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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.

 
Jenny
775027.  Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:35 am Reply with quote

Bob - does the phrase 'cold war' mean anything to you?

 
CB27
775113.  Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:21 pm Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
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.

I'd say the fact she signed a contract and turned up for work is justification, and her activities were probably something along her job profile.

But that's not exciting enough for some :)

 
bobwilson
775696.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:39 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Bob - does the phrase 'cold war' mean anything to you?


Well, yes it does Jenny. It's usually defined as a period of rivalry between two power-blocs in which open conflict between them is avoided by the use of either or both economic methods or proxy warfare. Although it is now used almost exclusively to refer to the post-WW2 rivalry between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries, it has been applied to other periods notably:

Dutch-British rivalry in the 17th/18th centuries
the period covering Napoleon's "Continental system"
the North American episodes immediately following the American revolution

and others

 
bobwilson
775697.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:44 pm Reply with quote

tp wrote:
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.


Well obviously I'm stupid as I still don't see how the Cambridge spy ring (even if I accept your posit that it infiltrated every level of the UK Government) had any effect on the Cuban Missile fiasco? I'm not suggesting you "get into a (silly) debate" - merely that you explain what it is that you're saying there.

 
bobwilson
775698.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:54 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd say the fact she signed a contract and turned up for work is justification, and her activities were probably something along her job profile.

But that's not exciting enough for some :)


But were her activities "something along her job profile"?

I'd have thought the function of the state is to protect the security and interests of the citizenry; and that the function of MI5 would be along the lines of protecting the security and interests of the state (to enable the state to carry out its function).

It'd be quite interesting to know what exactly is the job profile of the head of MI5?

 
suze
775741.  Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:08 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
I still don't see how the Cambridge spy ring had any effect on the Cuban Missile fiasco?


I have to say that I don't either. Both sides knew perfectly well that the other side had spies in their camp, and presumably took this into account.

As for Cuba specifically, wasn't the issue there more the presence of a German in the American high command? The story goes that Dr Kissinger, being a German and thus interested in football (soccer), spotted football pitches on spysat pictures of Cuba - when an American probably wouldn't have noticed them or attached any significance to them. But to Dr Kissinger, who knew that Cubans at the time had little interest in football, their presence signified the presence of Russians in large numbers.

Or is that one of those urban myths?

 
bobwilson
775987.  Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:10 pm Reply with quote

I dunno suze - haven't heard that before. I do know that when analysing aerial photographs it's normal practice to use structures with known dimensions to gauge the scale of structures with unknown dimensions.

So the use of (for instance) a football pitch would give a fairly good yardstick.

The idea that Henry Kissinger had any interest in sports of any kind is slightly ludicrous. That his interest was specifically related to his origins is ..... is absurd a higher insult than ludicrous?

I don't think your story would reach the dizzy heights of "urban myth" - it's more along the lines of "fit some round facts into a square hole". Unless you're seriously suggesting that the first thing the (fairly small) Russian contingent did was to construct football pitches?

But while we're on the subject of Cuba - I see that Obama has finally decided that the US should (at least partially) comply with the numerous UN resolutions that require the US to end their illegal blockade.

 
Efros
776016.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:19 am Reply with quote

Seems Kissinger appropriated that nugget for his autobiography. Have a look here.

 
suze
776071.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:03 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
The idea that Henry Kissinger had any interest in sports of any kind is slightly ludicrous. That his interest was specifically related to his origins is ..... is absurd a higher insult than ludicrous?


Yes, it would be a very broad generalization indeed to say "He's German, so he must like football". So you'll be relieved to learn that it's not what I'm doing here.

Dr Kissinger was for a time Chairman of the North American Soccer League, and read (for instance) this interview which he gave to the LA Times in 1986.

So yes, Henry Kissinger takes an interest in football. It's unlikely that he would have done had he been born and raised in the USA - until very recently, soccer in the US was played mainly by immigrants from Europe and Mexico. So this absolutely can be ascribed to his German origins.


Efros notes that Kissinger refers to the Cuban football pitches in his memoirs, and I discover that H R "Bob" Haldeman mentioned Kissinger and Cuban football pitches in his memoirs too. This doesn't necessarily mean that the story is true, but if it isn't true then it was invented by someone close to the top.

(And yes, I suggest that laying out sports fields is one of the first things you would do if you had a load of young men transplanted to a new place and without much to do in the immediate term. There absolutely were baseball diamonds and American football fields at the American bases in Britain, and I dare say there were cricket pitches at the British bases in Germany.)

 
tp
776444.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:39 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:

Well obviously I'm stupid.


Well I wouldn't go that far...

To answer Suze:
I did not say that The Cambridge Five infiltrated pretty much every level of UK government but that the USSR did and the Cambridge Five were an example of such infiltration.
During the Cold War both sides (all sides?) used intelliegence, sabotage and espionage in the place of open conflict, if the Cambridge Five are not an example of this then what is?
The USSR was paranoid that the west (mainly Britain and the US) were activly planning to make a nuclear strike on Russia. Thier proliferation of nuclear armament was an attempt to counter this (perceived) threat and in turn we needed to up our game to counter thier counter.
I would say that infiltarting each others governents and intelligence services was a major part of this.

 
Spud McLaren
776452.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:03 am Reply with quote

tp wrote:
I would say that infiltarting each others governents and intelligence services was a major part of this.
As practiced by Mata Hari, Mandy Rice-Davies, Christine Keeler et al?

 

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