Clinton & Holder Pressed Anew on Subpoenas of Boston College Records

CLINTON & HOLDER PRESSED ANEW ON SUBPOENAS OF BOSTON COLLEGE RECORDS
COLLEGE PRESIDENT & MEMBERS OF CONGRESS URGED TO OPPOSE

ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
January 18th
New York City & Wash, D. C.

The first session of the 2013 Congress is just starting and a a new term for President Obama is just beginning, but a coalition of Irish-American groups are vigorously pursuing their 3 year campaign to convince Attorney General Eric H. Holder and Secretary of State Clinton that the British request for Irish records at Boston College is wrong. It constitutes a violation of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), violates American values of justice, contradicts British assurances and undermines the Irish peace process which is the settled public policy of three U. S. Presidents.

“We recognize,” stated National Ancient Order of Hibernians President Brendan Moore, “that Britain is a valued partner in the investigation and prosecution of major money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorist crimes. This request, however, for records in Boston College and presumably in aid of a 1972 criminal investigation that never happened is a misuse of [the] MLAT and an abuse of American goodwill and trust.”

Robert Dunne, President of the Brehon Law Society elaborated: “Just last month Prime Minister Cameron described the Police Service of N. I. (PSNI) collaboration with loyalist terrorists in 1989 to kill attorney Patrick Finucane as “shocking” and “appalling”. This is the police force that has requested these subpoenas. Until the re-hiring of retired PSNI officers (some of whom may well have been in on the collusion to kill Finucane), the PSNI had shown more transparency and professionalism. This request suggests the ‘bad old days’ have returned.”

The President of the Irish-American Unity Conference, Thomas J. Burke Jr., an attorney in Denver, Colorado, observed: “The ‘special relationship’ invariably comes under the most stress and closest scrutiny when Britain’s actions or inaction in Ireland are involved. But this episode is purely an American issue. We are asking Mr. Holder not to rubber stamp the request but to scrutinize more carefully the purposes of MLAT and to engage in a more in-depth dialogue with the Department of State as the MLAT provides.”

Litigation involving the researchers of the Belfast Project and Boston College in opposition to this request of Attorney General Holder argues not only that this request is a misuse of the MLAT but that important constitutionally protected academic and journalistic freedoms are also involved. A Writ of Certiorari is currently pending at the Supreme Court.


ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
 
January 19, 2013
 
Mr. Eric H. Holder Jr.
United States Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Rm. 5115
Washington, D. C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Holder:

It is now almost three years since the British government made an ill-advised request on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for records held in the Irish archives of the Burns Library at Boston College. We respectfully use the term ill advised because the request does not qualify for the use of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT); it contradicts specific intentions and assurances the UK has given to U. S. Senators and others regarding the 1998 Belfast Treaty and U.S.-U.K. extradition treaties; and, if it is honored, would constitute a betrayal of American values of justice and the rule of law.

You are aware that the Supreme Court is currently considering a Writ of Certiorari filed by the litigants Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre which challenges this misuse of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty(MLAT) and asserts the infringement of journalistic freedom and academic integrity. It is the resolution of this case which you have claimed in letters to our coalition and to Members of Congress prevents you from withdrawing enforcement of the subpoenas. Nothing in the MLAT requires a rubber stamping of the British request. In fact there are several determinations that are to be made, in consultation with the Department of State, before acknowledging and enforcing any request.

While we believe the arguments we have made in our previous correspondence are sufficient to deny the UK query, we wish to bring to your attention two other issues for your consideration. In December last, the UK released the de Silva report, a review of documents, related to the murder of Irish attorney Patrick Finucane in 1989. Prime Minister Cameron stated in Parliament that the collusion of police, military and intelligence forces in the assassination of attorney Finucane, an officer of the court, was “shocking” and “appalling.” Unfortunately it was not so shocking enough for anyone to be held accountable for their crimes. This is the police force, Mr. Holder, that has made the dubious request for records in Boston College. More damning still is the fact that due to a policy of rehiring retirees by PSNI the very same officers involved in the collusion to murder Finucane, and most likely attorney Rosemary Nelson, could very well be back on the force and the source of this MLAT initiative.

Recently English jurist Lord Moses refused to approve, pursuant to a U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty, the return to the U. S. of a fugitive child molester because he thought United States laws in dealing with such crimes too harsh. It occurs to us that with evidence of State sponsored murder of an officer of the court by government forces and no one held accountable, the first duty of the chief law enforcement officer of this nation is NOT to cooperate with those forces until there is accountability. Further you must give weight to our arguments that there are murderous elements of the PSNI that are determined to raise havoc with the Irish peace process by means of the subpoena request and other means.

We ask again that you not enforce but withdraw the subpoenas requested by the PSNI. We believe the seriousness of these issues are deserving of a considered response. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Mr. Brendan Moore
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians

Mr. Robert Dunne, Esq.
President
Brehon Law Society

Mr. Thomas J. Burke Jr. Esq.
National President
Irish American Unity Conference


ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE

January 19, 2013
 
Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C St NW, 7th Fl
Washington, D. C. 20520
 
Dear Madame Secretary:

It is now almost three years since the British government made an ill-advised request on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for records held in the Irish archives of the Burns Library at Boston College. We respectfully use the term ill advised because the request does not qualify for the use of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT); it contradicts specific intentions and assurances the UK has given to U. S. Senators and others regarding the 1998 Belfast Treaty and U.S.-U.K. extradition treaties; and, if it is honored, would constitute a betrayal of American values of justice and the rule of law.

We have previously provided members of your staff with a substantial body of work of the Committee on the Administration of Justice which documents the efforts by the British government to undermine specific provisions of the 1998 Belfast Agreement. You are already aware of the concerns that U. S. Senator Kerry and 20 other Members of Congress have expressed related to the threats posed to the Irish peace process by Attorney General Holder’s subpoenas.

The litigation against Attorney General Holder’s issuance of the subpoenas to Boston College has been ongoing for two years and has now reached a point where a Writ of Certiorari, which seeks a review of the misuse of MLAT, is being considered by the U. S. Supreme Court. We were one of four amicii who filed briefs in support of the Writ. It is enclosed.

More significantly, the British government released a so-called “review of government documents” related to the murder in 1989 of attorney Patrick Finucane. Prime Minister Cameron stated in Parliament that the collusion of police, military and intelligence forces in the assassination of attorney Finucane, an officer of the court, was “shocking” and “appalling.” Unfortunately not so shocking that anyone need be held accountable for their crimes. We wish to remind the Secretary that this is the same police force that has made the dubious request for records in Boston College. Indeed, due to a policy of rehiring retirees by PSNI the very same officers involved in the collusion to murder Finucane, and most likely attorney Rosemary Nelson, could very well be back on the force with this mischievious request.

Your consultative role in this matter is stipulated in the MLAT, and is intended to prevent such abuse and exercised to insure American values of justice not be betrayed. What signal does it send to those dissident loyalist forces in Northern Ireland if the U. S. can look the other way at murder? The U. S. has not looked the other way when lawyers in China and Russia are threatened or killed. We believe strongly that the exercise of that discretion to oppose the UK request is warranted in addressing this PSNI request.

If you have any questions or are in need of any further documentation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Mr. Brendan Moore
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians

Mr. Robert Dunne, Esq.
President
Brehon Law Society

Mr. Thomas J. Burke Jr. Esq.
National President
Irish American Unity Conference

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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