So what is the point if this series of posts?
Well to sum up, Dean Godson, son of Cold War warrior Joe Godson, has been doing something very similar to what Clifford Hill of the IRD advised in 1971, using the British experience in Northern Ireland as a ‘casebook’ for other situations, in this case the War on Terror.
In particular, he has used the Northern Ireland example to argue three things:
In reality, a look at the historical record on Northern Ireland turns these propositions on their head.
1. The MI6 negotiations that led to the 1975 IRA ceasefire were in line with offical policy. It was those elements of the secret state opposed to an accomodation who sought to turn the anti-IRA disinformation operation Clockwork Orange into a plot against the elected Government.
Northern Ireland may nevertheless have genuine lessons for the US in the War on Terror, not least the dangers of regarding the British secret state as a model for the mooted overhaul of the FBI.