David Cameron gave MI5 agents ‘licence to kill’ in secret letter saying they should not be prosecuted for their war crimes, tribunal hears

MI5 agents authorised to participate in ‘murder, torture and sexual assault’

Yet no police officer or prosecutor has ever been told of their criminal activities

A secret letter from former prime minister David Cameron was made public

MI5 agents have secretly been given authorisation to participate in ‘murder, torture and sexual assault’ on British soil without fear of prosecution, a tribunal heard yesterday.

It emerged that the security service has been giving its informants and agents the freedom to commit ‘grave criminality’ for almost 30 years.

Yet no police officer or prosecutor has ever been told of their criminal activities, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London heard.

A secret letter from former prime minister David Cameron was made public yesterday. This effectively gave MI5 agents a licence to kill, campaigners claim

The bombshell document emerged during a legal challenge by privacy campaigners, who want know what crimes have been committed in the name of MI5 since the 1990s and whether they were lawful.

In November 2012, Mr Cameron wrote to retired judge Sir Mark Waller acknowledging that there was a ‘long-standing’ secret policy to let security service agents break the law.

He instructed Sir Mark, who was at the time the Intelligence Services Commissioner, charged with overseeing the conduct of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, to have oversight of the policy.

The bombshell document emerged during a legal challenge by privacy campaigners, who want know what crimes have been committed in the name of MI5 since the 1990s and whether they were lawful

In November 2012, Mr Cameron wrote to retired judge Sir Mark Waller acknowledging that there was a ‘long-standing’ secret policy to let security service agents break the lawful
In November 2012, Mr Cameron wrote to retired judge Sir Mark Waller acknowledging that there was a ‘long-standing’ secret policy to let security service agents break the law
But the then-prime minister told him not to rule on whether it was legal, and said he need not express any views as to whether any cases should be referred to prosecutors.

Privacy campaigners claim the letter effectively handed MI5 agents a licence to break the law with immunity.

The timing of the letter is said to be highly significant as just two weeks later Mr Cameron admitted there was ‘state collusion’ in the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane.

Mr Finucane, who represented several high-profile Republicans, was shot dead in front of his family by loyalist gunmen. After his death it emerged that the loyalist paramilitary intelligence officer responsible for directing Ulster Defence Association attacks, Brian Nelson, was an agent controlled by the British Army’s ‘Force Research Unit’. No one has been prosecuted for the murder.

Javid: ‘MI5 will share more information with other organisations’

But the then-prime minister told him not to rule on whether it was legal, and said he need not express any views as to whether any cases should be referred to prosecutors +9
But the then-prime minister told him not to rule on whether it was legal, and said he need not express any views as to whether any cases should be referred to prosecutors

Privacy campaigners claim the letter effectively handed MI5 agents a licence to break the law with immunity

Mr Cameron wrote in the newly disclosed letter: ‘In the discharge of their function to protect national security, the security service has a long-standing policy for their agent handlers to agree to agents participating in crime, in circumstances where it is considered such involvement is necessary and proportionate in providing or maintaining access to intelligence that would allow the disruption of more serious crimes or threats to national security.’

The timing of the letter is said to be highly significant as just two weeks later Mr Cameron admitted there was ‘state collusion’ in the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane

Official MI5 guidance entitled ‘guidelines on the use of agents who participate in criminality’ was also made public yesterday for the first time. The policy states that an officer is ‘empowered’ to ‘authorise the use of an agent participating in crime’.

Ben Jaffey QC, representing an alliance of human rights groups, told the tribunal that Mr Cameron’s letter demonstrated that no police or prosecutor would ever hear about the cases involved.

Sir James Eadie QC, representing the intelligence agencies, the Home Office and the Foreign Office, told the tribunal that details of MI5’s conduct had to be kept secret and he asked that the hearing go into private to hear his reasons.

Reprieve director Maya Foa said: ‘We want to know if it’s government policy to let MI5 agents get away with serious crimes such as torture and murder.

‘While our intelligence agencies have an important role in keeping this country safe, it does not follow that agents can be permitted to break the law without limits.’

With many thanks to the: Daily Mail for the original story.

Vengeance is mine says the Lord

And it is only right and fitting that the Lord take on board what these men and women have done all for the Love of Money they have crushed Ireland and they have crushed his people as they have suffered a loss of families
All because of they agreed so again I share these words and daily I will pray to the lord to stop those who have gained from these troubles and I will ask the lord to punish them for yesterday’s closing of my brothers and Quest was very painful I’m brought back painful memories of my brother’s death

O mother of Ireland, what have they done,
They sold us out for a mere 30 pieces of silver.
As i walk the graveyard and look at the flags above
and feel the tears flow and ask the question why?
their fight was to free Ireland in their hearts they believed this would happen,
they even starved themselves to death to crush the British crown.
And now they claim the war is over, but how can the war be over when o mother of Ireland you are not free,
as your green land is mixed with a foreign country. Have all these young volunteers deaths been for nothing?
I sit here broken and in despair expressing my feelings of betrayal.
To those Judas’s in leadership that took those 30 pieces of silver, so that this foreign government could keep it’s say,
In the lords word it shares ;Those who profit over blood money, shall be cursed, so mother of Ireland let them be cursed,
for their betrayal of all their comrades.

With many thanks to: ©Daniel Don Bosco Bradley for the original posting.

WRITTEN BY DANIEL BRADLEY ON 7 /1 /2014

ITS A STORY THAT HAS TO BE TOLD OVER AND OVER SO THAT OTHERS CAN SEE WHAT THEY DONE TO IRELAND

O MOTHER OF IRELAND

O mother of Ireland, what have they done,
They sold us out for a mere 30 pieces of silver.
As i walk the graveyard and look at the flags above
and feel the tears flow and ask the question why?
their fight was to free Ireland in their hearts they believed this would happen,
they even starved themselves to death to crush the British crown.
And now they claim the war is over, but how can the war be over when o mother of Ireland you are not free,
as your green land is mixed with a foreign country. Have all these young volunteers deaths been for nothing?
I sit here broken and in despair expressing my feelings of betrayal.
To those Judas’s in leadership that took those 30 pieces of silver, so that this foreign government could keep it’s say,
In the lords word it shares ;Those who profit over blood money, shall be cursed, so mother of Ireland let them be cursed,
for their betrayal of all their comrades.

With many thanks to: ©Daniel Don Bosco Bradley for the original posting.

WRITTEN BY DANIEL BRADLEY ON 7 /1 /2014

Trial of double murderer and ex-leading loyalist murderer ‘Winkie’ Rea is delayed on medical grounds

CHARGES: ‘Winkie Rea’

The non-jury trial of former leading loyalist Winston Rea has been postponed so he can undergo a series of medical tests.

Rea may have to undergo MRI or CT scans for a “long-standing illness”, Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday.

Defence counsel Arthur Harvey QC said the 67-year-old, of Springwell Crescent in Groomsport, Co Down, has also been examined by a neurological psychiatrist.

Rea was arraigned in October 2017 and pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges said to have been committed on dates between 1973 and 1996.

Included in the charges faced by ‘Winkie’ Rea are conspiring to murder Catholic men John Devine in July 1989 and John O’Hara in April 1991.

Mr Devine (37), was shot in front of his son in west Belfast while Mr O’Hara, a 41-year-old taxi driver, was lured to his murder in the south of the city.

Rea has also been charged with conspiring with others to threaten to kill LVF leader Billy Wright in August, 1996.

He also pleaded not guilty to firearms and other terror-related charges, including conspiring to possess firearms secured from the Ulster Resistance paramilitary group on dates between November, 1986 and October, 1994.

He is further charged with encouraging the murder of “persons working in shops selling An Phoblacht in republican and nationalist areas” between November, 1977 and October, 1994.

Rea, who was not in court for the proceedings, was due to stand trial on all charges early next month.

At yesterday’s review hearing, Mr Justice Colton heard that Rea had recently been examined by consultant psychiatrist Dr Helen Harbinson about his “cognitive ability” for the trial over a “long standing illness”.

Arthur Harvey QC said that three months ago Rea had a pacemaker device fitted to his heart which had “created a significant number of complications for the MRI and CT scans”.

He added that a medical practitioner had advised the defence that if the scans were to be carried out “eight doctors would have to be present for the removal of the heart pacemaker”.

The defence QC said Rea “will consent to any examination by experts appointed by the prosecution”.

Prosecution counsel Ciaran Murphy QC said he was mindful that “the families of multiple alleged victims will have been preparing themselves” ahead of next month’s trial, adding the provision of expert reports could cause “further delays for a considerable period”.

He urged Mr Justice Colton to fix a new date for the trial in the current court term.

Mr Justice Colton directed that a consultant neurological psychiatrist’s report on Rea be served on the prosecution within three weeks.

The judge said he was requesting the “full co-operation” of all defence medical experts in the case, urging them to comply with his directions which were “in the public interest of the trial process”.

The judge listed the trial November 12 this year.

With many thanks to the: BelfastTelegraph for the original story.

MoD challenging order to explain role in the north.

‘The public have a right to know the scope of the role of the British army in the North of Ireland complies with the terms of the peace agreement, Patten Commission and human rights standards’ – Daniel Holder, deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice.

THE Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to challenge a ruling ordering it to release information about its current role in the north.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) asked MoD officials to provide the terms of reference for Operation Helvetic – the name given to the British Army’s continuing operation in the north – last year.

The first two Land Rover’s with the spare tyre on the front are the British Army. Along with the RUC/PSNI. They also include the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SSR) who also work closely with the SAS.

It came after military chiefs originally refused to hand over the majority of the information requested by the Committee on the Administration of Justice, claiming it is exempt under two sections of the Freedom of Information act.

MoD officials claimed some of the information could be withheld under Section 23 of the act – which refers to intelligence agencies and section 24 – which considers “national security”.

Section 23 covers information linked to agencies such as MI5, MI6 and Government Communications Headquarters (GHQ).

The Section 23 reference is believed to relate to MI5, which operates from a complex at Palace Barracks in Holywood, Co Down.

In a recent decision notice the ICO said while some of the information is exempt other information relating to Operation Helvetic should be released.

Helvetic has been in place since July 2007 when Operation Banner officially ended.

The British Army continues to have a limited presence in the north and its bomb squad routinely responds to call-outs to deal with explosives.

Undercover units are also believed to have been deployed since the start of Operation Helvetic, including the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SSR), which is understood to work closely with the SAS.

Deputy director of the CAJ Daniel Holder said “the public have a right to know whether the scope of the role of the British Army in Northern Ireland complies with the terms of the peace agreement, Patten Commission and human rights standards.

Masked and armed with semi-automatic machine guns members of the bomb squad of the RUC/PSNI on foot patrol. In the occupied six counties of the North of Ireland.

“In the absence of transparency about the remit of the armed forces here, it’s not possible to tell if they are operating under PSNI direction or if there is instead some undeclared link to MI5 or the use of covert units, such as the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, that bypass the oversight arrangements,” he said.

An MoD spokesman said: “As an appeal is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.

Follow this link to find out more concerning Operation Helvetic which replaced Operation Banner after 1998: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2017/07/31/news/ten-years-since-end-of-operation-banner—and-start-of-helvetic-1096778/content.html

Three recruits died after SAS instructors ‘lost control’ of a training exercise, court martial hears

(Left to right) Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, Lance Corporal Edward Maher and Corporal James Dunsby who died after taking part in an SAS training exercise on Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons
Two SAS instructors “lost control” of a training exercise which left three reservists dead on the hottest day of the year, a court martial heard.

Lance Corporals Edward Maher and Craig Roberts were pronounced dead in a drill on Brecon Beacons after suffering heatstroke in July 2013. Corporal James Dunsby later died in hospital after he also collapsed on the Welsh mountain range in near 30C temperatures.

Two other soldiers suffered non-fatal heat illnesses. Two instructors, known only as 1A and 1B, have appeared at the Court Martial Centre in Bulford, where they both deny “negligently performing a duty” by failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of candidates taking part in the exercises.

Prosecuting, Louis Mably QC told the court martial that the men, then an Army captain and Warrant Officer, had “lost control” of the exercise in which soldiers marched for 16 miles.

Thirty-seven reservists and 41 regular troops took part in the exercise, which was part of the aptitude phase for selection of an elite military unit.

Brigadier John Donnelly, director of personal services at the Ministry of Defence, reads a statement outside the Civic Suite in Solihull after the inquest

Soldiers were expected to cover almost 30km or 18.5 miles within a target time of eight hours 45 minutes while carrying a bergen and a backpack, weighing between 22 and 27kg, as well as a dummy rifle.

Those who voluntarily withdrew from the march, or were withdrawn on medical grounds faced being failed, which provided an incentive to “keep on going”, Mr Mably said.

Temperatures reached 26.3C from midday on the day of the march and had risen to 28.3C by 4pm. Mr Mably said the first casualty to be struck by a heat-related illness took place at about 11am.

L/Cpl Roberts passed a drill at the penultimate check point but was later found unconscious less than a mile from the finish by another candidate. His “man down” alarm was activated at 3.36pm, with emergency services arriving about an hour later.

L/Cpl Roberts was pronounced dead at 5.10pm, with his cause of death later found to be hypothermia.

The widow of Corporal James Dunsby, Bryher Dubsby, reads a statement outside the Civic Suite

The court heard L/Cpl Maher was identified as a “slow-moving candidate” at 4.10pm, having reached the penultimate check point at 1.22pm.

Mr Mably said L/Cpl Maher’s tracker revealed he had not moved “very far at all” between leaving the check point and being found.

“It was two hours and 38 minutes since he had left the check point at 1.22pm,” he said. L/Cpl Maher was discovered at 4.55pm.

“He was sitting upright with his Bergen on, with a half full bottle of water in one hand and a half eaten chocolate bar in the other,” Mr Mably said.

A post-mortem examination ruled his death was caused as a result of the effects of hyperthermia. At 4.10pm, Cpl Dunsby was noticed to be static, having left his penultimate check point at 2.51pm.

He was found unconscious at 4.52pm and an ambulance arrived at the scene at 5.18pm. Cpl Dunsby died in hospital on July 30, 17 days after the drill. “It is clear that something went terribly wrong,” Mr Mably said.

“The defendants lost control of events and ended up in a position where they couldn’t account for a number of candidates.” The court martial continues.

With many thanks to: The Telegraph for the original story

Praise for film shining light on Ballymurphy massacre

https://mobile.twitter.com/C4Dispatches/status/1038028578108198912/video/1

The film shown on Channel 4 on Saturday details the deaths of eleven people during the Ballymurphy Massacre.

 

There has been huge online reaction to the network premier of Massacre at Ballymurphy, the hard hitting documentary by award making film maker Callum Macrea, which screened on Channel 4 at the weekend.

The film, which was previously premiered at Féile an Phobail, was shown on Saturday, with a reconstruction and forensic examination of the events which started on August 9, 1971.

The documentary contains personal stories from relatives of the ten people shot dead in West Belfast by members of the Parachute regiment over three days of horrific violence. Paddy McCarthy, considered the 11th victim, died of a heart attack after soldiers fired shots over his head.

Among the dead a mother of eight Joan Connolly and Catholic priest, Fr Hugh Mullan who was shot dead going to the rescue of another victim.

The film details a shocking reenactment of the circumstances of Daniel Teggart’s death, shot fourteen times, with most of the bullets entered his back as he lay injured on the ground.

Following the programme Unionist Irish language activist Linda Ervine posted on Twitter that; “Before watching #MassacreAtBallymurphy I had no knowledge of what took place all those years ago. A terrible wrong has been done”.

Documentary maker Seán Murray said he hoped the screening of the film by Channel 4 “awakens the British public to the actions of their government during the conflict Well done to my friend Callum Macrae and all involved”.

Journalist and broadcast celebrity, Eamonn Holmes tweeted in support of film maker Callum Macrea saying; “Regardless of your Political persuasion or views on the Northern Irish Troubles, I would urge you to both hear what this man has to say and watch his film if you can. The Year is 1971 . The subject is the killing of civilians by the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy West Belfast”.

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4 said; “Ashamed to say I knew nothing about the Ballymurphy massacre – the 1971 killing of 11 men and women by the British army in Belfast – till I saw Callum Macrae’s meticulous and shocking reconstruction of it”.

Scottish political activist Tommy Sheridan said it was, “Absolutely shocking”.

“I am ashamed that despite my limited knowledge of British Army atrocities in Northern Ireland I didn’t know about these state murders in Ballymurphy.

“No wonder the British Establishment have hidden such massacres from the general public for 47 years”, he added.

Former soldier Glenn Bradley said he had “met the Ballymurphy families some years ago and have supported their call for truth since

“I watched Massacre At Ballymurphy and my lasting thought is how docile and compliant were the media then”.

Belfast boxer Michael Conlon said; “Watching Ballymurphy Massacre and listening to what family’s have gone through and still going through, my eyes are filling up, very sad stories to poor innocent families”. Former An trim football captain Anto Finnegan said: ” This is not writing history, this is shining a light into that dark place those in power want to keep hidden.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.