Thursday, October 02, 2008

Super Sleuths: British Intelligence Accidently Sells Spy Camera on E-Bay

Having a libertarian bent, we naturally tend to distrust government.

But unlike the wild-eyed “libertarian” crowd that embraces (for example) 9/11 conspiracy theories, we don’t view government as so much evil as it is incompetent. Today’s example.
A bidder, who bought the camera for £17 on the auction website, discovered photos of terror suspects, their names and fingerprints and even images of rocket launchers and missiles.

The 28-year-old from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, only found the secret images when he downloaded his own holiday snaps from the Nikon Cool Pix device.

He told local police about the find and was shocked when Special Branch officers arrived at his home days later to seize his new purchase.

Officers have made five visits to his home in the last week to quiz him and his family, The Sun newspaper reported.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed that the police were investigating but said she could not confirm or deny the intelligence service’s involvement in the probe.

She refused to comment on reports that the camera was sold by an MI6 agent.

Among the images which are reported to have been found on the camera is a document, marked “top secret”, which gives details of the encrypted computer system used by MI6’s agents in the field.

The material found on the camera is reported to be related to 46-year-old Abdul al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a high-ranking al-Qaeda officer, who was captured by the CIA in 2007.

Neil Doyle, author of Terror Base UK, said: “These are MI6 documents relating to an operation against al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq.

“It’s jaw-dropping that they got into the public domain.

“Not only do they divulge secrets about operations, operating systems and previously unheard-of MI6 departments, but they could put lives at risk.”
If government were really as competent as the 9/11 conspiracy crowd thinks, we should all be socialists. If government could bring off such a complex and so brilliantly coordinated plan, and cover it up such that no evidence accepted by any sort of mainstream thinkers exists, imagine what a splendid job they could do planning the economy.

But alas, whether it’s intelligence or social welfare, they more often look like the Keystone Cops.

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