politicians who gathered around Martin McGuinness
and Rita OHare in Washington last week to
welcome the IRA statement calling off its armed
campaign were Congressmen Peter King and James Walsh.
Also last week, King told Newsday that people
like Tim Russert should be shot.
Russert hosts NBCs "Meet the Press".
His offence was to have had former US ambassador
Joe Wilson as guest on the programme.
Wilson was the man sent by the Bush administration
to Niger in February 2002 to check out claims that
Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellow-cake uranium
in the country. He discovered that the claims had
been based on a crude forgery, and that there was
no truth at all in the tale. He duly reported this
The US and British governments ignored Wilsons
report and added the lie about Niger to the list
of lies deployed to lure the world to war. Iraq
was invaded in March 2003. In July, Wilson wrote
a piece in the New York Times challenging the use
of the Niger allegation.
Five days later, a syndicated columnist, Robert
Novak, quoted unnamed Bush officials saying that
Wilsons trip to Niger had been a put-up job,
an unauthorised jaunt organised by Wilsons
wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, whom he named.
The trip wasnt official, and Wilson wasnt
reliable: thats why his report hadnt
been taken into account.
Since outing a CIA agent is a criminal offence,
an investigation into the leak was immediately launched.
Bush said publicly that any official of his who
was discovered to have been involved would summarily
The investigation, as happens, took on a life of
its own. On the 13th of this month, it reached a
grand jury, where it emerged that Novaks source
had been White House deputy Chief of Staff and close
Bush confidante, Karl Rove. This posed the question
whether a man who had broken the law to blow a CIA
agents cover was suitable for high office.
A cry arose for Bush to deliver on his pledge to
sack the culprit.
It was at this juncture that King intervened with
a defence of the war and an attack on the liberal
media. "I think people like Tim Russert and
the others who gave this guy such a free ride, and
all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not
Michael Moore responded on Friday: Excuse
me, Congressman King! Is that a threat to our media
who at least are now waking up to the fact that
there is indeed corruption and criminality taking
place in this White House? Had our leaders and the
American people listened to people like Joe Wilson
there never would have been a Bush War.
I think that Karl Rove is the one that has been
given a free ride at the expense of innocent lives
As far as I am concerned, he can rot
in prison .
Kings defence of lying to promote violence
against innocent people was no surprise. He was
shouting for war on Iraq as early as December 2001,
scornful of the notion that UN support should even
be sought. The United States has the right
and the responsibility, at the time of our choosing,
to take action against Iraq.
In May 2003, when Bush appeared on an aircraft carrier
puffed up in a flying jacket with a Mission
Accomplished banner as his backdrop, King
mocked commentators who criticised the occasion
as premature: This was an incredible military
(The critics) are grasping at straws,
I could go on. Kings record of support for
illegal mass violence, particularly against Arabs,
is almost second to none.
Almost, because theres also James Walsh, who
not only believes that what the US has done to Iraq
is brilliant---he wants more.
Iraq, says Walsh, provides a model for
how the US should handle other troublesome
countries. Syria, presumably, and Iran. Slaughter
them in thousands. Drive them to desperation. Fragment
them into warring sectarian factions. And steal
their resources while doing it.
Walsh is currently chairman of the Friends of Ireland
I assume that there are Sinn Feiners who believe
that association with the likes of King and Walsh
is inappropriate. But thats all it can be.