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Libertas: US Military Contractors Against Lisbon!

category national | eu | feature author Friday April 25, 2008 00:07author by Chekov - Workers Solidarity Movement (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

McEvaddy joins Ganley's "Libertas" Astroturf Campaign.

A closer look at Declan Ganley's "Libertas" campaign - the figures behind it and their motivations.

featured image
Ganley and McEvaddy Pose for the Cameras

On Sunday April 20th, Libertas announced that Ulick McEvaddy was "joining the No To Lisbon Campaign" and publicised the event with a photo-opportunity of the two 'entrepreneurs' in front of the Libertas Campaign bus [1]. McEvaddy is the first member of the Irish business and political elite to join the Libertas campaign since it emerged under the stewardship of Declan Ganley.

What's particularly interesting about this is that McEvaddy is the CEO of Omega Air, a US defence contractor (they supply cargo planes and inflight refuelling services to the US military).

Declan Ganley, president of Libertas, also happens to be president of Rivada Networks, a US defence contractor (they supply emergency communications networks to the US intelligence community).

Now, what's so peculiar about all of this is that there just aren't a large number of Irish people who happen to own companies whose major business is providing extremely sensitive services to the US military and intelligence community. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that the total population of this demographic in Ireland is 2 - although it's hard to tell since much of this sort of stuff is classified or covert. Maybe, by the end of the Lisbon campaign a whole tribe of Irish US defence contractors will emerge from the woodwork, but I doubt it.

But, anyway, back to the point, why does it matter what these guys do? Shouldn't they have a right to a say on Lisbon like everybody else? Certainly they should, but since they have stepped into the light and are taking an active role in public politics and trying to influence public decisions, it is a good idea to inform ourselves about them, to understand something about the nature of what McEvaddy and Ganley's companies do and the implications for where their loyalties are likely to lie. This article takes a look at McEvaddy, Ganley and Libertas and highlights a few facts which may give a clue as to their motives in entering the political arena.


McEvaddy & Omega Air

Ulick McEvaddy

Ulick McEvaddy is what you might call a shady character: a rich and influential businessman with "a surprisingly low profile".

McEvaddy was an Irish military intelligence officer during his ten years in the army. You can see this fact alluded to openly in a profile published in the US Airforce's Integrator Magazine [2]. In the Irish media this part of his past is normally airbrushed out of his potted biographies, but back in 1999, a profile in the Irish Independent [3] revealed that he learned to speak fluent Russian whilst working the "Russian desk" and commented that his "experience in military intelligence must have been a great door-opener when he dealt with the US and the armed forces of other countries."

So, McEvaddy has a background in covert intelligence - and this background has no doubt served him well since transferring his operations to the US. His current company, Omega Air, depends almost entirely upon the business of the US military. As McEvaddy said in his Integrator interview, one big problem he faced in doing business with US military commanders was their natural question: "how do we know we can rely on you in war?" McEvaddy's response left one in no doubt that he feels he has more than proved himself on this score.

Omega Air

According to the Integrator, "industry insiders say [McEvaddy's] company has even approached U.S. intelligence agencies about tanking services for detainee transfers, to reduce dependence on foreign air fields." In other words, offering to provide inflight refuelling services to rendition flights so that they wouldn't have to stop over at foreign airports such as Shannon on their way to "interrogate" suspects. A very accommodating offer indeed.

McEvaddy was also the figure who got himself appointed to the board of Knock airport with a view to opening it up to US military flights [4]. Although he failed in this venture [5], his willingness to personally champion unpopular measures such as this must no doubt have endeared him to his customers in the US military.

In March 2007, his company was awarded a $24 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide inflight refuelling to the US Navy [6], a contract that was renewed in March 2008, with a futher $30 million added [7].

Apart from these titbits of information, it is fairly hard to find out much information about McEvaddy. He is said to be a supporter of Fine Gael and a personal friend of Mary Harney and Charlie McCreevey. The only time in the past that he really fell under the media spotlight was back in 1999 when he was caught up in a small scandal due to the fact that he had loaned his South of France villa to Mary Harney, free of charge.[8]

His business interests are all in private equity companies - meaning that it is impossible to know how much money he has, or even who really owns his companies.


Declan Ganley and Rivada

Declan Ganley

Amazingly, Declan Ganley actually manages to out-shady McEvaddy, no mean feat.

The potted narrative that one can find about him from the Internet has him showing up in the following 'business situations'

Now what's interesting about these positions is that none of them were in what one might call 'normal market economies'. In fact, it would be fair to refer to them all as being environments where 'gangster capitalism' reigned. One does not prosper in such situations by having smart business plans and efficient production processes. One prospers by having access to decision makers and having friends in high places within the intelligence and security communities. The fact that "most Russian banks [had] their own private armies" in the 1990s and business takeovers tended to be of the armed variety underlines the point rather well [14].

This brings us on to Ganley's latest venture, Rivada Networks. If his previous career led one to the suspicion that he must be awfully well connected with the intelligence community, Rivada proves it in spectacular fashion.

Rivada Networks provides 'first responder' communications networks to the intelligence community and emergencey services. According to their website blurb, their clients include "USNORTHCOM, the National Guard Bureau, DHS, FEMA, multiple states, and various state and local agencies". Basically, their products promise to allow the various intelligence and emergency services to talk to one another in situations where much of the normal communications infrastructure may have been destroyed or damaged. This falls broadly under the remit of the Department of Homeland Security. It is an extremely sensitive area for a number of reasons. Firstly, it involves carrying confidential data between the various bodies that make up the US Intelligence Community. US intelligence bodies tend to be extraordinarily paranoid about the security of their electronic communications - achieving SIGINT dominance (signals intelligence, i.e. electronic snooping and counter-snooping) is the cornerstone of US intelligence strategy. The US intelligence agencies often refuse to share access to their data even with each other, never mind entrusting it to third parties. If they allow Ganley to carry their inter-agency communications, they must trust him an awful lot.


Rivada's Key Personnel

The reason for this trust is more obvious if one looks at the listing of "key personnel" on the Rivada website. A couple of the figures listed are the ordinary sorts that you expect to find on the average board of a technology company - a banker, a lawyer and a technologist, but the rest of the figures mentioned are significant figures within the US intelligence and military communities. The following section provides a few snippets - all taken verbatim from Rivada's webiste - highlighting some of the experience of Rivada's key personnel. This list highlights only those parts of their resumes which have significant strategic, military or intelligence components and leaves out the normal business stuff.

Lt. General Dennis M. McCarthy (Rivada Director)

Lt. Gen. Dennis M. McCarthy
  • Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1967
  • Transferred to the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam where he served as a Platoon Commander and Communications Officer in First Battalion, 13th Marines
  • Served as G-3, 4th Marine Division in 1991, and commanded U.S. Joint Task Force, Chile in 1992
  • From 1993 until 1995, General McCarthy was Commanding General of the Marine Corps Reserve Support Command
  • Promoted to Major General on October 1, 1996, and was appointed to the Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board
  • Assigned to the United States Atlantic Command, where he served as the Vice Director of Operations, and then in 1999 as Director of Operations & Plans.
  • On June 1, 2001, he was promoted to the grade of Lieutenant General.
  • He became Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, on June 2, 2001
  • Appointed Commander, Marine Forces North, on September 13, 2004 (head of all marines in the continental US).
  • Resigned from the U.S. military in 2005
The image shows Lt. Gen. Dennis M. McCarthy, then commanding general, Marine Forces Reserve, visiting Task Force Tarawa, at Blair Airfield, Iraq , on Thursday May 1, 2003

John J. Kelly, Jr. (Director)

John Kelly
  • founding director for the National D-Day Museum
  • chairman of the Advanced Microstructures and Devices Foundation
  • chairman of the National Security Industrial Association
  • chairman of the Amphibious Warfare Committee
  • chairman of the U.S. Navy League Industrial Executive Board.
A lot more biographical information on Kelly can be found on his Louisiana Technology Council Biography including details of his "top secret" security rating [15].

William J Atkins (Chief Financial Officer)

  • was Chief Financial Officer of Intelsat, where he led the $5.2 billion sale of the company and associated financings and operational and strategic restructuring (Intelsat was the world's largest satellite company).

Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan (Vice President, Business Development and Government Services)

Rear Admiral Robert Duncan
  • Distinguished career in the United States Coast Guard spanning over thirty four years
  • Served as Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. As District Commander, he was responsible for U.S. Coast Guard operations covering 26 states, the Gulf of Mexico and the extensive U.S. inland river system.
  • led the Commandant’s Task Force for Homeland Security
  • appointed by Secretary Ridge to serve as the Federal Coordinator for the historic Iraqi voting
  • also serves as a Director on the Joint Executive Boards of the National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue ( NIUSR) and the National Consortium for Readiness in Emergencies

Admiral James M. Loy (Director)

Admiral James Loy
  • The first Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, a position that he held from 2003 to 2005.
  • served in the Department of Transportation from 2002 to 2003 as Deputy Under Secretary for Security and Chief Operating Officer of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and later as Under Secretary for Security.
  • retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2002, having served as its Commandant from May 1998.
  • served as the Coast Guard Chief of Staff from 1996 to 1998
  • From 1994 to 1996, he was Commander of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area, supervising U.S. forces during the mass Haitian and Cuban migrations of 1994

Don N. De Marino (Director)

Don De Marino
  • From 1985-1987, Mr. De Marino served in the Reagan Administration as Director of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Economic Commission.
  • During 1989-1990, Mr. De Marino served in the Bush Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Africa, the Near East and South Africa.
  • Since 1991, he has served as chairman of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce
  • In 2004 served on the Personnel Evaluation Team to assess various operations in Iraq for the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

John Kneuer (Vice President, Strategic Planning and External Affairs)

John Kneuer
  • Served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information
  • Principal advisor to the President of the United States on telecommunications policy and the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA").

James Tackett (Vice president for Homeland Security)

  • Spent over 20 years in the United States Air Force (USAF) as a Communications-Computer Officer providing services to the U.S. Northern Command
  • Over 25 years of experience in all aspects related to homeland security and command, control, communications, and computers
  • Adjunct professor at the United States Air Force Academy and the National Defense University

Summary of Rivada Personnel

It should be noted that the above listed affiliations may have a few omissions. Members of those specific agencies that make up the US Intelligence Community [16] do not normally advertise their roles. However, there are a number of common euphemisms which are often used to describe such roles. For example, a job description of "Communications-Computer Officer providing services to the U.S. Northern Command" probably signals that the individual was an officer in the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency [17].

Still, even without specific information on the intelligence community experience of Rivada's Key personnel, it is obvious that they must have a wealth of knowledge from across a broad range of Intelligence Agencies. Even from a brief reading of their public biographies, one can be certain that Rivada's key personnel have intimate, top-level knowledge of a wide range of intelligence agencies, from the Coast Guard Intelligence Agency [18] to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [19], by way of the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity [20] and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis [21] of the United States Department of Homeland Security [22]. Indeed, the fact that their "key personnel" have high level experience across such a broad range of intelligence agencies is probably critical to the company's commercial success, given the sensitivity of the task.

Nor are these people doddery old generals getting a few quid on top of their pensions for sitting on a board. They were all, until joining Rivada, in extremely senior security and intelligence positions - the number 2 official in the department of Homeland Security and the number 2 officer in the Marine Corps both joined Rivada directly from their state security jobs. These are extremely influential people within the US security and intelligence services.

The reason for such a military-intelligence top-heavy personnel list is not hard to discover. The US intelligence services need to know that they can have absolute trust in those who handle their communications. By appointing key personnel from within a broad range of the US intelligence agencies, Rivada is in a position to reassure the paranoid within the intelligence community. There's just one problem - the president, a man called Declan Ganley.

If you read Ganley's accounts of his business history - how he made it - one thing jumps out at you. In none of his business ventures does he mention any dealings with the US military or intelligence community. He's an entrepreneur who claims to have amassed great wealth through his keen business sense and none of the areas in which he claims to have made money had anything obviously connected with the military. This begs a few questions:

  • How does a man from Tuam with no history of dealings with the US persuade a gallery of the most senior security and intelligence figures to join his board?
  • How does a man from Tuam who has, by his own account, never done anything to help the US military, get given responsibility for the US intelligence community's emergency inter-agency communications?

Finally, it is once again worth noting that, like McEvaddy, all of Ganley's business dealings have been carried out through 'private equity' companies. Thus there is no way of knowing how much money he has, nor who actually owns the companies he leads.


The Libertas Campaign

Now all of the above would be merely curious if it were not for the peculiar nature of the Libertas Campaign. It has all the appearances of what has come to be known as an astroturf campaign [23] - a manufactured grassroots movement, created for PR and marketing purposes.

Libertas appeared on the Irish political scene out of the blue in 2007. It did not have public meetings, membership drives, policy debates or any of the other stuff that real political movements do when they are in formation. It appeared fully-formed, complete with a fully-developed policy and communications strategy. It has concentrated heavily on attracting media attention through a barrage of sensationalist press releases and PR stunts and photo-opportunities. It has generally failed to participate in public debates, on one occasion even claiming that it was unwilling to share a stage with Sinn Fein [24].

Dodgy Posters

Belatedly, Libertas has decided to talk to the people and is currently engaged in a National Tour [25]. It will hold 15 meetings in 5 days in 12 towns. However, rather than being public debates, these meetings are fully organised by Libertas with no opposition voices present. They are also organised at most peculiar times. Their meetings in Castlebar, Roscommon, Athlone and Drogheda all take place at 7.30 am. Their other scheduled meetings start at 1.15pm (Navan, Mullingar, Longford, Sligo) and 6.30pm on weekdays (Castleblaney, Letterkenny, Dundalk, Tallaght). If you were trying to get as small a crowd as possible, yet be able to claim that you had held public meetings, you would be hard-pressed to find better time-slots. Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe the good citizens of Roscommon were queuing down the road to hear about the Lisbon treaty on Tuesday morning at 7.30 am.

More Dodgy Posters

Another peculiar factor about the Lisbon Campaign is the relatively poor calibre of their material and personnel. Apart from Ganley and McEvaddy, the only people who seem to be involved with Libertas are a number of paid staffers who are employed to run the campaign. Most of these are themselves ex-members of the Freedom Institute, which was a right wing think tank set up by a number of neo-con sympathising students. The ex-freedom institutors on the Libertas staff include David Cochrane, who owns politics.ie and John McGuirk, a famously poor communicator, who has apparently been employed for his PR skills. Ganley and McEvaddy are themselves far from convincing media performers. Being business people, they are used to interviews that are sycophantic in the extreme and they seem completely incapable of appearing convincing when challenged. Their few personal appearances on serious current affairs shows, with experienced opponents or hosts have been very unconvincing to put it mildly.

By basing their staff on such an inexperienced group with no history of success in electoral campaigns, Libertas have got far less for their buck than one might expect. Their posters are amateurish, their slogans are inelegant and the general tone of their propaganda is far below what one would expect of a campaign backed by such resources. One might hazard a guess that they have been unable to attract major players with mainstream experience due to the fact that they are seen as politically poisonous and have had to make do with the help of a group of young-turks who are none too discerning about who they are working for. It is known that they have approached several more prominent political figures but have thus far failed to entice any of them aboard the good ship Libertas. In particular, their attempt to attract Michael McDowell ended in publicly humiliating failure [26].

The Libertas Message

On close examination of the propaganda that Libertas has produced about the EU, it is impossible to avoid the impression that they don't really believe the stuff that they are saying.

Anti-Militarist Military Contractors

Probably the best example was their poster attacking Fine Gael's Lucinda Creighton for her support of an EU army [27]. This poster attempted to play on Irish fears about EU militarisation and the desire to retain Irish military neutrality. The idea that either Ganley or McEvaddy are anti-militarists is simply laughable, given the fact that their companies exist as devoted suppliers of the US military and intelligence services.

Another good example of the huge gap between what Libertas says and what Ganley and McEvaddy do relates to democracy and accountability. Both of them have focused on the so-called democratic deficit in the EU and the lack of accountability and transparency of its workings [28,29]. Now Libertas, unlike normal political groups, appears to have no members beyond the president Ganley, meaning that all policy is decided without any of the democratic and accountable elements that exist in ordinary political groups. It was formed, without any public participation, discussion or open meetings but with a policy that was already fully formed. Furthermore, Libertas has promised to spend 1.5 million [30] and it is obviously very well resourced as it has bought up billboards and advertising space across the country. Yet, nobody has any idea where the money is coming from and Libertas aren't saying. Campaign funding rules forbid any one individual donor from giving more than a few thousand euros.

Thus, we can not find even have the merest hint of internal democracy or transparency within Libertas and if you look at Ganley's and McEvaddy's companies, you find even less traces of democracy or accountability - they are purely private affairs, completely opaque to the public, without the merest whiff of democracy or accountability about them. Thus, it is simply impossible to take their new-found passion for transparency, democracy and accountability at face value.

One major argument that Libertas has raised throughout the campaign is the idea that Lisbon is bad for business [31], anti-competitive and likely to destroy Irish foreign direct investment by over-regulation and the harmonisation of EU tax rates [32]. The specific claims are based on what are quite frankly total nonsense about the details of the treaty, and the general argument is hugely undermined when one considers that both IBEC and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland (which represents US multinationals here) are both unreservedly supportive of Lisbon [33,34] and directly contradict many of Libetas' claims [35].

Another bit of disingenuous campaigning by Libertas has been their 'all things to all people' scaremongering. In the midlands, they have pushed the idea that the Lisbon treaty might bring in abortion [36] (which is demonstrably false, by the way), elsewhere they have presented themselves as libertarian [37].

So, clearly, any examination of the positions of Libertas and Ganley and McEvaddy would lead us to conclude that there is very little chance that their arguments are honest. It seems very unlikely that they actually believe the things that they are advocating. So, what is their motive then?


The Motives of Ganley and McEvaddy?

The question remains, why on earth have two determinedly non-public business figures such as Ganley and McEvaddy stepped into the political spotlight now?

Firstly, from the above, it is clear that they do not hold the positions that Libertas has raised against Lisbon. They simply aren't pacifist, pro-lifer, fundamentalist democrats. It is also clear, from their willingness to use scaremongering about abortion and tax harmonisation, that they are trying to maximise the No vote and don't really care on what basis people reject the treaty. The use of arguments that are directly contradictory to one another is convincing evidence of this.

So, why are they trying to defeat Lisbon? Given their intimate relationship with the US intelligence and military community, it is reasonable to ask whether this might provide any clues to their underlying motives. And it proves to be a fairly fruitful avenue of enquiry. In order to properly understand the context, we must briefly touch upon the major strategic divide amongst the world's business and political elite on matters European.

To put it simply, there are two visions of European integration amongst the Western elite. One of them sees the EU as a common market, lacking any real political component beyond whatever is needed to keep the wheels of competition well-oiled and lacking any capacity for autonomous strategic action. The other vision is of a European super-state, with sovereignty over the member states and the ability to take collective and coherent military and strategic actions on the global stage.

The first vision is that of the US military and intelligence community and of NATO. An EU with autonomous strategic capacity would essentially undermine NATO and the US's permanent leadership position on all things security related. Within Europe, there are factions in most countries who are sympathetic to this position - the Euro-skeptic Tories in the UK being a good example. There are also a number of powerful US-based business people who are ardent supporters of the NATO security system (often known as Atlantacists), Rupert Murdoch being the best known.

The second vision is that of the mainstream of European mainland business and political interests. For most of them it's a no-brainer. The French and German car-manufacturers look across the Atlantic and see how helpful a powerful strategic state can be in delivering stuff like cheap consumer petrol which serves in practice as a huge subsidy to their competitors in US industry. European politicians, for their part, would like to be taken seriously in international affairs and are probably pretty browned off with the US ignoring them and publicly humiliating them, as was the case recently when the EU wasn't even consulted with before Kosovo - which is part of Europe after all - declared its independence under US patronage.

So, anyway, having briefly explained the major divide in global elite opinion on the general vision of EU integration, we can see whether it holds true in this particular case - a treaty that undeniably advances the process of EU political integration. As it happens It does. Amongst all the unanimity of support from the world's business communities and amongst mainstream European politicians, we can find some consistent sour notes from the US Intelligence Community [38] and politicians representing NATO [39]. Indeed, globally, it is striking that those representing US security thinking are the only elite voices against Lisbon.

One final bit of background is worth considering. In recent years there has been a large expansion in the use of foreign-owned contract companies by the US military. This has caused something of a backlash amongst 'patriotic' US politicians (and the US industries that fund them). For example, in 2006, there was a storm of criticism at the prospect of Dubai Ports World taking over the running of New York Container Port [40], criticism which caused the sale to be blocked due to the security implications. Currently, US lawmakers are considering new, stricter legislation on regulations governing foreign-owned companies access to confidential data [41]. This has inevitably created significant pressure on foreign owned military contractors to demonstrate their loyalty.

Ganley Spills the Beans

So, at this stage we've established a few things. The figures behind Libertas are extremely closely connected to the US military and Intelligence community; their arguments appear to be clearly disingenuous; the US military and intelligence community are indeed opposed to the treaty. The facts are, by themselves, strong circumstantial evidence in favour of the idea that Ganley and McEvaddy's connections to the US military provide the underlying motives for opposing Lisbon. But can we do any better? Can we turn up any positive evidence to support our tentative conclusion?

As it happens, we can. In December 2003, Ganley published an article about the forthcoming EU constitution (which eventually morphed into the Lisbon treaty) in a publication of the US Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). The FPRI is an influential US foreign policy think-tank, which publishes "scholarship" designed to promote "the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests" [42]. Ganley's article was thin on details and heavy on cliche-ridden rhetoric. The one practical problem that he identified with the direction of the EU was the lack of a popularly elected president. One of the few specific problems that this might cause was the following:

"Of course, the (non-popularly elected) president and his or her foreign minister would be unlikely to display what Chirac earlier this year identified as the "bad behavior" and signs of being "badly brought up" of the annoying, democratically elected leaders of Central and Eastern European states." [43]

When this was written, back in 2003, US politicians were busy deriding 'old Europe' for its failure to get on board their Iraq adventure. The US was much more successful in winning over the leaders of "new Europe" - predominantly the newly acceded Eastern block countries - to support their invasion despite the fact that their populations were vehemently opposed to it. The reference to this being 'democratic' is Orwellian in the extreme. The political powers in the core EU states were simply strong enough to resist the US demands that they should ignore the will of their people and join the invasion, while those in the Eastern states simply didn't have the diplomatic, strategic, institutional or political strength to ignore the pressure from the global superpower.

Ganley's underlying message is clear - the more tightly integrated the EU is politically, the harder it will be for the US to influence it. The non-popularly elected president will be able to resist the 'bad-behaviour' of supporting US imperial adventures. Thus Lisbon does not "advance US national interests".

This conclusion is further strenghtened by a reading of the various declassified documents and briefings that the US Intelligence Community have issued. For example, in January 2008, the well known defense analysts, Jane's, published an article describing how "EU treaty worries US intel services". An extract from that article, below, shows them making a very similar point to Ganley - namely that the US finds it much easier to deal with individual countries (bi-lateral links) than it does from the EU state machinery. This is a natural consequence of the reduced imbalance in forces between the EU and the US compared to that between the US and any individual EU member state.

"US intelligence community officials, US law enforcement agencies and the Department of Homeland Security routinely praise their European counterparts for using various bilateral mechanisms to pursue joint initiatives encompassing non-proliferation, immigration and other counterterrorism-related issues.

In contrast, Washington-based policy makers regularly criticise EU-wide bodies for proving at best ineffectual - and at worst downright disruptive - in their efforts in the 'global war on terrorism'. Common criticisms include an inability to determine an appropriate point of contact for US officials in Brussels - a perception that many Europeans are misguidedly seeking a negotiated solution to the 'war on terrorism' and excessive preoccupation on the part of EU lawmakers with protecting the privacy of EU nationals suspected of engaging in terrorist-related activities.

US intelligence and security officials have been able to circumvent EU institutions in many cases so far by relying extensively on formal and informal arrangements with the individual member governments. In addition, Washington has felt confident that its European allies would use their powers to veto unwelcome EU-wide proposals in areas related to security and defence. If adopted, the Lisbon treaty could threaten many of these arrangements. ". [27]

Now, we come to the crunch. Towards the end of his FPRI article, Ganley pitches the following idea:

"The convention can only be countered with a true and fair vision for a United Europe. Europeans who until now have kept their views to themselves should mobilize to stop this tide. They must overcome groupings and parties based on legacy national organizations to form a new organization and articulate a clear and achievable vision for Europe’s future. Rather than try to define itself in contradistinction to the United States, this new Europe must be an equal partner and influence for the worldwide extension of justice and liberty. Such a political party— I will for the sake of discussion call it “Libertas” - will need to challenge the engrained composition of the convention in local and regional elections, as well as running candidates at member-state and EU levels. The old structures need shaking up."

There we have it. Ganley first pitched the idea of Libertas in the context of a journal devoted to research that "advances US National Interests" and with an audience that consists mainly of US strategic decision makers. The obvious inference is that Libertas was conceived of as an instrument to advance US National interests - otherwise the choice of publication venue makes no sense whatsoever.

Conclusion

This article has examined the reality behing the Libertas campaign, the connections of its two high-profile backers, the implausibility of its message, the peculiar nature of its campaign and some of the underlying strategic differences at play. The conclusion is that the evidence suggests that Libertas is most likely to serve primarily as a vehicle for advancing US strategic interests. However, it is important to remember that while this is the most likely and most plausible conclusion about the underlying forces at play, it is impossible to ever be certain about any individual's motivation. It is possible that both Ganley and McEvaddy are both entirely genuine in their stated reasons for opposing Lisbon - although that would mean that they are also seriously stupid and completely incapable of understanding many of the elementary facts about the treaty. There's also the possibility that some other underlying motive is at play, but the evidence seems to points towards the Pentagon.

All of the material in this article is in the public domain. Ironically, the source of some of the information contained herein is David Cochrane's politics.ie site where more speculative and less well substantiated versions of this argument have been published over the last few weeks: see here: http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?f=172&t=34169 (hat-tip to ibis) It is interesting that despite all of this material being in the public domain, it has been Internet posters who have raised it, while the media has essentially provided Libertas with mountains of coverage, without bothering to even check as to whether it's a real campaign at all. That's because the Irish media does little other than recycle press releases, and is utterly cowardly when dealing with stuff that might annoy powerful people.

Finally, for those who might suspect that this is a hatchet job aimed at discrediting the No Campaign. I am actually a No campaigner myself. See here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86857

Ordered References

  1. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/264/1/
  2. http://integrator.hanscom.af.mil/2006/July/07132006/07132006-16.htm
  3. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/brothers-with-altitude-400889.html
  4. http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0114/knock.html
  5. http://www.cinews.ie/article.php?artid=3126
  6. http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/by-date/2007/031907.htm
  7. http://www.defenselink.mil/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=3731
  8. http://www.rte.ie/news/1999/0829/harney.html
  9. http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2006/03/19/story12731.asp
  10. http://www.entrepreneursforgrowth.org/AA8D8/Board/Declan_J_Ganley.aspx
  11. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/article1061337.ece?token=null&offset=0
  12. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87241
  13. http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070823/1a_lede23_dom.art.htm
  14. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/so-has-the-russian-mafia-finally-met-its-match-617246.html
  15. http://www.ltc-la.org/en/cms/?57
  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Intelligence_Community
  17. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Intelligence%2C_Surveillance_and_Reconnaissance_Agency
  18. http://www.uscg.mil/History/faqs/CGI.html
  19. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Geospatial-Intelligence_Agency
  20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Intelligence_Activity
  21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Intelligence_and_Analysis
  22. http://www.dhs.gov/index.shtm
  23. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing
  24. http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0326/1206144724894.html
  25. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/257/132/
  26. http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0128/1201301321279.html
  27. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/253/127/
  28. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/264/127/
  29. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/259/127/
  30. http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2008/01/27/story29928.asp
  31. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/252/131/
  32. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/256/127/
  33. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland/business/article3588838.ece
  34. http://www.amcham.ie/article.cfm?idarticle=519
  35. http://ibec.ie/ibec/press/presspublicationsdoclib3.nsf/wvIBECLatestNews/48B82159CE2861668025742B004B573D
  36. http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?f=172&t=34175
  37. http://www.libertas.org/content/view/84/90/
  38. http://www.janes.com/news/publicsafety/jid/jid080117_1_n.shtml
  39. http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=news.story.page&obj_id=142045
  40. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/opinion/28flynn.html
  41. http://thehill.com/business--lobby/foreign-dod-contractors-under-lens-2008-04-16.html
  42. http://www.fpri.org/about/
  43. http://www.fpri.org/ww/0405.200312.ganley.euconstitution.html

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/voteno

Libertas Satirised
Libertas Satirised

author by W Smithpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 00:35Report this post to the editors

I don't think this article is helped by having a photoshopped picture on the heading. It depends on being taken at face value, since it's unlikely that very many readers will check all the links.

There is a good argument that NO doctored pictures should be used on a news site, but maybe they have their place. I strongly suggest that putting a doctored picture at the head of what is a very considered piece, does it no favours.

author by Donpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 01:06Report this post to the editors

I usually consider 90% of articles in indymedia to be rubbish, but this a great article, the best one I've read so far on this site. The bit about Ulick McEvaddy, is very concerning. Today at a Libertas public meeting, the subject came up, if I had read this before, i would have brought it up.

"John McGuirk, a famously poor communicator, who has apparently been employed for his PR skills."

Thats hilarious. I would consider posting up e-mails I've got from JMcG, but I would probably get in trouble over them.

author by Rahoodpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:25Report this post to the editors

You have left the Media with little choice but to follow up on this

crowd_clapping.gif

author by Libertarianpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:27Report this post to the editors

Jaysus.... I must admit I was competely ignorant of the background to Declan Ganley's Libertas group.

I was aware that all those ex College graduates that formed Freedom Institute were involved, but never made the link with the US Military contractors.

They seem to have a real vanguardist approach (like Opus Dei) in their organisational techniques: look at the amount of coverage that brain dead moron Richard Waghorne gets. He seems to maneouver himself into all forms of commentary on public affairs. Its depressing.

Anyway, cheers for the article...... hopefully the mainstream press will run with the story also, and depict these scumbags for what they are: lying, deceiving gangster capitalists.

author by bassetpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 13:30Report this post to the editors

Well let's hope this article and the claims made in it are not taken up by the mass media, since to do so will only harm the NO to Lisbon side. While many of us would have no time for the boys in Libertas, we'd probably have little in common with some others on the NO side too. The campaign against the treaty s a broad church.

It's not necessary to agree with everyone about everything.

This seems to be a lesson that the left in Ireland is slow to learn, with attacks on our allies seemingly easier than landing blows on the opposition. So what if they are gangsters?- Better that they are inside the tent pissing out, as some politico used to say, than outside the tent pissing in.

The important thing is to secure a No vote.

author by Ceannpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 13:30Report this post to the editors

"Anyway, cheers for the article...... hopefully the mainstream press will run with the story also, and depict these scumbags for what they are: lying, deceiving gangster capitalists."

Perhaps it should wait until after the referendum!

author by Con Carrollpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 14:57Report this post to the editors

absolute depressing reading can we have something to cheer us up

author by Raymondpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 15:29Report this post to the editors

A tremendously well-researched and convincing article.
However, "Basset" has a point - I'd phrase it a bit differently, though. If "Ganley's underlying message is clear - the more tightly integrated the EU is politically, the harder it will be for the US to influence it." then many people who see US influence as something baleful might be tempted to vote Yes.
My own belief is, on the contrary, that the Lisbon Treaty fits into the trend whereby there is more and more consensus between the EU and US, together forming that amorphous ideological entity known as "The West" and crusading against Muslims, terrorists, socialists, etc.
This article demonstrates that opponents of Lisbon had better have their arguments ready when its supporters say "but Lisbon will liberate the EU from US influence, not the opposite..."

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 15:35author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone 01-2351512Report this post to the editors

Since 1996 the Peace & Neutrality Alliance has campaigned for the right of the Irish people to have their own Independent Foreign Policy pursued through a reformed United Nations and to advocate that Ireland remains neutral. We did so because we were convinced that it was the intention of the Irish political to integrate Ireland into the US/EU/NATO military axis to ensure Ireland's full and active participation in the resource wars of the 21st century, wars which would only end with the inevitable defeat of the US/EU/NATO axis. The Renamed EU Constitution(the Lisbon Treaty) is only the next step in that process. PANA's focus therefore is in seeking a NO vote to the Treaty and to ignore groups like Libertas that are only a minor distration to the anti-Imperialist struggle in which PANA has played a role in the last decade or so. The fact that RTE and the rest of the corporate media have made Libertas and Ganley the "leaders" of the NO campaign is quite deliberate as they do not want to allow the militarisation of the EU and Ireland's integration into the EU/US/NATO structures to be issues in the campaign. They have all but ignored PANA and CAECU and nobody should be surprised. Our main enemy is not Ganley. It is the born again Remondite Imperialists which includes virtually all the corporate media and mainstream parties that advocate a yes vote. The problem for these Irish Imperialists is that there is a very powerful and deeply rooted ani-Imperialist tradition in Ireland from the time Tone wrote, 'The Spanish War' in 1790 when he first advocated Irish Independence and Irish Neutrality. PANA and the other groups that belong to that tradition defeated them in the Nice 1 referendum and we should be confident that if we remain focused we can do so again in a few weeks time.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by MichaelY - CAEUC - No to Lisbon/iawmpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 16:54Report this post to the editors

To take up some of the points raised above, while Chekov has done admirable work on Ganley and his cohorts, I now think it would be better if he was to spend some time analysing the anti-social and anti-democratic impact of the treaty and organising against it with his comrades. There are those of us who think that his and WSM's (if that's what it is) position in attacking Libertas is possibly only a cover: it makes him/them look very oh-so very radical while concealing their abstentionism on the Lisbon issue. And in the process, provide ammunition (sic) for detractors to attack and attempt to divide the NO side.

We should focus on the fact that Pat the Cope Gallagher turned the first sod for a private hospital this morning in Donegal. Lisbon facilitates competition between state and private-for- profit service providers - to the benefit of the latter. Art 16 gives the EU greater powers to influence the 'economic and financial conditions' under which states with budget deficits should run their public services; and 188c removes the veto on trade in health, education and social services - making it easier for neoliberal governments (like ours) to support deregulation (during the trade negotiations) to permit transnationals access to the health market at an EU-wide level (which is what happens in a GATS agreement) and so entrench their policies into international agreements; and likewise to undermine the ability of states that have not as yet gone as far as ours to resist deregulation.

Combined with the rulings of the ECJ (based on existing treaties, esp Art 49) that distinguish between policy formulation ('the principles and objectives') - which remain the prerogative of member states - and 'the arrangements for implementation of the principles and objectives', to which the ECJ says the internal market rules apply in any instances where remuneration is involved (which includes instances where a state funds a service on behalf of a citizen), a pincer movement is being put in place to establish competition between state and private providers as the norm. Thus a creeping privatisation is set in motion, with all of the associated anti-social outcomes. Lisbon is a part of this.

A section of the libertarian movement thinks that this deregulation, combined with militarisation and loss of democracy, is all happening anyway, so the treaty / referendum doesn't really matter. I sincerely believe they're missing the point. If they're prepared to take some comradely advice, they should get on with focussing on FF-PD-Green- Labour deception / collusion in relation to the treaty and work with the rest of us in the CAEUC for a truly popular NO vote.

You can contact the Campaign and its 15 affiliated organisations in
www.caeuc.org.
Our next organising meeting will take place in Dublin's Teachers Club on Wednesday May 7th 20.00 houirs

author by Joepublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 17:05Report this post to the editors

Excellent article Chekov. Best I've seen on Indymedia in a long, long time.

author by Eh?publication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 17:26Report this post to the editors

Check the final link in the article michael.

author by Buckpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 17:26Report this post to the editors

I have always been against giving increased powers to Europe but when you consider that we seem to have useless, greedy leader after useless, greedy leader one has to ask if you could possibly be any worse off if we were ruled from Brussels or Strasbourg. We have the Euro's trying to manipulate us on one side and the yanks trying the same on the other side, and I know which I prefer - the peacemakers!

author by Gaz B -(A)- - WSM (pers cap)publication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 17:30Report this post to the editors

"I now think it would be better if he was to spend some time analysing the anti-social and anti-democratic impact of the treaty and organising against it with his comrades. There are those of us who think that his and WSM's (if that's what it is) position in attacking Libertas is possibly only a cover: it makes him/them look very oh-so very radical while concealing their abstentionism on the Lisbon issue."

WSM are not abstaining on Lisbon, we are calling for a No Vote. Below is the link to the leaflet we're producing.

http://www.wsm.ie/attachments/apr2008/wsm_lisbon_leafle...t.pdf
http://www.wsm.ie/story/3825

author by Eurostarpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 17:37Report this post to the editors

Many congratulations on a tight and well-researched piece. Coming from a pro-Lisbon position I am struck by the historic consistency with which US defence and intelligence communities have consistently opposed moves towards EU political integration. They have traditionally characterised it as a) being without content/substance but are now increasingly moving to an analysis of b) that it is against US national interest and dangerous to the Atlantic Alliance.

Supporting academic analysis has come from The Heritage Foundation; " This draft constitution challenges U.S. strategic, diplomatic, judicial, and military interests. It enshrines modish and ephemeral values as supreme law for 25 separate nation-states with the intention of fully globalizing its lofty and elite-driven policies." http://www.heritage.org/Research/Europe/bg1991.cfm as well more establishment voices such as that of the Council on Foreign Relations' own 'Foreign Affairs' and Jeffrey Cimbalo's article on 'Saving NATO from Europe' which insists that "The proposed EU constitution makes clear that the new Europe seeks to balance rather than complement U.S. power-making .European political integration is the greatest challenge to U.S. influence in Europe since World War II." http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20041101faessay83610/jeff....html

If Lisbon = the Constitutional Treaty in all but name :-) then we can expect to see more such material in the short term and Libertas' efforts are simply those of a small local cohort prioritising Irish transAtlantic interests over Irish European links. This has, by the way, been a pretty consistant line coming from Prionias De Rossa as explanation for his support of the European project i.e. that a stronger Europe is needed to balance the US.

Again, from a pro-treaty perspective, is funny/scary to see the left/right extremes circle back on each other to the extent that their policy lines morph into consistancy - united in a determination that the European Union should not be an effective international actor albeit for rather different reasons.

author by Jerry Ppublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 17:49Report this post to the editors

If you want a real conspiracy theory try this: the Eu Parliament are the only "government" to publicly challenge the US on rendition:

http://www.avalon5.com/index.php/world-domination/europ...ghts/

If Lisbon is passed, Eu counter-terrorism will be subject to oversight by the Eu Parliament!

author by tirgananampublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 18:03Report this post to the editors




Ben Hayes of 'Statewatch' discusses the ongoing creation of an EU transnational state apparatus in areas such as security, Justice & Home Affairs, surveillance, and immigration 'control'. These new powers, often transferred to the EU level without public debate or democratic oversight, raise serious questions about the ongoing erosion of civil liberties across the EU.

Recorded in Liberty Hall, Dublin, January 23rd, 2008 -- as part of seminar series "Aspects of the EU" organised by The People's Movement / Gluaiseach an Phobail -- www.people.ie

See Ben Hayes homepage:

http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-u...

Below Links to more Videos

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=tirgananam&p=r
author by MichaelY - CAEUC - iawmpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 18:21Report this post to the editors

Eurostar's (anonymous) analysis of the imaginary scenario of how the development of EU political (and military) integration is (somehow and somewhat) opposed by the US defence and intelligence communities, constitutes another instance of the YES side attempting to impose an ideological so-called 'resistance' veneer on the dominant positions of the major political parties in the Dail. The very same political forces that have allowed Shannon to become a US base with the passage of over 1 million US soldiers, ammunitions and torture flights.
If one follows this analysis, FF, the few PDs with Harney at the helm, Fine Gael and the Green leadership are all (potentially if not real) anti_US imperialist activists attempting to consolidate a European integration that is tendentially if not in current practice against US interests!!
"This has, by the way, been a pretty consistant line coming from Prionias De Rossa " says our analyst, never mind the spelling mistakes.
This brings me back a few thirty years when Proinsias' then Party, the Workers Party, was part of the Coalition opposing Ireland's entry to the then EEC - following the Soviet Union's CP line that a strong EEC would be against the interests of 'socialism'. And the fiercest opponents of that line from the 'Left' were the Maoists following the PR of China's and Mao's line that a strong EEC (now EU) would be the greatest threat to US Imperialism!!
Both views, based on an utterly unrealistic set of facts and evaluations, and consistent with the interests of thoe forces promoting them, completely and utterly understate the effect of the EEC/EU/Lisbon debate on Irish sovereignty, the public health and education services, its effect on Trade with the underdeveloped countries and the highly negative consequence of Lisbon's militarisation aspect on our relations with the rest of the world.

Voting NO and re-aligning Irish foreign policy towards non-alignment and independence seem to be the only alterrnatives we have. This is a position far removed from Libertas, from our valiant anti-imperialists of the Dail including Proinsias, and from the views of 'independent' analysts like Eurostar.

author by antypublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 20:09Report this post to the editors

Thanks for a fascinating article, though I've been told the Indo claim about McEvaddy working for army intelligence is fanciful to say the least. Anyway I doubt a career in the Irish army would be any more useful at ingratiating a potential defence contractor to the Pentagon than a hangar full of planes going cheap.

To be honest I think its a case of follow the money more than spooks - McEvaddy and Ganley were both adept at taking advantage of the Bush and Cheney obsession with outsourcing as much as they could of their invasions. If that requires them to do the neocons a favour on Lisbon, its probably a small and very remunerative investment. Of course, they may be big fish here but just wait till they get in the way of Haliburton.

author by Kimberly Jacobspublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 20:10Report this post to the editors

The contributions of Michael Y are a bit strange. On behalf of the CAEUC (not in a personal capacity) he attacks the WSM far more viciously than he disagrees with Libertas. Because the WSM are campaigning for a No vote in a different way, he accuses them of not campaigning at all. Or is it maybe just because they have chosen not to affiliate with the particular campaign he happens to be a leader of? Far from splitting the No vote, left-wing No campaigners clearly differentiating ourselves from right-wing No campaigners strengthens us.

It seemed that the CAEUC was originally clear that theirs would be a left campaign. One of the things that defines a left campaign is that it attacks the right. Has the CAEUC now shifted its position? Do Michael Y's comments represent the CAUEC, as he claims? Do all those groups affiliated to the CAEUC agree with his call to leave Libertas alone and round on the WSM?

author by Vote No to Lisbonpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 20:19Report this post to the editors

I've just read the article and frankly I'll be surprised if either of the two gentlemen in question don't sue.Any dog with a mallet up its arse could look up the personal history of either man and find nothing whatsoever linking them to what you assert.
Lucinda Creighton is nothing more than a joke and Fine Gael will do themselves no favours by allowing someone who shows such levels of incompetence a role in such an important campaign.
I'll be voting No to the Lisbon treaty and I won't be alone.When the government we (and by we i don't actually mean myself) as a nation elected treat us like idiots and refuse to supply us with facts regarding a treaty which WILL be our last chance to make our voice count on issues which will affect how we govern ourselves, we should send them a strong message.
Indymedia you say?....does the indy stand for independent ? and if so independent in favour of whom?.

author by No Voterpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 20:55Report this post to the editors

But at the end of the day a 'No vote' is a 'No Vote', and it doesn't matter what group of the diverse 'No campaign' can claim credit for it. And it's votes that count..............

author by liz - CAEUC-personal capacitypublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 21:14Report this post to the editors

I reckon the Yes campaign was waiting until nearer the referendum to spread this info about Libertas members so as to try to destroy the entire No campaign. Chekhov has pre-empted that and it's a great kick-off for the WSM NO campaign. Hopefully there'll be plenty of media discussion on this which will be skillfully focused back onto the Treaty. I think it's vital to show that the No campaign is not Libertas but made up of various groups opposed to the Treaty on the grounds of Militarization, Democratic deficit and Privatization of Public services as well as Neo-liberalism and enforced trade liberalization for developing countries. This is currently difficult as the commercial media is focusing only on right wingers and will probably soon focus on paranoid right wing xenophobes. Community radio, tv and papers are the best bet as well as just talking to everybody about the Treaty. Getting ourselves heard should get a bit easier 4 weeks before the referendum when they have to give equal airtime to both sides and we'll all have to be good and ready. Looking forward to it. Nice one :)

author by MichaelY - CAEUC/iawm (personal capacity)publication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 22:06Report this post to the editors

First, and above all, my attitude to Chekov's article was clearly outlined in my very first sentence: "Chekov has done admirable work on Ganley and his cohorts" Some of my comrades may find this comment of mine "strange" but there it is in b&w.

Secondly, and clarifying the CAEUC position, of which I am just a member and NOT a leader [with 15 affiliated organisations any individual claiming to be a member must have their head examined] at previous meetings we decided to focus on building a broad progressive alliance so that the Renamed EU Constitution (the Lisbon Treaty) be opposed on that basis and t o i g n o r e g r o u p s like L i b e r t a s. That remains our agreed position to date.

And there is nothing in that position that states our agreement or diagreement with groups such as Libertas - it's a political stance of a broad front, made up of a number of party/organisation activists and a great number of independents

"One of the things that defines a left campaign is that it attacks the right" says Kimberley. This may be so and the CAEUC members/activists have consistently attacked the Right's positions in Forum meetings, piublic meetings, local discussions, campaign meetings. If by 'right' Kimberley refers to Libertas, please read again the sentence above.

Finally on the WSM - I am delighted to hear that our anarchist comrades have decided to be active on the NO side and perhaps my comment on 'abstentionism' was misplaced. It was good to see a copy of their forthcoming leaflet and I am sure it would strengthen our joint efforts to ensure a NO vote and defeat the FF/PD/Green/LP cabal. Nobody is "rounding on the WSM"....we all wish them good luck and the best success in their efforts. And I am sure we will meet them in the innumerable meetings that will be coming up between now and June 12th.

author by Nikitapublication date Sat Apr 26, 2008 02:07Report this post to the editors

Theres 15 groups in CAEUC?

I count 13. Who are the other two?

http://www.caeuc.org/index.php?q=node/6

author by Grateful Readpublication date Sat Apr 26, 2008 03:24Report this post to the editors

One of the better pieces on Indymedia.ie for a while. The statements of hypothesis, evidence, plausible speculation and then conclusion are very reasonable and left me a lot more informed than I was before I read this piece. Thanks.

As regards the arguments about the effect of this piece I think it's fairly obvious that the coarse outlines of the material would have been known to the Yes/IBEC/government side and would have been used to smash the No vote early on. It's not very different after all from what happened with Barret's involvement in the last referendum.

It's disturbing that some commenteers would rather hope that we all remain in ignorance of this material instead of trusting us to be able to come to a reasonable conclusion -- a sort of vanguardist "don't confuse the people" attitude. And this seems to be coupled with an inaccurate and stupid attack which has as its focus not the sinister LIbertas people, nor yet the Eurocrat superstatist anti-democrats, but instead their ostensible comrades on the left: the WSM.

A picture postcard of ineffective sectarianism.

author by A No voterpublication date Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:08Report this post to the editors

Just a curious question to the 'yes' campaign:

Instead of engaging in a meaningful debate on the Lisbon Treaty and instead of presenting the treaty in a readable form, why is it so important for the "yes" camp to lead personal campaigns against those - either from the lower or the upper class - who Vote No to an unreadable constitution?

author by blooppublication date Sat Apr 26, 2008 15:45Report this post to the editors

1) The author clearly states that he is a "No" campaigner.

2) All of the comments thus far, save 3, seem to come from a "No" position.

Try reading something before you comment on it

author by Kimberly Jacobspublication date Sat Apr 26, 2008 18:56Report this post to the editors

It's good to see when things move along: (1) Michael Y is now speaking in his personal capacity, (2) he is withdrawing his accusation of abstentionism against the WSM, and talking nicely to them. Thank you for that much.

But he says the CAEUC's position is indeed (and he emphasises it) "to ignore Libertas". It would be good to hear the rationale behind this position. It strikes me as very bad on several levels. Even from a media point of view, it will make it harder to break through the focus on Ganley's crew. If the CAEUC isn't telling anyone why it's different from Libertas, then why should the media talk to the CAEUC rather than Libertas?

But could someone clarify when the CAEUC decided to leave Libertas alone? Was it a long time ago (the CAEUC has been around for years) before these 15 or 13 organisations affiliated? Did these new affiliates have a say in the decision? It's just that I think some of them won't like the idea of spending the next 6 weeks keeping their mouths shut about the neo-cons on the No side.

author by A No Voterpublication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:32Report this post to the editors

(In response to "Mother of two")

My point is that we have seen enough of the attempts to approach the question of the Lisbon Treaty from irrelevant and irrational points of view. What we are still missing in general, is objective arguments for the Lisbon Treaty and genuine discussions on the Treaty’s implications.

Voting no to the Lisbon Treaty for many of us has been justified on rational and objective arguments. Accordingly, voting no means rejecting a tricky treaty and asking for another, straigthforward and readable constitutional treaty. All we are asking for is the chance for a meaningful debate among the voters and the leaders of Europe.
Voting no to Lisbon also means a yes to the most honorable and truly democratic efforts of the Eudemocrats (EUD). In contrast with the common belief that the "only choice" or "the best deal" is to sign an incomprehensible constitutional treaty, there is an alternative, and there is a better choice than what the Lisbon Treaty can offer us. The alternative to the current trend of Lisbon, is an organisation led by prominent EU-politicians devoted to developing a democratic and concise constitution and a democratic and transparent institutional framework for the EU. The President of the EUD is a member of the European Parliament (MEP): Jens-Peter Bonde, who has recently resigned from his office as a MEP because of the EU's profoundly antidemocratic turn with the Lisbon Treaty. The EUD's website: http://www.eudemocrats.org/)

This article however is just another attempt to divert attention from the relevant and objective questions such as the serious deficit of democracy triggered by the Lisbon process and the Treaty itself. This article is deliberately associated with the NO campaign (Libertas). Through the attempt to personally discredit the leading figures of the NO campaign, by this association it serves as an attempt to subjectively undermine the 'NO to Lisbon' position. The article thus commits the common fallacy called "poisoning the well". (=when someone attempts to refute an argument not by an objective refutation of the argument itself, but by questioning the person upholding the argument.) In such context the author's statement about his own 'no' position is subjective and irrelevant as well and intensifies the personal element of his invalid argument.

In addition to his committing the fallacy "poisoning the well", it is also clear that the author is not informed on what the Libertas campaign is about. For someone who actually has read what Libertas states on its website (http://www.libertas.org), it is clear that the author’s statement about Libertas is false and lacks all substance: "their [Libertas] willingness to use scaremongering about abortion and tax harmonisation, that they are trying to maximise the No vote and don't really care on what basis people reject the treaty."

From this statement it is also evident that the author has not read the Lisbon Treaty, and/or he is unaware of the real political and economical implications of the treaty. However, for those who read this treaty and who understand the constitutional aspects of it, it is obvious that the Lisbon Treaty is a constitution of a new federal state (EU) and accordingly Ireland will become one political unit together with the other 26 states. This furthermore entails that Ireland, just like the other EU-states, will lose its independent decision-power not only in issues like tax-harmonisation or abortion but virtually in every aspect of our lives.

The current requirement of unanimity in deciding on the tax issue does not rule this out, because:

1) The Lisbon Treaty itself has self-amending capabilities, including modifying laws and rules of the existing treaties whenever the general policies of the EU requires modification and further extension of the powers of the Union.

2) The Lisbon Treaty makes it legitimate to depart from the contractual basis by a declaration that the EU has been following the practice of placing the Union law above national law without existing contractual basis.

“At the time of the first judgment of this established case law ... there was no mention of primacy in the treaty. It is still the case today. The fact that the principle of primacy will not be included in the future treaty shall not in any way change the existence of the principle and the existing case-law of the Court of Justice.” (Lisbon Treaty, FINAL ACT (2007/C 306/02): 17. Declaration concerning primacy)


This declaration also claims that this practice will remain in place in the future, despite the fact that the lack of contractual basis is still the case . This aspect underlines and adds to the capability of the EU to continue the free extension of its powers over the EU-member states by maintaining such rights even without any further written agreements among the EU-states.

The necessity that under Lisbon Ireland will have to adopt the central directives of Brussels is true both on a general and specific level. Generally it follows from the fact that, according to the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, Brussels takes over the role of the national parliaments, while the tasks of the national parliaments, as we know them, will cease to exist. Furthermore, the requirement of tax-harmonisation, on a specific level, follows from the requirement of a consistent market regulation within a federal EU. Inasmuch as the European Central Bank has control over the monetary regulations, the EU-leadership will need a central control over the EU's budgetary regulations, i.e. government spending and tax policies, which altogether will determine the macroeconomical policies set by the central EU-government for all the 27 member states. (nb: Even Barroso admitted that he cannot rule out tax-harmonisation within EU)

For more information on the Lisbon Treaty and the findings of a thorough research on the topics, see:

"The Lisbon Treaty Blog"
http://howardh.wordpress.com/about/

Related Link: http://howardh.wordpress.com/
author by blooppublication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:38Report this post to the editors

Ok, I'll try and explain summarise this thread for you as you seem determined not to actually read it:

- Libertas is not the No campaign. It's just one group opposing the treaty. There are many other groups opposing it

- The author of the above piece is a member of such a group, the WSM. His group's stance on Lisbon has been much discussed on this page.

- It is possible to simultaneously oppose one thing while also disagreeing with other opponents. My enemy's enemy doesn't have to be my friend. Is that too complex for you?

author by MichaelY - CAEUC / iawmpublication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:47Report this post to the editors

Dear KJ

I think we have exhausted the usefulness of our tic-tac.....as today's Red C poll shows that we, on the NO side, have a very good and fighting chance of defeating the Lisbon proponents, we in our campaign would like to concentrate on more specific work promoting the CAEUC and the NO arguments than debating almost philosophical issues.
To answer your question, the CAEUC decided not to concentrate on Libertas about 8-9 weeks ago....all of the affiliated organisations are fully aware of that position and to my knowledge, and as a result of that decision, none of the affiliates has focussed on Ganley and his cabal.
My final point : most of us who have tried to make the CAEUC a political reality over the last three months, an active and organic broad front of organisations that share a political view on a key issue such as the Lisbon Treaty while retaining (at times serious) political differences in many other issues....we all are in the process of learning a few lessons of the implications of such work.......what to say and what not to say, when to say it, where to say it and to whom to say it. We have studied the Treaty, all its 330 plus pages and its Protocols and Declarations, we have discussed its implications and we are continuing our work.
To come back to your earlier point, yes there is in some of us a certain sadness re:the fact that our anarchist comrades, with whom many of us shared platforms in the anti-nuclear struggle, in the amendments, in the Divorce and the Nice referenda, have decided to 'go it alone' this time round. That's their prerogative of course and as I said above the best of luck to them.

Over the next couple of days there are a number of interesting meeetings you may wish to attend :

Tomorrow Monday 28th at 19.30 there is a meeting in the Minella Hotel in Clonmel
On Tuesday 29th there are two meetings: in Lawlor's Hotel in Naas (20.00 hours) and the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise1(9.30). Plenty of room to debate our points in public.
And on Wednesday 30th SF's Mary Lou is speaking in the Whitefriars St Community Centre

Take care and solidarity

author by aristotlepublication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:03Report this post to the editors

People wll vote "no" for many different reasons. The fringe left has its own reasons. Ditto the fringe right. So what! People of all political shades have made, or are making, their own individual decisions for a multitude of reasons. Syndicates don't vote, individuals vote.

If you bother to browse through the various opinion forums you will discover just how diverse are the views on this treaty. Right-wing opinion in the US (Weekly Standard, National Review, Heritage, Washington Times etc.) is opposed because it oposes all EU integration. It sees the EU as a potential political rival to the US. In particular, it sees any further foreign-policy/military integration as both a threat to US foeign-policy hegemony and giving the EU an independent rather than a US-subsidiary military capability. The lasez-faire element of the right see the EU as irredeemably "dirigiste" and imbued with the despised values of "welfare democracy".

Whether McEvaddy and Libertas are much influenced by such ideology and US-centred analysis is doubtful. I suspect that most of these people are (like much of the leftist and centre opposition) motivated by ordinary nationalism. They just don't like superstates. They don't want to see any further power devolving to super-national bureaucrats as the inevitable consequence of the dilution and dispersal of the existing decision-making structures. They probably believe that the EU should only be an economic union, and that it should get out of (or be forced out of) international politics. There is probably a gut antipathy to the entire integrationist aganda of the euro-elites.

There is no question that there is growing opinion in Ireland that the EU is already too large, and that this Treaty will facilate even greater enlargement. There is little doubt that opinion in the core EU nations (The old "West") believes that while Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were part of "our" cultural Europe, Romania and Bulgaria are certainly not. Many in the centre, who agree that the EU must have a political element also believe that such a political and democratic EU is only sustainable if Turkey and the Balkans (save Greece) are kept out, and that the enlargement project must be stopped.

Another growing strand of centrist opinion is that this is the wrong sort of treaty. What is needed is a concise and self-contained document describing the basic organic law of the community and the fundamental rights necessitated by an economic community ("The Four Freedoms"). This over-complex prolix and ambiguous bit of Giscard-speak should be consigned to the bin.

And the fringe-left? Who cares? It objects to everything anyway, and in any case only comprises a miniscule proportion of the Irish electorate. The decision on the Treaty will be made by the centre, and the centre will reject it narrowly.

author by A No Voterpublication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 13:07Report this post to the editors

I have read the "thread" and what I have commented on is the fact that this discussion has been placed in the context of the Libertas no campaign.
(I quoted the respective part of the article.)

I pointed out that the author's statements - regardless of his position on the treaty - are false and I presented the truth against his belief. Instead of objective arguments with substance, what the voters are largely presented with is an ongoing propaganda on behalf of the Treaty, with false statements, beliefs and subjective arguments like those embedded in this article.

I also explained that the discussion of this subject in the context of a prominent and well-known NO campaign group, Libertas is a logical fallacy known as "poisoning the well". In this regard the author's group's stance is also an invalid argument. It is just another fallacy to imply that what he says stands on an "objective" basis just because his group is another No group. Regarding the question why to vote yes or no to the Lisbon Treaty it is an invalid argument to discuss who is whose friend, who is whose enemy and what is the personal background of someone who takes a stand on either side.

Libertas is one of the main representatives of the No campaign presenting objective arguments against the Lisbon Treaty. If anyone - another 'no' group or a 'yes' group- wants to invalidate the arguments of Libertas, that should also stand on an objective basis, directly related to the Lisbon Treaty itself and the EU's methods in enforcing it.

For a more detailed analysis of the objective reasons why to vote no see:

http://nationalplatform.wordpress.com/category/a-short-...uide/

Related Link: http://nationalplatform.wordpress.com/
author by proberlyabstainingpublication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 16:57Report this post to the editors

Libertas gives credence to cauec's arguments about military, our 'neutrality' and the capitalism cemented in law and LDC development etc, libertas and yes campaign types both want to be able to impose their power across the globe, that's what Merkel said when she was here, cauec would do well to talk about the atlanctists vs eu superpower-ists, here you have a blatant example on a plate to compare and yet you decided to ignore them?

Time for some more king nor kaiser politics from cauec.

author by Shop Stewardpublication date Mon Apr 28, 2008 09:21Report this post to the editors

IM(very)HO this is the best piece of work I've EVER read on Indymedia. Credit and respect goes to Chekov. Shame goes the mainstream media who have totally and utterly failed to delve into the Libertas phenomenon. Truly they have downskilled journalism and reduced it to banal recycling of press releases.

How about an investigation of the real story here ie the failure of the mainstream media to do what Chekov did? What shadowy links might be at work? Makes you wonder.

author by H.B.publication date Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:03Report this post to the editors

Both McEvaddy's Omaega Air and Ganley's military links have been covered before.

This is interesting stuff, but it's not a scoop.

author by Bricriupublication date Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:58Report this post to the editors

A lot of the info in this article about Ganley has appeared already in The Phoenix. Do Indymedia people not read this mag.? It contains most of the stories the 'Manufacturing Consent' mainstream media won't publish. The Phoenix also ran some good articles about John McQuirk, PR man for Libertas --he's some character!

I've nothing to do with The Phoenix except being a subscriber and a reader.

author by normal blokepublication date Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:06Report this post to the editors

This is all interesting stuff, but hardly a surprise.

I'm voting no because I don't want a Euro-government run by the politicians who messed up the Nice situation in 1998-2004. Too many new members having a say when they can hardly run their own countries. Let's get Europe right before pretending to be statesmen in front of the hard men in Iran, Palestine-Israel, Sudan and Zimbabwe, all of whom despise us.

I don't want the army to be called into a "pre-emptive" anti-terrorist role under the treaty.

Peter Mandelson may do the job for us. At a time when the world needs more food, by whatever means, Europe will now grow less.

McEvaddy & Co are entitled to their opinions, and I'm sure that other No voters on the left would have been broadly in favour in the 1970s-1980s of a demilitarized Europe under the effective control of the Soviet Union. I disagree with both.

author by Parvuspublication date Tue Apr 29, 2008 03:10Report this post to the editors

Have you considered the possibility that the US actually wants the Treaty to come into operation and that the Libertas stunt is actually just part of the game?

Perhaps an incompetent Libertas campaign proporting to show that the US opposes the Treaty is designed to cause knee-jerk anti-American peacenik types to actually support the Treaty because they think the US opposes it?

Do you see how this might work?

It allows far-right Atlanticist types like Fluffy Lucinda and her FF/FG/PD corporate mates to actually seem as if they are standing up to mean old Uncle Sam.

Things seem a bit of a wilderness of mirrors right now.

Same as it ever was.

author by WAKE UP - FREEMANpublication date Wed Apr 30, 2008 02:39author email irishstu at hushmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Can't people see through this charade? The role of libertas is very clear here, Damage the No Vote campaign, these people need to be exposed now before they can damage the No Vote. How coveinient to have more establishment soulless sell outs, represent us, it makes me sick. Remember folks we are stuck in this left right paradigm, our masters know well how to manipulate us.

author by Bar Stool Braggartpublication date Wed Apr 30, 2008 02:43Report this post to the editors

Have you considered the possibility that the US actually wants the Treaty to come into operation and that the Libertas stunt is actually just part of the game?


And even more deviously, there's the possibility that the US doesn't want the Treaty, so they set up the Libertas stunt so that people will see it and conclude that the US wants the Treaty and then those people will actually vote against it!

Or, it could just be that the article is correct in identifying US military contractors as primarily operating as political operatives and being paid through contracts for crap that could be obtained anywhere.

Poisoning the well? Those fuckers would salt the fields if that's what their masters tell them to do.

author by aristotlepublication date Wed Apr 30, 2008 22:09Report this post to the editors

Wake up yourself and get a grip on reality.

Far from damaging the "no" campaign, Libertas has provided the anti-treaty campaign with its only mass-appeal and centrist campaign-group. Libertas is fronted by sound, trustworthy people with a record of achievement in the real world. They are the sort of people whom the electorate trusts. Libertas gives badly-needed credibility to the "no" campaign.

Without Libertas the "no" campaign would be Sinn Fein and a collection of fringe left-wing and fringe right-wing cranks and weirdos - the sort of groups who together (with SF) amass less than 15% of the popular vote in elections, and who poison any position they support in the eyes of ordinary voters.

Libertas is the one good reason for being optimistic that this proposed amendment will be defeated.

author by Bemusedpublication date Thu May 01, 2008 01:57Report this post to the editors

Libertas is fronted by sound, trustworthy people with a record of achievement in the real world. They are the sort of people whom the electorate trusts.


This strikes me as an odd assertion. I imagine that most of the electorate, like myself, were quite unfamiliar with Mr Ganley before the Libertas campaign kicked off and therefore have as little reason to trust him as I do. His supposed record of achievement is, as the excellent article above clearly indicates, really quite difficult to determine: He apparently has a lot of money, but where it came from is described in the vaguest of terms. I like to know the manner in which someone attained his or her success before I will applaud them for it.

author by Brianpublication date Thu May 01, 2008 03:04Report this post to the editors

Very well written and researched Chekov, and I agree with the central premise that these Libertas personalities probably do have close links with some powerful, and spooky:-), characters and groups. I don't at all agree though that the US intelligence agencies are in anyway anti the EU project, I think its quite the opposite, methinks they are totally in favour of it. It has sparked a great debate too albeit some people seemed to have formed the view that you are actually a Yes campaigner although I know you have said that that is not true. To be fair it might leave that impression, to some extent at least? Anyways I would be inclined to agree with Parvus and Wake up:
"Remember folks we are stuck in this left right paradigm, our masters know well how to manipulate us."
"Have you considered the possibility that the US actually wants the Treaty to come into operation and that the Libertas stunt is actually just part of the game?"
They are always manufacturing their various shades of political icecream, green, orange, red, blue, vanilla, and you can have whatever you like as long as you don't wakeup and realise you are always buying it in the one shop! As I see it those intelligence agencies are constantly watching the political spectrum and when any gap forms they plug it with some manufactured group which they give a little of the 'oxygen of publicity' to, while the real groups are ignored or slandered heavily. Doubtless thats what they are at here.

My guess would be that when they analysed the political spectrum in the run up to this vote (which could have gone back as far as 2003 if Chekov is right on the date of the article that he mentions) they would probably have seen 4 potential blocs that might have either been anti the new EU constitution, or at least potential swing blocs that might need neutralising:

1) Sinn Fein. Its only an impression but you'd wonder if the hype about Sinn Fein's disappointing vote in the last election was overdone somewhat, and this combined with the mysterious resignations of numerous councillors might - at a stretch I admit - be part of a pattern where the powers that be wanted to let a little air out of the Sinn Fein tyre in the months before this vote? (Thats not to suggest though that the well known criticisms of the party are not perfectly justified btw!) Hence knocking them back a bit before this campaign starts? (But only in the sense that it might deflate a little the grassroots Sinn Fein No campaign, not in the sense that the media would play down Sinn Fein's position, quite the opposite as pointed out below.)

2) Green Party. Maybe the decision to bring this party into government was partly to neutralise them over this vote. Patricia McKenna, who is obviously one of the most prominent members of the Green Party, at a recent meeting in Dublin Castle referred to a study that

"was funded by the European Commission and it is published in 2005 and I think just if people would listen to just two points. This is going back to the Nice Treaty, in relation to the Green Party they said they were identified as the biggest threat to the Yes campaign, identified as clean and honest, a political group that would not lie to you, they had high markings on the honesty stakes and were therefore very likely to be believed by the voters. So there was a definite objective to have the Greens on the Yes side in this campaign."(1)


Then two wider groups of opinion that might be identifiable but not represented by one party as such:
3) Actually I would say a disaffected Fine Gael vote is possibly a swing constituency in this election. In opinion polls before the Nice 1 vote it was found that Fine Gael voters gave the smallest definite percentage of Yes voters of those political parties who were supporting the EU (which is nearly all of them obviously) and I think this might be a group that could go the same way this time. (2) Obviously there is no love lost on the current government, and maybe Bertie Aherne, among these supporters and maybe there is old nationalistic and religious kind of instincts flouting around there too which might point to a No vote. Among the mass of the population probably a lot of people feel like this anyway but government voters are more brainwashed with all this Celtic Tiger hype and the Labour Party is very prominent in the Yes campaign so my guess is that it is the FG electorate that is the key one here. Bear in mind too that this potential vote is much larger than for the very small parties, which are mainly campaigning for a No vote, so all it takes is for a sizable fraction of this vote to go Yes to make all the difference.
As Chekov has pointed out above, Libertas are not prominent in the big European Forum meetings that are held in places like Dublin Castle, and not too prominent in the established media either. For example it was commented on in Dublin Castle how Declan Ganley had pulled out of that meeting and left the stage to Sinn Fein, who are also I think the most prominent NO campaigners in the established media. That media, and those type of big meetings, are possibly the most likely places to reach this sizable - and sometimes older - Fine Gaelish swing voter that I am referring to. Of course Sinn Fein is not a popular party in the eyes of this potential electorate (nor Joe Higgins who is also a prominent No campaigner in these big meetings) so the powers that be are quietly sabotaging the No campaign by putting forward the most unpopular group to scare off the most likely swing voters? Patricia McKenna again, speaking at the Dublin Castle meeting:
"I feel there is a certain manipulation going on here....There are political games going on here and there is no doubt about that......very clever tactic.....The high negative ratings of Sinn Fein among our target group of voters made their presence helpful in many ways in that they acted as a positive spur to Yes abstainers to support the referendum and vote Yes. So, I think people should take that into account. There are a lot of political games going on here."


4) The other identifiable group I think would be the anti establishment, protest maybe, small party supporting, in some cases younger, voter. This voter is increasingly now a reader of the alternative media I think, politics.ie, Phoenix maybe, and indymedia itself of course. In this space Libertas are very prominent interestingly enough. There have been numerous articles on them in the Phoenix, there is huge discussion of them in politics.ie, not least because the owner of that site is a prominent member of Libertas, and now as it happens they are the topic de jour on indymedia. Again the controlled No campaign are putting their worst face forward in this space, to sabotage their own campaign? Obviously a group with such strong links to US intelligence agencies is just the type to put off these voters, especially because this potential electorate would be strong on neutrality, anti war and unhappy with the US military because of Shannon as well.

Thats what I think they are doing anyway, twisting and turning to get a No vote at all costs although I think they have their work cut out here. Be under no illusions people, the powers that be want you to vote Yes!

Footnotes
1. http://www.forumoneurope.ie/eng/index.asp?locID=508&doc...=1598 .

2. The first number is the percentage of the party supporters who intended to vote YES in the first Nice referendum, the second is the NO number and the last the Don't Knows: Fianna Fáil 51 23 26, Fine Gael 45 32 23, Labour 50 36 14, PDs 65 25 10 (from http://www.studielettorali.it/convegni/paper/Gallagher_...g.pdf ).

author by Oisin - Citizenpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 00:08Report this post to the editors

Thank you Chekov; very interesting, very illuminating (and very well researched) piece of journalism. While I and others may appreciate your admission of involvement in the "No" campaign, actually this should not have a bearing as to the facts of your piece.

One point about those, however:

It simply isn't true that Libertas' is confused about the issues regarding, for example, tax harmonisation. You do your piece disservice by engaging in insults over unfounded points like this. Tax harmonisation can indeed be introduced via the Lisbon Treaty because the EU Court of Justice can rule that it causes a "distortion in competition" in the internal market. Please see:

http://nationalplatform.wordpress.com/category/tax-harm...ects/

(But nobody's perfect)

Related Link: http://www.nationalplatform.org
author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Fri May 02, 2008 08:24author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. DublinReport this post to the editors

The debate about Ganley is essentially a distration from the main issue which is the militarisation of the EU as advocated by those who are campaigning for a yes vote. These born again Redmondites have over the last years have supported Bush's invasion, conquest and occupation
of Afghanistan and Iraq, the occupation of Palestine, and the war on Lebanon. Not content with that, they now want to go to war with Iran, a very real possibility with McCain wanting to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and Clinton wanting to "obliterate" Iran. It is these wars that having cost the US over $3 trillion is causing a massive economic crisis throughout the world including Ireland.
Now these born again Redmondites, Ahern, Cowen and company want to spend more money on weapons by supporting the militarisation of the EU.
It is Ahern, Cowen and the rest of the yes campaigners that are destoying the Irish economy and it is the Irish peace movement including PANA that offers the return to stability and sustained ecomomic growth through the transformation of production away from weapons to green technology
via wave and wind power etc.
A massive NO vote would be a rejection of war and militarism. Ireland is too small a country to stop the states like Germany, Italy, France, Britain with their powerful and deeply rooted Imperialist traditions from their war trajectory, that task must be led by the people in those countries, and we must give them all the support and solidarity we can. But the next battle against the militarists will be fought here, in this country, on the 12th of June. We need now to focus on winning that battle.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 12:45Report this post to the editors

I read through Bertie's stomach-churning speech, which was an exercse in masochism on my part. It was just the usual diplomatic, buying into the accepted lie that is US history.
I am not sure if Irish people are all that abhorred at being part of a military megamachine. If we were there would be more of an outcry at using Shannon as a de facto US airbase. I am not sure if this angle will motivate a no vote.
I do, however, think the Irish people smell the proverbial rat in relation to Lisbon. My fear is that when we say no, we will be asked again, Nice-style!
The Libertas angle is a bit of a distraction, albeit an interesting one.
I firmly believe we will get a no vote, I wasn't so sure a few months ago.
Expect a very dirty campaign and expect an anti-Sinn Féin media blitz, which will ultimatey counter-productive.

author by IT readerpublication date Tue May 20, 2008 10:32Report this post to the editors

(copied and pasted because it's behind a paywall)

Most Libertas founders work for firm with military links

COLM KEENA, Public Affairs Correspondent

COMPANY CONNECTION: THE MAJORITY of the founders of Libertas, the entity campaigning for a No vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum, are employees of a company with links to the US military.

A spokesman for Libertas yesterday confirmed that five of the seven members of the Libertas Institute Ltd are employees of the Galway subsidiary of Rivada Networks LLC, a company registered in Delaware.

However, spokesman John McGuirk said Libertas had "absolutely not" received any funding from Rivada. He said Libertas had to date spent approximately €300,000 and was being financed by donations from supporters.

Rivada Networks LLC provides communications technology to the US military's northern command as well as to the national guard in 16 states in the US, and three US federal bureaus. Galway-based businessman Declan Ganley is the "chairman, chief executive officer and founder" of Rivada Networks LLC, according to its website (Rivada.com).

He is also a member of Libertas Institute Ltd, a Galway-based company limited by guarantee which has seven members. He is the most prominent spokesman for the entity in its campaign against the Lisbon Treaty.

According to Mr McGuirk, Mr Ganley, Naoise Nunn, James O'Reilly, Norrie Keane and Martina Higgins, who are all members of Libertas, are all employees of Galway-based Rivada Networks Ltd. All live in Galway.

Mr O'Reilly is chief operating officer of the Rivada parent company in the US. The two other Libertas members are Mr Ganley's brother, Seán, and Chris Coughlan, an incoming president of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland and a senior executive at Hewlett-Packard's European Software Centre in Galway.

The directors of Rivada Networks LLC include: John Tackett, who worked with the US air force for 20 years; Admiral James M Loy, a former deputy secretary of Homeland Security in the US; Rear Admiral Robert Duncan, who served with the US coast guard, and Lt Gen Dennis McCarthy, a former marine who retired from the US military in 2005.

Another director, John Kelly, is a former captain in the US air force who "has held high-level security clearances", according to the company's website.

The latest filed accounts for the Irish subsidiary of Rivada are for the 2006 calendar year and state that neither Mr Ganley nor Mr O'Reilly held shares in the US parent company. Mr McGuirk could not say yesterday if this was still the case and referred the question to a spokeswoman for Rivada in the US. No response had been received by late yesterday.

The directors of Libertas Institute Ltd are Declan Ganley and Dr Coughlan. Its financial accounts for the calendar year 2007 state it had no administrative expenses during 2007. The company was incorporated in October 2006.

Asked how the accounts could show no expenses for 2007, Mr McGuirk gave two seemingly conflicting responses. He said all expenses were met with personal cheques from Mr Ganley "and the other directors". When it was queried why this didn't appear in the accounts, Mr McGuirk said it was because "absolutely nothing" had been spent in 2007.

Mr McGuirk said he is the only person employed by Libertas. He said Mr Ganley had to date donated €6,348.69 to the Libertas campaign, the maximum allowable under the law.

He said he did not think it was in the interest of supporters to have their names disclosed as "on several occasions people who supported Libertas have been told by the Government parties that it is not in their interest to do so".

Related Link: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0520/1211....html
author by Sevinchpublication date Tue May 20, 2008 14:44author email nazire.sevinc at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Having read this article , we are now better armed with information against the players of the arms industry machinery in our own backyard. It does not matter anymore if Ireland did not have an imperialist colonial past, it will take part in a very present covert colonial power; the might of arms trade, if the vote is yes. Whether taken in the context of Lisbon Treaty debate and questioning the motives behind Libertas' position or read to be informed about the involvement and profit making of Irish Companies in the Death Trade, it is an informative and analytical article. It is also important for a campaign in defense of democracy to distinguish itself from manufactured organizations such as Libertas as a way to link with the dissent of the ordinary. Therefore, the noises to keep this information until after the referendum to prevent damage to No vote on the comments here is anything but the age old scaremongering debate on whether to have “half truths” with a hefty coast, as oppose to “truth at any coast”. Thanks comrade!

author by guspublication date Wed May 21, 2008 16:18Report this post to the editors

I agree, interesting and informative but using a photoshopped imaged to complement your piece flies in the face of alternative media.

author by Johnjoepublication date Tue May 27, 2008 11:42Report this post to the editors

Did you see this on You Tube!!

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=mgRLs4_1KI0

author by Emmetpublication date Tue Jun 10, 2008 00:04Report this post to the editors

If i vote yes i am allowing the EU to work more effiecently and thus realize its full potential after all who wants to belong to an organisation thats only half works,while the treaty also gives us a more defined get out clause to exit the EU should we find that we have created a monster. A no vote just seems to keep the EU semi functioning, uncohesive and thus weak, easier undermined by the big powers that be. So much propaganda on both sides, the truth is always somewhere in the middle so guess i will rely on my best logic and have a little faith after all i have a get out clause with the treaty aswell,nice little bonus i think. Irish people should maybe decide if there in or out and not stay in the muddy waters that the EU finds itself.

author by Edepublication date Thu Jun 12, 2008 15:24Report this post to the editors

Emmett the EU Parliment have already voted not to except the outcome of the Irish referenda on lisbon. By over 400 votes including Irish yes Meps voting against our outcome. So go ahead and be glad the Irish people respect either way you vote, but be wise vote No.

author by Liam R - Nonepublication date Sat Jun 14, 2008 09:44Report this post to the editors

Apart from the photoshopped photos, this was a damn good article.

The vote has been counted now and I'm now convinced more than ever that the Irish people have been sold an absolute pup.

This Libertas stuff should not stun anyone: the CIA have been manipulating European politics via nationalistic and apparently left wing fronts since 1945.

I challenge the well meaning "No" campaigners to look back on this day 10 years from now and ask themselves what was really the impact of their campaign.

This has been a perfect coup by the intellectually corrupt over the intellectually shortsighted.

For the record, I'm a Guardian and Economist-reading capitalist who believes that the EU has provided the continent with the longest period of stability and prosperity in history.

author by Until Jerusalempublication date Sun Jun 15, 2008 19:59Report this post to the editors

I find it astonishing that Roger Cole simply dismisses any criticism of Declan Ganley. It's now obvious that the Irish left have unwittingly become the "useful idiots" for the likes of Youth Defence (sorry, I mispelled Coir) and Libertas, an organization that Ganley originally floated as a political party to a US political research body, the FPRI, whose stated aim is to "bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests".

His article (http://www.fpri.org/ww/0405.200312.ganley.euconstitutio....html) stated his aim:

"Rather than try to define itself in contradistinction to the United States, this new Europe must be an equal partner and influence for the worldwide extension of justice and liberty. "

That is, Europe shouldn't try to define itself as different to the US, or to try to exceed the US in influence - that is, "get uppity".

John Bolton is a happy camper today.

author by Dan Colbertpublication date Mon Jun 23, 2008 01:13Report this post to the editors

Ganley claims he's not a neocon (maybe he's just a con). but he's written articles for FPRI, a neocon think tank.
John Bolton is to be honoured by FPRI at their annual dinner
http://www.fpri.org/

author by Niall - Truthseekers Incpublication date Fri Jun 27, 2008 01:02Report this post to the editors

I have to smile when people suggest this is the neocons trying to upset the EuroDisney Project from interfering with their plans: Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown, Berlusconi...hello! These people ARE neo-cons! Europe sings to the US hymn-sheet AS THINGS ARE. There is no substantial difference between the players on each side of the Atlantic. They both have the same boss: international finance. They are all owned by the same few.

There is another possibility regarding the motives of Ganley and the No vote.

In the grand chessboard scheme of things, what if Ganley was brought in to co-opt and later neuter any potentially successful grassroots No campaign?

Considering that there will now be a second Lisbon, who do you think the media will revert to everytime for the "No side"?

Why Libertas, of course! Remember, Ganley and McEvaddy were late arrivals on the scene - they've been portrayed as the geese that laid the golden egg for the No campaign, which, of course, is total baloney. I say the No succeeded IN SPITE OF the noisy interference of Libertas. The success was down to NETWORKING; the normal working people talking to each other and sharing info and ideas and pooling resources. We basically warned each other of the dangerous predator in our midst masquerading as a potential benefactor. And we headed off that danger.

But now they're going to come at us again, stronger than before, ruthlessly determined to have their way. Today it was announced that there will probably be a second referendum on Lisbon in early 2009. This time around, the Political Establishment will have its controlled opposition in place from the start; ostensibly Libertas will be working on behalf of the public's interest.

In actuality, it will serve to compliment and reinforce the official discourse, aping the Establishment's silly slogans that appeal to the lower emotional instincts, rather than appealing to people's reasoning - if there's one thing that rang out loud and clear from this referendum; it is that people react negatively if they feel that they're being manipulated through fear. I bet this is exactly what the "No side" will be accused of doing throughout the coming months: and I also bet that Libertas do great work to reinforce that perception.

author by FrankOR - nonepublication date Mon Jul 21, 2008 20:59Report this post to the editors

Superb article well researched and referenced.
It is a great pity that no journalist or media organisation can investigate Libertas or at least follow up on this article.
Perhaps they are too busy counting their share of the €5 million Libertas have to spend on advertising and dare not say a word to upset them in case of further campaigns.
FrankOR

author by Granduncle Sampublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 01:18Report this post to the editors

Labour’s European affairs spokesman Joe Costello said: “The revelation that Libertas has a €200 million contract with the US military only adds to the suspicions about the source of funding of the mysterious and secretive Mr Ganley”.

Mr Costello said: “It is unacceptable that a single wealthy individual whose business interests are largely based outside this country and which now are revealed to be strongly connected with the US military should be able to use his wealth to influence the outcome of a constitutional referendum and at the same time not have to disclose the source of the funding.”

“It is time that the secretive Mr Ganley came clean, revealed the reason for his sudden appearance on the Irish political scene and the source of his colossal expenditure on his campaign opposing the Treaty,” he said.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0918/...5.htm

author by non-labourpublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 02:01Report this post to the editors

So Joe Costello of the Labour Party is disturbed at the 'revelations' about Mr. Ganley's outside business interests, and wonders why Mr. G suddenly emerged on the Irish political scene to wield powerful influence in the Lisbon 1 referendum campaign. Maybe Mr. Costello didn't read the threads on indymedia about Libertas and Ganley's contracts with the US military-industrial complex. Maybe if he had, Mr. Costello wouldn't have campaigned on the streets of central Dublin for a Yes vote?

The Labour Party is going to be in a quandry when it comes to campaigning on Lisbon 2.

author by Queehogpublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 02:56Report this post to the editors

"Mr Ganley is chief executive of a US company called Rivada Networks, which has a joint venture with an Alaskan native corporation, Nana Pacific. The joint venture, Rivada Pacific, has secured communications contracts worth $37 million in recent years from the US military, according to the website, www.fedspending.org. It's largest customer is the US Northern Command. Because of the involvement of the native Alaskan corporation, the joint venture is not subject to US procurement rules that would otherwise apply"

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0919/1....html

This technology is used by the US Northern Command to apprehend Native American workers from crossing the Rio Grande to escape poverty in Mexico. Ganley is profiting from curtailing the free movement of labour: so much for his libertarian philosophy.

author by Ardal Hisspublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 19:19Report this post to the editors

"But in a dramatic development, while speaking to Today FM, he finally admitted he was the biggest bankroller of the organisation, loaning Libertas €200,000 -- without any guarantee of getting it back.

However, he rejected suggestions the money might have come from US government sources.

"Where Libertas is concerned, the loan that I made is hard-earned money made over many years that my wife and I had saved up, and it is not coming from any of these sources (CIA, US government)," he said."
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/libertas-will-h....html

author by Ahempublication date Sat Sep 20, 2008 17:34Report this post to the editors

This appears to be part of Libertas' transparency campaign.

"Declan Ganley is likely to have to prove to the State ethics watchdog that his €200,000 'loan' to his Libertas lobby group is genuine and not a donation.

The multi-millionaire businessman gave the first indication of the source of Libertas's lavish spending on the Lisbon Treaty referendum when he admitted to the loan.

The electoral laws may be lax on the level of scrutiny of non-political party groups, such as Libertas, involved in campaigning, but there are tight rules on loans."

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/watchdog-to-que....html

author by Greeneyepublication date Tue Sep 23, 2008 09:23Report this post to the editors

Very good overview of these 'shady' characters. Its a real shame that the Irish media has given these spooks such a massive platform. As you pointed out, they represent nobody in Ireland in any case, whatever about elsewhere.
It now seems that Libertas is well on its way to running a pan-European campaign in the the European Parliament elections next year with a motley crue of supporters: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0920/1....html
It is more than conceivable that they could get a seat in France (with the MPF) or the Czech Republic. I sincerely hope that our media does not give Libertas the same exposure they did during the referendum campaign. There are seats to be won in the south and northwest constituencies and it would be a sad day for Ireland if Libertas took one of them.

author by uncorruptiblepublication date Tue Sep 23, 2008 13:32Report this post to the editors

EU president demands probe into Libertas funding!
It looks like the gloves are off now. According to toadys Irish Indo. Mr Poettering the EU president demands a probe into Libertas funding! The empire seems to be targeting Libertas as their main threat to getting lisbon through. Expect it to get very dirty, the empire does not like loosing and wont totally rely on the subservient politicans in Leinster house to get it right the next time.

author by Johnjopublication date Tue Sep 23, 2008 17:11Report this post to the editors

I'm no great fan of Libertas, although I think that they are often unfairly demonised by pro-lisbon groups. My issue with them is that they have too simplistic a view of life to be a useful force in politics, and that they may displace other more thinking groups or individuals from the political landscape.
However, on this occasion, the actions and the stance of the EU president worries me. Clearly he is targeting Libertas ahead of a re-run of the referendum. He would be much better off if he used his time to clean up the EU and in particular the EU commission. If he did that, maybe voters would have a different view of giving more power to the faceless thugs in Brussels.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2008 19:00Report this post to the editors

Interesting how much pressure is being exercised, here and in Europe, to uncover things about Libertas, a sure sign that Libertas is scaring the tripes out of established government parties, in the main Fianna Fáil. This has all the hallmarks, albeit to a lesser degree, of the kind of political reaction signalled by Michael McDowell's desperate need to do down Frank Connolly's Centre for Public Inquiry, when McDowell was Min. for Justice. 'Intervention' caused philanthropist Chuck Feeney, one might recall, to cease funding the Centre. Watch for Libertas 'revelations' from such toers-of-the-line as The Sunday Independent ("Inside sources this week told us . . . etc"). Anyone who harboured any doubts about Libertas must now balance their opinions against the clearly co-ordinated attempt by our government head honchos to undermine the organisation.

author by James - Workers Solidarity Movementpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2008 19:59Report this post to the editors

Although I share your concerns regarding McDowell's treatment of Connolly, this seems fairly different. Asking who pays the bills is a very useful way to finding out who controls an organisation and what their aims are. Those of us on the left - and who pay for campaigns through from our own pockets have nothing to fear from the ruling elites exposing each other's dubious financial life-support.

Anyone who harboured any doubts about Libertas must now balance their opinions against the clearly co-ordinated attempt by our government head honchos to undermine the organisation.

This seems a little vague. The doubts aren't merely harboured. As this articles shows, Libertas is pretty clearly a front for the United States - Ireland's poodles if you will - and there has been vanishingly little in the way of effective counterargument from Libertas. And what does balancing one's opinions actually entail?

Probably a fair amount of the dislike of LIbertas from indymedia's readership, and certainly the original article's author, stems from their right-wing politics. The fact that Libertas is in opposition to the dominant faction of the Irish and European elite is in itself no reason to give them any sympathy whatsoever, particularly as their prominence stems solely from Ganley's (i.e. his backers') ability to throw huge wads of cash at a campaign. After all, who'd support Fine Gael just because Fianna Fáil are the current top dogs? The fact that Libertas is effectively a wholly owned subsidiary of the Amercian State is all the more reason to treat them with contempt.

Left-orientated anti-Lisbon campaigns such as the CAUEC or even the WSM for that matter, had way more actually activists doing work on the ground, work that is usually just ignored. Libertas merely have money to buy attention. Throwing light on provenance of those dollars is a useful exercise. It shows the degree to which political opinions are shaped by those with wealth.

If we are to advance towards a fairer society we'll need oppositional feeling to be channelled into left and progressive politics and not into supporting American poodles.

author by Elatedpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2008 20:53Report this post to the editors

There are people who actually believe the Conspiracy Theories in the DaVinci Code, in the mysterious Priore De Sion, that there are a million Opus Dei in Ireland , that we never went to the moon, all sorts of cranks theories like that.

Years ago most people in Ireland matured enough to chuck all these conspiracy theories out the window. We thought we had buried those struggling corpse for good.

And here we are in 2008 with nutters still abroad spreading conspiracy theories to their hearts' content, and worse still fully believing in their own or their masters voice's BS.

Nothing has been proved against Declan Ganley & Libertas, because there is nothing to prove. A lot of jealousy and begrudgery yes, but that is only to be expected in Ireland.

Libertas , the property of the United States, now that is mind-boggling poppycock.

'Socialist Workers' doing all the campaigning against Lisbon, you must be joking, certainly not in my neck of the woods where there wasn't a single class warrior to be seen, and there still isn't, not even a single Shinner turned out in our South-Eastern Irish Town - Kilkenny !

And the only NO Posters to be seen anywhere were - wait for it - Libertas :-)

So what do you propose to do to combat Lisbon with no forces when it comes round again next June in conjunction with the Euro and Local Elections ?

I am not going to, I would not be able to, cover the whole of Kilkenny City and County on my own, Get Real,
End of Story :-)

author by Elatedpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2008 22:39Report this post to the editors

The Dail Parties are all terrified as we swing into the run-up to the Local and Euro Elections next June, so why should any poster here worry with them about the possible loss of one of their precious seats to Declan Ganley, Libertas or anybody else ?

Labour are worried sick about losing their Euro seat in Dublin, they needn't worry, it's gone already :-)

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are worried about losing out to Ganley in the West, so the slanders are being dragged out already against Libertas by FF & FG,

Why should anybody here worry for their sake, do you honestly think they give a Tuppenny Damn about you ? Not one word coming out of Dail Eireann about our NO Campaign should be given the slightest shred of credibility, rags like The Indo should be totally ignored for the garbage they print.

Fianna Fail councillors - I have actually spoken to a few of them - are gone grey with worry because they see the writing on the wall next June.

That said the re-run of the Lisbon Referendum next June is going to be a whole new ball game, because this time every man jack of a party man will be assailing the doorsteps canvassing for himself, and for a YES for Lisbon at the same time :-)

That alone should win it for the Yes Vote.

But Cowan & Co are taking no chances, so they have deliberately set out to split and confuse us, the No Campaign to make sure they win -

This is as obvious as the nose on my face now that the President of the European Parliament has taken on Ganley and Libertas.

The plan is to isolate us, to take out Ganley & Libertas, and leave us with Roger Cole & Richard Greene, we will be massacred :-)

THINK !

author by Dinny Faheypublication date Sat Sep 27, 2008 20:25Report this post to the editors

Ganley has contracts with the U.S. military.

No bid contracts.
Throughout his business life he has close contacts with U.S war machine.
Ganley receives money from the U.S. taxpayer through the U.S. Homeland Security.
Money is fungible.
So Ganley is using U.S. military money to finance Libertas.
Libertas' political philosophy is, purportedly, a laissez faire approach to economics.
This means a belief in the free movement of capital, labour and goods.
But one of Ganley's contracts is with Homeland Security to supply electronic equipment to apprehend Mexican workers coming to the U.S. to find work.
And these indigenous workers are being displaced by U.S. economic policy, especially Nafta.
So Ganley profits from impeding the free movement of labour and the oppression of Mexican workers.
His belief in libertarian principles is clearly a front.
So his connection to the U.S. military and using money from that association to oppose Lisbon is a legitimate cause of concern to all governments and peoples in Europe.
The Left should follow the money and denounce this hypocrite and tool of U.S. imperialism-Declan Ganley.

author by Elatedpublication date Sat Sep 27, 2008 21:34Report this post to the editors

We of the Left are no fools, whatever Ganley is involved in, if anything, can be, and will be, followed up AFTER the next Lisbon Referendum in Ireland, not far off now.

Now go back and tell Dick Roche that :-)

author by redjadepublication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:28Report this post to the editors

Obama good for EU-US ties

The Obama camp believes America-bashing is decreasing in the EU in a trend that would be accelerated by a Democratic victory in November.

The European Parliament president's recent request for an investigation into alleged CIA funding of the irish No-campaign against the Lisbon treaty is a freak event resulting from the parliament's own upcoming elections in 2009, Mr Craig said.

"Every election has its silly season ... this speculation or rumour that the CIA would support the No vote in Ireland is preposterous."

"It seems to me that the European Union has some problems with its public relations, not just in Ireland, but also elsewhere where the [EU] constitution has been defeated. That should not, in my view, deter the Europeans from continuing on the course of consolidating its institutions, the rule of law, economic trading agreements and greater co-operation. This has been the policy of many, many US presidents and it will be the policy of president Obama to support that."

more at
http://euobserver.com/9/26863/?rk=1

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