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"It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious." -- Obama

The CIA Must Tell the Truth About My Rendition At 12 Years Old. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 6, 2014 - 33 comments

"He alone was real."

Philby's boss was Sir Stewart Menzies, who, we are told, "rode to hounds, mixed with royalty, never missed a day at Ascot, drank a great deal, and kept his secrets buttoned up behind a small, fierce mustache. He preferred women to men and horses to both." Menzies was an amateur at a time when his adversaries were professionals. Philby's fellow Soviet spy Donald Maclean was a mess. But since he was a mess with the right accent and background he easily found a home in the British spy service. At one point, Macintyre says, Maclean "got drunk, smashed up the Cairo flat of two secretaries at the U.S. embassy, ripped up their underwear, and hurled a large mirror off the wall, breaking a large bath in two. He was sent home, placed under the care of a Harley Street psychiatrist, and then, amazingly, after a short period of treatment, promoted to head the American desk at the Foreign Office."
Kim Philby, the Soviet spy who infiltrated MI6, is the subject of a Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker. Gladwell argues that Philby's story is not about spying but "the hazards of mistrust." He is interviewed on a New Yorker podcast about his article. Gladwell's article is also a review of Ben Macintyre's book on Philby, A Spy Among Friends. Gladwell reviewed Macintyre's previous book, Operation Mincemeat and argued that spy agencies might be more trouble than they're worth.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 28, 2014 - 25 comments

The allegedly amputated arm of the law

MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition. The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 15, 2012 - 26 comments

Art of the hidden

How does an artist portray life in a secretive intelligence service? James Hart Dyke peeks into the U.K's Secret Intelligence Service (aka MI6), while Jill Magid shares her experience preparing pieces for the Dutch secret service AIVD.
posted by MILNEWSca on Feb 18, 2011 - 7 comments

"The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing."

Graham Greene, Arthur Ransome and Somerset Maugham all spied for Britain, admits MI6 "The authors Graham Greene, Arthur Ransome, Somerset Maugham, Compton Mackenzie and Malcolm Muggeridge, and the philosopher AJ "Freddie" Ayer, all worked for MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service admitted for the first time today . They are among the many exotic characters who agreed to spy for Britain, mainly during wartime, who appear in a the first authorised history of MI6."
posted by Fizz on Oct 11, 2010 - 27 comments

MI6 employee murdered in London

A man believed to be a MI6 employee has been found murdered in a flat in Pimlico. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 25, 2010 - 84 comments

Maziar Bahari

118 Days, 12 Hours, 54 Minutes — On June 21, reporter Maziar Bahari was rousted out of bed and taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison—accused of being a spy for the CIA, MI6, Mossad…and Newsweek magazine. This is the story of his captivity. CBS 60 Minutes feature. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 23, 2009 - 22 comments

War? Well only as a favor to you, George.

What lingering doubts anyone might have about the case for war in Iraq took another body blow today, as the former deputy director of MI6, claimed Britain had been "dragged into" the war. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on May 4, 2009 - 28 comments

¡Atención!", "1234567890"

Find a short wave radio and before long you should be able to tune into The Lincolnshire Poacher - the station plays an introduction comprising part of the eponymous folk tune followed by a robotic female voice reading strings of numbers: listen! So called Numbers Stations have been a mysterious constant of short wave radio for several decades. The Conet Project [previously 1, 2, 3] has made a collection of the recordings available allowing you to listen to "Ready! Ready! 15728", "The Buzzer" (especially mysterious), "Gong Station Chimes", "Magnetic Fields" and many others.... [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Jun 30, 2008 - 71 comments

Englandspiel - or 'Germany Game'

Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 6, 2006 - 16 comments

"Let the game begin..." - Tomlinson v. MI6

Richard Tomlinson is a former spy. Jailed under the Official Secrets Act in 1995 for publishing his memoirs, famed for claiming there's a cover up surrounding Princess Diana's death and allegedly leaking a list of active MI6 agents, he is still fuming about his dismissal from the Secret Intelligence Service. So he started a weblog, complete with posts containing sensitive information. The British authorities are displeased.
posted by jack_mo on May 24, 2006 - 33 comments

MI6 online

The Secret Intelligence Service, aka MI6, now has its own website. MI5 has had one for a while, and apparently now gets most of its job applications that way.
posted by Phanx on Oct 13, 2005 - 17 comments

MI6 warned US of Al-Qaeda attacks

MI6 warned US of Al-Qaeda attacks MI6 warned the American intelligence services about a plot to hijack aircraft and crash them into buildings two years before the September 11 attacks.... I do not subsribe but this is summary of article and may prove very "annoying" to the agencies and people involved. The Sunday Times is too reputable to be readily dismissed as off the wall.
posted by Postroad on Jun 9, 2002 - 38 comments

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