Chapter 97: A House Of Cards

"Picture a house of cards." [source]
"That all makes sense to me," I said. "I don't see why you'd feel the need to question it."

"That's the core," replied Holmes. "That's the central pillar, or cluster of pillars, if you will, of my understanding of the case.

"But as we move away from the core, things get fuzzier, the puzzle becomes more difficult, and it is more likely that I have a piece or two out of place.

"For example, it is one thing to deduce that Gareth Williams must have been seen as a liability by his employers, and quite another to determine what he was doing to cause them to see him as such.

"Was he leading a rebellious faction within the intelligence community? Was he seen as trying to build one, or as capable of building one?

"Was he selling secrets to a foreign government? Or was he working for a foreign government in some other way?

"Was he leaking documents? If so, to whom? Wikileaks? Somebody else -- MI6 agents, perhaps -- impersonating Wikileaks? Or somewhere else?

"It could have been any one of these. It could have been two or more, in almost any combination. Or it could have been something else entirely. We don't know, and we have almost no prospect of finding out.

"Without knowing what he was doing, it is quite another step to say why he was doing it. Did he decode emails to and from an al Q'aeda commander in Pakistan, and learn details about the domestic 'terror threat' which made him doubt the severity, or even the existence, of the threat? Did this lead to a gradual unraveling of his confidence in, and loyalty to, British intelligence?

"It's not difficult to argue that such an unraveling would have been the inevitable result, if Gareth Williams were reading Rashid Rauf's email. But we can't be sure Gareth read that email. The best we can say is that it's been reported. But plenty of things have been reported, and some of them were so ludicrous they had to be denied. So we certainly cannot believe everything we read in the papers.

"However, if what we have been told about Gareth's character is true, and if he did play a role in decoding the emails of the 'Liquid Bombers' and the 'Easter Bombers,' then we don't need to look any further to find a motive for leaking, or turning, or whatever. This is the drop of water I mentioned back in London.

"If all these so-called 'terrorists' are really entrapment victims, then where are the 'real' terrorists? Why don't they ever seem to show up? Is it because they don't exist? Is that why the Crown was so anxious to prosecute the knuckleheads? He would have had to ask himself all these questions, and many more.

"What is all the domestic surveillance about? Why all the travel restrictions? Eventually, if he trusted the evidence before him, he would have been forced to the conclusion that the 'terror' is bogus, and therefore the war 'against' it must also be bogus. Once he did so, how many other bogus bits of the 'conventional wisdom' and the 'official narrative' would he have been led to question?

"The list is endless, Watson. The man was a logician. Do you see the problem? Picture a house of cards, all finely balanced, one upon another. Now pull out one card. How many of the rest will remain standing?

"Each card represents one lie in the official narrative. We've been forced to the conclusion that Gareth lost his faith in, and respect for, the system he was working for. Why did that happen? Which card did he pull out?

"Was it the one about the 'Liquid Bombers?' Was it the one about the 'Easter Bombers?' Or was is something else? There were plenty of other possibilities.

"Perhaps he found out how the 9/11 attacks happened in the US. Perhaps he found out how the 7/7 bombings happened in London. Perhaps he found out about the bombings two weeks later that didn't happen.

"Perhaps he found out about some other malfeasance. The government keeps countless secrets, Watson, and some of them are quite legitimate. But others are very dirty indeed.

"What did Gareth learn that made him change his mind? He could have seen through any one of the dirty secrets, or any combination of them.

"Slate led us to one hypothesis, which certainly seems plausible. But it's only a hypothesis, and most likely it will never be tested.

"So our knowledge on this point is fuzzy at best, and seems destined to remain so. We're not apt to find another inside source. And even if we did, he would be very unlikely to know the answer. Gareth alone may have known which card he pulled out, which dirty little lie he spotted first.

"There's an unlimited supply, Watson. And any one of them could have led to exactly the same result."