Skip to comments.IRA hunt kept from Clinton
Posted on 10/16/2002 5:48:12 PM PDT by TheMole
POLICE in Northern Ireland knew the IRA was training Colombian guerillas up to two years before three republicans were arrested in Colombia.
However, they feared the investigation could have been imperilled by former US president Bill Clinton, who was concerned any IRA probe could derail the Northern Ireland peace process.
The trial of the three Irishmen - charged with teaching Colombia's largest Marxist guerilla group, FARC, how to build bombs - was scheduled to begin yesterday.
The Times has learnt that the Royal Ulster Constabulary knew that as many as 15 IRA members were involved in visits to the FARC-controlled jungle zone.
A senior RUC Special Branch source said that their experience in the case of three IRA gun-runners arrested in Miami in 1999 had made them wary of the Clinton administration's conduct during the peace process.
According to the source, Clinton officials were anxious to obscure the fact that the gun-runners were operating with the full authority of the IRA's ruling army council -- a serious breach of its ceasefire that would have had political consequences for Sinn Fein.
The Miami investigation continued and the source said that the conviction of the gun-runners was "the tip of the iceberg". US investigators discovered links to ETA, the Basque terrorist group, and plans for a container shipment of weapons from Colombia to Ireland.
"Our experience over Miami made us think very hard about who should actually be party to the information about IRA involvement in Colombia," said the source. "We were concerned that the wider the circle of those who were aware of the situation, the greater the risk was that it could get back to the IRA."
Image uber reality: The definition of Clintonism. What is sad is the price others will pay for this.
What I forgot to mention is that of course the chance of Americans hearing about this on the nightly TV news is basically zero.
(I actually had a guy try to trade me a 57 Ranchero for a cash donation...
or perhaps some old left over firearms.)