Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Double Standards for McDowell

The basis of all criminal justice is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. However this isn’t always the case.

Gerry Adams has never been convicted for being a member of the Provisional IRA army council. In fact he has never been convicted of IRA membership. The connection between the IRA and Sinn Fein has to my knowledge never been proved in a court of law.

America or the CIA has never been prosecuted in a court of law for kidnapping, torturing and transporting of prisoners through Shannon. .

Now this is just two examples of things people believe, report and criticise others for that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Yet these two things are readily believed by the media and the opposition parties. Most of the papers have stated as fact that the IRA Sinn Fein are one in the same thing. Read any opinion column and you will see this. Also have a read of Indymedia and you’ll find countless articles about the CIA torture flights.

So why suddenly do we hear claims of innocents until proven guilty. While the likes of indymedia need no court case to claim the CIA are torturing nor do they even need leaked official documents. The majority of the evidence of their claim is based on hear say and jumped up plane spotters not a lot of which would stand up in court. Yet suddenly they need court cases over Frank Connolly

If back in 2004 I said Mutu took drugs is that an accusation aimed at Chelsea or the player. Obviously it is against the player the fact that he played for Chelsea at the time is irrelevant. Similarly with Frank Connolly he worked at the Centre of Public Enquiry acquisitions against him are not in a bid to destroy the centre. The centre was created to be an independent inquiry agency. Would it be right for the head of such powerful independent agency to have broken the law? And possibly support 2 terrorist organisations one of which would like to bring down the state and the other is a major drug exporter? Considering that this centre is to inquire into government no matter who is in power. Is it then right that party A is supported by the head? Someone who may make sure all parties except party A are investigated. Would removing such a person from that position not in fact be insuring its independence?

(Edit: This paragraph added 00:30)In fact considering that the PIRA wishes to bring down the state wouldn’t requirement No 1 of the Centre of Public Enquiry be that the person in charge of the organisation that could bring down the state doesn't want to bring down the state or have any links at all to the PIRA. How would addreasing that not be in the nations security interest?

So the question I feel that needs to be answered is why is there suddenly a need for a court case for proof when Adams and the CIA have not had the luxury? Is this a case of McDowell bashing, media protecting their own or genuine grievances?

If you do have a genuine grievance and truly believe in innocent till proven guilty. Then be true to your principles and reprimanded people who say the CIA torture, Sinn Fein/IRA are linked and Gerry Adams is on the IRA council with the same vigour as you would Michael McDowell over this issue. If however you would find your self reprimanding yourself maybe you should reconsider your stance on this incident or your stance on all other incidents. For to say CIA’s and Sinn Fein/IRA's guilt needs no court but Connolly’s does is a double standard.


Cian said...

i think your right there is a willingness to accept some information even though it didnt emerge through due process.
This issue has different aspects to it. The first is not necessarily the leak but the conduct of the minister in his role as a member of the executive.
Constitutions are designed to prevent citizens from undure power of the state, through the seperation of those powers among institutions.
To me it seems that McDowell took on a role that is not his in order to commit connelly to trial by media releasing the file and then the answer to the PQ.
I also have reservations about his willingness to arbitrate in the matter using only garda intelligence which is not always factual according to justice morris.
There certainly are questions Frank Connolly has to answer and perhaps he should answer them in the media. I am not as worried about his story specifically as i am by the manner in which power seperation has been blurred in the name of national security.
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein IRA and others were not the subject of a DPP file AFAIK, yet this was. There are issues here that dont impinge on other leaked matters. I worry if he sailed too close to the wind on this one to hammer home a point which was political at root.
Thats not his role as minister for justice.

Eamonn said...

Frank Connolly is chief executive of a supposed independent organisation, that has charged itself with investigating corruption and sleaze in our democratically elected Government and public service. If there are links between this man and an illegal organisation which believes itself to be the true Government and army of this State, then i consider that to be a significant threat to the State and one that the public has a right to know of. McDowell was well within his powers as Minister for Justice in making the public aware of this matter. And if ministerial privilege was not designed for something of this nature then I'd like somebody to tell me what exactly it was designed for.

The spotlight is on McDowell when, i believe, it should be firmly on Frank Connolly. People looking for McDowell's resignation over this need only look to Connolly as the ball is well and truly in his court now. If Connolly can illustrate he wasn't in Colombia when McDowell says he was then McDowell's position would be untenable.