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10 September 2005

How much do you value your rights?

So asks the BBC in light of Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of Britain's security service, MI5, stating that the 60-or-so million people in this country who aren't fully-paid up members of Al Qaeda should have even more of their essential civil liberties removed in the continued war on an abstract noun. Of course, quite how one views these things is all about context and perspective so let's endeavour to introduce some of each of these qualities by having a look at a couple of 'highpoints' in the career of Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller.

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, "was heavily involved in the Lockerbie investigation" after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 above a small town in Scotland. For those that don't recall the events of 1988:

Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up as it flew over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, when 12–16 oz of plastic explosive was detonated in its forward cargo hold, triggering a sequence of events that led to the rapid destruction of the aircraft. Winds of 100 knots scattered passengers and debris along an 88-mile corridor over an area of 845 square miles. Two hundred and seventy people from 21 countries died, including 11 people on the ground. [FreeDictionary]

Recently, a former Scottish police chief gave lawyers a signed statement stating that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated. "The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, supports earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his CIA bosses "wrote the script" to incriminate Libya."

So, we can learn from this that Manningham-Buller had heavy involvement in an investigation into a devastating terrorist attack in the UK and that she didn't manage to expose that a key piece of evidence had been manufactured by the CIA. This suggests that Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller's heavy involvement in the investigation wasn't really much use in bringing the investigation to a judicious conclusion. Hardly grounds for promotion to the head of MI5, one would think. Or, if it is, there's a whole tranche of questions that need asking about the purpose of MI5. Only 20 years later does something vaguely resembling the truth of the Lockerbie bombing emerge and, still then, only when the conscience of an elderly ex-copper gets the better of him.

The question in relation to Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, her involvement in the rather redundant Lockerbie investigation and her recent comments must now be; should a person with such a dubious record of detecting the true causes of the terror around the world be tasked with removing the civil liberties of the population that she failed in the Lockerbie investigation 20 years ago?

While you're pondering that one, consider also the small matter of Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller's position as a senior liaison to the US intelligence community, working out of Washington, over the period of the first Persian Gulf War when the Bush klan first tried to rid the world, apparently, of Saddam Hussein.

"Why would this be an issue?" you might ask. Well, the CIA went to great lengths to empower Saddam Hussein back in the sixties so any offensives which the Bush father/son partnership, their administrations, and the CIA might wish to launch on the country and leadership that they themselves (and Don) engineered in the sixties, are immediately rendered far more questionable than the already incredibly questionable reasons for so doing.

To understand anything about Iraq, it is essential to understand that Iraq was described by Britain in 1947 as a, "stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history," and, “a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination.” It is also essential to understand that this "stupendous source of strategic power" passed from Ottoman rule to British hands during World War I and was then led by a British-appointed monarch whose job description was, "A king who will be content to reign but not govern.” This all worked very well until the British appointed monarch was overthrown by the restless locals in 1958 and replaced with a republic under Brigadier Abd al Karim Qasim.

Monarchy has never taken kindly to anyone that dares challenge their self-appointed divine right to rule, and being overthrown anywhere tends to stick in the craw of monarchy just a little. So, when the "vital prize for... world influence or domination" had been lost to a people's republic of neutralism and nationalism that had no use for monarchy or their interests, something had to be done by the conquering imperial forces to re-establish their global influence and domination.

Enter, stage left [hand path], one Saddam Hussein and the CIA.

In 1959 Baath party elements led by Saddam attempted to gun down Qasim, but failed. Saddam was wounded in the attempt (read: 'shot himself in the leg') and fled (hobbled?) to Syria and then Egypt - a considerable feat of border-crossing after having just attempted to assassinate the incumbent leader of the people's republic. Saddam was sentenced to death in absentia only returning to Iraq when his Baath party were in a position of power.

Bearing in mind the Lockerbie investigation-debacle and the recent history of Iraq that has been shaped by British and, more recently, American conquering forces who largely engineered Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, the involvement of Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller in both the Lockerbie investigation and the Iraq invasions of Bush Snr and Jnr, provides a high degree of insight into the nature of the person who now suggests citizens of the UK should be subjugated further by still greater losses of essential liberties.

Oh, how great this democracy of ours. How much do you value your rights?


Anonymous said...

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller is saying the Als were used by the British and all of them are suspects.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Right, Private Eye did a specialist report on Lockerbie. The politicians, CIA, MI5 and MI6 were in cahoots over Lockerbie: it was not incompetance by Manningham-Buller, it was complicity.

Immediately after the Lockerbie bombing, all the evidence was pointing to Syrian terrorists paid by Iran. When the first Gulf War happened, we needed Iran onside and all investigations stopped.

After the first Gulf War, a scapegoat needed to be found. Libya volunteered; the £6 billion compansation was nothing compared to the money that would come out of being readmitted to the US trading list (which has duly happened).

BTW, General Swartzkopf, who was in charge of the military operations during the First Gulf War, wanted to push onto Bagdahd. However, the politicians, led by Bush senior, forbade it (presumably because they knew that the current mess might happen).


The Antagonist said...

Thanks for the additional information, DK.

Whether it was incompetence, complicity, collusion, or even conspiracy, matters not as long as the intended objectives of the exercise were achieved which, it appears, they were.

baz said...

Well obviously MI5 aren't in the Criminal Investigation business. They are, in part, in the business of politically motivated deceit. The creation of the "Libyan Solution" to Lockerbie for motives that I suspect were primarily concerned with MI5's central objective - disarming the PIRA - may be regarded as laudable. However it has little to do with the bombing itself, save it allowed the authorities to pretend the case had been solved.