“Londonstani” has a superb post at Abu Muqawama about Ed Husain’s The Islamist. Read the whole thing. Then look at the comments and cry.

Meanwhile, shouldn’t this story be getting much more press?

Intelligence briefings for Mr Obama have detailed a dramatic escalation in American espionage in Britain, where the CIA has recruited record numbers of informants in the Pakistani community to monitor the 2,000 terrorist suspects identified by MI5, the British security service..


The CIA has already spent 18 months developing a network of agents in Britain to combat al-Qaeda, unprecedented in size within the borders of such a close ally, according to intelligence sources in both London and Washington.

An agent network? This is the sort of thing the Americans were constantly trying to put over on us in the 1950s and 60s and Sir Peter Wright, by his own account admittedly, spent a lot of time and effort kiboshing. It appears to be John Reid’s fault, which is interesting but hardly surprising. It’s much more surprising to find this in the Daily Telegraph, but there you go.

A pint of wanker goes to Patrick Mercer MP, who is quoted as basically saying he’s cool with that and daddy knows best:

Patrick Mercer, chairman of the House of Commons counter-terrorism sub-committee, said: “The special relationship is a huge benefit to us. It clearly works to our advantage and helps keep the people of the UK and the US safe.

“There is no doubt that a great deal of valuable intelligence vital to British national security is procured by American agents from British sources.”

World of Ken MacLeod Watch is obviously a feature we’ll have to introduce here.


  1. I was recently reading “The Age of Uncertainty” by JK Galbraith, and he notes the response of the British to requests by Austrian authorities to extradite or deport the dangerous and supposedly regicide radical Karl Marx:

    “…under our laws, mere discussion of regicide, so long as it does not concern the Queen of England and so long as there is no definite plan, does not constitute sufficient grounds for the arrest of the conspirators.”

    An offer was made by the Home Secretary to pay for Marx & co to go to America (on the basis that regicide couldn’t be practiced there) but this too was withdrawn when the Prussians and Austrians said they wanted it to happen.

    *Those were the days*

  2. “Sir” Peter Wright ???

    Are you not also, to quote the then Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong’s phrase popular in the Westminster village at the time, being “economical with the truth” ?

    It is astonishing that any foreign intelligence agencies are allowed to operate in the UK at all, regardless of whether they are our nominal allies or not.

    Remember Jacqui Smith claimed that

    21 Feb 2008 : Column 546

    Jacqui Smith: It is illegal for foreign intelligence agencies to operate in this country.

  1. 1 tearing up the astroturf « Alternate Seat of TYR

    […] Jenvey was a) the author of the threats, not just a reporter on them, b) using Patrick Mercer MP (for it is he) to lend weight to his nonsense, and the British Ambassador to Afghanistan’s brother too, and […]

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