Memo to Secretary of State on security options-Feb 1978 (added Aug 2017)
1978 memo to SoS (author unknown) outlining security options and highlighting the 'danger signs' that the (British) army are deploying patrols for "suppression" and Intelligence" with no intention of arresting and charging suspects. The memo goes on to suggest that any 'drift' back to army methods and goals is the "road that leads to executive action against terrorists, rather than action through the courts." 'Executive action' is a euphemism for shoot-to-kill. The reference to it being an alternative to 'action through the courts' is unambiguous. The document goes on to suggest that a substantial body of opinion in the army supports such action. The author doubts if the GOC is "actively damping it down." A number of shoot-to-kill incidents took place in 1978 and in the following years. In June that year for instance Denis Heaney was shot dead in Derry by undercover soldiers in plain clothes. Weeks later in July 1978 the SAS shot dead schoolboy 16 year old John Boyle in Dunloy, Co. Antrim.