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

Irish American Coalition Asks for Senate Hearing – Letter to Reid

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

February 10, 2013

Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader
United States Senate
522 HSOB
Washington, D. C. 20510

Dear Senator Reid:

Over the past two years, our organizations and seven Members of the Senate have raised vigorous objections to Attorney General Holder’s enforcement of British subpoenas for records in the Irish archives of Boston College. The British request is motivated by malice and politics and, if honored, would undermine U.S. support for the Irish peace process governed by the Belfast, Hillsborough, and Weston Park agreements.

The Cameron government is trying to do this by abusing the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) intended for criminal prosecution of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist conspiracies. There is no merit to the British request. Furthermore, it exposes its latest attempt to undermine the Irish peace pact which three U.S. Presidents have supported morally and financially.

We have outlined these and other concerns to Senator Menendez with a request for a Senate hearing on MLAT’s in general and particularly England’s attempt to corrupt its intent. In addition to our concerns for the Irish peace process there are academicians, journalists, human and civil rights activists, and constitutional liberties lawyers who are prepared to outline not only the specific threats of MLAT use but also detail actions which would prevent efforts like Britain’s in the future.

We ask for your support for this hearing request. In addition, we would welcome a letter from you to Attorney General Holder opposing his enforcement of the subpoenas as a non-compliant use of the MLAT. We will gladly share similar letters from Senator’s Lautenberg, Cardin, Schumer, Gillibrand, Kerry, and Menendez, who have already expressed their concerns to then Secretary Clinton.

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

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

U. S. FOREIGN POLICY: HOW SECRETARY KERRY CAN MAKE A MISSION OUT OF A MESS
Michael J. Cummings
National Board
IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
BOX 55573
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20040
1-888-295-5077

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.

Why?

  • 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.

Consider:

  • 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.

 

Irish American Groups Seek Voice of Boston College President in Opposing Holder Subpoenas

Irish American Groups Seek Voice of Boston College President in Opposing Holder Subpoenas
Press Release Holder Subpoena of Boston College Records & President Leahy letter
ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
January 23th
Denver, CO & NY, NY & Wash. D. C.

The largest Irish American activist groups in the nation including the oldest Irish Catholic organization in America, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), have appealed to Boston College President William P. Leahy S. J. to voice his misgivings about Attorney General Holder’s subpoenas to Secretary of State Clinton and members of Congress. The college is fighting Holder in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals but it is the political arena where President Leahy’s voice is being sought.

“We believe,” stated Thomas J. Burke Jr., President of the Irish American Unity Conference, “that the request for these subpoenas are part of a broader effort to destabilize the Irish peace process by ‘deep State British security forces.’ These forces are like those in El Salvador that in 1989 killed Jesuit priests and staff at Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador. What’s the connection? Prime Minister Cameron admitted in Parliament last month that he was “shocked” and “appalled” by the collusion of security and intelligence forces in the murder in 1989 of Irish civil rights attorney Pat Finucane. Like the government in El Savador in 1989, the British government today holds no one accountable.”

“President Leahy’s predecessor, the Reverend J. Donald Monan S. J.,” stated AOH National President Brendan Moore, “became an advocate for justice in the El Salvador murders. Speaking truth to power he pressed Members of Congress and in particular Representative Joe Moakley to fight for justice for the victims. The chosen method to get at the truth for the El Salvador killings was to withold aid from and not cooperate with the government. We believe President Leahy’s voice could transform the Holder subpoena issue in the same way. Why should Holder cooperate until Finucane’s killers are brought to justice?”

Rob Dunne, President of the Brehon Law Society explained: “Britain’s decision to re-hire retired Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers without vetting them was the key to getting some back inside who may even have been involved in Finucane’s murder. To what end? Certain of these returned retirees have worked to cover up the security forces collusion in the killing of hundreds of innocent Catholics, to interfere in the Irish political process and to literally shred the justice provisions of the 1998 Irish peace pact i.e. the Dublin-Monaghan bombing inquiry, the Pat Finucane public inquiry and the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).”

The leaders pointed out that the murky origins of the British subpoena request can be traced to the return of these retirees some of whom served in the lawless and corrupt special RUC unit that has been so cited in the Stevens and Stalker Reports and now the de Silva Review. They pointed out that no college in the nation has a longer association with Ireland and Irish Americans than Boston College and President Leahy’s voice would cause many to reconsider the wisdom of turning over any records to the British at this time.


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

January 16, 2013

William P. Leahy S. J.
President
Boston College
Botolph House
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467

 
Dear President Leahy:

In August of last year we sent a letter to you regarding the attempt by the British government to secure records from the Irish Archives of the Burns Library (see attached).

Indeed the College and, separately, the researchers who compiled those records, have fought Attorney General Holder’s subpoenas and this misuse of the U.S.-U.K Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). We welcomed the move by the College.

We had hoped that, in addition to the litigation, the College would express its views to Members of Congress regarding the threat to academic independence and constitutional freedoms.

The Writ of Certiorari currently being considered by the Supreme Court in that litigation was accompanied by amicus briefs from respected national and international journalist advocacy groups and social scientist researchers.

If Boston College were to share its concerns with other Jesuit academic institutions like St Joseph’s in Philadelphi, PA, Fordham, Loyola, MD and St Peter’s in Jersey City, perhaps the Attorney General would reconsider his action.

Over 20 Members of Congress from the states where those schools are located have followed the leadership of Senator Kerry in opposing these subpoenas not only for their threats to academic inquiry but for their flawed issuance pursuit to the MLAT.

Your voice in a meeting with State congressional leaders could complement the litigation which may or may not address the core issues.

As you may know, we filed one of the amicus briefs and focused our arguments on why the Attorney General should cooperate with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) whose record of lawlessness and human and civil rights violations is well documented.

Prime Minister Cameron recently released a report which admits the forces of law and order there conspired with loyalist terrorists to kill attorney Patrick Finucane. Not one PSNI officer was held accountable.

It is difficult to grasp why the Attorney General of the U. S., the nation’s chief law enforcement officer would, in this instance, issue subpoenas for records sought by the PSNI.

It is a travesty of justice, a misuse of America’s treaty and a threat to the Irish peace process.

Your voice is reflected in the court battle.

We ask that you also join this political struggle to defend the rule of law and seek justice.

This is not unprecedented.

Boston College, with the aid of the Representative Joe Moakley, helped expose tyranny in El Salvador and fought for justice for the victims of the Jesuit assassinations there in 1989.

 

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
 

Cc: Ms. Kathleen McGillycuddy, Chair
Board of Trustees
Boston College

 

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

M ichael J. Cummings
12 Marion Ave
Albany, New York 12203-1814
518-482-0349, 447-4802 & 505-2851
1-888-295-5077 (IAUC)

“Friends” Join Supreme Court Appeal in British Subpoena Case: 1st Ever for Irish American Coalition

ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS • BREHON LAW SOCIETY • IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
New York City & Washington, D. C. December 20th

“FRIENDS” JOIN SUPREME COURT APPEAL IN BRITISH SUBPOENA CASE; 1ST EVER FOR COALITION
This relates to the opposition of Irish-American groups opposing the subpoenas of Attorney General Holder served on Boston College to obtain records from their Irish archives. We are supporting the petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court.

The major Irish-American organizations (‘the Coalition’) have formally joined the litigation battle to block Attorney General Holder’s subpoena of records sought by the British government in the Irish archives of Boston College. The coalition joins the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Article 19, a global campaign group to promote free expression, and 14 social scientist scholars filing as Amicus Curiae in support of the appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Brendan Moore, National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the nation’s oldest and largest Irish-Catholic organization, stated: “There is a case to answer as to why Attorney General Holder should honor any request from any government with a history of lawless killing and corruption by its police force. I hope the Supreme Court will take special note that it was an officer of the court in Northern Ireland, attorney Patrick Finucane, who was assassinated by security forces colluding with loyalist thugs.”

“It is important that the use of these Mutual Legal Assistance Treatys (MLATs),” noted National President of the IAUC Thomas Burke, “remain subject to judicial review.” He indicated the brief rebuts the idea that treaty interpretation is exclusively an executive prerogative, pointing out that under U. S. extradition treaties, cases involving political crimes are re-viewable by courts.

“We are grateful for the dedication and wisdom of Igor Timofeyev and his colleagues at Paul Hastings LLP in Washington,” stated Robert Dunne, President of the Brehon Law Society, “as well as the support of colleagues in the Snell & Wilmer (Phoenix, AZ), Bingham, McCutcheon (Boston, MA) law firms who have unselfishly collaborated to raise important constitutional issues posed by the UK’s misuse of the MLAT.”

The government chose not to respond to the Writ of Certiorari and whether the Supreme Court decides to accept the case could be decided any time.

Boston College Debacle: Sacrificing U.S. Brokered Northern Ireland Peace Process

Boston College Debacle: Sacrificing U.S. Brokered Northern Ireland Peace Process
Written by Sabina Clarke
Irish American News

What is really behind the Boston College ‘Belfast Project’ Subpoenas? In a case now likely headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, the subpoenas, instituted by the British Government at the bidding of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI, requesting confidential IRA taped interviews connected to the murder of Jean McConville, a suspected informant on the IRA — the burning question is why and why now?

After a 40- year delay in a murder investigation that has lain dormant for years -— why is the murder of Jean McConville of sudden and paramount interest when there are more than three thousand unsolved murders in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.

The administration of justice in Northern Ireland has always been selective. In this instance, the motive is transparent — the prize is and always was Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, member of Irish Parliament, chief architect of the U.S. sponsored Northern Ireland Peace Process and chief strategist for Sinn Fein’s meteoric rise on Ireland’s national political stage.

Adams has been identified by former IRA dissident Dolours Price as ordering the McConville murder.

When Belfast Project participant Dolours Price was first interviewed by an Irish newspaper, she was deemed psychologically challenged. However, this seems irrelevant to the investigating commissions who are requesting all interviews—including the Price interview given in Boston College’s Belfast Project archives documenting The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

In an last ditch effort to stop the handover of the IRA tapes, the central figures in the Belfast Project , Director Ed Moloney and researcher Dr. Anthony McIntyre have petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to hear the case.

For the Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI, who have never been fond of Adams, the subpoenas offer a unique opportunity to bring Adams down. Meanwhile in Dublin, the Irish government seems to be watching the spectacle unfold with an odd degree of detachment; with Britain undoubtedly thrilled at the prospect of embarrassing Adams.

Perhaps the Boston College subpoenas are as much about halting the trajectory of Sinn Fein’s unprecedented rise in national electoral politics as they are about stopping Gerry Adams.

However, if the Belfast Project tapes are handed over to Britain, the ramifications will be felt far beyond the borders of Northern Ireland and will reverberate on American shores. At the very least, the US sponsored Good Friday Agreement and the hard fought peace will likely unravel.

Where is the outrage when a foreign government, under the auspices of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, MLAT, has more power over American citizens than a U.S. law enforcement agency? Where is the outrage when tainted and politically motivated subpoenas are instituted under very suspect circumstances?

Where are the voices of the Irish diaspora? Their silence is deafening.

Irish groups seeking alliance with Boston College

Irish groups seeking alliance with Boston College
IN NEWS & VIEWS
Irish Echo
SEPTEMBER 10, 2012

Full text of letter to Boston College

Three leading Irish American organizations supporting the campaign to have withdrawn the subpoenas directed at Boston College in the Troubles archives case have reached out to the university in an effort to forge a common front.

As things stand, archivists Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre have been appealing one aspect of the overall case as it relates to an initial set of subpoenas, while Boston College is separately appealing another set.

The first set of subpoenas issued by the U.S. Justice Department concerns archive material on former IRA member Dolours Price held in BC’s Burns Library, and it was this set that was at the heart of the court argument that led to the recent court of appeals decision which went against archive compilers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre, and is now being pitched by the two at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Boston College, however, is not a party to this part of the overall case.

Boston College spokesman, Jack Dunne, previously explained that because Price had given interviews in Ireland that covered areas contained in the archives and “had publicly declared the contents,” there was “no basis for a legal appeal” by Boston College.

Boston College, however, is contesting subpoenas aimed at securing archive files stemming from testimonies given by seven other individuals, all linked in the past to the IRA.

Relations between Moloney and McIntyre and Boston College have become severely strained in recent months and the call from the three organizations, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Brehon Law Society and Irish American Unity Conference would appear to be an attempt to heal the rift.

The three, according to a statement, “have appealed to (Boston College) President William P. Leahy S.J. to join the educational campaign regarding Britain’s unprecedented effort in America to intimidate journalistic inquiry, academic freedom and to color the historical record of the Anglo- Irish conflict to their liking.”

“We believe,” stated Thomas J. Burke Jr., president of the Irish American Unity Conference, in reference to BC, that “there is no better institution in this nation to voice concern for these issues than one so long associated with the Irish and their contributions to America.”

The letter, signed by Burke, AOH National President Brendan Moore and Robert Dunne for the Brehons, indicated that even as the Court of Appeals litigation continued to search for a decision that might recognize the constitutional freedoms involved and elevate them over the flawed inquiry by the British government, Boston College “could make an immeasurable contribution to the political campaign. It could identify these larger issues by appealing to members of Congress to hold hearings on the merits of this questionable use of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.”

Brendan Moore, newly elected National President of the AOH said: “the 1998 Belfast Agreement is recognized by most in America as the turning point in the conflict and the hard work of peace can only be made more difficult by this apparent effort by the British government to undermine the peace process.”

Added Robert Dunne, president of the Brehon Law Society: “Boston College has rendered unto Caesar what is Caesar’s by responding to the subpoena and now we ask that this fine Jesuit institution speak truth to power and seek a forum to do that in the halls of Congress.”

The letter to Fr. Leahy was written before the First Court of Appeals decision to deny Moloney and McIntyre an “en banc” appeal against an earlier panel ruling that went against them. The two journalists have now moved to present their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

See previously: Appeal to Boston College to Join the Fight Against Holder Subpoena

Boston College Subpoena Case: Request for Senate Hearings Made

ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
BREHON LAW SOCIETY
IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE

AOH, IAUC & BREHONS CALL FOR HALT TO HOLDER SUBPOENAS & BRITISH MEDDLING

SENATE HEARING REQUESTED

The fight to stop the enforcement of the Holder subpoena of tapes from the Irish archives of Boston College has reached a pivotal point. Despite the serious constitutional issues raised in litigation by Moloney & McIntyre and our specific public policy justifications for NOT processing the subpoenas, the Attorney General appears poised to ignore both and fan the flames of dissent to the Irish peace process.

Brendan Moore, National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), stated: “We strongly reject this unprecedented abuse of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to maliciously meddle in the affairs of the U. S. and Ireland.” In 14 months the Attorney General has ignored the failure of the U. K. to justify use of this Treaty and has failed to recognize the real harm done to the Office of Attorney General by colluding with the most discredited police force in Western Europe.

“We have concluded,” stated the National President of the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC) Thomas J. Burke Jr. Esq., “that Mr. Holder’s view of upholding the rule of law, justice and democracy may not be shared by Members of Congress. If this U. K. request is allowed to proceed, it is likely to unravel one of America’s significant foreign policy successes.”

Mr. Robert Dunne, the President of the Brehon Law Society indicated that after two meetings with the Department of State there has been no response to our substantive arguments or the documents we have submitted. State lamely insists they are monitoring the situation. We are submitting a request as soon as possible to Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a hearing on this proposed MLAT request. The coalition leaders indicated a willingness to discuss the matter at any time but with little interest exhibited by the Obama administration they see the letters released today as a final appeal.

Attachments
Letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder

Appeal to Clinton: Stop Subpoenas For Congressional Hearing

ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
BREHON LAW SOCIETY
IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE

September 6, 2012

Ms. Hilary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C St. NW, 7th Fl.
Washington, D. C. 20520

Dear Madame Secretary:

Nearly a year ago the Presidents of our constituent organizations wrote to you individually with our concerns about Attorney General Holder’s subpoena of records held in the Irish archives of Boston College. The request was made by Britain pursuant to a U. S.-U. K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). We have since joined together to advise you of our concerns not only for the blatant misuse of the MLAT (see attached letter to Attorney General Holder) but for the larger context of the conflict and threats to the Irish peace process.

In response to our letter of April 18th, our organizations, along with others, were invited to an off the record meeting with Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Jake Sullivan. Although other issues were raised, it was apparent that all attendees shared our deep concern for the Holder subpoenas. Our letter of May 4th appealed again for your action to oppose his subpoenas. Little follow-up from your staff occurred until a meeting in July with Mr. William Gill and Barbara Cordero. We reiterated our specific reasons and justifications for opposition to Mr. Holder’s subpoenas. We strongly believe Mr. Gill’s current information on events in Ireland and his description of a “robust” peace process are very much at odds with the reality on the ground.

Madame Secretary it is for that reason we ask you to appeal to Attorney General Holder to thoroughly examine the validity of the British request and ask you to share with him the concerns we have for the justice provisions of the Belfast pact.

Our concerns are well documented by the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), the Relatives for Justice (RFJ), the Pat Finucane Center for Human Rights (PFC), the British-Irish Civil Rights Watch (BICRW) and Professor Patricia Lundy of the University of Ulster. Their testimony and documentation were submitted and can be accessed on the website of the Committee for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) co-chaired by Representative Chris Smith (NJ) and Senator Ben Cardin (MD). Assistant Secretary Michael Posner is a member of the Commission and should be familiar with this material.

These ‘justice issues” of the 1998 Agreement are as follows:

  • The work of the Historical Enquiries team has been seriously compromised by bureaucratic and legal manipulation. Of particular concern is the use of retired Royal Ulster Constabulary officers to review murders during the period when they served, which murders were never adequately investigated by any professional standard known to modern police forces. We fear yet another whitewash is at work with many murders in which police collusion is suspected while they focus attention on a 1972 killing that was ignored at that time.
  • Prime Minister Cameron unilaterally dismissed the 1998 accord requirement for a public inquiry into the murder of attorney Patrick Finucane. He did so while casually acknowledging British ‘security’ forces colluded with loyalist vigilantes in Finucane’s murder. Yet another cover-up of the security forces dirty work is in process.
  • The United Kingdom continues to obstruct and delay Ireland’s efforts to obtain British Army records on the no-warning Dublin-Monaghan bombings, still the largest act of carnage in the 40 year conflict. This monstrous act of slaughter was a British Army production and hiding the truth and avoiding accountability is not acceptable. The British government has a moral obligation to cooperate fully in the Irish government’s investigation.

Discontent by dissident republicans and their recent declarations of possible disruptions and the pushback by loyalist paramilitaries are not indicative of a robust peace process but one that is in retreat. To the above we add concerns for the internment of Gerry McGeough, Marian Price and Martin Corey by a British Minister using the much disputed Closed Material or secret procedures in defiance of law and judicial rulings. Their continued imprisonment directly contradicts representations made to U. S. Senator John Kerry, then Senators Biden and Dodd during ratification of the US/UK Extradition and MLAT treaties in 2006 and, more importantly, violates the letter and spirit of the Belfast Agreement.

Madame Secretary, it is clear to us that the question of responding to this British request can not be reasonably considered without reference to these other matters which are at the core of the peace process gradually taking hold in Ireland. We therefore respectfully request the Administration hold off processing these subpoenas so the Senate Foreign Relations Committee may hold hearings into their use and the implications for peace. We believe its members are entitled to discern from the UK the specific justification of the request, the use of MLAT and their commitment to the principles of the so called Good Friday Agreement as an instrument to restore justice, democracy and the rule of law.

Other groups like ourselves and including the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts would also be invited to testify. It is our belief that the concerns of Senator Kerry and the other Members of Congress who have joined our appeal in opposition would be satisfied with such an agreement.

Madame Secretary, Britain’s request is not a legitimate law enforcement inquiry. We do not seek to interfere in the internal affairs of another country as was suggested by Mr. Gill, but we do object to the British government interfering in the internal affairs of American institutions under false pretenses and interfering in a Irish peace process that has rightly become a cornerstone of American foreign policy. We simply ask that in your consultative role spelled out in MLAT you exercise the same discretion that was exercised by President Clinton in stimulating a new direction in the conflict in Ireland.

Mr. Peter Sheridan, the CEO of Co-Operation Ireland recently stated: “The growth in violent extremism has the potential to be a longer term threat to the economy than the current recession. The dissidents are growing in strength and capability.” We renew our request for your help in insuring that the U. S. does all it can to insure that violence does not escalate and that American laws and institutions are not used to destabilize a peace that is finally beginning to take root.

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

Attachment: Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder