I am not sure how many people in Fermanagh know this or even care to know, but former President Bill Clinton’s mother was a Cassidy whose people, according to Bill Clinton, came from Roslea in Co. Fermanagh. 

I stumbled upon this piece of trivial information last week when researching something else. I haven’t checked out the truth of the matter despite the evidence that in matters of significantly greater importance like the abuse of his position of power for sexual gratification, he lied in order to protect himself.

It was a matter of no interest or consequence to him that in doing so, he added the shame and humiliation of being branded a liar to that already being carried by the young woman who fell victim to his abuse.

I am never entirely sure if power corrupts or if the ambition to hold power is evidence of latent corruption waiting its chance to blossom but there is definitely something about being a person of significant power that dulls the inner conscience.

By the time the journey to the pinnacle of ambition or capacity has been reached, conscience is, at best playing second fiddle, but more often than not, entirely dropping out of the orchestra of influence altogether.

What I was looking for, rather than Irish ancestors for US Presidents, was information that might help me understand how Joe Biden came to be a man, in my view, of no conscience at all or of no courage at all.

I can find no other explanation for the depth and extent of his personal crusade to ensure Israel is equipped and financed to threaten global peace and security other than either corruption or cowardice. The man’s life experience does not easily lend itself to the latter.

From the perspective of his moral argument in support of a beleaguered Ukraine, he refused to separate out the Ukrainian war funds from those of Israel. Despite those in the Republican Party who oppose any further money for Ukraine, the NATO outcomes having been secured, these funds had the support of the majority.

Yet despite the President and his right-hand guy, Mr. Blinken being primarily responsible for no peace talks on Ukraine ever being considered because Russia had invaded and occupied the disputed territory of the Crimea, he was prepared to countenance Ukrainian defeat to protect Israel.

The fact that it did not come to that is not down to Biden but to the Republican politician who as Speaker of Congress risked his own political future to get the deal done at the last moment, ensuring that despite Biden’s utterances on potential sanction for one unit of Israel’s Defence Force, he got his way and has signed off a further $26 billion for the Rogue State currently unashamedly committing genocide in plain sight of the world.

The prospect that the donation might come with a P.S. ‘please use most of this money for humanitarian aid’ is of little consolation to the people of Palestine. Israel is currently withholding humanitarian aid if it poses a risk to Israel. Israel clearly considers the very existence of Palestinians in Gaza as a threat.


A good friend and steadfast ally, John Hurson, is one of many humanitarians en route to Gaza by sea in a humanitarian flotilla to bring aid to Gaza and break the unlawful naval blockade of Gaza. A similar flotilla set sail on May 31, 2010, long before the Hamas incursion and atrocity of 2017. The unarmed flotilla was attacked and boarded by Israeli naval forces, killing nine Turkish pacifists.

The Saville Enquiry findings were published shortly after on June 14, 2010. I wrote an article for the Guardian to coincide with Saville’s findings. It was therefore speculative and written in the present and future tense. The editor held it until the following day, lest my speculation proved wrong. However, the only editorial amendment made was the change of tense. I do not have the gift of ‘second sight’ – just an obsession with stating the obvious I provide an extract from my 2010 article as published to demonstrate the point that if we cannot learn from history, it will repeat itself until we do.

June 14, 2010

Yesterday, the outcome of the Saville Inquiry was published. A second British Prime Minister apologised for the killing of unarmed and innocent protestors. … A respected human rights lawyer has already offered their services in prosecuting the real culprit, the British state. But Lord Saville has exonerated the state.

Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, lied to parliament, and the House of Commons; the media willingly collaborated, adding insult to injury by uncritically repeating government misrepresentation. The military lied. Widgery lied.

Had Bloody Sunday been no more than disgraceful overreaction and unlawful behaviour on the part of a few ‘squaddies’ or overzealous commanders why did the entire apparatus of the British state conspire to create a complicated labyrinth of lies and deceit which has taken hundreds of testimonies, thousands of pages, millions of pounds and thirty-eight years to unravel?

The Saville Inquiry has refuted the lies and provided them [the families] with the closure they seek. Respectfully, however, Bloody Sunday was never just about the detail of how thirteen people got killed on the day, the fourteenth dying later of his wounds. Lord Saville has not explained why everybody in authority lied until some of the truth was extracted at enormous expense.

I have consistently argued that Ted Heath’s government should be held responsible for the pre-meditated planning, conduct and cover-up of Bloody Sunday. It is they, not the anonymous and brutalised ragbag of alphabet spaghetti soldiers, now carrying the can, who should be prosecuted.

Bloody Sunday should have been adjudicated in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The Saville Inquiry has no remit and no standing to determine whether the British Government committed a war crime in 1972 and in so doing started a war. Lord Saville found no evidence of his employer’s culpability. He looked for none. Lord Saville effectively closed the route to The Hague. For this alone, his government will feel it was worth every penny.

Had the Heath government been tried in the international court at The Hague, there might have been fewer Bloody Sundays elsewhere since, not least for nine Turkish humanitarians recently on their way to Gaza.

Still, it continues: families seeking justice; governments breaking international law with impunity; the media with some noble exceptions, acting as the agents of power; and always Palestine bleeding.