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As said in the list of contents: “4) Document
entitled ‘Smithwick Tribunal Statement by Ian Hurst’. A critique of a 20 page
submission to the Smithwick Tribunal, dated June 2011, which I have selectively
borrowed from and juxtaposed against previously published claims by Martin
My ‘reply’ was composed on 22 September 2011, soon after the statement was put aloft on the Internet.”
Emphasis, where used, is mine.
IAN HURST SMITHWICK TRIBUNAL STATEMENT
(Contrasted With Previous Claims)
1) The Sunday Times, 08.08.99 – By Liam Clarke (P6): “Martin Ingram was on night shift at the British military intelligence headquarter in Northern Ireland when one of the phones rang. It was the hotline – a number known only to and reserved for Britain’s most cherished agent, a man known by the codename Steak Knife. Steak Knife was and is the crown jewel of British intelligence in Ulster, a man at the heart of the IRA’s war effort who had to be kept happy at all costs. His source reports were read by ministers. His output was and remains so prolific that two handlers and four collators work full time on them.
“His identity is a matter of national security but the RUC sergeant on the other end of the line just blurted it out. ‘We have just arrested a Mr. Padraic Pearse [not his real name] and he gave us this number to contact. He says he works for a man called Paddy.’ Giving the cover name of a military intelligence handler. Steak Knife had just played his ‘get out of jail free’ card…
“Ingram was appalled that the RUC had forced Steak Knife into this position. ‘I will never reveal the identity of any agent but that is how easily it can come out,’ he said. It was not the first or last time the RUC, whose special branch is well aware of the IRA man’s double role, had approached a key agent it was desperate to poach from the army. ‘They told him they would expose him unless he worked for them, they put out arrest-on-sight warrants, they accused him of holding information back. They even sweet-talked him but they couldn’t match the money we were giving him and couldn’t make him trust them…’”
2) Stakeknife –
“Whilst Sam telephoned those responsible for the running of Stakeknife, seeking instructions, I kept the desk sergeant occupied on the phone. Throughout that evening I helped out in the office, running errands for the posse of FRU officers and handlers who had returned to their offices to deal with the developing situation. The RUC desk sergeant confirmed the identity of the arrested man as Frederick or Freddie Scappaticci; he was requested to avoid doing anything which would highlight the identity of the individual he had in [P63] custody. The name Scappaticci was not known to me in the context of the Troubles at that time. In truth, both Sam and I were curious – it was in our natures. We were trained to be nosy, to find things out we weren’t supposed to, and we were both delighted that we were allowed and trusted to remain in the background whilst a crisis was managed.
“Once Scappaticci had been safely released from RUC custody without charge and the handlers had left the offices, we ran his name through the intelligence computer system 3702. His name and his activities were clearly recorded. He was identified as being closely involved in the running of the IRA’s feared internal security unit and being linked to the IRA’s Northern Command. It was clear to Sam and me that this was a heavy-duty source at the highest echelons of the Provisional IRA. We knew even then that to have a mole inside the Provos’ own security unit was a massive coup. Sam and I were summoned the following day to a meeting with the operation [sic] officer FRU and told to keep the secret of Stakeknife’s identity. At the time, both of us were frankly out of our depth, unaware why the operation [sic] officer was anxious over and above normal concerns for the source’s welfare. This was, however, to change.
“Over the next few years I became friendly with one of Stakeknife’s primary handlers, a man that I will call ‘Andy’ [‘Handy Andy’?]. Andy and myself were keen footballers, playing for both the local unit and in many five-a-side competitions held on Thiepval barracks. Andy was aware that I knew the identity of his agent and was open with me concerning Stakeknife and his activities, although careful to paint Stakeknife in a positive light.
“I believe Andy knew even as early as the mid-1980s that this case would come back to haunt not only him [P64] but the FRU as a unit. On occasions when I suggested he be careful, he intimated that the paperwork generated would not accurately reflect much of the agent’s activities, certainly not the aspects that were clearly illegal.”
[Thiepval barracks, HQ British Army Northern Ireland, and HQ FRU, is in Lisburn, Co. Antrim.]
3) Ian Hurst Statement to Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry (June 2011) – PP 15-17 “I first became aware of Mr. Scappaticci by accident. 121 Int Cell provided out-of-hours telephone cover for HQ FRU (ie FRU based in Thiepval as opposed to the regions). One early evening I was on duty completing a project for my desk officer, the other person present was Sam Southam who was on 121 silent hour’s duty operator, when a call came in from Donegal [sic] Pass RUC station. Sam answered the [P16] phone. The RUC officer said that Alfredo Scappaticci had been arrested for drunk-driving and had requested a call to this number. He asked who we were. Sam explained that this was the military in Thiepval. Sam was aware that this was a major problem and passed the phone to me so that he could contact the [sic] Mr Colin Parr Commanding Officer FRU CO [sic]. I spoke to the RUC officer and asked him not to do anything for the moment. The (CO) [sic] asked us to tell the RUC that he would be with them as soon as possible. He collected the Ops Officer and went to Donegal [sic] Pass. We were told that we should forget what had happened and make no record of it. The next day we were called before the FRU Operations Officer (Ops Officer) Mr Anthony J Greenfield and it was very nicely made clear that this incident should not be referred to, even between ourselves.
“Freddie Scappaticci was Mr Owen Corrigan’s handler. I started to make a connection between Scappaticci and Corrigan when I saw several reports, my friend and colleague, David Moyles put bones on the flesh [sic] of the reports. Moyles was Scappaticci’s long-term handler and he confirmed my suspicions. This was sometime after 1987 when I returned to FRU (W) as a handler and Dave Moyle’s [sic] had also returned to HQNI FRU rat hole. Moyle’s [sic] knew that I was one of the few people outside HQNI FRU who knew the identity of Stakeknife and was comfortable discussing most aspects of his Agent. This practice of discussing other Handlers and offices agents was not encouraged but in the real world that happened all the time and it was recognised the Intelligence Corps needed a social club bar with membership/access restricted to Intelligence Corps/FRU and police – the bar was called the Green Fly. I had known Mr Moyle’s [sic] since 1980 and considered him a friend professionally and socially and a person I would play football with on at least weekly basis whilst in Northern Ireland. In 2000 I met the Stevens team on three occasions. On the first occasion I met Vince McFadden, Ken Woodward and other [P17] senior police officers at Heathrow police station. I was cautioned and had a taped interview regarding Brian Nelson and the FRU in general including a classified document handling protocol etc at the end of meetings which I signed a statement. I was not allowed a copy of the statement by the police. This interview was to discuss [Brian] Nelson. During a break in the interview, Vince McFadden and I went for a walk around the car park to get some fresh air. He then engaged me on a number of subjects relating to Scappaticci, one of which related to rogue Gardaí. Another related to Tom Oliver and Mr. Notarantonio [sic].
“I told him that I knew that he had meetings with rogue Gardaí. I told him that I knew this from David Moyles. I can say with absolute clarity that Mr. McFadden raised Mr. Scappaticci with me in the context of him being an agent. I believe that he was trying to ascertain the extent of any damage and it was my firm belief that he knew that Scappaticci was the agent known as Steak Knife. After we went back in the taped interview began again and dealt with other topics concerning loyalism. Sir Hugh Order [sic] was present at the second meeting held at the Heathrow police station along with Mr McFadden, Mr Woodward and a couple of others. There was a pep talk chat given by Sir Hugh Orde and he assured me that Lord [sic] Stevens was intending to deal with the Scappaticci issue and Sir Hugh Orde wanted me to give his team of detectives every assistance and assured me he was serious in wanting to investigate the Scappaticci case. He made it crystal clear that he knew all about Steak Knife and Scappaticci but he needed handlers details in case paperwork went missing in a similar way Steven [sic] 1 and Stevens 2 investigations was frustrated due to delayed disclosure. Sir Hugh mentioned the question of rogue Gardai and I brought up Corrigan’s name. Sir Hugh was present at the Heathrow meeting for about 45 minutes.”
1) The Sunday Times, 08.08.99 - (P6) “Martin Ingram was on night shift at the British military intelligence
2) Stakeknife – Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland (2004) - (P62) “I first became aware of [Stakeknife’s] activities in the early 1980’s. One evening during 1982 whilst visiting the office at Headquarters Northern Ireland, a telephone call on a source telephone, a dedicated line for agents.”
3) Ian Hurst Statement to Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry (June 2011) – (P15) “I first became aware of Mr Scappaticci by accident. 121 Int Cell provided out-of-hours telephone cover for HQ FRU (ie FRU based in Thiepval as opposed to the regions). One early evening I was on duty completing a project for my desk officer.”
Number one above: “Ingram was on night shift at the British military intelligence headquarters in Northern Ireland.” He was on “night shift”.
Number two above: “One evening during 1982 whilst visiting the office at Headquarters Northern…” He was “visiting” the office.
Number three above: “I first became aware of Mr. Scappaticci by accident. 121 Int Cell provided out-of-hours telephone cover for HQ FRU... One early evening I was on duty completing a project for my desk officer.” He was doing a “project”.
I have a feeling that this project has a lot in common with his claimed Bloody Sunday project which he supposedly embarked on shortly after taking up a position with 121 Int Cell, that would become an essential of his evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. The trouble is, nobody else appeared to know about it.
In 1999, Mr Ingram is on night shift; in 2003-4 he is paying a visit; in 2011 he is doing a project. The shifting sands of story telling.
1) The Sunday Times, 08.08.1999 - By Liam Clarke (P6) “…when one of the phones rang. It was the hotline – a number known only to and reserved for Britain’s most cherished agent, a man known only by the codename Steak Knife. Steak Knife was and is the crown jewel of British intelligence in Ulster, a man at the heart of the IRA’s war effort who had to be kept happy at all costs. His source reports were read by ministers. His output was, and remains, so prolific that two handlers and four collators work full-time on them.”
2) The Sunday Times, 10.09.2000 - By Liam Clarke (P8) “As the [Stevens] inquiry progresses it comes ever closer to the most sensitive of all secrets of the Troubles – the long term moles placed by British military intelligence in the IRA. The key figure is a man known to his handlers as Steak Knife, an agent since the early 1970’s who is so highly placed that an entire office and a fleet of vehicles is devoted to handling him.”
Item 1 is dated 8 August 1999, sixteen months after the Good Friday agreement, so much for he who was “at the heart of the IRA’s war effort… [whose] output was, and remains, so prolific that two handlers and four collators work full time on them.” Item 2, 10 September 2000, extends this sham with the claim of Steak Knife being “so highly placed that an entire office and a fleet of vehicles is devoted to handling him.”
Some reports read by me said Scappaticci was largely defunct as an IRA operative for years prior to the 1998 Good Friday agreement. Claims by The Sunday Times apart, one sees no evidence “that an entire office and a fleet of vehicles”, “two handlers and four collators” were devoted to handling the alleged “crown jewel of British intelligence in Ulster.” A more prosaic view is that they did not exist.
The same September 2000 report, while saying an “entire office…[is] devoted to handling [Steak Knife]”, failed to call it the “rat hole”. In light of what is in the “19 September 2013 insertion” below, perhaps an enlightening omission?
Also, the further along the trail Ingram goes the more fragile his Stakeknife tale becomes. In efforts to make up for past inconsistencies, the telling becomes increasingly implausible. Being from Yorkshire, he didn’t have the innate gift for yarning the Irish have. Did MI5/MoD chose badly in Ingram? While an easy liar, he lacked the natural skills of a Sinn Fein politician. They are well versed in how to spin.
With history as a guide, MI5 had every reason to believe the media would comfort them with a minimum of embarrassing questions. Was that expectation in part due to the realization that fearless investigative journalism is a near dead science in newspapers – too expensive and too much like a dirty word?
And unlikely to non-existent in matters to do with secret state.
So instead editor’s accept leaks which they call “scoops” that allow sensational headlines and creative writing on behalf of perverse national security agendas. Forgetting to whom their first duty is due: truth and the people who buy their newspapers.
Don’t our servant-masters know well their friends?
Close your eyes and visualise one of FRUs fleet of vehicles, tyres screeching as it races out of Thiepval barracks, a side van logo of a knife slicing through a raw cut of sirloin, blood oozing onto the plate, as it pursues a rendezvous with agent Stakeknife.
Tongue-in-cheek, yes. But what else was the Stakeknife story?
Pulp fiction carrying an MI5 imprimatur passed on at a classic remove to a media quick to suspend critical judgement for a handout with an “exclusive” label to it. An enigmatic design with implications favourable and otherwise for those touched by its many tentacles.
Poisoned meat that found many a welcoming taker.
The Sunday Times, 08.08.99 – “[Stakeknife’s] identity is a matter of national security but the RUC sergeant on the other end of the phone just blurted it out. ‘We have just arrested a Mr. Padraic Pearse [not his real name] and he gave us this number to contact. He says he works for a man called Paddy…’ giving the cover name of a military intelligence handler. Steak Knife had just played his ‘get out of jail free’ card and was released a few hours later. Ingram was appalled that the RUC had forced Steak Knife into this position…”
Taking the story at face value, my reading of it is that Scappaticci, long before being falsely branded agent Stakeknife, was arrested and brought in for questioning because he was caught driving while over the drink limit, and having no “Steak Knife” label around his neck he was just another name to the RUC sergeant who had no cause to “just blurt” anything out. The police officer put no one at risk and Ingram had no reason to be “appalled” for anything other than hopeless story telling. His 2004 Stakeknife book claims Scappaticci was arrested for “drink driving”. Seven years later, in his statement to the Smithwick Tribunal, it is called “drunk driving”.
A real agent would stay mum and not risk drawing attention to himself. Even if an agent Stakeknife existed and was arrested for drink driving, what price a fine to a man earning a “tax-free £50,000-£60,000 a year with lavish bonuses”?
Extending this principle, why should a man who is chasing 70, if guilty as accused of being a British intelligence agent, be relentlessly pursuing the cause of clearing his name, including within a corrupt British court system, and not enjoying his supposed fortune of over £3million in silent and comfortable seclusion somewhere?
The power of secret state to abuse knows no end and obliged to the lie must live it out in tribunals and elsewhere. By proxy, the shadow state perjures itself before the “sovereign” people whom they hold in contempt.
Ian Hurst Statement to Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry (June 2011) – “…One early evening I was on duty completing a project for my desk officer, the other person present was Sam Southam who was on 121 silent hour’s duty operator, when a call came in from Donegal [sic] Pass RUC Station. Sam answered the phone. The RUC officer said that Alfredo Scappaticci had been arrested for drunk driving and requested a call to this number. He asked who we were. Sam explained that this was the military in Thiepval. Sam was aware that this was a major problem and passed the phone to me so that he could contact the [sic] Mr Colin Parr, Commanding Officer FRU CO [sic]. I spoke to the RUC officer and asked him not to do anything for the moment. The (CO) [sic] asked us to tell the RUC that he would be with them as soon as possible. He collected the Ops Officer and went to Donegal [sic] Pass. We were told that we should forget what had happened and make no record of it. The next day we were called before the FRU Operations Officer (Ops Officer) Mr Anthony J Greenfield and it was nicely made clear that this incident should not be referred to, even between ourselves.”
When giving evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry Ingram was cautioned not to mention names and where names were given these were deleted from texts in the claimed interest of national security and in the protection of the parties involved. Yet, in the above, and further into the same page where the alleged name of Scappaticci’s “long term handler” is given, there is a change of emphasis.
As posed in a prior document: “Was the Public Interest Immunity certificate, a gagging order, served on the Saville Tribunal by the Secretary of State for Defence in 2003 for the benefit of national security and for the protection of Martin Ingram or to preclude the possibility of his and other related covert security roles being disclosed?
“Has the safety interest subordinated itself to the national interest [in 2011]?”
Is the new found willingness to throw out names a policy change in the national interest? Skewing away from a closer look at past positions and attempting to lend substance to the present?
In 2003, no names was the order of the day. In 2011, the giving of names is the order of the day. Why the change?
While on names. In the Smithwick Inquiry statement is the name “Alfredo” (Scappaticci). Scappaticci’s forename is Freddie, the name he uses and is known by, according to the man himself – and he should know. It would seem that Mr Ingram used another handle simply because he did not know otherwise in May 2003 when Scappaticci’s name was conjoined to the “Steak Knife” codename and made available to the world in an explosion of manipulated publicity. If the Stakeknife files existed and were seen by Ingram, the agent code number would have been lodged within. It seems Martin Ingram neither knew of Freddie Scappaticci’s forename (from a claimed reading of the 3702 computer) or the Stakeknife code number (from a claimed reading of the agent’s files).
The shifting sands of story telling.
Ian Hurst Statement to Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry (June 2011) - “One early evening I was on duty [at Thiepval barracks] completing a project for my desk officer, the only other person present was Sam Southam who was on 121 silent hours duty operator when a call came in from Donegal [sic] Pass RUC station. Sam answered the phone. The RUC officer said that Alfredo Scappaticci had been arrested for drunk-driving and requested a call to this number. He asked who we were. Sam explained that this was the military in Thiepval. Sam was aware that this was a major problem.” Good old Sam went on to round up his commanding officer and the operations officer, and we are given the names of the two men in question as proof, damn the security risk. Sam thought big because “this was a major problem”. How did he know? The supposed RUC officer simply said a man had been arrested for “drunk driving and requested a call to this number.” There was nothing in that to alert Sam to the alleged importance of the arrested man. The police officer didn’t know who he was contacting: he had to ask. Sam had to tell. Anyrowth, the big chiefs themselves went to Donegall Pass RUC station and sorted out the problem. So we are told.
The Sunday Times, 8 August 1999 – The RUC telephone call was to “a number known only to and reserved for Britain’s most cherished agent.” The officer says: “‘[H]e works for a man called Paddy’ – giving the cover name of a military intelligence handler.” By inference, Paddy did a rescue job and “Steak Knife [was] released a few hours later.” We’re not told how Paddy waved his magic wand.
Stakeknife – Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland (2004): “One evening during 1982 whilst visiting the office at Headquarters Northern Ireland, a telephone call on a source telephone, a dedicated line for agents, was taken by a colleague who was 121 Intelligence Section duty operator. This operative, whom we shall call ‘Sam’, was, like myself, inexperienced as an intelligence operative. Sam took the call from an RUC officer based at Donegall Pass RUC station. The gist of the conversation was that an individual had been arrested for drink driving and he asked the RUC desk sergeant to telephone his handlers and alert them to his predicament…”
This time a “posse of FRU officers and handlers returned to their offices to deal with the developing situation…Once Scappaticci had been safely released from RUC custody without charge [and] the handlers left the offices....” That says all was sorted out by the green slime boys at Thiepval barracks. No need for the CO and the Ops Officer to go to Belfast, and all that, as was said in the Smithwick Tribunal statement.
And too the out of bounds to junior ranks air-conditioned subterranean building, the fleet of vehicles, two handlers, four collators and the “hotline, a number known only to and reserved for Britain’s most cherished agent [and housed] in the special unit set up solely to handle their best agent. The ‘Rat Hole’, a self contained building dedicated to Stakeknife was located away from prying eyes in Thiepval Barracks.”
A building isolated from other FRU offices, all because Stakeknife’s creatively constructed super-man status made him an agent apart.
By holding to that line we can say that when the telephone call came from Donegall Pass RUC station to the FRU office and “Sam” and “Martin” were present, it could not have been to the “Rat Hole”, as “Only a restricted number of senior NCOs, warrant officers and senior officers were ever permitted entry and the room was not only guarded on a permanent 24-hour basis but also continually manned.”
So by virtue of rank, qualification and other protective security considerations the presence of Sam and Martin was precluded.
Machiavelli alone could unwind such a Byzantine array of stories with bewildering contradictions. The dog’s nose came out of its mouth!
Ian Hurst Statement to Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry (June 2011) – “In 2000 I met the Stevens [Inquiry] team on three occasions. On the first occasion I met Vince McFadden, Ken Woodward and other senior [P17] police officers at Heathrow police station. I was cautioned and had a taped interview regarding Brian Nelson and the FRU in general including classified document handling protocol etc at the end of meetings which I signed a statement. I was not allowed a copy of the statement by the police. This interview was to discuss Nelson. During a break in the interview, Vince McFadden and I went for a walk round the car park to get some fresh air. He then engaged me on a number of subjects relating to Scappaticci, one of which related to rogue Gardaí. Another related to Tom Oliver and Mr. Notarantonio [sic].
“I told him that I knew that [Scappaticci] had meetings with rogue Gardaí. I told that I knew this from David Moyle’s [Scappaticci’s alleged ‘long term’ handler]. I can say with absolute clarity that Mr McFadden raised Mr Scappaticci with me in the context of him being an agent. I believe that he was trying to ascertain the extent of any damage and it was my firm belief that he knew that Scappaticci was the agent known as Stake Knife. After we went back in the taped interview began again and dealt with other topics concerning loyalism. Sir Hugh Order [sic] was present at the second meeting held at Heathrow police station with Mr McFadden, Mr Woodward and a couple of others. There was a pep talk chat given by Sir Hugh Orde and he assured me that Lord [sic] Stevens was intending to deal with the Scappaticci issue and Sir Hugh Orde wanted me to give his team of detectives every assistance and assured me he was serious in wanting to investigate the Scappaticci case. He made it crystal clear that he knew all about Stakeknife and Scappaticci but he needed handlers details in case paperwork went missing in a similar way to Steven [sic] 1 and Stevens 2 investigations was frustrated due to delayed disclosure. Sir Hugh mentioned the question of rogue Gardaí and I brought up Corrigan’s name. Sir Hugh was present at the Heathrow meeting for about 45 minutes.”
Three main issues touched on in above: 1) Brian Nelson and loyalism (on tape); 2) Stakeknife/Scappaticci/Notorantonio/Tom Oliver (off tape); 3) Rogue gardai (off tape).
Stakeknife – Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland (2004) – “Senior [army] officers would routinely write end-of-year reports for each FRU handler. At the end of 1990, Ingram’s superior wrote in his confidential report: ‘XXXXX [Martin Ingram] must temper his comments when briefing senior Army officers.’ The report was a recommendation for promotion, but the comment was clearly a reference to Ingram’s numerous conversations with senior officers when he had questioned the FRU’s role in a number of incidents. Ingram later recounted these heated exchanges to a senior investigating officer with the Stevens Inquiry, recalling in particular the murder of Notorantonio. That conversation was taped.”
1) This contradicts the June 2011 Ingram/Hurst statement to the Smithwick Tribunal. Ingram entwined the Stakeknife/Scappaticci lie into the murder of Francisco Notorantonio. In the 2004 book he claimed the Stevens team taped the conversation. His 2011 statement says this was more a bar stool type exchange with one person in a car park and of course not taped. 2) “The former Military Intelligence officer known as Martin Ingram has told the Andersonstown News he has just given the Stevens Inquiry a seven-hour interview on the ‘unlawful’ activities of the secret Force Research Unit…now the former soldier who served two terms in the North says his taped interview and accompanying 26 page statement [to the Stevens Inquiry]…” – The Andersonstown News, 01.03.2001.
Does Ingram’s on tape/off tape recounting tell us something? Whatever, once more the shifting sands of story telling.
A snapshot of conflict directed to the Notorantonio aspect:
The Sunday People 20.08.00 – (P6) Exclusive By Greg Harkin. “ROGUE Army spies ordered and set up the murder of a 66-year-old pensioner, we can reveal today… [The] Stevens Inquiry have re-opened the probe into the death of Francisco Notorantonio.”
(I believe this report was the first allusion to the murder of Francisco Notorantonio having a Scappaticci connection, but without using his name. In time the nexus would harden and enter the public arena as fact. A story widely accepted with very few exceptions in the media.)
The Sunday Times 11.05.03 – (P2) By Liam Clarke. “Another murder which is being investigated [by the Stevens team] is that of Francisco Notarantonio [sic], a Belfast pensioner and IRA veteran, who was killed by the UDA in 1987. Here the suspicion is that Notarantonio’s [sic] name was given to the UDA by an army informant and his FRU handlers as a substitute for Stakeknife.”
After a falling out with Martin Ingram, on 5th June 2006 Liam Clarke communicated the following to Cryptome: “He [Martin Ingram] accuses me of sitting on the story that Francisco Notarantonio [sic] was allegedly killed to protect Stakeknife. I did not publish this because I did not believe it to be true, and – contrary to what he says, nothing has ever emerged to substantiate it. The Stevens inquiry never stood it up and the UDA, who carried out the murder, denied that they had been targeting Scappaticci as was claimed. Repeated repetition does not make something true.”
The Guardian, Monday 12.05.03 – (P18) By John Ware. “Some reports suggest that Stakeknife was once targeted by loyalist death squads, and that FRU used Nelson to steer them away from Stakeknife by picking another target - an elderly ex-IRA man Francis [sic] Notorantonio, who was shot dead [on 9] October 1987.
“Again, no evidence has been discovered by Stevens to support this. Nelson’s private diaries, in which he sometimes wrote candidly about his own involvement and that of FRU in assassinations, do not support the theory either.”
Sunday Life, 25.05.03 – (P9) By Alan Murray. “The UDA has dismissed claims that it ever planned to kill Freddie Scappaticci…a senior UDA man has categorically denied repeated reports that Army agent Brian Nelson steered the terror group away from killing Scappaticci in 1987 by directing them to murder west Belfast pensioner, Francisco Notorantonio…Stevens Inquiry detectives have found no evidence to support this, during their probe into security force collusion with paramilitaries.”
The Sunday People, 15.06.03 – (P33) By Greg Harkin. “British Army officers have enraged collusion probe chief Sir John Stevens by DESTROYING thousands of documents relating to Stakeknife Freddie Scappaticci, we can reveal. And the move is intended to kill off the Stevens Inquiry probe into Britain’s role into murders carried out by their top agent inside the IRA’s so-called Nutting Squad…
“[A source in the Stevens team said]: ‘...In essence the smoking gun has gone. The only thing left is the testimony of whistleblowers like Martin Ingram…’”
Note: Notwithstanding the loss of the “smoking gun” – the lying machine still left behind a viable record. Read on.
Sir John Stevens/Hugh Orde – Stakeknife/Scappaticci
The Sunday Tribune, 11.05.03 – By Tribune Reporters [Likely Neil Mackay of The
Sunday Herald, Glasgow] (P10): “Questions are now being asked about why the top
British policeman Sir John Stevens – who had been conducting a long-running
investigation into collusion between the British state and terrorists in
If you think that paragraph perfectly encapsulates guilt by inversion, read the page 14 editorial for lashings of righteous indignation.
The newspaper implies: 1) Scappaticci is an army agent. 2) He is agent Stakeknife. 3) He is subject to the direction of the MoD, to whom the Stevens team has only to apply to gain access. 4) Look at the date of the report. What is today’s date? What was done in the interim?
Nowt you have it!
The Irish People, Sunday 11.05.03 – By Greg Harkin (P5) “…’We are aware of Stakeknife’s whereabouts and identity and I am satisfied that the IRA does not know who he is,’ Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens said earlier this year.”
The Sunday Times, 11.05.03 – By Liam Clarke (P1) “…Stakeknife’s card has been marked since Sir John Stevens, the commissioner of the metropolitan police, revealed last month that he intended to question him as part of the long-running inquiry into alleged collusion by the security forces in paramilitary killings. ‘We will be questioning Stakeknife soon. We fear other informants have been sacrificed to save him and we will be asking him about that,’ Stevens said [….] If [Stakeknife] now talks, his story would be political dynamite. Stevens, who has already forwarded files on dozens of FRU soldiers to Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions - suspects that Stakeknife and his handlers are linked to up to 40 preventable murders. Stakeknife was recently advised by the army to move to the republic so that he would be then outside Stevens jurisdiction.
“Stakeknife’s handling was one of the British Army’s most sensitive secrets, [a] FRU unit, with its own fleet of vehicles, was maintained at the army’s Northern Ireland headquarters [P2] in Lisburn to handle him.
“The plot to name Stakeknife is being linked to a man known by the pseudonym Kevin Fulton. He is a former British soldier from the IRA country of south Armagh who infiltrated the republican terror group for the intelligence agencies. These include the army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Special Branch and Customs [.….] He maintains that he has named Stakeknife only in sealed affidavits. These would be revealed by a lawyer in the event of Fulton dying or being injured. However, senior security sources believe that he has now made good his threat.”
The Irish Times, Monday 12.05.03 – By Dan Keenan and Suzanne Breen (P1) “Sir John Stevens has confirmed that he wants to interview Stakeknife urgently about allegations that many paramilitary operations and murders were ‘allowed’ to proceed to protect his identity and the information he provided. Sir John said: ‘We fear other informants have been sacrificed to save him and we will be asking him about that’. [Per The Sunday Times report three paragraphs above.]”
The Guardian, Monday 12.05.03 – By Rosie Cowan and Nick Hopkins (P1) “Although Scotland Yard refused to comment on the weekend disclosures, a source close to the Stevens investigation said Sir John had been examining the extent of Stakeknife’s activity since he discovered hundreds of army documents, including notes from the spy’s handlers, a few months ago. He will be irritated that his careful approach has been pre-empted by publicity.”
The Guardian, Monday 12.05.03 – By Nick Hopkins (P2) “The exposure of the army’s top agent within the IRA will intensify pressure for a full inquiry into his activities by Sir John Stevens, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Sir John, the UK’s top policeman, has been investigating collusion between the security forces in Northern Ireland and paramilitary groups for the last 14 years, focusing to begin with on the links between loyalists, the army and the police in the death of Belfast solicitor, Patrick Finucane. However, when Sir John published his interim report in mid-April, he confirmed that he was concentrating much of his effort into unraveling the ‘legend of Stakeknife’, the army’s top spy within the Provisional IRA.
“He thinks that Stakeknife, named as Alfredo Scappaticci, would be questioned about his role within the IRA, the information he provided to his army handlers, and the activities he was sanctioned to do by them to ensure that he was not suspected of being an agent. The weekend’s revelations have pre-empted Sir John’s move, but may make his job easier in the long run, by allowing him to gain access to Scappaticci.”
The Guardian, Monday 12.05.03 – Rosie Cowan (P3) “Things started to get hot for Scappaticci when Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan police commissioner, who had been probing security force collusion with terrorists for more than 14 years, revealed he knew of his existence, and just a few weeks ago, confirmed for the first time that he intended to question him. Sir John’s inquiry could prove devastating not only for Scappaticci but for his army handlers.”
1) The above reports were added in September 2011, eight years after original dating, and still there’s no questioning of Scappaticci or “devastating” disclosure. Should the position on disclosure alter let it be concerned with the ramifications of the lie rather than on the lie itself. On the why of the lie; on how it got up and running; on a system that lent a restrained provenance to a one sided unfolding in which natural justice plays no part. An attendant conclusion is that the system and those within are duty bound to become conspirators to the lie.
Unspoken, the serpentine ways of state intelligence are inviolable and all-embracing. Non contractually, there’s only the opting-in clause.
Am I foolish to hold that the system shouldn’t be a one way street to advance sotto voce national security aims? More a two-way highway for people to catch the ear of authority: a channel to correct injustice and facilitate redress, for representatives to represent, and not a bolt hole for state to hide behind unyielding protocols. Government and constitution are there for the people and not to disenfranchise them for hidden ends.
Veritably it has come to pass that the “sovereign” people are mere pawns on another player’s chess board: subjects of a faceless cohort with unqualified immunity.
Back to the media. Am I naïve to think that some in the fourth estate should have been less timid and chased their instincts by holding out against an avalanche of contrary opinion? If they believed truth was different to that widely carried, they should have boldly said so.
People buy newspapers to be informed and not be duped by an uncritical acceptance or pro-active allegiance on behalf of a national security interest.
I do not know if any newspaper stood against the tide or used investigative journalism to debunk the lies on Stakeknife. If there was such an ongoing exposition, it passed me by.
We who pay are abused by those who we pay.
2) The Guardian, Monday 12.05.03 – Page 18 has a profound treatise by John Ware from the BBC’s TV Panorama programme. Mostly well written fluff on Sir John Stevens and Hugh Orde, the new PSNI chief constable, with direct quote comment from a “source close to [the Stevens] inquiry”. Within it all, “Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Scappaticci” is bounced along a generally rocky road. I’m surprised that Ware hasn’t got a knighthood. The military counterpart of a gong like that is the long service and good conduct medal – sometimes humorously known as the long distance and never got caught award.
My dilemma is to whether I should be envious of his scholarly talent and ease of propagation or be content with my less evident blessings and anonymity.
Mr. Ware has a touching grá (love) for fables, in particular the one on the “golden egg”. Ask him about it.
Should he read and be sufficiently enlivened by the content of this work he may feel professionally disposed to undertake an exposition on behalf of those less fortunate than myself, the living and dead without voice. A nucleus of that forgotten cohort are named in Section 17 of this presentation. Mr. Ware’s employer has the wherewithal to go where it has never gone before in respect of those arbitrarily forsaken by the Security Service during the Troubles. If they are free agents in these matters, as they would have the world believe, let us see evidence of it.
My belief is that the BBC is closer to secret state than its licence payers and like RTE a safe pair of hands where and when it counts.
Expert at doing jobs that give an illusion of investigative journalism but end up as one-day wonders: the three card trick in celluloid.
3) Not only did some in the media help launch Ingram and his lies, so too the Stevens Inquiry. Given its tradecraft and research into secret state wrongdoing, the latter could not but have known he was acting on behalf of those interests they were investigating. The Stevens team up to St John himself should have exposed Ingram’s dissembling; they did not. Instead they gave belief to his Stakeknife assertion through equivocation and qualified endorsement. Primacy was not for truth but for an undeclared goal of state intelligence.
To that end a common feature is a collective rowing together. Another common feature is that those pulling on the oars do not ask where they are going.
Pushing on, see the above Guardian snippet of 12.05.03 by Rosie Cowan (P3): “Things started to get hot for Scappaticci when Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan police commissioner, who had been probing security force collusion with terrorists for more than 14 years, revealed he knew of [Stakeknife’s] existence and just a few weeks ago confirmed for the first time that he intended to question him. Sir John’s inquiry could prove devastating not only for Scappaticci but for his army handlers.”
Well, we know Sir John’s team did not question Scappaticci. What about the “army handlers” of reputed agent Stakeknife-Scappaticci – were they arrested and questioned as has been variously ventured over the years?
Smithwick Tribunal Day 93 (transcript from a closed session read into the record on Wednesday 25 April 2012), page 167, question 843 from Justin Dillon SC for the tribunal, Witness 82, alleged handler of Stakeknife, answered: “I have neither been spoken to by the Stevens Inquiry team nor charged by the Stevens Inquiry team.” – Doyle Court Reporters.
Quite. A non existent agent is incapable of being questioned; likewise, the alleged handler of a non existent agent. Which, by corollary, says Witness 82 was somewhat economical with the actualité when giving his Stakeknife evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal.
Claims buttressed by an at a remove dissembling by MI5-MoD at the time and supported by a fraternal solicitude thereon.
4) See twenty two paragraphs above: “[Sir John Stevens] confirmed that he was concentrating much of his effort into unraveling the ‘legend of Stakeknife.’”
As he could only have been speaking tongue in cheek, the suspicion is that he was not totally able to suppress the mirth felt within.
A careful man in his choice of words, is Sir John’s use of the “legend of Stakeknife” telling?
The Oxford English Dictionary: “Legend – traditional story, myth…” “Myth – traditional story usually involving supernatural or imaginary people and embodying popular ideas on natural or social phenomena; widely held but false idea; fictitious person, thing or idea.”
Do you remember the wall daubed slogan, “Mouths wide open – brains closed down”?
Stakeknife - Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland (2004) – Martin Ingram & Greg Harkin (pp224-225): “Meanwhile, in early December 2000 Commander Hugh Orde, the police officer in charge of the day-to-day running of the Stevens Inquiry, now Chief Constable of the PSNI, agreed to meet with representatives of the Notorantonio family and their solicitor, Barra McGrory. Orde, known for his frankness, confirmed the existence of an agent called Stakeknife, but not his identity, although his identity would have been known to Orde at that stage. Notorantonio’s daughter Charlotte said afterwards: ‘We were asking the Stevens team to investigate my father’s murder. I asked if Stakeknife existed and they confirmed that he does exist. My father took a bullet for him so I told them it was vital they asked the army for Stakeknife’s files…’”
Note: Charlotte, you and your family, abused by the murder of your father have been doubly abused by the lie on the murder of your father.
No files exist on Stakeknife because there is no agent Stakeknife. For that and other reasons there is no substance to the story of your father being murdered in place of Scappaticci. Eleven years on and there is still no exposition on this lie. That is because intelligence agencies are above the law. Their modus operandi of operating at a remove is shaped by rock rigid formulae to ensure plausible denial.
A non-accountability made possible by the support of an inclusive framework to make it unassailable. Part of what we are hidden from the people and most of the rest of the world.
Ingram and Orde lied to the Notorantonio family; as did the media who propagated the lies of shadow state. Catch them out on one lie and they will creatively resort to another. In that event, the system will helpfully endorse and promote. However, granting a false provenance to a second lie may be more problematic, given the undoubted cynicism that will follow when the people realise how credulous they were going along with the first Stakeknife-Scappaticci agenda. Knowing that many big names and reputations helped shore up this whopper of a pork pie, will there be a protective retreat to ambiguity or a transfer to a Stakeknife Mark 2?
As an open admission to the dissemination of lies by our servant-masters is unlikely, will they resort to the thimble rigger’s drawer of escape clauses like as postulated above, the use of Stakeknife Mark 2?
If so, suffer the legend to be shielded this time by the “we do not comment one way or another” or the “we are forbidden by law” scripts. Or they may just tone down some of the more implausible lies through asides in published works by their writer friends.
They may even attempt to underpin the lie with a parallel construct based on another compatible agent – a deceased counterpart, for example?.
Or shelter behind a PII certificate, proclaiming “national security” interests for non disclosure. Some of the protective protocols alluded to.
In short, more lies to safeguard those who lied. An attempt at saying we got it half right when it was known from the outset it was all wrong.
A lie on Stakeknife in the future will be as egregious as the lie on “Steak Knife” in 1999. The real difference may be in emphasis and choice of spelling.
Whatever, Martin Ingram well knows the score on plausible denial. If the Stakeknife-Scappaticci story ends up going down the plug hole, Marty the messenger will be the patsy. You are only in trouble if you get caught, I think is the phraseology.
Unseen our blood is sucked by spiders in the web. Mocked by false freedoms and the reputed superiority of our political philosophy, the democratic process, and the lie that we in the West enjoy a free and independent media, we are aces in only one department, hypocrisy.
A road to Damascus conversion for Martin Ingram/Ian Hurst?
“Bloody Sunday Inquiry, Monday 12 May 2003, MR MARTIN INGRAM (affirmed).”
“Smithwick Tribunal [transcript from a closed session read into the record Day 92, Tuesday] 24 April 2012, Ian Hurst, having been sworn.”
Marty “affirmed” in 2003. Ian was “sworn” in 2012. A road to Damascus conversion or trying to take the mickey out of Paddy?
Smithwick Tribunal Statement of Ian Hurst/Martin Ingram (June 2006)
PP 17-19 (Kevin Fulton)
“I first met Kevin Fulton in Dublin [in] 1999 at the request of Mr Liam Clarke [the Sunday Times journalist]. I knew who Fulton was from his PIRA activities and from source reports and I knew that he had worked for Scappaticci and John Joe Magee in the Newry/Dundalk areas.
“I arranged for him to be interviewed by the Stevens Inquiry [officers in] approx mid 2000, telling them that he had worked as [a] PIRA security team driver. I told him (Fulton) that they (Stevens) would be interested in talking to him about [the] internal security unit.
“It must be stressed that at this juncture in time Fulton did not know anything about Scappaticci[‘s] [Stakeknife] role until the day Scappaticci was exposed in the Sunday Tribune/Sunday Herald [on 11.05.03, that is Fulton first knew about ‘Stakeknife-Scappaticci’ on 11 May 2003.]
“The Stevens team was excited… at this development, DI Rick Turner told me they were pleased to access somebody who had worked on an occasional basis with Scappaticci.
“Fulton had one on-tape interview under caution and one on-tape interview without caution with [the] Stevens team in London. Obviously Scappaticci and Fulton were not wandering the Louth/Down countryside selling Avon cosmetics - not surprisingly Fulton declined to answer any formal questions upon caution but did provide background to the PIRA security units [sic] activities during the second not under caution interview.
“Fulton was obviously confused by the Stevens team line of questioning; he understandably wanted to know why I had sent him to London on a wild goose chase! – I could not explain to Fulton the reason for his meeting but that it was very important. It must be stressed Fulton had no idea what Scappaticci’s role was. He only discovered that he was a British agent about 24 hours before the Steak knife [sic] story broke in the Sunday Tribune [on 11.05.03. That is Fulton first knew about ‘Stakeknife-Scappaticci’ on 10 May 2003].”
“I subsequently made ‘firm’ inquiries with Stevens after leaks by well placed journalists had suggested Stevens was avoiding the Scappaticci issue and to my disappointment was told by DCI Rick Turner that the ‘Boss doesn’t want to go down that route.’ At this point I recognised to be careful with Stevens and that belief was reinforced when my personal details were sold to Newspapers by a former FRU officer in Nov 2000 and although he was arrested and charged with intimidating a witness – he was subsequently not charged – The reason given to me by DCI Rick Turner was! – ‘It was not in the public interest.’ That decision obviously made me and my family reflect upon my co-operation with the Stevens investigations. Within the same telephone call I politely requested DCI Rick Turner to stuff it up his arse – I had no further formal contact with Stevens from that day.”
If no FRU agent Scappaticci existed, there was no agent Stakeknife for the Stevens team to investigate. As that part of the story has already been dealt with, I again relate to the above Hurst statement quote (contradicting that of three paragraphs before): “Fulton had no idea what Scappaticci’s role was. He only discovered that he was a British agent about 24 hours before the Stake knife [sic] story broke in the Sunday Tribune [on 11 May 2003, that is Fulton first knew about ‘Stakeknife-Scappaticci’ on 10 May 2003].”
The Sunday Tribune 04.05.03 - By Neil Mackay [Glasgow Sunday Herald journalist who wrote the Sunday Tribune reports on pp 2 and 13] (P13): “Fulton who is not speaking to the press, is said to have named his plan to out Stakeknife ‘Operation Dinner Out’. Fulton has written affidavits which he has given to his lawyer outlining the life and crimes of Stakeknife. He has also given a sealed letter giving the name of Stakeknife to his lawyer, who has been ordered to open it and make the name public in the event of Fulton’s death.” (That is Fulton first knew about “Stakeknife-Scappaticci” from at least 3 May 2003.)
What a load of nutty nonsense that on “Operation Dinner Out” and giving a sealed letter to his lawyer.
In December 2011, when giving evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin, Fulton admitted receiving adequate remuneration for his living needs from MI5.
In short, he is on the payroll.
Yet in the preceding paragraph the man is portrayed as inimical to the interests of MI5 because of his whistleblower espousal of truth.
In this he mirror images the Ingram position and promotes the consequential fear of suffering the wrath of the agency for doing so, implying they would kill him.
Stoned by pieces of silver?
Over the years the same man was only short of having bouquets thrown at him by some in the legal profession tasked to promote the search for truth.
What a perverse world we live in.
The Sunday Tribune 04.05.03: “Fulton is known to have rang senior intelligence officials last week and told them Stakeknife’s real name to prove he was serious about his threats.” (That is, Fulton first knew about “Stakeknife-Scappaticci” before 3 May 2003…)
[Mr Fulton has implied, as he did in his 2006 book Unsung Hero, and made outright accusation, as he did at a mid-December 2011 Smithwick tribunal hearing, that Mr. Scappaticci is the supposed agent Stakeknife.]
A breaking of wind by Fulton or Ingram is worthy of a bevy of media microphones and note pads from the faithful. Mr Fulton, it seems, not only knew the telephone numbers of “senior intelligence officials”, he also knew the identity and activities of Stakeknife – the “jewel in the crown of British intelligence agents in Northern Ireland”, before knowing who the alleged agent was, according to Ingram.
Telepathy or bi-location?
The 4 May Tribune report was a prelude to the 11 May allegation that Freddie Scappaticci was Stakeknife. A coordinated event with The Sunday Tribune and The Sunday Herald heading the charge. Each newspaper carried near identical reports by Neil Mackay, even if the Dublin newspaper byline said “Tribune Reporters”. It was sensational tabloid journalism by broadsheet.
One day on from this deluge of dissembling, Monday 12 May 2003, Martin Ingram, chief architect of the Stakeknife story at a remove, gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in London. It was not a coincidence.
(For fuller understanding on this point, return to Section 6 of this compilation.)
The 4 May Sunday Tribune excerpts highlighted in the above paragraphs, call into question Ian Hurst’s Smithwick Tribunal statement on Kevin Fulton, highlighted further above.
For the convenience of
readers, photocopies of pages 2 and 13 of the newspaper dated
Reports of police raids on Mr. Fulton’s London home also received publicity within the Stakeknife articles. The dodgy duo of Peter Keeley (aka Kevin Fulton) and Ian Hurst (aka Martin Ingram) were photographed together, possibly to do with an EYE SPY magazine interview in 2005-6? If so this item is not available to me other than the misht blanked face photos as displayed on the web. Reasonably well known is that the foreword in Kevin Fulton’s book, Unsung Hero, is credited to Martin Ingram.
Possibly less known is that Fulton took part in a documentary depiction of the Roermond, Holland murder of two Australian solicitors, Nick Spanos and Stephan Melrose by the IRA on 27 May 1990.
Filming by Australian TV Channel 7 took place over two months in summer 2010.
Note: The deaths of Nick Spanos and Stephan Melrose are dealt with in Sections 15-17 of this compilation.
The Sunday Tribune, 4 May 2003. Page 2.
The Sunday Tribune, 4 May 2003. Page 13.
(Seán Kelly, 22 September 2011)
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