MI6 Manipulated British Media
Former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski called on Sunday (CNN) for an investigation into how the US was manipulated into the Iraq war. Speaking of the forged Niger documents alleging Iraq uranium purchases, he said that the problem was not only that the US lacked good human intelligence, but that it had been actively manipulated by persons providing to it false intelligence.
The Iraqi political exiles like Ahmad Chalabi and Iyad Alawi are one source of faulty intelligence on Iraqi capabilities. The Likud in Israel is another.
But clearly, rogue elements in British intelligence played a key part, as well. Operation Rockingham within British military intelligence was revealed last summer. Similar to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans, it cherry-picked intelligence on Iraq to exaggerate the weapons-of-mass destruction and terrorism threats that the Baath regime posed to the West. Now it transpires that not only were there analysts in MI6 who were skewing intelligence, but they waged a campaign of plants in the press to influence British public opinion in favor of going to war against Iraq, from the late 1990s.
It was always odd that public opinion polls on the war in the US and the UK looked so radically different from those in all other industrial democracies. If MI6 was planting stories in the British press, then it was planting stories in the American press as well, if only because the one has close connections to the other. If they actually planted stories in the US press (not something being alleged), they surely broke some sort of US law?
I have to say that I just don’t know enough about the British military and intelligence establishment to form a context for Operation Rockingham and for the press manipulation. Are these left-over Thatcherites yearning to reverse the decline of the UK as an imperial power? What exactly do they want, and what do they have to gain?
What does seem clear is that because of the Special Relationship, we in the US have been the victims of this press manipulation, too.