Williams worked for Echelon, or the Five Eyes, an intelligence accord between the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The radomes in this photo at RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire are alleged to be part of the ECHELON system. Image Source: Wiki.
Here is a follow-up to a previous post: there are hair-raising rumours online about the 2010 death of GCHQ computer expert and cryptographer Gareth Williams. In that earlier post, I quoted a passage from C. S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength, on how truth comes out in the tabloids:
Williams's body was not discovered in Mayfair, but in a not-so-safe safe house in Pimlico, another district of the City of Westminster."Why you fool, it's the educated reader who can be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they're all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don't need reconditioning. They're all right already. They'll believe anything."
A supposed Met computer model reconstruction of the scene when Williams's body was found. Note how different this video-game-like scene is from the video of Williams's flat below the jump. Image Source: Breitbart.
Two rumours about Williams's death appeared in late summer 2015. In one story, he was named as the hacker in the Clinton diary hack. In another, a former Russian intelligence agent, now hiding in London (while chatting indiscreetly with the national press), claimed to have investigated the matter for personal reasons.
The interior of Gareth Williams's flat in Pimlico after his death, and after agents had apparently slipped in through the skylight to clean the crime scene while later-embarrassed police guarded the front door. Video Source: Telegraph via Youtube.
The Russian intelligence defector, Boris Karpichkov, believes that the Russians botched an attempt to recruit Williams as a double agent. Then they killed him after he threatened them, claiming he knew the identity of a Russian double agent who is already in the GCHQ and would reveal the name of the mole. Karpichkov claims that Williams was murdered by a plant toxin injected into his ear. You can take it as a marked man's confessional, or read between the lines and see propaganda and counter-propaganda in our interesting times.
The Sun reported that Williams's work involved surveillance of Russian criminal and terror cells:
Russia Today reported on 17 August 2015:"The inquest was barred from discussing Mr Williams’s work in public. But sources say he was helping on the joint monitoring network Echelon, which uses sophisticated programs to eavesdrop on terrorists and criminal gangs, particularly those in Russia. Echelon is used by Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
"Precise details of his work remain cloaked in secrecy, but sources allege he worked with equipment that tracked financial flows from Russia to Europe. The technology supposedly allowed MI6 to analyze money trails from Russian bank accounts to criminal syndicates in Europe."
ITV panel discussion on Williams's death (17 April 2012) includes a comment on the use of disinformation as part of intelligence practice. Video Source: Youtube.
An ITV panel found that Williams was not just a working at a desk; he had completed a training course for field operations and was higher status than initially reported. He had worked at the NSA, learning tactics used in Afghanistan. The Conservative Post:
By late August 2015, conspiracy theorists linked the money laundering line dropped in the RT article to the fact that Williams had hacked Bill Clinton's agenda to find the guest list of an event Clinton attended, and they presumed Williams might somehow be included in the Clinton body count."Since then the unexplained death has been the subject of investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The BBC reported as early as December 2010 that Mr Williams had been on secondment from Britain’s signals intelligence operation GCHQ to MI6, and then subsequently to the United States’ National Security Agency."
Did Williams hack Clinton's diary? This information, along with the RT report that Williams kept track of Russian money laundering, connects Williams to Bill Clinton's past record on Russian relations. The report on Williams as Clinton hacker coincidentally circulated while Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy was clouded by controversy around information removed from her private server. There should be no presumed causal connection to the email server scandal through correlation, but the connections are nonetheless intuited by observers through the loose juxtaposition of hints and facts. These juxtapositions run back into 2015, when American right-wing commentators accused Hillary Clinton of accepting Russian campaign donations or found Russian money flowing to the Clinton Foundation via uranium sales.
A 2000 book, A Fistful of Rubles: The Rise and Fall of the Russian Banking System by Juliet Johnson, noted that the Bank of New York was tangled up with Russian money laundering in the 1990s and around the turn of the Millennium. The book also referred to the 21-22 September 1999 Congressional hearing on Russian money laundering (participants in the hearings included current Clinton presidential competitor Bernie Sanders; the full text of the hearing is here). The hearing criticized the Clinton administration for being aware of the money laundering while continuing to channel funds to Russia in the name of building a liberalized banking economy. The hearing also found that western funds had instead created a banking oligarchy and had reinforced authoritarianism in Russia rather than democracy; this outcome and associated controversy led to the dissolution in January 2000 of the Harvard Institute for International Development, which had consulted on Russian aid for Bill Clinton's administration:
A 1999 PR Newswire report cited 60 Minutes to tie the Clintons to Russian money laundering and 'Mafiocracy,' based on 1992 allegations from a Russian financier whistleblower:"In the matter before us — many billions churning through Western banks, we should look at this as an opportunity, because it throws open a window on what sort of financial arrangements a country without property rights, a country without banks, a country without certainty of contract, a country without an accountable government or a leadership decent enough to be concerned with the national interest or its own citizens' well-being looks like. It is not a very pretty picture, but let there be no mistake, in Russia the West has truly been the author of our own misery. And there are two victims to this story: The first, U.S. taxpayers along with other Western taxpayers, and Russian citizens whose national legacy was stolen only to be squandered and/or invested in Western real estate and equities markets.
The failure to understand where communism ended and Russia began insured that the Clinton Administration's policies toward Russia would be riddled with error and ultimately ineffective. Two mistakes are key to understanding what went wrong and why. The first mistake was the West's perception of the elected Russian president, Boris Yeltsin; where American triumphalists saw a great democrat determined to destroy the Communist system for freedom's sake, Soviet history will record a usurper. A usurper's first task is to transform a thin layer of the self-interested rabble into a constituency. Western assistance, IMF lending and the targeted division of national assets are what provided Boris Yeltsin the initial wherewithal to purchase his constituency of ex-Komsomol bank chiefs, who were given the freedom and the mechanisms to plunder their own country in tandem with the resurgent and more economically competent criminal class. The new elite learned ever[t]hing about the confiscation of wealth, but nothing about its creation. Worse yet, this elite thrives in the condition of chaos and eschews the very stability for which the United States so fervently hopes, knowing full well as they do that stability will severely hamper their ability to obtain outrageous profits. Consequently, Yeltsin's reform government was and is doomed to sustain their parasitic political base composed of the banking oligarchy.The second mistake lay in a profound misunderstanding of the Russian culture and in the Harvard Institute of International Development's advisers' disregard for the very basis of their own country's success; property rights."
In 2006, Konanykhine published a book: Defiance: Or How to Succeed in Business Despite Being Hounded by the FBI, the KGB, the INS, the Department of Homeland Security. USA Today reviewed the book as follows:"NEW YORK, Sept. 20  /PRNewswire/ -- Last night, '60 Minutes' reported that the United States Administration conspired with KGB agents to silence Alexandre Konanykhine, the Russian financier who in 1992 went public telling the world about the subversion of Russian democratic reforms by the KGB and organized crime. The report also revealed that the Administration made its decision despite having precise information about the criminal intent of the KGB agents. The details of the KGB/DOJ operation are discussed on http://konanykhine.com/checkmate.htm [this is now a dead site; it is archived at the Wayback Machine here].Shortly before '60 Minutes' revealed the complicity of the [Clinton] Administration in a grand KGB money-laundering scheme, several major publications were approached by Karon Von Gerhke-Thomson, a woman who introduced herself as a CIA representative. Gerhke-Thomson apparently stated that Konanykhine is being investigated in relation with the Bank of New York scandal and other alleged transactions. 'It appears as though the Administration attempts to minimize the damage inflicted by the CBS report by spreading disinformation,' commented Konanykhine. 'These allegations are entirely false. A U.S. Court established that such allegations against me had been originated by the KGB to conceal corruption in the Russian government. Now, it appears as though some officials in the U.S. government are continuing to do the bidding of these KGB operatives despite all recent revelations about the criminal nature of the Kremlin regime.'Konanykhine observes, 'Today, Clinton's Administration is trying to say that Russia is just a democracy plagued with crime and corruption. It is not the case. Russian Mafiocracy is as far from democracy and market economy as communism was. And just as communism did, so does mafiocracy attempt to disguise itself for something more benevolent. Since 1992, I've been trying to tell the truth about Russia to the world and I am glad that, finally, the realization that something is very wrong with Russian 'democracy' starts to dawn on people here. It is very unfortunate that the Administration initially mistook former KGB and Communist officials for the 'young reformers' and 'new allies' of the United States, then kept assisting them even in the most illegal schemes and is now trying to avoid responsibility by covering up its deeds through the distribution of false information. The court record on http://konanykhine.com tells the true story, and I will continue to do my best in order to make the truth known to the people of this country.'"
"More than just a great fast paced read highlighting the highs and lows of an incredible decade of change, Defiance is also a great source of motivation and inspiration for rising entrepreneurs and business men and women all across the globe. ... You think you've got it rough? Young, wealthy, powerful and prominent one day, and a robbed fugitive with a KGB contract out on his head the next, so has gone the life of Alex Konanykhin. Like they said it on 60 minutes, 'Alex Konanykhin didn't only have KGB after him ... He had the FBI, the Justice Department, even the CIA all on his case, as a favor to the Russians, part of a deal to allow the FBI to keep a bureau in Moscow. It's a tale worthy of a spy novel,' the judge said."Vladimir Putin subsequently scapegoated Russia's opposition and industrial élites for the money laundering, thus cementing the foundations for the current situation in world politics.
- Daily Mail (23 October 2015): "After Years of Intrigue has this Kremlin Defector Solved the Riddle of the Spy in a Bag?" [Reblogged at The Psychic Spy (29 October 2015)]
- Business Insider (28 September 2015): "KGB Defector: Russia Killed the British Spy Found in a Duffel Bag"
- Independent (28 September 2015): "MI6 Spy Gareth Williams was 'Killed by Russia for Refusing to Become a Double Agent', Former KGB Man Claims"
- Independent (31 August 2015): "MI6 Spy Who Was Found Dead in Locked Bag had 'hacked secret files about US president'"
- Investment Watch (31 August 2015): "Spy found dead in bag 'hacked Clinton secrets' ... Illegally obtained data on former president ... Voicemails deleted after death"
- The Mirror (31 August 2015): "MI6 spy found in holdall 'hacked into secret data about Bill Clinton'"
- Your News Wire (31 August 2015): "Spy Who Was Found Dead In A Bag Had Hacked Secret Data on Bill Clinton"
- New York Post (31 August 2015): "British Agent Had Hacked Bill Clinton's Agenda Before His Mysterious Death"
- International Business Times (30 August 2015): "MI6 Spy Gareth Williams Found Dead In Bag Had 'Hacked Clinton's Secrets'"
- Independent Journal (30 August 2015): "This British Spy Hacked into Bill Clinton's Data. That's When the Mystery Really Begins"
- Breitbart (30 August 2015): "MI6 Spy Found Dead in Bag in Bath had Hacked Clinton Data"
- Daily Mail (30 August 2015): "Spy Found Dead in a Bag 'had infuriated his MI6 bosses by illegally hacking into secret US data on Bill Clinton'"
- Wired (20 August 2015): "The FBI Now Has Clinton's Email Server. Now What?"
- Washington Post (18 August 2015): "Hillary Clinton won't say if her server was wiped"
- Daily Mail (18 August 2015): "Hillary shrugs off suggestion she 'wiped' her server clean with the snarky response: 'What? With a cloth or something?'"
- Russia Today (17 August 2015): "'Body-in-a-bag' MI6 spy: Was he killed by secret service after uncovering money laundering?"
- Wales Online (16 August 2015): "MI6 spy Gareth Williams 'killed by agents who then broke into his flat to destroy evidence'"
- The Mirror (16 August 2015): "Gareth Williams: MI6 Body-in-Bag Spy 'killed by agents who broke into flat to cover tracks'"
- Daily Mail (15 August 2015): "Agents 'Killed the body-in-bag Spy''"
- Washington Times (11 August 2015): "Hillary Clinton emails contained 'top secret' material, watchdog confirms"
- Tech Crunch (3 August 2015): "Uncovering ECHELON"
- The Intercept (3 August 2015): "GCHQ and Me"
- Washington Times (23 April 2015): "Hillary Clinton under fire for foreign donations, link to Russian uranium deal"
- Guardian (10 February 2015): "Clinton foundation received up to $81m from clients of controversial HSBC bank"
- The Times (24 April 2012): "Mystery DNA found on bag containing MI6 spy's body"
- The Times (23 April 2012): "Spy found dead in holdall bemoaned 'friction' at MI6"
- Telegraph (30 March 2012): "Was MI6 Spy-in-a-Bag Gareth Williams Killed by 'Secret Service Dark Arts'?"