US gave N. Ireland police weapons, spy equipment, despite Congress ban

Royal Ulster Constabulary forces in the 1980sBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Declassified documents show that thousands of American-made weapons, as well as spy equipment, ended up in the hands of Northern Ireland’s police force in the 1980s, despite a strict ban enacted by Congress. The ban was passed in 1979, following strong pressure by organized groups in the Irish-American community. The latter accused Northern Ireland’s police, known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), of severe human rights violations and systematically excluding Catholic recruits. But internal government documents released in Northern Ireland this week, reveal that thousands of pieces of American-made weaponry, as well as surveillance equipment, continued to get into the hands of the RUC, despite the official ban. According to the documents, which were released under the UK’s 30-year declassification rule, the RUC eventually managed to collect all 6,000 Ruger revolvers it had ordered from American manufacturers before 1979, when the Congressional ban was enacted. The weapons continued to be shipped to Northern Ireland by way of “third-party suppliers”, who sent them secretly and in small quantities, so as not to arouse suspicion. The documents also state that the RUC was able to “receive [from the United States] some US equipment for surveillance work which is arguably more sensitive than guns”. The documents do not specify if the White House was aware that the Congressional ban against selling weapons to the RUC was being broken, or if the weapons were being surreptitiously smuggled by the British government, which hid the shipments from Washington. But The Belfast News Letter, which accessed the declassified documents, said it spoke to “one former senior RUC officer” who said that “the Reagan Administration was aware of the shipments” and had “turned a blind eye to the issue”. Read more of this post

Former spy chief reveals CIA operations against Pakistani nuclear program

Imtiaz Ahmad

Imtiaz Ahmad

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
This news is currently making headlines all over the Arabic and Muslim world, but is not reported on any US news site: retired Pakistani ISI officer and former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director, Imtiaz Ahmad (a.s. Ahmed), has said he was personally involved in foiling two CIA operations targeting Pakistan’s nuclear program. Speaking on Tuesday to Pakistan’s News International, Imtiaz revealed details about the ISI’s operation RISING SUN (1979), which involved the alleged unmasking of Rafiq Munshi, a US-trained Pakistani nuclear scientist, who Ahmed says was a CIA agent. The operation also resulted in the exposure of several undercover CIA agents, posing as diplomats, stationed in the US embassy in Islamabad and the consulate in Karachi. Read more of this post

Reporter who helped expose CIA drugs scandal remembered

In August 1996, Garry Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The San Jose Mercury News, published a trilogy of articles under the title “Dark Alliance”. In it, he openly alleged that the Reagan Administration, along with the active support of the CIA’s leadership, had allowed the Nicaraguan Contras to fund some of their operations against the Sandinistas by illegally trafficking cocaine into the United States. What followed Webb’s allegations was a barrage of demonization by virtually the entire US media industry, which discredited his professionalism and effectively ended his career. Read more of this post