DisInfoWars with Tom Secker- The Troubles

The War on Terror in Ireland lasted 30 years and killed thousands. In many ways it was the operational prototype for the modern War on Terror, and can be considered part of Operation Gladio. In this episode I explore The Troubles, beginning with the background of the struggle for Irish independence going back over a century. I outline how the struggle has always gone through its peaceful, political phases and its revolutionary violent phases. In every violent phase the British deep state has responded by enhancing the power of the security services.

I pick up the story in some detail in the 1970s, when the British Military Reconnaissance Force (MRF), an intelligence unit, recruited, trained, equipped and radicalized Loyalist paramilitaries to fight against the Republicans. Meanwhile, everyone and his son was infiltrating the Irish Republican Army (IRA), who were being quite openly funded by Irish Americans. I look at the techniques of the 'own goal', a type of disguised bombing, and the 'OOB' or 'Out of Bounds' broadcast, a means for protecting black operations. I round off by briefly explaining the case of Patrick Finucane, a human rights lawyer murdered in collusion with the British state.

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  1. candideschmyles says:

    Interesting indeed. Even back in the 1970s, perhaps because I loved Stiff Little Fingers, I was aware how difficult it was to know who was responsible for what. The tactical approach and method of engagement was identical on both sides. And it makes more than a little sense that there only ever was one side in reality.

  2. Thanks Tom, this was a really excellent episode. There was a lot of information which was new to me and I feel like I have a far better understanding of what “The Troubles” were all about.

    Again this is just another example of how terrorism is a form of structural violence perpetuated by the deep state for reasons murky enough that a revenge based form of “justice” becomes the overriding law of the land. The job of the intelligence agencies is to combat circumstances other intelligence agencies are responsible for creating or sustaining. “Hold on we don’t want to intervene, otherwise we won’t be able to charge him with murder and rape. I can’t wait to throw this animal behind bars.”

    Nevermind the security and well being of the general population, it’s about scoring points. In cases like the Whitey Bulger FBI drama, agents participated in perpetuating crime and cooperating with one set of murderers, so that they could gain prestige for their own career as the tuff guys responsible for bringing down another set of criminals and murderers. I’m sure those involved in actions like these have justified their role in these scenarios as some form of “necessary” evil to prevent greater evil. Still, if you participate in crime or terrorism to fight crime or terrorism on what grounds do you justify your actions as being any different from that of a criminal or a terrorist?

    • I guess the only justification is in the ‘do a little wrong to be able to do a big right’ logic, which may work for news broadcasters but I don’t buy it when it comes to this sort of thing. Far, far too many of the people killed were innocent, just walking down the road or having an evening drink in a pub. There’s no excuse for that.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the episode. I was quite happy with it myself, and maybe I’ll revisit the anarchists because it is largely the same story with them too.

      • 344thBrother says:

        Nothing new here, but in a nutshell.

        Not including war zones, almost EVERY “Terrorist attack and plot” is done by the people who “Prevent it” or were attacked and profit from it.

        It would be interesting to see a list of REAL terrorist attacks. I expect that’d be a short list. Even in places like Ireland which is/was essentially a war zone.

        War zones are a somewhat different issue, but still, there was the Mosque attack in Iraq… as an example. I’m guessing in war zones, there’s a much bigger presence of “Blow up now, pay later” mercenaries and “Special forces”, so although it’s harder to pin down in the chaos of war, I’m pretty sure a LOT of the so called “Terrorism” and “Suicide bombings” in them as well.

        Keep up the good work TomS and sorry for flooding.

  3. Matthew Hewitt says:

    Excellent piece, Tom. I think what’s also interesting is the extent to which these law enforcement and counter-terrorism practices in Ulster fed into and influenced (or maybe just reflected…) those on the mainland at the time. Not only have you got MI5 infiltrating and subverting both the Miners Union and the Anti-Nuclear Movement in the 1970’s and 80’s (Stella Rimmington being heavily involved in the former) but in the case of Judith Ward, the Officers responsible for her conviction not only went on to wrongly convict the mentally incompetent (and physically incapable) Stefan Kiszko for the murder of Lesley Molseed but to head the utterly disastrous Yorkshire Ripper investigation (which did nothing if not shine a harsh light on the social-economic realities and attendant gender and class issues of post-industrial Britain).

    Put into this context ‘The Troubles’ (some epithet, that) have less to do with colonialism or religion than simply yet another facet of the divide-and-conquer policies of our ruling elite, whereby we’re all ideal cannon-fodder or liable for wrongful imprisonment simply by virtue of not having gone to the right school.

  4. candideschmyles says:

    I have spent the afternoon having a thorough look at the actions on all sides that resulted in fatalities from 1971-79 inclusive. Of course PIRA take the lions share and proved themselves very effective at assymetric warfare. In this simple analysis of victims it is extremely difficult for me to see any evidence that PIRA did anything but target the quasi-legitimate targets of the British state and Loyalist factions. Considering the number of incidents the number of civilian casualties is remarkably low. The evolving target strategy appeared to be logical and consistent and on that data I find it extremely difficult to fit in or otherwise discern any gladio influence up to December 1980. However I do note that through 1979 several attempts by special forces to infiltrate PIRA ranks resulted in death so there is ample evidence by such efforts that (1) such a plan was in place and (2) more tenuously, that they had not yet succeeded.
    Time to start 1980 on and see if I can spot when things got gladio all over.

  5. contextofnocontext says:

    much appreciated, Tom. thanks for the episode!
    continuing along this line, w/ Brian Nelson and Freddie Scappaticci both being in the pocket of British intel, there’s the longstanding argument of the PIRA people that being classified as a criminal gang as opposed to a political organization allowed the British establishment to deny them any sort of legitimacy (you could have a field day with “the Troubles” in film). Obviously, being able to steer both sides of the conflict helped immensely in controlling that narrative. Along with Pat Finucane, Francisco Notarantonio’s name often comes up as an old man sacrificed by the FRU in order to further legitimize Nelson and to protect Stakeknife’s identity. Along the lines of Germany and Italy, whose RAF and Red Brigade started out with an actual political agenda, this sort of Gladio proxy strategy worked perfectly to dilute the understanding of and support for anti-Nato/anti-colonialist/leftist actions. Along those lines, do you have any thoughts on the former FRU agent Ian Hurst (pen-name Martin Ingram) and his allegations about Gerry Adams. Was very interesting that he got wrapped up in the whole Rupert Murdoch/News of the World situation when former FRU colleagues were caught clearly working corporate espionage in their retirement.
    It’s a murky world, thanks for adding your thoughts.

    • contextofnocontext,

      No specific thoughts as such, save to say I think Ingram is probably authentic and that my gut feeling is that what he’s saying is true.

      • contextofnocontext says:

        Agreed. Saw that he’s been labeled ‘black propaganda’ by the faithful, and who know, could always be a limited hangout but his take certainly has a ring of truth to it. Related to the IRA/Troubles in film, aside from a brief mention in the opening of Season 2 of Utopia (heavy w/Gladio references) about a Minister’s murder carried out by MI6 but blamed on the Provos, to your memory is there any other film/tv treatment that even brings this kind of thing up?

        • contextofnocontext,

          Absolutely, you should check out Spooks, known as MI-5 in the US. It is the major post 9/11 security service-assisted show in this country, spawning two spin offs aimed at adolescents and children. Basically, every major conspiracy theory and state controversy in this country is covered in that show – the BNP, the IRA, Princess Diana, along with a ton of stuff predicting both 7/7 and the Woolwich murder. I have a bit of an obsession with that show.

          The comedy film The Guard touches on this, but not really, but it’s a very funny film anyway. There are strong elements of this in the original British House of Cards, which is one of the best and most terrifying pieces of TV ever made. Indeed, if you want to see psychopaths in charge and Gladio unfolding before your eyes, House of Cards is about as good as it gets. Followed by spooks. 🙂

  6. Very informative, Tom. Thanks.

  7. Olivier says:

    Hey Tom, this was really good. I’d be willing to pay, say $10 to liberate this episode from the paywall around it so I can easily share it with friends that are not necessarily boilingfrogspost members. Maybe that would be a novel funding scheme:

    1. You guys/gals think of some total amount for a media file that you want members to pledge in order for you to make it publicly accessible (thus sharable).
    2. If the limit is not reached nothing happens.
    3. If it is, you collect the money, the episode becomes public.

    As a bonus it would attract potential new members. (I typically don’t feel inclined to share previews, knowing that I would find it annoying myself to be sent such a thing and then realize I’m supposed to not only pay with time but also with money to actually hear it).

    • 344thBrother says:

      That’s a GREAT Idea, I think. I’d be willing to contribute to the freeing of the episode on military propaganda in media. @Sibel and co. Funding mechanism and subscription increase possibility? Even as an experiment on a few episodes it might be worthwhile.


    • Olivier says:

      I realize the practical implications are not trivial. It’s not like you’re going to be able to just download a FundPerEpisode module from wordpress.com, and programming it yourself is going to require effort and care.

      Maybe pressing one of those common like-button somewhere could be a proxy for a pledge of some fixed amount. You’d need a like-button that keeps-track of who pressed it, I don’t know if those buttons do that for you.

    • Olivier says:

      Or what you can maybe do is plug in one of those wordpress e-commerce packages: Then for every ‘fundable’ publication, you create a “Pledge Product” in your shop that is for sale for free. People can order those pledge products, they don’t pay anything because they’re free. That at least gives you a pledge administration with all your users already integrated, without having to program any php. The “Inventory” for those pledge products could possibly be used to show to everybody how many pledges have been made.

      Once a certain Pledge Product receives X orders, you notify those users that they should pay actual money. They could possibly do that by buying the actual Liberation Product for that episode, which costs real money. Once the pledged amount is received, the episode goes public.

      • Olivier,
        Not to rain on your parade or anything, but my feeling is that the format here is a good one. Ultimately it’s up to Sibel as far as whether this is an idea that she’d be interested in as the editor, but I think there’s something to be said for being a member, paying regularly, and donating what you can during the quarterly funding drives. I think promoting specific shows in the manner you’ve suggested could have the downside of commodifying the content in a way which could detract from the idea that each episode is, in some shape or form, part of a continuum. I think it could potentially put a kind of pressure on the contributors to put an emphasis on the ‘marketability’ of each podcast on a subconscious level.

        Not to suggest something which may be outside of the spirit of membership here, but maybe if there’s a particular podcast, such as this one which you feel really strong about, share it with a few people. Tell them if they want to share it with others that you do so on the condition that they not post it somewhere to the web, but actually send a copy of it. There’s a lot of great content here and I think sharing a podcast or two here and there in this fashion could be a useful way to expand the subscriber base.

        Obviously this is just my opinion and perhaps there’s something old fashioned about it, but I think that looking at BFP as package or as an e-commerce product would cheapen the content and what the website is about more than it would enhance it. Being a member is showing that you support the idea of a user supported platform and that you’re willing to support that as a whole. Yes, we want more members, but I think there ought to be ways to go about doing it without trying to repackage it to make it more accessible.

        I’m not criticizing the spirit of your suggestion. These are just my thought on the matter.

        • Yes, the pressure you mentioned occurred to me too. Maybe here’s a variant on the concept:
          After the regular funding drive, we all get to vote which X episodes get to be freed up. It still creates a pressure, but there’s less of a “latest = greatest” effect.

          Or still another variant: We vote for a certain month of the whole site to be freed up. Then the producers don’t have to be stressing to get high/low on some kind of score list. Rather than “Pledge Product for Episode X”, you could have “Pledge product for Month X” etc.

          In the end the goal would be to have an easier way to share content than to put 50MB files in people’s mailboxes, risk that it gets published / archived somewhere without Sibel’s consent etc, while still retaining the incentive to become a member (from the remaining paywall).

          This of course is all conditional on the willingness of the producers in principle to make specific episodes public.

  8. ed nelson says:

    Hi Sibel and the clan… I sort of forgot what I wanted to say… I had a time getting logged in… Hey I’m only 69 yers old… believe me It dosen’t get better, as far as the memory and etc….

    Well my thouought is this: I believe we all are able to access some kind of imorttal trans/timedeal… I mean that is the goood news/bad news!

    Thiink about it… or not… Sibel….we ar in some kiind of vortex… well read Steven Hawkikngs book… about what he describs…. etc….

  9. Gary Binmore says:

    Excellent episode, Tom.
    I hardly know anything about N Ireland terrorism so this episode serves as a useful non-MSM primer.

    Not long after N Ireland and Gladio operations were ramped up in the late 60s, Condor began in S America and again you see the same tactics you highlighted, culminating in the purported “own goal” of the Letelier assassination in D.C. – the “martyr version” of the own goal – the enemy (leftists) killed him to make TPTB (Pinochet and co) look bad. When that theory fell apart it was passed off as a rogue op and the charged offender whisked into witness protection after 5 years.

    The manual for terrorism/counterterrorism isn’t very big yet hardly anyone seems to know much about it.

  10. candideschmyles says:

    Unfortunately I was attacked by a gang of Ned’s the other day and had my glasses broken so its a real hassle reading and writing at the moment.
    As I stated above based on an analysis of victims PIRA cannot be credibly considered to fit a gladio operation throughout the first decade of “the troubles” , 69-79. It was not until Thatcher was ensconced in Downing Street that infiltration began and PIRA must have had an awareness of that effort. This distinction has to be made and should aid in understanding and revealing those not yet named that were key to usurping the leadership of PIRA. Is it conceivable that Jerry Adams and Martin McGuiness are double agents too? It seems a logical conclusion to draw.

    • candideschmyles,

      I don’t think one can determine whether something is a Gladio-type operation simply by looking at victim statistics. The argument I made in the show has nothing to do with that.

      • candideschmyles says:

        Imaybe you are right. I will let you know what I think once I have completed the analysis of all victims. But already I think there is change after Lord Mountbatten was killed.

      • candideschmyles says:

        Well by no means comprehensive my reimerssion into anglo-irish history does add to extensive reading I did on the subject some 20 years or more ago. This time looking for evidence of Gladio in the methods employed since 1969 I have to seriously doubt that this was indeed a Gladio operation from the outset, if ever.

        While infiltration and turning is part of the acknowledged record the actual initiation of hostilities it seems to me were more the result of bad judgement and arrogance/complacency on the part of successive UK governments than any deliberate plan of destabilisation. Specifically the policy of Internment without trial and the widely used torture techniques of the RUC fomented indignation and outrage in an increasingly marginalised Catholic minority that had however strong links to the New York Irish Mafia. It was they who funded and procured the arming of PIRA.
        As I had previously pondered a statistical analysis of Republican actions from 1969 up to the killing of Mountbatten shows that PIRA almost without exception successfully targeted only British and RUC ‘combatants’ and those from their own communities that were deemed to have been informants. It is not until after the killing of Mountbatten that a concerted effort was made to infiltrate PIRA ranks and that indiscriminate bombings and murders of the general public started to be used as a tactic to erode the near universal support and admiration PIRA had built both within its own communities and in Irish nationalist culture in the Republic and the US. So based on this I have to conclude you are mistaken and that “The Troubles” were a genuine popular revolt against colonial imperialism and not a Gladio operation. All the arguments to support your analysis cover only the period post 1982 by which time it was very much reactive action and not a predetermined plan. So until there is strong evidence that there was deep state involvement from the outset I have to, with respect, conclude you are mistaken that the troubles were a Gladio operation.

  11. Interesting podcast. So, “the Troubles” were fomented by the british “Security” Services.
    Some questions remain:
    – Was “Bloody Sunday” (1972)
    also an action done by the one or the other british security service ? Was it meant to stir up the situation ? to foment more “unrest” ?
    – Why are security services (in this the british one(s)) making things worse ? Were the british “security” services afraid that they would lose their budgets ? Are they that narrow minded ?

    • candideschmyles says:

      My childhood home was in an area of Edinburgh called Colinton Mains which sits between two army barracks, Redford and Dreghorn. For some time during the 1970’s 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, those responsible for Bloody Sunday, were stationed there on rotational deployment with the Scots Guards in Northern Ireland. Given their behaviour in Edinburgh was out of control, they ran down and killed two local youths without any prosecution ensuing, and the findings of several writers on the subject and both the Widgery and Saville enquiry all conclude with the same notion that this was a unit out of control. Having lived in the same area in which they did during my childhood this seems perfectly plausible to me.
      The commanding officer of 1st Para at the time, Major Ted Loden, has been blamed by some for fostering a rogue attitude in the battalion however my personal belief is that they were scared and trigger happy due to the 30+ kills in the Derry area that PIRA had inflicted on British soldiers in the preceding few months. I don’t buy that Bloody Sunday was a premeditated effort to increase tension even if that is what it’s effect was.

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