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  • Doomsday for James Bond
    British intelligence is now also at risk This is how it came about The Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other neo conservatives in the Bush administration saw no reason why the CIA should not be subjected to the same radical examination that has convulsed all other American government departments The examination had two main aims First it would answer the fundamental question should intelligence shape policy or vice versa And it would look for a whole new methodology for evaluating the danger posed by the monster out there Rumsfeld and his supporters tackled the latter problem first Traditionally the CIA had two different sorts of officers collectors and analysts They often crossed over but Rumsfeld felt that the relationship was too close and that the analysing of intelligence material should be done not by intelligence professionals but outsiders preferably politicians Rumsfeld argued for a more intuitive feminine if you like approach to intelligence analysis He wanted a subjective judgement a connecting of the dots that involved imagining what you would do if you were in the other guy s shoes This led him to his byword about the threat from the monster one repeated at every opportunity Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence In other words just because there is no intelligence that the monster is out there does not prove that he is not Old time intelligence officers were horrified at this approach and protested that without the professional objectivity that CIA analysts brought to the job politics would take over the intelligence product would be bent to suit the plans of politicians and that this would be courting disaster A group of retired officers even formed a lobby Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity VIPS which accused the Bush administration of manipulating CIA intelligence about Iraq to fit President Bush s political agenda shades of the accusations here about the Blair government and British intelligence and the controversial dossiers Like the CIA British intelligence saw itself as running a service industry whose clients were the government the Foreign office various ministries and the armed services It did not deal with these clients directly but through the Joint Intelligence Committee which consisted of intelligence professionals and high ranking civil servants Before the events of earlier this year that have led to the Hutton Inquiry any idea that intelligence provided by SIS would be used by the JIC to produce a dossier for public consumption would have been unthinkable Former chiefs of SIS would have been apoplectic And there we have the answer to Rumsfeld s question should intelligence shape policy or vice versa Rumsfeld decided that policy should shape intelligence that the work of America s intelligence community should be directed to furthering administration policy no matter how loudly the spies squealed The same thing is happening in Britain The Blair government has decided that the intelligence service is just another Whitehall department there to further government policy It is as if it is saying to SIS We

    Original URL path: http://phillipknightley.com/2003/08/doomsday-for-james-bond/ (2016-02-13)
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  • propaganda — Page 2
    be notorious as the most dangerous war for journalists ever This is bad enough But and here we tread on delicate ground it is a fact that the largest single group of them appear to have been killed by the American military 0 comments A permanent casualty The death of investigative journalism and who killed it February 15 2003 0 comments in Articles journalism propaganda Before we get around to revealing the names of the murderers I think I d better anticipate some of the criticism that my colleagues in the journalism game might throw at me You know that helpful constructive criticism on the lines of here s another old fart looking back at the Golden Age of journalism that never really existed Let s pre empt that More by luck than skill I spent most of my 60 years in journalism in yes the Golden Age and the comparison I have to make is between that age and what passes for journalism today I started as a copyboy for David McNichol senior on the old Daily Telegraph Remarkably for a columnist who spent his later years as a bon viveur McNichol kept me busy running down Castlereagh Street to the greasy Greeks to bring him back a double hamburger with egg on which he seemed to thrive I got my break on the Northern Star in Lismore as a cadet reporter doing what I have since termed public service journalism keeping the people of Lismore informed of what was going on around them CWA meetings town council meetings swimming carnivals speeches by the mayor interviews with the sergeant of police This was great training You have to get the names right or your readers will stop you in the street the next day to complain 0 comments Iraq chose Saddam for good reason The West needs a history lesson August 4 2002 0 comments in Articles journalism propaganda Before Tony Blair joins the new crusaders trying to impose a regime change a Western settlement on Iraq he should at least look at the historical facts that explain the rise of nationalist leaders such as Saddam Hussein And while he is at it since he is good at empathy he might try looking at Britain through Iraqi eyes Seen from Baghdad the British have bombed and invaded their country lied to them manipulated their borders imposed on them leaders they did not want kidnapped ones they did fixed their elections used collective terror tactics on their civilians promised them freedom and then planned to turn their country into a province of India populated by immigrant Punjabi farmers Small wonder that the author Said Aburish said to me recently If you think Saddam Hussein is a hard man to deal with just wait for the next generation of Iraqi leaders 0 comments So was the great victory a sham March 20 2002 0 comments in Articles propaganda We forget too easily that governments wage war to win and do not

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  • Swingeing Pom. Christopher Hitchens and the road to curmudgeonhood.
    feels part of the Left and does not object to being described as a former Trotskyist with the emphasis on former He admits he still admires Trotsky and that his political and historical view of the world has been influenced by Marxist thought He supported Bush during the presidential election but not enthusiastically and had a supporting word for Kerry saying it was Indecent for Republicans to equate Kerry with capitulation There s no one to whom he can surrender is there Then last year he confessed to British columnist Johan Hari that it is not Bush he admires but pure neo Conservatives like Paul Wolfowitz which to my mind puts Hitchens a long way to the Right and with little chance of any change It is clear from the various essays in the book that Hitchens chooses his subjects very carefully They need to fit specific criteria There would be no sense in writing a brilliant attack on a non entity Who would read it Equally there would be no sense in demolishing the reputation of someone who had already lost it Lord Archer for instance Next gentle criticism will not suffice The attack must be so wounding that it will outrage many readers Here s a contemporary example Cindy Sheehan the mother of a US serviceman who was killed in Iraq Mrs Sheehan camped outside President Bush s Texas ranch in protest against the war and says she will stay there until the President agrees to meet her Her protest attracted the support of many other bereaved mothers Hitchens response was to accuse Mrs Sheehan of spouting piffle and lambaste her protest as dreary sentimental nonsense Amazingly he is sometimes surprised and sensitive if his target hits back When the rebel Labour MP George Galloway who had openly supported Saddam Hussein went to Washington and wiped the floor with a Senate Committee trying to link him with the oil for food scandal Hitchens turned up outside the hearing to put some awkward questions to Galloway Galloway used Hitchens style tactics to deflect them abusing Hitchens as a drink sodden former Trotskyist popinjay Hitchens later complained in a newspaper column that Galloway had been unfair But he is not easily intimidated He lives on the top floor of one of Washington s tallest buildings He describes in the book how in the autumn of 1993 the State Department s Office of Counterterrorism urgently advised him to change this address because of credible threats received after my wife and daughter and I had sheltered Salman Rushdie as a guest and had arranged for him to be received at the cowering Clinton White House I thought then as now that the government was doing no more than covering its own behind by giving half alarmist and half reassuring advice In other words I have a quarrel with theocratic fascism even when the administration does not and I hope at least some of my friendly correspondents are prepared to say the same

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  • All of These People: a memoir by Fergal Keane
    in South Africa between the ANC and Inkatha Soon he was as hooked on the addiction of conflict reporting as on the alcohol that addicted his father Keane writes I felt afraid so much of the time and yet I felt at home in this craziness I was more alive than at any time in my life He was a member of what he and colleagues called the Bang Bang Club a group of hardened war correspondents who did their best to pretend that what they watched photographed and reported did not affect their psychological well being But some became emotionally crippled and at least one committed suicide Keane was himself by now fighting a battle against alcohol but unable to break from the job I am on the front line risking it all our own correspondent calling out his news down a crackly line He reported the genocide in Rwanda and with other correspondents remains disturbed by it to this day How were they able to leave threatened people behind to be slaughtered He survived his alcohol problem but was still addicted to war We knew that when that war ended there would be a lull then there would be another drama and the same media faces would turn up relieved by a new sense of purpose Alive again yes that s the word alive But after Kosovo and Iraq the death toll for war correspondents soared It became safer to be a soldier than a reporter Keane now had a son and when the call came to return to Iraq I told my editor I would not go When he now sees a colleague in a flak jacket he feels a momentary pang It is a loss of a kind I know that But I cherish the life

    Original URL path: http://phillipknightley.com/2005/03/all-of-these-people-a-memoir-by-fergal-keane/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Capa’s greatest creation: himself
    Hemingway Martha Gellhorn and Herbert Matthews of the New York Times They were all committed to the Republican cause and hoped that they were helping win the war Then Gerda was crushed to death by an out of control Republican tank and Capa was never the same again He told Martha Gellhorn In war you must hate somebody or love somebody You must have a position or you cannot stand what goes on At the D Day invasion in 1944 his photographs of GIs struggling through the waves to land on the Normandy beaches are considered by many to be the greatest pictures of the war But his spark seemed to have dimmed and his commitment had faded The author makes the important point that in every article bearing his pictures for Life his work was captioned to support Henry Luce s view of the world Was this at the back of Capa s mind when he became a co founder of Magnum which to this day insists that the captions on its photographers pictures should not be amended His peace time work was undistinguished He went with John Steinbeck to the Soviet Union to do a big photo essay Steinbeck said later that he did not want to work with Capa ever again To get his photographs Capa had promised to send people gifts from America cameras or anything else they fancied but he did not keep his word and Steinbeck himself had to do it The fact is that you could not trust a lot of what Capa said something he was quite willing to admit himself Part of the dustjacket blurb for his book Slightly Out of Focus reads Writing the truth being so obviously difficult I have in the interests of it allowed myself to go sometimes slightly beyond and slightly this side of it All events and persons in this book are accidental and have something to do with the truth All right possibly a Capa joke But what are we to make of his reaction to the loss of his American passport because of an FBI report full of ludicrous allegations that he was a Communist and supported Communist causes He swore an affidavit to the passport authorities denying that he had ever been a member of the Communist Party but then went on to name some who were including his old colleague and friend Joris Ivens probably a communist Some of his friends believed that he cut a deal with the CIA in return for his passport he became a CIA agent Life staff photographer Hansel Mieth said of Capa He was a made up person mostly by himself He was made up of many people some very good some not so good So let s end with some of the good He was great fun to be with charming generous and considerate He was an inspirational mentor and the staff of Magnum remember him with enormous affection He was physically brave and

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  • Book review: Open Secret – The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5
    s first director general who is not a bloke The early life and India period occupy the first third of the book leaving readers to wonder when they are ever going to get to the James Bond stuff But in fact I found the India period the most interesting It is a shrewdly observed portrait of the behaviour of British civil servants abroad with the sun going down on the Empire but not quite set the complaints about Indian servants the climate the bureaucracy the parties the amateur dramatics the gossip the longing for home So is there then nothing useful at all in this book for someone seeking enlightenment about MI5 Ms Rimington writes in a cool detached manner about her life in the shadows but she is human and in at least two places her attitudes and prejudices break through Just as the dissident MI5 officer David Shayler has claimed alcohol apparently plays a major role in the working life of many an MI5 officer Mrs Rimington writes I remember one gentleman who was supposed to be running agents against the Russian intelligence residency in London He would arrive at the office about ten and about eleven would go out for breakfast He would return at 12 noon smelling strongly of whisky to get ready to go out to meet an agent for lunch If he returned at all it would be at about 4pm for a quiet snooze before getting ready to go home In one section of MI5 where Mrs Rimington worked she admits getting caught up in drinking sessions with two officers who had been in the Colonial Service It was routine for them to return from lunch about four in the afternoon and then we all settled down to afternoon tea laced with whisky I used to go home to my baby daughter some evenings rather the worse for wear if the whisky tea had been too well laced I suppose there was some plan in what we were doing and some strategic direction somewhere but I certainly did not know what it was Later again confirming some of Shayler s criticisms of MI5 Mrs Rimington hints at how bitter the turf wars must have been as MI5 and the Special Branch of the Metropolitain Police struggled to dominate intelligence gathering in Northern Ireland Frankly in my opinion neither the intelligence gathering techniques nor the assessment skills of the police were in those days up to scratch As we know now MI5 won and took on the lead role in Northern Ireland As a result writes Mrs Rimington I acquired a reputation as a ruthless and wily manipulator of Whitehall of which I was rather proud though I don t think it was very accurate Mrs Rimington ends with the hope that her former colleagues will not blame her for what she has done in going public They will be getting on with the job they have to do and not spending too much

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  • review — Page 2
    too much of it and it makes me proud for who could not be proud for Australia who has seen the Southern Cross flying floodlit at midnight on Sydney Harbour Bridge 2 comments Next Entries 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

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  • Evatt seminar: Investigative journalism
    in Britain about one third do not read ANY daily newspaper whatsoever What and who decides our news values Is the media particularly TV in the business of the mass production of ignorance Is it possible that the more TV news we watch the less we know Everybody who has had anything to do with the media either as a producer or a consumer has been aware for some time now that something big has been going on in the information industry a sea change as deep and as radical as the arrival of the new technology in the 1980s You are invited To consider the state of news and current affairs reporting in the first of our events for 2003 you are invited to a special Evatt Foundation sunset seminar featuring renowned investigative journalists Phillip Knightley and Chris Masters Chris Masters will offer his reflections on the topic and introduce Phillip Knightley to present the main address after which there will be time for comments questions and answers We have scheduled the seminar for 6 pm to 7 30 pm so as to complement your other Saturday evening plans This is a unique opportunity to hear two of the most distinguished practitioners of investigative journalism speak about a most pressing topic for the future of Australian politics culture and society Tagged as australia evatt foundation investigative journalism journalism Leave a Comment Name E mail Website 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

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