Posted by | March 5, 2011 14:51 | Filed under: Top Stories

As Congressman Peter King prepares to investigate Muslims as head of the House Homeland Security Committee, his earlier support of the IRA and its militant (some would even say terrorist) tactics has come to light. In 1985, when King was the grand marshal of New York’s St. Patricks’s Day parade, the Irish government boycotted it because of King’s IRA support, viewing King as an “avowed” supporter of a terrorist organization.

King, then a local politician on Long Island, was one of the most zealous American defenders of the militant IRA and its campaign to drive the British out of Northern Ireland. He argued that IRA violence was an inevitable response to British repression and that the organization had to be understood in the context of a centuries-long struggle for independence.

“The British government is a murder machine,” King said. He described the IRA, which mastered the car bomb as an instrument of urban terror, as a “legitimate force.” And he compared Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political wing, to George Washington.

King’s rising profile is attracting detractors.

“My problem with him is the hypocrisy,” said Tom Parker, a counterterrorism specialist at Amnesty International who was injured by an IRA bomb that struck a birthday party at a military hall in London in 1990. “If you say that terrorist violence is acceptable in one setting because you happen to agree with the cause, then you lose the authority to condemn it in another setting.”

“It’s ironic that someone who offered such vocal support for the IRA is involved in this kind of witch hunt against Muslims in America,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

King correctly believes he was instrumental in bringing peace to Ireland. But that was only after Gerry Adams, President Bill Clinton, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair created a pathway to peace. Tony Blair says: “He had indeed been controversial (at least with the British!) in some of his earlier statements. But once he saw a path to peace that was just and deliverable, he urged and campaigned for everyone to take it.”

The IRA was responsible for half of the more than 3,500 people killed in the ensuing 30-year conflict; of those killed by the IRA, about 600 were civilians, according to statistics compiled by researchers in Northern Ireland.

The group mortared the prime minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street, bombed Harrods department store in London, and blew up a boat carrying the 79-year-old Lord Mountbatten, cousin of the queen and a daring World War II commander. The blast killed Mountbatten, two teenage boys and an 83-year-old woman….

“If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it,” King said in a 1985 interview with the Irish People, an Irish American newspaper that backed the IRA.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.