The ‘Godfathers’ of loyalism

04th March 2006

The ‘Godfathers’ of loyalism

The ‘Godfathers’ of loyalism are the Special Branch and Military Intelligence

This past week has witnessed revelations relating to state agents
that in any other society would have surely toppled police chiefs,
ministers and possibly governments. It is now without question that
RUC/PSNI Special Branch was running and continues to run agents such as
Torrens Knight and John White. And these are just the latest examples
in a string of public disclosures.

White and Knight were
personally responsible for some of the vilest and repugnant sectarian
murders over three decades of conflict. Fuelled solely by their
sectarian hatred of Catholics, nationalists and republicans, the
recruitment and operation of these people expose the overall modes
operandi of Special Branch and indeed the personal motivations of their
handlers. The fact that these killers were paid huge sums of public
money only adds to the public concern, and especially so for the
bereaved and injured.

In relation to John White questions are
now also raised as to the failure of the Assets Recovery Agency, headed
up by former RUC/PSNI Assistant Chief Constable, Alan McQuillan, to
seize the proceeds of his drugs empire including the fact that he was
able to avail of public money for the purchase of his property when he
fled during the loyalist feud. Alan McQuillan was a Divisional
Commander in North Belfast at the height of UDA/UFF violence when White
was an agent and senior figure within the UDA/UFF in that area. The
failure to stop the activities of the UDA/UFF is an indicator of the
intentions of the Special Branch throughout that period.

Special Branch priority above and beyond everything is their dirty war,
especially against republicans, political and societal change, and the
peace process. Special Branch activities have deliberately gone
unchecked for decades at the cost of many lives of both Catholics and
Protestants – all expendable. This too included members of their own
forces. Indeed many people will justifiably ask how many lives did
Special Branch and their counterparts in Military Intelligence casually
extinguish in pursuit of their dirty war. We have a right to know the
full truth.
Evidence in numerous killings involving state agents proves that
Special Branch and Military Intelligence have acted as judge, jury and
executioner. They have been politically facilitated at the highest
levels of the state. Both Special Branch and Military Intelligence
wield control of the prosecution service. The unaccountable nature of
how the Public Prosecution Service (formerly the DPP) operates and is
interfered with is equally key and is crucial to enabling the dirty
war, which reaches into the heart of the British political and military
establishment of MI5.

More information exposing that MI5 had prior knowledge of the Omagh
Bombing yet failed to act, that in the PSNI killing of Neill McConville
Special Branch wilfully withheld information from the Ombudsman, and
that in the double UVF murder of two Portadown teenagers senior PSNI
investigating officers are accused of perverting the course of justice
by concealing vital forensic evidence that enabled one of the killers
to walk free at the time all lend considerable weight to the call for
an independent inquiry.

The hundreds of families bereaved and
injured due to the activities of Special Branch and Military
Intelligence demand truth and accountability. This can only be achieved
by a thorough independent inquiry and we are calling for this now. The
evidence in recent times vindicates our consistent analysis down the
years that the activities of Special Branch and Military Intelligence
effectively prolonged, sustained and fuelled the conflict. Some would
argue that they ran the war through their agents. The evidence to date
suggests that their interests lie solely in sustaining conflict and
control of loyalism. These are all matters of huge public concern.

from protecting lives, which is the sworn duty of any police service,
it now clear beyond any doubt that quite the opposite was the case. It
increasingly appears that the ‘godfathers’ of loyalism are the Special
Branch and Military Intelligence.

For the bereaved and injured victims of state agents such as White
and Knight it is equally important that the faceless people who run
these agents are held accountable and not protected by legislation such
as the Inquiries Act. The British government must act in accordance
with international legal and human rights obligations and facilitate a
transparent independent inquiry. They must not be allowed to hide
behind their sovereignty.

The majority of those affected are Irish citizens, and many of those
within the unionist community affected by this policy have been
virtually ignored by their own political representatives. They too seek
the Irish government to speak out on their behalf. We collectively call
on the Irish Government to defend our human rights with integrity and
put this issue at the heart of current negotiations. This call is also
based on the obligation and responsibility of governments to tackle
human rights abuses particularly when committed by a sovereign
government against their own citizens.

Special Branch remains at the heart of policing and continues its
activities and the Policing Board is both incapable of and unwilling to
deal with these issues in the manner required. Until these matters are
comprehensively addressed there cannot be any confidence in current
policing structures.

We pose the question – just how many lives
have been sacrificed by the British state in the pursuit of running
their dirty war via their agents?