Five reasons the MI6 story is a lie

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Craig Murray

Human rights activist and former ambassador Craig Murray doesn’t believe the story published this weekend in the UK’s Sunday Times. After his own website suffered a denial-of-service attack, he has granted permission for other sites to carry his article in full.

Sunday TimesThe Sunday Times has a story claiming that Snowden’s revelations have caused danger to MI6 and disrupted their operations. Here are five reasons it is a lie.

1) The alleged Downing Street source is quoted directly in italics. Yet the schoolboy mistake is made of confusing officers and agents. MI6 is staffed by officers. Their informants are agents. In real life, James Bond would not be a secret agent. He would be an MI6 officer. Those whose knowledge comes from fiction frequently confuse the two. Nobody really working with the intelligence services would do so, as the Sunday Times source does. The story is a lie.

2) The argument that MI6 officers are at danger of being killed by the Russians or Chinese is a nonsense. No MI6 officer has been killed by the Russians or Chinese for 50 years. The worst that could happen is they would be sent home. Agents’ – generally local people, as opposed to MI6 officers – identities would not be revealed in the Snowden documents. Rule No.1 in both the CIA and MI6 is that agents’ identities are never, ever written down, neither their names nor a description that would allow them to be identified. I once got very, very severely carpeted for adding an agents’ name to my copy of an intelligence report in handwriting, suggesting he was a useless gossip and MI6 should not be wasting their money on bribing him. And that was in post communist Poland, not a high risk situation.

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3) MI6 officers work under diplomatic cover 99% of the time. Their alias is as members of the British Embassy, or other diplomatic status mission. A portion are declared to the host country. The truth is that Embassies of different powers very quickly identify who are the spies in other missions. MI6 have huge dossiers on the members of the Russian security services – I have seen and handled them. The Russians have the same. In past mass expulsions, the British government has expelled 20 or 30 spies from the Russian Embassy in London. The Russians retaliated by expelling the same number of British diplomats from Moscow, all of whom were not spies! As a third of our “diplomats” in Russia are spies, this was not coincidence. This was deliberate to send the message that they knew precisely who the spies were, and they did not fear them.

4) This anti Snowden non-story – even the Sunday Times admits there is no evidence anybody has been harmed – is timed precisely to coincide with the government’s new Snooper’s Charter act, enabling the security services to access all our internet activity. Remember that GCHQ already has an archive of 800,000 perfectly innocent British people engaged in sex chats online.

5) The paper publishing the story is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It is sourced to the people who brought you the dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, every single “fact” in which proved to be a fabrication. Why would you believe the liars now?

There you have five reasons the story is a lie.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

8 comments on “Five reasons the MI6 story is a lie”

  1. Benn

    So because some 'uman rights' nuttter says it's untrue, we have to believe him. He offers not proof whatsoever and saying no officer has been killed for 50 years doesn't mean one, (or more), wont be tomorrow.
    His article is pure fantasy and designed to gain him publicity and nothing more.

    Two years in some unknown location doesn’t lend to a very high security category.

    1. RueBeliever · in reply to Benn

      We don't "have to believe" anyone.
      2nd, if you are unable to cope with information that contrasts with your existing views, you'll never be taken seriously as a commentator. Other readers see right through your posturing.
      3rd, beware of what you say of others, as it's likely to be more descriptive of you. Who's the publicity seeker here?
      4th, reading the article before making a comment is always good practice, because it can save you from making comments that show you haven't read it. Making up foolish stories about officers being killed won't help you here.

    2. Ogri · in reply to Benn

      Do you have five facts that prove the story is true ?

    3. Coyote · in reply to Benn

      So because some 'Benn' nutter says the article is untrue, we have to believe him. He offers not proof whatsoever and giving no piece of evidence in 50 years doesn't mean one, (or more), won't be provided by (him) tomorrow. His response is pure fantasy and designed to gain him approval of governments worldwide and nothing more (quite unsurprisingly).

      Two years in political favour in some unknown country is still in political favour…

      There. Do you see how utterly ridiculous your response is (mine is too because it should be in order to make the point) ? Obviously it is a rhetorical question….

  2. Mike

    Wondered what people were saying back in the day about Campbell's revelations over Echelon, etc. – I had vague memories of scare stories much like this one. Then I found this – with reference to the (potentially) positive outcomes of Snowden:

    Especially good is this:
    "Despite the collection of current and former CIA, GCHQ and SIS officials, counter-terrorism commanders, security managers, and former permanent secretaries present, as well as the former chair of Britain's Intelligence and Security Committee, I did not hear the phrase "capability gap" mentioned. That sort of rhetoric seemed to be reserved for the political arena. No-one tried to debate whether Snowden was a villain, traitor or hero."

    I think from that we can deduce all we need to know about the source and intended audience of these outrageous claims.

  3. Low Key

    >I once got very, very severely carpeted for adding an agents’ name to my copy of an intelligence report in handwriting, suggesting he was a useless gossip and MI6 should not be wasting their money on bribing him.

    > MI6 have huge dossiers on the members of the Russian security services – I have seen and handled them.

    Errr… should you be mentioning these things here? Discretion?

  4. Philipp Le Riche

    If there's a chance your password has been compromised it's good practice to change it anyway, even if it's only a chance. When it comes to encryption keys, if there's any chance at all that they've been compromised, changing them becomes an imperative. It would therefore seem highly probable that MI6 policy would be to take appropriate action to protect their officers and agents if there was any chance whatsoever that their cover might have been blown.

    In the light of that, it's easy to see how a precautionary move by MI6 could have been reinterpreted as "Snowden leaks have endangered the lives of MI6 officers" by those in an unrelated department but with a policy to promote.

    It does seem unlikely that any of the Snowden documents would contain identities of sources. I would expect that sort of information to be segregated and protected significantly more tightly. However, they may contain information about modus operandi which could be of some value to an adversary in identifying officers or unmasking agents. Quite apart from the safety of agents, the expulsion of officers working as diplomatic staff is no small matter as it can sour relations for years.

  5. D| Wino Charles

    I think the above post is well written and i belief it to be true, but i dont agree with most of the comments, just my personal opion. Thank you my friends.

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