The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has continued to stonewall requests by the Department of Justice’s inspector general for records pertaining to multiple investigations by the internal watchdog.
The FBI has contended since 2010 that the IG’s office lacks the legal authority to see documents related to certain matters, including grand juries, Title III electronic surveillances and Fair Credit Reporting Act information.
FBI officials also claim they don’t have to share documents related to two investigations of alleged whistleblower retaliation, or those pertaining to an IG review of the FBI’s use of telephonic metadata collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, according to the Project on Government Oversight.
The IG said in a report “delaying or denying access to agency documents imperils an IG’s independence and impedes our ability to provide the effective and independent oversight that saves taxpayers money and improves the operations of the federal government.”
“Actions that limit, condition, or delay access have profoundly negative consequences for our work: they make us less effective, encourage other agencies to take similar actions in the future, and erode the morale of the dedicated professionals that make up our staffs,” the report stated.
And it might become even more difficult for the inspector general to get information from the FBI. The 2016 Justice Department budget proposal does not include the section that now forces the Bureau to cooperate with requests from the IG.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said such a move “could lead the FBI to believe that its conduct has been sanctioned and could cause other department components to conclude that it is acceptable to ignore the Appropriations Act and clear requirements of the IG Act and raise legal objections to the OIG’s access to certain records necessary to perform our important oversight function.”
To Learn More:
Watchdog Barks for Access to FBI Records (by Michael Smallberg, Project on Government Oversight)
Justice Watchdog Continues to Clash with FBI Over Access to Documents (by Charles Clark, Government Executive )
180 Day Report to Congress on the Impact of Section 218 of the Department of Justice Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Department of Justice Inspector General) (pdf)
Justice Dept. Report Details Clashes between FBI and Organized Crime Drug Task Force (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov )
A federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit against former Justice Department and law enforcement officials for violating the rights of men perceived as Arab or Muslim who were rounded up after 9/11 and held for months, sometimes in solitary confinement.
In a 2-1 ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Bush-era heads of the Department of Justice, FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), can be sued for violating the constitutional rights of 762 men, described as “out-of-status aliens” because they either overstayed their visas or worked without permits.
The case, known as Turkmen v. Ashcroft, was filed in 2002 by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). It names as defendants the former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former FBI Director Robert Mueller and former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service James Ziglar. The CCR is also suing the officials in charge of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, and the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey, where the plaintiffs were being held for anywhere from three to eight months.
A federal court dismissed the case in 2013, after concluding there was no evidence the officials had any “intent to punish” the plaintiffs. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, ruling that the Justice Department officials were not entitled to “qualified immunity,” and that the confinement conditions of the immigrants were actually established with “punitive intent.”
“We believe, then, that the challenged conditions—keeping detainees in their cells for twenty‐three hours a day, constructively denying them recreation and exposing them to the elements, strip searching them whenever they were removed from or returned to their cells, denying them sleep by bright lights—were not reasonably related to a legitimate goal, but rather were punitive and unconstitutional,” judges Rosemary Pooler and Richard Wesley wrote in the majority opinion.
Pooler and Wesley said the government officials presumed that “all out‐of‐status Arabs or Muslims were potential terrorists until proven otherwise,” and justified the detentions on national security grounds.
The lawsuit claims the mass detentions were part of the FBI’s “hold-until-cleared policy,” holding the men described as “potential recruits” for Al-Qaeda solely because of their Middle Eastern, North African, or South Asian origin. Of the eight current plaintiffs, six are Muslim, one is Hindu, and one is Buddhist.
“It might well be that national security concerns motivated the defendants to take action, but that is of little solace to those who felt the brunt of that decision,” the two judges wrote.
“We are thrilled with the court’s ruling,” said CCR attorney Rachel Meeropol. “The court took this opportunity to remind the nation that the rule of law and the rights of human beings, whether citizens or not, must not be sacrificed in the face of national security hysteria.”
Benamar Benatta, one of the plaintiffs, said he was “delighted” by the ruling. Cleared for release on November 14, 2001, Benatta remained in solitary confinement until April 30 the following year. … Full article
Last year, it was discovered that the FBI had attempted to infiltrate the legal defense team of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. The defendant is charged, along with four others including Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), of conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the military trial was moved out for approximately one year to allow for an investigation into the FBI’s offense. Recently, Al-Jazeera reported that the trial has been moved out yet again because the Department of Justice team leading the investigation (of its own bureau) needs more time to complete its secret report. These delays highlight the absurdity of the case against these men and the contemptible abuse of justice that the military trial represents.
Apparently, it has been difficult for the Justice Department to explain why the FBI approached a member of defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s legal team to “create a relationship with him that he was forbidden from disclosing.” That explanation became more difficult when it was learned that another member of Bin al-Shibh’s defense team had been cooperating with the FBI since late 2013.
The FBI infiltration of the Bin Al-Shibh defense team is just the tip of this anti-justice iceberg, however. In February, it was revealed that a translator assigned to help defend the accused was a CIA operative. That’s one way to ensure that the official account of 9/11, created entirely through torture testimony and secret evidence provided by the CIA ad FBI, would not be contradicted by defendant testimony. More was needed, however, as previous disclosures showed that the CIA was controlling audio feeds from the courtroom, bugging the rooms where the accused met with their lawyers, and censoring the lawyers. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of confidential defense team emails were provided to the prosecutors.
The military trial of these men was never expected to bring justice. But the absurd actions taken by the CIA and FBI have made the whole thing seem ludicrous, mocking the U.S. justice system. Why would these measures be needed and tolerated if the defendants were actually involved in 9/11? The reasons include that:
- The charges against the defendants were largely established based on torture testimony, the records of which were destroyed by the CIA. That was after the agency misled the 9/11 Commission about the existence of the records.
- Bin al-Shibh and KSM were both originally identified by the first torture victim, Abu Zubaydah. However, the government now says that Zubaydah was never associated with al Qaeda at all and therefore he could not have known what the government previously said he knew. In other words, the arrest and torture of Bin al-Shibh and KSM were initiated by way of a fictional account attributed to Zubaydah.
- 9/11 Commission leader Lee Hamilton suddenly can’t recall anything about these torture victims or his use of their testimony (441 times) in the 9/11 Commission Report.
- KSM’s behavior prior to 9/11 was reported to be very different from that of a Muslim. He enjoyed go-go dancers and drinking parties and was said to be dangerous to nothing but his own bank account. The playboy lifestyle of KSM was similar to that of alleged hijacker ringleader Mohamed Atta, who seemed to be protected by U.S. authorities and might have been an intelligence asset.
- One of the defense team lawyers resigned from the Army in protest of what was happening. He accused the U.S. government of “stacking the deck against the defense” and conducting a “show trial.”
One reasonable explanation for why the CIA and FBI have gone to such great lengths to control this trial is that the agencies are trying to cover-up their own role in 9/11. Much has been learned that suggests the CIA and FBI were involved. For example:
- There are many examples of (admitted) government-sponsored terrorism.
- It is known that the FBI manufactures terrorism.
- FBI director Louis Freeh is a 9/11 suspect.
- CIA director George Tenet facilitated the 9/11 crimes.
- U.S. intelligence agencies continue to lie about their “response” to 9/11.
Whatever the reason for the antics, the military trial of these men has become an absolute farce leading American society farther down a path of tyranny. It sets a precedent in which the CIA and FBI can be suspected of crimes against the nation and then charge others with those crimes using secret evidence. The accused can be held in seclusion for thirteen years until agents of the CIA and FBI insert themselves as defense team members, ensuring total control from start to end.
At the same time, the press never notices that such an obviously fake trial would not be needed if there were actually any legitimate evidence against the accused. All things considered, this trial is not only a travesty of justice, it makes a mockery of 9/11 and brings shame upon the American people.
Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s “you’re no Jack Kennedy” put-down of Republican Sen. Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate springs to mind on a day on which I cannot help but compare the character of President Barack Obama to that of John Kennedy, the first President under whom I served in the Army and CIA.
On this day 52 years ago, President John Kennedy gave a landmark speech at American University, appealing for cooperation instead of confrontation with the Soviet Union. Kennedy knew all too well that he was breaking the omerta-like code that dictated demonization of the Soviet leaders. But the stakes could not have been higher – a choice of an endless arms race (with the attendant risk of nuclear conflagration) or bilateral cooperation to curb the most dangerous weapons that jeopardized the future of humankind.
Forgoing the anti-Soviet rhetoric that was de rigueur at the time, Kennedy made an urgent appeal to slow down the arms race, and then backed up the rhetoric with a surprise announcement that the U.S. was halting nuclear testing. This daring step terrified those sitting atop the military-industrial complex and, in my opinion, was among the main reasons behind Kennedy’s assassination some five months later.
At American University, John Kennedy broke new ground in telling the world in no uncertain terms that he would strive to work out a genuine, lasting peace with the Soviet Union. And to underscore his seriousness, Kennedy announced a unilateral cessation of nuclear testing, but also the beginning of high-level discussions in Moscow aimed at concluding a comprehensive test ban treaty.
In tightly held conversations with speechwriter Ted Sorensen and a handful of other clued-in advisers, Kennedy labeled his address “the peace speech.” He managed to hide it from the military advisers who just eight months before had pressed hard for an attack on the Soviet nuclear missiles sent to Cuba in 1962.
It was then that Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, his Soviet counterpart, stood on the brink of ordering the incineration of possibly hundreds of millions of people, before the two worked out a face-saving compromise and thus thwarted the generals of both sides who were pressing for Armageddon.
Kennedy’s resistance to relentless pressure – from military and civilian advisers alike – for a military strike, combined with Khrushchev’s understanding of the stakes involved, saved perhaps the very life of the planet. And here’s the kicker: What neither Kennedy nor his advisers knew at the time was that on Oct. 26, 1962, just one day before the U.S.-Soviet compromise was reached, the nuclear warheads on the missiles in Cuba had been readied for launch.
This alarming fact was learned only 30 years later, prompting Robert McNamara, Kennedy’s defense secretary to write:
“Clearly there was a high risk that, in the face of a U.S. attack – which, as I have said, many were prepared to recommend to President Kennedy – the Soviet forces in Cuba would have decided to use their nuclear weapons rather than lose them. …
“We need not speculate about what would have happened in that event. We can predict the results with certainty. … And where would it have ended? In utter disaster.”
It was that searing experience and the confidential exchange of letters between Kennedy and Khrushchev that convinced them both that they needed to commit to working out ways to lessen the chance of another such near-catastrophe in the future.
American University Speech
Kennedy’s “peace speech” was a definitive break with the past. Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins wrote simply: “At American University on June 10, 1963, President Kennedy proposed an end to the Cold War.”
Kennedy told those assembled that he had chosen…
“this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived … world peace.”
“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. … I am talking about genuine peace – the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living – the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. …
“Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles – which can only destroy and never create – is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. …
“So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable – and war need not be inevitable. … No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. … We can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements – in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.
“Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union suffered in the course of the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and farms were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory … was turned into a wasteland – a loss equivalent to the devastation of this country east of Chicago.
“Today, should total war ever break out again … all we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the Cold War … our two countries … are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons, which could be better devoted to combating ignorance, poverty, and disease.
“So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us direct attention to our common interests and to means by which those differences can be resolved. … For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal. …
“Above all, while defending our vital interest, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy – or of a collective death wish for the world. …
“Finally, let us examine our attitude toward peace and freedom here at home. … In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. … We shall do our part to build a world of peace, where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on … toward a strategy of peace.”
As mentioned above, Kennedy backed up his words by announcing the unilateral halt to nuclear testing and the start of negotiations on a comprehensive test ban treaty. In a sharp break from precedent, the Soviets published the full text of Kennedy’s speech and let it be broadcast throughout the U.S.S.R. without the usual jamming.
Khrushchev told test-ban negotiator Averell Harriman that Kennedy had given “the greatest speech by any American president since Roosevelt.” The Soviet leader responded by proposing to Kennedy that they consider a limited test ban encompassing the atmosphere, outer space and water, as a way to get around the thorny issue of inspections.
In contrast, Kennedy’s AU speech was greeted with condescension and skepticism by the New York Times, which reported: “Generally there was not much optimism in official Washington that the President’s conciliation address at American University would produce agreement on a test ban treaty or anything else.”
In giving pride of place to his rejection of “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war,” Kennedy threw down the gauntlet to the “military-industrial complex” against which President Dwight Eisenhower had pointedly warned in his Farewell Address:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, but the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Ike got that right. Then, as now, the military-industrial complex was totally dependent on a “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.” It was policed by the Pentagon and was/is a hugely profitable enterprise.
Opposition coalesced around the negotiations toward a test ban treaty, with strong opponents in Congress, the media, and (surprise, surprise!) the military-industrial complex. Kennedy courageously kept his warmongering senior military out of the loop, and rushed Harriman through the talks in Moscow.
On July 25, 1963, Harriman initialed the final text of a Limited Test Ban Treaty outlawing nuclear tests “in the atmosphere, beyond its limits, including outer space, or under water, including territorial waters or high seas.”
The next evening, Kennedy went on TV, using his bully pulpit to appeal for support for ratification of the treaty. In a swipe at the various players in the formidable anti-treaty lobby, the President stressed that the vulnerability of children was a strong impetus to his determination to fight against all odds: “This is for our children and our grandchildren, and they have no lobby here in Washington.”
But the Establishment was not moved; and seldom have its anxieties been more transparent. It is axiomatic that peace is not good for business, but seldom do you see that in a headline. But the plaintive title of a U.S. News and World Report on Aug. 12, 1963, was “If Peace Does Come – What Happens to Business?” The article asked, “Will the bottom drop out if defense spending is cut?”
Kennedy circumvented the military-industrial complex by enlisting the Citizens Committee led by Norman Cousins, the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and prominent religious leaders – among others – to appeal for ratification. In early August, Kennedy told his advisers he believed it would take a near-miracle to get the two-thirds Senate vote needed. On Sept. 24, the Senate ratified the treaty by a vote of 80 to 19.
I am indebted to James Douglass and his masterful JFK and the Unspeakable; Why He Died & Why It Matters, for much of the play-by-play in that whirlwind rush to ratification. Douglass argues persuasively, in my view, that Kennedy’s bold move toward carving out a more peaceful strategic relationship with the Soviet Union, first announced on June 10 at American University, was one of the main factors that sealed his fate.
An Obama Complex
While it’s true that comparisons can be invidious, they can also be instructive. Will President Obama ever be able to summon the courage to face down the military-industrial complex and other powerful Establishment forces? Or is it simply (and sadly) the case that he simply does not have it in him?
Referring to Obama’s anemic flip-flopping on Ukraine, journalist Robert Parry wrote that Obama’s policy on Ukraine suggests that he (1) believes his own propaganda, (2) is a conscious liar, or (3) has completely lost his bearings, and simply adopts the position of the last person he talks to.
I see as the primary factor a toxic, enervating mix of fear and cowardice. Former Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who quit his job as chief prosecutor at Guantanamo when ordered to accept testimony based on waterboarding under the Bush administration, may have come close with his unusual burst of military-style candor.
Davis told an interviewer: “There’s a pair of testicles somewhere between the Capitol Building and the White House that fell off the President after Election Day .”
Shortly before his re-election in 2012, Obama reportedly was braced at a small dinner party by wealthy donors who wanted to know whatever happened to the “progressive Obama.” The President did not take kindly to the criticism, rose from the table, and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Dr. King?”
It is, of course, a fair question as to whether Obama should have run for President if he knew such fears might impinge on his freedom of decision. But let’s ask the other question: What did happen to Martin Luther King Jr.? Would you believe that the vast majority of Americans know only that he was killed and have no idea as to who killed him and why?
In late 1999, a trial took place in Memphis not far from where King was murdered. In a wrongful death lawsuit initiated by the King family, 70 witnesses testified over a six-week period. They described a sophisticated government plot that involved the FBI, the CIA, the Memphis Police, Mafia intermediaries, and an Army Special Forces sniper team. The 12 jurors, six black and six white, returned after 2 ½ hours of deliberation with a verdict that Dr. King has been assassinated by a conspiracy that included agencies of his own government.
My hunch is that Obama walks around afraid, and that this helps explain why he feels he has to kowtow to the worst kind of thugs and liars lingering in his own administration – the torturers, the perjurers, and the legerdemain lawyers who can even make waterboarding, which Obama publicly condemned as torture, magically legal. So far at least, Obama has been no profile in courage – and he’s nearly 6 ½ years into his presidency.
I have two suggestions for him today. Let him take a few minutes to read and reflect on President Kennedy’s American University speech of 52 years ago. And let him also reflect on the words of Fannie Lou Hamer – the diminutive but gutsy civil rights organizer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and of Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964:
“Sometimes it seems like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed. But if I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom.”
Obama has a nine-inch height advantage over Fannie Lou Hamer; he needs somehow to assimilate a bit of her courage.
[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?”]
The Obama administration is trying to tack 20 years onto a Florida man’s tax fraud sentence for the supposed crime of possessing books the government doesn’t like. The Intercept reports:
Now, to demonstrate that Robertson’s tax charges merit a terrorism enhancement, the government has cited a number of books owned by Robertson that allegedly extol extremist beliefs. Robertson, who is recognized as an Islamic scholar, owned a library which included roughly 10,000 e-books, a small number of which are alleged by the government to have contained passages deemed controversial.
The government hasn’t provided any evidence to demonstrate that Robertson endorsed, let alone acted upon, any of the passages cited in these books, the defense counters. “There is nothing contained in the prosecution’s memorandum which connects Mr. Robertson to any actual conspiracy to commit terrorism,” Robertson’s attorney, Daniel Broderson, said. “He is an Islamic scholar who owned thousands of books, and they are trying to pull select passages from a handful of books he owned to try and make the case that he’s an extremist.”
Robertson, who says he’s worked for the FBI and CIA as an asset in the past, alleges that the government is retaliating against him for “refusing to conduct an overseas operation requested by the CIA.”
“The government is trying to use my case to establish a legal precedent, where even if a person is not charged with actual terrorism offenses they can still try them as a ‘terrorist’ using the sentencing adjustment,” Robertson told The Intercept. “This is not just about prosecuting my case specifically, it’s about creating a precedent whereby the government can simply go through the books you own and use them to frighten people into believing that you’re a terrorist.”
The New York Times has published a long, detailed history of the Navy’s special operators in SEAL Team 6, also known as the Special Warfare Development Group, or by its insider name, DEVGRU. This paragraph caught my attention.
The unit’s advocates express no doubts about the value of such invisible warriors. “If you want these forces to do things that occasionally bend the rules of international law,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral and former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, referring to going into undeclared war zones, “you certainly don’t want that out in public.” Team 6, he added, “should continue to operate in the shadows.”
That perfectly sums up the mentality in the US National Security State, from the most elite Navy SEALs all the way down through the FBI, and increasingly, to our local police.
Just last week, the Boston Police Department and FBI killed a man in a confrontation in Roslindale, Massachusetts. The cops have said that Usaama Rahim was plotting to kill police officers, although they never prepared an arrest warrant for him. Instead of preparing to arrest him by obtaining a warrant and sending a tactical team to do it safely, a few plainclothes JTTF officers shot him dead after approaching him to have what they describe as a 7am chat in a CVS parking lot. The Feds say the FBI and BPD were following him 24 hours a day during the week preceding his killing. But asked how Rahim initially came to the attention of investigators, Boston police commissioner William Evans said he cannot say. That information, he says, is “classified.”
When we hear claims like this, it’s crucial to recall what purpose secrecy usually serves in the security context. The truth of the matter was spelled out in unusually frank terms by the former NATO commander quoted in the NYT story about special operators cited above. “If you want these forces to do things that occassionally bend the rules of…law, you certainly don’t want that out in the public.”
That’s an unacceptable approach to foreign war fighting. It borders on the authoritarian here at home. And we cannot lose sight of the connection between the two.
Assuming general tolerance for official secrecy regarding forever wars abroad won’t trickle down to the domestic policing space is a fool’s errand. We now see clearly what that trickle down means in Boston. Police and FBI killed a man, and now they’re saying National Security prevents them from talking about why. That should send a chill down your spine.
Retaliation. It is becoming a rather consistent sub-text in growing numbers of reports coming in concerning US policies—domestic as well as international. On the domestic front, attorneys are being suspended from the practice of law for protesting that the courts are corrupt and an intelligence whistleblower flees the US for safety in Russia. These stories have the element of retaliation in common.
And now, we have reports of the FBI retaliating against one of their own former agents, allegedly for criticizing a high profile and troubled investigation. Richard Lambert, former Inspector in Charge of the 2001 anthrax investigation (AMERITHRAX) has filed a lawsuit against former Attorney General Eric Holder, former FBI Chief Robert Mueller and others in the Justice Department, alleging retaliation.
Richard Lambert, whose criticism of the FBI’s investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks became public fare on 60 minutes, has filed a tort claim in US District Court, alleging that an erroneous legal opinion, written by FBI attorney Patrick Kelly and circulated both within and outside of the FBI, resulted in Lambert’s being fired in June of 2013 from the position of Senior Counterintelligence Officer with Oak Ridge National Laboratories, a position Lambert took in 2012 after retiring from the FBI following 24 years of service.
Lambert alleges that Kelly’s legal opinion branded him as a criminal for taking a job wherein he had contact with the FBI, without allowing the one year “cooling off” period mandated by law for former FBI employees. Lambert points out in his lawsuit that Kelly misreported the law, which allows former FBI employees to maintain exactly such contact if they are in a position wherein they are “representing the US government.” Lambert’s position at ORNL– a Department of Energy facility– fulfills this stipulation, he maintains.
Lambert states he reported Kelly’s conclusions to the US Attorney’s office and to the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, both of which found Kelly’s findings to be “meritless.”
In his lawsuit, Lambert maintains that he was singled out for retaliation due to the animus created by his criticisms of the AMERITHRAX investigation, an investigation with which he, as Inspector in Charge, was intimately acquainted. He states that in 2006 he provided a “whistleblower report” to the FBI’s Deputy Director, with concerns that the investigation was pocked with inadequacies, including understaffing, threats of retaliation should the understaffing be reported to the FBI Headquarters, as well as an extensive cover up of what Lambert calls “daunting exculpatory evidence” concerning the chief suspect, Dr. Bruce Ivins, a Fort Detrick researcher.
Ivins reportedly committed suicide in 2008 before he could be arrested. The FBI has continued to maintain that Ivins was the “anthrax mailer.” Letters laden with weaponized anthrax spores were put into the mail in the weeks following the attacks of September 11, 2001, killing five people and sickening at least seventeen others.
Lambert’s lawsuit describes some of the actions taken by the FBI and DOJ in efforts to brand him as a criminal in allegedly violating the “cooling off” period. According to Lambert, the DOJ “launched and sensationalized massive criminal probes, which included the dispatch of teams of OIG Special Agents …who raided and searched Plaintiff’s office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, seized and analyzed Plaintiff’s personal documents and effects, and interrogated dozens of Plaintiff’s…coworkers and associates in a wild fishing expedition festooned with prurient inquisitions into the intimate and irrelevant details of Plaintiff’s private life and marital status.”
The DOJ, however, came up empty handed. No charges were ever filed against Lambert, whose lawsuit claims: “Due to the stigmatizing publicity and notoriety surrounding Defendant (Patrick) Kelly’s legal opinion and Defendant’s inquisition, Plaintiff has been blackballed with the specter of illegal conduct and ethics violations, unable to gain reemployment despite his submission of more than 70 job applications to various employers.”
Lambert is seeking 2.5 million in compensatory damages.
Lambert, who holds a law degree and three Master’s degrees, is representing himself. His 24 year career with the FBI included a stint as Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the San Diego Division, Special Agent in Charge at the Knoxville Division and Inspector in Charge of the AMERITHRAX investigation, along with other positions.
Another attorney, Barry Kissin, of Frederick, Maryland, also publicly critical of the FBI AMERITHRAX investigation, was reportedly put on a terrorist watch list. Kissin is in private practice and also writes for the Frederick News Post.
The FBI is operating its own air force, sending low-flying planes across the US. The aircraft carry video and cellphone surveillance technology, and are hidden behind bogus companies that are actually fronts for the government, AP has revealed.
According to the news agency, the surveillance tools on board are typically used without a judge’s approval. The flights are widespread, spanning across the United States.
In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew more than 100 flights above more than 30 cities in 11 states, plus the District of Columbia. Those cities included Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis. Aircraft also flew over southern California.
The FBI says the planes are used for specific, ongoing investigations.
The findings come after years of reports since 2003 that a government surveillance program might be behind suspicious-looking planes slowly circling US neighborhoods.
The news agency began analyzing flight data following a Washington Post article in early May, which revealed flights by two planes circling over Baltimore.
As part of its investigation, AP examined aircraft ownership registrations that shared similar addresses and flight patterns. Using data from FlightRadar24.com, the agency found that some FBI missions circled above at least 40,000 residents during a flight over Anaheim, California, in late May.
Most of the flight patterns occurred in counter-clockwise orbits up to several miles wide, and roughly one mile above the ground at slow speeds.
One of the planes photographed in flight last week in northern Virginia had unusual antennas under its fuselage and a camera attached to its left side.
In total, AP has tracked 50 aircraft back to the FBI.
Fears of spying
While Washington maintains that aerial surveillance is important for certain investigations, the use of such aircraft has sparked concerns over whether there should be updated regulations protecting the civil liberties of Americans, as such technology could potentially facilitate government spying.
It could also have other wide-ranging implications, according to the report. For instance, the planes could capture video of unrelated criminal activity on the ground, which could be handed over for prosecutions.
Some of the aircraft can be equipped with technology that can identify thousands of people below through the cellphones they carry – even if they’re not making a call, or they’re tucked away in their own homes.
Officials told AP that the practice – which mimics cell phone towers and gets phones to reveal subscriber information – is rare, but it does indeed exist.
However, AP found FBI flights orbiting over large, enclosed buildings in recent weeks, for extended periods of time. These flights took place in areas where aerial photography would be less effective than electronic signals collection – including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
But FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said the planes “are not equipped, designed or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance.”
An unnamed FBI spokesman also said the surveillance flights comply with agency rules. Those rules, which are heavily redacted in publicly available documents, limit the types of equipment the agency can use, as well as the justifications and duration of surveillance.
‘Not a secret’
Allen also said the FBI’s aviation program “is not secret,” but that “specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes.”
However, AP managed to trace the aircraft to at least 13 fake companies – including FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation, and PXW Services.
According to law enforcement officials, Justice Department lawyers approved the decision to create fake companies to protect the flights’ security. They added that the Federal Aviation Administration is aware of the practice.
The FBI asked AP not to disclose the names of the bogus companies, claiming it would burden taxpayers with the expense of creating new cover companies, and could endanger the planes and the integrity of the surveillance missions. The agency’s request was denied.
Meanwhile, basic aspects of the aviation program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official Justice Department reports.
The findings come just one month after a Justice Department memo barred law enforcement agencies from using unmanned drones “solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment,” saying they are to be used only in connection with authorized investigations and activities.
Honduran military police on patrol in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (Photo: Karen Spring)
The 1980s saw widespread political violence and countless forced disappearances in many countries in Latin America, and Honduras was no exception.
Hundreds of political opponents of the 1980s U.S.-backed regime were kidnapped, tortured, and assassinated by the CIA-trained secret army unit Battalion 316, while at the same time Honduras served as a military base and training ground for U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in the region, especially in neighboring El Salvador and Nicaragua.
With the Reagan Administration turning a blind eye to the brutality of Battalion 316, intentionally downplaying or denying its violence in order to continue backing Honduras financially and using the country as a key U.S. military outpost, the details of this death squad’s operations did not become clear until years later. A historic expose published in the Baltimore Sun in 1995, which included interviews with ex-Battalion 316 torturers and details from declassified U.S. government documents, revealed the full extent of the secret unit’s atrocities and its close links to Washington.
However, torture and disappearances aren’t just a tragic reality of the past in Honduras. Human rights defenders have drawn disturbing parallels between Battalion 316 and the present day situation in Honduras, saying the current level of human rights abuses and political repression is just as bad, if not worse than the era of forced disappearances in the 1980s.
In the wake of the 2009 U.S.-backed coup ousting democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, forced disappearance, torture, and targeted assassinations re-emerged as state terror tactics to intimidate and repress a broad-based resistance. Conspicuous and even conscious links to 1980s tactics since the 2009 coup, as well as ongoing U.S. complicity, show a continuity of state sponsored terror, with new elements for the post-coup context.
Cold War Anti-Communism, Battalion 316, and Spreading Terror with U.S. Support
As U.S. President Ronald Reagan took office in January 1980, the Sandinista revolutionary government was in power in Nicaragua and revolutionary forces were struggling for political control in El Salvador. Honduras was undergoing its so-called transition to democracy with a return to civilian rule. The U.S., already supporting the Guatemalan military’s bloody counterinsurgency efforts for over a decade, played a key role in backing the counter-revolutionary factions of the political struggles gripping the region in civil war, namely Salvadoran government forces and the Nicaraguan Contras.
While Honduras did not have a mass revolutionary guerrilla movement like its neighboring Central American countries, political opposition was criminalized to contain the threat of an armed, popular uprising. Much of this violent work was carried out through forced disappearances by the death squad Battalion 316, the special unit of the Honduran military responsible for political torture and assassinations, with the collaboration of other military branches, special forces, and police.
According to the Honduran human rights organization COFADEH, formed in the 1980s by family members of the disappeared, Battalion 316 was responsible over 180 forced disappearances between 1980 and 1988, and many more were kidnapped and tortured.
Forced disappearance refers to the practice of secretly abducting and murdering victims, making them disappear from society without a trace. Bodies of the disappeared are often carefully hidden, or rendered unrecognizable, to instil fear without the identity of the victim or the perpetrator becoming known..
Battalion 316’s terror was simultaneously covert and public, carried out by disguised agents at times in broad daylight, intended to instill fear and make an example of their victims. Suspected political dissidents were kidnapped, detained in secret jails, and tortured. Sometimes remains of victims were found in ditches. According to the Baltimore Sun expose, torture techniques included electric shock, suffocation, freezing temperatures, and psychological torture as part of interrogation, which sometimes involved CIA agents. Berta Oliva, director of the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), has said that at least one prisoner was skinned alive in a clandestine Battalion 316 jail.
While the numbers of people disappeared in Honduras was considerably less than in many other Latin American countries during the same period, the hundreds killed and disappeared created a broader fear and terror campaign that had the intended outcome of disempowering the Honduran left.
According to Adrienne Pine, Professor of Anthropology at American University, it’s hard to overstate Battalion 316’s impact.
“The highly publicized disappearance, torture and murder of just under 200 activists, students, journalists and professors in the early 1980s created an atmosphere of terror, effectively crushing any possibility for civic or democratic engagement in Honduras,” she told teleSUR. “As such, it laid the groundwork for the implementation of U.S.-led neoliberal economic policies, of which the Honduran military itself was a primary beneficiary.”
Battalion 316, led in its most brutal years from 1982-1984 by School of the Americas and Argentine-trained head of the Honduran armed forces General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, was a right-wing project designed to aid the Cold War fight against the alleged threat of communism in the region. Many Battalion agents were graduates of the U.S. School of the Americas (renamed in 2001 to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) military training center for U.S. allies in Latin America, specializing in Cold War counterinsurgency training. The Battalion itself was trained and financed by the CIA. Meanwhile, Honduras received tens of millions of dollars in U.S. funding throughout the decade, reaching its height of US$77.4 million in 1984.
The secret military unit also received training in Chile under dictator General Augusto Pinochet, as well as from Argentine counterinsurgency forces, at the time deep in their own dirty war against leftist dissidents that claimed some 30,000 victims in Argentina by early the 1980s.
U.S. Ambassador under the Reagan Administration, John Negroponte, is documented to have met frequently with Battalion 316 leader Alvarez Martinez. However, the violence and human rights abuses perpetrated by Alvarez Martinez’s forces are conspicuously absent from the hundreds of cables of records of their correspondence. In 1983, the U.S. awarded Alvarez Martinez the Legion of Merit for “encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras,” exposing the true face of U.S. hypocrisy.
U.S. denial of the violent situation in Honduras enabled the ongoing use of the country as a strategic U.S. military base from which to execute counterinsurgency strategy in the region, while the supposed threat of an armed insurgency in Honduras justified the existence of Battalion 316 and its terror.
State Terror Returns: Post-Coup Fear Tactics and Forced Disappearances
After the 2009 military coup against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president said in an exclusive interview with Democracy Now! that Battalion 316 was “already operating” in Honduras under a different name and using “torture to create fear.”
“There was a tremendous resurgence (after the coup) of death squad activity and assassinations of human rights defenders, trade unionists, campesinos, activists of the resistance of all sorts including journalists, lawyers,” Dana Frank, professor of History at the University of California Santa Cruz, told teleSUR. “It was very rare in the 20 years before the coup for these kinds of assassinations to happen … but it shot up dramatically after the coup.”
The post-coup links to Battalion 316 terror were palpable, both in the vast increase in human rights abuses, including torture, assassinations, and forced disappearances, as well as the direct connections of Battalion 316 personnel offering their expertise to the coup regime.
Former head of the Battalion 316, School of the Americas graduate Billy Joya, became a prominent coup regime spokesperson, advisor, and aide to de facto president Roberto Micheletti. According to COFADEH, many other retired Battalion 316 agents also became government advisors.
Pine, author of “Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras,” said that the numbers of state-sponsored disappearances, tortures, and extrajudicial killings since the coup have far exceeded those of the 1980s.
With striking similarity to the fear campaign of the 1980s, COFADEH documented in 2010, along with dozens of other death threats and assassinations, that a former Battalion 316 agent publicly threatened resistance activist Candelario Reyes with forced disappearance and death, saying that killing such a “communist dog” would make the “best example” for other resistance activists.
“You can see the continuity with some of these individuals including the references to the 80s that are conscious references,” said Frank. “It’s terror, it’s deliberately spreading terror.”
Harkening back to 1980s terror was a deliberate strategy to instil fear in perceived political threats. In 2012, COFADEH human rights defender Dina Meza received a series of threats of death and sexual violence by text message signed with the initials CAM, standing for Comando Alvarez Martinez, early 1980s head of Battalion 316 responsible for grave human rights abuses. According to Amnesty International, CAM was used as a pseudonym in numerous death threats against journalists and activists in the wake of the coup.
According to Frank, an expert on human rights and U.S. foreign policy in Honduras, the clearest and most alarming examples of post-coup strategies that follow the model of Battalion 316 are the TIGRES special units of the police force and FUSINA inter-agency task forces that bring together military, police, military police, prosecutors, and other government officials under military control.
FUSINA was initially headed by School of the Americas graduate Colonel German Alfaro, former commander of Battalion 15, the military unit in the Aguan Valley region implicated in dozens of post-coup murders of campesino activists. Trained by the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marines, FUSINA is not only troubling for its conglomeration of agency functions under a military mandate, but also for its U.S.-enhanced intelligence capacities.
COFADEH denounced TIGRES as a “crude resurrection” of Battalion 316’s political disappearances, murder, and “criminal behaviour.”
These new constellations of state and military power, designed and deployed to create fear and contain political dissent, have again had a deep social and political impact in Honduras.
“A combination of the ‘soft power’ of USAID and NED-funded (so-called pro-democracy) programs on the one hand, and death squads within the police, the military, and now the military police have succeeded in destroying the post-coup resistance movement,” explained Pine. “This is what makes possible the neoliberal plunder of the country currently underway.”
A Different Pretext for Familiar Terror Tactics
But while there are clear continuities between the 1980s and post-coup strategies, there are also important differences.
Despite the fact that the armed left was a very small faction in Honduras, particularly in comparison to the revolutionary uprising in neighboring countries, Battalion 316’s violence was committed in the name of counterinsurgency. As Frank explains, the broad based nature of the post-coup popular resistance means that the victims of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances have been from a more diverse cross-section of society than the 1980s campaign against suspected revolutionary leftists.
Now, with the pretext of an alleged communist armed struggle no longer relevant, post-coup repression, including use of these historical counterinsurgency tactics, and U.S.-backing of a violent regime is framed in different terms.
“The pretext now is drug trafficking,” said Frank. “The drug war has been the frame within which the United States government has legitimated support for repression by state security forces in Honduras and increased funding for them.”
And while the U.S. goal of maintaining a regional base of power amidst the threat of emerging or consolidating leftist alternatives remains much the same, the political context in the region has significantly changed.
“The larger context is the many democratically elected center and center-left governments all over Latin America that the United States is threatened by because they aren’t going to pay obeisance to United States power,” said Frank. “The United States wanted to lock down its power in Honduras so that it can maintain what has long been the most captive nation in Latin America.”
In the process, the U.S. also promotes the interests of transnational corporations that are making a killing from state-sponsored death squads that suppress resistance and pave the way for capitalist exploitation of land, labor, and indigenous and campesino resources.
“With the consolidation of neoliberal corporate capital, Honduran and U.S. politicians are more beholden to their sponsors than they were three decades ago,” explained Pine. “Hondurans today suffer not just from the terror of death squads but from the ravages of three decades of the implementation of neoliberal policy made possible by death squads, which makes them that much more vulnerable.”
COFADEH: Seeking Justice, Truth, and Respect for Human Rights
Bertha Oliva, director of COFADEH, lost her husband Tomas Nativi to forced disappearance by Battalion 316. Nativi was taken from their home by masked agents in 1981 and has never been seen again.
Over the year after Nativi’s disappearance, Oliva came to realize that she was not alone, and others had similar experiences of family members being disappeared. In 1982, 12 of these families came together to form COFADEH with the clear objective of bringing back alive family members who had been disappeared. In the majority of cases throughout the 1980s while Battalion 316 was operating, COFADEH did not succeed in their goal.
After the 1980s, COFADEH broadened its scope as an organization not only committed to seeking justice for the families of the disappeared and truth for Honduran society, but also representing and defending victims of human rights abuses, documenting cases, and providing training to raise awareness about human rights.
The creation of COFADEH was, in its own words, a “concrete action” in the face of the inactivity of the state to ensure “the right of victims to live and to have due process, among other rights that have been violated.”
COFADEH has continued to play a key role in documenting and denouncing human rights abuses and demanding justice, particularly once again in the years since the coup.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that USA Patriot Act dragnet spy powers must be extended or else the terrorists will get us.
Lynch said Friday the country would be “less safe” if Congress fails to renew surveillance programs included in the Patriot Act.
Lynch joined other top Obama administration officials, who are urging the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act, which would reform the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk phone records collection program while renewing other key parts of the post-Sept. 11 law.
“Our biggest fear is that we will lose important eyes on people who have made it clear that their mission is to harm American people here and abroad,” Lynch told CBS News in her first interview since becoming attorney general.
If NSA’s phone metadata program expires completely, Lynch said the U.S. government would lose “important tools” to identify terror threats.
“I think that we run the risk of essentially being less safe,” Lynch added. “I think that we lose the ability to intercept these communications, which have proven very important in cases that we have built in the past. And I am very concerned that the American people will be unprotected if this law expires.”
Lynch didn’t marshal any evidence to support her claims about the connection between dragnet spying and public safety. That’s because there isn’t one. Even the Department of Justice has acknowledged as much, writing in an Inspector General report that FBI agents interviewed couldn’t identify “any major case developments” tied to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the provision the FBI claims enables dragnet spying.
Surveillance boosters have never been able to point to a circumstance—even one example—that proves dragnet surveillance is vital in stopping terrorism. Some insiders in the security state have observed that the bigger the haystack, the more difficult it is to successfully use intelligence information to identify and track threatening people. More information is not better. Better information is better, they say.
Loretta Lynch says she fears that if the Patriot Act isn’t reauthorized, “we will lose important eyes on people who have made it clear that their mission is to harm American people here and abroad.” That’s total nonsense. Anyone who “makes it clear” that they want to kill Americans is someone a judge would authorize targeted surveillance against. The government should leave the rest of us out of it.
Just about every recent terrorist attack on US and European soil has been committed by someone known to law enforcement. That’s true for the Garland, Texas shooter and for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who blew up the Boston Marathon in April 2013. The government doesn’t need to spy on you and me in order to track people it already suspects of being up to no good.
You might be wondering: If dragnet spying doesn’t stop terrorism, and most terrorists are known to law enforcement, why do the FBI and the new Attorney General insist on renewing the Patriot Act’s worst provisions? It’s an important question, with a depressing answer.
The reason Lynch’s claims about dragnet spying don’t add up is because they are based on a perversion of the true purpose served by society wide surveillance. While the Patriot Act doesn’t stop terrorism, it’s quite good at enabling social and political control, and finding people who are vulnerable and may be easily coerced into becoming FBI informants.
If surveillance boosters were honest about why they want these powers, you might hear them talking less about terrorism and more about power. Add your voice: take action now to tell congress to reject dragnet surveillance.
Before the dust has had a chance to settle on the report detailing the American Psychologists Association’s complicity in the CIA torture program, the psychologist found to have violated the ethics code now appears to be helping the FBI do the same thing.
In late April, a 60-page report entitled ‘All the President’s Psychologists’ pointed to Susan Brandon as the White House architect behind the policies regulating the legality of an interrogator’s actions – something that goes against the APA’s own rulebook, which prohibits psychologists from making such judgments.
The document alleges the APA’s close coordination with the White House, the CIA and the Department of Defense on the formulation of a legal policy that would exempt the interrogators from prosecution, following a scandal involving allegation of torture at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison. “Susan Brandon … played a central role in the development of the 2005 [Psychological Ethics and National Security] policy,” the report alleges – the second inquiry investigating the medical role in the practice.
“What we see is associations. And the associations with the apparent supervisor of [James] Mitchell and [Bruce] Jessen at each step of the process over a period of three years,” the report said then, in reference to the two masterminds of the CIA torture program, whom Brandon was allegedly in contact with in 2003, as evident from a string of emails.
Brandon’s complete role in the program is at this point unknown, but one particular email she was included on focuses on the pair “doing special things to special people in special places.”
“The issue here is not about what she thinks about torture; the issue is about what she did in the past to knowingly or unknowingly create a legal heat shield for the president using the ethics of the APA. That’s the issue. This is not a question of torture. It’s a question of alleged corruption,” says the report’s co-author and program director at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Nathaniel Raymond, according to the Huffington Post.
Now Brandon is advising the FBI’s High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group – essentially the Obama’s administration continuation of the CIA program regarded as having crossed the line. She is tasked with research into determining whether a crime has been committed in the course of an interrogation.
The FBI has not officially commented on the claims yet. Journalists might not get a reply from Brandon anytime soon, as she’s still an HIG adviser and is not expected to break protocol – the association has a policy of operating in secrecy, according to fellow member Mark Fallon.
The initial reason for the government’s acceptance of the CIA torture program hinged, in part, on the presence of psychologists and their expertise acting as a check, as is evident from a 2005 Justice Department document.
The reason the APA had to be called in was apparently due to the CIA’s own psychologists’ refusal to sign off on the memo, claiming that the proposed assessments simply strayed outside of medical professionals’ competence.
As a result, Brandon’s Psychological Ethics and National Security policy became the document that could be “seen as opening the door for psychologists to fulfil a function that [CIA Office of Medical Services] health professionals were resisting,” according to the report.
Brandon’s own language went in a separate direction from the CIA doctors’, effectively paving the way for a psychologist’s role in judging the harm and effectiveness of an interrogation.
The APA has denied the report’s findings. Its own review of the complicity in the Bush-era program is ongoing.
Brandon’s role as one of the HIG’s top specialists is now under scrutiny, but she has defenders as well. Fallon, for one, has since said that Brandon “is a research scientist who was helping craft language, from what I can read in those emails, that might in fact be totally appropriate.”
“[Was] it a witting collaboration, or is it an unwitting person within the government who’s a research scientist looking to ensure that we’re at least learning lessons? I just could not conceive that she would ever do anything that would support degrading and inhumane treatment,” he added.
21st Century Wire says…
In our story released late last night, we posed this question to our readers:
“Were these supposed ‘dead gunmen’ part of the drill, or were they patsies handled by a counter-terrorism federal ‘informant’?“
We didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out that we were right.
IMAGE: ‘Garland Gunman’ Elton Simpson, adjusting his CCTV camera at his apartment in Phoenix, AZ.
Last night in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas, at Pam Geller’s “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest”, two alleged “gunmen” were shot and killed by a Special Ops paramilitary ‘SWAT’ unit hired by the city of Garland to provide security for the controversial event.
It’s now been revealed that “gunman”, Elton Simpson, was already under surveillance by the FBI and was even the subject of a terror investigation. More importantly, we can also confirm Simpson was being handled by an FBI informant. Court papers filed in Arizona name the FBI undercover informant as Mr. Daba Deng, a Kenyan and who, from 2007, was paid $132,000 by the FBI to “become friends with Mr. Simpson”, and who appears to have groomed Simpson through a local mosque, and helped to develop Simpson’s ideas about “jihad”. Deng also helped to catch ‘Islamic convert’ Simpson on tape saying he wanted to travel to Somalia to join the terror orgaization al Shabaab. That recording was made on May 29, 2009, which shows Simpson telling his handler Deng, “It’s time to go to Somalia, brother… we gonna make it to the battlefield… it’s time to roll.” This recording was the basis for Simpson’s later FBI arrest, after which time he was ‘let off’ with 3 years probation.
The official misdirect device for this story can be found in a recent article from the Israeli-owned soft propaganda outlet, Vocativ, whose headline reads, “How Texas Terror Shooter Elton Simpson Avoided Prison In 2011″, which appears to be designed to pollute any inquiry by attempting to rationalize that Elton Simpson had avoided jail because a Judge was too lenient on this potential terrorist, furthering the popular talking point that somehow “the Feds dropped the ball.”
It is unknown exactly how far Deng had led Simpson in relation to yesterday’s attack, or if Simpson was assigned a new handler, but the revelation clearly demonstrates that not only have the FBI been aware of Simpson’s activities and movements for many years, but that the FBI has also had a hand in ‘managing’ Simpson. This fact should cast serious doubts on the official narrative being constructed about the Garland event being carried out by a bonafide and organic “home-gown jihadist” in America.
Authorities in Texas have identified the second “gunman” as Nadir Hamid Soofi (photo, above). It’s claimed that Soofi was Elton Simpson’s roommate and that they both shared an apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, and also attended the same mosque – the Islamic Center of North Phoenix. Is it not safe to assume then, that FBI informant Deng also knew and was interacting with Soofi as well? Does that not bring a whole new dimension to this, as a manufactured series of events?
We’re also meant to believe that just minutes before Simpson and Soofi launched their failed “terror attack”, they both posted Twitter messages and that ISIS Tweeters then joined-in to cheer them on, albeit, virtually.
“At least one of the suspects was already “under surveillance” by French anti-terror authorities, and that his file was “shared with US security officials” as well. If this is indeed the case, then it’s highly improbable that the suspect would have staged his attack so easily. Once again, official admissions practically cancel out the official narrative.”
In addition to similarities to the Hebdo attack, it’s worth pointing out that in every high-profile US ‘terror bust’, the assailants had some connection beforehand to federal authorities. Only days after the media was beginning to close-out their round-the-clock Hebdo coverage, FBI agents concluded the frame-up of 20 year old Christopher Lee Cornell from Cincinnati, Ohio, claiming the youth was planning a “pipe bomb attack” against the nation’s Capitol in Washington DC, and that he was “linked to ISIS”, and that this was somehow an “ISIS-inspired attack”, only no attack actually took place.
The Guardian reported on the scale and scope of this trend in 2014:
“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act.”
The list of FBI-related ‘terrorist’ incidents inside the US is a long one. The formula for creating a ‘terror icon’ required a confidential informant to guide and manage the future “suspect” right up to the point of arrest, or in some cases, like the World Trade Center Bombing in 1993, the FBI have even allowed the terrorist incident to take place.
Other high-profile terror icons with informant and patsy stories include the other ‘Paris Shooter’, Amedi Coulibaby (see his compelling patsy-informant case here), ‘Ottawa Shooter’ Zehaf-Bibeau (see his patsy story here), ‘Boston Bomber’ Tamerlan Tsarnaev (see his FBI recruitment story here), ‘The Underwear Bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (see his patsy story here), Buford Rogers (read his patsy-informant story here), Jerad Miller (read his patsy-informant story here), Naji Mansour (read his informant story here), Quazi Mohammad Nafis (read his informant story here), Mohamed Osman Mohamud (read his informant story here), ‘OKC Bomber’ Timothy McVeigh (read his informant story here).
In addition to these examples, we could also include last month’s ‘Queens of Brooklyn’ terror plot, Washington Metro bomb plot, the New York City subway bomb plot, as well as the Sears Tower bomb plot in Chicago, and last but certainly not least – the attacks of 9/11… where the alleged hijackers lived with an FBI informant.
Just a few reasons to question the official narrative in Garland, Texas.
READ MORE GARLAND NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Garland Files