Dear Ministry of Defence,
A Secretary of State for Defence replied some years ago to my MP that the status of a "Combat Training Team" based at Deal Royal Marines Barracks was "Private contractor"
At the time this "CTT" operated (and it may still be operating) it was an offence to conduct military training without Crown Authority. Unlawful Drilling Act 1819.
In 1982 a joint exercise with Belgian "Gladio" units was cancelled due to Falklands War. But later in 1982 the Deal Barracks based "Private contractors" deployed on a joint exercise to Belgium. The "CTT" on that occasion including uniformed English Police Officers.
Next I must draw your attention to the Mark Ellison QC Review and the questions it raises.
Did senior members of the "CTT" private contractors go on to work for respectively Mayfayre Associates (See Levenson Inquiry) and for the late Charlie Kray an associate of Clifford Norris. Were the "Private contractors" the source of moonlight bodyguard work to five Regional Crime Squad officers (including one Lawrence case officer) for which they were disciplined 1995 ?
The question to you is asking for details of the Exercise Waterland 1989. Its dates. Whether it extended to a denial exercise of English channel ports and Manston airfield (to an imaginary Soviet cross channel invasion). Whether unlawful "Gladio" type paramilitaries were involved in Kent (as in Belgium at Zeebrugge). And whether the avowedly Marxist elements of IRA and INLA may have had this exercise in mind when they tragically targetted Deal Royal Marines Barracks 22.9.89 killing 11 innocent young bandsmen.
We are told that the constitution is now at the centre of political debate. Weren't people a tad unamused about pretend soldiers being above the law (Petition of Rights leading to civil war ?) Didn't we settle at a Crown monopoly for armed force ? Didn't we clarify that in statute 1819 (Unlawful Drilling Act). Didn't we shift ground a bit 1936 (Yielding decisions to prosecute paramilitaries to a public interest decision of Attorney General) but the 1819 stayed in force until 2008.
The Army Rumour website has been much vexed with the bemused question of just who the hell this "CTT" Deal Barracks was. If its leader was flagged as an Intelligence Nuisance how come he kept a security clearance (Eventually ending up as a consultant on Cabinet security) ?
The Gladio idea was that of SOE Harry Sporborg 1944. But did it, or its ilk, ever have Crown Authority to be armed and to operate in UK ?
To summarise would you provide details of the 1989 exercise and set out the position in law MOD had and has concerning armed units who have no Crown authority.
Dear Ministry of Defence,
Would you extend your answer to Exercise Margarita ?
Did European Gladio paramilitaries deploy in UK ?
What legal advice did MOD have about Gladio and its ilk ?
The paramilitaries surely had no Crown Authority and had not taken oaths of allegiance to HM the Queen. In any event the law is supposed to be above all. But the Gladio type units history is of enjoying an unlawful police no go area.
The arrests of 1987, after infiltration of TA, of 21 men of 14 Platoon HSF V Queens V TAVR (again KENT) did not end up with charges. But neither Attorney General nor CPS admit to taking the nil prosecution decision. So if the nil prosecution decision was not taken under Govt Law Officer custodianship of public interest who between Army and Police took it upon themselves to suspend law ?
Dear Ministry of Defence,
Your response to FOI is now overdue.
Previous correspondence to Secretary of State for Defence , from my MP, concerning paramilitary training
groups who used Deal Royal Marines Barracks, got the answer that such groups at Deal Barracks had no Crown Authority as they were "Private contractors".
As a matter of fact there was a security concern warning (Unlawful Drilling Act 1819 then in force) as early as 1982 from Brigadier Mike Harvey direct to MI5. A security warning significantly absent from the security history listed in the Admiralty Board Report re the 22.9.89 terrorist bombing of the barracks.
On 22.11.90 the EU passed a resolution on member states to dismantle all unlawful military groups. That would be the year of Exercise Margarita ? But the UK did not comply.
In 1997 Kent Police Authority called on its Chief constable for inquiry and report. But the Chief constable failed to comply at a time importantly Kent Police were conducting Lawrence Inquiry.
In 1992 Det sgt Alex Leighton of Metropolitan Police arrested UDA hit men and drugs importers at the UDA base of operations in Margate Kent. This led to the murder trial for the killing of London supergrass David Norris. The trial, with UDA defendants represented by Michael Mansfield QC, began six days before the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The senior Met Police Norris murder trial witnesses became concurrently the senior case officers for the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.
There are questions. Like the arrests of 1987 in Kent of 21 TA HSF soldiers for paramilitary collusion allegedly involving forged UDR ID cards and unlawful missions to Ulster and Ireland. Surely a case that required notification to the Metropolitan Police when five years later they arrested UDA hit men and drugs importers in Margate just down the road from where the TA paramilitaries were based (Broadstairs TA centre)
Recently the Attorney General and the CPS indicated it was not they who took the nil prosecution decision for the arrested TA paramilitaries 1987. Who did decide not to proceed to prosecution after the arrests. No one knows ?
Why didn't Kent Police co-operate with the Belgian Senate Inquiry into 28 terrorist murders known as Brabant killings ? After all a clear association of one fleeing suspect puts him at Deal Barracks involved with the "Private contractors".
We are told that we are amid a constitutional debate. And yet a secret pan European Army, that was envisaged by Harry Sporborg of SOE 1944 and came into being postwar, is not being debated. Sssssh. If we go independent of EU then what happens to what might be amusingly called the secret army's command structure ?
"GLADIO" bizarrely was a suspect for sabotage of torpedos in manufacture for Royal Navy mid 70s until my investigation of 1989 when in effect I ruled sabotage out (At least for torpedos I am confident of the case for sabotage of emergency backup generators but I do not know who inspired or inspires this sabotage)
You know and I know what I am asking you to disclose. Did our forces (who have constitutional Crown authority to bear arms in our name God Bless Them) deploy alongside outlaw private contractors ? And if such outlaw contractors had meddled in the Irish security situation might that be connected with the motive to bomb the barracks that spawned such pirates ? 22.9.89 may 11 innocent Royal Marines bandsmen rest in peace. Let right be done and truth be told and justice finally prevail.
Currently I am in touch with Home Secretary and National Crime Agency re Stephen Lawrence review aspects of this history. And I am pursuing a Misconduct in Public Office complaint against Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (Misprision of Treason, Sections 38B,54 and 55 Terrorism Act 2000 and Civil Contingencies Act 2004).
Your early attention to this FOI would be welcome
Dear Ministry of Defence,
Your response re Exercises Waterland and Margarita is now overdue.
Dear Mr Card,
Please find attached a response to your request. According to our
records, the response was sent out on 17th November 2014, I apologise
the response has not appeared until now and can only put it down to an
MOD Information Rights Team
Dear CIO-FOI (MULTIUSER),
Thank you for your response
The first I really was told about GLADIO was 1992 in a conversation with Commander Robert GREEN Retd of RN Intelligence. Just before the BBC documentary expose'. I was aware that Gwent Special Branch had all sorts of suspicions about sabotage at Plessey Torpedos. Which included GLADIO sabotage.
My findings in 1989 were far more prosaic and agreed by two MOD experts. Technical combined with falsification of RN Test records. I now know that MOD knew about this from a torpedo recall of late 70s in which 100% of control boards had wrong chips on and all those boards had been signed off as passing factory test. I do not know whether this product recall was the origin of the local Special Branch GLADIO conspiracy theory.
After the conversation with Robert GREEN I wrote to Kent Chief constable asking about how Kent Police had responded to our breach of security warnings on Deal RM Barracks 1988/89 prio to the 22.9.89 tragic terrorist bombing.
But I now doubt this was the first time GLADIO questions had been attached to Deal Royal Marines Barracks activity. I now know that eminent Brigadier Mike HARVEY raised concerns as early as 1982 direct with MI5.
Nonetheless the facts remain that in 89 joint exercise between SBS and GLADIO was occurring in the East at a time in Wales Special Branch had GLADIO as a suspect for sabotaging the RN supply chain of torpedos and sonar.
The retired RN Intelligence Commander re Belgrano sinking (Modern torps too unreliable to trust in combat) was in 1992 still treating the GLADIO threat to UK defence capability as serious.
The EU was serious when in Nov 1990 it passed a resolution on member states to dismantle GLADIO. UK never complied.
Thank you again for your response.