News you may have missed #542

Sir John Chilcot

Sir John Chilcot

►►Ex-spy says MI6 cut corners to back Blair’s Iraq war case. Britain’s ongoing Iraq Inquiry headed by Sir John Chilcot, heard last week from a former spy, identified in documents only as “SIS2”. The witness said that MI6 was “probably too eager to please” the government and was guilty of “flying a bit too close to the sun”. He was referring to the intelligence support provided by MI6 in support of the case for entering the Iraq War, made by the Labour government of Prime Minister Tony blair in 2003. He also told the committee that “the pressure to generate results, I fear, did lead to the cutting of corners”. ►►Medical group criticizes CIA’s vaccination scheme. A whimiscal tone prevails in most articles on the recent revelation that the CIA tried to collect DNA evidence on Osama bin Laden by running a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But medical groups engaged in organizing vaccination schemes are not amused. French-based international medical aid charity Médecins Sans Frontières has lashed out at the CIA because, it said, by using a medical cover for its assassination scheme, the Agency endangered those who conduct life-saving immunization work around the world. ►►Foreign spies stole weapons data from US contractor. The American government’s obsession with outsourcing defense and security tasks to the private sector has its price. Last Thursday, US Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III disclosed that “a foreign intelligence service” broke into a US defense contractor’s computer network and stole valuable weapons data. But there is no reason to worry, added Lynn, as the US is preparing a new “offensive” cybersecurity strategy to combat such occurrences. As for the security risks embedded in outsourcing critical security tasks to the –often unaccountable– private sector, he made no comment.

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