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Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #1 
see link and then tell us what you plan to do

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

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

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

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #2 
Shhhhh! It's ok. It was not your brother,father or husband,eh?

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

see link for full story


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

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #3 
William R. Keating rips FBI directive
Thursday, August 22, 2013

The FBI’s new directive to brief local police on terrorist threats shocked U.S. Rep. William R. Keating, who told the Herald yesterday agency brass have yet to answer his questions about what went wrong leading up to the Boston Marathon bombings.

“That’s news to me,” said Keating, a Homeland Security Committee member. “If there’s something through these directives and meetings whereby they’re helping communication, then they’re still not communicating that with Congress.”

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis testified in congressional hearings about communication gaps and said the FBI never shared information about slain marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Keating, who has blasted FBI brass for declining to appear at both open and closed-door hearings on the marathon bombings, said there has been pressure for federal agencies to share more information since 9/11.

“First and foremost, the first line of defense is local. This is something that was underscored time and time again,” said Keating, who hopes the FBI will answer questions soon. “The one biggest question I have right now is, ‘Why won’t you come in and talk to us?’ ”
- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/08/william_r_keating_rips_fbi_directive#sthash.jcxO2JPZ.dpuf

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #4 
see link for full story

The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities
After 9/11, the NYPD built in effect its own CIA—and its Demographics Unit delved deeper into the lives of citizens than did the NSA.

    Published Aug 25, 2013

On the morning of September 11, the detectives of the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Division traveled in force toward the burning towers of the World Trade Center, the biggest crime scene in American history, to find absolutely nothing for themselves to do. The city had been quickly cordoned off. Some made it as far as Chambers Street. Others were stopped at Canal Street. “Stand by,” they were told. They milled about for hours, waiting for orders that never came. Finally, a contingent of officers was dispatched toward ground zero with garbage cans to collect guns and equipment left by fallen first responders.

Later in the day, a group of them gathered at the Police Academy, where Deputy Chief John Cutter told them to start contacting their informants. At that moment, it may have been the only possible command—which didn’t mean it was a useful one. Despite the name, the Intelligence Division was mostly concentrated on gangs and drug dealers, as well as providing a glorified chauffeur service for visiting dignitaries. International terrorism had never been part of their purview.

But they had to start somewhere, and the detectives did what they were told, reaching out to their network of informants—dope dealers and gang members—to ask what they knew about the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

For the next few months, the Intel cops worked alongside the FBI out of makeshift command centers aboard the decommissioned USS Intrepid and in an FBI parking garage, where detectives sat on the concrete floor, responding to a flood of tips pouring in from a public consumed with the possibility of another attack, questioning Muslims whose neighbors suddenly deemed them suspicious.

When Ray Kelly was sworn in as police commissioner in January 2002, one of his first goals was to eliminate that kind of aimless fumbling. The first man to rise from cadet to police commissioner and the first person to hold the top job twice, Kelly was police commissioner under Mayor David Dinkins, when terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the garage below the World Trade Center’s North Tower in 1993.

Though Kelly’s detectives were instrumental in solving that bombing, they’d never had a chance to prevent it. And that attack had done nothing to change the attitude of the federal government—specifically the FBI—which rarely gave local police information it could use ahead of time.

After 9/11, the debris field smoldering a block away from Kelly’s Battery Park apartment crystallized the notion that as long as the federal government controlled all the information, the NYPD was merely waiting to respond to the next attack, helpless to prevent it.

So Kelly called for a new approach, the likes of which America had never seen. Over the ensuing decade, the FBI, CIA, and NSA would build surveillance programs that monitored bank transactions, phone records, and the e-mail routing fields known as metadata, which have recently erupted in the scandal surrounding Edward Snowden’s revelations. But the NYPD went even further than the federal government. The activities Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration. It was a proactive approach, but, in constitutional terms, a novel one.

To reinvent the Intelligence Division, Kelly called on David Cohen, a former senior CIA officer who was a year into a post-retirement stint with the Wall Street insurance giant American International Group. Kelly offered a rare opportunity not just to return to intelligence work but also to build something from scratch—in effect, the city’s own CIA.

Cohen joined the CIA in 1966 as a 26-year-old economist, a slender young man with a firm jaw and conservative pompadour haircut in the style of a young Ronald Reagan. He left in 2000, having served as the deputy director of operations—America’s top spy. And during those nearly 35 years, the bookish, bespectacled Cohen had been one of the most creative agents at the CIA, with a gift for reshaping bureaucracies toward new ends.

Back in the eighties, he started an analytical team to investigate terrorism, the first of its kind at the agency. Then, in 1996, years before Osama bin Laden entered the public consciousness, Cohen assigned a dozen officers to gather intelligence on him.

Still, many in the CIA regarded Cohen’s tenure at the helm of the spy service as a dark period. From 1995 to 1997, under pressure from a budget-conscious Congress and an uninterested White House, Cohen gutted the CIA’s spy corps and cut loose many of its paid informants. In an unusual move, the New York Times in an editorial called for Cohen’s ouster.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #5 
see link for full story

DEA Program Puts Phone Company Inside Government Offices

Sep 1, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #6 

Civil-liberties groups seek hearings on DEA's use of intelligence


see link for full story


 Thu Sep 5, 2013 7:01am EDT

(Reuters) - A coalition of two dozen civil-liberties groups called Thursday for broad congressional hearings on the Drug Enforcement Administration, citing recent revelations by Reuters about the DEA's use of National Security Agency data to build non-terrorism cases against Americans.

Last month, Reuters reported that the DEA funnels tips from overseas NSA intercepts, informants, court-ordered wiretaps and a massive telephone database to police and federal agents nationwide, including tax investigators at the Internal Revenue Service.

The DEA instructs the agents and police to never reveal the source of the information and to instead "recreate" the investigative trail, records seen by Reuters show. This DEA process, which agents call "parallel construction," disturbs some judges, former prosecutors and defense lawyers, who say it systematically eliminates potential evidence that defendants may need to ensure a fair trial.

The DEA says the programs follow the law.

"The implications of the Reuters revelations are serious and far-reaching," the groups wrote Thursday to Congressional leaders on judiciary, homeland security and oversight committees.

"For too long Congress has given the DEA a free pass," said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance, which signed the letter along with groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "Our hope is that Congress does its job and provides oversight of an agency that has a long track record of deeply troubling behavior."


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #7 

Border Patrol agent who admitted smuggling marijuana set for sentencing in federal court


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #8 
see link for full story

DEA employee given probation for stealing agency fund

A former Drug Enforcement Administration employee will spend one year on probation and perform 50 hours of community service for embezzling $1,800 from the agency's drug enforcement funds, U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose judge ruled Monday.

Holly Cook, 43, of Monongahela pleaded guilty in May to stealing government money. She took money from a locked cash box she was in charge of and, in addition to the $1,800, stole an undetermined amount of money from other employees while collecting donations for charities, prosecutors say.


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #9 

Insane Clown Posse attorneys say FBI withholding documents on gang listing of Juggalos
September 19 2013
see link for full story


Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #10 
ATF misplaced 420 million cigarettes in stings
September 26, 2013

see link for full story

WASHINGTON –  Government agents acting without authorization conducted dozens of undercover investigations of illegal tobacco sales, misused some of $162 million in profits from the stings and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, the Justice Department's inspector general said Wednesday.

In one case, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sold $15 million in cigarettes and later turned over $4.9 million in profits from the sales to a confidential informant — even though the agency did not properly account for the transaction.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #11 



The No-Fly List: Where the FBI Goes Fishing for Informants
By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:21am

Over the last three years, the FBI has dramatically expanded its No-Fly List of suspected terrorists, including blacklisting innocent Americans who present no threat to security.

The Americans we represent in Latif v. Holder, the ACLU's challenge to the government's No-Fly List procedures, provide a prime example. They were each denied boarding on planes, deprived of their right to travel, and smeared as suspected terrorists. Yet the government continues to deny them any after-the-fact explanation for their blacklisting or any meaningful chance to clear their names.

The FBI's violation of these Americans' due process rights is, in and of itself, abusive and unlawful. After all, preventing people from correcting the errors that led to their inclusion on a blacklist does not make our skies any safer, but it does harm constitutionally protected rights to travel and reputation—as a federal court recently recognized. And a closer look into the experiences of several ACLU clients shows another, even darker side to the No-Fly List.

FBI agents have tried to use the No-Fly List as a draconian tool to coerce Americans into spying on their communities.

FBI agents put this pressure on ACLU clients Abe Mashal, a Marine veteran; Amir Meshal; and Nagib Ali Ghaleb. Each of these Americans spoke to FBI agents to learn why they were suddenly banned from flying and to clear up the errors that led to that decision. Instead of providing that explanation or opportunity, FBI agents offered to help them get off the No-Fly List—but only in exchange for serving as informants in their communities.Our clients refused.

The ACLU's report,Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI's Unchecked Abuse of Authority, explains what happened to Nagib Ali Ghaleb. Nagib was denied boarding when trying to fly home to San Francisco after a trip to visit family in Yemen. Stranded abroad and desperate to return home, Nagib sought help from the U.S. embassy in Yemen and was asked to submit to an FBI interview. FBI agents offered to arrange for Nagib to fly back immediately to the United States if he would agree to tell the agents who the "bad guys" were in Yemen and San Francisco. The agents insisted that Nagib could provide the names of people from his mosque and the San Francisco Yemeni community. The agents said they would have Nagib arrested and jailed in Yemen if he did not cooperate, and that Nagib should "think about it." Nagib, however, did not know any "bad guys" and therefore refused to spy on innocent people in exchange for a flight home.

Nagib's experience is far from unique. After Abe Mashal was denied boarding at Chicago's Midway Airport, FBI agents questioned him about his religious beliefs and practices.The agents told Abe that if he would serve as an informant for the FBI, his name would be removed from the No-Fly List and he would receive compensation. When Abe refused, the FBI promptly ended the meeting.

Neither Nagib nor Abe present a threat to aviation security. But FBI agents sought to exploit their fear, desperation, and confusion when they were most vulnerable, and to coerce them into working as informants. Moreover, the very fact that FBI agents asked Nagib and Abe to spy on people for the government is yet another indication that the FBI doesn't actually think either man is a suspected terrorist. This abusive use of a government watch list underscores the serious need for regulation, oversight, and public accountability of an FBI that has become unleashed and unaccountable.

One critically important mechanism to advance that accountability is the institution of a fair redress system for people on the No-Fly List. We'll continue to pursue that goal through the courts in Latif v. Holder, but Congress should act to reform this unconstitutional system now.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #12 
a species that hires mercenaries to protect them looses the ability to protect itself
and is doomed to extinction when the mercenaries turn on them

Police credibility: In the dumpster
 September 30, 2013

see link for full story


LAST WEEK, Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter helped push Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett through the door to retirement.

It’s time for the city manager to make another management decision regarding the operation of the metro police department, one that the former chief was derelict in not making.

She needs to do something about two veteran police officers who have no business wearing badges and are essentially useless in local law enforcement.

She also must make sure the department’s Internal Affairs unit knows what its job is. There’s evidence that it may not.

After several weeks of mystery, the public now knows why federal and state prosecutors didn’t want Sgt. Malik Khaalis, 39, and Star Cpl. Willet Williams, 48, anywhere near a witness stand. Both were subjects of a major federal narcotics corruption investigation in 2010. Neither was formally charged by the feds or the state. Still, their effectiveness in local law enforcement is shot.

According to documents obtained by the Savannah Morning News and reported on Sunday, the case involved complaints reported through the FBI that the two officers were allegedly engaged in illegal drug activities. FBI agent Josh Hayes told the metro police department’s internal affairs unit that Khaalis, a Counter-Narcotics Team agent on loan from metro police, was allegedly tipping off Williams, who had a family member who was a target of a high-level investigation.

According to an investigative memo from the county-run CNT, Khaalis had been given false information by other investigators who were concerned about leaks within the organization. He was told that investigators knew that a money courier was going to be picking up cash in an area near the Savannah airport. Turns out there was no courier. Or money.

According to the memo, Khaalis was assigned to the wire room to monitor phone calls. But after he was fed the false information, he told his supervisor he was going home for lunch.

What Khaalis apparently didn’t know was that a tracking device had been installed on his CNT vehicle. And where did that vehicle go? To an area near the airport, according to the memo.

Khaalis also asked for permission to call Williams about a family member’s whereabouts. He was denied “as this was not proper investigative protocol,” the memo states. Yet later, after checking records for Williams, it was discovered that he and Khaalis “had been in cellphone contact with each other numerous times during the course of the surveillance.” When later questioned by the FBI, Khaalis “could not, or would not, explain the calls,” the memo states.

In June 2010, Khaalis was shipped back to metro police and out of CNT. The investigative reports were turned over to Chief Lovett’s internal affairs division, headed by Capt. H. Wiley. The captain concluded in November 2010 that both the CNT and FBI “failed to prove any (departmental) police violations.”

That’s an extremely troubling conclusion.

It suggests that CNT and FBI agents were stumblebums and possibly lying through their teeth.

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #13 
Trooper pleads not guilty in alleged OUI crash that killed two women

TRAGEDY: State Trooper John Basler of Kingston, above, appears at his arraignment yesterday on drunken driving and other charges in connection with a fatal crash in Plymouth on Sept. 22.

Thursday, October 10, 2013
- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/10/trooper_pleads_not_guilty_in_alleged_oui_crash_that_killed_two#sthash.nsk4KmGn.dpuf

Trooper pleads not guilty in alleged OUI crash that killed two women



Photo by: 

Matt West
TRAGEDY: State Trooper John Basler of Kingston, above, appears at his arraignment yesterday on drunken driving and other charges in connection with a fatal crash in Plymouth on Sept. 22.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/10/trooper_pleads_not_guilty_in_alleged_oui_crash_that_killed_two#sthash.nsk4KmGn.dpuf

Posts: 8,844
Reply with quote  #14 
see link for documentary


Fight-Back Movement in California: New Documentary on the Battle against Police Brutality

Global Research, October 25, 2013

The film is centered around the organizing efforts of more than 40 families of police brutality victims for a statewide march in Anaheim, Calif., on July 21, 2013–the one-year anniversary of the historic uprising against the Anaheim police after the killing of Manuel Diaz and a subsequent violent attack on neighbors who peacefully objected.

It features footage from significant demonstrations leading up to July 21; the organizing efforts of participants; interviews with families, attorneys, activists and leaders in the police brutality movement; and the powerful July 21 action that shut down the Anaheim police station.

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Westport Resident James Comey Officially Installed As FBI Director

see link for full story

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Westport resident and Yonkers, N.Y., native James Comey was officially installed as the head of the FBI in a ceremony Monday at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., overseen by President Barack Obama.

Comey, 52, the seventh director in FBI history, served as deputy attorney general from December 2003 through August 2005 under President George W. Bush. He was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York before that.

He replaced Robert Mueller, who stepped down after 12 years as director.

"Jim has dedicated his life to defending our laws -- to making sure that all Americans can trust our justice system to protect their rights and their well-being," Obama said to the assembled press and guests. "He’s the perfect leader for an organization whose walls are graced by the words of a legendary former director: 'The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation.'"

Obama nominated Comey for the position in June. The Senate confirmed his nomination with a vote of 93-1 in late July.

From 2005 to 2010, he worked as general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp.

In 2010, Comey became general counsel of the Westport-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. Earlier this year, he left Bridgewater to become senior research scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security at Columbia University Law School in New York.

"I am so grateful for this honor and this opportunity to serve with the men and women of the FBI," Comey said at the event. "Those three words in the FBI's motto -- Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity -- capture the essence of the FBI and its people. And they also explain why I am here. I wanted to be here to work alongside those people, to represent them, to help them accomplish their mission, and to just be their colleague."


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Reply with quote  #17 
see link for full story

Former appraiser, wife of DEA agent sentenced to 19 months in prison



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A former appraiser who committed fraud and later spooked the Drug Enforcement Administration into providing her with round-the-clock security was sentenced today to 19 months in prison.

Kimberly Baldwin, 46, of Jefferson Hills, inflated appraisals in order to justify loans from 2003 through 2006, costing banks more than $1 million.

Last year, while facing resulting charges of wire fraud conspiracy, she told her husband, a DEA special agent, that people in a gold Buick sedan had watched their house and menaced her. She later wrote two fake threat notes -- including one on a dollar bill -- which were presented to the DEA as indications that someone was harassing her family.


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Reply with quote  #18 
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OpEdNews Op Eds 11/6/2013 at 10:27:07

Death by Bureaucracy Is a Very Bad Call

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"Lies cannot lead to the truth"

N. Korzhavin

Progressives and liberals in the U.S. seem afflicted by a strange delusion: a belief in the goodness of secret organizations.

That belief manifests itself most conspicuously in the double-standard approach to such organizations as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and others like them. In the face of new scathing revelations about the activities of these entities, the response is always along these lines: "Yes, of course, what they did was bad, but that's because they have bad people there now. As soon as they have good people again, you can be sure they'll return to the useful functions they were designed for--which is to protect us from our enemies, foreign and domestic."

This way of seeing things is very prevalent among political progressives. That's evident from the fact that, through all the years since 9/11, they have never contemplated the dismantling of DHS or the repeal of the Patriot Act. Obviously, no politicians in official positions have considered it either.


When I was a kid, boys loved to play the part of secret agents or spies. Movies involving such characters were our favorites. We liked the aura of those dangerous and powerful men, liked their license to kill and their own total invincibility, admired their irresistible attractiveness to women, and were thrilled by the idea of "killing for a good cause."

All this was of course quite innocent and understandable. As a child you can't feel the tragedy of death and you shouldn't. But, eventually, as I grew older and read real books and saw the documentaries about killing; when I had personal encounters with death and talked to those who saw it in abundance--I realized how stupid, cruel and illusory those images in spy films were. I saw how people really regard spies--with hate and disgust; how no good woman would even look at such rotten persons; how spies really are, beneath their glamorous image; and how corrupt and dangerous are the organizations they work for, which give them their license to kill. But to my amazement, I also found that not all people of  my age grew up to share my disillusionment. I have met many middle-aged men who are still perversely fascinated with killing--who still admire the ability to kill at will, and who even regret  they cannot do the killings themselves. These men are the perpetual little brats from my childhood. Stephen King is right: sometimes they come back.

The inhumanity and insidious deeds of the secret U.S. agencies to which I've referred cannot be ignored. But, here, for the moment, I'll try not to dwell on these evils. Instead, I would like to unravel the romantic notion that these entities are there to protect us and that we should admire them and be grateful for what they do for us.

Let's design a thought experiment, say with respect to drone strikes. The purpose of the killer drone is to destroy a target. That target, by default, is a human being who is situated far away from the place in the U.S. where the drone "pilot" is located. Let's put aside for the moment the obvious lawlessness and murder that are involved here--a situation in which someone from this country wants to kill someone in another country with which we are not at war or engaged in any other active conflict. Let's concentrate instead purely on the methodology of the drone strike, following the "decision tree" from the drone on up.

The next branch up from the drone is the "pilot," the person who controls the drone's movements. That person knows how to kill and where to go to carry out the act, but he (or she) does not know who the target is or why the killing is to be performed. We relieve this person of his or her "ethics subroutines," because we accept that, in the role he or she is playing, natural human curiosity is not in play. The "pilot" will never ask questions about the targets and never express any doubts about the propriety of his or her actions.

As we ascend further up the "decision tree," the next branch we encounter will most likely be that of the direct supervisor of the "drone squadron," an officer or an agent of some rank who receives the order to execute. This officer specifies the parameters of the target and all the necessary coordinates and procedures. But, as for the customary "need to know" under which most critical military actions are undertaken, it is unlikely that the targeting information contains the name, bio or any other details about the intended human target, except for maybe a photo and the "reason" he is to be eliminated--perhaps by simple designation as an alleged terrorist operative.

Such a designation will serve this chain of command as the  sufficient justification for a drone strike. Moreover, the supervisor does not receive the order to execute directly from an individual, but through a coded message of some sort from command headquarters. He therefore has no way, and is not expected to have a way, to verify or dispute the order, or to make sure it is the right thing to do. So, again, any moral consideration of the act to take place is not only discarded, but pre-empted as an option.

So now, climbing further up the "decision tree," we have reached the place--a command headquarters of some kind--where the strike order is actually issued. Considering the gravity of the decision to be made, one would think that the order would come from a small group of people who are specially qualified to rule on such life-or-death matters. But, in fact, very high-ranking officers or politicos are not involved, because not only would it be impractical to tie up such people in everyday operations, but people of power naturally prefer not to be associated too directly with politically sensitive decision-making.

The actual model for calling the shots on drone strikes might be described as a medieval "Venetian Triad" (so vividly described by Mark Twain  in his  book "The Innocents Abroad"), a very limited group of people, probably defined as "high operatives," who take over the function of deciding on life and death. It is important to recognize that in no way is the will of the people reflected through the political process in the decisions relating to drone strike targeting. Nor is any court involved, or a justice system. The attack is entirely a totalitarian scheme, the natural offspring of the structure and goals of the secret organization that administers it. That's simply how it works. Nothing personal.

To be fair, however, let's hypothesize that the "Venetian Triad" consists of several objectively dilligent people who do not take the process of decision lightly. Let's say they congregate and analyze the data provided. That data would consist of several reports on the behavior of the designated target. (These reports are, in fact, manhunt documents, tracing the movements of a suspected terrorist on the foreign soil, based on the  information obtained through covert activities, 90% of which are violations of both local and international laws.) The data would also include a PowerPoint summary, consisting of several slides, the final one of which would indicate the certain "success" of the drone strike.  


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Example of Civilian Police Review Board controlled by the Police

Also google
san diego police review board

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Watchdog: Accountability

New questions raised about mandatory DNA swabbing by police

By Eric Boehm | NOVEMBER 20, 2013 AT 4:59 PM


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Edward Snowden’s latest leak: NSA monitored online porn habits of ‘radicalizers’ to discredit them

see link for full story

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 0:48 EST
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A document provided by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden explains the agency’s plan to discredit Islamic “radicalizers” by monitoring their online habits for indications they visited pornographic websites or used “sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls,” the Huffington Post reported Tuesday night.

“Radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document states. The Post reported that the Oct. 12 missive was sent to the Drug Enforcement Association (DEA) and the Commerce, Customs, Justice and Transportation Departments.

The document Snowden provided identifies six Muslim “globally-resonating radicalizers,” one of them a “U.S. person,” the agency term for an American citizen or permanent resident. Under the listing for the subjects’ “vulnerabilities,” two are described as engaging in “online promiscuity.” Another subject, described as a “well-known media celebrity” who targets an Arabic-speaking audience, has a “glamorous lifestyle” listed as a possible point of attack.

“Examining how the six radicalizers establish and maintain access with different pools of people susceptible to their message — and their perceptions of the difficulties in doing so — suggests that there are vulnerabilities that can be exploited in terms of this access,” the document states. “Emerging radicalizers may be vulnerable on this point as well.”

Journalist James Bamford, who has covered the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) searches for American public figures’ “vulnerabilities,” told the Post the NSA’s apparent activities brought to mind the tactics employed by former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

“Back then, the idea was developed by the longest serving FBI chief in U.S. history,” Bamford told the Post. “Today it was suggested by the longest serving NSA chief in U.S. history. And back then, the NSA was also used to do the eavesdropping on King and others through its Operation Minaret. A later review declared the NSA’s program ‘disreputable if not outright illegal.’”


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:26 AM

Dear Friends,

I hope you will consider taking a few minutes to learn more about Sam
Mandez, a prisoner in the Colorado Department of Corrections who has
spent nearly half his life in solitary confinement, where he was
driven mad. The ACLU’s video about Sam, which premiered last week,
is now available for all to see on Vimeo. The video is 22 minutes and
worth the watch. But, if you don’t have the time, please *check out
our 4 minute promo video*. Below are the relevant links, including an
Atlantic Monthly article that came out today about Sam. Please
distribute widely to your contacts in as many ways as possible (email,
facebook, twitter, listserve). This legislative session, let’s end
this practice of warehousing our mentally prisoners in solitary

Full version of Out of Sight, Out of Mind – The Story of Sam Mandez

Synopsis version of the film (4 minutes)


Atlantic article-


FAQ about Sam Mandez


In Solidarity,


Rebecca Teitelbaum Wallace

Staff Attorney

American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado

303 East 17th Avenue, Suite 350

Denver, Colorado 80203

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This is the new Gold Standard for the meaning of Orwellian.
Let me get this straight. Law enforcement FBI  agents Anticev and Floyd with their FBI  informant Amad Salem create the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing see  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPGvU_XTQx   ; Law enforcement FBI  supervisor
Larry Potts and his informant Timothy McVeigh create the 1995
Oklahoma City  bombing  see  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/660197443/Nichols-says-bombing-was-FBI-op.html?pg=all  ;  the Boston Law enforcement agency the FBI  provides Whitey Bulger with a 60 pound box of C4 explosives to give to the IRA which is later used in the Omargh bombing in Ireland with an added assist of FBI  informant David Rupert  see
 the law enforcement agency called the FBI  allows their informant David Headley to orchestrate the 2008 Mumbai Terrorist attacks in India  see  http://norcaltruth.org/2010/10/18/david-headley-american-terrorist-or-fbi-informant-or-both/
Over 300 fighter pilots and airline pilots release a documentary in November 2013 called Skygate 911 detailing the evidence for the FBI  and other US government agencies creating 911  see  http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=22498&st=0&    Over 2,000 architects and engineers produce a documentary in 2013 called 911:EXPLOSIVE EVIDENCE  saying the World Trade Center towers were taken down by a controlled demolition and the FBI  was involved in 911 coverup see  http://www.ae911truth.org/
So now the arbiter is saying the Boston Police law enforcement agency needs a raise to protect us from the threat of terrorists.
I hope somebody reading this has the ability to challenge the arbiter's conclusion in a court of law and start the process to create a volunteer civilian review police board with subpoena powers that has the ability to set and enforce standards for the Boston Police Department.


see link for full story





Arbiter justifies cop pay hike
Says terror threat gives Boston police greater role

Friday, November 29, 2013

Boston cops’ anti-terror operations — including their protection of large-scale public events — have earned them every cent of the controversial 25.4 percent pay hike proposal that goes before the City Council on Monday, the arbitrator who brokered the pact wrote in a document obtained by the Herald.

Arbitrator Timothy J. Buckalew acknowledges in the 12-page explanation of his award that the settlement — reached amid tense negotiations after the cop union contract expired in 2010 — is “costly.” But he also writes that the city can afford it, calling it “consistent with the value the city receives from the police force.”

“Recent events have changed the nature of police work from patrol and response to responsibility for ensuring public safety at public events at levels unheard of in prior years,” Buckalew wrote. “The life of great cities depends on citizens being able to live, work, recreate and assemble for any lawful purpose without fear of crime or terror.”

The pact, which increases cop salaries over six years, has been branded a budget buster by some councilors who say the city can’t afford the estimated $87 million price tag, and that they fear firefighters will come back and ask for equally large raises.

The gap between base salaries for cops and firefighters was a key rift in the negotiations, with the average cop pulling in $76,000 minus overtime and details, while jakes raked in $91,000. The police union argued that city tradition holds that cops and firefighters should be paid the same, while the city said the union’s own decisions — including its 1998 decision to opt into the now-defunct Quinn Bill, which gave cops state-sponsored bonuses for college degrees — led to the disparity.


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see link for full story


Contra-Cocaine Was a Real Conspiracy

Rethinking Iran-Contra: A Much Darker Story?

The 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination saw a mainstream media blackout of nearly all evidence of conspiracy in that case. But New York Magazine went even further, mocking the proven Contra-cocaine scandal as a “conspiracy theory.”

In the insular world of Manhattan media, there’s much handwringing over the latest blow to print publications as New York Magazine scales back from a weekly to a biweekly. But the real lesson might be the commercial failure of snarky writing, the kind that New York demonstrated in its recent hit piece on “conspiracy theories.”

What was most stunning to me about the article, pegged to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, was that it began by ridiculing what is actually one of the best-documented real conspiracies of recent decades, the CIA’s tolerance and even protection of cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s.

Journalist Gary Webb.

Journalist Gary Webb (right).

According to New York Magazine, the Contra-cocaine story – smugly dubbed “the last great conspiracy theory of the twentieth century” – started with the claim by ”crack kingpin” Ricky Ross that he was working with a Nicaraguan cocaine supplier, Oscar Danilo Blandon, who had ties to the Contras who, in turn, had ties to the CIA.

Author Benjamin Wallace-Wells writes: “The wider the aperture around this theory, the harder its proponents work to implicate Washington, the shakier it seems: After several trials and a great deal of inquiry, no one has been able to show that anyone in the CIA condoned what Blandon was doing, and it has never been clear exactly how strong Blandon’s ties to the contraleadership really were, anyway.”

So, it was all a goofy “conspiracy theory.” Move along, move along, nothing to see here. But neither Wallace-Wells nor his New York Magazine editors seem to have any idea about the actual history of the Contra-cocaine scandal. It did not begin with the 1996 emergence of Ricky Ross in a series of articles by San Jose Mercury-News investigative reporter Gary Webb, as Wallace-Wells suggests.

The Contra-cocaine scandal began more than a decade earlier with a 1985 article that Brian Barger and I wrote for the Associated Press. Our article cited documentary evidence and witnesses – both inside the Contra movement and inside the U.S. government – implicating nearly all the Contra groups fighting in Nicaragua under the umbrella of Ronald Reagan’s CIA.

Our Contra-cocaine article was followed up by a courageous Senate investigation led by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts who further documented the connections between cocaine traffickers, the Contras and the Reagan administration in a report issued in 1989.

Yet, part of the scandal always was how the Reagan administration worked diligently to undercut investigations of the President’s favorite “freedom fighters” whether the inquiries were undertaken by the press, Congress, the Drug Enforcement Administration or federal prosecutors. Indeed, a big part of this cover-up strategy was to mock the evidence as “a conspiracy theory,” when it was anything but.

Big Media’s Complicity

Most of the mainstream news media played along with the Reagan administration’s mocking strategy, although occasionally major outlets, like the Washington Post, had to concede the reality of the scandal.

For instance, during the drug-trafficking trial of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in 1991, U.S. prosecutors found themselves with no alternative but to call as a witness Colombian Medellín cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder, who — along with implicating Noriega — testified that the cartel had given $10 million to the Contras, an allegation first unearthed by Sen. Kerry.

“The Kerry hearings didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time,” a Washington Posteditorial on Nov. 27, 1991, acknowledged. “The Noriega trial brings this sordid aspect of the Nicaraguan engagement to fresh public attention.”

Yet, despite the Washington Post’s belated concern about the mainstream news media’s neglect of the Contra-cocaine scandal, there was no serious follow-up anywhere in Big Media – until 1996 when Gary Webb disclosed the connection between one Contra cocaine smuggler, Danilo Blandon, and the emergence of crack cocaine via Ricky Ross.

But the premier news outlets – the likes of the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times – didn’t take this new opportunity to examine what was a serious a crime of state. That would have required them to engage in some embarrassing self-criticism for their misguided dismissal of the scandal. Instead, the big newspapers went on the attack against Gary Webb.

Their attack line involved narrowing their focus to Blandon – ignoring the reality that he was just one of many Contras involved in cocaine smuggling to the United States – and to Ross – arguing that Ross’s operation could not be blamed for the entire crack epidemic that ravaged U.S. cities in the 1980s. And the newspapers insisted that the CIA couldn’t be blamed for this cocaine smuggling because the agency had supposedly examined the issue in the 1980s and found that it had done nothing wrong.


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see link for full story


FBI agent Robert Lustyik the focus of fraud case as contractor gets plea deal

Dec. 7, 2013  

A controversial defense contractor who was the key target of a federal case that ensnared a former FBI agent from Sleepy Hollow has been released from prison after cutting a deal with prosecutors.

Michael Taylor, who faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted on two indictments in Salt Lake City, is now home and will serve no more than 10 more months after a deal to cooperate in the case against former FBI agent Robert Lustyik and childhood friend Johannes Thaler, a former Tarrytown resident and ladies shoe salesman at Macy’s.

Taylor pleaded guilty in both cases, admitting that he used insider information in 2007 to land a $54 million contract in Afghanistan for his company, American International Security Corp.

Taylor also claimed that he sought Lustyik’s help in 2011 when he learned that the government had launched a fraud investigation into the contract.

The plea agreement makes Taylor — who was held in Utah for 14 months prior to his release — the key witness in the case. Legal experts said it also signals the government’s shift in focus from Taylor to Lustyik.

“Using Taylor as a witness is going to strengthen the case enormously,” said Ben Gershman, a professor at the Pace University School of Law in White Plains.

“I think they care more about convicting an FBI agent who’s allegedly selling his trust for kickbacks,” he said. “Yeah, Taylor is the central figure in the fraud operation, but it seems to me that they want Lustyik more than they want Taylor.”

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see link for full story

Originally published December 11, 2013


Critics Say Diversity Lacking in Maryland State Police


Black residents of Maryland are about 30 percent of the population, according to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau numbers—by far the largest population of color in the state.

Yet, the ranks of Maryland State Troopers are just slightly more than 10 percent Black, a number that has been dwindling for more than a decade.

According to state statistics, only 197 of the state’s 1,453 troopers are Black compared to 312 Black troopers out of 1,612 or about 20 percent in 2000.

“There has been a decline in (Black) membership due to attrition however, the attrition has not been favorable…The members have not been retiring as much as they have been leaving for other reasons, i.e. resignations and looking for jobs in other locations,” said Rodney Morris, president of the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers.

Morris, who retired from the department after 25 years of service, has been president of the Coalition since 2011. He said many Black troopers feel alienated within their own ranks for several reasons.

“There is a non-inclusive feeling (among Blacks) within the department,” he said. “The Maryland State Police is not a Democratic-led organization. You have a lot of Western Maryland and Eastern Shore… residents generally running the operation…and their ideology is not always consistent with the Governor’s office. They have a policy of diversity, but it’s not being practiced.” 

Morris, who entered the department in 1986 says Blacks were aggressively recruited in the 1980’s, a sentiment echoed by Dr. Tyrone Powers, director of the Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Institute at Anne Arundel Community College.

Powers, a former state trooper and FBI agent, was recruited directly out of high school in the early 1980’s by two Black state troopers and after he left the department was recruited by Black FBI agents, who convinced him to join their agency. Powers and other critics said state law enforcement’s efforts towards diversity in the 21st century are woefully inadequate.

“Over the last 10 years, when the agency said they were going to increase recruitment of minorities and specifically African Americans, they’ve actually kind of gone in the other direction,” Powers said.

Powers says Maryland troopers don’t do enough recruiting on HBCU campuses. Also, he said recruiters could approach criminal justice instructors like him to identify students who could be candidates for law enforcement positions.

“So, they talk a great deal about diversity and recruitment, but if you look at the program, their approach to recruiting a diverse police community it’s not happening,” Powers added.

Elena Russo, spokeswoman for Maryland State Police, said diversity within the department is critical for effective law enforcement.

“People in the recruiting office go all over the state, all over the country to recruit,” Russo said. “In the last couple of years we’ve celebrated some significant accomplishments. For instance, we had our first African American female major appointed in 2012. A large part of our recruiting is focused on women, so we do recruit minorities. We try to recruit, retain and promote employees who reflect the state’s diversity.”

Russo also pointed to the work of the State Police Superintendent’s Council of Advisors on Diversity and Inclusion, consisting of several community, political and law enforcement leaders including Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young.

“They meet quarterly and provide diversity management initiatives, educational opportunities and are trying to come up with new diversity strategies,” Russo said.

Powers said efforts to increase diversity within all law enforcement agencies should transcend ideology, politics and prejudice.


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see link for full  story

Homeland Security department fires employee over racist website

The Homeland Security Department has fired an employee who runs a website predicting and advocating a race war, about four months after he was put on paid administrative leave.

Ayo Kimathi was an acquisitions officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement who dealt with small businesses. He also runs the website War on the Horizon, which includes descriptions of an "unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race." Kimathi is black


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Feds raid CIA-connected air charter in Fort Lauderdale
Posted on December 12, 2013 by Daniel Hopsicker   
An affidavit filed by a DEA Agent in Colorado sheds new light on the mystery surrounding two American-registered drug planes from St. Petersburg  busted with a total of ten tons of cocaine.

    The Gulfstream II jet which crashed in Mexico belonged to something called Operation Mayan Jaguar, an unexplained Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in Tampa Florida which one DEA official characterized as a "rogue operation."
    The deal was brokered by the infamous and notorious World Jet Inc, the Fort Lauderdale company invaded by a Federal multi-agency operation two weeks ago.
    The startling revelations in the DEA affidavit will be detailed in a series of stories in this space.

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see link for full story


SPECIAL REPORT: Rule 14 and Cops Who Lie, Testing The Public Trust

December 19, 2013

CHICAGO — Claims that the Chicago Police Department has a lying problem — its very own "no-snitch" code of silence — have always been easy for critics to make, but difficult to prove.

Cops who lie often get exposed in high-profile cases, but lying to cover up misdeeds within the ranks doesn't always make headlines.

A DNAinfo Chicago investigation has found that since 2008, Chicago police — from beat cops to lieutenants — made up stories, filed false reports or told lies to cover up their actions or to back up the lies of fellow cops in all kinds of situations.

Officers lied about throwing a bag of dog excrement on a neighbor's front porch, planting drugs, shooting an unarmed teenager, aggressively flirting with twin sisters at a Walgreens and repeatedly punching a man handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

Other cops were accused of lying about punching a CTA bus driver, making illegal searches, punching a news photographer during NATO and raiding the wrong house during a barbecue celebrating the birth of puppies.

Police even lied to cover up accidentally discharging pepper spray at a River North steakhouse, according to a review of records.

It’s a story that can be told by taking a closer look at a little-known provision in the Police Department's disciplinary code: "Rule 14: making a false statement, written or oral."

Currently, most Rule 14 investigation details remain hidden from the public.

The police union contract prohibits the city and Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, from naming officers accused of misconduct or disclosing details of administrative investigations, including Rule 14 violations, unless the allegations are proven true or an officer requests they be made public.

DNAinfo Chicago obtained through sources a list that named officers investigated by IPRA who were accused of breaking Rule 14.

The list was used to search public records — including thousands of pages of civil and criminal court records, police board and IPRA documents, depositions and police reports  — and to conduct dozens of interviews with victims, civil rights lawyers, accused cops and current and former police brass to take a closer look at the code of silence that a 2012 federal court ruling called a “persistent widespread custom” within the Police Department.


Rule 14: Day 1

DNAinfo Chicago found that IPRA has investigated 87 cases — involving 160 officers — that included alleged Rule 14 violations between 2008 and 2013.

And during that same time period, the Police Department's Internal Affairs Department leveled Rule 14 allegations in 140 more misconduct cases and completed investigations that determined officers violated Rule 14 in 90 more cases, according to public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Police union officials claim the number of Rule 14 allegations made each year simply aren't enough to claim that a department with 12,500 sworn officers harbors a culture of lying.

But last year, a federal jury ruled a Police Department code of silence emboldened former Police Officer Anthony Abbate, who conspired with fellow officers under cover of law to cover up the drunken, videotaped beating he gave a female bartender in 2007.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration attempted to have that part of the jury's judgment taken off the books, but U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve refused.

The judge's written ruling states the jury verdict should stand as a matter of principle that has "ramifications for society" and "social value to the judicial system and public at large."

Experts who study law enforcement statistics say the few Rule 14 cases that are publicized offer just a glimpse of the culture that St. Eve declared a matter of "public interest."

University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman, who has studied Chicago police misconduct for 15 years, said one must look beyond the numbers — particularly when it comes to Rule 14 allegations, administrative findings made against police officers by law enforcement officers — to fully understand how pervasive the code of silence is within the department.

After reviewing more than 1,000 police misconduct cases, Futterman said that neither the Police Department's Internal Affairs Department nor IPRA charged an officer with violating Rule 14 every time an officer was accused of filing a false report in cases that involved alleged dishonesty.

"A charge of making a false report could be submitted in any police misconduct investigation. It's present in every single complaint in which an officer doesn't admit, 'I did it.' Those are allegedly false reports," Futterman said. "And we're not seeing those charges added or investigated in any systematic matter by Internal Affairs or IPRA.”

IPRA’s acting director, former Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor Scott Ando, said the agency never files charges that officers lied unless they make "material false statements or reports" after they are allowed to review initial police documents and any previous statements they made to investigators.

"We don't make those allegations in a cavalier way, because we realize how significant it is and how devastating it can be to a police officer's career," Ando said. "It impacts their credibility as a witness, and in so many instances can be a career killer."


Some of the Rule 14 cases reviewed by DNAinfo Chicago either occurred or were investigated under the watch of former police Supt. Jody Weis, a retired FBI supervisor despised by many rank-and-file officers who considered him an outsider.

Weis said that during his tenure, dozens of officers explained to him why the culture of lying exists within the department.

"The culture here is if you get in trouble, if there's an administrative inquiry, you can lie and do whatever you can to get out of it because the penalty for lying will never be greater than the trouble you're in," Weis said. "The 'Thin Blue Line,' … to say it doesn't exist, is naive."

Chicago police union officials take offense to the idea of a code of silence being part of Police Department culture.

"It's a slap in the face to the dedicated police officers that work the streets in the city of Chicago on a daily basis,” Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said.

"They're out there putting their lives on the line, and you've got people thinking, 'Well, they're all out there lying.' It's really disheartening."

But Chicago's most prolific civil rights attorneys say it's not fair to argue the Police Department's trouble with the truth is the work of just a few bad apples.

Attorney Jared Kosoglad, who represents several people suing police officers accused of covering up misconduct, said it's obvious to him that police stay silent to protect other officers.

"They'll watch misconduct. They'll watch officers beat people up. They'll watch false reports being made and lies being told under oath, and nobody will stand up and say, 'Hey you know this is fraud and it's wrong,' " Kosoglad said. "That police officers routinely lie is obvious. The best part is, they lie even when [my] client is guilty."

A Chicago beat cop with more than 10 years on the job offered his perspective on the issue, answering questions from DNAinfo Chicago on the condition of anonymity, because he said he fears retribution from fellow officers.

Personally, he said he knows and tries to avoid "certain people on every watch, in every unit" who go "above and beyond in a bad way.

"Sometimes you see these people at a job and just keep driving," the officer said. "You don't do this because you don't want to back them up. You do it because you don't want to get sucked into their bulls---."

And he said that presents the kind of quandary regular folks face when they witness violence but don't cooperate with police because they fear retribution for violating the "no-snitch code of silence" on the street that the Police Department says is the top reason more shootings and murders don't get solved.

"On some levels, police officers are no different than a street gang when it comes to the culture of silence. We are not supposed to snitch, just like they say on the street. Yet we implore those that live in high-crime areas to put their lives at risk and [be a] witness against gang members," the officer said.

"Most officers play by the rules. … The department does not endorse silence, lying, etc. It's the culture within the department that makes it possible," he said.

The officer said he's never been openly asked to lie, but that's not how the Police Department code of silence works, anyway.

"The key phrase used is, 'Get your story straight.' There is an expectation to fall in line with the narrative of an event, even if it differs from what you actually saw," he said. "I haven't had this happen often, maybe a handful [of times] at best. But it does happen."

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said there's no doubt that Chicago cops who lie tear at the entire department's credibility with Chicagoans, especially with folks who already don't trust the police.

"The third rail in departments across the country is Rule 14s, lying. 'You lie, you die,' that's what they call it in Boston. You get terminated if you lie during an official investigation. And I support that," McCarthy said.

"If you boldface lie ... my policy is termination. It has to do with our credibility."

But even when officers get caught violating Rule 14, some of them serve out suspensions and wind up back on the job doing police work, according to IPRA findings and Chicago Police Board decisions.

When that happens, McCarthy says his hands are tied.

"That's why we need to terminate people who get convicted of a Rule 14," he said.

McCarthy blames the department's "convoluted" disciplinary process — IPRA recommends punishments, and then the police superintendent files charges with the police board, which makes the final decisions — for not doling out consistent punishment that sends a message to the rank-and-file that lying won't be tolerated.


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see link for full story






By Former City Councilor Bob Anderson
December 21, 2013

Grants Pass Oregon, Where The City Government Fears The Truth.
Tell It, And They Send The FBI To Shut You Up.

Grants Pass, Oregon: - I've lived in Grants Pass Oregon for 30 years. It's where I raised my family on blue-collar wages. I own a house and property and pay my taxes. I'm a good citizen. Why then, did FBI Special Agents visit my private shop today?


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Reply with quote  #32 

see link for full story

Former cop wants 'Austin 7' case investigated by U.S. attorney general

Monday, December 23rd, 2013


A retired Chicago police officer wants justice for seven fellow officers who he contends were wrongfully convicted in a 1996 police corruption investigation.

At a Friday, Dec 20, press conference at New Tabernacle of Faith Church, 531 N. Kedzie, Otha "T.C." McCoy alleged that the investigation of seven Austin police officers was a "shame" perpetuated by the F.B.I. and the Chicago Police Department's Internal Affairs Division.

McCoy is calling for a special federal prosecutor to investigate the incidents that led to the arrest and the eventual prosecution of seven 15th District tactical officers, since known as the "Austin Seven."

McCoy wants the special prosecutor to look at all aspects of the investigation, including the prosecutingU.S.attorney at the time, Jim Burns. McCoy alleges that prosecutors were aware that the corruption investigation was a fraud.


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see link for full story
see link because website is run by current and former FBI  agents

a smart criminal justice consumer will notice the spin .....


Feds Misbehavin’ in 2013

FBI agent Adrian Johnson got 18 months in prison this year after he was convicted of multiple charges including vehicular manslaughter after he drove drunk and crashed into a car in suburban D.C., in Prince George’s County. He killed an 18-year old and man and seriously injured the man’s friend in 2011.

Oklahoma FBI agent Timothy A. Klotz confessed to dipping into the FBI cookie jar. Authorities allege that he embezzled $43,190 that was earmarked for confidential informants for tips on criminal activities from 2008-2011.  He acknowledged in a signed statement that he falsified 66 receipts during a scheme that went undiscovered for more than four years. He was sentenced earlier this month to six months in prison and three years of supervised released. He was also ordered to pay a restitution of $43,190.
FBI agent Travis Raymond Wilson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., apparently had a little gambling jones and didn’t want the big guys at the FBI to know. Unfortunately for him, he got busted. Wilson pleaded guilty to structuring financial transactions in violation of the federal Bank Secrecy Act. The feds say between January 2008 and February 2013, Wilson regularly gambled at casinos in California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia, authorities said. In total, Wilson structured more than $488,000 in cash.  Sentencing is set for March 3.
Kenneth Kaiser, former head of the FBI’s Boston office, found that ethics still apply when you leave the bureau.  The choked up ex-agent appeared in court where he was fined $10,000 for violating an ethics charge. Kaiser was accused of meeting with former FBI colleagues about his company that was under investigation. Federal law prohibited him from having professional contact with former FBI colleagues within a year of leaving government service.

 FBI agent Arthur “Art” Gonzales of Stafford County, Va.  is charged with shooting  his estranged wife to death in April. He told dispatchers he was acting in self-defense when he shot his 42-year-old wife, Julia Sema Gonzales. He says his wife attacked him with a knife.

Gonzales was a supervisory special agent-instructor at the FBI’s National Academy at Quantico.  Court records show bond was granted. Trial has been set for March.


FBI agent Donald Sachteren who leaked information to the Associated Press was recently sentenced to more than three years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information. Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012. What made him a far less sympathetic character in this whole mess was the fact he was also sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in an unrelated case.
- See more at: http://ticklethewire.com/#sthash.kqxzNYul.dpuf

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Texas judge claims he was saving girlfriend’s life, not choking her 

Dallas County Judge Carlos Raul Cortez faces charges of assault and strangulation, but his lawyer claims the justice's actions were heroic, not violent.

Sunday, December 29, 2013, 3:22 PM

A Texas judge claims he wasn’t choking his girlfriend — he was saving her life.

Dallas County Judge Carlos Raul Cortez was arrested Saturday morning after his 26-year-old girlfriend told police he strangled her, dragged her by the hair to his apartment balcony and choked her some more against the railing....


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see link for full story

I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on

Few of the politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue how it actually works (and doesn't)
  • Sunday 29 December 2013
Hermes 450 drone
An Elbit Systems Hermes 450 drone. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Whenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them a few questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" And: "How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?" Or even more pointedly: "How many soldiers have you seen die on the side of a road in Afghanistan because our ever-so-accurate UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] were unable to detect an IED [improvised explosive device] that awaited their convoy?"

Few of these politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue of what actually goes on. I, on the other hand, have seen these awful sights first hand.


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Sex Offender Statistics

This is by far the most extensive article ever written about registries. Worth reading..

December 2013 National:

Contrary to popular belief, offender registries are not a recent phenomenon. Offender registries are government-controlled systems that track the movements and other activities of certain persons with criminal convictions. While today they are most commonly used for sex offenders, registries have been adopted
since the 1930s to regulate persons convicted of a wide variety of offenses including embezzlement, arson, and drug crimes.

Early registries were widely criticized as ineffective and overly punitive, and many were eliminated through litigation or legislative repeals. Others simply fell into disuse over the course of the 20th century. Now, there is a growing body of research that demonstrates that modern sex offender registries are similarly ineffective at reducing crime. Sex offender registries are costly, vastly overbroad, and error-ridden.

Even worse, the overwhelming stigma of public notification provisions may actually increase recidivism among offenders.2 Despite their repeated history of failure, enthusiasm for publicly available, internet-based registries for every offense imaginable has only grown in recent years. There have been proposals across the country to register those found guilty of animal abuse, arson, drug offenses, domestic violence, and even failure to pay child support.

Existing registries are expanding and becoming increasingly punitive. Without a concerted effort to stop the tide of offender registration, we are at risk of repeating past mistakes on a much larger and more treacherous scale.

Offender registries are backwards, punitive measures that do not make communities safer. Unfortunately, those in favor of more nuanced, data-driven methods of reducing violence and sexual abuse face substantial barriers in overcoming precedent from years when registries were far narrower in scope than they are today.

Advocates must work to distinguish current registries from their predecessors, educate legislators and the public on the ineffectiveness and perverse consequences of offender registries, and continue to conduct research to determine what actually works to prevent harm. While it is an uphill battle, we may take comfort that the facts are on our side. ..Continued.. by Elizabeth Reiner Platt
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FBI Denies Requests For '60 Minutes' Benghazi Source's Interview Records



NEW YORK -- The FBI has denied Freedom of Information Act requests for records related to federal officials' interviews with Dylan Davies, a security officer who claimed to have witnessed the Benghazi, Libya, attack in a now-discredited “60 Minutes” report.


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January 7 2014


Scores of retired New York City police, fire and corrections officers were arrested today in a crackdown on disability fraud stemming from the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The fraud cost taxpayers millions of dollars, prosecutors claim.

The Manhattan district attorney's office accuses the retired workers, along with their lawyers and doctors, of faking work-related stress, including feigned psychiatric disorders related to 9/11.

Among those busted today was John Minerva, the disability consultant for the Detectives Endowment Association, officials said.

Today's arrests cap a two year investigation, aided by federal investigators, the city's Department of Investigation and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau.

The alleged fraud cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in improper Social Security benefits.

None of the accused actually suffered from debilitating stress, officials claim. Many were caught working after retirement, a violation of disability benefits.

And some of the retired officers retained their gun permits. Retired officers cannot possess guns if they are being treated for stress.


Most of the arrests in the fraud sweep took place in the city, with others being busted in Florida and elsewhere in New York State.

It was the second 9/11 scam to be revealed this week. On Monday, two New Jersey men pleaded guilty to raising and keeping $50,000 for a Sept. 11 charity that was supposed to help families who lost loved one in the catastrophe.

Thomas Scalgione and Mark Niemczyk never gave any of the more than $50,000 in proceeds to the victims' families or to charities as promised, they told the court.


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8 local men named in massive 9/11 disability benefits fraud case

DA: Brazenness of fake claims is 'shocking'

Four ringleaders coached the former workers on how to feign depression and other mental health problems that allowed them to get payouts as high as $500,000 over decades, Vance said. The ringleaders made tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks, he said.

The four — retired officer Joseph Esposito, 64; detectives' union disability consultant John Minerva, 61; lawyer and former FBI agent and suburban prosecutor Raymond Lavallee, 83; and benefits consultant

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DC Madam left instructions "in case found dead of suici

see link for full story

Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:15 pm


Attorney: 'DC Madam' left instructions if 'ever found dead of apparent suicide' By Lori Price

Attorney: "Jeane was very clear with me that if she was ever found dead of an apparent suicide, I was to make sure that all the evidence was publicly disseminated so that it could be independently evaluated."

Exclusive: Citizens For Legitimate Government has learned that Deborah Jeane Palfrey's lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, has intervened to stop a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Tarpon Springs, Florida, Police Department from releasing information requested by Sibley pertaining to the investigation of Jeane's death.

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It is not the mercenary Ryan Lathrop"s fault.
He was being all he can be, Semper Fi..ing
this Sand Camel just like he did for Exxon Mobil in Iraq
and Afghanistan so you could fill up your SUV at $3.50 gallon.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/law ... -1.1926329

see link for full story

Former top lawyer for city Public Advocate says NYPD cops roughed her up during unwarranted arrest: suit
Chaumtoli Huq, 42, says in the suit filed late Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court that she was waiting for her husband and two young children outside a Times Square eatery when cops arrested her for no reason.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/law ... -1.1926329

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 1:10 PM

A former top lawyer for Public Advocate Letitia James isn’t exactly advocating for the NYPD’s policing practices.

In a blistering lawsuit filed late Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court, Chaumtoli Huq, 42, says NYPD officers used “unreasonable and wholly unprovoked force” when they arrested her without cause while she was leaving a pro-Palestinian protest in July.

The bust was “characteristic of a pattern and practice of the NYPD in aggressive overpolicing of people of color and persons lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” the suit says.

Huq, who says in her lawsuit she’d taken a leave of absence as James’ general counsel to work on factory conditions in her native Bangladesh a day before the arrest, says she believes she was targeted because she’s a Muslim woman.

Huq was wearing a traditional South Asian tunic while waiting for her husband and their 6- and 10-year-old kids to come out from a bathroom stop at Ruby Tuesday's in Times Square when she was told to leave by an officer, the suit says.

She said she explained she was waiting for her family and then the officer “without any legal basis, grabbed Ms. Huq, turned her and pushed her against the wall and placed her under arrest.”
Huq was waiting for her husband and two young children who were going to the bathroom inside the Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square in July. Google Maps Huq was waiting for her husband and two young children who were going to the bathroom inside the Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square in July.

When she said she was in pain, one of the officers, Ryan Lathrop, allegedly told her, “Shut your mouth.” When he found out she had a different last name than her hubby, he told her “In America, wives take the names of their husbands.”

She was held for nine hours after the officers falsely claimed she had refused instructions to move and had “flailed her arms and twisted her body” to make it hard for them to handcuff her, the suit says.

She accepted an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal five days later, meaning the charges against her will be dropped if she does not got rearrested within the next few months.

Her lawyer, Rebecca Heinegg, said her client accepted the plea deal because her planned fellowship in Bangladesh made it impossible for her to fight the charges over a protracted period of time.

Huq’s suit blames the officers’ conduct on “city policies, practices and/or customs of failing to supervise, train, instruct and discipline police officers and encouraging their misconduct.” It also says the department has a “practice or custom of officers lying under oath, falsely swearing out criminal complaints, or otherwise falsifying or fabricating evidence.”
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, left, has called for NYPD cops to be equipped with cameras to record their interactions with people. Vanessa A. Alvarez/AP New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, left, has called for NYPD cops to be equipped with cameras to record their interactions with people.

While the suit describes Huq as being “on leave” from the Public Advocate’s office, a rep for James said she no longer works there, and her last day of work was July 18 — the day before the arrest.

James didn’t comment on the suit, but has been a critic of the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk in minority communities and a proponent of body cameras for NYPD officers — which could have come in handy for this case.

Huq’s suit seeks unspecified damages for her “physical, psychological and emotional injuries, mental anguish, suffering, lost wages, humiliation and embarrassment” — and also retraining for Midtown South cops.

A rep for the city Law Department said, “We will review the lawsuit.”

Huq told the Daily News via email from Bangladesh that she had gone to the rally not “as a lawyer, but as a mom.”
Huq says in her suit that an officer who arrested told her to "shut your mouth," after she complained that she was in pain. Mohammed N. Mujumder via Facebook Huq says in her suit that an officer who arrested told her to "shut your mouth," after she complained that she was in pain.

“I was hesitant to bring a case. My job is to be behind the scenes, and help all New Yorkers,” she said, but she realized “that I can use what happened to me to raise awareness about overpolicing in communities of color. I want there to be a dialogue on policing and community relations,” she said.

DNAinfo, which first reported on Huq’s arrest, said she filed a complaint about the officers’ conduct with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

NY1 reported last month that Lathrop is also under investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which is investigating an incident in which the cop allegedly confiscated the phone of someone who was taping him and then roughed him up.

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Is the organization that assassinated President Kennedy,
Martin Luther King and created the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, 911, Mumbai attack in India
and Omargh bombing in Ireland to busy to create accurate
murder records?

A concerned criminal justice consumer wants to know.

see link for full story


In FBI murder data, mass killings often go missing

September 11. 2014

This undated identification file photo provided by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza.

When 26 teachers, students and administrators were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it made national news for weeks. But there was one place 2012's largest mass killing was never mentioned: the FBI database that tracks all U.S. homicides.

And that isn't the only major case missing. The 12 people who were killed in an Aurora, Colo., movie watching the premier of a Batman movie aren't listed either, raising questions about the accuracy and usefulness of the federal data.

Information on more than 13,000 murders from 2012 is in the FBI's supplemental homicide data, which was released earlier this year. The data provides researchers and policymakers the age, race and sex of victims and offenders, the types of weapons used, the circumstances behind a killing and the relationship between killer and victim – information used to craft weapons laws, define the severity of gang killings and research issues such as domestic violence.

A USA TODAY investigation into mass killings has found that the FBI's homicide data over the past decade has only a 57% accuracy rate when it comes to recording the killings of more than four people in a single event. That takes into account cases that aren't there, such as Sandy Hook, and cases that are recorded as mass killings but shouldn't be, such as the July 2012 fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Cleveland girl at a birthday party, erroneously entered as a slaying with four teen-age victims.

The records are voluntarily submitted by police agencies, and FBI officials say the Connecticut State Police and Aurora police departments initially provided the information on the year's two largest killing incidents – only to request that it be deleted.

In Aurora, Sgt. Chris Amsler says his department provides data to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations monthly. The FBI database contains information on 18 other homicides in Aurora in 2012.

"We checked our records and found that all data related to the theater shooting was submitted," he said, adding that investigators were still trying to figure out why the incident was later deleted from FBI records.

Connecticut's homicide count is correct, but the FBI's detailed supplementary material includes only the shooting of Adam Lanza's mother at her home in December 2012, just before Lanza went to the elementary school. Lt. Paul Vance says his department submitted a six-page report on the Newtown school victims to the FBI but later identified a mistake. Updated data was provided too late to be reflected in the database, Vance says, but the information should be added soon.

Missing information in the homicide data isn't unusual. The entire state of Florida, for instance, does not submit data to the FBI. And for many years, Nebraska and Washington, D.C., didn't either. But the 57% accuracy rate is based on dozens of cases between 2006 and 2012 that were not reported to the FBI, which USA TODAY found through other records. It also includes erroneous FBI data based on coding errors. Nationally, there are about two dozen mass killings every year.

Criminologist James Alan Fox said his research has found that roughly 90% of homicides are captured through the data, although many more cases are missing pieces of information, such as suspect and relationship details. He has devised a statistical method that accounts for both missing cases and missing information, to give researchers the ability to look at the full scope of the problem. Mass killings are rare among homicides, and missing such data is especially troublesome in such a small subset.

"We can still look at trends and recognize that they are not infallible but they are pretty good," says Fox, a Northeastern University professor and a member of the USA TODAY board of contributors.

Still, Fox says, the loss of major cases was a concern. "I'd certainly hope somebody would ask why" the mass killings weren't included, he says.

The FBI's data system is notoriously old and can keep data only on up to 11 victims per incident – meaning other large-scale mass killings, such as the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, had to be broken up over several records. The agency hopes to have a new computer system running by the end of the year, FBI spokesman Stephen G. Fischer Jr. said. That system will keep detailed homicide data in nearly real time, eliminating the current 15-month lag in releasing details of crimes to researchers and policy makers.


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Justice Department Proposal Would Massively Expand FBI Extraterritorial Surveillance
By Ahmed Ghappour
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Department of Justice proposal to amend Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure would make it easier for domestic law enforcement to hack into computers of people attempting to protect their anonymity on the Internet. The DOJ has explicitly stated that the amendment is not meant to give courts the power to issue warrants that authorize searches in foreign countries—but the practical reality of the underlying technology means doing so is almost unavoidable.

The result? Possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception.

This post highlights key issues raised by the international aspect of the DOJ proposal, in the attempt to encourage wider public debate before the FBI is granted such expansive powers.

The FBI brand of hacking: Network Investigative Techniques.

Broadly, the term “Network Investigative Techniques,” (NIT) describes a method of surveillance that entails “hacking,” or the remote access of a computer to install malicious software without the knowledge or permission of the owner/operator. Once installed, malware controls the target computer.

The right Network Investigative Technique can cause a computer to perform any task the computer is capable of—covertly upload files, photographs and stored e-mails to an FBI controlled server, use a computer’s camera or microphone to gather images and sound at any time the FBI chooses, or even take over computers which associate with the target (e.g. by accessing a website hosted on a server the FBI secretly controls and has programmed to infect any computer that accesses it).

Network Investigative Techniques are especially handy in the pursuit of targets on the anonymous Internet—defined for the purposes of this post as those using Tor, a popular and robust privacy software, in order to obscure their location (and other identifying information), and to utilize so-called “hidden” websites on servers whose physical locations are theoretically untraceable.

Since Network Investigative Techniques work by sending surveillance software over the Internet (at 9), the physical location of the target computer is not essential to the execution of the search. Indeed, the DOJ proposal is justified as the only reasonable way to confront the use of anonymizing software, “because the target of the search has deliberately disguised the location of the media or information to be searched.” (at 9).

The DOJ Proposal

The proposed amendment addresses a jurisdictional limitation in the current version of Rule 41(b)(1) that prevents a judge from issuing a warrant unless the target is known to be located within her district.

The proposed amendment addresses a jurisdictional limitation in the current version of Rule 41(b)(1) that prevents a judge from issuing a warrant unless the target is known to be located within her district.

(6) a magistrate judge with authority in any district where activities related to crime may have occurred has authority to issue a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information located within or outside of that district if (A) the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means F.R.Cr.P. Rule 41(b)(6)(A) (proposed) (emphasis added).

The amendment mirrors language setting out the jurisdictional scope of terrorism investigations under Rule 41(b)(3) (emphasized above), but applies to investigations for general crimes:

“The Department’s proposal is intended to clarify that the issuance of such a warrant is proper in other criminal investigations as well” Jonathan J. Wroblewski, director of the Department Justice’s Office of Policy and Legislation, in a memo to the chair of the subcommittee considering the rule change. (at 179).

As for extraterritorial hacking, the DOJ commentary explicitly states that the proposal does not seek power to extend search authority beyond the United States:

In light of the presumption against international extraterritorial application, and consistent with the existing language of Rule 41(b)(3), this amendment does not purport to authorize courts to issue warrants that authorize the search of electronic storage media located in a foreign country or countries. AUSA Mythili Raman, Letter to Committee.

Yet the commentary also articulates a standard of searches that “are within the United States or where the location of the electronic media is unknown.”

Under this proposed amendment, law enforcement could seek a warrant either where the electronic media to be searched are within the United States or where the location of the electronic media is unknown. In the latter case, should the media searched prove to be outside the United States, the warrant would have no extraterritorial effect, but the existence of the warrant would support the reasonableness of the search. AUSA Mythili Raman, Letter to Committee (emphasis added).

The latter standard seems to be a significant loophole in the DOJ’s own formulation of the approach, particularly given the global nature of the Internet. For instance, over 85% of computers directly connecting to the Tor network are located outside the United States. And since (according to the DOJ) each computer’s “unknown location” is virtually indistinguishable from the next, any law enforcement target pursued under this provision of the amendment may be located overseas.

When the FBI finds itself abroad.

The FBI’s extraterritorial authority is nothing new. Indeed, the agency’s extraterritorial responsibilities date back to the mid-1980′s when Congress first passed laws authorizing the FBI to exercise federal jurisdiction overseas when a U.S. national is murdered, assaulted, or taken hostage by terrorists.

The FBI’s extraterritorial activities have generally fallen in line with customary international law, where it is considered an invasion of sovereignty for one country to carry out law enforcement activities within another country without that country’s consent. To that end, the FBI avoids acting unilaterally—relying instead on the United States’ diplomatic relations with other countries and the applicability of any treaties, seeking permission from the host country before deploying personnel, and requesting assistance from local authorities when possible.

Radical departures from current policy.

The DOJ proposal will result in significant departures from the FBI’s customary practice abroad: overseas cyber operations will be unilateral and invasive; they will not be limited to matters of national security; nor will they be executed with the consent of the host country, or any meaningful coordination with the Department of State or other relevant agency.

Under the DOJ’s proposal, unilateral state action will be the rule, not the exception, in the event an anonymous target “prove[s] to be outside the United States.” The reason is simple: without knowing the target location before the fact, there is no way to provide notice (or obtain consent from) a host country until after its sovereignty has been encroached.

Without advanced knowledge of the host country, law enforcement will not be able to adequately avail itself to protocols currently in place to facilitate foreign relations. For example, the FBI will not be able to coordinate with the Department of State before launching a Network Investigative Technique. This puts the U.S. in a position where a law enforcement entity encroaches on the territorial sovereignty of foreign states without coordination with the agency in charge of its foreign relations.

The encroachments that result will be public—bound to arise in the event of a criminal trial. In 2002, for example, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) filed criminal charges against an FBI agent for “illegally accessing” servers in Chelyabinsk, Russia in order to seize evidence against Russian hackers later used in their criminal trial. The FSB was tipped off to the fact when the defendants were indicted in Seattle, Washington.

Reportedly, an FBI press release stated that this was “the first FBI case to ever utilize the technique of extraterritorial seizure of digital evidence.” The FBI accessed the overseas server through the web, using login information it obtained from a suspect in custody.

The next accidental cyber war?

When a state’s sovereignty is encroached upon, its response depends on the nature and intensity of the encroachment. In the context of cyberspace, states (including the United States) have asserted sovereignty over their cyber infrastructure, despite the fact that cyberspace as a whole, much like the high seas or outer space, is considered a “global common” under international law.

To be sure, the FBI’s known arsenal of Network Investigative Techniques, if executed properly, do not rise to the level of a cyber “armed attack”—as defined in Article 51 of the UN Charter—for which a use of (cyber or kinetic) force in response would be permissible. Doing so would require the attack be reasonably expected to cause injury or death to persons or damage or destruction to objects of a significant scale. Forceful responses to cyber attacks below that threshold are only permissible with UN Security Council authorization.

As a general matter, there are no prohibitions on cyber espionage (clandestine information gathering by one state from the territory of another) in international law. Perhaps, then, law enforcement hacking (as with other forms of espionage by organs of the State) will be regulated by the violated state’s domestic criminal law, counterespionage, or other countermeasures. Given the public nature of the U.S. criminal justice system, it is hard to see how the FBI will avoid risk of prosecution (similar to that in the Chelyabinsk incident) if the DOJ proposal is approved.

Too fast too soon.

In light of the above, I would be hesitant to amend Rule 41 at this time without first having a thorough discussion of the potentially far-reaching consequences of the change. The technologies involved are rapidly developing and poorly understood, as are the existing international legal norms that apply to them. It is critical that these issues be approached with comprehensive deliberation (between technologists, policy makers and lawyers) that looks beyond the operational frame.

Nonetheless, if we do amend the Rule, we should certainly take steps to minimize the encroachment on other states’ sovereignty, leaving open the possibility for diplomatic overtures. To that end, the Rule should require Network Investigative Techniques to return only country information at first, prompting the executing FBI agent to utilize the appropriate protocols and institutional devices.

The Rule should also insure that Network Investigative Techniques are used sparingly and only when necessary by requiring a showing similar to that required by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, namely, that less intrusive investigative methods have failed or are reasonably unlikely to succeed. See 18 U.S.C. § 2518(1)(c)). Another way to do this might be to narrow the class of potential targets, from targets whose location is “concealed through technological means” to those whose location is not “reasonably ascertainable” by less invasive means.

The Rule should also limit the range of hacking capabilities it authorizes. “Remote access” should be limited to the use of constitutionally permissible methods of law enforcement trickery and deception that result in target-initiated access (e.g., requiring the target to click a link contained within a deceptive email in order to initiate delivery and installation of malware). “Search” capabilities should be limited to monitoring and duplication of data on the target (e.g., copying a hard drive or monitoring keystrokes).

The Rule should not authorize drive-by-downloads that infect every computer that associates with a particular webpage, the use of weaponized software exploits in order to establish “remote access” of a target computer, or deployment methods that risk indiscriminately infecting computer systems along the way to the target. Nor should the Rule authorize a “search” method that requires taking control of peripheral devices (such as a camera or microphone).

There are other suggestions, of course. As it stands, the proposed amendment allows the FBI to use a wide array of invasive (and potentially destructive) hacking techniques where it may not be necessary to do so, against a broad pool of potential targets that could be located virtually anywhere.

The public has until Feb. 17, 2015, to comment on the preliminary draft.

Filed Under: Executive & Military, Surveillance
About the Author

Ahmed Ghappour is a Visiting Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law and Director of the Liberty, Security and Technology Clinic where he litigates constitutional issues that arise in espionage, cybersecurity and counterterrorism prosecutions. Follow him on Twitter (@ghappour).

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Court upholds civil verdict against LAPD for withholding evidence
Michael Walker
Panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Los Angeles' appeal of a $106,000 jury award to Michael Walker, pictured. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Departrment)
By Maura Dolan contact the reporter
Trials and ArbitrationCrimeLaw EnforcementCourts and the JudiciaryBusinessLos Angeles Police Department
Verdict upheld against two former LAPD officers for letting innocent man sit in jail for 27 months
9th Circuit upholds jury award against two former LAPD for withholding exonerating evidence in robbery case
Federal appeals court agrees two ex-LAPD officers violated rights of innocent man jailed for 27 months

A federal appeals court upheld a civil jury award against two former Los Angeles police detectives Wednesday for concealing evidence that they had arrested and jailed -- for 27 months -- an innocent man.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Los Angeles' appeal of a $106,000 jury award to Michael Walker and a nearly $400,000 award for attorney fees and court costs.


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Controversial FBI agent in Jefferson case generates controversy in Arizona

Former FBI agent John Guandolo is back in the news. Guandolo was an FBI agent assigned to the corruption investigation of then-Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, who resigned from the agency after disclosure he had sex with the key government informant in the case.
william jefferson.jpgWith his wife Andrea by hisA side, former U.S. Representative William Jefferson listens to his attorney Robert Trout address the media outside the United States District Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia after Jefferson was convicted on 11 of 16 counts in his corruption and bribery trial on Wednesday, August 5, 2009. Jefferson is serving his sentence at Oakdale federal prison. Manuel Torres, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

The latest news reports come out of Arizona where his training session for law enforcement on Islamic terrorism drew complaints. The ACLU of Arizona, along with local Muslim leaders, complained that Guandolo is guilty of anti-Muslim bias, which "is highly offensive, disparages the faith of millions of Americans, and inevitably leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion and ethnicity, and not on criminal acts or evidence of wrongdoing."

On his website, Guandolo says the Muslim Brotherhood has "achieved information superiority in their effort to overthrow the United States of America and reduce the American people under the tyranny of Islamic Law (a.k.a. 'The Sharia')."

After word of his affair with the FBI informant in the Jefferson was revealed, Guandolo apologized and left the agency. But the disclosure forced prosecutors to opt against calling the informant, Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody, as a witness. Instead, the lead FBI agent in the case testified about the video and audio tapes that captured some of the meetings between Jefferson and Mody.

The jury, which convicted Jefferson of 11 of the 16 corruption counts against him, didn't learn about the affair until after the trial. Jefferson, 67, is serving the remainder of his 13-year sentence at the Oakdale Federal Detention Center, slated for release on Aug. 30, 2023.

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see link for part 2


Despite disappointment, backers of civil rights 'cold case' law want it expanded

September 21, 2014 - 10:35

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — There has only been one prosecution under the Emmett Till Act, even though the law was passed with the promise of $135 million for police work and an army of federal agents to investigate unsolved killings from the civil rights era. Some deaths aren't even under review because of a quirk in the law.

Still, proponents are laying the groundwork to extend and expand the act in hopes it's not too late for some families to get justice.

In nearly six years since the signing of the law, named for a black Chicago teenager killed after flirting with a white woman in Mississippi in 1955, only one person has been prosecuted: A former Alabama trooper who pleaded guilty in 2010 to killing a black protester in 1965.

The government has closed the books on all but 20 of the 126 deaths it investigated under the law, finding many were too old to prosecute because suspects and witnesses had died and memories had faded. And Congress hasn't appropriated millions of dollars in grant money that was meant to help states fund their own investigations.

Perhaps most frustrating, an unknown number of slayings haven't even gotten a look because the law doesn't cover any killings after 1969. That saddens people like Gloria Green-McCray, whose brother James Earl Green was shot to death on May 14, 1970 by police during a student demonstration at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

The family never learned the name of the shooter, and no one was ever prosecuted.

"We've never really got any closure because of the investigation not being thorough and everything just being kicked out," said Green-McCray. "It was like, 'Just another black person dead. I mean, so what?'"

In a January report to Congress, the Justice Department said prosecutors are still continuing their work.

Hoping to spur more action, the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference have passed resolutions asking the federal government for more thorough reviews and to spend the money that was authorized in 2007.

SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. called the Till Act a major disappointment and said it may be time for marches.

"We can never let people think they can get away with these types of horrific crimes," he said.

The law expires in 2017 unless Congress extends it. The NAACP's vice president for advocacy, Hilary Shelton, said supporters have had "informal discussions" about expanding the law, partly to allow for the review of deaths that happened after 1969.

Passed with bipartisan support and signed by then-President George W. Bush in October 2008, the Till Act gave new hope to families that lost loved ones during the civil rights era, when Southern authorities and juries often looked the other way when a black person was killed.

Law professor Janis McDonald, who helps lead a program at Syracuse University to identify and investigate suspicious deaths from that era, said the Justice Department never formed regional task forces to probe killings, and it didn't do much more than review documents in many cases. While some hoped the program would get a jumpstart when Barack Obama became the nation's first black president, little progress has been made, McDonald said.

"For whatever reason the leadership does not seem to have made it a priority," said McDonald, co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse.

The Till Act did land one courtroom victory.

Former Alabama trooper James Bonard Fowler pleaded guilty four years ago to shooting Jimmie Lee Jackson during protests in Marion in 1965. The local prosecutor, District Attorney Michael Jackson, said the FBI assisted with the case by letting him search for photographs in Washington.

The lingering cases include the shooting deaths of three civil rights workers killed 50 years ago in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in what is known as the "Mississippi Burning" case after the movie by the same name. While seven people were convicted on federal civil rights charges in the deaths in 1967 and one person was convicted on a state manslaughter charge, the case remains open.

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Reply with quote  #47 

FBI agents brought a total of 487 charges against criminals in 2007.
We don't know if they won 487 convictions.It cost the American taxpayer
$7 Billion dollars for the FBI to bring 487. charges.


Budget, mission and priorities

In the fiscal year 2012, the bureau's total budget was approximately $8.12 billion.[5]

The FBI's main goal is to protect and defend the United States, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.[4]

In August 2007, the top categories of lead criminal charges resulting from FBI investigations were:[7]

Bank robbery and incidental crimes (107 charges)
Drugs (104 charges)
Attempt and conspiracy (81 charges)
Material involving sexual exploitation of minors (53 charges)
Mail fraud – frauds and swindles (51 charges)
Bank fraud (31 charges)
Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses (22 charges)
Fraud by wire, radio, or television (20 charges)
Hobbs Act (Robbery and extortion affecting interstate commerce) (17 charges)
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)–prohibited activities (17 charges)

Indian reservations


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Reply with quote  #48 


Thursday, September 25, 2014 1:46PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An unarmed man shot by a South Carolina trooper during a traffic stop repeated one question through his anguished cries as he lay wounded, waiting for an ambulance: "Why did you shoot me?"

Levar Jones' painful groans and then-Trooper Sean Groubert's reply -- "Well you dove head first back into your car" -- were captured by a dashboard camera in the trooper's car.

Groubert had stopped Jones on a seatbelt violation at a Columbia gas station and fired the shots moments after asking Jones for his license.
South Carolina State Police trooper Sean Groubert

South Carolina State Police trooper Sean Groubert poses for a booking photo. (AP / South Carolina State Police)

Later on the recording, Jones said he was just reaching into his vehicle for his identification after the trooper pulled up without his siren on. What appears to be his wallet can be seen flying through the air as Groubert fires four shots within seconds after confronting Jones.

Groubert's lawyer, Barney Giese, said the shooting was justified because the trooper feared for his life and the safety of others. But prosecutors and Groubert's boss disagreed.

The 31-year-old officer was charged with felony assault and fired less than three weeks after the Sept. 4 traffic stop.

The dashboard camera video was released by prosecutors Wednesday night after they showed it at Groubert's bond hearing. He was released after paying 10 per cent of a $75,000 bond.

Jones is recovering after being shot in the hip. He released a statement last week saying he hopes his shooting leads to changes in how police officers treat suspects.

So far in 2014 in South Carolina, police have shot at suspects 35 times, killing 16 of them, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. The number of officer-involved shootings has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with 42 reported in 2013.

Groubert is white and Jones is black, but neither state police nor the FBI keeps detailed statistics on the races of people in officer-involved shootings.

Much like the recent police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the racial aspect of the South Carolina shooting bothers state Rep. Joe Neal, who wants a review of training for officers across South Carolina and police agencies to follow a law requiring them to collect data about the race of people stopped by officers.

"You are doing exactly what the police officer asked you do to and you get shot for it?" said Neal. "That's insane."

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Reply with quote  #49 

see link for full story


September 29 2014

Release ordered of man convicted in NJ trooper deat

A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime more

A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday.

Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of Trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, Acoli was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday.

The panel found that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier.

One of the three people in the car when it was stopped was Joanne Chesimard, who also was convicted of Foerster’s slaying but eventually escaped to Cuba and is now known as Assata Shakur. Last year, state and federal authorities announced a $2 million reward for information leading to her capture, and the FBI made her the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists. She and Acoli were members of black militant organizations.

At the news conference last year announcing the increased reward for Shakur, Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey state police, called the case “an open wound.”

“I am both disheartened and disappointed by the appellate decision in this matter,” Fuentes said Monday through a spokesman. “The mere passage of time should not excuse someone from the commission of such a horrendous act.”

According to court documents, Acoli’s gun went off during a struggle with Foerster, who had responded as backup after another officer pulled over the car for a broken tail light. The state contended Chesimard shot Trooper James Harper, wounding him, then took Foerster’s gun and shot him twice in the head as he lay on the ground. A third man in the car, James Costen, died from his injuries at the scene.

Acoli has claimed he was grazed by a bullet and blacked out, and couldn’t remember the exact sequence of events. He was sentenced in 1974 to life plus 24 to 30 years. He currently is in prison in Otisville, New York, about 75 miles northwest of New York City.

The appellate judges wrote Monday that the parole board ignored a prison psychologist’s favorable report on Acoli and the fact that he had expressed remorse for the trooper’s death and had had no disciplinary incidents in prison since 1996. They also faulted the board for giving too much weight to Acoli’s previous criminal record and an unspecified probation violation, which occurred several decades before the board’s decision.

“Make no mistake, we are completely appalled by Acoli’s senseless crimes, which left a member of the State Police dead and another injured, as well as one of Acoli’s associates dead and the other injured,” the judges wrote. “But Acoli has paid the penalty under the laws of this State for his crimes.”

Bruce Afran, an attorney who argued on behalf of Acoli, said his client was looking forward to living with his daughter and has been offered a job as a paralegal.

“He’s paid his penalty,” Afran said. “Keeping him longer in prison would not bring back Trooper Foerster, it would simply cause more cruelty.”

Christopher Burgos, president of the state troopers’ fraternal association, called the court’s decision “unbelievably insane.”

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Reply with quote  #50 
n State Investigator Louis Freeh Accused Of Heading A Massive Cover-Up As Director Of FBI

Michael B Kelley
Jul. 16, 2012, 2:13 PM


The Department of Justice and FBI recently began reviewing 10,000 cases to look for flawed forensic evidence that might have convicted innocent people.

The FBI and DOJ had previously formed another task force in the '90s to investigate flawed evidence, the Washington Post reported in April.

The FBI director from 1993 to 2001, Louis Freeh, launched that task force with then-Attorney General Janet Reno.

After nine years of working in secret, the unit neither published its reviews of specific cases nor informed potentially innocent defendants or their attorneys, according to the Post.

Freeh has been praised lately for his independent investigation of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal and the alleged cover-up by top officials.

But ex-FBI agent and whistleblower C. Fred Whitehurst told William Fisher of Prism magazine that Freeh's action were similar to those of PSU officials because Freeh "did everything in his power" to cover up mistakes made by FBI forensic analysts:

“While I was reporting issues at the FBI crime lab, FBI Director Louis Freeh was doing every thing he could to shut me down including coming at me with proposed criminal charges, referrals for fitness for duty (psych evals), destroying my career, moving me around the lab like a rag doll, ruining my wife’s career. This man has no conscience and he is accusing Penn State managers of not taking any steps. He ought to be ashamed. Before the lab scandal is over you will find that Freeh was right in the middle of it. He did EXACTLY what the Penn State folks did.”

We reached out to Freeh's law firm – Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP – but Freeh was unavailable for comment.

Last week Whitehurst told Prism that the number of cases based on falsified or scientifically unfounded forensic evidence actually number in the hundreds of thousands because the FBI taught its forensic techniques to local, state, and federal crime lab personnel for decades.
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