The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

An Open Letter to the Man Known as "Martin Ingram"


Mick Hall • September 22 2004

Dear ‘Martin’

Myself I welcomed it when you recently turned up on the Danny Morrison discussion e-list, for without trying to sound like a pompous middle class intellectual, most people who post there try to reply to each other in a civilised manner. You will not in the main find the banter that on reading your posts on the Republican Bulletin Board you clearly enjoy, it probably takes you back to when you were a youngster drinking pints of piss in the NAAFI whilst cracking racist jokes and abusing some poor sap who could not cut it.

Still I digress, as you once told me that was all a long time ago and like many people, as they get older, you no longer hold 'all' of the views you did back then. If so it proves that if we wish to we all can change our views and also hopefully our behaviour and in the process develop as human beings. For example, only recently I came across a young man who had spent his teens in England as a street thug in the National Front and his early twenties as a full timer for the British National Party (both British Nazi parties). He became sickened by their crude, often violent racist politics and offered to work undercover for the anti Fascist organisation Searchlight. He did this dangerous work for a number of years, the end result being that a number of these nazi thugs went to jail for a considerable period of time. As he had testified in the witness box against them to ensure they were found guilty he had to leave the UK for his own safety. Ten years later he has returned and is now working with teachers, probation officers, social workers, prison officers in young offenders units, police and other professionals who come into daily contact with youngsters who have been infected by the likes of the BNP and UDA with racist/fascist ideas, so that these professionals can read the signs and hopefully turn these youngsters away from becoming hard core scum who think it is great to pour petrol through the letterbox of the homes of asylum seekers in Belfast, London or Burnley. To me this young man is a real hero, not only has he turned his own life around and in the process demonstrated to us all that there is a way back, and that although normal decent people can do bad things, they can redeem themselves and live worth while and productive lives.

But, and sadly in life there always seems to be a 'but,' I do have problems with your current political position. I accept that by writing your book Stakeknife (co-authored with Greg Harkin), plus some of the articles you have written or co-authored, you have contributed to the debate over British State Collusion with paramilitary death squads in the north of Ireland, and one can only welcome anything that will bring to the light of day this murky and disgraceful period of the governance of a part of the United Kingdom, where, as far as the UK Government was concerned, the rule of law did not apply to them or the agencies they controlled.

However it seems to me to date you have refused to recognise that you yourself played any discreditable role in this whole disreputable business of State Collusion with members of Paramilitary Organisations. Indeed when I suggested, in a review of your book Stakeknife, that today there is in all probability someone from British Army Intel who looks and talks much like you, offering the most base incentives to some unfortunate Iraqi to sell his own people out, you seemed to take real offence. The reason for this I concluded is that you still believe that during your service in the FRU you were on the side of the angels.

On reading an article in the Belfast Telegraph of the 20th Sept 04 in which their columnist Malachi O'Doherty wrote, a
fter watching the recent BBC TV documentary on the Brighton Bomb which was designed to kill the British Prime Minister Thatcher, about how to him, leading Republicans such as Gerry Adams, Dan Morrison and Pat Magee displayed an inability to admit they were ever wrong, because if they were to do so the burden of responsibility for the deaths that followed their decisions would be too great.

What struck me about his article was that he could just as well have been writing about you.

For surely you were responsible for the deaths of people you had corrupted to betray their own and worse, for without you, or someone very much like you, would not the likes of Frank Hegarty, Tom Oliver, Pat Finucane and Francisco Notorantonio with luck have lived to an old age? You see, from where I stand, if this whole wretched business of UK State Collusion is not opened up to the international light of day, then governments, being what they are, will draw all the wrong conclusions from this experience and will in the future, if they are not already doing so in Iraq today, repeat it and inflict again all the ghastliness that people experienced in the north of Ireland onto more innocent people elsewhere.

If the actions of people in the UK State's security services, whether civilian or military and at whatever level, are not made to abide by the law of the land and are not exposed when they fail to do so, not matter how long after they committed their criminal offences, then the rule of law is worthless, to be obeyed by only those with no power. Even worse, we will be doomed to live in a country that continuously goes through its very own groundhog day, on which the State repeats the same atrocities against its citizens and its enemies over and again.

For if those who have committed state collusion in crimes in the north of Ireland are not brought to book, I have no doubt that in my dotage of old age, I will read newspaper articles and books about how back when British troops occupied southern Iraq, they worked in collusion with the likes of Abu musab Al-Zarqawi, who like your own former organisation the FRU's agent Freddie Scappaticci, has a penchant for separating the brains from the bodies of terrified helpless human beings. The only difference being that your man did it by firing bullets into the back of your victims heads and Al-Zarqawi prefers to hack the poor helpless, trussed up victim's head off with a butchers knife.



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

27 September 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Intimidation of a Writer
Anthony McIntyre

Say it in Breac'n English
Seaghán Ó Murchú

An Open Letter to the Man Known as "Martin Ingram"
Mick Hall

Philosophy in a Time of Terror
Liam O Ruairc

Diary: 3 Days
Elana Golden

24 September 2004

Honour the Legacy
Dermot McClenaghan, Eamonn McCann, Johnnie White

Working for the Clampdown
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Peace Bomb
Anthony McIntyre

No Essential Contradiction
Eamonn McCann

P. Michael O'Sullivan, 1940-2004
Deirdre Fennessy



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