AMERICAN BREXIT COMMITTEE
1919 CHESTNUT ST, SUITE 1724
PHILADELPHIA, PA 191O3
On September 11th, 2011 as the Twin Towers fell in NYC, British Prime Minister’ Blair’s public relations person remarked that it was a good time to bury bad news. This is not an insignificant thing for politicians. COVID19 provided the perfect cover for Prime Minister Johnson’s gambit to bury the lawless legacy of Army, security and police killings in Ireland.
His remedy? Amnesty for those security forces involved in the deaths of nearly 1000 civilians in Northern Ireland and the Republic contained in the innocuous sounding bill labeledOverseas Operation. It is presently before Parliament and includes the latest in British legal sorcery---a presumption against prosecution. With ‘Deep State’ forces at work committing arson attacks on stored evidence, destroying records without authorization, failing to keep records at all and conducting minimal investigations, some of those crimes might well prove difficult to prosecute.
In 2014 with the signing of the Stormont House Agreement (SHA), the British thought they could corrupt these investigations to ferret out the truth and stall prosecutions for another decade. They hired retired Special Branch Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers to work with a handful of serving RUC officers to select and investigate many of their own crimes. The cases were then assigned to an underfunded Historical Evidence Team (HET). Pretty standard stuff for Ministry of Defense cover-ups. The MoD ‘cooperated’ further by imposing “national security” vetoes on all record requests thus adding layers of appeals. The proposed statute would instead provide victims’ families with a document of what data was in the files.
All of this runs afoul of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Union (EU) Convention of Human Rights protecting life and requiring compliant criminal investigations. That explains one of the real reasons the Conservative government wants out of the EU. The EU has strengthened Ireland’s voice. But once Brexit becomes final on December 31, Britain can return to its bullying ways. For example, today May 17th marks the 46th anniversary of the largest of those past killings. It took the lives of 33 men, women infants and toddlers and injured and maimed 300. A partnership of British soldiers, RUC police and loyalists’ terrorists without warning detonated bombs at rush hour in Dublin and Monaghan shopping centers. The Irish Gardai within three days had 12 prime suspects but the British decided not to cooperate. Irish Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, fearful of British repercussions, folded like a cheap suit.
In the past, Britain has counted on U. S. Presidents indifference to their handling of the Irish conflict. But President’s Clintons support of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and that of every President since, has established a bi-partisan embrace of its principles of democratic consent, the rule of law, and accountability for truth and respect of human rights. Johnson’s get-out of -jail free stunt in Parliament runs counter to those principles.
The British leader needs a new US-UK trade deal to counter the short-term effects of Brexit. The U. S. Congress may decide to conduct hearings on the impact of his solution on the Irish peace process. Scrutiny may be also be given to any US-UK trade deal for its effect on Ireland’s economy and business sector as well as America’s. Either the British can choose to be responsible with truth and accountability or continue their mockery of the rule of law. “Truth,” claimed Albert Schweitzer, “has no special time of its own. Its time is now---always.”
Michael J. Cummings
201 W Evergreen Ave, Apt 715
Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania 19118
Michael J. Cummings, a native of Springfield, Mass., is a graduate of St. Anselm’s College (B. A., 1968) and New York University (M. P. A., 1970) . He established and served as Secretary of the American Brexit Committee from 2016-2019. He is a former member of the National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference (1996-2013), the Ancient Order of Hibernians (2001-2008), and the Irish Northern Aid Committee (1988-1996) serving six National AOH Presidents, 5 National IAUC Presidents and two National Chairman of INA primarily in public relations capacities. Cummings is the only person to serve on the national policy making bodies of all three major Irish American organizations. He also served as Chairman of the Capital District Irish National Caucus (1979-1982. He worked for the State of New York for 36 years in various capacities including as Assistant Deputy State Comptroller and Director of the Justice Court Fund. He served on the Peace and Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Cummings has appeared on American, English and Irish television and radio and his commentary and letters and those of the organizations’ Presidents have appeared in major American, Irish-American, and Catholic print media. He has been married 46 years to Nuala Hogan, a nurse and native of Ireland. They are the parents of five children and have 6 grandchildren. His Irish roots are in Kilkenny, Tipperary and Cork.
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AMERICAN BREXIT COMMITTEE