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tp
772223.  Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:38 am Reply with quote

During WWII MI5 was incredibly good at spy catching and spreading disinformation. Before war broke out they compiled a list of German spies and arrested them all as soon as war was declared.
Of the next waves of German spies which were sent over to replace them MI5 identified, possibly, every single one, certainly every active one.
They then ran some of them as double agents. The result was that all of the information fed to Germany by her spies was supplied by the British Government.
On the other hand we were no where near as good at catching the Russians, our supposed allies. The infiltrated pretty much every part of UK government and also set up the Cambridge Five, a group that was not discovered for decades after.
Churchill was only allowed to see a very censored brief of MI5 activities during the war for fear that he would take it upon himself to 'help', shich he did do on a couple of occasions. The officer who compiled the brief brief was a Soviet double agent and he sent the full version back to Moscow making it very likely that Stalin was better briefed on MI5 activities than Churchill.

 
Jumper
773242.  Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:50 pm Reply with quote

Prisoner: Where am I?
Number Two (not identified as yet): In the village.
Prisoner: What do you want?
Two: Information.
Prisoner: Whose side are you on?
Two: That would be telling.... We want information...information...information!
Prisoner: You won't get it!
Two: By hook or by crook, we will.
Prisoner: Who are you?
Two: The new Number Two.
Prisoner: Who is Number One?
Two: You are Number Six.
Prisoner: I AM NOT A NUMBER, I AM A FREE MAN!
Two: [Sinister laughing]

 
bobwilson
773490.  Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:37 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
During WWII MI5 was incredibly good at spy catching and spreading disinformation.


I can't say how good they are at spy catching but they're still pretty effective at spreading disinformation.

Quote:
They infiltrated pretty much every part of UK government and also set up the Cambridge Five, a group that was not discovered for decades after.


See - even decades after this myth has been put to bed it still surfaces as established truth.

 
bobwilson
773503.  Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:45 am Reply with quote

It's worth revisiting the Cambridge 5

Burgess and Maclean were unmasked in 1951 - a definite success of MI5.

Philby was discovered a mere 13 years later - well, you'd expect some delay wouldn't you?

Then there's Cairncross (who he you might well ask) and Blunt (in the sensitive position of surveyor of the Queen's pictures) - to make up the five.

Between them these five prove beyond any reasonable doubt that MI5 were ineffective in preventing Soviet spying.

Between them these five "infiltrated pretty much every part of UK government" - or perhaps tp is correct - the five were the result of massive infiltration rather than the cause?

Call me naive but I don't see anything remotely resembling a threat to the security of the state - let alone anything equating to a threat to my personal liberty - during these years due to any activities of the massive infiltration. I do see a serious threat to my liberties in the same period from the activities of MI5.

Put bluntly - the activities of MI5 now (and previously):

a) are in direct opposition to my personal freedoms
b) are inept in discovering any threats to those personal freedoms by foreign states

I'd like to see Stella Rimington on trial to explain how exactly she justifies her activities (and her salary)

 
Efros
773540.  Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:00 am Reply with quote

She hasn't been head of MI5 for nearly 15 years. They've had 3 new directors since her departure.

 
samivel
773831.  Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:32 am Reply with quote

bobwilson's computer doesn't have any links to information, so he has to rely on his brain. And posting late at night/early in the morning doesn't seem to help him in terms of accuracy or coherence.

 
tp
773877.  Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:09 am Reply with quote

I would argue that the infiltration of MI5 very nearly put pay to most people's freedom during the Cuban Missile crisis and the Cold WAr.

OK, maybe the Cambridge 5 didn't play too big a part but they were all part of a bigger picture.
How exactly does MI5 oppose your personel freedoms now? And if they foreign states don't pose a threat to your personel freedom then what does it matter if MI5 were inept or not.
And any way where they inept? 5 prominant members of a foreign intelligence service infiltrated them. However when they did so Russia was an ally, not an enemy, MI5's efforts were, correctly, being directed towards Germany and the Axis powers. There has been very little infiltration since then and prety much none at a high level, what other services can say the same?

 
bobwilson
774047.  Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:24 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
She (Stella Rimington) hasn't been head of MI5 for nearly 15 years.


And? I'd still like to see a justification for her salary and her activities.

Quote:
I would argue that the infiltration of MI5 very nearly put pay to most people's freedom during the Cuban Missile crisis and the Cold WAr.


I don't quite follow your reasoning there. Could you elucidate?

Quote:
How exactly does MI5 oppose your personel freedoms now?


Perhaps you missed this story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12158198? Understandable if you did really - the lead story (with detailed analysis) on both BBC and ITN was about the shootings in the US. The detailed research and follow up was exemplary - lots of reportage about the possible implications for the way in which US politics should be conducted. Quite how this would affect the UK entirely skipped by me.

By contrast, the story which most directly affected the UK (the placement of an undercover policeman in a protest group, who may or may not have acted as an agent provocateur, over a period of 7 years) was barely covered.

True - Newsnight did have a debate on the matter - just before they too had a similar length article on the US shootings.

 
tp
774092.  Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:31 am Reply with quote

Correct me if I'm wrong here but was he not a policeman? I'm sorry I thought we were discussing MI5? Even so I don't think the presence of undercover agents in a militant group is such a bad thing.

He 'may or may not have acted as an agent provocateur' I have seen nothing to suggest that he was. He may have been. He may also have been a secret Nazi bent on bringing about the fourth riech, we have as much to suggest this latter theory.

'I don't quite follow your reasoning there. Could you elucidate?'

It is pretty much accepted that the USSR was not the nicest of regemes. The stand off between her and the USA, which also I will be the first to point out is not the most ethically of run countries, could very easily have lead to theend of the world as we know it (yes, I do feel fine). On balance trying to stop this is probably a good thing.

I shall not get drawn in any further into a silly debate, instead I wish health and prosperity.

 
Ion Zone
774395.  Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:42 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
However when they did so Russia was an ally


Allies are fickle things.

 
tp
774482.  Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:33 am Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:

Allies are fickle things.


They are indeed. And there are Allies and then there are Allies. I don't think Russia has ever been more than our enemy's enemy.

 
bobwilson
774822.  Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:18 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Even so I don't think the presence of undercover agents in a militant group is such a bad thing.


Absolutely - I fully agree with you there. So a group of people who oppose current policy are a "militant group" meriting the full-time placement of an undercover policeman over a period of 7 years are they? This would be where "militant" includes groups who are explicity committed to "non-violent direct action". Interesting use of "militant" there - and I'm pleased to see the police are able to spare the resources for such a lengthy operation. I'll bear that in mind the next time I have to deal with a police liaison officer telling me that the force "can't spare the resources".

Quote:
He 'may or may not have acted as an agent provocateur' I have seen nothing to suggest that he was.


Nor have I. I have seen plenty of information that suggested that but for his actions many activities would not have taken place at all.

But none of that was the point - what I was getting at was that this important story and its implications was barely covered in the UK mainstream media - whilst other stories with almost no implications for the UK - were heavily covered. I'm sure it's all very interesting to know that US politicians are being shot, and the background information (whether the rhetoric of US politicians contributes to the climate in which such actions takes place) is also interesting.

Whether you think his (and his force's) actions were right or wrong it's beyond question that the story is an important one. Certainly it merits more than the few lines given to it.

 
bobwilson
774824.  Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:27 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
I would argue that the infiltration of MI5 very nearly put pay to most people's freedom during the Cuban Missile crisis and the Cold WAr.


Quote:
'I don't quite follow your reasoning there. Could you elucidate?'

It is pretty much accepted that the USSR was not the nicest of regemes. The stand off between her and the USA, which also I will be the first to point out is not the most ethically of run countries, could very easily have lead to theend of the world as we know it (yes, I do feel fine). On balance trying to stop this is probably a good thing.


I still don't follow your reasoning. I agree that the stand off between the USA and the USSR during the Cuban missile crisis could very well have led to the end of human life (or at least modern life) - but what has that to do with the infiltration of spies in the UK (or even spies in the US)? As far as I know, nobody has suggested that the presence of the UK spies triggered, encouraged, or exacerbated the Cuban crisis.

 
bobwilson
774828.  Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:40 pm Reply with quote

tp wrote:
Ion Zone wrote:

Allies are fickle things.


They are indeed. And there are Allies and then there are Allies. I don't think Russia has ever been more than our enemy's enemy.

Perhaps you need to read up on your history a bit more.

From memory (no doubt I'll be corrected) the UK has been at war with Russia once - over the Crimea about 200 years ago. We've certainly been rivals to the Russians on numerous other occasions.

The UK has been at war with many other countries - France (too numerous to mention); Germany (since Germany has only been in existence since the 1870's we've managed only a couple of wars with them); Spain (tntm); the USA (we squeezed in more than one war since they declared their country); and there are others - Netherlands; Austria/Hungary; Egypt..... Basically, the rule is - if you declare yourself a country the UK will declare war on you.

Apart from Russia - where we've only managed to declare war once. And this is the country that gets the epithet that it's only an ally so long as it's opposing our enemy?

 
tp
774939.  Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:55 am Reply with quote

I as I said before I'm not going to get into a silly debate. Anyway as far as I can see I've answered all your questions before you asked them.

 

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