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Dan_Brown
21st Nov 2018, 20:04
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/british-academic-jailed-for-life-over-spying-allegations-in-uae/ar-BBPXrF1?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=SK2MDHP

They may have shopping malls, Starbucks etc.,and an airline. However it's still third world and the biggest polished turd on the planet.

Yes he was a silly lad to do what he did. What on earth are they teaching them at university these days?? Common sence?

Nemrytter
21st Nov 2018, 20:16
Your first sentence is incompatible with the second sentence.

TWT
21st Nov 2018, 20:32
Yes he was a silly lad to do what he did

What did he do ?

G-CPTN
21st Nov 2018, 22:13
He was researching the UAE's foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/uae-appeals-court-sentences-matthew-hedges-life-prison-181121112518251.html).

Hedges' confession, was a "document in Arabic he was made to sign during the first six weeks of his detention"

KelvinD
21st Nov 2018, 23:07
It seems this bloke was studying for a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies. His wife claims he doesn't understand Arabic. I have my doubts about that. It would be extremely difficult to have any great understanding of Middle Eastern affairs without at least a rudimentary grasp of the language.
The UAE government say the British Embassy had representatives present during the trial process. So what can Jeremy Hunt be frothing at the mouth over then?
Am I the only one who finds it somewhat hypocritical the way this nation goes into rave mode when a British national finds themselves running foul of the local legal systems abroad, yet we can condemn, without even a pretence of a trial, a pair of Russians (who may or may not be guilty)? A large portion of our populace seems to think that every time a British national is locked up abroad, then they are automatically the victim of a non-functioning, corrupt and spiteful Johnny Foreigner. From the time this bloke was arrested until now, the media has been full of proclamations of Mr. Hedges's innocence and protests of how he should never have been arrested etc.
Having had personal experience of the UAE legal system, I can say it works in their way, somewhat different to what we may be used to but it does get there.

DaveReidUK
21st Nov 2018, 23:40
Amnesty International UK Press Release (https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uae-life-sentence-phd-student-terrible-news)

KelvinD
22nd Nov 2018, 07:53
Amnesty may have a point, except for the reference to the "ludicrously short trial held today". I think this last court appearance was a sentencing hearing only.
He may have been inadvertently condemned by his PhD supervisor at Durham who, while railing against the outcome, told the BBC how Mr. Hedges knew the Emirates well, having lived there for a large portion of his life since the age of 9. Bang goes the "doesn't understand Arabic" defence!
I am not putting myself forward as a defender of the UAE legal system here but it really irks me when we Brits get on our high horses and insist, with no evidence, that all Brits convicted abroad are innocent and the legal systems of other countries are at fault.

eal401
22nd Nov 2018, 08:21
All I want to know is what formal approach did he make to the UAE government in advance of this "fact finding mission?"

Even I know that going to a foreign country and randomly questioning people about the security provisions of that country are likely to get me in bother.

The due process of the UAE's legal process is another debate.

DaveReidUK
22nd Nov 2018, 08:32
He may have been inadvertently condemned by his PhD supervisor at Durham who, while railing against the outcome, told the BBC how Mr. Hedges knew the Emirates well, having lived there for a large portion of his life since the age of 9. Bang goes the "doesn't understand Arabic" defence!

As far as I can see, inability to understand Arabic was not advanced as a defence. Whether or not he was able to read the "confession" that he reportedly signed under duress is irrelevant.

ATNotts
22nd Nov 2018, 08:52
This "professional student" (31 years old and still at uni??) really should have had more common sense.

The UAE is a country where, to name but a few things, plane spotting is frowned upon, as is snogging on the beach, and the import of what are considered normal prescription medicines. Add to that the nature of his research, which, were to be carried out in the UK, without the approval of the UK government, by a mature arab "student" would probably also have attracted the attention of our authorities - though, not in quite such an extreme or overt way as the gent has suffered in the UAE.

And, as others have said, how can you possible do proper research without having a working knowledge of arabic?

All that said, he may have been more than a little foolhardy, and naive, but the sentence does appear more than a tad severe and it is to be hoped that HMG can working to get it reduced, or get him transferred to the UK to serve his sentence in a low security UK jail.

Pontius Navigator
22nd Nov 2018, 11:14
ATNotts, professional student normally applies to a graduand that drifts from course to course with no particular end in view. A PhD student may be of any age. A former flt cdr gained his in late middle age.

However I think we can state categorically that he was not a spy. MI6 (sic) does not employ spies. They might however be interested in his research, offer guidance on areas to consider, and totally deny any connection. Wasn't Greville Wynne an innocent business man?

ATNotts
22nd Nov 2018, 11:22
ATNotts, professional student normally applies to a graduand that drifts from course to course with no particular end in view. A PhD student may be of any age. A former flt cdr gained his in late middle age.

However I think we can state categorically that he was not a spy. MI6 (sic) does not employ spies. They might however be interested in his research, offer guidance on areas to consider, and totally deny any connection. Wasn't Greville Wynne an innocent business man?

Surely not a spy, but at the same time not sufficiently savvy about the working of Arab fiefdoms either.

As for "professional student" appreciate your clarification of the accepted definition of the term, but a quick google hasn't turned up anything to suggest he has done anything gainful so far, outside of academia - and isn't so far as I can see a professor, lecturer or the like.

ZH875
22nd Nov 2018, 11:44
.... or get him transferred to the UK to serve his sentence in a low security UK jail.

Why should UK citizens pay to look after him inside?

chevvron
22nd Nov 2018, 12:10
Surely not a spy, but at the same time not sufficiently savvy about the working of Arab fiefdoms either.


'Having lived there for a large portion of his life from the age of nine'? and now he's 31.
Must be pretty thick then.

PDR1
22nd Nov 2018, 12:24
It was my understanding that he was said not to understand *written* arabic (in arabic script), which I suppose is possible. Nor is his age unremarkable for one of the small group of people who stay in acadmia. He could have graduated with a bachelors degree at 21/22, then done a research Masters degree (typically 3 years) and then secured funding as a research fellow leading towards a PhD (5-6 years, usually combined with other duties). I'm not sure that google would be able to find details of any other jobs he'd had anyway.

But he does seem to have been poorly advised.

PDR

KelvinD
22nd Nov 2018, 13:23
Of course, the fact, as confirmed by his PhD supervisor, that he had recently done similar work on the Muslim Brotherhood wouldn't have helped his case. There is talk of his arrest having had something to with possible links to Qatar. That would fit with the Muslim Brotherhood link and the current spat between UAE & Qatar.
As for the understanding of written Arabic; if he went to school in the UAE, then both written and spoken Arabic would have been part of the curriculum. I watched with some humour my son learning both at primary school in Kuwait. Then, out of sympathy, I signed up for a course at the local British Council. That took the smile off my face!

Tankertrashnav
22nd Nov 2018, 14:04
Re his ability to understand Arabic, I have a 2:1 degree in Russian from a good university, obtained at a time when a 2:1 meant something, and yet I would say that at no time would I have been able to follow the proceedings in a Russian trial, especially when legal terminology was involved.

Foolhardy he may have been, but if everyone who did a foolhardy act ended up on a life sentence we would need to scrap housebuilding and start on a major prison construction programme.

Frankly pretty disappointed at some of the reactions on here by some members who are avoiding the fact that the Emirates "justice system" is anything but that.

eal401
22nd Nov 2018, 14:16
Frankly pretty disappointed at some of the reactions on here by some members who are avoiding the fact that the Emirates "justice system" is anything but that.

Why are you disappointed? If you are disappointed, I will ask you directly - tell me what mitigating action he took before travelling to the UAE, to lay the groundwork for his research visit with the relevant parts of the Government? The Government whose plans and actions he wished to research - on a topic that could be construed to be of interest to foreign security agencies.

The state of Middle East justice systems is no secret and never has been. So, would you not prepare properly?

DaveReidUK
22nd Nov 2018, 14:36
The GCC and the Muslim Brotherhood: What Does the Future Hold? - Hedges, M.J. & Cafiero, G. (2017) (https://www.mepc.org/journal/gcc-and-muslim-brotherhood-what-does-future-hold)

The section on the UAE government's links with the MB makes interesting reading.

A cynic might suggest that has more to do with Matthew's current incarceration than anything he has been doing since.

golfbananajam
22nd Nov 2018, 14:47
The UAE is a country where, to name but a few things, plane spotting is frowned upon, as is snogging on the beach, and the import of what are considered normal prescription medicines. Add to that the nature of his research, which, were to be carried out in the UK, without the approval of the UK government, by a mature arab "student" would probably also have attracted the attention of our authorities - though, not in quite such an extreme or overt way as the gent has suffered in the UAE.


In the good ol' USA it would, no doubt, have landed him in Gitmo sans trial

KelvinD
22nd Nov 2018, 15:14
Thanks for the link Dave. That will be my post shopping reading!

Captivep
22nd Nov 2018, 15:15
And, of course, there is always the possibility that he was spying...

Pontius Navigator
22nd Nov 2018, 15:39
And, of course, there is always the possibility that he was spying...
All we need now is a naughty Arab and we can organise an exchange - Gitmo perhaps?

old,not bold
22nd Nov 2018, 15:57
Mr. Hedges knew the Emirates well, having lived there for a large portion of his life since the age of 9. Bang goes the "doesn't understand Arabic" defence!

I lived and worked in the UAE for 15 years, with reasonably fluent Arabic. I was always amazed that 95% of expatriates never bothered to learn a word of colloquial Arabic. Their justification was that there was no need to because, they dealt exclusively with English speakers and never met an Arab. That was true of course, if they chose to live that way. However, reading and understanding formal written Modern Standard Arabic is something else entirely, so Mr Hedges can be forgiven for not being able to read and understand a long legal document quickly.

The other fact of life that 95% of expats in the UAE (well, UK nationals at least) consistently failed and continue to fail to understand is that under the shallow veneer of glitz and "Westernisation" there lies a feudal state run by badly-educated well-connected "Emiratis" in all positions of power, with little or no idea of "justice" as understood by developed countries. It may not be realised outside the UAE that many of the present senior ruling family members now in power have little or no formal education, and one or two currently at the top have very unsavoury histories. Some have "degrees" awarded by UAE Universities, but we should remember that degrees are sometimes awarded to Emiratis, especially those with ruling family connections in one of the Emirates, for reasons other than academic diligence.

Immature, developing countries, however wealthy they may be, tend to fling accusations of "spying" around against innocent people partly because it make them feel important, and frequently just to have a poke at a mature country to prove that they can mistreat that country's citizens with impunity, as Iran does. That may well be what's happened here; his book probably didn't help. The concept that these countries have of a "spy" probably has more to do with James Bond than reality.

KelvinD
22nd Nov 2018, 17:58
Speaking of the ruling family; my mate was seconded as part of a Royal Signals detachment to the Trucial Oman Scouts in the 60s. He had a set routine of driving round all the various signals outposts, repeater stations etc to carry out periodic maintenance. One night, having finished his preparations for a trip due to start at 06:00 the next day, he was told to be ready for 04:00 instead. They were given no info on where they were going but drove all day in the direction of Abu Dhabi, camping for the night on the shores of the creek. The next morning, they crossed the creek and entered Abu Dhabi. My mate was detailed off to go and "occupy" a telephone exchange, while others went round to Sheik Shakhbutt's palace. According to him, the officer in charge knocked at the door, was given access to the palace. Meeting the Sheikh, the officer informed him he was redundant and would he please accompany them. With that, Sheikh Zayed took over and ruled for the next 30 odd years. My impression of Zayed during my time there in the 80s was he seemed an honourable man and seems to have been a good leader, more or less founding the UAE. He had a reputation for adopting orphans from various countries around the world, taking them to Abu Dhabi and raising them as part of the family and ensuring they were educated as "good muslims".
What a difference there was between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Most in Abu Dhabi, expats and natives alike were generally hard working, whereas those expats in Dubai were largely wastes of skin and a bunch of chancers, more interested in the glitz and what they considered to be a glamorous life style.
My former boss in Abu Dhabi was well connected with the government, having been a leading light in their security apparatus but he was also the representative of the Royal Navy when they were in port. One day, I came into work and he said to me "What is wrong with your sailors?". I asked him what did he mean and he said he had been called out at silly o'clock to sort out a problem with some RN lads. They had apparently bumped into the crew of a US ship, beaten them up and he had to spring them from jail. I explained to him that was normal behaviour. He laughed and proceeded to "smooth things over".
Back to the written Arabic thing; I don't see the relevance of the ability to read written Arabic in formal legal documents. During his questioning, there would have been no documentation, other than perhaps a charge sheet. Everything would have been done verbally and from my experience of the police there, I am sure a lot wold have been done in at least equal parts Arabic and English. I do agree though that the fancy version of Arabic script had me baffled 99% of the time, while school book Arabic was not a problem. I could never get the hang of letters being placed on top of each other, merged and mangled. Still, it does make for some fancy calligraphy.

BehindBlueEyes
22nd Nov 2018, 18:34
Visited Dubai 20 years ago, when it was just starting to really take off as a tourist hot spot.

Found it interesting when, as soon as we arrived, our travelling group was advised that we should always refer to any of the Maktoum ruling family in favourable terms and not voice any criticism, no matter how trivial. Whilst there, it transpired that not only do the Maktoums rule the country, they seem to run and own everything - even the airline that I arrived in - and most of the government ministers shared the name. My understanding of their culture was also that alcohol was expressly forbidden to be served during Ramadan, except in certain designated hotels. So, it was surprising to see several obviously locals blatantly sitting up at the bar, quaffing beer, wine and whiskey.

Friends of mine that work as crew for a LoCo airline there had to marry, if they wanted to live together but the same moral standards didn’t seem to apply when a local took a shine to a European woman.

I certainly would never go back to the place, the thin veneer of civilised behaviour certainly had a few holes in it.

Not convinced any westerner, guilty or not, would get a fair trial there.

pax britanica
22nd Nov 2018, 19:12
Always assuming he isnt actually a spy or whatever MI6 people are called these days and lets face it our history on such matters have revealed that all kinds of 'British Business men arrested behind the Iron Curtain or elsewhere were 30 years later revealed as spooks , what can we do. Well send Jeremy hunt might work -sending Boris Johnson would on past experience probably have got him executed , ort we could do what maybe France or USA might do and say . Please release him and then we will list this unfortunate ban on EK airliners in British airspace and EASA ' random' technical and operational compliance checks on those already here.
sure BA and VS lose their 200 seats a day to Dubai but EK have close to a dozen A380 flights and probably half a dozen on the ground in UK at any one time.

of course if we were not in the midst of committing diplomatic as well as economic suicide we could probably have got them banned from the whole EU.

Ah what a long way we have fallen from the days of gunboat diplomacy

Pontius Navigator
22nd Nov 2018, 19:48
Friends of mine that work as crew for a LoCo airline there had to marry, if they wanted to live together but the same moral standards didn’t seem to apply when a local took a shine to a European woman.


More recently we were staying at an hotel with an ice rink. On our last night we saw two young leggy blondes tripping in and going up in the lifts. Some hours later, while waiting for our taxi, they came tripping out again.

Chronus
22nd Nov 2018, 20:02
We are all going by press reports that this chap was convicted on spying charges. That would be on our understanding of what strictly constitutes acts of spying, perhaps better defined as espionage. What do we know about UAE`s statute book on what constitutes espionage. Moreover by the very actions of collecting information on the state systems and mechanisms of security an act of espionage may have been automatically collected. Not too dissimilar to that of aircraft spotters. The act may be sufficient without intent. The question is whether prior consent and permission was obtained from the authorities to carry out this so called research.

tescoapp
22nd Nov 2018, 22:04
in the UAe its anything that pisses an arab off.

The guy is a fanny and so is his mrs.

Complete and utter waste of cash trying to sort it out. leave the silly sod in jail until they get fed up with him.

Martin the Martian
22nd Nov 2018, 22:26
in the UAe its anything that pisses an arab off.

The guy is a fanny and so is his mrs.

Complete and utter waste of cash trying to sort it out. leave the silly sod in jail until they get fed up with him.

I was just reading this comment as the woman you referred to was on the news, very upset and emotional at the thought of being permanently parted from her husband.

You, sir, are a prat.

flash8
22nd Nov 2018, 23:00
I certainly would never go back to the place, the thin veneer of civilised behaviour certainly had a few holes in it.

Not convinced any westerner, guilty or not, would get a fair trial thereI think you voice what many of the Western Governments , if not all, well know, but are not likely to admit.

Any country where the Judiciary meets Religion (and/or the Government, usually again linked) is a place to well avoid, or at least be wary of.

eal401
23rd Nov 2018, 09:34
I certainly would never go back to the place, the thin veneer of civilised behaviour certainly had a few holes in it.

Not convinced any westerner, guilty or not, would get a fair trial there.

Well, if you knew that, surely the chap in question would be aware too and behaved accordingly? I visited Dubai a year ago and will be going to Abu Dhabi next year and am fully aware of behaviours to avoid if I don't want a visit to the local cop shop.

Mr Optimistic
23rd Nov 2018, 09:55
Where did he get his money from to fund this, who paid? Perhaps upset someone important, uncovered a ruse or something.

BehindBlueEyes
23rd Nov 2018, 10:32
Well, if you knew that, surely the chap in question would be aware too and behaved accordingly? I visited Dubai a year ago and will be going to Abu Dhabi next year and am fully aware of behaviours to avoid if I don't want a visit to the local cop shop.

I think the trouble can be that sometimes Westerners genuinely aren’t aware of what behaviours to avoid. Public singing and dancing, for example, is illegal. Does that include humming a tune to yourself? Obscene gestures, left handers beware, using the incorrect hand to eat can cause huge offence. Brushing up against someone of the opposite gender - difficult to avoid in a busy public place. Having a runny nose! Recent case of a female from South Africa being arrested under suspicion of using cocaine - released after three hour interrogation in police station. Even innocently holding hands with a woman is a no no, although bizarrely it seems to be acceptable there between men.

old,not bold
23rd Nov 2018, 12:06
Kelvin D, I was there when Sh Zaid replaced Sh Shakhbut, and I have to tell you that your mate's account is only partly accurate! The TOS stayed right in the background, just in case of trouble, but there was none. They assisted with transport for the departing Sheikh to the airfield where the RAF had laid on an aircraft for him.

Pontius Navigator
23rd Nov 2018, 13:20
We should also consult that imposition of a swinging sentence to necessary to discourage others as well as to punish - no need for rehabilitation. After a time leniency might lead to release and banishment. After all who wants the bother of keeping someone for the rest of their lives when banishment is more convenient. Political brownie points too.

The Nip
23rd Nov 2018, 13:20
It may not be realised outside the UAE that many of the present senior ruling family members now in power have little or no formal education, and one or two currently at the top have very unsavoury histories.


You could say the same about the UK current crop of leading politicians. There is no educational requirement to become an MP.

If you travel anywhere in the world, it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of laws and customs of countries you are visiting.

IF he is some sort of 'spy', then all I can say is he is doing his very best to make the recent recruitment drive look like it has failed to recruit the brightest individuals.

annakm
23rd Nov 2018, 14:02
I gather the accused was allowed neither consular access or legal representation.

KelvinD
23rd Nov 2018, 14:15
I gather the accused was allowed neither consular access or legal representation.
Wrong on both counts there.

annakm
23rd Nov 2018, 14:44
Wrong on both counts there.

Apologies. Must have read some out of date or fake news!

BehindBlueEyes
23rd Nov 2018, 14:51
I had heard them same about representation etc but it looks like some news reports have been amended.

https://opiniojuris.org/2018/11/22/the-uaes-appalling-conviction-of-matthew-hedges/


“Hedges appeared at two early hearings in court without any kind of legal representation, because nearly two dozen UAE lawyers refused to take his case on the ground that they would not have enough time or information to adequately prepare his defense. The court responded by simply assigning a lawyer to Hedges who did not speak English well enough to communicate with him.“

funfly
23rd Nov 2018, 16:49
I think that if I proposed to do research in the Arab Emirates on their security systems, I would be considered foolish and taking a hell of a risk.

DaveReidUK
23rd Nov 2018, 17:13
I think that if I proposed to do research in the Arab Emirates on their security systems

Except that nobody, other than the UAE court, is suggesting that he was.

Most reports indicate that he was in the UAE researching the impact of the Arab Spring on the country's foreign policy and security strategy for his PhD thesis.

radar101
23rd Nov 2018, 19:27
researching the impact of the Arab Spring on the country's foreign policy and security strategy for his PhD thesis.

Precisely .

Chronus
23rd Nov 2018, 19:35
Except that nobody, other than the UAE court, is suggesting that he was.

Most reports indicate that he was in the UAE researching the impact of the Arab Spring on the country's foreign policy and security strategy for his PhD thesis.

I expect his dissertation will be one of the shortest in history for which a doctorate had been awarded by Durham. It may be a two liner as follows.

Foreign Policy : They don`t give a toss what anyone thinks.
Security : Tight as a duck`s orifice, seriously heavy pull required to get anyone out of the nick.


Soon as he is back in Blighty, he will be mobbed by our army of paparazzi, to be whisked off by our MI5 boys in a SUV with blaked out windows to be offered a few quid to keep his trap shut lest he upsets our bizz with UAE. Whilst his saviour stands in front of the cameras declaring how marvellous he and his cabinet are in rescuing another Brit from the terrors of being Bangedup Abroad, all because of a small misunderstanding. If he had only carried a rolled up copy of a Fleet Street news paper under one arm, a brolly in the other hand and had spoken slowly but in a loud voice, all that misunderstanding could have been avoided.

Dan_Brown
24th Nov 2018, 01:10
Even innocently holding hands with a woman is a no no, although bizarrely it seems to be acceptable there between men.
I've seen two 4 ringers holding hands there years ago and no one battered an eye lid. Approach any of their women and it could have very serious consequences. Yet they come to western countries and the local women are fair game. Double standards??? Don't be silly!! .

KelvinD
26th Nov 2018, 08:18
The BBC is reporting Hedges has been pardoned with immediate effect.

ORAC
26th Nov 2018, 08:21
UAE President has awarded pardons and clemency to 750 prisoners on the anniversary of the foundation of the UAE.

Matthrew Hedges included amongst the 750. To be released with immediate effect once the paperwork has been completed.

UAE still claiming he was a spy and guilty as charged, so I presume he will be declared persona non grata and immediately deported back to the UK.

Pontius Navigator
26th Nov 2018, 08:22
Message sent.

Received and understood?

rotornut
26th Nov 2018, 13:41
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46341310

flash8
26th Nov 2018, 14:14
Well with all due respect whilst I really have a very low opinion of the UAE, it is quite possible he was doing some freelancing for her maj, or they genuinely believed it.

It's certainly not unknown for academics to be recruited, indeed, the CIA covertly sponsors "Academic Conferences" through front companies just to get those they are interested in together all so they could pick targets off for recruitment, once read a book on the subject!

G-CPTN
26th Nov 2018, 14:45
The questions that one should ask are:-
"What use would his information be to British security services."
and:-
"What harm to UAE would his reports cause?"

teeteringhead
26th Nov 2018, 15:29
So, it was surprising to see several obviously locals blatantly sitting up at the bar, quaffing beer, wine and whiskey. Not unknown!

Many years ago - ye Gods, about 48! - when I was first working in the (then) Trucial States, I saw a senior local with whom I'd been working getting outside large quantities of Johnnie Walker Black Label in an hotel downtown.

Emboldened as I was by a few snifters myself, I opined:

"I thought you chaps didn't -er- you know - drink alcohol"

"Yes Teeters," he replied in his excellent public school/Sandhurst accent: "and Christians don't lie, steal or commit adultery!"

Lonewolf_50
26th Nov 2018, 18:13
"What harm to UAE would his reports cause?" That's the relevant question. The perception of harm, or potential harm, versus "academic freedom" is seen differently among those wearing dish cloths as chapeaux than elsewhere.
(We thank winged nut for the assistance)

WingNut60
27th Nov 2018, 05:36
Un pédant de langue française aussi - chapeaus chapeaux

A_Van
27th Nov 2018, 10:27
The guy confessed on camera that he worked for MI6. I wonder whether it was just part of the deal with the UAE. Assume that if he faces the alternative to confess on whatever they need or say nothing and keep enjoying an arab prison, he would confess that it was he who assassinated JFK

Sallyann1234
27th Nov 2018, 10:45
The questions that one should ask are:-
"What use would his information be to British security services."
and:-
"What harm to UAE would his reports cause?"
One could also ask, "What possible use to British society is a PhD in UAE security measures?"
Other than gaining a Dr. title for the holder of course.

old,not bold
27th Nov 2018, 11:18
Un pédant de langue française aussi - chapeaus chapeaux
Hmmm......5/10.

What you probably meant to say was either "un pedant de langue francais....", or "un pedant de la langue francaise..."

Yes, I know there should be accents; I just can't remember how to do them.

G-CPTN
27th Nov 2018, 11:46
Yes, I know there should be accents; I just can't remember how to do them.
Copy and paste from the existing text.

Pontius Navigator
27th Nov 2018, 15:19
The guy confessed on camera that he worked for MI6.

It is not Her Majesty's Goverment's policy to confirm or deny . . .

Take that as a yes then.

BehindBlueEyes
27th Nov 2018, 20:01
MSN News:
“Defence experts questioned whether Mr Hedges was sending a covert distress code to secret service operatives in an apparent confession video in which he claims to be an 'MI6 captain'.

They believe the phrase could have been a code informing agents that he was recording it under duress because there is no such rank as captain in the Secret Intelligence Service, whose officers regard 'MI6' as a slang term.”

Curious.

Pontius Navigator
27th Nov 2018, 20:39
BBE, same report on DT this morning. It went further with a suggestion that he was not SIS but that the UAE wanted to send SIS a message.

G-CPTN
27th Nov 2018, 20:58
The UAE wanted to send SIS a message.
Shouldn't they use the drop box like everyone else?

Pontius Navigator
27th Nov 2018, 22:07
Shouldn't they use the drop box like everyone else?

They did 😁

Shandy52
28th Nov 2018, 21:47
One could also ask, "What possible use to British society is a PhD in UAE security measures?"
Other than gaining a Dr. title for the holder of course.
I must say that I have no background in national or military security, but FWIW I do have experience in information security; and in that field I have always maintained that while security measures need to be kept confidential, the security policies governing those measures generally do not. I note that the al-Jazeera article quoted above states that he was studying security policies. IMHO, a properly prepared security policy should say nothing at all about the measures in place to implement it. This being so, I cannot help wondering whether a failure of communication may not have been the cause of a misunderstanding here?

KelvinD
28th Nov 2018, 22:50
There may well be a bit more to this than meets the eye. I heard on a radio news item a few days back that his last employment was for a so-called 'think tank' specialising in security issues based in ...UAE! He has probably pissed them off in his previous job and someone decided it was pay back time.

Lonewolf_50
29th Nov 2018, 18:51
Kelvin, I'll take the over on that bet and expect to make money in Vegas ... except they don't have a line open on that.

flash8
29th Nov 2018, 19:16
There may well be a bit more to this than meets the eye. I heard on a radio news item a few days back that his last employment was for a so-called 'think tank' specialising in security issues based in ...UAE! He has probably pissed them off in his previous job and someone decided it was pay back time.Indeed, as I alluded to in my previous post, just because the UAE is a cesspit doesn't mean they ain't right!

strake
30th Nov 2018, 16:06
One man's 'spy' is another man's List X contractor.