Joe Glenton | Declassified UK | April Intel

April 2022

Hi everyone, 

Joe Glenton here. I’m one of Declassified UK’s advisers, a former soldier, Afghanistan veteran, journalist and author.

My latest book ‘Veteranhood: Rage and Hope in Ex-Military Britain’ is out now with Repeater Books. I’m extremely proud to be able to support DCUK as they provide serious public interest journalism across defence, military, intelligence and foreign policy issues.

It’s been another huge month for Declassified and I just wanted to go over some of the highlights from April so far. 

Falklands Anniversary

It’s 40 years since the Falklands War. Which means I’m 40 next month. Terrifying.  Against the background of Ukraine, and in the context of the British culture wars, that brief, bloody conflict’s legacy has been widely discussed in the press. Naturally, Declassified has contributed several important stories on the topic.

On 4 April, legendary journalist Richard Norton-Taylor discussed the enduring tensions between the British and Argentine governments over The Falkland Islands. He argued that in the end, as in all conflicts, a sensible compromise must be sought.

More recently, Matt Kennard discussed claims in a British political memoir that rights to oil in contested waters around the South Atlantic archipelago were signed away by a ‘pissed’ Argentinian minister.  I can give £2 a month

I can give £20 a year

The Sun Never Set

Declassified UK also published several excellent articles on the UK’s military activities in Kenya this month. This is a topic very close to my heart having served there as a young NCO. It seems to me British operations in the country encapsulate so many vital questions about Britain’s colonial past – and colonial present, for that matter. As I’ve come to expect, Declassified UK has led the way in informing the public about what’s happening in Kenya and at what cost to ordinary Kenyans.

First up, John Letai’s excellent investigation into the UK’s shadowy payments to white ranchers for use of their land for military training.

On 21 April, Phil Miller reported that masses of important documents about UK operations in Kenya covering periods as recent as 2015 had been destroyed.

And on 22 April, Phil was able to report that a young Kenyan boy whose family later sued the UK Ministry of Defence had almost certainly been injured by British UXO (unexploded ordnance).

Collusion, Castro and Contractors

Closer to home but just as shocking, Anne Cadwallader provided an excellent review of a new book titled ‘UDR Declassified’. The book is a deep dive into the Ulster Defence Regiment’s history of sectarianism and collusion during the conflict in the north of Ireland.

Phil Miller also published an investigation into mercenary activity in Libya. The piece describes how in the last days of Gaddafi’s rule, an Australian special forces veteran agreed to provide Russian and South African military contractors to the country’s ruler. In the end, Tripoli fell before the ‘consultants’ arrived. The piece includes a fascinating profile of the veteran in question, former Australian SAS soldier John Gartner, whose track record of turning up in dirty little wars stretches back to the 1970s.

The excellent John McEvoy, meanwhile, reported on recently released documents which describe how UK officials met CIA officers to discuss plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the 1960s – even providing their own intelligence reports to the Pentagon.
DCUK Parliament & Twitter Revue

A reminder of this – DCUK monitor the UK parliament to capture key information that the government reveals – and they tweet out on our Twitter account. Make sure you follow @declassifiedUK.

If you search on Twitter for #DCUKparliament you’ll see all these tweets. Practically every day, there is something to reveal – almost none is reported in the UK press. So this as a public service.

However, if Twitter is too much for you, make sure you sign up for their weekly Twitter Revue newsletter. It’s a completely free email that is curated each Friday morning to include all the chatter around their articles and every question to parliament you need to hear about.

Support Declassified UK As an Afghanistan veteran nothing makes me roll my eyes as much as terms like ‘punching above our weight’. This was the endless (and, as we now know, inaccurate) refrain of everyone ranked colonel and above during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And yet there is an organisation I know which, day in and day out, punches above its weight. It’s called Declassified UK and it has started to fill the void in the UK media where hard-hitting, clear-eyed investigative journalism needs to be.
With only a small team, they need your support to keep producing high quality, public service journalism. For as little as £2 a month you can help them keep doing their vital work. Please support DCUK today!

Best wishes,

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Declassified UK7 Cavendish SquareLondon, LONDON W1G 0PE United Kingdom

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About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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