All Hail President Mitt: Why Did MI6 Spymaster Give Romney His Own Intelligence Briefing?

 
on July 26 2012 3:10 PM
Romney
Romney arrives at 10 Downing Street to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London REUTERS

It seems as if the British are really rolling out the red carpet for Mitt Romney. First he enters Downing Street via the famous front door (then Senator Obama had to make do with sneaking round the back in 2008), and now it has emerged the silver spooned one even warrants his own personal briefing from none other than James Bond's boss!

While meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron and members of the opposition on Thursday, Romney was treated to a personal intelligence briefing from MI6 spymaster Sir John Sawers. Topics covered, according to Romney, included "Iran, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, as well as Pakistan [and] Afghanistan," the LA Times wrote.

"I appreciated the insights and perspectives of the leaders of the Government here and the opposition here as well as the head of MI6 and as we discussed Syria and the hope for a more peaceful future of that country," Romney added.

Does the British hierarchy think Romney will be "their man" in Washington this time next year? Is Whitehall hoping to make good the "special relationship" that has become a little tired under Obama?

Romney certainly made all the right noises after Thursday's meeting, trotting out the usual tropes.

"I can tell you that I also feel, as Americans do across our nation, a special relationship with the nation of Great Britain and with the people here," he said, before adding his, "appreciation for the contribution of British soldiers fighting side by side with those of the coalition and those from our nation in Afghanistan and elsewhere."

If nothing else, the meeting has certainly got tongues wagging in Westminster.

"It is very unusual. The head of MI6's time is extremely precious," Patrick Mercer MP, a former chairman of the House of Commons's intelligence committee told the Telegraph.

"I wonder if this is some sort of anticipatory move for a change of power in the White House to exert pressure over the West's possible role in Syria."

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