$26.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Indymedia
The Guardian in America - An icon on the Left, or too Close to British Intelligence
Threats in the name of His Royal Highness, a car rammed into our house, and menacing phone-calls to our children – This all happened following a meeting with journalists at the Guardian at which we provided evidence that the UK’s Spy Agencies were being used by power elites to harass innocent citizens, and that a UK Government Minister was covering-it-up. Shockingly, it seems to us that the harassment that followed this meeting occurred because the Guardian, or an employee, had fingered us to the security agencies.
Recently some of the Guardian’s readers have voiced their surprise at its hostile attitude on so many of the issues that they believe a truly “liberal” paper should actually be supportive of – For example, the Guardian’s extraordinarily negative reporting on Wikileaks just says it all. We wondered if our experiences might help explain some of the contradictions between what so many readers expect from the Guardian, and what is actually being delivered. Of course it’s well known that in the UK there is collusion between the mainstream media in general and power. But, our personal experiences with the Guardian also suggest another answer – the Guardian is too close to British intelligence.
UK Media - Censored by Power-Elites & MI5 / MI6
For years the UK mainstream media has had an all too cozy relationship with MI5 and MI6, the UK’s secret security / intelligence agencies. It’s not a right-wing or a left-wing issue; it’s across the board.
As a whistleblower said about MI6: they are “running a spy in every newsroom.” And that’s how fascism develops. It is not just brown shirts and bullying thugs on the street – it’s power-elites who get above the law, who can hijack control of the security / intelligence apparatus and use that power to neuter the mainstream media. Off course the mainstream media is the key thing here, it is the vehicle that allows the political status quo to continue. If the big papers and TV stations deliver the same key messages, then the bulk of people will believe them. Not just those who would have fit George Orwell’s description of a “Prole”, but a fair few supposedly intelligent people as well. Control of the mainstream media really is crucial.
In Britain, where the Guardian is based, the secret intelligence service - known as MI6 (UK equivalent of the CIA) - even has a special unit called “I/Ops” whose purpose is to manipulate and control the media. But don’t take my word for it; here is what knowledgeable experts on both the left and the right of the media have said about censorship in the UK:
Rupert Murdoch recently tweeted “no such thing as free press in UK”.
David Leigh of the Guardian wrote in British Journalism Review Vol. 11, No 2, 2000 – “British journalists - and British Journals - are being manipulated by the secret intelligence agencies” … “The truth is that they [i.e. MI6’s I/Ops unit] are very deliberately seeking to control us”.
In 2002, the Guardian quoted London-based publicist Max Clifford saying – “I censor things as well… For every story I break, I stop a dozen”. This September, the Economist quoted Mr. Clifford saying - “It’s much easier to stop stories these days … Stories which ought to be coming out, in the public interest, aren’t”
One suspects that these relationships between UK journalists and their security services are usually nothing too sinister – a few nice lunches, MI5/MI6 written articles and leaks that make a journalist look good, a little extra money, a nod ahead for one’s career for those who play ball with the security agencies, etc.. And for those who don’t play ball? – Well, perhaps they find their career stagnates - though a full blown Zersetzen persecution can result for those who really scare the security agencies.
Denis Lehane’s persecution at the hand of the secret security agencies is described in his book “Unperson a Life Destroyed”. He was a rising journalist who allegedly refused to work undercover for the CIA and MI5 who, in revenge, spread false rumours that he was “insane, an alcoholic and a serial rapist”. Ultimately they got him wronglylocked up in a lunatic asylum. When top journalist Philip Knightley (twice UK Journalist of the Year) penned an article about Lehane’s experiences, the Guardian refused to publish it.
Zersetzen, also called Cointelpro - Lies, Intimidation, Threats
It all started for us when I chose to leave Grosvenor International, a company – with joint head offices then in San Francisco and Vancouver, Canada – that was both owned and managed by power elites that are, for example, very close to Prince Charles. To my surprise I found myself unable to get further employment in Canada where I was based. I had been blacklisted. Over ten years later, perhaps to get me to shut-up, a campaign of harassment began: vehicles driven at me, computers wrecked, threatening phone-calls, surveillance, phone taps, mail intercepts, shots fired, overt stalking , etc. – much of it witnessed by third parties.
Eventually I fled to the UK to try and put this behind me; only to find that it all got worse. I went through all the normal channels and complained to Police, Politicians without effect. The more I complained, the more it was covered-up, and the more we got threatened. In former East Germany, the secret police, the Stasi called this type of activity Zersetzen. It is also called Cointelpro. I have written a research paper, highlighting our own experience as a case study, which can be viewed on:
Threats Followed Our Meeting at the Guardian
So what happened when we took our story to The Guardian back in 2005? Well, we knew that there was a risk in contacting the media. We had already been threatened not to. So we were very discrete, avoiding email, mail and our own telephones, and keeping our contact to three personal visits and several phone calls from a public phone box.
Our first meeting was with a trainee journalist where we described how our family was being illegally persecuted (Zersetzen) by MI5/MI6, and handed over the documentary evidence that proves that a UK Cabinet Minister was covering it up. The trainee advised us that he would brief a more senior journalist and I know that he passed our documentation on. Two hours later, returning home (March 24, 2005) from The Guardian’s Office, my wife and I were threatened in the name of “His Royal Highness”.
I ignored the threat and continued to contact the Guardian. So a week later my eldest son received a series of very nasty telephone death threatswhich he recorded (UK police crime number 20/E2/3302/05). Some of these threats include nasty racist and sexual innuendo. Here is an example of some of the milder threats that the police also have a recording of:
“Watch your back” ….. “I’ll rip your F****** head off” ….. “Best prepare for your knee capping. Now F*** off” ….. “F*** you, you’re F****** dead”
That same night my wife got two weird text messages on her cell phone and 24 hours later, in the middle of the night, a vehicle was smashed into our house in Manchester in which we and two of our children were sleeping. Threatening one’s children is a characteristic of Zersetzen.
Meanwhile our documentation disappeared from the Guardian’s “secure” office in Manchester. A year later, copies of this same documentation would disappear from a Judge’s court papers. Disappearance of documentation is a known hallmark of the UK’s MI5 Security Agency. This documentation contained a series of letters from UK Cabinet Minister Hazel Blears – politically responsible for MI5 and special branch; basically the UK’s secret police – where her many written excuses for not investigating all contradict each other and are all provably untrue (indeed a courageous Member of the UK Parliament pointed this out to her by letter).
I subsequently met with their then Northern Correspondent, David Ward, and showed him a copy of the letters from Minister Hazel Blears that had disappeared. He told me that he would recommend that an investigative journalist be put on the case. The Editor turned him down
The Guardian - Just too close to British intelligence
As Hugo Young, former Chief at the Guardian / Observernewspapers said of Britain’s Spy agency MI6 - “They are not afraid to announce their central role in government.” In the UK there are no constitutional provisions for freedom of speech and the powers of the Crown (i.e. State) are so ill defined that MI5 / MI6 can operate with impunity as a secret police above the law. As others have reported, politicians in the UK are scared of their own security / intelligence apparatus; so there is also a lack of competent political oversight of these agencies.
My personal involvement with the Guardian was solely because, through no fault of my own, my family had been targeted illegally for a Cointelpro / Zersetzen style persecution by power elites. Naively, I believed that the Media would have a strong interest - indeed a duty - in reporting serious infractions in rule of law, particularly where a Cabinet Minister was involved in a cover-up. It is a sad reflection on society today that it is not the corrupt who get attacked but those who expose the corruption. As Noam Chomsky stated:
‘The basic principle, rarely violated, is that what conflicts with the requirements of power and privilege does not exist.’
Sadly, it does seem that a hallmark of today’s mainstream media is that, where establishment power elites are involved, journalism is more about propaganda than reporting. Too often our media practices censorship, placing undue deference to authority ahead of truth. Censorship today, and the moulding of public opinion, is not of the blatant kind that it used to be; it is not Völkischer Beobachter - it is far more subtle! But nevertheless, it is clear that the UK’s mainstream media, such as the Guardian, is all too easily censored by the UK’s intelligence agencies.
But the Guardian went further than just censorship with us. The evidence suggests that the Guardian, or someone in their offices, fingered us to the UK’s security / intelligence apparatus and did so in the knowledge that further intimidation and harassment would be a likely result of their actions; which indeed is what happened.
The Guardian did not reply to my emails to their Editor requesting an on-the-record statement about my allegations.