Thursday, February 23, 2012

bob lambert: still spying?

Of all the undercover police officers exposed so far, Bob Lambert is one of the worst. The longevity of his involvement, the range of campaigns he helped to weaken, and his personal life behaviour - there seems to be nothing appalling that any of the other officers did that he didn't do too, and he seems to have done much that others didn't.

He was an undercover police officer in the 1980s, infiltrating London Greenpeace. He had a long term sexual relationship with one of the activists he spied on, fathering a child. He later formed a relationship with a non-activist just to help his social plausibility, and had her flat raided by his colleagues at Special Branch to bolster his image as a hardcore activist.

He then went on to oversee the deployment of other officers in the 1990s, including Jim Boyling's spying on Reclaim the Streets and Pete Black's undermining of anti-racist groups including justice campaigns like that of Stephen Lawrence's family.

The relationship with Boyling was perhaps especially close, as BristleKRS noted

Both Boyling and Lambert are accused of lying to courts to preserve their cover; both Boyling and Lambert duplicitously entered into sexual relationships with activists on whom they were spying; both Boyling and Lambert sired children by these women. Is this coincidence, or an indication of the nature of the training Lambert offered his protégés?

Their work together continued beyond infiltrating activists. After devoting the major part of their careers to undercover work they abruptly shifted focus, setting up the Muslim Contact Unit in January 2002. This police outfit is aimed at building bridges with muslims and muslim communities. And maybe that's all it is.

But if I were the police, wanting to have undercover officers in muslim groups in the wake of 9/11, I'd have to think of a new tactic. Having a legion of trained white folks wouldn't help me be surreptitious. So, what if they openly approached muslims as police but had this nice supportive role? They would then be well placed to identify people who could become a ring of informants. They would also be highly trained and very experienced at the tricks and tactics of gaining people's trust and making them confess things they want to keep secret.

I have absolutely no evidence that's what the Muslim Contact Unit is. I just find it very peculiar that, of all the available officers, they chose two of the country's most experienced undercover infiltrators to set up and run it.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is proud to present this award to Inspector Robert Lambert (Head of Muslim Contact Unit), upon his retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service. In appreciation for his integrity and commitment to promoting a fair, just and secure society for all, which, is a rarity and will be greatly missed.


Anonymous said...

thx 4 the post. be interesting if anyone with contact with the Muslim Contact Group can comment.

merrick said...

It would indeed. When Lambert was outed one of the muslims he's worked with wrote a piece for the Guardian.

It talks of his "exposure" - in quote marks - being a 'smear'. A smear is when you insinuate something, wherweas uncovering over 20 years of deception is not.

In the comments section several people wondered whether he was indeed still spyin and what made those who defended him confident that he was what he claimed.