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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

The spook term ‘Stakeknife’ was not put into circulation until the early 2000s - where did it come from?

PIC Gerry and Martin
Adams and McGuinness - the clear targets of spook 'whistleblowers'

I can understand why BBC Northern Ireland’s investigative strand Spotlight (a programme for which I worked as a producer/director for years) declined to identify the “someone posing as a journalist” who secretly taped General Sir John Wilsey. This was featured this week in an investigation into the grim murder of an alleged IRA informer Caroline Moreland in 1994. The programme makes a questionable claim that the seemingly ubiquitous British agent Fred Scappaticci (the alleged 'Stakeknife') was involved in this killing.

Wilsey was the former CLF (Commander Land Forces) for Northern Ireland’s British army regiments and thus had some insight into how the FRU was running its agents here - though the FRU answered to MI5. The man posing as a journalist who made the recording of Wilsey that Spotlight wouldn’t name is our old friend and psysops dissembler Ian Hurst.

The sole reason Hurst was not named in this programme is because of my work in exposing Hurst as the charlatan he is. Hurst’s motive in taping John Wilsey was not only to prove that the so called ‘Stakeknife’ was Fred Scappaticci but also to try and entrap Wilsey into placing Scappaticci in Dundalk and running Garda Eoin Corrigan in 1989 (impossible) and then linking that to Martin McGuinness. Hurst needed this as he had no real evidence to give to the Smithwick Tribunal, as was subsequently shown. He failed in both regards in this covert operation.

Yes you read that correctly.

Leaving aside Fred Scappaticci's (in my view) undoubted role as an agent, the spook term 'Stakeknife' was first placed into public discourse in the early 2000s and, ironically, it's Hurst’s surreptitious recording that gives more credence to the theory that ‘Stakeknife’ is very much a modern day psyops construct. For if you read the full transcript of the Wilsey tape recording, you discover that John Wilsey says that the term 'Stakeknife' was not used until 2001:

“It was the one thing that was terribly important to the army. So we never ever, ever mention the words "Steak Knife", or whatever he subsequently became. I think it was 2001 or something like that.”

This is important and fits in with what Major David Moyles has indicated (Moyles was one of Fred Scappaticci’s main FRU handlers speaking as Witness 82 at the Smithwick Tribunal) – viz: that he was not aware of 'Stakeknife' whilst serving with the FRU and running Scappaticci. Much of what Moyles said was in-camera and has not been fully reported, but Moyles completely demolished Hurst’s overall evidence, to the extent that the final report publicly described Hurst as ‘lying’.

I believe my former colleagues in Spotlight to be diligent and principled journalists but I also believe that standards have slipped since I worked in the North during the Troubles. In the late 80s and 1990s we always engaged ourselves in a double or even a treble or quadruple think to check how we were being played when constructing a story. How was the IRA, the RUC or British army trying to manipulate us? That wariness seems to have gone, at least where reporting potential psyops material is concerned. To my knowledge, not one journalist has stopped to ask why the term 'Stakeknife' was never heard during the war and only surfaced long after the final IRA ceasefire in 1997. Why at the very least was the IRA's continued assertion that Scappaticci was stood down in 1990 not referred to in the programme? I have been told this not only by senior IRA sources but also by key IRA figures who left the movement in disagreement over the peace process. If this is true, then obviously it not only rules Scappaticci out of the Moreland killing, but also a large number of other such murders that have been attached to his name.

It’s quite clear to me that the media has been duped by the 'Stakeknife sting' – generated by proven dissemblers like Hurst at the bidding or encouragement of anti-peace process elements further up the spook chain. In his discredited testimony to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal and at Smithwick, Hurst’s real and undoubted target was Martin McGuinness. In 2006 who is Hurst’s and his spook sidekick Peter Keeley’s target when they touted a fake document around various media agencies? – yes you've guessed it, Martin McGuinness. In the hair trigger atmosphere of 2006, this forgery was a potential death sentence. Hurst also targeted Gerry Adams with his fake doctored bullets story, which I have already conclusively disproven.

The thrust of the dark side of British Intelligence has been to grudgingly accept the peace process but to attempt to procure the removal of the enemy leadership that fought them to a standstill in that (mutual) sordid Dirty War that was The Troubles.

If journalists are going to make a leap of logic that blames Martin McGuinness for the deaths of all informers and IRA actions in general, then they must also, logically, blame and publicly name RUC, FRU and NIO chiefs who sent so many other people to their deaths by dint of their overall executive fiat. If they don’t do this, they have by definition become not only partial but also patsies in a psyops game that seeks to continue that same Dirty War. In effect with this approach to reporting the intelligence game, the media is mirroring the crude and anti-peace process spook message that the irredentist Irish were the bad guys and that an amnesty applies to the security forces because they were the good guys.

We need to get beyond the psyops and the trumpeting of ridiculous figures like Hurst and get to a Truth Process that can heal everyone. But for that to happen we need clear analysis. What we've had so far is fifteen years of 'Stakeknife' sound and fury and that really is not good enough.

Sinn Féin and the IRA

I might say as a postscript to the above that the attitude of the mainstream republican movement to these psyops stories is as surprising as it is wrong and inadequate. I was in Belfast last week and in several places was able to listen first hand to people who clearly still believe, for example the story of the doctored bullets or the fake MI6 document linked to McGuinness. These stories have become embedded amongst the people and have spread a cynicism about the peace process which was the long-term intention. Sinn Féin has always been in a primary position to rebut these stories but has simply turned its gaze away - southwards.

Close your eyes and it will go away.

I support Sinn Féin as I do left wing TDs (MPs) like Clare Daly as part of my view that Ireland needs a left coalition, but my point in having worked to expose these false spook tales has nothing to do with Sinn Féin and everything to do with a peace process I care deeply about.

I'm coming to the end of my front-line Troubles journalism and I will formally announce this in coming weeks. I've proved what I set out to prove in terms of collusion and spook psyops stories - at least to my own satisfaction. With this blog, I've also broken through an establishment and middle class exclusion ring that hoped to ignore me to death. In England such exclusion (I mean censorship) is open and unapologetic. In Ireland it is smiling and 'sleekit'.

The common people however have always stood by me and that's where I'm happiest.


Time to move on to to more translations, novels and poetry and finally cleanse myself of the spook dross I've been dealing with for so long.

@Paul Larkin
Gaoth Dobhair
Mí an Mheithimh 2015
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Title: The spook term ‘Stakeknife’ was not put into circulation until the early 2000s - where did it come from?
Date posted: 12 Jun '15 - 12:20
Filed under: General
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