20 January 2005 Edition
The 5th Column
Jane Bond bugged Gerry Adams
THE head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, has confessed that British spies have been bugging Gerry Adams.
Eliza confessed to a closed meeting of Westminster's Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee before Christmas that MI5 had planted a sophisticated listening device in a floor joist in Sinn Féin's offices at Connolly House in Andersonstown, West Belfast. When Sinn Féin uncovered and displayed the device — a whopping five-feet long — last September, some sections of the Establishment media scoffed at claims that it was planted by Tony Blair's spooks. But now Eliza Doolittle Spying has admitted that Sinn Féin was right.
The Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee is made up of senior MPs and members of the House of Lords. It reports directly to Tony Blair.
Funny how RTÉ's Tommie Gorman and Fleet Street haven't been banging on about "undermining trust" and "criminality" by Blair's burglars and buggers.
MP DAVID 'BONKERS' BURNSIDE, former Vanguard vigilante and UDR corporal, now Ulster Unionist security mouthpiece, has made a personal plea to the White House to revoke Gerry Adams's visa to the US.
Bonkers says he believes that the IRA robbed the Northern Bank of £26 million (€37 million), so he doesn't want republicans going to the US because they need to raise money!
BURNSIDE told the White House that his visa blockade bid is because "one aspect of the War on Terror is to prevent international terrorist groups from having the funds to carry out their inhumane terror campaigns".
British Government officials are trying to iron out visa problems for Baroness Margaret Thatcher's son, Sir Mark Thatcher. He wants to join his wife in the United States. Scratcher (now holed up in London with Mummy) wants to leg it Stateside after being freed by a South African court in return for agreeing to become a supergrass in the abortive 'Dogs of War' mercenary coup aimed at oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.
The plot (with links to London) was led by his old public school chum, neighbour and ex-SAS officer, Simon Mann. Mann is doing seven years in Zimbabwe on charges of buying weapons for the 70-strong British and South African mercenary force he was arrested with on a plane at Harare International Airport. Thatcher was convicted last week of breaking South Africa's anti-mercenary laws. He avoided prison and got just a four-year suspended jail term only by agreeing to give evidence to state prosecutors against the coup plotters and paying a £275,000 (€394,000) fine.
Now Sir Scratcher is heading for Texas, home state not just of his millionairess wife but also the US President himself.
Will Bonkers Burnside now be asking for the visa to be revoked for this key figure in a truly international terrorist group?
DUP man's rates strike
PAISLEYITE MLA and Lisburn City Councillor Edwin Poots has not only failed to pay his £750 rates bill but he's been taken to court and has now been listed in the bad debtors' record, Stubbs Gazette.
But Pootsie hasn't withheld his rates in any principled political protest. He "forgot" to pay the bill. Then he "forgot" to turn up for the ensuing court hearing. That hearing in July told him to cough up the £750 plus another £180 in costs (€1,333). Up to last weekend, there was no record that Poots had paid. The DUP man says the cheque was in the post.
Stop thief police
PSNI/RUC CONSTABLE John William Alexander Crawford (42) has been bailed pending appeal against a four-month jail term for stealing a mobile phone from a colleague at Antrim PSNI base.
The court said that Crawford nicked a Nokia from a civilian worker in January of last year. He "found" the phone and meant to hand it into lost property but "forgot" — even though he picked it up in a police station!
Antrim Magistrates' Court heard last week that Crawford had 18 years' service in the RUC and PSNI and had been planning to go to Iraq on "personal protection work" but he is now on incapacity benefit because he is depressed.
Smart fart bomb
THE PENTAGON was considering some wild and wacky ideas in the chemical warfare field just ten years ago, according to US Government papers from 1994 just uncovered under the Freedom of Information Act.
The plans were obtained by the Sunshine Project, a group which monitors research into chemical and biological weapons.
The US Defence Department had considered various non-lethal chemicals meant to disrupt enemy discipline and morale. The US Air Force Wright Patterson Laboratory in Ohio asked for Pentagon funding for research into what it called "harassing, annoying and 'bad guy'-identifying chemicals". The 1994 plans were for a six-year project costing £4 million (€5.7 million), but they were never pursued.
One wizard wheeze dreamt up was a chemical gas bomb that would "simulate flatulence in enemy ranks."
One of the official reasons the flatulence bomb was scrapped was that "people in many areas of the world do not find faecal odour offensive, since they smell it on a regular basis".
Another idea was to develop a chemical causing "severe and lasting halitosis" so that opposing troops would be obvious even when they tried to blend in with civilians because of their diabolical bad breath. Maybe that bad breath gas was actually tried and secretly tested on RIR patrols.
THE BRAIN-STORMING BOFFINS in Ohio also seriously planned to build a "gay bomb" to make enemy soldiers "sexually irresistible" to each other.
The so-called "gay bomb" plan envisaged an "aphrodisiac chemical that would provoke widespread homosexual behaviour" among troops, causing what the men in white coats called uneasily "a distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to enemy morale.
The Pentagon, men in uniform and homosexuality — a breath-taking combination.
Whatever did happen to The Village People?