Monthly Archives: August 2015

Ever Wonder Where ISIS Came From? Here’s The Answer……


A reader, ‘Chris’, from California has written a comment asking how do I know what happened before the attack, that it was not provoked  by something the crowd had done and that the helicopter strike was justified? Well, I don’t know, but I don’t think so. I think that would have been reflected in the interaction between the pilot and his controller. But anyhow, that’s not the point. There is a thing called the rule of law. It says that you cannot be punished unless you have been found guilty by some legally and socially acceptable process. That didn’t happen. And even if the crowd had done something, how does the pilot and his controller know that everyone in the crowd was involved, that innocent bystanders or spectators wouldn’t die alongside the guilty? It is precisely this type of indiscriminate violence by the US in the region that has spawned vengeful groups like ISIS. The attack might have been justified if the crowd was about to take life. But there is no sign in the video of that happening. The video is, sadly, consistent with many of the horror stories we have read and seen about attacks like this. Here is a BBC report on the First Battle of Fallujah which may have been the occasion for this sequence.

A few years ago, I indirectly acquired this 53 second video from someone who had served in Iraq in the opening years of the American invasion and occupation of that unfortunate country. At least that is what I assumed.

My impression was that it was one of many videos sent back to the States by serving soldiers and then widely circulated via the internet to show the folks back home how Ali and Mohammed were getting their rear ends kicked.

It shows the control panel and overhead view from inside the cockpit of a US military helicopter hovering over Fallujah, circa 2004, observing a crowd of perhaps 30-40 people apparently marching towards an unknown objective.

The chopper is so high up it is impossible to see whether the crowd is carrying any weapons and I cannot see how the people on the ground could be judged a threat by a helicopter pilot and his command post so distant from the target.

The events on the ground look like an impromptu protest march of the sort I was very familiar with covering the Troubles in Ireland, when outraged locals would storm off to the local barracks to remonstrate over some piece of military or police excess.

The pilot radios his command post with a question: “I’ve got numerous individuals on the road. Do you want me to take those out?” he asks. “Take them out”, comes the reply. Notice there is no reference to an armed threat. Nor any question from his control about the potential threat posed by the crowd. None of the back and forth suggests that the crowd has been involved in violence. Just a crowd of Arabs marching towards somewhere – in their case towards instant death.

“Oh Dude!” he exclaims when his missile explodes, enveloping goodness knows how many people in dark clouds, red hot splinters of metal and death.

On the face of it, it is hard to describe this event as being anything other than an unprovoked mass murder.

I know from my own experience that police and military violence, and the hunger for revenge it breeds, were the IRA’s most diligent and effective recruiters during the Troubles – and I suspect that it has been the same in Iraq and elsewhere in that region since 2003, except, given the level of US violence, you could multiply the effect several fold.

Nor is there much doubt in my mind that if you wonder where ISIS and its awful, vengeful violence comes from, you need only watch videos like the one below:

The McGuigan Killing: Humpty Dumpty Sat On The Fence

Some valid thoughts and questions from Peter Sefton about the ongoing PSNI-Provisional IRA double act.

PSNI near a breakthrough in search for McGuigan killers

PSNI near a breakthrough in search for McGuigan killers


Humpty Dumpty told Alice that if he ever fell off the wall, the King would send all his horses and all his men to pick him up.

Our own policing Humpty Dumpty can look forward to the Queen sending him a knighthood, providing he stays on the fence.

Last night Sharon O’Neill asked him a very obvious question; “Who is the leader of PIRA?”

His answer was that membership is a criminal offence and he wasn’t going to do or say anything or speculate on anything which could undermine any future court proceedings.

So there you are Dear Reader, the Chief Con is on the case “following the evidence”. Can’t you see him with his magnifying glass and cape , accompanied by Joe 90, examining the footpaths of West Belfast?

Of course he could have arrested a sizeable proportion of PIRA high command the other week when he met them…

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The McGuigan Killing: Has The PSNI Chief Constable Given The IRA A Green Light To Kill?

In my view the most significant but alarming paragraph in the statement issued to the media yesterday by PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton comes about halfway through the text and reads:

Although still a proscribed organisation, and therefore illegal, we assess that the continuing existence and cohesion of the Provisional IRA hierarchy has enabled the leadership to move the organisation forward within the peace process. Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.

Translated into ordinary English this says:

The IRA is good for the peace process although there are some bad apples in the ranks who do bad things and have their own agendas. The leadership though has nothing to do with these bad apples who are essentially doing their own thing.

This means that the next time people are killed by Action Against Drugs or whatever fictional group the Provos set up to do their dirty work, the PSNI will have a ready-made response:

Nothing to do with Gerry, or Martin or Big Bobby. It’s just that they have got some bad apples in the barrel and there’s not really a lot they can do about that. These people are really hard to control. Sorry, folks! Now, can we please move on!

Now if you are stupid or naive enough to believe the nonsense that the control freaks who have run the Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein for more than two decades would allow freelance murder, robbery and other criminality to happen without their knowledge and/or approval, then you should apply for a job with the PSNI. A stellar career awaits you.

If, on the other hand, you live in the real world, and can remember what someone like IRA veteran John Kelly once said of the Sinn Fein President, that ‘not a single sparrow can fall from a tree without him knowing’, you will have an entirely different view.

You will recognise the Chief Constable’s statement for what it is: a piece of verbiage that effectively is a licence to murder.

From now on, the IRA leadership can decide to kill this or that opponent, confident that the PSNI will have a ready-made excuse waiting to issue to the media:

It was IRA members who did it, but they were not acting under orders.

And if it is you or one of your loved ones who gets killed, well that’s just tough.

The consolation is that they will have died to preserve the peace process.

Now, isn’t that just great! We have ended up with a peace process in which the police service tells barefaced lies and devises forms of words to permit murder.

The McGuigan Killing: Just Not Good Enough Chief Constable!

'Hear No Evil! See No Evil! Speak No Evil!

‘Hear No Evil!’                      ‘See No Evil!’                  ‘Speak No Evil!’

First, you let everyone believe the IRA no longer existed, that it had gone away.

That was a lie, and you knew it.

But you didn’t care.

Then, when your lie was exposed, you told us, ‘Well they don’t really do anything! Nothing to see here. Move on!’

What do you think people are?

Complete idiots?!

Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!

Time to go, Chief Constable! Time to go!

The McGuigan Killing: The Humpty Dumpty World Of The PSNI Chief Constable

Hear! Hear!


“When use a word” , Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone,”it means just what I chose it to mean, neither more nor less”. [Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and through the Looking -Glass]

For a masterly summary of the position, see Ed Moloney in today’s Irish Times.

And so to George Hamilton’s finessing of Supt Geddes’ last statement. Goodness know how many lawyer hours went into it. How many drafts the SOS rejected. What Box had to say about it.

George says that PIRA is a paramilitary organisation, devoted to peaceful means, just like the Salvation Army.

Here are my questions for George:

  1. Has this organisation access to arms and explosives?
  2. Has it killed anyone in the last twenty years?
  3. Who shot Martin McGartland?
  4. If PIRA is committed to politics, who are its politicians?

I’ll bet that I won’t get a reply.

Hamilton says that they…

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The McGuigan Killing: Just What Is Wrong With RTE?

I turned on the RTE iPlayer on my iPad last night to watch the nine o’clock television news to see what coverage the national broadcaster was giving to the political crisis caused by the PSNI admission that the Provisional IRA had been involved in the slaying of Kevin McGuigan.

To my surprise, nay shock, there was not a single word or picture devoted to a story that has the potential to bring down the power-sharing government at Stormont and imperil not just the Good Friday Agreement but the peace process itself.

If proper news values had been applied, the story should have led the broadcast. But instead it was appallingly and completely absent.

So, last night I wrote to RTE public affairs to ask why and this morning the nice lady there sent me this reply:

We did not feature a report on the story on last night’s Nine O’Clock News but it was carried on our website from earlier in the day and featured on Drivetime. We don’t comment on individual editorial decisions as general policy. The story and related developments have featured throughout our news coverage today.

In the absence of a coherent explanation for what is at the least a devastatingly poor editorial decision or at worst blatant censorship, I am driven to wonder myself what the real reason was.

There is, and has been a tendency in Irish journalism, which has been around as long as I have been in the business – and which has probably intensified in the peace process years – to believe that ‘if we don’t report it, then it didn’t happen’.

The decision to pretend that the PSNI statement was just not newsworthy enough to put on the main national television news programme smacks of that type of thinking.

The arrogance behind that attitude is staggering. When journalists believe that by manipulating the news they can shape events then a door is opened to all sorts of horrors, distortions, fictions and outright lies.

Thanks to Denis O’Brien and his grip on the media, Ireland has enough problems on its journalistic plate without going down that road.

Someone needs to get hold of RTE news and give it a good shake. And I know where I would start.

The Ivor Bell Prosecution: Brought To You By The Same People Who Screwed Up The Mairia Cahill Case

The Good Old days, when Barra was a pup.

A incisive piece, as always, from Peter Sefton about the contortions behind the prosecution of Ivor Bell.


Roy Junkin, sometime deputy director of the DPP, used to remind his staff and police the “we are in the ‘E’ business”. E stood for evidence. A case would not be prosecuted unless and until the evidence supported a reasonable prospect of success of conviction. That was the test.

Barra was just a pup then.

Now the PPS , under Barra’s command, are all over the place.

[Although it should be said that he did apply for another job]

Consider the Ivor Bell case. As I understand it , the case against him is that he has given interviews to the Boston College project and therein he has incriminated himself in the murder of Jean McConville. Thus he has been charged with membership of the IRA and aiding and abetting her murder.

You might think, Dear Reader that before the police arrested him they had some evidence to support the…

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