‘The Lobby’ – The Film The Israeli Government Would Like To Ban

What follows are parts one and two. Three and four will follow, hopefully in due course. The second part of the Al Jazeera documentary be seen by clicking on the link beneath part one:

https://electronicintifada.net/content/watch-film-israel-lobby-didnt-want-you-see/25876

 

Freddie Scappaticci And Those Animal Sex Pics

Freddie Scappaticci should have asked his FRU handlers to transfer him over here to New York if he wanted to gaze in legal safety at photos of animals and human beings, of both genders, enjoying sexual congress.

Freddie Scappaticci, far left, accompanies comrades at the funeral of another British agent in the IRA’s internal security unit, Brendan Davison

In the US such photos can be easily and legally accessed. Just type in ‘animal sex with people’ into the Google search box and then choose images.

It’s called the First Amendment.

Scap would have had a ball, so to speak, with no legal comeback.

Mind you, the charge does make you wonder. What is the Kenova team up to? The effect of this is to diminish and demean Britain’s No 1 spy in the IRA. Why? If I was Freddie, I’d be more than a little worried and maybe thinking ‘I’m about to be set up to save my handlers!’

In May’s Britain? Surely not!

We shall see.

The Other George H W Bush

The US media is full of laudatory pieces right now celebrating the life of George H W Bush, the 41st president of the United States who passed away at the weekend. The other side of the Bush story? Not so much….

Perhaps because of a need to remind their readers and viewers that there were American presidents other than Donald Trump, some of whose lies, greed and ignorance were quite trifling in comparison, only a very few outlets are paying attention to the seedier sides of the Bush family history or the scandals that beset their various life stories..

Instead most of the US media, print, social and electronic, are celebrating a ‘normal’ president, who could read and write, who got other people to tell his lies for him and had sufficient inherited wealth not to have to hustle his ass in the Kremlin.

Back in 2004, one of my favourite radical writers in this country, Dave Zirin took a critical look at the Bush saga, as he called it, and wrote this profile of the clan for Socialist Worker.

George H W Bush was VP to Ronald Reagan and then was elected himself to the White House, albeit for just a single term; his campaign will be remembered for the so-called Willie Horton TV ad, which exploited White racism with a claim that a Black convict had raped and murdered a white woman because he had been granted a weekend parole by his liberal Democratic opponent, Mass. governor Michael Dukakis.

His youngest son, also called George was elected President in 2000, also in controversial circumstances, amid allegations of ballot rigging and electoral malpractice in Florida.

The invasion of Iraq, under George Jnr’s watch, whose bloody consequences still reverberate, followed quickly afterwards. Justified on the concocted basis that Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, the war in Iraq threw the Middle East into chaos and has resulted, arguably, in the rise of the Right throughout Europe and the Americas.

The full Bush family story, and the accumulation of its wealth, has a longer and equally controversial history. Here is Dave Zin’s account; you won’t see this in The New York Times:

THE GREAT myth about the United States is that we live in a “meritocracy,” where the “best and brightest” will rise to the top, and anyone can make it with intelligence and hard work. The slightest examination of the Bush family tree proves that all this is a lie.

The Bush saga — from George W. Bush in the White House today to the great grandfathers on both sides of the family — is the story of four generations amassing their fortunes and achieving the heights of power through the cronyest of crony capitalisms.

There are no think-tank theorists or college professors, no surgeons or artists among the Bush men. From root to branch, the Bush family’s rise to power and wealth has gone hand in hand with the fortunes of the oil industry and the military-industrial complex.

George H.W. Bush (right) and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War

“[I]f presidential family connections were theme parks, Bush world would be a sight to behold,” writes Kevin Phillips, author of new book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush. “Mideast banks tied to the CIA would crowd alongside Florida Savings and Loans that once laundered money for the Nicaraguan contras. Dozens of oil wells would run eternally without finding oil, thanks to periodic cash deposits by old men wearing Reagan-Bush buttons and smoking 20-dollar cigars.”

THE UGLY RISE OF THE HOUSE OF BUSH
To paraphrase Karl Marx, the Bushes truly came to us dripping from head to foot with blood and dirt. The Bushes claim an ancestry that goes back to British royalty. But the rotten modern house of Bush began with George W. Bush’s maternal great-grandfather, George H. Walker.

Walker was president of Wall Street-based W.A. Harriman & Co. He made his fortune as a war profiteer, working alongside the House of Morgan in purchasing billions in armaments for Britain and France during the First World War. In a foreshadowing of things to come, Walker got a taste for the emerging importance of oil as the engine of profits and war when he oversaw the rebuilding of the Baku oil fields after the war in the 1920s.

At his peak, Walker was the director of 17 corporations and maintained homes around the country — including a 10,000-acre hunting preserve in South Carolina, where according to his granddaughter: “We were waited on by the most wonderful Black servants.”

Dubya’s other great grandfather, Yale graduate Samuel Bush, was the president of the Ohio-based Buckeye Steel. Like Walker, Samuel Bush made his fortune during the First World War by producing material for small arms. Of course, it helped that Samuel became head of the Ordnance, Small Arms and Ammunition Section of the federal government’s War Industries Board in 1918.

Not unlike a virus, each generation has produced a deadlier strain of Bush. George W. Bush’s grandfather was Prescott Bush. He became his father-in-law’s heir apparent at the merged firm of Brown Brothers Harriman. Prescott Bush handled the “German work” for Brown Brothers in the 1930s, raking in a fortune by rearming Hitler’s Germany.

Brown Brothers set the pace for a 49 percent increase in U.S. investment in Germany during the 1930s — while investments declined throughout the rest of Europe. But this profiteering in the country that would become a U.S. enemy during the Second World War didn’t prevent Prescott from sitting on two boards that “covertly” provided material for the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.

Like other U.S. rulers who had kept a financial and political finger in Germany during the 1930s, Prescott Bush got in on the ground floor in Germany after its defeat in the Second World War. He helped the notorious Dulles brothers in establishing the OSS, the predecessor of the CIA — thus getting the Bush family into the spy business.

George H.W. Bush — Prescott’s son, and Dubya’s father — was born, in the words of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, “with a silver foot in his mouth.” A Yale University alumnus like his father and grandfather, he gravitated to the oil industry through family connections and made a fortune.

Viewed as “intellectually light,” George Bush Sr. couldn’t win elected office before he became Ronald Reagan’s vice president — beyond a seat in Congress as representative of an oil-rich Texas district with the country’s highest number of Rolls Royces per person.

Instead, “Poppy” held just about every nonelected post that the Republican Party could arrange for him. He was chief of the Republican National Committee, head of the CIA, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, where he was famous for writing “thank you notes” to political donors during sessions and debates.

After losing in the 1980 Republican Party presidential primaries to Reagan — during which Bush Sr. coined the phrase “voodoo economics” to describe Reagan’s proposals for tax cut giveaways to the rich — he joined the ticket and became vice president. During the Reagan presidency, his connections as both a former spymaster and an oil industry crony made him the point man for the administration’s funneling of dollars and weapons to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

At the same time, Bush helped with the scandalous deal with Iraq’s archenemy Iran — where the U.S. illegally sold weapons and used the profits to support the brutal contra guerrillas fighting to overthrow the left-wing Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Bush managed to win the presidency in 1988.

He is best known as the “butcher of Baghdad,” responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 Iraqis during the first Gulf War in 1991 — which was dominated by the most intensive aerial bombardment in the history of war. After the war, Bush had an approval rating of nearly 90 percent.

But this support melted away in the face of the early 1990s recession, and Bush got only 37 percent of the popular vote in 1992, one of the lowest-ever results for a sitting president. His campaign wasn’t helped by a photo op where he appeared surprised by a supermarket’s scanner system — and the high price of milk.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS BY FAILING
Bush Sr. must wonder how his son, George W. Bush, did it — the idiot son who followed his father’s footsteps into the White House.

Dubya spent many years under the influence. This included the use of influence to avoid the Vietnam-era draft and get into the Texas Air National Guard — where Bush got himself transferred to Mississippi, and eventually chose not to show up at all.

Then Bush Jr. tried to use his family influence to make a fortune in oil. He should have been a colossal failure. His company Arbusto Energy — nicknamed Are-Busto in the industry — lost $3 million. Fortunately for him, a Cincinnati group that included a Yale classmate bought him out.

The son of the then-vice president became chair of the newly constituted Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. Yet once again, no success for Dubya. But as Britian’s Observer newspaper put it, “Whenever he struck a dry well, someone was always willing to fill it with money for him.” Harken Energy bought out Spectrum 7, and Bush was put on the board of directors and given 16 percent of the stock.

Asked why he wanted to buy a failed company, Harken’s founder said, “His name was George Bush.” Harken was also losing money hand over fist, yet it concealed its losses. Only a few weeks before the bad news broke and Harken’s share price tumbled, the fortunate George Bush Jr. sold off two-thirds of his stake for $848,000.

An internal Securities and Exchange Commission memo concluded that Bush had broken the law by trading on inside information, but no charges were filed. This, everyone insists, had nothing to do with the fact that his father was president of the United States. All records of SEC investigations into Bush’s insider trading and bankrupt companies are sealed — and unavailable to the public.

BLOOD ON BOTH THEIR HANDS
The story of the latter-day Bushes returns again and again to Iraq. As head of the CIA in the mid-1970s, George Bush Sr. inherited the agency’s covert history of support for Saddam Hussein’s rise to the top of the Iraqi regime.

As vice president under Ronald Reagan, one of his chief tasks was to oversee the administration’s support for Iraq. “It is increasingly clear that George Bush, largely operating behind the scenes through the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence and military help that built Saddam’s Iraq into an aggressive power that the United States ultimately had to destroy,” said ABC News’ Ted Koppel in 1992.

Bush and other Reagan administration officials facilitated transfers of intelligence, military supplies and even the components for advanced chemical and biological weapons. When Saddam Hussein stepped out of line with the invasion of Kuwait, which threatened the flow of Middle East oil, Bush organized the first Gulf War.

After killing as many as 200,000 people during the seven-week war, Bush urged the Iraqi people to rise up against the regime. But when Kurds and Shiites did rebel, the Bush White House decided they were better off with Saddam’s Ba’ath Party in power — and allowed the regime to repress the rebellions. Thus, Bush Sr. bears direct responsibility for the recently discovered “mass graves of Iraqi Shiites” discovered by U.S. forces after Bush Jr.’s invasion.

Much has been made of the idea that Bush Jr. was “finishing the job” in Iraq that his father started. But it would be a mistake to see the second Gulf War as a matter of family revenge.

For one thing, scores of Democrats supported the war and occupation. The second Bush administration, backed up by a host of right-wing fanatics led by Donald Rumsfeld, is determined to remake the Middle East, and Iraq is the first stage.

It is true, however, that history has repeated itself — and another George Bush is responsible for the deaths of masses of Iraqis. Hopefully, like his father before him, the postwar scrutiny of the bloody invasion of Iraq will lead to Bush Jr.’s undoing, too.

THE SKULL AND BONES FANATICS
One Bush after another has attended Yale University, and each one has been a member of the elite and highly secretive Skull and Bones society. Fifteen Yale students — overwhelmingly men — are chosen every year. They come from “the best families” and are meant to stay connected in business and social circles throughout their lives.

Skull and Bones is fodder for conspiracy theorists alarmed that a “secret society” could claim so many of the country’s elite. Look at the society’s creepy practices, and you can understand why.

Initiates into Skull and Bones are brought into the “tomb,” a dark, windowless crypt in New Haven, with a roof that serves as a landing pad for the society’s private helicopter. They are sworn to silence and told that they must forever deny that they are members.

During initiation, the juniors wrestle in mud and are physically beaten — to represent their “death” to the world as they have known it. Then the initiates are given a new name as a member of “The Order.” At this point, the new members are introduced to the artifacts kept in the tomb — which include Nazi memorabilia, such as a set of Hitler’s silverware, dozens of skulls, and an assortment of coffins and skeletons.

Skull and Bones was the foundation of the OSS spy agency. There were so many secret society members in the OSS that Yale’s drinking tune — the “Whiffenpoof Song” — became the agency’s “unofficial” song as well.

Some of the world’s most famous and powerful men alive today are “bonesmen.” Among them is another politician, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry — meaning that the 2004 presidential election could pit Skull vs. Bones.

What does this prove? Not that the world is run by a secret society, but that the political establishment in Washington is infested with the sons and daughters of the super-rich who spent their college years at Ivy League universities.

HAS THE RIGHT WING TAKEN OVER?
Has Washington been taken over by a shadowy right-wing cabal, with the Bush family as its head? That’s the logical conclusion of Kevin Phillips’ book American Dynasty — which provided the bulk of the information for this article.

Phillips, a former top adviser to the Nixon administration and respected figure in the Republican Party, is biting the hand that fed him — and revealing facts about how the U.S. government operates that are usually kept well hidden. But the picture that he draws of Washington isn’t wholly accurate.

Phillips essentially believes that the Bush dynasty has become a kind of “royalty” — based on hereditary — that usurped power in Washington. But this suggests that there was ever a more democratic system — and a group of politicians more responsive to the real interests of ordinary people in the U.S. — to be usurped.

Phillips fails to recognize how the rest of the Washington establishment — including the Democratic Party, the supposed “opposition” to the Republican power brokers — is organized around serving the same interests and maintaining the status quo.

Take the question of Iraq. During the eight years between the two Bush presidencies, Bill Clinton carried out a military and economic war on the country that was every bit as deadly.

Some 1 million Iraqis died between the two Gulf Wars because of United Nations economic sanctions backed up by the U.S. — which the Clinton administration continued without hesitation. In reality, Clinton’s shift toward “regime change” as the goal in Iraq paved the way for Bush Jr.’s more aggressive posture.

On other important issues, Clinton’s record is actually to the right of Bush Sr. Papa Bush may have wanted welfare “reform,” for example, but it took Bill Clinton and the Democrats to deliver on the disastrous law that threw millions of people deeper into poverty.

The Bush family may be one of the ugliest faces of the system. But they are only part of a political establishment in the U.S. that is committed to promoting the interests of the rich and powerful. Our struggle to stop Bush Jr. means challenging the whole corrupt setup in Washington and throughout the U.S.

First published on February 6, 2004.

What Are Putin And Trump Thinking?

Bubble competition: What are Vlad and Donald thinking as they pass by during the G20 summit in Argentina? Best suggestion wins a lifetime subscription to thebrokenelbow.com!

Jean McConville, And The Morality Of Recruiting Informers

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney

‘I can be a bad bastard if I feel like it. It’s my job’…….Intelligence Officer code-named ‘Kent’, the Gloucester Regiment, circa April 29, 1973

There is little doubt that most people inclined to be sceptical about the claim that Jean McConville worked as an informer against the IRA, are unconvinced because they have difficulty accepting that the British Army would stoop so low as to put the life of a widow with ten children in mortal danger.

Which raises the question of how low the British Army was actually prepared to stoop in its intelligence war against the Provos, especially in the early years of the Troubles when there was a premium on accurate information about the IRA and its activities.

In other words was the military’s intelligence war in Northern Ireland fought in accordance with a moral code of any sort? Were some potential informers off limits – like Jean McConville – or were there no limits?

Well, to judge from the following document plucked from the shelves of the British government’s own archives at Kew, Surrey, the answer is that more or less any vulnerable target with even a minimal amount of access to the IRA was fair game and that in the process of recruiting them as agents, the military was prepared to stoop pretty darned low.

The document, a so-called ‘loose minute’ distributed to political, military and intelligence heads in Belfast on May 1st, 1973, describes the recruitment of a 17/18 year old boy as an informer by soldiers from the intelligence unit of the Gloucester Regiment, then based in the lower Falls/Divis Flats area of West Belfast.

Gloucestershire Regiment (14)

Soldiers from the Gloucestershire Regiment

The recruitment effort backfired badly and the UK media got to know about it, causing consternation in military, political and intelligence circles in Belfast.

The boy, a hotel worker named as William Shields, was arrested in the lower Falls in the early hours of Sunday, April 29th, 1973 and then taken to Hastings Street Army base where he was blackmailed by the Gloucesters into becoming an agent.

The soldiers ‘extracted’ an admission from Shields that he was having sex with the wife of a Provisional IRA internee and that he was ‘living with the woman’. The Gloucester’s Battalion Intelligence Officer then got the boy to sign a letter to the OC of the local IRA admitting all this, and was then pressured to become an informer, on the basis that if he refused, the letter to the IRA would be delivered, with predictable consequences for young Shields.

Afterwards, Shields had the good sense to go to the then West Belfast MP, Gerry Fitt for help. Fitt, according to the British document, witnessed Shields phoning his handler in the Gloucester’s, thereby confirming the boy’s story. The West Belfast MP then got on the phone and informed the handler that he intended to raise the matter in the House of Commons.

Fitt

Gerry Fitt, then West Belfast MP – listened in to phone call to Gloucester’s Intel Officer and threatened to raise boy’s case in parliament

Gerry Fitt had alerted two Fleet Street reporters, Simon Hoggart of The Guardian and Robert Fisk of The Times who duly wrote up the story. Hoggart was present when Shields and Fitt phoned the Gloucester’s handler and his story, which led the back page of The Guardian on May 2nd, 1973, is reproduced below. Fisk also wrote about the incident but his article could not be located.

After Fitt’s phone conversation, the proverbial hit the fan, leading to the involvement of the then NI Secretary, William Whitelaw who was told by an unnamed official that:

‘…..the press line was that this was a piece of over-enthusiasm at a junior level’.

In other words, nothing to do with the Gloucester’s command. The blame would be carried by junior officers.

Simon Hoggart’s account is worth reading (see below), not least because he was a respected reporter, but also he had details in his account conspicuously absent, or at significant variance from the official report of young Shields’ attempted recruitment circulated, inter alia, to Willie Whitelaw’s office.

Hoggart

The late Simon Hoggart – wrote up the story for The Guardian

According to Hoggart, the boy was only 16, not 17 or 18 as the British document claims and was thus virtually still a child; the boy was also tricked into signing a forged admission of having sex with the IRA internee’s wife (which he denied had happened to Hoggart and Fitt), and the Gloucester’s Intelligence handler, who went by the code name ‘Kent’, threatened to give ‘dozens of copies’ of the boy’s alleged admission to the IRA, effectively delivering a death threat to the youngster.

The handler also told the boy, according to the account given to Hoggart:

‘I can be a bad bastard if I feel like it. It’s my job’.

So this under-age, innocent young lad was tricked, terrified and blackmailed into becoming a British Army agent and despatched down a path which, but for the intervention of Gerry Fitt and a couple of journalists, might very well have ended with his death.

As to what conclusions one can come to about whether Jean McConville’s own very evident vulnerability would have deterred someone like “Kent’ from considering her a candidate for recruitment, the reader can make up his or her own mind.

It is interesting to note that this was the Gloucester’s second recent tour in the lower Falls/Divis Flats area. They had first served a three month tour in that district between December 7th, 1971 and April 13th, 1972, about a year before the incident described above.

The regiment’s War Diary for that tour has been embargoed until 2059. Most other regimental War Diaries during the years of the Troubles have not been embargoed and some can even be purchased on eBay. Why is that?

P1060433P1060434

Stornophone

A soldier in the First Gloucesters Regiment uses a Stornophone-type radio in one of the corridors in Divis Flats in April 1972 – the First Gloucester’s War Diary of their tour in Divis from Dec 1971 to April 1972 has been embargoed until 2059

Evidence That The RUC Was Issued Portable Radios ‘Between 1967 and 1970’

When barrister Peter Sefton was studying for his Honours degree in law at Queen’s University Belfast between 1967 and 1971, some of his classmates were members of the RUC, ranging in rank from Constable to Head Constable (station chief) and when chatting with them, some raised a shared gripe.

Their working lives had been transformed, they said, when they were issued with small, hand-held radios, so that when they were out on foot patrol, their bosses could keep in touch with them and vice-versa.

But instead of making their lives easier, a common complaint was that no longer could they wander off, undetected, to a lady friend’s house, for instance, to while away a happy hour or so, out of the reach, so to speak, of their superiors. The radios meant that the boss was always tracking their movements.

Peter can’t remember precisely when the radios were introduced, just that it was some time between 1967 and 1970, the year before he graduated. Why 1970? Well that was when he wrote an essay about life in the RUC in which he mentioned the radios. Remarkably, he kept the essay and this weekend he sent me a copy of  the relevant page which I have reproduced below.

Peter’s testimony provides compelling evidence that some time between 1967 and 1970, the RUC had been issued with portable radios of the sort allegedly provided to Jean McConville, who was accused of being an informer by the IRA, murdered and her remains buried in a secret grave in late 1972.

Peter has another reason to be believed in this matter. His father, James Sefton was an RUC Reservist, so policing was in the family – although the connection meant that the family was to be shattered by an unimaginable horror.

Both his parents were killed in an IRA booby-trap car bomb in June 1990; his father, who had retired by then and could not by any standard be described as ‘a legitimate target’, died instantly in the blast, which occurred outside their North Belfast home. His wife, Ellen, Peter’s mother, succumbed later in hospital.

For years, Peter has been campaigning for the truth behind his parents’ murder. Peter suspects British intelligence had foreknowledge of the plot to kill his parents because at least one informer was privy to the plans for the attack. Implicit in this belief is the suspicion that the agent’s handlers approved his parents’ murder.

Peter emailed me after the last posting on this blog dealing with the RUC’s acquisition of portable radios, some of which, according to a British Army document, had been loaned to the 3rd Batt Royal Anglian Regiment in the summer of 1972, then stationed in the lower Falls area.

He had something significant to add to the story.

The security forces’ use of portable radios is central to the allegation by the IRA in Divis at the time, that Jean McConville was working for the British Army. The late Brendan Hughes said one was found in an IRA search of her apartment, after which she admitted to being an agent.

A recent book, ‘Say Nothing‘, quotes a former RUC Special Branch officer as saying that such radios were not in use at the time of her abduction, in December 1972 and therefore the IRA claim was false. You can read about the controversy, here and here.

Peter Sefton’s testimony, based on a contemporary document, not only challenges that Special Branch assertion, it raises questions about why the RUC’s successors are so intent on challenging the plausibility of the ‘radio story’ in the McConville saga.

First the text of Peter’s email, followed by the page from his 1970 essay:

Ed
Belated happy Thanksgiving.

Re your articles on radios, I’m sure that the RUC were issued with “pocket radios” somewhere between 1967 and 1970. I know this for two reasons. In the Law Faculty we had a number of RUC officers getting their law degree whilst still serving. They ranged from constables to Head Constables. Some were disheartened at the introduction of the two way radio because, of an evening it had been their habit to rest a while in a house, perhaps that of a lady. Now the station was constantly in touch.
Additionally , I wrote an essay about the history of the RUC. I wrote it in 1970 and I recorded that the pocket/two-way radio was already in use.

I attach a copy of the relevant page. God knows why I could still find it.

Regards

P

o

RUC Also Had Portable Radios When Jean McConville Was Abducted

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney

In his new book about the disappearing of Jean McConville, ‘Say Nothing‘, American writer and New Yorker journalist, Patrick Radden Keefe writes that a former RUC Special Branch officer told him that hand-held radios of the sort the late IRA leader, Brendan Hughes maintained was found in the Divis Flats apartment of Jean McConville in late 1972, were not in use by either branch of the security forces at the time.

In other words, since neither the British Army nor the RUC had access to such devices at the time, Jean McConville could not have have used one in her capacity as an alleged agent of the British military.

Jean McConville’s possession of the radio is a key part of the IRA allegation that she was a British army spy and the RUC claim to Keefe that such a device was not in use at the time serves to significantly undermine it.

If the radio was not in service in 1972, as Keefe’s RUC officer claimed, then the IRA must be suspected of inventing the story and McConville was thus innocent of the charge against her. It must mean that some other motive, ranging from base sectarianism (Jean McConville was an East Belfast Protestant) to local unpopularity, was the reason for her death.

As Keefe wrote:

‘There was also mystery relating to the detail of the radio itself. Some former police officers, like Trevor Campbell, maintained that neither the army or the police were using hand-held radios to communicate in those days, much less to communicate with informants’.

If, on the other hand, the radio was in service, it adds credibility to the IRA claim against Jean McConville. By no means does it prove she was a spy, merely that she could have been.

So the existence, or otherwise, of such a radio and its use by the security forces circa 1972 is crucial to the McConville narrative.

There is a plethora of evidence, much of it published on this blog, that the British military was using such radios – either Stornophones or the Pye Pocketfones which replaced them – between 1971 and late 1972, important elements of which Keefe either ignored or failed to detect. You can read that part of the story here.

But now evidence has been unearthed from the British government’s own archives at Kew, Surrey showing that the RUC was also using hand-held radios at this time.

The evidence comes in an end of tour report by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment which was based in the lower Falls and Divis Flats area between 12th April 1972 and August 3rd 1972.

The report was prepared for the British Army’s top brass and, significantly, was embargoed until 2017, an interdiction of some forty-five years. Normally, reports are embargoed for twenty years but there are exceptions, usually made, it is assumed, because the contents are still so sensitive.

For instance, War Diaries from 39 Brigade, i.e. Belfast, at the time when Brigadier Frank Kitson ran military operations, are embargoed for 100 years. Kitson is believed to have founded the controversial Mobile Reaction Force (MRF) unit during his time in NI.

In a section describing the system of radio communications used by the Royal Anglians, the report has this to say, in paragraph 83 (e):

Pye Pocketfone RUC – limited number of sets for Bn and Coys Ops rooms for monitoring of local RUC Divisional nets.

Translated into plain language, this paragraph is saying that the RUC gave the Royal Anglians some of their own Pye Pocketfones so that they could communicate with senior RUC personnel.

Pye

The reason for this is that the British Army Pocketfones and the RUC Pocketfones were built to different specifications and operated on different frequency ranges; to make communication with the police possible, the Anglians needed RUC models. And so they were loaned some by the police.

Ergo, RUC personnel were using hand-held radios in 1972; Trevor Campbell was wrong and for reasons only he can explain, gave Patrick Keefe misleading information. What those reasons are is a different matter, but the affair does raise troubling questions.

(Interestingly, the report reveals that the Pye radios were issued to the Royal Anglians mid-tour, circa early July 1972, suggesting this was when they replaced the Stornophone as standard issue.)

Beneath the following extract, the reader can see other evidence for this report’s bona fides along with an interesting photograph of a violent episode in the Divis area during the Royal Anglians’ tour of duty. It lasted for four days and was called the ‘Divis Battle’.

The Divis Battle