24 January 2007

Con Coughlin, more MI6 disinformation?

According to Con Coughlin in today's Daily Telegraph, "North Korea is helping Iran to prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year."

He continues: "A senior European defence official told The Daily Telegraph that North Korea had invited a team of Iranian nuclear scientists to study the results of last October's underground test to assist Teheran's preparations to conduct its own — possibly by the end of this year. There were unconfirmed reports at the time of the Korean firing that an Iranian team was present. Iranian military advisers regularly visit North Korea to participate in missile tests."

However, the "senior European defence official " is in all likelihood a "senior MI6 officer " if Coughlin's past form is anything to go by.

David Leigh wrote back in June 2000 in The Guardian that "Black propaganda - false material where the source is disguised - has been a tool of British intelligence agencies since the days of the second world war...readers of the Sunday Telegraph were regaled with with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story was written by Con Coughlin, the paper's chief foreign correspondent and it was falsely attributed to a "British banking official". In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years."

Annie Machon, David Shayler's partner, in her book 'Spies,Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5 and the David Shayler Affair' "alleges that MI6's counter-Iranian section used the Sunday Telegraph (and the journalists Con Coughlin, John Simpson and Dominic Lawson) to try to blame Iran for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, the destruction of flight PA103. MI6 was trying to deflect attention from the fact that it was actually a Libyan retaliation for the US bombing of Tripoli (backed by Thatcher) in 1986."

The fact that another of her allegations in the book - that there was collusion between the Army Forces Research Unit and loyalist terrorists - has been proved true just this week gives her account added credibility:
"15 murders linked to police collusion with loyalists· Special Branch protected paramilitaries, ombudsman finds · Calls for public inquiry over role of senior RUC officers"
Owen Bowcott, Ireland correspondent Tuesday January 23, 2007 The Guardian

So we know that on at least 2 occasions false stories were planted in the Sunday Telegraph with the connivance of Coughlin, both to do with Iran and one at least disguising the source.

We also know that Coughlin, back on 17 March 2003 was of the opinion that "Iran should come before Iraq"
Back on 05 January 2007, writing in The First Post, Robert Fox warned that the "British media appears to be softening us up for an attack on Iran".

Indeed, the plethora of anti-Iranian rhetoric in the press recently is a definite sign that the same model that was used against Iraq, is now being used for Iran: "the preparation of domestic opinion."

"Domestic Opinion
20. Time will be required to prepare public opinion in the UK that it is necessary to take military action against Saddam Hussein. There would also need to be a substantial effort to secure the support of Parliament. An information campaign will be needed which has to be closely related to an overseas information campaign designed to influence Saddam Hussein, the Islamic World and the wider international community. This will need to give full coverage to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, including his WMD, and the legal justification for action."
Cabinet Office paper: Conditions for military action The Sunday Times June 12, 2005
"*sensitising the public: a media campaign to warm of the dangers that Saddam poses and to prepare public opinion both in the UK and abroad."
March 8, 2002 memo from Overseas and Defence Secretariat Cabinet Office outlining military options for implementing regime change.
"A Secret UK Eyes Only briefing paper was warning that there was no legal justification for war. So Mr Blair was advised that a strategy would have to be put in place which would provide a legal basis for war. It was also vital that the Prime Minister should be able to persuade the public that war was justified and, just as importantly, convince those among his backbench MPs who were becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to another US-led war."
Michael Smith, Daily Telegraph Last Updated: 1:21am BST 18/09/2004


Anonymous said...

David Leigh wrote back in June 2000 in The Guardian that "Black propaganda - false material where the source is disguised - has been a tool of British intelligence agencies since the days of the second world war...

Why only 'since the days of the second world war'? My research shows that false material has been used by the British state - often planted by Foreign office officials - in newspapers going right back into the 19th century. What's more, much of the information used to create the anti-Nazi hysteria of the 30s was false, while the Nuremberg Trials were based almost exclusively on planted 'evidence.' The cut-off date ('second world war') seems to have been selected to avoid raising awkward questions about Britain's conduct re Germany.

David Sketchley said...

Thanks. Your question should actually be directed to David Leigh who wrote the phrase in question, but I have no doubts that 'false material' has been used by the British state well before WWII.

Having said that, to take that one step further as you do, implying that 'anti-Nazi hysteria' was based on 'false material', is disingenuous at least. Or are you implying that Germany did not initiate wars of aggression and genocide?

You sound a bit like a Holocaust denier...