State Death Squads In The UK

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Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s investigation began more than three years ago when Belfast welder Raymond McCord claimed that his son, also called Raymond, had been killed by a police informer.

What has emerged from her report is that in a constituent part of the United Kingdom, the north of Ireland, which at the time that these atrocities were committed was under direct rule from the Westminster parliament, the Special Branch and the RUC from 1991 to 2003 worked to establish the power of a gang of loyalist UVF killers in North Belfast, by offering them immunity from prosecution in return for information.

The gang leader Mark Haddock was paid almost £80,000 in that period for services rendered.

Meanwhile the gang committed 18 murders with the Special Branch making sure that they were not prosecuted, and in most cases either conducting or sitting in on their police interviews.

In the course of the investigation high ranking RUC officers refused to cooperate, including two assistant chief constables.

There will be no prosecutions allegedly because all of the evidence that would be needed for convictions have been destroyed.

Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Hain, said of the investigation that it ‘shone a torch into a very dark corner’. He added that mechanisms were now in place to ensure that such a thing could never happen again.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: ‘This is a deeply disturbing report about events which were totally wrong and should never have happened.’

The truth is that this is hogwash and crocodile tears since the British army and secret agencies retain the capacity to launch a similar campaign at any time that it becomes necessary for the state in any part of the UK.

In fact, the last 40 years in the north of Ireland has seen over 1,000 victims of Loyalist death squads and many atrocities by the British occupation army, including the SAS.

1972 saw Bloody Sunday with the British army opening fire on an unarmed demonstration in Derry killing 14 and wounding hundreds.

The first parachute regiment which carried out the bulk of the killing was commanded by General Kitson, the counter insurgency specialist. He was a veteran of colonial wars in Kenya, (where he developed the so called ‘black on black warfare’, organising black mercenaries to set up fake Mau Mau gangs to fight the real national liberation forces) and in Aden and Cyprus.

Kitson in 1971 wrote the the military textbook Low Intensity Operations which became a manual for the British army and MI5 operations in the North, especially in the use of Loyalist death squads.

MI5 worked with these death squads who were given cash and immunity from prosecution in return for murdering Republicans who the state wanted to see out of the way.

This regime, and its chosen tactic of bringing together the MI5, the Special Branch, special RUC shoot to kill units, the SAS and the Loyalist death squads to execute Republicans and nationalists, arose out of the need of the British ruling class to hang onto the north of Ireland.

The role of the RUC was to do the mopping up after the executions had taken place.

The role of the Westminster parliament was to provide a democratic facade for the death squads which operated under both Tory and Labour governments.

All that has happened now is that the ‘democratic’ turn of Sinn Fein and the IRA has allowed these forces to be returned to their training grounds, and their leaders to be hidden away in embassies around the world so that they can avoid exposure and prosecution for their crimes.

The role of Hain and co is to express extreme discomfort for what happened but to assure the world that mechanisms are in place to prevent it happening again.

This is of course nonsense. When the working class gets out of control on the streets of british cities in the period ahead, the gangs and the counter gangs will make their appearance once again.

Only a socialist revolution that smashes and breaks up the capitalist state and all of its secret agencies can put an end to the death squads.