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Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #201 

FBI  supervisor Teresa Carlson is under investigation by the FBI  Office of Professional Responsibility.
The FBI  Office of Professional Responsibility is the branch of the FBI  that investigates other
FBI  agents for misconduct. The former head of the FBI  Office of Professional Responsibility John Conditt
was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison for having sex with 6 year old children. see http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-02-17-ex-fbi-ia-chief_x.htm

see link for full story

Head of Milwaukee FBI assigned to buildings division in D.C.
Teresa Carlson is under investigation for perjury in the case of wounded soldier Justin Slaby

Aug. 23, 2013

The head of the Milwaukee FBI office, who is under investigation on suspicion of pressuring a subordinate to commit perjury in the case of a wounded war veteran trying to become an agent, is assigned to the bureau's buildings division, a spokesman said Thursday.

Teresa Carlson is serving as the acting deputy assistant director of the Facilities and Logistics Services Division at headquarters in Washington, according to FBI spokesman Christopher Allen.

According to the FBI's website, the bureau's facilities and logistics services organization has an annual operating budget of more than $800 million and supports headquarters, the 56 FBI field offices nationwide, 400 resident agency offices and legal attaché offices overseas.

Carlson remains the special agent in charge of the Milwaukee office and is on temporary duty to FBI headquarters, according to spokesman Leonard Peace. Carlson left the Milwaukee office on June 26. Acting Special Agent in Charge Patricia Ferrick arrived from Washington to take over the Milwaukee office on July 9, he said.

Justin Slaby, a former Army Ranger who served three combat tours overseas and lost his hand in a training incident, sued the FBI, saying he was discriminated against because he was disabled. He was hired as a special agent but was washed out of the academy, as trainers subjected him to tasks other trainees were not required to do, he said.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #202 
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Fewer cops, less crime: MLive investigation finds Michigan safer even as police numbers decline
August 25, 2013

He was police officer of the year just months ago, at one of the state’s largest departments. Decorated. Heralded. One of the best.

Then he was laid off.

Today, Brian Wilson does odd jobs to make ends meet. He works part-time one day a week at one of the state’s smallest departments.

“A lot of my awards … had to do with being proactive,” said the former Saginaw police officer. “My ability to do that was reduced significantly over the past year because I didn’t have as much back-up and I didn’t have anywhere near as much time on the road.”

Michigan is bleeding police officers. In the past decade, enough cops have been cut to equal the elimination of all Michigan State Police officers and the entire sworn force in Grand Rapids, the state’s second-largest city.

But there’s the conundrum, an MLive Media Group investigation found.

Despite the decline, you have never been safer in Michigan from serious crimes in a decade.

An MLive analysis of dwindling manpower at police agencies statewide and corresponding crime trends.

SUNDAY: Police ranks have dropped 14 percent since 2004. Why is crime down?

• Use this search tool to see police manpower and crime trends in your community and hundreds of others.
• How the analysis was done.
• Unleaded gas? Aging Boomers? Theories on why crime is dropping.

• Ann Arbor: Police decrease in most agencies; crime follows suit.
• Flint: Police force cut nearly in half; violent crimes doubles
• Flint: Suburban crime up; cops down.
• Bay City: Police ranks drop 26 percent, but crime down as well.
• Kalamazoo: Violent and property crimes plummet countywide.
• Saginaw: Laid off “officer of the year” hopes to return; crime continues to drop.
• Muskegon: Crime drops despite fewer cops in the county, Muskegon Heights.
• Muskegon: Cops cover multiple jobs in wake of budget-cutting.

MONDAY: "Point ‘em out, knock ‘em out." Brutal game meets concealed gun.


• Muskegon: Cop cuts mean less territorialism, more collaboration.

TUESDAY: Gone in 60 seconds? Not as often. Auto thefts have been cut by half.

WEDNESDAY: Detroit lost one in four cops. Why is it having trouble recruiting?

People don’t get robbed as much, or assaulted, or raped. Cars thefts are rarer by half. Your wallets and purses are less likely to be taken. At the same time, there are fewer police in your neighborhood.

It is an enigma for cops, who hope more officers mean less crime.

The MLive investigation analyzed a decade of police manpower and crime statistics in the state since 2003. The analysis covered more than 500 departments, and 2.3 million reported crimes.

The conclusion was surprising. Even as communities bemoan the loss of sworn officers, serious crimes continue to drop in most places across the state.

So why do we need more police – or even as many as we have?

The answer is perplexing for departments that push for greater staffing as the economy picks up, but struggle to find statistical support.

“I’ve got command staff and officers that want to make the argument that crime numbers are up as our numbers have dropped, and it can’t be done,” said Lt. Patrick Merrill, an analyst for the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The city lost one in seven officers since 2003 -- 17 percent. At the same time, violent crime dropped 33 percent. Property crime dropped an almost identical amount. The city lost just 5 percent of its residents.

“We’ve had feelers put out from the FBI asking us for the justification, ‘Why is crime going down, while your (manpower) numbers are dropping?’ They don’t appear to have any more explanation than we do,” Merrill said.

Many cities saw serious reported crimes decline, MLive’s analysis of state police and FBI statistics show. From 2003 to the last year records are available:
OFFICERS.jpgView full size

• Ann Arbor lost 31 percent of its officers, to 111. Population stayed nearly stable. Still, violent crimes dropped 11 percent; property crimes dropped 23 percent.

• Lansing lost 26 percent of its officers, falling to 187. Population fell just 4 percent. But violent crime fell 8 percent, and property crimes fell 20 percent.

• Saginaw lost 22 percent of its officers, to 86, and 15 percent of its population from 2003 to 2012. But violent and property crimes dropped much more, both nearly 30 percent.

There are exceptions of course, Flint lost half its force and violent crime soared. Detroit lost one in four officers, but it also lost about a quarter of its population. Per capita violent crime was up only slightly, about 6 percent.

Still, the downward trend in crimes and cops holds up statewide.

Nearly one in 10 full-time officers was lost in the past 10 years – 1,870 in all - 14 percent if you start counting after the last increase in 2004.The overall population fell less than 2 percent.
Officer Brian Wilson.jpgFormer Saginaw Police Officer Brian Wilson won numerous honors for his work, but was laid off earlier this year. He now works one day a week at a small department.Mark Tower | MLive.com

But crime rates dropped even further. From 2003 to 2011, the last year statewide figures are available from the FBI, serious violent and property crimes together dropped 22 percent.

September will be an important month. The FBI will release its annual crime report, with trends updated for 2012.

Big changes are not expected. Serious crime rates have been dropping nationally since the early 1990s. Don’t ask the FBI what’s going on.

“We don’t speak as to the what and the why,” said Simon Shaykhet, spokesman for the FBI’s Detroit Division.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #203 
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FBI agent skips court hearing

Aug 29, 2013

PEORIA - Chief U.S. District Judge James Shadid shook his head, sighed and ordered a no-bond arrest warrant for a former FBI agent who failed to appear in court Thursday for an alleged violation of his supervised release.

Jerry Nau, 47, of Peoria was supposed to appear before Shadid because he allegedly violated his supervised release earlier this year when he failed to tell his probation officer he was arrested and later convicted of drunken driving. Nau was sentenced to five months in prison and two years on supervised release in 2011 for lying to his superiors about $43,643 that came up missing during a drug investigation.

He was to appear in U.S. District Court to be formally presented the allegations. The hearing was set for Thursday morning, then moved to the afternoon.

Nau's attorney, Jeff Flanagan, called his client at about 3 p.m., 15 minutes after the scheduled time, and learned Nau wouldn't be there, even though he still lives in town. That's when Shadid issued the warrant.

The alleged violation stemmed from an incident April 5 in Creve Coeur, when police stopped Nau for failing to use his vehicle's turn signal. He failed a field sobriety test, according to court records, and was arrested.

Nau refused a breath test and a month later pleaded guilty to DUI. He received 18 months of court supervision.

One of the conditions of his federal supervised release, which began in April 2012 after he was released from prison, was to report any contact with law enforcement, including arrests or convictions.

The missing money was from the investigation of Adrian Robinson, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010. Nau testified at trial the money was in an evidence vault. It was already missing.

The charge stemmed from a June 30, 2010, fax in which Nau told his bosses the money was in the vault, sent them a receipt and forged the signatures of two other agents.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #204 


FBI  informant murders DA
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Source says body of missing DA in Penn State sex scandal case was hidden in a shaft after former Hell's Angel has his 'knee caps spun' and throat slit

  • Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar went missing in 2005 while driving to work
  • In 1998, Gricar was informed about sexual abuse allegations against Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, but he decided not to press charges
  • After the sex abuse scandal came to light in 2011, some believed that his disappearance may have something to do with the sex scandal
  • A former Hell's Angels ranking officer told police and local press in May that Gricar was actually killed by a former member and it had nothing to do with Penn State
  • The source took FBI agents to the Pennsylvania property where Gricar's body was buried but didn't point out the exact location
  • He wants to secure immunity first since there are four other bodies buried in the same shaft as Gricar and he doesn't want to incriminate himself

Answers? A source has told authorities in Pennsylvania and the FBI that he knows the location of missing DA Ray Gricar's body


One of the most shocking things about the Penn State sex abuse scandal when it came to light in 2011, was the fact that the local District Attorney knew about the case back in the 1990s.

The mother of one of the children abused by football coach Jerry Sandusky, reported the crime to DA Ray Gricar in 1998 but he decided not to bring up charges.

Gricar, 59, was never able to explain why he let Sandusky slip away, since Gricar himself vanished in 2005.

After the sex scandal revelation, some hypothesized that Gricar's disappearance was somehow tied to Penn State.  

But now a former person of interest in his disappearance has told the Altoona Mirror that it was a former Hell's Angel that carried out the killing and had nothing to do with Penn State.

The last time anyone saw Gricar was on April 15, 2005, when he left for work in his red mini cooper.

Gricar never showed up and the next day his car was discovered parked in an antique mall parking lot. Eventually, authorities also found his computer and hard drive.

Over the years the FBI has worked with local police to investigate leads in the case..

Last May, a former Hell's Angels ranking officer decided to come forward to authorities and the Altoona Mirror with what he says is the real story behind Gricar's death.


Sex abuse scandal: After the Penn State sex abuse scandal came to light in 2011, it was revealed that Gricar heard complaints about football coach Jerry Sandusky as early as 1998 but decided not to bring up charges



Without a trace: Gricar was never able to account for why he let Sandusky, above, off since he himself went missing while driving to work in April 2005



According to the source, Gricar was murdered by a former Hell's Angel who was getting back at the DA for receiving a long prison sentence for an aggravated assault conviction in the 1990s.

The man who carried out the killing was also an FBI informant. According to a  statement read by a judge at a sentencing hearing, the former Hell's Angel reported information to the FBI on illegal activities by the motorcycle gang after his release.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2427951/Ray-Gricar-source-says-missing-DA-knee-caps-spun-throat-slit-Hells-Angel.html#ixzz2farg7MMx
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Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #205 
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FBI agent's guns stolen during home burglary in northwest Houston

September 30 2013

The FBI needs help identying two men wanted for questioning in connection to the burglary of an FBI agent's home in northwest Houston. Authorities say two of the agent's guns were stolen in the September 23 break-in.

Authorities say are searching for two men wanted for questioning in connection with a series of northwest Houston break-ins, including the home of an FBI agent.


The FBI says the agent's home was broken into on September 23, and several weapons, including a Remington 870 short-barreled shotgun and a Glock 22 handgun, were stolen from a gun locker. Some credit cards also were taken.


Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #206 

Anti-Establishment Journalist Has Spent 400 Days in Jail

cent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Obama administration is not the most transparent in history, but rather the most secretive and least friendly to the press. Leak investigations and mass surveillance have together created a hostile environment for journalists and their sources.

It's interesting, then, that an American journalist, whose beat was largely surveillance and the privatized intelligence community, has been sitting in jail for over 400 days now. His name is Barrett Brown, the founder of Project PM, and he also spent some time as an activist embedded with Anonymous, which no doubt earned him the attention of the authorities.

As Glenn Greenwald wrote in March:

Brown is a serious journalist who has spent the last several years doggedly investigating the shadowy and highly secretive underworld of private intelligence and defense contractors, who work hand-in-hand with the agencies of the surveillance and national security state in all sorts of ways that remain completely unknown to the public. It is virtually impossible to conclude that the obscenely excessive prosecution he now faces is unrelated to that journalism and his related activism.

Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions demanding his release and for the charges to be dropped, and hundreds have donated to his legal defense. Numerous reputable organizations have made statements of support or expressing concern, to include: WikiLeaks, CPJ, EFF, Reporters Without Borders, Free Press, Article 19, Demand Progress and Fight for the Future.

Despite all this, the Department of Justice remains largely unresponsive, and seems intent on allowing him languish in jail until he can get in front of a jury who will weigh whether he should be punished with decades of imprisonment. All for being a committed dissenter and angering the powers-that-be.

The charges pursued against him equate to a dangerous precedent, especially for anyone who reports on hacking or leaks of stolen information. It means that one can be charged with fraud and identity theft for simply pasting a hyperlink.

A slew of questionable, yet apparently routine, DOJ/FBI tactics have been demonstrated in this tangled case.

In the videos which led to his arrest, Brown contends that it was the FBI's own informants and security contractors who put him at risk, by publishing his address to the internet while he and Anonymous were engaged in challenging a very ruthless Mexican drug cartel during late 2011. Due to their actions, Brown had to fly to New York and spent several weeks below the radar while things cooled down.

The threat to his livelihood was so palpable, and the effects of informants concocting false intelligence about him so concrete, that he was in the midst of preparing civil lawsuits against those involved when he was arrested.

The government was so interested in the book he was writing about Anonymous, that on March 6, 2012 they paid his apartment and his mother's house a visit, taking with them his computers and the notes and manuscript for the book.

Afterward they were so intent on sending an intimidating message, that they brought criminal charges against his mother. This is what made him outraged at the FBI in the first place. Her sentencing has repeatedly been delayed, perhaps in order to secure her silence.

They were so worried that Brown might be able to hire a real lawyer with money that an independent legal defense fund had raised, that they asked the court to seize the funds -- a move which was ultimately shot down.

They were so annoyed that media coverage of the case was favorable to Brown and critical of the government, that they succeeded in gagging he and his lawyers from speaking to the press.

Brown was deemed such a threat to the establishment and a risk to the community that it was decided he would be indefinitely detained pending trial. We'll never know the faulty arguments which were made to support that decision, because the transcripts of the hearing were sealed.

Does this sound like justice to you?


Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #207 

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Apple says FBI spy rules are irrational, supports free speech challenge by Microsoft and Google

November 7 2013

The legal fight over tech companies’ right to disclose information about government surveillance got a big boost from Apple this week. Here’s a look at its legal filing.

America’s big tech companies, embroiled in an on-going surveillance scandal, are in a pitched legal fight with the government for the right to disclose how many data demands they receive under the Patriot Act.

This week, the legal campaign led by Google and Microsoft got an important boost as industry rival Apple filed an eloquent brief in support of the companies’ First Amendment challenge before America’s secret spy court.

In the filing, Apple discusses its communications with the FBI and says the government “irrationally prohibits” its right to publish information about how many national security requests it receives.

Apple is not challenging the FBI’s right to impose secrecy over specific investigations — such as, for instance, a request for a certain terror suspect’s Gmail or iCloud account. Rather, Apple is frustrated because the company can’t even disclose how many requests it receives in the first place; it can only disclose broad bands of numbers (such as 1000-2000) that include ordinary police requests.

In its complaint, Apple says these gag rules violate Constitutional free speech rights, and stifle discussion about what the government is doing. This passage, from page 5 of the filing, sums up Apple’s opinion of the current disclosure rules:

From Apple’s perspective, as well as the perspective of its customers and the public as a whole, this limited disclosure does not contribute effectively to the debate over the Government’s national security systems and and (as discussed infra) is unnecessary to protect national security .. a deliberate attempt to reduce public knowledge as to the activities of the Government

Apple also pushes back at the government’s argument that disclosing the number of surveillance requests will tip bad guys about what platforms the government is watching:


Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #208 
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December 3, 2013

Slain man had been an FBI informant

Officer who paid him for testimony was on gang task force

The man shot to death outside a Methuen club in October was an FBI informant at about the time he was paid $1,000 by a Lawrence police detective in exchange for grand jury testimony about a murder he witnessed in 2007, according to police.

A 2009 State Police memo identified Lawrence patrolman Richard Brooks as the officer who paid David Rivera, 28, of Farnham Street, Lawrence, $1,000 in exchange for his testimony before a grand jury investigating the shooting death of Daniel Bautista on Oct. 30, 2007.

Rudy A. Cruz, of Lawrence, was indicted and eventually acquitted by a jury in Bautista’s murder.

“He was informant of the FBI,” Brooks said about Rivera in an interview with The Eagle-Tribune yesterday. “I can’t divulge any information. I was on an FBI gang task force.”

Brooks, a Londonderry resident who said he is currently out on leave, said he could not discuss the source of the payment or Rivera’s status as an informant.

Special Agent Greg Comcowich, media coordinator for the FBI Boston field office, said yesterday he would have to investigate the matter before he could comment.

Investigators assigned to Bautista’s murder learned that Rivera, the only direct eyewitness to the shooting, was an informant who had been working with Brooks, according to a memo written by State Police Trooper Robert LaBarge Jr., who was assigned to the detectives unit at the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.

“This information was learned in the early stages of the investigation,” LaBarge wrote. The memo did not mention the FBI.

Rivera was a reluctant witness, one whom investigators discovered was on Farnham Street when the shooting took place only through other witnesses, LaBarge wrote. When asked to testify, Rivera refused, and went so far as to throw a subpoena to testify before a grand jury on the ground. Rivera did testify before the grand jury on Nov. 28, 2007, according to LaBarge and grand jury transcripts in Cruz’s trial file at Salem Superior Court. But LaBarge described Rivera as emotional, still insisting he did not want to testify.

Rivera identified Cruz as Bautista’s shooter in that testimony. Others with Rivera at the time, including two of his brothers and some of his close friends, were putting four-wheelers away and were not on the street to witness the shooting. They testified they saw Cruz at the scene shortly afterward, bragging about killing Bautista.

At one point during the investigation, Rivera called LaBarge “and asked if he could become a paid informant,” according to the memo. “He said he could buy guns and he was interested in how much money he could earn.” LaBarge said “nothing came of his desire to be an informant.”

During Cruz’s 2009 trial, LaBarge and assistant district attorney Jessica Connors tried to convince Rivera, who was serving a jail sentence at New Hampshire State Prison in Concord, N.H., at the time, to testify at the trial. Rivera refused “in no uncertain terms,” LaBarge wrote.

While New Hampshire officials eventually convinced him to appear at Cruz’s trial in Lawrence Superior Court, Rivera again refused to testify and asked to see an attorney.

A few days into the trial, Rivera attorney Michael Seddon told Cruz defense attorney Ronald Ranta in a handwritten note that police had paid Rivera $1,000 in exchange for his grand jury testimony in 2007, when he said Cruz shot and killed Bautista.

“Investigators in the case thought as a group that Mr. Rivera was trying to get out of testifying in the trial,” LaBarge wrote. “Subsequently, A.D.A. Connors said she followed up on the matter and learned that Mr. Rivera was paid one thousand dollars for the information he provided regarding the homicide of Daniel Bautista, and for other criminal information. She said she learned that Det. Richard Brooks was the individual who paid Mr. Rivera for this information. Because of this information, Judge Richard Welch ruled that David Rivera would not be allowed to testify at the trial.”

LaBarge wrote the memo as part of an inquiry in the district attorney’s office into the $1,000 payment, according to assistant district attorney David F. O’Sullivan.


Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #209 
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FBI is entitled to woman's Facebook posts, judge finds

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A federal judge Friday ruled that attorneys representing the FBI have a right to see Facebook posts of a woman who is suing the bureau over an allegedly misguided 2011 raid.

An attorney representing Shaquel Adams, of Bellevue, must provide to a Department of Justice attorney pages from her Facebook account, plus other documents related to the psychological and neurological care, and school performance, of members of her family, U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer ruled.

She wrote that the documents were “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence ... particularly with respect to the claim for damages for severe emotional distress” stemming from the FBI’s March 3, 2011 raid on the family’s home.

Around 15 agents seeking an alleged member of the Manchester OGs street gang entered and searched the Adams’ house in an effort to find a former resident, not affiliated with the family, who had lived there around two years before.


Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #210 


You'll Never Guess Where This FBI Agent Left a Secret Interrogation Manual

"Security screwups are not very uncommon. But this is a first."

Dec. 20, 2013
Unlocked FBI report

In a lapse that national security experts call baffling, a high-ranking FBI agent filed a sensitive internal manual detailing the bureau's secret interrogation procedures with the Library of Congress, where anyone with a library card can read it.

For years, the American Civil Liberties Union fought a legal battle to force the FBI to release a range of documents concerning FBI guidelines, including this one, which covers the practices agents are supposed to employ when questioning suspects. Through all this, unbeknownst to the ACLU and the FBI, the manual sat in a government archive open to the public. When the FBI finally relented and provided the ACLU a version of the interrogation guidebook last year, it was heavily redacted; entire pages were blacked out. But the version available at the Library of Congress, which a Mother Jones reporter reviewed last week, contains no redactions.

The 70-plus-page manual ended up in the Library of Congress, thanks to its author, an FBI official who made an unexplainable mistake. This FBI supervisory special agent, who once worked as a unit chief in the FBI's counterterrorism division, registered a copyright for the manual in 2010 and deposited a copy with the US Copyright Office, where members of the public can inspect it upon request. What's particularly strange about this episode is that government documents cannot be copyrighted.

"A document that has not been released does not even need a copyright," says Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. "Who is going to plagiarize from it? Even if you wanted to, you couldn't violate the copyright because you don't have the document. It isn't available."

"The whole thing is a comedy of errors," he adds. "It sounds like gross incompetence and ignorance."

Julian Sanchez, a fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute who has studied copyright policy, was harsher: "Do they not cover this in orientation? [Sensitive] documents should not be placed in public repositories—and, by the way, aren't copyrightable. How do you even get a clearance without knowing this stuff?"

The FBI agent who registered for the copyright did so under his own name—effectively claiming the rights for himself, not the FBI. An FBI spokesman told Mother Jones the bureau has been made aware of the matter but "cannot provide any further information at this time regarding this subject."

The version of the interrogation manual the agent deposited with the copyright office is dated August 18, 2008, but it wasn't filed until January 2010. The redacted version released to the ACLU is dated February 23, 2011.

Because the two versions are similar, a side-by-side comparison allows a reader to deduce what was redacted in the later version. The copyright office does not allow readers to take pictures or notes, but during a brief inspection, a few redactions stood out.

The ACLU has previously criticized the interrogation manual for endorsing the isolation of detainees and including favorable references to the KUBARK manual, a 1963 CIA interrogation guidebook that encouraged torture methods, including electric shocks. The group has also expressed concern that the manual adopts aspects of the Reid Technique, a common law enforcement interview method that has been known to produce false confessions. A redacted sentence in the manual says the document is intended for use by the FBI's "clean" teams—investigators who collect information intended for use in federal prosecutions. That raises the question of whether teams collecting information that's not for use in federal courts would have to follow the manual's (already permissive) guidelines at all.

Another section, blacked out in the version provided to the ACLU, encourages FBI agents to stage a "date-stamped full-body picture" of a detainee, complete with a bottle of water, for use in refuting abuse allegations at trial.


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Reply with quote  #211 
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Why Didn’t Former FBI Director Mueller Conduct Internal Investigation In IRP6 Case, Questions Advocacy Group, A Just Cause
 December 26, 2013

A Just Cause continues to investigate what it says is the wrongful prosecution and conviction of six executives of a Colorado-based company, IRP Solutions Corporation. The advocacy organization believes that the currently imprisoned executives (IRP6) were selectively prosecuted and their debts criminalized. A Just Cause further questions why requests for an internal FBI inquiry/investigation were not acted upon.

IRP Solutions Corporation developed the Case Investigative Life Cycle (CILC) criminal investigations software for federal, state, and local law enforcement.

The IRP executives (Gary Walker, David Banks, Kendrick Barnes, Demetrius Harper, Clinton Stewart and David Zirpolo) are currently serving prison time at a Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado. (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). The executives have maintained their innocence; never denying the debt they had accumulated and vowing to pay it back.

A Just Cause recently posted letters that were previously written by IRP Solutions CEO, Gary Walker to former FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting an investigation into the way their case was handled (http://www.freetheirp6.org). Walker’s 2009 letter to Mueller acknowledges debt, but rejects allegations of wrongdoing. “The company did experience challenges paying staffing debts, however, current and retired agents we’ve talked to don’t understand and are confused on how a civil matter like this received any credence whatsoever from the FBI”, wrote Walker.

Court records show that retired federal agents worked as subject matter experts at IRP Solutions Corporation (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). Walker’s 2009 letter to former FBI Director Mueller argued innocence based on reasonable consideration. “During software development, and based on a recommendation from DHS (Department of Homeland Security), we solicited the FBI offices in Denver who recommended a few retired federal agents who were working with us as subject matter experts to help us understand the intricate criminal investigative processes associated with the FBI so we could make our software even better for your agency”, wrote Walker. “Mr. Mueller, is it reasonable or believable that a company engaging in criminal activity would invite law enforcement into their facilities and work so closely with them?” questions Walker in his 2009 letter to former FBI Director Mueller.

A Just Cause questions why this case moved forward when court documents show that on three occasions the FBI acknowledged the debt aspect of the case. Court discovery documents show that prior to the trial, the Denver office of the FBI stated that the IRP case was a civil matter. Court documents further show that on November 19, 2010 and October 13, 2011, FBI Agent John Smith testified that if the product (IRP CILC software) was sold, and the debts were paid, there would be no case. (Exhibit D407; Docs. 359, pp. 92: 2-4; Doc 617, pp. 1938-1940: 1-2; Vol. II, pp. 471: 2-4; Vol. II, pp. 2898-2900: 1-2).

Court testimony confirms that IRP Solutions’ business activities were hampered by the investigation and subsequent trial (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). “…our marketing efforts have been hampered by local FBI office statements to potential clients that a grand jury related to this investigation is currently impanelled””, wrote Walker in his 2009 letter.

A Just Cause questions why former FBI Director Mueller didn’t open an investigation. Discovery records show that Walker’s 2006 request for an investigation was forwarded back to the office that Walker asked to be investigated. “My previous letter to you regarding this matter was forwarded to the local FBI office”, wrote Walker in 2009.

There is no follow on record that former FBI Director Mueller acted on Walker’s request.

The case of the IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks) is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello originally tried the case, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492). Appellate Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes.


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Reply with quote  #212 
Judge Pauley and the NSA

Orwell on the Bench


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-forever.

–  George Orwell, 1984

It was easier to write the opinion by ignoring history.  And it was only one part of his opinion.  Nonetheless, he thought it was so important that it became the first thing he said right out of the box, as it were.

Judge William H. Pauley III, a District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, dismissed a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others.  The A.C.L.U. complaint alleged that what is known as the N.S.A.’s bulk telephony metadata collection program is unconstitutional.  Judge Pauley found it was not and, in so finding, wrote an opinion that in all important aspects arrived at the opposite conclusion from an opinion issued 11 days earlier by Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington.  Judge Leon said the N.S.A. program was “almost Orwellian” and was probably unconstitutional.

Judge Pauley begins his opinion with the following sentences:  “The September 11th terrorist attacks revealed, in the starkest terms, just how dangerous and interconnected the world is.  While Americans depended on technology for the conveniences of modernity, al-Qaeda plotted in a seventh-century milieu to use that technology against us.  It was a bold jujitsu.  And it succeeded because conventional intelligence gathering could not detect diffuse filaments connecting al-Qaeda. “

Judge  Pauley discussed how the N.S.A. was unable to capture the phone number of one of the highjackers living in San Diego who the N.S.A. mistakenly  believed was living overseas.  With telephony metadata, the judge observed,  the agency would have known the highjacker was living in San Diego and could have given that information to the F.B.I.  Presumably, although not stated by the judge, that might have enabled it to thwart the 9/11 attack.  Judge Pauley then observed that the government  “learned from its mistake” and, among other things, launched “a bulk telephony metadata collection program”  which, he said: [O]nly works because it collects everything.”

In concluding as he did that “conventional intelligence gathering could not detect diffuse filaments connecting al-Qaeda” Judge Pauley chose to ignore post 9/11 reports that the intelligence community had plenty of information to “detect diffuse filaments” without metadata collections. What was lacking was the competency citizens had a right to expect from those charged with protecting the country.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the F.B.I. had been aware for many years before 9/11 that suspected terrorists were receiving training in American flight schools.  It took no action to apprehend or specifically identify them.  According to a report in the New York Times, Abdul Hakim Murad (who was convicted in 1996 of conspiring and attempting to blow up 12 commercial airliners while flying over the ocean) confessed  to authorities following his arrest in the Philippines that he planned to use his flight training to “fly a plane into C.I.A headquarters in Langley, Va. or another federal building.”  Rodolfo Mendoza, a Philippine intelligence investigator, told CNN that that information was shared with the F.B.I. in 1995.   A 1999 analysis prepared for the National Intelligence Council said:  “Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives . . . into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House.

In July 2001 an F.B.I. agent in Phoenix told F.B.I. headquarters it should investigate Middle Eastern men enrolled in American flight schools and mentioned Osama bin Laden by name.  In his memo he suggested men in flight school might be planning terrorist attacks. A CBS report describes in considerable detail other clues the government had that  terrorist attacks might be contemplated, giving specifics as to the kinds of activities contemplated.  In  a press conference following 9/11 Ari Fleischer, the press secretary said:  “It is widely known that we had information that bin Laden wanted to attack the United States or United States interests abroad.”

What is now known is that it was not the absence of a program ignoring Americans’  constitutional rights that permitted 9/11.  Collecting “bulk telephony metadata” does nothing to correct the intelligence failures that permitted 9/11 to happen.  Those intelligence failures were failures by those in charge to do what citizens had a right to expect them to do.

Judge Pauley concludes:  “No doubt, the bulk telephony metadata collection program vacuums up information about virtually every telephone call to, from, or within the United States.  That is by design, as it allows the N.S.A. to detect relationships so attenuated and ephemeral they would otherwise escape notice.  As the September 11th attacks demonstrate, the cost of missing such a thread can be horrific. . . . ”  The judge could have simply observed that the cost of missing the other threads that have been widely discussed is equally horrific.  Correcting the reasons for those failures can be taken without creating what Judge Leon so aptly described as “Orwellian.”  As Judge Leon said in his ruling:  “I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware ‘the abridgement of freedom of  the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power’ would be aghast.”  So are many citizens.  Whether members of the U.S. Supreme Court are aghast, only time will tell.

Christopher Brauchli is a lawyer living in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu


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Reports: Israelis looked to shield Grimm in FBI fundraising probe involving rabbi

on January 16, 2014

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Top Israelis leaned on multimillionaire celebrity Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto in an attempt to discourage the rabbi from cooperating in an FBI investigation of GOP Rep. Michael Grimm's 2010 fundraising, multiple reports out of Israel said.

The news comes on the heels of the FBI arrest of Diana Durand, a Houston, Texas, woman and friend of Grimm's, for illegally donating more than $10,000 to Grimm's 2010 campaign.

It also comes as Staten Island Democrats readied to interview former Brooklyn City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia on Thursday night to run against Grimm this year.

The FBI has been investigating whether Grimm, with the help of former Pinto aide Ofer Biton, collected illegal contributions from Pinto's congregation.

Grimm, a former FBI agent, has denied the allegations and has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Biton later pleaded guilty to visa fraud.

But Pinto is also the subject of a high-profile investigation in Israel, where he is accused of bribing police officials, including Maj. Gen. Menashe Arviv, who heads an elite national police unit known as the "Israeli FBI," which investigates crime and corruption.

Arviv was also Israeli police liaison to the U.S.

In the midst of revelations about the bribery case, Israeli media on Thursday reported that a former senior Israeli government minister and police officials tried to discourage Pinto from cooperating in the FBI investigation of Grimm.

It was not made clear why officials would look to protect Grimm, and the congressman is not accused of any wrongdoing in the matter.

Grimm is a staunch supporter of Israel and has served as co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus.

Grimm in 2011 was also part of a fact-finding mission to Israel which included a sitdown with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

That same year, Grimm controversially called for the release of Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who was convicted of spying for Israel. Grimm made the call after personally visiting Pollard in federal prison in North Carolina.

The FBI in New York had no comment on the reports about Pinto.

William McGinley, the Washington, D.C., attorney who is handling the fundraising investigation for Grimm, did not immediately return a request for comment. Grimm's congressional office also declined to comment.

In 2012, former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner told the Advance that he went to the FBI after Pinto, whom Weiner knows, told him he had been "threatened" by Grimm over campaign contributions.

Grimm vehemently denied the allegations at the time, and Grimm ally Guy Molinari called Weiner, who left the House amid a sexting scandal, a "pervert and liar."

Pinto is one of Israel's top 10 wealthiest rabbis, and also has a congregation on Manhattan's Upper East Side.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014Last Update: 11:06 AM PT
Cameras Ain't Illegal, Observer Tells Cops

PHILADELLPHIA (CN) - Philadelphia police roughed up a psychotherapist and "trained legal observer" for photographing an arrest of an anti-fracking demonstrator at the Philadelphia Convention Center, she claims in court.
Amanda Geraci sued Philadelphia and four named police officers on Monday in Federal Court.
It is the fifth lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania since 2013 concerning unlawful apprehension of citizens photographing police officers.
Until Monday, the most recent came in July when a Temple University student was handcuffed after photographing police officers arrest partygoers near the university.
Geraci claims she was observing a protest against hydraulic fracking at the convention center when a man was taken inside because officers said he had struck one of them with a wooden spoon he was using to play an improvised instrument.
Defendant Officer Dawn Brown yelled at Geraci not to interfere with the arrest, then pinned her against a pillar supporting the convention center, Geraci says.
"Ms. Geraci responded to defendant Officer Brown in a calm, professional tone which she is trained to use to de-escalate tense situations and attempted to minimize defendant Officer Brown's aggression," the complaint states.
Other officers surrounded Geraci and Brown to prevent further photographing.
Geraci says that when Brown released her, she had red marks on her neck where Brown had restrained her.
"The defendant officers' actions were motivated by their efforts to retaliate against Ms. Geraci for her actions in attempting to photograph other Philadelphia police officers conducting an arrest of a political demonstrator," the complaint states.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has sent numerous memoranda to police officers informing them of citizens' right to photograph officers in the course of their jobs, but has not implemented proper training, according to the complaint.
Geraci seek damages for First Amendment retaliation and unlawful use of force.
She is represented by Molly Tack-Hooper with the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

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Courthouse News Service
Friday, September 19, 2014Last Update: 2:46 PM PT
'Shrimp Boy' Sues San Francisco Mayor


Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow sued San Francisco and its Mayor Edwin Lee on Thursday, demanding records that Chow claims will show that Lee took a $20,000 bribe from the same undercover federal agent who snared state Sen. Leland Yee.
Chow claims in Superior Court that his concerns about the "openness and transparency in the public, political, and campaign-related affairs" of San Francisco prompted the lawsuit.
If given a "full opportunity to conduct discovery," Chow says, he will reveal that the mayor took a $500 bribe from Michael Anthony King, which was laundered through a mayoral campaign fund as a "contribution."
King made a follow-up payment of $19,500 "in exchange for certain political favors to be performed by Lee," according to the complaint.
"Lee did something illegal and wants to hide it, for when faced with the request for public records that is the subject of this lawsuit he knowingly and falsely denied the existence of responsive records," Chow says in the complaint.
Chow says he emailed a request for records from the City and County of San Francisco, related to any exchange of money between a public official and someone named King or the like, or between a public official and an employee or agent of the FBI.
He claims that Lee and the city responded: "This office does not have any documents."
The undercover agent named King paid bribes to now-suspended state Sen. Leland Yee, according to the lawsuit.
Chow, Yee and 27 other defendants were indicted in March by a grand jury after a 5-year FBI investigation of the Ghee Kung Tong, a Chinese-American organization headed by Chow. An FBI agent posing as a member of the Mafia allegedly used Chow's connections to launder money he attributed to Chow as gambling and drug proceeds.
Chow has pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes.
Yee has denied his charges too, which include wire fraud and conspiracy to deal in firearms.
Yee is accused of offering to help undercover FBI agents buy assault weapons from the suspected terrorist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, and doing political favors and voting on certain legislative bills in exchange for campaign donations.
The complaint from Chow and co-plaintiff Alfred Scolari claims that Lee will not respond to the request for public records about any bribes for a reason.
"He denied their existence because he did not want the public to learn that in fact he had illegally accepted money from a federal undercover agent known as UCE4773," the complaint states.
Chow claims that the undercover agent identified in a federal affidavit as "UCE4773" is Michael King.
Chow's request for records should have generated at least three hits for contributions, the complaint says, since three people named King appear in campaign-finance disclosure documents filed on behalf of "Ed Lee for Mayor 2011."
Chow asks the court to order Lee and San Francisco to comply with the California Public Records Act and the California Constitution by handing over the documents.
Fellow indictee and former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson has claimed that agent "UCE4773" first targeted him to get to Yee. Jackson has denied his own charges of murder for hire, wire fraud, and dealing guns and narcotics.

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Reinventing the FBI: The Comey vision

Sunday, September 21, 2014 · 1:03 pm

James B. Comey has 3,268 days left in his term as the nation’s seventh director of the FBI and he plans to use every one of them to carryout a major leadership transformation at an agency steeped in tradition and known for an insular culture that values the special agent above all other roles.

Comey is advancing a quiet revolution throughout the ranks of the FBI started by his predecessor Robert Mueller. But while much progress has been made to recalibrate the FBI from a pure crime-fighting organization to an intelligence-driven national security enterprise, Comey acknowledged it will take the majority of his tenure as director to institute the type of cultural and leadership transformation he envisions.
FBi Comey INSA

FBI Director James B. Comey. (Photo: Intelligence and National Security Alliance)

“I believe the FBI should be the leadership factory of the United States government and it’s not there yet,” Comey said, speaking Sept. 18 at the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C. “I actually think that we’ve reached an inflection point. We’ve hired a tremendous amount of talented people over the last ten years. And now the question is ‘so where are they going?’”

Although Comey has kept a relatively low profile, he brings a unique mix of public and private sector experiences to the table that have helped form his vision of leadership development at the 106 year-old institution he now leads. And he’s bringing those experiences directly to agents and staff around the country, visiting 45 of the bureau’s 56 field offices so far.

Comey’s career in the Justice Department reads like the stuff of dreams for a budding prosecutor with eyes on reaching the government’s most senior management ranks. The former U.S. Attorney helped expedite the indictment of 14 men involved in the 1996 terrorist attack that killed 19 Americans at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Comey also led the investigation and prosecution of Martha Stewart. He was named deputy attorney general in 2003.

But Comey left government in 2005 for a high-paying, high-flying gig as a senior vice president and general counsel for defense industry giant Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed, Comey racked up some important leadership development lessons that he now plans to bring to the FBI.

“The best companies in the world obsess about leadership. They treat it as money,” said Comey, who reportedly made a $6 million annual salary during his last year at Lockheed and millions more during the following years at Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds.

“The CEO of Lockheed Martin would lock us, the senior leadership team, in a room for hours and hours at a time to review leaders five levels down. ‘Where is she? What’s her potential? How are we developing her? Who’s watching her? Who’s mentoring her? How are we testing her?’” Comey said, describing the types of questions asked by former Lockheed CEO Robert J. Stevens. “Because it is money, it had to be watched over, put to good use, someone had to be accountable for the return on that money and growing that money.”

That’s the kind of leadership culture Comey is beginning to introduce to the FBI. “I believe that’s how any organization becomes perpetually great,” he said. But not even the FBI, which places a premium on quality training, can rely solely on a massive reeducation effort to affect change. “You can’t by definition train your way to a change in culture. It requires a change literally one person at a time.”

Nowhere is this philosophy more obvious than in Comey’s vision for developing the FBI’s cadre of cyber and intelligence professionals.

Cyber “has to stretch the way we think about recruiting, training, deploying,” Comey said. One of the most recent organizational changes instituted by Comey involves assigning specific threats to particular field offices. “The notion of space and time and venue doesn’t really make any sense in the context of a sophisticated cyber threat. So we’re going to figure out where the expertise lies and assign it without regard to where the particular threat may be manifesting in the United States.”

The Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) at FBI Headquarters is the 24/7 command post that monitors FBI operations and law enforcement activities around the globe. (Photo: FBI)

Another major organizational change instituted by Comey was to remove the intelligence directorate from the national security branch. Intelligence, he said, is central to all major focus areas at the FBI, including criminal, counterterrorism and cybersecurity, and it didn’t make any sense to Comey to have it buried in a directorate and removed from the operations of the larger FBI enterprise.

“I want it part of criminal, I want it part of cyber, I want it part of everything we do here,” Comey said. “And so I took it and created with Congress’ permission an intelligence branch.”

Comey placed the new intelligence branch under the leadership of Executive Assistant Director Eric Velez-Villar. The appointment of Velez-Villar last month was designed to solidify the integration of intelligence across all functional components of the FBI as well as to bring the bureau’s intelligence chief into the daily briefings with the director.

While the move has been praised, there are cultural issues at play that continue to raise questions about the bureau’s ability to transform itself fast enough. One such issue is the fact that Velez-Villar is a former career special agent and not a career intelligence professional. The ability of the bureau to develop senior leaders across all of its major functional components, including non-special agents — the so-called professional staff — remains a sensitive issue throughout the ranks of the FBI.

“There is a culture of agents in the FBI and everyone else,” said Maureen Baginsky, a former executive assistant director for Intelligence at the bureau. “That’s not go or bad, that just is. And sometimes it is difficult if you’re the everyone else.”

Baginsky’s observation is not lost on Comey.

“Labels matter,” said Comey. “I tend to think of our folks in three buckets: special agents, intelligence staff and professional staff. There’s no doubt that in an organization that’s 106 years old that the special agent is a central, central role in the FBI,” he said. “Part of this transformation is just making sure that the center holds more than one kind of person.”

So how will Comey measure success in his transformation efforts? Before his term is up he wants to have senior intelligence professional talent available to take over the role of EAD for Intelligence.

“Success will be when the EAD for intelligence and all of the leaders down through the intelligence program are people who came up through the intelligence career service,” he said. “Because to be truly great we need a symbiotic relationship between those gifted professional agents and those gifted intelligence analysts.”

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FBI's Expensive Sentinel Computer System Still Isn't Working, Despite Report


Filed: 9/24/14

You can’t find what you need most of the time, or you get junk you don’t want, but other than that, the FBI’s long troubled, half-billion-dollar Sentinel computerized file system is coming along just fine, says the Justice Department’s watchdog.

Sentinel, successor to the FBI’s antiquated Automatic Case Support System, or ACS, was supposed to be finished by the end of 2009 at a cost of $425 million. Plagued by mismanagement, cost overruns and technical glitches detailed in a series of reviews through the years, its budget has ballooned another $100 million, the new report says. Years after it was launched, FBI special agents and intelligence analysts sometimes still have to visit another field office to obtain a particularly big or sensitive file, sources say.

Yet, perhaps reflecting the bureau’s can-do spirit, “the majority” of the 2,513 FBI employees surveyed (out of 35,000 who work for the bureau) say that, “Sentinel has had an overall positive impact on the FBI’s operations, making the FBI better able to carry out its mission, and better able to share information,” according to the report issued by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

Newsweek Magazine is Back In Print

That upbeat summary would seem to be undermined by specific complaints FBI employees had with the system, detailed deeper in the new report.

Two years ago, the IG noted, the FBI insisted that Sentinel’s search function worked just fine. “Yet we found that only 42 percent of the respondents to our survey who used Sentinel’s search functionality often received the results they needed,” the IG reported this week.

In particular, “Sentinel returned either too many search results for users to reasonably review or no results at all for a document the user knew existed,” 23 employees added in a comment section. (Italics added.)

Stuff was missing from the new system, too, employees complained, “features that they believed are critical to their duties,” such as “Sentinel’s integration with other FBI information technology systems.” Special Agents and their supervisors also “reported a significant decline in their level of satisfaction with the availability of technical and policy-related support after the deployment of Sentinel.”

Considering all that, it comes as little surprise to learn that some FBI employees yearn for the good old days, computer-wise. Twenty of them added complaints to the survey questionnaire that “the search function in the Automated Case Support system (ACS), the FBI’s prior case management system, was superior to the search function in Sentinel.”

Four years ago, a previous inspector general suggested that maybe the FBI should give up on Sentinel. "Regardless of the new development approach, it is important to note that Sentinel's technical requirements are now 6 years old, and there have been significant advances in technology and changes to the FBI's work processes during that time," then-IG Glenn A. Fine reported in Oct. 2010. Fine, much reviled by FBI brass for his aggressive coverage of the bureau, said then that the FBI "needs to carefully reassess whether there are new, less costly ways of achieving the functionality described in Sentinel's original requirements."

The FBI rejected that advice.

Two common employee complaints in 2010 were not addressed in the new IG report. One was that "several users lost partially completed forms and hours of work while using Sentinel,” because it lacked an auto-save capability. In addition, "users also found the lack of an integrated spell checker unacceptable because most current word processing software includes this feature," the IG said then.

The FBI pushed back hard against the 2010 report, caustically complaining that the IG had used outdated data fo

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09-26-2014 2:13 am - John Wallace - New York Oath Keepers
On June 12, 2014, the New York State Intelligence Center (a Fusion Center) issued a "Counter Terrorism Bulletin in which they identified the New York State Oath Keepers organization. as well as other Liberty-type groups, as a far-right extremist group and/or a threat to law enforcement.

On August 11, 2014, the New York Oath Keepers sent out correspondence to both the Governor and the Superintendent of the New York State Police clearly pointing out the New York State Intelligence Center's faulty logic and misstatements of fact that were used to politically demonize the New York Oath Keeper organization whose clearly stated nonpartisan mission is simply to encourage our Military and Law Enforcement Officers, and others, to honor their oaths to the United States and New York State Constitutions.

In that correspondence, we requested that the officials at the NYSIC issue a public correction, indicating their error in classifying New York Oath Keepers as a far-right extremist group and/or a threat to law enforcement. We also requested a meeting with the Governor, the Superintendent of the New York State Police and/or officials from other NYSIC member organizations, so we could address any misinformation and misunderstandings about the New York Oath Keepers mission. We told them that it is our goal to see this extremely prejudicial “far-right extremist” label retracted and the necessary corrections made to the Bulletin.

A month and a half has passed and neither the Governor nor the Superintendent of the New York State Police has seen fit to even reply to our original correspondence.

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FBI informant organized Anonymous hackers’ attacks on government sites in 30 countries
Published time: October 02, 2014 17:08

Government websites in the UK, Australia and more than two dozen other countries were provided by an undercover FBI informant to a hacker involved with the group Anonymous as cybertargets to attack, according to previously unpublished documents.

The files — chat logs between a turncoat and hacktivist Jeremy Hammond that were used by US attorneys to prosecuted the latter for major intrusions committed by Anonymous and an offshoot, AntiSec — are under seal by order of a United States District Court judge and weren’t publicly available until The Daily Dot used them to report on Wednesday this week to show that the informant encouraged Hammond to hit foreign government targets.

Before American authorities arrested Hammond at his Chicago apartment in March 2012, law enforcement officials gathered the evidence they used against him with the help of a former fellow hacker within the online collective, Hector “Sabu” Monsegur. A months-long investigation led by the FBI and largely made possible due to Monsegur’s cooperation led to Hammond, now 29, pleading guilty to a multitude of computer crimes last year and receiving a 10-year prison sentence in return.

As RT reported previously, Hammond said publicly that Monsegur provided him with foreign targets to strike while speaking in court last year before being dished out a decade-long sentence by District Court Judge Loretta Preska.

“I broke into numerous websites he supplied, uploaded the stolen email accounts and databases onto Sabu’s FBI server, and handed over passwords and backdoors that enabled Sabu and, by extension, his FBI handlers, to control these targets,” Hammond said. Preska, who later sentenced Monsegur to time served, cut off Hammond, but not before the hacktivist began to name a handful of countries he claimed were supplied by the informant.

A joint probe launched earlier this year by the Dot and Motherboard has already raised questions concerning the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in cyberattacks waged by Anonymous at the behest of the FBI against the websites of companies and countries alike, but this week’s revelations made through leaked chat logs between the informant and hacktivist identify for the first time the names of foreign nations that were specifically supplied to Hammond by the FBI mole with the intent that he attack them.

In full, the websites supplied to Hammond by Monsegur to target included URLs pertaining to organizations affiliated with the governments of: Brazil; Netherlands; Belgium; Slovenia; United Kingdom; Australia; Papua New Guinea; Republic of Maldives; Philippines; Laos; Libya; Turkey; Sudan; India; Nigeria; Puerto Rico; Greece; Paraguay; Saint Lucia; Malaysia; South Africa; Yemen; Iran; Iraq; Saudi Arabia; Trinidad and Tobago; Lebanon; Kuwait; Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina and Argentina.

Jeremy Hammond (AFP Photo / Chicago Police Department)

Jeremy Hammond (AFP Photo / Chicago Police Department)

“[D]id you hit those govs I gave you last night?” Monsegur asks Hammond in an excerpt from a leak chat log published by the Dot. Monsegur, who is Puerto Rican, then provided Hammond with targets specific to that territory and called it a “personal favor.” In another leaked log, Monsegur provides Hammond with a list of targets with .gov.br domains and says “hit these bitches for our [B]razilian squad.”

According to the Daily Dot, Monsegur told Hammond to strike targets in 30 countries. It is not immediately clear what sites were attacked and with what success, but previous reporting on leaked files concerning the Hammond case showed that hacktivists were successful in campaigns against Brazilian and Turkish websites with the assistance of the informant. An American firm, Stratfor, was also struck by Anonymous in 2012 in an operation that was orchestrated largely by Monsegur while working for the feds, and authorities did not make the company aware of the intrusion until later on.

Ahead of Monsegur’s sentencing hearing this year, attorneys for the informant said his cooperation “helped avoid over 300 intrusions” and, in aiding the FBI, “he strengthened the security of agencies such as the United States Congress, the United States Courts, other government agencies, as well as private companies.”

“He did not break the systems, he revealed vulnerabilities,” insisted lawyer Peggy Cross-Goldenberg. “These systems needed fixing anyway, regardless of his actions,”

Attorneys for Hammond, however, have raised questions of their own.

“Why was our government, which presumably controlled Mr. Monsegur during this period, using Jeremy Hammond to collect information regarding the vulnerabilities of foreign government websites and in some cases, disabling them,” Hammond’s attorneys wrote in December 2013. “This question is especially relevant today, amidst near daily public revelations about government’s efforts, worldwide, to monitor the communications of, and gather intelligence on, world leaders.”

Dell Cameron, the Daily Dot reporter who first published the list of countries sent to Hammond, told RT’s Andrew Blake that the FBI has been mostly unwilling to cooperate when it comes to weighing in with regards to the investigation into the Sabu files.

“We reached out to the FBI at the beginning of June to see if they’d be willing to discuss what this evidence says about their investigative procedures. They were very polite, seemed eager to help, and told us, in no equivocal terms, that they wouldn’t discuss the Hammond case,” he said.

“I’ve been told repeatedly that the information we’ve published suggests that Hammond was entrapped by law enforcement. That’s for legal experts to comment. Of course, he was eager to hack all of those targets and he’ll be the first to tell you,” Cameron continued. “However, the question of whether the FBI is in some way culpable for a string of international cyberattacks is not dependent on whether Hammond was entrapped. It depends on whether statements by the NY US Attorney’s office are true or not – that federal investigators were with Monsegur ‘around-the-clock,’ at his side, and were aware of his activities at all times.”

Mustafa Al-Bassam, a London student who participated in Anonymous-affiliated hacks with Monsegur in early 2011, told RT’s Blake that “Sabu has always been socially manipulative and therefore good at social engineering” and said “that's always been his biggest strength in the group.”

“The FBI simply capitalized on that skill to bu

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Just after Wershe’s trial, his father, Rick Wershe Sr., agreed to several interviews with reporters. To each one, he told a story that sounded unbelievable. Both he and his son, he said, had worked as informants for the FBI for years, since long before Rick Jr. landed in legal trouble.

“They used me,” he said, “and they used my son.” The Wershes had put themselves at great risk, he claimed, to help authorities gather important evidence of drug dealing on the east side. “And now they turn around and fuck us over,” he told Detroit Monthly.

It was a baffling assertion, coming at a strange time. If it were true that White Boy Rick had been working with the FBI all along, why hadn’t his lawyers mentioned it in the trial? Rick Sr. was not the most credible figure—he was facing his own criminal charges, for possessing illegal silencers found in a raid and for threatening an officer outside the courtroom during his son’s trial. The FBI told reporters that, per agency policy, they would neither confirm nor deny any relationship with the Wershes. An assistant U.S. attorney said he very much doubted the father’s claim. “I would have been told,” he said, speaking to the Detroit News. Even Wershe’s lawyer threw water on the story. “No way” was Wershe helping the feds, he told Detroit Monthly. “Maybe his dad, OK. But not the son.”

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Grimm again asks judge to delay his trial, arguing that pre-Election attack ads might taint jury pool

on October 08, 2014 at 8:44 PM, updated October 08, 2014 at 8:48 PM


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm is once again looking to delay his tax evasion trial, citing his lawyer's schedule and a worry that political attack ads might taint the jury pool.

Grimm's defense team is asking for a delay until January 2015. Prosecutors had proposed sending out jury questionnaires as early as Nov. 17, and starting the jury selection process by Dec. 1.

Grimm lawyer Jeffrey Neiman laid out several arguments for delaying the trial in a letter to U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen filed Tuesday.

He argued that his co-counsel, Daniel Rashbaum, is expected to participate in a two-to-four week trial in Florida starting at the end of October, meaning he might not be available to review jury questionnaires.

Nieman also cited the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as a scheduling issue, and said that the defense team will likely need time to review recorded conversations that the prosecution is expected to provide them later this week.

He also contends that the upcoming election on Nov. 4 "makes the possibility of the defendant receiving a fair and orderly trial at the currently scheduled dates unlikely."

"(P)olitical ads featuring snippets of the United States Attorney's press conference announcing the indictment along with selected portions of the indictment have been frequently airing on local television. Additionally, many prospective jurors have received direct mailings to their home that negatively portray Mr. Grimm. These television ads and direct mailings are certain to increase in frequency as the election and, currently, the trial date approach," Neiman writes.

Judge Chen rejected that argument at a Sept. 2 status conference.

The judge has set an Oct. 21 status conference to discuss the question of scheduling, as well as two other motions by the defense:

a motion compelling prosecutors to answer questions about what role Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Kaminsky, who is now running for office as a Democrat, and two FBI agents who had worked with Grimm while he was an agent in the FBI's field office, had in the investigation.
a motion to dismiss three of the 20 counts of the indictment against Grimm, arguing that the alleged crimes didn't take place in the court's jurisdiction.

The congressman is required to attend on Oct. 21.

The indictment against Grimm focuses on Healthalicious, an Upper East Side health food restaurant he owned prior to entering the political sphere.

Prosecutors allege that Grimm schemed to under-report both payroll costs and the amount of money the restaurant earned to avoid federal and New York state taxes, and accuse him of concealing more than $1 million in gross receipts and hundreds of thousands of dollars of employees' wages. They also accuse him of giving false testimony in a deposition after two former Healthalicious employees sued him.

Motion to Continue

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In Historic Development, Seven Americans Are Notified by US Government They Aren’t on No Fly List
By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday October 11, 2014

Ibrahim Mashal, one of the Americans notified he isn’t currently on the No Fly List

As a result of a court ruling that found thirteen United States citizens who were placed on the No Fly List had their rights to “procedural due process” violated, seven US citizens have been notified by the government that they are not currently on that particular watchlist.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had been involved in representing these individuals in their lawsuit against the government. Hina Shamsi of the ACLU’s National Security Project declared, “After years of being blacklisted and denied due process, seven of our clients know they can fly again, and the rest will soon be able to fight back against their unjust flying ban.”

One of the individuals on the list [PDF], who was notified that he was not currently on the No Fly List is US Marine Corps veteran Ibraheim Y. Mashal.

“More than four years ago, I was denied boarding at an airport, surrounded by TSA agents, and questioned by the FBI,” Mashal recalled. “That day, many freedoms that I took for granted were robbed from me. I was never told why this happened, whether I was officially on the list, or what I could do to get my freedoms back.”

Mashal had been working as a dog trainer when he found out he was not allowed to fly from Chicago to Spokane, Washington, to meet with a woman who had hired him to train her dog. An airline representative told him on April 20, 2010, he was on the No Fly List. That same day FBI agents interrogated him at Midway International Airport and in his home.

“Two of the FBI agents who questioned me the day I was denied boarding asked me to speak to them again,” Mashal stated in a court declaration [PDF]. “Because I had nothing to hide, I met with them on June 23, 2010. The agents again asked me deeply personal questions about my religious beliefs and practices, political opinions and family. They told me that if I would help the FBI by serving as an informant my name would be removed from the No-Fly List and I would receive compensation. I told the agents that I did not feel comfortable answering their questions without my attorney present. The agents promptly ended the meeting.”

Mashal is one of the founders of a national non-profit organization, Always Faithful Service Dogs, which provides service and therapy dogs to disabled military veterans in the country. He is the organization’s president and head dog trainer, but Mashal for the past years he had been unable to attend events in California or Boston or go to Board of Directors meetings in California because he is on the No-Fly List.

“Now, I can resume working for clients who are beyond driving distance. I can attend weddings, graduations, and funerals that were too far away to reach by car or train. I can travel with my family to Hawaii, Jamaica, or anywhere else on vacation. Today, I learned I have my freedoms back,” Mashal stated.

Nagib Ali Ghaleb, who lives in Oakland, California, tried to travel in 2010 to San Francisco from Yemen, where his wife and children were living. The flight was scheduled to stop in Frankfurt. He was not permitted to board the flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco and flew back to Sanaa. A US Embassy official informed Ghaleb he was not permitted to be on any flights to the US.

“About two weeks later,” according to a court declaration [PDF] from Ghaleb, “a US official asked me to come to the US Embassy for questioning.

“I met with two officials, one of whom was an FBI agent. The interrogators offered to arrange for me to fly back immediately to the United States if I would agree to tell them who the ‘bad guys’ were in Yemen and in San Francisco. The interrogators insisted that I could provide the names of people from my mosque and my community. When I told the interrogators that I was not interested in spying on the Yemeni community, they told me that if I did not cooperate, they would have me arrested and jailed in Yemen. They advised me to ‘think about it.’”

Judge Anna J. Brown, who was appointed to the US District Court for the District of Oregon by President Bill Clinton, ruled [PDF] in late June that Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director James Comey and other government officials were required to provide some notice to plaintiffs on their “status on the No Fly List and the reasons for placement on that List.” The plaintiffs were also permitted to “submit evidence relevant to the reasons for their respective inclusions on the No-Fly List.” Government officials “must include any responsive evidence that plaintiffs submit in the record to be considered at both the administrative and judicial stages of review.”

That means that the government, pursuant to the court’s decision, has to provide some kind of notice to the other six US citizens who the ACLU represented. The government must provide them some kind of explanation as to why they are on the list and grant them an opportunity to challenge their inclusion.

“Each plaintiff submitted applications for redress through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP),” Brown wrote in her decision. “Despite plaintiffs’ requests to officials and agencies for explanations as to why they were not permitted to board flights, explanations have not been provided and plaintiffs do not know whether they will be permitted to fly in the future.”

The plaintiffs have no idea what information was used against them and have been given no right to comment on any of the evidence the government claims to have, Brown noted.

The government’s failure “to provide any notice of the reasons for plaintiffs’ placement on the No-Fly List is especially important in light of the low evidentiary standard required to place an individual in the [Terrorist Screening Database] in the first place,” she additionally argued. “When only an ex parte [single party] showing of reasonable suspicion supported by ‘articulable facts taken together with rational inferences’ is necessary to place an individual in the TSDB, it is certainly possible, and probably likely, that ‘simple factual errors’ with ‘potentially easy, ready, and persuasive explanations’ could go uncorrected.”

Indeed, in the case of Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim, she sued government officials and overcame the government’s tactic of invoking “state secrets privilege” to prevent her from being able to challenge her placement on the No Fly List. Ibrahim eventually learned that she had been put on the list by “mistake.”

This is a hugely significant development in the struggle to establish meaningful due process rights for citizens improperly placed on watchlists. As Shamsi said, “The opportunity that the plaintiffs in our case are finally getting to clear their names should be available to everyone on the No Fly List as soon as possible.”

The government must complete all of the notifications and further reviews by January 16, according to the ACLU. By then, thirteen Americans will have effectively challenged the authority of the government to blacklist them without regard for the liberty interest they have in being able to travel internationally by air.

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FBI agent took bribes in exchange for internal law enforcement documents
Next: 'Mother lode of bad ideas' defended?
October 18, 2014 9:06 PM MST


The Department of Justice announced that on October 17, 2014 two Connecticut men pleaded guilty to bribery charges, admitting that they participated in a scheme to obtain confidential, internal law enforcement documents and information from a former Special Agent with the FBI in White Plains, New York.

Johannes Thaler, 51 and Rizve Ahmed, aka “Caesar,” 35, admitted to bribing Robert Lustyik, who was at the time serving as a Special Agent with the FBI’s counterintelligence squad.

According to the guilty plea, between September 2011 and March 2012, Thaler and Lustyik solicited bribes from Ahmed. In return for the bribes, Lustyik promised to provide internal law enforcement documents and other confidential information to Ahmed.

Ahmed, a native of Bangladesh, wanted to access confidential law enforcement information, including a Suspicious Activity Report, pertaining to a Bangladeshi political figure who was affiliated with a political party opposing Ahmed’s views. Ahmed admitted that he wanted to harm and discredit his intended victim and those associated with the targeted individual. Ahmed also sought Lustyik to aid him in having criminal charges against a different Bangladeshi political figure dismissed.

In fact, according to government filings in the case, on September 27, 2011, October 13, 2011 and November 3, 2011, Lustyik directed other FBI Special Agents to access an FBI database and pull up “Suspicious Activity Reports” (SAR) and other privileged law enforcement information.

Using his position as a Special Agent with the FBI, Lustyik brazenly demanded a $40,000 “retainer” and monthly payments of $30,000. In return, the crooked FBI Agent promised to “give [Ahmed] everything” and to set up the victim. Lustyik described his “master plan” to use information from the source within the Bangladeshi government and then to sell it to Ahmed. “No one knows … no one gets hurt,” Lustyik wrote.

Lustyik and Thaler exchanged text messages, plotting how to pressure Ahmed to pony up additional funds. The corrupt FBI Special Agent wrote to his accomplice, “We need to push [Ahmed] for this meeting and get that 40 gs quick … I will talk us into getting the cash … I will work my magic … We r sooooooo close.” Thaler responded, “I know. It’s all right there in front of us. Pretty soon we’ll be having lunch in our oceanfront restaurant.”

When Lustyik learned that Ahmed was considering using a different source to obtain confidential information, he went ballistic. The rogue FBI Agent texted his friend Thaler, stating, “I want to kill [Ahmed] … Let’s kick his ass … I hung my ass out the window n we got nothing? … Tell [Ahmed], I’ve got [the victim’s] number and I’m pissed … I will put a wire on n get [Ahmed and his associates] to admit they want [a Bangladeshi political figure] offed n we sell it to the victim].” Lustyik further stated, “So bottom line. I need ten gs asap. We gotta squeeze C.”

Both Lustyik and Thaler had previously pleaded guilty in a 2012 corruption case filed in Salt Lake City, Utah. In that case, Lustyik admitted that he was involved in a scheme to thwart a federal probe into a controversial defense contractor, Michael Taylor, who was under investigation

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Federal Agencies Just Doing Whatever They Want Now

October 30, 2014
On October 26, The New York Times published an article on the close ties between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and ex-Nazis after World War II. This wasn’t news, except for the fact that there were more Nazis poached by the CIA and other intelligence services, then brought to the US, and protected from prosecution than had previously been reported. The number is estimated to be about 1000, but with plenty of documentation still classified, odds are there were still more than that picked up during the short window between Nazis as public enemy number one, and communists becoming the graver menace.

The Times piece also revealed that the CIA hid their precious assets from Nazi hunters and prosecutors trying to deport then-old men in the 1980s and even into the ‘90s. Most disturbing, one of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann’s little buddies, Otto von Bolschwing, was protected until 1982, when he conveniently died of a brain disorder before he could be deported or prosecuted.

Famously, Nazi rocket scientists were picked up by America to prevent their expertise from falling into Soviet hands. Maybe an exception to the prickly feeling that letting heinous war criminals off the hook is not what America was supposed to be doing when it won the good war in a heroically-sepia montage could be made for geniuses like Wernher Von Braun. Von Braun was a rocket scientist and "honorary" SS member under the Nazis, and he helped America get to the moon (which is neat, so that apparently makes his debated level of involvement/enthusiasm for the party acceptable.) What exactly did von Bolschwing contribute to America after happily joining the SS in 1933 to make ignoring his crimes worthwhile? He was a CIA agent in Europe, basically. He might have been a useful spy, or a useless one. Who knows. Plenty of the ex-Nazis turned out to be unpleasant and unreliable, according to the article.

More alarming still is the description of von Bolschwing’s panic when Mossad agents snatched Eichmann from Argentina, to bring him to trial in Israel in 1961. The CIA, it seems, assured him he would be safe in America. No Nazi hunters would come make him pay for his crimes – or "embarrass the US" – not while the agency could use Bolschwing to presumably win the Cold War.

What’s the purpose of this kind of grim revelation? There are several. One, they diminish the moral high ground about the Second World War that the US clings to desperately to this day. Yes, everyone who isn’t literally Adolph Hitler gets to feel pretty good about themselves, so anyone not allied with Hitler must be doing the right thing. Yet, helping to plan the Final Solution is forgivable if the CIA really wants you around.

Another more contemporary reason to be horrified by this revelation is that it is just one outrage of many. Sharing the CIA’s dark corner is most of the other big-name, secretive agencies. For the past 18 months, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive campaign of spying has been big news. Less prominent were stories that suggest the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are also playing the part of secretive, unaccountable rulers.

The Times piece actually implicates J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI nearly as heavily as it does the CIA. In 1960, the FBI had 432,000 files on Americans. Hoover may not have owned presidents quite as much as his reputation suggests, but he had plenty of potentially embarrassing secrets to share about his enemies. And the FBI is still out of control. Many of the terrorist plots they heroically stopped in the past several years involved entrapment of gullible, lost idiots. Some of them really were purely manufactured by the agency, which last year patted itself on the back for going 20 years without an officially unjust shooting of a suspect.

While we’re being freaked out, let’s not forget the DEA, which plays commando throughout Latin America, and buddies up with the NSA for both data and investigation tips.

As great as Edward Snowden’s leaks were for shedding light on the abuses of power within the NSA – and for actually getting them into the damn media for months at a time! – the problem of intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies doing whatever the hell they want dates back to the dawn of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

This week, Techdirt pointed to a shiny new book by Michael Glennon which details the extent to which unelected bureaucrats are more in charge than the officials we elect every four or six years. The book is called National Security and Double Government, which is not an encouraging title at all. Glennon, who has plenty of non-tinfoil-hat-chops, is echoing comments by folks like John Kerry who say some of these spy apparatuses are "on autopilot." Obama, too, may be purely Captain Renault shocked – shocked! – about the gambling going on, but a more frightening proposition than that is if the NSA really is handling its own accountability without even presidential oversight.

We don’t need in-depth revelations about Nazi involvement with national security to be concerned about what federal agencies are doing when no lights shine on them. But the Nazi thing sure doesn’t help engender trust that anyone is watching these powerful, secret groups, or that they have any guiding moral principles at all.

Lucy Steigerwald is a contributing editor for Antiwar.com and a columnist for VICE.com. She previously worked as an Associate Editor for Reason magazine. She is most angry about police, prisons, and wars. Steigerwald blogs at http://www.thestagblog.com.

Read more by Lucy Steigerwald
The Drug War Doesn’t Work Abroad Either – October 22nd, 2014
CIA Admits That Funding Rebels Doesn’t Work – October 16th, 2014
Better Isn’t Good Enough When it Comes to War – October 9th, 2014
Law Enforcement Mourns Apple’s Tighter Security Standards – October 2nd, 2014
The Blank Check for War – September 24th, 2014
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Unorthodox forensic practices shown in Ferguson documents

NOVEMBER 26, 2014
When Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson left the scene of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the officer returned to the police station unescorted, washed blood off his hands and placed his recently fired pistol into an evidence bag himself.

Such seemingly unorthodox forensic practices emerged from the voluminous testimony released in the aftermath of a grand jury decision Monday night not to indict Wilson.

The transcript showed that local officers who interviewed Wilson immediately after the shooting did not tape the conversations and sometimes conducted them with other police personnel present. An investigator with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office testified that he opted not to take measurements at the crime scene.

‘‘I got there, it was self-explanatory what happened,’’ said the investigator, whose name was not released, in his grand jury testimony. ‘‘Somebody shot somebody. There was no question as to any distances or anything of that nature at the time I was there.’’

The investigator, described as a 25-year veteran, did not take his own photographs at the scene of the shooting because his camera battery was dead, he said. Instead, he relied on photographs shot by the St. Louis County Police Department.

The medical examiner and Ferguson Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

When Wilson returned to the police department after the shooting, he was permitted to drive by himself. No one photographed his bloodied hands before he washed up at the station because ‘‘there was no photographer available.’’

Later, injuries to Wilson’s head caused by punches he said were thrown by Brown were photographed by a local detective at the Fraternal Order of Police building, not at police headquarters.

An FBI agent interviewed by the grand jury said he did tape his interview with Wilson. The agent, who was not identified, said Wilson washed up immediately after the shooting because he was worried about the danger presented by some one else’s blood, not about preserving evidence.

‘‘His concern was not of evidence, but as a biohazard or what possible blood hazards it might attract,’’ said the agent, who like other witnesses was not identified by name.

At the crime scene, the medical examiner did not see stippling, the residue of gunpowder on clothing that can indicate shots fired at close range. Eventually an autopsy found evidence of stippling.

In the extended interviews, prosecutors do not come across as particularly aggressive or curious. But they do question police procedures on a couple of occasions, including the failure by Ferguson and St. Louis County investigators to tape their interviews with the officer after the shooting.

Why not tape these answers? a detective with St. Louis County was asked. ‘‘It is just common practice that we do not,’’ the detective said.

Prosecutors also asked why Wilson was permitted to handle evidence in the case himself. ‘‘He had informed me that after he responded to the police station, he had packaged his weapon and then he directed my attention to an evidence envelope,’’ said the St. Louis County detective. Is it customary for the person who was involved in such an incident ‘‘to handle and package their own gun as evidence?’’ the detective was asked.

Not according to the rules of the St. Louis County Police Department, the detective said. But Ferguson may have had its own rules, the detective said. He was not aware of ‘‘any policies or procedures they have in place’’ on the topic.

‘‘Darren Wilson had told me that he had packaged the weapon and it was currently in that evidence bag,’’ the detective told the grand jury. ‘‘Now, at that point in time I never checked to verify that, it was done later,’’ the detective said.

The accounts occasionally revealed inconsistencies. For example, two investigators who interviewed Wilson immediately after the incident said Wilson told them only one shot was fired by Wilson from inside the Chevy Tahoe police cruiser.

But in his testimony, Wilson said two shots were fired inside the car, among several misfires.

The shots and misfires preceded the fatal shooting of Brown on the street a few moments later. The shots were fired from the car after Wilson said Brown had reached in to the vehicle, swinging at the officer and grabbing for his pistol.

Wilson described Brown as having the intimidating size of ‘‘Hulk Hogan.’’ At one point, he said, Brown pushed his pistol down toward the floor, eventually forcing the firearm into the officer’s thigh. Wilson said Brown appeared to be trying to squeeze the trigger. Eventually, Wilson described getting free of Brown’s grip and raising his weapon toward his attacker. The first attempts by Wilson to get off a round at his attacker failed, he said, as the gun only clicked without firing a bullet.

Wilson ultimately said he fired two shots inside the vehicle. After one shot fired he noticed shattered glass and saw blood on his hand, an indication, he said, that Brown had been hit.

However, a Ferguson police officer and a detective with the St. Louis County Police said that Wilson told them only one shot was fired inside the car. The two officers — one a 38-year veteran of the Ferguson police force and the other a county detective — were among the first to talk with Wilson after the fatal shooting. Wilson and the other officers said the weapon failed to fire multiple times inside the vehi

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Lawyers: Government’s Position on FBI Impersonating Repairmen to Conduct Searches a ‘Grave Threat to Privacy’
By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday December 3, 2014

Attorneys defending eight men charged with being involved in illegal gambling are seeking to prevent the government from using evidence FBI agents allegedly obtained through three warrantless searches and argue the government’s position in the case “presents a grave threat to privacy.”

Agents are accused of cutting off DSL internet service to private hotel rooms in Las Vegas to induce them to call for help. The agents then impersonated technicians to enter the rooms.

“The government believes that it can impersonate the professionals called to help and then conduct videotaped searches of the homes without any suspicion of a crime,” the attorneys write in a filing [PDF] in the Vegas sting case. “In other words, whenever citizens insist on maintaining their privacy from the government agents may torment them from outside to pry open the doors. That is the exact opposite of the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.”

The FBI repairmen ruse has been defended by the government. Prosecutors allege that the eight

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Feldman & Pratt: Plan to merge ATF with FBI makes a bad cop worse

12/28/2014 04:45 PM

Gun rights leaders told Guns & Patriots that merging ATF into FBI would provide a means for ATF to hide the kind of rogue activity that has plagued the agency for decades.

“I can’t think of anything more dangerous against gun rights than merging the ATF with the FBI,” said Richard J. Feldman, president of New Hampshire-based Independent Firearm Owners Association. “I would much rather have a stand-alone agency because it is much easier to criticize the ATF for misconduct, than to criticize the FBI.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, led by Director B. Todd Jones, which regulates the licensing, sale, possession, and interstate transportation of firearms, ammunition and explosives; and investigates arson crimes and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products, became a distinct law enforcement group in 1972.

The ATF Elimination Act, which was introduced by Rep. F. James “Jim” Sensenbrenner Jr., (R-Wis.) is a 17-page discussion draft that, if enacted, would abolish ATF and transfer functions relating to federal firearms, explosives, and arson laws, as well as violent crime and domestic terrorism to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and functions relating to the federal alcohol and tobacco smuggling laws would be transferred to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

For the purpose of winding up the affairs of ATF, the act implements a transfer plan between ATF, DEA and FBI that shall be completed within one year. “This is not a new idea,” said Feldman. “I initially supported it but walked away – it was also rejected by Congress.” It was rejected because members realized that federal regulatory action requires strict congressional oversight, he said. “Congress has a history of not challenging the FBI.”

In a September press release, the Wisconsin Republican said, “The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal ridden agency that lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high profile failures. There is also significant overlap with other agencies.”

While minimizing duplicative efforts is a good idea, Feldman said what is needed is better leadership at ATF together with a direct line of communication with the office. “As a former top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, when I dealt with ATF, I dealt with one-short of the deputy of the director of the agency. “

The act would set up an additional and unnecessary bureaucracy that would be out of touch with the American people, he said. “They would have awesome cover for misconduct and it would be harder not easier to hold them accountable.”

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said GOA members oppose the proposed law today and have opposed it in the past. “We have been there and done that before.”

ATF, which has 4,770 employees and, in 2012, an annual budget of $1.15 billion, ought to be eliminated completely not merged into a larger – more difficult to handle – federal agency, he said. “Despite its many misdeeds, the FBI still has a better reputation than ATF, and because ATF is relatively smaller, it makes it easier to handle.”

Feldman, who is the author of “Ricochet: Confessions of a gun lobbyist” and a former staffer in the Reagan White House, said without broad, vocal opposition, he suspects the measure would have enough votes to pass. “It is a position the gun community has to make. If the gun community says we do not want you merging ATF into FBI, Republicans are not going to vote for it.”

If enacted, the organization will still be run by the same people, in the same building ATF is in now, except add another level of government regulation to overcome, he said. “You would not be criticizing the firearm officer, you would be criticizing the FBI position on how to regulate firearms – it would be much more difficult.”

As a regulatory and law enforcement agency, the FBI would be in charge of regulating such an important amendment for freedom – the Second Amendment, he said. “What does that say about the future of our nation?” Under the FBI, enforcement would be more efficient, said Feldman. “Yet this is one of those cases where a little inefficiency in the interest of the civil liberties of the American people is more important.” For example, he said executing a suspect on-the-spot would be very efficient, but it would not do much to protect people’s rights.

“Inefficiency is sometimes there to protect civil liberties, not destroy them,” he said. “When it comes to my firearm civil liberty

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What is the amount of her taxpayer funded pension?
A good criminal justice consumer would know.

Embattled former Milwaukee FBI chief retires from agency
Teresa L. Carlson, the former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Milwaukee, has retired from the bureau.
Teresa L. Carlson, the former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Milwaukee, has retired from the bureau.

Jan. 8, 2015 3:04 p.m.

The former chief of the FBI office in Milwaukee — suspected of encouraging an agent under her command to commit perjury and then lying about it to investigators — has retired from the bureau, according to an FBI spokesman.
Teresa Carlson retired as she was facing termination proceedings for her conduct related to the case of Justin Slaby, a wounded combat veteran who sought to become an FBI agent, according to multiple sources.
Carlson was served with termination papers and escorted out of FBI headquarters in October, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss FBI personnel matters.
An email was sent to FBI employees last week detailing discipline in the prior three months by the bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility. The email included a summary of the case in which a supervisor suggested an agent on how to testify, sources said. The summary did not name Carlson, which is typical of such discipline summaries.
FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said such emails are internal communications for employees only. Allen confirmed that Carlson has retired. He declined to comment further.
Carlson, 50, was hired by the FBI in 1992. Agents who are 50 years old and have 20 years of experience are able to retire with full federal employee benefits. Carlson's retirement benefits will be based on her salary, which the FBI has not released. Government pay scales indicate she made between $120,000 and $180,000 year.
Carlson has been serving as acting deputy assistant director of the Facilities and Logistics Division at headquarters in Washington — which manages FBI facilities and an $800 million budget — since summer 2013, when she first came under investigation.
A Justice Department report issued in August concluded that Carlson, as special agent in charge of the Milwaukee office, instructed a subordinate to commit perjury in the case of Slaby, who wanted to become a special agent. They also found she may have broken federal law by telling an agent to lie under oath. The Justice Department's Public Integrity Section declined to prosecute Carlson.
Unprofessional conduct cited
Carlson also likely lied to investigators working for Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the FBI as well as federal prosecutors, the report says.
Horowitz's office found Carlson "conducted herself unprofessionally and exhibited extremely poor judgment" when she coached Special Agent Mark Crider on how to testify in the case of Slaby.
According to Crider, Carlson told him to "come down" on the FBI's side in the case. Carlson denied she told Crider how to testify, but the inspector general staff concluded her version of events was not credible.
Carlson invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in 2013 after she was subpoenaed to explain the conversation. Likewise, she refused to speak to inspector general staff until she was forced to do so.
Carlson could not be reached for comment Thursday.
FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce quietly moved Carlson out of Milwaukee last summer.
When FBI Director James Comey came to Milwaukee last April, he sought out Crider to shake his hand, saying he wanted employees to be willing to come forward with problems.
The inspector general report also found Carlson wrongly admonished a subordinate for talking to FBI inspectors about friction between the FBI and local law enforcement following the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek in 2012.
In her statement to investigators, Carlson said the latest investigation — along with multiple earlier ones — was nothing more than "a hit" against her by Joyce, the bureau's second-in-command, who has since retired. She said she had been investigated five times since she joined the agency's top ranks — known as the Senior Executive Service, a few hundred managers on top of the 35,000-employee agency.
"It's just been a continual (expletive) allegation after allegation after allegation," she said.
Slaby, a combat war veteran from Oak Creek, lost his hand in a training incident and applied to become an FBI agent. He was washed out of the academy, and he then sued the FBI, saying he was treated unfairly. Crider agreed.
In April 2013, Crider told his supervisors he was going to give a deposition in the Slaby case.
Crider said Carlson lectured him in her office for 20 to 30 minutes, saying Slaby should not be an agent because he is disabled.
Slaby won his case, graduated from the FBI academy and is now a special agent, according to his attorney, Kathy Butler.

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Don’t believe what the government says about Barrett Brown

Accused of serious cyber crimes, the journalist and activist is mostly guilty of satire

01/19/15 12:43pm

On January 22, jailed American journalist Barrett Brown will finally learn his sentence. This had been expected to happen last month, on December 16, but the government unleashed a torrent of exhibits, supposedly to demonstrate “relevant conduct”, and wasted the day with testimony from an FBI agent, eventually leading the judge, Sam A. Lindsay, to decide that he needed more time to make his decision.

Judge Lindsay should sentence Mr. Brown to time served. The man has been in jail for 28 months now, and I’ve been advocating for him at each step of the way. By now, many people have heard his name, and much has been written about him. The popular perception of Mr. Brown is based on his work with Anonymous and his crowd-sourced research outfit Project PM. He’s noted as an activist who made an impact to exact greater transparency: helping to overthrow Middle Eastern dictatorships, and investigating private intelligence firms.

Not a spokesperson

Read more at http://observer.com/2015/01/dont-believe-what-the-government-says-about-barrett-brown/#ixzz3PId40rSJ
Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook

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A Wrongheaded Criminal Justice System
My Future in Prison
The Bureau of Prisons contacted me today, assigning me a prison number and a new address: for the next 90 days, beginning tomorrow, I’ll live at FMC Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington’s federal medical center for men. Very early tomorrow morning, Buddy Bell, Cassandra Dixon, and Paco and Silver, two house guests whom we first met in protests on South Korea’s Jeju Island, will travel with me to Kentucky and deliver me to the satellite women’s prison outside the Federal Medical Center for men.

In December, 2014, Judge Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in federal prison after Georgia Walker and I had attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the commander of Whiteman Air Force base, asking him to stop his troops from piloting lethal drone flights over Afghanistan from within the base. Judge Whitworth allowed me over a month to surrender myself to prison; but whether you are a soldier or a civilian, a target or an unlucky bystander, you can’t surrender to a drone.

When I was imprisoned at Lexington prison in 1988, after a federal magistrate in Missouri sentenced me to one year in prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites, other women prisoners playfully nicknamed me “Missiles.” One of my sisters reliably made me laugh today, texting me to ask if I thought the women this time would call me “Drones.”

It’s good to laugh and feel camaraderie before heading into prison. For someone like me, very nearly saturated in “white privilege” through much of this arrest, trial, and sentencing process, 90% (or more) of my experience will likely depend on attitude.

But, for many of the people I’ll meet in prison, an initial arrest very likely began with something like a “night raid” staged in Iraq or Afghanistan, complete with armed police surrounding and bursting into their home to remove them from children and families, often with helicopters overhead, sequestering them in a county jail, often with very little oversight to assure that guards and wardens treat them fairly. Some prisoners will not have had a chance to see their children before being shipped clear across the country. Some will not have been given adequate medical care as they adjust to life in prison, possibly going without prescribed medicines and often traumatized by the sudden dissolution of ties with family and community. Some will not have had the means to hire a lawyer and may not have learned much about their case from an overworked public defender.

In the U.S., the criminal justice system disproportionately incarcerates people of color for petty offences. Many take plea bargains under threat of excessive, punitive sentences. If I were a young black male, the U.S. penal system quite likely would not have allowed me to turn myself in to a federal prison camp.

I’ll be incarcerated in a satellite cam

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Former FBI agent to give presentation to Savage Senior Club
Jan 27 2015

Craig Sorum, a retired supervisory special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), will give a presentation to the Savage Senior Club on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m.

Sorum served over 25 years as an FBI Agent with assignments in El Paso, Texas, Washington D.C., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Minneapolis. His duties also took him to the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, and Ireland.

When he was 11 years old, Sorum’s family vacationed in Washington D.C. and toured FBI headquarters. Sorum learned that the Bureau hired lawyers and accountants, so he attended Iowa State University and the University of South Dakota before becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He worked for a CPA firm and a commercial bank before he was sworn in as a Special Agent in 1986 and began training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

Sorum has worked cases in all investigative programs including white collar crime, fugitives, kidnappings, bank robberies, drug traffickers, public corruption and cybercrime. In addition to investigative duties, Sorum was also a member of the SWAT Team, worked as an undercover agent, and served as a firearms and foreign police instructor.

His presentation will include an overview of the FBI and his personal experiences from his first days at the academy to returning two children to their mother who were missing for three years; working as an undercover agent; interviewing and obtaining confessions; and cybercrimes. All citizens of the community are welcome to attend.

The Savage Senior Center is located in the Savage Library Annex at 13090 Alabama Ave.


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February 17 2015

Here Is the Spy Equipment That Powers the FBI's Secret Dragnet

Here Is the Spy Equipment That Powers the FBI's Secret Dragnet

The FBI is going to remarkable lengths to hide information about its surveillance program that intercepts calls and texts with equipment called Stingrays.

If you've never heard of Stingrays, that's what the FBI wants. They are stealth devices used by local and federal law enforcement all over the US to gather location data and intercept information from people's phones. The agency has been notoriously tight-lipped about the sketchy practice; there is only one recorded instance where an FBI official has gone on record discussing Stingray programs, this video of FBI director James Comey from last October, which was recently pointed out by Motherboard.
Blaming the "Bad Guys"

The explanation for the secrecy is rich:

"I don't want to say too much about that, because I don't want the bad guys to know how we might be able to find them. So it's one of the reasons that we ask local authorities who are working with us and using our equipment not to talk about it. It's not cause I got something to hide form good people. I have lots to hide from bad people."

Comey's decision to frame the FBI's reluctance to discuss stingrays as a way to stop "bad guys" is a simplistic platitude designed to appeal to that part inside each of us that really loves NCIS, constitutional rights be damned. As much as I know in my heart that Olivia Benson would be my friend, I'm not falling for it. Neither should you: It's also just not true. It's also a troubling grab for impunity that tramples privacy.

The FBI, naturally, claims that hiding any news about Stingray use is necessary to do its job of catching killers and pedophiles. The agency has sent memos to that effect to local police, like this missive circulating in the Seattle Police Department:

It is important for us to keep this sophisticated technique confidential. In fact, RCW 9.73.260 requires the pleadings (and subsequent technique) to be filed under seal until further ordered by the court. Publically discussing the technique is considered a substantial threat to the interests of eff

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Last edited 3 months ago by Barek

Watch this page

Copwatch COPWATCH logo.svg
Formation         1990
Website         berkeleycopwatch.org

Copwatch (also Cop Watch) is a network of activist organizations in the United States and Canada (and to a lesser extent Europe) that observe and document police activity while looking for signs of police misconduct and police brutality. They believe that monitoring police activity on the streets is a way to prevent police brutality.[1]

The stated goal of at least one Copwatch group is to engage in monitoring and videotaping police activity in the interest of holding the police accountable in the events involving assaults or police misconduct.[2]

Copwatch was first started in Berkeley, California in 1990.[3]


Copwatch methods
Kendra James killing
William Cardenas video
See also
Further reading

Copwatch methodsEdit
June 2008 Copwatch-Columbus Flyer

The main function of most Copwatch groups is monitoring police activity. "Copwatchers" go out on foot or driving patrols in their communities and record interactions between the police and civilians. Copwatchers hope that monitoring police activity will provide a deterrent against police misconduct. Some groups also patrol at protests and demonstrations to ensure that police do not violate the rights of protesters. One Copwatch organization states that it has a policy of non-interference with the police, although this may not be true for all groups.[4] In Phoenix, Arizona, copwatchers have increased efforts of "reverse surveillance" on the police in an effort to document racial profiling.[5] They believe that Arizona Senate Bill 1070, a controversial law that allows police to question people they believe are illegal immigrants, will increase racial profiling by police.[5]

Copwatch groups also hold "Know Your Rights" forums to educate the public about their legal and human rights when interacting with the police, and some groups organize events to highlight problems of police abuse in their communities.[6]

Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio expressed concern that copwatchers videotaping police encounters create potential problems for officers' safety,[7] and some law enforcement agencies have responded to the surge in amateur videos by installing cameras in squad cars to protect officers against false allegations.[8] Tim Dees, editor-in-chief of Officer.com, alleges that Copwatch selectively distributes video and photographic media to "spin" incidents against law enforcement.[9]
Kendra James killing

In 2003, Kendra James was fatally shot by Portland, Oregon Officer Scott McCollister as she attempted to drive away from a traffic stop with Officer McCollister attempting to pull her out of the vehicle. After the shooting Copwatch offered a reward for a photograph of McCollister. It then produced and distributed posters bearing McCollister's photo and the phrase "Getting away with murder." The author of an editorial article in Willamette Week said that their personal opinion was that the poster was "inflamed rhetoric" and said that they thought it would harm "the relationship between the Portland police and the community it serves," as well as claiming that protest posters put up by the Rose City chapter of Copwatch were aimed at "inciting generalized anti-cop hysteria at the expense of informed criticism." A member of the Rose City Copwatch group, which seeks to "disrupt the polices ability to enforce race and class lines",[10] says that the shooting "demonstrate[s] a culture of racism and brutality that's really sort of at the core of policing."[11] A grand jury later found no criminal wrongdoing on McCollister's part.[12]
William Cardenas video
November 3, 2006: Video showing an LAPD officer striking William Cardenas 6 times in the face as he struggles to prevent the officers from handcuffing him.

On November 3, 2006, CopWatch LA posted a video showing the arrest of William Cardenas, whom police described as a "a known gang member who had been wanted on a felony warrant for receiving stolen property". According to the arrest report, when officers tried to arrest Cardenas as he was drinking beer on the sidewalk with two others, he fled, but was caught and tripped by the officers, who then began to attempt to handcuff Cardenas as he fought with the officers to avoid being arrested.

The video, in which Cardenas struggles to prevent the police from handcuffing him, shows an officer repeatedly punching him in the face while trying to force his hands together. The officers indicated that they were unable to subdue Cardenas with pepper spray, which seemed to have "little effect", and that some of the punches were delivered in response to Cardenas putting his hand on one officer's gun holster during the struggle. According to the arrest report, several witnesses confirmed that Cardenas threw punches at the officers, who were only able to handcuff him after two of his friends arrived and told him to stop fighting.[13][14]

The circulation of this video led to nationwide media coverage of Copwatch, and, although the LAPD had begun a use-of-force investigation the same day as the arrest, prompted an additional investigation into police conduct by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[15] A Superior Court commissioner had previously concluded that the use of force was reasonable because Cardenas was resisting arrest.[13]
See alsoEdit

Cop Block
Inverse surveillance
Legal observer
Police brutality
These Streets are Watching
Photography is Not a Crime


Nicholas Mirzoeff (2002). The Visual Culture Reader, 2nd edition. Routledge. p. 390. ISBN 0-415-25222-9.
Torin Monahan (2006). Surveillance and Security: Technological Politics and Power in Everyday Life. Routledge. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-415-95393-1.
Steven M. Chermak (2007). Crimes and Trials of the Century: From the Black Sox Scandal to the Attica Prison Riots. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 157. ISBN 0-313-34110-9.
"About Phoenix Copwatch". Phoenix Copwatch. Retrieved 2008-11-27.[dead link]
Emanuella Grinberg (May 11, 2010). "Cop-watchers look for racial profiling on the streets of Phoenix". CNN.
Michelle Chen (2005). "‘Copwatch’ Activists Patrol Communities to Thwart Police Misconduct". The New Standard. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
ABC15.com (October 20, 2009). "Nearly 70 arrested during Arpaio’s West Valley crime sweeps". Archived from the original on October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
MSNBC.com (November 10, 2006). "YouTube video triggers FBI probe of L.A. arrest". Retrieved October 7, 2011.
Tim Dees. "Cop Watch". officer.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-14. Retrieved through web archive October 30, 2009.
"What We Want". Rose City Copwatch. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
"Portland's crazed leftists / Arissa / Rose City Copwatch". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2004-04-14.
Maxine Bernstein. "Officer in James death to return to duty". Portland Oregonian. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
"Alleged LAPD Brutality Video Sparks Probe". CBS News. 2006-11-09. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
Richard Winton; Patrick McGreevy and Andrew Blankstein (2006-11-11). "Video, arrest report at odds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
Veiga, Alex (2006-11-13). "YouTube.com Video Prompts Probe of LAPD". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved 2006-11-13.

Further readingEdit

Marc Krupanski, "Policing the Police: Civilian Video Monitoring of Police Activity", Global Minds/The Global Journal, March 7, 2012. Article link
Daniel J. Chacón, "When cops allegedly step out of line, group steps up pressure", Rocky Mountain News, November 18, 2005, Sec. News, Pg. 31A.
Russ Schanlaub, "Anti-Police Internet Sites", Law and Order, December 2005. Online version
Matt Leedy, "Dozens learn to tape police - Copwatch leader gives Fresnans tips on safely monitoring officers.", Fresno Bee, Aug. 28, 2005, Sec. News, Pg. B1.
"Houston PD wants Copwatch on its side", Law Enforcement News, October 31, 2002, Vol. XXVIII, No. 586. Online abstract
"Arizona vigilantes look for police abuse", Crime Control Digest, Washington: Jan 5, 2001, Vol. 35, Iss. 1; pg. 4.


The Streets Is Watching (Cincinnati), Jacobs Ladder Production (via Google Video)
When Police Riot, Jacobs Ladder Production (via YouTube)
Extremist, Jacobs Ladder Production (via Current)
Copwatch, Guerrilla News Network (via Internet Archive)

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FBI Flouts Obama Directive to Limit Gag Orders on National Security Letters

Today at 10:31 AM

Featured photo - FBI Flouts Obama Directive to Limit Gag Orders on National Security Letters

Despite the post-Snowden spotlight on mass surveillance, the intelligence community’s easiest end-run around the Fourth Amendment since 2001 has been something called a National Security Letter.

FBI agents can demand that an Internet service provider, telephone company or financial institution turn over its records on any number of people — without any judicial review whatsoever — simply by writing a letter that says the information is needed for national security purposes. The FBI at one point was cranking out over 50,000 such letters a year; by the latest count, it still issues about 60 a day.

The letters look like this:

Recipients are legally required to comply — but it doesn’t stop there. They also aren’t allowed to mention the order to anyone, least of all the person whose data is being searched. Ever. That’s because National Security Letters almost always come with eternal gag orders. Here’s that part:

That means the NSL process utterly disregards the First Amendment as well.

More than a year ago, President Obama announced that he was ordering the Justice Department to terminate gag orders “within a fixed time unless the government demonstrates a real need for further secrecy.”

And on Feb. 3, when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced a handful of baby steps resulting from its “comprehensive effort to examine and enhance [its] privacy and civil liberty protections” one of the most concrete was — finally — to cap the gag orders:

In response to the President’s new direction, the FBI will now presumptively terminate National Security Letter nondisclosure orders at the earlier of three years after the opening of a fully predicated investigation or the investigation’s close.

Continued nondisclosures orders beyond this period are permitted only if a Special Agent in Charge or a Deputy Assistant Director determines that the statutory standards for nondisclosure continue to be satisfied and that the case agent has justified, in writing, why continued nondisclosure is appropriate.

Despite the use of the word “now” in that first sentence, however, the FBI has yet to do any such thing. It has not announced any such change, nor explained how it will implement it, or when.

Media inquiries were greeted with stalling and, finally, a no comment — ostensibly on advice of legal counsel.

“There is pending litigation that deals with a lot of the same questions you’re asking, out of the Ninth Circuit,” FBI spokesman Chris Allen told me. “So for now, we’ll just have to decline to comment.”

FBI lawyers are working on a court filing for that case, and “it will address” the new policy, he said. He would not say when to expect it.

There is indeed a significant case currently before the federal appeals court in San Francisco. Oral arguments were in October. A decision could come any time.

But in that case, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is representing two unnamed communications companies that received NSLs, is calling for the entire NSL statute to be thrown out as unconstitutional — not for a tweak to the gag. And it has a March 2013 district court ruling in its favor.

“The gag is a prior restraint under the First Amendment, and prior restraints have to meet an extremely high burden,” said Andrew Crocker, a legal fellow at EFF. That means going to court and meeting the burden of proof — not just signing a letter.

Or as the Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez put it, “To have such a low bar for denying persons or companies the right to speak about government orders they have been served with is anathema. And it is not very good for accountability.”

In a separate case, a wide range of media companies (including First Look Media, the non-profit digital media venture that produces The Intercept) are supporting a lawsuit filed by Twitter, demanding the right to say specifically how many NSLs it has received.

But simply releasing companies from a gag doesn’t assure the kind of accountability that privacy advocates are saying is required by the Constitution.

“What the public has to remember is a NSL is asking for your information, but it’s not asking it from you,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice. “The vast majority of these things go to the very large telecommunications and financial companies who have a large stake in maintaining a good relationship with the government because they’re heavily regulated entities.”

So, German said, “the number of NSLs that would be exposed as a result of the release of the gag order is probably very few. The person whose records are being obtained is the one who should receive some notification.”

A time limit on gags going forward also raises the question of whether past gag orders will now be withdrawn. “Obviously there are at this point literally hundreds of thousands of National Security Letters that are more than three years old,” said Sanchez. Individual review is therefore unlikely, but there ought to be some recourse, he said. And the further back you go, “it becomes increasingly implausible that a significant percentage of those are going to entail some dire national security risk.”

The NSL program has a troubled history. The absolute secrecy of the program and resulting lack of accountability led to systemic abus

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Sony, FBI weren't on same page during Sony Pictures hack

February 23, 2015, 12:27 PM EST

Self-interested, the organizations reportedly made decisions based on little information or consultation.

Major corporate hacking incidents seem to be everywhere lately, but the increased profile of the problem doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting better at addressing them.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation withheld information from Sony SNE 2.65% as both organizations worked to respond to the November cyber attacks on Sony Pictures, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The FBI didn’t advise Sony on how to respond to the hack, and when the National Organization of Theatre Owners approached the Department of Homeland Security for information and advice about the incident, the owners walked away largely empty-handed.

The disarray around the hack led to each stakeholder making high-profile decisions without fully consulting the others: theaters refused to show The Interview, the film fingered by the hackers as offensive; that decision led Sony to delay the film’s release; the White House felt forced to make a statement

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3. Stories

Menendez presses State Department and FBI on Chesimard
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on Feb. 3.


on February 26, 2015 at 5:08 PM, updated February 26, 2015 at 5:09 PM


NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez today asked the State Department to give the return of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard "the utmost importance



Denver FBI office to hold a 'Teen Academy'

Feb 23 2015

The academy is a one day, all-day event taking place on June 24. It's open to 25 junior high and 25 high school students. It will be held at the FBI headquarters in Denver.

The "Teen Academy" is a few years in the making.

The purpose is to give students a glimpse inside the federal agency, including what it does, the SWAT team, evidence recovery, undercover program, simulated firearms training, the tour of the building and the gun vault.

The deadline for application is April 1, 2015. People who have been chosen will be notified on or about May 15.



‘Jihadi John’ Identified: Londoner Was Courted by MI5
US Rushes to Find Out Who Mohammed Emwazi Is
by Jason Ditz, February 26, 2015
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The ISIS militant with a British accent was publicly identified today as Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old from a London family who fled Britain after the government tried repeatedly to prevent him traveling abroad.

Born in Kuwait, Emwazi’s family moved to London when he was six, and he graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in computer science.

That’s where his background gets tricky. He tried to go on safari to Tanzania in 2009, and was detained on British government orders. MI5 approached him with the idea of being an informant for them. He refused.

He went to Kuwait later that year to visit family, and got a job there working for a computer company. After what was intended to be a brief return visit had his visa denied and was stuck in Britain. He then sought to teach English abroad but was again prevented from traveling.

Stuck in Britain, he complained of a “campaign of harassment” by MI5, who wanted to condition his travel abroad on him becoming their informant. Aid group CAGE, which was familiar with his situation at the time, called him an “extremely gentle” man who wanted to go back to Kuwait, where he had a fiancee.

A 2013 attempt to change his name then travel to Kuwait to teach English was again blocked by the British government, which appears to have been the last straw. He disappeared shortly thereafter, and a few months later his family was informed he’d gone to Syria.

The FBI and MI5 have apparently known he was Jihadi John for awhile, and the US is said to be scrambling to find out more about him, with an eye on putting him on a kill list.


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Canada deports alleged Anonymous hacker Matt DeHart to U.S.

March 1 2015

A former US soldier who unsuccessfully sought asylum in Canada, claiming he was tortured by American agents investigating Anonymous hackers and WikiLeaks, has been deported to the United States, raising concerns about his wellbeing.
The National Post reports Matt DeHart, 30, was able to make a quick phone call to his parents, who are also in the process of being removed from Canada, before being handed over to US agents at an unspecified border crossing. Father Paul DeHart said Matt is "peaceful and in good health," but said he and his wife Leann are very worried about his wellbeing.
“We are concerned about Matt’s safety as he transits,” he told the National Post. “We said a prayer together on the phone and gave him into God’s hands for protection.”
While little-known outside Internet activist and national security circles in the United States, DeHart's case has attracted considerable attention in Canada, thanks largely in part to an incisive National Post investigative series chronicling his bizarre and alarming case.
DeHart grew up in deeply religious and patriotic family in Newburgh, Indiana. Both of his parents are US military veterans; his father was an Air Force major who worked for the NSA. In 2008, he enlisted in the US Air National Guard, where he was a drone pilot and intelligence analyst. He was honorably discharged the following year after being diagnosed with depression.
Since as far back as at least 2008, DeHart has admitted being a member of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. He also secretly ran a computer server on Tor, free software that enables anonymous online communication. In 2009, another user uploaded an unencrypted file to his server. DeHart testified that the file, which pertained to an FBI investigation of alleged CIA wrongdoing, “contained information that demonstrated malfeasance and criminal activity on the part of a government agency.”
In January 2010, DeHart's Indiana home was raided by FBI agents, who had a search warrant for child pornography. No such material has ever been found, and DeHart and his family vehemently deny he had anything to do with such a crime.
Fearing that he was being targeted by the government, DeHart sought, and was denied, asylum in Russia. Instead, he moved with his family to Canada. While attempting to obtain a student visa, which required him to cross back into the United States, he was arrested in Maine and taken into FBI custody. DeHart received psychiatric 'treatment,' including involuntary medication, which he called torture. He was then intensively interrogated by FBI agents, and denied access to an attorney.
“They started with people in my military unit, what the connection was between them, me and the Russian embassy; and then started asking me about connections between people in my military unit and Anonymous," he told the National Post. "They also asked about WikiLeaks." US authorities have alleged that DeHart may have tried to sell military secrets to Russia, and that he moved to Canada not to seek asylum but rather to contact Russian agents at that country's embassy in Ottawa.
According to government documents, DeHart admitted under interrogation to involvement in a spy ring during his time as a drone pilot. He 'confessed' to agreeing to arrange the sale of military secrets through a Russian spy in Canada. But DeHart told the National Post that he made false confessions so that his interrogators would stop torturing him.
“I would have told them anything,” he said. “Information that is derived from torture—to use it against somebody is ridiculous. It’s garbage. I already said it’s not true.”
Two years after his arrest, the US Department of Justice admitted to having classified reports on DeHart. These files confirmed he was arrested “for questioning in an espionage matter" in what was described as a “national security investigation." Child pornography is never mentioned.
After spending 21 months behind bars, Judge Aleta Trauger ordered DeHart released from jail, finding his assertion that the child pornography allegations against him were "really a ruse to try to get the proof about his extracurricular national security issues" to be "very credible." Two other courts had also questioned the validity of the child pornography charge.
Despite being ordered to remain in his parents home, DeHart was driven back to the Canadian border by his father. He again attempted to claim asylum, citing the United Nations Convention against Torture. His bid again failed, and he was arrested for “engaging in act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada interest." Under the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada has been increasingly unsympathetic toward Americans seeking asylum or refuge, mostly conscientious objectors and other war resisters, who face harsh penalties upon their return.
In August 2013, DeHart was freed but placed under house arrest in Brampton, Ontario. He was allowed to leave his apartment to obtain medical treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as for legal consultations. The stress of his ordeal proved too much for DeHart to handle, and he twice tried to kill himself. Earlier this month, he was informed that he had lost his bid for asylum.
Although Canada's Immigration and Refuge Board (IRB) found no “credible or trustworthy evidence” that DeHart committed any child pornography offenses, and despite legitimate concerns about torture in the United States—in 2008 the Canadian Foreign Affairs Department placed the US on a list of countries where prisoners are at risk of torture and abuse—it ruled that the United States “has a fair and independent judicial process."
“I cannot imagine any life in a country which has already tortured me,” DeHart told the National Post Tuesday from an Ontario prison after he learned of the decision to deport him. “Am I now to be given into the hands of my torturers?”
In light of the United States government's persecution and prosecution of hackers and whistleblowers, which has intensified during the administration of Barack Obama—who acknowledges that the US "tortured some folks," and its documented track record of torture, there are legitimate reasons to fear for DeHart's safety now that he is being turned back over to those he claims tortured him. But DeHart's parents hope the high-profile nature of the case will help protect him.
“He has publicity now so maybe he will transit without incident,” his father told the National Post.
Paul DeHart compared his son's case to that of Aaron Swartz, the open Internet activist who killed himself after being tar

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Couple of reads


The FBI Wants You: Special Agent Application Now Open


Published: 02 March 2015

Phoenix, Arizona - The strength of the FBI is its people employees from different backgrounds, each possessing a myriad of skills working together to ensure the safety of our communities and the nation. Joining the FBI is like no other career choice you have explored. It is challenging. It is exciting. It is rewarding, and every day you have a chance to serve your country.

FBI special agents are responsible for conducting sensitive national security investigations and for enforcing more than 300 federal statutes. As an FBI special agent, you may work on matters including terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, organized crime, white-collar crime, public corruption, civil rights violations, financial crime, bribery, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, air piracy, interstate criminal activity, fugitive and drug trafficking matters, and other violations of federal statutes.

There is no such thing as a typical day for an FBI special agent. Every day is different. One day you could be testifying in federal court, the next you could be executing a search warrant and gathering evidence, the next you could be meeting with a source to gather intelligence on illegal activities, the next


Texas Town Sees 61% Drop in Crime After Kicking Out Cops © AP Photo/ Houston Chronicle, Sharon Steinmann
00:26 03.03.2015(updated 08:41 03.03.2015)
Rather than degenerate into a lawless land where criminals rule the streets, a Texas town that fired its entire police department has seen a 61% decrease is crime.
In 2012, Sharpstown, a community of 66,000 located just southwest of Houston, declined to renew its contract with the constable’s office, essentially dismissing its cops.

Instead, the Sharpstown Civic Association hired SEAL Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/news/20150303/1018971990.html#ixzz3TIjdr9Xt

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U.S. Attorney Finley speaks to LSUE and Southern University law students
March 27, 2015, 9:55 pm

U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley, third from right, and FBI Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Don Bostic, second from right, stand with student and faculty of the LSU at Eunice during an Introduction to Criminal Justice class March 23, 2015. U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley, third from right, and FBI Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Don Bostic, second from right, stand with student and faculty of the LSU at Eunice during an Introduction to Criminal Justice class March 23, 2015.

EUNICE/BATON ROUGE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley visited Louisiana State University at Eunice and Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge this week to talk about her office’s role in administering justice.

“I always enjoy spending time with our future leaders,” Finley said. “If I can encourage or inspire any of them to strive for excellence and commit to sacrifice, no matter their career choice, then we all benefit.”

The U.S. Attorney and FBI Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Don Bostic spoke to students at LSU at Eunice during an Introduction to Criminal Justice class on March 23, 2015. Finley and Bostic gave a presentation on the federal criminal process. They touched on the role of social media in criminal cases, the relationship between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement, the work that goes into investigating a case, the various jobs offered within the Department of Justice, and the makeup of the Western District of Louisiana, among other topics.

Louisiana State University at Eunice is a two-year community college, which is part of the LSU school system, and was founded in the mid-1960s. Find out more at http://www.LSUE.edu. U.S. Attorney Finley also visited a Law Office Practice class at Southern University Law Center on March 24, 2015 in Baton Rouge. She spoke to the students about the role of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the various careers available


in George H. W. Bush as director of the CIA as President Gerald Ford watches. REUTERS/George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The great forgotten Cincinnati wiretap scandal

By Gregory Flannery


Americans no longer assume their communications are free from government spying. Many believe widespread monitoring is a recent change, a response to terrorism. They are wrong. Fair warning came in 1988 in Cincinnati, Ohio, when evidence showed that wiretapping was already both common and easy.

Twenty-five years ago state and federal courtrooms in Cincinnati were abuzz with allegations of illegal wiretaps on federal judges, members of Cincinnati City Council, local congressional representatives, political dissidents and business leaders.

Two federal judges in Cincinnati told 60 Minutes they believed there was strong evidence that they had been wiretapped. Retired Cincinnati Police officers, including a former chief, admitted to illegal wiretapping.

Even some of the most outrageous claims – for example, that the president of the United States was wiretapped while staying in a Cincinnati hotel – were supported by independent witnesses.

National media coverage of the lawsuits, grand jury hearings and investigations by city council and the FBI attracted the attention of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.).

As Americans wonder about the extent to which their e-mails, cell-phones and text messages are being monitored, they would do well to look back at a time before any of those existed. Judging by what was revealed in Cincinnati, privacy died long before anyone had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or al Q’aeda.


In 1988 Leonard Gates, a former installer for Cincinnati Bell, told the Mount Washington Press, a small independent weekly, that he had performed illegal wiretaps for the Cincinnati Police Department, the FBI and the phone company itself.

A week after the paper published his allegations, a federal grand jury began hearing testimony.

Gates claimed to have performed an estimated 1,200 wiretaps, which he believed illegal. His list of targets included former Mayor Jerry Springer, the late tycoon Carl Lindner Jr., U.S. District Judge Carl Rubin, U.S. Magistrate J. Vincent Aug, the late U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), the Students for a Democratic Society (an anti-war group during the Vietnam War), then-U.S. Rep. Tom Luken (D-Cincinnati) and then-President Gerald Ford.

A second former Cincinnati Bell installer, Robert Draise, joined Gates, saying he, too had performed illegal wiretaps for the police. His alleged targets included the Black Muslim mosque in Finneytown and the General Electric plant in Evendale. Draise’s portfolio was much smaller than Gates’s, an estimated 100 taps, because he was caught freelancing – performing an illegal wiretap for a friend.

Charged by the FBI, Draise claimed he had gone to his “controller” at Cincinnati Bell, the person who directed his wiretaps, and asked for help. If he didn’t get it, he said, he’d tell all. When the case went to federal court, Draise didn’t bother to hire an attorney. He didn’t need one. In a plea deal, federal prosecutors dropped the charge to a misdemeanor. Found guilty of illegal wiretapping, his sentence was a $200 fine. The judge? Magistrate J. Vincent Aug.

If Gates and Draise had been the only people to come forward, they could easily be dismissed as cranks – disgruntled former employees, as Cincinnati Bell claimed. But some police office officers named by Gates and Draise confirmed parts of their allegations, insisting, however, that there were only 12 illegal wiretaps. Other officers not known to Gates and Draise also admitted to illegal wiretaps. Some of the officers received immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony. Others invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.

“Due to the turbulent nature of the late ’60s and early ’70s, wiretaps were conducted to gather information,” said a press release signed by six retired officers. “This use began in approximately 1968 and ended completely during the Watergate investigation.”

The press release, whose signers included former Police Chief Myron Leistler, listed 12 wiretaps, among them “a black militant in the Bond Hill area” and a house on either Ravine or Strait streets rented by “the SDS or some other radical group.”

The retired cops’ lawyer said there were actually three Cincinnati Bell installers doing illegal wiretaps, but declined to identify the third.

The retired officers denied knowledge of “any wiretaps involving judges, local politicians, prominent citizens and fellow law enforcement officers or city employees.”

Getting rid of Aug

Others had that knowledge, however.

Howard Lucas, former security chief at the Stouffer Hotel downtown, said he caught Gates and three cops trying to break into a telephone switching room shortly before President Gerald Ford stayed at the hotel.

“I said, ‘Do you have a court order?’ and they all laughed,” Lucas told the Mount Washington Press.

The four men left. But they returned.

“A couple days later, in the back of the room, I found a setup, a reel-to-reel recorder concealed under some boxes,” Lucas said.

Ford stayed at the Stouffer Hotel in July 1975 and June 1976 – two years after the Watergate scandal, when Cincinnati Police officers claimed the bugging ended.

Then there was the matter of a former guard at the U.S. Courthouse downtown. He said he had found wiretap equipment there in 1986 and 1987, just a year before the wiretap scandal broke.

“I heard conversations you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I heard a conversation one time. they were talking about getting rid of U.S. Magistrate Aug.”

The wiretapping started with drug dealers and expanded to political and business figures, according to Gates. In 1979, he testified, he was ordered to wiretap the Hamilton County Regional Computer Center, which handled vote tabulations. His handler at the phone company allegedly told Gates the wiretap was intended to manipulate election results.

“They had the ability to actually alter what was being done with the votes. … He was very upset through some of the elections with a gentleman named Blackwell,” Gates testified.

J. Kenneth Blackwell is a former member of Cincinnati Council, and 1979 was an election year for council.

Something went wrong on Election Night, Gates testified. His handler at the phone company called him.

“He was panicking,” Gates testified. “He said we had done something to screw up the voting processor down there, or the voting computer.”

News reports at the time noted an unexpected delay in counting votes for city council because of a computer malfunction.

Cincinnati Bell denied any involvement in illegal wiretapping by police or its own personnel. Yet police officers, like Gates, testified the police received equipment – even a truck – and information necessary to effectuate the wiretaps. The owners of a greenhouse in Westwood even came forward, saying the police stored the Cincinnati Bell truck on their property.

‘Say it louder’

Gates claimed that his handler at Cincinnati Bell repeatedly told him the wiretaps were at the behest of the FBI. He named an FBI agent who, he said, let him into the federal courthouse to wiretap federal judges.

Investigations followed – a federal grand jury, which indicted no one; a special investigator hired by city council, the former head of the Cincinnati FBI office; the U.S. Justice Department, sort of.

U.S. Sen. Paul Simon asked then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh to look into the Cincinnati wiretap scandal. Federal judges, members of Congress and even the president of the United States had allegedly been wiretapped. Simon’s effort went nowhere. His press secretary told the Mount Washington Press that it took three months for the Attorney General to respond.

“The senator’s not pleased with the response,” Simon’s press secretary said. “It didn’t have the attorney general’s personal attention, and it said Justice (Department) was aware of the situation, but isn’t going to do anything.”

The city of Cincinnati settled a class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegal wiretapping, paying $85,000 to 17 defendants. It paid $12,000 to settle a second lawsuit by former staffers of The Independent Eye, an underground newspaper allegedly wiretapped and torched by Cincinnati Police officers in 1970.

Cincinnati Bell sued Leonard Gates and Robert Draise, accusing them of defamation. The two men had no attorneys and represented themselves at trial. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Fred Cartolano refused to let the jury hear testimony by former police officers who had admitted using Gates and Draise and Cincinnati Bell equipment. In a 4-2 vote, the jury ruled in the phone company’s favor, officially adjudging the two whistleblowers liars.

During one of the many hearings associated with the wiretap scandal, an FBI agent was asked what the agency would do if someone accused the phone company of placing illegal wiretaps. He testified the FBI would be powerless; it needed the phone company to check for a wiretap.

“It would go back to Bell,” the agent testified. “We would have no way of determining if there was any illegal wiretapping going on.”

The FBI agent was the person Gates had accused of opening the federal courthouse at night so he could wiretap federal judges.

One police sergeant offered no excuses for the illegal wiretapping. Asked why he didn’t bother with the legal niceties, such as getting a warrant, as required then by federal law, he said, “I didn’t deem it was necessary. We wanted the information, and went out and got it.”

At one point, covering the scandal for the Mount Washington Press, I received a phone call from a sergeant in the Cincinnati Police Department. He invited me to the station at Mount Airy Forest, where he proceeded to wiretap a fellow police officer’s phone call. I listened as the other officer talked to his wife.

“Say hello,” the sergeant told me.

I did. There was no response.

“Say it louder,” the sergeant said.

I did. No response.

“You can hear them, but they can’t hear you,” the sergeant said. “Any idiot can do a wiretap. You know that’s true because you just saw a policeman do it.”

Privacy is dead. Its corpse has long been moldering in the grave.

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The Big Secret That Makes the FBI’s Anti-Encryption Campaign a Big Lie


Sep. 28 2015, 10:47 a.m.

To hear FBI Director James Comey tell it, strong encryption stops law enforcement dead in its tracks by letting terrorists, kidnappers and rapists communicate in complete secrecy.

But that’s just not true.

In the rare cases in which an investigation may initially appear to be blocked by encryption — and so far, the FBI has yet to identify a single one — the government has a Plan B: it’s called hacking.

Hacking — just like kicking down a door and looking through someone’s stuff — is a perfectly legal tactic for law enforcement officers, provided they have a warrant.

And law enforcement officials have, over the years, learned many ways to install viruses, Trojan horses, and other forms of malicious code onto suspects’ devices. Doing so gives them the same access the suspects have to communications — before they’ve been encrypted, or after they’ve been unencrypted.

Government officials don’t like talking about it — quite possibly because hacking takes considerably more effort than simply asking a telecom provider for records. Robert Litt, general counsel to the Director of National Intelligence, recently referred to potential government hacking as a process of “slow uncertain one-offs.”

But they don’t deny it, either. Hacking is “an avenue to consider and discuss,” Amy Hess, the assistant executive director of the FBI’s Science and Technology branch, said at an encryption debate earlier this month.

The FBI “routinely identifies, evaluates, and tests potential exploits in the interest of cyber security,” bureau spokesperson Christopher Allen wrote in an email.

Hacking In Action

There are still only a few publicly known cases of government hacking, but they include examples of phishing, “watering hole” websites, and physical tampering.

Phishing involves an attacker masquerading as a trustworthy website or serv

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2 Stories

20 years ago we brought Sigmund Diamond to speak at Bates College

23 years later no change


Books of The Times; When Academics Doubled as Intelligence Agents
Published: July 29, 1992


Compromised Campus The Collaboration of Universities With the Intelligence Community, 1945-1955 By Sigmund Diamond 371 pages. Oxford University Press. $27.95.

It should not come as a surprise to readers of recent books and magazine articles about the reign of J. Edgar Hoover during the cold war that the tentacles of the Federal Bureau of Investigation extended into the nation's universities. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, in recent years historians, biographers and journalists have been able to obtain Government dossiers -- heavily censored and often with pages withheld -- on individuals and organizations ranging from America's Nobel laureates in literature to members of Congress and the Supreme Court.

In "Compromised Campus," Sigmund Diamond, Giddings Professor of Sociology and Emeritus Professor of History, Columbia University, adds fuel to the bonfire of the liberties. Citing F.B.I. files and his own observations, he reveals that for at least 10 years after World War II, Hoover's special agents in charge enlisted administrators and professors and planted them as subagents in place. Professor Diamond maintains that such college officials and faculty members were more than willing to report to the F.B.I. about colleagues they suspected of being disloyal Americans. He finds that some did so for patriotic reasons, others to advance their careers on campus or later in Washington.

Professor Diamond's theme builds on information already existing in the study of McCarthyism and Hoovermania, which are linked because the Senator and the Director worked together closely. Among the most revealing books in the field is Ellen Schrecker's "No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities." The leading expert on domestic surveillance without judicial fiat, Prof. Athan Theoharis of Marquette University, obtained thousands of F.B.I. documents and interpreted them in such valuable books as "Spying on Americans" and "From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover." Presidents and Presidential aspirants, Federal employees, newspapers, networks, film studios, guilds, unions and civil rights leaders all were shown to have F.B.I. files, usually without their knowledge or an opportunity to challenge faceless accusers.

As Professor Theoharis and other authors have demonstrated, sometimes spying was done upon an organization's members by its own officials. In the best-known case, Ronald Reagan, while president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947, served as an informer, assigned the code name Agent T-10, for the Los Angeles office of the F.B.I. Similarly, Professor Diamond cites examples of university officials who collaborated with the agencies he classifies together as the intelligence community: the F.B.I., the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.

In "Compromised Campus," the author devotes special attention to individuals he considers collaborators with the F.B.I. during the early 1950's, based on files he unearthed under the Freedom of Information Act. They include, from Harvard, McGeorge Bundy, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences; Henry A. Kissinger, a teaching fellow who was executive director of an international seminar, and William Yandell Elliott, a professor of government described as Mr. Kissinger's mentor.

At Yale, the author singles out William F. Buckley Jr., onetime editor of the Yale Daily News, calling him "the F.B.I. informer as Yale intellectual," and Harry B. Fisher, the F.B.I.'s liaison on campus, "an undercover employee of Yale University for 25 years, whose last 15 years of service were devoted mainly to political surveillance."

Professor Diamond, who received his Ph.D. in American history at Harvard, seems to be paying off an old score against Mr. Bundy, presenting some accounts that have been previously argued in the pages of The New York Review of Books. The author writes that he was dismissed from an administrative job, which included teaching duties, because Dean Bundy wanted him to disclose the political beliefs of former colleagues and "cooperate by giving the names to the authorities." He responded that he was willing to talk about himself but would decline to discuss others.

The author devotes two chapters to the Russian Research Center at Harvard, which was the special province of the Boston F.B.I. office. "The Russian Research Center was the locus of fruitful collaboration between the intelligence agencies and Harvard, fruitful but not entirely free of tension," he writes. Citing internal reports between Boston and Washington that he managed to obtain by diligent digging, Professor Diamond adds, "The F.B.I. had its version of the history of the Russian Research Center, and its documents make clear how it intruded in the affairs of the center." In one case, Professor Diamond writes, "a slip by the F.B.I. censor" indicates that Isaiah Berlin, the distinguished British diplomat, author and philosopher, was kept under surveillance by Charles Baroch, a "confidential informant" who was a graduate student at the center.

Professor Diamond says that the F.B.I. watched faculty members who were considered politically suspect. In 1969, the bureau's campus informant (whose name was deleted from the records) reported that two humanities professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had been denied reappointments after their dossiers were provided to school officials. The "chilling" evidence of cooperation between the F.B.I. and M



The growing link between intelligence communities and academia
September 30, 2015 5.09am EDT

Scott Firsing

Research Fellow, International Relations, Monash University

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Monash University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.
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The Tribute in Light is seen on the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. 9/11 was the beginning of major changes in the intelligence community. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

The idea of university professors or students working with the FBI or CIA probably makes you raise your eyebrows.

But then perhaps you’re picturing someone like the fictional Henry McCord in Madam Secretary . He’s a Georgetown theology professor who was asked to plant a bug for the National Security Agency (NSA) at the home of a scholar believed to be connected to a terrorist.

Such covert operations do happen. But mostly, professors will be called to deliver a guest lecture to agents or a university will be contracted to help with research. This is true for organizations in the United States like the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the NSA, and for their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

Such interactions make even academics wary. A tenured professor in the United States tends to be a liberal who is suspicious of the intelligence community’s (IC) methods and activities overseas.

But the tactics used by America’s current and potential future enemies are constantly changing. This volatility and diversity of threats means that the IC needs higher education’s help.
Intelligence post-9/11

The events of September 11 2001 were a catalyst for change in the intelligence profession. In the 14 years since, the number of institutions associated with the field has grown so “large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work,” according to a two-year investigation published by the Washington Post in 2010.

The IC has transformed and greatly expanded to address the shortfalls that became evident after 9/11. One of its moves was to expand the CIA’s Sherman Kent’s School of Intelligence Analysis which opened in May 2000 and became part of the new CIA University founded in 2002. Mainstream academia also started to develop specialized degrees in intelligence, homeland security and national defence.

Those outside the IC may question why we need structures and organizations like the CIA, FBI and others.

National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland. NSA website

In his 2014 book Scientific Methods of Inquiry for Intelligence Analysis, academic Professor Hank Prunckun explains that intelligence is important because it allows control to be exercised in a given situation – and control equals power.

Prunckun calls intelligence “an exact science based on sound qualitative and quantitative research methods.”

His book forms part of the Security and Professional Intelligence Education Series, another resource developed for the emerging IC after September 11. This is a range of books focusing on intelligence, foreign policy, national security and business intelligence.

Some universities have already recognized the role and value of intelligence. There are a number of new bachelors and master’s degrees, particularly in the United States, which focus on the areas of intelligence and national security.
Graduating into intelligence agencies

The goal of these new university degrees is to help create the next generation of professionals for the IC. One of the pluses of this arrangement is that universities have four years to develop skills like critical thinking and report writing. Intelligence organizations have only a limited amount of time to teach these abilities.

Here are five skills or characteristics that students who want to work in intelligence communities can develop at university.

A global focus: students need to start understanding how the world works. Many universities offer basic global politics courses, but regional focus minors, say in African geopolitics or the working of South East Asia, are helpful too. Students considering a career in intelligence should also try to study overseas to broaden their horizons.

An inquisitive nature: thinking critically is arguably the most important skill one can develop in universities. Universities need to train problem-solvers who understand analytic methodologies and strategic concepts – and who can apply that knowledge. My conversations with staff from organizations like the NSA show they want young, creative thinkers who can think out of the box to identify gaps or problems. They don’t want “yes” men and women.

Technological savvy: a minor in technology is recommended in this era of internet saturation and “big data.”

A sense of immediacy: when I say current affairs, I mean seriously current. Universities must be quick to adapt to changing concepts and threats – like offering courses in cybersecurity or the IS.

Communication skills: intelligence agents must be able to communicate effectively in writing, in a boardroom or in an elevator when they have just seconds with a director or policymaker.

Multilingualism is a huge bonus, too.

Research is another area where academia can contribute to the IC. It can be used to fill in gaps. There is also a major role for

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Judge orders Gen. Allen to testify in Petraeus probe leak lawsuit
Politico (blog)-
October 10,2015


Jill Kelley contends that the FBI and the Defense Department illegally leaked her emails to the media while conducting an investigation into her claims that she ...

Judge orders Gen. Allen to testify in Petraeus probe leak lawsuit

10/09/15 02:07 PM EDT

A federal judge Friday ordered that retired Marine Gen. John Allen be required to testify in a lawsuit involving leaks in the federal investigation that eventually led to CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation and guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the go-ahead for a two-hour deposition of Allen in the Privacy Act lawsuit brought by Florida residents Jill and Scott Kelley. Jill Kelley contends that the FBI and the Defense Department illegally leaked her emails to the media while conducting an investigation into her claims that she and top U.S. military officials were being cyberstalked.

Allen’s attorney John Dowd indicated to the court that the retired general, who knew the Kelleys as a result of social events connected to Central Command in Tampa, was unaware of any inappropriate conduct on the part of the FBI personnel involved in the probe. Allen contends he did not release any email correspondence with the Kelleys to the media and that he was a victim of the media leaks, the judge said. Some of the news stories quoting unnamed sources suggested Kelley might be having an affair with Allen, something both of them deny took place.

“It’s a waste of time,” Dowd said bluntly about the proposed deposition.

Jackson seemed to agree at least to an extent, saying she didn’t see how anything Allen had to offer would help the Kelleys’ case against the FBI and the military. However, the judge said the Kelleys were entitled to get his testimony under oath if they wanted it.

“It does seem to be sufficiently related to the lawsuit that they’re entitled to get it from him,” the judge said. “I’m not going to say they’re not entitled to two hours with him.”

One complication with Allen’s testimony is that he is currently the U.S. Special Envoy to Counter the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIL).

Jackson noted that Allen is currently “dealing with one of the most importa

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Norm Pattis: Here's One Way to Stop Cops From Killing With Impunity
Norm Pattis 10/15/2015

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see link for full embarrassment

Trials & Litigation
US motion alleges Sidley lawyer intended to ‘embarrass and harass’ with deposition questions

Oct 19, 2015, 05:45 am CDT

The U.S. Justice Department is alleging that Sidley Austin lawyers questioned an FBI agent during a deposition “in a manner designed to annoy, embarrass and harass” the agent and the FBI.

The motion for a protective order claims the lawyers are abusing the discovery system in their representation of a Florida couple, Jill and Scott Kelley. The Kelleys are suing the government for allegedly leaking their personal emails in a cyberstalking investigation that led to exposure of former Gen. David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer. The National Law Journal (sub. req.) and the Drudge Report have stories on the motion (PDF).

The government contends that during the Sept. 2 deposition a Sidley lawyer “fished for facts to support an unsubstantiated theory” that FBI agents “conducted their investigation for lascivious or other improper motives.” Those questions went too far afield of the search for admissible evidence in the plaintiffs’ privacy lawsuit, the filing alleges.

The Kelleys claim the government leaked information about them after they requested a federal investigation into harassing emails from an anonymous person who, their suit alleges, turned out to be Paula Broadwell, the biographer of former Gen. David Petraeus. The suit is proceeding on just one count alleging violation of the U.S. Privacy Act, which requires federal officials to protect the identity and personal information of witnesses, the Miami Herald reports.

The government probe led to disclosure of Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus, who resigned from his position as CIA director. Jill Kelley has alleged that government leaks led to speculation about her own relationship with Petraeus, with whom she had no romantic involvement. Her acquaintance with Petraeus, she has previously maintained, stemmed from her role as a volunteer social coordinator for a military base in Tampa.

The motion seeks to bar a second deposition of the FBI agent, and to uphold a government lawyer’s instruction that the agent not answer several questions, including: “When did you first suspect that Paula Broadwell was the author of the cyberstalking emails?” and “Does the FBI investigate the sex lives of private citizens?” It also asked U.S.

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Former Aide To Rand Paul Acquitted In Corruption Probe

October 22, 2015


Jesse Benton, a long-time adviser to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been acquitted in a federal corruption probe of former Rep. Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign.

A jury in Des Moines, Iowa, found Benton not guilty of lying to FBI agents when interviewed about pay-offs made by the campaign of Ron Paul, who is the father of Sen. Paul, after the 2012 Iowa caucuses. The jury found another campaign staffer, Dimitri Kesari, guilty of causing the campaign to file false reports with the Federal Election Commission. But Kesari was acquitted

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Brother of Murder Victim Seeks Details of FBI's u2018Sensitive Informant Program'

By Bob McCarty

February 1, 2013


Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue filed a motion Monday asking a federal judge to determine whether he is entitled to limited discovery into the FBI’s u201CSensitive Informant Program.u201D

Trentadue Motion for Discovery 1-28-13 Click to download copy of motion (pdf).

In his motion, Trentadue described the program as one used by the bureau “to recruit and/or place informants on the staffs of members of the United States Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies as well as the White House, on defense teams in high-profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies, and even among the clergy of organized religions.”

Trentadue’s interest in the program stems from questions that have surfaced during his ongoing investigation into the death of Kenneth Trentadue, his brother who died in 1995 under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, months after the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Kenneth-Trentadue_Pic Click to learn more at http://KennethTrentadue.com.

With his latest legal maneuver, Trentadue hopes to convince Judge Clark Waddoups to compel the FBI to provide all documentation outlining what he describes in the motion as an “unlawful and unconstitutional domestic spying program.”

The maneuver comes almost four weeks after the FBI answered a federal court complaint Trentadue filed under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of the manual the FBI uses to recruit and place u201Csensitive informants.u201D Citing national security concerns as the basis for their response, FBI officials answered that complaint by saying they u201Ccan neither confirm nor deny the allegations [of the Complaint] regarding its confidential informant program.u201D

Shown below, Trentadue’s definition of a “sensitive informant” is, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of his motion:

“…the term ‘Sensitive Informant’ is defined as anyone acting, directly or indirectly and with or without any compensation, on behalf of the FBI as a member of, person associated with or otherwise a participant in or observer of the activity or activities of an entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization AND who does not disclose or reveal to such entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization his or her FBI affiliation.

“A Sensitive Informant is, in other words, some one who is acting, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the FBI as an undisclosed participant in or observer of the activity or activities of an entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization.

“The term ‘Sensitive Informant’ likewise includes what the FBI's current terminology refers to as a ‘Confidential Human Source’ including any and all sub-categories of Confidential Human Sources such as, but not limited to, what the FBI refers to as a ‘Privileged Confidential Human Source,’ who is someone reporting confidential information to the FBI in violation of a privilege such as an attorney reporting his client's confidential communications, a physician reporting upon his patient's medical or mental condition, a cleric informing on a member of his or her church or other religious organization, etc.

In his motion, Trentadue requested the judge order FBI officials to answer 11 critical questions about the scope of their “Sensitive Informant Program” prior to a yet-to-be-scheduled hearing during which, according to Trentadue, FBI officials have said they will file a motion for summary judgment to prevent him access to the information he seeks.

Looking only for numbers of Sensitive Informants and not for specific names from the FBI, Trentadue’s questions target the time frame, “since January 1, 1995.” In short, he wants to know whether or not the agency has had Sensitive Informants inside a variety of government and non-governmental organizations.

Among the government organizations mentioned in his queries were the state and federal court systems, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, federal agencies other than the FBI, federal prosecutors’ offices, and law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county and state levels.

Among non-governmental agencies, he listed management positions inside news organizations, including but not limited to, the following: Associated Press, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS, Reuters or Scripps-Howard; Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and/or Washington Post; The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, The New American, Newsweek, TIME and/or U.S. News & World Report.

Curiously, he also asked whether the FBI has had a Sensitive Informant(s) who was a cleric or member of the clergy in any religious organization.

Though I doubt the FBI will answer Trentadue’s questions, I’m convinced the attorney will continue fighting until he learns the whole truth about his brother’s death and, perhaps, about the Oklahoma City Bombing, too.

Untold Stories of the OKC Bombing Click to read other posts in my series, “Untold Stories of the OKC Bombing.”

To appreciate the full scope and breadth of Trentadue’s latest effort, I suggest you read the motion. It’s one of more than two-dozen posts I've published in my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Included in the series are more than a dozen posts about Trentadue’s pursuit of the truth.

If you don't have time to peruse it all, simply read my Sept. 11, 2012, post, One-Hour Video Will Chill You, or watch the video below.

Reprinted with permission from BobMcCarty.com.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier's Fight For Military Justice, a nonfiction book that's available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, The CLAPPER MEMO, is coming soon.

The Best of Bob McCa

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Local Cops and Feds: An Unholy Alliance


The lines between local, state and federal law enforcement continue to become increasingly blurred.

In fact, in many ways, the three spheres of law enforcement have essentially morphed into one national police force, an unholy alliance sustained and incentivized by federal dollars, and homogenized through federal training programs.

The “war on drugs” has facilitated this blending of local and federal law enforcement agencies. The feds cannot sustain drug prohibition on their own. They depend on state and local resources and manpower to prosecute their “war.”

The “war on terror” has further facilitated the nationalization of policing, providing a pipeline that supplies billions in funding and equipment to state and local police, incentivizing and ensuring continued cooperation.

The unrest in Ferguson last year and the combat-like police response focused a great deal of attention on the issue of federal police militarization through the 1033 program and Department of Homeland Security grants. But another equally insidious way the feds intertwine themselves with our local cops has received less attention – partnerships and training programs.

A recent New American article focused on the fact that federal agents apparently consider constitutionalists a threat. But the story also reveals the way the feds influence and co-opt local policing.

“On September 29, Defending Utah spoke with David Browning, police chief of the city of Enoch, Utah. Browning told the group that he has personally participated in federal training exercises. He said that the federal agent in charge of the exercise informed local law enforcement participants that ‘the mere carrying of the U.S. Constitution constituted an individual being a potential threat.’”

Of course, the fact that U.S. government agents consider Americans who believe in constitutional principles a threat is disturbing. But we should find the fact that the feds train with local cops equally, if not more troubling.

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Wash. agency to remove convicted cop killer's artwork

TUMWATER, Wash. -- The state's Department of Labor and Industries will remove four paintings from a lobby exhibit after a number of complaints.

The works were painted by Leonard Peltier.


The state's Department of Labor and Industries will remove four paintings by Leonard Peltier from a lobby exhibit after a number of complaints.

Peltier completed the paintings from prison, where he is serving two life sentences following a conviction for the murder of two FBI agents.

Chauncey Peltier, Leonard's son, is exhibiting his father's paintings in galleries around the country in an attempt to raise awareness for his father's attempt to be granted a presidential pardon.

"He's nothing but a thug," said retired FBI agent Ray Lauer. "He's an unrepentant cop killer."

Lauer is a member of the Retired FBI Agents Association, which wrote a letter to Labor and Industries demanding the removal of the paintings.

A Labor and Industries spokesperson said the works will be "rotated out" of the exhibit next week and will be replaced by another artist.

The paintings were part of a lobby exhibit to mark National American Indian Heritage Month by the Department of Labor and Industries.

Spokesperson Tim Church said the department was not trying to further Peltier's cause by displaying

On Sun, 8 Nov 2015 13:30:55 -0500


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Reply with quote  #250 

FBI Chief Tells Half The Story

by Paul Bass | Nov 16, 2015 7:39 pm


Comey: “Good people” don’t question law enforcement.
The FBI’s embattled director came to town to tout his enlightened past remarks on race and policing and to credit a federal program for cutting New Haven’s gun violence.

He didn’t mention his more recent remarks that have inflamed racial tensions. Or the skyrocketing gun violence in another city, Bridgeport, with the same federal program.

FBI Director James Comey (pictured at left) made those remarks—and didn’t make those remarks—at a national confab held Monday at New Haven’s Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School.

The confab was entitled “Building Bridges: The Community and Law Enforcement.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office organized the conference with the Greater New Haven Clergy Association, led by the Rev. Boise Kimber, in the stated interest of improving relations between police and communities of color. In addition to Comey, the conference featured national NAACP Chair Roslyn Brock among the afternoon’s worth of speakers. (Click here to read Markeshia Ricks’ report of Brock’s remarks.)

“I imagine two lines in America in law enforcement,” Comey told the law enforcement officials and community activists scattered amid the seats in the lower level of Coop’s theater. “One is made up of people who serve and protect. The other is made up of communities we serve and protect. Especially communities of color. I feel those lines arcing away from each other. I feel this has been going on for much of this year. In some ways I feel that arcing accelerating.”

To try to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities of color, Comey continued, he gave a speech this past February at Georgetown University about “hard truths.” At that time he called for candid reflection on all sides of the divide, including law enforcement, about racial bias.He called for examining his own agency’s past misdeeds (while denying the existence of any current or lingering problems under his own watch). The speech was a hit, celebrated as an enlightened contribution to a difficult national discourse.

Comey gave another highly publicized speech on the subject much more recently. On Oct. 23. At University of Chicago Law School. A speech that led to calls for his resignation and earned a rare rebuke from the White House for ignorantly stoking racial tensions and blocking public accountability of law enforcement’s misdeeds.

He didn’t mention that speech in New Haven Monday.

In New Haven on Monday, Comey did pop a question, though. Violent crime has shot up in cities across America in the past ten months. “What could be driving an increase in murder in all these cities at the same time?” he asked.

Comey didn’t provide an answer Monday. He did provide an answer in that Oct. 23 speech. In that speech, he blamed the “Ferguson effect.” “Nobody says it on the record, nobody says it in public, but police and elected officials are quietly saying it to themselves,” he claimed then. “And they’re saying it to me, and I’m going to say it to you… In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?”

In New Haven Monday Comey did not use any of his allotted speaking time (nor did he offer an opportunity to field questions) to address “hard truths” people raised about those remarks. Such as: What evidence exists to back up that assertion? And: Given that those famous YouTube videos often showed out-of-control cops killing defenseless African-Americans, would he prefer the cops not be recorded committing such acts?
Counter-Facts Ignored

While he offered no new theories to explain the uptick in violence, Comey did offer a partial solution in New Haven Monday: New Haven itself. Where for four straight years violent crime has plummeted, defying the national trend.

He identified what he called the reason for that drop: Project Longevity, which the Justice Department (where he works) launched with city and state cops and the New Haven community. The project identifies the small number of gangbangers most responsible for shootings, then presents them a choice: accept help going straight or face intense prosecution on federal charges. Click here to read about one Project Longevity “call-in” where that choice was presented. And here for a story of how the project helped nabbed a particularly murderous crew.

“New Haven offers hope and inspiration” for the natio
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