Loose cuts and short ends

Peter Wright? Is the picture on the right that of the old Spycatcher himself, Peter Wright? It has been used as if it is three times, in the Sunday Times on 12 July 1987 and 16 October 1988; and more recently, the version shown, heavily cropped to illustrate Wright’s obituary in the Independent, 28 […]

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Out of the blue and into the black

Book cover

[…] establishment of the Combined Loyalist Military Command, whose objective was to professionalise the assassination of IRA members and close down indiscriminate sectarian murder. Significantly, people like Billy Wright, Alex Kerr and Johnnie ‘daft dog’ Adair denounced these as ‘the peace people’ and wanted to step up indiscriminate sectarian murder to expose IRA claims that […]

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Colin Wallace – an assessment

[…] the fact that Wallace has been the subject of far more professional scepticism and paranoia on the part of our journalists than either Cathy Massiter or Peter Wright. This I find curious. Cathy Massiter was never available to the press: access to her was always tightly controlled and these days she is wholly unavailable. […]

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Was there a ‘communist threat’?

[…] and what they did is unclear. The existence of ‘secret members’, a staple on the right since the war, appeared most strikingly in Spycatcher in which Peter Wright recounts how MI5 had found the CPGB membership files stashed in a rich member’s flat and photographed the whole lot – 55,000 files – in one […]

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The state in politics: Wallace, Holroyd and Lobster

[…] spread in Tribune – and then the first dribs and drabs began to leak out of Australia about a book by a former MI5 officer called Peter Wright in which he apparently mentioned plotting against the Wilson government; and my telephone began to ring. Lots of journalists wanted me to explain the story. And […]

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Rothschild, the right, the far-right and the Fifth Man

[…] West writes: “Yet strangely, it was later to be claimed by Pincher that ‘people were suggesting that Rothschild himself had been a spy’. He also reported (Peter) Wright as stating that ‘articles had been appearing in the British media suggesting that Rothschild had been a Soviet agent himself’. In fact no such articles ever […]

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There’s no smear like an old smear

The Spycatcher’s Encyclopedia of Espionage Peter Wright Heinemann, Australia, 1991 The cover-blurb says this is ‘the rest of the story’. It feels more like the out-takes from Spycatcher spiced with a few more fragments of interesting gossip. And I do mean fragments: the interesting bits of 260 pages — largish print and much white […]

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Willy Brandt: the “Good German”

[…] New Zealand, Australia, Britain) conferences of the heads of the counter-intelligence departments, was held in Australia. MI5 Director-General Martin Furnival-Jones informed the assembled intelligence chiefs that Peter Wright had broken some old Soviet wartime radio traffic known as VENONA and had found the name of Willi Brandt in it.(5) In his private correspondence Wright […]

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Inside ‘Inside Intelligence’

[…] the real professionals.” (p38) A year later, when he joined MI6, “I said apropos dictating a letter, ‘How rude can we be to MI5? “. (p47) Peter Wright, from the other side, has similar views on MI6: “They invariably planned operations which, frankly, stood little chance of success… There was, too, a senseless bravado […]

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Historical Notes: MI5 and the Wilson Plot. USA and Chile. Hess

[…] say that the allegation was ‘exhaustively investigated and it was concluded, as stated publicly by Ministers, that no such plot ever existed’. In the end, they continue, Wright admitted on Panorama in 1988 that ‘his account had been unreliable and only one other member of staff had been involved in any serious discussion regarding […]

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