On June 8, the PNC went on record to say that
it “confirmed” the Joint Services’ press release
(June 3), which asserted that a recruitment drive is underway
by people with ties to the narcotic industry, to acquire the skills
of ex-military (and ex-police) servicemen.
Here is what the PNC said: “The PNCR has
also confirmed the joint services statement that criminal enterprise
is actively recruiting ex-military persons in order to promote
further terror and create instability. These developments should
have been of grave concern to the PPP/C Government.” (See
PNC press release, June 1). It is very revealing.
As far as I am aware, there has been no update,
modification, or retraction of the Joint Services’ view
on this supposed paramilitary unit being formed on the East Coast
corridor. The statement issued (June 3) was not a final position,
but the reflection of a work-in-progress. Here is part of what
was said; “investigators are working to establish the accuracy
of new information that this group has over the past two weeks
embarked on recruitment of persons, most of whom have had law
enforcement and military background(s).”
One expected such a profound revelation of overarching
and national importance to be “confirmed” by the Joint
Services first, in view of the Government and then the public
media, and not with any political party.
Therefore, unless the PNC was briefed by the Government or has
its own private investigators et cetera, the PNC cannot “confirm”
the Joint Services’ press release without the tacit involvement
of the police and army. This means that Joint Services’
records on matters of national security were divulged.
The fact that the PNC saw a need to have confirmation
of this issue, is evidence that the Joint Services’ position
on June 3 was yet to be “refined,” if one may use
a word from the controversial so-called Felix-Williams “tape.”
Interestingly, the PNC had argued in a previous press release
that this alleged Felix-Williams “tape” should not
have been publicized by the media, because discussions (now publicized)
about certain police investigations, embedded in the “tape”
could now jeopardize police work. Yet, they did not see any breach
of confidentiality when the Joint Services shared with the PNC,
“intelligence” that ought to be secured with the Discipline
Unless there is a very good explanation, I strongly
believe that this is evidence of collusion between the Joint Services
and the PNC. This is not an example of merely a working relationship.
I would urge the chroniclers of crime, politics, and our military
history to safeguard this letter and the two press releases under
examination, for future reference.
I do not know if there is or is not any such militia under construction.
Nevertheless, one must agree with the PNC that the Government
should be interested in this “matter of grave concern.”
But is the PNC truly concerned? Or is this a shrouded example
of PNC doublespeak?
The PNC is not concerned about any private militia.
If it did, the PNC would have offered a detailed impression on
the subject. Instead, what we have is a mere 2-3 line on the matter
embedded in a press release about the alleged “harassment”
of Commissioner Felix. Commissioner Felix, after all, is one of
the leaders of the Joint Service that has compromised on state
“intelligence” with the PNC.
Further, if indeed people linked to the narcotic
community are busy recruiting marksmen, it would have been natural
for the PNC to use it for maximum political mileage. Instead,
we have the PNC complains about pro-Roger Khan picketers. A handful
of picketer cannot be more important than a handful of new gunmen.
Politics is hardly a matter of right and wrong. It is the art
of being a magician, of being able to make people believe anything.
A good magician can make a gun appear or disappear with ease.
There very well may not be any such private
army in the making. If (note, if) this is the case, then the public
should demand retractions from the PNC and the Joint Services.
Finally, I repeat my previous call for GAP/ROAR
alliance and the AFC to investigate the controversial and racist
press release issued by the Joint Services. The leadership of
the Joint Services is going so far beyond its call of duty that
it has become a threat to the population or the idea of Guyana
being a Republic.
Whether it is Agricola or Enterprise or South
Ruimveldt, at a media briefing or at the airport, Guyanese citizens
are either vulnerable to being framed, or wrongly accused of committing
fatal criminal offenses by our security forces.
As I said before, an army that stands against the people is an
army that murders the people.
[Editor's Note: Published in the Chronicle and Kaieteur
News, June 14-15, 2006.]