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  • Phillip Knightley .com — The homepages of distinguished journalist and author Phillip Knightley
    answered this Naturally governments are not pleased Assange is in jail in Britain over what looks like a very weak case suspicion of rape in Sweden earlier this year He has been labeled a criminal for facilitating the release of the secret documents although no one can say what crime he has committed The US authorities continue to do their best to close down the Wikileaks websites Many of its bank accounts have been frozen The more extreme elements on the American political scene have called for Assange to be kidnapped and rendered to the USA for trial or failing that for him to be assassinated click to continue 7 comments A cheap way to deliver quick results as newspapers slug it out in hard times May 24 2010 9 comments in Articles journalism Published in The Independent on Sunday 24 May 2010 The Duchess of York offers to sell her former husband s services to a businessman for a promise of 500 000 and 40 000 in cash now The businessman turns out to be the fake sheikh the News of the World reporter Mazher Mahmood and the Duchess finds herself splashed all over the front page of the newspaper Lord Triesman the Football Association chairman tells a young lady of his acquaintance about an alleged plot by the Spanish and Russians to bribe World Cup referees in South Africa The young lady has a concealed tape recorder and Lord Triesman finds himself splashed over the front pages of the newspapers A good week for undercover reporting Or a shameful example of invasion of privacy entrapment and shoddy lazy journalism click to continue 9 comments Reporting from the war zone May 20 2010 Published in The Khaleej Times With the war in Afghanistan taking place in a news vacuum when did you last read in the mainstream media a report on what is happening there journalism academics have turned their attention to previous wars to see what lessons if any have been learnt In the current Read the full article The trite age of Twitterati April 30 2010 Published in The Khaleej Times One of the most exciting features about the general election campaign currently being fought in Britain has been the relegation to the sidelines of the media especially the political commentary writers This has been due partly to the introduction of TV debates between the leaders on the three parties Labour Read the full article When they re dying for a cause April 19 2010 The big unanswered question in the never ending war on terror the question the West is afraid to tackle is how can we win against an enemy who is prepared to die for the cause he or she espouses How can we beat the suicide bomber The West has tried to play down their role in Read the full article Of masters slaves and scandals April 5 2010 Every now and then you can come across a book that is so startling

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  • About
    lunched with Lyman Kirkpatrick the CIA s Inspector General He dined with Leonid Shebarshin head of the KGB He lunched with Sergei Kondrashov chief of KGB counter intelligence He had drinks with Markus Wolf head of East German intelligence He spent one week in Moscow interviewing the notorious British traitor Kim Philby He helped KGB general Oleg Kalugin write the outline for his book He has met dozens of officers and agents from all sides and has written many articles on espionage Few writers today have his depth of knowledge of the international intelligence community Phillip reviews non fiction books for The Mail on Sunday The Sunday Times The Independent London and The Australian s Review of Books and The Age Australia He was a judge for Canada s Lionel Gelber Prize the world s biggest for the best book on international relations He is European representative of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Washington DC He is involved in the the Indian literary and publishing scene and has written columns for several leading Indian newspapers and magazines He presented the war reporting documentary to mark the 30th anniversary of This Week a half hour documentary on truth for schools television has reviewed the papers for BBC Breakfast TV and many What the Papers Say He has appeared in many documentaries in Britain Canada and Australia He is a judge for Canada s Lionel Gelber Prize for the year s best book on international relations 50 000 He is on the management committee of The Society of Authors London Phillip was born in Australia but has worked most of his life in Britain He now divides his time between Britain Australia and India He is married with three grown up children and relaxes by playing tennis most days Comments on

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  • Contact
    was built by Kieren McCarthy a freelance journalist Any problems with the site should be sent to kieren kierenmccarthy co uk Comments on this entry are closed Recent Comments Monica Weller on Turning the Philby Case on Its Head First casualty of war on The First Casualty 2004 Weekend Reads The MASTER CHEF that made modern restaurants possible Know Q Out on Why Wikileaks has changed journalism forever Gross comments Malcolm Redfellow s Home Service on The First Casualty 2004 John Knowlman on Turning the Philby Case on Its Head Categories Articles 62 Australia 7 journalism 22 miscellaneous 5 propaganda 15 review 10 spying 20 terrorism 8 war 2 Books 12 General 4 Tags 9 11 al Jazeera al Qaeda australia bbc bin Laden blair blunt burgess Bush campbell cia england evatt foundation FBI GCHQ hutton inquiry independent iraq james bond JIC John Reid journalism journalist kgb kim philby labour lawrence of arabia london maclean MI5 mi6 NSA pentagon rugby rumsfeld saddam hussein scarlett sis spy spying sunday times terrorism thalidomide war Amazon co uk Widgets Archives May 2012 December 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 January 2010 December 2008 November 2008 April 2007 November 2006 August 2006 July

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  • Articles
    in journalism Published in The Khaleej Times One of the most exciting features about the general election campaign currently being fought in Britain has been the relegation to the sidelines of the media especially the political commentary writers This has been due partly to the introduction of TV debates between the leaders on the three parties Labour 0 comments When they re dying for a cause April 19 2010 1 comment in Articles war The big unanswered question in the never ending war on terror the question the West is afraid to tackle is how can we win against an enemy who is prepared to die for the cause he or she espouses How can we beat the suicide bomber The West has tried to play down their role in 1 comment Of masters slaves and scandals April 5 2010 0 comments in Books journalism Every now and then you can come across a book that is so startling that it changes your view of the world I found such a book this week It is one of the great love stories of all time and it concerns Queen Victoria Empress of India and a humble Muslim man from Agra 0 comments War on Terror Excuse Me March 20 2010 1 comment in Articles propaganda terrorism war It is nearly nine years since President Bush declared a global war on terror so it is fair to ask how is it going Well the first point to make is that it is not called a war on terror anymore It is the global struggle against violent extremists But whatever it is termed the 1 comment Peace Correspondents January 17 2010 7 comments in Articles journalism Some years ago I attended a conference outside London run by a Buddhist organization who wanted

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  • Books
    Intelligence Service s anti Soviet section and a long time KGB agent After he defected to Russia in 1963 he maintained a code of silence for 25 years until a few weeks before his death He invited Phillip Knightley to his Moscow apartment and in six days of conversation bared his soul Buy The Master Spy The Story of Kim Philby UK US Comments on this entry are closed Australia A Biography of a Nation 2000 September 21 2000 4 comments in Books Part history part travelogue part memoir this book tells the inspiring story of how a one time British colony with only two sorts of citizens convicts and gaolers turned itself into a proud prosperous and confident country the greatest sporting nation on earth where the citizens of its high leisure cities enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the world Despite the appalling bloodshed of two world wars the horror of the great depression strikes riots secret armies and near civil wars out of this amazing mix grew a new and unique character the Australian Through the eyes of ordinary people struggling with their passions hopes dreams and ambitions Phillip Knightley describes the journey that has taken the Great South Land from a dark racist and often murderous past to a working multi cultural society Buy Australia A Biography of a Nation UK US Comments on this entry are closed A Hack s Progress 1997 November 5 1998 1 comment in Books In this revealing and very funny account of his career in journalism Phillip Knightley tells the real story of a reporter s life From inauspicious beginnings as a seaman vacuum cleaner salesman and South Sea Island trader he went on to work for the notorious foul mouthed Australian newspaper magnate Ezra Norton whose lurid tabloid became the model for the Sun and the New York Post Eventually Knightley moved to England and wriggled his way on to the staff of the Sunday Times just as it entered its golden years Twice winner of the Journalist of the Year award he covered some of the most dramatic and ground breaking stories of his time exposing the cynical double dealing of Thalidomide reporting on the shadowy machinations of the Profumo scandal and unravelling the Hitler Diaries fiasco Knightley s investigations into the world of espionage led to an extraordinary correspondence with Kim Philby the spy who betrayed a generation and he became one of the few journalists to get access to Philby in Russia Buy A Hack s Progress UK US Comments on this entry are closed An Affair of State The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 1987 May 6 1998 in Books An Affair of State The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward examines the scandal that shook the British government in 1963 and tells how the establishment tried to hush it up by framing a society osteopath on procuring charges The book presents new evidence to clear Stephen Ward

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  • When is a terror threat not a terror threat? Let’s ask a man called Felix…
    heard of the most famous of all counter espionage operations in the Soviet Union the Trust The Trust appeared to be a huge anti Bolshevik organisation working from Moscow to overthrow the Communists and reverse the revolution Instead Dzerzhinski used it to identify anti communists All he needed to do was set up the organisation and wait to see who joined it He could then choose when to roll it up and arrest its members or whether to let it run in the hope of revealing bigger prey In intelligence circles the Trust became a textbook operation and its principles copied worldwide But to be most effective required a ruthlessness that Western services often felt unable to carry out For instance if the authenticity of a front organisation was questioned the KGB did not hesitate to initiate a terrorist incident to reinforce the organisation s reputation So the Trust would plant bombs that would kill innocent people just so that possible recruits would think it a genuine organisation In the West a front organisation could also run into legal difficulties when it came to winding it up and arresting those who had been tempted to join Judges wanted convincing that the authority running the operation had not been tempted to act as agents provocateurs and had provoked people into acts that they would not otherwise have considered This is why the main user of front organisations was at first the British Customs in drug busts rather than the Security Service MI5 or the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 the thinking being that the courts would be more sympathetic if a huge haul of heroin was involved and not a bewildered possible terrorist British Customs actually advertised for recruits placing notices in Pakistani journals asking for young Pakistanis going on holiday to Pakistan to contact the British High Commission if they were approached when on holiday to courier drugs back to Britain Those who did were then instructed to deliver the drugs to the High Commission which took over their transport back to the UK where the Pakistani who had been recruited would deliver them as instructed At the handover the Customs would pounce and arrest the ringleaders The headlines in the British press would trumpet Huge drugs bust Smugglers plot foiled But as evidence in court showed the whole plot had been initiated by British Customs and the drugs brought into Britain by Customs themselves The difficulty the British Security Service MI5 has faced in its anti terrorism operations is that it was created to face a Communist threat and terrorism was at first beyond its ken Give it a communist plot and it had files informers and precedents to work with But tasked after 9 11 with tacking possible terrorist cells in Britain it did not know where to start Then someone remembered Felix Dzerzhinsky Subsequent successes in fighting terrorism have sprung from operations modelled on the Trust But they are risky How far can an undercover officer go in

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  • spying
    have avoided another 9 11 Apparently faced with a bombing attack on a number of transatlantic aircraft part of the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of the Second World War our Home Secretary John Reid s words we have rounded up the main players just in time and they are all in custody 0 comments So what made them swoop August 10 2006 0 comments in Articles spying terrorism There comes a time in every anti terrorist operation for a decision dreaded by every officer involved Is this the moment to strike Ideally an investigation should run as long as possible No officer no matter how experienced can tell for certain that every angle has been covered every possibility for gathering intelligence has been exploited and every fragment of evidence has been noted and catalogued But these imperatives have to be balanced against the most important one of all are the terrorists about to attack 0 comments MI5 the police and the inside story of a raid that went wrong June 6 2006 0 comments in Articles spying terrorism The anti terrorist raid on a house in East London to search for a chemical bomb now appears to be just another botched operation a suspect shot in murky circumstances conflicting accounts and unanswered questions In fact the real story of this raid is that infighting between MI5 and the police may have endangered the chance of a breakthrough in gathering anti terrorist intelligence Information is the life blood of a security service Unlike the characters in novels or in the popular TV series Spooks real life MI5 officers rely on the sordid but well tried techniques of the informer the grass the intercepted letter the telephone tap and the bribe all mixed in with a dash of blackmail and coercion 0 comments Deadly secrets April 29 2004 0 comments in Articles propaganda spying The furore about Australia s intelligence community its failures tainted reports politicisation poor management and damaging disputes with its officers is not unique It is typical of what has been occuring in all Western intelligence services since 9 11 blasted them out of their complacent mind set Trained to cope with the major Cold War monster the Soviet Union they failed not only to identify the new threat but even to imagine what it might be The collapse of communism something which incidentally came as a complete surprise to every Western intelligence service left them desperate to find ways of justifying their existence 0 comments Here there and everywhere February 29 2004 0 comments in spying One true spy story tells us more about the murky world of modern espionage than all the novels of Ian Fleming John le Carre and Len Deighton Here is such a story A few years ago the Chinese government grew tired of buying its artillery pieces from Britain we make the best and offered a large lump sum and royalties if we would teach them how to

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  • terrorism
    and catalogued But these imperatives have to be balanced against the most important one of all are the terrorists about to attack 0 comments MI5 the police and the inside story of a raid that went wrong June 6 2006 0 comments in Articles spying terrorism The anti terrorist raid on a house in East London to search for a chemical bomb now appears to be just another botched operation a suspect shot in murky circumstances conflicting accounts and unanswered questions In fact the real story of this raid is that infighting between MI5 and the police may have endangered the chance of a breakthrough in gathering anti terrorist intelligence Information is the life blood of a security service Unlike the characters in novels or in the popular TV series Spooks real life MI5 officers rely on the sordid but well tried techniques of the informer the grass the intercepted letter the telephone tap and the bribe all mixed in with a dash of blackmail and coercion 0 comments Four years in how is the war on terror going September 7 2005 0 comments in Articles terrorism It is four years since President Bush declared a global war on terror so it is fair to ask how is it going Well the first point to make is that it is not a war on terror anymore One of Washington s sneakier tactics is that if a crucial policy begins to lose public support you don t change the policy you just change its name and carry on So it is no longer the war on terror It is the global struggle against violent extremists 0 comments How frightened are you August 8 2004 0 comments in Articles terrorism There are no tanks at Heathrow yet There is no ring of troops around London s financial district yet But Britain is on a heightened state of alert as police at Paddington Green station continue to question terrorist suspects arrested at gunpoint in raids across the country earlier in the week Across the Atlantic the Americans are on orange the second highest alert as the Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge said new intelligence suggested that al Qaeda planned car or truck bomb attacks on the Citicorp building the New York Stock Exchange and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank buildings in Washington American banks in London could also be targets 0 comments To be gripped by fear is to lose the battle October 27 2002 0 comments in Articles terrorism If you go to the opera you risk being taken hostage If you go on holiday you might be blown up If you stop for petrol you could be shot by a sniper Open a letter does it contain anthrax What s going on these days Where will the next outrage be People feel a sense of unease and a loss of innocence Safer and happier times they believe are now gone for ever But is life really more dangerous

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