Sir Desmond de Silva QC (don’t you wish you’d a name like that?) who’s been leading a British government review of the killing of Pat Finucane says some “highly-classified documents” will be included in the report. The idea, apparently, is to ensure public confidence when it comes out. De Silva says he's rather proud of the fact that his review has been produced “on time and on budget”.
That’s nice. It’s not what the Finucane family wanted - they wanted a full public inquiry - but it’s nice. And it’s nice that the report will include highly-classified stuff. But the elegantly-named Sir Desmond has over-reached himself a bit when he talks “ensuring public confidence”. Because it won’t, you know. The Finucanes and thousands of others will wonder what other “highly-classified documents” were there that the the British government, vis Sir D de S QC, chose not to include. British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has said there’s nothing in the de Silva report that’ll affect British security or put anyone’s life at risk. Which suggests the bottom-line criteria for releasing documents can be found in the answer to the question “Will this be bad for us?” Us being the British government.
In sum: the wishes of the family of the victim have been ignored; the review will not carry any information that might be bad for British ‘security’, and the person carrying it out has been appointed by the British government.
The rest of us will get to see the report in early December. Let’s hope our other Christmas presents are a bit more promising-looking.