We Need to Get Back to Iraq
… by Michael Shrimpton
I am not just saying this now, I have been saying it for some time. The attempted genocide of the Yazidi was entirely predictable, ditto the attack on Iraq’s Christian minority. (Not being a theologian, I won’t enter the theological debate about whether or not the Yazidis are Christian.)
I was opposed to the withdrawal from Iraq and criticised the pull-out timetable in Spyhunter, which was published before the ISIS crisis. The timetable was imposed by Obama for political, not strategic reasons. Effectively the White House decided to hand Iraq over to Iran.
The only good thing to come out of it, apart from making Obama look bad (or even worse, depending upon your point of view), is that we’ve got rid of Maliki. Hooray! Sadly, he has not been replaced by Chalabi, who was always the most credible candidate to be Prime Minister of Iraq.
Boots on the ground
We need to get boots back onto the ground in Iraq, and fast, and I don’t mean opening branches of Boots the Chemist. I am aware that the SAS have been deployed, but we need more than Special Forces. We need armor, anti-tank helos and a couple of infantry divisions.
I should have thought one British and one US infantry division, plus say a US armored division, would do the job nicely. Anything less than 50,000 troops in total, including support personnel and army air, would be a token force.
There is no point asking Saudi Arabia, who are backing ISIS, to get involved. The Egyptian army is tied up in counter-terrorism operations in Egypt itself, and is doing valuable work suppressing Hamas and the Moslem Brotherhood, although Hamas is really just the Gaza branch office of the Brotherhood. Like Bank of America, they have branches everywhere!
We also need more airpower. So far we have just managed token strikes. A few captured Humvees here, the odd APC there. That’s not what Bomber Harris would call an airstrike! It doesn’t have to be a 1,000-bomber raid, just enough air-dropped munitions to take out ISIS’s captured armor and soft-skinned vehicles, and generally annoy them.
As long ago as 2002, I had an article published in the Journal of International Security Affairs, edited by that nice man Ambassador Harvey Feldman, late of the CIA, pointing out the need for a unifying figure in Afghanistan. Harvey was a great loss by the way. My argument, which I also extended to Iraq, was that we should restore the king.
I made the same point in Spyhunter. There was no need to nation-build in Iraq. She was already a nation and had a constitution, which was usurped by the 1958 coup. By not restoring the legitimate, monarchical constitution, we effectively legitimised the coup. By insisting on a republican constitution, vulnerable to outside interference, then abandoning the people of Iraq to their fate, we virtually ensured an Iranian takeover.
It’s not too late to restore the monarchy and go back to the old constitution. Iraq needs a unifying figure, able to command the loyalty of all ethnic and religious groups. No politician can do it.
There is a lot of anxiety in MI5 and elsewhere about Moslem British citizens fighting for Isis in Iraq and with other Islamic terrorist organisations, elsewhere. These terrorists are invariably described in the MSM as “British”, but this is nonsense. They happen to have British passports, but that does not make them British. They are almost all dual nationals.
Even if a particular terrorist is born in Britain, you will usually find that his father was born in Pakistan, or Somalia, or wherever. They therefore acquire their father’s nationality by descent. It doesn’t matter what passport they are using – passports are merely evidence of identity, not determinative of it. If your passport expires tomorrow, your US citizenship does not expire with it.
All that is required is a British Nationality Act allowing the Home Secretary to deprive dual nationals, wherever born, of their British nationality on national security grounds. This could be made subject to a right of appeal, exercisable only from abroad, limited to the issue of dual national status.
The US could enact a similar provision, ditto Australia and other Western nations facing this particularly insidious terrorist threat. ISIS are particularly dangerous. None of these nutters should be let back into UK, or any other civilised nation.
The Raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s Home
This was outrageous. The poor man’s reputation has been trashed from Wolverhampton to Wagga Wagga, based on what sounds like a mischievous allegation, a quarter of a century old. The alleged accuser (we don’t even know if there is such a man), who may well be working for GO2, the German operation in London, is hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.
If there is an actual accuser, as opposed to a police claim that there is one, there is no evidence that he was at the rally in Sheffield with the Rev. Billy Graham, at which Sir Cliff, a fine singer, performed. In the Rolf Harris case, it was far from clear that one of the accusers had even met him.
I have already stated that we need a statute of limitations in England for sex offences. I have suggested to a number of MPs that the limit should be six years, or within three years of attaining majority, for minors. You no not need more than six years to work out whether you have been sexually assaulted or not. We also need to introduce a requirement of corroboration.
On any view, the raid on Sir Cliff’s home cannot have been anything to do with a stale allegation of sex abuse. The police cannot possibly have supposed that there was any material evidence at Sir Cliff’s home, let alone on the computer equipment they seized.
Thames Valley Police, who conducted the raid, apparently without a warrant, have access to the Engage G12 Tactical Interception System. This allows remote takeover of computers. It is ideal for planting evidence, as you do not need to enter the premises. You just activate the computer and dump whatever you want on it.
The system was used to eavesdrop on professional conferences during the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey. I would be amazed if it had not been used in Operation Yewtree cases, including dear old Rolf Harris. I am glad he has lodged an application for leave to appeal by the way, although the Aussies have been a bit slow in swinging in behind him. I did brief a friend of Tony Abbott’s in London the other day, but the message may not have reached him yet.
What I suspect happened in Sir Cliff’s case is that GO2 used a G12 system to plant gay porn on Sir Cliff’s computers whilst he was away at his summer home in the Algarve. The Cabinet Office then tipped off South Yorkshire Police, who have operational control of the Richard investigation (Yewtree is run ultimately from the Cabinet Office), and the BBC. The Beeb turned up with a helicopter and a camera team, causing widespread outrage in Britain.
I have little doubt that Thames Valley Police’s High Tech Crimes Unit will discover illegal gay porn on the seized equipment. Sir Cliff, understandably and truthfully, will deny all knowledge of it, and will then be charged with possession of kiddie porn.
The original allegation, which was the supposed justification for the raid, will then be forgotten. Along with planting illegal drugs, it’s the oldest trick in the book. TVP will then take over the investigation, and South Yorkshire will drop out. There are two huge problems with this cunning plan, however.
The first is that, unless South Yorkshire can back up their media briefing that they have a credible, stale sex allegation, the legal basis for the warrantless raid will be swept away. We do not have the fruits of the poisoned-tree doctrine in Britain, which I think goes too far anyway, but we do have section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1978.
This allows a court to exclude any evidence seized illegally. The main difference between the law in England and the US is that English courts have a discretion and can overlook technical breaches of the law, such as those committed by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry (torture and beating up of suspects, etc.). This looks like a really serious breach by the police however.
Remember this is Thames Valley Police, not a well-run police force like Ferguson MO. TVP are heavily penetrated by GO2 and have a track record of illegal conduct. I suspect Sir Cliff, if charged, would engage good lawyers, and they would get this tainted evidence thrown out.
The second problem for the police is that the G12 permits manipulation of computer equipment, as well as remote activation. Once the court has a doubt about whether a G12 was used or not, computer evidence becomes worthless. If a G12 were used, there would be chain-of-evidence problems.
I was very sorry to learn of Chapman’s death last week, at the grand old age of 100. He was the doyen of intelligence journalists, who upset several dodgy Prime Ministers, Macmillan included, in a long and distinguished career.
Chappers and I had a disagreement about Victor Rothschild. He got on well with Victor and refused to believe that he was DVD. I suspect he wasn’t too happy, either, about my unmasking his old boss Lord Beaverbrook as a German spy, in Spyhunter.
Chapman Pincher was undoubtedly a gent however, and our disagreements were conducted most amiably. I well recall an enjoyable lunch at a golf club near his home in the charming village of Kintbury, in the Royal County of Berkshire. He was an awfully nice chap, and brilliant at acquiring intelligence.
Response to Comments
I am most grateful to Tham Wai Keong in Malaysia. I am delighted to have Malaysian readers and hope to acquire a few more!
I entirely agree with Walter Baeyerns, with respect, that an external radar ranging pod would add drag to a Sukhoi 25. However we do not know what mods were made to the attack aircraft. I cannot believe that they left the armor in, e.g. I have no problem with a modified, upgraded Su25 carrying out this attack at combat power, at or just under FL33, nor, apparently, does the Russian GRU. The key is to make allowances with published specifications for lightening the airframe and additional power at combat setting for a short period.
In my opinion, MH17’s radios were jammed, and her ACARS system disabled, as with MH370. This would have prevented any Mayday call. I am quite sure the incoming Sukhoi was spotted by the crew.
In answer to Gerry Kraut, the motive was clearly to discredit nice old President Putin and the Russians, who are the Good Guys. The DVD’s intent, as with KE007, appears to have been to try to trigger war between Germany’s wartime enemies.
In answer to JS, I respectfully agree that it’s unlikely to have been coincidence that Ian Fleming was assassinated on the eve of Caspar’s 12th birthday. That would have been done to maximise the poor young chap’s distress. He probably idolised his father and may never have recovered. I have no reason to believe that his suicide many years later was staged, à la Dr Kelly, but in a sense Caspar was also a victim of the Fleming assassination. The DVD enjoy inflicting psychological distress upon children and are quite good at it.
Classic Movie of the Week – From Russia With Love (1963), dir. Terence Young
Apologies for getting the date of Dr No wrong last week. It was of course released in 1962. The 1963 Bond movie was From Russia With Love. Once again there was a beautiful Bond girl, Daniela Bianchi, although there was a voiceover for her part, probably because she didn’t sound Russian enough!
Lotte Lenya, as Rosa Klebb, and Robert Shaw as Red Grant, are superb baddies. Lenya in particular is very convincing. You can just imagine her running a concentration camp, or Thames Valley Police!
As with the first movie, the supporting case is very strong. Vladek Sheyball, who plays Kronsteen, the SPECTRE strategist who comes up with the cunning plan to lay a honey trap for 007, is always good value. The chess tournament scene is especially well done. Never take the honeymoon suite if they offer it to you in an Istanbul hotel, by the way!
Pedro Amendariz is my favorite station chief in a Bond movie. He plays Kerim Bey very well indeed. You get the impression that Ian Fleming modeled Bey on a real Turkish spook.
The scenes on the Orient Express are atmospheric. Bond gives sound advice about not trusting chaps who order red wine with fish – usually a dead giveaway. The editing was not all it could have been, however. Alert viewers will have spotted a Southern Region British Railways train being substituted for the Orient Express! One should always be careful with stock footage. I suspect they used it because it was a night scene, but I’d have gone for real footage of the Orient Express.
Famously, From Russia With Love was Desmond Llewellyn’s first appearance as Q, although in the credits he appears as Boothroyd. He eventually became one of Britain’s best-loved actors, and rightly so.
The movie is closer to the book than many of the plots, although it is updated. In the movie, e.g., Bond flies to Istanbul in a Boeing 707, oddly enough PanAm. In the book he flies in a dear old BEA Vickers Viscount. Like all the Bond movies however, From Russia With Love is contemporary. Bond is a timeless hero, continually reinvented.
Two sad departures this week, Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams. Robin Williams’s suicide was particularly sad. He was a very funny man, who gave generously of himself. It’s a pity a few more folk could not have been more generous in return.
Michael Shrimpton is a barrister, called to the Bar in London 1983. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counterterrorism.
Michael was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies in what was then the Department of National Security, Intelligence and Space Studies at the American Military University.
Michael’s ground-breaking, 700 page intelligence text “Spyhunter: The Secret History of German Intelligence” was published in England by June Press on April 14th 2014.
Editing: Erica P. Wissinger