The Guardian has David Miranda detention row LIVE update blog

20 08 2013

The Guardian is full of Snowden-related news.

David Miranda detention – latest developments and reaction < LIVE BLOG
Rolling coverage of the latest developments and reaction following the detention of David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner, at Heathrow

VIDEO

Guardian chief: UK spies shredded newsroom disks

LONDON - The editor of the Guardian newspaper says that British agents destroyed an unspecified number of his newsroom’s hard drives in an apparent bid to keep Edward Snowden’s leaked intelligence material safe from Chinese spies. . . .

MORE:   GCHQ staff “destroyed Guardian hard drives”

NY Times Magazine – How Laura Poitras helped Snowden spill his secrets

Lawsuit filed in UK over partner Miranda’s detention

[snip]  “What they’re essentially seeking right now is a declaration from the British court that what the British authorities did is illegal, because the only thing they’re allowed to detain and question people over is investigations relating to terrorism, and they had nothing to do with terrorism, they went well beyond the scope of the law,” Greenwald said.

“And, secondly, to order them to return all the items they stole from David and to order that they are barred from using them in any way or sharing them with anybody else.”





Gareth Williams and Gudrun Loftus Murdered to Prevent them from Becoming More Russian Spies

22 11 2011

by Trowbridge H. Ford

In the so-called war on terror, securing secrets obtained is just as important for intelligence services as obtaining them in the first place, though the Western powers, especially the United States, have been quite slow in realizing this, thanks to its beliefs that its technology is too complicated to be seriously broken, and its agents are completely trustworthy. Of course, traditionally counter-intelligence – protecting what one already has, and making sure that it is not stolen in the future – has been as important as obtaining or stealing them in the first place. But the end of the Cold War – where organized systems of the combatants faced off against one another, has greatly blunted the process – leading individual states and alliances to believe that they only need worry about hackers, thieves of specific expertise, and criminal organizations. Current intelligence agencies have been until quite recently confident that their vetting processes, and periodic checks on the bona fides of agents -thanks to all the feedback from notorious spies such organizations experienced during the Cold War – are enough to insure that nothing serious leaks out.

In doing so, intelligence services have been slow to recognize that older ideologies – nationalism which made monsters like Hitler, socialism that made ones like Stalin, and pacificism that produced utopian one-worlders – have been replaced by other ones, perhaps not so powerful as those but still militating against assumptions about loyalties, priorities, and outlooks of citizens likely to become their agents. Rights of all kinds – those of humans, women, races, animals, the unborn, the poor, international and domestic law, the oppressed, the uneducated, the unknown, etc. – have taken on a priority which have replaced traditional beliefs about nations, societies, and individuals. Wars are now being fought or opposed in the name of human rights, doctors are being killed or protected for doing abortions, political leaders are being assassinated or hated for their actions regarding fur and factory farms, etc. The intelligence game has not fundamentally changed, only who are the participants, where are they located, why are they doing this, and how can they be discovered and stopped.

I personally find this most blunted interest in counter-intelligence most bizarre, having been an intelligence analyst aka clerk typist in the US Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps in Paris during the end of the Korean War. We did nothing but look for spies, especially communist ones, everywhere, recruiting the French Army agency like ours to help out in the process. My job was essentially to see to the processing of all security checks pertaining to French citizens working for the American Army. Any French national who was considered for employment, mostly for the most menial jobs like cleaning up all kinds of places, from offices to motor pools, had to get the okay from Uncle Sam.

The process must have been employed because of a hangover from the Dreyfus Affair, and that damned bordereau found in the German Embassy by that cleaning lady. Still, we – rather I – had to do it, prepare the agency checks for the Service de la Securité de la Défence Nationale, Section Guerre, for every job applicant, and type up the results in sextuplicate for the higher ups back in Orleans and Washington. I don’t recall ever receiving any unfavorable report from the French Army, but I vividly remember the mountains of paper I produced in the process.

Of course, if that was all we were doing in France, it would have been quite harmless, though most unnecessary, but there was much more to what was afoot. The commanding officer when I left had put us on a war footing when he came, having someone in the office 24/7 to help prevent the Russkies from stealing our worthless information – what I volunteered without much appreciation that we make readily available to them just to confuse them about our mission – and seeing to the recall of our independent Liaison Officer there on the grounds that he might be a leaker because of his alleged homosexuality.

Our commanding officer also wanted us to break into the apartment of a Army civilian in the hope of finding literature to prove his being a communist – what the rest of us kiboshed by stating that we had similar literature in our own digs, and when we learned that the Boss would take no responsibility if we were caught. Then we had an eager-beaver agent who independently set out to prove that Suzanne Bidault, the wife of French diplomat and often Cabinet minister Georges Bidault, was a leading member of the French Communist Party, only to discover at the last moment before a serious diplomatic incident occurred that she was another Suzanne Bidault.

The pìeces de résistance occurred when our counterparts in the Air Force, the Office of Special Investigations, wondered if anyone in our office would vouch for the fact that Max Asoli’s Reporter  magazine was communist-dominated. Since I took the magazine, and my brother-in-law was a frequent contributer to it, I told that Air Force snoops that they had it all wrong, as it was a CIA-funded one, apparently killing off the whole alleged exposé. Then Hoover’s FBI got CIC to do a surveillance on a leader of the American Communist Party, a guy named Burns who also had burns on his hands, when he visited Paris for some unknown reason. Of course, there was no legal basis for the operation, though that did not stop J. Edgar as he demanded that we go through with it after Burns had even canceled his flight. Seems a Canadian with the same name booked a flight to Paris about at this time, and we had to make sure that he wasn’t the American one. Well, when he arrived at Orly, we quickly lost sight of him, and our people had a hectic 24 hours until Mike Gravel, later Senator from Alaska, and recently a Democratic candidate for President, caught up the the guy, discovering that he had no burns on his hands.(1)

I mention this experience to show just how deep this anti-communism, especially of a Russian nature, had developed by the end of the Korean War – what has persisted among Western intelligence services, especially Anglo-American ones, ever since, particularly by those agents who got burned in some way subsequently by it. Cambridge University spies Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess had just fled to the USSR in May 1951, and while I was in Paris, there were terrible riots outside the American Embassy when the Rosenbergs, really surrogates for the really important spies – and there were some – were executed. Instead of seeing the trouble in some kind of proportion, though, Western counter-intelligence preferred to see communists almost everywhere, particularly when their Apostle associates, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross, did not follow them. Little wonder that historians of these betrayals have made careers out of continuing to see fellow communists amongst us, and roaming free right down to today.(2)

Little wonder with intelligence agencies stirring up so much trouble – and even MI5 was deeply involved in such wild-goose chases if Peter Wright is to be believed – the Kennedy administration consolidated all the service counter-intelligence agencies under the Defense Intelligence Agency, and all of them put increasingly less emphasis upon counter-intelligence as the Cold War dragged on, leaving the protection of their secrets to offices within them. Then vetting process were improved to make sure that the occasional bad-apple didn’t join their ranks, and periodic checks on their reliability, including lie-detector tests, were established to ensure that they did not turn after joining them. By the time the Cold War ended – thanks to the belated discovery of NSA’s Robert Lipka spying for the KGB by its own admission, and the Agency’s Aldrich ‘Rick’ Ames having similarly spied for the Soviets – Anglo-American intelligence agencies were quite sure that serious spying had essentially become a thing of the past, though there was still the most belated discovery that the Bureau’s Robert Hanssen had worked for the KGB too, something that could be left to the West’s security services.

There are still growing signs that other loyalties rather than expected patriotism are at play, like other countries’ progress, human and animal rights, etc., though security services are reluctant to recognize them. Jonathan Pollard’s spying for Israel – what resulted in his being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole – continues to be justified in terms of American national security, though what he did was not so important if Washington was not attempting a sudden, non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War – triggered by Olof Palme’s assassination, and at everyone’s risk – what could have resulted in Armageddon if it had not been for the spying by more important ones.

Holland’s Pim Fortuyn was left unprotected despite his disregard of animal rights – what his assassin Volkert van der Graaf used, among other things, to explain the killing. The killing of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko remains unsolved because MI5 conveniently maintains that he is another victim of the Cold War, refusing to admit that he was threatening to blackmail all its participants, particularly Britain.(3) Then there is the unfortunate case of plasma expert J. Reece Roth who had not paid strict attention to whom he allowed to be his research assistants while helping out Beijing in such matters when the USA was actively using his research and others in triggering the deadly earthquake in Sichuan province in May 2008.

The places to look for potential turncoats are in the feedback from the Cold War, especially when spies involved in it see results which directly conflict with what made them spy for the West in the first place. These tensions are particularly noticeable with the unification of Germany which made former residents of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) who risked their lives in spying for the West, especially those working for MI6 and CIA, suddenly have to put up with former communists who are doing things for a united Germany which they most opposed when still living in the GDR. It could result in a situation where a former MI6 spy is confronted with a political situation where he or she is doing for London what they had risked their lives a generation before to prevent and stop. Then other loyalties and concerns could threaten to override tradiional state loyalty when it engages in ‘false flag’ efforts to blame others, especially former communist opponents, for what it is attempting in order to get back for former betrayals, especially if key players in the ruse don’t know about it, and are vigorously opposed to such methods if they do find out.

This all seems most germane when talking about the killing of German linguist and leading Oxford academic Gudrun Loftus, though given her role in preparing analysts for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), her intelligence status has prevented any disclosure, official or unofficial, about who she really is. Loftus was born in the GDR, and grew up there as a devout Catholic, perhaps around Leipzig where she was subjected to all its recruiting methods for joining its elite communist ranks. She did not take to this most intrusive process, most likely because of the Stasi’s eavesdropping on everyone, especially growing troublemakers like herself.

Seems she met her future husband, Gerry Loftus, through the Brtish Council’s programs of English As A Foreign Language (EFL), noted for its connections to the Secret Intelligence Service, and soon was recruited by it as a spy – what forced her to flee the country in the early 1980s when it threatened being exposed to Marcus Wolf’s agents. While in West Germany, she finally finished her higher education at Tubingen, Germany’s university most noted for its religious tradition. From there, she went on to Oxford where we have already seen she accomplished a lot.(4)

Gareth Williams became a similarly most important agent in an entirely different way, though still without any serious vetting about who he really was. While the media, apparently thanks to input from Britain’s covert government, has portrayed him as a one-dimensional loner, he was obviously much more than that. He had serious interests in politics and religion, especially in Wales, though he was, of course, a practical maths genius, and a great expert on electronic gizmos involved in cryptography, as his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester demonstrated. He, coming from Anglesey, might well have been a Welsh nationalist since he spoke English with a Welsh accent, committed to restoring the country to an independent one which honored its language and traditions – what would explain why people who knew him are so tight-lipped about what they say. The big problem for Britain with Gareth was allowing him to write his own ticket about anything he touched without knowing what he might do with it. It reminds me of how MI6 allowed Kim Philby and George Blake to do whatever they wanted when it came to spying for Moscow. Blake became Britain most destructive double-agent because of how he was treated as a South Korean prisoner during the Korean War.

Williams’ independent interests started surfacing shortly after he arrived at Cheltentham’s GCHQ. He learned, it seems, of the Foreign Office’s communications with its embassy in Moscow about the activities of the GRU’s Colonel Sergei Skripal, the spy who MI6 had developed in the mid-1990s to expose its spies sent into Europe, and Russia’s military plans in case of war, and apparently told Putin’s people about it. Williams could not abide by the idea that he was serving HMG when it was just trying to keep the Cold War going, like it had been doing for centuries in Wales.

Skripal received $100,000 for his efforts, far more than Williams was being paid. The retired Colonel’s spying could have played an important role in the sinking of the Kursk in 2001 by the USS Toledo – an operation that the Royal Navy’s submarine Splendid was apparently involved in.(5) Skripal was arrested in December 2004, and convicted in 2006, sentenced to thirteen years in prison, setting his release for 2017 for time already served. Little wonder that Skripal’s exposure set off alarm bells in Whitehall, causing a raft of rumors about who had exposed him. Former MI6 double agent Oleg Gordievsky was left asking if Britain had another George Blake on its hands.(6)

Loftus’s independent activities started surfacing after Angela Merkel became chairman of the SDU-CSU right-wing coalition in Germany, and went on to become its first female Chancellor. Obviously, Gudrun knew something of her past, having grown up in the GDR too, but she did know how deeply Merkel was involved not only in its covert activities but also that of the KGB too until, it seems, I wrote my article about it.(7) Its closing sentence must have had an impact on Loftus, especially given the activities she had engaged in to stop her from rising to the top of a united Germany. Whether Merkel was just a Stasi asset or a KGB spy, she had certainly lost her credibility to lead a reunited Germany, especially since she was providing the growing use of German forces, and eavesdropping techniques reminiscent of the former communist regime to put down the insurgents in Afghanistan by the harshest means. Gudrun’s major problem, like Williams’, was how to make her concerns public and credible.

By this time, Williams was more interested in disclosing more counter-terrorist officers, and their intelligence collecting techniques as he worked away at Fort Meade with NSA to catch an alleged Russian sleeper cell of spies that it had discovered and the Bureau was putting the finishing touches on catching, and in Afghanistan to help NATO forces track down Al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents. The only trouble was that the security services had belatedly come to suspect him of treachery. The only trouble with going after him directly was that he would bring out these covert, illegal operations in his defense if prosecuted, so they set up a clever sting operation in the hope that it would keep him occupied, and possibly dissuade him from continuing while they had more time to finish these eavesdropping operations. A fledgling MI6 software engineer, Daniel Houghton, was persuaded to leave the service, and to befriend Williams – who he had apparently gotten to know through their rabid interest in cycling – so that he went along with a plan to sell such secrets, only unbeknownst to Williams, to a friendly power of Britain, Dutch intelligence agents. It was to be the crowning achievement of Scarlett’s tenure as MI6′s ‘C’. (8)

In the counter-intelligence race against time, the British pulled off their sting operation before Williams was able to completely ruin theirs with NSA in the States, and then NATO’s pursuit of insurgents in Afghanistan. In early March 2010, MI5 agents, feigning to be those of a foreign power, arrested Houghton when he was leaving a London hotel after he received £900.000 for the DVDs and video tapes upon which he, it seems, had copied the data regarding MI5′s and MI6′s personnel, and operating procedures. He understandably stated that they had the “wrong man”, as he was only Williams’ intermediary, later explaining that he had been tricked into doing so by voices in his head.(9) While Judge Bean at the Old Bailey trial of the case said that that did not permit him to escape responsibility, Houghton had not done it for ideological reasons nor to hurt Britain since he had sold the information to a friendly power! After he pleaded guilty in July to committing one offense of the Official Secrets Act, he was sentenced to one year in prison in early September, as if it were essentially an uncomplicated case of theft – what resulted in his release in February, as he was credited with serving time while on remand.(10)

Williams was quite confused by this rigmarole, but as Houghton’s trial was stretched out to make sure that his own spying was successfully terminated, he began to act again in Russia’s interest. Just after the Manhattan 11 were arrested, and charged with spying, NSA feared that he might come to their defense, given his freedom to say what he wanted about the Bureau’s sting, so their crimes were reduced like Houghton’s were in the process of being marginalized. Once ten of them, headed by the sultry Anna Chapman, pleaded guilty to the lesser charges, the Kremlin sought out Williams to determine if he would be willing to see them exchanged for Colonel Skripal, and three other Western spies it was holding. It would make no sense to lose Williams while exchanging Skripal.

Williams’ visitors were apparently the ‘Mediterranean-looking’ couple who had sought him out in his safe apartment in Pimlico in late June.(11) Williams agreed to the exchange as it would help embarrass NSA/GCHQ over the ‘false flag’ operation – turning the tables on Washington and London on how they treated ignorant Russians who they had set up.

Shortly afterwards, Williams learned that Houghton had really set him up by dealing with the Dutch rather than the Russians with his copied material, and went to Afghanistan to gather material showing just how serious NATO forces there, especially the British, American, and German ones. had been in violating human rights in trying to suppress the insurgents. In the process of making the logs understandable to those not familiar with the languages used, particularly German, Mrs. Loftus, it seems, helped out in the translations because Angela Merkel’s government was increasing its assistance to the Afghan mission while other countries were reducing theirs or were thinking of doing so.

Once they were completed, Williams handed them over in July to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, apparently with the expectation that material would be redacted to protect the identity of forces and personnel involved. Wikileaks turned the Afghan Logs over to The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel to pass on to the public.The choice of the German outlet as a source seemed to show Loftus’s contribution to the project.

While the logs were redacted to prevent the identity of the forces involved, excesses by German forces around Kunduz were particularly notable. In September 2009, the German commander there, Colonel Georg Klein, ordered the bombing of a crowd north of the city, looting two hijacked fuel tankers in the Kunduz river bed. Klein ordered the attack after Task Force 47, an elite special forces group, had been informed by a single source that it was a completely Taliban operation, and he agreed to the targeting of the two groups with 500-pound bombs from missiles, killing at least 142 people.

The rules of engagement allowed such action if there were no civilians in the area, and the German troops acted as if this were so, and so claimed, though the vast majority of those killed were civilians.(12) Actually, those killed were essentially civilians who the Taliban had mobilized to move the tankers. As in Britain’s suppression of IRA terrorism, as Richard Norton-Taylor pointed out, the killing of ‘high value’ targets was done with no attempt to capture them, warning shots were hardly ever fired, and winning ‘hearts and minds’ of the Afghans was largely a myth, intended merely for the benefit of the folks back home. Lady Neville-Jones, Britain’s Security Minister, hit the nail on the head when she said that the logs appeared to be the product of both leaking and hacking – what Williams could best provide.

What really infuriated Mrs. Loftus was that Merkel’s government really did nothing about it – only accepting the resignations of Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung whose attempted cover up of the incident was exposed, and the retirement of German President Horst Köhler, another graduate of Tubingen University, after he said that German involvement in Afghanistan was good for world stability and its economy. Though Chancellor Merkel had belatedly promised a full investigation of the tragedy, the charges against Klein were ultimately dropped, and nothing has really been done about it.(13)

The unredacted leaks by Williams and Loftus, of course, just put them in greater jeopardy, as Julian Assange explained after an apparent meeting with one of them:”We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from the total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with the occasional redactions and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.” (14)

Unfortunately, this explanation and future changes were far too late to save Williams who was by then on his way back to the States, trying to obtain more information about the entrapment of the ten Russians, apparently in the hope of improving his position with Moscow. By this time, Williams knew that he was really the target of the Houghton sting, and his best chance of avoiding a long imprisonment or murder was to flee, like Maclean and Burgess had when MI5 was finally closing in on them. He had no chance of being freed, as Blake had, if he ever went to prison

Williams might have tipped his hand by the complicated travel arrangements he contemplated to get to Moscow. He certainly indicated his intentions by where he went, and the questions he asked, especially to the female associate and her husband at GCHQ who had taken his place at Fort Meade after he left – what resulted in their being transferred to Denver on a mission which made them unavailable for any questioning about the matter. While Williams undoubtedly collected valuable information about it and other Scarlett missteps on his laptop – what would have made the disclosures by other Russian double agents tame by comparison – he had also ingested the poison which would kill him before he ever got to Moscow.(15)

The most interesting aspects of his murder were the lengths that the securocrats went to in order to best hide his poisoning, and his killing so that it could be so clouded with rumor that most interest in what had really happened would be lost. Clearly they had complete access to his Rodina apartment or they would have reported his unexplained visit by that couple at the end of June. The fact they didn’t showed that they were hoping to implicate the Russians in the murder – what some of the disinformation after the discovery of his body was intended to achieve. Obviously, they wanted to see where it was really headed before they finally acted overtly.

When he was poisoned in the States, they believed that he would die, and could be disposed of before anyone suspected what was occurring. To facilitate this, he was dumped naked into the carryall, and padlocked in to make sure that he was only discovered after there had been vast decomposition of his body, making the discovery of a natural poison almost impossible to discover. His nakedness was the result of the clothing he had been wearing while he was dying, being removed from the apartment to make his last moves in London nearly impossible to retrace.

The only trouble was that the police did find those security videos of him entering the Holland Park tube station, and walking along the front of Harrods. The photographs clearly show that he, so sickly that he is hardly recognizable, was suffering jaundice from the toxins of the poisonous mushroom, apparently amanita phalloides, the most damaging evidence about official lies about his condition when he, it seems, just suddenly was killed. The photographs, especially the one of Williams in the descending lift at Holland Park station, show this, though disinformation agents and skeptics claim that its light is the cause of the yellowness, not his skin color. Actually, the light shows its light making his skin at the top of his head more white, giving him a kind of halo, while the rest of it is quite yellow.(16) And the other photographs show him in a jaundiced condition, with his arms and his head being a darkish yellow while the red of his T-shirt, and the light color of his trousers are not made to look pink or yellow.

His having been poisoned was overlooked when the securocrats cleared his safe house of medicine he had bought at Harrods Dispensing Pharmacy, missing the receipt he had about the purchase. Williams paid for most of the items he purchased in cash – what his killers were ignorant of when they finished taking him out.

Mrs. Loftus must have been at a loss to account for his killing, given all the disinformation provided about it, until, it seems, I provided essentially the above information. She apparently provided support for my continuing investigation of his murder after I posted its background (17), and no sooner had I finished it than she too was murdered. She was even more important as a witness to Williams murder, explaining what and why he did what he did, than what she herself could disclose. The article was posted on October 4th, and she was apparently pushed backwards down the steep stairs leading to the Senior Common Room of St. John’s College, Oxford early the next morning. She had apparently gone there to discuss the disclosure of the Afghan logs, and Williams killing with someone she thought knew something about it – what was discovered by GCHQ’s eavesdropping on the conversation setting up the meeting – and was met at the landing at the top of the stairs by the person she sought by a hefty push back down them to her death.

The police are still officially investigating both murders, preventing anyone from divulging any information about them to the press and the public, and, of course, government employees are prevented from doing so under the strictest penalties. The families of the deceased have apparently been belatedly informed that their killings were a matter of national security – what has been so successful that they have not uttered a peep about them while the heads of MI5, GCHQ, and MI6 have gone out of their way to state that such disclosures of secret information – whatever their source – cannot be allowed not matter what is required to stop it.

In explaining intelligence assurance, the Cheltenham Director Lain Lobban said most pointedly but without any clarification: “Cyberspace lowers the bar for entry to the espionage game, both for states and criminal actors.” (18)

MI6 Director Sir John Sawers added about the problems such actions caused allied intelligence services: “They will not work with SIS (Secret Intelligence Service), will not pass us the secrets they hold, unless they can trust us not to expose them. Our foreign partners need to have certainty that what they tell us will remain secret, not just most of the time, but always.” (19)

Counter-intelligence in the Anglo-American world has returned with increased vengeance.

References

1. For more, see this link: http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/01/confessions-of-american-counterspy-in.html
2. For examples of this, see Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Nigel West, VENONA: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, and Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Firsov, The Soviet World of American Communism.
3. For more, see this link: http://cryptome.quintessenz.at/mirror/mi5-litvinenko.htm
4. http://codshit.blogspot.com/2010/10/was-oxfords-gudrun-loftus-killed.html
5. http://whatreallyhappened.com/WHRARTICLES/KURSK/kursk.html?q=KURSK/kursk.html
6. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article/article604149.ece
7. For more, see this link: http://cryptome.info/0001/merkel-spy.htm
8. For an account of what Scarlett had to make up for, see this link:
http://codshit.blogspot.com/2008/01/mi6-sir-john-scarlett-career-of.html
9. For more, see this link: http://cicentre.net/wordpress/index.php/2010/07/16/sting-operation-that-caught-mi6-spy/
10. http://bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11176434
11. For a most ignorant account of the visit, see this link:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7984508/MI6-spy-Gareth-Williams-murder-police-hunt-for-Mediterrarean-couple.html
12. For more, see this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/jul/25/guardian-civilian-deaths-rules-engagement
13. http://www.afghanistanconflictmonitor.org/kunduz
14. Quoted from Curt Hopkins, “Wikileaks Releases 91,900 Afghanistan War Documents Online,” July 25, 2010.
15. For more, see: http://codshit.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-americas-nsa-and-britains-gchq-had.html
16 http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23874697-last-images-of-spy-in-a-bag-garet-williams.do
17. http://codshit.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-americas-nsa-and-britains-gchq.html
18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11528371
19. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11642568






Was Oxford’s Gudrun Loftus Killed Because She Threatened To Become Another Gareth Williams?

16 11 2011

by Trowbridge H. Ford
 
In the so-called war against terror, the role of eavesdropping upon its participants has become increasingly important despite the opposition of humint agents on the ground, whether it be catching terrorists before they do something, or apprehending them after they have. While the hardware involved in doing so, whether it be tapping land or fiber optic cables or wireless communications, has been extensively discussed, too little has been said about the technicians who collect the messages, whether it be encrypted or not, and the analysts who determine what it all means.  Of course, the biggest reasons that their role is not mentioned is because it would tip off potential terrorists about the risks involved, and would put the lives of those agents involved in greater danger.
 
Still, the increasing role of cryptologists and linguists in the process must be evident to all. If the open messages by the 9/11 suicide bombers had been focused on, and their import had been determined, there is little doubt that the bombings would have been prevented.  As James Bamford has stated in The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America regarding Osama bin-Ladin’s calls to action: “But inexplicably, the fact that the calls from Mihdhar had a U. S. country code and a San Diego area code – something that should have been instantly obvious to the NSA’s signals intelligence exerts – was never passed on to the FBI, CIA or anyone else.” (1)  To confound counter-terrorist experts about what they were up to, “…the group had worked out a series of code words, and using those terms…” (2) – ‘architecture’ meant the WTC, ‘arts’ the Pentagon, ‘law’ the Capitol, and ‘politics’ the White House – kept themselves informed about what was being planned, and what was required.
 
Of couse, when the bombings proved so successful, the National Security Agency (NSA), Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and others amounted a great effort to capture such messages, and determine what they meant so that there would be no recurrence of the tragedy. Unfortunately, they were repeated in Madrid in March 2004 (3), and in London in July 2005 (4) where messages were not received, were ignored, or were misunderstood.  The basic problem, though James Bamford has nothing to say about its cause, was that GCHQ, MI6, and MI5 were convinced that Al-Qaeda was going to pull off a terrorist attack around London, thanks to the electronic chatter that it was picking up in Britain and Spain from jihadist mullahs. When this proved terribly wrong, they dismissed as a danger the Leeds group, led by Mohammad Sidique Khan – which they had already tried unsuccessfully to set up as terrorists during Operation Crevice – only for it to be totally ignored in surveillance operations, allowing it to pull off the 7/7 bombings with no interference.
 
“In an effort to attract new Web-savvy recruits,” Bamford explained after the tragedies had occurred, “GCHQ has turned to ad campaigns within online computer games such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent and Rainbow Six Vegas. And to find talented cipher-brains, the agency joined the British Computer Society to sponsor a code-breaking competition called the National Cipher Challenge.” (5)  The challenge was carried out on the Internet, lasted three months, and obliged competitors to decipher coded messages exchanged between Lord Nelson and British naval intelligence during the wars against revolutionary France. They were required to keep on top of a Napoleonic plot to buy a mysterious Chinese weapon – what could only be fully understood by decrypting writings that Elizabethan spy Christopher Marlowe had written two centuries before.  It was a good test for future cryptographers to meet the demands of qualitative literacy in this field for today’s covert world.
 
The problems, though, are more complicated than the test and what Bamford indicated. Today, the messages are in all kinds of languages, and what they mean is more difficult than understanding anything Christopher Marlowe may have written. Cryptographers have not only to break down messages in all kinds of esoteric codes but also linguists must be able to make sense of them, especially since the controlling language is often not English, and the real meaning of ones in another language will require a colloquial understanding of their use. Little wonder that Bamford immediately added GCHQ’s, like NSA’s, need for linguists in all kinds of languages without explaining why, particularly in all kinds of European languages like Polish, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chechen, Georgian, Basque, Greek, etc.(6)  It is interesting to note, though, that Bamford made no mention of the most likely European languages – German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Italian – an oversight which does not seem accidental. 
 
Of course, the Treasury allocated all kinds of money to GCHQ to recruit such experts, but the money failed to meet the demand, as they, especially the linguists, were reluctant to join the spy agency in sufficient numbers. “At $1.6 billion,” Bamford explained. “GCHQ was the most expensive part of the budget, yet it was still overstretched.” (7) The lack of proper staff was dramatically indicated in not only Operation Crevis but also in Operation Overt. It was a massive surveillance and intelligence collecting investigation where securocrats hoped to prove that two cells of wantabe militants were seriously involved in plots to blow up transatlantic airliners – thanks to MI5 prodding – when they seemed to be more interested in making films, showing the plight of Muslams in Islamic countries. The problem was really caused by the eavesdroppers not being able to understand what the suspects were really up to, given their most crude messages.
 
To remedy the problem, Sir David Pepper, GCHQ’s Director, started recruiting mathematicians and linguists through the backdoor from his base at St. John’s College, Oxford, where he had received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics thirty years before. During Pepper’s thirty years at ‘ the Q’, he was able to establish a most solid base at the college for training the proper analysts. 
 
He and Principal Sir John Scholar became the closest of friends through their interests in music, walking and gardening. The Modern Language Department and its Associate Schools deeply trained graduates in just the languages Bamford made no mention of – German, Russian, Italian, French and Spanish.(8) The teaching and translations of its German experts – Taylor Professor Ritchie Robertson, now of the University of Oxford, and Lecturer in German Gudrun Loftus up until her mysterious death – have made its graduates the cream of the crop as many surveys have shown. Little wonder that some in German, and others in other European languages, have gone on to do secret work at Cheltenham, especially since continued professional work at university or in the private sector would give them excellent cover for what they are doing.  It’s always easier to have a most acceptable peg to hang one’s covert work on when asked by the public.
 
Pepper has been the biggest opponent of disclosing anything about GCHQ, even himself, especially in court cases, claiming that it will only benefit terrorists who the agency is having trouble keeping up with. “…As the GCHQ packed more and more eavesdroppers and analysts into the doughnut,” Bamford explained, “the quality of the intelligence went down.” (9) Of course, allowing the introduction of intercepts into court cases would not only divert needed resources from more important assignments in preparing them but more importantly disclose intelligence collection techniques. While Sir David, the perfect technospy according to Bamford, went on about keeping up with coded messages on the Internet, he made no mention of the role of GCHQ linguists. Given the failure of Bamford to mention their role in deciphering German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and French messages, it seems that Cheltenham’s linguists are the hub of such activity in Europe – what London is desperate to keep secret. It would show that the Scope system – a secure one to connect GCHQ with other intelligence agencies and their overseas offices – is superfluous. The Intelligence and Security Committee has increased GCHQ’s ability to access, process, and store Internet data and telephone calls by twenty fold.       
 
Scholar obtained all the proper academic credentials at Oxbridge’s other St. John’s College in Cambridge, and the administrative ones by serving at the Treasury, and becoming ultimately the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Office, and then the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). His being a political insider was best illustrated when he became Prime Minister Thatcher’s Private Secretary (1981-3), just when she was cutting the unions, especially at GCHQ, down to size, and when reconnecting London to the Reagan administration in Washington became so important. NSA knew all about Thatcher’s problems because it “…always has a sizable number of its own personnel working at GCHQ…” (10)  Scholar had his hands full while dealing with GCHQ Director Brian Tovey in getting rid of the unions there, and while getting essential intelligence from NSA during the risky war with Argentina over the Falklands Islands. Scholar is quite beholden to the Americans.
 
While at the Welsh Office, Scholar became so helpful in integrating its universities into meeting GCHQ’s needs that he was unprecedentedly honored by them.  The University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the University of Cardiff made him an Honorary Fellow.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glamorgan in 1999. While at DTI, Scholar became responsible for handling the affairs of the Carroll Foundation Charitable Trust – what became the largest one in the world during the 1990′s, controlling 85 large corporations. (11)
 
In addition, in August 2007, Scholar became the shadow director of the UK Statistical Agency. It seems that he used this post to help recruit qualitatively relevant experts covertly for GCHQ by acting as a front for it for those who were nervously interested in joining it – what was apparently in violation of its steering clear of engaging in politics. He seemed most certainly inclined to dispel this by speaking out against anyone who used Britain’s statistics improperly, even Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Home Secretaries Jaci Smith and Alan Johnson, once the agency was officially established.
 
At the center of this whole network was St John’s College Senior Language Lecturer in German Gudrun Loftus. She was a refugee from East Germany who made her way West, and up the academic scale in an unprecedented way despite her only having an undergraduate degree from Tubingen University. She was able to do so because of her ability to plumb the depths of the language, and teach it most effectively to those just starting out but not in a misleadingly simplistic way or taking out of context the subtleties of modern German.  At the same time, she was so proficient in English that she soon became an actress for Buckinghamshire’s theatrical group, The Old Gaolers.
 
She co-authored three books, one with her husband Gerry, about learning German basic grammar, practicing its use, and providing a learning resource for more advanced students about the colloquial use of the language – what she and Ms.I. Scheiblauer expanded upon by running the Oxford Language Centre.  The Centre provides classes in the five key European languages, plus Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic, and its library has sources for 135 other languages for students to study independently.  And being only 37 miles away from Cheltenham, it is ideally placed for any students who may want to go there, or any spooks who have any questions about the subtleties of any language they are dealing with.
 
The basic counter-terrorist aim that NSA/GCHQ has is to make sure that another 9/11 or worse terror act doesn’t occur. While the activities of its leader Khalid al-Mihdhar is most often discussed, what went on at its operational center, Hamburg, was most important in knowing if a recurrence was not to happen. Counter-terrorists needed to know where the terrorists live, where they went, what kind of mosque they attended, what kinds of communications did they carry on with one another, what kinds of covert words did they use, and what did they mean, etc.
 
Here the center of attention should have been on Mohamed Atta, the organizer of the 9/11 attacks. If the three German intelligence agencies had had an inkling of what Atta and his associates were planning, they might well have stopped it, but because of their lack of technical and analytical expertise, they didn’t have a clue. They didn’t know just how mad Atta and his friends had become after Israel’s April 1996 Grapes of Wrath massacres in South Lebanon – what resulted in his signing his last will and testament against Israel and its allies in Hamburg’s al-Quds mosque (12) – the code words they developed for their targets in Washington (13), and that the plot was completed on July 16, 2001.(14)
 
The expertise that Loftus’s network provided European securocrats is well documented, though, understandably, without any acknowledgement. Germany, while having twice as many Muslims as either Britain or Spain, has not experienced a counter-terrorist cockup like either Madrid’s 3/11 or London’s 7/7. Its best example of stopping a 9/11 attack was its dogged pursuit of Eric Breininger, a German national who hoped to become a home-grown Mohamed Atta. In September 2007, the Federal Crime Office and the Foreign Intelligence Service (BND) caught three members of his notorious Sauerland group – two native-born Germans who had converted to Islam, and a Turkish resident planning attacks on German cities and American bases.
 
They were not worse than anything Europe had ever experienced (15), thanks to technical equipment they had used to break into their communications, and analysis of its take by Loftus-trained analysts that GCHQ had supplied them.  By the time Breininger was finally killed in April 2010, GCHQ/MI6 agent Gareth Willaims was playing a role in the ongoing process not only in Washington but also in Afghanistan. (16)
 
When Williams was found dead on August 23rd, it seems murdered, Loftus apparently began to have second thoughts about what she had been involved in, and when I wrote my article about the background to his murder, someone, apparently she, wrote an most approving endorsement of it which a poster, using the site name of  Shader Writing, passed along:  “This is obviously a great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!”
 
Of course, I was most pleased, especially since it showed much more clearly where I was headed than I imagine the vast majority of viewers possessed. The person had apparently been most taken by my mentioning the murder of former DCI William Colby, and the priority that NSA put on recruiting foreign experts, especially in Britain, for cryptological and linguistic posts in Appendix C of Bamford’s Body of Secrets.   The quoted source had digested all I had said about the illegal, covert, and, if necessary, the murderous ways of the NSA/GCHQ organization, and where I was headed when it came to what happened to Williams.
 
When I supplied the follow-up about Willaims’ murder on October 4th, I was most distressed to learn that Loftus had been killed early the next morning when she visited the Senior Common Room around 6 AM, apparently to meet someone about a most unexpected development.  It seems that she had decided to go public – what GCHQ could have easily learned by eavesdropping on her conversations – and the agency had sent a person to check out just how serious she was about her plans to blow the whistle on it too.
 
When the person she met learned of her determination, she was pushed backwards down the steep, spiral staircase from the landing outside the Senior Common Room, falling all the way down to the bottom, fatally injuring herself in the process. There were, it seems, no witnesses to the killing, and the person who discovered her body, possibly even her killer, has not been identified. And my plea to Shader Writing afterwards to confirm that her comments about my article regarding the background to the Williams one had nothing to do with Loftus has gone unanswered.
 
It was right after Williams’ body had been found, apparently a murder NSA arranged just before he left the States on August 10th, that President Obama joined law-enforcement officials on both sides of the Atlantic in getting the new Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, to stop stonewalling the prosecution of the Carroll Trust Case (17)  – one which apparently is most threatening to Scholar while he was Permanent Secretary of the DTI. The idea that Grieve is protecting the head of the UK Statistical Agency is best illustrated when he went out of his way to agree with Scholar’s criticism of Labour Ministers using statistics about knife crime in Britain incorrectly. One can only wonder that Loftus’s killing is to deflect further pressure in the States against him by his seeing that a favor for all the eavesdroppers is achieved.
 
The former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher helped deflect any embarrassing moments or comments by deciding not to attend her 85th birthday party at No. 10  shortly afterwards.  Her former Private Secretary and wife had been invited, and there would have been uncomfortable conversation about the killing of Mrs. Loftus at St. John’s, and the unprecedented scandal at the Carroll Trust, so the ‘Iron Lady’ turned yet again – what she had done before when it came to getting of the Soviets and the Provisionals by force – not ‘returning’ to Downing Street, claiming conveniently yet again her sickly condition.
 
She has not managed a makeup party at No. 10 for either last year or this.
 
Where the Loftus killing ends up is anyone’s guess, like the Williams one.             
 
              
 
References
 
1. p. 27.
2. p. 70.
3. For more, see my article:  http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/04/why-spain-suffered-its-911-attacks.html
4. For more, see my article:  http://codshit.blogspot.com/2005/07/perfect-conspiracy-london-bombings.html
5. Op. cit., p. 219.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid., p.230.
8. For more, see: http://www.sjc.ox.uk//368-748/Modern-Languages-and-joint-schoools.html
9. Op. cit., pp. 220-1.
10. James Bamford, Body of Secrets: How America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World, p. 398.
11. For more, see this link:http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fb6_1277386170
12. Bamford, The…, p. 42.
13. Ibid., p. 71.
14. Ibid., p. 62.
15. See this link:  http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary/ref:C48EOFBFBOEC6C/
16.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/aug/29/mi6-officer-bondage-claims-untrue
17.  http://current.com/news-and-politics/92628912_president-obama-nation-security-issue-carroll-foundation-trust-case.htm