Senator Chuck Grassley Stirs In His Sleep

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Pretty Soon No More Gray Skies

I was going to title this page “Senator Chuck Grassley Wakes Up,” but upon a closer reading of the article I realized he was only stirring a little.  I’m talking about an article I read regarding our old  friend Mark Rossetti the murderous Mafia captain who was a Top Echelon informant for the FBI, the one who in 2010 an FBI agent was overheard telling him that his job was to keep him invisible and safe.

Grassley is upset because Rossetti is a Whitey Bulger redux: the FBI protecting a man believed to have murdered people so he can continue his gangster ways.

You may recall a Congressional committee delved into the FBI’s use of Whitey Bulger and others and in 2004  issued a report titled: Everything Secret Degenerates” The FBI’s Use Of Murderers As Informants.”  The first paragraph of the Executive Summary read: “Federal law enforcement officials made a decision to use murderers as informants beginning in the 1960s. Known killers were protected from the consequences of their crimes and purposefully kept on the streets. This report discusses some of the disastrous consequence of the use of murderers as informant in New England.”

In its conclusion the Committee wrote that it “is committed to ensuring that these abuses are not repeated.” It then notes that: “FBI Director Robert Mueller has undertaken re-engineering the administration and operation of human sources.” It continues by pointing out all the changes being made by the FBI to prevent similar future situations. It concludes by saying: “The Committee will examine these reforms to ensure that they are being implemented and to ensure that, as implemented, they are effective.”

When the Mark Rossetti situation was publicly disclosed in 2011, Congressman Steven Lynch was highly upset. And well he should have been. He was part of a minority that attached its own views to the Committees Report. Lynch’s position was the Committee’s work was not done and that it should decide “what actions must be taken legislatively, through regulation, by oversight activity, or some combination in order to prevent a continuation or recurrence of similar events in the future.”

What has happened? The Committee and Congress did nothing. They went to sleep believing its job was done. The FBI said it had changed when it didn’t. It continued to do what it had always done. The FBI had again successfully bamboozled Congress because like Old Man River it just keeps flowing along.

I’ve criticized Congressman Steven Lynch for dropping the ball in this matter because as a member of the Committee and being from Whitey’s home town of South Boston he knew of the “disastrous consequences” that follow from keeping murderers safe. He too lacked the nerve to go up against the FBI.

Senator “Don’t call me Charlie it’s Chuck” Grassley a Republican from Iowa who has been in Congress for 40 years spoke about Rossetti saying: “It’s very difficult with the use of a Rossetti or a previous person that they wouldn’t know it’s going on and there wasn’t some knowledge of it. And if there isn’t knowledge of it there ought to be, otherwise the FBI is not doing its job.

He went on to say, “Going back a ways, don’t you have an FBI agent that was convicted of some wrongdoing because he was involved in this process as well? Doesn’t that tell you something about the local office probably being out of control?” 

The FBI responded with its typical disingenuousness saying an internal review involving thousands of documents is still underway. No one seems to suggest that if the FBI takes two years to investigate this simple matter then that in and of itself is proof something is wrong.

Grassley was asked about the FBI guidelines which we have seen are just there for cover. Grassely didn’t think changing them would make a difference because the FBI worked “with Rossetti, and that’s a conflict with the original guidelines.”

It is more than the guidelines, Grassley said, “There’s something in the culture of the FBI in this particular part of the country that needs to be dealt with.” The FBI replied, “FBI leadership has full confidence in FBI Boston management and employees.

That is about the same response it made back when the issues involving Stevie Flemmi and Whitey first came up.

Senator Grassley explained: “I thought it was pretty clear after Bulger as an example, now Rossetti coming out and not having learned any lessons. There needs to be big changes. I’m not running the FBI but this has been going on too long. There have to be big changes,”

Therein lies the problem. Senator Grassley after 40 years in Congress doesn’t understand what is happening. First, this is not a local problem. We only know of the FBI’s abuses because we’ve lifted the lid on the Boston office. No other FBI office has been examined as closely as Boston. Congress seems afraid to look any further than Boston. I’ve always been taught that If one barrel in a lot is rotten you can assume others are.

Next Grassley should understand that it is his job to run the FBI.  In our system of checks and balances, when the executive runs amok, Congress has the obligation to do something about it. The FBI has been acting wrongfully since it introduced the Top Echelon program, in the 1960s. Grassley and Lynch and many others in Congress know it. They know, or should know, the FBI will not change. Grassley said the “FBI is not doing its job.” Well, Congress, neither are you. The  40 year sleep continues.

 

16 thoughts on “Senator Chuck Grassley Stirs In His Sleep

  1. In 1999, John Murtha proposed a bill that would have instituted substantial oversight o the DOJ. On day one, over 200 members of Congress cosponsored the bill.
    Then DOJ then unleashed an unprecedented lobbying effort on the hill. The only portion of the bill that survived required US Attorneys to abide by the ethics and Bar rules of the relevant states.
    A few years ago, Judge Wolf became frustrated with the Boston AUSA’s chronically withholding exculpatory evidence. His efforts to stem this misconduct included formal complaints to the DOJ’s Office of Professional Conduct. That failed. He followed up directly with two sitting Attorney Generals. That failed. Then Wolf filed a complaint against AUSA Jeffrey Aurhan with the Mass BBO. (Wolf also notified all judges not to waste time on the DOJs OPR, just file complaints with state BBO’s.) Notwithstanding the Murtha legislation Wolf’s BBO complaint was referred back to the Federal court in Boston where a panel of three federal judges ruled Auerhan had withheld exculpatory evidence, but they couldn’t rule against him and impose discipline because the standard in federal court was much higher than it was in the BBO!! I cannot find the mechanism or procedure by which the complaint got kicked out of the BBO and back to the “cesspool” on the waterfront.
    I don’t recall if the three judges were former former members of La Familia Federales, but they certainly protected the Family

    1. Patty:
      Good information. I saw that stuff happening with my own eyes after a hearing in DC. The FBI and DOJ are coitinually lobbying to be left alone and the Congresspeople are intimidated by them. It is not popular in the US to be against the FBI. I guess that is why Senator Grassley tries to pretend all is well there except for Boston.
      I watched Wolf testify at the Connolly trial. When he got talking about dealing with the FBI he showed a noticeable frustration and anger at what it put him through as he tried to get to the bottom of what was going on. Many documents would arrive after their importance had been diminished for instance only after the witness who wrote them had testified so they would not be available for cross-examination.
      The Congressional Committee’s report indicated its frustration in dealing with DOJ’s obstructionist strategy and the president’s claim of executive secrecy. It too backed off not wanting to get into a protracted legal battle in the courts.
      Dave Boeri has a good write up about Jeffrey Aurhan who put on the stand a witness who he knew was lying. Sound familiar. The result was nothing happened to him. See http://www.wbur.org/2011/09/16/jeffrey-auerhahn-cleared
      There is another good summary of the case by David Frank at: http://www.nkms.com/uploadcache/Mass_Lawyers_Weekly_September_13_2010.pdf
      The judges assigned to the case were George A. O’Toole Jr., William G. Young and Rya W. Zobel. Maybe La Familia Federales is much larger than we’ve been led to believe.

  2. I think this sums it up, eh?

    May 25, 2007
    FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public

    Posted by, Marissa Pasquet KOLD News 13 News Editor

    FBI Special Agent Ryan Seese, 34, is facing sex offense charges after a cleaning woman said she found him masturbating in a women’s lavatory on campus, according to a University of Arizona police spokesman.

    1. fruhmenschen:
      There are always a few bad apples in any group. The FBI really consists mostly of good agents (14,000) and other employees (16,000). Most are dedicated workers protecting our interests. The problem is not these people but the system in which they operate. The culture makes them do things that they’d prefer not to do at times. They operates according to archaic rules that existed from the days of J. Edgar Hoover who last stepped on this fair earth on May 1, 1972. Imagine today they will not digitally record an interview with a person but prefer to go back and write up their own version of what was said. It still has the program that encourages laziness and criminality in the Top Echelon informant program. I’ve got a file full of FBI agent stories like the one you refer to but let me assure you they do not represent what the FBI is really about. Thee does have to be an overhaul of the FBI but only the way it operates as a whole.

      1. After reading the comments and replies, one thing in particular jumps out. Trust is no longer part of the equation . What has to happen for US to get our trust back. For trust once lost is very difficult to regain.

        1. Jean:
          Absolutely right. We may have all the rules and regulations in the world and if we trust people will abide by them but no one does and there are not consequences they might as well be written on the sands of a desert.

    1. Question:
      Went to the site you noted. I found it interesting that Ring wrote there: “Ring received the Department of Justice’s highest award as the architect of the first and only electronic interception of the La Cosa Nostra/Mafia induction ceremony of new members, including the Omerta oath.”
      That was all done because of John Connolly’s relationship with Steve Flemmi and Angelo “Sonny” Mercurio. For Ring to say he was the architect of it is typical of the FBI’s ability to rewrite history. If that action resulted in the FBI giving out its highest award then why did the FBI not stand by the guy who really brought it all about who languishes in prison in Florida based on the testimony of gangsters.

  3. So was Mr. Jim Ring a part of this criminal/FBI/informant group? He once said the below

    ” “Informants are not consultants. They are not friends, they are informants. And the agent remembers that and treats them accordingly.”

    However, I’ve heard elsewhere that he is still involved to some extent. Is he still alive? In this area? Last I heard he was head of some union in Boston?

    1. Question:
      Jim Ring in my book was part of the group that I’d say if I wanted to be kind performed poorly. He was called “Pipe.” He was on the list of people Kevin Weeks said was given gifts by Whitey.
      Read Tom Foley’s book and you see the real Jim Ring who is a very duplicitous man continually saying one thing and doing the other. He’s the one who launched an investigation of Mass State Trooper John Naimovich base on the idea that Naimovich leaked specific information to the Mafia. Shortly after the investigation began they found out the leak came from the FBI itself. He continued the investigation of Naimovich hoping to get something on him even though the original basis for suspecting him had fallen apart. They were eventually able to jam up one of Naimovich’s informants on a bookie wiretap — they told the informant Francis McIntryre they wanted him to give them evidence against Naimovich. He said he had nothing to give them. He was told to come back the next day when he met Jeremiah O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan told him he was going to go to prison for many years, lose his house in Milton and at the Cape, lose his Cadillac and all his assets, and on and on unless he came up with something about Naimovich. Sure enough, he did. He said he had been paying him for information. Naimovich was indicted but the case crumbled in front of a jury which acquitted Naimovich. That is the type of person Ring is who would bring about a prosecution of a 23 year state trooper on trumped up charges. Not my cup of tea.

  4. outstanding post. this is why i subscribe to this blog. a united states senator who has been in congress for over 40 years makes the remarks you listed and what does the fbi say about the boston office. wow. i think people who follow your blog and have read your book have gotten a lot more information then has been reported in the mainstream media. i would have hoped the fbi would have learned from the bulger and flemi informant debacle,it appears in the rossetti case they have not. what else does the public not know regarding 2013 boston fbi procedure? regards,

    1. Norwood,
      Thanks – I thought the Top Echelon program had ended so I was very surprised when the Rossetti case happened. As you know, I don’t belive yu can have gangsters working on your team without them infecting it with their lack of morals. I also think things are bad all over the US. It’s just that Boston is the only office that has been put under a microscope. Did you ever hear of COINTELPRO. It was an FBI program that threw out the book on fair play and wrote letters defaming people under other people’s name and caused people to fight against and kill each other. It was during that operation that it sent a letter to Martin Luther King’s wife telling her that Martin was running around with other women. Look beyond Boston.

  5. Matt, what jumps out at me is the obvious reluctance of U.S. Senators and Congressmen to take on the F.B.I.

    No blame on them individually but it is a tragedy that Congress as an institution can allow members to be silenced like this.

    There needs to be a federal legislative bi-partisian caucus on this where together a majority of our elected officials can take on the F.B.I.

    Individually they all know what’s going. Crassly and Lynch and many others should privately try to get a boatload of their colleagues to form this caucus. Spring it in the Feds with numbers.
    Now of course a few scumbags who are under investigation for being scum bags will sign on and when they do get indicted for being scum bags they will claim that iti is because they are member of the caucus.
    Other than that numbers are great protection.

    1. Ernie:
      I had the opportunity to see Congress operate off and on for a few years. It really is afraid of the FBI. At any hearing on FBI issues the FBI will have lots of agents in the room who will immediately after the hearing or during any recess rush up to engage the Congresspeople in conversation. Their presence and individual influence on each of the representatives is heavily felt. Your suggestion is goo that they get a caucus together to examine the FBI and have as part of it members who recognize that a secret police subject to no one is a threat to a democratic society. I despair of it ever happening. But it should be clear that secret organizations are anathema to the America we know.

  6. Matt – Spot On…and for anyone who would like to understand more about the history of the FBI, I would suggest they read “J. Edgar Hoover – The Man and His Secrets” written by Curt Gentry; and, copyright 1991.

    As we keep saying ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’, but the above titled book was published in the early 1990’s the facts contained therein have been public since then. Plenty of grist to chew on, especially when it comes to the secret OC Files that have allegedly gone missing in 1972. I do hope that Senator Grassley is reading your blog. We the victims need all the help we can get from those in public office who have an interest in JUSTICE.

    1. Jean:
      You’re absolutely right. I’ve written about the Congressional report titled: “EVERYTHING SECRET DEGENERATES: THE FBI’s USE OF MURDERERS AS INFORMANTS.” It took the first three words from the first sentence in Judge Wolf’s 661 page findings that opened up the whole Whitey saga. Judge Wolf wrote: “[e]very thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice.” He got the quote fro Lord Acton’s 1861 assertion.
      Yet, we have in the United States a secret police that has no oversight. No matter how many books have been written about the FBI there has really been no penetration of its deepest secrets. After Hoover died on May 1, 1972 hundreds of his secret files were taken from his office and destroyed. No one stopped it from happening.
      We get views into the FBI from disgruntle agents. One named Sullivan (I believe) who was close to the top had a book published after his death telling of some of the secrets. He was killed before the book was published in a NH hunting accident. (It was a legitimate accident.)
      You are right when you suggest we are all victims of a system where none of our elected representatives has the will or courage to change the situation.

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