News you may have missed #534

MI6 HQ

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
According to extracts from the diary of Alastair Campbell, British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s communications director from 2000 to 2003, officials from the MI6 intelligence agency told Blair that France and Germany aimed to “exploit his feud” with then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Gotta love European unity. In Kuwait, meanwhile, the oil state’s Al-Shahed daily quotes “knowledgeable sources”, who claim that “a lot of spy networks exploit the Kuwaiti environment” and use the country as a transit point to spy on neighboring countries. Hopefully the Kuwaitis will not emulate authorities in Dubai, which in March of last year called on all foreign spies “to leave the region within a week. If not”, they warned, “we will cross that bridge when we come to it”. In the nearby state of Israel, public opinion is still divided about former Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s criticism of the Netanyahu government. As Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg notes, Dagan has “called into question the wisdom –and, privately, even the sanity– of any Israeli leader who contemplates a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities”. But why is he doing it, and could it backfire?

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Embassy cables show US spied on UK Foreign Office

Ivan Lewis

Ivan Lewis

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The latest release of US embassy cables from whistleblower website WikiLeaks shows that the US Department of State ordered its diplomats to actively report on the personal lives of British Foreign Office officials. On several instances, American diplomats in London appear to have reported on the personal life of Ivan Lewis, a Labour Party politician who served as Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs during the closing days of Gordon Brown’s government. It seems that the reports on Lewis were compiled at the request of the State Department in Washington, which issued calls for specific background information on Lewis’ personal life. In response to the request, a memorandum was sent from the US embassy in London on August 12, 2009, suggesting that Lewis was “possibly prone to depression” and that he was described by one of his colleagues as “a bully”. The cable also indicated that Lewis had apologized “in 2007 to a female in his office who accused him of sexual harassment”, and suggested that the incident had been purposely leaked to the British media by Downing Street a few months later, after Lewis publicly joined the internal Labour Party revolt against Brown. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0268

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News you may have missed #0148

  • Secret special service held to commemorate 100 years of MI5 and MI6. The Queen has attended an unpublicized special service at London’s Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of MI5 and MI6. It appears that the heads of the security and intelligence services were present for the unique ceremony in the cloisters of the Abbey. The service was also attended by prime minister Gordon Brown, foreign secretary David Miliband, and home secretary Alan Johnson, among others.
  • Canadian court ends spy services’ free rein in deporting foreigners. The Federal Court has dealt the government another setback in its attempts to deport alleged terrorists, based on the controversial security-certificate provision, which allows the government to use secret evidence in order to detain and deport foreigners. Thus, the deportation from Canada of Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui has been halted. Last July another deportation case, that of Hassan Almrei, a Syrian immigrant who was arrested in 2001 on suspicion of belonging to an Islamist-tied forgery group, was also halted on similar grounds.
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