On This Day — Thatcher Names Blunt as “The Fourth Man” (November 16 1979) [2021]

“I believe Thatcher did it because she didn’t see why the system should cover things up. This was early in her prime ministership. I think she wanted to tell the civil service that the politicians decide policy, not the system. She wanted them to know who was the boss.”

Sir Bernard Ingham — Thatcher’s press secretary

November 16 2020 — On November 16 1979, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher named Sir Anthony Blunt — a former security service officer and personal adviser on art to the Queen —  as the “fourth man” in the Cambridge spy ring. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: Book Review — “Enemies Within: Communists, the Cambridge Spies and the Making of Modern Britain”

RELATED POST: Former Double Agent : “Self-destruction of humankind has been put back on the agenda”

RELATED POST: The search for the “Fifth Man” — Spooks and Chess Players

RELATED POST: UK — National Archives Release Prime Ministerial 1993 Papers, Withhold Lockerbie File

“There were revenge killings of British hostages organized by Libya, which I bitterly regretted. But the much-vaunted Libyan counter attack did not and could not take place (…) There was a marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in succeeding years.”

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher — The Downing Street Years (Memoirs 1993, pp 448-9)

UPDATE (November 16 2021) — So according to Sir Bernard Ingham, Thatcher didn’t see why the system should cover things up… Really? 

Tam Dalyell was MP for Linlithgow for 43 years and Father of the House of Commons when he retired from Westminster in 2005.

During an official dinner, Dalyell asked Thatcher why in 800 pages of her Memoirs, she did not mention Lockerbie once?’

Mrs Thatcher replied:

“Because I do not know what happened and I do not write about things that I do not know about.”

This answer can not be entirely true. In her memoirs — The Downing Street Years (Memoirs 1993, pp 448-9) — British prime minister Margaret Thatcher wrote:

“[Operation El Dorado Canyon] turned out to be a more decisive blow against Libyan-sponsored terrorism than I could ever have imagined. …

There were revenge killings of British hostages organized by Libya, which I bitterly regretted. But the much-vaunted Libyan counter attack did not and could not take place. (…)

There was a marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in succeeding years.”

Published two years after the indictment of Fhimah and Megrahi, Thatcher’s Memoirs is evidence that the Iron Lady was well aware that Libya had no involvement in the Lockerbie tragedy.

On July 24 2018, the UK National Archives released files from the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office predominantly covering the year of 1993. A Lockerbie file dated 1992-93 was however withheld.

Two years before, on November 2 2016, the UK Government [Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)] decided to withhold all Lockerbie air accident investigation reports [dating from 1990 Jan 01 to 1992 Dec 31] until at least 2026, and possibly indefinitely. Why on earth?

Why on earth would the UK Government decide to withhold these technical reports if they did not reveal foul play or gross incompetence?

RELATED POST: RELATED POST: Lockerbie — Why I ruled out the bomb theory [Technical Analysis of the Debris Lines]

If ever released, these reports will show that the AAIB investigators knew all along that there was no bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, and that they knew the real cause of the tragedy long before the crash even happened.

PS — Ask yourself a simple question. What did Thatcher actually mean when she wrote: “But the much-vaunted Libyan counter attack did not and could not take place.”

END of UPDATE

“Because I do not know what happened [at Lockerbie] and I do not write about things that I do not know about.”

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher

Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!

To make it easier for the readers to retrieve various chapters of my book, I have created a special page  “Lockerbie” where all the links to the chapters will be listed with a brief description. You can access that page directly as it appears at the far right of the top bar of this blog.

Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!

On November 16 1979, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher named Sir Anthony Blunt — a former security service officer and personal adviser on art to the Queen —  as the “fourth man” in the Cambridge spy ring.

The announcement – given in a written answer in the Commons – ended a 15-year cover-up.

Mrs Thatcher revealed he had confessed to the authorities in 1964 but under a secret deal was granted immunity from prosecution.

Minutes after the Prime Minister’s statement, Buckingham Palace said he was being stripped of his knighthood.

He had been part of a Cambridge spy ring made up of Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Harold “Kim” Philby – who was in charge of British intelligence’s anti-communist counter-espionage from 1944 to 1946.

Burgess and Maclean defected in 1951 following a tip-off from Philby, who himself defected to Moscow in 1963.

Blunt Outed as Soviet Spy – 1979 | Today In History | 15 Nov 1979  

On November 15, 1979, the British government publicly identified Sir Anthony Blunt as the “fourth man” of a Soviet spy ring. Here is Blunt’s public statement in the aftermath.

REFERENCES

Anthony Blunt — Wikipedia

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On This Day — Thatcher Names Blunt as the “Fourth Man” (November 16 1979)

40 Years Ago — Thatcher Names Blunt as the “Fourth Man” (November 16 1979)

On This Day — Thatcher Names Blunt as “The Fourth Man” (November 16 1979) [2020]

On This Day — Thatcher Names Blunt as “The Fourth Man” (November 16 1979) [2021]

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