Was Ian Flemming right about MI6’s license to kill?
According to Keith Jeffery’s new book, The Secret History of MI6, the answer is no. MI6 did not hand out licenses to kill. But that doesn’t mean Ian Flemming’s tales of super spy James Bond were that far off.
From the Star:
The first-ever official history of MI6 reveals that Britain’s foreign spy agency debated assassinating Nazi leaders, landed a spy wearing a wetsuit over his tux at a casino by the sea … but also wrangled with other government departments and had to make do on a shoestring budget.
Ace spies included “Biffy” Dunderdale — a friend of Flemming — whom Jeffery says shared with Bond an affinity for fast cars and fast women.
More happily for spy buffs, Q — the gadget-making super-scientist from the Bond films — is based on reality. After World War II, MI6 researchers worked on silent weapons, knockout tablets, safecracking tools and exploding filing cabinets that could destroy secret documents at short notice.
Gotta love how it all makes MI6 sound like just a bunch of bumbling Inspector Gadget type blokes. Her majesty’s secret service, of course, held the power to censor the book’s content.