June 29, 2007
New British PM May Be Ripe for Blackmail
By Wayne Madsen
Plus, what does the FBI want with John Conyers?
::::::::New British PM may have British intel files hanging over his head
WMR's British intelligence sources report that MI-6 and MI-5, Britain's foreign and domestic intelligence services, respectively, may have compiled quite a dossier on the past private and political life of new British Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Depending on the degree of penetration of Britain's intelligence establishment by neocons, Brown's past and that of Tony Blair, may be used to rein in any hasty leftward drift by the new government, particularly relating to Britain's continued military presence in Iraq.
The rumors of a "gay Mafia" within the Blair government rocketed to the pages of British tabloids and even the respected International Hearld Tribune in 1998, when Ron Davies, Blair's Minister for Wales, was robbed after meeting a stranger in a London park known as a rendezvous point for gay sex. Matthew Parris, a former Tory MP who is a homosexual, told a television interviewer that then-Trade Minister and close Blair friend Peter Mandelson was "certainly gay."
Blair's Agriculture Minister Nick Brown openly announced that he was gay. Nick Brown was a close ally and friend of Gordon Brown albeit a rival of Mandelson.
In a front page banner, The Sun tabloid wrote, "Are we being run by a gay Mafia?"
The controversy in 1998 was over gay government ministers holding highly sensitive jobs being subjected to blackmail. That argument was put to rest after heterosexual scandals erupted around other senior Blair ministers, including David Blunkett, Robin Cook, and even Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
The blackmail threat is usually thought to exist with foreign intelligence agencies, however, if the British intelligence dossiers on Brown's private life and activities in Britain's anti-apartheid movement are as thorough as has been reported, Brown may not have very much wiggle room to deviate from past New Labor policies, especially if segements of the files have been shared with the CIA and the Bush White House.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman receives unusual FBI visit
WMR has learned that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) received an unusual visit from the FBI yesterday morning. Although we have not determined the purpose of the 10 am meeting, it came on the same day that White House counsel Fred Fielding formally rejected subpoenas from Conyers and his Senate counterpart Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for documents concerning National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance of domestic communications.
Mum was definitely the word concerning the FBI visit, according to one of our sources. Subpoenaed documents include those from the President and Vice President's office and the offices of the National Security Adviser and the Attorney General. Fielding claimed executive privilege in rejecting the subpoenas.
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Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist, nationally distributed columnist, and author who has covered Washington, DC, politics, national security, and intelligence issues since 1994. He has written for The Village Voice, The Progressive, CAQ, Counterpunch, and the Intelligence Newsletter (based in Paris).
Look for his new book, Overthrow a Fascist Regime on $15 a Day: The Internet Irregulars vs. The Powers That Be!, in the fall.