THE PSYOPS WAR: BRITISH INTELLIGENCE AND THE COVERT PROPAGANDA FRONT AND THE CIA'S INTERFERENCE IN BRITISH POLITICS
might be the chief job of an intelligence agency."
military effectiveness "may depend more on public opinion as influenced
"Am I wrong in
saying all British governments since 1945 have done what the Americans
1) The Beginnings of
Covert Propaganda and Psychological Warfare
Most of us assume that we are living in a democracy where the sources of information that shape the public's views and beliefs, i.e. newspapers, magazines, books, scientific journals, television and radio news programmes, etc., are free from interference by the state. Sadly, this is not so. For decades, the intelligence services have known that by infiltrating and manipulating the media, they can mould the British public's opinions on a range of issues such as Communism, the unions and the nuclear industry. The pro-Tory bias of the British national press is fairly obvious but many other channels have been taken by British and American intelligence in this country as part of a massive covert propaganda campaign against the left. Today, their influence can be traced right to the highest echelons of New Labour.
MI5's infiltration of the media is covered in The Secret State. This article concentrates on the sinister covert network of agencies and organisations working for British and American intelligence to decieve the British public and to control the left….
THE BEGINNINGS OF COVERT PROPAGANDA AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
In 1948, a secret political/psychological warfare department known as the Information Research Department (IRD), was set up within the Foreign Office, with the aim of embarking on a "propaganda offensive" against the left. To conceal the operation's existence from the public, its funding was obtained from Parliament on the "secret vote".
The IRD had two main purposes. It created "grey" propaganda for overseas' consumption, which was directed against "Communism", a catch-all label that included anything remotely left-wing or anti-imperialist. The primary targets were Western Europe and South East Asia, followed by India, Pakistan and the Middle East. (The Soviet Union was left largely to American intelligence). The IRD's second area of action was the moulding of domestic opinion in Britain. It used anti-Communist material created with government funds to aid right-wing social democrats within the Labour Party and the trade union movement.
Christopher Mayhew, the Foreign Office minister who set up the IRD, later reported to his boss, Ernest Bevin, that he had made arrangements with Herbert Tracey, public secretary of the Trade Union Congress, "for the dissemination inside the Labour movement at home of anti-Communist propaganda which we are producing for overseas consumption."
The staff of the IRD were a mixture of émigrés, carefully chosen writers and journalists, and intelligence operatives. The IRD took part in regular liaison meetings in London between MI6 and the CIA. The head of the IRD between 1953 and 1958, John Rennie, was later appointed head of MI6.
At its peak, the IRD had up to 400 staff working at a twelve-storey office block in Millbank, Riverwalk House. The information from IRD fell into two categories, succinctly described by a department head: "Category A is secret and confidential objective studies re: Soviet policies which are designed for high level consumption by heads of states, cabinet members, etc.…. none of this material publishable or quotable for obvious reasons. Category B is less highly-classified information suitable for careful dissemination by staff of British missions to suitable contacts (e.g. editors, professors, scientists, labour leaders, etc.) who can use it as factual background material in their general work without attribution. Success of Category B operations depend upon the activity of British representatives in various countries."
The IRD "ran" dozens of Fleet street journalists in the 1950s and 60s. To start a particular propaganda campaign, IRD would often individually brief a well-trusted journalist. Once the journalist had published their "exclusive" article without even the usual attribution to "official sources", IRD would then transmit the story as gospel all around the world.
IRD had arrangements with several British newspapers which allowed it to reprint and distribute articles from them to foreign newspapers. These reprints made no mention that the articles had initially been planted in the papers by British intelligence. IRD also arranged British government funds for foreign newspapers who were finding it difficult to pay the subscription rates to British news services. For instance, a deal with The Observer's Foreign News Service gave IRD the right to distribute articles cheaply or even free of charge to the media of selected countries. In addition, the department hired some of its personnel as "freelance" journalists to place material in British newspapers without the editor being aware of the source.
IRD tactics often necessitated the repetition of the same doctored story in several newspapers, in order to ensure its apparent credibility. The most enduring success for the IRD was in misrepresenting the Soviet Union, in the eyes of the British public, as the source of a global conspiracy that threatened the entire Western world. A typical IRD operation was its "Red Scare in the Indian Ocean" scheme. In March 1974, two IRD articles appeared, one written by MI5/CIA agent Brian Crozier in The Times and the other by David Floyd in the Daily Telegraph. Both concentrated on the fear of a build-up by the Soviet Navy in the Indian Ocean after the Somali government offered the Soviets a naval base near the Gulf, and described a build-up of Soviet advisers in neighbouring countries. A further article appeared in the Financial Times, followed by the release of spy satellite photos from the U.S. State Department.
By the time the campaign had run its course, a carefully-created illusion had been created that Somalia was a Soviet puppet. (Ironically, this "Soviet puppet" actually kicked out all Russian military advisers in 1977 during its war with Ethiopia).
IRD also took an interest in books as a propaganda vehicle and a number of leading academics contributed to a series of short books published by the IRD subsidiary company Ampersand Books. Amongst IRD operatives were Alan Hare, who worked for the Foreign Office from 1947 to 1961 and became chairman and chief executive of the Financial Times, Lord Gibson, later chairman of the holding company Pearson Longman, which owns the Financial Times, and Charles Douglas-Home, later editor of the Financial Times.
must promote its own cause and undermine that of the enemy by.... a
carefully planned and co-ordinated campaign of psychological operations.
There is of course an element of truth in the idea that an effective
domestic intelligence system could be used to jeopardise the freedom of
the individual. Under an authoritarian regime, freedom of the individual
is not particularly relevant."
The work of the IRD established some of the techniques perfected by the intelligence services and other organisations working on their behalf as part of a concerted campaign to infiltrate and control the media (and hence public opinion). This field of operations is termed psychological warfare.
Psychological Operations ("Psyops") is an all-embracing term defined by NATO as "planned psychological activities in peace and war directed towards enemy, friendly and neutral audiences, in order to create attitudes and behaviour favourable to the achievement of political and military objectives…. Strategic psywar pursues long-term and mainly political objectives. It is designed to undermine an enemy or hostile group to fight and to reduce the capacity to wage war. It can be directed against the dominating political party, the government and/or against the population as a whole, or particular elements of it. It is planned and controlled by the highest political authority."
U.S. intelligence officers usually pose as diplomats inside embassies; this "light cover" provides the agents with the easiest means of entering a country, as well as the advantage of diplomatic immunity. For more covert intelligence activities, "deep cover" is provided for agents who live as ordinary, legitimate private citizens. The most common types of deep cover are commercial and press journalists.
Frank Snepp, a CIA field officer in the 1970s, described how British intelligence was "using journalists as field operatives…. certain MI5 men were operating under deep cover as journalists and we were using them to plant stories favourable to American interests in certain publications that we couldn't reach the same way."
Intelligence officers may pose as journalists or working journalists may be recruited as agents, either on contract for a fixed spell or pro rata. MI5 holds a dossier on many journalists, noting their abilities, personalities end recommendations on what circumstances they should be used. Malcolm Muggeridge was acting as an MI5 agent while editorial writer of the Daily Telegraph. Alan Pryce-Jones, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, worked in British intelligence during the war. The Daily Telegraph's Foreign Editor, S.R. Pawley, was recruited by MI6 to help run journalist agents for the paper overseas.
MI5 targeted labour correspondents in both newspapers and broadcasting right up to the 1980s; they were recruited in droves for their contacts with a wide range of trade union officials, and with each other. According to Peter Wright, MI5 always had about twenty senior journalists working for it in the national press. "They were not employed directly by us, but we regarded them as agents because they were happy to be associated with us."
be times when the journalist, when he's examined all the facts and tested
all his sources, should come down on the side of the government of the
day, the established order and the Establishment as a whole."
As well as using the reporters to get close to left-wing union leaders, MI5 particularly targeted Mick Costello, the industrial editor of the Morning Star and later the Communist Party's' industrial organiser. According to one former MI5 officer, as many as three-quarters of the labour correspondents at that time became informants for MI5 or Special Branch. Such was the success of MI5's penetration of the press that new perspective can be put on the remark by Nell Myers, the NUM's press officer during the 1984 miners' strike, that the newspapers' labour correspondents "were basically our enemies' front-line troops."
Terry Pattinson, the main journalist behind the Daily Mirror's campaign against Arthur Scargill during the strike, later admitted that he had been approached by MI5 to work for them. Pattinson's team won the British Press Awards 'Reporter of the Year' prize for their story which was later found in court to be "entirely untrue."
John Le Carre (David Cornwall), who worked for both MI5 and MI6, stated that the British secret service "controls large sections of the press". According to the Washington Post, the editor of "one of Britain's most distinguished journals believes that over half its foreign correspondents are on the MI6 payroll."
"We are in a
period of considerable social change. There may be social unrest, but we
can cope with the Toxteths…. but if we have a highly-educated and idle
population, we may possibly anticipate more serious conflict. People must
be educated once more to know their place."
At the BBC, Brigadier Ronald Stonhem liaised with MI5 and Special Branch and advised the corporation on whether or not to employ people. Names of applicants for editorial posts in the BBC were similarly "vetted" by MI5. Reputed journalists such as Isabel Hilton of the Sunday Times and Richard Gott of The Guardian were refused BBC posts because they were not considered suitable. This secret process went on for over forty years until exposure by The Observer in 1985.
becomes involved with the media quickly learns that the advantage of the
first news reports being favourable to one's own side is overwhelming. The
first reports are usually the ones generally believed and it is hard to
reverse an unfavourable first report."
On 25th May 1989, the BBC's Nine O'clock News ran a major smear item claiming that eleven Soviet officials had been expelled from Britain because "they were subjecting Labour MPs to blackmail". The BBC's chief political correspondent John Sergeant had been at an "off-the-record" lunch with William Waldegrave, junior minister at the Foreign Office, who briefed him on the alleged KGB blackmail attempts and links of left-wing Labour MPs with Middle Eastern terrorist states. It was MI5 who had planted the story on Waldegrave. The Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, was forced to disclaim the smear and acknowledge that there was no truth in the allegations.
In 1991, it was revealed that some 500 prominent Britons were paid by the CIA through the corrupt Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI). They included ninety journalists and broadcasters, many in "senior positions."
The British Army also has a psychological warfare section. By 1971, there were thirty army psyops staff based at three overseas headquarters and one at the Ministry of Defence.
Psyops training is undertaken at the Joint Warfare Establishment in Latimer. There are two types of course; one for staff officers, which includes lectures on anti-Communist propaganda practice, the urban guerrilla, modern advertising techniques and experience from recent psychological operations; and a unit officer's course which includes propaganda and community relations and the role of a unit within the overall psyops plan.
In 1976, the MoD confirmed that in the previous three years, 1,858 army officers and 262 senior civil servants had been trained to use psychological techniques for internal security purposes. The civil servants were drawn from the Northern Ireland Office, Home Office and Foreign Office. Commissioned officers were also seconded for psyops training at the United States Army Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg and instructors from the Joint Warfare Establishment made lecture visits to Commonwealth countries.
THE INVOLVEMENT OF U.S.INTELLIGENCE
In 1974, Sir Colin Crowe submitted the secret Crowe Report, recommending that IRD should take control of the Counter-Subversion Fund (a Foreign Office fund used to finance propaganda operations). The department was then merged with the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC), a right-wing propaganda group set up by the CIA and British intelligence in 1970, and run by Brian Crozier.
Crozier was a journalist who worked for both MI6 and the CIA. He was also head of Forum World Features, a commercial news agency which sold weekly packets of news stories to newspapers all over the world. At its peak, Forum supplied over 250 newspapers world-wide. The CIA used it as a conduit for propaganda and also as a cover to send agents posing as "journalists" around the world. Forum received backing from the CIA through Kern House Enterprises, a publishing firm which was a front for the Agency. Further backing came from British companies such as Shell and BP.
A 1968 memorandum from CIA headquarters to CIA director Richard Helms described Forum as having "provided the United States with a significant means to counter propaganda, and it has become a respected feature service well on the way to a position of prestige in the journalism world." Hand-written at the bottom was a note stating that Forum functioned "with the knowledge and co-operation of British intelligence".
the MI6/CIA operative involved in extensive covert
Forum was suddenly closed down in 1975, shortly before its exposure as a CIA /British intelligence front. Forum's library and some of its research staff were absorbed into the ISC. Files removed from the offices of research director Peter Janke in 1975 showed extensive contacts between ISC and the British police and military establishments.
In June 1972, Janke visited the Police College at Bramshill at the invitation of its commandant, John Alderson, who later became Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall. Alderson wanted ISC to assist in developing a training programme on subversion and terrorism for the police. ISC members have since lectured on numerous occasions at the college and the police make use of the ISC's Manual on Counter Insurgency. The ISC also provides lecturers for several military establishments, including the National Defence College, where courses on psyops are taught.
The ISC has produced a series of special studies on subversion. The first such report was written by Nigel Lawson in 1972, entitled Subversion in British Industry. The report was not for the general public; it was aimed at the heads of industry itself. Brian Crozier noted that the Lawson report "unlocked doors, gave courage to the timid and opened purses".
Amongst the ISC's converts and allies were John Dettmer, chairman of the Economic League (a right-wing private vetting agency for British industry, which kept intelligence files on left-wingers), Michael Ivens, director of Aims of Industry (a right-wing pressure group) and John Whitehorn, Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Conservative MP Geoffrey Stewart- Smith (who was funded by MI5) arranged distribution of the group's anti-left propaganda in the run-up to the 1974 general election. Just before polling day, the ISC's report Sources of Conflict in British Industry (which blamed left wing militants for industrial unrest) was published with unprecedented publicity in the national press.
The ISC encouraged the use of pre-emptive surveillance and other measures against a broad range of "subversives", a term which easily included law-abiding trade unionists and anti-establishment intellectuals. Crozier wrote articles advocating military intervention to crush "left-wing insurgency" in Britain.
THE NETWORK WIDENS
The ISC's impact extended far beyond its base in Britain. In France, the Pinay Circle, a group of right-wingers formed around former Prime Minister Antoine Pinay, helped pay for an ISC study European Security and the Soviet Problem. The Pinay Circle members were so delighted with the report that they personally showed it to President Nixon, Pompidou, Kissinger and the Pope. In the Netherlands, Crozier worked closely with the East West Institute and its International Documentation and Information Centre, which recorded left-wing activities in Europe.
The ISC's records also show close contacts with top politicians in South Africa and other right-wing leaders around the world. Crozier helped set up a Washington-based Institute for the Study of Conflict in 1975, despite a supposed congressional ban on any CIA-backed propaganda campaigns within America.
Despite supposedly closing down in 1990, the ISC still functions today under the name of the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (RISCT), based at 136 Baker Street, London W1N 1FH. The Institute's director is Paul Wilkinson, a leading government advisor on counter-terrorism.
The RISCT's council is composed entirely of figures from academia, politics and the military, including former Defence Intelligence chief Sir Louis Le Bailly; counter-insurgency expert Sir Robert Thompson; former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Sir Henry Tuzo; Thatcher speech-writer Robert Moss; and ex-diplomat Sir Edward Peck. The calibre of its personnel, with their intimate knowledge of the workings of the state, makes the institute an influential part of the right-wing lobby in Britain.
Brian Crozier also helped set up the National Association for Freedom (NAFF), along with Norris McWhirter, Lord De L'Isle, Michael Ivens of Aims of Industry, Winston Churchill MP, merchant banker John Gouriet, and Robert Moss.
NAFF was a network of senior military and intelligence figures, senior industrialists and cabinet ministers; its members included Churchill, Jill knight, David Mitchell, Rhodes Boyson and Nicholas Ridley.
When Harold Wilson resigned as prime minister (amidst allegations of an MI5 smear campaign), NAFF's journal Free Nation carried a lead article written by Crozier entitled Affront to the Queen, which stated that the Queen would be within her constitutional rights in refusing to see a new left-wing Labour prime minister and in ordering a dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections.
NAFF changed its name to The Freedom Association (FA) in January 1979, under the chairmanship of Norris McWhirter.
THATCHER AND PSYOPS
In 1976, Brian Crozier set up a covert advisory committee called Shield, in order to brief Margaret Thatcher and her closest colleagues on security and intelligence. Crozier met secretly with Thatcher on many occasions, at the Thatchers' London home at 2 Flood Street, Chelsea, in her room in the House of Commons, and later at Chequers and 10 Downing Street. The Shield Committee was composed of Crozier, MI6 agent Stephen Hastings MP, Conservative backbencher Nicholas Elliott and Harry Sporborg of Hambros Bank.
With the resources of the ISC at their disposal, Shield produced some twenty papers on various aspects of "subversion" which were made available to Thatcher and three other members of her shadow cabinet: Lord Carrington, William (later Lord) Whitelaw and Sir Keith Joseph.
Crozier considered it one of his prime tasks to strengthen Thatcher's "self confidence" and to "suggest ways in which to cultivate and consolidate a public image of clear-headedness and resolution", to which end he instructed her in a programme of "Psychological Action". Crozier described the programme thus: "The essence of the technique is to find short, sharp answers to three questions: What do people want? What do they fear? And what do they feel strongly about?.... Psychological Action has nothing to do with the intellect and everything to do with gut emotions. Having made a list, the next step is to find the right things to say to carefully selected groups of voters."
As part of his Psychological Action programme, Crozier proposed a list of selected questions to be put in political speeches such as: "Do you think it right that people like Jones and Scanlon (union leaders of the TGWU and AUEW) should tell the government what to do?" and "Is it right that Trots and Commies should order you to strike?" and suggested judiciously chosen side arguments such as: "The trade unions are pricing Britain out of the market and you out of a job," and: "American workers are three times as well-off as you - because of free enterprise".
After reading Crozier's paper, Thatcher sprang to her feet and exclaimed: "From now on Brian, these are my ideas".
On February 11th 1977, Crozier and a group of like-minded people including Nicholas Elliott, General Vernon Walters (former Deputy Director of the CIA and later to emerge as President Reagan's ambassador to the UN) and "a leading figure in a major City of London bank", met to create a 'Private Sector Operational Intelligence' agency whose main aims would be "to provide reliable intelligence in areas which governments are barred from investigating, either through legislation or because political circumstances make such enquiries difficult or potentially embarrassing, and to conduct secret counter-subversive operations in any country in which such actions are deemed feasible."
With an initial budget of $5 million a year, the group named itself 'The 61'. Crozier, an obsessive right-wing fanatic, was motivated by his view of Britain as a nation "dominated by extreme Left Labour MPs and trade unions, whose long term goal.... is to transform Britain into another East Germany or Czechoslovakia. Without a correctly motivated intelligence and security apparatus, the subversives would win".
Between May 1977 and July 1979, Shield produced fifteen strategic papers recommending covert action against "subversives", proposals for reorganising the intelligence and security services, and three papers on contingency planning against strikes and domestic unrest which a Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher might face when it came to power. Crozier proposed an urgent redefinition of the terms of reference of MI5 to enable it "not merely to report on subversion but to go over to the counter-offensive". For MI6 also, he proposed an extension of covert action in Angola and Mozambique, and the fermenting of "internal disruption" within the USSR.
In May 1977, Crozier set about tackling what he saw as "the trickiest of the major areas of subversion in the United Kingdom - television". He set up a study group with Brian Connell of Anglia Television (who described himself as having spent "15 years as an anti-Communist Trojan horse inside the television fortress"), Michael Charlton (the radio and television interviewer) and the interviewer Robin Day (later Sir Robin). A full conference was held on April 21st to 23rd 1978 in W.H. Smith's training centre at Milton House, near Oxford. The participants were a roll-call of those inside the television medium. In the chair was Sir Edward Pickering, former editor of the Daily Express (and later vice-chairman of the Press Council), Sir Robert Mark, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Kenneth Newman, Chief Constable of the RUC, Colonel Colin Mitchell MP, and media professionals Brian Connell, Robin Day, Richard Francis (the BBC's Director of News and Current Affairs), Christopher Capron (editor of Panorama) and Colin Shaw (Director of Television in the Independent Television Authority), together with Michael Ivens of AIM, Norris McWhirter, Dr Anthony Flood (a consultant psychiatrist) and Sir Robert Thompson (an adviser to the White House and the National Security Council). Thompson set the tone of the debate with the words: "The Vietnam war was lost on the television screens of the United States".
On 19th June 1977, Crozier drafted A Stategy for Victory, which he defined as "the total defeat of the country's enemies, eliminating all risks of their recovery in the foreseeable future".
In July 1978, the Shield Committee met in the boardroom of a City bank, presided over by Margaret Thatcher, and a new body was proposed - the Counter Subversion Executive (CSE), whose function was defined as "not only to counter anti-British subversive activity both in the United Kingdom and in other parts of the world, by all clandestine means, both offensive and defensive; but also actively to conduct a clandestine offensive against Soviet power".
DESTROYING THE PEACE MOVEMENT
In November 1979, The 61 moved into offices in Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, where Crozier set about building up its funds and activities. The 61's prime functions were briefing Western and friendly Third World leaders, covert action to influence policy decisions and the dissemination of anti-Soviet propaganda. A restricted-access newsletter, Transnational Security, was produced for consumption by Thatcher, Reagan, selected politicians and friendly secret services, and a number of trusted journalists. Crozier was to state that "the best thing The 61 ever did was to penetrate and defeat the Soviet 'peace' fronts and the Western campaign groups".
The London section of The 61 infiltrated two moles into the Militant Tendency and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Crozier reported that "both operations were successful". The 61 also created fake "peace" groups to counter the work of CND. One such group, the Coalition for Peace Through Security, was set up by Edward Leigh (who went on to become a Thatcherite MP) and Julian La Lewis (introduced to Crozier by Norris McWhirter), who became The 61's leading activist in Britain.
Crozier was involved in setting up the Council for Arms Control, run by John Edmonds, a former Foreign Office official, and General Sir Hugh Beach. CIA Director William Casey provided Crozier with £50,000 in 1981 and $100,000 the following year to aid with these activities.
Another of The 61's campaigners was Paul Mercer, whose book Peace of the Dead was a savage denunciation of CND. It carried a forward by Lord Chalfont, former Labour Minister for Disarmament under Harold Wilson, who had drifted from the left to the extreme right.
In Belgium, The 61 set up an organisation called Rally for Peace in Freedom, whose influence spread rapidly not only through the Belgian Parliament but into the country's schools, with the distribution of officially approved booklets on defence.
In West Germany, The 61 liaised with the Bonn Peace forum, providing posters and banners for demonstrations which warned students of "the dangers of unconditional pacifism".
In France, The 61 set up a link with the Comite Francais Contre le Neutralisme, which brought together some 75 well-known personalities from politics, the media and education.
In Britain, Julian Lewis and his cronies wrote letters to the press, hired light aircraft trailing anti-CND slogans, organised counter demonstrations and heckled Bruce Kent and other speakers at CND rallies. Anti-CND propaganda was produced in the form of booklets, pamphlets, posters and folders, such as one entitled 30 questions… and honest answers about CND.
There was even a plan which sent two operatives - Harry Fibbs, Chairman of the Westminster Young Conservatives, and Peter Caddick-Adams, another Young Conservative - into Moscow to distribute leaflets calling for nuclear arms reduction by the USSR. On their return, the two held a press conference on 10th September 1982, which was covered by nearly all the British daily press.
At the World Peace Conference in Copenhagen 1986, The 61 packed the hall with delegates from imaginary peace groups such as 'Welsh Miners for Peace'. The conference was disrupted when the microphone was seized by a 61 agent, who launched into an anti- Soviet speech, while 61 propaganda leaflets were distributed.
Brian Crozier was to state that his "peace counter-campaign" succeeded with the decision to employ the US missiles Cruise and Pershing II in Britain, West Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
MI5's F2 Branch (which counters "domestic subversion") was simultaneously involved in covert action against CND. In September 1981, Thatcher convened a number of highly secret 'liaison committees' at 10 Downing Street which were to concentrate on policy areas that night be vulnerable during the forthcoming election, such as Britain's nuclear deterrent. A propaganda drive was organised to expose what she termed "the myths of unilateralism". Piers Wooley, a Tory party official who took part in the campaign, described the nature of the attack as "information, disinformation, and on many occasions, character assassination".
In March 1987, Minister of Defence Michael Heseltine set up a special counter-propaganda unit called Defence Secretariat 19 (DS19) to write anti-CND material. DS19 liaised with MI5, who illegally tapped the phone of CND vice-president John Cox and other members of the organisation.
MI5 officer Cathy Massiter was instructed to carry out the phone-tapping operation by Tony Crasweller, who also supervised the agency's F4 and F6 sections, which ran agents inside political parties and organisations. At the same time, CND member Stanley Bonnett, a former editor of the CND magazine Sanity, was recruited as an informant by Special Branch, on the instructions of MI5. Bonnett gave the intelligence services minutes of meetings and lists of CND activists throughout the country - lists which the officers told him "would be used for political purposes."
Cathy Massiter gathered material on any left-wing affiliations of CND's leaders. A report was then passed to civil servant John Ledlie, who was seconded to DS19, and he passed it on to Michael Heseltine and Sir Peter Blaker MP, Heseltine's lieutenant in the propaganda campaign. Blaker, in turn, passed the information on to the local Conservative Association of Ray Whitney, former head of the Information Research Department.
As the general election campaign was getting under way, the Blaker/Whitney letter was circulated to prospective Tory candidates. The Daily Mail ran an article entitled CND Is Branded a Tool of the Kremlin, which drew from MI5 smears of the organisation and included allegations attributed to Stanley Bennett.
In the same period, the private anti-Communist propaganda group Common Cause, which monitors subversion in industry and the unions, published a pamphlet, The Communist Influence on CND, which had been written under the direction of Charles Elwell, head of MI5's F Branch. Elwell was also responsible for targeting the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL) as a subversive group.
MI5 have no prerogative to justify any of their actions."
Cathy Massiter, who quit the service in
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST LABOUR
On leaving MI5, Charles Elwell went to work for Brian Crozier as an editor and researcher on an anti-Communist news sheet, Background Briefing on Subversion, later known as British Briefing. Echoing MI5's line of action, British Briefing's technique against left-wing Labour MPs was to establish "Communist" guilt by association. Its tone was best expressed with this editorial: "The march of Communism through the trade unions, the Labour Party, local government, religion, education, charity, and the media under the leadership of Communists who may or may not be members of the Communist Party, is what BB is all out. BB seeks to provide those who have the means to expose a Communist threat with clear evidence of its existence."
Among the Labour politicians targeted by British Briefing were Neil Kinnock, shadow health secretary Robin Cook, spokesman for social services Michael Meacher and spokesmen for local government David Blunkett (an ironic list of names considering those MPs' right-wing credentials today).
The Labour MP Chris Mullin was singled out for his "perpetual vendetta against British security arrangements", while Derbyshire MP Harry Barnes was labelled as "quite a vigorous Stalinist underminer of British parliamentary democracy". Other organisations were tarred with the Communist brush, notably the charity Shelter (for its "Communist affiliations"), the Institute for Race Relations ("effectively controlled by revolutionary socialists") and the World Council of Churches.
The newsletter was printed by the anti- Communist Industrial Research and Information Service (IRIS), whose parent body had been Common Cause. Copies were circulated to "political leaders, MPs, journalists and others", who were requested to treat it as confidential. British Briefing was funded to the tune of £270,000 over a three year period by Crozier's friend Rupert Murdoch.
The 61 was active in attacking the Labour Party in the run-up to the 1981 general election, with Douglas Eden writing a series of articles for the Daily Telegraph alleging Communist penetration of Labour. Tony Kerpel, a Tory councillor in Camden, designed for the Coalition for Peace Through Security a poster of Neville Chamberlain on his return from Munich in 1918 with his piece of paper signed by Hitler, alongside a picture of Labour leader Michael Foot with a piece of paper. The captions under the pictures read: "1938, Neville Chamberlain" and "1981, Michael Foot" with the wording at the foot of the poster stating: "Don't let appeasement cause another World War". The poster was published by Norris McWhirter's Freedom Association.
On February 26th 1985, Crozier met again with Thatcher, when the prime minister asked him to help with a propaganda campaign against the municipal councils, including the Greater London Council (GLC); Crozier suggested a full counter- subversion programme. Also present was the CIA's William Casey, who proposed a "suitably substantial budget" for this rapid expansion of Crozier's UK operations.
Crozier planned action on several fronts, which he called: "penetration, legislation, influence and publicity".
An organisation called Campaign Against Council Corruption (CAMACC) was set up, whose director Tony Kerpel was later appointed to the post of special adviser to Kenneth Baker, secretary of state for the environment. In Parliament, CAMACC's main activist was The 61's Edward Leigh MP. CAMACC briefed various peers and drafted speeches for them in relevant debates in the House of Lords. Letters and news coverage were secured in national papers and the councils were branded in much of the British public's imagination as "loony lefties" who were misusing public funds.
With Thatcher's approval, Brian Crozier liaised with Keith Joseph in "certain psychological actions" in the election year of 1987. One move was to brief the television presenter David Frost for a proposed interview with Labour leader Neil Kinnock. Frost met with Crozier at the Connaught Hotel on 6th January, where Crozier supplied a detailed background paper on Kinnock's "views, activities and personal relations in politics". The interview took place on May 24th during the election campaign and Crozier reported that a number of his points were raised by Frost; the interview "made a considerable impact" against Labour.
The 61 produced a booklet The Vision of St. Kinnock, which satirised and slandered the Labour leader. It was distributed to hundreds of Conservative candidates who made "good use" of it in their speeches or election pamphlets. The 61 also supplied to the Liberal Party details of a list of 130 supposedly "hard Left Labour MPs". Liberal leader David Steel published the list under the title Labour's 101 Damnations.
For months in the run-up to the election, The 61 continued to provide propaganda material to politically compliant columnists in the national media, including Woodrow Wyatt of the News of the World and The Times, Frank Chapple of the Daily Mail, Bernard Levin and Lord Chalfont.
On 12th June 1987, Margaret Thatcher won her third consecutive term as Prime Minister.
William Casey, who funded Brian Crozier's activities in Britain.
HOW THE CIA TOOK THE TEETH OUT OF BRITISH SOCIALISM
The CIA works systematically to ensure that the socialist parties of all Western countries toe a line compatible with U.S. interests. In Britain in the 1950s, the CIA's manipulation of the right wing of the Labour Party swung the party away from its pledge to nationalisation (enshrined in the celebrated Clause IV), away from nuclear disarmament and back towards a commitment to NATO. This decisive intervention by the Agency could be said to have changed the course of modern British history….
Following the end of World War II, the Labour Party was elected on a platform of extensive domestic social reform, and of peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union in Europe. Fearful of the spread of Communist influence, the right wing of the party, under the new Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell, organised themselves around the journal Socialist Commentary, which became their most important mouthpiece.
Throughout the post-war period, Labour's Gaitskellite right wing worked closely with MI5, Special Branch and a variety of CIA front organisations to advance its cause and keep the left at bay. Channelled with massive CIA funds, the right grew in confidence and influence, and vigorously campaigned against left-wingers like Aneurin Bevan, whom they denounced as "dangerous extremists".
Socialist Commentary set out to alert the British labour movement to the "growing dangers of international Communism". It was supported by David Williams, the London correspondent of the New Leader, an American anti-Communist publication backed by the CIA. Williams made it his business to join the British Labour Party and to take an active part in the Fabian Society.
In America, the New Leader provided a focus for weekly meetings of professional anti-Communists in the unions, universities and government service. It had a large staff and a world-wide network of overseas correspondents. New Leader began openly to advocate the infiltration of foreign socialist parties. In 1949, it carried a piece by CIA chief Allen Dulles advocating "a commission of internal security to examine subversive activities in the US and to use the institutions of democracy to destroy them"; this was rather like the head of MI5 writing for The Guardian.
In 1954, Denis Healey MP became the New Leader's London Correspondent.
CIA covert financing of the international student movement also began about this time. The student movement was diverging into two factions: those on the left, who supported the Soviet-funded World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) constituted the most organised section and there was no home for right-wingers and social democratic organisations. To aid the right, MI6 and the CIA helped organise and fund the World Assembly of Youth (WAY).
WAY's initial membership was quite broad and included a number of left-wing socialists with no alignment to Moscow. However it was not long before the right asserted itself in the organisation, turning the student movement into an acceptable stamping ground for those wanting to make their name in preparation for parliamentary politics. Labour backbencher and Sunday Mirror columnist Woodrow Wyatt (who had received many IRD funds in the past) described WAY as "an organisation which does extremely valuable propaganda for the free world, without looking like a propaganda organisation".
WAY was in contact with major establishment figures: a Friends of WAY Society included Conservative prime minister Sir Anthony Eden, ex-Labour prime minister Clement Atlee, Viscount Chandos (ex-colonial secretary) and Lord Mountbatten's wife Edwina. CIA officer Joseph Burkholder-Smith revealed that 10 (the CIA division which handled front groups) was in liaison with MI6 on all its world-wide front operations, in WAY in particular, and that the CIA were manipulating WAY student leaders.
WAY worked through the Colonial Office to extend its influence in Africa, setting up National Committees in Kenya, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Seychelles and Uganda. The Colonial Office brought WAY events to the attention of the African colonial governments, arranged for WAY film shows and helped pay the travel expenses of the generally poor African delegates.
During the 1950s, WAY's European Youth Campaign received over £1,300,000 of CIA money, the largest proportion of which went to the British affiliate.
Meanwhile, in June 1950, the New Leader's Melvin Lasky helped set up the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), a body whose declared purpose was "to defend freedom and democracy against the new tyranny sweeping the world" - namely Communism. Given massive CIA funding, the CCF launched political seminars, conferences, newspapers, periodicals, news services and a wide range of political and cultural activities throughout Western Europe. The CCF was one of the CIA's conduits for funding Brian Crozier's Forum World Features.
CCF also organised world-wide student exchanges and conferences in support of the new anti-Communist youth organisations which were promoted by the CIA.
In 1953, the CCF launched Encounter, a joint Anglo-American monthly journal involving MI6 agent C.M. Woodhouse, a covert action veteran who had been involved in Operation Ajax in Iran (a joint CIA/MI6 plot to overthrow the elected government of Mohammed Mossadeq). The magazine exchanged facilities with Socialist Commentary and used many of the same staff and writers. Encounter became one of the most influential liberal journals in the West.
As the CCF network grew, it embraced many prominent figures in the Labour Party - among them Anthony Crosland, who began attending CCF seminars along with Hugh Gaitskell, Denis Healey, Rita Hinden, Daniel Bell and a bevy of American and European politicians and academics.
Crosland's book The Future of Socialism was a major new political thesis which had been influenced by CCF conferences, in which he argued that growing affluence had radically transformed the working class in Europe and thus Marx's theory of class struggle was no longer relevant. The book was immediately adopted as the gospel of Labour's new leadership under Hugh Gaitskell.
During the 1950s, Gaitskell and his friends in the Socialist Commentary group adopted the argument forcibly put in the New Leader that a strong united Europe was essential to prevent the West from Russian attack. They received support from a New York-based group called the American Committee on United Europe, whose leadership included General Donovan, wartime head of the OSS (the fore-runner of the CIA), George Marshall, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Allen Dulles of the CIA.
This high-powered CIA-funded pressure group financed the so-called European Movement, headed by a friend of Hugh Gaitskell's, Joseph Retinger, who promoted select gatherings of European and American politicians, businessmen, aristocrats, top civil servants and military leaders. Founder members of the movement were Hugh Gaitskell and Denis Healey, along with such diverse characters as the president of Unilever and Sir Robert Boothby.
There were also U.S. labour attachés based in the London American embassy. One of them, Philip Kaiser, described his years in London in his memoirs: "The labour attaché is expected to develop contacts with key leaders in the trade union movement and to influence their thinking and decisions in directions compatible with American goals...."
The CIA ran the anti-Communist international trade union movement, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and its various spin-off groups, such as the trade secretariats. The TUC itself helped fund the ICFTU through its affiliation fees. By the mid 1950s, nearly a quarter of the TUC's annual budget was going to the ICFTU.
No-one has yet assembled the full data of trade union officials and Labour politicians who took advantage of the education programmes and freebie trips run by American intelligence for sympathetic people in the labour movement, but it probably runs into thousands. In other words, much of the international political landscape of the post-war era in Britain consisted of U.S.-funded or directed political propaganda/psychological warfare projects. And this was on top of the formal military-diplomatic-financial influences of NATO, the IMF, World Bank, GATT, the UN, etc.
By the late 1950s, Anthony Crosland was acknowledged as the Labour Party's chief theoretician and his role in the CCF was expanded to "encourage sympathetic people" to participate in CCF-sponsored seminars, congresses and private gatherings all around the world. Hugh Gaitskell and other Labour politicians travelled to CCF functions in Europe, New Delhi, Rhodes, Australia and Japan, where they lectured on the theme that traditional socialism was irrelevant in a modern capitalist society. They spent years working to remodel European socialism in the image of the American Democratic Party, and this was backed up by the fullest publicity in Encounter, Socialist Commentary, Preuves, Der Monat and other CCF journals.
The day after Labour's defeat in the 1959 general election, Roy Jenkins, Anthony Crosland and Douglas Jay were among a small group who met with Gaitskell to propose that Labour drop its old commitment to traditional socialism, particularly Clause IV which pledged "common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange".
In February 1960, William Rogers, general secretary of the Fabian Society, set up a steering committee with Crosland, Roy Jenkins, Patrick Gordon Walker, Jay and some sympathetic journalists. This group started to work on a manifesto to be released in the event of Gaitskell's defeat in the defence debate at the party conference that year.
Gaitskell was indeed defeated and CND won its campaign of committing the Labour Party to a neutralist programme. With widespread press coverage, Rogers and his friends immediately released 25,000 copies of their manifesto, which appealed to Labour Party members to rally behind Gaitskell and "fight and fight and fight again". The group set up the Campaign for Democratic Socialism (CDS)and with large sums of CIA money channelled through the CCF, they were able to take a permanent office and appoint paid staff. Given the full support, resources and unlimited financial backing of the CIA, the CDS had great advantages over their opponents in the party, who had to rely entirely on unpaid volunteer workers.
At the CDS's disposal were field workers in the constituencies and unions, whom it supported with travelling expenses, literature and organisational support, as well as supplying tens of thousands of free copies of the manifesto, pamphlets and other CDS publications, plus a regular bulletin, Campaign, which was circulated free of charge to a large mailing list. All of this was produced without a single subscription-paying member.
CDS achieved its objectives: the trade unions cracked under the pressure and the Labour Party returned to its support for NATO at the party conference in 1961. The Campaign for Democratic Socialism - with its CIA backing - was the most effective pressure group the Labour Party had ever seen. Its influence was out of all proportion to its original support among party members and its financial backers could justly claim to have changed the course of British politics.
George Thomson - a pillar of the CDS, who later resigned from Labour's front bench with Roy Jenkins to form the more right-wing Social Democratic Party (SDP) - said of Rita Hinden: "In the 50s, her ideas were greeted with outraged cries of "Revisionism!" But by the mid 60s, the revisionism of Social Commentary had become the orthodoxy of the Labour Movement".
The Labour Party apparatus remained firmly in Gaitskellian hands over the following decades, particularly the International Department of which Denis Healey had been head until he won his seat as an MP. In 1963, The Labour Party's Organisation Subcommittee was chaired by George Brown, one of the CIA's sources in the Labour Party.
In 1965, Healey's old post was taken over by J. Gwyn Morgan, who had been elected President of the National Union of Students on an anti-Communist ticket. Morgan became General Secretary of the International Student Conference, in charge of finance, in which capacity he negotiated with the CIA's foundations which supplied the bulk of the organisation's funds, and supervised expenditure of the several million dollars devoted to world-wide propaganda.
Morgan visited over 80 different countries in five years and got to know personally many heads of government and leaders of the world's principal social democratic parties. In 1965, he became head of Labour's Overseas Department and two years later he became Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party.
Around this time, a group of Labour leaders, including Hugh Gaitskell and George Brown, made a direct approach to MI5 for records of tapped telephone conversations of Labour left-wingers, bank-account records of payments from Soviet organisations, or names of East European contacts which could be used to smear their left-wing opponents in the party. Informal flows of information between MI5 and Labour's right-wing became more common, and over the years MI5 recruited freely in Labour's headquarters and among the parliamentary party.
The Labour Party, moulded by American and British intelligence in the Gaitskell image, with its policies firmly rooted in Crosland's manifestos, became the programme of the next Labour government under Harold Wilson.
Michael Stewart, foreign secretary in the Wilson government during the escalation of U.S. military action in Vietnam, and Sam Watson, the powerful Durham miners' leader and ally of Gaitskell, were among those who have since been identified as CIA "agents of influence."
Charles Clarke, who was Neil Kinnock's closest political adviser throughout his years as labour leader, had a background as chair of the World Youth Council, which had well-documented CIA links.
The CIA was also involved in ensuring Labour's commitment to Britain's entry into the Common Market through the afore-mentioned European Movement, the elite international pressure group secretly funded by the CIA, which took most of the credit for the founding of the Common Market. The European Movement wanted a United States of Europe and the rearmament of Germany, which the U.S. government saw as a key to winning the Cold War with Russia.
The European Youth Campaign (EYC) was set up as the most active component of the European Movement in 1951. In one year alone it organised 1,899 sessions and conferences, 900 cinema shows, distributed 1.8 million brochures, staged 21 exhibitions and secured 2,400 minutes of radio time for the cause of European unity. The secretary of the British section of EYC was Maurice Foley, later a Labour MP and minister. Virtually every penny he, and the campaign's other organisers spent, came from the CIA. In eight years, £1.34 million of covert funds were passed on to the EYC by the CIA's American Committee on a United Europe.
SPLITTING THE LABOUR PARTY
American intelligence played a major hand in the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The inspirers of the SDP were Labour's Douglas Eden (who had previously worked for Brian Crozier's Shield as a researcher) and Stephen Haseler (who taught politics at the City of London). Both met with Crozier at his office while he was running the ISC and afterwards. The three agreed with the creation of a new political party in Britain, with the objective of attracting Labour's right-wing, thereby isolating the left and "cutting it down to size".
Eden and Haseler founded the Social Democratic Alliance (SDA), which had some 700 members, mostly municipal councillors, all over the United Kingdom. Crozier gave financial assistance to the SDA and arranged with Eden and Haseler to approach Roy Jenkins to lead their proposed new party. At the end of February 1981, four Labour right-wingers - Jenkins, Shirley Williams, David Owen and William Rodgers -announced the creation of a Council for Social Democracy and left the Labour Party to form the SDP.
Crozier lays the blame for the failure of the SDP to fully achieve his aims on Roy Jenkins' policy of aiming not so much to split Labour as to attract moderate anti-Thatcher MPs from the Conservative Party. In any case, the SDP experiment could be regarded as succeeding in the CIA's designs because it divided the anti-Tory vote at the following elections and contributed to the Conservatives' retention of power.
In 1967, investigations in the U.S. revealed that the CIA had manipulated the National Student Association since the early 1950s, with the active connivance of the Association's elected officers, and that CIA money had been channelled through a group of dummy foundations, such as the Fund for Youth and Student Affairs, which supplied most of the budget of the International Student Conference, which in turn was found to have been set up by British and American intelligence to counteract Communism.
Michael Josselson of
the Congress for Cultural Freedom admitted that he had been channelling
CIA money into the CCF ever since its foundation - at the rate of about $1
million a year - to support some twenty journals and a world-wide
programme of political and cultural activities.
The exposure of CIA financial aid to WAY headquarters led to the organisation becoming discredited and the British National Committee was disaffiliated in 1977.
The revelation of its network of front organisations persuaded the CIA that its future lay in more discrete operations with better cover. Lots of covert psychological warfare and propaganda think tanks began to appear on the scene; Brian Crozier's Institute for the Study of Conflict was a pioneer in this field.
THE CIA AND NEW LABOUR
CIA-backed fronts such as the Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding (LCTU) continued to attract right-wing trade union and Labour Party figures well into the 1980s. LCTU was formed "in order to develop a better understanding of the objectives and democratic values of the Western Alliance in the ranks of socialist and trade union movements in Europe and their counterparts in the United States"; it distributes a news service amongst the trade union movement and provides regular seminars and conferences for senior trade unionists and politicians. Speakers at LCTU's conferences have included Dr John Reid MP (later to become Tony Blair's armed forces minister) Peter Mandelson MP, and George Robertson MP (Blair's defence secretary).
Another example of
infiltration into the Labour Party was the case of MI6 officer Margaret
"Meta" Ramsay. She had attended Glasgow University and had been elected
President of the Scottish Union of Students. In 1962, she became associate
secretary of the CIA-front the International Student Conference at Leiden,
Holland. From 1965 to 1967, Ramsay was secretary of the Fund for
International Student Co-operation, which was later identified as another
recipient of CIA funds. She became an active member of the Labour Party,
attending conferences where party officials were "unaware" of her
intelligence connections. In late 1981, she was even on the short-list to
become the new chief of MI6. (In the event, Sir Colin McColl, who was due
to retire as chief in September 1992, was asked by John Major to stay on
for another two years).
With friends like these, the opportunities that the intelligence services have had for manipulating Labour politicians have plainly been many and varied.
Today, Tony Blair maintains the CIA's designs for the Labour party, with a commitment to the largest military budget in Europe and an unswerving allegiance to NATO. The assortment of transatlantic study trips, scholarships, trade union "fellowships" at Harvard and seminars paid for by U.S. agencies and the CIA continue to mould and influence Labour Party policies. For example, both Gordon Brown and John Monks (an important Blair ally as head of the TUC) were welcomed by the secretive Bilderberg Group (one of the key organisations of the European-American elite.) Brown and his economic adviser Edward Balls were both at Harvard. David Miliband, Blair's head of policy, was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1986, Tony Blair went on one of the myriad of U.S.-sponsored trips to America that are available for promising MPs and came back a supporter of the nuclear deterrent. In 1993, he went to a meeting of the Bilderberg Group.
Jonathan Powell, Blair's foreign policy advisor, used to work in the British embassy in Washington and is suspected by some of having been the liaison officer between British intelligence and the CIA.
In 1976, Peter Mandelson was Chair of the British Youth Council, which began as the British section of the World Assembly of Youth, which as we have seen, was set up and financed by the CIA. By Mandelson's time in the mid-1970s, the British Youth Council was said to be financed by the Foreign Office, though this was thought to be a euphemism for MI6.
A variety of senior Labour politicians - Peter Mandelson, George Robertson, Mo Mowlam, Chris Smith, Elizabeth Symons, George Robertson and Blair's chief of staff Jonathan Powell, were members of the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP), a little-known but highly influential transatlantic network of "chosen" politicians, journalists and academics. The fingerprints of British and American intelligence are everywhere to be found amongst the network of BAP members; regular attenders at BAP meetings are defence and security specialists, NATO advisers, Defence Ministry think-tank people and counter-insurgency experts. Also included is Jonathan Powell, the career diplomat who now runs Tony Blair's No. 10 office as chief of staff. Powell is the youngest of the Powell brothers, of whom Charles, the eldest, was Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy specialist. At BAP conferences, subjects discussed include such titles as 'Sharing the Defense Burden' and 'The Welfare State on Trial'.
The first recorded mention of the need for a "successor generation" came in 1983 when President Reagan spoke to a select group, including Rupert Murdoch, Sir James Goldsmith and senior CIA officers, in the White House. Reagan told them: "Last June, I spoke to the British Parliament, proposing that we - the democracies of the world - work together to build the infrastructure of democracy. This will take time, money and efforts by both government and the private sector. We need particularly to cement relations among the various sectors of our societies in the United States and Europe. A special concern will be the successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defense and security issues."
BAP is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia, which was established in 1985 by the billionaire J. Howard Pew, a devoted supporter of the Republican Party and other right-wing groups. These include the far-right Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a foundation which was set up by former CIA head William Casey to sponsor books "widely regarded as influencing Reagan Administration economic and social thinking." One such book was Losing Ground by Charles Murray, the extreme-right inventor of the term "underclass" and advocate of the abolition of welfare.
In the records of the foundation of its "successor generation", BAP describes regular meetings of "24 Americans and 24 Britons aged between 28 and 40 who, by virtue of their present accomplishments, had given indication that, in the succeeding generation, they would be leaders in their country and perhaps internationally."
In its 1997 newsletter, BAP warmly welcomed the elevation of its members to the Blair Cabinet: "Congratulations from all of us!"
All of Blair's new political appointees at the Ministry of Defence, including Defence Secretary George Robertson, have been members or associated with the Atlantic Council and its labour movement wing, the Trades Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding (TUCETU), which formed from the afore-mentioned Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding (LCTU), organisations that are backed by the CIA.
TUCETU's membership has included Doug Mc Avoy (general secretary of the National Union of Teachers), Lord Richard (Labour leader in the House of Lords), Lord (John) Gilbert (Tony Blair's defence procurement minister), right-wing trade union leaders such as Bill Jordan (head of the International Confederation of Free Trade Union, the CIA's chief labour movement operation), Lord (Eric) Hammond and Lord (Frank) Chapple, and former Portuguese president Mario Soares (recently revealed to have been a CIA asset).
TUCETU also incorporates Peace Through NATO, the group central to Michael Heseltine's covert MoD campaign against CND in the 1980s. It receives over £100,000 a year from the Foreign Office, as well as payments from CIA-backed trusts. TUCETU chair Alan Lee Williams was a Labour defence minister under Callaghan, who defected to the SDP. He now describes himself as a "defence consultant".
This is just some of the complicated network of British and U.S. intelligence's efforts to infiltrate and manipulate the right-wing of the trade union movement and the Labour Party in recent decades, and there are grave lessons here for the left.
Under the pretence of a media with freedom of expression, the intelligence services have spoon-fed the British public a carefully-controlled political diet of "news" which controls their attitudes and responses to strikes, protests, wars and general elections, while the broad domestic and foreign policies of the Labour Party that the CIA helped establish (pro-NATO, pro-free market economy, anti-socialist etc.) have remained in place to this day.
Robin Ramsey of Lobster magazine, which has uncovered much of Blair's clandestine transatlantic intelligence connections, describes New Labour as just the latest manifestation of the party's social democratic tendency, which has existed since the Cold War, running from Hugh Gaitskell through Roy Jenkins and the SDP and which should more properly be called the American Tendency:
"The people round Blair are all linked to the United States…. And here is the source of the tension between so-called Old and New Labour. For who are the Labour Party's traditional constituencies? British domestic manufacturing and British public sector workers. Old Labour is the domestic economy; New Labour is the overseas British economy; in other words, the multinationals, the City of London, and the Foreign Office which represents their interests."
It would be foolish to underestimate the influence of the intelligence services on Britain's political map. We know that the intelligence services never stand idly by and watch events happen. Brian Crozier is but one CIA operative in Britain whose activities have come to light. During the mid-1970s, renegade CIA agent Philip Agee revealed a list of ten CIA officers working in London; MI6 later confirmed to a group of MPs that this was correct. We have seen CIA operatives attain senior positions of influence under successive Labour governments. How deeper does the infiltration of the Labour Party go than has so far come to light, and to what extent are the intelligence services able to manipulate the party's policies?
The whole purpose of trade unions is to be independent workers' organisations standing up for the interests of their membership. The Labour Party itself was originally founded to represent the interests of the working class against the exploitation of capitalism. We have seen a concerted, massively-funded and far-reaching campaign by the intelligence services and other state agencies to covertly manoeuvre the labour and trade union movements in this country to total compliance with the interests of the ruling class. This is not merely undemocratic; it is the mark of totalitarianism.
United States, Britain has become a single-ideology state with two
principal, almost identical factions, so that the result of any election
has a minimal effect on the economy and social policy."
"It is not
surprising that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the
ballot box is no longer an instrument that will secure political
solutions…. They can see that the parliamentary democracy we boast of is
becoming a sham."