Document:The CIA and Mountbatten
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The CIA and Mountbatten
"What would they want with me?" Lord Mountbatten had imperiously said to his secretary shortly before his death...... 
Ulster Unionist M.P. Enoch Powell suggested that the CIA were involved in the murder of Earl Mountbatten of Burma in August 1979..."The Mountbatten murder was a high-level 'job' not unconnected with the nuclear strategy of the United States" (Guardian 9th January 1984), the belief being that US policy is directed towards ensuring that Ireland can be used for strategic defence purposes within NATO. Powell presented no evidence, but drew attention to the subsequent Anglo-Irish summit meeting in October 1979, at which he claims a secret agreement was reached which governed subsequent policy, the objective being that the Irish Republic abandon its military neutrality and join NATO.
The Mountbatten murder was surrounded with suspicion from the beginning. Two men were arrested before the explosion, one of them later sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder. Many CND members have felt that the murder was not unconnected to a controversial speech that Mountbatten gave in May 1979 at Strasbourg in which he suggested that nuclear arms had no military purpose and questioned the growing opposition to the Salt agreement.
There is no evidence of CIA involvement, but what do we make of the following passages from Richard Deacon's book With My Little Eye (Frederick Muller, London 1982). Deacon's contact 'Poe', who had served with OSS and CIA told him:
"At the time of your security scandals in the early sixties we tried to coax our computer to check on our findings on some of your top people in the services and intelligence services. The computer couldn't tell us who was or wasn't a spy, but it could assess people as to what extent they were a security risk. Do you know who came top of our security risk list? None other than your own Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten. He rated six times higher than Philby. If he had been anyone other than Mountbatten it is almost certain that he would not have survived our positive vetting tests. He was the perfect target for KGB blackmail.
...Maybe he was the best of patriots but he gave us every reason to believe that, patriot or otherwise, he was highly vulnerable. We know he had a leftish streak in him and we doubted that this was entirely due to his wife's influence, as she was a kind of Bollinger Bolshevik, having the best of both worlds. We traced the original leftist influence to a pal of his at Cambridge when they were undergraduates. This chap was a communist sympathiser and remained in close touch with Mountbatten for many years.
...He was not the only left winger engaged in work of national importance by Mountbatten. The late J. D. Bernal, who joined the CP in the 1920s and later wrote anonymous articles for the Communist Review under the pen name 'The Sage', was another of Mountbatten's scientific admirers in WW2. Even in the early '60s some of his injudicious associations had us worried.
...The Soviets have pinned their hopes increasingly on obtaining a network of top level 'moles' in all the leading Western countries. If they could have won over a Secret Service chief in the West, or one of your Admirals of the Fleet, or a member of your Royal Family, (Mountbatten was all three) they would do so. There have in fact been various attempts to involve members of your Royal family in the past forty years.
...the aim was two fold: to obtain intelligence but even more to demoralise the West by making revelations of such infiltration as soon as they have ceased to be of any value. Disinformation was cunningly fed to Mountbatten who was well known to be vulnerable to flattery."
It is true that Mountbatten had had a close friendship with Tom Driberg MP, and was noted for some unconventional and illegal sex preferences which opened him up to blackmail. But this is a pretty straightforward smear attempt. The next stop would be the conclusion that the Soviets were behind his anti-nuclear views.
Who, in the CIA, could be behind such smears and, possibly, though I find it hard to believe, behind an assassination? Mountbatten was known to be a bitter enemy of the group around the White Russian Knights of Malta who had strong links with American intelligence agencies. This group had endorsed the Polish defector Colonel Michael Goleniewski in his claim to be the last Romanov King of Russia. (He claimed to be Prince Aleksei.)
Mountbatten, who was related to the Romanovs, had spent a considerable amount of money disputing this, and Goleniewski considered Mountbatten to be the leading opponent of his claims to the Russian throne. (on all this see Guy Richards' 'Imperial Agent')A major Goleniewski supporter in the CIA was the late Herman Kimsey, a top assassination expert, who was also Associate Chief of International Intelligence for the White Russian Knights of Malta. Kimsey was also an expert at disinformation.
- International Times Jan/Feb 1980
- Mountbatten had headed research on the 'Broken Back' project designed to discover how Britain could continue fighting after a nuclear holocaust. Of course, we couldn't.