Thursday, May 28, 2009

Irish Minister Dick Roche on Bruce Arnold’s sycophantic defence of Declan Ganley

In the current issue of the Village magazine Irish government Minister for European Affiars, Dick Roche, has been given a right of reply to attacks on him in the last issue by Declan Ganley's hagiographer and pet hack Bruce Arnold.
Ganley brought an action against the Village but dropped it and as it satnds the record shows that he has been accused of being a liar, has attempted to defnd his name and has withdrawn his action when faced with the potential of a vigorous defence.
This leaves Ganley the most reputationally compromised politician in Irish public life
You can read the original article and Arnolds article as well as Declan ganley Liar? by editor Michael Smith here

Bruce Arnold’s sycophantic defence of Declan Ganley by Dick Roche Minister for European Affiars

Bruce Arnold’s sycophantic defence of Declan Ganley is fascinating at several levels. Devotion to a ‘hero’ can be touching – Arnold’s paen to his hero is merely cringe making.
The most interesting aspect of Arnold’s efforts is his claim that he has “checked the allegations” against Ganley. I doubt very much that Arnold has done so. If he has there a couple of areas on which he could enlighten those who have been attempting to probe the mysteries surrounding Mr Ganley, the Libertas organisation, its operations and true motives.
One of the most important functions of the free press in Ireland is to provide a forum where journalists – ideally ones with a far greater degree of integrity than has been evidenced by Arnold – can objectively examine the claims made by those who would wish to shape this country’s destiny.
Scrutiny may fall on anyone who puts him or herself forward as a leader, representative or activist – elected or otherwise – and Declan Ganley, for all his millions, should be treated no differently than others who seek public office.
The central argument presented by Arnold in his article for Village last month appears to be built on logic of a very questionable variety: Declan Ganley shouldn’t have to answer any questions because other public figures have not – in Arnold’s opinion – been sufficiently questioned in the past.
Arnold’s of unspecified “allegations” against Ganley is laughable, given that he has been employed to write a book illuminating Ganley’s “political vision.”
The notion that this established relationship with Ganley might have diminished his journalistic impartiality does not appear to have been entertained by Arnold.
Indeed as Arnold has in his words “checked the allegations” against Ganley here are a few issues from the acres of material from Mr Ganley’s self promoted biography on which Bruce might enlighten us all.
First there are Ganley’s claims to have been foreign economic policy advisor to the Latvian Government. This is an important starting point in Ganley’d ‘biog’ so the question arise - has Arnold really checked the facts?
Ganley claims that in 1991 he was Foreign Economic Affairs Advisor to the then Latvian Government. This appointment is supposed to have opened doors for the then young Mr Ganley. It is an important point in Ganley’s ‘biography’. The problem is that the then Latvian PM denies the claim. Colm Keena writing in the Irish Times has pointed out that “people in Latvia who had made inquiries about Ganley at the time were unable to find anyone who'd heard of him. Sources in the Irish embassy in Warsaw, which was accredited to Latvia, told The Irish Times in 1999 it had become aware of the reports about Ganley's activities in Latvia, and had made discreet inquiries. But no trace could be found by the embassy of Ganley's business dealings in Latvia, or of his acting as an advisor to the government ( See Irish Times Saturday, May 31, 2008 “On the mysterious trail of 'Mr No'”), Has Arnold any evidence to contradict this?

During the period when Ganley claims he was operating from Riga, an Irish citizen, Michael Bourke was working for the IMF in Riga. Mr. Bourke recalls meeting Ganley in the city. His meeting with Ganley was discussed in some detail on the Prime Time programme.
He told RTE, “the meeting is one I shall never forget - ----- He said that he was involved in international trade and that he would be setting up his own bank ----- “Ganley International Bank”.
He said he would be getting a licence from the Minister for Finance”. When asked whether the bank ever materialised, Bourke answered, “it did not” and went onto point out that he had contacted the Latvian Ministry for Finance shortly after speaking with Ganley and asked whether they had any information on a bank being opened by an Irish citizen or on application for a licence by Ganley International Bank. The response he received was negative. There was no evidence or information on any such venture. What is Arnold’s view on this ?
Ganley's claims regarding his activities in Russia in the dying period of the Soviet system have been described by experts of that era as not capable of holding water. Jan Urban the Czech journalist/ writer has described Ganley's claims as BS
To recap the claims: Ganley claims, that in his late teens / early 20s :-
- he hit on the idea of insuring the launch of western payloads
into space on Russian rockets.
- he was been invited by the Russians to lead a trade delegation to Moscow.
- to have, during the course of the trade delegations visit, “bagged”
a valuable contract with the Russian authorities for insuring western payloads launched on Russian spacecraft, only to have been foiled when he was forced by the US authorities to drop the idea.
- To have masterminded a major trade fair on Russian metals and alloys
in London.
- To have established a successful business exporting aluminium from Russia to the west at the height of Russia’s “aluminium wars”.
- To have established and owned Russia’s biggest timber business.
Ganley’s claims are all the more remarkable given that they are the “achievements” of a young man with little or no capital, with no knowledge of the Russian language and with no particular personal expertise in any of the areas concerned. In addition the ‘achievements’ were made against a backdrop of turmoil in Russia as it moved from the Soviet system.
It would be fascinating to read Arnold’s take on all of this. Journalists who have investigated Ganley’s claims to have been a major business player in Russia in this period have all run into brick walls – Mr Arnold would be doing his hero a major favour if he produces any evidence to dispel the suspicions that surround the truthfulness of the accounts of Ganley’s adventures in Russia.
Then there are the questions about Ganley’s activities in Iraq. These were probed by RTE. The account of his activities in Iraq given by Ganley clash with the known facts.
Ganley told RTE he walked away “from the controversy surrounding the controversial telecommunications contract in which his consortium was involved in Iraq.
The available material including the remarkable account of Ganley company activities in T Christian Miller’s book “Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq raise some very fundamental issues which Ganley has to date avoided answering.
In his book Miller suggests that "one case in particular demonstrated how political favours, money and corporate avarice strangled in the reconstruction process and from the start.” Miller is referring to the programme to reconstruct Iraq's telecommunications system and a series of events surrounding Declan Ganley's involvement in that troubled country.
Ganley has sought to suppress any probing of his activities by threatening legal action to prevent questions that should be answered being raised. If Ganley has nothing to hide why the threats? Mr Arnold tells us in Village that he has the answers one looks forward to reading them.
And then there is the issue of Ganley’s Rivada operations. The obvious question that arises is why does the US Dept of Defence dole out contracts to Ganley’s company without the inconvenience of competitive tendering?
The US based Rivada Networks LLC and its various associated companies seem to be Ganley’s main current business operation.
Rivada through its tie up with an Alaskan Native Corporation, Nana Pacific, is in a position to win valuable US government contracts –through the US Defence Department and associated agencies on a ‘sole – bid’ basis.
Companies fortunate to win contracts under these arrangements do not have to subject themselves to the inconvenience of competitive tendering.
This results in Rivada’s case to the company depending in effect on a single client, normally not the happiest corporate position to be in, but as the sole client is the US a less worrying position than might normally be the case – provided the company manages to keep on the ‘right side’ of its ‘patrons’ in the various military & defence agencies.
Rivada’s tie up with Nana goes back to the abortive attempt by a Ganley consortium to win a very valuable contract for the installation of a police telephone network in Iraq during the post war reconstruction, an attempt which led to a major scandal, an FBI investigation - events described in graphic detail by T Christian Miller.
It would be fascinating to have Arnold’s take on this.
It would be equally fascinating to have Arnold’s take on the number of off shore tax havens that appear in Ganley company activities, to have his views of on the $120 million in vouchers handed over by unfortunate Albanian citizens to Ganley’s Anglo Adriatic Investment trust – a matter probed in RTE’s excellent documentary about some of Ganley’s business operations.
Given Arnold’s evident admiration of Ganley & Libertas he might also address the mounting evidence that Libertas has been rather less than successful in bringing together credible candidates for the upcoming EU Parliament elections. Few of the Libertas candidates have any well defined record of public service: some can most charitably be described as full-blown Europhobic.
One further question the Arnold might turn his mind to is why does Ganley always try to shut down opponents with threats of legal action - is he afraid of the truth or is he just a bully?
Ganley likes to talk about openness, democracy & transparency – he is reluctant to practice any of these virtues – as was demonstrated in Libertas reluctance to answer questions as to its funding in last year’s referendum.
While Libertas likes to preach about democracy its founder is not always accept a central feature – the right to hold an opinion that differs from himself. Declan frequently threatens litigation. In this he is travelling the same path as James Goldsmith another rich Europhobe who used the threat of Court action to silence opponents.
In November 2008, Ganley's solicitors issued threats of legal action to Irish politicians, including Joe Costello of the Labour Party. This follows comments by Costello regarding Libertas funding.
According to the Irish Times "Mr Ganley has threatened to sue Mr Costello for substantial damages, following Mr Costello's charge that the Libertas founder has "a subversive foreign agenda".

Ganley also threatened to sue Jim Higgins, the Fine Gael MEP. Higgins responded vigorously & Ganley appears to have backed off.
Ganley has issued several threats to take on journalists including the RTE team that produced the Prime Time special. ( A complaint to BCC on the programme was rejected out of hand )
Action has even been threatened against people posting messages on, a website controlled by a Libertas employee.
Most recently we have had the action against Village Magazine – an action that seems to have faded when faced with a determined and robust defence.
As in so many other areas it would be fascinating to have Mr Arnold’s journalistic take on this.

The June issue of the Village is out now. It also contains two other features on Declan ganley

One by Mark Murray on Libertas and Ganley's far right pan European connections and one by Michael Smith on Ganley's flawed pedigree

1 comment:

  1. You are a complete ass. Do some research of your own instead of relying on hearsay and others people's work.


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