Pat Finucane: State sponsored murder

The findings of a review into the 1989 murder of Belfast human rights solicitor, Pat Finucane has been made public. The findings, whilst not exactly a surprise, are nevertheless shocking, and lay naked the lengths the British state will go to in order to silence people who get in its way.

Submitted by working class … on December 12, 2012

Finucane was executed by loyalist gunmen in-front of his wife and children. The report concludes that the RUC ‘proposed’ that Finucane be murdered, and passed information onto his killers, failed to prevent the attack from taking place, and then deliberately sabotaged the subsequent murder investigation. The report also found that the army intelligence unit, the FRU “bears a degree of responsibility”, as their agents were involved in ‘selecting targets’.

As would have been expected, the current chief constable of the Northern Ireland police force has issued an ‘unconditional and absolute’ apology. His faux concern has been mirrored by that of David Cameron, who in a statement to parliament, apologised to the family on behalf of the country.

The key areas of state collusion highlighted in the report are as follows:

• There were extensive ‘leaks of police information to loyalist paramilitary organisations.
• MI5 new of the threats against Finucane’s life but failed to protect him.
• Employees of state organisations played a key role in the murder of Pat Finucane.
• There was a failure to properly investigate the murder, and a failure to arrest and interview key loyalist paramilitaries.
• Senior army Officers deliberately lied during investigations.
• The Royal Ulster Constabulary seriously obstructed the investigation.
• 85% of loyalist paramilitaries ‘intelligence’ originated from the British security forces.

Despite such damning findings, Sir Desmond De Silva, who led the review, has said that he believed that there was “no overarching state conspiracy”, but would be discussing the report with the police ombudsman in the coming weeks. Despite Pat Finucane’s family demanding a full public enquiry, David Cameron has ruled it out.

Pat Finucane’s widow, ‘Geraldine’, declined to take part in the review, dismissing it as a ‘whitewash’ and a ‘sham’. She believes that the government have “engineered a suppression of the truth” that covered up her husband’s brutal execution. She went on to say that,:

“At every turn, it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required. To give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its cabinet and ministers, to the army, the intelligence services, to itself. At every turn, dead witnesses have been blamed, and defunct agencies found wanting. Serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused. The dirt has been swept under the carpet without any serious attempt to lift the lid on what really happened to Pat and so many others”.

Following his apology, David Cameron stressed that despite the clear evidence of ‘state collusion’ in Mr Finucane’s murder, no government minister had any knowledge or involvement.

Few will believe Cameron’s claims - this is just the latest example of Thatcherite era state corruption, which can be added to the list that includes the Hillsborough cover-up, the Orgreave fit-up, MI5 and Stella Rimmington’s dirty tricks campaign against Arthur Scargill, and the brutality and lies of the police force during the 1980’s.



11 years 6 months ago

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Submitted by ocelot on December 13, 2012

A government minister at the time, Douglas "Clean my moat, you peasants" Hogg, used parliamentary privilege to allege "some solicitors were unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA", not once or twice, but 15 times (apparently*). Thus making sure that that particular comment was carried in every news bulletin by every new media source (I certainly remember hearing him saying it on the radio at the time). Pat Finucane was executed 3 weeks later, having been thus "green-lighted" at the highest level and in the most public way possible. The fact that this report doesn't even mention that, is an indication of what a pile of crap it is. Even Stephen's managed to cover that bit:


In the report of his inquiry concerning collusion in Northern Ireland between loyalist paramilitaries and the state security forces, under "Other Matters concerning Collusion", Sir John Stevens noted:

"2.17 My Enquiry team also investigated an allegation that senior RUC officers briefed the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Rt Hon Douglas Hogg QC, MP, that ‘some solicitors were unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA’. Mr Hogg repeated this view during a debate on the Prevention of Terrorism legislation in the House of Commons. Within a few weeks Patrick Finucane was murdered. Mr Hogg’s comments about solicitors’ support for terrorism made on 17 January 1989 aroused controversy. To the extent that they were based on information passed by the RUC, they were not justifiable and the Enquiry concludes that the Minister was compromised."


Speaking with a comrade who worked with the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry for many years, on this topic last night (also the source of that 15 times figure), he remarked on the "Jeremy Kyle-isation" of politics that has become apparent in the last years. It was already visible in the apology delivered by Cameron last year around the time of the release of the Saville report (on Bloody Sunday, not the BBC nonce). We think this particular phenonemon might have begun with Blair. Essentially the PM of the day, whenever it can't be avoided, steps up to the dispatch box and delivers his "apology" - mainly consisting of sharing with the nation how badly he feels about this awful business. The media then covers that, without remarking on the fact that the "apology" actually doesn't contain any admission of guilt or responsibility or any commitment to changes that might prevent the same thing from being done in the future. Worse, the "apology" is presented as "an end to the matter" and gives the newsmedia an easy out from looking at the actual underlying story itself.


11 years 6 months ago

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Submitted by freemind on December 14, 2012

This is obviously a firewall in order to protect high ranking politicians and army personnel from exposure and prosecution.Also it seeks to portray Britains dirty war as an aberration rather than a concerted counter insurgency operation.
Finucane's murder was not an isolated incident even in the legal profession as Rosemary Nelsons murder shows.
It just goes to show how inverted the State's morality is when they talk of the primacy of the law but execute those who choose to practice it to defend those who oppose the status quo.


11 years 6 months ago

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Submitted by sihhi on December 15, 2012

Margaret Thatcher's memoir doesn't refer to the assassination at all.