RM_Distribution <rmlist-reply@irlnet.com> wrote:

>>>>>>> Who sanctioned Britain's death squads? Time for the Truth.

The following is the full text of the collusion document launched today
by Sinn Fein, which is prefaced by a short summary.

The document is available in pdf format on the web at

Executive Summary

For 30 years, the British government, through its agencies - MI5,
British Military Intelligence and RUC/PSNI Special Branch - has been
involved in the murder of citizens in Ireland. Together, they directed
the activities of various unionist paramilitary death squads. This was
much more than simply passing on information. This was about the
deliberate and orchestrated targeting and assassination of hundreds of

* MI5 was and remains in charge. It is their job to monitor the
activities of Military Intelligence and PSNI Special Branch. MI5 is
obliged to report on all of these matters to Whitehall and to Downing
Street. In the period covered by this dossier, MI5 reported directly to
Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, respectively, in their
capacity as British Prime Minister.

* The report of the Stevens' Inquiry, handed over to the PSNI on April
17th, 2003, the third such report in 14 years, was not published.
Instead a 19- page document titled 'Stevens' Enquiry: Overview and
Recommendations' was issued. This highlighted:

* Collusion;
* The wilful failure to keep records;
* The absence of accountability;
* The withholding o f intelligence and evidence;
* Agents being involved in murder.

* John Stevens also highlighted the pattern of obstruction he faced and
said it was cultural in its nature and widespread in parts of the
British Army and RUC. He said that he was confronted by a wall of
silence, crucial evidence was destroyed, information was leaked to
loyalist paramilitaries before the planned arrest of senior loyalists
and British agent Nelson, his incident room was destroyed by fire and
he was lied to about the existence of particular documents. He also
reported that the RUC routinely failed to conduct adequate
investigations and prevented proper investigations.

* RUC Special Branch, including those with an involvement in the most
serious allegations of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries (which
lies at the heart of these incidents), transferred into the PSNI
Special Branch and continue to obstruct attempts to get to the truth.

* Successive British governments have sanctioned murder. They have
employed agents. They have given them a license to kill and the freedom
to act with impunity.

* British agents help arm unionist paramilitaries with hundreds of
weapons and grenades requisitioned from South Africa.

* No member of the British Army's covert Force Research Unit (FRU), or
of the RUC Special Branch, has been charged with any offence relating
to attacks on 80 people that can be traced to files held by British
agent Brian Nelson, including the killings of 29 people.

* Intelligence agencies have not been subjected to any process of
reform. They have not been made subject to a public debate about
accountability in the way the issue of policing has. Instead, MI5 and
Military Intelligence - the FRU being a case in point - have remained
immune from change.

* The British Military Intelligence personnel involved in these matters
are still in place and have had their activities endorsed by the
British government. So me 70 honours and awards have been made to the
British Army unit involved in colluding with loyalists in the killing
of Irish citizens - the Force Research Unit (FRU).

* The public had been led to believe that the Force Research Unit had
been disbanded but it has actually just been renamed the Joint Services
Group (JSG). The policies and practices that led to the death of Pat
Finucane and 28 other people as a result of FRU agent Brian Nelson's
files are still in place today.

* British Intelligence agencies and their agents are still fighting
their war. They continue to undermine the peace process by mounting
propaganda operations, creating an avalanche of spin aimed at
destabilising the process in general and republicans in particular.

* The Policing Board cannot investigate these matters. They have no
powers to investigate either MI5 or the British Army or incidents
involving the RUC prior to 1999.

* The Ombudsman cannot investigate the activities of MI5 or Military
intelligence. Her powers to fully investigate the Special Branch are
useless because it has been made clear publicly that she does not have
the financial resources to do this.

* Sinn Fein fully supports the inquiry demands by the Finucane, Nelson
and Hamill families.

* We demand full and proper disclosure of all relevant information by
British government departments and agencies in relation to all cases of
collusion. For example, there must be full disclosure to inquests, the
Stevens' Inquiry, the Saville Tribunal and the Barron Inquiry.

* We demand the publication in full of the Stevens', and
Sampson/Stalker reports.

* The FRU/JSG must be disbanded.

* The Patten Report on policing must be implemented in full. The
British, in the Good Friday Agreement, signed up to a police service
which is representative, accountable, acceptable to the community as a
whole and imbued with a human rights ethos. The PSNI as currently
con stituted is unaccountable and unacceptable. There must be full local
democratic accountability.

* The British government must end the operations by British
Intelligence agencies aimed at destabilising the peace process.

* The Irish Government must seek and be afforded full and proper
disclosure by the British Government on all information vital to the
rights and welfare of Irish citizens and the defence of the peace



On 17 April 2003 Sir John Stevens handed over Stevens 3 to Sir Hugh
Orde of the PSNI.

Stevens 3 is the report of the third Stevens inquiry into limited
aspects of collusion by British Government agencies and loyalist
paramilitaries, who have acted as proxy agents of British intelligence
for 30 years. The report has taken 14 years to produce. It is limited
by design and incomplete because of obstruction by British Government

In the week commencing Sunday 4 May 2003 agents of British intelligence
briefed, in a comprehensive way, a wide range of media outlets in
Britain and Ireland about unsubstantiated allegations in respect of an
alleged British agent in the IRA codenamed "Stakeknife" or
"Steakknife". The storm of spin and speculation created by these
faceless and nameless British agents continues to rage.

The British intelligence briefings commenced within days of the
unilateral cancellation by the British Government of elections to the
fixed-term Assembly in the north of Ireland. These were established
under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, which was democratically
mandated by the electorate in Ireland, north and south, five years ago
on 22 May 1998.

The Irish Government opposed the action by the British, as did every
political party in Ireland. Support for the British position came only
from David Trimble the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

The media storm created by British intelligence around their alleged
role in the IRA relegated this undermining of democracy and the peace
process to the inside pages of the print media and erased it from the
broadcast media.

On Monday 12 May the Belfast Newsletter reported that loyalist and
British intelligence sources confirmed that a loyalist paramilitary
organisation - the Ulster Volunteer Force - had a "spy network which
colluded with military and police personnel to kill". The report
detailed a system of informal collusion between the UVF, British
soldiers and members of the RUC as opposed to the highly formalised
system of collusion reported on by Stevens.

The common thread to all of this is British intelligence agencies who,
having failed to defeat the IRA in 30 years of conflict, continue to
seek to politically defeat Irish republicanism by other means.

During the conflict their targets were human rights lawyers, members of
the nationalist community, Sinn Fein elected representatives, unarmed
IRA volunteers and others like Roseanne Mallon a Co. Tyrone pensioner.

Today their target is the peace process.

It is inconceivable that these activities could have been conducted
down the years without the political sanction and protection of the
British Government at the highest levels. These activities must be

They are a barrier to peace, a barrier to reconciliation and a barrier
to justice.

There must be full disclosure of these activities.

Opponents of change have erected a bogus and deliberately misleading
argument about the financial costs involved in getting to the truth
about these matters. They point to the costs involved in the Saville
Tribunal into the killing of 13 Irish citizens by British Paratroopers
in Derry in 1972.

The cost involved in the Saville Tribunal arises mostly from the
resistance within the British system to providing truthful information.
Indeed solicitors and barristers are reduced to the painstaking
extraction of nuggets of truth in a process akin to pulling teeth.

There is no need for any of this. Most of the answers are contained in
the British Governments own files. Political will and an internal trawl
could produce the truth and save millions.

The Irish Government has an onerous responsibility in seeing that this
full disclosure of the truth comes about. The victims of British
intelligence who fill these pages were Irish men and women and, as
often as not, Irish citizens. Moreover, a resolution of what is
involved here is key to rights, justice, reconciliation and the future
course of the peace process and to the success or failure of those who
want to derail it.


For 30 years, the British government, through its agencies - MI5,
British Military Intelligence and RUC/PSNI Special Branch - has been
involved in the murder of its citizens. Together, they directed the
activities of various loyalist death squads. This was much more than
simply passing on information. This was about the deliberate and
orchestrated targeting and assassination of citizens.

What has been allowed to happen, to borrow a phrase from former British
Lord Chief Justice Denning, represents an "appalling vista". The facts
documented below bear this out.

Who ran Britain's Death Squads?
Chain of command:


RUC/PSNI Special Branch British Military Intelligence

Tasking & Co-ordinating Groups Force Research Unit
(now Joint Services Group, JSG)


MI5 is in charge. It was and still is their job to monitor the
activities of Military Intelligence and RUC and PSNI Special Branch.
MI5 exerts its authority through having a seat on the RUC's Tasking and
Co-ordinating Groups and a liaison officer with the British Army's
Force Research Unit.

MI5 is obliged to report on all of these matters to Whitehall and to
Downing Street. In the period covered by this dossier, MI5 reported
directly to Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, respectively,
in their capacity as British Prime Minister. This means that successive
British Prime Ministers knew and still know of the activities of the
Tasking and Co-ordinating Groups, of Brian Nelson and of the FRU/JSG.
If they didn't, it means that they were lied to or had information
deliberately withheld from them by senior figures in MI5, British
Military Intelligence and the RUC/PSNI, including Special Branch.

What is now required is that there is full and proper disclosure on all
of these issues.


British Military Intelligence functioned primarily through a covert
unit called the Force Research Unit (FRU). The FRU, in recent years,
was given a new name -- the Joint Services Group (JSG) -- but its
fundamental functions and procedures remain the same. Brigadier
Arundell David Leahy of the British Army confirmed the JSG's "methods
of operation... have not changed to any significant extent". The Force
Research Unit, under the command of Brigadier Gordon Kerr, between 1987
and 1991 recruited and ran British agents, including Brian Nelson. At
Nelson's trial, the head of FRU gave evidence in his support and
British Defence Secretary and former Secretary of State Tom King
described him as a 'valuable agent'. Patrick Mayhew, then British
Attorney General, did a deal with Nelson to avoid him giving evidence
which saw the charge of murder withdrawn. Nelson was resettled by the
British government after his release from prison.


The RUC Special Branch, through their Tasking and C o-ordinating Groups
(TCG), were responsible for the action end of the collective
intelligence gathering, of these agencies in the 1980s. Everything from
MI5, Special Branch and Military Intelligence ended up with the TCGs
for assessment and response. Some of these 'responses' included the
shoot-to-kill operations in North Armagh in the early 1980s which saw
several unarmed IRA Volunteers gunned to death by the RUC.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the former Chief Constable of the RUC, 1996 -
2002, was in charge of TCG South, which included North Armagh. He was
also a senior figure in the Special Branch at the time of the murder of
Pat Finucane.

The RUC Special Branch transferred into the PSNI Special Branch. Soon
after the RUC/PSNI name change, PSNI Special Branch set out to
undermine and frustrate the inquiry by Policing Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan
into the Omagh bombing and they did so with complete impunity. Neither
the Ombudsman nor the newly created Policing Board could do anything
about this. No member of the PSNI Special Branch has been subjected to
disciplinary proceedings.


The Report of the Stevens Inquiry (Stevens 3) was handed over to Sir
Hugh Orde, the Chief Constable of the 'Police Service of Northern
Ireland' (PSNI) on 17 April 2003. The report consists of thousands of
pages. It is the property of the Chief Constable. He may share some or
all of it with a small sub-committee of the Policing Board of the PSNI.
Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

The Irish government, which is a joint and co-equal partner with the
British government in seeing the full and faithful implementation of
the Good Friday Agreement, including its terms on policing, have no
right to see the report.

This needs to be rectified.

This was the third Stevens' Inquiry in 14 years.

On the same day, Sir John Stevens, the author of the report, in
conjunction with its handover, pub licly issued a 19-page document
titled "Stevens' Enquiry: Overview and Recommendations".

The author made clear that his enquiries highlighted:

* Collusion;
* The wilful failure to keep records;
* The absence of accountability;
* The withholding of intelligence and evidence;
* Agents being involved in murder.

He made clear that these serious acts and omissions have meant that
people have been killed or seriously injured.

He detailed how his enquiries have been obstructed.


The Stevens' Inquiry's terms of reference were so narrow that it is
reasonable to draw the conclusion that those who designed them sought
to prevent information from emerging as opposed to constructing a
process for full and proper disclosure.

For instance the third Inquiry focused in detail on only two killings
in the three years covered by the report - 1987-1989 - which had seen
scores of deaths and attempted killings as a result of collusion
between British Intelligence agencies and loyalist paramilitary
organisations. Moreover, Stevens notes in his report that in November
2002, 13 years after his enquiries had begun, a considerable amount of
documentation from the British Ministry of Defence "became available to
the Enquiry team for the first time". He went on to say: "I record the
late disclosure with considerable disquiet. I have encountered the same
problem of late disclosure during my two previous Enquiries and
expressed then my strong concerns surrounding the issues."

Stevens, later in his report, sets out the nature and extent of the

Much of this was already in the public domain but is repeated here

as will be shown, this remains entirely pertinent -- not just to the
limited issues under investigation by Stevens but to the wider
activities of MI5, Military Intelligence and Special Branch.

For what Stevens encountered is endemic to these agencies and has long< BR>been a destructive impediment to the peace process.

Stevens said that:

Throughout his three Inquiries he recognised that he was being

This obstruction was cultural in its nature and widespread within parts
of the Army and the RUC.

Crucial evidence had been concealed from his inquiry team, including
the facts that:

Brian Nelson was a British Army agent;

Nelson had been in possession of an 'intelligence dump' which his
British Army handlers had seized when Stevens' 1 began.

Information was leaked to the loyalist paramilitaries and the press
before the planned arrest of Nelson and senior loyalists, which
resulted in the arrest operation being aborted.

Stevens' Incident Room had been destroyed by fire before a new arrest
operation could be mounted. In his view, this was a deliberate act of
arson that has never been adequately investigated.

He had been lied to about the existence of particular documents he
asked to examine.

Culture of obstruction

The obstruction encountered by Stevens and which he described as
cultural in its nature and widespread within parts of the British Army
and the RUC, relates to the narrow area of the issues covered by his

This culture of obstruction, however, was and is widespread in the

Army and British Intelligence and the RUC; and remains in the PSNI
because human rights abusers in the RUC were not, as recommended by
Patten, dealt with and, in particular, because many have transferred
into the PSNI, where they continue to obstruct attempts to get to the
root of things.

The facts to support these matters are incontrovertible. The pattern of
obstruction set out above by Stevens is evident in a whole range of
other cases stretching back over 30 years and includes the refusal to
compel British government agencies to make full and proper disclosure
of all relevant information. This pattern and practice is clearly a
matter of policy.

Some of the cases involved include:

Wall of Silence

* The wall of silence encountered in the RUC around the death of Sammy
Devenney, who was beaten to death by RUC officers in 1969.

Refusal to investigate

* The refusal to investigate the consistent claims over almost 20 years
by loyalist killer and former British soldier'Ginger' Baker that RUC
officers drove illegal loyalist weapons through British Army and RUC
checkpoints, regularly gave RUC files to the UDA and tipped off
loyalists to prevent the seizure of their weapons.

Destruction of evidence

* The destruction of British Army weapons used to kill 13 Irish

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