British secret agents are supposed to be exponentially smoother than their American counterparts. We get Ethan Hunt, they get James Bond. Except, not, because the chief of MI-6's wife had her Facebook profile set to public. Very public.
Diplomat Sir John Sawers is supposed to be taking over the Secret Intelligent Service (better known as Her Majesty's Secret Service) in October. What kind of information did Lady Shelley Sawers, his wife, let loose on in her Facebook profile?
For starters: their friends! 'Cause it's Facebook, right? Photos show relationships with other diplomats, British actors (don't worry, nobody cool), and family. Family like Lady Sawers' half-brother Hugo Haig-Thomas, a former British diplomat that John Sawers succeeded on his way to the top. Haig-Thomas is "an associate and researcher" of a historian.
Not just any historian, though: Holocaust Denier David Irving. Winner! From Irving's extensive Wikipedia page:
By the mid-1980s, Irving associated himself with the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review, began giving lectures to groups such as the far-right German Deutsche Volksunion, and publicly denied that the Nazis systematically exterminated Jews in gas chambers during World War II. Irving was a frequent speaker for the DVU in the 1980s and the early 1990s, but the relationship ended in 1993 apparently because of concerns by the DVU that Irving's espousal of Holocaust Denial might lead to the DVU being banned. He also alleged that parts of The Diary of Anne Frank might have been forged by her surviving father.
Awesome. Haig-Thomas has noted that he "doesn't necessarily share (Irving's) views," but he sure as hell doesn't condemn them.
What else is interesting? Well, the family likes Liza Minelli, as there's a picture of his wife and daughter re-enacting Caberet. But that's not nearly as interesting as, say, his codename, which was going to be "C" once he started working for MI-6. Read one awesome wall posting: "Congrats on the new job, already dubbed Sir Uncle "C" by nephews in the know!"
Theater Geeks, you'll appreciate this tidbit on their daughter, of whom there were also several pictures of on Sawers' Facebook profile:
Corinne, 22, a recent Oxford University graduate who is now an aspiring actress...recently began touring with Jenny Seagrove in the play Pack Of Lies, coincidentally about a middle-class household suddenly at the centre of an espionage drama when an MI5 spy turns up at their house.
Finally, location, location, location:
Despite the security implications, Lady Sawers revealed on Facebook the location of the London flat used by the couple and the whereabouts of their three children and of Sir John's parents.
Wow. The problem here, if you didn't notice, was that this guy's supposed to lead up one of the world's two most powerful secret service organizations. And serious secrets - like where the guy lives, who his friends are, who his family is, and what his wife's favorite Liza Minelli musical is - have been exposed (along with his Speedos, which terrorists and enemies of the British State everywhere will, at the very least, get a laugh out of). But politicians on both sides of the aisle in England don't think it's too cute: both liberals and conservatives are calling for his employment with MI-6 to be in question, which is funny, 'cause don't you think they'd just fire him? Eh, the Foreign Secretary doesn't think so:
Foreign Secretary David Miliband today dismissed allegations of recklessness. He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: 'It is not a state secret that he wears Speedo swimming trunks.' He added: ‘He was appointed 10 days ago to be the head of MI6; he's an outstanding professional who will do a really good job in an outstanding organisation that does a huge amount for this country'
At least we get to blame the outing of Valarie Plame on dumbasses like Robert Novak, who can't keep a good Beltway secret to themselves when they hear it. This is just piss-poor form. Also, if Chuck Barris can keep it a secret for twenty years and you can't, you've got problems.