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Flip Flopping With the Greens

category national | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Sunday October 14, 2007 20:35author by Seán Ryan Report this post to the editors

A story appeared in the Irish Mail On Sunday today and it prompted this article. Not a single plane has been searched in Shannon despite Green promises that state otherwise.
flip_flops.jpg

The Irish Mail On Sunday ran an interesting article by John Lee today. The article was titled “Snub to Greens as 48 US flights pass unchecked.” The article appeared on page 6.

There are some mistakes in the article, which I’ll go into shortly, but all in all it’s a good story and is a departure from the normal dross one sees in the Mainstream Media with regard to sensitive issues like Shannon.

John Lee, quoting an unnamed Garda source says that 48 military flights have passed through Shannon in the last four months and that not a single one of them has been searched by the Gardaí. Mr. Lee says that the Gardaí “claim that they are only permitted to search a plane if they receive a specific complaint or request from the Government. No such action has initiated a search in the last four months and US military flights continue to pass through the airport unmolested.”

Mr. Lee uses this information to paint a picture where the Greens could be facing a major split. He talks of the Greens and their climbdowns over issues like Tara and incineration.

In the article it is stated that: “An increase in the monitoring of Iraqi-bound flights was one of the concessions the Greens claimed to have wrung from Fianna Fáil in their post-election negotiations.

Unofficially it was suggested that 50pc of the flights would be searched. And Green sources, stung by criticism of their concessions on other key policy areas such as the M3 motorway and incineration, hailed this as a victory.”

The article goes on to say that none of these ‘military’ flights have been searched despite concerns about the nature of the cargo being transported and the fear that some of these flights might have held ‘illegally seized US prisoners aboard…”

Like I said, all in all, a very decent article. Well done the Irish Mail on Sunday. The only thing that was missing from this article was that it didn't go into the flip flopping of the Greens with regard to Shell To Sea. A pity...

Allow me to clear up some of the mistakes:

There have been literally hundreds of military flights in that last four months. The mail has confused ‘military flights’ with ‘CIA flights.’ The figure of 48 CIA flights is about right. I have personally witnessed ED Horgan dictate a statement to a member of An Garda Síochána in Shannon Garda station, requesting that some CIA planes which were at the time parked in Shannon Airport be searched. I know that Mr. Horgan has made many many such statements to the Gardaí and that not a singular search has been made. The Gardaí prefer to follow Ed around instead, as if he were some common criminal up to criminal activities. Indeed on the occasion I’ve just mentioned, Ed and I were trailed by two Gardaí who followed us in their car as we drove to the Garda station.

I also wish to clarify an ambiguity often passed off by the Gardaí. They do not require a complaint or a request from the Government to search a Plane in Shannon Airport. Just like they do not require permission from the government to investigate the government themselves. The very notion that they would require such permission is both extraordinary and unbelievable. Indeed the Government themselves have often passed the buck by saying that the searching of CIA planes etc. was a matter for the Gardaí to decide on. Indeed if the Gardaí did require such permission, it would mean that the Government had given the Gardaí a ‘hands off’ order. The government have denied on many occasions that this is the case. It is the duty of the Gardaí to investigate any complaint that they receive. No complaint has ever been investigated by the Gardaí in Shannon, despite hundreds of complaints having been made by honourable folk like Ed Horgan, Tim Hourigan and Conor Cregan. Having said all of this, allow me to point out to our patient readers, that the very fact that the Greens ‘negotiated and secured’ the concession whereby some flights would be searched is in and of itself a concession if indeed not an overt admission that there was indeed a ’hands off’ order given to the Gardaí by the Government.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Here’s a link to a very brief interview with Eamonn Ryan of the Greens, where he outlines the Green ‘victory,’ with regard to the concession given to the Greens about searching CIA flights. This interview was recorded outside the Mansion House on the day the Greens voted overwhelmingly to enter into government. It was recorded before any such vote took place.

Eamonn Ryan audio:- http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/jun2007/eamonn_ryan.mp3

This brief interview is part of the featurised article at:- http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83003

author by charlie birdpublication date Sun Oct 14, 2007 23:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not a single plane searched! when we think that the catamaran "lucky day" which capsized in the freak weather wasn't even carrying the amount of cocaine that a CIA rendition plane whose sister had been at Shannon crashed with a few weeks ago..,

Gummy Gormley and his chewing gum. Relax man! it's not worth it.

author by Aragonpublication date Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Slightly off topic but its not clear whether it was the majority who were present at the vote or an outright majority of all GP members who voted to support going into government.

author by Aragonpublication date Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

510 members voted of which 441 voted in favour. The greens must have many more members than 510, surely? A few thousand more like. The claim 86% of the members voted in favour is misleading to say the least. It tallies with anecodtal evidence - its actually hard to find many Greens who don't think this was a negative step.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thnk the membership figure for the Greens ia appropx 1,000. Only those who could travel to Dublin for the meeting got to vote.

author by fireflypublication date Mon Oct 15, 2007 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

here's more in the Greens, also from the Mail on Sunday

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84515&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment209638
author by antiwarpublication date Mon Oct 15, 2007 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's a story of Air New Zealand following Shannon's business model, of war profiteering with a government playing dumb.

Air New Zealand a supposed antiwar country has been ferrying US and Australian troops from Darwin to 'Kuwait' ie Iraq and Japan Us military base with US fighter escorts
http://nthemouse.blogspot.com/2007/09/tightrope-in-air.html

The NZ prime minister and foreigns affairs minister went on tv to claim they knew nothing about it even though the state owns 78% of the airline.

Another 77 Defence Force personnel off to Afghanistan
http://www.stuff.co.nz/4238587a11.html

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