Thanks to Lynn for the heads-up.
Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, has been dead (in the normal sense of the word) for 12 years but Deadheads are with us still. A fans’ website that lists every album, every track and every piece of trivia known about the group is lovingly compiled by a Deadhead called Alex Allan, the same Alex Allan who, by day, works as one of Britain’s top civil servants. Yesterday, he was named as the next chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, the apex of the Government’s spy network.
Throughout the Cold War, it was the JIC which updated prime ministers on what the West knew about Soviet military capabilities, a job it did well. With the Cold War over, the JIC has had some difficulty finding a new role but its influence reached a peak in 2003 under the chairmanship of John Scarlett, when it told the Cabinet about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and provided Tony Blair with a reason for going to war.