Written by Jeremy Paxman
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Sunday, 15 August 2010

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In a special broadcast tonight, we have invited Jonathan Evans, Director General of MI5, to respond to increasing pressure from senior doctors, lawyers, pathologists and indeed the general public for a new inquest and a full enquiry to be opened on the 'suicide' of Dr David Kelly along with full disclosure of Dr Kelly's autopsy report (which has never been made public and is not legally allowed to be made so for another 70 years).

For viewers unaware of events, Dr David Kelly was one of the world's foremost experts on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons who advised the British government on such matters, especially in relation to the war in Iraq and Sadam Husseins so called weapons of mass destruction (or as it turned out, weapons of mass distraction). Kelly was one of the main 'confidential' sources of Andrew Gilligan, then a BBC reporter, who revealed that Tony Blair's government had rewritten publicly-released intelligence provided by MI5 to make it "sexier" so they could in turn justify the 'illegal' invasion of Iraq in 2003. After Gilligan made his claim, Kelly was - with the help of MI5 - quickly identified as the source of the leak and within days - following intense government bullying by Labour, targeted media scrutiny and a stressful appearance before a skewed Parliamentary committee - he was found dead in the woods near his Oxfordshire home. The government quickly reinforced claims that he died of an apparent suicide havig slashed his ulnar artery and taken a pill overdose. They then attempted to destroy the very fabric of his whole character and career but claims of foul play have continually reared their head ever since.

Dr Kelly's embarrassing revelations had created a perfect storm of controversy at a very inconvenient moment for Downing Street which had in turn stirred up the wrath of New Labour's vengeful and ruthless propaganda machine. This lead to the inevitable show trial and hanging of a public servant with a fine reputation and a long record of diligence and competence by Labour.

So, Jonathan Evans, was Dr Kelly's death suicide?

Jonathan Evans: Of course, it's clear he died after slashing his own wrist and taking pills.

Jeremy Paxman: Well that's what the official account says but can you tell me then why there were no fingerprints on the knife used to cut his wrist or how he managed to take an overdose of pills when Dr Kelly suffered from an acute aversion to medicine that made swallowing any pills at all tricky for him? The considered medical expertise of doctors and pathologists is that they gravely doubt that the wound to Dr Kelly's wrist was big enough to be fatal anyway. How do you explain that?

Jonathan Evans: But the fact remains, he slashed his own wrist and he took an overdose of pills…there's simply no evidence that this was not the case.

Jeremy Paxman: Mr Evans, are you not perplexed by the lack of fingerprints on the knife?

Jonathan Evans: Not really, at the end of the day the knife was found in his left hand so it must have been the knife used to slash his right wrist.

Jeremy Paxman: Like the Hutton Report, you also confirm the knife was found in his left hand?

Jonathan Evans: Yes indeed, what's so odd about that?

Jeremy Paxman: Well for starters; Dr Kelly was right-handed. Upon examining the wound, leading doctors were incredulous that he would have thus had to slash awkwardly from left to right on his opposite (right) wrist to have cut into the ulnar artery to any depth. Furthermore, the knife which 'killed him' was a gardening knife according to Lord Hutton in his report and it was found to be completely blunt. Would you use a blunt gardening knife to kill yourself Mr Evans? Furthermore, would you do so using the 'wrong' hand? Would you slash upwards and away from yourself and manage to do so without leaving any fingerprints (although think about it, if you were right handed and were inflicting a wound on someone elses wrist to make it look like a suicide attempt, you would surely grab the right wrist with your left hand and then slice the knife left to right towards you - exactly as is this case with this wound)? Does this not all seem grossly far -fetched and very sinister to you Jonathan?

Jonathan Evans: Not at all Jeremy, I think the detectives and paramedics at the scene who found the murder were happy it was suicide...

Jeremy Paxman: Happy? Nonsense. The detectives and paramedics who were (very efficiently) led to the body by the volunteers who had been searching for Kelly admitted that there was "very little blood about" - at the scene anyway. One of the doctors currently demanding for the case to be re-opened, Dr David Halpin (former trauma consultant) said "arteries in the wrist are of matchstick thickness and severing them does not lead to life-threatening blood loss. To die from haemorrhage [as was claimed by the Hutton Enquiry], Dr Kelly would have had to lose about five pints of blood. It is unlikely from his stated injury that he would have lost more than a pint." One of the country's most respected vascular surgeons, Martin Birnstingl, also says that it would be virtually impossible for Dr Kelly to have died by severing the ulnar artery on the little finger side of his inner wrist: "I have never, in my experience, heard of a case where someone has died after cutting their ulnar artery. The minute the blood pressure falls, after a few minutes, this artery would stop bleeding. It would spray blood about and make a mess but it would soon stop." Lord Hutton's report contradicted all of this by concluding that Kelly had died from loss of blood and absolutely discounted the recollections of paramedics and detectives including Detective Constable Graham Coe, an experienced police officer, who confirmed the views of the other witnesses by saying "I certainly didn't see a lot of blood anywhere. There was some on his left wrist but it wasn't on his clothes. On the ground there wasn't much blood about, if any". The Hutton Report said there were bloodstains on a water bottle next to the corpse but DC Coe who found the bottle said "I didn't see any bloodstains on the bottle." His account matched that of two experienced paramedics at the scene, who said the lack of blood was puzzling. They said "it is incredibly unlikely he [Dr Kelly] died from the wrist wound we saw" and they have been backed by Dr Neville Davis MBE, a former president of clinical forensic medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine who said there would have been a "hell of a lot of blood" on the scientists clothes and the ground if he had died from a cut to the ulnar wrist artery (even if such a cut was highly unlikely to have been enough to kill him anyway).

Jonathan Evans: Well, I'm sure there's a logical explanation for all this Jeremy that rules out foul play and besides, he probably died from the tablets?

Jeremy Paxman: That's not what the very flawed and very tightly controlled Hutton Enquiry said but I do think I can agree with you on one thing there Jonathan because I too am absolutely certain there's a logical explanation to the death of Dr David Kelly and to me that's an explanation which entirely rules out suicide. You think he died from the tablets though?

Jonathan Evans: Well, the almost empty packet of Co-Proxamol found by Dr Kelly's side showed he had taken 29 of them...

Jeremy Paxman: Aside from being a huge leap of faith to assume the packet was full in the first place, I think you're severely flexing the facts here Evans. Only a single fragment of one single tablet was found in his stomach. The level of painkillers in his blood was at best a third of what is required to cause death in a newborn infant. The idea that a man like Dr Kelly would choose to end his life like that is preposterous. This was a scientist, an expert on drugs… surely if he was going to take a drug overdose he would have done a better job of it?

Jonathan Evans: Well, this was an unbalanced and discredited man caught in the midst of a deep scandal, who knows what he was capable of?

Jeremy Paxman: Bingo. That's exactly what I'm talking about...

Jonathan Evans: What?

Jeremy Paxman: The fact that the minute Dr David Kelly is mentioned, as was the case at the time, those in or linked to government immediately revert to type and cynically attempt to destroy the mans credibility and intentionally put into question his whole character. Despite what Labour would have had you believe; this was a good, honest man who was thrown to the wolves by Labour apparatchiks for undermining their flimsy arguments for war. A man caught in a battle of conscience who was I am ashamed to say betrayed by the BBC and their former journalist Andrew Gilligan . A man who put all of the governments carefully orchestrated war propaganda into jeopardy and who ultimately would have revealed further embarrassing facts before his convenient demise with the publication of a tell-all book. A man whose death was then conveniently shrouded in secrecy by the government following a 70 year gag-order placed on information about his autopsy and all other documents. His death certificate wasn't even signed by a doctor or a coroner and does not state a place of death....

Jonathan Evans: Ah, but that was done to protect his family you see...

Jeremy Paxman: Oh for christs sake Jonathan this is infuriating; do you seriously expect me to believe that Lord Hutton - acting for Tony Blair and the Labour government - had David Kelly's best family interests in mind when he sealed all the records (including his autopsy) for 70 years? Why is it that for such a sudden and high-profile death, Kelly's case has never been the subject of a full coroner's inquiry? Don't insult our intelligence Mr Evans - the fact is there is something exceptionally fishy here which is exactly why 13 respected doctors have now publically declared that it was medically impossible for Dr Kelly to have died in the manner he did and is exactly why they are mounting a high profile legal battle to overturn the suicide verdict and in doing so; demanding a proper inquest to be held - one that is hopefully less narrow than the last enquriy and one free from disgraceful political interference by Downing Street.

Jonathan Evans: I'm pretty sure the 13 respected doctors will soon change their opinions...

Jeremy Paxman: What's that supposed to mean?

Jonathan Evans: These things have a way of working themselves out Jeremy...

Jeremy Paxman: I think we all know what you are insinuating will happen Mr Evans, maybe they too will appear on a government hitlist like Dr Kelly?

Jonathan Evans: There's absolutely no evidence of government hitlists Jeremy...

Jeremy Paxman: Oh really? It would be an ideal opportunityto mention how even Princess Diana suspected she would die in a helicopter or car crash at the hands of MI5 but let's keep this on subject and say that I think Dr Richard Spertzel would say different...

Jonathan Evans: And Spertzel is who exactly?

Jeremy Paxman: You know exactly who Dr Richard Spertzel is Mr Evans so let's forego the faux coyness. For the sake of our viewers; Spertzel is a leading UN weapons inspector and former head of the UN Biological Section who worked closely with Dr Kelly in Iraq in the 1990s. Last night he added his voice to the growing clamour for a full inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly by also claiming Dr Kelly was on a 'hitlist' in the final years of his life and who has now written to the Attorney General about the 'mysterious circumstances' surrounding the death. To quote him directly: "I know that David, as well as myself and a couple of others, were on a hitlist. In late 1997, we were told by the Russian embassy in Baghdad. I had no idea what it meant but apparently David and I were high on the priority list."

Jonathan Evans: Well based on your premise, why haven't more scientists like David Kelly died mysteriously over the last decade then, surely we'd bump them all off?

Jeremy Paxman: I'm glad you said that Jonathan. Maybe you can explain then why it is then that 12 other well-known micro-biologists linked with germ warfare research like Dr Kelly was have died in the past decade. Five of them died when the Russian plane in which they were travelling from Tel Aviv to Siberia was mysteriously shot down on October 2001 over the Black Sea by an 'off-course' Ukrainian surface-to-air missile. Dr Kelly knew all the victims and asked MI5 and MI6 to find out more details but unsurprisingly - you drew a blank. Five weeks later, Dr Benito Que, a cell biologist who had been investigating how a virus like HIV could be genetically engineered into a biological weapon (and known to Dr Kelly) was found in a coma outside in the carpark of his lab and died in hospital. Officially, he suffered a heart attack but his family say he was struck on the head. Police refused to re-open the case. 10 days after his death, another friend of Dr Kelly died. Dr Don Wiley, 57, was one of America's foremost microbiologists and had a U.S. Government contract to create a vaccine against the killer Ebola fever and other so-called 'doomsday germs'. His rental car was found abandoned on a bridge across the Mississippi. The keys were in the ignition and the petrol tank full. There had been no crash, but Dr Wiley had disappeared. The FBI visited Wiley's laboratory and removed all his work. A month later his body was found 300 miles downstream, with evidence of severe head injuries. No forensic examination was performed and his death was ruled 'accidental'...

Jonathan Evans: All coincidence...

Jeremy Paxman: Let me tell you about the most mysterious death of them all… Dr Vladimir Pasechnik. He was a Soviet scientist who Dr Kelly knew well because he was a biochemist who had defected via the British Embassy in Paris back in 1989. Pasechnik was secretly whisked back to Britain and Dr Kelly was brought in to verify his various claims about the Soviets in relation to germ warfare. The two scientists became friends and soon - Vladimir had set up the Regma Biotechnologies laboratory, near the UK's own germ / chemical warfare base at Porton Down. He seemed healthy when he left work on the night of November 21, 2001. Returning home, the 64-year-old cooked supper and went to sleep. He was found dead in bed the next day. Officially, the reason given was a stroke although Wiltshire police later said his demise was 'inexplicable'.

Jonathan Evans: And your point is?

Jeremy Paxman: My point is that it is against this extraordinary background of highly suspicious deaths that Dr Kelly's own death occurred. It's little wonder then that Dr Kelly had himself begun talking about his body being "found dead in the woods" when he predicted that if Iraq was invaded, "I will probably be found dead in the woods."

Jonathan Evans: I think if you asked the average man on the street Jeremy whether they thought David Kelly died of suicide most people would agree...

Jeremy Paxman: Actually no. Despite the massive campaign of secrecy surrounding the death of Kelly, the misinformation pumped out about him and the repeated official line that he died of suicide - a poll for a recent BBC documentary on the subject suggested that a LOT of people don't think Kelly killed himself.

Jonathan Evans: I'd like to see that poll. And in particular, the names and addresses of the people who participated...

Jeremy Paxman: Again, there we go with the sinister threats Jonathan...

Jonathan Evans: We don't make threats at MI5 Jeremy, we...well let's just say we get the job done...

Jeremy Paxman: Well the Labour Government certainly liked to make threats. The day Dr David Kelly took (or was taken on) a short walk to his death in the Oxfordshire countryside, an unopened letter lay on the desk of his home study. Sent from the heart of the British Government, the pages were marked 'personal' and threatened the world-renowned microbiologist if he ever publicly opened his mouth again. It emerged at the Hutton inquiry into Dr Kelly's death that the letter contained threats demanding his future silence and that at the time; Dr Kelly had received a number of warning phone calls at his home from the MoD about his 'indiscreet behaviour'. But his downfall was that he was a brave man who would not be put off, bullied or silenced. He had started writing a book about all the preceding events not just to reveal the truth but also to act as a guarantee of his financial future, which he was understandably worried about given the threats made to him about his job and removal of his government pension.

Jonathan Evans: This is all fascinating Jeremy but how does any of that directly relate to MI5? Why am I - as head of MI5 - here?

Jeremy Paxman: Yeessss, that's exactly what I am leading up to Jonathan and I think we both already know the answer to that question. I could make a lot of claims here that I'm pretty confident would be very accurate but since people have a habit of dying whenever they make any claims against the Labour government or MI5 then I'll leave it for our viewers to work it out for themselves. I'm sure the fact that the whole scandal centered around Labour and the "sexed-up" MI5 document on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction has not gone unnoticed by our audience.

Jonathan Evans: So...please get to your point...

Jeremy Paxman: Well, it appears that when Dr David Kelly went for his walk on the fateful day, events were already in motion elsewhere. An hour before he left for his walk, at 2.30pm, a senior policeman sat down at his computer at Thames Valley Police headquarters in Oxfordshire. He began to create a restricted file on his secure computer. Across the top he typed a code name: "Operation Mason". Although its contents have never been made public, it would detail the overnight search for Dr Kelly. Incredibly, he created this file an hour before the scientist had even left home. After Dr Kelly's corpse was 'found' at 8.30am by the volunteer searchers, the senior policeman made his last Operation Mason entry. It simply states: "9.00am. 18.07.03. Body recovered". Most intriguingly, at 8am, half an hour before Dr Kelly's body was discovered under the tree, three officers in dark suits from MI5's Technical Assessment Unit were already at his house. The computers and the hard-disk containing the 40,000 words of the explosive book he was writing were carried away and they have never been seen since. Furthermore, at the scene of the body, the existence of a suited 'third man' alongside DC Colin Shields and his partner has been cited by volunteers who had helped find the body who claim he was from the security services. Hmmmm, how very symmetrical...

Jonathan Evans: I think it's time for this interview to end Jeremy...

Jeremy Paxman: Jonathan - who are these large men coming into the studio?

Jonathan Evans: Come with us Jeremy, we're going on a ride to the woods...

Jeremy Paxman: I don't want to go to the woods Jonathan...I'm scared...what are those syringes for?

Jonathan Evans: Yes you do. Now don't forget your gardening knife Jeremy...

And on that bombshell, the interview was ended. Usually, we would say who Jeremy is interviewing on the next programme but since he left with those nice men from MI5 we haven't seen him...

The writer would like to stress that he too believes the people at MI5 and MI6 are awfully nice and pleasant guys who are clearly incapable of killing anyone or doing anything bad whatsoever to anyone ever.

Anyway, that's my doorbell ringing, I better go and see who it is...

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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