Extradition row continues

RTE report Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in the Irish Times calling for calm, clear-headed consideration and debate on the issue of the extradition of three men found guilty of training FARC rebels[subs req] in Colombia, meanwhile the BBC has other opinions.. and the Irish Times, along with a barrister’s opinion – “Process of extradition is fraught with numerous legal difficulties” – has a statement from a representative of the chairman of the US Congress International Relations Committee, Congressman Henry Hyde

“We hope the Irish Government honours its agreements and carries out the Interpol warrant for these three Irishmen who are wanted on serious charges by the Colombian government after conviction for helping to facilitate the training of narco-terrorists in our own hemisphere.”

From the Irish Times report

Speaking on behalf of committee chairman Congressman Henry Hyde, he said the US hoped the Government had not made a deal with the IRA as the issue “had nothing to do with Northern Ireland” and related to the drug war in the neighbourhood of the US.

More of the statement by the representative of Congressman Hyde –

“The US takes this issue very seriously. We hope the Irish Government honours its agreements and carries out the Interpol warrant for these three Irishmen who are wanted on serious charges by the Colombian government after conviction for helping to facilitate the training of narco-terrorists in our own hemisphere.”

Also worth listening to Suzanne Breen on BBC radio’s Talkback programme.. on what she describes as the charade around the apparent indecision of Government in regard to the extradition – available online here. [RealPlayer sound file]

  • Kelvin Doherty

    Strange how much trouble eco tourism can get you in…..

  • Robert Keogh

    It’s quite interesting to see how muted these same US congressmen are on the requests the Columbian government has made for the extradition of US servicemen that colluded with right wing paramilitaries. One serviceman this year was accused of supplying 10s of thousands of rounds of ammunition to one Columbian terrorist group. The US whisked him away home and refuses to furnish him for questioning to the Columbian authorities.

    This is not an isolated incident.

  • Robert Keogh

    Are the actions the Bogota-3 are alleged to have committed worse or better than the 50,000 civilians the US-supported terrorist contras murdered in Nicaragua?

    Or the US sponsored human rights abusing juntas in Guatamala, El Salvador, Panama, Chile, Argentina….?

    Perhaps the US would extradite the CIA murderers of the democratically elected president Allende of Chile?

    Isn’t it great that Bertie has signed legislation to allow the CIA to interrogate and detain suspects within the Republic?

  • G2

    “One serviceman this year was accused of supplying 10s of thousands of rounds of ammunition to one Columbian terrorist group”

    Was his name Murphy from Boston whose grandad was an IRA man from Co kerry?

    . “Tradition of honor among the Irish in the US Services “

    http://www.irishtribute.com/heritage/viewer.adp?article=1538218

  • Robert Keogh

    Was his name Murphy from Boston whose grandad was an IRA man from Co kerry?

    His name and ancestry are beside the point, the hypocrisy of silence by these congressmen over US terror IS the point.

  • G2

    Robert,

    Go tell that one to the US Marines. all your talk is platitudes, conjecture. and smokscreens about the US congress.

    What about the hypocrisy, lies and deceit coming from SF over the Colombia Three.?

    First SF denied the Colombia three were IRA , then they tried to con us they were on a holiday as ego tourists with false passports.

  • maca

    G2
    “What about the hypocrisy, lies and deceit coming from SF over the Colombia Three.?”

    Robert has a very valid point and any SF hypocrisy or lies (which I would agree with) is irrelevant to this point.

  • spartacus

    G2:

    Is it your point that Irish Americans have served in the US military? Are we surprised? And ‘go tell it to the US Marines?’ Point being what? Robert’s got it right: cmoplete hypocrisy, top to bottom, in the US, and in Colombia, which last year received something in the region of $590m. to fund its counterinsurgency. This in addition to the millions piled on by paramilitaries with financial backing from Colombia’s ruling class. But then you’re an apologist for that sort of thing, aren’t you? Lies and deceit indeed; subsidized to boot.

  • spartacus

    One very very interesting thing in all this foaming at the mouth over the Colombia 3: the strange alliance between Free P’s in the vanguard of leftover unionism and Henry Hyde, the US Senator referred to by one biographer as the “most persistent Vatican loyalist in Congress.”

    This from “The Two Faces of Mr. Hyde: Vatican Puppets in American Politics,” by John M. Swomley:

    “According to the New York Times of October 1, 1998, Hyde was made a “papal knight” of the Catholic church three years ago because he was one of a group of men “who promote the church’s interests. “ Another who received the papal knight award for serving Vatican interests was David P Schippers, who was chosen by Hyde to be the impeachment prosecutor of the president [Clinton] for the Judiciary Committee.

    Hyde is in no position to condemn international terrorism, or narco-trafficking for that matter, as he was centrally involved in defending the Nicaraguan Contras, a large-scale terrorist mission financed at least partly through the importing of drugs into the US. [Actually, the recent revelations about planeloads of cocaine landing at US military bases from Colombia suggests that the modus operandi is intact].

    Two ways to look at the alliance, I suppose: one is as cross-Atlantic progress toward a fascist, but ecumenical, political order; the other as a sophisticated manouver by the DUP to place themselves on the side of the far right in the US and [given their communications with Colombian prosecutors etc.] internationally. My guess is that this is what McDowell has in mind when he talks about the historic reconciling of orange and green. The only question for the rest of us, non-elite taigs and prods, is ‘Is this what we want?’

  • martin

    The whole idea of FARC needing provo mortar expertise is quite hillarious–the PIRA’s mortar attacks were almost always complete flops with the one notable exception of Newry in 1985–.

    during the troubles most mortar attacks either failed to explode,shot over ,fell short or exploded during transportation. I cant remember the exact figures but i think out of about 700 attacks with mortars only about 5 even reached their target—Newry was a fluke and even there 2 of the shots fired missed the target .

    FARC needed PIRA expertise in mortars=get away out of it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s really funny to hear the Ulster Unionist Party accusing the Irish government of being soft on terrorism, considering Trimble’s seat on the Loyalist Commission.

  • Alan

    Thanks to Martin for reminding us how bloody and, contrarily, how brutally inept the IRA militarists actually were. Interesting figures too – I wonder where they came from, some kind of internal effectiveness audit perhaps?

    I never in my life thought I would catch myself agreeing with the likes of Mary Harney, but the RM’s arrogance beggars belief on this one. At least the rebuttals on this and other threads suggests that they now recognise this themselves.

  • Fraggle

    Martin, those mortars sound nearly as bad as the scatter bombs dropped in urban areas in Iraq. You know, the brightly coloured ones that often fail to explode until a child picks one up.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    If there is evidence to link these men to training FARC guerillas, then they should be tried in Ireland, Surely there’s some enabling legislation on the books which allows for such cases given the raft of ‘anti-terror’ legislation enacted in the wake of both Omagh and 9/11.

    The PDs and others seem to want the Irish legal system to be circumvented solely because these people are republicans. Would they adapt the same stance in respect of any other Irish person – let’s say a Fine Gael supporter – were they in a similar situation? I seem to recall a young FG supporter being welcomed home to Ireland after being caught up in a RIRA bombing operation a few years back thanks to the intervention of southern politicians.

    Or better again, if the USA is so concerned, why not send them before the International Criminal Court. Surely the jurisdiction of that court would cover acts of international terrorism as have been alleged against the three?

  • Levitas

    Its all nonsense, this indignation and stamping of feet.Anyone with an ounce of sense will realise that this was sanctioned by the US as part of the ‘endgame’ process for the RA,the rantings of various unionist/PD/Fine Gael politicos phoning the media from their holiday cottages was factored in as entirely predictable.Bertie et al have been known to be economical with the truth before, and guess what it will probably not even get to a court hearing.Its a done deal, wake up to the realities of US global political power chaps.

  • Northern FF

    Interesting to note the range of Provisional ‘lines to take’ popping up here – some good diversionary tactics. Well done chaps – the homework’s been done.

  • Fanny

    Although they’d be well advised to drop the “phoning in from their holiday cottages” line, donchathink? 🙂

  • Levitas

    Yes “Northern FF” it takes hours working and coordinating all those different angles, but its all worth it in the end. Oh by the way “Fanny” I’m writing this from my holiday cottage, absoutely nothing wrong with holiday cottages now is there? Or is that something else people who you don’t agree with should be deprived of? Did’nt you know thats what the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was established for back in the 1960’s the right of EVERYONE to have access to things such as holiday homes? ha ha…

  • martin

    Alan,

    The unionist’s desire to put Irishmen in prison has clouded your judgement–having as usual fallen into the trap of overkill you have lost credability—might I suggest that a better and much more believable way of fulfilling your agenda would have been to claim that the 3 were being trained by FARC and not the other way around.

    Fraggle,
    the IRA used those large-aprox 5ft long cylinders that are used for industrial welding-to make their projectiles—not much chance of kids picking them up–they weigh so much it takes 2 grown up men to even lift them off the ground.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I do hope after all these sterling defences of the rights of mercenaries we hear no more nonsense about provisionalism as some sort of progressive ideology.

  • martin

    jimmy sands,

    James, I seem to recall from past posts of yours that adherence to the law is almost a fettish with you–are you selective about the law—-innocent until proven guilty!!!–or is it a case of guilty until proven west brit unionist lover.

    And no I dont accept the 3 did or will get a fair trial in Columbia or in the Free State either–I would not think it any better that the 3 were badly treated by Irish police rather than their equally corrupt Columbian counter-parts.—-maybe Im being slightly unfair to those in Columbian police/military

  • Alan McDonald

    Martin,

    As an American I’ve always been confused as to why there is such a problem with the concept of policing in Northern Ireland. I take it from your comment that Irish people just don’t like cops. My wife has a nephew like that who lives in the wilds of Idaho, safely away from normal civilization.

  • Yoda

    The problem with the principle of adherence to the law is that there is always more than one law and one jurisdiction. For example, so-called “moral” and “natural” laws are often inconsistent with “state” laws. It just doesn’t suit some people to think about what a law actually is. State law can only ever be part of the story.

  • martin

    ALAN MC Donald,

    would you like cops who beat a 14 year old boy to such a state that he died the day after,the same cops told this boy’s parents that he had been on a drugs and alcohol bindge for 5 days before his death–even tho autopsy showed not a trace of either in his blood–BRIAN Rossitter aged 14 Clonmell.

    Would you like cops who framed a family for a murder that never was and tortured them for years–like the Mac Breartys.

    would you like a cop who threatened to kill a woman who would not be romantically involved with one of them–as one did in Shannon.

    would you like cops who were on the take from local drug lords who are able to terrorise the communities they live in with impunity—Limerick
    while the same cops harrass people over having out of date tax on their cars–and ignore murders and beatings/stabbings on a regular bases.

    Would you like cops who arrest a 20 year old man who is seen in perfectly good health in those cops custody entering a Dublin police station and leaving in a comma which he didnt come out of for 4 weeks–bruising all over his body and shards of metal in one of his eyes——–

    Thats Just the southern part of Ireland.
    The north would take much longer.

    If these are the types of good ole boye cops you like maybe your nephew is much better off away from your idea of civilisation.

  • Alan McDonald

    NO, Martin, I don’t like cops like that. Why do you tolerate them in your country?

  • martin

    Alan,
    The nature of the southern Irish at present seems to be that of sheep who dont protest-accept everything thrown at them by a corrupt government and police and then bend over and accept more of the same up the rear.

    I think a lot of its fear based to be more serious-only a few have ever complained and their lives are then made a misery by the same cops–an attitude of Im ok jack-fu as long as I dont get on their wrong side also prevails.

    I didnt intend to insult you in the last post just to shock you into the realisation that its not cops in general the Irish people have a problem with.–we would just like a police service that is accountable and that obeys the laws of the state to which it has sworn to uphold.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Martin, it is indeed. On the question of who should decide their guilt or innocence of criminal offences in Colombia, the Courts of Colombia or Sinn Fein, I think the former have the greater claim. Western terror-tourists concerned about the rules by which a particular country is run always retain the option of not going there. I don’t see anyone whingeing about convicted paedophiles simply because, for example, the Thai legal system isn’t all we might wish it to be.

  • Alan

    Martin,

    *The unionist’s desire to put Irishmen in prison has clouded your judgement–having as usual fallen into the trap of overkill you have lost credability—might I suggest that a better and much more believable way of fulfilling your agenda would have been to claim that the 3 were being trained by FARC and not the other way around.*

    Leaving aside the fact that I am not a Unionist, I can’t work out if this is a non-sequitur or a plot that has just got lost, although I am leaning towards the former due to the use of the term *overkill* in a post about mortars.

    For crying out loud, these mortars were meant to distroy people and places. Perhaps you have not been in a situation when bombs are going off. Some of us who lived through the early ’70’s in Belfast have experience of being directed away from one bomb into the teeth of another. These things obliterate real people. You can’t just brush it under the table.

    You have to ask – did some group in the RM actually sit down and discuss the ideological purity of FARC and understand the likely outcome of any assistance provided before agreeing to help train them, did they support FARC’s objectives, or did it just not matter? Those are the fundamental questions here, never mind the trial.

  • martin

    Alan,
    I dont live far from Castelderg which was one of the most bomd towns in the north also my breadman was killed by Michael Stone.

  • JD

    Alan,

    I have no problem with people querying the moral efficacy of any group assisting or aligning itself with another. But I wish there was some consistancy when arguing this case.

    The American and British Governments among others assist with military training, supply with weapons and align themselves with some of the most brutal and corrupt despots amd regimes across the globe. I acknowledge however that the RM should operate to higher standards than either of these governments.

    In making this point, I am not accepting that these men were responsible for what they are being accused of, indeed the accusations crumbled when they were but in front of an internationally monitored court case. However, as has been outlined by many posters on this subject, the Colombian Government and its military/right wing paramilitaries are in no position to lecture anyone about moral obligations or terrorism.