Pressure for special treatment for soldiers would kill any chance of agreement on the past. Obviously.

Flaws in the system of investigation into charges of  British army  misconduct “on the battlefield “   have been dramatically exposed in the disgrace of the solicitor Phil Shiner. In the Commons and in the press, it has reinforced calls for Theresa May to speed up the promised reform of how human rights law applies to ex-soldiers who served not only in Iraq but in Northern Ireland.

The Shiner case will no doubt boost her well established scepticism about how human rights law is invoked against the state.

Critics of the system insist that the Shiner case proves that the system of trawling through a long list of claims against  the Army is wide open to abuse and should be replaced by a more selective “ rotten apple “ approach.   Over Iraq there is a strong case.

But it is a mistake to place allegations of army misconduct in Iraq and Northern Ireland in the same frame. There are big differences as well as some similarities.   In the Iraq war, British law could be applied and enforced on one side only. The Northern Ireland Troubles were intimately domestic.  The processes and the public accountability that go with them are quite different.

BBC NI have reported the PSNI’s answer to the secretary of state James Brokenshire’s claim that there’s too much concentration on army cases

Paramilitary cases outnumber cases against the security forces by more than two to one. That may still seem too many but how else are they to be assessed other than by looking at the claims?    A category review does not imply that prosecutions are imminent and “hauling people out of bed at six in the morning”  isn’t necessary. ( It didn’t happen to Gerry Adams  who was allowed to report for interview).

The PSNI’s recital of the facts  amounts to a defence  of the operational independence which British ministers have  always piously defended until now. It provides  evidence that secretary of state James Brokenshire was wrong to criticise them. The police have been thrust loudly complaining  into the breach until or unless agreement is reached on  setting up the long trailed independent Historical Investigations Unit. This would be   financed by an extra £150 million from London ove five years, contingent on agreement among the local parties and promised in the Fresh Start agreement. If  Brokenshire   thought his comments  would help to goad the  parties into  ending their deadlock on dealing with the past, he  now knows differently. He only managed to widen the gap at the worst possible time. He  must resist climbing on a backbench bandwagon, like we heard in a debate on the Army Covenant  in the Commons yesterday, when the DUP and right wing Conservatives made common cause.  

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

I close by encouraging the minister and his colleagues, and their colleagues in other departments that are involved in this issue, to give serious consideration to the introduction of a statute of limitations, that would protect the men and women who have served our country, and who deserve that protection.

“I recognise that no one is above the law, but when cases have been investigated in some cases not just once, but twice previously, and when the men and women who served our country have been exonerated, only to find years later that those cases are being reopened, then I think there is something wrong

Sir Gerald Howarth

I think it is absolutely immoral that those men who fought in that filthy war, wearing the Queen’s uniform, facing an enemy wearing civilian clothes, lurking in the shadows amongst a civilian population, having done their best for their country are now being dragged from their beds at six o’clock in the morning in dawn raids and being dragged off to Northern Ireland.

“I think it’s unacceptable and I’m afraid to say to my friend on the front bench this is not a matter simply for the police services of Northern Ireland, or for the prosecuting authorities.

“It is, as I’ve told the Prime Minister, a matter for ministers.

So the pressure is on ministers to make a change.  But whatever distinctions may be made between the conduct of soldiers and paramilitaries,  a “statute of limitations” for soldiers alone has to be out of the question.

A statute of limitations for one?  A statute of limitations for all.

 

, , , ,

  • PeterBrown

    Obelisk I have pointed out that personally I don’t disagree with the universal amnesty – and I’m not sure any MPs or soldiers do claim it was a war (if they do they don’t know what they are talking about!) just a civil emergency. Even if it was a war the vast majority of IRA attacks were still unlawful (killing off duty soldiers and policemen never mind the civilians and attacks on property) and terrorists could be shot on sight and executed if captured due to their failure to wear a uniform. I prefer the criminal law option and in the possible absence of an option for manslaughter the bar is too high for many security force killings of civilians to be premeditated murder but those which were criminal should face justice. We should also not forget numerically they are a small percentage of the total and under criminal law all should be (re)investigated with equal rigour. Now who has most to fear from that?

  • John

    AntrimGael – Dry your eyes you absolute mope.

  • Enda

    I abhor murder, but believe people have right to stand up for themselves.

  • PeterBrown

    But all of their killings were murder? On the assumption that they wanted universal suffrage, fair employment and housing and that fighting for these things justifies murder and attacks on civilians and property (which morally and legally it does not) these were all introduced by 1973 so what was the next 20 years for? It was an attempt to override the right to self determination enshrined in international law and now the Belfast Agreement of the people of Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom and therefore in no way standing up for anyone…

  • Enda

    You must have trouble reading if you think I’m ambivalent towards murder.

    How ambivalent are you towards army personal executing IRA members after they’ve been captured and put beyond harm?

  • Enda

    If the armed campaign never killed a person, and only harmed Britain economically, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. It’s the killing I have a problem with, but of course Unionist voices on this forum are going to keep on stating that I condone murder, even though I’ve clearly state the contrary.

  • PeterBrown

    You stated you abhorred some of their actions and listed 3 atrocities which deliberately targeted civilians and not security forces whose killings were conspicuous only by their absence. 2 days and 6 post later now it is all killings but bombs which harm economically but kill no one (which is of course what la Mon we are told was supposed to do) are acceptable. Does that mean that the loyalist bombings in the Republic of Ireland and on nationalists in Northern Ireland were an acceptable response provided no one was killed? I see them all as equally wring but let’s clarify where your line in the sand between abhorrence and not batting an eyelid is…

  • Enda

    Do you know the meaning of et al, or are you being deliberatly thick?

    Surely you didn’t expect me to list every single IRA murder?

    As for Loyalist agression. I’m obviously ideologically opposed to loyalism, and I see it as a prime agressor.

    I see loyalism as being pure hatred directed at Irishness, and Catholicism, and I see Republican violence as being a reaction to that hatred.

  • Madra Uisce

    and i have seen orecious few british (none as a matter of fact) tried for manslaughter.

    That is because the state forces were exempt from having a manslaughter charge brought against them. It was either bring a murder charge or no prosecution. There are literally hundreds of cases where manslaughter charges could have been brought but were not due to this exception.

  • PeterBrown

    I know how to spell deliberately and that you cannot be deliberately thick so no I am not – I just thought the absence of any of the most significant attacks on the security forces was significant, at best a freudian slip and at worst a deliberate omission bearing in mind that the 3 attacks you referred to were numerically their least significant area of operation though evidence of their pure hatred of protestantism and Britishness to which you are also presumably ideologically opposed. I agree about the loyalists – their any fenian will do mentality with some notable exceptions often more through luck than judgement was as abhorrent as it was inexplicable but you have yet to explain the prime aggression or the justification of for the response….

  • johnny lately

    If you could elaborate on who the “us too” is as this thread is about British politicians some of whom are on the privy council deliberately telling lies in front of the world in an attempt to make British security forces above the law, all the while everyone from the CC of the PSNI, the AG of Northern Ireland, the police ombudsman and the judiciary all refute what those same politicians claim. Although it’s not surprising your stance on the matter as we both know you have defended using terrorism and murder supposedly in order to stop terrorism and murder.

  • Rory Carr

    I see that you are not familiar with the use of the grammatical tense nor, it seems capable of reading a paragraph to its conclusion. You should try it some time. It might help to broaden your ability to comprehend what you are reading.

  • Steptoe

    Yes sir, understood sir!

  • Enda

    I’ll be sure to watch my ‘e’s’ in future. The prime agression? How about loyalist false flag bombings of water supply plants to blame it on what was then an almost defunct IRA, with the soul aim to create tensions.

    Or the brutality of the RUC? The rampages they went on in the Bogside, the murder of Samuel Devenny by the RUC?

    This and more contrubuted to the start of 30 years of violence.

    Loyalism is horrible at its core. At least the ideals of Republicanism serve all of society regardless of colour or creed. Loyalism exists to suit loyalists and no one else.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    If you want a conversation you need to withdraw slurs like “we both know you have defended using terrorism and murder supposedly in order to stop terrorism and murder” – I have done no such thing.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Not at all ambivalent – Army personnel have to follow the rules and if they don’t, they deserve the consequences.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    On your ambivalence about the PIRA, I’d cite the following:
    “… I first and foremost accuse the state forces as being the prime antagonists in the conflict. The PIRA were a product of this primary aggression, and although I abhor some of their actions ( La Mon, Kingsmill, Enniskillen et al), I can understand why they became the prominent paramilitary organisation that they did …”

    You only abhor “some of” their actions and you “can understand” why they became prominent because you “first and foremost” see state forces as “the prime antagonists.” You see the PIRA as a “a product of this primary aggression”. If that isn’t PIRA apologism I don’t know what is. I’m not even going to go into how factually wrong your beliefs are about who the main perpetrators of the Troubles were.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “inevitable” is again PIRA apologism, Enda. Don’t you realise when you’re doing it?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The losers have to be those who try to justify murder and terror. It’s essential for all our mental health that such poison is thoroughly excised.

    I am willing to stand with peaceful, anti-terrorist nationalists against terror-apologising loyalists. I hope they will reciprocate – often they don’t. But I will do it anyway, because it’s the only right thing to do.

  • Obelisk

    But this isnt all about the paramilitaries. It is also about the attempts of the state to carve out an exception for itself. Will you also stand against the British government if they try to give themselves alone legal absolution?

  • Madra Uisce

    They arnt ,Perhaps you need to read a bit more before following the DUP/SOS propaganda line http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38844453

  • grumpy oul man

    a lot of Ifs there, I wonder would you give the same benefit of the doubt to anybody else but a highly trained and disciplined soldier.
    Of course you are acting as a apologist for the Army, any amount of cases involved shooting people who presented no threat and were quite obviously not armed, The MRF is a classic example of this as was bloody Sunday and the Ballymurphy massacre.
    It should also be noted that it has been proved on several occasions that both individual soldiers and the army lied after the events.

  • grumpy oul man

    still dealing in Alternative facts!

  • grumpy oul man

    Oh yes you have, I proved this in the past which is why you cannot respond to any of my posts!
    Remember when you refused to recognize the links between the DUP and terror groups and the lins between those same terro groups and the British army.

  • grumpy oul man

    Not as lightly as the murderers of the British Army!

  • Skibo

    Pete you have just in your first sentence proved what is wrong in this country. For a citizen to stand up and give evidence against a soldier you have automatically labelled them as military (terrorist) supporters. That is the attitude of most Unionist supporters in NI and the reason why the British Security services are allowed to do what ever they deem necessary.
    I do not require a higher standard of investigation of the Security services that I do of terrorists. I expect the same of both and expect the law to be upheld but please remember that the security services were allowed to lock up thousands of people in NI without any evidence what so ever.
    That was my point about the state makes the law.
    In the end, the same level of evidence should be required to find a person guilty of breaking the law, whether they wear a uniform or not.
    If you keep comparing the actions of the security services with terrorists then we must presuppose that you accept that the terrorists were an army also!

  • Skibo

    They were investigated and prosecuted by the British establishment. Republicans can hardly be found wanting for that! The only reason I can see for a Republican not to be prosecuted it there was evidence is if he was actually working for the state in the first place.

  • Skibo

    MU that happens after all conflicts. Were all those involved in death camps in Poland and Germany prosecuted?
    We need to find some way through this, perhaps a wall with all the names of those who died during the troubles. A pension and a payment as proposed in the Eames-Bradley proposal. I believe it would have answered most of the problems but because they wanted to treat all victims as equal, Unionism refused to accept them.
    I still believe that the museum at the Maze could have been used as a conflict resolution centre. Both stories could be told and given equal status. The truth would be found somewhere in the middle.

  • Skibo

    MU British justice is what we have been used to for a long time and it has not been served out equally. I assume you do not require this level of justice for the victims of the Security services, in whatever form of uniform or none?

  • Skibo

    Peter I bring you back to the early 1900s when the brutal oppressive force and the legitimate army was the same. Not only that but first armed illegitimate force to oppose the forces of the crow as none other that the UVF. Perhaps had the security forces headed that group down at that time, we would not be where we are now.
    As for the different standards, are you not proposing that the Security services should not be re-investigated for their actions during the troubles? Is that not a different standard?
    Investigations into many many more actions have taken place and still take place.

  • Granni Trixie

    Sorry MU but you are misinformed. Some high ranking policeman made a statement backed by stats showing the opposite in last day or so, sorry not to have links to this.
    Significantly it shows that Brokenshire like other MPs is misinformed. He’s the SOS and has access to information so this is serious and hardly confidence building.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    If you shoot someone in Chipping Sodbury (sp?) during a robbery then society there will largely agree a crime was committed.

    We in NI can’t even agree on what was or was not a crime. It’s pointless and corrosive to a corrupted and morally crippled society.

  • yerman

    No group is being singled out, know the facts,

  • yerman

    397 cases blamed on Republicans. 230 cases blamed on Loyalists and 283 cases blamed on Security Forces are being investigated as well as 31 cases unknown.

  • Skibo

    I also heard the Police officer’s statement contradicting the issue of the lack of terrorist rated investigations. The issue was the number of cases that were being forwarded to the DPP.
    Perhaps this has more to do with the way or rather the lack of a prober investigation in the first place.

  • PeterBrown

    From Brian’s previous thread on the same topic…

    Lets examine those figures…

    1118 cases being investigated 47% by Republicans, 24% by loyalists 32% by security forces and 3 % unknown. Compare that with the breakdown of those responsible for killings on CAIN 58.8% republicans, 29% loyalists, 11.7% security forces. Makes something of a mockery of the BBC’s wildly inaccurate headline that by a factor of c300% there is a concentration on security forces?

    Or to look at it another way 28% of republican killings are being reinvestigated, 29% of loyalists and 93.65% of security force killings. I always fact check what even the BBC says

  • PeterBrown

    Again the figures from the BBC broken down:

    Lets examine those figures…

    1118 cases being investigated 47% by Republicans, 24% by loyalists 32% by security forces and 3 % unknown. Compare that with the breakdown of those responsible for killings on CAIN 58.8% republicans, 29% loyalists, 11.7% security forces. Makes something of a mockery of the BBC’s wildly inaccurate headline that by a factor of c300% there is a concentration on security forces?

    Or to look at it another way 28% of republican killings are being reinvestigated, 29% of loyalists and 93.65% of security force killings. I always fact check what even the BBC says

  • PeterBrown

    Yet below you argue that terrorists should not be subject to British justice – that really would be unequal!

  • PeterBrown

    The key is the evidence and the search for it – only certain crimes are being investigated

  • PeterBrown

    I applied the relevant criminal law standard – are you suggesting that we do away with the presumption of innocence (for soldiers only) – if the standard of investigation is the same so should the standard of proof. And 2 conflicting versions of events without corroboration of either rarely results in conviction except in An Phoblacht (hence the low conviction rate for rape which often involves that scenario). Internment was temporary and with hindsight a mistake but it compares favourably with the treatment meted out by republicans to their suspected opponents which i have described below…again apply the same standards to both sides! The application of criminal law to both sides does not make them both armies (that requires the application of the rules of war which are very different) it makes anyone who is guilty a criminal.

  • PeterBrown

    It is about some requesting that the state and its forces be treated equally – if their opponents are being treated leniently then equally leniently as appears to be the case at the moment

  • PeterBrown

    As anyone who knows me and my history with the UVF will no doubt confirm Skibo I have less time for them than for republicans but I to repeat myself would want all incidents to be reinvestigated with equal resources and rigour – what about you?

  • johnny lately

    So you say Peter but unfortunately those that actually know the facts disagree with you. What’s interesting though is now the mouthpiece of the British establishment the BBC is also being attacked for being flawed. You even had the brass neck to use Cain as your source of information even though almost everyday new evidence is emerging that makes Cain flawed.

  • PeterBrown

    Erm Johnny those are the facts as reported by the BBC in that report its only the headline I’m taking issue with – where is the alternative breakdown of the Troubles deaths because it won’t alter the figures by 300%

  • Madra Uisce

    The major flaw in your rush to propagate the DUP propaganda is this. Your quote the total number of killings throughout the troubles and give percentages for these by group, Republican Loyalist and State. You then totally neglect the fact that all terrorist murders that took place were investigated at the time and people were convicted and went to prison for them numbering in the thousands .Im not sure of the clearance rate during the troubles but its safe to say that the cases being investigated now are those for which no one has been made amenable, there is little point in investigating killings were there has already been a conviction. So that leaves us with the 1118 cases currently being investigated so the figures given by the PSNI seem reasonable.

  • PeterBrown

    Except that less than 50% of terrorist murders were solved and that only reduces the discrepancy to 150% and ignores the fact that resolved security forces cases are being reopened but not terrorist cases so the discrepancy goes back up

    You also assume that if one person is convicted the investigation should be closed but there will in almost every case be those who have not been made amenable – get away driver armourer etc who are all equally guilty under joint enterprise. And I am the one propagating propaganda?

  • Madra Uisce

    ignores the fact that resolved security forces cases are being reopened

    A lot of the security force cases were never even investigated properly in the first instance some not at all. Take for instance one of the biggest single acts of mass murder during the troubles Bloody Sunday. Only now is there a police investigation that is in any way credible and i still believe that no one will ever be brought to justice for it. The British and Unionists are determined to stop justice from being done in those cases. The Brits were given carte blanche to murder with impunity during the troubles and the tiny minority who were convicted only served minuscule sentences before being released and welcomed back into the Army as convicted murderers.

  • PeterBrown

    Many of the killings including I will accept those by security force members were not investigated to the extent that they could have been because of the pressure of the number of open cases – I will once again sate all killings deserve to be investigated with an equal amount of resources and with equal rigour – there can be no hierarchy of perpetrators and I note that you are no longer taking issue with the fact that even according to the BBC stats that is what is happening. Given the emphasis on equality coming from a certain party in relation to our forthcoming election surely there should be equality in relation to this (and none of those convicted of murder whilst in the security forces is currently a member of the government – so lets have equality in our exposing of the “rehabilitation of offenders”). I am at least attempting to have some balance but I appear to be a lone voice in the wilderness – its more popular to say draw a line under the past and move on or accepting the security forces should be at the forefront of the limited investigations we are having. I’m in the middle – investigate all…

  • Madra Uisce

    Im also of the opinion that all murders should be equally investigated, however the lies propagated by the DUP claiming that 90% of the focus was on state killings was shown to be nonsense by the PSNI. As for the rehabilitation of offenders Idont think there are any convicted murderers in the govt, also if those who were convicted of murder had been convicted of drugs offences there isint a chance in hell they would have been let back into the army.

  • PeterBrown

    I have pointed out on the other thread by a Brian the DUP figure was as inaccurate as the BBC headline and there are those in government who were directly involved in killings and convicted of serious terrorist offences warranting life imprisonment though currently no convicted murderers

  • MainlandUlsterman

    There was public outrage at the Eames-Bradley proposals and not just from the political unionists – people found it just wrong. Any way through this that treats murderers as “victims” isn’t going to wash.

    You mention the death camps – well, in one sense the SS camp guards that got killed are ‘victims’ of WW2 but did anyone propose treating them as having the same status as the inmates when it came to the public processing of the lessons from WW2 and the apportioning of moral and legal responsibility? Maybe their mates in the IRA (ironic that) would have but I don’t think too many others would.

    You can’t have a truth and reconciliation process that is devoid of basic morality, or it simply doesn’t bring either truth or reconciliation.

    And the truth isn’t necessarily “somewhere in the middle”. The truth is where the truth is – it isn’t halfway between the two most vocal arguers.

  • PeterBrown

    Skibo the death camp guards were I presume largely conscripts the terrorists in NI were all willing and enthusiastic volunteers

  • anon

    “a “statute of limitations” for soldiers alone has to be out of the question”

    I agree with you, however the fact that this is seriously being advanced shows the shift to post-referendum nationalist jingoism in the UK Government. Theresa May has a wafer-thin majority and, at the end of the day, doesn’t really give a monkeys about NI.

  • PeterBrown

    Those ifs are called the presumption of innocence and everybody in any trial should and does get that benefit of the doubt – as the Blackstone’s formulation puts it “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. Of course some tribunals don;t have that presumption and no matter what you end of in a bog or beside a border road. I accept that soldiers and the army have lied – but so have many others (who can forget the allegation that the Enniskillen bomb was radio controlled and detonated by the security forces sweeping the area when it transpires it was timer unit deliberately set to inflict maximum civilian casualties and was therefore so far as its maker was concerned an almost unqualified success). If you want to find for a partisan apologist look for a mirror….lets total the amount of people killed by each organisation whilst not presenting a direct threat and see what those stats tell us…

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Can you be more specific GT? Open to better information on the proportion of unsolved Troubles crimes carried out by paramilitaries compared to security forces. What is the correct proportionality?

    I’m going on the rough assumption the figure for murders, to take that crime as an example, is something below 5 per cent of Troubles murders overall involved members of the security forces (acting outside their duties). If that’s roughly right we should be looking at 19 investigations into paramilitary crimes for every one by security forces, as a rough starting point for estimating what to expect. So this 2:1 stuff needs some explaining.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You are not alone. And remember Slugger commenters skew as a sample quite massively towards the political nationalist side, complete with often flakey numeracy over what actually happened in the Troubles. The wider NI public tends to be less sold on the anti-security force narrative.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    And bear in mind the figures for the terrorist groups are all *murders*; the security force figures include lawful killings e,g. in life-threatening situations in riots, when under attack from gunmen, and when using minimum force in pursuing terrorists to make arrests, intra vires. Percentage of actual murders much lower. I don’t have figures but 5 per cent might even be on the high side.

  • file

    I am not saying that it was a war. It is the British Government and establishment that is tying itself up in knots over the definition of the conflict. I’m just pointing out that they cannot have it both ways. Also it is only states that are bound by rules of war – illegal paramilitary groups can do whatever they want and do sign up to any agreed standards of behaviour.

  • file

    I cannot think of any ‘even bigger fuss’ from the British Government’s point of view than the mess that was the Hunger Strikes in terms of alienating the nationalist community, providing an unstoppable election surge for Sinn Féin and international censure.

  • PeterBrown

    No they are not – they are not having it both ways. They are saying the investigation process is not balanced and its either investigate all or none. Only republicans claim it was a war and then proceed to claim the rules of war did not apply – now that is tying yourself is knots!

  • file

    From the original post – here is where the British establishment is claiming it was a war:

    Sir Gerald Howarth

    I think it is absolutely immoral that those men who fought in that filthy war, wearing the Queen’s uniform, facing an enemy wearing civilian clothes, lurking in the shadows amongst a civilian population, having done their best for their country are now being dragged from their beds at six o’clock in the morning in dawn raids and being dragged off to Northern Ireland.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    SF-IRA devised the Hunger Strikes as a sympathy-generating mechanism for themselves, among the big constituency within nationalism who had, shall we call them, ‘soft sympathies’ with the IRA campaign, or who had bought into the Republican narrative to some degree. It worked like a charm for them. I honestly think it was a very hard little trick to counteract. Government handled it fairly well on balance but it was a case of damned if you do a deal with them, damned if you don’t. I think you have to just realise it was never really about the government, it was about intra-nationalist theatre and as ever government was cast as the pantomime villain. Unless they caved to IRA terrorist demands, this was the only part the govt was ever going to be accorded. And SF was always going to do well out of it, as it does any time it engineers some Catholic suffering – in this case, completely self-inflicted. Apparently that works just as well as the more usual tactic of physically attacking state servants then maximising the opportunities to play the wronged party when the policing and criminal justice process takes its course.

  • Skibo

    MU morality is a personal issue and your morality will not equate to mine.
    As with history, the facts will only tell so much and any interpretation will be personal and swayed by political outlook.
    As for your link between the SS and the IRA, all that I was trying to point out was, were there any further trials after the Nurenberg Trials?
    At what stage do we draw a line under the conflict and move on?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Your views on the BBC are verging on the Trumpesque 🙂

  • file

    Why did the government give them their demands after the Hunger Strikes then?

  • grumpy oul man

    It hard to make a presumption of innocent when someone who is not in any danger realor percieved shoots a unarmed person.
    But you seem to think that no soldier shoud be persecuted for murder ( correct me if i am wrong) that is quite a presumption in itself.

  • Granni Trixie

    Bear with me …will definately get back to you. Saw senior police officer on TV (maybe even the Chief) offer evidence mirrored in newspapers.
    Bin collected today so can’t hoke around – but I know what I’m looking for and will identify from internet.

  • PeterBrown

    Is Sir Gerald an official spokesman for the British establishment because up until now they have been every clear it was not a war and everything he says after the word war about the enemy confirms that it was not a war it was a civil emergency. As I have said only republicans claim it was a war and even they claim it was a war in name only because not even they want the rules of war to apply otherwise they’d all be up before the ICC in the Hague

  • PeterBrown

    No any soldier where there is evidence that they using the legal definition of murder were responsible for the unlawful killing of a human being in the Queen’s peace, with malice aforethought should be prosecuted for that offence – the distinction i am drawing is that many killings by soldiers were not not premeditated (malice aforethought) and therefore more likely to be manslaughter and there appears to be some confusion about whether soldiers can be charged with manslaughter (I also honestly don’t remember learning about this but if it is the case then maybe is should be changed).

    If I could understand the first part of your response I’d respond but if it means that soldiers were prone to deliberately shooting people who posed absolutely no threat then that is probably murder and they should be charged but I suspect they will use a defence that they believed they were under threat and had a reasonable belief that their victim was armed or posed some other threat and I am happy to let a court judge on that.

  • grumpy oul man

    So your argument is that in your opinion the killings we are talking about were spur of the moment things so were not murders.
    Dispite the fact that there in many cases was the shooters were under no percieved or real threat and were highly trained individuals with strict codes of conduct in the disharge of thier weapons who also failed to come clean afterwards, in many cases blacking the names of innocent victims this was not murder.
    Hmmm still denying the apoligist thing or are Irish lives not important to you.

  • PeterBrown

    I am merely pointing out what murder is no matter who commits it or where it is committed – other killings can still be unlawful – manslaughter for example. This is why it is almost impossible for drink drivers to be convicted of murder unless they consciously use the car as a weapon. Are you suggesting that British soldiers be judged against a lower standard then anyone / everyone else? So much for equality…

  • file

    he is a Sir, and thus by definition part of the Establshment. See what you want to see.

  • Granni Trixie

    Here is a link I tracked down which should give you food for thought.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-Ireland-38844453

    If this link dies not work suggest you google:
    Vincent Kearney BBC disputed facts legacy investigations

  • PeterBrown

    Ah well that’s a conclusive argument – I’ll concede that one! No one is seriously suggesting it was a war….

  • MainlandUlsterman

    OK that does clarify the figures and not as bad as it looked when only looking at current investigations. Combining HET work with the current raft, the combined totals are more reflective of what you might expect. It still looks like the number of enquiries is disproportionate to the number of security forces murders, but is roughly proportionate to the number of deaths.

  • yerman

    See my posts above.

  • PeterBrown

    Unless yours are in a different order this is your first post on my page (mine is ordered chronologically). If its about the stats see mine below or above about how out of proportion to the perpetrators the current investigations are (not as bad as the DUP’s 90% but still x3 security forces over terrorists)

  • johnny lately

    Peter does it say in Cain who supplied loyalist paramilitaries with most of their weapons and wasn’t it Threasa May herself who claimed those who supply weapons are just as guilty as those who pull the trigger. It’s the anniversary today of the Ormeau road bookies massacre perhaps you could explain who Cain claims was responsible or whether it says anything about joint enterprise with British intelligence, RUC special branch after all it was they who supplied the weapons used in the murders.

  • PeterBrown

    Johnny those investigations are already included in the stats about the current investigations as loyalist killings so that doesn’t account for the discrepancy – try again…and no more diversionary smokescreens just concentrate on the facts

  • file

    You know that country the USA? They get involved in wars (covert and overt) quite often but never turn up at the ICC in the Hague because they refuse to let it apply to them.

  • PeterBrown

    Which is irrelevant because the UK is covered but an interesting diversionary sideline nonetheless – now back to the facts….

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Morality is not simply a personal issue, it is a social construct. We don’t all have to agree on every aspect of our personal moral codes but we can’t have a society worthy of the name without a large degree of shared morality.

    I’d suggest more people know deep down the terrorism was wrong than care to admit it now. I just think a lot of people have been allowed to get away with flabby thinking and assinine moral reasoning over the Troubles – reasoning they must suspect isn’t robust.

    There is smart and not so smart moral reasoning. I’m afraid those ambivalent about terror are guilty of the latter. I’m not about to let that slide.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Isn’t that why we need more truth-telling and real justice over Troubles crimes? Doing nothing only deepens the pain by adding injustice to already hard loss.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You assume wrong. Crime is crime no matter who’s doing it.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    We differ; I believe that more digging up of the past will only inflame passions and risk what little reconciliation there is.

    Those who suffer because of the past or even remember it – we will die out in a generation or so and, hopefully, our recent past will become history.

    I am so tired of the endless squabbles between Orange and Green – a pox on them all. Outside this dreary little self-absorbed island real changes are taking place; changes that will impact on all of us and, more importantly, our children.

    We’re not going to agree on this so let’s just agree to not.

  • Skibo

    Then what is wrong with investigating cases where security forces were involved in killings and the legality of the killing is questioned?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    nothing at all

    the only issue for me is whether cases involving security force actions are being disproportionately chosen for investigation – which it seems they are, though not as badly as it first appeared (when you take into account already investigated HET cases).

  • MainlandUlsterman

    My point is that doing nothing doesn’t get you stasis, it gets you deterioration.

  • Skibo

    And when you fully inspect the figures, not disproportionately at all. The issue with security cases coming before HET is normally due to the fact that information has not been forthcoming from the security services.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Well, it’s at about three times the rate you would expect overall, but no matter, I’m not too bothered about it to be honest. If it helps get the truth out there it’s all to the good.

  • Skibo

    MU at some stage the issue of HET and victims has to be addressed and put to bed. I don’t think it will satisfy everyone but all we are doing is ploughing the same ground. Never a productive thing to do.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Fair enough, but one parting shot please to see if I can change your mind. I look at this like we’ve got a badly broken leg that has two pieces off at an odd angle. Leaving it as is, the bone will re-grow but in a deformed shape, leaving us in pain and unable to walk. The truth recovery process will involve a re-setting of the broken bones so they can fuse straight, not askew. It is the long term treatment we need. Short term it’s a few extra stays in hospital and some painful physio. But longer term the leg can heal properly and stop being something that dominates daily life.