Just as an addendum to Pete’s post on the Eames-Bradley initiative, it’s worth reading this piece from Barney Rowan in yesterday’s Sunday Life, who reckons the one thing more than anything else that will scupper their plans is the over riding and the now locally untouchable role of the intelligence services in deciding where the ‘public interest’ lies:
…one of the biggest pieces in that jigsaw of our past is that relationship between Special Branch, the Army, MI5 and the agents or informers. It could be the gaping hole in the Eames-Bradley report – not because they will choose or want to ignore it, but because this particular jigsaw piece is hidden in the swamp of National Security.
This is the stuff that is buried because we are told it is not in the public interest. And yet understanding that relationship – the extent of it, what it involved, who it involved and who knew what and when, is crucial to the truth of the past.
Regardless of the outcome of their deliberations with the public, Eames-Bradley will not have it within their remit to recommend full disclosure of past events. As past experience shows, partial disclosure is not only less satisfactory, it is also highly amenable to political manipulation.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty