Thursday, April 27, 2017

Puerto Rico Students Battle Colonial Austerity For the Right of Independence!



https://archive.is/f7bXt

Workers Vanguard No. 1110 21 April 2017

Puerto Rico

Students Battle Colonial Austerity

For the Right of Independence!

Since March 28, students have been on strike at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), the island’s main public university system with a total of 70,000 students. UPR has been the target of $348 million in budget cuts over the past three years and it faces more austerity demanded by the American colonial masters. The students’ main demands are no budget cuts and no tuition increases. The strike is being actively supported by the unions of teachers and campus workers, who have themselves experienced union-busting attacks, wage reductions and shrinking pensions over the past decade. The students’ battle gives voice to the anguish and anger of Puerto Ricans enduring a desperate economic situation—a direct consequence of imperialist colonial domination. Victory to the student strike!

Many strikers today remember the two-month student strike at UPR in 2010, when the students fought against attempts by the bourgeoisie and campus administration to implement tuition hikes and budget cuts. That strike was met with bloody police repression, but it successfully beat back the worst of the government’s and UPR administration’s attacks.

We stand for free, quality public education for all, including open admissions and a state-paid living stipend for all students! But under capitalism, the provision of education and other social services is subordinated to the ruling class’s drive for profit. Our Marxist perspective is for a free, egalitarian society based on material abundance, where education is an actual right. This can only be achieved through a socialist revolution that sweeps away the decaying capitalist system and establishes workers rule in the oppressed colonies and neocolonies as well as in the U.S.

In 2016, the Obama administration imposed a Financial Oversight and Management Board, known as the “junta,” to ensure that Puerto Rico’s debt of over $70 billion is paid to the hedge fund parasites and financial institutions. The capitalist investors claim that Puerto Ricans, almost half of whom subsist below the poverty line, have been living “beyond their means” and must pay. These vultures sucked the blood of Puerto Rico’s economy and for decades enjoyed a tax haven with low-wage labor. The junta’s task is to oversee implementation by the island’s government of the bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress, grotesquely dubbed PROMESA (“promise,” Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act). This law demands budget cuts of $450 million to education alone—in addition to more taxes, the sale of $4 billion worth of public buildings and the slashing of government spending. The governor, Ricardo Rosell√≥, is a union-busting lackey of the imperialists, who is faithfully imposing their austerity.

The Puerto Rican masses are threatened with the destruction of public education, health care, pensions and the privatization of the government-owned public utility company, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. The teachers’ pension fund is so depleted that contributions by working teachers flow straight out to retirees. The New York Times (8 March) reported that “none of Puerto Rico’s current teachers can expect to get their money back, because the fund is due to run out of money in 2018.” Since 2008, more than 350 schools in Puerto Rico have closed and today many hospitals have no funding to provide essential services. Workers in the U.S. should take a side with the workers and oppressed of Puerto Rico who are being ground down by colonial oppression and demand: Cancel the debt!

A century ago, Puerto Ricans were given limited American citizenship rights, but they are unable to vote in federal elections and have no voting representation in Congress. When Puerto Rico came under the rule of the U.S. in 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American War, the population was forced to receive their education in English. In 1909, Spanish was banned in all public schools. This was an assault on four hundred years of language and culture under the guise of “civilizing a savage people.” It wasn’t until 1949 that Spanish became the language of public education.

As forthright opponents of national oppression and U.S. imperialism, we favor Puerto Rican independence. Puerto Ricans hate their second-class status as residents of a U.S. commonwealth, but their feelings about independence are mixed. On the one hand, people on the island have a very strong sense of nationhood; on the other, many are fearful of losing the ability to live and work on the mainland and of sinking to the level of poverty of their independent Caribbean neighbors. We oppose any attempts to forcibly impose independence against the will of the population. Thus, we emphasize the right of independence.

The fight against colonial oppression in Puerto Rico would necessarily be directed at the local agents of imperialism and could therefore act as a lever for socialist revolution. Such struggles would also reverberate throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and on the U.S. mainland.

About five million Puerto Ricans live in the United States (the population on the island is 3.5 million), where they are a component of the multiracial U.S. working class in many urban centers. These workers can be a link for class unity of workers in Puerto Rico and the United States against both the imperialists and their local enforcers. Our perspective is to build Leninist parties in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico whose goal is to establish workers rule.

As we said in our article “U.S. Colonialism Chokes Puerto Rico” (WV No. 1075, 2 October 2015):

“A victorious workers revolution in the U.S., in which class-conscious Puerto Rican workers can play a vanguard role, would immediately grant Puerto Rico independence and massive amounts of economic aid, establishing relations on the basis of its freedom to exercise national self-determination. But the spark of revolution could also come from the colonial or neocolonial countries. Workers struggle in Puerto Rico against U.S. colonial domination could inspire the multiracial working class on the mainland in the revolutionary overthrow of U.S. imperialism.”

http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1110/puerto_rico.html

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

'Wake Them Up!' - Making Videos About Ken Russell



When UK movie maker Ken Russell died in 2011 I made a number of videos using obituaries and summations of the man's work with a slide show as the visual. At one point the man had three first run films playing in London simultaneously. Yet he was treated as an eccentric joke by much of the British media for most of his working life. Ken Russell took chances, and he sure made mistakes, but his work is notable and striking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGEEe5PB9js https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGEEe5PB9js

Monday, April 24, 2017

Russia and China Should Fear the X37-B Space Plane



The Strategist 19 Oct 2016 by Malcolm Davis

A transformation in military space capabilities is occurring hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface as the US Air Force X-37B Space Plane logs over 500 days in orbit in its latest mission.

The unmanned X-37B Space Plane is designed for long-endurance missions that are highly classified. It’s officially referred to as the ‘Orbital Test Vehicle’, and is described as a platform for testing “reusable spacecraft technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.” A total of four missions have been flown since April 2010, with the fourth in progress since 20th May 2015. It’s designed to be launched on an expendable Atlas V booster, and there are currently two operational X-37Bs in the USAF’s inventory.

The current mission is testing a new type of ion-engine called a ‘Hall-effect thruster’. It was the Hall thrusters on the first USAF Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite that saved the satellite when a rocket motor failed to raise it to the correct orbit. Hall thrusters provide higher thrust than traditional ion propulsion, with sustained thrust allowing a spacecraft to reach about 50km per second—much faster than even NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe now travelling out of the solar system at mere 17km per second. For satellites they provide a much more cost effective way of remaining in the right location within an orbit.

The laws of orbital dynamics and the fact that rockets use fuel at an alarming rate means satellites and spacecraft are not maneuverable like fighter aircraft within Earth’s atmosphere. Minimizing fuel use also demands the use of Hohmann transfer trajectories to move between orbits, reducing their orbital agility even further. Rocket engines and the need to carry large amounts of fuel adds mass and complexity to spacecraft design, blowing out cost and extending development time. Once the rocket fuel is used up, the spacecraft or satellite is useless.

The X-37B potentially changes this situation, as not only can the spacecraft be recovered and reused, but it uses a small amount of Xenon gas that is far lighter than traditional rocket fuel like hydrazine, though it has a high storage density to allow greater useful fuel. Maneuvering with Hall thrusters is slow compared to rockets (even though prolonged acceleration over time produces much higher velocities), but far more cost effective in terms of fuel. So the X-37B can stay up longer, maneuver at far lower cost in terms of fuel than a similar vehicle with traditional rockets, and enjoy a greater ability to maneuver within and between orbits. This flexibility would allow it to do more in space, including close surveillance of an adversary’s satellites in orbit, both in terms of optical imaging, and electronic intelligence and signals intelligence gathering. It can also fill a gap if satellites are badly positioned to respond to short notice events like a nuclear test in North Korea. The X-37B suggests a new generation of space capabilities beyond traditional satellites.

The Obama administration’s space policy eschews the weapons in space option. It instead emphasizes efforts towards ensuring space resilience and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) as a key aspects of space policy to deter adversary counter-space threats like anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. Reconstitution of space capabilities after an adversary ASAT attack is also an essential aspect of space resilience, and DARPA is developing a vehicle similar to the X-37B, the XS-1 Spaceplane, which is designed to launch payloads at low cost in a responsive manner. Matching this responsive space launch capability with low-cost Cubesats means the US can rapidly replace lost capability after an attack.

Furthermore an ability to temporarily operate in a degraded space environment may also mitigate the effects of losing access to space capabilities. Yet the X-37B would give the next Administration an option to quickly develop a very advanced ASAT capability if it were needed. That’s going to be an important issue for the next occupant of the White House to consider, given that both Russia and China are continuing to ignore US efforts to prevent the weaponization of space, and are developing a broad range of ASAT capabilities that will allow them to threaten the vital satellites depended upon by the US and its allies. SSA only permits the monitoring of space activities, and real space resilience may need to include defending critical high-end satellites such as missile early warning, GPS or strategic communications satellites.

An expanded X-37B capability may be an answer to defending these vital assets through providing close-in escorting capabilities that can respond to an approaching threat before it can close within range of its target. For the US to take a step towards the weaponization of space is a policy dilemma for Washington and has implications on space security, both of which will considered in a subsequent article. https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/spaceplanes-high-frontier/

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why this scientist is marching



"Science is real" and "Objective reality exists" read the signs that covered Jessie Square in San Francisco last December. "Immigrants make science great" read some at Boston's Copley Square in February.

An unlikely sector of the populace has begun to respond to the threat that the Trump agenda represents. Earth Day, April 22, has been called as a day of action for all of us who want to defend academic freedom, public health and the human habitability of the planet itself.

A few scientists were inspired by the January 21 women's marches that drew millions out in cities across the U.S. and began posting messages on Facebook that maybe those protesting were onto something. Maybe protest was the best way to defend ourselves against the anti-science agenda rolling out of D.C. And on January 22, scientists weren't merely onlookers. A contingent of hundreds of women and men in lab coats (some carrying their lab equipment) produced some of the loudest chants that day in Washington, D.C.

Why are science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) advocates so mad? What could possibly make us leave our microscopes and spectrometers en mass to engage in the political sphere?

Setting aside the fact that "STEMinist" T-shirts are selling like hotcakes and a huge proportion of STEM professionals are women, immigrants and LGBTQ people, scientists are mad because of, essentially, workplace grievances. In theory, the purpose of science is to understand the world so we can make positive change, but scientists cannot do this if we are unable to communicate our findings. And the current administration is not a fan of evidence-based peer-reviewed information being "leaked" to the public.

According to the Associated Press, political appointees of the current administration have been directed to review all studies and data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to public release. "Review," in this case, will mean censorship. The current EPA scientific integrity statement reads that actions be "grounded, at a most fundamental level, in sound, high-quality science" that is "free from political interference." Clearly, this integrity can no longer be maintained without threat to one's career.

Even an agency as innocuous as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be subject to political pressure. The FDA is the agency that ensures that our pills aren't going to make the cure worse than the disease. Before some federal oversight of our medications, drugs could have deadly side effects or be tainted with dangerous additives. Scott Gottlieb, Trump's candidate to head up the FDA, has suggested that rigorous clinical trials shouldn't be required for placing a drug on the market. Let the consumer decide if it is deadly--or, at least, their living relatives.

I AM marching on April 22 because, like other scientists, I'm mad about this. Like other scientists, I'm scared about this. And, like other scientists, I am determined to fight back.

I want to be counted among the people who are trying to send a message to the Trump administration that it should not cut public funding for science censor or restrict the communication of scientific findings or; ignore the scientific consensus in making policy.

But I also have other, more specific, reasons to march.

I am a teacher. Anyone who has ever taught, or even had a favorite teacher, knows the way teachers can care about their students. You become invested in how they feel, how well you help them get what they want in life. My task is to give them information, but much more importantly, to give them motivation and a method for exploring the natural world (I'm a biologist). And now, the same students I most inspired are the ones who won't have jobs--the students who wanted to study public health, the students who wanted to preserve endangered species, the students who wanted clean water. I work in the classroom to help them achieve this goal, why not also in the streets?

I am an anti-racist. Cuts to programs that protect the environment don't just affect all people equally. The lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, is the most recent well-known example, but the list goes on and on. It includes coal ash in Uniontown, Alabama; lead in West Dallas, Texas; and toxic polychlorinated biphenyls in Warren County, North Carolina. Environmental destruction disproportionately impacts communities of color.

The beginning of any struggle against environmental racism is to prove that the damage is happening. With severe cuts to the EPA, the routine monitoring will not happen. Say you smell oil as you walk by a creek on your way home from school. You call the city to report it, and they tell you to call the EPA. But no one is there to pick up the phone--they were all fired by the Trump administration.

There are also likely to be cuts in federal health-monitoring programs. Those who work on those programs study things like why, unlike the global trend, more and more mothers are dying during childbirth in the U.S. Just like many other health disparities, these women are disproportionately low-income and Black. The Trump administration doesn't want to fund the studies that help us know this, much less the programs to help us stop it.

I am a socialist. I believe that mass social movements can win big reforms. Scientists were an important part of the original mobilizations that led Richard Nixon to create the EPA in the first place. And the experience of fighting for something well beyond laboratory funding made a more healthy, left-wing science.

When scientists sit back and let the "experts" handle the politics, we are in trouble. Ordinary people mobilizing--that's what can win.

I expect that very few scientists voted for Trump. I imagine that almost all of the participants in the upcoming March for Science think we wouldn't need to march if Hillary Clinton had won.

But as scientists, we also call for evidenced-based policy--and there's not a lot of evidence that the Democrats in power have responded seriously to things like the life-or-death situation around climate change. Bernie Sanders called out the inaction, why can't we?

So I'm marching as part of an argument both for science and with science. We should have a grassroots movement that is independent and self-reliant. Only then will we be able to pressure any and all politicians to enact the immediate change that's so badly needed.

https://archive.is/6HcFT

'March for Science' Worldwide Rallies - 22 April 2017



By Bryan Dyne

22 April 2017

Hundreds of thousands of scientists, researchers, workers and youth are poised to participate in today’s “March for Science.” The main rally will take place in Washington, DC, with sister demonstrations and marches taking place in more than 600 locations across the world, involving people in at least 130 countries and encompassing six continents. It is slated to be the world’s largest pro-science demonstration to date.

The initial impulse for the march arose when the Trump administration deleted all references to climate change from the official White House web site minutes after Trump’s inauguration. Scientists across the United States saw this as the opening salvo in a much broader attack on science generally, leading to the creation of the March for Science Facebook group calling for a demonstration in Washington, DC, mirroring the protests against the Trump administration before, during and in the weeks following Trump’s first days as president.

More broadly, the March for Science reflects the general anti-Trump sentiment in the majority of the US and world’s population. The fact that the Facebook group has attracted more than 830,000 members shows just how many people, both scientists and non-scientists from all corners of the globe, are seeking an avenue to oppose the Trump administration and its reactionary policies.

One measure of this is the fact that the march has been endorsed by virtually every US organization with an orientation towards science and several international scientific institutions, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Planetary Society, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The notable exceptions are endorsements from the official scientific agencies of various governments, such as ESA or NASA, though no doubt individuals from these organizations support and will be participating in the marches.

The event is being led by three honorary co-chairs, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Bill Nye “the Science Guy” and Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff, all of whom have been involved on some level as advocates for science in the political arena. Dr. Hanna-Attisha fought to expose lead poisoning in Flint, Bill Nye has repeatedly spoken out against climate change deniers and Dr. Villa-Komaroff pioneered the field of biotechnology.

Despite this, however, and despite the anti-Trump origins of the March for Science, the organizers have taken great pains to avoid any discussions of the anti-science policies of various Trump administration officials, from EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to Trump himself. No mention has been made of the policies that allow for the destruction of the environment, attacks on public education or various forms of censorship that scientists in the US and internationally often face, much less the increasing danger of nuclear war and the existential threat that this poses to all life on Earth.

These limitations are summed up in the declaration that attacks on science “are not a partisan issue.” While the mission statement for the March for Science correctly notes that science has been attacked by both Republicans and Democrats, it does not fully explain the inherently political nature of this question.

This is particularly striking when one considers that one of the three honorary co-chairs for the event is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the Flint Hurley Medical Center’s pediatric residency program, and the person who first revealed the doubling and tripling of lead in the blood of Flint children since April 2014. The science behind lead poisoning has been understood for decades, particularly the potentially deadly effect it has, especially on children.

This has become an intensely political issue for the residents of Flint, who are outraged over the fact that this problem was known to city and state officials but ignored by state appointed Emergency Manager Darnell Earley to slash city operating costs in order to pay city debts to Wall Street banks. Dr. Hanna-Attisha herself was attacked by city and state officials for tampering with the data even as residents were becoming ill and dying.

The forces that suppressed the lead poisoning data in Flint can trace their political heritage to those that have denied the dangers of nuclear winter for nearly four decades, those that attacked the theory of evolution during the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, and even as far back as the reactionary methods used to suppress Copernicus’ idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun. In every one of these cases, the scientists threatened material and political interests and were forcefully attacked.

The challenge for those participating in today’s march is not merely the “celebration of science,” but of connecting the attacks on science to the broader attacks on all progressive aspects of modern society by capitalism, a social and economic system in which all human activity is subordinated to the profit motive. As such, scientists and their supporters must connect the defense of science to the struggle of the most progressive social force in society, the working class, against the corporate elite.

https://archive.is/NOSc5

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Louisiana's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Disappearing Coastline



20 April 2017 by Merrit Kennedy Instagram

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency over the state's rapidly eroding coastline.

It's an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and speed up the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects.

"Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising sea levels have made the Louisiana coast the nation's most rapidly deteriorating shoreline," WWNO's Travis Lux tells our Newscast unit. "It loses the equivalent of one football field of land every hour."

More than half of the state's population lives on the coast, the declaration states. It adds that the pace of erosion is getting faster: "more than 1,800 square miles of land between 1932 and 2010, including 300 square miles of marshland between 2004 and 2008 alone."

The governor estimates that if no further action is taken, "2,250 square miles of coastal Louisiana is expected to be lost" in the next 50 years. He emphasized the importance of the land to industries such as energy, maritime transportation and trade.

Lux says the governor hopes this will pave the way to move ahead with coastal projects:

"The state has a plan to implement more than 100 restoration and protection projects — like rebuilding marshes and barrier islands — but some of those projects are getting slowed down by federal environmental permits."

Those projects are part of a 50-year, $50 billion master plan that was unanimously approved by a state panel on Wednesday, according to The Times-Picayune. The newspaper says the plan "relies largely on money from settlement of the 2010 BP oil spill litigation to speed restoration of coastal land and wetlands and protect them from hurricanes."

Now Edwards is asking President Trump to declare the erosion of Louisiana's coast a national emergency and "provide appropriate federal attention and cooperation" to assist the state. The emergency declaration also asks for Congress to "consider legislation to provide for means by which to expedite all federal permitting and environmental review."

The New Orleans Advocate newspaper points out that Wednesday's emergency declaration and master plan are designed to work hand in hand:

"The juxtaposition of urgency and long-term planning is necessary when it comes to the coast, state officials have said. Projects to help stave off land loss will take years to design and build, but an emergency declaration could cut years off the permitting process for those projects."

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/20/524896256/louisianas-governor-declares-state-of-emergency-over-disappearing-coastline

BBC Report: “A Spy in the IRA” reveals British collusion in Irish Republican Army internal discipline murders

By Steve James 21 April 2017

The BBC’s April 11 flagship documentary Panorama, “The Spy in the IRA” by veteran journalist John Ware, highlighted the decades-long British state infiltration of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Ware centred on Alfredo Scappaticci, who became infamous 14 years ago, in 2003, when he was named as the alleged British agent “Stakeknife.”

Scappaticci, notorious as the alleged one time head of the IRA’s Internal Security, responsible for identifying and dealing with informers, denied everything.

In the intervening period, such material that has emerged into the public domain has tended to confirm the role of “Stakeknife” in the extended and murderous British military intelligence operation, which for many years hopelessly compromised the security of the IRA.

Three years after Scappaticci was named, in 2006, Denis Donaldson, the former head of the IRA’s international relations, was exposed as a long-term British agent.

Donaldson was assassinated later the same year. No one has ever been charged with the killing.

In 2008, Roy McShane, also formerly of IRA Internal Security, was taken into “protective custody” for fear his role as a British agent was about to be revealed.

Scappaticci, Donaldson, and McShane are only a few of the most prominent figures thus far identified, in what is now assumed to be a list of agents that runs into many hundreds.

The role of “Stakeknife” and Scappaticci’s name only became known because of the efforts of a former British military intelligence officer, Ian Hurst. Hurst was a member of the British Army’s Force Research Unit (FRU), one of whose tasks was running spies in both loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations. Hurst appears to be primarily motivated by anger over the fact that British agents’ lives were sacrificed to maintain “Stakeknife’s” cover within the IRA. This was chiefly the angle taken by Ware, although the broadcast shed light on how Scappaticci came to be recruited.

Former IRA volunteer, now historian and writer, Anthony McIntyre, told Ware that Scappaticci was an admired and feared republican figure in the Markets area of Belfast. Scappaticci was detained in 1971, when, during the early years of “the Troubles” the British government introduced mass internment without trial, and was only released four years later.

Sometime after this, according to Ware, Scappaticci, who was a building worker, appears to have become tangled up in a VAT fraud. He was arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), was recruited as a police informer and avoided prosecution. At some later stage, responsibility for handling him was transferred to the FRU. He was given number 6126, and a codename, “Stakeknife.” By this time, he already appears to have been placed in the IRA’s Internal Security section, which he came to lead during the 1980s.

McIntyre described Internal Security as “like an electrical junction box through which every wire must flow.”

Scappaticci was able to inform his handlers on many operations the IRA was planning and on threats to other perceived or real British agents within the organisation. Some of these, like Vincent Robinson, were innocent. According to Ware, Robinson was killed by the IRA after he was tortured by the police into revealing the location of an arms dump.

Others, such as Frank Hegarty, were spies. Hegarty was a republican who dropped out of the movement, then rejoined as an FRU agent. Having passed on the whereabouts of a stash of Libyan-supplied arms, he was shot in the head in 1986. According to Ware, Scappaticci knew Hegarty was going to be killed and told his handlers as much.

Ware has also recently brought out another aspect of Scappaticci’s activities, although this was not covered by Panorama.

Writing in the Irish Times April 15, Ware noted that Scappaticci was also responsible for the IRA’s “Civil Administration” in nationalist areas. According to Ware, Civil Administration was responsible for the vile practice of shooting working class youth in the knees, elbows and ankles for petty misdemeanours such as car theft and drug dealing. One mother described Scappaticci as warning her, “The next time we hear he’s been at it, or of any complaints against him, I will personally blow the head off him.”

The man in question was shot dead a few years later.

In 2016, after years of delay, the British police opened Operation Kenova, a £35 million police investigation involving as many as 50 detectives from across the UK with a remit to establish whether there is evidence of crimes that may have been committed by “Stakeknife” or “by members of the British Army, the Security Services or other Government agencies.”

Head of Operation Kenova, Jon Boutcher was distinctly non-committal to Panorama, but Ware outlined the circumstances surrounding two of the cases with which Kenova is likely to be dealing.

One was the murder of Joe Fenton, a Belfast estate agent who was manipulated into serving as an agent for the Special Branch of the then Northern Ireland police, the RUC. According to Ware, Fenton set up safe houses for the IRA, which were then bugged by Special Branch and information gathered used to compromise their operations. As head of IRA Internal Security, Fenton came to Scappaticci’s attention, as did a succession of failed operations. Scappaticci is said to have warned his handlers that an investigation into Fenton was imminent. Nothing was done, so Fenton was interrogated and shot.

As many as 50 murders are alleged to have been carried out by Internal Security, 30 under Scappaticci. By contrast, another agent, Sandy Lynch, who was facing the same fate under Scappaticci’s supervision, was rescued at the last moment by the RUC.

The entire sordid affair is a testimony to the brutal and oppressive character of the British and Northern Ireland military, intelligence and police operations against the IRA during the decades-long “dirty war.” But Sinn Fein have also colluded with the British state in preventing exposure of the infiltration and subversion of their own ranks and leading bodies. This is consistent with the party’s key goal of securing a working agreement with British imperialism. Following the 1999 Good Friday Agreement, and 2006 St Andrews Agreement, Sinn Fein has functioned as a loyal government partner with the hard-right Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland and currently promotes itself as a prospective coalition partner with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail in the Irish Republic.

Sinn Fein are currently embroiled in protracted negotiations with the British government and the DUP over the terms on which it might be possible for the Northern Ireland Assembly to be revived after an indecisive election in March left the DUP with just one more seat than Sinn Fein. Items under dispute include the impact of Brexit, the status of the Northern Ireland border, the Irish language, and the continued leadership of the DUP by Arlene Foster.

Also under discussion are the so-called “legacy” cases of “the Troubles.” However, while historical cases are the subject of immense tension between the talks’ participants, none of them, including Sinn Fein, have any interest in a full exposure of what took place since all are compromised and implicated.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/21/scap-a21.html