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CIA ‘wanted to kill Lockerbie bomber before trial’

THE CIA wanted to assassinate Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and his co-accused, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, before their trial, a former Washington lobbyist has claimed.
William C Chasey, 73, made the sensational allegation in his autobiography, Truth Never Dies, which is to be turned into a film.
He claims agents tried to convince him to plant homing devices on Megrahi and Fhimah as part of the plot.
However, a former FBI chief has dismissed the claim as “nonsense”.
Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over southern Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people. Megrahi, who died last year in Tripoli, was the only person convicted of the murders. Fhimah was acquitted in the 2001 trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands.
Mr Chasey, president of the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility, a non-governmental organisation, became involved with Libya and the Lockerbie investigation when he was a lobbyist in Washington.
“On behalf of business clients, I went on a lobbying mission in 1992 with a US congressman in a bid to stabilise relations between the US and [Muammar] Gaddafi’s hated regime,” he said.
He told how he was taken to a private meeting with the two Lockerbie accused at a house in Tripoli. “Myself and the congressman and his wife then met Gaddafi and heard his pleas for help within Washington to get sanctions lifted, and heard his claims that Libya was not involved in Lockerbie,” Mr Chasey said.
“He spoke of the death of his daughter in a US air attack on his home and appealed directly to the congressman’s wife, as a mother, to get her husband to use his influence.”
Mr Chasey claims this clandestine meeting raised suspicions at the FBI, which launched a lengthy investigation into him.
Then, in 1995, he wrote a controversial book, Foreign Agent 4221: The Lockerbie Cover-Up, which claimed Libya was not responsible for the bombing.
“The FBI investigation, along with a probe by the US tax service, damaged my business and put incredible pressure on my wife, Virginia, and our young daughter Katie,” he said.
The family moved to Poland, where Mr Chasey had ties.
He said: “I was hit with 21 felony charges over crimes including wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, even larceny and forgery over allegations I stole headed notepaper from congressional offices.”
He denies the claims and says all but one were dropped in 1998 when he agreed a plea bargain and admitted a charge of filing a false tax return.
It was at this point he claims he was contacted by the CIA at Dulles Airport in Washington. “An agent approached me and asked if I could meet again with Megrahi and Fhimah to pinpoint their location so the CIA could assassinate them. In return, the charge would be dropped and my record expunged,” he said.
“He wasn’t explicit but my belief is that the CIA wanted the suspects eliminated to stop any trial taking place and bury the alternative view that Iran and Syria were behind Lockerbie.”
Mr Chasey, 73, was sentenced to 75 days in jail, 75 days in a half-way house and two years probation for the tax offence. He said: “I was sent to Allenwood Federal Prison in Pennsylvania and was amazed when I was joined in the canteen one day by the same CIA agent and one of his colleagues, dressed as inmates.
“They offered to free me and clear my record, but I said I would not take part in their plot to put electronic homing devices in the suspects’ residences so they could be targeted. I told them, ‘With all of your vast resources, the one thing you will never be able to destroy is my character’.”
Mr Chasey said he had decided to speak out now after being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
“Apart from my wife, no-one has known about this until now. I love my country, but I fear my government”, he said.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 23, died in the bombing, believes Megrahi was innocent. He said he had read Mr Chasey’s book and thought it was believable. “I think Bill Chasey is telling the truth about the CIA,” he said. “He is a respected philanthropist and was a leading lobbyist in Washington, so he’s not a crank.”
However, former FBI assistant director Buck Revell, who oversaw its Lockerbie investigation until 1991, said of Mr Chasey’s claims: “That’s nonsense.”

Amazing how American voters and taxpayers continue to allow Congress to fund the FBI  after a 1999 Memphis Jury declared
it was FBI  agents who had assassinated Martin Luther King. You do know what to do, eh?
Boo! did I scare you?
Here is another victim of a FBI  assassination.

see link for full story

New suit seeks to know fate of civil rights activist who vanished in 1973

July 4, 2013

No one doubts Ray Robinson is dead.

After all, it’s been 40 years since the black activist from Selma, Ala., a disciple of Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson, went missing.

He was last seen at Wounded Knee, S.D., where he had gone in April of 1973 to preach the importance of nonviolence and stand with American Indians in their fight against the federal government.

Robinson never made it home and, by all accounts, was murdered.

Even now, decades later, his widow and children, eager to have him brought home, wonder where he’s buried.

A new lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo seeks to answer that question.

“This may sound silly after all these years, but we just want to bury him,” said Tamara Kamara, one of his daughters who lives in Michigan. “We just want to know he’s gone and have a place to take my children and grandchildren and say this is where he’s buried.”

Robinson’s disappearance is, in many people’s eyes, one of America’s great unsolved murders.

It’s been the topic of books and newspaper stories and, four decades after he went missing, it’s now a national story with a Buffalo angle because of the two local lawyers who filed the family’s suit here.

“The family and the American people have a right to know what happened to Ray Robinson,” said Michael Kuzma, a Buffalo lawyer representing the family. “They have a right to know who murdered him and where he’s buried so they can bring him back home.”

Kuzma’s Freedom of Information suit in Buffalo federal court seeks information from the FBI and others on what happened to Robinson and, perhaps even more important, what happened to his body.

“We’ve come to the understanding that he’s dead and that he died inside Wounded Knee,” Kamara said. “The worst part is not knowing where he’s buried.”

At Wounded Knee

Robinson’s standing as a civil rights activist was well-established long before he traveled to South Dakota. He marched with King in Washington, D.C., in 1963 and was one of the demonstrators in 1968 who set up Resurrection City, an encampment on the Washington Mall designed to focus attention on America’s poor.

And yet, it wasn’t until his disappearance at Wounded Knee, a historic and some might say inspiring moment for Native Americans, that the world learned of his legacy.

The 71-day siege in 1973 was well under way when Robinson backpacked into the Pine Ridge reservation, where Wounded Knee was located. He told friends and family that he wanted to build a bridge between the black civil rights struggle and the American Indian movement.

What happened next is unclear and the subject of an often-ugly debate between Robinson’s family and members of the American Indian Movement, or AIM.

“He was there,” Steve Hendricks, author of “The Unquiet Grave,” a book on the FBI and the American Indian movement, said of Robinson. “In all probability, and I say this with 99 percent certainty, he was murdered at Wounded Knee by activists in AIM.”

By some accounts, Robinson’s message of nonviolence didn’t sit well with AIM’s leaders or members of the Oglala Lakota tribe that had seized control of the small town with the bloody history.

Until then, Wounded Knee was best known for the 1890 massacre of Lakota Indians, nearly half of them women and children, by a U.S. cavalry unit.

What started as an internal protest against the Oglala Lakota’s leadership, viewed by many as corrupt, quickly turned into an armed occupation directed at a federal government many thought had thumbed its nose at treaties between the two sides.

The often bloody stand-off resulted in the death of two Indians, the wounding of a federal agent and the rumored murder of others, including Robinson.

“This is a guy who was there on the side of justice,” said Daire Brian Irwin, a Buffalo lawyer representing the Robinson family. “This guy’s a hero, and only a few people know his story.”

Ongoing investigation

Technically, the investigation into Robinson’s disappearance remains open.

An FBI official in Minneapolis confirmed as much but said he could not comment on the work its office was doing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“We have an ongoing case on Ray Robinson,” said Gregory Boosalis, a division counsel for the FBI.

While Irwin and Kuzma seek answers to the question “What happened to Ray Robinson?” there are FBI documents, now public, that suggest he was indeed there.

The documents are based on FBI interviews with witnesses who claim they were at Wounded Knee and saw or heard about two black people who were on the reservation.

Robinson’s widow, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson, has said the two were probably her husband and a black woman from Alabama who, unlike her husband, made it home after the occupation.

There also are a handful of accounts, none of them verified, as to what happened to Robinson.

In a 1974 letter to a friend, Buswell-Robinson wrote that she had heard her husband was shot for entering Pine Ridge without reporting to AIM leader Dennis Banks.

In still another account, AIM member Richard Two Elk told the Associated Press in 2004 that he saw someone shoot Robinson in the knees but didn’t see him die. He said Robinson had refused to pick up a gun.

Allegations of apathy

AIM’s leaders have repeatedly denied any role in Robinson’s death, and Banks, in an interview with the AP last year, said he doesn’t remember meeting Robinson or hearing anything about him until well after the siege had ended.

“Over the years,” Banks said at the time, “the Robinson name has popped up, and I’m not sure even who would have that information or where it was.”

Hendricks is convinced Robinson is buried at Wounded Knee and that he was most likely shot by AIM activists. He also thinks it’s possible AIM suspected Robinson was an FBI informant. “I come up with no other scenario,” he said. “We know there were FBI informants at Wounded Knee. That’s clear.”

Hendricks, the author, doesn’t believe Robinson was an informant, and Kamara said her mother has fought long and hard to refute those rumors. “That went against his core,” she said.

Attorneys Kuzma and Irwin agree, but they believe the FBI played a role in Robinson’s disappearance.

They wonder why the agency has failed, after 40 years, to come up with a single suspect while at the same time successfully investigating the killing of AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash at Pine Ridge two years later. Two people are currently serving life sentences for her murder.

“They’re not going after it,” added Hendricks. “They’re not even remotely interested, not even interviewing the most obvious witnesses.”

‘No anger’

The suit filed by Kuzma and Irwin seeks information about the FBI’s investigation into Robinson’s disappearance and includes a letter from the agency indicating some of their records have been destroyed.

Why would the FBI destroy documents while an investigation is ongoing?

“It’s possible the referenced letter is talking about other cases that referenced Ray Robinson,” said Boosalis, the FBI official in Minneapolis. “To my knowledge, no documents in our case have been destroyed.”

While others speculate about who may have killed Robinson, his family is reluctant to point fingers at either the FBI or AIM.

They do believe, however, that both sides know where he’s buried.

“I’m hoping that AIM people can look in their hearts and realize this was a good man. This is a brother,” Buswell-Robinson told the AP in 2012. “This is a man that was willing to give his life for justice, for what’s right.”

Kamara says the same message applies to the FBI.

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Hemingway and Salinger Died For Your Sins

An Independence Day Exchange

Adam Engel: (in media res) …nobody gives a damn what authors do or do not do, outside “our crowd” of hopelessly romantic lefties…

Gary Corseri: Don’t agree with that! I don’t think we’re “hopelessly romantic lefties” and more and more Americanos are disenchanted with life here, dream of abroad-dom. Authors settling and writing about life abroad and seeing US from aerie of expatriation–could be important to spur others. It’s a venture I am considering myself within the next couple of years.

AE: Speaking of disenchantment with the odd and sundry farcical, though ultimately tragic, excesses of Empire… I just read this biography of Salinger that blew my mind. J. D. Salinger: A Life, by Kenneth Slawenski.

Of all the dozens of “war movies” I’ve seen and books I’ve read (The Crimean, American Civil War; WWI, Spanish Civil War, WWII, Korea, the omnipresent Vietnam, etc.), I have never, ever read anything so harrowing as the three chapters in this book that describe Salinger’s  experience from a month before the Normandy landing to his unit being the first Allied force to liberate and enter the concentration camps eleven months later. All he wrote about — published, anyway — was the effects of the War, without ever describing, a la Mailer, battle scenes, for fear such writings be mis-interpreted as glorification of war. Truly incredible, terrifying shit!

GC: I’ve considered him one of our greats since my NYC high-school days when my best public school English teacher—the poet George Bailin–introduced his works to us. Wish he had written more… but what he did write is worth re-reading and re-reading and what author can ask for more?

AE: Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill,  etc. — nothing comes remotely close to what I’ve read over these chapters covering Salinger’s war experience. This is something Coppola or Kubrick would have sacrificed their own children to put into film — or Mailer would have capitalized on for decades. It’s almost unbelievable. Of about 4000 men in Salinger’s battalion, only himself and 350 others survived.

GC: This war-driven, war-insane Empire needs to keep hearing about, reading about, vomiting over those kinds of experience!

AE: Makes me want to put that Zionazi Americanischer dumbzeit, Spielberg, in Salinger’s place.

GC: He’s definitely one of the schmucks of the Universe!

AE: That opening scene of the corn-ball patriotic Saving Private Ryan, truly captured the nightmare that was the Normandy landing — before Spielberg went back to fantasy-land.

GC: I saw part of that crapola on TV. Somehow, I missed the first (best?) part of it. Tom Hanks is another Mr. Clean who is really covered in shit! I’m anti-celebrities anyway. I think Occupy movements should protest “grand openings,” etc. “World War Z”! Give me a fuckin break!

AE: For Salinger and the 12th Infantry — his division suffered the worst casualties at Normandy, battle of the Bulge, and throughout the war– The Normandy landing was just an appetizer. What followed was four straight weeks of fox-hole-warfare, accompanied by land-mines, artillery, snipers, etc.

They got brief reprieve to shower and change their clothes for the first time in a month, then more hell-fire and damnation to liberate Paris, where Salinger met Hemingway, who was writing dispatches for Collier’s Magazine, publisher of several of Salinger’s early stories. Hemingway recognized Salinger from his photograph. This book paints Hemingway in a different light. He’s actually a decent guy, totally freaked out by what he’s seen; the arrival of a fellow writer and the chance to talk books was as welcome to him as it was to Salinger.

GC: I wrote a very good (and, to be expected!) unproduced screen-play about Hemingway. He is one of my writer-heroes!

AE: After a brief stay in Paris, Sargent Salinger was off to months and months of even worse, if worse can be imagined. Lost in the Hürtgen (or something like that) forest in the thicket of what was called the “Siegfried line” — a section of forest deliberately planted by the Nazi command at the start of the war, with 100-foot tall trees planted a few feet apart so fox-holes could not be dug, air-cover could not find soldiers to cover, and the enemy, like the “notorious” Viet Cong, was always unseen. Stuck there in the worst winter in decades, it was like Stalingrad; many died from frostbite alone. Then a brief reprieve, they thought, until they realized they were surrounded and attacked in what were the first heavy blasts of the Battle of the Bulge…

GC: As a teen, war novels, sci-fi and poetry and drama, Thoreau and Emerson were my favorite reading! I know something of the horrors of the Battle of the Bulge. (btw, one excellent, short novel was A Walk in the Sun — later a movie. There were a few. But,  you’re right. Far too much glorification of the whole sordid affair!)

AE: During all this shit, Salinger was writing. Some of his best stuff yet, or ever, according to the biographer, Slawenski, who describes them well (he read them in the Princeton or University of Texas or whatever Salinger collection—as well as his only stories directly about the war and the experiences he’d had. These were never published, nor were they meant to be.).

Get this: Salinger was a non-commissioned officer in Counter-Intelligence! His task was to interrogate Nazis and collaborators among POWs and the civilian population, and to report any “subversive activity” among his fellow soldiers. The artist/soldier Salinger wrote the stories, highly critical of the Army, the War, the Machine-like consumption of soldiers as disposable parts, murder of civilians, etc., then the Intelligence agent Salinger censored/hid them, lest he be forced to arrest himself for subversion

GC: It’s been going on forever, eh?  Bradley Manning, Snowden!  Nothing new!

AE: They finally reach Germany proper. Salinger has to leave the regular troops to go on Intelligence missions, literally busting into houses, arresting Nazis and collaborators, then interrogating them in French or German, both of which he was fluent in.

Finally, finally, he thinks he’s outta there. Think not! He and other Counter-Intelligence operatives are sent in as “special units” to liberate POWs and interrogate guards, etc. Only these weren’t regular old POW camps, they were concentration camps. The 12th Infantry was the first Allied unit to enter Bergen-Belsen, etc. Many of the soldiers lost their shit then and there, even the Intelligence guys.

He’s then sent off to do more bust-and-interrogate work, but checks himself into a military hospital for “combat fatigue” (nervous breakdown). The last letter he wrote before he went in was to Hemingway, who was not in the fighting, but close enough to report, to his credit, the truth of the Army’s many fuck-ups, like letting thousands die in the forest over a few yards of land, and was on the verge of cracking up himself. Salinger expressed concern over Hemingway’s “state of mind,” which was not good at all – Hemingway was unable to write for years after the experience.

GC: Those experiences — and similar — must have haunted H. to the grave.  In the last years of his life, H. was convinced he was being “shadowed” by the CIA, FBI, whatever.  H. suspected “Intelligence” was after him because of his anti-war views, etc.  Recall that he lived for years in Cuba, was friends with Fidel!  (He spent many years abroad, actually, besides Cuba.)  Richard Wright was another great American writer who was convinced the US government was out to get him for his sassy, truth-telling, “uppity” (one of our greatest Black writers!) ways!  Wright died under mysterious circumstances in Paris.  H. lost his powers to write, to concentrate, to think clearly.  He thought the government might be poisoning him!  (Carlos Baker and A.E. Hotchner have written well about this!)  He finally blew his brains out in Idaho.  I think he was 62…

AE: One doesn’t have to know an artist’s biography to know his work — it’s all implied offstage in Salinger’s work — but there’s a bit more than the “I don’t want to talk about it” kind of thing my uncles displayed after WWII; he literally could not talk about it — cause he was a spook and might have incurred a boatload of shit upon himself.

But good god! All that bullshit about his “silence” and his “arrogance” in distancing himself from his “adoring public” was exactly that—bullshit! The guy wrote not for the “Baby Boomers” and their children, but for soldiers and victims of the war; hence, his whole “spiritual journey.”

Funny — not really: a year before his death, he had to appear in public, age 90, to prevent someone from publishing a novel with “Holden Caulfield” as its protagonist. Seems his “adoring public” was angry at him for “not letting Holden go” and spectators, and members of the press, made fun of the guy for being almost totally deaf. At age 90. Turns out it wasn’t just age that was to blame: the noise of constant shelling had rendered him significantly deaf by the end of the war…

It’s interesting that while Salinger and Hemingway were literally like a balm to each other’s frazzled nerves during that surreal winter in the Hürtgen forest, apocalyptic beyond words, and they remained bonded through that experience — neither of them being able to write again for several years — Salinger did write to one of his friends that he had to distinguish Hemingway the person, who gave him shelter in his tent, which had a heat generator, after Salinger had spent a week literally sleeping under a low bush in sub-zero weather (most of the losses that month came from frost-bite and exposure) from Hemingway the persona, whom he criticized in his work and letters for glorifying war and “putting emphasis on courage as the ultimate virtue, which I don’t understand, possibly because I have none of it at all” (?!) Salinger wrote to a friend.

GC: Hemingway had problems with that “persona” throughout his life!   I recall that he punched some jackass critic in the face because the guy publicly questioned his masculinity—implied that all that macho stuff was H’s way of compensating for not being really “man” enough!  (Recall that the hero, Jake, of The Sun Also Rises is rendered impotent because of war injuries after WWI!)  There’s a similar theme, btw, in that first-rate movie with Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart: The Barefoot Contessa

 I do think Hemingway has been too handily interpreted by some of his more facile, less-thoughtful critics.  He did admire courage, but not blind, idiotic, charge-the-machine-gun-nest courage.  It was what we might call thoughtful courage, or what he called “grace under fire.”  That’s what he admired in bullfighters, soldiers, an old guy battling a monster fish, or an old guy maintaining his dignity in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.

Somehow in war, being a “good soldier” gets tangled with being a “man,” having a big cock, whatever!  I’m convinced it’s one of the ways young men and boys “still wet behind the ears” are turned into professional killers!  The fear of being thought “unmanly” is worse than the fear of the enemy!  That same fear motivates too much of “patriotism.”  The root of that word, of course, is pater or “father.”  War becomes a test of manhood, a test of one’s ability to “father” the next generation!  When will we dead awaken?

AE: The initial reason for Salinger’s not daring to show the battle-scene stories to anyone was that they were hugely critical of the army and the concept of “modern warfare” in general, though sympathetic to his fellow soldiers. One stunning story, at least as the biographer recounts it, called “Ghost in a Foxhole,” entails a soldier suffering “battle fatigue” claiming to see a strange soldier in a “futuristic uniform and helmet” dodging from foxhole to foxhole. The soldier catches up with this “ghost” who explains to him that he is the soldier’s own not-yet-born son.

GS: Wow!  There’s that “fathering” theme again!

AE: The soldier resolves to kill his future son, so “this can never happen again.” The scene shifts to a medical unit where medics are working on casualties of a sudden bombardment, and the soldier wanders into the camp, obviously out of his mind. “Did you kill your ‘son?’” asks another soldier, who is himself on the verge of madness. “No, he said he wanted to be here,” came the reply. Typically “explosive” Salinger ending. He literally “called” Vietnam 20 years before the Gulf of Tonkin, when the “unborn son” would have been just the right age to be “called to duty.”

In the book White Collar, C. Wright Mills intuited all this through analysis of the facts at hand: modern techno warfare is not “warfare” in the classic sense of “men using their strength and skills against other men.” It’s an insane slaughter in which the “lower orders” serve as guinea pigs for power’s latest high-tech-whirly-gigs. Total crap-shoot. Achilles is as powerless as Woody Allen. The latter might even have the advantage in that he’s smaller, and might be quicker to duck for cover and fit into some nook behind a tree or rock when a missile comes in to blow all and sundry to smithereens and turn the great shield of Achilles into a mangled lump of scrap-iron about as useless and meaningless as the bent lid of a trash-can.

GC: Pat Tillman is a good example of a modern Achilles who could not make it in modern warfare!  The fact that he was done in by “friendly fire” is also telling to me! Word is that he was going to whistle-blow about the shit he saw going on there! “They” got to him the same way they got to Senator Paul Wellstone, etc.!

AE: Salinger personally vowed — through a character in another, published story — never to speak openly of what he’d seen, cause “they’ll” turn it into sentimental, romantic propaganda, “we just have to stop this from ever happening again.” That, and his Counter-Intelligence role, are part of it; the other part is his attempt, after Nine Stories was published, to destroy or have destroyed or made unavailable the 30 some-odd stories he’d published prior to the Nine, even those that had already been anthologized in “Best of the Year” and “Great Modern Story” type anthologies.

All of his work up to  Franny and Zooey,  including  Nine Stories  and  The Catcher in the Rye,  was an attempt to somehow “turn around” the nightmares in his head, or at least make sense of them, particularly “For Esme, With Love and Squalor.” The biographer pointed out something I’d never noticed: Holden’s refusal to let go of his dead brother was so symbolic of his and other soldiers’ refusal to let go of the dead companions left behind and try to “live” again, in some fashion, was betrayed by a “slip of the pen.” The dead brother had appeared in earlier stories under the name of Frank or something, but in the final draft of Catcher in the Rye it becomes “Allie” (Ally)…

GC: Ally!

E: No one has ever had the control, or the power to control, his own publications before or since, the way Salinger did. It was he himself who came up with the famous maroon-and-yellow cover for the paperback version of The Catcher in the Rye. Ever notice that his are the only books in the classics section, or anywhere, that are still the size and relative low price that all paperbacks used to be when the term, “pocket books” actually meant just that; as did “Everyman’s Library?”

GC: Adam, that’s one of the best reviews of a book I’ve ever read!… and you didn’t even put it in standard review form, use footnotes, annotations, etc.  I regret to inform you that the New York Review of Books will never publish your review (nor get within ten yards of it!)  I’m sure this news will break your heart!

AE: Well, J. D. Salinger: A Life is an excellent and timely combination of biography and close literary criticism.

GC: Pretty timely review for all the 4th of July hoopla, ey?  Nice antidote to all that flag-waving, cockadoodling-do!  In this Internet Age, I’d like to see more reviews written this way!  Writers can bounce off each other’s ideas; it broadens the conversation! 


see link for full story

How the Pentagon Papers Came to Be Published by the Beacon Press, Told by Daniel Ellsberg and Others

Thursday, 04 July 2013
Forty-one years ago, Beacon Press lost a Supreme Court case brought against it by the U.S. government for publishing the first full edition of the Pentagon Papers. It is now well known how The New York Times first published excerpts of the top-secret documents in June 1971, but less well known is how the Beacon Press, a small nonprofit publisher affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, came to publish the complete 7,000 pages that exposed the true history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Their publication led the Beacon press into a spiral of two-and-a-half years of harassment, intimidation, near bankruptcy and the possibility of criminal prosecution. This is a story that has rarely been told in its entirety. In 2007, Amy Goodman moderated an event at the Unitarian Universalist conference in Portland, Oregon, commemorating the publication of the Pentagon Papers and its relevance today. Today, we hear the story from three men at the center of the storm: former Pentagon and RAND Corporation analyst, famed whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times; former Alaskan senator and presidential candidate Mike Gravel, who tells the dramatic story of how he entered the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record and got them to the Beacon Press; finally, Robert West, the former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. We begin with Ellsberg, who Henry Kissinger once described as "the world’s most dangerous man."
AMY GOODMAN: We turn now from Snowden to Daniel Ellsberg. Forty-one years ago, a small, independent press, the Beacon Press, lost a Supreme Court case brought against it by the U.S. government for publishing the first full edition of the Pentagon Papers. It’s now well known how The New York Times first published excerpts of the top-secret documents in June of 1971, but less well known is how the Beacon Press, a small nonprofit publisher affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, came to publish the complete 7,000 pages that exposed the true history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Their publication led the Beacon Press into a spiral of two-and-a-half years of harassment, intimidation, near bankruptcy and the possibility of criminal prosecution. This is a story that’s rarely been told in its entirety.
In 2007, I moderated an event at the Unitarian Universalist conference in Portland, Oregon, commemorating the publication of the Pentagon Papers and its relevance today. Thousands of people were in the audience. Today, we hear the story from the three men on the stage at the center of the storm: former Pentagon and RAND Corporation analyst, famed whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times; we also hear from former Alaskan senator and former presidential candidate Mike Gravel—he’ll tell the dramatic story of how he entered the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record and got them to the Beacon Press; finally, Robert West, the former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
We begin with famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who Henry Kissinger once called "the world’s most dangerous man."
DANIEL ELLSBERG: There were 7,000 pages of top-secret documents that demonstrated unconstitutional behavior by a succession of presidents, the violation of their oath and the violation of the oath of every one of their subordinates—I, for one—who had participated in that terrible, indecent fraud over the years in Vietnam, lying us into a hopeless war, which has, of course—and a wrongful war—which has, of course, been reproduced and is being reproduced right now and may occur again in Iran. So the history of that, I thought, might help us get out of that particular war.


CSFR Solidarity with the BDS Movement of France
Published on Wed, 2013-06-26 16:42
CSFR Solidarity with the BDS Movement of France

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression in the US sends solidarity greetings to our brothers and sisters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in France. We stand with you against the outrageous attempts by the French government to slander and criminalize you. The US and French governments and courts cannot hold back the international movement for freedom, justice and equality in Palestine!

We understand what you are up against. In 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided our homes, claiming to investigate “material support for terrorism,” which carries a minimum 15-year prison sentence. The FBI took our belongings and ordered 23 antiwar, and Palestine and Colombia solidarity activists, to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. Grand juries are secretive courts, run solely by US prosecutors, with no judge, and no right to a lawyer or to present evidence favorable to you. All 23 refused to appear, risking going to jail. There was a tremendous outpouring of support for us, with protests in 70 cities and solidarity statements from unions, and peace, community, religious and student groups.

Today, the Assistant US Prosecutor Barry Jonas claims the “investigation is ongoing” and refuses to return the belongings of Palestinian-American leader Hatem Abudayyeh of Chicago. Jonas is a pro-Israel ideologue responsible for putting the Holy Land Five, Muslim and Palestinian-American charity leaders, in prison for up to 65 years. We say education, health care, housing and food for Palestinians is a human right! Charity and solidarity is not a crime!

There are now nearly 200 Palestinian-American, Arab-American, and Muslim men in US prisons for similar political cases. The repression is continuous and expanding.

But we have an international movement against war, occupation and repression that is growing more powerful. The US, its NATO allies including France, and Israel, are in decline and growing more isolated in the world. Because they are losing, they are acting more desperate. Their rulings and laws will not hold us back. It only makes us more determined! Because of the BDS movement in the US, people are learning that Israel is a country of repression and super-exploitation like Apartheid South Africa. Opposition to US funding for Israel is growing.

We hope you will accept a token donation of “material support” from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression for your legal defense fund. We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of the BDS movement in France!

Tom Burke, for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression at http://www.StopFBI.net

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FBI ordered to explain withholding of documents
Tuesday, July 2, 2013


A federal judge has ordered the FBI to explain its refusal to release documents about its surveillance of the Occupy movement in Northern California, saying general claims of "national security" and "law enforcement" aren't enough.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, the FBI provided 13 pages of documents in September and withheld 24 pages, citing privacy, security, law enforcement concerns and "the interest of national defense or foreign policy."

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of San Francisco said the FBI's explanations were not specific or detailed enough to justify nondisclosure.

For example, she said, the FBI said it withheld some documents because they were collected for law enforcement purposes, to assist local police agencies and aid in investigations of "crimes and terrorism." But she said the FBI did not identify the laws it was enforcing or explain how release of the documents would interfere with any current investigation.

The FBI also said one document, if released, would threaten "serious damage to the national security" by disclosing intelligence-gathering methods and an assessment of one source's "penetration of a specific target." But Illston said the FBI had failed to explain how any such disclosures would affect national security.

The judge also said one document the FBI released, about a November 2011 protest at the Port of Oakland, contained evidence that the agency hadn't searched all of its files for surveillance records.

In that document, the FBI said it had contacted police in Stockton to "share intelligence" about Port of Oakland demonstrators, an indication that the bureau had something to share, Illston said. But she said none of the documents, including those the FBI withheld, contained intelligence about protesters in Oakland, information that presumably is stored elsewhere.
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Reorting from the Whitey Bulger Trial
August 2, 2013
Not something you'd forget

FBI Agent Todd Richards started off the day by talking of a meeting he had with Kevin Hayes.

The issue boiled down to whether when Mick Murray called Hayes and said to him that "Kevin Weeks wanted to meet him right away," or did he say as Hayes testified, "Kevin Weeks and Whitey wanted to meet him right away."

Don't you think that was an important issue? Does anyone remember why Kevin Hayes was going to the meeting or what happened at the meeting?

The next witness to testify was retired FBI Agent Matthew Cronin. He came in dressed in a suit, dress shirt and tie, as I'd expect an FBI agent would dress when in court. (Same as Richards,)

Cronin was in the C-7 unit that did thefts and stolen property investigations. He'd come from ten years in New York City which is the biggest office in the country. He said as soon as he got here things felt different. In New York everyone minded their own business while in Boston it seemed everyone was minding everyone else's business. He felt uncomfortable with the atmosphere.

His first eye-opening came when he went out to meet with the state and local police which was part of what his job entailed. He found there was a strong sentiment among them that there was a leak in the office and they identified the leak as John Connolly. He said it caused a great uneasiness in the office and he had to operate close to the vest because of the distrust. He said he would not put things in writing because he didn't know what would happen to them.

He talked to his partner Jim Crawford about it and to his supervisor. When asked why when nothing was done he didn't go higher he pointed out that you had to follow the chain of command. He said it just wasn't wise to go outside of it if you were concerned with keeping your job.

This all goes into the ideas I've been writing about for a while as I said in my book Don't Embarrass The Family that the FBI has a lot of good agents but its structure makes them ineffective. It's almost like the leadership doesn't want to know there are any problems so everyone who sees something wrong has to walk around with her mouth shut for to do otherwise will result in some sort of punishment. We see that in the almost three-month investigation of the homicide of a man by an FBI agent in a room in front of other law enforcement officers, an investigation that should have taken three days at the most.

The FBI operates in a world of fright. Everyone is frightened to step out of line. It's quite a tragedy and something that is not good for our country. I see Congressman Keating is looking for answers from the FBI as to what happened at the time of the Marathon Terrorist Attack; he should talk to his fellow Massachusetts Congressman Lynch who has been waiting for two years for an investigation to finish up which is supposed to tell him into why Mark Rossetti a capo in the Mafia was a top echelon informant for the FBI. If our Congressman are afraid of the FBI, and the agents are afraid of the FBI, who is it that wields all this power to bring about this horrid state of affairs.

Cronin gave a slight indication of how things work when he and his partner went to see Jeremiah O'Sullivan about a leak problem. He said the conversation went from him feeling pleasant to angry. Why did he get angry? O'Sullivan threw him out of his office.  Makes you feel good about all this stuff going on.

Then he tells how he was the affiant in a wiretap for Heller's Cafe, a successful federal wiretap done on Mike London who had a little gambling going on at his place but his main business was to wash money, he was mentioned as the guy who'd cash checks for the bookies. One witness said how he would have his clients make out the checks to "Ted Williams" or "Yogi Berra" and London would cash them.

Cronin went on to say that he had a three-phase investigation: Heller's, Vinny Ferrara; and Whitey Bulger. He said he did Heller's and after that Morris removed him from the case. The thread of protection of Whitey and distrust of Connolly ran throughout the early part of his testimony.

Later he got into the times, six times he said, when he met Olga Davis, the mother of Deborah Davis.She told them her daughter was missing and expressed her concern that Flemmi had murdered her and also told them she believed Flemmi had murdered her husband. It seemed Cronin and Crawford made an effort to look into the disappearance but did not do any work with respect to Flemmi. Cronin said Flemmi was organized crime and that was the job of another squad.

Of interest Cronin never reduced anything Olga told him to writing. He felt that her safety was at risk and didn't want anyone to know she was talking with him. He wouldn't go so far as to say he thought if it was in writing it'd be leaked out to Flemmi, but it seemed clear that was his fear.

He talked about how he tried to have Olga confront Flemmi on a recorded phone line but she seemed reluctant. He mentioned that there was or had been a wiretap on the Davis home in Randolph around that time. That might have been a wiretap I had done on that house although I did not think the FBI was involved in it.

The pre-morning recess ended with prosecutor Kelly asking Cronin the following question: "If someone does a lousy job investigating a case that doesn't give someone the right to murder someone, does it?"

That question shows the level this case has descended to.
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Boston FBI SAC  Vincent Lisi found

Boston Leadership
Boston SAC Vincent Lisi

Special Agent in Charge
Vincent Lisi

Assistant Special Agents in Charge
- Peter F. Kowenhoven
- Kieran Ramsey
- Jeffrey S. Sallet
- Lucia M. Ziobro
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Senators Grassely and Leahy are two made members of the FBI  crime family.

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Tough questions for FBI over Marathon Bombing response

Posted: Oct 17, 2013 

FOX UNDERCOVER (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A top U.S. Senator is demanding answers from the FBI about what they knew about the Tsarnaev brothers and when they knew it, asking if agents had recruited either suspected Marathon bomber as informants and if the bureau had the pair under surveillance before releasing their images to the public.

The FBI issued a strongly worded denial that the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which they lead, knew the identities of the Tsarnaevs before the shootout in Watertown that ended one of their lives or that they were ever sources for the FBI.

But in a letter to the head of FBI, which was obtained exclusively by FOX Undercover, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the questions that have been on the minds of many in state and local law enforcement. Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with broad oversight over the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Grassley's questions get to a nagging doubt in many minds: if the FBI had the Tsarnaev brothers on its radar before publicly identifying them, could the death of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier have been prevented along with the firefight in Watertown that nearly took the life of MBTA Transit Officer Richard Donohue.

"Did the FBI have the suspects under physical surveillance at any time prior to releasing the photos to the public?" Grassley wrote in his letter to FBI Director James B. Comey, Jr. The FBI aired the photos of the then-unnamed suspects during a 5 p.m. press conference on the Thursday after the bombing, about five hours before Collier was shot and killed.

Grassley also writes that his office has learned through sources that, "In the hours leading up to the shooting of Collier and the death of the older suspect involved in the bombing, sources revealed that uniformed Cambridge Police Department officers encountered multiple teams of FBI employees conducting surveillance in the area of Central Square in Cambridge. It is unclear who the FBI was watching, but these sources allege the Cambridge Police Department, including its representation at the (Joint Terrorism Task Force), was not previously made aware of the FBI's activity in Cambridge."

Grassley asks if the surveillance was being conducted in Cambridge, and if so, were the Tsarnaevs or their associates being watched.

The Cambridge surveillance drew such pointed questions from Grassley not only because it goes to the explosive question of whether the Tsarnaevs slipped through FBI surveillance and went on their path of destruction, but also because the information about surveillance, regardless of who was the target, wasn't shared with local police.

"Continued reluctance on the part of the FBI to share information with local law enforcement, especially in the wake of the Whitey Bulger saga and your ongoing Mark Rossetti investigation, would be extremely troubling," Grassley writes. Rossetti is a made captain in the Boston mafia, a suspected murderer, who was also revealed to be a long-time FBI informant, an issue that previously drew the scrutiny of Grassley as well as U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-South Boston.

FOX Undercover has learned one explanation why there were at least some FBI surveillance teams in Cambridge: several MIT students were being looked at as suspects.

Referring back to the FBI's review of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, prompted by a tip from the Russian government, Grassley asks if the FBI tried to recruit him as a source, and if not, why not.

In a statement, the special agent in charge of the Boston office, Vincent Lisi, said the Tsarnaev brothers were never sources for the FBI and denied knowing any link between the Tsarnaevs and the bombing until after the Watertown shootout.

""Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force did not know their identities until shortly after Tamerlan Tsarnaev's death. Nor did the Joint Terrorism Task Force have the Tsarnaevs under surveillance at any time after the assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was closed in 2011," Lisi said.

That was echoed by Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge during the Marathon Bombing, who said in an interview with FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet that his office only learned their identities after fingerprinting Tamerlan's body after he was killed in the Watertown shootout. DesLauriers also called any suggestion that the FBI is somehow to blame for Collier's death, "irresponsible".

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October 28 2013

New regional FBI chief sees threat from sequestration

He says the agency will ‘do less with less’ when federal cuts slash its budget by $700 million.


The FBI’s new special agent in charge of the Boston field office, which covers Maine, led the investigation into the post-Sept. 11 anthrax attacks, was stationed in Yemen after the U.S. Embassy there was bombed in 2008, and helped lead the nation’s counterterrorism efforts out of FBI headquarters in Washington.

click image to enlarge

Vincent B. Lisi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston field office – which covers Maine – says, “Sequestration is the biggest challenge.”


click image to enlarge

Vincent B. Lisi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston field office – which covers Maine – says, “Sequestration is the biggest challenge.”

But for the challenges facing the nation’s premier law enforcement agency now, it’s his 3½ years of experience as a certified public accountant before he joined the bureau that may be most helpful.

“Sequestration is the biggest challenge,” said Vincent B. Lisi, who has been Boston’s special agent in charge for the past three months.

The budget-cutting agreement that requires across-the-board cuts to most federal programs will result in a $700 million cut to the FBI this year. Personnel accounts for 68 percent of its budget, fixed costs like rent for much of the remainder. Cut training, and agents aren’t as prepared as they should be to do their job, he said.

“We finally realized we’re going to do less with less,” he said, discussing the bureau’s effort to prioritize its missions to focus on the most important, though he would not say what areas might be scaled back.

Lisi introduced himself to the Maine press corps Monday at the office of U.S. Attorney for Maine Thomas E. Delahanty II in Portland along with the resident agent in charge of the Maine FBI office, Aaron Steps.

Steps has been on the job in Maine for eight months.

He previously was stationed in Pakistan and in Nairobi, Kenya, where he lived about two blocks from the Westgate Mall, which was attacked by Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorists last month.

“I would occasionally stop there. When my parents came to visit, we had dinner there,” Steps said. “I was friends with a number of the Kenyans that were working the case. I consider them friends. ... It’s very difficult not to be there when that happens.”

Steps said he did not participate in that investigation but the Portland office did have to follow up on the suggestion – later deemed erroneous – that one of the mall attackers was from Maine’s Somali population.

Steps said the need to check the Somali population for information about possible threats was unfortunate but necessary.

“I think for the vast majority of them it’s very painful that this is going on,” he said of the terrorism attacks in that country. “They understand we have to check into it. We try to keep our footprint to a minimum.”

Lisi said the need to respond to such possibilities is one reason it is so important for the FBI to maintain relationships not only with law enforcement agencies throughout the state but with other groups to facilitate communication about potential threats.

Maine’s contingent of FBI agents is relatively small, with 13 agents, not including Steps, spread between Bangor, Augusta and Portland offices, as well as four task force officers assigned to the bureau by police agencies in Maine.

One of the biggest challenges to the bureau here is geography, Steps said. It can take a full day of two Bangor agents’ time to drive to Fort Kent to knock on a door, he said.

Maine has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States, but he said the caseload is proportional to other parts of the country.

“Quite frankly, the biggest impact on the health and well-bing of the people of Maine is prescription drug abuse,” Steps said.

One initiative that is unique to Maine is FBI assistance in investigating pharmacy robberies.

Last year, Maine was hit with more than 50 pharmacy robberies, unheard of in other jurisdictions.

Delahanty, who attended Monday’s meeting, said he requested the FBI’s help in response to the wave of pharmacy robberies.

“It was really an epidemic,” he said, adding that the numbers have dropped this year.

Steps said the FBI agents in Maine also focus on white collar crime, such as financial fraud and health care fraud.

On the national level, as well as in Boston and to a lesser extent Maine, a major focus of the bureau is on counterintelligence.

Years ago, that meant looking for spies other governments may have stationed in the United States, Lisi said. Now, counterintelligence usually entails defending against and investigating cyberattacks.

The bureau’s programming experts work with defense contractors and other high-tech companies researching sensitive technology to make sure their defenses against hackers are adequate. When the FBI learns of a new cyberespionage technique, it alerts businesses that might be targets and works with researchers in academia to make sure the latest innovations are available to important private sector companies, Lisi said.

Lisi takes over for Richard DesLauriers, who was head of the Boston FBI field office during the Boston Marathon bombings and oversaw that investigation.

The Boston office covers Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, operating joint terrorism task forces in each state.

Lisi said the bureau may explore incentives to have employees retire early to speed up attrition as a way of meeting cutbacks required by sequestration.

A pending retirement in the Maine office won’t be filled, he said.

“The FBI is probably not going to hire another single person for another maybe two years,” he said.

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By the way if any of you have any unwanted pets taxpayer funded FBI  agents sure could use them for their SWAT in-service training programs.
Seems like very special taxpayer funded FBI  agent Lovett Ledger got the neighbors 10 year old girl's 3 lb Chihuahua  and a neighbors Labrador up the street.
After all you never know when a very special agent will be called to defend this country against a known terrorist like Vicki Weaver who was shot and killed standing on her porch
holding her baby at Ruby Ridge . One of the FBI  supervisors involved in the ensuing coverup   would later go on to direct his informant Timothy McVeigh.  see  the
following three stories

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Dog Killing FBI Agent Gets a “Slap on the Wrist” VIDEO
Sunday, July 12th, 2009 at 8:40 am 

Lovett Leslie Ledger indicted for shooting dead of neighbor's dogThere are times when I’m not sure why I ever actually expect more from our justice system.  Last February, a Waco, TX FBI agent, a sniper and member of the FBI SWAT team, Lovett Leslie Ledger, Jr. shot and killed a neighbor’s little 3-lb chihuahua named Sassy, with a pellet rifle and although indicted for felony animal cruelty the only ones who paid for this crime were the dog with its life and the family who lost their tiny little furry family member.

    Cyndi Mitchell, who lives across the street from FBI agent, Lovett Leslie Ledger, told authorities that she witnessed Ledger shoot the dog in front of her house with a pellet rifle on Feb. 29.

    Mitchell has said that her dogs were barking and she went to the door and saw Sassy walking on Estes Road in front of her house.

    The dog lurched to one side upon being shot, then rolled into a yard where she died, she has said.

    “I’ve never heard a noise like that from an animal,” Mitchell said, describing it as “a screaming sound.”

    As neighbors gathered around the fallen dog, Ledger took the pellet gun, turned and walked inside his house with one of his children.

    Initially when confronted by authorities about the crime, Ledger lied but changed his story when witnesses came forward.

He was later indicted by a grand jury for cruelty to animals, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a $10,000 fine.

Pleading no contest, Judge Matt Johnson in 54th District Court sentenced Ledger to two years deferred probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service. Not only that, if he completes the term of probation, the conviction will be expunged from his record.

FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said Wednesday the agency will determine whether Ledger faces any sanctions, which could range from suspension to dismissal, after an internal inquiry is completed. Initially it was reported that if convicted of the felony, that would mostly likely be the end of his career, with Ledger getting deferred adjudication probation, the FBI will probably just let him get away with it too. After all, if the justice system doesn’t care, why should they. It was “just a dog” after all!

Yet another injustice from our justice system! Sure, shoot and kill a 3-lb dog for no reason…. who care…. just a dog!

2nd story
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Remember Ruby Ridge
By Tim Lynch
This article was published in National Review Online, Aug. 21, 2002.

On August 21, 1992 a paramilitary unit of the U.S. Marshals Service ventured onto the 20-acre property known as Ruby Ridge. A man named Randy Weaver owned the land and he lived there with his wife, children, and a family friend, Kevin Harris. There was an outstanding warrant for Weaver’s arrest for a firearms offense and the marshals were surveilling the premises. When the family dog noticed the marshals sneaking around in the woods, it began to bark wildly. Weaver’s 14-year-old boy, Sammy, and Kevin Harris proceeded to grab their rifles because they thought the dog had come upon a wild animal.

A firefight erupted when a marshal shot and killed the dog. Enraged that the family pet had been cut down for no good reason, Sammy shot into the woods at the unidentified trespasser. Within a few minutes, two human beings were shot dead: Sammy Weaver and a marshal. Harris and the Weaver family retreated to their cabin and the marshals retreated from the mountain and called the FBI for assistance.

During the night, FBI snipers took positions around the Weaver cabin. There is no dispute about the fact that the snipers were given illegal “shoot to kill” orders. Under the law, police agents can use deadly force to defend themselves and others from imminent attack, but these snipers were instructed to shoot any adult who was armed and outside the cabin, regardless of whether the adult posed a threat or not. The next morning, an FBI agent shot and wounded Randy Weaver. A few moments later, the same agent shot Weaver’s wife in the head as she was standing in the doorway of her home holding a baby in her arms. The FBI snipers had not yet announced their presence and had not given the Weavers an opportunity to peacefully surrender.

Embarrassed by the outcome, FBI officials told the world that there would be a thorough review of the case, but the Bureau closed ranks and covered up the mess. FBI director Louis Freeh went so far as to promote one of the agents involved, Larry Potts, to the Bureau’s number-two position.

3rd story

Nichols says bombing was FBI op

Detailed confession filed in Salt.Lake city about Oklahoma City bombing plot
 Feb. 22 2007

The only surviving convicted criminal in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City is saying his co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, told him he was taking orders from a top FBI official in orchestrating the bombing.

A declaration from Terry Lynn Nichols, filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, has proven to be one of the most detailed confessions by Nichols to date about his involvement in the bombing as well as the involvement of others.
The declaration was filed as part of Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue's pending wrongful death suit against the government for the death of his brother in a federal corrections facility in Oklahoma City. Trentadue claims his brother was killed during an interrogation by FBI agents when agents mistook his brother for a suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.

The most shocking allegation in the 19-page signed declaration is Nichols' assertion that the whole bombing plot was an FBI operation and that McVeigh let slip during a bout of anger that he was taking instruction from former FBI official Larry Potts.

Potts was no stranger to anti-government confrontations, having been the lead FBI agent at Ruby Ridge in 1992, which led to the shooting death of Vicki Weaver, the wife of separatist Randy Weaver. Potts also was reportedly involved in the 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993, which resulted in a fire that killed 81 Branch Davidian followers.

Potts retired from the FBI under intense pressure and criticism for the cover-up of an order to allow agents to shoot anyone seen leaving the Weaver cabin at Ruby Ridge.
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November 5 2014

Coroner: Alcohol involved in boat crash that killed FBI workers

The barge involved in the fatal wreck sits in the middle of the Ohio River Downtown.
Alcohol played a factor in the Ohio River crash that killed two FBI employees in September, an official at the Campbell County Coroner's Office said.

Bryce Eastlick, 28, and John Stack II, 29 — both off-duty employees of the Cincinnati FBI office — were killed late Sept. 25 when their 19-foot pleasure boat slammed into a massive barge traveling down the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Newport, a Cincinnati fire official said.
"The toxicology report did confirm that it was alcohol related," an official at the coroner's office said Wednesday.
The coroner declined to release specifics, such as the men's blood alcohol content, and said the full autopsy report is not yet available.
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two reads

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FBI Investigating After Denver Cops Punch Unarmed Suspect Six Times, Trip Pregnant Girlfriend, Delete Video of Incident


Nov. 28, 2014

undercover police in Denver targeted suspected drug dealer David Flores for arrest. Flores allegedly put a sock full of heroin in his mouth. Uniformed cops showed up to help in the arrest and one of them punched Flores six times in an effort to get him to spit the drugs out. When cops saw a bystander recording the incident with his tablet, they seized it. When they returned it to the bystander, Levi Frasier, the video was deleted, but a few months later he realized the video had been uploaded to a cloud.

He made the video available to Fox 31 in Denver, which did not release it in its entirety because it shows undercover cops on tape. Fox 31 reports on its contents:

The videotape shows [Officer Christopher] Evans holding down the suspect’s legs. A burly undercover officer can be seen bear-hugging Flores, lying on his side on the asphalt parking lot. Flores has his hands pinned behind his back.

[Officer Charles] Jones can be heard yelling at Flores to, “Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!”

When Flores fails to open his mouth, Jones punches him with a closed fist six times in the face.

The video shows the suspect’s head bouncing off the pavement as a result of the force.

And then:

While Jones was punching Flores, the video captures the loud sounds of a woman screaming in Spanish for police to stop.

A few seconds later, a visibly pregnant woman approaches the area where the officers are on top of Flores. Jones reaches out and sweeps her feet out from under her.

It appears on video, the woman, 25-year-old Mayra Lazos-Guerrero, falls hard on her stomach and face.

Jones reported to a superior he thought the woman was going to kick him.

Frasier disagrees with that and describes the punches he saw thrown: “Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard. I’ve seen some people get punched in the ring and on TV and whatnot, but the sound of those resonating



FBI Official Gets Six Years
Carl Spicocchi
Thursday, March 13, 2008
In a courtroom crowded with his friends from law enforcement, a former FBI official was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for torturing his girlfriend at knifepoint and gunpoint during a six-hour ordeal in her Crystal City high-rise apartment.

Carl L. Spicocchi

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two reads

see links for full story

FBI Investigating After Denver Cops Punch Unarmed Suspect Six Times, Trip Pregnant Girlfriend, Delete Video of Incident


Nov. 28, 2014

undercover police in Denver targeted suspected drug dealer David Flores for arrest. Flores allegedly put a sock full of heroin in his mouth. Uniformed cops showed up to help in the arrest and one of them punched Flores six times in an effort to get him to spit the drugs out. When cops saw a bystander recording the incident with his tablet, they seized it. When they returned it to the bystander, Levi Frasier, the video was deleted, but a few months later he realized the video had been uploaded to a cloud.

He made the video available to Fox 31 in Denver, which did not release it in its entirety because it shows undercover cops on tape. Fox 31 reports on its contents:

The videotape shows [Officer Christopher] Evans holding down the suspect’s legs. A burly undercover officer can be seen bear-hugging Flores, lying on his side on the asphalt parking lot. Flores has his hands pinned behind his back.

[Officer Charles] Jones can be heard yelling at Flores to, “Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!”

When Flores fails to open his mouth, Jones punches him with a closed fist six times in the face.

The video shows the suspect’s head bouncing off the pavement as a result of the force.

And then:

While Jones was punching Flores, the video captures the loud sounds of a woman screaming in Spanish for police to stop.

A few seconds later, a visibly pregnant woman approaches the area where the officers are on top of Flores. Jones reaches out and sweeps her feet out from under her.

It appears on video, the woman, 25-year-old Mayra Lazos-Guerrero, falls hard on her stomach and face.

Jones reported to a superior he thought the woman was going to kick him.

Frasier disagrees with that and describes the punches he saw thrown: “Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard. I’ve seen some people get punched in the ring and on TV and whatnot, but the sound of those resonating



FBI Official Gets Six Years
Carl Spicocchi
Thursday, March 13, 2008
In a courtroom crowded with his friends from law enforcement, a former FBI official was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for torturing his girlfriend at knifepoint and gunpoint during a six-hour ordeal in her Crystal City high-rise apartment.

Carl L. Spicocchi

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The FBI's Harassment of Martin Luther King Jr.: Directed by J. Edgar Hoover --

January 16, 2015 at 18:38:47

President Lyndon B. Johnson with Martin Luther King, Jr.
(image by LBJ Library)
by Phillip F. Nelson and Roger Stone

Amidst all the brouhaha related to the allegedly "false" portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in the movie Selma caused by the LBJ Library's director, Mark Updegrove, in hid Politico Article "What Selma Gets Wrong," it is noteworthy to call to the public's attention how the "LBJ defenders" have attempted to absolve President Johnson from involvement with that sordid chapter in American history. Updegrove's article was quickly followed by one from Joseph Califano, printed in the Washington Post, that even claimed the Selma march was Lyndon Johnson's idea. All of it was quite opposite of the truth, and no amount of "LBJ revisionism" will make it fact.

From the time that Martin Luther King Jr.'s name came to national prominence in December, 1955, J. Edgar Hoover began monitoring his activities, even as King and his closest associates mistakenly presumed, according to Andrew Young, that "we thought of the FBI as our friends, the only hope we had."[i] By 1959, Hoover had decided, on his own and without higher authorization, to order his agents to burglarize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) offices to obtain personal information about Dr. King and install telephone wire taps as well as "bugs" to record non-telephonic conversations and assorted other noises. This brazenly illegal activity, of which there were many other cases in addition to King's, continued into the Kennedy administration. By 1961, the freedom rides that had begun that year revealed which side the FBI was really on, and it was not King's. Attorney General Robert Kennedy had attempted to bring the wiretapping under control, however by that time the SCLC and King had begun fighting back, culminating in a special report attacking the FBI on January 8, 1962. By then, the FBI had obtained evidence that two people in King's entourage, Stanley Levison and Jack O'Dell, had ties to the American Communist Party, making it difficult for the Kennedys to cooperate with King until that issue was dealt with or, conversely, for them to end the surveillance under the continuing pressure wielded by Hoover. [ii]

During the five years of Hoover's sleuthing before JFK was sworn in, Hoover had become obsessed with destroying King, and in 1961 he called on his Special Agents in Charge (SACs) of his field offices to cull their files for all the "subversive" information they could gather and send it to the "SOG" (as he called himself, the "Seat of Government"). Hoover's assistant, Cartha "Deke" DeLoach, was put in charge of compiling this assortment of innuendo, half-truths and whole lies, sprinkled with sufficient "facts" to make it salable. [iii] By October, 1963, six weeks before JFK's assassination, Robert F. Kennedy, under pressure from Hoover, approved the FBI wiretap of King for a 30 day period ending on November 21, 1963. His tenuous relationship with Hoover had, at that point in time, been seriously compromised by his need to solicit the FBI's help in protecting his brother JFK's own secrets regarding his involvement with a number of ladies who had been procured on his behalf by none other than Bobby Baker, all as choreographed by Lyndon B. Johnson. This required RFK to delicately "deal with" not just one "devil" but three, simultaneously: Hoover, Johnson and Baker. He had no choice but to approve those temporary wiretaps but he fully expected to review, and possibly end, that surveillance, at the end of the 30 days, but his brother's assassination ended his control over that process; there was no review until 1965 because Hoover ignored RFK's condition and the "King wiretapping went on and on,"[iv] to Lyndon Johnson's personal pleasure.

After JFK's assassination, RFK became ineffectual in his position, cut off from above by Johnson and from below by Hoover, both of whom liked to play the recordings of King's sexual trysts for their own amusement or at cocktail parties for others as well. LBJ played them for long time crony, a long-time Texas pal of Johnson's, then Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, who described it in his memoir. There are numerous reports about how these recordings were delivered to President Johnson, who took great delight in listening to them, especially King's sexual exploits. One such account was a 2011 article in the Atlantic Monthly magazine, which stated: "He listened to the tapes that even had the noises of the bedsprings," Time correspondent Hugh Sidey reported in 1975. Johnson would say to anyone having nice things to say about MLK, "Goddammit, if you could only hear what that hypocritical preacher does sexually."[v] Lyndon Johnson's description of King was the same in 1967 as it had been three years earlier, despite how they had "collaborated" on the passage of the legislation in between.
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FBI Agent's 2nd Murder Trial to Begin Tuesday in Stafford


Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015 • Updated at 8:28 AM EST
A former FBI special agent is going to trial a second time on charges of killing his wife.
Arthur B. Gonzales' first trial ended in a mistrial in March 2014 after jurors couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. The 43-year-old's second trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Stafford County Circuit Court.

Gonzales is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. The 43-year-old is accused of fatally shooting his wife, 42-year-old Julie Serna Gonzales, on April 19, 2013. He testified at his first trial that he shot his wife in self-defense after she attacked him
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Robert Sylvester, 73, and his wife Kathy Lester, 61, are both retreat participants as well as spiritual advisers.

Sylvester, a retired FBI agent with a master’s degree in counseling, said his own battles with addiction led him to become interested in all forms of mental health counseling. He has weaved all of life’s experiences into his passion for spiritual direction.

“I have been a spiritual director for about 10 years,” he said. “It is now my full-time ministry. I’m on staff (with WVIS) as a spiritual director and retreat director. I will be available as a spiritual director during the Almost Heaven Retreats. If there is time at the end, I will take a couple of days for my own retreat. Time for myself provides opportunity for prayer and most importantly for quiet. These are silent retreats. It’s an opportunity for being with the God of my understanding. It opens prayer life away from the world and gives me time to refocus where I understand my God wants me to be.”

Kathy Lester, a financial consultant, said the retreats offer the chance to unplug from technology and the demands of life while focusing upon spirituality.

“It’s protected, sacred time,” she said. “The whole focus is to improve your relationship with God and be at peace with who you are. You’re open to whatever God has to say to you. Prayer is also about listening.”

The donation requested for the Almost Heaven Retreats is $85 per day at Wes

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150122/DM06/150129689/1281#sthash.5bNCJINx.dpuf
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How Quirky was Berkeley: The social justice posters of the Red Sun Rising collective
January 29, 2015 10:40 am
The Red House collective was at Parker St. This poster of the collective was made in 1972.
The Red Sun Rising collective was a commune in Berkeley in the 1960s and 1970s. It was located at 2239 Parker St., although not all of the members lived in the house. This painting of the collective was made in 1972.
To the Berkeley of 2015, the Berkeley of the 1960s and early 1970s seems a long-gone relative. Some of us remember what it looked like, but it is a distant memory. Even so, the Berkeley of then informs both the perception and reality of Berkeley today. The intact collection of the social justice posters of the Red Sun Rising collective is a powerful reminder of those days.

Berkeley was filled with communes and collectives in the late 1960s and early 1970s, intentional communities in which New Left politics and counterculture values and behaviors coexisted in a way that they never had before or have since.

Red Sun Rising existed for several years on Parker Street. It was, along with the Red Family on Bateman and several others, at the radical end of the spectrum. Several other collectives called Parker Street home, including the Cholima Collective (Chollima was a 1956 state-sponsored movement in North Korea intended to promote rapid economic development), and an anarchist collective that embraced the philosophy of Nestor Makhno, an anarchist/communist Ukrainian revolutionary who led a rogue anarchist army during the Russian Civil War

The musicians who would become Red Star Rising were frequent visitors on Parker Street and sang at the different collectives. The drawing on the album cover above may depict the back of the Red Sun Rising house.

As was the custom of the time, the collective’s walls were filled with social justice posters. The dozen collective members were united by intensely anti-Establishment, New Left politics. They embraced many causes, and the art celebrating those causes. They dabbled in poster-making themselves, and were close friends and comrades in arms with the East Bay Media workshop, which, under the guidance of Frank Rowe, produced many notable posters between 1971 and 1973.

Lincoln Cushing, archival consultant of the All of Us Or None collection of social justice posters at the Oakland Museum of California, says that “posters are among the significant ephemera of the long 1960s. They were densely packed with cultural viruses capable of transmitting such abstract concepts as ‘solidarity,’ ‘sisterhood,’ or ‘peace’ all over the world.”

Speaking of the “modern political poster renaissance,” Cushing says that “two key vectors were crucial — the means for making the posters and the means for distributing them. Both existed in the Bay Area; drawing from the rock and counterculture posters from San Francisco, and the visually radical new imagery from Cuba, the new social justice posters became vibrant public documents that promoted a wide range of social issues.”

Somewhat miraculously, the Red Sun Rising collective’s entire poster collection was preserved by a collective member, giving an up-close-and-personal look at the social justice art of one intense, whimsical, passionate Berkeley collective. About a dozen of the posters are presented here, while all are presented in this Quirky Berkeley post.


The poster shown above needs no words. The police were the enemy. Everywhere. The image here is of Oakland police at the 1967 Oakland Army Terminal demonstrations. The demonstration turned into something of a battle.


Seven demonstrators were indicted for their actions – Mike Smith, Steve Hamilton, Frank Bardacke, Reese Erlich, Terry Cannon, Bob Mandel, and Jeff Segal. They were acquitted.

Kent-StateKent State was a defining moment for a generation. On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard shot 13 unarmed students at Kent State. Some were walking to class, some were observing the protest, and some were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia which President Nixon had announced on April 30. Four died. Of the wounded, one was paralyzed for life. It was a time of horror for the country. The media focused on the victims, while the Left focused on both the victims and the killers.


As the Vietnam war dragged on, morale fell among U.S. troops in Vietnam, and with the falling morale open defiance of authority increased. Outright mutiny was rare, but did happen and it did happen a few miles from Berkeley on the U.S.S. Coral Sea. The Coral Sea was docked in Alameda in the fall of 1971, scheduled for a tour of bombing duty in Vietnam. A core of crew members launched a petition-drive that built into a movement known as “Stop Our Ship” or SOS. The petition said: “We the people must guide the government and not allow the government to guide us! The Coral Sea is scheduled for Vietnam in November. This does not have to be a fact. The ship can be prevented from taking an active part in the conflict if we the majority voice our opinion that we do not believe in the Vietnam war. If you feel that the Coral Sea should not go to Vietnam, voice your opinion by signing this petition.” The Left in Berkeley rallied behind the sailors and SOS.


We think of the University of Santa Barbara as quiet and party-friendly, yet it was not always thus. On Feb. 25, 1970, students/protesters pushed police out of town and burned the Isla Vista branch of the Bank of America at 935 Embarcadero Del Norte. Issues at play in Santa Barbara at the time were the April 1969 Union Oil offshore spill, the firing of popular assistant professor Bill Allen of the Anthropology Department, and growing opposition to the Vietnam War.

The burning of the bank was seen by the young/New Left as a glorious blow against the empire. In 1979, retired FBI agent Crillon C. Payne II wrote in Deep Cover that FBI agents embedded in the student community in Santa Barbara had acted as agents provocateurs and incited the bank burning, a classic Counter Intelligence Program action.


The rally advertised in this poster took place in 1972. The Chronicle reported that 25,000 to 30,000 attended. Robert Scheer, a good friend of Red Sun Rising, was a speaker at the rally. He led a chant of “Support the Seven Points!” The Seven Points were found in the Peace Proposal of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam, dated July 1, 1971. Dick Gregory spoke, as advertised, and announced that he was starting a 40-day fast.


This 1972 poster was probably the most successful poster printed by East Bay Media. Doug Lawler designed it. It was the policy of East Bay Media not to identify the artist, or even itself as the print shop. Collective members included Peggy White, Harold Lucky, Stephanie Jones, Suzanne Korey, and others. They first operated out of a garage on Regent Street, and then, when the Berkeley Tribe ceased operating, they moved into the Tribe office at 1701 Grove.


This poster is unusual in that it does not reference a specific event or group or issue. Created by Bruce Kaiper of the East Bay Media Project in 1970, it suggests a war crimes tribunal. The words in the lower left are those of Edward Teller: “In our conflict with the powerful communistic countries which strive for world domination, …. the flexible power of clean nuclear explosives would put us in a position where we could resist aggression in any part of the world, practically at a moment’s notice.” Teller had recently advocated using nuclear weapons against Hanoi, as we are reminded by the headlines in the newspaper shown in the poster.

A former Red Sun Rising member explains the campaign: “The War Crimes Tribunal was actually the idea of Tom Hayden and Red Family to protest Berkeley faculty’s direct complicity with the war including scholars such as Richard Scalapino, a southeast Asia expert who worked with the National War College and the Pentagon. We audited his class but several students were suspended for disrupting it. At that time many social scientists, from anthropologists to political scientists, directly worked with CIA/military.”

The five identified as war criminals were all nuclear physicists or chemists who took played key roles in development of America’s atomic weapons – Glenn Seaborg, Edwin McMillan, Robert Oppenheimer, John Lawrence, and Edward Teller.


This is a Red Sun Rising production. Nguyen Tang Huyen was a Vietnamese student studying psychology at Cal. He came to the United States in March 1968 with a scholarship from the Agency for International Development. He graduated in honors and in 1972 had been accepted for graduate work in clinical psychology at Case Western. Because Huyen spoke out against the war, the Thieu regime in Saigon asked the US government for his immediate return to Vietnam. Our government terminated his scholarship and initiated deportation proceedings.

Berkeley radicals accepted Nguyen Tang Huyen as one of theirs. He campaigned for asylum from his apartment on Dana Street. Congressman Ron Dellums sought political asylum for him. A committee was formed to support him, the National Committee to Defend the Rights of South Vietnamese Students with a Berkeley post office box address.


The image in this poster is from the Attica Prison Uprising/Riot (what you called it revealed your politics) of September, 1971. Over a four-day period in which prisoners controlled the prison and then were subdued, 33 inmates and 10 guards and prison administrators were killed.

Many on the Left, especially in California, and more especially the Bay Area, were inspired by the self-proclaimed revolutionary ideology among California inmates. They remembered Marx writing that prisoners were capable of “the most heroic deeds and most exalted sacrifices.” They were especially inspired by Ho Chi Minh’s saying that “when the prison gates fly open, the real dragons will emerge.” The Left embraced the San Quentin Six and provided support for their legal defense on many levels. After a 16-month trial, one was convicted of murder, two of assault, and three were acquitted. The radical prisoner movement rose in the early 1970s and largely subsided by late in the decade.


The Presidio 27 were prisoners at the Presidio stockade in San Francisco. On Oct. 14, 1968, the 27 (plus one who backed down) engaged in a sit-down strike and ignored orders to disperse. Walter Pawolski read their demands – improve prisoner conditions and end the war. They were charged with mutiny. The first defendants to go through court martial proceedings received sentences of 14-16 years of hard labor.


Their resistance drew national attention. Anti-war GI’s organized a march to the Presidio on April 6, 1969; that was before most members of Red Sun Rising matriculated at Cal, making this poster a historic relic even at the time that it was on the collective’s walls. In 1970 the Court of Military Review voided the long sentences and imposed instead shorter sentences for willful disobedience of a superior officer. Most prisoners were released that year. Three had escaped to Canada.

The Red Sun Rising collective disbanded in 1972. The women in the collective were drawn to second-wave feminism, and there are persistent rumors about the role that counterfeit tickets to the June 1, 1972 Rolling Stones concert in San Francisco may have played in the collective’s demise. The collective is gone, but the posters remain. They both informed and reflected the values of an element of young, radical Berkeley in the early 1970s. The Free Speech Movement, as a marker,had produced no posters. A few years later, the floodgates of graphic expression opened.

Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,600 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means.

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* The Week at WhoWhatWhy

On Monday: Who’s Really Benefiting from the Alleged Chinese Hack Attacks (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/09/whos-really-benefiting-alleged-chinese-hack-attacks/ by Curt Hopkins (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/curt-hopkins/
The news that hackers stole 80 million people’s data from health insurer Anthem quickly led to the blame game, with favorite villain China making an early appearance. Just as swiftly, the government sprang into action to exploit the headlines and rally support for a bigger, more powerful security-industrial complex.

On Tuesday: Here’s What the Boston Bombing Trial Judge Thinks a Good Juror Looks Like (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/10/heres-boston-bombing-trial-judge-thinks-good-juror-looks-like/ by Andy Thibault (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/andy-thibault/
Once again, the judge in the Boston Marathon Bombing trial is insisting that there will be no problem seating an impartial jury in the city traumatized by the attack. His latest motion denying the defense’s request to move the trial holds up one juror as a shining example of fair-mindedness. Andy Thibault looks at some of the juror’s statements which didn’t make it into the judge’s ruling.

On Wednesday: How Turkey’s Dirty Energy Boom Left 432 Children Fatherless (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/11/turkeys-dirty-energy-boom-hyperactive-hyperbolic-hydrocarbonated/ by James Ryan (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/james-ryan/
Turkey’s rush to privatize state assets and mine its natural resources is turning a nation blessed with tremendous clean energy potential into a dirtier one. And it’s not just the environment that’s polluted. James Ryan investigates from Istanbul.

On Thursday: BOSTON WRONGED: Hollywood Twists Boston (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/12/boston-wronged-tsarnaev-takedown-goes-hollywood/ by Joanne Potter (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/joanne-potter/
Hollywood has never let the truth get in the way of a good story. One cop’s tale about Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture is a sterling example. Joanne Potter points out the plot holes.

Also on Thursday: BREAKING: Appeals Court Will Hear Tsarnaev’s Change of Venue Request (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/12/breaking-appeals-court-will-hear-tsarnaevs-change-venue-request/ by The WhoWhatWhy Team (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/the-whowhatwhy-team/
The First Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Boston Marathon Bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s argument that he can’t get a fair trial in Boston. Don’t hold your breath for any revelations though: the appellate court has forbidden lawyers for either side to talk about the details at the heart of the argument.

On Friday: The Radical Experiment in Democracy That Defeated the Islamic State in Syria (http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/13/radical-experiment-democracy-defeated-islamic-state-syria/ by Victor Kotsev (http://whowhatwhy.org/author/victor-kotsev/
The American allies that beat back a five-month Islamic State onslaught on the Syria-Turkey border are running a bold experiment in democracy started by … terrorists. From Istanbul, Victor Kotsev examines the Kurdish warrior-democrats doing Washington’s heavy lifting.

** Sunday Round-up

“Lackluster” is a good way to describe today’s line-ups on the various Sunday Shows. Most of the morning was filled with mainstream talking points on the specter of terrorism (http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/terror-attacks-denmark-28982612 and predictable regurgitations of the conventional wisdom about the 2016 Presidential Election.

Military-friendly Martha Raddatz (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-battle-isis/story?id=28969737 opened This Week with George Stephanopoulos with an “embedded” report from Jordan on the U.S. war against the Islamic State. All the shows discussed the oddit
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Jeb Bush, Nigeria and the FBI: How a business deal soured
Matt Dixon
5:48 PM, Feb 28, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – Jeb Bush was the son of the sitting U.S. president when he was greeted in Nigeria as a hero, leading a 21-person delegation to the country in 1989.

“The visit was the grandest celebration of U.S.-Nigeria friendship we have seen in recent memory,” read a U.S. State Department diplomatic cable at the time titled “Nigeria Goes All out for Jeb Bush visit.”

During a visit to Lagos, then-Nigerian President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and former External Affairs Minister Jaja Nwachukwu gave Bush gifts. Bush returned the favor by giving a medal from the inauguration of his father, President George H.W. Bush.

But this was a business trip for Jeb Bush, part of his job helping in sales for MWI Corporation, a South Florida company that last year was found guilty in a federal civil case of misleading the U.S. government to secure taxpayer-funded loans.

New details uncovered by Naples Daily News-Treasure Coast newspapers in depositions and confidential FBI interviews reveal claims that Bush made more on MWI business deals than the $648,000 he has acknowledged publicly and he made money on the Nigeria project at the center of the federal investigation. Former MWI employees contradicted Bush’s earlier statements insisting that he never received a penny from the Nigeria project, but those workers did not provide proof nor did investigators seek it, according to the documents.

Bush, who co-owned the Bush-El company to work with MWI, was never a target or accused of any wrongdoing in the federal case that ended with a verdict last June against the company. Federal investigators could find no evidence tying him to wrongdoing discovered in the Nigeria pump deal, although at the time they didn’t rule it out, according to a confidential January 2002 U.S. Department of Justice memo obtained by Naples Daily News-Treasure Coast newspapers.

“We do not now have evidence that Bush had any involvement in the contracts at issue in the relator’s complaint, though this remains a possibility,” according to the memo.

As Bush prepares a run for president, his business record will come under intense scrutiny. The MWI deal is the second venture in which investors eagerly sought his involvement, yet ultimately the deals ended in litigation and federal scrutiny. Bush also has faced questions about ties to a bankrupt South Florida company whose leaders were convicted of fraud and money laundering.

The Naples Daily News-Treasure Coast newspapers offered Bush an opportunity to review and discuss his company’s work with MWI, but spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said he declined.

“Governor Bush’s previously released tax returns detail all of his earnings from Bush-El. As he has confirmed multiple times, he recused himself from any compensation related to the projects in Nigeria. Anything to the contrary is flat out not true,” Campbell said in a written statement.

“The federal government specifically did not include a company Governor Bush previously worked with in the complaint they filed. Two years ago, a judge in the ongoing MWI litigation specifically declined to include anything related to Bush-El in the litigation because there is not even a mention of the former company in the plaintiff’s complaint. There is nothing suggesting that Governor Bush has done anything that was not appropriate,” Campbell’s statement reads.


For roughly three years starting in 1998, MWI was in the crosshairs of FBI agents and federal prosecutors. And Bush’s name came up several times, according to investigative records and other case documents, including confidential FBI reports of interviews, obtained by Naples Daily News-Treasure Coast newspapers.

Investigators were interviewing former employees of the pump company to determine if they should intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former company vice president. The feds were interested in the case because the Nigeria deal was financed through the Export-Import Bank, a federal entity that offers loans so that U.S. companies can increase exports to spur job creation.

Over a two day span in March 1992, the bank gave final approval to eight separate loans totaling $74.3 million. The money went to Nigeria, which used it to purchase MWI pumps.

In January 2002, federal prosecutors filed a civil case against MWI, accusing the company of failing to disclose nearly $30 million in commissions paid to Alhaji Indimi, its Nigerian sales agent who later became an oil baron and one of the richest people in Africa.

After a more than 12-year legal saga, a federal jury in Washington found MWI guilty in June of not reporting the commissions used to buy luxury cars, mansions, and a swanky golf outing for Indimi.

While never accused of wrongdoing, Bush’s role with MWI came up during FBI interviews and depositions as investigators reviewed the company’s practices. They wanted to know more about Bush-El, the company Bush ran with MWI owner David Eller from 1988-1993 to market MWI pumps oversees.

During his failed 1994 bid for Florida governor, Bush said he reported $648,000 on tax returns for his work at Bush-El, but no income came from the Nigeria project.

Federal investigators heard a different story from former MWI employees, who said he earned a higher figure, although all offered different amounts.

The Justice Department memo citing Bush also references an FBI interview from former employee Mike Carcamo, who worked at MWI from 1988-1994. He told FBI agents that Bush-El had a contract with MWI to receive 3 percent on projects in a handful of countries, including Nigeria.

Irma Needelman, who served as secretary to the company’s sales staff for nine years, also told FBI agents and federal prosecutors that Bush made amounts greater than he had publicly acknowledged from MWI. Another former executive said Bush’s company made 5 percent on projects, including from Nigeria.


The Justice Department memo came from the office of Robert D. McCallum, who ran DOJ’s civil division at the time. A Yale University classmate of President George W. Bush, fellow member of the Skull and Bones society and decades-long friend, Bush appointed McCallum in 2001 as assistant attorney general for the civil division.

In an interview with Naples Daily News-Treasure Coast newspapers, McCallum said he did “not have recollection of the case.”

While his name surfaced in the investigation, Jeb Bush was not cited, nor was Bush-El, in the federal government’s civil complaint. That meant any money he or his company received and anything about his role with MWI could not be brought up at trial.

The whistleblower suit, filed by former company vice president Robert Purcell, did cite Bush-El. Purcell said in his lawsuit, among other things, that commissions to Indimi were higher than Export-Import bank allowed so he could bribe Nigerian officials, and that MWI transferred commissions he was supposed to receive to Bush-El.

Nicole Navas, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on why Bush-El was left out of the government’s lawsuit, noting it’s “still pending litigation.”

Through a company attorney, Eller and other current MWI employees declined comment because of an ongoing appeal in the case. Purcell also declined comment.


Bush-El was a company created, in part, to harness Bush’s political star power, according to testimony in the civil case.

“He was the high lama. I mea
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Shots fired near NSA headquarters
National Security Agency building at Fort Meade damaged, say Maryland authorities, while two people are wounded by gunfire on nearby highway

Tuesday 3 March 2015 23.49 EST

The FBI was leading an investigation into reported shots fired on Tuesday near National Security Agency headquarters in Maryland and damage to an NSA building, an NSA spokeswoman said.

There were no reports of injuries to NSA personnel, spokeswoman Meagan Roper said in an email.

US park police spokeswoman Sergeant Lelani Woods said shots were reported near an exit to Fort Meade, site of the spy agency, along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Officers found damage to an NSA building “and they are investigating if it is damage from shots fired,” Woods said.

The incident came after Maryland Transportation Authority Police reported two people suffered minor injuries from shots fired at a vehicle on the Inter-County Connector, a highway about 12 miles (19km) from the NSA.

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Numbers don't lie
America needs a reliable death-by-police database


| March 5, 2015

“We know the number of hogs and pigs living on U.S. farms, but we don’t know how many police shootings there were,” says Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project.

According to the USDA, as of September 1, 2014 there were 65.1 million pigs and hogs in the U.S. The data about police shootings is not as recent as that about farm animals; last year, the FBI reported that there were 410 justifiable homicides in 2012 — the most recent data available. While the USDA doesn’t specify the number of farmers who contributed to their count, the Washington Post noted that out of over 17,000 police departments in America, only 750 submitted information to the FBI’s report. That’s because, shockingly, filing these reports is not mandatory.

Late last year, in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and the aftermath in Ferguson, President Obama established the Task Force for 21st Century Policing to look into some of the shortcomings of America’s law enforcement policies and practices, as well as recommend improvements for police departments around the country. This past Monday, the Task Force released its first report. The Task Force seemed to notice that the voluntary nature of the death reporting is problematic. We’ve excerpted a few parts of the report; italics are ours:

“In-custody deaths are not only deaths in a prison or jail but also deaths that occur in the process of an arrest. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) implemented the Arrest Related Deaths data collection in 2003 as part of requirements set forth in the Deaths in Custody Reporting Act of 2000 and reenacted in 2014, but this is a voluntary reporting program.”

The Deaths in Custody Reporting Act was passed 15 years ago to monitor the deaths of prisoners, but Congress passed a new beefed-up version of the law in December. It now requires the reporting of citizen deaths that happen while in an officer’s custody or while being pursued by officers. But it only requires police departments receiving federal funds to do the reporting. (With all of the weapons the Department of Defense has been granting to police departments, it seems like that should be a high percentage of them.) If officers fail to report such incidents, ten percent of the federal grants for their departments can be deducted by the Attorney General in their state.

Dr. Brian Burghart, a professor and publisher of the Reno News and Review, created Fatalencounters.org a crowd-sourced site for tracking officer-involved shootings. Burghart thinks the penalties for failing to comply should be harsher. “Attach some criminal penalties for non-compliance, instead of leaving it up to the U.S. Attorney General’s discretion,” Burghart said by e-mail. “Because the AG is a political appointment, they tend to act politically. Which means they will never withhold funding from police agencies that don’t comply.” Burghart tries to bring attention to fatal encounters every way he can, and he
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. Todd Jones to leave the ATF with speculation he may be headed to the NFL

Updated: March 20, 2015 - 9:37 PM

The former U.S. attorney for Minnesota won’t say if he is taking a position with the NFL.

B. Todd Jones, who won a bruising U.S. Senate fight two years ago to become the first permanent director of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced on Friday that he was resigning, effective March 31.

The ATF said the former U.S. attorney for Minnesota planned to “pursue opportunities in the private sector.”

Sources told the Star Tribune he is expected to go to work for the National Football League, but it is unclear in what capacity.

“I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF’s unique law enforcement and regulatory mission,” Jones said in a statement on the ATF website.

Asked about working for the NFL, Jones, 57, said in a text message to the Star Tribune, “I cannot confirm anything until I am gone on 3/31.”

Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that Jones “has cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant.”

Some associates of Jones were caught off guard by the resignation. But Thomas Kayser, a friend and former partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi law firm, where Jones once worked [it’s now Robins Kaplan] said Jones had been contemplating a change. “I knew he was looking around because he had been in public service” for years “and he wanted to try something else.”

Another friend said Jones had been considering a departure from the ATF since last fall, similar to other members of the Obama administration who are leaving as the president’s second term winds down.

Jones was U.S. attorney in Minneapolis from 1998 to 2001, and again in 2009. He was named acting ATF director in 2011 and nominated for the permanent post, remaining U.S. attorney until he was confirmed.

The ATF nomination got bogged down in the Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican, tried to block it.

Jones faced questions about a whistleblower complaint filed by a member of his U.S. attorney’s staff who claimed he was mistreated, and criticism from a former special agent in charge of the Minneapolis FBI office.


Bill by Jim Sensenbrenner would dissolve federal ATF agency
http://www.jsonline.com › Watchdog Online › Watchdog Reports
Jul 9, 2014 - Citing ATF's recent operational failures and its overlap with other federal law enforcement, Sensenbrenner is preparing a bill to dissolve the ...

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see link for full story


FBI figures tweaked to show phony increase in mass shootings, report says

Published March 25, 2015

Dec. 14, 2012: In this file photo provided by the Newtown Bee, a police officer leads two women and a child from Sandy Hook Elementary School. (AP/Newtown Bee)

Crime stats published by the FBI and relied upon by the media distort the gun violence and leave the public with the impression "mass shooting" incidents are a much bigger threat than they really are, according to a criminologist and Second Amendment scholar.

The bureau's annual reports tabulating and classifying a wide range of crime throughout the nation have been historically free of politics, but John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said the latest statistics contain numbers that are misleading at best and deliberately fudged at worst. Lott believes the numbers may have been presented to overstate for political purposes the true risk of being a victim of random gun crimes.

"The FBI put out a clearly incorrect set of numbers on public shootings shortly before the November election last year,” said Lott, a frequent opinion writer for FoxNews.com and author of "More Guns, Less Crime." “I have been reading FBI reports for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this.It is one thing for the Bureau of Justice Statistics or the National Institute of Justice to put out politically biased studies, but there ha
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yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus..l.lol...


New Bill Would Make Local and State Law Enforcers Get a Warrant to Use Stingrays

Federal lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would require state and local law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before they could use stingray surveillance devices.

The Cell-Site Simulator Act of 2015, also known as the Stingray Privacy Act, was introduced in response to a new Justice Department policy, announced last month, requiring all federal agencies to obtain a search warrant before using stingrays—devices that simulate a cell phone tower in order to track the location of mobile phone users.
Sponsored Content Comedian, Author, Chef And Cultural Firecracker Eddie Huang On The Power Of “No"

The new policy forces prosecutors and investigators not only to obtain a warrant but also to disclose to judges that the specific technology they plan to use is a stingray, as opposed to some other surveillance tool.

Civil liberties groups had criticized the federal policy because it covers only agencies like the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and Drug Enforcement Agency—while failing to address state and local police and sheriff’s departments, who use the technology extensively, and often borrow the devices from federal agencies.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on Monday
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The Intersect
What you need to know about Anonymous’s big anti-KKK operation
November 5 2015


A protester wearing an Anonymous Guy Fawkes mask. (Hrvoje Polan/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is the day that Anonymous plans to leak information on as many as 1,000 Ku Klux Klan members and supporters — a campaign that is being hyped as a mass unmasking of the hated white supremacist organization.

But as a few confusing developments related to the campaign this week have demonstrated, operations like this are rarely straightforward. So here’s a short guide to what we know about this particular release, and what to keep in mind as it rolls out Thursday.
What we know already:

Operation KKK says it has identifying data on as many as 1,000 KKK members and supporters. On Oct. 22, an Anonymous-associated Twitter account announced that the hacking collective had accessed a Klan-associated Twitter account. Through that, they promised, Anonymous would be able to out about 1,000 Klan members by name. A later news release promised that the operation would release “names and Web sites, new and old” of “more than 1000″ members of the hate group.

This isn’t the first time Anonymous has beefed with the KKK. Anonymous waged a campaign against a Missouri-based Klan organization last year after the group threatened to use “lethal force” in defense of themselves against protests in Ferguson,
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The release also stated that Miles stole approximately 16 pounds of marijuana from an evidence room, and later sold it to a known drug dealer for $4,000.

Tallassee's ex-assistant police chief pleads guilty to multiple charges


Conrad was originally charged with more than 100 counts of sexual assault, but after Miles’ coercive tactics came to light, the case unraveled and local authorities had to relaunch the investigation.

Miles faces up to 10 years in prison for the deprivation of rights charge, up to five years for each of the obstruction of justice charges and up to five years for the possession charge. A sentencing date has not been set.

He will remain out on an undisclosed bond until sentencing.

State charges are still pending against Miles. He was charged in Elmore County Circuit Court with theft, after an Alabama Bureau of Investigation probe showed he allegedly stole a 9-mm. Beretta handgun from the Tallassee Police Department evidence locker when he was serving as assistant chief, courthouse records show.
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Congressman Calls For DEA Chief's Removal After He Calls Medical Marijuana A 'Joke'
"Rosenberg is clearly not the right fit for the DEA in this administration."
Headshot of Mollie Reilly
Mollie Reilly
Deputy Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Posted: 11/18/2015 01:22 PM EST

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Cops took more stuff from people than burglars did last year


November 23 at 6:00 AM

Here's an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week.

Cops can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime -- yes, really! -- through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.

Armstrong claims that "the police are now taking more assets than the criminals," but this isn't exactly right: the
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