NEW YORK, June 25, 2008
J. Edgar Hoover, left, and Art Buchwald (CBS/ AP)
The Pulitzer Prize-winning satirist known as the "Wit of Washington" dies at age 81
Read Key Documents From Buchwald's FBI File
Like countless resurrections of Freddy Krueger, it appears that John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness (TIA) program has found a new, more accommodating home for its "mission" of "keeping America safe"--from the Constitution--at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA).
According to McClatchy investigative journalist Warren Strobel,
IARPA ... is the U.S. intelligence community's counterpart to DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has been in business for more than 35 years and is meant to be a small, flexible R&D agency that funds high-risk, but potentially high-payoff technologies. ("What's IARPA?", McClatchy Washington Bureau, June 30, 2008) IARPA has been organized under the auspices of Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Mike McConnell, a former executive vice-president with spooky mega-contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. As Tim Shorrock reported in March, As Booz Allen's chief intelligence liaison to the Pentagon, McConnell was at the center of action, both before and after the September 11 attacks. During the first six years of the Bush administration, Booz Allen's contracts with the U.S. government rose dramatically, from $626,000 in 2000 to $1.6 billion in 2006. McConnell and his staff at Booz Allen were deeply involved in some of the Bush administration's most controversial counterterrorism programs. They included the Pentagon's infamous Total Information Awareness data-mining scheme run by former Navy Admiral John Poindexter, which was an attempt to collect information on potential terrorists in America from phone records, credit card receipts and other databases. (Congress cancelled the program over civil liberties concerns, but much of the work was transferred to the NSA, where Booz Allen continued to receive the contracts.) ("Carlyle Group May Buy Major CIA Contractor: Booz Allen Hamilton, CorpWatch, March 8, 2008)
IARPA ... is the U.S. intelligence community's counterpart to DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has been in business for more than 35 years and is meant to be a small, flexible R&D agency that funds high-risk, but potentially high-payoff technologies. ("What's IARPA?", McClatchy Washington Bureau, June 30, 2008)
IARPA has been organized under the auspices of Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Mike McConnell, a former executive vice-president with spooky mega-contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. As Tim Shorrock reported in March,
As Booz Allen's chief intelligence liaison to the Pentagon, McConnell was at the center of action, both before and after the September 11 attacks. During the first six years of the Bush administration, Booz Allen's contracts with the U.S. government rose dramatically, from $626,000 in 2000 to $1.6 billion in 2006. McConnell and his staff at Booz Allen were deeply involved in some of the Bush administration's most controversial counterterrorism programs. They included the Pentagon's infamous Total Information Awareness data-mining scheme run by former Navy Admiral John Poindexter, which was an attempt to collect information on potential terrorists in America from phone records, credit card receipts and other databases. (Congress cancelled the program over civil liberties concerns, but much of the work was transferred to the NSA, where Booz Allen continued to receive the contracts.) ("Carlyle Group May Buy Major CIA Contractor: Booz Allen Hamilton, CorpWatch, March 8, 2008)
According to the agency's website, IARPA's brief is centered on three program areas:
Smart Collection, "The goal of the programs in this office is to dramatically improve the value of collected data from all sources."
Incisive Analysis, "The goal of the programs in this office is to maximize insight from the information we collect, in a timely fashion."
Safe & Secure Operations, "The goal of the programs in this office is to be able to counter new capabilities implemented by our adversaries that would threaten our ability to operate freely and effectively in a networked world."
There's no argument that preventing sociopaths--state-sponsored or otherwise--using malware to cause the meltdown of a nuclear power plant's uranium core or the sudden release of methyl isocyanate into the atmosphere should be a priority of any sane government. Certainly such laudatory goals would be optimized by writing better programs rather than through intrusive data-mining ops carried out by the state's outsourced and well-paid private "partners."
Unfortunately, we aren't dealing with a sane government here in the United States. According to Virtual Worlds News, one IARPA program seeks to "mine" information from virtual worlds and online gaming sites for its potential to "model" terrorist activity.
Reynard, a data-mining project from Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), is an exploratory effort to monitor activity in virtual worlds and online games and then model what terrorist activity in those worlds would look like. The Director of National Intelligence recently released a Congressionally mandated report on various data-mining projects of which Reynard is just one. While it's just an early effort right now, "If it shows early promise, this small seedling effort may increase its scope to a full project." Data-mining is defined as "a program involving pattern-based queries, searches or other analyses of 1 or more electronic databases" in order to "discover or locate a predictive pattern of anomaly indicative of terrorist or criminal activity...." and will now be ongoing "in a public virtual world environment. The research will use publicly available data and begin with observational studies to establish baseline behaviors." No word on what world that will be in, but we already know that the CIA has a presence in Second Life and that IARPA has investigated Linden Lab's world as well. ("U.S. Project Reynard Mines Data Looking for Virtual Spies," Virtual Worlds News, February 25, 2008)
Reynard, a data-mining project from Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), is an exploratory effort to monitor activity in virtual worlds and online games and then model what terrorist activity in those worlds would look like. The Director of National Intelligence recently released a Congressionally mandated report on various data-mining projects of which Reynard is just one. While it's just an early effort right now, "If it shows early promise, this small seedling effort may increase its scope to a full project."
Data-mining is defined as "a program involving pattern-based queries, searches or other analyses of 1 or more electronic databases" in order to "discover or locate a predictive pattern of anomaly indicative of terrorist or criminal activity...." and will now be ongoing "in a public virtual world environment. The research will use publicly available data and begin with observational studies to establish baseline behaviors."
No word on what world that will be in, but we already know that the CIA has a presence in Second Life and that IARPA has investigated Linden Lab's world as well. ("U.S. Project Reynard Mines Data Looking for Virtual Spies," Virtual Worlds News, February 25, 2008)
One can only wonder what IARPA will do once "baseline behaviors" are mapped! But apparently there's no need to fret since "the government understands that 'applications of results from these research projects may ultimately have implications for privacy and civil liberties,' so 'IARPA is also investing in projects that develop privacy protecting technologies,'" Secrecy News reports.
We bet they are! But as Strobel points out, "IARPA's ancestry is a wee bit interesting":
In the beginning, there was Total Information Awareness, a DARPA information-gathering program run by noneother than former Iran-Contra figure and Reagan national security adviser John Poindexter. Critics saw the program as a major, post-9/11 intrusion on American's privacy and civil liberties, and Congress killed funding for it in 2003. But there were persistent reports--confirmed by yours truly in conversations with former U.S. intelligence officials--that portions of the Total Information Awareness research had simply been shunted off to other agencies.
In the beginning, there was Total Information Awareness, a DARPA information-gathering program run by noneother than former Iran-Contra figure and Reagan national security adviser John Poindexter. Critics saw the program as a major, post-9/11 intrusion on American's privacy and civil liberties, and Congress killed funding for it in 2003. But there were persistent reports--confirmed by yours truly in conversations with former U.S. intelligence officials--that portions of the Total Information Awareness research had simply been shunted off to other agencies.
As readers undoubtedly recall, Total Information Awareness (TIA) was "terminated" by Congress when it learned that Poindexter was setting up a program that would sift through "public databases storing credit card purchases, rental agreements, medical histories, e-mails, airline reservations, and phone calls for electronic 'footprints' that might indicate a terrorist plot in the making," according to Shorrock's excellent read, Spies for Hire.
And to whom did DARPA turn to manage TIA? Why none other than Booz Allen Hamilton, of course! Joining SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), Booz Allen "won" some $63 million in contracts to run Poindexter's pet project. While the program--and contracts--were allegedly cancelled, portions of TIA had simply been spun-off to other agencies including the FBI and NSA.
Where else did TIA migrate? It turns out, many of its data-mining projects, including the Scalable Social Network Analysis (SSNA) operation, which seeks to model networks of connections like social interactions, financial transactions, telephone calls, and organizational memberships into a coherent analytical tool, were "assimilated" by the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), managed by NSA.
Strobel reports that "ARDA was later renamed, given the ominous-sounding moniker, Disruptive Technology Office." And now ARDA and DTO along with a "new and improved" TIA, have apparently been folded into IAPRA.
Which just goes to show, you can't kill off that which the state decrees is necessary for "your protection." As Wired's Ryan Singel advises online gaming enthusiasts, you'd better "be careful who you frag"!
Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.
Posted on: Thursday, 10 July 2008, 06:00 CDT
By Gonzalez, Roberto J
David H. Price, Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008. 352 pp. Approximately half of all anthropologists in the United States contributed their expertise to the World War II effort. This timely book explores the wide range of roles they played through dozens of accounts profiling their work. The book's methodology is innovative and eclectic. It relies upon an array of sources including declassified documents requested through the Freedom of Information Act, anthropologists' letters and obituaries, government reports, and interviews, among others.
Price begins by providing a historical framework, specifically an analysis of anthropologists' roles in the "war to end all wars," WWI. During this time, Franz Boas developed a " radical ethical critique" in response to American archaeologists who worked as spies in Central America (p.12). According to Price, "Boas's belief in the existence of pure science independent of the corrupting influence of a militarized and politicized nation-state fueled this attack more than his disapproval of American participation in the war" (p. 12). It also set the stage for ethical struggles that would erupt throughout the course of the century.
Subsequent chapters thoroughly cover a wide range of topics. For example, Price examines the role of professional associations (notably the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology), and finds that " few anthropologists had second thoughts about the ethics of applying anthropology to warfare" (p. 49), as the needs of the war effort were assigned high priority by most members of the organizations. Laura Thompson was among the few concerned that some anthropologists had become " social engineers" and " technicians for hire to the highest bidder" (pp. 34, 35).
The book includes a fascinating chapter that analyzes "Allied and Axis Anthropologies," and reveals that Japanese and German anthropologists' "silence was remarkably similar to that which emerged in the writings of the postwar Allied anthropologist victors" (p.71). Another chapter documents the ways in which WWII transformed college campuses, most notably through the creation of foreign language and area studies programs, and, after the war, the creation of the GI Bill. Yet another explores the work of institutions that together functioned as a kind of "brain trust." These included the Human Relations Area Files, the Smithsonian Institution and its Ethnogeographic Board (created to generate information about potential theaters of war), and the Institute of Social Anthropology, among others. Academics were not always able to see the risks that such projects might entail: "The war's needs shone so brightly that they seemed to blind anthropologists to the possiblity that America's interests and those of the cultures they were studying might diverge" (p. 89).
Among the most shocking sections is a description of "social engineers" such as Henry Field (p. 127). Field and several other anthropologists were deeply involved in the "M Project" initiated by President Roosevelt in 1942. The goal was to search the globe for regions where millions of wartime refugees could be resettled. (Ales Hrdlicka, a physical anthropologist, who was an informal advisor to Roosevelt, also gave suggestions on relocating refugees.) Declassified documents reveal that "library bound bureaucrats [were] designing contingency plans to move tens of millions of people thousands of miles away from their native lands. Field and his staff appear[ed] comfortable planning to move inventoried people about the globe like fungible commodities" (p. 126). Even more disconcerting is that fact that "in almost every case, the peoples identified for relocation were victims of the aggression of others (e.g., the Roma, Jews, etc.), as if the reward of being victimized was being moved so that the aggressor could live in peace" (p. 127).
Price's account of some anthropologists' involvement in the War Relocation Authority-the agency charged with the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans-will be well-known to many anthropologists. Even so, Price's careful synthesis and analysis leads to an extraordinarily powerful and well-informed critique of wartime anthropology for the military, even in a "good war" against fascism. Such anthropology is too easily compromised by " the captive thinking of a government bureaucracy" under military control during WWII (p. 168). This may explain why so many of those who provided their anthropological expertise to the war effort were often silent about their experiences in the post-war period, an observation that Price makes early in the book.
Others were engaged in more secretive endeavors. The Office of War Information employed nearly a dozen anthropologists, who among other things designed propaganda custom made for Japanese audiences for the purpose of convincing them to surrender. Some (including Clyde Kluckhohn and Ruth Benedict) recommended that a post-war US military occupation force retain the Japanese emperor, following the method of imperial rule established by British and other colonial administrators. Several anthropologists were recruited into the FBI's Special Intelligence Service, an office dedicated to coordinating US intelligence operations in Latin America. Still others were recruited into the Office of Strategic Services (established in 1942), a spy agency that was the precursor to the CIA. For example, Gregory Bateson carried out clandestine missions in South Asia; Carleton Coon used his anthropological knowledge to train assassins and kidnappers in North Africa; Rhoda Metraux studied the war's impact on the morale of German civilians; and David Mandelbaum directed a unit that planned strategies for the OSS's famous Detachment 101, tasked with funding and coordinating Kachin resistance groups in Burma. In the conclusion, Price acknowledges the "ambiguities" of the post-war period. At the same time that anthropologists' efforts might have helped defeat the forces of fascism, they unleashed other forces that could potentially be used for harm.
Price has done a masterful job of weaving a complex tapestry of American wartime anthropology. It is much more than a collection of case studies- the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts, and several themes emerge throughout the text. Price's work reveals that even in a "good war" like WWII, anthropologists often stood on ethically shaky ground when working for military and intelligence agencies, and some of them came to regret the long- term consequences of their participation. In addition, the book reveals that the during the war, military officials had a tendency of "selectively ignoring and selectively commandeering social scientists' recommendations" (p. 198). All too often, anthropologists had little impact on policy making and functioned as cogs in large bureaucracies with clearly established goals. In worst- case scenarios, he notes that anthropologists may "often find themselves doing 'piecework' on large projects that have grand designs beyond their control or comprehension'" (p. 142). Price's accounts also dramatically illustrate how secretive research can be pernicious and long-lasting-especially in a time of war: "those who committed anthropology to warfare in this context were unaware that their actions were releasing a genie from a bottle, unleashing forces they could not control in new, unimagined Cold War contexts" (p. 280). Anthropological expertise deployed in WWII set the stage for more troubling chapters in the history of the discipline, including Project Camelot and the "Thai affair."
Anthropological Intelligence could not have come at a more critical time as the Pentagon, the CIA, and countless private contract firms (such as BAE Systems and NEK Advanced Securities) aggressively seek to recruit social scientists for positions ranging from " Intelligence Analyst" to "Field Anthropologist" on experimental counterinsurgency teams. Price's work gives us fair warning of the pitfalls that are likely to accompany such collaborations.
Roberto J. Gonzalez
San Jose State University
BY SCOTT SHIFREL DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, August 6th 2008, 10:54 PM
A special prosecutor is looking into why the mob murder case against a former FBI agent was "botched so badly," according to court papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court this week.
Charges were dropped last year when the Brooklyn district attorney's case collapsed against rogue ex-FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio, who had been accused of helping Colombo hit man Gregory Scarpa kill gangster Nicholas Grancio and three others.
DeVecchio claimed victory again last month when a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit filed against him by Grancio's widow.
The widow's lawyer, David Schoen, is asking the judge to reconsider the suit and says that a special prosecutor in the case, former Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, is now looking into how the Brooklyn DA handled the case.
The lawsuit claims Snyder's investigation now "has broadened into why the DA's case was botched so badly and dropped."
But Snyder denied that's her goal, insisting her probe is contained only to whether mob moll Linda Schiro should be charged with perjury.
Schiro had testified that DeVecchio was in cahoots with Scarpa, her former lover. Schiro later was caught lying when a reporter came forward with tapes of Schiro contradicting her testimony.
Snyder was close to finishing her work earlier this year but new witnesses have come forward and she plans to talk to at least six more, sources said.
The retired judge, who is running for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's seat, said her investigation remains on track.
She said she had not spoken with Schoen and said, "I have no idea who his sources are."
Brooklyn prosecutors declined to comment.
Former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh will speak at The University of Toledo on “Security versus Liberty – Seven Years After 9/11” at 11:45 a.m. Oct. 6 in the Law Center Auditorium.
“Judge Freeh has a broad range of leadership experiences in law enforcement, the judiciary and international affairs,” said Douglas Ray, dean of the UT College of Law said in a news release. “He is uniquely qualified to discuss how our country should balance interests of personal liberty, the rule of law and national security.”
A graduate of the Rutgers School of Law with an LLM from New York University School of Law, he has had a distinguished career of public and private service. After serving as an FBI Special Agent, he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney participating in several high profile criminal prosecutions and was later named Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed him United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. He left the bench in 1993 when President William J. Clinton appointed him Director of the FBI, a position he held until 2001. In 2001 he accepted an offer from MBNA America Bank to serve as its Vice-Chairman and General Counsel and, in that role, served as MBNA’s principal lawyer in the 35 billion dollar transaction in which Bank of America acquired MBNA.
In 2007, he formed Freeh Group International, a consulting and legal firm with offices in Wilmington, Delaware, Washington, DC, New York City, London and Rome through which he provides international consulting and legal services.
The event is free and open to the public.
September 8, 2008 by Robby Scott Hill
What do these supposed terrorist acts all have in common? Former Special Agent J. Thomas Thurman of the FBI Crime Lab. In each case he either manufactured or withheld evidence in order to achieve the results his supervisors wanted and support their version of the facts.
On June 28, 2007, after a four-year investigation, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission announced that it was granting “Lockerbie Bomber” Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi a second appeal against his conviction in the Pan Am 103 bombing in part due to Special Agent Thurman’s actions. The Scots discovered that their American cousins at the FBI had lied and presented false evidence for political reasons.
Agent Thurman’s fabrication of evidence in the VANPAC case against Walter Leroy Moody was accepted as impeachment of his testimony in the Lockerby Case because among other things FBI Agent Frederick Whitehurst’s Congressional testimony accuses Thurman of fabricating evidence in the conviction of Moody.
Special Agent Thurman was dismissed from the FBI Crime Lab in 1997, by Director Louis Freeh who at the time was the US Attorney who prosecuted Walter Leroy Moody for the murder of Judge Vance, but Special Agent Thurman’s pattern and practice of disregard for scientific procedure and lack of respect for the legal chain of evidence continue to haunt the search for justice in the Judge Robert Vance case and many others. Walter Leroy Moody was guilty of a lot of things, but not the murder of Judge Robert Vance.
Now, additional evidence against former Special Agent Thurman has surfaced. Who asked Special Agent Thurman to frame Walter Leroy Moody for the murder of Judge Robert Smith Vance and what were they covering up? My college professors at Faulkner University, former FBI Special Agents Louis M. Harris and Robert Thetford, an Alabama Lawyer may know a thing or two about that because they were working on the Vance case back in the 1980s at the Selma Field Office of the FBI.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., future United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was about to leave government for private law practice when the Judge Robert Vance murder case landed at the Department of Justice. Justice Department Officials and the Solicitor General’s Office where Roberts was working decided to assign the case to Assistant US Attorney and future FBI Director Louis Freeh who at that time was a low-level Justice Department attorney whose career was going nowhere and who was also about to leave government.
As Freeh was preparing to prosecute Walter Leroy Moody for the murder of Judge Robert Vance, my future college professors at Faulkner University: Former Selma, Alabama FBI Special Agent in Charge Louis M. Harris and FBI Attorney and Alabama Lawyer Robert Thetford and their men were in the field in Alabama gathering the dubious evidence on Moody. Given Special Agent Harris’ infamous reputation for the frame up of Roger Lippman and the Seattle 8 for terrorism and bombings in the late 1960s, I’m not so sure that Walter Leroy Moody was actually guilty of what he was charged with.
After Roger Lippman and The Seattle 8 were sent to jail, it was eventually revealed that the FBI Agents of the Seattle Field Office themselves were behind the campaigns of arson and bombings that had been blamed on the Seattle 8, Weather Underground, New Black Panther Party and other anti-war groups.
Given that FBI Special Agent Louis M. Harris was involved with the Seattle 8 frame up and that he replaced me, the former Chief of Security at Faulkner University with Alabama Attorney John P. Gray (a cousin of Allen Dulles the former Director of the CIA who was fired by President Kennedy and fellow cousin John Foster Dulles) we know who they really work for, the US Intelligence Network.
On the day Judge Robert Vance was murdered Louis Freeh was an unknown prosecutor in the state of New York. Three years later Louis Freeh was director of the FBI.
Although Judge Vance’s caseload was 60% drug related, the FBI, the agency that never communicates with the CIA, immediately responded “drugs were no more prominent than several other avenues we are following,” but Vance had been preparing to hear a series of cases, all pointing to the CIA as a major source of Cocaine and Vance had a reputation for absolute and dogmatic honesty. At about the same time, Neil Huntley, the CIA agent whose job it was to follow Lee Harvey Oswald in Minsk, Belarus had retired to Montgomery, Alabama. In 1997, Neil Huntley would tell me that the CIA did not have anything to do with the cocaine trade, but he was concealing the truth. The cocaine market, Kirksey McCord Nix’s Dixie Mafia and the George H.W. Bush Administration’s hatred of Socialism had everything to do with the death of Judge Robert Vance.
The FBI soon “discovered” that the VANPAC bombs were EXACT duplicates of bombs Walter Leroy Moody had sent years earlier. Supposedly, Moody had painted both cardboard box bombs interiors with black paint, used the exact same welded end caps etc., etc… Supposedly Moody must have been rather stupid (despite his 130 IQ) and had not known the bombs would point directly to him like a Neon sign. Another fact is that Moody did not know how to weld. Ted Banks was accused of doing the welding and a deal was struck to pin it all on Moody. A conviction was secured and the case drifted into history.
Then it all unraveled…
In Federal Appeals Court, counterfeiter turned patriot, Ted Banks, blew the whistle on then Assistant U.S. Atty. Louis Freeh. Patriot Ted Banks accepted a ten year addition to his sentence as the price of telling the truth. He pointed at Louis Freeh from the stand and said “I lied and he told me to lie, I never welded no bombs for Moody!” Then FBI Agent Whitehurst charged that the FBI had fabricated evidence, then the Vance bomb was identified in the Unabomber case as originating from Saratoga California. Then the World Court threw out the Lockerbie conviction because FBI agent J. Thomas Thurman could not be trusted, because he was not credible in their eyes after his role in the Vance debacle and the US press is still silent.
The site, Unabombers.com, provides insights into the activities of the FBI/CIA pre September 11th 2001; activities that include the manufacture and management of a series of high profile, random terrorist events and selective assassinations. The facts have been covered up, despite a wide trail of undeniable proof and multiple witnesses. They are presented at Unabombers.com
Now, Let’s examine the misdeeds of Agent Thurman and the FBI in the TWA 800 disaster:
First of all, why is the FBI even involved? Usually the NTSB and FAA do these things cradle to grave, right? Well, the FBI and CIA got involved to spread disinformation and conduct political subterfuge. Yep, that’s what they get paid to do folks. Otherwise, it’s the NTSB and FAA investigators who get stuck with all the boring aeronautical engineering stuff. That’s why I resigned from my boring job leasing offshore oil wells at the Alabama State Lands Division, too many FBI guys examining public contracts that didn’t get awarded to friends of the Bush Administration.
Unlike the first three cases, it is conspiracy theorists like the John Birch Society and the late John F. Kennedy Administration Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger and not the US Government who contend that TWA 800 was an act of terrorism. The CIA and the NTSB have advanced the most plausible theory to date which is that faulty insulation in the wiring harness caused a short circuit from a high voltage wire that overloaded a low voltage wire which led to a sensor in the fuel tank that was exposed to a fuel vapor/air mixture that had reached the temperature of ignition. This scenario is easily prevented by pumping nitrogen gas into the fuel tank in order to displace the fuel vapor/air mixture (the plausible source of ignition) above the liquid fuel in the tank, but most airliners, including TWA 800 were not fitted with the nitrogen pump because of cost analysis.
Hey, It looks great on paper right? However, like the “JFK One Magic Bullet Theory,” you have something turning left when it should be going right and going up when it should be falling down, figuratively speaking.
Despite the CIA and NTSB’s excellent public relations campaign in arguing this theory, it has three huge holes:
1) Special Agent J. Thomas Thurman removed evidence from the TWA 800 accident reconstruction hangar which tended to prove that the aircraft was shot down by a missile.
2) Why would a jet that is about to cross the Atlantic Ocean with a final destination of Charles DeGaulle Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports where it might have to circle in a holding pattern before receiving permission to land, take off on anything less than a full tank of fuel? I’d like to know what the pilots were smoking because I want some of that stuff. Was it Maui Wowie or Manilla Thrilla?
3) Before the TWA 800 disaster, the Jet-A Kerosene fuel vapor/air mixture had never exploded “in flight” due to a mechanical or electrical failure (anything other than a bomb or missile). Furthermore, the air conditioning unit on TWA 800 which was blamed for the increased temperature inside the fuel tank during the long wait for takeoff was adequately insulated. It most likely could not have been the contributing factor that raised the fuel vapor/air mixture inside the tank above the ambient temperature to the temperature necessary for ignition. Besides, the fuel/air mixture could not be compressed to the density necessary for ignition because the space inside the tank was just too large, especially if the tank wasn’t full and if, as we all learned in elementary school, the density of a gas actually decreases as the altitude increases.
If the aircraft was going to explode, it should have done so on the runway where the outside temperature was greater and the fuel/air mixture in the tank was denser. You had to have the power switched on to run that air conditioner and to the start the engines. The plane did not explode on the ground when the conditions were most favorable for detonation. It exploded later when they were less favorable and electrical power to the supposedly faulty wiring harness was applied at both times.
It would have been necessary for God in Heaven to suspend the Laws of Nature, specifically Boyle’s Ideal Gas Law, for the mixture to have exploded, but with today’s faith based Department of Justice anything is possible. They can seemingly do all things through Christ who stregthens them, to include suspending the Laws of Nature in order to protect Wall Street investments, corporate trust funds and re-election campigns.
If the neocons can get you to believe that Walter Leroy Moody murdered Judge Robert Smith Vance who they themselves considered a communist subversive, then perhaps they can even bear witness to the death of Enron CEO Ken Lay from a heart attack, then like Jesus raise him from the dead in South America like so many Nazi business executives from World War II.
Is Walter Leroy Moody a political prisoner? Did TWA 800 really go down like they said it did? The truth may be stranger than fiction. Judge Vance may have been murdered by his own government.
From Correspondent Terry Frieden
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pressure is increasing on the Justice Department to release a report said to be sharply critical of the FBI's crime laboratory.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, responding to critics, said Friday she will consider forcing the agency to release the inspector general's preliminary report on problems at the FBI lab.
Attorneys for crime lab whistleblower Frederick Whitehurst and members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers requested the court to intervene.
"This is the government investigating the government. We need sunshine to make sure the investigation is in fact a valid and complete one," said William Moffett of the NACDL.
The preliminary report, which the FBI admits criticizes some of its lab operations, was sent to the bureau last month and resulted in the suspension or transfer of four lab employees, including Whitehurst.
The report also was sent to defense lawyers in certain cases where the handling of evidence may be in question. Among them was the attorney for Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh.
On Thursday, a Senate subcommittee chairman who oversees the bureau said FBI Director Louis Freeh initially "whitewashed the problem" in the crime lab and still seems to be minimizing its impact.
"The American people are being misled by the FBI on the problems we're seeing in its crime lab," Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a Senate speech. "The FBI's defense -- some would say cover-up -- is slowly, slowly unraveling."
In response, the FBI reissued a statement from Wednesday saying Freeh was "committed to taking the appropriate remedial action with respect to all problems identified in the laboratory."
The Justice Department says it will send Congress a final report by the end of the month but is balking at ever releasing its preliminary findings.
Grassley said leaked information from the report raises questions about the lab's handling of a letter-bombing case that Freeh successfully prosecuted: the 1991 conviction of Walter Leroy Moody for the murders of U.S. Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance and Georgia civil rights lawyer Robert E. Robinson.
In February 1994, Freeh assigned two FBI lawyers in General Counsel Howard Shapiro's office to investigate Whitehurst's allegations of problems in the crime lab. Shapiro had helped Freeh prosecute Moody in what was code-named the VANPAC case.
"What is amazing to me is that neither Mr. Freeh nor Mr. Shapiro recused himself from the decision-making role with respect to the review," Grassley said. "After all, they had prosecuted one of the cases -- the VANPAC case -- in which Dr. Whitehurst alleged misconduct has occurred."
Freeh told Congress this week he still believes the lab problems won't have a significant impact on cases it has handled.
"I have no knowledge and no belief at this point that any of our FBI investigations have been compromised or jeopardized, either past, present or future," Freeh said.
But Stephen Kohn, Whitehurst's attorney, disagrees. He says hundreds of cases have been affected. Whitehurst has been suspended by the FBI pending the final lab report.
Oct 16, 2008
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Kevin Lamarque of Reuters took this photograph today as President Bush appeared at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey, right, and FBI Director Robert Mueller also attended the graduation ceremony for new special agents.
"I ask you to defend the values of fidelity, bravery, and integrity that you have learned here at this academy," Bush said. "I ask you to carry out your duty to protect the lives and liberties of the American people. If you follow these principles, your careers will take you far, this agency will uphold its solemn responsibility, and America's security will be in good hands."
A wall of Erin Nealy Cox's office is covered with framed milestones: her law degree from Southern Methodist University, a seal from the U.S. attorney's office in the Northern District of Texas autographed by former colleagues. There are plaques from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Service and the FBI thanking her for helping convict bad guys in big cases.
"I jokingly call it the 'I love me wall,' " says Ms. Nealy Cox, who spent 10 years as a federal prosecutor.
The former assistant U.S. attorney was so adept at computer hacking and intellectual property that the feds chose her for a nationwide SWAT team that hunts down and prosecutes cyber-criminals.
Now, as managing director of Stroz Friedberg LLC's new Dallas office, the 38-year-old hopes to do for the for-profit world what she did for the public good: recover information thought to be lost to delete keys or hidden in cyberspace.
Think of it as CSI: Corporate America, and Ms. Nealy Cox as chief investigator Horatio Caine.
"Everything you do with a computer leaves a fingerprint," she says. "Whether you pop in a flash drive, download a file, type a message, view an Internet site – all of this is stored in the memory of your computer. We find the digital fingerprints and assess what happened."
Without getting too technical, forensic sleuths take a mirror image of everything on a hard drive and copy it to another hard drive. They use search techniques to assemble pertinent data.
A company wants to find out what information a high-level executive took with him when he departed. A bank needs data to respond to regulatory or congressional subpoenas. A defense attorney hopes to prove that the client knew nothing about the crime – or a prosecutor wants to prove that the accused did.
Stroz Friedberg was founded in 2001 in New York by Ed Stroz, a former FBI agent, and Eric Friedberg, a former federal prosecutor.
The firm has expanded into Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Boston, and all of its offices are headed by former federal prosecutors. The labs are staffed by law enforcement or military intelligence types.
Dallas was picked over Houston because of Ms. Nealy Cox, Mr. Stroz says. "God gave us Erin, who could probably work at any law firm she wants to and has the background in cyber-crime, which is rare for an assistant U.S. attorney."
Ms. Nealy Cox also worked for Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas and clerked for Barefoot Sanders, U.S. senior district judge for the Northern District of Texas. She's married to Trey Cox of Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox LLP. The couple has two girls, 2 and 6.
Ms. Nealy Cox will supervise the lab staff (currently two forensic examiners, but eventually eight) and act as a go-between with clients, typically corporate general counsels or attorneys at major law firms.
She doesn't consider her shift as going to the dark side.
"I definitely cannot envision myself as a criminal defense lawyer," Ms. Nealy Cox says. "The part of my job that I liked most was seeking the truth. If I knew that my client was guilty, I think that would inhibit my ability to do my job well."
With this gig – which pays three times the $101,000 she earned from the government – Ms. Nealy Cox turns over the findings to lawyers and corporate clients and lets the digital chips fall where they may.
As Mr. Stroz, who founded the FBI's computer crime squad in New York in 1996, puts it: "We aren't advocates for the client. We're advocates for the evidence."
Proving or disproving intent is a biggie in many white-collar cases.
Mr. Stroz helped the government convict former Enron executives in an accounting sham. His team proved that a crucial memo had been read by the accused and saved – nailing him as a knowing participant.
In a cyber-stalking case, the accused claimed he didn't know where the victim lived. The firm found her address and directions to her house in his temporary MapQuest file.
Stroz Friedberg often gets called in when a high-level executive leaves a company and is suspected of taking confidential files, Ms. Nealy Cox says. "We can see what he downloaded or e-mailed to his Yahoo account the day before he left."
The firm's services aren't cheap. A hard-drive search can run as little as $10,000. A tougher, time-sensitive, global assignment can cost 10 times as much.
Connecticut-based Wiggin and Dana LLP successfully defended a senior executive at CVS Caremark in a 23-count federal case of conspiracy, mail fraud and bribery – thanks in large part to evidence retrieved by Stroz Friedberg.
Defense attorney Scott Corrigan hired the firm to search the hard drives of three computers owned by the government's key witness.
"I learned so much from Ed and his team," Mr. Corrigan says. "If I delete a file on my computer, it doesn't go away entirely. Bits and pieces remain in areas of my hard drive as fragments. They were able to come up with a number of fragments and piece them together into one e-mail, which was very exculpatory to our client's defense."
This cost about $50,000.
"From our client's perspective, it was worth every single penny," Mr. Corrigan says.
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Bill Morlin Staff writerNovember 28, 2008
Special Agent Norm Brown is retiring after 25 years with the FBI. He said his last five years as "supervisory special agent" in charge of the terrorism task force have been among the most important in his career. (Colin Mulvany The Spokesman-Review)
FBI Special Agent Norm Brown traveled a long, exciting and sometimes dangerous series of assignments before returning to his hometown of Spokane, where he graduated from Ferris High School in 1975.
There weren't many boring days along the way, he said.
Brown has been a point man for the agency, serving on the elite hostage rescue team in Quantico, Va.; on duty with the FBI director's protection squad; as a SWAT team commander in Seattle; and as the first commander of the Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He'll retire Sunday after 25 years with the FBI, not regretting a day.
An FBI agency rule says supervisors can hold a post for only five years. If Brown wanted to keep working until the mandatory retirement age, he faced a transfer.
For the Spokane native, the choice was easy, albeit somewhat sad.
"I'm going to take a break," he said. His wife, Bernadette Brown, who's also an FBI agent, will continue to work for a time, but when she retires, the couple plan to travel and do volunteer work.
"I have no immediate employment plans," said Norm Brown, who works out every day – weightlifting, bicycling or running. He wants to buy a digital camera, pursue photography and fly-fishing and spend time with his two brothers and his 85-year-old father, Richard Brown, the founder of Brown Building Materials.
U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt, the region's top federal law enforcement official, describes Brown "as the model of an FBI agent. He's not a supervisor, but a leader. He treats people with respect.
"He's selfless and puts his people first, and is willing to stick up for them, even at the risk of his own career," McDevitt said. "He's not a bureaucrat, and he's not afraid to buck the bureaucracy when it's necessary."
Brown attended Washington State University, getting a degree in criminal justice in 1979, while working as a Spokane County sheriff's cadet his senior year. He worked as a Spokane deputy from 1980 until late 1983, when he was hired as an FBI agent.
His last five years as "supervisory special agent" in charge of the terrorism task force have been among the most important in his career, Brown said.
In that post, he supervised a team of federal, state and local agents and officers who work out of an office at a semi-secret location, tracking extremism activity in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The work involves analysis and intelligence gathering, confidential informants, monitoring and infiltration of suspected groups and coordination with 100 other terrorism task forces across the United States.
"The term 'terrorist' just doesn't apply to Osama bin Laden or Mohammed Atta," Brown said. "It can be used to describe groups of individuals that are involved in anarchy as well as white supremacists and militias.
"Our primary goal is to ensure that a terrorist attack does not occur in the Inland Northwest," he said.
The task force has brought several high-profile cases, including that of a militia bomb-maker convicted in a plot to kill a judge and a university student who was deported after being acquitted of suspected ties to al-Qaida.
The task force also watched the remnants of the Aryan Nations unsuccessfully attempt to regroup after a devastating civil suit in 2000, followed by the death in 2004 of the group's founder.
"We've noticed a significant downturn in white supremacy activities after Richard Butler died," Brown said.
He got his chance to return to Spokane in 1997 from Seattle, where he'd been SWAT team commander in the FBI field office since 1991. He also worked bank robberies, drug cases and did surveillance work while in Seattle.
In 1996, Brown's Seattle SWAT team was sent to Portland to watch for a team of "Phineas Priest" bank robbers and bombers. The group of North Idaho-based domestic terrorists had struck twice in Spokane, detonating two deadly bombs, and were planning another robbery in Oregon.
When the would-be robbers got to Portland, the FBI had closed the bank to avoid another bombing or gunfire, while Brown and his team conducted surveillance. Brown's team later arrested the heavily armed trio without incident during a stop at a service station.
Brown also led the Seattle SWAT team to the streets of Los Angeles for 10 days to protect firefighters during rioting following the 1992 acquittal of police officers involved in the beating of Rodney King a year earlier.
"I remember standing on a street corner in L.A. with my riot gear on, with my submachine gun, and thinking, 'This can't be America – where people are taking pot shots at firemen who are just doing their duty.' "
In August 1992, Brown and his SWAT team spent 10 days living in tents in a mountain field in North Idaho during the deadly standoff known as Ruby Ridge. As SWAT team leader during various shifts, Brown was within 25 yards of the cabin at the center of the incident, but he never fired a shot.
He described the standoff as a "very unfortunate situation for law enforcement and the (Randy) Weaver family," but leveled no criticism at anyone involved. Brown points out that the FBI changed the way it deals with hostage-standoff situations following the deadly siege.
Before being transferred to Seattle, Brown spent two years as a member of the special security detail assigned to then-FBI director William Sessions. The assignment came at a time when Colombian drug lords were putting out contracts on senior American officials.
"I traveled with the director to 25 states and eight foreign countries in less than two years," Brown recalled.
That assignment came after Brown spent four years as a member of the FBI's 50-member hostage rescue team, based in Quantico, another sought-after post. The selection process for the hostage team "was the most physically demanding two weeks of my life," he said.
Brown remembers one team assignment in Montana where he and his camo-clad sniper partner had crawled within 75 yards of a remote cabin where two escaped murderers were holed up.
"Suddenly we heard a shot go directly over our heads," he recalled. "It was close, too close. We look at each other in disbelief and remained motionless for 10 minutes."
Later, they heard more gunshots about the time the cabin burst into flames. One of the escapees killed the other before starting the fire and committing suicide.
Brown's first assignment after graduating from the FBI Academy was Butte, but the young agent was only there for two weeks before being transferred to Coeur d'Alene.
He arrived in North Idaho in 1984 about the time the FBI was opening a "major case" into a group of white supremacists known as the Order. The group, also known as "Bruder Schweigen," was robbing banks and armored cars and printing counterfeit money to fund a "race war."
In Coeur d'Alene, Brown teamed up with FBI senior agent Wayne Manis to track down various members of the Order. Manis, now retired from the FBI, recalled last week that Brown was "always soft-spoken and unexcitable" and brought those traits to the job. Manis nominated Brown to become a member of the hostage rescue team.
In the fall of 1984, Brown and another agent searched a rural home near Sandpoint where Order member Gary Yarbrough had stashed an arsenal of weapons, including the assault weapon used to kill Jewish radio talk show host Alan Berg in Denver.
He also was involved in the search of a home in Laclede, Idaho, used as a "safe house" by Order members. Another arsenal was found, but, more importantly, Brown, two other agents and three identification specialists turned up fingerprints identifying seven or eight members of the group.
"We even got fingerprints from the bottom of the toilet seat," he said with a laugh.
You've heard about the Naperville woman driving Barack Obama's old car?
Well, move aside. I live on FBI agent Rob Grant's old cul-de-sac.
You may have heard his already famous quote from the Dec. 9 news conference announcing the arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich: "If Illinois isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's certainly one hell of a competitor."
Though he spoke just a short time at the news conference, his was the line most often quoted - including by Barbara Walters on "The View," although she wrongly attributed it to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Google that, and you'll get more matches than you'll want to read. It seems virtually everyone who wrote about the news conference quoted Chicago's Special Agent in Charge, Rob Grant.
Well, they call him Robert Grant. But if your daughter and his daughter were best friends from the time they were 2 until some fed moved Grant out of Chicago when the girls were 6, you could call him Rob.
Perhaps you've figured out that if my preschool daughter hung out with Grant's preschool daughter, running back and forth between our houses annoying siblings and ringing doorbells for Popsicles, he lived in Naperville.
And yes, the Grants live in our fair city again, although no longer on the same cul-de-sac where Rob tested whether watering a vegetable garden with beer improves the crops.
Several of the other agents who were instrumental in investigating the governor are also area residents - Supervisory Special Agent Patrick Murphy of Naperville and Special Agent Daniel Cain of Bolingbrook.
Just more people for Napervillians to be proud of. I mean, "American Idol" contestant Gina Glocksen was cool, but Rob, Pat and Dan are in another category - more hero than idol.
They are not the only FBI agents who either live or have lived in our city; Rob is not even the only FBI agent we've known while living here.
Why, I asked him, do so many agents live in Naperville?
The short answer: The same reason the rest of us do. The long answer, "Naperville was originally identified as an 'Agent Ghetto' because it offered tremendous value, good schools, low crime and a nice place to raise a family," Grant said in an e-mail.
Don't worry, he explained, the term 'Agent Ghetto' is more positive than it sounds. The FBI lingo refers to a place "where agents who are transferred from other places gather based upon good recommendations made by people who transferred before them.
"Naperville has always enjoyed an outstanding reputation for quality of life issues and, as a result, agents began to live there and it eventually earned the time-honored distinction of 'Agent Ghetto.'"
Alas, rising housing prices stemmed the flow of young agents into Naperville, he said. Perhaps the housing crash can reverse that trend because, I figure, it's nice to have FBI agents living nearby.
Though it's been 10 years since they left our street for Texas, we still call the house they lived in "the Grants' house."
It's not often you see your old neighbor on TV (unless he's Drew Peterson or a news anchor), and it was with a slight start I realized it was Rob that day, commenting on the Blagojevich investigation.
Not that I hadn't seen him there before in the four years since he returned to Chicago, but this time was, well, you live in Illinois, you know what that news conference was like.
Rob was the guy who called the governor to tell him agents were at his front door, the guy who answered the question "Is this a joke?"
Ah, no. But come to think of it - the men on our close-knit street years ago may have prepared Rob for just such a morning.
A more serious thought about that morning: When I read agents had planned the early morning arrest, in part, with the thought of avoiding the governor's children having to see their dad arrested, I flashed to a mental picture I have of Rob, walking around downtown Naperville when we first met his family, always with a daughter on his shoulders.
I assumed it was Rob and the other dads involved in this case who took the time to consider a child's trauma. I was only partially right.
"All the people involved in this investigation are parents. We are always sensitive to people's personal situations and, when we can control it, we try to never embarrass anyone regardless of their alleged crime," he said.
"Although being a parent does make one sensitive to the views of little people and the standing their parents have, regardless of their alleged crimes, I don't think it has anything to do with being parents as much as it is just a good law enforcement practice."
I tried to get Rob to talk about how much fun this particular investigation must be, after 25-plus long years of toiling, most often, in anonymity. But he said only, in his best FBI-agent prose, "The rewards of this job are in the service you do for your community and your nation, regardless of the specific defendant."
Yeah, right. I mean, I am sure he means what he said, but this had to be a highlight. I remember dozing off during stories he told years ago about old cases.
He did admit that after the high-profile news conference - some said the news conference played big all over the world - he heard from a lot of friends and relatives he hadn't heard from in years, including a federal prosecutor he'd worked with as a brand-new agent that he hadn't talked to in at least 20 years.
Again, with FBI-trained restraint, he said, "Due to the rather extensive media coverage, I have heard from a lot of people."
I appreciated his tendency for understatement a lot more back in the days when my daughter and his seemed to be involved in some hair-raising, mischievous antic or another hourly - or at least daily.
We appreciated him when he joined in the Slip 'n' Slide/wet basketball group one rainy July 4 and when he made scary noises to entertain the kids in the middle of the night on a neighborhood camping trip to Michigan.
But because our times were more about cul-de-sac driveway parties, swim team and backyard golf than resumes, there were a few things we didn't know about our pal Rob.
He started with the FBI more than 25 years ago. That was before computers, cell phones, pagers and the Internet. He started in Memphis, Tenn., "where I and three other new agents shared one rotary dial, hard-wired phone and we were all armed with revolvers (because the FBI didn't have semi-automatic pistols) and nobody had body armor."
From there, he and his wife, Betsy, went to New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Antonio, back to Washington and back to Chicago.
In D.C. last time, Grant was the Chief Inspector of the FBI.
We hope the Grants stay here a long time, which apparently is his intention.
Officially, that sounds like this: "I will remain in Chicago as long as the Director allows me, but I have no personal plans or desire to leave."
But back to the important stuff. What do your two daughters think of their now-somewhat-famous dad?
Not much, he told me.
"My daughters are teenagers ... need I say more?"
Yup, he may be part of a heroic team, but he's still just a typical Naperville dad.
• Joni Hirsch Blackman is a Naperville mom who lives on what's now known as FBI SAC Grant cul-de-sac. Contact her at email@example.com.
Notre Dame Academy coach Tom Cavanagh, a 34-year veteran of the FBI, is th co-founder of the Staten Rebels AAU program. Photo by Damion Reid
Rapper T.I. will bow out of the spotlight with a special farewell tour as he prepares to serve jail time for illegal weapons possession. The Live Your Life hitmaker, real name Clifford Harris, Jr., will headline a handful of dates across the U.S. in the coming weeks before he begins his year-long prison stint in March (09). His sentence relates to his 2007 arrest, in which he was caught trying to buy an arsenal of guns from an undercover FBI agent. And the hip-hop superstar is determined to go out with a bang - he will be joined by Busta Rhymes and The Way I Are singer Keri Hilson on the 28 February (09) gig in Tampa, Florida, while Young Jeezy, Plies, Rick Ross and Yung L.A. will support him in Detroit, Michigan on 7 March (09). The Farewell Tour will wrap in Corpus Christi, Texas on 15 March (09).
If not for a “rift” between squabbling law enforcement agencies, fugitive South Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger might be behind bars, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan believes.
“I cannot sit here and say that if not for a rift we would have captured Bulger,” the state’s outgoing top legal eagle said yesterday during an editorial board meeting with the Herald, “but . . . we would have had a better chance of catching Bulger.”
Until he tendered his resignation Jan. 20 with the advent of a Democratic White House, the Republican Sullivan, 54, of Abington, was also acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for 2 years.
Mum about his immediate plans as he waits on word of his successor in Boston, Sullivan said, “I think it’s healthy to move on,” and admitted lunching with former U.S. Attorney Wayne Budd, now senior counsel at the international firm Goodwin Procter.
Not wanting to uproot the youngest of his four children, a high school sophomore, the Holbrook native conceded he is focusing his job search locally.
Sullivan said his “greatest disappointment” in the past eight years of combatting terrorism, busting allegedly corrupt politicians and kneecapping organized crime was that the aging Bulger - charged with 21 murders - has evaded arrest for 14 years, “not withstanding extraordinary efforts.”
While admitting to a certain naivete on his part, Sullivan told the Herald when he transitioned from Plymouth district attorney to U.S. attorney in September 2001, “the public would have been outraged” to know his office, the FBI, state police and other agencies were too territorial over collaring the prized wiseguy to work together “on one of the most important fugitive investigations in our country.”
The “breadth of divide” has since closed, he said, but not without casualties. Former state police colonel “Tom Foley put this investigation together, and there’s no question his investigation was harmed” by ill will, he said.
“I’m not trying to be critical,” he said, “but I was frustrated.”
FBI Boston spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said in response, “The FBI remains committed with its law enforcement partners to locate and apprehend fugitive James ‘Whitey’ Bulger.”
State police spokesman David Procopio said, “We value our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and remain as committed as ever to catching Whitey Bulger.”
By MAUREEN MILFORD • The News Journal • March 22, 2009
With his résumé and brand name, former FBI director Louis J. Freeh could have started his legal services business anywhere.
But he chose Wilmington to start Freeh Group International, in part, because Delaware has its own brand as the nation's corporate capital, thanks to Delaware's influential Court of Chancery.
Corporate legal counsels throughout the world look to Delaware courts for guidance in keeping on the right side of the law. Freeh recalled being in the offices of general counsels in Europe and spotting a pile of Chancery Court decisions on their desks.
Fanned by public outrage over recent banking and investment scandals, companies face increasing risk of liability. That makes consulting on ethics and compliance with the law a fertile line of business today, experts say.
The stakes are high for companies and organizations that find themselves on the wrong side of the law, with one recent penalty topping $1 billion. At the same time, the plethora of regulations worldwide can be tricky to navigate, experts say.
Now Freeh is doing his part to keep organizations and their directors from winding up before judge or jury. Freeh, who served as general counsel to MBNA's credit card bank from 2001 to 2006, has founded a legal services company that combines a variety of services to help clients reduce their risk of misconduct that can result in tarnished reputations, huge financial penalties, criminal liability or total destruction of an organization. Services can range from corporate governance help to regulatory compliance to building an ethical culture in a company.
"Compliance is not just making sure your foreign exchange rate is accurate. You have to make sure employees aren't breaking the law," said Freeh, 59, who served as FBI director from 1993 to 2001.
Companies must be careful to adhere to provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977; Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering; and U.S Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. What's more, organizations must pay attention to laws of foreign countries in which they do business.
The economic meltdown and recent rash of scandals, including the $65 billion Ponzi scheme run by Bernard L. Madoff, will only increase the pressure by the public for more government regulation and stricter enforcement, said Roy Snell, chief executive of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Eth
It's more likely that investors will insist that companies run effective compliance programs, Snell said.
There's been an explosion of compliance officers and compliance programs at organizations. The sea change in compliance began in 1991, when the U.S. Sentencing Commission issued guidelines for judges when sentencing corporations, partnerships, associations and other organizations under federal felony laws.
Organizations with effective programs to prevent and detect criminal conduct can get credit should they be charged with a crime. After Sarbanes-Oxley, companies began putting ethics into the mix to create ethical organizational cultures.
In 1996, Chancery Court issued a landmark decision in the so-called Caremark case that legal scholars said is one of the most prominent decisions ever involving oversight.
Former Chancellor William Allen held that boards of directors have an obligation to institute an information-gathering and reporting system that is designed to promote compliance with the laws to which the business is subject. Today, it is called the Caremark standard.
So, organizations reach out to companies such as Freeh Group International, said Tim Mazur, chief operating officer with Ethics & Compliance Officers Association. Freeh's clients have included Bank of America Corp. the DuPont Co., Daimler AG and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, said Freeh is perfect for the role.
"If you want someone to review your integrity, ethics and compliance issues, who better than the former head of the FBI?" Elson said. "In that job, he was our government's leading ethics officer."
To get an idea of the kind of work Freeh Group International does, consider a job it undertook for a U.S. client that was interested in getting an investment from a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.
Freeh flew to Abu Dhabi to investigate the fund because his client has a gaming unit that requires state licenses.
Freeh's task was to make sure there was nothing in the activities of the sovereign wealth fund that could jeopardize the gaming licenses of his client.
In a recent case in Los Angeles, the company conducted an internal investigation for a major client, and then Freeh personally worked with police and prosecutors.
"In most cases, we advise our clients to find out all facts, what's going on and to self-report. Not only is it good self-governance, but it's good business. If we find wrongdoing, go out and report it," Freeh said.
During an investigation, depending on what type of expertise is needed, Freeh Group International will use its own staff but also tap subcontractors.
"One of our advantages is we have a very big network out there of CPAs, lawyers, former investigators and judges," Freeh said. "There are equally good or better law firms and accounting firms that can do this. The difference is, we can do this in Wilmington or Riyadh or Pretoria."
Freeh group also has offices in New York, Washington, London and Rome.
What's more, the company, particularly overseas, can draw on Freeh's network and an international group of partners to access local prosecutors, police, judges, ministers and important stakeholders.
"In internal investigations, we actually go out and make contact with the people who are on the other side," he said.
Ten years ago, it would have been hard to sustain a niche business such as Freeh Group International, Mazur said.
But, thanks to growing public outrage over organizational misconduct, there has been an increase in regulation, enforcement and penalties, Snell said.
Before 1991, when the government began cracking down on misconduct, some organizations would do a risk-benefit analysis when assessing certain conduct, experts said. The fines and sentencing guidelines were so lenient, some organizations would continue activities they knew were wrong or illegal, experts said.
"Far too many companies had a game-playing attitude to regulation," Mazur said. "That sort of mentality really upset a lot of people."
Today, the stakes are much higher for organizations that have employees who have been involved in fraud, bribery, extortion or unethical behavior, Mazur said. Sometimes, sexual harassment, political lobbying and gifts and gratuities can become criminal acts, he said.
For example, in certain countries, a pharmaceutical representative for a drug company could be accused of bribing a government official if the gifts were handed out to a physician employed by a government-owned hospital.
What's more, the U.S. government is cracking down on companies with international operations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, experts said.
In December, Siemens A.G., the giant German engineering company, and three of its subsidiaries pleaded guilty in federal court to violating anti-bribery and books and records provisions of the act. It agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion in fines and disgorgement of profits. The penalty was the largest monetary sanction since the law was passed in 1977.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in December that the "company's inadequate internal controls allowed the conduct to flourish."
The SEC said the misconduct revealed a corporate culture long at odds with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
"The tone at the top at Siemens was inconsistent with an effective FCPA compliance program and created a corporate culture in which bribery was tolerated and even rewarded at the highest levels of the company," the SEC said.
In February, Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, a global engineering and construction firm based in Houston, pleaded guilty to charges under the same law for participating in a scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
It agreed to pay a $402 million criminal fine and to hire an independent monitor to review the company's compliance program, according to the agency.
Organizations can lose their charters or be barred from doing business in a country.
This motivates organizations "to do whatever they can to prevent misconduct," Mazur said.
Because the economy is putting increased pressure on management to deliver financially, most compliance and ethics officers expect violations to increase, Snell said.
That will mean greater demand for services offered by companies such as Freeh's, experts said. These companies might be brought in periodically to refresh management and boards on ethics, compliance and good corporate governance matters, Mazur said.
For example, Freeh was recently in India giving a compliance program to a company board.
"We said, 'This is what you need to do,' " Freeh said.
Or Freeh Group International might be called on to do sensitive investigations the company doesn't want to handle internally, such as allegations against the chief executive officer or the general counsel, he said.
"Valuable people like Mr. Freeh can be brought in to do the investigations," Mazur said.
Sometimes a company like Freeh Group International can serve as court-appointed monitor, Mazur said. All these services can command a lot of money, he said.
"It can be very lucrative," he said. "There's a heck of a lot of money to be made."
After MBNA was sold to Bank of America in 2006, Freeh said, he had the option of moving to Charlotte, N.C., with Bank of America to head up global compliance.
Having settled his wife, Marilyn, and six sons in Wilmington, Freeh said, he wasn't keen on relocating.
"When I first met Louie, the thing that struck me most about him is what a family man he is," said Lance Weaver, a former executive of Bank of America.
Other post-MBNA options included joining a law firm. But then Freeh landed a consulting job with DuPont working on a corporate governance matter and another job with Daimler on a compliance issue.
Freeh saw there was a market opportunity to start his own business offering independent and thorough services in corporate compliance and corporate governance. In September 2007, the company opened a sleek office in the new WSFS tower at 500 Delaware Ave.
"It's exciting -- and terrifying," he said of being an entrepreneur.
Freeh said that beyond its international network and investigative expertise, the company's value lies in its credibility and independence.
"And, beyond our independence, our core model is to have a small number of clients," he said.
That allows the client to have access to the firm's principals, he said.
"CEOs like that," he said.
Although Freeh is affiliated with the New York law firm of Freeh Sporkin Sullivan, Freeh Group International normally does not take on traditional legal clients.
When Freeh Group International got calls from clients of Madoff, the New York investment adviser who has pleaded guilty to charges related to masterminding an investment fraud, Freeh turned down the opportunity to represent them because it was traditional attorney representation.
Freeh Group International has represented a private Russian company that was having problems with some of the country's power players. It worked with a foreign automaker on corporate compliance matters. At the end of last year, he was chosen to be the court-appointed examiner in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to investigate trading losses at an oil transporting company.
The company does not disclose annual revenues.
It hasn't hurt that Freeh continues to be in the news.
He testified in January before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the confirmation of Eric H. Holder Jr. as the U.S. attorney general.
Freeh has been a special agent with the FBI and a deputy U.S. attorney. He was chief of the organized-crime unit and was a U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1993.
As an assistant U.S. attorney in New York, Freeh was the lead prosecutor in the "Pizza Connection" case. It involved U.S. drug trafficking by Sicilian organized-crime members who imported drugs and laundered money overseas. He won convictions of 16 of the 17 co-defendants.
"Given his background and abilities, he's carved out a nice space for himself," Elson said of Freeh.
Because Freeh could have started his business anywhere, Delaware was fortunate Freeh stayed in the state, Weaver said.
Freeh said he chose Delaware, in part, because he lives here. But that wasn't the only reason. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington is one of the busiest dockets in the country; the major companies are incorporated in the state; and it's a short hop to New York City or Washington, D.C.
"I was over by Rodney Square and I saw the sign that said: 'Wilmington: In the middle of it all.' That's true. It's in the middle of everything," he said.
2:00 a.m. April 19, 2009
Residence: Mission Hills
Occupation: San Diego County undersheriff
Family: Wife, Natalie; adult son, Ryan
Experience: Sheriff's Department, five years; various FBI positions over 32 years, including head of San Diego office
San Diego County's sheriff apparent is a native son with a master's degree in public administration who spent decades with the FBI and whose family roots in local law enforcement date to the 1940s.
William Gore is widely expected to be appointed interim sheriff by the county Board of Supervisors, which will start the process of replacing retiring Sheriff Bill Kolender this week.
The appointment could give him an edge in the 2010 sheriff's election, which already has four other candidates.
Supporters say Gore is a true professional, a natural leader with experience at many levels. Critics say he never walked a beat or staffed a patrol car, and never worked overnight on New Year's Eve. They question his role in two national imbroglios for the FBI.
Even before Kolender said he would retire in July – with 18 months left in his fourth term – Gore earned a wealth of endorsements in addition to the sheriff, a longtime family friend.
The district attorney, three mayors, one member of Congress and dozens of community leaders are among those who signed on to the Gore campaign. Three of five county supervisors also endorsed Gore.
Gore, 61, said he accomplished much in his few years as undersheriff. He pointed to a regional crime lab, new citizen advisory boards, updated radio systems, automated record keeping and a commitment to community policing.
The sheriff “has given me pretty much leeway in things I want to do and things I want to implement,” Gore said in an interview last week in his office, where an award of merit signed by President Bill Clinton hangs on the wall. Gore's desk bears a chunk of granite carved with the words, “Attitude is Everything.”
Gore was born in 1947 at Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, the third son of budding San Diego police investigator William Gore.
In the late 1950s, the elder William Gore took Kolender, then a young officer, under his wing. Kolender made lieutenant inside a decade and was named chief of police in 1975.
All three Gore sons followed in their father's law-enforcement footsteps. Larry Gore spent 33 years with the San Diego police before serving as the West Sacramento police chief. Michael Gore was a sheriff's deputy for 15 years before turning to private security.
The Gore boys grew up in the College Area. The youngest son attended Crawford High School and was admitted to the University of San Diego. William Gore embraced public service early; at USD, he majored in public administration and served briefly as a Navy aviator during the Vietnam War.
After his discharge, Gore didn't take the local law-enforcement path. He joined the FBI. He was sent to Kansas City and then Seattle, where he met his wife, Natalie Sabin, one of the first female FBI agents. He earned a master's in public administration from Seattle University.
After assignments in Honolulu and Washington, D.C., Gore returned to Seattle as special agent in charge. In August 1992, he arrived at a remote mountaintop in northern Idaho, where a U.S. marshal and a 14-year-old boy had been killed in a gunfight that broke out as marshals tried to arrest the boy's father, Randall Weaver.
The scene was chaotic. Dozens of agents converged on the ridge and set up a perimeter while Weaver and his family holed up in their cabin. The next day, an agent mistakenly shot and killed Weaver's wife, Vicki, as Weaver and another man appeared outside the cabin, armed.
Gore and other commanders didn't know at the time that Weaver's wife and son were dead. Agents found the boy's body in an outbuilding near the main cabin on the third day and learned about Vicki's death later.
“All of a sudden, you're saying, 'No wonder they were reluctant' ” to come out again, said Gore, who served in a command-support role to Salt Lake City FBI chief Eugene Glenn.
After a tense showdown with more than 100 agents stretched into its 11th day, Weaver gave up.
The FBI was criticized for its actions. A dozen agents were suspended or demoted for lying about what happened. Gore was not among them. He was promoted to assistant FBI director and returned to Washington, D.C., in 1994.
Still, the incident remains a rallying cry for those who say the government was out of control, and Gore's involvement could taint him.
“The Ruby Ridge fiasco shows poor judgment on the part of the people involved, and my understanding is he was one of the principals,” said Ron Godwin, who manages a gun store in El Cajon and hosts a gun-rights radio show. “Putting him in as an appointee is simply so he can run as an incumbent (sheriff) and make it more easy for him.”
Gore was among four agents who refused to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing on Ruby Ridge. He said his lawyer advised against it because an Idaho prosecutor was pursuing murder charges against agents.
In 1997, Gore learned there was an opening to head the San Diego field office and he jumped at the chance to move home. When he got the job, he quickly focused on fighting drug smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially the Arellano Félix cartel.
“To not work them as a No. 1 priority would have been negligent,” he said.
The national spotlight found Gore once again after the terror attacks Sept. 11, 2001. An inspector general's office report chided the San Diego office for failing to follow a 1998 directive from headquarters to make counterterrorism – not the drug trade – its top priority.
Furthermore, two hijackers on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon spent most of 2000 in San Diego, even taking flying lessons at San Diego's Montgomery Field and renting a room from a known FBI informant.
Gore praised the work San Diego field agents did after the attacks and blamed a lack of communication for not identifying the threat earlier.
“It's a tragic breakdown in the whole Sept. 11 scenario,” he said. “Clearly, had the CIA given that information to the FBI back in October 2000, after the bombing of the Cole (a U.S. Navy destroyer) . . . we probably could have tracked the two hijackers.”
Still, Gore has a fan in Randall Hamud, the San Diego immigration attorney who defended three Muslim men held as material witnesses in the months after Sept. 11.
Hamud credited the former San Diego FBI chief for balancing the needs of a nation in anguish with the civil rights of thousands of Muslim-Americans in this region.
“Our communities were able to bring concerns to his office, and they were looked into,” said Hamud, who criticized the Bush administration after Sept. 11. “At the same time, when mistakes were made, (Gore) was there to accept responsibility as an individual and on behalf of the government.”
Gore left the FBI after 32 years in January 2003, 16 months after the attacks, and took a job overseeing investigations for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. He says his departure was voluntary, and he rejects the notion that local FBI agents could have thwarted the terrorist acts.
One year later, Gore moved to the Sheriff's Department, where he became a top assistant to his father's protégé – Kolender, who had been elected sheriff in 1994.
Even then, there was talk that Gore was being groomed for the top job, that the aging sheriff would not finish his term. Those rumors persisted despite Kolender's repeated vow to serve all four years he sought from voters.
So far, five candidates have filed to run for sheriff. The others are former San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano, former Deputy Sheriffs' Association President Jim Duffy, former undersheriff and Assemblyman Jay La Suer and former sheriff's Sgt. Bruce Ruff.
All but Gore urged county supervisors not to appoint the undersheriff, saying to do so would give him an unfair advantage in the run-up to June 2010.
Gore said the best-qualified person should get the appointment.
Mark Stine KOLD News 13 Reporter
"I'm completely disgusted. It's really creepy. I use that bathroom all the time."
Lauren Canty's like most students hearing the news for the first time. They just can't believe something like this would happen.
"No, I can't especially on campus, it seems like he almost wanted to get caught, that's kind of strange," Canty explained.
Three weeks ago a man, according to police documents, was caught masturbating in one of the stalls in a women's restroom. Caught when a woman cleaning the bathroom saw him with his pants down.
Gang Stalking = COINTELPRO = STASI decomposition
The FBI and all law enforcement agencies are currently using a psychological warfare protocol like "COINTELPRO" which is almost identical to the STASI "decomposition". This is what people are referring to as Gang Stalking.
The earliest forms of this that I know of are from Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each of these societies had pervasive spy/informant networks that were spying on each other as well as looking for spies inside of their own empires. Anyone who did not feel that their own respective empire was the most perfect society could be considered a traitor. In other words they were looking for anyone who had thoughts beliefs and attitudes that were not approved of by the state that could instigate revolt or subversive activity or otherwise make them a danger to the empire. This obviously created a snitch culture and there were bound to be abuses. If a person was not liked by another then it was easy to persuade others to make a complaint and get that person killed or exiled. No one dare say or do anything that was politically incorrect and thus the rulers were able to maintain power and control over the people. Blatant execution or exile is common in an empire but in a democracy it is not as easy to accomplish these punishments so modern psychological operations were developed to accomplish these goals and in this way an empire can masquerade as a democracy.
The STASI decomposition protocol is an excellent example of how these modern psychological operations work. The STASI decomposition is almost identical to the FBI’s COINTELPRO. Here is a link to a document that shows an overview of the STASI decomposition.
Law enforcement agencies in concert with government and corporations are using bribery, deception, coercion & blackmail to create an informant & saboteur network out of criminals of all kinds, extremist groups, cults, patriotic zealots, the poor, the homeless, friends, family, neighbors, repair men, fire men, police, military personnel and agents to target individuals and groups that have beliefs and attitudes (such as civil rights and animal rights.) that may cause them to commit acts of terrorism at some future time or motivate others to commit terrorist acts or incite revolt. This pre-crime approach has existed numerous times throughout American history but has reared its ugly head again due to 9/11.
Unfortunately, according to former FBI agent Mike German, many post 9/11 targeted individuals are nothing more than a training exercise.
Here is a lecture by Noam Chomsky that uncovers the root mindset in America that predicates the targeting of groups and individuals.
The real power behind gang stalking and many other terrible things is the minority of the opulent but the front group making all the policy changes these days is the neoconservatives. Neoconservatisim is a cult ideology that has been bankrolled and nurtured by the opulent just like all of the other cult ideologies created or co-opted by the opulent for their machinations.
Stalin and Hitler were fanatical leaders inspired by a gang mentality and by the concept of "historic mission." They believed that intolerance and large scale brutality were necessary ingredients of social order. Each of them was also supported by the “cult of personality.” The neocons are strikingly similar.
What are the components of gang mentality?
· Extreme concern with reputation both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.
· Extreme concern with respect both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.
· No challenge will go unanswered. It is so with the neocons as well.
What is the concept of “historic mission”?
In a well documented conversation, Adolf Hitler berated the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg and stated…
"That is what you say!...But I am telling you that I am going to solve the so-called Austrian problem one way or the other...I have a historic mission, and this mission I will fulfill because Providence has destined me to do so...I have only to give an order and all your ridiculous defense mechanisms will be blown to bits. You don't seriously believe you can stop me or even delay me for half an hour, do you?"
Prominent neocon Michael Ledeen stated…
“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”
What is the cult of personality?
The cult of personality is explained pretty well here…
The Straussian philosophy is a cult of personality and the neocons follow the Straussian philosophy
If you select 1 percent of a population (Whistle blowers, dissidents, artists, those that look funny, and act or dress funny) and punish them severely for little or nothing, then you will gain the compliance of the other 99 percent either through fear or because they’ve been conned by the COINTELPRO/STASI type propaganda in to believing that the TI’s must be removed from society for the common good. Then you can implement the social, political and financial changes you want on a grand scale in a relatively short period of time. I.E. advance your historic mission. This has been done enumerable times throughout history.
When the average person considers what the Nazis or Stalin did, they are naturally horrified. When a banker considers what the Nazis or Stalin did they have dollar signs in their eyes. MONEY is the real reason this is happening!!! The bankers know that a one world government is not possible. Empire building has been going on for centuries and a global empire has never been realized. But if you understand finance, history, politics and the military industrial complex, then it is clear to see that it is the EXERCISE of building empires and large scale wars that redistributes the wealth of nations into the hands of the banking elite and keeps the masses under control.
Unfortunately most human beings don't understand how their own minds work nor are they well educated in multiple disciplines. Most of the people that perpetrate these crimes against humanity aren't fully aware that there is such a big conspiracy going on. It’s just that most human beings have so many inherent psychological weaknesses and such a deep lack of education that if you alter the socioeconomic landscape in just the right way, you get what you see here in America today.
Here are a few very credible documentaries that will help you to understand what’s really going on and hopefully survive…
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they become TI’s is to attempt to create a counter spy network against those that are surveilling them. This is something that the neocons and the banking elite are OK with. A global spy counter spy network is much like the cold war and the cold war was extremely profitable for the banking elite not to mention a powerful pretext to control people. The global war on terror needs a global terrorist network and since there really is not one, many targets will be manipulated into acting out in ways that can classify them as terrorists thus creating the impetus for law enforcement agencies to demand more tax payer money to fight the war on terror. Targets are all better off contacting a civil rights group and explaining that they have reason to believe they have been placed on the terrorist watch list.
Do yourself a favor and learn as much about economics and finance as possible. It will help you survive. This is all the info you will need to be an educated investor. It’s not a get rich quick thing, just a solid economics and investing education.
Also, listen to as many lectures by Professor Noam Chomsky as possible. They are all over the internet. He is brilliant and has been exposing the machinations of the opulent (Rothschild, Rockefeller etc) for decades. His research is very credible and will help you to separate the facts from the propaganda and give you a measure of mental clarity and peace. Utilizing his research will also help you gain some of your credibility back with others.
Try to explain all of this to your friends and family. Usually when people see the mission statement of the neocons from their websites (PNAC & FPI) they start listening.
According to anti-communist author Ludwik Kowalski
“Mass murder occurs when brutal and sadistic criminals, to be found in every society, are promoted to positions of dominance, when propaganda is used to dehumanize the targeted population and when children are inoculated with intolerance and hatred. It occurs when victims ("inferior races" or "class enemies") are excluded from the norms of morality, when ideological totalitarianism is imposed and when freedom is suspended. Fear and violence, the preconditions of genocide, are likely to be found in societies with large numbers of thieves and informants.”
Here is some info on how to take care of your physical health.
Visit this YouTube channel and watch everything on it. You will gain a clear understanding of what’s really going on.
In the early 1970s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation considered it pertinent biographical information that The New York Times' Tom Wicker suffered from “mental halitosis.” Since this is not, strictly speaking, a medical condition, they qualified the classification with “apparently.”
Internal documents obtained by Capital New York through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the bureau began keeping tabs on Wicker, who died last November, after he published a wide-ranging article for the New York Times Magazine asking, “What Have They Done Since They Shot Dillinger?”
The 1969 article took the F.B.I. to task for expending its resources on bank robberies and sensational murders that garnered them publicity while doing little to no work investigating criminal syndicates and the nuanced financial crimes of much more consequence to the national public interest. Wicker laid the blame at the feet of the man who embodied the bureau—its one and only director, J. Edgar Hoover—for being a practiced P.R. man more than a crime fighter, too concerned with bureaucratic protocol, too slow on civil rights, and too long in the job to right the bureau’s course.
With that article, the F.B.I. began a file on a man they had ignored as “a screwball” despite his having been the Washington bureau chief for the most influential newspaper in the country. It would contain rumors from an unknown third-hand source, a hunt for ulterior motives, and the director’s general disdain. In short, Wicker’s file provides a case study of the personal terms in which the bureau dealt with critical journalists in the final years of Hoover’s reign.
ON MARCH 30, 1970, A LETTER REACHED HOOVER at his desk in F.B.I. headquarters. It had been expedited in its delivery via the director’s “Special Correspondents List,” from a retired special agent named Leon A. Francisco. Francisco felt it his duty to report a conversation he’d had with “an acquaintance of mine here in Washington, Connecticut … a professional writer,” in which he learned that Wicker had received a $60,000 advance—approximately $350,000 today—to write a book “which will attack you and the Bureau.”
“The book is to come out within about six months, and, presumably, will be along the scurrilous lines of Wicker’s New York Times Magazine article of December 28, 1969,” Francisco wrote. His writer friend did not know the name of the publisher, only that his source was reliable and that “a $60,000.00 advance is an unusually large one.”
In an accompanying memo, assistant director for the Criminal Records division Thomas E. Bishop noted that a review of bureau files showed “previous cordial relations” with the professional writer—whose identity was not released as it might constitute an invasion of privacy—“whom we have assisted in connection with his writing.” As for his recommendation on Wicker, Bishop wrote, “This matter is being followed by the Crime Records Division with a view toward obtaining an advance copy of Wicker’s forthcoming book.”
This was not the first they’d heard of a Wicker book. An earlier F.B.I. memo recorded that on the morning of February 9, 1970, Wicker’s research assistant—name redacted—called to request an interview with someone knowledgeable at the bureau to discuss items for a possible book. Wicker, the caller said, “wanted to get the “other side,” that is “both sides,” of the various matters discussed by Wicker concerning the Director and the F.B.I. in the magazine article.”
The caller, who identified himself as “regularly employed as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly,” was likely Dupre Jones, who had managed the Times’ Washington research library and assisted Wicker on his 1968 book, JFK and LBJ. Jones passed away in January.
In fact, another bureau memo indicates that Wicker did his due diligence: His secretary phoned the director’s office five weeks in advance of the article’s publication. Hoover declined to speak with him then, too.
ON NOVEMBER 19, 1970, THE TIMES PRINTED A WICKER column titled “Calvin Coolidge’s Revenge,” after Hoover’s latest broadside against his critics. Wicker playfully mocked the director’s hypersensitivity, but noted “this kind of thing stops being funny when it is realized that the F.B.I. is a police agency” with a mountain of personal dossiers on American citizens. He concluded that no president would dare fire him or even simply “tell the old boy to shut up.”
Hoover had the article duplicated for nearly every high-ranking bureau member listed on his interoffice stationery, including a note, in excellent penmanship: “This jerk has mental halitosis,” with his powerful “H” struck beneath.
The column appeared just as Hoover received an update from Special Agent Francisco, with more news from the professional writer. “[Name redacted] informed me yesterday that the publishing of the book had been held up for reasons not known to him, but that now his agent has advised him that the book is being prepared for publication on an unknown date by Random House.”
The publisher identified, they now had leverage. Milton A. Jones, a top aide in the Crime Records division, wrote in a memo, “As you are aware, Random House published Don Whitehead’s 'The F.B.I. Story,' as well as a young reader’s edition of this work, and 'J. Edgar Hoover on Communism,' and has indicated an interest in publishing a book by the Director on the New Left movement.”
Jones also dug up some pertinent information on Wicker at the request of Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s faithful Number Two. The memo included a brief sketch of Wicker’s early life, career, and his relationship with the F.B.I.
“The Bureau has never conducted an investigation concerning Wicker,” the final memo said. “Files do reflect that he was characterized by at least one associate as a 'screwball.' In 1957, he reportedly went over Great Falls in the Potomac River and received considerable publicity.” Wicker, then a correspondent for the Winston-Salem Journal, capsized in his canoe and became one of two people known to have survived the 76-foot plunge and its multiple drops over massive, craggy rocks.
More to the point of Jones’ memo was determining the source of Wicker’s discontent with the F.B.I. It reported that Wicker had taken his son and a group of boys on a tour of bureau headquarters in 1967, and that the journalist had once been invited to a party for a Communist leader held at the Cuban mission to the United Nations (it could not be confirmed whether he attended). The memo catalogued his criticisms of Hoover going back five years, taking offense at a 1968 column that suggested President-elect Nixon could have gotten dovish presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy to join his administration if he had named McCarthy director of the F.B.I. and Hoover ambassador to the United Nations.
Yet finding no outwardly symptoms for his criticisms, Jones pointed the finger at two familiar culprits: the Kennedys and the Times.
“A review of [Bureau files] fails to indicate any obvious reasons for Wicker’s antagonism towards the F.B.I. Would appear he is strongly entrenched in the Kennedy political camp and the longtime antipathy of 'The New York Times' is well known.”
It continued, “Wicker wrote the introduction to [name redacted’s] current book and probably wrote most of the book for [redacted].” This almost certainly refers to John Osborne’s first annual installment of The Nixon Watch, which had just been published.
And, as with many small insults the director bothered to write, Hoover’s diagnosis became F.B.I. dogma. Regarding the “Coolidge’s Revenge” piece, the memo on Wicker to the bureau files would read, “In connection with this column the Director commented that Wicker is apparently suffering from mental halitosis.”
"MENTAL HALITOSIS" WAS A FAVORITE INSULT OF HOOVER'S, one he used many times over the years. That it was directed at Wicker was originally reported by Anthony Summers in his 1993 book Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, along with other instances of the Director’s hyperbolic media commentary. Drew Pearson was “a jackal” and Jimmy Wechsler “a rat,” while Walter Lippmann was the “coyote of the press” and Art Buchwald a “sick alleged humorist.” Hoover did worse to others, maliciously divulging secrets, like telling the White House that columnist Joe Alsop was gay.
More slights toward Wicker would follow and be filed away for reference. Hoover distributed a 1971 William F. Buckley, Jr., column that accused Wicker of selective reporting on the prison death of Black Panther George Jackson. “This clearly portrays Wicker’s bias + tendency to angle the real facts. H.” He had this to say about a 1971 Wicker article in the Boston Globe: “The usual Wicker lies interspersed with innumerable “faceless informers.” H.” (Along with that clipping, the name of the paper’s editor was attached.)
In the meantime, the F.B.I.’s concerns over a Wicker book had been put to rest. A December 11, 1970 memo from Bishop relayed a conversation he had had with someone—name redacted—at Random House, who “emphatically stated that Random House was not in the process of publishing any book written by Wicker and would not under any circumstances publish a book by him that would be critical of the Bureau or the Director.” (Though Wicker may have explored the idea, his high-dollar book advance was nothing but a rumor.)
The redacted Random House employee “stated that he would like Mr. Hoover to know that he considers the Director a “friend” and would never publish any book critical of him.” Furthermore, the source “stated that he saw Wicker a week or so ago at a cocktail party, at which time Wicker told him he was very busy with his normal duties for the “New York Times” and that he has no time to write any books.” Yet, the Random House source couldn’t rule out whether Wicker might be collecting material for a future publication.
WICKER'S FILE TOOK A TURN IN TONE after Hoover’s death in May of 1972. The article clippings with reassuring letters from Hoover loyalists around the country stopped. Wicker continued to make mentions of the bureau in his reporting, but with Hoover gone, it had stopped paying attention.
Then in June 1974, Wicker called F.B.I. headquarters to request some interviews for a follow-up to his 1969 Times magazine piece. An internal memo said, “He intends that the current article … to be a comparison of the Bureau today with what it was at the time of the previous article.”
The memo revisited the Wicker file compiled in the Hoover years and then made these observations: “Although experience demands that we be guarded in our approach to Mr. Wicker, his requests afford us an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the professional validity of the “open stance” policy with the media and to present our side of many crucial issues to a major news outlet.”
Two weeks later, a date was set for Wicker to interview the F.B.I. director.
The article never ran.
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