11 August 2009

Convinced of Treachery

Chapman Pincher

The Mail reports,

"Chapman Pincher, who has devoted his life to exposing traitors, identifies the KGB agent he says was at the heart of British Intelligence."

The story gives a brief glimpse of treachery amongst Blighty's spooks: I say story, it's just an advertising piece for a forthcoming book, "TREACHERY by Chapman Pincher, published by Random House, New York."

The story explains that the author of the book, Pincher, was convinced that MI5 chief Sir Roger Hollis was a traitor.

No concrete evidence is cited: instead a string of coincidences, cock-ups and inaction. As to all of these circumstances, "[n]one of this, it must be said, cuts any ice with those who leap to Hollis's defence with as much vehemence as Pincher attacks him. Indeed, nothing has ever been proved against him.

Hollis didn't confess, as Fuchs and Blunt did. When a fellow MI5 officer, Peter Wright, confronted him with suspicions that he was a Soviet agent, Hollis, who was about to retire, denied the charge. 'All I can say is that I am not a spy,' he declared. But he would, wouldn't he?

Four years after his retirement, he was called back for two days of interrogation about the serious intelligence failures during his period of office.

He remained calm and unruffled throughout, and his interrogators, while finding that he had repeatedly avoided and even prevented action that could have been damaging to Soviet interests, could alight on nothing to substantiate treachery.

If not a green light, it was an amber one.

After reading this I can't help but wonder how many others were accused of treachery. How many, with suspicion in lieu of evidence were simply removed from their positions. But unlike Hollis, there wasn't anything they could do about it.

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