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Paul Rigby
10-22-2008, 08:48 PM
On Saturday, 18 October, the Grauniad published two puff pieces on Stella Rimington and MI5. They can be found at the links below. One, entirely predictably, emanated from the paper’s old spook bootlicker-in-chief, Richard Norton-Taylor, ordinarily an MI6 water-carrier; while the other took the form of a soft-focus interview by Decca Aitkenhead, about whom I can remember nothing:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/oct/18/stella-rimington-9-11-mi5

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/18/iraq-britainand911

Somewhat surprisingly, this morning’s paper featured a letter of protest:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/oct/22/terrorism-security-uk-intelligence

Graham Ennis: “Letters and emails: MI5 interview that evades the truth,” The Guardian, Wednesday, 22 October 2008, p.31


Will the Guardian please stop running cosy interviews with former heads of the British security and intelligence services (Stella Rimington, October 18) which are somewhat evasive of the truth? As some actual Guardian-reading serving and ex-service officers know, much of what Stella Rimington said would not stand up to a harsh and probing parliamentary inquiry.

Contrary to what she says, MI5 agents have certainly been killed in the field - especially in Northern Ireland, where they would fill a small graveyard. (Who was ex-British army double agent and counterintelligence chief Stakeknife disposing of?) Sections of MI5 have certainly, in the past, acted like the East German Stasi (the reason why ex-agents such as David Shayler became outraged and walked out).

The security service is now poised - with its new massive database that tracks everyone, everywhere, soon to be introduced by Gordon Brown - to have far more power to abuse with impunity than the old Stasi ever had.

I might also mention embarrassing allegations of MI5 being involved in renditions etc, which bring no honour to this country or the service, and are illegal. Stella has absolutely nothing to say, of course, about such things. Guardian readers expect harsh, critical and sceptical journalistic inquiries into the darker recesses of the security service, not this kind of apologetic interview.

Will you now publish a balancing article, from MI5's victims, such as Colin Wallace (and myself), of whom there are many? Or are some Guardian readers more interviewable than others and their victims invisible?

Graham Ennis
Brighton, East Sussex

Will the Grauniad, the CIA's favourite British liberal paper, dare to publish anything seriously critical about Britain's Stasi?

David Guyatt
10-22-2008, 09:33 PM
When it comes to dead bodies, Capt. Fred Holroyd could also be interviewed (mor so than Wallace I suspect) if there was any passion about getting to the truth, which there isn't.

Fred has been hounded for over twenty years by the spooks. every time he gets a job, a suit-spook turns up for a quiet word with the owner of the firm and Fred is let go (a fucking awful cowardly description for being sacked). From being a passionate soldier, and an honest and honourable one to boot, the last time I spent an evening with him he was working as a night watchman in a building site and was poorer than me -- some achievement back then.