Stevens3 Report - State Sponsored Terrorism?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Prodigal, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. Can a nation claim legitimacy and rule of law when it authorises acts illegal under it's own legislation? Discuss.
  2. Show me a nation that does not achieve it's purposes by saying one thing and doing another and I'll move there! ;D
    Dirty dirty games :-X

    Security forces 'aided' loyalist murders

    Sir John Stevens is to deliver his report on Thursday
    A branch of British army intelligence and some police officers in Northern Ireland actively and deliberately helped a loyalist paramilitary group to murder Catholics in the late 1980s, according to the Stevens Report.
    The BBC's Northern Ireland Correspondent Denis Murray has learned the claim will be made in a report by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, which he is due to make public on Thursday.

    The report into alleged collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries has also found that military intelligence in Northern Ireland actually prolonged the Troubles.

    It suggests one branch of military intelligence was out of control and its activities were disastrous. KEY DATES
    February 1989: UDA kill Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane
    September 1989: Stevens One - Sir John Stevens appointed to investigate alleged collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries
    1990: Stevens offices hit by fire
    1992: British agent Brian Nelson says Army knew Mr Finucane was target
    1993: Stevens Two - Director of Public Prosecutions orders further investigation
    April 1999: Stevens Three - Sir John Stevens appointed to investigate Mr Finucane's murder
    11 April 2003:Nelson killed by massive brain haemorrhage
    17 April 2003: Sir John submits report  

    It is understood the latest report, called Stevens Three, will find that members of the RUC and army colluded with the largest loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), to murder Catholics.

    The report, which centres on the murder of Pat Finucane in 1989, will be delivered to the chief constable, Hugh Orde.

    The Finucane family has always believed the security forces were involved in his murder and have dismissed the report.

    His widow, Geraldine, said a full judicial inquiry was the only way to deal with the issue.

    Mr Finucane, a high-profile Catholic solicitor, was shot dead by the UDA in front of his family at his north Belfast home.

    His son, Michael, alleged the system of collusion came about because the government wanted certain people "out of the way".

    "I know this because I have spent 14 years examining the evidence in the case and I am a victim of that policy - my father was one of the people murdered.

    "The success of the policy, in government terms, is measured by the numbers of people they were able to kill and get away with it.

    "The only thing that I don't know, and it certainly hasn't been determined anywhere, is the exact total number of people murdered as a result of this policy of collusion."

    The report also says its inquiries were obstructed by police and army officers, and vital evidence was concealed and destroyed.

    Since 1989, Sir John Stevens has been investigating allegations that elements within military intelligence and the RUC's Special Branch were colluding with loyalist assassination squads.

    The success of the policy, in government terms, is measured by the numbers of people they were able to kill and get away with it

    During the course of the latest Stevens inquiry, the activities of the Army intelligence Force Research Unit were investigated.

    It recruited Brian Nelson as its agent at the top of the UDA.

    His role was to gather information on murder targets.

    Nelson, who died last week, insisted his handlers knew in advance that Pat Finucane was being targeted.

    The Stevens report says his murder could have been prevented.

    The head of the FRU at the time was Gordon Kerr, who is now an army brigadier serving in Iraq.

    Last February, prosecution papers were prepared relating to Brigadier Kerr and are one of 20 files that have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    The Stevens investigating teams found obstruction and even harassment from both the army and elements of the RUC's special branch.

    They say a fire at their offices in 1990 was arson and they feel that throughout their inquiries, they were spied on and betrayed by police and army colleagues.

    Sir John Stevens is still determined to try to bring Pat Finucane's killers to justice - and he is still investigating just how far up the chain of command the collusion might have gone.

    But BBC Northern Ireland correspondent Dennis Murray says: "Neither he nor his officers ever expected to uncover a can of worms on the scale they have."
  3. Guerilla warfare is a dirty way of fighting, and sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to win
  4. Yes liney, but we are not some South American banana republic. We need to be going in publicly, and hard. We ned to destroy the cells and wepoans, and we need our "aliies" to co-operate. Why the hell has Pira and the UVF/UFF or whoever's financial accounts not been frozen? Why in God's name are the Americans not pulling out the stops to condemn and act on rooting out terrorism in Northern Ireland?

    Why? For the same reason Israel isn't acted against. The lobby is too strong, and Adams and McGuiness will continue to get their flow of money from the US.
  5. Whatever money is coming from the USA, or anywhere else (I wonder how much 'British' money got/gets channelled to the Loyalists paramilitaries?) it's not the money of fools that was stopping evidence being used to bring terrorists to justice - something we all keep banging on about - it would appear it was factions of our very own security forces, having their own private internecine squabbles, that was preventing it.

    You cannot label the opposition terrorists, and be able to treat them as such in the legal sense, and then use the very same illegal tactics against them - and expect everyone to just shrug their shoulders and walk away.

    Sorry guys, what goes around comes around and there are some very ugly chickens which are now coming home to roost.

    If the due process of law is not seen to be fair, balanced and just, it will not be accepted as credible and legitimate. An illegitimate legal system is not compatible with a democracy. We always said to these people, "you shouldn't be terrorists because you have the vote - use the ballot box, not the bomb!"

    we can't then add, as an afterthought, "incidentally, you won't  mind if we do though, do you?"
  6. Difficult question to answer.  I think it boils down quite simply as to whether the ends justify the means.  In this case I'm not convinced they do.  The whole affair is coming back to bite the security forces in the arrse after all these years.  The amount of political leverage the republican movement have gained from such allegations is both immense, and well used by their own spin doctors when they come under pressure themselves for illegal activity.  An example of such spin is the idea that Pat Finucane was shot simply because he was a catholic.  Balls.  The driving force to have him taken out of circulation was the fact that he was a republican.  Look at his family history, who his brothers were and what they got up to.  Look at who many of his clients were, what they were up for and what organisations they belonged to.
    Ultimately, can the nation claim legitimacy while carrying out illegal acts?  In certain circumstances, yes I believe it can, does, and will.  Not simply in N.I. either.  As line-grunt points out, if you're involved in a dirty war, you've sometimes got to fight dirty to win.  There's better ways of fighting dirty mind you than bedding down with terrorists.  The enemy of my enemy, should not neccessarily be my friend.
  7. Security forces may* have helped and aided loyalist terroist organisations in the past, but the Sinn Fein leadership and the IRA leadership have always and still are the same bloody thing.

    "Inextricably linked" is a bit of an understatement.

    Public enquirys? Prosecution? Collusion?


    *Probably definatly
  8. PtP

    While I agree with most of what you say - however:

    "but we are not some South American banana republic."
    With this bunch of free loading muppets running the show i'm not so sure we aren't too far off (might explain why Bush et al are so content dealing with us!!!

    "We need to be going in publicly, and hard. We need to destroy the cells and weapons, and we need our "aliies" to co-operate."

    Definately, though i'm also in favour of the sneaky approach where the caches are booby trapped and the bastards blow themselves up.  

    My other misgiving is that with all the political correctness floating around as it does, that the go in hard and fast approach will get stopped  by those not in favour of 'poor little terrorists' being woken at 4am by having their front door kicked in and being greated by a smiley squaddie or two.

    "Why the hell has Pira and the UVF/UFF or whoever's financial accounts not been frozen?"

    Good question.  Why hasn't someone arrested Ian Paisley for incitement and anti-social behaviour??

    "Why in God's name are the Americans not pulling out the stops to condemn and act on rooting out terrorism in Northern Ireland?"

    The "plastic" irish vote/lobby is too strong for them to be seen doing anything too harsh.  Remember in popular American history/mythology we Brits are the bad guys - think how many screen baddies are british.........

    The whole thing sucks.... :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
  9. ---
  10. Foggy, there are many many good reasons why the Crown Forces shouldn't break the law and this is one of them. One of the most fundamental reasons why we shouldn't break the law to enforce it, is that we as we remove individuals with one hand, we provide ammunition to our enemy with the other, that lasts for years, even generations - it's Pat Finucan's son, who watched him being murdered as a child, who is now being interviewed - providing a simple and powerful symbol and yet more reasons for some people to hate and mistrust the British Establishment.

    Holding republican views is not illegal! And neither is it an offence that attracts the death penalty - nor should it.

    I'm afraid I disagree, for the reasons I've already given. I have no problem with fighting 'dirty'. I have no problem with the concept of shooting dead people who are about to commit acts of murder - as per the numerous examples of the IRA being shot dead as they were about to launch an ambush, fire rockets, shoot soldiers etc etc. I had no problem with what happened in Gibralter.

    But I take issue with groups of security forces not being able to produce any credible evidence that Pat Finucan was about to kill someone when he was shot dead in his home, in front of his family - and I take issue with using terrorists to conduct what is OUR business, acting in our name and using our authority to do it.

    I feel uncomfortable discussing this, I have friends past and present who are/were in the front line in NI. But fighting an illegal and unaccountable and out of control war against terrorists was never going to defeat them. It was just adding more filth to an already infected open wound.
  11. I've searched through the report, and was surprised at just how much of it is supposition. Even though the 'report' is said to be corroborated by thousands of documents, none of these documents, apparently, are or can be classed as evidence.

    SDtevens said in interview he 'BELIEVED' that his office was being undermined and spied on by security services. Are we to take it that this now constitutes evidence? He also says he 'THINKS' the fire at the office was arson, is this evidence.

    We need hard evidence to convict TERRORISTS/MURDERERS/BOMBERS, so why does this 'report' contain in almost EVERY statement the words, believe, think, etc. etc.etc.?

    The report, I suggest you look at it closely, is in my mind full of supposition and innuendo.

    Don't forget, this report has been published now, a week after the main man who was at the centre of the report, died, do you think this timing is coincidence? He can't now gainsay anything in the report, and you cannot libel a dead man. Do you also think it coincidence that the reort has been published at a time when the British Government is looking to give Adams and the rest a get out clause and back into the peace [sic] process?

    I've said before that of course there was collusion, but this doesn't necessarily reflect on the whole British establishment.

    This report has been produced at a very opportune time, and gives the provos their get out clause.

    I want to knmow when Sinn Fein is going to start their public enquiries into all the bombings and murders carried out by the Republican side, seeing as they want a public enquiry on every issue from this side.
  12. Who says this Nation authorised any illegal act? The report certainly didn't.
  13. Stevens is going to be able to produce evidence that he was obstructed in his investigation. It would appear that much of the documented evidence has been destroyed or 'lost' by those responsible for its safekeeping.

    If they are able to prosecute anyone on his list then they will only be able to do so on evidence that will prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that unlawful acts were committed. This will perhaps be the evidence you and others require before you're convinced.

    I don't believe that this enquiry was set up to establish an excuse to get Adams et al back in the peace process.

    I wonder if perhaps Stevens has only been allowed to publish once Brian Nelson was dead because BN would have been able to corroborate much of what Stevens is claiming. Now Nelson is dead the potential impact of Stevens report is reduced because one of the main witnesses is out of the way.

    Or perhaps, in anticipation of this very fact, Brian Nelson's brain was encouraged to start hemorraging by a well placed bullet put there (by someone on that list, perhaps?)

    Somebody gave the FRU funding, authority and objectives. That somebody didn't do it without clearance from a pretty senior level, I'd have thought.

    Well, I await the 4am knock on my door.........
  14. So the evidence is that he was obstructed and nothing to do with the claims in the report? And seeing as he admits that the documented evidence, allegedly seeing as he hasn't seen it, were lost or destoyed, you admit that the report can only be conjecture? The only evidence you seem to have produced, like him, now doesn't exist, and he hasn't seen it? So you will be happy to convict the Government on hearsay?

    But the evidence has been lost or destroyed has it not? Or does a prosecution that proves obstruction automatically prove the report as factual? You want to convict the Government, again, on hearsay and conjecture?

    Neither do I believe that the report was set up to get Adams and the rest on side. But, I do believe that the timing of the release of the report, and sensationalist way it has been released and the way it is so damning, while containing no real evidence, most certainly is.

    The report has been released at a very opportune time, BN is dead and cannot refute any of the claims. But answer this, if your conspiracy theory is to be even considered; why kill him now and not anytime in the past 14 years while the report was being compiled? If the report is right, we would have killed him years ago to keep his mouth shut, not just prior to the report being released. If we did collude in murder, why wait until now?

    Of course the FRU was funded by the Government. Of course the FRU was given objectives and authority, but we're not talking about a girls scout troop here.

    The handlers would have the objective of finding and turning informants, they would further be given the authority to use that informant in the most effective manner they could. But only the handlers would know who the informant was, and only the handlers would take the information passed. Even senior level operatives and controllers would not be privvy to who the informant was, for obvious security reasons. Now how the handler used the informant, and the information passed, was up to them., and the senior members of the FRU would know little or nothing of this. By the very nature of the FRU secrecy was paramount and it was run on a need to know basis. Brian Nelson came to the fore because he came to the mainland, and his name would never have been known otherwise.

    As I understand it, from the report, the murder of Pat Finuchan, which spawned the report, doesn't say that the FRU colluded in his murder, but in fact failed to act on the information that he was going to be murdered. There are a number of reasons for this happening, to name one to protect the informants identity. This does not constitute evidence of collusion, at worst incompetence.

    Up to now you have only convinced me, like the report, that hearsay, conjecture, and assumption is being taken as hard evidence, and the lack of evidence will show in the end....... but too late of course to lessen the political decisions made now.
  15. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    S/Gun  -

    You are 100% correct, and put your points extremely well.  Unless a person was there, in the 70's and 80's, and know what was going on there and then, it is very, very hard to comment sensibly.  Even then, as Shotgun says, no one will know more than a small part of the picture.

    All terrorists are scum, and all those who support them must count as pretty similar.  Even so, although the 'loyalists' can be as big a bunch of scrotes as the provos, they are purely a reaction to them.  They simply would not exist, if it weren't for the 'boys'.