Annie Machon – The War on Concepts – ESFL 2016 in Prague


Over the last 50 years we have seen an accelerated war on concepts – terrorism, whistleblowing, internet freedoms, human rights ,and privacy. But the prototype of them all is the failed war on drugs. As a former MI5 intelligence officer and whistleblower, Annie Machon will be exploring the use and abuse of the failed drug prohibition policy and suggesting possible solutions. The war on drugs is an utterly failed policy that has caused the biggest crime wave the world has ever seen, funds terrorism, has destabilised whole countries and regions around the world, and causes harm to our local communities and individuals.

Einstein’s theory of insanity was to keep doing the same thing over and over again but hoping for a different outcome. And yet that is precisely what world leaders do every time they re-ratify the UN drug treaties. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a global organisation of law enforcers who know, through their professional experience, that drug prohibition has failed and advocate for a rethink.

Annie Machon at the European Students For Liberty Conference 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Annie Machon (born 1968) is a former MI5 intelligence officer who left the Service at the same time as David Shayler, her partner at the time, to help him blow the whistle about alleged criminality within the intelligence agencies. By doing this, they had to give up their careers, go on the run across Europe (August 1997), live in hiding for a year, and then spend the next two years in exile in Paris. They, and many of their friends, family, supporters and journalists, claim to have been intimidated, and some of them were arrested and put on trial. A death threat was announced against her on a Middle Eastern radio station.

In 2005, Machon published her first book, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair in which she offers criticism of MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service based on her observations of the two whilst in the employment of MI5.