Victim in Garland terror attack tormented by belief that FBI knew of ISIS plot
The Garland cop and the school security guard stood beside each other in the shade through most of the day, trading stories about chasing bad guys and raising kids.
Just before 6:50 p.m., a voice crackled over the radio saying the event they were guarding was over. It had been controversial and dangerous — a cartoon contest sponsored by anti-Muslim activists to see who could make the most outrageous drawings of the prophet Muhammad.
"Looks like we might get out a little early," said the unarmed security guard, a 60-year-old Sunnyvale man named Bruce Joiner.
Joiner had no idea that, at the same moment, court records show, an undercover FBI agent investigating terrorism was sitting in a nearby car, snapping a cellphone photo of him and Garland police Officer Greg Stevens.
Seconds later, a black sedan pulled up. Two men with assault rifles jumped out and began shooting. Joiner was struck in the left calf as he ran behind a tree. His wounds marked him as the first ISIS victim on U.S. soil. Stevens returned fire with his service pistol, striking the shooters, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, who both died on the scene.
John Pistole, the former TSA chief who had been appointed by President Obama, is now being considered for the position of FBI director, CNN reports.
Pistole, who was named deputy FBI director in 2014, met with Deputy Attorney General
June 26, 2004
At the twelfth and final public session of the 9/11 commission hearings this week in the NTSB building in Washington, DC, the disappointment was palpable among family members of the 9/11 deceased. A less-than distinguished panel of FBI and CIA agents took turns praising the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Al-Qaeda, and offered little hope that future efforts would be successful in stopping terrorism. But give the CIA and FBI this: they can still recognize a marketing opportunity when they see it.
Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of shame, representatives from two of the agencies whose failures bear clear responsibility for the events of 9/11 saw the morning session as an opportunity to shill for ‘patience’ and, tacitly, more money. One after another, in front of the surviving family members, many of whom clutched pictures of their dead sons, daughters, husbands and wives, the agents fawned over the incredible resourcefulness, commitment and dedication of Al Qaeda operatives (in one notable exchange, Al Qaeda was glowingly described as “innovative,” “creative” and “entrepreneurial”—why not just say you were outsmarted?) The CIA agents referred familiarly to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama Bin Laden as ‘KSM’ and ‘UBL’. The uninitiated might have gotten the impression they were speaking of protégés, and not hated enemies. Earlier, in a jaunty tone completely incongruous with the substance of his statement, the CIA’s Dr. Kay told the commission that “(Al-Qaeda) may strike next week, next month or next year, but it will strike.” The agencies took no responsibility for the attacks, and they were not challenged to.
But the nadir of the morning session came when commissioner James Thompson asked all of the panelists how best to combat the new type of stateless enemy Al-Qaeda represents. FBI special agent Mary Deborah Doran answered last. She had already warned the Commission in her introductory remarks that, as a “street agent”, she was removed from the “policy and administrative decision-making processes” that determined the scope of the FBI’s investigation of Al Qaeda, and thus could not speak to them (no one did that day, including Executive Assistant FBI Director John Pistole, seated to her right). Her answer to Thompson’s question was: “I think what we need to do . . at the FBI street-agent level, is to continue what we’ve always done, and that is to pursue all the information that we do get. . . to its logical end. . .”
Here, in classic doublespeak fashion, Doran gives an answer that is a non-answer. She had to be aware that several FBI “street-level” investigations into the activities of the 9/11 terrorists were stymied by higher-ups in the weeks prior to 9/11, each under strange circumstances, and well before the street-level agents felt like they had reached their “logical end”. Consider the following cases, all drawn from mainstream news sources, summarized in David Ray Griffin’s well-researched expose, “The New Pearl Harbor”:
1) Ken Williams of the Phoenix FBI office sent a now-famous July 10, 2001 memo to the counterterrorism division of the FBI suggesting that the organization institute a national program to keep tabs on suspicious flight-school students. This came just a few weeks after the CIA learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 plot and a well-known terrorist at that time who the CIA was monitoring, was recruiting jihadists to come to the US to take part in attacks here. Williams, who had previously been transferred to an unrelated arson case despite tracking the hijackers for more than a year, had been back on the case for about a month when he wrote the memo, which also warned of a possible “effort by Osama bin Laden to send students to the US to attend civil aviation universities and colleges” (Fortune, May 22, 2002). His suggestion for a national program was ignored before 9/11;
2) FBI agent Robert Wright of the Chicago field office, who had been investigating a suspected terrorist cell for three years, was informed in January 2001 that the case was being closed. This despite Wright’s contention that his case was growing stronger. His investigation included individuals from the notorious Ptech, a software company which provided product for the White House, Congress, FBI, CIA, IRS, Army, Navy, and FAA and which was raided by federal agents in December 2002.
Three months before September 11, Wright wrote a stinging internal memo charging that the FBI was not interested in thwarting a terrorist attack, but rather “was merely gathering intelligence so they would know who to arrest when a terrorist attack occurred.” (UPI, May 30, 2002, cited in Griffin, p. 83);
3) Legal officer Colleen Rowley worked in the FBI’s Minneapolis field office when agents arrested Zacarias Moussaoui in August of 2001. The commission made repeated mention of the fact that Moussaoui, by that time, was considered a very dangerous person capable of crashing a plane into the World Trade Center. The Minneapolis felt so strongly about the need to detain him that a request was sent to FBI headquarters to search Moussaoui’s laptop computer under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Approximately 10,000 requests under FISA over the past 20 years had been made without a single request being turned down, but the Minneapolis agency’s request never got out of the FBI. The request had been excised of the critical intelligence that made the case for Moussaoui’s connection to Al Qaeda in Chechnya on its path to FBI headquarters. Excised of that justification, the request was never forwarded for FISA consideration, spurring Rowley to charge that the FBI was “sabotaging” the case, and another agent to charge that headquarters was “setting this up for failure.” (Senate Intelligence Committee, October 17, 2002; Time, July 21 and July 27, 2002 and Sydney Morning Herald July 28, 2002, each cited in Griffin, p. 81);
4) On Aug 28, 2001 the New York FBI office requested opening a criminal investigation in soon-to-be hijacker Khalid Almihdhar based on evidence he had been involved in the USS Cole bombing. The request was turned down, on the basis that, as Griffin puts it, “Almihdhar could not be tied to the Cole investigation without the inclusion of sensitive intelligence information.” This led one frustrated FBI agent to write in an email that “someday someone will die–and. . . the public will not understand why we were not more effective.” (Congressional Intelligence Committee, cited in Griffin, p. 83). Perhaps Doran, a New York FBI agent herself, knew something about this? She was not asked directly.
What these examples make clear is that FBI “street agents” and translators don’t have the power to follow their investigations to their logical ends when they are obstructed by their superiors. In light of these facts, Doran’s breezy recommendation that the FBI street agents “keep doing what we’ve always done” is entirely inadequate, and inspires no confidence. Neither Thompson nor any other commissioner pressed for a better answer. And while the FBI’s “unprecedented transformation” after 9/11 testified to by FBI Executive Assistant Director For Counterterrorism John Pistole on April 14 may sound impressive to some, it does not explain nor address the past obstruction of promising investigations. Factor in the erosion of civil liberties required for its execution, and the “unprecedented transformation” appears to be of dubious value.
There are several other aspects about the FBI’s behavior pre- and post-9/11 that scream out for further investigation. One of the most bizarre cases still unfolding involves the targeting of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who was fired by the agency shortly after reporting a number of complaints to her superiors. According to a June 7, 2004 story in The New Republic, those complaints included the charge that a fellow FBI translator, Can Dickerson, tried to recruit Edmonds into a foreign organization whose documents Dickerson had been translating and which had been under investigation by the FBI. Edmonds then filed a wrongful termination suit and took her grievance to Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy, as well as the television program “60 Minutes,” which aired an interview with her in 2002.
But the FBI has since gone to extraordinary lengths to silence Edmonds. In May, the Bureau re-classified all of the information it presented to Sens. Grassley and Leahy, nearly two years after it had become public. It even violated its own rules for reclassification in doing so. The reclassification has had the effect of silencing Grassley and Leahy on the matter, too, who had been pressing the Bureau for a fuller account of the matter. Now they were limited to writing classified letters to the FBI.
Edmonds, meanwhile, has seen her wrongful termination suit delayed for two years and most recently was informed by Judge Reggie Walton on June 14 that her hearing was delayed once again (for the fourth time), with no date set for a rescheduling. The delays result from an effort from Attorney General John Ashcroft to invoke the State Secrets Privilege, which can quash lawsuits on the basis that their continuation would damage national security. Judge Walton is still waiting for the government to make its case for the invoking of the States Secrets Privilege. In the meantime, as the New Republic notes, while Edmonds herself is not gagged, she is not permitted to reference any of the now-classified information that could substantiate her claims.
At her June 14 press conference outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, DC, Edmonds summarized her charges clearly, stating that for more than two years, “John Ashcroft has been relentlessly engaged in actions geared toward covering up my report and investigations into my allegations. His actions. . . .include gagging the United States Congress, blocking court proceedings on my (wrongful termination suit) by invoking the State Secrets Privilege, quashing the subpoena for my deposition on information regarding 9/11, withholding documents requested under the Freedom Of Information Act and preventing the release of the Inspector General’s report of its investigations into my report and allegations.”
She threw down a gauntlet to all citizens, members of Congress and federal officials that so far have not spoken out, saying, “To become an American citizen, I took the citizenship oath. In taking this oath, I pledged I would support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Therefore, not only do I have the right to challenge John Ashcroft’s anti-constitution(al) and un-American actions, but as an American citizen I am required to do so. So are you.”
Edmonds did testify with the 9/11 commission behind closed doors, but a host of disturbing questions still remain before the commission:
• Why weren’t any of the agents mentioned above called to testify in the commission’s public hearings? What legitimate claim to a thorough investigation can be made without their public testimony?
• Were the FBI agents who saw their investigations stymied at least deposed in private sessions?
• Why was Robert Wright’s investigation derailed, and why did the government move to block significant portions of his book in 2002, such that it remains unpublished to this day?
• Why was the information connecting Moussaoui’s connection with rebels in Chechnya excised before it reached the FBI Deputy General?
• And why have lower-level agents been demoted and/or punished for doing their jobs while their superiors, who spiked, obstructed or otherwise compromised their promisin
John Pistole FBI in the news
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Trump fired Comey one day after FBI called in Trump’s sons for “emergency session”
By Oliver Willis | May 26, 2017
The day after the FBI and CIA held an emergency meeting with Donald Trump's adult sons over a possible foreign intrusion into Trump Organization servers, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
Bi-Partisan Bill Seeks to Require Senate Confirmation of Secret Service Director
Democratic Lawmakers Urge Against Homeland Security Appointment of Sheriff David Clarke
There are few law enforcement officials as controversial and divisive as Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke.
That’s why Democrat
Was Orlando Terrorist a FBI informant?
Orlando shooter: deeper hidden ties to the FBI?
Orlando shooter: deeper hidden ties to the FBI?
by Jon Rappoport
June 13, 2016
The website Cryptogon has pieced together some interesting facts, and a quite odd “coincidence.” I’m bolstering their work.
First of all, the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, changed his name in 2006. As NBC News notes: “Records also show that he had filed a petition for a name change in 2006 from Omar Mir Seddique to Omar Mir Seddique Mateen.”
Why is that important? Why is his original last name, Seddique, also spelled Siddiqui, significant? Because of a previous terrorism case in Florida, in which the FBI informant’s name was Siddiqui. And because that previous case may have been one of those FBI prop-jobs, where the informant was used to falsely accuse a suspect of a terrorist act. The New Yorker (cited above) has details:
“This is not the first time that the F.B.I. has attracted criticism from national-security experts and civil-liberties groups for generating terrorism cases through sting operations and confidential informants. In ‘The Imam’s Curse,’ published in September, I reported on a Florida family that was accused of providing ‘material support’ to terrorists. In that case, a father, Hafiz Khan, and two of his sons were arrested. The charges against the sons were eventually dropped, but Hafiz Khan was convicted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. At Khan’s trial, his lawyer, Khurrum Wahid, questioned the reliability of the key [FBI] informant in the case, David Mahmood Siddiqui. Wahid accused Siddiqui, who’d had periods of unemployment, of lying to authorities because his work as a confidential informant was lucrative. For his role in the case, Siddiqui had received a hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars, plus expenses. But in a subsequent interview with the Associated Press, Siddiqui stood by his testimony and motives: ‘I did it for the love of my country, not for money.’”
The website Cryptogon, which pieced this whole story together, comments: “What are the odds that an FBI informant in a [previous] Florida terrorist case shares the same last name as the perpetrator of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history—also in Florida—[Omar Mateen] a lone wolf cop poser with multiple acknowledged contacts with the FBI, who was formerly listed on the terrorist watch list and associated with a suicide bomber… while holding a valid security guard license?”
And in case you think Siddiqui is a common last name, here is a statement from Mooseroots:
“Siddiqui is an uncommon surname in the United States. When the United States Census was taken in 2000, there were about 4,994 individuals with the last name “Siddiqui,” ranking it number 6,281 for all surnames. Historically, the name has been most prevalent in the Southwest, though the name is actually most common in Hawaii. Siddiqui is least common in the southeastern states.”
If for some reason the name Siddiqui throws you off, suppose the last name was, let me make something up, Graposco? A few years ago, an FBI informant in Florida, Graposco, appeared to have falsely accused a man of terrorist acts—and in 2016, another Graposco, who changed that last name to something else, killed 50 people in a Florida nightclub shooting—after having been investigated twice by the FBI? Might that coincidence grab your attention?
Again—the 2016 Orlando shooter had extensive contact with the FBI in 2013 and 2014. The FBI investigated him twice and dropped the investigations. The FBI used an informant in a previous Florida case, and that informant had the same last name as the Orlando shooter. It’s quite possible the previous informant was told to give a false statement which incriminated a man for terrorist acts.
You can say this is a coincidence. Maybe it is. But it seems more than odd. Are the two Siddiqui men connected?
Was the Orlando shooter involved in some kind of FBI plan to mount a terror op that was supposed to be stopped before it went ahead, but wasn’t? Was the Orlando shooter “helped” over the edge from having “radical ideas” to committing mass murder?
I could cite a number of precedents. Here is one I reported on in 2014:
There seems to be a rule: if a terror attack takes place and the FBI investigates it, things are never what they seem.
Federal attorney Andrew C McCarthy prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing case. A review of his book, Willful Blindness, states:
“For the first time, McCarthy intimately reveals the real story behind the FBI’s inability to stop the first World Trade Center bombing even though the bureau had an undercover informant in the operation—the jihadists’ supposed bombmaker.
“In the first sentence of his hard-hitting account, the author sums up the lawyerly—but staggeringly incomprehensive—reason why the FBI pulled its informant out of the terrorist group even as plans were coming to a head on a major attack:
“’Think of the liability!’
“The first rule for government attorneys in counterintelligence in the 1990s was, McCarthy tells us, ‘Avoid accountable failure.’ Thus, when the situation demanded action, the feds copped a CYA posture, the first refuge of the bureaucrat.”
That’s a titanic accusation, coming from a former federal prosecutor.
Yes, the FBI had an informant inside the group that was planning the 1993 WTC bombing that eventually, on February 26, killed 6 people and injured 1042.
His name is Emad Salem, a former Egyptian Army officer. Present whereabouts unknown. Yanking Salem out of the group planning the Bombing was a devastating criminal act on the part of the FBI.
But there is more to the story.
On October 28, 1993, Ralph Blumenthal wrote a piece about Emad Salem for the New York Times: “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast.” It began:
“Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer [Emad Salem] said after the blast.”
Continuing: “The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer [Emad] said.”
The FBI called the “plan” off, but left the planners to their own devices. No “harmless powder.” Instead, real explosives.
The Times article goes on: “The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers.”
This is a shockingly strong opening for an article in the NY Times. It focuses on the testimony of the informant; it seems to take his side.
Several years after reporter Blumenthal wrote the above piece, I spoke with him and expressed my amazement at the revelations about the FBI—and wondered whether the Times had continued to investigate the scandal.
Blumenthal wasn’t pleased, to say the least. He said I misunderstood the article.
I mentioned the fact that Emad Salem wasn’t called as a prosecution witness in the 1993 WTC Bombing trial.
Of course, why would the Dept. of Justice bring Salem to the stand? Would they want him to blame the FBI for abetting the Bombing?
Again, Blumenthal told me I “didn’t understand.” He became angry and that was the end of the conversation.
I remember thinking: letting the bomb plot go forward…what else do you need for a criminal prosecution of the FBI?
Here is an excerpt from one of those tapes Emad Salem made when he was secretly bugging his own FBI handlers. On this phone call, he talks to his Bureau friend John. Others have claimed this is an agent named John Anticev. The conversation is taking place at some point after the 1993 WTC Bombing. The main topic is Salem’s fees for services rendered as an informant. He apparently wants more money. He also wants to make sure the Bureau will pay him what they’ve agreed to. During the conversation, Salem suddenly talks about the bomb. His English is broken, but his meaning is clear enough. When he finishes, his Bureau handler John just moves on without directly responding.
Salem: “…we was start already building the bomb which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the DA and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case!”
According to Salem, there was a bomb, it was built under FBI and “DA” supervision, Salem himself built it, and it exploded.
Questions remain. Did Salem literally mean he built the bomb? Or was he claiming he successfully convinced others to build it? As a provocative agent for the FBI, did Salem foment the whole idea of the WTC attack and entrap those who were eventually convicted of the Bombing? Without his presence, would they have planned and carried out the assault? Was the truck bomb set off under the North Tower the only weapon? Were there other bombs? If so, who planted them?
But the role of the FBI seems to be clear enough. They aided and abetted, and at the very least, permitted the 1993 attack on the Trade Towers.
What about Omar Mateen in 2016, in Orlando?
As the LA Times, reports, the FBI investigated him on two occasions (LA Times, June 13, “Orlando terror attack live updates…”):
“While working as a courthouse guard in 2013, Mateen made ‘inflammatory and contradictory’ statements to co-workers about having relatives in Al Qaeda, the radical Sunni terrorist group, [FBI Director] Comey said. Mateen also claimed to be a member of Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Shiite militia, and his remarks drew an 11-month FBI investigation, Comey said. Both groups oppose Islamic State.
“Comey said the FBI also briefly investigated Mateen in 2014 for allegedly watching videos by Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar Awlaki and attending the same mosque as an American who would later become a suicide bomber for Al Nusra Front in Syria — another Al Qaeda affiliate opposed to Islamic State.
“Both investigations were closed without charges.”
Did the FBI just investigate the Orlando shooter? Or did they in some way enlist him in an operation?
Is it merely a terrible mistake that enabled the shooter to work nine years for G4S, the world’s “biggest guarding company” and one of the biggest contractors to the DHS, as Bloomberg News states? Is it merely a terrible mistake that G4S was aware the FBI was investigating the shooter in 2013 and did nothing about it?
Or did some federal group intervene and tell all parties to leave the shooter alone and in place—because he was part of an operation?
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews
Orlando Police Chief John Mina, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, FDLE Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge ...
FBI Analyst Sentenced
A former FBI analyst has been
sentenced to seven years in prison for having sex with a young girl
in Spotsylvania County.
44 year old Anthony John Lesko entered an Alford plea
yesterday in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to nine counts of
felony indecent liberties upon a child. An Alford plea means Lesko
doesn't admit guilt but believes there is enough evidence for a
Under a plea agreement, he was sentenced to seven years in
prison with another 15 years suspended. He also was ordered to pay
ten-thousand dollars in restitution to cover the cost of the girl's
Authorities say Lesko engaged in a sex act with her nine times,
beginning when she was nine years old.
Lesko's attorney says he worked as an intelligence analyst at
the F-B-I for 17 years .
According to the plea, Lesko said he was a victim in the case.
He said the girl initiated the contact.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI continues to partner with local law enforcement agencies to provide ... the country," said Loren Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon.
Retired FBI agent turned public school investigator Don Southerland Jr. of Plano introduced us to problems in several school districts, including Hearne ISD.
‘Inside the FBI: New York’ Is Scary but Necessary, Says EP
There was probably a time when the average citizen didn’t spend much time thinking about the work of the FBI. Those days are pretty much long gone. Now, because of the current tenuous status of the entire world, because of atrocious actions, the work of this agency has taken on increased importance.
In an effort to educate the public about what the FBI actually does, a new series focuses not only on the activities of the agency but also on the people who spend their lives working to enforce the law and provide global security.
Inside the FBI: New York follows the agency and its various units (counterterrorism, cyber crimes and human trafficking, among others) as they deal with various crimes and criminals.
“The FBI is basically a secret institution that everyone knows about, but no one knows what they really do,” explains series executive producer Marc Levin. “Their default answer for 50 years to virtually every question has been, ‘no comment.’ Until now.”
Working with uber scripted television producer Dick Wolf, Levin says that former FBI director James Comey was onboard with the series because he felt it was important for the public to know about the inner-workings of the agency.
But just because Wolf and Comey wanted to do it doesn’t mean it wasn’t without trouble, explains Levin. “First, we had to determine what the term ‘access’ really meant. Fortunately, we were pretty much all on the same page about that. And, then there had to be a real level of trust on both sides—we had to trust that they would let us show as much as we wanted and they had to trust that we were going to show everything with a certain level of respect. I think we worked it out so really everyone’s happy about what we’re showing viewers.”
Levin says that he and his team were embedded during a very interesting time within the agency. “We were inside the FBI during two historic moments that were not good—this change in global terrorism which shifted from organized groups to these sort of social media lone wolf types acting out—and the whole suspicion of Russia hacking the U.S. election.”
The subject matter here is awfully heavy, admits Levin, saying, “I got scared watching a lot of this. There were things that I never gave much thought until I worked on this show. A lot of what happens rocks you, but this is the world we live in and it’s better to be in the know than to try and hide from it. You can’t just hide from it. It’s not going to go away.”
The recent surge in news coverage about the agency actually worked in the series favor, in a way, says Levin. “The intense focus on the FBI by the media made more people within the organization want to work with us because they felt they were being attacked. Every day there are people screaming that the FBI is corrupt. They felt like they were unseen and that nobody understood what they do. I think that worked in our favor in a strange way.”
Branding Hoover's FBI
How the Boss's PR Men Sold the Bureau to America
Hunting down America’s public enemies was just one of the FBI’s jobs. Another—perhaps more vital and certainly more covert—was the job of promoting the importance and power of the FBI, a process that Matthew Cecil unfolds clearly for the first time in this eye-opening book. The story of the PR men who fashioned the Hoover era, Branding Hoover’s FBI reveals precisely how the Bureau became a monolithic organization of thousands of agents who lived and breathed a well-crafted public relations message, image, and worldview. Accordingly, the book shows how the public was persuaded—some would say conned—into buying and even bolstering that image.
Just fifteen years after a theater impresario coined the term “public relations,” the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover began practicing a sophisticated version of the activity. Cecil introduces those agency PR men in Washington who put their singular talents to work by enforcing and amplifying Hoover's message. Louis B. Nichols, overseer of the Crime Records Section for more than twenty years, was a master of bend-your-ear networking. Milton A. Jones brought meticulous analysis to bear on the mission; Fern Stukenbroeker, a gift for eloquence; and Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, a singular charm and ambition. Branding Hoover’s FBI examines key moments when this dedicated cadre, all working under the protective wing of Associate Director Clyde Tolson, manipulated public perceptions of the Bureau (was the Dillinger triumph really what it seemed?). In these critical moments, the book allows us to understand as never before how America came to see the FBI’s law enforcement successes and overlook the dubious accomplishments, such as domestic surveillance, that truly defined the Hoover era.
“This unique, creative, and excellent study makes a significant contribution to the literature on the FBI. Cecils brilliant mining of FBI personnel files has resulted in a fascinating, richly detailed, and wholly satisfying look at the inner workings of Hoover’s FBI.An outstanding work on an important subject.”
—Douglas Charles, author of Hoover’s War on Gays: Exposing the FBI’s “Sex Deviates” Program
“Branding Hoover’s FBI is a path-breaking assessment of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s public relations initiatives. Cecil’s brilliantly researched study documents Hoover’s success in transforming the image of the FBI from a minor and suspect to a powerful and autonomous agency, in the process reshaping American politics in the twentieth century. His thoughtful monograph has particular contemporary relevance highlighting how control over information undermined a constitutional system based on accountability and transparency. ”
—Athan Theoharis, author of The FBI and American Democracy: A Brief Critical History
About the Author
Matthew Cecil is Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is the author of The Ballad of Ben and Stella Mae: Great Plains Outlaws Who Became FBI Public Enemies Nos. 1 and 2 and Hoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image, both published by Kansas.
Family of Boston Marathon-bomber's friend sue agents over death
ORLANDO, Fla. — May 24, 2017, 6:48 PM
The parents of a Chechen man who was fatally shot while being questioned in Florida about a Boston Marathon bombing suspect in 2013 have sued four law enforcement agents for wrongful death.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Orlando by the estate of Ibragim Todashev and Todashev's parents against two Massachusetts state troopers, an FBI agent and an Orlando police officer who was working under the FBI's supervision. Todashev's estate is being represented by an official with the Council of American-Islamic Relations Florida.
The lawsuit seeks damages for lost earnings as well as funeral and medical expenses.
The agents interviewed Todashev four years ago as they looked into the background of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The men had been friends in Boston through mixed martial-arts circles.
The agents have said Todashev became agitated during the interview, grabbed a weapon and was killed. But the lawsuit claims that Todashev was leaving his apartment when he was shot, and agents tried to rearrange the scene.
"The actions of the law enforcement agents were designed to escalate conflict and attempt to justify the wrongful use of force," the lawsuit said.
FBI spokeswoman Kristen Setera in Boson declined to comment because of the pending litigation. Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio also said he couldn't comment on pending litigation, but that "we expect that a vigorous defense of our personnel will be presented in court."
The lawsuit alleges that FBI agents followed, harassed and repeatedly questioned Todashev in the weeks after the Boston bombing even though he had nothing to do with it. The lawsuit also says the FBI was negligent in its investigation into the death of Todashev, who was shot seven times, and that the FBI agent who fired the shots had a history of misconduct.
"Todashev's death ... was the result of excessive force by FBI agents and negligent hiring/ supervision by the FBI — all of which resulted in Todashev's wrongful death," the lawsuit said.
Retired FBI agent, outspoken critic in JFK assassination findings joins KFDM in studio
Why a House Democrat is lobbying for a former GOP lawmaker to be FBI director
Many analysts have argued that the next FBI director shouldn’t be a politician. But try telling that to Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), who has been pressing Senate Democratic leaders to consider former GOP congressman Mike Rogers (Mich.) for the post.
Ruppersberger told me Wednesday that in conversations with Democratic leadership, he had endorsed Rogers’s “integrity, competence and patriotism.” Rogers, a former FBI agent who served as House Intelligence Committee chairman until his retirement in 2015, has also been endorsed by the FBI Agents Association. The group said in a May 13 statement that Rogers “exemplifies the principles that should be possessed by the next FBI director.”
Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Intelligence Community: Allies Against 9/11 Transparency?
February 4, 2015 28 pages, 9/11, Bob Graham, CIA, cover-up, FBI, ISIS, Norm Coleman, NSA, Richard Clarke, Saudi Arabia
By Brian McGlinchey
One of the distinguishing hallmarks of the drive to declassify the 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers is the absence of vocal opposition. That’s not to say there are no opponents—only that they are working quietly and effectively behind closed doors.
It’s likely that among the most powerful of those unseen opponents of 9/11 transparency are two strange bedfellows:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—which has fueled the growth of terror
The U.S. intelligence community—which is charged with thwarting terror
Saudia Arabia’s Broad Influence on U.S. Policy
Saudi Arabia has claimed it wants the 28 pages released, but the kingdom is surely bluffing. At a January 7 press conference promoting the reintroduction of a House resolution urging the president to declassify the 28 pages, former Senator Bob Graham was pointed in describing how Saudi Arabia figures in the censored chapter of the report of a joint Congressional intelligence inquiry into 9/11: “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11 and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.”
Like many other countries, Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in building influence within American shores, and that influence may be a big reason why Barack Obama hasn’t reversed George W. Bush’s extraordinary redaction of 28 consecutive pages of a Congressional intelligence report, and why most of our federal legislators haven’t even bothered reading those pages despite the strong urging of peers who have.
Former Senator Norm Coleman: On the Saudi Payroll
Former Senator Norm Coleman: Once a Saudi Critic, Now on Kingdom’s Payroll
One relatively new pillar in Saudi Arabia’s influence infrastructure illustrates its strength. In September, The Nation’s Lee Fang—in a piece outlining the remarkable depth and breadth of the Saudi web of influence—revealed that Saudi Arabia had made an eyebrow-raising addition to its army of lobbyists: Norm Coleman, former United States senator and current chair of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a prominent Republican super PAC.
The hire breaks new ground, writes Fang, as Coleman “appears to be the first leader of a significant Super PAC to simultaneously lobby for a foreign government.” The move also reveals cringe-inducing hypocrisy: In 2005, Coleman signed a letter condemning Saudi Arabia for fostering Islamic extremism around the world, and today he serves on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy.
While noteworthy, Coleman is just one star in a broad constellation of Saudi Arabian influence on American policymakers. As The New York Times reported in a September expose, another major avenue of foreign government influence is the funding of American think tanks:
“The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research.”
The pressure on scholars isn’t always indirect: Some “donations” are accompanied by an explicit quid pro quo understanding that the think tank will advance the interest of its foreign state benefactor.
According to a Times infographic, Saudi Arabia has given money to many of the think tanks that journalists and policymakers turn to for analysis, including The Atlantic Council, Brookings Institution, the Middle East Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Does the work product of these think tanks reflect their Saudi sponsorship? Consider the rather Saudi-friendly insights the CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman recently offered decision-makers on the transition of power following the death of King Abdullah. In it, Cordesman heralds Abdullah as “one of (Saudi Arabia’s) most competent and impressive kings” and “a strong ally.” While he touches briefly on extremism, strikingly absent from Cordesman’s examination of Saudi Arabia’s role as a “close partner” in U.S. counterterrorism efforts is any mention of the country’s well-documented financial support of Islamic extremism and terror. To the contrary, Cordesman declares that Saudi Arabia “has been critical to preserving some degree of regional stability…during the rise of Islamic extremism.”
Considering Saudi Arabia’s think tank sponsorship, it’s no wonder that 28Pages.org is only aware of one occasion where one of these influential entities has allowed an analyst to use its platform to promote the release of the 28 pages: Last month at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Rubin urged their release and implored journalists to make the 28 pages a 2016 campaign issue.
Intelligence Community’s “Pervasive Pattern” of Covering Saudi Role
Saudi Arabia’s reasons for wanting the 28 pages kept secret are clear, but what about America’s intelligence community? Actually, its motives are likely identical: Shielding itself from public humiliation and the consequences that would accompany it.
Former Senator Bob Graham
Former Senator Bob Graham
The intelligence community would have us believe that publishing the 28 pages would somehow pose a threat to national security, a notion that’s been pointedly rebutted by many who’ve read them, including former Senate intelligence committee chairman Graham.
At the January 7 press conference, Graham said, “Much of what passes for classification for national security reasons is really classified because it would disclose incompetence. And since the people who are classifying are also often the subject of the materials, they have an institutional interest in avoiding exposure of their incompetence.”
The intelligence community’s failure in the years and months leading up to 9/11 isn’t exactly secret, but the 28 pages may shed powerfully unflattering new light on it. Remember, they’re found in the report of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Secrecy about American intelligence agencies’ performance before and after the 9/11 attacks stretches far beyond the 28 pages. Perhaps the most prominent example of that broad veil relates to a 9/11 hijacker cell in Sarasota: Graham says the FBI failed to disclose its knowledge of that cell to the joint congressional intelligence inquiry he co-chaired.
When the cell later came to the attention of investigative journalist Dan Christensen at FloridaBulldog.org, the FBI first denied that it found any connection between 9/11 hijackers and a wealthy Saudi family that suddenly fled the country two weeks before September 11, and then denied it had any documentation of its investigation. Now we know the FBI indeed found direct links between that family and the hijackers, and a federal judge is studying more than 80,000 pages of FBI documents relating to the Sarasota investigation for potential release in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
Relating the FBI’s Sarasota secrecy to the 28 pages, Graham said, “This is not a narrow issue of withholding information at one place, in one time. This is a pervasive pattern of covering up the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 by all of the agencies of the federal government which have access to information that might illuminate Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11.”
Former Counterterror Czar Richard Clarke
The CIA may want the 28 pages kept secret, too. Richard Clarke, who was the White House’s counter-terrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations, says the CIA never told him that two known Al Qaeda operatives were living in southern California under their own names. Considering the San Diego cell figures prominently in the joint inquiry report, the 28 pages may shed light on the CIA’s motives for its history-altering failure to inform Clarke or the FBI or elaborate on what disaster-averting information the CIA had and didn’t share.
Like the CIA, the NSA also knew about the San Diego-based hijackers well before September 11. Keeping the 28 pages under wraps may serve the agency in its fight to preserve the post-9/11 mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden: If the 28 pages amplify the fact that the government had all the information it needed to thwart the 9/11 attacks without those controversial programs, the NSA’s arguments would be further weakened.
A Deadly Bargain
Amid all this discussion of the actions and inactions that enabled the terrible loss of life on 9/11, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that lives continue to hang in the balance—and the fact that former Senator Graham and current Congressmen Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch and Thomas Massie have all said that declassifying the 28 pages is imperative to understanding and countering the ongoing terror threat.
Said Graham at the 28 pages press conference that came just hours after the terror attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo: “There is no threat to national security in disclosure (of the 28 pages). I’m going to make the case today that there’s a threat to national security by non–disclosure, and we saw another chapter of that today in Paris.”
According to Graham, shielding Saudi Arabia from scrutiny of its role in 9/11 has emboldened the kingdom to continue its sponsorship of extremism and, in the process, enabled the rise of ISIS. If so, the continued censorship of the 28 pages has cost more lives around the world than were lost on September 11, 2001—and with growing U.S. involvement in the fight against ISIS, American lives could become increasingly imperiled.
Americans may not be surprised that a faraway monarchy would be willing to gamble the lives of innocents in a bid for continued power, but they should be deeply troubled that the U.S. intelligence community would—wittingly or not—make the same deadly bargain. By shielding themselves from the oversight that’s vital to our system of government, our national security agencies also shield Saudi Arabia from accountability. In so doing, they endanger the very lives they’re charged with saving.
Brian McGlinchey is the founder and director of 28Pages.org.
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Grayson to Submit New Request to Read 28 Secret Pages on 9/11
January 26, 2015 28 pages, 9/11, Alan Grayson, Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, NSA
Congressman Alan Grayson
Congressman Alan Grayson
Congressman Alan Grayson, one of three representatives who last week joined the growing movement to declassify a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the September 11th hijackers, told 28Pages.org he did so because “the American people have the right to know what happened on 9/11 in every regard.”
As he takes a stand for releasing the 28 pages to the public, he remains determined to read the 28 pages himself. Denied permission by the House intelligence committee in the waning weeks of the last Congress, Grayson will try again in the new one.
The Florida congressman said the December 1 refusal of his first request was “politics, pure and simple.”
“There are people on the intelligence committee who are unhappy with the fact that I have been a staunch opponent of pervasive domestic spying here in the United States,” said Grayson. “The vote was almost entirely on party lines because the Republican chairman (Mike Rogers) misrepresented information to the committee about my actions.”
Rep. Grayson on the House Floor, June XX 2013
Grayson Speaking on the House Floor, June 2013
In June 2013, amid the first wave of Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA mass domestic surveillance, Grayson delivered a speech on the House floor that was accompanied by a display of NSA briefing slides that had already been published in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Grayson said the information he shared in the speech relied “solely on information in The Guardian…and that was misrepresented to the (intelligence) committee members as my misusing classified information.”
“Frankly, if they’re going to be playing those kinds of games, it’s a wonder that good people ever get to find out anything about the octopus tentacles of the spying-industrial complex,” said Grayson.
Grayson is hoping for a different outcome when he submits a new request to read the 28 pages.
“Chairman Rogers is no longer chairman of the committee—in fact he’s no longer on the committee or even in Congress—and I hope the current chair will not try to twist the facts the way that Rogers did and I’ll be able to see the information that not only I should be able to see but also every member of the public,” said Grayson.
Grayson cast doubt on the notion that releasing the redacted information could pose a risk to national security or intelligence operations.
“It’s inconceivable to me at this point, more than 13 years later, that there’s any actionable information the administration needs to keep secret in order to be able to do anything with it,” said Grayson, who represents Florida’s 9th congressional district. “No one has ever claimed there’s anything in those 28 pages that needs to remain classified in order to protect current U.S. interests,” he added.
Grayson’s criticism of the continued secrecy of the 28 pages is echoed by many who have read them, including former Senator Bob Graham—who co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry that produced the 28-page chapter in an 838-page report—and Congressmen Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch and Thomas Massie.
While Grayson is well-known as an outspoken Democrat, support for the declassification of the 28 pages on Capitol Hill comprises a near-perfect 50/50 mix of Republicans and Democrats united by a common belief that foreign government links to the 9/11 terrorists shouldn’t stay secret.
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