Married to the Octopus
It can kill from any distance but you never see it strike - T Bone Burnett
For a long while I resisted the Diana story by the same solipsistic rationale Noam Chomsky resists John Kennedy's: she was inconsequential to me. (As John Judge assesses Chomsky's verdicts on the murders of Kennedy and King, "it's just a function of how much you liked the guy whether he was done in by coincidence or not.") I still find her so, but her slightness of gravity is misleading, because her life and possibly her death were no more about her than my judgement of either should be about me.
If little else is certain beyond the seldom acknowledged fact that Dodi Fayed was the nephew of Adnan Khashoggi, then the late admission that the US Secret Service "was bugging her calls in the hours before she was killed" establishes beyond doubt that this was a person of interest to actors who should be persons of interest to us. It's the kind of disclosure that is usually processed by an incurious media as a fact "that will only fuel conspiracy theories," without asking even the most cursory questions that the new evidence begs, like why were the Americans bugging Diana, for how long before her fatal crash had they been doing so, and is it plausible, as alleged, that they were doing this without a nod and a wink from MI6?
Sometimes you can tell a conspiracy by the high grade of disinformation that accrues about it, including the number and quality of shadowy "renegade insiders" eager to step up, speak out and muddy the waters. For instance, former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson claimed both driver Henri Paul and photographer James Andanson, whose white Fiat purportedly struck Diana's death car before it lost control, were employed by his agency to spy on the celebrity couple. (Paul of course died in the crash, and Andanson was found dead in the woods three years later, an apparent suicide.) Former CIA agent Oswald LeWinter tried to sell to Mohammed Al Fayed apparently forged documents that spelling out in big, block letters an alleged DIA-MI6 assassination plot. And it may even be true, but to showcase the truth within the framework of a lie is to strip its consideration of credibility. (Regarding LeWinter, Al Fayed's attorney Mark Zaid told CNN six years ago that he "was responsible for disseminating a lot of the - what's been deemed disinformation about [the October Surprise]. He has shown up in allegations that Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was murdered, he has shown up involving allegations of the bombing of Pam Am 103, and then he showed up in this latest endeavor of his. He is quite a man of mystery.")
Another man, and another mystery, though perhaps the same conspiracy, was George Smith:
I lost my job, my house, my wife and children because it all became too much for me... Today I feel under great stress again because the establishment is mounting a campaign against me. They are very powerful and privileged and have lots of money to pay lawyers to prevent me from telling the truth.
Former soldier, and footman and valet to the royals, Smith claimed to have been raped by Prince Charles' close aide Michael Fawcett (Fawcett and Charles, said Smith, were lovers). Diana interviewed Smith and taped his allegations years before they became public - such as they did - though what happened to the tape "became a matter of considerable controversy" upon her death. In a comic act of self-policing, the Prince's senior staff investigated Smith and found his claims without merit and forced his resignation. And then, less than two years after the story broke, Smith was dead of an "unknown illness."
Diana herself was dead three years after composing a letter to her former butler, Paul Burrell, in which she said "this particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. My husband is planning 'an accident' in my car; brake failure and serious head injury." (A few weeks before the crash, the Mercedes had been stolen from the garage of the Ritz Hotel. "Police recovered the car but found that its instrumentation had been tampered with," Kenn Thomas writes in The Octopus. The limo was then reconditioned. LeWinter's likely hoax document notes this, stating that the car was "rebuilt to respond to external radio controls.")
Lord Stevens has "been assured" that the 39 classified documents detailing Diana's final conversations "did not reveal anything sinister or contain material that might help explain her death." To put it another way, those who clandestinely bugged Diana have given their word there is nothing suspicious on the tapes they refuse to release, and that's good enough for the head of Scotland Yard's "exhaustive" inquiry.
Celebrity can blind us to the thing itself, particularly when beauty and youth are weighted with great wealth and generational power. (Paris Hilton's circle of rich and pantiless fembots is almost enough to make "elite mind-controlled sex slave" go mainstream.) That Di and Dodi meant nothing to me only means that I had no reason to wish them dead. Others, I can't speak for.