Saturday, September 05, 2009

Americans Threaten to Stop Sharing Terror Intelligence

So, it seems that releasing al Megrahi threatens to put more Britons in danger than getting out of Afghanistan would do. The News of the World has a story that the Americans are about to stop sharing intelligence with us on terror suspects, as they no longer regard us as a reliable ally. Here's an extract from Jamie Lyons' story...

Senior security sources in Britain have told the News of the World the row threatens to put Britain’s security at risk. They say American intelligence was vital in Operation Pathway — which thwarted a possible UK al Qaeda operation in April.

It also helped foil the plot to blow up an airplane flying out of Heathrow in 2006. Patrick Mercer, chairman of the House of Commons’ counter-terrorism sub-committee, also says: “We depend upon the US for much of our intelligence gathering. Gordon Brown must not let the co-operation be ruptured.

“To do so will endanger this country and its citizens.”

One security source revealed: “A large number of CIA agents are effectively British intelligence officers. They are doing a terribly important job.”

He addded that the FBI had joined forces with the CIA to show the US anger. The recent public letter from FBI director Robert Mueller lambasting the bomber’s release was written “because the CIA are so p****d off with us but dare not speak it, so the FBI are doing it instead. That is unprecedented.”

It looks like the SNP may have a lot to answer for.


Man in a Shed said...

That would be very short sighted of them.

fyoc said...

Bullshit Iain.

We also share a lot of intelligence with the Yanks. They would have just as much to lose if we stopped sharing our own intelligence with them.

We had a track on Bin Laden's satellite phone until the Yank's messed up that piece of intelligence. They owe us a lot too you know.

Can we remind them of how much they loved the IRA? They owe us a f*** of a lot of favours and it is us British that should be complaining not them.

Rumbold said...

There were plenty of good arguments against his release (though I think it was right to release him), but this wasn't one of them. This is posturing bullying tactics. American security is in no way conpromised by his release, and it smacks of interference in a democratic country's judical process. America is very unlikley to withdraw co-operation, as they work with the British far too much to cancel everything over something like this.

Weygand said...

So the Americans fail to pass on a lead that would have averted a terrorist disaster in London?

And the many and varied consequences for the US would be... well not very positive would they?

eg Just the excuse we need to get out of Afghanistan.

This is pure scaremongering - shame on you.

Iain Dale said...

It's a news of the world story. Shame on me? Crikey.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dale

i think our prime minster has a lot to answer .

No matter what is right our wrong our Prime minster must speak for all not a few

keep up the good work xxxxxx

Chris Paul said...

NOTW? Senior security sources? Is that the old concierge at the red brick? Now that's not what I call proper journalism.

This is what is known as playing to the gallery - the US home audience. 'Bout as likely to be true as Mayor of Baltimore sending hit squad to total Hilton over Midsomer slur.

John MacLeod said...

Hm. Sounds as if the Americans would have a lot to answer for, Iain - should they prove as petty and pathetic. MacAskill had no room for manoeuvre under Scottish statute law - which is very clear about the release of prisoners on compassionate grounds - and, whatever Scotland's Justice secretary had done in this case, he'd have been vilified... eg for jeopardising critical British oil and trade deals by his 'petty heartlessness.'

There's a lot of heads-we-win-tales-you-lose metropolitan attitudes just now to Scotland and its SNP Government, and many of us have no time for American righteousness on 'terrorism'. Not once, throughout the bloody troubles of Northern Ireland, did USA courts allow the extradition of an IRA suspect to Britain, for instance; and the officer responsible for the My Lai atrocity in Vietnam was prosecuted belatedly, reluctantly and consigned at last and for a few years to a comfortable open prison.

I'm by no means a fan of the SNP Government at present - after they wielded all the might of the Scottish state, and on singularly slimy grounds, to impose Sunday ferries on a community that did not want them - and will not be voting SNP at the general election, but I detest lynch-mobs and the feeding-frenzy over Kenny MacAskill and Megrahi is taking on all the hallmarks of one.

Bardirect said...

I don't buy into the notion that this is necessarily a bad thing.

US "intelligence" led to the incarceration of people at Guantanamo who could never be tried because there was no actual evidence against them. Similar intelligence said Saddam had WMD's. US intelligence told Bush what he wanted to hear. The same people are still in the same jobs.

Without corroboration "intelligence" is not a proper basis to act lawfully and constitutionally.

Weygand said...

"It looks like the SNP has a lot answer for"

It may be a NOW story but you adopted it and gave it your own presentation.

One might accept such intellectually weak stuff from the NOW but not from you.

Once again I fear your heart is ruling your head.

Weygand said...


Just read the top blogs feed on your own site.... and note (however erroneously) the statement it attributes to you.

King Athelstan said...

Same old, same old!

Iain Dale said...

Weygand. what on earth are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

"Hey! who needs the USA!!!! we are part of the EUSSR now!! our future lies with Mother Brussels!! American c nts!"

Thats the way the McLabour Regime want people to react to their purposeful efforts to break the ANGLO-American bond.

alistair said...

Are we an independent country or not? If there are threats like that made then we need both an independent intelligence policy and an independent nuclear deterrent. Starting with removing listening stations such as Fylingdales, the lease for Diego Garcia has a break date in 2016. I want to be a partner with America but should not be bullied. I also want the extradition treaty changed.

Weygand said...

Since you ask - you open this post with;

"So, it seems that releasing al Megrahi threatens to put more Britons in danger than getting out of Afghanistan would do."

By which you appear to accept the NOTW story.

I, like just about everyone else who has commented so far, says Bollocks and you should know better.

Mon dernier mot.

Anonymous said...

Mark Mardell calls this slightly differently.

And he should know.

Quietzapple said...

Anything to do with past "sources" which pop up from time to time to try and make out that any labour Government is:

a) In league with Russia

b) Taking cash from HM enemies

c) Whatever suits the billionaires who own the press and paid for the Tory party?

Quietzapple said...

Oh, did anyone read Lt Wm Calley's apology for his role in the Mai Lai massacre recently?

He served 2 months.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the correct response to that - *if* there is *any* truth in NOTW story - would simply be to threaten to withdraw UK forces from Afghanistan unless the decision is reversed. Given that the UK has lost both blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to shore up the geo-political US position, any such move would be so entirely disproportionate to the offense caused by the al-Maghrebi decision - whatever one thinks of that decision - that Washington should be told to take a running jump (I'm being polite in the hope this message gets through.)

Malcolm said...

I find the story very hard to believe but if it is then it shines a very illuminating light on the nature of our "special relationship". It would indicate that rather being regarded as partners we are seen as servants who must be punished and brought into line if we dare do anything to displease our masters. Unfortunately, comments such as "It looks like the SNP may have a lot to answer for." would suggest that there are those in this country willing to support such a servile status.

if this story is true then we should reconsider our relationship with the U.S, cease being as co-operative as we always are and invest in developing our own intelligence capacity including closer co-operation with Europe. We are not a nation to be bullied.

Jimmy said...

Well if they're briefing the News of the Screws intelligence [ahem] correspondent then they must be serious.

I know it's still silly season but seriously...

Phillip Lawrence said...

Not really a surprise is it? Gordon Brown saw a chance to make a quick buck via BP in exchange for Meghari. And being the mendacious, duplicitous and venal charmer that he is he grabbed it with both hands.
Forget the fact that the British government had promised not to release Meghari, forget the fact that the man killed 270 people, forget the fact that this would damage relations with our most important ally.
It doesn't matter; for Brown a pound sign is more important than a human life. And far more so if that life belongs to a soldier.

Anonymous said...

If the Americans go down that road, they will suffer far more than we ever will.

Right now, this country acts as America's stooge. If they think the French or the Italians or the Germans would be better allies, I suggest we step back and let them get on with it.

I, for one, am sick of seeing my country's money, reputation and blood being thrown away because of some misguided belief that Britain is respected in Washington. We are not and we never will be until and unless we have a government willing to stand up for British interests - not American, not European, but British interests.

The Purpleline said...

Iain- the bonds that bind UK & US intelligence services are too strong, that is where the true ‘Special relationship’ exists and among the common people and language and culture.

I believe as we contemplate all manner of scenarios on these blogs, the dark hands that sit behind in the shadows are planning their little bit of fun. I expect Brown to be brought down very soon whether, that is on medical grounds or through his own party actions forcing him out >Note Darling and Straw today< Darling will not repeat the stupid claims of 500,000 jobs saved by Brown. Straw has put a spanner in the works by saying the Libyans release was Oil and trade related. Although under the caveat of bring a rogue state back into the fold.

Brown will be declared unfit and, the two numbskulls in the SNP to be damaged politically, perhaps some skeletons will appear out the closet.

MI5/6 and CIA NSA and tow other UK and US special departments are too close to be concerned by this and by who the president is or prime minister.

Believe one thing when the British allowed MI5/6 to be uncovered they created two deeper units that only report to one unknown person. Do you really think a secret intelligence service is going to allow its doors to be swung open.

This story in the NOTW is an opening salvo in the game to get Gordon. Lets hope it worls

subrosa said...

Nothing whatsoever to do with the SNP, they acted precisely within Scots law.

If there is a problem with the US it's to do with the wheeling and dealing of the Westminster government who have lied all the way through this.

Jack Straw's admission says it all.

heckmonwyke said...

NO the shower in charge A! goverment has a lot to answerfore by letting the scottish goverment? dictate the UKs foriegn policy

heckmonwyke said...

If brown has done a deal over the libyan bomber the money is not going to him its our money.that doesnt make it right just that soon to be XPM, just doesnt get morality

Anonymous said...

Thats gratitude for you when you stick by someone through thick and thin. Talk about throwing your toys out of the pram. Who stood by them over Iraq when world opinion was against them? If this is the way they feel lets pull out of Afghanistan and let them sort it out.

Scottish Politics said...

Ridiculous piece Iain and dissapointing fare from a well respected blogger. Just an attempted smears and fears story with dubious sourcing you have picked up from the NoTW.

If the US stopped sharing intelligence that would be their doing and not the responsibility of the SNP and it would be utterly shameful if they knowingly withheld information pertaining to a planned terrorist atrocity.

Hurf Durf said...

I agree with Anonymous at 11:48 PM and Alistair at 10:23 PM. This is saber rattling. I doubt the US intelligence community would spit their dummy out too readily in the face of one of their best allies (unless the Obama picks really are as incompetent as people like Clinton and Van Jones). However, this doesn't dilute the fact that Labour are fundamentally pseudo-egalitarian tossers who happily side with enemies in the name of lining its own bed; hypocrites who are more than happy to overthrow tyrants at one end of the Middle East yet do deals with ones at the other end (who were substantially more involved in anti-Western terrorism).

Turns out Gordo didn't press Libya for IRA compensation either. Cheeky bastard.

Fred said...

That would clear the way for the Court of Appeal to ignore Milliband and publish the facts about Binyan, wouldn't it. Since the threatened retaliation had already happened.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying Iain that the Conservatives support political interference in the judicial system to please the Americans?

And tell me how it is the SNP which would have something to answer for if the Americans failed to warn about a terrorist attack over here?

What I have found concerning about this episode is how the Conservatives have come over as just the slaves of the Americans and they would undermine our law and justice system just to please their interests and their interests alone. Is this what the Conservative party has become?

The worrying petulance of the Americans is alsom displayed here.

Holyrood fury over FBI chief’s demands

By Campbell Gunn

THE FBI phoned a Scots police force in the middle of the night and demanded Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s address after he freed the Lockerbie bomber.

The Lothian and Borders force was told at 2 am an official from the US Embassy wanted to deliver a letter from FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The Big Dollop said...

Mr Dale

How in the name of friar tuck have the SNP got a lot to answer for?

If the Americans want to throw their toys out of the pram so be it - if it was in "their interest" that a terrorist attack were to take place in the UK - you can bet your last penny on it happening.

The Americans have always looked after number one and will contunue to do so - regardless of the decision the SNP took regarding the release of the lockerbie bomber.

John B said...

Intelligence sharing is a two way street. What would the Americans gain by the UK not sharing its intelligence with them?

GCHQ is an important part of CIA intelligence gathering with CIA agents permanently seconded there. If tit-for-tat the UK told them to leave, how would that help?

Idle talk by disgruntled people in the US or maybe no talk at all and the usual NoW rubbish.

Thatsnews said...

The SNP? Oh, I doubt it. I think they were suckered by London Labour. Who couldn't quite see the likely consequence's of their actions.

Components of Independence 2 said...

"Mr Dale, How in the name of friar tuck have the SNP got a lot to answer for? "

Maybe Iain thinks they are so powerful they now run the CIA and have threatened to stop giving info to England.

I dunno really. He'll have to explain his train of thought on this one.

Anonymous said...

oh dear Iain you just cant contain your purile English Imperialst London centric luvvie roots another threat to the SNP how pathetic.

How many UK troops have been killed or maimned by the the Yankees.

Intelligence - the USA = dear oh dear

Thatsnews said...

Like their intelligence of the 9/11 plot... and... Oh.

Hey said...

All of those responsible, including Brown, have provided material support for terrorism. They should be dealt with as such, sent to hellfire via the agency of a Hellfire missile fired from an Agency operated Predator drone.

Normally I'd say that the UK be treated as a hostile power who has declared war, but we all know that you are oppressed and currently occupied by an illegitimate government and it should not be held against the whole populace (now the Labour Party and SNP should be, of course, but they have both deserved that ever since the October Revolution, and the trials have been far too long in coming).

Good to know that the US is pushing back hard on this. Perhaps its sufficient for Her Majesty to call in Brown and tell him that she's removing him to defend the Realm.

Hey said...

All of the commenters here supporting the release are also terrorists and should meet the very best in UCAV delivered high explosive armaments. That so much work in UCAVs has been undertaken by Israeli Aerospace Industries will no dote piss them off even more, which adds to my schadenfreude.