US Foreign Policy: How Secretary Kerry Can Make A Mission Out of A Mess

Michael J. Cummings
National Board
BOX 55573

Where to begin for our new Secretary of State?  There is no short list, only a long one,  of  foreign policy  issues in need of some serious review, reversal, or, as many have suggested, a  pivot.  The challenge, as Secretary Clinton made clear in her farewell address, is to “…make sure America is secure, that our interests are promoted and our values are respected.”

In our view this puts Ireland on the short list.


  • The U. S. did cajole the British to sign a peace treaty with Ireland in 1998 but the U.K.  has worked to undermine it.
  • America has rebuked other nations for human rights abuses while those of the British in Ireland [go unremarked].
  • America’s laws, security and foreign policy positions have been flouted by corrupt British interests.
    • British banks like Standard & Chartered defy U.S. sanctions against Iran.
    • UK judges have refused U.S. extradition requests; most recently to return a fugitive pedeophile.
    • Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC accepted a Deferred Prosecution Agreement and were fined a fraction of their profits from their laundering of Mexican drug cartel money.

Moreover, Britain has abused our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) by using Attorney General Holder to conduct a fishing expedition into the Irish archives of Boston College.

As Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, Senator Kerry was the first to raise the alarm over the subpoenas served on his alma mater.

Are these the unsubstantiated assertions of those who have opposed Britain and the 1998 Accord?

On the contrary.

Our support of the pact has been known from the day it was signed but unfortunately there are forces at work in Britain including the ‘deep State security and  intelligence services’ and the fascist British Nationalist Party that  would welcome its demise as well as an end to the Scottish independence movement.

We also recognize the value of British partnership and cooperation but in recent years this has meant Ireland has become a stepchild of British politics.

Therein lies the challenge for Secretary Kerry: How to confront and respond to Britain’s mockery of the Belfast Agreement and U.S. laws and policies while retaining British support in other areas of interest.

In recent years a failure to do strike a balance has signaled to those who do NOT support democracy, human rights and the rule of law that America is not serious about them, or is willing to look the other way especially when England is the offender.


  • The U.K. unilaterally dismissed the Irish Treaty obligation  for a public inquiry into the murder of attorney Pat Finucane and produced  a sham review of government documents to conclude there was no conspiracy to murder.  Surprise.  Surprise.There was plenty of “shocking ” collusion with loyalist terrorists to make sure it happened but no accountability.  Not a whisper of admonition from the White House or Foggy Bottom.  Meanwhile China and Russia are publicly chastised for use of violence against lawyers and they understandably have taken exception.  The Irish government rarely recognizes when it is insulted.  Not so China and Russia who must be weary of America’s blindness to British treachery.
  • Also under the terms of the Belfast Agreement, investigations were to be conducted into nearly 1000 killings, mostly [of] Catholics.The British, however:  

                    stripped the Police Ombudsman of a role;

                    claimed insufficient funds for the work;  

                    and then has the chutzpah to hire retired officers to investigate many killings which are suspected of police collusion.

Really?  When this happens in South America, Africa, or Asia, official protests are lodged.  Not a word of concern from the Department of State [in this case].

On the other hand, when the murder investigation of Rafik Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon, was being obstructed by the Hezbollah… not unlike Britain’s moves with the Finucane murder… the U.S. paid $30 million dollars to finish the investigation.

No such expression of support was offered by the Obama administration to Britain to provide justice to the hundreds of Catholics murdered in N.I.

 A solitary political  prisoner in N.I., Marian Price, has experienced every imaginable legal sorcery the British can muster to keep her behind bars.

  • She is old, in poor health, and needs a wheelchair.
  • Whitehall refuses to disclose the reasons for her continued confinement. 
  •  A $175K bond was required to allow her to attend  her sister’s  wake.

In contrast, when Secretary Clinton visited Myanamar to meet with democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyii, the military junta freed 1000 political prisoners as a gesture of good will.

There was no such gesture of good will by the British to free Price or other political prisoners like Gerry McGeough when President Obama visited Ireland and England last year.

The British can find a way to spring the Lockerbie mass murderer but not Irish political prisoners.

England’s hubris and hypocrisy does not go unnoticed by regimes whose political prisoners number in the thousands.

 In 2011 Britain passed along to Attorney General Holder subpoenas requesting tapes from a research project that were held in Boston College.

  • They used a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) intended for major money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist crime prosecutions — not a politically motivated fishing expedition.
  • The subpoena sought information on a 40 year old killing of a British informer as British paratroopers were marauding Catholic communities in the North.  The request was a shameless attempt to smear Gerry Adams and interfere in the political process of Ireland.
  • More importantly, the subpoenas are a contradiction of the assurances given by the British to none other than Senator Kerry and others regarding the purpose of the 1998 peace pact.
  • Prime Minister Cameron knows that the man behind the subpoenas is Norman Baxter, a retired RUC officer with ties to both the corrupt Special Branch Unit and MI-5  often cited in the Stevens and Stalker reports for lawlessness.

Surely now the U.S. must question both the subpoenas and Britain’s commitment to peace and justice in the North.

The British will push back any effort by Secretary Kerry to raise these issues.

They cannot afford to have any more of their dirty war in Ireland exposed.

Their use of the Ulster Defense Association as Murder Inc. like Assad uses the Shabibas would portray the response of the IRA sympathetically.

On the other hand, England’s  ‘successes’ of late trashing America’s laws, policies, and the Irish peace agreement may embolden them to trust Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, an Oxford graduate, to carry the ball for them with Kerry.

Secretary of State Condi Rice once canceled a trip to Egypt after Mubarak jailed Aman Nour, a freedom activist.

Would Secretary Kerry do the same to protest the murder of Finucane or the imprisonment of Ms Price?

The British would prefer to address such matters away from probing media.

But isn’t that the way a message is sent to other nations who would abuse American trust and undermine our polices in support of things like the Belfast Agreement, Iranian sanctions, and Mexican drug trafficking?

Soon we will know whether there will truly be a new era at the Department of State.