have the support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and ISAF."

This latest operation began two weeks ago with Bravo Company from 40 Commando Royal Marines pushing north in Viking armoured vehicles, driving across the Helmand river north of Sangin, creating a bridgehead for the Scots Guards convoy.

According to reports there have been on and off contact with the Taliban who have attacked British forces with rockets, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

British troops have been carrying out reconnaissance patrols in an effort to carry out "hearts and minds" operations as well as conducting aggresive patrols.

The patrol is supported by soldiers from B Squadron Kings Royal Hussars in Mastiff armoured vehicles and by 105 mm guns served by men from 4 Regiment Royal Artillery. The patrol is supported by an Immediate Replenishment Group and additional supplies are flown in by air as and when required. The operation is at Battlegroup level and is being commanded by 40 Commando.

News:Coalition Forces Establish Presence West of the Euphrates

Source: BlackFive.net

Operation Marne Courageous kicked off in the early morning of Nov. 16 with more than 600 coalition forces and Iraqi army soldiers moving into two villages near the border of Anbar province to drive out al-Qaida in Iraq.

Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), were joined by about 150 Iraqi army soldiers in the air assault on the Sunni villages of Owesat and al Betra, west of the Euphrates River and approximately 15 miles southwest of Baghdad.

Troops were transported in four helicopter lifts across the Euphrates, utilizing two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. A Marine reconnaissance platoon, as well as Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, stationed in neighboring Anbar province, secured the landing zone.

Troops were transported in four helicopter lifts across the Euphrates, utilizing two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. A Marine reconnaissance platoon, as well as Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, stationed in neighboring Anbar province, secured the landing zone.

Once on the ground, the U.S.-Iraqi force was supported by an air weapons team of Apache and Kiowa helicopters, while approximately 70 Iraqi Concerned Local Citizens assisted in securing the outlying perimeter.

While U.S. and Iraqi forces moved through the villages, other troops set to work constructing a bridge across the Euphrates to allow for the transport of materials and supplies to build a patrol base in the area. The base will allow for a sustained coalition presence in the area of Owesat, part of Baghdad’s southwestern “belts.”

Marne Courageous’ main strategic thrust is to clear AQI extremists from the area of Owesat, establish a coalition presence, and develop a concerned citizens program in the area as a bulwark against further enemy activity.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Why The BBC Does Not Take Defence Coverage Seriously

From BBC Politics

It says something when the BBC sends somebody with the experience of Caroline Wyatt on defence issues to cover something as significant as the formation of the UK National Defence Association then produces a report that makes it sound like another pressure group.

It is telling that they could have sent somebody like Mark Urban who has served in the Armed Forces and is a respected Defence journalist but they didn't, instead they send a relatively junior correspondent who's expertise is selling the BBC propaganda. The point of the matter is that for years the BBC has done its best to smear and downplay the role of the Armed Forces.

The BBC have had a direct hand in the smashing of the military covenant between the British Military and the British People.Remember Gilligan? Remember the Northern Ireland coverage in the 1970's and 1980's?Remember the airplay for the Greenham Common Wimmin?

But the NDA not just another pressure group of ‘snouts in the trough’ vested interest policy wonks.Take a look at some of the names who are behind the National Defence Association membership.

According to Caroline “The establishment of the UKNDA can be seen as a sign of the growing gulf between ministers and some in the military over the course of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

It is of course nothing of the sort but a group that seeks to educate the public on military affairs, to seek to re-establish the covenant between the British Military and the British People and to address the woeful lack of spending on defence.

Of course we can always contrast and compare the National Defence Association expertise with the BBC's favorite think tank on defence matters-The Oxford Research Group.

Even when it comes down to ‘facts’ the BBC is very selective in it figures.It shows here a graph comparing warmongering America and poor little Iran.

The graph shows in ‘real terms’ of defence spending the US which towers above everybody else, however they have seemed to have forgotten that Defence Spending is also measured against the GDP, figures in which I can provide:

The Dollar per GDP expenditure figures is here.

The Dollar per GDP percentage figures is here.

Military Spending per Capita figures is here.

That’s right-Oman spends more on defence spending, with the United States at 4.06 % ranking 27th and the UK coming 69th with 2.4%–being overtaken by mighty world powers like Lesotho, Solomon Islands, Guinea Bissau and the Maldives.Then we wonder why the Brown fiefdom is failing the Armed Forces?

Of course the NDA has no SWP stockpuppets as part of its membership, so don't count on too much coverage any time in the future.

THE BBC-Spinning figures and providing puff pieces for the anti-military left-this is what we do

Comment:Why the Left Wing Chattering Classes Cannot Be Trusted With Democracy.

This is the first in a series of articles exploring the links between some elements of the ‘peace’ movement, the far left and foreign intelligence.

While delving through the archives of the Internet-I came across an interesting article buried deep within the BBC.

Vic Allen is a retired Leeds University professor and a former leading member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), from Keighley, North Yorkshire. He told a BBC Two documentary in 1999 that said he had "no regrets" over providing information to the East German Stazi secret police.

He said he considered that perfectly “legitimate” because he belonged to a pro-Soviet, pro-East German faction of the group.

Dr Robin Pearson (Codename Armin) was another academic at Hull University who was used by the Stazi as a recruiter and an agent of influence. According to his handler Berhart Kartheus he “began spying on his fellow British students - reading their dissertations and looking for clues to their politics, as well as supplying the names of former students who got sensitive jobs at NATO and the Ministry of Defence.”. In autumn 1982, he took a job in London where the Stasi is alleged to have asked him to get to know women at the Ministry of Defence.

The highly respected academic on intelligence matters Anthony Glees said “It is quite clear that he was regarded as a long-term bet, alongside Kim Philby and had the Berlin Wall not fallen, he undoubtedly would have been in a position to have done great harm and to have put many people in harm's way."

A former colleague of mine in Amsterdam who was living in East Germany at the time , who’s own family suffered at the hands of the Ministry of Interior, told me after she read her own Stazi file that her family was monitored because of information given to them by ‘informers’ in the West . Her own father was ‘questioned’ by the secret police for three weeks not only because he listened to Voice of America and the BBC World Service but most of all because he had links to ‘peace activists’ in the West. This story is repeated time and again by many who lived under the shadow of the hammer and sickle.

One has to imagine with horror how Dr Pearson and Dr Allen helped the oppressive Eastern Bloc countries in maintaining their regimes of terror. Yet they have never been charged with their crimes.

When one looks at the list of people who would either overthrow the political system in the West or would be traitors to their fellow countrymen, one cannot help but notice a connection.

Let me list some names and you will get the picture: Philby (Codename: Stanley); Blunt (Codename Johnson) ;Burgess (Codename: Hicks); MacLean (Codename: Homer) ; Cairncross, Harry Houghton, Ethel Gee, Gordon Lonsdale; Melita Norwood (Codename: Hola), Tom Driberg MP (Codename: Lepage), Raymond Fletcher MP -all ‘cleaver people’ and ‘artistic people’ willing to sell there souls to the men with the rubber batons in East Germany, Poland or the Soviet Union, all of whom were privileged people who’s arrogance literally killed people.

The in ‘arts’ there have been many voices that have seek to accommodate themselves with despotism and dictatorships-look at the Bloomsbury Group. (and the perennial favorite of the feminist left Virginia Woolf,) and there attitudes towards the Second World War, in particular while the Nazi-Soviet Pact was in effect, and their attitude towards “the proles” in general. John Maynard Keynes himself was friends with many of the “Cambridge Five” and a member of the Apostles; he was close most notably with Kim Philby and Guy Burgess. Other members of this social circle included several other “idealists” including Lytton Strachey, G.E. Moore and Rupert Brooke.

It was none other than George Orwell said what he thought of the left wing ‘peace movement’:

"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, he that is not with me is against me.”

It has been suggested by many historians of the Cold War that CND’ s change of policy in the late 1960’s from ‘multilateralism’ to ‘unilateralism’ was ‘helped’ in no small part by the Stazi and KGB after it recognised the success of the Committee of 100. It is rumored that Bruce Kent was possibly an unwitting ‘agent of influence’ by the Stazi, a claim which he is ‘untrue’. Leading members of the Labour Party are thought to mentioned in the Stazi archives but remain hidden by the German Government due to their political nature and possible embarrassment to the Government.

Beyond this there has been the work of the Workers' Revolutionary Party (UK) under the leadership of Gerry Healy from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. When he conducted his ‘purge’ of the ‘less educated’ members of ‘his’ party in the late 1970’s the leading Inquisitor was none other than Vanessa Redgrave who it is alleged ‘questioned’ one poor woman (against her will) for being a ‘closet capitalist’. She herself has paid £50,000 in December 2002 to bail Akhmed Zakayev the Chechen separatist leader to come and live in the UK. This act and the subsequent Alexander Litvinenko poisoning has encouraged the Russian Government to step up its espionage and military activities towards the UK in particular, to the extent that MI5 now has to channel resources to cover this activity rather than concentrate on Islamic fundamentalism.

But it does not stop there. The WRP and fellow travellers positively identified themselves with both the Saddam and Gaddafi Governments in an expressed policy of supporting ‘Arab Nationalism’ without any conditions. That Baathism is based on fascism is over looked by the Trotsky left of the WRP.

In the early 1980’s the BBC’s Money Programme accused the WRP of receiving money from Jamahiriya el-Mukhabarat (Libyan Intelligence) including a possible £1,000,000 that had been received by the group from Libya and several Middle Eastern governments, between 1977 and 1983.The left wing publication Solidarity claimed also that the WRP was also involved in monitoring anti Saddam protestors and taking pictures back to the Iraqi Embassy in London to be examined by IIS in the 1980’s. The WRP also had sympathies with the IRA and INLA as well as other ‘anti-capitalist’ groups such as the Rote Armee Faktion, Japanese Red Army, ETA, the Red Brigades in Italy and our very own Angry Brigade.

Then there is”Respect - The Unity Coalition”. George Galloway needs no introduction, being a firm friend of Saddam Hussein and a possible benefactor of the Oil for Food programme but it is interesting to note that fellow travellers within Respect are Ken Loach , Harold Pinter, George Monbiot and Salma Yaqoob who are also high brow members of the intelligentsia and the cultural elite. Ironically the extremist group al Ghurabaa a takfiri group now banned in the UK has threatened Respect members and it believed in security circles that these prominent left wingers may themselves be a target of the extremists that they have so far sought to provide political cover.

That they seem so blind and so willing to get into bed with fascists (although the brown skinned ones to give a sheen to their politically correct dogma) shows the utter stupidity of their claims to be ‘progressive’ and ‘radical’ while at the same time their panache for infighting over the finer points of left wing ideology is breathtaking. Time and again these people glamorise the violence that they supposedly oppose, for example Ken Loach and his admiration for the leftist wing of the IRA in the 1920-21 Irish Civil War (see the film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’).That they are all wealthy people who should know better seems to escape the likes of the BBC, who regularly promotes them.

All of the above have been involved in the Stop the War Coalition and CND , the two organisations that have a ‘patchy’ track record regarding their democratic credentials. Although there are some members of these organisations who are genuine anti-war advocates, I suspect that Mr Pinter, Ms Redgrave or Mr Galloway is not seeing the violent language that they regularly use with policies they don’t agree with, especially their poisonous Anti Americanism . That they keep ‘unhealthy’ company is the subject of these essays.

Not only should the Government be subject of public scrutiny but so should the opposition. Sadly for too long the ‘peace movement’ has been largely exempt from this scrutiny because many independent journalists, artists and academia are afraid of being ostracised from their peers in the left wing. That recruitment for extremist ideologies takes place in schools and colleges, and that the chattering classes seem to turn a blind eye is not acceptable in any democracy. It is now time to address this issue.

This is the first in a series of investigative pieces looking into the peace movement and possible links with foreign intelligence services and anti-democratic movements. The Wikipedia entries are for general reading but for further links and references see:

Hallas, Duncan. Cult comes a cropper
Healy, Gerry. Some Reflections on the Socialist Labor League
Higgins, Jim. Suppose He Had Been Enthusiastic: Review of Harry Ratner, Reluctant Revolutionary
Pitt, Bob. The Rise and Fall of Gerry Healy
North, David. Behind the split in the Workers Revolutionary Party
W.P.Snyder, The Politics of British Defense Policy, 1945-1962,
Christopher Driver, The Disarmers: A Study in Protest