Prisoners, problems, victims and the state…

ARGUMENTS over the release of terrorists/ political prisoners aren’t isolated to Northern Ireland, as the freeing of Red Army Faction leader Brigitte Mohnhaupt in Germany shows – especially when they express no remorse. Victims and survivors, unsurprisingly, feel hardest done by, as it’s easier for politicians who don’t have to deal with the pain of loss to ‘move on’. Back home, that seems to be how the father of a young policeman who died in an IRA bomb feels, in a series the Tele is running on victims. If there can be a common theme in the two parts published so far, the second interview being with Catholic whose legs were blown off by a UVF bomb, it’s a feeling expressed by both victims that the Government deserted them in their hour of greatest need. Mercifully, both men seemed to find some solace in support groups.

  • The Dubliner

    Gonzo, the awful reality of the unending pain that was inflicted on so many will continue to undermine the whole ‘sweep the victims under the carpet along with past’ mentality that is proffered as the progressive vogue rather than what it actually is: a retrograde and profoundly ignorant denial of truth and justice to those who are most deserving, and most in need, of it. Their pain should once again remind the people of the north, as they decide who to vote for in the forthcoming election, that they have a duty to those whom they conveniently ignore.

    PSF are not concerned about the victims. They negotiated deals that allowed the guilty to go free. They still negotiate such deals, making secrets dirty deals with the state on investigation of state collusion that the guilty within the state should escape justice as long as the guilty within the ranks of PSF can likewise escape justice. Even where the state has launched an inquiry into state murder (but not collusion in its many acts of state-sponsored terrorism) such as the Saville Inquiry, the deputy leader of PSF, Martin McGuinness, treats that inquiry (and the victims of Bloody Sunday) with contempt by allegedly perjuring himself in his testimony to it. That party’s mouthpieces cynically use the victims of state collusion to extract support from the nationalist community in the north, but they do not want any inquiries into state collusion if such inquiries are linked to their own secret history of collusion. They have betrayed the victims of every side to the dispute at every twist and turn, and all for the advantage of the guilty i.e. McGuinness, Adams, and his cohorts within the PIRA. What cause is advanced by letting the guilty go free other than the undeserved freedom of the guilty? Nothing.

    I held the view that militant action that furthers the aim of the inalienable right to national self-determination (as defined in the first article of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights) against legitimate targets (as defined in the Hague/Geneva conventions) was justified. To that end, I believed that those who violated the Hague/Geneva conventions (i.e. targeted civilians) should not be exempt from the consequences of their actions in the civilian courts, but that those who hit legitimate targets should be exempt. That all relied on the assumption that the actions of PIRA were the actions of legitimate freedom-fighters. I seriously question that assumption at this point. I tend now to the view that the movement was really one of militant protest and a quasi-vigilante police force within the nationalist community (which later became a political movement with an agenda to grow its support base which would inevitably conflict fundamentally with a republican agenda), rather than a revolutionary army.

    It’s too late, of course, to undo PSF’s dirty deals on prisoner releases, but it’s not too late to demand justice for those whose crimes have yet to be investigated.

  • harpo

    Is anyone in Germany advocating that this chick be made Minister of Education or get some other ministerial post?

  • LJ

    She killed a SS man, didn’t she? She wasn’t all bad then.

  • harpo

    ‘PSF are not concerned about the victims. They negotiated deals that allowed the guilty to go free.’

    Dubliner:

    Now don’t be so hard on the Provos. All the pro-agreement parties signed up to let the guilty out – loyalists and ‘republicans’.

    And the voters endorsed the agreement that said that prisoners would be released. 71% in NI, and just about everyone in the ROI.

    The DUP were the only negotiating party who refused to sign up to the agreement, partly because they saw the prisoner releases as being unfair.

    The PUP and the Provos were happy of course – they got their people out of jail as a result of the deal.

  • harpo

    ‘She killed a SS man, didn’t she? She wasn’t all bad then.’

    LJ:

    Did she kill him because he was an SS man, or was that just a coincidence?

    In general, do you consider mass murderers to have some redeeming quality if they happen to kill someone that you consider needed to be killed?

    If this SS guy was not facing any charges, or had served his time in jail, why should he be worthy of death? Many SS people went home after WW2 and faced no charges.

    Are you saying that they all deserved to be killed?

  • The Dubliner

    “And the voters endorsed the agreement that said that prisoners would be released. 71% in NI, and just about everyone in the ROI.” – harpo

    They did, but they would have voted for an extra working day to be added to the week if rejection of it meant a return to violence. So concessions granted by the threat of violence really aren’t a good guide to how people view the morality or justice of it. That’s not the issue, anyway: the issue is outstanding cases and PSF’s duplicity in publicly expressing support of those cases in an effort to gain votes from those who wish to see the state-sponsored terrorism investigated (Finucane, for example) while privately doing secret deals with the British government to block progress (knowing that the government is blackmailing them with the threat of linking investigation of outstanding cases of collusion to cases which would severely discredit PSF). Plus threats from Intelligence Insiders to name informers if more investigations occur means that PSF are compromised to the point where they are on the side of the cover-up brigade here; and not on the side of those who want the full ugly truth to come out. The rather obvious point being that a vote for PSF is a vote for cover-up, not exposure.

    Personally, I beleive it’ll be a cold day in hell before the truth comes out here, so the only actual purpose that demands for truth and justice serve is to show – by the expedient of those demands being denied by the state – how rotten is the state of Denmark. No worthwhile cause is ever truly lost.

  • realslimfartrickisback

    the cop in that article was from generations of cnuts…why should anyone care. his father is only jumping on the bandwagon looking for money…greedy pig

  • George

    Perhaps it might be good to look at the question German leader Helmut Schmidt said the country had to ask itself when looking at fighting the RAF:

    “Zivilisation oder Barbarei”

  • Greenflag

    Harpo’
    ‘Is anyone in Germany advocating that this chick be made Minister of Education or get some other ministerial post? ‘

    The partition of Germany by the occupying powers ended in 1990 so it’s unlikely. But look on the bright side .When Northern Ireland is repartitioned -sooner or later -once the present never ending Assembly farce ends up as just another evolutionary dead end – then there will be no need for a smaller predominantly Unionist two county sized Statelet to contemplate much less even consider an SF Minister of Education .

    Now that should make you happy la bas in your Canuckian igloo ?

    Posted by harpo on Feb 14, 2007 @ 04:12 AM

  • Belfastwhite

    Dubliner

    What planet have you been living on? Didn’t I hear Sinn Fein call for enquiry into collusion! Sinn Fein were for years the only party shining a light on and calling for enquiries into state murders north or south of the border but you turn this campaigning for truth into political expediency. If they didn’t do anything you would be having a winge that they abandoned the victims. You say you believed in armed struggle but then condemn the release of political prisoners a bit hypocritical methinks. Time to get real Dubliner the war is over but the struggle goes on non violently thank god.

  • kensei

    “Is anyone in Germany advocating that this chick be made Minister of Education or get some other ministerial post?”

    Are enough people voting for her?

    If you need any more lessons from Democracy 101, don’t hesitate to ask.

  • mickhall

    “Zivilisation oder Barbarei”

    This is a very good point, and we should remember the woman in question was sentenced under the law of West Germany and has served the sentence that was passed on her. Thus as it should be she is to be released. It is as one would expect from the reasonably civilized society Germany has evolved into post WW2.

    However for reasons of self interest and without a thought to prudence, NI cannot be considered in the same manner. For both the governing powers and the insurgents are prepared to accept lies, deceit and collusion as the norm and they pathetically seriously believe they can build a silk purse out of this particular sows ear.

  • Red Mist

    Wow she was hot!

    Sorry.

  • GrassyNoel

    I was actually just going to post pretty much exactly that!

    She sure as hell was…could she not have tried changing the world through lingerie modelling?!?

    Again, sorry.

    But then again it IS Valentine’s Day, so I guess the opposite sex is on the Brain.

  • The Dubliner

    “Didn’t I hear Sinn Fein call for enquiry into collusion!” – Belfastwhite

    Sure, and Tony Blair said in response to O’loan’s recent report that police officers who colluded with loyalist murderers in Northern Ireland will be “properly and rightly dealt with.” I believe him about as much as I believe PSF. “Properly and rightly dealt with” meant being summoning Sergeant Margaret Walshaw to Buckingham Palace and awarding her with the British Empire Medal and meant promoting Gordon Kerr to the rank of Lt. Colonel for services to the British empire in colluding with the murders of dozens of Catholic subjects of said empire. Doubtless, Ronnie Flanagan (now Chief Inspector of Constabulary, but who had responsibility for the systematic litany of crimes permitted under his blind eye) will be “properly and rightly dealt with” by being promoted to the House of Lords in due course.

    I didn’t hear PSF “call for enquiry into collusion” with PIRA and the state, did you? Are we to believe that the state did not manipulate that murder machine as it manipulated the others? It’s “nutting squad” was controlled by a British agent who killed up to 40 of PIRA’s members with the full blessing of PIRA/PSF’s leaders. Now the purpose of placing an agent in PIRA’s internal security unit is to ensure that your informers/agents are not detected by that unit. So, how many people did the British state order killed via its agent, Stakenife, in order to protect its actual agents/informers within PIRA? What operations did Donaldson compromise, for example? Who was killed as a result? Calling for inquiries in public should not be confused with calling for them in private meetings with those who already know your dirty little secrets.

    Now PSF care so much about victims (despite creating the vast bulk of them, both fatalities and casualties) that they equated serial killers who exclusively targeted civilians (British-controlled death squads) with organisations that predominantly aimed their campaign at legitimate targets in-order to get their own people out of jail. Every loyalist murder (excluding the 26 members of PIRA killed) was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention. They are criminal murderers, pure and simple. Yet PSF let them out because that served their own aim.

    But don’t worry so much about what I think. It won’t lose the Assimulation Movement (formerly known as the republican movement) any votes.

    “Wow she was hot!” – Red Mist

    I’d give her 3 out of 10. Her eyes are dead – just like her soul.

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    “Are enough people voting for her?

    If you need any more lessons from Democracy 101, don’t hesitate to ask. ”

    There is no need to highlight the flaws of democracy, we have experienced it first hand.

    The families of the victims of the Bader Meinhof gang can have at least some solace that this women has spent most of her life in jail.

    What solace do the victims of the Shankill bomb have.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mickhall: “This is a very good point, and we should remember the woman in question was sentenced under the law of West Germany and has served the sentence that was passed on her. Thus as it should be she is to be released. It is as one would expect from the reasonably civilized society Germany has evolved into post WW2. ”

    Actually, she is being paroled after having served the mandatory portion of her sentence. The state was not obligated to release her. She was, however, treated as an “ordinary, decent criminal” and not as a political killer. From the Boston Globe:

    “She was given five life sentences for murder and other non fatal attacks, including a 1981 rocket-propelled grenade assault on the car of US General Frederick Kroesen — then the commander of US forces in Europe — which injured the general and his wife.”

  • mickhall

    Dread

    I think you will find it was mandatory for the State to consider her for parole after she had served the required number of years.

    Myself I welcome the decision to release her as I have become increasingly worried of late about the political influence in the rule of law, as is demonstrated almost daily in the north/NI; and was highlighted by the recent case of the Basque prisoner who had ten years added to his sentence for something he wrote in a publicly sold newspaper.

    We are also hearing an increasing number of cases where people are being sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for what they say, write or watch, which imo is very dangerous indeed.

    I can understand this if a crime has been committed when making say a video of child pornography, but for example, to read or possess a copy of the anarchist cookbook or a tape of some islamic fundamentalist iman should not be taken to mean one is guilty of plotting explosions etc.. [No Mr Branchman I do not have a copy at home] Incidentally whenever this type of padding is put before a court by the DPP it is 9/10 times because their case if full of holes.

    Today this guff is used in much the same manner as, “the defendent admited his crime to his cell mate your honor whilst on remand”
    [The fact the cell mate was given early parole soon after he testified of course is a mere coincidence.]

  • circles

    hmmmm seems we haven’t gotten over the hierarchy of victims thing have we?
    Seems theres still a big ladder with the “real” victims at the top….. so who were the real victims?
    And should members of groups like the RAF be at the bottom because their group was illegal? (i think they’ve disbanded now haven’t they?)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mickhall: “I think you will find it was mandatory for the State to consider her for parole after she had served the required number of years. ”

    I think you will find that she had multiple “life” sentences, which mandates a *minimum* number of years she must serve, after which she *MAY* be paroled. Simply because they needs consider her for parole does not mean she must be released — i.e. nothing says it has to be granted. The spokesman made a point of saying this was a parole, not her release and not clemency.

    As for the rest, it’s a mixed bag, too much to lump together into a single argument.

    As for the Anarchist’s Cookbook, stay away from the explosives recipes — they are… inaccurate. I much prefer the old WW2 manuals from the Frankfort armory.

  • Arkan

    “There is no need to highlight the flaws of democracy, we have experienced it first hand.”

    Amen to that. The conclusion that we should have drawn from nationalist votes for SF, violence, support for the hunger strikers etc is that as an entire political ideology they are not fit to partake in politics. They are rooted in dishonesty, violence, theft and terrorism and they are unasbolvable.

    When most of the border changes occurred in the early 20th century, the majority solidified their position by a border pogrom. Unfortunately the innate decency of the unionist people meant that they waited and ended up suffering that pogrom themselves. If someone had had the guts to drive semi-civlised scum out of the border regions we would not have had the problems that have blighted this country.