Double standard? Expose NI police collusion, get arrested. Leak from NSC meeting? ‘Closed matter’
Williamson was fired by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday after being pinpointed as the leaker from a National Security Council meeting about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and its involvement in the UK’s 5G network. Williamson has adamantly denied he is the leaker, but an investigation found “compelling evidence” that he was the culprit.
The Williamson case exposes revolting double standards. https://t.co/lc3eQejkck— Peter Oborne (@OborneTweets) May 2, 2019
Two journalists were arrested by armed police under the Official Secrets Act in Northern Ireland last year after exposing police collusion in the Loughinisland murders. But Downing Street says Gavin Williamson’s national security breach is a “closed matter”.— Sean O'Neill (@TimesONeill) May 2, 2019
Oborne, who is the former political editor of the Daily Telegraph, was responding to a tweet by UK Times reporter Sean O’Neill which recalled that two Northern Ireland journalists were arrested last year under the UK’s Official Secrets Act after they exposed British police collusion with loyalist gunmen who had opened fire in a Catholic pub in the village of Loughinisland in 1994, killing six people.
Journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey helped produce a film which named the alleged killers, who they claim are known to police, and offered strong evidence of collusion between the two. For their efforts, Birney and McCaffrey were arrested last August and about 100 officers raided their homes.Also on rt.com Minister of Offence: 7 most ill-judged & preposterous Gavin Williamson moments
Both Amnesty International and the National Union of Journalists said the arrests put freedom of the press in NI at risk. Birney said at the time it was “highly ironic” that the UK foreign office was supposedly concerned about press freedom around the world, while “allowing one of its own British constabularies to arrest journalists” in “out of sight, out of mind” Northern Ireland.
Fast forward a year, however, and Williamson’s alleged decision to leak information directly from a National Security Council meeting is being treated by London s a “closed matter” despite being a breach of the Official Secrets Act – and Williamson himself not being a journalist.
One tweeter wasn’t surprised, however, saying that Downing Street still sees NI as “a colony in a hostile land” and any attempt to question what security services get up to there will be met with a more “dramatic response” than what a cabinet member might get up to in London.
Northern Ireland has always been a different country.Don’t let anyone tell you differently, it’s still treated as a colony in a hostile land. Questioning what the security forces have been up to will get a dramatic response.— John O'Donnell (@JohnODo22064740) May 2, 2019
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