Apologies for the delay in posting and the poor editing of this week’s post. The editing is poor because I’m doing it! My next column will be posted in about 10 days. Attention is now turning in the Intelligence Community (INTELCOM) to ways in which to hit back at our community partner Jerry, aka ze Germans. After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma I get the sense that people are thinking ‘enough is enough’.
Vice-President Pence continues to visit interesting places, like the National Geospatial Agency (NGA). Looks to me like someone has found a way to get past the German assets on the National Security Council and at DNI. A mutual friend, a nice general, is visiting with Steve Bannon soon, and Steve has Donald Trump’s numbers.
Obviously a short war with Germany would fix the problem. However there are enough German assets in the London and German branches of the German Foreign Ministry, a.k.a. the Foreign Office and the State Department, to block that idea. There are however other ways of hitting back at the sausage-eating, weather-weapon wielding storm-troopers (pun intended) across the water.
One is to expose DVD sabotage operations and present Jerry with the bill. You can’t cause murder and mayhem in Germany’s name and not lumber Germany with liability.
The usual problem is that the evidence lies on intelligence agency files and the DVD has Western intelligence thoroughly penetrated. That’s one of the reasons why there are independents like me. Very little can be achieved inside our official intel bureaucracies. Too many senior people are working for the Bad Guys, i.e. the Germans, or are heavily compromised.
Some DVD operations have left a trail, however. One such is the attack on the Piper Alpha oil and gas platform in the North Sea in July 1988.
Germany has always targeted the West’s energy supplies. Starving her enemies of energy is something Germany really understands. In 1973, in a hissy-fit after their side lost the Yom Kippur War, the Jerries organised the first Oil Price Shock (there was another later in the decade).
The Jerries even blew up an oil tanker in Los Angeles Harbor, the SS Sansinena, in 1976. The LA Fire Department are still trying to work that one out. They know what happened after the fire started, of course. The tricky bit is working out how the fire started in the first place.
The discovery of oil and natural gas in the North Sea came as huge blow to the Germans, not least after they had gone to all that trouble to seize control of the Suez Canal through their man Colonel Nasser. He should really have been called Oberst Nasser, of course. If he was working for the Egyptians I’m a pharaoh, and my name ain’t Tutankhamen.
The attack on the North Sea was carefully planned. The DVD selected an American-owned platform in the Piper field, Piper Alpha. The cunning plan was to destroy the rig, murder the men on it and cause a blowback, with a view to setting fire to the smaller rigs from which it collected gas. Gas was collected and pumped from Piper Alpha to a terminal at Flotta in the Orkney Islands.
The Germans knew that the Cabinet Office in London would cover up the sabotage. They had the Cabinet Office down to a tee – if ever an organisation has lost its moral compass, it’s the Cabinet Office. They also correctly anticipated that the CIA would go along with the cover-up.
On July 6th 1988 GO2, the German operation in London, blew the Piper Alpha rig, murdering a total of 167 men. Courageous rescue efforts prevented further loss of life. Thankfully the blowback plan failed and only one rig was blown up.
The initial insured loss of some $3.4 billion was escalated to over $10 billion through a massive reinsurance swindle. The rig was insured by Lloyds of London. I do a small amount of private client intelligence work, for carefully vetted Good Guys only of course. It so happens that one of the rig’s defrauded insurers, a former Lloyd’s Name, is a client of mine.
The official inquiry was the usual musical comedy proceeding, no offense intended. It was chaired by the same Scottish judge who did the failed Dunblane and Paddington Rail Disaster inquiries, Lord Cullen. I am not of course stating that Lord Cullen conducted his inquiry in bad faith. It is for His Lordship to say whether the failure of his inquiry to get at the truth was down to moral or intellectual failings on his part, again no offense intended. Since he was a senior judge, intellectual failings cannot of course be ruled out.
The Arthur D. Little Report
Pulling the wool over the eyes of the official inquiry and the British Government was one thing. Pulling it over the eyes of the rig’s owners, Occidental Petroleum, and Lloyds of London was another.
It so happened that Occidental’s boss, Dr Armand Hammer, was a man of high intelligence. He also had some very interesting connections with the KGB, who no doubt spotted the sabotage operation for what it was. The KGB tended to be somewhat smarter than either MI6 or the CIA. They probably also spent less time drinking vodka than MI6 spent drinking gin and the CIA spent drinking Jack Daniels.
Hammer suspected sabotage from the outset. He knew who to go to and commissioned Massachusetts-based engineering consultants Arthur D. Little (ADL) to prepare a report. ADL were the boys who discovered how the Bhopal chemical plant in India had been sabotaged.
Some of the Bhopal inquiry team were put to work on Piper Alpha. The ADL team were good people and knew their business. They found out exactly how Piper Alpha was sabotaged.
This wasn’t in the plan. Dr Hammer was leant on and the report was suppressed from Lord Cullen’s with respect pointless inquiry. The Cabinet Office didn’t need much leaning on – once they knew the Germans were behind the sabotage they were reduced to a quivering lump of jelly. It was a bit like a scene in an Airplane movie.
The Cabinet Office, the Scottish Executive, the US Department of Energy and the CIA all have copies of the ADL report. It so happens that I’ve spoken to one of the report’s authors.
The report provides damning evidence of sabotage. Germany could and should be forced to pay reparations, which could be collected through punitive tariffs on German exports, at say 25%.
This Week’s Movie Review: The A-Team (2010, dir. Joe Carnahan)
It’s high time I got around to reviewing this! The big question with this movie is: is it as good as the original TV series?
Even with a strong cast led by Liam Neeson, the answer is that of course it isn’t. How could it be, without the late. great George Peppard and the immortal Mr T?
How does an Englishman know about Mr T? Because the A-Team is quite popular over here too. The TV series is being rerun and the movie was shown again a few weeks ago.
The movie only suffers by comparison with the TV series. The plot is quite engaging, the acting isn’t bad and it’s well-made.
The TV series was huge fun. Nobody did car crashes better and it combined humor with action. Each episode was a morality play: the Good Guys always won and Army intelligence was made to look stupid. The MPs never got their man.
Now some may ask ‘shouldn’t I be watching TV shows directed at people of my IQ?’ I have an estimated IQ in the mid-180s. Which TV shows would they be, I would ask in response? We’re such a minority we even have our own society.
High intelligence gives you penetrating powers of analysis, or at any rate it should. It doesn’t help you fix a faucet. I couldn’t put up a shelf to save my life. If I did, it would fall down.
As I hinted in my brief obit of Jerry Lewis, some people with high intellect have difficulties handling it and relating to other people. They start to look down on people less smart than they are and become unhappy, unsurprisingly.
Humans are given all sorts of gifts. As I hope comes across in this section of my column, I respect skill, expertise and talent, whether it requires high intelligence or not. High intelligence can sometimes slow you down in fact, as you over-think things, or think about other things than what you are doing. You should see how long it takes me to do the ironing!
It is possible to possess high intelligence and still have fun. I can sit down and enjoy an episode of the A-Team because it’s fun and the Good Guys always win. I can spot the anomalies, like DC-3s flying to Borneo from the West Coast without refueling, without letting them spoil my enjoyment of the show.
I think there was a theory that prison would break me, because I would have trouble relating to people of low intelligence. Having dealt with Cabinet ministers, judges and journalists over so many years however, I found dealing with prison officers quite straightforward.
IMHO – and you know by now how humble I am – the A-Team movie is good, but the TV show was better.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.