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Lobster Magazine

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Robin Ramsay, a member of this forum, is the editor of Lobster. First published in 1983, Lobster investigates state espionage, government conspiracies, the abuse of governmental power, and the influence of the intelligence and security agencies on contemporary history and politics.

Published in June and December, a year’s subscription costs: UK (£6.00), Europe (£9.00) and elsewhere (£10.00).

Lobster is now available online.


I have just received my copy of the current edition. As always, it contains lots of fascinating information.

Ultimate Sacrifice

The current edition of Lobster includes a long review of Lamar Waldron’s Ultimate Sacrifice. Robin Ramsay accepts Waldron’s theory that after JFK rejected Lansdale’s Northwoods proposal, he developed a more subtle and more internationally defensible plot in which the US military would intervene in Cuba to “stabilize” it after an internal coup (organized by the US) had got rid of Castro.

Ramsay says: “There has been a great deal of debate about the Kennedys’ role in the CIA plots against Castro, with Kennedyphiles trying to fend off the charges of Camelot’s involvement. This argument should now cease. The authors show beyond dispute, in overwhelming, almost tedious detail that the Kennedys were planning a coup which would result in Castro’s death.”

Ramsay is less impressed with what he describes as “an extremely intricate version of the Mafia-dunnit thesis”. He suggests that there were in fact several plots against JFK and is not convinced that the Mafia story is the one that killed him. As Ramsay points out: “Of mob or Cuban hitmen on Dealey Plaza – or in Chicago or Tampa – there is no evidence.”

Owen Oyston

According to Andrew Rosthorn, Owen Oyston, the British Labour Party’s biggest private contributor under Margaret Thatcher, was the target of a Tory conspiracy that resulted in him serving a six year sentence for the rape and indecent assault of a young woman.

The group of Tories involved in this conspiracy included three government ministers, Sir Robert Atkins, Lord Waddington and Lord Blaker, Bill Harrison (property developer), Christopher More (private detective) and Michael Murrin (political activist). As well as Oyston, the group also attempted to smear several Labour politicians based in Lancashire. Sir Allan Green, the Director of Public Prosecutions, refused to prosecute these men. Soon afterwards, Green was forced to resign after being observed talking to a prostitute on a London street.

The new DPP got the message and Operation Cheetah was launched. This police inquiry cost over £20m. However, it failed to obtain any convictions, although it did achieve a lot of bad publicity for people like Derek Hatton, a strong opponent of Thatcher, but he was eventually cleared of all charges.

Owen Oyston was convicted and served a six year period in prison. The Labour MP, Dale Campbell-Savours, has campaigned against his conviction. As he pointed out in the House of Commons in October 1998:

(1) No scientific evidence for rape exists.

(2) The police lost the original interview notes.

(3) The incident was not reported until two years after it took place.

(4) Miss J claimed that the rape and the sexual assault took place in 1991. The friend of Miss J, Lysa Rubotham, who was present throughout, insists that no rape took place.

(5) That the Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service concealed from his lawyers the fact that two documents in the possession could be used to prove his innocence.

William Colby

Michael Holzman has recently assessed the theory that William Colby was a Soviet spy. The original claim that Colby was a spy came from James Jesus Angleton. Mind you, according to Angleton, several CIA senior officials were spies and he leaked this information to several journalists. Richard Helms told his biographer, Thomas Powers (The Man Who Kept the Secrets) that Colby acts “as Director of Central Intelligence were entirely consistent with those of a man who was a Russian agent.” Helms of course was very angry with Colby for cooperating with the Congressional committees led by Frank Church and Otis Pike. In his own autobiography (A Look Over My Shoulder) Helms asks the question – “Was Colby America’s more successful Kim Philby?”

Holzman looks at the reasons why Colby was hated by both Angleton and Helms but fails to consider the connections with Watergate.

Colby appeared to have no chance of obtaining promotion while Richard Helms was Director of the CIA. However, everything changed when Nixon sacked Helms for refusing to cover-up the Watergate scandal.

In February, 1973, an outsider and Nixon supporter, James Schlesinger, became the new director of the CIA. Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

On 9th May, 1973, Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”.

There were several employees who had been trying to complain about the illegal CIA activities for some time. As Cord Meyer pointed out, this directive “was a hunting license for the resentful subordinate to dig back into the records of the past in order to come up with evidence that might destroy the career of a superior whom he long hated.”

It now became necessary to get Schlesinger removed from office. On 16th May, 1973, Deep Throat has an important meeting with Woodward where he provided information that was to destroy Nixon. This included the comment that the Senate Watergate Committee should consider interviewing Alexander P. Butterfield. Soon afterwards told a staff member of the committee (undoubtedly his friend, Scott Armstrong) that Butterfield should be asked to testify before Sam Ervin.

Nixon now realized he had gone too far and removed Schlesinger from his post. However, to maintain the pressure on the CIA, Nixon suggested Colby for the post. The reason for this was that Colby had convinced Schlesinger that he was in favour of revealing details of CIA’s dirty tricks.

This is no doubt true and this meant that the CIA now had a good reason to get rid of both Nixon and Colby.

On 25th June, 1973, John Dean testified that he believed Nixon's office might be bugged. On Friday, 13th July, Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. Butterfield now admitted details of the tape system which monitored Nixon's conversations. It was this disclosure that meant that Nixon would be forced to resign.

When in 1975 both houses of Congress set up inquiries into the activities of the intelligence community, Colby handed over to the Senate committee chaired by Frank Church details of the CIA's recent operations against the left-leaning government in Chile. The agency's attempts to sabotage the Chilean economy had contributed to the downfall of South America's oldest democracy and to the installation of a military dictatorship.

His testimony resulted in his predecessor, Richard Helms, being indicted for perjury. Colby was attacked by right-wing figures such as Barry Goldwater for supplying this information to the Frank Church and on 30 January 1976, President Gerald Ford replaced him with George H. W. Bush. Someone he knew would do everything he could to prevent disclosure of the CIA’s dirty tricks. After all, he had been involved with illegal CIA projects such as Operation 40 since 1960.

In retirement Colby published his memoirs Honorable Men. This resulted in him being accused of making unauthorized disclosures, and was forced to pay a $10,000 fine in an out-of-court settlement.

On 28th April 1996 William Colby went on a canoe trip at Rock Point, Maryland. His body was found several days later. Later police claimed that there was no evidence of foul play.

Princess Diana

Terry Hanstock has written an article updated the investigation into the death of Princess Diana. He points out that the media has shown a keen interest in the case. Patricia Cornwell went on “This Morning” (ITV 1, 10th November, 2005) to claim that Diana was the victim of a perfect crime. There have also been documentaries on her death on television: Channel 5 (2nd November, 2003), BBC2 (20th January, 2004) and Channel 4 (5th February 2004).

The Daily Express has taken a particular interest in the case. This is probably because the owner of the newspaper, Richard Desmond, is a close friend of Al Fayed.

The main surprise is that in December 2003, Michael Burgess, the H.M. Coroner for Surrey, asked the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to interview witness of his behalf. As a result, Sir John Stevens set up Operation Paget. Stevens decided to lead the investigations and recently he has been giving interviews suggesting that he has found important new evidence in the case. He has also said this is as a result of leads providing by Al Fayed. In an interview on the radio, Stevens claimed that Al Fayed had good reason to campaign for a fresh investigation into the death of Princess Diana. The preliminary report is due out very soon. One would expect another Warren Report but Stevens’ replies suggest otherwise.

One of the strangest aspects of the case concerns the embalming of Princess Diana’s body. The French authorities claim that the “decision to embalm the Princess and fly her back to Britain within hours of the tragedy was taken in London. The order was passed on to the French authorities by the British Ambassador Sir Michael Jay, presumably acting on the instructions of a higher authority.”

Jay denies that he made this request and claims the decision was made by the French.

Forensic experts from Glasgow University criticized the decision to embalm the top half of Diana’s body. “This is, in our experience, highly unusual.” It also makes the carrying out a post-mortem very difficult. These experts also pointed out that the “embalming fluids would make it difficult if not impossible to tell if Diana was pregnant or not.”

Appeasement: Neville Chamberlain’s Real Betrayal

A very important book, Hitler’s Spy Chief: The Wilhelm Canaris Mystety, was published in November, 2005. It received very little attention but it contained some very interesting new information about the relationship between the British government and Nazi Germany. The book is reviewed by Simon Matthews in Lobster.

The author, Richard Bassett, found some very interesting documents that helps to explain the peace negotiations that went on between the two governments. Bassett shows that in July, 1938, a powerful group from within Nazi Germany that included Canaris, were on the verge of overthrowing Hitler because they feared war with Britain and France. The British government became aware of this plot. However, they were determined that Hitler should not be removed from power. The reason, they were expecting Hitler to destroy communism in the Soviet Union.

Bassett argues that this was the reason the Neville Chamberlain decided to fly out to meet Hitler the day before the German Army intended to invade Czechoslovakia. He had never flown before, took no interpreter and did not speak German. By doing a deal with Hitler over Czechoslovakia he prevented the coup from taking place. Hitler did of course eventually head east but because of the Labour Party and Conservatives led by Winston Churchill, Chamberlain’s backfired when the House of Commons forced him to declare war on Germany over Poland.

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There is also a very good article by Daniel Hind entitled: "A Brief History of Christian Politics in the United States". The emergence of Billy Graham in the late 1940s was very important in creating a link between Christianity and the far right. He was only successful because of the support he received from media figures such as Henry Luce and William Randolph Hearst. Luce, of course, played an important role in funding those groups that started off trying to kill Castro and then switched their attention to JFK.

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