Senator Gillibrand’s letter to Secretary of State Clinton

October 3, 2012

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary,

I am writing to express my concern about the request of the United Kingdom (UK) to obtain documents and recordings pertaining to the Boston College Oral History Archive on the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

I know that you appreciate as well as anyone the sensitivity of these documents and the potential impact their release could have on a peace that had been forged with the help of President Clinton. New York’s Irish-American community is worried about these risks, as well as the precedent a release of the materials would set for academic integrity of a research project is politicized by certain interests.

I appreciate that the US-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty requires the Department of State to take certain positions, and that the UK is one of our closest allies with which we collaborate on a variety of national security matters. I hope that you will find a way to impress upon the UK government the need to find a solution that protects these materials and does not harm a peace that remains at times fragile.

Please let me know if there is any way I can be helpful to you going forward in resolving this case so that our national security and first amendment values are protected.


Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator