Her Majesty’s character assassins.
Cambridge Analytica is a British company which provides advice to clients involved in political campaigns. Donald Trump was one of its customers. Last month it admitted that it employed former MI5 and MI6 officers to dig up political dirt for its clients. It has also boasted of using bribes, prostitutes and fake IDs in its work.
Cambridge Analytica is the private-sector manifestation of the type of dirty-tricks operations that Britain’s intelligence services have been conducting around the globe for decades and about which Village has been reporting in detail for years.
Hugh Peter Mooney, who died last December, was foremost among Britain’s dirty-tricks operatives in
Ireland in the 1970s. Mooney, graduate of Trinity College Dublin, was an employee of the foreign and commonwealth office (FCO). He was attached to its deeply sinister Information Research Department (IRD). Mooney circulated smears about John Hume, Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey and a string of senior British politicians.
Village accused Mooney of involvement in the anti-Hume smear operation last year. The story has featured on the Village website ever since. If Mooney saw the report, he did not complain, let alone sue for defamation.
Mooney and the IRD also distorted the truth about Bloody Sunday and the bombing of McGurk’s bar. He lied to the Savile inquiry into Bloody Sunday in both 2000 and 2002. Some of Mooney’s fake-news operations were aided unwittingly by a future Taoiseach and a provost of Trinity College.
Mooney was aided by a self-confessed IRD ‘consultant’ called Brian Crozier. Crozier was able to provide Sir Maurice Oldfield of MI6 with insights if not access to internal Fine Gael policy thinking on NI in the 1970s. Despite the acknowledged fact that Mooney and Crozier were employed by the British government, neither of them nor anyone in the IRD has ever been subjected to any sort of an inquiry. Instead, British governments have spent decades covering up and lying about the IRD and its off-shoots. The existence of a London-based company like Cambridge Analytica is the inevitable result of this culture of toleration of dirty tricks and addiction to cover-up.
The British government has admitted that it enjoyed a contractual relationship with Cambridge Analytica as recently as 2014. Other links between it and the Tory party continue to emerge as we go to print.
The Labour Party under Gordon Brown also enjoyed contractual relations with it in 2008 and 2009. Meanwhile, Theresa May complains about interference by Russian trolls in western elections.
This is the squalid story of Hugh Mooney, Brian Crozier and the IRD’s campaigns of ‘fake news’ reporting in and about Ireland. As a group, they set the template for the machinations of Cambridge Analytica and other similar companies which have subverted and continue to subvert democracy for the benefit of the rich elite of the world.
Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Times
Hugh Peter Mooney, who was born in 1936, died on 12 December 2017 in Cambridgeshire. At school he had excelled at sports and academics. On the field he was a rugby enthusiast who went to play for the Old Azurians First XV in 1954. While he qualified as a teacher and barrister, he will only be remembered as a black propagandist.
Mooney had Irish roots and cousins in Ireland. This underpinned his decision to move to Dublin to study at Trinity College. He graduated in 1963 after which he joined the Irish Times as a sub-editor. By 1964 he had moved to Cairo where he became the sub-editor of the Egyptian Gazette while also acting as correspondent for The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Two years later he became the Middle East Correspondent for Reuters. He then returned to England in 1967 and became a sub-editor for the BBC’s ‘External Services’.
Mooney joins the department of black propaganda
Somewhere along the line Mooney was spotted as a potential recruit for the Information Research Department (IRD), a suitably Orwellian euphemism for HMG’s black-propaganda, forgery and smear factory. The IRD was a part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Department (FCO) with a HQ at Riverwalk House, a ramshackle 12-storey block in Millbank, London. It worked hand-in-glove with another FCO department, MI6 (Britain’s overseas intelligence service).
The IRD did not so much operate on the front line in the wars waged by intelligence community as behind the bike shed. It was complicit all sorts of clandestine criminality. Its worst crime involved incitement to mass murder in Indonesia with the co-operation of the BBC. (See Village March 2018.)
Mooney was hurled into an abyss of deceit when, after he joined the FCO in April 1969, he was sent across to Riverwalk House. His time at Trinity and at the Irish Times had transformed him into an ideal recruit for IRD operations in Ireland as the Troubles became more intense. In February 1971 he was sent for specialised training in ‘Psychological Operations’ at the British Army’s Joint Warfare Establishment in Old Sarum Wiltshire as a preliminary to his assignment to Ireland.
Mooney’s secret visit to Dublin
In preparation for his new mission, he visited Ireland, north and south, for four days beginning on 21 June 1971. According to a file now in the possession of Village, he reported that the “aim” of his trip “was to see how and what kind of IRD operations” might be mounted. “In the North I talked with the UK Representative [Howard Smith] and the Commander Land Forces, Major General Farrar-Hockley, I visited the Irish Republic June, 22-23 and met with the UK information officer [at the British Embassy in Dublin], Mr Peter Evans”. Evans’ ambassador, John Peck, had been Head of the IRD in the 1950s.
In the North, Howard Smith told Mooney that he wanted an “IRD officer based permanently with the army at Lisburn, but responsible to him”. He suggested “the next step should be to work several days at Lisburn this week reading intelligence to assess whether the raw material for an IRD operation was as yet available”.
“Before leaving Belfast”, Mooney added, “I looked into a possible useful story. The Special Branch arranged an interview for me with the head of the Drug Squad, Inspector Scully. While not having the sort of proof that would lead to convictions, he knows the Provisional IRA is making a profit out of the drug trade and distributes pep pills to youngsters rioting against the security forces in the Ardoyne. He is prepared to offer names, dates and places to a trusted contact”.
That same month Mooney was formally posted to Lisburn, given a large house and formally placed under the command of Howard Smith. Those who remember him at this time describe him as around 5’ 9” tall and of medium build. His hair and beard were prematurely grey and he wore gold-framed spectacles. He was difficult to get to know and appeared to be “intense and insecure”. One observer said that it “could be that he felt uncomfortable working in an Army controlled environment”. In NI Mooney worked closely with Cliff Hill, a senior FCO official, who was referred to by journalists as ‘Cliff the Spy’. Hill was in overall charge of the Irish propaganda offensive.
Edward Heath orchestrates the propaganda offensive from 10 Downing Street
Mooney may or may not have known that he had become part of an operation which was being conducted personally by Edward Heath from Downing Street. Heath’s right hand in these machinations was Donald Maitland, a civil servant with a background in intelligence.
The pace of propaganda operations continued to gather in speed after Mooney’s arrival in NI.
In July 1971 ‘Cliff the Spy’ drew up a report out-lining how the techniques of psychological warfare should be developed in NI. Hill called for the appointment of a press liaison officer, who could “ensure close liaison between the information agencies in Northern Ireland, London and overseas, to plan a systematic campaign of propaganda, and to cultivate visiting journalists. He will be concerned with all information activities”.
Hill noted that some of this work had already begun as “a senior Army officer is joining the HQ staff (temporarily) and will be made available for contact work ‘downtown’ in close contact with the Press Liaison Office”. This was a reference to Colonel Maurice Tugwell who had been seconded to the Information Policy Unit (IPU) at the British Army HQ at Lisburn by the Chief of the General Staff, Lord Carver.
The Hill Review was circulated to a select few, including Maitland, in Downing Street in September 1971. Maitland invited representatives from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence to join a liaison committee to review Hill’s proposals and meet him. On 4 November 1971 Maitland submitted a ‘Secret’ memorandum to Heath simply entitled ‘Northern Ireland’. Having met with Hill, Maitland’s committee had determined Hill’s tasks and objectives. Among these was a plot to undermine the reputation of the IRA by “highlighting their brutality towards individuals (including their own members), the cowardly character of their tactics and their callous disregard for the lives of innocent bystanders”. It was also recommended that their connections with other “urban guerrilla organisations should be emphasised” in order to show that they had ambitions “quite unconnected with the status of the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland or indeed with partition”.
The “machinery” is “already in operation” in the “British press and media”
Maitland’s memo to Heath also revealed that “the machinery for placing anti-IRA propaganda in the British press and media…is already in operation. Its first major task will be to produce articles which will counteract the effect of the Compton Report” on the treatment of detainees after internment.
Unfortunately, the memo did not identify the journalists, broadcasters and TV producers who were part of the ‘machinery’ in the media. Heath gave the project the green light and Hill was appointed to the press-liaison post in NI. Mooney’s role would be to take care of the really dirty operations, many of which went far beyond anti-IRA operations.
Mooney’s licence to lie
There is further proof that the tendrils controlling Mooney reached down from the top of the British Establishment: on 15 July, 1971, Sir Stewart Crawford of the FCO, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, sent a ‘directive’ outlining Mooney’s assignment to Philip Woodfield of the Home Office (later head of NIO.) According to the directive, one of Mooney’s tasks was to exploit “any tendencies to disagreement and rivalry among the extremist groups”; another was to improve “the image of British soldiers in Northern Ireland”.
Mooney was also directed to “clear major projects” with his superior, Howard Smith, and keep him “informed of what has been done”. For further details about the dark side of Smith’s career, see Village March 2018.
The lies Mooney told about the bombing of McGurk’s Bar
On 4 December 1971 the UVF bombed McGurk’s bar and killed 15 people including two children, the greatest single loss of human life during the Troubles to that point. There was never any doubt at British Army HQ that Loyalists were behind it. Nonetheless, the IRD circulated a story that the explosion was the result of an IRA “own goal” i.e. that it had exploded accidentally. False reports were put out by both the RUC and the Army. Later, intelligence reports were falsified to support the disinformation. The truth eventually did emerge and a UVF member was convicted for the atrocity. To this day, the British Government refuses to declassify its file on the bombing. Interested readers are directed to ‘The McGurk’s Bar Bombing’ by Ciaran MacAirt for a forensic dissection of the scandal. Before Mooney’s death, Mac Airt was looking for him to explain why the IRD had lied about the event.
One theory about the bombing is that Heath and Downing Street ordered the cover-up to conceal the fact that the UVF was involved, as Heath had cut a deal with NI PM Brian Faulkner not to sweep up Loyalists during internment and the McGurk massacre was a severe embarrassment to all concerned.
Mooney’s most sulphuric smear: some of Bloody Sunday’s victims were on the Army’s wanted list
The following month the British Army was mauled by the international press after the Bloody Sunday massacre of 13 unarmed civilians in Derry on 30 January 1970 by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment. Mooney’s dark skills were called upon to deal with the furore that ensued. Mooney arranged for Colonel Tugwell to talk to the press. The pair concocted a sulphuric smear alleging that some of the victims had been on the Army’s wanted list, thereby implying they were IRA members and probably armed. Not a word of this was true.
The killing of the ‘fresh-faced boys who might otherwise have lived to swell the ranks of patriotic militancy’
Despite Mooney’s efforts, the hostile publicity from Bloody Sunday persisted around the globe and even in some quarters in the UK with little sign of abatement. One possible light at the end of Mooney’s tunnel was presented by the journalist T. E. Utley.
Mooney knew Utley well and they often met when he came to NI. At the time of the Bloody Sunday atrocity Utley was working for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, both papers with well-established fraternal links to MI6. (See Village March 2018). Mooney and Utley discussed the Bloody Sunday massacre. It was ultimately decided that Utley would write a paperback book on the event. According to a confidential letter dated 24 March, 1972, the FCO reported to the MoD that Utley hoped to “complete the writing in about six weeks, though this may be a little over-ambitious”.
Utley was what was known in the intelligence community as an ‘agent of influence’. According to the letter, he was “obviously” going to “need a certain amount of help from Army PR, particularly on the propaganda aspect”.
In the event, Utley failed to produce the book. However, in 1975 he published the rather grandiosely titled ‘Lessons of Ulster’ which took a broader look at NI and contained a few pages which addressed Bloody Sunday. His overall thesis was that the British Army had been the real victim of the event because they had fallen for a trap sprung for them by the IRA.
According to Utley, the IRA lured the paratroopers from behind their barricades to arrest the rioters and then fired on them in the expectation they would make mistakes under pressure. In reality, the IRA had agreed to keep away from the march and the soldiers fired indiscriminately and without provocation on unarmed civilians. Utley’s fantasy account described how “the Army proved to have walked straight into an IRA trap…The most familiar of terrorist techniques – the use of an apparently innocent protest demonstration as a shield for a gun attack on security forces, designed not primarily to injure them but to tempt them to action which could be misrepresented as the deliberate slaughter of the innocent – had worked to perfection”.
The most outrageous part of his rant was where he argued some of those killed were “fresh-faced boys who might otherwise have lived to swell the ranks of patriotic militancy” i.e. they were all potential Provos and probably deserved what they got.
The damage occasioned by the snake oil Utley fed his credulous readers should not be under-estimated: Margaret Thatcher would later describe him as “the most distinguished Tory thinker of our time”.
Oath-breakers and drive-by justice
Mooney’s Bloody Sunday propaganda offensive received a boost from the drive-by tribunal chaired by Lord Widgery. It lasted only a few weeks and managed to exculpate the Parachute Regiment by April 1972. Widgery professed to believe every word the soldiers uttered to him. Depending on your perspective, Widgery was either the most dishonest or most gullible British judge of the Twentieth Century. Heath had appointed him Lord Chief Justice in 1971.
The odds are high that the judicial oath Widgery had taken meant very little to him. It has since emerged that he held a secret meeting with Heath and Lord Hailsham the day after Bloody Sunday at which Heath recruited him to oversee the tribunal. Crucially, Heath told Widgery that it “had to be remembered that we were in Northern Ireland fighting not only a military war but a propaganda war”. Heath would hardly have said something like this to Widgery unless he knew he was malleable or had some sort of a hold over him. Widgery was a Freemason and a former brigadier in the British Army.
The Savile Report dismantled the pyramid of lies erected at Widgery Tribunal brick by brick but not until 2010. Both Mooney and Tugwell turned up at Saville but perjured themselves: both denied they had been involved in psychological operations in NI in 1972. The MoD and Downing Street knew perfectly well this was perjury.
Brian Crozier, the Australian smearmeister
Long before Utley’s book appeared, an Australian called Brian Crozier had sallied forth with a book called “Ulster Debate” which pushed the IRD line on Bloody Sunday and much more besides. Crozier is the second central character in this story.
According to Crozier’s autobiography, ‘Free Agent’, in 1964 he had been approached by “a long-time IRD friend, H. H. (“Tommy”) Tucker. I had already turned down a full-time job proposal from him, but he now made me an offer which I accepted immediately: a part-time consultancy for the IRD”.
Later again, Crozier was asked to head the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) which pumped out propaganda bilge on behalf of the IRD and MI6.
Crozier produced another grandiosely titled publication, the ‘Annual of Power and Conflict 1971, A Survey of Political Violence and International Influence for the ISC’. It came out in early 1972. In reality it was little more than IRD-MI6 propaganda. Beyond question, Crozier, Mooney and the IRD co-ordinated their efforts and were acting as a team. The 1972-73 Annual regurgitated much of what appeared in the 1971 Annual.
Jack Lynch and Des O’Malley allegedly kowtow to the IRA
The 1971 Annual put Fianna Fáil in the cross hairs claiming that the “support given by the Irish Republic to the IRA was much more serious…The supervision by the Irish Army of their side of the border was perfunctory. The Prime Minister of the Republic, Mr. Jack Lynch, whose own position is precarious and his party Fionna Fial [sic], has historic links with the IRA.”. The implication of this smear is that Lynch and his Minister for Justice, Des O’Malley, did not have the courage to stand up to the IRA.
There is no space in this article to outline the carefully crafted smears Mooney and his cohort directed against the politician who would succeed Lynch as Leader of Fianna Fáil and also became Taoiseach, Charles Haughey. However, some of this terrain was covered by Village last September in an article entitled ‘Britainted’.
Catholics clamour for internment
Perhaps the most risible claim in the 1971 Annual was that Catholics at the Harland and Wolff shipyard had marched to demand internment in March 1971. If there were Catholics on the march, they must have been present out of fear or intimidation. When internment was introduced in August, it certainly was not as a result of a clamour from Catholics anywhere. While Crozier’s claim will strike Irish readers as preposterous, it is worth recalling that the propaganda themes in the book were aimed at a more gullible international audience.
Dr Garret Fitzgerald, the ISC Study Group And MI6
Arguably, the greatest IRD coup in Ireland during Mooney’s tenure in Belfast was to inveigle Garret FitzGerald to become a member of Crozier’s ISC Study Group (ISCSG) on Ireland. FitzGerald would become Minister for Foreign Affairs in February 1973 and serve as Taoiseach twice in the 1980s. As a member of the ISCSG, Fitzgerald contributed a chapter to Crozier’s 1972 book, ‘Ulster Debate’. It formed yet another part of Mooney’s propaganda offensive to exculpate the Parachute Regiment after Bloody Sunday.
In his autobiography, Crozier revealed his close friendship with Sir Maurice Oldfield, who was Deputy Chief of MI6 1968-73, and Chief 1973-78. It is inconceivable that Crozier did not report back to Oldfield on what FitzGerald did, said and thought at the meetings of the ISCSG and on its fringes. Crozier’s insights into FitzGerald may have informed British negotiations in the run up to the Sunningdale Agreement. Oldfield was central to the process leading up to the conclusion of the Sunningdale Agreement, even flying to Dublin on at least one occasion. In addition, the Crozier-FitzGerald link may help to explain what Oldfield’s friend and hagiographer Richard Deacon had in mind when he described the ‘comprehensiveness of certain of [MI6’s] intelligence reports’ Oldfield was able to furnish to Whitehall after he became MI6 Chief in 1973.
FitzGerald was certainly not taciturn while in British company. On the contrary, he was a regular visitor to the Embassy in Dublin where he once supplied information – since declassified by the UK’s National Archives – about Charles Haughey and the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee to British officials. (See Village May 2017.) He was also a source of information about Jack Lynch. Ambassador Robin Haydon drew up a secret profile of Haughey in 1980 which contained a passage speculating about the cause of Lynch’s resignation. ‘This reasoning [about Lynch’s departure] was confirmed or at least echoed in conversations I had with … Garret FitzGerald and many others. It is probably the truth or as near as we are likely to get to it”.
While FitzGerald was happy to disclose his involvement with the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, British-Irish Association and his support for Irish membership of NATO in both of his autobiographies, there is no mention of Crozier or the ISCSG anywhere in either of them; nor indeed in any of his writings. Hence, it is not clear what FitzGerald discussed with Crozier and how long the relationship lasted.
Crozier’s Muppet Show
The introduction to ‘Ulster Debate’, which was written by Crozier, solemnly explained that “the Institute commissioned four of the five studies that appear in this book and convened a Study Group with the object of considering each of the papers and producing constructive suggestions”.
Like all good propagandists, Crozier spun a good yarn: “The guiding principle of the Study Group was realism. The outcome is a guide to the Irish problem and proposals that respect the facts and possibilities of a dangerous and delicate situation. Each paper is a separate contribution. It does not necessarily reflect the view of the other members of the Study Group”.
Unfortunately, the ‘guiding principle of the Study Group’ was not ‘realism’. Some of the more risible allegations in the book included:
- That on 13 December 1971 the IRA ‘hi-jacked a Canadian aircraft but were apprehended’;
- That Catholics in Belfast had marched in favour of internment on 13 March 1971 – a regurgitated claim;
- That on 10 March 1971 a “feud between the Officials and the Provisionals broke out into open violence. There were murderous street battles in which it was estimated that 40 to 50 members lost lives”. However, not a single soul died on 10 March. Six people in total died during March 1971 of whom four were British soldiers;
- That Cathal Goulding was leader of the Provisional IRA. Goulding in fact led their sworn opponents, the Official IRA;
- Lord Chalfont, a former FCO minister, referred to the ‘Mini-Manual of the Irish Guerrilla’ (surely an IRD forgery) which contained ‘a characteristic attack on the Catholic priest-hood’ by the IRA which described the Church as ‘the enemy in our mists, the vipers nourished by the fruits of our sweat, the black beetles eating away at our very sustenance’. This absurd quote can only have been included to undermine the IRA in the eyes of Catholic Irish-America;
- That FF (i.e. Lynch and O’Malley) had rendered the Republic a safe haven for the IRA;
FitzGerald was not the only high-profile dignitary to lend his name to the publication. Professor J.C. Beckett of Queens University and Prof F. S. L. Lyons of Trinity College, did so too alongside Lord Chalfont.
The exemplary behaviour of the Parachute Regiment
The real purpose of ‘Ulster Debate’ was to portray Britain in the best light possible in America and elsewhere. It was distributed throughout the world by British Embassy and consulate staff.
One group that emerged well out of ‘Ulster Debate’ was the Paratroop Regiment. According to ‘Ulster Debate’, on 2 October 1971 a “paratrooper gave his life in an effort to save some children”. No one died on 2 October 1971, let alone a paratrooper, although a soldier did save a child in similar circumstances on another occasion.
An allegedly ‘clear’ account of Bloody Sunday; one that could be relied upon ‘beyond doubt’, was tendered by Lord Chalfont: the IRA had been responsible for starting the violence of that dark day and the soldiers were the victims of unwarranted IRA propaganda. Chalfont argued that, “When the IRA used the mobs as shelter for ambushes and snipers, sooner or later a tragedy of that sort is inevitable. When this happens another weapon in the armoury of terrorism comes into its own – the weapon of propaganda. The action of the security forces in London was the subject of unceasing IRA propaganda …and much of it was swallowed whole in sections of the British press”.
The IRD promotes Garret FitzGerald’s assertion that Bloody Sunday was an “aberration”
In ‘Ulster Debate’ Garret FitzGerald described Bloody Sunday as an “aberration” that had caused an “astonishing” rift between the UK and Ireland which had traditionally been “basically friendly”.
FitzGerald argued that, “against this long-term background the present unhappy state of Anglo-Irish relations can be seen as an aberration. An almost total – and unprecedented – failure of communications between the two countries, especially after the Derry shootings, created a momentary mutual hostility that is uncharacteristic of the normal complex but basically friendly relationship with each other. That this could have happened in the face of the means of mass communications now available is astonishing and indeed deeply worrying. Past experience suggests, however, that in time the misunderstandings caused by such communications blockages will be dissipated”.
FitzGerald referred to “the events of London-derry” on page 78, whereas on page 73 he described the city as “Derry”. Did someone edit his work?
FitzGerald also used ‘Ulster Debate’ as a platform to attack the Republic’s failure to contribute to the defence of Western Europe by refusing to join NATO.
The lies about Bloody Sunday metastasise
The combined deceit of Mooney, Crozier and Widgery created a noxious atmosphere which allowed all sorts of mouldy nonsense about Bloody Sunday to fester for decades.
Peter Harclerode, author of ‘Para!’ (1992), reported that there had been “unconfirmed reports that the total of those killed was between 20 and 30, and that the missing bodies had been spirited away across the border, where they were buried”. If this was indeed the case, the motive for their concealment can only have been that forensic examination would have revealed that the individuals concerned had been handling and firing weapons”.
John Parker published ‘The Paras: The Inside Story of Britain’s Toughest Regiment’ in 2000. At page 251 he supported this nonsense by stating that there “was little doubt that the IRA themselves ‘doctored’ the scene by whisking away incriminating materials and, it was speculated, several other bodies or wounded personnel”.
From Russia with rocket launchers
Mooney and his colleagues also created links between the IRA and the KGB. One story included an ingeniously crafted yarn that Soviet submarines were supplying guns to the IRA. A photograph taken in Scandinavia was published in the British press with a claim it had been shot off the Donegal coast during an operation to arm the IRA.
IRD-inspired newspaper reports also claimed that Arab terror groups such as Black September, were arming the IRA. Meanwhile in Britain, the IRD forged documents linking senior British Labour Party figures to Sinn Féin.
‘Quite the thickest individual’ in the department of foreign affairs in dublin
The IRD was active in the Republic too. For example, its officers in the Dublin Embassy targeted KGB spies such as Victor Louis, a Russian who held himself out as a journalist. According to a telegram dated 4 May, 1972, the British Embassy in Dublin passed information to an official in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) consular section, linking Louis to the KGB. The man from the DFA was chosen to receive the news as he was deemed to “be quite the thickest individual in the DFA’s employment” and presumably lacked initiative. Hence, they believed he would pass on “word for word what to say to his opposite numbers in the Justice Department”. In a co-ordinated move, MI5 made representations to Garda Special Branch, with the intention that news of this would reach the ears of the Department of Justice. Subsequently, the IRD managed to feed a story about Louis’ presence in the Republic to the Irish Independent which reported it in a story entitled: “Soviet Mystery Man Slips into Dublin” on 24 October 1972.
Mooney smears John Hume as a corrupt thief
As Village reported last September, in the early 1970s John Hume forged excellent relations with Tip O’Neill, Ted Kennedy and other influential Irish-Americans in Washington much to the annoyance of the British. According to Hume’s biographer, “the British watched from a distance, wary that he might try to prise the US State Department away from its pro-London, anti-interventionist line. Indeed, it was partly to break the State Department’s hold on policy that Hume concentrated on the politicians, who in America wield real power”.
Some of Hume’s US visits were as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Resurgence Fund, a charity which raised funds to encourage employment and self-help projects in Belfast.
Mooney and the IPU struck in August 1972 claiming some of the money raised by the Fund had been diverted to the IRA while Hume had carved off a slice for himself. A bank account was forged purporting to show a theft from various US charities. A briefing paper was shown to a select group of American reporters. It (a) linked Hume with IRA fundraisers and (b) hinted that he had stolen money which had been donated by the American Ancient Order of Hibernians. According to it: “Hume received $10,000” on one occasion. Alongside this scribbled in red ink was “see [Hume’s] bank account”.
The smear wound its way into the Christian Science Monitor, an international publication which, while it was available on subscription, was also distributed free to influential political figures throughout the world. The story festered and spread until Hume was obliged to denounce it.
In April 1987 Barry Penrose of the Sunday Times confronted Mooney with the briefing paper. At first, he denied he had written it, or had seen the forged bank account. Later he conceded that the handwriting on the documents “could be” his. One of Mooney’s regrets after all this publicity was that he could no longer visit his relatives in the Republic.
Hume was also smeared in Crozier’s ‘Ulster Debate’. An entry in the chronology section for 16 February 1972 contains a reference to an arrest warrant issued for him. The entry is silent on what it allegedly concerned. It merely stated that a “summons was served on Mr. John Hume in the Bogside, by police escorted by armoured cars”.
An alternative Ulster
Hence, by 1973 British diplomats could hawk the ISC annuals for 1971 and 1972-73, Ulster Debate, a variety of forged documents and newspaper clippings around Washington, Canberra and Toronto and whisper that:
- John Hume, a critic of internment and Bloody Sunday, was corrupt, self-serving and a thief; and there were bank statements and newspaper reports to prove it;
- Catholics had marched demanding the internment of the IRA in 1971;
- Bloody Sunday had been a trap set by the IRA during a march they had organised against internment;
- Paratroopers were in fact prepared to sacrifice their lives to save Irish children;
- The KGB were pulling the strings behind the scenes and supplying the IRA with arms they were smuggling to Donegal onboard Soviet submarines, and there were photographs and news reports to prove it;
- Arab terrorists were also arming the IRA;
- Jack Lynch, his Justice Minister Des O’Malley and others in Fianna Fáil had rendered the Republic a safe haven for the IRA in a craven attempt to appease the backwoodsmen in their party but had now lost power;
- Garret FitzGerald of Fine Gael had now become Minister for Foreign Affairs and was a far more reliable figure who not only supported NATO against the Soviets but also felt that it had been “deeply worrying” that Bloody Sunday had ever created a rift between Ireland and the UK.
Looming large over all of these sleazy machinations and perpetuating them into the future was Sir John Leahy, whose father was Irish. Leahy was ‘Head of News’ at the FCO 1971-73, and Undersecretary to the NIO, 1975-77. According to one of his obituaries, Leahy was full of admiration for “the discipline and self-control of the ‘squaddies’ in NI as they coped, for example, with foul-mouthed harpies spitting in their faces or shrieking abuse from street corners”. Margaret Thatcher later made him Ambassador to South Africa. He died in December 2015.
The one thing Mooney did not lie about: Kincora Boys Home
To his credit, Mooney was prepared to tell the truth about the Kincora Boys child sex abuse scandal. Judge Hart, who investigated it and reported in 2017, missed out on this crucial opportunity to learn the truth despite the fact he had been supplied with a copy of an interview Mooney had given to The Sunday Correspondent on 18 March 1990. In it Mooney stated unambiguously that Colin Wallace, who worked at the British Army’s HQ at Lisburn as a PSYOPS officer, had told him about the abuse at Kincora. “I do know he mentioned it. He was dropping it in and feeling his way. He kept pushing it… I did get the feeling he was pushing this”.
Mooney’s handwriting also appeared on a press briefing which referred to William McGrath, the Housefather at Kincora, who ran a paramilitary organisation called Tara. McGrath was convicted for his crimes at Kincora in 1981. There is more to this story and Village will return to it in a later edition.
Mooney was only in his mid-50s when he gave his interview to the Sunday Correspondent and was fully aware of the adverse consequences he was likely to face. After all, Colin Wallace had lost his job, been framed for manslaughter and been sent to prison because he had tried to expose the Kincora scandal and refused to engage in a series of MI5-inspired dirty tricks. In time, Wallace’s conviction was overturned and he was compensated for the deceitful manner in which he had been ousted from his post in Lisburn by Ian Cameron of MI5. Cameron was then master-minding the Kincora sex-abuse blackmail operations for MI5.
Thatcher’s close relationship with Crozier
In 1977 Carl Bernstein (of Watergate fame) exposed a vast global network of interlocking media publications and bodies which included the ISC, all of which were controlled by the CIA and MI6. After this, Crozier was subjected to intense scrutiny in the media and lost all credibility except in the eyes of a few including Margaret Thatcher who relied upon him as an intelligence adviser. In his book, Crozier was at pains to high- light how his old friend Sir Maurice Oldfield of MI6 was one of the few who helped him at this time. Oldfield had a memorandum on Crozier which had been sent to the Labour Party Foreign Secretary, Anthony Crosland, stolen from the FCO after Crosland’s sudden death in February 1977.
Crozier set up a secret committee called ‘Shield’ in 1976 to brief Thatcher and her aides on ‘subversion’. The existence of ‘Shield’ was revealed in 1993 when Crozier wrote about it in The Times. Between May 1977 and July 1979, ‘Shield’ secretly produced 15 strategic papers for the forthcoming Tory government. The reports were always given to Thatcher and, on request, to Lord Carrington, William Whitelaw, and Sir Keith Joseph. After Thatcher became PM, she wanted to attach Shield to 10 Downing Street or the Cabinet Office. Crozier claimed that Whitelaw and Joseph were in favour but her plan was killed off by Carrington.
How much did the manipulative, dishonest and – at best – paranoid views of Crozier serve to poison Thatcher’s attitude towards Ireland, not to mention the rest of the world?
Ronald Reagan was another admirer of Crozier and invited Crozier to the White House for discussions about Communism after he became president.
The appalling vista for the character assassins: Jeremy Corbyn might become PM
The IRD was shut down in 1978 by Foreign Secretary David Owen of the Labour Party but its work was pursued by other secret black departments.
Hugh Mooney and his colleagues were never made to answer for any of the dirty tricks they perpetrated. The inevitable result is that Mooney’s successors can now tout their skills to companies such as Cambridge Analytica. This in turn confirms that MI5 and MI6 still train their operatives in these types of skills. Why else would companies like Cambridge Analytica pay huge sums to use them? One tactic Cambridge Analytica boasted it used was to offer massive bribes to politicians on video and then leak the footage onto the net. The prostitutes they used to entrap politicians in ‘honey traps’ included “beautiful” Ukrainians.
With relations between the Irish Government and the UK deteriorating over Brexit, it is likely Mooney and Crozier’s successors have plans to manipulate opinion in the Republic?
Theresa May sets the tone for her intelligence departments from the top. She has already shown that she is spineless, dishonest and in thrall to them. Insofar as Ireland is concerned, she insisted as Home Secretary that the inquiry into MI5 and MI6’s complicity with Kincora Boys Home was not included as part of the powerful London-based IICSA, instead relegating it to the comparatively powerless Hart Inquiry which made a mess of it. MI5 and MI6 officers lied to Hart. May has not – and will never – move against them.
Last month, one of May’s most senior advisers ‘outed’ a Brexit whistleblower as gay. The whistleblower was from Pakistan and had not informed his family about his sexual orientation. The revelation has endangered the lives of his family in Pakistan. As this edition of Village goes to print, May has not sacked her adviser.
The message to whistleblowers is clear: cross the Establishment and pay the price.
Jeremy Corbyn is currently the target of a classic MI5/6-style orchestrated campaign of vilification. The only question is who is conducting it. (See Village March 2018.) The most likely candidate is a coalition led by Downing Street in conjunction with May’s more disreputable allies in MI5 and MI6, their associates in the media consultancy industry and the right-wing media. If modern trends are being followed, big business figures terrified of Corbyn’s hard-left economic policies, are bankrolling the campaign.
If Corbyn becomes PM, the dirty tricksters and black propagandists working in the public and private sectors can expect a sharp shock, especially if Corbyn lets his close ally Seamus Milne – an expert on the machinations of the intelligence community – loose on them.
Joseph De Búrca