15 December 2007

Rosa Monckton admits 'close' link to MI6

Today's Telegraph carries the following headline and story:

"Rosa Monckton admits 'close' link to MI6"

"Rosa Monckton has disclosed that someone close to her was involved with MI6. Miss Monckton told the inquest into the princess's death that she personally had "no connection with the security services" but that "someone close to me is connected with the SIS". The Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, protects British interests abroad."

Note the cynical comment at the end "The Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, protects British interests abroad."

Rosa Monckton is of course married to Dominic Lawson, who was accused by former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson of being an MI6 asset, apparently referred to in MI6 by the code name 'SMALLBROW'.

According to the Guardian, "Dominic Lawson, the editor of the Sunday Telegraph and son of the former Tory chancellor, Nigel Lawson, provided journalistic cover for an MI6 officer on a mission to the Baltic to handle and debrief a young Russian diplomat who was spying for Britain...Tomlinson...said that in the early 1990s the editor of the Spectator was on MI6's books".

In an article in 2000 in the British Journalism Review, David Leigh confirmed that at the time Lawson was editor of the Spectator:

"Two articles appeared in the Spectator magazine in early 1994 under the by-line Kenneth Roberts...They were datelined Sarajevo, and "Roberts" was described as having been working with the UN in Bosnia as an "advisor". In fact, he was MI6 officer Keith Robert Craig (the pseudonym was a simple one), whose local cover was as a civilian "attached" to the British military unit's Balkan secretariat."

So could Rosa Monckton have been referring to Lawson?

I don't think so. Its actually much more likely she was referring to her brother Anthony Monckton, who according to David Leigh, "was himself a serving MI6 officer, who was to take over the Zagreb station in the Balkans in 1996" and ended up as station chief in Serbia before having his cover blown "in a book by Zoran Mijatovic, former deputy chief of the Serbian intelligence service. A Belgrade newspaper then printed Monckton’s photograph, phone number and e-mail details, forcing him to return to Britain. "


Other news of interest today:

The Telegraph, again: "UN cites Serb threat to Kosovo's energy". This article appears to be fearmongering aimed at provoking ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Kosovo.

"UN officals fear that the small Serb population in the north of the province, under instructions from Belgrade, could shut down the Gazivoda reservoir, which supplies 60 per cent of Kosovo's water..."The Gazivoda complex is critically important for Kosovo, but the people running the installation are all Serbs from the local area," said another senior international official in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo...Beyond sourcing alternative supplies, Mr Acda said that UNMIK was considering "putting people on the ground and using diplomatic pressure" to ensure that the flow of water continues.
But others intimately acquainted with the problem speak in more dramatic terms. "There aren't any solutions for Gazivoda," said a senior official. "Everyone's edging around the subject.
"Can you send in NATO troops? How would that play internationally?"
He added that Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, had been heard to threaten: "If you're thinking about putting troops around Gazivoda - don't.

Two excellent articles in Salon.com, the first one entitled "Inside the CIA's notorious "black sites" is about Yemeni Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah's suffering at the hands of the terrorist organisation CIA.

He was testifying in a federal suit brought by the ACLU "claiming Jeppesen Dataplan Inc. enabled the clandestine transportation of five terrorism suspects to overseas locations where they were subjected to "forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" according to the AP.

The court has also heard evidence "of a former Jeppesen employee who said the company openly spoke of its role in extraordinary rendition...According to the declaration of Sean Belcher, who worked briefly for Jeppesen as a technical writer in San Jose, Calif. in 2006, the director of Jeppesen's International Trip Planning Service, Bob Overby, told new employees during an introductory breakfast that "we do all the extraordinary rendition flights."
When some employees looked puzzled at the statement, Overby added that he was referring to "torture flights," according to Belcher's declaration.
According to Belcher, Overby then said he understood some employees were not comfortable with that aspect of Jeppesen's business but added "that's just the way it is, we're doing them," and that the rendition flights paid very well

The other called "America's trinity of terrorism" describes how the "network of U.S.-sponsored terrorism now on global display relies on death squads, disappearances and torture".

More on torture from Alexander Cockburn in The First Post: "Torture: it’s the American way" and how there's "not much evidence that Americans are aghast at these disclosures".

Alternet has an interesting account of how Ecuador will evict the US from its Manta air base when the lease expires in November 2009. The article claims that Ecuador could offer the airbase to China. It also claims that while the "purported purpose of the FOL (Forward Operating Location) was to help interdict drug shipments from neighboring Colombia", in reality "it is being used by Colombian pilots and as a center of anti-guerilla intelligence as a part of Plan Colombia, and for the targeting of alleged terrorist groups".

An earlier version of the article can be found here.

Finally some news from gold expert, and who has written for Accountancy and the International Currency Review, Julian D. W. Phillips on how the world is abandoning the US Dollar as the international currency for trade. The conclusion?

"We are moving to the end of the U.S. $'s 62-year reign as the world's main international currency for trade, financial transactions and central-bank reserves? Unless something is done to give real value to the $, we believe that the process has to accelerate, rupturing the global monetary system, only to bring back Protectionism in the large trading blocs, exacerbating political and economic instability. We see this rising wave of concern moving forward to a major crisis. Any calming of the situation will cause a short-term strengthening of the $ to be followed by steeper declines."

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