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Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #101 
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Former FBI agent says NFL lead investigator shouldn't be heading domestic violence probes


Sep 19, 2014

A San Diego woman says the NFL's lead investigator is the last man who should be heading the domestic violence investigations.

On police dashcam video from 2006 in Austin, Texas, a string of drunken curses can be heard as Dree Ann Cellemme is cuffed and later ticketed for public intoxication during a night that remains a blur.

For the off-duty FBI agent, this happened less than a year after a drunken episode at an FBI holiday party.

Team 10 investigator Michael Chen asked, "When you look at that video, what do you see?"

"I see someone who was clearly having an emotional breakdown and in need of alcohol counseling and intervention," said Cellemme.

Days later, she sought treatment and remains sober to this day.

She says her FBI career did not fare as well because of something she cannot remember yelling at officers in Austin.

"I'm going to tell everyone you raped me," yelled Cellemme out the window that night as she was cuffed in a patrol car.

She was put on indefinite suspension without pay – which lasted a year – before she was fired.

Cellemme showed Team 10 an email revealing the man making the decisions was the FBI's then-assistant HR director John Raucci.

"It's the old adage: boys will be boys, but girls always need to act like ladies, and at that moment, I didn't fit the image of what a lady was supposed to look like," said Cellemme.

She filed a federal complaint, and in a just-released decision, a judge concluded her indefinite suspension was discriminatory and based on her sex.

In Cellemme's legal arguments, she had pointed out numerous cases of male agents involved with DUIs and serious alcohol offenses getting short suspensions and keeping their jobs.

"In one case, an agent was stopped in a vehicle with three prostitutes while he was intoxicated, and he only received a 17-day suspension after accusing police of stealing his money – even filing a complaint," said Cellemme.

Years later, Raucci is now with the NFL, heading their investigations and likely including the domestic violence probes.

"I don't think he's the right man for the job," said Cellemme.

She believes he is biased against women and should not be the one looking into their accusations.

"You can't have someone with those prejudices investigating these sensitive issues," said Cellemme.

Cellemme will receive damages, but a judge said the FBI did not have to reinstate her. In the ruling from an administrative law judge, it was determined the termination was not discrimination because the male agents that were given leniency in their cases had seniority, a viable factor in weighing job status.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #102 
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Twilight in the Box
The suicide statistics, squalor & recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement. Maybe the brain studies will

Shruti Ravindran is a freelance journalist, writing about science, health and the environment. Her work has appeared in Scientific American & The Verge, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Heavy-set, with a soft-jowled face, King has a distinctly ursine air about him. We first meet at a Wendy’s in downtown Brooklyn, his teddy-bearishness rounded out by a plushy layer of cocoa-coloured velour tracksuit with a matching hoodie, T-shirt, and beanie hat. He is a garrulous, flirty raconteur. He leans in close over the small white plastic table in the corner and shares, in a gravelly voice, his penchant for Dominican women (‘I’ll take one as my next wife’), his distaste for Indian shop-owners (‘They look at you like you in a zoo. Or the bottom of they shoe’), and his love for his two-year-old grandbaby Vanny. But when he talks about his three-decade long ‘bid’ in various upstate correctional facilities, punctuated by periods of isolation in ‘the Box’ – a solitary confinement cell – he gets quieter, and stares away, distracted and angry.

‘I was in the Box a number of times,’ he says, ‘for dirty urine – when they find weed in your urine – and for arguing with the police over dumb shit. I was never there for stabbin’ or nothin’.’ He produces a long, thin Chick-O-Stick from his pocket and begins to chew on the bright orange flesh. ‘I seen some people, they go into the Box with 30 days, and they in that motherfucker for three years because they went off on a police officer; took some shit or piss and slung it on ’em because they had nothin’ better to do. Once they been there a minute, that’s when they start to see shit, harm themselves, harm others. I wasn’t in there banging my head on the wall, screaming and carrying on. I was chillin’, readin’, I ain’t bother no people.’
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In the summer of 2007, King spent 75 days in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) of Fishkill Correctional Facility, a 19th-century asylum-turned-prison in Dutchess County in upstate New York. ‘Some rat told a correctional officer I was selling weed,’ he recalls. ‘So they gave me a Tier 3 ticket [a disciplinary hearing for violating prison rules], and 75 days in the Box.’ He found himself inside a 7ft x 10ft concrete cell with a small bed and toilet. It had a solid metal door with a small window made of hard plastic, out of which he could see a catwalk. A few times a day he saw correctional officers walking past, and once a day, a nurse dispensing medication.

Every morning, for an hour’s recreation, a door at the back opened out on to a ‘recreation cage’: a slightly bigger Box with a tiny, barred window. King wasn’t enamoured of the view: ‘A highway, some grass and trees, and sea gulls flyin’, shittin’ all over the place, eatin’ garbage that other inmates threw out.’ He had been in the Box a couple of times before, but these 75 days were the longest he’d ever been stuck there. After a few days, he found himself double-bunked – penned in with another inmate.

Nobody liked being double-bunked. It felt like being in a cash-strapped zoo, caged in with a restive animal that might turn on you unprovoked. ‘You could get beat up by your bunkmate, or by the police,’ says King. ‘Anything can happen. You ain’t got no wins in there.’

King’s first cellmate was a young Blood (affiliated with the street-gang founded in Rikers Island prison in 1993), who tried to intimidate him and order him around. Then came an ‘ugly-ass motherfucker’ whom King could barely resist throttling after he caught him ‘sneak-thieving’ – rifling his bag for stamps, jealously hoarded prison-currency, in the dead of night. King had no visitors, no classes, no yard-time smoking weed with his friends. The hours stretched on, with a corroding undertow of tension. It was like hanging around in a kennel-sized doctor’s waiting room for an appointment that never came. Worse, he was deprived of the small income he made outside from dealing marijuana and salami smuggled from the kosher kitchen, and his twice-weekly treat of cigarettes, condiments and canned fish from the commissary. All he had was Box food – ‘nasty chicken-soup slop’ – and the relentless, maddening soundtrack of ‘people buggin’ out’.

‘All day, every day in the Box,’ he recalls, staring down at the table, ‘people go off. They yell, they scream, they talk to they-self. They cuss the police out, call them all types of names: “Cracker!” “Incest baby!” At two or three in the morning, somebody starts screaming “Aaaaaa!” You don’t do nothin’, you shake your head sayin’, “Another one”.’

He longed for some communication from the outside world. Every day, during his first month, he wrote increasingly torrid letters to a young woman named Mercedes, whom he addressed as Babygirl. ‘She lived in New York,’ he says. ‘She worked in the corporate world, in one of those big-ass buildings downtown.’ He was pleased to receive her replies several times a week, even though he had to write them himself. ‘I sent them out without a stamp so they’d come back,’ he says. ‘It was make-believe. To have something to do.’

King has been out of prison for four years. But he’s travelling within a lonely Box wherever he goes. ‘I still don’t meet people. I’m alone,’ he says. ‘I got my back to the door when I take the train. I can’t have anyone behind me. I hate being in crowds. That’s why in four years I ain’t gone to see that ball drop [in Times Square on New Year’s Eve]. Fuck that ball! I see that shit on TV.’

He struggles with paranoid fears – of being cut in the face by an assailant, of a policeman spotting him and deciding, for some occult reason, to beat him up. The first year o

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #103 
Blurry Street by Thomas Hawk
Documents in ACLU Case Reveal More Detail on FBI Attempt to Cover Up Stingray Technology

Stingray tracking devices
By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:46am

What is used by dozens of local law enforcement agencies around the country, featured in numerous news stories, and discussed in court, yet treated by the FBI like it is top secret? That would be "Stingray" cell phone surveillance gear, of course.

This week, MuckRock released a mostly redacted copy of the nondisclosure agreement that the FBI makes local police departments sign before they are permitted to buy a Stingray from the Florida-based Harris Corporation. We have seen the FBI pressure local law enforcement agencies to withhold basic information about purchase and use of Stingrays before, but now we have greater insight into how it does so.

According to the agreement, released by the Tacoma, Washington, Police Department, the Harris Corporation notifies the FBI whenever a local police department wants to buy a Stingray, and then the FBI requires the local agency to sign a lengthy nondisclosure agreement before buying the device. The FBI's role in the process is a condition of the Federal Communication Commission's equipment authorization issued to the Harris Corporation.

The result is that members of the public, judges, and defense attorneys are denied basic information about local cops' use of invasive surveillance gear that can sweep up sensitive location data about hundreds of peoples' cell phones. For example, when we sought information about Stingrays from the Brevard County, Florida, Sheriff's Office, they cited a non-disclosure agreement with a "federal agency" as a basis for withholding all records. When the ACLU of Arizona sued the Tucson Police Department for Stingray records, an FBI agent submitted a declaration invoking the FBI nondisclosure agreement as a reason to keep information secret.

In fact, the FBI agent's declaration in the Arizona case quotes extensively from the nondisclosure agreement, thus filling in some of the text blacked out in the Tacoma document. The Tacoma Police Department can't redact text from an FBI document that the FBI has already disclosed in court proceedings.

According to the Arizona declaration, the nondisclosure agreement states that:

Disclosing the existence of and the capabilities provided by [cell site simulator equipment] to the public would reveal sensitive technological capabilities possessed by the law enforcement community and may allow individuals who are the subject of investigation…to employ countermeasures to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Therefore, "any information" about Stingrays "shall be protected from potential compromise by precluding disclosure…to the public."

Extensive information about Stingray devices and other forms of cell phone tracking is already in the public domain. Withholding basic data about how Stingrays are used, what rules govern their use, how the privacy of innocent bystanders is protected, and whether police are getting probable cause warrants from judges doesn't keep us any safer. It only functions to subvert our right to keep tabs on what our government is up to. This kind of secrecy allows the government to keep constitutional violations hidden in the shadows.

In the midst of the government's excessive secrecy, the ACLU continues to push for transparency and reform. On Monday, the ACLU of Florida filed a motion to unseal applications submitted by the Sarasota Police Department seeking court orders authorizing Stingray use, as well as the resulting orders. Those records had originally been taken from the court by the police and kept in the police station—an unusual and illegal practice—and then, incredibly, spirited away by the U.S. Marshals Service when the ACLU filed a public records request. A judge subsequently instructed the government to deposit sealed copies of the applications and orders back with the court. We are asking for them to be made public.

And in Texas, the ACLU's Chris Soghoian testified at the state legislature about Stingrays and other police surveillance tactics, prompting one local paper to dig into the Houston Police Department's purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of Stingray equipment.

As demonstrated by our interactive map of police Stingray purchases across the country, more information about Stingray surveillance is becoming public by the week. Yet, the FBI and local police departments keep trying to hide the ball. The public deserves to know whether the police are violating the Constitution. Secrecy agreements with federal agencies shouldn't be used to circumvent open records laws, or hide facts that are already in the news.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #104 
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L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter injury claims rise
L.A. paid $197 million over five years for injury leaves
A look at the injury leave of police and firefighters in L.A.

Law EnforcementPublic OfficialsLos Angeles Police DepartmentLos Angeles Fire Department
In L.A., 19% of police and firefighters took at least one injury leave last year, a higher rate than elsewhere
City leaders across California say the design of the injured-on-duty program for safety workers invites abuse
An injury-leave program for L.A. police and firefighters cost taxpayers $328 million over the last five years

Los Angeles Fire Capt. Daniel Costa liked to go all out on the racquetball court at the LAX fire station. A fellow firefighter described him as a "very competitive" player who "likes to win."

Costa seemed in fine form after five spirited games in the fall of 2011. So his supervisor was skeptical when Costa, then 53, said he'd hurt his knee on the court and needed time off, according to a report by investigators for the city attorney's office.

Costa was out on injury leave for a year, collecting his full salary, tax-free.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #105 

also see.


US Gov. Software Creates 'Fake People' on Social Networks to Promote Propoganda

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The US government is offering private intelligence companies contracts to create software to manage "fake people" on social media sites and create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues.

The contract calls for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #106 


Armored vehicle designed for war is out of place in suburban department
The Hamburg Police Department's MRAP, shown here with Lt. James J. Koch, spends most of its time parked at the Public Works garage. (Buffalo News file photo)

The Hamburg Police Department's MRAP, shown here with Lt. James J. Koch, spends most of its time parked at the Public Works garage. (Buffalo News file photo)

on September 29, 2014 - 5:11 PM

It can’t be easy for a local police department to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when it’s coming in the form of a $658,000 military machine from the Defense Department.

The Hamburg Police Department became the recipient of a “mine-resistant, ambush-protected” vehicle, or MRAP, that would be the envy of the law enforcement neighborhood. But was it the right piece of equipment to give a town of about 57,000?

No one is questioning the need to keep law enforcement personnel and the public safe. But the need for putting a 35,000-pound piece of military hardware in a suburban town is at least debatable.

For the most part, Hamburg’s monster machine spends its days in a cinder block garage at the town’s Public Works Department. As reported in The News, it is kept company by potted petunias.

This can’t be the best way to dispose of Defense Department leftovers. But more and more local police departments have been getting military-grade weapons and other equipment under the department’s “1033” program.

Over the last four years police departments in Erie County have collected what seems to be a rather modest share of such surplus equipment, at least compared to other communities. At $658,000, Hamburg’s MRAP accounted for two-thirds of the $973,000 in surplus equipment distributed in Erie County. Overall, county agencies have received 4 percent of the $25 million in military goods distributed to police departments across New York State since 2006, running the gamut from such everyday police items as handcuffs to the large machines one might expect on a battleground.

Hamburg’s MRAP hasn’t seen much action. It was used once in Hamburg to serve a search warrant, which would not seem to require the use of a military vehicle. It has also been put to use by other suburban police agencies on four occasions to serve warrants and deal with a barricaded shooter.

The MRAP was a steal, costing about $2,000 for modifications and gas for the 6 mpg drive to Hamburg. While that doesn’t take into account the cost to train officers on the machine, financially the MRAP appears to have been a bargain. But to do what?

The FBI has its own armored vehicle, a prototype MRAP. The president of the committee of 10 local SWAT teams in the city and suburbs thinks the region could use another based in the Northtowns.

The issue of military vehicles being deployed by local police agencies has been a hot topic lately, since images hit social and traditional media of an armed-to-the-teeth local force confronting protesters in Ferguson, Mo. Those were supposed to be peaceful protests but tension grew with the appearance of police armed for battle.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #107 
Guns stolen from FBI agent's car in Union Co.


October 2, 2014

UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- Two guns belonging to the FBI were stolen from an agent's car in a Union County neighborhood.

It happened Monday between midnight and 8 a.m. in the Hunter Oaks neighborhood off Rea Road.

One Remington 870 shotgun, one Colt M-4LE rifle and olive color body armor with FBI patches were taken. The agent stored them in a locked trunk in black canvas bags.

The FBI is working with the Union County Sheriff's Office to find the weapons and suspects.

The agent is part of a special response team, who is required to respond to events around the clock. He was authorized to store the weapons in his vehicle. Special Agent John Strong says the FBI will review procedures. This is the third incident of its kind in a little over a year.


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #108 
Thursday, October 2, 2014

see link for full story


Lawsuit: TSA Agents Unscrewed Urn, Spilled Deceased Mother's Ashes In Cleveland Man's Suitcase
Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 6:02 PM

TSA_badge. Cleveland man packed up an urn with his mother's cremated remains and headed to Puerto Rico to spread her ashes as she had requested. But when he arrived and unzipped his bag, he discovered a TSA inspection notice and his mother's ashes spilled all over his suitcase.

The horrific incident is documented in a lawsuit filed in Cleveland's federal court today, where Shannon Thomas is suing the Transportation Security Administration and unnamed TSA agents for what happened.

The incident occurred nearly two years ago when Thomas packed his bag with a "very heavy and sturdy" urn with a tightly screwed on top that held held his mother's ashes, and padded it in his bag "with his clothing to attempt to protect it." He checked it at Cleveland Hopkins, got a connecting flight in Washington D.C., and arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The plan was to "spread his mother's remains in the Caribbean Sea, as she had requested prior to passing away."

In San Juan, he noticed the TSA had inspect

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #109 

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National Security
Justice Dept. will review practice of creating fake Facebook profiles

The Justice Department will review federal law-enforcement use of fake Facebook pages in investigations.
By October 7 2014

The Justice Department said Tuesday that it will review federal law enforcement practices in light of an incident in which a federal agent used a woman’s photographs and other personal information to create a fake Facebook account as part of a drug investigation.

The woman, Sondra Arquiett of Watertown, N.Y., alleges in a lawsuit that police seized photos and other information from her cellphone after she was arrested in 2010 on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

A judge sentenced Arquiett, who then went by the name Sondra Prince, to probation. While she was waiting to be sentenced, however, an agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration created a fake Facebook account in her name as a way to identify other suspects in an alleged drug ring, according to her complaint.

“The allegations in this case are shocking,” said Mariko Hirose, staff attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union. “This case illustrates the importance of digital privacy and identity, and the possibility of abuse when law enforcement is able to access the trove of personal information that we store in our devices.”

The fake Facebook page had several photos of Arquiett, including one of her on the hood of a BMW and one showing her in a bra and underwear. The DEA agent, Timothy Sinnigen, also posted photographs of her son and a niece, both minors.

“Ms. Arquiett never intended for any of the pictures on her phone to be displayed publicly, let alone on Facebook, which has more than 800 million active users,” wrote Kimberly Zimmer, one of Arquiett’s attorneys. “More disturbing than the fact that the DEA Agents posted a picture of her in her underwear and bra is the fact that the DEA agents posted a picture of her young son and young niece in connection with that Facebook account, which the DEA agents later claim was used . . . to have contact with individuals involved in narcotics distribution.”

In court papers, U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian acknowledged that Sinnigen created the fake page, posed as Arquiett and posted photographs from her phone. He also said that the agent used the account to send a “friend request” to a wanted fugitive.

But Hartunian defended the agent’s impersonation of Arquiett. He said that while Arquiett did not give express permission for the use of photographs contained on her phone for an undercover Facebook page, she “implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cellphone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in . . . ongoing criminal investigations.”

Details of the complaint, filed in the Northern District of New York, were first reported by the online news site BuzzFeed.

Law enforcement officials declined to say whether the incident involving Arquiett was isolated or ran counter to federal ­law enforcement policy. Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said officials would review the incident and the practice of creating fake online profiles.

A spokesman for Facebook declined to comment on the case but said that Arquiett’s fake profile has been removed from the site because it violates the com­pany’s “community standards,” which include a provision that says that claiming to be another person or creating multiple accounts violates Facebook terms. The company asks Facebook users, including law enforcement officials, to use their authentic identities.

“On Facebook people connect using their real names and identities,” the policy says. “We ask that you refrain from publishing the personal information of others without their consent. Claiming to be another person, creating a false presence for an organization, or creating multiple accounts undermines community and violates Facebook’s terms.”

An attorney for Arquiett declined to comment. In her complaint, Arquiett said that she suffered “fear and great emotional distress” and was put in danger because Sinnigen’s Facebook page made some people think that she was willfully cooperating in Sinnigen’s drug investigation.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #110 

Aides knew of possible White House link to Cartagena, Colombia, prostitution scandal

see link for full story


October 8 at 11:40 PM
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.

But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.

The information that the Secret Service shared with the White House included hotel records and firsthand accounts — the same types of evidence the agency and military relied on to determine who in their ranks was involved.

The Secret Service shared its findings twice in the weeks after the scandal with top White House officials, including then-White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. Each time, she and other presidential aides conducted an interview with the advance-team member and concluded that he had done nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, the new details also show that a separate set of investigators in the inspector general’s office of the Department of Homeland Security — tasked by a Senate committee with digging more deeply into misconduct on the trip — found additional evidence from records and eyewitnesses who had accompanied the team member in Colombia.

On April 23, 2012, then White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, citing an internal review, said "there's no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior" in Cartagena, Colombia. (The Washington Post via Whitehouse.gov)
The lead investigator later told Senate staffers that he felt pressure from his superiors in the office of Charles K. Edwards, who was then the acting inspector general, to withhold evidence — and that, in the heat of an election year, decisions were being made with political considerations in mind.

“We were directed at the time . . . to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election,” David Nieland, the lead investigator on the Colombia case for the DHS inspector general’s office, told Senate staffers, according to three people with knowledge of his statement.

Nieland added that his superiors told him “to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration.”

Edwards told Senate staffers that any changes to the report were part of the normal editing process and that he sought to keep the focus of his investigation on DHS employees, according to statements he made to Senate staffers that are part of the public record.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday that President Obama and his advisers did not interfere with the inspector general’s investigation. “As was reported more than two years ago, the White House conducted an internal review that did not identify any inappropriate behavior on the part of the White House advance team,” Schultz said. He cited a Senate report on the inspector general’s office from this April that said an inquiry was unable to verify Nieland’s contention that he was ordered to change the IG report over political concerns.

Whether the White House volunteer, Jonathan Dach, was involved in wrongdoing in Cartagena, Colombia, remains unclear. Dach, then a 25-year-old Yale University law student, declined to be interviewed, but through his attorney he denied hiring a prostitute or bringing anyone to his hotel room. Dach has long made the same denials to White House officials.

Dach this year started working full time in the Obama administration on a federal contract as a policy adviser in the Office on Global Women’s Issues at the State Department.

The night bullets hit the White House — and the Secret Service didn’t know VIEW GRAPHIC
Dach’s father, Leslie Dach, is a prominent Democratic donor who gave $23,900 to the party in 2008 to help elect Obama. In his previous job as a top lobbyist for Wal-Mart, he partnered with the White House on high-profile projects, including Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.

He, too, joined the Obama administration this year. In July, he was named a senior counselor with the Department of Health and Human Services, where part of his responsibilities include handling the next phase of the Affordable Care Act.

Richard A. Sauber, who represents both Dachs, said that Jonathan Dach denies any involvement in the prostitution scandal and that no one in his family intervened with White House officials or federal investigators.

“The underlying allegations about any inappropriate conduct by Jonathan Dach in Cartagena are utterly and completely false,” Sauber said. “In addition, neither he nor anyone acting on his behalf ever contacted the DHS IG’s office about its report.”

Nevertheless, the question of whether the prostitution scandal reached into the White House had consequences beyond the West Wing.

Within the inspector general’s office, investigators and their bosses fought heatedly with each other over whether to pursue White House team members’ possible involvement. Office staffers who raised questions about a White House role said they were put on administrative leave as a punishment for doing so. Later, Edwards, the acting inspector general, resigned amid allegations of misconduct stemming in part from the dispute.

Also, the way the White House handled the scandal remains a sore point among rank-and-file members of the Secret Service more than two years later.

Former and current Secret Service agents said they are angry at the White House’s public insistence that none of its team members were involved and its private decision to not fully investigate one of its own — while their colleagues had their careers ruined or hampered.

Ten members of the Secret Service — ranging from younger, lower-level officers assigned to rope-line security to seasoned members of a counterassault team — lost their jobs because of their actions in Cartagena. The agents were told that they jeopardized national security by drinking excessively and having contact with foreign nationals.

They were treated “radically differently by different parts of the same executive branch,” said Larry Berger, a lawyer who represented many of the agents, who were union members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Given the renewed focus on the Secret Service after recent reports of a series of security lapses, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) wrote to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough last week voicing concerns that “steps were taken by the Administration to cover-up or deflect” White House involvement in the scandal. Chaffetz wrote that it remains unclear how the White House concluded that one of its team members was not involved, and he has requested records of Ruemmler’s review.

Dach’s role in Cartagena was far different from that of Secret Service agents who were responsible for the president’s safety. He was a volunteer who helped coordinate drivers for the White House travel office. He was paid a per diem, not a salary, and was reimbursed for expenses.

Dach and his fellow volunteers underwent background checks, according to a former administration official. That person said that on trips, team members are familiar with the president’s general itinerary in advance of his arrival but not the most sensitive information about his movements.

Travel volunteers, who are often recommended for the position by White House staffers, are repeatedly reminded that they are “mini-ambassadors” for the U.S. government and that their conduct reflects on the president and first lady, the former official said.

Administration officials interviewed by The Post earlier this year said there was no reason to investigate Dach beyond interviews with him and his fellow White House team members and a review of their expense accounts, because he was not a government employee and because prostitution is legal in parts of Colombia, including Cartagena.

One senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said Ruemmler believed it would be a “real scandal” if she had sent “a team of people to Colombia to investigate a volunteer over something that’s not a criminal act. . . . That would be insane.”

Ruemmler, now a private-practice lawyer who is under White House consideration to replace the departing attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., did not respond to requests for comment.

‘No credible information’
The prostitution scandal erupted on April 14, 2012, the day Obama arrived in the coastal city of Cartagena. News that Secret Service agents had brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms instantly overshadowed a summit that White House officials had hoped would focus on building economic ties with Latin America.

Obama initially described the agents involved as “a couple of knuckleheads” and told reporters at the time that his attitude about the behavior of the Secret Service is “no different than what I expect out of my delegation that’s sitting here.”

“We’re representing the people of the United States,” he said, “and when we travel to another country I expect us to observe the highest standards, because we’re not just representing ourselves.”

The Secret Service first provided evidence pointing to Dach’s potential involvement in the scandal less than a week later, on April 20.

The information, which then-Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan gave to Ruemmler, was not detailed. It said Secret Service investigators had evidence indicating Dach registered a prostitute into his room at the Hilton Cartagena Hotel shortly after midnight on April 4. He also conveyed that Secret Service agents on the ground had information suggesting the same.

The senior administration official said the White House’s position at the time was that the information amounted to little more than “rumor.”

Also on April 20, a Friday, reporters asked press secretary Jay Carney whether White House staffers had been involved. He said his information was that the incident did not “involve anything but the agents and the military personnel.”

White House lawyers in Ruemmler’s office spent that weekend interviewing all of the travel-office advance-team members who had been in Cartagena, including Dach.

Dach denied any wrongdoing, according to the administration official. Fellow White House team members said he had gone to dinner with them on April 3 — the night they arrived in town to prepare for Obama’s visit — and accompanied them back to the Hilton in a staff van. None reported witnessing any misbehavior, the senior administration official said.

The lawyers determined that there was “no credible information” to implicate Dach or anyone else from the White House at that time, the official said.

A Dach family spokeswoman, Amy Weiss, said Wednesday night that Dach returned to the Hilton at approximately 10:48 pm on April 3 after dinner that evening with other team members. He texted a friend from his room that he was “exhausted,” she said; by that time, he had been awake and traveling for 23 hours.

The weekend inquiry conducted by White House officials was less extensive than those undertaken by Secret Service and Pentagon officials, according to several government officials familiar with the probes. Those agencies had devoted considerable resources to their investigations, conducting extensive interviews and sending teams to Colombia for more than two weeks to track down and interview prostitutes and hotel staff members.

The Secret Service also administered multiple polygraph tests to each of the agents, asking whether they had brought prostitutes to their rooms and paid for services, according to several agents and federal records.

The following Monday, in response to questions from reporters, Carney said that “there have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff.”

Carney added that, “out of due diligence, the White House counsel’s office has conducted a review of the White House advance team and . . . came to the conclusion that there’s no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior.”

About three weeks later, on May 11, the Secret Service again contacted the White House, this time with more detailed evidence pointing to Dach’s involvement, according to the senior administration official.

Sullivan informed Ruemmler that agency investigators had obtained copies of the Hilton hotel records, which listed Dach’s room number and showed an additional overnight guest had been registered to his room on April 4. The information was now based on investigators’ interviews with the hotel’s director of business development, front-desk manager and security chief, who explained how guests must personally register their overnight visitors and how they determined that U.S. personnel had done so.

Many hotels in Colombia, for security reasons, maintain detailed records of additional overnight visitors. At the Hilton, prostitutes are required to show identification to ensure they are not underage. That identification is photocopied by the hotel and stored with the records of the guest staying in the room.

The Post reviewed copies of the hotel logs for Dach’s stay, which showed that a woman was registered to Dach’s room at 12:02 a.m. April 4 and included an attached photocopy of a woman’s ID card. Through his attorney, Dach declined to discuss these details as well.

Hotel staff members in Cartagena told federal investigators that they had determined Dach was one of three guests at the Hilton who had additional overnight guests registered to their rooms, federal records reviewed by The Post show. The other two were a military staffer stationed at the White House and another Secret Service agent.

The records reviewed by The Post list three names — one of which is redacted and identified only as a White House travel-team member. Two government officials who have seen an unredacted version separately confirmed that Dach is the travel-team member listed.

The room number provided next to the redacted name, 513, matches the one listed for Dach on a bill and hotel registration records that administration officials shared with The Post.

The new information did not change the White House’s position.

Most Secret Service agents implicated in the scandal were staying at a different place, the Hotel Caribe. The White House learned from the Secret Service of a case of mistaken identity at the Caribe, in which one Secret Service agent was erroneously accused of bringing a prostitute to his room.

White House lawyers learned about the mix-up and cited it as a reason to question the evidence provided by the Secret Service.

Dach “gave responses that were not in any way indicative that he did in fact have an overnight guest,” the senior administration official said. “We concluded he was being truthful.”

Senate inquiry
Questions about Dach’s involvement in the scandal did not end there. Concerned that the primary investigation into the incident by the Secret Service was not thorough enough, a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in late May 2012 asked the DHS inspector general’s office to conduct its own investigation.

IG investigators reviewed information that pointed to Dach. An agent said he saw Dach with a woman he believed was a prostitute, and another had information after reviewing records that showed he had registered a woman into his room.

Nieland’s team also found that hotel officials had waived a fee normally charged to guests staying overnight. Hilton Worldwide officials in Virginia said their records showed Dach “was not charged for additional guest as a benefit of Hilton Honor Member.”

Weiss, the Dach family spokeswoman, said Wednesday night that the Hilton in Cartagena told Dach it has no records in Dach’s file indicating that he sought to waive any overnight guest fee.

Nieland’s team also collected research showing that the name of the woman in the Hilton records registered to Dach’s room matched that of a woman advertising herself on the Internet as a prostitute. The woman had posted photos of herself in undergarments in front of “Summit of the Americas” signs in Cartagena at the time of the trip, according to federal records and people familiar with the probe.

The Post sent two reporters to Cartagena but were unable to locate the woman.

Nieland later told Senate staffers that his superiors demanded that he remove from an official report references to the evidence pointing to the White House team member.

Nieland said the instructions came less than 24 hours after his superiors said Edwards had briefed then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the potential involvement of the White House team member, according to documents reviewed by The Post.

A spokesman for Napolitano told The Post that she never “ordered that anything be deleted in the inspector general’s report or asked for a delay,” but he declined to describe her conversations at the time with the inspector general.

Edwards was getting other complaints about the actions of his investigators, according to two people familiar with Edwards’s private testimony to the Senate committee. Two senior staffers to then-Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), who was the chairman of the committee, told Edwards he was not the inspector general of the White House and should avoid scrutinizing the White House in his report, according to the two people.

Nieland and two other members of the office fought or questioned alterations to the report. All three were later put on administrative leave for what they believed was their questioning of the changes.

Their superiors, including Edwards, said the discipline was unrelated to their complaints about the alterations.

The Office of Special Counsel, where one of the staff members resisting the changes filed a formal complaint against Edwards, issued a letter saying that there was convincing evidence that the action against him was retaliatory. Nieland was later suspended for an unrelated personnel matter, but he believed the move was retaliation for the questions he had raised the previous year. Senate investigators said they were unable to substantiate whether the third investigator was a victim of retaliation.

The strife within the inspector general’s office grew so severe that it was scrutinized by the Senate committee as part of a broader inquiry into Edwards’s conduct.

The Senate report noted conflicting accounts of Nieland’s role in the Secret Service investigation. Nieland’s superiors said Nieland told them he did not suspect a “cover-up” in their alterations. But Nieland later said to Senate investigators that he told his bosses that they were “sitting on information that could influence an election.”

Edwards, who later stepped down, disputed Nieland’s claims as part of the inquiry, telling Senate investigators the alterations were part of the ordinary editing process.

The Senate report said committee staffers could not determine whether politics or outside pressure were factors in the changes Edwards’s deputies ordered in the report. They noted that Edwards declined to provide the committee with any of his internal correspondence about the Secret Service investigation. The Senate report did conclude that Edwards had altered investigations at the beh

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Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:17 pm

LAPD deployed 'ghost cars' to meet staffing standards, report finds

see link for full story
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-lapd ... story.html

LAPD officers patrol skid row in downtown L.A. in July; a new report by the LAPD inspector general has found the department falsified records to make it appear that it was meeting staffing standards for officers on street patrol. (
Law EnforcementUnionsLos Angeles Police Department
Inspector general finds that the LAPD faked records to make it look like enough patrol officers were on duty
'This has been going on for years,' Officer Mark Cronin says of the LAPD's use of 'ghost cars' in records
LAPD inspector general says police officials have responded swiftly to report documenting use of 'ghost cars'
Los Angeles police deliberately falsified records to make it appear that officers were patrolling city streets when they were not, an investigation by the LAPD's independent watchdog has found.

The deception occurred in at least five of the department's 21 patrol divisions, according to the Police Commission's inspector general, who released a report Friday on the "ghost car" phenomenon. Officers working desk jobs, handing out equipment in stations or performing other duties were logged into squad car computers to make it appear they were on patrol.

The findings bolstered allegations union officials have made in recent months that patrol commanders around the city were using the scheme to mask the fact that they did not have enough officers on patrol to meet staffing levels set by department brass.

There is this intentional misperception being put out there that there are more officers on the street than are actually there.
- Officer Mark Cronin, a director in the Police Protective League
"This has been going on for years," said veteran Officer Mark Cronin, a director in the Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file cops. "It is more prevalent in some areas, but it's happening throughout the city… There is this intentional misperception being put out there that there are more officers on the street than are actually there."

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith declined to comment on the findings, citing a meeting Tuesday during which the commission will review the report.

The findings underscore long-running struggles within the department to keep a sufficient portion of the roughly 9,900 officers assigned to traditional patrol duties, while also filling the many specialty units and administrative jobs at the department. With nearly 4 million people in a city that sprawls over more than 500 square miles, the LAPD is widely viewed as significantly undersized.

lRelated L.A.'s long-declining violent crime total on pace to rise this year
L.A.'s long-declining violent crime total on pace to rise this year
Alex Bustamante, the inspector general, wrote in his report that the practice of manipulating patrol statistics "occurred during multiple shifts at different times of day, involved officers of differing ranks, and was carried out differently depending on who was involved and where they were assigned."

The department's Office of Operations, which oversees patrol deployments, relies on a computer program to analyze various factors and to determine the workload in each division at various times during the day. The program calculates how many patrol cars are needed to allow officers to respond to emergency calls within seven minutes — the department's long-established standard, Bustamante wrote.

Related: Lack of LAPD civilian staff keeping officers off streets, officials say
Related: Lack of LAPD civilian staff keeping officers off streets, officials say
Soumya Karlamangla
To keep tabs on the deployment levels, department officials require station supervisors to document in a computer database what assignment each officer was given on every shift. And twice every day — at noon and 10 p.m. — a snapshot of deployment statistics for each division and the department's four bureaus is sent by email to senior officials.

The patrol staffing levels are closely monitored and captains who run each division are held accountable if they fall short, Bustamante wrote.

AT 11:47 AM OCTOBER 11, 2014
Department officials have always tried to keep secret the number of officers on duty in the city at any given moment and how many of them are assigned to regular patrol work. The Times reviewed one of the department's daily deployment snapshots from October last year that showed that 190 patrol cars, each with two officers, were in use throughout the entire city at the time. In addition, 43 single-officer cars were on the streets, according to the record — indicating that about 420 officers were assigned to patrol at the time of the snapshot. Roughly another 220 officers were working non-patrol assignments such as gang details, the record shows.

Bustamante opened his investigation after hearing reports from officers of how the ghost car scheme was used to make it appear as if divisions were meeting the deployment requirements.

Despite evidence that the problem was more widespread, Bustamante focused on deployments in two divisions, which were not named in the report, during March last year. The report did not specify how often patrol figures were inflated or by how much, but documented several examples of how ghost cars were used.

Times Investigation
Related: LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes as minor offenses
Related: LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes as minor offenses
Ben Poston, Joel Rubin
In one typical case, an officer assigned to assist detectives logged in to a patrol car's computer but remained at the police station for the entire shift working on investigations, Bustamante found. To make sure dispatchers did not try to send the officer to a help call, the officer radioed in to the dispatch center to make it appear he or she was already on a call, according to the report.

The report did not identify who in each of the divisions' chain of command ordered the numbers to be fabricated.

Cronin described an "intense pressure" that captains feel to meet the staffing requirements and to not run afoul of Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, who runs the Office of Operations, and other top officials. That pressure, Cronin said, "trickles down" to the sergeants and lieutenants who handle patrol deployments.

Steve Soboroff, president of the Police Commission, acknowledged the pressure to meet the staffing levels, but said it could not excuse efforts to intentionally skew the deployment numbers.

Soboroff praised department leaders responding "strongly, without reservation" to the report's findings. Bustamante, too, noted in his report that senior officials responded swiftly.

The report highlighted an email from Paysinger, in which he instructed his senior staff to "be very clear that employing this type of feigned deployment practice is NOT permissible. If such a strategy is currently being utilized on any watch or in a specialized unit in your bureau, you shall cause it to be terminated immediately."

In July, when Cronin and other union officials first made public allegations about the use of ghost cars, the department opened an internal investigation in an effort to determine where in the department the practice was being used and who wa


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Probe of silencers leads to web of Pentagon secrets

By Craig Whitlock October 12 at 7:30 PM
The mysterious workings of a Pentagon office that oversees clandestine operations are unraveling in federal court, where a criminal investigation has exposed a secret weapons program entwined with allegations of a sweetheart contract, fake badges and trails of destroyed evidence.

Capping an investigation that began almost two years ago, separate trials are scheduled this month in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., for a civilian Navy intelligence official and a hot-rod auto mechanic from California who prosecutors allege conspired to manufacture an untraceable batch of automatic-rifle silencers.

The exact purpose of the silencers remains hazy, but court filings and pretrial testimony suggest they were part of a top-secret operation that would help arm guerrillas or commandos overseas.

The silencers — 349 of them — were ordered by a little-known Navy intelligence office at the Pentagon known as the Directorate for Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration, according to charging documents. The directorate is composed of fewer than 10 civilian employees, most of them retired military personnel.

Court records filed by prosecutors allege that the Navy paid the auto mechanic — the brother of the directorate’s boss — $1.6 million for the silencers, even though they cost only $10,000 in parts and labor to manufacture.

Much of the documentation in the investigation has been filed under seal on national security grounds. According to the records that have been made public, the crux of the case is whether the silencers were properly purchased for an authorized secret mission or were assembled for a rogue operation.

A former senior Navy official familiar with the investigation described directorate officials as “wanna-be spook-cops.” Speaking on the condition of anonymity because the case is still unfolding, he added, “I know it sounds goofy, but it was like they were building their own mini law enforcement and intelligence agency.”

The directorate is a civilian-run office that is supposed to provide back-office support and oversight for Navy and Marine intelligence operations. But some of its activities have fallen into a gray area, crossing into more active involvement with secret missions, according to a former senior Defense Department official familiar with the directorate’s work.

“By design, that office is supposed to do a little more than policy and programmatic oversight,” the former defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much of the directorate’s work is classified. “But something happened and it lost its way. It became a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, and I suspect deeper issues might be in play.”

Navy officials declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation and prosecution. “The Department of the Navy has fully cooperated with law enforcement since this investigation was initiated . . . and will continue to fully cooperate,” Cmdr. Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, said.

Missing evidence
Prosecutors have said that the silencers were acquired for a “special access program,” or a highly secretive military operation. A contracting document filed with the court stated that the silencers were needed to support a program code-named UPSTAIRS but gave no other details.

According to court papers filed by prosecutors, one directorate official told an unnamed witness that the silencers were intended for Navy SEAL Team 6, the elite commando unit that killed Osama bin Laden.

But representatives for SEAL Team 6 told federal investigators they had not ordered the silencers and did not know anything about them, according to the court papers.

Sorting out the truth has been made more difficult by the elimination of potential evidence.

At one pretrial hearing, a defense attorney for the auto mechanic, Mark S. Landersman of Temecula, Calif., accused the Navy of impeding the investigation by destroying a secret stash of automatic rifles that the silencers were designed to fit. Prosecutors immediately objected to further discussion in open court, calling it a classified matter.

The destroyed weapons were part of a stockpile of about 1,600 AK-47-style rifles that the U.S. military had collected overseas and stored in a warehouse in Pennsylvania, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

If the foreign-made weapons were equipped with unmarked silencers, the source said, the weapons could have been used by U.S. or foreign forces for special operations in other countries without any risk that they would be traced back to the United States.

A different source, a current senior Navy official, confirmed that an arsenal of AK-47-style rifles in a warehouse in Mechanicsburg, Pa., had been destroyed within the past year. But that official suggested the issue was a smokescreen, saying the weapons were being kept for a different purpose and that no program had existed to equip them with silencers.

In a separate move that eliminated more potential evidence, Navy security officers incinerated documents last year that they had seized from the directorate’s offices in the Pentagon, according to court records and testimony.

Two Navy security officers have testified that they stuffed the papers into burn bags and destroyed them on Nov. 15, 2013 — three days after The Washington Post published a front-page article about the unfolding federal investigation into the silencers.

One of the security officers said it did not occur to her that the documents should be preserved, despite Navy policies prohibiting the destruction of records that could be relevant to lawsuits or criminal investigations.

The officer, Francine Cox, acknowledged that she was aware the Navy directorate was under scrutiny and that she had read the Post article shortly before burning the documents. But she said she did not think the papers were important.

“I didn’t think the information we had was pertinent,” Cox testified at a pretrial hearing in July. “If you don’t tell me to hold onto something, I don’t have to hold onto it.”

Lee M. Hall, a Navy intelligence official who is charged with illegally purchasing the silencers and whose trial is scheduled to begin this month, argued that the burned material was crucial to his defense. He said the documents included handwritten notes and other papers showing the undersecretary of the Navy at the time had authorized the project.

“My notes would show I acted in good faith,” Hall testified at the July hearing.

Stuart Sears, an attorney for Hall, declined to comment.

District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema rejected a bid by Hall’s attorneys to dismiss the charges against him but was incredulous that the Navy had destroyed the documents.

“I don’t find any nefarious evidence, or evidence of bad intent, but it sure does look to the court like negligence,” she said.

On other occasions over the past year, Brinkema has questioned whether prosecutors were fully aware of what the Navy directorate was up to and whether they really wanted to expose its activities by taking the case to trial.

“We’re getting deeper and deeper into a morass,” she said at a hearing in March. “One of the things the government always has to think about is the cost-benefit analysis. At the end of the day, is this particular criminal prosecution worth the risk of having to disclose or reveal very sensitive information?”

An investigation snowballs
Suspicions about the Navy directorate surfaced in January 2013 when one of its officials appeared at a Defense Intelligence Agency office in Arlington and asked for a badge that would allow him to carry weapons on military property, according to statements made by prosecutors during pretrial hearings.

The directorate official, Tedd Shellenbarger, flashed a set of credentials stamped with the letters LEO — an acronym for “law enforcement officer” — even though his office dealt primarily with policy matters and lacked law enforcement powers, the former senior Navy official said.

Shellenbarger’s request prompt­ed the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to obtain a warrant to search the directorate’s offices at the Pentagon. Agents found badge materials and other documentation that led them to broaden their investigation, according to the former senior Navy official.

Shellenbarger and three other directorate officials were placed on leave, according to court records. Shellenbarger has not been charged and has since returned to work for the Navy. His attorney, David Deitch, indicated he might be called as a witness at Hall’s trial.

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Reply with quote  #113 
see link for full story


Video of an HPD Officer allegedly assaulting people in a game room

Oct 15, 2014 12:25 AM -

The video is clear. And now a key piece of evidence in an FBI investigation into a case of police brutality.

It was taken several weeks ago at a Honolulu game room, near Kapiolani Boulevard and Pensacola Street.

Police sources tell me Officer Vincent Morre punched one man sitting on a stool, and then kicked another man to the face before throwing a chair at him.

You can see on the video, neither man is resisting.

Officer Morre also appears to shove a woman near the door as he leaves.

That day, Morre and two others went to serve a warrant. They didn't find who they were looking for.

Morre is a 9-year veteran of the force. He is a member of the department's Crime Reduction Unit.

Morre is now on desk duty, his police powers have been removed while the federal investigation continues. His attorney spoke exclusively to Hawaii News Now about the case saying his client has not been arrested or charged and has not been contacted by the feds.

The other two men with Officer Morre that night are now under investigation by Internal Affairs. One, a long time reserve police officer, the other, a younge

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Reply with quote  #114 

see link for full story


Decision on LAPD detective's discipline poses major test for Beck
Charlie Beck
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, left, with Mayor Eric Garcetti, drew controversy for deciding to suspend rather than fire Officer Shaun Hillmann over racist remarks. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times)
By Kate Mather, Richard Winton contact the reporters
CrimeLaw EnforcementRacismLos Angeles Police Department
Frank Lyga described shooting a fellow officer, saying 'I could have killed a whole truckload of them'
Frank Lyga described attorney Carl Douglas as an 'ewok'
Frank Lyga's supporters say that he is genuinely remorseful

The veteran Los Angeles police detective took the floor at a training class for fellow officers and let loose an expletive-laden rant.

Frank Lyga claimed that he drove his Jeep in the carpool lane at 100 mph, called a prominent black civil rights attorney an "ewok," quipped that a female LAPD captain had been "swapped around a bunch of times" and described a lieutenant as a "moron."

Then he recalled his fatal 1997 shooting of a fellow officer, an incident that sparked racial tensions within the department because Lyga is white and the slain officer was black.

"I could have killed a whole truckload of them, and I would have been happy doing it," Lyga recounted telling an attorney representing the officer's family.
I could have killed a whole truckload of them, and I would have been happy doing it. - LAPD Det. Frank Lyga, on shooting a fellow officer

Nearly a year after Lyga gave his controversial training lecture, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck must choose whether to follow a disciplinary panel's recommendation issued this week to fire the detective or reduce his punishment and let him keep his job.

The decision presents the chief with one of his biggest tests since his August reappointment to a second five-year term and is likely to reignite criticism of how he handles officers' discipline. Beck has clashed with his civilian bosses and rank-and-file officers on the issue, with some accusing him of being inconsistent.

On Friday, black civil rights advocates called on Beck to fire Lyga, saying that the narcotics detective's comments were racist and sexist and should not be tolerated. Meanwhile, Lyga's supporters say that he is genuinely remorseful, and note that Beck recently rejected another disciplinary panel's recommendations to fire a well-connected officer who was caught uttering a racial slur.
lRelated LAPD disciplinary panel says controversial officer should be fired

L.A. Now
LAPD disciplinary panel says controversial officer should be fired

See all related

"This is a police chief's nightmare," said Merrick Bobb, a policing oversight expert.

Lyga's comments, he said, were particularly troubling because they were made in a teaching setting, where he was presented as a role model to fellow officers.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who heads the South Los Angeles-based Community Coalition, said he hopes that Beck quickly adopts the board's recommendations to fire Lyga. A lesser punishment, Harris-Dawson said, would threaten community relations that the LAPD has sought to improve in the last decade.

"The community isn't likely to accept anything less," he said.

Lyga, 57, has said he was deeply sorry for his remarks. His attorney said the detective read a statement to the three-person board of rights that heard the case, saying that his comments "were very wrong" and "hurtful to many people as well as the department."
Related story: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in the hot seat over horse deal
Related story: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in the hot seat over horse deal
Joel Rubin

"I have no excuse for what I did," he said, according to the statement, which the lawyer provided The Times. "The fact that I allowed myself to lose control will stay with me for the rest of my life."

After the disciplinary panel's recommendations are forwarded to Beck, he has 10 days to make his own decision on what punishment the officer will face, a department spokesman said. The chief then has five days to notify the Police Commission, the civilian board that oversees the LAPD.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Beck was out of town Friday. Smith declined to comment on Lyga's case, saying that matters of officers' discipline are confidential under state law.

@yourinnerghost Bratton did some good work back east in also in Los Angeles, but I would not put him on a pedestal quite yet. IMHO, the reason he did so well at NYPD the first time around is because prior to him, there was no accountability in the department (with the upper commanders) in...

11:28 AM October 18, 2014
Beck was blasted earlier this year over his decision to suspend instead of fire Officer Shaun Hillmann, who was caught on tape uttering a racial slur outside a Norco bar and later denied it to his supervisors. Critics accused the chief of giving Hillman favorable treatment because the officer's father and uncle worked for the department.

Lyga's remarks were recorded by someone attending the Nov. 15 training session, wh

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Reply with quote  #115 
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LAPD officer accused of faking military documents to get paid leave
By Richard Winton contact the reporter
CrimeTheftLos Angeles Police DepartmentArmy National Guard
LAPD officer arrested on suspicion of stealing public funds and using fake military documents for leave
LAPD veteran suspected of using fake military documents to get paid time off is charged with theft
LAPD officer accused of stealing $5,400 with fake military leave documents.

A veteran Los Angeles Police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges of stealing public funds related to allegedly submitting fictitous military leave documents on several occasions.

Christine Bulicz, a 15-year LAPD officer and a California Army National Guard member, is alleged to have submitted fake military documents that allowed her to take more than $5,400 worth of paid time off from the department, which she was not entitled otherwise, an LAPD news release said.

L.A. County prosecutors charged Bulicz on Monday with felony grand theft and attempted grand theft after an LAPD investigation, according to a district attorney's spokeswoman.

Bulicz was taken into custody Tuesday at police headquarters by LAPD detectives, according to the LAPD news release. She was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/t ... s-reissued

Two Reports About FBI's Use of National Security Letters Reissued
Even the reports that are supposed to provide transparency about the FBI's use of national security lettters (NSLs) are secret—or at least a couple dozen pages of them are. NSLs are nonjudicial orders that allow the FBI to obtain information from companies, without a warrant, about their customers’ use of services. They almost always contain a gag order, which prohibits recipients from even saying they've received the request.

Two Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports reviewing the FBI's use of NSLs from 2007 and 2008 were reissued earlier this week after having portions declassified. You can see the newly released versions of the 2007 report here and the 2008 report here.

Charlie Savage at the New York Times has reviewed and listed the changes. Some of them make sense. For example, one portion of the 2007 report masked references to a "Virginia Jihad network," which might have been redacted because of an ongoing investigation. But some of the previously classified portions are less explicable, such as the classification of the percentage of requests done under particular statutes. It's unclear what purpose keeping that number secret serves. What is clear is that excessive classification and redaction continue to get in the way of much-needed transparency around NSLs.

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Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh heading to trial
Commentary by Joe Iosbaker | November 1, 2014

Rasmea Odeh with Steven Salaita at University of Chicago. (FightBack!News/Staff)
Chicago, IL - Rasmea Odeh, the well-known activist in the Palestinian community of Chicago and target of persecution by the U.S. government, goes on trial Nov. 4.

Charged with immigration fraud, the case against her is based on the grounds that, in her application for citizenship ten years ago, she didn’t mention that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago. Her arrest was at the hands of the Israeli defense forces, which had illegally seized Palestinian territory. She was raped and tortured by her captors, and forced to sign a confession to stop the abuse. Then an Israeli military court found her guilty without due process and gave her a life sentence. She was released after ten years in a prisoner exchange.

Why does the Department of Justice uphold decisions made by Israel’s military court? The U.S. has a history of condemning military courts in other countries. And when President Obama recently spoke at the U.N., he lectured other world leaders that it was unacceptable today to occupy another nation’s land. Why doesn’t that apply to Israel’s occupation of Palestine?

U.S. backing of Israeli occupation

The U.S. government has always spoken out of both sides of its mouth. U.S. presidents tell the Palestinians they deserve their own state, but refuse to stop Israel’s thousands of illegal settlements in Palestinian areas. The Obama administration warns against countries that defy the ‘international community,’ but has vetoed almost every single United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

There’s no denying what is happening: Israel serves the interests of the U.S. elites in the Middle East. The Israeli regime couldn’t exist without the $3 billion a year in military aid it receives from the U.S. It serves the Pentagon as a landlocked aircraft carrier. The aid - and the unjust occupation of Palestine – are the price the U.S. is willing to pay to hold down the Arab and other peoples of the Middle East.

Standing with Israel is a constant refrain from every politician in Washington. For Rasmea Odeh, this means that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade’s office accepts the stance of the kangaroo court in Israel that convicted her.

Defeat of Judge Borman

The first judge assigned to hear her case was Paul Borman. Borman had many ties to Israel, having helped raise millions to support the apartheid government there. A campaign by the Rasmea Defense Committee called for Borman to recuse himself. At first refusing, he gave in when it was exposed that his family had partial ownership of the grocery store that was the target of the bombing that Rasmea was forced to confess to. This was a huge embarrassment for the federal court, which always denies that decisions are affected one way or the other by politics.

Borman’s recusal was a victory which rallied the spirits of Rasmea and her many supporters. It proved to the movement for justice for Rasmea and for Palestine that if we fight, we can win. It shows us that a great legal defense is required, but so is a group of supporters packing the courtroom each time Rasmea is there.

Judge Gershwin Drain

On Oct. 2, Rasmea appeared before the new judge, Gershwin Drain, where attorneys presented numerous motions. The first decision by Drain was not good. Attorney Michael Deutsch argued that the charges against Rasmea should be dismissed, showing how the case against her began with the illegal investigation of the group of 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists who were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in 2010. Drain agreed with the prosecution’s counter-argument, that the defense hadn’t proven its case.

Tom Burke of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) commented, “The U.S. government doesn’t want to admit its own crimes. It’s a fact that hundreds of Arabs and Muslims have been targeted by successive administrations only for being Arab or Muslim, or for loving their own people. The raids and subpoenas of the anti-war and international solidarity activists in 2010 were violations of our First Amendment rights.”

Although that decision went against Odeh, Hatem Abudayyeh of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) said, “Rasmea, her lawyers and her supporters sent a message to the court that there is a pattern of the Department of Justice abusing those involved in Palestine support work.”

Latest twist: Attack on our right to fight back

In early October, Prosecutor Jonathan Tukel launched an attack on the Rasmea Defense Committee and Hatem Abudayyeh. Tukel accused Rasmea’s supporters of jury tampering. He alleged that the rallies involving members of the Palestinian community and anti-war activists are “almost certainly criminal.” Tukel is asking for an “anonymous jury” - keeping the names of the jury secret from the public and from Rasmea’s defense attorneys. Tukel used an anonymous jury for the trial of the Underwear Bomber in 2009. The meaning of his motion could not be more clear: Odeh and her supporters are dangerous to the members of the jury.

This would be laughable if the impact wasn’t so terrible. In fact, this is an effort by the prosecution to tamper with the jury. Making jurors and prospective jurors operate in secret makes them think that they are in danger.

There is nothing violent in the efforts of her defense campaign. The only violence that impacts this trial is the inhumane brutality with which the Israeli military treated Odeh in 1969. With each passing day, more people and organizations that support civil liberties are adding their voices to oppose this latest move.

‘I believe that we will win’

This attack by the office of U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade points to one other thing: the movement that supports Rasmea is putting Israel on trial. Especially after the international outcry that responded to the massacres in Gaza this summer, Israel is seen worldwide as the brutal, apartheid regime that it is. Most people hear the ring of truth when they are told that Rasmea was viciously abused at the hands of Israel.

On Oct. 2, in front of the court house in Detroit, Muhammad Sankari of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network led Rasmea’s friends and neighbors in chanting, “I believe we will win.” One of the Palestinian women supporters raised her voice louder and said, “I believe we are winning.” It appears that McQuade and Tukel fear that to be true, and are acting to put an end to the trial in the court of public opinion, and are attempting to rig the outcome of the legal proceeding as well. The rising movement of support for Palestine – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign, the efforts for an arms embargo to stop companies like Boeing that provide the killing tools to Israel, the campus movement to defend critics of Israel like Professor Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois and the massive marches like those in Chicago that mobilized to halt the slaughter in Gaza – is in fact winning.

All out for Detroit

A major mobilization Is underway to pack the courtroom during Odeh’s Nov. 4 trial. “People from around the country will be coming to Detroit to support Rasmea. We will stand with her at her trial and demand Justice,” stated Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

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Denver pays $40k a month to suspended deputies under investigation

POSTED: 11/03/2014 05:24:55 PM MST4


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Journalists Accuse FBI Employee of Being out of Control and Striking Them With Her Car at National Press Club

WASHINGTON — An FBI employee at headquarters is being accused by two Voice of America journalists in Washington of road rage that included intentionally striking them with her car and carrying one a short distance on her hood, the Washington Examiner reports.

The paper reports that a lawsuit filed Monday by Thomas Bagnall and William Greenback is asking for $1 million each.

The lawsuit stated that the two were unloading a television camera and other equipment from their sport utility vehicle in front of the National Press Club on 14th Street NW in downtown Washington on March 23 when Joy Ellen Mullinax, who works as a support staffer in Human Resources, at the bureau, pulled up behind them in her 2003 Hyundai Accent, according to the Examiner. Greenback was inside the car while Bagnall unloaded equipment, the paper reported.

After pulling up, Mullinax blew her horn and yelled and Bagnall told her to go around, the suit said, according to the Examiner.

“Mullinax accelerated and struck Bagnall, who spun around and screamed in pain,” the paper reported. ” Greenback got out of the SUV and yelled at Mullinax to stop because she had struck his colleague.”

“Mullinax gunned her engine, each time moving closer to Greenback, eventually pinning Greenback between her car and another car which had stopped in traffic. She then hit the gas again, striking Greenback and throwing him onto the hood of the car,” the paper reported. ” Mullinax’s vehicle then bumped into a 2006 Chevy Trail Blazer driven by Jeneer Beer, who was already on the phone calling 911, according to the lawsuit.”

Millinax was given a ticket for changing lanes without cautions.

- See more at: http://www.ticklethewire.com/2011/04/05/journalists-sue-fbi-employee-for-road-rage-and-striking-them-with-her-car-at-national-press-club/#sthash.ABCLLcli.dpuf


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Damning report slams NOPD response to sex crimes

A new investigative report could shatter the city's already shaken faith in the way the New Orleans Police Department handles sex crimes.

see link for full story


NEW ORLEANS – A new investigative report could shatter the city's already shaken faith in the way the New Orleans Police Department handles sex crimes.

The city's inspector general found that five detectives who were assigned to nearly 1,300 calls alleging sexual assault in a three year period, failed to follow up on an astonishing 86 percent of them.

And in some of the most shocking findings by Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux's investigators, detectives at times ignored or misrepresented DNA evidence and medical reports; created backdated follow-up reports years later when questioned about the absence of those reports; and, in the case of one detective, even told people that sex with an incapacitated woman should not be a crime.

One detective, identified by NOPD as Akron Davis, also failed to follow up on 11 of 13 cases of child abuse, including at least two cases involving infants with head trauma.

"These failures do have serious human consequences for all, and 15 involve children," Quatrevaux said. "These revelations suggest an indifference to citizens that won't be tolerated and they offend all of the good police officers who work diligently to enforce the law."

The new report adds disturbing detail to the picture of an NOPD sex crimes unit that former Police Chief Ronal Serpas acknowledged had a historical tendency to look for ways to disprove rape allegations rather than attempting to back them up.

Serpas replaced the sex-crimes unit leadership in 2013, and new Chief Michael Harrison says he has now revamped the unit again. Asked what will be different this time, he said NOPD is making a concerted effort to change the culture of the unit and improve training.

The five detectives in the report made up nearly a third of the 16 detectives in the Special Victims Section, and four of them made up half of the sex-crimes unit. Harrison vowed to keep closer tabs on whether the new leadership is tracking the work of the detectives left in the unit from here on out.

Harrison joined Quatrevaux at a morning news conference to say he found the report's findings "disturbing" and had launched a full Public Integrity Bureau investigation into the actions of the five detectives, all of whom have been reassigned to patrol duty pending the probe. Harrison said there may be administrative violations involved and that the backdated reports could constitute a crime, injuring public records.

The new report also buttresses the IG's audit findings from May that already questioned if large percentages of sex crimes were being improperly downgraded.

Following up on the audit that sampled 90 cases in the spring, Quatrevaux's office focused in on the five detectives who were assigned to cases in that sample that lacked key documentation.

Expanding their review to all 1,290 sex-crime-related calls for service that were assigned to those five detectives between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2013, investigators found that 840 cases, or 65 percent of the calls, were classified as "miscellaneous incidents," not sex crimes, and closed without follow-up.

The remaining 35 percent, or 450 calls, were classified as actual sex-crime cases, but more than half of those didn't include any follow-up reporting either.

In all, the detectives produced follow-up reports on only 179 of the 1,290 sex-crime-related calls for service assigned to them – 14 percent.

Derrick Williams and Vernon Haynes
Derrick Williams and Vernon Haynes(Photo: NOPD)
The IG report does not name the five detectives, identifying them simply as Detectives A, B, C, D and E, but the New Orleans Police Department later identified them after a press conference to discuss the IG report. Detective A was identified as Akron Davis, Detective B as Vernon Haynes, Detective C as Merrill Merricks, Detective D as Damita Williams and Detective E as Derrick Williams.

In the IG report, two of them -- the ones later identified as Merrill Merricks and Derrick Williams -- failed to file any follow-up reports or information on more than 85 percent of their cases in 2011-2013 that were actually classified as sex crimes, the report says.

The report also says that shortly after investigators questioned why certain follow-up reports for those two detectives' cases were missing, Merricks and Derrick Williams created new reports and dated them as if they were produced two and three years earlier. The IG's chief investigator, former FBI agent Howard Schwartz, said the detectives created the backdated reports on the exact same day in 2013. Chief Harrison said that could be criminal if it's proven to have been done intentionally.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office intends to look into the matter, spokesman Christopher Bowman said. But the DA's office may have its own issues. The DA's chief investigator is Kirk Bouyelas, who was the NOPD deputy

it sent the wrong rape kit, but got no response.
Wrote a supplemental report dated in 2010 and another dated in 2011, but created both of those computerized reports on the same day in 2013, shortly after the IG asked for them.

Nov. 12, 2014,

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Scott Camil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scott Camil (born May 19, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, United States) is a noted ... Recognized by the FBI as an "extremist and key activist," Camil was on ...
Scott Camil lay bleeding on a Gainesville Street. .... documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI was keeping tabs on Camil and referred ...
In 1970, the FBI tried to kill him. They failed. Scott Camil still believes in government and wants to make it better. ... Scott Camil used to kill people for a living.
Scott Camil | Facebook
Scott Camil is on Facebook. Join Facebook to connect with Scott Camil and others you may know. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the. ..
SCOTT CAMIL ARCHIVE -- (John Kerry's would-be assassin ...
Mar 22, 2004 - In 1971, Scott Camil, a Vietnam Vet who was radicalized by Jane Fonda ... The revelation of the FBI files has recently caused the Kerry 2004 ..

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court affirms ex-FBI agent’s convictions
see link for full story

Friday, November 21, 2014

- A federal appeals court has upheld the fraud and conspiracy convictions of an investment adviser who used his background as an FBI agent to win clients’ trust and then stole about $1.3 million from them.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that there was “more than sufficient evidence” to support the convictions of John Robert Graves of Fredericksburg. Graves was se

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/21/appeals-court-affirms-ex-fbi-agents-convictions/#ixzz3JkzU0wL4
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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see link for partial story
taxpayer tab for civil lawsuit
soon to follow


Woman ruled innocent in 1997 slaying; payment for prison time expected
Declared innocent
“I feel like I have wings now,” Susan Mellen, with nephew David Mellen, said outside court in Torrance after a judge ruled she was factually innocent of a slaying for which she had served 17 years.

Judge rules woman freed after 17 years is factually innocent of murder in 1997 slaying
Innocence ruling in murder case means woman is due compensation of $100 for each day in prison, about $600,000
A woman freed last month after 17 years behind bars for murder was declared factually innocent Friday by a Los Angeles County judge.

"I'm sorry for what happened to you," Judge Mark S. Arnold told Susan Mellen after he issued his ruling in a Torrance courtroom. "It is my wish that you have a happy life … and I suspect this is going to be a far better Thanksgiving than the ones you've had previously."

Declared innocent
Attorney Deirdre O'Connor, left, says Susan Mellen, center, is looking into a possible civil suit after being declared innocent of murder after 17 years in prison. With them is David Mellen, Susan Mellen’s nephew. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Arnold's ruling paves the way for Mellen, 59, to receive compensation from the state of $100 for each day she was wrongfully imprisoned — about $600,000. Mellen can also legally answer "no" when asked whether she has ever been charged with a serious crime, and can request that her records be destroyed
"I feel like I'm flying and having a new adventure," Mellen said outside the courthouse. "I feel like I have wings now."

Arnold's apology, she said, took her by surprise and added to her feelings of gratitude for the judge who ordered her Oct. 10 release.

Since then, Mellen has been living with her oldest daughter and son-in-law and their two children. She sleeps on a pull-out sofa in the living

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take your time, you got
plenty of time to
shut down the" bureau"

down here in the whisper stream
we call it a death squad
what do you call it?

see link for what your tax dime funds

The FBI: America’s Secret Police

We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.—President Harry S. Truman

Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation tactics. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment schemes.

These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America, yet it’s the secret police—tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear—who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.

Every regime has its own name for its secret police: Mussolini’s OVRA carried out phone surveillance on government officials. Stalin’s NKVD carried out large-scale purges, terror and depopulation. Hitler’s Gestapo went door to door ferreting out dissidents and other political “enemies” of the state. And in the U.S., it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation that does the dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government, or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work.

Indeed, a far cry from the glamorized G-men depicted in Hollywood film noirs and spy thrillers, the government’s henchmen have become the embodiment of how power, once acquired, can be so easily corrupted and abused.

Case in point: the FBI is being sued after its agents, lacking sufficient evidence to acquire a search warrant, disabled a hotel’s internet and then impersonated Internet repair technicians in order to gain access to a hotel suite and record the activities of the room’s occupants. Justifying the warrantless search as part of a sting on internet gambling, FBI officials insisted that citizens should not expect the same right to privacy in the common room of a hotel suite as they would at home in their bedroom.

Far from being tough on crime, FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers. In fact, in addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts. USA Today estimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.

In a stunning development reported by The Washington Post, a probe into misconduct by an FBI agent has resulted in the release of at least a dozen convicted drug dealers from prison. Several suspects awaiting trial have also been freed, and more could be released as the unnamed agent’s caseload comes under scrutiny. As the Post reports: “The scope and type of alleged misconduct by the agent have not been revealed, but defense lawyers involved in the cases described the mass freeing of felons as virtually unprecedented—and an indication that convictions could be in jeopardy. Prosecutors are periodically faced with having to drop cases over police misconduct, but it is unusual to free those who have been found guilty.”

In addition to procedural misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, the FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, and harassment.

For example, the Associated Press recently lodged a complaint with the Dept. of Justice after learning that FBI agents created a fake AP news story and emailed it, along with a clickable link, to a bomb threat suspect in order to implant tracking technology onto his computer and identify his location. Lambasting the agency, AP attorney Karen Kaiser railed, “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation.”

Then again, to those familiar with COINTELPRO, an FBI program created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government considers politically objectionable, it should come as no surprise that the agency has mastered the art of government disinformation.

The FBI has been particularly criticized in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks for targeting vulnerable individuals and not only luring them into fake terror plots but actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions.”

Another fallout from 9/11, National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose the demands. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread violations.

The FBI’s surveillance capabilities, on a par with the National Security Agency, boast a nasty collection of spy tools ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls. In one case, the FBI actually managed to remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.”

Now the FBI is seeking to expand its already invasive hacking powers to allow agents to hack into any computer, anywhere in the world. As journalist Brett Wilkins warns:

If the proposed rule change is approved, the FBI would have the power to unleash “network investigative techniques” against computers anywhere in the world, allowing the agency to secretly install malware and spyware on any computer, effectively allowing it to control that computer and all its stored information. The FBI could download all the computer’s digital contents, switch its camera or microphone on or off and even control other computers in its network.

And then there’s James Comey, current director of the FBI, who knows enough to say all the right things about the need to abide by the Constitution, all the while his agency routinely discards it. Comey has this idea that the government’s powers shouldn’t be limited, especially when it comes to carrying out surveillance on American citizens. Responding to reports that Apple and Google are creating smart phones that will be more difficult to hack into, Comey has been lobbying Congress and the White House to force technology companies to keep providing the government with backdoor access to Americans’ cell phones.

It’s not all Comey’s fault, though. This transformation of the FBI into a secret police force can be traced back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover. As author Anthony S. Summers points out, it was Hoover who “built the first federal fingerprint bank, and his Identification Division would eventually offer instant access to the prints of 159 million people. His Crime Laboratory became the most advanced in the world.”

Eighty years after Hoover instituted the FBI’s first fingerprint “database”—catalogued on index cards, no less—the agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime. This is what’s known as pre-crime.

If it were just about fighting the “bad guys,” that would be one thing. But as countless documents make clear, the FBI has a long track record of abusing its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate dissidents of all stripes. It’s an old tactic, used effectively by former authoritarian regimes.

In fact, as historian Robert Gellately documents, the Nazi police state was repeatedly touted as a model for other nations to follow, so much so that Hoover actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police. As Gellately noted, “[A]fter five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”

Indeed, so impressed was the FBI with the Nazi order that, as the New York Times recently revealed, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen, brought them to America, hired them on as spies and informants, and then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

So not only have American taxpayers have been paying to keep ex-Nazis on the government payroll for decades but we’ve been subjected to the very same tactics used by the Third Reich: surveillance, militarized police, overcriminalization, and a government mindset that views itself as operating outside the bounds of the law.

Yet as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, it’s no coincidence that the similarities between the American police state and past totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany grow more pronounced with each passing day. This is how freedom falls, and tyrants come to power.

Suffice it to say that when and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America: how a nation that once abided by the rule of law and held the government accountable for its actions has steadily devolved into a police stat

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Feds recommend prison time for former Phila. Traffic Court judges

Friday, November 28, 2014, 5:11 PM

Federal prosecutors are expected to push next week for substantial prison terms for four former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges convicted of felony counts for lying about fixing tickets, despite

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141129_Feds_recommend_prison_time_for_former_Phila__Traffic_Court_judges.html#ltThT8j5qRt2g2cj.99

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see link for full story


Former Youngstown city worker and FBI agent jailed

Posted: Dec 04, 2014 2:21 PM EST

After lengthy legal battles, a former Youngstown city employee who was at one time an FBI agent has been sent to jail.

A visiting judge sitting in Youngstown Municipal Court ordered on Wednesday that 49-year-old Sheila Lawson immediately begin serving a 100 day sentence in the Mahoning County Jail.

The judge found that Lawson, a former Youngstown Municipal Court administrator, violated terms of probation for an earlier conviction of domestic violence.

In March 2012, Lawson was arrested for hitting her father during an argument at their Youngstown home. She was convicted of domestic violence the following September and sentenced to 100 days in jail.

The Seventh District Court of Appeals subsequently denied Lawson's appeal of the misdemeanor conviction in March, and the Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear the case in July.

Lawson served as Youngstown Municipal Court administrator from December 2008 until March 2009, when she was terminated.

According to documents filed in connection with a federal civil suit that Lawson filed against the city when she was fired from her court job, 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.

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see link for full story


“I lied” »
* Senate Torture Report: KSM wrote bin al-Shibh a letter referencing “Jafar the Pilot” and indicating that “Jafar” “ought to prepare himself” to smuggle himself from Mexico ; the letter was seized in September 2002
Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 10, 2014

This entry was posted on December 10, 2014 at 7:40 am         and is filed under Uncategorized. Tagged: bin al-Shibh, KSM, Senate Torture Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
6 Responses to “* Senate Torture Report: KSM wrote bin al-Shibh a letter referencing “Jafar the Pilot” and indicating that “Jafar” “ought to prepare himself” to smuggle himself from Mexico ; the letter was seized in September 2002”
DXer said

December 10, 2014 at 8:29 am
Adnan El-Shukrijumah’s mom, who said he called her on or about 9/11 to tell her he was coming to the United States, said he was a “good boy” and just wanted to wake up the United States — to cause alarm.

Indeed, as I have often pointed out over the years, the Al Qaeda manual has a chapter on “Poisonous Letters” that instructs the mailer to take care not to kill the mailman.

CNN.com – Transcripts
Nov 15, 2001 … Target: Terrorism: Look at Al Qaeda’s Dreadful Recipe Book … and was given three chapters of the manual, in order to prove it’s existence. … The poisonous letteris the title of one section no poison inks. … “Wipe the envelope from the inside with silicone sealant,” it goes on, “so it would not kill the mailman.

DXer said

December 10, 2014 at 11:35 am
In contrast to his mom’s view of him as a good boy, CIA analysts viewed him as a very baaaaad boy judging by the way KSM seemed to be protecting him.

It was the extremely virulent Ames strain of anthrax that the mailer used. The strain killed elderly Ottilie Lundgren.

“Additionally, the Ames strain is highly virulent in humans (36) and is most likely to be the basis of any weaponized strain (37, 38).”

“Pathology and pathophysiology of inhalational anthrax in a guinea pig model.”

Savransky V, Sanford DC, Syar E, Austin JL, Tordoff KP, Anderson MS, Stark GV, Barnewall RE, Briscoe CM, Lemiale-Biérinx L, Park S, Ionin B, Skiadopoulos MH.

Infect Immun. 2013 Apr;81(4):1152-63. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01289-12. Epub 2013 Jan 28

As indicated by the email I uploaded recently from Bruce Ivins, the Ames strain was used for the DARPA project precisely because a 1996 study had indicated that it was so virulent.

Then a formal study was done by Battelle in 2001 — which was uploaded in two parts — comparing Ames to two weaponized strains. (Confidence intervals had not previously been sufficient for the conclusions as to virulence.) The Battelle study is in the USAMRMC Reading Room in two parts.

DXer said

December 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm
Bruce Ivins and Arthur Friedlander fielded claims by a New Yorker journalist about the particular virulence of the Ames strain.

The study that prompted Ivins to know of Ames special virulence was done by Steve Little and Greg Knudson.


“Regarding the discovery of the virulence of the Ames strain (isolate, as you will), you tell me that it was the work of Little and Knudson that recognized the particular virulence of the Ames strain. I’m guessing that their work was done at/in association with USAMRIID? And, what was the context of their study (looking for a virulent strain to use in vaccine challenges, etc)?


Yes, it was done at USAMRIID. They were doing studies with strains of B. anthracis at USAMRIID in an attempt to determine if any strains/isolates, in the guinea pig model, would overcome vaccination with the human vaccine.”

Note: The usual redactions have been turned off for your convenience.

DXer said

December 10, 2014 at 7:47 am
There’s a document in the Sarasota FOIA suit which I believe says it is known El-Shukrijumah travelled to the US in September 2001. I have uploaded it.

Al Qaida figure’s death complicates Sarasota-linked 911 probe,” Miami-Dade County, 12/09/2014


The “probe” relates to a lawsuit under FOIA. Shukrijumah’s death eliminates the (b)(6) exemption for privacy. On whatever document his name appears, his name, IMO, should now appear unredacted.

I would argue that it also eliminates the justification for any national security or law enforcement exemption under FOIA.

DXer said

December 10, 2014 at 7:54 am
In Sarasota investigation, who was the person associated with the hijackers’ flight school who was discovered to have re-entered the country after 9/11?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 21, 2014


DXer said

December 10, 2014 at 8:02 am
In her foreword to the Senate Torture Report, Senator Feinstein has said they will continue working on declassification of more of 6, 000 + pages — but did not want to hold up release of the 600 page Executive Summary. One document that should be released is the letter from KSM to Ramzi bin Al-Shibh instructing Ramzi to have Jafar the Pilot prepare for travel.

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see link for full story


DECEMBER 11, 2014

What the APA Knew
The Complicity of Psychologists in CIA Torture
Earlier this week the Senate Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited executive summary of its 6,000-page classified report on the CIA’s brutal post-9/11 detention and interrogation program. The report provides gruesome details of the abuse that took place in several “black site” prisons – waterboarding, confinement in a coffin-sized box, threatened harm to family members, forced nudity, freezing temperatures, “rectal feeding” without medical need, stress positions, diapering, days of sleep deprivation, and more. The report also found that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” were ineffective; that the CIA misrepresented their effectiveness; and that the program damaged the standing of the United States around the world.

Two names appear dozens of times in the committee’s summary: Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar. These are the pseudonyms that were given to James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. It has been known for several years that these two contract psychologists played central roles in designing and implementing the CIA’s torture program. Now we also know how lucrative that work was for Mitchell and Jessen: their company was paid over $80 million by the CIA.

Prior to their CIA contract work, Mitchell and Jessen were psychologists in the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training program. Even though they had no experience as interrogators, spoke no Arabic, and had no expert knowledge of al-Qaeda, they were hired by the CIA in late 2001 to reverse-engineer SERE principles and transform them into a set of new and more aggressive interrogation techniques. Mitchell and Jessen arrived at the CIA black site in Thailand in April 2002 and applied those harsh techniques for the first time in their interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian national thought to be a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda. They kept Zubaydah naked for almost two months, with his clothes provided or removed depending on how cooperative he was judged to be. They deprived him of sleep for weeks at a time by painful shackling of his wrists and feet. And in August 2002 they waterboarded him at least 83 times.

Responding to the new Senate report, the American Psychological Association (APA) was quick to issue a press release distancing itself from Mitchell and Jessen. The statement emphasized that the two psychologists are not APA members – although Mitchell was a member until 2006 – and that they are therefore “outside the reach of the association’s ethics adjudication process.” But there is much more to this story. After years of stonewalling and denials, last month the APA Board appointed an investigator to examine allegations that the APA colluded with the CIA and Pentagon in supporting the Bush Administration’s abusive “war on terror” detention and interrogation practices.

The latest evidence of that collusion comes from the publication earlier this fall of James Risen’s Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. With access to hundreds of previously undisclosed emails involving senior APA staff, the Pulitzer-prize winning reporter concludes that the APA “worked assiduously to protect the psychologists…involved in the torture program.” The book also provides several new details pointing to the likelihood that Mitchell and Jessen were not so far removed from the APA after all.

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, APA member and CIA head of behavioral research Kirk Hubbard first introduced Mitchell and Jessen to the CIA as “potential assets.” A few months later, in mid-2002, Hubbard arranged for former APA president Martin Seligman to present a lecture on his theories of “learned helplessness” to a group that included Mitchell and Jessen at the Navy SERE School in San Diego. And in 2003 Hubbard worked closely with APA senior staff in developing an invitation-only workshop – co-sponsored by the APA and the CIA – on the science of deception and other interrogation-related topics. Mitchell and Jessen were both participants (having returned from overseas where they were involved in the waterboarding of detainees Abu Zabaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed).

Then, in mid-2004, shortly after the horrific Abu Ghraib photos were released, Hubbard was among a small group of senior CIA and Pentagon officials who received an invitation to a private meeting from APA Ethics Office Director Stephen Behnke. According to emails obtained by Risen, one key reason for the gathering was to “sort out appropriate from inappropriate uses of psychology” in national security settings. In extending the invitation, Behnke assured Hubbard and the other attendees that their names and the substance of their discussions would never be made public, and that “in the meeting we will neither assess nor investigate the behavior of any specific individual or group” (presumably including the activities of Mitchell and Jessen).

That private meeting was the springboard that led to the creation of the APA’s controversial 2005 Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS). The PENS task force was dominated by representatives from the military and intelligence community, several of whom were drawn from chains of command where detainee abuses reportedly took place. The task force held a single weekend meeting and then issued a report asserting that it was ethical for psychologists to serve in various national security-related roles, including as consultants to detainee interrogations.

Although Hubbard was not a member of the PENS task force, he played an influential role. Indeed, according to Risen, within days of the release of the PENS report in July 2005, Hubbard received an email from Geoff Mumford, APA’s Science Policy Director. In that letter Mumford thanked Hubbard for his “personal contribution…in getting this effort off the ground” and assured him that his views “were well represented by very carefully selected [PENS] task force members.” A month before receiving that note of appreciation, Hubbard had emailed Mumford and other colleagues to let them know that he had retired from the CIA. In the same message Hubbard also told them about his new job: “Now I do some consulting work for Mitchell and Jessen Associates.”

These troubling connections – between Mitchell and Jessen, Hubbard, and the APA – represent only a single trail in what must be a broad and thorough investigation of possible collusion and corruption within the world’s largest organization of psychologists. Other evidence suggests that the abhorrent actions of two highly paid CIA contractors were by no means the only instances in which the profession’s do-no-harm principles were tragically abandoned. So while this week’s grim Senate report provides important answers to crucial questions, for the psychology profession there is much more yet to be illuminated.

Roy Eidelson is a clinical psychologist and the president of Eidelson Consulting, where he studies, writes about, and consults on the role of psychological issues in political, organizational, and group conflict settings. He is a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, associate director of the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr College, and a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology.

Trudy Bond is a counseling psychologist in independent practice in Toledo, Ohio. She is a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and on the steering committee of Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

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call the office of the Mayor and City Manager
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Texas police officer uses stun gun on 76-year-old during routine traffic stop
Local police chief announces investigation into Nathaniel Robinson’s use of stun gun, after pulling mechanic over for a class C misdemeanour

Monday 15 December 2014 13.45 EST


A Texas police officer is under investigation for using a stun gun on a 76-year-old mechanic he had pulled over for an expired inspection certificate.

In dashboard-cam footage uploaded by local newspaper the Victoria Advocate, officer Nathaniel Robinson, who is 23, can be seen slamming Pete Vasquez on to the hood of the police car. He then puts him in a restrictive hold, before the two abruptly fall out of the camera’s field of vision.

Soon after, Robinson returns into sight holding his stun gun, shouting “put your hands behind your back.”

Police later confirmed the stun gun had been used twice on Vasquez.

The car was a dealer vehicle, and so Vasquez was exempt from being cited. If he had been cited, an expired inspection certificate is a class C misdemeanour.

The Victoria police chief, Jeffrey Craig, told the Advocate that he was opening an investigation into the incident. “Public trust is extremely important to us. Sometimes that means you have to take a real hard look at some of the actions that occur within the department,” he said. Craig also apologised to Vasquez.

Larry Urich, a co-worker of Vasquez who witnessed the incident, told the Guardian that he made Robinson aware that the car had dealer plates, and that the expired sticker was not a violation. He said he had called Robinson a “goddamned Nazi stormtrooper”.

“It’s a tragedy,” Urich said. “There was absolutely no reason to grab and try and restrain this 76-year-old guy. This was a muscled-up cop who was in absolutely no distress whatsoever.” Urich said that he saw Vasquez Sunday evening, and that his shoulder, back and arm were hurting. “I’ve known the guy for years,” he said. “He’s a nice, sweet, gentle man. I’ve never seen him be smart-aleck, or rude to anyone.”

Urich said that he had the utmost respect for the Victoria police department, but that in his opinion this should be a firing offence for Robinson. “You just don’t do this to senior citizens.”

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see link for full story


Grimm expected to plead guilty

Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., is expected to appear in a Brooklyn federal court Tuesday to plead guilty in a tax fraud case that shadowed his successful re-election bid earlier this year, said a person with knowledge of the case but who declined to comment publicly.

A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen.
The congressman, named in a 20-count April indictment, was charged with failing to report more than $1 million in restaurant sales and wages as a former owner of a Manhattan fast-food business. He is expected to plead guilty to one count of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.
A former FBI agent

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FBI — Leadership Spotlight: Emotional Triggers in Decision Making
Dec 10, 2013 - Dr. Abigail Stonerock, currently an instructor in the Law Enforcement Development Unit at the FBI Academy, prepared this Leadership Spotlight.
FBI — 2013 Subject and Author Index
“Emotional Triggers in Decision Making,” Abigail Stonerock, December. “Humane Leadership,” Beth Coleman, January. “Impacting Job Satisfaction Through ...
Richland Area Chamber of Commerce accepting nominations ...
12 hours ago - This year's guest speaker is Dr. Abigail Stonerock former FBI agent and the new Director of Faculty Development for the Virginia Community ...
Judd Ray | LinkedIn
Springfield, Virginia - ‎Law Enforcement Professional
Previous. Self-employed,; FBI. Education. Troy University ... Supervisory Special Agent. FBI. 1980 – 2004 (24 years) ... Abby Stonerock. -- ...
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Washington D.C. Metro Area - ‎Senior Crisis Management & Threat Analysis Professional
Thirty-one year FBI Supervisory Special Agent veteran with expertise in: • Threat Analysis • International Operations • Counterterrorism .... Abby Stonerock. -- ...
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Fredericksburg, Virginia - ‎Law Enforcement Professional
Previous. FBI. 112connections ... Supervisory Special Agent. FBI. 1982 – 2013 ( 31 years). Skills. Evidence; Law ... Abby Stonerock. --. LinkedIn member directory ...
VCCS Office Of Professional Development
Contact Us! Dr. Abigail Stonerock / astonerock@vccs.edu / (804) 819-5393. Nancy Harris / nharris@vccs.edu / (804) 819-4687. Gareth Bromser-Kloeden ...
Missing: fbi
VCCS Welcomes New Director for Professional Development
Jan 10, 2014 - Dr. Abigail Stonerock joins the VCCS as the director of faculty development. Abby will direct the work of the VCCS Office of Professional ...
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[PDF]Report 20130711 FB Glynco.pdf - fleta
Jul 11, 2013 - Fuller, Jeffrey M. Executive Director. CBP. Harris, Owen. Assistant Director. FBI. ✓ ... OJT Assessors Cedric Tate and Dr. Abigail Stonerock.

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Pepper-spray trooper returns to full duty
Saturday, December 27, 2014
A state trooper on restricted duty since a cellphone video surfaced online showing him pepper-spraying a protester has been returned to full duty after repeated attempts to contact the alleged victim were unsuccessful, a spokesman said.

“The state police have consistently expressed an interest in this individual’s version of the events as well as viewing any additional video he may have from the incident. Absent his cooperation, a fair and complete assessment of the incident remains incomplete,” state police spokesman David Procopio said. “The trooper ... was recently returned to full duty. The department’s internal investigation is ongoing.”

Kin Moy, 24, told the Herald earlier this month he was filming an arrest during a peaceful Dec. 4 protest when he was pepper-sprayed by the statie. Repeated at

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FBI Has Either Lied to Public About Its Drone Program or Inaccurately Defended Need for Secrecy
By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday January 6, 2015 4:11 pm        

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has been pursuing a lawsuit against the FBI for records on the agency’s drone program. A recent filing in the case suggests the FBI has either lied to the public about the scope of its drone program or it has inaccurately defended the need to keep documents secret.

CREW, an organization that describes itself as being committed to “high-impact legal actions to target government officials who sacrifice common good to special interests,” filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records after then-FBI Director Robert Mueller revealed the FBI was operating a secret drone program in June 2013.

The request asked for records that would show: “the source or sources of all drones used by the FBI from January 1, 2009, to the present”; the “funding source for all drones used by the FBI from January 1, 2009, to the present”; “who provided the FBI with any training to enable the FBI to use drones”; “policy concerning the FBI’s use of drones for any purpose, including but not limited to the legal justification for such use and any memoranda of understanding between the FBI or [Justice Department] and any other government agency.”

According to CREW [PDF], the FBI responded to court orders and processed “6,720 non-duplicative pages of documents, releasing only 1,970—most of which contained extensive redactions—and withholding the rest.” The FBI cited four exemptions to justify keeping most of the records secret.

When Mueller spoke about the FBI’s drone program, he said it was used “in a very, very minimal way and very seldom.” The FBI, he claimed, had “very few” drones. They were apparently used sparingly for missions involving drugs, kidnappings, search and rescue operations and hunts for fugitives. However, the government now asserts that disclosing records on a domestic drone program will “enable hostile entities to assess United States intelligence gathering activities in or about a foreign country.”

The government and CREW are now seeking a decision from the judge on whether the records have been appropriately withheld under FOIA or not.

CREW argues in response to the government, “It is difficult, if not impossible, to understand how the FBI’s domestic drone
program even intersects with foreign intelligence activities, sources, or methods of the United States, much less how information from the program about the source and funding of the drones, training for drone use, and drone policies could cause actual harm to those interests if disclosed.”

The Justice Department maintains [PDF] the FBI must keep the identity of the vendor, which has provided the FBI with drone technology, secret because “simply identifying the FBI’s equipment source or UAV items intended to be procured (or actually purchased) would reveal information regarding the FBI’s surveillance techniques and capabilities.”

Though the FBI argues that the disclosure of certain documents “would provide criminals and terrorists with a virtual ‘playbook’ on how to evade the FBI’s use” of drones, CREW contends that the FBI has not demonstrated that “operational capabilities and equipment specifications” are not already “generally known to the public.” Much information is already in the public domain. In fact, “manufacturers of drones,” such as General Atomics, “provide a large amount of information on their products’ capabilities.” And even the US Air Force has posted to its website details on the “operational capabilities of its drones.”

It is improper for the FBI to suggest that identities of vendors or drone suppliers are at all covered by the FOIA exemption protecting “law enforcement techniques.” Such a suggestion twists the exemption to make it possible for the FBI to keep all its dealing with corporations supplying drone technology secret so as not to face any public scrutiny at all.

Multiple times the FBI makes claims about foreign entities or foreign intelligence agents posing a threat if they obtain any of these records:

…Permitting specific details to be released on the [drone] program’s equipment, operational capabilities, limitations, training, and funding would enable criminals outside the controlled, classified environment to provide foreign entities and operatives with key information that could be used in countermeasure efforts…

… The withheld information is under control of the United States Government, and contains information regarding intelligence activities, sources or methods and/or foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, all of which are authorized bases for classification [under Executive Order 13526]…

…Due to the delicate nature of international diplomacy, disclosure of this sensitive information could jeopardize the fragile relationships that exist between the United States and certain foreign governments. Moreover, the unauthorized disclosure of information concerning foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States can reasonably be expected to lead to curtailment in the diplomatic or law enforcement sharing of intelligence and/or new investigative equipment advancements…

All of which is intended to amplify fear in the mind of the judge hearing this case.

These statements also raise key questions about the FBI’s drone program and how confined it really is to the domestic United States. For example, how could records on policies or certain technology used to rescue kidnapped Americans in the US impact relationships with foreign countries? Or, how could a program used sparingly be so threatening to US diplomacy if basic details were shared with the public?

What the government refuses to accept is that CREW is only demanding the release of general information. It does not want specific records on specific technical operations. But the Justice Department seems to deliberately misconstrue the nature of CREW’s request for records in order to make the organization seem unreasonable.

CREW states, “The FBI has thrown a blanket of secrecy over a program that is of critical public importance and that raises
fundamental questions about whether the government is abiding by the constitutional rights of its citizens. Yet despite these concerns, drone use domestically has increased exponentially, even though we do not yet have the appropriate controls and safeguards in place.”

The FBI is not the sole agency responsible for allowing this proliferation without regard for civil liberties. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has a flourishing drone program, which the Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently found [PDF] has achieved none of its “intended results” and has not properly accounted for all the costs of operations. CBP cannot account for whether it is protecting privacy (and the OIG did not bother to scrutinize this aspect of the agency’s program). And that is what makes lawsuits like CREW’s critical.

As CREW concludes, “The FBI’s response of withholding the vast majority of documents is not only unjustified legally and
factually but is ‘anathema’ to the FOIA’s fundamental purpose of providing a vehicle for the public to know what its government is up to.”

A judge ruling in favor o

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Grand Jury indicts former cop in Purple Heart case

Posted: Jan 13, 2015 3:41 PM

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DEA halts huge, 15-year secret data collection program
By Reuters Media on Jan 16, 2015

WASHINGTON The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has halted a secret, nearly 15-year program that collected virtually all data on international calls between the United States and certain countries, according to documents and officials familiar with the matter.

The sweeping bulk DEA database program was stopped in September 2013, shortly after elements


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Judge orders release of man who killed FBI agent in 1990
Jan 20, 2015

Judge orders release of man who killed FBI agent in 1990

Police hope surveillance video will nab burglary suspects

Arrest made in shooting death in North Las Vegas
Police use bait apartments to lure thieves

Coroner identifies man shot to death in northeast area
Police seek suspects in man's beating, robbery
Former 311 Boyz gang member headed to prison
Mandalay Bay Agrees to $500K Fine in Drug Sting
Las Vegas Rental Scam Involves Bank-Owned Homes
Police Looking for 'People of Interest' in Man's Killing

LAS VEGAS -- A federal judge ordered the release of a Nevada death row inmate who had been convicted of the June 1990 shooting death of FBI Special Agent John Bailey inside a Security Pacific Bank branch in Las Vegas.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du last week ordered the release of Jose Echavarria from custody within 60 days unless prosecutors file notice to retry him within that time frame. Jury selection would also have to begin within 180 days of the filing of a written notice for a retrial.
Du granted Echavarria's petition for writ of habeas corpus based on claims that his constitutional rights were denied because of the trial judge's bias.
Echavarria claimed he was unaware at the time of his trial that then Clark County District Judge Jack Lehman had previously been investigated by Bailey. The investigation centered on an allegedly fraudulent land deal in the 1980s involving Lehman when he was chairman of the Colorado River Commission.
Lehman, who is best known for establishing the county's drug court, chaired the commission before becoming a judge.
“The evidence submitted by Echavarria shows, beyond any dispute, that Agent Bailey had been centrally involved in conducting the investigation of the trial judge, and that the alleged fraud and the FBI investigation were of such significance that they would have had serious implications for the trial judge,” Du wrote.


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Defense's List of Silk Road 'Suspects' Grows


- After a federal judge allowed the defense pursue a theory of an "alternative perpetrator," lawyers for Silk Road "mastermind" Ross William Ulbricht named no fewer than four alternative identities behind the account for the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Prosecutors maintain that the 30-year-old Ulbricht alone ran the "Dread" account, known as "DPR" for short and named after a character in the William Golding book-turned-1987-movie "The Princess Bride."
Over the past two days of trial, Ulbricht's lawyer Joshua Dratel has not been shy about naming names of alternative suspects, even though none of the men on his list has been charged with any crime.
Last week, Dratel floated a theory that the former owner of a Bitcoin exchange company, ex-Mt. Gox honcho Mark Karpeles, "set up" his client to avert law enforcement's gaze away from him and boost the value of the anonymous online currency.
Karpeles, a French citizen now living in Japan, took to his Twitter account shortly after last week's proceedings to deny any association with DPR and Ulbricht, and later released a lengthier public statement.
Department of Homeland Security agent Jared DerYeghiayan testified this past Thursday that he thought Karpeles was in fact DPR, and swore to that belief in an affidavit for a search warrant months before Ulbricht's arrest.
Prosecutors did not object throughout this section of testimony, and defense attorneys argued that this meant that they had waived any right to contest it.
But U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest granted the government's motion to strike DerYeghiayan's former suspicions as inadmissible hearsay as trial continued on Tuesday morning.
Dratel complained the ruling would "completely eviscerate" a key aspect of the defense, but prosecutors failed to stamp out his wider theory of an alternative perpetrator.
Taking advantage of that opening, Dratel fired off more questions about Karpeles and three other men - alleged Mt. Gox associate Ashley Barr, Canadian Anand Athavale and a man named Richard Bates - as DerYeghiayan's testimony stretched past its fourth day.
DerYeghiayan confirmed that Barr and Karpeles had been associates, but he said that the men later had a "falling out."
The agent added that he probed the travel records of Athavale, who was from Vancouver, and sifted through four pages of IP addresses associated with him.
Dratel noted that Athavale and his client had both been in the Pacific Time Zone, which is associated with the timestamp on the DPR account.
DerYeghiayan testified that Bates crossed his radar because of Internal Revenue Service agent Gary Alford, who also tipped him off about Ulbricht.
Unlike with Ulbricht, however, DerYeghiayan said he had never probed Bates further.
In late July 2013, the FBI identified Silk Road's servers and captured its images. DerYeghiayan acknowledged that this created a "lot of pressure" to identify its leader.
"There was conc

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Bayonne cop beat man with flashlight and lied on reports,

January 23, 2015 at 4:35 PM, update

see link for full story


BAYONNE -- Police officer Domenic
. In his lawsuit, Walsh said that Lillo repeatedly struck him in the face with his flashlight while he was handcuffed, causing permanent disfigurement. Walsh also said in the lawsuit that other Bayonne police officers at the scene did nothing to stop the beating

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Wikileaks writes Google a letter about staff emails handed over to the FBI

It took Google three years to inform Wikileaks of the information they handed over.
By Thor Benson Contact the Author |         Jan. 25, 2015 at 7:06 PM

Jan. 25 2015

-- Wikileaks' lawyer, Michael Ratner, has sent Google a letter asking what information was provided to the FBI concerning Wikileaks staff members.
A secret search warrant was sent to Google in March of 2012 from the FBI for information about three Wikileaks employees, but the company only informed Wikileaks last month. Now, Wikileaks wants to know what was provided at that time and if it has received any more requests since the original case. Google claims the FBI requested email content, metadata and more.

"We are astonished and disturbed that Google waited over two and a half years to notify its subscribers that a search warrant was issued for their records," the letter reads.

Google has so far informed Wikileaks that the information that was requested had to do with investigations editor of WikiLeaks, Sarah Harrison, their spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson and senior editor Joseph Farrell.

Google claims it did not inform Wikileaks because of a gag order.

"Neither Google nor the US government are living up to their own laws

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/01/25/Wikileaks-writes-Google-a-letter-about-staff-emails-handed-over-to-the-FBI/8451422227058/#ixzz3Ptp2xIHq

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LAPD criticized for event featuring ex-Mexican Mafia leader

Jan 29, 2015

— An ex-Mexican Mafia leader serving life in prison for murder was escorted by police to speak at a gathering of police chiefs and business leaders, prompting criticism and a call for a probe from the head of the civilian oversight commission for the Los Angeles Police Department, which organized the event.

Steve Soboroff said the public was unnecessarily endangered

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Judge questions constitutionality of no-fly list, FBI adds plaintiff’s brother to ‘Most Wanted’ list

| January 31, 2015

Judge questions constitutionality of no-fly list, FBI adds plaintiff’s brother to ‘Most Wanted’ list
Just as one man is about to clear his name from the government’s ‘no-fly’ list, his brother becomes the target of the FBI.

On Friday a federal judge questioned the legality of the “no-fly list” implemented by the government and said people on the list should be afforded a chance to clear their name.

The lawsuit was filed by Alexandria resident Gulet Mohamed in and has meandered through the courts systems for four years amid protests from the government. U.S.

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Moraine Park to host undercover FB
Joaquin “Jack” Garcia
Former FBI undercover agent Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, will speak at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

The event, sponsored by Student Senate, will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the cafeteria and is free to the public.

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4 stories


FBI Agent Being Treated After Shooting Himself During Raid
February 4, 2015 1:23 PM

— An FBI agent has been treated after allegedly shooting himself during West Texas drug raids.
Messages left with the FBI in El Paso weren’t immediately returned Wednesday. An earlier FBI statement said an agent suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening during Tuesday’s raids in Odessa.
The statement did not say how the agent was hurt.

KOSA-TV reports the agent accidentally shot himself in the foot. One woman at the scene, Shaniqua Starling, said she heard a gunshot, then saw the injured man limping down a ramp. Blood was on the porch and inside the residence.
Starling says agents helped get her and her child to safety. Nobody at that home was arrested.



FBI agent pays fine in shooting into hotel cooler - Las Vegas Sun ...
Aug 29, 2003 - An FBI agent who fired two rounds into a walk-in cooler at a Strip hotel ... "The only victim in that case was a lobster, and Nevada statutes don't ...



VIDEO: 33 Police Officers Fire 600 Bullets into Car Knowing It Contained a Hostage, Killing Her
By MintPress News Desk | October 21, 2014


Apr 16, 2006 at 12:35pm

- Las Vegas - An FBI agent who pleaded guilty to drunken driving has sued the maker of his pickup because it caught fire after he passed out behind the wheel.

Officer Robert Clymer, who was involved in a high-profile investigation of the Crazy Horse Too strip club, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.306 percent, nearly four times the current legal limit, and was unconscious when Las Vegas firefighters pulled him from his burning truck on Jan. 29, 2005.

The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado had jumped a curb outside a gated community in northwest Las Vegas and began to smoke and caught fire after the engine had been running for a long time, according to a Las Vegas police report.

Police found an empty 25-ounce bottle of Captain Morgan rum on the passenger seat and a SIG Sauer 9 mm pistol in the truck's cab.

F.B.I Agent Clymer, 41, was cited for misdemeanor drunken driving and sent to University Medical Center because of complications from smoke inhalation and intoxication, the report said.

He later pleaded guilty to the charge in Las Vegas Municipal Court and was given a suspended 30-day jail term and 48 hours of community service.

During sentencing in November, Clymer's lawyer said his client wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

"Public officials make mistakes," attorney Gary Booker said. "With public officials, we expect them to own up to their mistakes and correct them. That is exactly what happened in this case."

Two weeks later, F.B.I Agent Clymer filed a product liability lawsuit against General Motors and Bill Heard Chevrolet, who had sold him the truck. He was seeking more than $33,000 in medical bills and nearly $11,000 in lost wages.

The lawsuit says F.B.I Agent Clymer stopped on the side of the road to make a telephone call. He left the engine running and the car in park.

F.B.I Agent Clymer then "somehow lost consciousness" and the truck "somehow produced a heavy smoke that filled the passenger cab," the suit said.

Lawyers for Clymer, GM and Bill Heard Chevrolet did not return phone calls seeking comment. Clymer did not return a phone message left at his office.

The lawsuit was filed about six weeks after Clymer and his wife, FBI secretary Tracy Clymer, filed for bankruptcy. In their bankruptcy papers, the couple said they owed creditors more than $580,700, including nearly $122,000 in credit card debt.

Robert Clymer, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, makes about $102,000 a year. He moved out of the family home on Father's Day 2005, and his wife filed for divorce in January.

On the night of his drunken driving arrest, F.B.I Agent Robert Clymer was involved in an incident at the Suncoast, police said.

Security guards at the hotel called police about 3:20 a.m. to report a man in the parking lot with a gun.

The man left before officers arrived, but he left behind a 15-round magazine from his gun. Officers matched the magazine to Robert Clymer's gun.


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Why my students and I met with a Potentially Violent Fugitive in Cuba

A university professor leads a school trip to Cuba and winds up the focus of intrigue at the highest levels of US government
ts of Havana, on January 7 2015

Why had my students and I met in Cuba with a fugitive wanted by the FBI on 32 felony counts, the head of International Studies wanted to know. Put that way, I suppose it sounded pretty irresponsible of me, though he hadn’t exactly put it that way, because he didn’t know exactly who the American fugitive from justice was. There are at least seventy living in Cuba. But that’s what he meant when he gave me a call. He also meant, why are you making my life and job difficult? I don’t recall how he phrased it, but there were a lot of questions, he said, about my trip and he sounded nervous as he recounted the chain of telephone calls that had preceded his call to me: first, a Congressman (he didn’t say whom, but most likely Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, whose great aunt was Fidel Castro’s first wife) had called the Governor of Iowa, who had then called the head of the Board of Trustees of The University of Iowa, who had then called the President of the University, who had then called the head of International Programs. This was the first time I recalled ever speaking more than a few words to him, and I felt a combination of pride that I was the subject of such high-level scrutiny, panic that I was the subject of such high-level scrutiny, and the growing certainty that there was now probably an FBI file with my name on it, a fact that in itself gave me, a highly-politicized child in the 1960’s with an older brother and sister who kept me informed about the protests of the day, with a little friss

Read more at http://observer.com/2015/02/why-my-students-and-i-met-with-a-potentially-violent-fugitive-in-cuba/#ixzz3R8UtwdPv
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FBI Secretly Monitors American Artist Molly Crabapple Over Islamic Imagery
Cait Munro, Tuesday, February 10, 2015


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FBI Can't Find Its Drone Privacy Reports
from the loaned-them-to-the-IRS dept.

February 12 2015

Programs run by the federal government are typically required to undergo a Privacy Impact Assessment if there's a chance they'll veer into monitoring the activities of citizens: The assessments help balance the risks and benefits of the program, and help guide any oversight to prevent abuse. But despite being legally mandated, the FBI and Justice Department have had a tough time producing the assessments done in conjunction with the Bureau's domestic surveillance drone program, first telling privacy advocates to file a FO

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Reply with quote  #149 
See link for full story

Arundel Grand Jury Identifies Real Culprits In FBI Shooting


THANKS TO the wisdom of Baltimore attorney Andrew C . White and an Anne Arundel County grand jury, we now have some clarification on what does and does not constitute a "cap-able" offense in the eyes of law enforcement officers.

For those of you not familiar with current American slang, it's only fair to point out that there is no such word as "cap-able." It's an invention, deriving from the street lingo phrase "to pop a cap in the ... " - I'm told the rest of the expression can't be used in this paper - or, in other words, to shoot someone. White is the lawyer for FBI Special Agent Christopher Braga, who shot Joseph Schultz in the face March 1. Braga and other agents had stopped Schultz's girlfriend, Krissy Harkum, as she drove her Pontiac Grand Am along Fort Smallwood Road in Anne Arundel County . Schultz was a passenger in the car. The feds were looking for a bank robber. Problem was - not the only one in this case, and not the biggest - Schultz wasn't the guy.

On July 2, an Anne Arundel grand jury refused to indict Braga for making Schultz endure years of facial reconstructive surgery. Braga had committed neither first-degree assault, second-degree assault nor reckless endangerment, the grand jury ruled after carefully considering the weighty matter for all of 20 minutes.

As might be expected, White did not disagree with the decision. He went a step further, and told all within the Central Maryland area who the real culprits were: Schultz and Harkum.

"This would not have been a problem," White admonished those persnickety pundits among us who insist cop types shoot only armed criminals, not law-abiding guys returning from the mall with their girlfriends, "if the people inside the car had complied with orders and raised their hands, which they did not."

Everybody get that? You know-it-alls who thought cops could only shoot folks who were armed and presented imminent danger to police or others should learn a lesson from this. You've been wrong. You've been wrong for years. You don't need to have a weapon. You don't need to present a danger. If you simply refuse to raise your hands, prepare to get a cap popped in you.

We should be grateful to White and the grand jury for clarifying this matter. Now we know that when we venture from the safety of our homes onto our streets and highways, the folks charged with protecting us may now kill us if we don't raise our hands. The fact that they give conflicting orders will be considered our fault, not theirs.

Fortunately for me, White and the grand jury expressed these sentiments this year, and not back in 1996 when a city cop stopped me for running a traffic light I didn't run.

"Show me your license and registration!" he demanded, taking extra precautions to be as rude and as brusque as he could. As I started to reach for the registration in my glove compartment, the officer became completely unnerved.

"Keep your hands where I can see them!" he shouted. I wondered if the cop even considered he had given me two completely contradictory orders.

But I know now. Don't get the registration when the cop orders it. Keep your hands where they can be seen. Let the cop retrieve the registration and arrest you for failing to obey a lawful order. Twelve to 14 hours spent down at central booking beats getting shot.

The feds yelled contradictory orders to Schultz and Harkum as well. According to the Anne Arundel County police report on the incident, some yelled at Harkum to open the door while others yelled at Schultz to put up his hands. Schultz told the grand jury he reached down to unlock the door, choosing to obey that order.

It's possible that Schultz and Harkum might also have been scared out of their wits, but that won't gain them any sympathy. Cops, we are told, have much to fear from traffic stops. They have to make split-second decisions. The wrong one may be fatal for them.

We civilians, by this logic, know not fear. When we're driving along, knowing we have committed no crime, and a group of armed officers stops us and points loaded weapons at us, we're supposed to react as though we have nerves of steel. If we get shot as a result of any fright-induced hesitation or bodily movements, well, that's just our tough luck.

That's White's and the grand jury's message to Schultz and Harkum. FBI agents stopping the wro

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Reply with quote  #150 
see link for full story


Guantánamo Bay
Bad lieutenant: American police brutality, exported from Chicago to Guantánamo

Exclusive: At the notorious wartime prison, Richard Zuley oversaw a shocking military interrogation that has become a permanent stain on his country. Part one of a Guardian investigation reveals he used disturbingly similar tactics to extract confessions from minorities for years – as a police officer in urban America
Police brutality updated
While ‘assigned’ to the US military base at Guantánamo Bay, detective Richard Zuley (top left) led one of the most brutal interrogations ever conducted at the prison. ‘I’ve never seen anyone stoop to these levels,’ a former Marine Corps prosecutor said. But Benita Johnson, Andre Griggs, Lathierial Boyd and Lee Harris (above, left to right) describe

Wednesday 18 February 2015 11.03 EST Last modified on Wednesday 18 February 2015 11.23 EST

When the Chicago detective Richard Zuley arrived at Guantánamo Bay late in 2002, US military commanders touted him as the hero they had been looking for.

Here was a Navy reserve lieutenant who had spent the last 25 years as a distinguished detective on the mean streets of Chicago, closing case after case – often due to his knack for getting confessions.

But while Zuley’s brutal interrogation techniques – prolonged shackling, family threats, demands on suspects to implicate themselves and others – would get supercharged at Guantánamo for the war on terrorism, a Guardian investigation has uncovered that Zuley used similar tactics for years, behind closed police-station doors, on Chicago’s poor and non-white citizens. Multiple people in prison in Illinois insist they have been wrongly convicted on the basis of coerced confessions extracted by Zuley and his colleagues.

The Guardian examined thousands of court documents from Chicago and interviewed two dozen people with experience at Guantánamo and in the Chicago criminal-justice system. The results of its investigation suggests a continuum between Guantánamo interrogation rooms and Chicago police precincts. Zuley’s detective work, particularly when visited on Chicago’s minority communities, contains a dark foreshadowing of the United States’ post-9/11 descent into torture.

Allegations stemming from interviews and court documents, concerning five Chicago suspects, suggest Zuley and his colleagues shackled suspects to walls for extended periods, threatened their family members, and perhaps even planted evidence on them. The point was to yield confessions, even while ignoring potentially exculpatory evidence.

Several of those techniques bear similarities to those used by Zuley when he took over the interrogation of Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo, described in official government reports and a best-selling memoir serialised last month by the Guardian as one of the most brutal ever conducted at the US wartime prison.

A woman still in an Illinois prison who insists on her innocence, Benita Johnson, recalled Zuley and his team handcuffing her to a wall for over 24 hours in 1995 until she would implicate herself and her ex-boyfriend in a murder, while Zuley threatened her with never seeing her children again. One of many awards in Zuley’s record file – bearing the name of Chicago mayor Richard Daley – praises his help in interrogating the two suspects who ultimately “admitted participating in the crime”.

Nearly a decade later, Zuley – whose interrogation plan for Slahi received personal sign-off from then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld but has gone almost entirely unreported – would tell the detainee that the US had his mother in custody, US government investigations have documented, even while they avoid Zuley’s name. If Slahi didn’t start talking, Zuley said he would have her brought into Guantánamo’s all-male prison environment, which his lawyers consider a rape threat. Slahi began confessing to anything he could.

Though prosecutors refused to bring charges once they learned what Zuley and his team had done, Slahi – like the Illinois woman Zuley interrogated that night, and others back on the mainland – remains behind bars.

“I’ve never seen anyone stoop to those levels,” Stuart Couch, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and military commissions prosecutor, said of Zuley’s interrogation of Slahi. “It’s unconscionable, from a perspective of a criminal prosecution – or an interrogation, for that matter.”

Mark Fallon, deputy commander of the now-shuttered Criminal Investigative Task Force at Guantánamo, said Zuley’s interrogation of Slahi “was illegal, it was immoral, it was ineffective and it was unconstitutional.” It is unknown if Zuley interrogated other Guantánamo detainees.

Through a spokeswoman at his current job, with the Chicago department of aviation, Zuley declined participation with this story, despite repeated attempts. Chicago police have yet to fulfill a freedom-of-information request on Zuley’s personnel file, and detailed lists of questions sent Tuesday from the Guardian to Zuley’s attorney and a Chicago police department spokesperson went unresponded.

Now, a reckoning with Zuley’s past may be coming. An innocent man, Latherial Boyd, has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against him after spending half his life in prison. On Tuesday, papers filed in federal court showed that the conviction-integrity unit of the Cook County state’s attorney is interested in examining civilian complaints against Zuley related to another wrongful-conviction case.

“When I learned that Zuley was head of a special projects team at Guantánamo,” said Kathleen Zellner, the lawyer leading the civil-rights case, “my first reaction was: ‘Really? I would love to see the selection criteria for that job.’”
The detective, the general and the boat ride: shackling and threats at the Bay
Slahi police brutality
From a blindfolded boat ride to threats against his family members and hours shackled to Gitmo floors, Zuley’s interrogation of Mohamedou Ould Slahi shocked investigators. To make it stop, Slahi says he signed on to whatever his captors wanted him to voice. Illustration: Nate Kitch/The Guardian

Even as he investigated crime in Chicago, Zuley’s Navy reserve service kept him on the military’s radar. When called up to active duty, Zuley, by his own telling, deployed for some attention-grabbing missions. He told a Chicago court in a mid-1990s murder case that he “took assignments with Naval intelligence” for four years after getting shot on the job in 1982: “I did counter terrorists work for them.”

A detective colleague, Ray Kaminski, testified in a 1997 murder trial that he understood Zuley was “somewhere in South America … working with the US Navy”.

In April 2004, while serving in a senior position at Guantánamo, Zuley returned to Chicago to testify at an evidentiary hearing. The court transcript, acquired by the Guardian, records Zuley saying he “was mobilized for the war on terror in November of 2002.” Initially assigned to a Royal Air Force base in Molesworth, his superiors “sent me to Cuba as the liaison officer for the European Command. And that job has evolved to what I’m doing now” – that is, “assigned to the Joint Task Force Guantanamo as an officer in charge of one of the teams down there for the intelligence collection.”

While Zuley’s role helming Slahi’s interrogation has featured in official investigations by the Justice Department, the Defense Department and the US Senate, he is rarely referred to in those documents by name. A 2013 book by Wall Street Journal reporter Jess Bravin is a rare account that identifies him. But Zuley does appear by name in footnotes of the Senate armed services committee’s 2008 investigation into military torture, and in footnotes in Slahi’s recent best-selling memoir. (Less officially, Zuley has also referred to himself as a senior Guantánamo interrogator and special-projects team chief in an Amazon.com book review.)

Several Guantánamo Bay veterans, four of whom remembered Zuley, said that the hasty establishment of the detention center in January 2002 severely taxed the military’s resources. An interrogation corps needed to be built from scratch in the wake of 9/11. Fallon, the former deputy commander of the Guantánamo investigative task force, explained that the Gitmo leadership was “searching for a hero,” since its interrogations weren’t getting the desired results.

The first wave of military interrogators was overwhelmed. There were only 26 of them, supplemented by a handful of FBI and intelligence agents, to interrogate 300 initial detainees – mostly Saudis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Yemenis. Only four of the military interrogators spoke Arabic. Two spoke Farsi.

The Defense Department asked a renowned retired Army colonel, Stuart Herrington, to visit Guantánamo and advise the interrogations command. When he arrived in March 2002, Herrington despaired to see that military and civilian interrogators had no idea who their new charges were, reversing the desired dynamic of the “omniscient” interrogator.

“Of the 300, they were sure they had the correct identification, name and biometric data of about 30% of them,” Herrington told the Guardian. “If you don’t know who you have, that pulls the props right from under the interrogation.”

Guantanamo was not optimized for gathering intelligence. Herrington bristled to see orange-jumpsuited detainees carried to wooden shacks by guards and shackled to the floor – techniques that reinforced the detainees’ anger at their confinement, undercutting the rapports Herrington advised would be critical for getting them to talk.

Police brutality Geoffrey Miller Guantánamo veterans said Zuley influenced and cultivated the patronage of Major General Geoffrey Miller, who later recommended that he wanted to ‘Gitmo-ize’ Abu Ghraib. Illustration: Nate Kitch/The Guardian

Into that dynamic stepped Zuley. Fallon remembered Zuley making an immediate impression on Major General Geoffrey Miller, who assumed command of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo in November 2002. Zuley had a reputation as “a big self-promoter,” Couch, the military prosecutor, recalled as well.

“From what I was told, General Miller thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread,” Couch said. “Miller was amazed at the information he was getting. So apparently Zuley ratcheted up these techniques, with the backing of Miller, to go up the chain of command for approval.”

Miller retired from the Army in 2006. He has disappeared from public view after invoking his right against self-incrimination when called as a witness in an Abu Ghraib-related trial that year. Emails seeking comment about Miller’s relationship with Zuley bounced back, and a spokesperson for the US Southern Command, which oversees Guantánamo, did not know how else to contact him.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi was seen as a huge priority for Guantánamo upon his August 2002 arrival. US officials suspected Slahi, a veteran of the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, as a critical link to al-Qaida’s recruitment of the 9/11 hijackers in Europe.

As the military intensified its treatment of Slahi, the FBI and Fallon’s task force, uncomfortable with torture, pushed back. But the military took full control of Slahi’s interrogation. On July 1, 2003, Miller approved a “special projects status” request for Slahi from the Defense Intelligence Agency, with Zuley placed in charge. By August 13 of that year, Rumsfeld personally signed off on the Slahi interrogation, already under way.

In addition to using stress positions, sleep deprivation and auditory bombardment against him, Zuley intended to make Slahi think he was taken somewhere else, somewhere more dangerous for him. He would be placed on a boat, and taken around the bay to disorient him, though they would never actually leave Guantánamo. Dogs would be used during the transport, Zuley wrote in a memo uncovered by a Senate committee, to “assist developing the atmosphere that something major is happening and add to the tension level of the detainee.”

The boat trip came at night, with Slahi blindfolded, and lasted three to four hours. American guards were there, kicking him, and apparently cycled back to the coast after around 40 minutes, where an Egyptian and a Jordanian interrogator took over. They placed Slahi in “a kind of thick jacket” that inhibited his breathing, he wrote in his memoir, and already had a bag over his head. They stuffed the jacket full of ice and repeatedly punched him.

Slahi recalled: “I was hurt like never before; it wasn’t me any more, and I would never be the same as before.” He also remembered a voice he associated with Zuley telling the foreigners: “We appreciate everybody who works with us, thanks, gentlemen.”
Police brutality jumpsuit Eyebolts, meant to prevent suspects from harming themselves or their interrogators, can also be used for shackling a detainee’s hands. Three people Zuley sent to jail told the Guardian and allege in court documents that he shackled them for hours to eyebolts in the wall of a precinct. Illustration: Nate Kitch/The Guardian

Slahi’s new cell was to be structured to prevent light from shining in. He was shackled to an eyebolt – a latch to secure prisoners’ cuffs or chains, like those found in many police precinct houses, but lower to the ground – and left alone for hours with music blasting. He was permitted four hours sleep every 16 hours. Masked interrogators told him th
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