16th IMC report published

The 16th Independent Monitoring Commission report has been published. It’s the fourth and final report under Article 5(1), which deals with the British Government’s 2-year security normalisation programme. With that programme well progressed, the focus, given the pending deadline on the decision on funding of the UPRG’s project, will be the paragraphs dealing with the UDA. It’s worth noting the IMC comments on their assessment. Adds Others point to another aspect of the report. And more here

There is one important point about our assessment of the paramilitary threat. We deal in this report with that threat only in so far as it bears directly on the implementation of the security normalisation programme.

And here’s what they have said on loyalist paramilitary groups

We do not believe that the loyalist paramilitaries pose a terrorist-type risk to the security forces or that they plan to mount a terrorist campaign. We therefore conclude that they do not pose a threat which is significantly relevant to security normalisation. The position with the UVF and the UDA is not however the same. In the case of the UVF, since its “statement of intent” of May 2007 the organisation appears to have started to address the question of weapons, although not fulfilling the legal requirements of the decommissioning process. There also seems to have been a significant decrease in crime and in other paramilitary activity, and a reduction in membership. This seems to be part of a coherent strategy although the picture is by no means unblemished. The UDA has not matched this progress and we believe that a lack of internal organisational coherence will continue to inhibit progress. At the time of writing this report there seems to have been no progress on decommissioning. There has however been less criminal activity by members and the organisation has publicly discouraged them from engaging in crime, instead directing them towards community work. Much of the potential for trouble arises from tensions within the organisation’s own ranks; for example, internal rivalry led to a serious and disturbing incident at Carrickfergus on 21 July 2007 at which a PSNI officer was shot in the back.

The IMC Report also states, on their assessment

3.4 There is one important point about our assessment of the paramilitary threat. We deal in this report with that threat only in so far as it bears directly on the implementation of the security normalisation programme. In broad terms, this means the actions of paramilitaries which require special security measures, for example military intervention or counter-terrorist legislation. It does not mean those activities of paramilitaries for which such measures are not necessary, even if those activities are serious. We believe that organised crime involving paramilitaries falls into this category. Such crime is different from terrorism or insurgency of the kind these special measures are designed to combat and is a matter for the PSNI, AGS and other law enforcement agencies North and South. Accordingly, the threat assessment we make in the following paragraphs is necessarily narrower than it is in the reports we make on paramilitary activity as a whole under Article 4 of our remit. We will give a broader assessment of paramilitary activity in our next Article 4 report, which we are due to deliver to the two Governments in October 2007.

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  • heck

    “We do not believe that the loyalist paramilitaries pose a terrorist-type risk to the security forces or that they plan to mount a terrorist campaign. We therefore conclude that they do not pose a threat which is significantly relevant to security normalisation”

    they only kill fenians so that’s ok then

  • kensei

    “There is one important point about our assessment of the paramilitary threat. We deal in this report with that threat only in so far as it bears directly on the implementation of the security normalisation programme.”

    Could someone explain this one to me? Is this a spin to avoid taking money off the loyalists despite the fact they haven’t decommissioned?

  • eh?

    We do not believe that the loyalist paramilitaries pose a terrorist-type risk to the security forces….internal rivalry led to a serious and disturbing incident at Carrickfergus on 21 July 2007 at which a PSNI officer was shot in the back

    WTF?????

  • Presbyterian

    “Could someone explain this one to me? Is this a spin to avoid taking money off the loyalists despite the fact they haven’t decommissioned?”

    I suspect you are correct.

  • joeCanuck

    It would seem that the word “independent” as used in the IMC has some sort of secondary meaning known only to the initiated.

  • Turgon

    joeCanuck,
    Indeed I suppose the initiated may also be able to explain to us how paramilitaries shooting a policeman is not “a terrorist-type risk to the security forces”.

    I am sure they also understand the “community work” the UDA are now doing.

  • Presbyterian

    The Young Unionists have adopted Voice 4 Democracy tatics on their website – no anon comments allowed. What’s going on?!!!

  • heck

    i read that statement again–it reminds me of a former british secretary of state (I think it was Humphry Atkins) who said that killing catholics was wrong because it played into the hands of terrorists.

    Is’nt lord alderdice part of this abortion [edited by moderator – play the ball not the man please]

  • Reader

    kensei: Could someone explain this one to me? Is this a spin to avoid taking money off the loyalists despite the fact they haven’t decommissioned?
    The report says what its remit is, then it says:
    “We will give a broader assessment of paramilitary activity in our next Article 4 report, which we are due to deliver to the two Governments in October 2007.”
    I’m not sure that you having to wait another month for the juicy bits is really going to benefit the UDA financially.

  • joeCanuck

    The UDA has not matched this progress and we believe that a lack of internal organisational coherence will continue to inhibit progress.

    Is the “I”MC suggesting that the UDA should set up an Army Council?

  • heck

    Sorry about getting back to the fatuous (I?)MC comment “We do not believe that the loyalist paramilitaries pose a terrorist-type risk to the security forces or that they plan to mount a terrorist campaign”

    But how do they define “terrorist”? The US state department defines it as the deliberate killing of civilians for political goals. Based on that definition isn’t “a terrorist-type risk to the security forces” an oxymoron. To answer the point “Indeed I suppose the initiated may also be able to explain to us how paramilitaries shooting a policeman is not “a terrorist-type risk to the security forces”.” Does’nt that flow from the definition –shooting security forces is not terrorism-shooting civilians is. This is the reverse of what the report is suggesting.

  • joeCanuck

    Just a note moderator. Given my lack of success in playing dice in my foolish younger days, that game is indeed a pile of youknowwhat.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “Indeed I suppose the initiated may also be able to explain to us how paramilitaries shooting a policeman is not “a terrorist-type risk to the security forces”. ”

    Were I a cynic, I would suggest that perhaps the IMC doesn’t consider a malefector injuring a constable to be “terrorism.” Alternately, there is the small matter of the confrontation, making this more of a clash of criminal gangs, rather than terrorism.

    joeCanuck: “Is the “I”MC suggesting that the UDA should set up an Army Council? ”

    No, the IMC is pointing out that the UDA is a collection of hoods, spides and riff-raff, i.e. an overlarge street gang.

    One wonders when the local UDA apologist will run in to tell us its all a grand misunderstanding…

  • gareth mccord

    “a reduction in uvf membership” or does this mean not as many are joining these days?
    i know of a number of uvf members who want out because of recent finding but are told they can leave for 3 grand but continue to pay “dues”???
    The i.m.c. should ask the communities what is still going on and not ask un-elected community activists(i.e. uvf and uda members)!!

  • Reader

    heck: The US state department defines it as the deliberate killing of civilians for political goals. Based on that definition isn’t “a terrorist-type risk to the security forces” an oxymoron.
    It depends. Even if you accept the US state department definition, remember that some members of the security forces *are* civilians. Including the police.

  • gareth mccord

    reader does that mean the u.s. state are terrorists for the THOUSANDS of iraqi civilians they killed or again im i missing THE BIGGER PICTURE?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gareth mccord: “reader does that mean the u.s. state are terrorists for the THOUSANDS of iraqi civilians they killed or again im i missing THE BIGGER PICTURE? ”

    No, it means you are deliberately misconstruing his words in order to score a few cheap points and maybe pick a pissing contest, Gareth… but you knew that already.

    Now, some of us old folks (read “grown-ups”) prefer older and more visceral definitions of terrorism. I believe that it was Lenin who stated, rather plainly, that the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize. While glossing over the impropriety of using a term to define a term, it is probably the most practical answer I’ve heard on the matter, but even it doesn’t answer all the questions… e.g., if a backlava-wearing thug kills someone in broad daylight and the response of the people is not fear, but anger, is it really terrorism?

    As for those you know, I’m suffering from a dearth of sympathy, gareth — thuggery is something of an unregulated industry, but they knew that going in. They’ve put themselves in a “fish or cut bait” scenario. If they really want out, they can talk to the coppers, although, given history, that might not be the best notion.

    Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

  • gareth mccord

    DREAD can i have that again in recent english language? Or are you confused yourself?

  • Reader

    Gareth McCord: does that mean the u.s. state are terrorists for the THOUSANDS of iraqi civilians they killed or again im i missing THE BIGGER PICTURE?
    You need to remember the beginning of the definition when you have reached the end: “*deliberate* killing of civilians for political goals.” The Americans probably have a different term for the casual use of huge quantities of high-explosives and automatic weapons in inappropriate surroundings. But they aren’t alone in that, are they?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gareth mccord: “DREAD can i have that again in recent english language? Or are you confused yourself?”

    tsk tsk tsk… a clumsy “ad hominem” swipe. gareth, the plain fact is you’re flailing. You decided to take a clumsy swipe at reader (oh, btw, reader, the phrase you didn’t have for your post is “collateral damage”) and were called on it.

    I did my best to respond, despite the state of your prose (no capitalization, limited / questionable punctuation), for which you try to make a clumsy swipe at me. Suggestion: you are perhaps the last person who should take shots at a body regarding the finer points of the English language.

    No, if you are confused, by all means, allow me to simplify.

    No one joins the UVF by accident.

    They chose to join up, just like your relative CHOSE to join up. Bad choices have consequences.

    When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.

  • gareth mccord

    Dread the action you have chosen is to slander and mock my brothers murder by a blind snobbery attitude. So in your words “when you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action”. But it is easy to be so stupid behind a false name and hiddn i.d. but if that makes you feel like a man then continue to be a coward.
    An opinion is welcome but not ones of your calibre!!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gareth: “the action you have chosen is to slander and mock my brothers murder by a blind snobbery attitude.”

    Gareth, he chose to participate. The downside of participation should have been apparent to any who had been paying attention to the UVF. How, might I ask, is pointing out the obvious ‘slander’ or ‘mockery?’ I am merely stating facts already in the record. That you don’t like these facts is of little import.

    Besides, gareth, you were the one who chose to make this personal.

    gareth: “So in your words “when you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action”. ”

    That’s not merely my words, Gareth, but the nature of the universe. You drop a hammer, it falls to the ground. You involve yourself in a criminal enterprise, things get stickier than if you employed yourself in a lawful one. This is neither a complex or controversial concept. To simplify it so you might better grasp the notion, it is just as your parent’s likely told you long ago — you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

    gareth: “But it is easy to be so stupid behind a false name and hiddn i.d. but if that makes you feel like a man then continue to be a coward. ”

    Actually, Gareth, I am evenly consistant in my chosen posting name. I am consistant in my views, particularly where paramilitary organizations are concerned. Your petty ad hominem attacks do you no credit. If you cannot accept the facts — even those you find personally uncomfortable, be it upon your head.

    From the BBC: “Raymond McCord Jnr was murdered on 9 November 1997.

    The 22-year-old Protestant who had spent four years as a radar operator in the RAF was beaten to death by the UVF.

    He had been a member of the organisation and is also said to have had some involvement in drugs.”

    You play with fire, you joing the UVF, you “involve yourself in drugs, there are certain occupational hazards that come with the territory.

  • gareth mccord

    Dread maybe the B.B.C. know who the members of the u.v.f. are more than the u.v.f. and the late David Ervine. They are on record stating to us and the dogs on the street that Raymond was not a member.
    As for playing with fire do you mean that if you were killed tonight (heaven forbid) for your views of my brother, by me who is a paid murderer by our government is that just the “nature of the universe”?
    OR would it be different because your innocent even though what anyone can spin to protect “THE BIGGER PICTURE”
    Facts are facts and unless you are a democrat you are innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.
    So if you could find a guilty verdict on raymond being a u.v.f. member or a drug dealerthen prove it or apoligise for your groundless spin!!
    If you think you have facts as you say then the next time your in belfast centre on a friday afternoon go to the hewitt bar and tell my father the facts you have as you cant argue with facts he always told me!!
    As i have pointed out but you have ignored, my name is on the screen as i find it cowardly to have a “debate” under a false face.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gareth: “maybe the B.B.C. know who the members of the u.v.f. are more than the u.v.f. and the late David Ervine. They are on record stating to us and the dogs on the street that Raymond was not a member. ”

    Oh, yes… and paramilitary thugs and their political sock-puppets would never, ever lie. Wouldn’t be proper. Betcha they pinky-swore and everything. Even with the BBC’s more recent failures, I’d take their veracity over that of Loyalist hoods.

    gareth: “As for playing with fire do you mean that if you were killed tonight (heaven forbid) for your views of my brother, by me who is a paid murderer by our government is that just the “nature of the universe”? ”

    Nope, not unless also I decided that joining a paramilitary street gang and pushing nose candy was a good career move. In the insurance business, its called “assumed risk.”

    gareth: “Facts are facts and unless you are a democrat you are innocent until proved guilty in a court of law. ”

    Yes, and if you had the facts to dispute the BBC story, your father would have done so by now, wouldn’t he? I do find it interesting that you have not disputed the fact on other occasions in the past, but wait until now to make a fuss.

    Gareth: “So if you could find a guilty verdict on raymond being a u.v.f. member or a drug dealerthen prove it or apoligise for your groundless spin!! ”

    Actually, Gareth, if you can prove he wasn’t, go sue the BBC. I’ll be waiting to see the press release… any day now… right.

    Gareth: “If you think you have facts as you say then the next time your in belfast centre on a friday afternoon go to the hewitt bar and tell my father the facts you have as you cant argue with facts he always told me!! ”

    Awwwwwwww… poor gareth… can’t handle himself in a discussion and, perforce, must resort to petty personal attacks and summon his Da’ to handle things for him.

    gareth, not for nothing, you’re not the only one whose lost family, so come down off your cross, the timber would be better used elsewhere.

    gareth: “As i have pointed out but you have ignored, my name is on the screen as i find it cowardly to have a “debate” under a false face. ”

    and can you prove you are garth mccord and not some troll, solely over this board? The only thing I really attest to in your case is a certain apathy toward proper punctuation and capitalization… and even that could be a put on.

  • gareth mccord

    dread

    You should believe nothing what you hear and only half what you see when it comes to the media as history and the future will prove.
    You should learn the english meaning of “alleged” and “convicted” and check which one the b.b.c. used.
    As for other victims i would like to know ANY who stood up against the organisation that killed their loved ones and destroyed the organisation by revealing the TRUTH that nobody believed.
    How many more lives would be destroyed by the U.V.F if the spotlight and investigations and revelations into their killers, if my family came of the cross and as “the timber would be better used elsewhere”????

    [Keep it civil! and play the ball! – edited moderator]

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gareth: “You should learn the english meaning of “alleged” and “convicted” and check which one the b.b.c. used. ”

    Gareth… as noted elsewhere, criticism from you on matters of language is, at best, underwhelming.

    As I said, if you have a legitimate complaint, take it up with the BBC and, presumably, the other news outlets reporting Raymond’s as being active in the UVF.

    Likewise, I *quoted* the BBC verbatim, Gareth. His UVF membership was presented as fact, not allegation.

    [Same goes for you, civil and to the ball! – edited moderator]

  • gareth mccord

    dread keeping it civil means saying something about a dead person based on no convictions or police statements.
    You have neither and nor do i when i say that them kids you were once alledged to have touched seemed to keep quiet all of a sudden?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Gareth: “dread keeping it civil means saying something about a dead person based on no convictions or police statements. ”

    Ah, but we also must be blunt. Civility without bluntness results in discussion without debate.

    You may not like the facts presented in the press, but they are reported as fact. They have not been credibly challenged. That you do not like them does change either their status in the public domain as fact. As they have not been challenged by the McCord family and are still presented as fact, what other reasonable conclusion is to be drawn?

    gareth: “You have neither and nor do i when i say that them kids you were once alledged to have touched seemed to keep quiet all of a sudden? ”

    Gareth, if this the best you can muster, I must say you’re boring me to tears here. I have the BBC’s report, for openers, paired with your family’s mute acceptance of the same report, balanced against what you say a dead man and a couple of hoods allegedly said. That trumps even your rhetorical flights of fancy, “gareth.”

    From the Guardian’s Timeline on the UVF:

    “November: The badly beaten body of former RAF radar operator Raymond McCord Jr is found on the outskirts of Belfast after a fall-out with a north Belfast UVF gang.”

    From the Independent:

    “Her investigation started with the 1997 killing by that UVF unit of a 22-year-old Protestant man, Raymond McCord Jr., who had been a member of the paramilitary group. “

    From the Scotsman:

    “The investigation by Nuala O’Loan came after a lengthy campaign for justice by Raymond McCord snr, whose son was murdered in 1997, probably by a UVF leader under the protection of the police.

    His battered body was found on 9 November, 1997, at a quarry on the outskirts of Belfast. The life of Raymond McCord jnr, 22, was believed to have been cut short by gangsters inside the UVF after they fell out over a drugs haul. “

    You have a far larger problem with these papers, “gareth,” than you will ever have with me.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Oh, and whilst we are on the topic of Ervine and what he said or didn’t say…

    http://www.malachiodoherty.com/ervine.htm

    “When he was confronted by Raymond McCord at a debate in the West Belfast Festival last year he scowled back at him in terms that would not have gone down very well in recent weeks when McCord was acknowledged as one of the heroes of our time.

    Ervine said: “Sharon McKenna was killed before your son, and yet your son chose to join the UVF, even though the UVF were held responsible for the brutal murder of a woman. So your son made a decision in joining the UVF. And I tragically have to say, because I am pissed off, absolutely fed up, not with you but with the degree with which the media are prepared to run with you, and sooner or later they will drop you like a hot brick, Raymond, and your hurt will get even greater. Because the reality is that your son was the worst kind of UVF man, because he was also a drug dealer. Now that gives no excuse whatsoever for his death. I personally wish that your son were alive but since that was out of my control, I don’t know what I could do about that then and I don’t know what I can do to bring him back now.”