February 3, 2013
Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob is being made into a feature film with Johnny Depp attached to star as Whitey Bulger, the South Boston gangster who sat on the FBI's Most Wanted list for more than a decade. Depp's played a gangster before in 2009's Public Enemies, bringing the notorious John Dillinger to life opposite Christian Bale as FBI Agent Melvin Purvis.
Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media are teaming up to finance and produce the dramatic story, with Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Man of the Year) on board to direct. Mark Mallouk did a "completely new screenplay adaptation of the book" after Bulger was finally captured in 2011. Filming's expected to begin as soon as this May.
The official synopsis: "Black Mass tells the true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. However, after the Feds closed in on their targets, they double crossed Bulger and ultimately prosecuted him, along with his partner in crime and the original FBI agent working with him."
February 8, 2013, 6:30 a.m.
Using FBI documents, a Memphis newspaper identified civil rights movement photographer Ernest Withers as an informant. (Claude Jones / The Commercial Appeal / February 7, 2013)
Ernest Withers watched the trajectory of the civil rights movement from behind his camera lens.
He was in Mississippi in 1955 when an all-white jury acquitted two white men accused of brutally murdering Emmett Till, a visiting black Chicago teenager, for whistling at a white woman.
He was in Alabama a year later when Martin Luther King Jr. rode a bus on the first day the Montgomery transit system was desegregated.
He was in Memphis in the spring of 1968 to support striking black sanitation workers. And he was in King's Memphis hotel room on April 4 when James Earl Ray leaned out a nearby rooming house window and fired his rifle, assassinating the civil rights leader.
The renowned black photographer captured intimate, iconic moments. When he died in 2007 at age 85, his obituaries illustrated that he too was an icon.
Three years later, however, a Memphis newspaper broke a story that rocked the country: Its two-year investigation showed Withers had long worked as an informant for the FBI.
The Commercial Appeal article, which reporter Marc Perrusquia wrote using documents obtained from the FBI, revealed that between 1968 and 1970, Withers slipped the FBI tips and photographs “detailing an insider's view of politics, business and everyday life in Memphis' black community.”
Although the most of the documents were redacted, the newspaper pieced together key tidbits of information, including Withers’ confidential informant number - ME 338-R. The “R,” the article said, meant Withers had worked as a racial informant.
The article not only raised questions about Withers’ legacy, but it also provided a sneak peek into the labyrinth-like process of requesting information from the government.
Two months after the story broke in 2010, Perrusquia and the Memphis Publishing Co., the newspaper’s publisher, lodged a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI. Although the early trove of documents had alluded to Withers’ work as an informant, Perrusquia wanted a copy of the confidential informant file.
The FBI refused. The agency wouldn’t even say whether such a file existed.
In a court memorandum filed last year, the FBI wrote: “To the extent plaintiff Perrusquia claims that the FBI’s release of Withers’ public corruption files disclosed information from which he could deduce Withers’ alleged status as a confidential informant, any such disclosure would have been inadvertent.”
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the District of Columbia ruled, however, that Withers’ status as a confidential informant had already been confirmed, and she ordered the FBI to turn over a more detailed reasoning for why it denied Perrusquia’s request.
Students and activists protest on the campus of University of California in Berkeley, California. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)
Journalist Victor Riesel's work in the 1940s to 1980s as an FBI-friendly news source - creating suspicion of dissidents and dividing labor from student activists - is continued today by his many intellectual heirs.
It was one of the darker moments of the era. On May 8, 1970, four days after a quartet of students were shot dead on the Kent State University campus, a demonstration of high school and college students protesting the escalation of the Vietnam War in the Wall Street area of New York were attacked by construction workers. By all accounts it was vicious. One report described workers chasing students into nearby Pace University, "The workers smashed windows and beat students in the lobby. One student was taken away apparently in convulsions. The workers threw wooden wedges, pipe joints and rocks through the windows apparently angered by an antiwar banner some students had draped over the facade of the building."1
News of the attack went out worldwide. In its aftermath, supporters of the war sought to drive home a message: The students had gone too far and these hardscrabble workers were justified in doing something about it. One of those sounding off was columnist Victor Riesel. In a piece called, "Counter Violence is on the Move" he wrote:
The construction trades union men marched on City Hall. They're hard. I've seen them in action. They're tough. And they were bitter mad. They hit the young people, lashed at the demonstrators as the nation now knows. They invaded a nearby college. But they carried no lead pipes. The carried no urine or human feces in cellophane bags as did the 1968 Chicago young peace demonstrators.2
Riesel's column was an open endorsement of violence against antiwar demonstrators, one that fit the narrative/polarization pushed from the highest levels of government at the time - the hardworking silent majority finally standing up to spoiled, intellectual, privileged youth. This incident now sits decades in the past, but an astute observer of the Occupation of Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011 will see its ghost in the way unfriendly tabloids, right-wing television and hostile radio commentary took aim at the Occupy Wall Street movement. In that respect, a closer look at the work of Victor Riesel is instructive: exemplary of the way a certain type of journalism undergirds the repressive forces of the state.
Who was Victor Riesel?
Victor Riesel was a New York journalist who covered the labor beat as a syndicated columnist from the 1940s until the early 1980s. At the height of his career he was carried in nearly 350 newspapers - giving him a direct voice to the mainstream in the US. He is perhaps best known for an incident in 1956, when he was attacked on a Manhattan street by a man who threw sulfuric acid in his face, blinding him. This was in response to a column Riesel wrote claiming that a Long Island union had mob connections. At the time of his death, Riesel was described as a dogged journalist with little mention of his hard-right politics. His New York Times obituary described how, "Despite his blinding, Mr. Riesel never stopped inveighing against gangster infiltration and other corruption in labor unions that had stirred his emotions since his youth." Curiously absent in this denouement, was his role in promoting the blacklist during the McCarthy era,3 his personal and partisan friendships with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan,4 and his close association with the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover.
Hoover and His Contacts
For nearly 50 years J. Edgar Hoover occupied the top position in the FBI. During that time he assembled a list of contacts in the press to be called on when he needed to get the FBI's position out, or in other ways needed their assistance in furthering the bureau's work. In 1975-76 the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, known by its chairman's name Frank Church - the Church Committee -issued several reports. One of those reports detailed how the FBI went about using the press in targeting radicals:
Typically, a local FBI agent would provide information to a 'friendly news source' on the condition 'that the Bureau's interest in these matters is to be kept in the strictest confidence.' Thomas E. Bishop, former Director of the Crime Records Division, testified that he kept a list of the Bureau's 'press friends' in his desk.
Riesel died in 1995 and his papers are now housed in New York University's Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Among those documents is significant correspondence with labor unions, appointment diaries for his years as a reporter, notes and drafts of columns. They also contain something else. Three file folders of correspondence with various FBI officials from the 60s and 70s. Included among them are several pieces of correspondence from Thomas E. Bishop. In other words, Riesel was one of those FBI "friendly news sources."
The correspondence in the file starts as the FBI began to confront the growing unrest on university campuses in the 60s. In 1965, the number three man in the FBI after Hoover, Deputy Director Cartha DeLoach, wrote to Riesel, "As is well known, the communists are attempting to influence the minds of college students and are eager to do anything possible to promote their own selfish aims on our campuses." 5
That same year, Hoover himself wrote a letter to Riesel, thanking him for a column dealing with the mob and vending machines: "I feel you have performed a real public service by bringing this information to the attention of your readers." Written on the director's letterhead it was signed with the familiar, "Edgar."6 Another letter explains how Hoover had agreed to write a guest column for Riesel.7
The file makes clear Riesel's relationship with the FBI continued after Hoover's death in 1972. There is a note in 1973 from the new director Clarence Kelly, writing, "Your staunch support and kind comments regarding our accomplishments in 1973 certainly mean a great deal to all of us in the FBI."8 Such relationships continued right up through the administration of William Webster - with whom Riesel lunched in 1978, soon Webster took over the Director's job.9
The Black Panther Party
Concretely, this relationship meant that Riesel would serve as an auxiliary to the FBI's legal and extra-legal efforts to go after bureau targets. In this, Riesel played a direct role in the FBI's work against the Black Panther Party, particularly in undercutting its ability to get out its newspaper. According to the Church Committee:
In November 1970, seeking to create a boycott by union members handling the newspapers' shipment, Mr. Hoover directed 39 field offices to mail copies of a column about the Panthers by Victor Riesel to 'unions such as the Teamsters and others involved in handling shipment of B.P.P. newspapers.' The column was also to be sent anonymously to 'officials of police associations who might be in a position to encourage a boycott.'10
What was not known (or at least reported), is that the FBI, beyond circulating his columns, was feeding Riesel information about the Panthers, particularly on the East Coast. As correspondence from the FBI's Bishop to Riesel in 1972 outlines:
In connection with your request this morning about the publication 'Right On,' I am enclosing a copy of the undated issue distributed in October, 1971. You will note the article in which you are interested is set forth on page 19 entitled 'Black Cops.' 11
The note goes on to supply further background - and the FBI's assessment of the status of the publication:
'Right On' is the official publication of the Cleaver faction of the Black Panther Party. Although advertised as a bi-weekly newspaper, financial difficulties apparently have plagued the paper since its first issue in April, 1971. Since that time 11 issues have been printed and distributed on a nationwide basis.12
At the same time he was serving as an FBI mouthpiece, the columnist decried the restraint imposed on the bureau as it was exposed for undertaking directly illegal activity in its Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). "The undercover persons are mocked and hounded and when the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover tried counterintelligence infiltration with the COINTELPRO-New Left he was forced to kill it."13
The RU Memo
Aspects of the direct role of the FBI and Riesel targeting the Panthers has been public knowledge for some time. Another target however, one that extended throughout the 70s, remained hidden - until now - in Riesel's papers.
Between 1968 and 1981, Riesel wrote numerous columns about the Revolutionary Union and Revolutionary Communist Party. In column after column, he created the specter of foreign influence, subversive manipulation, and anti-Americanism. What is now clear is that his "inside" information and "federal sources" for these columns, came directly from the bureau. In the late spring of 1969 Riesel received a packet of material from the FBI's Bishop, with a cover note:
I thought you might be interested in the attached material concerning the Revolutionary Union (RU) and the activities of one of its leaders, Robert Avakian, in support of recent strike activity by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union. A memorandum, also attached, sets forth Avakian's connection with the RU, a militant pro-Chinese communist organization, and shows attempts to take advantage of labor problems.14
The letter ends with explicit instructions:
No attribution, of course, should be made in connection with any use you can make of this material.15
The Standard Oil strike was a unique event in 60s history; it was one of the rare times that workers (in Richmond, California) joined with students, supporting the strike by students at San Francisco State College. That solidarity was due in part because of work by people like Robert Avakian, Steve Hamilton and others in an early RU collective in Richmond. These were students - both Hamilton and Avakian being veterans of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement - who wanted to fuse with the working class, which they felt was essential for a revolutionary movement. Needless to say, this caught the interest and set in motion the counterintelligence machinery of the FBI.
As a result of the information he was receiving, Riesel would begin to incorporate RU information into his columns, initially making a passing mention of the RU, in a piece titled, "Plan New Offensive," in March 1970 16 and getting more explicit in 1971:
RU's objectives are a United Front, development of a working-class unity and 'leadership in the struggles to organize a new national Communist Party, based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao-Tse-tung thought, which would lead to the overthrow of the US government by force and violence.'17
In another column he obliquely refers to Leibel Bergman, an early leader of the RU, "Launched in 1968 in the San Francisco Bay area, the RU was directed by an American Maoist who had just returned from Peking."18 Bergman was a former member of the Communist Party and Progressive Labor Party, who left both of those organizations to join with the new generation of revolutionaries to form the RU. He had lived in China in the early 1960s, along with other disenchanted Americans like Robert F. Williams, William Hinton and Vicki Garvin, who were looking to China as a model of socialism in contrast to the stultifying Soviet Union. Bergman in turn saw applying some of the revolutionary concepts he learned in China to the US. This, in the context of the labor unrest among younger rebellious workers who were beginning to come into factories - including not a few Vietnam veterans.
By the early 70s the US economy was undergoing a profound transformation. Things were moving away from better-paid industrial jobs; wages and benefits were under attack; and the overall middle-class stability of the US postwar world was in flux. In that respect, Riesel manned an antagonistic point position in attacking labor insurgents. Throughout the 70s he wrote numerous columns - not just red-baiting the RU, but zeroing in on its work in industry. He especially singled out Skip Delano, a radical worker and member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War:
For several years now the Revolutionary Union through a faction which calls itself 'The Outlaws' has attempted to seize power in the New York Metro Area Postal Union (AFL-CIO).... And there is the saga of the big, tough, fist-thumping RU man, roving activist Lewis (Skip) Delano who, though educated and skilled, got a job as a part-time "sub" on the midnight shift in the New York General Post Office. Soon he was a union shop steward.... Then in December 1974 he left with a female aide and turned up in the West Virginia coal fields in early 1975. By August he had a committee going. With him were two other young RU men. By early September (1975) Delano and his cadres had provoked 80,000 coal diggers into a long illegal strike.19
The RU's work in industry wasn't especially secret - though there was a covert aspect tactically. The pages of the RU's newspaper at the time, Revolution, were full of coverage of struggles in various industries in which the RU worked or was trying to gain a footing. Indeed, reading deeper into Riesel's writing, it is clear there is more going on than conspiratorial paranoia. Riesel - and by extension the FBI - understood something about the RU, "The new revolutionist aren't 'nuts.' They are bright, young, educated and tough."20
So watch the political elephant grass. The Revolutionary Communist Party has money, newspapers, organizational talent, and most important can approach younger workers of today as one of their own kind; youthful, articulate, brainwashed and hep to the lingo in the bars and pot-filled rooms.21
Leaving aside the corniness, the RU and RCP were being talked about because at the moment they were a force, albeit in a tentative stage (after the death of Mao in 1976 and the transformation in China away from its model of socialism, there was a major schism in the group that ushered in a period of extended decline and an exit from working in industry).22
Occupy and the Media
While Riesel is no longer with us, the legacy of media playing the role of auxiliary to the state remains. Perhaps the sharpest contemporary example is the way certain media approached the Occupy upsurge in the fall of 2011. While there were plenty of sympathetic and even ambivalent media, there was another strain, one unambiguously hostile. Prime examples include the New York Post and the New York Daily News. These papers carried prominent coverage of outraged business owners, office workers and construction workers who were said to be majorly inconvenienced by the Occupy protests. One Post article quoted a man stalled in traffic because the police were conducting mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, "I work my ass off all day, and these goddamned hippies close down the Brooklyn Bridge so I can't get home?" Another Post headline took relish, proclaiming, "OWS bums are a big joke: Hard workers enjoy a good laugh as May Day skirmishes fizzle." The Daily News attempted to marginalize the protests by pointing to the scope of issues ( "Occupy Wall Street - less comprehensible than ever: From blocking ports to backing Bradley Manning.") and editorialized that the OWS takeaway message was "Aggravate workers. Snarl streets. Injure cops. Hammer taxpayers." Another piece quoted an antagonistic bricklayer: "There are kids who have silver spoons in their mouths. Now I've gotta go to work. What about them? I've had enough. I'm sick of it." Meantime Crain's New York exposed hidden subversives in articles like "Veteran agitators flock to Occupy Wall Street," and "Unions, left-wing groups join Occupy Wall Street."
Whether such reporting sprang from personal bias, the police whispering in the ears of reporters or something more formalized, is in a certain sense beside the point. The media in these cases worked to create divisions where none existed and sharpen ones where they did, i.e. defending the ruling structure, the 1%, if you will. If this line of attack sounds similar to the tack taken by Victor Riesel, all those decades ago, it is an indication of how, despite dramatic shifts, some fundamental things in the US have not changed.
March 17, 2013
Posted on April 2, 2013
Sen. Robert Menendez. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
Two maids that work for Dr. Salomon Melgen in his Casa de Campo villa were submitted to unauthorized interrogations by the FBI in the Dominican Republic.
According to the Miami Herald, Two maids allege that FBI agents from Miami tried to brow-beat them into making incriminating statements against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, during questioning about alleged sex parties at the Dominican Republic resort home of a South Florida doctor who hosted Menendez numerous times.
The maids, both employees of Dr. Salomon Melgen, have asked the Dominican National Police to investigate the FBI’s interrogation of them, saying they were illegally detained and felt threatened during the interviews in February in La Romana.
CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, a former FBI assistant director, said the show was and is "unique."
Miller said, "It was a boon for the law enforcement business. In the FBI, one of the divisions that was under my control was Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs.(This is a dozen people who sit around every day trying to figure out how can they can get the face of the FBI in front of the public)
Federal, city and local officials will take part in a ceremony Monday to unveil a special magnetic decal in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
United States Attorney Booth Goodwin, along with FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Chris Courtright, U.S. Marshal John Foster, Charleston Police Department Chief Brent Webster, Kanawha County Sheriff John D. Rutherford and REACH Rape Crisis Program advocates will all be present for the event.
Following the unveiling ceremony, the magnetic decals will be prominently displayed on law enforcement vehicles throughout the month of April.
The event is being held in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.see link for full storyCNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotapeBy Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN Special Investigations UnitJanuary 27, 2011Washington (CNN) -- An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while "satisfying himself."And an employee in a "leadership position" misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three yearshttp://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/27/siu.fbi.internal.documents/index.htmlRead the FBI documents obtained by CNN-- An employee had "a sexual relationship with a source" over seven months. The punishment was a 40-day suspension.-- The supervisor who viewed "pornographic movies in the office while sexually satisfying himself" during work hours received a 35-day suspension.-- The employee in a "leadership position" who misused a "government database to conduct name checks on two friends who were foreign nationals employed as exotic dancers" and "brought the two friends into FBI space after-hours without proper authorization" received a 23-day suspension. The same employee had been previously suspended for misusing a government database.-- An employee who was drunk "exploited his FBI employment at a strip club," falsely claiming he was "conducting an official investigation." His punishment was a 30-day suspension.-- And an employee conducted "unauthorized searches on FBI databases" for "information on public celebrities the employee thought were 'hot'" received a 30-day suspension.see link for full storyhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9887270/FBI-agents-caught-sexting-and-dating-drug-dealers.htmlFebruary 22, 2013FBI agents caught sexting and dating drug dealersDating drug dealers, harassing ex-boyfriends with naked pictures, and pointing guns at pet dogs: these were just a few of the offences committed recently by serving FBI agents, according to internal documents.The US provided officers from the Egyptian secret police with training at the FBI, despite allegations that they routinely tortured detainees and suppressed political opposition.By Raf Sanchez, WashingtonDisciplinary files from the Bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility record an extraordinary range of transgressions that reveal the chaotic personal lives of some of America's top law enforcers.One male agent was sacked after police were called to his mistress's house following reports of domestic incident. When officers arrived they found the agent "drunk and uncooperative" and eventually had to physically subdue him and wrestle away his loaded gun.A woman e-mailed a "nude photograph of herself to her ex-boyfriend's wife" and then continued to harass the couple despite two warnings from senior officials. The Bureau concluded she was suffering from depression related to the break-up and allowed her to return to work after 10 days. see link for full storyhttp://www.wgrz.com/news/article/192104/37/Buffalo-FBI-Agent-BustedBuffalo FBI Agent BustedDec 10, 2012 BUFFALO, NY - A Special Agent working in the Buffalo office of the FBI is due in Eden Town Court later this month, after being arrested by New York State Police last Friday night, charged with exposing himself to a fellow motorist on the New York State Thruway.State Police Lt. David Denz confirmed for WGRZ-TV that John A. Yervelli Jr., 48, of Lakeview, was charged with Public Lewdness, a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail.According to Denz, a truck driver from central New York was traveling in the right lane while east bound on the Thruway near mile marker 442, between Exits 57 and 57A, when he noticed a grey minivan pull alongside him in the passing lane.The trucker told police that when he looked down, he noticed the driver of the other vehicle (who had turned his dome light on) was not wearing pants."At that point the complainant stated that the driver of the minivan was exposing himself and making lewd gestures," Denz told 2 On Your Side.Denz says the trucker called police, who then intercepted the minivan at the Hamburg toll plaza, where the trucker also went to identify Yervelli. Denz said it appeared Yervelli was wearing pants when he was pulled over."He denied exposing himself," Denz told Channel 2, but added that "inconsistencies" in the account given by Agent Yervelli lead State Police to file charges.A source says Yervelli insisted to the trooper who pulled him over that he was attempting to relieve himself into a bottle while he was driving. However, the location where he said that occurred was within a few miles (or minutes) of the exit he was headed to, and even closer to a Thruway rest stop."I don't want to give you too many specifics as far as what he stated, but he made statements that would lead you to believe that the truck driver's story was credible," Denz said.Child Porn Probe Leads To FBI HeadquartersTarget claims inquiry is just a “misunderstanding”http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/investigation/child-porn-probe-leads-fbi-headquartersJANUARY 5 2011--The government’s pursuit of suspects trafficking in child pornography recently led federal agents to a familiar address--the FBI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, where a bureau official is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe, The Smoking Gun has learned.The investigation by the Department of Justice’s inspector general is focusing on FBI employee Joseph Bonsuk’s receipt of nearly 80 illicit images that were e-mailed to him by an Illinois sex offender whose rap sheet includes felony convictions for bank robbery and solicitation of a minor.Prosecutors move to dismiss charges against former Scout leaderJanuary 3, 2007NEW HAVEN, Conn. --Federal prosecutors have moved to dismiss charges against a retired FBI agent who was indicted on child sex charges dating back more than a decade when he was a Boy Scout leader, in response to the death of his accuser.William Hutton, 63, of Killingworth, was arrested in February on charges he enticed a member of his Scout troop to Maine for the purpose of sexual activity in 1994 and 1995. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Former-Scout-leader-FBI-agent-indicted-on-child-86217.phpFormer Scout leader, FBI agent indicted on child sex chargesNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT)Saturday, February 4, 2006NEW HAVEN (AP) - A retired FBI agent was indicted Friday on federal child sex charges dating back more than a decade when he was a Boy Scout leader.William Hutton, 63, of Killingworth, was arrested Friday. The federal grand jury indictment accuses Hutton of enticing a member of his Scout troop to Maine for the purpose of sexual activity in 1994 and 1995."It's obviously devastating. He was an FBI agent in this district and was reputed in this district," defense attorney Hugh Keefe said."The people who worked with him in the U.S. attorney's office and FBI respected him."Keefe said the investigation has been going on for years. He would not discuss the details of the case or how the allegations surfaced.Investigators asked anyone who knows anything about the case to call the FBI. U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said that's standard practice whenever there might be more victims."In any case that's a concern," O'Connor said. "Whether that's the situation here I can't say."If convicted on all four charges, Hutton faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.Hutton was released on a $200,00 bond. He may not own any firearms or have any unsupervised contact with children. He was also ordered to stay away from playgrounds, schools, arcades or anywhere children congregate. http://www.headwatersproductions.com/press/article5.htmlEdward Rodgers was in charge of investigating cases of Child Abuse at the FBITHE DENVER POST - Voice of the Rocky Mountain EmpireMay 17, 1990Sisters win sex lawsuit vs. dad $2.3 million given for years of abuseBy Howard PrankratzDenver Post Legal Affairs WriterTwo daughters of former state and federal law enforcement official Edward Rodgers were awarded $2.319,400 yesterday, after a Denver judge and jury found that the women suffered years of abuse at the hands of their father.The award to Sharon Simone, 45, and Susan Hammond, 44, followed testimony of Rodgers’ four daughters in person or through depositions, describing repeated physical abuse and sexual assaults by their father from 1944 through 1965.Rodgers, 72, who became a child abuse expert after retiring from the FBI and joining the colorado Springs DA’s office, failed to appear for the trial. But in a deposition taken in March, Rodgers denied ever hitting or sexually abusing his children. http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/FormerLocalFBIAgentArrestedLocal attorney arrestedOn child indecency accusationsUpdated: Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009, 1:33 PM CDTPublished : Monday, 20 Apr 2009, MOBILE, Ala. - Mobile Police arrested 52-year-old Phillip Kent Baxley on child indecency charges. Baxley is a local attorney in Mobile, but he's also a former coach and acting president for the Mobile Soccer Club."I'm surprised to hear it," said Mobile Soccer Club Director, Mohammed Elzare. "He's a former FBI agent and attorney. So we're definitely saddened to hear this."Baxley was arrested at his Dauphin Street office on a fugitive felony warrant out of Harris County, Texas.Texas police officers say Baxley was involved in an incident with a nine-year-old girl in 2004.Investigators say it happened at a family member's house in a Houston suburb, but the girl waited some time before saying anything."When the victim, the nine-year-old made the outcry she was interviewed in another county and all of the information was forwarded to us and the investigation went from there," said Lt. Wade Conner with the Deer Park, Texas Police Department.Mobile Soccer Club Board Members say they were blind-sided by the news on Monday. For now, the board likely plans to distance itself from Baxley."Stopping ties until this situation is resolved and hopefully it comes out to a good outcome," said Elzare.But Texas investigators are confident the charges will stick, despite Baxley's background. "If they're a pedophile then we deal with them all the same," said Wade. "It doesn't matter what they do for a living."Baxley is locked up in the Mobile County Jail. That's where he'll stay until he's extradited to Texas.FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abusehttp://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-02-17-ex-fbi-ia-chief_x.htmTuesday February 17, 2004 11:46 PMBy JOHN SOLOMONAssociated Press Writerhttps://antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1077052156WASHINGTON (AP) - The former chief internal watchdog at the FBI has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl and has admitted he had a history of molesting other children before he joined the bureau for what became a two-decade career.John H. Conditt Jr., 53, who retired in 2001, was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison in Tarrant County court in Fort Worth, Texas, after he admitted he molested the daughter of two FBI agents after he retired. He acknowledged molesting at least two other girls before he began his law enforcement career, his lawyer said. Monday August 8, 2005 Longtime FBI agent sentenced to prison on child porn countalso see http://www.policeone.com/news/113935-Longtime-Idaho-FBI-Agent-Sentenced-for-Possessing-Child-Porn/BOISE, Idaho- A longtime FBI agent who helped arrest infamous outlaw Claude Dallas has been sentenced to a year in prison for possessing child pornography.William Buie, 64, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in March. Buie told authorities that he learned to access child pornography Web sites while attending a seminar on preventing child exploitation in 2000 or 2001.February 22, 2007http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/022007/02232007/262383Ex-FBI man gets 7 years for child sexFormer FBI analyst sentenced in child sex caseA 17-year veteran of the FBI will serve seven years in prison for having sexual relations with a young girl in Spotsylvania County, a judge ruled yesterday.Anthony John Lesko, 44, entered an Alford plea yesterday in Spotsylvania Circuit Court to nine counts of felony indecent liberties upon a child.Lesko, who later moved to Jacksonville, Fla., worked as an intelligence analyst at the FBI for 17 years, according to his attorney, James A. Carter II. He is a major in the U.S. Army Reserves and has received numerous military awards.An Alford plea means Lesko doesn't admit guilt but believes there is enough evidence for a conviction. Under the terms of the plea, he was sentenced to seven years in prison with another 15 years suspended.Lesko engaged in a sex act with a girl, 9 and 10 at the time, at least nine times in 2003-2004, according to evidence put forth by Spotsylvania Commonwealth's Attorney William Neely.The girl told a member of the Spotsylvania Department of Social Services about the activity in February 2004, according to the evidence. Lesko at first denied the allegations, but later spoke with a U.S. Navy counselor about them.Lesko told the counselor that he was the victim of the sexual assault; he said the girl initiated the contact, according to the plea. Lesko entered the plea partly to spare the girl the pain of a trial, his attorney said.on for 12 months after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.William Buie, 64, of Boise, most recently worked as an investigator for the Idaho attorney general's office. FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Publichttp://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/ex-fbi_agent_sentenced_to_pris.htmlMay 25, 2007 FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In PublicPosted by, Marissa Pasquet KOLD News 13 News EditorFBI Special Agent Ryan Seese, 34, is facing sex offense charges after a cleaning woman said she found him masturbating in a women's lavatory on campus, according to a University of Arizona police spokesman. FBI Workers Suspected of Secretly Taping Teens in Dressing Room April 20, 2009http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517222,00.htmlTwo FBI workers are accused of using surveillance equipment to spy on teenage girls as they undressed and tried on prom gowns at a charity event at a West Virginia mall.The FBI employees have been charged with conspiracy and committing criminal invasion of privacy. They were working in an FBI satellite control room at the mall when they positioned a camera on temporary changing rooms and zoomed in for at least 90 minutes on girls dressing for the Cinderella Project fashion show, Marion County Prosecutor Pat Wilson said Monday.see link for full storyhttp://fox59.com/2013/04/10/former-fbi- ... y-charges/April 9, 2013Former FBI agent files petition to enter guilty plea for child pornography chargesA local former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent arrested on child pornography charges filed a petition to enter a guilty plea.Donald Sachtleben was arrested in May 2012, following an investigation into the distribution of child pornography. Authorities said they were able to trace online activity back to Sachtleben’s Carmel home.According to court documents, Sachtleben hid behind the email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and openly traded child porn. In one email he attached nine images of child pornography and child erotica and wrote:“Saw your profile… Hope you like these and can send me some of (y)ours. I have even better ones if you like.”Police obtained a search warrant on May 3. During an initial forensic examination of Sachtleben’s laptop computer, approximately 30 images and video files containing child pornography were reportedly discovered.Former top FBI agent charged with child porn distributionBy Bill Mears, CNN May 15, 2012http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/15/justice/ex-fbi-agent-pornography/index.html(CNN) -- A former supervisory FBI agent has been arrested and jailed on child pornography charges.Donald Sachtleben was taken into custody and charged Monday after a nationwide undercover investigation of illegal child porn images traded over the Internet.A federal complaint alleges 30 graphic images and video were found on Sachtleben's laptop computer late last week when FBI agents searched his home, about 23 miles north of Indianapolis.Sachtleben is currently an Oklahoma State University visiting professor, according to his online resume. He is director of training at the school's Center for Improvised Explosives, but all references to his work have now been removed from the university's website. There was no indication from the school as to whether it had suspended him. Calls to the university and his Indianapolis attorneys were not immediately returned.He had been an FBI special agent from 1983 to 2008, serving as a bomb technician. He worked on the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber investigations, according to his university biography.A separate LinkedIn profile filled out by Sachtleben says he is an "accomplished investigator with more than 25 years of experience in FBI major case management, counter terrorism investigations, bombing prevention, post blast investigations and public speaking."FBI agent arrested on child sexual assault chargeAssociated Press - January 15, 2008 6:14 PM EThttp://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_7978377PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) - An FBI agent is under arrest in Pueblo for investigation of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust.Authorities say 53-year-old David Allan Johnson is being held in the Pueblo County jail today on a $100,000 bail. Former Great Falls FBI agent sentenced on child sex chargesJan 23, 2008 A man from Great Falls who's accused of sexually assaulting five underage girls will be spending the next 10 years behind bars.Stanley Perkins, 64, changed his plea to guilty after police began investigating him for child molestation in August 2006.The former educator, who also served two years as an FBI agent, was sentenced on one count of felony sexual assault.see link for full storyhttp://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/paul-duggan/46-months-in-prison-for-former.htmlJail for former FBI worker from Va.Washington Post EditorsA 65-year-old former FBI employee from Prince William County was sentenced to nearly four years in prison Friday for possessing child pornography.Samuel I. Kaplan, of Gainesville, who pleaded guilty June 2 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, was sentenced to 46 months behind bars.Kaplan was an information technology program manager at an FBI facility in Chantilly when authorities discovered that he had used the FBI's computer network to "facilitate sexually explict communications," the Justice Department said.Investigators said they later found 10 to 20 images on Kaplan's home computer showing juveniles involved in sex acts. http://franklincoverup.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=26Ex-FBI agent gets 2 1/2 years for assault on marshalA federal judge today sentenced retired FBI special agent Gary L. John to 2 ½ years in prison for assaulting a U.S. marshal trying to place him under arrest.John, formerly of 110 Post Rd., Westerly, had been on the lam for two months, when U.S. marshals working with Rhode Island Sheriffs Department, tracked him to Stratford, Conn., in December 2005. He was wanted in Rhode Island at the time for allegedly violating orders barring him from contacting his ex-wife and for failing to appear in court.see link for full storyhttp://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-07-11/news/1993192055_1_abuse-flynn-fbi-agentFBI agent convicted of daughters' abuseJuly 11, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff WriterAn FBI agent who lives in Carroll County has been convicted of sexually abusing his daughters over a 14-year period.The agent, as part of an agreement with prosecutors, pleaded guilty Friday before Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold to two counts of second-degree sexual offense and two counts of child abuse.The agent's name is being withheld to protect the privacy of the victims.In exchange for the agent's plea, the state dropped 18 other counts against him, ordered a presentence investigation and agreed to let him remain free on $125,000 bond pending sentencing Sept. 10.The agent was suspended from the FBI's Baltimore field office when he was arrested in December.The original indictment also charged the man with fondling his oldest daughter's friend several years ago when the girl had slept over at the agent's home.An investigation began after one of the man's daughters told a county child-abuse investigator of at least five incidents of molestation from 1980 to 1987, court documents said.The victims said their father performed sexual acts ranging from fondling to intercourse beginning when each was preschool age. The abuse lasted until the girls were in their early teens, said Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill in a statement of facts presented in court.In February, defense attorney John E. Harris Sr. tried unsuccessfully to have the case moved out of Carroll on the grounds that pretrial publicity had damaged the defendant's chance for a fair trial.Ms. Hill said the state will recommend a sentence of 35 years in state prison, with 15 years suspended.Although Ms. Hill said she once argued that the agent should be incarcerated until his trial, she said Friday she was not worried about whether he will return for his sentencing."Even if he'd take a walk, when he eventually comes back he wouldn't have to be tried again. He'd just be sentenced," Ms. Hill said. "There's not so much fear on our part, because we don't have to prove the case again."The state will ask the court, as part of the agent's sentence, to impose five years of supervised probation and order him to have no contact with females under 18 and to undergo psychological therapy.Judge Arnold also accepted a plea agreement Friday in which a Mount Airy hairdresser admitted sexually abusing a teen-age boy he befriended in 1990.David Curtis Flynn of Grimes Court in Mount Airy was immediately sentenced to four years in prison for a second-degree sexual offense.From January 1991 to November 1992, Flynn had a sexual relationship with the boy, whose family knew and trusted the man, according to a statement of facts that Ms. Hill read in court.The victim told authorities that Flynn talked to him before the incidents, saying he had been abused as a child, Ms. Hill said."I am deeply sorry . . . in my soul," Flynn said. "None of my attentions were meant as wrongdoing. I showed [the victim] the kind of love and affection I was brought up with. I'm deeply sorry for upsetting his childhood."Judge Arnold sentenced Flynn to 10 years in state prison, then suspended six years of the term.The judge also ordered five years of supervised probation for the defendant after the prison term and ordered him to participate in all recommended treatment programs.Mystery Over FBI Agent's FiringGovernment shrouds details of why top child porn prober got cannedhttp://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/mystery-over-fbi-agents-firing Mystery Over FBI Agent's FiringAUGUST 20--The lead FBI investigator on several of the government's highest profile child porn prosecutions has recently been fired in connection with her work on those cases, though details of why the agent was terminated have been sealed by a federal judge.The canning of Monique Winkis, 40, was just disclosed by federal prosecutors to a Tennessee defense lawyer who represents Timothy Richards, who was convicted in a case in which Winkis was the lead FBI agent. In an August 8 U.S. District Court filing, defense lawyer Kimberly Hodde stated that prosecutors had informed her that Winkis was canned due to her 'conduct in the investigation of cases related to Defendant Richards' prosecution.'Specific details of Winkis's firing are contained in a court filing made by Department of Justice officials, a submission that was ordered sealed last week by Judge Aleta Trauger. In her court filing, Hodde argues that Richards, pictured at left, is entitled to details about the Winkis firing since the ex-prober was the FBI case agent assigned to his prosecution.The Winkis firing was apparently first disclosed by government lawyers during a late-June status conference, at which Trauger set dates for court pleadings 're: FBI Wincus,' according to a court filing. Winkis did not respond to a detailed message left with her mother, and the federal prosecutor handling the Richards case did not return a message left at her office. An FBI spokesperson declined comment, noting that the agency is prohibited from discussing personnel matters.According to court records, Winkis worked for the FBI for about 13 years, most recently from the bureau's Washington, D.C. headquarters where she was a supervisor in the Innocent Images Unit. In that capacity, Winkis developed cases based on information provided by Justin Berry, who began operating an X-rated Webcam business while still a teenager. Berry's cooperation was, in large part, arranged in late-2005 by Kurt Eichenwald, then a New York Times reporter investigating online child porn businesses.According to a December 2005 Eichenwald story, the Times 'persuaded Justin to abandon his business and, to protect other children at risk, assisted him in contacting the Justice Department.' That Times report also quoted Winkis commenting on the breadth of potential targets identified as a result of Berry's cooperation and how 'hundreds of other kids that we are not aware of yet' could be saved from sexual abuse and exploitation.EX-FBI AGENT JOHN LANDS IN JAIL - AGAINBy Ryan McBride - The Sun StaffWAKEFIELD - A former FBI agent from Westerly has returned to prison after a series of recent arrests for violating a court order to stay away from his ex-wife.John served 15 months at the ACI for a criminal conviction of violating a restraining order in March 2002. His suspended sentence and probation from the conviction end in 2012.According to court records, state police arrested John in February 2002 on a disorderly conduct charge for exposing himself in public.Calif. FBI agent accused of paying for prostituteshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120924/us-weapons-indictment-fbi-agent/GREG RISLING | September 24, 2012 LOS ANGELES — An undercover FBI agent has been accused in court documents of spending U.S. taxpayer dollars on prostitutes in the Philippines for himself and others during an international weapons trafficking probe last year.Deputy Federal Public Defender John Littrell filed a motion last week asking a judge to toss an indictment against his client, Sergio Santiago Syjuco, for "outrageous government misconduct." Syjuco, 25, and two other Philippine nationals have been charged with conspiracy and face up to 20 years in prison.The agent, who wasn't identified in court documents, paid up to $2,400 each time he went to brothels with Syjuco and others to reward them for their work to secure weapons to ship to the U.S. without a license, court documents show."I have never seen anything like this during my career as a criminal defense lawyer," Littrell told The Associated Press on Monday. "I hope that the Department of Justice takes these allegations seriously, does a complete investigation, and ensures that whoever authorized this outrageous misconduct is held accountable."FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller declined comment Monday, but federal prosecutors acknowledged in court documents that the agent sought nearly $15,000 in reimbursements for "entertainment" and other expenses related to the investigation. The prosecutors said they don't have any receipts from the clubs, but two of them listed in the filing, "Air Force One" and "Area 51," are suspected brothels.No charges have been filed against the agent.Syjuco, Cesar Ubaldo and Arjyl Revereza, a Philippines customs official, were charged earlier this year with violating arms import laws by selling a grenade launcher, a mortar launcher and other weapons to the undercover agent who said he was interested in buying high-powered weapons that could be used by drug cartels in the U.S. and Mexico.The case was part of a federal investigation of Asian organized crime groups involved in the illicit trafficking of firearms.The weapons were eventually loaded onto a ship that arrived at the Port of Long Beach in June 2011 and the items were seized by authorities.Littrell argues that the agent – and none of the three defendants – arranged importing the weapons to the U.S. He also questioned why the weapons were first shipped from the Philippines to China, where it wasn't known whether officials there checked the container, before arriving in the U.S.Littrell and an investigator recently visited the Philippines and interviewed several people who claim the agent, using an alias "Richard Han," paid for himself and others to have sex with prostitutes. Alex Escosio, who worked at Area 51, told defense attorneys that Han "always paid for everything, including alcohol, private rooms, food and girls for the entire group of people he brought in," court documents show."Although the government represents that these expenditures were for `entertainment and cocktail (tips included),' it is impossible that the agent could not have known that they money went toward prostitutes," Littrell wrote in court documents.Area 51 was raided in May by Philippine authorities where 60 victims of sex trafficking were rescued, some of whom were underage girls, Littrell said. At least seven people were arrested. see link for full storyhttp://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/12/keith-dietterle-fbi-analyst-accused-of-distributing-child-pornography--82698.htmlKeith Dietterle, FBI analyst, accused of distributing child pornographyBy Jennifer DonelanDecember 3, 2012 - 05:37 pmAn FBI analyst has been accused of distributing child pornography in a disturbing case that's left his neighbors wanting answers.A task force made up of FBI agents and D.C. police officers busted Keith Dietterle. The 28-year-old will appear for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.Dietterle is accused of sending child pornography to another man he met in a chat room frequented by individuals who have a sexual interest children. But the person Dietterle was allegedly speaking with was a D.C. police detective.According to court documents, agents say Dietterle thought he was communicating with a man who claimed to be sexually abusing a 3-year-old nephew and 12-year-old daughter. The detective wrote he and Dietterle discussed a possible meeting with the "children" for sex. Over a two week period, Dietterle sent three images via Yahoo instant messenger depicting child pornography, court documents state. Dietterle is accused of later sending multiple links, including a 13-minute video, images and six separate videos of underage children all being sexually abused.
Files recently released to MuckRock shed light on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of the radical Ramparts magazine. Originally classified SECRET, the investigation described in the FBI files was an “internal security” matter relating to the magazine’s registration status. Paralleling and seemingly predicting some of the later investigations of WikiLeaks, the Bureau suspected that Ramparts “may currently be engaged in acts of distribution of propaganda, acting as a political agent, collecting information, forwarding information, et cetera, while acting as the agent of a foreign principal.”
Since I’ve been old enough to vote -- 50 years now -- I’ve felt, except maybe once or twice, that I was voting for the lesser of evils.
That problem was acute in the run up to the 2016 election, and already I’m hearing people say about the 2018 midterm: no matter who it is, if it’s Democrat, you’ve got to vote for it. We’ve got to cancel congressional support for Trump.
That seems not an unworthy goal.
But let’s think about a democracy constantly providing choices which great numbers of people are uncomfortable with, disappointed in, insulted by, angry about.
Do I really have a vote if I can’t vote for the world I want, a world based in sanity rather than suicidal exploitation and U.S. empire? What does it mean if I can’t vote to grapple with the issues I think most urgent?
Someone might answer, well, write in the candidate then who fits your bill. Really? That’s throwing away your vote as sure as not voting.
It seems to me that when you vote for the lesser of evils knowing full well that one of the candidates is more reprehensible than the other but that neither will solve the serious problems, you have then voted against democracy. You’ve disenfranchised yourself. Haven’t you then turned the fundamental tool of democracy into a wrecking bar to tear it down rather than build it up? To protect yourself against a big blue monster, you’ve tied your fate to a smaller green monster. Or, to save yourself from cancer, you’ve chosen heart disease.
Someone will surely remind me that politics is about compromise. Voting for the lesser of evils is a compromise; that's what we do in politics. Politicians must often compromise. Sometimes that’s a courageous virtue -- the art of the possible. Sometimes it’s a betrayal. But is it the role of citizens to compromise their values and their intelligence? I think my obligation as a citizen may be not to compromise but to adhere to my values, to insist on what I consider moral and sane. If I compromise, I give my elected official permission to compromise even further. These sorts of compromises have brought us to the brink of disaster -- actually beyond the brink for so many people already besieged by climate change or the member of a species made extinct by habitat loss.
We all know now (and if you don’t, you’re living in propaganda land) that we live in an oligarchy. A plutocracy. A military/industrial corporatocracy which determines that we have two corporate parties, with two amenable-to-capitalism candidates, and no viable third party. Voting for the lesser of evils inside that system is a vote for the status quo.
If we show signs of opposing this system by refusing to vote, our friends are outraged: “But what if that blue monster wins?” I say the monster has already won. The monster is the system that is despoiling the earth with dollars and weapons and entitlement.
When I vote, I want to be able to vote not for the lesser of evils but the better of goods. I want candidates who recognize the urgency of the crises bearing down on us. And my choice then is: who has the best plan? I want to simply vote for sanity in defiance of this corrupt system. The essential evil in the system is that we can’t vote to fix it. I can’t vote to get the money out of the system. I can’t vote to indict a government of war criminals. I can’t vote to end an economy based on death.
When we are encouraged to vote for the lesser of evils, we are encouraged to vote our fear not our hope, vote for the status quo not for justice. Or to vote for a person more inclined to do the will of the Pentagon rather than Big Pharma or more inclined to sell out to Citigroup rather than kowtow to Exxon-Mobil.
Someone might say, yes, all that’s true, but we can’t look at that big picture. We’ve got to deal with this election right now. We’ll fix that big stuff later. No, not true. There is no later.
The choice of human survival and the survival of other species is upon us -- the survival of all the plants and animals on the planet who can’t vote. The big issues are the most present. They are the greater evil. Voting for the lesser evil is voting for the greater evil.
But, after all that, am I telling you you should not vote for Democrats, any Democrats, to break the chokehold of the Republicans on Congress? No, I’m not saying that. My own truth telling, and I am being as honest as I know how, runs head on into the nastiness of this moment and the reality of so many social, environmental, legal and political protections being stripped away by our current government. If we vote in Democratic majorities, will we be voting to end U.S. militarism and Empire? No. Will we be voting to make a radical shift in green energy production? No, nowhere near radical enough. Will we be voting to get the special interest money -- which makes the system anti-democratic -- out of the system? No. Will we be voting for national health care? Maybe a little closer.
What this means is that the election, no matter which way it goes, obligates us to citizen action and civil disobedience -- to demand action that will save life and create hope for the future on this ailing planet. Because we can’t vote for the better of goods, inevitably we must vote for greater responsibility for ourselves. The system won’t right this listing ship. Only we can.
We can’t vote for democracy, but we sure as hell can act for it. That’s the choice that isn’t the lesser of evils. It’s the better of goods. It's the vote we've always got no matter what the system gives us.
An image of a police computer screen posted duringThursday’s gas emergency showed bookmarks for several activist groups
To start with, check out these Corbett report videos related to OKC as a good primer on OKC and patcon:
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