17 SEPTEMBER –
BRITISH INTELLIGENCE SUCCEEDS IN ASSASSINATING THE UN GENERAL SECRETARY
17 September 1961 – Mounting evidence suggests the involvement of British intelligence services in the assassination of UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjold – who was killed along with 15 others – when his aircraft was downed shortly before midnight on its approach to Ndola in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). He was flying in an attempt to negotiate a settlement of the fighting over Katanga in the Republic of Congo, where powerful mining companies tied to US and European financial and strategic interests were backing secessionist forces. Katanga had vital strategic reserves of uranium. Historical documents confirm that at least one British agent was in the Ndola area at the time the Secretary General’s aircraft was downed. The UK has recently refused UN requests for the release of uncensored versions of documents from the National Archives.
LLOYD GEORGE PRAISES HITLER
17 September 1936 – Former prime minister Lloyd George wrote an astonishingly adulatory account of his impressions of Hitler in the Daily Express, which was featured across two pages of the newspaper under the headline “I talked to Hitler,” in which he compared the Fuhrer to George Washington. Hitler’s “resolute will” and “dauntless heart” had “rescued his country” from the “despair, penury and humiliation” of the preceding Weimar Republic. It seemed to the former prime minister that his virtues were virtually beyond reproach. “Not a word of criticism or of disapproval have I heard of Hitler. He is as immune from criticism as a king in a monarchical country. He is something more. He is the George Washington of Germany – the man who won for his country independence from all her oppressors.”
TONY BLAIR CAUTIONS BERLUSCONI NOT TO BE OVERLY CONCERNED ABOUT WAR CASUALTIES.
On 17 September 2001, six days after the attack on the World Trade Centre, Tony Blair’s director of communications Alastair Campbell commented in his diary that Tony Blair had lunch with Italian prime minister Silvio Burlusconi, Campbell noted that Burlusconi was ‘reasonably supportive of the idea of military action (against Afghanistan) “provided not too many people die.”
Blair, who had already decided to support an assault if the Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, appeared to be bewildered by Burlusconi’s halfhearted backing, and tried to persuade the Italian prime minister that “there was no such thing as a painless war” and explained that his main concern was with “people (who) show support up to the point where the shooting starts.”(1)
Alastair Campbell doesn’t mention whether Blair confided to Burlusconi that just two days earlier he had himself agreed with Campbell that the evidence against Blair wouldn’t stand up in a British court so that presumably Britain wouldn’t have handed over Osama bin Laden to the United States under an extradition request on the same grounds, although he now was arguing that they should embark on war with the Taliban which he himself was implying might involve a large loss of life, for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden, and without Britain or the United States even handing over the little evidence there was to support such a claim.(2)
- Alastair Campbell and Bill Hagerty (editors), (2013), “The Alastair Campbell Diaries: Volume 4 The Burden of Power: Countdown to Iraq,” Arrow Books, London p16
- Ibid p13