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007's are owning Britain!

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Iraq Dispute Brings James Bonds Out of the Shadows
Source

By Peter Graff
LONDON (Reuters) - Remember when you only saw British spies in 007 movies?

Suddenly, you can find James Bonds testifying in courtrooms, leaking documents to the papers, writing their own accounts on the front pages -- and now a former British Cabinet member says they snooped on U.N. chief Kofi Annan.

British spies, it seems, are everywhere, driven out of the shadows by the dispute over the war in Iraq.

And to the chagrin of spy services in both Britain and its war ally the United States, more skeletons are likely to tumble out of the closets as long as society remains bitterly divided over whether the war was right.

Former British Cabinet member Clare Short's revelation Thursday that she had seen transcripts of apparently bugged conversations of the U.N. secretary-general was the latest in a series of unprecedented disclosures.

Leaks have sprung on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the United States, authorities have been investigating the leak of the name of a CIA agent whose husband criticized President Bush's assertion that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein tried to acquire uranium in Africa.

The two allies have both now agreed to expose their spies to unprecedented probes into why their governments thought Iraq possessed large stockpiles of banned weapons.

But in Britain, a trickle of leaks has slowly turned into a flood that would have been unthinkable just months ago.

"It is pretty obvious that the British intelligence community is as divided over this war as the British public, and you have seen a spate of leaks over the last 18 months that is unprecedented," said Tim Ripley, a specialist at Britain's University of Lancaster.

Experts say they would hardly be surprised if, as Short said Thursday, the former international development secretary had seen transcripts of conversations involving the U.N. secretary-general. After all, spies spy.
But what is wholly new is that a former Cabinet member, sworn to secrecy, would reveal operational details openly in a radio interview.

"The surprising thing in this story is not that it was actually going on, but that people in a position of responsibility are speaking openly about it. That is what's unprecedented," said Kevin Rosser, security expert at consultancy Control Risks Group.

Prime Minister Tony Blair called Short's disclosures "deeply irresponsible" and said he would not comment on whether they were true. But they come in an environment when the government appears to have lost its power to stop leaks.

Short made her revelation the morning after Britain's prosecutors dropped their case against Katharine Gun, 29, a British spy services translator who leaked a top secret document to a newspaper as an "act of conscience" in the hope of stopping war.

Prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to convict her even though Gun freely admitted leaking a memo from the U.S. National Security Agency asking for British help to snoop on other U.N. Security Council members.

Gun's lawyers said they would argue that the war itself was illegal and she was justified in breaking the law to oppose it. They demanded the government reveal the secret advice its own lawyers gave about the legality of the war.

Critics said the government was afraid to put the case before a jury.

British spies were forced to testify last year before a lengthy inquiry into the suicide of a weapons specialist who killed himself after being named as the source for a news story that said Blair's aides twisted intelligence to justify the war.

The Hutton inquiry absolved Blair's government of lying. But it also shed new light on the relationship between spies and their political masters, and revealed that some intelligence officials disagreed strongly with the way intelligence was presented.

Three weeks ago, Brian Jones, a top chemical weapons specialist with the intelligence services who resigned last year, wrote a lengthy article in the Independent newspaper saying the spies with the most expertise had reservations about intelligence but were overruled to make the case stronger.

What is clear is that such airing of the spies' dirty laundry would have been inconceivable only a few years ago.

During the Cold War, the translator Gun would have probably been jailed and Short "driven out of the country," said Ripley.

"This is an unprecedented series of events that shows the problems of intelligence services operating in a bitterly divided political climate in Britain."

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Found this read after I heard a clip of Blair bumbling on the CBC this morning. Quite amusing.
 

derek

TRIBE Member
^^^

not really. they've probable bugged the secretary generals office numerous times in the past. just this time they got caught.
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Its about time! The only people who can divert this situation and bring some real truth to this situation are definitely the spies, they've been pulling the strings for the guv for too long now, time to start pulling some strings for humanity.

odbx
 
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