All the News of the World What the Sunday newspapers said about David Shayler
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The Independent Culture
HAVE OFFICERS become entangled in plots to kill foreign leaders which have no official sanction? Few would lose too much sleep if Gadaffi, who supported the Lockerbie bombing, was blown up. It is important, however, to know if it was taxpayers' money that would have bankrolled it. A similar gag applies to Mr Shayler's charge of inefficiency in MI5's monitoring of the terrorist threat to Britain before the IRA ceasefire. It begs the question: are MI5 and MI6 under proper control, as ministers say? Or are there still rogue elephants roaming around, willing to cut corners and ignore the law, as they did when Harold Wilson suspected the worst in the Sixties?

The Sunday Times

MR SHAYLER does not appear to grasp the seriousness of what he is doing. The secret services are secret for good reasons. They depend upon a culture of complete trust, with no room for egotism or litigiousness - a culture which Mr Shayler evidently found unbearable. During the Cold War, British operatives could be put in danger by double agents who believed in a Communist future. Today, the threat comes from the testimonies of an unsuccessful former employee. For Mr Shayler appears to have no ambitions beyond vindictiveness, no motivation except solipsism, no cause higher than self-publicity. His criticisms of MI5 are trivial and often contradictory, and his claim somehow to be acting in the national interest is disgusting.

The Sunday Telegraph

NO ONE quarrels with the importance and necessity of the security services in protecting this country from terrorist attacks - a danger graphically highlighted by the horrendous explosions in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. No one doubts the bravery of its operatives or the need for secrecy to protect their lives and methods But as we know to our cost, their leaders and managers have often invoked the concept of national interest as a cynical device to escape embarrassment or avoid accountability. The Government's shoddy retreat on a Freedom of Information Bill underlines the point.

The Mail on Sunday

JUST IMAGINE how shocked we would be if MI5 did NOT have a plan to kill off Gadaffi, or Saddam Hussein - or had not had one for Hitler, for that matter. That's what MI5 is supposed to do. We expect its agents to get up to all kinds of skullduggery behind our backs, including bugging the Confessional or tapping our telephone lines.

Amanda Platell

The Express on Sunday