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30 Jun, 2010 13:51

Spy story pure propaganda – ex-MI5 officer

“There is a whole range of layers” behind the recent arrests of alleged spies in the US, believes former MI5 officer, Annie Machon, “with political being only one of them.”

The intelligence agencies in the US have been very much under attack for the last year or two, for a whole number of reasons,” Machon explained. “They were involved in things like extraordinary renditions, torture, surveillance of domestic political activists. So to go back to a good old-fashioned Cold War spy story and regain a bit of credibility, I think, is something they would probably aspire to.”

In addition, Machon suggested that competition among intelligence agencies could be another reason behind the arrests.

Within the intelligence world there are competing agencies. I think at the last count, there are 17 agencies in the US, and they all vie for position and prestige and resources and staff numbers. So of course, if the FBI can produce this wonderful result suddenly, out of the blue, then their credit will skyrocket.”