Hillary and Holder Now Free to Stop Boston College Subpoenas

In the wake of what was otherwise a disappointing and intellectually unimpressive judgement from the First Circuit Appeal Court on the PSNI subpoenas for the Boston College oral history archive, it is now clear that any obstacles in the way of Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder stopping this foolish and counterproductive move by the PSNI have been removed.

First of all, the First Circuit has delivered its verdict. No matter that it was not the verdict we wanted to read, nonetheless the Obama White House can no longer say that their hands are tied because the matter is still being considered by the courts.

The second reason comes at the end of this distinctly unimpressive and unconvincing verdict. The last four pages are taken up by what might be called a semi-dissent from the first Hispanic to sit on the the First Circuit bench, Judge Juan Torruella whose view was that while he disagreed with the other two judges’ reasoning, he reluctantly went along with the judgement, if only because of Supreme Court precedent.

In the midst of his commentary one or two diamonds sparkle and catch the eye. And one lustrous gem makes it very clear that a) the alleged offences that are the subject of the subpoenas are undeniably political in nature and b) while we as the individual appellants are unable to make that objection in court because the legislation that enabled these subpoenas, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and UK, renders that impossible the US government could and if they did, the subpoenas would be dead in the water. In other words Eric Holder, either by himself or because of pressure from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could stop these subpoenas in their tracks.

Judge Juan Torruella: The conflict in Northern Ireland was political

There are two things to say about this. The first is that this determination by such a senior American judge that the conflict in Northern Ireland was essentially political in nature is of enormous significance and a real slap in the face to all those, from Roy Mason to Margaret Thatcher and beyond who insisted it was never anything but a criminal conflict. Judge Torruella is, in essence, saying that Bobby Sands was justified to demand political status, as were all those other IRA prisoners who either died on hunger strikes or endured years of prison protest because the British had declared them criminals.

Hillary Clinton signs autographs in Belfast after the Good Friday Agreement was signed – she could ask Eric Holder to dump the PSNI subpoenas

The seoond point is that the judge has now given perfect cover to Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder to dump these subpoenas. If they want to and, presumably, if enough pressure is applied to them from Irish-America.

Eric Holder – He could take Judge Torruella’s advice, tear up the PSNI subpoenas and win fans in Irish-America. It is an election year, after all.

Here is what Judge Torruella had to say. It comes as footnote number 28 on page 45:

Appellants also claim that the Attorney General’s actions are not in compliance with the US-UK-MLAT, among other reasons, because “the crimes under investigation by the United Kingdom were of ‘a political nature.'” Pursuant to Article 3, ¶ 1(c)(i) of the treaty the United States may refuse assistance to the United Kingdom’s request if it relates to “an offense of a political nature.” Ignoring the underlying and pervasive political nature of the “Troubles,” as the Irish-British controversy has come to be known in Northern Ireland, is simply ignoring one hundred years of a well-documented history of political turmoil. These came into focus when Ireland was partitioned, and six of its Ulster counties were constituted into Northern Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom by virtue of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. See generally Northern Ireland Politics (Arthur Aughley & Duncan Morrow eds.) (1996). That the academic investigations carried out by Appellants in this case, and the evidence sought by the United Kingdom involve “offenses of a political nature” irrespective of how heinous we may consider them, is borne out by the terms of the Belfast Agreement (also known as the “Good Friday Agreement”) entered into by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Irish Republican Army, whereby almost all prisoners were released by the British government, including many who had been convicted of murder. See Karl S. Bottigheirmer & Arthur H. Aughley, Northern Ireland, Encyclopaedia Britannica (2007). Unfortunately for Appellants, they are foreclosed from pursuing their claim by virtue of Article 1, ¶ 3 of the treaty, which prohibits private parties from enforcing any rights thereunder.

14 responses to “Hillary and Holder Now Free to Stop Boston College Subpoenas

  1. Reblogged this on Tomás Ó Flatharta and commented:
    Will Hillary Clinton Kill Off the Boston College Subpoenas? She can if she wants to.

  2. Thank you for clearing up a lot of confusion and despair I was feeling with this judgement. So do we need to start and e-mail campaign to Hilliary and Eric? Yes we do. Keep the pressure on.

  3. Quick question what do you say to the McConville family (the victims) who have asked for the tapes to be relassed
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18765606
    And do you not have any symphathyfor the family on there quest for seeing justice done on how it was there mother who was kidnapped, and murdred?

    • Two things i would say. One: The police ignored jean mcconville for 30 years or so and didnt even have her down as a murder victim until the mid 1990’s. The british army knew the full story because jean mcconville worked as an agent for them but hid the story away, most likely because the army continued to use her even though the IRA had uncvered her activities but let her off with a warning. The Armynis therefore complicit in hervdeath. The police have known the full details of what happened for some years and did nothing.
      Second: if the British government allow geraldine finucane to subpoena the files of MI5 and the RUC Special Branch to discover who briefed the Loyalists who killed her husband, Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane, then they can come to the affair of the Boston College archives with cleaner hands.

  4. In response to her being an agent off wikipedia
    In July 2006, Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan stated after an investigation by her office that there is no evidence that Jean McConville had ever passed information on to the security forces.[8] O’Loan said she would give the family more details of the findings of her investigation in the near future and would make those details public.
    O’Loan said it was not her normal role to confirm or deny the identity of people working as agents for the security services. “However, this situation is unique. Jean McConville left an orphaned family, the youngest of whom were six-year-old boys. The family have suffered extensively over the years, as we all know, and that suffering has only been made worse by allegations that their mother was an informant. As part of our investigation we have looked very extensively at all the intelligence available at the time. There is no evidence that Mrs. McConville gave information to the police, the military or the security service.”[

    Also if she had been an agent and she had been warned surely she would have got out of there right quick, as her life and families lives could have been in danger, I know I would have if it had been me. Iv read your book and seen the documentary and while Brendan Hughes was intelligent and charismatic he could have been lying about discovering her bug besides his protestations of not wanting innocent lives to be lost when he is sending car bombs into bus stations didnt seem to gel either.

    2) Finucane and the possible role of the security services in that murder have no bearing or relevance to this murder or YOUR actions and responsibilities in holding the documentation away from a family trying to recieve justice for there dead mother. This is your actions and your role and besdies how can there ever be peace and re-concelation in Northern Ireland if the victims and victims famlies of murders cannot be allowed peace and to move on while there killers strut about thinking they are untouchable.

    • Nuala O’Loan’s report clearing Jean McConville of the informer charge was entirely dependent on the information she received from the British Army. Since the military had continued to use her after the IRA had uncovered her activities they are therefore complicit in her murder and have very good reasons to lie to O’Loan. They have also had many years warning in which to launder their files of any trace of jean mcconville. So frankly i dont believe the O’Loan report.

      The Finucane case bdoes matter because it speaks to double standards by the British government in the search for the truth about the past. There are in effect two classes of vistims. People killed by paramilitaries whose killers are hunted by the police. People who are killed directly or indirectly by the police, army or intelligence agencies whose deaths are not investigated and whose killers gonscot free. Operating double standards is not arecipe for a healthy peace in NI.

  5. Pingback: Hillary and Holder Now Free to Stop Boston College Subpoenas « Boston College Subpoena News

  6. “Since the military had continued to use her after the IRA had uncovered her activities they are therefore complicit in her murder and have very good reasons to lie to O’Loan” This was done in 06 they had no reason to lie and have had agents murdered before which they admit were agents. Hughes was more than likely lying (and had even better reasons his own concience) because its easier to murder an agent rather than admit you helped a mother be kidnapped and tortured. Also have you seen those old Transmitters from the early 70’s they were huge.

    There is no 2 tier victim system. Murder is murder plain and simple and you are conspiring to prevent murderer’s to be bought to justice and to provide so you cannot talk about double standards if you (in this case) yourself are practising them. Also next time mention the family not play the Govt card and being the put upon victim routine be honest and upfront Say you will not help this family’s search for justice and that you will do your best to stop them becasue……..(insert your reason) honesty is what counts. If you are going to go that route be open about. There have been enough lies and grandstanding in Northern Ireland for a dozen lifetimes. It needs to stop.

  7. Pingback: Boston College Archives News | The Lazy Librarian

  8. Not Deaf but from 2 different perspectives that are not meeting. I have even read your books and enjoyed them though I did think Brendan Hughes was playing you a bit for his own agenda in the voices from the grave but thats by the by.
    To be clear I have no special interest and have never even met the family or anything like that. I just saw the family on the TV and felt for them and wondered if you felt the same way hence my first question/post.
    I also feel that journalism/ a journalist is to find and report the truth for the benefit of the public and so the unsavoury people out there in or out of Govt can not get away with it. In this case you have the truth but are not willing help a family get to the truth so there mothers smirking Killers roam free knowing “they have” got away with it! That to me seems wrong. There’s also a simple double standards issue, You mention the Finucan murder and the possible cover up. You may be completely correct and if you are then that should be dealt with and those involved be bought to justice How can you campaign for that when you yourself are preventing information from helping solve another murder.
    I hope you can see where I am coming from in this regards

    Your sincerely

    • And your evidence for Brendan Hughes “playing” me a bit? I presume you knew Brendan, otherwise how could you know something like this?
      You say you have read my books but I dont think you have a clue how the craft of journalism is actually done. You rightly say that it is the job of journalism to inform the public about the truth. How do you think that is done? The truth ultimately comes from sources and in order to encourage sources to tell you facts, which you then try to stand up as best you can, you must promise to keep your word to them concerning the basis upon which they talk to you. If, for instance, they agree to reveal important facts to you on the basis that will not identify them then you must never do so. What you’re saying I should do in this case is betray and abandon those sources, throw them to the wolves. That i cannot nor ever will do. If journalists like myself behaved like that sources could never trust journalists ever again, quite rightly, and the truth which you say is the goal of journalism would be forever hidden. I dont think you have thought this thing through.
      David Cameron is not a journalist. He is a poitical leader who has certain responsibilities relating to justice. In the case of Pat Finucane he is saying the truth cannot be fully known and there can be no criminal proceedings. In the case of Jean McConville he is saying the truth must be known and there will be criminal proceedings. The difference? Jean MCConville was killed by the IRA for being an agent of the British military. Pat Finucane was killed by Loyalists in collusion with British military intelligence. Different standards for different victims. That enables me and others to say there are double standards in play relating to the past in Northern Ireland.

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