“I’m not a criminal. I was never a criminal…”

No confirmation yet from the Secretary of State for Wales, etc, that he is actually calling for a review into how either the unsolved murders of the Troubles, or the legacy of the Troubles, are to be dealt with. Meanwhile it seems that the much quoted NIO source was actually talking to Liam Clarke in the Sunday Times. In another article in the Sunday Times Clarke also accused the then[?] Sinn Féin Director of Unionist Outreach Martina Anderson, et al, of hyprocisy in calling for the criminal records of former paramilitary prisoners to be removed – “We had a political situation which produced political prisoners”.From the Sunday Times, via the indispensible Newhound

For Anderson, political motivation means that, here and now, IRA actions should not be dwelt on except at republican commemorations when ex-prisoners are congratulated and the dead remembered. At best the political motivation, now that the campaign is over, becomes a springboard for political action of a more conventional type.

“Let us take on this task readily, with determination and with container-loads of energy, following the example of the people down the years who gave their lives in pursuance of this struggle,” Anderson said at the Edentubber commemoration for the four IRA members and civilian whose lives were wasted when a bomb exploded prematurely in Co Louth in 1958.

This sort of thinking may be useful as a psychological device to deal with her violent past, years in jail and the death of her friends.

Otherwise, she might suffer the full mental anguish that would normally be associated with such memories. But as a line of argument it won’t be accepted by anyone who did not support the IRA campaign. She is speaking a different language from most of the population.

Sinn Féin operates a seemingly unconscious double standard in which the wrongdoing of others is to be remembered and probed, but IRA activity, although it caused pain, sits outside the criminal justice system and truth-recovery process. Anderson, now a member of the policing board, speaks of instances of politically motivated collusion between the security forces and paramilitaries as “crimes against humanity”.

Yet IRA actions were never crimes against humanity, because they were inspired by the same sort of political motives she attributes to the police.

The point featured in a recent exchange between Martin McGuinness and Stephen Nolan of the BBC, who has a gift for bluntness.

Nolan asked McGuinness if he had killed anybody. McGuinness hedged and talked about being an IRA leader at a time when people suffered.

“I’m wondering if I am looking at a killer,” Nolan persisted. “You can wonder all you like,” replied McGuinness.

Asked if, now that he supported law and order, McGuinness would like people to report anything he had done wrong, he replied: “I’m not a criminal. I was never a criminal . . . I’m not asking or advocating that republicans and nationalists should give information on the IRA over the IRA campaign. I can’t do that.”

This attempt to close the book on the IRA campaign because of its political character, while calling for public inquiries into other acts of violence that sprang from the political conflict, won’t wash.

It leaves Sinn Féin looking like hypocrites, having no answers to the hard questions.

, , , ,

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    They do not look like hypocrites to me infact if any thing its points out the severe hypocracy of the state and their role in terrorism

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The above post is what you read when you look up ‘Whataboutery’ in the latest edition of the Ulster-Irish Dictionary.

  • Frank Sinistra

    I suppose Clarke would have a good point if it was true.

    From a quick google I found SF had tried to initiate a debate on similar terms to those suggested by the NIO in 2003.

    Maybe Mr Clarke doesn’t have google?

    So instead of hypocrisy I see misinformation on the part of the journalist. That doesn’t do anyone any good.

  • snakebrain

    ceci n’est pas un pipe

  • The Dubliner

    “The above post is what you read when you look up ‘Whataboutery’ in the latest edition of the Ulster-Irish Dictionary” – Gonzo

    There is too much denial of reality in it for that. ‘Whataboutery’ nominally acknowledges an unpleasant act committed by one side of the sectarian divide by attempting to deflect the topic onto an equivalent unpleasant act committed by the other side – they must recognise the nature of act by their own side in-order to find an equivalent to it.

    I don’t know which quaint term to apply to his post. There is certainly deflection in it, but it is a blinkered form of it that only accepts the reality of the equivalent that it deflects to (and not the reality of that which it deflects from). It reminds me of another unclassified ‘Sluggerism’ – whereby you say something to a Shinner like ‘Gangsters who are involved in organised crime such as PSF should not be elected to public office’ and they’ll retort with something like ‘Didn’t Charles Haughey receive brown envelopes?’ The fallacy of the ‘logic’ is that it’s okay for x to do z because y did w which was similar to z.

  • Sean

    no such thing the crown forces have a duty to uphold the laws of the crown something they clearly did not. The IRA by contrast did not have a duty to uphold the laws of the crown just a duty to pay the price when they were legaly caught! Seldom were they legaly caught and more often they were inocent or at most guilty by association. These convictions in themselves were illegal acts.

    just today on the beeb there was a story about crown interogators involved in the torture of prisoners, for which he expressed no remorse nor did he view his actions as torture but he tried to dismiss them as the normal actions of interogators. Too bad it should have seen him either tried as a criminal or a war criminal, depending what side of the divide you hail from.

    So yeah as long as they let scum like the RUC criminals wander around free why should MMG have a care

  • Sean

    oops sorry it wasnt the beeb i misremembered here is the link

    http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/news/article2640769.ece

  • curious

    [i]’ The IRA by contrast did not have a duty to uphold the laws of the crown just a duty to pay the price when they were legaly caught! ‘[/i]

    Sean, who paid the price for these brutal murders of some fellow Catholics by the IRA?

    Eamon Collins 45-year-old ex-prisoner was beaten and stabbed on January 27, 1999, because he wrote a brutally honest book, Killing Rage, about his role as part of the murderous IRA’s South Armagh Brigade. He also testified in the Sunday Times libel case against IRA boss, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy. Police who attended the scene said they had never encountered such injuries, which at first made them think he had been mangled by machinery. No one has been charged.

    Paul Daly (38) was sitting with his 11-year-old daughter in his car near the nationalist Unity Flats on May 4, 2001 when two gunmen approached and shot him.

    Christopher O’Kane (37) was shot dead outside a Derry pub on April 21, 2001.

    Andy Kearney (33) was involved in a fist fight with a notorious north Belfast IRA man. The IRA man sent an armed gang to Kearney’s seventh-floor flat in the New Lodge area on July 20, 1997. They overpowered Kennedy, tied his hands behind his back, dragged him out onto the landing and shot him three times in the legs. They then tore out the telephone and disabled the lift so Kearney’s girlfriend had to run down 16 flights of stairs to raise help. He bled to death.

    Michael Magee (34) was recovering from a savage IRA punishment beating at his home in Downpatrick on June 11, 2001 when a masked gang broke in and shot him dead at point-blank range. Family and friends said he was shot because he had a fight with a local republican.

    Gareth O’Connor (24) disappeared while travelling through south Armagh on March 11, 2003. Gardai believe he was murdered by the local IRA

    Belfast Telegraph, 15th March 2005

  • Kevster

    It seems to me that putting a gun to the head of an unarmed man is wrong, regardless of who’s head and who’s gun.

    If we can’t agree on that, I would suggest that any further discussion, while not entirely pointless, at least holds little hope for reconciliation.

  • snakebrain

    Curious

    Well said. Killing Rage by Eamon Collins is a remarkable expose of what went on within the IRA, and the excesses that came to characterise it, from the viewpoint of an idealistic man who was prepared to take up arms to defend his country against the injustice he saw being inflicted, but who eventually became so sickened by the actions of the IRA that he could no longer be a part a part of their activities. And look how they proved him right.

    Ironic after the previous discussion of whataboutery that Sean should simultaneously exonerate heinous crimes like those you list, and cite the example of an interrogator who spat on an IRA bomber in mitigation.

    Doublethink at work. The attempt to whitewash the history of the IRA and excuse it’s actions makes my blood boil. They may not have been the only offenders, but they sure as hell are guilty of crimes. And before you say something stupid Sean, crimes doesn’t just mean actions for which you can stand trial in a British court.

  • Gordon

    The bottom line is MMG is a criminal on both sides of the border, today he is a minister in a small regional council but in a similar way to the crown prince of saudi Arabia who is protected from prosecution, the real power as and will always remain in London (HMG). If London wanted him dead he would be dead, London protected him and will continue to protect him as can be witnessed when they stopped the Operation Phoenix arrest.

    I tip my hat to Liam for that expose Oh so many years ago.

    Criminal????? 100% North and South , today he acknowledges both states so MMG is talking absolute brussel sprout language.

    Best regards.

  • Turgon

    Sometimes you really do not know where to begin with the likes of Sean and Emerald Pimpernel.

    “The IRA by contrast did not have a duty to uphold the laws of the crown just a duty to pay the price when they were legaly caught”.

    Sean this means the IRA can do whatever they want and if caught by the state they can be put in prison (how “rerasonable” of you). Did they have absolutely no moral responsibility not to murder people? So their actions were always acceptable to you. I always thought murder was also a crime in the Republic and come to think of it throughout the world. Can you find it in your mind to say that any IRA act was wrong. Maybe Enniskillen?

    Yet again we see that there are those who feel IRA/SF can have it all ways. All their acts were entirely justifible by the fact that they were taking part in a “war”. When they “occassionally” killed the “wrong” people a quick apology made it all okay.

    The real worry I have about the mindset demonstrated by IRA/SF and some posters on this site is that if there was nothing wrong with their campagin and it was entirely justifable then surely the only logical position to proceed from that would be that they would have the “right” even “duty” to start again if they do not get their own way. Once one is in that parallel moral univerise I do not think there is any human way back (though I believe with God all things are possible, but that is a different issue). In view of that how can unionists, normal nationalists, anyone proceed to have political dealings with these people.

    In a kind of a way though a agree with the Emerald Pimpernel and FS about them not being hipocrites, that is like calling Ian Huntley a liar for denying he murdered those school girls. Of course it is true he was a liar and they were hipocrites but their other criminal immoral acts are so vastly more severe that calling them hipocrites does not really do them justice.

  • brandx

    `It is the duty of the state to protect innocent civilians from threat of terrorists. This the state tried to do under extremely difficult circumstances. Maybe some of the tactics used could be described as contriversal, but how do you deal with gutless killers who hid behind wemon and children.
    There were mistakes made and innocent people were killed. Of the total killed republicans were responsible for 90 percent of the human carnage. It is a little bit rich for the Sinn Fein Director of Unionist Outreach to be demanding prisoner records to be cleared. How is this reaching out to Unionists. More importantly why are SF not reaching out to the people who have suffered. This just shows the double standards that SF expect people to accept.

  • whataboutery

    Its interesting that you never hear loyalists demanding their slate wiped clean? But then I’ve always thought loyalists tend to feel more remorse and ashamed on what they did in genereal.

  • Grizzle

    Who gives a toss for political prisoners. They commited the crimes so they should live with the consequences of their actions.

  • Whatever Next

    Poor old Martin. There’s everyone else telling you you were and are a criminal killer, and there’s you telling them you’re not. Still, you’ve got the consolation of that grand office, Papa Croc for a boss, the Union in place and Sinn Fein flatlining in the Free State. Well done Martin, well done. And imagine if you had murdered a few more people, just think how well off we’d all be now. For as your handful of apologists on this site keep rushing to tell us, it’s only because of all those people you murdered in the past that we’re in the Happy (forgetful) Place we are today.

    Oh well. I’ve said it before, been ranted at for saying it, and will now say it again: Martin McGuinness’ murderous past *is* going to catch up with him. And somewhere not so deep down, he knows it, even if Slugger’s Keyboard Republicans don’t.

  • T.Ruth

    McGuiness is a criminal. He broke the Law. If government forces broke the Law then they are also criminals.People like McGuiness have a need to rationalise their involvement in a murderous sectarian campaign against their Protestant neighbours.There was no justification for the IRA campaign-no problem that would not have been resolved or could not have been resolved by dialogue.What problems did working class Roman Catholics experience that were different from those experienced by their Protestant neighbours?
    It is hard for the IRA to rewrite history and portray themselves a s freedom fighters-they were squalid,cowardly sectarian murderers.The top guys have done really well financially-while the footsoldiers took all the pain and got little gain-and ultimately got sold out by the top men who wanted power.It would be good to have more people provide information about the contribution made by Gerry and Martin and their like.
    T.Ruth

  • Taggart

    Just goes to show what an awful police force we had.

  • Pól

    As a SF supporter I can see why some people think they are being hypocritical on this issues in calling for investigations into state killings but saying their own were political so everyone should basically forget.

    The state (and other commentators who are anti SF) are also being hypocritical though using the fact that SF say they was a war to say SF have no right to protest about State actions. The fact is that the State told SF for 25 years it wasn’t a war and refused to treat them as political prisoners so they cant have it both ways either.

    Personally (I may not be representative of SF supporters here), if the state came out with the following statement I would be happy for no convictions and to let everyone get on with their lives with no more inquiries etc. Perhaps a T&RC in a few years time but that’s it:

    The state had been at War with the IRA for 25 years. The state was involved in many acts of war which now seem outrageous. We believed it was necessary at the time and also believed it was necessary to fight the war while pretending that the IRA were in fact criminals. This was all part of our war strategy. We acknowledge that many innocent people were killed by the State but these were what we now call collateral damage.

    No individual soldiers or police officers should shoulder blame as they were only following orders.

    We regret all loss of life on all sides.

    Signed Gordon Brown PM

    If the government is not prepared to make such a statement then surely SF should pursue all State violence. IRA volunteers collectively spent thousands of years in jail. Surely the state has to pay some price for its role in the violence.

  • Shore Road Resident

    So what statement would the IRA put out in return?

  • Cruimh

    “The fact is that the State told SF for 25 years it wasn’t a war and refused to treat them as political prisoners ”

    Is this an admission that Sinn Féin and the IRA were one and the same Pól ?

  • Whatever Next

    Except, Pol, it wasn’t a ‘war’. The only people who claim it was a war are Sinn Fein/IRA supporters. Everyone else says it was terrorism plain and simple. And that ‘everyone else’ includes: the British government, the Irish government, the American government and all the other governments in the EU; in north, the Unionist parties and the SDLP; all of the Southern political parties too – FF, FG, Labour, the PDs and the Greens; the Protestant churches said it was terrorism, and, the Catholic church said it was terrorism; and last but hardly least (for everyone else, for everyone democratically, constitutionally and morally minded), *every* opinion poll ever taken on the subject north and south of the border deemed it terrorism.

    So, we have supporters of the IRA (the people carrying out the terrorism) saying it wasn’t terrorism, and, we have everyone else saying it was. Pol, do you not even begin to see why it’s insufferable arrogance for Sinn Fein, and them alone to tell all the rest of us that we’re wrong, and they happen to be right?

  • Cruimh

    It would be interesting to see which members of the Army Council ended up taking responsiblity Shore Road Resident. Bit tricky for Martin and Gerry.

  • Pól

    My point is Whatever Next that if the govenment and everyone else want to continue to treat the IRA campaign as a criminal exercise, then they have to face the consequences if they use extra-legal force.

    In that circumstance, any collusion (especially in light of O’Loan inquiry) should be investigated using public inquiries.

    My point is that anyone who looks at it logically can see that the British government felt it was fighting a war and its soldiers certainly felt that way. If they just admitted this there would be no need for all the enquiries instead of keeping up the pretence that it was just an unexpected surge of criminal activity which lasted for 25 years.

    In answer to Shore Road resident, I believe their statement could be very similar to British one in tone and content with obvious changes.

  • Cruimh

    “if the govenment and everyone else want to continue to treat the IRA campaign as a criminal exercise, then they have to face the consequences if they use extra-legal force. ”

    Fine by me. That’s the way it should be.

  • Pól

    So Cruimh you accept SF’s right to call for public inquiries and support campaigns such as relatives for justice in looking for public inquires into collusion, shoot to kill policies etc?

  • Jocky

    Pol, the point is if your having enquiries into state killings, collusion, etc, then it follows you have enquiries into all unsolved murders assoicated with the troubles. SF appear not to want this, they appear to be very selective in what enquiries they call for.

    SF wan tot have their cake and eat it. And everyone else is merely pointing out their double standards that no amount of sophistry can hide.

  • Pól

    Jocky what exactly is the HET for? As I outlined above I am sure SF would prefer for the state to say it was a war and forget about everything but given the existence of the HET and the fact that OTRs are not allowed return, surely the governments extra-legal activities should be investigated.

  • DK

    My guess is that when the conflict was ongoing, no-one gave a thought to the post-conflict fall-out. Presumably all thoughts were on the immediate strategies and how best to pursue them within the strictures of the here-and-now. Not some future full of recriminations and enquiries.

  • jaffa

    When I was 16 I bit off a bit more than I could chew with some lads one evening and ended up with a bit of a kicking and an attractively flattened profile. For some reason I felt the need to go and have a pint in the bar where these guys drank just to take a look at them.

    I have to say I found it a bit cathartic if embarrasing. We ended up having quite a civilised chat along the “no harm meant we just like giving a hiding to people a few years younger than us now and again.” Given the chance I’d still have returned the favour but that didn’t seem wise at the time.

    When people do what seems to you fairly random and disproportionate acts of violence you need to reset something – sense of self or equity or something.

    On an entirely different scale, Gordon Wilson wanted to meet the men behind the Enniskillen bomb. I think with his simple Christian soul he just went around randomly loving people and couldn’t get the thinking behind his daughter’s death.

    He was told Marie was just collateral damage and it was all the Brits and their garrison community’s (perhaps Gordon’s as he was the type to attend a remembrance ceremony) fault.

    He seemed crushed

    But the the Irish government seemed to recognize something in Gordon that needed honouring and invited him to be a Senator.

    Get to the point Jaffa.

    Truth and reconciliation needs some sort of common moral vocab. That wasn’t there for Mr Wilson and he came away empty handed.

    It may also need a post-conflict situation.

    I don’t think we have one. SF claims it’s simply entered a new and more productive phase. There are (apparently) few regrets about the military campaign, except for the occaisional accident and the imprisonment or martyrdom of volunteers. It just wasn’t their fault – since Bombay Street, Bloody Sunday, Internment and the Hunger Strike the Brits and their 6 county garrison had it coming. There was no alternative but surrender.

    To get a TRC going SF would need a militant tendency moment – their version a furious Neil Kinnock raving about liverpool taxi drivers. In SF’s terms it might be a rabid Martina raving about Kingsmill. It would need to be prepared to see Eric Heffer walk out of the mansion house in disgust.

    Come to think of it with the 32CSC and Real IRA, a lot of this may have happened, but there’s a reluctance for SF to let the language follow the action. It’s almost as if SF skipped the public militant tendency fall-out and went straight to the clause 4 moment (abandonment of violence) It seems to be a weird case of needing to talk the walk rather than walk the talk. Gusty Spence and David Ervine did it better.

    Maybe the best hope for better mental health for all of us is the example of the Irish government’s response to Gordon Wilson and the greater presence of soft Irish republicanism in NI. SF just don’t seem able to do empathy.

    Sorry if that all seemed a bit hand-wringy.

  • Pól

    I agree DK. Bit of honestly would go a long way (from all sides I mean)

  • Pól

    Jaffa,

    I believe (it is only a belief) that many in SF are up for apologies/truth but it needs to come from all sides and can probably only come about if the British Government admit their role. This could happen jointly – I am not saying the British government should take a unilateral step.

  • Harry Flashman

    Pol, you and other Republicans really don’t get it do you?

    Here’s were I stand, if forces of the British state were involved in illegality as seems likely they were then yes they should face the full rigours of the law and be punished (under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement they would face no jail time anyway), why? Because it was NOT a war! It was a terrorist criminal campaign.

    Now as I said in an earlier thread about Saville, Republicans cannot have it both ways, if they believe it was a war then tough titty, give over about it, it’s over now.

    However if as Republicans claim to believe it was a war then stop whining because the enemy kicked the shite out of you a few times. Furthermore if as a Republican you believe it was a war in which your side were the only legitimate forces then as an Irish patriot you should be demanding to know not why the enemy behaved badly (that is after all an accepted part of war) but why your own side committed so many horrendous atrocities against your own fellow Irish citizens, eg Bloody Friday, La Mons, Donegall Street, Enniskillen, Claudy etc.

    Like I said I don’t believe it was a war so I agree any criminal acts by the state should be punished, if you agree it was a war shouldn’t you also demand punishment for the perpetrators of war crimes on your own side, and I mean punishment not by the British state but by your own fellow Republicans?

  • Pól

    Harry,

    I do think it is reasonable for SF to believe it was a war but since they were treated like criminals the British government should be held to the same standards.

    Anyone convicted would have to spend 2 years in jail by the way (correct me if I am wrong on this).

    It is all a circular argument. You say republicans cannot demand the State to be held to account because we believe it was a war – I say they should because they dont believe it was a war!

    I agree some of the IRA volunteers were guilty of war crimes and should have been dealt with at the time but what exactly do you propose SF do now?

    Dont forget SF represents many thousands of people who did not support the armed struggle so surely they can argue their case?

  • Cruimh

    “So Cruimh you accept SF’s right to call for public inquiries and support campaigns such as relatives for justice in looking for public inquires into collusion, shoot to kill policies etc? ”

    Sure – though hopefuly some of those making the most noise will be doing it from behind bars for their crimes. The hypocrisy they show is nauseating.

  • Cruimh

    “I agree some of the IRA volunteers were guilty of war crimes and should have been dealt with at the time but what exactly do you propose SF do now? ”

    They would have more credibility if they expelled all terrorists from their party.

  • Pól

    Cruimh the whole point is that many Volunteers have served time behind bars for their actions.

    British forces – not so much

  • Turgon

    Pol,

    “I agree some of the IRA volunteers were guilty of war crimes and should have been dealt with at the time but what exactly do you propose SF do now? “

    Does this mean that you accept McGuniess is a war criminal?

    What do we propose SF do about it now? Well how about tell us that their crimes were morally wrong, that they are actually sorry for what the did.

    As has been pointed out previously no one other than SF/IRA (and a few hangers on in the USA) felt that they were committing anything other than crimes. All sorts of people do things they do not accept are crimes that does not change the fact that they are criminals.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Curious
    How original a list of murders, when did I deny that the IRA commited murder

    Kevster
    where did I argue it was right

    Snakebrain
    again another person who attributes arguements to me that I didnt make

    Gordron
    Who sits beside him in his ministerial office but another criminal so enough said

    Turgon
    Of course the IRA can do whatever they like its called free will. But of course they have to pay the price, its called the forces of law and order, sadly lacking in thew puppet state for the last 85 years but Sinn Fein are working on it

    Brandx
    Total load of bollocks especially when you start with the lie that the IRA was responsible for 90% of the Carnage, try reading the Cain report

    Whataboutery
    Why would they worry about it their drug dealing cohorts just consider it a badge of honour. I mean killing kids with needles seems to be a respectable occupation in the loyalist community

    Grizzle
    For many of them the only crime they commited was to have a securocrat “believe” they were in a proscribed organization

    whatevernext
    Possibly but theirs lots of others waiting the same thing including lots in uniforms

    T.Ruth
    LOL funny name for some one who doesnt even seem remotely connected to the truth. The UVF started the troubles with the indescriminate murders of innocent catholics, the IRA dont have to portray themselves as defenders and freedom fighters the unionist establishment has done a good enough job of that for them

    POL
    The Neuremberg trials proved that “I was just following orders” is not a suitable defence for crimes against humanity.

    Cruimh
    No its an admision that they were told the same thing, all lies, but consistent lies

    Whatever Next
    Its now your camp that is trying to claim immunity for the terrorist state forces by saying they were “fighting a war”. You can’t have it both ways either the state forces are guilty of crimes or for 30 years the british cabinet is guilty of war crimes, you make the call. Personally i would love to see maggie in front of the war tribunals in Brussels and then a nice little cell. Maybe her and majors could share a wing and reminiss about the good old days in number 10

    Cruimh
    Gerry was never on the war council but I can’t speak for Martin they play that close to the vest

    POl
    Wrong if the british considered it was a war then the british government is guilty of Nazi style war crimes

    Cruimh
    We finally agree on something

    Jocky
    How do you propose to have a government style enquiry into a private organisation that keeps virtually no paper records ? And how do you propose to sort out who really is in the IRa and who isn’t?

    Harry Flashman
    Its you who do not get it if you wish to criminalize the IRA then you must yourself respect the rule of law. Clearly the government did not therefor it backs the IRA’s claim it was a war

    Turgon
    They do not believe that they did was wrong so it would be disengenuous to appologize for them, but if you are so concerned get your side to appologize first! they have at least as much to appologize for as the IRA does

  • Wilde Rover

    “Seldom were they legaly caught and more often they were inocent or at most guilty by association.”

    “What problems did working class Roman Catholics experience that were different from those experienced by their Protestant neighbours?”

    Oh dear. The airbrushes are working overtime all over the place.

    “Can you find it in your mind to say that any IRA act was wrong. Maybe Enniskillen?”

    The two cases of NornIronSpeak above would suggest that type of mental leap would be a head above the mental parapets moment for many people on that side, as would a similar admission by their antagonists on the other side.

    It would seem the only two options are black and white. Where’s the grey?

    Perhaps it’s time for a Director of Republican Outreach. That individual could go, with nothing to lose, to a few people they may bump into in Stormont to see if P O’Neill could be called out of retirement for one final act.

    What if the IRA were to produce its own report on events like Enniskillen? And if this document produced accounts by individuals who acknowledged that, at those moments at least, they were the perpetrators of evil deeds on the island, would anonymity be considered the cloak of a coward by that Director of Republican Outreach?

    It is unlikely that they would present themselves for the twenty-first century version of the stocks that is the media by signing their names. And if that were a pre-condition then it would all be back to square one, with the two camps quoted above continuing to airbrush across a cyber No Mans Land.

    Which would beg the question, which would be more important to both sides – closure or revenge?

  • Jocky

    Pol, it appears we are in agreement, you either go all the way or you go none of the way. No side can cherry pick what get’s an inquiry/investigation/HET/TRC or whatever you want to call it.

    So EP is your arguement bercause it is difficult it shouldn’t be done? therefore if the varius branches of state that were involved in collusion simply shred all records (hey presto) then they have no case to answer?

    or that because the IRA activities have already been investigated then there’s no point going over old ground?

    What is your point?

    I dont think anyone is arguing that the state claimed it was a war. Hence the current hotch potch of enquiries/coiver ups etc.

    The point is the IRA and their supporters position that it was a war and the double standards inherent in that stance. See heading.

  • Gordon

    The emerald Pimpernal,

    quote Gordron
    Who sits beside him in his ministerial office but another criminal so enough said unquote

    I am not aware of the state preventing a prosecution being pursued against Rev Paisley are you? please explain why you think Mr Paisley is on a par with Marty?

    We are certain and the Govt does not deny that it stopped Operation Phoenix from proceeding and the police In Derry will tell you that MMG was protected from prosecution during 2 supergrass trials In Derry when over 135 of the IRA`s leading players were taken off the streets? from a city that was tout ridden to thepoint that Derry ciity PIRA was stood down more time than it was operational?

    Of course MMG could ask the police ( HET) to reopen those case files and proceed with the prosecution? …… That is what a modern leader would do and not avoid a NOLAN type question.

    Any idea why poor old Martin was not on that original supergrass list and stayed at home for the duration of the conflict free from attack or charge ? The individuals concerned wanted to offer evidence against MMG but guess what?

    Not in the public interest?

    LOL

    Gordon, the bald one.

  • snakebrain

    “Snakebrain
    again another person who attributes arguements to me that I didnt make”

    ummmmm, Emerald…

    You appear to have jumped the gun a little here.

    I never addressed a single comment to you, nor did I attribute a single comment to you.

    Perhaps you have a persecution complex?

  • curious

    [i]’Curious
    How original a list of murders, when did I deny that the IRA commited murder'[/i]

    The emerald Pimpernal,

    You must have a persecution complex common to many SF members and supporters. Like snakebrain, I never addressed a single comment to you, nor did I attribute a single comment to you. My address was to Sean.

  • Harry Flashman

    **Harry Flashman
    Its you who do not get it if you wish to criminalize the IRA then you must yourself respect the rule of law. Clearly the government did not therefor it backs the IRA’s**

    Er, Pimpers old chap, do you want to read what I actually wrote, I clearly stated TWICE that if British government agents committed crimes they should be held accountable, it usually helps if you read a poster’s comments before you reply to them.

    So here’s my point to the Shinners; currently the British government is engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the British government believes these wars are legitimate and up to a point I agree with them. However if the leader of the Conservative party was alleged to have been personally involved in the kidnap, torture, murder and secret burial of a British widowed mother of ten I would be utterly outraged, I would demand the resignation of that man and that the full weight of the criminal process be thrown against him, if he never saw another day outside prison I would consider it to be easy on him.

    Equally if the deputy prime minister of the UK was believed to have been connected to the abduction of an unarmed civilian man from his home at gun point, tied into his van and made to drive to an enemy checkpoint whereupon he was blown to smithereens I would be sickened and ashamed, I would want to see that politician hounded from office and all his associates likewise expelled from any public sphere, again jail would be a light punishment.

    So SF supporters do you feel the same about leading members of your own party?

  • Kevster

    E. Pimp,

    Never said anyone thought it was right. Sorry if the placement of my post left the impression it was directed at you.

    I hoped to make the point that putting a gun to the head of an unarmed man is wrong, in war and peace.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Jocky

    My point is that it is virtually impossible to have a public enquiry into a non-public entity

    You can not have an enquiry with out the IRA’s participation and I would estimate that they would not participate unless they recieved blanket immunity. Would that really satisfy the unionists?

    And if you are going to do that to the IRA what about the OO,UVF,UFF,UDA and the rest of the alphabet killers

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Gordon
    More conjecture backed up by a notable lack of facts. When will you understand that london knows only to well that all they do is have to point the finger at republicans and unionists will swallow it hook line and sinker

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Harry Flashman
    My point isn’t that the agent is guilty but infact the whole government is right up to the prime minister

  • Jocky

    EP, that is what I said, you either go all the way or none of the way, no one side can cherry pick what gets the treatment be it public enquiry, criminal investigation, HET, TRC, whatever.

    you seem not to want this for the IRA but for everyone else?

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Jocky
    No if you in all honesty believe an enquiry into Sinn fein will actually produce results then by all means have at it

    But at this point it would be kind of like proposing an enquiry into the illuminati, first you have to establish fact from fiction and then you have to establish if the facts are really facts? and if the whole thing isnt some ones vivid imagination

  • Reader

    the Emerald Pimpernel: No if you in all honesty believe an enquiry into Sinn fein will actually produce results then by all means have at it
    The obvious solution is for everyone to take that step together. You want the truth, you provide the truth. Everyone answerable to their own electorate if they put roadblocks on the way to progress. Progress depends on cooperation, cooperation depends on progress. So, no hierarchy of victims.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Reader
    Excelent proposal and theory but who would really believe that the british government would tell the truth?

    I mean look at ingram he is capable of talking out both sides of his face at the same time and still not speak the truth!

    By the way ingram a couple of months ago you promised us revelations about the ombudsman… ummm where are they?

  • confused

    The Union is secure and Westminster is Sovereign.
    This reality is accepted by all but not admitted by Republicans.
    It is in their interests to bring forth the truth of SF/ IRA involvement in the long war .
    Unionists simply sit back and remember for decades to come of the activities of IRA and prevent the re writing of history.
    We realise the truth will never be told by IRA so what is the point of worrying.Unionists will hold out the hand of friendship to all other Irishmen and work in co-operation with every party in the South except SF who are beyond the Irish Pale .It is for them to admit to their past before they can be taken seriously
    It will be embedded in our psyche that SF/IRA betrayed every noble characteristic of Republicanism because they simply did not understand what it means .
    History will consign them to the dustbin

  • Vambo

    At least Martin had the courage to admit he was a member…..unlike his leader (the one with the beard) who would have us all believe he never was. He liked to pretend though by dressing up at a funeral and marching about. One day the truth will come.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Confused – good name

  • Maggie May

    Pimpernel.

    LOL

    You are a genuine 24 carrot clown with no argument based in fact.

    There are not many out there who have done more than Ingram to highlight the wrongs on all sides. Your answer to confused says everything about you comrade???? ……… IN DENIAL

    LOL

    Mags

  • sinner

    Vambo,

    Of course Martin said he left the Ra back in the early seventies?????

    At least the bearded one did not commit Perjury unlike the choir boy then again no different than his mate bets mate Freddy Scap????

    Sinner

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Mags? is that you in a dress ingram?

    Anyways can’t be bothered arguing about the casper so I will let others do it for me

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/ingram_on_mi5_fbi_and_mi6/P50/

  • Reader

    the Emerald Pimpernel: Excelent proposal and theory but who would really believe that the british government would tell the truth?
    Set up the forum, excuse no-one, keep everyone talking, go round and round and round. Iterate. ‘The British Government’, much like ‘The Republican Movement’, isn’t the monolith you imagine it to be. Ten years down the line you’ll get the truth. Or perhaps the problem is – so will we all!

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    You will never get the truth from the british government period there are far too many knighthoods at stake

  • Whatever Next

    Mick, out of mild curiosity, why have you wordlessly banned me from this site?