Category Archives: Espionage

‘Spycops’ law will be used to spy on Labour, its MPs and trade unions. Why did 167 Labour MPs support it?

Another blunder: Keir Starmer’s insistence on allowing a law that would allow the government to undermine his party has created a rift between him and an ever-increasing number of his MPs.

It is already being labelled as a major rebellion against Keir Starmer’s leadership: 34 Labour MPs defying the party whip to vote against the controversial so-called ‘Spycops’ Bill that would allow government agents to commit crimes.

The real question about it, though, is: why so few?

Labour has been targeted by the so-called Establishment in the UK – probably from its beginnings as a political party. This includes espionage by the nation’s intelligence agencies.

We all know about famous incidents such as the Zinoviev Letter, which contributed to the fall of Ramsay MacDonald’s first Labour government. It was a forged communique allegedly between the government and the Communist government of Russia, written by people whose identities remain uncertain…

… but it was published by the Conservative Daily Mail, and it is widely believed that this was on the urging of the SIS – the intelligence service of the day.

Another famous issue is the MI5 file on Harold Wilson, which was opened when he first entered Parliament in 1945 and recorded his contacts with communists, KGB officers and other Russians.

It was opened because of concerns about his relationships with Eastern European businessmen. Can you imagine MI5 opening a file on Boris Johnson, over his relationships with oligarches from Russia?

Ultimately, none of the information in the file can have amounted to anything because MI5 never tried to use it to undermine him – despite his own paranoia about this in his later years.

Clearly there is a precedent for the security services – which are predominantly staffed by right-wingers – using every resource within their power to find ways of undermining the Labour Party.

And by abstaining on a Bill that allows government agents to commit crimes in order to achieve their aims, 167 Labour MPs including the party’s leader, Keir Starmer, have just handed them another such resource.

It’s undemocratic and dangerous – the kind of legislation created by a dictatorship in order to ensure, by fair means or foul, that no rival organisation can ever topple it.

But some good may come of it accidentally – the possible removal of Starmer as party leader.

Around 20 of his MPs rebelled against his demand to abstain on the Bill’s second reading. Yesterday (October 15), 34 defied his whip – including eight who resigned from front bench roles to do so:

 

Much of this can be attributed to Starmer’s own attitude, which suggests that he actually supports the Bill’s demand that government agents be allowed to commit any crime without fear of prosecution for it later – any crime at all, including the murder of the Tories’ political opponents:

Discontent with his lack of opposition to the worst Tory government in history is growing, and already there are rumours of a leadership challenge in 2021:

Political developments are strange; they don’t happen the way anybody expects – unless that person is very far-sighted indeed.

The Zinoviev Letter led to the fall of a Labour government – but only in a roundabout way. Labour’s vote increased in the general election; it was the collapse of the Liberal vote that allowed the Conservatives their victory.

It would be ironic if now, nearly a century after that attempt to end a socialist government, a piece of legislation that legalises espionage against the party that formed that government actually led to its re-founding as a socialist organisation once again.

That is the only comforting thought I can raise from what is, in all other respects, a disaster for democracy.

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The UK’s criminal government is authorising undercover cops to commit sex crimes – and Starmer is supporting it

Keir Starmer: in abstaining on the Bill to give government agents carte blanche to commit crimes including murder, torture and rape, he is supporting the commission of those crimes. The perpetrators will be protected from prosecution by the law.

In one sense, it was only to be expected: a criminal government authorises its enforcers to commit criminal acts.

So the Johnson government – an international criminal due to the Internal Market Bill that is currently going through the House of Lords like a dose of salts – is authorising its spies to commit crimes as part of their duties.

These crimes include murder, torture, and sexual offences:

According to the BBC,

the legislation would explicitly authorise MI5, the police, the National Crime Agency and other agencies that use informants or undercover agents to commit a specific crime as part of an operation.

Security officials will not say which crimes are authorised, on grounds that this may give away the identities of undercover agents to terrorists and other serious criminals.

So the sky is the limit and the legislation offers the UK’s secret police a licence to do anything they like, to anybody.

Yes, the legislation does require MI5 officers and others to show the crime is “necessary and proportionate”, but what happens when they encounter what’s known as “mission creep”?

The definition of “necessary and proportionate” will stretch over time to encompass anything, laying it open to corruption – and agents may find themselves committing ever-more-extreme crimes because they are told to do so on the spur of a moment.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said the legislation would “help keep our country safe”, but he did not elaborate on whose country he meant, or who it would be kept safe from.

Both Labour and Conservative MPs have expressed opposition to the Bill as it currently stands, saying the safeguards were “very vague and very broad” and must be strengthened.

But Labour’s leadership said it would not oppose the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill at its second reading on October 5.

This has led to further claims that current Labour leader Keir Starmer is nothing more than a closet Conservative, forcing party members to accept acts that are directly opposed to their principles as he supports the Johnson government time and time again – and his MPs support him.

Only 20 Labour MPs defied his order to abstain on the Bill’s second reading, including former leader Jeremy Corbyn and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, and others including Ian Lavery, who tweeted this:

Note the hashtag #spycops – others include #LabStainers and #NoOpposition, with #StarmerOut being the most popular (although it is also infested with supporters of ‘Sir Keith’ who are trying to stifle the views of the majority).

Here are a few examples of the #StarmerOut tweets, to show the strength of feeling about this:

Supporters of Starmer say he is acting strategically in order to demonstrate that Johnson and his ministers have nobody to blame for their mistakes but themselves. This is a trap for Labour.

Having abstained from voting on this Bill, Starmer and his followers in the Labour Party have said they accept the necessity of agents of the Financial Conduct Authority committing rape (to put forward an extreme example).

Are their supporters seriously trying to tell us this won’t come back and bite them?

There is only one reasonable response to legislation that authorises government agents to commit crimes – especially extreme crimes such as those contemplated here, and that is opposition.

But opposition is not in Keir Starmer’s vocabulary.

Let’s have a leadership challenge. He has to go.

And if he isn’t ousted this time, let’s have another challenge, and another, until he is. He has turned Labour into a travesty.

Source: MPs back bill to authorise MI5 and police crimes – BBC News

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Conservative contact tracer app may be a front for covert surveillance

Is this yet another conspiracy theory? Maybe not – it seems to have the ring of truth about it.

The Tories are using the Isle of Wight to test a new contact tracing app – ostensibly to help the treatment of coronavirus, but possibly as a means of quietly watching everything users do.

Conservative governments have form with regard to covert surveillance. David Cameron’s Investigatory Powers Act of 2016 granted the government huge powers to watch your communications – albeit with safeguards demanded by MPs who were concerned about the erosion of civil liberties.

Now, concerns have been raised that the Tory app will infringe people’s civil liberties by gathering data on their movements and uploading their contact lists.

It seems Tories like Matt Hancock want everybody in the UK to download and use the app, providing the government with an enormous amount of data on their personal lives.

The demand is meeting resistance:

In the Commons, Marcus Fysh warned “widespread surveillance” was “not acceptable” in Britain, and it was essential the system was voluntary.

“We’re not a people who take well to surveillance and it’s a little ironic that the country that has probably been surveilling its population more than any other appears to have been the source of this virus,” he said, referring to China.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said… “We’re extremely concerned that the Government may be planning to route private data through a central database, opening the door to pervasive state surveillance and privacy infringement, with potentially discriminatory effects,” she said.

Tory officials insist the app is designed with privacy and security “front of mind” with the data stored on an individual’s phone until the point they contact the NHS to report symptoms and request a test.

But Tory officials also supported Hancock when he lied to us all that he had reached his target of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day. He should have been forced to resign over that but he hasn’t even apologised.

On Twitter, matters seem straightforward:

Source: Trial of coronavirus contact-tracing app begins on Isle of Wight – ITV News

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Labour should be throwing the Jewish Labour Movement out on its ear, not begging it to stay

Jackie Walker: The Jewish Labour Movement has smeared this Jewish woman, who happens to be black, as an anti-Semite – based on false evidence. The organisation does its best to deny her the ability to defend herself against its lies.

Why on Earth did more than 100 Labour MPs write a letter begging the Jewish Labour Movement to remain affiliated to the party?

This is an organisation that has caused a huge amount of reputational damage to the Labour Party by supporting the hugely over-hyped and often false claims of anti-Semitism among high-profile members of the party.

It has strong links with the State of Israel which suggest that it is more interested in putting forward that nation’s agenda than any involving Jewish people living here in the UK – and it attacks viciously any Jewish people here who make that suggestion.

The JLM’s former national director, Ella Rose (who quit to join the Holocaust Educational Trust) at the end of last year, previously worked at the Israeli embassy.

The organisation was mentioned by anti-UK government conspirator Shai Masot as one of his allies when he was secretly filmed encouraging a co-conspirator to “take down” a UK MP he considered to be acting against the interests of the Israeli government.

It supports the Israeli Labour Party, Havoda, which I understand openly supports the apartheid system currently operating in that country.

Labour accused me of anti-Semitism, partly because I accurately reported the JLM’s own affiliations and mission statements, as follows:

“The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”

It’s all about Israel, see? Zionism is the movement for the re-establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in what is now Israel.

The JLM was originally known as Poale Zion, “Workers of Zion” – and was part of a movement of Marxist-Zionist Jewish workers founded across Europe at the turn of the 20th century.

The accusation against me was that I was claiming the JLM does not represent Jews. This was not true. I said it does not represent Jews who are not Zionists – and we only have to examine its treatment of Jewish Voice for Labour or Jewdas to see the truth of my statement. As far as JLM is concerned, any Jew who does not support the apartheid Israeli government is the “wrong kind of Jew”.

I was also accused of denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, which is nonsense. Self-determination, for a people, is about the right to freely choose their own sovereignty and international political status without interference. It refers to nations, not individuals. And by upholding the attitudes of an aggressively Zionist organisation, Labour was itself denying the right to self-determination – of the people of Palestine.

Considering the above evidence – and the wealth of other information that is available online; all you have to do is a simple web search for it – it seems clear that Labour would be better-off without the misnamed Jewish Labour Movement.

No UK political party should affiliate itself with such an organisation. JLM is a group of racists who work to advance the interests of the Israeli government and attempt to harm all those who get in their way – including other Jewish people. The sooner it is out, the better.


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This is why ex-spies shouldn’t try to denounce public figures

Dodgy: Sir Richard Dearlove was instrumental in the creation of the dossier on which the UK’s entry into the Iraq War was based.

This should be self-explanatory:

If you want to know more about Richard Dearlove’s involvement in sending the UK into the Iraq War, visit this article.

You’ll be hard-pressed to deny its conclusion:

“Dearlove appears to have overseen the ‘dodgy dossier’ that justified invading a country for its oil. So McDonnell is right in telling him to check his record.”

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Do you believe the latest tall story about the alleged Skripal poisoners?

Identity crisis: Alexander Petrov? Or Alexander Mishkin?

What do you think?

When Bellingcat claimed to have revealed one of the suspects in the Skripal poisoning as Anatoliy Chepiga, I published the claim on This Site and received a lot of flak for it.

Bellingcat had simply gone into photographs of GRU agents and found one that looked like the suspect, according to many critics.

Well, now that website has claimed it has identified the other man as Alexander Mishkin.

What do you think of that claim?

The name of the second suspect in the Salisbury case is actually Alexander Mishkin, the BBC understands.

The Bellingcat investigative website says the man who travelled under the alias Alexander Petrov is in reality a military doctor working for Russian intelligence, the GRU.

Last month, Bellingcat named the first suspect as Anatoliy Chepiga, a claim rejected by Russia.

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March.

The British open-source website said it had identified the suspect using testimonies from people the suspect knew and a scanned copy of his passport.

Source: Skripal attack: Bellingcat names second Salisbury suspect – BBC News

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Humiliation for Putin as Russian intelligence officer conclusively linked to Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings

Does anybody doubt that the man Vladimir Putin claimed was tourist “Ruslan Boshirov” is actually Russian intelligence colonel Anatoliy Chepiga? The evidence seems conclusive to me!

But it raises question after question about both the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, and the UK government’s investigations into those poisonings.

If assassins were sent to the UK to poison the Skripals, why did they fail to kill their victims? I know some people have claimed that this was a ‘signature’ attack – intended to show other traitors to Russia that they can be found and harmed by the Russian government at any time, but I’m not buying it – simply because of the substance that was used. We have been told – repeatedly – that Novichok is highly toxic. But the substance used on the Skripals, and ingested by the policeman who tried to help them – was not fatal.

If the intention was to send a ‘signature’ message to Russian traitors, why were two British people also poisoned – one of them fatally? Professional assassins (or whatever you want to call them) would not have left their tools lying around, but would have disposed of them in order to leave no evidence behind. The lack of care suggested by this would indicate that it was not a professional job.

Why was a highly-decorated colonel sent to the UK to do an operation like this? Usually, a field operative with a rank no higher than captain would have carried out such work. Even Bellingcat admitted that this was unusual, quoting a source who said it indicated that the operation had been ordered at the highest level (meaning, one concludes, by Mr Putin). But then we come back to the issue of the substance used and the fact that the wrong person was killed. It doesn’t make sense.

Why did the UK government change its story so many times and why are there so many inconsistencies in it? I really want to know the answer to this. I don’t think it’s about the story altering as evidence came to light. I wonder if there is a more sinister, cynical motive behind it. Was Theresa May trying to take advantage of a tragedy to promote her own foreign policy ambitions?

Too many aspects of this case are failing to add up and it seems the result will be not only that the Russian government has set itself up as an enemy of the UK, but that the British people must now also be highly suspicious of their own government.

Here‘s the Bellingcat investigative piece on Chepiga/Boshirov:

The suspect using the cover identity of “Ruslan Boshirov” is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect’s identity.

This finding eliminates any remaining doubt that the two suspects in the Novichok poisonings were in fact Russian officers operating on a clandestine government mission.

While civilians in Russia can generally own more than one passport, no civilian – or even an intelligence service officer on a personal trip – can cross the state border under a fake identity. The discovery also highlights the extent of the effort – and public diplomacy risk – Russia has taken to protect the identities of the officers. President Putin publicly vouched that “Boshirov” and “Petrov” are civilians. As it is established practice that the awards Hero of the Russian Federation are handed out by the Russian president personally, it is highly likely that Vladimir Putin would have been familiar with the identity of Colonel Chepiga, given that only a handful of officers receive this award each year.

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Russians named as suspects in the Salisbury poisonings – but can we trust lying Tories?

Suspects: Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

It’s looking bad for Russia, isn’t it?

The trouble is, the Conservative government is not known for its record of honesty in this case.

This Site, and others, have reported inconsistencies in the Tory story, time and again since the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March this year.

So I am not prepared to accept Theresa May’s claims unquestioningly. It is interesting to note that the statement from investigators did not pin the blame on the Russian GRU, but Mrs May did.

Let us not forget that she has systematically weakened the UK’s intelligence-gathering capabilities that could have prevented the attack from happening.

And notice that no other line of inquiry is being pursued. Is this because the Tories were determined to pin the blame on Russia and ignored alternative possibilities?

I await analysis by those with more expertise than myself, and would advise you to do the same.

Two Russian nationals have been named and charged over the novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, Wiltshire. British police and prosecutors made the announcement on Wednesday.

Police said the two men were travelling on authentic Russian passports under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and arrived in the UK on an Aeroflot flight days before the attack. The Crown Prosecution Service said there was enough evidence to charge them. British investigators said the two men were believed to have worked for Russia’s GRU secret service.

The CPS said it had charged the two men with conspiracy to murder the Skripals and DS Nick Bailey, who fell ill after going to the Skripal home after the Russian pair were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury.

The two Russian suspects are also charged with the use and possession of novichok, contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act. They are also charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and DS Bailey.

They have not been charged with the later poisoning that killed Dawn Sturgess and left Charlie Rowley seriously ill, after they became unwell on 30 June at an address in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

The investigation has recovered CCTV of the two suspects after they flew into Gatwick airport and stayed in the City Stay hotel in east London. After arriving on Friday 2 March on an Aeroflot flight, they went to Salisbury on the Saturday in what police said they were satisfied was a reconnaissance trip.

They returned to London that day and went back to Salisbury on Sunday, when police say CCTV showed them in the vicinity of the Skripal house. Police believe that after contaminating the front door of the property, they immediately went to Heathrow via train and London underground and flew back on Sunday night at 10.30pm. Health experts said no one they travelled with on the flights or trains is believed to be in danger and no one else is reported to have fallen ill.

Source: Salisbury novichok poisonings: police name two Russian suspects | UK news | The Guardian

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MI5 chief’s stale story about the Skripals is behind the times

Andrew Parker: You’d think the UK’s top spy chief could come up with better lies.

Isn’t it strange that the head of MI5 is wheeled out to reinforce the Tory government’s fairy tale about the Russians poisoning the Skripals, days after we were told something far more believable?

Here‘s what Andrew Parker had to say:

The Russian government is the “chief protagonist” in a campaign aimed at undermining western democracies, the head of the UK intelligence agency MI5, Andrew Parker, has said.

“The Russian state’s now well-practised doctrine of blending media manipulation, social media disinformation and distortion along with new and old forms of espionage, and high-levels of cyber-attacks, military force and criminal thuggery is what is meant these days by the term hybrid threats.”

He cited the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, describing it as reckless, putting not only the former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, at risk but numerous others in the community. The Skripals’ recovery was down to the “near miraculous” medical treatment they had received, Parker said.

Russia had offered 30 different alternative theories about the attack, which he described as criminal thuggery. “Whatever nonsense they conjure up, the case is clear,” he said.

Hang on – Russia offered 30 theories about the attack? It seemed to me that it was the British authorities who couldn’t make up their minds, and the Russian government was responding to the multitude of bizarre conspiracy theories that resulted.

And what about the story that (so far) seems to ring true – that Sergei Skripal had been involved in the creation of the dossier on Donald Trump’s links with Russia – a dossier that appears to have been faked?

What about the claim that the attack on Mr Skripal and his daughter was carried out to stop the culprits being caught?

What about the possibility that the UK government is hiding information?

Not a word.

That isn’t good enough.

We need a statement from the UK government on the information that has appeared over the last few days – not a flat denial, referring to “intelligence” that seems to be nonexistent; something supported by provable facts.

Something we can believe.

Until we get that, there’s nothing our Tory government can say about this that is worth our attention.


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