Previous: Martin Ingram - Q’s
As said in the list of contents: “7) A document of five pages entitled ‘Stakeknife – Questions Asked.’”
Emphasis, where used, is mine.
STAKEKNIFE – QUESTIONS ASKED
Steak Knife – The Codename/Codeword
A “Walk-In” – How Scappaticci is Alleged to Have Become an Army Agent
Personal Names: Freddy, Alfredo, Frederick, Fred, Freddie
Payments Said to Have Been Made to Freddie Scappaticci – The Alleged “Jewel in the Crown” of British Spies in the IRA
“STEAK KNIFE – THE CODENAME/CODEWORD”
Example: “Steak Knife had originally been a walk-in…” The Sunday Times, 08.08.99 (page 6) and The Sunday Times, 10.09.00. Both by Liam Clarke.
Example: “Code-named Steak Knife, this agent gained huge notoriety…” – The Sunday Tribune, 23.06.02. By Harry McGee.
Example: “According to ‘Ingram’, FRU used the UDA intelligence chief to save the life of a highly placed IRA agent, codenamed Steaknife…” – The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 25.06.02. By Ed Moloney. Online.
Example: “Scappaticci was given the codeword Steak Knife after his recruitment into the FRU. He was also referred to as Stakeknife and Stake Knife. The spelling would vary depending on the handlers.” – Stakeknife, the book (P. 16). By Martin Ingram and Greg Harkin (2004).
Example: “During my time in the FRU [Scappaticci] was referred to as Stake, Stakeknife, Steak or Steak Knife and sometimes Alfredo – Italian for Freddie. By the time he was outed, Stakeknife had become the norm.” – Stakeknife, the book. Page 62. By Martin Ingram and Greg Harkin (2004).
Note: Like other parts of the tale, contradictions borne of a slopcart order of story telling to do with the codename in 1999, were tidied up by the time the book was published in 2004 when Mr. Scappaticci’s alleged codename became Stakeknife.
If agent Stakeknife existed, his codename and code number would surely have been fixed on file and known, as were other agent code numbers. A quick mind check fails to resurrect another army agent codename: code numbers yes. But none for Stakeknife, it seems.
(Infliction was an MI5 agent.)
[Update: The Ulster Tales by John Wilsey, published in 2011, introduces an army agent codenamed Kerbstone.]
Ingram’s claimed access to supposedly super sensitive files outside his remit and need to know, is another issue.
This topped up by the fact that he was never
stationed at Thiepval barracks, the management unit for Brian Nelson and other
A little difficulty put right by creative writing.
The above illogicality is nothing when juxtaposed with the claimed Francisco Notorantonio inclusion, who, we are apprised was murdered in lieu of Mr Scappaticci. Martin Ingram said he was objectively engaged on these issues before and after the Notorantonio murder with the alleged handlers of Nelson and Stakeknife – when his military records tell us he was based in another country and had been for years prior to the events in which he entwined himself in Northern Ireland.
Short of bi-location, Mr Ingram was lying.
Yet this extraordinary piece of dissembling was, with other lies, carried as gospel by established professional writers and media outlets. Lies easily exposed by research and analysis. As I understand it, basic tools of investigative journalism.
I am thinking of off mike questioning – checking out, that is.
Was this failure to follow through a by-product of ignorance or intellectual laziness? Or do we look further for a less generous and more insidious explanation?
A “Walk-In” – How Scappaticci is alleged to have become an army agent
Example: “Steak Knife had originally been a walk-in, for reasons never explained, he turned against his comrades and almost casually, had strolled into an army base far from his home and offered help.” – The Sunday Times, 08.08.99. P6.
Example: “Many of the best agents who worked for the Army just walked in off the street and volunteered their services. Unbelievable as it may seem, Stakeknife was an example of such an agent….” – Stakeknife, the book. Page 39. (2004)
Example: “From the moment I became aware of Stakeknife’s identity I wondered what had prompted an individual like this to turn traitor and inform on his friends and comrades. A few years after I became aware of Stakeknife’s identity, Andy [alleged handler of Mr Scappaticci] informed me that Scappaticci had been a ‘walk-in’ - that is, he voluntarily walked into an Army base and offered to report information on individuals who had crossed paths with him. Andy told me that either an individual or a group associated with the IRA had given Scappaticci a beating. This beating to a proud man had been a Rubicon that prompted him to turn traitor.” Stakeknife, the book. Page 66. (2004)
Example: Another newspaper reported that Stakeknife became an informer because of a punishment beating for which “he was determined to get even.” – The Irish People, 11.05.03. Page 4. By Greg Harkin.
Example: “Stakeknife’s long and bloody career, a double agent for the British began a quarter of a century ago in 1978. As a young and low-ranking volunteer, Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Scappaticci had fallen out with one of Belfast’s top Provisionals. He had received a brutal beating from the IRA man and wanted revenge. In British military intelligence speak he became a ‘walk-in’”. Sunday Tribune, 11.05.03. Page 10. By “Tribune Reporters”.
Note: It was also alleged that UDA intelligence officer Brian Nelson, had been a “walk-in”, volunteering his services to Army intelligence at a base far removed from his home, following a battering from a senior loyalist paramilitary. Duff gen given by intelligence sources to another unquestioning wielder of the pen.
The old ones are the best, they say.
Personal Names: Freddy, Alfredo, Frederick, Freddie, Fred
Example: “During my time in the FRU [Scappaticci] was referred to as Stake, Stakeknife, Steak or Steak Knife and sometimes as Alfredo – Italian for Freddie…” – Stakeknife, the book. Page 62. By Martin Ingram and Greg Harkin (2004).
Example: “Once the name Alfredo Scappaticci was in the public domain, newspapers were able to print it [MoDs gagging order no longer having force].” – The Irish People, Sunday 11.05.03. Page 4. By Greg Harkin.
Example: “Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Scappaticci was in charge of the…” – The Irish People, Sunday 11.05.03. Page 4. By Greg Harkin.
Note: The Freddy name was widely used in newspaper reports on 11 May 2003. The Irish People editorial of that day used the names “Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Scappaticci”. It would seem, at that time, they believed them to be Scappaticci’s correct fore names.
Repeated reporting of this and other detail is possibly indicative of the media receiving advance press briefs from security sources. In the wake of the 11 May 2003 disclosure, it would transpire that Scappaticci’s forename was correctly Freddie.
The man who penned the many Irish People Stakeknife stories on, before and after Sunday 11 May 2003, was Greg Harkin.
He co-wrote with Martin Ingram the Stakeknife book (published 2004). By then they and FRU had Scappaticci’s real handle.
It is worth noting the major broadsheet newspapers at the time used the Alfredo name for Scappaticci. If the Stakeknife story was honestly based on FRU files, given that the man is alleged to have volunteered all he knew on the republican movement directly to army intelligence, he would surely have given his correct name and its spelling when identifying himself?
Additionally, the files would have contained independent verification of that detail and provided a code number. The above appears to suggests otherwise.
Maybe the answer for why FRU had no agent code number for Stakeknife, and why FRU didn’t know Scappaticci’s given name was other than they believed it to be, was because Mr Scappaticci as agent Stakeknife was not on their books?
Claimed payments to Freddie Scappaticci – the alleged “jewel in the crown” of British spies in the IRA
Example: “His £50,000 annual retainer and lavish bonuses lie gathering interest in a building society account in a false name.” – The Sunday Times, 08.08.99. Page 6. By Liam Clarke.
Example: “[Stakeknife] as an agent for British intelligence, he provided top-grade intelligence on both IRA military operations and political manoeuvrings by Sinn Fein in return for huge payments into an offshore bank account.” – The Sunday Tribune, 04.05.03. Page 13. By Neil Mackay.
Example: “[Scappaticci] was handled by the army’s shadowy Force Research Unit and up to £80,000 a year paid into a special bank account for him in Gibraltar.” – The Irish Times, Monday 12.05.03. Page 9. By Suzanne Breen.
Example: “It raises serious questions about the extent to which some people were prepared to go to protect a suspected serial killer, whom the government was paying £80,000 a year into a secret bank account in Gibraltar.” The Guardian, Monday 12 May, 2003. Page 1. By Rosie Cowan and Nick Hopkins.
Example: In 1986 Mr Scappaticci is said to have spent a long weekend at Chequers, the country residence of British prime ministers’, a guest of Mrs Thatcher. “In a private fireside chat with Mrs Thatcher” she offered Scappaticci a tax-free sum of £75,000 in annual payment for his services to the British Government, “backdated to when he began working for the Force Research Unit.” – Pages 86-88, Dead Men Talking, by Nicholas Davies (2004) – an award winning “investigative” journalist.
Hands in the air – it’s true (the quote, that is).
Note: In the August 1999 Sunday Times report, the opening shot in the Stakeknife story, we read that Freddie Scappaticci’s alleged millions lay in a building society account. By assumption in the UK. Possible to check out? Better shift the account offshore. And so it was. By the time we reach the big bang bullshit disclosure of 11 May 2003, the resting place for Freddie’s alleged fortune had become a Gibraltar offshore account. Difficult to check out.
Earlier in this presentation there was concentration on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, part of which had to do with an agent codenamed Infliction. He supplied premium grade intelligence from the upper reaches of the PIRA tree. No equivocation.
How much did MI5 pay him?
“[S]omewhere between £15,000 and £25,000 a year. That included some bonus payments when he had worked particularly hard to get information about a difficult area or his information over a period had been extremely good.” Transcript, Day 326, Page 85, Wednesday 7 May 2003, Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
That loosely equates to about twenty five per cent of the alleged annual “take home” salary of alleged agent Stakeknife.
Further asked by tribunal counsel, “Were the sums paid to Infliction roughly in the same bracket of payments as those paid to other agents?” MI5 Officer A replied: “I would say that Infliction’s payments were at the top end of the agent scale.” Transcript, Day 326, Page 86, Wednesday 7 May 2003, Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
With all else gone before, doesn’t that put another nail in the Stakeknife story coffin and expose it for the fabrication it is?
Returning to the moving of Scappaticci’s supposed building society account to a Gibraltar offshore account. Gibraltar had connotations for the IRA, where three volunteers were shot dead by the SAS in March 1988. Weaving those deaths into the Stakeknife story seemed inevitable. It would be wrongly claimed that this and other IRA operations were informed on by Mr Scappaticci. In the news storm that followed the Stakeknife disclosure, reasoned questions went unheard in the hurricane.
Allegations gained credence by being widely published. And there being no system of redress, there is no correction – not politically or through the court system.
While those falsely accused howl into the wind the cowards who create the storm hide in the privileged bunkers of state and behind a corrupt media.
Another point. Would you, if guilty as accused and chasing seventy years of age, with over ST£3m in the bank, not go out and spend it instead of wasting years pursuing your innocence through courts of law and a tribunal? While the pursuit of justice in matters of secret state is a universally cold and barren travail - especially in western democracies, the Smithwick Tribunal may uniquely allow as an inadvertent side bar to its remit - viz the Stakeknife accusation, a ray of light to be shone on some of the depredations of shadow state. In this respect, for the very first time, a measure of justice may be seen to be done in the arcane world of state privileged murder. Yes, the Irish state, through the aberrant practices of agencies of state, independently and in fraternal cooperation, is responsible for murder and attempts at murder.
For most people it will come as a surprise to learn that it is not only banana republics who allow agents and agencies of state to be culpably involved in the deaths of its own and other citizens and not be held to account.
Martin Ingram is English – But from where in England?
EXAMPLE: “Ingram never planned to enter this hall of mirrors. An army barmy teenager from the Midlands of England…” – The Sunday Times, 08.08.99. Page 6. By Liam Clarke.
EXAMPLE: “Having had a normal, North of England upbringing…” – Stakeknife, the book. Page 21. By Martin Ingram and Greg Harkin (2004).
EXAMPLE: “The soldier, a chirpy, friendly native of Manchester who used the pseudonym ‘Martin Ingram’…” – A Secret History of the IRA. Page 576. By Ed Moloney. (2007 paperback edition.)
Note: We read in 1999 that Ingram is from the “Midlands of England.” When the Stakeknife book is published (2004) he is from the “North of England”, but is not specific as to where. However, Mr. Moloney places him in Manchester, north-west England.
Is this true or another misdirection?
Having listened to several “Martin Ingram” radio broadcasts, though his voice was claimed to be distorted, at least in the initial transmission, for safety reasons to preclude identification, the intellectual performance and accent of the speaker(s) appeared varied. In my judgement, whether or no there was deliberate distortion of voice, whether or no different people took part in the interviews using the Ingram name, a common feature was a Yorkshire accent. That is as I would have it, correctly or otherwise.
A report claims Ingram is a Leeds United supporter. When given a compassionate posting from Northern Ireland to England in late 1984, he did security section duties “close to my hometown”. Another report said this was York. A Yorkshire Lad then?
Previous: Martin Ingram - Q’s