Opposition to the Lisbon treaty is being orchestrated by an organisation with strong links to the US military.
Libertas is a great name. It resonates with decency and honesty and freedom. What a surprise then to discover that its two most prominent members are suppliers of services to the US military and intelligence agencies.
Declan Ganley, president of Libertas, also just happens to be chairman, CEO and founder of Rivada Networks LLC. This is a company that supplies the US military, National Guard and federal agencies with secure communications equipment.
Rivada LLC is registered in Delaware, but has a subsidiary in Galway, which by a curious coincidence, happens to employ five of the seven people who founded Libertas Institute Ltd. One of them, James O’Reilly, is chief operating officer of the US-based parent company, while a sixth founder is Mr Ganley’s brother.
The directors of the parent company include a former US Airforce employee, two retired admirals, a former deputy secretary of Homeland Security and a retired Marine General, as well as a former US Airforce intelligence officer. There’s also the chief advisor to GW Bush on telecommunications policy, and a man who served in a senior position with two Republican administrations: Reagan and Bush Snr. All great friends to Ireland, no doubt, and passionately concerned about the future of Europe.
Mr Ganley has refused to disclose the sources of funding for the Libertas campaign, and refused to specify how much it would cost. As much as we need to spend, was his only comment.
Another recent recruit to Libertas is Ulick McEvaddy, a former Irish Army intelligence officer, and now owner of Omega Air. This is a company that provides an in-flight refuelling service to the US military. According to their web-site, Contract air refueling is a business using specially-equipped and converted civilian airplanes to serve as air refueling platforms that meet the operational needs of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, as well as Foreign Military or specialized industry R&D projects.
Specialized industry R&D projects, eh? Like, for instance, sending prisoners to Guantanamo or Egypt without having to stop for fuel at a European airport where people might protest? Surely not.
Isn’t it remarkable, and heartening, that people with such close links to the US military and intelligence communities can find time to fight for the future of ordinary Irish people like you and me? Isn’t it wonderful that they care so much about the future of the European Union?
Where would we be without them?