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Gareth Williams: All The Facts And Fiction On The Murdered Spy Buried By the Media

GARETH Williams is the “murdered Spook” from Anglesey, who “helped foil terror raids” and took “secret trips to US spy base”.

Well, so says the Daily Mirror, which knows all about secret missions undertaken by “spies” because they, er, aren’t all that secret. Mr Williams, apparently used to flay to Baltimore to meet US National Security Agency officials at their Fort Meade HQ – “dubbed the Puzzle Palace.”

We know this because the Mirror has a well-placed source called Michael Hughes. He was Mr Williams’ uncle:

“The trips were very hush-hush. They were so secret that I only recently found out about them – and we’re a very close family. It had become part of his job in the past few years. His last trip out there was a few weeks ago, but he was regularly back and forth.”

Or as William Hughes, a cousin of Mr William’s mother Ellen, tells the Guardian:

“I knew he worked at GCHQ and he had been working in London but I didn’t know what he did. It wasn’t said that we shouldn’t talk about it, I simply never asked and he never told me.”

Secret stuff, eh, readers. A “Western intelligence source” then offers the Mirror a wonderful generalisation it passes off as insider knowledge:

“He will have had crucial high-level meetings with American intelligence officers… Although not particularly high up the GCHQ ladder, the importance of his role should not be underestimated.”

So. Mr Williams was killed as a result of his job? In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland suggests as much as he writes “the tale of a man who lived a lonely life and died a lonely death”:

The degree of interest is hardly surprising. When, nearly four years ago, Russian journalist Alexander Litvinenko lay dying in a London hospital, poisoned, perhaps at a sushi restaurant, that too became the tale du jour, with readers clamouring for details amid a widespread assumption that the culprits were agents of Moscow’s security services. A generation earlier, in 1978, the focus was Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident slain on a London street, who, it was believed, had fallen victim to an ingeniously customised umbrella wielded by a passerby – probably an agent of the Bulgarian secret police – who had used it to fire a ricin-containing pellet into Markov’s leg.

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Posted: 27th, August 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)