On the (secret) agenda: Looking behind the headlines into a murky world

ALL governments who go to war often have secret agendas!

As America and Britain pull out of Afghanistan, how many of you have asked what were we doing there in the first place?

Was it to do with weapons of mass destruction, the 911 atrocities, both, or something else? Who even seems to care what the reason was because it was clearly a waste of time, money and, much more saddening, many thousands of lives on all sides.

My own opinion is that America is often the bullying big brother and the UK would rather be its pocket bitch than its enemy.

Wherever there is conflict the US somehow always seems to make it their business. Who voted them as the judge, jury and executioner to less powerful countries, who for centuries have lived by their own laws and traditions and keep their nose out of our business?

I stopped trusting governments a long time ago back when I was a journalist working for the national press. Having started my career on a local newspaper it’s here your contacts are forged.

Several of the people I trained and worked with stayed in journalism, but some went on to work in PR, or as press officers for national security organisations and even prominent MPs.

Most journalists I know got stories through their contacts or sources, not by using dark arts. We had grown into our careers along with our contacts and built an invaluable trust, with them providing vital information which would probably never have seen the light of day if they didn’t know that we’d never sell them out.

One such occasion which demonstrated this perfectly, was when I was investigating the death of Dr David Kelly, the weapons inspector who was made the scapegoat following the Iraq War and who allegedly killed himself.

David Kelly Death
Dr David Kelly

I had been told on very good authority that he hadn’t killed himself and was taken out! Why? And straight out of a James Bond film the reply was, ‘for the greater good’.

But whose greater good? The answer I got back was meant to personalise the alleged murder. I owned a car to take my son to and from school and as it was described to me that without oil for said car I would struggle, as would everyone.

So to simplify, the powers that be could not justify a war and killings on the basis of not being able to provide sustainable fuel.

Therefore another reason was required and what better than a threat to our very own existence from weapons of mass destruction!

It was no coincidence that my contacts were all asked about their association to me and told to cut contact when I was arrested during the phone-hacking investigation. To be clear, I was arrested for ‘conspiracy to intercept communications’, simply put, I was asked  what I knew about it? Which is very different to actually being charged with phone hacking.

But my real fear wasn’t anything to do with phone hacking, but knowing what I knew and people in my circle.

Those same people have all since come back to me and apologised that they could not offer any support during that stressful time. But I don’t blame them, their own jobs were on the line and in some cases the potential of having broken the official secrets act.

Their names I will take to my grave because it comes down to trust and having integrity as a journalist to try to uphold the truth. This is something I was fiercely passionate about and sadly seems wasted on the vast majority who can be pacified in the interests of a ‘greater good’. 

So to todays’ news; a little part of me is happy that Afghanistan has taken back its country and the US and UK can only admit defeat as a result. We may not agree with other countries’ way of life but if the alternative the US and UK provided was so much better then why has it failed the people?


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