- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
- U.S. Navy admiral ‘receptive’ to giving Chinese counterpart a tour of carrier
- Islamic State orders female genital mutilation for Mosul girls, U.N. says
- U.N. school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed
- Obama encourages ICE to stand down, say former border agents
UK spies spill secrets in official history of MI6
Question of the Day
The book deflates some cherished myths. MI6 agents do not have a “license to kill,” although the agency compiled a list of possible Nazi assassination targets before the D-Day landings. It was judged that the plan was too risky and might spark bloody reprisals.
More happily for spy buffs, Q _ the gadget-making super-scientist from the Bond films _ is based on reality. After World War II, MI6 researchers worked on silent weapons, knockout tablets, safecracking tools and exploding filing cabinets that could destroy secret documents at short notice.
The book follows the publication last year of an official history of MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence service.
Jeffery said he struck a “Faustian pact” when he agreed to write the book. He could look at everything in the archives, but MI6 retained the power to censor what was published.
The book stops abruptly in 1949, but still represents a change of policy for an agency whose existence was only officially acknowledged in the 1990s.
John Scarlett, the former MI6 chief who commissioned the book, said it is intended to “promote well-informed understanding and public debate about MI6,” without compromising current operations or living agents.
There is unlikely to be a sequel.
“For MI6 this is an exceptional event,” said Scarlett, who stepped down last year as “C,” code-name for the agency’s head. “There has been nothing like it before and there are no plans for anything similar in the future.”
The book is published in Britain by Bloomsbury as “MI6” and in the U.S. by Penguin as “The Secret History of MI6.”
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare enrollees faking for freebies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq