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BS: Stakeknife - Is He?

GUEST,Sinn 19 May 03 - 11:33 PM
Cluin 19 May 03 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Sorch 19 May 03 - 11:47 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 19 May 03 - 11:50 PM
The Pooka 20 May 03 - 01:40 AM
Wolfgang 20 May 03 - 03:20 AM
Wolfgang 20 May 03 - 04:42 AM
greg stephens 20 May 03 - 08:23 AM
ard mhacha 20 May 03 - 09:58 AM
Wolfgang 20 May 03 - 10:09 AM
GUEST 20 May 03 - 10:17 AM
greg stephens 20 May 03 - 10:23 AM
The Pooka 20 May 03 - 05:27 PM
diesel 20 May 03 - 11:56 PM
ard mhacha 21 May 03 - 08:35 AM
Wolfgang 21 May 03 - 10:04 AM
ard mhacha 21 May 03 - 12:55 PM
The Pooka 21 May 03 - 01:27 PM
The Pooka 22 May 03 - 08:39 AM
ard mhacha 23 May 03 - 05:10 AM
greg stephens 23 May 03 - 05:17 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 03 - 10:01 PM
Hillheader 24 May 03 - 05:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 03 - 07:31 AM
Hillheader 24 May 03 - 07:40 AM
The Pooka 24 May 03 - 10:47 AM
ard mhacha 24 May 03 - 12:27 PM
Hillheader 24 May 03 - 04:21 PM
greg stephens 24 May 03 - 06:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 03 - 07:32 PM
greg stephens 25 May 03 - 07:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 May 03 - 05:20 PM
greg stephens 25 May 03 - 06:33 PM
ard mhacha 26 May 03 - 05:53 AM
ard mhacha 26 May 03 - 05:56 AM
Wolfgang 26 May 03 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 May 03 - 02:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 May 03 - 02:33 PM
ard mhacha 28 May 03 - 05:56 AM
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Subject: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: GUEST,Sinn
Date: 19 May 03 - 11:33 PM

There is so much non-essential B.S. it is time for something of substance.



Stakeknife - Is He?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Cluin
Date: 19 May 03 - 11:40 PM

Oranges do and so do artichokes, but saucepan is still a saucepan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: GUEST,Sorch
Date: 19 May 03 - 11:47 PM

Is he Dr. Who? Whatever are you asking about?? (Yank here....over to Yookers)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 19 May 03 - 11:50 PM

It is an Irish thread - Sorcha - you wouldn't understand since you lost your cookies.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I believe both his family and the IRA - he is still safe - and Mr. S. is not him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: The Pooka
Date: 20 May 03 - 01:40 AM

But this here Yank, by contrast, believes he is it. However, the real Signor S. is in an SAS safe house in Palermo. Dorset was a ruse. ("If history teaches us anything, it's that you can kill anybody." - Mario Puzo's character Michael Corleone as portrayed by Al Pacino) / On the other hand, your man the retiree with his fearless press conference in West Belfast the other day was a Provie body double. (So to speak.) Face-saving, y'know. It's a high-steaks game, here.

OKOK, enough with the Bologna already. Somebody who knows what he's talking about, please enlighten us as to what the Hell is really going on. E.g., was the British Army really running the IRA in Belfast in the 1980's?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:20 AM

IRA man Freddie Scappaticci is the top army spy known as Stakeknife and the Stevens inquiry team has been aware of hisidentity for at least three years, the former agent handler, Martin Ingram, insisted yesterday.

Read the Guardian about it and for more search the Guardian using stakeknife or Scappaticci as a search term.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 May 03 - 04:42 AM

Had I written a novel about a British top spy in the IRA, I had not even dreamt about using the name Alfredo Scappaticci for the spy. And I had also not dreamt to make him head of the IRA's internal security unit (nicknamed "nutting squad" from their method of killing) responsible for questioning, torturing and killing other informers (imagined or real). Top Britsh spy killing British spies of lesser importance in order not to be found out. Some tough questions for the British remain unanswered so far.

It is interesting to read Sinn Fein's statements about Scappaticci. First, it took them much longer than usual to issue a statement. Second, their statement is very, very short in comparison to their usual statments about issue of such an importance for republicans. They mainly repeat his own statement denying everything. I'd say from their statement, they believe the allegation to be probably true.

Interesting is also the lack of a statement of G. Adams so far what he believes about his long-time bodyguard to be true.

Interesting is the motive that has been reported: revenge. Scappaticci is said to have walked into a police station more or less immediately after a punishment beating by the IRA. The Irish don't seem to have the same prejudices about people from Italian descent we have in Germany: If you beat an Italian you have to be careful for the rest of your life for he never will forget or forgive.

My personal guess: He was on the British payroll, may even have been the one called stakeknife ('steak knife' in other documents), but the top British informer in the IRA is still not known. Scappaticci is sacrificed to protect an informer higher up. Even if Scappaticci isn't stakeknife and is innocent (of informing) leaking his name to the press now can be seen as protecting someone else.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 May 03 - 08:23 AM

The strange scenarios we are reading about here are strikingly similar to the period around 1921/22: the history of some of it is very murky, but it seems that Michael Collins not only was commanding the Free State troops but also running a couple of units on the other (Republican) side in the north. there were,apparently, actual engagements when two lots of troops under his orders were fighting each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 20 May 03 - 09:58 AM

How did the PIRA carry on with their fight against the Brits for years, if the Brits ace spy was supplying them with all of this top grade information?.
Answers please. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 May 03 - 10:09 AM

Good question. My response: The reorganisation of the PIRA into a more cell-like structure with less shared knowledge in...(I don't recollect the date) made their actions less susceptible to top level informers.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 03 - 10:17 AM

Weren't the ace spies the ones committing most of the atrocities - so that their cover wouldn't be blown?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 May 03 - 10:23 AM

It's a while since I read it, but I think there is book by G.K Chesterton called "The man who was Thursday": the plot revolves around the fact that every single member of the committee running some anarchist-revolutionary organisation is actually a spy operating for various government agencies. But they all think the other members are real anarchists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: The Pooka
Date: 20 May 03 - 05:27 PM

But if Scappaticci is stakeknife -- or if, for that matter, he is a British agent by any other code name, top, bottom or in between -- then why is he hanging (so to speak) out in West Belfast now that his cover's blown? It was there, on PIRA/SF/Adams turf, that he met the (selected) press last week, to proclaim innocence and refute reports that he'd fled to English safety in Dorset. If he's indeed a known mole, wouldn't the Falls & the Ardoyne be getting a bit warm for him just now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: diesel
Date: 20 May 03 - 11:56 PM

If he is - then by hanging around - he sure has balls!

My opinion is that somewhere in the background the real guy has just jumped ship or been pulled out, the scappaticci fella is being used by the forces that be as a smokescreen.

Don't listen to the media or Govt. in this case - listen for where the silence is coming from.

rgds


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 May 03 - 08:35 AM

Wolfgang, You are way out with the date , the cell structures were in operation long before Scappaticci. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 May 03 - 10:04 AM

Ard mhacha, as I said I have no idea since when the cell structures were in operation. If they were in operation before Scappaticci had a prominent position it explains why his touting had comparably little effect on local PIRA operations. That's my whole argument.

Assuming he is what unnamed (or using wrong names) informants have leaked to the press, why should he stay in Belfast? Running away is taken as admission and is not fail-safe as the Martin McGartland case has shown. Denying all allegations and declaring them as a dirty trick of the British could in this case save his life if he is believed by the PIRA.

But I wouldn't be too much surprised if the one telling the big lie turns out not to be Scappaticci

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 May 03 - 12:55 PM

Wolfgang, Around the early 1970s when the present unrest began, every other person arrested was a top IRA man, it got to the stage were the IRA really had "more chiefs than indians".
We have learned a long time ago to take everything the Brits announced as very dubious,
I am not saying that Scappaticci is not an informer, but if he, he was wise enough to stay put in Belfast, the Brit spies in " safe houses" in England have the habit of dying of "natural causes". Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: The Pooka
Date: 21 May 03 - 01:27 PM

Hm. Interesting indeed. Thanks Ard Mhacha, that's a plausible answer to the Why Belfast question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: The Pooka
Date: 22 May 03 - 08:39 AM

Well then (just to keep this one going a bit longer, i.e., a thin-veiled "refresh" :) -- what will be the effect of l'affaire Scappaticci on the gridlocked political situation in the Six Counties? And, while I'm at it, *will* there be new elections in the fall?? If so, who will make the biggest gains? SF? DUP? FNS?? (Fronte Nazionale Siciliano :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 May 03 - 05:10 AM

Sein Fein will up their vote despite the determination of the Brits "dirty tricks dept", and also Paisley`s DUP Party will gain at the Unionists expense.
There you have a perfect recipe for political disaster, it`s like looking for a pulse in a waxworks museum. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 03 - 05:17 AM

How come the spelling Stakeknife, by the way? I've seen a suggestion that this is Irish, or possibly American usage. Can anyone confirm this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 03 - 10:01 PM

Here's a link to an online version of Chesteron's Man Who Was Thursday Very well worth reading, even if you have to do it online. Greg summarises that aspect of it well.

The suggestion I've seen is that Alfredo Scappaticci was fingered by "elements within" the British Intelligence in the hope and expectation that the IRA could be induced to execute him and so be accused of breaking the peace in a public way. This would leave open whether or not he has been a British agent. In fact that wouldn't make much difference either way. There is nothing so readily disposed of as an agent who is past his sell by date.

Of course, no doubt at some time it'll turn out that British Itelligence had been infiltrated by the IRA. This thing gets murkier and murkier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Hillheader
Date: 24 May 03 - 05:43 AM

I found it difficult to believe that a man of Italian extraction could have risen so high in PIRA, until I remembered plain John Stevenson and Englishman if my memory is correct from Tyneside. He became Sean MacStebhan (forgive the spelling guys) and rose to high office in the Official IRA pre-1970.

However, there is a cynical side of me which suggests that the whole thing whiffs of MI5/6 attempts to confuse/appease. On the one hand we have the enquiry which concludes that there was collusion with the Loyalist para-militaries in the killing of nationalist. So how convenient if it now becomes known that the same guys were also turning a blind eye and assisting in the killing of loyalists!

Also Trimble continues to express concerns about the intelligent gathering activities of PIRA. But hey, don't worry Davie lad, we had a man on the inside all along and we knew what they we up to!!!

Far fetched...not in North Ireland perhaps.

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 03 - 07:31 AM

I found it difficult to believe that a man of Italian extraction could have risen so high in PIRA...

What's difficult about that? De Valera isn't exactly an Irish name, for example. Erskine Childers was English on his father's side. Irish Republicanism in its various forms has other precedents.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Hillheader
Date: 24 May 03 - 07:40 AM

McGrath

Your right of course, but I made the point simply to show that as far as Ireland and Britain are concerned everything is not what it first seems.

I just find these revelations at this time all too convenient.

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: The Pooka
Date: 24 May 03 - 10:47 AM

Fascinating (albeit spinechilling) possibilities.

Davebhoy - wasn't it something like "MacStiofainn"?

greg son of stephens - re spelling "stakeknife" - it ain't no *Amurrican* usage. :) Several of mah fella Amur'kins be axin' me why it's spelled like that too. I dunno. Maybe it's somebody's idea of a pun. Stakes though the heart, something like that?? Maybe MI5/6 just can't spell.

Ard - your political prediction confirms what I've read here in the US press. Polarization, in both directions. ("Things fall apart, the center cannot hold..." - Yeats) Maybe SF will gain on (surpass?) SDLP in part *because* of, not despite, perceptions re Brit dirty tricks?? And, I suppose Paisley (shudder) beats Trimble because the loyalist/unionist community (I'm trying to be PC here), being fed up, has reversed its always-shaky & reluctant acquiescence to the GFA itself. But, this all assumes that Blair ever gets around to *holding* the elections. I gathered that when he recently postponed them (again) he was fairly forthright about his reason, namely that he didn't like the forecast results. Does the GFA (or some other authority) establish any deadline for the voting, under these present lamentable circumstances (suspension of the Council, etc.)?? Dammit, I'm an optimist by nature but all this does not seem to bode well. Dammitall again.

Kevin McG., reassure me (again!) wouldyezpleeze. Your analysis is, as always, highly instructive. Thanks for that Chesterton link. De Valera: somewhere I got the idea that the name is Spanish. True? False?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 24 May 03 - 12:27 PM

Davebhoy, Come again!, who was assisting in the killing of loyalists?.
The loyalists did not need assistance from anyone, they killed each other on a regular basis, over drug dealings. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Hillheader
Date: 24 May 03 - 04:21 PM

Ard Mhacha

I know the current feud and that it is really a gangster turf war and not about loyalist idealism. Is was imported to Scotland recent when Johnny Adair's family fled Belfast. Their "safe house" in Bolton was fire on earlier this month so the problem there is far from over.

However, the theory being put forward is that Stakeknive had knowledge of some of the IRA hits on Loyalists. He then passed this on to his handlers who took no action to preserve his cover! All this while feeding loyalist death squads details of nationalist targets.

As I said, all this is much too convenient. I mean, how could we possibly have elections with all this mistrust???

Am I being too cynical? or just realistic?

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 May 03 - 06:27 PM

To add to the non-Irish surnames list, Patrick Pearse and Cathal Brugha are prime examples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 03 - 07:32 PM

Eammon De Valera's father was Spanish, name of Juan.

Pearse and Brugha MI "non-Irish" surnames. They are non-Gaelic (even if Brugha adopted a Gaelic spelling of Brewer), which is a different thing entirely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 May 03 - 07:31 AM

I think it's fair to say Brugha and Pearse are non-Irish, if only in the sense that de Valera is "non-Irish". I dont want to imply that you are more Irish if you have a Gaelic type name. MacGrath, it was you that commented on de Valera's Spanish father. As far as I know Patrick Pearse's father bore the good old Devonian name of Pearse for the simple reason that he was a Devon man. I'm confused now about Cathal Brugha...you mention Brewer as his original name, but I had it in mind that he was originally Charlie Burgess, and his father was English .I'll have to go and look this up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 May 03 - 05:20 PM

De Valera has a Spanish father, and he was born in the USA - which was why he wasn't shot in 1916. Which ofg course in no way meant he wasn't Itish./

And my point wasn't that De Valera wasn't Irish, it was the reverse - I was pointing out that being Irish isn't restricted to people who have Gaelic names or Gaelic ancestry. It's not about race, it's about nationality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 May 03 - 06:33 PM

I think we are agreeing, arent we McGrath? You said de Valera isnt an Irish surname, I added Pearse and Brugha(Burgess) to the same list. All Irish people, but with non-Irish (linguistically, not nationality) surnames..


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 May 03 - 05:53 AM

It never ever was a big issuse with the Irish, or for that matter any other country, if men were willing to give their services in any nations cause they were freely accepted. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 May 03 - 05:56 AM

Burgess, McClean, Blount and Philby spring to mind. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 May 03 - 08:01 AM

As so often, I found The Guardian quite convincing about this story.
In this article they make clear why they do believe Scappaticci was actually a spy and why the idea that his name is only leaked to cause disruption has not much for it.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 May 03 - 02:03 PM

To help the UK-challenged understand - this is excerpted from The Guardian, Irish Times, The Observer, and The Sydney Morning Herald.


The political and media storm whipped up by the Stakeknife affair has been so intense that it's hard to see far ahead or at all clearly. What look like people turn out to be trees and what looks like truth turns out to be lies. Some believe Stakeknife is as real as the toothfairy.

The identification of a supposed British mole, codenamed "Stakeknife", high in the ranks of the IRA makes the road to a Northern Ireland settlement even longer.

Scappaticci's dual life began in 1978, several years into his career as an IRA activist and after a stint of internment in the early '70s, during which he met and befriended Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader. But knowing Adams was no guarantee of protection.

With the British and IRA locked in virtual civil war, the republican movement kept rigid internal discipline, often handing out punishment beatings. In 1978 Scappaticci, known as Scap, suffered a severe bashing after a falling out with a senior republican. Humiliated, he immediately turned himself over as an informer to get even.

Eventually, he was reportedly being paid £80,000 ($200,000) a year to tell the British about the IRA's plans. He was well placed. By the early '80s, he had become deputy head of the IRA's feared Nutting Squad - the unit which dealt with suspected informers - and it is from here his reputation, influence and access to key IRA information came. In his book, Killing Rage, Eamon Collins, a former member of the Nutting Squad eventually murdered by the IRA, recalls talking to Scappaticci about his modus operandi.

"I asked whether they always told people that they were going to be shot. Scap said it depended on the circumstances. He turned to John Joe [his boss, John Joe Magee] and started joking about one informer who had confessed after being offered an amnesty. Scap told the man he would take him home, reassuring him he had nothing to worry about. Scap had told him to keep the blindfold on for security reasons as they walked from the car.

"'It was funny,' he [Scap] said, 'watching the bastard stumbling and falling, asking me as he felt his way along railings and walls, 'Is this my house now?' and I'd say, 'No, not yet, walk on some more ... 'and then you shot the f---er in the back of the head,' said John Joe, and both of them burst out laughing."

Estimates vary, but Scappaticci has been implicated in up to 40 murders, mostly of suspected IRA informers, during the '80s and early '90s including former FRU agents, Aidan Starrs, Greg Burns and John Dignam, and Thomas Oliver, a farmer from the Irish Republic. His murder - and Stakeknife's involvement in it - will be the subject of discussion between London and Dublin. (The Irish Government does not take too kindly to having its citizens shot by spies working for another, supposedly friendly country.

Mostly young family men with children, informers were seized by the Nutting Squad, and tortured for a confession before being shot, their bodies dumped on the border. The confessions provided useful information for the British security forces.

The exposure of Stakeknife's identity - believed to have been prompted by a compensation dispute between the British and a former soldier who infiltrated the IRA - has come at a bad time for the peace process and the IRA.

By exposing a mole so close to the centre of the IRA, and whose links to the Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, stretch back 30 years, the affair has given renewed voice to dissident republicans, such as the Real IRA, who are vehemently opposed to the 1998 Good Friday agreement, the basis for the province's now suspended power-sharing government.

One key political question for all parties in the peace process is how much the current British Government knew about Stakeknife's operations.

Reports suggest that his information was certainly passed around the cabinet table during Margaret Thatcher's and John Major's days but possibly not Tony Blair's, as by then Scappaticci was either in semi or full retirement. But this remains to be seen.

If Blair has been aware of Stakeknife's actions, it will cast a dark shadow over the bona fides of the British Government's push for peace and its key players.


Scappaticci knows the price an informer pays if unmasked - torture and death. In 1991 his name emerged during the trial of former Sinn Fein publicity director Danny Morrison. Morrison and several other men were found guilty of kidnapping IRA informer Sandy Lynch. During their trial. Lynch gave evidence about Scappaticci's warning during an interrogation.

Lynch told the court: 'He [Scappaticci] said that if I did not admit to being a tout [informer], I'd get a jab in the arse and wake up in South Armagh and he'd be able to talk to me the way he wanted, hung upside down in a cattle shed. He said that it didn't matter about me screaming because no one could hear.'

But it is the claim that the IRA's alleged chief spy-catcher was himself a spy that has proved the most shattering blow to the Provisionals' morale. One former IRA prisoner quipped last week that he kept meeting former comrades who confessed they never knew Scappattici.

Adams and the leadership have spent the past week trying to calm down their supporters, arguing that the saga is an invention of British intelligence using dirty tricks to undermine the peace process.

The affair is uncannily similar to Le Carre's 1963 Cold War tale, The Spy who Came in from the Cold, in which British intelligence send an agent to discredit and destroy an East German masterspy, Mundt. But the real aim is to sacrifice a genuine communist functionary, setting him up as the spy inside the Stasi to protect Mundt. It is Mundt - the Stasi spycatcher - who turns out to be the agent.

Many are now wondering if Scappaticci is the IRA's Mundt or the sacrificial lamb put into the glare of publicity to protect a more important agent inside the Provisionals.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 May 03 - 02:33 PM

Best to go to the original stories, it seems to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stakeknife - Is He?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 May 03 - 05:56 AM

From to-days Irish News, A Court action by Freddie Scappaticci, the Belfast man alleged to be the British Army spy Stakeknife, is likely to be heard next week.
He is applying for a judicial review of the minister`s review that he was not a British agent.

He is also seeking a declaration that the refusal to comment is in breach of the right to life and respect for private and family life, as enshrined in articles two and eight of the European Convention of Himan Rights.
His Lawyers will also submit that the minister`s refusal amounted to a failure to protect Mr Scappaticci`s life and that the Minister Jane Kennedy, failed to give adequate weight to a threat to his life that would result from a rigid adherence to government policy. Ard Mhacha.


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