The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Shadowy Forces

Eamonn McCann • Talkback, May 15, 2003

One of the recurring elements in the Steak Knife story has been speculation as to whether his unmasking has done more harm to the Provisional IRA than to British Intelligence. But another question we in the media might ponder is whether the greatest damage of all has not been done to ourselves.

Last Saturday afternoon, four newspapers were considering whether to name Freddie Scappaticci as Steak Knife---the Sunday People, the Tribune, the World and, over in Glasgow, the Sunday Herald. Two of the editors have explained publicly why they went ahead. Andrew Jaspan of the Herald says that he went into print after receiving confirmation from the Ministry of Defence that Scappaticci had been moved to safety in England. "It was quite important to us to know that he was out of harm's way," he told the Guardian.

Tribune editor Paddy Murray was, he says, "120 percent certain" Scappaticci was Steak Knife. He decided to name him once it was established that he had been, quote, "spirited out of Belfast...We were exposing a wrongdoer, but ethically it made it easier that he wasn't at risk."

This concern for the safety of a man they were about to identify as a cruel torturer and a mass murderer is strange. The same consideration didn't apply to, for example, the men Panorama purported to out last year as the Omagh bombers. It was Steak Knife's assumed connection to the security forces, then, which made the difference, which entitled him to special consideration.

But Scappaticci, it now seems, hadn't been spirited away anywhere. In this, at least, the MoD, or "security sources", had been lying. And the lies have been published across the media as flat fact.

One of the security agencies involved in all this is MI5, which worked in the closest cooperation with the FRU, the outfit which, we are told, ran Steak Knife. By bizarre coincidence, MI5 and Military Intelligence witnesses have been testifying this past fortnight at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. It's been a bizarre spectacle. One MI5 witness told the Tribunal that his key statement was drawn up BY MI5 and presented to him for signature. Another, testifying as to the credibility of the informer code-named Infliction, volunteered that lawyers for the Tribunal invited her to read over the statements of other MI5 witnesses before making her own statement.

Far from sparking a media outcry, these astonishing admissions have gone virtually unreported.

Whatever inquiries, if any, are launched into the Steak Knife affair, there's need for us in the media to inquire into ourselves, and to ask why it is we are such easy meat for manipulation by the shadowy forces of a ruthless State.








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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

19 May 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Disappearing the Truth
Anthony McIntyre


The Undesirables
Pedram Moallemian


Shadowy Forces

Eamonn McCann


The Adventures of
Steak Knife
Brian Mór


The Death of Cu Chulainn
Brian Mór


Henri Lefebvre - French Marxist Humanist
Liam O Ruairc


What They Say
Annie Higgins


15 May 2003


Who Knew - Who Knows - Who Will Tell?
Anthony McIntyre


'Stakeknife' cuts both ways
Brendan O'Neill


Be neither shocked nor awed

Mick Finnegan


Stake Knife Logo
Brian Mór


SAS Stake Knife
Brian Mór


Super Stake Knife
Brian Mór


How Stakeknife paved way to defeat for IRA
Anthony McIntyre


'Palestine: It's hell'
IPSC Event




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