An Phoblacht 2 - 2022 small

21 October 2004 Edition

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The 5th Column

The Scots (Security) Guards

SCOTTISH SOLDIERS with the British Army's Black Watch Regiment in Iraq may think they're being short-changed by being sent nearer danger where they might actually be shot back at, but they might save George W Bush's presidential election hopes by occupying the so-called Triangle of Death near Baghdad. One of their pseudo-compatriots from another regiment, the Scots Guards, is doing very nicely out of their plight, though, thank you very much.

The Pentagon has defied human rights groups by rubber-stamping the $293 million bid by the former Scots Guards lieutenant-colonel, Tim Spicer, for his Aegis mercenary outfit to provide security for US Government interests in Iraq.

Spicer was the OC of the Scots Guards in Belfast when the unarmed 18-year-old Peter McBride was shot dead by two of his soldiers in 1992. Spicer's Scots Guards were subsequently convicted of murder but freed early after an intensive lobbying campaign by the Daily Mail and army generals, with Spicer himself in the vanguard.

Since then, Spicer has been exposed in the media after being caught in various mercenary adventures such as smuggling arms to Sierra Leone in Africa (with the blessing of the James Bond brigade in MI6) and fighting independence fighters in Papua New Guinea.

The Black Watch couldn't afford Spicer's protection racket.

It wasn't me

THE British Conservative Party's Shadow Minister for Homeland Security has boasted of his links with a shadowy terrorist gang whose agents murdered political opponents.

Patrick Mercer, Tory MP for Newark, boasted of his "extensive contacts" with the British Army's Force Research Unit (FRU). The FRU's most infamous operator was Brian Nelson, the UDA/UFF head of intelligence, who targeted nationalists and republicans for murder by unionist death squads with information, files and material support supplied by his paymasters in the 'dirty war' waged by British Army Intelligence.

The Tory MP this week denied claims on a New York website that he was the man pictured at a Force Research Unit function with FRU chief Brigadier Gordon Kerr, a character witness for Brian Nelson when he came to trial.

"I don't know who he is, but he's not me," Mercer, a former battalion intelligence officer, protested. "I served extensively on intelligence duties in Northern Ireland and had extensive contacts with the FRU but I was never a member of it."

Suspicion of being Irish

A MAN SHOT DEAD by London's Metropolitan Police was so disabled from a cancer operation that he could not tie his shoelaces, an inquest heard this week.

Harry Stanley (46) was shot in September 1999 after police were told that he was an Irishman with a sawn-off shotgun — when he was actually a Scotsman carrying a table leg.

Worldwide Willie

WILLIE FRAZER, the much travelled boss of the anti-republican sect known as FAIR (Families Acting for Innocent Relatives), is clocking up more air miles this week with an eight-day trip to Israel organised by the Israeli Embassy in London (ie the Israeli Secret Service, Mossad).

Willie claims that he and his three FAIR chums also hope to meet Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation! Given Frazer's friends in the Israeli Secret Service, MI5, MI6, and right-wing head-bangers such as the Gun Owners of America, the PLO should have lots to ask Willie as well, should this latest caper go ahead.

And whatever will Willie's unionist, anti-Palestinian sponsors at home make of him sweet-talking Arafat, usually denounced by the unionist press as a 'terrorist godfather'?

Damien Duff and Mary Lou

DAMIEN DUFF, Ireland's and Chelsea's moody soccer ace, and the smouldering Gráinne Seóige, former news presenter with TV3 now with Sky News, have made their mark alongside two moody and smouldering Shinners in The Dubliner magazine's '57 Members of the New Establishment'.

Introducing the 57, The Dubliner hails tribunals (warts and all) for changing Ireland for the better. "Power is becoming accountable and Irish society is finally being governed by people of exceptional ability." It goes on: "In our second list of the young men and women who will soon run the country, we celebrate ambition and achievement."

And the Shinners are...

Pearse Doherty, who took many outsiders by surprise by almost taking a Euro seat. Pearse, The Dubliner predicts, is one to watch who "will soon find a berth" in the Dáil.

Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald is also favoured by The Dubliner's soothsayers, who "wonder how Fianna Fáil ever let her go".

And is Mary Lou's head turned by the compliments?

"Flattery," Mary Lou says, "is like a cigarette — it's okay if you don't inhale."

Bono's fascist parades

SPAIN'S Socialist Party Defence Minister ran into flak when he included veterans from the country's anti-fascist and fascist past in the annual military parade in National Day celebrations last week.

The parade included a hero of Spain's republican army, who helped liberate Paris from the Nazis in 1944, and an old fascist from Franco's Blue Division, who volunteered to fight alongside Hitler's invaders on the Russian front.

Minister José Bono said that he intended it to be a gesture of reconciliation. The United Left Party and Catalonia's Republican Left Party attacked the move, though, claiming that it put fascists on a par with freedom fighters "in a celebration that is already a homage to fascism".

Michael Moore using his noodles

FILM-MAKER Michael Moore is being prosecuted by George Dubya's Republican Party for trying to bribe voters in the 2 November presidential election.

The Michigan Republican Party asked prosecutors to file charges after Moore offered students underwear, crisps and noodles in return for their promise to get out and vote.

Greg McNeilly, one of Dubya's top party executives, said:

"We want everyone to participate in this year's election but not because they were bribed or coerced by the likes of Michael Moore."

But if they were bribed by the likes of George W Bush or Dick Cheney, now that would be a whole different matter.

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