Posted: 1st August 2022
Anne Cadwallader here in Belfast. I’m a contributor to Declassified from Ireland where I worked at the coalface as a journalist for 30 years.
I’m now a legacy advocate for The Pat Finucane Centre (and author of Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland, Mercier Press, 2013) and, if all this has taught me anything, it’s that governments are addicted to what they think are short-cuts to peace but which are actually, not only immoral and criminal, but end up being long-cuts to continued conflict and death.
Tragically, this was exemplified this month by the Declassified documentaryBlowback: The Road to Manchester during which bereaved father Andrew Roussos, whose eight-year-old daughter died in the atrocity, said counter-terrorism police “should be embarrassed” over their monitoring of one of the men behind the Manchester Arena bombing.
Salman Abedi, a British man of Libyan heritage, murdered 22 people in May 2017. ‘Islamic State’ (so-called) claimed responsibility. The documentary, funded by donations, showed how the Abedi family fought alongside NATO forces during the uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Produced by Declassified UK’s Phil Miller and presented by Mark Curtis (author of Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion With Radical Islam) the film traces links between the bomber’s family and UK foreign policy on Libya.
Declassified in July also carried an exclusive article written by Noam Chomsky examining the “special relationship” between Britain and the US. This relationship, I am glad to report, is under some strain as Washington continues to express support for the Good Friday Agreement, which London seems to be prepared to risk by its current reckless attempt to bin the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Chomsky’s focus was on what he called the “abject submission of British authorities to the Master in Washington in the case of journalist Julian Assange” which he says “is painful to observe but – unfortunately – not difficult to understand”.
“The roots go back to the Second World War, when Britain handed the mantle of world domination over to its former colony” writes Chomsky. “At the time, British officials were well aware that the UK was becoming a ‘junior partner’ to the US.”
Matt Kennard’s fascinating interview with Evo Morales, former President of Bolivia, showed how brutal colonial interests still are – in this case over the exploitation of lithium, an essential raw material in the manufacture of electric batteries.
Morales told Kennard he had immediately realised the dynamic his people in Bolivia were up against when, on a visit to South Korea, a group of businessmen told him they were not interested in building a factory to manufacture lithium batteries in his country.
“That’s when I realised that industrialised countries only want us Latin Americans so that we can guarantee them their raw materials. They don’t want us to give us the added value.”
His determination that Bolivians should share in the profits created by the raw materials under its sovereignty led, he says, to the coup that ousted him – a coup backed not only by the US but by British interests too.
Richard Norton-Taylor lifted a veil this month off the civil service, pointing out that, although Boris Johnson was shunted out of office by his own cabinet colleagues increasingly worried about their own careers and electoral prospects, the coup the grace was delivered by some within the Whitehall establishment.
Declassified published other important articles this month on the information wars between NATO and Putin, the battle over the diaries of Lord and Lady Mountbatten, and on declassified files highlighting a possible coup against a Labour government. And John McEvoy revealed more from the UK archives, this time showing how Margaret Thatcher’s government supported the US after it shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988.
Forgive me if I refer briefly finally to my own piece on how the unionist establishment, along with the Northern Irish police (the RUC) and the British Army, sought in 1971 to blame 15 victims of the vicious loyalist bombing of McGurk’s Bar for their own deaths.
It took a certain level of cynicism to claim some of the fifteen people, including two children aged 13 and 14, were responsible, purely for short-term political ends – to support London’s decision to intern only Catholics without trial at the time – not Protestants.
The PFC, for which I work, is currently involved in a David-and-Goliath attempt to persuade London not to legislate preventing any family, ever, whoever they are, from whichever community, having access to any legal remedy through the courts.
Such human rights access is a key part of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 – quite aside from the immense trauma that will result from barring families from inquests, judicial reviews, independent inquiries and civil actions.
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All the best,
Regular Contributor at Declassified UKI’ll give £5 each monthI’ll give £50 each year