Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spying on Di

Did the British SAS (Special Forces) actually take out Princess Diana?  That claim is making news in the UK right now..
The decision to examine the new claims suggests that officers believe they must be looked at by detectives to assess whether they have any weight. However they come from the estranged parents-in-law of “Soldier N”, an SAS soldier who was a key witness in the successful prosecution of Sgt Nightingale.
He was himself convicted of illegal weapons possession. His estranged wife’s parents wrote to the SAS’s commanding officer claiming the soldier had told his wife that the unit had “arranged” the Princess’s death and that this had been “covered up”.
For those who don't know, Danny Nightingale was the SAS soldier convicted of possessing a trophy pistol and ammo after returning from Iraq.  The whole thing sounds a little shaky, but surely the Brit press will cover it more objectively than will ours. I've always wondered whether the Princess's dabbling with Muslims, ie, Dodi Fayed or her Pakistani lover, might have been enough reason to keep tabs on her friends and associates.  Driver Henri Paul might have been an informant to French intelligence but he was also a drunk driver, so if the intel services arranged that accident they're as good as the characters in a Bond film.

The funny thing is, the NSA evidently captured some data on the Princess back before 9/11:
Diana, the official insisted, was never a "target" of the NSA's massive, worldwide electronic eavesdropping infrastructure. The NSA system sucks up millions of electronic signals from around the world every hour, but only "targeted" communications are actually analyzed and deciphered after a vast array of supercomputers sort them out on the basis of programmed search terms, such as "Saddam Hussein."
Target being the key word.  The NSA only recently denied 'targeting' the princess, saying some info was inadvertently picked up in the scoop.  But surely some of those people that were actually being targeted were close to her and were giving the Old Lady heartburn.

By the way, those with good memories will remember the "Echelon" story in the late 90s, which this WaPo report covers:
The giant spy agency, Maryland's largest employer, has been the subject of intense controversy in Britain and across Europe since a report released in January by the European Parliament concluded that "within Europe, all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency."
The report focused on a system called Echelon through which the NSA and its spy partners in Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia share communications intercepted from around the world and systematically divide the huge task of analyzing the "take."
What's old is new again!  In essence 9/11 simply allowed the focus to shift to US-based targets. Or maybe they've been doing it all along based on capturing international trunk data through US servers. We await James Clapper's investigation of himself.  Hilariously, the Echelon story didn't tarnish Clinton that much in the 90s just as the recent revelations haven't seriously damaged Obama, but Bush's version of the program was outrageous. 

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