Irish American Coalition Appeal to Kerry & Menendez: British Subpoenas Threaten US

AOH, IAUC & BREHON APPEAL TO KERRY & MENENDEZ IN NEW ROLES; BRITISH SUBPOENAS THREATEN U. S. POLICIES, RIGHTS & TREATY
ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
February 10, 2013
NY, NY, & Wash. D.C.

The leaders of the most active Irish-American groups in the U.S. renewed their attack on Britain’s subpoena of records from the Irish archives of Boston College.

The two year battle has involved a challenge by the Belfast Project researchers Ed Moloney & Anthony McIntyre to the misuse of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), and 20 Members of Congress who not only share their concern but question Britain’s commitment to the Irish peace process.

The confirmation of Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State and the elevation of Senator Robert Menendez to Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, two who have opposed the subpoenas, has given new strength to their cause.

“These leaders (Kerry & Menendez),” stated National President of the AOH Brendan Moore, “have shown a willingness to listen to our arguments and to test our sincerity and credibility. When presented with documentation regarding threats to the Irish peace process and to the corruption of American laws, they have recognized our good faith.”

The President of the largest Brehon Law Society in the nation, Robert Dunne indicated: “The Cameron government efforts to violate American treaties, policies and rights will not end with the death of Dolours Price or the Moloney & McIntyre litigation decision but with a Senate hearing on the MLAT and the British corruption of its purpose. To that end we have written to Senator Menendez and to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the opportunity to be heard.”

Attorney Thomas J. Burke Jr., National President of the Unity Conference concluded: “We invite Americans to join us in expressing to Attorney General Holder and to Secretary of State Kerry strong opposition not only for this political misuse of the MLAT but to British efforts to undermine U.S. policy in support of the Irish peace pact.”

Attachments: Menendez, Kerry letters (see below)
Letter to Senator Reid


ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
BREHON LAW SOCIETY
IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE

February 10, 2013

Honorable Robert Menendez, Chairman
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
United States Senate
444 DSOB
Washington, D. C. 20510

Dear Chairman Menendez:

Congratulations on becoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is a well earned recognition of your dedicated service to our nation and to the advancement of American interests and values to other nations. We wish you all the best.

As you know from our previous correspondence, we had been in communication with Secretary of State Clinton on several occasions regarding Great Britain’s misuse of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain records from the Irish archives of Boston College. No doubt your letter last year to Secretary Clinton expressing similar concerns prompted her to arrange for two subsequent meetings. We met with her staff and were grateful for the discussions. However, the meetings were inconclusive, disconcerting in terms of the lack of staff knowledge about the 1998 Belfast Agreements and unresponsive to our specific request.

The MLAT provides a unique consultative role for the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to determine if the subpoenas of a foreign nation should be honored and, if so, would that compromise American policies and values. We have clearly defined several valid reasons which, we believe, would justify objections by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to the subpoenas. As previously stipulated they range from the technical flaws and political nature of the request, the threat to American individual and academic liberties, and to the wisdom of granting such a request with a British government committed to undermining the Irish peace process.

Our coalition is made up of groups that have been very supportive of the Good Friday Agreement. It is because of that support and our concern for the peace process that we have asked for the opposition of both the Attorney General and the Secretary of State. The subpoenas are motivated by malice, unwisely honored by the British government and processed by the Attorney General without a thoughtful review of its technical compliance with the purpose of the MLAT.

The related ongoing litigation over these subpoenas involving the Boston College and Belfast Project creators Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre, raises other serious legal and policy issues. These involve the constitutional rights of journalists and those engaged in academic research, the rubber-stamp processing of a request which, on its face, is a striking misuse of the MLAT and the operation of the Treaty in general.

Our opposition to the reach of these subpoenas and to their purpose remains steadfast. We hope you will reiterate your concerns to Attorney General Holder and to Secretary Kerry. We also believe that the time has come for the U. S. Senate to review the use of these MLAT’s. In September of last year we made such a request of Chairman Kerry. It is clear from this Boston College case that the original intent of the MLAT’s i. e. to expedite prosecution of major money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorist crimes has been violated. In doing so the British government has jeopardized American lives and policies and threatened our constitutional liberties. We stand ready to defend our concerns, to testify against the indefensible actions of the British government and to the threat those actions have posed to the working of our laws in general and to this Treaty in particular.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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


February 10, 2013

Mr. John Kerry
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C St. NW, 7th Fl.
Washington, D. C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

Welcome to Foggy Bottom! We can only repeat what many have already said about your singular preparedness for this position and for the challenge of representing America and its unique values to the nations of the world. We wish you all the best.

As you know, we had been in communication with Secretary of State Clinton on several occasions regarding Great Britain’s misuse of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain records from the Irish archives of Boston College. No doubt your letter to Secretary Clinton expressing similar concerns in January of last year prompted her to arrange for two subsequent meetings with her staff and representatives of our organizations. We were grateful for the discussions but found them inconclusive and, in some instances, disconcerting in terms of the lack of staff knowledge about the 1998 Belfast Agreements.

The MLAT provides a unique consultative role for the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to determine if the subpoenas of a foreign nation should be honored and enforced and, if so, would that compromise American policies and values. We have clearly defined several valid reasons which would, we believe, justify either the Attorney General or the Secretary of State objecting to these subpoenas.

Our coalition is made up of groups that have been very supportive of the Good Friday Agreement. It is because of that support and our concern for the peace process that we have asked for the opposition of the Secretary of State to these subpoenas. They are motivated by malice and unwisely honored and processed by a British government that seeks to undermine several key justice provisions of the Irish peace accord.

As you noted in your letter to Secretary Clinton, the related ongoing litigation involving the Belfast Project creators Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre, raises other serious legal and policy issues. These involve the constitutional rights of journalists and those engaged in academic research, the rubber-stamp processing of a request which, on its face, is a striking misuse of the MLAT, and the operation of the Treaty in general.

Our opposition to the reach of these subpoenas and to their purpose remains steadfast. We hope you will share with Attorney General Holder the concerns for these subpoenas and the necessity for their withdrawal. We stand ready to meet again with State and Justice staff to document and defend these concerns that to enforce these subpoenas would be against America’s interests and compromising of the laws and rights of Americans.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to hearing from you.

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