By Bill Delaney
The Hutton fiasco shows the need, more than ever, for a full international inquiry into collusion and the nest of vipers that calls itself ``British intelligence''.
It surely was an eye-opener for Republicans - the image of Lord Hutton, behaving as a hired toff, delivering an utterly one-sided and arrogant verdict on behalf of the British establishment. He reminded us all that one hand still washes the other.
Because even if you accept his thesis that Blair's spin-doctors didn't invent the bogus claims in the notorious `dodgy dossier', the blame for those inventions still remains in the same community.
This point is in danger of getting lost. It doesn't matter which securocrat's office the falsehoods originated from.
Whether it mas in Number 10, MI5, MI6, or some other link of the chain, that chain remains unbroken and unquestioned - stronger today than ever.
Republicans know well the difficulties in distinguishing between British military and political decisions. In the grey area of `military intelligence', the rule is that blame is pushed down the chain of command until it disappears from sight. Soldiers go from being cannon-fodder to scape-goats. But if the `dirty work' works, the conquering chiefs -- including the PM -- are hailed.
Papers from 1972 and 1973 have shown us that the British political masters were made politely aware of the consequences of planned acts of war, including the shooting of unarmed civilians, in the North of Ireland. Approval is unspoken. No written record is kept. What must be done is done.
Did the instructions quietly come down to the spooks to trawl around for propoganda to support the war on Iraq?
After a whistle-blower expressed his concern, one ordinary journalist, on a bleary-eyed morning news report, raised the warning.
No documented evidence was found, and Lord Hutton did his job. Now Dr Kelly is dead, the BBC is in turmoil.
Did the instructions quietly come down to the paras to `get some kills' on Bloody Sunday? Lord Saville will pass judgement on that, but don't hold your breath.
And what must the family of Pat Finucane now think, as the lauded Hutton Inquiry is now overwhelmingly viewed as a whitewash? What must they think, as the Cory report calling for a public inquiry on collusion remains unpublished?
Perhaps they will recall the British Home Secretary Douglas Hogg's public complaint about certain lawyers in the North of Ireland. Perhaps they will recall that a British agent soon ordered their husband and father to be killed.
Perhaps they will also realise that the conspiracy between Britain's spooks and spin-doctors remains, and remains unspoken. This is the truth: they cannot tolerate the truth.