ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
April 23, 2012
Honorable Eric H. Holder Jr.
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D. C. 20530
Dear Attorney General Holder:
This is a follow-up to our letters of October 20th of last year and January 26th of this year which you replied to, through Ms. Mary Ellen Warlow, Director of your Office of International Affairs, on December 8th and March 7th respectively.
The letters were unresponsive to our request. We join again in asking for your withdrawal of the subpoena which you issued to Boston College pursuant to a request from the United Kingdom. Your letter noted your obligations to the United Kingdom pursuant to the Mutual legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). We have asked that you first consider your obligations as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. The actions we submitted for your consideration are, we believe, your primary obligation to the United States pursuant to the MLAT.
The Treaty obligations that must be fulfilled on your part are three-fold and are included in the ratification documents. The Attorney General is to determine whether the request is for a legitimate prosecution of a crime, most notably, money laundering drug crimes cited frequently in the Senate colloquy on the Treaty. Even the judgment of a former Chief Constable of the RUC, that a prosecution would be unlikely for the crime for which documents were requested did not persuade you that the request was suspicious and, in fact, politically motivated. In your capacity you are to determine if fulfilling the request would undermine the values that support the American justice system. Mr. Holder, Northern Ireland’s legal system is to law what military music is to music. Juryless courts which the NYC Bar Association urged be abandoned in the 1990’s remain in place and are proving useful in the imprisonment of political prisoners Gerry McGeough, a former candidate for office, and Marian Price, a political dissident whose views annoy the British. Moreover, the most casual observer of the conflict in Ireland quickly learns that the police force in the North was lawless and corrupt beyond measure and remains so to this day. So evident is this lawlessness that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, publicly admitted that there was collusion between the murderers of solicitor Patrick Finucane and the same police who now beg this favor of you. What message is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States sending to the rest of the world if it does the bidding of a police force who murders officers of the court Patrick Finucane? Solicitor Rosemary Nelson was murdered by the same hidden hand just months after testifying before Congressman Christopher Smith about the death threats to her from members of the police force in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Your lightening-like issuance of not one but two subpoenas to such a contemptible police force is unthinkable and unconscionable. Finally, you are obligated to assess whether the fulfillment of the request would impair or conflict with important public policy of the United States. The United States has played a pivotal role in crafting and protecting the Irish peace process which resulted in the international treaty of 1998 and evolves precariously today. The threats to the peace process are manifest in the British failure to fulfill key justice provisions of the Belfast Agreement and its various codicils. They have chosen to ignore provisions dealing with the assassination of Patrick Finucane, the mass murder of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and are doing what they can to bury the legacy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in murdering hundreds of innocent Catholics. If you had consulted with the Department of State in these matters, as Ms. Warlow’s letter suggests, you no doubt were made aware of all the potential ways this request not only makes a mockery of the 1998 peace pact but serves to embolden its dissidents. We would certainly appreciate a copy of such a consultation with the Department of State or a summary of it.
Ms. Warlow ends her letter suggesting further comment would be inappropriate as the matter is subject of litigation before the Court. The litigation does raise important points with respect to the individuals seeking to be heard and the Attorney General’s obligations. But, as noted previously, we believe your primary obligations are much broader than those raised in the litigation. On the other hand, the actions of United States Attorney General Carmen Ortiz in sending an ex parte communication to the Court of Appeals panel is an extraordinary attempt to influence the panel after arguments were finished. It is such actions by the Attorney General and NOT those requested by our organizations which are inappropriate and prejudicial!!!
We would appreciate the favor of any early reply to this request. If you have any question regarding the issues raised, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ancient Order of Hibernians
Robert Dunne Esq.
Brehon Law Society
Thomas J. Burke Jr. Esq.
Irish American Unity Conference