Samo Skvidži Slobodana spašava

There are all kinds of reasons (sanity among them) to ignore everything that happens at the inquest into the death of Princess Diana, which would have been a long-running media spectacle of conspiracy theories had the media themselves not lost interest. There is even more reason to dismiss what somebody who lacks the energy to go deeply into the alphabet to find a way of disguising his or her identity has to say. All the same, an unidentified "member of the British spy agency M16" who goes by the most nonintriguing name of "A" claimed that "there existed a plan" to murder an unnamed "radical individual" should this unnamed individual come to power in Serbia. As "A" explains the thinking of his alphabetic crew:
At that time there was concern that Milošević could be removed from power and that his place could be taken by a nationalist extremist, which would lead to even greater ethnic cleansing and a larger number of deaths, explained A.
Like you, I am not terribly impressed that there is a vague claim that a plan may have existed which was never approved or put into effect. But the foolish political calculation rings true, as a reminder that many political "thinkers" in Europe and elsewhere believed that their best hope lay with keeping Milošević in power as long as possible.

Assuming that there really was an "A" who was really a member of an intelligence agency and that something like this idea and its rationale were really discussed, it does, as does every other revelation about what gets discussed in intelligence agencies, puncture the mystical belief that spies are any smarter than your average mediocre political thinker or know anything worth knowing that anyone would be happy for them to tell.


Owen said...

Eric, I don't think it's entirely fanciful. There was a report last week on television about this, possibly Newsnight, I can't remember. The subject wasn't Milosevic, it was Arkan.

The suggestion seems to have come up at the brainstorming stage and the idea was apparently binned without further consideration. I remember whoever it was saying that it was the only occasion he remembered of the possibility of assassination having been raised.

Eric Gordy said...

Yeah, the Index link speculates that the proposed target was Arkan. It's in the context of what seems to be an effort to show that the death of Diana was planned, and that M16 liked to use traffic conditions as a lethal weapon.

Leaving aside the question of whether Mr Fayed is among the top 5 creepy rich guys around (I can hear people now yelling "no! it's Branson!"), the possibility that folks get killed by freaky agencies in depressingly anticlimactic ways (or at least that the little spyboys sit around the table and indulge their fantasies of that) seems perfectly admissible to me too. What strikes me about the story is, assuming that its elements are true, it was based on a political calculation of monumental stupidity, and would seem to confirm that rhetoric aside, the Western powers never put out their candle for Milosevic while they panted over the thought of whom to snuff.

Owen said...

Yes, it came up in the context of al-Fayed's accusations, not with reference to events in Serbia. Presumably someone forced Diana and Dodi against their better judgment not to wear their safety belts. al-Fayed has a long history of this sort of behaviour in his battles with Tiny Rowland and the rest of the world. Sadly respect for the grieving father has allowed him to stage a pretty gruesome pantomime.

B said...

we are monitoring this site

Eric Gordy said...

If the next comment is from V, I might get suspicious. If after C comments the next one is from Č, even more so.

Diom said...

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