Thursday, March 31, 2011

' T H E   C A M I L L A G A T E   T A P E S '

Full Transcript of a telephone conversation between Prince Charles and 
Camilla Parker Bowles the 45 year old wife of a bridadier.

The six minute bedtime conversation is said to be recorded by a scanner user
on December 18th 1989. There are also reports that infact the conversation
was recorded by MI5 at GCHQ and re-broadcasted several times in the hope
a scanner user would record it and leak it to the papers. There is also
reports that infact 27 other similar tapes exist in the MI5 vaults.

First published in an Australia Magazine 'New idea' and then followed by press
in Germany, America, Italy, Switzerland and Ireland. It was then published
in the Daily Sport circulation 210,000 and Kent Today Circulation 34,000.
It was also widely faxed from machine to machine in the House of Commons,
Business centres and in the civil service around the U.K including the
security services of course.

Finally two major newspapers the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People printed in
it full on 17th January 1993 making it available to the millions.

Now it's available to you for no charge, See what you think.

The tape begins a small way though the conversation and lasts six minutes
until Charles hangs the phone up.

Charles: He was a bit anxious actually

Camilla: Was he?

Charles: He thought he might of gone too far.

Camilla: Ah well.

Charles: Anyway you know that's the sort of thing one has to beware of. And
         sort of feel one's way along with - if you know what I mean.

Camilla: Mmmm. You're awfully good feeling your way along.

Charles: Oh Stop! I want to feel my way along you, all over you and up and
         down you and in and out...

Camilla: Oh!

Charles: Particularly in and out!

Camilla: Oh. that's just what I need at the moment.

Charles: Is it?

At this point the scanner enthusiast speaks over the couple to record the

Scanner Enthusiast: December 18th

Camilla: I know it would revive me. I can't bear a Sunday night without you.

Charles: Oh, God.

Camilla: It's like that programme Start the Week. I can't start the week without you.

Charles: I fill up your tank!

Camilla: Yes, you do

Charles: Then you can cope.

Camilla: Then I'm all right

Charles: What about me? The trouble is I need you several times a week.

Camilla: Mmmm, so do I. I need you all the week. All the time.

Charles: Oh. God. I'll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be
         much easier!

Camilla: (laughing) "what are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers?

Both laugh

Camilla: Oh, You're your'e going to come back as a pair of knickers.

Charles: Or, God forbid a Tampax. Just my luck! (Laughs)

Camilla: You are a complete idiot (Laughs) Oh, what a wonderful idea.

Charles: My luck to be chucked down the lavatory and go on and on forever
         swirling round on the top, never going down.

Camilla: (Laughing) Oh, Darling!

Charles: Until the next one comes through.

Camilla:  Oh, perhaps you could come back as a box.

Charles: What sort of box?

Camilla: A box of Tampax, so you could just keep going.

Charles: That's true.

Camilla: Repeating yourself...(Laughing) Oh, darling I just want you now.

Charles: Do You?

Camilla: Mmmmm

Charles: So do I!

Camilla: Desperately, desperately. Oh, I thought of you so much at Yaraby.

Charles: Did you?

Camilla: Simply mean we couldn't be there together.

Charles: Desperate. If you could be here - I long to ask Nancy sometimes.

Camilla: Why don't you?

Charles: I daren't

Camilla: Because I think she's in love with you.

Charles: Mmm.

Camilla: She'd do anything you asked.

Charles: She'd tell all sorts of people.

Camilla: No, she wouldn't because she'd be much too frightened of what
         you might say to her. I think you've got - I'm afraid it's a
         terrible thing to say - but I think , you know, those sort of people
         do feel very strongly about you. You've got such a hold over her.

Charles: Really?

Camilla: And you're..... I think, as usual, you're underestimating yourself.

Charles: But she might be terribly jealous or something.

Camilla: Oh! (Laughs) Now that's a point! I wonder, she might be, I suppose.

Charles: You never know, do you?

Camilla: No, The little green eyed monster might be lurking inside her. No,
         But I mean the thing is your'e so good when people are so flattered
         to be taken into your confidence, but I don't know they'd betray
         you. You know, real friends.

Charles: Really?

Camilla:  I don't (Pause)

Camilla:  Gone to sleep?

Charles: No, I'm here.

Camilla: Darling, listen I talked to David tonight again. It might not be
         any good.

Charles: Oh, no!!

Camilla: I'll tell you why. He's got these children of one of those Crawley
         girls and their nanny staying. He's going. I'm going to ring him
         again tomorrow. He's going to try and out them off till Friday. But
         as an alternative, perhaps I might ring up Charlie.

Charles: Yes

Camilla: And see if we could do it there. I know he is back on Thursday.

Charles: It's quite a lot further away.

Camilla: Oh, is it?

Charles: Well, I'm just trying to think. coming from Newmarket.

Camilla: Coming from Newmarket to me at that time of night, you could
         probably do it in two and three quarters, It takes me three.

Charles: What to go to, Um, Bowood?

Camilla: Northmore.

Charles: To go to Bowood?

Camilla: To go to Bowood would be the same as the same as me really,
         wouldn't it?

Charles: I mean to say, you would suggest going to Bowood, uh?

Camilla: No, not at all.

Charles: Which Charlie then?

Camilla: What Charlie do you think I was talking about?

Charles:  I didn't know, because I thought you meant.....

Camilla: I've got lots....

Charles: Somebody else.

Camilla: I've got lots of friends called Charlie.

Charles: The other one, Patty's.

Camilla: Oh! Oh!, There! Oh that is further away. They're not....

Charles: They've gone.....

Camilla: I don' know. it's just, you know, just a thought I had,
         If it fell through, the other place.

Charles: Oh, Right. What do you do? Go on the M25 then down the M4 is it?

Camilla: Yes, you go, um, and sort of Royston or M11, at that time of night.

Charles: Yes, well, that'll be just after shooting anyway.

Camilla: So it would be, um, you'd miss the worst of the traffic. Because
         I'll er.... You see the problem is I've got to be in London
         tomorrow night.
Charles: Yes

Camilla: Would you believe it? Because, I don't know what he's doing. He's
         shooting down here or something. but, darling, you wouldn't be able
         to ring me anyway,  would you?

Charles: I might just, I mean, tomorrow night I could have done.

Camilla: Oh Darling, I can't bear it. How could you have done tomorrow night?

Charles: Because I'll be (Yawns) working on the next speech.

Camilla: Oh no, what's the next one?

Charles: A Business in The Community one, rebuilding communities

Camilla: Oh no, when's that for?

Charles: A rather important one for Wednesday.

Camilla: Well at least I'll be behind you.

Charles: I know.

Camilla: Can I have a copy of the one you've just done?

Charles: Yes

Camilla: Can I? um, I would like it.

Charles: OK, I'll try and organize it.

Camilla: Darling

Charles: But I, oh God, when am I going to speak to you?

Camilla: I can't bear it... Umm.......

Charles: Wednesday night?

Camilla: Oh, certainly Wednesday night. I'll be alone, um, Wednesday,
         you know, the evening. Or Tuesday. while you're rushing around doing
         things I'll be, you know, alone until it reappears.
         And early Wednesday morning, I mean, he'll be leaving at half past
         eight, quarter past eight. he won't be here Thursday, pray God. Um,
         that ambulance strike, it's  a terrible thing to say this, I suppose
         it won't have come to an end by Thursday,

Charles: It will have done?

Camilla: Well, I mean I hope for everybody's sake it will have done, but I
         hope for our sakes it's still going on.

Charles: Why?

Camilla: Well, because if it stops he'll come down here on Thursday night.

Charles: Oh no.

Camilla: Yes, but I don't think it will stop, do you?

Charles: No, neither do I. just our luck.

Camilla: It just would be our luck, I know.

Charles: Then it's bound to.

Camilla: No it won't. You mustn't think like that. You must think positive.

Charles: I'm not very good at that.

Camilla: Well  I'm going to. Because if I don't, I'd despair. (Pause)
         Hmmm  -  gone to sleep?

Charles: No, How maddening.

Camilla: I know, Anyway, I mean  he's doing his best to change it, David .
         But I just thought, you know, I might ask Charlie.

Charles: Did he say anything?

Camilla: No, I hav'nt talked to him.

Charles: You havn't?

Camilla: Well I talked to him briefly, but you know, I just thought I -
         I just don't know whether he's got any children at home, that's the

Charles: Right.

Camilla: Oh, Darling. I think I'll .............

Charles: Pray just Pray.

Camilla: It would be so wonderful to have just one night to set us on our
         way, wouldn't it?
Charles: Wouldn't it? To wish you a Happy Christmas.

Camilla: (Indistinct) Happy. Oh, don't let's think about Christmas. I can't
          bear it. (Pause)  Going to go to sleep ? I think you'd better,
          don't  you darling?

Charles: (Sleepy) Yes, Darling?

Camilla: Will you ring me when you wake up?

Charles: Yes I will.

Camilla: Before I have these rampaging children around. It's Tom's birthday
         tomorrow. (Pause) You all right?

Charles: Mmm. I'm all right.

Camilla: Can I talk to you, I hope, before  those rampaging children....

Charles: What time do they come in?

Camilla: Well usually Tom never wakes up at all, but as it's his birthday
         tomorrow he might just stagger out of bed. It won't be before half
         past eight. (Pause)  Night, night, my darling.

Charles: Darling.....

Camilla: I do love you.

Charles: (Sleepily) Before...

Camilla: Before half past eight.

Charles: Try and ring?

Camilla: Yeah, if you can. Love you darling.

Charles: Night, Darling

Camilla: I love you.

Charles: I love you too. I don't want to say goodbye.

Camilla: Well done for doing that. You're a clever old thing.
         An awfully good brain lurking there, isn't there? Oh, darling, I
         think you ought to give the brain a rest now. Night, Night.

Charles: Night darling, God bless.

Camilla: I do love you and I'm so proud of you.

Charles: Oh, I'm so proud of you.

Camilla: Don't be silly. I've never achieved anything.

Charles: You're greatest achievement is to love me.

Camilla: Oh, darling easier than falling off a chair.

Charles: You suffer all these indignities and tortures and calumnies.

Camilla: Oh, darling don't be so silly I'd suffer anything for you. That's
         love. It's the strength of love. Night, night.

Charles: Night darling. Sounds if you're dragging an enormous piece of string
         behind you, with hundreds of tin pots and cans attached to it. Night
         night, before the battery goes. (Blows kiss) Night.

Camilla: Love you.

Charles: Don't want to say goodbye.

Camilla: Neither do I, but you must get some sleep, Bye.

Charles: Bye, darling.

Camilla: Love you.

Charles: Bye.

Camilla: Hopefully talk to you in the morning.

Charles: Please.

Camilla: Bye, I do love you.

Charles: Night.

Camilla: Night.

Charles: Night.

Camilla: Love you forever

Charles: night.

Camilla: G'bye. bye my darling.

Charles: Night.

Camilla: Night, night.

Charles: Night.

Camilla: Bye bye.

Charles: Going.

Camilla: Gone.

Charles: Going.

Camilla: Gone

Charles: Night.

Camilla: Bye, Press the button.

Charles: Going to press the tit.

Camilla: All right darling, I wish you were pressing mine.

Charles: God, I wish I was, Harder and harder.

Camilla: Oh, darling.

Charles: Night.

Camilla: Night.

Charles: Love you.

Camilla: (Yawning) Love you. Press the tit.

Charles: Adore you. Night.

Camilla: Night.

Charles: Night.

Camilla: (Blows a kiss)

Charles: Night.

Camilla: G'night my darling, Love you.

Charles then finally hangs up the phone....

Phone hacking of the Royals: Prince Charles reportedly talking to Camilla on the phone, said to her, "In my next life, I want to come back as your Tampax".

The police chief who headed Scotland Yard's inquiry into phone-hacking dined with the News of the World at the height of his criminal investigation into the newspaper.

The sensitively timed meeting between then Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and the NOTW was left off lists of contacts between senior officers and the paper's owner sent to the Metropolitan Police Authority. Its disclosure in a Freedom of Information request prompted claims that the force had an unduly "cosy relationship" with Rupert Murdoch's print empire News International (NI).

Mr Hayman enjoyed three lunches and two dinners with the NOTW in the two years ending in 2007.

One dinner was on 25 April 2006, four months after the Royal Family alerted the Yard to the loss of personal data about Princes William and Harry and four months before anti-terrorist police raided the offices of the NOTW's royal editor Clive Goodman and its private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, in August 2006.
Mr Hayman, who joined the NOTW's sister paper The Times as a columnist after retirement, said he could not remember with whom, or in what circumstances, he had the dinner. He said he could not comment without knowing the details.

His investigation into the NOTW's suspected hacking of the phones of celebrities and politicians was scorned by MPs for failing to interview figures including chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck. Sue Akers, who is leading a new police inquiry, reportedly told one alleged victim, John Prescott, she was "not satisfied" with the original inquiry.

Last night the Met issued a statement saying: "Andy Hayman was the Metropolitan Police and Acpo lead for counter-terrorism, and this area of high public interest and concern was his main purpose for meeting with the media. All hospitality must be recorded and these meetings with NI were recorded in the hospitality register."

The MP Tom Watson said: "It is utterly unbelievable a senior investigating officer could think it appropriate to socialise with executives from an organisation he was investigating. We need to know who knew, who was there and what was discussed."

Two months ago, the Met disclosed that Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson had dined with the NOTW seven times between 2006 and 2010, during which time his force turned down calls for the hacking investigation to be reopened. This week it disclosed a further 20 meetings with NI, including a lunch Mr Hayman enjoyed at The Times in February 2006, while he was investigating its sister title.

Neither list disclosed his five NOTW engagements: two dinners in November 2005 and April 2006, and three lunches in March, September and November 2007. Acting Commissioner Tim Goodwin described the failure to list them as "an oversight".

Liberal Democrat MPA member Dee Doocey said: "It is extraordinary that when serious allegations about illegal phone-hacking relating to the News of the World were still unresolved, the Commissioner and senior officers thought it was acceptable to devote so much time networking with senior executives of News International. I have real concerns about the appropriateness of such a cosy relationship."

How Andy Hayman ended up on Murdoch's payroll

Andy Hayman took charge of the phone hacking investigation in December 2005 because the publication of personal details about the Royals had caused security concerns.

The Assistant Commissioner was the UK's top counter-terrorism officer. His inquiry led to the conviction of Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman – which he said sent a strong message to journalists.

But his investigation was criticised by the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee for not going far enough, failing to look into Mr Mulcaire's contract and an emailed transcript marked "for Neville". The MPs said: "The Metropolitan Police's reasons for not doing so seem to us to be inadequate."

Mr Hayman resigned in 2007, complaining about "unfounded allegations" over his expenses and an alleged relationship with a junior officer. He became a columnist on The Times, the NOTW's sister title.

Phone hacking: Met police fail in attempt to halt solicitor's libel action

Phone hacking: Met police fail in attempt to halt solicitor's libel action Scotland Yard could face embarrassing trial in case launched by lawyer who claims email accused him of lying to Parliament

Share4  James Robinson, Thursday 31 March 2011 17.15 BST Article history
The high court ruling means Scotland Yard could face an embarrassing trial. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

A high court judge has rejected an attempt by the Metropolitan police to halt a libel action brought by a solicitor who acts for several alleged victims of phone hacking by the News of the World.

The ruling by Mr Justice Tugendhat means Scotland Yard could face a potentially embarrassing trial.

Mark Lewis, a consultant to Taylor Hampton solicitors, is suing the Met over an email it sent to the Press Complaints Commission in November 2009.

The email, sent by a lawyer at Scotland Yard in response to a request from the PCC, said that Lewis had "wrongly quoted" a police officer, Mark Maberly, in evidence given by Lewis to a committee of MPs. Lewis alleges that the email in effect accuses him of lying to Parliament.

Lewis had previously told the Commons culture, media & sport select committee in September 2009 that a police officer, Mark Maberly, had told him that "there was evidence about ... something like 6,000 people were involved [in phone hacking]".

The disputed conversation between Lewis and Maberly took place at the time of a court case involving Gordon Taylor, one of Lewis's clients, who successfully took legal action against the News of the World after it admitted Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working on its behalf, hacked into his mobile phone.

The legal battle goes to the heart of the phone-hacking affair because it suggests that the Metropolitan police held evidence which suggested thousands of public figures had been targeted by Mulcaire but failed to act on it.

A 2006 investigation into phone hacking resulted in the convictions of Mulcaire and Clive Goodman, a former royal editor at the News of the World, but senior Scotland Yard figures insisted there was nothing to suggest more than a small number of people had their phones hacked.

Lewis's action also threatens to further embarrass the PCC chair, Baroness Buscombe, who has made a statement in open court and paid £20,000 in damages to settle his libel claim.

Lewis began action against the Met, the PCC and Buscombe in April 2010, five months after the PCC chair delivered a speech in which she alluded to the email from the Met, telling an audience of newspaper editors Scotland Yard had confirmed to the PCC that Maberly had been "wrongly quoted".

Rejecting the Met's application for the case to be struck out, Tugendhat said in his ruling that, although the email didn't mention Lewis by name, "The words complained of as against the MPS are capable of bearing the meaning attributed to them [by Lewis]."

Tugendhat also said in his ruling he would allow Lewis to amend his claim to include comments Buscombe made in an Radio 4 interview in February in which she said: "I made a statement which I thought was absolutely the right thing to do at the time ... we don't know yet whether it's wrong. We have no idea."

Lewis said today: "Buscombe was calling me a liar. I think now people are starting to think I might have been the one who is telling the truth."
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Squidgygate and THE SUN

Squidgygate revisited

by Garrick Alder

[ strangeness | opinion - february 04 ]
Any sentence containing the words "conspiracy" and "Princess Diana" is liable to cause jeers and catcalls, almost before the sense of the sentence in question has been absorbed. And yet, for all the controversy over Diana's death in 1997, rumbling away in the background has been a "Diana Conspiracy" of a rather different nature. Moreover, it's a conspiracy that's real, proven, tells us more about the workings of the British state than we can comfortably live with, and which casts interesting light on Diana's death. It begins in January 1990, in the small rural town of Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
The Sun's reporters knew they were sitting on dynamite. Two days earlier, on yet another of those cloak-and-dagger assignments so familiar to reporters, they had met Cyril Reenan six miles from his home, in the parking bay of Didcot railway station. There, Reenan had played them excerpts from the tape without having previously told them what he had recorded [1]. Now the excited hacks were being shown round Reenan's decidedly home-made eavesdropping studio: "Above the scanners was a 1960s-style tape recorder with a microphone dangling down above the scanning equipment so that the couple could tape 'interesting' conversations." Reenan was clearly rather jittery about his find. He was "so nervous I just want you to take the tape away."
"I didn't know what to do with it once I'd got it. I was stuck with it, and I was frightened of it,' he was quoted as saying, claiming that if the paper had told him that "the tape was 'dangerous', I would have burned it or scrubbed it out." [2]
Cyril Reenan, a 70-year-old retired TSB manager, regularly listened in on non-commercial radio frequencies for amusement with his wife, in much the same way that some people (illegally) listen to police frequencies using household radio sets. Ironically, Reenan was also a generous organiser of trips for disabled youngsters, and had previously been the recipient of a modest award from the Princess of Wales's Charities Trust [3]. But Reenan had developed a fascination into a fine art, spending £1,000 on sophisticated scanning equipment and a 20-ft aerial. It was while fiddling with his equipment one night a few weeks before that he had heard the conversation crackling across the air.
Reenan, a self-confessed "Royalist by conviction", claimed that he had been so worried by the evident security breach that he had first thought of attempting to gain an audience with Diana, to warn her of her unsecured conversations: "I could have used a code-word, perhaps the nickname Squidgy... I was trying to save her face in a way." Latterly, however, human nature prevailed: having thought on it "for a day, at least", Reenan decided that he "would not get to see Diana." So he "rang the Sun instead."
Published in the Sun on 23 August, 1992, "Squidgygate" was the front-page revelation of a tape-recording of Princess Diana talking to a close friend, who later turned out to be James Gilbey, heir to the eponymous gin fortune. A special phone line allowed thousands of callers to hear the contents of the 30-minute tape for themselves, at 36 pence per minute.
The tape began in mid-conversation with the man asking: "And so, darling, what other lows today?" To which the woman replies: "I was very bad at lunch, and I nearly started blubbing. I just felt so sad and empty and thought 'bloody hell, after all I've done for this fucking family' [4]. It's just so desperate. Always being innuendo, the fact that I'm going to do something dramatic because I can't stand the confines of this marriage [..] He makes my life real torture, I've decided."
Gilbey, who initially denied the Sun's charges, was a 33-year-old Lotus car-dealer who had been a friend of Diana's since childhood. Their conversation, which took place on New Year's Eve 1989, was wide-ranging.
The conversation covered topics as diverse as the BBC soap opera 'EastEnders', and the strange looks that Diana received from the Queen Mother: "It's not hatred, it's sort of pity and interest mixed in one [..] every time I look up, she's looking at me, and then looks away and smiles". (Interestingly, in view of a fascination with clairvoyance that was later to become well-known, Diana was also heard explaining how she had startled the Bishop of Norwich by claiming to be "aware that people I have loved and [who] have died [...] are now in the spirit world, looking after me.") [5]
Diana expressed worries about whether a recent meeting with Gilbey would be discovered. She also discussed a fear of becoming pregnant, and Gilbey referred to her as "Darling" 14 times, and as "Squidgy" (or "Squidge") 53 times. Post-Clinton, it may seem hard to believe that "Squidgygate" should have been regarded as so toxic, but the damage was done. Diana's split from Charles was all but official. And, whatever the truth was concerning Diana's relationship with Gilbey, the way in which the release of the tape altered public perceptions of the Queen-in-waiting cannot be disputed.
At the time, the Prince and Princess of Wales, engaged in acrimonious and messy pre-divorce proceedings, were involved in a protracted battle for public sympathy which became known as the "War of the Waleses". The Duke and Duchess of York had separated months before, and now all eyes were on the next King and Queen, whose marriage had been the subject of rumour for years. Speculation in the media - and in court circles - reached fever pitch. In his memoirs, Diana's private secretary Patrick Jephson recounts a fraught game of media one-upmanship by the feuding couple: secret briefings to friendly journalists, open collaboration with TV documentaries, and separate appearances at different public events on the same day were just some of the many strategies with which Charles and Diana attempted to force each other out of the limelight. Jephson recalls that the atmosphere at Kensington Palace at the time was "like a slowly-spreading pool of blood leaking from under a locked door [6]."
Throughout 1991 and into 1992, Diana had been involved in secret co-operation with a previously little-known court correspondent called Andrew Morton. The result of this liaison was the scandalous book Diana: Her True Story, which - although obviously biased because of the close involvement of the Princess - revealed in graphic detail the previously-hidden disaster that the Waleses's marriage had become. Diana's bulimia, suicide attempts and self-mutilation were spelt out unambiguously, as were Charles's relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, and the intrigues of Palace officials in attempting to contain the disintegrating Royal marriage.
Early in 1992, if Princess Diana herself is to be believed, several senior members of the Queen's household staff had met with Diana and told her of the existence of tape-recordings of her conversations at Kensington Palace. It was said to her that these tapes contained "damning evidence" of the Princess's relationship with the media. She was told that the Prime Minister (then John Major MP) had been informed, and that she would be given her own copy of the tapes in due course. A sympathetic courtier confirmed to Princess Diana that the tapes did indeed exist. But the day after the meeting, Diana was told that the tapes couldn't be used against her. She was advised that she should forget about them [7].
Diana's careful efforts to make sure that Morton's revelations were not traceable directly to her - which included using a friend, James Coldhurst, to run Dictaphone recordings to Morton [8] - paid off. Even Jephson was unaware of her actions till much later, stoutly defending her against whisperers: even though, as he adds, many in Palace circles went 'half-mad' trying to prove her involvement. Andrew Morton's own speculation on the alleged tape-recordings of Diana's "damning" calls was added to the 1993 reprint of Her True Story: "Was Diana's telephone really bugged - and if so by whom - or was it an elaborate bluff aimed at extracting a confession from the Princess about her rumoured complicity in the preparation of my book? [9]" Jephson himself recalled that he had heard "a vague rumour about some tapes" before, but had "dismissed it as just another among so many ghastly whisperings, gobbets of disinformation and black propaganda that were by then my daily diet. This time, however, the rumours were true and "Squidgygate" burst upon us. [10]"
On 5 September 1992, the Sun announced that, incredibly, the same call had also been recorded by another Oxfordshire eavesdropper, 25-year-old Jane Norgrove. Norgrove claimed she had recorded the call on New Year's Eve 1989, but "didn't even listen to it. I just put the tape in a drawer. I didn't play it until weeks later, and then I suddenly realised who was speaking on the tape". In January 1991, after sitting on the tape for a year, Norgrove approached the Sun. The paper made a copy of her recording, and offered her £200 for her time: Norgrove refused the money, claiming that she "got scared and didn't want to know about it any more. [11]"
Why had Norgrove come forward now? "I wanted to speak out to now to clear up all this nonsense about a conspiracy [..] I'm not part of a Palace plot to smear the Princess of Wales." Indeed, the Sun had initially published the opinions of "a senior courtier [who] claims the tape is part of a plot to blacken Diana's name" and the verdicts of other anonymous Palace staffers, who said that the tape was "a sophisticated attempt to "get even" by friends loyal to Prince Charles after Diana's co-operation with the book Diana: Her True Story, by Andrew Morton [12]."
Such speculation had not been confined to vulgar tabloids: William Parsons, of anti-surveillance consultants Systems Elite, remarked that the technical and atmospheric requirements for such a recording to be possible (both halves of a cellular telephone call, with equal clarity, when the callers were over 100 miles apart, in different network 'cells'), were so improbable as to arouse suspicion: "My money would not be on somebody accidentally picking it up [..] There is more to this than meets the eye [13]." Jane Norgrove was adamant, however: "It was just me, recording a telephone conversation in my bedroom. Nothing more and nothing less than that [14]."
But five days after Norgrove came forward, the Independent's veteran columnist Lynn Barber noted a worrying aspect of the unfolding story: "The Sun's comment on the Palace's reaction [to the "Squidgygate" tape] was almost the most interesting revelation of the week." The Sun had asked: "Why didn't the Palace rush to the defence of the public's favourite Royal? If they had really wanted to protect Princess Diana, they could have threatened the Sun with legal action. They could have spoken on a confidential basis to the editor or senior executives, in the way that Downing Street and senior police officers do ... instead they let Di sweat it out."
Barber remarked frankly that: "This is the first admission I've seen in print that the tabloids are willing to take a 'steer' from the Palace. The public always likes to believe that the Royal family and the press are at permanent loggerheads whereas they're as mutually dependent as a shepherd and his sheep. The trouble with the current situation is that the shepherd has apparently run amok and turned into a wolf. The tabloids have no idea what they're meant to do, even if they felt inclined to do it [15]."
Barber's acute comments were not without foundation: on Monday 31 August, 1992, the Daily Mirror had published a letter, purportedly from one Palace advisor to another (both names were withheld). It had originally been sent anonymously to the New York Post. The letter, on Buckingham Palace notepaper, suggested countering Morton's book by leaking material, damaging to the Princess of Wales, to another Royal biographer, Lady Colin Campbell. It also mentioned that Andrew Morton's telephone was bugged (after publishing leaked details of the separation of the Duke and Duchess of York in March 1992, Morton had been warned to "watch your phones." Ten days later his office was burgled [16]). Buckingham Palace denounced the letter as a fake. "Squidgygate" had taken on a life of its own, and attention now turned back to the source of the original Squidgytape.
"It has been the biggest mistake of my life," said a somewhat chastened Cyril Reenan to his local newspaper, the Oxford Mail. "To all those who have felt upset and disturbed by my stupid actions, may I say I am so sorry."
The Sun, he said, had attempted to get him to give them the tape for nothing, and had told him he could be prosecuted for the recording: "I thought 'blimey, I've dropped myself right in it'. I was in a bit of a panic then." Obviously Reenan held firm and finally received his money - although the Sun seems to have got the upper hand by using a classic tabloid "cloak-and-dagger" tactic to ensure that their unwitting subject wasn't initially available for further comment after the story broke: "For four days we were walking around in the dark because the Sun advised us to draw our curtains and not to touch our mail or newspapers." Jane Norgrove was also reported by the Mail to be "in hiding."
But the most startling revelation was made almost in passing. From references made in the taped conversation, it was clearly evident that Diana and Gilbey were talking on New Year's Eve, 1989, the time at which the Sun claimed both Reenan and Norgrove had recorded it. But now, Reenan informed the Mail that he had recorded the tape on "January 4, 1990". This was reported without comment by the Mail, directly contradicting the by-now nationally-known version of events. A delay of four days between the call taking place and its interception is not ascribable to any known atmospheric phenomenon.
The next day, an energised Reenan made more surprising admissions, telling the Oxford Mail that certain parts of the "Squidgygate" conversation had been left out by the Sun. The Sun confirmed this to the Mail, saying that they had not made public certain sections of the recording, "for fear of damaging Diana irreparably."
"All the reporters in London seem to know what's on that tape," complained Reenan, "and they've all been to me to confirm it. Both my wife and I have said we can't remember, but we know what was in there." Reenan hinted darkly that there was "a lot about that tape" that had never been made public: "And I'm damn glad that it wasn't." In 1997, it was revealed that the withheld section was a ten-minute discussion of masturbation or actual phone sex itself [17].
The Mail also issued a correction: the previous day, Mr Reenan had claimed that he had been paid £1,000 by the Sun. He now admitted it was £6,000, and he would be giving it to charity. The glaring anomaly of the date of the recording, 4th January 1990, was conspicuously not corrected [18].
The national media, however, were racing ahead with their coverage of the developing Royal split, and had already dropped Reenan like a hot brick. The Oxford Mail's article alleging press harassment, censored recordings, and - crucially - a revised date, were ignored. The Guardian quoted a Sun spokesman as saying that: "Our interest in the Royal story has moved on from Mr Reenan [19]." In attempting to explore the matter, the present writer's attempts to locate the reporter under whose by-line the Oxford Mail's story had appeared, Philippa Green, were unsuccessful, as she had "left the country some years ago", according to the newsdesk of the Oxford Mail (who also declined to put me in touch with the paper's then-editor). The National Union of Journalists professed themselves unable to help. Jane Norgrove proved similarly untraceable.
In a telephone call to Cyril Reenan's number [20], this writer spoke to Reenan's wife, Phyllis, who was polite and communicative. However, she also firmly declined to allow her husband (who could be heard inquiring in the background) to take the call: "It was nearly ten years ago, and he was treated very badly by the Sun, so we'd really rather just forget it." - Appreciated, but what about the date of the recording? Was it really 4 January? "No, of course not. It was before Chri... [long pause]" Christmas? You mean New Year's Eve? "Well, about then, anyway. The Sun told a lot of lies about us." But it was the Sun that said the call was recorded on New Year's Eve? "As I say, we'd really rather forget about it."
But, despite his wife's inept stonewalling, Reenan's admission had already been recorded unambiguously. Months after the story had broken, Reenan spoke to non-Sun reporters, expressing his anger over his treatment by the Sun: "When I read the transcript of the conversation between the Princess and the man, there were large chunks which I knew had not come from my tape." The Sun, it seemed, had produced a hybrid of Reenan's tape and Norgrove's, Reenan's tape having run out before the end of the conversation. As for the date of the recording: "I did not understand it. I know when I heard that call, and it was 4th January. I was not even at home on New Year's Eve [21]."
Something was clearly very amiss, and the search was on to find out what had happened. Suspicion naturally focussed on Britain's security service, MI5. Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke was far from amused: "The security services are strictly controlled in their telephone tapping, and I know of no evidence whatever to indicate that they were involved." Such suggestions, he added, were "wild" and "extremely silly". This was a rather surprising statement, since the incident had not, as far as is known, at this stage been investigated in any official capacity.
A few days before Clarke's remarks, the Daily Mirror had run with "Camillagate", an eight-minute tape of Prince Charles exchanging sexually explicit pleasantries with his mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles. Richard Stott, editor of the Mirror, claimed that the tape had been recorded by "a very ordinary member of the public", although the paper was not allowed to keep or to make a copy of the tape. But the Sunday Times reported that an anonymous freelance journalist from Manchester was known to be attempting to sell a complete copy of the original tape, asking price £50,000. The reignition of the controversy over "Squidgygate" had been instantaneous: the date of the "Camillagate" recording was known to be 18 December, 1989 - just weeks before the "Squidygate" tape had been recorded.
Charles: Oh, God, I'll just live inside your trousers or something. It'd be much easier.
Camilla: [Laugh] What are you going to turn into? A pair of knickers? [Both laugh] Oh, you're going to come back as a pair of knickers!
Charles: Oh, God forbid; a Tampax, just my luck! [Laugh]
Camilla: You are a complete idiot! [Laugh] Oh, what a wonderful idea!
Charles: My luck to be chucked down the lavatory and go on and on forever swirling around on the top, never going down!
Camilla: [Laugh] Oh, darling!
Charles: Until the next one comes through.
Camilla: Or perhaps you could come back as a box...
Charles: What sort of box?
Camilla: A box of Tampax, so you could just keep going.

The excitement in Fleet Street was intense, particularly given that the "Camillagate" tape was in fact the third "Royalgate" tape to appear: a scurrilous conversation between the Duchess of York and a male friend had appeared. The Times had quoted 'dissidents inside GCHQ' as insisting that 'a cover-up operation' had begun [22]. The same day that Clarke was disavowing intelligence involvement in 'Camillagate', members of the Commons all-party home affairs committee had their first meeting with Dame Stella Rimington, director general of MI5. Committee member John Greenway MP (Conservative) remarked that the recent Camillagate leak "strengthens the case for a parliamentary committee to have responsibility to oversee or scrutinise the work of the security services [..] I suspect that colleagues will want to ask how true the allegations [of MI5 complicity in the 'Camillagate' leak] are, and I suspect that she [Rimington] will refuse to tell us." No record exists of the meeting. [24]
Lord Rees-Mogg, the arch-conservative chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Authority, had proved an early proponent of the "rogue spies" school of thought in January 1993, when he used his Times column to accuse elements within the British security services of engineering the leaks. "All those tapes were made within a month," he wrote. "The most likely explanation is that MI5 did it to protect the Royal family at a time of danger from the IRA. I don't think there was any sense of wrong-doing, but once they were made there was the danger of a leak [24]."
The media frenzy was at least partially justified. High-level eavesdropping in British politics, such as that evinced by the "Squidgygate" episode, is not unprecedented, and as supporting evidence, we have the testimony of a former Canadian intelligence officer, Mike Frost, who retired in 1992, after 20 years' service. Frost has told how Canada's 'listening' capabilities had been utilised by Margaret Thatcher, when Prime Minister, to spy on two [unnamed] cabinet colleagues.
"She wanted to find out not what they were saying, but what they were thinking," he said. GCHQ, the government's listening post in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was to have been used to carry out this surveillance, but they approached the Canadian intelligence services, because the operation was too politically sensitive. The spying was organised from the offices of Macdonald house in Grosvenor Square, London, the home of the Canadian high commission. The Canadian officer who led the spying operation personally drove to GCHQ to deliver the fruits of the snooping: tape-recordings of the ministers' communications over a three-week period. Frost did not know, or perhaps simply did not say, what use was made of these tapes [25].
Or, again, during the "Spycatcher" controversy of 1987, when the British Conservative government sought to suppress the Australian publication of the memoirs of Peter Wright (a former member of MI5), Labour party leader Neil Kinnock suddenly found himself accused by the Conservative party of talking to Wright's lawyers. Kinnock had indeed done so, via international telephone, but with a General Election looming, Kinnock did not want to be seen as some kind of "security risk", and so he declined to ask publicly how the Conservative party had come to know the contents of his private phone calls [26].
Despite the fact that no investigation into "Squidgygate" or "Camillagate" had begun, the Home Secretary performed a truly remarkable squirm before the House: "There is nothing to investigate [..] I am absolutely certain that the allegation that this is anything to do with the security services or GCHQ [..] is being put out by newspapers, who I think feel rather guilty that they are using plainly tapped telephone calls [27]."
As soon as Clarke had finished speaking, Her Majesty's opposition, the Labour party, accused Clarke of irresponsibility, issuing a rather sardonic statement: "He has to show that he is taking these allegations seriously, otherwise he will be perceived as being unable to control an organisation for which he is responsible." The fall-out from "Camillagate" rumbled poisonously on.
Meanwhile, the Oxford Mail's revised date of 4 January for the interception of the 'Squidgygate' transcript had not gone entirely unnoticed. On 10 September, The Oxfordshire Star had also defied the accepted version of events, reiterating the Mail's claim. Finally, a few weeks after Clark had issued his contemptuous denial of security service involvement, The Sunday Times published the findings of an analysis of the "Squidgygate" tape, commissioned from Corby-based surveillance specialists Audiotel International [28].
Audiotel concluded that the presence of data bursts on the tape was suspicious. Data bursts ("pips" at intervals of approximately 10 seconds, containing information for billing purposes) would normally be filtered out at the exchange before Cellnet transmission. That these "pips" were present at all was therefore anomalous, but they were also too fast, too loud, and exhibited a "low-frequency [audio] 'shadow'," implying "some kind of doctoring of the tape," said Audiotel's managing director, Andrew Martin, in his firm's report. "The balance of probability suggests something irregular about the recording which may indicate a rebroadcasting of the conversation some time after the conversation took place [29]."
Within a week of the Times's announcement, a further independent analysis was carried out by John Nelson, communications consultant, with a "second opinion" being given by Martin Colloms, audio analyst for Sony International. There was a 50-hertz hum in the background of the "Squidgygate" conversation, consistent with the effect of attempting to record a telephone conversation via a direct tap on a landline, rather than from interception of a Cellular phone call.
Since Gilbey was known to have been speaking from a mobile phone, inside a parked car, this left Diana's telephone line at Sandringham: "The recording must have been made as a result of a local tapping of the telephone line somewhere between the female party's telephone itself, and the local exchange." Furthermore, narrow-band spectrum analysis showed this 50-hertz 'hum' to consist of two separate but superimposed components, "indicating a remixing of the tape after the initial recording." The clarity of the conversation was inconsistent with an off-air recording, and pauses in the speech were lacking in normal interference.
With regard to the data-bursts that had aroused the suspicion of Audiotel International, Colloms and Nelson stated: "We are forced to conclude that these data-bursts are not genuine, but were added later to the tape. They originated with a locally-made recording, and show that an attempt has been made to disguise a local tap by making it appear that it was recorded over cellular radio."
Telecommunications company Cellnet admitted that it had automatically conducted its own internal investigation after publication of the "Squidgygate" transcript, because Gilbey had been speaking on a Cellnet phone. "It is a very sensitive issue if a cellular network has been bugged," said Cellnet spokesman William Ostrom: "We wished to satisfy ourselves exactly what happened." Cellnet's inquiry, claimed Ostrom, had 'replicated' the findings of Colloms and Nelson: Cellnet announced that it was "completely satisfied that we can dismiss this as an example of our network being eavesdropped [30]."
In other words, three independent expert analyses of the "Squidgygate" tapes showed beyond any doubt that the recorded conversation had been the result of a direct tap on Diana's landline. Since Sandringham, like all the Royal Palaces, has its own exchange, the person who installed the tap must have had access to the premises. The person or persons responsible had then edited and remixed the fruits of their eavesdropping, doctored it to look like a live transmission by adding data bursts, and had then rebroadcast it, four days after the recording, in the vicinity of a locally-known snooper's 20ft aerial.
What was already a shocking conclusion is made more so by the fact that the Sun had originally been prompted to run the story by the National Enquirer in America, who had published excerpts from the "Squidgygate" conversation on 20 August, 1992. The Sun knew it could be about to lose a major scoop, and judged that the collapse of the Waleses's marriage was already common knowledge, and so published the "Squidgygate" transcripts on 24 August. At this time, the original recordings by Reenan and Norgrove were still in a safe vault as property of Rupert Murdoch's News International corporation. Jane Norgrove, in her efforts to dispel "all this nonsense about a conspiracy", simply raised new concerns when she claimed that she had wiped her tape after giving a copy to the Sun: "I want to make clear that [the Enquirer's tape] was nothing to do with me [...] I thought I'd better speak to the Sun again, in case people thought it was me [31]." Who, then, sent the Enquirer a third copy of the conversation remains unknown. Furthermore, a fourth tape was sent anonymously to Richard Kay of the Daily Mail, in a plain brown envelope with a central London postmark, during the same period [32].
John Major's government eventually published two reports, both of which cleared MI5 and MI6 of involvement in the "Royalgates" tapes. One of these was the annual report of the Interceptions Commissioner, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, who oversaw the intelligence-gathering practices of the security services: "[Lord Bingham] was impressed by the scrupulous adherence to the statutory provisions [against misconduct] of those involved in the [intelligence-gathering] procedures." In a clear reference to the "Squidgygate" affair, he commented on "the stories which occasionally circulated in the press with regard to the interceptions by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ," stating that such stories were, in his experience, "without exception false, and gave an entirely misleading impression to the public both of the extent of official interception and of the targets against which interception is directed."
But the controversy continued unabated. Conservative MP Richard Shepherd voiced the opinions of many MPs (to say nothing of members of the public) when he commented that the official reports were just "two old buffers saying that in their opinion the security services act with integrity". Stung, the National Heritage Secretary Peter Brook gave MPs "a categorical assurance that the heads of the agencies concerned have said there is no truth in the rumours [33]." The scientifically proven facts, however, remain: someone tapped the telephone of the Princess of Wales, and then doctored and rebroadcast the intercept.
The Princess herself was distraught by the "Squidgygate" episode. By 1995, claims her private secretary Patrick Jephson, Diana's "paranoia" had "reached new heights. She saw plots everywhere, [and] was obsessed with the thought that she was being bugged." On one occasion, Jephson expressed his "polite mystification" - although he notes that "exasperation would have been nearer the mark" - that "none of these hidden microphones had actually been discovered." Diana pulled up a carpet in an upstairs room at Kensington Palace, to show Jephson what she believed was evidence of bugging: fresh sawdust and disturbed planks: "She pointed silently at the sawdust, and nodded significantly." Jephson tried to reassure her that this was simply the result of the rewiring of all the Royal Palaces, following the 1992 fire at Windsor Castle, but Diana, after gesturing for him to remain silent, was evidently unconvinced [34].
What had happened? The circumstances surrounding the release of the Royal tapes are still poorly understood. The "Squidgygate" and "Camillagate" tapes were both analysed by experts. The "Camillagate" tape showed no signs of suspicious treatment, and appeared to be just what it was claimed to have been: a recording, "from air", of Charles and Camilla talking privately on 18 December, 1989. Unlikely as it may seem, the chance interception of high-level communication is not unknown: during the 1982 Falklands conflict, a radio ham in London had intercepted and taped a conversation between the Prime Minister's press secretary and the Assistant Director-General of the BBC, in which the BBC was pressurised into sharing war footage with commercial rivals ITN [35]. The "Squidgygate" tape, however, showed clear signs of having been doctored and rebroadcast on 4 January, 1990; four days after its initial interception on New Year's Eve, 1989.
Looking again at the chronology, one might perhaps draw some conclusions: that, despite the controversy that it aroused, the "Camillagate" tape had been exactly what it was claimed to have been - a chance interception by radio ham. The radio ham who recorded the "Camillagate" tape has never been identified publicly, but it is known that he or she approached journalists with it immediately. The "Squidgygate" tape was intercepted two weeks later, and rebroadcast in Oxfordshire four days afterwards. One could conclude that, the damaging recording of Charles being known to have taken place, a counter-measure, blackening the image of his equally-unfaithful wife, would be an appropriate tactic to ensure that the bad publicity was not all one-way: a clearly-scandalous phone conversation was taped and leaked to the press via an unsuspecting third party. After all, Prince Charles was the heir to the throne, and his wife - who had already given birth to the required "heir and a spare" - was of secondary importance.
The "Squidgygate" plan clearly backfired in two ways: first, the most damagingly explicit sections of the tape were withheld by the press; and secondly, a technical analysis showed that the conversation, supposedly recorded "live" by Reenan, was a rebroadcasting of a four-day-old edited tape recording.
This much is clear. But who was responsible? The Queen was so disturbed by the "Squidygate" episode that she requested MI5 to conduct an investigation to discover the culprit or culprits. Since the motive couldn't have been financial - the only winners were the radio hams and the press - it must have been political [36]. In 2002, Diana's former protection officer, Inspector Ken Wharfe revealed that the investigation had "identified all those involved, but for legal reasons I cannot expand further, and nor is it necessary to do so."
Wharfe adds, however, that: "It does [..] lend credence to the Princess's belief, so often dismissed by her detractors, that the Establishment was out to destroy her [37]."
This is a truly extraordinary revelation. Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke, in dismissing the charges of a "Squidgygate" conspiracy was either misinformed or misinforming. The position of Lord Bingham of Cornhill - a Privy Councillor since 1986 - is worse still. His report stands revealed as either deliberate misinformation, or sheer guesswork by a layman, clad in pseudo-authority. The implications are enormous, and as yet, no-one has taken these figures to task for their misleading words. The silence over the "Squidgygate" conspiracy in national and international media is near-total.
There is a curious coda to the "Squidgygate" affair. As Henri Paul eased his foot gently down on the pedal, and the Mercedes carrying Diana, Dodi Fayed and Trevor Rees-Jones pulled away slowly from the parking bay at the rear of the Paris Ritz, its headlights illuminated a great number of people waiting at the side of the hotel. Some of these people, shielding their eyes from the glare, began running to vehicles parked nearby. The scurrying figures were journalists, ready to launch into pursuit of the Royal romance of the century. Little did anyone know that Diana had just over three minutes of life left.
Across the Channel, most of the British press was also about to be caught in the spotlight. A number of early editions of Sunday's papers were already in circulation, and these carried stories that can only be described as both surprising and worrying. The majority of these were simply tasteless jokes about the Princess's persistent "dumb blonde" image, which must have caused their editors some nasty moments. A piece of "psychological profiling" about the Princess's ever-present role in public life, for the Sunday Times, featured a large picture of Diana, and began with the unfortunate words "There is something missing from all our lives today."
But perhaps most worryingly of all, the tabloid Sunday Mirror which had an early print-set that night, was already on sale at the news-stands around London's King's Cross station. It carried the story of how Palace Courtiers were ready to press the Queen to let the Royal warrants for Harrods lapse: "It would be a huge blow to the ego of store owner Mohamed al-Fayed - and would infuriate Diana [..] but the Royal Family are furious about the frolics of Di, 36, and Dodi, 41, which they believe have further undermined the Monarchy."
"Prince Philip, in particular has made no secret as to how he feels about his [former] daughter-in-law's latest man, referring to Dodi as an 'oily bed-hopper'."
After noting that MI6 had prepared a report on the al-Fayeds, which would be presented at an early September meeting of the Royal policy think-tank, The Way Ahead Group, the paper quoted a friend of the Royals as saying: "Prince Philip has let rip several times recently about the Fayeds: at a dinner party, during a country shoot, and while on a visit to close friends in Germany. He's been banging on about his contempt for Dodi and how he is undesirable as a future stepfather to William and Harry. Diana has been told in no uncertain terms about the consequences should she continue the relationship with the Fayed boy. Options must include exile, although that would be very difficult, as - when all is said and done - she is the mother of the future King of England [38]."
Mirror columnist Chris Hutchins couldn't have been aware that events later that night would mean his words would be read in a very different light. He had written in the paper's "Confidential" feature:
"Just when Diana began to believe that her current romance with likeable playboy Dodi Fayed had wiped out her past liaisons, a new tape recording is doing the rounds of Belgravia dinner parties. And this one is hot, hot, hot! Labelled Squidgygate II, the tape is of a completely different conversation the Princess had with her sometime beau James Gilbey.
'It's absolutely outrageous,' says a woman friend who heard the tape last week, but was too polite to ask her hostess if she could make a copy for "Confidential". 'It's full of sexual innuendo, and far more explicit than the one we all heard before'."
In a throwaway line heavy with unintended irony, Hutchins concludes: "I must remember to take it up with Diana next time we find ourselves on adjacent running machines at our West London gym."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second "Squidgygate" tape disappeared from the media without trace, before it had even had a chance to appear, and no further information on its contents, origins - or its sudden surfacing in private hands after a gap of some seven years - seems likely to emerge.

Listening to Diana

(Palais de Justice, Paris, 30 November 1998)While his investigative team was leaking selectively to the press (without his permission) that the investigation had found 'no trace' of a conspiracy behind Diana's death, Judge Hervé Stephan was increasingly less inclined to rely solely on the evidence amassed for him by the Brigade Criminel. There was the saga of the two white Fiat Unos that they had turned into a dead end. And the motorbike that disappeared. The paint samples that had changed from black to white were still a sore point: the lab had apologised for the "mistake", but Stephan was beginning to wonder. Never had such an apparently simple case, in his experience, led into such a bewildering succession of blind alleys and creeks. Even the Rwandan Genocide trials of 1996, over which Stephan had presided, had been simplicity itself compared to this. After his meeting with former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson four months previously, Stephan had been nagged again and again by the thought that perhaps there was more to the case than was finding its way to his desk. Now the internet news item on the PC monitor in front of him suggested another line of inquiry.
Someone, or some group, thought Stephan as he scrolled down the screen, had obviously been very interested indeed in Diana's private thoughts. Diana had been the object of high-level attention for some reason. APB News Online had just published the results of a US Freedom of Information Act request. The news agency's request for documents on Diana, held by America's National Security Agency, had been rejected, but the rejection notice itself revealed that a total of 1,056 pages of documents is held by the NSA, CIA, State department, and the Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA]. Why this monitoring had occurred, Stephan could not imagine.
APB quoted John Pike, an intelligence expert from the Federation of American Scientists, as saying that the NSA was "insatiably curious, and monitors everyone of interest outside the US". A spokesman for the NSA, which holds 124 pages from "39 NSA-originated and NSA-controlled documents", declined to answer further questions about the documents, as did a spokeswoman for the CIA, which has at least two documents. When asked why the Defense Intelligence Agency might be holding documents on Diana, Lieutenant-Colonel James MacNeil said he had "no idea why. All of our stuff is on military [matters]. Obviously she wasn't in the military [39]."
Stephan's curiosity, while not "insatiable", was aroused. What was in that file? Tomlinson's allegations were technically impossible to chase up, but there could be any number of leads in the NSA files. And these leads, coming from a government source, would not only be concrete, but pursuable.
After a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Guardian newspaper in 1999, the NSA told the paper that it was - and is still - holding reports under both secret and top secret classifications, and that "these documents cannot be declassified because their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security." Naturally, the agency also needed to protect its sources. The NSA insisted: "The reports contain only references to Princess Diana acquired incidentally from intelligence gathering. It is neither NSA policy or practice to target British subjects in conducting our foreign intelligence mission. However, other countries could communicate about these subjects; therefore, this agency could acquire intelligence concerning British subjects."
This statement makes it sound as though the NSA's dossier on Diana (all 1,056 pages of it!) consists of third-party information gathered almost by accident. The NSA's spokesman seems to have been deliberately vague by relying on the ambiguity of the phrase "British subjects", which - read one way -- means British "citizens" (for, as long as a Monarch rules, all Britons are subjects of the reigning King or Queen), and - read another - means "matters of interest to the British state" - after all, the UK and USA are political allies, and the NSA could hardly be suspicious of the private interests of the British state. But either interpretation is false: the NSA monitors both British interests and individuals. In fact, this surveillance of private phone conversations "between Diana and American friends" had been mounted "at MI6's request [40]."
And in this case, we know that the NSA really had intercepted Diana's private conversations - US investigative reporter Gerald Posner was played innocuous extracts from the NSA's tapes of Diana's conversations in early 1999. While predictably opaque and misleading (and raising the obvious question: what was Diana talking about, that interested them so much?), the NSA, as the Guardian pointed out, was doing more than one could expect from Britain's own intelligence services, MI5 and MI6: "The services are covered by a blanket ban exempting them from disclosing even documents' existence.[41]"
Matters became somewhat clearer still in February 2000, when Wayne Madsen, formerly an NSA operative for 20 years, revealed that "undisclosed material held in US government files on Princess Diana was collected because of her work with the international campaign to ban landmines." Diana, and other international figures including the Pope and Mother Theresa of Calcutta, were all listened in on by the Echelon monitoring system, a world-wide monitoring network capable of processing millions of messages every hour.
There are at least 10 Echelon listening stations, operated jointly by Britain, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Charities operating overseas are monitored because they often have access to details about overseas regimes, and it appears to have been in this connection that Diana's calls were monitored. "Anybody who is politically active,' said Madsen, 'will eventually end up on the NSA's radar screen. [Emphasis added] [42]"
But now, Stephan could not imagine why someone might have wanted to eavesdrop on Diana. America, unlike Britain, has a Freedom of Information Act, he reflected. The worst that could happen would be to receiving a polite letter saying "no". Stephan quietly decided, there and then, to write to the American Secret Services to request the 1,056-page dossier of transcripted calls [43].
As he had predicted, Stephan's request was refused a month or so later. With no incoming evidence of a conspiracy, Stephan could only conclude that he had found none, never mind that it left a ridiculous number of loose ends.


1 Sun, 26 August 1992 [Back]
2 Sun, 25 August 1992 [Back]
3 Jephson, Patrick: Shadows of a Princess; HarperCollins, London 2000; ISBN 0-00-711358-7; p334 [Back]
4 Jephson, p255, claims that despite initial rumours that the tape was a hoax, this comment was "an expression I had heard often enough to recognise its authenticity." [Back]
5 Sun, 24 August 1992 [Back]
6 Sunday Times, 16 September 2000 [Back]
7 Morton, Andrew: Diana: Her True Story; Michael O'Mara, London, 1993 (2nd edition); ISBN 1-85479-128-1l; p167 [Back]
8 Jephson, p242 [Back]
9 Morton, p167 [Back]
10 Jephson, p255 [Back]
11 Sun, 5 September 1992 [Back]
12 Sun, 24 August 1992 [Back]
13 Independent, 26 August 1992 [Back]
14 Sun, 5 September 1992 [Back]
15 Independent on Sunday, 6 September 1992 [Back]
16 Morton, p2 [Back]
17 Kelley, Kitty: The Royals; Time-Warner, New York, 1997; ISBN 0-446-51712-7; p361 [Back]
18 Oxford Mail: 08 September 1992; The Oxford Mail, 9 September 1992 [Back]
19 Guardian, 9 September 1992 [Back]
20 7 December 2000, Private phone call to 01235 521 257 [Back]
21 Guardian, 14 January 1993 [Back]
22 Sunday Times, 17 January 1993 [Back]
23 Times, 18 January 1993 [Back]
24 Times, 11 January 1993 [Back]
25 Sunday Times, 27 February 2000 [Back]
26 Dorril, Stephen, and Ramsay, Robin: Smear! Wilson and the Secret State; Fourth Estate, London, 1991; ISBN 1-872180-68-X; p133 [Back]
27 Guardian, 18 January 1993 [Back]
28 The Times appears to have confirmed its allegation with the Oxford Mail, adding the detail that Reenan recorded his tape at 9.30pm on 4 January, 1990 [Back]
29 Sunday Times, 17 January 1993 [Back]
30 Sunday Times, 24 January 1993 [Back]
31 Sun, 5 September 1991 [Back]
32 Morton, p167 [Back]
33 Guardian, 13 May 1993 [Back]
34 Jephson, p371 [Back]
35 Cockerill, Michael: Live from Number 10: The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television; Faber and Faber, London, 1988, ISBN 0-571-14757-7; p277 [Back]
36 Adams, James: The New Spies: Exploring the Frontiers of Espionage; Hutchinson, London, 1994, ISBN 0-09-174063-0; p112-113 [Back]
37 Wharfe, Inspector Ken: Diana: Closely Guarded Secret; Michael O'Mara, London, 2002, ISBN 1-84317-005-1; pp174-5
38 Sunday Mirror, 31 August 1997 [Back]
39 APB News, 30 November 1998. [Back]
40 Dorril, Stephen: MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations; Fourth Estate, London, 2000: ISBN-1-85702-093-6; p788 [Back]
41 Guardian, 6 August 1999 [Back]
42 Sunday Times, 27 February 2000 [Back]
43 Stephan's decision to write to the NSA: Sunday Business, 20 December 1998. The scene in the Palais de Justice is reconstructed for narrative purposes: the APB news item, revealing the NSA dossier, was Stephan's inspiration; whether Stephan in fact made his decision on the day of the APB report is unknown [Back]

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