Thursday, March 17

The Kaiser Soze model of democracy

Pundita is only halfway through embroidering a sampler of the following quotes for hanging above the fireplace. My apology to The Scotsman newspaper and Jim Cusak for breaking protocol by posting lengthy quotes from their piece . I hope they'll forgive me this one time, in honor of the day and the gravity of the article's implications.

The quotes speak volumes about where democracy is headed in small countries in these days of globalized crime syndicates, if citizens don't keep a very close watch. Supporters of 'managed' democracy revolution please take note of which century this is. The days are long past when only a handful of wealthy governments could afford to stage-manage the overthrow of governments in small countries.

It's a good thing the bank robbers overlooked that it's not possible to launder tens of millions of stolen bank notes in a small country, else the police might not have discovered the larger scheme.
Members of the Garda [Ireland's police] Special Branch, Fraud and Criminal Assets Bureau had just launched its biggest ever set of raids on the offices of accountants, solicitors and finance companies across the country, looking for documents linked to offshore accounts, property deals, business ownerships and money transactions estimated to run into hundreds of millions of euros.

Ostensibly linked to the search for the £26.5m [$39m] stolen recently in Belfast, in reality the raids were about something more. There is said to be a massive amount of financial activity, ranging from pubs to trading corporations, situated in countries outside the EU in order to avoid the scrutiny of EU financial regulations. And they all have one thing in common: they are linked to the IRA.

The amounts involved were evidently for a purpose far beyond personal enrichment. There is now a belief that the finance operation uncovered is intended to fund a massive campaign to subvert politics in the Republic of Ireland, undermining its political parties and institutions. Gardai now talk in apocalyptic terms. The scheme is, they say, the IRA’s banking system to be used to overthrow the government of Ireland.

A key part of the grandiose plan was the subverting of Sinn Fein’s political opposition. The IRA is in the process of building a black propaganda campaign to attack members of the Irish parliament and other elected representatives. Across the country, the IRA has been spying on members of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour and the Progressive Democrats. Units of IRA volunteers, under the guise of Sinn Fein "activists", have been building up dossiers on members of opposing political parties.

This information is to be used to destroy the careers of politicians and public figures at key points in the run-up to the next Irish general election, in which Sinn Fein hopes to establish itself as a major presence in the Dail.

Gardai and Irish army intelligence believe the leadership of the Provisionals has decided it has completed its strategic project in Northern Ireland, having overthrown the SDLP to become the biggest nationalist party, and has now turned its attention to its grand plan of taking power in the Republic. Within republican circles this project is referred to as the "re-conquest of the south".

This project requires hundreds of millions of euros to pay for the small army of activists of all shades, ranging from the local "community" workers to high-flying financiers handling the organisation’s money

The truth has finally dawned on Bertie Ahern’s government that, rather than be content with a political agreement that would have seen Sinn Fein in a Stormont Executive in the north, the Provisionals were intent on an altogether bigger prize.

-- 02/20/05 article, "IRA's dirty cash funds power grab," The Scotsman.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

In case you missed the details of the heist:

How the money laundering scheme unraveled:

The Scotsman piece quoted above:


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