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Athens abductions part III - MI6 officer named

by talos Sat Dec 31st, 2005 at 03:38:36 AM EST

From the front page, with slight edits ~ whataboutbob/DoDo

Update [2005-12-29 8:43:56 by talos]: It seems that the story has finally produced some reaction in Britain:

"Claims that an MI6 officer took part in the abduction and torture of 28 Pakistani terror suspects in Greece must be investigated, Lib Dems say...
...Foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell called for an intelligence and security committee (ISC) inquiry.
Sir Menzies told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I believe the appropriate course now would be for the intelligence and security committee of Parliament to investigate these matters.
"I think it is necessary for public confidence and also to get to the bottom of what are serious allegations for some further investigation to be carried out..."

I've been following here on the European Tribune the saga of this summer's abductions of Pakistani immigrants in Athens by "unknown captors" (1, 2). The story just got a turn towards the more interesting which is why I'm posting a third diary instead of updating the last one...

On Christmas day the Athens Weekly "Proto Thema" published a list of Greek Secret Service operatives involved in the abduction as well as the name of a British agent described as the MI6's stationmaster in Athens (who was possibly in command of the whole operation). The newspaper is a rather sleazy/muckraking tabloid with connections however to a lot of people in high places. The leak probably came from within the secret services - and the veracity of the story is strengthened by the Greek Government's and the Greek Intelligence Service's panicked reactions.

It is interesting that no other Greek newspaper that I know of - and certainly no British or International publication on the web has published the MI6 agent's name - pointing to a gag order. That name and more below the fold.


THE Government tried last night to block the naming of an MI6 officer alleged to have orchestrated the torture of terrorist suspects in Greece.

It issued a warning to media organisations after a leading Athens newspaper identified the British intelligence officer and 15 Greek agents, alleging that they took part in the arrest and abuse of 28 Pakistan-born detainees who were held in connection with the July 7 bombings in London.

The disclosures sparked a row in Athens, with opposition leaders and human rights groups demanding to know why British agents were allowed to operate in Greece... [from the Times]

The MI6 agent, (whose name I won't post unless someone in the ET gives me the go-ahead, given the agency's rather aggressive methods in previous outings), a guy called Nicholas John Andrew Langman, who was also implicated in the various Diana-related MI6-scenarios, and exposed publicly in 1989 and 1999, was thus already compromised, I'd figure, so I don't understand why such a fuss.

Anyway, the Greek government has a whole load of problems with this right now as the public prosecutors' office is stating that the complaints are "absolutely valid" and is preparing to call the named Greek Intelligence officers to testify. This is something that the Intelligence Service (EYP) has already stated that it will not allow its employees to do, on grounds of "national interest". The lawyer of the abducted immigrants, however, is preparing to sue the named EYP officers. This will make not appearing in court difficult for the agents accused.

The conservative government is already suggesting that it was Socialist party sympathizers inside EYP who leaked the story for political gains (or disgruntled officers skipped on the promotion lists) and insists that there is nothing to it, a position that is getting harder to defend with each passing day.

[cross-posted with slight variations at histologion]

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Talon-- I don't see why you are afraid to post the name of the MI6 officer and of the Greek officers involved.  If you really do think it is unwise, then at the very least email the details to Cryptome.Org who will put it up without fear, and if you don't mind email them to me at iritdem@yahooDOTcom  (substituting  a . for DOT of course)
by Aruac on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 01:54:35 PM EST
Not afraid, just not sure that those possibly legally responsible for Eurotrib might want the hassle. It's ridiculous if you ask me (I'll post it on my blog as soon as I get 15 minutes free time), but it might turn out to be a (minor?) bother to people. Most probably it won't but who knows.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 04:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one who would be legally responsible is Jérôme à Paris, in France, while the server is in the USA - beyond the reach of British censorship; I don't think there should be any problem. Just go ahead and post it, we'll delete the comment should any 'troubles' come.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 05:36:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and should you put the name into the diary text, I'll promote your diary to the frontpage.

(Evil grin)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 05:37:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, go ahead. Let's see how this goes.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 06:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Done! Apparently Langman's name was public since 1989. So the only possible secret is that he's in Athens?

Keep in mind that there is another possibility, namely that the newspaper source was looking for a British name to pass on and stumbled on this guy who was known MI6. The Greek names are apparently real, so real that the employees have made a public protest for endangaring their collegues etc. Given the fact that this was apparently completely unconstitutional, I think that their protests should be directed at their superiors.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 07:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
MI6 man 'recalled over torture claim'

ATHENS (Sydney Morning Herald) Dec. 28 -- An alleged British spy named by a Greek newspaper as taking part in the alleged torture of terror suspects in Athens has reportedly been recalled to London.

Two of his colleagues at the British Embassy in the Greek capital are also said to have returned home to be questioned about the reported arrest of 28 Pakistani-born men over the 7/7 bombings.

There is growing concern in Whitehall that more British agents will be named as the controversy deepens in Greece over why MI6 officers were allegedly abducting and abusing suspects.

The diplomat named by the Proto Thema newspaper has been previously identified on websites as a member of the security services. The newspaper described him as the MI6 station chief in Athens.

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."
 

▼▼▼ READ MY DIARY ▼

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 07:25:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Namebase :: Sir David Spedding - Richard David Spearman - Nicholas John Andrew Langman - Richard Billing Dearlove

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."
 

▼▼▼ READ MY DIARY ▼

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 07:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Photo on the Internet was censored by British media on the day Iraqi police arrested two SAS agents, caught in a covert act in Basra.


British forces using tanks have broken down
the walls of the central jail in the southern
city of Basra to free two Britons.
Al Jazeera

Stand-off Basra :: Iraqi vs UK Forces - Riots After UK Soldiers Arrested

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 02:48:06 PM EST
Oui's wording gets it right - this is almost certainly voluntary censorship by the British media in not naming or identifying certain individuals. The usual mechanism is a "D Notice" which is a non-statutory adivisory that non-publication is requested. Similar self-censorship was used in 1936 when the Abdication was almost a complete surprise to the majority of the British public but was well trailled in other countries' media. Of course these days it is impossible to keep a secret as this thread shows. At one stage the book "Spycatcher" was techinically banned by a gagging order in this country but was freely available for purchase on the internet.

It is part of the duty of those who publish on the internet to make public those things that officialdom would rather be kept secret. The only restraint should be not to identify those people whose "outing" would lay them open to personal danger. To take the CIA example, while Valerie Plame might not be in personal danger from exposure, another person under cover in say Pakistan might be killed if exposed. There is therefore some degree of self-censorship required of responsible persons which I think we would agree on.  

by Londonbear on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 11:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My only comment on this is that we should be careful to name our sources, since we aren't the originators of the outing, just passing on what is now public information (yes, I know, I have a paranoid streak...). I'd really rather not see anyone here get in trouble, is all...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Dec 28th, 2005 at 05:48:49 AM EST
Oh absolutely, yet the names were published in Greece's highest circulation Sunday paper, which makes this thing hardly a secret worth gagging the press for. As for the Greek EYP names, a commentator over at histologion said all that needs to be said:

Yesterday night I heard Triantafylopoulos (one of the owners of the "Proto Thema" tabloid) claim that the names were divulged to his newspaper by three different sources, of which none came from within EYP. In his usual secretive style he seemed to indicate that he didn't connect the leaks with PASOK, but he didn't hint at any alternative.

He also offered some funny comments on EYP who are, as it seems, a greek-style secret service: they hold annual union gatherings and parties where everybody appears with their proper name, enters through the front door etc. Triantafylopoulos was wondering what the big fuss was about since anybody can just sit outside the Diogenis restaurant under the Acropolis and take photographs of those that enter on the day of the EYP annual party :-P



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Dec 28th, 2005 at 06:50:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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