The British secret service, known commonly, as MI6, has denied for years that its agents break the law, unlike the fictional character James Bond (who famously had a ‘licence to kill’).”I can say that assassination is no part of the policy of Her Majesty’s Government,” the agency’s former head, Sir Richard Love, said in a court hearing in 2008.
“No, it’s a complete myth,” an anonymous, serving MI6 officer told the BBC in 2006, (via Reuters)
“The job of the service is to obtain intelligence to inform British government policy and help prevent, for example, terrorist attacks and in doing that we work under UK law.”
Well, according to the Guardian’s Ian Cobain, that’s not quite true. Cobain points out that one section of the UK’s Intelligence Services Act 1994 does in fact permit murder, kidnap or torture — as long as it has been signed off on by a secretary of state.
And this isn’t just a fact for cinema buffs. Given MI6’s now notorious role in secret renditions — thought to have included torture and inhumane treatment — in Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya in 1994, the likelihood of charges being filed by British police against MI6 is rising.
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