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Was British Intelligence really behind the IRA?

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Noel Barber, in his book The War of the Running Dogs - on the communist terrorist campaign in Malaya from 1948 to 1960 - concluded that, by 1960, practically all the central committee of the communist organisation had been placed there by the British intelligence services.

It is many years since I first read Barber's book and I concluded that the same policy was being adopted here with regards to the Provisional IRA.

The methodology in Malaya consisted of: (a) killing those who were obstructive to the British policy; (b) blackmailing those whom they had compromised and (c) supplying those who were co-operative with material benefits and protection.

I now feel justified in my views by the revelations made by your political editor, Liam Clarke (News, December 21).

Clarke's disclosures and your editorial backbone gives one hope that the actions of successive governments will be exposed.

Clarke's revelations raise two substantive issues, namely:

(1) If the Provos were so easily manipulated, who were the 'loyalist collaborators' in the paramilitary organisations and who were the politicians who were similarly manipulated (and rewarded)?

(2) How many RUC, Army, UDR personnel and civilians were sacrificed in these little games?

The betrayal of ordinary people is surely of such a magnitude as to justify the entire British establishment being prosecuted.

LYLE CUBITT

Ballymena, Co Antrim

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