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11 January 2005. Thanks to A.
This reponds to a report which alleges involvement of former Croatian General Ante Gotovina in the recent Belfast bank robbery:
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 08:20:18 -0500
Subject: Re: [JUSTWATCH] Former Balkan mercenary 'behind IRA bank raid'
For those of you interested in how the British MI6 conducts its disinformation campaigns, particularly in the Balkans, I attach this article by Ed Vulliamy below. This attempt to link Gotovina to the IRA is a classic, and transparent, MI6 tactic.
[MI6's] "information" was that the Muslim-led government was massacring its own people in Sarajevo to win sympathy and ultimately help from outside. Sarajevo's defenders were dumb with disbelief; if there was any evidence for this satanic notion, the spooks never produced it. . .The MI6 scheme worked - beautifully. The allegation - off the record, on the QT, hush-hush, old boy - became a clamour, started by the London Independent, and appearing in British, then American, then German and other papers. So these Balkan fuzzy-wuzzies were all as bad as each other after all, just as the FCO had said.
Note the objective of the MI6 scheme: to make the "Balkan fuzzy-wuzzies all as bad as each other after all," thus justifying British policy of inaction and obstruction of US and EU action (i.e. let Milosevic finish the job). It is this British policy that MI6 continues to defend and justify by pursuing the falsely indicted Gotovina.
Copyright 1998 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
March 25, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 18
LENGTH: 664 words
HEADLINE: Comment: Anthrax follies; 'Planted' intelligence is a war correspondent's nightmare
BYLINE: ED VULLIAMY IN WASHINGTON
ANY experienced reporter knows the feeling: the man whose suit is smarter than his brain - trying to hide his transparent scheme behind the promise of supposedly succulent but hitherto forbidden fruit - says he has some "information" for you.
Yesterday, a titbit of "information" from the secret services - probably British - had people across the country wondering what to do about the fact that Saddam Hussein may have slipped a droplet of deadly anthrax into that swag they picked up at the duty-free.
It's not the first time that newspapers have been whispered to about Iraqi chemicals in the bathwater, or whatever. This nonsense has been floating around for a while. Now the "information" is plastered across that Murdochian double-act, the Sun and the Times.
Ministers appeared on ITN and Newsnight to applaud the scoop; Downing Street, after chatting to the Sun, briefed accordingly. It was wall-to-wall around the globe on CNN yesterday, despite Jack Straw's concession that there was "no evidence". Quite what we are supposed to do about this undeclared ingredient in the air du temps parfum is unclear, although of course the Sun has a view: get rid of Saddam.
Fair enough - few would disagree with that. But not long ago, the British intelligence agency MI6 was spinning the diametric opposite line, as regards another murderous regime. I was called in under the previous Conservative government to hear "information" by British spooks over the war in Bosnia. On these occasions, MI6 was peddling an ill-disguised agenda: the Foreign Office's determination that there be no international intervention against Serbia's genocidal pogrom.
British "UN officials" or "diplomatic sources" - usually coy - suddenly offered eager briefings to obfuscate that which was simple: the carnage that was taking place at the time in Sarajevo's marketplace and bread queue.
Their "information" was that the Muslim-led government was massacring its own people in Sarajevo to win sympathy and ultimately help from outside. Sarajevo's defenders were dumb with disbelief; if there was any evidence for this satanic notion, the spooks never produced it.
Indeed, Unprofor reports invariably found that, as usual, Serbian mortars had wrought the killing. But Unprofor's deliberations were tampered with and selectively leaked, so as to drop a little poison into the groundwater of truth. It was quickly relished by the only man who stood to gain from this - the Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic.
The MI6 scheme worked - beautifully. The allegation - off the record, on the QT, hush-hush, old boy - became a clamour, started by the London Independent, and appearing in British, then American, then German and other papers. So these Balkan fuzzy-wuzzies were all as bad as each other after all, just as the FCO had said.
The Americans have taken a different route on the anthrax material "sent to President Clinton", according to London. A piece on the front page of yesterday's New York Times talks about Iraq "arresting" Dr Nassir Al-Hindawi, architect of Saddam's chemical weapons programme, whose knowledge is "even more valuable than access to presidential weapons sites" over which we nearly went to war.
The article is by Judith Miller, the paper's intelligence expert, and is billed on the NYT's worldwide wire as "Exclusive: 10.45 pm". It bears all the hallmarks of a good, and strange, spook tip-off.
All this is nothing new, sadly. These planted stories were rife in Northern Ireland. And broadcaster Jon Snow wrote in this paper, in 1994, about an attempt by the intelligence services to recruit him into trading information.
Pacts with the devil never come free. He took Jesus up a mountain and offered him the kingdoms below; he offered Jon Snow a double salary, tax-free. But Jesus had to pay with his soul, Snow with names and numbers of leftwingers in the media.
Both, estimably, refused the deal. But not all journalists do.
LOAD-DATE: March 25, 1998
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 10:01:35 -0500
Subject: Re: [JUSTWATCH] Former Balkan mercenary 'behind IRA bank raid'
More on how MI6 manipulates the media to advance the Balkan agenda of the British government.
December 17, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Home Page; Pg. 5
LENGTH: 599 words
HEADLINE: The story of the spy and the Spectator;
THE CLAIMS: Opinion pieces written under a false name at the height of the Bosnian war appeared to be part of an attempt to influence public opinion
BYLINE: RICHARD NORTON-TAYLOR
ARTICLES written by an MI6 officer under a false name were published in the Spectator magazine while Dominic Lawson was editor, the Guardian can disclose.
The articles, which included a bitter attack on British journalists, were written with a Sarajevo dateline under the name of Kenneth Roberts, during the civil war in Bosnia. The Spectator said at the end of the articles that the author's name "has been changed at his request". It did not say that the writer was an MI6 officer.
The Guardian yesterday faxed a series of detailed questions to Mr Lawson about the articles and their provenance. Last night he said: "You claim articles written by Kenneth Roberts were in fact written by an SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) officer. I have no means of knowing if you are right and, if you are, it is news to me."
The Foreign Office, which speaks on behalf of MI6, said it could not comment.
The MI6 articles appeared to be part of an attempt to influence public opinion during the Bosnian crisis by suggesting atrocities were being carried out by all sides - and not just Bosnian Serb troops.
Under Mr Lawson's editorship, the Spectator ran columns by Alan Judd, the alias of a senior MI6 officer who has left the service. It also claimed that Richard Gott, the Guardian's former literary editor, had been a KGB agent, which Mr Gott denied.
Mr Gott admitted he had accepted air tickets from the Russians and had told the security services. He resigned immediately from the Guardian.
Two articles under the name of Kenneth Roberts were published in early 1994 - at the height of the civil war. In one article titled "Salving Consciences in Hampstead", Roberts is described as having worked "for the UN in Bosnia". He argued, it said, that "we should pull out now".
A month later, in March 1994, the MI6 officer wrote a second article under the heading, "Glamour Without Responsibility". In a passage now rich in irony, the Spectator noted: "Kenneth Roberts, who works with the UN forces in Bosnia, says that journalists there should be held accountable for their actions."
In a reference to Kate Adie, one of the BBC's most respected reporters, the author stated: "The power of the modern journalist, especially the television journalist, is nowhere more apparent than in Bosnia."
He added: "Emotion rather than political or practical interest drives the public opinion that steels Western governments to send troops . . . Unlike those governments, the press has no proper accountability for the consequences of its actions."
He referred to two highly controversial incidents during the Bosnian war - the attack on a bread queue in Sarajevo in 1992, and the attack on a Sarajevo market in 1994.
"For some time now," Roberts told Spectator readers, "there have been UN mutterings about the Muslims shelling their own people in bread queues or markets." Journalists were accused of failing to investigate claims by the Bosnia Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, that the 66 deaths at the market were due to a Muslim attack.
The suggestion was that the Muslims fired on their own people to provoke Nato into taking tougher action against the Serbs. Both the United Nations and the Tory government in Britain were desperate to counter reports in the British and US media of attacks on civilians by Bosnian Serbs.
Atrocities, they insisted, were being carried by all sides, by Muslims and Croats as well as Serbs.
Douglas Hurd, then foreign secretary, was deeply concerned about the prospect of what he called "the first muslim state in Europe".