Reaction to the raids and arrests in the U.S. have varied from caution to outright anger.
The White House said Tuesday the Bush administration remained committed to the Good Friday agreement even as Northern Ireland’s first minister, David Trimble, delivered a post-arrests ultimatum that could cause the downfall of the Stormont Assembly.
“The president supports the full implementation of the agreement,” White House spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday. “The president has said that he and the United States government offer all the appropriate assistance if requested by the parties.”
The State Department was also cautiously supportive.
“We are following developments closely,” a State Department official said. “But we’re not going to weigh in until the meetings between Blair, Trimble, Adams and Ahern play out.”
The U.S. remains committed to the success of the Good Friday accord, insisted the official.
The Hibernians, meanwhile, fell quickly into the angry category with a strongly worded statement comparing the PSNI operation to police tactics in the Chile of former dictator Augusto Pinochet.
“Pouring out of their vehicles like they were making some assault, I thought we were beyond that,” said Ned McGinley, national president of the AOH.
McGinley’s reaction, as with other Irish Americans, was focused primarily on PSNI tactics and the potentially disastrous political fallout from the raids rather than the underlying investigation that led to them.
McGinley said that he simply did not like the PSNI as it was currently constituted.
“Until the situation surrounding policing is resolved, there will be turmoil,” he said.
McGinley said that the AOH and other groups would now be seeking a meeting with the State Department’s Dr. Richard Haass. Additionally, McGinley said the Hibernians wanted to see congressional hearings into the PSNI.
In its statement following the raids, the AOH called on British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Northern Secretary John Reid to release Denis Donaldson, Sinn F