Questioning Official 9/11 Report
Photograph by Chris Carr
(It’s been over 10 years since Annie Machon and David Shayler resigned from MI5, to blow the whistle on an act of False Flag terror by British intelligence in Libya, and other deceptive practices by intelligence agencies in the UK and abroad. In 2006, Machon gave a Keynote speech at the landmark Chicago 9/11 Truth Conference, introducing her story to a wider audience. In 2006-7, Machon organised three UK and European tours for William Rodriguez. She traveled and spoke with him at over 40 engagements, last year she spoke in California. She has also organised European speaking tours for Richard Gage and David Ray Griffin, and shared a platform with Cynthia McKinney in Amsterdam in 2007. Starting in May, Machon will be speaking at a number of places in Canada. To learn more about this speaking tour, and to possibly add your city to the itinerary, please contact Elizabeth Woodworth: elizwood(at)shaw.ca or Patrick Borden: directors(at)vancouver911truth.org. -rep.)
911blogger: Ms. Machon, what is your current relationship with David Shayler? Do you still believe that Shayler had a genuine breakdown, or was his breakdown perhaps premediated, with the intent of making 9/11 Truth advocates look batty?
Machon: David and I separated almost three years ago, and I’m now living in Germany with my partner and Molly the cat.
I have very little contact with David now, which is strange after the intensity of our years together, when we blew the whistle, had to go on the run around Europe, watch as our friends, family, supporters and journalists were arrested, live in France for 3 years and survive two high-profile court cases.
It’s a shame it all happened just before the internet, electronic media archives, and youtube were endemic – otherwise people would be able to see, at the click of a mouse, just how big a scandal it was, what we went through, and how vicious the response was from the government and intelligence agencies. The story has been largely forgotten and spun by the media, and my book (which described the full case) was buried.
Our involvement with the 9/11 movement started in 2005 at a journalism conference where we were trying to publicise the book, when a leading UK 9/11 activist approached us. We were actively “head hunted” by the nascent UK movement, and for the first year Shayler’s name and profile really helped build it – media interviews, speaking tours etc.
Then he started to get more and more erratic, and increasingly intractable in his views, until he started talking about speculative fringe theories such as “no planes” in public, and the whole campaign was ridiculed by the media in the UK.
During 2006 I was working flat out on building the movement with interviews and speaking tours. David and I argued about his approach constantly towards the end of our relationship and it was a factor in our split, as I felt angry that he was jeopardising all this work from so many people with his views.
That said, in my view it was a genuine breakdown – I think the hero-worship for the whistleblowing from certain sectors of society and the vilification by others, plus the constant isolation and struggle to survive, led inevitably to this victim (sacrificial/Messiah) mentality. I think it was just a traumatised mind’s survival mechanism.
I feel desperately sad about that a man who acted with the bravest and best of intentions should have been treated this way and brought to this state. And angry that the supine mainstream media did not hold the spies and government to account, but colluded in destroying a good man’s reputation.
That said, it’s difficult enough to get the general public to even ask the basic questions about 9/11. I think that going in at the deep end with subjects like NPT/space beams, let alone announcing that you’re the Messiah, is inevitably going to damage the movement.
911blogger: You don’t have to name names, but have you encountered MI5 operatives involved with infiltration of the 9/11 Truth movement in the UK?
Machon: I doubt if even MI5 would be incompetent enough to send in someone I’d recognise!
There is a very British muddle in how surveillance is done in the UK. It’s not just MI5 we have to worry about, there are also police Special Branch sections (ie secret police – every force has one), as well as a massive growth in the private security companies that are also being used to watch activists – all utterly deniable of course. There was a good article about this in The New Statesman Magazine.
Also, work is strictly delineated within MI5. Intelligence officers (which is what I was) tend to co-ordinate operations; agents are people specifically recruited to infiltrate groups, and their identities are a closely guarded secret even within the service, so it would be highly unlikely that I would bump into anyone I would recognise.
That said, I did a speaking event in London last year and a former counter-terrorism officer from the Metropolitan Police, who has been battling the Met for the last few years and whom I’d met on a couple of TV projects, did tell me that he recognised one of his former colleagues in the audience. Perhaps he was just there out of interest….
911blogger: Does MI5 in the UK, and MI6 abroad, actively recruit Muslims, who then in turn recruit other Muslims for “al Qaeda” — but really just wind up as Patsies to be blamed for False Flag terror? And is this really what “al Qaeda” is? A Western intelligence operation? Or do you think it is more complex than that?
Machon: The illegal MI6 plot to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi of Libya in 1996 was was a classic case of such false flag terrorism, and was the primary reason Shayler and I blew the whistle.
In this, MI6 funded a Libyan military intelligence officer, codenamed Tunworth, to organise this attack using a group of Islamic extremists with links to “Al Qaeda”. The attack occurred when Gaddafi was returning from Sirte in a cavalcade of cars and an explosion occurred beneath the wrong car. Gaddafi obviously survived, but innocent people were killed in the ensuing security shoot-out.
As well as being unethical and highly reckless in a volatile part of the world, the operation was also illegal under UK law. MI6 is supposed to be governed by by the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. Under this law, MI6 officers can have immunity for illegal acts carried out abroad (the real “James Bond” license to kill), but only if they have prior written permission from their political master – the Foreign Secretary. In this case, they had no such permission.
We repeatedly tried to give evidence about the Gadaffi plot to the government; to this day they have refused to accept it, even though an MI6 document was leaked in 2000 proving the plot, and sources in French and US intelligence were aware of it. When Shayler exposed this crime in 1998, he was thrown in prison in Paris because the British government tried (and failed) to extradite him. There was huge pressure for an enquiry, but the government managed to spin its way out of one.
Of course, it’s generally accepted that “Al Qaeda” began with the CIA’s support for the mujahadin in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Also, that the links continue to this day. But “Al Qaeda” has also become an ideology, a franchise that genuinely angry Muslims will sign up to. So it’s a mixed bag.
911blogger: Is there a political party in the UK that offers a real alternative for 9/11 Truth advocates? For example, is there a political party that demands a dismantling or serious overhaul of MI5/MI6?
Machon: Unfortunately not. The UK Green Party expressed some interest in the issue of 9/11 a while ago, but that went nowhere. The mainstream political parties won’t touch it. The issue was getting a lot of coverage in the UK a couple of years ago, but since then the campaign has been fragmented by arguments about whether we should focus on a credible political campaign, a la David Ray Griffin or Richard Gage, or focus on the “bigger picture”. Many people chose the latter, and this made it ridiculously easy for the media and political classes to dismiss the subject as pure conspiracy theory.
Ditto with the reform of the intelligence community. Whistleblowers are always dismissed as “Walter Mitty” fantasists who are disgruntled or too junior to know what they’re talking about (think Shayler, Dr David Kelly, Katherine Gunn, Richard Tomlinson). By attacking and dismissing the whistleblower, the government and spooks thereby manage to avoid enquiries into the very grave disclosures. The only time that MPs were roused to ire was when one of their own was arrested by Special Branch last year: Conservative MP Damien Green.
MI5 holds information on many senior politicians in the UK, which might explain their reluctance to rein in the spooks. This is a real problem for a democracy – very much a case of the tail wagging the dog.
I have been arguing for years now that we need a radical overhaul of the intelligence agencies. They are completely unaccountable and above criticism and, as such, become self-perpetuating oligarchies. By throwing more power, money and resources at them to counter the “war on terror”, we just make the existing problems bigger, not better.
So, the best thing that the politicians could do would be to step back and ask: what are the REAL threats to our national security and, based on that, how can we best protect ourselves from them? I would argue we should dismantle MI5. MI6 and GCHQ, with all their attendant historical baggage, and establish a new agency that has to work within strictly defined parameters, obey the law, and work under real democratic oversight.
Much more information about this can be found at www.anniemachon.com
911blogger: In Yuri Felshtinsky’s new book, he shows that the KGB/FSB have engaged in False Flag terror to demonize Muslims in Chechnya. Recently, it was revealed in the New York Times, and elsewhere, that the Mossad recruited and ran a cousin of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers as an asset. Can you cite some other examples of other nation’s intelligence agencies engaging in this practice?
Machon: Certainly. The classic example is the Israeli Embassy bombing in London in 1994. In this case, two innocent Palestinians studying in London, Samar Alami and Jawed Botmeh, were befriended by someone called Reda Moghrabi, who then asked for help in buying a second-hand car. That car subsequently exploded outside the embassy, and Alami and Botmeh were convicted of conspiring to cause a terrorist attack and sentenced to 20 years each. Moghrabi was never traced.
MI5’s official assessment of this attack, after reviewing all the evidence and all the intelligence, was that Mossad had attacked their own embassy in a controlled explosion. They did this for two reasons: first to gain enhanced security around Israeli interests in London, and secondly to shatter a fast-growing Palestinian support network in which Alami and Botmeh happened to be active.
This was one of the cases we blew the whistle on. You would think that there would have been an immediate retrial, but the government managed to avoid this as it would have justified the whistleblowing, and two innocent people continue to languish in prison.
Additionally, there was a similar attack in Buenos Aires in 1994. A few years ago, the government there DID order a judicial enquiry, and this revealed that Mossad had carried out that attack too.
911blogger: Are there any good books out there that tell a realistic version of how MI5/MI6 operates?
Machon: Glad you asked! My book is called “Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers”. It was banned for 15 months by MI5, buried by the national media in the UK and is now, I believe, rather difficult to get hold of.
Also, Mark Urban, formerly of military intelligence and currently at the BBC, wrote a good book called “UK Eyes Alpha: Inside British Intelligence”, which gets the tone right, and Stephen Dorril writes well-researched books, although he has no insider knowledge of the agencies.
911blogger: Thanks to the internet, we know much more about how “intelligence agencies” operate, and a growing realization of elite control that just didn’t exist on any significant level 20 years ago. Faced with the Orwellian power of the mainstream media, do you think we even have a chance of waking enough people up to change Western society sufficiently to put an end to False Flag terrorism?
Machon: The internet could be our salvation – we need to be our own media. We increasingly see citizen journalists recording and reporting facts that the MSM choses to ignore – only last week during the G20 demonstrations in London, a man was assaulted by a police officer and died. The MSM and the police claimed that he just collapsed, but a bystander had captured what really happened on film.
Of course, the MSM is part of the establishment, no longer the Fourth Estate. In the UK, is easily manipulated and controlled by secrecy laws, as well as patronage and spin from the spies and government. There’s a very good book out called “Flat Earth News” by Nick Davies that charts the demise of real investigative journalism.
So, yes, it’s difficult to spread the word about 9/11 quickly and effectively. We need urgently to reach out beyond the choir. Many people around the world are appalled by the deaths of innocent millions in the illegal Middle East wars; and many are also appalled that the “war on terror” is used as an excuse to shred our freedoms and constitutional rights.
We need to place 9/11 at the heart of these discussions, but we will only have a chance of doing this if we are disciplined in our campaigning, no matter what our personal beliefs or interests are. The stakes are just too high.
Machon in California, 2008;