by Scott Creighton
On Nov. 30th 2010, Wikileaks released a cable written by Ambassador Thomas C. Foley which purports to implicate Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern in complicity with the widespread extraordinary rendition program being run by the CIA and U.S. military during the Iraq war. This “leak” was designed to embarrass Ahern and there is no way of validating it’s authenticity or the legitimacy of the statements made by Foley. The cable suggests that Ahern was simply providing a measure of diplomatic neutrality to the U.S. by following their request to not inspect certain flights landing in Ireland as the GWOT progressed; turning a “blind eye” to U.S. crimes against humanity. And yet the press coming out of this practically implicates Ahern in war crimes. As you will see, the cables don’t say anything of the sort and the timing of these Wikileaks releases, right before the publication of the new IMF forced Irish Finance Plan of 2011 (set to be released today), perhaps has more to tell us about the real purpose behind these cables than anything else.
“Ambassador Foley thanked Ahern for his staunch rejection of the Irish Human Rights Commission’s (IHRC) demand that the Irish Government inspect aircraft landing in Ireland that are alleged to have been involved in so-called extraordinary rendition flights“
“Ahern noted that he had “put his neck on the chopping block” and would pay a severe political price if it ever turned out that rendition flights had entered Ireland or if one was discovered in the future.” Foley Wikileak released Nov 30 2010
Notice that in this passage, Ambassador Foley seems to indicate that Ahern was unsure of whether or not rendition flights had in fact entered the country. He says that Ahern states he would pay a political price if it turned out that these flights had entered the country.. he didn’t say he would pay a price if someone “found out” that they had. In fact, the next passage of that memo makes it even more clear that Ahern knew nothing about these flights and that his real crime here was that he allowed the criminal U.S. regime too much leeway in their prosecution of the GWOT. Foley sums it up by reassuring the state department that the investigation is providing no “traction” for the U.S. administration’s critics .
“4. (C) Comment: While Ahern’s public stance on extraordinary renditions is rock-solid, his musings during the meeting seemed less assured. This was the only issue during the meeting that agitated him; he spent considerable time dwelling on it. Ahern seemed to be fishing for renewed assurances from the Ambassador that no rendition flights have transited Ireland, or would transit in the future. Highlighting the recent attention drawn to renditions by the IHRC report, later the same day the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on the matter. The hearing, attended by POLOFFs, generally confirmed the Government’s view that there is no evidence that rendition flights have transited Ireland. The hearing, which was barely reported by he press, failed to achieve any traction for critics of American policy. End comment.” Foley Wikileak released Nov 30 2010
Even though this cable provides a rather ambiguous story about Ahern’s involvement or knowledge of the U.S. rendition program, and could easily be interpreted as showing Ahern did not know exactly what was on those flights, still, members of the press used this “leak” as an opportunity to attack Ahern in order to provoke his resignation from office. Which he just recently did.
“ One of the first Dublin embassy cables from Wikileaks confirmed that the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern knew about the CIA’s use of Shannon for its renditions.” Shannon Watch
This Shannon Watch article has been reposted on URUKNET, Information Clearinghouse, and various other sites. It’s remarkable because the article itself doesn’t link to the Nov.30th cable at all, but rather it relies heavily on another one released by Wikleaks this month on the 13th. That cable is even more ambiguous and is highly redacted. You can’t tell who the subject of the cable is. And what’s more, Shannon Watch doesn’t provide any link to the source of that one cable that they quote.
Once again we have an example of people reading into these cables what they want to see. Shannon Watch’s conclusions are vastly different from what is stated in the cable. Clearly Ahern is concerned about what is actually on those flights as that he is continuously looking for reassurances that they aren’t being used for illegal purposes. Both cables indicate that the U.S. representatives provided just such assurances, and in fact, neither of these cables, were you to take the time to read them, admit that rendition flights were taking place through Shannon airport.
“The DCM told XXXXXXXXXXXX that the USG would be in no position to respond to the detailed questions asked about particular planes, such as the Gulfstream jet, but stood by its commitment to abide by Irish law, consult with the Irish and avoid actions that would bring embarrassment to the Irish government.
XXXXXXXXXXXX confirmed that there is no/no change pending to Irish policy allowing U.S. use of Shannon, but reiterated that some ministers feel they are going out on a limb defending U.S. use of Shannon and that the GOI is counting on the fact that the word of the USG is good and that the U.S. has not and will not transfer prisoners through Shannon or engage in any other activity that would place the government in legal or political difficulty.” “Kenny” Wikileak, Jan 13 2011
Clearly the implication is that this cable refers to communications between “Kenny” and Ahern, but that’s not in any way proven. In fact, this is not the full cable. As redacted as it is, it is only a snippet from the full cable which will was not published by Wikileaks. Interestingly, Shannon Watch not only draws an inaccurate conclusion from the context of the cable, but they also misrepresent the content in so much as they claim that it’s the “full text” of the cable, when in fact, right on the top of the Wikileaks page, it says something totally different.
“This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.” “Kenny” Wikileak, Jan 13 2011
“The latest Dublin cable (full text below) shows that they knew this meant they were in violation of torture conventions.” Shannon Watch
It looks to me like Wikileaks was being used to embarrass certain politicians in Ireland in order to get them to resign from office early before the upcoming elections. Ahern seems to be one of them. Five politicians in all have resigned this week with Ahern tendering his resignation on Tuesday.
The resignations all come in the lead-up to the announcement of the new 2011 Finance Bill. This is the IMF/World Bank imposed austerity bill that is being forced on the Irish people after their government finally accepted an IMF loan to get out of the horrible financial crisis created by Wall Street and institutions like Goldman Sachs.
“Now that Ireland is receiving a bail-out from the EU and IMF, passing the Finance Bill – which ensures tax changes and spending cuts can proceed - is viewed as paramount.” RTE News, Jan 21 2011
The People’s Movement is protesting today. They know the severe implications of this Financial Bill for the poor and working classes of the Irish people.
It’s hard to estimate the ramifications of the cleverly timed Wikileaks releases on the resignation of Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern but the timing makes these “leaks” rather suspicious at best. Also important to note that while being used to implicate Ahern in complicity with “suspected” U.S. war crimes, these leaks do nothing to prove war crimes in any way. In fact, they seem to imply, again, that the U.S. was respecting the rule of Irish law.
This is the clever nature of the Wikileaks psyop and it is ultimately its true power. “Journalists” like Shannon Watch will use the implied implications to generate a narrative that is supportive of their cause, but there is nothing legally speaking which can be used to convict U.S. interests or personnel. This is true of many if not all these supposed leaks. The propagandists running the release of these cables have figured out the dissident community so completely, they seem to know exactly what they will do with them before they release them. Either that, or Shannon Watch isn’t what it appears to be.
In the end one has to ask how it is that so many supposed “dissident” writers have been unable to see Wikileaks for what it is. At least in the case of Shannon Watch one also has to wonder how they can derive such inaccurate conclusions from these two “leaks” while ignoring the context of the current events unfolding in Ireland at the moment. With so many mistakes occurring at the same time, one has to wonder if it’s just a mistake born of their desire to expose the Shannon airport complicity with a 6-year-old U.S. crime, or if they are working on a more current project on behalf of other interests.
Either way, it is clear to see that other interests are shaping this developing story in order to support those who stand to benefit from an easier transition of the new IMF austerity measures being announced in Ireland today. And it’s a shame to think that dissidents could be so easily manipulated into helping the very forces they should certainly be opposed to.