Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Boston College to hand over Dolours Price interviews

Fri 30 December 2011, 2:15pm

According to Kevin Cullen, reporting for the Irish Times, US district court judge William Young is continuing his in camera review of the Boston College archive material.  And he has already ordered the college to hand over the recorded interviews of former Provisional IRA member Dolours Price.  From the Irish Times report

College officials said Ms Price’s interviews will be turned over to US prosecutors acting on behalf of British authorities, believed to be the PSNI, by today.

US district court judge William Young ordered the disclosure on Tuesday as he continued an in-camera review of interviews that were part of the Belfast Project, an oral history endeavour sponsored by Boston College.

The college’s decision not to appeal Judge Young’s order has led to a bitter rift between the college and two of the men who did much of the research in Ireland, the journalist and author Ed Moloney, who was the project director, and Anthony McIntyre, a writer and former IRA prisoner, who carried out the interviews of former republican paramilitaries.

Whether any further revelations would dent those “personality cults” is another matter…

Update  As noted in the comment zone below, a limited stay on the court order, until 9 January 2012, has been granted by the US Court of Appeal at the request of Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre.  It would seem to relate to their appeal of the district court’s rejection of their attempts to intervene in the case.

Boston College haven’t appealed the court order itself.

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Comments (63)

  1. Carrickmoreman (profile) says:

    Atrocious decision. Sad day.

    Nice going, McIntyre!

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  2. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    Carrickmoreman

    Why don’t you want murders exposed and those involved brought to Justice, no matter who they may be?

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  3. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Prepare for a plethora of examples of Irish Republicans hokey-cokey ‘support’ for law and order.

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  4. Mary Anna (profile) says:

    Fair play to this woman she was used – and the godfathers need to come clean if we are in the healing , I respect you for this Ms Price and brendan Huges is a man of truth and courage thankyou for helping the families of lost loved ones. God grant you now peace of mind -place responsibility back were it belongs -the Godfathers! but knowing the sociopaths they will change everything as they go along and deny the rights of humanity! Well done D Price B hughes i always believe in you truth!

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  5. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Prepare for a plethora of examples”

    Perhaps …but based on recent experience I suspect it will all go very quiet from some of the usual posters who will be under orders not to stir it too much. This is the Connolly House “ignore the bogie man’ strategy”

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  6. sdelaneys (profile) says:

    carickmore,

    you appear ro be puttting the blame for this decision on mackers, maybe you’ll explain why.

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  7. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    Those interviewed were assured that any information given would not be published or used until after their death. Those responsible for giving that assurance were in no position to do so.

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  8. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Cynic2,

    I doff my hat. You called it correctly. The usual supects must be ‘dealing’ with a different ‘past’ today.

    I tried to break into Connolly House Deep Though for the inside track without success. I suspect their drone-broadcasting on Hal today.

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  9. SK (profile) says:

    “it will all go very quiet from some of the usual posters who will be under orders not to stir it too much.”

    Yes they are the clearly the ones with a ‘bogieman’ problem/

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  10. Carrickmoreman (profile) says:

    Cynic: I don’t, in fact, not using this method.

    Mackers is just one part of the blame.

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  11. Ulick (profile) says:

    Mackers likes to portray himself as an academic. Well now it looks like he must have skipped ‘Research Ethics 101′ or he deliberately mislead these individuals. Either way, he certainly has no creditability as an academic. Will be interesting to see now if he’s going to testify to the authenticity of the interviews.

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  12. Alias (profile) says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how Ms Price reacts to this. The PSNI are probably more shocked that they were successful in getting the college and the court to hand over the tape that she is.

    Whereas the PSNI will not prosecute Mr Adams based on any incriminating statement that may have been made on the tape by Ms Price regarding his executive role in her ‘disappearing’ activities, she may now decide to go public anyway…

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  13. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Whereas the PSNI will not prosecute Mr Adams based on any incriminating statement that may have been made on the tape by Ms Price”

    Will the new DPP declare it ‘not in the public interest’? It will also be interesting to see the totality of the evidence. That house in Louth may be handy

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  14. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    Where have all the Shinners gone tonight?

    Is it Shinner night off?

    Why does there no seem to be such co-ordination in the response on here? Has Slugger scared Connelly House Mick? Have they developed a Green Version of Blair’s GRID for media management?

    All that too and to rub salt into the festering wounds the Brits release documents showing that Thatcher DID approve negotiations with PIRA and that teh British were encouraging SF Into politics in 1981. They have even had to wheel out Morrison who is now Top Buck Cat at the Bobby Who Trust to defend it as ‘not much’ negotiation

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  15. Reader (profile) says:

    Ulick: Mackers likes to portray himself as an academic. Well now it looks like he must have skipped ‘Research Ethics 101′ or he deliberately mislead these individuals. Either way, he certainly has no creditability as an academic.
    He’s surely no worse than any number of sluggerites who were completely confident until a couple of weeks ago that the recorded interviews were absolutely safe with Boston College.

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  16. Ulick (profile) says:

    Reader, as a “researcher” with a PhD he is a lot worse because he should have been adhering to an ethical code of practice which would involve informing these individuals their statements could be used for other purposes.

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  17. michael-mcivor (profile) black spot says:

    D Price has already went public with her claims this year in interviews to the Irish news and told the readers that Gerry Adams was her o.c – her sister also told the same tale to the sunday world a few weeks ago- the world still turned-nobody paid them any attention-

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  18. Dina Shea (profile) says:

    Ed Moloney and Dr. Anthony McIntyre filed an appeal in the Boston court yesterday.

    A Stay Order was issued a few hours ago so the material is going nowhere for the moment.

    http://bostoncollegesubpoena.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/stay-order/

    And for the record, it was Boston College who promised the records would be kept confidential.

    Read

    http://chrisbrayblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/boston-college-time-for-resignations.html

    Yesterday WBUR radio in Boston interviewed Ed Moloney and Boston College’s Jack Dunn.

    Listen

    http://radioboston.wbur.org/2011/12/29/oral-history-order

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  19. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    I very much doubt the value of the statements handed over by Boston College in advancing any prosecution in the matter of the disappearance of Mts Jean McConville.

    In the matter of Ms. Price’s allegations, the statement would likely serve as no more than a primer to further investigation and possible further interrogation of Ms. Price and the presumed confidante to whom it is alleged she made the remarks recorded in the documents surrendered by Boston College. In and of itself, without further substantial corroboration the Price statement is unlikely to have much in the way of probative value I would think.

    The value of any statement alleged to have been made by the late Brendan Hughes Is unlikely to have any probative value whatsoever even if supported in full by the living testimony of his then alleged confidante.

    Much like much of the comment thereon, I fear this long-drawn out episode is nothing more than an exercise in sound and fury signifying little.

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  20. Mary Anna (profile) says:

    look adams and mc Guinness they can do what ever they like the brits are protecting them at all costs-done deals -dirty deals -over our dead! The peace process is everything for power greed the egos. It is all one big cover up to protect the sinners GFA dirty deals, those in power do not give a damm who was killed. Brits control Ps/f – and Ps/f control communites – all that the sinners and dup don’t upset the provos – have to do is wave a green and orange flag and they are voted in by the fools of NI.

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  21. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Update As noted in the comment above, a limited stay on the court order, until 9 January 2012, has been granted by the US Court of Appeal at the request of Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre. It would seem to relate to their appeal of the district court’s rejection of their attempts to intervene in the case.

    Boston College haven’t appealed the court order itself.

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  22. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    Rory,

    you are corrrect these statements, of themselves, have no great value. They were to be used, in a piecemeal effect, to attack those still alive while any attempt to challenge the narrative was to be viewed as a serious assault on reverred ‘republicans’.

    At this juncture that plan has been scuppered and a ready supply of books for the ‘IRA market’ has beeen put on hold. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

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  23. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    It is obvious to most of us, I think, that senior figures in London and Dublin have agreed to turn a blind eye to the actions of certain individuals. People will have to decide for themselves whether that is a good or a bad thing. Nothing will come from the reading of these documents by the PSNI.

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  24. DoppiaVu (profile) says:

    @joeCanuck

    Agree with your points. Which makes you question why they’ve gone to such bother to get these documents.

    My thoughts are that the British intelligence agencies continue to collect evidence that they could use to compromise key individuals. But as long as Gerry and Co. play ball, any intelligence that might undermine either of them stays buried.

    Which means that the more compromising evidence the intelligence agencies can gather, the more Gerry & Co are locked into the peace process.

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  25. toker (profile) says:

    I think that in any democracy a free press should have rights however ,I sometimes think that journalists as some Levinson has showed us that they should not have any responsibilities at all to society
    I certainly think that if Ms Price has information on how peoples love ones lost their lives and to give families justice that all the information should be disclosed to the authorities.
    I am a Nationlist and I would like to think that if for instance that if a journalist had evidence on an issue such as collusion or the Dublin bombings that they should hand it over.

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  26. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    Why Boston College entered into such a dodgy agreement with criminals in the first place, I don’t know. They are not empowered to administer the law and surely realised that? Or did they think their duty could be only to their interlocutors and not the rest of society?

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  27. Garibaldy (profile) says:

    Mainland Ulsterman,

    I read somewhere that Boston College told the director of the Project that they couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t hand stuff over in the case of legal action, but that that was not what was communicated to the interviewees. We’ll have to wait and see if that gets commented on by those involved.

    If the interviewees themselves believed that the interviews were safe from legal action, that’s their lookout really.

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  28. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Does anyone seriously expect anyone to be charged?

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  29. Alias (profile) says:

    “Does anyone seriously expect anyone to be charged?”

    The Shinners sycophants did. They were a long time complaining that the PSNI seeking the tapes was part of a plan to prosecute Gerry Adams. They’ll look a bit foolish when that doesn’t transpire.

    In reality, it was part of the State’s protection of Mr Adams. The idea was to deter others from revealing details about the murder campaign outside of controlled channels.

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  30. Mary Anna (profile) says:

    PS/F is now British Govrenment officials and they are being protect Adams Mc Guinness at all costs! The sinners they scared the nation almost to death for power and high ranking jobs. British ministers and the pensions are to good to walk away! So the litte people who were used and abused are being victimised. War is big buinness Gerry -Martin two pensions Gerry- Martin tried to get power in south -another pension and get out of way! The Irish people must under stand what we in the north suffered by these Hilters.

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  31. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Who nicked my yellow card?

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  32. Mary Anna (profile) says:

    Cynic2 MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE lol happy new year! your brilliant.

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  33. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    If your yellow card lasts longer than 24 hours you’re continuing to offend and may be setting yourself up for a fortnight’s banishment.

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  34. tuatha (profile) says:

    those I fight I do not hate/ those I guard I do not love

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  35. Alias (profile) says:

    “Why Boston College entered into such a dodgy agreement with criminals in the first place, I don’t know.”

    It does seem now that promises were made to the participants that had no foundation in US law. Having been too lazy to check it before, the principle of ‘academic freedom’ only covers colleges in ways that are far short the remit claimed for it by those promoting the project. It is looking like a duty of care wasn’t met here – or, worse, bad faith was in play. It’s hard to be indignant when there is no established basis for it.

    McIntyre has now secured an injunction from a higher court claiming his own life will be in danger if the hand-over goes ahead. What a mess…

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  36. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    I’m a commercial and not an academic researcher, but if it were my research project, No1 issue at the set-up stage would be to clarify the legal position on confidentiality and disclosure, given the nature of the information I’m seeking. Having done that, I’d then state that position at the start of the interview and make sure the interviewee has understood that before proceeding.

    At a basic level, it seems they just didn’t prepare the project very professionally. Having then been caught out, they’ve then tried to wriggle out of their hole using some very foggy arguments. I seem to recall the Boston College director in charge of it saying disclosure would be wrong because terrorists had “moved on”, were entitled to put things behind them (!!!) and this would damage the peace. Laughable.

    The whole saga has shown how much some well-meaning people have lost their moral bearings when it comes to terrorists in Northern Ireland. The perpetrators are given way too much respect.

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  37. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “a fortnight’s banishment”

    Ha!!! Happy New Year. Time off for bad behaviour.

    But what gets me is when I have no idea why I have been carded. Sometimes I deserve it – the old blood races away – but other times I haven’t a clue who i have offended.

    Ah well – it all ads grist to the mill of life

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  38. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Has Moloney another book in production perchance?

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  39. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    cynic2,

    I have been in the same position but an e-mail to mick always provides an explanation.

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  40. dwatch (profile) says:

    “Row over ethics as judge orders college to surrender IRA tapes”

    “Today’s Belfast Telegraph splash headline, “Fury as IRA tapes turned over” (not online) follows a piece in yesterday’s Irish edition of theSunday Times, “Tale of the tapes” (behind a paywall).”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/jan/02/medialaw-usa

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  41. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/jan/02/medialaw-usa

    Above is an excellent piece by Roy Greenslade, Professor of Journalism at City University, London.
    “The interviewees, who signed confidentiality agreements, were given an assurance that the tapes would not be released until after their deaths.
    “What they were not told is that there was no guarantee that the interviews could be protected from court orders. Boston College would have to comply with the law.”

    I would like to ask Anthony McIntyre if he is one of the former IRA members whose past activities have been lodged as part of the Belfast Archive. And, if he is not, then why has he not shared the dangers in which he has placed others?

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  42. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    What “dangers” would he face from the posthumous release of an interview? You’re not suggesting some sort of reprisal are you?

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  43. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Incidentally I notice Greenslade bangs on about the bias of others without once mentioning his own links to the provos.

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  44. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    The ‘dangers’ of self incriminating statements. No I am not suggesting reprisals, stop twisting and stick to what is being posted.

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  45. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    “Incidentally I notice Greenslade bangs on about the bias of others without once mentioning his own links to the provos.”

    It all becomes pretty clear, thank you.

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  46. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    The ‘dangers’ of self incriminating statements.

    But this material was generated on condition of posthumous publication. So where’s the danger?

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  47. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    The obvious danger being that those who generated the material now face the possibility of being arrested on account of their self penned disclosures.

    How it was generated is of no consequence as those who gave assurances were in no position to do so.

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  48. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Leaving aside the issue of assurances, which I understand is disputed, as I understand it the order only applies to the Price material on the basis that she effectively waived protection by talking to the press. She’s hardly been reticent about her accusations has she?

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  49. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    It applies to Price in this case. There is nothing at all to stop the security services applying to see the complete archive and of course that will be tested in court should a request ber made.

    The point of assurances cannot be set aside. Statements were made on the very salient point that they would not be published or released until after the person had died. There was no basis on which these assurances could be given.

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  50. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Well of course there’s nothing to stop anyone applying for anything indeed my impression was that they had.

    I’m not dismissing the assurance issue as unimportant, simply observing that there appears to be a factual dispute as to whether participants were led to believe the process was fed-proof. I’ve no idea what was said either way.

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  51. Alias (profile) says:

    Jimmy, the Barnes issue was a try-on by the PSNI in that it countered the college’s claim that it had a contractual obligation of confidentiality which prevented it from handing over the tapes. If that contract was already broken (by Barnes supposedly knowing what was on the tape) then it wasn’t a valid reason not to hand the tapes over. However, the court could have ordered that contract to be set aside even if it found against PSNI/Barnes on the issue.

    The court decided to review the material and to decide if it contained information pertinent to the PSNI’s investigation. Having satsified itself that it did, it duly ordered the tapes to be handed over.

    So what would occur if the PSNI wanted access to other tapes in the collection is that it would ask a court to review them to determine relevance. However, it would require some basis for beleiving a particular tape was relevant, but that could be no more than a suspect in a particular case also being an interviewed for the archive.

    I doubt that many would have made incriminating statements if they properly understood that they could be used against them. It is prossible, of course, that the ‘guarantee’ that the statements would not be released until after their death was to protect them from social embarrassment rather than legal consequences. It’s also possible that they told the researchers a pile of bullshit in exchange for the reseach fee…

    At any rate, the PSNI has made its point that these folks should keep their mouths shut and not disclose anything about the conflict outside of official channels, so there is no point to revisit the archive.

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  52. dwatch (profile) says:

    Adams may be quizzed over death of McConville

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/adams-may-be-quizzed-over-death-of-mcconville-2977137.html

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  53. US officials have received transcripts of interviews that former IRA member Dolours Price gave to Boston College.” ….. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-16387609

    For doctoring, of course, refining and redrafting. Do you doubt it is so, in a land which channelled millions and channels billions in funds for weapons and mayhem to causes that support and fight urban insurrection and para-military dictatorship/military industrial complex compliance.

    You do know that Uncle Sam has added NDAA to their criminal arsenal which says the executive admin has the fascist power to removes all rights and regulations and authorities from anyone it sees fit and detain them incommunicado wherever for as long as forever? Or did you miss that over the Xmas holidays.

    And not a peep from the puppets in Parliament or lackeys in Stormont over that abuse of human rights. What a load of plonkers and shower of cowards they would be, to allow such a perverse foreign action to pass by without raising a stink?

    And what would that tell everyone about everything and the myths that are pimped about the fights for democracy?

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  54. dwatch (profile) says:

    Loyalist wants Boston College tapes returned

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/loyalist-wants-boston-college-tapes-returned-16098445.html

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  55. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Man from Mars

    This may help

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_foil_hat

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  56. [...] Boston College to hand over Dolours Price interviews (sluggerotoole.com) [...]

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  57. Man from Mars

    This may help

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_foil_hat …..cynic2 3 January 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Just love the ostrich humour, cynic2, but it is so sad to watch and listen to so many ill-equipped fools and useless tools trying to suppress, if not the naked unpleasant truth, then tales of pornographic fiction.

    And as it is most unlikely that political puppets and former para-militaries with much to hide about their instrumental roles in waging urban warfare with acts of terrorism would be at all exercised to be bothered with the latter, is one left to consider the probability of revelation of what is required for natural justice …… the naked unpleasant truth.

    Only then will there be a start, a beginning to bring to an end the still ongoing Troubles which blight a green and pleasant land with more than its fair share of crazy ignorant communities poorly serviced by those who would presume to represent them and be able to provide for them with government.

    Methinks you can order a lorry load of those tin foil hats for all those who would be so deluding themselves because they just haven’t got what it takes to lead and serve ……. as is evidenced by the ongoing and growing crises, which all appear to revolve around a stop on the ready money supply.

    One wonders where the thousands of millions have gone that were invented, and then booked as a crippling paralysing debt to be repaid by the people and supposedly pumped into the banks to save that crooked system from collapse, whenever the system has no money to give out to anyone for anything.

    The system owes the people, hundreds of trillions. We want it back and we want it back now. The people are foreclosing on the crooked system.

    Or do you prefer the austerity game that the system is playing to render you penniless and powerless and them rich and powerful with control of all of your wealth, thus to confirm that y’all are just ignorant fools easily taken care of/taken for a ride?

    Wake up, dummies. Don’t you know that there’s a Virtual World War being waged for Hearts and Minds, with one side determined to render you slaves without wealth and the other side committed to providing you with everything you need with the simple endless loop supply of pretty printed paper, which is soon to be replaced with a convenient electronic money supply facility.

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  58. Oops …… Sorry, this bit is missing from the above ….. Then you can build whatever you want yourselves and one will wonder why it was ever thought necessary to have bankers and politicians do all your thinking for you and monopolising media to carry their twisted messages and perverse programs.

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  59. More tin foil hats needed for this crowd too, Cynic2, …… http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/obama-mars/

    There’s quite a lot more than is ever made known in the pedestrian mainstream media, going on out there, and the Creative Command and Control of Computers and Communications in CyberSpace for Beta Surreal Man Management and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Executive Administration of Perception for Future Presentations and Product Placement of Virtual Realities, is but one thread in a quantum entangled string which you may struggle in ignorance due to a distinct lack of more general knowledge on the subject matter, to believe is true.

    Such though is easily remedied with the perfectly selfless aid which provides missing information in such Programs and ProgramMING for Applied Imaginative Delivery of Advanced IntelAIgents and CyberIntelAIgent Security Systems of Beta Virtual Futures Operation.

    And that is just as simple a task for one and all as, ….. watch these spaces for more NEUKlearer information, which will be selflessly provided as is required by ProgramMING.

    You surely were not thinking that the future was gonna be like the past and a poor clone of the present, were you? That would be to admit that you were not really thinking about anything important at all, methinks. No matter, though, things are being taken care of for you, as you have just read but may struggle to believe due to a lack of information and/or knowledge and/or intelligence and/or imagination, and most probably enough of all four are missing.

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  60. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    http://bostoncollegesubpoena.wordpress.com/intervenors/exhibit-a-decision/

    “Prior to the commencement of the Project, Robert K. O’Neill, the Burns
    Librarian, cautioned Moloney that although he had not spoken yet with
    Boston College’s counsel, the library could not guarantee the
    confidentiality of the interviews in the face of a court order.
    Gov’t’s FirstOpp’n, Ex. 10, Fax from Robert K. O’Neill to Ed Moloney,
    May 10, 2000
    Page 5

    . Aff. O’Neill 3.Each interviewee of the project was to be given a
    contract guaranteeing confidentiality “to the extent that American law
    allows.”

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  61. dwatch (profile) says:

    “Secret interviews with IRA terrorists ‘linking Gerry Adams to unsolved murder’ could be made public

    “U.S. court to rule on issue today”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2084230/Secret-interviews-IRA-terrorists-linking-Gerry-Adams-unsolved-murder-public.html#ixzz1iySeoN7d

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  62. Pat Mc Larnon (profile) says:

    http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/periscope/the-real-truth-about-the-boston-college-taped-ira-interviews-137168868.html

    Niall O’Dowd hits at the real truth around the guarantees on confidentiality.

    Here is what McIntyre told a radio interviewer: “The assurances from Boston College were very firm.”

    How then does this gel with a Boston College affidavit introduced in the court which directly denies this statement?

    The affidavit states, “Prior to the commencement of the project, Robert K. O’Neill, the Burns librarian (where the tapes were to be housed) cautioned Moloney that although he had not spoken yet with Boston College’s counsel, the library could not guarantee the confidentiality of the interviews in the face of a court order.”

    Excerpts from the fax from O’Neill to Moloney have already been posted.

    Further Jack Dunn from Boston College states,

    “The (donation) agreement between Moloney and McIntyre is bound by an earlier agreement, Agreement ‘A,’ which states each interviewee is to be given a contract guaranteeing confidentiality to the extent American law allows.”

    “So Boston College is clear on that, and Moloney and McIntyre, either through legal inexperience or not checking properly, continued with the interviews on shaky legal grounds, which have now precipitated an almighty furor.”

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  63. sliabhluachra (profile) black spot says:

    Bodton College do not make the law; they must abide by the law. Moloney and posibly McIntryre are ok as they were only following journalistic orders.
    I feel a bit sorry for Dolours Price who should have remembered the old omerta maxim of whatever you say, say nothing.
    Of course, if bigwigs end up in the can, ex male bonum.

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