William Bowles: ‘Green slime’ invades Iraq


Richard Moore


'Green slime' invades Iraq 

by William Bowles * Monday, 26 September 2005 

This month Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, announced the
establishment of a new regiment, the Special Reconnaissance
Regiment (SRR), to provide covert surveillance expertise for
operations by the SAS and the Special Boat Service. Although
he did not specify which experts he had in mind, the new
regiment is largely based around the surveillance specialists
of the 14th Intelligence Company, also known as "the Det"
(Detachment), which has operated in Northern Ireland for many
years. (The Times, April 2005)

This is Brigadier Gordon Kerr, identified as being involved in
the deaths of at least fifteen Irish Republicans during his
tenure as head of the FRU or the Force Reconnaissance Unit in
Northern Ireland. Promoted from Lt. Colonel to Brigadier for
his efforts, Kerr was given the job as military attaché in
Beijing, largely to keep him out of the way of an
investigation into the activities of the FRU in the
assassination of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane and as many
as fourteen other people.

    THERE'S a phrase set aside in the British army for men like
    Brigadier Gordon Kerr and it's "Green Slime''. Soldiers don't
    mince words, and to regular squaddies and military brass, Kerr
    and his Intelligence Corps are on roughly the same level as
    pond life. Highly effective, immensely powerful and very
    dangerous pond life, but pond life nevertheless.

This is from an article by Neil Mackay on Kerr written in
November 2000 for the Sunday Herald. That pond life has been
given the job of 'democratising' Iraq speaks reams about the
real objectives of the occupation of Iraq and surely should
disabuse anyone of the idea that we're there to bring 'human
rights' to the Iraqis.

Assigned by foreign secretary Jack Straw before the invasion
of Iraq took place, to 'de-Baathify' Iraq, it will come as no
surprise that he was subsequently handed the task of heading
up the re-branded FRU, now known as the Special Reconnaissance
Unit (SRR) in Iraq, almost certainly the group that the two
agents provocateurs captured by Iraqi police in Basra,
belonged to if not directly, then because of the relationship
between the SRR and the SAS.

The FRU's collusion with right-wing death squads in northern
Ireland is a fact established by the so-called Stevens
Commission into collusion between the British state and groups
like the UDA (the Ulster Defence Association) and the now
disbanded (or again, re-branded) Royal Ulster Constabulary in
the assassination of leading Republican activists. The FRU
passed on intelligence to groups like the UDA obtained via
plants or in some cases, 'freelance' operatives who played
fast and loose with the facts in order to get their monthly
pay cheque. It was dis-information that led to the
assassination of Pat Finucane in front of his family.

    These loyalist double agents, including the Ulster Defence
    Association's chief of intelligence, Brian Nelson, were handed
    packages of photographs and military reports detailing the
    movements and addresses of potential targets, which in turn
    were passed to loyalist murder gangs. In total, an estimated
    15 civilians died as a result of FRU collusion with loyalist
    terrorists. One victim of this collusion was the Catholic
    solicitor, Pat Finucane, who counted a number of prominent
    republicans among his clients. Other victims included known
    Provos and high ranking republicans; but a handful - perhaps
    five - were so-called innocents, people who had no other
    reason to die other than the fact they were Catholic. - Neil
    Mackay, The Sunday Herald, November 26, 2000

Prior to Kerr's involvement in northern Ireland, he had
already established a reputation as a hard-line Cold-War
'warrior' when he was stationed in Berlin in the 1980s where
his group known as the Int Corp almost succeeded in wrecking
intelligence operations against the Soviets.

And it is important to note that Kerr was no 'loose cannon',

    [A]ccording to FRU sources, [Kerr] was not a maverick - he was
    sanctioned from the top. After leaving the FRU Š Kerr returned
    to Berlin on more intelligence matters and was then promoted
    to brigadier - hardly evidence that military top brass and the
    government were displeased with his undercover operations in
    In army terms, Kerr has what's termed ''protezione'' - a Mafia
    term meaning protection. Kerr has connections going right to
    the heart of the British establishment and his [former]
    position as military attache to Beijing makes him the
    effective joint number two in Britain's entire military
    intelligence operation. - Neil Mackay

Although I can't prove it, what the capture of the two SAS/SRR
operatives reveals is the obvious attempt on the part of the
occupation forces to destabilize the situation in Iraq by
attempting to divide the resistance, a classical colonial
tactic that the Brits are so damn good at.

So here we have two provocateurs badly disguised as Iraqis, in
a car packed with weapons and explosives who were intercepted
by the Iraqi police and who clearly didn't want to be exposed,
hence the fire fight. The obvious conclusion to draw is that
they were going to plant bombs that would then be blamed on
the 'insurgents' and/or the Iranians.

The events in Basra have to be set in the historical context
not only of the fictitious 'war on terror' and its role in
justifying US/UK policies and the subsequent repressive
measures being used to curb domestic opposition, but in the
creation of the 'bogeyman' 'al-Zarqawi' who is certainly a
creation of Western propaganda agencies (whether he actually
exists or not).

And equally importantly as far as US/UK domestic audiences are
concerned is the role played by the media in peddling such
trash to a public that is overwhelmed with a continuous
barrage of 'al-Qu'eda' this and 'al-Zarqawi' that on a daily
basis, without a single shred of evidence to substantiate such
claims that either are involved in the Iraqi resistance to the
occupation. The occasional story that makes it through the
minefield of corporate/state media gets lost in the welter of

The following two stories, both from the Times on Sunday
reveal just how closely the 'official' story and the one put
out by the media are in lockstep with each other. Note that
all the British sources (government/MoD) are anonymous,
whereas the Iraqi-sourced are named.

The main thrusts of the 'line' that allegedly explains what
the SAS were up to is as follows: First, the Iraqi forces are
not to be trusted, infiltration by 'insurgents' etc, and
second, yet more infiltration only now it's the Iranians,
thousands according to an Iraqi source.

There are of course, no references to the role (or history) of
Kerr or the FRU let alone the allegations concerning the
alternative explanation as to what the SAS/SRR operatives were
up to.

The first story in the Times on Sunday (25/9/05) pretty well
sums up one 'line' being peddled,

    British officials say Iranian Revolutionary Guards and
    intelligence officers are active inside Basra, surreptitiously
    funding both the Badr brigades, blamed for the recent killings
    of Sunni Muslims in Iraq, and the "Mahdi" army of the
    firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Though the article doesn't present one piece of proof that
this is the case. Instead, we get assertions that "thousands"
of Iranian agents are inside Iraq. The piece then goes on to
quote the usual unnamed British source

    "Since the increase in attacks against UK forces two months
    ago a 24-strong team of SAS soldiers has been working out of
    Basra to provide a safety net to stop the bombers getting into
    the city from Iran," said a source with inside knowledge of
    the operation last week.
    "The aim is to identify routes used by insurgents and either
    capture or kill them."
    As part of that mission two SAS troopers, dressed in Arab
    clothes, were driving through Basra in a white Nissan on
    "close recce patrol" last Monday morning.

And the reason the SAS men opened fire on the Iraqi police?
The Times piece regurgitates the original Brit government
allegation that the Iraqi police are not to be trusted. Once
more, an unnamed source tells the Times

    According to one former [British] officer with experience of
    Iraq, troopers believe the Iraqi police are never to be
    trusted because their ranks are plagued by militia members and
    "It is commonly accepted that if you are captured by the Iraqi
    police there is every chance you will be handed over to the
    militia - which is akin to a death sentence," he said. "So the
    rule of thumb is to avoid being captured at all costs."

How convenient. The second story in the Times makes it plain
that it's all Iran's fault. Titled ' SAS in secret war against
Iranian agents ', where we learn that the

    TWO SAS soldiers rescued last week after being arrested by
    Iraqi police and handed over to a militia were engaged in a
    "secret war" against insurgents bringing sophisticated bombs
    into the country from Iran.

Again, the source for this is the British government, and of
course, the Iraqi 'government', anxious to show that it can't
be Iraqis who are doing the 'infiltration' into their own
armed forces. Moreover, the Basra authorities denied that the
two men had been handed over to militia even though the Times
story states categorically that '[t]hey were freed from a
nearby house'.

The story continues

    "Since the increase in attacks against UK forces two months
    ago, a 24-strong SAS team has been working out of Basra to
    provide a safety net to stop the bombers getting into the city
    from Iran," said one source. "The aim is to identify routes
    used by insurgents and either capture or kill them."

If so, what were they doing in Iraqi clothes shooting at Iraqi
police? What the two stories quite clearly reveal is the fact
that over the time since the SAS men were nabbed, the British
and Iraqi authorities have had time to get their story
together, replete with all the usual suspects, 'foreign
infiltrators' and the not to be trusted Iraqi police. The
Times stories takes as fact the British government line even
though the actions of the SAS men simply doesn't fit the
scenario described in the two stories.

Some References 

The Force Research Unit 









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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland

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