The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Be neither shocked nor awed
A response to Anthony McIntyre

"Mick Finnegan" • May 14, 2003
(Please note, "Mick Finnegan" is a pseudonym: see editorial- Ed.)

John Le Carre wrote a spy novel called 'The spy who came from the cold'. It centred on an apparently 'disgruntled' member of British intelligence who used a planned 'disaffection' from his handlers to spread disinformation and even to engineer a 'defection' to the other side. It was made into a famous film with Richard Burton in the lead and was shot in Dublin and Wicklow. The Burton character fingered a loyal member of 'the other side' as a double-agent in order to protect Britain's real intelligence asset.

Today, we have "disgruntled" former members of the intelligence community like 'Martin Ingram' and 'Kevin Fulton' who are apparently revealing 'secrets' about agents in the IRA. Their stories are 'revealed' in British establishment media. The story that they are not satisfied with their "pension arrangements" does not add up. If the secrets they hold are so explosive, the British would do everything to keep these gentlemen on-side. Instead we appear to have an elaborate charade involving gagging orders, arrests of journalists, use of the Official Secrets Act - all of which are bound to fail eventually. In fact they are guaranteed to fail to such an extent that the information released is probably a product of British intelligence success, not of its failure. Some of the actors involved may or may not be genuine in their intent. This does not prevent them from being used by unseen directors in the intelligence community.

The carefully released media 'revelations' about the person named as 'Stakeknife' seemed designed to put him in harm's way from the IRA. Had the person named died at their or other hands, the British could have washed their hands of the matter and considered it a job well done. If Mr Scappaticci were their agent, they would have moved him long ago. Not to have done so would be to strike fear and terror into the heart of every genuine agent. Their craven belief is that their handlers are sincere when they say that they will rescue them from potential harm and will protect them.

Something else does not fit. Mr Scappaticci is reputed to have earned over stg£80,000 a year from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. He reputedly dropped out of activity in 1993, but has not scooped up the substantial financial benefits of his apparent efforts on behalf of Her Majesty.

The whole thing stinks and this fog appears designed to draw attention away from John Stevens' report on collusion with loyalists and to muddy the demand that the British to allow the people of the North the basic right to vote in an election. It is also designed to cause disaffection and confusion in the ranks of the 'the enemy': the IRA and the broad republican community.

So called dissident republicans who are convinced that the peace process is some kind of elaborate 'British plot', brought about by agents infiltrated into the heart of the republican movement are having their every fantasy confirmed by the fantastic story of 'stakeknife'. They should stop to think about the fact that this story is coming from and is being spun from the British end. Spy stories are based on an elaborate confusion of people and events. They are designed to confuse and are generally based on a simple confidence trick. The biggest intelligence asset the British would appear to have is belief in the existence of 'stakeknife'. The story now being spun in the media is that there is yet another 'stakeknife'. So the molehunt continues and the conspiracy thoeries leap over each other. More stories will be fed to the gullible. The politics of the Peace Process will be reduced to more childish speculation about simple betrayal by (as the song says) "some dirty oul' spy". Dirty oul' spies do exist but their effect is exagerated and hyped by people seeking sensation and politically sectarian simplicity.

Real life is much more complex and much more real. One thing is for sure, the British 'dirty war' is not over.

Do not be shocked and neither should anyone be awed. We have seen it all before and we will see it again.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



I have spent
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Index: Current Articles

15 May 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Who Knew - Who Knows - Who Will Tell?
Anthony McIntyre


'Stakeknife' cuts both ways
Brendan O'Neill


Be neither shocked nor awed

Mick Finnegan


Stake Knife Logo
Brian Mór


SAS Stake Knife
Brian Mór


Super Stake Knife
Brian Mór


How Stakeknife paved way to defeat for IRA
Anthony McIntyre


'Palestine: It's hell'
IPSC Event


11 May 2003


Stakeknife - Shock and Awe.
Anthony McIntyre


In the name of womanhood

Michael Youlton


Brendan Hughes


Death Threats and Harassment by the RUC/PSNI
Joe Dillon


Election Delay Shows Dubious Democracy
Eamon Lynch




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