Last year Attorney General Eric Holder received a curious request from the British government under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). Curious because although the Treaty was to speed the prosecution of international terrorism and money laundering crimes , Britain’s first request under the 2006 accord sought records from a Boston College library on a killing at a time of civil unrest in N. I. 40 years earlier . That alone should have raised some questions. But the fact the records were sought by the most lawless and corrupt police force in Western Europe should have prompted alarm bells. It did not.

Despite these warnings , like the ill-fated Fast and Furious project, the request of the U. K. has taken on a life of its own. Without an adult in charge to weigh the merits, the Department of Justice blindly turned the request into a sealed subpoena and a David & Goliath legal battle involving academics, journalists, civil libertarians and Irish-American groups rages in the federal circuit court of Appeals in Boston. The conduct of the litigation has proved illuminating if only to reveal how the U. K plays America like a Stradivarius when the topic is Ireland.


· No sooner had Gerry Adams, architect of the 1998 Belfast accord, announced for a seat in the Irish Dail , then the confidential records of the Boston College Oral History project were requested of the F. B. I. ostensibly in aid of a case involving the killing of a British informer. The case had not been seriously investigated in 40 years. What prompts the N. I. police to allow hundreds of cases of Catholic murders to languish for want of investigation in favor of this sure loser? An opponent of the 1998 Belfast peace accord , Delours Price, claimed that Adams was involved with the killing.

· If the British were conducting a real criminal investigation they would seek the direct sworn testimony of Ms. Price who lives in Ireland, not the tape of an unsworn interview. This request clearly did not fit the Treaty’s purpose but time was of the essence. Success with U. K extraditions requests from Ireland are rare. Since America is so easily charmed by the ‘special relationship’, Britain chose to ‘game’ the MLAT. The Irish election was looming and Adams’ Sinn Fein party platform opposed the bail out of British bankers who held much of Ireland’s massive debt. MISADVENTURE gazed into the eyes of OPPORTUNITY and was smitten! A political smear and fishing expedition was born using the U. S. as the hapless handmaiden.

For this political gambit alone, Holder could withdraw the subpoena. But there is another more critical reason to do so. Secretary Clinton could conclude that to comply with the request would be contrary to American values and could undermine a peace process the U. S. has supported. Recent events call into question Britain’s credibility in fulfilling key provisions of the 1998 accord. Britain maintains juryless courts and detains political prisoners like Gerry McGeough , both of which are anathema to America’s system of justice. The Cameron government has refused a promised public inquiry into the murder of attorney Patrick Finucane and has refused to turn over information requested by the Irish government on the slaughter of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. Add to these concerns the disclosure that hundreds of former Royal Ulster Constabulary officers who the new PSNI was better off without, have been re-hired. This crowd were the most likely source of the politically inspired records request of B. C.

Could the A. G. turn a blind eye to these factors and rubber stamp the enforcement of his subpoena? If so history will repeat itself. In 1974 President Reagan, despite Congressional prohibition, allowed the RUC to purchase guns from the U. S. This at the height of their lawless crushing of the Irish civil rights movement inspired by Martin Luther King. How sad and ironic it would be for our first African American President to ignore British treachery, welcome Prime Minister Cameron in March and prove he is no better than President Reagan as Britain’s pet poodle in Ireland.

Michael J. Cummings,
National Board

Posted on behalf of : Helen McClaffertyExcellent Article by Michael Cummings on the Boston College Subpoena !

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Case 1:11-mc-91078-WGY Document 37 Filed 12/27/11 Page 1 of 2

Case 1:11-mc-91078-WGY Document 37 Filed 12/27/11 Page 2 of 2

English: Gerry Adams at the International Conf...
Rory Dubhdara"Peace process" in peril over BC tapes- The Irish Emigrant, Dec. 28th, 2011In April, 1998 the Anglo-Irish conflict ended with the signing of the Belfast Agreement at Hillsborough Castle. Three decades of armed hostilities, which began with Britain’s violent suppression of the Catholic civil rights campaign, came to an end. The difficult work of securing the peace began. Implementing the terms of the Agreement has proven difficult, and fears remain. The fruits of non-violence can be found throughout the North and the collaborative work of First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy Minister Martin McGuinness is proof of that progress. But can this peace last if built on a lie and not justice? As the result of a recent British request, Attorney General Holder and Secretary of State Clinton have a unique opportunity to insure this progress is sustained.By way of background, there were two key elements leading up to the adoption of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement which are not present today but which, then, brought a halt to British treachery. First, the US envoy, former senator George Mitchell, not only gave added voice to the Irish government but ensured the inclusion of several justice provisions in the treaty. That was then and this is now. Our president’s only reference to Ireland to date was in a 24-hour stop-over visit at the Obama ancestral home on his way to London, and even then there was no reference to the pact.MediaSecond, the attention of the American media in 1998 hindered British attempts at sabotage and smear while talks struggled. After decades of censorship of Sinn Fein and British dirty tricks via tabloids like the News of the World, Americans were for the first time hearing the other side and smelled a rat. Today, understandably, the work of securing the peace attracts less media attention than drone strikes in Afghanistan, bombs in Iraq and the roar of the Arab Spring.That media indifference explains how the latest British efforts to undermine the Irish peace process have received scant attention. In February of this year the British, pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), requested Attorney General Holder issue a sealed subpoena for oral history records held in the Burns Library of Boston College. The College is opposing the subpoena because to respond would violate the promise to loyalist and republican donors to not reveal contents until their deaths.It is now apparent that this request was little more than a politically motivated attempt to smear Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein and a member of the Irish Dail. Such ham-fisted tactics certainly cast doubts upon the credibility of the British and their commitment to peace, but is it a game changer? Is it enough to destabilize the peace process? It could well be.JusticeIn recent years there have been other distressing signs that the fruits of justice, the very foundation of peace, are proving elusive. The treaty’s promises of justice and truth are being undermined in subtle and sinister ways.Consider these related developments:In June, 2010 British Prime Minister Cameron ends 40 years of lying about 13 Catholics killed on Bloody Sunday. However, no one is held accountable. Not Chief Justice Lord Widgery, the author of the whitewash report in 1972. Not Lt. Col Derek Wilford, who still wears his Order of the British Empire awarded by the Queen for his “service” on that day. The media proclaimed a new day had dawned, but no one asked why they stopped lying.Here’s why:The murder of 13 in Derry was the “known” part of proceedings. Not so well publicized are the events of May, 1974 in which no-warning bombs in Dublin and Monaghan shopping centers killed 33 civilians. Cameron has refused to respond to the 2008 unanimous Declaration of the Irish Dail seeking an explanation of the British Army’s role in these bombings. Without media scrutiny or US questioning or concern, the British government feels under no obligation to explain its involvement in Ireland’s equivalent of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is still the largest single loss of life on Irish soil since the 1916 Easter Rebellion.Al Hutchinson, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, has been forced to resign early due to allegations that he slowed the pace of investigations and that draft reports detailing the role played by police corruption were edited on his watch. The RUC/PSNI have been hiring back retirees to work on the very cases under question and have suspended a program to recruit more Catholics as required by the Patten Report. The “justice” system there is rife with such horrors which underscore British deceit.Police Ombudsman's Office Belfast


English: New Cathedral Buildings, Police Ombud...
Police Ombudman's Office Belfast

In October, Prime Minister Cameron acknowledged that security forces colluded with loyalist death squads in the killing of attorney Patrick Finucane. But he rejected the long- promised independent public inquiry into the defense lawyer’s assassination. He instead “pulled a Widgery,” opting for a private review of documents by a respected solicitor. The government would rather cover up the facts and truth of the murder, than risk any more exposure of its “dirty war” in Ireland.

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal insists that “credibility is the coin of the realm in international relations.” Britain’s actions in the “long grass,” away from a probing media or US demand for accountability, are threatening the Irish peace process. The bona fides of the US come into question, if its presumed “ally” seeks to undermine a pact it worked so hard to achieve. Holder can, before it is too late, restore American credibility in the peace process if he declines to turn over any documents requested by the British until they address these justice issues.


Michael J. Cummings,

Member, National Board, Irish American Unity Conference.

[Gerry Adams is seen here in the early 1970s with Brendan Hughes, who contributed to Boston College’s Belfast Project before his passing in 2008.]

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