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Posts: 8,863
Reply with quote  #1 
FBI boss was clueless as Whitey & Co. ran wild
By Peter Gelzinis
Boston Herald Columnist
Friday, June 23, 2006

Stevie Flemmi, the homicidal maniac who moonlighted for 25 years as an FBI informant, took to the witness stand recently and portrayed the Boston FBI office as a ship of fools.
    Yesterday, we met the captain.
    James Greenleaf was the special agent in charge of J. Edgar Hoover’s Boston franchise from 1982-86 - the period known as Whitey and Stevie’s golden years.
    Greenleaf was at the helm while the two “Top Echelon” gangsters were extracting teeth and tongues from doomed people, who were then dropped into holes.
    Jim Greenleaf said he was clueless about all of it. Never mind that he was boss, or that the informant files his agents wrote were crammed with references to Bulger and Flemmi wreaking havoc under the care and protection of a gangster agent named John Connolly.
    Captain Greenleaf said he never bothered to read the informant files and no underling bothered to mention what was in them. Asked about all the people in those files who turned up dead while he ran the Boston office, former SAC Jim Greenleaf turned into Sgt. Schultz. He knew nothing.
    Roger Wheeler? Brian Halloran? Arthur “Bucky” Barrett? They weren’t even ghosts as far as Jim Greenleaf was concerned. Did he know Flemmi had eventually confessed to killing all of them? Greenleaf furrowed his brow and replied. “I believe I read something about that in the newspapers.” As for John McIntyre, the subject of this $50 million wrongful death suit against the feds, Captain Greenleaf couldn’t remember ever hearing his name back then.
    This lanky, old federal hack may well turn out to be the most compelling witness the McIntyres could ever have hoped for. Ingrained in his sagging, sun-kissed face was all the malignant arrogance, incompetence and indifference of an FBI that enabled John “Zip” Connolly to become a Prince of the City, and his two informants, Whitey and Stevie, to become the monsters they were.
    The crazy thing is Jim Greenleaf wasn’t on the McIntyre family’s witness list. The Department of Justice civil liability lawyers dragged him off some golf course to, theoretically, help torpedo this case.
    Yet, after the McIntyre’s lawyer, William Christie, finished his inquisition - I mean, cross-examination - of Greenleaf, the trio of fed lawyers looked like they were ready to pull out a checkbook.
    Christie methodically picked off what little meat existed on Greenleaf’s bones by forcing him to look at page after page of those memos and reports he said he ignored 23 years ago. At one point Christie asked Greenleaf if he was aware that between 1970 and 1997 there were 84 references to Bulger and Flemmi in some 157 separate reports based upon 47 independent sources.
    “No, sir, I was not aware of that,” Greenleaf said.
    Among the memos Christie referenced was one written in 1984 by Supervisor Jim Ring. In it, he spoke of the Norfolk DA William Delahunt, the State Police and the DEA undertaking a joint investigation of Bulger and Flemmi.
    “I don’t think I really focused on that issue,” Greenleaf said, referring to other law enforcement agencies pursuing the FBI’s two gangster stool pigeons. “I assumed a lot of other people were looking at them.”
    Judge Reginald Lindsay, presiding over the no-jury trial, seemed baffled enough by the response to ask Greenleaf if he was “concerned” by the fact that a local DA, the state police and the DEA were all trying to get at Bulger and Flemmi, the gangsters hiding in plain view of the FBI.
    Looking like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, Captain Jim Greenleaf looked at Lindsay and said, “That just didn’t register with me, judge.” With that, this captain of fools sailed back into his retirement.

FBI aide says he knew little of informants

By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff  |  June 23, 2006

The FBI was investigating its own informants -- James ``Whitey" Bulger and Stephen ``The Rifleman" Flemmi -- as suspects in four murders by 1983 and had been told they were involved in cocaine and marijuana trafficking, according to FBI files.

Yet the head of the FBI's Boston office at the time, James Greenleaf , testified yesterday that nobody ever told him. And, he said, he never reviewed the office's informant files, which were replete with references to the alleged involvement of Bulger and Flemmi in murder, drugs, and other crimes.

The corruption of some FBI agents in the Boston office by Bulger and Flemmi has been well known, but Greenleaf's testimony yesterday was striking because he indicated that no one in the Boston FBI office thought it important to inform the man running the office about serious allegations of criminal activity by the two gangsters.

Greenleaf said he delegated the handling of informants to supervisory agents who worked under him during his tenure as special agent in charge of the Boston office from November 1982 to 1986.

``If there was an issue, they could always come to me," he said.

Greenleaf was called to the stand in US District Court in Boston by the Justice Department, which is defending the government against a $50 million wrongful death suit over its handling of Bulger and Flemmi. The federal judge presiding over the trial quizzed Greenleaf about whether he had concerns about Bulger and Flemmi after learning that they were being targeted by three other law enforcement agencies.

``I don't think I really focused on that," said Greenleaf. ``I assumed because of their backgrounds that a lot of people were looking at them.

US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay asked, ``So there was nothing unusual about the Norfolk district attorney, the State Police, and the DEA [US Drug Enforcement Administration] looking at them for what appeared to be ongoing or current criminal activity?"

After a long pause, Greenleaf said, ``It just didn't register with me. I don't recall any discussions about that."

Greenleaf testified on the 14th day of a civil trial in US District Court in Boston over the suit brought by the family of John McIntyre , a Quincy fisherman who was slain in 1984 after he began cooperating with the FBI and the US Customs Service.

McIntyre's mother, Emily, and brother, Christopher, allege that the FBI's negligent handling of Bulger and Flemmi caused McIntyre's death. Earlier in the trial, Flemmi testified that he and Bulger killed McIntyre, 32, on Nov. 30, 1984, after their longtime FBI handler, John J. Connolly Jr. , warned them that McIntyre was cooperating against them. McIntyre had implicated them in an unsuccessful effort to ship arms to the Irish Republican Army on a Gloucester trawler.

During cross-examination by New Hampshire lawyer William Christie , who represents the McIntyres, Greenleaf said he was not aware that during his tenure, agents in his office were investigating Bulger and Flemmi in four murders.

Yet the FBI's files indicate that Bulger and Flemmi were being investigated by the FBI in the 1981 slaying of businessman Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma; the May 1982 slaying of FBI informant Edward ``Brian" Halloran and Michael Donahue, an innocent bystander , in Boston; and the August 1982 slaying of Boston financier John Callahan in Florida.

Greenleaf also said that he was advised by FBI supervisor James Ring that the FBI had ``no information" linking Bulger and Flemmi to drug trafficking in 1984 when the DEA asked the FBI to join that agency in an investigation targeting the two gangsters.

Yet Christie cited a number of FBI documents that allege Bulger and Flemmi were involved in cocaine and marijuana trafficking.

Greenleaf agreed that he should have been advised about allegations that Bulger and Flemmi were committing serious crimes. ``Before we closed them [as informants], we'd want to find out how much truth there was to these allegations," said Greenleaf, saying there was ``rumor and innuendo" that would have to be investigated.

Greenleaf said he was never involved in any discussions over whether Bulger and Flemmi should be dropped as informants. Flemmi was officially dropped as an informant from September 1982 to 1986, yet continued to volunteer information to the FBI on at least 50 occasions during that time. Bulger remained an active informant until 1990.

Posts: 8,863
Reply with quote  #2 

The Coddled "Terrorists" of South Florida

The Alpha 66 training camp in Florida.

Jan. 14, 2008 | On a hot subtropical Sunday, deep in the humid brush bordering the Everglades west of Miami, Osiel Gonzalez squints down the worn barrel of an AK-47 rifle and squeezes the trigger. With a crack and kick the bullet whizzes over a field of neatly trimmed grass and hits a human silhouette on a paper target 40 yards away.

Gonzalez wipes the sweat off his brow and smiles. Perspiration stains the neck and armpits of his camouflage jacket. All around him are men in fatigues, some flat-bellied on the grass shooting rounds, others cleaning their weapons or picking through ammunition boxes. The air is thick with cigar smoke. At age 71, Gonzalez is still one of the best marksmen at this training camp for Alpha 66, the paramilitary Cuban exile group formed in 1961 "with the intention of making commando type attacks on Cuba," as the organization's Web site baldly puts it. Gonzalez hopes to put his skills to use when the second revolution comes, the one that will tear his homeland free from the grip of communist dictator Fidel Castro. At that point Gonzalez hopes to have a Cuban soldier in his sights, not a paper silhouette.

Plans to attack Cuba are constantly being hatched in South Florida. Over the years militant exiles have been linked to everything from downing airliners to hit-and-run commando raids on the Cuban coast to hotel bombings in Havana. They've killed Cuban diplomats and made numerous attempts on Castro's life.

But, other than an occasional federal gun charge, nothing much seems to happen to most of these would-be revolutionaries. They are allowed to train nearly unimpeded despite making explicit plans to violate the 70-year-old U.S. Neutrality Act and overthrow a sovereign country's government. Though separate anti-terror laws passed in 1994 and 1996 would seem to apply directly to their activities, no one has ever been charged for anti-Cuban terrorism under those laws. And 9/11 seems to have changed nothing. In the past few years in South Florida, a newly created local terrorism task force has investigated Jose Padilla and the hapless Seas of David cult, and juries have delivered mixed reviews, but no terrorism charges have been brought against anti-Castro militants. The federal government has even failed to extradite to other countries militants who are credibly accused of acts of murder. Among the most notorious is Luis Posada Carriles, wanted for bombing a Cuban jet in 1976 and Havana hotels in 1997. It is, perhaps, a testament to the power of South Florida's crucial Cuban-American voting bloc -- and the political allegiances of the current president.

In Greater Miami, home to the majority of the nation's 1.5 million Cuban-Americans, the presence of what could credibly be described as a terrorist training camp has become an accepted norm during the half-century of the anti-Castro Cuban diaspora. Alpha 66 and numerous other paramilitary groups -- Comandos F4, Brigade 2506, Accion Cubana -- are so common they've taken on the benign patina of Rotary Clubs with weapons.

But Alpha 66 members are eager to remind you that even if they are graying and prosperous they are not toothless old tigers. Their Web site boasts that "in recent years" they've sabotaged Cuba's tourist economy by attacking hotels in the beach resort of Caya Coco. At the group's headquarters in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, the walls are hung with the portraits of dozens of men who have died on Alpha 66 missions.

To reach Alpha 66's South Florida camp you have to drive to the farmlands west of Miami's sprawl, then wait for a guide. You follow the guide down a winding, pitted dirt road for a few miles until you get to a gate and a yellow watchtower hung with an old-fashioned school bell. Behind a wall of trees and shrubs is a compound that looks like a hunting lodge. A low-slung wood-plank bunker with a deck and awning provides refuge from the sun.

Before hitting the range, the men -- there are no women here today -- had done maneuvers, marching in double file around the field, while a short, barrel-chested former Cuban army officer named Ivan Ayala barked directions: "Columna izquierda!" Many of the aging, uniformed men laboring to make it around the field are veterans of the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and alumni of Castro's jails. Some, like Osiel Gonzalez, even fought alongside Castro against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, before Castro's turn toward communism. Most, if you believe them, have a "commando" mission or two with Alpha under their belts -- landing on a remote beach and burning sugar cane fields, or strafing a shoreline with machine-gun fire. In other words, they've walked the walk of counterrevolutionary violence, even if it's now reduced to a shuffle.

They deny they have anything in common with the militants hiding in the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan. "No, we are not terrorists," says Gonzalez, the second-in-command and a co-founder of the group who, when he is not donning fatigues and shouldering a rifle, is a financial consultant. "We don't want to kill civilians."

"Our goal is to free our country for our children and grandchildren," drawls Al Bacallao, who has already retreated to the porch's shade behind Gonzalez and the shooting range. The 61-year-old Bacallao was raised in Georgia after arriving from Cuba at age 8, and is the rare Cuban exile with a Southern twang. "The United States fought for its liberty, why can't we?"

But Alpha members may have a fluid definition of what a civilian is. Raking the coast with .50-caliber machine-gun fire certainly does not exclude civilian casualties, nor does attacking tourist spots. By his own admission, Bacallao, who joined Alpha 66 23 years ago, has gone on several missions to Cuba. In 1993 U.S. authorities arrested him and a boatload of other men setting out for the island.

"Our plan was to land and make a hit and run -- those are the best actions, you know," recounts Bacallao, as rifle shots punctuate the air. "And we had everything on board; a .50 caliber gun, hand grenades, AK-47s, plastic explosives. We had enough to blow up Florida, Georgia and Alabama!" He lands hard on the "bam" in Alabama. Then he laughs. "But we broke down. The motor started failing and the currents were strong. Eventually we were picked up."

"Let me tell you, we were treated like animals," he says. "And all we were trying to do was liberate our country."

But if he was treated like an animal, he is not in a cage. Federal prosecutors charged him and his companions with illegal weapons possession but a judge dismissed the case against most of the men, and a jury found the rest not guilty. Like other anti-Castro exiles before him, despite violent acts he is free to continue reporting to the training camp, and free to continue preparing for counter-revolution.

When it comes to South Florida and terror, the official line from current and former federal law enforcement officials is that the law is enforced without fear or favor. The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, R. Alexander Acosta, declined comment for this story, but several of his predecessors insisted to Salon that the law is applied objectively and without regard to local or national politics.

"I don't think there has ever been or is presently a refusal to consider more aggressive charges if the evidence truly sustains them," asserts Kendall Coffey, who was the Southern District's U.S. attorney from 1993 to 1996 and is now a prominent defense lawyer. Coffey adds that he never experienced pressure from his bosses in Washington regarding Cuban militants. "Not at all," he says.

"The politics of a case simply do not come into play," states Guy Lewis, U.S. attorney in South Florida from 2000 to 2002.

Judy Orihuela, spokeswoman for the FBI's Miami office, insists the agency will investigate any group that intends to violate U.S. law and poses a violent threat. At the Department of Justice in Washington, Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the national security division, rejects the notion that federal law enforcement shows leniency toward exile militants. Boyd maintains the DOJ would never attempt to influence a local case for political reasons and is blind to community or political pressure. "We pursue charges based on the evidence, not on other considerations," he says.

"That's sheer bullshit," counters Wayne Smith, who was chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba under Presidents Carter and Reagan from 1979 to 1982, making him the de facto U.S. ambassador to Havana. Smith, who now runs the Cuba Program at the D.C.-based Center for International Policy, invokes the names of two of the most notorious Cuban exiles to argue that the U.S. does, in fact, play favorites. "We are certainly not applying these laws objectively in the case of Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch and a whole lot of others who have been involved in terrorist activities. We say that countries must take action against terrorists, but we're clearly not. And I think it's because we're sympathetic to their actions."

At the beginning of Castro's reign, the U.S. was more than sympathetic to the militant exiles. In the 1960s, the U.S. government actively encouraged and supported anti-Castro violence, including the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. "Throughout most of the 1960s, rolling back the Cuban revolution through violent exile surrogates remained a top U.S. priority," says Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive and a specialist on U.S. policy toward Cuba. With exile involvement, the U.S. government made numerous attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro between 1961 and 1975, though the number cited in the title of the British documentary "638 Ways to Kill Castro" may be an exaggeration. Many anti-Castro Cubans went to work for U.S. intelligence and compiled long résumés of covert activity. In the 1980s, some assisted with the Reagan administration's covert effort to arm the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Cuban-American entanglement with the CIA eventually bled into U.S. politics; two of the five "plumbers" who broke into the Democratic Party's national headquarters at the Watergate in 1972 were Cuban-American. Tolerance for anti-Castro militancy, meanwhile, also had domestic consequences. Throughout the '60s and '70s and into the '80s, exiles carried out dozens of bombings and assassinations in Miami and other American cities, targeting people they deemed too accommodating to the Castro government.

Over time, as Kornbluh notes, the exiles seemed to change their approach somewhat as they aged and as they prospered economically -- and as the CIA backed away. By the 1980s, says Kornbluh, support for militancy "shifted from official funding to private backing from wealthy Cuban-Americans." Much of the anti-Castro activism among Cuban-Americans was directed by a Miami businessman named Jorge Mas Canosa, head of the Cuban American National Foundation. Cuban intelligence, and even anti-Castro militants, have linked CANF to violent plots targeting Cuba.

Still, however, the militants continued to train within the borders of the U.S., and to amass weaponry. Retired Army Col. Larry Wilkerson remembers attending briefings during Caribbean war game exercises from 1992 to 1997 where he learned of the exiles' capabilities. "We would always be fed this intelligence and I was astounded at how many suspected caches of arms they had access to not just in Florida, but in California, New Jersey and other places; light machine guns, grenades, C4, dynamite, all manner of side arms and long arms," recalls Wilkerson, who was former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 to 2005. "It was a veritable terrorist haven. This is Hezbollah in Florida, if you're looking at it through Havana's eyes."

In general, it would be hard to deny that the U.S. government has at least created the appearance that it is willing to tolerate a great deal of legally questionable behavior. But to be fair, even if federal prosecutors want to be objective, they are part of a political culture where such decorous sentiments aren't always honored. Juries, judges -- even the prosecutor's families -- are liable to feel the tug of local anti-Castro feeling. "I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Castro," Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami recently told a British documentary crew. Ros-Lehtinen, who has also publicly expressed support for famed militant Orlando Bosch, is married to Dexter Lehtinen, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Even outside South Florida, juries can balk at convicting anti-Castro exiles. In 1997, the U.S. Attorney in Puerto Rico charged seven Cuban exiles with attempted murder of a foreign official after authorities searched a boat in Puerto Rico and found sniper rifles and night vision goggles, and interviewed a defendant who revealed a plan to whack Castro in Venezuela. The defendants tried to get a change of venue to South Florida and failed, but still succeeded in finding a sympathetic panel. A Puerto Rican jury acquitted the men of the attempted murder charges.

In perhaps the highest-profile criminal case involving Cuban exiles, federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., were unable to keep suspects in the assassination of former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier behind bars. Five Cuban-Americans were alleged to have played roles in the murder of Letelier and his American aide by car-bomb in D.C. in 1976. Three years later, Alvin Ross Diaz and Guillermo Novo Sampoll were convicted of murder and conspiracy to murder a foreign official and sentenced to life. Novo Sampoll's brother Ignacio was convicted on lesser charges.

Ross Diaz and Guillermo Novo Sampoll ended up serving less than five years, however, after winning a new trial and then acquittals. Ignacio Novo Sampoll, whose initial sentence was only three years, also had his conviction overturned on appeal. The last two defendants, Virgilio Paz Romero and Jose Dionisio Suarez Esquivel, eluded capture for 15 years, and then cut deals allowing them to serve less than a dozen years apiece. After his release, Guillermo Novo Sampoll would be arrested in Panama for plotting to murder Fidel Castro.

Today, federal law enforcement's de facto approach toward militant exiles seems to be to infiltrate and monitor them and attempt to disrupt their "missions" as they're launched. The Cuban government would maintain that the U.S. does not show sufficient interest in this limited task.

In 1997, Cuban intelligence agents discovered an exile plot to blow up airplanes carrying tourists to and from Cuba, according to a report released by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, Havana's diplomatic post in the U.S. Castro himself wrote a letter to then-President Clinton asking for help investigating the plot, given the potential impact on both countries.

On June 15, 1998, a delegation of FBI agents went to Havana. The Cubans say they gave the agents documents, surveillance videos and samples from a defused bomb found in one of the hotels. The Cubans alleged the evidence led back to individuals in Miami. But when the FBI left, the Cubans claim they never heard anything more about the matter. Instead, three months after returning stateside, FBI agents arrested a network of 10 Cuban intelligence agents -- the source of much of the shared bombing information. Five of them pleaded guilty and received minimal sentences. Five others are serving terms ranging from 15 years to life. Havana has waged a prolonged propaganda campaign to free them.

One former law enforcement official dismisses the Cuban government's version of events. "They gave the FBI manila folders with a bunch of newspaper articles in them," the official scoffs, pointing out that the spy network had been under investigation for more than a year before the arrests.

When the feds do disrupt a mission and federal prosecutors do follow up criminally, they often charge the exiles with illegal weapons possession, a crime that carries a five-year prison sentence, rather than more serious offenses. Prosecutors have proven willing to accept lenient plea bargains and ask for lenient sentences. They have done so despite the fact that in 1994 and 1996, Congress passed laws that would give them far greater latitude to crack down on violent anti-Castro militants.

The 1994 Violent Crime and Control and Law Enforcement Act, an anti-terrorism measure passed after the first attack on New York's World Trade Center, made it illegal to knowingly provide material assistance for terrorist activity. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was also intended to deter terrorism. The section titled "Conspiracy to Harm People and Property Overseas" states that anyone within the jurisdiction of the U.S. who conspires to commit "an act that would constitute the offense of murder, kidnapping, or maiming" abroad faces punishment up to life in prison.

During the Clinton administration, no anti-Castro militants were prosecuted under those laws. And then came the Bush administration, and 9/11.

In 2001, George Bush was inaugurated as president on the strength of Florida's 25 electoral votes. One reason he got close enough in the state's popular vote for the U.S. Supreme Court to hand him the victory was because Florida's Cuban voters supported him by a lopsided ratio of 4 to 1. His brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, had already established ties to the state's Cuban community, which had supported him by a similar margin in the gubernatorial election two years earlier. Jeb had also served as a campaign manager for Cuban-American Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in 1988, and during that campaign had called his father, George, then the vice president and a candidate for president, to enlist his help in blocking the deportation of militant Orlando Bosch.

All three Bushes have relied on Cuban-American money and support to carry Florida. In 2004, President George W. Bush placed new restrictions on U.S. citizens and Cuban residents in the U.S. who want to visit relatives on the island, and increased enforcement of the embargo against Cuba. To date, his administration has not invoked the 1994 and 1996 anti-terror laws against any anti-Castro militants.

The support of unsavory characters simply because they were fighting our fight was more understandable when we were engaged in a global war on communism. But given the Bush administration's "war on terror," some experts think our government's approach to Cuban militants within our own borders harms our credibility. "There's always some discretion allowed prosecutors, but generally the goal is to apply the laws equitably," explains Peter Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, who has written about anti-terrorist laws and formerly taught at St. Thomas University in Miami. "If you don't, you undermine the legitimacy not only of U.S. law, but our standing in the world. Governments in Latin America now profoundly distrust us because we don't apply the same rules when dealing with Cuba that we do to the Middle East."

Under Bush, the FBI continues to monitor Cuban groups, but Miami spokeswoman Judy Orihuela says the agency considers the militants to be of "diminished capacity." The administration has its own ideas about who is and isn't a terrorist.

In August 2007, less than 30 miles from the Alpha 66 training camp, a federal jury in downtown Miami convicted a Brooklyn-born Muslim convert named Jose Padilla of conspiracy to kidnap, maim or kill people abroad. His sentencing hearing began last Wednesday; he faces up to life in prison. Although the military originally alleged he planned to detonate a dirty bomb in the U.S., the criminal case finally brought against him charged he plotted overseas attacks and plotted to provide support to terrorists as part of a U.S.-based terrorist cell. Prosecutors used the 1996 terrorism law in this case.

In December 2007, a federal jury failed to convict any of seven adherents of the Seas of David group of terror-related charges. The members of the tiny religious sect, who were also charged under the 1996 law, had allegedly conspired to purchase weapons from an informant they believed to be a representative of al-Qaida, and were supposedly plotting to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and a federal building in Florida. When the FBI raided the group's headquarters, the most serious weapons agents found were three machetes and some handgun bullets. They never found any plans for a terrorist plot. The jury acquitted one man on all charges and could not agree on verdicts for the other six defendants. The judge declared a mistrial; the U.S. Attorney's office plans to retry the men in 2008.

The 1994 and 1996 anti-terror laws have been invoked more than 40 times since 9/11, but never against anti-Castro militants. If authorities in South Florida wanted to apply the same scrutiny to Cuban-Americans that they applied to Padilla, who is Puerto Rican, and the Seas of David group, which was largely Haitian-American, they could surely find some suspects who have both a training camp and more weaponry than machetes. Among the South Florida residents who might bear some scrutiny:

Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat -- Cuban authorities allege that Alvarez, a founder of Alpha 66 who is now a Miami developer, was on board a motorboat that strafed the shoreline of a Cuban fishing village in 1971 killing two men and wounding four others, including two young girls.

Alvarez is known to have provided financial and other material support to Luis Posada Carriles and other militants. In April of 2001 Cuban authorities reported capturing three Miami area residents after they clambered ashore with AK-47 assault rifles, an M-3 carbine fitted with a silencer and three semi-automatic Makarov pistols. While in custody, one of the men phoned Alvarez, while Cuban agents recorded the call. "The other day, when you told me about the Tropicana, do you want me to do something there?" Ihosvani Suris de la Torre asked, referring to a popular nightclub. Alvarez responded: "If you want to do that there, so much the better. Makes no difference to me." Cuba asked the FBI to do a voice analysis to prove it was Alvarez. The FBI has never acknowledged opening an investigation. The Cuban government released a transcript of the call to foreign journalists and broadcast audio of it on national television.

Through his lawyer, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida Kendall Coffey, Alvarez told Salon he was not involved in the operation and was only trying to help Suris; he knew the call was being recorded, and that Suris faced the firing squad, so he wanted to say something that would make Suris appear to be providing valuable assistance to his captors.

But Alvarez sounded supportive in a 2001 interview with the Miami New Times. "My first connection with them is that we all believe that in order to fight Castro we have to fight in Cuba," he said in a previously unpublished portion of the interview, adding, "We're not terrorists."

In 2005 federal agents searched an apartment Alvarez kept north of Miami in Broward County and found a store of military hardware including an M-11 A1 machine gun, two Colt AR-15 assault rifles, a silencer, and a Heckler & Koch grenade launcher. Agents arrested Alvarez and his assistant, Osvaldo Mitat.

According to Peter Margulies, prosecutors could have considered charging Alvarez with providing material support for terrorist activity, which carries a sentence of 15 years to life. Instead, they charged Alvarez and Mitat with seven counts of illegal weapons possession.

Both pleaded guilty to one of the counts. The judge sentenced Mitat to about three years and Alvarez to just under four years. "While I have always been passionately interested in a free and democratic Cuba, I recognize that any conduct of mine must occur within the bounds of the law," Alvarez stated at his sentencing. After the plea, Alvarez supporters, who were able to remain anonymous, brokered a deal with prosecutors through a lawyer. In exchange for even more weapons, including 200 pounds of dynamite, 14 pounds of C-4 explosives and 30 assault weapons, the judge further reduced Alvarez's sentence to 30 months.

"Alvarez and Mitat are the paradigm of Miami justice," Miguel Alvarez, chief advisor to Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba's National Assembly of the People's Power, says wryly. "They confiscate a cache of arms from them, they try them, and when they turn over another cache of arms, they reduce their sentences. It's amazing."

Wonders Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive: "What was all that hardware for? Why did they let him plea bargain without getting the story on what he planned to do with all those weapons?"

"You can bet your bottom dollar," says Jose Pertierra, the Washington, D.C., attorney hired by the Venezuelan government to press for the extradition of militant Luis Posada, "if their names were Mohammed they wouldn't be as lenient and they'd certainly be looking for the rest of the arms."

Gaspar Jimenez -- Jimenez was indicted in the 1976 car bombing of Cuban-American radio commentator and critic of exile violence Emilio Milian in Miami. The U.S. attorney dropped the charges. In 1977 Mexican authorities arrested Jimenez and two others for attempting to kidnap the Cuban consul and killing the consul's bodyguard. Jimenez escaped and was rearrested in Miami in 1978. He was deported to Mexico and served less than three years. In 2000, he was jailed in Panama for attempting to assassinate Castro, as were Guillermo Novo, Pedro Remon and Luis Posada Carriles. All four were pardoned by the Panamanian president in 2004.

Pedro Remon -- One of the four exiles arrested in Panama for the Castro assassination plot, Remon was also arrested in 1985 in the United States for a bombing at the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York. He was indicted for the murder of Cuban diplomat Felix Garcia-Rodriguez in New York and the attempted murder of the Cuban ambassador. He was sentenced to 10 years on reduced charges.

And then there's Luis Posada Carriles. With Orlando Bosch, he is a suspect in the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines flight that killed 73 people. Posada is perhaps the most wanted of all of Miami's militants. "Certainly what Posada is accused of fits [the] standard [of the terrorism acts]," says Margulies.

"The Santiago and Posada cases create some real questions about whether we are applying the law in this matter in an objective manner. The premise of the anti-terrorism laws, including providing material support, is that people who are in this country shouldn't plan violence in another country, because 1) it is inherently wrong, particularly if it involves civilians, and 2) it can entangle the U.S. in complications, including war."

But the idea of indicting Posada as a terrorist would prompt laughter in many Cuban exile circles, if not a few bomb threats.

It's a warm night in Westchester, a largely Cuban suburb southwest of Miami. Shade trees sway outside the folksy Miami Havana restaurant; inside waiters pour sangria in the rear dining room, which is packed with heavily perfumed women draped in gold jewelry and men in starched guayaberas. Alpha 66 is hosting this fundraiser to repair storm damage at its training camp, but it is also a pep rally for "the struggle," la lucha.

Shortly after the American and Cuban national anthems play over a scratchy sound system but before the chicken and rice is served, an old man with neatly combed white hair enters through the French doors. He is barely visible behind a scrum of men who quickly surround him. Diners crane to see. They begin to whisper. Then clap. Soon there is a standing ovation. Luis Posada Carriles, the hero of the counter-revolution, is making his way to the head table.

"Bambi" Posada, 79, is wearing a light gray suit, white shirt and dark tie. As he sits down, the crowd asks him to speak. Talking publicly is not his strong suit after an assassination attempt in 1990 took out a chunk of his tongue. Nonetheless he mumbles a thanks to the crowd for their support, then sits down. During dinner a 9 mm Beretta pistol is raffled. The winner is a young mother.

The Cuban government has implicated Posada in a series of 1997 Havana hotel bombings, which killed an Italian tourist and injured 11 people. In 1998 Posada, a former CIA and Venezuelan intelligence operative, told the New York Times that he was responsible for the bombings. The Venezuelan government wants Posada for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner, which killed 73 people. Although Havana-bound Cubana Flight 455 originated in Trinidad and Tobago, the plot was allegedly hatched by Posada in Caracas. Two men who worked for Posada admitted to the crime, but Posada has repeatedly denied any involvement in that attack.

Venezuelan authorities arrested Posada and Orlando Bosch in 1976 for planning the bombing. Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985, in an operation allegedly funded by Jorge Mas Canosa, and fled to El Salvador. He then began working for a CIA-led gun-running operation. Posada was paid $3,000 per month by Oliver North deputy Maj. Gen. Richard Secord to funnel guns to the Nicaraguan Contras. After the Iran-Contra debacle, he remained in Central America as an advisor to the Guatemalan government.

In 2000 Panamanian authorities arrested Posada and three Miami Cubans for a plot to bomb a Panamanian auditorium where Castro was scheduled to give a speech. Posada was in possession of a gym bag full of C4 explosives. The four men were convicted on related charges in 2004; one was a CANF employee, another was Pedro Remon. Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, a close U.S. ally, pardoned all four men that same year just before she left office. All of them returned to Miami except Posada.

In 2005 Posada entered the U.S illegally; he was later arrested with a false passport and jailed. He requested political asylum in April and the Venezuelan government requested his extradition in May. A U.S. immigration judge in Texas rejected Venezuela's request when prosecutors did not challenge Posada's assertion he'd be tortured if sent back. Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega said publicly in 2005 that the Cuban and Venezuelan charges against Posada "may be a completely manufactured issue." Posada was held by U.S. immigration authorities from May 2005 to April 2007, when he was released on bail. In May 2007, a U.S. district judge tossed out all charges of immigration fraud against him.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a Castro ally, has vowed to do all he can to prosecute Posada. "They have wanted to stonewall the extradition by giving the appearance of criminal prosecution on lesser matters," says Jose Pertierra, Venezuela's Washington attorney. "They use that at diplomatic meetings. They tell government officials from Venezuela, 'We're taking care of the Posada matter. We have a criminal investigation going on.'"

Whatever authorities might be investigating, whether it is Posada's role in the Havana bombings or his fake passport, "doesn't even compare with an extradition involving 73 counts of first-degree murder," Pertierra says. "Can you imagine Osama bin Laden [entering] Pakistan on a camel," he adds, "and Pakistani immigration authorities telling the White House that they don't want to extradite Osama bin Laden for murder because they've got him on an immigration charge?"

Eduardo Soto, Posada's lawyer in the immigration case, asserts that the international convention against torture prohibits his client's extradition to Venezuela. "You could be a convicted mass murderer, you could be Adolf Hitler, it matters not, if there is a possibility that he would be tortured in countries that would [otherwise] be entitled to take him," Soto says. It helped Posada's case that federal prosecutors didn't contest this claim.

There is another option. "Either extradite him to the country that is demanding him, Venezuela, or try him as if the act, the bombing of the Cubana plane, had been committed in U.S. territory," says Cuba's Miguel Alvarez, citing agreements hammered out at the Montreal Convention of 1991 on explosives, one of a series of international conventions meant to spell out the obligations of national governments when terrorism occurs.

Back at the Miami Havana restaurant, Posada has been joined at the front table by an old comrade in arms. Sitting next to Posada is Pedro Remon, who shared a cell with Posada in Panama. Remon stands up to speak. "It's an honor to have gathered here tonight for a just cause," he tells the crowd. "To cooperate with an organization that has been the vanguard over so many years of struggle against communism in Cuba."

Remon's years behind bars give him, like Posada, a kind of elder statesman status among the exiles, and prison has hardly diminished his resolve. Athletic with a thick mustache, he still believes in groups like Alpha 66. "The organization has been strengthened," he tells Salon in an interview at the restaurant. "They have very good new people who are dedicated to the cause of Cuba." And he laments the absence at the fundraising dinner of comrade-in-arms Santiago Alvarez. "I'm very hopeful he'll be with us soon," he says.

Posada is less talkative with strangers. "I'm sorry, I still have a legal matter." After dessert he politely waves goodbye to his supporters and heads for the door escorted by Alpha 66's jefe militar Reinol Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a towering man with white hair and mustache, returns to the dining room and stands with a group of men in a half-circle, including Al Bacallao, who back at the training camp talked about his 1993 arrest on a weapons-laden boat headed for Cuba. They've loosened their collars, rolled up their sleeves, and are talking hopefully about the hot summer in Havana and how the heat might fuel discontent. "We're waiting for the spark," Rodriguez says. "We're ready to go when the moment comes."

"We have what it takes," Bacallao adds, extending his hands as if he were holding a couple of melons. "Cojones."


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'Taxi to the Dark Side'

Dilawar picked up the wrong fare.

On Dec. 5, 2002, the young Afghani taxi driver gave a ride to four men. Afghani forces stopped the car at a roadblock, detained Dilawar and his passengers and turned them over to the Americans, citing suspicious material they claim to have found in the trunk.

They were taken to a hellhole called Bagram prison. Dilawar, who U.S. command later determined was innocent of any crime or intent, was hooded, handcuffed, chained to the ceiling and beaten so severely that his legs would have had to have been amputated, had he lived.

He didn't. He was dead in five days.

"Taxi to the Dark Side" (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) is a methodically constructed, step-by-step detailing of how the Bush administration's policy of condoning torture trickled - flowed, really; poured - down the chain of command to inundate the largely untrained troops in the field, or, more to the point, in the detention centers.

The film includes photos and grainy film clips from Abu Ghraib - where some of the Bagram guards were sent after the U.S. invasion - that are one step beyond horrifying. Let's just say that if you're familiar only with what was published in mainstream newspapers and magazines, you have no idea.

But ... how can such things happen? (Or, perhaps, be?)

Writer, director and eerily soft-spoken narrator Alex Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room") begins the investigation by interviewing The Guys Who Did It.

"You start looking at these people as less than human, and you start doing things that you could never dream of," says Sgt. Ken Davis.

"You put people in crazy situations, they're going to do crazy things," says Pfc. Damien Corsetti.

Then he works his way upstream, until:

"That's very vague. What does that mean?" - President George W. Bush, on Article III of the Geneva Conventions ("There shall be no outrages to human dignity").

The men who carried out the torture, who were instructed by military intelligence to "soften up" detainees for interrogation, to "break" them, tell us that they were not trained in these methods. As, indeed, no one should be, not least because, as appalled former FBI interrogator Jack Clooney explains, they don't work.

And certainly not least because, well, it's torture, by any reasonable interpretation of the hard and hard-to-look-at evidence the film presents.

And the rule of law? The Constitution?

"We have to work, though, sort of on the dark side," Vice President Cheney is shown explaining. "We've got to spend time in the shadows." And that's where this taxi has taken us. The fare, Gibney's film suggests, will be steep.

Director: Alex Gibney. Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes. Rated R. 4 stars.


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                Permalink                 02:34:07 am, Categories: Voices, 1072 words                    

WWDDS? What Would Dorothy Day Say?

eileen fleming


Dorothy Day


"Writing...is hard because you are giving yourself away, but if you love; you want to give yourself. You write as you are impelled to write, about man and his problems, his relation to God and his fellows…The sustained effort of writing, of putting [words down while] there are human beings [with] sickness, hunger, sorrow…I feel that I have done nothing well, but I did something."-Dorothy Day


Dorothy Day lived a diverse 83 years that culminated in 1980. She spent her youth amongst anarchists and bohemians, in bars and through unhappy love affairs. She ended life with an extensive FBI file and a paper trail that testifies that what she wrote, she believed, she did and lived.


As an unwed mother she shocked her progressive friends when she entered the Roman Catholic Church, and from the inside, she began to critique it. She called herself a journalist, but she was also like St. Francis of Assisi, a lone prophetic voice of wisdom that challenged the corruption of the gospel/good news by the church institution by holding steady to the facts of what Jesus said was non-negotiable for his follower's; you must forgive to be forgiven and you must love-even those who do not love back.


In a 1994 issue of The Progressive, Erwin Knoll reported "the day after the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor [was] a day when even the most committed pacifist might have been forgiven for maintaining a discreet silence…There was nothing discreet about Dorothy Day."[1]


On the Sunday after Pearl Harbor, Day spoke out, "There is now all this patriotic indignation about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Japanese expansionism in Asia. Yet not a word about American and European colonialism in this same area. We, the British, the French, and others set up spheres of influence…control national states-against the expressed will of these states-and represent imperialism…We dictate to [all] …to where they can expand economically and politically, and we declare what policy they must observe. From our nationalistic and imperialistic point of view, we have every right to concentrate American military forces [Everywhere we chose]…But I waste rhetoric on international politics-the breeding grounds of war over the centuries. The balance of power and other empty slogans inspired by a false and flamboyant nationalism have bred conflict throughout 'civilized' history.


"And it has become too late in human history to tolerate wars which none can win. Nor dare we quibble about just wars…All wars are, by their very nature, evil and destructive. It has become too late for civilized people to accept this evil. We must take a stand. We must renounce war as an instrument of policy…Evil enough when the finest of our youth perish in conflict and even the causes of these conflicts were soon lost to memory. Even more horrible today when cities go up in flames and brilliant scientific minds are searching out ultimate weapons.


"War must cease. There are no victories. The world can bear the burden no longer. Yes, we must make a stand. Even as I speak to you, I may be guilty of what some men call treason. But we must reject war: Yes, we must now make a stand. War is murder, rape, ruin, death; war can end our civilization. I tell you that within a decade we will have weapons capable of ending this world as we have known it." [IBID]


Day's prophetic voice is also a friend of wisdom and "Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, and certain. Not baneful, but loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent, kind, firm, secure, all-seeing and pervading all spirits. Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and SHE penetrates and pervades all things by reason. SHE is the aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of The Almighty. SHE is the refulgence of eternal Light, a spotless mirror of the power of God. And SHE who is one, can do all things and renews everything. And passing into holy souls from age to age, SHE produces friends of God and prophets." - WISDOM 7:22-8:1


Day took Jesus seriously and understood that for a Christian the higher law is God's not man's and for a Christian, God is love and "love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of cities. Love is not killing...Our Manifesto is the Sermon on The Mount, which means we will try to be peacemakers."


Day challenged church, state and corporate media via her publication The Catholic Worker, which gave voice to the voiceless and persists today. Everyday when I sit in front of my keyboard to write; to give myself away impelled by love in response to a sense of mission or is it duty? This need to write about man and his problems, his relation to God and his sisters and brothers, provokes me to daily wonder:




What would Dorothy Day Say about America today, our media, government and churches? What would she publish about Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and the fact that 2008 is the 60th Anniversary of Israel, Nakba, and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights upon which Israel's statehood was contingent upon upholding.


Might she have said:


For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn't let go, and they only did it because they did not know:


The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.


And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above, and it comes from within.


Imagine a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men.


1. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1295/is_n4_v58/ai_14951440/pg_1




June 6, 2008 © Copyright Eileen Fleming, Reporter and Editor http://www.wearewideawake.org/ Author Keep Hope Alive and Memoirs of a Nice Irish American Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory, Producer "30 Minutes With Vanunu." Permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this credit is attached and the title remains unchanged. Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine


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See 1993 WTC bombing below


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Reply with quote  #6 
see link for full story

April 25, 2011
Primary Sources: Josef Franz Prach von Habsburg-Lothringen and the F.B.I.
Posted by Evan Ratliff

For this week’s issue, I investigated the shadowy world of Federal Bureau of Investigation informants, focussing on a complicated and colorful man named Josef Franz Prach von Habsburg-Lothringen. Von Habsburg—a man of extravagant tastes in food, clothing, and art—was understood by acquaintances in New York to be a wealthy descendant of an Austrian royal family. He was also working as a confidential informant to the F.B.I.

In 2002, von Habsburg was involved in a Bureau operation called Wooden Nickel, which resulted in the arrest and prosecution, on charges of money laundering, of a lawyer named Albert Santoro. Santoro’s defense team prepared to claim that he had been entrapped, and began looking into the background of the man they called “the Prince.” Defense investigators, including a P.I. named Steven Rambam, discovered that von Habsburg had actually grown up in a ranch house in Michigan, under the name Josef Meyers. He had a rap sheet ranging from grand theft auto to intimidation to forgery; spent time forcibly confined to a mental hospital; and had a long and tangled history as an informant for the F.B.I., the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Documents introduced into the public record during Santoro’s case showed how Meyers—code name Harvard—had become involved with the D.E.A. and then the F.B.I. in Detroit in the mid-nineteen-eighties. He had then provided information on drug deals and counterfeiting. The documents also showed how his F.B.I. affiliation had proven handy when Meyers himself was arrested for, among other crimes, dealing cocaine, for which he was not prosecuted:

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Gang Stalking = COINTELPRO = STASI decomposition


The FBI and all law enforcement agencies are currently using a psychological warfare protocol like "COINTELPRO" which is almost identical to the STASI "decomposition". This is what people are referring to as Gang Stalking.


The earliest forms of this that I know of are from Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each of these societies had pervasive spy/informant networks that were spying on each other as well as looking for spies inside of their own empires. Anyone who did not feel that their own respective empire was the most perfect society could be considered a traitor. In other words they were looking for anyone who had thoughts beliefs and attitudes that were not approved of by the state that could instigate revolt or subversive activity or otherwise make them a danger to the empire. This obviously created a snitch culture and there were bound to be abuses. If a person was not liked by another then it was easy to persuade others to make a complaint and get that person killed or exiled. No one dare say or do anything that was politically incorrect and thus the rulers were able to maintain power and control over the people. Blatant execution or exile is common in an empire but in a democracy it is not as easy to accomplish these punishments so modern psychological operations were developed to accomplish these goals and in this way an empire can masquerade as a democracy.


The STASI decomposition protocol is an excellent example of how these modern psychological operations work. The STASI decomposition is almost identical to the FBI’s COINTELPRO. Here is a link to a document that shows an overview of the STASI decomposition.

·         http://www.scribd.com/doc/71863415

·         http://www.mediafire.com/?5w80dni99qc1c8w


Law enforcement agencies in concert with government and corporations are using bribery, deception, coercion & blackmail to create an informant & saboteur network out of criminals of all kinds, extremist groups, cults, patriotic zealots, the poor, the homeless, friends, family, neighbors, repair men, fire men, police, military personnel and agents to target individuals and groups that have beliefs and attitudes (such as civil rights and animal rights.) that may cause them to commit acts of terrorism at some future time or motivate others to commit terrorist acts or incite revolt. This pre-crime approach has existed numerous times throughout American history but has reared its ugly head again due to 9/11.

Unfortunately, according to former FBI agent Mike German, many post 9/11 targeted individuals are nothing more than a training exercise.




·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO












Here is a lecture by Noam Chomsky that uncovers the root mindset in America that predicates the targeting of groups and individuals.



The real power behind gang stalking and many other terrible things is the minority of the opulent but the front group making all the policy changes these days is the neoconservatives. Neoconservatisim is a cult ideology that has been bankrolled and nurtured by the opulent just like all of the other cult ideologies created or co-opted by the opulent for their machinations.

·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/lettersstatements.htm


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm


·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Policy_Initiative


·         http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/


·         http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/foreignpolicy2011


·         http://www.abovetheswamp.com/articles/political-issues/74-the-neocon-mind


Stalin and Hitler were fanatical leaders inspired by a gang mentality and by the concept of "historic mission." They believed that intolerance and large scale brutality were necessary ingredients of social order. Each of them was also supported by the “cult of personality.” The neocons are strikingly similar.


What are the components of gang mentality?



·         Extreme concern with reputation both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.



·         Extreme concern with respect both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.



·         No challenge will go unanswered. It is so with the neocons as well.


What is the concept of “historic mission”?


In a well documented conversation, Adolf Hitler berated the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg and stated…

"That is what you say!...But I am telling you that I am going to solve the so-called Austrian problem one way or the other...I have a historic mission, and this mission I will fulfill because Providence has destined me to do so...I have only to give an order and all your ridiculous defense mechanisms will be blown to bits. You don't seriously believe you can stop me or even delay me for half an hour, do you?"


Prominent neocon Michael Ledeen stated…

“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”


What is the cult of personality?


The cult of personality is explained pretty well here…

·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_personality


The Straussian philosophy is a cult of personality and the neocons follow the Straussian philosophy

·         http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13145.htm


If you select 1 percent of a population (Whistle blowers, dissidents, artists, those that look funny, and act or dress funny) and punish them severely for little or nothing, then you will gain the compliance of the other 99 percent either through fear or because they’ve been conned by the COINTELPRO/STASI type propaganda in to believing that the TI’s must be removed from society for the common good. Then you can implement the social, political and financial changes you want on a grand scale in a relatively short period of time. I.E. advance your historic mission. This has been done enumerable times throughout history.


When the average person considers what the Nazis or Stalin did, they are naturally horrified. When a banker considers what the Nazis or Stalin did they have dollar signs in their eyes. MONEY is the real reason this is happening!!! The bankers know that a one world government is not possible. Empire building has been going on for centuries and a global empire has never been realized. But if you understand finance, history, politics and the military industrial complex, then it is clear to see that it is the EXERCISE of building empires and large scale wars that redistributes the wealth of nations into the hands of the banking elite and keeps the masses under control.


Unfortunately most human beings don't understand how their own minds work nor are they well educated in multiple disciplines. Most of the people that perpetrate these crimes against humanity aren't fully aware that there is such a big conspiracy going on. It’s just that most human beings have so many inherent psychological weaknesses and such a deep lack of education that if you alter the socioeconomic landscape in just the right way, you get what you see here in America today.



·         http://brainz.org/ten-most-revealing-psych-experiments/



Here are a few very credible documentaries that will help you to understand what’s really going on and hopefully survive…


·         http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/#watch


·         http://metanoia-films.org/human-resources/#watch










One of the biggest mistakes people make when they become TI’s is to attempt to create a counter spy network against those that are surveilling them. This is something that the neocons and the banking elite are OK with. A global spy counter spy network is much like the cold war and the cold war was extremely profitable for the banking elite not to mention a powerful pretext to control people. The global war on terror needs a global terrorist network and since there really is not one, many targets will be manipulated into acting out in ways that can classify them as terrorists thus creating the impetus for law enforcement agencies to demand more tax payer money to fight the war on terror. Targets are all better off contacting a civil rights group and explaining that they have reason to believe they have been placed on the terrorist watch list.


Do yourself a favor and learn as much about economics and finance as possible. It will help you survive. This is all the info you will need to be an educated investor. It’s not a get rich quick thing, just a solid economics and investing education.


·         http://www.mediafire.com/?f0ep3y537y6hlxy


·         http://www.mediafire.com/?7jyqc3yjoy78uqr


·         http://www.mediafire.com/?hrxa7ca24n7h0uk



Also, listen to as many lectures by Professor Noam Chomsky as possible. They are all over the internet. He is brilliant and has been exposing the machinations of the opulent (Rothschild, Rockefeller etc) for decades. His research is very credible and will help you to separate the facts from the propaganda and give you a measure of mental clarity and peace. Utilizing his research will also help you gain some of your credibility back with others.


Try to explain all of this to your friends and family. Usually when people see the mission statement of the neocons from their websites (PNAC & FPI) they start listening.


According to anti-communist author Ludwik Kowalski

“Mass murder occurs when brutal and sadistic criminals, to be found in every society, are promoted to positions of dominance, when propaganda is used to dehumanize the targeted population and when children are inoculated with intolerance and hatred. It occurs when victims ("inferior races" or "class enemies") are excluded from the norms of morality, when ideological totalitarianism is imposed and when freedom is suspended. Fear and violence, the preconditions of genocide, are likely to be found in societies with large numbers of thieves and informants.”


Here is some info on how to take care of your physical health.

·         http://www.mediafire.com/?obd4zl5rrjbvwr1


Visit this YouTube channel and watch everything on it. You will gain a clear understanding of what’s really going on.

·         http://www.youtube.com/user/phrygian20


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Reply with quote  #8 
see link for full story

'FBI cover-up' of 3rd gun in border-patrol murder
'I guarantee [informants] are not allowed to kill federal agents'
April 22, 2012

(WASHINGTON FREE BEACON) — The Department of Justice is using the liberal “watchdog” group Media Matters for America to deflect questions about the Fast and Furious scandal, including those regarding a gun that might have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

A new book raises questions as to whether the FBI hid the existence of a weapon recovered at the scene of murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Conservative commentator and author Katie Pavlich lays out evidence she says points to a FBI cover-up to protect a confidential informant in her recently released book, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-up.”

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Reply with quote  #9 
couple of reads about the current Sheriff of San Diego William Gore.
NOTE  FBI Supervisor Larry Potts has been identified as Timothy McVeigh's FBI handler before the Oklahoma City bombing
google    potts nichols trentadue fbi

see links for full story

1st read

"Four FBI agents, including the ex-head of the bureau's Seattle field office [[William Gore, APPOINTED San Diego Sheriff']], invoked their Fifth Amendment privileges against self-incrimination yesterday during Senate hearings into a shootout in northern Idaho that left three people dead....In a closed session, the four FBI agents, citing their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, refused to answer questions put to them by senators,

He said senior FBI official Larry Potts [above Gore in chain of command]....had approved an order under which FBI snipers were to shoot on sight any adult male seen with a weapon on the Weaver property.

....Richard Rodgers, head of the team. Rogers [below Gore in chain of command] helped formulate controversial "rules of engagement" for the siege that critics say amounted to a "shoot on sight" order for all armed adult males on the Weaver property.

FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi opened fire just a few hours after the rules of engagement were approved, wounding Randy Weaver and then killing his 43-year-old wife [head shot on mother holding her infant]...

....Justice Department probe of an alleged FBI cover-up of its conduct at Ruby Ridge...”


More: http://www.byington.org/Carl/ruby/ruby4h.htm

Tell me this guy wouldn't order Katrina-style gun confiscations, including use of deadly force, and other outrageous acts against the Constitution.

Who will help uncover more truth about this guy WHO WANTS TO BE the next elected Sheriff in San Diego??

2nd read

San Diego County sheriff refuses to release drone documents

‘Very little public benefit’ in disclosing UAV inquiry paper trail

FOI Requests:

As part of MuckRock and Electronic Frontier Foundation’s ongoing Drone Census, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department received the same Freedom of Information request sent to agencies across the country.

Like many agencies, the Sheriff’s office responded that they had no documents relating to drones. But in this case, MuckRock discovered there were responsive documents — which were only released by a different city.

These documents detailing San Diego’s drone interest were received from the Seattle Police Department, which, while detailing its own aerial drone program, showed clear evidence of drone interest from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Seattle Police Department released more than 250 pages of emails, internal memos and contracts, including sales quotes from four manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A November 2011 email from a Datron World Communications sales manager to the Seattle Police contact included a sales quote prepared for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department earlier that year for a Scout UAV.

The Datron representative explained that a San Diego County Sheriff's team had “visited Datron's facility and experienced the [drone] system with all three cameras,” and that the team “left with a flashdrive full of personal footage and a new found [sic] purpose for submitting their wish-list early.”

He encouraged the Seattle Police Department to use the sales quote sent to San Diego County “as a reference point for configuring [its] system.”

The estimate is dated July 28, 2011 and addressed to a sergeant in the Special Investigations Division of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office. Estimated costs total $131,087 for one Datron Scout UAV system, including a thermal imaging camera package and operator training for four students at Datron's facility in Vista, CA.

p. 145
p. 146
p. 144

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department was not on the list acquired by EFF of public agencies that had applied for Federal Aviation Administration authorization to fly drones in domestic airspace.

It was, however, among the agencies submitted by MuckRock users through the Drone Census page, and MuckRock sent a request to the San Diego County Sheriff for documents related to the department’s use, interest in and purchase of drone technology on July 12, 2012.

On July 19, 2012, a legal advisor from the San Diego County Sheriff's office indicated that it had no documents related to drones or UAVs. The email stated clearly that the department had “no records that are responsive [...] pertaining to aerial drones.”

Until the Seattle Police Department passed along its documents in late August, MuckRock had no reason to doubt the San Diego Sheriff's response.

On Sept. 4, MuckRock sent a follow-up email to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department seeking an explanation of the Datron sales quote, as well as confirmation that no further documents were available related to the Sheriff's interest in purchasing a drone.

The Sheriff's legal advisor sent a response by mail on September 13, indicating that the department “declines to comment on the sales quotation referenced in your September 4, 2012 letter.”

As is true in most states, California’s public records law provides that documents related to equipment purchases are matters of public record unless exempted by statute. Accordingly, the San Diego County Sheriff and other public agencies have the latitude to justify denial of public records requests, but not to “deny comment” when faced with such a request.

Upon an appeal to this effect, the San Diego County Sheriff confirmed that the department “does not maintain drones, nor are we in the process of acquiring them,” and that the department had chosen not to purchase drones following an “inquiry as to the type of drone equipment that is available to public safety agencies, the cost, and the expected performance.”

The Sheriff refuses, however, to release any communications related to the sales quote or test demonstration alluded to in the Datron emails to Seattle police. The Sheriff’s office says these records are exempt as part of the deliberative process, since the department “must be free to gather information and weigh alternatives in confidence before arriving at a course of action.”

The Sheriff’s legal advisor also says that “there is very little public benefit in the release of such records” since its inquiries into Datron’s drone unit did not result in purchasing any equipment.

But public records law puts the burden of evidence not on those who seek disclosure, but on those who would keep them from public view. Evidence Code section 1040 of California’s disclosure law, which the San Diego County Sheriff’s office has invoked as a basis for its denial, provides that public agencies may refuse to disclose official information in the case that such disclosure “is against the public interest because there is a necessity for preserving the confidentiality of the information that outweighs the necessity for disclosure in the interest of justice.”

The onus is on the Sheriff to demonstrate how releasing the documents sought by MuckRock would injure the public interest.

While the San Diego County Sheriff declined to purchase drones, other police departments have conducted similarly confidential inquiries and ended up acquiring UAVs without the benefit of public scrutiny. Police in Seattle, for instance, recently apologized for going ahead with drones purchases without adequately consulting the city council, much less the general public. The Alameda County Sheriff also faced vocal protest and concern when its plans to employ drones became public.

The public has a right to know when and how government agencies use potentially invasive technologies such as drones. The public also has a right to be consulted when agencies consider adopting the technology in the first place, and should have a say as to what restrictions are put in place to prevent its misuse.

Interested in using the power of the Freedom of Information Act to find out more about what your government is doing? MuckRock makes it easy for anyone to publicly request, receive and publish government documents under Freedom of Information law: Register today.

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H. Law Enforcement Operations at Ruby Ridge From August 22, 1992 Until August 31, 1992.


1. Introduction

Following the death of Deputy Marshal Degan, the FBI assumed primary jurisdiction over the investigation of the events relating to his death. The FBI's handling of the investigation at Ruby Ridge has been criticized on several grounds: that the FBI's command and control of the crisis site was not handled properly in that insufficient emphasis was placed on negotiations to resolve the crisis; that the FBI failed to coordinate law enforcement components properly; and that false information was knowingly given to the media to cover up the cause of Sammy Weaver's death, Vicki Weaver's death, and Kevin Harris' and Randy Weaver's injuries.

Soon after learning on August 21, 1992 about the shooting incident at Ruby Ridge, U.S. Attorney Maurice Ellsworth authorized Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Howen to travel there to assist law enforcement personnel with legal matters. Howen arrived late in the evening of August 21st and spent the next ten days with law enforcement personnel who had responded to the crisis.

Questions have been raised as to whether it was appropriate for Howen to have been at Ruby Ridge and whether some of his activities were improper and conflicted with his role as the federal prosecutor in the case. Foremost among these allegations is that he was an active participant in tactical decisions, negotiations, and searches which transformed him into a witness in the investigation at Ruby Ridge.


2. Statement of Facts


a. Removal of Law Enforcement Personnel From the Mountain Following Horiuchi's Shots

When the personnel carriers were near the Weaver cabin delivering the initial announcement and installing telephone communications equipment, worsening weather conditions were reported on the hill. HRT Gold Team leader Love reported to HRT Sniper Coordinator Hazen that visibility was poor and getting worse and that optical equipment was beginning to fog. Several of the snipers were suffering from hypothermia. [FN771] Hazen recommended to HRT Commander Rogers that the sniper/observers be removed from their positions and return to the lower command post.[FN772]

Rogers and Special Agent in Charge Glenn agreed to withdraw the sniper/observers and establish an inner perimeter around the cabin area the following morning. Glenn concluded that the weather and poor visibility made it nearly impossible even for people with knowledge of the terrain, like the Weaver/Harris group, to move about without being detected. On the basis of the available intelligence, Glenn believed that the only way that Weaver and his group could leave the cabin area was by a road that passed through the FBI command post area. The sniper/observers were withdrawn after dark on Saturday evening, August 22.

During the night, Glenn deployed FBI SWAT teams around the command post and controlled access to the road leading to the Weaver compound. He was confident that these measures would prevent any of the Weaver group from fleeing.[FN774] According to Hazen, the sniper/observers were also withdrawn for debriefings on the tactical and geographic information they had gathered while observing the Weaver compound.[FN775]

Upon returning to the command post after the shooting, the HRT sniper/observers were debriefed and were instructed to document their actions and observations in FD-302 investigative reports. Glenn had reported the shooting incident to FBI Headquarters earlier in the evening.


b. Command and Control Structure

The death of Deputy Marshal Degan entailed violations of federal criminal statutes that gave the FBI primary jurisdiction over the investigation.[FN776] Eugene Glenn, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Salt Lake City Division, was assigned primary responsibility for managing the federal law enforcement response to the crisis. He was initially assisted by William Gore, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Seattle Division. As of August 23, Glenn was also assisted by Robin Montgomery, Special Agent in Charge of the Portland Division.

In addition to intelligence gathering, the primary concerns of local and federal law enforcement were to rescue the surviving marshals, along with the body of Deputy Marshal Degan, apprehend the subjects without further loss of life, and prevent their reinforcement by sympathizers.

State and local officers and a few representatives of the Marshals Service and the border patrol were the first law enforcement officials on the scene. two FBI agents, Larry Wages and Thelma Campos, who were attending personal matters in the area, heard about the shooting and responded. Soon after, a group of interested citizens began to gather.

Following Deputy Marshal Hunt's calls for emergency assistance, in which he reported that a Deputy Marshall had been shot and that others were pinned down, local law enforcement agencies responded promptly and established a controlled access point at the bridge leading to the Weavers' cabin. Idaho State Police officers and a dispatcher arrived before their local commander, Captain E. Glen Schwartz arrived at 3:00 p.m. Captain Schwartz described the command structure as a "unified command" with each agency in charge of its own personnel.[FN777] On August 21, 1992, Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus declared a state of emergency in Boundary County, proclaiming that:

the nature of the disaster is the occurrence and the imminent threat of injury and loss of life and property arising out of the standoff situation in Boundary County.[FN778]

This proclamation allowed law enforcement agencies on the scene to use certain emergency services, such as Idaho National Guard resources.[FN779]

Although Deputy Marshal Hunt was viewed as having the predominant law enforcement interest because the case was his and he was responsible for the marshals on the mountain, local law enforcement leaders believed that Hunt's decision making capacity had diminished due to stress. They have asserted that they would not have permitted Hunt to make ill-advised decisions.[FN780]

Glenn arrived at the crisis site at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21, followed by Gore approximately one and a half hours later. They both arrived before the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (approximately 50 agents) and the Marshals Service Special Operations Group (approximately 58 agents). In Glenn's view, the Idaho State Police, commanded by Major Strickfaden, appeared to be coordinating the law enforcement response before his arrival. [FN781]

When Glenn arrived, the primary goal of the law enforcement effort was to rescue the marshals on the mountain and stabilize the situation until additional federal resources arrived. Glen ordered that a perimeter be established around the command post/staging area to ensure safety, to prevent Weaver and his associates from coming into the area during the night, and to contain a crowd of Weaver sympathizers and supporters.[FN782}

Glenn and Gore were unfamiliar with the crisis site. The command post/staging area was located in a flat area at the base of the mountain on which the Weaver cabin was located. Glenn and Gore directed FBI technical personnel to establish telephone communications at the command post.[FN783]

Once the command post was secure, Glenn and Gore set about gathering information about the Weaver group. When Richard Rogers, Commander of HRT, and Duke Smith, Associate Director of the U.S. Marshals service, arrived early Saturday morning, August 22, Glenn and Gore briefed them on the situation.[FN784]

The command post log entry for August 26 shows that power to the cabin was cut off on Saturday night, August 22. On Sunday morning, a 360 degree inner perimeter around the Weaver cabin site and a forward command post near the cabin were established, and they were maintained for the remainder of the crisis.[FN785]

On August 23, Special Agent in Charge Robin Montgomery from the FBI's Portland Division reported to the Ruby Ridge site and took charge of the forward command post near the cabin were established, and they were maintained for the remainder of the crisis.[FN785]

On August 23, Special Agent in Charge Robin Montgomery from the FBI's Portland Division reported to the Ruby Ridge site and took charge of the forward command post in alternating twelve-hour shifts with Gore. Rogers and the hostage negotiators were also in the forward command post with Gore and Montgomery. The forward command post was the central point for both tactical and negotiations efforts.[FN786]

Investigative and intelligence functions continued at the rear command post, but the establishment of the forward command brought about a change in the control of the massive resources gathered at Ruby Ridge. Glenn remained at the rear or lower command post to marshal the many law enforcement agencies, coordinate with the leaders of those agencies, and maintain liaison with FBI Headquarters and the press.[FN787]

Glenn retained ultimate approval authority for negotiation and tactical efforts proposed by his subordinates. If emergency tactical action were necessary, Glenn authorized Gore and Montgomery at the forward command post to act. A representative of the Marshals Service was also assigned to the forward command post to ensure immediate access to information gathered during the previous fugitive investigation that might assist in formulating negotiation strategies.[FN788]


c. Tactical Operations and Discovery of Sammy Weaver's Body

On Sunday morning, August 23, Rogers, with Glenn and Gore's approval, took two teams of HRT personnel to the vicinity of the Weaver compound in armored personnel carriers. Using a bull horn, Rogers made repeated announcements to the Weaver cabin for about 30 minutes to convince the occupants to negotiate.[FN789]

FBI Hostage negotiator Frederick Lanceley asked to accompany Rogers, but Rogers told him that he was not needed.[FN790] As a consequence, Lanceley was not present during this attempt to communicate with those inside the cabin.[FN791]

According to Lanceley, on Sunday afternoon, after Rogers and his team returned, Rogers told Lanceley that he had "delivered an ultimatum to the effect that if they don't come out, [Rogers] would begin to knock down the outbuildings and then start knocking down their house."[FN792] Rogers asserted that he now had to knock down the buildings because he could not back down from the ultimatum. [FN793] Lanceley told Rogers that the destruction of the buildings would limit negotiations strategies.[FN794]

FBI hostage negotiator E. MacArthur Burke was astounded upon hearing that the outbuildings were to be removed because this might escalate the situation before negotiations had begun. Although he was aware of the tactical advantage to their removal, he agreed with Lanceley that it would be detrimental to the negotiations effort.[FN795]

On Sunday evening, August 23, with the approval of Glenn, Gore, and Montgomery, personnel carriers began to remove outbuildings, such as the birthing shed and the water tanks, near the Weaver cabin to protect tactical personnel, should it become necessary to mount an emergency assault on the Weaver cabin. Removal of the outbuildings would also tighten the inner perimeter around the cabin by removing visual and physical obstructions to HRT and SOG personnel.[FN796]

During the clearing of the birthing shed, the body of Sammy Weaver was discovered unexpectedly.[FN797] There is no evidence that law enforcement personnel knew of Sammy Weaver's death before this discovery.[FN798]

FBI negotiators reported to the FBI's Special Operations and Research Unit on the morning of August 24 that "the mood among the commanders and HRT appeared to be to mount an assault on the Weaver residence no later than the evening of 8/24".[FN799] The discovery of Sammy weaver's body brought about renewed efforts to negotiate with the Weaver group. The discovery also brought aggressive tactical actions, such as removal of the outbuildings, to an end. It was believed that the Weavers would break their silence to express their wishes for the handling of their son's body and funeral arrangements. However, there was no response from the Weaver cabin.[FN800]


d. Change from Rules of Engagement to the FBI Standard Deadly Force Policy

On Wednesday, August 26 at 10:53 a.m. (PDT), the Rules of Engagement in effect since the arrival of the Hostage Rescue Team were revoked. At Glenn's direction, the FBI's standard policy became the guideline for the use of deadly force by law enforcement personnel deployed on the cabin perimeter.[FN801]

On Sunday evening, August 23, after Sammy Weaver's body had been discovered, Glenn began to reevaluate the intelligence he had received at the command post. The cabin's occupants had not acted aggressively since the apparent attempt to fire on the helicopter about 24 hours earlier. A personnel carrier had been to the front of the cabin and had not been challenged, and outbuildings had been demolished without fire from the cabin. An inner perimeter had been established, and booby traps had not been found. Glenn believed that law enforcement personnel on the scene were adequately protected. He concluded that those in the cabin were not as threatening as originally believed or that their resistance was weakening. He did not entirely dismiss their propensity for violence, but concluded that the threat had diminished by Sunday evening.[FN802]

For these reasons, Glenn changed the Rules of Engagement to the FBI's standard deadly force policy. He did not solicit Headquarter's advice on the change because it was not necessary. [FN803]

Glenn stated that he made the change some time around midday Monday, August 24. This contradicts the HRT sniper log, which shows that the change occurred on Wednesday, August 26. The Strategic Information and Operations Center ("SIOC") Log at FBI Headquarters reflects the change on August 26 at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Within a day or two of the discovery of Sammy Weaver's body, Glenn told Gore that FBI agents assigned to the crime scene had reported that some of the early assumptions about the Degan shooting were in question and had not been substantiated by the crime spans. Glenn also told Gore that the debriefings of the marshals involved in the shooting and a review of the BATF case had raided other questions. According to Gore, the entire predicate of the federal effort was in question. Gore observed that the crisis situation had been stable for several days and that the Weaver group had not engaged in aggressive action. Glenn then decided to return to the FBI's standard policy on the use of deadly force. [FN804]

Robin Montgomery arrived at the crisis site on August 23 and learned of the Rules of Engagement. Montgomery believed that the Rules were close to an authorization to shoot on sight. He did not believe that the Rules supported the negotiation effort, and he discussed them with Glenn, Gore, Duke Smith of the Marshals Service, and possibly two other members of the Marshals Service. Shortly thereafter, the Rules of Engagement were changed. [FN805]

Rogers stated that by Wednesday the level of threat had diminished because the subjects had fired no shots since the original firefight and they had not committed any aggressive acts. HRT personnel had established well protected positions, completely surrounding the Weaver cabin. The subjects posed no immediate threat, and consequently the Rules of Engagement were changed to the FBI's standard deadly force policy. Rogers denied that the revocation of the Rules was related to the discovery of Sammy Weaver's body.[FN806]

According to an entry in the FBI SIOC Log at Headquarters, on Wednesday, August 26, 1992, at 12:30 p.m. (EDT), Potts and Glenn agreed to change the Rules of Engagement to FBI standard deadly force policy, effective 1:00 p.m. (EDT).[FN807] There is no record of the decision to change the Rules of Engagement in the FBI's command post log at Ruby Ridge. The HRT sniper/observer log shows that Rogers changed the Rules of Engagement to the FBI standard deadly force policy on Wednesday, August 26, at 10:53 a.m. and that each sniper/observer position acknowledged the change at 10:54 a.m.[FN808]


e. Evidence of Vicki Weaver's Death

On Friday, August 28, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Bo Gritz, a nongovernmental negotiator, started a series of discussions that ultimately led to the resolution of the crisis without additional violence. Gritz was the first person to be told that Weaver's wife was dead and the first aside from those in the cabin to observe Vicki Weaver's body.

Law enforcement personnel state that the initial evidence that Vicki Weaver was dead came in the first few moments of the first conversation Gritz had with Randy Weaver on August 28. [G.J.]

[FN809] This conversation also confirmed that Harris had been wounded by HRT rifle shots on August 22. At the conclusion of the conversation, Gritz briefed Rogers and Glenn. Later that day, he also informed a group of sympathizers gathered near the crisis site.

The efforts of Gritz and Jack McLamb, another nongovernmental negotiator, were successful, and on Sunday, August 30, between mid-morning and noon, Harris agreed to surrender, an important development for several reasons, not the least of which was that for the first time Gritz talked face-to-face with Randy Weaver. When Gritz and McLamb met Harris at the rear door of the residence and helped hi down the stairs, the cabin door opened, exposing Weaver and the interior.

Later, Gritz saw Vicki Weaver's body on the kitchen floor, partially under a table.[FN810] A cloth had been placed over the top half of the body, leaving the lower half exposed. The feet were positioned near the front door, with the head and torso toward the interior. The manner in which the body was positioned was consistent with a backward fall from the front doorway. It appeared to Gritz that the body had not been moved after the shooting.



A review by the FBI of all audio and video tapes of the events at Ruby Ridge shows that no information had been received by the FBI or other law enforcement personnel about Vicki Weaver's death before Gritz' conversation with Randy Weaver on August 28. Interviews of personnel from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Idaho State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and local agencies at the scene during the standoff do not reveal any earlier knowledge of Vicki Weaver's death. No notations concerning Vicki Weaver's death were found in any official log of the events or in any other records made during the standoff. [FN812]


f. Initial Steps Toward Negotiation

On August 22, Glenn and Rogers focused much of their energy on the procurement and outfitting of two armored personnel carriers with a telephone and enough line to reach the command post from one Weaver compound, a distance of approximately one mile.

Glenn believed that resolution of the crisis through dialogue and negotiations was the most desirable and usually the safest outcome. He stressed that the FBI tried every proposed negotiation option from the beginning of the crisis.[FN813]

Gore also believed that the objective was peaceful resolution of the crisis. In his view, tactical personnel first had to establish a means to communicate with the Weaver group in the cabin, which did not have a telephone. The objective of the operations plan was to establish a perimeter for containment of the crisis site and to get close enough to establish communications. [FN814]

FBI senior hostage negotiator, Frederick Lanceley was notified of the situation at Ruby Ridge Friday afternoon, August 21. He traveled with the main group of HRT personnel from the Washington, D.C. area to Idaho, arriving early in the morning on Saturday, August 22. He received no request for consultation on negotiations until mid-afternoon Saturday, August 22, when he was called to the command post and asked to write a negotiations addendum to the proposed operations plan. He was not consulted before the submission of the initial plan, which FBI Headquarters rejected because it did not contain a negotiations component.[FN815]

Early in the crisis, Lanceley was not a party to the discussions among command personnel. Nevertheless, he believed that they intended to resolve the crisis tactically. He was unaware of discussions between Glenn and other command personnel concerning negotiations. He strongly criticized the tactical actions taken, and he regretted not being more aggressive in voicing his objections on Saturday, August 22, and again on Sunday evening, August 23, when he opposed removal of the outbuildings. [FN816]

The initial negotiations strategy was to approach the Weaver cabin, read a surrender statement over a loudspeaker, and attempt to resolve the crisis through the surrender of the Weaver group. The surrender announcement was to be read after tactical personnel had established a 360-degree perimeter around the Weaver compound. If the Weaver group did not surrender following the announcement, a hostage phone was to be delivered and telephone wire was to be laid down the mountain from the cabin to the command post.

Immediately after Horiuchi's shots, HRT Commander Richard Rogers decided to drive two armored personnel carriers to the cabin area to deliver a telephone and establish communications with those inside the cabin.[FN817] When the carriers were within 30 to 50 feet of the cabin, Lanceley made the following surrender announcement at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night:

Mr. Weaver, this is Fred Lanceley of the FBI. You should understand that we have warrants for the arrest of yourself and Mr. Harris. I would like you to accept a telephone so that we can talk and work out how you will come out of the house without further violence. I would like you or one of your children to come out of the house, unarmed, pick up the telephone and return to the house.[FN818]

There was no response to Lanceley's message. The telephone was placed approximately twenty yards from the cabin. Both carriers left, laying wire for the phone as they returned down the mountain. Continuous attempts to contact the Weaver group by ringing the telephone were made throughout the night. There was no response.


g. Continuing Efforts of the FBI Hostage Negotiators

In mid-morning, Sunday, August 13, following the return of the HRT sniper/observers to their positions, Rogers took the two carriers back to the position near the Weaver cabin where they had been the previous night. The telephone was in the same position they had left it the night before. This required all communication with the cabin to be made by bullhorn or megaphone. Rogers spoke to the group in the cabin for approximately 30 minutes encouraging them "to come out, pick up the phone, establish dialogue, and let's move on with this and establish some kind of communications". [FN819] Rogers claims to have heard no response from the Weaver cabin.

Two assault teams were deployed from the carriers to establish a 360-degree cordon around the cabin. According to Rogers, the assault personnel could not be seen from the cabin. After this deployment, between 20 and 21 assault personnel were around the cabin continuously until the resolution of the crisis on August 31.[FN820]

The nature of Commander Rogers' message to the Weaver group on Sunday morning is at issue. According to Lanceley, before Rogers and his team ascended the mountain, Lanceley asked Rogers if Lanceley could accompany him to the cabin area. Rogers told Lanceley that he would not be needed.[FN821]





There was no response from the cabin.[FN823]

During Bo Gritz' discussions with the Weaver group later in the week, Weaver and his daughters told Gritz that they had developed an intense hatred for Lanceley because of remarks directed to Vicki Weaver and questions he asked about what they were having for breakfast. Weaver said these remarks "pissed them off" and strengthened their resolve in the cabin."[FN824]

On August 21, the HRT supervisors told behavioral scientists in the FBI's Special Operations and Research Unit about the HRT deployment and provided them with the limited information available. On August 23, the behavioral scientists were given incomplete additional information. When FBI Supervisory Special Agent Clint Van Zandt developed the profile, he was not aware that shots had been fired on August 22; that Vicki Weaver had been killed [FN825]; or that anyone had been wounded. He said that the shooting incident would affect the way in which the Weaver family perceived attempts by the government to negotiate.[FN826]

The behavioral scientists sent an assessment to the crisis site on August 24. This assessment included several observations and suggestions for dealing with the Weaver group: the Weavers will not trust negotiators connected to the federal government; Randy Weaver's resolve would be strengthened if he has contact with local supporters; third parties should be considered to assist the negotiations; the Weaver group, including Vicki Weaver, her children, and Harris, could be expected to meet any attempt to enter the residence with armed resistance; if Vicki Weaver believed that efforts to overwhelm them physically or otherwise drive the Weavers from their home would be successful, she could be expected to kill the children and commit suicide; as those inside the cabin became fatigued, the Weaver group could resort to a suicide attack directed against federal law enforcement officials, if they believed the perimeter was too close to the cabin.

On Tuesday, August 25, FBI negotiators continued their efforts, which included statements directed at Vicki Weaver and expressing concern for the family's welfare. The Weaver group was repeatedly asked to surrender, and they were assured that they would not be harmed. There was to response.[FN827] The command post log states that water to the cabin was cut off on August 25.

The first contact with Randy Weaver occurred on Wednesday, August 26. In mid-morning, Lanceley told Weaver that the personnel carrier would approach the cabin to transfer the telephone to the robot and that the robot would approach the cabin with the telephone to improve communications weaver was also told that the robot would try to push the telephone through a cabin window, breaking the cabin window in the process. Weaver shouted "Get the fuck out of here" and made other statements that could not be understood. In the afternoon, Weaver said that he would not take the telephone.


h. Efforts of Nongovernmental Negotiators







On Friday, August 28, Marnis Joy again unsuccessfully tried to establish contact with her brother. Later that day, Randy Weaver stated that he would talk to Bo Gritz.[FN831] Glenn approached Gritz, and he offered to assist in negotiating with Weaver. Gritz convinced Glenn that because Gritz and Weaver had a common background in the Special Forces, Gritz had a better chance of talking to Weaver than anyone else on site. After conferring with Rogers and Headquarters, Glenn agreed to Gritz' participation. [FN832]

On Friday afternoon, Gritz was briefed by Rogers and FBI negotiators. At dusk, he went up the mountain toward the Weaver cabin.[FN833] After trying unsuccessfully to communicate with Weaver using the robot and then a bullhorn from the personnel carrier, Gritz walked to the cabin. Through a window, he began to talk to Weaver. When Gritz asked if everyone was "OK," Weaver said, "No...My wife was shot and killed last Saturday."[FN834] At that time Gritz also learned that Weaver and Harris had been wounded. [FN835]

Law enforcement components at Ruby Ridge told us that they first learned that Weaver, Kevin Harris, and Vicki Weaver had been shot and that Vicki Weaver was dead from Gritz' conversation with Weaver on August 28.[FN836]

On Saturday morning, August 19, Gritz received permission to return to the Weaver residence with Jackie Brown, a friend of the Weaver family, and Chuck Sandelin, a local minister. Weaver yelled at Sandelin to get off the property. Sandelin left and was not used in negotiations again.[FN837]

Rogers tried to discourage Jackie Brown from approaching the cabin. According to Brown, Rogers told her that, if she did not come out of the Weaver cabin within a reasonable time, he would assume that she had joined the Weavers or had been taken hostage and that HRT may have to come in to rescue her.[FN838]

Gritz and Brown went to the cabin. Gritz spoke throughout the day with Weaver, his daughters, and Harris through the cabin wall. Gritz believed by the sound of Harris' voice that he was in need of medical attention. In addition to suggesting that Harris needed medical attention, Gritz conversed casually with Weaver about the military, spoke philosophically to him, and prayed with him. [FN839]

On Sunday morning, Gerald McLamb, a retired Phoenix police officer who was assisting Gritz in his campaign for President, began assisting Gritz in the negotiations. Both negotiators focused their conversations with Weaver and Harris on Harris' need for medical attention. In mid-morning, Harris decided to surrender.[FN840]

Gritz resumed conversations with Weaver, who agreed to the removal of Vicki Weaver's body from the cabin. When Gritz and Brown returned to the cabin with a body bag, Gritz wore a transmitting device that allowed the forward command post to monitor his conversation. For security reasons, Rogers insisted on this precaution. According to Mr. Gritz, Vicki Weaver's body was positioned in the location or very near the location where she fell at the time of her death. Brown and Gritz carried Vicki Weaver's body to the forward command post.[FN841]

After delivering the body, Gritz saw Brown return to the cabin with some water and begin cleaning blood from the floor. Brown reported that, at her request, she was given two five gallon buckets of water, three white bath towels, and a roll of paper towels. Brown said she cleaned Vicki Weaver's blood from the cabin floor because she did not want the Weaver girls to have "to deal with cleaning the blood of their mother."[FN842]

Gritz resumed speaking with Weaver and learned that the Weaver family was convinced that the law enforcement personnel wanted to kill each of them.[FN843] Weaver told Gritz that he wanted to surrender, but that his daughters would not let him. While in the cabin Gritz noted the armaments available to the Weavers and the configuration of the cabin structure. He relayed this information to Rogers.[FN844]

According to Gritz at some point on Sunday, Rogers told him that, regardless of the day's events, HRT was going to assault the residence on Monday and that the assault would involve blowing out the windows and doors. Gritz disagreed with this plan and was disturbed because he felt negotiations were going well and because he was concerned about the possibility of injuring those in the cabin. Gritz discussed strategy with Rogers that involved "physically taking down" Weaver and his daughters, if an assault was initiated, to protect them from injuries.[FN845] both Gritz and McLamb felt uncomfortable with the assault strategy, but agreed it was the only way to protect the Weavers from being "killed in a tactical assault by HRT."[FN846] At trial, Rogers testified that he vetoed an arrangement with Gritz and McLamb to overpower Weaver, if he did not surrender. [FN847]

On Monday, Gritz and McLamb returned to the Weaver residence. Gritz had the robot and the APC move away from the cabin. After contacting attorney Gerry Spence, Gritz told Randy Weaver that Spence would represent him. Gritz also carried a handwritten note from Assistant U.S. Attorney Howen to Weaver that agreed to allow Weaver to present his account of the situation to a grand jury. The Weaver family surrendered on August 31. [FN848]


i. Decision to Send Howen to Ruby Ridge

In the afternoon of August 21, U.S. Marshal Michael Johnson informed U.S. Attorney Ellsworth about the shooting at Ruby Ridge.[FN849] Shortly thereafter, Ellsworth informed Howen, the Assistant U.S. attorney to whom the Weaver matter had been assigned, about the incident. The Marshals Service gave Ellsworth and Howen an additional briefing.[FN850] Based on this information, Ellsworth and Howen believed that a team of marshals had been involved in an undercover operation at Ruby Ridge, that there had been a confrontation in which Deputy Marshal Degan had been killed in an exchange of gunfire, and that several marshals were still "pinned down" at the scene of the shooting.[FN851]

After having been apprised of the crisis, Howen drafted an application for a search warrant with a supporting affidavit. [FN852] Howen soon realized that it would be difficult to draft this affidavit as well as subsequent applications in Boise when the supporting factual information was 400 miles away at Ruby Ridge. Howen suggested to Ellsworth that he travel to Ruby Ridge. Ellsworth agreed.[FN853]

Ellsworth envisioned that, at Ruby Ridge, Howen would assist in drafting applications for search warrants and supporting affidavits, as well as prepare applications for electronic surveillance. He did not intend that Howen play an investigative or tactical role.[FN854] Although Ellsworth did not recall giving Howen specific directives, he noted that the standing directive in his office was that assistants should not engage in activities that would make them a witness in a case.[FN855] Howen believed that his presence at the scene would allow him to see matters first hand and prepare his case. In addition, Howen considered himself to be the representative of the United States Attorney and as such responsible for reporting to him about events at the scene.[FN856]


j. Howen's Activities at Ruby Ridge

At Ruby Ridge, Howen was involved in preparing criminal complaints, applications for arrest warrants, search warrants, and emergency electronic surveillance applications with supporting affidavits.[FN857] He denied that he assumed an investigative role or that he directed the activities of the FBI. Howen insisted that he did not conduct any interviews while at Ruby Ridge.[FN858] Nonetheless, Howen conceded that he was not a mute observer. For example, Howen was present at the Boundary County Sheriff's Office when Deputy Marshals Roderick and Cooper were interviewed. Other than asking a few questions, Howen stated that he was not an active participant in these interviews and he was unable to recall if he took notes.[FN859] Howen said that at these interview he "basically the marshals and asked question, but he did not consider these exchanges to be interviews.[FN861]

Howen denied being involved in formulating strategy or participating in negotiations between law enforcement personnel and Weaver. However, he did write one of the notes sent to Weaver during the negotiations.[FN862] FBI Agent Rampton told investigators that Howen was not involved in the negotiations process and that Howen told him that he should remain separated from that process. [FN863]

On August 24, Howen was present at the search of the Y. [FN864] Special Agent Venkus told investigators that he invited Howen to go on the search and that Howen did not find any evidence.[FN865] Howen also participated in the walk-throughs that occurred later in the week of August 24. With the exception of the walk-through with Deputy Marshal Norris, in which Howen participated completely, Howen believed that he only participated in parts of the walk-throughs. He could not recall if he took notes.[FN866] However, he conceded that he may have taken notes during the searches and walk-throughs when he heard something of interest.[FN867] Special Agent Wayne Manis recalled that Howen participated in the walk-through with Hunt and that Howen asked questions and took notes. Manis thought that Howen's conduct was appropriate.[FN868] Special Agent George Calley recalled Howen as a member of the grou that participated on an August 30 walk-


Finally, the profile developed by the FBI's behavioral sciences personnel was based on incomplete information, thus leading to inappropriate negotiation strategy. Initially, the FBI Special Operations and Research Unit was not informed of the HRT rifle shots fired on August 22 or of the fact that Harris might have been wounded. According to the behavioral scientists who compiled the profile, the shooting incident would affect the way the Weaver family perceived negotiations. The scientists reported that their assessment would have been different, had they been told that shots had been fired and that someone might have been wounded. [FN901] This information was critical to the development of an accurate profile of Randy Weaver.

The failure of on-site supervisors to communicate accurate information appears to have had a negative impact on the attempt to resolve the crisis through negotiation.

(2) Balance of Tactical and Negotiation Strategies

In a crisis situation in which a deliberate assault option is considered a necessary part of overall strategy, a written operational plan for the assault must be submitted to the FBI Headquarters for approval. On the other hand, emergency tactical operation, whether or not they will contribute to the ultimate resolution of the crisis, are the responsibility of both the Special Agents in Charge and the HRT command structure at the crisis site.

FBI hostage negotiator Lanceley was critical of FBI crisis management at Ruby Ridge. When he attended Rogers' initial briefing, he was surprised and shocked by the Rules of Engagement and did not believe them to be consistent with the FBI's standard deadly force policy. They were the most severe rules he had seen in hundreds of prior crises. Lanceley described the situation:

[T]here was a barricaded subject at the top of a mountain, no hostages, family present and plenty of cover for perimeter personnel. The [Deputy Marshal] were no longer pinned down and the subject was barricaded at a location which had few of the problems inherent to crises that one would encounter in an urban setting. there had been on gunfire since the previous morning at the time of the firefight with the [Deputy Marshals].[FN902]

Lanceley told this inquiry that, when he heard Rogers tell the group that this would be "no long siege," Lanceley knew that Rogers did not intend to engage in negotiations. Following the briefing, Lanceley conveyed his perception to Rogers and told officer in the HRT command post. Rogers' response, "good," confirmed Lanceley's belief that there would be no negotiations.[FN903]

When he arrived at the command post, Lanceley told Special Agent in Charge Glenn that he was available and proceeded to work on intelligence gathering. Lanceley withdrew from the management structure and was not party to the discussions of command personnel, who he believed intended to resolve the crisis tactically. Lanceley is not aware of discussion among Glenn and other command personnel which considered a negotiations strategy because he was not consulted before the rejection of the operations plan.[FN904] After the plan had been rejected in mid-afternoon on August 22, Lanceley was called to the command post and asked to write an addendum. He understood FBI Headquarters had rejected the operations plan because it did not contain a negotiation component.

Lanceley strongly criticized the tactical actions taken, despite his absence from meetings in which command personnel discussed and approved strategy. Lanceley told this inquiry that he regretted not being more aggressive on August 22 and again on August 23, when he chose not to voice objections to Glenn about removing the outbuildings.[FN905]

Another FBI Hostage negotiator, E. MacArthur Burke, believed that it was Lanceley's responsibility, as senior FBI negotiator, to press the issue of negotiation. Burke concluded that negotiators and SWAT personnel are highly trained and Special Agents in Charge are not as well prepared to handle the often opposing forces weighing in favor of tactical or negotiated resolutions. Burke believed that the negotiation-free operations order showed that the negotiation and tactical elements of the Ruby Ridge response were considerably out of balance.[FN906]

In contrast to Burke, FBI negotiator Wilson Lima spoke of Glenn's commitment to establishing communications with the Weaver cabin from his arrival on the evening of August 21. The next morning, Glenn agreed that a phone should be given to the Weaver group.[FN907]

We are aware that the structure of the HRT and its impressive machinery may tend to overtake the negotiators' role in a crisis situation where an inexperienced commander is in charge. Such a charge has arisen in this case. The lack of balance between the negotiation and tactical efforts created an atmosphere supporting a tactical resolution from the very beginning.

The strong influence of the HRT management team at the scene is reflected in the way Bo Gritz' participation at the crisis site was finally authorized. According to Gritz, Glenn told him that before Glenn would authorize his participation, he would have to confer with Rogers and FBI Headquarters. There is no evidence that Lanceley was consulted before Gritz was permitted to join the effort to resolve the crisis.[FN908]

From the information gathered during this inquiry, it appears that no operations plan was ever approved throughout the entire siege. Unfortunately, FBI records provided during this inquiry do not contain all the operations plans. The records are so incomplete that we can not verify this conclusion.

In our opinion, the available records reflect insufficient consideration of negotiation strategy as compared to tactical approaches.[FN909] We have been told that the lack of a negotiation component in the initial operation plan did not reflect a lack of intent to negotiate, but the understanding that tactical personnel had to establish communications with the Weaver cabin before negotiations could begin. We have been told that the first objective of the operations plan was to establish a perimeter containing the crises site and to get close enough to establish communications.[FN910]

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Link du jour







THURSDAY, OCT 20, 2016 05:38 PM EDT
FBI, Homeland Security sued for records on surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists
Human rights attorneys filed a lawsuit against the agencies for failing to release docs on monitoring of the M4BL


cop flees to Russia after exposing police corruption
creates website


FBI Octopus


Oct. 21, 2016 71°

An outsider takes charge of the Border Patrol — and yes, he'll wear the green uniform

Who is Mark Morgan?

October 21, 2016, 6:00 a.m.
As the new chief of the troubled Border Patrol, Mark Morgan faces any number of complex problems, from corruption in the ranks to a new surge of children and families streaming to the border.

But the former U.S. Marine, Los Angeles Police Department officer and FBI agent was confronted by a far more personal question when he addressed an all-hands muster at the Border Patrol

Westchester DA race: Scarpino and Bendish tout experience
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Scarpino, who began his career as an FBI agent and has spent years teaching criminal law at Iona College, said he is not running to be an assistant district ...

Brian Fitzpatrick: Full Interview
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The former FBI agent says he'd use his experience to protect the nation by championing a comprehensive strategy to defeat those who wish us harm.

Dog shot and killed by FBI agent
who serves warrant at Indianapolis home


OCTOBER 21, 2016 11:33 AM
A boat captain was arrested at gunpoint. Now he’s suing the feds for false imprisonment.

Three years ago, Joshua and Sharyn Hakken, two college-educated engineers with a history of drug addiction and paranoid theories about the government, took their two young sons, boarded their sailboat and headed out of a Tampa marina.
They told the slip master before leaving on April, 3, 2013, they were taking the 25-foot vessel to Key West, and maybe to South America. What wasn’t known to the slip owner was that the Hakkens had just lost custody of the children and kidnapped them from their grandmother’s house the day before. The State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County issued a warrant for their arrest.
When it was discovered they fled on their boat, the FBI got involved in the manhunt.
Three days later in Key West, charter boat captain Tim Curtis took his wife and their young daughter out on the water in their sailboat for an afternoon swim. He anchored his 34-foot vessel right outside the Stock Island Marina, swam with his family and returned to the marina.
As the family was leaving the marina in their car, they were approached by “at least four men armed with machine guns,” according to documents filed in federal court this week.

“These men, with their guns pointed at Tim, forced Tim out of his car and forced him to lay flat on the ground with their guns pointed at his head. During this time, one of the men told Tim that if he (Tim) moved, that they would shoot him,” Curtis’ lawyer Andrew Moss wrote in a complaint against the federal government filed Oct. 18 in the U.S. Southern District Court.
The men, it turned out, were officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helping an FBI agent who was in Key West looking for the Hakkens. They cuffed Curtis and held him for questioning before determining he was not Joshua Hakken.
Curtis is suing the government on civil charges of battery, inflicting emotional distress and false imprisonment on behalf of himself, his wife and his daughter.
He declined to comment on the case. Moss said the government did offer Curtis money but it was “a pittance” compared to what he was put through. Moss did not specify how much his client is seeking. He has requested a jury trial. FBI spokesman Christopher M. Allen said he could not comment on “matters pending litigation.”

Moss said that had the FBI done proper surveillance, the agent and FWC officers would have no reason to mistake Curtis for Joshua Hakken. Curtis was 47 at the time and had long hair. Joshua Hakken was 35 and wore his hair short. The men’s wives also did not look similar to one another, Moss wrote in the complaint.
But most importantly, authorities were looking for a couple with two boys — ages 2 and 4. The Curtis’ daughter was 7, had long hair and was wearing a girls swimsuit when


Bernie Sanders’ wife begged him not to endorse Hillary Clinton

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Friday, October 21, 2016, 10:25 PM

Jane Sanders supposedly begged her husband not to endorse Hillary Clinton. (

She wasn't feelin' it.

Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane Sanders, repeatedly begged her husband not to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, an email obtained by WikiLeaks shows.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told chairman John Podesta, vice chairman Huma Abedin and Clinton herself in a May 20 email that the Vermont senator was finally going to announce his

Oct. 22, 2016 69°


A Mexican police chief is finally arrested in the disappearance of 43 students. But will he talk?


Patty Hearst, Double Agents and the Symbionese Liberation Army
He claimed to have been an undercover agent for the FBI, a fact verified by FBI director Clarence Kelley. Surfacing at a press conference in Los Angeles, Lewis ...

Jeffrey Toobin’s new book, “American Heiress,” presents a mean-spirited approach to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974, but he’s clueless about the significance of the SLA, for which she was forced to rob a bank. I covered her trial for the weekly underground paper, the Berkley Barb.

At the end of a tape by Hearst, Donald “Cinque” DeFreeze, the SLA’s black leader of a white group, came on with a triple death threat, especially to Colston Westbrook, whom he accused of being “a government agent now working for military intelligence while giving assistance to the FBI.” This communiqué was sent to San Francisco radio station KSAN. News director David McQueen checked with a Justice Department source, who confirmed Westbrook’s employment by the CIA.

Conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell traced Westbrook’s activities from 1962, when he was a CIA advisor to the South Korean CIA, through 1969, when he provided logistical support in Vietnam for the CIA’s Phoenix program. His job was the indoctrination of assassination and terrorist cadres. After seven years in Asia, he was brought home in 1970 and assigned to run the Black Cultural Association at Vacaville Prison, where he became the control officer for DeFreeze, who had worked as a police informer from 1967 to 1969 for the LAPD’s Public Disorder Intelligence Unit.

If DeFreeze was a double agent, then the SLA was a Frankenstein monster, turning against its creator by becoming in reality what had been orchestrated only as a media image. When he snitched on his keepers, he signed the death warrant of the SLA. They were burned alive in a Los Angeles safe house during a shootout with police. When Cinque’s charred remains were sent to his family in Cleveland, they couldn’t help but notice that he had been decapitated. It was as if the CIA had said, literally, “Bring me the head of Donald DeFreeze!”

Consider the revelations of Wayne Lewis in August 1975. He claimed to have been an undercover agent for the FBI, a fact verified by FBI director Clarence Kelley. Surfacing at a press conference in Los Angeles, Lewis spewed forth a veritable conveyor belt of conspiracy charges: that DeFreeze was an FBI informer; that he was killed not by the SWAT team but by an FBI agent because he had become “uncontrollable”; that the FBI then wanted Lewis to infiltrate the SLA; that the FBI had undercover agents in other underground guerrilla groups; that the FBI knew where Patty Hearst was but let her remain free so it could build up its files of potential subversives.

In February 1976, while Hearst’s trial was still in process, a similar charge was made when a Berkeley underground group, Tribal Thumb, prepared this statement:

Donald DeFreeze escaped from the California prison system with help from the FBI and California prison officials. His mission was to establish an armed revolutionary organization, controlled by the FBI, specifically to either make contact with or undermine the surfacing and development of the August Seventh Guerrilla Movement…DeFreeze was let loose and given a safe plan to surface as an armed guerrilla unit. That plan was to kidnap Patty Hearst.

One warm afternoon I was surprised to receive a letter by registered mail on Department of Justice stationery.

Dear Mr. Krassner:

Subsequent to the search of a residence in connection with the arrest of six members of the Emiliano Zapata Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco, has been attempting to contact you to advise you of the following information:

During the above indicated arrest of six individuals of the Emiliano Zapata Unit, an untitled list of names and addresses of individuals was seized. A corroborative source described the above list as an Emiliano Zapata Unit “hit list,” but stated that no action will be taken, since all of those who could carry it out are in custody.

Further, if any of the apprehended individuals should make bail, they would only act upon the “hit list” at the instructions of their leader, who is not and will not be in a position to give such instructions.

The above information is furnished for your personal use and it is requested it be kept confidential. At your discretion, you may desire to contact the local police department responsible for the area of your residence.

Very truly yours,
Charles W. Bates
Special Agent in Charge

However, a source informed me that the Zapata Unit was a front for the FBI. Was the right wing of the FBI warning me about the left wing of the FBI? Questions about the authenticity of the Zapata Unit h

Prosecutors Take Turns on Arraigning Rahimi
Local Talk News-
An FBI-Newark agent, on grounds of anonymity, said that M. Rahimi had called police after A.K. Rahimi cut another brother with a knife in a 2014 dispute.


Surprise: A New Email Scandal Lie Emerges From Hillary Testimony
In exchange for the email unclassified, FBI documents released this week suggested, the State Department would agree to host more FBI agents in ...


officer sentenced after admitting theft from suspects
Bryan Jones headed to prison

Updated: 7:57 AM CDT Oct 21, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. —
A former Jackson police officer will spend 27 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing money from a suspected drug dealer who was

In 1976 Congress was set to reign in the FBI after the evidence of
FBI death squad activities emerged from the Senator Frank Church
That is when the FBI created ABSCAM and Congress
lost it's will.



John Good, FBI agent whose famous sting inspired ‘American Hustle’, dies at 80
PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 8:39pm

1000 Clinton-Petraeus emails missing from records sent to State ...
Fox News-
In a heavily redacted FBI interview summary from Aug. 17, 2015, a State Department employee from the Office of Information and Programs and Services (IPS), ...

New Clinton emails released, 1 has classified information
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel-
The department posted to its website 112 documents that the FBI recovered during its investigation into the private email server the Democratic presidential 

Do Not Resist: How America's Police Are becoming an Occupying Military Force
Gar Smith
Friday October 21, 2016 - 12:58:00 PM

Opens October 21 at the Elmwood in Berkeley

Filmmaker Craig Atkinson's dad was a Detroit-area cop for 29 years and a member of his town's first SWAT team in 1989. Both the filmmaker and his retired father are troubled by the direction policing has taken in the US over the post-9/11 years and Do Not Resist—a visceral, unnarrated 73-minute documentary—presents a powerful warning about the perils and growing presence of an American Police State.

Director/cinematographer/editor Atkinson's pro-police background enabled him to gain uncommon entrée into the world of policing—hanging out with cops, attending their conferences and training sessions, even squeezing his camera inside urban tanks crowded with automatic weapons and combat-ready enforcers heading to suburban drug raids.

The 1878 Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the federal government from using military personnel to enforce domestic laws. In the 1960's, however, when UC Berkeley was besieged by bayonet-wielding soldiers, we saw how the National Guard could be deployed to avoid this law. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon and the War Lobby found a new

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Moving Toward a Police State (or Have We Arrived?)

Secret military tribunals, mass arrests and disappearances, wiretapping & torture

Global Research, December 30, 2017

The late Michel Ratner, passed away in 2016. As an attorney, he was powerful voice on civil rights as well as an analyst of “war on terrorism” and US foreign policy.

With foresight, Ratner formulated Moving Toward a Police State (or Have We Arrived?) shortly after 9/11 in November 2001. What has been the historical evolution since the launching of the US Patriot Act by President Bush shortly after the 9/11 attacks:

“The USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), aimed at both aliens and citizens. The legislation met more opposition than one might expect in these difficult times. Sixteen years later, “Have we Arrived”?”

Flash forward to 2018, the anti-war movement is defunct. Where is the opposition to the US Police State, which is tacitly supported by media propaganda and a carefully controlled protest movement largely funded by Wall Street?

Today my thoughts are with Michael Ratner.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, December 2017


I live a few blocks from the World Trade Center. In New York, we are still mourning the loss of so many after the attacks on our city. We want to arrest and punish the terrorists, eliminate the terrorist network and prevent future attacks. But the government’s declared war on terrorism, and many of the anti-terrorism measures, include a curtailment of freedom and constitutional rights that have many of us very worried.

I wrote the above paragraph and much of the article that follows toward the end of October. At that time, the repressive machinery then being put into effect was already terrifying. Since that time the situation has gotten unimaginably worse; rights that we thought embedded in the constitution and protected by international law are in serious jeopardy or have already been eliminated. It is no exaggeration to say we are moving toward a police state. In this atmosphere, we should take nothing for granted. We will not be protected, nor will the courts, the congress, or the many liberals who are gleefully jumping on the bandwagon of repression guarantee our rights. We have no choice but to make our voices be heard; it is time to stand and be counted on the side of justice and against the antediluvian forces that have much of our country in a stranglehold.

The domestic consequences of the war on terrorism include massive arrests and interrogation of immigrants, the possible use of torture to obtain information, the creation of a special new cabinet office of Homeland Security and the passage of legislation granting intelligence and law enforcement agencies much broader powers to intrude into the private lives of Americans. Recent new initiatives — the wiretapping of attorney-client conversations and military commissions to try suspected terrorists — undermine core constitutional protections and are reminiscent of inquisitorial practices.

Although it is not discussed in this article, the war on terrorism also means pervasive government and media censorship of information, the silencing of dissent, and widespread ethnic and religious profiling of Muslims, Arabs and Asian people. It means creating a climate of fear where one suspects one’s neighbors and people are afraid to speak out.

The claimed necessity for this war at home is problematic. The legislation and other governmental actions are premised on the belief that the intelligence agencies failed to stop the September 11th attack because they lacked the spying capability to find and arrest the conspirators. Yet, neither the government nor the agencies have demonstrated that this is the reason.

This war at home gives Americans a false sense of security, allowing us to believe that tighter borders, vastly empowered intelligence agencies, and increased surveillance will stop terrorism. The United States is not yet a police state. However, even a police state could not stop terrorists intent on doing us harm. In addition, the fantasy of Fortress America keeps us from examining the root causes of terrorism, and the consequences of decades of American foreign policy in the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Unless some of the grievances against the United States are studied and addressed, terrorism will continue.

Military Commissions: The Peruvian Option

On November 13, President Bush signed an executive order establishing military commissions or tribunals to try suspected terrorists. Under this order non-citizens, whether from the United States or elsewhere, accused of aiding international terrorism, at the discretion of the President, can be tried before one of these commissions. These are not court-martials, which provide far more protections. The divergence from constitutional protections the executive order allows are breathtaking. Attorney General Ashcroft has explicitly stated that terrorists do not deserve constitutional protections. These are “courts” of conviction and not of justice.

The Secretary of Defense will appoint the judges, most likely military officers, who will decide both questions of law and fact. Unlike federal judges who are appointed for life, these officers will have little independence and every reason to decide in favor of the prosecution. Normal rules of evidence, which provide some assurance of reliability, will not apply. Hearsay and even evidence obtained from torture will apparently be admissible. This is particularly frightening in light of the intimations from U.S. officials that torture of suspects may be an option. Rules of evidence help insure the innocent are spared, but also that law enforcement authorities adhere to what we thought were evolving standards of a civilized society.

Unanimity among the judges is not required even to impose the death penalty. Suspects will not have free choice of attorneys. The only appeal from a conviction will be to the President or the Secretary of Defense. Incredibly, the entire process, including execution, can be conducted in secret and the trials can be held anywhere the Secretary of Defense decides. A trial might occur on an aircraft carrier and the body of the executed “buried” at sea. The President is literally getting away with murder.

Surprisingly, a number of prestigious law professors (e.g. Lawrence Tribe and Ruth Wedgwood) have accepted and even argued in favor of these tribunals. The primary claim is that it might be necessary to disclose classified information in order to obtain convictions. This is a pretext. There are procedures for handling classified information in federal courts as was done in the trial of those convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. It certainly does not provide a reason for sending suspects into a “justice” system akin to that which the US condemned in Peru. The 1993 trials also demonstrate that these trials can be held in federal courts.

Trials before military commissions will not be trusted in either the Muslim world or elsewhere. Nor should they. They will be viewed as what they are — “kangaroo courts.” How much better to demonstrate to the world that the guilty have been apprehended and fairly convicted. A better solution would be for the US to go to the U.N. and have the UN establish a special court for the trials. Judges from different legal systems including that of the US, Muslim and civil law countries could constitute such a court.

Wiretapping Attorney-Client Communications

At the heart of the effective assistance of counsel is the right of a criminal defendant to a lawyer with whom he or she can communicate candidly and freely without fear that the government is overhearing confidential communications. This right is fundamental to the adversary system of justice in the Untied States. When the government overhears these conversations, a defendant’s right to a defense is compromised.

Attorney General John Ashcroft

Now, with the stroke of pen, Attorney General Ashcroft, has eliminated the attorney-client privilege and will wiretap privileged communications when he thinks there is “reasonable suspicion to believe” that an “inmate may use communications with attorneys or their agents to further facilitate act of violence or terrorism.” He says that approximately one hundred such suspects and their attorneys may be subject to the order. He claims the legal authority to do so without court order; in other words without the approval and finding by a neutral magistrate that attorney-client communications are facilitating criminal conduct. This is utter lawlessness by our country’s top law enforcement officer and is flatly unconstitutional. This wiretapping of attorney-client communications has already begun.

The New Legal Regime

The government has established a tripartite plan in its efforts to eradicate terrorism in the United States. President Bush has created a new cabinet-level Homeland Security Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating thousands of individuals and groups and making hundreds of arrests; and Congress is enacting new laws that will grant the FBI and other intelligence agencies vast new powers to wiretap and spy on people in the United States.

The Office of Homeland Security

On September 20th President Bush announced the creation of the Homeland Security Office, charged with gathering intelligence, coordinating anti-terrorism efforts and taking precautions to prevent and respond to terrorism. It is not yet known how this office will function, but it will most likely try to centralize the powers of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies — a difficult, if not impossible, job — among some 40 bickering agencies. Those concerned with its establishment are worried that it will become a super spy agency and, as its very name implies, that the military will play a role in domestic law enforcement.

FBI Investigations and Arrests

The FBI has always done more than chase criminals; like the Central Intelligence Agency it has long considered itself the protector of US ideology. Those who have opposed government policies — whether civil rights workers, anti-Vietnam war protesters, opponents of the covert Reagan-era wars or cultural dissidents — have repeatedly been surveyed and had their activities disrupted by the FBI.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attack, Attorney General John Ashcroft focused on non-citizens, whether permanent residents, students, temporary workers or tourists. Normally, an alien can only be held for 48 hours prior to the filing of charges. Ashcroft’s new regulation allowed arrested aliens to be held without any charges for a “reasonable time,” presumably months or longer. (See below for new legislation regarding detention of immigrants.)

The FBI began massive detentions and investigations of individuals suspected of terrorist connections, almost all of them non-citizens of Middle Eastern descent; over 1,100 have been arrested. Many were held for days without access to lawyers or knowledge of the charges against them; many are still in detention. Few, if any, have been proven to have a connection with the September 11 attacks and remain in jail despite having been cleared. In some cases, people were arrested merely for being from a country like Pakistan and having expired student visas. Stories of mistreatment of such detainees are not uncommon.

Apparently, some of those arrested are not willing to talk to the FBI, although they have been offered shorter jail sentences, jobs, money and new identities. Astonishingly, the FBI and the Department of Justice are discussing methods to force them to talk, which include “using drugs or pressure tactics such as those employed by the Israeli interrogators.” The accurate term to describe these tactics is torture. Our government wants to torture people to make them talk. There is resistance to this even from law enforcement officials. One former FBI Chief of Counter-Terrorism, said in an October New York Newsday article, “Torture goes against every grain in my body. Chances are you are going to get the wrong person and risk damage or killing them.”

As torture is illegal in the United States and under international law, US officials risk lawsuits by such practices. For this reason, they have suggested having another country do their dirty work; they want to extradite the suspects to allied countries where security services threaten family members and use torture. It would be difficult to imagine a more ominous signal of the repressive period we are facing. The FBI is also currently investigating groups it claims are linked to terrorism — among them pacifist groups such as the US chapter of Women in Black, which holds vigils to protest violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The FBI has threatened to force members of Women in Black to either talk about their group or go to jail. As one of the group’s members said, “If the FBI cannot or will not distinguish between groups who collude in hatred and terrorism, and peace activists who struggle in the full light of day against all forms of terrorism we are in serious trouble.”

Unfortunately, the FBI does not make that distinction. We are facing not only the roundup of thousands on flimsy suspicions, but also an all-out investigation of dissent in the United States.

The New Anti-Terrorist Legislation

Congress has passed and President Bush has signed sweeping new anti-terrorist legislation, the USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), aimed at both aliens and citizens. The legislation met more opposition than one might expect in these difficult times. A National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom of over 120 groups ranging from the right to the left opposed the worst aspects of the proposed new law. They succeeded in making minor modifications, but the most troubling provisions remain, and are described below:

Rights of Aliens

Prior to the legislation, anti-terrorist laws passed in the wake of the 1996 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma had already given the government wide powers to arrest, detain and deport aliens based upon secret evidence — evidence that neither the alien nor his attorney could view or refute. The current proposed legislation makes it even worse for aliens.

First, the law would permit “mandatory detention” of aliens certified by the attorney general as “suspected terrorists.” These could include aliens involved in barroom brawls or those who have provided only humanitarian assistance to organizations disfavored by the United States. Once certified in this way, an alien could be imprisoned indefinitely with no real opportunity for court challenge. Until now, such “preventive detention” was believed to be flatly unconstitutional.

Second, current law permits deportation of aliens who support terrorist activity; the proposed law would make aliens deportable for almost any association with a “terrorist organization.” Although this change seems to have a certain surface plausibility, it represents a dangerous erosion of Americans’ constitutionally protected rights of association. “Terrorist organization” is a broad and open-ended term that could include liberation groups such as the Irish Republican Army, the African National Congress, or civic groups that have ever engaged in any violent activity, such as Greenpeace. An alien who gives only medical or humanitarian aid to similar groups, or simply supports their political message in a material way could be jailed indefinitely.

More Powers to the FBI and CIA

A key element in the new law is the wide expansion of wiretapping. In the United States wiretapping is permitted, but generally only when there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and a judge signs a special wiretapping order that contains limited time periods, the numbers of the telephones wiretapped and the type of conversations that can be overheard.

In 1978, an exception was made to these strict requirements, permitting wiretapping to be carried out to gather intelligence information about foreign governments and foreign terrorist organizations. A secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, was established that could approve such wiretaps without requiring the government to show evidence of criminal conduct. In doing so the constitutional protections necessary when investigating crimes could be bypassed. The secret court is little more than a rubber stamp for wiretapping requests by the spy agencies. It has authorized over 13,000 wiretaps in its 22-year existence, approximately a thousand last year, and has apparently never denied a request.

Under the new law, the same secret court will have the power to authorize wiretaps and secret searches of homes in criminal cases — not just to gather foreign intelligence. The FBI will be able to wiretap individuals and organizations without meeting the stringent requirements of the Constitution. The law will authorize the secret court to permit roving wiretaps of any phones, computers or cell phones that might possibly be used by a suspect. Widespread reading of e-mail will be allowed, even before the recipient opens it. Thousands of conversations will be listened to or read that have nothing to do with the suspect or any crime.

The new legislation is filled with many other expansions of investigative and prosecutorial power, including wider use of undercover agents to infiltrate organizations, longer jail sentences and lifetime supervision for some who have served their sentences, more crimes that can receive the death penalty and longer statutes of limitations for prosecuting crimes. Another provision of the new bill makes it a crime for a person to fail to notify the FBI if he or she has “reasonable grounds to believe” that someone is about to commit a terrorist offense. The language of this provision is so vague that anyone, however innocent, with any connection to anyone suspected of being a terrorist can be prosecuted. We will all need to become spies to protect ourselves and the subjects of our spying, at least for now, will be those from the Mid East.

The New Crime of Domestic Terrorism

The act creates a number of new crimes. One of the most threatening to dissent and those who oppose government policies is the crime of “domestic terrorism.” It is loosely defined as acts that are dangerous to human life, violate criminal law and “appear to be intended” to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or “influence the policy of a government by intimidation of coercion.” Under this definition, a protest demonstration that blocked a street and prevented an ambulance from getting by could be deemed domestic terrorism. Likewise, the demonstrations in Seattle against the WTO could fit within the definition. This was an unnecessary addition to the criminal code; there are already plenty of laws making such civil disobedience criminal without labeling such time honored protest as terrorist and imposing severe prison sentences.

Overall, the new legislation represents one of the most sweeping assaults on liberties in the last 50 years. It is unlikely to make us more secure; it is certain to make us less free.

It is common for governments to reach for draconian law enforcement solutions in times of war or national crisis. It has happened often in the United States and elsewhere. We should learn from historical example: times of hysteria, of war, and of instability are not the times to rush to enact new laws that curtail our freedoms and grant more authority to the government and its intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The US government has conceptualized the war against terrorism as a permanent war, a war without boundaries. Terrorism is frightening to all of us, but it’s equally chilling to think that in the name of antiterrorism our government is willing to suspend constitutional freedoms permanently as well.


How mayors, police unions and cops rig civilian review boards?

How mayors, police unions and cops rig civilian review boards?
© Getty Images
As policymakers around the country wrestle with the problem of police misconduct, one suggested reform widely favored by community activists has been the civilian review board. This is puzzling because such boards have a dismal record of performance.

The idea behind civilian review boards is to have a separate, independent entity address citizen complaints of police abuse. Instead of the police department investigating itself, boards would provide external community oversight. The concept has always been appealing. Many cities embraced the model to address complaints about police harassment of racial minorities during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

In practice, however, civilian review boards have proven to be an ineffectual check against police misconduct. The boards are commonly created in the aftermath of a police scandal, but after the photo-op announcement regarding the establishment of the new board, where politicians take credit for tackling a difficult problem, the news cycle shifts and public attention is directed to other subjects. That’s when the local power brokers in city government rig the boards to fail.
Some boards, for example, are confined to reviewing the findings of the police department’s own internal affairs investigations. The trouble here is that the police can game the system by simply ignoring most citizen complaints. If the department only investigates a small fraction of complaints, the citizen review board will only review that tiny fraction. This happened in Portland, where it came to light that the police department dismissed two-thirds of the complaints it received without inquiry. Since most of the complaints were off-limits, the local review board could offer little in the way of effective oversight.

Because of the selection process for members, many boards lack true independence. The rules vary across jurisdictions, but the mayor or police chief commonly appoint a majority of the board. The rationale is that the police department has to be represented in deliberations that will affect its personnel and operations. However, those appointees are too often beholden to the very people who run the department.

When police brutality lawsuits are filed against the city, the mayor or chief may decide to contest the allegations in court. In such instances, they do not want the civilian review board to make any findings against the police officers involved. In Minneapolis, there was a legislative proposal to give the police chief veto power over board investigations in order to nip any “trouble” in the bud.

Another way power brokers have undermined the boards has been by depriving them of the funds needed to do their work properly. Without investigators and staff to dig into citizen complaints, backlogs occur. What’s more, some jurisdictions have rules in place that say if the board does not sustain a complaint within a year, the case must be dismissed. Thus, many complaints are tossed away, not because they were unfounded, but only because the board did not sustain the complaint fast enough. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had to allay funding concerns recently with his reform package. Emanuel agreed to a minimum guaranteed funding level for his newly proposed Civilian Office of Police Accountability. It remains unclear how a political compromise this year can bind Chicago mayors and council members.

Even when civilian review boards are able to investigate cases thoroughly and independently, they lack the power to impose discipline in the cases where police officers clearly abused their power. The boards can only make recommendations to the chief that certain officers ought to be disciplined. Police chiefs can then ignore the boards. In 2012, police commanders in New York City rejected board recommendations in 90 percent the cases.

Given the historical record, it is a bit odd to see civil liberties groups and community activists concerned about police abuse agitate for more citizen review boards. Such calls amount to the triumph of hope over experience. In cities where police organizations have been abusive and dysfunctional, community activists probably believe that any check on the police department has to be helpful.

Not necessarily.

Ineffectual boards can provide the local power brokers with political cover against media scrutiny and community resentment over police misconduct.

The hard truth is that police misconduct is a deep-seated problem in many of our cities. Concerned citizens should not place their hopes in a new citizen review board or a new police chief. In many jurisdictions, officials choose to placate the police unions which stymie reform efforts. Until there is a serious commitment to maintaining professional and ethical standards in policing, the misconduct problem will fester.

Lynch directs the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project. Follow him on Twitter @CatoTimLynch



Know Your Rights When Stopped by Police

By Tim Lynch
This article appeared on USA Today on May 15, 2017.
Most people don’t know how to handle themselves during a police encounter. They know they have constitutional rights, but they also know that they can get into trouble by disobeying an officer. Not knowing where the lines are drawn, the vast majority of people capitulate to whatever the police want from them.

Some officers get so accustomed to such behavior that they react angrily when someone has the temerity to invoke his rights. In a case last month in Texas, Lionel Alexander sued officer Marciano Garza for roughing him up in a hotel parking lot. Alexander said he was parking his car when Garza activated his emergency lights. When the officer asked for his license and registration, Alexander turned over his papers, but when Garza asked him about what he had been doing before the stop, Alexander declined to answer. That made Garza radio for backup.

After more officers arrived, they asked Alexander to exit his vehicle. Alexander said he did not believe he was legally required to exit, at which point the police lost all patience and got physical, pulling him out of his car and pinning him down on the pavement to put on the handcuffs. Alexander was arrested on “resisting a search,” but he was released the next day, and the charge was then dropped.

Even lawyers sometimes fare no better. In 2015, Philadelphia attorney Rebecca Musarra was pulled over by New Jersey state troopers on suspicion of speeding. Musarra turned over her license and registration upon the trooper’s request, but declined to answer his question, “Do you know why you’re being pulled over?” Flustered by Musarra’s calm assertion of her right to remain silent, troopers yelled at her and then pulled her from her car and arrested her for “obstruction.” The charge was dropped, but she suffered the indignity of an arrest and a brief stay in jail.

The Constitution is the law of the land, yet people can get arrested for invoking their legal rights.
These cases are disturbing. The Constitution is supposed to be the “law of the land,” yet people can get arrested for invoking their legal rights. If such incidents happen with some frequency — and they do — it exposes a serious flaw in our legal system. Out on the streets, the police have all the power and we’re at their mercy.

Even the most professional officers use tactics to get around constitutional rights. For example, they might say, “We can get a warrant to search your purse, or you can save us both some time by allowing us to search it right now.” Most people are unaware that the police can exert pressure with bluffs and lies, so they will often cave. If the matter gets into court, the judge will say they “consented” to the search by not objecting and asserting their rights.

Yet as the Alexander and Musarra cases show, asserting rights is no guarantee against arrest. Some officers make false arrests and conduct illegal searches. Our rights can be vindicated only in court, meaning that when criminal charges are dropped, any associated constitutional violations will typically never be addressed by judges or juries.

Individuals with similar experiences to those of Alexander and Musarra may file civil lawsuits when there are physical injuries or serious property damage. But government lawyers typically settle such lawsuits with money from the treasury, and the officers involved rarely face discipline or other adverse consequences.

Don’t be fooled by police
One way that policymakers can improve existing law and prevent this abuse of power is by requiring the police to use written consent forms. By requiring a signature before a search, there will be far less trickery because people will be reminded that they have a choice in the matter.

Some jurisdictions have had such a policy in place, but it should be in place all around the country.

Just because law enforcement have us at a serious disadvantage does not mean we should let them walk all over us. The wise course to take during police encounters is to obey commands, but to also politely and calmly decline requests. Here’s the key point: Law enforcement are trained to blur that distinction. For example, they may knock on your door and say, “Let’s talk.” In such cases, individuals have to seek the clarification by asking, “Are you ordering me to open my door and allow a search?”

If it isn’t an order, the choice is ours to make. If you give the police permission to search your home without a warrant, that’s your prerogative. If you decline to give your permission, that’s your prerogative also.

Our Constitution is incapable of enforcing itself. It is just words on paper unless we calmly but firmly assert our rights. Use them or lose them.

Tim Lynch directs the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice and serves on the Board of Advisers for Flex Your Rights.


Nothing Vague About FBI Abuse:
Here Are the Dossiers

excerpted from the book

Wizards of Media OZ

by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

As the White House pushes to expand FBI powers, some press reports are sounding cautionary notes usually vague allusions to the FBI's history of harassing political groups and movements.

Missing from most accounts are specifics. This column offers a few of the many horrifying details.

Although President Clinton says stepped-up FBI infiltration will help prevent violence, the record shows that FBI spying has actually abetted violence.

* DICK GREGORY: In 1968, the activist/comedian publicly denounced the Mafia for importing heroin into the inner city. Did the FBI welcome the anti-drug, anti-mob message? No. Head G-man J. Edgar Hoover responded by proposing that the Bureau try to provoke the mob to retaliate against Gregory as part of an FBI "counter intelligence operation" to "neutralize" the comedian. Hoover wrote: "Alert La Cosa Nostra (LCN) to Gregory's attack on LCN."

* FREEDOM RIDERS: In 1961, black and white civil rights workers boarded interstate buses in the North and headed south in an effort to desegregate buses nationwide. The FBI learned that when the freedom riders reached bus depots in Alabama, the state police were going to give the Ku Klux Klan "15 uninterrupted minutes" to beat activists with baseball bats, clubs and chains. The Bureau allowed the violence to occur; activist Walter Bergman spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed.

* VIOLA LIUZZO: The white civil rights volunteer from Detroit-a mother of five-joined Martin Luther King's 1965 Selma (Ala.) campaign aimed at securing the right to vote for blacks. She was shot and killed after being chased 20 miles at high speed by a carload of four Klansmen. In the car was Gary David Rowe, a well-paid FBI informant inside the Klan; the violence-prone Rowe had played a big role in the beatings of freedom riders years earlier. "He couldn't be an angel and be a good informant," commented one of his FBI handlers.

* FRANK WILKINSON: A lifelong civil libertarian who led the campaign to abolish the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, his FBI surveillance file spans 30 years and 132,000 pages. Estimated cost to us taxpayers: $17 million. Wilkinson never advocated or committed violence, but the file shows that the Bureau burglarized his offices and encouraged beatings of him. The FBI once heard of a right-wing scheme to assassinate Wilkinson-but took no action to inform him or protect him.

* MARTIN LUTHER KING: For years, the FBI used spying and infiltration in a relentless campaign to destroy King- to wreck his marriage, undermine his mental stability and encourage him to commit suicide. The Bureau created dissension among King's associates, disrupted fundraising efforts and recruited his bookkeeper as a paid agent after learning the employee was embezzling.

The FBI utilized "media assets" to plant smear stories in the press - some insinuating that King was a Soviet agent. One FBI media asset against King in the early 1960s was Patrick Buchanan, then an editorial writer in St. Louis.

The FBI once hatched a scheme to "completely discredit" King and have him replaced by a civil rights leader the Bureau could control. The one individual named by the Bureau as "the right kind of Negro leader" was lawyer Samuel Pierce-who years later became the only black in President Reagan's cabinet.

King was hated and regularly threatened by white supremacists and extremists-but the FBI developed a written policy of not informing King about threats to his life. Why? Because of his "unsavory character," "arrogance and "uncooperative attitude."

* PETER BOHMER: For months in the early 1970s, this economics professor and other antiwar activists in San Diego were terrorized-with menacing phone calls, death threats and fire-bombings-by the Secret Army Organization, a right-wing paramilitary group. On Jan. 6, 1972, gunshots were fired into Bohmer's house, wounding a friend.

After a bombing months later, a trial revealed that Howard Barry Godfrey, co-founder of SAO in San Diego and one of its most active and violent members, had all along been a paid FBI informant. Godfrey testified that he had driven the car from which the shots were fired; afterward, he took the weapon to his FBI supervisor, who hid it.

* BLACK PANTHER PARTY: Some critics are denouncing the new movie Panther as an anti-FBI fantasy. But the hard facts about the FBI's war on the Panthers were published in 1976 by the Senate Intelligence Committee chaired by Frank Church. Using paid infiltrators and faked documents, the Bureau routinely tried to goad militant groups or street gangs to commit violence against the Panthers.

In southern California, FBI agents helped provoke Ron Karenga's militant US group into attacks on Panthers and boasted about it in memos to headquarters. When the FBI learned that the Panthers and US were trying to talk out their differences, agents did their best to reopen the conflict. Four Panthers were ultimately killed by US members, two on the UCLA campus.

In Chicago, the FBI office forged and sent a letter to the Blackstone Rangers gang leader saying the Panthers had a "hit out" on him. The FBI's stated hope was that he "take reprisals against" the Panther leadership.

Although that plan failed, Chicago Panther chief Fred Hampton (age 21) was killed months later in a predawn police assault on his apartment. Hampton's bodyguard turned out to be an FBI agent-provocateur who, days before the raid, had delivered an apartment floor-plan to the Bureau-with an "X" marking Hampton's bed. Most bullets were aimed at his bedroom. The infiltrator received a $300 bonus: "Our source was the man who made the raid possible," stated an FBI memo.

Among the hundreds of schemes detailed in FBI memos were plans to contaminate the Panther newspaper's printing room with a noxious chemical; to inject a powerful laxative into fruit served to kids as part of the Panthers' free breakfast program; and to target smear campaigns at various Hollywood celebrities who had come to the Panthers' defense.

* CENTRAL AMERICA ACTIVISTS: Many recent news accounts say that FBI abuse pretty much ended with J. Edgar Hoover's death in 1972, and that the Bureau has been in check since the Justice Department issued new guidelines in 1976. Not true. FBI disruption of lawful dissent has continued-though the terminology has changed, from counterintelligence (COINTELPRO) to "counterterrorism."

During the 1980s, groups critical of U.S. intervention in Central America were surveilled, infiltrated and disrupted by the FBI. Political break-ins occurred at churches, offices and homes-and material from the burglaries ended up in FBI files. In the guise of monitoring supporters of foreign terrorists, the FBI compiled files on clergy, religious groups and thousands of nonviolent anti-intervention activists. The investigation produced not a single criminal charge. The whole sordid story is detailed in Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI, a book by former Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan.

At the center of this spying was FBI official Oliver "Buck" Revell. Today, Revell (now retired) makes the rounds of TV news shows, complaining that the FBI is too hamstrung to track terrorists.

The truth is that the FBI has always had the power to infiltrate terrorist groups. The problem has been the Bureau's diversion of resources to monitor and harass activists whose only "crime" was working for social change.


'It's shocking, it's horrendous': Ellen MacArthur's fight against plastic
She broke the solo record for sailing round the world, but now she is dedicating her life to an even greater challenge – saving it from the destructive tide of plastic


Bill calls for ban on signature gathering at polling places in Maine
The proposal going to a legislative hearing Wednesday also would push candidates out of polling places on Election Day.


Mickey Mouse and Jesus among write-in votes that helped sink Roy Moore
Controversy surrounding Roy Moore prompted the high number of write-ins – 22,852 in total – a margin that helped tip the election for Democrat Doug Jones


Bill would restore mental health crisis detentions at Mendota


German police union chief slams NYE ‘safe zone’ for women


see link for full story and cases



12/30/17 AT 9:10 AM

The death penalty was again on the decline in 2017, but the problems that accompany the finality of capital punishment remain.

This year, 23 people were executed—the second fewest executions in the past 25 years, coming in just behind the 20 inmates who were put to death in 2016. Since 2009, the number of executions across the United States has generally declined, with public support for capital punishment dropping by 5 percent to 55 percent this year, marking the lowest level since 1972, the year the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.

“There will be times when numbers fluctuate—particularly following historic highs or lows—but the steady long-term decline in the death penalty since the 1990s suggests that in most of the country, the death penalty is becoming obsolete,” said Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

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But even as the numbers of executions fall, the flaws and controversies surrounding capital punishment could be found in the cases of all the men who were put to death this year. In 2017, the people executed argued that bad lawyers, faulty forensic evidence and poor mental health, among other things, brought them to death row. Several prisoners maintained their innocence until their executions. All 23 men were put to death by lethal injection. And in some cases, lawyers argued the introduction of a new drug in a deadly cocktail used to execute prisoners was a violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment guarding against cruel and unusual punishment. This argument was used throughout the year to little avail, subjecting some to what onlookers said were botched executions.

While all 23 cases exhibited the numerous issues surrounding capital punishment, Newsweek has chosen five, each of which highlight the arguments of those who oppose the death penalty.

Ricky Jovan Gray
Ricky Donovan Gray was executed on Jan. 18.

Time on death row: 10 years

Gray, 39, was convicted of brutally murdering a Richmond, Virginia, family during a drug-driven killing spree in which he slaughtered seven people in six days in 2006. After smoking marijuana laced with an unknown substance—thought to be PCP—Gray showed up at the home of musician Brian Harvey, his wife Kathryn, and their two young daughters, Stella and Ruby. What began as a home invasion robbery escalated to gruesome murders in which Gray bound his victims, cut their throats and bludgeoned them with a hammer. After that, he poured wine on an easel and set the house on fire.

Lawyers argued that the jury should consider that Gray had become addicted to drugs as a child to cope with sexual and physical abuse. He was high at the time of the murders, they said, and had become confused by the substances.

Gray was executed by lethal injection in January. His attorneys asked for him to be executed by firing squad instead, claiming the drugs he was to be given were the equivalent of “chemical torture.” A judge denied their claim on the grounds that they had failed to prove that using the drug was unconstitutional and told them Gray had the constitutional option of the electric chair.

Ledell Lee
Ledell Lee was executed on April 20.

Time on death row: 21 years

Lee, 51, became the first Arkansas prisoner to be executed in the state in a decade when he was put to death in April. He had been convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting 26-year-old Debra Reese in her home in 1993. She was struck 36 times with a tire thumper that her truck driver husband had given her as a way to protect herself while he was away on the road. Lee maintained that he was innocent until his execution.

Complicating Lee’s case, Lee was given a lawyer who admitted to being drunk during court proceedings. Eventually, she was removed and Lee was given new counsel.

Lee’s lawyers also had asked for new DNA testing of a hair found at the scene and drop of blood on his shoe, but that was denied. The microscopic hair analysis method that was used by investigators to incriminate Lee was formally discredited by the FBI and Department of Justice in 2015, which admitted it could not distinguish specific hairs from others. The FBI and DOJ had agreed to the review of criminal cases after three men were exonerated after convictions in which FBI hair examiners offered testimony that 'was scientifically flawed.'

Kenneth Williams
Kenneth Williams was executed on April 27.

Time on death row: 16 years

Williams’ execution made headlines in April after he alarmingly lurched and convulsed before dying as Arkansas rushed to put eight inmates to death over 11 days. One of its difficult-to-obtain drugs in the lethal cocktail used for execution was set to expire at the end of the month.

About three minutes into his execution by lethal injection, the 38-year-old’s body lurched violently 15 times in a row before slowing down for a final five movements, journalists who witnessed the execution reported. Once he stopped jerking, he moaned and groaned once during a consciousness check before ultimately falling still seven minutes in.

His attorneys released a statement following the execution calling it “horrifying” and demanding an investigation into what happened. Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over 11 days in a bid to use its lethal injection drugs before they expired.

Williams was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop in 1999. At the time of his escape, he had served less than three weeks of a life term for killing a college cheerleader.

Thomas Arthur
Thomas Arthur was executed on May 26.

Time on death row: 34 years

Known as the “Houdini of Death Row,” Arthur escaped execution seven times before being put to death in May for a 1982 murder-for-hire. Arthur claimed he never committed the crime and his lawyers unsuccessfully argued that he would be exonerated by DNA testing that Alabama refused to undertake.

Arthur, 75, was convicted of murder after prosecutors argued he entered Troy Wicker’s home disguised as a black man and shot him dead in the eye with a pistol. At the time, Arthur was having an affair with Wicker’s wife, who claimed she had paid him $10,000 to murder her husband. She changed her story to authorities, and had originally told investigators she had been raped by a black man.

Arthur had requested the death penalty at the end of his trial, telling jurors it would buy his legal team extra time to prove his innocence. His lawyers insisted their client would be proven innocent by DNA testing of hair samples found at the scene, but Governor Kay Ivey denied the requests, saying that a jury had already found him guilty with the evidence they were provided.

After his execution, his daughter called for mandatory testing of DNA evidence from capital punishment cases across the country. But Alabama has started moving in the opposite direction and voted this year to approve a bill that would shorten appeals processes for inmates on death row.


Elon Musk says Tesla is planning to make a pickup truck

Link du jour







FBI agent and daughter Molly Martens sentenced for murder.
Murderer Molly Martens facing up to four more years in jail for breaching rules


Alaska Supreme Court: State wrong to deny records request
Dorothy Chomicz dchomicz@newsminer.com Dec 30, 2017
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