Bygones

by craig on March 6, 2014 1:05 pm in Uncategorized

Sometimes an ethical dilemma can arise between justice in an individual case, and the wider needs of society.  In general, pursuing individual justice should be the priority; the law should indeed be blind.  One of the greatest abuses of power in the UK in my lifetime was Tony Blair’s intervention to halt the prosecution of BAE executives for massive corruption, on the basis that revealing corruption among Saudi sheikhs, and damaging our great manufacturer of instruments of death, was against the “wider national interest”.

The long term consequences of such exceptionalism are a license for government abuse.  However, in the question of the guarantees given to wanted paramilitaries from Northern Ireland that they would not be prosecuted, I believe the correct thing was done, and the coming inquiry is not helpful – it is like sticking a knife into a wound to check how it is healing.

I grappled with these questions in a still more extreme form as UK representative at the Sierra Leone peace talks.  The only way to end long-running violent conflicts is to talk and reason with the parties, and seek to redress the underlying causes of conflict.  To seek to inflict further state violence, in the form of imprisonment, can undermine the process.  This requires very difficult moral compromise, and it is unavoidable that victims will feel they have not obtained individual justice.  I can even understand that in these circumstances it can be right for certain amnesties or actions to be unacknowledged or secret.

Peter Hain spoke great sense last week when he said that to keep the peace in Northern Ireland, we have to let go of the past, and stop pursuing not only IRA men, but also policemen, soldiers and official murderers like those who organized the killing of Pat Finucane.  This is hard indeed for the families and the maimed, I realize.  I am also particularly pleased that John Downey did not have to stand trial; experience shows that the chances of a fair trial for accused Irish nationalists in England are slim.

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47 Comments

  1. I am shocked by John Downey not being tried for the Hyde Park bombing in July 1982 which killed four Guardsmen, and triggered the Shoot-to-Kill murders in Northern Ireland which made The Troubles so bad for the so-called Iron Lady that she was ultimately rejected by the Conservative Party, and felt obliged to quit.

    The police letter which allowed on-the-run Downey to escape prosecution was issued to prevent all this mayhem from being exposed, and was the greatest miscarriage of justice, and I say this as no supporter of Britain’s covert operators, especially Captain Simon Hayward who was involved in the bombing, and went on the rampage in Northern Ireland to settle scores with Downey’s apparent supporters.

  2. It was worse that merely damaging wider national interests – the implication was that our good friends the Saudis would maliciously withhold information, and stop warning us about potential terrorist attacks.

  3. I agree with Craig Murray and Peter Hain. Sometimes, political decisions are best undertaken through the prism of cost-benefit.

  4. Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    Justice must be seen to be done, otherwise what confidence can we have in the rule of law?

    This case is like Schrodinger’s cat, isn’t it? As long as justice was not seen to be not being done, faith in the law was not affected. Then someone opened the box, to reveal a can of worms. Still, assurances were given, and should be kept. Up to the assurers to defend their actions.

  5. “I am shocked by John Downey not being tried for the Hyde Park bombing in July 1982 which killed four Guardsmen, and triggered the Shoot-to-Kill murders in Northern Ireland which made The Troubles so bad for the so-called Iron Lady that she was ultimately rejected by the Conservative Party, and felt obliged to quit.”

    Fine, get him tried, get them all tried.

    But also get those responsible for the murders on Bloody Sunday tried because to try one without the other would not be justice.

  6. Hopefully not too off topic.

    The Bristling Badger calls for an enquiry into ALL secret police units: What Kind of Public Inquiry?

  7. John Downey’s prosecution at the Old Bailey for the 1982 Hyde Park bombing collapsed last month not because – as the Official Narrative tells us – he was given a comfort letter.

    And it wasn’t just that his defence lawyer was Gareth Peirce (cf Judith Ward, Guildford Four, Birmingham Six, Jean Charles de Menezes, Moazzem Begg and Julian Assange).

    It was because the chief prosecution witness at the Downey trial would have been the discredited ‘expert witness’ Alan Feraday, whose fabricated evidence resulted in many wrongful convictions – including that of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing.

    In 1993, Feraday was banned by Lord Chief Justice Taylor from appearing as an ‘expert witness’ in any future trial. That ban didn’t stop him from fitting up Megrahi in the 2000 Lockerbie trial. But I’d like to think that my recent publicising of Feraday’s ban has led directly to the collapse of the John Downey prosecution.

    (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Alan_Feraday#John_Anthony_Downey)

  8. I agree with you (Craig) about Peter Hain, but I’m glad I’m not a politician making decisions or proposals like this!

  9. Re Graig’s comment “Sometimes an ethical dilemma can arise between justice in an individual case, and the wider needs of society.”

    The wider needs of society are always served best by adherence to the rule of law. Otherwise one has to ask who it is that decides these “wider needs” of society in each individual case. Without strict adherence to rule of law, one transfers power to establishment elites and away from the people. Rule of law and due process are essential prerequisite for democracy. Once one gives up on it, by allowing terrorists or security agencies to operate outside a legal framework, then one is giving up on democracy. In my view there is no difference between terrorists and “official murderers” as Graig puts it – all should face justice.

  10. Off-T for this post, but very On-T for this blog: fresh from the BBC: Shell, Barclays and Lloyds warn Scotland over independence.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a Scottish flavour to the next big UK-level financial upheaval – or, more precisely, to the UK end of the next big international financial upheaval.

    In the meantime, it’s remarkable that hardly anyone is asking what might happen if the Ukraine defaults. Differences over competing ‘bailout’ plans were what preceded the shootings and putsch.

    That a possible Ukrainian default is out of the news makes me think that that’s exactly what might happen, in the very near future. To spell it out: banks would have to write down their assets; some could become insolvent. Lehman’s times 10 or 100. Yeah! :-)

    People in Scotland are very well-advised to ask whether the Scottish government will guarantee their bank account holdings to the same extent as the UK government. The Scottish government should be asked to make this guarantee independently of what the rUK or EU or US or anyone else may or may not do.

  11. Oops, that’s from the Torygraph, not the BBC. Apologies.

  12. Someone

    Now Miliband is abolishing union support for the Labour Party Blair has offered to put in some of his own money. So instead of being financed by political levies, the unions have no sway. Instead it is kind-hearted philanthropists with lots of money. Guess who gets to determine policy. :)

  13. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2014 - 6:35 pm

    Ba’al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don’t Read The Mail)
    6 Mar, 2014 – 2:31 pm

    “This case is like Schrodinger’s cat, isn’t it?”

    “…Then someone opened the box, to reveal a can of worms.”

    Wonderful!

  14. Isn’t the best recent example of this sort of thing South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

    For all its flaws, I don’t really see that there was a good alternative to the TRC. The value of it, I think, is that it enabled the country to put bygones in context. They weren’t to be forgotten or brushed under the carpet, but the nation needed to come to terms with them, and this was a way to begin to do so.

    For anyone interested, Antjie Krog covered the TRC from start to finish and has written several outstanding books about it. Country of My Skull is the most famous.

  15. You’re quite right Craig. There should be a blanket amnesty for all crimes relating to the “Troubles”, including IRA, UDA, UVF, and British forces. If the paras who actually pulled their triggers on Bloody Sunday were assured of immunity from prosecution, we just might one day discover whether this was a spontaneous loss of control on their part, or whether they were “only obeying orders”, and if so how far back up the chain of command did those orders originate?

    The concept of “Justice” is overrated, likewise that modern pseudo-therapeutic term “getting closure”. Very few people got “justice” at the end of WW2, when the only war criminals put on trial were a few of the worst low-level thugs like Demanjuk, and a few politicians (there’s always plenty more where they came from!)

  16. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 7:32 pm

    “Very few people got “justice” at the end of WW2, when the only war criminals put on trial were a few of the worst low-level thugs like Demanjuk,”
    __________________–

    Shome mishtake, shurely? Ever heard of the Nuremberg trials?

  17. “Ever heard of the Nuremberg trials?”

    I thought we were talking about justice.

    America realised they hadn’t done anything illegal so they invented some laws and charged them with them.

    That’s illegal in America.

  18. Paramilitaries?

    That’s a nice, kind, euphemistic kind of word.

    Whatever their supposed or alleged political aims and ambitions were, if it isn’t worth murdering people for now, it wasn’t worth murdering people for then.

    Violence, murder, maiming, mayhem, beatings, intimidation, expulsion, lasting distrust and unhappiness and increased tribalisation over the rather more positive direction things were heading in under O’Neil in the mid ’60s and for what?

  19. John Downey was arrested on 19 May 2013 at Gatwick airport on his way to a family holiday in Greece. Court reports of February 25, 2014 stated that Downey had previously ‘traveled from Ireland to both England and Northern Ireland, where he took part in workshops involving members of the British security forces in November 2012 and March 2013.

    So who did carry out the July 1982 Hyde Park bombing? & will anyone ever be convicted?

    A pattern has emerged with other ‘IRA attrocities’. Miscarriages of justice occurred & innocent persons were imprisoned for years:

    Judith Ward spent 18 years in jail (acquitted 4/6/92) for the September 1973 Euston Railway station and the February 1974 Army bus & Defence college bombs, where 12 people were killed.

    The /b>’Birmingham 6′ spent 17 years in jail (acquitted 27/3/91) for the November 1974 Birmingham bombs, where 21 people were killed.

    The ‘Guildford 4′ spent 15 years in jail (acquitted 19/10/89) for the October 1974 Guildford bombs, where 5 people were killed.

    The ‘Maguire 7′ spent between 4 & 14 years in jail (acquitted 26/6/91) for the November 1974 Woolwich bombs, where 2 people were killed.
    & Woolwich bombs – 7 killed in total).

    Following the quashing of all these convictions, note that no one else has been charged/convicted of these crimes!

  20. Uzbek in the Uk

    their greedy bankers. We (westerners) of course be better off (morally) not to exploit these (non westerners) but who would agree to pay £20 for a t-shirt made in the UK as opposed to the one for £3 made in Bangla.

    Of course we would pay more.
    It’s education and propoganda that form our well being and make behave and think the way we do. As well as other base emotions.

    It could be done by a change in the way we feel through clever manipulation.
    We are changeable.

  21. “America realised they hadn’t done anything illegal so they invented some laws and charged them with them.”

    Churchill just wanted them shot.

    That’s the difference between your oh so progressive liberal Americans and the fuddy duddy old english.

    How we were fooled, eh.

  22. Bert asks “who did carry out the July 1982 Hyde Park bombing? & will anyone ever be convicted?”

    In fact there has been a conviction: “In 1987, Danny McNamee was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the Hyde Park bombing despite pleading innocent to the crime. McNamee’s conviction on evidence provided by discredited ‘expert witness’ Alan Feraday was not overturned until 1998 by a judge who deemed it ‘unsafe’ because of withheld fingerprint evidence that implicated other bomb-makers.”

    Earlier, on 28 September 1993, Alan Feraday’s career prospects suddenly appeared to be in tatters when, in overturning John Berry’s conviction, England’s most senior judge, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor of Gosforth, commented that although Feraday’s views were “no doubt honestly held”, his evidence had been expressed in terms that were “dogmatic in the extreme” and his conclusions were “uncompromising and incriminating”. LCJ Taylor went even further saying that in future Feraday should not be allowed to present himself as an expert in the field of electronics.

    In 1995, Alan Feraday saw the writing on the wall and, aged 58, took early retirement after 25 years’ service at the Forensic Explosives Laboratory when RARDE was subsumed into the less regal-sounding Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA).

    How come then the main prosecution ‘expert’ witness at the trial in June 2000 of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – who was convicted in January 2001 of the Lockerbie bombing – was none other than Alan Feraday?

    The obvious answer is that Scots Law Professor Robert Black arranged for the trial to be held in the Netherlands under Scottish Judges, where Feraday’s ban imposed by the now-deceased English Law Lord could safely be ignored.

    Read all about it here: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Alan_Feraday#Danny_McNamee

  23. Richard

    “Violence, murder, maiming, mayhem, beatings, intimidation, expulsion, lasting distrust and unhappiness and increased tribalisation over the rather more positive direction things were heading in under O’Neil in the mid ’60s and for what?”

    You’ll remember of course that Captain Tel was ousted by the Loyalists. Bit too nice, posh and reachy outty.

    Who was running the Loyalists?

    They’re still linked to worldwide fascism today.

  24. Bandar-Bush took £1 billion plus from arms company BAE in kickbacks. In support of his mate Blair, Iraq war turn-coat, Lord Goldsmith directed the SFO to drop it’s investigation on grounds of national security.

    Recently arms dealer Prince Charles donned traditional robes and joined Saudi princes in a sword dance in Riyadh.

    Clearly though we are evolving out of 200 years of darkness; our slavery past has come back to haunt us. Agent Cameron on his recent trip to a strong, independent and United China saw his promotion team touting business for the education sector, elaborately decorated Welsh crockery, Burberry clothing, Jaguar cars, chicken feet and pig trotter’s.

    The worm is turning from the blood soaked profits of slavery and the agonizing screams of children burned alive for British dominion.

  25. Herbie,

    I’m sure O’Neil was “a bit too nice, posh and reachy-outy” for some. But still the same question, I’m afraid – murder, mayhem and violence and for what?

    Anyway, off this topic, but there is an article by Paul Craig Roberts on The Information Clearing House this morning entitled “The Looting of Ukraine Has Begun” or similar. Does anybody have (serious) information on the veracity or otherwise of his comments?

  26. Ba'al Zevul (Let's Nuke Russia! (Everett Mix))

    7 Mar, 2014 - 8:38 am

    “If the paras who actually pulled their triggers on Bloody Sunday were assured of immunity from prosecution, we just might one day discover whether this was a spontaneous loss of control on their part, or whether they were “only obeying orders”, and if so how far back up the chain of command did those orders originate?”

    The embarrassing nature of the answers to those questions already assures their immunity from prosecution. And waiving the Official Secrets Act would not, I think, form any part of any amnesty. All members of the Forces sign this.

  27. Patrick Haseldine : “In fact there has been a conviction” – Yes, but another previous, unsafe one!

    The question remains, who did kill these 35 people?

    Doesn’t bear thinking about……..

    I thought that Scots Law Professor Robert Black was on the correct side of the Lockerbie truth search. Feraday (like a lot of the other Fort Halstead ‘specialists’) shouldn’t have been trusted whatsoever… History tells us that.

    As Gareth Pierce said:
    It is not difficult to achieve a conviction of the innocent. Over many decades several common factors have been identified, and the majority of them are present, centre stage, in this (Lockerbie) case: achieving the co-operation of witnesses by means of a combination of inducements and fear of the alternative; the provision of factual information by scientists where there is no proper basis for it; reliance on ‘identification’ evidence which is no such thing. Add to that the political will to achieve a prosecution, and the rest is easy. Fabrication demands outright dishonesty, but it isn’t always necessary, or necessary in every aspect of an investigation: the momentum of suspicion, and a blinkered determination to focus on a particular thesis and ignore evidence pointing to the contrary, is a certain route to achieving the desired end.

  28. Ba'al Zevul (Let's Nuke Russia! (Everett Mix))

    7 Mar, 2014 - 9:36 am

    Feraday, although allowing himself to be addressed as ‘Dr’, didn’t even have a first degree, but only a 1962 HNC in applied physics and electronics. At that date, it would hardly have touched on semiconductors – the circuit board certainly didn’t use valves! Granted, he would presumably have kept up with current developments and educated himself on-the-job, but it is surprising that no more specialised and formally qualified ‘expert’ was apparently available to the prosecutors. Who could have drawn on any number of defence tech and Forces scientists if they chose.

  29. Black jelly

    7 Mar, 2014 - 9:40 am

    Charity begins at home. Can we now forgive CM for siding with the Ghouta/Trodos gassers, Maidan snipers, Victoria FUN, Yats(ki) and such, purveyors of pre-planned falsehood?! King David Hotel.GoT,Lavon, Kennedy,USS Liberty, 911, Kelly etc are all in the “suppress truth” for 75 year archives and may not be mentioned.

  30. Bert said: “I thought that Scots Law Professor Robert Black was on the correct side of the Lockerbie truth search.” For a different view of Prof Black see “Blackout of Mandela blueprint”
    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Professor_Robert_Black#Blackout_of_Mandela_blueprint.

    Ba’al Zevul said in relation to Alan Feraday: “it is surprising that no more specialised and formally qualified ‘expert’ was apparently available to the prosecutors.” Feraday’s WikiSpooks biography gives a pretty convincing case as to why the prosecutors preferred this “Odious Bomb Expert”:

    Alan or Allen Feraday (born 23 December 1937), former head of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL) at the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment (RARDE) at Fort Halstead in Kent, is a self-professed forensic expert in electronics.

    Although not so academically qualified, Alan Feraday was often addressed as ‘Dr’ or ‘Professor’ when he appeared as an expert electronics witness in a number of high profile terrorist bombing cases including Danny McNamee (1982), John Berry (1983), Patrick Magee (1984), Hassan Assali (1985), the Gibraltar shootings (March 1988) and the Lockerbie bombing (December 1988).

    Margaret Thatcher soon took an interest in Alan Feraday after his evidence in the 1986 Brighton bombing case where Patrick Magee was convicted, and was especially grateful for the exculpatory testimony Feraday gave at the “Death on the Rock” inquest in Gibraltar, when the SAS were alleged to have been operating a “shoot to kill” policy against three IRA bombers killed in March 1988.

    Following the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988, the director of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory Dr Thomas Hayes and his colleague Alan Feraday were tasked with the forensic investigation into the Lockerbie bombing, which was allocated the FEL case reference number PP8932. In the 1989 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, Feraday was awarded an OBE and took over as head of the FEL when Hayes retired to become a chiropodist in the latter part of 1989. Two years later, Feraday and Dr Hayes (who continued with the Lockerbie investigation on a part-time basis) compiled a Joint Forensic Report into case PP8932. The JFR identified the only piece of hard evidence in the Lockerbie case: a tiny fragment of printed circuit board that Feraday maintained had been the trigger for the Lockerbie bomb.

    On 28 September 1993, Alan Feraday’s career prospects suddenly appeared to be in tatters when, in overturning John Berry’s conviction, England’s most senior judge, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor of Gosforth, commented that although Feraday’s views were “no doubt honestly held”, his evidence had been expressed in terms that were “dogmatic in the extreme” and his conclusions were “uncompromising and incriminating”. LCJ Taylor went even further saying that in future Feraday should not be allowed to present himself as an expert in the field of electronics.

    In 1995, Alan Feraday saw the writing on the wall and, aged 58, took early retirement after 25 years’ service at the FEL when RARDE was subsumed into the less regal-sounding Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA).

    How come then the main prosecution ‘expert’ witness at the trial in June 2000 of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – who was convicted in January 2001 of the Lockerbie bombing – was none other than Alan Feraday? The obvious answer is that Scots Law Professor Robert Black arranged for the trial to be held in the Netherlands under Scottish Judges, where Feraday’s ban imposed by the now-deceased English Law Lord could safely be ignored.

    (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Alan_Feraday)

  31. See no need for the double posting.

    Gather you don’t like Alan Feranday and think he would have manipulated any trial of Downey, apparently a most unlikely outcome, given his reputation.

    It seems that mainland police thought that they had a good case against him – what PSNI officers were afraid of, and had given him the get-out-of-gaol letter to make sure.

    Think any trial would have been better than none.

  32. Trowbridge, the WikiSpooks biography of Alan Feraday first appeared in March 2013.

    John Downey was arrested on 19 May 2013 and charged with the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing in London in what the WS biography describes as “an obvious attempt by the establishment to rehabilitate Alan Feraday’s fatally damaged reputation.”

    The prosecution must have hoped they could get away with using Feraday as their chief ‘expert witness’ in securing Downey’s conviction (2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours: Sir Alan Feraday OBE).

    But the prosecution didn’t reckon with Gareth Peirce as John Downey’s defence lawyer. Nor did they anticipate the WS biography’s focus on Lord Chief Justice Taylor’s ban on Feraday as an ‘expert witness’.

    The trial was clearly not going too well when, on 4 February 2014, Feraday’s daughter Caroline and her media lawyer husband Mark Lewis “launched an unprovoked attack on former diplomat Patrick Haseldine and the editor of ‘The Ecologist’ Oliver Tickell on ‘Twitter’ by referring to an article published in the then current issue of ‘Private Eye’ magazine” (see https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Caroline_Feraday#In_defence_of_dad).

    Within a few weeks the prosecution had thrown in the towel and allowed Downey’s comfort letter to collapse the trial (see Judgment of 21 February 2014 http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/r-v-downey-abuse-judgment.pdf).

    Q.E.D.

  33. Ba'al Zevul (Let's Nuke Russia! (Everett Mix))

    7 Mar, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    Never mind Feraday, what about Thurman?

    On 13 September 1995 the FBI’s forensic department was the subject of a programme broadcast in the US by ABC. At its centre was a memorandum from the former head of explosive science at the FBI, Dr Frederic Whitehurst. It was a devastating indictment of a former colleague. The colleague was Thomas Thurman and the accusations related to his investigation of a terrorist attack in which a judge was killed by pipe bombs. Two years later, as a result of a review by the US inspector general, Michael Bromwich, into a large number of criminal investigations, Thomas Thurman was barred from FBI labs and from being called as an expert witness. Bromwich had discovered that he had no formal scientific qualifications and that, according to a former colleague, he had been ‘circumventing procedures and protocols, testifying to areas of expertise that he had no qualifications in . . . therefore fabricating evidence’.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n18/gareth-peirce/the-framing-of-al-megrahi

    Very good summary of the Lockerbie investigation and trial, whether you believe Megrahi did it or (these days more likely), not.

  34. Not true at all.

    Justice Sweeney stayed the trial from going ahead because the PSNI letter to Downey in 2007 prevented the court from appearing to do justice in the case.

  35. Trowbridge, The case should never have come to trial since the prosecution knew all about Downey’s 2007 PSNI letter at the time of his arrest http://www.belfastdaily.co.uk/2013/05/30/revealed-the-top-sinn-fein-member-charged-over-ira-hyde-park-bomb-murders/). The whole point of what would have been a John Downey show trial was to rehabilitate Alan Feraday – and get him a knighthood (https://www.facebook.com/UkJusticeForum/posts/128552080665317).

    Ba’al Zevul, Here’s another link to the FBI’s Thomas Thurman: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Thomas_Thurman.

  36. “The obvious answer is that Scots Law Professor Robert Black arranged for the trial to be held in the Netherlands under Scottish Judges, where Feraday’s ban imposed by the now-deceased English Law Lord could safely be ignored.”

    It wasn’t quite that simple. The Lybians refused to hand the suspects over unless the trial was held in a neutral country. There was a lot of horse trading before The Hague became the chosen venue.

    Feraday’s evidence in that trial wasn’t the least satisfactory by any means.

  37. Kempe, The Hague was not the chosen venue: the Lockerbie trial took place at Camp Zeist a disused US base in the Netherlands which became British territory for the duration (and therefore was not in “a neutral country”).

    Feraday’s evidence (thanks to Prof Black and his colleague journalist Ian Ferguson) is set out here: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Alan_Feraday#Feraday.27s_evidence.

  38. Richard

    “I’m sure O’Neil was “a bit too nice, posh and reachy-outy” for some. But still the same question, I’m afraid – murder, mayhem and violence and for what?”

    You could ask the same question about Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan etc etc. Perhaps there are some similarities.

    Do you remember what was going on in Britain in the 1970s? Might there be a clue there?

  39. Whole rigmarole is just intended to cover up what really happened in London in July 1982 and thereafter with its bomb attacks.

    Can only wonder if what happened exactly 25 years later in London and thereafter with those bomb attacks which resulted in the PSNi writing to John Downey that he was not suspected of being involved in them.

    Looks like vast plotting by the coppers and spooks in NI and London going to the greatest lengths to cover up really what heated up The Troubles and beyond in Stockholm so as to protect Thatcher’s inflated reputation.

  40. “Kempe, The Hague was not the chosen venue: ”

    My mistake; The Hague was one of the various suggestions put forward during the negotiations with Libya. Declaring part of the base to be temporary Scottish territory was a legal nicety to enable the defendants to be tried under UK not Dutch law.

  41. John Edwards

    7 Mar, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    Is it only the English courts where Irish nationalists don’t get a fair trial or do your comments apply to other British courts as well?

  42. Herbie,

    Well, I sort of remember what was going on in Britain in the ’70s. I was in secondary school for most of that decade and though I was fairly alert, I was also naïve and then as now, probably not too able to grasp the real motivations of many of my fellow humans. So any clues that are there I no doubt missed.

    I’m not too sure why you say “I could ask the same question of …”.

    Well, I’m sure I could – and no doubt more besides – but I didn’t. The question pertained to the topic in hand an was, of course, largely rhetorical and you are the only one who has chosen to pick up on it. Not to answer it, though. So I shall give my answer to it; one that is probably implicit in the question itself. Anyone who begs to differ is free to do so:

    Murder and mayhem and for what? Nothing … absolutely nothing. The square root of bugger all. Its only accomplishment was the misery and destruction it caused.

    Best wishes to all and let’s try to learn from our past: eschew violence except as a last resort for self defence in the face of attack. No “cause” is worth it.

  43. Yes,

    The rules for prosecuting corrupt practices were intended to prosecute people like the decision makers in BAE. The law itself was corrupted by not applying it.

    The amnesty given to those fighting in the conflict in Northern Ireland was intended to procure peace. In discontinuing the prosecution that intention was carried out.

  44. “Sell-Off – The Abolition of Your NHS”

    https://www.startjoin.com/NHS_SellOff

  45. Is there an alternative policy to UKUS using Al Qaida to achieve its aims in Syria?

    “Istanbul — Syrian opposition chief Ahmed Jarba called Saturday for backers of the rebellion to provide it with the “means to fight” the regime, as the conflict entered its fourth year.
    In a speech delivered in Istanbul and articles published in the French and US media, Jarba renewed a call for weapons as the rebels take on both President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and jihadists.
    “Our fighters are not only facing regime forces and their allied gangs,” he said in the speech.
    “They are also facing extremist gangs and are cleaning our house of terrorist mercenaries, particularly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and others, who sneak up behind the revolutionaries to stab them in the back in the service of the regime.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hPBVgVOPIa-DHBKDKlljTH48nHNg?docId=9629be9b-063c-4993-b6e1-81145ab0854e

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