Decommission the IRA, get a CBE

BBC News reports “two members of Northern Ireland’s arms decommissioning body have been appointed honorary CBEs.” A third man involved in the decommissioning of the IRA has also been awarded. Peter Hain described it as a “fitting recognition”. “Through their integrity, diligence and commitment to peace, they have helped to deliver what many thought would never be delivered – the decommissioning of IRA weapons,” he said.

  • heck

    “ US civil servant Andrew Sens was awarded a CBE”

    Section 9 article 1 of the us constitution states “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

    I must have missed that congressional vote

  • ingram


    LOL Its Christmas man.

  • heck


    your friends in the british army are murdering iraqis for honest tony over this christmas

    give me a break!!!

    the question is

    Is this guy in violation of his duty to “protect and defend the constitution of the united states”?

    Other american military officers and politicans have received these “Emoluments, Offices, and Titles” from the Queen. How is it justified? I am curious and hope some reader can inform me.

    Perhaps your service in the Brits in Norn Iron means you care nothing for the law. I am asking about americans

  • Aislingeach

    It’s been offered–has it been accepted? The honors list is one thing, but the Constitution specifies acceptance.
    So I would assume Congress would have to okay it for it to be official, from a legal (American) POV.

  • ingram


    My understanding today is they are in Iraq under a UN mandate?

    Just like the Irish when they were in Lebanon and they were involved in murder?

    Any difference ? .

    Soldiers do as they are told mate BUT have to be minded by common law. Nuremburg established the principle that you cannot defend yourself in court of law on war crimes charges if you cite “orders”

    It is no defence just like it is not in Ireland.

    I hope this helps you understand soldiering in difficult situations.

    In respect to this Gentleman. I am sure the protocol is well known and will have been secured prior to the public offer. You need not worry mate the two Governments will have sorted the detail of this offer months ago.If not somebody will lose their job.

    Ding Ding


  • heck

    Thanks Aislingeach.

    I know that Norman Swartzkoff got some sort of title after the first gulf war but I think he was retired at the time, so not a US government employee, but I also saw that some airforce general assigned to Nato got one at the end of last year/beginning of this, and I think he was still serving. I don’t know how they get away with this and I am hoping that some american visitor to slugger can enlighten me.

    It’s an interesting issue given that Bono is an Irish citizen(although not a government employee) and he accepted one. (I think Ireland should accept the principles of the US constitution in this matter.)

    Maybe someone can let me know (with out any smart ass comments from Ingram).

    Ingram—at least my question is on the topic.

  • ingram


    You are being silly. Bono is a private Irish citizen, Sir Bob Geldorf is Irish. They are FREE in a democratic society to collect an award from anybody let alone a member of the G8.

    This American man will be allowed to collect it at some stage , I can hardly see any serious country cocking a snoot at the UK when their is no need to.

    Your biggotry is open and very surprising. Sir Bob and Bono are a credit to Ireland.Receiving a Knighthood is a recognition of his great contribution to British life.

    He is one of us . Like it or not.

    Ding Ding


  • Aislingeach

    Heck, I think your answer is in the wiki–
    (look under “Refusal or forfeiture”

    It also says that “Citizens of the Republic of Ireland must seek permission from their government before accepting honours”. It further notes that in practice the British government consults with the Irish govt. before offering the honor.

    And since Geldof isn’t a British national, he’s not really “Sir Bob” and is not in the British Knightage.

  • merrie

    AFAIK the office which manages the English honours list approaches possible awardees, in confidence, some time before the awards are announced. This enables people to refuse quietly an honour should they wish to do so, and prevents the Queen being embarrassed if someone offered a gong very publicly and rudely turns it down on New Years Day.

    So the American awardees would have known about their honours, and accepted them. I doubt that they will be prosecuted in the USA for accepting the honour. It’s too trivial.

    All Foreign awardees can do with their English award is to stick on the mantelpiece or framed on the wall. I can’t think of any foreign awardee (not that I take much notice) who goes around using the title. Sir Robert Geldorf? – haven’t heard him called that.

    Other countries award honours to non-nationals. I think some Americans have been given French legion d’honneurs, or whatever they are called.

    The Vatican gives out knighthoods etc. One recipient of a Vatican award was none other than Rupert Murdoch, though I am mystified about the reason. I cannot think of a single one.

  • heck

    Thanks again Aislingeach. I read your link. This is something I have wondered about since I read the US constitution. The wikipeda link says US elected or apointed officials cannot accept awards. As I read it “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under” the united states means anyone employed by the US federal government –civil servants and military officers as well as elected officials and appointed people like ambassadors. So how did this civil servant accept the award. (maybe he is retired?)

    The link also lists those who have refused awards. I had thought that Gerry Fitt had refused an obe (or some similar trinket) when he was MP for west belfast and only accepted the peerage when he was out of office. He always claimed to be an “Irish republican socialist”. Did he drop his irish passport and take a british one when he became Lord Fitt? I guess from this entry he must have.

    One other absentee from this entry is Tony Benn. Did’nt he have the law changed so he could give up a heritary peerage?

  • The Devil

    Decommission the IRA, get a CBE

    Why did Gerry not get one then?

  • G. Adams, OBE

    Next year, Big Red, next year…

    “Through their integrity, diligence and commitment to peace, they have helped to deliver what many thought would never be delivered – the IRA,” Gerry Adams, OBE, and Martin McGuinness, OBE, 2007

  • Aislingeach

    Heck–do understand that getting Congress to allow you to accept an honor requires little more than a call to a Congressperson who then inserts a line in a bill that is going to pass saying “so-and-so is permitted to accept such-and-such”. Something that small would pass almost unnoticed.

    Fitt, being NI and so a British national, shouldn’t have had to give up anything (at least, as far as this Yank understands the rules!) As for Benn, I just skimmed the article on him and have to go back to read more–sounds like a very interesting character! The story on his fight to renounce his peerage is outlined there, too.

  • ingram


    Fitt was a British National.

    You can of course hold dual nationality.



  • jimmycleveland

    The fall 2006 issue of the World Policy Journal describes Andrew Sens as “a former US Foreign Service officer.”

    Of course, this does not answer the bigger question.

    By the way, Sens authored an article on decommissioning in NI for that issue. Unfortunately, the WPJ’s online version seems to be stuck on Spring 2006.

  • Truth and Justice

    It would help if they told us what was decommissioned in the first place!

  • Secur O’Crat

    The British in Iraq are an invasion force and have not worked under any mandate. They invaded sovereign country, broke the Geneva Convention in the arrest and execution of that nation’s President by hooded militia members. They have sparked civil war by murdering people like Margaret Hassan and bombing Shiite temples a la Frank Kidson’s Low Intensity Operations.
    To compare Irish peace keeping forces to the Western terrorists in Iraq is disgusting and deliberately provocative.Saddam Hussein showed more dignity in dying than the scum of the British Occupation forces (anywhere) have ever shown.
    Meanwhile, Britain’s allies in Afghnaistan flood us with heroin.
    Anyone who takes an award from that flatulent old woman is suspect. Too many Irish citizens have been awarded these symobls of terror in recent years. The Corrs etc should have their pasports revoked.
    That said:
    It would be good to see Gerry and Martin get rewarded for the endgame of their “not an ounce, not a bullet” strategy.

  • Tom Read

    There is no English Honours system, there is a British one.

  • merrie

    > There is no English Honours system, there is a British one.

    Soon it will be just an English honours system

  • lies, damned lies

    How very apt that those who oversaw the surrender of the Irish’s people’s means of resistance are made Commanders of the British Empire.
    Gerry will have his before he pops his clogs. I’d put my life savings on it.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Gerry will have his before he pops his clogs. I’d put my life savings on it.

    Why don’t you then? I’m sure numerous people would bite your hand off to take that bet.

  • topdeckomnibus

    “English honours system”

    Yes we are looking forward to that. It will have to be our new English Republican honours system, although we might allow people to be papal knights, as the English have not had a native monarch since 870AD.

    The existing family, known as the royal family, would be resettled according to ethnicity. Scotland, Wales and Germany.

    Her ma-amship took a few weeks orf during the year. I don’t think she was called in for the incapacity benefits all work test.

    With regard to her alleged flatulence. The all work test does have a standard by which to determine fitness for work. If the claimant loses control of their bowels (in a public place) twelve times or more in a year .. then they have passed the threshold to be deemed incapacitated from work.

    Farting is not counted.

    I understand that In december a man in an English dole queue faced a terrible crisis. He had lost control queuing to sign on eleven times since January. One more accident and he could get incapacity benefits instead and not be required to seek non existent work.

    Then he saw a leaflet “Leonard Cheshire, Queens Order of Merit, catholic saint and hero although 80% of my care homes unfit for purpose, enabling the disabled … to work”

    It is understood that although the poor man lost control of his bowels .. he did not report it is there is more dignity in signing for dole than qualifying for the charity crumbs dropping from the order of merit table.

    Merrie England …. Happy New Year