Bloody Sunday: sorry, no evidence

What do Donald Trump and British Land Forces Commander General Ford have in common?  They were/are both liars. At last count, Trump had told some 20,000 lies since becoming president. No one has counted Ford’s lies but his comments to the BBC in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday were so shamelessly false, he didn’t need to go for bulk falsehood: “The Paras did not go in there shooting…they did not fire until they were fired upon…the 3rd Battalion fired three rounds altogether after they’d had something between 10 and 20 fired at them.”

He was, of course, backed up by the British media. The Daily Express Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail all said that the IRA were to blame for Bloody Sunday, and the Express’s headline was “Paras face ‘fusillade’ then open fire”.

Bloody Sunday is again in the headlines because yesterday, the Public Prosecution Service said no charges would brought against British soldiers for their actions on Bloody Sunday, due to lack of evidence. One exception is the soldier referred to as Soldier F.

Not enough evidence? Really??  I’m not versed in military matters, but I’m going to guess that when a soldier leaves barracks, the weapon he carries and the number of rounds in his possession are documented. When he returns to barracks, I’d guess he is required to return any rounds he may have and the weapon issued. It would be common sense and, presumably accepted military procedure.

So are we asked to believe that this didn’t happen after Bloody Sunday?  Or that it was done and then all evidence destroyed? Because we’re talking about soldiers killing civilians in broad daylight.  If there is no evidence,  then either that evidence wasn’t collected, since the British Army was preparing to lie and lie again about what had happened, or the evidence was collected and then stashed away under lock and key, or more likely, destroyed.

People talk about Britain’s reputation abroad, in light of the fact that the Tory government is prepared to break international law. What about Britain’s reputation in Ireland?  Despite requests again and  again and again over the decades from the relatives of those shot dead, no soldier  – not even one – has been sanctioned, let alone tried for murder over what happened that day.  And relatives and the people of Derry and the people of Ireland are expected to accept instead the apology delivered  in parliament by the then-British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons. We know we killed fourteen innocent civilians but honestly, we’re really sorry.

Later in  1972, Lt Col Wilford, who was directly in charge of the Paras that day, was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth.

So now you know. Donald Trump claimed that if he were to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, his supporters would still back him. The British army on Bloody Sunday actually shot dead fourteen innocent people and still receives support.

The lesson: lie hard enough and often enough, and you can get away  with murder. Literally.

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