Thursday, November 23, 2006
I response to Eric Brown's letter (21st Nov.) < defending the Munich crisis as not being Britain's worst foreign policy failure i would like to put the opposite view.>
At the time of Munich Czechoslovakia was a serious European military power < - 2 of the 10 German armoured divisions in 1940 consisted of Czech 38T tanks seized at from them.>
Germany, at the time, was much weaker since its rearmament was less further advanced.
More importantly the Russians had an alliance with the Czechs which they < had made clear > they were prepared to honour along with the western powers < (during this period the Russians drastically cut back their supplies to the Spanish Republic which shows they were seriously preparing for action). >
Had Germany gone to war she would have been < easily > crushed , even if the generals had not immediately pulled a coup against Hitler. After the war they said they intended to - which may be treated with as much scepticism as wanted.>
Chamberlain not only threw away all our military advantages but even more disastrously made it quite clear that he intended to scupper any possible alliance with Russia leading < almost inevitably> to the Hitler Stalin Pact.
< WW2 as anything but a small local stramash need never have happened were it not for Chamberlain's action.> However pointless the Iraq war it does not compare with Munich
Much of the editing is taking out my verbiage though they also cut both factual examples (the use of Czech tanks & cutting supplies to Spain) & I am sorry "stramash" wasn't kept.
There is also a rather silly letter from Canon Kenyon Wright today about the debate on global warming really being over because Al Gore proved it. This was started by a previous letter of mine & I hope to see my response published.
great post. Incidentally, that reminds me of this:
I would like to bring to your attention a proposal by MI6 to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia. My motive in doing this is to draw to your attention the casual and cavalier attitude that many MI6 officers have to British and international law. The officer who wrote this proposal clearly could (and in my view, should) be charged with conspiracy to murder. He will no doubt escape unpunished, like many other MI6 officers who routinely break the law. This lack of legal accountability of MI6 officers needs to be addressed urgently.
From March 1992 until September 1993 I worked in the East European controllerate of MI6 under the staff designation of UKA/7. My role was to carry out natural cover operations (undercover as a businessman or journalist etc) in eastern Europe. The Balkan war was in its early stages at this time, and so my responsibilities were increasingly directed to this arena.
My work thus involved frequent contact with the officer responsible for developing and targeting operations in the Balkans. At the time, this was Nicholas Fishwick, who worked under the staff designation of P4/OPS. We would frequently meet in his office on the 11th floor of Century House to discuss proposed and ongoing operations that I was involved in and, indeed, many other operations which I was not myself involved in.
During one such meeting in the summer of 1992 Nick Fishwick casually mentioned that he was working on a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia. I laughed, and dismissed his claim as an idle boast as I (naively) thought that MI6 would never contemplate such an operation. Fishwick insisted that it was true, and appeared somewhat offended that I did not believe him. However, I still presumed that he was just pulling my leg, and thought nothing more of the incident
A few days later, I called in again to Fishwick’s office. After a few moments of conversation, he triumphantly pulled out a document from a file on his desk, tossed it over to me, and suggested I read it. To my astonishment, it was indeed a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia.
The minute was approximately 2 pages long, and had a yellow minute card attached to it which signified that it was an accountable document rather than a draft proposal. It was entitled "The need to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia". In the distribution list in the margin were P4 (Head of Balkan operations, then Maurice Kendwrick-Piercey), SBO1/T (Security officer responsible for eastern European operations, then John Ridd), C/CEE (Controller of east European operations, then Richard Fletcher or possibly Andrew Fulton), MODA/SO (The SAS liaison officer attached to MI6, then Major Glynne Evans), and H/SECT (the private secretary to Sir Colin McColl, then Alan Petty).
The first page of the document was a political "justification" to assassinate President Milosevic. Fishwick’s justification was basically that there was evidence that Milosevic was providing arms and support to President Radovan Karadzic in the breakaway republic of Bosnian Serbia.
The remainder of the document proposed three methods to assassinate Milosevic. The first method was to train and equip a Serbian paramilitary opposition group to assassinate Milosevic in Serbia. Fishwick argued that this method would have the advantage of deniability, but the disadvantage that control of the operation would be low and the chances of success unpredictable. The second method was to use the Increment (a small cell of the SAS and SBS which is especially selected and trained to carry out operations exclusively for MI5/MI6) to infiltrate Serbia and attack Milosevic either with a bomb or sniper ambush. Fishwick argued that this would plan would be the most reliable, but would be undeniable if it went wrong. Fishwick’s third proposal was to kill Milosevic in a staged car crash, possibly during one of his visits to the ICFY (International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia) in Geneva, Switzerland. Fishwick even provided a suggestion about how this could be done, such as by disorientating Milosevic’s chauffeur using a blinding strobe light as the cavalcade passed through one of Geneva’s motorway tunnels.
There was no doubt in my mind when I read Fishwick’s proposal that he was entirely serious about pursuing his plan. Fishwick was an ambitious and serious officer, who would not frivolise his career by making such a proposal in jest or merely to impress me. However, I heard no more about the progress of this proposal, and did not expect to, as I was not on its distribution list.
I ask you to investigate this matter fully. I believe that legal action should be taken against Fishwick, to show other MI6 officers that they should not assume that they can murder and carry out other illegal acts with impunity.
For more info, see: