Controversial British techniques

Interrogation, Intelligence and Security examines the origins and effects of a group of controversial interrogation techniques often described as torture, known as the ‘five techniques’. Focusing on the colony of Aden at a time when British rule was being challenged by nationalist insurgents (1963-67), on the height of ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland (1971) and the conflict in Iraq (2003), the book explores the use of hooding to restrict vision, white noise, stress positions, limited sleep and a limited diet. Through its in-depth analysis the book reveals how British forces came to use such controversial methods in counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and internal security contexts. In Aden and Northern Ireland the techniques were a part of policy, used because of the British military’s belief – a belief adopted by members of government – that the techniques would increase the amount and quality of intelligence obtained during interrogation. In Iraq the techniques were used for a much more complex set of factors that can be categorised into facilitating and motivating factors. The book finds that while it is likely that some intelligence was produced from these interrogations, the techniques had widespread and long-lasting negative effects that should be taken into account when judging whether these and similar techniques can be justified.

MI5 and the surveillance of anti-Nazi refugees, 1933–50

A Matter of Intelligence is a book about the British Security Service MI5. More specifically, it concerns one particular aspect of its work, the surveillance of anti-Nazi German refugees during the 1930s and 1940s. When Hitler took power in 1933, the Nazis began a reign of terror against their political opponents: communists, socialists, pacifists and liberals, many of whom were forced to flee Germany. Some of these ‘political’ refugees came to Britain, where MI5 kept them under close surveillance. This study is based on the personal and organisational files that MI5 kept on them during the 1930s and 1940s – or at least those that have been released to the National Archives – making it equally a study of the political refugees themselves. Although this surveillance exercise formed an important part of MI5's work during that period, it is a part which it seems to have disowned or at any rate forgotten: the recent official history of MI5 does not even mention it, nor do its ‘unofficial’ counterparts. This study therefore fills a considerable gap in historical research. It traces the development of MI5 surveillance of German-speaking refugees through the case files of some of its individual targets and of the main refugee organisations; it also considers the refugees’ British supporters and the refugee informants who spied on fellow-refugees, as well as MI5's tussles with the Home Office and other official bodies. Finally, it assesses how successful – or how useful – this hidden surveillance exercise actually was.

British and American perspectives

This book examines the intellectual frameworks within which the case for war in Iraq has developed in the US and the UK. It analyzes the neoconservative roots of the decision to go to war. The book also analyzes the humanitarian intervention rationale that was developed in the context of the Kosovo campaign, Tony Blair's presentation of it, and the case of Iraq. It looks at the parallel processes through which the George Bush administration and Blair government constructed their cases for war, analyzing similarities and divergences in approach. The book considers the loci of the intelligence failure over Iraq, the lessons for the intelligence communities, and the degree to which the decision to go to war in Iraq represented a policy rather than an intelligence failure. It then complements the analyses of US prewar intelligence failures by analysing what post-war inquiries have revealed about the nature of the failure in the UK case. The book discusses the relationship between intelligence and policymaking. It looks at how US Congress dealt with intelligence before the war. The book also examines how the Bush administration tried to manage public opinion in support of its war policies. It then looks at the decisionmaking process of the Bush administration in the year before the war in Iraq. Finally, the book also provides excerpts from a number of speeches and documents which are key to understanding the nature of national security decisionmaking and intelligence failure.

British intelligence, ministers and the Soviet Union

I am not yet satisfied that we get full value for our expenditure. 1 Clement Attlee, 8 April 1950 Russia … is probably the most difficult target which has ever been set to an intelligence and

in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51
An uneasy relationship?

Drawing extensively on recently released documents and private papers, this is the first extensive book-length study to examine the intimate relationship between the Attlee government and Britain’s intelligence and security services. Often praised for the formation of the modern-day ‘welfare state’, Attlee’s government also played a significant, if little understood, role in combatting communism at home and overseas, often in the face of vocal, sustained, opposition from their own backbenches. Beneath Attlee’s calm exterior lay a dedicated, if at times cautious, Cold War warrior, dedicated to combatting communism at home and overseas. This study tells the story of Attlee’s Cold War. At home, the Labour government implemented vetting to protect Whitehall and other areas of the Cold War state from communists, while, overseas, Attlee and his Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin authorised a series of highly secret special operations in Eastern Europe, designed to erode Soviet influence, told here for the first time in significant detail. More widely, Ministers also strengthened Imperial and Commonwealth security and, responding to a series of embarrassing spy scandals, tried to revive Britain’s vital nuclear transatlantic ‘special relationship’ with Washington. This study is essential reading for anyone interested in the Labour Party, intelligence, security and Britain’s foreign and defence policy at the start of the Cold War.

Official inquiries into prewar UK intelligence on Iraq

He sat in his room and wrote his negative report to M. He read it through. It would be a depressing signal to get. Should he say anything about the wisp of a lead he was working on? No. Not until he had something solid. Wishful intelligence, the desire to please or reassure the recipient, was the

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq

If the US is to employ the tool of pre-emptive war, it “has to be used carefully. One would want to have very good intelligence.” (National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Sept. 25, 2002) 1 Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq

It is possible, though challenging, to comment on what intelligence, if any, was collected from the fourteen detainees interrogated using the ‘five techniques’ at the Ballykelly ‘Special Interrogation Centre’. Comments on the intelligence yield will be put in context by identifying the basis on which these individuals were selected and what intelligence it was hoped would

in Interrogation, intelligence and security

A dysfunctional relationship The most serious problem with US intelligence today is that its relationship with the policymaking process is broken and badly needs repair. In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
Issues for the intelligence community

The intelligence community’s uneven performance on Iraq from 2002 to 2004 raised significant questions concerning the condition of intelligence collection, analysis, and policy support. The discussion of shortcomings and failures that follows is not meant to imply that all surprises can be prevented by even good intelligence. There are too many targets and too many ways of

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq