CHRIS BRAY: PSNI Theatre of Shadows

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
Chris Bray
Friday, July 11, 2014

In October 2012, news stories announced that the Police Service of Northern Ireland would be pursuing subpoenas of tapes and notes from interviews with former IRA member Dolours Price. The PSNI had already gone after Dolours Price interviews archived at Boston College, but this new effort was to be directed at the newspaper and TV journalists who had interviewed Price about the BC subpoenas. In the crosshairs: CBS News and the Sunday Telegraph.

More than a year and a half later, there is no evidence that those subpoenas ever arrived. When Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams emerged from his four-day interrogation at the PSNI’s Antrim station, he said that police had confronted him with material from the Boston College interviews; he made no mention of CBS or Telegraph materials. And my own tedious search of Pacer, the federal court case management website, turns up no evidence of subpoenas served on CBS News headquarters in New York.

To be sure, we can’t see very far into the underlying events, and it’s not clear what kind of contest may have taken place over this threat of subpoenas directed against journalists. I’ve been asking journalists and public affairs staff at CBS News and the Telegraph if they received subpoenas, or discussed the possibility of subpoenas with the PSNI, but those questions have gone entirely unanswered. Liz Young, the public affairs director at the PSNI, offered this careful non-answer to my questions: “Given that investigations are ongoing we are not in the position to either deny or confirm that a subpoena was sought and no inference should be taken from this.” So the conclusion has to balance the likely with the wholly unknown: It appears that the PSNI threatened journalists with subpoenas, but then didn’t follow through, and it’s not possible at this point to know why the threatened subpoenas apparently didn’t arrive.

Now: Spot the pattern. In May of this year, a new round of news stories announced that the PSNI would be seeking new subpoenas to secure every Belfast Project interview archived at Boston College. Again, no one is answering questions, but there’s no sign that those subpoenas have arrived.

Meanwhile, the high-profile arrest of Gerry Adams resulted in nothing more than the four-day-long collapse of the PSNI’s souffle. Three years after the Grand Inquisition began, Adams is a free man, and would not seem to have much reason to worry. The other big event in the PSNI’s supposed murder investigation was the March arrest of former IRA leader Ivor Bell, long purported to have been chief of staff to Adams in the 1970s IRA in Belfast. Bell was charged with aiding and abetting McConville’s murder, not with committing it; as yet, the PSNI hasn’t charged a single person with actually kidnapping McConville or actually killing her. And Bell is also a free man, released on bail as the Public Prosecution Service tries to decide whether or not to bother taking the charges to trial. They do not seem to be in any particular hurry.

So the PSNI’s “investigation” into the 1972 murder of Jean McConville — an investigation opened 39 years after the event — has made more noise than progress: some arrests that led to the release of those arrested; an arrest, with weak and likely to be abandoned charges, of someone who isn’t alleged to have killed McConville; and a storm of threats and promises that have mostly seemed to evaporate.

The available evidence continues to support the argument that I’ve now been making for more than three years: The PSNI is putting on a show, not a murder investigation.

But then spot the other pattern: Many news stories reported the PSNI’s claim that it would subpoena CBS News and the Telegraph; none reported that the subpoenas didn’t arrive. Many news stories reported that the PSNI would be pursuing the whole Belfast Project archive at Boston College; no news stories have reported that those new subpoenas haven’t been served. Many news stories reported the dramatic arrests of Adams and Bell; few journalists appear to have noticed that the air has leaked out of those arrests.

In Indonesia, puppeteers perform Wayang Kulit, a theater of shadows in which images are projected on a screen by performers who stand behind it. The PSNI is the Dalang, the puppeteer, in the shadow play of the Jean McConville “investigation.” And the news media continues to treat the play as real life.

Justice on the Cheap at the Cost of History

Justice on the Cheap at the Cost of History
Thing Discovered to Be What It Is
Chris Bray
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The legal justice system in Northern Ireland is now discovering something that they might always have known, if they had ever bothered to ask.

Lawyers for Ivor Bell, who stands accused of long-ago IRA membership and complicity in the events leading to the 1972 murder of Belfast widow Jean McConville, have argued before a judge that the oral history interviews being used against their client are subjective and unreliable. They are. Indeed, they must necessarily be all of the things Bell’s lawyers say they are. Oral history interviews are valuable to historians precisely because they are entirely subjective, the personally framed stories that people tell about themselves. Subjectivity and unreliable narration aren’t a failure of the form; they’re an inevitable feature.

In Los Angeles, locked in the archives at the University of California, researchers can find the massive transcript of a long series of interviews conducted with Jack Tenney, a California state legislator during the communist-hunting years of the McCarthy era in the United States. For years, Tenney chaired a committee that found communists under every rock in Hollywood, and nearly every rock everywhere else. “You can no more coexist with communism,” Tenney said, “than you can coexist with a nest of rattlesnakes.”

There was just one problem for California’s leading slayer of far-left monsters: He had been a well-known and longtime activist on the political left. He spent the rest of his life trying to forget that inconvenient past.

The oral history interviews archived at UCLA endlessly reveal the depth of Tenney’s later self-deception, as the interviewer leads him through a series of events and asks for his explanation. His membership in the leftist National Lawyers Guild? Well, see, he was sitting in his office when this young man came by and asked for two dollars for some new organization, and Tenney was distracted, so he fumbled for his wallet and paid the initiation fee, not knowing what he was joining. He was later spotted at an NLG convention, wearing a delegate’s ribbon on his lapel, because he had checked into the hotel on business without knowing the Guild was meeting there. Then he bumped into some very, very distant acquaintances, who insisted on giving him a ribbon as a friendly gesture, and he didn’t want to offend them, so….

Tenney’s interviews go on like this for hundreds of pages, revealing a man at war with his own life and trying to talk his way out of his past. The interviews are, in other words, oral history: True in parts, false in parts, often deeply revealing in both. The way a person lies about his own life tells you as much about who he is as the parts that are factually accurate.

The Belfast Project, the oral history interviews of Northern Ireland paramilitary fighters conducted under the aegis of Boston College, could have been a project of enormous value for historians. It would not have been valuable because every word in every interview was true, and no historian would have approached the interviews on those terms. The richness of the project would have been found in its collisions between verifiable fact and proven deception, in the way people told their own stories about the politics of a violent past. The collection would have been an extraordinary resource, but will now be taken apart and destroyed, piece by piece.

That needless act of destruction is taking place because of the breathtaking naivete and laziness of the PSNI’s hapless and self-interested detectives, who believed they could make up for a forty-year investigative failure by going to the Burns Library and checking out a set of interviews that someone else bothered to conduct. Police in Northern Ireland apparently believed they could seize a set of academic interviews, type a few pieces into a report for prosecutors, and deliver some justice on the cheap.

Few authorities have ever been more wrong, or more avoidably foolish. Oral history interviews are not police documents. It was stupid to believe they could be.

Ivor Bell: ‘Boston Project ‘full of inaccuracies’ says lawyer

Ivor Bell: ‘Boston Project ‘full of inaccuracies’ says lawyer
BBC News
6 June 2014

Ivor Bell denies aiding and abetting the murder of Jean McConville

The Boston College project, used to charge an alleged former IRA commander with aiding the murder of Jean McConville is full of inaccuracies, a court in Belfast has heard.

Mr Bell, 77, from Ramoan Gardens, Belfast, is charged with IRA membership and aiding and abetting the murder.

The prosecution case is based on an interview he allegedly gave to researchers at Boston College.

His lawyer said some material disclosed violated an international treaty.

Defence lawyer Peter Corrigan said the Public Prosecution Service should now decide the evidence does not meet the standard for criminal prosecution.

Jean McConville, 37, became known as one of the Disappeared.

She was kidnapped in front of her children and accused of having been an informer. That claim was later dismissed following an official investigation.

She was held at one or more houses before being shot. Her body was recovered on a beach in County Louth in August 2003.

Several former paramilitaries were interviewed about their roles in the Northern Ireland conflict.

Although transcripts were not to be published until after the deaths of those who took part, last year a US court ordered the tapes should be handed over to PSNI detectives investigating Mrs McConville’s killing.

It is alleged that Mr Bell is one of the Boston interviewees, given the title Z, who spoke about the circumstances surrounding the decision to abduct her.

The veteran republican – who is currently on bail – denies any role in events surrounding the murder, claiming he was not even in the city at the time.

On Friday, Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard that his file would be allocated to a prosecutor within four weeks.

But his lawyer said significant developments about the Boston study raised serious issues about the material being used against his client.

“It’s very clear it was an intellectual, academic project, but was riddled with inaccuracies, unreliable and subjective,” he contended.

“Any material gleaned from that does not match the rigorous standards required for a criminal (case).

“The PPS (Public Prosecution Service) should take a view that this evidence is unreliable, has not been evaluated properly and should not be the basis of a criminal prosecution.”

Turning to the international treaty used to obtain the tapes, he argued that a US court ordered that only material related to the Jean McConville case was to be disclosed to the PSNI.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told Mr Bell was questioned for “numerous days” about interviewee Z.

“Throughout that interview, material from the start of the Troubles right up to the late 1980s was put in contravention of an international treaty direction,” Mr Corrigan said.

“The American court directed in good faith certain materials and only those materials.

“That has been violated and it has a serious implication on how this court approaches the evidence and an abuse of the process.”

Responding to his request for the PPS to carry out a review and provide an update, Judge Bagnall pointed out that a decision had yet to be taken on the prosecution.

Mr Corrigan also confirmed his client plans to rely on an alibi defence.

“The defendant has put forward an account of where he was at the material time and he requested during interviews that the police obtain all military and police logs and records to verify the assertion that he wasn’t in Belfast,” he said.

Chris Bray: BC, NBC, and the PSNI

The PSNI Arrives on Tuesday for a Monday Lunch
Chris Bray
Friday, May 30, 2014

They’re too late.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland recently announced that they intended to make a broader MLAT request for every interview from the Boston College oral history collection they first began to mine in 2011. But Boston College also announced that it intended to return interviews to the former members of Northern Ireland paramilitary organizations interviewed for the university’s Belfast Project. For a while, it appeared that the PSNI’s announcement trumped BC’s announcement: The news that more subpoenas were on the way would prevent the return of interviews.

For at least one Belfast Project interviewee, however, that’s not what happened. Whether or not the PSNI gets the U.S. Department of Justice to subpoena the Boston College archives again, some of the interviews are out of their hands forever. They have already gone home.

Take a look at this remarkable set of documents that was posted on Pacer, the federal court system’s document website, on Thursday:
NBC O’Rawe from PACER

Of particular interest are pages 3 and 4 of the PDF file, a May 1, 2014 letter from Jeffrey Swope, Boston College’s outside lawyer for matters involving the Belfast Project, to Kevin Winters, the Belfast-based solicitor who represents former IRA member and Belfast Project interviewee Richard O’Rawe. Swope details a long list of documents and audiotapes that he is returning to O’Rawe through the offices of KRW Law, Winters’ Belfast law firm. They are all of O’Rawe’s interviews — tapes and transcripts — except the ones that the PSNI already received on account of the 2011 subpoenas. Also returned: O’Rawe’s complete correspondence with the Belfast Project. There’s nothing left but the material that police already have.

I don’t know if material from other interviewees has already been sent back to them. Boston College and Jeffrey Swope have long since stopped responding to questions from me, and other people who would know about the return of interviews are either not responding to messages or not saying. (And I wouldn’t respond to the questions I’m asking them, either, if our positions were reversed.) But if Boston College began returning interviews, there’s no reason for them to have returned interviews to Richard O’Rawe but not to other interviewees, some of whom have been asking for the return of their interview material since shortly after the 2011 subpoenas arrived.

Bottom line: At least one interviewee has beat the PSNI to the archive, and maybe more. (Interviews that are unlikely to have been returned, and that are unlikely to ever be returned, are those for which Boston College has lost identifying material. So the PSNI may still be able to get its hands on interviews with unidentifiable research subjects, the legal value of which will be limited.)

Meanwhile, the political floor is beginning to give way beneath the PSNI’s effort to treat the Troubles as ordinary crime.

The likelihood of a successful PSNI / DOJ return to the Belfast Project archives is rapidly fading.

TRANSCRIPT: The Fall Out from the Boston College Tapes Continues

The Fall Out from the Boston College Tapes Continues
The Adrian Flannelly Show
Irish Radio Network USA
May 24, 2014

Northern Ireland’s Police Service has initiated steps to demand from Boston College the remainder of the 46 confidential oral histories conducted with members of the IRA and loyalist militias involved in the decades long war as part of the school’s Belfast Project. In meantime, an article that appeared in Ireland’s Sunday World online news edition claims that Anthony McIntyre — who was the main researcher of the Oral History project at Boston College- and his wife US citizen Carrie Twomey are now seeking political asylum –- Carrie Twomey denies any of this and claims that somebody was listening in to her telephone conversations with the US Embassy in Ireland.

Click here to listen

Adrian Flannelly (AF) interviews Carrie Twomey (CT) via telephone from Ireland about allegations made in a recent Irish tabloid about her and her husband Anthony McIntyre, the lead researcher for the Boston College tapes.

AF: We’re going to go to Ireland and we will catch up with Carrie Twomey who is the wife of Anthony McIntyre. Anthony McIntyre was indeed the – correct me if I’m wrong here – first of all Good Morning, to you. Well, it’s Good Morning in New York and Good Afternoon to you, Carrie.

CT: Good Morning. Good Morning. And Good Afternoon. And thank you for having me today.

AF: I just want to check a few things with you. Your husband, Anthony McIntyre, was hired by Boston College to conduct interviews for the Boston College oral archive.

Is that pretty much it?

CT: Yes. Boston College contracted Ed Moloney as project director for what they called The Belfast Project which was meant to be an oral history archive of people that were involved in The Troubles.

It was based on the idea of the Bureau of Military History where they had also done archived interviews and recorded the history of what went on.

And Anthony was hired to conduct the interviews. Which he did. He conducted interviews – many hours of interviews with twenty-six people.

He was hired because first of all he has his PhD. His PhD is in the history of the Provisional IRA and the formation of it and he is academically trained.

And he is also a former IRA Volunteer who did eighteen years in Long Kesh. He was there during the blanket protest – he was four years on the blanket and no-wash protest and he was there during the hunger strikes.

And he would have the experience and the knowledge and the training to conduct an oral history very much in the vein of what we now see being published in the third volume of Ernie O’Malley’s oral history of the IRA from the 20’s and whatnot.

It’s an honoured tradition that he’s following in.

AF: A story, maybe even two stories carried by The Sunday World tabloid, which is a very popular paper in Ireland, in the northern edition they have carried some allegations which you don’t agree with including the fact – well, you can tell us the fact – but the amount of money paid to Anthony and then an add-on to that that you were being paid as his assistant.

Can you straighten that out for us?

CT: Yes. There have been a number of allegations floating both in cyberspace and commentary and specifically published in The Sunday World tabloid about Anthony’s role in the project.

And our safety is very much at risk – graffiti is sprayed up and down on the walls of the Falls Road: “Boston College Touts” – “In-Former Republicans” and so there’s an issue being made of how much money Anthony made or was paid or was paid to conduct these interviews which amount to twenty-five grand a year.

AF: That’s twenty-five thousand pounds?

CT: Yeah. That’s not a lot of money. He did not make any money from the book because he had nothing to do with the book – he was not involved in it.

He did not make any money from the documentary because he was again not involved in it.

I was never hired nor worked on the Boston project as is being alleged.

Number One: I understood at the time that the project was being conducted the issue of how sensitive the material was and it was in my own interest, safety-wise, to have nothing to do with it – to not know anything about it.

And Number Two: There was never a position there anyway! I never worked on the Boston project.

I became involved in the campaign to stop the subpoenas but that’s not a paid position. I’m not hired by anybody. I’m doing this because I love my husband and I want to protect my family.

It’s just a lot of scary stuff happening and The Sunday World – they carried an article labeling Mr. Ivor Bell an informer, a “tout”.

He’s a seventy-seven year old man that’s charged with aiding and abetting and he’s the only person who has been charged in relation to the Boston tapes being subpoenaed…well, the McConville case I should say.

And the article discussed the anger that’s felt and the graffiti and named a bunch a people and named people that weren’t even involved in the Boston project and made the allegations of Anthony having tonnes of money and myself also being employed.

All rubbish. All wrong. And all very worrying because it obviously stokes up the hate campaign that’s being directed against the people that participated in the project.

And I alerted the embassy to the heightened level of threat that we’re facing…

AF: Now okay….just wait. There’s one thing I want to straighten out now: you’re American. You have two children who are American citizens.

So the conversation in the area that I would like to address is what appears to be and obviously it’s not so that you were looking for asylum for your husband, Anthony, in the United States. Because that’s the thrust of the story in The Sunday World.

CT: Yes. And I have never made a visa application and never discussed asylum with the embassy in the main because the embassy, in my communications with the State Department, have made it explicitly clear that Anthony will never be allowed in the US.

There’s no point to make any application on anything because it’s not going to happen…

AF: Just tell us why. Just tell us why that is so.

CT: Because he has the conviction for an IRA murder so in the eyes of the government he was a terrorist. And post 9/11 especially – he’s just not allowed to come in.

I’ve known this for years so this is not anything new.

And I have been very upfront – I even think that we may have discussed it in the previous interviews that we’ve done – that I have been in contact with the embassy and the consulate raising the issue trying to get the subpoenas stopped because of the safety issue so that’s never been any secret.

But the claim that I am begging for asylum? No.

No. I know that asylum is not going to happen. It’s not on the table.

What I am begging for is for the US government to stop facilitating this British grab and criminalisation of Irish history because of the danger it poses to our family.

So I had sent them The Sunday World article about Mr. Bell, just because I document everything, alerting them to the heightened risks that we’re facing and then later had a phone conversation with the embassy in which I was very angry

AF: The American Embassy in Dublin or in Belfast?

CT: The American Embassy in Dublin – Yes – for which we still do not have an Ambassador.

And I was very angry because I just think that this is a situation that has – three years we have spent pointing out exactly where this is going. And for three years we have wanted an adult to step forward and stop the train wreck and everybody’s passed the buck – nothing’s been done and [they've all] allowed this to continue.

I don’t want my family or the participants in this project to be the collateral damage for the United States protecting the assets of the British. I am livid over that.

So I had this conversation and I followed it up with an email that documented the contents of the conversation with the embassy.

The conversation was on Wednesday. The email was on Thursday.

And on Sunday, The Sunday World tabloid ran with a story that I had been in touch with the US administration that week, that I had begged for asylum, that Anthony was mentally unwell, that I wanted to escape the nightmare, that I had worked for Boston College – again repeating about Anthony’s earnings…

I mean, just a scurrilous, scurrilous piece and very alarming because of the risk that it poses to our safety but extremely alarming because it means that my communications with the embassy are compromised either by surveillance, electronic – through the phone, the email -

Or there’s been a serious breech of protocol and illegal privacy violations.

And I have asked the State Department for a formal investigation into the matter. I have also lodged a complaint with the Garda because this is a very serious issue.

If it’s not my phone and my email or my family being monitored this is the US government’s communications that are compromised.

And I think that the Irish government should take this very seriously whatever way this works out. This needs to be investigated.

How does this end up in The Sunday World?

Because I didn’t call The Sunday World and The Sunday World certainly did not and still have yet to call me.

AF: You’ve have no communication with them, directly or indirectly.

CT: Pardon?

AF: You have had no communication with The Sunday World at all. Have they tried to talk to you?

CT: No. No, they have not. Since they’ve been running these stories they have not.

Now I know a fella that writes for The Sunday World and I have spoken to him, actually I just emailed him, asking for a copy of the article and that’s the only contact that I have had and that was after this.

But in terms of the reporter writing the story, the editor, anybody involved in the publication of the story? No. I have not had any contact with The Sunday World whatsoever.

AF: Do you agree, Carrie, do you agree that it was probably, that had it not been for the arrest of Gerry Adams in the lead-up to the elections, that there wouldn’t be a story here at all?

CT: Oh, I think that the arrest of Adams has definitely contributed to the atmosphere and the interest and the threat that we are living under right now – yes.

And I think that that’s why these malicious stories and untrue stories are being peddled around because of the arrest of Adams in particular.

I mean, you and I sat down how many years ago on this issue basically outlining where it would go if it wasn’t stopped?

And here we are where we knew where it would end up if it wasn’t stopped.

This is I think is the greatest act of British vandalisation of Irish history in recent times and they’re criminalising Irish history and I think that’s objectionable and we should be stopping it.

We have the right to tell our history – whatever perspective you’re coming from – and it should not be criminalised.

And that was always the fight: was to not to criminalise history. To resist the subpoenas based on the academic confidentiality that historians do not do the work of the police and…it’s just…

How much and how little has changed.

AF: Carrie Twomey, my guest, is the wife of Anthony McIntyre, who conducted the interviews. There are a couple of things that I’d like to sort out.

There are rumours and insinuations that your husband, Anthony McIntyre, was not paid directly by Boston College at all. That in fact, the project director, Ed Moloney…

CT: (laughs)

AF: Okay, well…I guess you’re answering the question there.

CT: That’s the first that I’ve heard that!

AF: Okay…

CT: Yeah…that’s not true. He was paid by Boston College.

And if fact, anybody who has an academic contract will recognise this: Every few months when the funding runs out and you’re coming to the end of the contract and you’re like oh! what are we going to do and you’re counting your pennies and then the funding always comes through on the last day and then you’re good for another six months – I mean – that was all Boston College and pretty ridiculous to think otherwise.

AF: Okay. Now was there another source of income for your family? You do have two children and you do live in Ireland and have lived in Ireland.

Was the payment from Boston College – was that pretty much the source of revenue for your household?

CT: Yes. We lived in Belfast at the time. My children were much younger then – in fact I think I only had one child at the start of the project.

And I was (and still am) a housewife. One of the benefits that I found as an American living in Ireland was that I could stay home with my children.

The cost of childcare – were I to be working as well as Anthony be working – I would have been paying to work basically because as many working mothers know – it’s extremely difficult for enough child care to cover your ability to freely work.

So we made the decision that I would be a full-time mom and stay at home.

Also the nature of the project itself and the hours that Anthony would be working were not a set kind of thing. It wasn’t like I knew he would be from nine to five and then I could take an evening job and he could mind the kid.

It wouldn’t work like that. He could be gone at any time and he could be gone overnight at any time. So I had to be the dedicated homebody and minding the child.

Which I did and nobody paid me for that. I think we may have gotten child benefits which, if I remember correctly but I would honestly have to check, it would have been maybe eleven quid a week or something – not a lot of money and Anthony was the sole breadwinner….

AF: …Just to put that in perspective: if that was eleven quid as you say a week that amounts to what? About fifteen dollars?

CT: I don’t know and I wouldn’t stand over the amount of it but it wasn’t a huge amount of child benefits, I mean it was….

AF: …And that you were entitled to regardless, right?

CT: Yes. I’m entitled to child benefit down here and that amounts to I think two hundred and sixty a month for the two children. And that’s my income so…not a lot of money.

AF: Carrie, I do want to ask you a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?

CT: I grew up in southern California.

AF: And when did you meet Anthony?

CT: I had read a number of articles and letters that he had written in the Andersonstown News online and I had sent him an email because I appreciated his politics. It was a long email – you know – “keep your chin up” because I could see he was pushing a very hard road and an isolated road.

AF: You were a pen pal were you! Were you a pen pal?

CT: It was a very short period. Because I sent him this thing thinking: If someone in Los Angeles is thinking that you’re right then you can’t be all that wrong – because I understood the principles that he was talking about.

He didn’t read the email! (laughs) Because it was too long!

AF: Okay.

CT: So then they had started the Irish Republican Writers Group and made a website and there was an email link on the website that didn’t work. And I emailed him again and said: By the way, did you know that this link doesn’t work and if you need any help with your website let me know.

Because that email was just two lines he replied. And we started chit-chatting just on the politics of things.

At that point I knew that I wanted to come to Ireland. I never wanted to do the two week tour as I had such an interest in Irish history and recent Irish history that I knew I needed to either come to Ireland and understand it on a day-to-day level or just get a new hobby and move on in California.

My work situation opened up where I had the opportunity and I thought I don’t want to be sixty years old and wondering “what if”. So I packed my life into six suitcases and I had a friend in Drogheda (who is Godmother to my daughter) and she said: I have a spare room. And I came over.

And this was at the time when immigration was much more lax and I thought: Okay. I have three months and if I like it I’ll do what I can to secure legal status and if I don’t I’ll come home and continue on in my career. I was a union organiser at the time.

AF: When did you meet Ed Moloney then who is the, hired separately we have to assume – correct me on anything I’m saying – but he was hired separately as director of the Boston College oral project pertaining to the history of The Troubles.

So when did you meet with Ed Moloney?

CT: I would have met him…I remember distinctly the evening that Anthony and I had dinner in his home but I can’t remember exactly when it was – but it would have been sometime before the project began I would think.

Because he and Anthony had been friends and had known each other for some time. I arrived in 2000 and the project started in 2001.

So I would have met him sometime in the Summer but I didn’t have a lot of contact with him. He was a journalist and he was somebody that Anthony knew and that knew Anthony and they had a friendship.

AF: Carrie, what about the rumours that say that from the get-go that Ed Moloney and your husband, Anthony McIntyre, had agreed to derive income a book based on the tapes?

CT: I’d really like to know where that money is because we could use it right now! (laughs)

AF: That’s why I’m talking to you.

CT: My husband made no money from any book.

And in fact the one book that my husband did do, his own book, which was a compilation of essays that he had written for our website, The Blanket, and it was picked up by a small publisher based in New York, Ausubo Press, he was paid an advance of five hundred US dollars which amounted to two hundred and fifty sterling for that book. And we recently got our first royalty check because the advance had finally been paid off with the sales – and our first royalty check was five dollars.

That’s the money that my husband has made from books.

There was no, at least from our perspective, there was no desire to do any book at the start of the project because the whole point of the project was to be confidential. The archive was there to be for the future and the whole thing was the confidentiality and the protection and the secrecy of doing this because of the dangers it posed doing.

And we can see those dangers evident today in how many people are outraged that this project was even done.

I am strongly of the opinion that the more history the better – the better we understand history – that we should not be restricted to one viewpoint only of what has occurred. And everybody has the right to tell their history. So I was very supportive of Anthony doing this.

But it was never about books or money or what could be earned from it. It was about the ability to put voices to the record and that was what was important to my husband.

AF: Now of the interviews which your husband, Anthony McIntyre, conducted to what degree – we’re talking about were most or all of those interviews strictly with the Nationalists – those who were involved in the IRA – or were there others?

CT: The archive itself was meant to expand as it went along.

It started with Anthony doing the interviews with the Republicans and then another researcher/interviewer, Wilson McArthur, was brought along to do the same thing in the Loyalist community. And…

AF: …Was there any communication, for instance, with Anthony and the other interviewer?

CT: There would be in terms of organisational communications i.e.: here’s Tom Hachey and Bob O’Neill coming over to Ireland – everybody needs to meet and discuss the project.

Not in terms of: discuss the contents of the interviews or who was being interviewed. But in terms of: where’s the funding at, are the contracts being renewed, how’s the procedure for the transport of the archive. You know, organisational matters.

But Anthony would have no idea and nothing to do with what Wilson’s work was and Wilson likewise would have had no idea or nothing to do with what Anthony was doing.

And I also want to point out in terms of the confidentiality of the project and how paramount it was and how much it was believed at the time of the project that the confidentiality guarantee was there is that my husband was one of the people who himself was interviewed.

Now he didn’t interview himself – he was interviewed by an academic. But he would not expose anybody that he was asking to also participate in the archive to any risks that he himself did not expose himself to.

So he also contributed his history and his oral history archive to the archive. That really I think says it all in terms of what the belief at the start of this project was.

AF: Carrie, we’re running out of time. I want to thank you for joining us this morning and indeed straightening out some of the confusing reports that we get.

CT: I appreciate your having me and I am always willing to speak to anybody.

If The Irish Voice or The Irish Echo, I’ve spoken with Ray before, if anybody has any questions on anything I am more than happy to clarify.

We don’t have to agree on any of the politics but the facts are easy to ascertain and I’m quite happy to help and assist in any way that I can.

And we do have the bostoncollegesubpeona.wordpress.com or if you search for Boston College subpoena news. I update it regularly. It has everything: contracts, court documents, the recent…

AF: ..Okay.

CT: …Sorry, I don’t mean to go on but we’re available (to check facts).

AF: Very good. Okay. We’ve got to leave it at that, Carrie Twomey, thank you for joining us on Irish Radio Network USA. And friends you are listening to Irish Radio Network and our guest there, Carrie Twomey.

(ends)

 

Surveillance claims over Boston College tapes reported to Irish police

Surveillance claims over Boston College tapes reported to Irish police

Wife of ex-IRA prisoner involved in recordings has asked Garda to investigate phone and email spying allegations

Henry McDonald, Ireland Correspondent
The Guardian
Friday 23 May 2014

The wife of an ex-IRA prisoner who was the key researcher involved with the controversial Boston College archive tapes has complained to the Irish police that her phone and email communications are being spied on.

Carrie Twomey told the Guardian on Friday night she wants the Garda Síochána to investigate her claims that her family are being subjected to electronic surveillance.

Her husband Anthony McIntyre recorded and collated the recorded testimonies of dozens of former IRA activists, some of whom have claimed on tape that Gerry Adams ordered the death and secret disappearance of mother of ten Jean McConville in 1972.

The Sinn Féin president has always denied any involvement in the kidnapping, killing and covert burial of the widow, who the IRA accused of being a British Army informer.

Since Adams was arrested earlier this month and questioned for four days by detectives about the McConville murder, McIntyre and the founder of the Boston College-Belfast Project, Ed Moloney, have come under sustained verbal attacks. Sinn Féin councillors and their supporters have labelled them “Boston College Touts” – a euphemism for informers.

Twomey said she was certain that her phone calls and emails had been subject to “illegal privacy violations” in recent weeks.

The blogger and writer said a recent communication between herself and the US embassy in Dublin had been compromised and its contents leaked to a Sunday newspaper in Belfast.

“I haven’t a clue who precisely is carrying out the surveillance – it might be the NSA in the States, GCHQ in Britain or even the Provisional IRA’s spying department. But whoever is doing it this is an offence in Irish law and I want the Garda to take it seriously. “

She added that the alleged surveillance was linked to the recent announcement that the Police Service of Northern Ireland wanted to seize all of the Boston College-Belfast Project tapes, even those not related to the McConville murder, which the police currently hold in Belfast.

Ed Moloney has urged the US government to resist police demands that all of the remaining tapes detailing paramilitary testimonies be sent to Belfast.

Moloney said that to allow a raid on “an American college’s private archive will be to undermine a peace deal that was in no small way the product of careful American diplomacy and peace building. The United States has the power to invoke vital foreign policy interests in order to reject this PSNI action.”

The author of a critically acclaimed history of the IRA added: “I also called upon Boston College to vigorously resist this action and to rally the rest of American academia in the cause of research confidentiality.”

Participants in the Belfast Project, both former IRA members and ex loyalist paramilitaries, are currently involved in legal action to take back their tapes. Many of the loyalists want the material destroyed fearing future arrests over past Troubles-related crimes. All of those who took part agreed to do so on the condition that the tapes would not be released until they were dead.

If the PSNI seizes all of the Boston College archive material it could lead to dozens of veteran IRA and loyalist paramilitaries being arrested.

Twomey said: “These claims now circulating are a direct result of a phone conversation I had with the embassy on Wednesday 14 May, 2014 and subsequent email correspondence sent Thursday 15 May, 2014, in which I highlighted the heightened risk to our safety and the safety of the participants in the project as a result of Sinn Féin’s orchestration.

“That contents/aspects of our communication, however inaccurately spun, appeared days later in a Sunday tabloid is a matter of serious concern, not least because of the privacy violations and increased risk it indicates.

“I have requested from the [US] State Department a formal investigation into how information that I had raised our safety with the embassy last week ended up in the papers. Either our phone/email is compromised, or the embassy’s communications are, and/or there has been a serious breach of protocol and illegal privacy violations have occurred.”

 

Surveillance Complaint

A statement by Carrie Twomey, the wife of Anthony McIntyre

Neither myself on his behalf nor Anthony have requested asylum. I have never worked for Boston College and did not do any work, paid or unpaid, on the Belfast Project.

However, I have been in contact with the US Consulate in Belfast and the Embassy in Dublin since the start of this nightmare asking for help and have maintained contact throughout. I have never made a secret of this, and have referred to it in numerous interviews. It has been made clear to me throughout my dialogue with the State Department, in no uncertain terms, that Anthony is not ever going to be allowed into the US.

These claims now circulating are a direct result of a phone conversation I had with the Embassy on Wednesday 14 May, 2014 and subsequent email correspondence sent Thursday 15 May, 2014 in which I highlighted the heightened risk to our safety and the safety of the participants in the project as a result of Sinn Fein’s orchestration.

That contents/aspects of our communication, however inaccurately spun, appeared days later in a Sunday tabloid is a matter of serious concern, not least because of the privacy violations and increased risk it indicates.

I have requested from the State Department a formal investigation into how information that I had raised our safety with the Embassy last week ended up in the papers. Either our phone/email is compromised, or the Embassy’s communications are, and/or there has been a serious breach of protocol and illegal privacy violations have occurred.

I have also filed a complaint with the Garda and requested an investigation from them into the matter.

Carrie Twomey


Excerpt from email sent by Carrie Twomey to US State Department, Wed 21 May 2014:


“Can you also please advise on the status of the requested investigation into the Sunday World article based on our communications of last week?

The fact that contents of a phone conversation and email correspondence between ourselves that took place on Wednesday and Thursday appeared to have been published in the Sunday World tabloid is alarming and may mean that Embassy correspondence has been compromised, whether by unauthorized electronic access to my phone and email or monitoring of U.S. governmental communications. In the alternative, it means that communications between U.S. citizens have been monitored by agencies in the U.K.

If this information was not obtained via electronic means then there is a leak which indicates at the least extremely serious and illegal privacy violations and/or breach of protocol. Neither of these scenarios are appealing but must be addressed immediately. As I have not had any response to my previous email requesting an investigation, I am again repeating my request for a formal investigation and would like to know what steps will be taken.

I have also today filed a complaint regarding the issue with the Garda and requested they investigate what, if any, illegal surveillance is on our home/phone/internet, as the violation of my communication with the US State Department is a serious breach.”


Email sent by Carrie Twomey to US State Department, Wed 15 May 2014:


“Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me yesterday afternoon. I believe I have made my position clear. I understand that our children and I can go to America at any time but that in doing so we must abandon their father to his fate. [The Consul General] was also unequivocal on our options. Given Anthony’s conviction, he will not be allowed into the United States. As we discussed yesterday this was conveyed to me when we first spoke a year ago. You outlined the difficulties any visa application would encounter due to his status and spoke of the best possibility being what you referred to as a remote long shot of a ‘golden ticket’. This was the conversation where you also suggested Boston College would be the ideal place to employ Anthony, which eloquently demonstrated to me the level of interest and seriousness this issue was being treated with: none. It was not being taken seriously at any level and its ramifications obviously not understood and glibly dismissed.

In other words, Anthony was not going to be allowed entry. In subsequent meetings and conversations with yourself and [the CG] this was consistently and clearly conveyed, including during yesterday’s conversation. In my last meeting with [the CG] and in yesterday’s phone conversation with you my options are either to break up my family or wait until either Anthony is killed or the children are harmed before the US State Department can and/or will do anything. Neither yourself nor [the CG] contradicted or denied that view when it was put to either of you.

In addition to my own family’s safety, as I have explained, all those who have participated in the Boston College oral history project are at risk. I noted to you yesterday that people who had nothing to do with the project are being put at risk due to the vicious hate campaign being orchestrated and conducted by Sinn Fein. Ivor Bell, the only person charged as a result of the seizure of the archives — the 77 year old man charged with aiding and abetting based on the tapes of “Z” — is being referred to as the “Boston Tout” as you will have seen on the Sunday World front page previously sent to you. Mr Adams will not want the trial of Mr Bell to go forward given what would be revealed in court should the tapes of “Z” be aired. Bell, who lives in West Belfast, is at great risk of serious harm.

I will reiterate that none of this should be happening. Whoever made the decision to facilitate the MLAT subpoena request has not only put my family at risk but has also destabilized the security of the situation in Northern Ireland. It was not a matter of being forced to comply with legal obligations, as the MLAT is not de facto automatic (and no nation would give up its own sovereignty and interests so easily). Scope is provided to seek consultation and refuse cooperation based upon established foreign policy and the likelihood of successful prosecution arising. In the case of the subpoenas of the Boston College archive, neither threshold is met. The agreement of the US-UK extradition treaty specifically states that persons wanted for pre 1998 crimes in Northern Ireland will not be sought. This is due to America’s established foreign policy of supporting and facilitating the peace process which has been the policy under numerous Presidents. So it is ridiculous that no person can be extradited but archival material apparently can be. Someone should have been asking questions and clearly they dropped a massive ball.

In addition, it is astounding that the British even need the Boston archives in the first place. They are utterly useless in court beyond hearsay. Gerry Adams’s driver, Roy McShane, was working for the British for years. The Chief of Staff of Sinn Fein, Denis Donaldson, was also working for the British for decades. The head of the IRA’s internal security, Freddie Scappaticci, was a British agent, as were many other people. The PSNI do not need the Boston College oral history archives to prosecute anyone and it is ludicrous that the only evidence they produced upon arresting Adams was the archives, books, and newspaper articles. That alone makes a mockery of the whole ‘legal obligation’ chimera of the disastrous decision to issue the subpoenas.

I am not going to let my family become collateral damage for whatever idiotic decisions are being made by people who should know better. I have spent 3 years now begging you people to stop this train wreck and all that’s been done is taking my warnings to protect the assets of the British. I am beyond angry.

The oral history was bravely done in good faith and should have been a testament to the benefits of the peace process and foreign policy success of the United State’s investment in supporting and nurturing it. Its confidentiality should have been protected. Instead the lives of all those who participated in it are at risk, and my family, my children, are on the line.

You and I will both be lighting candles for very different reasons and praying that no lives are lost or ruined as a result. The State Department and the Department of Justice better be praying that their incompetence does not result in the needless sacrifice of American lives abroad or harm coming to anyone who participated in an American university’s noble project. I am just praying this nightmare ends with everyone intact.

I have been and will continue to document everything.”


Sunday World, May 18, page 4, Boston Tapes Wife Begs US for Asylum by Paula Mackin

SW0518144

Reproduced on Irish Central, 23 May, “Political asylum move by BC tapes researcher Anthony McIntyre”, by James O’Shea.

Neither Paula Mackin, James O’Shea nor anyone from the Sunday World and Irish Central contacted us prior to their publication of the inaccurate Sunday World piece. The Irish Central piece went out over the wires and was replicated across the web. Neither of the reporters nor the papers involved have attempted to contact us either pre or post publication.


See previously

Carrie Twomey Letter to Senator Lugar, forwarded to Department of Justice and State Department, 18 January, 2012

Affidavit of Carrie Twomey, 29 December 2011


Boston College researcher’s wife makes surveillance complaint

Boston College researcher’s wife makes surveillance complaint
Andy Martin
BBC Ireland correspondent
BBC News

The wife of former Boston College researcher, Anthony McIntyre, has made a formal complaint to authorities that her communications are being monitored.

Carrie McIntyre, the wife of Anthony McIntyre, made the complaint to Irish police and the US State Department.

Her husband was the lead researcher on Boston College’s Belfast Project.

The project features dozens of interviews with paramilitaries, who spoke candidly about their involvement in The Troubles.

The understanding of both the researchers and the interviewees was that their participation would remain secret until after their deaths.

Mrs McIntyre, also known as Carrie Twomey, has been heavily involved in the campaign to restrict access to the project.

Tapes handed over

On Thursday, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed they are seeking to obtain all material relating to the Belfast Project.

Last year, the PSNI used a treaty between the UK and the US to obtain some of the interviews.

Tapes from seven interviewees were handed over, all of which were deemed to have relevance to the murder of Jean McConville in 1972.

The widowed mother-of-10 was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA.

The released recordings have led to a number of arrests, including that of the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

One man, the veteran republican Ivor Bell, has been charged in connection with Mrs McConville’s abduction. He denies the charges

Dr Anthony McIntyre conducted the interviews with former IRA members. Since his involvement was revealed, his family has been informed of a threat to their safety.

His wife and children are US citizens, but the family is adamant that contrary to some reports, they have not sought asylum in America.

Offer to return testimony

Anthony McIntyre cannot travel to the United States in any case, as he is a former republican prisoner.

He insists that even if he were allowed into America, he would refuse to leave the interviewees who spoke to him about their time in the IRA.

His wife believes that there has been illegal privacy violations and surveillance of conversations she has had with regard to the family’s safety.

Separately, Boston College has offered to return the remaining testimony it holds to the interviewees.

A spokesperson would not be drawn on whether any of those who took part in the project had availed of the offer, but the BBC understands that approaches have been made to have some tapes repatriated.

Northern Ireland seeks all Belfast Project interviews

Northern Ireland seeks all Belfast Project interviews
Peter Schworm
Boston Globe
May 23, 2014

Boston College will contest a new legal bid by British law enforcement to seize the entire trove of interviews from the university’s Belfast Project, university officials said Friday, joining a renewed battle over the controversial archive.

In a statement Thursday, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said it would seek to obtain the collection of interviews with former members of militia groups that clashed during the decades-long conflict known in Northern Ireland as the Troubles. But police did not specify a course of action or timetable.

“Detectives in Serious Crime Branch have initiated steps to obtain all the material from Boston College as part of the Belfast project,” the Police Service said. “This is in line with PSNI’s statutory duty to investigate fully all matters of serious crime, including murder.”

A spokesman for Boston College said Friday that the university had not received any information about the move to acquire the archives. But the spokesman said the blanket request for all materials, including interviews with more than a dozen members of a militia group loyal to Britain, seemed aimed at rebutting critics who have accused British authorities of using the archives for political purposes.

“The [Police Service of Northern Ireland] has been criticized for only pursuing the interviews of former IRA members,” said spokesman Jack Dunn. “This appears to be an attempt to deflect criticism that their actions were politically motivated.”

A spokesman for the Police Service declined to comment.

From 2001 to 2006, researchers interviewed former members of the Irish Republican Army, who sought a united Ireland, and former members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, a paramilitary group that wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Dunn said Boston College would fight to protect the interviews and hoped that US authorities would reject the legal request.

“Since the first subpoenas were issued in 2011, Boston College has pursued legal, political, and diplomatic efforts to oppose the effort of British law enforcement to obtain the interviews in an effort to protect the enterprise of oral history and the peace agreement in Northern Ireland,” Dunn said. “We will continue to do so and hope that the State Department and the Department of Justice will reject this latest request.”

A spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Massachusetts declined to comment.

Former militia members consented to interviews for the oral history project with the assurance that their statements would be kept confidential until their death. But Northern Ireland authorities, using a mutual legal assistance treaty with the United States, pursued the interviews as potential evidence of past crimes.

The treaty requires the nations to share information that could aid in criminal investigations.

After a lengthy court battle, Boston College was compelled to hand over 11 interviews with former members of the Irish Republican Army, leading to the recent arrest of Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, in connection with the notorious 1972 killing of Jean McConville.

After being released without charges earlier this month, Adams said interviews from the oral history project formed the basis for his arrest. Adams has denied any involvement in the killing of McConville, a mother of 10 who the IRA believed was an informer.

McConville was abducted and secretly buried. Years later, the IRA admitted responsibility for her death.

Information from the interviews also led to the arrest of Ivor Bell, a former IRA member who was charged in the slaying of McConville.

The arrests have led to criticism that Northern Irish authorities are exploiting the archives to cause political damage to Adams and Sinn Fein, the former political arm of the Irish Republican Army. Adams has criticized researchers for focusing on former IRA members who became critics of Adams and the peace process.

After Adams’s arrest, Boston College said it would return interviews to any participants who requested them and would not keep copies. Several people had already made requests.

Ed Moloney, an Irish journalist who led the project, blasted the British authorities’ latest bid to obtain the archives.

“I call upon the US government to resist this fishing expedition by the PSNI and to remember that the major consequence of this bid to invade an American college’s private archive will be to undermine a peace deal that was in no small way the product of careful American diplomacy and peace building,” he wrote on his blog.

“I also call upon Boston College to vigorously resist this action and to rally the rest of American academe in the cause of research confidentiality,” he wrote.

NBC News has also requested that previously subpoenaed materials be unsealed, writing that “any case involving incidents of terrorism and criminality . . . is a matter of great public interest.”

Sarah Wunsch — staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which backed two project researchers in their effort to protect the interviews — called on American authorities to reject the police request.

“I think it’s time for the US government to call a halt to this, which is not only damaging to oral history and academic freedom, but also immensely damaging to peace in Northern Ireland,” she said.

Northern Irish Police Seek Entire Oral-History Archive at Boston College

Northern Irish Police Seek Entire Oral-History Archive at Boston College
By Beth McMurtrie
Chronicle of Higher Education
May 23, 2014

Three years after Boston College began a lengthy battle to retain control over an oral-history project on the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the college may find itself back in court again. The Police Services of Northern Ireland said on Thursday that they would seek the entire archive—all 46 interviews—in which former members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and loyalist paramilitary groups talked about their activities during the decades-long civil conflict. Some of those conversations relate to crimes they and others may have committed.

“Detectives in Serious Crime Branch have initiated steps to obtain all the material from Boston College as part of the Belfast Project,” according to a statement provided to the BBC by the police. “This is in line with the PSNI’s statutory duty to investigate fully all matters of serious crime, including murder.”

In 2011 the police sought, and later received, interviews that discussed one of the most notorious murders in Northern Ireland, the killing of Jean McConville, a widow and mother of 10 whom the IRA believed to be an informer for the British. Boston College relinquished the complete interviews of two former IRA members along with portions of interviews of a number of other participants.

The police in Belfast subsequently brought in several people for questioning, most notably Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political counterpart, and a major figure in Northern Ireland. They have so far charged only one person, Ivor Bell, with aiding and abetting Ms. McConville’s murder.

The investigation has caused turmoil in Northern Ireland, with Mr. Adams’s supporters arguing that his interrogation had been politically motivated by opponents out to embarrass him and to dismantle the fragile power-sharing arrangement between republicans and loyalists. The Good Friday Agreement, which took effect in 1998, was the result of negotiations led by a U.S. envoy, George J. Mitchell.

Boston College’s spokesman, Jack Dunn, said by email on Thursday that the college had not been contacted by the U.S. Department of Justice about the latest police effort, and thus it would be “inappropriate to comment on speculation within Northern Ireland.” The Justice Department began a court case against the college in 2011 on behalf of British authorities through a treaty pledging mutual legal assistance. Christina Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts, which handled that case, declined to comment.

‘Resist This Raid’

Ed Moloney, who directed the project for Boston College, called on the U.S. government “to resist this raid on an American college’s archive and to remember that the ultimate victim, if this succeeds, will be a peace process that was the product of American diplomacy and peace building.”

Mr. Moloney, an Irish journalist, and Anthony McIntyre, an Irish researcher and writer who conducted the interviews with former IRA members, ultimately fell out with Boston College over the handling of the court case. The two men argued that the college should have refused to turn over any materials. In an email Mr. Moloney said that Boston College should “resist to the utmost this attempt to raid its private archives.”

Mr. McIntyre said he was not surprised by the latest move by the police. When Boston College publicly announced that it would return interview materials to participants upon request once the court case was over, he argued, the college created a window of opportunity for the police to go after the remainder of the archive. Mr. Dunn declined to say whether the college had yet returned any materials to people who had requested the return of their interviews.

Mr. McIntyre called the latest effort by the police “politically driven in that they probably want further grounds to re-arrest Adams.”

Sarah Wunsch, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Mr. Moloney and Mr. McIntyre in 2012, called the latest police pursuit “very dangerous.”

“It raises very important issues for the secretary of state [John F. Kerry] and the attorney general [Eric H. Holder], possibly putting in jeopardy the peace process,” she said, noting that when he was a U.S. senator, Mr. Kerry argued that the United States should ask the British authorities to withdraw their request for the tapes for that very reason.

The project has continued to generate fallout in recent weeks. One participant, Richard O’Rawe, a former IRA member, said he planned to sue Boston College for failing to make him aware of the legal risks and subsequently endangering his life. Graffiti has popped up around Belfast deriding “Boston College touts,” as informers are called. And this week it was revealed that NBC News had petitioned the U.S. district court in Boston for full access to the archives.