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Early life and MI5
The daughter of a pilot turned Guernsey newspaper editor, Machon attended a private school and then read Classics at Girton College, Cambridge. After her graduation, Machon began a career working for a minor publisher.
It was there she met Shayler, two months after joining the service. Looking for left-wing subversives, she told Stuart Jeffries of The Guardian in 2000, they failed to locate any and began to become dispirited. They prepared summaries from files on anyone standing in the 1992 general election, but both came to feel it was inappropriate work.
Resignation and claims
In 1997, Machon and Shayler resigned from the service. Intending to blow the whistle on a series of alleged crimes committed by the service, the couple took classified documents to The Mail on Sunday; the first story published on the penultimate Sunday of August 1997 concerned Peter Mandelson, whose telephone had been bugged for three years in the early 1970s. A court injunction prevented claims about what the security services knew about the IRA from being revealed. The couple claimed the British government had been involved in an assassination attempt against Colonel Gaddafi and that the security services had foreknowledge of the 1994 London Israeli Embassy bombing and the IRA's City of London bombing.
After they resigned, Shayler and Machon lived in rural France for a time, later living in Paris. Machon briefly returned to London in March 2000 to deliver documents from Shayler to the Metropolitan Police on the 1996 attempt against Gaddafi's life reputedly known about in Britain before the event. The couple returned to the UK in August 2000.
Shayler was imprisoned for six months in November 2002 for offences contravening the Official Secrets Act. The trial judge said he should thank Machon for helping to quash the claim in her evidence that he had copied secret documents to begin a career in journalism. Machon did not face any criminal action herself.
In late 2006, Machon ended her relationship with Shayler. The home of Machon and Shayler in Highgate, London was the base of the British and Irish 9/11 Truth Campaign, founded in January 2004, which believed the September 11 attacks were an "inside job" arranged by a "shadowy elite" of American agencies and others. Mahon has continued to identify with the 9/11 Truth movement. In May 2013, she was removed from a forthcoming United Nations panel discussion in New York City on 6 June 2013 after a complaint from B'nai B'rith International. In 2015, she told The Sunday Times some issues related to 9/11 remained unresolved: "Dirty tricks certainly happen and one should always keep an open mind". In her first book, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers (2005), Machon suggested the death of Diana, Princess of Wales had been organised by the security services.
- Machon, A. (2005). Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5 and the David Shayler Affair. Book Guild Ltd.; ISBN 1-85776-952-X
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- Adams, Guy (16 December 2006). "Diana: Just a car crash or a murder mystery?". The Independent. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
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