For 20 years, the FBI has had an informant in the Chicago Outfit who apparently is a "made" member and has taken part in major crimes, according to a court filing in a federal prosecution of top mobsters.
The information is in a court motion by lawyers for Michael "Mickey" Marcello, the half-brother of Chicago's reputed mob boss, James "Little Jimmy" Marcello. Attorneys Catharine O'Daniel and Arthur Nasser want the 2005 indictment against Michael Marcello dismissed because of the FBI's continued reliance on the informant.
The major federal prosecution involving 18 mob-related killings allegedly involving top organized crime figures is scheduled for trial in May.
In their motion, the defense attorneys blast the government for allegedly "cavorting with and protecting a 'made mob member' who still must be active in the commission of 'mob' criminal activities."
"No court should sanction the government's use of ... a past and current made member of the 'Chicago Outfit' as a confidential informant in this case," the motion argues.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago had no comment on the defense filing.
The defense attorneys do not try to guess the identity of the informant. He's referred to in court papers as CI-1 and is part of a sworn statement by an FBI agent in 2002 that asks for court permission to tape the conversations of James Marcello when he receives guests in the visiting room at the federal prison in Milan, Mich.
The defense motion appears to make some assumptions based on the FBI agent's affidavit. It assumes the informant is a so-called "made" member based on his associations with top mobsters and his criminal activity with them. And it assumes that the FBI is still using the person, even though the affidavit is four years old.
Nasser, Michael Marcello's attorney, declined to comment on the filing.
Michael Marcello also wants barred from use at trial any tape and video recordings made when he was talking to his brother in the prison visiting room.
The Chicago Sun-Times first reported on the contents of some of those conversations in February 2005. The brothers talked about the benefits of a proposal to legalize video gambling in Illinois as well as the progress of the federal case against Michael Marcello, who at the time was out of jail.
James Marcello's questions about the investigation were nothing more than "brotherly concern," according to Michael Marcello's motion.
CHICAGO, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The federal prosecution of organized crime figures in Chicago for 18 mob-related slayings has revealed the presence of an FBI mole, a report contends.
A court motion filed by lawyers for the half-brother of reputed Chicago mob boss, James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, says that for 20 years the FBI has had an informant in the Chicago mob who apparently is a "made" member, Chicago's Daily Southtown reports.
Lawyers for Michael "Mickey" Marcello are asking that the 2005 indictment against him be dismissed because of the FBI's continued reliance on an informant who allegedly has taken part in major crimes.
The defense attorneys criticize the government for what they contend was "cavorting with and protecting a 'made mob member' who still must be active in the commission of 'mob' criminal activities."
"No court should sanction the government's use of ... a past and current member of the 'Chicago Outfit' as a confidential informant in this case," the defense motion argued.
A former accounting technician says she accessed the FBI's confidential database to warn her husband about active investigations, to keep him away from his drug dealer associates and not be arrested.
Charmaine Moniz, 35, of Waialua, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to one count of unauthorized access of a FBI computer between July 13 and 31, 2003, to further the activities of her husband, Eric "Babu" Moniz, and his drug-dealing friends on the North Shore.
"I had warned my husband about his association with these people -- and I accessed the data base and warned him again to stay away from them," Moniz told U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang yesterday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said Charmaine Moniz, who worked for the FBI from July 1999, beginning as a support services clerk, intentionally accessed the FBI computers in a manner that exceeded her authority.
According to a plea agreement, Moniz admitted to conducting an index search of her husband in the FBI's data base and also reviewing documents relating to the drug-dealing activities of Damien Kalei Hina, Jonathan Kimo Luna and Jess Lundgren -- all co-defendants with Moniz in a separate drug indictment. She admitted that she knew her husband was involved in the drug-dealing activities of Hina.
"Defendant Charmaine Moniz warned her husband, Eric Moniz, about these individuals and these warnings served to facilitate the drug activities of Damien Kalei Hina and Eric Moniz in that they became more cautious in their drug-dealing activities," prosecutors noted in the plea agreement.
Eric Moniz, charged in a separate indictment with six others, awaits trial next year for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
The couple married in May 2001 and have three children.
The evidence the government would have proffered had the case gone to trial included statements Charmaine Moniz had given to the FBI about her husband's longtime friendship with Hina. Because of these statements, the FBI began surveillance of her work activity on the night shift and determined that the dates and times she accessed the data base were beyond the scope of her authority.
Moniz told the FBI that she knew Hina, a drug dealer in Waialua, for a couple of years as a longtime friend of her husband. But whenever he would visit, he and her husband would meet outside, and she refused to socialize when he came over. She told the FBI she limited her contact with Hina because of his drug dealings.
The FBI recovered about seven grams of "ice" from Moniz's kitchen in December 2004 when they searched the couple's home.
At trial, Hina would have testified that his longtime friend Eric Moniz would make statements indicating "so and so" was under investigation and to "watch out for so and so," Nakakuni said.
Hina knew Charmaine Moniz worked for the FBI, but he had Eric Moniz hold on to some of the drug proceeds from time to time, Nakakuni said.
"Charmaine Moniz clearly loved her husband, and whether she agreed with it, she knew her husband was involved in drug dealing with Damien Hina and didn't want him arrested, and took it upon herself to access FBI reports ... and warned her husband," Nakakuni said.
Moniz, who remains free while awaiting sentencing, and her attorney, David Gierlach, declined comment after the hearing.
She faces a maximum of five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines when sentenced April 9.
taxpayer funded FBI agents thanked the Hollywood community for their on-going effort to portray FBI agents as the good guys. FBI agents then handed out a commemorative plaque to all the members of the workshop. The plaque listed their greatest hits including their assassination of Martin Luther King, and President Kennedy . The agents stressed the importance of manafacturing consent and keeping American voters and taxpayers confused about the real role of the Death Squad known as the FBI. The agency was quick to point out the important role of Hollywood produced shows like the X-Files, 24 Hours with Keifer Sutherland and CSI gave the public by engaging the public in mindless activity with the necessary disinformation to keep their tax dollars coming to support their death squad activities. FBI to Hollywood: More Realism, Please By Paul Bond Reuters - LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - FBI memo to Hollywood: If it's not too much trouble, could you please portray our counterterrorism efforts with a bit more realism? Hoping for an answer in the affirmative, the FBI hosted its first workshop for screenwriters Wednesday at the Federal Building in Westwood. "FBI -- Crime Essential for Writers" played well with the standing-room-only audience of executives and writers from several major and minor studios. Enthusiastic attendees had more questions than time allowed answers for, and few if any left the four-hour event early. The FBI, more so than even the Department of Homeland Security, is the primary agency designated to investigate terrorism in the U.S., and the terrorist threat it is most focused on comes from radical Islam, FBI special agent Greg Wing said. With that in mind, Wing, along with an undercover agent who asked that his identity not be revealed, presented a whirlwind history of Islam, beginning with Sunni-Shiite hostilities in 682 AD. The major terrorist group aligned with Sunni Muslims is al-Qaida, while Hezbollah, "the best terrorist organization there is," are Shiite Muslims, the undercover agent said. He showed flags and logos of terrorist groups and explained that the colors of turbans worn by terrorism suspects could have significance. He also showed photos and video of al-Qaida training camps and torture rooms and pictures of unfortunate Americans who had been captives there. He showed photos of the suicide bombers who killed 17 U.S. sailors aboard the USS Cole in 2000 and pictures of the house where they built their bombs. The undercover agent played phone messages from passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which went down in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001, and inspired the film "United 93." He also played audio from the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 11, the airplane Mohamed Atta flew into the World Trade Center that day. "Amazing," attendee Dave DiGilio said after the event. DiGilio wrote the film "Eight Below" and created the upcoming ABC series "Traveler," about a couple of graduate students who might have been framed for a terrorist attack. He said his show portrays both "the good and the bad" about the FBI. "Seeing the extent of the organization, and the passion and intellect of the agents, was impressive," he said after the event. "They're very creative. It's not the way they're usually portrayed." Quite the point, which is why FBI public affairs specialist Betsy Glick helped create the workshop. She said that last year the FBI helped lend authenticity to 649 projects, usually films, TV shows and books. Michael Kortan, section chief for the office of public affairs, gave attendees a brief lesson in the history of the FBI in film and TV, beginning with the 1935 James Cagney movie "'G' Men," which he said was one of the first gangster movies to tell a story from the FBI's perspective. Shortly thereafter, J. Edgar Hoover conceived of something he called "The Dillinger Rule" -- the FBI had great stories to tell, so Hollywood ought to tell them, and make sure that the FBI were the good guys. And he wanted to know about anything FBI-related that Hollywood had in the works. The 1965 Disney film "That Darn Cat!" really had Hoover on edge, Kortan said, because he feared that a film about an allergic agent assigned to follow around a cat would make the FBI look a tad silly, a reputation the bureau didn't need during the tumultuous 1960s. Too often, Kortan said, the FBI is seen on film, unrealistically, as heavy-handed, bumbling and antagonistic toward other law-enforcement agencies. Of course, Hollywood isn't always unfriendly to the bureau. Witness "The Silence of the Lambs," for example. The 1991 film earned Jodie Foster the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of FBI agent Clarice Starling, and Kortan credited the movie for some of the FBI's success in recruiting women. "This is half the reason people get in writing -- to live vicariously and absorb the details," said attendee Luke McMullen, who wrote an episode of "Alias" and is developing a project called "Samurai Girl." FBI agents also showed off a map of the 779 real investigations of potential terrorist activity ongoing in Los Angeles and photos of a list of possible targets that included Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Hollywood sign and Disneyland. They also showed photos of some of the equipment the FBI will have on hand as they stake out the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Monday. Hollywood has been considered a potential target of Islamic terrorists since shortly after the September 11 attacks, when the FBI warned that a major film studio might be next. Special agent George Steuer recalled Wednesday how FBI agents met with studio heads back then to tell them, "Hey, you're in this fight on terrorism." He said the threat emanated from telephone and e-mail intercepts between suspected terrorists. Although the FBI sifts through about 300 terrorism leads a day, the one against film studios was initially deemed credible after some corroboration and background checks. Details, though, remain classified. "Eventually we vetted it and decided that there were no links here, just overseas chatter," he said. Nevertheless, the studios were encouraged then to beef up their security measures. Some, including Disney and Warner Bros., quickly hired FBI agents on their security staffs. Steuer, who has been helping Hollywood with FBI requests for five years, said he was in Baghdad in 2005, witnessing the locals buying and selling pirated copies of "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" the day it was released theatrically, making the point that the FBI is uniquely aware of Hollywood's influence even in a war zone. Speaking after the symposium, the undercover FBI agent whose identity is protected said he purposely avoids Hollywood's treatment of modern terrorism, staying away from such movies as "World Trade Center" and "United 93" as well as TV programs like "The Path to 9/11." "Movies don't come close," he said. "We lived a very traumatic event. It's never far from my heart." His primary message to screenwriters? "Keep the FBI out of politics," he said. "Don't tag me Republican or Democrat. Don't suggest the FBI was better or worse under this president or that one. What we care about is protecting American lives."
January 18, 2007 - A jailed drug trafficker has been released years early even though he gave bad information to the FBI about where the body of former teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa was buried. In this Intelligence Report: the case of Donovan Wells, whose tip last spring prompted authorities to dig up a Michigan horse farm.
When the FBI began excavating the Michigan farm, it was based largely on information from Donovan "Redondo Don" Wells. Almost 30 years after the lightening rod labor leader Jimmy Hoffa vanished, Wells suddenly remembered that that on the July day in 1975 when Jimmy Hoffa was last seen, there was "suspicious activity" at a mob-connected horse farm near Detroit. Wells told FBI agents that he saw cars drive into the fields; cars that left quickly.
But Mr. Wells was a convicted liar, prosecuted once for perjury by the same Justice Department that believed what he said last spring, and then started digging for Jimmy Hoffa's corpse.
Two weeks later, the FBI left empty-handed. But not Mr. Wells. The I-Team has learned that Wells was released early from a Kentucky prison this month after serving only three years of his 10 year federal prison sentence for drug trafficking.
Federal authorities in Detroit say that the 76-year-old wells was cut loose seven years early, not because of his so-called help in the Jimmy Hoffa case, but rather because he cooperated during the drug running case in which he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years.
According to this government filing, Wells also deserves a break because he weighs 290 pounds, is 5-foot-9 and in poor health, having suffered from angina; a heart attack; three strokes; a quadruple bypass; prostate cancer; colon problems; high levels of stress and requires a wheelchair.
A federal judge agreed with the government's request for early release, and Mr. Wells is now a free man, living not far from the restaurant where Jimmy Hoffa was last seen alive.
As the I-Team has reported over the years, veteran Hoffa investigators believe his body was melted in a vat of molten zinc or dumped at sea after he was abducted and murdered by a New Jersey gangster who was carrying out a personal vendetta.
When Donovan Wells demanded early release last spring in exchange for the Hoffa information, it wasn't the first time he had floated such a proposition. Wells made the same offer to federal authorities while serving time in the late 1970s. They ignored his request back then, but this time, even though his Hoffa lead turned out to be worthless, prosecutors went to bat for Wells. According to Wells' lawyer, the sentence was shortened because "he's an old man" in "poor health."
Why The Revelation of the Identity Of Deep Throat Has Only Created Another MysteryBy JOHN W. DEAN ---- Friday, Jun. 03, 2005
The Bush Administration prosecutes government officials who leak sensitive information, even when that information is not classified -- as I noted in my column on Jonathan Randal. The Administration is also prepared to send reporters to jail when they refuse to reveal their sources to a grand jury, as I noted in another column.
I doubt the Justice Department will go after W. Mark Felt -- the ninety-one-year- old former Deputy Director of the FBI - even if he is the greatest leaker in American political history. Still, in the context of the Administration's stances on leaking, the surfacing of Deep Throat at this time is rather ironic.
Bob Woodward (and Carl Bernstein) have confirmed the Vanity Fair story identifying W. Mark Felt as their legendary Watergate source. The best kept secret in Washington, for three decades, is no more.
But this is not to say the mystery is resolved. To the contrary, while Mark Felt is alive, his memory for the details of his relationship with Woodward seems to be all but gone. So the revelation of his identity raises many new questions that it seems Felt himself will not be able to answer.
A Passing Tribute To Good Sleuthing -- Now Ended
The game of guessing the identity of Throat, which moved from the parlors of Washington to serious inquiry during the last thirty years, is over. A number of us who were fascinated by the inscrutability of it all have been forced into retirement.
Adrian Havill, a freelance author who did some good digging, most recently thought Throat could be no less than former president George H. W. Bush.
Leonard Garment, my successor as Nixon White House counsel, focused his considerable intellect and keen intuition on the issue, and first thought Throat must have been former Nixon White House aide John Sears. Later, however, Garment was convinced that Throat had to be a composite (a hypothesis which has yet to be shown to be incorrect - but has been denied by Woodward and Bernstein).
Similarly, yours truly (the senior Throat sleuth) has made several incorrect runs at Throat's true identity. So I tip my hat to former Los Angeles Times reporter Jim Mann, who figured it out, and wrote about Felt in a 1992 Atlantic Monthly essay. Tim Noah of Slate was not far behind, forcing Felt to deny.
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When I took a hard look at Felt years ago, I concluded he could not have known what Throat knew when the information was given to Woodward, particularly since he was gone from the FBI at the end, and scratched him off the list of viable candidates.
In fact, so sure was I that, even after reading the Vanity Fair piece and before Woodward had confirmed Felt's identity, I bet an NBC news person $100 it was not Felt, the morning the Vanity Fair story broke.
Fortunately, though, I knew my bet was covered, for I'd made an early wager, also for $100, with former Chicago Tribune investigative reporter William Gaines. Gaines, who now teaches journalism at the University of Illinois, has used Throat sleuthing as a teaching tool, but I was confident that he was wrong in naming my former Nixon White House deputy Fred Fielding as Throat.
Throat Sleuthing Moves Into A New Phase: Scrutiny of Throat and Those at the Post
Woodward disliked this sleuthing. Now that the issue of Throat's identity appears resolved, I suspect Woodward is going to be even less enchanted with those who focus on his journalism. And Throat himself, Mark Felt, is going to be probed as he might never have dreamed.
I'm among those who believe Woodward is truly one of the great journalists. (Not an opinion shared by many of my former White House colleagues.) No Washington reporter has so consistently had access to those in power - meaning Woodward has often had uniquely compelling stories to tell. And Woodward's reporting is fair and honest - one reason he may maintain the access he has.
Still, Woodward's use of unidentified sources - a controversial practice, and one now banned at Newsweek after the "Koran desecration debacle" -- has been extreme. And because Woodward's key Watergate source was unidentified, until now, no one could test his Watergate reporting.
Bob once told me that when I learned who, in fact, Deep Throat was, all my questions would be clarified. That, however, has not happened. To the contrary, I only have more questions now that I know Throat was Mark Felt.
I will raise a few of them here, in the hope of getting some answers, while Woodward is still out and about doing talk shows.
But first, for those not following this story closely, a little background is in order:
Felt's Position - and Power - During Watergate
At the time of Watergate, Mark Felt was the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Former Director J. Edgar Hoover, who had elevated Felt to this post, had died only weeks earlier. President Nixon had selected the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division, L. Patrick Gray, to serve as the Acting Director of the FBI.
Even before Hoover's death, however, Felt was for all practical purposes running the FBI -- as Hoover wanted it run, with a few exceptions. For example, when Hoover wanted to end surreptitious black bag jobs (entries onto premises without a court warrant), Felt continued them.
Later, Felt would be indicted and convicted by President Carter's Justice Department for continuing the practice of illegal searches, only to be pardoned by President Ronald Reagan for the practice. One wonders if Felt would have been pardoned by Reagan had it been known he was Deep Throat. Plus, I seriously doubt former President Richard Nixon would have testified on Felt's behalf - as indeed he did -during his trial, had he known of Felt's actions as Deep Throat. Deep Throat had earned top ranking on Nixon's post-presidency enemies list (one notch above yours truly.)
When Pat Gray became Acting Director of the FBI, I don't believe he had a clue how to run the place. In fact, he did not really focus on trying to do so. Rather, he spent much of his time traveling throughout the country literally campaigning at various FBI Field Offices to win the support of rank-and-file FBI agents for the job of Director. Thus, during much of the Watergate investigation, Gray was not even in Washington.
When I talked to Gray during the Watergate investigation, he typically said he would have to check with Felt and get back to me. No one at the Nixon White House believed Gray had any control whatsoever of the FBI. To claim otherwise, as Felt apparently did with Woodward, is absurd.
What Felt Told Woodward, and Why It Raises New Questions
Notwithstanding the article in The Washington Post (from his forthcoming book) about Mark Felt, Bob Woodward, so far, has told us little of his working relationship with Felt. Given Felt's aging memory, which is widely acknowledged to be less than razor sharp, it will be Woodward's story -- not Felt's.
Yet we do know something about the information Felt, as Deep Throat, provided to The Washington Post from Woodward's book, All The President's Men. Woodward reports some fourteen meetings (depending on how they are counted).
Recently, I went through the book again, and pulled out every fact -- or factoid -- that Throat/Felt shared with Woodward, and noted when the information exchange had occurred. For a list of these facts - and an indication of which of them I believe may well be untrue -- please see the Appendix to this column.
This summary of what Throat told Woodward and when, according to All The President's Men, is particularly illuminating now that we know Throat's identity. It, along with a few more clues Woodward has dropped since confirming Felt's role, raises new questions about the Watergate investigations and about Felt's leaking to Woodward.
Here are just a few questions that need to be answered:
How Could Felt Get So Many Things Wrong?
In his position as the No. 2 man in the FBI, and the man running the Watergate investigation for the FBI, Felt saw virtually all the raw data from the FBI's field investigations. In the few days since the revelation of his identity, I have not had an opportunity to compare the material from the FBI's Watergate investigation with the information that Felt gave Woodward to see if it is possible to determine how he got it wrong. But such a comparison will doubtless be fascinating.
Woodward, it appears, was seldom in a position to correct information that Felt gave him that was wrong. But when writing All The President's Men, he did correct one major false statement from Felt. Sometime in early May, 1973, Felt told Woodward "In early February, [Patrick] Gray went to the White House and said, in effect, 'I'm taking the rap on Watergate.' He got very angry and said he had done his job and contained the investigation judiciously, that it was unfair that he was being singled out to take the heat. He implied that all hell could break loose if he wasn't able to stay in the job permanently and keep the lid on. Nixon could have thought this was a threat, though Gray is not that sort of guy. Whatever the reason, the President agreed in a hurry and sent Gray's name up to the Senate right away. Some of the top people in the White House were dead set against it, they couldn't talk him out of it."
It appears that Felt has invented this statement out of whole cloth - or was seriously misinformed. It never happened this way, as the Nixon White House tapes make clear.
To reflect this, Woodward did add a footnote in this instance, stating that Pat Gray's attorney advised Woodward that the suggestion Gray had pressured or blackmailed Nixon was "outrageously false."
But most of Felt's bad information has never been corrected. In fact, a few writers about the period have quoted Felt's bad information as historical fact. As can be seen from the Appendix, some of these inaccuracies are minor (although I doubt not so minor to persons erroneously maligned by Felt). But some are not.
Given the complexity of Watergate, it is not difficult to understand how Felt made some mistakes when meeting with Woodward in the dead of the night. Yet in other instances, it is not easy to comprehend how the No. 2 man in the FBI could have provided such bad information, knowing it could become public. And why has Felt let this bad information sit on the historical record for the past three decades?
My opinion as to which information, provided by Felt, is wrong is based on my many years of reviewing great swathes and stacks of documents about the Watergate investigation. The Appendix speaks for itself. But here, allow me to flag just one (of several) particularly egregious sessions where Felt gave Woodward appalling information, apparently to try to manipulate Woodward and The Washington Post.
Was Felt Trying To Frighten Woodward And The Washington Post Into Over-reaction?
It must be noted, according to Woodward's reports, that Felt frequently told Woodward -- falsely -- they he and The Washington Post were under surveillance. And based on Woodward's most recent article about Felt, it seems Felt equated Nixon with Hitler, and that he saw the Watergate investigation as a Nazi hunt (harking back to his pre-FBI days in the military).
A month before Felt retired from the FBI, he had one of his more remarkable sessions with Woodward. On May 16, 1973 (as reported at pages 317-18 of All The President's Men), Woodward says Felt has become "transformed" by the Watergate investigation, and talks to him almost in a monologue. When finished, Felt departs; Woodward wrote it all down in a notebook, which he later typed out for Bernstein.
It is one of the most dramatic scenes in the movie, "All The President's Men": With a Rachmaninoff piano concerto playing in the background, a frightened Woodward types his notes from this session with Felt. Woodward's dread is understandable. The No. 2 man at the FBI has told him - now, it clearly seems, falsely -- "Everyone's life is in danger . . . electronic surveillance is going on and we had better watch it. The CIA is doing it." The CIA role in Watergate was investigated, and had this occurred, it would be known today.
The report continues: "Dean talked with Senator Baker after [the] Watergate committee formed and Baker is in the bag completely, reporting back directly to [the] White House." This is absolutely false. I never spoke with Baker. And Baker certainly was not in the bag.
Felt says that the "President threatened Dean personally and said if he ever revealed the national security activities the President would insure he went to jail." This never happened, a fact that can be corroborated by Nixon's tapes.
As my Appendix notes, the flow of false facts continued. At one point Felt says, "The covert activities involve the whole U.S. intelligence community and are incredible," although he refused to give Woodward any details, claiming "it is against the law." In fact, no such operation was ever directed out of the Nixon White House.
Even more absurd are Felt's claims that those involved in the Watergate cover up were "chipping in their own personal funds. And Mitchell couldn't meet his quota [so] . . . they cut Mitchell loose." Absurd, too, is his claim that "these guys in the White House were out to make money and a few of them went wild trying."
Because Woodward could not quote Felt directly, none of the surprising number of false statements highlighted in my Appendix made their way into The Washington Post, but apparently Woodward believed them sufficiently to include them in his book.
If Felt was not trying to manipulate the Post, it is not clear what he was doing. Surely, he had to know - or at least, should have known -- that much of his information was worse than speculative; it was plain wrong.
In short, the amount of bad information that Felt gave Woodward is alarming. How and why did it happen?
Was Felt Working Alone? The Evidence Makes It Seem Very Unlikely
Woodward reports -- in The Washington Post story recently excerpted from his forthcoming book on Throat/Felt -- how he and Felt devised a system indicating that Woodward needed to talk to Felt, since Felt did not want him calling his office.
"If you keep the drapes in your apartment closed, open them and that could signal me, [Felt] said. I could check each day or have them checked, and if they were open we could meet that night at a designated place." (Emphasis added.) But because Woodward liked to keep his drapes open, they agreed that Woodward would place a flowerpot with a road construction flag in it on his balcony as the signal.
Clearly, Woodward suspects that Felt, who would have been extremely busy running the day-to-day activities of the FBI, was not checking his apartment balcony daily himself. Woodward writes, "How [Felt] could have made a daily observation of my balcony is still a mystery to me. * * * The Iraqi Embassy was down the street, and I thought it possible that the FBI had surveillance or listening posts nearby. Could Felt have had the counterintelligence agents regularly report on the status of my flag and flowerpot? That seems highly unlikely, if not impossible."
I don't think it is impossible at all. To the contrary, I believe that Felt had to have one or more persons working with him. Thus, others in the FBI must have known Felt was feeding The Washington Post.
This is evident from the last reported conversation in All The President's Men between Throat and Woodward. Felt retired from the FBI five months before this last contact during the first week of November 1973. As a result of the conversation, Woodward (breaking his prior agreement not to quote Felt directly) uses his words in the Post story, which told of gaps of "a suspicious nature" in Nixon's secret tapes that "could lead someone to conclude that the tapes have been tampered with."
How did Felt, no longer in the FBI, get information that "one or more of the tapes contained deliberate erasures"? And when reporting this story in The Washington Post, on November 8, 1973, why did Woodward quote Felt as an anonymous "White House source"? Was Woodward by this time aware that Felt had an agent inside the White House, or a mole?
Is Felt A Hero And, More Specifically, What Is His Legacy?
There has been much discussion, on television in particular, as to whether Mark Felt is a hero or villain, not to mention what his legacy will be now that we know Throat's identity. Clearly, he is history's supreme whistleblower.
Because of my own involvement in Watergate, my knowledge of how those who sought to discredit my testimony (particularly before the Nixon tapes surfaced) operate, and my knowledge of the historical record, I know that Nixon apologists will attack Felt -- and Woodward.
These attacks will be senseless (but that has long been the operative word with Watergate). It is time to learn from what happened, not refight battles Nixon has, for good reason, lost.
As my Appendix shows, the quality of Felt's information -- at least as reported so far and what is found in All The President's Men -- is of questionable value, given the amount of misinformation. It seems it was Felt's position alone that gave Woodward, and in turn, Woodward's editor at The Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, confidence in pursuing a story that other news organizations initially largely ignored. (Initially, Bradlee only knew Woodward had a source who was a high official in the Department of Justice - and Bradlee did not learn more until after Nixon had resigned).
To me, a true hero of Watergate is Ben Bradlee, who not only supported Woodward and Bernstein, but had the trust of the Post's owner, Katharine Graham. Initially, the rest of the national media and the nation ignored the story. Although The Washington Post never "cracked the case," their keeping the story in the news within the Beltway had a great influence on the Congress, making it an important story. Had Bradlee not done so, history might have been much different.
We still need to know much more about Mark Felt's activities, not to mention his accomplices, to understand the Byzantine workings of the FBI of that era. I hope Bob Woodward will answer these questions -- about which he has knowledge -- sooner rather than later, while there is still interest in the story. For it is information that is as uniquely relevant today -- with the current White House hell-bent on returning the presidency to the imperial status it occupied before Watergate.
FBI agent Pistole and his best buddy FBI agent DeVecchio
two easy reads
WHO: John Pistole, FBI deputy director
Richard Berk, Penn professor of criminology and statistics
Lawrence Sherman, Penn Criminology Department chair
Laurie Robinson, director of the criminology M.S. program at Penn
WHAT: Criminology Day at the University of Pennsylvania
WHERE:Huntsman Hall, Room 370, 3730 Walnut St., Philadelphia
WHEN:Friday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
The lecture will highlight Penn's fourth annual Criminology Day. "Predicting and Preventing Domestic Terrorism" will be the theme, featuring a series of talks by Penn Criminology Department faculty.
Richard Berk, professor of criminology and statistics, will discuss "Predicting Homicide." Lawrence Sherman, criminology professor and department chair, will discuss "Preventing Homicide." Laurie Robinson, director of the criminology M.S. program, will speak on "Career Paths in Criminology." An informal luncheon with the speakers will be held after the program.
Court documents allege that in late September 1984, R. Lindley DeVecchio walked up the steps to Gregory Scarpa's home on Avenue J in Brooklyn and suggested he "take care of" Mary Bari, girlfriend of Alphonse Persico, a fugitive and the brother of the Colombo family boss.
At every one of R. Lindley DeVecchio's pretrial hearings over the past nine months, a suited support system has collected in the courtroom. Close to 20 former FBI agents have come to his defense. Five of them signed for his $1 million bail. "What is important here is not only for Lin personally, but these charges impact directly on all of us as retired agents," said DeVecchio's former colleague, Christopher Mattiace. "We want to give him the moral support and of course to raise the necessary financial wherewithal." To that end, they have created a Web site, http://www.lindevecchio.com, that dissects DeVecchio's case, lists reasons why he is innocent and takes donations for his legal expenses. So far they have raised more than $80,000, said James Kossler, who oversees the site. "We're still trying to raise money to pay his bills and make him whole and get this thing over with," said Kossler, one of DeVecchio's former bosses. During the grand jury investigation, some former FBI agents visited witnesses in the case to question them about DeVecchio. Prosecutor Michael Vecchione argued during DeVecchio's arraignment that the visits amounted to intimidation. But Judge Gustin Reichbach dismissed the presumption. "To me, intimidation means threats or promises of harm to come, not the mere active investigation which seems to me to not be inappropriate," he said.--The friends of Lin DeVecchio Trust website can be found here: http://www.lindevecchio.com
(Conspiracy Nation, 01/30/07) -- A book published in Egypt this January reportedly makes the case that the real Saddam Hussein was not hanged in Iraq, but a Saddam look-alike. Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay also, if the author is correct, remain alive.
The book, Saddam Was Not Executed and 'Uday and Qusay Were not Killed - The United States' Lies and the Double Game, by Egyptian researcher, author, and journalist Anis Al-Daghidi (363 pp), is not currently available for consideration by open-minded readers in the U.S. Here, there is almost no discussion of the possibility that the "Saddam hanging" may have been staged.
"The hanging of 'Saddam Hussein' saga must be prefaced by a cornerstone: We do not know for sure it was Saddam Hussein who was hanged, nor do we even know with certainty a hanging actually happened," reported Conspiracy Nation not long after the performance. ("'Hanged Man' Starts New Year," http://www.shout.net/~bigred/HangedMan.html). Saddam Hussein may have "done a Houdini" and gone into peaceful retirement. ("Saddam Does A Houdini," http://www.shout.net/~bigred/Houdini.html)
Reportedly, Saddam Hussein's wife, Sajida Heiralla Tuffa, in 2004, upon being allowed to visit her husband, emerged from the prison screaming, "This is not my husband, it's his double, where is my husband? Take me to my husband!" ("Mrs. Saddam says defendant Saddam is not her Saddam," http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20040717.htm)
Photos of the man being tried as Saddam revealed that he had bad teeth and an underbite. Conversely, photos of the real Saddam consistently show that he has near perfect teeth and an overbite.
MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) today reports several other anomalies in the "Saddam" capture, trial, and execution. ("New Conspiracy Theory in Egypt: It Wasn't Saddam But His Double Who Was Executed," http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP144507) Among the "sore thumbs" sticking out are...
This 9/11 BBC World News footage shows the BBC reporting that the WTC-7 building had already collapsed even though WTC-7 is clearly still standing right behind the reporter outside the window. The satellite feed goes dead about five minutes before the WTC-7 building actually collapsed — making it the first steel frame high rise to collapse due to fire in the entire history of the world!
Here is the BBC’s response to this controversy:
1. We’re not part of a conspiracy. Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn’t get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn’t receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening.
So if nobody told told you this was about to happen, how did you correctly predict the collapse of WTC-7 23 minutes before it actually happened? Is Miss Cleo one of your producers?
2. In the chaos and confusion of the day, I’m quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate - but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did - sourced our reports, used qualifying words like “apparently” or “it’s reported” or “we’re hearing” and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving.
Sorry, but all of these words are noticeably missing from the report in question.
3. Our reporter Jane Standley was in New York on the day of the attacks, and like everyone who was there, has the events seared on her mind. I’ve spoken to her today and unsurprisingly, she doesn’t remember minute-by-minute what she said or did - like everybody else that day she was trying to make sense of what she was seeing; what she was being told; and what was being told to her by colleagues in London who were monitoring feeds and wires services.
Does she not remember the building right behind her imploding into rubble just minutes after the anchor told her it had already collapsed?
And why are you blaming poor Jane Standley for this. Wasn’t she simply agreeing with what the anchor told her?
Finally, if you were a reporter who confirmed to the entire world on live TV that the WTC-7 building had already collapsed 23 minutes before it actually collapsed on the most historic day of this century, would you be able to remember the source that steered you wrong?
4. We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our output, I’d love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don’t help clear up the issue one way or another.
So the dog ate the BBC’s only copy of its 9/11 video? Do you actually expect us to believe this? Ever heard of http://www.archive.org?
5. If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error - no more than that. As one of the comments on You Tube says today “so the guy in the studio didn’t quite know what was going on? Woah, that totally proves conspiracy… “
OK, now you are quoting a commenter on youtube.com? Seriously? That’s your explanation for going with a psychic prediction that the WTC-7 tower was about to collapse while the building itself is still obviously standing right behind you? And if you read the youtube.com comments, how are we supposed to believe your excuse about the dog eating your video? Didn’t you just see it on youtube?
This is some truly bizarre stuff. Who was pushed this story on the BBC such that they went with it without so much as fact checking the obvious fact that the WTC-7 tower was still standing in plain sight on their own camera footage while they were making this very report? Remember that no steel frame high rise has ever collapsed due to fire on any day in human history other than 9/11. So what made the BBC’s source so certain that WTC-7 was going to come down 23 minutes before it actually did such that the BBC went ahead and reported that this had already occurred with the WTC-7 building still standing in plain sight in their own footage?
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Michael Ravnitzky has provided POGO with some Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents from 1993 and 1994 (pdf) he received through the Freedom of Information Act. In August 2004, FBI Director Louis Freeh, reiterating directions sent out during his predecessor Acting Director Floyd Clarke's tenure the year before, tells his field office Special-Agents-in-Charge and Legal Attachés to control and reduce GAO access to FBI documents (pdf):
In the past, GAO [Government Accountability Office] has attempted to make direct contact with various Field Office, Legat [Legal Attachés], and FBIHQ [FBI Headquarter] personnel without coordination or approval of FBIHQ. Interviews of personnel, disclosure of information, or dissemination of documentation should not take place until the proper notification from GAO has been submitted to and coordinated by OPCA [Office of Public and Congressional Affairs] at FBIHQ. GAO is presently conducting several different audits that directly or indirectly involve the FBI. While each of these audits has been approved and coordinated by FBIHQ, each subsequent audit must also be approved and coordinated by OPCA, even if the same GAO staff and FBI personnel are involved in the new audit. No documentation or additional interviews are to be given to GAO without coordination and authorization by FBIHQ. Despite instructions from FBIHQ, GAO often will ask for documentation and more information than they are authorized to receive. For example, there have been a number of requests from GAO for information relating to pending investigations. As a matter of longstanding policy, FBIHQ will continue to deny GAO access to any information that will identify pending cases. GAO is not to be given direct and unlimited access to our files...
In the past, GAO [Government Accountability Office] has attempted to make direct contact with various Field Office, Legat [Legal Attachés], and FBIHQ [FBI Headquarter] personnel without coordination or approval of FBIHQ. Interviews of personnel, disclosure of information, or dissemination of documentation should not take place until the proper notification from GAO has been submitted to and coordinated by OPCA [Office of Public and Congressional Affairs] at FBIHQ.
GAO is presently conducting several different audits that directly or indirectly involve the FBI. While each of these audits has been approved and coordinated by FBIHQ, each subsequent audit must also be approved and coordinated by OPCA, even if the same GAO staff and FBI personnel are involved in the new audit. No documentation or additional interviews are to be given to GAO without coordination and authorization by FBIHQ.
Despite instructions from FBIHQ, GAO often will ask for documentation and more information than they are authorized to receive. For example, there have been a number of requests from GAO for information relating to pending investigations. As a matter of longstanding policy, FBIHQ will continue to deny GAO access to any information that will identify pending cases. GAO is not to be given direct and unlimited access to our files...
This might as well have been written yesterday.
Ironically, in 1997, it was Freeh who called the FBI "potentially the most dangerous agency in the country" if it is "not scrutinized carefully." Freeh also called for more congressional oversight.
Months before the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the FBI entitled "Oversight of the FBI" (pdf). One of the witnesses, Norman Rabkin of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress' investigative arm, testified that:
While things go smoothly on occasion, on many other occasions our access at the FBI has been difficult, resulting in us having to follow cumbersome procedures to meet with Bureau officials and get basic information about their programs and activities. We have had access issues in a number of agencies over the years. However, across law enforcement-related agencies, FBI access issues have been the most sustained and intractable.
Rabkin also remarked that the last time the GAO testified on access problems at the FBI and Justice Department was in 1991 (pdf).
A month later in July 2001, two House Government Reform subcommittees held a joint hearing entitled, "Is the CIA's Refusal to Cooperate with Congressional Inquiries a Threat to Effective Oversight of the Operations of the Federal Government?"
There the GAO's Henry L. Hinton, Jr. stated:
We have broad authority to evaluate CIA programs. In reality, however, we face both legal and practical limitations on our ability to review these programs. For example, we have no access to certain CIA “unvouchered” accounts and cannot compel our access to foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information. In addition, as a practical matter, we are limited by the CIA’s level of cooperation, which has varied through the years. We have not actively audited the CIA since the early 1960s. (emphasis POGO's)
Then 9/11 occurred and though there were important exceptions, Congress as an institution did not express much interest in the decades-long issue. In fact, GAO access took some big hits over the course of 2001 and into 2002, especially in regards to the battle it lost over access to Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force records, partly because its main Congressional support was in the minority at the time.
Whistleblowers and the families of 9/11 victims need to be given particular credit for what was done in those years. But finally, as can be seen in the muscle flexing of House Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) (pdf) in the U.S. Attorney firing investigation, though this battle is about Congressional access more generally, Congress is coming back.
GAO access at the FBI and CIA are still problems however. Though Congressional committee staff can provide a great deal of oversight firepower, Congress' large and professional investigative arm, the GAO, needs access to information. As Hinton stated, the GAO has not "actively audited the CIA since the early 1960s." And the problem with the FBI goes back to at least 1941, when then-Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, representing J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, wrote in an opinion that:
It is the position of the Department of Justice, restated now with the approval and at the direction of the President, that all investigative reports are confidential documents of the executive department and that congressional or public access thereto would not be in the public interest.
Though it still had not been named as "Executive Privilege," Jackson was relying on the same concept, which would not become a mature concept until the Cold War:
This accords with the conclusions reached by a long line of predecessors in the office of Attorney General and with the position taken by the President from time to time since Washington's administration; and this discretion in the executive branch has been upheld and respected by the judiciary.
As recent developments have made clear, we need more oversight of the FBI and other national security agencies. The GAO serves the Congress, but it needs Congress' support too.
-- Nick Schwellenbach
Former CIA official supports Professor's claim that official 9/11 Islamist conspiracy theory are lies
by Paul Chen
David Ray Griffin.
David Ray Griffin is widely recognized as one of the leading spokespersons of the 9/11 truth movement. This is by virtue of his previous four books on the subject. Professor Griffin and a growing list of scholars, other researchers as well as diverse experts and activists, reject the official Islamist mastermind conspiracy theory about 9/11 advanced by Establishment interests.
Although the 9/11 truth movement was long ignored by the U.S. government and the mainstream media, recent polls have shown that (as Time magazine has acknowledged) the rejection of the official theory has become "a mainstream political phenomenon."
It is not surprising, therefore, that the U.S. government and the Big Business controlled media have shifted tactics. No longer ignoring the 9/11 truth movement, they have released a flurry of stories and reports aimed at debunking it.
In David Ray Griffin's new book entitled Debunking 9/11, shows that these attempts can themselves be easily debunked.
"Debunking 9/11 is a superb compendium of the strong body of evidence showing the official U.S. Government story of what happened on September 11, 2001 to be almost certainly a monstrous series of lies. Tragically, the entire course of U.S. foreign and domestic policies since that date has grown out of these almost certain falsehoods," says Bill Christison, former senior official of the CIA.
Mr. Christison further indicates that, "This single book could (and should) provide the basis for the United Nations International Court of Justice, or some specially constituted global body (independent of the U.S.) to investigate with highest priority, and publicly report its findings about, the charge that unknown elements within the U.S. Government, and possibly some individuals elsewhere closely allied to the U.S., caused or contributed to causing the events of September 11 to happen.”
Besides demonstrating the pitiful failure of "Debunking 9/11 Myths" (published by Popular Mechanics and endorsed by Senator John McCain), Professor Griffin critically challenges recent reports and stories put out by the US Department of State, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time magazine.
Professor Griffin also responds to criticisms of these efforts by left-leaning and Christian publications -- which one might have expected to be supportive.
Throughout these critiques, Griffin shows that the charge that is regularly levelled against critics of the official theory -- that they employ irrational and unscientific methods to defend conclusions based on faith -- actually applies more fully to those who defend the official theory.
“Considering how the 9/11 tragedy has been used by the Bush administration to propel us into immoral wars again and again, I believe that David Ray Griffin's provocative questions about 9/11 deserve to be investigated and addressed,” says Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States.
"Professor Griffin is the nemesis of the 9/11 cover-up. This new book destroys the credibility of the NIST and Popular Mechanics reports and annihilates his critics," says Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan administration.
“David Ray Griffin hits another one out of the park by taking on the left gatekeepers and the mass media for the lies and cover-up called ‘the official story of 9/11/01,’ which is the greatest conspiracy theory ever perpetrated on the American public. I highly recommend this book for all thinking Americans,” further indicates Meria Heller, Producer Host of the Meria Heller Show (www.meria.net).
This book, by debunking the most prevalent attempts to refute the evidence cited by the 9/11 truth movement, shows that this movement's central claim -- that 9/11 was an inside job -- remains the only explanation that fits the facts.
Make comments about this article in The Canadian Blog.
About the Author
David Ray Griffin is professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, where he remains a co-director of the Center for Process Studies. His 30 books include The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004), The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), 9/11 and American Empire (2006, ed. with Peter Dale Scott), and Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11 (2006)
Rudolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik’s relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik’s appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.
Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik in August 2000, with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, right.
Kate Phillips and The Times's politics staff report on the latest political news from around the nation. Join the discussion.
Mr. Giuliani, testifying last year under oath before a Bronx grand jury investigating Mr. Kerik, said he had no memory of the briefing, but he did not dispute that it had taken place, according to a transcript of his testimony.
Mr. Giuliani’s testimony amounts to a significantly new version of what information was probably before him in the summer of 2000 as he was debating Mr. Kerik’s appointment as the city’s top law enforcement officer. Mr. Giuliani had previously said that he had never been told of Mr. Kerik’s entanglement with the company before promoting him to the police job or later supporting his failed bid to be the nation’s homeland security secretary.
In his testimony, given in April 2006, Mr. Giuliani indicated that he must have simply forgotten that he had been briefed on one or more occasions as part of the background investigation of Mr. Kerik before his appointment to the police post.
He said he learned only in late 2004 that the briefing or briefings had occurred, after the city’s investigation commissioner reviewed his own records from 2000. To this day, Mr. Giuliani testified, he has no specific recollection of any briefing or the details of what he was told. But he said he felt comforted because the chief investigator had cleared Mr. Kerik to be promoted.
“He testified fully and cooperatively,” a statement from Mr. Giuliani’s consulting firm said of the former mayor’s grand jury appearance. The statement added: “Mayor Giuliani has admitted it was a mistake to recommend Bernie Kerik for D.H.S. and he has assumed responsibility for it.”
Mr. Kerik pleaded guilty last summer to improperly allowing the company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, or its subsidiaries, to do $165,000 worth of free renovations on his Bronx apartment in late 1999 and 2000. The company has denied paying for the work, and has disputed any association with organized crime. But the two brothers who run it have been indicted in the Bronx on charges they lied under oath about their dealings with Mr. Kerik.
There is no evidence that Mr. Giuliani knew about the apartment renovation before promoting Mr. Kerik to police commissioner. But the top investigator who briefed Mr. Giuliani in 2000, the transcript shows, was aware that Mr. Kerik’s brother and a close friend had been hired by an affiliate of the company, which for years had been struggling to secure a city license.
For Mr. Giuliani, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president and who has done well in early polls, his history with Mr. Kerik looms as a likely issue in the campaign. His own aides have anticipated that questions are likely to arise about Mr. Giuliani’s judgment in, among other things, promoting Mr. Kerik for one of the country’s most important national security posts.
Now, Mr. Giuliani, whose private company provides background checks for companies as part of its services, may have to explain his response to the information that was provided to him in 2000.
His company’s statement yesterday said that Mr. Giuliani was not concerned that issues surrounding Mr. Kerik would become a liability to his presidential campaign.
The transcript of Mr. Giuliani’s testimony was not given to The New York Times by any rival campaign.
In his testimony, Mr. Giuliani suggests he might have been presented with only limited information about Mr. Kerik’s issues. And he said the city investigators who did the background check on Mr. Kerik ultimately cleared him to be hired as police commissioner.
Mr. Giuliani testified that the background investigators’ approval might explain why he, and aides who were involved, could not recollect any briefing, according to the 101-page transcript of his April 20, 2006, testimony.
“We may have filed it away somewhere that it wasn’t as significant,” Mr. Giuliani testified. Mr. Giuliani said Edward J. Kuriansky, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Investigation, had also forgotten about the briefings until he checked his records days after Mr. Kerik’s withdrawal from consideration as homeland security secretary in late 2004.
Mr. Kuriansky did not return phone calls seeking his account of what he remembered telling Mr. Giuliani.
Friday April 6, 2007 12:01 PM
AP Photo NJME101
By DAVID PORTER
Associated Press Writer
READINGTON, N.J. (AP) - An FBI agent was killed as agents closed in on three suspected bank robbers, and may have been shot accidentally by a fellow agent, the agency said.
Special Agent Barry Lee Bush, assigned to the FBI's Newark office, was shot Thursday as a stakeout team opened fire on the three armed men in two vehicles outside a PNC Bank branch on Route 22.
``Preliminarily, information suggests the agent may have been fatally wounded as a result of the accidental discharge of another agent's weapon during a dynamic arrest situation,'' the FBI said in a statement Thursday night.
Pedro Ruiz, special agent in charge of the FBI's Newark office, said the suspects did not fire their weapons, which included two assault rifles and a handgun. He said he did not yet know how many shots were fired and would not elaborate on what led the agents to shoot.
Bush, 52, and his team were tracking a group of men believed to be responsible for at least four bank robberies, the FBI said. In two of them, the suspects had fired assault weapons while inside the bank, the agency said.
Gunshots were fired around noon as the stakeout team moved in to make arrests outside the Readington bank in north-central New Jersey. Two suspects, Wilfredo Berrios, 28, and Michael Cruz, 21, both of New Brunswick, were captured, officials said. The third man ran escaped on foot.
About 300 law enforcement officers were searching for the fugitive Thursday night, focusing on a 2-square-mile wooded area near the Fox Hollow Golf Club. He was identified by state police as Francisco Herrera-Genao, 22, of New Brunswick.
Berrios and Cruz were to be charged with attempted armed robbery of the Readington bank, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark said.
It was not immediately clear if the men had attorneys, and telephone listings for the men could not be located.
The FBI had started investigating Berrios, Cruz and Herrera-Genao after a March 2 bank robbery. A surveillance camera at a shopping center caught the masked gunmen abandoning a stolen Honda they had used in the robbery and getting into their ``switch car,'' a rental vehicle that was traced to Berrios, according to the criminal complaint released by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
After his arrest, Cruz admitted the men were preparing to rob the Readington bank, according to the complaint. Cruz also said he, Berrios, Herrera-Genao and Efrain Lynn, 21, of New Brunswick, had robbed a bank in South Brunswick on March 16.
Lynn was arrested Thursday on a bench warrant unrelated to the bank robberies, federal prosecutors said.
Witnesses in Readington described a chaotic scene as the gunfire broke out.
Brian Agans, who works in an engine shop across from the bank, said he heard a ``pop, pop, pop.'' He ran outside to make sure a mechanic wasn't having a problem with equipment, but instead saw law enforcement swarming.
``All hell was breaking loose. I've never seen so many police and authorities take action ever in my life,'' he said.
Bush joined the FBI in August of 1987, serving in Kansas City and transferring to Newark in 1991. He is survived by a wife and two grown children, the FBI said.
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