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joeb Show full post »
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Meet the Spies Doing the NSA's Dirty Work

This obscure FBI unit does the domestic surveillance that no other intelligence agency can touch.



With every fresh leak, the world learns more about the U.S. National Security Agency's massive and controversial surveillance apparatus. Lost in the commotion has been the story of the NSA's indispensable partner in its global spying operations: an obscure, clandestine unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that, even for a surveillance agency, keeps a low profile.


When the media and members of Congress say the NSA spies on Americans, what they really mean is that the FBI helps the NSA do it, providing a technical and legal infrastructure that permits the NSA, which by law collects foreign intelligence, to operate on U.S. soil. It's the FBI, a domestic U.S. law enforcement agency, that collects digital information from at least nine American technology companies as part of the NSA's Prism system. It was the FBI that petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to order Verizon Business Network Services, one of the United States' biggest telecom carriers for corporations, to hand over the call records of millions of its customers to the NSA.

But the FBI is no mere errand boy for the United States' biggest intelligence agency. It carries out its own signals intelligence operations and is trying to collect huge amounts of email and Internet data from U.S. companies -- an operation that the NSA once conducted, was reprimanded for, and says it abandoned.

The heart of the FBI's signals intelligence activities is an obscure organization called the Data Intercept Technology Unit, or DITU (pronounced DEE-too). The handful of news articles that mentioned it prior to revelations of NSA surveillance this summer did so mostly in passing. It has barely been discussed in congressional testimony. An NSA PowerPoint presentation given to journalists by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden hints at DITU's pivotal role in the NSA's Prism system -- it appears as a nondescript box on a flowchart showing how the NSA "task[s]" information to be collected, which is then gathered and delivered by the DITU.

But interviews with current and former law enforcement officials, as well as technology industry representatives, reveal that the unit is the FBI's equivalent of the National Security Agency and the primary liaison between the spy agency and many of America's most important technology companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Apple.

The DITU is located in a sprawling compound at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, home of the FBI's training academy and the bureau's Operational Technology Division, which runs all the FBI's technical intelligence collection, processing, and reporting. Its motto: "Vigilance Through Technology." The DITU is responsible for intercepting telephone calls and emails of terrorists and foreign intelligence targets inside the United States. According to a senior Justice Department official, the NSA could not do its job without the DITU's help. The unit works closely with the "big three" U.S. telecommunications companies -- AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint -- to ensure its ability to intercept the telephone and Internet communications of its domestic targets, as well as the NSA's ability to intercept electronic communications transiting through the United States on fiber-optic cables.

For Prism, the DITU maintains the surveillance equipment that captures what the NSA wants from U.S. technology companies, including archived emails, chat-room sessions, social media posts, and Internet phone calls. The unit then transmits that information to the NSA, where it's routed into other parts of the agency for analysis and used in reports.

After Prism was disclosed in the Washington Post and the Guardian, some technology company executives claimed they knew nothing about a collection program run by the NSA. And that may have been true. The companies would likely have interacted only with officials from the DITU and others in the FBI and the Justice Department, said sources who have worked with the unit to implement surveillance orders.

"The DITU is the main interface with providers on the national security side," said a technology industry representative who has worked with the unit on many occasions. It ensures that phone companies as well as Internet service and email providers are complying with surveillance law and delivering the information that the government has demanded and in the format that it wants. And if companies aren't complying or are experiencing technical difficulties, they can expect a visit from the DITU's technical experts to address the problem.

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Tuesday, 11.26.13

Obama’s Justice Department asks court to keep key spy opinion secret

The Obama administration should be permitted to keep a legal opinion secret that allows the FBI to obtain certain telephone records without any formal legal process, a Justice Department lawyer told a U.S. appeals court Tuesday.

The legal assertion by the Justice Department came in response to a lawsuit that alleges the department’s Office of Legal Counsel violated the federal open-records laws by refusing to release the memo, which says the bureau can collect international phone call data without court oversight or a “qualifying emergency.” As a result of the Justice Department’s refusal to release the memo, the circumstances under which the bureau can collect the records and the precise legal authority it relies on remain secret.

Justice Department lawyer Daniel Tenny told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the opinion should be protected from public disclosure because it was internal legal advice to the FBI, not necessarily binding policy.

“If the FBI knew that the advice it got back would be made public, then the FBI’s own deliberations would be made public,” he said. “. . . The key point is not whether all of the advice should be made public. The question is whether it should be involuntarily made public.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which sued for access to the opinion, asserted that the FBI used the opinion as “cover” for its previous actions, which were under fire as potentially illegal. As a result, the foundation argued, the opinion was relied on as binding policy and cannot be withheld from the public.

“The OLC opinion at issue in this case set forth for the executive branch an authoritative, controlling interpretation of federal surveillance and privacy statutes,” Mark Rumold, a lawyer with the group, told the three-judge panel.

The lawsuit arises out of a longstanding debate over how much the public should know about the legal rationale that supports spying programs aimed at catching terrorists. The suit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation was prompted in part by McClatchy’s reporting that highlighted the existence of the memo and the department’s refusal to release it to the newspaper chain in January 2010.

For years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the FBI sought and obtained thousands of certain telephone records for international calls in an attempt to thwart potential terrorists.

The opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel was issued in response to questions that were raised by the Justice Department’s inspector general about the legality of the FBI’s handling of those records.

A reference to the opinion appeared in the heavily excised section of a 2010 inspector general report on how the FBI abused its powers when seeking the records.

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Many years ago Dr Cyril Wech created COPA the conference on political assassinations.
see   http://politicalassassinations.com/2009/11/photos-of-copa-2009/ed-tatro/

Taxpayer funded FBI  agents did not like this.
In 2007 FBI  agent Orsini went after Dr. Wecht. All the charges against Dr Wecht were eventually dropped.

I thought you might like to know something about the FBI  agent Orsini who filed charges against Dr Wecht.
Why would you fund an organization that assassinated President Kennedy?

see link for full story

Wecht investigator's discipline file opened
U.S. judge orders FBI records unsealed
July 11, 2007 11:00 PM

A federal judge yesterday unsealed records revealing that the lead FBI agent in the criminal case against Dr. Cyril H. Wecht was disciplined elsewhere for forging other agents' names and initials on chain-of-custody forms, evidence labels and interview forms.
Related documents

See more information about the disciplinary reports of FBI agent Bradley W. Orsini.

Further, in September 2001 Special Agent Bradley W. Orsini was demoted and received a 30-day suspension without pay for a series of policy violations that occurred from 1993 through 2000, which included having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate; making improper vulgar and sexual comments; threatening a subordinate with violence; and improperly documenting the seizure of a weapon and ammunition from a search.

"We're pleased this information is now available to the public for its own analysis and understanding of its impact on the case," said Dr. Wecht's defense attorney, Jerry McDevitt. "The report speaks for itself."

The U.S. attorney's office filed Agent Orsini's records under seal on April 7, 2006, asking U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab to determine if it was required to turn them over to Dr. Wecht's defense attorneys.

What followed was a 15-month legal battle that ended this week when the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a final order in the case, making the disciplinary reports public.

Judge Schwab unsealed the records late yesterday afternoon. He also vacated a previous decision in which he'd ordered a contempt hearing for the defense attorneys for their failure to follow his orders.

He wrote "this Court considers the 'time-out' caused by the interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as providing an opportunity for a 'fresh start.'"

He also ordered a hearing in Dr. Wecht's case on Sept. 18 that will allow the defense to use the Orsini reports in their examination of him.

Agent Orsini has been an agent for more than 18 years, and he has spent much of that time, including in Pittsburgh, working public corruption cases. All of the allegations included in the two disciplinary reports occurred while he was working in the FBI's Newark, N.J., office.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan would not comment on the reports' release. It was unclear if she was aware of Mr. Orsini's background before he became the lead agent in the case against Dr. Wecht, who is charged with 84 counts of misusing his public office for private gain.

The first time Agent Orsini was disciplined was Nov. 2, 1998. He received a five-day suspension without pay for signing other agents' names to evidence labels and custody forms from May 1995 to January 1997.

He explained that he and another agent, on limited occasions, signed each other's names on evidence "to save time."

Though the investigator from the Office of Professional Responsibility found that Agent Orsini did not intend to jeopardize the evidence or cases involved, his actions could have called the integrity of the bureau into question, he wrote in his report.

A 28-page report issued Sept. 24, 2001, by the assistant director of the Office of Professional Responsibility described additional transgressions.

The first violation listed dated to Nov. 2, 1993. Agent Orsini failed to obtain the proper consent form while searching a man's home for illegal firearms and failed to properly document the ammunition seized.

Agent Orsini was found to have falsified at least six FBI interview forms in 1993 and 1994 by writing other agents' initials on them.

He said in a statement that he didn't believe there would be a problem with that provided the information in the body of the interview form was accurate.

"I have no idea how many times I may have done so," he said. He said he did so for "convenience and a shortcut."

Throughout the Wecht case, defense attorneys have argued that the government based part of the charges against their client -- that he exchanged unclaimed bodies from the county morgue for lab space from Carlow University -- on a single interview form filled out by Agent Orsini.

The disciplinary report next goes into great detail about a relationship Agent Orsini had with a subordinate agent, from April 1998 through early 2000.

The document indicates that other agents in his squad believed Agent Orsini was favoring the woman and gave her premium assignments. It also details gag gifts exchanged at the squad's Christmas parties in 1998 and 1999. One, given to the woman, was a pet collar, with a note that said, "If found, return to Brad Orsini."

"By their very nature, the public notoriety attached to the gag gifts would have put even the most insensitive person on notice of this perception of favoritism," the assistant director wrote.

By January 2000, when supervisors in the Newark office learned of the relationship, Agent Orsini was reassigned.

But before that, he approached one of the agents in his squad and accused him of revealing the relationship. During the meeting, Agent Orsini threatened to hit his subordinate but quickly added that he was kidding.

Newark's assistant agent in charge reported that Agent Orsini "has an aggressive personality, and I would characterize him as a bully."

Other substantiated allegations in the report included that Agent Orsini punched at least one hole in the wall in the Newark office, and threw and broke chairs. He also jokingly called fellow supervisors "homosexuals," and even used a bullhorn to make his comments.

For those actions, the Office of Professional Responsibility said he failed to prevent the development of a "locker room atmosphere" in his squad that repressed professional conduct.

In addition to the suspension and demotion, Agent Orsini was ordered to serve 12 months' probation and to attend mandatory sensitivity training.
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Backstory: from 1988-2002 I was involved helping organize an annual conference
looking at crimes committed by FBI agents. It was held at Boston University the 1st year(1988)
and moved to Bates College for the next 11 years. (through 2001) and held at the University of Maine Farmington the last year. For 13 years we brought an honor roll list of speakers to present evidence that FBI  agents had assassinated President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
We brought Leonard Gates to discuss voter fraud he was committing for FBI  agents in Cincinnati. We brought Republican state senator/attorney John DeCamp from Nebraska
to discuss the lawsuit he won showing FBI  agents involvement in a national pedophile ring that kidnapped,tortured,sexually abused and murdered little children as detailed in his book THE FRANKLIN COVERUP. There were a lot more speakers and issues . We have posted the material  at various place on the internet with some success as we find FBI  agents are continuously altering our links or having video pulled off youtube connecting them to murder and terrorist events. We are not affiliated with any of these sites other than they allow us to post material.We came to understand early on that there is no such thing as the FBI committing murders or pedophilia. It is real people with names who live next door to you who are committing these crimes. As always these criminal activities FBI  agents engage in are funded by your tax dime. The intent of my postings is to make you a smart criminal justice consumer and help you devise ways of providing for the safety of your community. I also hope you become a fact checker and alert consumer who looks out daily
for FBI  agent misconduct. FBI  agents never sleep neither should you. My other hope is you will discover restorative justice and shift your consciousness so you empower yourself to take control of your criminal justice system by setting and enforcing standards for that system.  SITES WHERE OTHER MATERIAL EXISTS
1. ldsfreedomforum.com  in there NEWS SECTION several topics about the FBI eg  http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=27369&sid=bdd491b0448dc3bbd9ffbcf6f2ba1d75

2. campustactivism forum FBI WATCH  see  http://www.campusactivism.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=29&sid=226e394a26051b678c7fa6ea9d58506b

3. rigorousintuition.ca in Canada    in their DATA DUMP SECTION FBI WATCH

4.  San Diego Tribune FBI WATCH  over 300 pages closed to new posts http://forums.utsandiego.com/showthread.php?t=59139

So you have to make some tough decisions about where you want to
direct your consciousness  Red Sox Patriots Grandmaster Flash
or FBI  agents creating 911, eh? You do know what to do?

In other news....... Charles Darwin just tweeted me and says
" a species that hires mercenaries to protect them looses the ability
to protect themselves and are doomed to extinction"

George Orwell twittered me and said
"when you are the law enforcement agency investigating the crime you just committed
you can almost always get away with the crime"

see link for full story


Oct 04, 2006--Venice,FL.
by Daniel Hopsicker

Recently-released court documents from the trial of Zacharias Moussaoui show clear evidence of the FBI attempt to cover-up the whereabouts and activities of lead 9.11 hijacker Mohamed Atta in Florida between January and May of 2001, confirming reports which have appeared exclusively in the MadCowMorningNews.

Released over government objection through the efforts of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the documents illustrate the pattern of omission and selective editing through which the Bureau has deflected attention from the terrorist's conspiracy's base of operations in Venice FL.

Four months after the FBI's official chronology states Mohamed Atta left Florida's Gulf Coast for the Miami area, Atta was still using a Venice-area cell phone.

And these four months worth of Atta's phone calls are not listed or included in the released cell phone records.

The documents also give the lie to continuing attempts by the terrorists’ hometown paper, the New York Times-owned Sarasota Herald-Tribune, to salvage its lackluster record in covering the story of the dozens of suspected terrorists living cheek-by-jowl in its midst by invalidating the testimony of a key witness, uncritically presenting her recantation as if witnesses being pressured to change their stories were not a daily fact of life.

It's a brief piece, but that's not the point. A search for "Amanda Keller" in the Lexis-Nexis database today yields only these two rebuttal stories from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

The paper reports that Amanda Keller now says she never lived with Mohamed Atta. Despite numerous published reports (including their own), the corroborated testimony of other eyewitnesses to the same events, as well testimony by these same witnesses of being victims of a systematic campaign of intimidation by the FBI...that, apparently, is supposed to be that.

“It was ‘my bad’ for lying,” Mohamed Atta’s erstwhile girlfriend Amanda Keller supposedly told a Herald-Tribune reporter. “I really didn’t think about it until after I did it.”

Heather does 9/11

Events, however, continue to prove Keller's earlier testimony correct and right on the money. The most recent was the release over the weekend of the soundless suicide video of a bearded Mohamed Atta and Siad Al Jarrah at a camp in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden.

“Mohamed Atta had a beard when I met him,” said Atta’s erstwhile girlfriend Amanda Keller over four years ago.

Despite the denial of Atta's father, who has previously proven to be an inveterate liar (and who was in Florida less than two weeks before the attack) that was Mohamed Atta in the suicide video.

And he was wearing a beard. Advantage Keller.

By neglecting to mention the numerous witnesses who insist-- for no visible reason other than it happens to be the truth--that Mohamed Atta and Amanda Keller lived together for several months at the Sandpiper Apartments across the street from the Venice Airport, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune made their second attempt to refute it on the 5th anniversary of the attack.

Providing yet another good reason why people are turning away from the mainstream press in droves, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune also neglects to mention that it was the Sarasota Herald-Tribune itself, along with several other newspapers, which first reported Atta lived with Keller at the Sandpiper.

The article now attributes the report to “conspiracy theorists."

No need to wonder just who they meant by that.

Unnamed FBI Official: "Nothing to see here. Move along."

The obvious question would be: What possible motive would anyone have for lying about being a former girlfriend of the most reviled man on the planet?

The question must not have occurred to either Tribune reporter Heather Allen or editor David Hackett. The article offers no explanation for why Keller supposedly lied, then left town to avoid publicity.

Nor does it offer the reason numerous other eyewitnesses to the liaison also presumably lied, a list that includes two apartment managers, the woman who owned the apartment building, several next-door neighbors, and even the postman. All remain unmentioned.

Nor does the story quote the original reporter on the Sarasota Herald Tribune story, Earle Kimel, although this omission is slightly less surprising in an article which neglects to inform its readers that it was one of the newspapers which originally reported the story it is now taking pains to refute.

Who does get quoted? You'll never guess...

An unnamed federal official. What a surprise.

The story relies solely and completely on anonymous sources, just as the paper’s first story had, quoting statements from unnamed persons variously labeled “investigators” and “authorities.”

The government had checked Atta’s phone records, the story stated, and found Atta and Keller had never called each other.

An unnamed FBI agent states, “There’s nothing there to corroborate the relationship between the two.”

From the people who brought you Judith Miller & Jayson Blair

When the unnamed agent lied, he or she may have temporarily forgotten about  the treasure trove of government documents about the hijackers released after the recently-concluded Moussaoui trial.

The records include Mohamed Atta’s phone records.

The FBI’s official chronology states that shortly after Christmas in the year 2000 Atta and bodyguard Marwan Al-Shehhi left Venice Florida for the jazzier precincts of the Miami area.

The MadCowMorningNews has been reporting the direct testimony of numerous credible witnesses--real people with real names-- who contradict the FBI, including everyone from the Sheriff of nearby Charlotte County to Mohamed Atta’s erstwhile American girlfriend, all of whom said Atta was in the Venice area during the first five months of 2001.

If Amanda Keller’s phone number didn’t appear in Atta's newly-released phone records, then perhaps--choke!--the FBI is right. Keller knew Atta in the Spring of 2001: March, April, and into May.

Those would be the phone records to look at. We held our breath, and looked them up.

Atta's Venice phone service ended when?
We began by leafing through the records for Atta’s phone at the house in nearby Nokomis which he and Marwan shared while both attended Huffman Aviation. If Atta really did leave Venice for Miami at the end of 2000, the way the FBI says he did, this would be the logical point for his service to be cutoff.

Instead, Atta's released phone records clearly expose an FBI cover-up.

Mohamed Atta got this Verizon cell phone from Wassam Hammoud, a Lebanese man who has ties to the cell of convicted terrorists in Dearborn Michigan, and who was himself recently convicted of soliciting the beheading of a federal agent.

It lists all his calls, or appears to, between July of 2000, when the FBI says he arrived in Venice, and January 20th of 2001, several weeks after they say he left.
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USA TODAY research reveals flaws in mass-killing data

Dec. 3, 2013   |  

When USA TODAY started investigating mass killings, it seemed a fairly straightforward thing to count: How many times have at least four people died at the hands of another in a single incident?

Yet marking the death toll of mass killings in America is anything but simple. It's hampered by the FBI's voluntary reporting system that gets it right a little more than half the time, and by advocacy groups who may count only incidents that support their cause, ignoring killings that don't involve a gun or did not get heavy media coverage.

Concentrating on just one type of mass killing - or only on those that get a lot of attention - may be worse than just using the FBI data, because it can skew public understanding and lead to ineffective policies, says Grant Duwe, a senior researcher with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, who has written a book on mass killings based on a data set he built covering the 1900s.

"Accurately accounting for mass killings - having a definition, sticking to the definition, trying to find all the incidents - that may seem somewhat pedantic but it's actually very important."

To get a more accurate count, USA TODAY began with 156 such incidents reported to the FBI from 2006-11. But after investigating each one and finding others missing, USA TODAY found the FBI data had an accuracy rate of just 61%, throwing doubt on conclusions that might be drawn from analyzing it.

For example, a mass killing in Samson and Kinston, Ala., in 2009 is not included in the FBI data. In that case, a man killed his mother, set her body on fire, then killed nine other people before he committed suicide at his former workplace.

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Key mob witness was paid to work for the FBI

 December 06, 2013

During his 30 years with the New York mob, Anthony Aponick grew adept at juggling business both legitimate and illegitimate - or, as he described it, "walking and chewing gum at the same time."

But he spent much of Thursday discussing a more ambiguous form of income as he testified for a second day in the racketeering retrial of reputed Philadelphia mob consigliere George Borgesi: money he earned as a professional informant.

Between 2002 and 2013, the FBI paid the 42-year-old former Bonanno crime family associate $152,000 for coughing up information on Borgesi, with whom he shared a cell in a federal detention center in West Virginia.

Under cross-examination from Borgesi lawyer Christopher Warren, Aponick maintained the money the government paid him never played a role in his decision to switch sides.

"You're making it sound like the two are inextractable," he said, "like George Borgesi got charged, so I got paid."

Instead, Aponick told jurors, the money went toward his housing, clothing, and relocation expenses as a protected informant and to pay for a necessary eye surgery.

"Now, I'm not a cross-eyed junkie fat rat anymore," he joked. "I'm just a rat now."

Prosecutors have called Aponick as a key witness in their case against Borgesi, who they say continued to oversee a profitable loan-sharking and bookmaking operation from behind bars.

He told jurors Wednesday that Borgesi often discussed his ongoing crimes and tried to recruit him to the Philadelphia mob.

He and Borgesi grew close during their time together, Aponick said - often joking, roughhousing, and trading war stories in their cell.

Early on in his cross-examination Thursday, Warren pressed Aponick to clarify that relationship, especially the prison cell wrestling bouts mentioned in previous testimony.

"What? Are you implying we're [gay] or something?" Aponick shot back. "I can say a lot of things about this guy - but he ain't [gay]."

But it was what happened after Aponick's release that consumed much of Warren's questioning Thursday. Two months after federal prosecutors lobbied to have him released early, Aponick returned to Brooklyn and launched into a bank robbery spree.

He told jurors he needed the money to pay off gambling debts owed to a rival mob family.

"I didn't want to break the deal," he said of his plea agreement Thursday. "But all [the FBI] could do was put me in jail. These other guys could hurt or kill me."

Infuriated, agents stopped taking his calls. But Aponick continued trying to work his way back into the government fold.

Only after an anonymous website posting identified him as an informant in 2005 did agents again make contact.

Though Aponick was placed in witness protection, prosecutors deemed him too problematic to call during their first trial last year against Borgesi and his uncle, reputed mob boss Joe Ligambi.

That jury deadlocked, prompting a reevaluation of Aponick's usefulness. But three months before he was scheduled to take the stand in the retrial, Aponick was arrested again - this time for allegedly shoving his wife out of a moving vehicle, a charge that was later dismissed.
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Very few shockers in John Silber’s FBI files


Background checks were done in 1983 and 1987 on John R. Silber, who was appointed to three separate commission posts during the Reagan administration.

John R. Silber led a very public life, overseeing the transformation of Boston University, nearly becoming governor of Massachusetts, and getting into so many verbal scrapes with critics that his penchant for provocative rejoinders even had a name, the “Silber shocker.”

But FBI agents who did background checks on Silber in the 1980s managed to unearth a few secrets, sort of: In 1947, for example, Silber got a B in Old Testament history and literature at Yale Divinity School, and two years later he failed a graduate course at the University of Texas at Austin.

A 516-page FBI file, compiled when Silber was appointed to three presidential panels during the Reagan administration, is packed with testimonials to the irascible Silber’s patriotism, work ethic, dedication to family, and even his legendary stubbornness. Unlike another BU luminary, Martin Luther King Jr., who was the subject of a controversial 17,000-page FBI file, Silber’s dossier is downright flattering.

“The appointee is of very, very fine character, a great scholar, very patriotic . . . and a strong supporter of national defense and this nation’s present administration,” an FBI interviewer wrote in paraphrasing the opinion of Arthur Metcalf, chairman of BU’s board of trustees, in 1983. “The only criticism [Metcalf] has concerning the appointee is the appointee’s lack of patience with ‘suffering fools.’ ”


Of course, the file suggests that agents did not speak with many Silber critics, such as leftist historian and BU faculty member Howard Zinn, who twice helped lead faculty votes that unsuccessfully attempted to oust Silber as president. Silber once called Zinn a prime example of teachers “who poison the well of academe.” About the only substantive concern the FBI raises about Silber is that he may have strong-armed BU personnel to support then-Boston Mayor Kevin White in the 1970s.

But the file, released to the Boston-based public records group MuckRock after a formal records request, provides an unusual window into what associates of Silber, who died in 2012, said about him when they could have faced serious consequences for not telling the truth.

The FBI conducted the extensive checks on Silber in 1983 and again in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan appointed Silber to three different commissions, including the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America.

FBI agents checked credit databases, arrest records, and court files from Boston to San Francisco for any derogatory information. Agents also conducted dozens of interviews with Silber’s neighbors, friends, and employees.
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In other news about the taxpayer funded FBI Crime Family FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Illegal Bank Deposits in Scheme to Hide Gambling From Bosses - See more at: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/17/3672819/former-fresno-area-fbi-agent-violates.html
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The Myth of the Polygraph


Even J. Edgar Hoover knew
that the polygraph wasn’t any good for detecting deception. He dropped the

 polygraph was invented in 1915 by a Harvard man called William Moulton Marston,
 who claimed that his clunky little gizmo could detect lies by measuring blood
pressure. Marston’s main claim to fame derives not from his machine, but
from a doodle he came up with: the cartoon character Wonder Woman.

the past 85 years, the polygraph hasn’t changed much from the Marston prototype.
”The secret of the polygraph is that their machine is no more capable of
telling the truth than were the priests of ancient Rome standing knee-deep in
chicken parts,” says Alan Zelicoff, a physician and senior scientist at the
Center for National Security and Arms Control at the Sandia Labs in Albuquerque,
NM. Zelicoff gave us this view in an article featured in the The Skeptical Inquirer.

writes that the polygraph administrator is a kind of confidence artist or modern
day mesmerist who tries to seduce (or scare) his subjects into believing in the
power of the machine to catch them in the most minute inconsistency.

subject, nervously strapped in a chair, is often convinced by the aura surrounding
this cheap parlor trick, and is then putty in the hands of the polygrapher, who
then launches into an intrusive, illegal and wide-ranging inquisition,” Zelicoff
writes. “The subject is told from time to time that the machine is indicating
‘deception.’ It isn’t, of course. And he is continuously urged
to clarify his answers, by providing more and more personal information.”
At an arbitrary point, the polygrapher calls off the testing, consults the spools
of graph paper and makes an entirely subjective rendering on whether the subject
has given a “deceptive response.”

first-year medical student knows that the four parameters measured during a polygraph–blood
pressure, pulse, sweat production, and breathing rate–are affected by an
uncountable myriad of emotions: joy, hate, elation, sadness, anxiety, depression,
and so forth,” says Zelicoff. “But there is not one chapter–not
one–in any medical text that associates these quantities in any way with
an individual’s intent to deceive. More importantly, dozens of studies over
the past 20 years in psychology departments and medical schools all over the world
have shown that the polygraph cannot distinguish between truth-telling and lying.”

of the Wen Ho Lee affair will remember that at one point the FBI falsely told
the Taiwanese nuclear physicist (accused of spying for the Chinese at Los Alamos)
that polygraph tests showed he was lying. Cops play these sorts of tricks all
the time, faking forensic reports and then shoving them under the nose of their
suspect, shouting that he’s a proven liar and that he’d best sign a
confession right away.

most comprehensive review of the polygraph was conducted in 1983 by the Office
of Technology Assessment, a research branch of congress. The OTA concluded, “There
is no known physiological response that is unique to deception.” The report
did note that the CIA and its companions “believe that the polygraph is a
useful screening tool.” However, OTA concluded that the available research
does not establish the scientific validity of the polygraph for this purpose.
The best that OTA could say about the polygraph was that it might have some limited
validity in “specific criminal incidents.” But the report went on to
observe that in such cases, “the polygraph test detects deception better
than chance, but with error rates that could be significant.” As for the
supposedly revealing physiological responses, the congressional study reported
that they could be masked “by physical movement, drugs or other techniques
to avoid detection as deceptive.”

are numerous ghastly stories of federal employees who were abused by the machine
and its operators. Take the case of 19-year Navy veteran Daniel M. King, who was
suspected of selling classified information. King was locked up in military prison
in solitary confinement for 500 days and subjected to repeated polygraphs. Some
of them lasted for as long as 19 hours. A military judge dismissed all the charges
against him.

few years ago FBI agent Mark Mallah was given a routine polygraph. The polygrapher,
 who had only 80 hours of experience with the machine, concluded that Mallah had
lied. (Zelicoff notes that even barbers must have 1000 hours of training before
getting a license to cut hair.) His life soon transformed into a Kafka story.
 He was stripped of his badge, subjected to midnight searches of his house, his
diary and appointment book seized and scrutinized, his neighbors, friends and
relatives interrogated, his every move outside monitored by helicopters. In the
end, Mallah’s life was pretty much destroyed, but nothing was ever proved
against him. The FBI finally apologized and Congress outlawed the use of the polygraph
for civilian employees in 1988.

worth noting that the Walker brothers and Aldrich Ames both beat the polygraph
with no sweat. Kim Philby settled himself with a dollop of Valium before breezing
through his polygraph exams.

investigator for a defense lawyer in California told us that, while the polygraph
isn’t admissible in most courts, it’s used all the time by prosecutors,
mostly to seal plea bargains. “It’s a perilous option, because the utility
of the polygraph is almost totally up to the operator,” she said. “There are good polygraphers,
but many who work for the district attorneys have only minimal training.”

investigator described a recent case where a defense witness in a homicide case,
 who had passed a polygraph given by a former FBI polygrapher with 20 years of
experience, was sent to the DA for another test given by their examiner, a relative
novice with the device. Defense lawyers can’t be in the room while the test
is given, even when their clients are being examined. The prosecutors videotape
the session, and while the results of the polygraph can’t be used at trial,
the videotape can become evidence. In this case, the defense lawyer waited in
the hall until the witness emerged from the room “with his face red as a
beet.” The lawyer heard the DA’s investigator threaten the witness:
”You little slimebag, I know you’re lying. We’re going to revoke
your parole.” The DA’s examiner had interpreted the readings from one
of his answers as being “deceptive.”

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The FBI considered “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be Communist propaganda
December 24 2013

It’s a Wonderful Life is a staple of the holiday season in the United States, but it was once considered un-American by the government.

From the film’s release in 1946 until 1956, it was listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as suspected Communist propaganda. Mr. Potter, the villainous banker who nearly drives George Bailey to financial ruin and suicide, “represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture,” according to an FBI report (pdf, pg. 14) in 1947.

The report called it “a common trick used by Communists.”
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Federal judge rules that TSA, FBI can detain and arrest you for carrying Arabic flashcards
By Scott Kaufman
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A former college student detained at Philadelphia International Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials discovered he was carrying Arabic language flashcards lost his bid to sue the federal agents who detained him.

Nicholas George alleged that the TSA agents violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights when they arrested him as he tried to board a flight from his Philadelphia home to Pomona College in 2009.

According to Chief Judge Theodore McKee’s ruling, despite the fact that George clearly had the right to carry the flashcards, the TSA agents were “at the outer boundary” of justifiability in detaining him. In addition to everyday words and phrases like “day before yesterday,” “fat,” “cheap,” and “pink,” the deck of flashcards also contained and phrases like “bomb,” “terrorist,” “explosion,” and “to target.”

Judge McKee believes that those words and phrases warranted further investigation, even though George told the officers that he was using the flashcards in order to learn Arabic for a study abroad program in which he would be traveling to Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

“I want to serve my country using my Arabic language,” George told CNN. “And it just seems crazy to me that for that I was arrested and treated like a criminal.”

George claimed that after the first two officers discovered the cards, they swabbed his person and cell-phone for explosive residue, then called a supervisor. George alleged that when the supervisor arrived, she subjected him to an aggressive interrogation.

    TSA AGENT: Do you know who did 9/11?

    GEORGE: Osama bin Laden.

    TSA AGENT: Do you know what language he spoke?

    GEORGE: Arabic.

    TSA AGENT: Do you see why these cards are suspicious?

While this TSA agent was questioning George, a Philadelphia police officer entered the room, handcuffed him and led him through the terminal to the Airport Police Station, where he was detained for an addition four hours. George claimed that no officers questioned him during that time, nor did any inform him as to why he had been arrested.

Eventually, two agents from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrived and questioned him, asking whether he was a member of a “Pro-Islamic” or “communist” group, or whether he had ever met “anyone in his travels who was overtly against the U.S. government.” After questioning him for 30 minutes, the FBI agents determined George was not a threat and released him.

Neither the TSA nor the FBI disputed George’s account of the facts, and Judge McKee ruled that “George’s factual allegations do not establish that [the TSA and FBI agents] violated a Fourth Amendment right.”

“Once TSA Officials were satisfied that George was not armed or carrying explosives, much of the concern that justified his detention dissipated. However, it did not totally vanish or suggest that further inquiry was not warranted,” he wrote.

“Thus, the actions of the TSA Officials corresponded to the level of concern raised by the flashcards.”
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Taxpayer funded FBI  agents helping the CIA to move cocaine in the USA 40 tons
at a time.

see link for full story


Dec-29-2013 14:05printcomments

'Caro Quintero is Protected by the White House': Former CIA pilot

If it were not for these few documents that I managed to get, some still classified until 2020, the statements of three former agents might seem to be more of a conspiracy theory.

Former CIA pilot Robert "Tosh" Plumlee is a Salem-News.com writer making major headlines for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

(SAN JUAN, Coast Rica Vice) - This article was sent to Salem-News.com from a source in El Salvador. We understand it is part of a four part series to be released during the 2nd week in Jan., 2014 by Proceso Magazine, MX, Tico Times in Costa Rico, and El Salvador media. This is a semi-rough English translation, the Spanish version link is included below so the reader can go to the source and research the original piece. The Vice logo below will also take you it.


Hours after Rafael Caro Quintero, alleged murderer of DEA agent Enrique Camarena Kiki, was released on 9 August, the governments of Mexico and the United States announced a manhunt. But in reality it is a fake show. Caro Quintero did not murder Kiki Camarena, and it is possible that the Mexican drug don is now living under a new identity as a protected secret agenda of the White House.


Tosh Plumlee today, Salem-News.com
photo by Tim King

In interviews, three former U.S. intelligence agents: Hector Berrellez, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), Robert Tosh Plumlee, CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and Phil Jordan, EPIC (Intelligence Center El Paso) - I was putting together a version of the complete opposite to the line that now dominates the agenda for both governments' drug case. A reality that we fail to see and where it is envisioned that the enemies of the U.S. are rather its proteges.

I had access to documents that prove what happened during the famous 1980's Drug War murder and the role of the CIA and current Secretary of State, John Kerry, who was aware of this since 1991.

If it were not for these few documents that I managed to get, some still classified until 2020, the statements of three former agents might seem to be more of a conspiracy theory.

But the documents are here. The first is signed by Gary Hart, former Democratic senator, dated February 14, 1991 and sent to Senator John Kerry, then chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Communications of the upper house of U.S. Congress letter. This letter is one of the few documents that were not burned by Oliver North [former lieutenant colonel in the Marines, serving Ronald Regan] in the basement of the Pentagon.


The paper's concern is noted Kerry after learning about the Iran- Contra affair that smuggled cocaine into the U.S. from South America through Mexico and the sale sponsored weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras.

The letter refers to a meeting of former CIA pilot outsourced, Plumlee, with Bill Holen, Senate office in Denver, Colorado then headed Gary Hart. And that drops a bombshell: "In addition [Robert Plumlee] noted that these operations were not CIA but were under the direction of the White House, the Pentagon and staff National Security Council [NSC]."


In this operation Rafael Caro Quintero was the key person. The Reagan plan saw planes flying from the U.S. to Nicaragua and several South American countries. Plumlee and a dozen colleagues landed at Mexican ranches owned by Caro Quintero, specifically in Veracruz.

Berrellez said the first snitch was Guillermo Gonzalez Calderoni, one of the main commanders of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF) in the eighties. After collaborating with the Juarez Cartel, he fled to the United States in 1993, became DEA informant and was then shot dead in McCallen, Texas in 2003.

Berrellez was asked to get Calderoni of Mexico in 1993. I said Calderoni called from a consulate in Mexico asking to help him because otherwise "they would raise and murder."

"I helped him, sent a Jet and brought to California. Here, as protected by the DEA became an informant and was very helpful to us. The Mexican government wanted to extradite him, but I did what I could to make it not because I knew they would kill him there. Then he was accused of corruption and influence peddling and stuff, but I say it's not true, " he explained to Berrellez on his last trip to Texas to meet in person.

"What he told me about what Camarena was 'Hector, skip that item because they will fuck. It is involved in the CIA Kiki is very dangerous to walk in it.' He gave me names and details and everything, but when my boss retired I got wind of the investigation and sent me to Washington DC."

A Calderoni was murdered with a shot to the head in 2003, ten years after arriving in the United States. He had left the office of his lawyer in an avenue of McCallen, Texas when a man shot him from a car.

When I interviewed Plumlee, the fifth visit I made to his home in New Mexico, after ten hours in total talking on the phone, I asked for documents that would support his version, and see how they fit with that of Berrellez and Jordan.

That gave me the letter. He also had photographs, his pilot license and more.

After drinking a Corona drink to release the tensions of the first interview, (He met me with a .9 mm tucked into his pants) Tosh showed me pictures of him allegedly at the ranch Caro Quintero and another where it appears in one of the planes that flew to EU. But he also gave me a series of research papers on which he put the FBI still marked secret, to confirm their participation in covert CIA operations. The researchers concluded that "alias X is another likely alias Plumlee." Asking this perhaps was rude of me, but Plumlee could be any well aware of the business of the CIA and the Contras and Caro Quintero. To believe these accusations he had to prove his identity, and of course, then check that version out.

Later I found more interesting evidence. Copies of a series of maps delivered to the U.S. government and classified until 2020, which delineated by Plumlee routes where weapons and cocaine were transported. The training of members of the Nicaraguan Contras at Caro Quintero ranches are also detailed. These maps eventually convinced me that Plumlee was indeed the pilot; the man who entered the United States carrying more than 40 tons of cocaine to the CIA, in a period of one year and, in 1985, brought the country Caro Quintero.


Contact on the Pacific coast, just outside of Cabo San Lucas . This is one of the points of contact between the path and desert of Central Arizona and California during 1983-1986.

April. Rafael Caro Quintero, San Felipe, Mex. [phone number] Gacha, M. Colombo, Penonome, Panama, 1986. The note on the map contains a phone number in San Felipe that Plumlee says Quintero is the number of Delgado's ranch. This note refers to a drug deal between Gacha and Caro Quintero in 1986 "probably related to the Contras, because I was involved."

May. L 12 degrees, 84 degrees... Long, NGA Bluefield, Escualito River. Bluefields is a port on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, one of the three landing areas mined by the CIA in 1984.

6. Luis Ochoa, Penonome, Panama, in the village by the river. Previously owned by Vesco and Rojas 09/06/83. Plumlee says Jorge Luis Ochoa, a member of the Medellin cartel, sometimes stayed at the villa from Rio Hato and Penonome when sending cargo to Panama.


Tosh on the Mexican border, 2011

This same man explains to me how the CIA indirectly had Enrique Kiki Camarena killed, the DEA agent investigating Caro Quintero. "Kiki was no fool. He knew that the drug was not everything he wanted, then began to follow the money and found loaded with drugs openly flying to America," said Plumlee from his chair at his home in New Mexico.

"I found out about this because the CIA asked to investigate who had opened his mouth. That was Kiki and then specifically asked Oliver North was kidnapped and interrogated."

For this they hired Nicaraguan drug trafficker Juan Matta Ballesteros, who also owned SETCO, the aircraft company Plumlee worked for, under the CIA. They explained the situation and Matta Ballesteros. Caro Quintero did tell an undercover agent had found his buffalo ranch in Chihuahua, I visited a few months ago, the largest marijuana ranch in Mexico's history. "And Caro ran his hand, but in presence of two CIA agents who were also infiltrated and did nothing," Plumlee says.

"I report that Caro Quintero is alive and safe. Now living under a new identity under a special program, a step before the witness protection program," he explained. "These so far are rumors of my sources, there is nothing that can be proven as a fact, but time will tell if it was true or just rumors."


Tosh during his CIA days

Plumlee offered me his confidence, so did Hector Berrellez and Phil Jordan. Both told the same version from their research. These two, as I understand, seek one thing: justice for the legacy of Kiki Camarena. I am told that is the only personal agenda that has led them to talk now that they are finally retired agents, and not force them to keep secrets. They were good friends.

The agents also confessed that I have evidence of what they have heard of "military and intelligence sources" in the United States and Mexico, which suggests that Caro Quintero entered a special protection program from Washington monitored by the CIA and U.S. State Department.

Phil Jordan says this idea does not seem far-fetched, in fact you think there is a very strong probability. In a strange seedy motel in El Paso, Texas, he explained that the U.S. government is very concerned of what Rafael Caro Quintero can say about the operation of Iran-Contra: he bought drugs in South America to sell in the United States and money to buy weapons to give to the Nicaraguan Contras. All operations by Caro Quintero in Mexico.

For Jordan, Quintero should be protected the same as at any time can become their main enemy. Jordan goes further: the CIA may be giving protection to the boss of bosses, for now, but anytime you can get rid of it.


"Nobody in Mexico is interested in Caro Quintero because neither the PRI nor anyone going to do anything, he has always been protected. But there is a U.S. intelligence agency from which to look, did you know what ? ... the CIA. "

I sent a series of questions to the headquarters of the CIA. I responded to a template of the information they have on their website and sent to all journalists who ask about it.

In the more than 12 pages I got a reply, the CIA is specifically about the aviation company SETCO , Matta Ballesteros, and through which drugs from south to north and weapons flew north to south .

"According to the official records of the United States, referred to in the report of Senator Kerry , SETCO was established by Matta Ballesteros, Class 1 criminal. Besides the Kerry Report states that these records indicate that Matta was a leading figure in the Colombian cartel and was involved in the murder of Enrique Camarena , "says the CIA.

However, participation of the intelligence agency in SETCO flights and knowledge regarding drug trafficking is denied.

"Not found information indicating that said the CIA received allegations that some aircraft SETCO they were involved in drug trafficking during the Contra. [ ... ] Not found files or shared information with other government agencies . No information was found indicating that the CIA played a role in selecting SETCO to deliver humanitarian aid and assistance to the Contras."

Newest published by the CIA regarding the Southern Front and Iran -Contra , was this:


"The intelligence community has no independent DEA information on this case. The DEA will provide additional information as it becomes available. "

Since then the DEA offered nothing . But last October the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration met to refute Jordan , Plumlee and Berrellez .

From Washington, in a press conference said the following : " Many of you are aware that there are two former DEA special agents who have recently been interviewed by various media about this research , for reasons that are unclear, the two former agents have chosen to invent stories about his involvement in the case and causes the murder of Kiki Camarena . His version of events could not be further from the truth. The stories of them are hurting the DEA effort to ensure that we bring to justice the real culprits . "

In an interview , another former DEA agent told me wary of what the three agents have been saying. Gilbert Gonzalez, who was infiltrated into the Guadalajara Cartel in the nineties and who now trains agents active in infiltration techniques , said " all you are doing [ these three agents ] is to make people remove your finger from the line " .

" Jordan is a great friend , he did have first-hand information , but do not know why you are saying these things. Plumlee do not know who is, but Berrellez was in charge of investigating the murder of Kiki from here, he never traveled to Mexico , do not know how things are " , I said smiling .

" I do not say they are doing it consciously, but we are distracted from the main goal: to bring justice to American Rafael Caro Quintero Camarena's murder ."

By Robert Plumlee has now confessed to me that he is afraid. More than a dozen of his friends, the other pilots who flew cocaine for Uncle Sam , have been killed or are behind bars . He is an old man and do not want to end his life under these circumstances. So you've decided to protect a very paradoxical way , making public everything he knows about the operation for which he was hired .

One of his friends was Celestino Castillo III , a former DEA agent who served his sentence in prison for trafficking weapons during this operation .

Castillo himself has written in his book Powderburns how the U.S. government imprisoned for leaking information of Iran -Contra .

"I'm still trying to clear my name. And I know what these men are saying [ Tosh, Jordan and Berrellez ] is true. I served at the forefront of Latin America for six years when all this was happening, "he told me in a brief phone interview .

The other friend , the one who has more crying , was Barry Seal, a U.S. pilot involved in various covert operations outsourced by the CIA who was killed when he was very close to talk.

According to an internal FBI investigation , was killed when Seal , agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided their personal items Police forensic lab in Louisiana , where he was fatally shot . Among the documents seized by the FBI was your staff George Bush.

Furthermore, once the murderers were found told lawyers that were ordered by an official identified as Oliver North .

" I do not care about politics or money or who is president and who is not, I want to save my ass ," he replied when he finally confessed that he suspected she could have to reveal this hidden agendas.

To be fair to anyone but politicians care policy . But to say that the CIA was behind an illegal operation that also took the life of a DEA agent goes beyond being Democrat or Republican , PRI or PAN or PRD.

So we know how things move : on the streets of Guadalajara, Mexico City , Ciudad Juarez , El Paso, New Mexico , California , there are drug dealers , drug dealers and where there is the most likely DEA and CIA protecting .

Ronald Reagan was a president who trafficked drugs to his own people and weapons to annihilate your enemies. But what the hell , raise your hand the president has not done so.


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January 1 2014

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The FBI Doesn't Know How Many Drones It Has, Or Who's Allowed to Fly Them

In November 2012, Michael E. Horowitz, the inspector general at the Justice Department, sent each agency he oversees, including the FBI, DEA and ATF, a battery of questions about their use of drones. He wanted to verify how many unmanned vehicles were in inventory, how much they cost, and how often they were flown.

When notified that the inspector general had just begun its inquiry, the FBI general counsel’s office directed its staff to “not insert ourselves in this audit if not invited.” When the invitation did, in fact, arrive in the form of an audit questionnaire, recordkeeping discrepancies emerged as the FBI scrambled to prepare its responses. The latest documents on the bureau's drone program, released in response to MuckRock's FOIA requests as part of the Drone Census, suggest that the FBI doesn’t have a solid grasp on basic measures, like how often it’s used drones, or which agents are certified to fly them.

Foremost is apparent confusion within the FBI as to the scope of its drone deployments. The program’s primary legal adviser asserted in December 2012 that the Bureau “owns numerous UAS [unmanned aerial systems], which we routinely use primarily in CI [counterintelligence], CT [counterterrorism] and official corruption cases throughout the US.”
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Appeals court rules that opinion on FBI phone surveillance can remain secret

January 3  2014
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a confidential Justice Department legal opinion on the scope of the FBI’s surveillance authority can remain secret.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected an effort by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to make public a January 2010 memo from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that allowed the FBI to informally gather customer phone call records from telecommunications companies.
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FBI Drops Law Enforcement as 'Primary' Mission
    JANUARY 5, 2014

The FBI's creeping advance into the world of counterterrorism is nothing new. But quietly and without notice, the agency has finally decided to make it official in one of its organizational fact sheets. Instead of declaring "law enforcement" as its "primary function," as it has for years, the FBI fact sheet now lists "national security" as its chief mission. The changes largely reflect the FBI reforms put in place after September 11, 2001, which some have criticized for de-prioritizing law enforcement activities. Regardless, with the 9/11 attacks more than a decade in the past, the timing of the edits is baffling some FBI-watchers.

"What happened in the last year that changed?" asked Kel McClanahan, a Washington-based national security lawyer.

McClanahan noticed the change last month while reviewing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the agency. The FBI fact sheet accompanies every FOIA response and highlights a variety of facts about the agency. After noticing the change, McClanahan reviewed his records and saw that the revised fact sheets began going out this summer. "I think they're trying to rebrand," he said. "So many good things happen to your agency when you tie it to national security."

Although a spokesman with the agency declined to weigh in on the timing of the change, he said the agency is just keeping up with the times. "When our mission changed after 9/11, our fact sheet changed to reflect that," FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told Foreign Policy. He noted that the FBI's website has long-emphasized the agency's national security focus. "We rank our top 10 priorities and CT [counterterrorism] is first, counterintel is second, cyber is third," he said. "So it is certainly accurate to say our primary function is national security." On numerous occasions, former FBI Director Robert Mueller also emphasized the FBI's national security focus in speeches and statements.

FBI historian and Marquette University professor Athan Theoharis agreed that the changes reflect what's really happening at the agency, but said the timing isn't clear. "I can't explain why FBI officials decided to change the fact sheet... unless in the current political climate that change benefits the FBI politically and undercuts criticisms," he said. He mentioned the negative attention surrounding the FBI's failure in April to foil the bomb plot at the Boston Marathon by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Whatever the reason, the agency's increased focus on national security over the last decade has not occurred without consequence. Between 2001 and 2009, the FBI doubled the amount of agents dedicated to counterterrorism, according to a 2010 Inspector's General report. That period coincided with a steady decline in the overall number of criminal cases investigated nationally and a steep decline in the number of white-collar crime investigations.

"Violent crime, property crime and white-collar crime: All those things had reductions in the number of people available to investigate them," former FBI agent Brad Garrett told Foreign Policy. "Are there cases they missed? Probably."

Last month, Robert Holley, the special agent in charge in Chicago, said the agency's focus on terrorism and other crimes continued to affect the level of resources available to combat the violent crime plaguing the city. "If I put more resources on violent crime, I'd have to take away from other things," he told The Chicago Tribune.
- See more at: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/05/fbi_drops_law_enforcement_as_primary_mission#sthash.XPWzewYJ.dpuf
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When the FBI asks you to weaken your security so it can spy on your users


Nico Sell is the CEO of Wickr, a privacy-oriented mobile messaging system that's been deliberately designed so that the company can't spy on its users, even if they're ordered to do so. As we know from the Snowden leaks, spooks hate this kind of thing, and spend $250M/year sabotaging security so that they can spy on everyone, all the time.

After a recent presentation, she was approached by an FBI agent who asked her if she'd put a back-door into Wickr.

She declined. What's more, she lectured the agent on the First and Fourth Amendments, and on her family tradition of upholding liberty (her ancestor was a drummer boy in Washington's corps: "Washington thought it was very important to have freedom of information and private correspondence without government surveillance.").


Her lecture concluded, she proceeded to grill the agent. "I asked if he had official paperwork for me, if this was an official request, who his boss was," said Sell. "He backed down very quickly."

Though she didn't budge for the agent, Sell makes it clear that surveillance and security is a complicated issue. "Ten years ago, I'd have said yes," said Sell. "Because if law enforcement asks you to catch bad guys, who wouldn't want to help?"

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You Can't Opt Out: 10 NSA Myths Debunked


The debate Edward Snowden envisioned when he revealed the extent of National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Americans has taken a bad turn. Instead of a careful examination of what the NSA does, the legality of its actions, what risks it takes for what gains, and how effective the agency has been in its stated mission of protecting Americans, we increasingly have government officials or retired versions of the same demanding -- quite literally -- Snowden’s head and engaging in the usual fear-mongering over 9/11. They have been aided by a chorus of pundits, columnists, and present as well as former officials offering bumper-sticker slogans like "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," all the while claiming our freedom is in direct conflict with our security.

It’s time to face these arguments directly. So here are ten myths about NSA surveillance that need debunking.Let's sort them out.

1) NSA surveillance is legal.

True, if perhaps you put “legal” in quotes. After all, so was slavery once upon a time in the U.S. and apartheid in South Africa. Laws represent what a government and sometimes perhaps even a majority of the people want at a given point in time. They change and are changeable; what once was a potential felony in Colorado is now a tourist draw.

Laws, manipulated for terrible ends, must be challenged when they come into conflict with the fundamental principles and morals of a free society. Laws created Nelson Mandela, the terrorist (whom the U.S. kept on its terror watch list until 2008), and laws created Nelson Mandela, the president.

There’s a catch in the issue of legality and the NSA. Few of us can know just what the law is. What happens to you if you shoplift from a store or murder someone in a bar fight? The consequences of such actions are clearly codified and you can look them up. Is it legal to park over there? The rules are on a sign posted right where you'd like to pull in. If a cop tickets you wrongly, you can go to court and use that sign to defend yourself. Yet almost all of the applicable “law,” when it comes to the National Security Agency and its surveillance practices, was secret until Edward Snowden began releasing his documents. Secret interpretations of the shady Patriot Act made in a secret court applied. The fact that an unknown number of legal memos and interpretations of that secret law (themselves still classified) are operative means that we really don’t know what is legal anymore.

The panel of experts appointed by President Obama to review the Snowden revelations and the NSA’s actions had a peek into the issue of “legality” and promptly raised serious questions -- as did one of the two federal courts that recently ruled on some aspects of the issue. If the Obama administration and the Justice Department really believe that all the NSA's activities will be proven legal in a court of law, why not allow them to be tested openly and unambiguously in public? After all, if you've done nothing illegal, then there’s nothing to hide.

When Amnesty International first tried to bring such a question before the courts, the case was denied because that organization couldn’t prove that it had been subject to monitoring -- that was a secret, of course! -- and so was denied standing even to bring the suit. Snowden's revelations seem to have changed all that. The documents made public have given “standing” to a staggering array of individuals, organizations, and countries. For the first time in 12 years, they pave the way for the issue to come to its proper venue in front of the Supremes. Openly. Publicly.

2) If I’ve done nothing wrong, I have nothing to hide. So why should I care about any of this?

Keep in mind that the definition of "wrong" can quickly change. And if you don't know what the actual law really is, how can you say that you know you have done nothing wrong? If you've got nothing to hide, post your social security number and credit card information online, leave your curtains open at night, and see how that sits with you.

In a larger sense, however, the very idea that “I've got nothing to hide” is a distraction. The Fourth Amendment guarantees a right to privacy. The Constitution does not ask if you want or need that right; it grants it to everyone, and demands that the government interfere with it only under specific circumstances.

The Fourth Amendment came into being because of the British use of general warrants in the colonial era. Under that “law,” they could legally search whole groupsof people, their possessions, and their papers without having to justify searching any specific person. Called “writs of assistance,” these general warrants allowed the King's agents to search anyone, anytime, regardless of whether they suspected that person of a crime. The writs were most often used by Royal Customs agents (an irony perhaps, given the draconian powers now granted to U.S. Customs agents to search anyone's personal electronics, including those of American citizens, at the border).

The U.S. fought a revolution, and James Madison wrote the Fourth Amendment, against broad government authority to search. Whether you personally do or do not have anything to hide is not even a question that should be on the table. It should be almost un-American to ask it.

3) But the media says the NSA only collects my "phone metadata," so I'm safe.

My older, conservative neighbor quickly insisted that collecting this metadata thing she had heard about on Fox was necessary to protect her from all the terrorists out here in suburbia. She then vehemently disagreed that it was okay for President Obama to know whom she called and when, from where to where and for how long, or for him to know who those people called and when, and so forth.

Think of metadata as the index to all the content the NSA can sweep up. That agency is able to record, say, 24 hours worth of Verizon phone calls. Its operatives can then easily locate any particular call within that huge chunk of metadata. Such basic information can also provide geo-location information to track physical movements. Metadata showing that you called your doctor, followed by metadata about which lab department she called next, followed by a trip to the pharmacy might fall into the “something you want to hide” category. (Actually, using metadata to learn about your medical history may not be even necessary. An exception to the privacy policy of one of America's larger HMOs, Kaiser Permanente, states: "We may also disclose your PHI [personal health information] to authorized federal officials as necessary for national security and intelligence activities." BlueCross BlueShield has a similar exception as do regional medical outfits.)

[meant]Metadata is important. Ever play the game “Six Degrees of Separation”? Silly as it seems, almost anyone is indeed just six hops away from anyone else. You know a guy in Detroit who has a friend in California who has a sister who cuts hair whose client is Kevin Bacon's high school classmate's cousin. You and that cousin are connected. Publicly available information tells us that the NSA traces “three hops” from a target: A knows B, C, and D. But once C morphs into a target, C's three hops mean the NSA can poke into E, F, and G, and so forth. The Guardian calculated that if A has 50 friends, the number of targets generated under the three-hop rule would be over 1.3 million people. I really do hope that you (and everyone you know, and they know) have nothing to hide.

4) Aren’t there are already checks and balances in our system to protect us against NSA overreach?

In recent years, the government has treated the king of all checks and balances, the Constitution, like a used Kleenex. The secret Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Court (FISA) was set up to provide judicial oversight in a classified setting to the intelligence community.  Theoretically, the government is required to make a compelling case for the issuance of orders authorizing electronic and other surveillance, physical searches, and compelled production of business records. Either the government is very good at making its case, or the court has become a rubber stamp: that secret FISA court approved all 1,789 requests submitted to it in 2012.

The Patriot Act elevated a once rarely used tool, the National Security Letter (NSL), into the mainstream of government practice. National Security Letters are an extraordinary search procedure that gives the FBI the power to compel the disclosure of customer records held by banks, telephone companies, Internet service providers, public libraries, and others. These entities are prohibited, or "gagged," from telling anyone about their receipt of the NSL. Though the Justice Department itself cited abuse of the letters by the FBI in 2008, in 2012 the FBI used 15,229 National Security Letters to gather information on Americans. NSLs do not require judicial approval and the built-in gag orders prevent anyone from seeking judicial relief; indeed, most people will never even know that they were the subject of an NSL. And at the moment, the Department of Justice is trying to keep classified an 86-page court opinion that determined the government violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper directly lied to that check-and-balance branch of the government, Congress, in a public session. (He later termed his response the “least untruthful” answer.) And we wouldn’t even know that he lied, or much of anything else about the NSA's surveillance activities here or globally, if it weren’t for one man's courage in exposing them. The government had kept it all from us for 12 years and never showed the slightest sign of reconsidering any part of that policy. Without Snowden, we would not even know what needs checking and balancing.

5) But I trust Obama (Bush, the next president) on this. 

I can guess what your opinions are of the people that run the Transportation Safety Administration or the Internal Revenue Service. On what basis, then, can you conclude that the NSA or any other part of the government is any more trustworthy or competent, or any less petty?

While the government does not trust you to know what it does, thanks again to the Snowden revelations, we know that the NSA trusts some foreign governments more than you. The NSA is already sharing at least some data about Americans with, at a minimum, British intelligence and the Israelis. And who knows how those governments use it or whom they share it with downstream?

Do you really trust all of them all the time to never make mistakes or act on personal grudges or political biases? History is clear enough on what former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover did with the personal information he was able to collect on presidents, the Supreme Court, Congressional representatives, Martin Luther King, and others in the Civil Rights movement. Among other things, he used his secretly obtained information to out gay members of government. As for the NSA, so far it hasn’t even been willing to answer the question of whether it’s been spying on, surveilling, or gathering metadata on members of Congress.

Still, let's assume that Obama or the next president or the one after that will never do anything bad with your personal data. Once collected, however, that data potentially exists forever. If the NSA is to be believed, it claims to hold metadata for only five years, though it can keep copies of intercepted communications from or about U.S. citizens indefinitely if the material contains “significant intelligence” or “evidence” of crimes. The NSA can hold on to your encrypted communications as long as is needed to break the encryption. The NSA can also keep indefinitely any information gathered for “cryptanalytic, traffic analysis, or signal exploitation purposes.” Data held is available to whoever can access it in the future, using whatever technologies come to exist. Trusting anyone with such power is foolish. And as for data security, we know of at least one recent instance when more than 1.7 million highly-classified NSA documents just walked out the door.

6) But don't private companies like Facebook already have access to and share a lot of my personal data? So what's wrong with the government having it, too?

While private companies can pass your private information to the government, either willingly or under secret compulsion, there still are some important differences.

At least in theory, it’s your choice to give data to private companies. You could stop using Facebook, after all. You can’t, however, opt out of the NSA. About the worst that Facebook and the others directly want is to take your money and send you spam. While certainly no angel, Facebook can’t arrest you, put you on the No-Fly list with no recourse, seize your property or put you under investigation, audit your finances, imprison you without trial as a terrorist, or order you assassinated by drone. Facebook can't suspend your civil rights; the government can. That is a big, big difference.  And by the way, a proposed solution to the metadata collection problem -- having private companies, not the NSA, hold the data -- is no solution at all.  Data stored and available to NSA analysts, wherever it is, is data stored and available to NSA analysts.

7) All this surveillance is distasteful and maybe even illegal, but isn’t it necessary to keep us safe? Isn’t it for our own good? Haven’t times changed and shouldn’t we acknowledge that?

This isn’t a new argument; it’s Old Reliable. It was the argument that Hoover, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and so many others made to justify the particular acts they chose to endorse to protect us against Communism. The 1976 Church Committee Report, the first and only large-scale review of America's internal spy networks, found that between 1953 and 1973 nearly a quarter of a million first-class letters were opened and photographed in the United States by the CIA. Like the NSA, it was at that time officially forbidden to spy on Americans domestically. It nonetheless produced a computerized index of nearly one and one-half million names. At least 130,000 first class letters were also opened and photographed by the FBI between 1940 and 1966, all to keep us safe and for our own good in changing times. I doubt many people now believe any of that is what kept the Reds at bay.

The same argument was made about the necessity of domestic surveillance during the Vietnam War. Again, from the Church Report, we learned that some 300,000 individuals were indexed in a CIA computer system and that separate files were created on approximately 7,200 Americans and more than 100 domestic groups under the umbrella of Operation MH/CHAOS, designed to ferret out supposed foreign influence on the antiwar movement. Intelligence files on more than 11,000 individuals and groups were created by the Internal Revenue Service between 1969 and 1973 and tax investigations were started on the “basis of political rather than tax criteria.” I doubt many people now believe any of that is what kept the nation from descending into chaos.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have matured with our nation, growing to end slavery, enhance the rights of women, and do away with Jim Crow and other immoral laws. The United States survived two world wars, the Cold War, and innumerable challenges without a massive, all-inclusive destruction of civil rights. Any previous diversions -- Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War is a favorite instance cited -- were short, specific, and reversed or overturned. The Founders created the Bill of Rights to address, point-by-point, the abuses of power they experienced under an oppressive British government. (Look up the never-heard-from-again Third Amendment.) A bunch of angry jihadis, real and imagined, seems a poor reason to change that system.

8) Terrorists are everywhere and dangerous.

From 1776 to 2001 the United States did not experience a terror attack anywhere close to the scale of 9/11; the worst terror attack against the United States as of 9/10, the Oklahoma City bombing, claimed 168 lives compared to some 3,000 at the Twin Towers. Since 9/11 we have not had a comparable mass-scale terror attack. No dirty bombs at the Super Bowl, no biochemical nightmares, no suicide bombers in our shopping malls or theme parks. There have been only about 20 domestic terror-related deaths since 9/11. Your chances as an American of being killed by a terrorist (the figures are for the world, not just inside the U.S.) are about 1 in 20 million. The inevitable comparison shows the odds of being struck by lightning at 1 in 5.5 million.  You are, in other words, about four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist. Most of the “terrorists” arrested in this country post-9/11 have been tragicomic fabrications of the FBI. 9/11 was a one-off, an aberration, so unique that its “success” stunned even Osama bin Laden. It was a single morning of disaster and cannot be the justification for everything the government wishes to do forever after.

9) We've stayed safe. Doesn't that just prove all the government efforts have worked?

No, that's called false causality. There simply is no evidence that it's true, and much to the contrary. It’s the same as believing government efforts have prevented Martian attacks or wild lions in our bedrooms. For one thing, we already know that more NSA spying would not have stopped 9/11; most of the needed information was already held by the U.S. government and was simply not properly shared or acted upon. 9/11 was a policy failure, not a matter of too-little snooping. Today, however, it remains a straw-man justification for whatever the NSA wants to do, a way of scaring you into accepting anything from the desecration of the Fourth Amendment to taking off our shoes at airport security. But the government uses this argument endlessly to promote what it wants to do.  Even the NSA's talking points recommend their own people say: “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.”

At the same time, despite all this intrusion into our lives and the obvious violations of the Fourth Amendment, the system completely missed the Boston bombers, two of the dumbest, least sophisticated bro terrorists on the planet. Since 9/11, we have seen some 364,000 deaths in our schools, workplaces, and homes caused by privately owned firearms, and none of the spying or surveillance identified any of the killers in advance.

Maybe we should simply stop thinking about all this surveillance as a matter of stopping terrorists and start thinking more about what it means to have a metastasized global surveillance system aimed at spying on us all, using a fake argument about the need for 100% security in return for ever more minimal privacy. So much has been justified in these years -- torture, indefinite detention, the Guantanamo penal colony, drone killings, wars, and the use of Special Operations forces as global assassination teams -- by some version of the so-called ticking time bomb scenario. It’s worth getting it through our heads: there has never been an actual ticking time bomb scenario. The bogeyman isn't real. There's no monster hiding under your bed.

10) But doesn’t protecting America come first -- before anything?

What exactly are we protecting from what? If, instead of spending trillions of dollars on spying and domestic surveillance, we had spent that same money on repairing our infrastructure and improving our schools, wouldn't we now have a safer, stronger America? Remember that famously absurd Vietnam War quote from an American officer talking about  brutal attack on Ben Tre, "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it"? How can anyone say we are protecting our liberty and freedom by taking it away?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. A TomDispatch regular, he writes about current events at his blog, We Meant Well. Van Buren’s next book, is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent.

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Taxpayer funded FBI agents arranged to have forensic investigator Angela Clemente given a life threatening beating
after she had murder charges filed against FBI agent Lyndley De Vecchio
I call Angela every month or so to see how she is

Thursday, August 21, 2014Last Update: 6:13 AM PT

FBI Ordered to Cough Up Outdated Mafia Docs


- The FBI must give a terminally ill mafia expert the name of a special agent allegedly involved in agency corruption, and other related information, a federal judge ruled.
Forensic analyst Angela Clemente sued the FBI on July 21, 2008, alleging that Special Agent Lindley Devecchio and others helped cover up murders and other violent crimes committed by agency informants, like Colombo family capo Gregory Scarpa.
Clemente has spent the last decade researching the FBI's relationship with Scarpa, aka "The Grim Reaper" or "The Mad Hatter," who served as an FBI informant since 1961.
Devecchio was charged with aiding and abetting four murders in 2006, but the judge dismissed the case after finding that Scarpa's former mistress lacked witness credibility.
After Clemente requested an unredacted copy of the FBI's file on Scarpa under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman directed the agency to supplement its Vaughn index of about 192 sample documents.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein deemed the FBI's search adequate in 2012 but directed the agency to reprocess the 1,153 pages.
Meanwhile another Washington, D.C-based federal judge heard Clemente's request to expedite a 2011 FOIA request she made for records pertaining to Scarpa.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan noted earlier this year that Clemente is running against the clock for the information because doctors tell her she is unlikely to receive a life-saving liver transplant on time.
Clemente did not receive any files until June 2013, and although the FBI first said it had 1,420 responsive pages, it later identified about 30,000 additional documents.
Hogan's January decision granted Clemente's request for the FBI to increase its customary FOIA release rate of 500 pages per month to 5,000 per month, in light of her ill health and the public importance of her research.
Rothstein, the judge on the 2008 case, granted the FBI partial summary judgment Monday.
"Here, plaintiff raises the same arguments that this court has thrice addressed and rejected; the court declines to address those arguments yet again," Rothstein wrote.
Citing findings by U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, the first judge on the case, Rothstein said that the content of some records supports "the FBI's assertion that they were created for law enforcement purposes," and thus exempt from disclosure.
The FBI must supplement its Vaughn index, however, to clarify its attempt to ascertain the life status of those whose information it redacted from the responsive documents, the ruling states.
"While this court finds that these individuals have a substantial privacy interest here, such an interest may be diminished if the individuals are deceased," Rothstein wrote. "The court is unable to appropriately balance the privacy interest at stake against the public interest in disclosure until this court knows the life status of the affected individuals."
The FBI must disclose "names of an FBI support employee and a third party who are still living and continue to maintain a privacy interest," the judge ruled.
"Given the facts of this particular FOIA request - namely that plaintiff implicates FBI agents in wrongdoing and that the document in question dates back to 1965 - this court finds that the public's interest in disclosure outweighs the FBI agent's privacy interest," Rothstein wrote.
The FBI has 30 days to supplement its affidavit, according to the ruling.

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when you smell like sulphur you have to convince the public you don't stink

The show is called Hellboy Redux

see link for full taxpayer funded propaganda machine


FBI Radio: Public Service or Self-Serving?

September 02, 2014 /

Listen to the radio and you might run across a segment that sounds something like a news report. A newsy music introduction plays as woman’s officious-sounding voice begins narrating a story. In a stilted delivery that appears to mimic that of a news anchor, the woman states, “In a move demonstrating the FBI’s valuable role of protecting national security, Director James Comey creates a separate Intelligence Branch…”

It turns out this isn’t a news report at all. And the “news anchor” is actually a public affairs specialist.

How many tax dollars are being spent for the FBI to promote itself?

You might call the radio spot a faux news report brought to you by the FBI. It’s called “FBI This Week,” produced and distributed regularly on the radio, via podcasts and on the Internet along with three other FBI productions.

Is this a much-needed public service? Or self-serving propaganda? Are the segments masquerading as independent news reports? And just how many tax dollars are being spent on the FBI’s promotional efforts?

“[T]he programs that we produce are ultimately designed to aid and assist the public in protecting itself against crime,” says Susan McKee, the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity and public affairs.
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see link for full story

FBI mum on why former Milwaukee chief still holds top job
Teresa L. Carlson, formerly the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Milwaukee, remains in a high-ranking position despite the belief that she ​encouraged perjury and ​then lied to investigators​.
Mike De Sisti
Teresa L. Carlson, formerly the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Milwaukee, remains in a high-ranking position despite the belief that she ​encouraged perjury and ​then lied to investigators​.
By John Diedrich of the Journal Sentinel
September 4. 2014

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchd ... 49651.html

The former ​chief ​of the FBI Milwaukee office — ​believed to have ​encouraged perjury and ​then lied to investigators​ — is worthless as a witness ​and ​dishonors an agency that places a premium on integrity, according to bureau veterans and law enforcement experts.​

But ​Teresa ​Carlson ​remains a high-ranking FBI official in Washington, D.C., and the agency won't say whether she has been demoted, suspended or disciplined in any way.

A Justice Department report issued last week concluded that Carlson, then special agent in charge of the Milwaukee office, instructed a subordinate to commit perjury in the case of a wounded veteran who wanted to become an agent. Carlson then likely lied to investigators from the Inspector General's Office and the FBI as well as federal prosecutors, the report says.

An investigation into her conduct has dragged on for months, underscoring the perception among some agents that top officials are given special treatment.

Five years ago, the inspector general found that allegations ​of wrongdoing by top FBI​ leaders often were not pursued. A third of FBI employees surveyed for that report believed there was a double standard for top officials in the bureau.

"That is the basis of everything the FBI does — trust, integrity, honesty. Everything you do involves that," said retired FBI agent Jack Blair. "When you go to trial, the case is based on the testimony, many times, of the agent. If they are lying, you got a serious problem with the whole agency. That is one thing we get fired for."

Inspector General Michael Horowitz's office found Carlson "conducted herself unprofessionally and exhibited extremely poor judgment" when she coached Special Agent Mark Crider on how to testify in the case of Justin Slaby, a wounded war veteran trying to become an FBI agent.

According to Crider, Carlson told him to "come down" on the FBI's side in the case. Carlson denied she told Crider how to testify, but the inspector general staff concluded her version of events was not credible.

Carlson invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination last year after she was subpoenaed to explain the conversation. Likewise, she refused to speak to inspector general staff until she was forced to do so. She has not returned calls for comment.

FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce quietly moved Carlson out of Milwaukee last summer. More than a year later, Carlson remains in a high-level job as acting deputy assistant director of the Facilities and Logistics Division at headquarters in Washington — which manages FBI facilities and an $800 million budget.

The FBI will not say how much Carlson makes — but government pay scales show it is between $120,000 and $180,000 year. The agency also will not say if any disciplinary action has been taken against her.
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Witness: Freeh forced 3 drivers off road before wreck
September 9 2014

see link for full story

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... topstories

Former FBI director Louis Freeh.

BURLINGTON, Vt. — An out-of-control SUV driven by former FBI Director Louis Freeh almost struck head-on three motorists, who were forced to take evasive action to avoid crashing in southern Vermont, according to one of the drivers.

The driver, Van Coleman, gave a written statement to a Windsor County deputy sheriff, who was the first police officer on the scene of the Aug. 25 crash of Freeh's vehicle. Deputy Sheriff Justin Hoyt said he gave the eyewitness report to state police.

A motorcyclist and two cars needed to swerve into the left lane when Freeh's vehicle crossed the center line on Vermont 12 in Barnard and headed at the trio at a high rate of speed, Coleman told the Burlington Free Press.

Freeh "was doing about 60 to 65 miles per hour and was on the left side of the road," Coleman said. The speed limit was 50 mph.

Coleman said the northbound motorcyclist, who was first in line, moved to the left to avoid the SUV coming in the wrong lane. Another car also swerved left before Coleman followed suit in his Honda, he said.

Freeh eventually drove off the road, struck a tree and was left with serious injuries.

The three Vermont State Police news releases from spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro about the crash never mentioned the former chief federal law enforcement officer almost struck three motor vehicles.

"I did not have that level of detail about the incident to include in the press release," Dasaro said Tuesday.

Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said state police leaders never told him about the close calls before the 12:15 p.m. crash.

"This is the first I have heard about that," Flynn said when reached Tuesday in Michigan, where he is attending a conference. He said he would ask for an explanation.


Vermont police: No charges for ex-FBI director in crash

State police were criticized for trying to keep the crash under wraps for 24 hours. A video crew for Fox44/ABC 22 in Colchester and a photographer from a local weekly newspaper in Woodstock were at the scene, but they were told a news release would be issued the following day.

Instead, FBI sources in Washington told NBC News that Freeh had been in a Vermont crash. The Vermont State Police issued a news release more than eight hours after the wreck and only after multiple calls by local and national media.

State police have theorized that Freeh fell asleep.

"His head was down, so I thought he had fallen asleep," Coleman, the witness, said as he reflected on what he saw before Freeh crashed.

"I think he was totally out. He made no attempt to stop," said Coleman, who spoke initially to the News & Citizen newspaper, a weekly in Morristown.

Freeh, 64, of Wilmington, Del., has not responded to a Burlington Free Press request for an interview.

State police say Freeh claims he has no recollection of crashing in Barnard, where he and his wife, Marilyn, have a vacation home.

Coleman said he didn't recognize Freeh, but said the Delaware license plate had an indication that the vehicle was related to law enforcement.

The SUV hit a mailbox, some shrubs and slammed into an old maple tree, Coleman said. He said he went to the SUV to help.

"It was quite intense. It was pretty well smashed in the front," Coleman said. "I was the first one to him."

Coleman said he was unable to free Freeh, who was wearing a seat belt, from the wreckage. Freeh was unable to move, Coleman said, and had sustained serious injuries to his legs, which were wedged under the steering section.

"He had a head wound on his left temple," Coleman said. "He did finally begin to moan."

Coleman said because of the way Freeh was jammed into the demolished vehicle, he was unable to see the lower half of Freeh's body.

Coleman said there was no cellphone service in the area. He drove to a house down the road and asked a woman to call 911.

He said the Windsor County deputy sheriff was the first police officer to arrive at the scene, and later White River Valley Ambulance arrived.

Coleman estimated that Freeh was in the crushed SUV for about an hour. He said the Barnard Volunteer Fire Department and Barnard First Response had to cut the roof off the SUV to help extricate Freeh from the vehicle.

Rescue workers then wheeled Freeh to a waiting helicopter that landed on Vermont 12. He was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where he was admitted under armed guard.

The hospital has declined to comment on Freeh or say whether he remains there.

Hoyt, the veteran sheriff's deputy, was on duty in Windsor County and was headed to Barnard for a patrol. Hoyt confirmed that Coleman was among those to witness the crash.

Hoyt told the Burlington Free Press that he was on Vermont 12 when he saw on his police cruiser computer that there was a crash and that state troopers were responding. He said a minute later he came across the scene.

Hoyt confirmed Coleman wrote out a statement about the crash. The deputy said he gave Coleman's statement to investigating State Trooper Mark Harvey after state police arrived.

Attempts to reach Harvey on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Capt. Ray Keefe, commander of the state police in southeastern Vermont, was in Massachusetts on Tuesday and said he would check the police report when he returns to Vermont.

State police have said previously that they would seek no charges against Freeh and would not issue him a traffic ticket. The plan was to issue a written warning.

State police said they believe drugs and alcohol played no role in the crash, but troopers noted they had no information to request a blood test.

The FBI in Washington has been mum since the crash. The bureau issued a one-sentence statement from the current director, James Comey, saying "the thoughts and prayers of the entire FBI" were with Freeh and his family.

The FBI in Washington has said FBI in Boston is handling media inquiries, but that office has said it will provide no further comment or information.
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Minnesota marks Sabra and Shatila massacre, demands end to U.S. aid to Israel
By staff |


September 14, 2014
Read more articles in Palestine
Minnesota protest demands end to U.S. aid to Israel
Minnesota protest demands end to U.S. aid to Israel (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - Over 100 people protested against U.S. military aid to Israel over the bridge connecting the Walker Sculpture Garden and Loring Park here, Sept. 13. The protesters were visible to many lanes of traffic as major streets and highways converged below them. After chanting for almost an hour protesters marched to Loring Park for a concluding rally.

Meredith Aby-Keirstead, from the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, opened the rally, stating, “Today we mark the anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre 32 years ago in Lebanon. This week in 1982, 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were slaughtered or disappeared from two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war. The Sabra and Shatila massacre is an important anniversary to the Palestinian people – it marks the cruelty of the Israeli military forces, shows the lack of safety Palestinians have even after they have become refugees in foreign lands, and connects them again to the central demand of the right to return.”

Aby-Keirstead concluded, “We are here today to demand that the U.S. end its support for Israel’s repeated attacks on Palestine. We are here to demand an end to U.S. military aid which is used to kill Palestinians – including children. We have a large task in front of us. The Anti-War Committee urges our supporters to call Minnesota’s senators – especially Senator Franken who is seeking re-election – and demand that he stop standing with Israel against the Palestinians and to stop sponsoring and voting for aid to Israel.”

The protest had a significant contingent from the Minnesota chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace. Jeremy Levinger represented the group from the stage and declared to be proud to be Jewish and to support a free Palestine.

Jessica Sundin spoke from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression to talk about the defense of Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh. Sundin has been helping to lead the effort nationally to support Odeh and asked the audience to join her in Detroit for Odeh’s upcoming trial in November.

The protest ended with a powerful theater skit by members of the Anti-War Committee, which compared the reality of the occupation of Palestine through one child’s experiences with the way in which the corporate media distorts the same events.
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Family members condemn FBI for jailing, killing loved ones
By Jessica Schwartz |
September 15, 2014


Read more articles in In-Justice System
Enter a descriptive sentence about the photo here.
Tracy Molm, of the Committee Against FBI Repression speaking in Tampa. (FightBack!News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - 70 people gathered at the First United Church of Tampa, Sept. 13, to hear speakers on FBI repression of Arab, Muslim and anti-war activists in the U.S. Topics discussed included entrapment, preemptive prosecution and solitary confinement. Over 80,000 people are currently under solitary confinement, a reality for many political prisoners in the U.S.

The speakers were Nahla Al-Arian, wife of Dr. Sami Al-Arian; Hatem Fariz; Al-Arian’s co-defendant, who was imprisoned in a Communication Management Unit; Avni Osmakac, brother of Sami Osmakac; Tracy Molm of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and one of the anti-war 23; and Elena Teyer, mother-in-law of Ibragim Todashev.

Nahla Al-Arian spoke about her husband’s case. Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian-American professor lost his job at University of South Florida after comments he made on the Bill O’Reilly show following 9/11. He was later imprisoned and then put under house arrest for supposedly working with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The reality was that Dr. Al-Arian was giving humanitarian aid to Palestine and was vocally critical of Israel. Due to an agreement with the government, Nahla and Sami Al-Arian will be deported to another country, which has proved difficult given his case and their Palestinian background.

Nahla Al-Arian said, “They just wanted us to disappear.”

Hatem Fariz was a co-defendant with Dr. Al-Arian and endured living in a Communication Management Unit, or CMU. Fariz spent four years in a CMU in Terre Haute, Indiana. Fariz described the deplorable conditions he lived under in the CMU, including waiting over a month to see a doctor, being allotted only two 15-minute phone calls a month, and two hour-long visits a month, which only included immediate family.

“We didn’t send money to kill people. We sent money to feed people”, said Hatem Fariz.

Avni Osmakac is the older brother of Sami Osmakac, an Albanian man who was coerced by the FBI to buy fake weapons for attacks in the Tampa Bay area. Sami Osmakac was put into solitary confinement even before his trial began. Osmakac began showing signs of mental illness in 2010, and started going to mosques for answers, where he met an informant that would entrap him in illegal activity, recorded him making threats, while keeping thousands of other recordings secret for ‘national security’ purposes.

Sami Osmakac sentencing will occur in November at the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa. On Sept. 15 at Genaro Coffee in St. Petersburg, there will be a film screening of Informant, where Avni Osmakac will also be speaking.

Tracy Molm, one of the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists subpoenaed by a grand jury, also spoke. The activists had their homes raided and belongings seized in a witch hunt that attempted to silence dissent against the government’s foreign policies. Molm spoke about the connection between their case and Rasmea Odeh, the Palestinian-American activist from Chicago who will be going on trial in November for supposed immigration fraud, based on a 20 year old application where she allegedly omitted an arrest she had in Israel over 40 years ago. While imprisoned in Israel, Rasmea was tortured into a confession.

Despite the struggles endured as a result of her activism, Molm encouraged attendees to use activism to speak out against repression. “The thing that got us into this situation will be getting us out of it,” she said.

Elena Teyer spoke about the murder by the FBI of her late son-in-law, Ibragim Todashev, in Orlando last year. He was questioned by the FBI because of a supposed connection he had with the suspected Boston bombers, all of whom were Chechen-American. He was forced into writing a confession by the FBI and when he attempted to refuse and leave his apartment, they shot him seven times, including once at point-blank range in the head. The FBI initially claimed that Todashev attacked the agents with a weapon, but were inconsistent about the type of weapon and he was later found to be unarmed. According to the autopsy report, three of the shots went through his left arm into his body, which indicated that he arm was close to his body and therefore could not have been trying to attack the officers.

“Don’t let them abuse your rights,” Teyer urged the crowd.

The event was sponsored by Friends of Human Rights and Committee to Stop FBI Repression, who are both part of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms.
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Scott Camil lay bleeding on a Gainesville Street. He was telling someone his blood-type while a man who'd just shot him in the back identified himself as an officer of the law.

"My blood-type is A negative," Camil said. "I am having trouble breathing. I am a disabled vet. Take me to the V.A."

A bullet from Dennis Fitzgerald's .380 Llama pistol collapsed Camil's left lung and damaged his liver and kidneys. Camil, who had been twice wounded in the Vietnam War, once again felt the bite of metal in his flesh.

Fitzgerald and another agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency had been introduced to Camil through a girlfriend, Barbara Davis. It was later revealed she was working as an informant for the DEA. Camil says they were driving to get some cocaine. It was March 31, 1975.

"One of them was driving," Camil says. "I was sitting in the shotgun seat, and one of them was behind me. The one behind me grabbed me around the neck, pulled my head to the headrest and shoved a gun to my head behind my right ear."

Camil says he didn't know they were agents. He thought they were trying to rob him.

"I grabbed his wrist and pinned it to the headrest of the car," Camil says. "I unlocked the door, and I was going to jump out into traffic. I figured if they tried to shoot me in front of people, they would get into trouble, so they wouldn't do it."

He figured wrong. Fitzgerald shot him in the back as he opened the door.

"The impact left my shoes in the car but put me out in the street," Camil says. "I was wearing five-lace Converse tennis shoes. You are talking about a lot of force to just pick you up so fast that your shoes stay in the car."

Camil was hospitalized for a month before going to trial in a federal court. Forensic evidence supported his version of the events, and he was acquitted of the charges brought against him. On the morning following the trial, Camil says the jury foreman "went to the state attorney's office and told the state attorney that the jury felt the shooting was deliberate and the federal agents should be indicted for attempted murder." But the government agents were never tried for the shooting.

War Sucks

Camil still wears his long hair tied back, much the way he did back then. He sports a thick mustache, all that remains of his trademark bushy beard of the '70s. Both his hair and mustache have turned gray. Penetrating brown eyes peer from behind glasses a recent addition for the thin 51-year-old father of three. Camil lives in a two-story house on 10 acres on the outskirts of Gainesville. He is active in community politics and elections and is writing an autobiography. He speaks to UF history classes and local schools. He says it's his way of warning young people about the realities of war a warning he never received.

"What would have happened to me," he asks, "if veterans from the Korean War would have come to my history class and said, 'Hey man, war sucks. It's not any fun. It hurts when you get wounded. It hurts when you see your buddies get killed'?"

Camil saw too many friends killed in the war. As a forward observer with Charlie Company, 1/1, 1st Marine Division, he lived in the field with the infantry and called in artillery for them when they made contact with the enemy.

"When you talk to someone who was in the war," he says, "you should find out what that person did in the war. Nine out of every 10 who were in 'Nam were support troops who stayed in the rear with the gear. A lot of bull has been spread around about the war by people who don't know what they're talking about."

Camil was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1946, and later moved to Miami with his mother, stepfather, sister and two stepbrothers. He joined the Marines while still in high school and shipped out to Parris Island, S.C., after he graduated in 1965. He served two tours in Vietnam, earning two Purple Hearts, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and several other awards. He was honorably discharged as an E-5 sergeant.

When he returned from Vietnam in 1967, Camil began pursuing a philosophy degree at UF, where he heard Jane Fonda speak out against the war. He became heavily involved in anti-war protests as the Southeast coordinator of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. At the 1971 UF homecoming parade, VVAW members performed "guerrilla theater." They carried a flag-draped coffin with a sign that read, "The Impossible Dream No More War" and dressed in jungle fatigues with toy M-16 rifles. Camil threw smoke bombs and VVAW members began "stabbing" people planted in the crowd. As fake blood flowed, people panicked. Camil had made his point.

The Gainesville 8

Camil gained national attention when he and seven others became defendants in the 1973 Gainesville 8 Trial, which received extensive media coverage. The U.S. Justice Department indicted Camil, John Kniffen, Alton Foss, Donald Perdue, William Patterson, Stan Michelsen, Peter Mahoney and John Briggs on charges of conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami.

"Scott was basically the focal point of the whole thing," says the Gainesville 8's only non-veteran, John Briggs.
According to FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI was keeping tabs on Camil and referred to him as an "extremist and key activist" as well as a "dangerous and most volatile person." A teletype to the Jacksonville office instructed them "to completely neutralize subject without delay," and to "consider any counterintelligence techniques or pretext operation."

While the FBI declined to officially define these terms, Camil says they were orders to kill him.
Camil says he decided to represent himself during the trial because he wanted to directly address the jury and cross-examine witnesses. In his opening statement he told the jury, "I want you to know me as a human being, not as a silent object of controversy. My buddies died in the rice paddies while the president watched the all-star game. Asians were murdered for defending their homes and families while their only crime was their geographic place of birth. It all made me sick."
Larry Turner, who is now an Eighth Judicial Circuit Judge, was Camil's attorney before the trial and helped with the defense. He was surprised by the tactics of the federal prosecution.

"When the government came after Scott, it was with such vehemence and with every dirty trick you could imagine," Turner says. "It made it easy to stay angry and fired up to fight. The government did such a bad job that it was just like a comedy, particularly in hindsight. It was like, 'what is the dirty trick de jour that we caught the government in?'"

Undercover federal agents and informants had infiltrated the VVAW. Turner says when it was shown in court that they were
the ones initiating VVAW's drastic, illegal activities, the prosecution's credibility plummeted.

"My experience with Scott and with that case convinced me that the government was cheating like crazy, and it changed my view toward government forever," Turner says. "At that point in America's history, we trusted government. Our government wouldn't cheat, we thought. It certainly wouldn't cheat against us. Well, they did. After a while, there was only one explanation: They were cheating every way they could to win."

Turner says Camil is one of his dearest friends. "He has a really good heart and such a strong sense of justice and a strong sense of ethics. What he believes is right, he believes is right. And he adheres to that. I don't always agree with his beliefs in what is right or wrong, but I really like the fact that he doesn't deviate from his beliefs."

And Camil still stands by his beliefs. Unlike many activists of the '60s and '70s, Camil has continued to speak out against government policies he feels are wrong and is active in humanitarian efforts worldwide. In 1990, he went to Central America as an official observer to the Nicaraguan elections. Also in 1990, he traveled to the Middle East on a fact-finding trip in which he represented the Veterans for Peace organization. In 1994, he returned to Vietnam as the U.S. representative for the Vietnam Friendship Village Project, an international effort to build a village with a school, an orphanage, a hospital and housing.

Gun Control, Waco and Oklahoma

Camil sees additional gun control legislation as an attempt to erode personal freedom. He worries about government abuse of power, citing the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge where government agents killed Americans. He says he wonders if we are being told the truth about the Oklahoma bombing and fears there are parallels between it and the experiences he had protesting the war.

"We see these things happen at Waco and at Ruby Ridge just like we saw at Kent State and with the Black Panthers and the Native American movement," Camil says. "We saw the American government murdering citizens. McVeigh sees the American government murdering citizens, and I see it too."

Camil wants people to remember the children who were killed at Waco, as well as those who were killed in the federal building in Oklahoma City. "All of those kids equally had the right to live their lives, and that right was taken away from them. All of those kids deserve justice, not only those in Oklahoma, but at Waco and Ruby Ridge too. The government needs to be held accountable."

Camil also disagrees with the government's war on drugs, which he says causes more problems than it solves. According to him, the government has ruined its credibility by jailing people for marijuana while alcohol and tobacco remain legal.

"The government has reformed the welfare system because it wasn't working. Why not do the same with this so-called war on drugs?" Camil asks. "We're spending more money on keeping people locked up in prisons than we spend on our kids. As a taxpayer, I would much rather see my tax dollars going on education than to jail a bunch of pot-smokers. Many Americans have smoked marijuana and know that it doesn't make them violent or aggressive. For the government to be having a war against this, to be putting away our children and fathers and mothers and sisters and friends, is totally unacceptable. Not one person belongs in prison for marijuana."

Not Your Usual Route to a Degree

Camil completed his degree requirements and graduated from UF during the Gainesville 8 Trial. He attributes his successful completion to teachers who worked with him and understood his outside pressures.

"When I was going to the University of Florida and doing all my anti-war activity and getting arrested, my professors brought homework to the jail so that I wouldn't be penalized," Camil says. "Talk about pressures. Getting arrested, getting thrown in jail, having major trials and trying to finish college at the same time is quite a job," he says. "I never could have done it if the teachers had done it by the book, like, 'Sorry, you had three unexcused absences, you're getting an F.'"

Camil says he has tremendous respect for teachers. He says teachers help develop America's future, our children. He feels that one of the country's biggest problems is that teachers are underpaid.

"If we scrimp [on education], then we undermine everything that comes after that," he says. "It helps us to grow and think about things when we see them from a different perspective."

Camil says he wants students today to step back and take a look at the government. "I always say to them, 'you don't have to believe me. Go and do some research, do some reading, find out for yourself who's telling the truth and who's not.' Because it's really important that they're able to tell the difference between lies and truths, and double-speak and propaganda."
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A Sting in the Desert

September 21, 2014

For generations, the people of the Four Corners region have battled the federal government over collecting and selling Native American artifacts. Then agents persuaded a local dealer to go undercover.

Operation Cerberus Action was supposed to expose a lucrative trade in stolen antiquities.

Instead, it tore a hole in a Utah town.

In the high country of the Navajo reservation, a family walked through the pinyon pines, combing the earth for the remnants of a vanished civiliza
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