Not a good outing for the British state, it is confronted with an immediate difficulty. Panorama is a long established authentic British cultural institution with a reputation to match: the flagship of British television investigative journalism, its reporting cannot be easily dismissed nor explained away as the work of conspiracy theorists. A useful summary of what it brought to last evening's tuned-in audience was provided by The Irish Times. It dealt with:
killings such as that of the 1976 IRA Kingsmill Massacre of 10 Protestants, the 1982 UDA shooting of five Catholics in Sean Graham’s bookies on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, the 1989 UDA murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, the 2001 Loyalist Volunteer Force murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan and the IRA murder of RUC constable Colleen McMurray in Newry, Co Down, in 1992. It also addressed some of the killings carried out by members of the so-called Glenanne Gang allegedly comprised of members of the UVF, RUC and British army. They included the killings of 34 people in the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings.
A large amount of killings, but so little an amount of accountability and disclosure. "Hundreds and hundreds" killed, in the view of Nuala O’Loan who is easily more knowledgeable than most on these type of matters.
Referring to O'Loan's claim that the security forces operated outside the rules, George Hamilton, the PSNI Chief Constable said: "I would challenge that, it's not actually accurate. There were no rules."
This is a damning if unintended indictment of British state security policy. The rule of law that prohibits murder and was meant to be enforced by the state was effectively ignored. "There were no rules" really means that there was no rule of law.
While Hamilton's reluctance to deal with the past is arguably more related to the hugely challenging drain on resources it causes present policing, than in covering up, the force he commands has been thoroughly dishonest in its claims about delivering justice.
Consider this PSNI lie which it used in defence of its sabotage and seize raid on the Boston College archive. "This is in line with PSNI’s statutory duty to investigate fully all matters of serious crime, including murder.” The PSNI was not remotely interested in murder committed by its own. in terms of performing its statutory duty it has been nothing short of an abomination. It failed willingly and completely. In authentic
Orwellian fashion the force sought to distort the past by trying to pursue only non-state actors, as if they alone were to blame for "terrorism".
One defining moment in the Panorama documentary was when Darragh MacIntyre confronted no lesser a British establishment figure than General Sir John Waters, a member of the House of Bath.
Sir John, a director of terrorism in the North from 1988-1990, suddenly found common cause with the people he tried to jail or otherwise sought to extirpate with a little help from his friends. He took a vow of silence and refused to answer questions. The sort of thing that secures the silent one a negative inference from the courts on the grounds that it is the type of stance a terrorist would adopt. Very apt Sir John of the House of Bath.
Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International has since commented that
The breadth and depth of collusion being alleged here is truly disturbing. Killing people targeted by the state, using intelligence provided by the state and shooting them with guns provided by the state – if all this is proven, we’re not talking about a security policy, we’re talking about a murder policy.
The British state murder policy is being unpicked like never before. If the Northern conflict is to be remembered as a terrorist campaign then it is blindingly obvious that a key component of British state security policy in the North was state terrorism. A peculiar irony is that whatever wrong doings the IRA was guilty of – and there were many - it now has the most persuasive of cases that it was fighting terrorism, British state terrorism.
And the British labelled Bobby Sands a criminal for breaking laws they refused to uphold themselves.
And the British labelled Bobby Sands a criminal for breaking laws they refused to uphold themselves.ReplyDelete
And what is patently clear too, that not one of the criminals behind the British state policy would consider , for even a moment, giving their lives to prove any differently. Let alone affirm it every second of every minute for sixty six agonising days.
Anyone convicted during the troubles should have the slate wiped clean.ReplyDelete
I just watched this, I think most Republicans will be familiar with much of the collusion allegations, but the editorial line was still quite shocking considering this is the BBC, they essentially adopted the Republican narrative. Panorama didn’t seek to mitigate the security services actions, infact those talking heads that did were made to look stupid or confused.ReplyDelete
One thing made me uncomfortable and that was Martin O Hagan section, they named his alleged killer and confronted him on film, and it reminded me of their Omagh bomb hit piece against Colm Murphy etc. State broadcasters shouldn’t be felon setting.
Reason #975 Why unionists are wrongheadedReplyDelete
Am not holding my breath waiting for them to admit to creating/living in a RottenBorough.
to the extent that you have an arguable point why focus on the non state actor? The documentary team confronted the British terror boss, Sir John of the House of Bath, as well as the loyalist terror boss. (we will talk the state language of terrorism here just to make the point that where it existed it was not just via non-state bodies) I think we sometimes appreciate it when it happens to the high society hoity-toity but not the "hoi polloi". I found the moment telling: all he said was lots of things took place on his watch. I am sure they did and I wish Panorama had have got the opportunity to ask him about them further.
While we were all aware of collusion, I was personally shockedReplyDelete
at d extent of it.In some cases it was killing for for
the case of killing, truth be knowing the Britts could
hv ended the war years before 1998.On another note
if they were at that back then imagine what agents and
what not they hv at their disposal now!
AM, they did get British terror boss. But you are often the writer of the sauce/gander scenario, Im not prepared to accept Republicans being felon set even if it means other groups being confronted on camera. If they had left that aspect out, it would still be an incredible programme, the story of the Sean Graham bookies gun ending up in the Imperial War museum was shocking.ReplyDelete
Would that not leave us knowing only what the judiciary tell us we may know? Public discussion and felon setting is not always the same thing.ReplyDelete
the programme was strong enough to stand without those ambushes. It actually serves little puporse except for titillation of the viewer, and there was a time declarations like that would render any future trial unfair.
Im not sure there is a distinction between felon setting and public discussion,everything thrown at say Colin Duffy by the media could reasonably be called public discussion too. Be careful though, when you have pushed everyone else before the crocodile, and only you remain, your goose will be cooked, sauce or not.
none of us should be free from public scrutiny, you, me, Colin Duffy or anybody else. We see the stifling consequences of it currently as Denis O'Brien cites the same defence. These type of ambushes, as you call them, usually come after repeated attempts to solicit commentary that are met with refusals. I think it fair of the media to ask a question that by any definition the answer to which has to be consistent with public understanding in a way that failing to ask the question would not. I found the moment Sir John of the House of Bath elected to go silent very telling, allowing the public to draw the very inference that Sir John of the House of Bath and his ilk want drawn when people like Collie Duffy opt to remain silent under interrogation.
I think that the "ambush" by the same reporter of Sean Brady over the pressure applied to raped children by the Catholic Church in a bid to induce silence was commendable.
There was a time ... indeed. just as there was a time when gay marriage was banned. Times change. The media "doorstep" every hour of ever day of every week. You don't just see it on television.
John Stevens said that during his inquiry into collusion he arrested 210 people,207 were touts , if the family of murdered jurno Martin O Hagan who have announced that they are offering £50K reward for the touting and conviction of his killers were to hire the hitman who allegedly shot Davidson for £10 K then they could have 5 LVF brit agents hit, they certainly wont do this and they certainly wont ever get justice nor will the many families of victims of state collusion ,some who may not even get an inquest until 2040 for fuck sake,ReplyDelete
The RUC,PSNI,HST, All stated that the weapons used in the Sean Grahams bookmakers murders were destroyed, nuff said...ReplyDelete
collusion was never an illusion - you'd have to have been blind and deaf not to know if it's existence - but it's the pure scale of it that leads to pure confusion - to what end - why in the hell would Britian even have invested so much time pitching the tribes against the other - is it just purely the political game ? Even then I can't understand the motivation - are we merely a gaming ground for the various Brit agencies to play with ?ReplyDelete
Or is this a narrative with a specific agenda ?
Panorama exposed the mutual deadlock on The PastReplyDelete