Irish- American Anger over Iraq defense contract

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Irish Echo. August 4-10, 2004

By Ray O’Hanlon

President Bush is being urged to cancel an Iraq security contract that involves a onetime British army officer linked to the death of a man in northern Ireland.
The death of Peter McBride, shot dead by two members of the Scots Guards regiment, remains one of the most controversial during the troubles.

The regiment was commanded at the time by Lt. Col. Tim Spicer.

Spicer, since retired from the military, now heads a private security company, Aegis Defense Services, which was recently awarded a $293 million contract in Iraq.

Fr. Sean McManus, president of the Washington D.C.-based Irish National Caucus, wants President Bush to scrap the deal.

“It has Irish blood on it,” McManus said of the contract in a statement.

“This (contract) could undo any credit you gained from Irish-Americans for your support of the Irish peace-process,” McManus said in a letter to Bush.

“U.S. dollars should not subsidize such a person as Lt.

Col. Spicer. And long-suffering Iraq needs him no more than Northern

Ireland needed him,” McManus added.

McManus said that the INC was “determined” not to accept what he described as a “terrible insult” to the McBride family and Irish Americans.
“I cannot believe that President Bush would have approved such an outrageous contract. He has got to undo this great wrong. This is going to be an election issue.
McBride, who was 18, was shot twice in the back by Scots Guards soldiers as he ran from a checkpoint in Belfast on September 4, 1992. McBride was unarmed. Two soldiers were jailed for McBride’s murder in early 1995 but were released in August, 1998.

n a letter to the Times newspaper of London, Spicer defended the actions of his men stating that they had been involved in a terrorist incident and had acted in accordance with the law and their military training.