Call for US bar on ‘international terrorist’ Thatcher
Call for US bar on ‘international terrorist’ Thatcher

Irish-American activists are watching the case of Mark Thatcher who faces legal problems similar to those which led to the recent deportation of Irish republican Ciaran Ferry.

Thatcher, son of notorious former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, has recently admitted to being an unwitting participant in a plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

“Irish-Americans feel that if there is to be a fair and balanced policy, Mark Thatcher should not be allowed to enter the U.S.,” Father Sean McManus of the Washington, D.C.-based Irish National Caucus said.

According to British newspaper reports, Thatcher’s U.S. visa was found to have expired. Reports indicate that Thatcher is now to secure a renewal. This could take some weeks and the fact that Thatcher now carries a criminal conviction could prevent the visa renewal.

The INC’s McManus said that the Equatorial Guinea coup attempt comes under the heading of international terrorism.

“If Irish persons have been banned from entering the U.S. for far lesser reasons, then surely this would-be mercenary should be banned too,” he said. “If you harbor a terrorist you are a terrorist is the Bush doctrine. President Bush should apply it to Thatcher and bar him entry to the U.S.”

McManus accused the president of already applying a double standard by funding former British army officer Tim Spicer with a $293 million private security contract in Iraq.”

“He must not now compound his error by giving safe harbor to Thatcher, a buddy of Spicer,” McManus said.

“Both Thatcher and Spicer belonged to a gang of English white guys out to plunder Africa, white man’s burden and all that,” McManus said.

Spicer, he said, was now “plundering the American taxpayer to the tune of $293 million.”

In Derry, the Pat Finucane Center human rights group said the Thatcher plea raised questions “about the mercenary network linked to Tim Spicer, former Scots Guards officer in Belfast and friend of the Pentagon”.

Andy Somers, national president of the Irish American Unity Conference, said that his organisation would be looking for equality of treatment for Ciaran Ferry should Mark Thatcher be allowed enter the U.S.

While Thatcher’s family is in Dallas, Ferry’s wife, Heaven, and the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Fiona, are in Colorado.

A former IRA member, Ferry was deported from the U.S. just before Christmas after spending two years in a Denver prison.

“We could put Mark Thatcher in a Denver jail for a couple of years while we sort things out,” Somers said. “Plotting to overthrow the government of a country is a very violent crime. We feel very strongly about this.”

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