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PEPIS #61 - Bilderberg's backstabber at the BBC

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  • Gerrard Winstanley
    PEPIS #61 - Bilderberg s backstabber at the BBC - 30Aug04 The role of BBC board member and 2004 Bilderberg attendee Pauline Neville-Jones in the ousting of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 13, 2004
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      PEPIS #61 - Bilderberg's backstabber at the BBC - 30Aug04

      The role of BBC board member and 2004 Bilderberg attendee Pauline
      Neville-Jones in the ousting of the BBC's popular Director General
      Greg Dyke is revealed in the UK papers this weekend.

      Someone somewhere must like Dame Pauline because her term as a
      governor has been extended for an extra year beyond the normal maximum.

      Below, from today's Independent, is the first analysis, albeit brief,
      I've yet seen of the business interrests of the various governors. A
      subject we should all make our job to scrutinise.

      In another Bilderberg related story a suspected Isreali spy has been
      found in the office of Bilderberger, number three civillian oficial
      and US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

      See also this article by Belgian analyst Marek Tysis examining the new
      unelected European Commission (government) candidates due to take over
      on 1st November 2004. http://www.bilderberg.org/2004.htm#corporatism


      (qinetiq is spelled as such not quinetiq which I have erroneously
      written from time to time - their website is at www.qinetiq.com )
      My clashes with the two 'posh ladies'
      How two pillars of the establishment helped to engineer a very British
      coup at the BBC


      Greg Dyke Sunday August 29, 2004 The Observer

      Two BBC governors, Pauline Neville-Jones and Sarah Hogg, were far more
      vocal than the rest, and I nicknamed them 'the posh ladies'. It was
      clear neither liked me much and Sarah, I now know, actively disliked
      me. The feeling was mutual.

      Pauline, a career civil servant at the Foreign Office and a former
      chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was among a number of
      governors who opposed my appointment as director-general. She was a
      powerful voice on the board, worked hard and was very clever in a
      manipulative, FO sort of way.

      But neither I nor the two BBC chairmen I worked with, Christopher
      Bland and Gavyn Davies, ever totally trusted Pauline. She had applied
      to be deputy chairman and was turned down. She was incredibly
      ambitious but I always suspected she had not been as successful in
      life as she had wished.

      Although a big supporter of the BBC, Sarah Hogg never left her
      politics or prejudices at the door of governors' meetings. She was
      married to a land-owning Tory MP, Douglas Hogg, and lived in a
      political world.

      When we tried to update our political coverage, Sarah led the
      opposition: we shouldn't upset the politicians. She was upset by the
      lack of coverage of the Countryside March in September 2002 (probably
      the only march she'd ever been on). She insisted the BBC was not
      covering rural affairs properly, and got a full investigation, costing
      thousands of pounds.

      This struck me as a classic case of special pleading from a governor
      who lived on the family estate in rural Lincolnshire.

      Her term as a governor was due to finish, and she didn't want it
      renewed. Neither did Gavyn or I. By the time Hutton published his
      report, Sarah's time was almost up.

      The day it appeared the governors met from 5pm until the early hours.
      Gavyn and I left after 40 minutes when they began discussing what
      should happen to the management team. We had agreed with Pauline
      Neville-Jones the previous night that it would be impossible for Gavyn
      and I to resign at the same time.

      However, Gavyn announced his resignation before the meeting. As we
      left, I reminded Simon Milner, the BBC secretary [for governance and
      accountability] of what Gavyn and I had told him of our talk. It was
      Milner's job to tell the governors that if I was to go on, I needed
      their public support.

      Sarah Hogg had her last chance to settle old scores. I now know that
      she arrived determined to get rid of me.

      I waited in my office for maybe an hour and a half before Milner came
      to say Pauline and the deputy chairman, Richard Ryder, wanted to see me.

      Ryder was pretty blunt. He said the governors had decided I should go:
      if I stayed I'd be a lame-duck director-general. This was ridiculous:
      there was never a chance of me being a lame-duck anything.

      I asked if this was the view of them all. Richard told me he hadn't
      expressed a view but was reporting the views of the rest. Pauline said

      I hadn't seen it coming. I was completely shocked. I had no idea what
      to say. I pointed out I had a contract they would have to honour, but
      if they didn't want me I wouldn't stay.

      I went back to my office and sat stunned. I had worked flat out for
      four years to turn round a deeply unhappy and troubled organisation,
      and I was now being thrown out by the people I respected least, the
      governors. My main emotion was disbelief.

      Before Gavyn headed home at about 11 pm, he decided to say a final
      goodbye to his former colleagues, but when he walked into the room he
      found the atmosphere had changed completely. It was a very hostile
      environment, with the aggression mainly coming from Sarah, who, he
      said, 'was seething'.

      I've since discovered that she told Gavyn the day before that he
      shouldn't resign, but I should. He told her there were no
      circumstances in which he'd let me go while he stayed, and I think
      that was one reason Gavyn resigned: if one of us should go it should
      be him, and that way he would protect me.

      Others at that meeting say that when Gavyn walked in Sarah launched a
      ferocious attack, accusing him of 'cowardice under fire'.

      It was three days before I began to realise that perhaps all was not
      as it had seemed. This idea came to me when someone at the BBC told me
      she believed some of the governors had been out to get me, regardless
      of Hutton. It got me thinking: did some of them have another agenda?

      By then I knew that three of the 11 governors had supported me in the
      vote: the ballet dancer Deborah Bull, the Oxford academic Ruth Deech
      and voluntary sector consultant Angela Sarkis.

      The 'posh ladies' had opposed me, led by Sarah Hogg.

      I began to think about the conversation Gavyn, Pauline Neville-Jones,
      and I had the night before Hutton was published. If Pauline had said
      she thought it impossible for Gavyn and me to leave at the same time,
      shouldn't she have argued on my behalf, given that Gavyn had already
      gone? Yet she had not. I thought some more.

      Pauline had always been a big supporter of Mark Byford. Like most BBC
      lifers, he was better [than me] at the politics of dealing with the

      It was a game I refused to play. I saw no reason to treat the
      governors differently from everyone else. I certainly wasn't going to
      regard the earth they walked on as holy ground.

      After I had left the BBC one senior executive said to me that if I had
      been a bit more servile to them, I would still be there today. I have
      no doubt that's true. Certainly both chairmen in my time there
      suggested I ought to be more respectful and make fewer jokes at
      governors' meetings, but I was never going to do that. I have never
      respected position for its own sake and I was hardly likely to start
      in my fifties, particularly when dealing with a group of people, most
      of whom knew nothing about the media and who would have struggled to
      get a senior job at the BBC.

      So why hadn't Pauline supported me? Again I thought back a few months.
      In early December 2003, Gavyn told me Pauline and Sarah had been to
      see him, demanding that Mark Byford be appointed my deputy and be put
      in charge of BBC News. I was then to have been told it was a fait

      I objected, though in many ways the idea of Mark becoming my deputy
      was a good one. With Hutton pending, even someone as naturally
      combative as me recognised this was not a time for a bust-up with the
      governors. To appease them, I suggested we appoint Mark as my deputy,
      but with different powers from those they suggested.

      The governors agreed, and he began work on 1 January last year. A
      month later I was gone and he was acting director-general. The
      establishment figures had seized their chance and got rid of the
      upstart. It was, in many ways, a very British coup.

      The BBC has a good man as its new chairman in Michael Grade, but to do
      his job well he needs better, more knowledgeable governors to support
      him. I hope the six current governors who voted to get rid of me -
      Dermot Gleeson, Merfyn Jones, Fabian Monds, Neville-Jones, Robert
      Smith, and Ranjit Sondhi - will realise that what they did that
      January night was bow to pressure from a political thug called
      Alastair Campbell.

      What happened to me is irrelevant. Director-generals come and go; but
      there is no greater betrayal of BBC principles than to fold under
      political pressure, particularly from the government of the day.

      These governors got it seriously wrong and they should accept that.
      They should now resign. The BBC deserves better.



      Independent - 30th August 2004


      Position: He is executive chairman of MJ Gleeson Group plc. Time spent
      on the board: Appointed a BBC governor in November 2000 and
      reappointed for a further four years last month. His term of office
      now runs for another four years, to the end of October 2008.


      Position: Chairman of Frontier Economics and 3i. Also a director of
      P&O Princess and appointed deputy chairman of GKN from 1 December
      2003. Time spent on the board: Appointed a BBC governor in February
      2000, her term completed February 2004.


      Position: A historian and broadcaster with posts at University of
      Wales and University of Liverpool, where he was director of continuing
      education. Time spent on the board: BBC national governor for Wales
      from 1 January 2003 until the end of 2006.


      Position: Professor Monds is chairman of Invest Northern Ireland, the
      economic development agency. Time spent on the board: He
      becamenational governor for Northern Ireland in 1999. In June last
      year his term was extended to July 2007.


      Position: Chairs the BBC's audit committee and the governors' World
      Service Consultative Group. Time spent on the board: She was appointed
      in January 1998 and her term of office has been extended to the end of
      next year. (doesn't mention her job as a director of the new private
      defense company QuinetiQ ed.)


      Position: He became acting chairman on 28 January and resumed as
      vice-chairman on 17 May. Time spent on the board:He became
      vice-chairman on 1 January for four years. His resignation from the
      board took effect in June.


      Position: He is chairman of the Weir Group, deputy chairman of
      Scottish and Southern Energy and holds several non-executive
      directorships. Time spent on the board:He was appointed national
      governor for Scotland in August 1999. In 2003 his term of office was
      extended to July 2007. In July this year he said he would step down at
      the end of 2004.


      Position: He is a senior lecturer at Birmingham University, where he
      co-ordinates a new degree in race and ethnic studies. Time spent on
      the board: Appointed in August 1998, his term of office was renewed in
      2002 and now finishes in October 2006.



      Position: She had a 20-year career with the Royal Ballet until 2001,
      becoming principal dancer in 1992 and touring the world with the
      company. Time spent on the board: She became a governor on 1 August
      2003 for a four-year term.


      Position: She is a trustee of the Mandela-Rhodes Foundation and a
      bencher of the Inner Temple, and holds an honorary doctorate from
      Strathclyde University. Time spent on the board: Appointed in October
      2002 for a four-year term.


      Position: An independent consultant with a management interest. Member
      of the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance and the Home Office's
      active community unit advisory panel. Time spent on the board:
      Four-year term from 2002.


      Iran-Contra II? Fresh scrutiny on a rogue Pentagon operation.


      By Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris

      On Friday evening, CBS News reported that the FBI is investigating a
      suspected mole in the Department of Defense who allegedly passed to
      Israel, via a pro-Israeli lobbying organization, classified American
      intelligence about Iran. The focus of the investigation, according to
      U.S. government officials, is Larry Franklin, a veteran Defense
      Intelligence Agency Iran analyst now working in the office of the
      Pentagon's number three civilian official, Undersecretary of Defense
      for Policy Douglas Feith.

      The investigation of Franklin is now shining a bright light on a
      shadowy struggle within the Bush administration over the direction of
      U.S. policy toward Iran. In particular, the FBI is looking with
      renewed interest at an unauthorized back-channel between Iranian
      dissidents and advisers in Feith's office, which more senior
      administration officials first tried in vain to shut down and then
      later attempted to cover up.

      Franklin, along with another colleague from Feith's office, a polyglot
      Middle East expert named Harold Rhode, were the two officials involved
      in the back-channel, which involved on-going meetings and contacts
      with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and other Iranian
      exiles, dissidents and government officials. Ghorbanifar is a storied
      figure who played a key role in embroiling the Reagan administration
      in the Iran-Contra affair. The meetings were both a conduit for
      intelligence about Iran and Iraq and part of a bitter administration
      power-struggle pitting officials at DoD who have been pushing for a
      hard-line policy of "regime change" in Iran, against other officials
      at the State Department and the CIA who have been counseling a more
      cautious approach.

      Reports of two of these meetings first surfaced a year ago in Newsday,
      and have since been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the
      Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Whether or how the meetings
      are connected to the alleged espionage remains unknown. But the FBI is
      now closely scrutinizing them.

      While the FBI is looking at the meetings as part of its criminal
      investigation, to congressional investigators the Ghorbanifar
      back-channel typifies the out-of-control bureaucratic turf wars which
      have characterized and often hobbled Bush administration
      policy-making. And an investigation by The Washington Monthly --
      including a rare interview with Ghorbanifar -- adds weight to those
      concerns. The meetings turn out to have been far more extensive and
      much less under White House control than originally reported. One of
      the meetings, which Pentagon officials have long characterized as
      merely a "chance encounter" seems in fact to have been planned long in
      advance by Rhode and Ghorbanifar. Another has never been reported in
      the American press. The administration's reluctance to disclose these
      details seems clear: the DoD-Ghorbanifar meetings suggest the
      possibility that a rogue faction at the Pentagon was trying to work
      outside normal US foreign policy channels to advance a "regime change"
      agenda not approved by the president's foreign policy principals or
      even the president himself.
      The Italian Job

      The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included
      Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and
      operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to
      UPI, Ledeen was then working for Feith as a consultant.) Also in
      attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians. One of the
      Iranians, according to two sources familiar with the meeting, was a
      former senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who claimed to
      have information about dissident ranks within the Iranian security
      services. The Washington Monthly has also learned from U.S. government
      sources that Nicolo Pollari, the head of Italy's military intelligence
      agency, SISMI, attended the meetings, as did the Italian Minister of
      Defense Antonio Martino, who is well-known in neoconservative circles
      in Washington.

      Alarm bells about the December 2001 meeting began going off in U.S.
      government channels only days after it occurred. On Dec. 12, 2001, at
      the U.S. embassy in Rome, America's newly-installed ambassador, Mel
      Sembler, sat down for a private dinner with Ledeen, an old friend of
      his from Republican Party politics, and Martino, the Italian defense
      minister. The conversation quickly turned to the meeting. The problem
      was that this was the first that Amb. Sembler had heard about it.

      According to U.S. government sources, Sembler immediately set about
      trying to determine what he could about the meeting and how it had
      happened. Since U.S. government contact with foreign government
      intelligence agencies is supposed to be overseen by the CIA, Sembler
      first spoke to the CIA station chief in Rome to find out what if
      anything he knew about the meeting with the Iranians. But that only
      raised more questions because the station chief had been left in the
      dark as well. Soon both Sembler and the Rome station chief were
      sending anxious queries back to the State Department and CIA
      headquarters in Langley, Va., respectively, raising alarms on both
      sides of the Potomac.

      The meeting was a source of concern for a series of overlapping
      reasons. Since the late 1980s, Ghorbanifar has been the subject of two
      CIA "burn notices." The agency believes Ghorbanifar is a serial
      "fabricator" and forbids its officers from having anything to do with
      him. Moreover, why were mid-level Pentagon officials organizing
      meetings with a foreign intelligence agency behind the back of the CIA
      -- a clear breach of U.S. government protocol? There was also a matter
      of personal chagrin for Sembler: At State Department direction, he had
      just been cautioning the Italians to restrain their contacts with
      bad-acting states like Iran (with which Italy has extensive trade ties).

      According to U.S. government sources, both the State Department and
      the CIA eventually brought the matter to the attention of the White
      House -- specifically, to Condoleezza Rice's chief deputy on the
      National Security Council, Stephen J. Hadley. Later, Italian spy chief
      Pollari raised the matter privately with Tenet, who himself went to
      Hadley in early February 2002. Goaded by Tenet, Hadley sent word to
      the officials in Feith's office and to Ledeen to cease all such
      activities. Hadley then contacted Sembler, assuring him it wouldn't
      happen again and to report back if it did.

      The orders, however, seem to have had little effect, for a second
      meeting was soon underway. According to a story published this summer
      in Corriere della Sera, a leading Italian daily, this second meeting
      took place in Rome in June 2002. Ghorbanifar tells The Washington
      Monthly that he arranged that meeting after a flurry of faxes between
      himself and DoD official Harold Rhode. Though he did not attend it
      himself, Ghorbanifar says the meeting consisted of an Egyptian, an
      Iraqi, and a high-level U.S. government official, whose name he
      declined to reveal. The first two briefed the American official about
      the general situation in Iraq and the Middle East, and what would
      happen in Iraq, "And it's happened word for word since," says
      Ghorbanifar. A spokesman for the NSC declined to comment on this and
      other meetings and referred The Washington Monthly to the Defense
      Department, which did not respond to repeated inquiries. Ledeen also
      refused to comment.

      No one at the U.S. embassy in Rome seems to have known about this
      second Rome meeting. But the back-channel's continuing existence
      became apparent the following month -- July 2002 -- when Ledeen again
      contacted Sembler and told him that he'd be back in Rome in September
      to continue "his work" with the Iranians (This time Ledeen made no
      mention of any involvement by Pentagon officials; later, he told
      Sembler it would be in August rather than September.) An exasperated
      Sembler again sent word back to Washington, and Hadley again went into
      motion telling Ledeen, in no uncertain terms, to back off.

      Once again, however, Hadley's orders seem to have gone unheeded.
      Almost a year later in June 2003, there were still further meetings in
      Paris involving Rhode and Ghorbanifar. Ghorbanifar says the purpose of
      the meeting was for Rhode to get more information on the situation in
      Iraq and the Middle East. "In those meetings we met, we gave him the
      scenario, what would happen in the coming days in Iraq. And everything
      has happened word for word as we told him," Ghorbanifar repeats. "We
      met in several different places in Paris," he says. "Rhode met several
      other people -- he didn't only meet me."
      Not a "chance encounter"

      By the summer of 2003, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had
      begun to get wind of the Ghorbanifar-Ledeen-DoD back-channel and made
      inquiries at the CIA. A month later, Newsday broke the original story
      about the secret Ghorbanifar channel. Faced with the disclosure,
      Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld acknowledged the December 2001 meeting
      but dismissed it as routine and unimportant.

      "The information has moved around the interagency process to all the
      departments and agencies," he told reporters in Crawford, Texas, after
      a meeting with Bush. "As I understand it, there wasn't anything there
      that was of substance or of value that needed to be pursued further."
      Later that day, another senior Defense official acknowledged the
      second meeting in Paris in June 2003, but insisted that it was the
      result of a "chance encounter" between Ghorbanifar and a Pentagon
      official. The administration has kept to the "chance encounter" story
      to this day.

      Ghorbanifar, however, laughs off that idea. "Run into each other? We
      had a prior arrangement," he told The Washington Monthly: "It involved
      a lot of discussion and a lot of people."

      Over the last year, the Senate Intelligence Committee has conducted
      limited inquiry into the meetings, including interviews with Feith and
      Ledeen. But under terms of a compromise agreed to by both parties, a
      full investigation into the matter was put off until after the
      November election. Republicans on the committee, many of whom
      sympathize with the "regime change" agenda at DoD, have been resistant
      to such investigations, calling them an election-year fishing
      expedition. Democrats, by contrast, see such investigations as vital
      to understanding the central role Feith's office may have played in a
      range of a dubious intelligence enterprises, from pushing claims about
      a supposed Saddam-al Qaeda partnership and overblown estimates of
      alleged Iraqi stocks of WMD to what the committee's ranking minority
      member Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D-W.Va.) calls "the Chalabi factor"
      (Rhode and others in Feith's office have been major sponsors of the
      Iraqi exile leader, who is now under investigation for passing U.S.
      intelligence to Iran). With the FBI adding potential espionage charges
      to the mix the long-simmering questions about the activities of
      Feith's operation now seem certain to come under renewed scrutiny.

      Research assistance provided by Claudio Lavanga.

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