David Shayler is possibly the most famous security service whistleblower in British history. He has also claimed to be the Messiah. In this episode I delve into Shayler’s story and his influence on the 9/11 and 7/7 truth movements, where he has always advocated the most lunatic, tabloid versions of events. I ask if his behavior has been designed to make conspiracy theorists and whistleblowers look crazy, and going deeper than that whether he was some sort of test to see how much the truth movement would tolerate.
In the latter part of the show I recall the book he wrote with his then-partner Annie Machon, which is quite profoundly misleading. It claims, for example, that the alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was actually guilty, which undermines their central ‘revelation’ that MI6 sponsored Al Qaeda to try to kill Gaddafi in the mid-1990s. I hypothesize that Shayler and Machon are Trojan horses that are still working for the British state.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
That was a clip from Channel 4 news in 2007 when David Shayler, the ex MI5 officer, proclaimed himself the Messiah.
Now, it would be easy enough to discredit Shayler just because of this, to decry him as obviously still working for MI5. It would also be fun to do that. But I think we need to take a more sober and serious look at this man and his former partner Annie Machon. In the comments section for a recent episode of Disinfowars 344thBrother asked about Shayler and so I thought I’d give you a breakdown of my thinking on this man having followed his activities and media appearances for, I dunno, 10 years or more. Obviously I do not have any inside line on Shayler, I am simply offering an informed opinion, this is by no means the definitive truth.
Shayler joined MI5 in 1991, working in several different departments essentially as an analyst, writing reports. He left in 1996 after, apparently, finding out about an MI6 plot to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi, the leader of Libya. According to Shayler, MI6 sponsored Al Muqatila, better known as LIFG or the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, to try to bomb Gaddafi’s motorcade. But they hit the wrong car, there was a fightfight with security forces and several people including civilians were killed. This assassination attempt took place in February 1996 and Shayler left MI5 in October. He then took the story to several newspapers, including showing them documents that at least prove that MI6 had assets within the LIFG.
Shayler and his then partner Annie Machon, another MI5 officer who had quit, fled to France to avoid being arrested. They remained there until August 2000, when they returned to Britain to face the music. In the meantime Shayler and Machon had engaged in a series of publicity stunts including trying to stage a mock execution in Paris (the french police stopped them), appearing on the BBC comedy panel show Have I got News for You, though he was still in France at the time so they put a TV up on the table showing a satellite feed of Shayler sat in a studio in Paris, he also appeared on another comedy panel show They Think It’s All Over, he invited the press to his application for a passport – all sorts of attention seeking behaviour.
Annie Machon tried to justify the media storm they invited and encouraged by saying it was a form of protection. And then, continuing this theatre, this circus, Shayler triumphantly returned in Britain in mid-2000 and was put on trial for violating the official secrets act. He was found guilty, sentenced to 6 months in jail, served only two and was then released though he had to have an electronic tag on his ankle while he was under curfew for another 7 weeks.
Frankly, I’ve known people get done for low level drug dealing who’ve been given harsher punishments. Shayler got away remarkably lightly, as though this was all part of the show, all part of setting him up to look like he’d been persecuted by the establishment for telling the truth.
He then got involved in the 9/11 truth movement, but instead of focusing on, for example, western intelligence sponsorship of Al Qaeda or the raft of so-called intelligence failures leading up to the attacks, or the warnings that were supposedly ignored, or the hugely suspicious behaviour of the military both in training exercises leading up to the attacks and in their responses on the morning of 9/11 itself – Shayler opted instead to promote the no-plane theory. He once again appeared on the BBC, this time on a sunday morning religious-themed show – talking about how there were no planes, they were missiles cloaked with holograms to look like planes, a right load of nonsense.
And if you cast your mind back to this period – between 9/11 and 7/7 – the no-plane thing was the most ridiculous theory out there. That has since been overtaken by the theory that flying saucers hit the WTC, the idea that the towers to destroyed by lazer weapons that no one can even prove exists, and of course the idea that no one was killed and that the whole thing was CGI and green screens. Nonetheless, Shayler did his damnedest to promote what was at the time the most outrageous theory, thus tarring the 9/11 truth movement with the crazy brush.
Not satisfied with damaging the early 9/11 movement when 7/7 happened he then moved onto that. Shayler appears in 2 out of the 3 early 7/7 truther films, namely Mind the Gap and Alex Jones’s Terrorstorm. Once again, he promoted the most tabloid, moronic alternative view of the bombings, claiming that his time as an MI5 officer meant he could look at bomb scene photos and establish that these weren’t homemade devices. The problem is that no one can establish such a thing just from photos, let alone someone with no forensic science experience who did nothing for MI5 except write reports and attend meetings.
Shayler also endorsed the two major distractions that were woven into the 7/7 operation, the Peter Power exercise and the Netanyahu warning. The Peter Power exercise has never been demonstrated by anyone to have been an on-the-ground exercise actually taking place at the places where the bombs went off. The only evidence they cite is a 3-minute youtube clip of Peter Power going on TV that very evening talking about running an exercise that morning. In reality, if his exercise was a mask, a disguise to assist a false flag operation, then he wouldn’t have gone on TV and radio telling everyone about it. The only reason to go and tell everyone is to distract them.
The whole Netanyahu warning makes even less sense. He was certainly in London on the morning of 7/7, along with several million other people, and he was given some kind of warning to stay in his hotel room. People have cited this as evidence that Israel were behind 7/7, blah blah zionists blah blah Jews blah blah. In their racist rush to judgement what they completely overlook is the blindlingly obvious – namely, if the Mossad and Netanyahu were behind 7/7 then why would he have to be warned? He would have already known what was happening. Indeed, if they were behind 7/7 then it’s highly unlikely he would have even been in London that day.
Nonetheless, intelligence genius and whistleblower extraordinaire David Shayler promoted this crap and it became part of the conspiracy folklore around that event. I spent years trying to confront this nonsense and explain to its adherents why Peter Power and the Netanyahu warning were red herrings. For my trouble I got accused of working for Israel and for British intelligence. Even though I was saying British intelligence were behind 7/7, and even though the guy who told them about Peter Power and Netanyahu worked for British intelligence. The degree of delusion and confusion inherent in this situation is what ruined the 7/7 movement, and Shayler had a big role to play in setting up that as the alternative dialogue about 7/7.
So by the time he proclaimed himself the messiah in 2007 he had already disrupted and partly discredit the 9/11 and 7/7 movements. In taking this step and claiming that he was the messiah, he managed to link not just conspiracy theorists but also whistleblowers with the craziest, most narcisstic of ideas. It was around this time that he and Annie Machon split up, and he went on to start cross dressing and calling himself by a woman’s name, at least for a while. Whether that’s about making himself look crazy or about making whistleblowers look crazy, I’m not sure. It certainly does dovetail rather nicely with the whole Bradley Manning/Chelsea Manning thing, which in turn fell off the news agenda just before Edward Snowden appeared on the scene.
Of course, Annie Machon is one of that pathetic little clique who have relentlessly praised Snowden, even travelling to Russia to give him an award so they could stand around patting themselves on the back for doing so. But then, the whole Snowden thing was just a way for people to try to burnish their credentials, I remember seeing on facebook Colleen Rowley praising Ron Paul for praising Edward Snowden. The whole thing became a sickening circlejerk of phonies like Rowley, Ron Paul, Annie Machon rushing around trying to make themselves seem important and relevant. This is particularly pathetic in the case of Ron Paul because he voted for the legislation that was used to jail John Kiriakou. So, if you blow the whistle on torture then Ron Paul wants you in jail. If you release a bunch of stuff about NSA surveillance to mainstream newspapers and an ebay billionaire, Ron Paul thinks you’re a hero.
In any case, Shayler is no longer going around cross dressing, at least not in public anyway. He’s back on the truther circuit now, having been welcomed back with open arms, it seems. Around the 5th anniversary of 7/7 in 2010 he did a video with Nick Kollerstrom – a relatively minor figure on the British truther scene who endorses every bullshit theory out there, from no one died in the Boston bombing to Israel were secretly behind the 3/11 earthquake.
Now, I do not recommend watching this whole video because it is enormously misleading but I just want to play you the opening couple of minutes and then explain how they are knowingly lying to everyone watching:
The massive deception here is that Shayler and Kollerstrom refer only to the original still image released by the police about 2 weeks after 7/7. They ignore completely the reams of CCTV recordings the police released in 2008, which shows the four men, still not 100% identifiable, arriving and moving around the station. There are still dozens of problems with that CCTV footage which I get into in chapter 3 of my book but to simply pretend that this footage doesn’t exist is utterly shameful.
The funny thing is that Kollerstrom has no excuse for pretending to not know about this extra footage because he was shown some of it as part of the BBC’s Conspiracy Files show on 7/7. Those of you who have seen the Conspiracy Files may remember the moment where Kollerstrom insists that the four men were never in London that day, and then is shown a video clip of the four men walking through Kings Cross station. The expression on Kollerstrom’s face is priceless, as he has one of those ‘oh shit now I look like a complete idiot’ moments. This show was produced in 2008, I think, but not broadcast until 2009 and don’t get me wrong, it’s an equally shameful piece of distracting nonsense that has little if anything to do with real 7/7 issues. But that’s the point about the likes of Shayler and Kollerstrom – they provide easy targets for the mainstream to attack and use as examples of people like us. When the reality is that I’m nothing like either of those men and I’d wager that none of you are either. But the point remains – when Kollerstrom made this video in 2010 he knew he was lying by pretending this other video footage didn’t exist.
Since then, Shayler has also been in a 9/11 truther play called 7 seconds, all about building 7. He starred in it alongside a guy called Matt Campbell, a guy whose brother apparently died in the attacks. He first appeared on the truther scene in 2013 – about 12 years after the attacks, and while I’m not saying I don’t believe him I do find it odd that it would take that long for him to start publicly doing anything about 9/11. Particularly when he then chooses to appear in this play with the dodgiest man in the entire British truth scene. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that for a bereaved relative it might take a decade to deal with what happened before being able to seriously ask questions about it, and it’s entirely possible that he’s been manipulated by Shayler and doesn’t realise he’s associating with a proven liar who has claimed he’s Jesus. There is this weird little cult thing about Shayler where he manages to inspire hangers-on despite having nothing original to say and being a complete farce of a man.
One final thing about Shayler’s biography that I’d like to mention before I tear his book to shreds, is that for a while his landlady was Belinda McKenzie. The relevance of this was pointed out to my by the July 7th Truth Campaign and in particular Stef who used to write the blog Famous for 15 Megapixels. Belinda is extremely dodgy, a woman of inherited wealth with government connections and if you look into the Iran Aid scandal you’ll find her name crops up. Like I say, she was Shayler’s landlady, she also helped support Muad Dib aka John Anthony Hill, another man who claims to be Jesus who made a 7/7 film saying the exact same things as Shayler. And then went around harassing 7/7 bereaved relatives until he ended up getting arrested, at which point the alt media turned him into a hero truthteller being persecuted by the establishment.
Belinda McKenzie also interrupted a presentation Bridget from the July 7th Truth Campaign and I were doing at some truther meeting in London a few years back. Just as our presentation and Q and A was wrapping up she barged in noisily and told everyone how she wanted to introduce one of the heroes of 7/7 truth, Tony Farrell. Farrell was basically Shayler’s replacement, a fake whistleblower designed to derail the 7/7 truth movement. You may remember this guy, he says that he worked for Yorkshire Special Branch and then woke up to the truth about 7/7 and was sacked for speaking out.
Now, I have met Farrell personally, at this truther meeting I mentioned, I also engaged him via email over many months and I can 100% say that this man is a fraud. There is no way he got sacked by special branch, no way he’s another truthteller persecuted by the establishment. Not that it matters, he has disappeared now and a new generation of distracting idiots has been fed to the British truthers, the most prominent of them being Chris Spivey.
Meanwhile, Belinda McKenzie was centrally involved in the absurd horror that was the Hampstead Hoax. This was the fake story that there was a satanic pedophile ring in Hampstead in London that was being covered up by the authorities. In reality, if those children in the videos were abused then it was almost certainly done by the people making the accusations against others. This whole thing was a replay of the Hollie Greig case, which Belinda also supported. You get the idea – she’s involved in basically all of the fake stories and false heroes fed to the British truth movement and has been for years. While she herself may just be incredibly stupid and therefore not an agent, it’s also possible she is just an agent. A little ray of sunshine is that when the whole Hampstead thing fell apart she had to flee the country to avoid prosecution for all the false accusations she’s made and the trouble she has caused. I was quite happy about that.
So what was the point of all this? If I’m right and Shayler has always been working for MI5, why did they bother? As I mentioned before, he helps make truthers look crazy, and that’s kinda obvious. I’m sure you all get that and don’t really need me to tell you that.
But I think there’s something more insidious going on. I think this is also about actually encouraging truthers to be crazy, not just to look crazy. Because anyone who associates with Shayler now has to in some way excuse his claim to be the Messiah, and his various demonstrable lies. That involves being a bit crazy, or at least not actually caring about the truth, i.e. that Shayler is a liar and a fantasist.
I thin Shayler was also some kind of test, to see how much we’d take. An experiment to see if British truthers were so gullible, or at least so vague in their thinking, that when they hear of this guy who is ex-MI5 and claims he’s Jesus, they actually take him seriously. I think this was MI5’s way of seeing just how messed up the British truth scene really is, and the results have confirmed, it is pretty messed up. I won’t name names here but I know some relatively big people in the British 9/11 scene who have confided in me that they know this is all very dodgy, if not an outright sham, but that they kinda have to let these people be involved because to exclude them would cause too much friction. The rule seems to be that as long as you commit to the core idea – that 9/11 was an inside job or whatever overly simple phrase is popular – as long as you commit to that then you can add onto that whatever the hell you like. Shayler tested that, and proved it to be true.
Before we wrap things up I do want to offer a few comments on Shayler and Machon’s book Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers which came out in 2005. I did buy a copy in, maybe 2006, I think, but I have no re-read it since then.
It says on the back of the book that:
Annie Machon and David Shayler witnessed first hand how
– MI5 failed to stop four major terrorists attacks in Britain, even though it was in possession of reliable intelligence
– MI5 illegally investigated thousands of UK citizens for their political views
– MI5 and MI6 let a known Libyan terrorist into Britain, they failed torecruit him and allowed him to set up a terrorist network in this country
– MI6 illegally paid tens of thousands of pounds to Al Qaeda to stage a coup in Libya, without realising the irresponsibility of its actions
Now, they did not witness any of this first-hand, in the literal sense. They were in MI5 and saw bits and pieces of this going on, but they did not witness this first hand, that’s just hype and fluff and nonsense. And when you pick apart some of this – I don’t have the time to go into all of it today – you find there are enormous problems. Some of it is real stuff – they talk about Stakeknife, the IRA MI5 agent. They say that some people within the security services thought that the Israeli embassy bombing in 1994 was a false flag, that the Israelis had attacked their own embassy. Now, I’ve not looked into that case in a lot of detail but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if that was true.
However, when it comes to Libya especially the book gets very weird. They claim, for example, that the alleged Lockerbie bomber AbdelBaset Al Megrahi was guilty, was actually responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. They also claimed this in interviews and public presentations in the early 2000s. But it has become abundantly clear since then that Megrahi was innocent, the victim of a nasty stitch up where witnesses were being paid large sums of money by the FBI and evidence was fabricated.
So, when they also say that MI6 paid Al Qaeda to try to assassinate Gaddafi, in context it seems like payback for Lockerbie, i.e. something a lot of people would feel was justified. So the central controversy of the whole Shaylergate affair had the teeth taken out of it by this crap about Megrahi actually being guilty. So in effect what they really managed to accomplish was to reinforce the false notion of Megrahi’s guilt, i.e. the official version of Lockerbie, while making state-sponsored terrorism seem like a necessary evil, or even just a normal state of affairs. Meanwhile, they helped whoever really did Lockerbie get away with it.
And it’s not like people didn’t know there were huge problems with the official story of Lockerbie. Allan Francovich made the film The Maltese Double Cross in the early 1990s, it was around in London during the time that Shayler and Machon were working for MI5, and during the time that MI6 were sponsoring Al Qaeda to try to take out Gaddafi. So once again, there is no excuse for Shayler and Machon trying to reinforce this idea that Megrahi was guilty. And of course, their book makes no mention of Operation Gladio.
There’s a lot wrong with this book, on reflection. It took me some years to piece it together – I did not know all this when I first read the book almost 10 years ago. But I am pretty confident now that the whole Shayler-Machon thing is spook theatre, that they never stopped working for MI5, that their mission was of confusion and disruption. Making it seems like they were being persecuted was all for show, to give them credibility in dissident circles. The reality is that for all their supposed inside knowledge and experience, I’ve seen untrained amateurs including myself do a far better job of investigating and explaining what the British security services have been up to in recent years.
So, I think Shayler was and is a fake whistleblower. I can’t prove it to you, but I’m sure you at least understand why I think that, whether or not you agree. And I don’t say this because I have some problem with whistleblowers, even those like Kiriakou who somewhat sell out and become media talking heads are still genuine whistleblowers, or at least were to begin with whatever they then got turned into. But I just don’t believe that about Shayler and Machon. Perhaps part of that is my own personal experiences and frustrations with the British truth movement’s response to 7/7. In fact, I openly admit, part of that is a result of my own feelings about the British truth movement. But at the same time, I can’t think of a flaw in my logic here.