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Middlesex County Democratic chair won't run for another term in June

Peter Barnes Jr. in 2007 
EDISON — Peter Barnes Jr., chairman of the powerful Middlesex County Democratic Organization, said today that he will not seek another two-year term and will support Kevin McCabe, a former state labor commissioner, for the post.

Barnes, 84, and McCabe, 40, issued a joint statement, announcing the moves after a week that saw Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), who is the state Democratic Party chairman, and the local chairs from seven towns issue statements throwing their support behind McCabe.

“I am proud of having served as chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization and of everything our party has accomplished over the last two years,” Barnes said. “But now it is time to pass the baton to a new generation of leadership and that is why I am proud to endorse Kevin McCabe to succeed me…when my term expires in June.”

McCabe thanked Barnes for his “dedicated leadership and support.”

He said in the statement that over the next month, “I will be meeting with county committee members throughout Middlesex County to discuss my vision (for the party) to gauge their thoughts on the best way to move our organization forward and to ask them for their vote.”

McCabe, who served as state labor commissioner under Gov. James McGreevey, ran for chairman two years ago after the arrest and indictment of former Middlesex County Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo on corruption charges. Spicuzzo was the longtime county chairman.

The race exposed cracks in the county committee, which seemed divided between those supporting state Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and those who agreed with Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, who backed McCabe.

Wisniewski nominated Barnes — a retired FBI agent, former assemblyman and former director of the state parole board — two years ago, and criticized McCormac for hosting Gov. Chris Christie on a walking tour of Woodbridge just after Christie was elected.


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The FBI’s File on Howard Zinn

By Matthew Rothschild, July 31, 2010

The FBI just released a voluminous file on progressive historian Howard Zinn.

The file alleges that Zinn was a member of the Communist Party in the late 1940s and early 1950s, though he steadfastly denied it when the FBI twice interviewed him.

Oddly, the FBI even tried to turn Howard Zinn into an informant, but when he refused to play ball or name names, they gave up on him. Later, in the 1960s, they deemed a high security risk to the country, a category that allowed them to summarily arrest him if an emergency were to be declared, the documents show.

The file also refers to Zinn’s influence on Martin Luther King’s attitude toward the FBI, with the agency adding that it should straighten King out.

Several documents also refer to Zinn’s wife, Roslyn, whom the FBI claimed was affiliated with the Communist Party for a while, as well.

J. Edgar Hoover himself kept apprised of Zinn’s activities from the earliest years. President Lyndon Johnson received FBI memos from Hoover about Zinn when he and Daniel Berrigan went to North Vietnam in 1968 and won the return of two captured U.S. airmen.

The first document, March 3, 1949, relies on information supplied by a “confidential informant” who said Zinn “is a Communist Party member and attends Party meetings five times a week in Brooklyn.” It also lists some of his political activities.

It says that Zinn picketed the White House on March 26, 1948, with the “American Committee to Protect the Jewish State and the United Nations.”

It says he was a “delegate to the American Peace Mobilization in Chicago.”

It says he was “picketing butcher shops” in Brooklyn on July 18, 1946.

It says his “name appears on letterhead of Brooklyn Citizens’ Committee for Right of Bank Workers to Organize.”

And it says he was a member of American Veterans Committee.

It also says that “an inquiry was made of the subject’s sister, Doris Zinn, 926 Lafayette Avenue, under suitable pretext.”

Zinn’s daughter, Myla Kabat-Zinn, is struck by this reference.

“My father never had a sister,” says Kabat-Zinn, who perused some pages of the file. “It’s just bizarre. If they thought he had a sister, I have to question a lot of what’s in the file.”

The second released document, dated March 30, 1949, and with “Director, FBI” on it, has Zinn’s name in caps and the words “Security Matter” under it. The New York office is instructed “to obtain additional information concerning this subject’s membership in the Communist Party or concerning his activities in behalf of the party.” The last line reads: “Particular emphasis should be placed on obtaining admissible evidence.”

The FBI kept track of Zinn while he was attending NYU, and the agency noted that “Zinn filed claim for ‘property damage’ against the State of New York” after the police failed to prevent anti-communist mobs from using violence to disrupt Paul Robeson’s performances.

In the strangest part of the file, the FBI tries to recruit Zinn as an informant. A document dated October 12, 1953, and sent to J. Edgar Hoover, outlines the effort. “When the subject is observed leaving his residence alone, and when he is a discreet distance from his place of residence, he will be contacted in a direct manner by two agents assigned to the Security Informant Program.”

On November 6, 1953, two agents of the FBI watched Zinn leave his home and then approached him, according to a document to Hoover dated November 25, 1953. “The agents introduced themselves to Zinn and advised him that they had a confidential matter to discuss with him,” the document says. “He was told that he was not being contacted with the idea of intimidating or having him incriminate himself but for the purpose of determining his attitude towards aiding the United States Government. It was noted that he was a citizen of this country, a parent and veteran, and had certain responsibilities to himself, his family, and country.”

Then they made their accusations. “He was advised that the Bureau had received information concerning his associations with the CP and was affording him this opportunity to discuss it with agents of the FBI,” the document says. “Zinn stated that he was not now or was he ever a member of the CP.”

Zinn told them “he was a liberal and perhaps some people would consider him to be a ‘leftist.’ Zinn said that he had participated in the activities of various organizations which might be considered Communist fronts but that his participation was motivated by his belief that in this country people had the right to believe, think, and act according to their own ideals. . . . According to Zinn, he was not ashamed of his past activities and did not believe that he or his activities constituted a threat to the security of this country or Government.”

Toward the end of this four-page “Letter to Director,” the agents describe Zinn as “courteous, friendly, and willing to discuss his activities except for the denials noted previously. He was reluctant, however, to discuss other persons who were associated with him in the various Communist front organizations.” The agents recommended that “Zinn should be recontacted under the Security Informant Program.”

That recontact occurred on February 8, 1954, according to a document to Hoover dated February 24 of that year. Again, Zinn denied that he or his wife had ever been a member of the Communist Party. And again, Zinn refused to name names. “He stated under no circumstances would he testify or furnish information concerning the political opinions of others.” The agents concluded that it was no use. “It is believed that additional interviews with Zinn would not turn him from his current attitude; therefore he will not be reinterviewed under the SI program, and this matter will be closed.”

After that, the FBI continued to keep tabs on Zinn, his political activities, his attendance at Columbia, and his move to Atlanta to teach at Spelman College. It even noted that he “subscribed to the ‘National Guardian’ in 1953,” according to a document dated March 29, 1957. The FBI also got a hold of a 1950 letter Zinn wrote to the Supreme Court about the trial of eleven Communists under the Smith Act. Wrote Zinn to the Court: “Free speech is the cornerstone of a free America and it cannot be preserved unless the Smith Act is declared unconstitutional.”

For a few years, Zinn’s time at Spelman didn’t concern the FBI. But then Zinn wrote a report for the Southern Regional Council about race relations in Albany, Georgia. Zinn was harshly critical of the FBI in that report, noting that “the FBI has not made a single arrest on behalf of Negro citizens.” The New York Post ran an article about his criticisms on November 16, 1962. On a copy of the clipping, Hoover himself wrote: “What do we know of Zinn?”

Agency officials responded with a memo on November 27, 1962, rehashing the old accusations against Zinn. It added: “Files indicate that Zinn has been active in protesting policies of this country concerning Cuba.” The memo was sent to assistant director Cartha “Deke” DeLoach. Handwritten at the bottom is the notation: “Suggest our friends on Georgia papers be alerted.”

On December 23, 1962, an FBI document again refers to Zinn’s Albany report and notes that it “has also been commented upon by Reverend Martin Luther King. King went along with the general theme of the article.” It added: “Assistant Directors Sullivan and DeLoach have made an attempt to contact Reverend Mr. King to straighten him out concerning the work of this Bureau.”

On May 21, 1963, an FBI document reported that Zinn had participated on a panel about blacks in the media. “Zinn was critical of the Administration, the President, and the Vice President concerning their position on civil rights. He also stated, ‘Our Attorney General is callous, and the FBI incompetent to deal with civil rights problems.’ ” Clyde Tolson, associate director of the FBI, was reported asking, “What do our files show on Zinn?”

On May 29, 1963, another FBI memo, with the director’s name on it, orders agents to dig up and spread information about Zinn. “You are instructed to review your files, contact logical sources, and submit an up-to-date report suitable for dissemination. This report should include all pertinent public source information concerning the subject.”

On July 31, 1963, the FBI noted that “subject dismissed from position at Spelman College.” The agency followed him back to Newton, Massachusetts, and obtained “four photos of subject, wife, and daughter,” according to another memo to Hoover dated November 18, 1963. It listed Zinn’s occupation as “self-employed—writer.”

On January 8, 1964, an FBI memo discussed a Boston Globe article that covered Zinn’s repeated criticism of the FBI for failing to protect blacks against white mob violence. As before, the recommended action: “friendly news sources in the Boston area may be contacted concerning our role in civil rights matters.”

On January 10, 1964, Hoover wrote a memo ordering Zinn’s name to be “included in Reserve Index, Section A,” a classification that would mean he could be rounded up if an emergency were declared. In this memo, Hoover says Zinn “has continued to demonstrate procommunist and anti-United States sympathies.”

The FBI repeatedly asked its contacts within the Communist Party in the Boston area about Zinn, but “they did not know the subject and could furnish no information concerning him,” notes one document from the Boston office on February 18, 1964. (Several subsequent documents all show the Boston office finding no contacts between Zinn and the Communist Party there.)

On May 18, 1964, an FBI memo discusses an article Zinn wrote for The Nation entitled “Incident in Hattiesburg” about the FBI and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This prompted the FBI to classify Zinn as an even higher security risk.

“Because of lack of evidence of membership in a basic revolutionary organization since 1953, subject’s name was included in the Reserve Index, Section A, rather than in the Security Index,” states the document from the FBI’s J. F. Bland to assistant FBI director W. C. Sullivan.

Bland then spells out what these classifications mean. “The Reserve Index represents a special group of individuals scheduled to receive priority attention with respect to investigation, interrogation, or detention under the terms of the Emergency Detention Program following invoking of the Program and arrest of all Security Index subjects.” (NB: The original is not in bold.)

Bland goes on to explain why Zinn deserves to be placed in the higher-risk category. “Subject’s activities make this a close case as to whether he belongs on the Reserve Index or the Security Index. He can, however, be included on the Security Index under the criterion “facts have been developed which clearly and unmistakably depict the subject as a dangerous individual who may commit acts inimical to the national defense and public safety of the United States in time of an emergency.’ ”

On May 19, 1964, a memo with “Director, FBI” on it, says: “The Bureau is of the opinion that subject’s name should be included in the Security Index.”

On March 7, 1966, Hoover wrote the director of the Secret Service about Zinn, Hoover did so again exactly a year later. The reason: “Because of background is potentially dangerous; or has been identified as member or participant in communist movement; or has been under active investigation as member of other group or organization inimical to U.S.”

The FBI followed Zinn’s civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activities, noting his “Logic of Withdrawal” pamphlet and the fact that he spoke at a 1967 rally in New York with Martin Luther King and Dr. Benjamin Spock.

The file also reveals that Hoover sent a coded teletype to the President, the Secretary of State, the Director of the CIA, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force, and the White House Situation Room about the trip Zinn took with Berrigan to free the two U.S. airmen on January 31, 1968.

The last document, dated April 2, 1968, refers to an anti-draft rally planned for the next day in Boston Commons. “This demonstration is expected to last approximately two to three hours and attract some 10,000 persons,” the document says. “Howard Zinn, well-known Boston University professor and Security Index subject, and Avram Noam Chomsky, a Selective Service subject, will be among the speakers.”

Zinn’s daughter, Myla Kabat-Zinn, isn’t shocked that the FBI kept such a voluminous file on her dad.

“We all expected this,” she says. “This is not a surprise. Anybody who was active in protesting and speaking out at that time kind of expected to have an FBI file. My father always knew they had a file on him.”

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Governor names Southington chief to police standards council

Saturday, May 4, 2013

SOUTHINGTON — John Daly is the first Southington police chief to join Connecticut’s Police Officer Standards and Training Council. He was appointed to the council last week by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Daly will be involved in setting the training standards for new recruits, and certification of veteran officers, throughout the state. He will also be involved with granting accreditation for departments that comply with the council’s standards.


“I truly appreciate the trust that the governor has put in me to be appointed to the council,” Daly said. “It’s a very important part of policing.”

He will have a seat at the table where decisions are made on training of police officers statewide. The Southington department is not accredited, but it is a goal Daly wants to achieve. The council meets bimonthly and he will go to his first meeting Thursday.

The council has 20 members, including the state’s FBI special agent, the chief state’s attorney, the commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, police chiefs from around the state, two municipal officials, a faculty member from the University of Connecticut, a union representative, and five members of the public.

Cromwell Police Chief Tony Salvatore has been on the council since 1997 and became chairman in 2003. His department has also been working toward accreditation. Salvatore said Daly will be a welcome addition to the council and he looks forward to serving with him.

Officers have to be trained and recertified every three years.

He said accreditation means policies and procedures are in place to help prepare officers to do a better job. Standards include procedures of investigating missing person cases, training on the use of stun guns, and providing mutual aid. Salvatore said accreditation also helps departments reduce the potential of liability lawsuits.


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Tuesday, May 07, 2013Last Update: 3:15 PM PT
Ex-FBI Analyst Accused of Canoodling Can't Sue

     (CN) - The FBI should not face a lawsuit from the analyst it claims to have fired after she became romantic with the son of an investigation target, the 5th Circuit ruled.
     In a federal complaint for discrimination and retaliation, Bobbi-Anne Toy said the FBI actually barred her from stepping foot in her old office because her new boss at the bureau, Brett Davis, "had problems with women."
     Toy said she had always gotten glowing reviews while working at the FBI's office in Beaumont, Texas, as a data and intelligence analyst employed by nonparty DynCorp.
     When Davis stepped in as director of that office, however, he allegedly lodged a number of complaints about Toy, the FBI revoked her access and DynCorp fired her.
     Toy denied having committed misdeeds such as installing software and buying unapproved items on FBI computers; participating in undercover operations without approval, falsely holding herself out as an FBI employee; and becoming romantically involved with the son of the target of an investigation.


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Another reason FBI  agents were so good at setting of bombs and explosions like the Oklahoma City bombing, 911 and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing

Frederick P. Smith Jr., FBI official

Published: June 8 2013

Frederick P. Smith Jr., an FBI special agent from 1955 to 1979 and former chief of the agency’s explosives unit, died May 22 at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He was 83.

He had an abdominal aortic aneurysm, said his son-in-law Bill Moller.

Mr. Smith, an Alexandria resident, joined the FBI as a special agent in 1955 and became chief of the bureau’s explosives unit in 1970.

During his tenure, he received more than 40 commendations for his investigative work, said his family. He received special recognition for his assistance in the murder investigation of civil rights activist Medgar Evers and in the investigation of a bombing at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

After his retirement from the FBI, Mr. Smith served as president and executive director of the Institute of Makers of Explosives, a Washington lobbying and advocacy group, until 1994. He then worked as a consultant for several years.

Frederick Pierpont Smith Jr., a native of Thomaston, Ga., was a 1951 industrial management graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a Navy veteran of the Korean War.


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Reply with quote  #56 
3 stories

1st read

Boston's top FBI agent Richard DesLauriers announces retirement

Accepts corporate security job with Penske Corporation

Jun 11, 2013

2nd read

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Series officials said a post-race inspection found that the car didn't comply with a rule requiring the "exit of the underwing height" to be 7.6 inches.

3rd read
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Carmen Ortiz’s Sordid Rap Sheet

***UPDATE***: In Boston federal court on January 24, Magistrate Judge Judith Dein dismissed the government’s attempt to seize Russ Caswell’s motel property.


The suicide January 11 of information activist, computer hacker and technical wunderkind Aaron Swartz has focused attention on Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, whose overzealous prosecution may have led to his death. Swartz, co-founder of a website later acquired by Reddit as well as a prime developer of the online publishing infrastructure known as Rich Site Summary (RSS), was under federal indictment for logging into JSTOR—a database of scholarly articles accessible from universities across the country—and downloading its content with the intent to distribute the articles online free of charge.

Despite JSTOR’s subsequent securing of the “stolen” content and refusal to press charges, Swartz was arrested by the feds and charged originally with four felony counts under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. On those charges alone, Swartz was facing a possible 35-year sentence and over $1,000,000 in fines. Just three months ago, a “Superseding Indictment” filed in the case by the U.S. attorney’s office upped the felony count from four to 13. If convicted, Swartz was looking at possibly over 50 years in prison: a conceivable life sentence.

Ortiz, the politically ambitious U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, spearheaded the prosecution against Swartz. “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar,” Ortiz proclaimed in a 2011 press release. Her point man in the case was Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, a specialist in computer crime and son of Philip Heymann, the United States Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration. Stephen Heymann led the 2010 investigation into Albert Gonzalez, the TJX hacker, in the largest identity fraud case in history. Heymann’s office suspected that one of the unindicted co-conspirators named in that criminal complaint—“JJ”—was Jonathan James, a juvenile hacker who also killed himself two weeks after his house was raided.

The details of the Swartz case are so suggestive of  prosecutorial abuse that they have already led to widespread condemnation of Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann. However, what’s missing from much of the expressed outrage is recognition that the “bullying” tactics employed by Ms. Ortiz are standard operating procedure for federal prosecutors when pursuing criminal cases.

The Great Heist of Tewksbury

With a population just under 30,000, the town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is hardly considered ground zero for federal drug trafficking crimes. Just off Route 38, the town’s only major thoroughfare, sits the modest Motel Caswell. With just six reviews on tripadvisor.com—one “Poor” and five “Terrible”—even defenders of the $57 per night operation admit its shabby digs: “The Motel Caswell isn’t the Ritz,” its lawyer told a federal courtroom in November 2012. But that didn’t stop the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Ms. Ortiz’s office from trying to seize its assets .

In 2009, the 69-year-old owner, Russ Caswell, received a letter from the DOJ indicating the government was pursuing a civil forfeiture case against him with the intention of seizing his family’s motel—it was built in 1955 by Russ’s father—and the surrounding property. Ms. Ortiz’s office asserted that the motel had been the site of multiple crimes by its occupants over the years: 15 low-level drug offenses between 1994 and 2008 (out of an estimated 125,000 room rentals). Of those who stayed in the motel from 2001 to 2008, .05% were arrested for drug crimes on the property. Local and state officials in charge of those investigations never accused the Caswells of any wrongdoing.

Nor is the U.S. attorney charging Russ Caswell with a crime. The feds are using a vague but increasingly common procedure known as civil asset forfeiture. In criminal forfeiture, after a person is convicted of a crime the state must prove that the perpetrator’s property had a sufficiently strong relationship to the crime to warrant seizure by the government. In civil forfeiture proceedings, the state asserts the property committed the crime, and—under civil law—the burden of proof is on the defense to demonstrate their property is innocent.

“I’ve found…I’m responsible for the action of people I don’t even know, I’ve never even met, and for the most part I have no control over them,” Mr. Caswell told WBUR Boston. “And when they do something wrong, the government wants to steal my property for the actions of those people, which to me makes absolutely no sense. It’s more like we’re in Russia or Venezuela or something.”

According to the sworn testimony of a DEA agent operating out of Boston, it was his job to comb through news stories for properties that might be subject to forfeiture. When he finds a likely candidate, he goes to the Registry of Deeds, determines the value of the property in question, and refers it to the U.S. attorney for seizure. It is DEA policy to reject anything with less than $50,000 equity.

In other cases, that DEA agent testified, the property is brought to his attention by local police departments. He could not recall whether Mr. Caswell’s case was brought by local authorities or picked by his own research. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokesperson for Ms. Ortiz’s office, maintained in an interview that local police brought the case to DEA. But if Tewksbury’s Finest suspected crime was occurring on specific property, why not initiate an investigation themselves? Why simply hand a case like that over to the feds?

Through a policy known as equitable sharing, “the federal government has the discretion to dispense 80%” of the proceeds of liquidated seized assets “with the local authorities [that] cooperate,” Larry Salzman—attorney for Mr. Caswell—told WhoWhatWhy in an interview. He maintains this provision creates a perverse incentive to initiate such proceedings, even when the investigating authorities have no reason to suspect criminal wrongdoing. “It’s obvious it turns the American idea of innocent until proven guilty on its head.”

When asked about the possibility of an 80% haul that Tewksbury PD stood to gain from the liquidation of Mr. Caswell’s property, Ms. Sterling responded that such processes are referred all the way up through the Department of Justice (DOJ), before any arrangement with local authorities is negotiated: “The equitable sharing process is a lengthy one.”

Mr. Caswell’s family-owned and -operated property was worth approximately $1.5 million with no mortgage—making it a perfect target. Without a bank involved, the likelihood of the Caswells’ mounting a drawn-out legal defense was miniscule. Through a spokeswoman, Ms. Ortiz’s office released a statement at the time of trial on why they were choosing to pursue Mr. Caswell:

“The government believed that this was an important case…because of the deterrent message it sends to others who may turn a blind eye to crime occurring at their place of business.”

Mr. Salzman doesn’t buy the message of deterrence. He asserts that just up the street, a Motel 6, Walmart and Home Depot all operate with similar—in many cases higher—rates of drug crimes on their properties, referencing numbers obtained from the Tewksbury Police Department. An investigation by the Lowell Sun confirms this:

A review of Police Department arrest logs from 2007 through 2012 shows that despite a relatively high number of drug arrests at the Motel Caswell property in recent years, more suspects have been busted on drug-related charges at nearby addresses.

During the examined six-year time period, police made 19 drug arrests at the Motel Caswell at 450 Main St., five fewer than at the property where Walmart is located at 333 Main St. Twenty-six drug arrests were made at each of the properties located at 85 Main St. [Home Depot & Applebees] and 95 Main St. [Motel 6 & IHOP]

But those corporations have extensive financial and legal resources, and would put up much more of a fight than a small business owned and operated by a single family. Before a public interest law firm took on his case, Mr. Caswell had already spent over $100,000 and was near bankruptcy.

Ms. Sterling maintains that Ms. Ortiz’s office has no discretion in which properties are targeted. They simply act as the lawyers for other agencies of the federal government, in this case the DEA.

The Kingpins of Patronage

In March 2012, former Massachusetts Probation Commissioner John J. O’Brien was indicted by a federal grand jury under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). With two of his former deputies and alleged co-conspirators, he was charged with “one count of racketeering conspiracy and 10 counts of mail fraud,” according to The Patriot Ledger. Each of the 11 counts carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

The lengthy indictment alleges that the three ran a hiring system for the Massachusetts Probation Department that gave preference to friends and family members of certain legislators and politically connected prospects. Those aforementioned counts of mail fraud consisted of “sending rejection letters to applicants they knew from the start they weren’t going to actually consider.” By this standard, any boss who ever hired a friend’s child—yet sent letters to other applicants in which he claimed they were considered before being rejected, as per standard hiring procedure—has committed mail fraud.

Enacted in 1970 to enable prosecutors to convict leaders of criminal organizations who order subordinates to commit crimes but who are never themselves at the crime scene, RICO statutes have most widely been applied to drug cartels, the Mafia, and terrorist organizations. The logic is simple: if a mob kingpin orders a hit on someone, he has a strong First Amendment case that he isn’t at fault for the murder. Under RICO, the government only needs to prove a relationship between murderer and kingpin within an ongoing criminal organization.

Mr. O’Brien and his codefendants are also under indictment for violating state campaign finance laws. But those are charges being brought by the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, and are unrelated to the federal indictments issued by Ms. Ortiz’s office.

It is the job of prosecutors to bring malefactors to justice with tools appropriate to the alleged offenses — for example, RICO vs. the Mafia or al-Qaeda. But excessive prosecutorial zeal that regularly aims the biggest guns in the government’s arsenal at the smallest fry can only undermine public support for the justice system itself.  In cases like that of John J. O’Brien and Aaron Swartz, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s penchant for bringing disproportionate charges intended for serious criminals against defendants who pose little or no threat to the public’s well-being suggests either puritanical vengeance or brazen self-promotion.

Speaking While Brown (and Bearded)

Now consider the case of Tarek Mehanna, a Massachusetts pharmacist sentenced to 17 years in prison after being convicted in 2012 of supporting al-Qaeda and conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Ms. Ortiz’s office claimed in the indictment that Mehanna travelled to Yemen with the intent of joining a terrorist training camp — although he never found one.

Upon returning to the U.S., prosecutors allege, Mehanna translated documents written by members of al-Qaeda and posted YouTube videos in support of suicide bombings. The 2010 Supreme Court case Holder v. Humanitarian Law held that “protected speech can be a criminal act if it occurs at the direction of a terrorist organization.” Mehanna was eventually found guilty, although no causal relationship was established between his controversial advocacy against American foreign policy and direction by a designated member of al-Qaeda.

Although her office failed to win the 25-year minimum sentence she had requested, Ms. Ortiz said that Mehanna “faced the consequences of his actions, for conspiring to support terrorists, for conspiring to kill Americans overseas, and for lying to the FBI.”

At his sentencing hearing, Mr. Mehanna claimed he was being persecuted for not cooperating with the FBI, which had pressured him to join its sprawling, thousands-strong network of paid informants and provocateurs (the prime source of most federal terrorism indictments since 9/11):

As I was walking to my car I was approached by two federal agents. They said that I had a choice to make: I could do things the easy way, or I could do them the hard way. The “easy ” way, as they explained, was that I would become an informant for the government, and if I did so I would never see the inside of a courtroom or a prison cell. As for the hard way, this is it. Here I am, having spent the majority of the four years since then in a solitary cell the size of a small closet, in which I am locked down for 23 hours each day. The FBI and these prosecutors worked very hard — and the government spent millions of tax dollars – to put me in that cell, keep me there, put me on trial, and finally to have me stand here before you today to be sentenced to even more time in a cell.

As I pointed out in an article discussing the assassination by drone strike of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, legal precedent holds that independent political speech—no matter how heinous and suggestive—is protected unless it passes the Brandenburg test of inciting imminent lawless behavior. According to this reading of the law, whether Mehanna simply agreed with al-Qaeda’s message and promoted his own views in that vein or was deliberately ordered to do so by al-Qaeda members, he was still engaging in constitutionally protected speech.

But the Holder interpretation establishes that coordination between a designated terrorist organization and an individual, even to the point of providing that organization with advice to lay down arms and pursue non-violence, constitutes material support for terrorism. This was the precedent cited in finding that Mr. Mehanna was conspiring with terrorist organizations by virtue of his advocacy.

One can debate whether or not that’s an appropriate legal restriction on free speech, and how the Holder ruling can be reconciled with Brandenburg. What shouldn’t be up for debate is the practice of threatening defendants with draconian outcomes—bankruptcy, 25 years in prison—to leverage guilty pleas to lesser crimes or on-going cooperation with the government.

For Carmen Ortiz, Russ Caswell was like the weakest kid on the block who was wearing something she, or the agencies her office represents, coveted. In the cases of Aaron Swartz, Tarek Mehanna and John O’Brien, Ms. Ortiz’s fervency seems to have stemmed from the publicity such cases were sure to generate. All the defendants insisted on their innocence and fought the charges. The jury’s still out on O’Brien and Caswell, but Swartz and Mehanna have paid the price for their defiance.



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Grapes has funny way of praising Marchand

June, 17, 2013
BOSTON -- With the Stanley Cup finals back in Boston, former Bruins coach and legendary hockey personality Don Cherry has returned to the Garden.

Cherry, better known as “Grapes”, coached the Bruins for five seasons (1974-1979) and lost in two Cup finals during his tenure in Boston. He always speaks highly of this city and this organization and that was no different Monday morning, while the Bruins conducted their morning skate in preparation for Game 3 of the Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“I just love coming back here,” he said. “I love hearing the guys with their Boston accent. The security guy let me in my room last night after a few beers and he said, ‘Thanks for coming back, Don. We enjoy it when you’re here.’ I get a good feeling when I come here.

“Even Whitey’s having a trial. I remember him back in the day, what can I tell ya. I remember some of the FBI guys would come on the ice. [Former FBI agent] John Connolly used to come on the ice and skate with us.”

Connolly is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence for murder, racketeering and obstruction of justice, all charges stemming from his association with Bulger.

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June 17th, 2013

Privacy and national security have been hot topics since the NSA leaked information.

A local expert breaks down the continuing controversy.
Robert Heibel is the founder of the Intelligence Studies program at Mercyhurst University and a former FBI agent.

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Reply with quote  #59 
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FBI Foiled and Followed Author
June 21st, 2013

The feds tried to prevent visits by Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes in the 1960s and 1970s – and recruited sources at NYU and Columbia to keep tabs on him, documents reveal.

Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes’ Marxist leanings and criticism of the Vietnam War led the U.S. State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to purposefully delay — and deny — the author’s visa applications during the 1960s, newly released documents reveal.

The FBI’s file for Fuentes, one of the 20th Century’s most influential Latin American authors, chronicles more than two decades of monitoring that included keeping tabs on him through sources who worked at New York University and Columbia University.

Fuentes, best known for “The Death of Artemio Cruz” and “The Old Gringo,” was the first Mexican novelist to make the New York Times bestseller list. He died in May 2012 at age 83 after suffering an internal hemorrhage in his Mexico City home.

The NYCity News Service filed a request for Fuentes’ file under the Freedom of Information Act ­– which requires the agency to release certain documents to the public once a person has died – in September 2012. The file was posted Thursday to the FBI’s website.  The 170-page dossier doesn’t include dozens of documents that the file indicates were destroyed.

Visa Issues

The file, which tracks Fuentes’ movements within the United States and abroad over a quarter century, begins in 1962 with a note about an intentionally delayed visa that prevented the writer from coming to the U.S.

His purpose for travel: a televised debate with then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Goodwin.

An urgent message sent by the FBI in April 1962, about a month before the scheduled debate, advised the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City of “Instruction from Washington to delay if (visa) application is made.”

The file makes clear that the FBI’s upper echelons were interested in Fuentes’ movements. Long-time FBI Associate Director Clyde Tolson – widely known as founding FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s right-hand man – was copied on several updates about Fuentes.

When Fuentes did make his way into the U.S., he often visited and taught at Ivy League colleges and other top academic institutions. The FBI’s files on Fuentes indicate that the agency developed sources at universities throughout the country during the 1960s and early 1970s, including New York University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan. While tracking Fuentes, the FBI frequently turned to contacts at NYU and Columbia, who furnished the agency “with a considerable amount of information,” according to the dossier.

“Discreet Inquiries”

In one instance in September 1965, the FBI discovered that Fuentes was listed as a speaker in a flyer for a “teach-in” about the Vietnam War that had been held at the University of Michigan. The next four months saw a flurry of memos circulating between agents at field offices in New York, Washington, Detroit and Mexico City, all trying to determine if their efforts at barring Fuentes had failed.

“Discreet inquiries” made by an NYU employee to “people in the education field had failed to produce any information,” according to one memo.

An agent “reviewed records at the morgues of The New York Times and The New York Herald Tribune,” and sifted through education publications at the New York Public Library, in search of any record that Fuentes had made it to the discussion.

The FBI would later discover that Fuentes actually had entered the U.S. during that time period, arriving by train in Laredo, TX apparently headed to New York City to meet with his literary agent.

That same year, the FBI also “discreetly” was attempting to procure a copy of “Una Alma Pura” a film written by Fuentes that the agency determined to be “anti-American.” During production, an actress who feared she might lose her citizenship for appearing in the film contacted a U.S. Attorney. Her name was not divulged in the documents.

“They had impression all persons connected with production of film were communists,” an agent wrote.

Tide Turns

Fuentes managed to bypass the FBI’s restrictions on several occasions during the 1960s, by using a position with the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts to obtain “a-2″ diplomatic visas, the file notes. Memos reveal that in the late 1960s, the FBI and State Department debated whether it was wise to continue barring Fuentes, in light of media coverage that was typically critical of the policy.

In 1969, Fuentes was removed from a transatlantic cruise ship, traveling from Barcelona, Spain to Veracruz, Mexico, when it docked in San Juan, PR. Newspapers around the world covered his detainment and a State Department telegram lamented the coverage.

The memo quotes one editorial in particular, which stated: “Immigration regulations keeping out men like Fuentes are both sad and silly.”
- See more at: http://www.nycitynewsservice.com/2013/06/21/fbi-foiled-and-followed-author/#sthash.aXe7lBYh.dpuf

FBI Foiled and Followed Author
June 21st, 2013

The feds tried to prevent visits by Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes in the 1960s and 1970s – and recruited sources at NYU and Columbia to keep tabs on him, documents reveal.

Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes’ Marxist leanings and criticism of the Vietnam War led the U.S. State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to purposefully delay — and deny — the author’s visa applications during the 1960s, newly released documents reveal.

The FBI’s file for Fuentes, one of the 20th Century’s most influential Latin American authors, chronicles more than two decades of monitoring that included keeping tabs on him through sources who worked at New York University and Columbia University.

Fuentes, best known for “The Death of Artemio Cruz” and “The Old Gringo,” was the first Mexican novelist to make the New York Times bestseller list. He died in May 2012 at age 83 after suffering an internal hemorrhage in his Mexico City home.

The NYCity News Service filed a request for Fuentes’ file under the Freedom of Information Act ­– which requires the agency to release certain documents to the public once a person has died – in September 2012. The file was posted Thursday to the FBI’s website.  The 170-page dossier doesn’t include dozens of documents that the file indicates were destroyed.

Visa Issues

The file, which tracks Fuentes’ movements within the United States and abroad over a quarter century, begins in 1962 with a note about an intentionally delayed visa that prevented the writer from coming to the U.S.

His purpose for travel: a televised debate with then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Goodwin.

An urgent message sent by the FBI in April 1962, about a month before the scheduled debate, advised the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City of “Instruction from Washington to delay if (visa) application is made.”

The file makes clear that the FBI’s upper echelons were interested in Fuentes’ movements. Long-time FBI Associate Director Clyde Tolson – widely known as founding FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s right-hand man – was copied on several updates about Fuentes.

When Fuentes did make his way into the U.S., he often visited and taught at Ivy League colleges and other top academic institutions. The FBI’s files on Fuentes indicate that the agency developed sources at universities throughout the country during the 1960s and early 1970s, including New York University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan. While tracking Fuentes, the FBI frequently turned to contacts at NYU and Columbia, who furnished the agency “with a considerable amount of information,” according to the dossier.

“Discreet Inquiries”

In one instance in September 1965, the FBI discovered that Fuentes was listed as a speaker in a flyer for a “teach-in” about the Vietnam War that had been held at the University of Michigan. The next four months saw a flurry of memos circulating between agents at field offices in New York, Washington, Detroit and Mexico City, all trying to determine if their efforts at barring Fuentes had failed.

“Discreet inquiries” made by an NYU employee to “people in the education field had failed to produce any information,” according to one memo.

An agent “reviewed records at the morgues of The New York Times and The New York Herald Tribune,” and sifted through education publications at the New York Public Library, in search of any record that Fuentes had made it to the discussion.

The FBI would later discover that Fuentes actually had entered the U.S. during that time period, arriving by train in Laredo, TX apparently headed to New York City to meet with his literary agent.

That same year, the FBI also “discreetly” was attempting to procure a copy of “Una Alma Pura” a film written by Fuentes that the agency determined to be “anti-American.” During production, an actress who feared she might lose her citizenship for appearing in the film contacted a U.S. Attorney. Her name was not divulged in the documents.

“They had impression all persons connected with production of film were communists,” an agent wrote.

Tide Turns

Fuentes managed to bypass the FBI’s restrictions on several occasions during the 1960s, by using a position with the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts to obtain “a-2″ diplomatic visas, the file notes. Memos reveal that in the late 1960s, the FBI and State Department debated whether it was wise to continue barring Fuentes, in light of media coverage that was typically critical of the policy.

In 1969, Fuentes was removed from a transatlantic cruise ship, traveling from Barcelona, Spain to Veracruz, Mexico, when it docked in San Juan, PR. Newspapers around the world covered his detainment and a State Department telegram lamented the coverage.

The memo quotes one editorial in particular, which stated: “Immigration regulations keeping out men like Fuentes are both sad and silly.”
- See more at: http://www.nycitynewsservice.com/2013/06/21/fbi-foiled-and-followed-author/#sthash.aXe7lBYh.dpuf

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July 2. 2013


Ex-FBI director to review BP settlement program


Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was appointed Tuesday to investigate alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped run BP's multibillion-dollar settlement fund.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued an order naming Freeh, who now runs a consulting firm, a "special master" for the investigation. In another high-profile case, Freeh recently led a university-sanctioned probe of the Pennsylvania State University sex abuse scandal.

Oil spill claims administrator Patrick Juneau announced last month that his office is investigating allegations that an attorney on his staff received a portion of settlement proceeds for claims he had referred to a law firm before he started working on the settlement program.

Freeh was a federal judge in New York before serving as FBI director from 1993 to 2001. He founded his consulting firm, Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, in 2007.

After being appointed Tuesday, Freeh met in the judge's chambers with Barbier, BP representatives and top plaintiff attorneys. He had no comment afterward.

BP had called for an independent review of the allegations. A company spokesman said in a statement that it was pleased with the appointment to try to ensure the integrity of the claims process.

"We believe that Judge Freeh's experience on the federal bench and as director of the FBI make him ideally suited to conduct a thorough investigation into the recent allegations of unethical and potentially criminal behavior within the program," BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said in the statement.


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The Ten Most Disturbing Things You Should Know About the FBI Since 9/11

As Congress considers the nomination of James B. Comey to lead the FBI for the next ten years, lawmakers should examine measures to rein in a bureau that has undermined civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. This is a false trade off: we can be both safe and free.

USA Patriot Act Abuse

The recent revelation about the FBI using the Patriot Act's "business records provision" to track all U.S. telephone calls is only the latest in a long line of abuse. Five Justice Department Inspector General audits documented widespread FBI misuse of Patriot Act authorities (1,2,3,4,5), and a federal district court recently struck down the National Security Letter (NSL) statute because of its unconstitutional gag orders. The IG also revealed the FBI's unlawful use of "exigent letters" that claimed false emergencies to get private information without NSLs, but in 2009 the Justice Department secretly re-interpreted the law to allow the FBI to get this information without emergencies or legal process. Congress and the American public need to know the full scope of the FBI's spying on Americans under the Patriot Act and all other surveillance authorities enacted since 9/11, like the FISA Amendments Act that underlies the PRISM program.

2008 Amendments to the Attorney General's Guidelines

Attorney General Michael Mukasey re-wrote the FBI's rulebook in the final months of the Bush administration, giving FBI agents unfettered authority to investigate people without any factual basis for suspecting wrongdoing. The 2008 Attorney General's Guidelines created a new kind of intrusive investigation called an "assessment," which required no "factual predicate" before FBI agents could search through government or commercial databases, conduct overt or covert FBI interviews, and task informants to gather information about people or infiltrate lawful organizations. In a two-year period from 2009 to 2011, the FBI opened over 82,000 "assessments" of individuals or organizations, less than 3,500 of which discovered information justifying further investigation.

Racial and Ethnic Mapping

The 2008 Attorney General's Guidelines also authorized "domain management assessments" which allow the FBI to map American communities by race and ethnicity based on crass stereotypes about the crimes they are likely to commit. FBI documents obtained by the ACLU show the FBI mapped entire Chinese and Russian communities in San Francisco on the theory that they might commit organized crime, all Latino communities in New Jersey and Alabama because a street gang has Latino members, African Americans in Georgia to find "Black separatists," and Middle-Eastern communities in Detroit for terrorism investigations. The FBI's racial and ethnic mapping program is simply racial and religious profiling of entire communities.

Unrestrained Data Collection and Data Mining

The FBI has claimed the authority to secretly sweep up voluminous amounts of private information from data aggregators for data mining purposes. In 2007 the FBI said it amassed databases containing 1.5 billion records, which were predicted to grow to 6 billion records by 2012, or equal to "20 separate ‘records' for each man, woman and child in the United States." When Congress sought information about one of these programs, the FBI refused to give the Government Accountability Office access. That program was temporarily defunded, but its successor, the FBI Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, currently has 360 staff members running 40 separate projects. Records show analysts are allowed to use data mining tools to establish "risk scores" for U.S. persons. A 2013 IG audit questioned the task force's effectiveness, concluding it "did not always provide FBI field offices with timely and relevant information."

Suppressing Internal Dissent: The FBI War on Whistleblowers

The FBI is exempt from the Whistleblower Protection Act. Though the law required it to establish internal mechanisms to protect whistleblowers, it has a long history of retaliating against them. As a result, a 2009 IG report found that 28 percent of non-supervisory FBI employees and 22 percent of FBI supervisors at the GS-14 and GS-15 levels "never" reported misconduct they have seen or heard about on the job. The FBI has also aggressively investigated whistleblowers from other agencies, leading to an unprecedented increase in Espionage Act prosecutions under the Obama administration, almost invariably targeting critics of government policies.

Targeting Journalists

The FBI's overzealous pursuit of government whistleblowers has resulted in the inappropriate targeting of journalists for investigation, potentially chilling press freedoms. Recently, the FBI obtained records from 21 telephone lines used by over 100 Associated Press journalists, including the AP's main number in the U.S. House of Representatives' press gallery. And an FBI search warrant affidavit claimed Fox News reporter James Rosen aided, abetted, or co-conspired in criminal activity because of his news gathering activities, in an apparent attempt to circumvent legal restrictions designed to protect journalists. In 2010, the IG reported that the FBI unlawfully used an "exigent letter" to obtain the telephone records of seven New York Times and Washington Post reporters and researchers during a media leak investigation.

Thwarting Congressional Oversight

The FBI has thwarted congressional oversight by withholding information, limiting or delaying responses to members' inquiries, or worse, by providing false or misleading information to Congress and the American public. Examples include false information regarding FBI investigations of domestic advocacy groups, misleading information about the FBI's awareness of detainee abuse, and deceptive responses to questions about government surveillance authorities.

Targeting First Amendment Activity

Several ACLU Freedom of Information Act requests have uncovered significant evidence that the FBI has used its expanded authorities to target individuals and organizations because of their participation in First Amendment-protected activities. A 2010 IG report confirmed the FBI conducted inappropriate investigations of domestic advocacy groups engaged in environmental and anti-war activism, and falsified public responses to hide this fact. Other FBI documents showed FBI exploitation of community outreach programs to secretly collect information about law-abiding citizens, including a mosque outreach program specifically targeting American Muslims. Many of these abuses are likely a result of flawed FBI training materials and intelligence products that expressed anti-Muslim sentiments and falsely identified religious practices or other First Amendment activities as indicators of terrorism.

Proxy Detentions

The FBI increasingly operates outside the U.S., where its authorities are less clear and its activities much more difficult to monitor. Several troubling cases indicate that during the Bush administration the FBI requested, facilitated, and/or exploited the arrests and detention of U.S. citizens by foreign governments, often without charges, so they could be interrogated, sometimes tortured, then interviewed by FBI agents. The ACLU represents two victims of such activities. Amir Meshal was arrested at the Kenya border by a joint U.S., Kenyan, and Ethiopian task force in 2007, subjected to more than four months of detention, and transferred between three different East African countries without charge, access to counsel, or presentment before a judicial officer, all at the behest of the U.S. government. FBI agents interrogated Meshal more than thirty times during his detention. Similarly, Naji Hamdan, a Lebanese-American businessman, sat for interviews with the FBI several times before moving from Los Angeles to the United Arab Emirates in 2006. In 2008, he was arrested by U.A.E. security forces and held incommunicado for nearly three months, beaten, and tortured. At one point an American participated in his interrogation; Hamdan believed this person to be an FBI agent based on the interrogator's knowledge of previous FBI interviews. Another case in 2010, involving an American teenager jailed in Kuwait, may indicate this activity has continued into the Obama administration.

Use of No Fly List to Pressure Americans Abroad to Become Informants

The number of U.S. persons on the No Fly List has more than doubled since 2009, and people mistakenly on the list are denied their due process rights to meaningfully challenge their inclusion. In many cases Americans only find out they are on the list while they are traveling abroad, which all but forces them to interact with the U.S. government from a position of extreme vulnerability, and often without easy access to counsel. Many of those prevented from flying home have been subjected to FBI interviews while they sought assistance from U.S. Embassies to return. In those interviews, FBI agents sometimes offer to take people off the No Fly List if they agree to become an FBI informant. In 2010 the ACLU and its affiliates filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 American citizens and permanent residents, including several U.S. military veterans, seven of whom were prevented from returning home until the suit was filed. We argue that barring them from flying without due process was unconstitutional. There are now 13 plaintiffs; none have been charged with a crime, told why they are barred from flying, or given an opportunity to challenge their inclusion on the No Fly List.


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We brought investigative reporter Greg Flannery and Leonard Gates to speak at our conference dealing with crimes committed by FBI  agents in the early 1990's. Here is a new article written by him.
see link for full story


Privacy Died Long Ago

The great forgotten Cincinnati wiretap scandal

By Gregory Flannery

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting rid of Aug

Others had that knowledge, however.

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

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

The four men left. But they returned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Say it louder’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Say hello,” the sergeant told me.

I did. There was no response.

“Say it louder,” the sergeant said.

I did. No response.

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

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

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Benutech Welcomes Bob LeFever as Senior Business Strategist

Former FBI agent and top real estate agent brings additional business expertise to rapidly growing technology company.

Costa Mesa, CA, July 28, 2013  Benutech, Inc. is pleased to announce the recent addition of Bob LeFever to the team. Bob brings an extensive and expansive real estate background to Benutech, where he will focus on high-level business development and strategic alliances.

In the past several months, Benutech has been undergoing a period of unprecedented rapid growth, with the launch of its new transaction management system, ReboCollab, as well as the expansion of its core product, ReboGateway, into new markets. In order to leverage the new and exciting opportunities accompanying this growth, Benutech leadership brought in Bob, who is a known expert in both the real estate industry and in business strategy in general.

Bob transferred the discipline and skills that made him a savvy FBI agent into a remarkably successful real estate career. Bob achieved top producer status as an agent early and then opened his own full service brokerage firm in Florida. Bob’s company was quickly acquired by Merrill Lynch, with whom he experienced rapid professional growth culminating in his being named President of Merrill’s Southern California operations. From there, he was selected as President of the Southern California Division of Coldwell Banker where he spearheaded 22 acquisitions, two of which were among the largest acquisitions in North America. Bob left his position as Senior VP with NRT in 2002 to start his consulting company, the LeFever Group, to help real estate companies grow greater profitability. His consulting journeys have led him not only to every corner of the United States, but also to former Soviet Bloc countries in Eastern Europe. He was the national spokesperson for Realtor.com and most recently helped Prudential-Douglas Elliman grow their Long Island division. Bob has a recognized ability to speak in public and has been the featured speaker at many real estate conferences.

Bob brings high level executive experience and background in leading residential real estate sales organizations, mortgage companies and franchises. He has a proven emphasis on increasing sales-unit production, profitability and integration of related services such as mortgage, title, and settlement services.

About Benutech, Inc.

Benutech, Inc. was founded in 2010 with the commitment and dedication to revolutionizing the Real Estate industry through the creation and implementation of the most advanced and intuitive technological platforms in the industry. Benutech, Inc. offers a sharp and unparalleled approach to providing the industry with both innovative technology and elegant data solutions. By taking on the viewpoint of our clients and their needs, Benutech can build the tools needed to grow the most streamlined, efficient, and productive business model available.

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caution this site has no way to contact the site owners


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Rogers, wife say careers don't overlap

They deny appearance of conflict of interest

Aug. 25, 2013 11:53 PM 
Mike Rogers, Candidate for U.S. Representative, 8t
Mike Rogers

The husband has the lead role overseeing the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies.

The wife advises businesses on securing defense and security contracts with some of the same agencies, but not for intelligence operations.

The marriage of U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, and Kristi Rogers, who works for a powerful Washington, D.C., firm caused a technology blogger to suggest that a conflict of interest exists in the marriage.

The technology blog Techdirt specifically claimed Kristi Rogers stood to benefit from passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by her husband, through potential cybersecurity contracts. Mike Rogers’ office said the measure would not create any new contracting opportunities.

Since the Techdirt blog post was posted, multiple online publications, including the widely read Huffington Post, have reposted or linked to the story.

Mike Rogers’ office and colleagues of Kristi Rogers flatly deny any such conflict, noting Mike Rogers’ prominent role in Congress and earlier as an FBI special agent, and his wife’s more than 20 years working in homeland security and defense.

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The FBI and the War on the NYPD and Counter-Terrorism
This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly denounced as fiction allegations in an Associated Press article published today that the NYPD “labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations” in order to spy on imams and members without any prior proof of wrongdoing. Kelly said the piece’s purpose was to “hype a book” that the authors of the article have written. He went on to insist that the federal judiciary has specifically authorized the activities of the NYPD’s counter-terrorism unit. Moreover, Kelly hinted that the agenda the AP reporters and their book is furthering is not so much one of innocent Muslims or the ACLU but that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that is still angry that the NYPD had been allowed to poach on their territory and work on counter-terrorism rather than ordinary police work.

Indeed, even a quick reading of today’s AP piece, which is more or less a summary of many previous articles on the subject, indicates that although many of the official sources remain unidentified, the FBI’s fingerprints are all over what must be viewed as a hatchet job on the NYPD. But though this sort of federal-local rivalry is the stuff of numerous Law and Order episodes, the stakes in this dispute are bigger than even the egos of the personalities involved. At the heart of the tussle is the plain fact that after the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD felt that they could no longer play by the old rules of engagement that had led to the murder of thousands of New Yorkers at the hands of Islamist terrorists. Instead, they got to work investigating not only al-Qaeda imports but also the very real threat of homegrown Islamist terror.

The NYPD has come under a steady barrage of criticism for using its resources to seek out potential terror suspects in exactly the places where they are known to congregate: religious institutions led by people who encourage support for extreme Islamist views. While the FBI has chosen to avoid flack by treating Islamists with kid gloves, the NYPD did their job. The AP’s hit pieces should be viewed in the context of a long campaign by many in the liberal mainstream media to falsely assert that there has been a post-9/11 backlash of discrimination against American Muslims. But more than that, it is also part of an effort to demonize counter-terrorism work at a time when paranoia about government spying fed by the controversy over the National Security Agency is running high. But while many in Congress and the media are feeding the spirit of complacency about terror, Kelly has rightly tried to remind us that efforts such as those of the NYPD are all that stands between the nation and new atrocities.

As Kelly said:

    “We have an agreement that has been authorized by a federal judge,” Kelly answered. “We follow that stipulation to the letter, and it authorizes us to do a whole series of things. Certainly investigations are part of it. We follow leads wherever they take us. We’re not intimidated as to where that lead takes us.”

Yet that is exactly what the NYPD and the anti-anti-terror lobby led by those who claim to speak for American Muslims and civil liberties extremists want.

The point of the AP piece is to portray the police investigations as a threat to the freedom of religion and the First Amendment protections that would theoretically protect sermons or other activities at mosques from any scrutiny. But the idea that the Constitution allows people to preach violence or to create places where potential terrorists are inspired or given guidance with impunity is absurd. If some religious institutions have come under such scrutiny it is because the NYPD has had a reasonable suspicion that such activities have taken place there. To treat any such investigations as inherently prejudicial not only ignores the duty of the police to follow criminals to their source but also ignores the reality that radical Islamists have found a foothold on our shores.

While I have little doubt that the actions of Kelly and the NYPD will be upheld in the courts against suits brought by critics of their policies, what their opponents are shooting for is just as important as a legal victory: the delegitimization of counter-terrorism work that is willing to address the problem of domestic Islamist terror. That is the agenda pursued by some Arab and Muslim groups that have even counseled their members not to cooperate with the authorities when they investigate terror cases.

But it is even more troubling to see that the FBI is willing to help this cause via leaks and prejudicial anonymous quotes whose purpose is to pursue their rivalry with the NYPD. It should be remembered that such turf wars was one of the principle causes of the failure of the FBI and other authorities in the 9/11 case. To see the FBI revert to this sort of lamentable behavior now in order to settle scores with the NYPD is nothing less than a tragedy.

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Local woman adjusts to Supreme Court bench

September 15, 2013

In 1973, the Watergate investigation was in full swing and the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing Roe vs. Wade, and making landmark decisions that changed the country’s culture.

It was a heady time to be a law student at George Washington University and Carmen Espinosa found herself at home in law school.

Espinosa’s life and career have been a blend of family and work that has taken her from her birthplace in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, to Central Connecticut State University, the FBI, and earlier this year to the state Supreme Court.


“People that do not know me personally, know my story, and tell me how proud they are of what I have achieved as a Puerto Rican woman,” Espinosa, 63, told a crowd of close to 150 people who attended her swearing-in ceremony at the state Capitol in March. “The Hispanic community wants to celebrate its successes, just like any other community.”

It’s a personal and professional achievement for Espinosa on three fronts: She was the first in her family to attend college, she is among fewer than 10 women to be named to the state’s highest court, and she is the first Hispanic justice in the state’s history.

“I was thrilled and honored that the governor thought that I had done a good job as a trial judge and an appellate judge,” said Espinosa, a longtime Southington resident. “It was a thorough vetting job they did, which I feel is justified. It’s very exciting.”

Justices are appointed for eight years, but they are typically lifetime appointments, so the openings are few and far between. Espinosa had been on the short list for about a decade.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy appointed Espinosa to the appellate court bench two years ago, and prior to that she spent 19 years presiding over trials in Waterbury, Hartford, Bristol and New Britain. Most of the cases were criminal, and many were high profile.

Malloy said when he saw her name on the list of potential judicial nominees, he determined she was a “tremendous individual and a tremendous American story that was deserving of more attention than it had received.”

Several days before Espinosa’s nomination, members of the General Assembly’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission had lobbied members of Malloy’s staff to add more diversity to the bench and throughout the state’s courthouses.

“We commend her for her stellar career,” said Werner Oyanadel, acting executive director of the commission. “She is one of a handful in the country. She is somebody who knows the concerns of the community and has dedicated her life to be where she is. We are pretty excited.”

“It’s a different thing,” she said about the switch from Superior Court to appellate court. “I spent 19 years as a judge handling mostly criminal cases, researching, writing, using the legal skills coupled with life experiences. All of that is helpful. But after a while, it’s natural to want to move up into the appellate courts.”

Espinosa’s family moved to New Britain from Puerto Rico when she was a young child and she attended local schools. After graduating high school she attended CCSU where she received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, and moved on to Brown University in Rhode Island to get a master’s degree in Hispanic studies.

“My goal was to teach,” she said.

After graduating, she was going to pursue a doctoral degree when she decided she would try teaching before making the commitment.

She taught Spanish and French at Kennedy Middle School in Southington for a few years before deciding the constant repetition involved in language instruction wasn’t for her. A friend in New Britain was applying to law school and Espinosa saw an opportunity.

“I always liked the law,” she said, adding that most of what she knew of it at the time she learned from watching shows like Perry Mason as a child.

She was accepted and spent the next few years in D.C. until graduating. In the meantime, the FBI was recruiting at the George Washington University and pursued her after finding her resume. Espinosa had three things going for her: She was a woman, she had a law degree and she knew three languages. She became the agency’s 68th female agent and worked as a special agent at offices in Newark, N.J. and later in New York City.


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Deloitte hires FBI agent who oversaw probe into Sept 11 attack

 Mon Sep 16, 2013 

see link for full story

  Deloitte & Touche LLP said on Monday it hired a former senior FBI official as its new director of security and privacy, as the firm seeks to help its client companies fight the threat from increasingly sophisticated computer hackers.

Mary E. Galligan, who supervised the FBI's investigation into the September 11 attacks during a more than 25 year career in law enforcement, will advise Fortune 500 companies on cyber security risks for Deloitte.

She began her role last week, Deloitte said.

Galligan joined the FBI in 1988 and most recently served as special agent in charge of the FBI New York Office's special operations and cyber division.


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Get a look inside the life of an FBI agent



ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University’s weekly “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World” forum continues Tuesday with a look inside the life of an FBI agent, as told by Dr. Bill Mathews, former agent and current director of DSU’s Southwest Regional Computer Crimes Institute. The forum will begin at noon, in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Resource Center on the DSU campus. The forum is free and open to the public.

Mathews retired from the FBI after 25 years of service, and in 2010, he accepted a position at DSU. Matthews has had an interesting and diverse career in investigations ranging from working undercover in Las Vegas, to the conducting of digital triage in Iraq on the Saddam Hussein seizures. While with the FBI, Matthews assisted in the creation of the Regional Computer Forensics Lab in Salt Lake City.


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'Company A': the telecom that coached the FBI on how to spy on me

As a reporter, I've had firsthand experience of how government agencies get phone company metadata without court warrants


    Thursday 3 October 2013 15.25 EDT

see link for full story


Bonner found evidence that 'Company A' had helped the FBI obtain phone records without a subpoena. Photograph: Alamy

Over the past several months, the Obama administration has defended the government's far-reaching data collection efforts, arguing that only criminals and terrorists need worry. The nation's leading internet and telecommunications companies have said they are committed to the sanctity of their customers' privacy.

I have some very personal reasons to doubt those assurances.

In 2004, my telephone records as well as those of another New York Times reporter and two reporters from the Washington Post, were obtained by federal agents assigned to investigate a leak of classified information. What happened next says a lot about what happens when the government's privacy protections collide with the day-to-day realities of global surveillance.

The story begins in 2003 when I wrote an article about the killing of two American teachers in West Papua, a remote region of Indonesia where Freeport-McMoRan operates one of the world's largest copper and gold mines. The Indonesian government and Freeport blamed the killings on a separatist group, the Free Papua Movement, which had been fighting a low-level guerrilla war for several decades.

I opened my article with this sentence:

    Bush administration officials have determined that Indonesian soldiers carried out a deadly ambush that killed two American teachers.

I also reported that two FBI agents had travelled to Indonesia to assist in the inquiry and quoted a "senior administration official" as saying there "was no question there was a military involvement".

The story prompted a leak investigation. The FBI sought to obtain my phone records and those of Jane Perlez, the Times bureau chief in Indonesia and my wife. They also went after the records of the Washington Post reporters in Indonesia who had published the first reports about the Indonesian government's involvement in the killings.

As part of its investigation, the FBI asked for help from what is described in a subsequent government report as an "on-site communications service" provider. The report, by the Department of Justice's inspector general, offers only the vaguest description of this key player, calling it "Company A". The report explained:

    We do not identify the specific companies because the identities of the specific providers who were under contract with the FBI for specific services are classified.

Whoever they were, Company A had some impressive powers. Through some means – the report is silent on how – Company A obtained records of calls made on Indonesian cellphones and landlines by the Times and Post reporters. The records showed whom we called, when and for how long – what has now become famous as "metadata".

Under DOJ rules, the FBI investigators were required to ask the US attorney general to approve a grand jury subpoena before requesting records of reporters' calls. But that's not what happened.

Instead, the bureau sent Company A what is known as an "exigent letter'', asking for the metadata. A heavily redacted version of the DOJ report, released in 2010, noted that exigent letters are supposed to be used in extreme circumstances where there is no time to ask a judge to issue a subpoena. The report found nothing "exigent'' in an investigation of several three-year-old newspaper stories.

The need for an exigent letter suggests two things about Company A. First, that it was a US firm subject to US laws. Second, that it had come to possess my records through lawful means and needed legal justification to turn them over to the government.

The report disclosed that the agents' use of the exigent letter was choreographed by the company and the bureau. It said the FBI agent drafting the letter received "guidance" from "a Company A analyst". According to the report, lawyers for Company A and the bureau worked together to develop the approach.

Not surprisingly, "Company A" quickly responded to the letter it helped write. In fact, it was particularly generous, supplying the FBI with records covering a 22-month period, even though the bureau's investigation was limited to a seven-month period. Altogether, "Company A" gave the FBI metadata on 1,627 calls by me and the other reporters. Only three calls were within the seven-month window of phone conversations investigators had decided to review.

It doesn't end there. The DOJ report asserts that "the FBI made no investigative use of the reporters' telephone records." I don't believe that is accurate.

In 2007, I heard rumblings that the leak investigation was focusing on a diplomat named Steve Mull, who was the deputy chief of mission in Indonesia at the time of the killings. I had known Mull when he was a political officer in Poland and I was posted there in the early 1990s. He is a person of great integrity and a dedicated public servant.

The DOJ asked to interview me. Of course, I would not agree to help law enforcement officials identify my anonymous sources. But I was troubled because I felt an honorable public servant had been forced to spend money on lawyers to fend off a charge that was untrue. After considerable internal debate, I decided to talk to the DOJ for the limited purpose of clearing Mull.

It was not a decision I could make unilaterally. The Times also had a stake in this. If I allowed myself to be interviewed, how could the Times say no the next time the government wanted to question a Times reporter about a leak?

The Times lawyer handling this was George Freeman, a journalist's lawyer, a man Times reporters liked having in their corner. George and the DOJ lawyers began to negotiate over my interview. Eventually, we agreed that I would speak on two conditions: one, that they could not ask me for the name of my source; and two, if they asked me if it was "X", and I said no, they could not then start going through other names.

Freeman and I sat across a table from two DOJ lawyers. I'm a lawyer, and prided myself on being able to answer their questions with ease, never having to turn to Freeman for advice.

Until that is, one of the lawyers took a sheaf of papers that were just off to his right, and began asking me about phone calls I made to Mull. One call was for 19 minutes, the DOJ lawyer said, giving me the date and time. I asked for a break to consult with Freeman.

We came back, and answered questions about the phone calls. I said that I couldn't remember what these calls were about – it had been more than four years earlier – but that Mull had not given me any information about the killings. Per our agreement, the DOJ lawyers did not ask further questions about my sources, and the interview ended.

I didn't know how the DOJ had gotten my phone records, but assumed the Indonesian government had provided them. Then, about a year later, I received a letter from the FBI's general counsel, Valerie Caproni, who wrote that my phone records had been taken from "certain databases" under the authority of an "exigent letter'' (a term I had never heard).

Caproni sent similar letters to Perlez, to the Washington Post reporters, and to the executive editors of the Post and the Times, Leonard Downie and Bill Keller, respectively. In addition, FBI Director Robert Mueller called Downie and Keller, according to the report. Caproni wrote that the records had not been seen by anyone other than the agent requesting them and that they had been expunged from all databases.

I'm uneasy because the DOJ report makes clear that the FBI is still concealing some aspect of this incident. After describing Caproni's letters, the report says: "However, the FBI did not disclose to the reporters or their editors that [redacted]." The thick black lines obliterate what appear to be several sentences.

If you were to ask senior intelligence officials whether I should wonder about those deletions, they'd probably say no. I'm not so sure.

The government learned extensive details about my personal and professional life. Most of those calls were about other stories I was writing. Some were undoubtedly to arrange my golf game with the Australian ambassador. Is he now under suspicion? The report says the data has been destroyed and that only two analysts ever looked at it.
But who is this "Company A" that willingly co-operated with the government?
Former FBI agent to lead talk with Michigan Muslims today
8:31 AM, October 5, 2013   | 

    see link for full story


A former FBI agent who's now a senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union will lead a community discussion with Detroit-area Muslims.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' state chapter is holding a meeting entitled "Know Your Rights with Law Enforcement" this evening at the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton Township. The ACLU's Michael German will talk about FBI protocols with Muslim communities.

Islamic leaders have been holding protests and ramping up "know your rights" training for community groups in the wake of stories  The reports have revealed a secret program by the New York Police Department to infiltrate Muslim groups, eavesdrop on people in public places and document where ethnic groups eat, pray and shop.

News bites: Court unseals details of fight between FBI and Lavabit
By Kate Tummarello - 10/03/13 08:42 AM ET
The New York Times describes the fight between the FBI and the owner of encrypted email service Lavabit, which shut down earlier this year rather than hand over information about its users, including former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/326299-news-bites-court-unseals-details-of-fight-between-fbi-and-lavabit#ixzz2grnMNLaE

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Questions arise over Essex County's distribution of aid to the needy

on October 06, 2013 at 6:18 AM, updated October 06, 2013 at 6:24 AM

For years, the East Orange Community Development Corp. has been a last line of defense for needy residents of Essex County.

The agency receives funding from such sources as the United Way, the state Department of Youth and Family Services and community development block grants. It distributes those dollars to people who need help paying the rent, a utility bill or an emergency expense. To qualify for help, each of the hundreds of clients that come through the agency doors every year has to prove they are in need.

At least that is the way it worked until 2009, when Essex County’s Division of Community Action — or DCA — set up a mysterious account to help distribute new federal and state money that was pouring into county coffers to help people in the wake of the financial crisis.

Suddenly, the standards changed and the money began to flow to those without demonstrated need for help. According to Connie Crawford, who had been running the program for 20 years, pressure to approve these grants came from the office of Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo.

Among those receiving DCA money:

• A well-connected religious figure who first listed his family’s income at $144,999 and then lowered it to $72,499 on applications — still far above normal guidelines. Regardless, he received more than $1,100 to pay utility bills.

• At least 12 individuals without children who exceeded income cutoffs, earning between $40,000 and $60,000 a year. Together, the dozen received more than $37,000. Federal guidelines discourage aid to people who earn more than $35,000 and have no children.

• At least 13 people on public payrolls, including four employees of Essex County.

The money in this account came from three sources, each with a different standard of eligibility. One was earmarked for those earning less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level; a second was for those under 350 percent of poverty, and a third had no income guidelines but was intended to prevent homelessness.

Crawford herself had long restricted aid from her agency to those with documented need earning under 350 percent of poverty, or about $40,000 a year. In a series of interviews, Crawford said that county officials told her to disregard that standard and award the money to those they recommended, even those with flimsy or nonexistent documentation.

“It can be used whenever they choose, however they choose,” she said she was told.
Crawford said she and her employees often questioned clients referred by the county but were told, essentially, to mind their own business. Two agency employees confirmed Crawford’s story but requested anonymity, fearing retribution.

“We caught hell,” Crawford said, when resisting some applicants. “It was always the threat of: ‘This is coming from Joey D’s office.’ “

In a statement, DiVincenzo denied he exercised any influence over the awarding of aid.

“In this difficult economy, people from all socioeconomic backgrounds experience hardship and seek help from Essex County,” he said. “Any Essex resident who meets the program criteria and completes the required paperwork is eligible to receive assistance. These applications are reviewed by our staff and contracted vendors, without any recommendations from my office.”

The Essex County Department of Community Action, which set up the account in East Orange, is part of a larger Department of Citizen Services, run by Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, a candidate for mayor.

Ramos, who recently stepped down from his county post to campaign full time, declined to comment, referring the newspaper to a county spokesman.

County officials did, however, say they looked into their practices after The Star-Ledger raised questions.

“We found no improprieties whatsoever,” said Essex Inspector General and former FBI agent Dominic Scaglione. “There’s a lot of needy people here that need this money, and from what we’ve been able to determine, they’ve done a great job disseminating it.”


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Contemporary Services Corporation Hires Former FBI Special Agent, Chris Davis

Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) Hires Former Professional Football Player and FBI Special Agent, Chris Davis, as its Senior Vice President of Business Development

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Chris Davis

Northridge, CA (PRWEB) October 24, 2013

Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), the world leader in crowd management and event security, announces that Chris Davis will serve as its Senior Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Davis recently completed a distinguished twenty-three year career as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where he developed expertise in counterterrorism, criminal investigations, strategic planning, crisis resolution, and tactical leadership of comprehensive security operations worldwide. Mr. Davis began his career with CSC in 1982 as an event staff employee while he was a student-athlete both at Purdue and San Diego State University. Following completion of his undergraduate academic requirements and prior to his acceptance into the FBI, Mr. Davis enjoyed a career in professional football as a member of the National Football League’s New York Giants and the New England Patriots.

During his twenty-three year FBI career, Mr. Davis investigated a wide variety of matters and served in various leadership capacities. He developed and implemented security and contingency planning in support of the 2002 G-8 summit, Super Bowl XL, and Presidential, Secretary of State, and Attorney General delegation visits. Mr. Davis was also a Bureau-certified Defensive Tactics Instructor, Post Blast Bomb Investigator, General Police Instructor, and was collaterally involved in many of the FBI’s most significant counterterrorism investigations. Mr. Davis was a member of the FBI’s Executive Management Special Events Security planning and preparedness teams for events including five NFL Super Bowls, two Presidential National Conventions, NBA Finals, NBA All Star Game and Weekend, World Series, G-8 Summit, and the 2012 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, where he served as the FBI Sector Commander. Mr. Davis has received numerous Incentive Awards and letters of commendation for his investigative and managerial accomplishments and for his dedicated work with underprivileged children. Mr. Davis is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), and the NFL Alumni.

About Contemporary Services Corporation
Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) is the world leader in crowd management and event security for the entertainment and sporting event industries. Throughout its 46 years of experience, CSC has garnered a loyal and esteemed client base, including more than 100 stadiums and arenas, over 100 universities and colleges, more than 20 convention centers, and numerous clients within the professional ranks of MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR. CSC has also provided services for the world’s most prestigious special events, including Collegiate Bowl Games, NCAA Final Four Tournaments, PGA Tournaments, US Open Tennis, 30 Super Bowls, 8 Olympic Games, 4 Presidential Inaugurations, 2 Papal visits, and 2 FIFA World Cups. CSC operates more than 50 branch locations throughout the United States and Canada.


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The lockdown of Central Connecticut State University drew questions on whether officials overreacted.


"On the security and law enforcement side of it, they almost can't overreact anymore," said Michael J. Clark, a criminal justice professor at University of New Haven and a former FBI Special Agent.


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BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Art and crime fighting are joining forces Thursday, Nov. 7 in Katonah.

FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Hemenway and Art Historian Amy Herman are set to discuss how "art-based observational techniques help solve crimes" with "Forensics of Face" at 7:30 p.m. at the Katonah Museum of Art, according to a press release. 

The cost for the event is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Space is limited and advanced registration is recommended, according to the release. 




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 November 10. 2013 4:00AM PST
Chris Boyce — who sold secrets to the Soviets, robbed more than a dozen banks and served two decades in prison — holds Higher Power, the name of his gyrfalcon, near his home in Central Oregon on Friday. Boyce, 60, has been interested in falconry most of his life and frequently hunts with his bird. It's part of what drew him to the area, somewhere he could do his hobby. “Because of my background and I'm kind of a loner anyway, I keep to myself. To me, going out and flying falcons is like going to church. Central Oregon, to me, every day is a Sunday."
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Chris Boyce — who sold secrets to the Soviets, robbed more than a dozen banks and served two decades in prison — holds Higher Power, the name of his gyrfalcon, near his home in Central Oregon on Friday. Boyce, 60, has been interested in falconry most of his life and frequently hunts with his bird. It's part of what drew him to the area, somewhere he could do his hobby. “Because of my background and I'm kind of a loner anyway, I keep to myself. To me, going out and flying falcons is like going to church. Central Oregon, to me, every day is a Sunday."
Joe Kline / The Bulletin

On crisp fall days so common in Central Oregon, Chris Boyce likes to take his falcon out to open lands and watch him soar.

After spending more than two decades surrounded by the cement of prison walls, you'd forgive the 60-year-old for wanting a little space around him.

“When I go out there on the grasslands and I put that falcon up into the air and watch it climb up into the clouds, I'm forever grateful," Chris said. “I love it here. I love flying falcons here. I love our little house. I love working in the yard and our flower garden. ... I've found a peace here in Central Oregon."

Let's back up some 35 years. Maybe you've read the book or seen the movie “The Falcon and The Snowman."

Chris Boyce is the Falcon.

Chris was released from prison in September 2002.

They married the following month, and shortly thereafter discovered Central Oregon on a fishing trip with the Boyce family to the Metolius River. His parents lived in the area for a decade. Chris' father, an FBI agent before working as the security director for McDonnell Douglas, an aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, dedicated much of his retirement to fly-fishing.

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two reads

1st read

Protectors of Privilege

Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America

Frank Donner (Author)

Available worldwide
Paperback, 496 pages
ISBN: 9780520080355
September 1992
$34.95, £24.95

This landmark exposé of the dark history of repressive police operations in American cities offers a richly detailed account of police misconduct and violations of protected freedoms over the past century. In an incisive examination of undercover work in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia as well as Washington, D.C., Detroit, New Haven, Baltimore, and Birmingham, Donner reveals the underside of American law enforcement.

2nd read

see link for full story

Stroz Friedberg Names Former McKinsey Americas Chairman, Michael Patsalos-Fox, as Chief Executive Officer

Co-founders Stroz and Friedberg to remain in leadership positions as Executive Chairmen

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 - 6:11 am

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131112/NY14912)  

Patsalos-Fox, who retired from McKinsey & Company earlier this year, had been with the firm since 1981. He served as Chairman of McKinsey in the Americas from 2003 - 2009, responsible for driving an aggressive growth agenda leading over 2,500 consultants, including 300 partners. Between 2009 and 2013, Patsalos-Fox led the creation and development of McKinsey Solutions, a practice that combined industry and functional expertise with data science to unlock lasting insights and performance for the firm's largest global clients. He also served as a senior partner on McKinsey's operating committee for nine years, and he held a seat on the firm's board for 12 years.

Stroz Friedberg was founded in 2000 and quickly became a "go-to" strategic advisor to the C-suite of a large number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a trusted resource for many of the world's leading law firms. Co-founders Edward Stroz, a former Special Agent for the FBI, and Eric Friedberg, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, are among the most respected experts in cyber-crime, digital forensics, electronic discovery, and investigations.

As a special agent, Stroz was responsible for the formation of the FBI's Computer Crime Squad in New York City, where he supervised a wide range of investigations including denial of service attacks, illegal internet wiretapping, and fraud. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Friedberg served as the lead computer crimes prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, where he conducted and directed numerous investigations and prosecutions involving computer crime and abuse, cyber extortion, and telecommunications fraud in cases impacting some of the biggest names in corporate America.

"While many consulting firms offer cyber security and risk management advisory services today, we built Stroz Friedberg to have a depth of talent and breadth of experience that are unmatched," said Eric Friedberg. "Our clients are able to access the expertise of many of the most respected professionals from government, law enforcement, and regulatory bodies to help address their greatest risk and investigations challenges, and now we have one of the most respected names in management consulting joining us as our CEO. That's really hard to beat."

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/12/5903635/stroz-friedberg-names-former-mckinsey.html#storylink=cpy

3rd read

Lawyers Prepare to Sell Girls Gone Wild Brand

Why bother to start a porn empire from scratch when you can buy one of the industry’s most established brands—Girls Gone Wild—out of bankruptcy instead?

Sixteen years after the company’s founding by Joe Francis, a team of bankruptcy professionals put in charge of Girls Gone Wild’s holding company by a federal judge have begun to look for buyers for the soft-core pornography business. The Los Angeles company, which made a name for itself by catching impaired co-eds on spring break, distributes its porn through pay-per-view channels, DVDs and the Internet.

The attorneys, under direction of the company’s Chapter 11 trustee and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent R. Todd Neilson, have already approached officials at adult film-giant Vivid Entertainment, though executive Bill Asher told Bankruptcy Beat that he’s not interested for now. Attorneys have said in court papers that they plan to market the brand to bidders who might eventually compete at a bankruptcy auction.


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Top Oregon FBI official leaving at month's end, reportedly for investigations job with Nike

 November 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM, updated November 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM


fowler official photo.jpgView full sizeFBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory A. Fowler

Oregon's top FBI official confirmed this morning that he is retiring after a two-year run at the helm of the Portland Division.

"I am retiring at the end of this month to take a position in the private sector," said Special Agent in Charge Gregory A. Fowler in a prepared statement to The Oregonian.

Fowler announced his plans to his staff Tuesday, saying he was accepting a job with Nike as director of investigations. He would not comment Wednesday about where he was going to work.

"I have been privileged to lead the men and women of the FBI's Portland Field Office, and will always be proud of their unyielding dedication to keeping Oregon and the country safe," Fowler said in his statement.


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Reply with quote  #78 
Business Community honor man who worked for organization that assassinated President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

1st read

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Former FBI agent in charge in Buffalo to be honored Monday

November 16, 2013 - 9:04 PM

Peter J. Ahearn, who was special agent in charge of Buffalo FBI operations during a number of events in the past decade, will be presented the Founders Award of the FBI Buffalo Citizens Academy Alumni Association at its annual meeting Monday.

Ahearn is being honored for his “vision, leadership and commitment to the academy and his outstanding service to the local community,” said Michael Benzin, president of the alumni association.

Ahearn, who now operates an executive consulting and business development group in Washington, D.C., was instrumental in expanding the scope of the local FBI Citizens Academy, which graduated about 500 area business, civic and community leaders in the operations of federal law enforcement. Ahearn was appointed head of the Buffalo office of the FBI in 2001 and retired from the agency in 2006.

During his time with the FBI in Buffalo, he played a central role in the prosecution of the Lackawanna Six, the James Charles Kopp murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian and the dismantling of the corrupt leadership of Teamsters Local 91 in Niagara Falls.

He was also instrumental in establishing the FBI-supported Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Lab and setting up the Buffalo FBI’s cyber security program and its Public Corruption Task Force.

As a former FBI SWAT leader, Ahearn also oversaw the FBI’s Buffalo crisis management and tactical operations. The 1976 Rutgers University graduate was in the FBI 29 years and then worked two years as a senior adviser in the office of the Federal Director of National Intelligence.

The annual meeting will be held in the Clement Mansion on the campus of the American Red Cross at 786 Delaware Ave.

2nd read

see link for full story


Buffalo FBI Agent Busted
Dec 10, 2012  

BUFFALO, NY - A Special Agent working in the Buffalo office of the FBI is due in Eden Town Court later this month, after being arrested by New York State Police last Friday night, charged with exposing himself to a fellow motorist on the New York State Thruway.

State Police Lt. David Denz confirmed for WGRZ-TV that John A. Yervelli Jr., 48, of Lakeview, was charged with Public Lewdness, a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

According to Denz, a truck driver from central New York was traveling in the right lane while east bound on the Thruway near mile marker 442, between Exits 57 and 57A, when he noticed a grey minivan pull alongside him in the passing lane.

The trucker told police that when he looked down, he noticed the driver of the other vehicle (who had turned his dome light on) was not wearing pants.

"At that point the complainant stated that the driver of the minivan was exposing himself and making lewd gestures," Denz told 2 On Your Side.


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1st read

FBI employee accused of DWI on Dallas North Tollway 9:18 AM CT

09:31 AM CST on Wednesday, February 6, 2008

By EMILY TSAO / The Dallas Morning News

An FBI employee has been arrested on an accusation of drunken driving on the Dallas North Tollway, state police said Wednesday.

Lori Bailey was taken into custody Sunday and charged with driving while intoxicated, said Sgt. Robert Bernard of the Department of Public Safety.

She is accused of driving north in the southbound lanes near the Wycliff Avenue exit and being involved in an accident, Sgt. Bernard said.


The Earth First!

They don't have a prayer, I thought. Magistrate Sitver seemed impressed by Dokken's rhetoric.

But the hearing dragged on more than three hours.
Through most of it, FBI agent Lori Bailey was on the witness stand.
She testified that undercover agent Michael Tait had infiltrated Earth First!. He gained members' confidence and was able to record secretly 35 separate tapes of their conversations.

It is from these tapes, the FBI says, it learned of the Earth First! plans to damage Palo Verde and the Central Arizona Project.


Since the undercover agent was involved in the plans from day-to-day, the FBI was waiting at the scene when the group attempted to destroy a tower carrying power from Palo Verde to the Central Arizona Project.

It must have been quite a scene. The FBI, according to reports, brought forty agents and more than a dozen vehicles. Some carried automatic weapons. A few had night-vision field glasses. There was even a helicopter.

The Earth First! members weren't even armed. Since the undercover man was in on the planning of the Earth First! raid, the FBI had to know this going in. And there were just three of them. Marc Baker, Mark Davis, and Margaret Millett, all Prescott residents.

Foreman allegedly supplied $580 for the operation. But he was against taking part and remained in Tucson.

The two men in the operation, Davis and Baker, wore towels wrapped around their feet to prevent their footprints from being identified. This precaution, of course, gave them no chance to escape on foot.

Millett took no such precaution. So she managed to escape. She made her way through the woods to the highway and then walked back to Prescott. She was arrested the following day while working at her job in the Planned Parenthood clinic.

If this all sounds more to you like the gang that couldn't shoot straight rather than a legitimate terrorist cell, then you are beginning to get the idea.

However, if the case goes to trial and prosecutor Dokken is allowed to spout off about the China syndrome, it will turn out badly. A jury, reacting to memories of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, might side readily with the prosecution. It was a strange hearing and it lasted three hours. It was marked only by memorable small incidents.

The marshals were particularly grim-faced and self-righteous throughout. They made a great show of serious police work as they directed the prisoners to the defense table. They also turned the removal of the handcuffs into a ceremony.

"We'll need this front row," one of the marshals growled, looking around pointedly at the spectators already seated in that row.

It wasn't until this moment that I realized the audience was made up mostly of Foreman's followers and the friends and relatives of the other defendants, who all lived in Prescott.

Perhaps the marshal was a devotee of John Wayne Westerns. But, of course, this little piece of business was also an amplification of the prosecutor's thesis: We have criminals of intergalactic status here. They must be heavily guarded or else the entire citizenry is at risk.



The government's case came only through the testimony of FBI agent Bailey. The undercover man who infiltrated the group was not brought into court.

He succeeded, we were told, in creating 35 tapes which the government contends will be an important part of the case.

The confrontation with the informer will be saved for the trial. But the undercover man had been debriefed by agent Bailey and she merely recounted his story.

Bailey said the group admitted they had vandalized transmission towers at Palo Verde in 1986 and the ski-lift towers at Fairfield Snowbowl outside Flagstaff. They also downed electrical lines to three uranium mines near Grand Canyon National Park.

This was done, Bailey testified, by the group of three from Prescott: Davis, Millett, and Baker, who call themselves EMETIC. This stands for the Ev Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy. I thought it was a nice journalistic gaucherie on the part of the Arizona Republic to give former Governor Mecham an opportunity to say he was innocent of consorting with this group.

Agent Bailey said one thing that should be taken and studied by the people who run the Department of Defense in Washington at a cost of billions.

Foreman reportedly gave the EMETIC group $580 to finance the sabotaging not only of Palo Verde but also of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station near San Luis Obispo, California, and the Rocky Flats nuclear-weapons plant near Boulder, Colorado.

If Foreman and EMETIC can get all these things done for as little as $580, the charges against them should be dropped at once. The four of them should immediately be recruited by the government to run the Pentagon.


Did the FBI plant bomb to discredit pro-life activists and environmentalists?

In 1990 Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney (two members of Earth First) were injured when a bomb exploded in the car they were traveling in. Days later a letter (signed "The Lord's Avenger) was sent to the Press Democrat claiming responsibility and said Bari was the target because of her pro-abortion activism. Since then various activists have concluded the FBI may have planted the bomb.
  • Earth First Bombing Case Settles for $4M BCN

    BCN: "The U.S. Justice Department and city of Oakland have signed off on a $4 million settlement of a long-running civil rights lawsuit filed by two environmental activists injured in a 1990 car bombing in Oakland, according to lawyers in the case"

  • The Bombing Story - Set-Up and Follow-Through Judi Bari

    Bari: "The man in charge of my case at the FBI was Richard Held, director of the San Francisco FBI office. Held has a 25-year history as one of the principle operatives of COINTELPRO. He is known for producing fake documents, including death threats and insulting letters and cartoons, and sending them back and forth between different factions of the Black Panther Party in order to terrorize or enrage the leaders and destabilize the group."

2nd read
A day in the life of Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office

7:52 PM, Nov 20, 2013   |  



WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- She is one of the most powerful women in Washington when it comes to keeping us safe.  

You may remember her as the public face of the FBI in the wake of the tragic Washington Navy Yard shooting. Valerie Parlave is the first female in her role, and she sat down exclusively with WUSA9's Debra Alfarone for a rare one-on-one interview and what she had to say about her role in history may surprise you.

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For all the Irish posting here.....

see link for full story

JFK’s Irish driver in Dallas was secret member of anti-Catholic Orange Order
New details on William Greer’s past revealed on anniversary of assassination
Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK’s Irish driver on the day of the assassination was a  secret member of the anti-Catholic Orange Order it has been revealed.

County Tyrone native William Greer has been cited in several conspiracy books for his alleged role and for not speeding away from the scene after the first shot.

Now conspiracy theorists have a new angle given his anti-Catholic background. Some researchers have claimed anti-Catholic elements were behind Kennedy’s killing. As the first Catholic president he had aroused tremendous opposition from some extreme Protestant leaders.

Greer’s Orange Order ties were revealed by the Unionist Belfast Newsletter newspaper on the 50th anniversary of the shooting.

As part of his initiation to the arch purple degree Greer would have sworn that he “should strenuously oppose the fatal errors and doctrines of the Church of Rome, and scrupulously avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act or ceremony of Popish worship; he should, by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that Church, its encroachments, and the extension of its power.”

Greer had emigrated to the US at the age of 19 and joined the Navy and later the Secret Service. He had worked for both Truman and EIsenhower before taking over as Kennedy’s driver.

Drumbonaway, Tyrone Orange lodge secretary Edgar Kirkpatrick said he was shocked to see Greer’s name on their membership when asked to check by the News Letter.

“I have it all here in the lodge books. We have the records right the way to when the lodge was formed. We don’t have any Greers nowadays but I always remember my father talking about Richard Greer (Bill’s father) who was a servant man around here working for the farmers.

“But I didn’t know about his son at all until I read up in the books. There were a lot of people emigrating around that time and I notice from the lodge records that they were bought presents by the lodge – the man got a walking stick and the lady got an umbrella,” Kirkpatrick said.

“I couldn’t believe he’d come from here and went on to drive for Kennedy,” Mr Kirkpatrick added.
Greer has been sharply criticized for his actions that day in not immediately speeding up.

Kenneth O'Donnell (special assistant to Kennedy), who was riding in the motorcade, later wrote: "If the Secret Service men in the front had reacted quicker to the first two shots at the President's car, if the driver had stepped on the gas before instead of after the fatal third shot was fired, would President Kennedy be alive today?"

He also stated that after the death of the president  "Greer had been remorseful all day, feeling that he could have saved President Kennedy's life by swerving the car or speeding suddenly after the first shots."

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Brother of Murder Victim Seeks Details of FBI’s ‘Sensitive Informant Program’

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

Trentadue Motion for Discovery 1-28-13

Click to download copy of motion (pdf).

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


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Reply with quote  #82 
as always I try to turn everyone into smart criminal justice consumers.
my buddy  Ed just sent this to me...
Let me start by raising more questions than I am able to answer.
see link to open these parcels of information

NSA Spying

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11/23/2013     SIGINT Strategy 2012     NY Times
11/20/2013     Collection, Processing and Dissemination of Allied Communications     Guardian
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 1 v.17     US Government
11/19/2013     Verification Slide     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 2 v.16     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Summary of Requirements for Collection of Bulk Metadata     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 3 v.22     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Metadata Collection Training Slides     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 4 v.28     US Government
11/19/2013     Interim Competency Test for Access to FISA Data     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 5 v.24     US Government
11/19/2013     Office of General Council Business Record Analyst Training Slides     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 6 Analytic Personal v.18     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Cryptological School Course Slides on Legal, Compliance, and Minimization Procedures     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Module 6 Tech Personnel v.25     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Guidance Memo on Legal Standards for Searching Bulk Metadata     US Government
11/19/2013     United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 Jan 25 2011     US Government
11/19/2013     AG Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations     US Government
11/19/2013     United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 Appendix J     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Core Intelligence Oversight Training     US Government
11/19/2013     NSA Course Materials Intro v.13     US Government
11/4/2013     WINDSTOP Collection 30 day period December 2012 - January 2013     Washington Post
11/4/2013     Special Source Operations (SSO) Collection Optimization "Midpoint" Slides - Google and Yahoo! exploitations     Washington Post
11/4/2013     Special Source Operations (SSO) Intercept Program Slides -- cable programs, details of MUSCULAR     Washington Post
11/3/2013     Collection Accesses 30 Nov 2009     NY Times
11/3/2013     NSA SIGINT Mission Strategic Plan 2008-2013     NY Times
11/3/2013     NSA SIGINT January 2007 Strategic Mission List     NY Times
11/1/2013     Corporate FAA Reporting Metrics     Guardian
10/30/2013     Slides on MUSCULAR program possibly from February 28, 2013     Washington Post
10/30/2013     MUSCULAR slide "Current Efforts on Google"     Washington Post
10/28/2013     Graphic showing phone calls intercepted in Spain December 2012     El Mundo
10/27/2013     NSA SCS Slides on embassy spying (slides 3-6)     Der Spiegel
10/25/2013     Close Access Sigads September 10, 2010 (listing French Embassy)     Le Monde
10/25/2013     Cable regarding cyber attacks on French Presidential Network April 12, 2013     Le Monde
10/24/2013     NSA memo to Signals Intelligence Division (SID) staff October 27, 2006 regarding monitoring of phones of world leaders     Guardian
10/22/2013     Prism April 2013     Le Monde
10/21/2013     NSA PRISM slide undated - alcatel / wanadoo     Le Monde
10/21/2013     Boundless Informant France     Le Monde
10/20/2013     NSA Cable dated November 10, 2010 discussing hacking of Mexican President's email     Der Spiegel
10/14/2013     NSA Special Source Organization (SSO) Slides on Content Optimization - Address Books (SCISSORS)     Washington Post
10/14/2013     NSA Special Source Organization (SSO) slides on Content Acquisition Optimization     Washington Post
10/14/2013     Intellipedia entry - Special Source Organization (SSO) Collection Optimization Overview     Washington Post
10/6/2013     Presentation on Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy     O Globo Fantastico
10/4/2013     NSA Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Report on TOR 2006     Washington Post
10/4/2013     GCHQ Mullenize     Washington Post
10/4/2013     Tor Stinks Presentation June 2012     Guardian
10/4/2013     Peeling Back the Layers of Tor with Egotistical Giraffe January 8, 2007     Guardian
10/4/2013     Types of IAT (how Tor works)     Guardian
10/4/2013     NSA Notes from talk on Tor by Roger Dingledine November 2007     Washington Post
9/28/2013     NSA memo from January 3, 2011 on contact chaining     NY Times
9/28/2013     Slide on contact chaining (SYANPSE)     NY Times
9/20/2013     GCHQ Slides on Belgacom     Der Spiegel
9/16/2013     NSA Network Analysis Center 2010 SIGDEV Conference on credit card authorization network mapping     Der Spiegel
9/9/2013     NSA slides on smartphones     Der Spiegel
9/8/2013     Stormbrew TV     O Globo Fantastico
9/8/2013     NSA slides on Petrobras and private networks     O Globo Fantastico
9/5/2013     Project Bullrun Description June 16, 2010     Guardian
9/5/2013     NSA Classification Guide for Cryptanalysis from September 13, 2005     Guardian
9/5/2013     NSA SIGINT Enabling Project Description - engaging companies to covertly leverage product designs (no date)     Guardian
9/3/2013     SATC slides Mexico and Brazil Case Studies     O Globo Fantastico
9/1/2013     NSA document dated June 2010 (not released) discussing targeting of French Foreign Ministry     Der Spiegel
8/31/2013     NSA document dated March 23, 2006 (not released) showing that Al Jazeera was surveilled     Der Spiegel
8/30/2013     FY 2013 Congressional Budget Summary February 2012 National Intelligence Program Summary ("black budget")     Washington Post
8/16/2013     NSA Signals Intelligence Division (SID) Oversight & Compliance Report May 31, 2012 discussing privacy violations for the preceding year     Washington Post
8/16/2013     NSA Special Source Organization (SSO) news article from October 12, 2011 discussing FISC ruling holding NSA surveillance unconstitutional     Washington Post
8/16/2013     NSA Targeting Analyst Rationale slides (undated)     Washington Post
8/16/2013     "So You Got a US Person?" training slide November 8, 2011     Washington Post
8/9/2013     NSA Special Source Organization (SSO) glossary on Section 702     Guardian
7/31/2013     NSA Xkeyscore Training Slides Feb 25, 2008     Guardian
7/10/2013     PRISM slides     Washington Post
6/29/2013     PRISM slides     Washington Post
6/27/2013     NSA OIG Working Draft Report from March 24, 2009 on Stellar Wind (PSP)     Guardian
6/27/2013     DOJ Memo from November 20, 2007 Proposing Amendment to DOD procedures to allow NSA to do contact chaining of metadata related to US Persons     Guardian
6/20/2013     Minimization Procedures used by NSA in Connection with Data Acquisitions Pursuant to 702 FISC July 29, 2009     Guardian
6/20/2013     Procedures Used by NSA for Targeting Non-US Persons Reasonably Believed to Be Outside the US to Acquire Foreign Intelligence Pursuant to 702 FISC July 29, 2009     Guardian
6/8/2013     PRISM/Upstream explanation slides     Guardian
6/8/2013     Boundless Informant Introduction Slides July 13, 2012     Guardian
6/8/2013     Boundless Informant Explanation/FAQ Slides September 6, 2012     Guardian
6/6/2013     PRISM slides     Washington Post
6/5/2013     Verizon 215 Secondary Order April 25, 2013     Guardian
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NSA Spying

[NSA Spying] eff.org/nsa-spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.
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Our friends at @ACLU_NorCal filed a shareholder proposal with AT&T & Verizon demanding data sharing transparency https://eff.org/r.1znq
Nov 25 @ 3:52pm

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How NSA mass surveillance is hurting the US economy: https://eff.org/r.bg2c


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #83 
It has been over 3 years now and nothing has been done to investigate former FBI  agent Grimm who is now a US Congressman.

Google grimm fbi kickbacks etrhics

Ethics panel defers to Justice Dept. in Grimm probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee is again deferring an investigation into Rep. Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, for possible campaign finance violations — leaving the matter in the hands of the Justice Department, which is conducting a criminal probe.

The committee said the New York Republican remains under investigation by the Justice Department for potentially violating campaign finance laws by soliciting and accepting prohibited contributions from foreign donors, actions that may have caused false information to be included in campaign finance reports.


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Reply with quote  #84 
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Alvin A. Buben

November 26, 2013 4:00 am

Alvin A. Buben of Levittown, died Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, at Saint Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. He was 89.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Buben was a resident of Levittown since 1963. He was a former special agent with the F.B.I. and was a retired chief of security for US Steel, Fairless Works.

Mr. Buben was an honorably discharged veteran of World War II serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp. He was a life time member of Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and the SE Police Chiefs Association. He was a life time member and past president of the Police Chiefs Association of Bucks County and of Mid Eastern Pennsylvania.

Mr. Buben was a fourth degree, honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus, Saint Joseph the Worker Council #4215, the Elks and Moose Lodges and the American Legion.


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Reply with quote  #85 

The FBI Deputizes Business

By Matthew Rothschild, March 2008 Issue

23,000 Businesspeople Get Threat Info from FBI Before Public. In Turn, They Supply Tips to FBI. Two Members of Private Sector Group Say They Have “Shoot to Kill” Permission in Emergency. These are the astonishing findings in Rothschild's cover story of the March 2008 issue of The Progressive.

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.

InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

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Reply with quote  #86 

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IRS targeting: FBI, DOJ may be in criminal cahoots, says Vista's Congressman

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seems to be coordinating with the Department of Justice as well as stonewalling, on the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of American citizen's groups, say Congressmen Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan.

On Tuesday, according to a report from theHill, Issa and Jordan were said to be concerned about recent FBI actions which seem to suggest that "... the bureau and political appointees at the Justice Department are trying to hinder the Oversight panel’s investigation into the IRS targeting of tax-exempt groups."

A letter, sent from the two representatives of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to FBI director James Comey on Monday, quoted in the Hill, states:

“The department's tactics have impeded a congressional investigation and interfered with the committee's access to documents and information. Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime. Making false statements to congressional staff is also a crime.”

From the letter, found here in a Politicolink, the representatives stated concern that the DOJ's senior officials may have been preventing a career law enforcement officer, Valerie Parlave the Director of the FBI's Washington Field Office and the agent responsible for conducting the investigation, from sharing her information with the House Oversight panel on the matter.


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Reply with quote  #87 

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Lockdown Lifted At University Of New Haven; Armed Man In Custody

December 3, 2013

WEST HAVEN — For the third time in a month, a Connecticut university campus was locked down after a report of a gunman on campus. And again, local and state police and federal agents flooded the area to search for the gunman and then to check the campus to make sure that there were no additional threats.

In Tuesday's incident at the University of New Haven, police did find a man armed with two handguns and quickly took him into custody without incident.

The school remained locked down for 4 1/2 hours, however, as SWAT teams checked the entire campus.

  • Related

"They can't be too cautious," said Michael J. Clark, a former FBI agent who is now a criminal justice professor at UNH and who was locked down with a class for several hours as SWAT teams cleared the campus.


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Reply with quote  #88 


Former Presidential Advisor Joins Alvarez & Marsal’s Cyber Practice

December 03, 2013, 07:54 AM

Tom Kellermann, a former presidential advisor on cyber security, has joined global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) as a Managing Director, based in New York and Washington, D.C.  Bringing a special focus on the financial services and life sciences industries, Kellermann is the latest high-profile hire to join A&M’s cyber security practice, which also recently welcomed William Beer, the former head of PwC’s U.K. information and cyber security practice, and Edward Gibson, a former FBI special agent who served as Microsoft’s chief cyber security advisor in the U.K. and Ireland.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #89 

FBI to train Libyan investigators



Tripoli, 5 December 2013: 

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is to provide cutting-edge technology and training to Libyan criminal investigators. The initiative is aimed at achieving what the US Embassy in Tripoli has called the two countries’ critical shared objectives in law enforcement.

The training is part of wider US-Libyan law enforcement collaboration to combat terrorism and international crime.

The FBI will pass on the skills of its forensic specialists and analysts who examine data including bank and business records, according to the US embassy in Tripoli, which added that the training would begin “when circumstances permit”.

The FBI already has a standing agreement to train the Dubai National Police, where it says it teaches “cutting-edge leadership and investigative techniques to international police managers through an intensive program similar to the FBI National Academy, and also provides specialised classes on everything from corruption to cyber crime”.


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Husch Blackwell LLP | Six Attorneys Join Husch Blackwell's ...

Linex Legal (press release) (registration)-22 hours ago
Partner Jeff Jensen began his career as a CPA for PricewaterhouseCoopers, then served as an FBI agent (1989-1999) and as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. ...

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #91 

see link for full story
How dumb are American voters?
This FBI agent  Perp is still in office.


The FBI 's point man in Congress

 Dec. 12, 2013

House Intelligence Committee chair discusses support for NSA spying laws


President Obama has two panels reviewing NSA policy, with recommendations for possible changes expected by year's end. Margaret Warner talks to Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, for his perspective on U.S. spying laws and rebuilding trust with the American public and abroad.

 MARGARET WARNER: Chairman Rogers, thanks for joining us.

REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-Mich.: Thanks for having me.

MARGARET WARNER: As you know, the president is reviewing NSA surveillance policy. Whatever changes are going to happen are coming out later this month.

If he were seeking your counsel, what is the most profound thing you think he needs to address?

MIKE ROGERS: Part of the problem with where we're at is that we're fighting perception about what people think is happening vs. what's actually happening.

And so that's been our biggest challenge on the education piece. So, I think the first round, we all want to agree that these programs have kept Americans safe. They have kept our allies safe. There are multiple levels of oversight that no other intelligence service in the world has, like the United States intelligence oversight, between the courts and the Congress and the inspector general, and then the FBI, the Department of Justice. I mean, you name it. It has it all.

So I think what we can do is have some confidence-builders for the American people to look at this and understand, ah, one person can't run off and listen your phone call or read your e-mail. None of that is happening.

MARGARET WARNER: So, are you saying the president needs to maybe bring more transparency, do exactly what's being done, who is doing it, and what the safeguards are?

MIKE ROGERS: I think that would be incredibly helpful for the president to do that.

MARGARET WARNER: But isn't there then a tension between that and how much you want to divulge or he wants to divulge?

MIKE ROGERS: Well, absolutely.


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Reply with quote  #92 

Are FBI Informants Working Inside America’s Churches?

Jesse Trentadue’s ongoing effort to obtain information from the FBI continued this week when he filed a motion (PDF) Wednesday aimed at convincing a federal judge in Utah to allow him access to information about the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program.  The move was made one month after the Salt Lake City attorney filed his first motion — the details of which appeared in a post Jan. 30 — seeking, among other things, to learn whether the FBI has informants working inside American churches.



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Reply with quote  #93 
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Cendrowski Corporate Advisors Welcomes Former FBI Agent Ron Reddy To Investigative Services Practice Group

December 20, 2013

Former FBI agent Ron Reddy is joining Cendrowski Corporate Advisors in the Investigative Services Division. The addition of Mr. Reddy broadens CCA’s Investigative Services practice group, which now includes international investigations, white collar criminal investigations, international and domestic security services, background screening, and computer forensics.

Bloomfield Hills, MI (PRWEB) December 20, 2013


Cendrowski Corporate Advisors (http://www.cca-advisors.com), a financial consulting and litigation support firm, is pleased to announce that former FBI agent Ron Reddy has joined CCA’s Investigative Services division.

During an FBI career that spanned almost 30 years, Mr. Reddy served as an Assistant Section Chief in the FBI’s counter-terrorism division and as a Deputy On-Scene Commander for FBI Operations in Iraq. He was also a member of the FBI’s SWAT program for more than two decades.

“Ron’s investigative experience includes working as an undercover agent on investigations requiring the use of advanced intelligence-gathering techniques,” notes Managing Director Harry Cendrowski. “His experience in uncovering criminal activity and supervising violent crime squads gives CCA and its clients access to a powerful network that extends across Europe and Asia.”

Mr. Reddy’s investigative experience spans the globe, with emphasis in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, and the Ukraine.


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #94 
two reads about Oliver North and the FBI.

1st read
see link for full story

THEN & NOW: Vet’s external wounds lead to inner peace

Smith is one of 16 service members profiled in North’s book, which includes more than 250 photos of Marines bloodied on battlefields, soldiers with amputated limbs and discharged veterans getting on with their lives after devastating injuries.

Hers is one of the longer chapters. It covers 19 pages and includes 21 photos of her on Army missions and making public appearances after her service.

Bob Hamer, a Marine and FBI agent, co-wrote the book with North and first met Smith several years ago at an event in Los Angeles for Medal of Honor recipients.

2nd read


I Volunteer to Kidnap Ollie North

by Michael Levine DEA Supervisor

Now for those of you who are unaware of the allegations of crimes against and bizarre actions of your leaders, all done under the banner of War On Drugs, this may seem a rash, impudent and even—yes I’ll say it—irrational thing to do. But I doubt that you’ll feel that way once you’re aware of the “devil” that made me do it: the facts.

Two years ago a maverick group of DEA agents (Drug Enforcement Administration), feeling enraged, frustrated and betrayed decided to take the law into their own hands. The U.S. government, including high ranking DEA officials, had joined the Mexican government in trying to sweep the “bothersome” matter of the torture death of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena—one of their fellow agents murdered by Mexican police working for drug traffickers—under a rug of political and bureaucratic maneuvering, where it would not disturb oil, trade, banking and secret political agreements. Even the C.I.A. was implicated in protecting Camarena’s murderers, which was no surprise to the DEA agents. Working without the knowledge or approval of most of the top DEA bosses, whom they mistrusted, the agents arranged to have Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain, a Mexican citizen alleged to have participated in Kiki’s murder, abducted at gunpoint in Guadalajara Mexico and brought to Los Angeles to stand trial.

On June 16, 1992, the United States Supreme Court ruled the actions of those agents “legal.” The ruling said in no uncertain terms that U.S. law enforcement authorities could literally and figuratively kidnap violators of American drug law in whatever country they found them and drag them physically and against their will to the U.S. to stand trial. Immediately thereafter the Ayatollahs declared that they too could rove the world and kidnap violators of Islamic law and drag them back to Iran to stand trial. Kidnapping has now become an accepted tool of law enforcement throughout the world.

Resorting to all sorts of wild extremes to bring drug traffickers to justice is nothing new for the U.S. government. At various times during my career as a DEA agent I was assigned to some pretty unorthodox operations—nothing quite as radical as invading Panama and killing a few hundred innocents to capture Manny Noriega—but I was once part of a group of undercover agents posing as a travelling soccer team. We landed in Argentina in a chartered jet during the wee hours of the morning, where the Argentine Federal Police had three international drug dealers—two of whom had never in their lives set foot in the United States—waiting for us trussed up in straight-jackets with horse feed-bags over their heads, each beaten to a pulpy, toothless mess. In those years we used to call it a “controlled expulsion.” I think I like the honesty of kidnapping a little better.

And now, since the democratic and staunchly anti-drug nation of Costa Rica has publicly accused Oliver North and some other high-level U.S. officials, of running drugs from their sovereignty to the United States, and appears close to officially charging them with the crime, I find myself, duty-bound to make the following offer to Costa Rica, or any other nation that might have need of my services:

I Michael Levine, twenty-five year veteran undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, given the mandate of the Supreme Court’s Machain Decision and in fulfillment of my oath to the U.S. government and its taxpayers to arrest and seize all those individuals who would smuggle or cause illegal drugs to be smuggled into the United States or who would aid and abet drug smugglers, do hereby volunteer my services to any sovereign, democratic nation who files legal Drug Trafficking charges against Colonel Oliver North and any of his cohorts; to do everything in my power including kidnaping him, seizing his paper shredder, reading him his constitutional rights and dragging his butt to wherever that sovereignty might be, (with or without horse feed-bag); to once-and-for-all stand trial for the horrific damages caused to my country, my fellow law enforcement officers, and to my family.


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Reply with quote  #95 

National Security Higher Education Advisory Board

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (NSHEAB) was created by American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert S. Mueller III on December 15, 2005.[1] Operated by the FBI and paneled by approximately 20 American university presidents and chancellors, the expressed purpose of the board is "to foster outreach and to promote understanding between higher education and the Federal Bureau of Investigation." The board also facilitates communication between universities and federal authorities on "national priorities pertaining to terrorism, counterintelligence, and homeland security." NSHEAB meets approximately three times yearly and includes representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency and other security agencies.[2]

The National Security Higher Education Advisory Board is a part of "IARPA's mission to invest in high-risk/high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries."

FBI National Press Release, 2009[3]

A stated goal of NSHEAB is to prevent the theft of sensitive research conducted at American universities.[4]

Since its creation NSHEAB has brought university and FBI officials together to discuss weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, threats to university research facilities, and "the promotion of strategic national security partnerships with academia [in] the United States."[5] NSHEAB has also been a forum within which Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has encouraged universities to engage in "high-risk/high-payoff" research intended to "provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries."[6] Some academics have expressed concern over the collaboration between FBI and university officials due to the agency's past espionage directed against individuals in the academic community.[7] NSHEAB's work and the increased cooperation between federal authorities and academia is facilitated by the political framework brought about by the war on terror.[8]

NSHEAB is currently chaired by Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University. Notable members of NSHEAB include or have included former United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, MIT president Susan Hockfield,[9] and U.C. Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.[10]


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Reply with quote  #96 
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Quinn names 7 to concealed-carry review panel

Appointees subject to state Senate confirmation


Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday named former federal prosecutors, FBI agents and judges to a seven-member panel to review objections raised by law enforcement to people who apply to carry a concealed firearm under the state's new law.

The move is the latest step to put in place the legislative compromise enacted last summer after a federal appeals court ruled Illinois had to give up its status as the last state in the nation to ban possession of firearms in public.

Under the law, people apply for concealed carry permits and police departments can object to the application. The review panel hears appeals of those objections and is supposed to decide within 30 days whether applicants pose a danger to themselves or others or are a threat to public safety.


Appointed from the 1st District were Robinzina Bryant of Flossmoor, who spent a decade as a special agent with the FBI in Chicago and St. Louis and Virginia Wright of Palatine, who served as a special agent with the FBI for 24 years in New York, Chicago and New Haven, Conn.


For the 3rd Judicial District, which includes Will County and north central Illinois, Quinn named John Diwik of Naperville, a criminal investigator with Amtrak's office of inspector general and a former FBI special agent.

Quinn called his choices "highly qualified and committed individuals" who will "carry out their duties diligently to protect public safety." The initial appointments, which require Senate confirmation, are for a term that ends Jan. 12, 2015. The positions pay $37,571 a year.


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #97 
When you control Congress You control Congressional oversight of the FBI.

Can you name the other FBI  agents that are now members of Congress?

Which one is under criminal investigation?

see link for full story

Republican businessman and former FBI agent to announce candidacy for Congress


Former FBI agent and small business owner Jack Orswell will announce his candidacy Friday for a seat in the 27th Congressional District, according to a statement.

Orswell, a Republican, will make the announcement at the monthly Foothills Lincoln Club meeting.

“I believe that I can make a difference,” Orswell said, in part, in a statement. “With my leadership skills, my small business and government experience, and a strong desire to serve my community, I know that I can represent the people of the 27th District and build a better long-term future for our families and America.”


He blasted the “career politicians” in Congress and blamed the national debt on “excessive, wasteful” spending.

The seat is held by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, who is in her third term. Chu defeated Orswell in the 2012 election, earning 63 percent of the votes to Orswell’s 37 percent of votes.


Jan 9, 2014

Former FBI agent named Turnpike Commission inspector general


Ray A. Morrow, from Washington, Pa., spent 20 years with the FBI and became special-agent-in-charge of its Pittsburgh office before working in corporate investigations. His job at the Turnpike Commission will find him looking for misconduct and dealing with it. He'll work at the Middletown, Pa., headquarters.


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Reply with quote  #98 
Grimm, left; Christie, right.

Grimm, left; Christie, right.

Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm came to the defense of embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today, saying the fellow Republican has “demonstrated true leadership” amid the expanding scandal surrounding the George Washington Bridge.

Christie has come under fire after e-mails and text messages became public that suggested that staffers in the governor’s office ordered the closing of lanes on the bridge to create traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It’s believed to be an act of political retribution against Fort Lee’s mayor, who backed a rival to the popular governor in the last gubernatorial election.

Christie was forced to address the issue yet again today, holding an exhaustive press conference in which he apologized profusely, and reiterated that he had no knowledge of the acts seemingly perpetrated by top aides.

“Governor Christie demonstrated true leadership and accountability during today’s press conference,” Grimm said in a statement, according to Politicker. “I have known Governor Christie since he was a United States Attorney with a distinguished anti-corruption record and I was an undercover agent working a high profile public corruption case with his office. I know him to be a man of unquestionable honor and ironclad integrity, and I take him at his word.”

During the conference, Christie also said he fired a senior aide who sent the messages, and has asked a former campaign manager who had been part of the e-mail conversation to leave the organization.

While all of the figures involved in the scandal were Republican, Grimm used the opportunity in an attempt to redirect public anger from Christie and towards Democrats and the Obama administration.

“In an a time when President Obama and key figures in his administration shamelessly pass the buck and avoid accountability for one massive failure after another, the Governor’s swift and immediate action to dismiss those responsible, commit himself to a full vetting of his staff, and embrace his responsibility as his state’s chief executive is both uncommon and refreshing,” Grimm said.

Governor Chris Christie endorsed Grimm during his Congressional campaign. The congressman is headed into another fierce campaign year against a well-funded Democrat, Domenic Recchia, and may be seeking the otherwise popular governor’s support once again.

The statement has sparked a response from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has been relentlessly pursuing Grimm, who they see as vulnerable, by frequently reminding voters of allegations against the congressman of fundraising misconduct. Here’s their response, as reported by Politicker:

“It’s comes as no surprise that Congressman Michael Grimm who is currently being investigated by the FBI himself, would be the first elected official in the country to come to Chris Christie’s defense,” said Marc Brumer, the northeast regional press secretary for the DCCC. “Maybe they can they can carpool to federal court together.

“Only Congressman Michael Grimm would use a scandal in another state to try to divert attention from his own scandal plagued tenure in office.  Another day, another desperate attempt by Congressman Grimm to distract New Yorkers from his failed record,” added Mr. Brumer.



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Reply with quote  #99 
Retired FBI  agents have been quietly taking over and running Campus Police for colleges around the country.
There is now a new twist to this ....

see link for full story



University of Akron, Summit County sheriff plan joint training venture



The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will join the University of Akron in training officers.

“This is a unique situation collaborating with the university. It’s the first time a law enforcement agency and a university have teamed up. We have always had separate academies,” said sheriff spokesman Bill Holland. “The University of Akron offers theory and the academic aspect and the sheriff’s department brings real life, hands-on street experience.”

Holland said the university was looking for a new commander. Discussions about a possible merger have been going on for several years. Then, six months ago, the sheriff’s office made a formal proposal for a joint academy.

“Sheriff [Steve] Barry embraced the idea. We co-existed for more than 20 years. It was almost as if we were competing with one another and we were right across the street,” said Stephen Motika, assistant dean of Summit College at UA. “This way we are aligning our strength to become a better academy.”

He said the sheriff’s firing range on Greensburg Road was under-utilized and the University of Akron needed a bigger facility for more students. The university has plenty of classrooms and will be using the newly acquired Central-Hower High School building for training.

Motika said the co-sponsored academy may not be the first in the state, but the idea is a first in the area.

The academy teaches officer candidates about defensive tactics, the use of firearms, driving, investigations, crime scenes, traffic stops and the Ohio Revised Code. The program calls for 600 hours of instruction and meets six days a week.

Thirty cadets, the maximum class number, are enrolled in the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy at UA for the spring semester from Jan. 13 to April 25. All candidates went through regular enrollment paying tuition to the university.

The University of Akron will contribute $22,250 to the sheriff’s department for the use of the department’s firing range and to pay the salary of the commander. Holland will serve as commander as part of his regular duties.

Besides overseeing the program and paperwork, he serves as liaison between the state and the academy.

Cadets have to pass a state test — with both a written and physical exam — to be certified as a peace officer.

The newly formed joint academy will have 20 or more instructors during the course of the training to keep the state’s requirement of a 4-to-1 student-instructor ratio.

“It’s real important to keep a diversity of police agencies represented,” said Motika. “We will have several local entities represented across the townships including Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. Akron Police Chief [James] Nice will be teaching physical training and self-defense tactics.”

The instructors will be paid through the university. The deputies who will help teach the program will teach off duty for the extra pay.

Holland, a former FBI agent who has worked for the sheriff’s office for the last 10 years, has been an adjunct professor at UA for five years. He said his work with cadets will help the sheriff’s office develop candidates for future openings.


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Reply with quote  #100 
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Texas woman in Grimm fundraising flap hires ex-FBI agent with Staten Island ties to defend her

1-15durand-grimm.jpgTexan Diana Durand raised money for Michael Grimm's maiden campaign.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - The Texas woman who the FBI says illegally donated more than $10,000 to the 2010 campaign of Rep. Michael Grimm is relying on a former G-man who shares a New York FBI background with Grimm and who has ties to Staten Island to keep her out of jail.

Diana Durand, 47, of Houston, has hired attorney Stuart Kaplan, of the Kaplan and Sconzo law firm in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to defend her against charges of lying to federal agents and violating campaign finance regulations.

Kaplan and Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) are both former FBI agents, and both had served in the New York office. Kaplan said he served from 1995 to 2006, the same years that Grimm served with the bureau.

Kaplan, who also served the FBI in Florida, declined to say whether he knew Grimm, and declined to say whether Grimm had anything to do with Ms. Durand becoming his client.

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