go for the limbs, or the head. Always go for the trunk
the big target. Never shot to disarm or disable. Your
enemy might get up again. Never snatch the trigger.
Always squeeze it gently, as if you are stroking a
cat. Hold your breath, squeeze the trigger - shoot
- Gurka Weapons Instructor To The Parachute
you first go to study the Bible they will teach you
'form criticism'. Form criticism looks at how the
Bible is put together. The Bible is based on oral
tradition recorded by a primitive hand. People in
former times witnessed events which have been told
and then re-told before being committed to parchment.
The oral stories of the events people witnessed, once
recorded have survived to this day. It is how history
is recorded, and in Northern Ireland many authors
have also used oral tradition. The book 'Unfinished
Business,' the stories of those killed by plastic
bullets, is written in this way. Their families have
recorded their stories and the stories have been written
down just as they have been told, and this method
of writing gives the book a powerful message.
The book 'Stakeknife', by Gregg Harkin and
Martin Ingram, is based on oral tradition. The book
gives testimony to certain events which have been
witnessed by the authors. Gregg Harkin the journalist
will tell you of his writings about the agent Stakeknife.
Harkin was writing about Stakeknife for at least three
years prior to the agent's identity breaking. The
identity of the agent wasn't all that secret anyway.
Eamon Collins' in 1997 wrote about Scap in his book
'Killing Rage'. On page 236 Collins gives us
a description of Scap.
was small and barrel-chested, with classic Mediterranean
looks. Olive skinned with tight black curly hair.
He was the son of an Italian immigrant.
many ways Collins admired Scap as he had a regular
job as well as being involved in the Republican movement.
Later Collins came to distrust and despise him mainly
due to Scap's cruelty but he never suspected Scap
worked for the British. Who would? As Ingram says
would anyone with blood on their hands in the IRA
be thought of as a traitor? Collins names the Belfast
men involved in the nutting squad - John Joe Magee,
Hardbap, Mooch and Scap. As far back as 1997 Scap
is mentioned as a member of the nutting squad, part
of the IRA security unit. Ingram claims that while
Scap worked for the nutting squad there were thirty
five murders. All the names of the dead are mentioned
yet Scap has never been arrested or questioned about
these alleged activities.
When Ulrika Johnson wrote her autobiography she told
of how she was raped. The media got wind of this and
went into a frenzy eventually finding out who the
man was. This man, a top TV presenter was visited
and questioned by British police. Yet Scap, named
by numerous journalists, now accused in a book of
being involved in a squad that murdered thirty five
people has never been arrested or questioned. Perhaps
there is one law for rape and another for murder.
Will Scappaticci be questioned by Stevens? Ingram
doesn't think so. Ingram sees the Stevens Inquiry
as nothing more than a vehicle of delay. He writes,
'from the death of Stobie, the arrest of Barrett
and the timing of subsequent charges and the failure
to make any arrest or press any charges against any
serving or past members of the FRU or the RUC is hard
FRU is the force research unit which is a British
army intelligence corps unit working in N. Ireland,
recruiting, developing and controlling the army's
human intelligence assets in Britain's secret war
with the IRA. Ingram asks why are humans still involved
in intelligence gathering, when information can be
gathered by electronic means? The answer is that humans
can seek the answer to a question to track down information.
Also bugs are limited by distance and have problems
with fuel life etc.
There is no doubt in the minds of the two authors
that Freddie Scappaticci is the agent code named Stakeknife,
Britain's top mole in side the IRA. They have no doubt
that the British intelligence services sacrificed
the lives of agents in order to protect other agents.
The book claims that Gerard McMahon and his wife were
sacrificed to save Fenton, who in turn was sacrificed
to save Scappaticci. Ingram claims he was co-handler
of Frank Hegarty in Derry. He gives a complete account
of what happened to that agent. He tells how the FRU
knew that giving up the first Libyan weapons would
point the nutting squad directly to Hegarty. The Cook
report tapes are recorded in this book and what makes
them remarkable is that Scap told the journalists
that he informed his handler in the FRU that it was
himself that pulled the trigger which killed Frank
Hegarty. Clear evidence indeed that the British Army
knew this spy was committing murder. In March Nicholas
Davies' new book 'Dead Men Talking' will claim
that this knowledge stretched all the way up to the
then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Ingram
claims that the next time you hear her speech in the
House of Commons that 'murder is murder is murder',
it may sound pretty hollow.
Whistle blowers like Ingram have suffered for telling
what they know. He tells of his own run-ins with British
security and how he was brought to court under the
Official Secrets Act. Harkin says he decided to speak
out after reading the book by Eamon Collins, especially
its chapter on the nutting squad. This is the puzzling
aspect of it, motive for Ingram to speak out. Money
would never compensate him for the upset and upheaval
to his family, to his wife and young daughter, especially
since they have had to move to another jurisdiction
into the Irish Free State. Like Frank Serpico why
did he make the decision to talk? What made Serpico
move from not accepting the money to speaking out
on his former colleagues? Did Serpico become disgruntled?
Ingram has obviously been disgruntled with his former
employers but he claims that he left the British Army
on good terms.
History will record what Harkin and Ingram say. It
will be recorded that Britain had a top mole within
the Provisional Republican Movement, and that he played
a part in manoeuvring them towards the peace process.
That is to say that those in the leadership of Sinn
Fein, who were former members of the IRA were more
accommadating to Scap's and his handlers' message.
No one from the PRM has come forward to say otherwise,
no one has come forward to rubbish these claims and
to put anything on record. Republican people are entitled
to know whether or not these accounts are balanced
and true. The PRM must come forward and put on record
their view. History demands it.
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