Skip to comments.Interview with a terrorist
Posted on 02/10/2003 5:25:22 AM PST by arj
It took a while but fate finally caught up with Brendan OLeary.
Someone crept into the so-called safe house outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where OLeary slept in the wee morning hours and put two slugs into his brain.
OLearys friends say it was the Brits. The Brits say it was probably a splinter wing of the Irish Republican Army. Whoever it was, the Brits say, it was good riddance. Another terrorist gets his due.
When word arrived of OLearys death, I thought back to a cold, November night in 1999. OLeary arrived late for a meeting at the Dubliner, an Irish pub just off Capitol Hill in Washington. I was researching a story about IRA fundraising in the United States and a contact set up a meeting with OLeary who, at the time, was on the run from both the Brits and U.S. authorities.
I found it odd that a wanted IRA operative would be willing to meet in such a public place, especially an Irish pub.
No bother, OLeary said as he slid into his seat. I could set up shop on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to your FBI and they wouldnt know the difference.
He ordered coffee. An Irishman in an Irish pub and he orders coffee.
Id love a pint but it dulls the senses, he said. Now, what would you like to know about the bloody Brits and their campaign of terror against my homeland?
My contact had warned me OLeary was charming, with a disarming sense of humor.
Me dad worked construction in London, he said. He built the buildings, then my uncle would go over and blow them up. Then me dad would go back and rebuild them and my Uncle would blow them up again. And me dad would rebuild them. The Brits never caught on. They thought it was political. It was just job security.
OLeary joined the IRA at 14, participated in his first kidnapping at 16 and bombed his first building at 18.
You Americans dont understand our cause. You never have. You dont want to understand. You suck up to the bloody British and buy their line of bullshit. The Brits have occupied our homeland, denied us our freedoms and tried to destroy out way of life. Trying to explain that to you is like trying to explain quantum physics to a child.
He learned his craft not in Ireland but in a terrorist training camp in Libya, practicing for war along side Muslims, Africans, Japanese and others.
Our fight is a fight of the Irish against the Brits but our cause is universal. Palestinians want their homeland. Muslims want to rid their culture of what they see as the stain of Western decadence. The Japanese want to restore the honor and tradition of their culture.
But fighting a cause takes money and he came to the U.S. on regular scheduled trips to help IRA sympathizers raise funds for the cause. He came and went as he pleased even though his name was on the FBI terrorism watch list.
What a bloody joke. Your watch list. Most of the time, I just fly into Canada and drive across the border. Sometimes I come up through Mexico. This time I flew into your Dulles International Airport, right under your bloody noses.
So, I asked, what is so noble about planting a bomb and killing innocent women and children?
Look, this is a war and in a war people die. How many women and children have died at the hands of the Brits and their storm troopers? Do you know? I do. Too damn many. Sooner or later, you have to balance the books.
Americans, OLeary thought, should be more sympathetic to causes like his.
You idolize your founding fathers. You call them freedom fighters. They were terrorists too. They were fighting British oppression, just like us. What do you think your bloody Boston Tea Party was? A terrorist act, thats what.
Freedom fighter. OLeary used that term a lot during our three hour meeting.
Somebody once said that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. It all depends on your point of view. Thats the problem with you Americans. You never take the time to consider other points of view. You think your way of life is the only way and if you support another government then their way of life is the only way. How many times have you gotten it wrong? You supported a dictator in Vietnam. You supported a despot in Iran, so they drove him out. And you support a tyrannical government in Britain. Why? It all comes down to money. Economic interests. America talks a lot about human rights but where are you when the human rights of my fellow Irishmen are being trampled upon by the Brits. Youre protecting your bloody economic interests.
OLearys eyes turned cold as he got up to leave.
Let me tell you something, he added. America considers itself a world power and thinks it has a lot of friends abroad. Dont fool yourself. Your so-called friends are protecting their own economic interests and if it those interests are ever better served by someone else, they will dump you in a flash.
"I trained in Libya but you know who trained me? The French. Thats right. Our instructors were ex-French Foreign Legion. So far, youve been lucky. You got a taste in Oklahoma City but nobody has really brought the terror to your shores. Its coming and, when it does, you wont know how to handle it.
Two days later, I met with an FBI agent charged with tracking terrorists like Brendan OLeary.
OLeary? Yeah, were watching him, the agent said. Hes smart enough to stay out of the United States. He knows that if he ever sets foot inside our borders, well nail him.
That was 1999. OLeary made at least four other trips to this country, but the FBI never caught him. They never even knew he was in the country.
When I called last week, the FBI didnt even know OLeary was dead. The British hadnt bothered to tell them.
Says a lot about the FBI.
Here is one of the top terrorists in the IRA clearly implicating France in terrorism, and now the NATO alliance is split because the French vetoed another countries defense.
I understand the concept behind MAD, but appeasing a dictator by assuring the destruction of your allies? Sounds more like and greed instead of diplomacy.
Something I've been saying for years. Why does it take a terrorist to make it clear?
Other than that, most of what I know about the Irish situation comes from an author, Leon Uris, in the book Trinity. IF what he writes is even close to historical accuracy, then the Brits have brought a lot of the problem on themselves. And I don't see how the situation will improve without radical changes in attitude on both sides.
I think thats a bit of a leap. They were ex Foreign Legion, not active French army. I have no idea of the current situation, but back in the 70's it was possible to find former American soldiers working in overseas security operations that were in no manner connected th the United States or it's interests. This did not implicate the U.S. or it's foreign policy in any way. Cashiered and reject warriors sometimes become freelance agents with no allegiance to anyone.
I'm so tired of hearing that bunch of tripe!
None of them seem to get it. We fought a war of independence. We fought against the British military. We did not go to England and target civilians.
The difference between terrorists and freedom fighters is that freedom fighters fight with honor. Terrorists deliberately kill indiscriminately and prefer to target the defenseless. Terrorists just cloak their lust for murder in some philosophical cause because they truly enjoy killing.
There was a course in ethics taught at the course.
Of course, since the attendee's grew up under the Napoleon code, guilty until proven innocent, it didn't take.
This should give you some idea of what the US will be like in about 100 years if our open border policies continue.
Proof: America's Most Wanted, QED.
If that stamp is found and proven to have come during the last 10 years it would be very unhealthy for France, or any else whose name is there. I know France and Germany are afraid of this war for some reason. I'm not competant to speculate why.