Think back to January, 1972, when innocent civil rights protesters lay dead on the streets of Derry. The British manipulated media readily embraced the use of terms like “armed gunmen” and “terrorists” to describe the victims. The Widgery Report absolved the British Army and the world moved on. It was all a lie perpetuated for 40 years until the Saville Commission documented the systematic deceit. In April, Derry was again visited by violence with the killing of journalist Lyra McKee. It was a case closed “terrorist” incident said the ever-clueless Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley. The dissident republicans accepted blame for Ms. McKee’s death. So, like the murders of Bloody Sunday, is that it? Not so fast!
British governance of N. I. has been a thin tissue of lies and never more so than when explaining the killings and lawlessness of their security forces. U. S. media is very obliging by rarely disclosing British corruption in the North or its documentation. Rarer still is a media interest into actually reporting such details as depicted in Paul Larkin’s A Very British Jihad,(2004), Lethal Allies by Anne Cadwallader (2013), Northern Ireland: A State in Denial (2016) by Margaret Urwin, the DeSilva Report of Review of Patrick Finucane’s Murder, (2012), the Stevens Inquiry (2003) and the Alex Gibney documentary No Stone Unturned (2018). Each of these sources portrays a very different picture of acts of criminality as originally depicted by the British government.
Why would anyone trust the PSNI? They know full well that the Army and MI-5 have had their own agenda since 1920. The track record of British treachery is replete with references to sinister and faceless individuals somewhere up the food chain who directed the chaos that has afflicted N. I. for so long and may still be at work. For example, who gave the PSNI evidence of a dissident arms cache and decided that a show of force night raid was the best way to descend on the Creggan Estate? Who invited Ms. McKee to stand in the police formation exposed and unprotected? The British have always prided themselves on their paid informers in the IRA so who among the dissidents was their person and did he or she direct the firing at Ms. McKee? Where is the forensic report that identifies the bullet/gun that killed her? There is a reason the coroners are underfunded and their rules in N. I. are different than anywhere else in the UK. And why UK Freedom of Infotmation release restrictions about N. I. are double that of other requests, and why Sir John Stevens report could never be published in full.
Sadly, Irish historian Ronan Fanning is no longer with us but he gave us the best explanation of why the British have committed and will continue to commit horrible crimes in N. I. He cites a 1949 British Cabinet document written after Ireland became a Republic.
“So far as may be seen, it will never be to Great Britain’s advantage that N. I. should form part of a territory outside His Majesty’s jurisdiction. Indeed it seems likely that Great Britain would never be able to agree to this even if the people of N. I. desired it.”
It is this ‘security’ policy that triggered the no-warning Dublin/ Monaghan bombs delivered to loyalists with the explicit goal of killing as many men, women and children as possible. Now that Brexit threatens the partition border, is it a stretch to believe that the same twisted minds at the British Ministry of Defense who have crafted such a record of murder in N. I. would craft the killing of a young promising journalist to justify rushing more troops and police to ‘restore’ order?
Perhaps Ms. McKee’s last cell phone posting renders a clue. Just before her death she posted a photo explaining: “ Derry tonight. Absolute madness.” She may have been lamenting the return of garrison rule tactics and envisioning the future.