30th November 1995 Clinton shakes hands with Gerry Adams - Obama ready to give Shrillary the nod for State
On Nov. 30, 1995, President Clinton became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.
In a carefully orchestrated event Gerry Adams leader of the IRA was photographed shaking hands with Bill Clinton whilst the Clinton's made an apparently unscheduled stop on the Falls Road. A van in the President's entourage carefully manouvered to block the scene from the world's press. It was providentially captured unofficially by Richard McAuley, Mr Adams's press aide. It was circulated worldwide.
This wasn't the first or only time he personally interfered to support Gerry Dams and the IRA. When Ulster TV ran a programme , Armed Peace about IRA gun-running in Florida in June 2001 - the "Florida Four" Conor Claxton, Anthony Smyth and Martin Mullan were convicted of gun-running. A fellow gun runner Siobhan Browne had a last-minute change of heart and pleaded guilty to breaking US export control laws in the gunrunning scandal nd did 20 months after negotiating a plea.
Claxton had told the court he had been an IRA member for 8 years and an international representative for it and for Sinn Féin with trips to meet IRA supporters in South Africa, Kurdistan and Sierra Leone.
He claimed he had been sent to Florida by a senior IRA figure and he wouldn't have been able to carry out such an arms mission without higher approval. Some of the Florida guns had reached Ireland, including three pistols which were later found with balaclavas, baseball bats and an iron bar in a car stopped by gardai outside Mitchelstown, Co Cork.
Jane Fort, American consul in Belfast, phoned UTV's Insight programme before the programme aired and said: "The President of the United States has asked me to call you - Bill Clinton himself."
The programme included interviews with a US Justice Department prosecutor and an FBI agent who said that the Provisional IRA leadership had authorised the arms smuggling.
Trevor Birney, Insight presenter who took the call from reported that Ms Fort said:
"You know that the peace process is in great danger and that your programme is not going to do it any good. In Northern Ireland I have generally found journalists have been supportive of the peace process. Do you realise the risk you're taking and the damage you could do?"Richard Scruggs, chief prosecutor, had told Insight: "There is absolutely no doubt that this was a sanctioned operation from the Provisional IRA . . . even up to and including the Army Council."
NYT today "Bill Clinton to Name Donors as Part of Obama Deal "