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joeb

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Posts: 8,378
Reply with quote  #51 

visit her website

http://traitorbook.com/






Jesselyn Radack (born December 12, 1970) is a former ethics adviser to the United States Department of Justice who came to prominence as a whistleblower after she disclosed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) committed what she believed to be an ethics violation in their interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the "American Taliban" captured during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan) without an attorney present, and alleged that the Department of Justice attempted to suppress that information. The Lindh case was the first major terrorism prosecution after 9/11.[7] Her experience is chronicled in her memoir, TRAITOR: The Whistleblower and the "American Taliban".

Radack is a national security and human rights attorney, known for her defense of whistleblowers, journalists, and hacktivists. She has spoken in defense of some of the most vilified people in the United States, including National Security Agency whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Thomas Drake, each of whom was charged under the Espionage Act after exposing wrongdoing. Both Snowden and Drake are her clients.

Radack has been widely published and quoted regarding whistleblower rights, surveillance, Internet freedom, and privacy. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, Guardian, The Nation, Legal Times, and numerous law journals. She frequently appears in the press, including all the major television networks, NPR, PBS, CNN, and the BBC.

Radack is the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project. She was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's "100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013",[2] was one of 100 worldwide figures pictured in "Justice: Faces of the Human Rights Revolution" and is a visiting Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges.[1] She has been honored with the “Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award" (2011), "Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence"(2009), and numerous other accolades. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and Yale Law School and began her career as an Honors Program attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

A regular speaker at governments, universities, and public and private organizations around the globe, Radack explains the ways in which power structures suppress dissent, the value of free speech and privacy, and how ordinary people can change entire industries, agencies, and sometimes the world.


John Walker Lindh caseEdit
Initial inquiry into Lindh case

On December 7, 2001, Radack received an inquiry from Justice Department counterterrorism prosecutor John DePue regarding the ethical propriety of interrogating Lindh in Afghanistan without a lawyer present. He told her that Lindh's father had retained counsel for his son. This was not known to Lindh. Radack responded that interrogating him was not authorized by law.[9] The principle at issue was that a person represented by a lawyer cannot be contacted by agents of the Justice Department, including the FBI, without permission of that lawyer.[10] According to Radack, her advice was approved by Claudia Flynn, then head of PRAO, and Joan Goldfrank, a senior PRAO attorney.[11]

The FBI proceeded to question Lindh without a lawyer. DePue informed Radack of the interrogation on the 10th, and she advised him that Lindh's "interview may have to be sealed or only used for national security purposes; however, I don’t have enough information yet to make that recommendation".[12]

Radack continued to research the issue until December 20, 2001, when Flynn told her to drop the matter because Lindh had been "Mirandized". It was later learned that the FBI agent Christopher Reimann who read Lindh the Miranda warning had, when noting the right to counsel, ad-libbed: "Of course, there are no lawyers here".[13]
U.S. government statements on Lindh's legal rights

On January 15, 2002, five weeks after the interrogation, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that a criminal complaint was being filed against Lindh. "The subject here is entitled to choose his own lawyer", Ashcroft said, "and to our knowledge, has not chosen a lawyer at this time".[9] On February 5, 2002, Ashcroft announced Lindh's indictment, saying that his rights "have been carefully, scrupulously honored".[14]

In early 2004 Radack indicated in an interview that she disagreed with Ashcroft's view but could see its logic, that Lindh had not himself chosen a lawyer, so he was not represented by one. "You can debate it one way or another”, she said.[8] She was more troubled by the ethical issues,[8] later citing the same ruling the government cites to support its legal position.[15] In Moran v. Burbine (1986), the Supreme Court held that police were within the law in not telling a suspect (who had waived his Miranda rights) that his sister had retained counsel for him,[8] but the Court also granted that the police behavior was unethical and could rise to a violation of legal rights in more egregious circumstances.[16]

In early 2005 Radack recalled her reaction to Ashcroft's statements more starkly: "I knew that wasn't true".[17]
Poor performance review

On February 4, 2002, the day before the Lindh indictment was announced, Flynn gave Radack an unscheduled "blistering" performance evaluation, despite Radack having received a merit raise the year before.[9] It covered December 27, 2001, to September 30, 2002, two months prior to the Lindh inquiry, and did not mention that case, but it criticized her legal judgment in issues related to the case and in other matters.[8][18] Flynn had not yet signed the review. She advised Radack to find another job or the review would be put in Radack's official personnel file.[9] Radack, who had planned on being a career civil servant, soon found a new job in the private sector.[9][19]
Missing emails

On March 7, 2002, while Radack was still working at PRAO, the lead prosecutor in the Lindh case, Randy Bellows, messaged Radack that there was a court order for all of the Justice Department's internal correspondence about Lindh's interrogation.[9] He said that he had two of her messages and wanted to make sure he had everything.

Radack immediately became concerned that the court order had been deliberately concealed from her.[7] She had written more than a dozen emails on the subject, and neither of the ones Bellows had received copies of reflected her fear that the FBI's actions had been unethical and that Lindh's confession, which was the basis for the criminal case, might have to be sealed.[13] Radack checked the hard-copy file and found that the thick stack of paper had been unstapled and reduced to a few sheets including only three of her emails, along with cover sheets indicating that Flynn had sent copies of those three to the Lindh prosecutors.[13][20] Radack confided in a senior colleague, former U.S. Attorney Donald McKay, who examined the file and told her that it had been "purged".[21]

With the assistance of technical support, Radack then recovered 14 email messages from her computer archives and gave them to Flynn with a cover memorandum. When Flynn asked Radack why the messages weren't in the file, Radack said she didn't know, and her supervisor said "Now I have to explain why PRAO should not look bad for not turning them over".[22] Radack took home a copy of the recovered emails to ensure they wouldn't "disappear" again.[23]

Which emails the Department of Justice supplied to the court, and when, cannot be determined directly because the court placed them under seal.[19] In March 2003 investigative journalist Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reported that "[a]n official list compiled by the prosecution confirms that the Justice Department did not hand over Radack's most critical e-mail in which she questioned the viability of Lindh's confession until after her confrontation with Flynn".[13] Radack continues to rely on Mayer's report.[15]

On December 31, 2003, Radack requested the court appoint a special prosecutor to probe the alleged suppression of the emails.[24] The government responded that it had supplied the emails to the court in its initial response to the court order seeking them, i.e., on March 1, 2002.[25] The description of the 24 documents (probably including duplicates) provided to the court at that time matches Radack's emails, including the one that states interviewing Lindh is not authorized by law.[26] DePue, the recipient of the emails, also had copies and states that they were submitted to the court.[27] The judge rejected Radack's request as "impertinent".[28]

In 2004 Radack filed suit against the government (see below). In 2005, the court found that "[t]hough Flynn informed Radack that she would send the emails to Bellows, Radack maintains that she had a 'good faith belief' that this never occurred...Radack was mistaken, for in filings submitted to the Virginia District Court on March 1, 2002, and March 11, 2002, Bellows turned over thirty-three PRAO-related documents, including Radack's fourteen emails, ex parte and under seal, for in camera review".[29]
Disclosure to Newsweek of emails believed to have been purged

Radack resigned from the Justice Department on April 5, 2002. In June 2002 she heard a broadcast on NPR stating that the Department claimed they had never taken the position that Lindh was entitled to counsel during his interrogation. She later wrote, "I knew this statement was not true. It also indicated to me that the Justice Department must not have turned over my e-mails to the Lindh court..because I did not believe the Department would have the temerity to make public statements contradicted by its own court filings, even if those filings were in camera." She reasoned that “disclosure of my e-mails would advance compliance with the Lindh court’s discovery order while also exposing gross mismanagement and abuse of authority by my superiors at the Justice Department."[30]

After hearing the broadcast, Radack sent the emails to Michael Isikoff, a Newsweek reporter, who had been interviewed in the NPR story.[8] He wrote an article about the purportedly missing emails[31] that appeared online June 15, 2002.[32] He did not reveal his source for the emails.

Radack has said she did not turn the documents over to the court or prosecutors at the time she recovered them because she felt intimidated by Flynn, who had told her to drop the matter.[33] Later, no longer working in government, she reasoned, "I couldn't go to the court because Justice Department lawyers would argue (as they did when I eventually did try to tell my story to the court) that I had no standing. I couldn't go to a Member of Congress because, as a resident of the District of Columbia, I didn't have a voting representative. What I could do is disclose my story to the press--a judicially-sanctioned way of exposing wrongdoing under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, which provides protection to federal government employees who blow the whistle on what they reasonably believe evidences a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; or an abuse of authority".[34]

Radack's reasoning assumed her emails were the position of the Department of Justice. Representatives of the Department have denied that. Michael Chertoff, then head of the criminal division that was prosecuting Lindh, viewed her emails as only a preliminary step in developing a PRAO position.[8] (Chertoff elaborated that position, and that the advice was not known to him or sought by those responsible for the decision to interview Lindh, in answers to questions from Senator Edward Kennedy, discussed below.)

Radack and some others believe her disclosure of the emails may have contributed to the plea agreement that led to a sentence of 20 years instead of possible multiple life sentences for Lindh.[35] The plea deal was reached on July 15, 2002, a month after the Newsweek article on the emails appeared online and just hours before the hearing to consider the motions to suppress the Lindh interviews was set to begin.[36] According to Lindh defense attorneys, the prosecution first approached them about a plea deal around the beginning of June.[37] On June 14, the day before the emails were disclosed, and June 17, the Lindh defense filed their arguments to suppress all the interviews conducted in Afghanistan, including the ones that Radack had advised might have to be suppressed.[38] The defense reasoning was different from Radack's; it did not assert that Lindh was represented by a lawyer at the time, which was the basis for Radack's advice in the emails.[39] Because of the plea deal, the legal questions regarding the interviews were not adjudicated.
Justice Department actions against Radack

On June 19, 2002, the Lindh court ordered the Justice Department to file a pleading "addressing whether any documents ordered protected by the Court were disclosed by any person bound by an Order of this court". The Justice Department launched a criminal investigation of Radack that remained open for 15 months.[40] No potential criminal charge was ever specified, but as leaking is not a crime, the most likely charge would have been theft of government property,[19] as she had taken home copies of her emails before she resigned from the PRAO,[23] and her PRAO supervisor later insinuated she was suspected of having removed other files that had gone missing.[41] Radack says an agent of the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) told her new employer and coworkers that she was under criminal investigation[42] and would steal client files.[43][44]

Radack believes the OIG agent pressured her employer to fire her.[44] The firm was initially supportive, but after it obtained phone records of calls between Newsweek writer Isikoff and the firm's office showing that Radack appeared to be the leaker of government emails, that changed. A partner in the firm, which represented mainly government bond issuers, told her they could not be perceived to have an ex-government lawyer who broke confidence when she thought the client was wrong. When she continued to refuse to sign a statement that she did not leak the emails, she was placed on paid and then unpaid leave.[45]

When Radack was granted unemployment benefits, her now-former employer was assisted by the Justice Department, she says,[44] in challenging the benefits on the grounds of her alleged misconduct and insubordination. She won the appeal.[45]

It is not known how her employer obtained records of phone calls between her and Isikoff. They could have been obtained by the firm from the phone company, since they were records of calls to and from their phones. The firm also had records of calls Isikoff made to the Justice Department, which must have been supplied by the government, who knew because the calls were to them.[46]

The Lindh court issued an order on November 6, 2002, concluding that Radack's disclosure did not violate any order of the Court, but this order was not made available to Radack until two years later.[47]

The Department of Justice notified Radack that the criminal investigation was closed on September 11, 2003. On October 31, 2003, the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) sent letters to the bar associations of the two jurisdictions in which she was licensed to practice law referring her for a possible ethics violation. The referrals proposed that in disclosing the emails she may have knowingly revealed information protected by attorney-client privilege.[48] There is disagreement about whether the government or the public is the client of government attorneys.[8] Radack bypassed that issue by invoking the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), which she argues provides the legal basis for an exception to attorney-client privilege, i.e., for disclosure when permitted or authorized by law.[49] The Justice Department responded that the WPA may not apply to former employees, and that it does not authorize any disclosure, only prevents retaliatory personnel actions for certain disclosures.[50]

OPR did not follow its own policies in making the referrals, according to Radack, including in not allowing her to formally respond to its findings.[51] She has contrasted the way she was treated by the Department of Justice and the way the department attorneys who authored the memos giving a purported legal basis for waterboarding and other controversial interrogation methods were treated.[52]

There was never any serious investigation of how Radack's emails disappeared from the PRAO file, she believes, a conclusion reached in part because no investigator questioned her about it. She says the OIG told her attorney they had "looked into" her allegations and they were "not going to pursue it".[52]

The criminal investigation and subsequent ethics referrals prevented Radack from finding suitable work as an attorney for years, she says.[8][34][53] The Maryland Bar dismissed the referral February 23, 2005.[29] At the District of Columbia Bar the referral is still pending (as of June 1, 2012).[52]

Radack says she was placed on the "No-Fly List", by which she refers to the Selectee portion of the Terrorist Watchlist.[54] Selectees are submitted to extra security screening before boarding a flight.[55] She reports that for a time she was selected for extra security on each flight, at least 19 flights by her count, and that one airline told her she was on the list.[56] She believes she was eventually removed from the list, after she had complained to the Transportation Security Administration Ombudsman and the ACLU.[34]

Radack claims that one or more anonymous Justice Department officials have "smeared" her in the media as a "traitor", "turncoat", and "terrorist sympathizer"[44][52][57] "to alienate me from all my neighbors, all my friends",[58] sometimes specifying it was in the New York Times.[43][56][58] Google searches of the Times website confirm only that in 2003 Times journalist Eric Lichtblau wrote, "Government officials suspect [Radack] is a turncoat", without indicating whether the word was his or theirs.[59][60]

She has implied her being under a gag order, saying in the context of general remarks about gag orders, "There are certain things I cannot talk to you about, and I can't say anything more than that".[61]

In 2008 Radack said that she had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting the government actions against her.[62] For a time beginning in 2003, noted constitutional scholar and former Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, Bruce Fein, represented Radack pro bono.[8]
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joeb

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Posts: 8,378
Reply with quote  #52 




FBI forces police departments across the US to keep quiet about cellphone spying gear


http://rt.com/usa/189996-fbi-fcc-nda-stingray/



September 23, 2014 17:48


Not only are local police departments across the United States increasingly relying on so-called StingRay devices to conduct surveillance on cell phone users, but cops are being forced to keep quiet about the operations, new documents reveal.

Recent reports have indicated that law enforcement agencies from coast to coast have been turning to IMSI-catcher devices, like the StingRay sold by Florida’s Harris Corporation, to trick ordinary mobile phones into communicating device-specific International Mobile Subscriber Identity information to phony cell towers — a tactic that takes the approximate geolocation data of all the devices within range and records it for investigators. Recently, the Tallahassee Police Department in the state of Florida was found to have used their own “cell site simulator” at least 200 times to collect phone data without once asking for a warrant during a three-year span, and details about the use of StingRays by other law enforcement groups continue to emerge on the regular.

But while the merits of whether or not law enforcement officers should legally be able to collect sensitive cell information by masquerading as telecommunication towers remains ripe for debate — and continues for certain to be an issue of contention among civil liberties advocates — newly released documents raise even further questions about how cops use StingRays and other IMSI-catchers to gather great chunks of data concerning the whereabouts of not just criminal suspects, but seemingly anyone in a given vicinity that happens to have a phone in their hand or pocket.

Relentless pleas for details about use of IMSI-catchers by the Tacoma Police Department in Washington state paid off recently when the investigative news site Muckrock obtained a six-page document after following up for several months on a Freedom of Information Act request placed with the TPD.

According to the document, police in Tacoma were forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before they could begin conducting surveillance on cell users with a Harris-sold StingRay.

Although the majority of the December 2012 document is redacted, a paragraph from FBI special agent Laura Laughlin to Police of Chief Donald Ramsdell reveals that Tacoma officers were told they couldn’t discuss their use of IMSI-catchers with anyone.

“We have been advised by Harris Corporation of the Tacoma Police Department’s request for acquisition of certain wireless collection equipment/technology manufactured by Harris Corporation,” the FBI letter reads in part. “Consistent with the conditions on the equipment authorization granted to Harris Corporation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state and local law enforcement agencies must coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to complete this non-disclosure agreement prior to the acquisition and use of the equipment/technology authorized by the FCC authorization.”

Muckrock first obtained documents in August referring to the NDA between the Tacoma PD and the US Department of Justice, but Shawn Musgrave wrote for the site this week that the agreement itself — albeit a highly redacted one — were only provided last Friday.

“The Tacoma document provides key insight into the close cooperation among the FBI, Harris Corporation and the Federal Communications Commission to bar StingRay details from public release,” Musgrave wrote.

“The fact that the FBI received notification from Harris that TPD was interested in a StingRay reveals a surprising level of coordination between a private corporation and a federal law enforcement agency,” Musgrave continued. “The agreement also makes clear that completing the NDA is compulsory by order of the FCC.”

Alan Butler, an appellate advocacy counsel for the Washington, DC-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, was quick to comment to Muckrock about the information revealed by the FOIA request.

“What is so fascinating about the beginning paragraph of the NDA you received,” Butler said, “is that it makes clear that Harris, the FCC and the FBI are working together to facilitate the proliferation of these devices among state and local law enforcement agencies.”

“It’s not clear to me why the FCC would have an interest in requiring law enforcement agencies to sign NDA’s with the FBI, unless they were concerned that the spread of this technology could harm users of American communications networks,” added Butler, whose group has previously filed multiple FOIA requests and legal complaints on its own with the FBI over the use of IMSI-catchers.

And Matt Cagle, an attorney who specialized in surveillance an serves as a police fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California office, tweeted that it’s “alarming” to see that the FCC — a public agency — “is conditioning certification of cell spy tech” without informing the public.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #53 




see link for full story


http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/26/how-the-pentagon-exploits-isis-to-kill-surveillance-reform-and-re-occupy-iraq/




Weekend Edition September 26-28, 2014

Destabilization and the Surveillance State
How the Pentagon Exploits ISIS to Kill Surveillance Reform and Re-Occupy Iraq
by NAFEEZ AHMED

As the US, Britain and France are maneuvering to escalate military action in Iraq and Syria against the ‘Islamic State’ in an operation slated to last “years,” authorities are simultaneously calling for new measures to tighten security at home to fend off the danger of jihadists targeting western homelands. Intervention abroad, policymakers are arguing, must be tied to increased domestic surveillance and vigilance. But US and British military experts warn that officials have overlooked the extent to which western policies in the region have not just stoked the rise of IS, but will continue to inflame the current crisis. The consequences could be dire – while governments exploit the turmoil in the Middle East to justify an effective re-invasion of Iraq along with intensified powers of surveillance and control – the end result could well be accelerated regional violence and increasing criminalization of Muslims and activists.

Pre-empting ‘social contagions’

In a recent article in Defense One, technology editor Patrick Tucker interviewed Dr Erin Fitzgerald, the head of the Pentagon’s controversial Minerva Research Initiative, about how Big Data analytics could have predicted the emergence of the Islamic State.

Founded in 2008, the year of the global financial crash, the Minerva initiative is a multi-million dollar programme funding social science research at universities around the world to support US defense policy. As I reported exclusively in The Guardian and Occupy.com, Minerva-funded projects have focused on studying and modeling the origins and trajectories of “social contagions” to track the propensity for civil unrest and insurgencies that could undermine US strategic interests at home and abroad.

This has included developing powerful new data-mining tools capable of in-depth analysis and automated threat-assessment of social media posts of nonviolent social movements, civil society networks, NGOs, and political activists, alongside potentially violent or extreme groups and organisations. Those algorithms, according to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, could be used to fine-tune CIA kill lists for drone warfare at a time when the US defense industry is actively (and successfully) lobbying federal and local government to militarise the homeland with drone technology.

A major deficiency even according to academic specialists who advised the Pentagon research programme is its use of fluid and imprecise definitions of “nonviolent activism” and “political radicalism,” which tend to equate even peaceful activists with “supporters of political violence.” Official Pentagon responses to my repeated questions about how they would safeguard against demonizing or criminalizing innocent activists consistently ignored this issue.

Pentagon spokesperson: Minerva research needed to predict groups like ISIS

According to Tucker, the US Department of Defense’s Minerva “program managers feel that the rise of IS, and the intelligence community’s inability to anticipate it, imbues their work with a timely importance.” He quotes Fitzgerald who tells him: “Recent security issues such as the emergence of terror groups like ISIS… highlight the type of critical knowledge gaps that Minerva research aims to address.”

Big Data, writes Tucker, has provided an ideal opportunity to innovate new ways of predicting the future. “It’s an excellent time for data-driven social science research,” he observes. “But is the military the best outfit to fund it at its most innovative?”

Citing a speech last week by CIA director John Brennan, Tucker points out that the sort of research being supported by Minerva is about closing “a big gap” in “intent intelligence” – the capacity to predict human intent.

The elephant in the room, however, is that the US intelligence community did anticipate the rise of IS. There is now mounting evidence in the public record that President Obama had been warned of a major attack on Iraq by IS extremists.

US intelligence long anticipated the rise of ISIS

According to an unidentified former Pentagon official, President Obama “was given detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of the Islamic State as part of his daily briefing for at least a year”, containing “strong and ‘granular’” data on the emergence of ISIS. The source said “[we] were ready to fire, on a moment’s notice, on a couple hundred targets,” but no order was given. In some cases, targets were tracked for a “long period of time” but then slipped away, reported Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge. The White House neither confirmed nor denied this report.

Similarly, the Daily Beast confirmed via “interviews with a dozen US and Iraqi intelligence officials, diplomats, and policy makers” that “A catastrophe like the fall of Mosul wasn’t just predictable… They repeatedly warned the Obama administration that something like this was going to happen.”

In February, then Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, delivered the annual DIA threat assessment to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He predicted that “al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) also known as Iraq and Levant (ISIL)… probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah.” Gen. Flynn also noted that “some Sunni tribes and insurgent groups appear willing to work tactically with AQI as they share common anti-government goals.” He criticized Baghdad for its “refusal to address long-standing Sunni grievances” and “heavy-handed approach to counter-terror operations” which has “led some Sunni tribes in Anbar to be more permissive of AQI’s presence.” ISIL has “exploited” this permissive security environment “to increase its operations and presence in many locations” in Iraq, as well as “into Syria and Lebanon,” which is inflaming “tensions throughout the region.” US intelligence also appears to have been fully cognizant of Iraq’s inability to repel a prospective ISIS attack on Iraq. Gen. Flynn added that the Iraqi army has “been unable to stem rising violence” and would be unable “to suppress AQI or other internal threats” particularly in Sunni areas like Ramada, Falluja, or mixed areas like Anbar and Ninewa provinces. As Iraq’s forces “lack cohesion, are undermanned, and are poorly trained, equipped and supplied,” they are “vulnerable to terrorist attack, infiltration and corruption.”

A senior figure in Iraq’s governing party, the Islamic Dawah Party, told me on condition of anonymity that Iraqi and American intelligence had anticipated an ISIS attack on Iraq, and specifically on Mosul, as early as August 2013. Although intelligence was not precise on the exact timing of the assault, the source said, “It was well known at the time that ISIS were beginning serious plans to attack Iraq. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey played a key role in supporting ISIS at this time, but the UAE played a bigger role in financial support than the others, which is not widely recognised.”

Yet when asked whether the Americans had attempted to coordinate with Iraq on preparations for the expected ISIS assault this year, particularly due to the recognized inability of the Iraqi army to withstand such an attack, the Iraqi government source said that nothing of the sort had happened. “Perhaps they screwed up, the same way they screwed up over WMD,” he speculated.

Algorithms ‘for the field’

If Minerva research is not really about addressing a non-existent gap in assessing threats in the Middle East, what is it about? According to Fitzgerald, as reported by Tucker: “In contrast to data-mining system development or intelligence analysis, Minerva-funded basic research uses rigorous methodology to investigate the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of phenomena such as influence, conflict escalation and societal resilience.”

The reality is different. As my detailed investigation showed, including my interviews with senior US intelligence experts, Minerva is attempting to develop new tools capable of assessing social movements through a wide range of variables many of which can be derived from data-mining of social media posts, as well as from analysis of private metadata – all informed by sociological modeling with input from subject-area social science experts.

Contrary to Fitzgerald’s statement to Tucker, and to information on the Minerva website, private Minerva email communications I disclosed in the Guardian showed that the data-mining research pursued at Arizona State University would be used by the Pentagon “to develop capabilities that are deliverable quickly” in the form of “models and tools that can be integrated with operations.” Prof Steve Corman, a principal investigator for the ASU project on ‘radical and counter radical Muslim discourses’, told his ASU research staff that the Pentagon is looking to “feed results” into “applications.” He advised them to shape research results “so they [DoD] can clearly see their application for tools that can be taken to the field.”

Corman himself has a longstanding relationship with the Pentagon. In 2003, his ASU-spin off company, Crawdad Technologies, was awarded a $100,000 grant from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research to analyse text streams using the company’s unique analytical methods which “transform text into networks that represent author intent.”

“We’re very happy that the United States Air Force sees potential in our technology”, said Corman at the time. “The product we’re developing will help intelligence and business analysts find information and patterns in large volumes of streaming text.”

In 2005, Corman’s company in association with ASU won a $750,000 Pentagon grant to further develop its Centering Resonance Analysis (CRA) technology – a “superior data-mining algorithm” which “had up to five times better precision than ones based on existing technologies.” The new grant was for Crawdad to advance the incorporation of “deep analytics” capable of mimicking “expert analysis” when combined with “domain knowledge.” This would create actionable insight from a range of streaming texts, including “news media, email, and even human conversation.” The project was completed in 2007.

ASU, Minerva and the NSA

For the period 2009 to 2014, ASU won its major award from the Pentagon’s Minerva initiative to continue developing new data-mining algorithms to monitor ‘radical and counter radical Muslim discourses.’ Regional and subject-area academic specialists were asked to rate and scale the threat-level to US interests posed by purportedly Muslim civil society organisations and networks in Britain, Western Europe and Southeast Asia, in order to feed into the fine-tuning of algorithms that could automate the threat-assessment classification process in a way that mimicked expert input. When I obtained access to these scaling tools, it turned out that a significant number of organisations being threat-assessed were simply antiwar, human rights and pro-democracy groups that were not remotely Islamic organisations.

For the same period from 2009 to 2014, the ASU received its National Security Agency (NSA) designation as a ‘National Center of Academic Excellence [CAE] in Information Assurance Research’ under the intelligence community’s CAE programme run by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

According to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, the ideal use for the ASU’s algorithms would be to feed into the US intelligence community’s capacity to conduct wide-ranging predictive behavioral analysis of groups and individuals in the homeland and abroad – with an inherent danger of categorizing activists as potential terror suspects, and at worst, identifying potential targets for the CIA’s drone warfare kill lists.

Given the problematic nature of the Pentagon’s understanding of political violence, though, rather than fine-tuning the intelligence community’s capacity to meaningfully identify threats, this instead maximizes the capacity to see threats where none exist.

According to a former NSA mathematician, scientists at the agency are employed on condition that they would not be told how their mathematical or scientific research would be used. “The intelligence community has a dearth in the kind of scientific expertise necessary to understand and analyse much of the data that is collected,” he said:

“Even most of the mathematicians at the NSA are ex-military. They’re already comfortable with the intelligence community using their work as it sees fit. That’s why the NSA and other agencies require mechanisms to harness the expertise in the academic community. It’s not so easy to convince independent academics whose specialized knowledge is needed to inform intelligence analysis of complex societies and foreign regions that they don’t need to know how their research will be used. But an external funding programme like Minerva makes it easier to overcome this hurdle. All academics need to know is that they’re aiding the fight against terrorists who want to kill American citizens.”

Islamic State paves the way to kill surveillance reform

No wonder then that Western governments have moved fast on the back of the IS threat to justify the need for mass surveillance and Big Data analysis, while neutering calls for surveillance reform due to systemic violations of privacy.

The USA Freedom Act, which was supposed to restrict the NSA’s authority to spy on American citizens, has now been stalled in the Senate due to IS. Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University, told Foreign Policy: “There was a lot of movement on surveillance reform in Congress… but it has been totally overtaken by ISIS. The Senate will still have to pass something, but the urgency is gone.”

Now the UN Security Council is about to endorse a new resolution granting unprecedented powers to government law-enforcement agencies to monitor and suppress the travel of terror suspects, including stripping people of their passports. The resolution does not require any criminal conduct as a precondition for the use of such enforcement powers.

The problem is that neither of the main approaches to dealing with IS – mass surveillance and military bombardment – are likely to work. The New America Foundation’s detailed report released at the beginning of this year found that surveillance “has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism”; while military action and dubious alliances with regional powers is precisely what led to the current crisis.

Unfortunately, as anthropologist Prof David Price told Defense One’s Patrick Tucker about the Pentagon’s regressive approach to the appropriation of social science: “I just don’t see Minerva funding a study of how American civilian, military, and intelligence activities in the Middle East contributed to the rise of the Islamic State.”

The elephant in the room is foreign policy

According to security analyst Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter terrorism intelligence officer, the crisis across Iraq and Syria cannot be resolved without first addressing the extent to which western policies created the crisis in the first place.

“The US, UK and France contributed to the collapse of governance [in Syria]… by funding, training and equipping ‘moderate’ rebels with little realistic consideration of with whom such funds, trained fighters and ‘non lethal’ aid (such as armoured vehicles, body armour, secure military radios and weapon sights) would end up,” said Shoebridge. “Similarly, the West did nothing to discourage vast flows of funds and arms from their allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others towards rebel groups irrespective of, or perhaps because of, their extreme interpretations of Sunni Islam.”

Shoebridge pointed out that the US and UK in particular, “through the covert work of MI6 and the CIA,” appear to have “played a key role in facilitating the flow of arms and jihadist fighters to Syria from such places as Libya, the Caucuses and Balkans, with the aim of militarily boosting those fighting Assad.”

Currently, the success of the new US-led strategy in Iraq and Syria is premised on the notion of a clear and discernable distinction between the ‘moderate’ rebels and extremists linked to al-Qaeda or IS. But according to Shoebridge, this distinction then and now is virtually meaningless: “It should also be noted in this respect that the ‘moderate’ rebels the US and UK support themselves openly welcomed the arrival of such extremists. Indeed, the Free Syria Army backed by the West was allied with ISIS, until ISIS attacked them at the end of 2013. Still today, ‘moderate’ rebels backed by the US and UK are allied with Syrian al Qaeda affiliate al Nusra, despite the US and UK having banned this group at home.”

Turning a blind eye

By some estimates up to 500 Britons are suspected of having gone to fight in Syria. With reports that many of them are planning to return to the UK, some of them due to being disillusioned with IS, the government is exploring new powers to prevent British terror suspects from traveling abroad or re-entering the country. But Shoebridge remarked that since 2006, UK authorities have tacitly allowed this terror-funnel to consolidate and expand, until it began to grow out of control last year. Britain, he told me, “turned a blind eye to the travelling of its own jihadists to Syria, notwithstanding ample video etc evidence of their crimes there. Despite such overseas terrorism having been illegal in the UK since 2006, it’s notable that only towards the end of 2013 when ISIS turned against the West’s preferred rebels, and perhaps also when the tipping point between foreign policy usefulness and MI5 fears of domestic terrorist blowback was reached, did the UK authorities begin to take serious steps to tackle the flow of UK jihadists.”

The US-UK direct and tacit support for jihadists, he said, had made Syria the safest place for regional terrorists fearing drone strikes “for more than two years.” Syria was “the only place British jihadists could fight without fear of US drones or arrest back home… likely because, unlike if similar numbers of UK jihadists had been travelling to for example Yemen or Afghanistan, this suited the US and UK’s anti Assad foreign policy.”

Air strikes will fail, could pave way for ground war

I also talked to a senior US Army official familiar with Iraq who had deep reservations about the current course of military action. “It was almost 100% certain that airstrikes alone could never ‘defeat’ ISIS. The absolute automatic, certain reaction ISIS would take has been taken: they changed the way they operate, move, and where they live. They are now more deeply embedded in the civilian infrastructure so that continued striking is going to build up more and more civilian casualties – which ISIS and other organizations will certainly publicize, making us look very bad. So it should have been known, 100%, that airpower alone wouldn’t succeed.”

The failure of air strikes to quell IS could pave the way for an inevitable ground invasion, he speculated, which however would only result in a deeper quagmire: “What do you do next? Stop bombing? Bomb more? What more targets do you engage; which additional targets will you engage? Or will you bring in Western ground troops to fight? That has been tried and conclusively failed.”

In much the same way that the devastation of Iraq in the context of the 2003 Iraq War, and the US-backed imposition of a repressive, sectarian regime there, have acted as a recruiting sergeant for Islamist extremists, further air strikes are likely to have a similar counterproductive impact now.

Civilians in Iraq and Syria, the US official said, “were first victimized and brutalized by ISIS, and now many of them have already been killed and wounded by the airstrikes. Their homes, business, and schools have been turned to rubble; their economy almost eliminated. What do we think all these people will think of the West now? Even if we eventually defeated ISIS – highly unlikely – the devastation against these innocents will engender such animosity towards us the results might be worse than what we have now.”

Any solution to the crisis, he said, would require a dramatic change of approach to the region, including serious introspection on the west’s contribution to the conditions which have fed the grievances of groups like al-Qaeda and IS. “Neither the US or UK have been willing to even consider, much less admit, that a good chunk of the causality for this current mess originated with our actions in 2003 and ever since. In effect, the very bad policy and military actions we’ve taken in the past decade to help inflame this region – through considerable kinetic action and the funneling in of huge amounts of weapons and ammunition – will be deepened and expanded… So long as we don’t concede our actions have contributed greatly to this instability (not all, but a significant portion), we will be doomed to deepening the situation.”

For British counter terrorism expert Shoebridge, the sheer incompetence of the US-UK’s reactionary response raises probing questions about whether their strategies have been willingly compromised by commitments to their allies, many of whom played key roles with US and UK support in supporting Islamist extremists in Syria.

“For the US and UK, to find an answer as to a way out of the mess that is now the Islamic State one must first ask whether for their foreign policy it’s actually a mess at all,” he said. “Certainly ISIS remains a potent and useful tool for key US and UK allies such as Saudi Arabia, and perhaps also Israel, which seek the destabilization of enemies Syria and Iraq, as well as a means for applying pressure on more friendly states such as Lebanon and Jordan. It’s understandable therefore that many question the seriousness of US and UK resolve to destroy ISIS, particularly given that for years their horrific crimes against civilians, particularly minorities, in Syria were expediently largely unmentioned by the West’s governments or media.”

Whether or not the west is serious about defeating IS, there can be little doubt that the acceleration of western military intervention in Iraq and Syria is pitched to aggravate regional crisis, while permitting policymakers to dramatically extend the unaccountable powers of the surveillance state.

Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. He has contributed to two major terrorism investigations in the US and UK, the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest, and has advised the Royal Military Academy Sandhust, British Foreign Office and US State Department, among other government agencies. His new novel, ZERO POINT, predicted a US-UK re-invasion of Iraq to put down an Islamist insurgency there. Nafeez is a regular contributor to The Guardian where he writes abo
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FBI agent pleads guilty in Utah federal court to conspiracy

http://m.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/58468823-219/lustyik-taylor-guilty-federal.html.csp

September 29 2014

Robert G. Lustyik Jr. • Former FBI agent.

Former FBI agent Robert G. Lustyik Jr. pleaded guilty on Monday just before a trial was to begin on charges he tried to derail a federal investigation into a company accused of defrauding the military out of millions of dollars through a defense contract in Afghanistan.

Lustyik, 52, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., pleaded guilty to all 11 counts of an indictment handed up in 2012 that charged he and two others with conspiracy, fraud and obstruction of justice and obstruction of a federal agency.

After taking Lustyik’s guilty plea, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell started the process of selecting a jury in the trial of Lustyik’s fellow defendant, Johannes W. Thaler.

A third defendant, Michael Taylor of Boston, pleaded guilty in November of 2013 to one count of wire fraud and admitted he had bribed Lustyik to try to derail an investigation.

Taylor owned American International Security Corporation (AISC), a Boston-based firm. The case and several linked ones revolved around allegations of contract rigging by Taylor’s company to win the right to train and equip Afghanistan commandos as part of the U.S. war effort. The contract was eventually worth $54 million.

The case ended up in Salt Lake City federal court because another man, Christopher Harris, AISC’s head in Afghanistan who once lived in southern Utah, came under scrutiny after he told a clerk at a St. George bank where he had an account that he was making withdrawals of under $10,000 so the bank didn’t have to report him to federal authorities.

Taylor said he offered Lustyik employment, a big salary and a share in big deals with which his company was involved if Lustyik would push to have a grand jury investigation dropped. Lustyik in his capacity as an counterintelligence agent then falsely claimed Taylor as a confidential intelligence source and then contacted Utah prosecutors about the case in an effort to end the investigation, court documents allege.

Lustyik’s attorney, Ray Mansolillo of Boston, said his client pleaded guilty right before trial because he wanted to spare his family and didn’t want to have to disclose information he developed as an intelligence agent.
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Federal judge dismisses Occupy Buffalo suit against FBI

on September 30, 2014 - 2:02 PM

see link for full story

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/federal-judge-dismisses-occupy-buffalo-suit-against-fbi-20140930


A federal judge has dismissed Occupy Buffalo’s civil suit seeking information on when and how the FBI and other government agencies monitored the group.

Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny found that the U.S. Justice Department fulfilled its legal obligation to search for records about Occupy Buffalo and withhold those that are exempt from the Freedom of Information law.

The suit stems in part from the government’s acknowledgement that federal agencies kept an eye on the group’s activities. The Coast Guard, for example, monitored public websites for Occupy Buffalo’s planned activities.

Michael Kuzma, one of the group’s lawyers, said the Justice Department’s unwillingness to provide information about the group is just one example of the Obama administration’s opposition to openness and transparency in government.

Occupy Buffalo still has a federal suit pending against the city for its removal of the group
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FBI moves to fire 11 whistleblowers, key senator fears retaliation
Eleven served with Loss of Effectiveness orders, warned of possible firings

"These whistleblowers never have the opportunity to make their case," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican. "It's stereotypical treatment of whistleblowers for the executive branch." (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
“These whistleblowers never have the opportunity to make their case,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican. “It’s stereotypical treatment of whistleblowers for the executive branch.”


- Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Eleven whistleblowers in the FBI say the bureau is targeting them for termination in retaliation for their revelations about FBI wrongdoing, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary announced Wednesday.

The whistleblowers, who have spoken out about various problems and wrongdoing at the law enforcement agency, said they recently have been served with Loss of Effectiveness orders, warning that their performance is suffering and that they could soon be fired.




“These whistleblowers never have the opportunity to make their case,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican. “It’s stereotypical treatment of whistleblowers for the executive branch.”

SEE ALSO: Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology

The letters sent to the employees mark the first major case showing how new FBI Director James B. Comey may react to internal whistleblowers.

Mr. Grassley noted that the Loss of Effectiveness orders don’t allow employees an appeal and bypass the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which usually deals with employee matters.

“If these allegations are true, the FBI’s treatment of whistleblowers stands in stark contrast with how it treats agents who have been found by [internal investigators] to have committed actual, disciplinable offenses,” Mr. Grassley said in a September letter to the FBI director.



The senator cited the case of an FBI agent who was having a relationship with a foreign citizen and had divulged sensitive information. The agent was never sent a Loss of Effectiveness (LOE) letter, and the agent’s case was handled through the Office of Professional Responsibility, he said.

“There is serious cause for concern that the FBI’s use of LOEs may be similarly arbitrary and capricious in other cases as well as a tool of whistleblower retaliation,” Mr. Grassley wrote.

Officials at the FBI could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

But in a September response to Mr. Grassley’s letter, the bureau said that LOE letters are a means to “maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our workforce.”

“The FBI intends the process to be fair and to improve the efficiency of the workforce,” the bureau said. “A LOE transfer does not result in a loss in pay or a demotion in rank.”

“All FBI employees are subject to being moved from a particular assignment for the betterment of the organization and to promote the leadership qualities needed for the FBI to be effective,” the bureau letter said.

The whistleblowers said the FBI Office of Integrity and Compliance is concerned about the issue of retaliation and is working on drafting changes to the agency’s policies on the treatment of whistleblowers.

Mr. Grassley pointed to the case of agent Richard Kiper, who was working as the unit chief of the Investigative Training Unit in the FBI Training Division. But Mr. Kiper claims FBI leaders gave him a Loss of Effectiveness letter in July 2013 in retaliation after he provided information on problems in the training curriculum and business process. Based on the Loss of Effectiveness order, Mr. Kiper was demoted.

The FBI has taken retaliatory action against whistleblowers in the past. In 2007 former agent Jane Turner won a court case against the agency after she was forced out due to retaliation. FBI officials said she had tarnished the agency’s reputation for reporting about the potential theft of property from ground zero in New York City.

Story Continues →



Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/1/fbi-whistleblowers-claim-retaliatory-targeting-for/#ixzz3ExQlf5C4
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Political News: Infiltration and Agent Provocateurs; Vision Tech; Endless War; Surveillance, Control and Repression


Infiltration and Agent Provocateurs
From 2007-09, John Towery, a criminal intelligence army analyst in the Force Protection Service fusion center at the Fort Lewis military base spied on anarchists and peace activists in Tacoma and Olympia, WA who were part of SDS and the Port Militarization Resistance, which protested international war shipments. Under the name ‘John Jacob’, Towery became close friends with the activists, surveilled them, and shared data with local, state, federal and military agencies. A public records request uncovered the surveillance operation of Towery against the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, IWW, Iraq Veterans Against the War, an anarchist bookshop, amongst others. The 9th circuit court of appeals has ruled in December 2012 that the subsequent lawsuit against Towery can proceed in the narrow terms of intentionally enabling arrest without probable cause in order to repress free speech, but apparently not on the Posse Comitatus law that bars the use of armed forces for law enforcement activities inside the US.

The Earth Island Journal published documents obtained through FOIA requests that show how the Bryan County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s department was spying on the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and other direct action groups against the proposed tar sands pipeline to run from Canada to Texas. Some activists were arrested earlier, the action camp infiltrated and a protest preempted. The targets are described as eco-activists; Native American resisters; Occupy members; Anarchists; and locals from the community. Documents also show how the corporation TransCanada who will build the pipeline works closely with the multi-government agency Fusion Center in Oklahoma advising on policy, changing laws, sharing intel, ensnaring activists, and generally protecting their own interests and facilitating the increase of their profits.

The agent provocateur “Anna” performed extensive FBI surveillance and entrapment of three other activists (see the Life During Wartime book review) used to convict Eric McDavid for 19 years and 7 months, the second longest sentence for recent environmental prisoners. During McDavid’s trial, his lawyer attempted to argue government misconduct because of “Anna’s” intimate relationship with him, however this was dismissed in light of the 1991 9th Circuit ruling in US v Simpson that the government can exploit intimate and sexual relations between the infiltrator and anyone under a surveillance investigation.

Back in January 2011, The Guardian newspaper journalists Paul Lewis and Rob Evans broke the huge story of how Mark Kennedy, a London Metropolitan Police officer, infiltrated numerous European left and direct action networks under the name “Mark Stone” and “Flash”. 22 countries including Germany used Kennedy as an agent provocateur in order to ensnare activists in illegal activities, gather information, maps networks, etc. (The website “Mark Kennedy: A chronology of his activities” gives more details and corrections to the initial news reports, although not on his Berlin spying.) Various British police and government agencies cut Kennedy loose, avoided responsibility, attempted to stop or curtail “reform” of undercover agents’ behavior, and denied their support of his spying, especially concerning how Kennedy had sexual relations with numerous women over the years in order to gather intel and ensnare them. 8 of those women have sued Scotland Yard for sexual misconduct by five agent provocateurs Bob Lambert, John Dines, Jim Boyling, Mark Cassidy and Mark Kennedy. The reporters have in 2013 published a book on the wider use of infiltration and surveillance called Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police.

The Associated Press reporters Matt Abuzzo and Adam Goldmann, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for their series of investigations of the NYPD’s surveillance operations against Muslim Americans (in and outside NYC and the state), have published a new book Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Spying Unit that gives much greater detail through meticulous research on these operations. NYPD’s Demographics Unit spent six years using a huge network of informants to surveil every aspect of life, actions which did not lead to a single arrest, criminal cases or thwarting of so-called ‘terrorism’ plots. (Ray Kelly, the NYPD Commissioner, has been floated to be nominated to run the Department of Homeland Security.) Various lawsuits brought against the NYPD by Muslim Americans affect by the spying are pending in court.

Vision Tech
The UK Home Office has funded the development of the Discriminating Irritant Projectile (DIP), something like a gun that fires CS gas, pepper spray or other substance as far as 131 feet away from the intended targets. They have also tested a new Taser gun, the X2, that can taser multiple people at once. Both are slated to be deployed in large protests and arrest situations.

A declassified 1998 Pentagon report “The Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons” shows that there is a possibility to weaponize the use of microwave hearing technology to make a subject hear voices or words in their head without audible sound, which is predicted to have devastating psychological effects. The report also discusses the idea of using electromagnetic pulses to disrupt the brain’s functioning. However, the report doesn’t indicate any ongoing programs for the development of these weapon ideas.

Ohio instituted, with no oversight or public comment, a new facial recognition program that matches any image from videos, pictures, mug shots, etc. to an storage state issued ID card (drivers’ license) image, as well as contact info, bank accounts and flight departure/arrival plans. Various federal agencies and 28 states already have similar programs with Florida running a program containing 120 million identified faces. Similar database programs store biometric data such as iris scans (also used in Fallujah, Iraq), skin textures, vein patterns, palm and finger prints, and personal physical demarcations such as a gait while walking.

The Supreme Court ruled in June 2013 in a split decision that arrestees can be forced prior to arraignment to give up DNA samples to the police, who do not need a warrant, and there is no distinction concerning minor and serious offenses, thus all arrestees could be targeted. The case Maryland v King concerns the defendant who was arrested for a gun related assault charges, whose DNA was taken against his will, and then matched in a database to an unsolved rape case. The court ruled that DNA sampling is legitimate police booking method like fingerprinting, and 28 states run such programs. This ruling may further support the establishment of a national DNA database.

Endless War
In February 2013, a 16 page legal ‘white paper’, prepared by the Obama DOJ was released by the press, articulated the supposed ‘lawfulness’ of assassinating Americans (named on the kill list, see datacide 12 news) for allegedly being al-Qaida or associated forces member. This document isn’t the OLC memo the ACLU and other organizations are still trying to get released. Assassinations are justified by the government’s accusations or implied associations between two plus targets, not through any legal mechanism to assess guilt. Targeting killing continue to expand the George W. Bush doctrine of the ‘world is a battlefield’, and such murder can be instituted without an ‘imminent’ threat to the US or its allies. Assassination targets are also foreigners, whose targeted killing mostly by drones is facilitated between the NSA/CIA/etc and British GCHQ. On 19 July 2013, the ACLU and CCR argued in federal court that the assassinations of 3 US citizens (2 on the kill list) is unconstitutional, and the case is covered extensively in the new book and documentary film Dirty Wars by journalist Jeremy Scahill. Documents compiled by various human rights organizations and media outlets convincingly demonstrate that the vast majority of people killed by drones are civilians (although the Obama administration argues that any man of military age near a strike zone is considered a ‘combatant’ or ‘militant’, and can be ‘lawfully’ killed without due process, and are not considered ‘civilian’, unless they are later proven innocent.) The website Naming the Dead by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism attempts to record accurately the names, and as much other information as possible, about people killed by drone strikes in Pakistan.

The Rendition Project has created a detailed mapping, database, and informational website that provides new and extensive research on the extraordinary rendition program set up by the CIA after 9/11. It documents how governments around the world actively participated in the illegal rendition program and facilitated torture.


In July, a federal 2nd circuit appeals court overturned the court order injunction against the implementation of Section 1021 of the NDAA, which authorizes the president to indefinitely detain “a person who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces” (this includes American citizens detained in the US) (see datacide 12 news).

The federal lawsuit brought in court by four Iraqi victims tortured at Abu Ghraib prison called Al Shimari v CACI attempts to prove the private military contractor’s participation and conspiracy in war crimes, torture, and other offenses. On June 26, 2013, the judge dismissed the whole case based on a recent Supreme Court decision that Alien Tort Statue claims made by international victims could not be applied to violations by Americans or American companies outside the US, thus the case didn’t actually resolve at all the question of the contractor’s culpability. In a further blow, the court ordered the Iraqi victims to pay the expensive legal fees run up by CACI in this case.

Surveillance, Control and Repression
On June 5, 2013, Glenn Greenwald, journalist at The Guardian, and Laura Poitras, independent filmmaker, broke the first story about NSA spying on domestic and international all phone, internet and electronic communications, based on leaked documents provided by former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Connected stories document the collection and spying on all other personal data including banking, tax and medical records, all domestic and international mail in the US, etc.) Since then, several hundred articles have been published on innumerable aspects of secret NSA spying programs, the methods, what US officials knew, how this was kept secret, ‘legal’ justifications and ‘oversight’, various funding issues, Congress members attempts to ‘reform’ the programs, corporations and manufacturers involvement and facilitation, as well as numerous international stories concerning foreign governments participation in data sharing and dual programs, as well as lots of international fallout, so its impossible to even describe an overview here of the revelations and ramifications. The most recent story published on October 4 reveals how the NSA has attempted through various methods to uncover the anonymity of Tor, an open-source public software project that keeps users’ internet traffic anonymous and protected from censorship tools.

On September 25, Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svarthom appealed the previous conviction that he was found guilt of hacking a Swedish IT company and not guilty of hacking a local bank. He had his sentence in the case reduced to one year, in part based on testimony from Jacob Appelbaum demonstrating that the prosecution couldn’t disprove that Svarthom’s computer could have been taken over and abused remotely. All the Pirate Bay founders continue to have legal problems, jail time and must pay huge fines, while Svarthom will be extradited to Denmark to face new charges.

Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) was convicted in military court to 35 years in prison for 20 charges related to the leaking over 700,000 classified documents to Wikileaks, which comprised the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, the Collateral Murder Video, and Cable Gate, amongst others. Manning was found not guilt of the most nefarious offense “aiding the enemy”. Manning is seeking a presidential pardon.

Journalist James Risen lost his appeal in July to avoid the subpoena issued against him to testify in the case of US v Sterling, thus his option is to go to prison for contempt of court, or be forced to reveal his sources during the trial. The court found that journalists have no special privileges to avoid self-incrimination or to refuse to give court testimony. Sterling was indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act, for allegedly passing to an unauthorized person (Risen) national defense information about the Clinton administration’s plan to pass faulty nuclear weapon blueprints to Iran. Sterling is only the fifth person in US history to be tried under this act, and is part of the Obama administration’s aggressive campaign against whistleblowers and leakers.

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FBI agents successfully convert word communism to muslim
       



US attorney in Boston Carmen " no Miranda" Ortiz who suicided Aaron Schwartz would like your achtung please....




Federal initiative in Boston aims to counter extremism



October 04, 2014

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/03/attorney-details-efforts-stop-violent-extremists/jC6JDiUiLa3Wv8TrblOM1J/story.html


US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the program is unprecedented in its scope.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/File

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the program is unprecedented in its scope.

A new Justice Department initiative in Boston aimed at preventing people from joining extremist groups will focus not just on radicalized Muslims but on all forms of militants, including white supremacists, religious hate groups, and school shooters, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said.

In an interview, Ortiz said the program is unprecedented in its scope, enlisting a broad spectrum of religious leaders, community leaders, and experts in health and education to identify people susceptible to radical ideology and intervene before they become a threat. It also draws on counterterrorism specialists, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement, to assess risks and threats.

The program is launching as the Islamic State militant group that has occupied parts of Syria and Iraq has been aggressively recruiting members on social media, and a number of Americans have traveled overseas to join the Islamic State and other militants.

“This is to try to identify individuals who are likely to engage in violent extremism,” Ortiz told the Globe. “At the end of the day our goal is to really promote public safety here and to have the community be a part of our national security.”

The Islamic Council of New England, which was already in the process of creating a training program to steer youths away from extremist ideology, has agreed to participate in the project, along with leaders of other faiths.

Dr. Nabeel Khudairi, chairman of the interfaith committee of the Islamic Council of New England, said Muslim leaders have repeatedly condemned violent extremism and that the council has been working to create a youth training program to stress that message.

“We see it as our responsibly as good Muslims to constantly remind young people they have a moral obligation to follow certain codes and behavior,” said Khudairi, who is a member of one of two working groups Ortiz formed to counter violent extremism.

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The Islamic Council is seeking advice from psychologists, sociologists and computer experts on how to develop the training program, with workshops, and possibly interactive educational apps for smartphones, that would be implemented at mosques throughout New England, and eventually nationwide.

The training sessions “would clearly steer them away from acts of revenge or extremist thinking,” Khudairi said.

Yusufi Vali, executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, said he was hopeful that mosques and the Muslim community would not be singled out under the initiative.

“Mosques are the best buffers against any form of extremism because it’s a place where community happens,” said Vali, citing studies that indicate many violent extremists are often loners who isolate themselves from the community and are radicalized online.

“As a country we’ve seen an increase in violent extremism, whether it be the school shootings, the recent attack on a synagogue in Kansas City or the Boston Marathon tragedy,” said Vali, adding that authorities should focus on what is causing the spike in violence.

In explaining the program, Ortiz said Boston was not selected because of the Marathon bombings.

But rather, she said, the city was chosen because it has strong community-oriented policing that has been successful in targeting gangs and gun violence.

She said the initiative, which was announced last month and is also underway in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, is intended as a pilot for a program that could be expanded to a nationwide approach to countering violent extremism.

Kieran Ramsey, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said the practice of enlisting community groups, nonprofit agencies, private businesses, and neighborhood residents will better prevent and predict future threats “from gangs, drugs, cyber-related crimes, and terrorism” than “merely reacting to ones as they appear.”

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, who is participating in the federal initiative, said he recently visited the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center for the first time, and is doing more outreach to the Muslim and Somali communities in an effort to build trust and allay fears of religious profiling.

“If they see someone whose views are extremely radical, those are the people we want them to notify us of,” Evans said. “We don’t want to be snooping in on their religion.”

He cited as an example of the outreach the police response to a rash of robberies commi ...
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http://www.wired.com/2014/10/feds-silk-road-hack-legal/




Feds ‘Hacked’ Silk Road Without a Warrant? Perfectly Legal, Prosecutors Argue

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/feds-silk-road-hack-legal/




10.07.14 |




Ross Ulbricht. Courtesy Ulbricht family

With only a month until the scheduled trial of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged creator of the Silk Road drug site, Ulbricht’s defense lawyers have zeroed in on the argument that the U.S. government illegally hacked the billion-dollar black market site to expose the location of its hidden server. The prosecution’s latest rebuttal to that argument takes an unexpected tack: they claim that even if the FBI did hack the Silk Road without a warrant—and prosecutors are careful not to admit they did—that intrusion would be a perfectly law-abiding act of criminal investigation.

On Monday evening the prosecutors submitted the latest in a series of combative court filings from the two sides of the Silk Road case that have clashed over Ulbricht’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy. The government’s new argument responds to an affidavit from an expert witness, tech lawyer Joshua Horowitz, brought in by Ulbricht’s defense to poke holes in the FBI’s story of how it located the Silk Road server. In a letter filed last week, Horowitz called out inconsistencies in the FBI’s account of stumbling across the Silk Road’s IP address while innocently entering “miscellaneous data” into its login page. He testified that the FBI’s actions instead sounded more like common hacker intrusion techniques. Ulbricht’s defense has called for an evidentiary hearing to cross examine the FBI about the operation.

In the government’s rebuttal, however, Ulbricht’s prosecutors don’t directly contest Horowitz’ description of the FBI’s investigation, though they do criticize his testimony in passing as “factually and analytically flawed in a number of respects.” Instead, they obliquely argue that the foreign location of the site’s server and its reputation as a criminal haven mean that Ulbricht’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches don’t apply, even if the FBI did use hacking techniques to penetrate the Silk Road, and did so without a warrant.

“Even if the FBI had somehow ‘hacked’ into the [Silk Road] Server in order to identify its IP address, such an investigative measure would not have run afoul of the Fourth Amendment,” the prosecutors’ new memo reads. “Given that the SR Server was hosting a blatantly criminal website, it would have been reasonable for the FBI to ‘hack’ into it in order to search it, as any such ‘hack’ would simply have constituted a search of foreign property known to contain criminal evidence, for which a warrant was not necessary.”

The Silk Road server in question, after all, was located not in the United States but in a data center near Reykjavik, Iceland. And though Ulbricht is an American citizen, the prosecutors argue that the server’s location abroad made it fair game for remote intrusion. “Because the SR Server was located outside the United States, the Fourth Amendment would not have required a warrant to search the server, whether for its IP address or otherwise,” the prosecution’s filing reads.

In a footnote, the memo adds another strike against Ulbricht’s Fourth Amendment protections: The Silk Road was not only hosted in a foreign data center, but also rented from a third-party web hosting service. And because Ulbricht allegedly violated the company’s terms of service by using its computers to deal in narcotics and other contraband, that company was exempted from any obligation to protect his privacy.

Finally, prosecutors argue that for the 30-year-old Texan to claim privacy protections for Silk Road’s server, he would have to declare that it belonged to him—a tricky Catch-22. Ulbricht hasn’t claimed personal possession of that computer’s data, as doing so would almost certainly incriminate him. But because he hasn’t he can’t claim that his privacy was violated when it was searched, according to the prosecutor’s reasoning. “Because Ulbricht has not submitted any affidavit alleging that he had any possessory interest in the SR Server—let alone one that would give him a reasonable expectation of privacy—his motion should be denied,” reads the prosecutors’ filing.

Early Tuesday, Judge Katherine Forrest ordered Ulbricht’s defense to decide within the day whether it will argue that Ulbricht did have an expectation of privacy for the Silk Road server, as well as all his other seized computers and online accounts. She’s given him until the end of the day Wednesday to make that argument Ulbricht’s defense didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The pre-trial motion over which Ulbricht’s defense lawyers and the prosecution have been sparring for the last two months doesn’t directly seek to have the central narcotics conspiracy and money laundering charges against Ulbricht dismissed. Instead, his lawyers have sought to prove that the evidence gathered by law enforcement is tainted. If ...
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http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com
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see link for full story
http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/269910/speedreads-david-greenglass-brother-who-testified-against-ethel-rosenberg-dies-at-92



OCTOBER 14 2014
David Greenglass, brother who testified against Ethel Rosenberg, dies at 92
David Greenglass, whose testimony against his sister Ethel Rosenberg led to her death sentence for espionage in 1953, died July 1 at the age of 92. The New York Times learned of his death recently after calling the nursing home where he lived.


A Communist, Greenglass was assigned to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in 1944 while an Army sergeant. He was already a Soviet spy, and while there, stole nuclear intelligence. After being arrested in 1950, Greenglass admitted to passing secrets to his brother-in-law, Julius Rosenberg. There was the question of whether it was Ethel or Greenglass' wife, Ruth, who had typed the notes that were sent to the Soviets. Greenglass learned that Ruth had told FBI agents that Ethel was the typist, and Greenglass went along with the story and testified against his sister and brother-in-law. The Rosenbergs never named names, and after being found guilty were executed in 1953.

Ruth was never prosecuted, and Greenglass served almost 10 years in prison. Upon his release, he changed his name. Decades later, a New York Times journalist tracked him down, and he admitted to not really knowing whether or not Ethel had typed the notes. "I don't remember that at all," he said. "I frankly think my wife did the typing, but I don't remember." He didn't regret what he did, though, saying: "My wife is more important to me than my sister. Or my mother or my father, OK? And she was the mother of my children."
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ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION


https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/eff-response-fbi-director-comeys-speech-encryption

OCTOBER 17, 2014 | BY CINDY COHN
EFF Response to FBI Director Comey's Speech on Encryption
FBI Director James Comey gave a speech yesterday reiterating the FBI's nearly twenty-year-old talking points about why it wants to reduce the security in your devices, rather than help you increase it. Here's EFF's response:

The FBI should not be in the business of trying to convince companies to offer less security to their customers. It should be doing just the opposite. But that's what Comey is proposing—undoing a clear legal protection we fought hard for in the 1990s.1 The law specifically ensures that a company is not required to essentially become an agent of the FBI rather than serving your security and privacy interests. Congress rightly decided that companies (and free and open source projects and anyone else building our tools) should be allowed to provide us with the tools to lock our digital information up just as strongly as we can lock up our physical goods. That's what Comey wants to undo.

It's telling that his remarks echo so closely the arguments of that era. Compare them, for example, with this comment from former FBI Director Louis Freeh in May of 1995, now nearly twenty years ago:

[W]e're in favor of strong encryption, robust encryption. The country needs it, industry needs it. We just want to make sure we have a trap door and key under some judge's authority where we can get there if somebody is planning a crime.

Now just as then, the FBI is trying to convince the world that some fantasy version of security is possible—where "good guys" can have a back door or extra key to your home but bad guys could never use it. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of security can tell you that's just not true. So the "debate" Comey calls for is phony, and we suspect he knows it. Instead, Comey wants everybody to have weak security, so that when the FBI decides somebody is a "bad guy," it has no problem collecting personal data.

That's bad science, it's bad law, it's bad for companies serving a global marketplace that may not think the FBI is always a "good guy," and it's bad for every person who wants to be sure that their data is as protected as possible—whether from ordinary criminals hacking into their email provider, rogue governments tracking them for politically organizing, or competing companies looking for their trade secrets.

Perhaps Comey's speech is saber rattling. Maybe it's an attempt to persuade the American people that we've undertaken significant reforms in light of the Snowden revelations—the U.S. government has not—and that it's time for the "pendulum" to swing back. Or maybe by putting this issue in play, the FBI may hope to draw our eyes away from, say, its attempt to water down the National Security Letter reform that Congress is considering. It's difficult to tell.

But if the FBI gets its way and convinces Congress to change the law, or even if it convinces companies like Apple that make our tools and hold our data to weaken the security they offer to us, we'll all end up less secure and enjoying less privacy. Or as the Fourth Amendment puts it: we'll be be less "secure in our papers and effects."

For more on EFF's coverage of the "new" Crypto Wars, read this article focusing on the security issues we wrote last week in Vice. And going back even earlier, a broader update to a piece we wrote in 2010, which itself was was based on our fights in the 90s. If the FBI wants to try to resurrect this old debate, EFF will be in strong opposition, just as we were 20 years ago. That's because—just like 20 years ago—the Internet needs more, not less, strong encryption.

1. Here's the relevant part of CALEA that Comey wants to effectively undo: "47 USC 1002(b)(3): A telecommunications carrier shall not be responsible for decrypting, or ensuring the government’s ability to decrypt, any communication encrypted by a subscriber or customer, unless the encryption was provided by the carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication." Also from the CALEA legislative history: "Finally, telecommunications carriers have no responsibility to decrypt encrypted communications that are the subject of court-ordered wiretaps, unless the carrier provided the encryption and can decrypt it. This obligation is consistent with the obligation to furnish all necessary assistance under 18 U.S.C. Section 2518(4). Nothing in this paragraph would prohibit a carrier from deploying an encryption service for which it does not retain the ability to decrypt communications for law enforcement access ... Nothing in the bill is intended to limit or otherwise prevent the use of any type of encryption within the United States. Nor does the Committee intend this bill to be in any way a precursor to any kind of ban or limitation on encryption technology. To the contrary, section 2602 protects the right to use encryption." H/T Chris Soghoian: http://paranoia.dubfire.net/2010/09/calea-and-encryption.html
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http://www.sanderhicks.com/tausdevecchio.html


New York FBI: In Bed With Mob & CIA

Exclusive Report by Sander Hicks

Published by The New York Megaphone, debut issue, June/July 2006

On June 16th, 2006, citizen researcher Angela Clemente was found knocked out and strangled to within an inch of her life in Brooklyn. Her independent research had led to the March 30th indictment of Lindley DeVecchio, a Mob/FBI scandal that is the New York FBI’s biggest ever. DeVecchio, a retired FBI agent, was accused of four murders, rubbing out the opponents of Mafia don Greg Scarpa, Sr. To date, The New York Post has done a commendable job on the story, while The New York Times has all but ignored it.

Why?

Perhaps because there’s more to this scandal than one man gone bad. This story has connections to the defining events of our times: the 9/11 attacks, and their often-ignored predecessor, the ’93 World Trade Center bombing. It turns out DeVecchio is a part of a network that goes all the way back to Iran/Contra.

When a decorated FBI agent, Richard Taus, working under DeVecchio, started to expose this network, Taus ended up in jail. He’s been there since 1991.

“It’s been a 16 year nightmare,” Taus’s son David told The Megaphone in the harsh noonday sun outside the New York State Appellate courthouse. The date was May 9, 2005. The family had spent $300,000 on lawyers, trying to get dad out of jail. They just had their first appeal in a long while. But the judges themselves had made hostile statements.

Richard Taus was a top investigator in the New York FBI’s Counter-intelligence Division. In 1991, he was sentenced to a record-breaking 32 to 90 years for questionable charges of pedophilia. Supporters claim he was railroaded for doggedly investigating a CIA-linked operation involved in narcotics, Iran/Contra, and the Mafia. Angela Clemente visited Taus in prison, as part of her DeVecchio research.

The retired, Mafia-linked, ex-CIA asset George Hebert admits to The Megaphone that there is more to the Richard Taus story than meets the eye: “[Taus] was playing around and wasn’t listening to the right people. They had their own agenda. Once Taus got locked up, I stayed away. You have to understand, these people play for keeps.”

For 20 years, the Richard Taus story has remained underground, too weird for New York newspapers.

Until now.
DeVecchio: Worked for the Mob and the CIA

Lin DeVecchio allegedly helped have 18-year old Patrick Porco shot, when Porco witnessed a murder by Scarpa’s stepson. When girlfriend-to-the-mob, Mary Bari, turned FBI informant, it was DeVecchio who helped have her slain in a bar. The list goes on. It’s the mob connection that has captivated the media’s attention, at least thus far.

But there’s more to the story. According to The New York Post, DeVecchio was also the guy the CIA called in 1983 when they needed someone to go undercover to wiretap a rogue CIA asset making death threats in prison. The year 1983 is significant: at that time DeVecchio was Richard Taus’ supervisor at the FBI. DeVecchio interfered with Taus’ investigation of CIA/mob/narcotics and weapons trading on Long Island. But Taus kept digging, and in exchange, had his life ruined.

Ten years later, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes indicted DeVecchio, tipped off by Angela Clemente, and journalist/author Peter Lance.

DeVecchio is cited 12 times in Richard Taus’ recent jailhouse memoir, FBI, CIA, the Mob and Treachery. A helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Taus was shot down nine times. Surviving the crashes implanted a sense of mission, and thanks to a special dispensation from President Johnson, Taus adopted a Vietnamese orphan, whom he named David.

Taus was recruited into the FBI, and by 1979, had made the Foreign Counter-Intelligence division. In the early ’80s, Taus worked alongside future FBI Director Louis Freeh on one of the biggest busts of drug money laundering ever—the ironically named “Pizza Connection” case. The case broke open and temporarily shut down sections of the Sicilian heroin trade, which were laundering profits through pizzerias in New York City and the Midwest. The Mafia in this case had connections to the Italian government, and according to some, the CIA.

Dossier on “The K-Team”:
Clowns with Connections to Protect Them from the Law

According to an unpublished paper by U.K. Iran/Contra scholar John Simkin, “A significant degree of policy-forming leadership” during the Iran/Contra scandal was ‘privatized,’ passing to an assortment of fringe forces represented by such notables as Singlaub, Secord, and Clines, who...provided the basic framework within which Reagan, McFarlane, and Casey acted, with North and Poindexter featured as trustworthy “handmaidens.”

But who were the “handmaidens” of North and Poindexter? That would be people like the “K-Team,” a Freeport, Long Island group of intelligence sub-contractors, wanna-be spies in trench coats and dark glasses, getting in over their heads in dangerous waters. The “K-Team” were true believers in Ronald Reagan’s vision of democracy versus an “evil empire” but their methods were unorthodox. They gathered intelligence on Central America and the Caribbean by hanging out in Brooklyn bars. They were handed major responsibilities for Reagan’s 1983 invasion of Grenada. In fact, they found someone to install as the new president, post-invasion, but their candidate chickened out.

Dan Priscu

A veteran member of the the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, Priscu was president of Castle Securities, a stock brokerage in a bad neighborhood. Taus suspected it of being a CIA front. Taus found Priscu through his work on the Pizza Connection case, specifically, Taus’ stakeout of a Mafia-linked cheese company that was dealing narcotics.

Kevin Kattke

Kattke was a textbook “Soldier of Fortune” ripped from the pages of the magazine. When his handlers at CIA wanted his K-Team to kill some Grenadian drug dealers in the Bronx and steal their money, Kattke agreed it was a great way for the Team to raise some funds. Richard Taus knew Kattke from their Army Reserve unit, where Kattke was in U.S. Army Intelligence. Kattke’s day job “cover” was a maintenance man at Macy’s. Today, nobody knows where Kattke is or if he’s still alive.

[Correction: His son told this reporter that he's still alive, but promises to deliver an interview have yet to pan out...]

George Hebert
Hebert went to college with Richard Taus at Pennsylvania Military College (today, Widener University). Hebert describes himself as “very close to Reagan” after the Grenada invasion. In 1985, Hebert pressured Taus to stop investigating them. Hebert today tells The Megaphone: “Exactly what [Taus’s] game was only God knows. I think he was convicted for being a child molester, but I’m not even 100 percent sure of that. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this whole game, that the truth most times never reaches the surface.” Hebert describes a time in which he was “hung out to dry” by CIA, “set up on gun charges,” around the time of Clinton’s invasion of Haiti, in 1994. That was the end of his dalliance in “black ops.”

Oliver North
Taus’s investigation climaxed the fourth time he flew to Fort Lauderdale in April, 1985. Taus there identified Oliver North standing alongside Contra leader Adolf Calero, accepting delivery of some mysterious air cargo. A Lockheed plane had just touched down from Honduras, and was sitting pretty under armed U.S. military guard. Taus flashed a badge, poked around on the tarmac, and asked questions. Back in New York, he was reamed out for being there. Suddenly, the U.S. Attorney’s office denied his wiretap requests on the K-Team.

Earlier, the FBI had helped Taus develop a “cover” as a soccer coach and founder of the Freeport Sports League, in order to get close to the K-Team. As a soccer coach, Taus was looked up to. Kids from broken homes saw him as a surrogate father. But Taus’s days as a soccer coach, a dad, and a free man were numbered.

The Trial
When Taus arrived at FBI headquarters, on the Nov. 4, 1988, he was detained and questioned until 2:30 a.m. His FBI superiors, including Special Agent Carson Dunbar, and Lin DeVecchio, put him under interrogation. The FBI later claimed that a feverish Taus confessed to a sexual relationship with four boys in his Freeport Sports League. Taus’ attorney, Anthony Lombardino, would later attempt (unsuccessfully) to strike that confession from evidence. Taus was not advised of his legal rights, and did not have counsel present. Taus claims the confession is a fabrication.

Simultaneous with the interrogation, a separate FBI team illegally searched Taus’ home in Freeport. The FBI claims it found nude photos of a young, male family friend. Taus claims the photos were planted. The FBI interviewed the boy’s mom, Lucy Moore, who stated she didn’t believe anything improper was going on. Prosecutor Kenneth Littman withheld her interview from the defense.

The prosecution accused Taus of 27 counts of first, second, and third-degree sodomy, sexual abuse, and promoting the sexual performance of a child. Originally, these counts came from 10 different youngsters, but the contradictory testimony of five of the boys had to be thrown out. Two of the kids never appeared at trial, but testified through recorded statements. In similar child abuse cases afterwards, The Wall Street Journal reported that any kind of witness testimony from child victims was not reliable. No psychologists or pediatricians corroborated the alleged abuse. No medical evidence was submitted. No parents testified.

Taus’ lawyers could not view their client’s FBI “time and attendance” records, which may have further contradicted the allegations. The FBI and the prosecution communicated throughout the trial, but the defense was prevented from discovering what was said. The transcripts show a belligerent Judge Baker, occasionally yelling things at the defense counsel, “You owe me money!” Baker was forced to retire shortly after the trial. The Taus family believes Judge Baker was suffering from alcoholism.

Taus always claimed he was innocent. But his bargain-basement attorneys were unwilling to argue that the accusations were prompted by Taus’ investigation into global politics. Instead, the defense decided to argue that Taus was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from Vietnam. Taus was sentenced to maximum security prison, with the longest sentence ever for sexual abuse in Nassau County: 32 to 90 years.
The Appeal

Taus filed a federal habeas corpus brief in August 2002, requesting a declaration of mistrial for withheld evidence, juror misconduct, and judicial bias. According to sources on the jury, juror Nancy Dillon told the jury she should be disqualified, since DA Dennis Dillon was a close, blood relation. Carol Lewis also claimed the jury “read newspaper accounts of the trial daily,” which may have biased jurors. Local newspapers at the time of Taus’ trial were in a frenzy of accusation, since child sexual abuse was a hot, nationwide scandal in the early ’90s.

At Taus’ 2005 appeal, Judge John M. Walker (a cousin of President George Walker Bush) stated matter-of-factly that juror misconduct “would not have changed the outcome in this case” in light of the “overwhelming evidence” of Taus’ guilt. Taus attorney Marjorie Smith was badly prepared and rude to reporters. After a swift hearing, Taus’s appeal was denied.
The Hope

Taus’ story is a lesson in how one good book can alter the course of history. Peter Lance is a journalist and author of a major study on the NY FBI: Cover Up: What the Government is Still Hiding About the War on Terror (Regan Books, 2003). Lance won five Emmy awards while at ABC News. His new revelations lend an eerie credibility to what Taus charges: deep corruption in the NY FBI. In Lance’s book, either arrogance or deliberate malfeasance from the NY FBI was at fault in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. And that 1993 bombing led directly to 9/11.

The radical Islamists of the Jersey City Mosque, run by “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdul-Rahman, pulled off the 1993 WTC bombing. But the Jersey City mosque was well penetrated by informants and double agents, namely Emad Salem and Ali Mohammed. According to audio tapes, FBI informant Salem tried to stop the bombing in 1993 before if happened. Another of Richard Taus’ former bosses, Carson Dunbar, suppressed agents who were trying to use Emad Salem’s warnings.

Dunbar was transferred out of FBI and made a superintendent in the New Jersey State Police, in 1999. But back in 1988, Dunbar was the FBI agent who took Taus’s“confession” and testified against him at the pre-trial hearing.

In 1998, the CIA admitted it was “partly culpable” for the 1993 WTC bombing. This admission surfaced in a UK newspaper but has never before appeared in a U.S. paper.

[Our source: The Independent, 12/1/1998 “Terror Blowback Burns CIA,” by Andrew Marshall]. The spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, “Blind Sheikh” Abdul-Rahman, was given a tourist visa to enter the U.S. in 1990, despite being on the U.S.’s terrorist watch list, for three years prior.

Taus is not the first to have allegations land on him in the middle of a sensitive investigation into national intelligence activities. Captain Brad Ayers and UN Arms Inspector/DIA agent Scott Ritter have also experienced similar character assassination for turning whistle-blower.

Today, Richard Taus works inside the prison for $7.25 a week, doing inmate counseling. At Lindley DeVecchio’s arraignment, on March 30, 2006, a desperate gaggle of retired and current FBI agents packed a Brooklyn courtroom. About 47 agents exhibited a rambunctious display of solidarity with the accused. Five FBI agents put up DeVecchio’s bail.

Perhaps they had good reason. In FBI, CIA, the Mob and Treachery, Taus’s co-author Rodney Stich writes that he “received letters from Gregory Scarpa, Jr., in early 2005, where he gave me details about how FBI agents, including DeVecchio, gave his father the names of government informants, and that his father would then murder the people.” Notice the plural in Scarpa’s use of the term “FBI agents.” According to inside sources, like Taus, Stich, and Scarpa, Jr., the DeVecchio case is just the tip of the iceberg: FBI corruption in the New York office is rampant. A growing number of researchers and citizens groups are recommending an outside body, vested with subpoena power (perhaps by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office), be formed to look at NY FBI’s role in 9/11, the 1993 WTC bombing, and the Richard Taus case. Many call for a new trial for Taus.

During the arraignment, the FBI was vocal in its derision of the prosecution. As DeVecchio left the courtroom, a phalanx of stone-faced FBI agents marched alongside him. DeVecchio would not answer questions from reporters, including questions from The Megaphone about Richard Taus, or the CIA. The reporter on hand from The New York Times found those questions laughable. But which paper has handed in deep coverage of this scandal?

FBI personnel shoved aside author Peter Lance, and punched photographer Robert Stolarik. The FBI’s Chris Mattiace later bragged on lindevecchio.com, “a few reporters received a few body checks out on the sidewalk.” The statement was later removed.

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Heartland Daily Podcast: Jennifer Lynch – FBI’s New Massive NGI Database

October 23, 2014



http://blog.heartland.org/2014/10/heartland-daily-podcast-jennifer-lynch-fbis-new-massive-ngi-database/

Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney and digital surveillance expert Jennifer Lynch joins he Heartland Institute’s Budget and Tax News managing editor, Jesse Hathaway, to discuss the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) new massive electronic surveillance and investigation database, the Next Generation Identification system (NGI).

Lynch explains how the NGI may infringe upon American citizens’ right to peaceably assemble in political protests, as well as how other surveillance and database technologies employed by the government threaten our privacy.
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The FBI came looking for me

By Scott Williams on October 25, 2014



http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/10 ... e-looking/


I am writing to let everyone know that the FBI visited my father today with the intention of questioning me about my trip to Syria as an international election observer for the 2014 Syrian presidential elections. In June 2014, I visited Syria with the objective of learning the truth about the situation there. (See article at tinyurl.com/ourqr4g)

This trip was entirely legal and well-documented. I visited, along with observers representing 32 countries. Many were members of Parliament and representatives of local governments in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil and Uganda. Since then, I have reported on my trip in public meetings at the United Nations, as well as in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, N.Y., and in Philadelphia where I live.

Since 2007, I have been a committed anti-war activist with many organizations, including Students for a Democratic Society and the International Action Center. The FBI mentioned me as an activist with FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together), in which I am one of the national coordinators.

Why is the FBI coming after me? The FBI’s attempt to question me is not only an attack on me. It is an attack on anyone who chooses to travel the world and seek a perspective that is not represented by the corporate media. The U.S. depends on misinformation and huge lies to perpetrate its crimes abroad. Yet the FBI has picked the wrong person, since I have strong friends and allies across the U.S. who will stand with me in the fight against unjust government repression.

This visit is a continuation of the FBI’s attack on anti-war and international solidarity activists. The FBI has been attempting to charge 24 anti-war and international solidarity activists with “material support of terrorism.” They are being targeted and face potentially long jail sentences. Take a moment to look at the StopFBI.net site for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the organization that has fought to defend these 24, as well as Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh. This is a strong example of the political fightback that is needed to defend activists from government repression.

These activists are not alone in their treatment. Since 2001, hundreds of Muslim men in the U.S. have been victims of entrapment, harassment and false imprisonment, simply for their religion.

I strongly encourage all of my friends, co-workers and family members to look at the Center for Constitutional Rights’ booklet entitled “If an Agent Knocks.” (ccrjustice.org/ifanagentknocks). See StopFBI.net for resources on what to do if the FBI comes to your door. Most importantly, you should never agree to speak to the FBI without a lawyer present — and you really should never speak to the FBI. You can simply say, “I do not wish to speak with you. I will have my lawyer contact you,” and then close the door.

If the FBI visits, do not become fearful or silent. Let other people know immediately and speak out against government surveillance and intimidation. If you do not have a lawyer and you or a family member is contacted by the FBI, contact the National Lawyers Guild immediately — and contact other activists who have dealt with government intimidation before.

As soon as this happened, I called Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, to discuss our strategy to stop this FBI repression. We decided to make a clear statement as public as possible. We will not be silent as the government attempts to attack those who choose to speak out against unjust U.S. foreign policy. In fact, we will use any attack on my freedom to continue to build a movement against government repression. It is in this spirit that I am writing today.

As the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The bombs in Vietnam explode at home.” With U.S. wars escalating in Syria, Iraq and beyond, we see that these wars have only caused massive devastation for the people of the world, while bringing in huge profits to a few.

Meanwhile, billions of dollars are taken away from public education and jobs, as the government has trampled on our basic civil liberties. As the activists in the Committee to Stop FBI Repression have done
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In 1992 we brought Cincinnati Bell telephone supervisor
and Cincinnati investigative reporter Greg Flannery
to speak at Bates College in Lewiston Maine.

Leonard Gates told the audience how he was committing voter fraud
for the Cincinnati taxpayer funded FBI office.
Greg Flannery discussed the article he wrote in 1989
called Reach Out and Tap Someone for the national magazine In These Times.
google
leonard gates bob draise FBI voter fraud

see link for flannery article
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://64.62.200.70/PERIODICAL/PDF/InTheseTimes-1989mar22/12-14/


In other news



http://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=GOP-led-Purge-Threat-to-3-by-Greg-Palast-Elections_Expose_Voting-141029-611.html


GOP-led Purge Threat to 3.5 Million Voters: Al Jazeera Expose

By Greg Palast (about the author)

October 29, 2014 at 09:25:19
Reprinted from us4.campaign-archive1.com

Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voter rolls, especially targeting minority voters.

Al Jazeera America has obtained 2.1 million names from the target lists, kept confidential until now. Experts reviewing the lists conclude it is suspiciously over-weighted with Black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters.

The targeted voters have been tagged as "potential duplicate voters," suspected of voting twice in the same election, in two different states, a felony crime punishable by 2-10 years in prison.

Until now, state officials conducting the purge have refused to turn over their lists on grounds that these voters are all subjects of a criminal investigation.
Read the full expose
Watch the 2-part TV report on Al Jazeera America,
tonight & Thursday night at 9pm ET -- on America Tonight
(check your local channel guide)
The match lists of suspected double voters, called Interstate Crosscheck, has been compiled for each state by Kansas' controversial Republican Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.

The lists are rife with literally millions of obvious mis-matches:
Al Jazeera found that nearly a fourth (23% ) of the accused voters lack matching middle names. For example, Kevin Thomas Hayes of Durham, North Carolina, is allegedly the same man who voted in Alexandria, Virginia, as Kevin Antonio Hayes.

The lists are rife with literally millions of obvious mis-matches
(image by Greg Palast)
"Jr." and "Sr." are regularly mismatched, potentially disenfranchising two generations in the same family.

While Kobach, in his public description of Crosscheck, claims that double voters are matched by Social Security number, in fact, internal documents admit that "Social Security numbers might or might not match."

So far, no case has been made against a single one of the accused double-voters on the lists, though tens of thousands have already lost their right to vote based on inclusion in the lists.
North Carolina has hired a full-time former FBI agent to arrest double voters. However, because the match list of 190,000 suspects in that state is so recklessly compiled, the Board of Elections has admitted to Al Jazeera that not one voter has been charged with the crime of voting twice. Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled Board of Elections has begun the process of removing the registration of voters on the lists.
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http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/10/30/editorial-mail-snooping-needs-accountability/18154865/



EDITORIALS
The Register's Editorial: Mail snooping needs more accountability

October 29 2014
A tray of mail at the United States Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center in San Francisco on Dec. 16, 2013.
As most Americans, know the U.S. Postal Service has exclusive access to that mailbox at the end of their driveways or hanging on the side of their homes. It's off limits to nosy neighbors and to people distributing brochures, fliers or any other type of non-postal communications. There are also federal laws that restrict the ability of the Postal Service to share information about your mail with others.

Given all that, you'd think the identities of the businesses and people with whom you correspond would be closely guarded by the Postal Service.
If only that was true. The New York Times and Politico recently reported that the Postal Service last year approved 49,000 requests from law enforcement agencies and its own Postal Inspection Service to secretly collect the names, return addresses and other information appearing on the outside of letters and packages intended for specific people and companies. Because these sorts of reviews, known as "mail covers," don't involve the opening of mail, no court warrants are required.
As one would expect, the Postal Service has strict rules surrounding the approval of every request for a mail cover. But the agency's own inspector general said these rules are not always enforced.
In fact, one of out of every five requests for mail covers is approved by the Postal Inspection Service without the required written authorization. Thirteen percent of the approved requests are unjustified, with no reasonable grounds for authorization. The inspector general also found more than 900 active mail covers that should have expired but were still ongoing.
In addition to these lapses, the Post Service has also ignored the requirement to conduct annual reviews of the inspection unit. By refusing to evaluate the unit's work, the Postal Service has avoided the embarrassment of having to acknowledge the problem and taking corrective action.
Is mail surveillance an effective tool in the war on crime? Not so much, actually.
The inspector general says the Postal Inspection Service has repeatedly failed to adequately process requests for mail covers and failed to track the requests that are approved. And there's no data at all that speaks to the number of prosecutions or convictions in which mail covers have played a significant role.
It's not as if the Postal Service doesn't know the surveillance program lends itself to abuse. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, CIA and FBI agents used mail covers to intercept hundreds of thousands of letters, in some cases, smuggling the mail out of post offices so they could open the letters and read them without postal workers intervening. The abuses came to light only after the FBI investigated a 15-year-old student who sent a letter to the Socialist Workers Party as part of a class assignment.
More recently, an Arizona prosecutor was disbarred after it was shown that he and a county sheriff used mail covers to monitor the communications of a county supervisor who questioned their policies. The county — i.e., the taxpayers — have had to pay the supervisor $1 million in damages.
The inspector general's report gives the Postal Service clear recommendations on how to fix the system, but Congress also needs to take action. The law that allows for mail covers needs to be updated and changed to provide some measure of accountability. As it stands now, mail covers are not subject
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FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance
Agency requests rule change but civil liberties groups say ‘extremely invasive’ technique amounts to unconstitutional power grab

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/29/fbi-powers-hacking-computers-surveillance



Wednesday 29 October 2014 14.42 EDT


The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.

Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would ride roughshod over strict limits to searches and seizures laid out under the fourth amendment of the US constitution, as well as violate first amendment privacy rights. They have protested that the FBI is seeking to transform its cyber capabilities with minimal public debate and with no congressional oversight.

The regulatory body to which the Department of Justice has applied to make the rule change, the advisory committee on criminal rules, will meet for the first time on November 5 to discuss the issue. The panel will be addressed by a slew of technology experts and privacy advocates concerned about the possible ramifications were the proposals allowed to go into effect next year.

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“This is a giant step forward for the FBI’s operational capabilities, without any consideration of the policy implications. To be seeking these powers at a time of heightened international concern about US surveillance is an especially brazen and potentially dangerous move,” said Ahmed Ghappour, an expert in computer law at University of California, Hastings college of the law, who will be addressing next week’s hearing.

The proposed operating changes related to rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, the terms under which the FBI is allowed to conduct searches under court-approved warrants. Under existing wording, warrants have to be highly focused on specific locations where suspected criminal activity is occurring and approved by judges located in that same district.

But under the proposed amendment, a judge can issue a warrant that would allow the FBI to hack into any computer, no matter where it is located. The change is designed specifically to help federal investigators carry out surveillance on computers that have been “anonymized” – that is, their location has been hidden using tools such as Tor.

The amendment inserts a clause that would allow a judge to issue warrants to gain “remote access” to computers “located within or outside that district” (emphasis added) in cases in which the “district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means”. The expanded powers to stray across district boundaries would apply to any criminal investigation, not just to terrorist cases as at present.

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Were the amendment to be granted by the regulatory committee, the FBI would have the green light to unleash its capabilities – known as “network investigative techniques” – on computers across America and beyond. The techniques involve clandestinely installing malicious software, or malware, onto a computer that in turn allows federal agents effectively to control the machine, downloading all its digital contents, switching its camera or microphone on or off, and even taking over other computers in its network.

“This is an extremely invasive technique,” said Chris Soghoian, principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union, who will also be addressing the hearing. “We are talking here about giving the FBI the green light to hack into any computer in the country or around the world.”

A glimpse into the kinds of operations that could multiply under the new powers was gained this week when Soghoian discovered from documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that in 2007 the FBI had faked an Associated Press story as a ruse to insert malware into the computer of a US-based bomb plot suspect. The revelation prompted angry responses from the AP and from the Seattle Times, whose name was also invoked in the documents, though the FBI said it had not in the end imitated the newspaper.

Civil liberties and privacy groups are particularly alarmed that the FBI is seeking such a huge step up in its capabilities through such an apparently backdoor route. Soghoian said of next week’s meeting: “This should not be the first public forum for discussion of an issue of this magnitude.”

Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford center for internet and society, said that “this is an investigative technique that we haven’t seen before and we haven’t thrashed out the implications. It absolutely should not be done through a rule change – it has to be fully debated publicly, and Congress must be involved.”

Ghappour has also highlighted the potential fall-out internationally were the amendment to be approved. Under current rules, there are no fourth amendment restrictions to US government surveillance activities in other countries as the US constitution only applies to domestic territory.

However, the US government does accept that it should only carry out clandestine searches abroad where the fourth amendment’s “basic requirement of reasonableness” applies. In a letter setting out its case for the rule 41 reform, the department of justice states that new warrants issued to authorise FBI hacking into computers whose location was unknown would “support the reasonableness of the search”.

Ghappour fears that such a statement amounts to “possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception”. He told the Guardian that “for the first time the courts will be asked to issue warrants allowing searches outside the country”.

He warned that the diplomatic consequences could be serious, with short-term FBI investigations undermining the long-term international relationship building of the US state department. “In the age of cyber attacks, this sort of thing can scale up pretty quickly.”

Another insight into the expansive thrust of US government thinking in terms of its cyber ambitions was gleaned recently in the prosecution of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of the billion-dollar drug site the Silk Road. Experts suspect that the FBI hacked into the Silk Road server, that was located in Reykjavik, Iceland, though the agency denies that.

In recent legal argument, US prosecutors claimed tha
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http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/11/01/dysfunctional-america/

United States • Viewpoints
Dysfunctional America
by Paul Craig Roberts |  November 1, 2014
If you require more evidence that the United States is a dysfunctional society, observe American elections. Election season is slander season. Each party’s attack teams focus on misrepresenting, defaming, and ridiculing the opposing party’s candidates. Attack ads have replaced debates and any discussion of what the issues are, or should be, and how candidates perceive the public’s interest. Each attack team tells lies designed to enrage various voters about the other team’s candidate.

Paul Craig RobertsWhoever is elected is indebted not to voters but to the special interests that provided the campaign money. Once elected the official serves the private interest groups that put the official in office. In America the government can be bought and sold just like everything else. In its Citizens United ruling, a Republican Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on the right of corporations to purchase the US government.

Each state has its own dominant interest groups that win every election. In Florida real estate developers routinely defeat the environment and local communities. Developers have even been known to form organizations that pose as conservation supporters in order to misrepresent and defeat conservation measures.


Yet, despite their long string of losses to special interests, voters still participate in elections. I once read a theory that elections are a form of entertainment. President Clinton’s encounter with the young woman on MTV—“boxers or briefs”—is one indication of the lack of seriousness that Americans bring to politics.

Perhaps the lighter moment of a young woman’s interest in the president’s underwear should be cherished. The Clinton years will be remembered as scandal after scandal with dark events unresolved and covered up. The Clinton years were transformative. For those who don’t remember and those too young at the time to be aware, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s book, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories (1997), will be an eye-opener. Perhaps the Democrats should read the book before nominating Hillary as the party’s presidential candidate.

Evans-Pritchard was Washington bureau chief for the Sunday Telegraph, one of the main British newspapers. He was stunned by how the American media ceased to function during the Clinton years. The Clinton years gave us such events as the federal government’s murder of the Branch Davidians in their Waco compound and subsequent coverup, the Oklahoma City bombing and coverup, and the coverup of the apparent murder of White House counsel Vincent Foster.

Almost everyone who paid attention saw coverups, not investigations, of these extraordinary events. Evans-Pritchard was one who paid attention, and what he saw did not pass muster. Yet, there was no press asking questions.

For example, the official story was that Tim McVeigh was the “lone nut” responsible for blowing up the Murrah Federal Office Building with a truck bomb. Yet, at McVeigh’s trial the prosecution did not call a single witness who could place McVeigh in Oklahoma City on the day of the bombing. “This is a rather astonishing fact,” writes Evans-Pritchard, and indeed it is. The reason the prosecution could not provide a witness to place McVeigh at the scene of the crime is that the many witnesses all reported seeing McVeigh in the company of other men, and the prearranged official story was that McVeigh was alone. The FBI and the prosecution had to make this case, not conduct a real investigation and discover what really happened.

Experts who have examined the Oklahoma City bombing have concluded that the truck bomb was cover for explosives set inside the building. For example, US Air Force munitions expert General Benton K. Partin provided an extensive and detailed study and wrote to the US Senate: “The attached report contains conclusive proof that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was not caused solely by the truck bomb. Evidence shows that the massive destruction was primarily the result of four demolition charges placed at critical structural points at the third floor level.”

Miquel Rodriguez, the associate independent counsel assigned the investigation of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster’s mysterious death resigned after four months convinced that he was dealing with a FBI coverup and that his investigation was being sabotaged by personnel within his own office. The FBI’s official story differed completely from the story of the witness who discovered Foster’s body. Again, as in Oklahoma, the FBI’s case required the creation of a make-believe scenario at odds with the evidence. With no interference from a silent press, the FBI created the story that was needed. Evans-Pritchard wrote that the Foster case was “taboo for American journalists. In private, many concede that the official story is unbelievable, but they will not broach it in print.”

When Americans think of Clinton era scandals, they recall “Whitewater” and Clinton’s sexual escapades with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Evans-Pritchard writes that these two scandals were small potatoes compared to the Waco, Oklahoma City, and Vincent Foster coverups. Evans-Pritchard concludes that these minor events were used by the press to distract the public and perhaps Congress from inquiring into FBI coverups of criminal acts.

I remember asking my Wall Street Journal colleague Robert Bartley why he put so much energy and editorial ink into Whitewater, a minor scandal involving some real estate payoffs to the Clintons that did not pan out. Serious events were ignored while Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky became a matter of impeachment.

From Clinton to George W. Bush and Obama was another transformative change. The crimes of the Clinton regime were not acknowledged and covered up. The crimes of the Bush and Obama regimes are openly acknowledged by the presidents themselves and by their attorneys general who assert that the “war on terror” is a war during whose course presidents are freed from the Constitution and from domestic and international statutory law. Thus, we have indefinite detention, torture and loss of protection against self-incrimination, destruction of privacy, and execution of US citizens without due process of law.
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/fbi-agent-in-misconduct-case-may-have-tampered-with-drugs-guns-documents-say/2014/11/05/b77fd50e-6440-11e4-bb14-4cfea1e742d5_story.html
The Washington Post
Crime


FBI agent in misconduct case may have tampered with drugs,guns documents say

November 5 at 8:14 PM
An FBI agent who is the subject of a misconduct investigation that is jeopardizing the prosecutions of at least four drug cases in the District may have tampered with evidence that includes narcotics and guns, according to documents unsealed in federal court Wednesday.
Sometime in late September, the agent was found slumped over the wheel of his unmarked FBI vehicle near the Navy Yard, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case. Empty bags thought to have contained drugs were found in the car, the officials said.
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http://www.nujournal.com/page/content.detail/id/733061/Secret-FBI-calls-issue-in-man-s-suit-against-US.html?isap=1&nav=5032



Secret FBI calls issue in man's suit against US
November 7, 2014




The FBI is resisting turning over thousands of classified phone intercepts to a Florida man who is suing the U.S. government for malicious prosecution in a case in which the Justice Department dropped charges that he provided support to the Pakistani Taliban terror group.

The FBI contends in court documents it would take about two years to declassify and translate up to 40,000 calls — most are in the Pashto and Urdu languages — before they could be provided to Irfan Khan's attorney for the lawsuit.

The attorney, Michael Hanna, wants access to the calls to determine if any contain material that could bolster his legal case by potentially showing the government had compelling evidence that Khan was innocent. A Nov. 25 hearing is set before a Miami federal judge on the issue.

Khan, a 41-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, claims in his lawsuit that he was unfairly arrested on flimsy evidence in 2011 in an FBI probe into his Muslim imam father's support for the Taliban. The father, Hafiz Khan, was convicted in March 2013 and is serving 25 years in prison. But the Justice Department abruptly dropped all charges before trial against Irfan Khan — after he had already spent 319 days in jail.

Hanna said that compared with Khan's ordeal, the FBI's claims that releasing the calls would be too great a burden fall flat — particularly since the calls could have been declassified and turned over years earlier to Khan's lawyers in the criminal case.

"It was a lot more burdensome for Irfan to spend 300 days in jail than it is for government agents to review calls that were previously made available to Irfan," Hanna said. "It doesn't pass the smell test."

The vast majority of the calls being sought for Khan's lawsuit are still classified because they may reveal FBI sources and surveillance methods, according to the bureau.

"The unauthorized release of these items could cause harm to the national security of the United States," wrote Michael Steinbach, head of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, in one court filing.

In addition, the Justice Department has already provided Khan with 1,130 recordings, 3,500 pages of documents and secret grand jury transcripts from the criminal case, the FBI says.

"The tens of thousands of calls that (Khan) seeks bear no relevance to any of the elements of a malicious prosecution claim, and will not lead to any evidence that does," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos Raurell in a recent filing.

The FBI is offering Khan another option: by using toll records, agents were able to isolate between 500 and 700 intercepted phone calls in which Khan was probably a participant. Declassifying and translating those would take about six months, the bureau says.

The Justice Department could still withhold some of the calls even if a judge ordered them released. Under the state secrets privilege, the government can withhold information from a lawsuit such as Khan's "when genuine and significant harm to national defense or foreign relations is at stake" and only in the most limited way possible, according to an agency memo filed in court.

It is not clear if the Justice Department will seek to invoke that privilege.
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Ted Stevens Case Looms Over DOJ's Handling of Alleged FBI Misconduct

Zoe Tillman
11/17/2014

see link for full story

http://m.nationallawjournal.com/module/alm/app/nlj.do#!/article/1725646460


U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, in his own words, doesn’t play around when it comes to prosecutors’ obligation to turn over favorable evidence to defense lawyers—he presided over the prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, which collapsed amid revelations that prosecutors withheld information. That legacy has loomed large over recent proceedings before Sullivan about an FBI agent's alleged misconduct.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington has dismissed drug cases against more than two dozen defendants following revelations that an FBI agent, Matthew Lowry, allegedly tampered with evidence. Prosecutors said they expected to seek more dismissals in the coming weeks.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia are leading the investigation into Lowry’s actions. During hearings on Nov. 14 and 17, Sullivan—one of several judges in the D.C. federal courthouse presiding over cases affected by the scandal—demanded transparency about how information was flowing from prosecutors in Philadelphia to their counterparts in Washington, and how prosecutors in Washington were complying with their ethical obligations under Brady v. Maryland.
The judge angrily chastised Jonathan Malis, the head of the criminal division in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, last week and on Monday for failing to provide the Philadelphia office with a copy of an order the judge issued this month regarding the disclosure of information to defense lawyers. Under the new order, the judge would review information that prosecutors didn’t believe was material to a particular case.
Over Malis’ protests that he explicitly discussed the Brady requirements with the Philadelphia office and provided copies of Sullivan’s other orders, Sullivan said during Monday’s hearing that the failure to send a copy of the new Brady order was “almost inexcusable” and “defies understanding.”
Malis’ “knee-jerk reaction” should have been to send a copy of the order to Philadelphia, Sullivan said, especially since prosecutors knew that Sullivan “is not playing around with Brady, as we know, right?”
A judge in the federal district court for the District of Columbia since 1994 and a judge in the city’s local courts since 1984, Sullivan made headlines for his handling of the Stevens case. After dismissing the Stevens indictment in 2009 at the government’s request, Sullivan ordered an independent investigation and said that he thought the government’s missteps in the case were a symptom of a much broader problem when it came to Brady disclosures.
On Friday, Malis referenced the Stevens case as he explained to the judge that prosecutors were sensitive to the ethical issues at play.
Malis said the U.S. attorney’s office so far had filed notices about the Lowry investigation in cases affecting more than 150 defendants that had some connection to the agent. That doesn't mean the government intended to dismiss all of those cases, however. In the multidefendant case before Sullivan, prosecutors have said that Lowry’s involvement was minimal and that they didn’t think it merited dismissal.
During Monday’s hearing, Malis’ counterpart in the Philadelphia office, Peter Schenck, told Sullivan that although his office was in charge of investigating Lowry, it was sharing all information with prosecutors in Washington. The D.C. office was then responsible for deciding what information should be shared with defense lawyers.
But defense lawyers on Monday complained that they had received almost no information from the government. Most of what they learned came from The Washington Post’s coverage of the investigation, according to A. Eduardo



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http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/rapid-dna-profiles-database-fbi-police


The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutes
Rapid-DNA technology makes it easier than ever to grab and store your genetic profile. G-men, cops, and Homeland Security can't wait to see it everywhere.


Thu Nov. 20, 2014 6:30 AM EST


Robert Schueren shook my hand firmly, handed me his business card, and flipped it over, revealing a short list of letters and numbers. "Here is my DNA profile." He smiled. "I have nothing to hide." I had come to meet Schueren, the CEO of IntegenX, at his company's headquarters in Pleasanton, California, to see its signature product: a machine the size of a large desktop printer that can unravel your genetic code in the time it takes to watch a movie.
Schueren grabbed a cotton swab and dropped it into a plastic cartridge. That's what, say, a police officer would use to wipe the inside of your cheek to collect a DNA sample after an arrest, he explained. Other bits of material with traces of DNA on them, like cigarette butts or fabric, could work too. He inserted the cartridge into the machine and pressed a green button on its touch screen: "It's that simple." Ninety minutes later, the RapidHIT 200 would generate a DNA profile, check it against a database, and report on whether it found a match.

A scanner, quickly: The RapidHIT 200 can generate a DNA profile in about 90 minutes. IntegenX
The RapidHIT represents a major technological leap—testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for "rapid DNA" technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.
"We're not always aware of how it's being used," Schueren said. "All we can say is that it's used to give an accurate identification of an individual." Civil liberties advocates worry that rapid DNA will spur new efforts by the FBI and police to collect ordinary citizens' genetic code.
The US government will soon test the machine in refugee camps in Turkey and possibly Thailand on families seeking asylum in the United States, according to Chris Miles, manager of the Depart
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http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-atf-stash-house-20141120-story.html#page=1



November 19 2014
Judges question ATF stings that lure suspects into fictitious stickups
ATF stash-house sting arrests
Images from surveillance videos filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles show defendants in an ATF stash-house robbery sting being arrested in


Judges are beginning to question ATF stings that lure suspects into fictitious robbery plots
Over a late breakfast at a Denny's by the freeway in Torrance, two gang members listened to an offer of a lifetime.

A drug courier invited them to rob a house stashed with pure cocaine worth at least six, if not seven figures. There would be a couple of armed guards, the man said, but with the right crew and weapons, they could be overpowered.

"It's like if one opportunity comes up ... man, this is it," he said.

The gang members were the latest to receive an offer that's been made again and again across the country for more than a decade. In the Southland, at least 100 people have shown up for the job, equipped with guns, ski masks and zip ties.


When they did, they were swarmed by federal agents and discovered that the courier was an undercover agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The stash house, drugs and armed guards were part of a fictitious plot to nab potential robbery crews.

Federal law enforcement officials hail the "reverse stings" as a reliable tool to crack down on violent drug robberies they say are seldom reported and difficult to investigate.

But a growing number of judges across the country, including two in Los Angeles, have turned their attention from the hapless defendants to the ATF's tactics. Some of these judges have criticized the agency for casting a net so wide that it is likely to ensnare the poor rather than target those suspected of committing similar robberies.

While some who take the bait are hardened criminals with robberies and other violent crimes on their rap sheets, others are petty thieves, vandals, or drunk drivers with tenuous gang affiliations.

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8
U.S. District Court judges in Los Angeles recently dismissed charges from so-called "stash-house stings" against six men in two cases — even though five of the defendants had already pleaded guilty. In each case, a judge made the rare ruling that the government's conduct was "outrageous."

In the case that came out of the Torrance meeting, Judge Otis D. Wright II found that the agent "goaded" the defendants into acquiring weapons and became a partner rather than a passive observer in the crime.

"The government [is] hitting individuals ... where they are most vulnerable: their depressed economic circumstances," Wright wrote in March, dismissing the case against one of three defendants. "But for the undercover agent's imagination in this case there would be no crime."

Prosecutors contended the agent's conduct was "beyond reproach" given that the men were given multiple opportunities to withdraw from the scheme and that they boasted of their past involvement in robberies.

Related story: Move to name ATF building for Eliot Ness meets hometown resistance
Related story: Move to name ATF building for Eliot Ness meets hometown resistance
Lalita Clozel
The two Los Angeles cases are headed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where one is scheduled for oral arguments Thursday. The 9th Circuit has previously upheld convictions in such cases, but three judges on the court have recently written or joined dissenting opinions that offered scathing rebukes of the government's methods.

One appellate judge wrote that the government's approach "verges too close to tyranny" and likened it to Philip K. Dick's science fiction short story "The Minority Report," in which citizens are locked away for "precrime" — crimes they have not yet committed.

How the 9th Circuit rules could help decide the long-term fate of the stings.

Last week, the 7th Circuit threw out the conviction of a Chicago-area man sentenced to nearly 27 years in prison, finding that he should have been allowed to argue entrapment at his jury trial because the ATF informant "targeted [him] at a moment of acute financial need."

cComments
@gaiapj Exactly! Those poor hapless souls, I am glad someone is finally paying attention to this aggregious self promulgating police state.
CYNGAR
AT 2:34 PM NOVEMBER 21, 2014
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"There's the sense that the tide may be shifting," said Katharine Tinto, law professor at Cardozo School of Law in New York who has tracked stash-house robbery cases. "The fact that several judges feel like this tactic has risen to a level of violating someone's due process is very significant."

Tinto said the cases raise a question about whether the stings prevent drug-related robberies or create would-be robbers who never would have become involved in such a crime.

"The defendants make bad choices, there's no doubt about it," she said. "But the question is: Do we want law enforcement creating situations where people make poor decisions, where the choices would not have existed in real life?"

The stash-house robbery ruse originated in Miami in the 1990s, when the ATF and the Miami-Dade Police Department started using the stings to crack down on drug robberies. The tactic — the ATF prefers to call them "home invasion operations" — has since spread to different parts of the country, with agents traveling from state to state to teach others how to stage the stings. In Los Angeles, where the ATF conducts stings with the LAPD, stash-house cases date back at least to 2002 and have resulted in sentences of up to life in prison.

Carlos Canino, who heads the ATF's field office in Los Angeles, said the stings were a valuable tool for the agency to tackle the heavy traffic of drugs flowing through Southern California and the crimes that go with it. Canino, who himself worked undercover on stash-house cases around the country and has served as an instructor, said the tactic was employed sparingly and judiciously.

"If we wanted to go out and cast a wide net, we could do one of these a week — that's not what we want to do," he said. "This technique is designed to take trigger-pullers off the streets."

One of the concerns raised by judges is whether the agency's methods in selecting targets amount to trolling in poor, minority neighborhoods for people who would be hard-pressed to turn down the opportunity for quick cash.

In one Los Angeles case, an informant found the ATF a target by asking around in the South L.A. motel where he was living. In a Phoenix case decided last year by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, a p
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http://m.nationallawjournal.com/module/alm/app/nlj.do#!/article/1727905314


Defense Lawyer Pushes to Broaden FBI Evidence-Tampering Probe


12/01/2014


An investigation into alleged evidence tampering by an FBI agent is raising questions about the reliability of the agency’s evidence protocols, according to a criminal defense lawyer involved in one of the cases touched by the scandal.
In court papers filed on Monday, lawyer A. Eduardo Balarezo asked a federal judge in Washington to order prosecutors to turn over information about the FBI’s policies and procedures for handling evidence. Limiting the investigation to the individual agent “ignores that very real possibility of a systemic problem in the manner in which the FBI maintains evidence in any given case,” Balarezo wrote.
Federal prosecutors have already dismissed criminal cases against more than two dozen defendants in cases that involved Matthew Lowry, the FBI agent under investigation for allegedly tampering with drug and firearms evidence. Officials have said in court that they expect more cases to be implicated as the investigation continues.
A federal prosecutor in Philadelphia involved in the Lowry probe—the Washington office is recused because of its ties to Lowry—said during a court hearing on Monday afternoon that the government hoped to finish the investigation by the end of December.
Prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan during hearings last month that no other individual besides Lowry was under investigation. Balarezo and other defense lawyers have questioned the scope of the investigation, arguing that any shortcomings in how the FBI handled evidence could affect cases beyond those involving Lowry.
Balarezo, in requesting more information, wrote that the government had already disclosed that there were no video cameras in the evidence control center for the FBI’s Washington field office or in the evidence storage room for a regional task force. That disclosure suggested a lack of “strict evidence handling or securing procedures,” Balarezo wrote.
If the FBI wasn’t properly securing evidence, Balarezo said, that was evidence favorable to the defense that prosecutors were required to turn over.
“Obviously, if Lowry was able to avoid logging seized evidence, remove evidence for extended periods of time or to otherwise mishandle evidence with impunity, it stands to reason that the strict chain-of-custody claimed by the government in most cases is a sham,” he wrote.
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DOJ Cover-Up of Murders
Involving Boston FBI Agents

For years, several CIA assets had given me the names of FBI agents involved in assassinations. I could never get myself to write about what they were telling me. It was too bizarre to comprehend that FBI agents, entrusted with protecting people, would be engaged in murdering them. And that higher FBI and DOJ officials were protecting the murders.

However, criminal proceedings and civil lawsuits filed in the Boston area in the 1990s provided proof that some FBI agents secretly worked with crime figures in murders and other crimes. Investigative newspaper reports and criminal proceedings provided the details of these happenings in the Boston FBI offices, and implicated high FBI and DOJ officials in Washington.


FBI Corruption and Murders in Boston Office
Indicated Deep-Seated Culture Throughout FBI and DOJ

Over the years the instances of corruption involving FBI personnel had been kept off the public radar, but this would change in the 1990s when decades of FBI involvement in murders and other criminal acts were exposed by courageous media people in the Boston area. Media outlets elsewhere kept the lid on this scandal. This attention was brought about by the large number of murdered victims in the Boston area associated with the FBI-criminal relationship.

If it weren’t for determined investigative reporters at the Boston Globe and the Hartford Courant, the murderous conduct would probably still be functioning as it had for the past 20 years. Helping to expose these matters were two reporters for the Boston Globe, Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. They authored the book, Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI and a Devil’s Deal. The following was revealed by affidavits, testimony, court proceedings, and government records.

FBI Boston Office a Criminal Enterprise—
Sanctioned by Washington FBI and DOJ Officials

The courageous media reporting and court proceedings revealed decades of FBI agents misusing their FBI positions to protect the murderous Boston-based crime group known as the Winter Hill gang headed by James “Whitey” Bulger and his partner, Steven “The Rifleman” Flemmi. Under the pretext of using Bulger and Flemmi as confidential informants, FBI agents, and particularly FBI Agent John Connolly, protected the crime group against state and federal prosecution and provided them insider information about wiretaps and pending indictments so they could protect themselves.

FBI agent Connolly’s corruption began in 1976 when he accepted gifts from Bulger and returned the favors by giving Bulger inside information. FBI agents provided Bulger and Flemmi with information about wiretaps placed upon their phones by state and federal agencies, and with information on pending indictments.

FBI agents knew that Bulger and Flemmi were committing murders, some of which occurred after FBI agents leaked information about FBI confidential informants to Bulger. Bulger was involved in numerous criminal activities and needed the FBI to protect him whenever a state or federal agency threatened him.

The alleged purpose for this cozy arrangement was for the FBI to receive information from the Winter Hill gang on the activities of rival gangs. However, the information provided to the FBI by this relationship was relatively minor, while the benefits to the Bulger group were of immense value. By providing information to the FBI about Winter Hill’s competitors in criminal activities, the gang was able to not only murder their competition in other criminal groups but also to take over their racketeering activities.

Another valuable benefit to the Winter Hill gang was that the FBI agents provided information about FBI informants, who were then tortured and murdered. This information permitted the Winter Hill gang to murder many government informants—with the full knowledge of the FBI agents and the Justice Department official in Washington—including FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Bulger was not only a living legend in Boston, but also had strong political connections in Massachusetts. His younger brother, William “Bill” Bulger, was powerful in the Massachusetts Senate, and later became president of the University of Massachusetts. While president of the University of Massachusetts, William Bulger refused to testify in December 2002 before a congressional committee investigating the FBI’s conduct associated with the Winter Hill gang and William Bulger’s brother. Referring to William Bulger, a New York Times article (April 10, 2003) stated:

In December, Mr. Bulger refused to testify at a hearing of the committee [House Government Reform Committee], in Boston, pleading his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. In December it was revealed that Mr. Bulger had told a federal grand jury looking into misconduct by F.B.I. agents in Boston, “I had an honest loyalty to my brother. I don’t feel an obligation to help everyone to catch him.” Mr. Bulger also disclosed that he had spoken with Whitey Bulger by telephone shortly after he went into hiding and had not advised him to give himself up.

Who Was Using Whom?

The FBI-Bulger connection made Bulger the undisputed crime king in New England, without any significant competition, and using the FBI for protection against prosecution for the dozens of murders committed. It was not the FBI using Bulger but rather Bulger using the FBI. The FBI was Bulger’s enabler, paving the way for an already powerful murderous organized crime group to become even more powerful.

The incestuous relationship between the biggest crime group in New England and the FBI started in the 1960s for Flemmi, and 1975 for Bulger. This relationship continued until the turn of the century. During this period, FBI agents socialized with Bulger and Flemmi, having dinner at each other’s homes, exchanging gifts, and in several cases, the FBI agents received cash from the crime group.

FBI Blocking State Police Investigations

When the Massachusetts state police sought to indict Bulger and other members of his criminal organization for murders and other crimes, FBI agents provided protection. The FBI informed Bulger of investigations, removing their names from indictments, disclosing wiretaps, and refusing to cooperate in joint task force investigations. This made possible the continuation of the murders, drug smuggling, and other racketeering activities that could have otherwise been prevented.

One Agent Exposed the Links, and High Level Cover-Up

FBI Special Agent Robert Fitzpatrick repeatedly told his superiors that Bulger was committing murders and other crimes and should be terminated as an FBI informant. He also advised his bosses that FBI Special Agent John Connolly was passing confidential FBI information to Bulger, and that this information assisted Bulger to avoid certain areas where telephone and other taps were in place. The decision was made at high FBI levels, including Washington, to continue this relationship with Bulger, knowing that people were being murdered and that racketeering activities were continuing to flourish.

Two of the many murders perpetrated by Bulger and Flemmi involved young women, Deborah Hussey and Debra Davis. Flemmi was living with his common-law wife, Marion Hussey, starting this relationship when Deborah, her daughter, was only five years old. As Deborah grew older, Flemmi started a sexual relationship with her, in addition to what he had with her mother.

When Deborah decided to end the sexual relationship, Flemmi and Bulger strangled her. Before disposing of the body, to prevent identification, they cut off Deborah’s fingers and toes and knocked out all of her teeth.

While Flemmi had sexual relations with Marion Hussey and her daughter, he also had a sexual relationship with Debra Davis. She had foolishly entered a relationship with Flemmi at the age of 18, lured partly by the gifts lavished upon her. Several years later, when she announced an intention to end the relationship, Bulger and Flemmi strangled her in a house owned by Flemmi’s mother. Flemmi and Bulger feared she would reveal what she learned about the criminal activities during her relationship with Flemmi. She was buried under a railroad trestle in Quincy, Massachusetts.

As the information became known about how Bulger and Flemmi had murdered their daughters, the girls’ mothers filed civil actions against Flemmi and several FBI informants and agents. On February 26, 2001, Deborah’s mother, Marion Hussey, filed a lawsuit and on March 7, 2001, Olga Davis filed hers.

Protection from Other Government Offices

While the FBI protected Bulger and Flemmi, protection came also from other DOJ offices—which would be ordered at the Washington level. Although it was common knowledge in the community that Flemmi and Bulger were murderers and protected by the FBI, William F. Weld, the U.S. Attorney in Boston from 1981 to 1986, did nothing to interfere. Nor did he do anything when he subsequently became governor of Massachusetts. And this protective stance continued after Weld left the governorship and became Assistant Attorney General in Washington, D.C.

In 1984, while Weld was U.S. Attorney, the DEA planned to use wiretaps against Flemmi and Bulger to obtain additional evidence of their drug crimes. The DEA asked Weld if the FBI wanted to get involved in a joint operation. Weld asked the head of the FBI Boston office, James Greenleaf, if he wanted to cooperate. Greenleaf refused. The DEA then proceeded without FBI assistance, but their subsequent wiretaps were rendered useless when FBI agents tipped off Bulger and Flemmi about the location of the wiretaps and bugs.

When U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller was responsible for the Boston office, he also covered up for the relationship. He later became director of the FBI to defend the United States against crime in the presidency of George H.Bush (Jr.). While Mueller was U.S. attorney in San Francisco, I made his office aware of considerable corruption that I and a group of other former federal agents had uncovered, much of it in Mueller’s immediate jurisdiction. Mueller and his office chose to cover up for the criminal activities.

This entire FBI-Winter Hill gang partner-in-crime relationship was known to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for many years, and nothing was done to halt the incestuous and criminal relationship. Hoover, the FBI, and the Justice Department became complicit in the murders made possible by FBI misconduct. In my book, History of Aviation Disasters: 1950 to 9/11, I described writing to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover—while I was a federal agent for the Federal Aviation Administration—accusing him of criminal cover-ups. A federal agent does not get away with such accusations unless they are true.

When a secret federal indictment against Bugler occurred in 1994, FBI agent Connolly immediately informed Bugler, enabling him to flee. He is still on-the-run. Senator Bugler stated he was unaware of his brother’s criminal career, which no one, of course, believed.

Local Media Exposure Finally Forced Justice Department Action

The Hartford Courant and the Boston Globe ran a series of articles on the sordid relationship between FBI agents and the Bulger gang, while most of the national media kept the lid on the scandals. One such article was the following:

As the State of Massachusetts was about to hand down indictments against Bulger, Flemmi, and other members of the Winter Hill gang, FBI Agent Connolly alerted Bugler, who then fled, along with a female companion.

James Bulger was shown on the Internet web site of the Massachusetts State Police as being wanted by the State of Massachusetts and the DEA, offering one million dollars reward for information leading to the arrest of Bulger. The Internet site listed Bulger under Most Wanted, and “Wanted for 19 counts of murder.” The Internet site lists his female companion for harboring a fugitive: Catherine Elizabeth Greig (aka Helen Marshall and Carol Shapeton).

Defense Argument: Murders Perpetrated with FBI Permission

Defense lawyers for defendants Bulger and Flemmi argued before U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf that the charges should be dismissed because the government tacitly gave Flemmi and Bulger permission to commit the crimes they committed while they were acting as FBI informants. They also argued that the FBI knew of the crimes being committed and looked the other way.

FBI Aiding and Abetting Revealed in Testimony

In one of Flemmi’s affidavits, he stated that FBI agents had a practice of alerting him to avoid certain places where the FBI had placed bugs; that FBI agents told him of impending indictments, and gave him the names of government informants, who were then murdered.

Those statements were supported by John Morris, former supervisor of Boston’s Organized Crime Squad, who testified that he told FBI Agent Connolly about an informant who would be testifying against Bulger in the murder of a New England Jai Alai operator, Roger Wheeler. A short time later, the informant was killed.

The informant, Edward Brian Halloran, had information showing that Bulger killed Wheeler, and asked the Boston FBI office to allow him to testify and to put him in the government’s witness protection program. Despite the fact that this information could solve one or more murders, the FBI refused. Halloran’s name was given to Bulger, knowing that Holloran would be killed shortly thereafter.

Another FBI Agent Exposed in the Murderous Boston Office

According to testimony by a Mafia boss and a government informant, Boston FBI Special Agent H. Paul Rico was also heavily involved with criminal elements. He reportedly helped kill a gangster, and framed others for murders that they did not commit.

FBI Agent Taking Cash from Murderous Crime Group

Former FBI agent John Morris, testifying under a grant of immunity, admitted taking cash on several occasions from two informants, totaling $7000, and that the money came from Bulger and Flemmi. FBI Agent Connolly, who was Bulger’s handler—or the other way around—repeatedly refused to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Thirty Years in Prison For Crime the FBI Knew He Didn’t Do

A May 4, 2001, Boston Globe headline read, “Man Imprisoned 30 Years for Crime FBI Knew He Didn’t Commit:”

Due to the withholding of evidence, Salvati was sent to prison in 1967. A Massachusetts father of four, Joe Salvati, was convicted of murder and served 30 years in prison—while the FBI, including Washington headquarters, knew he was innocent and knew the murder was committed by one of their paid informants. The known perjured testimony of an FBI informant led to his conviction and imprisonment.

Foreign News Service Reporting FBI Corruption

A June 20, 2001, Reuter’s article, titled, “FBI Agent Accused In Corruption Inquiry,” referred to an FBI agent in nearby Providence, Rhode Island, accepting expensive gifts from criminal elements. The article stated:

An F.B.I. agent has been suspended over accusations that he accepted gifts from a mob associate’s former wife … the Providence Journal reported today. The newspaper said the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the special agent, David DiLustro, has been suspended with pay.

The gifts Mr. DiLustro received included a bath house at an exclusive beach resort … The F.B.I. is investigating Mr. DiLustro’s relationship with Gail-Ann Calenda, who bribed city officials to get property-tax reductions in 1998. Two tax officers and a lawyer were convicted in the case. Mayor Vincent Cianci and five others have been indicted on corruption charges as a result of the inquiry.

Dying in Prison for Crimes They Didn’t Commit:
|Courtesy of Justice Department Personnel

Two of the men convicted with Salvati died in prison for a murder they did not commit and which the FBI knew they didn’t commit. Salvati remained in prison for 30 years until a rare lawyer’s persistence produced documents withheld by the FBI and Boston police. It took years for Salvati’s lawyer, Victor Garo, to obtain documents proving FBI agents and Boston police prosecuted Salvati to protect the identities of several FBI informants who would possibly be exposed if the real murderer were identified.

Congressional Hearings—and Then the Usual Cover-Up

A hearing was held on May 4, 2001 before the House Government Reform Committee concerning the FBI’s involvement in covering up for several of their informants who were involved in a Boston murder and how the FBI withheld information so as to convict an innocent man and father of four of murder. After listening to what occurred, Representative Christopher Shays tearfully told Joe Salvati:

Your story of faith, your story of family, your story of courage and perseverance is a gift to your nation. And we cherish it. Your testimony will insure on one else has to endure the outrageous indignities and injustices you, Mr. Salvati, Marie, and your family, have suffered.” [Don’t count on this PR statement!]

“Truth be dammed.”

Testifying before the committee, Victor J. Garo, a lawyer, said: “It was more important to the FBI that they protected their prized informants than it was for innocent people [to be sent to prison]. The truth be dammed. It didn’t matter about the truth.”

FBI Agent’s Arrogance

In response to a question from a committee member whether FBI Special Agent H. Paul Rico felt any remorse for his role in the case, he defiantly shouted, “What do you want, Tears? It’ll be probably a nice movie or something.”

Documents Showed FBI Director Implicated in Crimes

Documents presented during the criminal trial proved that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover knew of the criminal misconduct, false testimony, murders perpetrated by protected FBI informants, sending innocent people to prison, and did nothing to stop it.

Connolly’s tip to Bulger of his indictment occurred in 1994 and enabled Bulger to flee. Many people connected to the case believe that the FBI does not want to capture Bulger so as to cover up its own decades of criminal involvement. Burger was finally discovered on a tip from a neighbor in June 2011, living in Santa Monica with his companion, Catherine Greig.

Long Overdue Federal Indictments

Federal indictments were also finally handed down against FBI agent John Connolly, who was arrested on Christmas Eve, 1999, and charged with racketeering. The trial of John Connolly took place in an atmosphere that implied his innocence. Connolly was permitted to sit in the audience with his family rather than at the defense table. U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Tauro saw no problem in that arrangement.

Sitting in the courtroom was the new FBI director, Robert Mueller, who many believe was appointed FBI director because of his capacity to cover up governmental scandals. He followed the profile of many past FBI Directors, including former FBI Director William Sessions who rose from a lowly federal district court Judge in Texas to the FBI Directorship after he cooperated with President Reagan and his Attorney-General Dick Thornburgh in the 1980’s.

In politics, rewards are handed out to those that cooperate. During the 1980s AUSA, Robert Mueller in Boston kept the lid on the FBI scandal involving the criminal group headed by Bulger. He was appointed United States Attorney in Boston, insuring that information was kept from the Boston Police Department about the crimes perpetrated by the Bulger group and by FBI agents.

Boston Police Department complained bitterly that both the Justice Department and the FBI interfered or prevented their investigations into known mob operations. Watching Connolly’s trial in May and June of 2002 was Massachusetts State Senator William Bugler, who was also the president of the Massachusetts senate. William Bulger was the younger brother of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who headed a powerful organized crime group in Boston, in which FBI Special Agent Connolly was involved.

Media Publicity Forced Prosecution of FBI Agents

On May 23, 2002, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham filed charges against Connolly, who at that time was retired from the FBI. The charges stated that Connolly “functioned as a member of a criminal enterprise;” racketeering and obstruction of justice; leaking confidential information to people in the Bulger organized crime group that resulted in the killing of three witnesses; taking bribes; active participation in sending innocent men to prison; role in murdering witnesses against the mob; covering up crimes committed by the criminal elements; and tipping off James “Whitey” Bulger, the powerful head of a Boston crime group.

Jury Finds Connolly Guilty of Lesser Charges,
With Federal Judge Proposing Leniency

The jury found Connolly guilty of racketeering, obstructing justice, and lying to an FBI agent, and innocent on the conspiracy to murder charges. Following this verdict, senior U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington wrote a letter to the sentencing judge requesting leniency for Connolly.

In 2002, Connolly was sentenced to ten years in prison for his conduct that resulted in FBI informants being murdered, in conduct converting the FBI offices into a racketeering enterprise, and other crimes. The sentence was less than countless numbers of men and women received for peanut quantities of drugs or no-drug conspiracies in which government agents and government informants falsely testify about drug evidence. The system protects their own!

In criminal trials against the non-government criminal defendants, one of Bulger’s brothers pleaded guilty (April 15, 2003) in U.S. district court at Boston for perjury and obstruction of justice arising from lying to federal grand juries.

Rico was charged with the 1965 murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler, a murder that Rico committed after retiring from the FBI and working for Wheeler as a security consultant. Rico murdered Wheeler at a Tulsa country club because Wheeler had discovered Rico had embezzled funds from Wheeler’s company, World Jai Alai. It could be assumed that the FBI’s tolerance of Rico’s criminal conduct while in the Boston office emboldened Rico to kill Wheeler, thinking he was immune from prosecution. While waiting to go to trial, Rico died in January 2004 at an Oklahoma state prison in Tulsa. His death prevented further information about FBI misconduct from being revealed during trial.

Subsequent Trial Nets FBI Agent Connolly 40 Years in Prison

A Miami jury convicted former FBI agent John Connolly of second-degree murder in the 1982 shooting death of World Jai-Alai president John Callahan and a judge sentenced him to 40 years in prison. Six civil lawsuits were filed, with another ten expected, from family members of people who were murdered due to Connolly’s actions.

Media Blackout Despite the Grave National Implications

The evidence showed a major scandal with national implications, but national media exposure was limited, and only a few local newspapers provided the public with details on this sordid FBI drama. These were the Boston Globe and Hartford Courant, running a series of articles that commenced in 1988. The rest of the nation’s media covered up for the sordid and widespread misconduct in the FBI. This is the FBI that would be counted upon to detect terrorists and other threats to national interests!

A CBS “60-Minutes” broadcast in April 2001, provided an abbreviated account, showing mob boss James J. “Whitey” Bulger, as being a paid FBI informant for over 20 years and protected against investigation and prosecution while he and his gang engaged in murders, drug dealings, and other crimes.

An April 6, 2001, Dateline program revealed that Robert Fitzpatrick, who was an Assistant Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office in the 1980s repeatedly told his superiors that Bulger should be terminated as an FBI informant after learning of the numerous murders he committed. Fitzpatrick also said he warned top FBI officials that former FBI Agent John Connolly was leaking confidential information to Bulger. So successful was the media cover-up that I could not find a single person, including talk show hosts, who knew about the Boston FBI scandal.

Many More Involved at State and Federal Levels

Many more people in state and federal government positions were involved, either directly or through cover-ups, who escaped prosecution. One name that wasn’t mentioned in this scenario was former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.

Weld headed the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office during much of the time Bulger & Flemmi were engaging with the FBI in a racketeering enterprise. Nor was any mention made of U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller, who was responsible for prosecutions in the Boston FBI office during part of the time these FBI crimes were ongoing.

High FBI Officials Implicated, Making Cover-Up Urgent

Among the high-ranking figures that surfaced at Connolly’s trial were Robert S. Mueller, III; former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and the former president of the Massachusetts senate, William Bulger. FBI Director Mueller was an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston, in charge of the Criminal Division, and for a period of time was the acting U.S. attorney, while Connolly was involved in murderous misconduct with a criminal group headed by James Bulger. Mueller never acted to halt Connolly’s misconduct.

Mueller covered up for numerous criminal activities[1] that I reported to him while he was with the FBI office in San Francisco.

Diverted Congressional Hearings

The publicity forced the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Government Reform to conduct hearings. But not to address the corruption within the FBI that went to Washington and included DOJ officials. The hearings were primarily on the advisability of using government informants!

“An institution in dire need of reform.”

An outspoken member of the committee was Congressman Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts. He said, “What happened in Boston is not just a John Connolly rogue street agent problem. What we have revealed here is an institution in dire need of reform, with no accountability, no transparency, and a total lack of controls.” Representative Delahunt spent 20-years as a local district attorney and claimed his own investigations of Whitey Bugler were undermined by FBI protection of the mobster.

As far back as 1965, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was told that four innocent men had been sent to prison for life for a murder which the FBI knew was committed by one of the FBI’s informants. The murder of Edward Deegan in 1965 was committed by FBI informant Vincent Flemmi. The U.S. Attorney Boston investigated whether other FBI agents were involved. In an attempt to cover its own involvement in the murders and other crimes committed by Connolly, officials in FBI Washington headquarters sent a team to investigate some of these accusations back in 1997. FBI Agent Charles Prouty and a team from the FBI and Justice Department looked into the situation discovered by U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf.

Standard Government Whitewash

Within five weeks, Prouty and his team released their report, which found no wrongdoing within a five-year statute of limitations period. Further hearing by Judge Wolf unearthed the misconduct that was eventually cited in the Connolly trial. For protecting the FBI’s role in the crimes, Prouty was promoted to the head of the FBI Boston Field Office as its new Special Agent-In-Charge.

While the Justice Department’s Criminal Division prosecuted Connolly, the civil law suits against him were being vigorously defended by the Justice Department’s Civil Division. The U.S. Department of Justice was willing to defend Connolly in these civil lawsuits because the FBI was also being sued. The standard of proof in a civil suit is much lower than in a criminal case. Here jurors base their findings on only a preponderance of evidence, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Huge Civil Judgments Resulting From FBI-DOJ Criminal Conduct

Referring to the victims of the FBI corruption in Boston, an Op-Ed article in the Wall Street Journal ((August 2, 2007) by Richard Moran addressed the problem of prosecutors knowingly filing false charges against innocent people:

Last week, Judge Nancy Gertner of the Federal District Court in Boston awarded more than $100 million to four men whom the F.B.I. framed for the 1965 murder of Edward Deegan, a local gangster. It was compensation for the 30 years the men spent behind bars while agents withheld evidence that would have cleared them and put the real killer—a valuable F.B.I. informant, by the name of Vincent Flemmi—in prison.

Most coverage of the story described it as a bizarre exception in the history of law enforcement. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior by those whose sworn duty is to uphold the law is all too common. In state courts, where most death sentences are handed down, it occurs regularly.

My recently completed study of the 124 exonerations of death row inmates in America from 1973 to 2007 indicated that 80, or about two-thirds of their so-called wrongful convictions resulted not from good-faith mistakes or errors but from intentional, willful, malicious prosecutions by criminal justice personnel.

Yet too often this behavior is not singled out and identified for what it is. When a prosecutor puts a witness on the stand that he knows to be lying, or fails to turn over evidence favorable to the defense, or when a police officer manufactures or destroys evidence to further the likelihood of a conviction, then it is deceptive to term these conscious violations of the law as merely mistakes or errors.

Mistakes are good-faith errors—like taking the wrong exit off the highway, or dialing the wrong telephone number. There is no malice behind them. However, when officers of the court conspire to convict a defendant of first-degree murder and send him to death row, they are doing much more than making an innocent mistake or error. They are breaking the law.

Since so many wrongful convictions result from official malicious behavior, prosecutors, policemen, witnesses or even jurors and judges could themselves face jail time for breaking the law in obtaining an unlawful conviction.

The term “wrongfully convicted” is technically correct, and also has the potential to be misleading. It leads to the false impression that most inmates ended up on death row because of good-faith mistakes or errors committed by an imperfect criminal justice system—not by malicious or unlawful behavior.

Falsified FBI Forensic Evidence Reports

Referring to forensic evidence, the article stated that “The best trained and most honest forensic scientists can only examine the evidence presented to them; they cannot be expected to determine if that evidence has been planted, switched or withheld from the defense.” The article referred to FBI laboratory technicians making positive reports of crime evidence that they falsified, sending many innocent people to prison.

Another article referring to the FBI corruption in those Boston cases (New York Times, Aug. 5, 2007) described the harm suffered by the families of those men wrongly convicted. Louis Greco, Sr. died in prison. His wife, depressed, started drinking heavily and abandoned the children. A son, Louis Greco, Jr., depressed, committed suicide. Others suffered personal and financial tragedies due to the corruption in the FBI and Department of Justice.

FBI Agent’s Involvement in Murder of Telex Corporation CEO

Appearing on CBS’s 60-Minutes show (January 6, 2008), one of the mass killers for the Winter Hill gang, John Martorano, admitted to murdering over 18 people, and was a government witness. He admitted killing the CEO of Telex Corporation, who also owned World Jai Alai, Roger Wheeler. Martorano stated, as he had previously testified, that Boston FBI Special Agent Paul Rico provided the logistical information to carry out the murder.

In another murder, Martorano stated that FBI Special Agent John Connolly advised him and Bulger that one of their associates, John Callahan, was about to expose him for murdering Wheeler. With this information Martorano then murdered Callahan.

When asked on the show, “Do you think that John Connolly knew that you were gonna kill Callahan?” Martorano replied, “Sure. He said it. ‘We’re all going to go to jail the rest of our life if this guy doesn’t get killed.’”




[1] I offered to provide evidence to Mueller while he was in the FBI San Francisco office, and the criminal activities that I offered to report were those that I described in my book Defrauding America. They consisted of drug smuggling by people in the FBI, rampant corruption of federal judges and others in the bankruptcy courts; and others, all of which involved people in government positions. He never responded.


       
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couple of reads



http://www.abc2news.com/news/crime-checker/anne-arundel-crime/fbi-investigating-fatal-dog-shooting-in-glen-burnie-park

FBI investigating fatal dog shooting in Glen Burnie park

5:54 PM, Dec 26, 2014





Why is the FBI involved in a investigation into the shooting death of a Great Dane in Glen Burnie


GLEN BURNIE, Md. - An FBI agent shot and killed a dog in a park in Glen Burnie Friday morning after, a spokeswoman from the bureau said, the dog broke free from its owner and attacked the agent’s dog. (See statement below.)

Carol Feldhaus still had blood on her hands when Anne Arundel County police began setting up crime scene caution tape across a footbridge near Hopkfins Corner in a Glen Burnie park.


Feldhaus was in town visiting her daughter for the holidays. She said she was walking her daughter’s 5-year-old great Dane, named Fynn, alongside her 4-year-old grandson Friday morning.

Feldhaus, who was on the bridge at the same time as the man who she says shot the dog, yelled to the man to wait until she and her grandson crossed.

“I turned around this guy just kept coming and Fynn the great Dane jerked and pulled me down,” Feldhaus said.

Feldhaus was pulled off her feet by the powerful dog, she said.

“I heard the dogs barking at each other and growl,” Feldhaus continued. “Next thing I heard was bam-bam! And I'm half way up and the dog just walks to me and drops and there's blood everywhere. I was in shock and I said ‘you shot the dog?’ And he said he was an undercover cop and he was protecting his dog.”

Amy Thoreson, a spokeswoman for the FBI, sent the following statement:

There was an FBI Agent involved in an incident in Glen Burnie this morning. Initial information is that an approximately 180 pound dog broke free from the woman walking it along a footpath near Hopkins Corner and attacked a much smaller dog. An Agent shot and killed the larger dog. No one else was hurt. We are working jointly with Anne Arundel County PD, as well as the Inspection Division from FBI Headquarters to investigate. This is an ongoing matter, and will have more information as soon as we gather more details.

Feldhaus admitted that the great Dane did some damage to the dog. Feldhaus said she understood why another dog owner would want to protect their own dog but questions his use of a gun in that situation.

“Pulling a gun and shooting another dog in a park -- what is wrong with this man?” she said.

Amanda Ericson, the dog’s owner, described Fynn as a gentle giant and said he has never attacked another dog before. Ericson added that she grew up with big dogs and has separated two dogs fighting without resorting to violence. She said she believed that Fynn could've been acting protective of her 4-year-old son.

“Kick dogs or pull them apart but to shoot them right in front of my mother,” she began.

Feldhaus added, “’If I had a gun I would have shot the man’", that's what my grandson is saying and that's not what I want. Not at all.”F

Ericson continued, “my mom and my son need therapy. My mom feels like she was almost shot. My son saw my dog get shot while my mother was laying on the ground.”

Feldhaus said she would never forget this Christmas.


2.


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fortheloveofthedogblog.com/.../dog-killing-fbi-agent-gets-a-slap-on-the-wr...
Jul 12, 2009 - Lovett Leslie Ledger indicted for shooting dead of neighbor's dog ... Judge Matt Johnson in 54th District Court sentenced Ledger to two years ...
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Oct 30, 2009 - WACO (July 8, 2009)--Waco FBI Agent Lovett Leslie Ledger, Jr., who pleaded no contest last April to animal cruelty charges, was sentenced ...
FBI Confirms Waco Agent Who Shot Dog Is No Longer With The ...
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Oct 30, 2009 - WACO (October 30, 2009)—Waco FBI agent Lovett Leslie Ledger, Jr., who was sentenced to two years deferred adjudication probation and ...
lovett leslie ledger | ohmidog!
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Apr 29, 2009 - An FBI agent was sentenced yesterday to two years' probation and 300 ... A state district judge in Waco placed Lovett Leslie Ledger Jr. on ...
fbi | ohmidog!
http://www.ohmidog.com/tag/fbi/
Dogs in the employ of the military and FBI have sniffed out bombs, captured enemies, and ... Ledger was sentenced to deferred probation for two years and ordered to ... A state district judge in Waco placed Lovett Leslie Ledger Jr. on “ deferred ...
KBTX News on Twitter: "Waco FBI Agent Sentenced in Dog Shooting ...
https://twitter.com/kbtxnews/status/2534871221
Jul 8, 2009 - Waco FBI Agent Sentenced in Dog Shooting: WACO (July 8, 2009)--Wacol FBI Agent Lovett Leslie Ledger, Jr., who pl.. http://tinyurl.com/ngguue.
FBI Agent Lovett Leslie Ledger, Jr. - GUILTY! [Archive ...
http://www.centextalk.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-1441.html
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FBI Agent Lovett Leslie Ledger, JR. ... The admitted actions of this FBI agent are despicable. I wonder if he will ... Sentencing is set for June 23.
Texas FBI agent sentenced for killing neighbor's dog - KENS5.com
http://www.kens5.com/story/news/local/2014/06/13/10439893/
Oct 27, 2009 - On Wednesday, a state district judge in Waco placed Lovett Leslie Ledger Jr. on deferred adjudication probation. That means no conviction will ...
FBI agent gets deferred probation, community service for shooting dog
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Jul 9, 2009 - 6 posts - ‎4 authors
Lovett Leslie Ledger, 40, was sentenced Wednesday by 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson to two years' deferred probation and 300 hours ...
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http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-history-of-americas-war-on-whistleblowers-and-journalists-since-911/5423048



A History of America’s War on Whistleblowers and Journalists Since 9/11

By Joachim Hagopian
Global Research, January 06, 2015


The Last Whistleblowers
With 2014 fresh in our rear view mirror, an honest examination of events and developments of what’s been happening in America to whistleblowers and journalists since 9/11 under the Bush-Obama regime seems a worthwhile review, however disturbing ands foreboding. By definition a whistleblower is an individual who reports an employer’s misconduct. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from retaliatory action for voluntarily disclosing information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring within a government organization. Yet despite these supposed legal protections in place, those who have gone public disclosing illicit and immoral behavior by the federal government have been consistently singled out for discrimination and excessive punishment.

In fact, more American citizens have been indicted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917 under the current president than all other previous presidents combined. Though the law was designed to punish WWI German spies, and rarely used since for indicting those selling secrets to the enemy or efforts to undermine the American way of life, it is completely obsolete. Yet it is being misused by Obama for purely political purposes to shut down the truth. The Obama administration has also turned down more Freedom of Information Act requests than any other prior presidency with each year the denial rate rising. 2013 was 57% more than the year before, with over half the total requests rejected. Of course Obama’s mantra excuse is always using the “national security” card. He has also jailed more whistleblowers and journalists than any other president. By his over the top, punitive methods, Obama has declared war on the first amendment right to a free press in America, threatening, harassing, indicting and imprisoning those brave enough to speak the truth, accusing them of treason when the president through his administration has repeatedly violated the very Constitution that he has sworn to protect and uphold as the so called leader of the free world. His malevolent attack on free speech is even more incriminating and inexcusable as a Harvard educated lawyer who once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.

With their war policies both domestic and abroad one and the same, Obama has carried the totalitarian torch handed him by the Bush-Cheney administration making the United States the world’s worst human rights violator. But then they’re all cast from the same psychopathic mold as mere public front men simply following orders from their oligarch puppet masters who own and control them along with virtually everything else on this planet.

The man who after the Bush nightmare exploited Americans’ desperate need for hope and change campaigned on false promises that his administration would be far more open and transparent than his war criminal predecessor, pledging to be the most open and honest in US history. Instead Obama has only proven to be the most guarded, vindictive and secretive president in US history. With three quarters of Obama’s two term reign of terror completed, let’s look at the lives of a handful of Americans who have bravely spoken out since 9/11, some known and some lesser known. At great danger to themselves these individuals have exercised their legal rights under the Whistleblower Act and/or First Amendment and paid dearly for only doing the right thing. Their courage to expose government waste, corruption, fraud and its diabolical wrongdoing has been met with blatant retribution and extreme punishment that has systematically resulted in their unlawful firing, false imprisonment, character and career assassination and indeed even their political assassination and murder, all for standing up to injustice and wrongdoing for the greater good of Americans and humanity. These brave and honest individuals working in our government and in journalism should be heralded as our national heroes for their bold truth speaking, not silenced, harmed and/or destroyed by our own criminally treasonous rogue government.

The two biggest whistleblowers deservedly receiving the most national and international attention during the last couple years are ex-NSA analyst Edward Snowden, currently a fugitive forced on the run hiding out in Russia, and ex-US Army private Bradley now Chelsea Manning, currently serving three and a half decades of hard time in federal prison. In June 2013 Snowden released documents proving the government leaders to be liars – from Obama’s national security advisor and known perjurer James Clapper to now former National Security Agency (NSA) Director General Alexander (in clear violation of both his sworn oath upholding both the Constitution and his onetime West Point honor code).

Through the Snowden revelations Americans and in fact the entire world have come to realize the US government has been routinely conducting invasive, unlawful surveillance on every single aspect of our not so private lives, brazenly and blatantly violating Fourth Amendment search and seizure laws for decades now. Mr. Snowden pointed out what many of us already suspected, that Big Brother is watching our every move, or minimally has free unlimited access. Despite the reactive government and its controlled Mainstream Media propaganda machine claiming the NSA whistleblower is a traitor as the eighth American charged with violating the Espionage Act who weakened national security and placed Americans in danger, then not delivering a shred of forthcoming evidence, public opinion has neither been swayed nor convinced that he’s the villain. Even the New York Times has followed suit with the majority of Americans beginning 2014 with a favorable New Year op-ed article upgrading its view of Edward Snowden:

When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken

the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government…

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has

exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight.

Of course Private Manning working as an intelligence specialist in Iraq saw numerous atrocities and crimes against humanity the US Empire was perpetrating in our name in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In good conscience in 2010 he leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaksbelieving like Daniel Ellsberg four decades earlier that it might force the United States to end its war crimes, perhaps the wars themselves because the American people have the right to know what atrocities are being committed in their name. Rather than protection under the Whistleblower’s Act, like Snowden he too was slammed with treasonous charges and convicted of violating the Espionage Act with the same bogus worn out cries/lies that he also compromised national security and endangered fellow Americans. And also identical to the Snowden outcries, a Pentagon general who conducted a near yearlong investigation of the effects the leaks maintained that not one single death ever resulted from Manning’s releases.

There is something really grotesquely wrong and inverse from the way it naturally should be in America when a whistleblower performing acts of goodwill demonstrating moral conscience to save lives is maltreated with the treasonous tag of traitor and imprisoned for the next thirty five years. Rather than own responsibility for violating international laws and correcting the grave problem as any government operating with any moral compass would do, US government tyranny has it committing yet another grave injustice by in effect destroying the whistleblower’s life, confining Manning for what will likely be most of her remaining life. Private Manning should have won the Nobel Peace Prize for his moral courage and been lauded as a national hero and role model to be emulated in history books for generations to come, not cast away to rot for decades in a prison cell.

John Kiriakou was a CIA officer turned whistleblower who busted the Bush-Cheney-Obama torture practice wide open by contacting the New York Times and an ABC reporter. Though the systemic practice of enhanced interrogation torture that includes waterboarding was officially outlawed under Obama, in reality it only went further underground. That’s why Obama recently refused to prosecute the guilty members of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Alberto Gonzalez regime including the CIA and Special Ops personnel who actively violated international and national laws. But the good man Kiriakou who called the bad men out was the one who was arrested in early 2012 simply for telling the truth while the government for years persisted in its lying game. That’s why Obama throwing the book at John threw him into the slammer where he still remains, not for passing any classified material or even violating the three counts of espionage he initially was charged with that were dropped for lack of evidence. He has been locked up purely for the political purpose to set an example for those honest and courageous enough to tell the nasty heinous truth about what America the rogue state has been propagating with impunity around the world. In his arrogant exceptionalism, Obama continues to operate above the law, defying the Whistleblower Act of 1989 he also promised to uphold. As another heroic patriot, John Kiriakou should be a free man and recognized as the hero he is.

Meanwhile, the US military-national government should be treated as the treasonous killing machine it is and severely punished for its rampant destruction and violation of both international and domestic laws. But unfortunately since 9/11, the oppressors within the militarized Empire apparatus doing the dirty oligarch bidding of the New World Order no longer comply with our nation’s rule of law and instead appear engaged in global depopulation through war, growing complicity of ethnic cleansing in Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Rwanda, widespread globalimpoverishment, bio-warfare and neurotoxin poisoning. The police state killing increasing numbers of innocent, unarmed, law abiding US citizens reflects the overt war on America itself. With events from Ferguson, New York City and throughout America really, the powers-that-be have long been waging successful divide and conquer campaigns, pitting class against class, religion against religion, race against race, region against region, ideology against ideology, police state against citizen.

Though the FBI fails to even acknowledge much less tally each year’s unjustifiable homicides committed by law enforcement agencies across the nation, only “justifiable” ones are counted. From 1992 through 2012 (2012 being the latest account though in 2014 an exponential spike has no doubt occurred), while violent crime in the US has steadily declined, the so called justifiable killings of Americans by police has significantly increased. Plus as law enforcement becomes more militarized with surplus military weapons and equipment from war zones being distributed in recent years to local police departments around the country, the weapon of choice that the militarized police state is currently using to kill US citizens has shifted from officer handguns to automatic rifles. It’s getting so one cannot tell the difference between the police and the military as they have emerged in both appearance and function to be one and the same. They both fight wars, domestic and foreign.

Everything happening here in the United States is simultaneously recurring throughout the Western world. It all is going as planned by that one tenth of one percent that holds virtually the entire planet’s wealth and power along with its seven billion population hostage. In the US the top 20% of American household incomes own over half the country’s wealth (53.5%) and incredibly the top 1% alone more than 40% of all US wealth. With the world’s richest nation’s form of government no longer a democratic republic but an actual oligarchy serving the interests of the privileged financial elite, draconian laws have sprung up on every continent criminalizing free speech and free press. Each passing year more journalists are being jailed or killed throughout the globe. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) just revealed that 60 journalists were killed in action in 2014 while Reporters Without Borders counted the number at 66. CPJ maintains that 220 were imprisoned last year. It’s becoming more dangerous all the time to report the truth.

The Orwellian nightmare of a militarized global security-surveillance-police state means new national security laws are rapidly proliferating all over the world. This last year alone has seen tyrannical parliamentary acts from Australia to Spain being enacted with greater frequency. Clearly the globalists control every war, manufacturing and demonizing enemies at propagandist will. Oligarchs in the form of the international banking cabal have taken over every national government, own and control every transnational corporation, and control every national economy due to increasing dependence on a non-sustainable, bankrupt global economic system dictated and controlled by the cabal. They own and control virtually all global food production, distribution and supply as well as virtually all sources of information through fewer and fewer media outlets, with the agenda to next abolish net neutrality and eliminate the internet as the only viable independent news source for any semblance of truth and accurate information still left available. As highly alarming as this appallingly dark and austere NWO reality fast descending over every corner of the globe appears, unfortunately the worst is yet to come. We citizens of the world must fight back first with the truth by learning and disseminating it, and then with our collective will through nonviolent civil disobedience.

The increasingly probable assassination of investigative journalist Michael Hastings on June 18th, 2013 involved a high speed car crash caused by an incredibly high heat explosion that occurred prior to ending up “leaning” next to a tree in an LA police photo that shows the new model Mercedes Benz with absolutely no frontal collision damage at all, only a badly burned area confined to the driver’s seat where Michael was burned alive. Neighborhood witnesses describe what they heard as an enormously loud explosion at 4:30 in the morning sounding like “a bomb going off.” The unburned engine was strangely found at a right angle from the car lying 150-180 feet away, consistent with a powerful explosive catapulting it so far a distance from the vehicle. Also consistent with an explosion, there were no skid marks at the accident scene.

Within just a few hours after Hastings’ death, LAPD was rushing to make an open and shut case, calling it a simple accident while emphatically claiming no foul play was involved barely even after any investigation had begun. That kind of knee jerk response smacks of cover-up. Also Michael’s body went straight from the coroner’s office to the local crematory without the family’s consent against their wishes. With his body quickly cremated, any possibility of discovering signs of foul play were instantly and conveniently destroyed, raising only more suspicion.

On the very same day just a few hours before his death, the outspoken reporter was in contact with WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson, eager to turn over his latest expose piece on the criminality of US intelligence agencies. Also on that very same day, Michael asked a friend to borrow her car indicating he knew something was not right with his own new model vehicle. Additionally, Hastings was in a rare state of anxiety all day long as he was busily emailing and contacting friends to inform them that the FBI was in fact investigating him and that he may need to lay low for a while. Though the FBI denied that he was ever under investigation, the truth was the FBI lied as he was being investigated right after his most recent Rolling Stone article came out in July 2012 featuring the highly controversial case of the only POW from the Afghanistan War Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. A 22-page secret FBI report was the result.

Even more striking was a post on WikiLeaks of an internal email from the covert CIA contractor company Stratfor’s Vice President Fred Burton stating, “[CIA Director] Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.”Then Michael Hastings’ wife Elise Jordan confirmed in a CNN interview that former CIA Director Petraeus’ successor John Brennan and his efforts to seal off all leaks to the press was the very hot topic of Hastings’ next exposé. The biggest articles of Hastings’ career in journalism were most unflattering reports about the most powerful military leaders in America – Generals Stanley McCrystal and David Petraeus for Rolling Stone.

In fact, shortly after the McCrystal article was published, the military intelligence commander of Special Operations in Afghanistan’s own career was destroyed when Obama fired McCrystal for trash talking his Commander-in-Chief. There’s evidence that Hastings’ life was threatened while writing that article should his account of McCrystal not be anything more than a fluff n’ puff piece. Several years earlier it was General McCrystal who was the primary player (along with his boss my former West Point roommate the then CentCom commander General John Abizaid) in covering up Pat Tillman’s suspicious death and probable murder since the famous pro football star turned patriotic Army Ranger was renouncing his role as a Bush-Cheney poster boy unwittingly being misused for recruitment for their illegal wars. Tillman was about to blow the lid off the US government’s international drug smuggling operation that had US soldiers guarding the opium fields in Afghanistan. The friendly fire that put three bullet holes in his forehead a la execution style obviously was anything but friendly. Nor was the autopsy doctor who balked for months from acquiescing to the official cover-up version.

Two years later another scathing Hastings article placed General Petraeus in a bad light uncovering the resounding failure of “King David’s War” (as Hastings named his Rolling Stone piece) in 2010 Afghanistan, exposing the general’s lies touting false progress over his second surge in as many wars after the inflated hype had crowned him the savior in Iraq. Hastings’ unfettered truth squarely embarrassed America’s most famous general with the rock star status and presidential ambitions to jump at the chance in 2011 of abandoning his own 37-year military career, his failed combat mission and lost cause war to become the next civilian in charge of the CIA. Hastings’ no-nonsense brand of truth telling journalism made powerful enemies and tragically he paid for it with his life.

Michael Hastings boldly pissed off the elite, exposing their lies in a nation run no different from the mafia, controlled by murdering thugs within a shadowy rogue government that made Hastings their “fair game” target. Silencing him by their brazen undercover method of remote hacking and exploding his automobile was the not-so-subtle message sent to all muckraking journalists who dare print the dirty lowdown truth about the fascist tyranny state since the 9/11 inside coup unleashing the forever war on terror. Even counterterrorism insider Richard Clarke copped the conclusion that it could well have been a hacking hit job. While a militarized police force operating freely with impunity in a security surveillance state is regularly killing off innocent unarmed Americans, a totalitarian federal government is resorting to assassination of its own targeted citizens deemed a threat to the state just to keep any would-be rabblerousers in line and/or neutralized by elimination.

Just two weeks prior to Hastings’ untimely demise, Obama had launched his aggressive assault on America’s free press with his shot across the bow confiscating phone records of Associated Press reporters, harassing a Fox journalist as well as internally hacking the computer belonging to former CBS reporter and investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. In her recent tell-all book Stonewalled, Attkisson chronicles Obama’s profound web of deceit and his aggressive, out for blood lust to destroy all truth tellers. Fresh on the heels of these events came Michael Hastings’ car blowing up. In today’s United States of America, an emboldened, in-our-face pattern of connecting the criminal dots has emerged. Those of us individuals courageous and daring enough to expose the dark ugly truth about what America the no longer free has chillingly degenerated into, are simply being taken out, exterminated by the totalitarian state that hypocritical US leaders like Obama have long accused of Russia and China.

Several months prior to Hastings death in February 2013, another controversial journalist-author and his family turned up suspiciously dead in northern California. Philip Marshall wrote the book published in 2012 called The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror, dissecting the false flag 9/11 event that launched the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Speculation abounds over Marshall’s affiliation back in the Iran Contra days of the 1980’s when controversial CIA pilot Barry Seal was transporting cocaine for the government and later had his pilot license revoked. It was then that fellow pilot Philip Marshall was hired to transport Seal back and forth from Florida to Louisiana. After delving into covert government activities and writing about them for thirty years, Philip Marshall’s third book was an expose linking the Saudi government to the 9/11 inside Bush-Cheney job. The former United Airlines captain makes the case that a US military stand down order was in effect on the day the planes flew into the towers after Washington and Saudi Arabia had been in cahoots for that last 18 months to ensure that with CIA assistance the wire-cutting, Saudi foreign nationals were allowed free access in and out of the US while being trained to fly planes at various flight school locations around the country – in Florida, Arizona and California. Two credible sources, former Senators Bob Kerrey and Bob Graham who headed two separate 9/11 investigations also came up with the same conclusion, that intelligence sources from the Saudi government worked hand in hand with the Bush administration in preparation to pull off the 9/11 attack.

An FBI special agent and attorney Coleen Rowley working out of the Minnesota field office had stumbled upon vital information regarding suspicious activity involving Saudi national Zacarias Moussaoui taking flying lessons. After attempting to alert FBI higher-ups in DC to no avail, she soon went public as a whistleblower testifying before a Senate committee over the inexplicable breakdown in intelligence communications that led directly to 9/11. Specifically she realized that FBI headquarters actually hampered the investigation that may have stopped the 9/11 attack. Of course if the reality from top on down was a planned inside attack, then the FBI would have orders to purposely sabotage any real probe exposing the perpetrators. Coleen wrote a scathing letter to the FBI Director Robert Mueller. Ms. Rowley was one of three women selected as 2002’s Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year for her blowing the whistle on the feds’ failure to do its job. Ever since she has been a strong advocate and activist for government oversight especially once she resigned from the FBI in 2004. Coleen Rowley is another unsung American hero.

Still another courageous woman who became an FBI whistleblower involving 9/11 is Sibel Edmonds. Fluent in both Farsi and Turkish languages, Ms. Edmonds was hired right after 9/11 as a translator of sensitive intelligence documents that confirmed the FBI knew prior to 9/11 of the plan to use airplanes to attack buildings on American soil. Sibel like Coleen is a hardworking activist dedicated to exposing the truth about government improprieties. Utilizing her international contacts, she runs the extremely informative alternative news website BoilingFrogs.com.

With FBI Agent Rowley also privy to the same plan to fly planes into New York City’s Twin Towers, Rowley informed top FBI officials of this terrorist plot even prior to 9/11. Between both Rowley and Edmonds’ testimony, proof exists that the government knew about the attack and chose not to intercept its execution on 9/11. Beyond a question of a doubt, this bit of critical evidence demonstrates at a minimum the federal government’s complicity and more than likely its preplanned inside false flag operation to murder thousands of Americans on that fateful September morning. Of course 9/11 became the contrived diabolical excuse used to justify US invasions and decade long occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq under totally fabricated pretense. Of course it also constitutes crimes against humanity on an unprecedented monstrously gargantuan scale – not only crimes against the American people, but especially against the Iraqi and Afghan citizens who have lost millions of their loved ones in their failed state nations, all compliments of George Bush and Dick Cheney. Right up to this very day wars that America egregiously brought to their homelands are still raging with no end in sight.

Returning to the man recognized as “the leading aviation expert on the 9/11 attack,” Mr. Philip Marshall’s book and his next writing project he had begun must have threatened those high enough in the government who systematically silence anyone bent on uncovering their sinister false flag operations. The neocon administration has too much at stake and too much to lose should the real truth about them be known. What especially makes this story even more tragic is that Marshall’s teenage son and daughter were also shot in the head in their “safe” gated community home. Unsurprisingly, the local police and coroner hastily wrote it off as just another family homicide-suicide by another mentally unstable father estranged from his ex-wife.

Meanwhile right after the tragedy, former NSA officer and outspoken investigative journalist Wayne Madsen (WayneMadsenReport.com) spent a week in California talking to Marshall’s fellow residents in Murphys. The homes are close enough for the next door neighbor to say she could hear Philip whistling inside his house. Yet the police claimed that the homes in the community are too far apart for any neighbors to hear the four gunshots, quickly denying that a silencer was used. Moreover, none of the Marshall family friends and neighbors believe it was a homicide-suicide. Many believe that Philip’s latest work was especially incriminating to the government and that the family was murdered to silence him. Madsen also learned from the local media sources that Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz is said to be stalling in handing over the critical toxicological report on the family’s bodies as well as the Gunshot Residue report from the bullets fired from Marshall’s 9mm Glock. After conducting his own investigation, Wayne Madsen concluded that he is “100% certain” that the Marshall family was assassinated by the government.

A piece in the Santa Barbara View mentioned that during the editing and pre-marketing phase of publishing his 9/11 book, Philip Marshall displayed signs of paranoia. When one is actually being targeted for extermination through intimidation and harassment, to fear for your life is clearly not a paranoid delusion. Yet skeptics readily buy in to the official spin that targeted assassination victims are simply unstable and deranged, going off the deep end in this case killing his own family, the family dog and himself. Of course professionals who murder for a living are skilled at setting it up so suicide is always the most plausible explanation. Government thugs who operate like the mafia wouldn’t have it any other way. Those who kill for a living and have every possible resource available to enable them to get away with their sins can always make a crime scene appear like a suicide. Criminal rogue elements within the US government have been doing it for a very long time. So another truth teller and his two innocent children must bite the dust so the actual perpetrators can go free, untouched by their own evildoing.

Of course the 33-year old Hastings and 54-year old Marshall are not the only American writers likely murdered for exposing the sinister truth about the US government. In his 1996 Dark Alliance, an expose series for the San Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Gary Webb singlehandedly uncovered the Iran Contra scandal during Reagan’s 1980’s that supplied crack cocaine to South Central Los Angeles, resulting in the crack epidemic still raging in America’s urban ghettos. Webb’s ongoing investigative work exposed the illicit, morally reprehensible Contra Cocaine scandal that the CIA was running a decade earlier exchanging money and guns for Latin American drugs to finance the Contra insurgency operations fighting against the democratically elected Nicaraguan Sandinista government. Of course the Contras weren’t the “freedom fighters” Reagan idolized at all but US funded drug cartel mercenaries consisting of death squad commandos trained and led by CIA and US Special Operations forces that brutally terrorized and massacred thousands of Nicaraguans during the eighties Contra War.

A decade after Webb’s tragic death, his harrowing story was cinematically portrayed in the 2014 film “Kill the Messenger.” The Sacramento coroner that performed Webb’s autopsy quickly ruled his death a suicide despite a passing reference to the unusual occurrence of a suicide involving two bullets to the head. One shot from behind went out through Webb’s jaw so the likely murderer ensured the hit was successfully finalized by sending the second .35 caliber bullet straight into his brain. Prior to his demise, Webb had received a number of death threats and witnessed men in flight leaving his home as he pulled into his driveway. Those who believe Webb did commit suicide cite that he was broke, jobless, down on his luck and soon to be evicted from his apartment. Oh, and his motorcycle was stolen the day before he shot himself twice. Feds once again have ways to arrange circumstances so their official suicide spin gets bought.

Two years after the newspaper articles, Gary Webb published his book Dark Alliance in 1998 and continued working on another book uncovering the CIA and its clandestine operations right up till his execution style murder. Of course the big three mainstream presstitutes, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post thoroughly trashed Webb’s controversial findings as unsubstantiated, amateurish journalism, making a mockery of both the veracity of his investigation and his unjustifiably maligned reputation. Eventually his editor at the Mercurysuccumbed to the national pressure from the oligarch owned and operated Big Media and canned him. Subsequently the San Jose editor was rewarded for discriminately distancing the paper’s parent company Knight Ridder from the forsaken media pariah Webb. Similar to Hastings’ fate, the CIA is believed responsible for killing the journalist who was bent on exposing the evil that US intelligence forces perpetrate by shooting him twice in the back of his head in December 2004 as fatal retribution.

Gary Webb’s unveiling news was predated more than a decade earlier by Senator John Kerry’s 1985 investigation uncovering the reality that the US government knew about the drug connection between the CIA and Contra funding. Webb’s much criticized accounting was vindicated by the CIA’s own Inspector General Frederick Hitz’ 1998 reports that clearly confirmed CIA’s active involvement. Webb’s work also paved the way to learning that President Reagan and top administration officials knew and actively supported the illegal drug for money and weapons starting in the early 1980’s, placing the CIA along with National Security Council point man Lt. Colonel Oliver North in charge of the drug smuggling operation headquartered in the White House basement. This sordid covert operation right under Reagan’s powdered white nose had CIA fingerprints all over it, led by none other than former CIA chief and then VP turned President George H.W. Bush himself.

The Massachusetts Congressman who appointed me to West Point, Edward Boland, sponsored the Boland Amendment that prohibited military assistance to the Contras until 1986. Yet despite this Congressional restriction, it failed to stop CIA man Bush from secretly and illegally funding the Contra War through the lucrative drug trade. The staging area for resupplying the Contra terrorists during the 1980’s became Ilopongo Air Force Base in El Salvador. It was there that many CIA flights picking up large shipments of cocaine were then flown for drop off to America.

Even a 27-year senior special FBI agent who headed the Los Angeles, Memphis and Dallas field offices, the late Ted Gunderson, ruled Gary Webb’s death a murder and the possibility of it being a suicide “impossible.” During the last several decades of his life, Gunderson’s snooping around for the truth exposing the pervasive criminality within his own rogue elements of the FBI and CIA more than likely led to his eventual death in July 2011. During the three decades since retiring from the FBI, Ted Gunderson investigated the JFK assassination, Marilyn Monroe’s likely murder, 9/11 as an inside job, chemtrails, the Iran-Conta scandal, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Illuminati and the NWO agenda, the Bush crime family, Satanism, child kidnapping and ritualistic abuse and sacrifice. As a longtime government whistleblower and bestselling author possessing impeccable FBI credentials and decades of expert investigative experience, Gunderson made many enemies within the government. Mr. Gunderson’s treating physician of many years, Dr. Edward Lucidi, also examined Ted’s body after his July 2011 death, and concluded that Gunderson had been periodically poisoned with arsenic that eventually triggered his bladder cancer that ultimately spread to kill him.

The longtime New World Order advocate and oligarch George Herbert Walker Bush has CIA links dating all the way back to the 1961 Bay of Pigs scandal. Though once a Skull and Bones secret society initiate at Yale like his father before him and his junior namesake after, graduation in 1948 meant moving with his wife and George Jr. to Texas where he became an even richer oil man. In the early 1960’s HW worked as a CIA recruiter for the Bay of Pigs operation. It was his involvement in the CIA training of Cuban exiles in guerilla warfare in preparation for the Bay of Pigs that H.W. met anti-Castro Cuban, naturalized American citizen, drug trafficker, career CIA employee and lifelong friend Felix Rodriguez (alias Max Gomez) who was responsible for Che Guevara’s capture and killing and would surface decades later in a key role in the Iran Contra affair. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s controversial JFK assassination memo dated November 29th, 1963, a mere seven days after the Kennedy murder, explicitly names the CIA’s “George H.W. Bush” for his direct JFK involvement placing him in Dallas at the time the ill-fated president was ambushed at Dealey Plaza. There is even a photo of Bush in front of the same book depository where the “lone gunman” patsy Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired from the second floor.

President Kennedy was indeed the most famous would-be whistleblower in-the-making during the 1000 days of his short-lived presidency. In reaction to the embarrassment of the botched Bay of Pigs scandal he inherited from the Eisenhower administration, Kennedy’s bold design included “splintering the CIA,” abolishing its covert operations and bringing home all of the US
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https://hotair.com/archives/2015/01/06/fbi-we-dont-need-no-stinking-warrant/

FBI: We don’t need no stinking warrant
posted at 7:21 pm on January 6, 2015 by Noah Rothman


In a letter released to the public last week, Senate Judiciary Committee members Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) expressed their concerns about the FBI’s defense of the apparently widespread practice of warrantless surveillance of cellular data.
In a private briefing to committee members, the FBI apparently indicated that they do not believe they need warrants in order to secure data from cell technology using decoy towers known as “stingrays.”
“The Judiciary Committee needs a broader understanding of the full range of law enforcement agencies that use this technology, the policies in place to protect the privacy interests of those whose information might be collected using these devices, and the legal process that DOJ and DHS entities seek prior to using them,” the letter read.
For example, we understand that the FBI’s new policy requires FBI agents to obtain a search warrant whenever a cell-site simulator is used as part of a FBI investigation or operation, unless one of several exceptions apply, including (among others): (1) cases that pose an imminent danger to public safety, (2) cases that involve a fugitive, or (3) cases in which the technology is used in public places or other locations at which the FBI deems there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.
We have concerns about the scope of the exceptions. Specifically, we are concerned about whether the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have adequately considered the privacy interests of other individuals who are not the targets of the interception, but whose information is nevertheless being collected when these devices are being used. We understand that the FBI believes that it can address these interests by maintaining that information for a short period of time and purging the information after it has been collected. But there is a question as to whether this sufficiently safeguards privacy interests.
The congressional investigation was prompted in part by a report published in The Wall Street Journal in November in which the existence of these secret mock cell towers as well as Cessna aircraft that randomly surveil America’s urban centers was revealed.
“The official said discussion of such matters would allow criminal suspects or foreign powers to determine U.S. surveillance capabilities,” The Journal report read. “Justice Department agencies comply with federal law, including by seeking court approval, the official said.”
The Journal report makes it clear that most of the information caught by this form of dragnet surveillance is “let go,” but that appears to be cold comfort to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Writing in Ars Technica, David Kravets is unimpressed with the FBI’s regard for Americans’ expectation of privacy.
The bureau’s position on Americans’ privacy isn’t surprising. The Obama Administration has repeatedly maintained that the public has no privacy in public places. It began making that argument as early as 2010, when it told a federal appeals court that the authorities should be allowed to affix GPS devices on vehicles and track a suspect’s every move without court authorization. The Supreme Court, however, eventually ruled that warrants are required. What’s more, the administration has argued that placing a webcam with pan-and-zoom capabilities on a utility pole to spy on a suspect at his or her residence was no different from a police officer’s observation from the public right-of-way. A federal judge last month disagreed with the government’s position, tossing evidence gathered by the webcam that was operated from afar.
Despite the fleeting outrage that followed revelations that the NSA used the PRISM program to scoop up information on average internet users, little in the way of reforms to the process by which domestic law enforcement agencies collect and use information collected through surveillance on private citizens. Since President Barack Obama has apparently abandoned the pursuit of sweeping reforms to America’s domestic surveillance programs, many will urge his successor to follow up on
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Islam, the new FBI created boogeyman replacing communism
since the fall of the Berlin Wall, eh?

when you control the media you control fear of the boogeyman

Study: Muslims overrepresented as domestic terrorists on U.S.
News

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/01/07/Study-Muslims-overrepresented-as-domestic-terrorists-on-US-TV-news/1931420670233/


Jan. 7, 2015 at 6:22 PM


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/01/07/Study-Muslims-overrepresented-as-domestic-terrorists-on-US-TV-news/1931420670233/#ixzz3OBqyOI6y
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The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy
by
Robert Shetterly
Several years ago I gave a talk on Martha's Vineyard about many of the people whose portraits I've painted in the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. I spent some time talking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. When I talk about King, I like to focus on his last year --- the period when, defying the advice of many of his advisors in the civil rights movement, he spoke against the Vietnam War, equating racism with imperialism. King felt bound to make the point that the forces of capitalism, materialism, and militarism that were driving segregation were also driving the war, and until we confronted the source of the problem, the abuses would continue. It was April 4, 1967, in Riverside Church in New York, that he made that declaration. A year to the day before his assassination.

It has always confounded me every year when we celebrate Dr. King's life that no mention is made of that Riverside Church speech in the major media. We are always treated to sound bites of the 1963 I Have a Dream speech. That speech's oratory is as powerful as it is non-confrontational. Which is why it is re-played for modern audiences. Dr. King was about confrontation. Non-violence and confrontation, each ennobling and making the other effective. In 1967 he said, "... my country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." And he explained how our economic system thrived on exploitation and violence, or, as Emma Goldman put it, "The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism." This was probably the most important speech King ever gave and not playing it when we ostensibly honor him, is tantamount to castrating him morally and intellectually. Just as there is a long history of White America castrating black men, there is an equal legacy of Elite America cutting the most important truths of our social prophets out of the history books. We pay homage to King's icon, the cardboard cutout, but not to his strongest beliefs and his most cogent analysis of our problems --- to what vision called forth his courage. And, if we think that he spoke the truth, to censor that truth is to promote a curious kind of segregation. He is segregated, not for the color of his skin, but for the accuracy of his perception, how close to the bone his words cut. We can't bear to hear the sound of truth's knife scraping on hypocrisy's bone. Only people who actually want to change the system dance to that music or want it to be heard.

Equally important, and part of the same neglect, is the intentional ignoring of the facts of his death. In my talk on Martha's Vineyard I spoke about William Pepper's book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper had been James Earl Ray's lawyer. Ray was the man convicted of killing King. But both Pepper and the King family were convinced that Ray was innocent. The King family hired Pepper to represent them in a suit; they asked only $100.00 in damages to clear Ray's name. Before the trial came to court in 1999, Ray had died in prison. The jury determined that King had been assassinated by a conspiracy involving the Memphis police, the Mafia, the FBI, and the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. Ray, the patsy, had left town before the shot was fired. Pepper had confessions from people involved from each of the organizations named. The verdict was barely mentioned in the U.S. media then and is not mentioned every year on the anniversary of his death. Why?

After my talk on Martha's Vineyard a man came up to me and said, "I enjoyed your speech and was with you until you started that conspiracy stuff about MLK, Jr." I said, "That's not conspiracy. What I told you are facts." End of conversation.

I think we're confronted with two conspiracies here: one to commit the crime, the other to ignore it even when the facts are known. ( Two sides of the same coin.) The man who accused me of slipping into the neurotic, aliens-are-among-us land of conspiracy nuts was unable to hear the evidence, perhaps because he was so utterly convinced by our government and media that conspiracies don't exist, people who espouse them are dangerous fruitcakes, and if you begin to think like that, your whole house of cards wobbles then topples. Who wants that? Better a standing tower of marked cards, than having to admit the game is rigged and the ground is shaking.

America is steeped in conspiracy, and even more steeped in propaganda that discredits those who try to expose the conspiracies. Whether we're talking about MLK, Jr., JFK, RFK, Iran-Contra, 9/11, or, most importantly, the status quo, anyone who works to uncover the truth is branded a "conspiracy nut" and discredited before any evidence has a fair hearing. The government/corporate/media version is THE VERSION. Anything else is illusory.

In fact, the cultural success of labeling investigative reporters and forensic historians, and, simply, anyone who tries to name reality, "conspiracy nuts" is perhaps the most successful conspiracy of our time. Well, not the most successful. That prize goes to the conspiracy to give corporations all the rights of individual persons under our Constitution. That conspiracy has codified and consolidated corporate power so that it controls our lives in almost every meaningful way. It controls the election funds of our candidates, and them once they are in office. It controls our major media including public broadcasting. It controls the content of our television programming. It controls how are tax dollars are spent making sure that the richest get the most welfare. It controls the laws, the courts, the prison system and the mind numbing propaganda that we are the greatest democracy on earth. It controls the values with which we raise our children. It controls our ability to dispense justice. It controls how we treat nature, how we deface our land with strip malls, and blow the tops off our mountains --- a form of corporate free speech. It dictates our modes of transportation. It controls our inability to respond to true crises like climate change. It attempts to create a spiritual deficiency in every person that can be filled and healed only with stuff --- and no stuff is ever enough.

As Richard Grossman puts it, "Isn't it an old story? People create what looks to be a nifty machine, a robot, called the corporation. Over time, the robots get together and overpower the people. ... For a century, the robots propagandize and indoctrinate each generation of people so they grow up believing that robots are people too, gifts from God and Mother Nature; that they are inevitable and the source of all that is good. How odd that we have been so gullible, so docile, obedient."

It is obvious to say that we have been engineered into a culture that values competitive consumption and consumers instead of community cooperation and citizenship. Capitalism with its obsessive and necessary appetite for consumption, expanding markets, resource depletion, and increasing profits has consumed democracy. Have you ever watched a small snake swallow a large frog? The snake's hinged jaw stretches wider and wider, squeezing the frog millimeter by millimeter into its gullet until finally the snake looks like the Holland Tunnel might if it had devoured the Titanic. Then the acids and enzymes do their corrosive work. The frog becomes the snake. And the snake claims it is the frog. Capitalism has gulped down democracy and claimed it is democracy. When, immediately after 9/11, President Bush advised Americans to demonstrate their love of freedom and their resistance to terrorism by courageously, selflessly, hurrying to the mall to buy something, he was speaking as the snake that identifies itself as a frog. He was asking us to play a little game with our brains' synapses, replace the snake icon with the frog's. Sadly, he may also have been speaking about democracy in the only way that he can understand or recognize it. And, for him, Christianity has been another tidy meal for the snake.

Perhaps this switcheroo is nowhere more obvious than in the military /industrial complex. We are told that the vulnerable frog needs protecting. The threats are grave. So we fork over our money and children's lives for war and weapons. We are told that we are building security and peace. More lives. More weapons. What we aren't told is that the largest US export to the world is weapons. What we aren't told is that enormous fortunes are being made from the arms trade. What we aren't told is that the more precarious and unstable the world is, the better the business for the arms dealers --- that the real promotion is not for security and peace but insecurity and war, that the lives of our children are the necessary collateral damage for this monster. What we aren't told is that the only real security is in cooperation, conservation, and fairness, not imperialism. The frog, who is a snake, wrapped in a flag, pleads for patriotism and counts the cash. The snake's forked tongue is a barbeque fork on which we've all been roasted.

I'd call that conspiracy.

The neocons have claimed, with some accuracy, that they can create reality faster than we can react: the deed is done, now deal with it. The troops have invaded, Halliburton, Blackwater, and Lockheed signed their contracts, the prisoners are tortured, your email is bugged, the resources for social programs are gone, the laws are changed, the Wal-Mart is built, the sludge dump has already polluted the aquifer, truth is hollowed out ---- catch me if you can! How is that not conspiracy?

The cooks & the crooks create a new status quo, legalize it, propagandize it, mythologize it, fundamentalize it, slather it with fear and patriotism, and force feed it to the complacent, sedated cow we call America. How is that not conspiracy?

Of course, ever since the Constitution was signed and didn't free the slaves or give the vote to women, poor folks, Native Americans and freed blacks so that people with power and money could continue to profit, America has been a conspiracy against itself. It's been cowboy grilling his own heart over a smoke & mirrors campfire, a CEO with inherited wealth and three hundred years of patrician, affirmative action crooning "Only in America."

The reason we can't talk about conspiracy is because it is the modus operandi. It isn't the elephant in the room, it is the room itself. We all live there. We can impeach a few elephants, and we should, but the architecture is in place. And they control it.

When I was in school, I was reminded - repeatedly --- to avoid using an indefinite pronoun without identifying whom it refers to, as in, "They are coming to get us," ... or, "They control everything." Who are They? It's bad practice to think and write like that. Without reference it just sounds like paranoia. But the hell of it is that it's damned hard to say who the They are that are in conspiracy to destroy democracy and, by exploitation, nature. Did They do it on purpose or merely discover by serendipity, like cavemen seeing copper ooze out of a rock by a fire, the wondrous possibility and power of what they had found. For instance, the invention of the TV was not a conspiracy. But once the realization of how TV could be used to submerge the public in a lobotomizing swamp of advertising, sound bites, inactivity, community destruction, titillation, false history, empty myth, consumption, and complicity in making fortunes for the sponsors, the program was clear. Conspiracy was the silent partner in the euphemism good business practice. And, once they saw the implications of giving corporations First Amendment rights, they were home free.

Time to re-think conspiracy.

We need to embrace conspiracy in two ways. One, admit that it's real, its quotidian, it's the fabric of our lives, the mercury in the air, the dioxin in the water, it's filling the airwaves and the marketplace and the courts and the halls of Congress before we even get out of bed every morning. Two, counter it with a conspiracy of our own. On our side we have the fundamental fact that although the corporate They can alter many of our realities, they can't alter Reality. They can't change the behavior of Nature. They can sell off the rain forest, but they can't leverage the effect of cutting it. They can keep the mileage of cars poor so we'll buy more gas, but they can't alter the amount of oil in the ground or the damage to the atmosphere. They can privatize every human interaction and every natural resource, but they can't privatize the laws of nature. They have conspired to change reality. We must conspire to live in harmony with Reality.

In the same way, they can conspire to kill Martin Luther King, Jr., but they can't totally eradicate the truth of who did it and why.

Con + spirare, from the Latin. To breathe together. Those are the roots of conspiracy. Breathing together doesn't sound like an activity of the ideologically deracinated whispering seditiously in a dank cellar or a board room, foul breaths denting a weak flame flickering over a candle nub, gunpowder or greed blackened fingers setting a timer, the whites of creased eyes glinting like knives with treason, murder, power, and deceit. Con + spirare sounds like healthy men and women standing in the sun figuring out how in the hell they are going to take care of each other and their aging mother Earth and love life while doing it. Breathing together, sharing the same air, plotting to make sure that what's mine is yours, conspiring to save their self-respect, their ideals, the future for their children.

I want to be part of a conspiracy. Pervasive, populist, revolutionary, and totally transparent. Grassroots. Idealistic. Simplistic. Life-affirming. Community building

A conspiracy to make the common good and the love of nature the common denominator of every economic transaction.

And the simple truth is either we start breathing together, conspiring big time, right out in the open, nakedly, unashamedly, or we will have conspired in secret, by default, in our own demise.

We have let them breathe for us, and they have stolen our breath, our air, our spirit.

Secret con + spirare is death. Open con + spirare is life.

Conspiracy is dead. Long live conspiracy!

Robert Shetterly lives in Brooksville, Maine http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org

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http://www.kentucky.com/2015/01/22/3655720/police-use-of-radar-to-see-inside.html

Police use of radar to see inside buildings concerns senators
Lexington Herald Leader-5 minutes ago
The disclosure Tuesday by USA Today that at least 50 law enforcement agencies including the FBI are using a new radar technology that can detect movements ...
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http://truth-out.org/news/item/28699-the-chilling-first-amendment-implications-of-journalist-barrett-brown-s-five-year-sentence

The Chilling First Amendment Implications of Journalist Barrett Brown's Five-Year Sentence
Friday, 23 January 2015 12:17

Who is "really" a journalist, and what constitutes crossing that increasingly precarious line? (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)


Barrett Brown, dressed in a bright yellow prison jumpsuit, gave a quick, approving nod to the writer who shouted, "Stay strong, Barrett!" in a Dallas courtroom Thursday, just after a federal judge sentenced the 33-year-old journalist and transparency activist to 63 months in prison on three federal charges, in a case which has chilling implications for journalists and researchers across the US.
Some would argue the reporter who called out to Brown crossed the blurry line between journalistic observer and active participant. But her gesture of solidarity serves as a fitting illustration of a couple of the
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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/24/survivors-mexico-student-attack-guerrero-accuse-army-and-police

Students who survived Mexico’s night of bloody horror accuse army and police
Two who escaped death in the attack on students in Guerrero last September testify to the murderous role of state forces
Uriel Alonso Solís, a student who survived the Guerrero attack and has accused state forces of compl
Uriel Alonso Solís, a student who survived the Guerrero attack and has accused state forces of complicity in it. Photograph: Ginnette Riquelme for the Observer
Nina Lakhani Mexico City
Saturday 24 January 2015 08.45 EST

Uriel Alonso Solís is an affable 19-year-old, the oldest of five children from a poor campesino family. But his grittiness shows through as he recounts the terrible night his college friends – four of whom he grew up with – were seized and hauled off to face a brutal fate that still reverberates across Mexican society.

Alonso survived the horrific attack on unarmed students by state and criminal forces last September in the southern state of Guerrero, which left six people dead, 25 injured and 43 trainee teachers forcibly disappeared.

“Five carloads of masked police surrounded our three buses, and as we got out to see what they wanted they started shooting. There were bullets flying everywhere, and people started running. I saw one of my classmates go down. He’d been shot in the head, everyone was crying and screaming, but I was really surprised how calm I was. I started calling friends at the school to help us.”


Alonso was among those who managed to hide as dozens of his classmates were forced into police trucks and driven away. “I thought they would beat them, but that
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http://boingboing.net/2015/01/26/plan-c-the-top-secret-cold-wa.html


Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA
Jan 26, 2015



Michael from Muckrock sez, "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under martial law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to 'subversive' organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack. There was no Plan A or B."

Details of this program were distributed to each FBI field office. Over the following months and years, Plan C would be adjusted as drills and meetings found holes in the defensive strategy: Communications were more closely held, authority was apparently more dispersed, and certain segments of the government, such as the U.S. Attorneys, had trouble actually delineating who was responsible for what.
Bureau employees were encouraged to prepare their families for the worst, but had to keep secret the more in-depth plans for what the government would do if war did break out. Families were given a phone number and city for where the relocated agency locations wo
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Sent: Wed, Jan 28, 2015 8:14 PM EST
Subject: Re: FBI. WATCH


see link for full story



http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/erie-county/fbi-joins-erie-county-sheriff-in-opposing-bid-to-release-information-on-cell-phone-tracking-20150128



FBI joins Erie County Sheriff in opposing bid to release information on cell phone tracking

on January 28, 2015 - 5:25 PM





The FBI has joined the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in opposing a bid by the New York Civil Liberties Union for a court order directing the Sheriff’s Office to release information on its use of cellphone tracking devices to monitor users.

The NYCLU filed the legal action in November in State Supreme Court after the Sheriff’s Office denied its request under the Freedom of Information Law for records on the acquisition and use of the mobile devices known as Stingrays.

The NYCLU says the surveillance devices were developed for military use and are about the size of a briefcase. It says the devices mimic cellphone towers and surreptitiously prompt cellphones in their vicinity to deliver data to them.

In opposing the NYCLU request, the Sheriff’s Office said the information sought is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law because it would improperly reveal criminal investigative techniques.

“Although the request for the protection information at issue here was directed to a local law enforcement agency, the implications of the request have national and potentially international significance,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

The FBI contends that disclosing the information “would allow criminal defendants, criminal enterprises, or foreign powers, should they gain access to the items, to determine law enforcement’s techniques, procedures, limitations and capabilities in this area.”

“This knowledge could easily lead to the development and deployment of countermeasures to FBI tools and investigative techniques by subjects of investigations and completely disarm law enforcement’s ability to obtain technology-based surveillance data in criminal investigations,” the FBI said in an affidavit filed by Supervisory Special Agent Bradley S. Morrison, chief of the FBI’s Tracking Technology Unit in Quantico, Va.

“This, in turn, could completely prevent the successful prosecution of criminal cases involving kidnappings, murder, terrorism and criminal conspiracies where cellular location is frequently used.”

The FBI also says the disclosure of the information would violate federal statutes and a non-disclosure agreement between the FBI and Sheriff’s Office designed to protect cell site technology.

Sheriff Timothy B. Howard has acknowledged that specially trained deputies have been using Stingrays since 2008. He told Erie County lawmakers at a committee hearing in May that it was up to the courts and not legislators to provide oversight on how the devices are used.

Howard said the devices are used only for tracking a person’s movements, not for snooping into the content of phone communications. He also said use of the devices in criminal investigations is always part of a judicial review.

The NYCLU says the cellphone tracking devices raise “significant privacy concerns” under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and provisions of the State Constitution, both of which prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures.
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10 Investigates allegations of FBI 9/11 coverup - WTSP.com
http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/investigations/2014/...fbi...coverup/15456013/
Sep 13, 2014 - Thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks, we are now learning of allegations of a major FBI cover-up that connects Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers ...
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Sep 11, 2014 - Sarasota, Florida -- On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we are now learning of allegations of a major FBI cover-up that ...
Failure of the Public Trust
http://www.fbicover-up.com/
The federal investigative records on this web site prove the existence of an FBI / Independent Counsel / Media cover-up of the murder of deputy White House ...
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A 9/11 FBI Cover-Up To Protect Saudis? | The American Conservative
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Jul 3, 2014 - Freshly released but heavily censored FBI documents include tantalizing new information about events connected to the Sarasota Saudis who ...
FBI Boston Bombing Coverup Accelerates Alex Jones' Infowars ...
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Oct 3, 2013 - FBI Boston Bombing Coverup Accelerates. Share on Facebook 0 Tweet about this on Twitter 223 Share on Google+ 0 Email this to someone ...
How Obama Officials Cried 'Terrorism' to Cover Up a Paperwork ...
http://www.wired.com/2014/02/no-fly-coverup/
Feb 11, 2014 - FBI agent Kevin Kelley was investigating Muslims in the San Francisco Bay ... They are not supposed to be used to cover up government errors.
Cover up Continues: Prosecutors Clear the FBI Agent Who Shot and ...
http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=29464
Mar 21, 2014 - Cover up Continues: Prosecutors Clear the FBI Agent Who Shot and ... 'Justice is served' once again by the FBI and Department of Justice. ---
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http://www.torontosun.com/2015/02/02/alleged-terrorist-befriended-fbi-agent-court-hears


Alleged terrorist befriended FBI agent, court
FIRST POSTED: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2015 09:58 PM EST | UPDATED: MOND
Accused terrorists targeted train: Crown

Accused terrorist Chiheb Esseghaier met a fellow Muslim on a flight from Houston to California because of a seating screw-up, his terrorist trial heard Monday.

The fellow Muslim had lost his original seat and Esseghaier insisted they sit together for the June 2012 flight, court heard.

“By the end of that week, we were quite close — he referred to me as his fourth brother,” a witness testified.

But the rich, radical Muslim
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https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/03/examining-the-stasi-seeing-the-nsa/

Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995

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Examining the Stasi, Seeing the NSA
February 3, 2015

Exclusive: For many years, the East German Stasi was viewed as the most totalitarian of intelligence services, relentlessly spying on its citizens during the Cold War. But the Stasi’s capabilities pale in comparison to what the NSA can now do, notes former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

By Elizabeth Murray

On a chilly morning in late January 2015, an unlikely assortment of former U.S. and U.K. intelligence officers gathered at the former headquarters of the Stasi — the former East Germany’s Ministerium fuer Staatssicherheit [Ministry of State Security] — for a tour of Berlin’s “Stasi Museum.”

The delegation – which included ex-officers from the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and British MI5, who count themselves among the members of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) – had traveled to Berlin to confer the 2015 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on former NSA senior technical director-turned-whistleblower William Binney, for his role in exposing the extent of mass surveillance of ordinary citizens in the United States.

The Stasi museum in Berlin. (Photo credit: Prof. Quatermass)
The Stasi museum in Berlin. (Photo credit: Prof. Quatermass)
In accepting the award, Binney said he resigned from the NSA in 2001 after realizing that the agency was “purposefully violating the Constitution” with its “bulk acquisition of data against U.S. citizens … first against U.S. citizens by the way — not foreigners.”

Binney had worked the Soviet target for nearly 30 years at NSA, “so it was easy for me to recognize the danger” to democracy and individual freedom posed by bulk data collection — “that’s what the Stasi did, the KGB did it – every totalitarian state down through history did that” (albeit with a lot less technological power than was available to the NSA).

Now, in a strangely fitting yet ironic twist, Binney stood among fellow whistleblowers in the entrance foyer at the spy headquarters of what was once the world’s foremost totalitarian surveillance state — one of whose former operatives, Wolfgang Schmidt, noted wistfully that the current extent of mass surveillance of the domestic U.S. population would have been a “dream come true” for the Stasi.

As Stasi Museum tour guide Julia Simoncelli described the inner workings of the East German intelligence service in great detail, it was telling to observe the facial expressions of Binney and his whistleblower colleagues as Simoncelli discussed what had been Stasi’s equivalent of the current U.S. “Insider Threat” program and the psychological levers used to manipulate citizens into informing on one another.

“They [the Stasi] figured out that there was a technique far more effective than force or violence to convince people to inform on one another — and that was to persuade them that doing so would be ‘good for them’ — i.e., a place for their child at university, career advancement, an apartment, access to Western luxuries, et cetera,” explained Simoncelli.

The Stasi also made a point of uncovering what motivated a particular person, including what he/she feared most (anyone who has read Orwell’s 1984’ or seen the film “The Lives of Others” will have seen vivid examples of how such information can be exploited).

Annie Machon, a Sam Adams Associate and former MI5 officer who lived in exile for three years after blowing the whistle on MI5 illegalities along with her then-partner David Shayler, commented that the techniques used by the Stasi “brought back a lot of memories for me from the 1990s. Despite it being the analog [versus digital] era, it was startling how much personal data they could capture — and how much worse it is now for all of us.”

She observed that the Stasi Museum is “a potent warning from history,” adding that “the sense of loss of privacy in your own home, when phoning your family, and when talking to friends who may potentially be turned against you is corrosive to the human spirit.”

Machon noted that while the former East Germany “is always excoriated as the worst police state ever,” MI5 was deploying “exactly the same intrusive techniques as the Stasi against hundreds of thousands of political activists in the U.K. for decades, and only stopped in the mid-1990s.The penetration levels were not as high per capita, nor were people snatched and interrogated then (unless they were Irish) but the paranoid, barricade mentality was equivalent.”

Retired U.S. Army Major Todd Pierce — who served on the defense team for two Guantanamo Prison detainees in his capacity as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer — stated that “it was the Stasi that led the way in torture techniques, with us merely adopting theirs.”

The Stasi, Pierce said, “even led the way in teaching us about kidnapping-renditions, as they would kidnap West Germans and rendition them to East Germany for trial by military court (Military Commissions).”

Former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley — a previous recipient of the Sam Adams Award and Time Magazine’s 2002 Person of the Year for her role in exposing the FBI failure to share information that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks — commented that “what jumped out at me from that [Stasi Museum] tour in comparing all the excessive spying on the personal lives of citizens and oppression and abuse during that period of East German history was that — despite the use of different ideologies, religions and loyalty groups, and despite the use of new spy technologies — what remains constant is this form of ‘control-freak’ perceived need for domination.

“Those in power do tend to be ‘true believers’ in their own noble cause justifying their terribly wrongful, illegal methods.”

Rowley added that current “FBI-CIA methods against the Muslim community in the United States are not much different [from Stasi tactics], most likely also assisted by intelligence unlawfully gained through electronic surveillance to extort and coerce collusion.”

And, in earlier comments during the Sam Adams Award ceremony, former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake — who won the Sam Adams Award in 2011 jointly with former Justice Department attorney Jesselyn Radack — reflected: “Here we are, on what used to be the front lines of the Cold War, facing the greatest threat in terms of what we’ve created electronically – which is the real prospect of turnkey tyranny of a digital kind.”

Drake said he “never imagined that the model of the Stasi — which was to know everything — would turn into the collect-it-all digital dragnet.”

As the former intelligence officers-turned-whistleblowers walked among the well-preserved offices and conference rooms of a former totalitarian state’s internal spy apparatus, the sense of deja vu and irony of what the United States of America has become was clearly not lost on any of them.

Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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see link for full story


http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/feb/04/surveillance-tweaks-show-little-change-after/




February 4, 2015 in Nation/World
Surveillance tweaks show little change after Snowden


WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has announced a series of modest changes in the use of private data collected for intelligence purposes, a move that underscores how little the Edward Snowden revelations have impeded the National Security Agency’s exploitation of global Internet communications.

Eighteen months after the first Snowden-fueled news story and one year after President Barack Obama delivered a major speech calling for changes to NSA data collection, the White House on Tuesday said it had tightened rules governing how the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies use Internet and phone communications of foreigners collected by the NSA. But the bulk collection would continue as robustly as ever, the announcement made clear.
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Obama Administration Hinders FBI Whistleblower Protections & Inspector General Oversight
By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday February 4, 2015

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2015/02/04/obama-administration-hinders-fbi-whistleblower-protections-inspector-general-oversight/


Michael Horowitz, Justice Department Inspector General testifying before House Oversight & Government Reform Committee

The FBI withholds records the inspector general for the Justice Department should legally be able to access, and, in the process, has impacted the ability of the office to review whistleblower allegations and claims of retaliation. President Barack Obama’s administration has apparently supported this position, which hinders an office that is supposed to provide independent oversight.
Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz testified at a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing on February 3. He expressed concern, along with IGs from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Peace Corps, that agencies are improperly withholding documents from their offices.
The IG Act, passed by Congress in 1978, states clearly that IGs are “authorized to have access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations or other materials.” They are to be given access without any exception so they can conduct oversight. Yet, in August 2014, forty-seven of the 72 IGs in government signed a letter urging Congress to reaffirm the intent of the law, which is that offices are to have “timely and unimpeded access to all records available to an agency that relate to that Inspector General’s oversight activities.” [PDF]
Horowitz explained during the committee hearing that the FBI general counsel adopted a legal position in 2010, where the IG for the Justice Department could no longer have access to “grand jury, Title III electronic surveillance, and Fair Credit Reporting Act information, because of disclosure limitations in statutes other than the IG Act.” But the IG had been able to access these records before 2010 without any issues whatsoever. What changed?
The new posture by the FBI (and allowed by the wider Justice Department) means the IG office is wasting time and resources negotiating with FBI officials for access to records.
There are further delays because the IG employees have to go to the Deputy Attorney General or Attorney General for permission to access materials. The Deputy Attorney General or Attorney General then makes a decision to allow access when they decide the oversight will be helpful to their management. It effectively transforms the choice to conduct a review into their decision instead of the IG office’s decision.
“If we have to go through the agency leadership to decide whether we get records, that’s a serious problem undermining our independence,” Horowitz stated.
Horowitz claimed his office has been working to “move forward on a whistleblower retaliation allegation involving an FBI employee and the FBI wants to first review the documents to see if we’re legally entitled” to access. That is a cause of “great concern.” Prompt access to records is necessary for there to be whistleblower protections.
He indicated that an issue has been access to records related to programs, which fall under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and PATRIOT Act. The FBI has challenged whether the IG should be able to review “raw data” from FISA.
“So, what Congress has asked us to do is oversee the FBI’s authorities in those areas to make sure they’re exercised appropriately. To do that we have to know that we’re getting everything and we’re getting everything promptly.”
Congress took action in December 2014 and included a provision in the budget that prohibits the Justice Department from “using appropriated funds to deny, prevent or impede the DOJ OIG’s timely access to records, documents and other materials in the Department’s possession.” It has helped, but President Barack Obama would like to have the provision repealed.
Obama’s new budget suggests, “The Department is unaware of any specific materials the OIG believed necessary to its reviews but to which the OIG has not been granted access.”
This is deceptive, as Horowitz explained, because it “glosses over” how the IG’s office ultimately obtains documents at issue. The FBI seeks permission from the Deputy Attorney General or Attorney General. They are not just handed over as the records should be when requested.
As these offices review allegations of waste, fraud, abuse and/or misconduct to determine if they are accurate, they are impeded when documents are not provided quickly. It makes it difficult to fix and address corruption. It reinforces a culture that encourages clampdowns on employees who challenge conduct or policies within the agency.
The Justice Department rejected a number of key reforms “whistleblower advocates” urged the agency to adopt last year. The Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM), which handles claims of whistleblower retaliation under FBI whistleblower regulations, decided it would make it possible for “compensatory damages” to be awarded. There are now more people an FBI employee can go to and make a protected whistleblower disclosure. However, it did not adopt “judicial review, the incorporation of administrative law judges, time limits for decisions on cases, hearings upon request and a requirement that federal government employees be produced to provide testimony if it would be relevant to resolving a case.
Justice Department whistleblower and director of National Security & Human Rights division at the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Jesselyn Radack, told Firedoglake these are “hallmarks of due process,” and, “as long as the Justice Department is the prosecutor, judge and jury, whistleblowers, who challenge the most politically sensitive wrongdoing, will have a hard time finding justice.”
The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), passed in 1989, was long ignored by the FBI and Justice Department, even though it required the Attorney General to regulate FBI whistleblowers in a manner consistent with the WPA. Not until 1997 was any action taken to implement some kind of whistleblower protections.
An FBI legislative affairs official in 2014 suggested to Senator Chuck Grassley—when he raised concerns about the Insider Threat Program intercepting whistleblower communications—that whistleblowers should register with the Program in order to be protected. This just shows how the FBI is not open to accountability whether it come from whistleblowing or oversight by an IG.
Finally, the Obama administration has branded itself the “Most Transparent Administration Ever” yet time and time again there are examples such as this that show how transparent it is that the administration is not really in favor of transparency. Instead, the administration endorses a position that promotes violations of an unambiguous law intended to enhance a system of checks and balances in government. By doing so, entire Executive Branch agencies are able to escape accountability. It also becomes harder for whistleblowers to find protection if they take their claims to an inspector general’s office.
*Horowitz’s full submitted testimony can be found here.
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http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/02/06/fbi-gets-ok-on-alleged-murder-plot-info-cache.htm


Friday, February 06, 2015Last Update: 9:46 AM PT
FBI Gets OK on Alleged Murder Plot Info Cache

The FBI was right to withhold records about an alleged murder plot targeting the leaders of Occupy Houston, to protect its informants, a federal judge ruled.
Plaintiff Ryan Noah Shapiro is a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research includes "the policing of dissent ... especially in the name of national security" and "examining FBI and other intelligence agency efforts to preserve domestic surveillance capabilities while simultaneously subverting the Freedom of Information Act," according to his MIT profile.
Shapiro sent the FBI three Freedom of Information Act requests in early 2013, asking for records about "a potential plan to gather intelligence against the leaders of [Occupy Wall Street-related protests in Houston] and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership [of the protests] via suppressed sniper rifles."
Shapiro told Courthouse News he learned of the alleged plot from FBI documents obtained by investigative reporter Jason Leopold.
The Houston group is an offshoot of a movement that started in New York City in 2011 and focused on the widening income gap between America's richest people and everyone else.
Shapiro said he wanted the records for his doctorate work and he intended to release urgent info about Occupy Houston to the public.
The FBI had refused to give Shapiro any documents until he filed an April 2013 federal complaint in Washington, D.C., after which the agency gave him 17 pages.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer found last year that the FBI had properly withheld some records, but took issue with its use of Exemption 7 under the FOIA, which protects from disclosure "records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes."
Collyer dismissed the lawsuit this week after reviewing the documents in her chambers.
Shapiro challenged the FBI's withholding of the names of its murder plot sources, claiming there is no privacy expectation for people who could be called to testify as trial witnesses.
But Collyer found Monday that the FBI correctly invoked FOIA exemption 7(c), which shields law enforcement records from disclosure if they could constitute an invasion of personal privacy.
The judge also agreed with the FBI that exemption 7(d) applied to the case. It allows records to be withheld if they "could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source."
Citing a declaration from FBI agent David Hardy that said the confidential sources are "individuals who are members of organized violent groups," Collyer said the likelihood of retaliation justified keeping the sources' identities under wraps.
Shapiro vowed to keep fighting for the records.
"I'm of course disappointed in, and disagree with, the judge's ruling. I'm now conferring with my attorney to determine next steps," Shapiro said in an email.
He said he is concerned that the FBI collected dossiers on Occupy protestors while publicly denying it.
"The FBI even flatly asserted in a separate FOIA lawsuit of mine that, '(T)he FBI determined that it had never opened an investigation on the Occupy movement,'" Shapiro wrote.
"Yet, in the course of my FOIA lawsuit against the FBI for records about the sniper plot against Occupy Houston, the FBI contradicted its own position."
Shapiro said that with recently released FBI documents about Occupy Chicago, "We are coming ever closer to finally forcing the FBI to concede it actuall
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important read click on link to view boxes with important narrative



http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2015/02/08/atf-homeland-security-and-the-fbi-are-all-called-clever-comparison-of-high-school-in-1970-and-2015/


‘ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called’: clever comparison of high school in 1970 and 2015
Feb. 8, 2015
On the heels of last week’s suspension of a Texas grammar school student who threatened to use his “magic” Hobbit ring to make another student disappear, comes an online post that’s going viral across social media platforms.

The piece offers eight scenarios that could happen at a high school and then suggests the school’s reaction circa 1970…and 45 years later in 2015.

The first example refers to a time when many high schools had shooting clubs and students were permitted to bring their weapons onto sch
Example 5 makes light of the strict rules some schools impose on over-the-counter medications like aspir
In the seventh scenario, the post projects that a student’s repurposing of leftover fireworks to blow up an ant hill (presumably at home) would not have raised an eyebrow in 1970. However, doing just that in 2015 would spark a chain of events that would likely end up on the national news, as well as the student’s “permanent recor
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The WhoWhatWhy Weekly

View this email in your browser (http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=a9c27247b8a9046ea939df8ca&id=cb65da99e8&e=f8ceca0077


** The Week at WhoWhatWhy
------------------------------------------------------------

On Monday: How Secrecy May Uncover A Reason To Move The Boston Bombing Trial (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/02/secrecy-may-uncover-reason-move-boston-bombing-trial/ by James Henry (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/james-henry/
The judge running the Boston Marathon Bombing trial has gained notice for two things: The secrecy with which he conducts some proceedings, and his steadfast refusal to move the trial. James Henry examines how the judge’s bent for closing the court may work against his decision to keep the trial in Boston.

On Wednesday: Tsarnaev Defense’s Sisyphean Task: Moving the Marathon Bombing Trial (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/04/tsarnaev-defenses-sisyphean-task-moving-marathon-bombing-trial/ by Lara Turner (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/lara-turner/
Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense is trying to get his death penalty trial moved again. This time, they’ve asked an appeals court to overrule the presiding judge’s obstinate objections to taking the trial out of Boston. Lara Turner explains.

Also on Wednesday:
Murder or Suicide: The Deep Politics of A Death in Argentina (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/04/murder-suicide-deep-politics-death-argentina/ by Curt Hopkins (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/curt-hopkins/
Be it murder or suicide, the suspicious death of the prosecutor investigating Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack has unearthed a web of deep politics stretching from Buenos Aires to Tehran. Curt Hopkins investigates.

On Thursday: Congressman’s Prescription for Vets: A Joint a Day to Keep the PTSD Away (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/05/congressmans-presciption-vets-joint-day-keep-ptsd-away/ by Joseph L. Flatley (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/joseph-l-flatley/
It may not be high on the Congressional agenda, but Rep. Earl Blumenauer wants to change the law that prohibits veterans from getting medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Joseph L. Flatley looks at one attempt to hack away at the federal government’s Reefer Madness bureaucracy.

On Friday: Explosive Saudi 9/11 Evidence Still Ignored By Media (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/06/explosive-saudi-911-evidence-still-ignored-media/ by Russ Baker (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/russ-baker/
Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative dubbed the “20th hijacker,” has given explosive testimony alleging substantial Saudi royal family support for al Qaeda right up until the Sept. 11 attacks. There may be some question about whether Moussaoui is telling the truth, but there’s plenty of evidence out there that the mainstream media has ignored for years. Russ Baker investigates.

On Sunday: RadioWHO Episode 4: The American Dream’s “Golden Cage” for Immigrants (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/08/radiowho-episode-4-american-dreams-golden-cage-immigrants/ by Guillermo Jimenez (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/guillermo-jimenez/
The U.S. is the only home of the “American Dream,” a concept still so powerful that millions of illegal immigrants take grave risks to achieve just a tiny semblance of it. RadioWHO host Guillermo Jimenez interviews filmmaker Diego Quemada-Diez about his award-winning film examining the phenomenon, originally entitled “The Golden Cage.” It will debut on HBO this summer as “The Golden Dream.” Which is it? That depends on how you translate it.


** Sunday Round-up
------------------------------------------------------------

It was a slow day on the Sunday Show circuit with little news made during interviews with Secretary of State John Kerry on Meet the Press (http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/john-kerry-extended-interview-n302496 and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-sen-ted-cruz/story?id=28783675&singlePage=true . While Sen. Cruz predictably wants the U.S. to arm Ukraine in its fight against “pro-Russian separatists,” Secretary Kerry struck a more diplomatic tone. Although he promised more help for Ukraine (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/kerry-no-doubt-ukraine-will-get-more-help-n302381 , Kerry said bluntly that “there is no military solution” to the crisis. This may portend the coming battle between Congressional Republicans and the White House over the Administration’s policy toward Ukraine and Russia.

This issue came up earlier this week when Secretary of Defense-designate Ashton Carter said during confirmation hearings that he, seemingly unlike the Administration, supports providing weapons to the former Soviet Republic (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/defense-secretary-nominee-ashton-carter-signals-support-for-arming-ukrainians/ . That statement stoked speculation that the White House may be heading for a policy shift down the road.
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I knew the fix was in the day FBI agent Connolly was sentenced

Guantanamo 9/11 case resumes despite CIA-linked interpreter
February 11, 2015
Associated Press
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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A military judge allowed the Sept. 11 war crimes case to proceed Wednesday over objections from defense lawyers alarmed at the discovery a courtroom interpreter previously worked at a CIA "black site" where detainees were subjected to brutal interrogation.

Army Col. James Pohl turned back requests to halt pretrial proceedings at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay while both defense lawyers and prosecutors try to determine how someone with such a background ended up in the high-profile case of five men charged in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

Defendant Ramzi Binalshibh brought a hearing to a halt Monday when he told the judge that he recognized the interpreter, seated next to him in court for the first time, from a secret CIA prison where he was brutally interrogated before being moved to Guantanamo in September 2006. Three other defendants identified the man as well.

The interpreter was quickly replaced and has not returned to court.

The defense is expected to file a flurry of motions in the coming days and weeks seeking more information about the man and trying to determine if his placement on the Binalshibh team was more than coincidence. They also want to know if there are any others with links to the CIA or other intelligence agencies among their translators and support staff.

"We cannot go forward in any way until we figure out what is going on here," said David Nevin, civilian attorney for lead defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

- See more at: http://www.morningjournalnews.com/page/content.detail/id/791744/Guantanamo-9-11-case-resumes-despite-CIA-linked-interpreter.html?isap=1&nav=5022#.dpuf
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see link for full storystory



http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/2015/02/13/moving-at-snail-s-pace-guantanamo-hearings-hit-new-snags

Moving at snail's pace, Guantanamo hearings hit new snags
| 13 February, 2015 08:24


They are slow, expensive and messy; and more than 13 years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the Guantanamo Bay proceedings leading to trial for alleged co-conspirators continue to face hurdles.


Pre-trial hearings were delayed again recently after defendants identified a court interpreter who worked in one of the United States' notorious CIA torture prisons.

The Guantanamo Bay court recessed on Thursday, until April 20, after a few hours of hearings all week.

It's hard to imagine things moving more slowly, given the behavior of the defense teams, prosecutors and the military judge overseeing the proceedings against five defendants since May 2012.

Dozens of motions remain before the court that need to be addressed before moving to a trial.

Court watchers and relatives of people killed in the worst terror attack on US soil are frustrated amid the sea of procedural motions and sudden interruptions, without the real case at hand being taken up.

The head of the Office of Military Commissions, Vaughn Ary, said that in 2014 there had been only 33 days of hearings.

That broke down to 107 hours and 50 minutes before the court in Guantanamo to address four cases including the September 11 attacks, according to a memo obtained by the Miami Herald.

The cost is significant: $78 million in fiscal 2014, or $7,647 per minute, not including the wages of 153 military personnel who work at the US base in Cuba, according to the memo dated December 9.

"I believe the status quo does not support the pace of litigation necessary to bring these cases to a just conclusion," retired general Ary wrote in the memo.

No date has been set for the 9/11 trial, and another wrench was thrown into the works this week.

On Monday, two of the five defendants said that a court interpreter at the hearings had worked at a secret CIA prison where they had been interrogated and tortured.

This new session, the first after a six month pause, was immediately suspended for 48 hours.

"I ask you to stop until we can go to the bottom of this," lawyer David Nevin said on Wednesday.
ry installation in Maryland.

The defense claims to have documented numerous cases of the government meddling in the legal process, possibly violating the defendants' rights to a fair trial.

Microphones have been concealed in smoke detectors, and an FBI agent has infiltrated defense teams, the lawyers claimed.

The alleged violations have triggered days of debate.

"Today the government is doing something that we've never seen in three years. It asks for a closed hearing to both the public and the defense teams," said attorney James Connell, protesting against what he called a violation of the rights of defendants and the rules of military courts.

There are still 48 motions to examine, and they keep coming.

"We're all here, we are in accelerated time, why not get that done," chief prosecutor Mark Martins said.

As the discussion was ongoing, the judge activated the so called red light which scrambles the audio of debates for those outside the courtroom.

"You made a statement that was very close to being classified," Pohl said to Nevin.

"The government has classified virtually every fact," Connell said later.
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http://rt.com/usa/232239-comey-race-civil-response/



Civil rights group challenges FBI chief’s claim that police racial bias is ‘unconscious’
Published time: February 13, 2015
FBI director James Comey has come under fire from a leading civil rights group over controversial comments about the police and race relations.

Comey, a white Republican nominated by President Barack Obama, said this week that “unconscious racial biases” do exist among America’s police, but are far from becoming an epidemic.

“Much research points to the widespread existence of unconscious bias,” Comey told an audience at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, on Thursday. “Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a black face. In fact, we all, white and black, carry various biases around with us. I am reminded of the song from the Broadway hit, Avenue Q: “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.’”

He added that police officers “often work in environments where a hugely disproportionate percentage of street crime is committed by young men of color. Something happens to people of good will working in that environment. After years of police work, officers often can’t help but be influenced by the cynicism they feel.”

Comey’s comments were meant to address mounting concerns in the wake of recent incidents in which African Americans have died at the hands of police – a fate suffered by Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York last year, among others. It came as part of a rare discussion on the relationship between law enforcement and minority communities.

His comments prompted a concerned response from ColorofChange.org, a 1 million-member civil rights group formed in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a statement, the group said that Comey’s speech “perpetuated many of the dangerous, discriminatory perspectives that uphold the crisis of violent and abusive policing.”

The group also said: “Director Comey presented false equivalencies around the police violence facing Black and brown Americans and the growing calls for systemic policing reform. Holding police accountable for addressing the crisis of discriminatory police misconduct is not ‘unfair,’ but is rather one of the most critical challenges facing our nation.”

ColorofChange.org also disputed Comey's “argument that Black and brown communities are to blame for the daily terror and indignity of discriminatory policing. The reality is that law enforcement and leaders such as Director Comey and Attorney General Holder have the responsibility and obligation to address the violence and discrimination endemic to law enforcement.”

According to the NAACP, 43 percent of the people incarcerated in the US prison system are African American. Yet while blacks make up roughly 12 percent of drug users, according to the group, African Americans make up 59 percent of the nation’s prison population with regards to inmates serving time for drug offenses.

“The problems of law enforcement are structural just as much as they are about the implicit racial bias of police,” ColorofChange.org said. “These problems require a complete overhaul of the systems, policies and practices that uphold discriminatory and violent policing, such as Stop and Frisk, Broken Windows policing and so-called predictive policing. These practices incentivize police to target, harass and unjustly arrest Black and brown people for the most minor of issues.”

Tim Devaney, a reporter for the DC-based web publication The Hill, noted that the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) — a national group that represents the interest of law enforcement officials — took aim at Director Comey’s remarks as well.

"Police officers are constantly reminded not to generalize about ethnic groups or religious groups or groups of any kinds," Jim Pasco, the FOP’s executive director, told The Hill. "We would just remind Director Comey there are over 750,000 police officers and it is probably not good practice to generalize about them."

According to a poll published last month conducted by Reuters and IPSOS, nearly one third of the US public and almost half of African Americans believe that police "routinely lie to serve their own interests.”

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/subversion-of-social-movements-what-the-intelligence-community-is-reading/5431253


How to Subvert Social Movements: What the “Intelligence Community” is reading
By Tony Seed
Global Research, February 14, 2015
Tony Seed's Weblog 12 February 2015

police-state-protest
The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is a “medium for professionals and scholars to exchange opinions on issues and challenges encountered by both the government and business institutions in making contemporary intelligence-related decisions and policy.” First published in January 1986, the journal covers a wide variety of topics, from factual information such as “The Exorbitant Cost of Counterterrorism” to the weightier dilemmas, like “To Render or Intern: Counterterrorism Methods of the FBI, SIS and CIA.”
The March 2013 edition featured an article entitled, “Subversion of Social Movements by Adversarial Agents,” written by Eric L. Nelson. Nelson’s profile provided with the article says he is a former counterintelligence agent with a U.S. Government and former police officer “in one of America’s most violent cities.” He has three master’s degrees and was completing his “individualized” Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of California when he wrote the paper.
Nelson outlines “thirteen suppressive or subversive methods” to bring about “social movement failure.” Failures are classified as either “petit” or “complete,” depending on whether the targeted movement or organization is merely demoralized and shaken up, or completely “brought down.”
The article begins with the author’s definition of “social movements,” characterized as “shar(ing) a desire for structural change, and a willingness to do something about it.” Examples are given: Iron Workers picketing a non-union construction site; people in Spain protesting against banks and austerity; Ukrainian FEMEN activists protesting sulfuric acid attacks on women while visiting Turkey. Social movements, he explains, can include “matters of politics, religion, ethnicity, labor, economy, and justice, among others.”
The purpose of his article, is “to examine the intentional subversion of social movements by agents of the organization upon which the social movement is trying to force change.” Such organizations are both governmental and private companies targeted for “protest, boycotts, cyber attacks, or other harmful actions.”
The article prefaces the subversion methods with an explanatory note: “Not all social movements need urgent attention, or vigorous suppression. Some are less threatening, and may be targeted for subversion using less drastic methods. Thus, the potential subversive actions range from nugatory to substantial. Most can be operationalized either covertly or in the open.”
The methods, each of them explained and illustrated, are: 1) Suppress Information Flow; 2) Suppress Recruiting Efforts; 3) Reduce Recruiting Opportunities 4) Develop Attractive Alternatives; 5) Tempt Members to Leave; 6) Reverse Recruiting Using Demoralizing Information; 7) Operationalize Secure/Faux Concessions; 8) Expertly Directed, Incessant Proactive Manipulation of Media; 9) Resource Depletion; 10) Stigmatization; 11) Divisive Disruption; 12) Intimidation; and 13) Intrapsychic Wounding.
The article ends with a caution:
“Thirteen tested and theoretical methods of subversion reviewed here were designed to induce petit or grand failure into targeted social movements. History demonstrates that in the laboratory of real life multiple methods of subversion are generally deployed sequentially and concurrently, in accordance with the tactical strategy developed by adversarial agents specific to a targeted social movement. Withheld so far has been a discourse about the morality of subversion. Of course, no definitive answers can be given to questions about the moral rightness of subversion. That is true because people may feel that some acts of subversion are warranted, particularly towards social movements that they believe are a threat to their community’s way of life. Yet, many of those same people may also feel subversion is reprehensible when institutions to which they belong are targeted. After all, one person’s terrorist group is, to someone else, freedom fighters waging war against oppression. Because issues of morality are both important and most frequently unanswerable, no attempt has been made to engage them here.”
Finally, user beware: “[O]rganizational attorneys should be consulted before any subversive program is implemented.”
Copyright laws prevent us from providing a direct link to the article, but a summary will be published in forthcoming issues of Renewal Update.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #99 



FBI redacts Public Records request


February 15 2015

see link for full story


http://www.idsnews.com/article/2015/02/fbi-redacts-public-records-requests


Everyone knows how the NSA can intercept our personal information, from account numbers and Internet history to phone passwords.

But how would you feel if certain state agencies were cooperating with the FBI to keep civilians in the dark about public information?

Documents first acquired and reported on by the Minnesota Star Tribune in December 2014 reveal that the FBI is working with State Bureaus of Investigation to “prevent disclosure” of how cell-site simulators are used to determine a phone’s 
location and intercept calls.

That’s what’s happening in Minnesota. A division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, has been pretty non-confrontational toward the FBI’s requests for secrecy.

Essentially, the FBI sent the BCA a set of conditions, which would include immediate notification if someone were attempting to obtain public information, and the BCA signed off effortlessly.

Let’s back up a bit: what are cell-site simulators and what are SBIs?

Cell-site simulators pose as cell towers so that, to your phone, the tracking device is indistinguishable from, say, AT&T. These devices intercept data on the Global System for Mobile Communications, which are networks used by AT&T and T-Mobile.

A lot of states have SBIs, and they aren’t new, either (the BCA formed in 1969). They are plainclothes, state-level detection agencies that work in criminal and civil cases inside the state and multiple jurisdictions.

This particular instance of shady FBI activity revolves around a June 2012 letter from the BCA in regards to the terms and conditions of leasing equipment from Harris Corporations — a tightlipped, federal contractor specializing in wireless electronics.

If the FBI wants to be 
notified of public requests for public governmental data, it has that right — it’s public, after all. But if the FBI wishes to continue narrowing the breadth of inquiry into its practices, it needs to be met with some resistance.

The redacted information of this particular letter denies the public knowledge of exactly what equipment is being leased and how much it would run.

The BCA’s defense for keeping the public unaware is painfully standard — how can we protect people from the bad guys if the bad guys know how we function? It’s a fair question if you’re willing to spy on every single citizen, which the U.S. government is cool with doing.

Does it not seem contrary that the FBI would want to use the Freedom of 
Information Act to deny 
information to the public?

The obsession with pre-emptive law enforcement incited by the wildly successful war on terror, coupled with bureaucratic mishandlings bound by policy documents drafted in backrooms, has created a formidably opaque governmental agency — one that has the discrete 
responsibility of protecting us, no less.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #100 
See link for full story

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/17/kira-f17.html

CIA whistleblower calls for prosecution of officials responsible for torture
By Tom Hall
17 February 2015

John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who helped reveal the agency’s use of waterboarding in a 2007 interview, was released from prison on February 3 after serving a two-year sentence.

Kiriakou was convicted in 2013 on trumped-up charges of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which he said was retaliation for “blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official US government policy.”

In an interview with Russia Today last week, Kiriakou called for the prosecution of those responsible for CIA torture, declaring, “no one went to jail but me.”

“But what really bothers me, is that there is no prosecution of CIA officers who obviously violated the law; those CIA officers who were conducting interrogations in which prisoners were killed.” Kiriakou said. “I have no idea why there is no outrage, and why those officers are not being prosecuted.”

Kiriakou said he was proud to have helped expose torture by the government, despite the great cost to him personally. “You know, I really do believe that it was worth it. I’m proud to have played a role, however small, in the outline of torture in the United States.”

He also recounted the subhuman conditions he faced while in federal prison, about which he is planning to write a book. “American prisoners aren’t even fed human-grade food,” he said. “And the medical care was even worse. There were almost a half a dozen deaths of prisoners when I was there in prison, and almost every one of those deaths was preventable.”

News reports from Kiriakou’s time in prison allege that he also faced harassment from the prison administration for posting on the liberal news site Firedoglake, in which he published an open letter to Edward Snowden urging him not to cooperate with the FBI and declaring that the FBI “is the enemy; it’s part of the problem, not the solution.”

Kiriakou’s 2007 interview with ABC News was the first time that the use of waterboarding by the CIA was publicly confirmed by a government agent, and earned him the enmity of the political establishment. With characteristic vindictiveness, the Obama administration indicted Kiriakou on trumped-up charges in 2012, including three counts of espionage under the WWI-era Espionage Act, which would have carried a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison.

Although the espionage charges were dropped, Kiriakou pled guilty to a lesser charge out of concern for the well-being of his family, who were reduced to subsisting on food stamps as a result of skyrocketing legal expenses. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison. He now faces a further three months of house arrest and another three years of probation.

Kiriakou was a 14-year veteran of the CIA and the head of counterterrorism in Pakistan at the time of the September 11 attacks. He oversaw the raid which captured Abu Zubaydah a few months later in March 2002, the first high-profile capture of an alleged Al Qaeda operative, who was then falsely described by the Bush administration as an Al Qaeda “mastermind” and the group’s third-highest ranking operative. Zubaydah was severely wounded in the operation, and at some point had his left eye removed by CIA agents.

It was Zubaydah’s case that Kiriakou’s 2007 interview centered on. Basing himself on an internal CIA cable, Kiriakou admitted that the agency had once waterboarded Zubaydah, describing the practice as official government policy. In fact, that cable turned out to be false, and it has since been revealed that Zubaydah was waterboarded a total of 81 times in CIA “black sites.”

Moreover, last fall’s Senate torture report, which mentioned Zubaydah a total of 1,001 times, revealed that the agency used him as a “guinea pig” for developing its “enhanced interrogation” techniques after 9/11. Zubaydah’s lawyer says that he is the only detainee known to have been subjected to all of them. One procedure, developed after it was discovered that Zubaydah had a fear of bugs, involved locking him in a tiny “confinement box” filled with insects. His lawyer says that Zubaydah has suffered permanent brain damage from his ordeal and can no longer even recognize his parents.

The Obama administration finally admitted in 2011 that Zubaydah was neither a top Al Qaeda leader, nor a member of Al Qaeda, nor even “formally” identified with the organization. Nevertheless, the administration refuses to release him from Guantanamo Bay, where is held to this day without charges. Zubaydah’s unimportance was practically admitted by Kiriakou in his 2007 interview, when he told ABC News that “we didn’t go after him because he was Abu Zubaydah. We went after him because he just happened to be in Pakistan and we thought there was a chance we could catch him.”

While Kiriakou struck an ambivalent tone during his 2007 interview, defending the effectiveness of waterboarding in obtaining information, he has since become a public opponent of the federal government’s torture program. In 2010 he wrote an autobiography, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, which contained a damning exposure of the policies pursued by Washington under the guise of the “War on Terror.” The book release was delayed for two years by the CIA, and one of the charges tacked onto his 2012 trial was that he had allegedly lied to the CIA’s Publications Review Board while attempting to receive clearance for his book.

Last week, Reporters without Borders released its Press Freedom Index for 2014, in which the United States sunk to 49th place in the global ranking, directly below countries such as El Salvador and Burkina Faso. Reporters Without Borders justified their decision on the basis of the US government’s continued witch-hunting of whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, the vindictive hounding of journalists such as James Risen and Julian Assange, and the wanton attacks on journalists by riot police during the violent crackdown of protests in Ferguson, Missouri last fall.

The Obama administration, which came into office on a wave of anti-war sentiment and promising the most transparent presidency in history, has not charged a single government official for war crimes stemming from the so-called “
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