Britain faced no threat from Iraq when Tony Blair decided to take the country to war, the head of MI5 at the time of the invasion has declared.
Baroness Manningham-Buller disclosed that she had warned the then Labour Prime Minister that the UK would be at greater risk of terrorist attacks if he pursued military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The former director general of the domestic security service, who retired in 2007, described the Iraq conflict as a “distraction” from efforts to tackle al Qaida and warned that more terrorist attacks on British soil seemed likely.
Her comments, in an interview to mark the start of her three Reith Lectures, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this week, represent the most outspoken criticisms to date of the 2003 conflict by such a senior figure in the intelligence services.
Mr Blair, and his former communications director, Alastair Campbell, have faced repeated criticism over the Labour government’s public case for military action.
Yorkshire Post, 21 February 2011
MI5: Our ‘regret’ over failing to prevent 7/7 bombings
22 February 2011
compiled by Cem Ertür
[updated on 25 February 2011: see "Police chief ‘can’t explain failures over 7/7 plotters' " ]
US hid waterboarding of 9/11 accused, says former MI5 chief
MI5 had no idea that the architect of the September 11 attacks had been waterboarded when the Americans passed them intelligence from his interrogation, the former head of the Security Service has said.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Published: 7:05AM GMT 10 Mar 2010
Baroness Manningham-Buller said she only discovered that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times when the US Justice Department released a memo last year and it was reported in the press.
She also said that MI5 had protested to the Americans about their treatment of detainees at one stage but declined to go into details.
Speaking during a question and answer session following a lecture at the House of Lords, she also insisted that torture could never be justified even if it saved lives.
It is unclear whether the information passed to the British was acquired through torture but makes clear that MI5 either did not ask or was not told how prisoners were being treated by the Americans.
MI5 faced an unprecedented and damaging crisis tonight after one of the country's most senior judges found that the Security Service had failed to respect human rights, deliberately misled parliament, and had a "culture of suppression" that undermined government assurances about its conduct.
The condemnation, by Lord Neuberger, the master of the rolls, was drafted shortly before the foreign secretary, David Miliband, lost his long legal battle to suppress a seven-paragraph court document showing that MI5 officers were involved in the ill-treatment of a British resident, Binyam Mohamed.
Amid mounting calls for an independent inquiry into the affair, three of the country's most senior judges – Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, Sir Anthony May, president of the Queen's Bench Division, and Lord Neuberger – disclosed evidence of MI5's complicity in Mohamed's torture and unlawful interrogation by the US.
MI5 warned the government that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack in the weeks leading up to September 11, including the morning itself, a new history of the Security Service discloses.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Published: 4:49PM BST 05 Oct 2009
Newly published memos disclose an escalating concern about the terrorist leader right up until the moment he launched his attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington killing nearly 3,000 people.
But the files also reveal that MI5 discounted the threat from Islamic extremism just six years before the attacks and did not believe that America was vulnerable.
The author of the book, Defence of the Realm, has been given access to all of MI5’s files dating back to its foundation in October 1909 in the first authorised history of an intelligence service anywhere in the world.
(Updated with further developments from Democracy Now. Essentially, the Obama administration is threatening the security of British citizens to prevent disclosure of torture crimes; a less roundabout way to describe it would be that the White House is "threatening with increased risk of mass murder by ending intelligence sharing" -- SnowCrash)
British Lawmaker David Davis Challenges US Threats to Suppress Evidence of CIA Torture
Democracy Now, August 5, 2009
A British court heard evidence last week that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to prevent the disclosure of details regarding the CIA’s role in the alleged torture of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed. We hear from conservative British parliamentarian David Davis about the Obama administration’s attempts to suppress evidence in this case.
MI5 officer visited Morocco three times while Binyam Mohamed was 'tortured'
7:00 pm, Sunday May 24th
Alix Goolden Performance Hall
907 Pandora St., Victoria
MI5 WHISTLEBLOWER SPEAKS OUT: THE INNER WORKINGS OF THE SECRET STATE
Former Intelligence Officer, a Cambridge Graduate, is on a Cross Canada Tour
From Times Online
April 30, 2007
How police and MI5 foiled 'Britain's 9/11'
The fertiliser bomb plot to blow up Bluewater shopping centre, the Ministry of Sound nightclub and utilities, which ended in the conviction of five men
Nicola Woolcock of The Times
John Stone, a salesman at Bodle Brothers agricultural merchants, was bemused by the bizarre request. The flashy young man who had arrived in a customised Audi, rap music blaring, had asked for 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for his allotment.
It was winter, thought Mr Stone, and the order was enough to cover five football pitches. “What do you want all that for?” he asked sarcastically. “Are you planning a bomb attack?”
Unwittingly, he had hit on the truth. The fertiliser was to be used by a terrorist cell of mainly British-born Muslim men to build a huge bomb. The group had discussed attacking the Ministry of Sound nightclub, Bluewater shopping centre, a train, a pub and a list of synagogues.
Anthony Garcia was chosen to buy the fertiliser because he had paler skin than the others.
Well Cameron has answered last weeks questions.
Every week he spends the least amount of time on the highest ranked questions, wonder whether that is because they are not the sort of Q's he gets asked in his normal politcal/media circles.
Totally failed to recognise what I was asking him in the first question, and then does an even better job of skirting the second on MI5/MI6 training extremists.
Please go vote this weeks good Q's up: the current top rated is on 911, and mine regarding whether or not he would be prepared to meet an eye witness to 77 (suspicious plain clothed police filming him and the bus that just exploded) is just outside top 5 :-)
Here's a nice little summary of the antics MI5 have been up to. This was sent in my scholarsfor911truth.ie:
"In addition to freeze-drying credibility, Dame Manningham-Buller would have us stooped with amnesia as well."
Goldfish all over Britain were sent into convulsions of fear yesterday, at least for five seconds or so.
And as a member remarked moments ago 'if they know about 30, then how many do they not know about.' (-: