In a world where our country is taken into an illegal war on flawed evidence, where people in the UK can be detained without trial on the word of the intelligence services, and where the threat of terrorist attack is a daily fear, we need to know that those responsible for Britain’s security are really doing all they can to protect us. It’s time for those in power to pull their heads out of the sand and listen to the evidence – and give MI5 and MI6 a radical overhaul.
Here, for the first time, Annie writes about her experiences at the heart of the secret state and what happens when you stand up to it. Her revelations about illegal intelligence operations, cover-ups to ministers, and particularly the MI6 funding of Al Qaeda terrorists will shock all of us who like to think that our security services are doing everything in their power to fight terrorism.
Annie Machon was recruited by MI5 in 1991, having studied Classics at Cambridge and begun a career in publishing. Along with her partner, David Shayler — born and bred on Teesside — she worked for MI5’s political and counter-terrorism departments in the 1990s.
The two were so disgusted by its crimes and incompetence that they left and David went on the record about the service’s failings. Ministers refused to hear his evidence. Instead, they have used the Official Secrets act and injunctions to stop journalists from investigating his disclosures.
This has led to a life on the run, exile in Paris, a 2-year court case and two spells in prison. Now a writer, activist and anti-war campaigner, Annie also gives regular talks about her and David’s story.
The book gives detailed information about how:
· MI6 illegally paid tens of thousands of pounds to Al Qaeda to stage a coup in Libya. If the plot had succeeded it would have led to associates of Osama Bin Laden taking power in Libya, an oil rich state, paving the way for a US/UK invasion as happened in Iraq.
· MI5 and MI6 let a known Libyan terrorist into Britain. It failed to recruit him, and by the services’ own admission, allowed him to set up a terrorist network in this country;
· An MI6 agent ran guns and explosives to religious extremists in India then claimed MI5 and Special Branch were responsible and the British government lobbied for his release;
· MI6 tried to undermine the Lockerbie evidence in public blaming Iran and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command for the attack;
· MI6 influences public opinion including planting made-up stories in the media. The book names two agents of influence;
· MI5 bungled the investigation and prosecution of a spy who had admitted giving Nato defence secrets to the Soviet Union;
· MI5 illegally accessed the accounts of and bugged a Guardian journalist while planning to arrest her daughter on trumped-up charges;
· MI5 failed to stop four major terrorist attacks in Britain, even though it was in possession of reliable intelligence. It then lied to government about its failure to stop two of these attacks;
· MI5 was woefully ill-prepared to take over operations against the IRA in Britain from the Metropolitan Police Special Branch. As a result, it put bombs down at a greater rate than before or since.
· Two IRA members were acquitted at trial because telephone tap material confirming their guilt was not admissible as evidence.
· MI5 bureaucracy put its own agents and the lives of the general public at enormous risk, when faced with Libyan plans for the biggest terrorist attack in history;
· MI5 neglected to admit that one of its key agents was a ‘bullshitter’ and a fabricator in written evidence submitted to the Saville Enquiry into Bloody Sunday in an attempt to blame Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein for the violence that day;
· MI5 withheld vital documents indicating the innocence of the two people convicted of the Israeli Embassy bombing during their trial. They are still languishing in prison nine years after a blatant mistrial. One of the documents recorded a senior MI5 officers belief that the Israelis had bombed their own embassy;
· MI5 carried out illegal operations against the left, including legitimate groups like CND and the trade unions;
· Despite voting against the Official Secrets Act, Tony Blair has used it repeatedly since he came to power to persecute journalists, writers, activists and whistleblowers and to cover up the terrorist activities of the British intelligence services in Northern Ireland and abroad;
· Lord Hutton failed to declare a conflict of interest in his handling of the enquiry into the death of Dr Kelly;
· How ministers and judges failed to allow me to bring any evidence during my prosecution then denied the jury the right to acquit me on the grounds of justice.
Lobster, specialist intelligence magazine, Summer 2005