The wife of a senior US spy, who fled the UK last year after being involved in a road accident that led to the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn, is reported to have been a CIA agent herself. According to the Mail on Sunday, Anne Sacoolas held a higher rank in the intelligence services than her husband.
Harry was killed on August 27 when his motorbike collided with Sacoolas’s car, being driven on the wrong side of the road, just outside the RAF base at Croughton, Northamptonshire. The US Air Force runs a spy facility from the base known as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre, where Sacoolas’s husband Jonathan was employed by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving by British police but was released and fled the country with her husband on September 15. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to grant a UK request for her extradition.
It was already clear from the available facts that the UK government had determined to let Sacoolas go. Police visited her on August 28, the day after the incident, to be told she had diplomatic immunity as the wife of a “diplomat.” The Foreign Office claims to have asked the US embassy to waive immunity only on September 5. The US embassy refused this request on September 13, and Sacoolas was flown out of the country on a US Air Force plane two days later. The Foreign Office claims it was only informed the day afterward. Dunn’s parents only had it confirmed that Sacoolas had left the country on September 23.
Now, as Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, has said, “things are beginning to fall into place.” This charade, woven from lies, was used to prepare for the extraction and protection of a US spy.
According to the Mail, multiple sources in London and Washington have confirmed Sacoolas’s past work in the CIA. Sky News has since claimed to have also confirmed this fact. The Foreign Office denied all knowledge, asserting that “Anne Sacoolas was notified to us as a spouse with no official role.”
Senior Whitehall figures, however, confirmed to the Mail that they knew of her CIA history. The Mail’s report also states that the US government notified the Foreign Office that Sacoolas was leaving the country for America.
The Dunn family’s legal spokesman, Radd Seiger, explained it is “high time that the nation can see with full transparency whether or not the government prioritised protecting the identity of the Sacoolas family over the welfare and rights of Harry’s family. The US government told the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] that they were going to remove Anne Sacoolas from the UK unless the UK had any strong objections. Still to this day, the family have seen no evidence that the UK did indeed raise any such objections and indeed fear that they waved her off at the airport.”
Harry’s parents and their legal team continue to wage a principled fight for justice for their son. Seiger is calling for a public inquiry. Responding to the revelations, his mother, Charlotte Charles, asked of the British government, “How could they do this to us?”
“Her leaving, and the US government protecting her and refusing the extradition request, is nothing short of a disgrace and we will not stand for it. Whether she is CIA or not, she must come back and I will not rest until she does.”
Adam Wagner, another lawyer for the Dunn family, said the Foreign Office needed “to answer whether it knew Sacoolas was CIA at the time of Harry’s death, and whether the US used her status as a family member to take advantage of the ‘anomaly’ whereby family members are said to have more immunity than diplomats at the base. …”
Wagner also reported, “The Foreign Office have refused so far to disclose any information or documents about the discussions with the USA and the police after Harry died. The family are pushing hard for disclosures and have made an application for information and documents.”
The Dunn family lawyers dispute Sacoolas’s claimed immunity. Human rights activist and former British ambassador Craig Murray has written, “I am not at all convinced, as a matter of law, that the government has the power to grant, by bilateral treaty or otherwise, immunity from criminal prosecution to foreign nationals…outside the provision of the Vienna Convention (relating to diplomatic immunity). This should be tested by the courts.”
Thoroughly exposed, government representatives are still making a cynical pretence of demanding Sacoolas’s return while claiming ignorance of her CIA background. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel have all made pro forma criticisms of the US State Department’s refusal to grant Britain’s extradition request.
Speaking on Sky’s Sunday Show after the Mail’s report, Housing Minister Robert Jenrick claimed, “I don’t know the reasons why the US have turned down our requests so far to extradite her. She needs to return to the UK.
“She should face justice, and I think it’s a terrible situation—I think we all agree on that—for the family. Not only have they lost their child but they’re not seeing somebody brought to justice for that.”
On the same show, former Conservative Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Sacoolas’s role as a CIA operative “may have a bearing on it [her escape and protection], and I don’t know the truth of these things because I’m not foreign secretary any more, but I still think it is totally and utterly unacceptable that she is not facing justice in the UK.
“And if anyone is questioning that, I think we just need to ask what would have happened if the boot had been on the other foot, if a British diplomat had been involved in a road accident in the United States where someone had died and had fled on a private plane back to the UK and was evading justice. ... I don’t think Britain would have behaved in that way.”
These crocodile tears have been a pathetic fraud from the start. Now that the real nature of the case has been revealed, this cynical posturing has become a naked insult. The UK grants US intelligence services the right to act with complete impunity. From the perspective of the ruling class, the Dunn-Sacoolas case is not an outrage, but business as usual.