Minister lets US ‘mole’ roam MoD

#1
From The Sunday Times
June 6, 2010
Minister lets US ‘mole’ roam MoD

Defence secretary Liam Fox is under attack for taking on a man with links to US intelligence as a special adviser
Isabel Oakeshott


Luke Coffey - US advisor to Defence Secretary Liam Fox
LIAM FOX, the defence secretary, is facing questions after installing an American aide with links to US intelligence services in the heart of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

MPs have raised concerns about Luke Coffey, a former US army captain, who has been appointed to a highly sensitive role as Fox’s special adviser. He has not yet been given full security clearance.

Coffey set up the London chapter of an American think tank, many of whose members have backgrounds in the CIA and other American military defence intelligence agencies.

Fox, who has strong links with Washington through his Atlantic Bridge charity, has defended Coffey’s appointment and dismissed concerns of spying. He has highlighted the importance of the so-called “special relationship” between Britain and America, saying: “It’s not as if he is Russian.”

A number of MPs have warned that the access to confidential briefings and paperwork Coffey will enjoy as one of Fox’s closest aides could create a serious conflict of interest.
More
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7144905.ece
 
#2
Isabel Oakeshott is a man with links to US intelligence??
 
#3
It seems that Mr Fox wants to find out what is really going on in MoD. The cries of "No Minister!" are SOP.

B
 
#4
To be honest, I don't think we have anything we need to keep secret from the USA. Virtually all UK Eyes Only stuff is over-classified to make it appear more important. The only use I have seen for a UK Eyes Only classification was to conceal the incompetence of the officer in charge.
 
#5
Good, we might learn something from him.

whf
 
#6
And this appointment differs from the dozens of US, Australian, NZ, Canadian and other nationalities that already wander round MB at will in their role as Liaison Officers how exactly?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#7
Mobat said:
To be honest, I don't think we have anything we need to keep secret from the USA.
Don't be naive.

Every country has information that should be kept within bounds.....do you imagine for a second that UK is privy to all US material? I have news for you.....

The issue is not what we wish to share with our closest ally...but what they may wish to share with others.

In the past, I was more concerned that an Islamic cleric had unescorted access to MB.
 
#9
Mobat said:
To be honest, I don't think we have anything we need to keep secret from the USA. Virtually all UK Eyes Only stuff is over-classified to make it appear more important. The only use I have seen for a UK Eyes Only classification was to conceal the incompetence of the officer in charge.
My Bold: Is that just 'your' opinion OR just disgrunted at the CoC?
 
#11
Why don't we just grab the thistle on this and concede to the 18th century philosophy that the colonies will become the predominant economic power. The Royals will relocate there, we, as the 53rd state, can then just get on with running our economy, and, when feudaly (sic) required, gift up bodies for some foreign escapade.

You know it makes sense.
 
#12
BrandySoured said:
Why don't we just grab the thistle on this and concede to the 18th century philosophy that the colonies will become the predominant economic power. The Royals will relocate there, we, as the 53rd state, can then just get on with running our economy, and, when feudaly (sic) required, gift up bodies for some foreign escapade.

You know it makes sense.
Brandy Soured for Governor General.
 
#13
Goatman said:
Mobat said:
To be honest, I don't think we have anything we need to keep secret from the USA.
Don't be naive.

Every country has information that should be kept within bounds.....do you imagine for a second that UK is privy to all US material? I have news for you.....

The issue is not what we wish to share with our closest ally...but what they may wish to share with others.

In the past, I was more concerned that an Islamic cleric had unescorted access to MB.
I am well aware that the USA keeps things to themselves, just as we do.

Reducing the circulation of information does reduce the chances of a security breach. However, I cannot think of any information that would harm the UK if it was made available to appropriately cleared US citizens.
 
#14
beemer007 said:
Mobat said:
To be honest, I don't think we have anything we need to keep secret from the USA. Virtually all UK Eyes Only stuff is over-classified to make it appear more important. The only use I have seen for a UK Eyes Only classification was to conceal the incompetence of the officer in charge.
My Bold: Is that just 'your' opinion OR just disgrunted at the CoC?
Over classification is a recognised problem, in general not just UK Eyes Only, but people are reluctant to do anything about it for fear of releasing something they should not. The “to make it appear more important” is my own assessment.
 
#15
Minor point, there is no such thing as "Defence vetting" - the author doesnt even understand what DV means. Tells you a lot on the validity of the story.

As for the UKEO issue - there is a case for some UKEO material, but in my experience, it is increasingly unusual to see it used outside of some very specific areas. It has a place, but much as with the US NOFORN issue, its use in the past owed as much to lazy staffing rather than a real need to be UKEO. Outside the J2 / J3 / J5 / J6 world, I can't think of many areas where UKEO needs to be used.
 
#16
So this is the same Kevan Jones who submitted FOI requests against his own CGS whilst he was still in office?? Tells you all you need to know about the 'concerned MPs' involved in this! Labour were only ever concerned about their own careers and not the well-being of the Forces. Am suprised the Times ran such an obviously politically biased story with such poor research!
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
[quote="Mobat]I cannot think of any information that would harm the UK if it was made available to appropriately cleared US citizens.[/quote]

Well gee, I'm relieved to hear it....now then, the recipe for Marmite......first you take a
[ carrier wave............move along there, nothing to see here - there are no black helicopters......you have been misinformed....have a nice day........]
 
#18
Moles in the MoD and Whitehall.
Foxes in East London.
Echos of Profumo and the "Mr Fox" episode of Absolute Power.

Sounds like a sex and security scandal about to develop in government concerning a senior minister.

Oh bugger! Laws has already been outed.
 
#19
Mobat said:
I am well aware that the USA keeps things to themselves, just as we do.

Reducing the circulation of information does reduce the chances of a security breach. However, I cannot think of any information that would harm the UK if it was made available to appropriately cleared US citizens.
I rather think some of the policies on Northern Ireland would have, and still do have, some implications if passed on to the tin rattlers in Boston (and, yes, they are still there). Much the same as with some other Commonwealth countries in which our interests are rather at odds with those of the USA (Granada was one such but there are others).
The UK Eyes A document relating to the reinforcement of Hadrian's Wall has been reclassified as English Eyes A.
 

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