AMERICAN BREXIT COMMITTEE
A BRITISH GUARANTEE
The WALL STREET JOURNAL recently opined that Britain's EU break-up is going badly and concluded, "The Brexiteers have lost their nerve or way or both. Brexiteer Boris Johnson seems content to simply stir the cauldron of Conservative politics perhaps because Prime Minister May and her political partners, the N. I. Democratic Unionists have a back-stop plan of their own. The Conservative Party has long desired to revise or end the 1998 UK-Ireland Good Friday Treaty (GFA) having delayed its full implementation for 10 years. Cabinet Minister Michael Gove has described it "…as a mortal stain equivalent to the 1930's appeasement of the Nazi's."
If Brexit is goes badly for the UK, PM May has readied an amnesty bill for British military involved in killings in NI. Pursuant to the GFA, funds were provided for review, investigation, and prosecution of all such cases. Many involve loyalist collusion with the police, Army, and security services. May has suspended those investigations claiming they are "witch hunts", "patently unfair and "one-sided". It was, in fact, a lie. The woman who only last month warned Russia after the Skripal poisonings "we shall not tolerate such a brazen act of murder of innocent civilians on our soil" has given notice she is prepared to excuse murders by British security personnel.
There is a one complication. Britain is a co-guarantor of the GFA with Ireland and the EU. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claims that a unilateral amnesty act would be a serious breach of the accord. Alas, British guarantees are like those of Russia. Remember when it 'guaranteed' that Syria had eliminated its chemical weapons? Was Britain's lawlessness in NI so bad that a cover-up amnesty bill is needed to stop hundreds of prosecutions of British security forces? Just how many careers are at stake of the Conservatives friends at the Ministry of Defense? How many MI-5, Police Superintendents, and Members of the House of Lord's who were put there to keep their mouths shut, will be affected? Many a Brexiteer would breathe a sigh of relief if the amnesty bill could be adopted no matter how the Brexit folly ended. Think I exaggerate?
The corruption of law and justice in NI was so systematic and included every branch of government ….. executive, legislative and judicial and, most importantly, the 'deep-state' intelligence and security services personnel, most of whom are British Army. No one should underestimate the deep State forces ability to script the Brexit saga. Consider these unresolved issues:
* The 1974 no-warning bombing of Dublin and Monaghan shopping centers, the single largest loss of life of the conflict was carried out by members of the Ulster Defense Regiment of the British Army with the technical assistance of MI-5 operatives. The UK refused to extradite seven suspects in 1974 and Britain has refused four Irish Governments requests for cooperation in the investigation.
* Lawyers Patrick Finucane and Rosemary Nelson were assassinated with military collusion. The DeSilva report into the Finucane killing is NOT the result of an independent public inquiry as promised. It concluded "…there is no evidence of over-arching conspiracy [of the State]…" not surprising. Those who did the killing provided the only documents Lord DeSilva was allowed to see.
* Early on in the conflict, the Coroners Rules were changed only in NI to hide the cause of death when necessary. Aidan McAnespie, an unarmed youth who was killed by a British soldier. An implausible explanation of the killing was accepted. Last month it was revealed that Aidan's rib was removed and discarded by the Coroner because it would have proved the soldier's story was fabricated. Even desecrating the dead must serve British deceit.
* In order to prevent inquiries from lawyers, the EU, UN and especially the US, the UK has liberally used national security vetoes of information requests, heavily redacted documents ultimately released, has secretly issued Personal Immunity Certificates (PIC) to those accused of crimes and failed to disclose the government role in hundreds of deaths attributed to British double agents and paid informers. Most had military handlers.
The EU Council of Ministers, acutely aware of the gravity of this, has had Britain under a continuing review order for several years having concluded in dozens of cases "…investigation procedures were unanimously found to be deliberately prohibitive to finding facts and holding people accountable."
If Britain adopts the amnesty bill, it may cause the EU and Ireland to consider revisions to the GFA or to the exit deal. For the Brexiteers it will be a win all around. The UK will be out of the EU, the GFA will continue to be obstructed, and the amnesty law will insure the conflict cover-up will continue. Getting revenge for US interference will be a bonus. Lesson learned? The only British guarantee to work in Ireland is to perpetuate conflict and injustice.
Michael J. Cummings, Secretary
201. W Evergreen Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Michael J. Cummings, a native of Springfield, Mass., is a graduate of St. Anselm's College (B. A., 1968) and New York University (M. P. A., 1970) and a former member of the National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference (1996-2013), the Ancient Order of Hibernians (2001-2008), and the Irish Northern Aid Committee (1988-1996). He served six National AOH Presidents, 5 IAUC National Presidents and two National Chairman of INA primarily in public relations capacities. He is the only person to serve on the national policy making bodies of all three major Irish American organizations. He also served on the Commission on Peace and Justice of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. He served 36 years with the State of New York including as Assistant Deputy Comptroller.
Cummings has appeared on American, English and Irish television and radio and his commentary and letters and those of the organizations' Presidents have appeared in major American, Irish-American, and Catholic print media. He is a frequent columnist for the weekly IRISH ECHO newspaper. He is married to Nuala Hogan, a nurse and native of Ireland, for 43 years and now resides in Philadelphia, PA. They are the parents of five children and five grandchildren.