April 19, 2012
The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
The Honorable Eric Holder
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Secretary Clinton and Attorney General Holder:
I am writing on behalf of my constituents who are deeply troubled by the ongoing effots of the United Kingdom to obtain materials from Boston College’s historical archive on The Troubles in Northern Ireland (“The Belfast Project”).
As you know, the British Government has invoked the United States-United Kingdom Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain these documents from Boston College. The original intent of the scholars and individuals involved in the Boston College Belfast Project was for this information to remain absolutely private. Breaching this agreement could have unintended consequences for journalistic integrity and academic freedom, as well as cause irrevocable damage to future international academic endeavors and the ongoing international peace process.
I believe that the release of these sensitive documents puts at risk the progress that has been made since the Good Friday Agreement. In the interest of maintaining peace and furthering good relations between our nations, I urge you to work with the British Authorities to rescind this request.
I appreciate your attention to this delicate matter and please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions or concerns.
MARK S. CRITZ
Member of Congress