Welcome to the official website of David Shayler – former MI5 officer and Whistleblower.
David was arrested on 1st August 1998 and held, without charge for nearly four months in a Paris jail until his release.
After his arrest, David’s family and friends were denied permission to visit him for over sixty days.
David’s only crime is to have revealed ineptitude and malpractice within MI5, Britain’s security service: shortcomings which have resulted in the waste of millions of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money and, worse still, to the deaths of innocent civilians.
What David did
In August 1997, David Shayler, a former MI5 officer, wrote a series of articles in a Sunday newspaper. The articles criticised MI5 in the public interest. One revealed how current ministers had been investigated as suspected fifth columnists. Another detailed how a left wing journalist was investigated because MI5 knowingly failed to follow its own legal procedures. Yet another detailed intransigent management, rampant drunkenness and declining morale within MI5.
They were all issues that David had raised while in the Service but MI5 management had chosen to ignore. The articles did not damage national security.
David later submitted two articles to the government. One detailed how in 1994 MI5 failed to react to an impending terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy. The bomb went off, seriously injuring twenty people. Only luck meant that no lives were lost. The other recounted how in 1996 MI6-officers had plotted an assassination attempt against Colonel Qadhafi, the Libyan head of state. The attack went wrong killing innocent bystanders
The authorities’ response
In their response to both examples, ministers have attempted to mislead or lie to the British people. They should not be allowed to get away with this.
At the same time, David has been forced to live in political exile. We cannot pretend David has been tortured for speaking out. We cannot pretend that the government has thrown him in prison without trial. We cannot pretend that Britain is a totalitarian society.
But David has been denied many of his basic human rights as a result of following his conscience. At the same time, the British government’s tactics smack of totalitarianism. It has:
Censored David’s disclosures. A government injunction continues to prevent him from speaking out about the intelligence services.
Pursued David using repressive laws, like the Official Secrets Act. It refuses to recognise basic liberties, like freedom of expression, which are supposed to be guaranteed in a democracy.
Refused to hear his evidence of crime and incompetence on the part of the intelligence services which has cost or put at risk the lives of the general public.
Had his friends arrested in co-ordinated dawn raids on the flimsiest of pretexts.
Had David thrown in prison in an attempt to extradite him, when he was in the process of speaking out about MI6’s involvement in murder.
Connived in a cover-up with the intelligence establishment to ensure that David’s evidence is not heard.
After nearly four months’ imprisonment for his beliefs, the French courts refused to extradite David and recognised his actions as political.
Current state of play
The UK government refuses to negotiate with David because, it claims, he is a criminal. That same government will not hear David’s evidence concerning the MI6 murder plot or MI5’s illegal enquiries.
David’s real ‘crime’ is to have embarrassed the intelligence establishment. Britain is the most secretive society in the West. Its officers use secrecy laws to hide their mistakes and protect their empires.
On 1 January 2000, David Shayler had spent 861 days in exile, all for writing a newspaper article. It is in the interests of MI5, MI6 and the government that he is forgotten. David has made a courageous stand in support of our rights in Britain. He now needs funding and practical support to ensure that the authorities in the UK are held to account for turning a blind eye to criminal acts on the part of the intelligence services.
Don’t let him be forgotten.
Stop press! The statement about the Qadhafi Plot
The letter that Annie handed to Special Branch today (27 March 2000) and our comments will be posted here shortly.
Stop Press! David’s Reaction to Arrest of Supporter
8th March 2000
“I think it is scandalous that the government is once again resorting to bully-boy tactics to stifle debate about the role of the intelligence services in a modern democracy. The police have insufficient evidence to charge Julie Ann, but still require her to answer police bail over the next few months. It seems to be a deliberate attempt to deter people from joining the PF1 Campaign. I find it astonishing that Special Branch officers obviously appear to feel they can intimidate innocent campaigners but continue to shirk their duty to investigate the involvement of MI6 officers in an unsanctioned plot to murder Colonel Gadaffi of Libya. ”
Read the full press release here
Also, read Secret Service Bullies (The Guardian)
Stop Press! One of David’s Supporter’s Arrested
7th March 2000
In a sign of mounting desperation at their inability to silence David and his supporters, the government yesterday sanctioned the arrest by special branch officers of Julie-Ann Davies, a student and supporter of David’s “Public Friend No 1” campaign. The nature of the allegations against Julie-Ann is unclear. The Police would say only that she was being questioned in connection with possible breaches of the Official Secrets Act. Read the BBC Online Story This is beginning to look like the start of a campaign to intimidate David and his friends. Will this webmaster be next, I wonder?
Statement from David
15th February 2000
“Although the CX document revealed on the Internet does not absolutely confirm that MI6 paid an agent for the subsequent attack, it is clear that MI6 had a source involved in a coup plot against Qadhafi at the time I described and that the foreign office was aware of this. Cook’s assertion therefore that there was “no basis in fact” or that “it is pure fantasy” for my disclosures is wrong. It is at best misleading, if not an outright lie.
Worse, the “pure fantasy” jibe led many commentators to conclude that I was a fantasist and to call into question the veracity of my other disclosures. I maintain that Cook knew he had misled the British people as soon as he made the comment as he went beyond his civil service brief. As head of Britain’s intelligence services, Tony Blair is implicated in this cover-up. We need to know what he knew about this and when as he has connived in misleading — or lying to — the British people.
We will only know the truth of the matter if we have a full independent enquiry into the plot (and my other disclosures). Without that no one can say hand on heart what happened (apart from me. I was briefed on the plot at the time). Anything less sends out the wrong signal to MI6. Anything less suggests that MI6 is above the law or that MI6 can continue to carry out illegal operations without government interference. I need hardly tell you how that begins to eat away at the rule of law and also to undermine our democracy because unelected intelligence officers decide our foreign policy, not our elected representatives. I confidently believe that any enquiry will vindicate me.
Many MPs including the Intelligence and Security Committee are now looking negligent and foolhardy for not pursuing my disclosures more vigorously. They shouldn’t be caught out a second time or the people will begin to think that parliament and the opposition in general has no credibility whatsoever.
‘Highlights of the Shaylergate Site
Visitors wishing to get rapidly up to speed on some of the background should visit the FAQ section and the SECRETS and LIES briefing section. Some of the earlier media reports about David are included in the NEWS section, whilst there is a collection of some of David’s articles and letters in the DAVID WRITES section (some of this is old now, but worth a look)
Links to David’s recent articles for PUNCH magazine are on the right hand side of this page.
If you would like to leave some comments on what you have read, and/or get involved in some lively debate on the issues, you can leave a message in the GUEST BOOK, or visit the unmoderated FORUM section. (Be warned, however, some of the contributors here are serious wackos!)
Don’t take our word for it!
Prominent Channel 4 comedian Mark Thomas recently did a show which highlighted quite brilliantly the absurdity of a man being incarcerated and forced to live in exile simply for ‘reporting a crime’. Visit his website at Channel 4 Television – The Mark Thomas Product
Journalists Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding have written an excellent book about the Shayler affair. David describes it as ‘The only reliable insight into MI5 ever published’ [Review to Follow] Click Here to order your copy from Amazon.