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SWJED
11-10-2006, 03:13 PM
Speech by the Director of the Security Service (http://www.mi5.gov.uk/output/Page568.html), Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, at Queen Mary's College, 9 November 2006:


... I speak not as a politician, nor as a pundit, but as someone who has been an intelligence professional for 32 years...

We now know that the first Al-Qaida-related plot against the UK was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb in the UK. Let there be no doubt about this: the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan, and before 9/11.

In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the UK, but were disrupted...

Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases. Of course the presumption of innocence applies and the law dictates that nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial...

What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don't know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified.

What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow's threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.

The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the Internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers being groomed to be suicide bombers.

We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer thirty - that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany...

But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.

There has been much speculation about what motivates young men and women to carry out acts of terrorism in the UK. My Service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it, as far as that is possible. Al-Qaida has developed an ideology which claims that Islam is under attack, and needs to be defended.

This is a powerful narrative that weaves together conflicts from across the globe, presenting the West's response to varied and complex issues, from long-standing disputes such as Israel/Palestine and Kashmir to more recent events as evidence of an across-the-board determination to undermine and humiliate Islam worldwide. Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir and Lebanon are regularly cited by those who advocate terrorist violence as illustrating what they allege is Western hostility to Islam.

The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by perceived worldwide and long-standing injustices against Muslims; an extreme and minority interpretation of Islam promoted by some preachers and people of influence; and their interpretation as anti-Muslim of UK foreign policy, in particular the UK's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world...

As I said earlier, I have been an intelligence officer for some 32 years. And I want again to describe what intelligence is and is not. I wish life were like 'Spooks', where everything is (a) knowable, and (b) soluble by six people. But those whose plans we wish to detect in advance are determined to conceal from us what they intend to do. And every day they learn. From the mistakes of others. From what they discover of our capabilities from evidence presented in court, and from leaks to the media.

Moreover, intelligence is usually bitty and needs piecing together, assessing, judging. It takes objectivity, integrity and a sceptical eye to make good use of intelligence: even the best of it never tells the whole story. On the basis of such incomplete information, my Service and the police make decisions on when and how to take action, to protect public safety...

We are faced by acute and very difficult choices of prioritisation. We cannot focus on everything so we have to decide on a daily basis with the police and others where to focus our energies, whom to follow, whose telephone lines need listening to, which seized media needs to go to the top of the analytic pile. Because of the sheer scale of what we face (80% increase in casework since January), the task is daunting. We won't always make the right choices. And we recognise we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets committing an atrocity...

As I speak, my staff, roughly 2,800 of them, (an increase of almost 50% since 9/11, 25% under 30, over 6% from ethnic minorities, with 52 languages, with links to well over 100 services worldwide), are working very hard, at some cost to their private lives and in some cases their safety, to do their utmost to collect the intelligence we need.

The first challenge is to find those who would cause us harm, among the 60 million or so people who live here and the hundreds of thousands who visit each year. That is no easy task, particularly given the scale and speed of radicalisation and the age of some being radicalised.

The next stage is to decide what action to take in response to that intelligence. Who are merely talking big, and who have real ambitions? Who have genuine aspirations to commit terrorism, but lack the know-how or materials? Who are the skilled and trained ones, who the amateurs? Where should we and the police focus our finite resources? ...

On July 8 last year I spoke to all my staff. I said that what we feared would happen had finally happened. I reminded them that we had warned that it was a matter of when, not if, and that they were trained to respond - indeed many had been up all night, from the intelligence staff to the catering staff. I told them that we had received many messages of support from around the world, and that we, along with our colleagues in the police and emergency services, were in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. And we did. And we have done so since.

My Service is growing very rapidly. By 2008 it will be twice the size it was at 9/11. We know much more than we did then. We have developed new techniques, new sources, new relationships. We understand much better the scale and nature of what we are tackling but much is still obscure and radicalisation continues. Moreover, even with such rapid growth, we shall not be able to investigate nearly enough of the problem, so the prioritisation I mentioned earlier will remain essential but risky. And new intelligence officers need to be trained. That takes time as does the acquisition of experience, the experience that helps one with those difficult choices and tough judgements...

That brings me on to my final point. None of this can be tackled by my Service alone. Others have to address the causes, counter the radicalisation, assist in the rehabilitation of those affected, and work to protect our way of life...

Safety for us all means working together to protect those we care about, being alert to the danger without over-reacting, and reporting concerns. We need to be alert to attempts to radicalise and indoctrinate our youth and to seek to counter it. Radicalising elements within communities are trying to exploit grievances for terrorist purposes; it is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens, or their early death in a suicide attack or on a foreign battlefield...

AdamG
11-27-2011, 07:06 PM
London, Nov 25(ANI): UK Ministry of Defence(MoD) had over 280 computers lost or stolen in the past 18 months, according to official figures.
The figures indicated that 188 laptops, 99 desktops, 72 hard discs and 73 USB memory sticks went missing.
The MoD also lost 18 mobile phones, 10 BlackBerry phones,194 compact discs and 150 back-up tapes used to store information.
One thirty five other items, including USB tokens, radios, 3G cards and cameras, were also reported lost or stolen during the Coalition's tenure.
UK Defence Secretary Andrew Robathan said 21 laptops were lost in a single incident in Germany, and 20 laptops, that were reportedly lost in a separate incident, were traced.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/over-280-uk-defense-ministry-computers-stolen-lost-122735794.html;_ylt=Ail3_fNdT3o26edYWTHOQ.CD1cR_;_ ylu=X3oDMTQ0MXRxY2JkBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGIE V1cm9wZVNTRgRwa2cDZmQ4NjczZjEtZjAxZi0zZDBkLThmODct NzUxZjI4M2YxZjg1BHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyA2 Y5YTQ1MDIwLTE3NjAtMTFlMS04YmE3LTkzZTFkZWI0ZTA5Nw--;_ylg=X3oDMTIwNGRhbGxxBGludGwDaW4EbGFuZwNlbi1pbgRw c3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxldXJvcGUEcHQDc2VjdGlvbn MEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3

davidbfpo
11-27-2011, 07:24 PM
Sadly not the first time, although I do not recall other departments releasing such information.

Best of all was this debacle in 2007:
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he "profoundly regrets" the loss of 25 million child benefit records....includes names, dates of birth, bank and address details...

Link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7104945.stm

Senior civil servants stated the HMRC data loss had a greater impact on public confidence in the state than the Iraqi WMD furore.

davidbfpo
12-10-2011, 12:16 PM
An article commenting on a recent immigration court case in London, where the government tried to expel a Russian young lady, Katia Zatuliveter, based on a case assembled by the Security Service (MI5):
The FBI’s investigation into the sleeper spy ring in the USA was an impressive intelligence operation, producing detailed, irrefutable evidence for the public record. The MI5 investigation into British parliamentary aide Katia Zatuliveter was quite different — superficial, speculative and spontaneous. Nick Fielding, an expert witness in Zatuliveter’s successful deportation appeal, believes serious questions must now be asked of the agency entrusted with Britain’s national security.

Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/nick-fielding/men-who-knew-too-little-reflections-on-zatuliveter-case

Interesting comparison made with the Anna Chapman spy ring in the USA:
On June 27, 2010, the FBI arrested 10 illegal agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR. This long-running foreign counterintelligence investigation was code-named Ghost Stories within the FBI. On October 19, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder recognized the Ghost Stories team for its “exceptionally creative and tenacious multi-year investigation.” This release of Ghost Stories material includes documents, photos, and videos related to the activities and arrest of the SVR illegals.

Link:http://vault.fbi.gov/ghost-stories-russian-foreign-intelligence-service-illegals

davidbfpo
01-23-2012, 10:35 PM
The United Kingdom Security Service (MI5) has an interesting little quiz, to help pre-screen potential Intelligence Officer recruits:https://www.mi5.gov.uk/careers/investigative-challenge-quiz.aspx

A different way of attracting publicity, even recruits.

In a few days I shall post a commentary on the quiz.

Stan
01-24-2012, 03:31 PM
Well, not being one to brag it was recommended I consider joining :D

eight out of 8 :cool:

davidbfpo
01-24-2012, 08:05 PM
Well, well a rapidly digested thread, so best post the commentary now. It is from a blogsite that is IMO a critical friend:https://p10.secure.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/ssl/mi5ic/MI5_Investigative_Challenge_Intelligence_Officer_Q uiz.pl

Stan
01-25-2012, 06:43 AM
Well, well a rapidly digested thread, so best post the commentary now. It is from a blogsite that is IMO a critical friend:https://p10.secure.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/ssl/mi5ic/MI5_Investigative_Challenge_Intelligence_Officer_Q uiz.pl

David,
I think they are a little too paranoid for my taste, and, between all the e-mails I've sent to the Brit embassy and the MET, my IP address is well documented :cool: Anyone that can perform a right click on the site will get "view source" so not difficult (well, except for maybe you, David :D ).

But since the idea was to read about 5 paras in 10 minutes I decided not to cheat and take the exam as intended.

Hints: Read the HUMINT first and then go onto the people. Don't spend any amount of time concentrating on names, vehicle numbers and dates of birth as it is clear that the HUMINT has all that. Concentrate more on the theoretical scenario and think slightly as if you were in a former Soviet State and the remainder is easy !

jmm99
01-25-2012, 02:28 PM
Thus, I'm not suited to be an FBI agent - damme :D

Interesting test - how do MI6 people test score on it ?

Regards

Mike

davidbfpo
06-25-2012, 07:10 AM
Bletchley Park was the centre for the WW2 British Empire code-breaking effort, often referred to as Ultra, which broke a large part of the encoded German Enigma radio traffic.

Alan Turing one of the key people there has come to the fore:
This week sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, a man regarded as one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th Century. He is best known for his work cracking the Germans' secret codes during the Second World War. He is also regarded as one of the pioneers of computer technology.

Link to the many BBC stories:http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/?q=turing

Recently Warwick Business School hosted an event with three speakers, each using a different perspective:
Chris Grey explores how Bletchley Park was made as an organisation. What was its culture and how was its work co-ordinated? Challenging many popular perceptions Chris examines the complexities of how 10,000 people were brought together in complete secrecy and yet worked as a team.

I've followed his work for a few years and he has made an important contribution to understanding what occurred at Bletchley Park. This is a short interview:http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge/culture/chrisgrey

Then two historians:
Michael Smith an award-winning journalist and number one best-selling author; an expert on codebreaking, espionage and how spies operate.

Richard Aldrich, Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick who is an expert in the technology of secrecy. He talks about what happened to Bletchley Park after the end of the Second World War and how it transformed into GCHQ..

Podcasts and PPT slides available on:http://www.wbs.ac.uk/news/features/2012/06/22/Bletchley/Park/and

davidbfpo
08-31-2012, 08:37 PM
A fascinating snapshot of Mrs T and UK intelligence based on her initial encounter with the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which appears on the website of:
Number 10 Downing Street

Link:http://www.number10.gov.uk/history-and-tour/margaret-thatcher-and-the-joint-intelligence-committee/

Hat tip to Kings College War Studies Tweet @warstudies.

A very short explanation of the JIC:
..the Joint Intelligence Committee supported by the Joint Intelligence Organisation assesses the raw intelligence gathered by some of the Agencies and presents it to ministers to enable effective policy making.

Link:http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/national-intelligence-machinery

Incidentally Annex A is the best explanation of intelligence work I know:http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/nim-november2010.pdf

For US readers this is the closest officialdom will get to saying - someone like the London CIA Head of Station sits in the JIC meeting's opening part:
Also in attendance, as was normal, were representatives of the UK’s closest allies, who were present for the discussion of current intelligence and then withdrew.

The others are expected to be Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

AdamG
09-12-2012, 02:15 AM
Here's a different C-i-C approach


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-is-obama-skipping-more-than-half-of-his-daily-intelligence-meetings/2012/09/10/6624afe8-fb49-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_story.html

davidbfpo
11-22-2012, 10:38 PM
In April 2012 a London-based left of centre think tank, Demos, published a report; which I read and forgot to post here:( The three authors include Sir David Omand, one of Whitehall's respected intelligence guru's; which made it more interesting to read.

Link:http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/intelligence


The growth of social media poses a dilemma for security and law enforcement agencies. On the one hand, social media could provide a new form of intelligence – SOCMINT – that could contribute decisively to keeping the public safe. On the other, national security is dependent on public understanding and support for the measures being taken to keep us safe.
Social media challenges current conceptions about privacy, consent and personal data, and new forms of technology allow for more invisible and widespread intrusive surveillance than ever before. Furthermore, analysis of social media for intelligence purposes does not fit easily into the policy and legal frameworks that guarantee that such activity is proportionate, necessary and accountable.

This paper is the first effort to examine the ethical, legal and operational challenges involved in using social media for intelligence and insight purposes.

A "lurker" who works in this field commented:
a thoughtful analysis...they avoid that can of worms as they are keen to discuss the ethical / legal framework that would be needed to support this

The Frontline Club, London held a discussion evening after the launch, rightly the title was 'Cyber-snooping a threat to freedom or a necessary safeguard' and is available on a podcast:http://www.frontlineclub.com/events/2012/06/cyber-snooping-a-threat-to-freedom-or-a-necessary-safeguard.html

davidbfpo
12-25-2012, 10:14 PM
A short press article:
While Alan Turing has been justly celebrated in his centenary year, there were other brilliant codebreakers

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9765962/Bletchleys-forgotten-heroes.html

The British have a way of not rewarding those who make a valuable, no invaluable contribution to national success, although this came as a surprise:
Bill Tutte became a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, then went to Canada to become professor of mathematics at Waterloo. He never received any official recognition of his war work. Tommy Flowers was awarded £1,000 (less than he had personally spent on Colossus’s development) and given an MBE. He stayed at the GPO, working on electronic telephone exchanges and Ernie, the Premium Bonds computer. He was unable to use the success of Colossus to give weight to his advanced ideas and was left to watch America’s electronics industry move ahead of Britain’s.

davidbfpo
12-25-2012, 10:24 PM
Richard Aldrich has written a historical tome 'GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency', which has been well reviewed:http://www.amazon.co.uk/GCHQ-Richard-Aldrich/dp/0007312660/ref=tmm_pap_title_0 and for the USA:http://www.amazon.com/Gchq-Uncensored-Britains-Secret-Intelligence/dp/0007312660/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356473271&sr=1-1&keywords=GCHQ%3A+The+Uncensored+Story+of+Britain%2 7s+Most+Secret+Intelligence+Agency

There is also a sub-website on his book plus other sources:http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/people/aldrich/vigilant/lectures/gchq

jcustis
12-26-2012, 08:24 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Codebreaker-Far-East-Alan-Stripp/dp/0192803867

Alan Stripp's work is a short, but interesting book that adds to the explanation of Bletchley Park.

My copy is yours if you like David, in payment for your help with my research. :)

davidbfpo
12-29-2012, 12:21 PM
A couple of days ago, in Post No.2, I remarked:
The British have a way of not rewarding those who make a valuable, no invaluable contribution to national success....

In the New Year Honours List:
A Bletchley Park codebreaker who has been appointed MBE in the New Year Honours said he still hopes his whole team will one day be recognised. Raymond "Jerry" Roberts, 92, receives the honour for services to the WWII decryption centre and to codebreaking.... was among four founder members of the Testery section tasked with breaking the German High Command's Tunny code. The decrypts are credited with helping shorten the war by at least two years.

He is now the last survivor of the nine cryptanalysts who worked on Tunny, and has spent the past four years campaigning for acknowledgement of his colleagues.

Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-20859561 and a BBC radio interview:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20863205

davidbfpo
02-12-2013, 11:04 PM
A rather surprising way of making an impact.

An essay on 'The first intelligence prime minister: David Lloyd George (1916-1922)'; who dealt with the 'Great War' (WW1) and a few 'small wars', notably Ireland:http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Lloyd-George-as-PM.pdf

The essay ends:
Yet the way in which Lloyd George used intelligence was—like later prime ministers—a reflection of his own personal style and personality. Lloyd George approached intelligence in the same way that he
approached everything else—with a keen eye for politics. Lloyd George was not as interested in intelligence as have been other prime ministers, nor did he often use intelligence particularly well. Certainly Churchill outranks Lloyd George in both respects. Yet, unlike any of his predecessors, intelligence formed an important part of Lloyd George’s premiership. For that reason, he rightfully earns the distinction of called being Britain’s first intelligence Prime Minister.

An explanation for the essay:
In 2012, as part of a competition, post graduate students were invited to submit an article under the heading Prime Ministers and their use of intelligence. The following article was originally intended for a wide popular audience rather than being written as a scholarly piece. In the event it was decided not to go forward with the competition and the article is reproduced here.

Daniel Larsen is a Junior Research Fellow-Elect at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2013-2017. He is currently completing his PhD at Christ's College, Cambridge, and has a number of articles published or forthcoming in scholarly journals, including Intelligence and National Security, the International History Review, and Diplomatic History. His primary research interests are in the foreign polices of the United Kingdom and the United States in the early twentieth century, with a special focus on the role intelligence.

davidbfpo
03-02-2013, 11:02 PM
A newspaper story based on a forthcoming BBC Radio programme and a rare interview of Jonathan Evans, the Director of the Security Service (MI5):
One of the things I say always to new members of the Service is that there may be a temptation to cut those corners but in the longer term that will be a real problem to us....We depend on the support of government and ultimately on the support of the British people to do the sort of things that we do. They have a right to be confident that we will be doing this in a way which is legal, which is proportionate and which is done in accordance with high ethical standards.

In the two-part series, In Defence of Bureaucracy, Mr Evans insists that bureaucracy helps MI5 officers to do their jobs:
It means that officers can act with confidence that what they are doing is appropriate and proportionate and that there are those checks and balances in the system.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9903778/Spies-tempted-to-cut-corners-says-MI5-boss.html

davidbfpo
09-29-2013, 08:02 PM
This week The Guardian published a commentary by Sir David Omand, an ex-GCHQ Director and now a War Studies Professor @ Kings College. He ends with:
Even so, some damage to our security could still inadvertently have been done, since journalists are not best placed to know exactly what detail may complete the jigsaw puzzles of our adversaries. Instead of more revelations the Guardian should focus on a principled debate on how to allow intelligence agencies and law enforcement to do their job in keeping us from harm whilst preventing unjustified snooping by public or commercial sectors.

Rightly he asks:
The real debate we should be having on the back of the Snowden case is about what privacy in a cyber-connected world can realistically mean given the volumes of personal data we hand over to the private sector in return for our everyday convenience, and the continued need for warranted access for security and law enforcement.

Whatever view we take on where as a society we want the balance between our right to privacy against our right to live in security, we all need to have confidence that in the hands of our authorities these powerful tools of interception are not being abused.

Link:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/26/edward-snowden-leaks-misguided-cyber-attacks

I have looked at the follow-on comments and they do not help.

Bill Moore
10-12-2013, 07:11 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10366119/MI5-chief-security-speech.html


I will focus on three things:

• the MI5 of 2013, and what guides and shapes it;
• the enduring and diversifying threat from Al Qaida and its imitators; and third
• the question of how in a world of accelerating technological change MI5 will continue to be able to get the information it needs to protect the UK.

davidbfpo
10-12-2013, 12:47 PM
Bill,

Not unexpectedly the speech got extensive publicity and yesterday morning two "wise, old men" were on BBC radio commenting. One, Nigel Inkster, ex-No.2 at SIS:
I sense that those most interested in the activities of the NSA and GCHQ have not been told very much they didn't know already or could have inferred.

Within a commentary:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/11/gchq-leaks-exaggerating-threats-security-intelligence

The Security Service's Director-General has used RUSI as a venue before, but rightly others ask, as would I, when he remarks about the unnamed Snowden revelations - where is the GCHQ Director? See:http://www.spyblog.org.uk/

Then the Security Service's ex-legal adviser stated:
Secrecy in this country is over-protected and under-regulated....The UK has signally failed to prepare itself for openness when dealing with politically sensitive issues such as terrorism or the involvement of their secret agencies in the gathering of information by secret means. We see only a fleeting and ephemeral face of the intelligence agencies chiefs; ministers glide over the threats, never explain their relationship with those agencies and are content to retain an obviously inadequate system for their supervision.

(Bickford said public scepticism was) ..made worse by the Communications Data Bill's proposal that the agencies themselves control their mining of communications data. Unless government takes this debate seriously, secrecy will be pierced by the needs of society and terrorism and organised crime will plunder our sovereignty.

Within a report on a speech by Hilary Clinton, in London:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/11/hillary-clinton-spying

Issues of accountability, damage and necessity pale in significance when it is alleged politicians had not authorised the GCHQ-NSA collaboration to conduct such extensive surveillance of the innocent. Then bizarrely, in the UK, ministers from the coalition and Labour had promoted legislation to undertake such surveillance.

davidbfpo
10-15-2013, 11:37 AM
The MI5 Director-General's speech has hardly calmed opinions and here are three different viewpoints.

First an extended comment by Nigel Inkster, ex-SIS, now IISS, entitled Surveillance and Counter-Terrorism:http://www.iiss.org/en/politics%20and%20strategy/blogsections/2013-98d0/october-5e39/surveillance-and-counter-c6f9

Then an article in The Guardian, by Ken McDonald, a top lawyer and formerly a Director of Public Prosecutions, who is usually worth reading:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/14/nsa-shows-law-master-spying-technology

Incidentally an ex-GCHQ legal adviser is speaking next week @ Oxford University, at a cyber event and hopefully a transcript will appear. It is very rare for such luminaries, let alone anyone from GCHQ, to speak in public.

The third article is by a retired Conservative MP, known for being robust as a minister and backbencher. If he is being critical then the political assumptions on surveillance are changing:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/14/conservative-peer-spying-gchq-surveillance?CMP=twt_gu

davidbfpo
11-20-2013, 12:42 PM
Nigel Inkster, ex-No.2 at SIS, now at IISS, has written a commentary 'Snowden – myths and misapprehensions' and is worth a read:http://www.iiss.org/en/politics%20and%20strategy/blogsections/2013-98d0/november-47b6/snowden-9dd1

He ends with:
It seems that the revelations will continue for the foreseeable future and that, as they do, further myths and misapprehensions will take hold. For those who regard intelligence services as inherently illegitimate or take the view that the US is the world’s number-one rogue actor, no counter-narrative will ever be convincing. But for those who accept that covert capabilities of some kind are needed to combat the threats posed by an array of state and non-state actors – or who adopt the realist perspective that countries are entitled to use covert capabilities to secure national advantage, provided that this is subject to proper controls – there is scope for a more nuanced debate on how power can be responsibly exercised by governments in the cyber domain. That must start with an understanding of the issues based on facts rather than misapprehensions.

There is much I would agree with, but I do differ on whether the British accountability and oversight regime are today fit for public purpose, as distinct from the state's intended purpose.

Two additional UK stories, one 'Surveillance technology out of control, says Lord Ashdown'; he is an ex-Liberal-Democrat leader:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/18/surveillance-technology-out-of-control-ashdown

The second by Simon Jenkins, a regular columnist in The Guardian, is 'The days of believing spy chiefs who say 'Trust us' are over'; a conclusion that is a moot point as the issues appear to have little public traction:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/20/days-believing-spy-chiefs-over?CMP=twt_gu

There is a main SWC thread on the issues '"We are all honorary Muslims now" with PRISM?', which will absorb this thread one day.

davidbfpo
07-08-2014, 02:41 PM
A short RUSI podcast (30 mins) of a lecture by Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) till 2004:https://www.rusi.org/events/past/ref:E539EC3CF6F5A4/#.U7rENdzGvlJ

Two different commentaries. The title in The Guardian:
Islamist terror threat to west blown out of proportion - former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove says extremists are now focused on Middle East and giving them publicity in west is counter-productive

Link:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/07/islamist-terror-threat-out-proportion-former-mi6-chief-richard-dearlove

Or this headline in The Daily Telegraph:
Islamist terror is little threat to the West, and Saudis are backing Iraqi jihad': is this former spy chief right?

Link:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/shashankjoshi/100279047/islamist-terror-is-little-threat-to-the-west-and-saudis-are-backing-iraqi-jihad-is-this-former-spy-chief-right/

Those who have been 'C' rarely speak openly, so worth a listen IMHO.

davidbfpo
10-11-2014, 12:21 PM
'The Doughnut' is the nickname for the HQ of GCHQ, the UK's SIGINT / COMINT organisation (similar to the NSA) and its Director is about to retire, so he gave an interview:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11154322/GCHQ-This-is-not-Blitz-Britain.-We-sure-as-hell-cant-lick-terrorism-on-our-own.html

His questioner, Charles Moore, gives him an "easy ride" IMHO and some phrases do jar.

I certainly don't recall this being public information:
...a monument to colleagues who died on active service – five in Afghanistan.

davidbfpo
10-22-2014, 10:28 AM
Yesterday Ian Lobban, GCHQ's retiring Director gave his official exit speech; choosing Churchill's WW2 Cabinet War Rooms in London. This is the official version:http://www.gchq.gov.uk/press_and_media/speeches/Pages/Iain-Lobban-valedictory-speech-as-delivered.aspx

He ends with:
My staff are the embodiment of British values, not a threat to them

One critical blogger has responded, with a passage by passage critique, which in my opinion is the better read:https://p10.secure.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/ssl/spyblog/2014/10/21/gchq-sir-iain-lobbans-valedictory-speech.html

The anonymous author almost ends with:
Most current GCHQ staff are probably not a threat to British values, but the automated infrastructure of snooping is a huge threat to us all, including such privileged insiders themselves.

A shorter response, on a US website, cites Professor Ross Anderson,, of Cambridge University, a critic:
Presumably their definition of liberty is their liberty to do what they want.
Link:http://motherboard.vice.com/read/britains-intel-chief-our-spies-would-rather-quit-than-do-mass-surveillance

AdamG
01-09-2015, 02:55 AM
Temporary stand-alone post for Max visibility.


London (AFP) - The head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 warned on Thursday that militant Islamists in Syria were planning "mass casualty attacks" in the West and that intelligence services may be powerless to stop them.http://news.yahoo.com/militants-planning-mass-casualty-attacks-against-west-uk-005654650.html

Moderator's Note

This thread was originally entitled 'Militants planning mass casualty attacks against West' and has now been renamed.

davidbfpo
01-09-2015, 11:07 AM
The actual, full speech given yesterday by the British Security Service (MI5) has many, many points and reassurances on why:https://www.mi5.gov.uk/home/about-us/who-we-are/staff-and-management/director-general/speeches-by-the-director-general/director-generals-speech-on-terrorism-technology-and-accountability.html

I have yet to read it fully and may comment later.

davidbfpo
01-09-2015, 04:26 PM
For those with little time this commentary summarises the speech:http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/fraser-nelson/2015/01/six-key-points-from-mi5s-andrew-parker-speech-on-terrorism-in-britain/

A wider article '....what are the implications of the Paris shootings for counterterrorism policy in Europe?' by two Kings College academics:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11334326/Charlie-Hebdo-attack-what-are-the-implications-of-the-Paris-shootings-for-counterterrorism-policy-in-Europe.html

davidbfpo
01-14-2015, 04:06 PM
For two ex-Security Service directors to wonder aloud critically on the UK's CT strategy is unprecedented, even more so as the effects of Paris are in political and media foreground.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, who retired as Director in 2007, spoke in a House of Lords debate on the government's latest proposed CT law:
It seems to me that Prevent is clearly not working. This is not altogether surprising because it is difficult. We do not really know what works. I retired nearly eight years ago. I know that a great deal of effort has gone into thinking about how to counter this toxic and murderous ideology. I believe that we must have a better understanding of the roots of terrorism than we used to, and a better understanding of how to divert people—particularly vulnerable young people who have, in some cases, been groomed and exploited—from their path.
Some of those who come back from Syria will not be terrorists; some need to be reintegrated. The Channel programme is obviously to be applauded, but I am still concerned that it is bound to be slow, even over the long term.
It is understandable that it will be slow, but we do not seem—I beg to be corrected by others who are more up to date than me—to be having much effect. We are told that 600 dangerous extremists who are British citizens have fought in Syria. That is a large number. If Prevent had been working for the past 10 years, we might not have seen so many going.
It follows that I rather doubt that the Government, however laudable their efforts, are well placed to counter this ideology. A lead on that has and is beginning to come from moderate, mainstream Islam, which has itself suffered so much from the distorted version of its faith propounded by terrorists. One of the most appalling scenes from Paris was that of the Muslim policeman on the pavement being executed brutally by one of the terrorists.
It also follows, therefore, that I am not convinced of the value of putting Prevent on a statutory footing. I am out of date. The Government may be able to convince me, but I cannot see how legislation can really govern hearts, minds and free speech.Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11344281/MI5-chief-Blairs-anti-jihadist-programme-has-failed.html and her full speech is on:http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2015-01-13a.750.0

Jonathan Evans, who retired as Director in April 2013, in a maiden speech in the House of Lords, stated:
....the “hesitancy” of the Government to “engage with the religious dimension of the threat we face” was making it harder to prevent young men becoming radicalised....events in Syria and Iraq had caused a “jolt of energy that has gone through the extremist networks in this country”, turning would-be jihadists into battle-hardened terrorists. A similar situation existed in Afghanistan before 9/11, he said, and: “Those circumstances led to a series of attacks internationally and over a long period. I fear we may be facing the same situation as we go forward today…
“Inadequate security will breed vulnerability and fear and that in turn will tend to limit people’s ability to contribute to civil society, will tend to provoke vigilantism and will tend to diminish people’s ability to exercise the very civil liberties and human rights that we wish to sustain.”Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11343802/Britain-will-descend-into-vigilantism-unless-security-measures-are-stepped-up-former-MI5-boss-warns.html and his entire speech is on:http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2015-01-13a.690.0

'Prevent' is one of the four strands in 'Operation Contest', the UK national CT strategy; the other three strands are Pursue, Prepare and Protect.

'Prevent' has long been the weakest strand, both in its design, level of resourcing, public acceptance and credibility.

There are two main SWC threads on UK CT:
a) UK CT:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=7768
b) Foreign Fighters: preventative action (UK mainly):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=20549

Leaving aside the impact here I do wonder as the 'Contest' strategy has been widely copied elsewhere, will those nations think again. I include the USA, where CVE is the 'Prevent' equivalent.

Bizarrely Westminster-Whitehall have managed to think and now via this new law make counter-radicalisation extend to nursery schools! When six hundred people have reported left to fight in Syria, that does seem weird.

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11343802/Britain-will-descend-into-vigilantism-unless-security-measures-are-stepped-up-former-MI5-boss-warns.html)

davidbfpo
02-05-2015, 11:12 PM
Professor Sir David Omand has written a short commentary, it reflects his years as an "insider" and his studies since. He remains a stalwart defender of what GCHQ in particular has been doing:http://strifeblog.org/2015/02/05/understanding-digital-intelligence-from-a-british-perspective/

I note his emphasis that:
The issue is how we the public can be sure that under any future government these tools cannot be misused.

davidbfpo
02-17-2015, 11:18 AM
A phrase taken from Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6 (SIS), in his lecture @ Kings War Studies:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/16/west-vladimir-putin-john-sawers-mi6-europe


Ukrainians look to us to help them have their chance to embrace the order and values we enjoy here in modern Europe. We and they may end up with a new debilitating frozen conflict in Ukraine, well into the future. That is a wretched outcome for Ukrainians. But it may be the least bad attainable outcome.”


Sawers said efforts by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to restore calm deserved the west’s full support. He added: “Once we have calm – if we have calm – we’ll need a new approach to co-existence with president Putin’s Russia.

The convergence between Russia and the west which we had hoped for after the cold war won’t happen while he is in charge. We now know that. Any foreseeable change of power in Russia may well be for the worse. Managing relations with Russia will be the defining problem in European security for years to come.The full speech is available:http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/news/newsrecords/THE-LIMITS-OF-SECURITY.pdf

davidbfpo
02-17-2015, 04:55 PM
Yesterday Sir John Sawers, the recently retired SIS (MI6) Chief, gave the annual Kings War Studies Lecture, he used the title The Limits of Security and a transcript is available:http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/news/newsrecords/THE-LIMITS-OF-SECURITY.pdf

Kings summary:
Addressing a packed lecture theatre, Sir John offered a rare insight into decades of service for the British diplomatic and intelligence services, and the ongoing battle for ‘shared value and order’ in an increasingly unstable global landscape. He discussed the ideological conflicts currently faced in Europe, where despite initial glimmers of economic, social and political reform, he said Russia has ‘not confronted and overcome its past’, and the foundations on which a post-Cold War society led by President Putin could hope to prosper have been undermined by a lack of ‘serious moral reckoning, and no assertion of new healthy values.’ Sir John warned: ‘Russian politics have slipped back: rather less democratic and more autocratic. Managing relations with Russia will be the defining problem in European security for years to come’.Curiously he cites and recommends Henry Kissinger's latest book. For many here Dr. K. is not admired, even if memories fade.

I am sure this has been said before:
The test for any policy option is not so much “Is this the right next step?” The more important test is: “Where will we be in two years’ time if we follow this path?

Later he comments on the agents working for SIS:
The secret agents who work for MI6 are mainly not British. Foreign nationals operating in their own countries, directly risking their own lives.They work for us for different reasons. But for many of them one reason comes first. They believe in the British approach to Order and Values.

Bill Moore
02-18-2015, 12:32 AM
Thanks for sharing. I think he provides some deep insights to think about.

I tire of security discussions when they focus on existential threats, it is a hangover we can't seem to cure from the Cold War Era. This transcript addresses the possibility that the risk of nuclear annihilation remains, but looks beyond that and discusses the importance of order and values. He correctly identifies that China and the U.S. concepts of order and values diverge, and the risks that poses.


A Chinese minister was asked recently about Ukraine. He said, very aptly,


Ukraine has lost Crimea.
Russia has lost Ukraine.
The United States has lost Russia
We have all lost stability
Stability. Order. Values. It’s easy to pose dilemmas. Sometimes there aren’t good answers

We did not simply focus on existential threats during the Cold War. We also postured large ground forces to oppose a potential USSR invasion of Western Europe. In the purest sense of the definition of existential threat, the loss of Western Europe was not an existential threats to the U.S., but leaders realized the importance of enforcing an international order and promoting certain values (as stated in the paper, you can't have order without values) contributed to national security and prosperity. The world has never policed, and disorder in one location promotes disorder and rule breakers in others that eventually threaten our collective security. We should continue to defend and promote values and an order that benefits our collective security and prosperity with a big BUT,


Vast regions of the World never shared in the Western concept of order, they only acquiesced in it. These reservations are becoming explicit, for example in Ukraine and the South China Sea


Our new century is looking rather different. Long-standing ideas of Order and Values are being challenged, in many different ways. Building new understandings for Order and Values is the central task of our time for political leaders and diplomats. And, yes, intelligence agencies.

The U.S. needs to adapt to the 21st Century, there are new voices and new power that also have increasingly critical roles in defining and maintaining the world order. Unfortunately, while the U.S. may be the most powerful country in the world, but we're a divided nation politically, which in many ways either nullifies our power to shape the world, or results in episodes where we wield it clumsily resulting in less than desired outcomes. There are drawbacks to democracy, especially in today's hyper-interconnected world. Politicians striving to maintain their personal power make decisions based on perceived popularity versus wisdom and the greater good, so at a minimum it makes progress towards to a new world order that may be sustainable difficult.

OUTLAW 09
02-18-2015, 10:22 AM
It has always been about "values" the entire Cold War was fought on "values" and the Ukrainian events are also about Russian perceived values over riding what they perceive to be the "false/fake" western liberal democratic and economic values.

Why the attack on "perceived western liberal and economic values" -- they are a truly serious threat to a country that has a far poorer economic system due to oligarchic corruption to the tune of literally billions and a political system bordering on fascism.

Bill Moore
02-18-2015, 09:15 PM
ISIL/ISIS/IS also practices fascism. It seems the End of History is no where in sight after all.

U.S. leadership is absent on the world stage, and it should be clear by now no other country will step up and lead in our absence. However, a lot of bad actors will take advantage of the leadership void.

Bob's World
02-19-2015, 11:10 AM
After WWII, when the US still led by example and stood upon the fundamental principles that we ourselves were founded upon, revolutionary people around the world with diverse cultures, such as the Muslim Berbers in Algeria, and the communist rebels led by Ho in Indochina, turned to the US with copies of our universal declaration of independence in hand and cried out, "us too!!"

But we turned our backs on them, and we turned our backs on our principles as well. To exercise a system of control over half the world due to a largely irrational fear of Russia and the decision to lay siege to Russia via containment as a strategy, had made our principles inconvenient - so we watered them down and qualified them with values.

FDR died with a vision of promoting the "four freedoms" (of religion and speech, from fear and want); the end of colonialism; the right to self determination; and a vision of the four emerging powers (US, UK, Russia and China) working together as a new global security partnership to replace the failed league of nations.

But we let our own exaggerated fears drive us to a values based system of directed leadership - and today we still live with the good and bad of that decision.

The neocons are as lost as are the social engineers wishing to conform everyone to our current (certainly not "enduring" or "universal" as arrogantly packaged in the past 2 or 3 National Security Strategies) values.

I for one am not afraid of our founding principles, and believe it is long overdue for the US to assume the risk necessary to be the principled leader by example we believe ourselves to be, and to finally abandon the directive leadership relying upon sloganed "values" that we have actually been employing for the past several decades.

jcustis
02-19-2015, 12:27 PM
But we let our own exaggerated fears drive us to a values based system of directed leadership

Sir, could you expand on that and what you mean by directed leadership?

Bob's World
02-19-2015, 12:57 PM
Begin with our picking and then protecting governance for a dozen countries that was what we thought would be best for us, over the express, and often violent protest of what those who lived in those places hoped to self determine for themselves. Vietnam, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan being four painful examples. Two of those in direct support of former colonial powers.

OUTLAW 09
02-19-2015, 01:23 PM
After WWII, when the US still led by example and stood upon the fundamental principles that we ourselves were founded upon, revolutionary people around the world with diverse cultures, such as the Muslim Berbers in Algeria, and the communist rebels led by Ho in Indochina, turned to the US with copies of our universal declaration of independence in hand and cried out, "us too!!"

But we turned our backs on them, and we turned our backs on our principles as well. To exercise a system of control over half the world due to a largely irrational fear of Russia and the decision to lay siege to Russia via containment as a strategy, had made our principles inconvenient - so we watered them down and qualified them with values.

FDR died with a vision of promoting the "four freedoms" (of religion and speech, from fear and want); the end of colonialism; the right to self determination; and a vision of the four emerging powers (US, UK, Russia and China) working together as a new global security partnership to replace the failed league of nations.

But we let our own exaggerated fears drive us to a values based system of directed leadership - and today we still live with the good and bad of that decision.

The neocons are as lost as are the social engineers wishing to conform everyone to our current (certainly not "enduring" or "universal" as arrogantly packaged in the past 2 or 3 National Security Strategies) values.

I for one am not afraid of our founding principles, and believe it is long overdue for the US to assume the risk necessary to be the principled leader by example we believe ourselves to be, and to finally abandon the directive leadership relying upon sloganed "values" that we have actually been employing for the past several decades.

What if question---what if we had accepted Ho's requests for assistance against the recolonialization by France of Indochina after WW2--Ho was a great admirer of George Washington and our Constitution and during late WW2 was willing to work with and support the OSS against the Japanese.

Wonder what our Far Eastern policies would be today?

If we look at the Maidan in the Ukraine--driven by a civil societies desire to ditch the oppressive corruption and oligarchs, who have a sense of a reasonable functioning rule of law and transparent good governance looks , they are now willing as a civil society to support a rag tag army by any means, and they are holding their parliament to transparent standards ---we do what again?---not much support coming out of this WH other thans kind words and an occasional Biden visit.

What is wrong with that concept?---and why is it that when a nation's civil society rises up and demands the two items which by the way we basically also demanded from the British we seem to either ignore them or run from the perceived problems of dealing with that civil society.

Or in the case of say IS- we declare them terrorists and that saves us the problem of even trying to engage with them at all--we do not even have to pretend we "understand" what drives them.

Bill Moore
02-19-2015, 01:26 PM
Its debatable if our reaction to the USSR was based on irrational fear, but Kennan did express dissatisfaction with the way Truman pursued the containment strategy. He believed he overreached and used values as a cover to pursue ends that exceeded our means. However, let's not engage in excessive historical revisionism. The USSR and Mao's China didn't represent their people's will, instead they had to kill millions of their own people to maintain control. The far left argument that the U.S. was morally wrong is overstated, but yes we made mistakes.

As for directed leadership, in hindsight we "may" have had a friendly communist government to the self of us in Cuba if we reached out instead of attempting a flawed invasion. The same with Vietnam. Yet, there is another side to that view, in both cases tens of thousands of people fled those countries to avoid oppressive governments.

I'm not as concerned about our missteps during the Cold War, because I believe the hard core communists were evil and didn't represent their people. I'm more concerned with our behavior since the end of the Cold War, where our national leaders (especially Clinton) embraced a liberalist world view and felt compelled to push for democracy and free markets as a one size fits all around the world. Now we push for female and gay rights in all countries. I'm all for speaking out for women's rights, but as Kissinger said it is better to promote evolutionary change than revolutionary change. I can't recall the source, but I recall a UK leader expressing their commitment to their alliance with the U.S., but they do not want to engage in anymore moral crusades.

That is easier said than done, when we in the West see atrocities committed by group of extremists we the citizens often push our governments to take action to stop the abuse. That speaks well of us as a people; however, the push to stop atrocities escalates into attempts to transform cultures at the end of our bayonets disguised as nation building. I hope we retain our moral courage to act against atrocities, but to do so with greater wisdom.

Bob's World
02-19-2015, 01:45 PM
Bill, "tens of thousands of people fled" the US to Canada and other corners of the Empire to escape violence and oppression following our own revolution to throw off British government. Revolutions for self determination are never universal and are probably always very hard on those who are either comfortable with the status quo, or who see opportunity in jumping in bed with some powerful external actor coming in for reasons of their own.

It is not "revisionist history" to look at the same facts with a fresh perspective. It is revisionist history to change facts to fit the story you want to tell. Often the revisionist history is the one you defend, not the one that offends.


Pulitzer Prize winning historian James McPherson, writing for the American Historical Association, described the importance of revisionism:

The 14,000 members of this Association, however, know that revision is the lifeblood of historical scholarship. History is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable "truth" about past events and their meaning. The unending quest of historians for understanding the past—that is, "revisionism"—is what makes history vital and meaningful. Without revisionism, we might be stuck with the images of Reconstruction after the American Civil War that were conveyed by D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation and Claude Bowers's The Tragic Era. Were the Gilded Age entrepreneurs "Captains of Industry" or "Robber Barons"? Without revisionist historians who have done research in new sources and asked new and nuanced questions, we would remain mired in one or another of these stereotypes. Supreme Court decisions often reflect a "revisionist" interpretation of history as well as of the Constitution.[1]

(lifted from Wikipedia, but original source here: http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2003/revisionist-historians )

Bill Moore
02-20-2015, 03:05 AM
Bill, "tens of thousands of people fled" the US to Canada and other corners of the Empire to escape violence and oppression following our own revolution to throw off British government. Revolutions for self determination are never universal and are probably always very hard on those who are either comfortable with the status quo, or who see opportunity in jumping in bed with some powerful external actor coming in for reasons of their own.

It is not "revisionist history" to look at the same facts with a fresh perspective. It is revisionist history to change facts to fit the story you want to tell. Often the revisionist history is the one you defend, not the one that offends.


(lifted from Wikipedia, but original source here: http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2003/revisionist-historians )

I don't consider looking at facts from a different perspective revisionist history, nor do I consider the addition of new facts to existing history revisionist history.

I do consider ignoring the facts to support one's narrative as revisionist history, and ignoring the facts about the misdeeds of the communists would be an example. Even the Russians eventually rejected what Stalin stood for, and the Chinese rejected Mao (of course, due to CPC promoted revisionist history being promoted now, Mao's whitewashed image is making a come back).

The history of mankind is quite ugly. I'm not aware of any country's history that isn't stained with substantial sin. Still, if there is going to be hegemon, I suspect most people would prefer a U.S. hegemon compared to a Russian one. Keep cussing us, we're used to it, but while they cuss they still hide behind our coattails.

If we still think IS doesn't intend to harm the West, then I think we're engaging in a form of self-delusion for various reasons. We realize our missteps now during GWOT, but IS is a new breed of threat, and if we think we can mitigate it via standing off we'll be sorely disappointed. Again, the last war may have planted the seeds for the new one, but they are different wars. Ignoring it and hopes it doesn't threaten the West is appeasement. Its frustrating because there are good guys, but some bad guys are worse than others. Like we have throughout history, we'll have to make hard decisions that probably mean we'll work again with unsavory people because their the lesser of two equals. Same as it has ever been.

OUTLAW 09
02-20-2015, 01:02 PM
Both Bill M and Robert while correct take different roads to the same point in the fork.

For me the fork in the road is that right now and for the first time in American foreign policy since 1946 I am as an American not exactly sure this White House and it's NSS really does understand the world around them and or far worse they are misinterpreting what they are seeing.

Example---first Murbarak, then the Arab Spring, then Morsi, then not accepting Sisi then leaving Egypt outside alliance against IS even when Egyptians are beheaded--so again exactly what is the US ME FP? First close ties to the KSA, then distance, then now basically at odds with the KSA and yet KSA is needed to counter and reign in IS---and the list just keeps going on and on and on.

For without a solid defined national strategy on anything ie IS and Russia you will never be able to support "values" "order" and or just about anything else one wants use for words.

This WH and NSS simply do not have a strategy other than riding it out till 1 Jan 2017 and after us the flood.

The Ukraine Humiliation - Putin marches over Merkel, Hollande and Obama.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ukraine-humiliation-1424390758 …

"high time that U.S. see the Iranian-backed Shiite militias for what they are: a supercharged, multi-headed hydra" https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/19/irans-shiite-militias-are-running-amok-in-iraq/ …

In some aspects the ME has been at war with the US since the PLO, Black September, and PFLP days of the early 70s and actually one could go back to 1966---why does this WH not see that progression and include the IS as just part and parcel of that evolution which is slowing coming to a close for what it is--- civil society evolution nothing more nothing less and then ask the question what has the US been doing and or not doing to assist, guide or detour that "evolution".

What is telling is that when even SWJ carried the IS article what the Is Really Wants this week not much was commented on -why is that.

Why is it possible from two different media outlets with two different political mindsets to come to the same place in time and space complaining basically about the same thing.

No ideas and or strategies for just about anything---that in the 21st century is not good.

Bob's World
02-20-2015, 02:12 PM
No argument that ISIS intends to do us harm. That is their express rhetoric. Death to Israel, Death to the US, etc. Of note, their express actions have been to the contrary, and have been completely focused on the creation of a Sunni Arab state out of Syria and Iraq.

I do not understand why we lose our minds over rhetoric. It has always taken the fusion of Intent, capability, capacity and opportunity for someone, or something to be a threat. So far ISIS has managed to turn a disorganized collection of revolutionary movements into a de facto state. That is impressive, but it is hardly a demonstration of the capability, capacity or opportunity to "do us harm" - at least not in a significant way.

It is not unlike if you one day stopped at a traffic light in your truck, and a small boy rolls up along side on his tricycle and yells at you to roll down your window. You do, and as you look down at this feisty character, he flips you the bird and proceeds to yell at you what a POS he thinks you are and how he is going to kick your Pu#*% A#@ if you had the sack to get out and fight him. Clearly express intent to do you harm. But I doubt you do more than mutter "whatever" and drive on. Currently as a nation we feel compelled to jump out and either engage in public chest bumping and yelling, or to actually rough the kid up. Being threatened is not the same as something being a threat.

ISIS is no longer a powerful insurgency, it is a weak state. Yes, ISIS is absolutely different than AQ in a few very important ways:

1. AQ has been, and remains a true Non-State Actor; and as such, with no infrastructure to hold at risk they are hard to target, other than in superficial ways of killing members; and they are impossible to deter. This is their greatest strength.

2. AQ is not an insurgency (other than in KSA) and they are not a state. They are a political action group that conducts a networked and distributed approach to UW. As such, they have no population and must leverage the populations of others to accomplish anything. But this also means that AQ has no duty or expectation to govern. anyone or anything.

What no one seems to be keying on, is that the "strength" that has separated ISIS from AQ is also their greatest point of vulnerability. ISIS is tied to a specific patch of dirt and a specific population. As such they are targetable and deterable. As such, they have a duty to actually govern. ISIS is vulnerable in ways that AQ has never been. But we don't take advantage of this fact.

ISIS has created a state, and they have made it a rogue state. But the population is not a rogue population, and they want that state very badly. I say recognize the state, and then bring the governance of that state into the rule of law. ISIS will need help to govern internally, and to develop effective relations externally. Quid pro quo.

As you noted, many states born of revolution start of ugly, but overtime back away from the extremes that were necessary to achieve victory. Israel is a great modern example of this, and I suspect our recognition of that terrorist state helped them to transform. Why would we not offer the Sunni Arabs of Syria and Iraq the same opportunity? We need to offer that population a politically viable option if we ever want to achieve stability in that region, and currently there is no politically viable option on the table, other than that which ISIS offers, of course.

Recognize the weak state, deal with the weak state, get on with being the US.

OUTLAW 09
02-20-2015, 02:13 PM
Both Bill M and Robert while correct take different roads to the same point in the fork.

For me the fork in the road is that right now and for the first time in American foreign policy since 1946 I am as an American not exactly sure this White House and it's NSS really does understand the world around them and or far worse they are misinterpreting what they are seeing.

Example---first Murbarak, then the Arab Spring, then Morsi, then not accepting Sisi then leaving Egypt outside alliance against IS even when Egyptians are beheaded--so again exactly what is the US ME FP? First close ties to the KSA, then distance, then now basically at odds with the KSA and yet KSA is needed to counter and reign in IS---and the list just keeps going on and on and on.

For without a solid defined national strategy on anything ie IS and Russia you will never be able to support "values" "order" and or just about anything else one wants use for words.

This WH and NSS simply do not have a strategy other than riding it out till 1 Jan 2017 and after us the flood.

The Ukraine Humiliation - Putin marches over Merkel, Hollande and Obama.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ukraine-humiliation-1424390758 …

"high time that U.S. see the Iranian-backed Shiite militias for what they are: a supercharged, multi-headed hydra" https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/19/irans-shiite-militias-are-running-amok-in-iraq/ …

In some aspects the ME has been at war with the US since the PLO, Black September, and PFLP days of the early 70s and actually one could go back to 1966---why does this WH not see that progression and include the IS as just part and parcel of that evolution which is slowing coming to a close for what it is--- civil society evolution nothing more nothing less and then ask the question what has the US been doing and or not doing to assist, guide or detour that "evolution".

What is telling is that when even SWJ carried the IS article what the Is Really Wants this week not much was commented on -why is that.

Why is it possible from two different media outlets with two different political mindsets to come to the same place in time and space complaining basically about the same thing.

No ideas and or strategies for just about anything---that in the 21st century is not good.

I have know of this individual for a number of years and while I disagree sometimes about some of this writing this time he makes some interesting points referencing IS and Russia.

Long but worth the read as it combines both problem areas and the rather weak FP of this WH.

http://20committee.com/2015/02/19/why-the-west-is-losing/

OUTLAW 09
02-20-2015, 03:55 PM
Part of the overall problem is the disconnect developing between the DoD and the WH/NSC.

When there is this sort of disconnect and no strategy we can argue all day over words---

NATO top military commander Breedlove did not think the truce had ever even begun. "It is a cease-fire in name only," http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-.../26858238.html …

.@Martin_Dempsey: Russia "lit a fire of ethnicity & nationalism that actually threatens to burn out of control" http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128209 …

Chair @thejointstaff Gen. @Martin_Dempsey: Russia's actions "are threatening our NATO allies" http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128209 … pic.twitter.com/yl5tZwHaRP

davidbfpo
04-10-2015, 11:30 AM
I have copied a small number of posts to here from the intelligence arena, where former senior British intelligence officers have spoken or written.

This thread should be read in conjunction with a law enforcement thread UK Counter-Terrorism (merged thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=7768

There is a wide ranging thread Values and Order: a spook speaks (MI6 / SIS)which includes intelligence matters, but remains a stand alone thread in another arena:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=21756

davidbfpo
07-24-2015, 04:59 PM
The full title of an article in 'The Register' is: How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/23/how_spies_spy/?page=1

The author has assembled an open source jigsaw for this:
....the part-time Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, who in his day job is a high-flying human rights lawyer, also used his 373-page report to shed light on how spies use electronic surveillance, based on research that included a three-day visit to GCHQ in Cheltenham. This and other recently published documents provide new insights into how Britain’s electronic eavesdroppers work, and come from official sources rather than documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

davidbfpo
09-17-2015, 02:33 PM
A long serious Q&A today on BBC R4, with the MI5 / Security Service Director Andrew Parker; a first and in places of note. The audio is 22 mins long:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p032qcgm

Hopefully non-UK access is possible, it is radio so should be.

His remarks on the allegations of bulk surveillance -v- targeted surveillance many would disagree with, in part as the existing law is so badly written on purpose for some.

One critic noted:
Yes, the Head of Mi5 did say live on Radio 4 that those critiquing the agency's recruitment methods are the very people they need to monitor.The timing is - well - timely and coincides with the publication of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation's Annual Report, by the increasingly widely repected David Anderson. Was the interview timed to maximise publicity for the, shorthand label "we need more powers", against the more considered and questioning reviewer?

Here is one of his passages on a new counter-extremism bill:
These issues matter because they concern the scope of UK discrimination, hate speech and public order laws, the limit that the state may place on some of our most basic freedoms, the proper limits of surveillance, and the acceptability of imposing suppressive measures without the protections of the criminal law. If the wrong decisions are taken, the new law risks provoking a backlash in affected communities, hardening perceptions of an illiberal or Islamophobic approach, alienating those whose integration into British society is already fragile and playing into the hands of those who, by peddling a grievance agenda, seek to drive people further towards extremism and terrorism.Link:https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/terrorism-acts-report-published-today/

David Anderson was on a later BBC radio programme, for 5 minutes. Link to a BBC written report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34280795 and the audio:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p032r36t (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p032r36t)

davidbfpo
02-04-2016, 03:52 PM
A UK GCHQ document led to this response by Professor Thomas Rid, Kings War Studies, on Twitter:
One of the single most insightful documents leaked since 2013It appears that a BoingBoing story is the original source and catalyst:http://boingboing.net/2016/02/02/doxxing-sherlock-3.html I only have a vague memory about this online publication and it is clearly not impartial.

Link to the September 2011 GCHQ document (65 pgs) written by an unknown academic whose Bristol University research "think tank" (HIMR) does work for them:https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2702948-Problem-Book-Redacted.html

A second GCHQ document, March 2010 (3pgs) sets out 'What is the worst that can happen':https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2699620-What-Is-the-Worst-That-Can-Happen-March-2010.html

Looking for a short explanation by an outsider? Here it is by a UCL 'security and privacy engineering' academic; his bio:http://www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/G.Danezis/

He writes:
....the document presents one of the clearest explanations of GCHQ’s operations and their scale at the time; as well as a very interesting list of open problems, along with salient examples. Overall, reading this document very much resembles reading the needs of any other organization with big-data, struggling to process it to get any value.Link:https://conspicuouschatter.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/a-technical-reading-of-the-himr-data-mining-research-problem-book/

davidbfpo
02-12-2016, 06:06 PM
A fifth of GCHQ intelligence comes from hacking in to phones and computers, the agency has revealed, as it won a human rights victory over its once secret technique. The spy agency admitted last year that it regularly hacks in to electronic devices – known as equipment interference – the gather data on suspects.

It was forced to defend the power before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal after a civil liberty group and Internet companies claimed it breached human rights laws.

But the panel, which hears challenges against the security and intelligence agencies, ruled the methods were lawful.Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/12154733/Fifth-of-GCHQ-intelligence-comes-from-hacking.html

The BBC report is longer:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35558349

davidbfpo
02-19-2016, 09:33 PM
Published in Prospect is an article by John Sawers, ex-SIS (MI6), entitled 'Security first, freedom will follow' and subtitled 'New technology helps our enemies as well as us and raises new questions about providing security and preserving freedom'. On a quick read similar to his earlier public statements:http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/features/what-spies-should-see-mi6-terrorism-security-technology

davidbfpo
06-08-2016, 11:47 AM
A consistent theme in domestic digital collection and surveillance is whether it is needed by the "agencies". Shining a spotlight into this murky area, with an agenda, is this report by The Intercept:https://theintercept.com/2016/06/07/mi5-gchq-digint-surveillance-data-deluge/

Here is key section:
A top-secret 2009 study (https://theintercept.com/document/2016/06/07/preston-study/) found that, in one six-month period, the PRESTON program had intercepted more than 5 million communications. Remarkably, 97 percent of the calls, messages, and data it had collected were found to have been “not viewed” by the authorities. The authors of the study were alarmed because PRESTON was supposedly focused on known suspects, and yet most of the communications it was monitoring appeared to be getting ignored — meaning crucial intelligence could have been missed.
“Only a small proportion of the Preston Traffic is viewed,” they noted. “This is of concern as the collection is all warranted.”https://prod01-cdn07.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2016/05/preston-study-5-e1464200559274-1000x700.jpg
There is a long running thread, which started in 2005, Intelligence, Data, COIN and CT, with 40 posts and 32k views - into which this thread will be merged one day.

davidbfpo
07-06-2016, 09:27 PM
Not a good day for the "spooks", especially SIS (aka MI6):
The Iraq Inquiry (http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/) by Sir John Chilcot presents a devastating picture of intelligence that is damning for both spies and the politicians.

It is critical of MI6's collection and presentation of its sources; of the analysis by the wider intelligence community; of the way the Joint Intelligence Committee allowed its material to be used and of the way in which politicians talked about intelligence to the public.
The story of one particular MI6 agent, as told in the inquiry report, reveals much of what went wrong.Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36713003

davidbfpo
07-07-2016, 09:54 AM
From a short article by an academic and he concludes:
Ultimately, Hussein saw Iran as his primary threat and WMDs as his best form of deterrence. As a result, he was willing to risk invasion by Western countries rather than admit he did not possess them.
If one lesson is to be learned from this mistake, it’s the importance of having a “red team” of critical analysts challenging assumptions and offering alternative explanations for opponents’ behaviour. It was Blair’s failing, along with the wider intelligence community, that the intelligence was not questioned and no-one pondered why Iraq might not wish to reveal its weakness in this regard.Link:https://theconversation.com/chilcot-scolds-britains-intelligence-community-for-its-role-in-the-iraq-war-62078? (https://theconversation.com/chilcot-scolds-britains-intelligence-community-for-its-role-in-the-iraq-war-62078?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20 for%20July%207%202016%20-%205188&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20f or%20July%207%202016%20-%205188+CID_f614f8afd09fdbe56b50c835a3e79ebd&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=the%20intelligence%20communitys%20failure s)

davidbfpo
07-11-2016, 10:26 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this American author's commentary on intelligence after Chilcot, admittedly with an American application and he ends with:
There are no U.S. government reports that can compare with the Chilcot report. This truly stands out as a well-written, apolitical, and bluntly honest assessment of government policy, offering a great source of research for defense analysts everywhere. It probably will not change anyone’s mind about the invasion of Iraq, but it should motivate members of the national security enterprise to reconsider how they look at the general threat of adversarial countries and their developing WMD programs in context with regional stability and international relations policy.Link:http://warontherocks.com/2016/07/chilcot-and-the-opening-old-wounds-on-wmd-intel/

Azor
07-12-2016, 01:24 AM
From a short article by an academic and he concludes:Link:https://theconversation.com/chilcot-scolds-britains-intelligence-community-for-its-role-in-the-iraq-war-62078? (https://theconversation.com/chilcot-scolds-britains-intelligence-community-for-its-role-in-the-iraq-war-62078?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20 for%20July%207%202016%20-%205188&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20f or%20July%207%202016%20-%205188+CID_f614f8afd09fdbe56b50c835a3e79ebd&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=the%20intelligence%20communitys%20failure s)

Interestingly, Hussein's FBI interrogators learned the same details from him. It was a bluff to keep Iran from moving in...

davidbfpo
03-19-2017, 07:33 PM
Very few noticed this and no, it has nothing to do with the current spat over President Trump's allegations:
On 3 March 2017, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain’s signals intelligence agency, announced an authorised history, written by noted signals intelligence historian John Ferris, to be published to tie in with the organisation’s centenary in 1919.Link to a commentary:http://www.historyandpolicy.org/opinion-articles/articles/gchq-a-new-authorised-history

Link to GCHQ's announcement:https://www.gchq.gov.uk/news-article/gchq-celebrate-centenary-2019

davidbfpo
11-01-2017, 07:56 PM
A curious article via Twitter by a serving GCHQ official, which opens with:
Security services across the globe struggled to keep pace with threats to public safety in the digital age, as insurgents, terrorists and criminals have moved online. Dr Paul Killworth (https://quarterly.demos.co.uk/article/issue-12/unravelling-the-tangled-web/#article-footer) considers the challenges GCHQ continue to face and argues for the need to bridge the ideological gaps between security specialists, academics and tech utopianists.
Link:https://quarterly.demos.co.uk/article/issue-12/unravelling-the-tangled-web/#article-footer

davidbfpo
12-31-2017, 12:43 PM
Copied from a 2014 post in the Snowden thread to act as an introduction to the next post:
A few weeks ago, Glenn Greenwald, while working with NBC News, revealed some details of a GCHQ presentation concerning how the surveillance organization had a "dirty tricks" group known as JTRIG -- the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. Now, over at The Intercept, he's revealed the entire presentation and highlighted more details about how JTRIG would seek to infiltrate different groups online and destroy people's reputations -- going way, way, way beyond just targeting terrorist groups and threats to national security.
Link:ttps://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140224/17054826340/new-snowden-doc-reveals-how-gchqnsa-use-internet-to-manipulate-deceive-destroy-reputations.shtml

davidbfpo
12-31-2017, 12:50 PM
Spotted via Twitter a PPT presentation and talk in Germany about JTRIG. The source is:
This site offers a wide variety of video and audio material distributed by the Chaos Computer ClubTheir introduction to the 31 minute talk:
The Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit in one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, is tasked with creating sockpuppet accounts and fake content on social media, in order to use "dirty tricks" to "destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt" enemies by "discrediting" them. In this talk, we reveal some of that content, in relation to infiltrating activists groups around the world, including during the Arab spring and Iranian revolution.Link:https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9233-uncovering_british_spies_web_of_sockpuppet_social_ media_personas

davidbfpo
01-06-2018, 10:41 PM
I am always curious when a former British "insider" publishes an article abroad. This time it is the barrister David Anderson, who until recently as the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation and the author of a review into the 2017 attacks.
Link:https://www.lawfareblog.com/new-approaches-intelligence-oversight-uk

Compared to the optimism of David Anderson there is a skillful dissection of the (Parliamentary) Intelligence & Security Committee, which has an odd history and the government is not always helpful:
Oversight and scrutiny depend on primary evidence: without sight of the actual documents provided to Ministers we cannot ourselves be sure – nor offer an assurance to Parliament or the public – that we have indeed been given the full facts surrounding the authorisation process for the lethal strike against Reyaad Khan.
Link:https://parliamentsandlegislatures.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/intelligence-security-committee/

davidbfpo
01-16-2018, 06:58 PM
Dr Dan Lomas (again) has a commentary which opens with:
Sir Norman Brook’s report on the ‘Secret Intelligence and Security Services’ is an important document for understanding the state of Britain’s intelligence and security machinery at the start of the Cold War. Finished in 1951, this wide-ranging review of the intelligence community revealed that all was not well with Britain’s efforts to collect secret information on the Soviet Union. In contrast to the wartime successes of Bletchley Park and the Double Cross (XX) system, Britain’s Cold War spies faced an uphill struggle. Brook’s review tried to remedy this.Link:https://history.blog.gov.uk/2018/01/16/intelligence-attlee-and-the-brook-report/

After the eventual WW2 successes, notably cracking the Enigma code machine used by Germany, and facing a new enemy to realize there was a lack intelligence came as a problem (being diplomatic).

davidbfpo
02-20-2018, 08:39 PM
An interesting article, with both UK & US ex-intelligence directors commenting, on the Five Eyes network:
In many respects, the Five Eye’s intelligence sharing network, sometimes written as FVEY, is the most enduring and robust alliance, eclipsing even NATO in terms of information exchange among members. The origins of the network can be found in the wake of World War II, when the U.S. and UK formalized their signals intelligence (SIGINT) partnership in the UKUSA Agreement, signed in March 1946.Link:https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/tech/five-eyes-intel-sharing-unhindered-trump-tweets

davidbfpo
06-28-2018, 02:48 PM
Finally after a long procedure, gathering evidence and questioning in private; with some official hesitation over publication - plus a refusal to answer their urging that a criminal investigation was needed for one matter - the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has reported (usually referred to as the ISC).

The headline in 'The Daily Telegraph': 'Britain tolerated 'inexcusable' treatment of terror detainees by US after 9/11, report finds', which is a very short article and a longer one, no surprise, in 'The Guardian' entitled: 'True scale of UK role in torture and rendition after 9/11 revealed'. That reports starts with:
The reports published on Thursday amount to one of the most damning indictments of UK intelligence, revealing links to torture and rendition were much more widespread than previously reported.
While there was no evidence of officers directly carrying out physical mistreatment of detainees, the reports say the overseas agency MI6 and the domestic service MI5 were involved in hundreds of torture cases and scores of rendition cases.

Links:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/28/britain-tolerated-inexcusable-treatment-terror-detainees-us/ and https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/28/uk-role-torture-kidnap-terror-suspects-after-911-revealed?

The ISC website has links to their short press releases and the fuller reports.
Link:http://isc.independent.gov.uk/news-archive/28june2018

There is a small, parallel thread on a related subject:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?17110-The-UK-amp-torture-Oh-no-we-don-t!-Bull****&highlight=torture




(http://isc.independent.gov.uk/news-archive/28june2018)

davidbfpo
06-28-2018, 03:02 PM
A video (1h 15m) of a Policy Exchange event yesterday, where five who should know spoke: a former Australian Prime Minister, a former Canadian PM, a ret'd US diplomat and Deputy NSA, a former New Zealand Foreign Minister and a former UK Defence Secretary & NATO Sec-General.
Link:https://policyexchange.org.uk/pxevents/the-importance-of-the-five-eyes-in-an-era-of-global-insecurity/

Yet to listen to it all, although one speaker was on BBC radio yesterday AM and oddly only referred to the relationship in CT terms.

davidbfpo
08-22-2018, 02:54 PM
A very short article that ends with:
Examining the CIA in isolation does not give historians the full picture of American covert action during the Cold War. The prism of British secret history highlights the importance of alliances and audiences when planning and conducting covert action, but reveals competition and suspicion. It paints a picture of the CIA as a pragmatic operator, sometimes influenced by allies – sometimes played – but perhaps not always as bullish as critics like to maintain.
The old cliché that the Britain had the brains and America had the money can now be debunked.
Link:https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/169655

davidbfpo
12-07-2018, 09:34 PM
A rare public speech by 'C', the head of SIS, at his old university this week and the BBC story does not reflect all he said. The BBC's headline was: 'Alex Younger: MI6 chief questions China's role in UK tech sector'.
'.
Link:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46431810?

The full speech is here:https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/mi6-c-speech-on-fourth-generation-espionage