Having failed to bully Anthony and Carrie McIntyre into silence, it seems that The Irish News is now engaged in an attempt to shut down their website, The Pensive Quill (TPQ). Anthony and Carrie published the following statement on TPQ today. As per their request, I also plan to republish the articles mentioned below in the coming days.
Tell The Irish News Hands Off The Internet
We have reason to believe that efforts are being made to close The Pensive Quill website down.
We host no illegal content, we are breaching no law in the United States (where the site is hosted), and, as has been well documented, there is absolutely no legitimate reason for such a pursuit. Any effort to close The Pensive Quill website is politically and/or personally motivated, by those seeking to hide their unethical behaviour. These actions are pursued by the Irish News and its reporter and associates.
We are therefore seeking to create mirror sites, and additionally, we invite third parties to mirror our site in its entirety. We invite those third parties, outside of the UK and Ireland, who can offer support, to contact us directly.
Any effort to prevent the disclosure of the Irish News’ willful and ill-advised pursuit of The Pensive Quill in order to cover-up the unethical behaviour of its reporter cannot, and will not, be allowed to succeed.
These legal tactics and letters are issued like confetti in order to police the web and the media behind the scenes; the sad fact is many outlets and individuals are intimidated into silence and comply, which enables the success of censorship. The wider public is not aware of this as the fear of being sued and dragged through court keeps people silent.
We are not going silently into the night over this, and in exposing what the Irish News and its reporter are doing here, we hope that it lifts the lid on the prevalent scare tactics employed and frees up discussion on their use across Ireland north and south.
We also intend by taking a stand against this to demonstrate that refusing to comply with the demands of censors weakens the power of the bully. Much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we intend on pulling the curtain back to demonstrate the Wizard has no more power than what is freely given to him. We refuse to give any censor power over us.
We will not be intimidated into silence.
THE PENSIVE QUILL
Please stand up against the Irish News' attempt to police the internet and suppress freedom of speech. Reproduce these articles across the web:
We believe the origins of the first subpoena of the BostonCollege Belfast Project Oral History Archives were set in motion by Irish News reporter Allison Morris, who conducted an interview with former IRA volunteer Dolours Price. Dolours was heavily medicated and being treated for a variety of ills at the time. Her family objected to the interview and requested it not be published. The Irish News restricted what they published. However, 3 days after the Irish News story ran, a friend and colleague of Morris’ at the Sunday Life tabloid, Ciaran Barnes, ran a front page spread containing everything the Irish News left out.
In Ciaran Barnes’ report, he implied that he had heard Dolours Price’s Boston College tapes. US Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office subsequently submitted both Morris and Barnes’ stories as evidence to justify the first subpoena. Barnes never had access to the Boston College tapes and we believe it was Morris’ interview he based his report on. The PSNI did not seek Morris’ notes or records until after it was pointed out in court documents that they had never approached her or Barnes, 16 months after the original publication of her interview. She and the Irish News told the PSNI they retained no material; the PSNI accepted this and did not pursue the matter further.
Barnes and Morris brought a Code of Conduct complaint against Anthony McIntyre in their union, the National Union of Journalists. The NUJ’s Ethics Council railroaded the complaint against McIntyre and suspended him for 6 months. He appealed this and the NUJ Appeals Tribunal tossed everything out, completely vindicating him.
Neither Morris nor Barnes attended the appeal hearing, suggesting that the objective all along was to discredit him in the middle of the source protection/1st and 4th Amendment battle to protect the confidentiality of the oral history archives against government incursion, adding stress and pressure in an attempt to break him.
Immediately following the Ethics Council verdict being over-turned, Morris attempted to re-try her complaint on a legal blog, and was caught in an astounding lie. The Pensive Quill documented this and other questionable behavior around the Irish News and its reporter Allison Morris. The Irish News’ Editor Noel Doran began to contact The Pensive Quill in an obvious attempt to lay groundwork for a legal case. A solicitor’s letter from Johnsons then arrived demanding that The Pensive Quill remove all its material about Allison Morris.
With thanks to The Expendable Project for the wording used in the clarion call for action - their request for mirror sites was used as a template.