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UK cop who led CIA probe found dead


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UK top cop who led CIA probe found dead

Manchester Police Chief Who Cleared Britain of Helping Secret CIA Flights Is Found Dead

ROB HARRIS

AP News

Mar 11, 2008 13:45 EST

A city police chief who led an investigation into charges that Britain cooperated with secret CIA flights to transport terrorism suspects without formal proceedings has been found dead, his deputy said Tuesday.

Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd, 50, was found dead in Snowdonia, about 240 miles northwest of London, Deputy Chief Constable Dave Whatton said. He had been missing since going out for a walk Monday during his day off.

Whatton said the body, which was found Tuesday afternoon, had not yet been formally identified but he believed it was Todd.

He said a coroner's inquest would investigate the cause of death and did not give any further details.

Todd was elected vice president of the Association of Chief Police Officers of England and Wales in 2006, according to a biography on his Web site.

The association gave him the task of looking into accusations that Britain allowed the CIA to use the country's airports to fly terrorism suspects to other countries without any extradition hearings, a clandestine procedure known as "extraordinary rendition."

Todd's investigation concluded last June that there was no evidence to back the claim. Last month, however, Britain admitted one of its remote outposts in the Indian Ocean had twice been used by the United States as a refueling stop for the secret transfer of two terrorism suspects.

He and his wife had a daughter and twin sons.

Source: AP News

http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/UK_to...__03112008.html

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UK top cop who led CIA probe found dead

Manchester Police Chief Who Cleared Britain of Helping Secret CIA Flights Is Found Dead

ROB HARRIS

AP News

Mar 11, 2008 13:45 EST

A city police chief who led an investigation into charges that Britain cooperated with secret CIA flights to transport terrorism suspects without formal proceedings has been found dead, his deputy said Tuesday.

Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd, 50, was found dead in Snowdonia, about 240 miles northwest of London, Deputy Chief Constable Dave Whatton said. He had been missing since going out for a walk Monday during his day off.

Whatton said the body, which was found Tuesday afternoon, had not yet been formally identified but he believed it was Todd.

He said a coroner's inquest would investigate the cause of death and did not give any further details.

Todd was elected vice president of the Association of Chief Police Officers of England and Wales in 2006, according to a biography on his Web site.

The association gave him the task of looking into accusations that Britain allowed the CIA to use the country's airports to fly terrorism suspects to other countries without any extradition hearings, a clandestine procedure known as "extraordinary rendition."

Todd's investigation concluded last June that there was no evidence to back the claim. Last month, however, Britain admitted one of its remote outposts in the Indian Ocean had twice been used by the United States as a refueling stop for the secret transfer of two terrorism suspects.

He and his wife had a daughter and twin sons.

Source: AP News

http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/UK_to...__03112008.html

I will of course be keeping a close watch on this story. Police spokesmen yesterday were very keen to point out that his sucide had nothing to do with his police work. How can they know that?

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His friends have claimed that he was not the type to commit suicide. Those who saw him recently say that it was showing no sign of stress or depression. It is extremely rare for someone in a top job killing themselves unless they are about to be exposed for some kind of crime.

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It has just been announced that Michael Todd was upset because newspapers were just about to reveal his relationship with Angie Robinson, the chief executive of the Greater Manchester chamber of commerce. Why should he be upset by this you may ask? Well, Angie Robinson was the leader of the successful bid for the national "super casino" bid. If you remember, it was this project that got John Prescott into trouble because of his links to the American businessmen who was behind the Dome Casino bid. This was a project that for some reason Tony Blair was so keen on. Anyway, after the bad publicity, Blair could not give the contract to the Dome and was instead given to Manchester. It was believed that the same people behand the Dome bid were secret partners in the Manchester bid. However, when Brown replaced Blair he cancelled the casino contract. Todd was then chosen to investigate the CIA rendition flights. Todd eventually claimed that these CIA flights did not land in British territory. A couple of weeks ago it was revealed that Todd got it wrong. Not that this is appearing in any of the news reports. Todd was the idea person to carry out an investigation into the CIA as he could be blackmailed over his relationship with Robinson. It is also relevant how Brown and New Labour were quick to defend Iain Blair during his recent troubles. That is itself linked to the police investigations into corruption into New Labour. Todd seems to be the first victim of the close relationship between New Labour, the police, the CIA and the international gambling industry.

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UK top cop who led CIA probe found dead

Manchester Police Chief Who Cleared Britain of Helping Secret CIA Flights Is Found Dead

ROB HARRIS

AP News

Mar 11, 2008 13:45 EST

A city police chief who led an investigation into charges that Britain cooperated with secret CIA flights to transport terrorism suspects without formal proceedings has been found dead, his deputy said Tuesday.

Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd, 50, was found dead in Snowdonia, about 240 miles northwest of London, Deputy Chief Constable Dave Whatton said. He had been missing since going out for a walk Monday during his day off.

Whatton said the body, which was found Tuesday afternoon, had not yet been formally identified but he believed it was Todd.

He said a coroner's inquest would investigate the cause of death and did not give any further details.

Todd was elected vice president of the Association of Chief Police Officers of England and Wales in 2006, according to a biography on his Web site.

The association gave him the task of looking into accusations that Britain allowed the CIA to use the country's airports to fly terrorism suspects to other countries without any extradition hearings, a clandestine procedure known as "extraordinary rendition."

Todd's investigation concluded last June that there was no evidence to back the claim. Last month, however, Britain admitted one of its remote outposts in the Indian Ocean had twice been used by the United States as a refueling stop for the secret transfer of two terrorism suspects.

He and his wife had a daughter and twin sons.

Source: AP News

http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/UK_to...__03112008.html

I will of course be keeping a close watch on this story. Police spokesmen yesterday were very keen to point out that his sucide had nothing to do with his police work. How can they know that?

John:

You know too much about real history to ask a question like that. "They" always "know".

Dawn

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Guest David Guyatt
If you remember, it was this project that got John Prescott into trouble because of his links to the American businessmen who was behind the Dome Casino bid. This was a project that for some reason Tony Blair was so keen on.

The Casino Lords of Las Vegas and elsewhere had paid good money to have Super casino's established in the UK but Blair ran out of time and was obstructed. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown has been negotiating with the offshore internet gaming industry -- the gambling crooks that got thrown out of the US btw -- to bring them "on-shore" in the UK. The sticking point in these negotiations was the amount of tax the off-shore types would have to pay to gain government protection.

Thus a cynic would argue that this is a fight between two distinct groups in the gaming industry -- all of whom are crooks so far as I am able to see.

Perhaps our Manchester copper fell in with a bad crowd and made the wrong choice...

Edit = See: http://articles.taxationweb.co.uk/index.php?id=175

and

http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?article_id=50444

Edited by David Guyatt
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After inquiries in 2005 by the civil rights group Liberty about whether offences had been committed by the CIA if aircraft carrying terrorist suspects had touched down on British soil, Todd agreed to investigate on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers. He took the view that he could be independent because none of the airports involved fell within his own area of jurisdiction. In June 2007 Todd wrote to Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty’s director, explaining that, though “a good deal of time and effort has gone into looking at the evidence around rendition”, he did not believe that there was any basis for a police inquiry.

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Guest David Guyatt

The more I think about it, the more I have a growing suspicion that the rendition flights may not be at the core of Todd's bizarre death - but could have been the trigger than led to these events. It doesn't make any sense that he would kill himself because his report was found to be wrong. Although having been found wrong, he might have started questioning the sources of his information and issued threats in revenge for being misled -- and that in turn opened up other, older suppurating sores (and there are many very grievous ones extant).

We might do well not to forget the power of the Manchester underworld, once powerful enough to send the Krays twins packing never to return. The Quality Street Gang were enormously powerful and their political connections went straight to the top. Blackmail of Willie Whitelaw, then Thatchler's Home Secretary has been indicated in past matters. Ditto the QSG's connections to the Provisional IRA as well as a certain CIA armaments company that had alleged connections to PIRA. Nor should we forget the Stalker Affair, involving Todd's predecessor. Nor Pan Am fight 103 that (I understand) had a so far unpublished Manchester connection in the form of the Samsonite drugs suitcase switcheroo trick. All in all Manchester has a more than colourful history and Todd would've known what skeletons were concealed in what cupboard and, therefore, what skeleton to rattle to get immediate attention.

If Todd's death is not accidental, or suicide, then we have to conclude it was a professional killing made to look like suicide -- and that there is an associated media spin campaign in process to make it appear as suicide. This means the involvement of the state - probably in the form of the security service or something similar.

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Guest David Guyatt

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7298195.stm

Inquiry into police chief's death

The circumstances surrounding the death of Greater Manchester Police chief constable Michael Todd are to be investigated by another force.

Sir Paul Scott-Lee, chief constable of West Midlands Police, will be looking at whether Mr Todd's personal life had adversely impacted on his duties.

Mr Todd, a married father of three, was found dead on Snowdon, north Wales.

An inquest heard that the Mr Todd had more than the legal drink-drive limit of alcohol in his blood when he died.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary announced the inquiry by Sir Paul.

Mr Todd, 50, was found dead on Tuesday after being reported missing while out walking.

He lived in a flat in Manchester during the week and returned to his wife Carolyn, twin boys aged 13 and 16-year-old daughter in Nottinghamshire at weekends.

Mrs Todd paid tribute to a "loving father and husband", saying she and her children were struggling to come to terms with his death.

In a statement, she said: "I loved Michael very much and the last time I spoke to him he told me he loved me too."

She later agreed to the release of pictures of herself and appealed for the media to leave her and her family to grieve in private.

Manchester's Chamber of Commerce said it supported its boss Angie Robinson, following reports that she had been having an affair with Mr Todd.

Books of condolence have been opened at Manchester Cathedral and online at the Greater Manchester Police website.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/mar/15/4

Painful last hours of a tough officer who drove himself too hard

Manchester chief constable had reputation for tireless work and eventful love life

Ian Cobain

The Guardian, Saturday March 15 2008

Article history

Bwlch Glas is a bleak and beautiful place, a vast, exposed col that the Welsh ancients decided to call the Blue Pass. It can be a perilous expanse at the best of times: at 990 metres above sea level, it has been known to be affected by horizontal snow even in May.

But it is in winter that its extraordinary hazards usually make themselves known. The Snowdonia National Park's official advice is that Bwlch Glas needs to be "treated with respect".

This advice adds: "In winter, snow and ice make the slope particularly dangerous. There are fatal accidents here almost every year, and in such conditions, this part of the climb is best left to experienced walkers with proper equipment."

So last Monday afternoon, the day that meteorologists were predicting Britain would be struck by the worst storm of the season, Bwlch Glas was a place where nobody would venture unless they were utterly unschooled in Snowdonia's dangers, or suicidal.

Michael Todd, the chief constable of Greater Manchester, knew his mountains: he had been a keen climber for decades. And he knew Bwlch Glas intimately.

Not long ago he confided in a friend that his happiest memories were of climbing in the area as a young police cadet. "He truly loved the place," the friend told the Guardian.

When mountain rescue teams found Todd the following afternoon, he was lying face down on Bwlch Glas, wearing a thermal vest and fleece sweater, but no jacket. A partly consumed bottle of gin was found nearby. An inquest opened on Thursday to establish how he died, but his family, friends and colleagues are tormented by a different question: why?

When Todd arrived at Chester House, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) headquarters building south of the city centre, in October 2002, he was immediately seen by many as a welcome force for change.

At Scotland Yard he had been such an energetic, enthusiastic commander that his nickname had been Tigger. The trip up north, it seemed, had made him even more dynamic.

His rank-and-file officers found him to be candid, approachable, and interested in their daily concerns. He insisted on visiting almost every police station and meeting as many officers as possible, communicating his vision for the future. They were all going to be copper's coppers from then on, concentrating on traditional concerns, raising their visibility across the city and making that presence felt among its criminal classes.

He had a police radio fitted in his chauffeured car so he could remain tuned into GMP's most urgent messages. If he saw someone breaking the law his driver would be ordered to stop so that he could personally feel the offender's collar.

He listened to recordings of detective constables interviewing petty criminals, to check that they were doing the job as he would have done it. On the wall of his office was a photograph of him taken in Moss Side, clad in quasi-military body armour, surveying his domain like some medieval baron.

It was as if Todd was attempting to drive GMP forward, raise its standards, and improve its relationship with the people it served by sheer force of personality. One colleague said last week that Todd had been "a ball of fire every day". By Tuesday evening, his officers were thinking about how exhausting it must have been.

Todd, 50, had joined Essex police as a teenager in 1976. He took a degree and masters in politics before moving to Scotland Yard, where he rose rapidly through the ranks. He was appointed assistant chief constable of Nottinghamshire in 1995. When he returned to the Yard three years later his wife Carolyn chose to stay in the Midlands with their three children.

By the time he was appointed to the top job at Manchester he had a reputation as a womaniser. He moved into a flat, alone, in the city centre, and his eventful love life became an open secret across the force. There were stories of affairs with younger police officers, a married businesswoman was named in several newspapers last week, and a former journalist with a tabloid newspaper found herself being doorstepped by her erstwhile colleagues, eager to learn whether she too had been one of his conquests.

When Todd invited a group of journalists to meet him at a Manchester nightclub a few years ago, his senior officers arrived in blazers, shirts and ties. "He turned up in a Milk Tray man black polo-neck, black leather jacket and chinos," recalled one of those present. "And nobody seemed surprised when a woman civilian stroked his arm tenderly and said: 'Hello Chiefy.'" A GMP source said last week: "Police officers, businesswomen, whatever - it was just women. After all, he was fit, handsome, powerful, and didn't live with his wife. What do you expect?"

At weekends, Todd would drive to Nottinghamshire to be with his wife and twin sons, aged 13, and daughter, 16. While none of his colleagues believe a complicated love life would have driven him to suicide, few doubt that it must have added to the stresses he endured.

At Chester House a handful of people began to see glimpses of a man whose zestfulness was not boundless, who could slip into depression. One friend who dined with him before Christmas recalls that "he seemed to be really, really tired" and expressed disappointment in himself.

"He said he was working too hard to find time to go to the gym, and wasn't as fit as he thought he should be," she said. "He set himself very high standards, and he used to worry that he wasn't meeting them." On Monday, Todd told colleagues he was taking the day off. By the time he parked his Range Rover in Llanberis and began the ascent to Bwlch Glas, there could have been no more than three hours of daylight remaining. That evening, two women who had been close to him received mobile telephone text messages that sources at GMP say caused concern for his safety.

The last telephone mast to be in contact with his mobile had been on the Menai Straits, and early Tuesday morning a search was launched by North Wales police, helped by mountain rescue teams and the RAF.

That afternoon, walkers discovered some of his personal effects near Bwlch Glas, and at 3pm the rescue team found his body.

A rumour swept around GMP that he had plunged to his death, leading to headlines such as "Police chief throws himself off Snowdon" in the following day's newspapers. The coroner, Dewi Pritchard Jones, dismisses these reports as ridiculous - Todd was found nowhere near cliffs and suffered no significant injuries.

Tests are being conducted to establish whether he had taken any drugs. It is already clear, however, that he had been drinking. He had 105 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood: the legal limit for drivers is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres.

The pathologist, Dr Anthony Caslin, believes the level was probably up to 150 or 160 milligrams at some point before his death.

Todd would have known that alcohol can hasten the onset of hypothermia. Although a full inquest may not be held for some weeks, at Chester House it is widely believed that when the chief climbed up Bwlch Glas, he knew he was not coming down.

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According to an article in yesterday's Sunday Express, Todd's investigation of the secret CIA flights helped trigger the depression that resulted in his death. The article quotes an unnamed close friend who says that Todd "felt humiliated after it emerged he had been lied to while investigating if Britain had cooperated with secret CIA flights carrying terrorism suspects without extradition proceedings".

All the newspapers are very keen to push the suicide theory. Former girlfriends have come forward to claim that he threatened to take an overdose of pills if they talked to his wife or the press about his sexual relationships. The newspapers have argued that several journalists were investigating his sex life. They also point out that the husband of Angie Robinson had visited Carolyn Todd to tell her about her husband's affair with his wife.

However, he did not take pills like David Kelly. Instead, he walked up a mountain and drank half a bottle of gin, laid down in the snow and died.

It has also been revealled that he was having an affair with a crime journalist on a national newspaper. I wonder what he told her? Will she end up committing suicide as well?

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Guest David Guyatt
The article quotes an unnamed close friend who says that Todd "felt humiliated after it emerged he had been lied to while investigating if Britain had cooperated with secret CIA flights carrying terrorism suspects without extradition proceedings".

Humiliated? Furiously angry that he was purposely misled by those providing the evidence of "no evidence" of CIA rendition flights sounds far more likely. Thereafter an attempt at revenge and thereafter a long slow walk up a mountain in a storm to his death. I've climbed Snowdon and although it isn't a cake walk -- it can be climbed via the Watkins path without need for climbing gear/ropes etc. I just don't buy someone waking hours to near the top (but not the top) to drink a few swigs of gin, discard his outer protective clothing (in a wild storm), throw his blackberry and phone off to one side and then commit suicide by lying down and dying of exposure.

Meanwhile, does anyone know if he actually walked up Snowdon? There is a cog railway to the top and he was found very near the top. The railway runs from mid March through to November. the 10th March is barely mid March, but is in any case close enough for there to be pre-season test runs.

I wonder if he caught this train to a meeting that never was...

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