Can a nation claim legitimacy and rule of law when it authorises acts illegal under it's own legislation? Discuss.
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.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
Holding republican views is not illegal! And neither is it an offence that attracts the death penalty - nor should it.The driving force to have him taken out of circulation was the fact that he was a republican.
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.Ultimately, can the nation claim legitimacy while carrying out illegal acts? In certain circumstances, yes I believe it can,
I don't believe that this enquiry was set up to establish an excuse to get Adams et al back in the peace process.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?
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.Who says this Nation authorised any illegal act? The report certainly didn't.
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?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.
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?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.
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.I don't believe that this enquiry was set up to establish an excuse to get Adams et al back in the peace process.
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?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?)
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.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.
This is just a little disengenuous and where the report starts to fall on it's face, and it also shows how the release has been handled.But having said all that, if the worst allegation John Stevens is going to be able to come up with is that FRU handlers knew when and where people were going to be murdered (and did nothing about it), then the worst charge they will face is 'accessory to murder' or something like that (I have no criminal legal training, so I am a bit out of my depth now!)
If any of them refused to release evidence that could have convicted a terrorist then they could be charged with withholding evidence.
This is one of my main points though. This report, IMO, is designed to serve a purpose now, and whether it is proved false or wrong, it will have served it's purpose. Even if twelve months from now it is found to be totally fabricated, it doesn't matter, the purpose of this Government will have been served. The Omagh bombing is a good point to make too, why has there been no Government help with this? Why no enquiry demanded and given? Why hasn't Sinn Fein came out and given a report on this? Why did the Omagh survivors and relatives have to through a civil court?John Stevens must feel, or must certainly be hoping, that the weight of evidence in his report will be enough to satisfy the requirement of 'beyond reasonable doubt'. That quality of evidence has to be pretty high. If it's not, then the other option is to bring charges in the civil courts, which have a lower burden of proof (aka the OJ Simpson trial and the forthcoming Omagh bombing trial).
This is why I say it is opportune for the report to be released now. Stevens has said there is no evidence except for what has been destroyed. Brian Nelson is dead and without his testimony there can be no evidence that the FRU instructed Loyalists to carry out an assassination. I do agree that handlers and agents got to too close to the inferno, which I think is inevitable, but this certainly doesn't prove collusion on a National scale.Having said all of that,my instinct is that some individuals within the FRU got too close to the inferno. I guess the ultimate fork in the road will be if there is any evidence to show that FRU handlers (instead of just receiving information) gave out information to their informants and the instructions for individuals to be taken out
By then the damage will be done and the political issues served. Now that Blair has allowed this to happen, the Repuiblicans will always believe this report as gospel, and the long term effects will be permanent.I don't suppose any of us will know until any court case happens.