James Oliver and my book on Cold War Propaganda got a strange kind of plug in Crace’s Digested Read in Guardian this morning. (Page 20)

Crace’s Digested Read

James Oliver (now a Panorama Producer) and my co-authored book on Cold War propaganda got a strange kind of plug this morning in Crace’s Digested Read (page 20) of Christopher Hitchen’s book in Guardian. All over the Orwell list that went to IRD and then MI5. Written by Hitch in 2002 and it still rumbles along.

Britain’s Secret Cold War Propaganda co-authored with James Oliver, published Oct 1998 by Sutton Pub Ltd.

PL has two page spread in the Indie on Brian Reader’s criminal past

Hatton Garden ringleader Brian Reader also masterminded Lloyds Baker Street heist 45 years ago

Brian Reader and family at Meribel ski resort 1982/3 and Reader on the beach shortly after Baker St robbery  1971 (Pix available from Independent syndication)

Reader family MeribelReader beach pixel

PL’s review of Gordon Carera’s book Intercept published in Ethical Space journal.

Intercept: The secret history of computers and
Gordon Corera
Weidenfeld and Nicholson, pp 432
ISBN 978 0 297 87173 6
The Snowden affair will be to national security
correspondents what Watergate was to investigative
journalists, a watershed moment. The
author of Intercept, Gordon Corera, is ideally
situated to report on both the before and after
of the Snowden revelations as he has been the
BBC’s security correspondent for the last twelve
years… (extract)

Can be found in latest edition of Ethical Space journal. Vol 12 No 3/4. Dec 2015

Spies and journalists: Towards an ethical framework? – abstract of my latest paper – Ethical Space

From the new volume of Ethical Space, The International Journal of Communication Ethics. Vol 12, Nos 3/4. pp 4-14. Just published


The publication by the Guardian in the UK from mid-2013 of secret intelligence documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was highly controversial. The newspaper was attacked by the UK government, intelligence chiefs, some other news media and a range of other critics for publishing the previously secret documents. The Snowden affair was just the latest episode where the news media sought to publish information about intelligence operations, usually revealing some area of significant concern, in the face of government objections. In each case negotiations between the state and the news media have been adversarial. At the heart of this reoccurring problem is the balance in liberal democracies between national security and the freedom of the press to inform the public over matters of concern. This involves a complex set of ethical issues. This paper seeks to lay out the ethical terrain for this discussion incorporating the emergent discipline of intelligence ethics. The paper also takes the first steps in discussing a bipartisan framework for an ethical relationship between intelligence agencies and the news media that would allow accurate information to enter the public domain without recklessly jeopardising legitimate national security. It examines the various bodies that could act as an honest broker between the two sides but concludes that identifying such an organisation that would be trusted at this time is difficult.

Keywords: spies, journalist, ethics, national security, press freedom

Ethical Space cover (1024x727)

PL has article on The Conversation on new released Nuclear Target documents.

 Stranger than Strangelove: how the US planned for nuclear war in the 1950s

December 28, 2015 10.25am GMT

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Those who have written about the nuclear Cold War remain grateful to Stanley Kubrick for giving us the satirical 1964 film Dr Strangelove which captures the madness that swept the world for 40 years. The name Strangelove may be overused but the United States has now released a secret file that really does justify the sobriquet: “Stranger than Strangelove”. Almost anodyne in title, Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959 is a truly shocking document, revealing the scale of the holocaust that would have been unleashed in a nuclear war.

To read the article click here