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joeb Show full post »

quote from " I'm just the messenger"

Two reads for the uneducated and the uneducable

Whoaaaa! You are getting the  same look as deer get when they stand frozen in the middle of the highway
caught by the headlights of Exxon Mobil deer jackers.
Charles Darwin just tweeted me and said :
"How are those FBI  elected moonbats working out for you in the State Legislature, Congress and City Hall?
never seen anything like this in other species. Frozen by fear and indecision as the world collapses around them."

a liberal is someone who walks out of the room when an argument
turns into a fight
a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged

1st read
see link for full story

'A month's worth of rain' in under four hours triggers flash flooding, chaos in Toronto

Rescue crews used boats to pull stranded passengers from a flooded commuter train after flash floods hit Toronto.
By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor

A month’s worth of rain in a matter of hours caused chaos in Toronto on Monday, as flash flooding triggered widespread power outages, subway closures and left almost 1,500 people stranded on a commuter train filled with gushing water.

The deluge of more than 3.5 inches in just three-and-a-half hours forced motorists to abandon cars and left 400,000 homes without electricity late into the night.

Environment Canada officials said they expected the official tally to top 4 inches.  

The city’s police Marine Unit was called into action to rescue more than 1,400 people from a 10-car GO transit train that stalled as it tried to reverse away from the rising torrents.   

After murky brown water spilled into the bottom floor of the carriages, passengers fled to the upper decks, where they waited for almost seven hours to be rescued.

“There’s a full on river either side of us...” one passenger Jonah Cait, tweeted as the water rose. “We. Are. Stuck. Hard.”

The evacuation of the train was complete by about 1 a.m. ET with only minor injuries to five or six passengers, who were treated on the scene, the CBC reported.

Inflatable boats were used to ferry passengers to higher ground.

2nd read

see link for full story

Tuesday, July 9 2013
Acidic oceans of the future show extinction

July 9, 2013
A glimpse of future ocean chemistry finds that acidification transforms entire ecosystems.

Daily Climate staff report

Ocean acidification may create an impact similar to extinction on marine ecosystems, according to a study published Monday.
Background, low-grade stress caused by ocean acidification can cause a whole shift in the ecosystem.
- Kristy Kroeker,

The study, exploring naturally acidic waters near volcanic vents in the Mediterranean Ocean off Italy, suggests that ocean acidification as a result of human emissions can degrade entire ecosystems – not just individual species, as past studies have shown.

The result, scientists say, is a homogenized marine community dominated by fewer plants and animals. 

Castello-400"The background, low-grade stress caused by ocean acidification can cause a whole shift in the ecosystem so that everything is dominated by the same plants, which tend to be turf algae," said lead author Kristy Kroeker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Bodega Marine Laboratory at the University of California, Davis.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Colorful patches

The oceans have absorbed roughly 30 percent of the carbon humans have pumped into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, buffering the globe from the harm posed by greenhouse gases. But it comes with a price: seawater has become more acidic as it absorbed all that carbon

Today the ocean's pH is lower than anything seen in the historical record in the past 800,000 years, scientists say. As the acidity increases, organisms such as corals, oysters, snails and urchins have trouble pulling minerals from the seawater to create protective shells. The study released Monday buttresses ecologists' fears that such changes could ripple through entire ecosystems – and that ocean acidification could prove as consequential and catastrophic for the globe as any changes in air temperature associated with climate change.

Most ecosystems have numerous, colorful patches of different plants and animals – algae, sponges, anemones, among others, Kroeker said in a statement. "With ocean acidification, you lose that patchiness.... Everything looks the same."

Kroeker and colleagues studied waters surrounding Castello Aragonese, a 14th century castle off the coast of Italy where volcanic vents naturally release bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. The vents create different levels of acidity on the reef. These gradients gave the scientists a glimpse of what a future marked by increasingly acidic ocean waters could look like – and how the creatures and plants living in those environments may react to a disturbance.

The researchers selected three reef zones: low, high and extremely high acidity, representing world ocean conditions for the present day, 2100 and 2500, respectively. Then they removed animals and vegetation from the rocks there. Every few months for three years, Kroeker dived to the study plots to photograph them and watch how plots in each zone recovered.
Variety through time

Kroeker found that acidic water reduced the number and variety of species. In the non-acidic plots, many different plants and animals, including turf algae, would colonize and grow. Sea urchins, snails and other so-called "calcareous species" would then eat them, allowing for variety through time.

But in both the high and extremely high acidic plots, urchins and other grazers either never reappeared or did not graze, allowing fleshy turf algae to steadily increase and ultimately overtake the zones.

Calcareous grazers play key roles in maintaining the balance within marine ecosystems. They are also considered among the most vulnerable species to ocean acidification, previous studies have found.

"If the role of these grazers changes with ocean acidification, you might expect to see cascading effects of the whole ecosystem," Kroeker said. "If the pattern holds for other calcareous grazers, this has implications for other ecosystems, as well."

Yeah! Really? Whaddya expect when you hire mercenaries to protect you.
95% of people working in the police, prison and courts are returning vets
who just made their bones as serial killers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Columbia, Viet Nam,and other US Military Industrial complex occupied countries where the Be All You Can Be high school drop outs have no compunction to kill, rape and plunder for Exxon Mobil, Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Dupont and Goldman Sachs. Did I mention Halliburton?

Not to worry. They would never come knocking on your doors for the last roundup, eh?
As always funded by your tax dime. Oh yea, there will be an added value tax once this lawsuit is over.
Where do I send the bill to when the jury reaches their verdict?
You must be one of those people who feel  you believe that blogging isn't behavior, and only behavior is the truth, and you live for the day voters and taxpayers who fund the criminal justice system have as strong a lobby as whales,

see link for full story

 Anthony Mitchell Lawsuit: Cops Violated Third Amendment, Occupied Home, Complaint States

A family in Henderson, Nev., is suing the city, claiming that police officers violated his Third Amendment rights by occupying their home without permission.

Anthony Mitchell was at home on July 10, 2011, when cops called his home and said they needed to occupy the house in order to gain a "tactical advantage" in dealing with a domestic violence case at a neighbor's home, Courthouse News reported.

Mitchell said he told the officer he did not want officers to enter his home. Nevertheless, five officers showed up and smashed the door open with a metal ram before pointing their guns at Mitchell, cursing at him and telling him to lie on the floor.

As Mitchell lay on the floor with his hands over his face, officers fired multiple pepper-ball projectiles at him, causing him "injury and severe pain," according to the complaint, which was filed June 30 of this year. Officers also fired pepperball rounds at Mitchell's dog, even though the dog did not threaten them.

The animal was allegedly locked outside the home for hours without water, shade, or food on a day where temperatures reached more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mitchell's parents, Michael and Linda Mitchell, live in the same neighborhood and say they experienced a similar situation. Michael says he went willingly with officers to the command center on the premise of making a phone call to the domestic violence suspect, but when he tried to leave, he was arrested. Meanwhile, Linda Mitchell says officers physically forced her from the home.

I know, I know. you are going to say " Hey!  not my brother, father, son , husband
or relative. "
That is what I love about the FBI WATCH  Community, eh?

see link for full story

Mistaken Identity: After 40 years, family still seeks justice

July 07, 2013

    “We have always heard that justice delayed is justice denied. It has been 40 years, but the fact that we are making progress in Milton’s death is giving us new hope.” MARYAM BENNETT, Milton Scott’s daughter

Milton Leon Scott, then a 21-year-old father and a former laborer for the LSU Athletic Department, thought he was being followed in the summer 1973 — but didn’t know by whom or why.

FBI agents Delbert Hahn and Bill Wood did know. They were keeping tabs on Scott, who was suspected of deserting from the U.S. Army.

On July 18, 1973, the two federal agents moved in. Their attempt to arrest Scott at his Alaska Street home escalated as Scott — depending on the version — either tried to fight and escape or was dragged from his house by the agents.

Scott was shot and killed during the scuffle in what turned out, by all accounts, to be a case of mistaken identity.

Forty years later, his family is still talking about seeking justice.

FBI files recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Manship News Service at LSU’s Manship School of Mass
Titicut Follies is a documentary film made in 1967 by attorney turned filmaker Frederick Wiseman.
It was banned from being shown in Massachusetts for close to 20 years.
The film shows how the taxpayer dime was used to fund guards at the State Mental Hospital
in Bridgewater Mass. The film is on the top ten list of Best Documentaries ever made.
Things have not changed.


2nd film

tell me what your favorite scene is.
Is it the scene where the FLIR infra red cameras in the FBI  helicopters film FBI  agents shooting the women and children fleeing the WACO bunker after FBI  agents set fire to the compound?

Is it the scene called the ATF Press party where ATF  agents use your tax dime to hand out press kits the night before they
storm WACO  so ATF  agents can impress members Congress who were
scheduled to vote on the new ATF budget later in the month which would give ATF  agents more of your tax dime?

Maybe it is the interview with the FBI  agent who is the Forensic Crime scene investigator at WACO who resigns from the FBI
to protest FBI  agents destroying crime scene evidence?

WACO:RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is on my top ten best documentary films ever made.


1st read

2nd read
see link for full story

Mexican police chief killed with rifle lost in ATF gun-tracking program A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF´s Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records. A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF's Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records

Sunday, July 7, 2013— A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF's Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico. Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded. Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons - rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region. A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, Ariz. The notation on the Department of Justice trace records said the WASR was used in a "HOMICIDE � WILLFUL � KILL �PUB OFF �GUN" �ATF code for "Homicide, Willful Killing of a Public Official, Gun." Hundreds of firearms were lost in the Fast and Furious operation. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed illegal purchasers to buy the firearms at the Lone Wolf store in the Phoenix suburb and other gun shops in hopes of tracing them to Mexican cartel leaders. The WASR used in Jalisco was purchased on Feb. 22, 2010, about three months into the Fast and Furious operation, by 26-year-old Jacob A. Montelongo of Phoenix. He later pleaded guilty to conspiracy, making false statements and smuggling goods from the United States and was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Mexican_police_chief_killed_with_rifle_lost_in_ATF_gun-tracking_program.html#vqp8qHzED3Muq5dy.99

see link for full story

NYC cases show how crooked officers misuse FBI database for cyber snooping, other offenses

Sunday, July 7, 12:23 PM

NEW YORK — It’s billed by the FBI as “the lifeline of law enforcement” — a federal database used to catch criminals, recover stolen property and even identify terrorism suspects.

But authorities say Edwin Vargas logged onto the restricted system and ran names for reasons that had nothing to do with his duties as a New York Police Department detective. Instead, he was accused in May of looking up personal information on two fellow officers without their knowledge.

The allegation against Vargas is one of a batch of corruption cases in recent years against NYPD officers accused of abusing the FBI-operated National Crime Information Center database to cyber snoop on co-workers, tip off drug dealers, stage robberies and — most notoriously — scheme to abduct and eat women.

The NCIC database serves 90,000 agencies and gets 9 million entries a day by users seeking information on stolen guns and cars, fugitives, sex offenders, orders of protection and other subjects, according to an FBI website. The NYPD system — called the “Finest,” as in “New York’s Finest” — also allows access to state criminal and Department of Motor Vehicles records.

How often the database is used for unauthorized purposes is unclear. The NYPD insists that officers are under strict orders to use it only during car stops, ongoing investigations or other police work. The department assigns them login names and passwords that allow supervisors to track their usage on desktop computers in station houses or on laptops in patrol cars.

NYPD recruits are warned that “if you misuse or you access information in an inappropriate manner ... you are in serious trouble — such as being prosecuted, being fired and also big fines,” a police academy instructor testified at the trial of Gilbert Valle, who was convicted in March in a bizarre plot to kidnap, cook and cannibalize women.

In addition, an FBI compliance unit conducts spot audits to examine users’ ”policies, procedures, and security requirements,” the FBI said in a statement. The FBI also requires each state to have its own audit programs and claims that “malicious misuse is not commonly discovered.”

But both the instructor testifying at the Valle trial and an Internal Affairs Bureau investigator who took the witness stand in an earlier case have conceded that officers can easily circumvent safeguards.

The investigator testified as a government witness at the 2010 trial of an NYPD officer accused of using the database to conduct surveillance of a perfume warehouse in New Jersey before an armed robbery there. He told jurors that officers often do searches while logged in under another officer’s name — either out of neglect or, in this case, intent.

“Unfortunately ... it’s not unusual that it happens,” the investigator said.

The instructor, when asked about an officer’s ability to effectively log in anonymously, responded, “I know it occurs. I wouldn’t say it’s common, but I know it does occur.”

At a trial where Valle was convicted in March, prosecutors alleged that the officer used the database — sometimes accessing it while riding in a patrol car with his supervising sergeant — to help compile dossiers on women that listed their birthdates, addresses, heights and weights. None of the women were harmed, but prosecutors alleged he went as far as to show up on one woman’s block after striking an agreement to kidnap her for $5,000 for a New Jersey man who wanted to rape and kill her.

see link for full story

At least 41 weapons missing from U.S. Marshals since ’07

 Sunday, July 7, 2013

Three masked men stunned downtown Frederick the afternoon of Feb. 5 when they made off with more than $190,000 worth of watches from Colonial Jewelers in a 50-second armed heist.

Alonzo Lee Meadows, 31, was arrested the next morning in Washington, D.C., leading to a second stunning revelation.

At a bond hearing Feb. 11 after his extradition from D.C., Assistant State’s Attorney Kirsten Brown revealed that police searching Meadows’ girlfriend’s home found a U.S. Marshal’s AR-15 rifle along with five loaded magazines under his side of the bed.

Between 2007 and 2012, seven U.S. Marshals rifles have been reported missing or stolen, according to the agency’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Frederick News-Post.

Of the 42 total weapons reported missing, 29 were listed as stolen and 12 listed as lost in the agency’s response. One additional weapon did not have a classification for type of case, but a police report indicates the deputy U.S. Marshal’s truck was broken into.

The types of guns that have been reported missing include shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers and a machine gun.

The information was a partial response to a request for all USM-134 forms — which are required when agency property is lost or damaged — when a gun was among the items reported missing.

The Marshals Service conducted a search of the Headquarters Management Support Division and provided 225 pages of responsive information, including copies of the forms and police reports, with names, personal addresses and firearm serial numbers redacted.

The documents released by the agency show that guns were stolen from parked cars, sometimes unoccupied for mere minutes, occupied homes in the middle of the night, and in one case, a deputy U.S. Marshal was robbed of her gun during a hold-up.

The thefts from marshals also had significant ripple effects. In one case, the police report includes a $20,000 estimate to re-key a federal courthouse in California after a marshal’s key set to the building and its jail cells was taken alongside his sidearm.

Dave Oney, a spokesman for the agency, said this week it presents a problem any time a law enforcement officer’s weapon is lost or stolen and is considered a public safety issue.

“The USMS has policies in place to guard against loss and theft, though, as you know, things do happen,” he wrote in response to questions asked by The News-Post.

In 2012, five guns were stolen and one gun was lost for which paperwork was completed (in some cases a gun was reported or discovered missing earlier than the year it was assigned a case control number). In one 2012 case, a deputy U.S. Marshal in Puerto Rico was at Auto Zone getting service for her car when at least three men robbed the store, demanding her gun and a Taser in the process.

In 2011, one gun was reported lost. Two were reported stolen, including a machine gun. That gun, reported stolen by an employee working for the Eastern District of Texas, had a value of $1,049. It is unclear which police reports included as part of the agency’s disclosure address this theft.

In 2010, seven guns were stolen, all from agency employees’ personal or government-owned vehicles. In Atlanta, a rifle and shotgun were taken from the same government vehicle, which was parked overnight at the National Law Enforcement Explores Conference. In East Point, Ga., a deputy marshal from the Western District of Tennessee had his vehicle broken into during a 14-minute break at a restaurant. In Wetumpka, Ala., a deputy U.S. Marshal’s government SUV was burglarized, along with 13 other vehicles, when it was parked at an automotive repair shop overnight.

Another theft from a vehicle was recorded in Prince George’s County in 2009. According to a police report, a deputy marshal woke to leave for work and found both front doors and the trunk to their car open. Two agency-owned weapons, a rifle and a shotgun, were missing from a locked vault. A number of other items, including a ballistics vest and Marshals clothing items were taken, for a total value of $4,850.

A total of seven guns were reported stolen that year, along with one missing.

In 2008, one of the four stolen guns was taken from a car parked in an FBI lot, according to the information.

The USMS employee reported that he parked his Chevy Tahoe in an FBI parking lot in Atlanta and traveled with a senior inspector in another vehicle. When he returned to the Tahoe the next day, they discovered a backpack with the pistol, badge, laptop, passport and other items missing.

What does the smart criminal justice consumer do when taxpayer funded CIA  agents and local police
bring heroin and cocaine into our communities to destabilize them and create a police state?


see link for full story

DC-9 ‘Cocaine One’ kingpin’s secret conviction
July 4, 2013

It was the biggest drug seizure on an airplane in Mexican history. It led directly to the forced sale of Wachovia, then America's 4th largest bank. And it threatened to become America’s most notorious drug scandal since Iran Contra.

Yet when a leader of the drug smuggling organization responsible for the flight of the DC-9 airliner dubbed “Cocaine One” that was busted in the Yucatan carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine quietly pled guilty to unrelated drug charges two years ago in a Federal Court in Miami, his role in the massive drug move was kept secret from officials preparing his Pre-Sentence Report (PSI),  from journalists, and even from the Federal judge in the case.

Since the omission was recently discovered, tongues on two continents have been wagging. cocaine-one

A catch & release arrest policy for drug traffickers

Since it began, in April 2006, the scandal of the “Cocaine One” DC-9 busted carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine in the Yucatan has seen its share of bizarre developments.

The drug pilot flying the DC-9, Carmelo Vasquez Guerra, for example, had been arrested and released in three separate countries—Mexico, Guinea Bissau, and Mali—before Venezuela finally stepped in and put him (at least temporarily) behind bars.

But with a shocking new revelation, the scandal has taken a sudden turn for the surreal.

The man in charge of bringing the 5.5 tons of cocaine north in one fell swoop was identified by investigators as “Raul Jimenez Alfaro.

Turns out, that's not his real name.

When cartel kingpin Jimenez Alfaro was convicted on unrelated drug charges two years ago in a Federal Court in Miami, according to investigative reporter Joseph Poliszuk at El Universal in Caracas, his role in  running the massive 5.5 ton drug move, which eventually brought down America's 4th largest bank, went undisclosed, and  remained secret.


----- Forwarded Message -----

Sent: Monday, July 8, 2013 9:23 PM
Subject: The Official Video: ReThink911 September 2013

Check out this informative video about the expansion of the 9-11 truth movement on YouTube:
Quote 0 0



This came in from Ed Tatro today. Some of you may remember we brought former FBI  agent   William Turner to speak in 2002 at the University of Maine in Farmington.

Subject: Mass. DA: DNA links DeSalvo to Strangler victim | US National Headlines | Comcast
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 19:50:43 -0400

Sirhan wrote "Disalvo" in his diary. The hypnotist who worked on the DiSalvo case is the suspected hypnotist of Sirhan. Prostitutes who serviced the hypnotist asserted this. I think his name was Bryan, something like that. Check the RFK assassination book by Turner & Christian. All of my comments are from sheer memory.

Respected forensic investigator Angela Clemente sent a email today letting us
know she is still busy and FBI  agents haven't killed her yet.
"I am dealing with congress, the DOJ IG office and the Bulger victims right now but I do want to talk to Matt at WERU . I just need to get out from under and catch a breath."

see link for full story

We brought attorney Linda Backiel to speak at our 5th annual conference investigating
crimes committed by FBI  agents during the early 1990's.

Defense Lawyer Is Jailed Over Client Confidentiality

February 15, 1991
For almost two decades, Linda Backiel has used her law degree to defend people who disagreed vehemently and sometimes violently with the policies of the Federal Government.
And she has watched many of her clients, including opponents of the Vietnam War and advocates of Puerto Rican independence, go to prison for what they considered matters of principle.
Now it is her turn.
For more than two months, Ms. Backiel has been held in the Bucks County Correctional Facility here on a civil contempt charge because she refuses to testify before a Federal grand jury investigating a client who the authorities say jumped bail.
In an interview at the prison over the weekend, Ms. Backiel, 46 years old, said she had spurned a subpoena and later an order from a Federal judge because her testimony would violate a fundamental canon of the relationship between lawyers and clients: the guarantee of confidentiality. 'That's Not My Job'

You still can't make the connection between Climate Change and taxpayer funded FBI  agents?
Yes FBI agents are committing voter fraud in every state. They got caught in Cincinnati.
see  top of page when link opens http://www.thelandesreport.com/votingsecurity.htm

Yes FBI  agents make sure people who are elected support Exxon Mobil's agenda.

Yes FBI  agents control the courts by selecting who gets appointed to local state county and federal courts.
see  http://beck.library.emory.edu/southernchanges/article.php?id=sc15-1_012
Investigative reporter Danny Casolero's last words before FBI  agents used your tax dime to murder him were " the FBI  is a octopus"
see   http://www.american-buddha.com/dead.right.htm

Charles Darwin just got a tweet from Pee Wee Herman who said maybe you should take the afternoon off
and spend it in an air conditioned adult movie theater, eh?

2 reads

Rising Temps, Shrinking Snowpack Fuel Western Wildfires

    Published: July 11th, 2013

Wildfire trends in the West are clear: there are more large fires burning now than at any time in the past 40 years and the total area burned each year has also increased. To explore these trends, Climate Central has developed this interactive tool to illustrate how warming temperatures and changing spring snowpack influences fires each year.

see link for full story

Steep drop in coastal fish found in California power plant records

By Tony Barboza

July 10, 2013, 7:15 a.m.

Fish populations in Southern California have dropped 78% over the last 40 years, according to a new study.

see link for full story

see link for full story


Lawmakers say FBI thwarts inquiry


  July 10, 2013

WASHINGTON — Members of a congressional committee Wednesday accused the FBI of stalling an inquiry into the Boston Marathon bombings, saying the bureau had no grounds for withholding what it knew about Tamerlan Tsarnaev prior to the attacks.
“The information requested by this committee belongs to the American people,’’ said Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. “It does not belong solely to the FBI.”
The frustrations, aired publicly after FBI officials rebuffed an invitation to appear before the committee, stemmed from the FBI’s unwillingness to detail how it handled a security review of Tsarnaev nearly two years before the Marathon bombings. Critics have suggested the FBI may have missed a chance to prevent the bombings.
“I went to Russia and was given more information,” said committee member William Keating, a Bourne Democrat who has been seeking information about Russian warnings to American authorities about Tsarnaev’s increasing radicalism dating to 2011.
“The FBI continues to refuse this committee’s appropriate requests for information and documents crucial to our investigation into what happened in Boston,” McCaul declared as he opened a committee hearing. “I sincerely hope they do not intend to stonewall our inquiry into how this happened.”

see link for full story

Voice Recognition Capabilities at the FBI
By: Hirotaka Nakasone
07/11/2013 ( 1:04pm)
Hirotaka Nakasone, Senior Scientist, FBI Voice Recognition Program, examines the use and effectiveness of current speaker authentication technologies at the FBI. In this IDGA exclusive, Nakasone also highlights the various challenges that are unique to voice recognition, and discusses what plans are in place for capturing voice recordings in line with the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI project).
IDGA: Examine the use and effectiveness of current speaker authentication technologies at the FBI
The FBI’s use of the speaker recognition technology dates back to the early 1960’s. A team of FBI special agents and technical support personnel began to develop a protocol to perform voice comparison examinations by using the sound spectrograph. But this spectrographic technique had always been used only as investigative guidance only -- never had been introduced in the court of law due to the inconclusive nature of the technology.
Concerned about the controversial nature of the technique and inconsistent admissibility status of the technique in criminal proceedings, in 1976 FBI commissioned the National Research Council's (NRC), National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review and assess the status of the spectrographic speaker recognition. The results of the NAS’s study were published in 1979 paper, On the Theory and Practice of Voice Identification. Subsequent to this NAS report, FBI determined to continue its original policy on the spectrographic voice identification, that is, to use it only as investigative guidance.  This practice prevailed for the next three decades.
In the late 1990’s, the FBI began the development of the automated speaker recognition technology by the leading research groups sponsored by the FBI and other US government agencies. This effort was accelerated by the sponsorship of the Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE) in 2007. Currently, the FBI offers forensic speaker recognition analysis services by using the automated speaker recognition technology for its field offices within the US and abroad. Here are some high lights about the FBI’s current speaker recognition technology:
  • Conducted within an FBI’s forensic unit within Digital Evidence Laboratory that is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors – Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB);
  • Conducted by fully trained examiners with technical and engineering background;
  • Conducted by using multiple sets of advanced state-of-the-art speaker recognition algorithms;
  • Conducted under standard operating procedures;
  • Conducted only for investigative and intelligence purposes – not for courtroom purposes; and
  • The primary speaker recognition system is capable of conducting channel-independent and language-independent recognition under a certain set of forensic conditions with known reasonably acceptable levels of accuracy.
What biometric challenges are unique to voice recognition?
I want to address three challenges unique to voice recognition. Please note that these challenges were also recognized by the 2011 NSTC Biometric Challenge–Update as well.
Challenge #1 is dynamic nature of human speech production that changes constantly as a function of time, therefore it requires a long sampling period ranging from tens of seconds to a few minutes to create a statistical meaningful speaker model. Voice is more time intensive in contrast to other biometric modalities like fingerprint, iris, face, DNA, SMT, etc.
Challenge #2 is the fragility of human speech that is susceptible to different recording environment and equipment used for capture.
Challenge #3 is the susceptibility of human speech that is affected by different state of emotions or different speaking styles. Those researchers in the speaker recognition community are well aware of these challenges, and have resolved some of them.
In contrast to these challenges, voice recognition has its undeniable strength as well. Automatic speaker recognition is a highly scientific forensic process, using solid mathematical and statistical foundations. In that sense I do not foresee any serious issue in fusing voice with other modalities to create a multi-modal biometrics database. The FBI’s BCOE at the Criminal Justice and Information Service Division has sponsored such projects to collect multimodal biometric data including face, iris, face, fingerprint and voice.
What plans are in place for capturing voice recordings in line with the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI project)? What are the short and long term aims?
The US government Inter-agency collaboration began to consider an implementation of a voice data collection for voice biometric application about three years ago in March of 2009 by establishing the Symposium for Investigatory Voice Biometrics (SIVB). The SIVB activity over the past three years was culminated in drafting of the ANSI/NIST ITL Type-11 Voice Record that is meant to enable the interoperability of voice records among laboratories, field offices, and government agencies for investigative and intelligence purposes.
see link for full story

UMSL Staffer Graduates from FBI Citizens Academy

  July 11, 2013 

In her line of work at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, Kendra Perry-Ward comes into contact with FBI agents. Recently, the tables were turned, and she had the opportunity to actually put herself in the shoes of a special agent.
In May, she graduated from the FBI Citizens Academy in St. Louis, according to a press release from UMSL.
“It was exciting to find out first hand how the FBI works,” said Perry-Ward, director of government and business relations for the Center for Nanoscience at UMSL and a resident of Richmond Heights. “We have done a lot of work with the FBI over the years because of the type of research we do here.”
During her time at UMSL, Perry-Ward has has partnered with the bureau on various presentations and seminars. In particular, she coordinates an FBI-led conference at UMSL, which educates faculty on conducting business overseas, research technology protection and cyber safety. 
During the nine-session course taught by FBI agents, Perry-Ward learned varied information—from how the bureau tracks down spies and terrorists to how special agents balance enforce the laws and ensure the constitutional rights of an individual. 
The citizens academy is designed for business, religious and civic leaders who are nominated by an FBI employee or a previous academy graduate.  A limited number of participants are then selected from the pool of nominees. The program is offered nationwide.



French legal complaint targets NSA, FBI, tech firms over Prism

11 Jul, 2013
French legal complaint targets NSA, FBI, tech firms over Prism
PARIS: Two French human rights groups filed a legal complaint on Thursday that targets the U.S. National Security Agency, the FBI and seven technology companies they say may have helped the United States to snoop on French citizens' emails and phone calls.

The complaint, which denounces U.S. spying methods revealed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, is filed against "persons unknown" but names Microsoft, Yahoo , Google, Paltalk, Facebook, AOL and Apple as "potential accomplices" of the NSA and FBI.

see link for full story

Report: Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Get Around Encryption

July 11, 2013 3:55 PM
The latest in seriesof reports on secret U.S. electronic surveillance efforts claims to detail the extent of Microsoft's cooperation with the National Security Agency, with the tech giant reportedly allowing agents to circumvent its own encryption system to spy on email and chats, as well as its cloud-based storage service.
Information in the newspaper's report on Thursday is sourced to Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker who has not been seen in public for weeks and whose whereabouts are the subject of continued rumor and speculation, as .
According to The Guardian, Microsoft helped the NSA and FBI get around its encryption so that the agency could access Outlook.com, including Hotmail, as part of the Prism program aimed at gathering data on Internet communications. Skype, which Microsoft bought two years ago, reportedly worked with intelligence agencies to collect audio and video from the chat service. The newspaper also said that Microsoft eased access to its cloud-based SkyDrive service.
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Went to hear a honor roll list of Blues performers yesterday including Papa Chubbya, Mavis Staples,
the Holmes Brothers and Matt Andersen  http://www.stubbyfingers.ca , and  Sugar Ray and the Blues Tones
down at the waterfront in Rockland Maine. see http://www.northatlanticbluesfestival.com
I am now in the Ray Charles ICU Burn Unit being treated for category 5 stupidity for sitting
in the blazing sun and suffocating humidity for 6 hours.

Down here in the whisper stream we knew about this in the early 1990′s when we brought Vermont Filmaker Roz Payne to speak and exhibit her collection of racist drawings done by FBI agents and posted in black communities. Roz had filed a FOIA request with the FBI in the late 1970′s for any material they had on the Black Panthers. What is amazing is this activity was funded by the taxpayer dime.Guess what Roz found in the boxes the FBI  sent to her?
Roz Payne recently issued a 4 DVD collection of her films of the black panthers that include an interview with retired FBI agent Wesley Swearingen. Swearingen discusses his job at the FBI was working on the San Fransisco FBI Racial Squad. The mandates of the FBI Racial Squad was to neutralize black community leaders and
activists who did not reflect the Military-Corporation viewpoints of America. Tactics included using murder of the activists. Swearingen
was instrumental in getting black Oakland activist Geronimo Pratt released from prison after he served over 25 years for a crime he did not commit. Yep he was framed by taxpayer funded FBI agents.The book written about Pratt LAST MAN STANDING depicts the FBI Death squad accurately.Visit Roz Payne at her website http://www.newsreel.us/



The Sabotage Of Legitimate Dissent

The Black Panther Coloring Book

This is but one horrific example of the tactics used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stifle legitimate dissent and violate the civil rights of political groups that the administration dislikes. Along with the anti-war movement, the Nixon White House targeted the civil rights movement for disruption, using on-campus informants to infiltrate and in many cases to disrupt legal protests and activism.
This coloring book, which was purported to be from the Black Panthers, had actually been rejected by them when it was brought to them by a man later revealed to have intelligence connections. Not to be troubled by the fact that the Panthers found the coloring book revolting, the FBI added even more offensive illustrations, and mass mailed it across America. It so infuriated the white population that they stopped listening to the legitimate grievances of the black people.
While it can be argued that such an action did not technically violate the right of the Black Panthers to free speech (even as it sabotaged the willingness of the people to listen), it is apparent than such a divisive act violated the right of the people, black and white, to peacefully assemble.
At the time, I asked my parents if it didn't seem odd to have a book purported to be by blacks for black children mailed to a white household, but I was outvoted in what was a functionally democratic household. But heck, most of us still thought Oswald acted alone then as well.
I had thought the actual coloring book lost forever, relegated to a mere footnote in the Congressional inquiry into COINTELPRO, when the wonder that is the internet brought it into the light again.




Jailed Journalist Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years for Reporting on Hacked Private Intelligence Firms

Friday, 12 July 2013 13:08 By Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy NOW! | name.
Journalist Barrett Brown spent his 300th day behind bars this week on a range of charges filed after he used information obtained by the hacker group Anonymous to report on the operations of private intelligence firms. Brown faces 17 charges ranging from threatening an FBI agent to credit card fraud for posting a link online to a document that contained stolen credit card data. But according to his supporters, Brown is being unfairly targeted for daring to investigate the highly secretive world of private intelligence and military contractors. Using information Anonymous took from the firm HBGary Federal, Brown helped discover a secret plan to tarnish the reputations of WikiLeaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. Brown similarly analyzed and wrote about the millions of internal company emails from Stratfor Global Intelligence that were leaked in 2011. We speak to Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, whose article "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown" recently appeared in The Nation. "Considering that the person who carried out the actual Stratfor hack had several priors and is facing a maximum of 10 years, the inescapable conclusion is that the problem is not with the hack itself but with Brown’s journalism," Ludlow argues. He adds that the case against Brown could suggest criminality "to even link to something or share a link with someone."


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As NSA leaker Edward Snowden remains at a Moscow airport, Army whistleblower Bradley Manning is on trial, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, today we look at the strange story of another man tied to the world of cyber-activism who faces over a hundred years in prison. His name is Barrett Brown. He’s an investigative reporter with ties to the hacking collective Anonymous. He has spent the past 300 days in jail and has been denied bail. He faces 17 charges, ranging from threatening an FBI agent to credit card fraud for posting a link online to a document that contained stolen credit card data. But according to his supporters, Brown is being unfairly targeted for daring to investigate the highly secretive world of private intelligence and military contractors.
AMY GOODMAN: Before Brown’s path crossed with the FBI, he frequently contributed to Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and other news outlets. In 2009, Brown created Project PM, which was, quote, "dedicated to investigating private government contractors working in the secretive fields of cybersecurity, intelligence and surveillance." He was particularly interested in the documents leaked by WikiLeaks and Anonymous. In the documentary We Are Legion, Barrett Brown explains the importance of information obtained by hackers.
BARRETT BROWN: Some of the most important things that have been—have had the most far-reaching influence and have been the most important in terms of what’s been discovered, not just by Anonymous, but by the media in the aftermath, is the result of hacking. That information can’t be obtained by institutional journalistic process, or it can’t be obtained or won’t be obtained by a congressional committee or a federal oversight committee. For the most part, that information has to be, you know, obtained by hackers.
AMY GOODMAN: In 2011, the group Anonymous hacked into the computer system of the private security firm HBGary Federal and disclosed thousands of internal emails. Barrett Brown has not been accused of being involved in the hack, but he did read and analyze the documents, eventually crowdsourcing the effort through Project PM. One of the first things he discovered was a plan to tarnish the reputations of WikiLeaks and sympathetic journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. Brown similarly analyzed and wrote about the millions of internal company emails for Stratfor Global Intelligence that were leaked on Christmas Eve 2011. Shortly thereafter, the FBI acquired a warrant for Brown’s laptop and authority to seize any information from his communications—or, in journalism parlance, his sources. In September 2012, a troupe of armed agents surged into Brown’s apartment in Dallas, Texas, and handcuffed him face down on the floor. He has been in prison ever since.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, for more, we’re joined by Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University. He has written extensively on hacktivist actions against people—against private intelligence firms and the surveillance state. His recent article for The Nation is called "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown."
Peter Ludlow, welcome to Democracy Now!
PETER LUDLOW: Hi. Thank you very much.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Talk to us about Barrett Brown, the importance of his case, given all the others that we’ve been dealing with on this show now for many years.
PETER LUDLOW: Well, yeah, it’s important for two reasons. First of all, it’s showing that, to some extent, all of us could be targets, because the principal reasons that they’re going after him with this sort of claim that he was involved in credit card fraud or something like that, I mean, that’s completely fallacious. I mean, in effect, what he did was take a link from a chat room and copied that link and pasted it into the chat room for Project PM. That is, he took a link that was broadcast widely on the Internet, and it was a link to the Stratfor hack information, and he just brought it to the attention of the editorial board of Project PM. And because there were, for whatever reason, unencrypted credit card numbers and validation codes among those five million other emails, the government is claiming that he was engaged in credit card fraud. They’re claiming that Project PM was a criminal enterprise. And so, basically, for our interest, why this is interesting to us is basically it makes this dangerous to even link to something or to share a link with someone.
PETER LUDLOW: Go ahead, yeah, please.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, one of the things that you raise is, in some of your writings on this, is the incestuous relationship between the Justice Department, the government and these private firms that are being now targeted by cyber-activists. And could you talk about that, as well?
PETER LUDLOW: Well, sure. A lot of these private intelligence companies are started by ex-CIA, NSA people. Some people come from those agencies and rotate back into the government. I mean, you even see, with the case of Snowden, he was actually a contractor for a private intelligence company, Booz Allen. And, I mean, people think about the NSA, FBI, CIA, and they think of—those are the people that are doing the surveillance of you and doing this intelligence work, but really, if you look at how much the United States spends on intelligence, 70 percent of that is actually going to these private intelligence contractors. So, you know, if you add up CIA, NSA, FBI, that’s just a tip of the iceberg. So there’s all this sort of spook stuff going on in the private realm. And, yeah, right, a lot of it is very incestuous. There’s a revolving door. And no one is investigating it or even talking about it, as far as I can tell.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to Barrett Brown in his own words. In March 2012, Democracy Now! spoke with Barrett soon after his house was raided.
BARRETT BROWN: On March 5th, I received a tip that I was about to be raided by the FBI. I left my apartment here in Dallas, went to my mom’s residence here in the same city. Next morning, three FBI agents arrived at my mom’s place. I went out and talked to them. They said my apartment had just been raided. The door was damaged. They would take care of that. And that they also asked me if I had any laptops with me that I wanted to give them. I said no.
A few hours later, the FBI returned to my mom’s house with another warrant, this time for her house, and detained the both of us for three hours while they searched the residence. They found several laptops I had stashed somewhere in the house and left the search warrants and left another one in my apartment, which I got when I came back here a little after, the next day or so.
The warrants themselves refer to the information that they’re seeking as regarding Anonymous, of course, a few other things of that nature, and also two companies: HBGary and Endgame Systems. Both of these are intelligence contracting companies that Anonymous had a run-in with in February of 2011, during which a number of emails were taken from HBGary, in particular, which themselves revealed a number of conspiracies being perpetuated by those companies in conjunction with Justice Department and several other institutions, including Bank of America, against WikiLeaks and against several journalists.
The time since, I’ve spent a lot of time going over those emails, researching them, conducting other research, otherwise trying to expose a number of things that have been discovered by virtue of those emails from HBGary having been taken. I sincerely believe that my activities on that front contributed to me being raided the other day and will no doubt contribute to any further action that the FBI decides to take. I would just also note the Justice Department itself is very much intertwined with this issue, and has been for a while, and in no way can conduct a fair investigation against me, based on what I’ve revealed, what I’ve helped to sort of emphasize about them.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Barrett Brown in his own words just after the raid.
AMY GOODMAN: Peter Ludlow, talk about what he had released. Talk about what he got from HBGary and how this links to Glenn Greenwald.
PETER LUDLOW: Sure. Well, what they uncovered was—I mean, it’s actually a little bit subtle, right? Because it begins with the Bank of America being concerned that WikiLeaks had information on it. Bank of America goes to the United States Department of Justice. The Department of Justice leads them to Hunton & Williams, the big law fix-it firm in the D.C. area, who in turn hooks them up with a group of private intelligence contractors that went under the umbrella Team Themis. And Team Themis had a number of proposals and projects that were exposed in all of this. They included running kind of a PSYOPs operation against the Chamber Watch, which is a group that sort of monitors the Chamber of Commerce, and it was an attempt to undermine it and Glenn Greenwald and other individuals. And, I mean, there were many, many plans that they had, many, many things, but some of the documents released showed that they were saying they were going to create fake documents, leak them to Greenwald, and then, when Greenwald eventually released them, they would expose it as a fraud and attempt to undermine him in that way. And they had a similar plan for Chamber Watch, as well.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And their concern with Greenwald was that he was giving—that his defense of WikiLeaks was giving legitimacy to WikiLeaks—
PETER LUDLOW: That was—yeah. That was the concern.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —it didn’t deserve.
PETER LUDLOW: That was the concern, yeah. And they actually said in there, "Well, he’s just a professional journalist, and he’ll fold under pressure immediately. I mean, apparently they were wrong about that. So, yeah.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: There were also emails found where these private security firms were assessing the damage that Jeremy Scahill’s books had done to Blackwater?
PETER LUDLOW: Well, actually, those—I ran across that in the Stratfor leaks, and that was kind of interesting, because they were monitoring—they were monitoring this because they were concerned that Blackwater was going to get into the private intelligence business themselves. And they were commenting on Scahill. They go, "Well, yeah, Scahill, you know, I don’t care much for his politics, but he’s really got these guys figured out, yeah?" So that was a little compliment for Scahill, I think.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But the amazing thing in all of this is the degree to which these private security firms are engaging in attempts to influence what’s going on in the public debate on—
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —on intelligence.
PETER LUDLOW: Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, one of the most crazy things in the whole thing was when Coca-Cola approached Stratfor, and they were concerned about PETA, you know, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And why, I’m not entirely sure, but one of the people in Stratfor said, "Well, the FBI has a classified file on PETA. I’ll see if I can get it for you." Now, that little story sums up a lot of stuff that’s wrong about this. First of all, why are private—why is Coca-Cola going to a private intelligence company for this? Why is—why did the private intelligence company feel that they had immediate access to a classified file by the FBI? And why did the FBI have a classified file, to begin with? I mean—but, to me, the creepiest part of that very creepy little story is the fact that the guy at Stratfor felt that he had access to this classified file by the FBI. And the Barrett Brown case revealed something like this, as well. It’s almost like the FBI has become just another private security firm, that it’s become like a private cop for these companies, as it were. And, I mean, that’s part because of the revolving door. It’s part because they get pressed into service for companies that want inside information on activist organizations like PETA.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to take break—
AMY GOODMAN: —and then come back to this conversation. We’re talking to Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, has written extensively on hacktivist actions against private intelligence firms. The piece he most recently wrote is for The Nation, and it’s called "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown." When we come back, I want to ask you how it’s possible he faces a hundred years in prison.
AMY GOODMAN: It makes us think about Aaron Swartz.
AMY GOODMAN: He didn’t face anything like that, but he faced decades in prison.
AMY GOODMAN: He ultimately committed suicide—
PETER LUDLOW: Yeah, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: —before prosecution. Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: Peter Ludlow is our guest, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, has been tracking the case of Barrett Brown and wrote a Nation piece about him, "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown." So, the FBI raids his home, and he ultimately is arrested. He faces 100 years in prison?
PETER LUDLOW: Yeah, if you add up all the charges and if he serves them sequentially, it will be 105 years in prison. Yeah, that’s right.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the decision for no bail?
PETER LUDLOW: That’s a mystery to me.
AMY GOODMAN: He’s been in jail now for 300 days.
PETER LUDLOW: Three hundred days, yeah, over 300 days, no bail. For a while they were—they had frozen his—the contributions to his legal fund, too.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, that sounds like WikiLeaks.
AMY GOODMAN: Meaning that’s what happened to Wiki—well, WikiLeaks, they had all these different corporations like PayPal refuse to allow money to go to them.
PETER LUDLOW: Yeah, right.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to an interview Barrett Brown did with NBC’s Michael Isikoff serving as a spokesperson for Anonymous.
BARRETT BROWN: Our people break laws, just like all people break laws. When we break laws, we do so in the service of civil disobedience. We do so ethically. We do it against targets who have asked for it.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: You go against targets that have asked for it.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: What do you mean?
BARRETT BROWN: Targets who have engaged in a manner that is either unethical and contrary to the—sort of the values of this age, information freedom. Just, I mean—and sometimes just plain common sense, in the case of them going after journalists, going after WikiLeaks, in the way that they were planning to do so.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: But you can attack websites.
BARRETT BROWN: Yes, we can attack websites. We can DDoS them. We can sometimes hack them. We can sometimes take over the websites themselves, put messages up, as we did today with Westboro and as we did with—with the company HBGary and other federal contractors during that attack.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: You can—you can—
BARRETT BROWN: Take it over, debase it.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: —take over the websites of government contractors.
BARRETT BROWN: And governments, of course. In Tunisia and in Libya, Algeria and Egypt and Iran, we either took down or replaced government websites. We replaced them with messages from us to the people of those nations, explaining what we’re doing and why and what we’ll provide if they choose to revolt.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Are you worried you’re going to get prosecuted?
BARRETT BROWN: I’m not worried about it, but I am going to get prosecuted at some point, yes.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Because you’re involved in hacking activity.
BARRETT BROWN: Because they could do whatever they want to anyone they want.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: But you’re not worried?
BARRETT BROWN: No, because, again, like I said, I’m well protected right now.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: What do you mean, well protected?
BARRETT BROWN: I’ve got a lot of lawyers. I’ve got a lot of higher-up people. I’ve got people to talk to who will—who support us. And if they come after me, they’re going to find that they’re not going to like everything that they see.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Barrett Brown talking to NBC’s Michael Isikoff. Well, the fact is, Barrett Brown has been in prison now for 300 days, and he faces decades in prison. Can you explain—that’s when he was an Anonymous spokesperson—what Anonymous is? And then also talk about the groups he exposed, like Endgame and others, though he wasn’t the only one to do that.
PETER LUDLOW: Sure. I have to think he was a little bit optimistic there in his claims about how he was all lawyered up there. But he was a—he was related to Anonymous, which is—it’s not a group, per se. You know, you or I could claim to be members of Anonymous. It’s more like a flag that you fly if you choose to. And so, there was a loosely knit group of hacktivists. Some of them were intersecting. They carried out hacks against—as he says, against various private intelligence contractors and other kinds of targets. He’s quite right that during the Arab Spring and the Tunisian uprising and so forth, members of Anonymous did a lot of work in keeping protesters online and in minimizing the effectiveness of the governments in the Middle East in that time.
And then you asked about—
PETER LUDLOW: —things like Endgame Systems, for example. Yeah, Endgame is a very interesting thing. I mean, Endgame is this kind of very secretive private intelligence company. And you even see in the HBGary hack, you see these messages where someone from Endgame says in an email, "We don’t ever want to see our name in a press release from you guys." And what makes it particularly interesting is, if you read the search warrant that’s issued to Barrett when he’s busted, it says, "Well, we’re looking for stuff related to HBGary and Endgame Systems." You know, like, why Endgame Systems?
And this is a corporation that’s involved in what are called "zero-day exploits." Now, what’s a zero-day exploit? Basically, what that means is that there are certain security flaws in the software that we have and that we use, and sometimes the company doesn’t know about it. Sometimes it’s known about it for seven days, and they’ve had seven days to work on it. A zero-day exploit is one that the software company doesn’t know about. And Endgame Systems packages these things and sells them. So, for example, they have one where you get—it’s a subscription for like $2.5 million a year, and you get these exploits. So it’s things that a hacker would do, but because they’re a business and they’re making money for it, it’s—apparently it’s OK, right? And it seems that the Justice Department is kind of running interference for these guys. And there’s a—I mean, you don’t have to take my word for it. There’s a great article in Businessweek on this in which they talk about the guys from Endgame, you know, running—setting up slides and showing you targets in airports, telling you what the computers are running there, and what kind of the—what the vulnerabilities are and so forth.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And who runs Endgame? Where are they based?
PETER LUDLOW: They’re based in Atlanta, Georgia, I believe. Someone recently posted a video on YouTube in which he walked into the place and—just to see what was going on there. And the people—I think it’s an ex—it’s started by an ex-intelligence person and by a security guy at IBM.
AMY GOODMAN: And, very quickly, Project PM?
PETER LUDLOW: Yeah. Project PM is basically Barrett’s—I mean, one of the genius things about Barrett was that he wanted to crowdsource all this information, because you get a hack of Stratfor and it’s five million emails, and how do you sort through all that? So he had a number of friends and acquaintances, including Michael Hastings, by the way, who were members of Project PM.
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Hastings, the reporter who just died in a fiery car crash.
PETER LUDLOW: The reporter who just died in the suspicious car accident, yeah, exactly right. And so, they would—he would basically crowdsource this. And so, the case where he copied that link, he was basically notifying the members of Project PM where they could find the information from the Stratfor hack.
AMY GOODMAN: So, what’s the schedule of—we just have 30 seconds—
AMY GOODMAN: —of what will happen to Barrett Brown right now? He’s in jail in Texas.
PETER LUDLOW: Yeah. I mean, he’s got a great legal team. Charles Swift is one of them, the guy from the judge advocate general’s thing that took that Gitmo case all the way to the Supreme Court.
PETER LUDLOW: Ahmed Ghappour, who’s at University of Texas Law School. There’s a group of individuals with freebarrettbrown.org who are raising money for him there, and they’re available if you have questions and so forth.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’ll certainly follow this case, Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University. He’s written extensively on hacktivist actions against private intelligence firms and the surveillance state. His most recent piece is in The Nation; it’s called "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown." We will link to it at democracynow.org.

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link de jour



June 13, 2013 by Common Dreams
Edward Snowden: The Asymmetry of Courage
by Robert Shetterly

One of the ironies of warfare is that an apparently vastly superior force can be defeated by an apparently much weaker one when the weaker force refuses to meet the more powerful on its own terms, play by its rules, square off army to army, submit to punch and counterpunch. A combination of strategy and tactics designed by the weaker force to enervate the morale, confidence and finances of the powerful may prove decisive --- as it did for the American revolutionaries against the British, North Vietnamese & Viet Cong against the U.S., or the Afghanis against the Soviets. In 1975 Andrew Mack first used the term “asymmetric warfare” to describe this phenomenon in an article called Why Big Nations Lose Small Wars. A materially weaker force with higher motivation --- they may be fighting for their own land --- and greater perseverance may prevail. The weaker force may be beleaguered by the horrible and high tech weaponry of exorbitant power --- stealth bombers, napalm, cluster bombs, cruise missiles and drones, depleted uranium, helicopter gun ships and satellite surveillance --- but it manages to dodge and absorb, go underground, patiently wait to strike an exposed weakness.Rally in support of Edward Snowden in Manhattan's Union Square (Mario Tama / Getty Images )

I was thinking about asymmetry this week as the story of Edward Snowden unfolded. This story, one young man pitted against our national security state, is an extreme asymmetry, but the disparity is not between lesser and greater violent forces. And, for that reason, it could not properly be called a David versus Goliath confrontation. David was small but armed with sling & stone. Edward’s only “weapons” are courage and truth.

In asymmetric warfare, the powerful say, “Come out and fight on our terms! We’ll show you who’s stronger!” The weaker say, “Not on your life! We plan to win, not commit suicide.”

Conversely, in a contest of asymmetric courage, the lone whistleblower says to the powerful institutions, “Come out and fight on my terms --- ethics, courage, truth, law!” And there is deafening silence from the powerful institutions because with all their secret knowledge and secret money, their special forces and spies, their torture and secret prisons, they have not courage. They have not ethics, truth or law. They are muscled up with conformity, with arrogance, with self-congratulatory winks and nods. They have the power to easily crush the person of courage, to discredit him in the media, to arrest and convict him in a kangaroo court, to torture him, disappear him, force feed him. They have secret protocol and secret policy, the power to change the law to legalize atrocity. But they have no courage. They have the pathetic vanity of a steroid-pumped-up robots flexing in front of a mirror. With satisfied smirks they ask rhetorically, “Who’s the strongest in the world?” But they have no courage.

Thomas Jefferson said, "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." He could have been commenting on the situation of Edward Snowden or any one of so many recent whistleblowers. People fear the government when it secretly and lawlessly insinuates itself into the fabric of their lives with the ever present threat that each person could be plucked out of that fabric with no recourse. This is done in the name of security. But a government that spies on its own people actually prefers fear to security. Or, simply, the security of fear. There should be no trade off or balancing act, no compromise, between our freedoms and our security. Our freedoms are our security. Sacrificing our privacy, which is our autonomy as individuals, for the sake of security is like willingly agreeing to be half a slave.

The false dichotomy between security and freedom obscures a more important fact. When we wring our hands and listen to a president pontificate about how to balance this either/or, we are encouraged not to notice that it is our foreign, military and economic policies that are designed to create injustice and insecurity. Imperialism, both soft and hard, fosters anger and insecurity. The obsession with secrecy is absurd. There is no secrecy about this. The only secret worth divining is where the next moral hero will come from to expose the extent of tyranny and inspire more people to act with asymmetric courage. In that action is the hope of democracy. In that “illegal” action is the hope of the rule of law.

Edward Snowden reminds me of Rachel Corrie, who was run over and killed by an armored Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003 as she placed herself --- asymmetrically --- between the bulldozer and a Palestinian home she hoped to protect from destruction. The similarity between Rachel and Edward is in the nature of the stand-off --- isolated courage versus brute power. The difference is that no one knew about Rachel’s courage until it was too late. We all know about Edward, and, perhaps, if we can summon a fraction of his courage, we can protect him and thus change the policy.

In early 2003 shortly after arriving in Palestine, in her first email home, Rachel said, “I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons.” She assumed that all Americans would recognize constant surveillance as a prime indicator of tyranny. Like Rachel, Edward attempts to protect an increasingly fragile structure, our Constitution and the democracy it is meant to house. Edward said, "...they [the NSA] are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them." While our national security state has all the ideological arrogance and democratic sensitivity of a bulldozer operated by a storm trooper, it is susceptible to and befuddled by courage. It blusters, it growls, it threatens and backfires. It uses its x-ray vision to spy out the color of our underwear and the temerity of our intention to resist. But, ultimately, it’s a coward.

Edward Snowden’s courage is like a lever the end of which he shoved under the NSA’s enormous dead weight. Whether the weight moves depends on how many of us grab on. Asymmetry can move mountains.
Robert Shetterly

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 9/11 could be insurance fraud as “trial” of conspiring duo begins in NY today

The insurance companies are not openly accusing Silverstein of insurance fraud, presumably because doing so would threaten to demolish the 9/11 cover-up and bring down the US and Israeli governments at free-fall speed.”
Is this the world's worst case of insurance fraud...ever?

That's what many are saying, as the world's biggest real-estate swindler and the world's most corrupt judge meet in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. At issue: billions of dollars in loot from the demolition of the World Trade Center complex on September 11th, 2001.

World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein - who confessed on national television to “pulling” World Trade Center Building 7 - will appear in the courtroom of Judge Alvin Hellerstein at 500 Pearl St. in New York City. The non-jury trial, which is expected to last three days, will decide whether Silverstein is entitled to recover $3.5 billion from airlines and airport-related companies, in addition to the $4.9 billion he has already received for his “losses” on September 11th.

The question on everyone's mind is: Why is Silverstein claiming that airliners destroyed his buildings, when he has already confessed to demolishing at least one of them himself? In the 2002 PBS documentary “America Rebuilds,” Silverstein admitted to complicity in the controlled demolition of WTC-7, a 47-story skyscraper that dropped into its own footprint in 6.5 seconds.

The mysterious destruction of Building 7 has become the Rosetta Stone of 9/11. Virtually all independent experts who have studied the case, including thousands of architects and engineers, agree that the government's explanation - that a few small office fires somehow destroyed WTC-7 - is a non-starter. Building 7, these experts say, was obviously taken down in a controlled demolition, as Silverstein himself admitted. (A nationwide ad campaign called “Re-Think 9/11” will remind millions of Americans about Building 7 this September.)

Despite his confession to demolishing his own building, Silverstein has already received $861 million from insurers for Building 7 alone, as well as over $4 billion for the rest of the Trade Center complex. That $861 million for WTC-7 was paid on the basis of Silverstein's claim that airplanes were somehow responsible for making Building 7, which was not hit by any plane, disappear at free-fall acceleration.

    The insurance companies are not openly accusing Silverstein of insurance fraud, presumably because doing so would threaten to demolish the 9/11 cover-up and bring down the US and Israeli governments at free-fall speed. But they have gone so far as to call Silverstein's demand for more money “absurd,” a considerable understatement.

The insurance companies claim that Silverstein's demands amount to “double recovery.” They say that Silverstein was already paid $4.9 billion - vastly more than the paltry $115 million or so that he and his backers paid for the complex just weeks before it was demolished - so why is he asking for another $3.5 billion? Silverstein's answer: He needs the money.

And does he ever. He was originally demanding an extra $11 billion, before Hellerstein capped it at $3.5 billion.

The insurers have not mentioned the fact that the World Trade Center Towers were condemned for asbestos in early 2001, just months before Silverstein bought them in July, six weeks prior to their demolition. They have not mentioned that Silverstein doubled the insurance coverage when he purchased the Trade Center. They have not mentioned that Silverstein hardballed his insurers to change the coverage to “cash payout.” They have not mentioned that Silverstein engineered his purchase of the Trade Center through fellow Zionist billionaire Lewis Eisenberg, Chair of the Republican National Committee and head of the New York Port Authority.

As Christopher Bollyn wrote in 2002:

“Silverstein and Eisenberg have both held leadership positions with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), a billion dollar Zionist 'charity' organization. Silverstein is a former chairman of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc. This is an umbrella organization which raises hundreds of millions of dollars every year for its network of hundreds of member Zionist agencies in the United States and Israel.”

According to Ha'aretz, Silverstein is a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. They speak on the phone every weekend.

The insurance companies have likewise neglected to mention that after doubling his insurance coverage immediately before 9/11, Silverstein re-doubled his winnings after 9/11 by claiming double indemnity. According to Silverstein's spokesman, “the two hijacked airliners that struck the 110-story twin towers Sept. 11 were separate 'occurrences' for insurance purposes, entitling him to collect twice on $3.6 billion of policies.” The bizarre double-indemnity claim was approved in 2004.

Additionally, the insurers have failed to mention that on the morning of 9/11, Silverstein and his daughter both failed to show up for their daily breakfast at Windows on the World restaurant atop the North Tower. Both offered flimsy pretexts - Silverstein claiming that he had suddenly remembered a dermatologist's appointment.

How has Silverstein managed to get away with murder, in the most obvious case of insurance fraud ever?

Thanks to his partner in crime, Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

Hellerstein's courtroom is Ground Zero in the cover-up of the crimes of 9/11. Virtually all 9/11 litigation has been funneled through his courtroom, including Ellen Mariani's recent lawsuit against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others.

Like Silverstein and Eisenberg, Hellerstein is a rabid Zionist with close ties to Israel. The judge's son and sister both emigrated from the US to orthodox Zionist settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn writes: “Hellerstein's son is an Israeli lawyer who emigrated to Israel in 2001 and whose law firm works for and with the Rothschild-funded Mossad company responsible for the 9-11 terror attacks.”

Bollyn notes that Hellerstein's son, an Israeli lawyer, represents “the Mossad-controlled airport security firm named International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS) N.V., which is the owner of Huntleigh U.S.A., the passenger screening company that checked the passengers that boarded the aircraft at the key airports on 9-11.”

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An FBI Life

Edward S. Miller, a lifetime G-man, left behind a trail of fascinating tales that merit remembrance.
America has lost a good man and dedicated servant. Edward S. Miller, a lifetime FBI man, has departed this country and this world, leaving behind a trail of fascinating tales and deeds — involving characters as diverse as J. Edgar Hoover, Presidents Nixon, Carter, and Reagan, the Communist Party USA, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and the Weather Underground — that merit remembrance.
Ed Miller was born on Veterans Day, November 11, 1923, in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the smoky steel town of McKeesport along the Monongahela River. As a teen, he worked as a lifeguard at a large, sandy beach pool at historic Kennywood Park. Directly out of high school, he headed to the Pacific Theater, where he was a platoon sergeant in Okinawa.
Discharged from the Army in February 1946, after four years of war, Miller attended Grove City College (where I teach) in Grove City, Pennsylvania. He studied political science and law and earned his bachelor’s degree. An even greater achievement, he met his future wife, Pat.
Wasting no time finding his place and mission in the wider world after graduation, Miller joined J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI in November 1950 — and would never look back. He was assigned first to Los Angeles, then to San Francisco, Washington, Mobile, Honolulu, Chicago, and finally back to Washington, where in 1971 he rose to lead the Intelligence Division. By October 1973, Miller was named assistant to the director, placed in charge of all investigative operations. By the time he retired in 1974, the kid from the mill-town was credentialed as the 8th highest ranking person among 10,000 serving the FBI.
But those titles, impressive as they are, obscure the dramatic details of Miller’s everyday duties. Ed Miller spent many hours tracking radicals and communist subversives operating on American soil. Among them was the insidious Weather Underground, led by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and others who today have found reincarnation as tenured professors and “Progressives for Obama.” Miller and his men worked hard trying to locate Ayers and Dohrn and friends as the domestic bombers fled law enforcement as literal “Most Wanted” fugitives. It sounds like exciting work, and it was. It was also dangerous.
In Chicago, in October 1969, the Weather Underground launched its brutal Days of Rage, a violent political rampage. The young revolutionaries clashed with over a thousand police. They left over 30 officers (whom they called “pigs”) injured and one city official paralyzed. Their organized riot had commenced on October 5, when the “flower children” dynamited the statue commemorating the Chicago police who had been killed in the 1886 Haymarket Riot. It was one of the ugliest days in Chicago history (which is saying something). Comrade Dohrn was anointed the commissar of the “Women’s Militia” for the wondrous event. Her beaming beau, Billy Ayers, stood proudly at her side.
Ed Miller’s work in Chicago was exciting but also perilous. It was not the most enviable assignment — and would ultimately create havoc in his life. Four years his retirement, in 1978, Jimmy Carter’s Justice Department prosecuted Miller and other agents for authorizing alleged “questionable investigative techniques” in their attempts to find the Weather Underground terrorists. These were techniques the FBI had used for years. Miller’s counsel made that case in court. Carter’s Justice Department disagreed. It was a slap in the face after so many years of noble service. Even worse, Ayers and Dohrn did no jail time. “Guilty as hell, free as a bird!” Ayers later triumphantly exclaimed.
Miller was buoyed by a strong show of public support, including the presence of a huge number (over 1,000, by one account) of FBI agents who came to the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia in April 1978 to rally behind him during his arraignment. A joint resolution was introduced in Congress by Rep. Leo Zeferetti (D-NY) and Sen. S.I. Hayakawa (R-Cal.) urging dismissal of all charges. Nonetheless, the Carter administration’s “justice” moved forward, and Miller and his good friends L. Patrick Gray III and Mark Felt — who we now know as Watergate’s “Deep Throat” — were convicted in November 1980.
It was grossly unfair. Mercifully, however, the same week that Miller was convicted his countrymen evicted Jimmy Carter from the White House. Ronald Reagan had been outraged by Miller’s treatment, and said so openly. Shortly after Reagan’s inauguration in January 1981, while Miller’s conviction was on appeal, the new president pardoned the FBI veteran, saying in a formal statement: “America was at war in 1972 and Miller followed procedures he believed essential to keep the FBI Director, the Attorney General, and the President of the United States advised of the activities of hostile foreign powers and their collaborators in this country.”
In his typical fashion, Reagan went further. He sent a personal letter to Miller on April 28, 1981, not even a full month after being struck by an assassin’s bullet, apologizing for the slowness of his pardon. “I’m sorry it took so long,” wrote the president, just out of the hospital, “but I couldn’t push bureaucracy into a higher speed.” Miller had thanked Reagan, but Reagan responded: “You owe me no thanks.”
I PERSONALLY FIRST MET Ed Miller only a few months ago, though I knew of him before then. He had contacted me in September 2012 after reading my book The Communist, which examined Frank Marshall Davis, Barack Obama’s communist mentor in Hawaii. Davis had left Chicago’s Communist Party USA circles for a new network of agitators in Honolulu. Having been stationed at both the Honolulu and Chicago offices of the FBI, Miller thus knew and worked with several of the figures I chronicled. He wrote to thank me for “sharing” Davis with the people of America. He also informed me how he had been rudely thrust out of lovely Honolulu and into ugly Chicago courtesy of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and friends. In his letter, he remarked almost in passing that “Jimmy Carter persecuted me for trying too hard to capture Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.”
Ed and I met in March 2013, at his modest townhouse in Fairfax, Virginia. His mind was razor sharp, an encyclopedia of dates and names and figures, and he was a ball of energy. He told me about his lifetime of FBI work, showed me personal notes and signed books he received over the years from Richard Nixon, talked about Soviet espionage and its tentacles into America, about the Hawaii and Chicago offices, about the Weather Underground, about Watergate.
As to the latter, Ed Miller was not involved, but he certainly had valuable insight. He was a close friend, after all, of Mark Felt. Ed gave me a copy of a lengthy document he had written on Watergate and endeavored to get into the hands of Bob Woodward. This was something he badly wanted to pass along — one of the final things he wanted to do. He had sent it to Woodward in August 2011 but never heard back. I have a copy of the document, as does Miller’s family. From my reading, it contains no bombshell revelation, but it most definitely has unique information of clear value to any student or historian of Watergate, Mark Felt, J. Edgar Hoover, or generally this important period in the history of our government. (Mr. Woodward, are you listening?)
That said, among the most interesting things Ed Miller wanted people to know were his sentiments about the late, great, embattled, and controversial J. Edgar Hoover. What he told me isn’t the standard Hoover narrative we hear in Hollywood today. Quite the contrary:
“He was terrific!” Miller said, his eyes wide open, a big smile. “Absolutely brilliant. He was great. And he was sharp as could be.”
Miller saw J. Edgar Hoover as a model boss who wanted truth and integrity and “backed us totally and always.” He wanted reliable, accurate information from his men. Hoover told Miller and his colleagues: “There’s one thing to remember: You need to be entirely objective.” This was true for information collection and for the kind of men hired into the agency. Miller recalled an instance where Lyndon Johnson three times sent letters to Hoover demanding that Miller hire a certain individual from New Jersey. This was the typical LBJ political pressure. Miller didn’t agree with the hire. A frustrated LBJ called Hoover and asked, “Why do you keep turning down this guy?” Hoover answered: “Because my men don’t want him.”
When Miller was newly hired as acting director of the Intelligence Division, Hoover asked him to “go over there and remove the bad apples.” Hoover was a man of action, quick action. When he hadn’t heard back from Miller in three weeks, he called to follow up. Miller answered, “I haven’t decided yet.” Hoover was silent before saying only “okay.” Three weeks later, Hoover called again. Miller responded, “I’m still considering.” Hoover gave a short, “Hmmm.” Another three weeks passed. This time Miller told Hoover: “I’ve decided that all the bad apples are already gone.” Hoover replied: “Is that your decision?” Miller said “yes.” Hoover then finished, “Okay, thank you.”
Said Miller: “I gave him not what I thought he wanted but what was best for the FBI, and he appreciated that. He respected that.”
In fact, that was indeed what Hoover wanted: what was best for the FBI.
Miller had tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat as he related a final story. Stationed in Hawaii in 1967, he had been invited to speak about the FBI to Marines getting some much needed R&R from Vietnam. (Miller would throughout his life lecture on the FBI, and regularly lectured at the academy at Quantico as late as 2012.) He began by telling the men that the bureau and Marine Corps had much in common; in fact, he added, that very day happened to be the 43rd anniversary of Hoover’s start as director of the agency.
Miller was stunned when suddenly, at that simple acknowledgment of Hoover’s lengthy tenure, every man in the audience started applauding loudly and vigorously. It wasn’t “the usual kind of applause,” recalled Miller, “but firm cadence applause where you could hear every beat and they didn’t quit.”
“I was destroyed,” Miller said, “choked up by two or three hundred young warriors from all over the country whom I thought couldn’t have known much about Mr. Hoover, but they did. If only his critics could see this!” Miller promised the young men that if he got the chance he would personally inform Hoover of their appreciation.
He made good on that promise about four-and-a-half years later. Hoover had been taking quite a public beating in the press. Miller felt that Hoover was “really hurting,” and he shared the story just as he left the boss’s office. The boss heard every word, and didn’t respond. Six months later, J. Edgar Hoover was dead.
ASKED ABOUT THE RUMORS and sexual innuendo regarding Hoover, Miller insisted they were “absolutely false.” He said that Hoover and Clyde Tolson (his alleged “partner”) lived in separate places and that Hoover was a heterosexual who dated women, including glamorous actress Dorothy Lamour, whom Miller says Hoover nearly married: “She dumped him because he was married to his job, which he was…. Hey, he had one hell of an interesting job! And he was always very busy.”
Miller chalks up the rumors to Hoover’s political enemies, especially the left and far left — and communists in particular. That is hardly an unreasonable assertion. No one excelled at disinformation and blatantly vicious lies and character assassination quite like the Communist Party. Communists and liberals/“progressives” generally long despised Hoover and the FBI, whom they vigorously portrayed as McCarthyite reprobates and witch-hunters. CPUSA had good reason to hate the FBI. As Miller told me, the FBI’s work on “surreptitious entries” (aimed at Soviet agents/espionage) was “what killed Communist Party USA.”
It certainly helped. To this day, the left has never forgiven J. Edgar Hoover for his unflagging anti-communism. “He was very conservative,” said Miller of Hoover’s politics. “And the liberal politicians, especially Frank Church, really went after him. Going after him was a great way for them to get publicity.”
I cannot confirm all that Miller told me about Hoover (especially about the Tolson and sexual allegations), but his take on the left’s contempt and attacks on Hoover absolutely makes sense.
After a conversation that went way too long, I left for the snowy drive back to Grove City. Ed Miller gave me a parting gift: an American flag. That, too, absolutely makes sense. If there was one thing that Ed Miller loved more than the FBI and his family, it was America and that flag. He served it dutifully.
Ed Miller passed away on July 1, 2013, surrounded by Pat, his beloved wife of six decades, and his three children and their families. It was a life of integrity, well lived, fascinating and full — including full of faith for his family, country, and for God.
Ed Miller, FBI man, requiescat in pace.

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Fmr ETX FBI agent pleads guilty to possession of more than 30 unregistered firearms

A former FBI agent has pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm.
On May 22, 2013, former FBI agent, John Gordon Brody, 44, plead guilty to possession of unregistered firearms.
All firearms and associated ammunition accessories were seized from the defendant. Officials found 38 unregistered firearms as well as more than 45 ammunition accessories. (See attached documents for list of firearms and ammunition accessories)

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Contempt hearing for Dallas DA ends, order stayed

  July 15, 2013
Photo By LM Otero
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2012 file photo, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins talks about the death penalty in a courtroom in Dallas. Watkins has built a national reputation as Texas' first black district attorney and the face of an office that has freed more than 30 wrongfully convicted people in the last decade. But at home, Watkins is entangled in an FBI investigation and a contempt of court order that could land him behind bars and cripple his status as an advocate for criminal justice.
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas County district attorney headed off a potentially damaging hearing Monday on whether he committed contempt of court, as his attorneys accused the judge who cited him of musing about serving him "on a silver platter to the FBI."
Craig Watkins could have faced jail time if another judge decided State District Judge Lena Levario was right to cite him for contempt earlier this year. Instead, Watkins' attorneys persuaded Judge Bob Brotherton, of Wichita Falls, to stop the hearing after less than an hour because Levario did not included a punishment for Watkins in her order or a way for him to have the contempt citation lifted.
Before Levario could enter a new order Monday, Watkins' attorneys asked her to recuse herself. A third judge must now decide whether Levario can stay on the case or to assign it to someone else.
Monday's hearings focused on an increasingly bitter fight between Levario, who demanded Watkins answer questions about a case in his office, and prosecutors who argue she was out of place.
Watkins' lawyers on Monday filed a sworn statement from a county employee who claims to have heard Levario in May say she would serve Watkins "on a silver platter to the FBI."
The employee, Jill Reese, says in her statement that she had been demoted and blamed Levario.
"We don't believe that she can be fair and impartial on this issue," said Heath Harris, Watkins' top deputy, who filed his own sworn statement against Levario, saying she is unable to "do something as simple as hold someone in contempt."
Levario said during an afternoon hearing that she hadn't ordered sanctions for Watkins because his other attorneys told her she could not do so, which prosecutors denied.
Watkins faces scrutiny over his office's prosecution of Al Hill III, a great-grandson of the oil titan H.L. Hunt, for mortgage fraud. Hill's attorneys accused Watkins of pushing the case forward as a favor to Lisa Blue, a prominent Dallas attorney and campaign donor.
After Watkins refused earlier this year to answer questions about the case, Levario held him in contempt and dismissed the charges against Hill.
She has also signed an order giving FBI agents access to files in the case, raising the specter of a federal investigation. No charges have been filed, and the FBI has declined to comment.
Watkins' attorneys demanded that Levario recuse herself or ask a higher ranking judge to decide whether she should be replaced. That judge, Regional Administrative Judge John Ovard, said Monday that he wouldn't make a decision until later this week, after Levario refused to step back from the case on her own.
"I gave him a fair trial," Levario said Monday afternoon. "I'm not going to recuse myself."
She declined to answer questions after the hearing.
Watkins became Dallas County's district attorney in 2007 and has won national acclaim for his office's work in freeing the wrongfully convicted, including creating the first conviction integrity unit in Texas. More than 30 inmates wrongly convicted of murders, rapes and other serious crimes have been freed in the last decade, most during Watkins' tenure.
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U.S. reviewing 27 death penalty convictions for FBI forensic testimony errors

 Wednesday, July 17, 2013
An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said.
It is not known how many of the cases involve errors, how many led to wrongful convictions or how many mistakes may now jeopardize valid convictions. Those questions will be explored as the review continues.
The discovery of the more than two dozen capital cases promises that the examination could become a factor in the debate over the death penalty. Some opponents have long held that the execution of a person confirmed to be innocent would crystallize doubts about capital punishment. But if DNA or other testing confirms all convictions, it would strengthen proponents’ arguments that the system works.
FBI officials discussed the review’s scope as they prepare to disclose its first results later this summer. The death row cases are among the first 120 convictions identified as potentially problematic among more than 21,700 FBI Laboratory files being examined. The review was announced last July by the FBI and the Justice Department, in consultation with the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
The unusual collaboration came after The Washington Post reported last year that authorities had known for years that flawed forensic work by FBI hair examiners may have led to convictions of potentially innocent people, but officials had not aggressively investigated problems or notified defendants.
At issue is a once-widespread practice by which some FBI experts exaggerated the significance of “matches” drawn from microscopic analysis of hair found at crime scenes.
Since at least the 1970s, written FBI Laboratory reports typically stated that a hair association could not be used as positive identification. However, on the witness stand, several agents for years went beyond the science and testified that their hair analysis was a near-certain match.
The new review listed examples of scientifically invalid testimony, including claiming to associate a hair with a single person “to the exclusion of all others,” or to state or suggest a probability for such a match from past casework.
Whatever the findings of the review, the initiative is pushing state and local labs to take similar measures.
For instance, the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday directed all labs under its jurisdiction to take the first step to scrutinize hair cases, in a state that has executed more defendants than any other since 1982.
Separately, FBI officials said their intention is to review and disclose problems in capital cases even after a defendant has been executed.

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So Then the FBI Sent Out an Agent to Check Up on My FOIA Request ...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012
FBI agent Bill Tidwell's report about the visit he made last August to the residence of Hesham Abu Zubaidah to question him about a Freedom of Information Act request for his FBI files made by Truthout lead investigative reporter Jason Leopold.Early last year, I discovered that Abu Zubaidah, the first high-value detainee who was held in top-secret CIA black site prisons and brutally tortured, has a younger brother who lives in the United States.
Research I was conducting on the accused terrorist led me to a three-year-old comment posted on Guantanamo reporter Andy Worthington's blog about Abu Zubaidah, the alleged terrorist, left by someone who identified himself as Hesham Abu Zubaidah.
"Yes that is my brother and I live in Oregon," the commenter said. "Do you think I should have been locked away for 2 years with no charges for a [sic] act of a sibling? I am the younger brother of [Abu Zubaidah] and I live in the USA. Tell me what you think."
Wow! This is a big deal, I thought. What's Hesham's story? Why haven't we heard from him before? And what could he tell me about his brother, the alleged terrorist?
I tracked Hesham down to Florida. He had a fascinating tale to tell, which I have spent the past 14 months fleshing out. The result is a 15,000-word investigative report published on Truthout today about Hesham's pursuit of the American dream and the high price he paid because he says he shares a surname with an older brother who is an infamous alleged terrorist.
In addition to the disturbing revelations about the government's treatment of Hesham over the past decade, my report also contains the first new details about Hesham's brother, who is referred to in my investigative report by the nickname his father gave him,"Hani." In April 2000, Hani made three telephone calls to the United States when he was supposedly under surveillance. Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the joint Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, told me the calls should have been shared with his panel and the so-called independent panel set up to investigate the attacks but wasn't. 
Moreover, Hesham revealed to me that, back in October 2010, he was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, to confirm that his brother was the person in a videotape speaking about jihad and 9/11, which was later used in the war crimes tribunal of a Guantanamo detainee.
Hesham was also recruited by the FBI as a confidential informant. For nearly three years, Hesham was tasked with spying on congregants at Sunni and Shia mosques in Portland, Oregon, and was told by his FBI handler to pay close attention to an imam at the Masjed As-Saber mosque named Sheikh Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye, a native of Somalia, who the FBI has been trying to link to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for at least a decade. Hesham said he agreed to work as an informant because his FBI handler led him to believe the bureau would help him obtain US citizenship.
My investigation turned into a yearlong project, largely due to the fact that I had filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records on Hesham with several government agencies and waited many months for responses. It was the FBI's response to my FOIA on Hesham that led me to believe his story was bigger than I had originally thought it to be.
Hoping to gain deeper insight into his work as an FBI informant and the role he says the FBI played in his immigration case, I asked Hesham for permission to file a FOIA request with the bureau for his entire file. He agreed and signed a certification of identity form requesting that the agency turn over all of the records it maintained on him to me. Hesham visited a notary public and had the certification of identity form he signed notarized.
My FOIA request was filed in May 2011. The FBI sent me a letter that said the bureau's FOIA office was processing my request. Then, last August, the FBI sent out a special agent from the FBI's Tampa field office to speak with Hesham about my FOIA.
Bill Tidwell showed up at the home of Hesham and Jody Abu Zubaidah, his wife, on the morning of August 26, 2011. Hesham was at work. Jody's mother, who was living with the couple at the time, answered the knock at the door. She told Jody there was "some guy in a suit at the front door."
Jody stepped outside and Tidwell flashed his FBI badge. He said he needed to speak with Hesham. Tidwell said Hesham wasn't "in any trouble, but it was important." Jody told Tidwell Hesham was at work. Tidwell returned later that afternoon. Tidwell told Hesham he was sent by FBI headquarters to speak with him about the FOIA request I filed. Tidwell used my name. The agent asked Hesham how I found him and what my intentions were. Hesham told him that I was writing a story about him and that he told me "everything." Tidwell asked Hesham to brief him on what he had told me.
"Did Jason Leopold force you to sign [the certification of identity] form? Did he offer you any money?" Tidwell asked Hesham.
"No," Hesham said. "I am not being paid."
Jody, who was present during the meeting, took meticulous notes.
"Listen, I don't know what's in your file but you do understand that once it's released, all of that information on you will be public and everyone will see it," Tidwell said.
"Yes," Hesham said. "I know. That's what I want."
"I believe there may be information in there some people don't want publicized," Tidwell said. "Why do you need Jason Leopold to get this information out?"
Hesham told the special agent his life story and the "spying" he did for the bureau. He said that he has been living in limbo for the past decade as a resident - but not a citizen - of the United States. No one was helping him, and he felt the time was right to tell his story. He told Tidwell what his FBI handler informed him when he asked her if she could help him obtain a green card that his case was stuck on a shelf and couldn't be touched.
"Whose life deserves to be stuck on a shelf?" Hesham asked Tidwell.
Tidwell and Hesham spoke for two hours. Before he left, Tidwell told Hesham he was going to write up a report and talk to the officials at headquarters who sent him out to meet with Hesham.
"I am going to call the person who sent this to us and tell him exactly what you said," Tidwell said. "He may say 'okay.' Or he may say, 'let's just get this man the security that he wants so this can go away.'"
If it's the latter, Tidwell asked, would you drop the FOIA?
"No way," Hesham said. "Forgive me, but I don't trust you guys."
Hesham then led Tidwell to his driveway and showed him his boat. They spoke for a few more minutes and then shook hands and Tidwell left.
When the agent left, Jody called me and told what transpired. She said she took detailed notes. I was stunned. I have never heard of the FBI sending out a field agent to check on a FOIA. I called FBI headquarters and spoke with Kathleen Wright, a spokeswoman for the bureau and asked her about it.
Wright said the "visit" was "routine" and that "the FBI has an obligation to abide by the Privacy Act."
"Agents spoke with Hesham Abu Zubaydah to confirm the FOIA request was legitimate and submitted with hi consent and knowledge." Wright said.
She added, "This happens all of the time."
Brad Moss, an open government expert who specializes in national security issues, disagreed.
"I've never heard of the FBI expending this kind of resource and going to an individual's house and asking if the reporter coerced the individual who signed the waiver," said Moss, an attorney with the Mark S. Zaid law firm in Washington, DC. "Given the nature of who this individual is, I am not surprised they would have concerns. With all of the budget cuts and pressure to process FOIA requests, it seems out of the ordinary to send an agent to someone's house. As far as I am concerned, it's unprecedented. You could have submitted this request without the waiver given the overwhelming public interest."
Kel McClanahan, another open government expert who heads up the public interest law firm National Security Counselors, said he queried several colleagues, many of whom are government FOIA analysts who work at the Justice Department, about the "routine" visit.
"Not one had heard of this [being] 'routine,'" said McClanahan, whose firm represents me in a lawsuit we filed against the FBI for violating a provision of FOIA when I sought pertaining to Hesham's files. "I sent an inquiry to David Hardy [head of FBI FOIA] about it, and I'm still waiting on the answer. I guess he's still thinking about it."
McClanahan added, "while the FBI might have reason to deny the request if the waiver was coerced, I'm aware of no legal restriction against a person being provided reasonable compensation for access to his government records."
"So even if the visit was routine, the questions definitely weren't," McClanahan said. "A routine visit would have consisted of 'Did Jason Leopold coerce you into signing this waiver?' 'No.' 'Are you sure?' 'Yes.' 'OK, thanks for your time.'" [Full disclosure: McClanahan and I sued the FBI earlier this year for violating a provision of FOIA in response to specific questions about Hesham's case file.]
Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who blew the whistle on the bureau's pre-9/11 intelligence failures, said she's not surprised the FBI sent an agent out to personally speak with Hesham about my FOIA.
"The FBI considers informant matters the most sensitive things in the world," Rowley told me.
After I spoke with Wright, the FBI spokeswoman, I filed another FOIA for documents and notes about the meeting between Tidwell and Hesham, since my name was used. It took the bureau about six months to respond. In April, I received three redacted pages. Tidwell's notes were not turned over, just a report he sent to "records management" summarizing his interview with Hesham.
Tidwell's name, which was also redacted from the interview report, says:
Tidwell's report claimed that Hesham told him he signed "the privacy statement for Leopold in hopes an article written by Leopold would help him gain status in the US and obtain a green card."
"Abu Zubaidah advised the article is not something he wants written, but he feels he has no other option," Tidwell's report says. "Abu Zubaidah currently has no status in the US and is fearful he could be deported at any moment. [Redacted] Abu Zubaidah feels he has proven he is not a terrorist and considers himself an American. Abu Zubaidah fears he [redacted] if he does not gain status in the US. He hopes the article will be read by someone who can help him with this matter."
In another redacted section of Tidwell's report, he noted the circumstances that led me to contact Hesham:
The report goes on to say:
Last September, after Tidwell filed his report, the FBI sent me a letter saying the bureau "located approximately 1,200 pages which are potentially responsive to my FOIA request."
The documents have been in the possession of a "disclosure analyst" since last September, according to David Sobonya, an FBI FOIA spokesman.
To be continued ...

Any smart criminal justice consumer worth their salt would ask:
Did FBI  agents follow the Bill of Rights when they assassinated President Kennedy
and Martin Luther King?
Did FBI  agents follow the Bill of Rights when they created the 1993 1st World Trade Center
bombing, Oklahoma City bombing and 911?

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Posted on July 16, 2013
Rand Paul: I Want To Know If FBI Is Following The Bill Of Rights When Using Drones For Surveillance

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he would put a hold on the nomination of James Comey as FBI director to get more information on how the federal government is using drones.

"I'm trying to get a real truth. Is the FBI using the Bill of Rights? Are they seeking a warrant from a judge before they spy on us?" Sen. Paul said on FOX News this afternoon.

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also available in Braille for the uneducated and the uneducable

Obama FBI nominee James Comey is not a Good Guy; he’s just less bad than Cheney

Update: Listen to this Righteous Rant by humorist Matt Filipowicz for more on eager torturer James Comey. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Consider this a warning against left-wing hero-worship of bogus right-wing posterboys. By whom I mean Obama FBI Director-nominee James Comey, he of the Ashcroft Hospital Drama™. (Note the implicit lionizing at the link by the National Journal.)

Think Comey is a Good Guy? Rick Perlstein has the goods (my emphasis):

    Some of us have been shouting from mountaintops, others from molehills: James Comey, currently sailing smoothly through Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for confirmation as chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was:

    (a) in charge, and proudly so, of a “terrorism” case that began with a detention without charges, continued with made-up and spurious charges, and ended with a conviction won against an American whose treatment during confinement (on the American mainland) turned his brain to jello;

    (b) general counsel for a defense contractor while it was busy hushing up a whistleblower who exposed $24 billion contract that they were building vessels for the Coast Guard, on a $24 billion contract, that buckled and leaked on the high seas;

    (c) as of three months ago on the board of a bank, in charge of cleaning up their reputation after it paid a $1.92 billion fine for laundering drug money from Mexico; and

    (d) the man who, as former FBI agent Colleen Rowley pointed out this morning in The New York Times, “sign[ed] off on most of the worst of the Bush administration’s legal abuses and questionable interpretations of federal and international law. He ultimately approved the C.I.A.’s list of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, including waterboarding, which experts on international law consider a form of torture.

    Lots of shouting going on. But not much listening.

see link for your mercenaries doing what they do best, eh?
see link to calculate how much of your tax dime was used


Does the FBI really need to be conducting surveillance on bikini baristas?

Mark Frauenfelder at 11:09 am Wed, Jul 17, 2013

    A Sheriff's sergeant from Snohomish County, Washington was busted for allegedly demanding sex (even while in uniform) in exchange for tipping off bikini baristas--who were suspected of dabbling in prostitution--about undercover agents.

    The operation spanned approximately nine months, involved three local law enforcement agencies plus the FBI (which supplemented the generous amount of surveillance footage provided by their local partners). It culminated in about a dozen prostitution-related arrests.

Four Years in Jail for ‘FBI Fantasy’
July 17, 2013   AFP
28_Huff FBI Fantasy

• Retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander says he has evidence to prove friend is innocent

By Pat Shannan

Readers of AMERICAN FREE PRESS will remember the series of articles run on these pages in 2010-11 concerning the plight of the Monroe County, Tennessee man who tried to expose fraud in the local court and grand jury system. Instead, United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Walter Fitzpatrick (Ret.) found himself jailed for trying to perform a citizen’s arrest when the cops wouldn’t enforce their own laws.

According to the man who started it all, the following federal attack on him and Darren Huff of Dallas, Georgia, in the small Tenn. town of Madisonville, was just one more Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provocation, and he now has the evidence to prove it.

“Darren Huff is an innocent man in jail for four years for a crime that never happened,” said Fitzpatrick.

When interested citizens came to Madisonville on April 20, 2010 for a court hearing on the Fitzpatrick matter, Huff was followed from north Ga. by the FBI, detained at the interstate exit by state and local law enforcement and released after agreeing to lock his legally-registered rifle and handgun in the toolbox of his pickup truck. No arrest was made and Huff proceeded peacefully into town. The police saw that the supporters were not there to provoke violence but to stand up for a fellow American who was being wronged by the system.

“The FBI saw it as another invitation to create a crime where none existed,” said Fitzpatrick. He proved his point with Special Agent Mark Van Balen’s sworn affidavit on April 26.

Hard Assets Alliance

Even though video shows Huff being determined not to be a security risk by the Tenn. authorities and released, six days later Van Balen swore out an affidavit “full of lies and deception,” according to Fitzpatrick, including Huff’s alleged threats to “make arrests on various individuals, that he was ready to die for his rights and that if they didn’t have enough people on April 20 to do all they planned to do that day, that they would be back in one to two weeks.”

Huff has repeatedly denied making any such outrageous statements, and Van Balen even admits in his affidavit that he never heard anything provocative from Huff.

Van Balen claims that Huff was heard making threats at the traffic stop by a Lt. Don Williams of the Drug Task Force and these were passed on to him. Van Balen makes no claims of personal knowledge as to any lawbreaking by Huff. In fact, court testimony showed that Huff was under FBI surveillance from the night of April 19. Huff was followed when he left home at 4 a.m. and was watched all day. There was never a moment when the FBI did not know where Huff was during that 24-hour period, and he was never a threat to anyone.

Fitzpatrick told AFP that he has located and interviewed 31 of the 33 people known to have been on the scene that morning outside of the Monroe County courthouse. None of the 31 was armed or even saw anyone other than law enforcement officers armed. The other two were a Knoxville news reporter and cameramen who refused to identify themselves when Fitzpatrick asked them to do so.

Not one of the 31 citizens was approached and questioned by any of the 150 law enforcement officers on the scene as to whether or not they were armed. Fitzpatrick has collected statements from all 31. It was a peaceful assembly.

“Furthermore,” said Fitzpatrick, “Darren Huff not only was unarmed the whole time but he spent his morning at Donna’s Old Town Café across the street and the only time he briefly set foot on the courthouse property was to take sausage biscuits and coffee to officers standing there. However, my hearing was being held four blocks away at a separate courthouse building unknown to Huff, and he was never there.

“Federal officials not only successfully prosecuted and convicted a U.S. citizen for a thought crime,” added Fitzpatrick, “but the only one with the thought was the fantasizing FBI agent.”

Huff is more than a year into serving a four-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. He is still waiting for his attorney, Gerald Gulley of Knoxville, to file his appeal. Gulley did not return AFP’s calls.

Fitzpatrick cites a little known FBI program known as “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves surveillance of veterans who express views critical of the government. This includes those who discuss a pending revolution on the Internet.

“Anybody in America who stands up for the rights of American citizens as outlined by the Constitution is being targeted and jailed by the federal government,” he said.

This case is significant and chilling because the FBI has prepared it to stifle dissent.

In their slick description of it on their website, they brag that “Huff was sentenced to four years in prison for transporting firearms across state lines with the intent to cause a civil disorder. It was the first time this violation was successfully prosecuted.”
- See more at: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11620#sthash.I5WwpxRV.dpuf
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Did an FBI agent fire the shot that killed JFK? Killing of Kennedy to be re-examined in cable docudrama
Jul 29, 2013
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Weeks before the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination this fall, ReelzChannel will take another look at the killing in a docudrama that suggests a Secret Service agent fired one of the bullets that felled Kennedy.

"JFK: The Smoking Gun" is based on the work of retired Australian police Detective Colin McLaren, who spent four years combing through evidence from Kennedy's death on Nov. 22, 1963.

The two-hour docudrama airs Nov. 3 in the U.S., Canada and Australia. It suggests that agent George Hickey fired one of the bullets that hit Kennedy. Hickey, who is now dead, was riding in the car behind Kennedy's limo that day.

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Where were the bloodhounds in Boston 'manhunt'?

May 20, 2013

An unprecedented marshaling of police working with US military in an unprecedented "lockdown" state was witnessed in the week of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Over 4,000 police and military from almost every law enforcement unit in the region took over a shopping center parking lot in Watertown for a staging area, looking like a minor invasion force. Represented were FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard, the Boston and Watertown Police departments and the Massachusetts State Police.
At least three Blackhawk helicopters patrolled the skies, and armored vehicles roamed this quiet suburban community. Men with automatic rifles went house to house, pulling residents from their homes at gunpoint, hands over heads, searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. For a night and a day and part of another night they closed in on Tsarnaev, who with his brother is alleged to have committed one of the most atrocious bombings in US history. But almost no one has asked one simple question: where were the bloodhounds?
Rather than "lock down" an entire city for what could have stretched on into days, why not bring in the dog or dogs that could have gotten the whole thing over in 20 minutes? Dzohkhar had fled a vehicle on foot into the surrounding neighborhood, by some accounts bleeding. This is what the bloodhound was born for.

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The Evil of the National-Security State

By Jacob G. Hornberger

Future of Freedom Foundation

July 25, 2013

The two most important words in the lives of the American people for the past 60 years have been “national security.” The term has transformed American society for the worse. It has warped the morals and values of the American people. It has stultified conscience. It has altered the constitutional order. It has produced a democratically elected government that wields totalitarian powers.

We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to round up people, including citizens, and take them to concentration camps, detention centers, or military dungeons where the government can torture them, incarcerate them indefinitely, and even execute them as suspected terrorists.

We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to send its military and intelligence forces into any country anywhere in the world, kidnap people residing there, and transport them to a prison for the purpose of torture, indefinite detention, and even execution. We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to sneak and peek into people’s homes or businesses without warrants; to monitor their emails, telephone calls, and financial transactions; and to spy on the citizenry.

We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to support, with money and armaments, totalitarian regimes all over the world and to enter into partnerships with them for the purpose of torturing people whom the U.S. government has kidnapped.

We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to assassinate anyone it wants, including American citizens, anywhere in the world, including here in the United States. We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to impose sanctions and embargoes on any other nation and to severely punish the American people and foreign citizens and foreign companies who violate them.

We now live in a country whose government wields the legal authority to invade and occupy any country on earth, without a congressional declaration of war, for any purpose whatever, including regime change and the securing of resources.

And it’s all justified under the rubric “national security.”

Most people would concede that that’s not the kind of country that America is supposed to be. The nation was founded as a constitutional republic, one whose governmental powers were extremely limited. In fact, the whole idea of using the Constitution to bring the federal government into existence was to make clear that the government’s powers were limited to those enumerated in the Constitution itself. To make certain that everyone got the point, the American people secured the passage of the Bill of Rights, which further clarified the extreme restrictions on government power.

Four separate amendments in the Bill of Rights address the power of the federal government to take people, both Americans and foreigners, into custody and to inflict harm on them: the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments. Due process of law, right to counsel, grand-jury indictments, trial by jury, search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishments, bail, speedy trial — they are all expressly addressed, reflecting how important they were to our American ancestors and to their concept of a free society.

In the age of national security, all of those protections have been rendered moot. They have all been trumped by the concept of national security.

Ironically, the term isn’t even found in the Constitution. One searches in vain for some grant of power anywhere in that document relating to “national security.” It isn’t there. Nonetheless, the government now wields omnipotent powers — powers that the greatest totalitarian dictatorships in history have wielded — under the rubric of “national security.”

With the exception of libertarians, hardly anyone questions or challenges it, including those who profess an ardent allegiance to the Constitution. Consider, for example, the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause. For decades, both libertarians and conservatives have complained that the meaning of that clause has been so expanded as to transform it into a general grant of power enabling the federal government to regulate the most minute, localized aspects of economic activity.

Yet here’s a phrase — “national security” — that isn’t even found in the Constitution, which has been interpreted to grant omnipotent, totalitarian-like powers to the federal government, and conservatives have been rendered mute.

It would be one thing if there had been an amendment to the Constitution stating, “The federal government shall have the power to do whatever it deems necessary in the interests of national security.” At least then one could argue that such totalitarian measures were constitutional.

But that’s not the situation we have here. We have the government coming up with a concept known as “national security,” which it has then used to adopt powers that would otherwise violate the Constitution. It’s as if national security has been made the foundation of the nation. Everything else — the Constitution, society, the citizenry, freedom, prosperity — are then based on that foundation.

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Was journalist Michael Hastings murdered?

July 28, 2013

I think sometimes some journalists forget what their job is. If you're choosing not to investigate something because you're worried you might look silly, or be made fun of, you're doing it wrong.

I have no idea what happened to Michael Hastings, and it's certainly both possible and reasonable that his accident was solely due to his own error or a mechanical fault. In fact, that's probably the most likely explanation.

However, there are a number of confounding facts that cast doubt upon that explanation, and demand further investigation. The fact that most journalists are afraid to even raise these very legitimate questions, for fear of being branded some sort of "conspiracy-nut" is a sad and terrifying testament to the state of journalism.

Let's recap.

A journalist, with a history of taking down major figures and royally pissing off the powers that be, sends an email to his editors warning them that federal agents have been interviewing his associates and that he has to go off-radar to finish a big story.

What was the big story? For some reason the subject line of the email, which read "FBI investigation, re: NSA" has been persistently ignored. It certainly seems to suggest that his "big story" was related to the National Security Agency.

Shortly thereafter he dies in a fiery car crash. This crash is swiftly ruled an accident, however there are no skid marks to indicate braking, and video appears to show his car exploding into a fireball BEFORE it leaves the road.

Meanwhile former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke goes public with the assertion that what we know about Hastings' crash is "consistent with a car cyber attack."

"There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers," including the U.S., can remotely seize control of a car.

"What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it's relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn't want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn't want the brakes on, to launch an air bag," Clarke told The Huffington Post. "You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it's not that hard."

"So if there were a cyber attack on the car -- and I'm not saying there was, I think whoever did it would probably get away with it."

In fact, Hastings' model of car is sold with the advertised feature that it can be remotely disabled.

Could Hastings have been over-tired, drunk, stressed or otherwise incapacitated? Sure.

But this video appears to confirm the testimony of witnesses who reported hearing the car explode BEFORE going off the road. Could that have been caused by a spectacular mechanical failure? Sure. But it would be a wildly rare fault, given that exploding into a fireball isn't something that happens to cars often, if at all. In fact, cars are designed not to explode, even in cases of catastrophic collision, and contrary to what Hollywood would have us believe, the incidence of cars exploding in accidents is negligible.

It also bears mentioning that most of Hastings' colleagues, friends and family have made clear, albeit some more explicitly than others, that they don't believe the official explanation for his death and suspect foul play.

I could go on, but you get the point. Hastings death might have been an accident, but it also might have been murder. There is ample enough evidence to assert that he died in suspicious circumstances.

Clarke, who worked for the State Department under Reagan and ran counterterrorism activities for Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and was also a special advisor to Dubya on issues of cyberterrorism, isn't afraid to ask these questions.

"I'm not a conspiracy guy. In fact, I've spent most of my life knocking down conspiracy theories," said Clarke, again to the Huffington Post. "But my rule has always been you don't knock down a conspiracy theory until you can prove it [wrong]. And in the case of Michael Hastings, what evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyber attack. And the problem with that is you can't prove it. I think you'd probably need the very best of the U.S. government intelligence or law enforcement officials to discover it."

So if the circumstances of his death are suspicious, don't we owe it to Michael to ask those questions? Is anyone really suggesting that murdering a journalist is totally outside the realm of possibility? That no cover-up would ever go so far as to murder someone?

If you believe he couldn't have been murdered, that it isn't possible, then may I humbly suggest you need to revise your estimation of who precisely is living in fantasy land.

I never met Michael, but I wish I had. By all accounts he was a shooting star. But more than that, he was one of us. If a cop dies, his colleagues don't rest until his death is satisfactorily explained, and any guilty parties apprehended. If a journalist dies, evidently, most journalists keep their mouths shut and don't ask questions for fear of being branded a conspiracy-nut. Fan-fucking-tastic.

2 reads

1st read

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 July 26, 2013
Los Angeles, CA – The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office hosted the Junior Special Agent Mentor Program graduation ceremony July 26 for children at the Salvation Army Westwood Transitional Village in Los Angeles.

Approximately 30 children, ages 7 to 13 years old, went through the academy in two sessions, some graduating last week. Approximately 10 children from the transitional housing center in the Westwood area of Los Angeles will receive their junior special agent badges and credentials.

The mentor program curriculum focused on a variety of subjects, including the history of the FBI; anti-bullying; conflict resolution; civil rights; abstinence from drugs and gangs; and internet safety, among others.

Students met SWAT Team members, FBI canines and their handlers, as well as FBI special agents assigned to the Evidence Response Team, Bomb Technician Program, and the Hazardous Evidence Response Team, who taught the students the importance of using science and mathematics to solve crimes.

FBI volunteers helped students to understand, appreciate, and develop a positive perspective of the FBI and law enforcement in general. In addition to the guest speakers and presentations, the program consisted of a variety of field trips to foster relationships between the FBI mentors and the children.

2nd read
I tested links and they work

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The Franklin Cover-up

"What you have to understand, John, is that sometimes there are forces and events too big, too powerful, with so much at stake for other people or institutions, that you cannot do anything about them, no matter how evil or wrong they are and no matter how dedicated or sincere you are or how much evidence you have. This is simply one of the hard facts of life you have to face."--- Former CIA director and Cercle member William Colby giving advice to his friend senator John DeCamp, urging him to quit his investigations into the Franklin child abuse affair and to write a book about his experiences (The Franklin Coverup, 2nd edition, foreword).

Court documents and a book publication by Paul Bonacci’s attorney, ex-senator John de Camp, state that Larry King organized groups of children to sexually blackmail and compromise politicians and businessmen while he served as Manager of the Franklin Credit Union in Omaha, Nebraska. King had political ties that reached the presidency of the United States and he sang at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.
    Paul Bonacci, who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder (now called Dissociative Identity Disorder), stated that as a youth, he had been transported across the U.S., and was forced to have sex with various people, forced to deliver drugs, and forced to participate in satanic snuff films, where Larry King was present. He identified the Bohemian Grove in Northern California, a well known gathering/meeting site for politicians, as the location of a satanic murder, and he had inside knowledge about many satanic ritual abuse cases around the country that he claimed to have been present at. These include a case in Jordan, Minnesota, in which Jim Rud was the only defendant charged, and in Bakersfield, California, another case in which several individuals were criminally charged for the sexual abuse of children within the context of ritual abuse.
    The Omaha police chief, Robert Wadman and publisher of the local newspaper Harold Anderson, were implicated in the sexual abuse allegations. The FBI refused to investigate the child abuse allegations because the local FBI representative, Nick O’Hara, claimed that Robert Wadman was his “friend.” A Grand Jury was convened which labeled the children’s allegations as a “hoax,” apparently due to the high-profile nature of the alleged perpetrators, the ritual abuse allegations, and after one witness, Troy Boner, recanted his statements about abuse. John de Camp states that his retraction was a key factor in the Grand Jury’s findings that all the children had lied. Troy Boner later claimed that the FBI threatened him into recanting.
    One sexual molest victim, Alicia Owen, was charged with perjury due to naming the police chief, Robert Wadman, as one of her abusers. She served prison time for this charge but was released in the year 2000. Paul Bonacci claimed that the sex ring that plunged him into Satanism and mind control was centered at Offutt U.S. Air force Base, near Omaha. The main investigator assigned to this case, Gary Cadiori, died in a suspicious plane crash shortly after he took statements from the children.
    Larry King was convicted in 1991 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for embezzlement, conspiracy, and making false financial record entries. The Credit Union was missing 40 million dollars and there were allegations that funds were used to finance the Contras, and other clandestine operations by the CIA.
    John de Camp linked Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, leader of the satanic group, the Temple of Set, to mind control operations and writes:
    “Child victims gave evidence in depth of the role of Lt. Col Michael Aquino in this depravity. Aquino…was long the leader of an Army psychological warfare section which drew on his expertise and personal practice in brainwashing, Satanism, Nazism, homosexual pedophilia and murder.”

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Teen Held Sex Slave and Called FBI Daily, Agent Says

July 26, 2013

A New York teenager who allegedly kidnapped a woman and held her as a sex slave for more than two weeks called the FBI almost daily during the woman's captivity to tell them he was involved in sex trafficking and had recently "recruited" a woman, according to court documents.

Despite his calls to the FBI, the woman escaped on her own when she faked an asthma attack and was taken to a hospital.

The suspect then called the FBI again to ask for help in locating her, telling an agent he had developed feelings for her.

The allegations and the bizarre string of phone calls are detailed in an affidavit filed in a federal court on July 9 by FBI Agent Barry Crouch, who said he received most of the phone calls from the suspect.

Brandon Todd, 19, was arrested on July 10 and charged with kidnapping across state lines, which has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The FBI, after repeated calls, declined to comment on the case beyond what was stated in the affidavit.
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MIT denies targeting Aaron Swartz, but admits 'neutral' stance gave FBI the upper hand

"MIT didn't do anything wrong; but we didn't do ourselves proud."

 July 30, 2013

MIT has finally released a report on its role in the prosecution of hacktivist Aaron Swartz — a legal battle that's been blamed for spurring his suicide in January of 2013. In an open letter, president R. Rafael Reif said that the report would show that MIT "did not seek federal prosecution, punishment or jail time" for Swartz after finding that he had used MIT's network to access and mass-download articles from academic repository JSTOR. The report, compiled by Professor Hal Abelson and others, finds that MIT didn't actively aggravate the case that would consume Swartz's life, saying there was no "silver bullet" that could have prevented the tragedy of his death. However, it also raises questions about the stance that the university should have taken, and the strength of the case against him.

"If the Review Panel is forced to highlight just one issue for reflection, we would choose to look to the MIT administration's maintenance of a 'neutral' hands-off attitude that regarded the prosecution as a legal dispute to which it was not a party," it reads. "This attitude was complemented by the MIT community's apparent lack of attention to the ruinous collision of hacker ethics, open-source ideals, questionable laws, and aggressive prosecutions that was playing out in its midst." Later, it quotes one source as saying "MIT didn't do anything wrong; but we didn't do ourselves proud."

"MIT may never have actually said whether Swartz's network access was 'unauthorized'"

That neutrality, says the report, meant that MIT limited its involvement in the case (hiring outside counsel and responding to subpoenas but not asking for criminal prosecution) and made no public statements regarding Swartz or his case. It says that before Swartz's suicide, this prompted little criticism. "Few students, faculty, or alumni expressed concerns to the administration," it reads. "In preserving MIT's stance of neutrality and limited involvement, MIT decision makers did not inquire into the details of the charges until a year after the indictment, and did not form an opinion about their merits." MIT did "inform the US Attorney's Office that the prosecution should not be under the impression that MIT wanted jail time for Aaron Swartz," though it did not actively oppose jail time for Swartz either.

MIT's worst actions are described as sins of omission that indict the Justice Department more than the university. "Among the factors not considered were that the defendant was an accomplished and well-known contributor to Internet technology; that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a poorly drafted and questionable criminal law as applied to modern computing, one that affects the Internet community as a whole and is widely criticized; and that the United States government was pursuing an overtly aggressive prosecution," the reviewers write. MIT, they say, categorically did not set out to make an example of Swartz, but it's implied that the FBI may well have done so.

"MIT says it denied Swartz access to documents because it assumed the government would hand them over"

Longtime online law authority Larry Lessig points out what may be a particularly tragic and infuriating point: that the "unauthorized" network access that made Swartz so vulnerable to prosecution under the CFAA may not have been unauthorized at all. "MIT was never asked by either the prosecution or the defense whether Aaron Swartz's access to the MIT network was authorized or unauthorized - nor did MIT ask this of itself." Swartz had hooked up his laptop to an MIT ethernet cable in a network closet, and the investigation points to a cat-and-mouse game as employees tried to stop Swartz from downloading articles, but the report says that Swartz arguably had authorized "guest" access through the entire process.

Despite its ongoing claims to neutrality, the report cites instances where MIT's actions helped the prosecution more than the defense. It notes that some information was turned over to the government without a subpoena, contrary to early information given to Aaron Swartz's father Robert. It also admits that Swartz's defense attempted to contact MIT multiple times but got only slow replies. However, it calls the explanations for these delays largely mundane. It also touched on a major criticism leveled by Swartz's partner Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman: that the prosecution was given broader access to witnesses and evidence than the defense.
July 23, 2013
MIT admits Secret Role in Aaron Swartz Death
July 23, 2013. Washington. The details surrounding the death of the young genius inventor Aaron Swartz get more bizarre by the day. Days before the Obama administration was to release its secret files covering the persecution and prosecution of Swartz, the government and MIT sued to stop it. The university insists its employees will be in danger once the world finds out the role MIT played in the death of Aaron Swartz

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It’s only been six months since the tragic death of internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. The 26 year-old inventor of the RSS feed and a co-owner of the popular site Reddit killed himself in January of this year. His family, as well as millions of others across the country, accuse federal authorities of terrorizing the young man so much, they caused him to take his own life to end the constant persecution.

Aaron Swartz
What was once considered an open-and-shut case, considering Aaron Swartz was reportedly cooperating with federal prosecutors, has suddenly become a real-life who-done-it right out of a Sherlock Holmes story. It’s not so much the facts of the case that are so controversial, as much as the government’s, and now MIT’s, insistence that the facts remain sealed and secret from the American people.

Aaron Swartz wasn’t some common criminal. His crime consisted of hacking into a multi-university digital library and releasing thousands of works of literary genius. The books, journals and other publications created one of the largest and most advanced collections of human intelligence in existence. But it was only available to the world’s wealthy or those connected to the most prestigious universities. Aaron Swartz was a crusader for open and free access to knowledge and reading materials. He understood that knowledge is power.

Aaron Swartz didn’t do it for money, ego or any other selfish reason. The statement released by his family immediately after his death sheds some light on his possible motives, ‘Aaron’s insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable—these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter. We’re grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world.’

On January 11, 2013, Aaron Swartz took his own life to put an end to the non-stop threats, terror and intimidation at the hands of government agents and prosecutors.

Kevin Poulsen and Wired.com

When Aaron Swartz passed away, government agents and university officials thought the story was over. But his family, friends and former co-workers wanted to know the truth. Among them was Kevin Poulsen, Editor of Wired.com. He filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for the release of all the documents relating to the government’s investigation and prosecution of Aaron Swartz.

With an alphabet soup of government agencies persecuting Swartz, Kevin Poulsen cast a vast net and sued the Department of Homeland Security. As it turned out, it was the Secret Service that had initiated the criminal investigation of Aaron Swartz in 2011 after he illegally downloaded the contents of MIT’s JSTOR university library. A sub-agency of DHS, the Secret Service none the less refused the FOIA request and insisted the government’s investigation needed to remain secret.

Two weeks ago, a federal judge ruled against the Executive Branch and ordered the Obama administration to release the documents in the Aaron Swartz case. As detailed by Poulsen and Wired.com, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled, “Defendant shall promptly release to Plaintiff all responsive documents that it has gathered thus far and shall continue to produce additional responsive documents that it locates on a rolling basis.”

Secret Service requests delay

Days before Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s order, the Secret Service petitioned the court for a stay in its ruling. The agency alleges that it just discovered another large collection of files relating to the Swartz case at a facility outside Washington DC. Agency attorneys insist the Secret Service needs a large extension of time in order to collect and review the just-discovered documents.

In its petition to the court three weeks ago, the Secret Service wrote, ‘Defendant has exercised diligence in processing these records. As part of that effort, it undertook an additional search for responsive records in certain agency files, including files located outside agency headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area. Based on this additional search, it learned yesterday, July 2, of files located outside the agency’s headquarters that contain several thousand additional pages that may be responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request...The agency’s review of those files will require a substantial amount of additional time.’

The court granted the federal agency a brief delay to allow it to investigate its latest discovery. The Secret Service now has an August 5 deadline, not to release the Aaron Swartz files, but to release a timetable showing when they think they might finally be able to release them. Kevin Poulsen and others who’ve submitted FOIA requests for the same information aren’t optimistic. Government officials blew right through a May 23 deadline and the plaintiffs wouldn’t be surprised if the Obama administration simply ignored the newest deadline as well.

MIT – working for Homeland Security?

Perhaps the most curious and surprising revelation over the past few days has been MIT University’s legal filing asking to be a party to Poulsen’s lawsuit against the Dept. of Homeland Security. But rather than join the Wired.com Editor as a Plaintiff in the FOIA case against DHS, MIT voluntarily joined Homeland Security as a Defendant in the lawsuit.

After the initial surprise wore off, critics of the government’s actions began submitting their own theories. The only facts confirmed by MIT officials involved the admission by the University that it feared for the lives and safety of some of its employees and staff if the government’s files on the Swartz investigation were made public. But what could MIT staff have done in the persecution and prosecution of Aaron Swartz that was so bad that those same individuals are in fear for their lives?

According to the latest account from Wired.com, ‘MIT claims it’s afraid the release of Swartz’s file will identify the names of MIT people who helped the Secret Service and federal prosecutors pursue felony charges against Swartz for his bulk downloading of academic articles from MIT’s network in 2011. MIT argues that those people might face threats and harassment if their names become public. But it’s worth noting that names of third parties are already redacted from documents produced under FOIA.’

Showing how America’s legal system truly works, a non-party like MIT gained access to a federal judge and arranged a secret conference call with attorneys for Kevin Poulsen, attorneys for DHS and the judge herself. MIT requested an emergency stay in the court’s order to release the Aaron Swartz documents. MIT notified the judge that they intended to file a legal motion later that day, but wanted to take advantage of their privileged access and sit down and talk to the judge in an admittedly “off the record” setting.

Judge delays Aaron Swartz documents yet again

In response to what the federal judge described in her ruling as, ‘an off-the-record conference call’, she was ordering yet another stay in the court’s order for the Secret Service and the Dept. of Homeland Security to release all the documents it has regarding the Aaron Swartz tragedy. The judge wrote (from Wired.com):

‘Based upon an off-the-record conference call with the parties’ counsel and counsel for non-party Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”), the Court understands that MIT intends to file a motion to intervene later today, which will include a request for relief relating to the Government’s production of certain documents to Plaintiff. In view of the impending motion, the Court hereby STAYS the obligation of the Government to promptly release to Plaintiff all responsive documents that it has located on a rolling basis, see Min. Order (July 5, 2013), until further order of the Court. Once the Court has had the opportunity to review MIT’s motion to intervene, and has considered the positions of the Plaintiff and the Government as to the motion, it shall order a schedule for further proceedings.’

Again, showing how the US justice system works, MIT and the Secret Service were granted another delay based on a secret conference call between their attorneys and the federal judge. The judge then granted the stay well before MIT even filed its motion. As a follow-up to the incident, Wired.com published all seven of the legal motions MIT eventually submitted to the court.

The main filing from MIT states ‘The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) moves to intervene and participate fully in this action as defendant pursuant to Rule (24)a of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum of points and authorities. MIT has an interest relating to the records that are subject of the action and is so situated that disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede MIT’s ability to protect that interest, in light of the fact that MIT’s interest is not adequately protected by the existing parties.’

MIT requested that the judge force the Obama administration to allow MIT officials five days to review all documents prior to their release and give the University the authority to black-out and redact any names or details that expose the levels of involvement of MIT employees working on behalf of government agents.

Kevin Poulsen, Wired.com, the Plaintiff’s attorney, and a host of others are in shock at MIT’s requests and level of urgency. They wonder just what it is that University officials are so desperate to hide. Poulsen closes his latest report explaining, “I have never, in fifteen years of reporting, seen a non-governmental party argue for the right to interfere in a Freedom of Information Act release of government documents. My lawyer has been litigating FOIA for decades, and he’s never encountered it either. It’s saddening to see an academic institution set this precedent.”

For more information and to view the MIT emergency court filings, visit Wired.com.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
No Sanctions for FBI's Evasive Court Tactics
      The FBI should not have been sanctioned for withholding documents about its investigations and surveillance operations of Islamic groups, the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday.
     A coalition of Muslim-American community organizations and leaders, including the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and the Council on American Islamic Relations-California, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2006 to get a look at documents related to the FBI's investigations of their members since 2001.
     The FBI initially released just eight, heavily redacted pages, inspiring the groups to file suit in Los Angeles.
     Though the bureau later handed over another 100 pages or so, these too were heavily redacted.
     U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney reviewed the full documents in camera, after which the FBI admitted that it had withheld some of the documents requested by groups.
     Judge Carney was not happy. He tried to unseal the withheld documents but was stopped by the 9th Circuit after an emergency appeal and two panel rulings. When the Muslim groups sought sanctions against the agency for lying, Carney was inclined to agree.
     "The court must impose monetary sanctions to deter the government from deceiving the court again," he wrote in a 2011 ruling .
     But the federal appeals court again frustrated Judge Carney's attempt to punish the FBI, reversing the award on procedural grounds Wednesday in a brief, unsigned ruling.
     The three-judge panel found that the sanctions motion ran counter to a "safe harbor" provision that allows the target of a motion to "correct or withdraw its problematic pleading" within a certain number of days. The FBI did so, the panel found.
     "Shura Council moved for sanctions long after the District Court had ruled on the adequacy of the government's eventual compliance with FOIA, and ... after it had ruled the FBI's original response had been inadequate and misleading," the ruling states. "We recognize that because of the in camera nature of the proceedings, Shura Council could not have moved for sanctions before the inadequacy of the FBI's original response was made known to the court.

see link for full story

Dotcom demands to see FBI evidence
 Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Kim Dotcom has told the Supreme Court the United States' case against him is a fabrication and he needs access to evidence to prove it.

The argument was made through his lawyer, Paul Davison, QC, yesterday as the case against Megaupload returned to the Supreme Court in its latest round of appeals.

The court bid was to get access to evidence held by the FBI and intended to be used to convict Dotcom at trial in the United States.

The bid was rejected by Solicitor-General Mike Heron, who was acting for the US. During the hearing, he described delays in the extradition as a "sad indictment on the process".

Dotcom and three others were arrested in January last year in a raid carried out at the behest of the US, and await extradition on charges of criminal copyright violation. The extradition was meant to take place within months but remains distant with the latest date set for April next year.

The delays have in part been caused by legal challenges after a string of blunders by the Crown, including an unlawful search by police and illegal spying by the GCSB.

see link for full story

10 Most Shocking Things the FBI Has Done Since 9/11

We can be both safe and free. But the FBI has undermined our civil liberties in deeply disturbing ways since 9/11.
A crest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is seen inside the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2007.
July 8, 2013  |  
As Congress considers the nomination of James B. Comey to lead the FBI for the next ten years, lawmakers should examine measures to rein in a bureau that has undermined civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. This is a false trade off: we can be both safe and free.
1. USA Patriot Act Abuse
The recent  revelation about the FBI using the Patriot Act's "business records provision" to track all U.S. telephone calls is only the latest in a long line of abuse. Five Justice Department Inspector General audits documented widespread FBI misuse of Patriot Act authorities ( 1,2,3,4,5), and a federal district court recently  struck down the National Security Letter (NSL) statute because of its unconstitutional gag orders. The IG also revealed the FBI's unlawful use of " exigent letters" that claimed false emergencies to get private information without NSLs, but in 2009 the Justice Department  secretly re-interpreted the law to allow the FBI to get this information without emergencies or legal process. Congress and the American public need to know the full scope of the FBI's spying on Americans under the Patriot Act and all  other surveillance authorities enacted since 9/11, like the FISA Amendments Act that underlies the  PRISM program.
2. 2008 Amendments to the Attorney General's Guidelines
Attorney General Michael Mukasey  re-wrote the FBI's rulebook in the final months of the Bush administration, giving FBI agents unfettered authority to investigate people without any factual basis for suspecting wrongdoing. The 2008  Attorney General's Guidelines created a new kind of intrusive investigation called an "assessment," which required no "factual predicate" before FBI agents could search through government or commercial databases, conduct overt or covert FBI interviews, and task informants to gather information about people or infiltrate lawful organizations. In a two-year period from 2009 to 2011, the FBI opened over  82,000 "assessments" of individuals or organizations, less than 3,500 of which discovered information justifying further investigation.
3. Racial and Ethnic Mapping
The 2008 Attorney General's Guidelines also authorized "domain management assessments" which allow the FBI to map American communities by race and ethnicity based on crass stereotypes about the crimes they are likely to commit. FBI documents obtained by the ACLU show the FBI mapped entire Chinese and Russian communities  in San Francisco on the theory that they might commit organized crime, all Latino communities in  New Jersey and Alabama because a street gang has Latino members, African Americans in  Georgia to find "Black separatists," and Middle-Eastern communities in  Detroit for terrorism investigations. The FBI's racial and ethnic  mapping program is simply racial and religious profiling of entire communities.
4. Unrestrained Data Collection and Data Mining
The FBI has claimed the authority to secretly sweep up voluminous amounts of private information from data aggregators for data mining purposes. In 2007 the FBI said it amassed databases containing  1.5 billion records, which were  predicted to grow to 6 billion records by 2012, or equal to "20 separate ‘records' for each man, woman and child in the United States." When Congress sought information about one of these programs, the FBI  refused to give the Government Accountability Office access. That program was temporarily  defunded, but its successor, the FBI Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force,  currently has 360 staff members running 40 separate projects.  Records show analysts are allowed to use data mining tools to establish "risk scores" for U.S. persons. A 2013  IG audit questioned the task force's effectiveness, concluding it "did not always provide FBI field offices with timely and relevant information."

see link for full story
7/31/2013 @ 3:39PM |174 views

Is The FBI Becoming A Three Stooges Act?

A man calls a brokerage firm to say he is the Chief Operating Officer of Magnolia International Bank and Trust (MIBT). He assures the broker he speaks to that MIBT is not the Melbourne Institute of Business and Technology, as a Google GOOG -0.36% search returns, but the central bank for scores of Native American governments, including the Yamasee tribe, which the man on the phone says is a nation worth trillions of dollars, but which Wikipedia says ceased to exist in the 18th Century. The man requests that the brokerage firm lend him a sum total of $3 billion to build an oil pipeline across Siberia. He offers $5 billion in US Treasury notes as collateral, which he says will yield a 171% return, and sends a copy of the supposed T-notes in Word Pad form from an AOL AOL +0.77%account. The T-notes are assigned to the “Great Siberian Pipeline Company,” allegedly a “Republic of Wyoming Corporation,” but the caller claims he cannot produce the print notes, as they are hidden in Austria.
It just so happens that the broker has served as an informant for the FBI since they caught him in a fake vending machine route scam. He is inclined to write the Magnolia folks off as absurd, but he speaks to his FBI handler about it, who tells him to record his conversations with the claimed “Chief Operating Officer.” Before any money exchanges hands, the Feds arrest, charge and convict the fakers on mail and wire fraud charges.
Is this ridiculous story a pitch to Saturday Night Live? A Three Stooges skit? Or a description of the latest from the FBI and the Department of Justice? If you guessed the latter, you are correct.

see link for full story


Reorting from the Whitey Bulger Trial
August 2, 2013
Not something you'd forget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That question shows the level this case has descended to.

see link for full story

Hitler-friendly Hollywood served Nazi interests: Great American movie studios collaborated with Third Reich, explosive new book claims
Harvard post-doctoral fellow Ben Urwand’s controversial book, “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler,” reveals how Nazi diplomats threatened to ban American-made movies from the German market if they didn’t follow orders. One studio exec even divorced his Jewish wife.

Thursday, August 1, 2013, 5:27 PM
Quote 0 0





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Redefining the Metaphor for Dying

I sit with people who are dying. I'm one of those unusual types that enjoys being with someone when they're dying because I know I am going to be in the presence of Truth. In our Western culture, although death has come out of the closet, it is still not openly experienced or discussed. Allowing dying to be so intensely present enriches both the preciousness of each moment and our detachment from it.

Curing a disease of the body is not always an option, but healing from the soul level is always possible. In working with those who are dying, I offer another human being a spacious environment with my mind in which they can die as they need to die. I have no right to define how another person should die. I'm just there to help them transition, however they need to do it. My role is just to be a loving rock at the bedside.

Working with the dying is like being a midwife for this great rite of passage of death. Just as a midwife helps a being take their first breath, you help a being take their last breath. To be there fully requires being deeply grounded in compassion and love. Compassion, in this instance, is just both of you becoming who you are together--like the right hand taking care of the left hand.

When you are with someone who is dying, be there with them. All you have to give is your own being. Be honest. Meditate and become aware that the pain or confusion is, and here we are, in quiet equanimity. We all have limits of tolerance. Stay as clear and conscious as possible as someone nears death. Open to the unexpected. Open and stay centered. If you remain centered, your calm presence helps to free all those around you. Go inside yourself to that quiet place where you are wisdom. Wisdom has in it compassion. Compassion understands about life and death. The answer to dying is to be present in the moment. To learn to die is to learn how to live. And the way you do that is by living each moment--this one, now this one--just being here now.

The moment when the soul leaves the body is palpable and deeply profound. To share consciousness with a person who is dying, to be with them and help them die consciously, is one of the most exquisite manifestations of service. It is one role you may want to try out.

EXCERPTED FROM Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart (http://tinyurl.com/lrtrek6) by Ram Dass. Copyright © 2013 by the Love Serve Remember Foundation. Published by Sounds True.

Ram Dass means "Servant of God." Born Richard Alpert, Ram Dass is the founder of the Love Serve Remember Project and co-founder of the Seva Foundation and the Prison Ashram Project. He is the author of the worldwide spiritual classic Be Here Now (Crown, 1971), and his new book, Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart (Sounds True, August 2013), among many others. For more information, visit ramdass.org.

News you can trust
brought to you by Exxon Mobil


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Climate strongly affects human conflict and violence worldwide, says study
August 1st, 2013 in Space & Earth / Environment   

Shifts in climate are strongly linked to human violence around the world, with even relatively minor departures from normal temperature or rainfall substantially increasing the risk of conflict in ancient times or today, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton University.

The results, which cover all major regions of the world and show similar patterns whether looking at data from Brazil, China, Germany, Somalia or the United States, were published today in the journal Science. By amassing more data than any prior study, the authors were able to show that the Earth's climate plays a more influential role in human affairs than previously thought.

The study data covers all major regions of the world and show similar patterns of conflict linked to climatic changes, such as increased drought or higher than average annual temperature. Examples include spikes in domestic violence in India and Australia; increased assaults and murders in the United States and Tanzania; ethnic violence in Europe and South Asia; land invasions in Brazil; police using force in Holland; civil conflicts throughout the tropics; and even the collapse of Mayan and Chinese empires.

The new study could have critical implications for understanding the impact of future climate change on human societies, as many global climate models project global temperature increases of at least 2 degrees Celsius over the next half century. Refining the lens

Although there has been a virtual explosion in the number of scientific studies looking at how climatic impacts shape human conflict and violence, especially in in recent years, the research stems from disparate research fields ranging from climatology, archaeology and economics to political science and psychology.

"What was lacking was a clear picture of what this body of research as a whole was telling us," said Solomon Hsiang, the study's lead author, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy at Princeton during the research project and is now an assistant professor of public policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. "We collected 60 existing studies containing 45 different data sets and we re-analyzed their data and findings using a common statistical framework. The results were striking."

The latest study adopted a broad definition of conflict and used the latest research methods to re-evaluate what they found to be the most rigorous quantitative studies released since 1986 to examine aspects of climate such as rainfall, drought or temperature, and their associations with various forms of violence.

To determine if a link between climate and conflict existed at multiple levels of social organization, the UC Berkeley-Princeton researchers looked at whether evidence of a linkage was consistent within each of three broad categories of conflict:

    Personal violence and crime such as murder, assault, rape, and domestic violence;
    Intergroup violence and political instability, like civil wars, riots, ethnic violence, and land invasions;
    Institutional breakdowns, such as abrupt and major changes in governing institutions or the collapse of entire civilizations.

2nd story

The Lobster Bubble: Maine’s Lobster Boom, And Why Experts Predict A Dramatic Bust
August 4, 2013

When Adam Campbell first moved to North Haven in Penobscot Bay, Maine, in his early twenties, he was told that if he ever saw more than three cars in a driveway, it was a party and he should invite himself over.

North Haven is one of Maine’s fourteen islands that is only connected to the mainland by fair-weather ferries. There are only about 350 people who call the island home year round, so even as an outsider who had just moved to Maine to paint boats in the hopes of getting on some, Campbell was warmly welcomed as a fresh source of stories and jokes. Now, he is the proud owner of a thirty-foot lobster boat and one of about 5,500 lobstermen in Maine. Last year these men hauled in a lobster catch worth well over three hundred and fifty million dollars.

Lobsters make up 80 percent of the value of Maine’s fisheries. The idyllic postcard scene of lobster boats bobbing in a harbor isn’t staged for the enjoyment of summer tourists; it’s a working waterfront that is the lifeblood of entire communities that have called Maine home since colonial days.

Many years ago, there were magnificent ground fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, teeming with cod, haddock, pollock and hake. These popular species were essentially fished to the point of local extinction, though, and, released from the pressure of predators, lobsters started taking over. Now, lobsters have become something of a monoculture which supports not only the fishermen, but also the boat builders, mechanics, bait sellers and tourists industry.

“For decades, the lobster catches in the Gulf of Maine were very steady at about 20 million pounds per year,” said Robin Alden, Executive Director of Penobscot East Resource Center. “Then they jumped to 40 million pounds per year and last year we landed a record 125 million pounds of lobsters. In Stonington, where I work, we landed 20 million pounds. The catch just about outweighed the population on this island.”

While experts agree that the summer of 2012 was something of an anomaly with freakishly warm water, two to three degrees above average, it may also be a foretaste of what warming waters in the Gulf of Maine will bring in future years. Record-breaking lobster catches may sound like one of those few happy side effects of a warming planet, but as with most such cases, the story of the lobster is not that simple.

"US Official: Al-Qaeda Messages Indicate Planned Attack 'Big'

August 4 2013



ABC News' Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl report:

On the day that almost two dozen U.S. embassies and consulates across North Africa and the Middle East are closed following the identification of a significant threat from an al-Qaeda affiliate, a senior U.S. official is providing new details about the communications intercepted from the terrorists, telling ABC News that al-Qaeda operatives could be heard talking about an upcoming attack. "
One of the strongest components of the taxpayer funded death squad called the FBI  is the Psych Ops Department.
FBI  agents rely heavily on classical and operant conditioning  to modify human behaviour.
Fear is used by FBI  agents as a negative re-enforcer with the desired goal of having the voters and taxpayers see FBI  agents and the NSA  as the good guys and allow them to tap your phones, open your mail, collect your cell phone and bank records and look at your emails and web site visits . FBI  agents will also periodically gratuitously kill someone
like President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Tasmarev to remind you what will happen if you think of shutting them down

The reenforcement schedule used by FBI  agents on you is called a variable schedule
because the negative reenforcers, in this case fear, are used at random intervals because they are the strongest form of  reenforcement because you can never predict when they will happen.

As always FBI  agents are funded by your tax dime to do this to you.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinforcement
see   https://www.boundless.com/psychology/learning/operant-conditioning/schedules-for-reinforcement/

Operant conditioning (or instrumental conditioning) is a type of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences; the behaviour may change in form, frequency, or strength. Operant conditioning is a term that was coined by B. F. Skinner in 1937.[1] The word operant can be described as, "an item of behavior that is initially spontaneous, rather than a response to a prior stimulus, but whose consequences may reinforce or inhibit recurrence of that behavior".[2]

Operant conditioning is distinguished from classical conditioning (or respondent conditioning) in that operant conditioning deals with the modification of "voluntary behaviour" or operant behaviour. Operant behavior operates on the environment and is maintained by its consequences, while classical conditioning deals with the conditioning of reflexive (reflex) behaviours which are elicited by antecedent conditions. Behaviours conditioned via a classical conditioning procedure are not maintained by consequences.[3]

see link for full story

August 2, 2013 12:18 PM

Antonin Scalia, Freedom of Information Act zealot! And FBI-basher!! Fancy this just-discovered memo

BY James Warren
There’d be no odder couple than Antonin Scalia, the rhetorically incendiary Supreme Court conservative, and the late Morris Starsky, a onetime philosophy professor and Socialist Party member.
But newly-declassified Justice Department records suggest that, for a moment in time, Starsky had an ally in Scalia via the future judge's resolute defense of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Starsky was an Arizona State professor who was subject of one of the government’s more odious law enforcement forays. It was called COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) and, until ended in the 1970s, involved often illegal FBI spying on and discrediting of politically left-leaning groups and individuals.

see link for full story

a species that hires mercenaries to protect them loose the ability
to protect themselves and are doomed to extinction

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O.C. deputy charged with pepper spraying teen's pizza


Pepper spray pizza

An Orange County deputy is accused of pepper-spraying a teen's pizza
By Anh Do

August 2, 2013

A sheriff's deputy in Orange County will be arraigned Monday for allegedly pepper-spraying a teenager's pizza during a traffic stop.

The teen, authorities said, and a group of friends later became sick after eating the pepper-spray tainted pizza.

Authorities charged Juan Tavera, 30, with one misdemeanor count of assault or battery by a public officer. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail, according to the Orange County district attorney's office....

2nd story

Sound like BS to me. How can you trace a letter because you took a photograph of it?

 USPS takes photos of all mail

August 2 2013
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The Postal Service takes pictures of every piece of mail processed in the United States — 160 billion last year — and keeps them on hand for up to a month.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the photos of the exterior of mail pieces are used primarily for the sorting process, but they are available for law enforcement, if requested.

The photos have been used "a couple of times" by to trace letters in criminal cases, Donahoe told the AP on Thursday, most recently involving ricin-laced letters sent to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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F.B.I. Agent Is Charged In Plot to Sell Documents
 August 2, 2013


The former agent, Robert Lustyik, was with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in late 2011 when he began plotting with a friend, Johannes Thaler, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Friday in Federal District Court in White Plains, N.Y.

“I will work my magic .... We r sooooooo close,” Agent Lustyik wrote in an exchange of text messages with Mr. Thaler, the complaint said.

“I know,” Mr. Thaler replied. “It’s all right here in front of us. Pretty soon we’ll be having lunch in our oceanfront restaurant.”

The Bangladeshi who had sought the materials, Rizve Ahmed, paid a total of $1,000 to Mr. Lustyik and Mr. Thaler for two F.B.I. documents concerning Mr. Ahmed’s political rival, the complaint said. One was a suspicious activity report; the other was a memo about the man that mentioned $300 million, the complaint said without elaboration. The men planned to seek tens of thousands of dollars in additional bribes for other confidential information, the complaint said.
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Dear Friends, CURE member Bernida Thompson forwarded this. Charlie

“This country incarcerates more Black men today than were enslaved
in 1850.” Michelle Alexander

It is not because there are more “criminals”. It is because this
country is even more criminal against Black men than they were during
the slavery era.

It is the politics of this country.

This 2-1/2 minute video comes via one of my facebook friends. The
message is powerful and inspiring. Pass it on if you like.


*Subject: Knock, Knock*


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Is the FBI a Criminal Organization?
John Glaser, August 05, 2013
Last week, in a piece I wrote for The Huffington Post on the hypocrisy in the Bradley Manning trial, I argued that “The law is for the powerful to defy with impunity, and for the weak to be punished with.” As evidence, I mentioned several high crimes committed by the Bush and Obama administration, crimes for which they will never be prosecuted.
And then in yesterday’s USA Today I saw this remarkable article reporting that government documents show that the FBI committed 5,658 crimes in 2011 alone. That amounts to 15 crimes a day, on average, that FBI agents explicitly authorized. And far from being part of a rogue, covert program kept hidden from a judge, this is standard operating procedure on which the Department of Justice provides oversight.
The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation’s top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.
The U.S. Justice Department ordered the FBI to begin tracking crimes by its informants more than a decade ago, after the agency admitted that its agents had allowed Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to operate a brutal crime ring in exchange for information about the Mafia. The FBI submits that tally to top Justice Department officials each year, but has never before made it public.
Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies. FBI officials have said in the past that permitting their informants — who are often criminals themselves — to break the law is an indispensable, if sometimes distasteful, part of investigating criminal organizations.
Let that last sentence sink in for a moment. The government must break the law in order to catch and punish lawbreakers. Does that not offend even the most superficial understanding of the rule of law this country was supposedly founded upon?
According to the USA Today report, this number of 5,658 crimes in one year barely scratches the surface:
USA TODAY obtained a copy of the FBI’s 2011 report under the Freedom of Information Act. The report does not spell out what types of crimes its agents authorized, or how serious they were. It also did not include any information about crimes the bureau’s sources were known to have committed without the government’s permission.
Crimes authorized by the FBI almost certainly make up a tiny fraction of the total number of offenses committed by informants for local, state and federal agencies each year. The FBI was responsible for only about 10% of the criminal cases prosecuted in federal court in 2011, and federal prosecutions are, in turn, vastly outnumbered by criminal cases filed by state and local authorities, who often rely on their own networks of sources.
“The million-dollar question is: How much crime is the government tolerating from its informants?” said Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles who has studied such issues. “I’m sure that if we really knew that number, we would all be shocked.”
If you read Trevor Aaronson’s meticulously reported book The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, you’ll get a glimpse into how the thuggery at the FBI works in the war on terror. Aaronson thoroughly documents all those “terror plots” that the FBI has “foiled.” By and large, the FBI uses untrustworthy delinquents as informants in order to entrap unsuspecting halfwits that never would have been able to carry out a terror attack without  FBI encouragement and facilitation.
Far be it from me to prejudge, but Antiwar.com has been requesting FBI documents on this website through the Freedom of Information Act since 2011, to no avail. Thankfully, the ACLU is suing on our behalf. Requesting surveillance of this website and its founders, as the FBI did, and suspecting we may be an agent of a foreign power – all for exercising our First Amendment rights- seems like it fits perfectly within the Bureau’s modus operandi.

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The Best Mob Story Ever

By Jack Cashill

The best mob story ever told does not involve Al Capone or Bugsy Segal or John Gotti. It involves a mobster few American have ever heard of, Greg Scarpa by name, and his not quite as lethal son, Greg Scarpa Jr., "Junior" going forward.


One reason few people ever heard of Scarpa is that until his arrest in September 1992, he worked as a "Top Echelon Confidential Informant" under the protection of the FBI for the most of the thirty years prior. During that time, Scarpa murdered at least fifty people. Understandably, this is not a story not that the FBI wants told, but author Peter Lance has told it anyhow in his stunningly comprehensive new book, Deal With The Devil.


I have taken a particular interest in this story over the years because of the light it shines, improbably enough, on the destruction of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island in 1996, a subject about which I co-authored the 2003 book First Strike. More on this angle later.


The FBI protected Scarpa, a capo in the Colombo family, because he provided intelligence on New York's five notorious La Cosa Nostra (LCN) families. Some of the intelligence was accurate. All of it was self-serving. As needed, Scarpa provided other services as well. In 1964, the FBI, under enormous pressure to solve the "MissBurn" case, sent Scarpa to the small Mississippi town of Philadelphia. His job was to interrogate one of the locals who knew what happened to three civil rights workers who had gone missing. The fellow would not talk to the FBI. Armed with a straight razor, Scarpa proved much more persuasive. FBI agents soon found the bodies, as the man told Scarpa they would, buried under an earthen dam. Although this part of the saga did not make the movie, Mississippi Burning, Lance makes a compelling case for its legitimacy. Nor was this the only time the FBI sent Scarpa to Mississippi.


In return for his services, the FBI kept Scarpa out of prison. At the heart of Lance's book is the contention that the FBI, in the person of agent Lin DeVecchio, did much more, none of it justifiable. Lance argues that DeVecchio lost his moral balance and, at the very least, provided Scarpa with the kind of FBI intelligence that allowed Scarpa to target his enemies.


What has intrigued me most is the activity of New York City's FBI office in the summer of 1996, the year TWA 800 was destroyed. In April of that year, the office's assistant director, Jim Kallstrom, sent a memo to the head of the FBI, Louis Freeh, warning that the continued internal FBI investigation of DeVecchio would "have a serious negative impact on the government's prosecution of various LCN figures."


In July 1996, the case was still dragging on when Freeh assigned Kallstrom to head up the TWA Flight 800 investigation. For the first five weeks Kallstrom did a credible job before buckling under White House pressure on or about August 22. I have always wondered what combination of carrots and sticks the White House used to misdirect the investigation away from the obvious missile strike to a fully contrived mechanical failure.


Without making the connection directly, Lance suggests a possible carrot. In early September 1996, the Justice Department abruptly closed its thirty-one month long investigation and informed DeVecchio that a prosecution was "not warranted." By mid-September 1996, Kallstrom had ended all talk of a bomb or missile and pushed through the administration's "mechanical failure" narrative. Kallstrom would remain DeVecchio's most prominent champion even during his criminal trial on the same charges.


As an FBI informant, Junior picked up where Scarpa senior left off. Awaiting trial in 1996 in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) on racketeering charges, Junior turned down a 17-year plea offer in the hope that he could finesse information out of a few of his fellow prisoners and trade it for a reduced sentence.


Incredibly, those prisoners included Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah Shah, all awaiting trial on what is known as the Bojinka plot, and Eyad Ismail, who was awaiting trial for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center along with Yousef. In January 1995, Yousef's Manila apartment had caught fire just weeks before he and his co-conspirators were to unleash Bojinka, the plot to blow up a dozen American airliners over the Pacific. He was apprehended a month later.


On March 7, 1996, Junior initiated a meeting with assistant U.S. Attorneys Valerie Caproni and Patrick Fitzgerald and his own attorney, Larry Silverman, to formalize the arrangement.  For more than a year, Junior worked these guys for intelligence and passed it along to the FBI. The investigators who first unearthed the FBI documentation, the late Stephen Dresch and Angela Clemente, have rightly called Scarpa's information "the single most significant Al-Qaeda intelligence in U.S. History, prior to 9-11."


"Yousef wants to blow things up but he does not say why," Junior would tell his handlers.  Yousef was fully capable of such mischief. In 1994, hehad planted a bomb on a Philippine Airlines 747 as something of a test and killed the Japanese national who was sitting above it.


In May 1996, Junior reported that "during the trial [Yousef et al.] had a plan to blow a plane up to show they are serious."  As July 17 approached, according to Junior, Yousef was warning friends not to fly on TWA or American Airlines on the morning of July 18.  On the night of July 17, after the explosion, Yousef kept pressing to use Junior's cell phone, which he allegedly did not know was part of an FBI sting. Yousef called 9-11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed that night, saying, "What had to be done has been done, TWA 800" (last two words unintelligible).


A week after the blast, Junior reported, "Murad feels that they may get a mistrial from the publicity surrounding the TWA explosion."  By this time, Yousef had already appealed for one and been turned down. It is altogether possible, indeed likely, that Yousef had nothing to do with the destruction of TWA Flight 800. An opportunist to the core, he was willing to take credit nonetheless. Given his track record, however, the authorities had to have taken him seriously.


On July 24, the FBI reported, "Scarpa advised that Yousef has been avoiding any conversation pertaining to the explosion." Within days of the TWA 800 crash, the same U.S. attorney who was managing the Scarpa sting, Valerie Caproni, illegally took the crash investigation away from the National Transportation Safety Board and gave it to the FBI.


For the next five weeks, the FBI led the media to believe a bomb had destroyed TWA Flight 800. This culminated in the August 23 New York Times headline, "Prime Evidence Found That Device Exploded in Cabin of Flight 800." Given the intelligence Caproni had gotten from Scarpa, she would have had to suspect that Yousef's people were responsible for the presumed bombing. 


And yet there is no evidence in the available FBI documents to suggest that any pressure was brought to bear on either Yousef or Junior to cough up information.  There are several possible reasons why. The most obvious is that from day one the White House knew that a missile, not a bomb, had taken down the airplane. The leaking of "bomb" evidence was a conscious misdirection.


The less obvious reason is that Caproni and the FBI had come to see Junior as a liability.  If they publicly gave him credit for his intelligence work, it would be hard to deny his corroboration of the charge that his father had a lethally corrupt relationship with DeVecchio.


Some seventy-five trials of New York-area mob figures hinged on DeVecchio's integrity. If that were impeached, there would be chaos in the courts.  This is the story that Lance tells. Junior received no credit for his intelligence work.  At the end of the day, the authorities called it a "hoax and scam," despite the fact that in February 1997 Junior passed along Yousef's comment that Islamic terrorists "will like hijacking airplanes so much that they will become addicted to them." 

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Exclusive: Father of Slain Chechen Plans to Sue FBI for Son’s Wrongful Death

Abdulbaki Todashev, whose 27-year-old son Ibragim was killed in May during an FBI interrogation, landed in the U.S. on Aug. 5 to seek answers from U.S. authorities to questions surrounding his son's death

Aug. 05, 2013
A grudge against the FBI is never an easy thing to act upon, especially for a man as foreign to the U.S. legal system as Abdulbaki Todashev, a municipal official from the Russian region of Chechnya. But on Monday, August 5, Todashev arrived in Tampa, Florida with a black briefcase of photographs – the evidence he plans to use in suing the FBI for the wrongful death of his son. The case would be a long shot, in part because Todashev speaks little English, cannot afford a lawyer and only has a U.S. tourist visa glued into his Russian passport. What he does have is the help of two U.S. rights organizations — including the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU — and the determination of a grieving father from a region where blood feuds run deep.
Todashev’s eldest son, Ibragim, was killed during an FBI interrogation in his home in Orlando, Florida, on May 22, two days before he was due to fly home to his native Chechnya. The FBI, along with several officers from the Orlando and Boston police forces, had arrived at his one-bedroom apartment that evening to interrogate him in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing. The suspected perpetrator of that bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose father also hails from Chechnya, had been a friend of the younger Todashev when they both lived in Massachusetts. The FBI was trying to learn more about their relationship, so the officers questioned him for several hours that night at a table in his living room. But soon after midnight, under circumstances that remain unexplained, Todashev was fatally shot.
The photographs in his father’s briefcase seem to raise more questions about the death than they answer. On a recent afternoon in Moscow, he laid them out across the table of a diner, starting with the family photos he had taken of his son with his 11 siblings in Chechnya. In one of the frames, Ibragim stands with several of his younger brothers at a boxing club in Grozny, the regional capital, where he began his training to become a mixed-martial arts fighter. In another, he grapples during a professional cage fight in Florida, surrounded by

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 A Tale of Tennessee and the FBI: Senator K. D. McKellar and J. Edgar Hoover

From the author’s personal collection.
Senator K. D. McKellar speaking during a Senate committee meeting.

By Ray Hill   August 5 2013
Francis Biddle, was Attorney General of the United States under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and noted Tennessee’s Senator Kenneth D. McKellar could be “obstinate” and “vindictive”, but was careful to note McKellar was “shrewd”. Biddle also added that McKellar “never forgot”. It was McKellar’s long memory that caused the Tennessean to bedevil the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.

The Democrats came back to power in 1933 with the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt after twelve long years of Republican rule. McKellar’s office was inundated with requests from thousands of Tennesseans looking for work. Senator McKellar kept an eye out for his constituents with every Federal agency and McKellar contacted Hoover about the desire of a few Tennesseans who wished to become special agents for the FBI. The imperious Director ignored McKellar, causing the senator to go over his head and contact Hoover’s nominal boss, the Attorney General. When Hoover found out about McKellar complaining to the Attorney General, he retaliated by firing three FBI special agents in Tennessee not a week later.

Considering that Kenneth McKellar was the ranking member of the Senate’s powerful Appropriations Committee, Hoover’s act of vengeance was both arrogant and foolish. McKellar was also the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee’s Justice subcommittee, which oversaw Hoover’s own budget. McKellar had been in the Senate since 1917 and was one of the more senior Democrats in that body. Profoundly angered by Hoover’s insult, McKellar waited for the FBI Director to come to Congress, as he must, for funds.

The confrontation between Senator McKellar and J. Edgar Hoover has been well documented and has even been recognized in modern film. The Tennessean managed to mortally embarrass the ultra-sensitive Hoover so badly it chaffed the FBI Director for decades to come. Both Dillinger with Johnny Depp and the remarkable J. Edgar, a film by Clint Eastwood, have scenes with Senator McKellar clashing with Hoover. Oddly, both actors chosen to portray Senator McKellar have moustaches, an affectation McKellar never wore on his lip.

Congress had previously passed a slew of crime bills, but had not included enough money to cover the cost of implementation. J. Edgar Hoover came to Capitol Hill to ask for quite nearly twice his earlier budget appropriation. Waiting for him was Tennessee’s senior United States Senator.

Armed with an array of graphs, charts and statistics, Hoover doubtless felt himself well prepared for the questioning to come from the Senate Appropriations Committee members. Hoover proudly rattled off his statistics; bank robberies, which had been almost commonplace earlier, were significantly down. Kidnappings (the most famous of which was perhaps the abduction of the infant son of famed aviator Charles Lindberg) had been reduced. “Ma” Barker was dead, as were “Baby Face” Nelson and John Dillinger.

Senator McKellar began his questioning of Hoover after the Director finished his presentation outlining the FBI’s need for more money.

McKellar rather innocuously wondered if the FBI used any of its budget on advertising and the Director replied it did not. Senator McKellar noted the number of movies being released by Hollywood depicting the workings of the FBI, which he claimed widely advertised the agency and its methods. During the 1930s there were a plethora of movie studios and modern day readers will remember, television was years away from becoming a popular form of entertainment. At that time, the primary forms of entertainment for Americans was either the movies or radio. Fortunately for Hoover, Senator McKellar did not probe into the agency’s ties to some radio programs, as the producer of one such program proudly boasted the stories were lifted directly from the FBI’s own files. Hoover said the FBI objected to much of the material used by the Hollywood studios as it related to the agency and had duly registered its protests.

What Hoover did not mention to the subcommittee members was he was keenly aware of the power of modern media and how it affected the FBI’s reputation and effectiveness. Hoover had even entertained the notion of the FBI making its own movies for public consumption.

McKellar asked Hoover if the FBI employed any professional writers, which the Director denied. The two continued to verbally spar throughout the hearing and McKellar infuriated Director Hoover by pointing out the FBI had on more than one occasion claimed credit for arrests made by other law enforcement agencies. Senator McKellar told the red-faced Hoover, “It seems to me that your Department is just running wild, Mr. Hoover.” McKellar went on to say he considered Hoover’s request for more money “extravagant”.

The angry Hoover interjected, “Will you let me make a statement?”

Senator McKellar snapped, “I think that is the statement.”

One sympathetic senator tried to help Hoover during the course of the hearing. Missouri’s Harry Truman tried to steer the conversation away from McKellar’s pointed questioning. Ironically, Truman would later come to dislike J. Edgar Hoover intensely.

Comfortable with his well-prepared statistics, Hoover fielded Senator Truman’s questions easily. Positively relentless when provoked, McKellar was not done and was soon again on the attack. The Tennessean wanted to know, “How many people have been killed by your Department since you have been allowed to have guns?”

Hoover, describing the dead as “desperadoes”, replied that eight people had been killed since the FBI agents were allowed the use of firearms. Hoover also mentioned four FBI agents had been killed in the line of duty.

Senator McKellar snorted, “In other words the net effect of turning guns over to your department has been the killing of eight desperadoes and four G-men.”

Hoover tried to stress FBI agents were under the strictest of orders to make every effort to take any suspect alive. The FBI Director explained agents were only to use their weapons in self-defense or if absolutely necessary.

Senator McKellar dismissed Hoover’s statement, saying, “I doubt very much whether you ought to have a law that permits you to go around the country armed as an army would, and shoot down all the people you suspect of being criminals, or such that you suspect of having guns, and having your own men shot down.”

McKellar went on to tell the enraged and astonished FBI Director that it was not his fault the statutes enabling FBI agents to shoot down an unsuspecting populace were on the law books; rather it was the fault of the Congress who had enacted the laws. McKellar told Hoover even if a man was a murderer, the FBI agents did not have the right to kill him, causing the FBI Director to cry, “Even if he pulls a gun on you?”

Senator McKellar serenely replied that was a matter for the courts. Senator Truman wanted to know just how McKellar would catch them “If they commenced shooting at you?” The Tennessean was forced to reluctantly concede there might be instances where it was necessary for the FBI agents to use their weapons.

McKellar went on with his questioning, quietly asking Hoover what his qualifications were to serve as Director of the FBI. Hoover replied he had been employed by the Department of Justice for nineteen years and had been the FBI Director for twelve years. Senator McKellar retorted he meant had Hoover attended any sort of “crime school”? Hoover, starting to squirm, mentioned he had initiated just such a training program inside the FBI, causing Senator McKellar to scathingly say, “So whatever you know about it you learned there in the Department?”

Hoover replied that was true and described it as “first-hand” experience.

It was then that Senator McKellar asked the question that was to eat at Hoover until his death in 1972.

“Did you ever make an arrest?” McKellar wondered.

Hoover weakly replied he had.”

Senator McKellar refused to allow Hoover to wriggle off the hook, persisting by asking, “How many arrests have you made and who were they?”

J. Edgar Hoover answered the question by citing his investigations in a few cases, but Senator McKellar demanded, “Did you make the arrests?” Hoover said the arrests were made by officers who were “under my supervision”.

Senator McKellar thundered, “I am talking about the actual arrests.” Pressing his point, McKellar asked, “You never arrested them actually?”

Hoover lamely mentioned the FBI had not even had the authority to make arrests until two years before the 1936 hearing. Yet it did not erase the pubic perception that came from the hearing; the famed Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the top “G-Man” in the country had never even made a single arrest in his career.

It was a devastating admission for Hoover to make and one that made him appear at least vaguely cowardly. Years later, Hoover would confess McKellar’s forced admission had felt as if his manhood had been questioned. Following his confrontation with Senator McKellar, the outraged Director gave instructions to be notified the moment agents located the whereabouts of notorious bank robber and criminal Alvin Karpis.

When told that Karpis had been found in New Orleans, Hoover chartered a plane to fly him to the Big Easy where he personally arrested Karpis.

McKellar pressed the Senate to reduce the appropriation for the FBI, but the full Senate disagreed and gave Hoover the amount he had requested.

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August 5, 2013
The FBI is the prime suspect in a new malware scheme.
Security researchers tonight are poring over a piece of malicious software that takes advantage of a Firefox security vulnerability to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network.
The malware showed up Sunday morning on multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting. That would normally be considered a blatantly criminal “drive-by” hack attack, but nobody’s calling in the FBI this time. The FBI is the prime suspect.
“It just sends identifying information to some IP in Reston, Virginia,” says reverse-engineer Vlad Tsyrklevich. “It’s pretty clear that it’s FBI or it’s some other law enforcement agency that’s U.S.-based.”
If Tsrklevich and other researchers are right, the code is likely the first sample captured in the wild of the FBI’s “computer and internet protocol address verifier,” or CIPAV, the law enforcement spyware first reported by WIRED in 2007.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has been using illegal wiretaps to build cases against drug dealers.
(Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.
The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.
“I have never heard of anything like this at all,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.
“It is one thing to create special rules for national security,” Gertner said. “Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.”

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CNN Finds Benghazi Terrorist Suspect; FBI Doesn’t
 August 4, 2013

BenghaziSo let’s see if I have this right:  A CNN reporter goes to a coffee shop at a well-known hotel in Benghazi and for two hours chit-chats with a man who some believe was the ringleader of the terrorist gang that murdered four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — and almost a year after the attack the FBI either can’t figure out how to find this guy or has no interest in even trying to find him.

Really?  A newsman with nothing more than a tape recorder and a pencil and paper interviews a prime suspect in the September 11, 2012 massacre, but the U.S. government hasn’t gotten around to it yet?
- See more at: http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/cnn-finds-benghazi-terrorist-suspect-fbi-doesnt/#sthash.VIs10SYb.dpuf

CNN Finds Benghazi Terrorist Suspect; FBI Doesn’t

BenghaziSo let’s see if I have this right:  A CNN reporter goes to a coffee shop at a well-known hotel in Benghazi and for two hours chit-chats with a man who some believe was the ringleader of the terrorist gang that murdered four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — and almost a year after the attack the FBI either can’t figure out how to find this guy or has no interest in even trying to find him.
Really?  A newsman with nothing more than a tape recorder and a pencil and paper interviews a prime suspect in the September 11, 2012 massacre, but the U.S. government hasn’t gotten around to it yet?
- See more at: http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/cnn-finds-benghazi-terrorist-suspect-fbi-doesnt/#sthash.VIs10SYb.dpuf

see link for full story

Gonsalves: Cape man revisits Flight 800

August 04, 2013

July 17, 1996. TWA Flight 800 departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Shortly after takeoff, the Paris-bound 747 exploded in the early night air as it ascended to 13,800 feet, crashing into the waters off Long Island. All 230 passengers and crew members aboard were killed.

What: A screening of the documentary "TWA Flight 800," made by Falmouth native Tom Stalcup. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Stalcup and a discussion about the filmmaker's petition asking the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to reopen the investigation.

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15

Where: Falmouth High School

Admission: Free ($10 for reserved seats)

For more information: www.flight800doc.com.

Falmouth native Tom Stalcup, who now lives in Sandwich, was working on his doctorate in physics then. He didn't start to pay close attention to the tragedy until he happened to see the FBI press conference laying out the official story.

It was a CIA video shown during the press conference, Stalcup told me, that started him down the path that would eventually convince him the official explanation was contradicted by the government's own evidence — a disturbing story of an alleged cover-up Stalcup and other investigators tell in the recently released documentary "TWA Flight 800."

"This video came on during the press conference that said it was produced by the Central Intelligence Agency. That got my attention because I had never seen that before in my life. What's the CIA doing on TV talking directly to me?" Stalcup told me on Friday, hours before his documentary was shown at the Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan.

"It got weirder and weirder," he recalled. "The (video) narrator said, 'This was not a missile.' And I was like: Why are they telling us what it wasn't, rather than what it was?"

The official story, according to the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board, was that Flight 800 exploded because an electrical short circuit made its way into the center wing fuel tank and detonated the fuel vapors.

Though hundreds of eyewitnesses said they saw what looked like a missile taking off from the water and hitting the plane before it exploded, the CIA video emphasized how Flight 800 was NOT hit by a missile, relegating skeptics to tin-foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists.

NTSB investigators said the flaming streak eyewitnesses described was most likely burning fuel leaking from the plane's wing tank.

Stalcup, who founded the Falmouth-based weather data transmitter company Upward Innovations Inc., began contacting eyewitnesses, all of whom said the CIA video was "a bunch of baloney."

"What kept me intrigued all these years is the disconnect between the official story and what the reality is and what the evidence shows," Stalcup explained.

Through Freedom of Information Act requests, Stalcup was able to get the radar data, internal investigative documents from the CIA, as well reams of other forensic evidence.

He coupled that with his knowledge of physics and the first-hand accounts of official investigators speaking out after they retired. Stalcup believes it all corroborates eyewitness accounts and clearly contradicts the official story.

The film has garnered national media attention, largely because it sparked a petition campaign in June requesting the NTSB reopen the investigation. And while some dismiss the film as paranoid propaganda, it's hard to ignore the investigators in the film who say the crash was caused by an "external detonation" just as 670 eyewitnesses initially reported.

Among the investigators in the film who call the official narrative into question are Hank Hughes, who served as a senior accident investigator with the NTSB and helped reconstruct the downed aircraft; Bob Young, a TWA investigator who was also involved with the official probe; and Jim Speer, an accident investigator for the Airline Pilots Association.

You don't have to be a physicist, Stalcup said, to know "there has never been an in-flight fuel-air explosion of any commercial aircraft ever," adamant that the voltage in airline fuel tanks are too low to ignite jet fuel.

The documentary doesn't offer a theory as to who or exactly what shot down Flight 800 (Was it alleged terrorism? An accidental strike from a U.S. military exercise?). Stalcup said they didn't delve into possible culprits because he considers it irresponsible to speculate, which is why he rejects the notion that he's peddling conspiracy theories.

"I'm a scientist. I'll go in front of any scientific body in the country and present the radar evidence. And they will agree. You can't have a low-velocity explosion create high-velocity debris. It's physically impossible," Stalcup said.

Most of us can't judge the science in this story. But Stalcup's documentary was convincing enough to get picked up by the EPIX TV network and distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation. Also, Stalcup said, "60 Minutes Australia" recently bought the rights to the film to show the movie Down Under.

Still, as CNN reported last month, Joe Lychner, whose wife and two daughters were killed on Flight 800, said he was skeptical of the missile theory.

"So far as I can tell, this is just a rehash of what's been out on the Internet," Lychner told CNN. But, he added, "If they do have new information and it's provable, it's a game changer. I will watch this thing with a very critical eye."

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Reuters: Secret DEA unit using intel to investigate Americans

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Federal drug agents are being instructed to conceal the involvement of a secret Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) unit during the course of their investigations, a unit which helps law enforcement launch criminal investigations of Americans, Reuters reports.
The unit forwards tips acquired from the National Security Agency, “wiretaps by foreign governments, court-approved domestic wiretaps and a database called DICE to federal agents and local law enforcement officers,” Reuters reports.
Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, created in 1994, including the CIA, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
Through a decades-old law enforcement technique called “parallel construction,” law enforcement officials pretend that their investigation began with something like a traffic stop, during which the agent discovered incriminating evidence by use of a tool like a drug dog.
The technique “may be legal” in order to establish probable cause for an investigation, defense lawyers and prosecutors told the publication, but it is kept secret in order to protect sources and methods.
“But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants,” wrote Reuters.
“DEA officials who oversee the unit say the information sent to law enforcement authorities was obtained through subpoena, court order and other legal means,” said Reuters.
Justice Department policy, revealed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, is that it does not need to seek a warrant when investigating the electronic communications of Americans.

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There is no way to contact the website owners



There is a growing concern  that journalist Michael Hastings was assassinated by unidentified
FBI  agents for exposing the FBI connection. Best to start and find out who were the FBI  agents involved harassing Hastings, eh?

see link for full story

 Suit Triggered by Petraeus’s Affair Accuses FBI of a Smear Campaign
August 12, 2013 3:43 pm

United States military leaders sometimes use the bloodless euphemism “collateral damage” to describe what happens to civilians unlucky enough to be in the vicinity when rockets, bombs or artillery shells land. The term could also be applied to Jill Kelley and her husband and children, according to a lawsuit against the federal government in the fallout over the indiscretions of Gen. David H. Petraeus.

Jill Kelley and her husband have filed suit against various figures in Washington over leaks in the scandal that ultimately took down former Gen. David Petraeus.

Kelley was instrumental in revealing that Petraeus was having an affair with Paula Broadwell, his much younger protegee and biographer, a misstep that forced Petraeus to resign as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in November 2012 in a sad end to his brilliant Army and government career.

Earlier in 2012, Kelley had received threatening emails, which she reported to federal authorities, who traced them to Broadwell, who lives in North Carolina. But for doing the right thing by helping the authorities, the Kelleys, who live in Tampa, Fla., have been harassed and smeared by people in power, according to a 65-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The complaint accuses the FBI and Director Robert S. Mueller III, the Department of Defense and unknown “John Does” and “Jane Does” of violating the Kelleys’ right to privacy by snooping through the couple’s email, instead of conducting a narrow search to determine the sender of the abusive messages, and of trashing the Kelleys’ previously outstanding reputation as civic-minded people. (Jill Kelley’s husband, Scott, is a surgeon.)

Perhaps most bizarrely, according to the complaint, Mrs. Kelley was abducted from her home on July 12, 2012, by FBI agents who refused to let her call an attorney, then drove her around while asking her “bewildering questions” about her relationship not only with Petraeus but about Gen. John Allen of the Marine Corps, formerly the top American commander in Afghanistan. After the harrowing automobile ride, the agents deposited Mrs. Kelley at the Tampa airport without her luggage, the complaint states. (She had been planning to fly out of Tampa that day.)

In fact, the Kelleys’ complaint says, Broadwell had no reason to be jealous of Mrs. Kelley, who never had an affair with Petraeus or Allen, both of whom Mrs. Kelley knew socially, or anyone else. Allen, who became entangled in the mess after he received an email disparaging Mrs. Kelley, was exonerated after an investigation but chose to retire anyhow, citing personal reasons and his wife’s health.

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 Monday, August 12th, 2013

 FBI agent head of Crimes Against Children task force head faces criminal probe

A North Georgia judge revealed this morning that FBI Special Agent Ken Hillman, former head of the Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, faces a criminal investigation in connection with that operation.
Judge Grant Brantley also agreed this morning in Walker County Superior Court to push court hearings in 10 child sex sting cases brought by the task force back six months during that investigation.
Among other actions, defense attorneys in the 10 cases entered motions to see Hillman’s personnel file in preparation for the trials against the men arrested by the task force last year.

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Wife says husband who worked as FBI informant is getting deported to Pakistan

RONKONKOMA, LONG ISLAND (PIX11) — 21-year-old Monique Faisal sat with her newborn daughter, Aliyah, and cried, as she talked of leaving the hospital early because her husband, Balal Parveez, faces deportation to Pakistan. The young wife told PIX11 it’s not fair because her husband was working as an FBI informant and believed it would help his immigration status.

“This is his home,” she sobbed, “Why do they take him away, again and again?”

Faisal told PIX11 that even though her husband moved to Long Island with his family when he was five-years-old, attending American schools from grade school through college, he’s been targeted by federal agents over his immigration status since he was 18-years-old. Parveez was a former football quarterback for Smithtown High School. The Parveez family claims all nine of Balal’s siblings became U.S. citizens, but a legal error by an immigration attorney prevented Balal from getting his papers.

Faisal said her husband was first deported to Pakistan, during a trip to Puerto Rico, when he was 18-years-old.

Wife says husband who worked as FBI informant is getting deported to PakistanParveez managed to re-enter the United States and the couple married in 2010.  However, when they went to get their marriage license at Smithtown Town Hall, Parveez was arrested and faced deportation to Pakistan again.  Monique went with him to the Parveez family’s former home in Lahore. Monique claims it was shot up, while the couple was there, because Balal’s father used to do business dealings with Americans.

The couple managed to re-enter the United States, by way of Miami, in late 2010, but  the husband was arrested — and convicted — for lying about U.S. citizenship.  He remained in federal custody for nearly a year. Monique claimed to PIX11 the FBI removed her husband from the jail in 2011 and allowed him to return to New York. In exchange, Faisal told PIX 11 Balal Parveez started work as a federal informant.

Faisal said her husband worked in a bank, until a couple of months ago, and would attend different mosques every Friday.

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Reuters: IRS manual instructed agents how to hide secret DEA/NSA intel

The nation’s tax collectors were instructed for two years on how to conceal evidence obtained by a secret unit inside the Drug Enforcement Administration cooperating with the National Security Agency.

An Internal Revenue Service manual posted online in 2005 and removed in 2007 instructed agents on how to conceal classified evidence forwarded by the DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD) in investigations of Americans, Reuters reports.

Reuters reported Monday that the SOD forwards tips acquired from the National Security Agency, “wiretaps by foreign governments, court-approved domestic wiretaps,” and a DEA phone and Internet database called DICE. These tips go to federal agents and local law enforcement officers.

Officials at both the DEA and the NSA stressed that the DICE database and the NSA database currently at the center of controversy were different databases.

Recipients of the information are then instructed to engage in a decades-old law enforcement technique called “parallel construction;” the tipped-off agent might use other non-secret means to justify beginning an investigation into a suspect and conceal the origin of the evidence.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the IRS manual — no longer available online — instructed agents to use the evidence as leads, but find new “independent” evidence to justify the investigation.

Evidence obtained from SOD, which is closely guarded by the DOJ, cannot be directly used in an investigation.

The IRS already came under fire earlier this year for having a policy that allowed its criminal division to engage in the warrantless search of a suspect’s electronic communications. That policy was amended following pressure from members of Congress.

The parallel construction technique advised by the SOD is legal, but not without its critics.

Both Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul have both spoken critically of the program.

Rogers, a former FBI agent, told talk show host Mike Huckabee, “If they’re recreating a trail, that’s wrong and we’re going to have to do something about it.”

Paul, who has staked his claim on the defense of the Constitution, also expressed concern over the technique, noting that the protection of individual liberty was just as important a function of the government as national security.

Two dozen federal government agencies comprise the unit, which was formed in 1994, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency and Internal Revenue Service.

The unit engages in investigations involving drug crimes, money laundering, and organized crime.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters during a Tuesday press conference that the Justice Department was “looking at some of the issues raised” by Reuters’ report on Monday.

Published: Friday August 9, 2013 MYT 6:52:00 AM
Updated: Friday August 9, 2013 MYT 6:54:41 AM

Trader at center of US$6.2bil trading loss will not face charges

NEW YORK: The trader at the center of JPMorgan Chase's US$6.2 billion trading loss last year will not face charges related to the incident, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Bruno Iksil, who worked in JPMorgan's chief investment office in London and incurred losses on oversized positions in a derivatives market, is cooperating with government investigators, the source said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, along with regulators in the UK, opened probes last year into the activity surrounding the costly bets, which earned Iksil the nickname "the London Whale" from his fellow Wall Street traders.
The case is still open, but according to a New York Times report on Thursday, JPMorgan is close to a deal with the SEC and British regulators, which is expected to be announced in the fall. The fate of a potential criminal case against JPMorgan or individuals who worked for the bank during the incident remains unclear.
Spokesmen for the FBI and the SEC declined to comment. Spokeswomen for JPMorgan and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iksil's lawyer decined to comment.
In March, a U.S. Senate committee reported findings from its own investigation, concluding JPMorgan ignored risks, misled investors, fought with regulators and tried to work around rules as it dealt with mushrooming losses in the portfolio for which Iksil was trading.- Reuters
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August 15, 2013

Former FBI  agent who heads Intelligence committee urged to explain if he withheld crucial NSA document

Critics demand answers from chairman Mike Rogers after claims that committee failed to share document before key vote

Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent, chairs the House intelligence committee. Critics have accused the committee of being too close to the NSA. Photograph: AP
The leadership of the House intelligence committee is under growing pressure to explain whether it withheld surveillance information from members of Congress before a key vote to renew the Patriot Act.
A Republican congressman and government ethics watchdogs are demanding that the powerful panel's chairman, Mike Rogers of Michigan, responds to charges that the panel's leadership failed to share a document prepared by the justice department and intelligence community.
The document was explicitly created to inform non-committee members about bulk collection of Americans' phone records ahead of the vote in 2011. Michigan Republican Justin Amash alleged that the committee kept it from non-committee members – the majority of the House.
Now Morgan Griffith, a Republican who represents Virginia's ninth district, is calling for answers. "I certainly think leadership needs to figure out what's going on. We're trying to get information so we can do our jobs as congressmen," he told the Guardian. "If we're not able to get that information, it's inappropriate."
"Obviously, this is of concern," he added.
Griffith has been been critical of the committee for blocking attempts by non-members to obtain information about classified programs. On August 4, the Guardian published a series of letters he had written to the committee requesting more details, all of which had gone unanswered.
The accusations broaden the focus of the surveillance controversy from the National Security Agency to one of the congressional committees charged with exercising oversight of it – and the panel's closeness to the NSA it is supposed to oversee.
Amash told the Guardian on Monday that he had confirmed with the House intelligence committee that the committee did not make non-committee members aware of the classified overview from 2011 of the bulk phone records collection program first revealed by the Guardian thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden. The document was expressly designed to be shared with legislators who did not serve on the panel; it appears that a corresponding document for the Senate in 2011 was made available to all senators.
"Nobody I've spoken to in my legislative class remembers seeing any such document," Amash said.
Amash speculated that the House intelligence committee withheld the document in order to ensure the Patriot Act would win congressional reauthorization, as it ultimately did.
For the second consecutive day, the House intelligence committee's spokeswoman, Susan Phelan, did not respond to the Guardian's queries about the accuracy of Amash's allegation. Phelan, however, told The Hill newspaper that the committee held pre-vote briefings for all House members ahead of the Patriot vote. She did not deny Amash's claim.
Amash countered that members who attend classified briefings conducted by the panel, formally known as the House permanent select committee on intelligence or HPSCI, often receive fragmentary information.
"The presenters rarely volunteer the critically important information and it becomes a game of 20 Questions," Amash told the Guardian.
Government ethics experts accused the committee of betraying its oversight mandate.
"If the HPSCI leadership withheld a document, intended by the administration for release to non-committee members – a document that could have led to a different outcome when the Patriot Act was reauthorized in 2011 – this is tantamount to subversion of the democratic process," said Bea Edwards, the executive director of the Government Accountability Project.
"Americans have the right to know exactly who made this decision and who carried it out."
"There is clearly a loss of confidence in HPSCI leadership among some House members, notably including members of the majority party," added Steve Aftergood, an intelligence and secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists.
"This can manifest itself in a reduction of trust and comity, and increased skepticism toward committee actions. It can be remedied, perhaps, by permitting greater allowance for dissenting views in the committee's deliberations."

Ever since the intelligence reforms of the 1970s, Congress has struck an institutional deal with the intelligence agencies: to balance the needs for protecting government secrets and informing the public, oversight is the responsibility of two committees, one in the House and one in the Senate, that conduct most of their business in secret.
Members who do not sit on the committees have little recourse but to rely on their colleagues on the secret panels to accurately inform them about complex and often controversial intelligence programs.
Yet over decades, the relationship between the intelligence committees and the intelligence agencies has become more often collegial than adversarial. When the House intelligence committee held its first public hearing into the ongoing NSA bulk collection of Americans' phone records, it titled the hearing 'How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids our Adversaries'.
The panel's chairman, Mike Rogers, is a former FBI agent. Its ranking Democrat, Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, received over $220,000 in campaign contributions during his past term from the defense and intelligence industries, according to David Kravets of Wired. Both are staunch advocates of the NSA bulk surveillance programs.
"The congressional committees charged with oversight of the intelligence community have long been captive to, and protective of, the intelligence agencies," said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight.
"Many of the congressional staff, in fact, come from those agencies. This latest revelation demonstrates the harm caused by that conflict of interest. When the congressional oversight committee is more loyal to the agency it oversees than to the legislative chamber its members were elected to serve in, the public's interest is seriously compromised."

It has been over 15 years since David Burnham published his book ABOVE THE LAW
which looks at FBI agents fixing cases for corporations. Down here in the whisper
stream FBI  director Robert Mueller was know for covering up the largest banking scandal in US History.
The BCCI banking scandal was covered up by Robert Mueller when he was an assistant US Attorney General.
The current  US Attrney General Eric Holder is know for his coverup of the Martin Luther King assassination investigation when Holder was an US Assistant Attorney General in 1999.

As a criminal justice consumer your first duty is to follow your tax dollar trail
to see if your tax dimes is used to help or hurt you.
You do know what to do?
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The FBI's 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report Reveals Why the Banksters Love Holder
Posted: 08/14/2013 2:30 pm

The Obama administration's continuation of the Bush administration's refusal to prosecute the elite banksters (or even the vastly lower status CEOs of the fraudulent mortgage bank) that drove the crisis has made it clear that the rule of law no longer applies to wide ranges of life and that crony capitalism will continue to reign.

One of the difficulties we have is that because the last two administrations have fanatical devotees of the cult of the Virgin Crisis - the myth that the ongoing crisis was the first in modern times conceived without sin (control fraud) - that it is exceptionally difficult to know what their creed is. DOJ has refused to prosecute any elite banker for mortgage loan origination fraud. The rare prosecutions it has brought against senior officials of fraudulent loan originator (a large, but obscure regional mortgage bank: Taylor Bean) did not prosecute the officials for their fraudulent origination (or sale) of loans. They Taylor Bean officials were only prosecuted for their fraud against the TARP program - and only because Neil Barofsky (SIGTARP) made the criminal referral about that fraud and pushed relentlessly to force the Department of Justice to prosecute. With zero prosecutions of the massively fraudulent home lenders that drove the crisis to we are left with no information on why committing hundreds of thousands of frauds via the twin epidemics of loan origination fraud (inflating appraisals and making endemically fraudulent "liar's" loans) is no longer a crime that the FBI investigates and DOJ prosecutes. No senior DOJ or FBI official, of course, is stupid enough to state openly why we no longer prosecute even the CEOs of long-bankrupt mortgage banks that led these accounting control frauds. The U.S. Attorney for Sacramento, one of the epicenters of accounting control fraud, was foolish enough to attempt to explain why he did not investigated or prosecute the banksters:

Benjamin Wagner, a U.S. Attorney who is actively prosecuting mortgage fraud cases in Sacramento, Calif., points out that banks lose money when a loan turns out to be fraudulent. "It doesn't make any sense to me that they would be deliberately defrauding themselves," Wagner said.

Wagner's inability to keep his pronouns straight even when they were in the same sentence - "they" refers to the CEO, "themselves" refers to the bank the CEO is looting - was so embarrassing that he did not even try to respond to his critics. With no indictments of the bank CEOs for loan origination fraud and no statements by senior DOJ leaders about why they refuse to prosecute the leaders of the accounting control frauds that drove our last three major crises we are forced to guess at what went wrong at the FBI and DOJ.

This is the first in a series of columns that use the FBI's 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report to make intelligent inferences about why the prosecutors have ceased prosecuting control frauds directed by senior financial leaders. To find that report on the FBI web site, one searches for "mortgage fraud" and reads the following:

    Mortgage Fraud

    These scams hit us right where we live.

    From foreclosure frauds to subprime shenanigans, mortgage fraud is a growing crime threat that is hurting homeowners, businesses, and the national economy. We have developed new ways to detect and combat mortgage fraud, including collecting and analyzing data to spot emerging trends and patterns. And we are using the full array of investigative techniques to find and stop criminals before the fact, rather than after the damage has been done.

The first clause is schizophrenic. "Foreclosure fraud" is a massive anti-purchaser control fraud directed by the senior leadership of fraudulent banks. "Subprime" refers to one of the primary forms of "ammunition" used by the accounting control frauds whose fraudulent mortgage loan originations drove the financial crisis. But the FBI calls this form of fraud, which caused catastrophic losses mere "shenanigans."

Definition of SHENANIGAN


: a devious trick used especially for an underhand purpose


a: tricky or questionable practices or conduct --usually used in plural

b: high-spirited or mischievous activity --usually used in plural

Examples of SHENANIGAN

1. <students engaging in youthful shenanigans on the last day of school>

2. <an act of vandalism that went way beyond the usual shenanigans at summer camp>

The trivialization of even elite white-collar crime is a problem that Henry Pontell and I have warned against.

White-Collar Criminology and the Occupy Wall Street Movement in The Criminologist, Vol. 37 #1. Henry N. Pontell and William K. Black. American Society of Criminology (January/February 2012)

As this series of columns will demonstrate, one of the consistent facts that emerges from the FBI's 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report; albeit through consistent omission, is that the FBI implicitly assumes that this is our first Virgin financial crisis of the modern era. Even the concept of control fraud at financial institutions no longer exists at the FBI.

A related key truth also arises through consistent omission in the same FBI report - the banking regulatory agencies continue to play no role the FBI considers worthy of mention in identifying, reporting, and fighting mortgage fraud. Both omissions begin to become clear in the 2010 FBI report's introduction.

2010 Mortgage Fraud Report: Year in Review

    Scope Note

    The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the breadth and depth of mortgage fraud crimes perpetrated against the United States and its citizens during 2010. This report updates the 2009 Mortgage Fraud Report and addresses current mortgage fraud projections, issues, and the identification of mortgage fraud "hot spots." The objective of this study is to provide FBI program managers and the general public with relevant data to better understand the threat posed by mortgage fraud. The report was requested by the Financial Crimes Section, Criminal Investigative Division (CID), and prepared by the Financial Crimes Intelligence Unit (FCIU), Directorate of Intelligence (DI).

    This report is based on FBI; federal, state, and local law enforcement; mortgage industry; and open-source reporting. Information was also provided by other government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), and the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Industry reporting was obtained from LexisNexis, Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI), RealtyTrac, Inc., Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Interthinx, and CoreLogic. Some industry reporting was acquired through open sources.

    Mortgage fraud perpetrators include licensed/registered and non-licensed/registered mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, underwriters, accountants, real estate agents, settlement attorneys, land developers, investors, builders, bank account representatives, and trust account representatives.

Note ten omissions and one dangerous inclusion in the introduction to FBI Mortgage Fraud Report for 2010. First, this is the most recent FBI Mortgage Fraud report. While the FBI felt the need to get updated analysis of mortgage fraud in 2009 and 2010 it has not updated the report since that time even as the statute of limitations is running out for many of the frauds.

Second, the long list of federal entities that provided "information" about "mortgage fraud" did not include the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the OCC, and OTS - the four banking regulatory agencies that should have been the leading source of information on mortgage fraud. They had the duty to regulate the control frauds that drove the crisis. The Fed had the unique statutory authority under HOEPA (1994) to ban all "liar's loans" - one of the twin epidemics of accounting control fraud by loan originators that drove the crisis. We know that the Fed collected data on these endemically fraudulent liar's loans because they cited the data in 2008 when they finally, under Congressional pressure, used HOEPA to ban liar's loans. We also know from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) report that the Fed's staff collected data on enormous number of liar's loans being made by affiliates of the Nation's largest banks. The Fed's supervisors used the data to warn the Fed's senior leadership years before the crisis about the need to use HOEPA to stop a growing disaster. Alan Greenspan and his successor Ben Bernanke refused to stop the endemically fraudulent loans and Greenspan attacked the staff for daring to criticize the largest banks (which reprised his shameful performance when his supervisors criticized the large banks for aiding and abetting Enron's accounting control fraud and anti-public (tax) fraud) (FCIC 2011: 20). The next page of the report explains that the OCC examiners raised similar flags about liar's loans based on their examination findings. The OTS examined three of the most notorious "liar's" loan lenders (Countrywide, Washington Mutual (WaMu), and IndyMac). Countrywide and WaMu were also infamous for their widespread appraisal fraud. The OTS had copious data on mortgage fraud origination by many of the largest lenders that it had a duty to regulate.

Third, the FBI does not mention the SEC though it was the supervisor and examiner of the Nation's largest investment banks. Those investment banks were among the largest originators and purchasers of fraudulent liar's loans. The SEC should have had reams of data and expertise on liar's loans, appraisal fraud, and many other control frauds that generated vast amounts of mortgage fraud. Like the banking regulatory agencies, the SEC should have been an invaluable source of expertise on mortgage fraud in addition to being among the most important data providers.

Fourth, the banking regulatory agencies and the SEC must not have made any criminal referrals the FBI considered worthy of note. Criminal referrals are the "road map" that the experts in banking fraud schemes (the banking regulators and the SEC) provide to the FBI to make it possible for them to mount an effective investigation. The FBI mortgage fraud report does not indicate that it received any criminal referrals from the federal banking and securities regulators. The OTS, during the vastly smaller and far less fraudulent S&L debacle made over 30,000 criminal referrals. How did OTS go from over 30,000 criminal referrals in a far smaller crisis/fraud scheme to zero criminal referrals in this crisis? That question should have been of paramount importance to the FBI. The 2010 FBI report on mortgage fraud, however, does not mention the death of criminal prosecutions by the regulatory agencies. The FBI report does not explain why criminal referrals from the regulators are essential to the FBI's success because a bank will rarely make a criminal referral against its CEO. The destruction of the criminal referral process, which denied the FBI its vital expertise about the industry, was critical to the FBI's inability to recognize widespread accounting control fraud.

Fifth, the FBI does not list the honest appraisers as a source of information on mortgage fraud. That represents an extraordinary failure, and one that was as inexcusable as it was disastrous. I have written a great deal recently about the honest appraisers' efforts to warn the Nation about the epidemic of appraisal fraud driven by the leaders of the accounting control frauds.

    From 2000 to 2007, a coalition of appraisal organizations ... delivered to Washington officials a public petition; signed by 11,000 appraisers.... [I]t charged that lenders were pressuring appraisers to place artificially high prices on properties [and] "blacklisting honest appraisers" and instead assigning business only to appraisers who would hit the desired price targets (FCIC 2010:18).

The appraisers began warning the FBI in 2000 - before the Enron-era accounting control fraud crisis blew up. The appraisers' petition was the perfect information the FBI needed - it demonstrated that the leaders of the lenders and their agents were running control frauds. Only the lender and its agents can cause widespread appraisal fraud. No honest lender would ever inflate an appraisal, but an accounting control fraud would find such a strategy optimal. My prior articles have explained that several years before the FBI wrote its 2010 report on mortgage fraud the appraisers had also provided data demonstrating the endemic nature of appraisal fraud and an investigation by New York Attorney General Cuomo had confirmed the accuracy of the appraisers' warning about the fraudulent lenders blacklisting honest appraisers.

Sixth, the FBI sought no input from white-collar criminologists - the specialists in this field with the most relevant expertise. One hopes that when the FBI investigates the theft of nuclear materials they consult physicists.

Seventh, the FBI sought no input from the professional association of mortgage brokers founded to try to restore integrity to that profession. My prior columns have quoted at length from the honest loan brokers' testimony before the Fed warning of the endemically fraudulent nature of liar's loans and explaining the destructive interaction of that form of fraud and appraisal fraud.

Eighth, the FBI specifically notes that it received information from MARI because of its anti-fraud expertise. The FBI neglects to note, however, that MARI had warned the entire mortgage industry (and the FBI) that the incidence of fraud in liar's loans was 90 percent. By 2006, roughly 40% of all loans originated that year were liar's loans and the number of liar's loans grew by over 500% from 2003-2006. After MARI's warning to the industry in early 2006 about liar's loans the industry massively increased the number of liar's loans it made. The only way for lenders to sell endemically fraudulent liar's loans was through fraud, so the FBI knew that liar's loans had to propagate fraud throughout the secondary market and mortgage derivatives. Despite all this, the FBI report on mortgage fraud ignores appraisal and mortgage origination fraud directed by the lenders' controlling officers.

Ninth, the FBI ignores the OTS's successful crackdown on liar's loans in 1990-1991 that was based on the inherently fraudulent nature of liar's loans. No honest mortgage lender would make wide-scale liar's loans. The FBI ignored the criminal referrals that OTS had made two decades earlier that explained why liar's loans optimized accounting control fraud.

Tenth, the FBI's list of "mortgage fraud perpetrators" gives a free pass to the real frauds and fingers the little people for prosecution. The FBI's list excludes all the officials who actually led the endemic appraisal and "liar's" loan frauds. The list only covers the minnows.

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FBI Says It Can't Reinstate Agent Until 2015
 August 14, 2013

The FBI says a Virginia man who won a discrimination lawsuit against the bureau can't be reinstated as a special agent until 2015 because of budget cuts.

Justin Slaby of Stafford sued the FBI. The Army veteran who lost his left hand in a training accident said the agency wrongly kicked him out of its training academy because of his prosthetic hand, even though he was otherwise qualified.

A jury agreed and last week awarded him $75,000. But a judge must decide whether Slaby will be reinstated as a special agent.

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Attorney alleges FBI planted agent at Todashev presser
Tampa, Florida-- Did the FBI have an agent planted at Tuesday's press conference from the Center for American Islamic Relations?
That's the claim of Tampa defense attorney Barry Cohen, who is now representing the father of Ibragim Todashev.
10 News obtained the email that Cohen sent to the FBI director Tuesday night.
Ibragim Todashev was friends with the Boston Marathon suspects. Following a four hour interrogation, agents allegedly shot the unarmed suspect seven times, killing him inside his Orlando Apartment back in May.
At Tuesday's press conference, Todashev's father not only revealed he hired Cohen as council, but said his son was a good boy, who was innocent. 
"He didn't do anything wrong. He was simply not capable of doing it."
At this point the family is waiting on the results of an independent review of the shooting. 
Below is the email from attorney Barry Cohen to the Director of the FBI:
"We have reason to believe that the bureau's investigation had planted, in a clandestine manner, someone to attend the conference who was to report back to the FBI. 
In the future, please know that you or your agents are always invited and you do not have to engage in such investigative tactics to learn from us the truth." 

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NSA Snooping? What About the FBI Bugging My Bedroom?

Bill Kunstler and Judy Clavir hold homing device placed on their car by the FBI. (Courtesy of Greg Mitchell)

Of course, NSA snooping, collection of meta-data, checking e-mails and photographing our mailing envelopes is nothing to laugh about. But back in the day—that day being the late 1960s and early 1970s—the spying got more personal.

Even into my bedroom.

Stew Albert, the former Yippie leader once a suspect in a bombing of the US Capitol, wrote regular pieces for us (often with his wife, Judy “Gumbo” Clavir) at Crawdaddy throughout the 1970s. Stew had strong credentials, in our minds: unindicted co-conspirator at the Chicago 8 trial. Left-wing candidate for sheriff of Alameda (he carried Berkeley). Introduced John Lennon to local Yippies during John’s brief embrace of the left in New York City in the early 1970s. Helped get us to hire William Kunstler as our legal writer and Abbie Hoffman, then on the lam, as our “Travel Editor.” But he was more of a peacemaker than an agitator—a “lovable blond teddy bear,” a “wise old rabbi,” in Paul Krassner’s estimation.  

In one haunting piece, Stew recalled meeting the great folk singer Victor Jara during an early-’70s visit to Chile with Phil Ochs and Jerry Rubin. Not long after that, Jara, only 27, had been tortured—his fingers cut off—and killed by Pinochet’s thugs following the coup that deposed of democratically elected Salvador Allende. (Phil Ochs, in probably the final major act of his tortured life, later organized a tribute to Jara in New York that I attended, featuring a surprise guest appearance by Bob Dylan.)

An easygoing chap, partly because of a heart condition, Stew had endorsed McGovern in 1972, but maintained his left-wing views. For Crawdaddy he met up again with his old friend Tom Hayden when he ran for the US Senate in California.

During this period, I often visited Stew and Judy at their modest mountaintop home in Hurley, New York,  near Woodstock. And apparently I wasn’t alone.  

One Sunday morning, at my Barrow Street apartment in New York, I got a call from Bill Kunstler and was urged to come quick, with a camera. Stew and Judy, who were staying with him in the West Village (we had attended an Emmylou Harris concert the night previous), had come out to their car and noticed that a few weeks of dust on its rear bumper had been cleared away in one spot. Judy reached under and—presto, pulled out an electronic “homing device,” complete with tiny antenna. It was the first such nefarious object captured by any lefty in recent years, as far as we knew.

Naturally, Stew and Judy quickly wrote a piece for us, which we first titled “Bug Up My Ass!”, then changed to “Get the Secret Police Off My Tail!”, complete with my photo of them holding the device (see above), a plea for an explanation from the feds and the promise of a lawsuit (their lawyer, after all, was close at hand).

Well, a little later, they would win that suit and collect $20,000. Turned out that the FBI, under its notorious COINTELPRO program—no wonder the left was in disarray—had also placed listening devices in Stew and Judy’s mountaintop home, even in the bedrooms, surely active when I visited with a girlfriend on at least one occasion. (So perhaps they had listened to us while we, well, you know.) Apparently they thought that the couple might harbor Patty Hearst, or Abbie Hoffman or, who knows, Judge Crater or Jimmy Hoffa?

A top FBI intel official, James O. Ingram, was now being probed for lying to Congress about ordering that bug. We also learned that agents had broken into their home and seized objects that they sent to a lab for testing; monitored their bank account; and examined the couple’s mail at the Hurley, New York, post office, including many letters I had sent. They also on occasion followed visitors, such as yours truly, home.  

When we published some of their FBI files, mainly from 1973–74 (but going back to Berkeley in 1970), we billed it as “perhaps the most realistic look ever at the day-to-day life of FBI huntsmen and their radical prey,” and it drew wide media attention. And plenty of laughs, especially at the agents who blamed their inability to tail the couple in their crappy old car, due to Judy’s erratic driving. Or the weather. One of the agent’s reports noted an “unidentified individual” visiting their cabin, and for that week, it could have only been me.

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FBI director does not deny al-Awlaki may have been government asset

A four year investigation by Fox News, and newly declassified documents obtained separately by Judicial Watch, are raising questions over the U.S. government's handling of Anwar al-Awlaki, and whether it tried to recruit the radical American cleric as an intelligence source As he leaves the FBI after 12 years -- two years beyond the traditional term - Director Robert Mueller did not dismiss the possibility in an interview with Fox News.

" I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset  -- that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so,"  Mueller said.

Al-Awlaki. who was born in New Mexico, died in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen nearly two years ago.

Fox's ongoing reporting on the cleric, who would later become the first American targeted for death by the CIA in 2011, shows that in 2002 he was released from custody at JFK international airport -- despite an active warrant for his arrest -- with the okay of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman.

Within days of his re-entry, al-Awlaki showed up in Ammerman's counter-terrorism investigation in Virginia into Ali al-Timimi who is now serving a life sentence on non-terrorism charges.

While Timimi's case is on appeal, Fox News is told that none of the information about al-Awlaki's release from federal custody at JFK, a sudden decision by the Justice Department in October 2002 to rescind an arrest warrant for the cleric, nor the cleric's connection to Ammerman was provided to the defense during Timimi’s 2005 trial.

Based on a July 31 court filing by the U.S. Attorney's office in Virginia through Gordon Kromberg, who handled the original prosecution, Timimi's defense team is pressing the government on the asset issue during the appeal.

"Defendant Timimi moves for discovery involving Anwar Awlaki. In particular, he seeks evidence to establish that Awlaki was a government informant when Awlaki had a meeting with Timimi in October 2002. Just as his motions seeking the same information were denied in the past, this one should be denied as well."

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued the FBI, show the FBI Director was more deeply involved in the post-9/11 handling of al-Awlaki than previously known.  

One memo from Mueller to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on Oct. 3, 2002 -- seven days before the cleric re-entered the U.S. and was detained at JFK -- is marked "Secret" and titled "Anwar Aulaqi: IT-UBL/AL-QAEDA."

While the substance of the memo is redacted in full, with the FBI citing classified material, the memo is one of at least three FBI reports, whose primary subject is the cleric, in the nine days leading up to al-Awlaki's sudden return to the U.S. in October 2002.

Another FBI memo, also marked "Secret," on Oct. 22, 2002, 12 days after the cleric's return, includes the subject line "Anwar Nasser Aulaqi" and "Synopsis: Asset reporting."  It is not clear whether the term "asset" refers to the cleric or another individual.

"Why would al-Awlaki get the attention of the FBI Director? Why would a warrant for his arrest be pulled when he's trying to reenter the country?" asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

  "All of that, you know, put two and two together.  It seems like he was protected. And it's about time this administration and the government generally come clean about their relationship with al-Awlaki. It's screaming for further clarification."

The Judicial Watch records also indicate that on Oct. 1, 2002 - before he returned to the U.S. -- a memo marked "Secret" and "Priority" was faxed from the FBI's Washington Field Office to FBI headquarters. 

On Oct. 3, the FBI director's memo was sent to Ashcroft. And on Oct. 10, the day Awlaki entered the U.S., there was a heavily redacted fax from the FBI at JFK airport including the cleric's plane ticket, customs form, passport and Social Security card.

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Up in Smoke? 24 Tons of Cocaine in “No Peek Burn Run”
Posted on August 20, 2013 by Daniel Hopsicker   

When the government of Costa Rica asked for assistance in disposing of a huge stash of cocaine and other drugs they’d accumulated during the past two years worth of drug trafficking busts—in airports, in airplanes, and on the high seas—the US was only too willing to help.

According to a spokeswoman for the DEA in Miami, it went off without a hitch. At least that's what the DEA says. If anyone actually saw the drugs destroyed, they're not talking.

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Man arrested after dropping chocolate milk container under T bus

Thursday, August 22, 2013

An MBTA passenger is facing disorderly conduct charges after police say he dropped a chocolate milk container under a bus in Brigham Circle — forcing its evacuation and prompting an investigation for a suspicious package.

Officials didn’t release the man’s name but said he will also face a charge of interfering with public transportation and is set for arraignment this afternoon.

T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the Route 66 driver told investigators the passenger exited about 9:30 a.m. and dropped the item under the bus. Pesaturo did not say why the item was considered suspicious.

The male passenger was taken into custody at the scene, Pesaturo said.

- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/08/man_arrested_after_dropping_chocolate_milk_container_under_t_bus#sthash.jVgITO4I.dpuf

Man arrested after dropping chocolate milk container under T bus
Thursday, August 22, 2013

An MBTA passenger is facing disorderly conduct charges after police say he dropped a chocolate milk container under a bus in Brigham Circle — forcing its evacuation and prompting an investigation for a suspicious package.

Officials didn’t release the man’s name but said he will also face a charge of interfering with public transportation and is set for arraignment this afternoon.

T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the Route 66 driver told investigators the passenger exited about 9:30 a.m. and dropped the item under the bus. Pesaturo did not say why the item was considered suspicious.

The male passenger was taken into custody at the scene, Pesaturo said.
- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/08/man_arrested_after_dropping_chocolate_milk_container_under_t_bus#sthash.jVgITO4I.dpuf

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Anonymous: Sorry, FBI, you don’t scare us

Members are taking issue with the bureau's claims it's "dismantled" the hacker collective

 The FBI is declaring victory over Anonymous in a series of statements claiming the hacker collective is no longer able to carry out large, successful operations because most of its “largest players” have been arrested or detained by US law enforcement authorities.

“The movement is still there, and they’re still yacking on Twitter and posting things, but you don’t hear about these guys coming forward with those large breaches,” Austin P. Berglas, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s cyber division, told the Huffington Post.

“It’s just not happening, and that’s because of the dismantlement of the largest players,” he added.

Berglas also claimed that recruiting LulzSec hacker Hector Monsegur, aka Sabu, as an FBI informant has bred fear and distrust within Anonymous, deterring hackers from continuing with their operations against targets like US law enforcement agencies.

But given some recent successes, Anons take issue with the FBI’s claims of “dismantlement.”

In spite of FBI arrests, large-scale Anonymous operations have been carried out as recently as July, when Anons made public information stolen from a server used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Earlier this year, OpLastResort infiltrated servers used by the Federal Reserve, the Department of Justice and several other financial and law enforcement agencies.

Scared of the FBI? Anonymous took to Twitter to mock the claim.

“Has anyone seen my leg? I’m in pieces over here!” tweeted one Anonymous-affiliated account. “SHOUTOUTZ TO ALL TEH DISMANTLEZ CREWZ OUT THERE IN SCARED OF TEH FBI LAND LOLOLOLOL,” tweeted @OpLastResort, an account managed by Anons closely associated with the collective’s most recent hacks.

The @OpLastResort account then dumped a large amount of information stolen from what appear to be servers used by the FBI’s Regional Forensics Computer Laboratory (RFCL). A large amount of the information appears to have been scrubbed from computer files as early as January of this year. Such data can only be obtained with direct access to servers.

a species that hires mercenaries to protect them looses the ability to
protect themselves against their bodyguards and are doomed to extinction

two reads

1st read

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Cop's Retaliation Suit Revived by Full Circuit
The 9th Circuit on Wednesday resurrected the retaliation claims of a Burbank detective who says fellow officers threatened him with violence and jail time to hide their harsh interrogation techniques.
     Angelo Dahlia, a detective in the Burbank Police Department, sued the city of Burbank, Chief of Police Tim Stehr and three officers in 2009 after being placed on administrative leave. The suspension came just four days after Dahlia had told Los Angeles Sheriff's Department investigators about the violent tactics allegedly used on suspects in a 2007 robbery.
     Dahlia claims that he saw defendant Lt. Omar Rodriguez grab a suspect by the throat and jam a gun under his eye, saying, "How does it feel to have a gun in your face motherfucker." He says he heard other suspects being beaten behind closed doors by defendant Sgt. Edgar Penaranda, and that defendant Lt. Jon Murphy and Stehr had both approved.
     Dahlia alleges that he complained about the beatings to Murphy several times, but was told to "stop his sniveling." The department's internal affairs unit began an investigation in 2008, after which Dahlia says Rodriguez and Penaranda began harassing, threatening and intimidating him to keep quiet. Rodriguez even threatened to have him arrested on a phony case and put in jail, Dahlia claims.
     Dahlia says he kept quiet until 2009, when he reported all of his allegations during an interview with an LASD investigator.
     He claimed in a federal retaliation lawsuit that he had been suspended for asserting his First Amendment rights, but U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow dismissed the case for failure to state claim. She found that there was no First Amendment issue because reporting misconduct was part of Dahlia's official duties as a police officer. Morrow also found that the suspension was not an "adverse employment action."
     A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed in August 2012, citing 2009's Huppert v. the City of Pittsburg. The judges did so reluctantly, however, and four months later the appellate court agreed to reconsider the issue before a full, 11-judge panel. The initial panel also found Stehr immune from the lawsuit, and that ruling stands.
     The court convened the en banc panel in part to consider whether Huppert v. City of Pittsburg remained good law. In that case, the majority held that a California detective had acted according to his official duties when he assisted a district attorney and the FBI with a corruption investigation after his chief had told him not to.
     Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, noted that it petitioned for the rehearing.
     In a unanimous but hardly harmonious ruling Wednesday, the appeals court revived Dahlia's claims and remanded them to the District Court. The 11-judge panel also jettisoned Huppert v. City of Pittsburg and concluded that courts must make a "'practical' inquiry when determining the scope of a government employee's professional duties" in such retaliation cases.
     Public Citizen attorney Scott Michelman credited the decision with helping to ensure transparency when "public officials are engaging in misconduct."
     "Courageous police officers like Angelo Dahlia are in many circumstances the public's best or even only available source of information about police corruption and abuse," Michelman said in a statement.
     Dahlia was also represented by Michael Morguess with Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir of Upland, Calif.
     The appeals court found that Huppert had used too broad a brush in defining the professional duties of public employees. A proper inquiry must ask, among other things, whether an officer's complaints were directed inside or outside the chain-of-command, according to the ruling.
     "We conclude that when a public employee speaks in direct contravention to his supervisor's orders, that speech may often fall outside of the speaker's professional duties," Judge Richard Paez wrote for the court. "Indeed, the fact that an employee is threatened or harassed by his superiors for engaging in a particular type of speech provides strong evidence that the act of speech was not, as a 'practical' matter, within the employee's job duties notwithstanding any suggestions to the contrary in the employee's formal job description."
     "Ultimately, Dahlia disclosed the defendants' misconduct, threats, and harassment to LASD when interviewed about the Porto's robbery investigation," Paez added. "In doing so, Dahlia clearly spoke outside the chain of command and, indeed, to an outside agency altogether. Whether Dahlia ultimately acted pursuant to his job duties when he disclosed misconduct to LASD may well turn on whether discovery reveals that Dahlia's supervisors instructed him to meet with and disclose information to LASD or in fact Dahlia did so of his own volition. Construing the complaint in Dahlia's favor, his disclosure to LASD is protected by the First Amendment."
     The panel also found that Dahlia's suspension qualified as an "adverse employment action" because it had allegedly prevented him from taking the sergeant's exam, among other things.
     While all 11 judges agreed that Dahlia should be allowed to plead his claims further, three of them objected to how the majority got there.
     Judge Harry Pregerson came down against the majority's chain-of-command distinction, writing in a concurrence that all of Dahlia's complaints about his fellow officers' alleged actions should be protected under the First Amendment.
     "The majority's chain of command guidelines undermine policies that require law enforcement officers to report police abuse up the chain of command," he wrote. "Under the majority opinion's approach, a police officer who complies with his duty and reports unlawful acts to his superiors, and as a consequence is fired for his speech, has no First Amendment protection. In contrast, a police officer who reports unlawful acts to the news media, and as a consequence is fired for his speech, is shielded by the First Amendment. Police officers are trapped in a Catch 22: violate their duty to report up the chain of command or expose themselves to retaliation. A police officer who witnesses police abuse may turn a blind eye to avoid either consequence."
     Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain warned in a separate concurrence that, in overruling Huppert v. City of Pittsburg, the majority had ventured beyond the "sound principles of federalism" and into a realm in which the courts do not belong. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who raised a similar issue during oral arguments in March, joined O'Scannlain's concurrence, which reads more like a dissent.
     "I respectfully dissent from the majority's analysis because our court makes the same error today by rejecting what California law tells us about the professional duties of that state's police officers," O'Scannlain wrote. "Furthermore, I fear that today's new approach will lead to 'judicial intervention in the conduct of governmental operations to a degree inconsistent with sound principles of federalism and the separation of powers.' Federal courts have no business managing the daily activities of police departments."

2nd read
a species that hires mercenaries to protect them looses the ability to
protect themselves against their bodyguards and are doomed to extinction

see link for full story

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Teen Says Chicago Cops Beat Her Bloody

 Chicago police chained a young woman to a wall and beat her bloody in a terrifying interrogation to try to force her to identify a shooter whose face she never saw, the woman claims in court.
     Jacklyn Miranda sued Chicago and Unknown Chicago Police Officers in Cook County Court.
     "This summer, plaintiff was walking with a friend in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood when she witnessed a shooting of multiple people," Miranda, 18, says in the lawsuit. "From where she was standing - across the street from the shooting - she was unable to see the shooter's face before he fled.
     "Plaintiff and her friend immediately ran to help the victims, and reported the shooting to 911 dispatch. When the police arrived, plaintiff and her friend described what they had seen. The police then brought the girls to the police station and took formal statements from them. In giving her statement, plaintiff described everything that she had seen, including a description of the shooter's build. Plaintiff stressed to the police that she did not see the shooter's face, however, and thus could not identify him.
     "The shooting was reported on the news to have killed one person and injured multiple others."
     Miranda says she graduated from high school this year and is holding down two jobs and planning to go to community college and then university.
     After the shooting, she says, "Detective Marco Garcia, along with two unknown defendant detectives, arrived at plaintiff's home. Instead of providing news about the shooting victims, the officers showed plaintiff mug shots, and asked her to sign one of the photos. Plaintiff refused to do so. She had not seen the shooter's face, and did not want to implicate an innocent person.
     "The defendant officers accused plaintiff of lying, and of knowing who fired the gunshots. Plaintiff began to cry. Despite this, the defendants continued to pressure plaintiff to sign one of the mug shots. Plaintiff's mother asked the officers to leave, because they were scaring plaintiff, and not to contact her daughter again."
     Garcia is not named as an individual defendant.
     The complaint continues: "Later, on a day in August 2013, plaintiff was walking to a bus stop in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood when a defendant officer drove by. The defendant reversed his car, got out, and began to search plaintiff. He snatched her purse over her head, and grabbed her phone out of her hand.
     "The defendant began to lift plaintiff's shirt to search her, and when plaintiff asked him to stop, the defendant said words to the effect of, 'fine, we'll do this the hard way.' The officer handcuffed plaintiff and put her in his car. When plaintiff asked what was happening, the defendant officer did not tell her.
     "Plaintiff asked for her phone back so that she could call her mother, but the defendant refused, telling her that because she was 18 she did not get to call her mom anymore. The defendant belittled plaintiff, accusing her of seeking protection from 'mommy.'"
     The officer then refused her request for a lawyer, "telling her that she did not need a lawyer," took her to an interrogation room at the station, where he left her for an hour with her hands cuffed behind her back, Miranda says.
     The complaint continues: "When he returned, the defendant handcuffed plaintiff to a ring on the wall. He said words to the effect of, 'we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way.' When plaintiff said that she had described everything she had seen of the shooting, he again accused her of lying.
     "The defendant indicated that he had been following plaintiff closely, revealing that he knew where she had made an ATM withdrawal days before.
     "The defendant made plaintiff look at graphic photos of the shooting victims, including a girl who had been shot in the face. When plaintiff insisted that this would not change what she saw, the defendant, who was much larger than plaintiff, got within inches of her face, screamed at her, and repeatedly called her a 'bitch.' During this, plaintiff was still handcuffed to the wall.
     "Plaintiff told the defendant that his pressure could not make her tell a false story. At that, the defendant struck plaintiff across her face with his open hand. Plaintiff began to bleed.
     "When the defendant officer opened the door of the interrogation room to leave, plaintiff saw other officers outside. Seeking their help, she called out that she had been hit and was bleeding.
     "The defendant came back into the room, closed the door behind him, and threatened plaintiff, saying that if she did that again, he would 'lay her out' and make it look like she had come at him. The defendant proceeded to tighten the handcuffs multiple times around plaintiff's wrist, asking whether plaintiff understood him. He then informed plaintiff that he had done this sort of interrogation before.
     "Plaintiff said that since there were cameras in the room, people would know what he was doing to her. The defendant responded with words to the effect of: 'You stupid bitch, the cameras are off in this room. No one cares what happens to you.'
     "The defendant again pressured plaintiff to identify the shooter, saying that he would wait all night. When he left, another defendant officer came in. This officer observed plaintiff wiping blood off her face.
     "After the original defendant returned, both officers told her to name the shooter, despite her continued assertions that she could not identify him.
     "Finally, in an attempt at freedom, plaintiff told the defendants that she would return to the station later and look at a lineup of suspects. After hours of being detained in the interrogation room, the defendants released plaintiff, and drove her to a restaurant where a friend waited. Seeing that the defendants were staying outside the restaurant, watching her from their car, plaintiff fled out of the back door of the restaurant."
     Miranda claims that police officers still come to her house asking for her, and have threatened her friends with arrest if they will not disclose where police can find her.
     She seeks punitive damages for false arrest, unreasonable seizure, excessive force, failure to intervene, conspiracy, assault and battery, and emotional distress.

Shhhhh! It's ok. It was not your brother,father or husband,eh?

Bodyguards doing what bodyguards do best......

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Thursday, August 22, 2013Last Update: 8:12 AM PT
Dad Says Jailers Took Photos of Hanged Son
 Jailers in a St. Louis suburb left a man hanging in his cell to get a camera and take photos of him while he was still alive, the late man's father claims in court.
     John Hogan sued the City of Pine Lawn, a city of 4,000, in St. Louis County Court.
     He also sued its Mayor Sylvester Caldwell, Police Chief Rickey Collins and city jail employees Jeff Thomas and Charles Hubbard.
     Hogan's son, Antonie Jones, was arrested and taken to the city jail in August 2009.
     "Defendants Caldwell, Collins, Thomas and Hubbard, and each of them knew, understood, were advised, and appreciated that Antonie Jones needed mental health medication, which they were unable to provide for, and Mr. Jones further needed transfer to an appropriate medical facility to prevent suicide," the father says in the lawsuit.
     "Defendants Caldwell, Collins, Thomas and Hubbard, and each of them, were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of Mr. Jones and ignored his obvious need for medical help and instead incarcerated Antonie Jones, without precautions, in a cell in the City of Pine Lawn jail without needed medication or mental health treatment."
     Hogan claims that Thomas found Jones hanging in his cell on Aug. 29, and "assumed that Jones was dead."
     The complaint continues: "While Antonie Jones was still alive and hanging in his cell, defendant Thomas left Mr. Jones hanging by his neck to alert others.
     "Defendant Thomas notified defendant Hubbard, who delayed in assisting Antonie Jones by first calling an ambulance and looking for and retrieving a camera before assisting Mr. Jones.
     "Before removing Mr. Jones from his hanging position, defendant Hubbard took pictures of Mr. Jones.
     "Antonie Jones was not dead on the morning of August 29 when he was observed by defendant Thomas and defendant Hubbard and when pictures were taken of him hanging by his neck in the cell.
     "Defendants Thomas and Hubbard were deliberately indifferent to the obvious serious medical need of Antonie Jones when they left him hanging by his neck in his cell while he was alive and for a considerable period of time.
     "At that time and place, as alleged above, Antonie Jones was in dire need of immediate medical care and treatment to prevent his death by affixation and hanging and defendants, and each of them failed to meet Antonie Jones' medical needs."
     Hogan claims his son was still alive when EMT ambulance workers finally took him down. He died on the way to the hospital, the father says.
     Hogan says his son's death can be attributed to Pine Lawn's cost-cutting of its jail budget.
     "The actions and indifference of defendants, and each of them, as it related to Antonie Jones was a custom, policy, practice, and procedure of the City of Pine Lawn and its jail in staffing and employing severely undertrained and non-qualified employees, at a cheap rate, and further failing to train such employees and thus failing to provide incarcerated prisoners with appropriate care, treatment, and medication," the complaint states.
     Pine Lawn officials could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
     Hogan seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013Last Update: 9:41 AM PT
Cops Just Love Those Tasers

    Minnesota police Tasered a 75-year-old man with a heart ailment while doing a "welfare check" on him, the man claims in court.
     James Van Raden sued Moorhead police Officers Steven Larsen, Matthew Wychor and Daniel Birmingham in Federal Court.
     "Disregarding the policies of the Moorhead Police Department and their training, ignoring that plaintiff Van Raden was elderly and had a heart condition, and disregarding their own statements that Van Raden was not under arrest, Defendant Police Officers restrained plaintiff, physically took him into custody, twice shocked him with a Taser weapon and callously left him lying on the floor in pain," Van Raden says in the lawsuit.
     He claims the defendant officers were sent to his home on Aug. 23, 2011, "on a 'welfare check.'"
     The complaint continues: "Plaintiff answered the door the Officers asked to speak with him.
     Plaintiff asked whether he was under arrest. Upon being informed by Defendant Officers that he was not under arrest, plaintiff told the officers to leave his home.
     "Plaintiff turned away from the officers, walked to his office and sat down in his office chair.
     "Plaintiff did not have a weapon.
     "Plaintiff was not suspected of having committed any crime.
     "Defendant Officers repeatedly informed plaintiff that he was not under arrest.
     "Plaintiff did not attempt to flee Defendant Officers.
     "Plaintiff did not threaten Defendant Officers.
     "Plaintiff was at the time seventy-five years old.
     "Plaintiff had a heart condition, the treatment of which resulted in three stents and an arterial defibrillator having been placed in his chest.
     "Plaintiff made Defendant Officers aware of his heart condition.
     "Defendant Officers followed plaintiff into his office.
     "Defendant Sgt. Larsen pointed a Taser shocking device at plaintiff, and began videotaping.
     "Plaintiff began to fear for his safety and asked defendant Sgt. Larsen to stop pointing the gun at him.
     "Defendants again informed plaintiff that he was not under arrest, and told him that the Taser was being used only as a recording device.
     "Defendants then insisted that plaintiff had to go with them. They did not say where they were planning to take him.
     "Plaintiff repeatedly told defendants that he did not want to go anywhere, that he wanted to stay in his home, and that he wanted the officers to leave.
     "Plaintiff told Defendant Officers he was afraid they would kill him.
     "Defendant Officers Birmingham and Wychor then grabbed plaintiff by the arms and legs, and began lifting him out of his chair. Plaintiff held on to the arms of his chair and said he did not want to leave.
     "As the officer[s] were lifting plaintiff out of the chair, they lifted his leg.
     "Defendants, in their later-filed reports, falsely accused plaintiff of kicking Sgt. Larsen.
     "Defendant Sgt. Larsen shocked plaintiff with his Taser device in 'stun drive' mode, causing plaintiff severe pain.
     "Plaintiff screamed, and told defendants he was in pain.
     "Defendant Sgt. Larsen then shocked plaintiff with his Taser device, sending two prongs into plaintiff's chest and abdomen.
     "Plaintiff screamed, held his heart and began complaining of heart pain.
     "Defendants told plaintiff they would continue to shock him if he did stand up.
     "Plaintiff stood, and then fell to the floor."
     Van Raden claims that the officers told him he would get medical attention only if he got up and walked outside to a waiting ambulance.
     "After plaintiff had been lying on the floor for several minutes complaining of chest pain, defendant Officer Wychor dragged him by his arms across the floor and placed him on a backboard," Van Raden says in the complaint.
     He says he never threatened anyone, including himself, there was no reason to use force on him, much less excessive force, the cops knew he had not done anything wrong, that all three cops were much younger and stronger than he is, that they knew the Taser would inflict extreme pain upon him, and that Moorhead policy prohibits using Tasers on elderly people.
     He seeks punitive damages for excessive force, false arrest, deprivation of medical care, personal injuries and constitutional violations.
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DEA Program Puts Phone Company Inside Government Offices

Sep 1, 2013

For several years, representatives of a major phone company have been sitting beside federal agents in U.S. government offices across the country and passing along certain customer data, ABC News has learned.

The program, used by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Administration, is primarily intended to let federal agents “more efficiently” respond to lawfully obtained subpoenas and keep up with suspects who routinely swap cell phones, according to a law enforcement official.

Called Hemisphere, it’s part of the U.S. government’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas — or HIDTA — program, which provides federal money for federal, state and local law enforcement to cooperate in areas deemed “critical drug-trafficking regions,” as the White House calls them.

Hemisphere, a “law enforcement sensitive” but not classified effort, puts AT&T contractors in HIDTA offices in Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta. It responds to requests from any of the other 25 HIDTA offices across the country.

As routinely occurs in investigations, HIDTA agents will seek a grand jury subpoena, administrative subpoena or search warrant directing a phone company to turn over call data about a suspect or person of interest, the law enforcement official said.

But drug traffickers and other criminals often switch phones to evade law enforcement. So under Hemisphere, after a subpoena or warrant is obtained, the AT&T representative will pull data and relay it “in real time” to HIDTA investigators sitting “right there,” according to the law enforcement official.

“Hemisphere results can be returned via email within an hour of the subpoenaed request,” according to Hemisphere training materials from Los Angeles posted online. “Hemisphere data contains roaming information that can identify the city and state at the time of the call.”

Since the Hemisphere program was launched in 2007, the Los Angeles office alone has processed more than 4,400 requests and more than 11,200 phone numbers, according to the materials posted online.

AT&T holds user information dating back to 1987, the law enforcement official said.

The materials posted online say about two-thirds of the requests were related to a “dropped phone,” but the rest were “basic” requests to help identify other suspects or conduct “other investigative work,” according to the official.

Without providing more detail, the materials say Hemisphere has been used “to track known Canadian phones roaming in the U.S. on the AT&T network.” And last year, the program began providing subscriber information and offering “mapping” through certain software.

In May, Hemisphere introduced “limited pinging for some phones,” according to the materials, which were intended to help train AT&T representatives participating in the program in Los Angeles, the law enforcement official said.

Asked whether AT&T customers should have more of an opportunity to respond to subpoenas for their information under Hemisphere, the official noted that AT&T can challenge a subpoena under Hemisphere, just as the company can with subpoenas outside Hemisphere. In those cases, the customer is not immediately aware of the subpoena to challenge it either.

The DEA and the Office of Drug Control Policy pay for Hemisphere.

The law enforcement official said the cost amounts to the salaries of the AT&T contractors.

The official also emphasized that Hemisphere is not associated with the U.S. surveillance programs recently disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

“There is nothing classified about issuing a subpoena to a phone company for a drug dealer’s phone records,” the official said.

Asked for comment, an AT&T spokesman said, “While we cannot comment on any particular matter, we, like all other companies, must respond to valid subpoenas issued by law enforcement.”

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9/11 Truth: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects

Review of Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitmate 9/11 Suspects by Kevin Robert Ryan, Microbloom, 2013.

Kevin Ryan is the expert on structural steel who got fired by his firm for speaking out about the tower collapses on 9/11, and he’s still doing so with this courageous book that names so many suspects that you can’t help wondering why he left out George W. Bush. But there’s the catch: 9/11 was a hidden coup by a secret multi-national government that could, as Mr. Ryan worryingly asserts, still be in place today and pulling the strings of Mr. Obama.
Almost everyone in the world now suspects something along the lines of Ryan’s theory that 19 Americans arranged 9/11, and not almost 19 Saudis, except of course North Americans who have had their news and commentary channels ruthlessly controlled for decades. Free discussion of who was really responsible, how they got away with it, and what to do about them has been censored and ridiculed for 12 years.
Thus an “intellectual” employed by Duke University can still conduct a course about 9/11 that begins with the words: “The attacks of September 11, 2001 … demonstrated the ability of non-state actors to inflict serious damage on the world’s greatest superpower and exposed the vulnerability of the entire global community to catastrophic acts of terrorism. “ (Coursera.com) This pundit goes on: “Part II will examine how the United States changed its policies in response to 9/11 in three areas: the use of military force, law enforcement and intelligence activities, and homeland security. We will trace the evolution of these policies from the Bush to the Obama Administration and critically assess the overall counter-terrorism strategy. “ This truly is a case of the blind leading the blind.
In sharp contrast, Ryan’s 19 prime suspects are led by Dick and Don (Cheney & Rumsfeld), sponsors of the Continuity of Government provisions for installing a secret government after a major terror attack. He says they could be motivated by a weird form of patriotism. Dismayed by the USA’s defeat in Vietnam, and shocked by President Ford’s subsequent loss of a second term, they set about transforming themselves into heroes and anointing themselves unacknowledged rulers of the multi-national world. Rigging 9/11 was just duty for them.
Ryan goes on to name 16 other suspects, ranging from Richard Armitage and Frank Carlucci within the secret state to mob-suspect Rudy Giuliani and his sidekick Bernie Kerik, with men like Louis Freeh, George Tenet, Richard Clarke, Paul Bremer, Duane Andrews of SAIC and CIA hitman Porter Goss along the way. He’s done his research thoroughly, and has produced an engrossing read about the ballooning super-state’s ugly underside and its hidden links with the monarchic middle-East. With this horrific lot of fascists at the top, there really is something desperately wrong with the USA, whatever Duke University thinks.
Ryan admits the USA will never bring these men to trial. He hopes that other countries with 9/11 victims will try them. Let’s hope it happens. His case is so self-evident that it is crying out to be heard, except that the one national group that so badly needs to hear it is confused by the litany of cries of “conspiracy theory” or “anti-semitism”. The level of media rigging is mind-boggling, as when the launch of Universal Studios’ bogus United 93 movie directed by the UK’s Paul Greengrass was brought forward to coincide with the trial of Zacharias Moussaoui and received massive free TV news plugs and trailer clips every night for six weeks.
According to Ryan, Bremer toured Ground Zero on the day spouting the official story, the one that got written into Lisa Beamer’s memoir a year later as the Voice of God, first hardback issue: one million copies. Four years and hundreds of waterboard tortures later, the 9/11 Commission’s official version was identical, almost word-for-word, because — guess what? — the torture victims endorsed all the CIA’s accusations and the FBI’s huge PENTTBOM investigation found out nothing and suppressed almost everything.
“The FBI took extraordinary measures to hide evidence…and was remarkably uncooperative with the investigations,” Ryan states. When it seized Flight 93’s ostensible crash site in Pennsylvania, the FBI ensured that absolutely nothing would emerge about it that was not from official sources. With passenger Todd Beamer’s Let’s Roll call issuing from the heart of Pentagon supplier Verizon, the fight-back legend put Americans back on the warpath and the Afghan and Iraq debacles became inevitable. Today’s world-wide electronic surveillance crisis is the direct result of the secret “continuity of government” policy instituted on that day. Governments world-wide cower before the despotic power of trans-national corporations, their legions of bankers, lawyers and private armies, backed by countless servants sworn to secrecy in the super-state.
There are so many ruthless brutes named and described in Ryan’s book that it’s easy to imagine him having a sudden car crash or inexplicable heart-attack. Still, most of them are getting old now, and even their powers must be waning. Perhaps youth will get out of the clutches of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and arrange for a brighter tomorrow, although the chance of a space-9/11 or an armageddon chemical attack seems just as possible. Right now the USA is considering unilateral military action against Syria based on trumped up charges.
Ryan has found out so much about his 19 suspects that their full horror lies exposed, and yet I did not read that Rumsfeld introduced aspartame during one of his corporate tenures, nor that Cheney peppered the face of his partner with shot while duck-hunting: Ryan leaves out the tawdry bits. Nor does he have photographs, or he could have shown an FBI officer standing beside a jet engine that disappeared from Fresh Kills depository, or an entirely different crash site for Flight 93 a few hundred yards away from the fake one. He could have shown a secret service jumbo jet circling low over the White House during the Pentagon explosions, or a mug-shot of Atta looking about 25 years younger than the one that was published. He could have shown uniformed personnel absconding with pieces of aircraft from the Pentagon crash site, or the passport that Kerik produced as having somehow fallen from a crashed airliner. All these controversial pictures have been published, and yet the perpetrators still strut around their comfortable estates unaffected. Perhaps Ryan’s diligent quest for details on their backgrounds and motives will serve where photographs did not.
Rowland Morgan attended Cambridge University, worked for the Vancouver Sun, the Georgia Straight, The Independent on Sunday and The Guardian. He has published 42 books, and was co-author of 9/11 Revealed: the Unanswered Questions in 2005 and author of Flight 93 Revealed in 2006.

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OUR VIEW: Piecing together the unanswered marathon bombing questions

Aug 31, 2013
More than four months after the Boston Marathon bombings, many questions linger about warnings that were missed before the explosions, actions taken during the search for the bombers and the mysterious death of a potential witness during questioning by the FBI. What’s most disturbing is that there appears to be no comprehensive effort to answer questions of public interest.
But several recent incidents indicate the search for answers continues:
— GateHouse Media, parent company of The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette, has continued to raise questions about documents missing from the official docket of the case against accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This week, Michael J. Grygiel, an Albany, N.Y., attorney hired by GateHouse and other media outlets, wrote to U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole in Boston, noting the missing files and saying that federal prosecutors have also not publicly identified any compelling law enforcement or government interests to justify it.
On Aug. 19, O’Toole ordered that 13 previously sealed court filings be released, and that all other sealed documents would remain impounded until further order of the court. But Grygiel wrote that the fact that there are still missing documents prevents the press — as the eyes and ears of the public — from determining whether a constitutional challenge is warranted.
Unnecessary secrecy only fuels speculation and conspiracy theories. There are well-established procedures for sealing court documents critical to an investigation or trial. Violating those procedures not only keeps journalists from doing their jobs, but also raises questions about what the government might be trying to hide.
— U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-9th, has written a letter to the new director of the FBI seeking answers to questions he has raised before as a member of the Homeland Security Committee. He wants to know how Tamerlan Tsarnaev fell off the radar of federal counter-terrorism teams despite warnings from Russian intelligence services, why some information about the bombing suspects wasn’t shared with local law enforcement and about loopholes in terrorism “watch lists.”
— The state prosecutor in Orlando, Fla., has announced he will investigate the death of Ibragim Todashev during FBI questioning. Todashev, a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was reportedly unarmed and alone with a single FBI agent at the time of the shooting, but the FBI has refused to answer questions about the incident. The state probe will rely heavily on the FBI’s investigation of its own agent, making it less than fully independent, but at least State Attorney Jeff Ashton promises to make his findings public.


13 documents you should read about the JFK assassination 

by Randolph Benson
NSAM 263: Getting out of Vietnam — On Oct. 11, 1963, Kennedy signed National Security Action Memorandum 263. This ordered a withdrawal of 1,000 troops out of roughly 16,000 Americans stationed in Vietnam by the end of 1963, with the complete withdrawal by the end of 1965.
NSAM 273: Mysterious timing — Signed on Nov. 26, 1963, this was the first National Security Action Memorandum on Vietnam under President Lyndon Johnson. NSAM 273 effectively overturned Kennedy's NSAM 263 and ordered the planning of increased activity in Vietnam. The memorandum also authorized open-ended covert operations against North Vietnam. This, in turn, led to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which President Johnson used to obtain congressional authorization for a drastic escalation of the war. The draft of NSAM 273 was dated Nov. 21, 1963, the day before the assassination; however, Kennedy had not ordered its creation and did not see it. Newly sworn-in President Johnson signed 273 on Nov. 26, the day after Kennedy was buried.
Operations Northwoods: Invading Cuba — Declassified in 1997, this lengthy document has been called the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government. On March 13, 1962, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Lyman Lemnitzer, submitted this secret plan to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.Its purpose was to justify an invasion of Cuba by means of terrorist actions against the U.S.—to be carried out by U.S. military and intelligence. Proposed actions include a "Remember the Maine" incident, "exploding a few plastic bombs" within the U.S. and "to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States ..." Kennedy blocked Northwoods and, in September 1962, replaced Lemnitzer as chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
CIA Document #1035-960: Using politicians and the media to counter criticism of the Warren Report — This document, dated Jan. 4, 1967, and marked PSYCH for Psychological Warfare, directs agents of the CIA to counter critics of the Warren Report by using "liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and "to employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics."
House Select Committee on Assassinations final report: A conspiracy behind JFK's assassination? — In 1975, investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee revealed the CIA had abused its power by engaging in illegal investigations and activities. As a follow-up, the HSCA was created to investigate the assassinations of JFK and MLK. The HSCA issued its findings in 1979, stating, "The committee believes, on the basis of evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy." The committee recommended to the Justice Department that the case be reopened. To date, the department has declined to do so.
E. Howard Hunt v. Liberty Lobby Inc.: The CIA's role in the assassination — On Aug. 16, 1978, Liberty Lobby Inc. published an article by former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in its magazine, The Spotlight. In that article, Marchetti stated that E. Howard Hunt, also a former CIA officer, was involved in the JFK assassination. Hunt sued Liberty Lobby for libel in federal district court and won. However, in the appeals trial, former CIA asset Marita Lorenz testified that on Nov. 21, 1963, the day before the assassination, E. Howard Hunt was in Dallas, where he delivered "sums of money for the so-called operation" to a small group of men that included former CIA agent Frank Sturgis of Watergate fame and Oswald killer Jack Ruby. The federal jury found for Liberty Lobby Inc. and awarded costs to be assessed against Hunt.
E. Howard Hunt deathbed confession: Naming names — In August 2003, former CIA agent E. Howard Hunt lay dying in his Miami home with his son, Saint John Hunt, at his side. E. Howard Hunt began describing the details of "the big event," including names. Hunt sent an audio taped confession to his son in January 2006, and directed him to release the materials upon his death, which occurred in January 2007.Two months later, Rolling Stone published Hunt's confession after The New York Times and The Washington Post declined to do so.
CIA Document #1345-1057: the New Orleans connection — Released in 1993, this document states that New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw "was in touch with the DCS [the CIA's Domestic Contact Service] from December 1948 to May 1956." In 1966, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison opened an investigation into the New Orleans connection to the assassination of JFK, which formed the basis of Oliver Stone's film JFK. Garrison's investigation centered on an association between Shaw, former FBI agent Guy Bannister, pilot David Ferrie and Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1969, Shaw was charged with conspiring to kill Kennedy. Shaw testified under oath that he had never worked for the CIA.
Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie in the Civil Air Patrol — In 1993, PBS' Frontline secured a 1951 photograph of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans that shows both David Ferrie and Lee Harvey Oswald in the same unit. Ferrie was included in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation (see previous entry). However, Ferrie denied having ever known Oswald or having had any association with him.
The Bush-Hoover Document: What did Bush the First know? — On Nov. 29, 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover drafted a memo titled "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" to Roger Hilsman, the director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In it, Hoover stated, "information was furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency." This has piqued the interest of researchers because George H.W. Bush wasn't officially affiliated with the CIA until he was named director in 1976.
Nicholas Katzenbach-Bill Moyers memo: Nothing to see here — On the day of JFK's funeral, Nov. 25, 1963, this document was sent from Assistant Attorney General Katzenbach to Bill Moyers, press secretary to the newly sworn-in President Johnson. It states, "The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."The Warren Commission was created four days later.
In Warren Report, Gerald Ford changes position of JFK's back wound: The single-bullet theory — In July 1997, pages from the original draft of the Warren Report were released. Among them was a page describing the path of the famous single—or magic—bullet. The memo states, "A bullet had entered his back at a point slightly above the shoulder to the right of the spine." In pen, Ford changed the report to read, "A bullet had entered the back of his neck at a point slightly to the right of the spine," thus making the single-bullet theory plausible.
Nov. 22, 1963, Hoover memo: Oswald acted alone — On the afternoon of the assassination, before investigations had been initiated, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a memo to his executive staff stating that he had called Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, informing him that "we had the man who killed the President."
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Fitzpatrick: Coakley needs to be ‘Boston Strong’ on Florida case

Sep 01, 2013 @ 12:21 AM
I count my blessings, increasingly I include the fact I don’t live in Florida. Beyond the environmental degradation and the loony politics, the recklessness of Florida law enforcement makes the Sunshine State appear to be a place where justice is on holiday at Disney World.
That’s why it came as a shock when Florida prosecutors decided two weeks ago to investigate the May 22 shooting of Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old Russian who was killed in his Orlando apartment while being questioned by FBI agents and Massachusetts State Police.
When the American Civil Liberties Union in July called on both Florida and Massachusetts to investigate this disturbing case, Attorney General Martha Coakley quickly took a pass, saying it was outside her jurisdiction. That’s hogwash.
The FBI contacted Todashev after the Boston Marathon bombings. Todashev is one of the few people we know of who had information on the Tsarnaev brothers, particularly older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Now Todashev is dead, as is Tamerlan. And the FBI has put a lid on every aspect of the incident, including demanding that Florida not release the autopsy report on Todashev.
For Coakley to act as though the Todashev case is just one more shooting in gun-happy Florida and therefore of no interest to us is spineless and unacceptable. Two Massachusetts state troopers were at the scene. A Massachusetts murder was a focus of the interrogation.
From the beginning, the shooting of Todashev has been a murky story. Todashev was being questioned about a Waltham triple murder unrelated to the bombings in which police believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been involved. Todashev, a friend of the dead bombing suspect, had spoken willingly to the FBI and State Police on previous occasions, but when visited at his home the final time, he reportedly became belligerent. What happened next is a story that keeps changing. First it was said that Todashev had a knife, then it was a large sword or a metal pole. Some reports suggest that he may have had no weapon at all. He reportedly lunged at the FBI agent and the agent opened fire.
The public has a right to question why numerous police officers in a small apartment could not control this man without killing him.
Todashev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev practiced martial arts together in Boston and both were friends of the men murdered in Waltham in 2011. Clearly Todashev was a valuable contact who is said to have provided information in earlier meetings with the FBI. But now the lid is on and suspicions are rife. The FBI will say nothing. Todashev family members have said the body, which was returned to Russia, had several gunshot wounds.

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Report: Troopers have caused nearly 500 crashes in last 7 years

BOSTON—State troopers have caused nearly 500 crashes in their cruisers over the past seven years, including instances in which officers were inattentive, speeding or following cars too closely, according to WBZ-TV.
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The WBZ-TV analysis of 2,600 cruiser accidents also shows nearly 120 officers have had four or more crashes in the past seven years.

But police data shows the majority of crashes occur on dry roadways with clear skies and while officers are either commuting from home, working a detail or on a regular police patrol, according to the report.

Troopers are allowed to investigate themselves in accidents in which no one is injured and there is less than $1,000 in damages -- despite potential conflict of interests. They frequently clear themselves of wrongdoing, according to the report.

Senior State Police officers have cleared their troopers in 55 percent of the total crashes and found them partially at fault only about seven percent of the time. They have been found to have caused the crash about 19 percent of the time, the report said, citing crash records.

"I think inherently you can't investigate yourself ... you can't be objective," Delaney told WBZ-TV. "I think that might be a glitch in the system."

Even when troopers are cleared of causing the accident, the circumstances can still raise questions.

Michael Benson of Weston claims he was making a left turn off Park Drive in Boston during rush hour in April 2006, when he was struck in his left passenger side by motorcycle Trooper Joaquin Miranda.

Miranda, 48, has had seven crashes since August 2001, according to the data. He has never been found at fault, according to the report.

The officer was cleared of his latest accident in February by Sgt. Dennis Bertulli, who was sanctioned by his bosses for plowing into a pedestrian at this year's Boston Marathon.

Other troopers have had repeat accidents in which they were the only motorist involved. Trooper Matthew Croteau, 34, has had five crashes in four years, including four single-vehicle crashes in which he lost control of his cruiser. The officer has been found at fault four times -- twice on patrol, once while commuting and once off duty, according to WBZ-TV.

Dennis Kenney, a former police officer and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said police officers are given vehicles and are allowed to exceed the speed limit under certain circumstances, including emergency situations.

"The assumption I think the citizens have is that they are qualified to do so," Kenney said. "If they are having problems with accidents, that would suggest they may not be qualified to do so, which puts all of us at risk."
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                WHO IS VINCENT B. LISI? (UPDATE)
                  Wednesday, 24 July 2013

                Today, August 29, 2013, after a big push from U. S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz (Boston) and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Division, a federal grand jury  returned an indictment against a 19-year old college kid, Robel Phillipos, who had previously been charged with making false statements during the Boston Marathon bombing terrorism investigation.
                The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Boston Division, Massachusetts State Police, and member agencies of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is composed of more than 30 federal, state, and local enforcement agencies.
                The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Department of Public Safety, City of New Bedford, New Bedford Police Department, Dartmouth Police Department, U.S. Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Essex County Sheriff’s Office, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations provided assistance to this investigation.
                Also, Ortiz’s Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit, with the assistance of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, helped all the law enforcement agencies listed above..
                Wow! That's a whole lot of firepower arrayed against a 19-year old kid accused only of lying to the cops.
                Ever wonder where your tax dollar goes? After the U.S. military, the next biggest part of your tax dollar goes to the federal police state.
                Another thing. If convicted, Phillipos faces a maximum penalty of up to eight years in federal prison on each of the two counts.
                So, all this fuss for lying to the cops by a kid who was only trying to protect a friend. Sure, it was a stupid error in judgement on the part of this kid, but did we really need more than 30 federal, state, and local enforcement agencies to investigate him.

                But there's another aspect to this announcement today that goes far beyond the obvious overkill by federal law enforcement and equally obvious waste of taxpayer money.

                The other thing that disturbs me?

                It's Vincent B. Lisi. The Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Division
                My question?
                If the feds can bring the hammer down on this Phillipos kid, why wasn't Vincent B. Lisi, investigated and indicted earlier in his career for possibly doing something a lot more serious than the Phillipos kid?
                Vincent Lisi may have, in fact, falsified evidence to frame an innocent man in a domestic terrorism case involving anthrax letter attacks -- a case that made national headlines for several years.
                The framed man ultimately committed suicide.
                And the framed man was no terrorist.
                He was absolutely not a terrorist. Just the opposite. He was at top researcher at USAMRIID at Fort Detrick. And, he was such an outstanding research scientist that he had received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service—the highest award given to Defense Department civilian employees.

                Vincent B. Lisi may have framed this guy.

                But why?

                To try to answer that question, let's start at the beginning.
                WHO IS VINCENT B. LISI?
                This just in: Vincent B. Lisi Named Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Division (July 24, 2013)
                Who is Vince B. Lisi?
                Most recently, Lisi was the section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI. Before that, Lisi was the Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) of an "extraterritorial criminal squad". What is an extraterritorial criminal squad? Sounds like an off-the-books operation. Black ops. Covert. I wonder if Congress knows about extraterritorial criminal squads?
                Before the extraterritorial gig, Lisi was stationed where? You guessed it! The Middle East. Yemen, in fact. As the legal attaché in Sana’a, Yemen.
                But here's where it really gets interesting. In September and October 2001, Lisi was selected to lead the Amerithrax investigation of the anthrax letter attacks. Remember the anthrax letter attacks? And how a "mad scientist" was framed? And then mysteriously committed suicide?
                Yes, that's our man Vincent B. Lisi popping up again.
                What a coincidence.
                Let's review that anthrax letter case.
                Here's the FBI's official statement: "The FBI’s conclusion that USAMRIID scientist Dr. Bruce Ivins, a former scientist at Fort Detrick, perpetrated the anthrax attacks of 2001, is largely built on an extensive microbial forensics investigation. That investigation linked the spores found in recovered letters to material contained in a flask labeled “RMR-1029” that was under Dr. Ivins’ sole control. According to the FBI’s analysis, RMR-1029 contained anthrax spores of the Ames variety, with specific genetic features consistent with the letter attack materials. The results of research by the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Sciences Unit of the FBI just published in the Journal of Forensic Scientists provide additional data about the attack material."
                The FBI continues: "During the Amerithrax investigation, it was discovered that some laboratories that possessed the Ames strain were purifying the spores using a product that contained meglumine and diatrizoate. From lab records, it was determined that the spores contained in RMR-1029 were similarly purified using these compounds. This information gave rise to the question of whether the attack materials were taken directly from RMR-1029. To answer this question, the FBI developed a detection method that employed liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to determine the presence of these compounds.1 As expected, the FBI investigators did find that anthrax spores taken directly from RMR-1029 contained both meglumine and diatrizoate."
                But there's a problem. A very big problem. And the FFBI knows it.
                The problem?
                No evidence of these compounds, meglumine and diatrizoate, was found when the spores from the anthrax letters were analyzed using the FBI's same method.
                This fact means that if the anthrax spores used in the attack were taken from RMR-1029, their preparation would have required extra steps prior to mailing. That type of purification would have required specialized machinery and likely would have left traces of the material on machinery. No such material was found, though, and in a recently settled civil case in Florida, the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledged that the specialized machinery was not available at USAMRIID.
                There's more.
                In their depositions, William Russell Byrne and Gerard P. Andrews, Ivins’s supervisors before and after the anthrax mailings, said they were virtually certain of his innocence. Byrne and Andrews both said Ivins didn’t have the technical skill to make the extremely fine powder and both said the Fort Detrick lab’s equipment could not have dried the anthrax so it could be turned into powder without contaminating parts of the facility.
                These statements are in addition to the fact that no evidence of the compounds, meglumine and diatrizoate, was found when the spores from the anthrax letters were analyzed by the FBI.
                The FBI lied. They framed Dr. Bruce Ivins.
                The FBI named Ivins as a "key suspect", but he was never formally charged. Ivins protested his innocence for years, trying to clear his good name, before apparently taking his own life.
                About the suicide? The apparent suicide?
                On the morning of July 27, 2008, Ivins was found unconscious at his home. He was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital and died on July 29 from an overdose of Tylenol, an apparent suicide.
                No autopsy was ordered following his death because, according to an officer in the local police department, the state medical examiner "determined that an autopsy wouldn't be necessary" based on laboratory test results of blood taken from the body.
                Three years later, Congress named a special panel at the National Academy of Sciences to review the FBI's scientific work on the case.
                The panel was chaired by Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University.
                On May 15, 2011, the panel released its findings, which "conclude[d] that the Bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins."
                The panel stated that its primary finding was that, "It is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B. anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone."
                During the panel's deliberations, Dr. Henry S. Heine, a microbiologist who was Ivins' fellow researcher at the Army Medical Research Institute, called to testify.
                Heine told a National Academy of Sciences panel on April 22, 2010 that he considered it impossible that Ivins could have produced the anthrax used in the attacks without detection.
                Heine told the 16-member National Academy of Sciences panel that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab. Such an effort would not have escaped colleagues’ notice, and lab technicians who worked closely with Dr. Ivins have told him they saw no such work.
                Heine also disputed the notion that biological containment measures where Dr. Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. He told the panel that if the containment was inadequate, "You would have had a lot of dead animals and dead people."
                So why was Ivins framed?
                I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but let me say this much. A government guilty of lying about Weapons of Mass Destruction to invade Iraq, and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, if not millions, would not hesitate for a second to kill the reputation of a "mad scientist."
                The true pity is that Dr, Bruce Ivins was a hero. On March 14, 2003, Ivins and two of his colleagues at USAMRIID at Fort Detrick received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service—the highest award given to Defense Department civilian employees—for helping solve technical problems in the manufacture of anthrax vaccine.
                To my way of thinking, Dr. Bruce Ivins sounds like another one of my heroes -- John "Jack" Parsons Wheeler III.
                Both worked at the highest levels of national security. Both died under mysterious circumstances. And both were targeted after their deaths by rumor campaigns that intended to discredit them by suggesting that both Ivins and Wheeler suffered from mental illness.
                And now, Vincent B. Lisi has been named Special Agent in Charge of Boston Division -- Boston, where martial law was declared during the manhunt for Boston Marathon Bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
                It was the FBI that declared martial in the entire City of Boston. And declaring martial law in a major metropolitan city for the manhunt of one individual was an unprecedented event in our nation's history. Scarier, it was an unprecedented suspension of the U.S. Constitution.
                Was Boston a dress rehearsal for when the feds declare martial law in the entire U.S. following a false flag attack?
                We have met the enemy. And it is us.
                And Vincent B. Lisi may be the perfect guy for the job. Whatever that job may be -- framing an innocent man, orchestrating a false flag attack, or declaring martial law.
                He's a company man.
                And, that's the real Vincent B. Lisi.
                Vincent B. Lisi Named Special Agent in Charge of Boston Division
                Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Vincent B. Lisi special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. Mr. Lisi most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

                see link for full story

                Ex-FBI lawyer linked to surveillance abuses poised for federal judge post
                Valerie Caproni, up for judgeship in important terrorism court, likely to come under fresh scepticism in wake of NSA revelations

                    theguardian.com, Friday 6 September 2013 10.08 EDT

                Valerie Caproni
                Caproni has come under bipartisan criticism over the years for enabling widespread surveillance later found to be inappropriate or illegal. Photograph: Getty
                A former senior FBI official implicated in surveillance abuses is poised to become a federal judge in one of the US's most important courts for terrorism cases.
                Valerie Caproni, the FBI's top lawyer from 2003 to 2011, is scheduled to receive a vote on Monday in the Senate for a seat on the southern district court of New York.
                Caproni has come under bipartisan criticism over the years for enabling widespread surveillance later found to be inappropriate or illegal. During her tenure as the FBI's general counsel, she clashed with Congress and even the Fisa surveillance court over the proper scope of the FBI's surveillance powers.
                And Caproni faces renewed skepticism for describing surveillance conducted under the Patriot Act as more limited than it actually is, now that the Guardian has revealed and the Obama administration confirmed that the National Security Agency uses the act to collect and store the telephone records of hundreds of millions of Americans.
                "It is a shame that the White House has chosen to nominate former FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni to a lifelong position as a federal judge given her narrow views of Americans' privacy rights as demonstrated by her actions in the George W Bush administration," said Lisa Graves, a Justice Department official in the Clinton and early Bush administrations.
                "Government officials that secretly approved of overbroad surveillance programs the public is only seeing now because of leaks, and whose testimony on the issue obscured rather than revealed these abuses, should be held to account for their actions in a public forum," said Mike German, a former FBI agent.
                German, now a lawyer with the ACLU, would not comment on Caproni specifically, citing ACLU policy of neutrality on nominations. But he continued: "Excessive secrecy always threatens democracy, but misleading and incomplete testimony before Congress and the courts simply cannot stand unaddressed without doing real damage to constitutional government."
                A Senate staffer who requested anonymity predicted that Caproni would probably win confirmation, but added, "lots of procedural options are available to gum up the works" when her nomination moves to a Senate floor vote.
                A representative of the defense company Northrop Grumman, where Caproni currently serves as an executive, said Caproni was not available for interviews.
                Even before the Guardian's phone records revelations, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, lawmakers found Caproni to be complicit in surveillance abuses.
                A 2010 report by the Department of Justice's internal watchdog found that the FBI misused a type of non-judicial subpoena known as an "exigent letter" to improperly obtain more than 5,500 phone numbers of Americans.
                "The FBI broke the law on telephone records privacy and the general counsel's office, headed by Valerie Caproni, sanctioned it and must face consequences," said John Conyers, then the chairman of the House judiciary committee, in April 2010, who called for then-FBI director Robert Mueller to fire her.
                Conyers said he was "outraged" that the FBI invented "exigent letters" to more easily obtain phone records, and intimated Caproni was responsible for it. "It's not in the Patriot Act. It never has been. And its use, perhaps coincidentally, began in the same month that Ms Valerie Caproni began her work as general counsel," Conyers said in a hearing that month. The FBI stopped using exigent letters in 2006.
                Lawmakers' dissatisfaction with Caproni over surveillance has a long pedigree.
                In an April 2008 House hearing, Caproni told lawmakers that if a phone number obtained from a telephone company using a nonjudicial subpoena ostensibly authorized by the Patriot Act was unrelated to a "currently open investigation, and there was no emergency at the time we received the records, the records are removed from our files and destroyed".
                In fact, the NSA, at the time of Caproni's testimony and today, stores phone records such as phone numbers on practically all Americans for up to five years, whether or not they are connected to an "open investigation".
                Numerous intelligence, Justice Department and law enforcement officials have testified this summer that the NSA can pass phone records to the FBI that it has "reasonable articulable suspicion" are connected to terrorism, although NSA deputy director John C Inglis could not cite a single case where the phone records have clearly disrupted a domestic terror attack.
                "Caproni knew that the Bush administration could use or was using the Section 215 provision in the Patriot Act to obtain Americans' phone records on a broad scale, an issue that has recently been documented by the whistleblower material first printed in the Guardian," said Graves, a former deputy assistant attorney general who dealt with Caproni extensively while working on national security issues for the ACLU.
                At one meeting in 2007, Graves recalled, "Caproni said she thought civil libertarians were wasting their time complaining about the NSL [national security letter] powers because the government could just obtain all that information and more through a 215 order by the Fisa court or through a grand jury subpoena issued by a single federal prosecutor and because those orders are secret we would never know. When pressed about that, she insisted that going around the limits on the NSL powers by using 215 or grand jury subpoenas was no big deal and a perfectly permissible use of those powers."
                Graves said: "That may be technically true, but it also demonstrates her lack of regard for Americans' countervailing interest not to have records about their communications or business transactions swept up in secret by government agencies without any indication that they themselves have done anything wrong."
                In 2007, the Justice Department's inspector general found "widespread and serious misuse of the FBI's national security letter authorities" to obtain business records, including "unauthorized collection of telephone or internet email transactional records," as the inspector general, Glenn Fine, summarized in March 2007 House testimony. That finding did not even hint that the collection of phone records in secret was even more widespread.
                Without disclosing the full scope of the surveillance, Caproni called the improper collection of those phone records "a colossal failure on our part".
                Acknowledging bipartisan anger on the House judiciary committee, Caproni testified: "We're going to have to work to get the trust of this committee back, and we know that's what we have to do, and we're going to do it."
                A 2008 Justice Department inspector general's report into surveillance under the Patriot Act found that Caproni clashed with the Fisa court, a secret court that oversees surveillance for the purposes of foreign intelligence, over the scope of the court's authority.
                The heavily redacted report found that in 2006, the Fisa court indicated it would not sign off on an FBI request for business records under section 215 of the Patriot Act – the section used to justify the bulk phone-records database – "because of first amendment concerns." It is extremely rare for the Fisa court to deny the government a surveillance request.
                Caproni, the FBI's general counsel at the time, "told the OIG [office of inspector general] that the Fisa court does not have the authority to close an FBI investigation," according to a footnote in the report.
                Caproni "believed there was enough information to predicate the investigation", the Justice Department inspector general found. "She said she disagreed with the court and nothing in the court's ruling altered her belief that the investigation was appropriate."
                Because of redactions, it is unclear if the FBI investigation in that case continued against the Fisa court's objection.
                While Caproni's nomination by President Obama has largely flown under the Washington radar, it has not been without controversy. Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate judiciary committee, threatened in June to block Caproni's impending judgeship when it goes for a vote on Monday.
                Grassley had been seeking records from the FBI about the exigent-letters surveillance controversy for at least six years, only to be told by Caproni in 2008, when she was the FBI's top lawyer, that "that the documents I was waiting for were on her desk, awaiting her review", Grassley said on the Senate floor June 13.
                Having not received the documents he wanted, Grassley warned: "While I did not hold Ms Caproni's nomination in committee, I reserve my right to do so on the Senate floor." Grassley's office did not return requests for comment about his plans for Caproni's floor vote.
                In order to win approval from the Senate judiciary committee, Caproni had to take the rare step of vowing to recuse herself from a broad category of cases "where my impartiality could be reasonably questioned", including those where "I had personal or supervisory involvement in a matter while at the FBI."
                "I would certainly recuse myself if I were presented with a case that would require me to rule on the legality of a national security program as to which I provided legal advice while I was a government employee, unless there was controlling precedent already in place regarding such a program," Caproni wrote to senator Richard Durbin on 8 July.
                Caproni will be very likely to hear many of those cases as a federal judge. Her nomination is for one of the country's most important federal courts for terrorism cases: the southern district court of New York.
                "The southern district of New York has historically been the premier venue for terrorism cases. Today, many of the most high profile of these cases continue to find their way into this district court. Its historical memory, and the experience of its judges, are second to none," said Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham University's Center on National Security.
                "For all of her virtues, you have to think twice about putting someone on the court with this level of concern about her role in surveillance abuses," Greenberg said. "The symbolism of this is significant. The courts are torn over this issue."

                see link for full story
                Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on #Occupy
                Posted: 2013/09/07
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                New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

                Naomi Wolf

                It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.
                The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
                The documents, released after long delay in the week between Christmas and New Year, show a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world: six American universities are sites where campus police funneled information about students involved with OWS to the FBI, with the administrations' knowledge (p51); banks sat down with FBI officials to pool information about OWS protesters harvested by private security; plans to crush Occupy events, planned for a month down the road, were made by the FBI – and offered to the representatives of the same organizations that the protests would target; and even threats of the assassination of OWS leaders by sniper fire – by whom? Where? – now remain redacted and undisclosed to those American citizens in danger, contrary to standard FBI practice to inform the person concerned when there is a threat against a political leader (p61).
                As Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF, put it, the documents show that from the start, the FBI – though it acknowledges Occupy movement as being, in fact, a peaceful organization – nonetheless designated OWS repeatedly as a "terrorist threat":

                    "FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) … reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat … The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country."

                Verheyden-Hilliard points out the close partnering of banks, the New York Stock Exchange and at least one local Federal Reserve with the FBI and DHS, and calls it "police-statism":

                    "This production [of documents], which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement … These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America."

                The documents show stunning range: in Denver, Colorado, that branch of the FBI and a "Bank Fraud Working Group" met in November 2011 – during the Occupy protests – to surveil the group. The Federal Reserve of Richmond, Virginia had its own private security surveilling Occupy Tampa and Tampa Veterans for Peace and passing privately-collected information on activists back to the Richmond FBI, which, in turn, categorized OWS activities under its "domestic terrorism" unit. The Anchorage, Alaska "terrorism task force" was watching Occupy Anchorage. The Jackson, Mississippi "joint terrorism task force" was issuing a "counterterrorism preparedness alert" about the ill-organized grandmas and college sophomores in Occupy there. Also in Jackson, Mississippi, the FBI and the "Bank Security Group" – multiple private banks – met to discuss the reaction to "National Bad Bank Sit-in Day" (the response was violent, as you may recall). The Virginia FBI sent that state's Occupy members' details to the Virginia terrorism fusion center. The Memphis FBI tracked OWS under its "joint terrorism task force" aegis, too. And so on, for over 100 pages.
                Jason Leopold, at Truthout.org, who has sought similar documents for more than a year, reported that the FBI falsely asserted in response to his own FOIA requests that no documents related to its infiltration of Occupy Wall Street existed at all. But the release may be strategic: if you are an Occupy activist and see how your information is being sent to terrorism task forces and fusion centers, not to mention the "longterm plans" of some redacted group to shoot you, this document is quite the deterrent.
                There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society – people's income streams and financial records – is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.
                Remember that only 10% of the money donated to WikiLeaks can be processed – because of financial sector and DHS-sponsored targeting of PayPal data. With this merger, that crushing of one's personal or business financial freedom can happen to any of us. How messy, criminalizing and prosecuting dissent. How simple, by contrast, just to label an entity a "terrorist organization" and choke off, disrupt or indict its sources of financing.
                Why the huge push for counterterrorism "fusion centers", the DHS militarizing of police departments, and so on? It was never really about "the terrorists". It was not even about civil unrest. It was always about this moment, when vast crimes might be uncovered by citizens – it was always, that is to say, meant to be about you.

                see link for full story

                see link for full story

                Judge spares ex-FBI agent return trip to prison

                Posted Sep 05, 2013

                A former FBI agent was spared a return trip to prison Thursday after he admitted to violating terms of his release by being arrested for drunken driving and failing to tell his probation officer about the incident.

                Jerry Nau apologized to U.S. District Judge James Shadid, asked for leniency and promised to enter counseling so that he could learn to make better decisions in the future.

                "I'm an idiot for not showing up, your honor," Nau said, referring to the hearing he skipped last week that resulted in a no-bond arrest warrant and seven days in jail. "I do not want to disgrace my family because they've been through enough grief, and I keep putting them through it again."

                Shadid, in pronouncing his decision not to revoke Nau's supervised release and sentence him to time served for the violations, told Nau that he needed to learn how to pick himself back up and fully comply with the terms of his release.

                "Somehow, you think you can ignore matters and make things go away," Shadid said. "We all have better things to do than baby-sit you on supervised release."

                Nau was convicted in November 2011 of making false statements related to more than $43,000 in missing drug money and sentenced to five months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, followed by five months of home confinement. He was arrested for drunken driving in Tazewell County in April and pleaded guilty to that charge in May.

                He pleaded guilty Thursday to violating two rules of his supervised release: being involved in criminal activity and failing to report his arrest to his probation officer in a timely manner.

                U.S. Attorney James Warden, an Indiana prosecutor brought in to handle the case because of Nau's ties to the area, had argued for a six-month sentence. He said Nau had previously been informally admonished for violating terms of his home confinement, and the DUI showed a pattern of disrespect for the justice system.

                Defense attorney Jeffrey Flanagan, however, countered tha

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Link de jour

What FBI  agents think of Robert Mueller.
Readers’ Comments on the Tenure of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III Are Mixed - See more at: http://www.ticklethewire.com/2013/09/09/readers-comments-on-the-tenure-of-fbi-director-robert-s-mueller-iii-are-mixed/#sthash.oGr0Cz08.dpuf
Readers’ Comments on the Tenure of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III Are Mixed - See more at: http://www.ticklethewire.com/2013/09/09/readers-comments-on-the-tenure-of-fbi-director-robert-s-mueller-iii-are-mixed/#sthash.oGr0Cz08.dpuf




Former FBI analyst sentenced to more than three years in prison in child pornography case

September 9- 2   2013

see link for full story


A former intelligence analyst for the FBI was sentenced to more than three years in prison Monday for possessing child pornography.
Keith Dietterle, 28, was arrested in an undercover sting last November and pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington this spring. Dietterle, a District resident who was assigned to FBI headquarters, admitted sending an undercover officer pornographic images of children and links to graphic videos. Dietterle communicated through a social networking site with the officer, who he thought was the father of a young girl, according to



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FBI agent who led sex crimes task force under investigation
  Sep 10, 2013
Ken Hillman, an FBI special agent who operated the northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, is under investigation for alleged misconduct, according to a bureau representative.
The task force, based in Catoosa County, caught more than 150 people from 2007 to 2013 who responded to online offers for sex with children, according to a former task force member.  
CBS Atlanta News has learned that Hillman is accused of abusing his authority after being pulled over several times on suspicion of driving under the influence. 
Attorney McCracken Poston, who represents several suspects arrested by the task force, said he reported Hillman to the FBI. 
Poston provided dash cam video from a police car that he said showed Hillman being pulled over by local police for suspicion of driving under the influence.  In the video, it appears Hillman yells to the officer, "I'm FBI.  I'm going to a call.  I'm sorry." 
"Because of his badge and his connections he got out of at least three instances when he should have been investigated for driving under the influence. Maybe more," said Poston. 
Poston also reported that Hillman allowed civilians to participate in sensitive sting operations.
Catoosa County millionaire Emerson Russell and his wife Angela Russell reportedly handcuffed suspects and held guns during arrests. Neither are certified law enforcement officers.  
According to Poston, Angela Russell also communicated with suspects online to help lure them to Catoosa County.  Poston alleged some of those conversations occurred without supervision.  
"I think it brings into question current cases in terms of what procedures were being used. What conversations may have been had that we hadn't been given," said Poston. 

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Hundreds of Minneapolis anti-war protesters condemn U.S. action in Syria

     September 7, 2013

With cars whizzing by honking in support, more than 200 war protesters lined a busy Minneapolis street Saturday to condemn U.S. military action against Syria just days before President Obama addresses the nation.

The protest, one of several in the Twin Cities in the past 10 days, was similar to others nationally that urged Congress to reject a war resolution.

“This is absurd,” said Frieda Gardner, 71, of Minneapolis. “There is a real fatigue in the country with war.”

Coleen Rowley, the former FBI special agent who testified about the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, read aloud to the crowd from a letter she’s circulating to community and political leaders, hoping to show that opposition to military action in Syria “transcends partisanship.”

“There is public momentum,” she said, holding a huge protest sign. “This could lead to a wider war.”

The dozens of protesters along the intersection of Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue ranged from young adults to longtime activists such as Gardner.

“It starts like this,” Gardner said of the modest crowd. “The crowds will grow as people’s sons and daughters are at risk.”

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 10 Chemical Weapons Attacks The U.S. Government Doesn’t Want You To Know About

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the fact that declassified documents analyzed by Foreign Policy proved that the U.S. government knew about Saddam Hussein’s egregious use of chemical weapons and in fact we helped him be more effective in their deployment. Well unfortunately that’s just the tip of the American chemical weapons iceberg.

From white phosphorus and depleted uranium (DU) usage in Iraq, to secret radioactive tests in poor black neighborhoods within the U.S. itself (something I previously covered here), the list is pretty horrific. While you might be able to say that this is the reality of war, then what the heck are we doing entering a civil war in a country where chemical weapons are being used that poses no threat to us? Absolutely insane and criminal.

I summarized the Top 10 list here, but I highly suggest also checking out the entire post with pictures from PolicyMic. Summary below:

Washington doesn’t merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria. It lacks the moral authority. We’re talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking.

1. The U.S. Military Dumped 20 Million Gallons of Chemicals on Vietnam from 1962 – 1971

Vietnam estimates that as a result of the decade-long chemical attack, 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 babies have been born with birth defects, and 2 million have suffered from cancer or other illnesses.

2. Israel Attacked Palestinian Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2008 – 2009

White phosphorus is a horrific incendiary chemical weapon that melts human flesh right down to the bone.

In 2009, multiple human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and International Red Cross reported that the Israeli government was attacking civilians in their own country with chemical weapons.

The Israeli military denied the allegations at first, but eventually admitted they were true.

3. Washington Attacked Iraqi Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2004

In 2004, journalists embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq began reporting the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah against Iraqi insurgents. First the military lied and said that it was only using white phosphorus to create smokescreens or illuminate targets. Then it admitted to using the volatile chemical as an incendiary weapon.

4. The CIA Helped Saddam Hussein Massacre Iranians and Kurds with Chemical Weapons in 1988

CIA records now prove that Washington knew Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons (including sarin, nerve gas, and mustard gas) in the Iran-Iraq War, yet continued to pour intelligence into the hands of the Iraqi military, informing Hussein of Iranian troop movements while knowing that he would be using the information to launch chemical attacks.

5. The Army Tested Chemicals on Residents of Poor, Black St. Louis Neighborhoods in The 1950s

In the early 1950s, the Army set up motorized blowers on top of residential high-rises in low-income, mostly black St. Louis neighborhoods, including areas where as much as 70% of the residents were children under 12. The government told residents that it was experimenting with a smokescreen to protect the city from Russian attacks, but it was actually pumping the air full of hundreds of pounds of finely powdered zinc cadmium sulfide.

6. Police Fired Tear Gas at Occupy Protesters in 2011

The savage violence of the police against Occupy protesters in 2011 was well documented, andincluded the use of tear gas and other chemical irritants. Tear gas is prohibited for use against enemy soldiers in battle by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

7. The FBI Attacked Men, Women, and Children With Tear Gas in Waco in 1993

At the infamous Waco siege of a peaceful community of Seventh Day Adventists, the FBI pumped tear gas into buildings knowing that women, children, and babies were inside. The tear gas was highly flammable and ignited, engulfing the buildings in flames and killing 49 men and women, and 27 children, including babies and toddlers.

8. The U.S. Military Littered Iraq with Toxic Depleted Uranium in 2003

In Iraq, the U.S. military has littered the environment with thousands of tons of munitions made from depleted uranium, a toxic and radioactive nuclear waste product. As a result, more than half of babies born in Fallujah from 2007 – 2010 were born with birth defects. Some of these defects have never been seen before outside of textbooks with photos of babies born near nuclear tests in the Pacific.

9. The U.S. Military Killed Hundreds of Thousands of Japanese Civilians with Napalm from 1944 – 1945

Napalm is a sticky and highly flammable gel which has been used as a weapon of terror by the U.S. military. In 1980, the UN declared the use of napalm on swaths of civilian population a war crime. That’s exactly what the U.S. military did in World War II, dropping enough napalm in one bombing raid on Tokyo to burn 100,000 people to death, injure a million more, and leave a million without homes in the single deadliest air raid of World War II.

10. The U.S. Government Dropped Nuclear Bombs on Two Japanese Cities in 1945

It seems odd that the only regime to ever use one of these weapons of terror on other human beings has busied itself with the pretense of keeping the world safe from dangerous weapons in the hands of dangerous governments.

We have no moral authority. Period.

see link for full story

FBI continues to investigate Hastings for 'controversial reporting'

Al Jazeera obtains declassified documents on deceased Rolling Stone journalist following FOIA lawsuit
Michael Hastings
Hastings died in a late-night car crash in Los Angeles in June.Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The FBI released a heavily redacted document on Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, Monday, which revealed the law-enforcement agency is continuing to investigate what it characterized as "controversial reporting" by the journalist, who died in a late-night car crash in Los Angeles in June.

The FBI turned over the three-page document to Al Jazeera and Ryan Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in FOIA research, in response to a joint-Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the agency.

In a declaration released with the records, Denny Argall, the FBI'S public liaison officer, wrote that after the agency searched for responsive records it located one "cross reference" file pertaining to a pending criminal investigation. The FBI would not comment further about the nature of the probe.

The papers revealed that the FBI still considers Hastings' work highly sensitive; even the title of the case file has been withheld under a FOIA exemption that claims that the information, if disclosed, could interfere with an ongoing law-enforcement investigation.

One of the excerpts in the FBI document is completely redacted and marked "S" (for "secret") and "Per Army," under an exemption aimed at protecting national security. Additional redactions were used to protect techniques and procedures for law-enforcement investigations and prosecutions.

The documents revealed that on June 11, 2012, the FBI's Washington field office opened a file and submitted "unclassified media articles" to it in order "to memorialize controversial reporting by Rolling Stone magazine on June 7, 2012."

The articles in question included a lengthy investigative report published under Hastings' byline in Rolling Stone on June 7, 2012 — "America's Last Prisoner of War" — about 27-year-old U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl's deployment to the war in Afghanistan and his capture by the Taliban in June 2009. Bergdahl is believed to still be in the custody of the Taliban.

Jeff Light, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who filed the FOIA lawsuit, suggested opening such files on reporters was not common. "It's interesting [that] the FBI memorializes controversial reporting," he said.

Michael Hastings

Related: FBI declassified document on Michael Hastings

The FBI turned over the three-page document to Al Jazeera and MIT doctoral candidate Ryan Shapiro in response to a joint-Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the agency.

Read more.

The FBI documents also stated that in addition to Hastings' report, the agency also submitted one copy of a "blog entry relative to the aforementioned articles" and "one copy of Emails Express Discontent," which is an article about Bergdahl published on June 7, 2012 by the Associated Press that was based on Hastings' Rolling Stone report.

The "blog entry," however, appeared to be lifted from the comments section of the Idaho Statesman newspaper. The comment was apparently written by Gary Farwell, the father of Matthew Farwell, who contributed reporting to the Rolling Stone story and is identified at the bottom of the story as "a former soldier who deployed to Afghanistan."

The undated comment says, in part: "My son, Matthew, had gathered information for three years and did the reporting on the RS story. He introduced Michael Hastings to the Bergdahl’s and they interviewed the family several months ago."

Gary Farwell was unavailable for comment and Matthew Farwell declined to comment. Will Dana, the managing editor of Rolling Stone, told Al Jazeera that he is "concerned" about the FBI documents and said he was unsure why this report by Hastings sparked the FBI’s interest.

Three days after Hastings died, the FBI issued a rare public statement denying Hastings was under investigation. "At no time was Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI," bureau spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said on June 21.

The spokeswoman's comments followed an email Hastings sent colleagues a day before he died that read: "The Feds are interviewing my close friends and associates." But Hasting’s email was referring to the "NSA," according to the subject line -- not to his earlier reporting.

Still, the FBI appeared to have taken great interest in the article Hastings wrote about Bergdahl, whose name is redacted in the document the agency turned over to Al Jazeera and Shapiro.

A redacted passage says Hastings' report reveals private email excerpts. According to Hastings' story, Bergdahl wrote the emails. The excerpts include comments about being "ashamed to even be an American," and the threat that "if this deployment is lame, I’m just going to walk off into the mountains of Pakistan."

The FBI documents went on to describe Hastings' story on Bergdahl as having: "ignited a media frenzy, speculating about the circumstances of [redacted] capture, and whether U.S. resources and effort should continue to be expended for his recovery."

Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman in the agency's Los Angeles office, told Al Jazeera she stands by her original comment. "Being referenced in an FBI file does not make one the subject of an FBI investigation," she added, referring to the pages the agency released Monday.

In a letter accompanying the document and explaining the exemptions the FBI invoked, the agency said: "A search of the FBI Headquarters electronic surveillance indices has been conducted, and no responsive record which indicates that Michael Hastings has ever been the target of electronic surveillance was located."

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Link De Jour

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What does former FBI agent Robert Hannsen know about Flight 800 crash?

Russian spy Robert Hanssen.
Robert P. Hannsen was the mole arrested for spying for Russia by a legion of FBI agents who basically swarmed him on February 18, 2001. He spent 22 years as a undercover spy for Russia stealing American secrets and selling them for cash.
He is mentioned prominently in a book called: “The Bureau and the Mole”, by David A. Vise, a Pulitzer prize winning author, who wrote the book on the “Unmasking of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History.”
It is a great read by the way and I have it as part of my personal library of books in my study.
The book, contains some unusual emails in an Appendix called: “Emails of a spy” , written by Robert Hannsen and send to his mysterious Russian spy master (a man believed by some to be working under “official diplomatic cover” at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.).
One email in particular involves an exchange between the former FBI agent and his Russian spymaster where Hannsen muses over an incident that presumably took place in 1999.
What caught my eye, almost immediately was that story involved Flight 800, where hundreds of people died.
Trans World Airlines Flight 800 (TWA 800), as you remember was a Boeing 747-131 aircraft that exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 20:31 EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.
It was the second-deadliest U.S. aviation accident after American Airlines Flight 191 until American Airlines Flight 587, which also took off from Kennedy Airport, surpassed it in 2001. It remains the third-deadliest aviation accident to occur in U.S. territory.
TWA 800 was a scheduled international passenger flight from New York to Rome, with a stopover in Paris.
While accident investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) traveled to the scene, arriving the following morning, there was much initial speculation that a terrorist attack was the cause of the crash. Consequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated a parallel criminal investigation.
Sixteen months later the FBI announced that no evidence had been found of a criminal act and closed its active investigation (see article: FBI No criminal evidence behind TWA 800 crash http://articles.cnn.com/1997-11-18/us/9711_18_twa.fbi.presser_1_bomb-or-… ).
In retrospect this email may have been part of the official FBI investigation into the Flight 800 crash.
Regarding: Questions!
Date Tues, Mar 1999 21:39:17 – 0500
From: Robert P Hanssen
“The problem with genius is that it often borders on insanity. The problem with truth is that it sometimes seems utterly fantastic. I don’t see how the Israelis could have altered our desire to look into [TWA Flight] 800 crash up or down. They didn’t know it wasn’t terrorist related. Nobody did. The flight which left just before it (which was delayed) was an El-Al flight to Israel. Further, the Israelis have no desire to tie up our counter-terrorism resources. Their interest is in having the FBI dedicate 100% of our counter terror resources to the protection of Israel. They just wanted to know if it was terrorist action and if so did it hit the wrong plane and if so who launched it so they could kill them as quickly and publically as possible…Did you know that we grabbed some Israeli students in Newark with walkie talkies hanging around the inbound flight path of the El Al flight? They said they were hired by the Israeli Consulate in NY to look for anything suspicious like someone getting to shoot at the plane. If they saw anything suspicious,, they were to use the radios. The radios were on a secret security channel directly to the El-Al flight to wave it off. This is not stupid. This is careful, Israel, as a nation, hasn’t stayed alive by dumb luck. Israel is thorough. You don’t want to underestimate them. Whenever we do, we get burned. They have a lot of smart people. It isn’t for nothing that God chose them to carry the message. Remember, God is Jewish. He was born of the House of David. He had His choice.”
What interesting is the tidbit about the El-Al flight, and the discussion about if the crash of Flight 800 was terrorism related.
With regard to Israel, it seems they are conducting counterterrorism operations in the United States, using a network of Israelis from universities and colleges, using the cover of “college students” from Newark, N.J.
These covert operations were run out the Israeli Consulate office in New York.

see link for full story
September 13, 2013

Dallas Mexican-Americans remember the JFK years, surveillance by FBI

Albert Orozco still has his American GI Forum hat. Though its members fought for the United States, the organization was spied on by the FBI in the 1960s.

In 1960, Korean War veteran Albert Orozco set out to prove himself with other Mexican-American vets on a new battlefield — politics. They embraced the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy with Viva Kennedy Clubs and strategic fundraising for poll taxes so the poor could vote.
Orozco was already a leader in a Mexican-American group that played the red, white and blue patriotism card hard — the American GI Forum.
Kennedy won their support with a social justice message, Catholic faith, a Spanish-speaking wife and a family history of fighting anti-Irish discrimination.
Yet, in a strange twist of JFK history, the Dallas chapter was under surveillance by the very government they had served in war.
Orozco is now an 84-year-old retired school principal with thinning silver hair, pole-straight posture and precise speech. He doesn’t let the surveillance eclipse the significance of the activism. By one account, 91 percent of Texas Mexican-Americans voted for JFK — giving the senator a key state in a razor-thin election.
“The clubs saw how important it was to get involved in the voting process,” Orozco said. He and his late wife, Henrietta, co-hosted the first Viva Kennedy meeting in the Old East Dallas home of his mother.
“For the first time, after the efforts of the GI Forum, they saw the results,” he said. “They saw that it does pay to vote.”
Military service filled families with pride and confidence. In Dallas, Orozco and others took on swimming pool segregation, a Catholic Church that kept Mexican-American altar boys from field trips and a downtown bar with a “No Dogs, Negroes or Mexicans” sign.
In Corpus Christi, similar scenes unreeled before Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a Corpus Christi physician and surgeon who had served in the Army during World War II. He founded the Forum after the war. The catalysts for the movement were discrimination against Latino vets, poor treatment at the Veterans Administration, school segregation and an infamous incident over a Texas funeral wake for a soldier.
“They were veterans and not too happy to be treated like second-class citizens,” said his oldest child, Daisy Wanda Garcia, a 67-year-old Austin resident.
GI Forum chapters morphed into Viva Kennedy clubs in the Southwest, California and Illinois. Membership also came from the League of United Latin American Citizens.
“Kennedy was a dark horse,” she said. “It if hadn’t been for the Viva Kennedy clubs delivering all these votes for him, he might not have been elected. It was one of the first concerted attempts by minorities to put in office someone favorable to their cause. It was a nonviolent way to change the destiny of the Mexican-American people.”
The Viva Kennedy Club harvested support in its first rally with posters, stickers and buttons at Orozco’s grocery store, a West Dallas business owned by a relative.
Enchilada dinners in the Little Mexico housing projects and door-to-door solicitations raised money for a get-out-the-vote necessity: payment of poll taxes. Poll taxes were $1.25 per voter, the equivalent of about $10 today.
Inspired to act
On Nov. 22, 1963, Henrietta Orozco left her downtown office at noon to see the Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, in their motorcade. Her husband stayed at work, content that his wife would experience the excitement surrounding a couple “she was in love with.”
When she returned to her office, she heard the news. Years later, she’d retell the story of that day to her daughter Diana Orozco-Garrett, who was a toddler in 1963. She told her that many in her office were Republicans and joyful over the shooting, clapping as if they were at a party.
In the Orozco household, admiration ran so deep “we had portraits of Jesus and the Kennedys,” the daughter said.
Soon, the family gathered at Dealey Plaza, laying a wreath near the Texas School Book Depository. For several years, on Nov. 22 they’d repeat the ritual.
JFK’s assassination inspired deep political dedication.
“For my mom, it gave her more reason to be involved and for me, too,” Orozco-Garrett said.
As a child, she watched her mother register voters. As an adult, Orozco-Garrett was a delegate to two Democratic conventions. As an attorney, she worked on voting rights cases. In 1994, she won election as a justice of the peace, serving six years.
She now lives in Santa Fe with her husband, a former Voting Rights Act litigator.
‘Good Americans’
Earlier this year, Orozco-Garrett began researching those Kennedy years. She found documents from the FBI and the Warren Commission on surveillance of the GI Forum of Dallas.
Years earlier, the Mary Ferrell Foundation had amassed material on the JFK murder using the federal Freedom of Information Act. The foundation and its online resources (at maryferrell.org) are named for the Dallas legal secretary who became prominent among assassination experts.
That’s how Orozco-Garrett found her father’s name.
A mole inside the Dallas chapter of the GI Forum had reported to the FBI on the Mexican-American vets. He was William Lowery, a shoe salesman who died in the 1990s.
“They were good Americans and this is who the government was spying on,” Orozco-Garrett said. “They were thought to be subversive groups.”
As Orozco-Garrett pieced together those years, she enlisted help from an old friend and a fellow attorney, Sol Villasana. Up popped the name of his cousin Edmund Villasana, who is now 85. He’d been an early officer of the Dallas GI Forum chapter.
Edmund Villasana, a World War II vet, fumed when denied service at Dallas restaurants.

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Suburb's failed hotel deal involved convicted felon

Man who helped secure loan for Harvey project also a former FBI informant with ties to Rezko

September 14, 2013
The story of a south suburb's failed $10 million gamble on a hotel was already rife with insider deals, unexplained expenses and huge bills for strapped taxpayers.
Now the Tribune has found that the Harvey project also involved convicted felon John Thomas — a longtime FBI informant perhaps best known for sidling up to a close aide of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Thomas played a key role in securing a high-risk loan in the development's waning days, said developer Satish "Sunny" Gabhawala. But the developer said he learned of Thomas' FBI work from news reports only after signing the loan documents.
"I put my hand on my head," Gabhawala recalled of that moment.
One of Thomas' lawyers told the Tribune the transaction did not involve his client's past work with the FBI. But when asked if the FBI has since questioned Thomas about the Harvey hotel project, attorney Joe Lopez declined to comment.
The revelation comes as Harvey officials remain publicly silent about the troubled deal, even as they move to condemn the hotel — once the site of promised renewal and now a morass of foreclosure, lawsuits and mystery.
The Tribune exposed problems with the project in July. This month the city affixed plywood sheets to a few of the hotel's windows, apparently a futile attempt to secure the massive, half-gutted building.
City officials screwed a red "Condemned" sign into one of those windows and issued fines for code violations amounting to at least $15,000. The city first issued tickets in March, according to the developer — about 18 months after the hotel went into foreclosure.

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Convicted Sex Offender and Police Informant Attempts to Infiltrate Seattle's Activist Community

Sunday, September 15 2013 @ 06:49 PM CDT
Contributed by: Collin Sick
Views: 39
Spying on You
Robert Childs is a level-three sex offender—convicted of child molestation, rape (twice), and failure to register as a sex offender—who has worked as an FBI and SPD informant. A few days ago, local activists began circulating emails claiming he'd been prowling around the anarchist scene, including community barbecues in the Central District. "He was there to gather information," one activist wrote in an email to The Stranger, "and is famously remembered for asking about the 'leaders' of the black bloc." (The "black bloc" is a tactic, not an organization, and does not have leaders.) Back in March, the Seattle Times mentioned Childs's history as an informant, noting that he was paid over $90,000 to work with the FBI and SPD on investigating 35 year-old Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif.

The Stranger
by Brendan Kiley on Tue, Sep 10, 2013
The criminal informant. When he was snooping around the activist scene, he had stubble and long hair.
Robert Childs is a level-three sex offender—convicted of child molestation, rape (twice), and failure to register as a sex offender—who has worked as an FBI and SPD informant. A few days ago, local activists began circulating emails claiming he'd been prowling around the anarchist scene, including community barbecues in the Central District. "He was there to gather information," one activist wrote in an email to The Stranger, "and is famously remembered for asking about the 'leaders' of theblack bloc." (The "black bloc" is a tactic, not an organization, and does not have leaders.)
Back in March, the Seattle Times mentioned Childs's history as an informant, noting that he was paid over $90,000 to work with the FBI and SPD on investigating 35 year-old Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif. (Childs approached them about the project, not vice versa.) Abdul-Latif got 18 years after Childs introduced him to an FBI agent posing as a weapons dealer.
But the investigation was fishy, not just because the suspects had mental-health issues, and not only because they claimed the "terror" plot was really the informant's idea (the prosecution argued the opposite), but because Childs and his SPD handler destroyed hundreds of relevant text messages after they were specifically told not to:
Robart [the US district judge presiding over the case] criticized what he called the “at-best sloppy” destruction of potential evidence by an informant — identified as Robert Childs, a five-time convicted sex offender — and Seattle police Detective Samuel DeJesus, who deleted more than 400 text messages from Childs from his cellphone after he’d been told to preserve them.
As for the use of Childs, who was paid more than $90,000 for his services, Durkan [the US attorney] said, “It’s not the saints who can bring us the sinners.”
Activists say Childs popped up shortly after May Day 2012. "He wanted to do a lot of work to get 'inside,'" one activist wrote in an email to The Stranger, "like he helped fold chairs, offered his car, was real open to helping with anything." He also creeped some people out (here is one example, another account is below), was confronted about it, and then disappeared.
At this point, Childs has not been available for comment. ("Robert Vincent" is the name he was using most recently, and that Facebook page has been taken down. Activists say the email and phone number he originally gave are no longer working.) Whether or not he was specifically assigned by the FBI or SPD to attend the barbecues, the idea that one of their paid informants who had been convicted of rape and child molestation showed up at family-oriented events on false pretenses to fish around for information about political activists is appalling.
But FBI interest in activist communities seems to be the going concern these days—earlier this summer, several climate-change and anti-coal train activists were visited at home by FBI agents. They weren't asked about any crimes, they say, but were asked to identify other activists.
Lizzi Duff, one of those activists visited by the FBI in July, says they (Duff's preferred pronoun) got another visit last Friday after speaking about surveillance at a public forum the night before.
On Thursday, Duff gave a brief talk as part of a larger presentation on state surveillance in the Northwest. During that talk, Duff called the FBI "terrorists," saying their agents are "goons with guns" who pay these home visits specifically to intimidate people and scare them away from getting involved with protests. (Attorneys representing activists who were surveilled by the US Army in Tacoma and Olympia say undercover work and police harassment of known activists "did a great job" of disrupting protest in those cities. "People fled," said attorney Larry Hildes, "people got arrested so many times they gave up activism, people have fought an endless parade of criminal charges when they did not, in fact, do anything illegal.")
The next day (Friday), as Duff was getting off a bus to do some volunteer work at a local health organization, agents showed up again. The agents said they'd heard that Duff had been "saying things" and that they would "continue to investigate." Duff strongly suspects someone at the talk the night before had reported on Duff's criticism of the FBI.
Duff emphasized that that criticism had nothing to do with threats or violence, and was merely a statement of opinion about why the FBI has been prowling around activists communities lately—namely, intimidation.
You might say that standing up in a public forum and saying "the FBI are terrorists" when you know you're on their radar is not a terribly shrewd thing to do. On the other hand, it's perfectly legal. Conservatives (and Lupe Fiasco) have gone so far as to call President Obama a "terrorist."
Did that merit a visit from the FBI? Or an investigation?
Another activist emailed a profile of Robert Childs's arc in the activist scene to The Stranger. The behavior this activist alleges has many of the classic marks of undercover police/informants—they're ostentatiously helpful and kind of clueless, they propose escalating things from normal to criminal (or from a little criminal, such as marching without a permit, to a lot criminal), they have vague explanations about their incomes and personal histories, they use supposed jail time and/or loathing for police to earn cred, and so on. From the activist's email:
Robert Childs first appeared in Seattle organizing spaces at Food For Everyone, a weekly family-friendly community meal and free grocery store in the CD that was organized by some anarchists during spring/summer of 2012. He showed up at some point in June 2012. There had been a fair amount of publicity for this program so it wasn't exactly a secret (but he did show up prior to the article that was published on the Capitol Hill Times blog). Since it was shortly after the infamous events of May Day 2012, we were naturally curious (but not overly hostile at first). This is the story he gave about how he found FFE (to the best of our recollection):
He stated that while he was in prison someone told him about the website Puget Sound Anarchists. He claimed that he saw an event invite for a benefit show for the Wildcat and attended this show (a show like this did take place on May 23rd and he gave a lot of details about it that could have been found on the PSA website). He then claims that people at the show told him about FFE and he decided to check it out.
Honestly, this was all in the first hour we met the guy and we really thought this was hella suspicious. It was too intricate and memorized and frankly pretty convoluted. We filed that away as red flag #1 (didn't take long).
At the time we were doing some organizing for the No New Juvie campaign and that was a common topic of conversation at FFE. He really used his time in prison as a wedge to get himself involved with folks. He admitted to us that he was a registered sex offender after we spotted his ankle monitor. We tried to remain neutral as he told us the stories behind his convictions (underage girls, statutory rape, unfairly incarcerated repeatedly for violations of parole, yada yada yada). We were sympathetic to this part of his story for obvious reasons, namely being a community dedicated to prison abolition. Even so, we knew he was sketchy as hell.
He continued coming to FFE, and ingratiated himself with some of the organizing partners to the point that he showed up for a couple of planning meetings at a personal residence. During one of the meetings he confessed to us that he wasn't allowed to be near schools or parks due to his ankle monitor and he wouldn't be able to do certain things or go certain places without getting into trouble. At this point we just decided to limit his involvement in any organizing projects but we didn't feel we could tell him he was not welcome at any public events.
A couple of days later he placed a really weird and random call to one of the organizers of FFE, asking where and when he should show up for the next meeting. The organizer was confused by this question, and then Childs proceeded to attempt to get the organizer to say their full legal name (first, middle, and last) while on the phone. The organizer hung up and called another organizer immediately. At this point we were completely sketched out but unclear on what to do.
He showed up to the next FFE (this was early in July 2012) and people were discussing the upcoming No New Juvie march that was to take place on July 9th. One of the main organizers for this campaign was there and talking about it to everyone. About an hour into the event this organizer took one of us aside and said "I don't know what is up with new guy but he just asked me if there is going to be a black bloc at the No New Juvie march." At this point the organizers were exasperated and uncomfortable. He was taken aside and challenged on his behavior, including the fact that he was acting like a cop and/or snitch and making people uncomfortable. He was told his presence was not welcomed any longer.
He did attend the No New Juvie march a few days later. (Here is a photo.)
We never saw him or heard from him again until he showed up in the Salish CIRCA clown group. We did not catch on to the fact that he was back in the scene until very recently due to the fact that he gave a fake name the second time around ["Robert Vincent"] and, duh, clown makeup is the perfect disguise.
Other details he told us about his life:
He said he was going to scuba-diving school.
He said no one would rent to him due to his sex-offender status so he purchased a boat.
He said he "made some money" with some guy prior to his last incarceration and that is how he bought the boat.
He explained the holes in his life story as recurring jail sentences due to multiple violations of his parole.
"It's not the saints who can bring us the sinners," US attorney Jenny Durkan said about Childs's previous work as an informant.
What kinds of sinners was "Robert Vincent" trying to find?

Deloitte hires FBI agent who oversaw probe into Sept 11 attack

 Mon Sep 16, 2013 

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  Deloitte & Touche LLP said on Monday it hired a former senior FBI official as its new director of security and privacy, as the firm seeks to help its client companies fight the threat from increasingly sophisticated computer hackers.
Mary E. Galligan, who supervised the FBI's investigation into the September 11 attacks during a more than 25 year career in law enforcement, will advise Fortune 500 companies on cyber security risks for Deloitte.
She began her role last week, Deloitte said.
Galligan joined the FBI in 1988 and most recently served as special agent in charge of the FBI New York Office's special operations and cyber division.
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Four Link de jour


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Amerithrax: In February 2002, the FBI Failed To Take Custody of Al Qaeda Anthrax Scientists Rauf Ahmad and Yazid Sufaat

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 14, 2013

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State Police Arrest FBI Agent Scott Ballock for Harassment

Posted: Sep 16, 2013
West Virginia State Police have arrested a FBI Agent accused of harassment through electronic communication and by phone.
State police said Scott Ballock harassed his estranged wife through emails and text messages between October 2012 and July 2013.

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FBI agent from Sleepy Hollow asks to await trial in New York

Man faces federal charges in Utah and White Plains

Sep. 17, 2013   |  
A former FBI agent from Sleepy Hollow is asking to remain at the Westchester County jail while he awaits trial on two separate federal conspiracy cases against him — one in New York and one in Utah.
Robert Lustyik Jr., 51, who pleaded not guilty to the New York indictment before U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti in White Plains on Tuesday has been held in a Utah prison since his bail was revoked in that case in March, and faced a lengthy transport just to appear before Briccetti.
“Seven transfers to get here,” said defense attorney Ray Mansolillo, who noted that the Utah case is not expected to go to trial until at least March before U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell in Salt Lake City.
Prosecutors in White Plains arranged for Lustyik to be transferred here for the arraignment, and will now seek to negotiate with federal marshals, prosecutors and a federal judge in Utah to determine if Lustyik may remain here during preliminary hearings.
Mansolillo said he is willing to waive Lustyik’s presence in the Utah courtroom for hearings there.
Lustyik and childhood friend Johannes Thaler, a 49-year-old former Tarrytown resident, were first charged in the Utah case last year. Federal prosecutors in Salt Lake City alleged that Lustyik and Thaler attempted to thwart a federal investigation into a controversial defense contractor in exchange for lucrative payoffs.
Last month both men and a third man, Rizve Ahmed, 34, of Fairfield County, Conn., were named in a new indictment in New York. In that case, they are accused of accepting $1,000 and seeking tens of thousands more in exchange for an FBI “suspicious activity report” on an unnamed Bangladeshi political figure, according to a 15-page complaint unsealed last month in federal court in White Plains.
Lustyik and Thaler are accused of soliciting the bribes from Ahmed, identified as a rival of the Bangladeshi politician who was the subject of the FBI activity report.

The Battle to Open Prisons to Journalists

January 2, 2013 07:34:38 am
Comments (6)

By Jessica Pupovac


Photo by H. Michael Karshis, via Flickr

Many states make it extremely difficult for journalists to visit their prisons, interview inmates and report with any regularity or authority on what goes on inside America’s prison system.

Take the case of Illinois.

In March, after hearing reports of black mold, insect and vermin infestations, and busted-out windows in Vienna Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison in the southernmost tip of Illinois, criminal justice and courts reporter Rob Wildeboer of Public Radio station WBEZ in Chicago began trying to arrange a tour of the facility.

His request was denied by the Illinois Department of Corrections’ public information officer, the commissioner of the department and even the governor’s office. He reported on his efforts regularly in an effort to exert pressure on the state, but to no avail.

“It isn’t Club Med,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn told reporters. “Prisons are not country clubs. They’re not there to be visited, and looked at, and toured by this, that and the other.”

It wasn’t until after lawyers took up WBEZ’s case pro bono and met with the state’s attorneys that the state caved—sort of.  

Media Tours

It announced that “due to increased interest,” there would be media tours at a later date, although no cameras or recording devices would be allowed.

Then, before scheduling the media event, they allowed 25 community college students inside to tour one of their maximum-security facilities.

While the showdown in Illinois was particularly public and well-documented, it is nothing new.

Quieter battles are waged as a matter of course by reporters throughout the country attempting to report on how their states address criminal behavior, treat inmates, work to preserve public safety, and spend the roughly $74 billion allotted annually to the state and federal prison systems every year.

I recently completed a comprehensive study of state media access laws as part of my graduate work at the Missouri School of Journalism. I interviewed dozens of reporters, corrections officials and media liaisons.

What I found was a wide range of approaches to press inquiries, but one underlying theme: individual public officials, not laws or official policies, have the final word on how much the media—and thus the public—know about what happens inside America’s prisons.

And too often those individuals deny journalists access not because of security concerns, but because they fear the anticipated content of a story.

“These PIOs [public information officers] are exercising unconstitutional control over access to prisons and to prisoners themselves,” says Charles Davis, a media law expert and professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. “At some point, I think there is a very real First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment due process argument to make.”

Who Decides?

The chief of state departments of corrections (DOCs) govern media access policies during their administrations, and some prefer to simply keep the doors shut.

Brian Corbett, public information officer at the Alabama Department of Corrections, has served under four different commissioners. He says that the level of access they grant has “varied from personality to personality.”

And while about a dozen states have explicit policies regarding what constitutes grounds for a denial, the majority simply leave it to the ill-defined “discretion” of an individual prison’s warden.

Wall Street Journal reporter Gary Fields, who has covered prisons for many years, puts it this way: “Each prison has a fiefdom and the warden is at the top of the feudal system and the warden can actually reject your request to try to get in.”

While security is typically the stated justification for a denial of access, other factors are often considered.

“I know that a lot of departments or agencies get burned by the media or have some bad reporting by the media—sometimes deservedly so and sometimes not so deservedly so,”  said Brian Corbett of the Alabama Department of Corrections. “And because of that, they have become very gun-shy and skeptical and not trusting; and, yes, that can shape policy,”

Equal Protection

In 1972, the Supreme Court, invoking the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment, ruled that there is an “equality of status in the field of ideas,” meaning that government agencies cannot discriminate in practice or policy against groups or individuals whose points of view it disagrees with.

In 2001, Tori Marlan, a reporter with the Chicago Reader, a weekly alternative newspaper, tried to observe a program for incarcerated mothers at the Cook County jail, just weeks after she published an article about a lawsuit filed against the department that runs it.

Although she had been granted access in the past, this time she was denied. Lawyers for the Reader argued that the decision violated the 1972 Supreme Court caseand the equal protection clause.

“A reporter might well tone down a critical article if she feared that jail officials might terminate, or even restrict, her future access,” the ruling reads. “That is exactly the type of chilling effect the First Amendment guards against.”

The ruling continued: “The DOC may not have had a legal obligation to admit Marlan. But it may not refuse to do so because she exercised her First Amendment rights.”

Radio reporter Wildeboer’s attorneys invoked the same arguments to challenge his denial.

But several public information officers argue that security is a real concern. Given the limited resources they are working with, they see few alternatives.

“We’re only at about 65 percent of our [full] staffing levels,” said Corbett in Alabama. “We’re pushing 200% over capacity. We’re holding almost double the number we were designed to hold. And then really it becomes an issue just from a security standpoint.”

No Reality Shows

Almost every state spokesperson said that they have effectively banned reality shows from coming inside their facilities.

“There’s no real value in that,” said Tim LeMonds, then-spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

“To have somebody set up shop for two whole days and we’re paying the staff (or rather) taxpayers are? It isn’t going to happen.”

He said that the BBC proposed a more educational show that would have served a public safety purpose and the department “gave it serious consideration.” Ultimately, however, it was denied due to staffing shortages.

Current law of the land, as decided by the Supreme Court in Branzburg v. Hayes and then later in Pell v. Procunier and Saxbe v. The Washington Post establishes that “[T]he First Amendment does not guarantee the press a constitutional right of special access to information not available to the public generally." 

It should be noted that the court’s opinion suggests that those cases were decided in a very different climate, in which reporters were given broader access overall.

But the exact language of the ruling is often invoked by state prison officials to mean that the press has no right to enter a prison beyond the visitation room, no right to bring a pen and paper or recording devices and no right to have such visits facilitated by prison personnel.

In 2000, Bill Martin, then-director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, wrote in Quill magazine, a journalism trade publication, that when suicide-assisting doctor Jack Kevorkian came under his department’s custody, the state was flooded with about 100 interview requests.  

For fear of being sued for allowing access to some and not others, Martin wrote, he opted to close the door completely.

State Limits on Access

While at least five states (Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan) make any access the exception to the rule, several others limit the media in ways that make it extremely difficult to report on anything beyond news releases.

California, Kansas and Michigan, for example, do not arrange interviews with specific inmates.

Florida, Kansas, Michigan and New Hampshireall require inmates to put reporters on their visitation or phone call list if they wish to speak to them, thus forfeiting a visit or call with family or friends.

Wyoming, meanwhile, reserves the right to screen all potential questions before a media interview, and to end an interview if it strays off of the approved subject matter.

(Acomplete collection of media access policies is available on the Society of Professional Journalists’ website although Wyoming explicitly did not give permission to share their policy online.)

The University of Missouri’s Charles Davis calls that and several other current restrictions “patently unconstitutional.”

“The reporter must go before a government office and submit the idea of their writing for “approval’ from the government office they are covering in order to get access to the citizens who are incarcerated in the system,” he explains.

“Let’s not forget that these people are citizens still. They haven’t lost their citizenship just because they are incarcerated.”

“There is nothing in those Supreme Court decisions that gives those officials the right to predicate access on the basis of whether or not they approve of the story. There is just nothing in there that says that. But that’s what is happening over and over again.”

When Restrictions Backfire

Some prison officials find the restrictive approach to work against them.

“Our experience is that if people don’t see what is really happening inside prisons, the imagination fills the void and people get pretty distorted ideas,” said A.T. Wall, director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

Wall says his typically errs on the side of granting reporters’ requests, although he shuts the door to reality shows.

He also said that he limits access to cell blocks where there are disciplinary problems, since just the presence of reporters might incite the inmates to act out.

“It’s that phrase that studying something changes it,” he said. “People working inside might grumble about the amount of effort it takes, but we know that people outside want to understand, want to get a window of what goes on inside correction agencies.”

Alaska department of corrections spokesperson Richard Schmitz organizes regular “media academies,” in which he invites reporters to tour facilities and learn about specific topics.

“Everyone agrees that they are off the record. We can say what we want and they can ask what they want,” he explained. He said that they can then follow-up for more details and on-the-record quotes.

“There is a responsibility to the public and we have a unique situation because what we do is hidden by its nature. There are people from the public who can’t come by and see how the prisons are doing. And as a result the media has a role in providing a public window on the prison activities and what goes on because it is taxpayer funded,” he said.

The more open approach isn’t popular with just small agencies.

Even Texas, one of the largest correctional systems in the country, has gotten more transparent in recent years, in an effort to educate the public about reforms.

Vienna Prison Opens Up

In Illinois, eight months after Rob Wildeboer’s request, he was allowed to tour the Vienna Correctional facility with about a dozen other reporters, multiple security guards and the warden.

He was not allowed to bring any audio recording equipment or a camera.

He said that, as he arrived, workers were still busy putting a fresh coat of paint on a lamppost towards the front of the grounds.

He was able to walk inside one particularly notorious housing unit, where he had previously read of more than one hundred men in one room, spending their days and nights in bunkbeds tightly packed together. The unit’s broken windows were simply boarded up last winter, making it so that the men couldn’t see outside for months, until spring finally arrived. But now the windows were repaired.

The warden admitted that the grounds were hastily improved before the tour. "You put your best foot forward," he told reporters.

To Wildeboer, that was enough proof that the small amount of sunlight was a good thing. “It’s a step, but a step in the right direction,” he said.

“These men were stuck in these rooms all day with nothing to do and no windows to even look out of. Now they actually, in the last couple months, have started replacing the broken panes of glass so that birds can’t fly in there any more.”

 “That is an improvement that will last even after the reporters have left for the day,” he said.

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September 25, 2013

Report: Kennedy assassin was on FBI payroll

Author says Bill O'Reilly 'uncritically repeats the Warren Commission lie'

In his bestseller “Killing Kennedy,” author and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly “uncritically repeats the Warren Commission lie” that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of President John F. Kennedy, charges Jerome Corsi, author of the newly released “Who Really Killed Kennedy? 50 Years Later: Stunning New Revelations about the JFK Assassination.”
Corsi, whose new book has overtaken O’Reilly’s on the Amazon list of top sellers about JFK, argues O’Reilly fails to take into account the extensive documentation produced over the last 50 years indicating Oswald was an agent of the federal government with an extensive CIA intelligence file that stretched back to 1957.
O’Reilly, says Corsi, uncritically presents Oswald as a communist-sympathizer who defected to the Soviet Union, without mentioning the documentary record.
Corsi, in his book, presents evidence that Oswald was a double agent in the “false defector program” in which the U.S. government encouraged military troops loyal to the United States to engage in a ruse in which they would defect to the Soviet Union to gain access to the inside operations of the KGB.
O’Reilly also does not mention the evidence that Oswald was being paid by the FBI as an informant in November 1963, prior to the assassination. Corsi says the Warren Commission suppressed the information, concluding Oswald had no affiliation with U.S. intelligence agencies.
Corsi asks: “Was Bill O’Reilly simply unaware of this documentary evidence when he co-authored ‘Killing Kennedy’?”
“Who Really Killed Kennedy,” released last week as the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches, is bolstered by recently declassified documents that shed new light on the greatest “who-done-it” mystery of the 20th century. Corsi sorted through tens of thousands of documents, all 26 volumes of the Warren Commission’s report, hundreds of books, several films and countless photographs.
Oswald’s CIA file
The documents on the JFK assassination released by the federal government in the past few years show the CIA had an intelligence file on Oswald.
His “201″ CIA file, a personality file, was numbered No. 39-61981, with the “39” denoting an intelligence file, Corsi points out.
The Mary Ferrell Foundation has made public 50,000 pages of documents from Oswald’s CIA file, including a small selection of the pre-assassination file, followed by a huge collection of post-assassination documents pertaining to the Warren Commission and other subsequent investigations of the JFK assassination.
Oswald’s 201 CIA file was opened by Counter Intelligence officer Elizabeth “Ann” Egerter in December 1960.
The pre-assassination part of Oswald’s 201 CIA file shows the CIA followed, step by step, every move Oswald made to return to the United States after “defecting” to the Soviet Union, says Corsi.
As early as October 1960, while the presidential campaign between Nixon and Kennedy was still going on, the Department of State undertook a project to identify and research all Americans who had defected to the Soviet Union, to Soviet bloc nations or to communist China.
At the Department of State’s “Office of Intelligence/Resources and Coordination,” Robert B. Elwood wrote to Richard Bissell, then CIA’s deputy director for plans – the position from which Bissell began planning under the Eisenhower administration the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
The assignment at the State Department fell to Otto F. Otepka, deputy director of the State Department Office of Security. Bissell shipped the file to James Angleton at CIA counter intelligence and to Robert L. Bannerman, the CIA deputy chief of security.
According to former military intelligence officer John Newman in his 1995 book “Oswald and the CIA,” Bannerman said the opening of Oswald’s “201 file” regarding his defection to the Soviet Union “would have all gone through Angleton.” The 201 opening was something on which “we worked very closely with Angleton and his staff,” Bannerman recalled.
At the CIA, Otepka continued to add to Oswald’s 201 file, noting key “red flags,” such as when Oswald applied for and received a U.S. passport on one day’s notice to return to the United States. Oswald also received an extra visa a month and a half before he left Russia, apparently so his Russian wife could accompany him home.
Otepka also added to Oswald’s file, according to Corsi, when he learned Oswald had received a State Department loan that made his return to the U.S. possible financially. There are indications in the file that Attorney General Bobby Kennedy was aware of Oswald and his 201 file a year and a half before the JFK assassination.
The Justice Department evidently intervened with the Dallas Police, asking them not to pursue, investigate or arrest Oswald for allegedly firing a shot at Gen. Edwin Walker in Dallas prior to the Kennedy assassination.
Walker urged the House Select Committee on Investigations to look into the extraordinary intervention that traced back to Bobby Kennedy.
Oswald and the FBI
“As remarkable as it seems, the evidence suggests Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination was on the payroll of the FBI,” says Corsi.
J. Lee Rankin, the general counsel of the Warren Commission, wrote a memo to the file in January 1964 documenting that a reliable source informed him of journalists in Texas who commonly knew Oswald was receiving a monthly check of $200 from the FBI.
In that letter, as reproduced in the archives preserved by the Mary Ferrell Foundation online, Rankin documents that on Jan. 22, 1964, he received a telephone call from Waggoner Carr, attorney general of Texas, communicating on a confidential basis an allegation that Oswald had been an undercover agent for the FBI since September 1962 and had been paid $200 a month from an account designated as No. 179.
Rankin’s letter further documents that on Jan. 23, 1964, Secret Service Report No. 766 summarized an interview conducted by FBI agent Bertram with Houston Post reporter Alonso H. Hudkins III that read in part:
On December 19, Mr. Hudkins advised that he had just returned from a weekend in Dallas, during which time he talked to Allen Sweatt, Chief Criminal Division, Sheriff’s Office, Dallas. Chief Sweatt mentioned that it was his opinion that Lee Harvey Oswald was being paid $200 a month by the FBI as an informant in connection with their subversive investigation. He furnished the alleged informant number assigned to Oswald by the FBI as “S172.”
Rankin, says Corsi, further affirmed that District Attorney Wade in Dallas and “others of the Texas representatives” stated the rumors that Oswald was an undercover agent were widely held among members of the press in Dallas and that Melvin Belli, attorney for Jack Ruby, was aware of the allegations.
Wade further told Rankin that Oswald was an informant for the CIA, carrying No. 110669.
As documented by the proceedings of the Warren Commission’s executive session Jan. 27, 1964, another document archived online by the Mary Ferrell Foundation, Rankin presented to the commissioners the allegations of Oswald’s connections to the FBI and the CIA.
At that meeting, Rankin made clear his intention to cover up the information when he told the commission, “We do have a dirty rumor that is very bad for the commission, and it is very damaging to the agencies that are involved in it, and it must be wiped out so insofar as it is possible to do so by this commission.”
At the Warren Commission’s executive session on Jan. 27, 1964, commissioner Allen Dulles commented in concluding the discussion of the information Oswald was a paid FBI agent: “I think this record ought to be destroyed. Do you think we need a record of this?”
Corsi contends the Warren Commission suppressed evidence of Oswald’s relationship with the FBI, precisely because the information undermined the commission’s central conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin.
Corsi says the evidence shows Oswald was a patriotic U.S. citizen who earned his employment as a well-trained intelligence operative, with his primary allegiance to the CIA. It could be, Corsi concludes, “a key part of the deep secret the CIA could not afford the U.S. public to know in the aftermath of the JFK assassination when the Warren Report was issued in 1964.”

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 Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013

Civil liberties group claims FBI harassment toward friends of man killed by agent

An American-Islamic civil liberties group told only Eyewitness News that it has damaging information showing a pattern of harassment by the FBI toward friends of a man who was shot and killed by an agent in Orlando.

CAIR-Florida claims agents have continually intimidated friends of Ibragim Todashev.

The group's director, Hassan Shibly, said he plans to release the information Wednesday during a news conference or by email.

He insists it will show that the FBI keeps harassing those friends months after the FBI killed the Chechen man inside his apartment.

"There's been a pattern and practice right now of the FBI intimidating and bringing perceptual charges and harassing many, many individuals who are associated with Ibragim," Shibly said by phone.

Todashev was killed as he was questioned over his possible role in a Boston-area triple murder allegedly involving bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Eyewitness News learned agents from the Boston FBI office were again in Central Florida just last week.  This time, they grilled Ashurmamad Miraliev over his friendship with Todashev.

"They've basically taken retaliatory action against individuals who are familiar or associated with Ibragim Todashev, who are key witnesses into what happened in the days before he was killed," Shibly said.

Miraliev spent at least eight hours undergoing FBI questioning.  He remains locked up in the Osceola County Jail on an unrelated witness tampering charge.

Eyewitness News also spoke to Todashev's former girlfriend off-camera who said she was just released from jail after spending roughly three months locked up on immigration issues, including five days in solitary confinement.

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The National Security Agency says that the telephone metadata it collects on every American is essential for finding terrorists. And that's debatable. But this we know for sure: Metadata is very useful for tracking journalists and discovering their sources.
On Monday, a former FBI agent and bomb technician pleaded guilty to leaking classified information to the Associated Press about a successful CIA operation in Yemen. As it turns out, phone metadata was the key to finding him.
The prosecution of the former agent, Donald Sachtleben, brings the number of leaks prosecutions under the Obama administration to eight, nearly three times the number prosecuted under all previous administrations. What's driving this record-breaking prosecution of leakers? Is it that this president especially despises loose talk with reporters and the time-worn culture of Washington backstabbing that they represent?
Not likely. The real reason the government is going after leakers is because it can. Investigators today have greater access to phone records and e-mails than they did before Obama took office, allowing them to follow digital data trails straight to the source.
After the AP published its big scoop on the Yemen operation, on May 7, 2012, FBI investigators started looking for the source of the story. They interviewed more than 550 officials, but they came up short.
So, in a highly controversial move, investigators secretly obtained a subpoena for phone records of AP reporters and editors. The records, which included the metadata of who had called whom, and how long the call lasted, covered a period in April and May of 2012. That was right around the time that the AP was reporting the Yemen story.
Once investigators looked at that phone metadata, they got their big break in the case.
"Sachtleben was identified as a suspect ... only after toll records for phone numbers related to the reporter were obtained through a subpoena and compared to other evidence collected during the leak investigation," the Justice Department said yesterday in a statement. "This allowed investigators to obtain a search warrant authorizing a more exhaustive search of Sachtleben's cellphone, computer and other electronic media..."
The reporter is not named in the court documents, but two of the AP's best investigative journalists, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, wrote the Yemen story.
The phone metadata wasn't just the key to Satchleben. It sped up the investigation dramatically. The FBI had conducted 550 fruitless interviews, and with one scan of a reporter's phone record, they had their man. It's no wonder that the Obama administration is going after leakers so often. Metadata is the closest thing to a smoking gun that they're likely to have, absent a wiretap or a copy of an email in which the source is clearly seen giving a reporter classified information.
The subpoena of the AP's records was roundly criticized by press groups. The Justice Department didn't tell AP about the subpoena in advance, as is customary in these cases. And the department didn't reveal until May 2013, a year after the story ran, that investigators had been combing through journalists' phone logs.
The AP called the secret subpoena a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into the news-gathering process. And it may have resulted in a backlash. Sources close to the Justice Department have said recently that investigators are unlikely to aggressively go after a leaker via a reporter's phone records again because of the controversy over the AP case. They've also been chastened in another leaks investigation, in which a Fox News reporter was named as a potential co-conspirator because he asked his source for information, a move that drew similar howls from press advocates.
Of course, the FBI doesn't just look at reporters' phone records. They can examine government employees' work phones and email accounts without a warrant. The FBI also had a stroke of unexpected luck in the Sachtleben case, because the government had already seized his cell phone and computer as part of a child pornography investigation. When the FBI found the link to the AP reporter in the phone records, they scanned Sachtleben's devices. On his phone, they discovered text messages and records of calls between Sachtleben and an AP reporter -- again, he's not named in court documents -- about a notorious Yemeni bomb maker. On May 2, Sachtleben visited a lab where U.S. technicians were examining a new underwear device that the bombmaker had built, and that had been captured by the CIA before it could be used, the documents say. This was the germ of the AP's story, which ran five days later.
But the FBI would not have been tipped to Sachtleben as the AP's source in the first place absent that link from the reporter's phone records. If you're looking for a case study in the power of metadata, you've found it.

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Senators Demand Answers On NSA Snooping — By The End Of 2014

This week nine members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the inspector general of the Intelligence Community, I. Charles McCullough III, asking him to conduct a full review of U.S. intelligence operations, and to “make public the findings.”
This almost sounds compelling: A bipartisan group of Senators demanding that the intelligence wing of the United States government take a hard look at itself and report its findings to the public. Of course, asking a consummate intelligence insider to vet his own team isn’t exactly exciting.
Mr. McCullough III is a former FBI agent, helped draft the intelligence portions of the Patriot Act, and worked in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. So the guy has friends throughout the agencies that he has now been asked to both vet and then publicly discuss. What do you want to wager that this report comes out milquetoast?
Here’s what the senators want the inspector general to focus on:
  • The use and implementation of Section 215 and Section 702 authorities, including the manner in which information – and in particular, information about U.S. persons – is collected, retained, analyzed and disseminated.
  • Applicable minimization procedures and other relevant procedures and guidelines, including whether they are consistent across agencies and the extent to which they protect the privacy rights of U.S. persons.
  • Any improper or illegal use of the authorities or information collected pursuant to them.
  • An examination of the effectiveness of the authorities as investigative and intelligence tools.
That’s actually quite a fine list. While asking the inspector general to grade the law he helped to write and vet the performance of his friends in an unbiased fashion is humorous, the senators’ final request is my favorite:
Please proceed to administratively perform reviews of the implementation of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of FISA, and submit the reports no later than December 31, 2014.
So the report can come out more than a year from now, and meet expectations. Assuming that the good inspector complies with the request, he has 15 months to produce something that says nothing. Empty attempts at oversight are worse than doing nothing, as they provide cover for parties that otherwise would be easier to excoriate.
Ars Technica has a good take on the situation at hand: “As more and more has come out about the scope of American surveillance programs, lawmakers are realizing that they don’t know very much about what exactly is going on.” Yes, and the rest of us don’t know enough either.
But asking Mr. McCullough III to educate us next year about what is going on now doesn’t even pass the laugh test. I’m not sure if the good senators understand how anemic their attempt at controlling the intelligence apparatus in fact is, and that alone is depressing.
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3 stories

1st story
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New FBI Director James B. Comey stunned by impact of sequestration on agents in the field

 Friday, September 27, 10:03 PM E-mail the writer

In the first week of his new job as FBI director, James B. Comey had already heard about how training had stopped for recruits at Quantico and that the bureau wasn’t planning on bringing in any new agents next year, all because of budget cuts.

But Comey was stunned when he began visiting FBI field offices this month and heard directly from his special agents. New intelligence investigations were not being opened. Criminal cases were being closed. Informants couldn’t be paid. And there was not enough funding for agents to put gas in their cars.

“My reaction to that . . . ” Comey said about the gas. “I don’t even want to tell you what my reaction to that was.”

For the first time, FBI agents have put together a report about consequences in the field of the across-the-board government budget cuts known as sequestration.

In the 29-page report, “Voices From the Field,” agents from across the country warn that budget cuts and possible furloughs are hurting public safety and threaten their ability to protect Americans.

“We feel in­cred­ibly frustrated and find it very disturbing that we are going to be restrained from protecting Americans from criminal and terrorist attacks,” said Rey Tariche, a special agent on a Long Island gang task force and president of the FBI Agents Association, which wrote the report and represents nearly 12,000 active and former FBI agents.

The agents gave Comey their report Friday, but the director is already well aware of their complaints. Since he took over as director, Comey has been outspoken about budget cuts facing the FBI.

In an interview with reporters last week, Comey said that he visited agents in New York, Richmond and Washington, and what he heard most about was the impact on their criminal and counterterrorism investigations.

“I’m not crying wolf,” Comey said. “I’m not playing a game. This is the FBI. We will salute and execute. But I was very surprised to learn how severe the required cut is — and the potential impact on the FBI.”

2nd story

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CNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotape

By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN Special Investigations Unit
January 27, 2011

Washington (CNN) -- An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.

A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while "satisfying himself."

And an employee in a "leadership position" misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.

These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three years


Read the FBI documents obtained by CNN

-- An employee had "a sexual relationship with a source" over seven months. The punishment was a 40-day suspension.
-- The supervisor who viewed "pornographic movies in the office while sexually satisfying himself" during work hours received a 35-day suspension.
-- The employee in a "leadership position" who misused a "government database to conduct name checks on two friends who were foreign nationals employed as exotic dancers" and "brought the two friends into FBI space after-hours without proper authorization" received a 23-day suspension. The same employee had been previously suspended for misusing a government database.
-- An employee who was drunk "exploited his FBI employment at a strip club," falsely claiming he was "conducting an official investigation." His punishment was a 30-day suspension.
-- And an employee conducted "unauthorized searches on FBI databases" for "information on public celebrities the employee thought were 'hot'" received a 30-day suspension.

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February 22, 2013
FBI agents caught sexting and dating drug dealers
Dating drug dealers, harassing ex-boyfriends with naked pictures, and pointing guns at pet dogs: these were just a few of the offences committed recently by serving FBI agents, according to internal documents.
The US provided officers from the Egyptian secret police with training at the FBI, despite allegations that they routinely tortured detainees and suppressed political opposition.

Disciplinary files from the Bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility record an extraordinary range of transgressions that reveal the chaotic personal lives of some of America's top law enforcers.

One male agent was sacked after police were called to his mistress's house following reports of domestic incident. When officers arrived they found the agent "drunk and uncooperative" and eventually had to physically subdue him and wrestle away his loaded gun.

A woman e-mailed a "nude photograph of herself to her ex-boyfriend's wife" and then continued to harass the couple despite two warnings from senior officials. The Bureau concluded she was suffering from depression related to the break-up and allowed her to return to work after 10 days.

3rd story

FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public
May 25, 2007
FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public

Posted by, Marissa Pasquet KOLD News 13 News Editor

FBI Special Agent Ryan Seese, 34, is facing sex offense charges after a cleaning woman said she found him masturbating in a women's lavatory on campus, according to a University of Arizona police spokesman.


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 September 27-29, 2013
Targeting Earth First!
Dave Foreman and the First Green Scare Case

Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!, awoke at five in the morning on May 30, 1989 to the sound of three FBI agents shouting his name in his Tucson, Arizona home. Foreman’s wife Nancy answered the door frantically and was shoved aside by brawny FBI agents as they raced toward their master bedroom where her husband was sound asleep, naked under the sheets, with plugs jammed in his ears to drown out the noise of their neighbor’s barking Doberman pincher. By the time Foreman came to, the agents were surrounding his bed, touting bulletproof vests and .357 Magnums.

He immediately thought of the murder of Fred Hampton in Chicago, expecting to be shot in cold blood. But as Foreman put it, “Being a nice, middle-class honky male, they can’t get away with that stuff quite as easily as they could with Fred, or with all the native people on the Pine Ridge Reservation back in the early 70s.”

So instead of firing off a few rounds, they jerked a dazed Foreman from his slumber, let him pull on a pair of shorts, and hauled him outside where they threw him in the back of an unmarked vehicle. It took over six hours before Foreman even knew why he had been accosted by Federal agents.

Foreman’s arrest was the culmination of three years and two million tax dollars spent in an attempt to frame a few Earth First! activists for conspiring to damage government and private property. The FBI infiltrated Earth First! groups in several states with informants and undercover agent-provocateurs. Over 500 hours of tape recordings of meetings, events and casual conversation had been amassed. Phones had been tapped and homes broken in to. The FBI was doing their best to intimidate radical environmentalists across the country, marking them as potential threat to national security.

It was the FBI’s first case of Green Scare.

The day before Foreman was yanked from bed and lugged in to the warm Arizona morning, two so-called co-conspirators, biologist Marc Baker and antinuclear activist Mark Davis, were arrested by some 50 agents on horseback and on foot, with a helicopter hovering above as the activists stood at the base of a power line tower in the middle of desert country in Wenden, Arizona, 200 miles northwest of Foreman’s home. The next day Peg Millet, a self-described “redneck woman for wilderness,” was arrested at a nearby Planned Parenthood where she worked. Millet earlier evaded the FBI’s dragnet.

Driven to the site by an undercover FBI agent, the entire episode, as Foreman put it, was the agent’s conception. Foreman, described by the bureau as the guru and financier of the operation, was also pegged for having thought up the whole elaborate scheme, despite the fact that their evidence was thin.

Back in the 1970s the FBI issued a memo to their field offices stating that when attempting to break up dissident groups, the most effective route was to forget about hard intelligence or annoying facts. Simply make a few arrests and hold a public press conference. Charges could later be dropped. It didn’t matter; by the time the news hit the airwaves and was printed up in the local newspapers, the damage had already been done.

It was the FBI’s assertion that the action stopped by the arrests under that Arizona power line in late May, 1989, was to be a test run for a much grander plot involving Davis, Baker, Millet, and the group’s leader, Dave Foreman. The FBI charged the four with the intent to damage electrical transmission lines that lead to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility in Colorado.

“The big lie that the FBI pushed at their press conference the day after the arrests was that we were a bunch of terrorists conspiring to cut the power lines into the Palo Verde and Diablo Canyon nuclear facilities in order to cause a nuclear meltdown and threaten public health and safety,” explained Foreman.

In the late 1980s the FBI launched operation THERMCON in response to an act of sabotage of the Arizona Snowbowl ski lift near Flagstaff, Arizona that occurred in October 1987, allegedly by Davis, Millet and Baker. Acting under the quirky name, Evan Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy (EMETIC) — the eco-saboteurs wrecked several of the company’s ski lifts, claiming that structures were cutting in to areas of significant biological importance.

This was not the first act the group claimed responsibility for. A year prior EMETIC sent a letter declaring they were responsible for the damage at the Fairfield Snow Bowl near Flagstaff. The group’s letter also included a jovial threat to “chain the Fairfield CEO to a tree at the 10,000-foot level and feed him shrubs and roots until he understands the suicidal folly of treating the planet primarily as a tool for making money.”

The group used an acetylene torch to cut bolts from several of the lift’s support towers, making them inoperable. Upon receiving the letter, the Arizona ski resort was forced to shut down the lift in order to repair the damages, which rang up to over $50,000.

But the big allegations heaved at these eco-saboteurs wasn’t for dislodging a few bolts at a quaint ski resort in the heart of the Arizona mountains, or for inconveniencing a few ski bums from their daily excursions. No, the big charges were levied at the group for allegedly plotting to disrupt the functions of the Rocky Flats nuclear facility hundreds of miles away. Ironically, at the moment of their arrests, the FBI was simultaneously looking into public health concerns due to an illegal radioactive waste leak at the nuclear power site, which led Earth First! activist Mike Roselle to quip, “ [the FBI] would have discharged its duty better by assisting in a conspiracy to cut power to Rocky Flats, instead of trying to stop one.”


Gerry Spence climbed into his private jet in Jackson, Wyoming estate almost immediately after he heard about the FBI arrest of Dave Foreman in Arizona. Spence had made a name for himself among environmental activists in the late-1970s for his case against energy company Kerr-McGee, when he provided legal services to the family of former employee Karen Silkwood, who died suspiciously after she challenged the company of environmental abuses at one of their most productive nuclear facilities. Silkwood, who made plutonium pellets for nuclear reactors, had been assigned by her union to investigate health and safety concerns at a Kerr-McGee plant near Crescent, Oklahoma. In her monitoring of the facility Silkwood found dozens of evident regulatory violations, including faulty respiratory equipment as well as many cases of workers being exposed to radioactive material.

Silkwood went public after the company seemingly ignored her and her union’s concerns, even going as far as to testify to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) about the issues, claiming that regulations were sidestepped in an attempt to up the speed of production. She also claimed that workers had been mishandling nuclear fuel rods, but the company has covered up the incidences by falsifying inspection reports.

On the night of November 13, 1974, Silkwood left a union meeting in Crescent with documents in hand to drive to Oklahoma City where she was to meet and discuss Kerr-McGee’s alleged violations with a union official and two New York Times reporters. She never made it. Silkwood’s body was found the next day in the driver’s seat of her car on the side of the road, stuck in a culvert. She was pronounced dead on the scene and no documents were found in her car.

An independent private investigation revealed that Silkwood was in full control of her vehicle when it was struck from behind and forced off to the side of the road. According to the private investigators, the steering wheel of her car was bent in a manner that showed conclusively that Silkwood was prepared for the blow of the accident as it occurred. She had not been asleep at the wheel as investigators initially thought. The coroner concluded she had not died as a result of the accident, but possibly from suffocation.

No arrests or charges were ever made. Silkwood’s children and father filed a lawsuit against Kerr-McGee on behalf of her estate. Gerry Spence was their lead attorney. An autopsy of Silkwood’s body showed extremely high levels of plutonium contamination. Lawyers for Kerr-McGee argued first that the levels found were normal, but after damning evidence to the contrary, they were forced to argue that Silkwood had likely poisoned herself.

Spence had been victorious. Kerr-McGee’s defense was caught in a series of unavoidable contradictions. Silkwood’s body was laden with poison as result of her work at the nuclear facility. In her death Spence vindicated her well-documented claims. The initial jury verdict was for the company to pay $505,000 in damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages. Kerr-McGee appealed and drastically reduced the jury’s verdict, but the initial ruling was later upheld by the Supreme Court. On the way to a retrial the company agreed to pay $1.38 million to the Silkwood estate.

Gerry Spence was not cowed by the antics of the Kerr-McGee Corporation, and when he agreed to take on Dave Foreman’s case pro-bono, justice seemed to be on the horizon for the Earth First! activists as well.

“Picture a little guy out there hacking at a dead steel pole, an inanimate object, with a blowtorch. He’s considered a criminal,” said Spence, explaining how he planned to steer the narrative of Foreman’s pending trial. “Now see the image of a beautiful, living, 400-year-old-tree, with an inanimate object hacking away at it. This non-living thing is corporate America, but the corporate executives are not considered criminals at all.”

Like so many of the FBI charges brought against radical activists throughout the years, the case against Dave Foreman was less exciting than the investigation that led up to his arrest. The bureau had done its best to make Foreman and Earth First! out to be the most threatening activists in America.

Spence was not impressed and in fact argued as much, stating the scope of the FBI’s operation THERMCON was “very similar to the procedures the FBI used during the 1960s against dissident groups.” No doubt Spence was right. Similar to the movement disruption exemplified by COINTELPRO against Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement, the FBI’s crackdown of Earth First! in the late 1980s had many alarming parallels to the agency of old.

“Essentially what we need to understand is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was formed during the Palmer Raids in 1921, was set up from the very beginning to inhibit internal political dissent. They rarely go after criminals. They’re a thought police,” said Foreman of the FBI’s motives for targeting environmentalists. “Let’s face it, that’s what the whole government is. Foreman’s first law of government reads that the purpose of the state, and all its constituent elements, is the defense of an entrenched economic elite and philosophical orthodoxy. Thankfully, there’s a corollary to that law—they aren’t always very smart and competent in carrying out their plans.”

The man who was paid to infiltrate Earth First! under the guise of THERMCON was anything but competent. Special agent Michael A. Fain, stationed in the FBI’s Phoenix office, befriended Peg Millet and begun attending Earth First! meetings in the area. Fain, who went by alias, Mike Tait, posed as a Vietnam vet who dabbled in construction and gave up booze after his military service. On more than one occasion, while wearing a wire, Fain had tried to entice members of Earth First! in different acts of vandalism. They repeatedly refused.

During pre-trial evidence discovery the defense was allowed to listen to hours of Fain’s wire-tapings, when they found that the not-so-careful agent inadvertently forgot to turn off his recorder. Fain, while having a conversation with two other agents at a Burger King after a brief meeting with Foreman, spoke about the status of his investigation, exclaiming, “I don’t really look for them to be doing a lot of hurting people… [Dave Foreman] isn’t really the guy we need to pop — I mean in terms of an actual perpetrator. This is the guy we need to pop to send a message. And that’s all we’re really doing… Uh-oh! We don’t need that on tape! Hoo boy!”

Here the FBI was, acting as if these Earth First!ers were, publicly vilifying them, while privately admitting that they posed no real threat. “[The agency is acting] as if [its] dealing with the most dangerous, violent terrorists that the country’s ever known,” explained Spence at the time. “And what we are really dealing with is ordinary, decent human beings who are trying to call the attention of America to the fact that the Earth is dying.”

The FBI’s rationale for targeting Foreman was purely political as he was one of the most prominent and well-spoken radical environmentalists of the time. Despite their claims that they were not directly targeting Earth First! or Foreman, and were instead investigating threats of sabotage of power lines that led to a nuclear power plant — their public indictment painted quite a different story.

“Mr. Foreman is the worst of the group,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Dokken announced to the court. “He sneaks around in the background … I don’t like to use the analogy of a Mafia boss, but they never do anything either. They just sent their munchkins out to do it.”

But agent Michael Fain’s on-tape gaffes were simply too much for the prosecution to manage, and the case against Foreman, having been deferred almost seven years, was finally reduced in 1996 to a single misdemeanor and a meager $250 in fines. The $2 million the FBI wasted tracking Earth First! over the latter part of the 1980s had only been nominally successful. Yet the alleged ring-leader was still free. Unfortunately, the FBI may have gotten exactly what they wanted all along. Dave Foreman later stepped down as spokesman to Earth First! and inherited quite a different role in the environmental movement — one of invisibility and near silence.

Peg Millet, Mark Davis and Marc Baker were all sentenced separately in 1991 for their involvement in their group EMETIC’s acts of ecotage against the expansion of Arizona Snowbowl. Davis got 6 years and $19,821 in restitution. Millet only 3 years, with the same fine, while Baker only received 6 months and a $5,000 fine.

Little did these activists know that there capture and subsequent arraignments were only the beginning. THERMCON’s crackdown of Earth First! would prove to be a dry-run for the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Joshua Frank is author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, and of Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is now available in Kindle format.  He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com.

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 Friday, Sep 27, 2013 08:20 AM EST
America’s creeping police state
We're already under full-time surveillance. Can the executive branch's ever-growing authoritarianism be stopped?
By Fred Branfman

For those alarmed by the steady growth of lawless, violent and authoritarian U.S. Executive power for the last 50 years, the events of the past few months have been exciting. The emergence of a de facto coalition of progressives and conservatives opposing the National Defense Authorization Act law giving the Executive the right to unilaterally detain or execute American citizens without a trial, and NSA mass surveillance of phone and Internet data, has been unprecedented, and offers the first hope in 70 years that Executive power can be curbed

The most important development has been the public and congressional reaction to President Obama’s proposal to strike Syria. A huge majority of the American people opposed even a limited military action by the Executive Branch. Reading the polls, the President decided to seek congressional authorization for a limited military action. For the first time in living memory, Congress clearly opposed him. It is too soon to say what this will mean for the future, but the implications clearly extend beyond just this particular strike or President.

The main arena besides the Middle East where the issue of the Executive Branch vs. Congress and the American people will play out in coming months will concern attempts to limit not only Executive surveillance of innocent Americans, but its other assaults on the very foundation of democracy itself.

The fundamental issue involved amidst the ongoing cascade of revelations about NSA wrongdoing is this: what must be done to roll back the Executive Branch’s creation of a surveillance state, which is just one more major economic crisis or 9/11—as even centrists like Bob Woodward and Tom Friedman warn—from becoming a police-state.

Most of the focus until now has been on trying to absorb the dimensions of the surveillance state we have suddenly learned we are living in since June 6. But it is now time to focus on the actions needed to end its assaults on democracy.

This is not a simple question, either politically or technically. Politically, it is impossible to envision ending the surveillance state without a broad left-right coalition both in Congress and among the public devoted to doing so. But it will be difficult to maintain a coalition of progressives and Tea Partiers, liberals and conservatives, who neither trust nor respect one another—particularly when fought by an Executive that will hit back against attempts to control it with everything it has.

The technical questions are even trickier. How does Congress write and pass laws to prevent Executive Agencies from undertaking surveillance and population control measures when, to paraphrase Congressman Keith Ellison, “Congress doesn’t know what it doesn’t know”? How can Congress control Executive wrongdoing when Executive officials invoke the mantra of national security to avoid providing it with information?

Had Edward Snowden not risked life imprisonment or worse to reveal that the U.S. Executive Branch has created a surveillance state, we would still know virtually nothing about it. The ranking Senate and House Intelligence committee chairs, Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers, would still be covering up Executive wrongdoing, and even those members angered at its criminality would still be muzzled from saying anything. The Judiciary would still not only be rubberstamping Executive actions, but expanding Executive Branch power. The mass media would still be routinely conveying its denials of wrongdoing to the American people whenever the issue arose.

At present, when the heads of the Senate or House Intelligence Committees assure us that they are overseeing the Executive, what they mean is that they are dutifully repeating Executive talking points on documents provided them with the words “top secret” stamped on them, but only consisting of what Executive agencies want them to know. They have no means of independent oversight, which means they have no meaningful oversight. And the judiciary has not only acknowledged this, but said they no longer have “confidence” in the Executive.

If even the secret FISA Court no longer has confidence in the Executive, neither can the rest of us. During the 1960s, the FBI regularly used its secret intelligence to blackmail and threaten not only activists but politicians, presidents and Martin Luther King, Jr. As Internet security expert C.J. Radford has written, “the issue is what happens if this data, and these capabilities, fall into the wrong hands. A malicious government employee, a change in government, court rulings, regulations or leadership could all open this information, and these capabilities, up to cross agency analysis, open use, or criminal activity.”

That is, not only can this information be misused by government employees, but private sector companies, criminals and foreign governments as well. With the NSA spending 70% of its funding on contracts with private sector firms, which are even more corruptible than government agencies, this is a matter of urgent concern.

It is the height of naiveté to have any confidence whatsoever in the current system. It is clear that the heart of any serious attempt to create democracy in this nation must involve not only stopping such obvious assaults on democracy as the mass collection of phone and Internet records of innocent Americans, but a fundamental restructuring of the relationship between our three branches of government.

Since neither the courts nor Congress can any longer have confidence in NSA assertions, they clearly must give themselves the capacity—including experts with full access to raw data, answerable to them and not the Executive—to fulfill their constitutionally required mandate to check and balance Executive power.

This restructuring of relationships between the three branches of government must also profoundly alter the Executive’s ability to hide its wrongdoing from the American people by classifying trillions of pages annually on the false grounds of “national security.” In an article entitled “Ex-MI6 Deputy Chief Plays Down Damage Caused By Snowden Leaks,” for example, the Guardian reported that Nigel Inkster said that “Al-Qaida leaders in the tribal areas of Pakistan had been ‘in the dark’ for some time… referring to counter measures they had taken to avoid detection by western intelligence agencies. Other ‘serious actors’ were equally aware of the risks to their own security from NSA and GCHQ eavesdroppers, he said.”

The Executive Branch, as does the U.K.’s NSA as quoted above, keeps its secrets from the American people primarily to avoid the “political embarrassment” of having its fraud, waste, abuse and illegality revealed.

As a Brennan Center For Justice study on classification has noted, “Over-classification is rampant, and nearly everyone who works with classified information recognizes the problem. In 1993, Senator John Kerry, who reviewed classified documents while chairing the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, commented, ‘I do not think more than a hundred, or a couple of hundred, pages of the thousands of [classified] documents we looked at had any current classification importance.’ The classification system must be reformed if we are to preserve the critical role that transparent government plays in a functioning democracy.”

President Obama cannot seriously talk of “transparency” without supporting efforts to reduce present classification of government documents by the 90% that experts like Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg estimate would in no way harm national security.

The following steps are needed.

The Bottom Line: No Bulk Collection Of Americans’ Phone And Internet Metadata, Destroy Files That Exist

Obama on August 8 announced a response to Snowden’s revelations: “First, I will work with Congress to the following measures in pursue appropriate reforms to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the program that collects telephone records.  Second, we can take steps to make sure civil liberties concerns have an independent voice in appropriate cases by ensuring that the government’s position is challenged by an adversary (before) the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court …

Number three, the Department of Justice will make public the legal rationale for the government’s collection activities under Section 215 of the Patriot Act …  Fourth, we’re forming a high level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies.”

These were clearly illusory reforms, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation noted, that would continue mass surveillance of Americans. First, the Executive would continue to only tell Congress and the Judiciary what it felt was “appropriate“for them to know—including the FISC “adversary”; second, the “legal rationales” for Executive wrongdoing are just that: rationales which no one concerned about Executive surveillance can take seriously; and thirdly four of the five “outside experts” Obama wound up appointing are all deeply implicated in Executive wrongdoing, including former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell, and they are to report to director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a key architect of the surveillance state.

Predictably, the first meeting of this Potemkin Panel did not even discuss NSA surveillance of innocent Americans and only confined itself to private sector concerns. Open Technology Institute director Sascha Meinrath, who attended the meeting, declared that “My fear is it’s a simulacrum of meaningful reform … Its function is to bleed off pressure, without getting to the meaningful reform.”

A N.Y. Times editorial accurately noted that “President Obama proposed a series of measures on Friday that only tinker around the edges of the nation’s abusive surveillance programs. It is the existence of these programs that is the problem, not whether they are modestly transparent. As long as the N.S.A. believes it has the right to collect records of every phone call … then none of the promises to stay within the law will mean a thing.”

Mr. Obama’s “reforms” thus still envision continued Executive collection of hundreds of millions of Americans’ phone and Internet records. Believers in democracy must set their own “red line” against surveillance of innocent Americans.

A line must be drawn somewhere. Once we allow the Executive to store all our emails and Internet communications for all time, why not allow them to read them if they decide it might protect somebody, somewhere, sometime? Why should a court get involved? Don’t we trust them? As Edward Snowden has said, “the Internet is on principle a system that you reveal yourself to in order to fully enjoy, which differentiates it from, say, a music player. It is a TV that watches you.”

But this does not “protect” us nearly as efficiently as would a real TV or flat screen equipped with a transponder allowing them to watch us whenever they wish. Where do we draw the line?

Mr. Obama and present congressional leaders’ typically honeyed words mean nothing absent a complete halt to gathering information on innocent Americans. Republican House Judiciary Chair Robert Goodlatte, for example, recently declared ”I am committed to … our nation’s intelligence collection programs includ(ing) robust oversight, additional transparency, and protections for Americans’ civil liberties.” But at the same time he stated that “eliminating this program altogether without careful deliberation would not reflect our duty, under article I of the constitution, to provide for the common defense,” and had opposed the Conyers-Amash amendment in July that would have ended NSA surveillance of innocent Americans.

The “reforms” proposed by Goodlatte and other Republican House leaders are clearly meant to head off any significant reform of NSA mass surveillance. A serious attempt to bring democracy to America must have the following bottom line: no mass surveillance of any kind of Americans about whom there is no evidence of wrongdoing. None.

The first and necessary  step toward creating a “functioning democracy” in America is for both the House and Senate to pass the Conyers-Amash amendment forbidding NSA mass collection of phone and Internet American records of innocent Americans.

Institute Genuine Congressional Oversight

At the moment, congressional oversight of the Executive has become a pathetic joke. The Senate and House Intelligence Committees have clearly failed in their constitutional obligation to provide “checks and balances” on the Executive. Three major reforms are needed.

A. Elect Committees Who Oversee Not Promote Executive Wrongdoing, Beginning By Replacing Senator Dianne Feinstein And Rep. Mike Rogers.

The present heads of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers, and ranking minority party members Senator Saxby Chambliss and “Dutch” Ruppersberger, have merely served as spokespeople for the Executive, delivering a long series of deceptive “talking points” provided by the NSA meant to excuse rather than correct Executive abuses.

Mr. Rogers, a former Executive Branch FBI agent, has particularly distinguished himself by insulting the intelligence of both his fellow House members and the American people.

He has declared on Meet the Press that Snowden “went outside all of the whistleblower venues that were available to anyone in this government, including people who have classified information. We get two or three visits from whistleblowers every single week in the committee, and we—we investigate every one thoroughly. He didn’t choose that route.”

This is absurd. Mr. Rogers already knew, and had done nothing about, Snowden’s concern that the Executive was collecting Americans’ phone and Internet records. There was obviously no point for Snowden to go to Rogers, and the latter is clearly insulting the intelligence of the American people in continuing to make this crude claim.

Rogers’ claim that other whistleblowers have avenues within government to correct Executive abuses is also untrue. The New Yorker has reported on how although NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake did go through official channels, nothing was done. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank recentlyreported how DOD whistleblower Gina Gray was fired for seeking to correct DOD mismanagement at the Arlington National Cemetery, after using internal channels.

Milbank also commented “President Obama, in his news conference this month, said that Edward Snowden was wrong to go public with revelations about secret surveillance programs because ‘there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.’ This is a common refrain among administration officials and some lawmakers. But it’s a load of nonsense. Ask Gina Gray.”

Among their many other major failures of NSA oversight:

—Both Feinstein and Rogers claimed on ABC News on June 9 that NSA surveillance had been responsible for the capture of NY Subway Bomber Najibullah Zazi and Mumbai bomber David Headley. But two days later, in a story titled”NSA Surveillance Played Little Role In Foiling Terror Plots, Experts Say,” the Guardian revealed that both men had been captured through surveillance in the UK, with no NSA input.

—Mr. Rogers first claimed that Snowden should be charged with espionage because his revelations had led to “changes in the way they communicate that we can already see being made by the folks who wish to do us harm.” He then supported the administration’s claim a few weeks later that a worldwide travelers’ alert was based on the NSA overhearing the two top Al Qaeda “bad guys” —Ayman al-Zawari and Yemen’s Wuhayashi—communicate with each other. Both statements cannot be true, and perhaps neither were. Furthermore, if true, releasing the information about this specific phone call was clearly a breach of national security, as it tipped off the two top Al Qaeda leaders  that their phone calls were being overheard. If true, Rogers clearly would have committed precisely the act of revealing “sources and methods” that he claimed justified the charge of treason for Mr. Snowden.

—Both Feinstein and Rogers, like Obama, repeatedly claimed the NSA was not conducting illegal surveillance. Even after the Washington Post published its story on “thousands” of abuses involving tens of thousands of individual cases, Feinstein declared that ”as I have said previously, the committee has never identified an instance in which the NSA has intentionally abused its authority to conduct surveillance for inappropriate purposes,” and Roger said that he had seen he had seen “no intentional and willful violation of the law.”

The paper also reported that “Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) did not receive a copy of the 2012 audit until the Post asked her staff about it.”

Feinstein then changed her story, claiming that she had received the report under a different name. But the point was undeniable: she has clearly failed her oversight duties, not even bothering to read whatever study she saw revealing NSA abuses, let alone doing anything about them or even informing her own constituents of them.

—Numerous members have accused the House  Intelligence Committee of withholding information from them. As the Guardian reported on August 14, “Morgan Griffith, a Republican who represents Virginia’s ninth district, has been critical of the committee for blocking attempts by non-members to obtain information about classified programs. On August 4, the Guardian published a series of letters he had written to the committee requesting more details, all of which had gone unanswered.

Congress needs to elect Members of the Senate and House Intelligence committees who see their job as checking and balancing Executive power, not merely serving as spokespeople for it.

B. Indict Executive Branch Officials When They Commit Perjury

Executive Branch officials not only regularly lie to but hide information from Congress, most notably recently when director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied in open session that the NSA was collecting data on American citizens, and then compounded his lie a few days later by claiming he had misunderstood the question. Senator Wyden quickly revealed that he had sent the question over to him the day before the hearing. NSA chief Keith Alexander has also repeatedly lied to Congress. The N.Y. Daily News reported on a June 18House Intelligence Committee hearing, for example, that ”NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander testified his agency’s programs are subject to strict oversight.” Alexander also testified at the same hearing that NSA surveillance had caught the N.Y.C. Subway and Mumbai bombers, another lie revealed by the Guardian as noted above.

But though senators and representatives know they are being lied to by Executive Branch officials, they have not had the courage to indict them for perjury when they do so. Congress has allowed director Clapper and General Alexander to remain in their posts after knowing beyond any doubt that they have committed perjury before it. This lack of courage must end. The only way to stop Executive officials from lying to Congress and the American people is for Congress to swear them in and punish them when they are caught lying, at very least by dismissal from their posts, but ideally by criminal prosecution.

C. Give Congress the Right to Declassify Data Indicating Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Crimes By the Executive

One of the most shocking revelations concerning congressional oversight is that even when a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee like Sen. Wyden learns that the Executive is committing crimes against the American people, that senator is muzzled from revealing it to them. Although the senator could release this information on the floor of the Senate without fear of prison, he or she fears being attacked for jeopardizing national security, being removed from the Intelligence Committee, censure by colleagues, and/or losing the next election.

It is clearly time for the legislative representatives of people, not unelected members of the Executive, to be given the legal and moral right to declassify and make public Executive actions that they believe are illegal or immoral.

Someone must decide, after all, whether a given body of information should be kept secret from the American people. In a democracy, those who make this decision should represent the people of the nation, not gigantic, secret bureaucracies which regularly deceive the people and are accountable to no one but themselves.

D.  Congress Must Have The Capacity To Genuinely Oversee Executive Agencies

Members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees must assert their right to be treated as genuine representatives of the governed. To begin with, they must demand the right to take notes on classified material the Executive shows them and to have properly cleared staff members accompany or represent them at briefings. They must punish NSA staff members who play Orwellian word games with them, refusing to answer questions honestly unless the exact words are used as the NSA defines them, which they keep secret.

Members must also insist that they be given all information on NSA activities. At present, the NSA withholds significant information even from Senate and House Intelligence Committee members. Legislators must severely punish Executive Branch officials who continue to hide significant information from them.

Most importantly, however, Congress cannot exercise constitutionally-required oversight of Executive Branch activities unless they can independently investigate them. The Intelligence Committees, like the FISA courts (please see below), must hire significantly more staff, with the knowledge, power and mandate to oversee Executive Branch military, intelligence and police activities that potentially threaten the democratic rights of the American people.

Give the Judiciary the Capacity to Genuinely Oversee Executive Agencies Like the NSA

Meaningful judicial oversight of Executive Branch officials is the other fundamental pillar of the constitutionally-mandated system of checks and balances  upon which democracy rests.

President Obama  lied once again when he stated at a June 7 press conference  that “federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.”

In fact, the Judiciary exercises no meaningful oversight of the Executive whatsoever. The FISA court established to oversee NSA surveillance, for example, is not allowed to judge specific cases and has only been given the right to approve the guidelines the NSA claims it is following—although the court does not know if it is in fact following them. Even more importantly, the Executive has asserted its right to withhold any information it wishes from the Judiciary, for example prosecuting individuals but not providing the court evidence of their wrongdoing on the grounds of “national security.”

In response to this absence of judicial oversight, President Obama has promised simply to allow an “adversary” to argue against the NSA during a FISA court hearing. But since the Executive will continue to withhold any information it feels might harm its case on the grounds of “national security,” this “reform” is meaningless.

FISA Court Head Judge Reggie Walton, a conservative who has betrayed his mandate by expanding Executive power rather than overseeing it, has revealed the heart of the problem with proper judicial oversight when he stated that, “The FISC (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court) is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court. The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance.”

There is thus clearly one key step that must be taken if the Judiciary is to be given meaningful oversight over the Executive: it must be given the capacity, knowledge and information to make an informed judgment of Executive compliance with the law.

If the FISC is to provide genuine oversight over the NSA, it must be given a vastly expanded budget that allows it to hire hundreds if not thousands of its  own intelligence experts, with the proper clearances and access to information.

And where might funds for the judiciary to hire its own analysts come from? As Dana Priest and William Arkin point out in Top Secret America, hundreds of billions of dollars have been given to the NSA and other intelligence agencies to expand their activities, to the point, they say, where ”its entirety, as Pentagon intelligence chief James Clapper admitted, (is) visible only to God.”

The intelligence community is clearly far too large and is wasting huge amounts of money, beginning with its storing of all phone and Internet records of American citizens. There is no rational relationship between the vast amount of money it spends and its results. Ending its surveillance of Americans will be an obvious first place to cut their budgets, and a portion of the savings should spent to give both the Legislative and Judicial branches the “capacity” to evaluate Executive Branch police and intelligence activities.

Provide Strong Whistleblower Protection

Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch executive director, has noted that “the whistleblower protection provided to government employees who expose evidence of wrongdoing does not extend to those who disclose what is deemed national security information. Whistleblowers facing prosecution can’t even defend themselves by showing that their disclosures caused no harm and promoted the public interest. Wrongdoing involving this information is supposed to be revealed only to an agency’s inspector general or to the congressional intelligence committees. Yet government employees who tried to use these procedures to complain about NSA overreaching faced retaliation and even prosecution — which might help explain why Snowden skipped these mechanisms and went directly to the media. The problem is aggravated by the government’s temptation to protect information that is simply embarrassing or politically fraught rather than truly a matter of national security.”

Genuine whistleblower protection would have two aspects. First, internal: ensuring that whistleblowers who do go through official channels have an independent body evaluate their charges, and provide them  with full protection from punishment by superiors whose wrongdoing they have revealed.

Second, external: The Executive Branch must end its prosecution of whistleblowers who reveal classified information to the media or public; or, in those rare instances where there is a case for actual damage having been done to “national security,” the whistleblower must receive a fair trial by a jury that is given access to the information in question so that it can determine to what extent national security was harmed, and that takes into account the whistleblower’s motivation.

Restructure the Present System of Classification

Executive over-classification of information lies at the heart of its many threats to democracy. It classifies enormous amounts of information that could be of no conceivable use to our enemies, e.g. the equivalent of 20 million filing cabinets one agency classified in one 18-month period alone. Secrecy is by its very nature undemocratic. Executive classification of documents is also at the very heart of its threats to journalists and whistleblowers seeking to uncover Executive abuses.

Daniel Ellsberg has written an important article on how and why the Executive over-classifies information:

    “One of the most experienced security authorities in the Pentagon, William F. Florence, who had drafted many of the Department of Defense regulations on classification, testified as an expert witness in Congressional hearings and in my trial that at most 5% of classified material actually satisfied the official criteria of potential relevance to national security (which he had played a major role in formulating) at the moment of original classification; and that perhaps 1/2 of 1% continued to justify protection after two or three years.”

If 95% of what is classified would not help our enemies, why does it remain classified? Part of the answer is that if it was revealed it would embarrass Executive Branch officials, and/or reveal waste, fraud, abuse and illegal acts that could lead to calls to cut their budgets, their dismissal, and/or prosecution.

As Dana Priest and Bill Arkin also note in Top Secret America, a top-secret classification is a “passport to prosperity for life.” It provides well-paying jobs and its holders are far less likely to face unemployment than those in the private sector.

Ellsberg also tellingly explores the psychological dimensions of the classification system:

    “I suggest that there are psycho-social aspects (that) apply to ‘secret societies’ ranging from the Mafia or associations like the Masons to the CIA. It is a mark of worth, of membership in a valued group, possession of a valuable identity. It is a sign of being trusted by other members of the prestigious group: a token of being perceived by them as trustworthy, worthy of membership, of being ‘one of them,’ a ‘brother’ or ’member of the family.’ Not only the membership in the group, but the specific acceptance of one’s loyalty — to the group, to its purposes, to the other members, and its secrets— conveys and expresses a new, prestigious status, a positive identity, a source of self-respect and pride and a basis for the respect and deference of others.”

While members of the Executive Branch thus have powerful practical, material and psychological motivations for hiding vast amounts of information from the American people that have nothing to do with national security, the American people have a correspondingly strong interest in preventing them from doing so any longer.

Ellsberg ends his article with a list of steps needed to curb Executive abuses of the classification system. They include: reducing the number of documents that are classified by over 90%, and keeping those that remain classified for no more than three years; at most administrative penalties not criminal prosecutions for leaks not involving communications intelligence, nuclear weapons data and identities of clandestine agents, and not even administrative sanctions for Executive Branch whistleblowers giving information to appropriate Members of Congress; effective whistleblower protection to all federal employees; vastly beefed up Freedom of Information Act processes; limiting the “States Secret privilege” allowing Executive officials to withhold information from even the judiciary; including in all secrecy agreements a clause that states that nothing in the agreement permits them give false or misleading testimony to Congress or the Judiciary; required briefing of all federal employees, military officers and members of Congress that the Oath of Office they all take to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” requires them to disobey illegal orders.

From: ReThink911 <actionalert@ae911truth.org>
Date: September 25, 2013 at
Subject: Poll results are in! Canadians agree with ReThink911
Reply-To: actionalert@ae911truth.org

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San Mateo County deputy accused of child sex abuse

 Monday, September 30, 2013
(09-30) 15:42 PDT GILROY -- A San Mateo County sheriff's deputy was arraigned Monday on charges that he molested a young female relative, authorities said Monday.
Galen Underwood, 40, of Gilroy appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Morgan Hill but did not enter a plea to seven felony counts, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, forcible penetration with a foreign object and forced oral copulation, said Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott.

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Recent FBI report was ‘not reality’ for sexual assault counselors in Columbia

  September 27, 2013
COLUMBIA, SC — When the annual FBI crime report was released last week, the executive director of Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands took one look at the number of reported rapes and thought one thing.
“This is not reality,” said Ginny Waller, who heads the Midlands rape crisis center.
Those who work directly with victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault always say that the official statistics are far lower each year than what really happens. They want to bring awareness to the situation for two reasons.
First, they don’t want the community to believe that a problem does not exist. Second, they hope to make it easier for people to report the assaults.
In 2012, 59 rapes were reported in Lexington County, and 105 were reported in Richland County, the FBI’s latest report said.
Sexual Trauma Services keeps statistics on its cases, but those numbers cannot be compared directly to the FBI’s report. Numbers in each report are gathered by different methods.
The FBI’s numbers did not include rapes reported in Columbia because the police department did not participate in the federal agency’s crime reporting program.
And Sexual Trauma Services numbers count for a four-county area. And, the FBI report only provides numbers for forcible rape, while Sexual Trauma Services sees both people who have suffered rape and other levels of sexual assault.
Still, Waller said her agency’s report illustrates her point.
In 2012, Sexual Trauma Services served 1,395 victims, but only 640 reported the incident to police. In 2011, less than half of the 1,329 people who were sexually assaulted reported their attacks to police, according to numbers provided to The State newspaper.
Victims don’t come forward for a number of reasons: Embarrassment, fear, shame, said Melanie Snipes, director of crisis services at Sexual Trauma Services. And, few perpetrators are punished even if they are arrested, she said. Cases are difficult to prosecute and many sex-related crimes do not carry large penalties, she said.
“What’s the point?” Waller said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a survivor tell me that.”
Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago said he agreed with Waller’s assessment that sexual assaults are under-reported.
He recently met with the Sexual Trauma Services staff and agreed to allow the agency provide advanced officer training on how to speak to victims.
“It was eye-opening with me,” he said of the meeting. “At times, we don’t realize how much something is underreported or why it’s underreported.”



The No-Fly List: Where the FBI Goes Fishing for Informants
By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:21am

Over the last three years, the FBI has dramatically expanded its No-Fly List of suspected terrorists, including blacklisting innocent Americans who present no threat to security.

The Americans we represent in Latif v. Holder, the ACLU's challenge to the government's No-Fly List procedures, provide a prime example. They were each denied boarding on planes, deprived of their right to travel, and smeared as suspected terrorists. Yet the government continues to deny them any after-the-fact explanation for their blacklisting or any meaningful chance to clear their names.

The FBI's violation of these Americans' due process rights is, in and of itself, abusive and unlawful. After all, preventing people from correcting the errors that led to their inclusion on a blacklist does not make our skies any safer, but it does harm constitutionally protected rights to travel and reputation—as a federal court recently recognized. And a closer look into the experiences of several ACLU clients shows another, even darker side to the No-Fly List.

FBI agents have tried to use the No-Fly List as a draconian tool to coerce Americans into spying on their communities.

FBI agents put this pressure on ACLU clients Abe Mashal, a Marine veteran; Amir Meshal; and Nagib Ali Ghaleb. Each of these Americans spoke to FBI agents to learn why they were suddenly banned from flying and to clear up the errors that led to that decision. Instead of providing that explanation or opportunity, FBI agents offered to help them get off the No-Fly List—but only in exchange for serving as informants in their communities.Our clients refused.

The ACLU's report,Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI's Unchecked Abuse of Authority, explains what happened to Nagib Ali Ghaleb. Nagib was denied boarding when trying to fly home to San Francisco after a trip to visit family in Yemen. Stranded abroad and desperate to return home, Nagib sought help from the U.S. embassy in Yemen and was asked to submit to an FBI interview. FBI agents offered to arrange for Nagib to fly back immediately to the United States if he would agree to tell the agents who the "bad guys" were in Yemen and San Francisco. The agents insisted that Nagib could provide the names of people from his mosque and the San Francisco Yemeni community. The agents said they would have Nagib arrested and jailed in Yemen if he did not cooperate, and that Nagib should "think about it." Nagib, however, did not know any "bad guys" and therefore refused to spy on innocent people in exchange for a flight home.

Nagib's experience is far from unique. After Abe Mashal was denied boarding at Chicago's Midway Airport, FBI agents questioned him about his religious beliefs and practices.The agents told Abe that if he would serve as an informant for the FBI, his name would be removed from the No-Fly List and he would receive compensation. When Abe refused, the FBI promptly ended the meeting.

Neither Nagib nor Abe present a threat to aviation security. But FBI agents sought to exploit their fear, desperation, and confusion when they were most vulnerable, and to coerce them into working as informants. Moreover, the very fact that FBI agents asked Nagib and Abe to spy on people for the government is yet another indication that the FBI doesn't actually think either man is a suspected terrorist. This abusive use of a government watch list underscores the serious need for regulation, oversight, and public accountability of an FBI that has become unleashed and unaccountable.

One critically important mechanism to advance that accountability is the institution of a fair redress system for people on the No-Fly List. We'll continue to pursue that goal through the courts in Latif v. Holder, but Congress should act to reform this unconstitutional system now.

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Miami Herald joins suit asking FBI for 9/11 documents

Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 1:39 p.m.
The Miami Herald Media Co. has joined the Herald-Tribune Media Group in urging a federal judge to make the FBI disclose details of its long-running Sarasota 9/11 investigation.
The two media companies want to be heard in an existing federal lawsuit against the agency by an independent news gathering organization in Fort Lauderdale, Broward Bulldog.
The FBI documents could shed light on the alleged interactions of a high-echelon Saudi family — living in Sarasota's Prestancia neighborhood just before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon — and three hijacker pilots who trained in Venice about the same time.
The newspapers are seeking to persuade a federal judge that an FBI assertion of privacy interests is outweighed by the public's need to know what happened.
“The (Miami) Herald has covered, and will continue to cover, connections between 9/11 and Florida,” the media company's court filing says. “Several of the 9/11 hijackers had links to South Florida, the Herald's core coverage area.”
“The Herald has grave concerns about the connections between the 9/11 hijackers and the State of Florida,” the filing continues. “More importantly, the Herald would like to examine the thoroughness and outcome of the FBI's investigation, as well as determine whether the FBI misrepresented its findings to Congress or the public.”
U.S. District Court Judge William J. Zloch is presiding over the case, which was initiated in September 2012 by the Broward Bulldog and its Miami attorney Tom Julin.
U.S. attorneys representing the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice already have objected to the Herald-Tribune's request to intervene.
Saudi investigation
In late June, Judge Zloch denied the government's original motion to dismiss the case, filed by the FBI's attorney, assistant U.S. Attorney Carole M. Fernandez.
Zloch went further, asking Julin to describe in writing how the FBI might conduct a more thorough search for information relevant to the Broward Bulldog's Freedom of Information request.
The judge is expected to rule soon on the government's second attempt to get the case thrown out, known as a motion for summary judgment.
Fernandez, the federal attorney, has pointed to government efforts to satisfy Broward Bulldog editor Dan Christensen's request and she has followed up by noting how big a volume of material could still be searched.
She indicated that the FBI's Tampa office alone has hundreds of thousands of pages of documents related to the 9/11 investigation.
“The manual review which plaintiffs are requesting is not reasonable; nor is it warranted,” Fernandez said in an August court filing.
Records from the front gate at Prestancia from that time show that some of the 9/11 hijackers who trained in Venice visited the Saudi family, according to sources cited by the Broward Bulldog and a former security consultant involved in the case who was interviewed by the Herald-Tribune.
What started the back-and-forth over documents was the Bulldog's 10th anniversary 9/11 story, published on the news organization's website and also in the Herald-Tribune and the Miami Herald.
The article revealed details about a large, previously undisclosed FBI investigation centering on 4224 Escondito Circle, the home in Prestancia owned by prominent Saudi businessman Esam Ghazzawi.
His daughter, Anoud, and her husband, Abdulazziz al-Hijji, lived there until two weeks prior to 9/11, before departing suddenly for their homeland. They left food on the counter, a dirty diaper, three vehicles and an empty safe.
“Phone records and the Prestancia gate records linked the house on Escondito Circle to the hijackers,” the Broward Bulldog said.
Within days, the FBI issued a news release seeking to discredit the article's findings and sourcing.

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State Secret, by Bill Simpich

The Mary Ferrell Foundation is pleased to announce the online serialization of a new book by Bill Simpich. State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald delves deeply into the strange story of the Oswald Mexico City trip two months before the assassination. With a focus on the wiretap operation and the curious manipulation of CIA information on Oswald, and based on voluminous research using the MFF's CIA records, Bill presents a compelling new analysis of this mysterious event.

The book is being released fifty years after the events of September 27, 1963, when monitors at a joint US/Mexico intercept station received wiretap reports about a strange American visitor to the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City.

State Secret will be serialized a chapter at a time starting with today's publication of the book's Preface, with a new chapter appearing weekly. Over the coming several weeks, the full book will become available online.

Read the Preface to State Secret

Editor's note:

Bill Simpich and the MFF are providing this book online free of charge. If you would like to support this effort and the other activities of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, please consider a membership or donation.

I just got an email from Bill Ayers

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The new book from Bill Ayers, Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident
View this email in your browser
Public Enemy: Coming Oct. 8
"A brilliant, spirited document of a revolutionary life in our not-so-revolutionary age."
-Junot Diaz

On October 8, 2013, please order two copies of Public Enemy--one for you and one to give to your neighbor's children. Check the tour schedule to see when Bill Ayers will be in your city.

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FBI agent's guns stolen during home burglary in northwest Houston

September 30 2013

The FBI needs help identying two men wanted for questioning in connection to the burglary of an FBI agent's home in northwest Houston. Authorities say two of the agent's guns were stolen in the September 23 break-in.
Authorities say are searching for two men wanted for questioning in connection with a series of northwest Houston break-ins, including the home of an FBI agent.


The FBI says the agent's home was broken into on September 23, and several weapons, including a Remington 870 short-barreled shotgun and a Glock 22 handgun, were stolen from a gun locker. Some credit cards also were taken.
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Two Florida Media Companies Join Broward Bulldog In 9/11 Records Lawsuit

Published on October 1, 2013. Tags: 9/11, Ashley Lopez, Bob Graham, Broward Bulldog, Dan Christensen, FBI
Two media companies in Florida have joined a complaint against the FBI requesting more information about a 9/11-related FBI investigation in Sarasota. (Photo by kalavinka)
Two media companies in Florida have joined a complaint against the FBI requesting more information about a 9/11-related FBI investigation in Sarasota. (Photo by kalavinka)
By Ashley Lopez
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
The Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Miami Herald Media Co. have joined a federal lawsuit asking a federal judge to make FBI officials release information about a 9/11 investigation in Sarasota.
The lawsuit was originally filed about a year ago by the Broward Bulldog, an investigative news agency run out of Broward County. Broward Bulldog founder Dan Christensen filed the complaint in U.S. District Court against the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department. It accuses these federal agencies of improperly withholding records of an investigation from Congress, the 9/11 Commission and the American public that show a link between a Saudi family in Sarasota and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011.
Since that time, the Herald-Tribune has backed the complaint. The latest backing comes from The Miami HeraldAccording to the Herald-Tribune:
The newspapers are seeking to convince a federal judge that the public’s need to know what happened outweighs an FBI assertion of privacy interests.
U.S. District Court Judge William J. Zloch is presiding over the case, which was initiated in September 2012 by the Broward Bulldog and its Miami attorney Tom Julin.
U.S. attorneys representing the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice already have objected to the Herald-Tribune’s request to intervene.
In late June, Judge Zloch denied the government’s original motion to dismiss the case, filed by the FBI’s attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carole M. Fernandez.
Zloch went further, asking Julin to describe in writing how the FBI might conduct a more thorough search for information relevant to the Broward Bulldog’s Freedom of Information Act request.
The judge is expected to rule soon on the government’s second attempt to get the case thrown out.
The lawsuit has gotten a considerable amount of media attention in the past year thanks to ongoing coverage by Christensen, as well as a high-profiled call to action.
Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham has been calling on federal officials to reopen investigations into the 9/11 hijackers in light of information about the Sarasota FBI case. Graham was formerly the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and he co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 about a decade ago. Graham has written in several op-eds as of late that little has been explained to the public about the extent of support the 9/11 hijackers received. In order to find that out, he has said, the president needs to reopen investigations into foreign support for the 9/11 hijackers. He wrote that these investigations should include a thorough look into various cities — including Delray Beach, where many of the hijackers spent time.
Graham also has noted that the Sarasota Saudis mentioned in Christensen’s reporting have been able to dodge lawsuits from the families of 9/11 victims because they receive “sovereign immunity” here, which is why he has suggested that the sovereign immunity law shielding foreigners from legal repercussions be changed.

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The FBI and the legitimation of the bitcoinverse

By Felix Salmon
October 2, 2013
Did the FBI just deal a fatal blow to bitcoin? Zero Hedge is at his most apocalyptic this afternoon, saying that “the end may be nigh” for bitcoin now that Silk Road, the bitcoin-fueled drugs bazaar, has been closed down by the Feds. Even Adrian Chen, who has done most of the best reporting on Silk Road, was shocked by what the FBI found:
According to the indictment, Silk Road was bigger than anyone had suspected: It boasted over $1.6 billion in sales from 2011-2013, which resulted in $80 million in commissions. (Researchers had previously estimated that Silk Road was doing about $22 million in total sales per year.)
Chen, too, sees today’s news as bearish for bitcoin: “the extent to which Silk Road underpinned the Bitcoin market is pretty amazing,” he tweeted. After all, the complaint reveals that from February 2011 through July 2013, Silk Road’s revenues totaled 9,519,664 bitcoins — that’s almost as many as the total number of bitcoins in circulation (11,744,575).

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Less Pay? The Shutdown Message FBI Agents Didn’t Want to Read

Oct 2, 2013 8:04pm
For FBI agents who’ve devoted their careers to protecting the U.S. homeland or rooting out major crime across the country, this certainly was not the message they wanted to read at 5:49 p.m. on Wednesday, the second day of the government shutdown: “Unfortunately, whether you are in an ‘Excepted’ or ‘Non Excepted’ status, there may be a financial impact to your paycheck.”
In other words, if you’re furloughed or not, your salary this year may be different than you planned.
“Only if congressional action is taken to pass legislation which allows for the retroactive payment of compensation for the time period encompassing the government shutdown, then all employees will be compensated for that time period,” said the email to FBI employees, obtained by ABC News.
In many ways, the impact of lawmakers’ failure to keep the federal government running seems theoretical. But it’s not theoretical to the scores of FBI agents now in terrorist-torn Kenya who aren’t being paid as they try to figure out if the group that launched a deadly assault in a Nairobi mall last month could strike the U.S. homeland.


Six years on: The mysterious crash of Cocaine2

Six years ago this week an American-registered luxury jet, a Gulfstream II—later dubbed “Cocaine 2”—crashed just before dawn in the middle of the jungle in Mexico’s Yucatan carrying four tons of cocaine. The event, and its aftermath, changed forever an official narrative of the war on drugs which has for years been pushing the notion that there is no significant American involvement in the global drug trade, and no American Drug Lords.  

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Judge dismisses former FBI agent's lawsuit against Youngstown

Posted: Sep 30, 2013
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Simply the last act in a rather tragic play. That's how a federal judge describes the failure of a former FBI agent and Youngstown city employee to make herself available for deposition in a lawsuit she filed against the city three years ago.
U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson included the phrase in her order dismissing the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Sheila Lawson against Judge Elizabeth Kobly and other city officials.
According to court records, Lawson was employed with The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington D.C. office from July 2002 through July 2006 as a Special Agent, Acting Unit Chief, and Supervisory Special Agent.
Lawson served as Youngstown Municipal Court administrator from December 2008 until March 2009, when she was terminated.
In 2010, Lawson filed a $2.2 million federal lawsuit against the city claiming racial discrimination and retaliation.
On Monday, judge Pearson dismissed the suit saying Lawson has not complied with the defendants repeated attempts to make herself available for deposition.
In her order, Judge Person noted that the people named in the suit have spent almost three years attempting to defend themselves against Lawson's allegations which, without the Plaintiff's deposition, they cannot properly defend.

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Youth leader chosen to attend FBI Citizen Academy

  • October 2, 2013 at 3 a.m.
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Horn Lake library summer reading volunteers recently got into the spirit with a standing room only “Undercover with the FBI” program at the M.R. Dye Public Library. P. Carson Culver (second row; far right) will be attending the 2013 FBI Citizen’s Academy this fall.
P. Carson Culver, the youth specialist at the M.R. Dye Public Library in Horn Lake, has been selected to attend the 2013 FBI Citizen’s Academy.
Thirty community, business, civic and religious leaders are invited to participate each year by the Special Agent in Charge of the local FBI field office.
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FBI special agents under scrutiny say they just want a baby

 Sunday, November 24,2013

On the day that would change his career, Matthew Litton sat in a crisis negotiations course at Quantico, headquarters for his elite FBI counterterrorism team. The former Green Beret was summoned by his supervisor to a room down the hall. Matt thought it was a role-playing, training exercise until he noticed that the woman sitting across from him was shaking. She wore body armor under her business suit.

Federal investigators began questioning the veteran of Special Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan about his doctor and prescription medications. Had he ever heard of anabolic steroids? Had he ever taken human growth hormone?


Matt, who has dodged explosives in the Middle East and fast-roped from helicopters as a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, was arrested, handcuffed and taken to the D.C. jail.

Soon his wife, Katia, an FBI special agent, was locked in a separate cell. Matt’s laces were cut out of his Merrell trail shoes. Katia sobbed and started to hyperventilate. Matt shouted to her that it was a misunderstanding and would be over soon. But their arrest in September 2010 was just the beginning.

The Littons, along with two other FBI employees arrested that day, were depicted in court papers and in national news reports, including in The Washington Post, as being part of an alleged steroid ring. Matt was described in court filings as “extremely muscular” and Katia as a “former bodybuilder” — a reference to bikini fitness contests she had competed in years earlier.

The couple were charged in U.S. District Court with making false statements for failing to list their medications, including steroids and human growth hormone, on forms required by the FBI. The criminal complaint suggested that the couple had received fake diagnoses from their doctor to obtain the prescriptions.

But what the Littons would eventually tell federal investigators was a very different story. The medications, they said, were part of their unsuccessful efforts over 12 years to have a baby.

“We weren’t bodybuilders,” Matt said. “We were just trying to have a family.”

Two months later, the charges were dropped. A criminal probe continued, but authorities ultimately ended the investigation without a prosecution.

Still, more than three years after their arrest, an administrative review continues, leaving the couple essentially on the sidelines at the Washington Field Office and Quantico.

From the Littons’ perspective, the inquiry has destroyed their savings, derailed their careers and set back their pregnancy plans. The couple have been prevented from seeking transfers, promotions and performing critical aspects of their jobs because their top-level security clearances have not been restored.

“We’ve been in still water,” Katia said. “There has to be some sort of justice to let people move on.”

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Danny Schecter says

check out my new book: madibabook.com

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FBI Crime Data wrong 40% of the time

USA TODAY research reveals flaws in mass-killing data

Dec. 3, 2013   |  

When USA TODAY started investigating mass killings, it seemed a fairly straightforward thing to count: How many times have at least four people died at the hands of another in a single incident?
Yet marking the death toll of mass killings in America is anything but simple. It's hampered by the FBI's voluntary reporting system that gets it right a little more than half the time, and by advocacy groups who may count only incidents that support their cause, ignoring killings that don't involve a gun or did not get heavy media coverage.
Concentrating on just one type of mass killing - or only on those that get a lot of attention - may be worse than just using the FBI data, because it can skew public understanding and lead to ineffective policies, says Grant Duwe, a senior researcher with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, who has written a book on mass killings based on a data set he built covering the 1900s.
"Accurately accounting for mass killings - having a definition, sticking to the definition, trying to find all the incidents - that may seem somewhat pedantic but it's actually very important."
To get a more accurate count, USA TODAY began with 156 such incidents reported to the FBI from 2006-11. But after investigating each one and finding others missing, USA TODAY found the FBI data had an accuracy rate of just 61%, throwing doubt on conclusions that might be drawn from analyzing it.
For example, a mass killing in Samson and Kinston, Ala., in 2009 is not included in the FBI data. In that case, a man killed his mother, set her body on fire, then killed nine other people before he committed suicide at his former workplace.

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December 3, 2013

Slain man had been an FBI informant

Officer who paid him for testimony was on gang task force

By Douglas Moser dmoser@eagletribune.com
The man shot to death outside a Methuen club in October was an FBI informant at about the time he was paid $1,000 by a Lawrence police detective in exchange for grand jury testimony about a murder he witnessed in 2007, according to police.
A 2009 State Police memo identified Lawrence patrolman Richard Brooks as the officer who paid David Rivera, 28, of Farnham Street, Lawrence, $1,000 in exchange for his testimony before a grand jury investigating the shooting death of Daniel Bautista on Oct. 30, 2007.
Rudy A. Cruz, of Lawrence, was indicted and eventually acquitted by a jury in Bautista’s murder.
“He was informant of the FBI,” Brooks said about Rivera in an interview with The Eagle-Tribune yesterday. “I can’t divulge any information. I was on an FBI gang task force.”
Brooks, a Londonderry resident who said he is currently out on leave, said he could not discuss the source of the payment or Rivera’s status as an informant.
Special Agent Greg Comcowich, media coordinator for the FBI Boston field office, said yesterday he would have to investigate the matter before he could comment.
Investigators assigned to Bautista’s murder learned that Rivera, the only direct eyewitness to the shooting, was an informant who had been working with Brooks, according to a memo written by State Police Trooper Robert LaBarge Jr., who was assigned to the detectives unit at the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
“This information was learned in the early stages of the investigation,” LaBarge wrote. The memo did not mention the FBI.
Rivera was a reluctant witness, one whom investigators discovered was on Farnham Street when the shooting took place only through other witnesses, LaBarge wrote. When asked to testify, Rivera refused, and went so far as to throw a subpoena to testify before a grand jury on the ground. Rivera did testify before the grand jury on Nov. 28, 2007, according to LaBarge and grand jury transcripts in Cruz’s trial file at Salem Superior Court. But LaBarge described Rivera as emotional, still insisting he did not want to testify.
Rivera identified Cruz as Bautista’s shooter in that testimony. Others with Rivera at the time, including two of his brothers and some of his close friends, were putting four-wheelers away and were not on the street to witness the shooting. They testified they saw Cruz at the scene shortly afterward, bragging about killing Bautista.
At one point during the investigation, Rivera called LaBarge “and asked if he could become a paid informant,” according to the memo. “He said he could buy guns and he was interested in how much money he could earn.” LaBarge said “nothing came of his desire to be an informant.”
During Cruz’s 2009 trial, LaBarge and assistant district attorney Jessica Connors tried to convince Rivera, who was serving a jail sentence at New Hampshire State Prison in Concord, N.H., at the time, to testify at the trial. Rivera refused “in no uncertain terms,” LaBarge wrote.
While New Hampshire officials eventually convinced him to appear at Cruz’s trial in Lawrence Superior Court, Rivera again refused to testify and asked to see an attorney.
A few days into the trial, Rivera attorney Michael Seddon told Cruz defense attorney Ronald Ranta in a handwritten note that police had paid Rivera $1,000 in exchange for his grand jury testimony in 2007, when he said Cruz shot and killed Bautista.
“Investigators in the case thought as a group that Mr. Rivera was trying to get out of testifying in the trial,” LaBarge wrote. “Subsequently, A.D.A. Connors said she followed up on the matter and learned that Mr. Rivera was paid one thousand dollars for the information he provided regarding the homicide of Daniel Bautista, and for other criminal information. She said she learned that Det. Richard Brooks was the individual who paid Mr. Rivera for this information. Because of this information, Judge Richard Welch ruled that David Rivera would not be allowed to testify at the trial.”
LaBarge wrote the memo as part of an inquiry in the district attorney’s office into the $1,000 payment, according to assistant district attorney David F. O’Sullivan.

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IRS targeting: FBI, DOJ may be in criminal cahoots, says Vista's Congressman

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seems to be coordinating with the Department of Justice as well as stonewalling, on the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of American citizen's groups, say Congressmen Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan.
On Tuesday, according to a report from theHill, Issa and Jordan were said to be concerned about recent FBI actions which seem to suggest that "... the bureau and political appointees at the Justice Department are trying to hinder the Oversight panel’s investigation into the IRS targeting of tax-exempt groups."
A letter, sent from the two representatives of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to FBI director James Comey on Monday, quoted in the Hill, states:
“The department's tactics have impeded a congressional investigation and interfered with the committee's access to documents and information. Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime. Making false statements to congressional staff is also a crime.”
From the letter, found here in a Politicolink, the representatives stated concern that the DOJ's senior officials may have been preventing a career law enforcement officer, Valerie Parlave the Director of the FBI's Washington Field Office and the agent responsible for conducting the investigation, from sharing her information with the House Oversight panel on the matter.

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Former Stanford student sues over no-fly list

Bob Egelko
Published 4:54 pm, Tuesday, December 3, 2013
  • Rahinah Ibrahim is a native of Malaysia. Photo: -, McManis Faulkner Law
    Rahinah Ibrahim is a native of Malaysia. Photo: -, McManis Faulkner Law
0In long-distance testimony aired Tuesday in a San Francisco courtroom, a former Stanford graduate student who has been barred from the United States since 2005 gave a hint of how she might have landed on a secret "no-fly" list: Her organization of progressive, job-seeking Malaysian professionals has a name somewhat similar to that of a terrorist group.
Rahinah Ibrahim's lawsuit is the first to go to trial challenging the government's "no-fly" list. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the list contains the names of hundreds of thousands of potential airline passengers who allegedly pose a risk of terrorism or air piracy.
Ibrahim, then a doctoral candidate at Stanford, was arrested at San Francisco International Airport in January 2005 when she tried to fly to her native Malaysia with her 14-year-old daughter. She was released after two hours and told by police that the federal government had cleared her to fly, but when she tried to return in March 2005, she was told that her visa had been revoked under a terrorism law.
In a sworn deposition, Ibrahim, 48, described her encounters with police and consular officials and her interrogation by an FBI agent who visited her at Stanford in December 2004.
One question the agent asked, she said, was whether she knew anything about Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant Islamic group that operates in Malaysia and is classified by the United States as a terrorist organization. She said she replied that her only knowledge came from newspapers and that she had no affiliation with the group.
When she was denied a U.S. visa in Malaysia four months later, she said, a consular official asked her about an organization to which she belonged, called Jamaah Islah Malaysia. She described it as a group of Malay professionals, "progressive Muslims," who have studied abroad, are looking to create job opportunities, and have no connection with terrorism or Jemaah Islamiyah.
The testimony raised the possibility that the U.S. government confused the two groups, Elizabeth Pipkin, Ibrahim's lead attorney, told reporters.
Ibrahim also testified that the travel restrictions had cost her some potential job opportunities, prevented her from attending important conferences, and stigmatized her in academic circles, where some are reluctant to talk to anyone they believe may be linked to terrorists.
Her daughter, now a lawyer in Malaysia, was scheduled to testify in her mother's support, but was abruptly informed Sunday that she was barred from flying to the United States, Ibrahim's lawyers told U.S. District Judge William Alsup.
A Justice Department lawyer denied that the U.S. government had prevented her from flying, but Pipkin said she showed Alsup a document from Malaysia Airlines that said it was acting at the request of the Department of Homeland Security.

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The Man Who Warned Congress about Pakistan Nukes Paid a Steep Price

He tried to pull the plug on Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program. His career blew up instead.   Goran Tomasevic /Reuters
Richard Barlow was driving his 13-year-old motorhome through a mountain state’s blizzard the week before Thanksgiving when news broke of the Iran nuclear deal.
Bad memories flooded his mind, not that they’re ever far away. For more than 25 years, ever since he testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill that the CIA had “scores” of “absolutely reliable” reports on Pakistan’s clandestine efforts to obtain nuclear bomb technology – technology it later gave to Iran – his life has been tumbling through one trapdoor after another.
Barlow’s testimony in 1987 shocked several panel members of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, in part because Army General David Einsel, assigned to the CIA as a top intelligence official, had just told the committee that – despite the recent arrest of a Pakistani caught red-handed buying prohibited nuclear materials – the evidence that Islamabad was pursuing a bomb was inconclusive. The hearing erupted in shouts when Barlow told them differently. “They went through the roof,” he recalled from the road this week. By the time he got back to CIA headquarters, “the phones were ringing off the hook.”
Top Reagan administration officials were in “a panic,” he said, because Pakistan was the crucial player in the CIA operation funneling weapons to Islamic “holy warriors” fighting the Soviet Red Army next door in Afghanistan. If it became known that Pakistan was secretly building a bomb, a law passed by Congress would require a cut-off of military aid.
Obsessed with communism, the administration made a choice: It would turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program in order to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan.
And that meant Barlow, 33 at the time, had to be destroyed.
“For the Cold War warriors, the only way to save the Pakistan program was to discredit the young agency analyst,” British journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark wrote in their 2007 book, Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons.
And they did. His phone stopped ringing. His reports went into circular files. Barlow realized his career at the CIA had flamed out, he says, and he resigned. He moved temporarily to U.S. Customs as a special agent and then to the Pentagon, still tracking nuclear smuggling. After internally objecting to Congressional testimony by Department of Defense officials that Pakistan’s U.S.-bought F-16s were not capable of carrying nuclear weapons he was forced out and subjected to a security investigation, his marriage (to a woman who worked at the CIA) destroyed, he left town. Today, at 59, his savings nearly drained, he wanders the mountains from Montana to Arizona in his motorhome, hunting and fishing with his three dogs, haunted by the idea of what might have been. And what is.

Justice Not Served: Family of Victim Slain by FBI informant Blasts U.S. ‘Negligence’ for Not Enforcing Own Laws

It’s been more than two years since Jesse Benavides was gunned down at a family birthday party in Dallas by a man who never should have been on U.S. streets.

Santana Gaona had been in jail less than two months earlier for allegedly raping and beating his estranged wife. He was flagged as an illegal immigrant and scheduled for deportation. Despite a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainer” that had been placed on Gaona, requiring him to face a deportation hearing, ICE officials canceled the order and he was released from jail.
At the time, ICE officials told the Dallas Morning News and this reporter that “another law enforcement agency” asked them to remove the detainer.
In 2011, a federal law enforcement officer confirmed to this reporter that Gaona had been an informant for multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, which was responsible for his release. The official said Gaona showed no signs of being a violent criminal and there was no reason to believe he would have committed murder.
Benavides, 33, was trying to stop a fight between Gaona and Gaona’s estranged wife when he was shot in front of his 8-year-old son.

see link for full story

New details indicate Albany imam was wrongfully targeted

ALBANY    Supporters of Yassin Aref issued a new call for action following recent revelations regarding the National Security Agency’s surveillance program.
In a press conference on Tuesday, attorney Kathy Manley of Kindlon Shanks & Associates, discussed a reply in Aref’s appeal which requests that his conviction be overturned or that he receives a new trial, after learning new information regarding his case.
Aref received information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made in July showing he was wrongfully targeted by federal authorities as they were looking for Al Qaeda agent Mohamed Yasin, who was killed in Gaza in 2010, according to Manley.
With the recent NSA scandal and an announcement by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that the NSA must notify subjects of warrantless surveillance, both future and past cases, Manley said they are demanding that notice.
“We believe information came from illegal wiretapping and that evidence led to the arrest of Yassin Aref,” Manley said. “We’re asking the court to tell the prosecution to get that notice. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the policy would include past cases and we believe that would be our case.”
Manley said they are still waiting for Judge Thomas McAvoy to make a decision on the motion. McAvoy has overseen the case since Aref was first convicted in 2006 of money laundering in a fake missile plot with Mohammed Hossain.
Hossain and Aref were arrested following a sting created by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, in which Hossain went to receive a loan from a government informant. Hossain, who was the owner of the Little Italy pizzeria in Albany, was looking for money to support his business. Aref, an imam at the Masjid As-Salam mosque, was there to watch over the transaction.
For the last seven years, many questions have remained unanswered, as Aref has struggled to clear his name, mainly because much of the evidence used in the case against him is considered top secret and has been withheld from the defense. This was an issue Albany Common Councilman Dominick Calsolaro felt was unfair and passed a resolution in 2010 urging Holder to open the cases back up following the advice of the U.S. Inspector General.
Manley, who was there on behalf of Terrence Kindlon who represents Aref, said Aref had been moved around through different prisons and spent some time in Indiana at the Federal Correctional Complex. The jail contains a Communication Management Unit, which limits prisoners contact from the outside and in some cases, Manley said, did not allow prisoners to pray correctly. She also said he was interrogated heavily by FBI agents, which Manley said is uncommon for someone who has already been sentenced.
Currently, Aref is in a low-security prison in Pennsylvania where he has been able to have some more contact with his family. In spite of the new information and policy changes following the NSA leaks, Aref is still hesitant to believe change is coming.

HONOR AND DECEPTION: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
By Dave Philipps Updated: December 1, 2013

Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students.

Cadets who attend the publicly-funded academy near Colorado Springs must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports.

For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.

Read more at http://gazette.com/honor-and-deception-a-secretive-air-force-program-recruits-academy-students-to-inform-on-fellow-cadets-and-disavows-them-afterward/article/1510262#FxZV7jRBFmmy1Ssa.99
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            In 2001 we brought Mary Powers to speak at our 12th Annual Conference Investigating Crimes Committed by FBI  agents  about her work bringing
            Detective Burge to justice. She also discussed her involvement in exposing the FBI assassination of Fred Hampton in Chicago during the early 1970's

            which led her to creating the National Coalition on Police Accountability NCOPA

            TWO READS ABOUT Chicago Detective Burge
            see link for full story

            1st read

            After decades in prison, South Side man’s rape conviction overturned

              December 10, 2013

            Gail Lewis had picked out a tux for her father to wear at her wedding last year.

            She also had the perfect song for the father-daughter dance: Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.”

            But Stanley Wrice never walked his daughter down the aisle.

            Instead, Wrice languished in prison serving a 100-year sentence for a brutal gang rape he said he was forced to confess to by abusive detectives working under the now disgraced Area 2 Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

            On Tuesday, Wrice was finally able to hug Lewis after a Cook County judge overturned Wrice’s conviction and granted him a new trial for the 1982 crime.

            Wrice smiled and softly sobbed as he hugged Lewis following Judge Richard Walsh’s ruling.

            Police “lied about how they handled the defendant,” Walsh said, adding that Wrice’s claims against former detectives John Byrne and Peter Dignan were “unrebutted.”

            Byrne and Dignan invoked the Fifth Amendment during Wrice’s two-day evidentiary hearing.

            Still, there was no doubt cops were torturing suspects at Area 2 and medical evidence “confirms” Wrice was injured, the judge said.

            Wrice, 59, is expected to be released from the Pontiac Correctional Center on Wednesday after posting a $5,000 recognizance bond.

            Gail Lewis and her husband are already making plans for him to baby-sit their three children.

            “I’m just happy he’s coming home. … I knew he was innocent,” Lewis said.

            Lewis was only 1 year old when her father was arrested for the assault that took place in a residence at 76th and Chappel.

            Bobbie Joe Williams, a witness who testified at Wrice’s 1983 trial, had since recanted his statement, saying he, too, was beaten into implicating Wrice.

            Appellate Court Judge Bertina Lampkin, who tried Wrice when she was a prosecutor, testified Tuesday that Williams never told her he was physically or psychologically abused when she met with him at least twice, months after the incident

            “He didn’t tell me anybody did anything to him,” Lampkin said.

            After the court hearing, Chicago Innocence Project’s David Protess pointed out that the victim, who is now deceased, never identified Wrice as one of her attackers.

            It is up to Special Prosecutor Stuart Nudelman as to whether he will try Wrice again.

            However, Wrice’s attorneys, Jennifer Bonjean and Heidi Linn Lambros, said prosecuting their client would be tricky since of two his co-defendants are dead and all living witnesses have recanted their testimony.

            2nd read

            Civilian Investigator of Burge Recalls the Excitement, but Now Feels Pity
            Published: June 19, 2010


            Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders
            SIBEL EDMONDS | DECEMBER 8, 2013 \
            The NSA Whistleblowing Case: Something is Awfully Rotten in the State of …?
            Imagine a major government whistleblower who leaks his evidence and obtained documents to the highest bidders in the mainstream media and mega corporations. Does that sound awful, disgraceful and despicable? Okay. Now, imagine a pseudo journalist who obtains over 50,000 documents from a government whistleblower, and then takes some of this information and puts it out for bid, reserves a certain portion for a lucrative book deal, and saves the rest for a mega corporation that has a record of screwing whistleblowers. How does that sound? This is what I mean by the title of this commentary: Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders.For the past twelve years I have been known as one of the most notorious government whistleblowers, even given the title of The Most Classified Person in the History of the United States by a civil liberties organization. I am the founder and director of a whistleblower organization that includes over 150 national security whistleblowers. I have known and represented over 150 national security whistleblowing cases in Congress and the media. And let me tell you this, I have never seen a case that even comes close to this bizarrely unethical and despicable case.A government whistleblower obtains over 50,000 pages of documents that implicate the government in severely illegal and unconstitutional practices. This whistleblower risks everything, including fleeing the country, in order to leak these documents and let the public know how its government has been breaking the nation’s laws and violating their rights. So he goes to another country and then entrusts all this evidence to a few reporters and wanna-be journalists. Why does he do that? He does it so that these reporters will present all this information to the public: not only those in the United States, but everyone all over the world. Think about it. Why else would someone risk everything, including his own life, to obtain and leak such documents? Are you thinking? Because what would be the point to all this, to taking all these risks, if 99% of these documents remain secret and hidden from the public? Ludicrous, right?Now, here is what happens next: The whistleblower hands over these documents, and goes through a surreal escape journey. So surreal that even Hollywood could not have matched it. Of the handful of reporters who were entrusted with 50,000 documents, a few do nothing. By that I mean absolutely nothing. A couple from this entrusted group does a little bit more. They meet with a few mainstream media outlets, they spend many hours around the table with their mega companies’ mega attorneys and U.S. government mega representatives (the same government that is implicated in these documents). Then what happens? Here is what happens[biggrin]uring the six-month period since they received the documents and the whistleblower’s story broke, the supposed-journalists released 1% (One Percent) of these documents:
            Out of reported 50,000 pages (or files, not clear which), about 514 pages (>1%) have been released over 5 months beginning June 5, 2013. At this rate, 100 pages per month, it will take 42 years for full release. Snowden will be 72 years old, his reporters hoarding secrets all dead.
            That’s right. A whistleblower breaks the law to obtain 50,000 documents, he flees the country to escape prosecution and jail time, he hands over these 50,000 pages to a handful of individuals in return for their promise to present these documents to the public, six months pass, and the public gets 1% of these documents. But please, wait. This is not all. Far more interesting and troubling things happen meanwhile.The main wanna-be reporter begins his relentless pursuit of high dollars in return for … for what? In return for exclusive interviews where he would discuss some of this material. In return for a very lucrative book deal where he would expose a few extra pages of these 50,000-page documents. In return for a partnership with and extremely high salary from a Mega Corporation (think 1%) where he would … hmmmm, well, it is not very clear: maybe in return for sitting on and never releasing some of these documents, or, releasing a few select pages? That’s right. The culprit is able to use his role in the whistleblower case, and his de facto ownership of the whistleblower’s 50,000-page evidence, to gain huge sums of money, fame, a mega corporate position, book and movie deals … yet, making sure that the public would never see more than a few percent of the incriminating evidence. Of course, secondhand checkbook profiteers tend to be very savvy, able to blow smoke, muddy water, and obscure their real deeds and true personhoods. This particular one is famous for spending years as an ambulance-chasing style attorney, where all he had to do was to write dozens of pages to make cases that were never cases, or make real cases appear as if they never were. Sensible people always advise against using personal background information to expose other non-personal cases of subjects. I agree with these sensible people. I think it is disgraceful to bring in irrelevant personal information to make a case on a non-personal issue. However, sometimes personal information becomes part of the picture and very relevant. Allow me to provide you with an example in our case. What if the personal facts paint a figure that does anything and everything for money and fame? What if a checkbook leaker (or a checkbook censorship agent) is the type of person who has engaged in the following:
            · Has represented corrupt mega banks and financial institutions as an attorney to make mega bucks, yet claims to be a Marxist Leninist Socialist who supports the Occupy movement.· Has left short-lived civil liberties activities to set up an exploitive pornography business with names such as Hairy Studs and Hairy Jock… All for money and profit.· Has been known as an individual who has always used anything and everything to bring frivolous lawsuits (many of them) to get rich quick.· Has been representing himself as a Marxist-Socialist, Liberal and Libertarian, simultaneously, and based on circumstances, never having to reconcile the discrepancies between those positions and his partnership with corporate billionaires, his luxurious lifestyle, putting on a Marxist front, representing himself as a Libertarian … and the list goes on. Which one is he? Really?
            You see, when you add these qualities and personal history to the fact that a whistleblower and 50,000-pages of documents are being used to make mega money and mega fame, while simultaneously the public at large is being kept in the dark and 99% of these documents are censored, what do you get? A few days ago the checkbook wanna-be journalist released a very long argument in defense of his indefensible actions and practices. I am going to address a couple of those, but I want you to keep in mind that the argument is coming from a person known as an ambulance-chaser attorney and litigious money grabber, thus is brilliant at obscuring facts and realities with mud and distortions. Consider how a partnership with a mega billionaire corporate man is being characterized and fudged here:
            It has the backing and is being built by someone whom I am absolutely convinced is dedicated to this model of independent, adversarial journalism.
            This is not the first time this supposed pro-whistleblowers and civil liberties oriented wanna-be journalist has described his new Billionaire owner. The new owner has been characterized by him several times as a solid owner with a solid track record on whistleblowers issues, First Amendment, Freedom of the Press, etc. We have been searching and researching the new owner’s record. There is not much to be found to qualify this man as someone with a good record on the significant areas mentioned above. None … except:
            Paypal suspended online payments to WikiLeaks in December of 2010 after, its managers said, they read a letter by the State Department indicating WikiLeaks was breaking American laws. In retaliation, a group of Anonymous hacktivists brought down the payment site with DDoS attacks two days later. The hacktivists who were apprehended, known as the PayPal 14, were in court today and accepted plea bargains in order to avoid felony charges.Omidyar has been ‘the director and Chairman of the Board since eBay’s incorporation in May 1996,’ and noted that “eBay owns PayPal.” …
            In our next BFP Roundtable video session I will talk more about this, and other eye-brow raising items in Omidyar’s record, including his connections and associations with Iranian lobby groups for “Regime Change” in Iran. But for now, let’s shoot down this muddying counter-argument presented by someone with true expertise in muddying and fudging facts as an ambulance-chaser litigious attorney who has gotten away in life by threatening everyone he could with a lawsuit and libel suits. Now back to lies, contradictions and then muddying it all a la the litigious attorney. For the last few months, whenever pressured about the 99% unreleased documents, the answers have been swinging between two or three more years to we are done with releasing. You see, this was not the case initially, not during the first couple of months prior to signing deals with mega corporate new sugar daddies and mega publishers for the book deals. Here is the triple-talking, mud-making and fudge-creating wanna-be journalist on June 26, 2013, the month the public saga began:
            When they met, Snowden supplied Greenwald with a “volume of documents so great that I haven’t actually gone through them all.” Snowden was meticulous — Greenwald described the files as beautifully organized, “almost to a scary degree.” Stories based on the leaked documents will continue for another few months, Greenwald said, but not, he hopes, beyond that. “I get bored with myself,” he said. “If I’m still working on these stories a year from now, I’ll probably be in an asylum somewhere.”…
            So what happened since the greasy checkbook reporter made those statements? Please don’t tell me that at that point he was not aware how deep things went or how thick those documents were. Because he knew exactly how deep and how thick, and that they were all meticulously and beautifully organized: Meaning the whistleblower had done all the work for the reporters in advance. This was not a thick pile of hodgepodge documents – they were already analyzed, organized, categorized, sub-categorized, and sub-sub-categorized. As for what happened since June 26, 2013? A lot. A new very lucrative book deal was struck. He is being very secretive and tight-lipped on how many millions of dollars he received from this US mega publisher, however, he had to deal a whistleblower’s document to secure this deal:
            According to the publisher, it will “contain new revelations exposing the extraordinary cooperation of private industry and the far-reaching consequences of the government’s program, both domestically and abroad.” …
            So there – one reason why a checkbook wanna-be journalist is not providing the public with the information they have the right to know. How is that for integrity?Further, no one is asking the crucial question: With the mega publishing corporations’ record, how is it that they are willing to publish classified government documents? Do you know what these same publishers said about my own book? Here is what they said:
            “without the approval by the FBI-DOJ prepublication review board we will not publish your book. The government will come after us.”
            So, isn’t it amazing that an American mega publisher, a mainstream American publisher, is giving millions to publish a book that will reveal US government classified material? I can tell you from experience and with one hundred percent certainty: the publisher has the government’s consent. How does that bear with the claims that this checkbook reporter is under arrest and even death threats by the U.S. government? Let me tell you something: it does not. What it tells you is this: A Dog & Pony Show put on by the U.S. government and its agents. The checkbook wanna-be reporter is also securing a million dollar movie deal with Hollywood.
            You had to know this was coming. There’s a bidding war heating up between Hollywood studios over the rights to bring Glenn Greenwald’s forthcoming tell-all book about the Edward Snowden affair to the big screen.
            Well, as we all know, the CIA blesses these movie deals with mainstream Hollywood. Don’t we? Without the handlers’ blessing no such deal could have been made. When the pretender shows up at the Oscar Gala, ask yourself this: Weren’t they supposed to arrest and maybe even drone the hell out of this guy? So what happened, dude?The exact same questions should be posed for a new mega corporate sugar daddy tucking checkbook journalists under his wing in return for…? Your guess is definitely as good as mine. The billionaire who stomped upon a whistleblower’s account with his PayPal Corporation has suddenly found a heart? I didn’t think so either
            In her first interview since leaving Moscow for Berlin last month, Harrison told German news weekly Stern: “How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?” Harrison was referring to the decision in December 2010 by PayPal, which is owned by eBay, to suspend WikiLeaks’ donation account and freeze its assets after pressure from the US government. The company’s boycott, combined with similar action taken by Visa and Mastercard, left WikiLeaks facing a funding crisis.“His excuse is probably that there is nothing he could have done at the time,” Harrison continued. “Well, he is on the board of directors. He can’t shake off responsibility that easily. He didn’t even comment on it. He could have said something like: ‘we were forced to do this, but I am against it’.”…
            In our coming BFP Roundtable we will have first-hand accounts from reporters who have witnessed how our checkbook journalist has been asking for money in return for interviews and documents.I started this commentary by introducing my credentials as a whistleblower and someone who has known and represented many government whistleblowers from the intelligence and law enforcement agencies- hundreds of whistleblowers, honorable people such as NSA’s Russ Tice, DEA’s Sandalio Gonzalez and FBI’s John Cole. In this case of a checkbook wanna-be journalist and a whistleblower, I have nothing but many questions when it comes to the whistleblower in question. I do consider the selfless act of releasing this incriminating information on our government’s illegality heroic; however, I have numerous unanswered questions for the whistleblower in question:
            Did he give his full consent to the mainstream and checkbook reporters so that they could sit on 99% of these documents if they chose to?Is he perfectly okay with this disgraceful and opportunist person using these documents to secure millions of dollars in book and movie deals?Does he consider the censorship of 99% of his documents justified and okay? If so, what kind of image does he hope to maintain when the leaking is selective and based on bidding in dollars?Does he have an arrangement where he gets a cut from the opportunist’s mega millions obtained via documents he entrusted him with? If so, wouldn’t that make him tainted and a culprit in this?Why is he in Russia (in exile), when the checkbook opportunist is in the belly of the beast making deals in millions of dollars, and is about to head a $250 Million news corporation set up by his billionaire sugar daddy?
            And finally, a bit crudely,
            What the fu.. is wrong with this picture?! Because as a whistleblower and an expert on whistleblowers I see thousands of wrong things with this picture!
            Please do not get me wrong here. I have no questions but answers when it comes to the checkbook opportunist in question. I have known about him for years, long before this NSA episode. What I don’t have is an answer when it comes to the NSA whistleblower in question. I have been sitting on the fence on this one. Unlike my own whistleblower members, I do not know this guy. I don’t. I have never corresponded with him, and he has never reached out to me or my organization. I keep going from silently cheering and supporting him, to doubting what he is all about. I have never seen a case like this. I don’t think anyone has. However, in light of the case of our checkbook journalist, Mainstream Publishers’ mega million book deals, Mainstream Hollywood’s mega studio deals, Mainstream Media backing and showcasing, and Mega Corporation’s mega millions getting involved … and in all this, zero retaliation or interference from our mega government known for being ruthless on whistleblowers, I just don’t get this case. My experienced gut says something is awfully rotten in the state of … this NSA whistleblower-Checkbook Opportunist Drama Set. I get half of the rotten state, but am still wondering about the other half. # # # #Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

            Is the Huffington Post part of the FBI  sensitive Informant program?

            This article that appeared today in the Huffington Post looks like it was
            written at FBI  headquarters. Do you know anything about the founders of this online
            liberal rag?  In 1995 Breitbart saw the Drudge Report and was so impressed that he emailed Matt Drudge. Breitbart said, "I thought what he was doing was by far the coolest thing on the Internet. And I still do."[7] Breitbart described himself as "Matt Drudge's bitch"[13] and selected and posted links to other news wire sources. Later Matt Drudge introduced him to Arianna Huffington (when she was still a Republican)[9] and Breitbart subsequently assisted her in creating The Huffington Post.[14]

            Wonder why FBI  director Hoover  didn't ignore Martin Luther King before the assassinated him?

            two reads

            1st read
            J. Edgar Hoover Ordered FBI To Ignore Rep Who Badmouthed Him
            WASHINGTON -- J. Edgar Hoover ordered his bureau to ignore Rep. Jack Brooks back in 1958 after the then-36-year-old Texas Democrat reportedly badmouthed the FBI director during a standard background interview concerning a potential judicial nominee, according to Brooks' FBI file.
            "He is to be ignored," Hoover handwrote in a June 1958 memo.
            Brooks, who served in Congress for 42 years and was in John F. Kennedy's motorcade when the president was assassinated, died last year at the age of 89. Brooks served in Congress until the mid-1990s, when he was defeated by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in 1994.

            2nd read

            see link for full story

            Brother of Murder Victim Seeks Details of FBI's u2018Sensitive Informant Program'
            By Bob McCarty
            February 1, 2013
            Email Print
            Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue filed a motion Monday asking a federal judge to determine whether he is entitled to limited discovery into the FBI’s u201CSensitive Informant Program.u201D
            Trentadue Motion for Discovery 1-28-13 Click to download copy of motion (pdf).
            In his motion, Trentadue described the program as one used by the bureau “to recruit and/or place informants on the staffs of members of the United States Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies as well as the White House, on defense teams in high-profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies, and even among the clergy of organized religions.”
            Trentadue’s interest in the program stems from questions that have surfaced during his ongoing investigation into the death of Kenneth Trentadue, his brother who died in 1995 under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, months after the Oklahoma City Bombing.
            Kenneth-Trentadue_Pic Click to learn more at http://KennethTrentadue.com.
            With his latest legal maneuver, Trentadue hopes to convince Judge Clark Waddoups to compel the FBI to provide all documentation outlining what he describes in the motion as an “unlawful and unconstitutional domestic spying program.”
            The maneuver comes almost four weeks after the FBI answered a federal court complaint Trentadue filed under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of the manual the FBI uses to recruit and place u201Csensitive informants.u201D Citing national security concerns as the basis for their response, FBI officials answered that complaint by saying they u201Ccan neither confirm nor deny the allegations [of the Complaint] regarding its confidential informant program.u201D
            Shown below, Trentadue’s definition of a “sensitive informant” is, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of his motion:
            “…the term ‘Sensitive Informant’ is defined as anyone acting, directly or indirectly and with or without any compensation, on behalf of the FBI as a member of, person associated with or otherwise a participant in or observer of the activity or activities of an entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization AND who does not disclose or reveal to such entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization his or her FBI affiliation.
            “A Sensitive Informant is, in other words, some one who is acting, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the FBI as an undisclosed participant in or observer of the activity or activities of an entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization.
            “The term ‘Sensitive Informant’ likewise includes what the FBI's current terminology refers to as a ‘Confidential Human Source’ including any and all sub-categories of Confidential Human Sources such as, but not limited to, what the FBI refers to as a ‘Privileged Confidential Human Source,’ who is someone reporting confidential information to the FBI in violation of a privilege such as an attorney reporting his client's confidential communications, a physician reporting upon his patient's medical or mental condition, a cleric informing on a member of his or her church or other religious organization, etc.
            In his motion, Trentadue requested the judge order FBI officials to answer 11 critical questions about the scope of their “Sensitive Informant Program” prior to a yet-to-be-scheduled hearing during which, according to Trentadue, FBI officials have said they will file a motion for summary judgment to prevent him access to the information he seeks.
            Looking only for numbers of Sensitive Informants and not for specific names from the FBI, Trentadue’s questions target the time frame, “since January 1, 1995.” In short, he wants to know whether or not the agency has had Sensitive Informants inside a variety of government and non-governmental organizations.
            Among the government organizations mentioned in his queries were the state and federal court systems, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, federal agencies other than the FBI, federal prosecutors’ offices, and law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county and state levels.
            Among non-governmental agencies, he listed management positions inside news organizations, including but not limited to, the following: Associated Press, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS, Reuters or Scripps-Howard; Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and/or Washington Post; The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, The New American, Newsweek, TIME and/or U.S. News & World Report.
            Curiously, he also asked whether the FBI has had a Sensitive Informant(s) who was a cleric or member of the clergy in any religious organization.

            The FBI Says You're Fair Game On the Other Side of the Border
            J.D. Tuccille| Dec. 10, 2013 7:32 pm
            FBIFBIThe Federal Bureau of Investigation held an American citizen for four months, harshly interrogated him, and finally released him without charges. That's the claim of Amir Meshal who, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing the U.S. government and specific individuals involved in his alleged mistreatment. For its part, the Department of Justice doesn't bother denying the charges—it just says that national security concerns preclude the case from even being considered.
            According to the ACLU, which appears in court tomorrow on Meshal's behalf:

                WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union will appear in court on Wednesday on behalf of a U.S. citizen who was illegally detained and mistreated by American officials in three east African countries in 2007. After fleeing unrest in Somalia, New Jersey resident Amir Meshal was arrested, secretly imprisoned in inhumane conditions, and harshly interrogated by FBI agents over 30 times before ultimately being released without charge four months later. ...
                In December 2006, Meshal was studying in Mogadishu when civil unrest broke out. He fled to neighboring Kenya, where he wandered in the forest for three weeks seeking shelter and assistance before being arrested. He was then repeatedly interrogated by FBI agents, who accused him of receiving training from al Qaeda, which Meshal denied. The American interrogators threatened him with torture and kept him from contacting a lawyer or his family.
                Meshal was subsequently rendered to Somalia and then Ethiopia, where he was secretly imprisoned in filthy conditions with inadequate access to food, water, and toilets for more than three months, and again harshly interrogated by U.S. officials, who bore responsibility for his rendition and continued detention.

            In response, Justice Department lawyers argue (PDF):

                Counts I - III [Fifth Amendment claims] fail as a matter of law because special factors counsel hesitation and preclude the Court from creating the implied constitutional tort damages remedy sought in the new and sensitive context presented by this Complaint - extraterritorial national security operations... even if the Court recognizes a damages remedy without any statutory foundation, all Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on Counts I - III , and Higginbotham and Hersem (the only defendants named) are entitled to qualified immunity for Count IV [alleging violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act].

            Got that? Never mind what happened, because national security. And besides, the defendants are immune even to concerns about torture.
            Whatever Amir Meshal's actual role, whatever the facts of his treatment by U.S. government officials, that's a chilling argument—unless you're the sort of creature who believes individual rights are a function of geography, rather than humanity.
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“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”
Rainer Maria Rilke,
Letters to a Young Poet


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Where’s the Body Count from Shootings by the Police?


President Barack Obama, calling for new gun control legislation earlier this year, appealed to “all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.” He also declared, “If there is even one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try.” But some perils are not worth registering on Obama’s scorecard.

While the president frequently declaims on the dangers of privately-owned guns, his administration is scorning a mandate to track how many Americans are shot and killed each year by government agents. The same 1994 law that temporarily banned the sale of assault weapons also required the federal government to compile data on police shootings nationwide. However, neither the Justice Department nor most local police departments have bothered to tally such occurrences.

Instead, the Justice Department relied on the National Crime Survey of citizens to gauge the police use of force. But as Prof. James Fyfe, one of the nation’s foremost experts on police shootings, observed in 2001, that survey relies on “questions about how often the respondents have been subjected to police use of force. Since dead people can’t participate in such a survey, this work tells us nothing about how often police kill.”

Many police shootings involve self-defense against violent criminals or protection of people against dangerous culprits in the act of wreaking havoc. However, killings by police are not a negligible proportion of the nation’s firearms death toll. Shootings by police accounted for almost 10 percent of the homicides in Los Angeles County in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent and criminal law professor, compiled a database of police shootings and estimated that in the United States in 2011 police shot more than 1,100 people, killing 607. Fisher relied on the Internet to track the casualties, and the actual toll may be significantly higher. (Many police departments are secretive about their shootings and succeed in withholding either numbers or key details from the public.) Fisher’s numbers do not include cases of off-duty police who shoot acquaintances, such as the recent case of the married veteran D.C. policeman convicted of murdering his girlfriend and leaving their 11-month-old baby to die in an overheated SUV to avoid paying child support.

According to the FBI, 323 people were killed nationwide by rifles in 2011 — less than 4 percent of the total deaths by firearms. The official statistics are not broken down by the type of rifle, so it is impossible to know how many of the victims were slain with the type of weapons that Sen. Dianne Feinstein and presumably Obama classify as assault weapons. Nationwide, 10 percent of the killings with rifles were committed by law enforcement officers, according to the FBI. Ironically, the raw numbers of killings by police are tossed into the firearm-fatality totals that some politicians invoke to drum up support for confiscating privately owned guns.

Protecting killers

Not only do government agencies fail to track official violence against Americans; they also sometimes preemptively exonerate all such attacks. A 2001 Justice Department report, “Policing and Homicide, 1976–1998,” labeled everyone in the nation who perished as a result of a police shooting as “felons justifiably killed by police.” There were hundreds, if not thousands, of people shot unjustifiably by the police in those decades, but their innocence vanished in the flicker of a federal label. The Justice Department was so embarrassed by the report’s “lack of distinction between justifiable police shootings and murders, that it did not send out its usual promotional material announcing the report,” according to the New York Times.

The odds of an honest, thorough investigation of a police killing are the same as the odds that a politician’s campaign speech will be strictly assessed for perjury. At the state and local level the deck is often stacked to vindicate all police shootings. Police unions have strong- armed legislation that guarantees their members sweeping procedural advantages in any post-shooting investigation.

For instance, Maryland police are protected by a Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights that prohibits questioning a police officer for 10 days after any incident in which he or she used deadly force. “A lawyer or a police union official is always summoned to the scene of a shooting to make sure no one speaks to the officer who pulled the trigger,” the Washington Post noted in an exposé of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, police. “Between 1990 and 2001 Prince George’s police shot 122 people…. Almost half of those shot were unarmed, and many had committed no crime.”

Forty-seven people were killed by the P.G. police in that time. Among the shootings the P.G. police department ruled as justified: “An unarmed construction worker was shot in the back after he was detained in a fast-food restaurant. An unarmed suspect died in a fusillade of 66 bullets as he tried to flee in a car from police. A homeless man was shot when police mistook his portable radio for a gun. And an unarmed man was killed after he pulled off the road to relieve himself.”

The situation in Clark County, Nevada, which had one of the highest rates of police-committed homicides in the nation, is equally perverse. An excellent Las Vegas Review-Journal series in late 2011 noted, “In 142 fatal police shootings in the Las Vegas Valley over a little more than the past 20 years, no coroner’s jury has returned a ruling adverse to police.” But that nonconviction rate actually convicts the entire system. “The deck is stacked in favor of police well before the case gets to the [coroner’s] jurors. That’s because the ‘neutral arbiter of the facts’ is the deputy district attorney who already believes that no crime has been committed. In a comparison of inquest transcripts, evidence files, and police reports dating to 1990, the Review-Journal found that prosecutors commonly act more like defense attorneys, shaping inquest presentations to cast officers in the most positive light.”

Another problem is that, as Nevada lawyer Brent Bryson observed, “Frequently in fatal shootings, you just have officers’ testimony and no other witnesses. And most people just don’t want to believe that a police officer would behave wrongly.”

Investigations of shootings by police in Las Vegas were stymied in 2010 and 2011 because “police unions balked at inquest reforms, first by advising members not to testify at the hearings and then helping officers file a lawsuit challenging the new system’s constitutionality,” according to the Review-Journal. Las Vegas is so deferential to police that, in cases “where an officer shoots but only wounds or misses entirely … the district attorney looks at the case only if the shooting subject is being prosecuted,” the Review-Journal noted.

Federal cops

Federal agents who kill Americans enjoy similar legal privileges. The Justice Department’s view of the untouchability of federal lawmen is clear from its action in the Idaho trial of FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi. Horiuchi gained renown in 1992 after he shot and killed 42-year-old Vicki Weaver as she stood in the door of her cabin holding her 10-month-old baby. Horiuchi had shot her husband in the back moments earlier, though Randy Weaver posed no threat to federal agents at the time. The FBI initially labeled its Ruby Ridge operation a big success and indicated Vicki Weaver was a fair target; later the agency claimed that her killing was accidental.

Boundary County, Idaho, prosecutor Denise Woodbury filed manslaughter charges against Horiuchi in 1997. FBI Director Louis Freeh was outraged that a local court would attempt to hold an FBI agent legally responsible for the killing. He declared that Horiuchi had an “exemplary record” and was “an outstanding agent and continues to have my total support and confidence.” Freeh added, “The FBI is doing everything within its power to ensure [Horiuchi] is defended to the full extent and that his rights as a federal law-enforcement officer are fully protected.” Justice Department lawyers persuaded a judge to move Horiuchi’s case from a state court to a federal court, where federal agencies have far more procedural advantages. Although a confidential Justice Department report concluded that Horiuchi acted unconstitutionally, Justice Department lawyers argued vigorously that he was exempt from any state or local prosecution because he was carrying out federal orders at the time he gunned Vicki Weaver down.

Federal judge Edward Lodge found in 1998 that the state of Idaho could not prosecute Horiuchi for the killing, in a ruling focusing on Horiuchi’s “subjective beliefs”: As long as Horiuchi supposedly did not believe he was violating anyone’s rights or acting wrongfully, then he could not be tried.

The judge blamed Vicki Weaver for her own death, ruling that “it would be objectively reasonable for Mr. Horiuchi to believe that one would not expect a mother to place herself and her baby behind an open door outside the cabin after a shot had been fired and her husband had called out that he had been hit.” Thus, if an FBI agent wrongfully shoots one family member, the government somehow becomes entitled to slay the rest of the family unless they run and hide.

The greater the automatic presumption that government shootings are justified, the more arbitrary power police will have over Americans. And this growing sense of legal inferiority to officialdom will naturally make gun owners ever more attached to their own firearms. According to Obama and other anti-gun politicians, this is simply evidence of paranoia — and another reason to take away people’s guns before they do harm.

The federal government has no credibility condemning vast numbers of private gun owners as long as it refuses to compile the casualty count from government agents. Washington has deluged state and local law-enforcement agencies with billions of dollars in aid in recent years but will not even ask the recipients for honest body counts. No amount of political tub-thumping can change the fact that Americans are far more likely to be killed by police than by assault weapons.


GOP dislikes sitting congressman, eyes DWI pol with secret family

December 11, 2013 | 5:21pm
Republicans are so nervous about Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm’s re-election chances that they’ve quietly reached out to former GOP Congressman Vito Fossella — who quit five years ago after confessing to having a secret second family — to make a comeback for his old seat, The Post has learned.
Grimm is currently the subject of an ongoing Justice Department probe that centers on whether his campaign solicited illegal donations from foreigners during his 2010 campaign.
Grimm, an ex-Marine and FBI agent, denies any wrongdoing.

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Homeland Security department fires employee over racist website

December 11, 2013
 The Homeland Security Department has fired an employee who runs a website predicting and advocating a race war, about four months after he was put on paid administrative leave.
Ayo Kimathi was an acquisitions officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement who dealt with small businesses. He also runs the website War on the Horizon, which includes descriptions of an "unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race." Kimathi is black

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Former FBI agent missing in Iran was working for the CIA – report
• Robert Levinson went missing in March 2007 in Iran
• CIA alleged to have paid £2.5m to family to prevent lawsuit
Thursday 12 December 2013 19.37 EST   

Robert Levinson Robert Levinson went missing in Iran nearly six years ago. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

A retired FBI agent missing for seven years after disappearing in Iran was on an unauthorized mission for the CIA, according to an explosive new report on Thursday that contradicted the official explanation that he was on private business.

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Ex-CIA, NSA, FBI, and GCHQ Employees Urge Former Colleagues to Blow the Whistle
Daniel Ellsberg and other former leakers plead for current staffers to follow Edward Snowden's example.
 Dec 12 2013

An open letter published in The Guardian features seven signatories—including Daniel Ellsberg, who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers, as well as ex-employees of the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and GCHQ—urging their former colleagues to follow Edward Snowden's example and blow the whistle on ongoing crimes and misconduct within the national-security state.

One portion of the letter says:

    Hidden away in offices of various government departments, intelligence agencies, police forces and armed forces are dozens and dozens of people who are very much upset by what our societies are turning into: at the very least, turnkey tyrannies.

    One of them is you.

    You're thinking:

        Undermining democracy and eroding civil liberties isn't put explicitly in your job contract.
        You grew up in a democratic society and want to keep it that way
        You were taught to respect ordinary people's right to live a life in privacy
        You don't really want a system of institutionalized strategic surveillance that would make the dreaded Stasi green with envy—do you?

    Still, why bother? What can one person do? Well, Edward Snowden just showed you what one person can do. He stands out as a whistleblower both because of the severity of the crimes and misconduct that he is divulging to the public—and the sheer amount of evidence he has presented us with so far—more is coming. But Snowden shouldn't have to stand alone, and his revelations shouldn't be the only ones.

    You can be part of the solution; provide trustworthy journalists—either from old media (like this newspaper) or from new media (such as WikiLeaks) with documents that prove what illegal, immoral, wasteful activites are going on where you work.

    There IS strength in numbers. You won't be the first—nor the last—to follow your conscience and let us know what's being done in our names. Truth is coming—it can't be stopped. Crooked politicians will be held accountable. It's in your hands to be on the right side of history and accelerate the process.

    Courage is contagious.

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Very few shockers in John Silber’s FBI files


  December 12, 2013

Background checks were done in 1983 and 1987 on John R. Silber, who was appointed to three separate commission posts during the Reagan administration.
John R. Silber led a very public life, overseeing the transformation of Boston University, nearly becoming governor of Massachusetts, and getting into so many verbal scrapes with critics that his penchant for provocative rejoinders even had a name, the “Silber shocker.”
But FBI agents who did background checks on Silber in the 1980s managed to unearth a few secrets, sort of: In 1947, for example, Silber got a B in Old Testament history and literature at Yale Divinity School, and two years later he failed a graduate course at the University of Texas at Austin.
A 516-page FBI file, compiled when Silber was appointed to three presidential panels during the Reagan administration, is packed with testimonials to the irascible Silber’s patriotism, work ethic, dedication to family, and even his legendary stubbornness. Unlike another BU luminary, Martin Luther King Jr., who was the subject of a controversial 17,000-page FBI file, Silber’s dossier is downright flattering.
“The appointee is of very, very fine character, a great scholar, very patriotic . . . and a strong supporter of national defense and this nation’s present administration,” an FBI interviewer wrote in paraphrasing the opinion of Arthur Metcalf, chairman of BU’s board of trustees, in 1983. “The only criticism [Metcalf] has concerning the appointee is the appointee’s lack of patience with ‘suffering fools.’ ”

Of course, the file suggests that agents did not speak with many Silber critics, such as leftist historian and BU faculty member Howard Zinn, who twice helped lead faculty votes that unsuccessfully attempted to oust Silber as president. Silber once called Zinn a prime example of teachers “who poison the well of academe.” About the only substantive concern the FBI raises about Silber is that he may have strong-armed BU personnel to support then-Boston Mayor Kevin White in the 1970s.
the file, released to the Boston-based public records group MuckRock after a formal records request, provides an unusual window into what associates of Silber, who died in 2012, said about him when they could have faced serious consequences for not telling the truth.
The FBI conducted the extensive checks on Silber in 1983 and again in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan appointed Silber to three different commissions, including the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America.
FBI agents checked credit databases, arrest records, and court files from Boston to San Francisco for any derogatory information. Agents also conducted dozens of interviews with Silber’s neighbors, friends, and employees.
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How dumb are American voters?
This FBI  Perp is still in office.


The FBI 's point man in Congress

 Dec. 12, 2013

House Intelligence Committee chair discusses support for NSA spying laws


President Obama has two panels reviewing NSA policy, with recommendations for possible changes expected by year's end. Margaret Warner talks to Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, for his perspective on U.S. spying laws and rebuilding trust with the American public and abroad.

 MARGARET WARNER: Chairman Rogers, thanks for joining us.
REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-Mich.: Thanks for having me.
MARGARET WARNER: As you know, the president is reviewing NSA surveillance policy. Whatever changes are going to happen are coming out later this month.
If he were seeking your counsel, what is the most profound thing you think he needs to address?
MIKE ROGERS: Part of the problem with where we're at is that we're fighting perception about what people think is happening vs. what's actually happening.
And so that's been our biggest challenge on the education piece. So, I think the first round, we all want to agree that these programs have kept Americans safe. They have kept our allies safe. There are multiple levels of oversight that no other intelligence service in the world has, like the United States intelligence oversight, between the courts and the Congress and the inspector general, and then the FBI, the Department of Justice. I mean, you name it. It has it all.
So I think what we can do is have some confidence-builders for the American people to look at this and understand, ah, one person can't run off and listen your phone call or read your e-mail. None of that is happening.
MARGARET WARNER: So, are you saying the president needs to maybe bring more transparency, do exactly what's being done, who is doing it, and what the safeguards are?
MIKE ROGERS: I think that would be incredibly helpful for the president to do that.
MARGARET WARNER: But isn't there then a tension between that and how much you want to divulge or he wants to divulge?
MIKE ROGERS: Well, absolutely.

Did FBI  agents murder Luna?

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A decade later, prosecutor Luna’s death still a mystery

 Thursday, December 12, 2013

Remembering Jonathan Luna: FBI Cover-up of a Murdered Federal Prosecutor Ties in with the DC Madam Murder

Sunday, February 27, 2011 15:05
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