Stradivarius; Rembrandt; The FBI; The Failure to Question

(`) Liberty CriesWhat do Stradivarius and Rembrandt have in common?  Both had one of their precious art works stolen in the Boston/Cambridge area of Massachusetts, both were investigated by the FBI, both investigations were bungled, and the Boston media skips over any analysis or inquiry into the FBI’s bungling and merely repeats the latest FBI sound bite, also known as a press release.

When you have a secret police force like the FBI and the local media remains dependent upon it as a new born kitten on its mother’s milk then the news of its incompetence is kept well-hidden and the public is ill-served. There is no greater example of this than the cases of the stolen Stradivarius and Rembrandt.

The father of Nina Totenberg of public radio and television fame, Roman Totenberg, was a famous violinist. He died in 2012 at the age of 101. For the last 32 years of his life he was saddened by the theft of his violin,  the Ames Stradivarius, He had owned it for 38 years. It was stolen from his office at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.

According to Nina, her father has suspected a Philip Johnson of stealing the violin. The investigators did not act on the father’s information saying they did not have enough evidence for a search warrant. It would turn out that Johnson had stolen it. It was recovered because he left it in his will to a descendant who went to get it appraised and the appraiser notified the police.

The FBI issued a press release about the matter. It disenguously put in its title that the violin was Missing for 35 Years Before Its Recovery by the FBI:” It wasn’t recovered by the FBI. It was turned over to it.

The bulletin did give the appraiser credit for “good citizenship”  but patted itself on the back by noting its “prompt response.” It concluded by noting the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of N.Y. “Bharara thanked the FBI and the NYPD for their outstanding work on this matter.

This is the bull I talk about. The FBI was called by the appraiser to pick up the violin. It did. It considers that “outstanding work.” 

The problem is the FBI was in on the case within days after it was stolen as were the Cambridge police.   The violin was stolen during an invitation only reception involving 260 people.  Roman and his family immediately focused on Philip Johnson. Nina said he mother was willing to pay some local hoods to break into the suspect’s apartment to look for it.

Yet, the FBI would not do a search for it. Why? What would have been the harm? If it was there it would have been recovered; if it was not then no one was hurt.

Now we move over to the Rembrandt. You know that is the Gardner museum matter. The FBI has announced in the past that it knows who has stolen that painting. See herehere; here; and the latest here.

Now we hear from Boston U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz who says: “Over many months we have engaged in an exhaustive re-examination of the original evidence in this case. Our aim has been to ensure that all avenues have been explored in the continuing quest to recover these artworks. Today we are releasing video images from the night before the theft — images which have not previously been seen by the public — with the hope of identifying an unauthorized visitor to the museum. With the public’s help, we may be able to develop new information that could lead to the recovery of these invaluable works of art.”

Vincent Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Boston said, “This latest request for the public’s assistance illustrates the FBI’s continued commitment to the Gardner investigation. By releasing this video, we hope to generate meaningful leads and ultimately recover the stolen artwork.” This from a man who said he knew who had done it. 

I guess after these developments we can conclude the FBI has no idea who stole the paintings despite its prior lies statements.

Now keep in mind the FBI has had the video in its possession for over 25 years. I suggest it had to have been viewed countless times. The Globe suggests the video will now turn the spotlight on Richard Abath the security guard. Are we to believe the FBI didn’t already question him about it. The Globe apparently believes it didn’t take that elementary step. It sent a reporter out to his house to ask him about it as if it is newly discovered evidence.

The video shows nothing other than that Abath let a person into visit him early in the morning. I have to believe he’s been questioned about it, the FBI has interviewed him, and he is not a suspect. If it did not do that then one must consider it grossly negligent. If it did, and it is pretending that it is newly discovered evidence, one must find it totally duplicitous.

The tragedy is, and I note this over and over again, no one asks the right questions. These are simple ones. “When was the video first viewed? Was Abath questioned about it? Did he identify the person in it? Was that person questioned? Etc. Perhaps some day our local media will stop being the FBI’s satraps.



16 replies on “Stradivarius; Rembrandt; The FBI; The Failure to Question”

  1. Ms.Freeh: What the hell good is a ” SECRET POLICE ” if it does not have its Secrets. 🙂


    FBI’s AMERITHRAX Case just unravelled. Ex-FBI agent who directed investigation suing FBI, turns whistleblower!!!
    Posted April 8, 2015 8:40pm PDT by WashingtonsBlog

    Preface by Washington’s Blog: See also 2 U.S. Government Agencies Say FBI’s Anthrax Case Is Full of Holes, and our archive of Anthrax articles.

    By Meryl Nass, M.D. Dr. Nass is a board-certified internist and a biological warfare epidemiologist and expert in anthrax. Nass publishes Anthrax Vaccine.

    Here is the Complaint, filed on April 2, 2015 alleging gross mishandling of the case on many levels, and concealment of evidence exonerating Bruce Ivins: … chard.html


    5. This complaint further details how Defendants’ derelict failure to perform their mandated legal duties to Plaintiff was driven by Defendants’ blinding animus toward Plaintiff for Plaintiff’s prior whistleblower reports of FBI and DOJ mismanagement of the FBI’s investigation into the anthrax attacks of 2001 (code named “AMERITHRAX”).

    From pages 23 to 25:

    50. In the fall of 2001, following the 9/11 attacks, a series of anthrax mailings occurred which killed five Americans and sickened 17 others. Four anthrax-laden envelopes were recovered which were addressed to two news media outlets in New York City (the New York Post and Tom Brokaw at NBC) and two senators in Washington D.C. (Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle). The anthrax letters addressed to New York were mailed on September 18, 2001, just seven days after the 9/11 attacks. The letters addressed to the senators were mailed 21 days later on October 9, 2001. A fifth mailing of anthrax is believed to have been directed to American Media, Inc. (AMI) in Boca Raton, Florida based upon the death of one AMI employee from anthrax poisoning and heavy spore contamination in the building.

    51. Executive management at FBI Headquarters assigned responsibility for the anthrax investigation (code named “AMERITHRAX”) to the Washington Field Office (WFO), dubbing it the single most important case in the FBI at that time.

    52. In October 2002, in the wake of surging media criticism, White House impatience with a seeming lack of investigative progress by WFO, and a concerned Congress that was considering revoking the FBI’s charter to investigate terrorism cases, Defendant FBI Director Mueller reassigned Plaintiff from the FBI’s San Diego Field Office to the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters and placed Plaintiff in charge of the AMERITHRAX case as an “Inspector.”While leading the investigation for the next four years, Plaintiff’s efforts to advance the case met with intransigence from WFO’s executive management, apathy and error from the FBI Laboratory, politically motivated communication embargos from FBI Headquarters, and yet another preceding and equally erroneous legal opinion from Defendant Kelley – all of which greatly obstructed and impeded the investigation.

    53. On July 6, 2006, Plaintiff provided a whistleblower report of mismanagement to the FBI’s Deputy Director pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 2303. Reports of mismanagement conveyed in writing and orally included: (a) WFO’s persistent understaffing of the AMERITHRAX investigation; (b) the threat of WFO’s Agent in charge to retaliate if Plaintiff disclosed the understaffing to FBI Headquarters; (c) WFO’s insistence on staffing the AMERITHRAX investigation principally with new Agents recently graduated from the FBI Academy resulting in an average investigative tenure of 18 months with 12 of 20 Agents assigned to the case having no prior investigative experience at all; (d) WFO’s eviction of the AMERITHRAX Task Force from the WFO building in downtown Washington and its relegation to Tysons Corner, Virginia to free up space for Attorney General Ashcroft’s new pornography squads; (e) FBI Director’s Mueller’s mandate to Plaintiff to “compartmentalize” the AMERITHRAX investigation by stove piping the flow of case information and walling off task force members from those aspects of the case not specifically assigned to them – a move intended to stem the tide of anonymous media leaks by government officials regarding details of the investigation. This sequestration edict decimated morale and proved unnecessary in light of subsequent civil litigation which established that the media leaks were attributable to the United States Attorney for the District of the District of Columbia and to a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s National Press Office, not to investigators on the AMERITHRAX Task Force; (f) WFO’s diversion and transfer of two Ph.D. Microbiologist Special Agents from their key roles in the investigation to fill billets for an 18 month Arabic language training program in Israel; (g) the FBI Laboratory’s deliberate concealment from the Task Force of its discovery of human DNA on the anthrax-laden envelope addressed to Senator Leahy and the Lab’s initial refusal to perform comparison testing; (h) the FBI Laboratory’s refusal to provide timely and adequate scientific analyses and forensic examinations in support of the investigation; (i) Defendant Kelley’s erroneous and subsequently quashed legal opinion that regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) precluded the Task Force’s collection of evidence in overseas venues; (j) the FBI’s fingering of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax mailer; and, (k) the FBI’s subsequent efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence. Following the announcement of its circumstantial case against Ivins, Defendants DOJ and FBI crafted an elaborate perception management campaign to bolster their assertion of Ivins’ guilt. These efforts included press conferences and highly selective evidentiary presentations which were replete with material omissions. Plaintiff further objected to the FBI’s ordering of Plaintiff not to speak with the staff of the CBS television news magazine 60 Minutes or
    investigative journalist David Willman, after both requested authorization to interview Plaintiff.

    54. In April 2008, some of Plaintiff’s foregoing whistleblower reports were profiled on the CBS television show 60 Minutes. This 60 Minutes segment was critical of FBI executive management’s handling of the AMERITHRAX investigation, resulting in the agency’s embarrassment and the introduction of legislative bills calling for the establishment of congressional inquiries and special commissions to examine these issues – a level of scrutiny the FBI’s Ivins attribution could not withstand.

    55. After leaving the AMERITHRAX investigation in 2006, Plaintiff continued to publicly opine that the quantum of circumstantial evidence against Bruce Ivins was not adequate to satisfy the proof-beyond-a-reasonable doubt threshold required to secure a criminal conviction in federal court. Plaintiff continued to advocate that while Bruce Ivins may have been the anthrax mailer, there is a wealth of exculpatory evidence to the contrary which the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people. The FBI vehemently opposes Plaintiff’s position.

  3. Not all existentialists are bears ; but all bears are existentialiists . Ms. Freeh confidently informs the ” uneducated and the uneducable. ” 🙂

  4. The MTC ‘ blogocide’ will long be remembered for being a
    FBI agent honey pot, a place where taxpayer funded agents
    could easily identify those citizen activists and put them on
    their Last Train Leaving for Auschwitz list.
    Sort of like the Palmer Raids on steroids , eh?

    in other news

    Fossil Fuel Ecocide Forces Starving Polar Bear to Hold Breath For Three Minutes in Seal Hunt

    (A starving polar bear is forced to hold breath for a record three minutes in a failed hunt for seals.)

    Like so many other innocent creatures on this planet, polar bears are facing ever-worsening life-threatening conditions due to the fossil fuel industry’s insistence to keep burning, and to keep us dependent on their horrific energy sources. The bears’ Arctic home has been transformed in ways that are profound and terrible. The sea ice they used for hunting grounds is greatly depleted. The seals they hunted for prey have ever-more-numerous avenues of escape into dark and warming waters.

    It’s a merciless and terrible burning. One that encompasses many genocides together. Ecocide, ecological shock, growth shock, the sixth great extinction. All words to describe what we now watch. What fossil fuel industry influence is preventing us from stopping. But to the bears themselves, it’s a wrenching torture. A forced orphaning and starvation combined as the bears grow increasingly emaciated, weak, and desperate. Transformed into walking skeletal beings, they’re ghosting off toward the obliteration fossil fuel interests are sentencing them to.

    (Plunging Arctic sea ice driven by Northern Hemisphere polar amplification is the chief agent of habitat loss and extinction pressure for polar bears. As you can see in the superbly rendered video above by Andy Robinson, the fall has been merciless and precipitous.)

    To a climate change denier, the plight of these poor creatures is a subject of ridicule and derision. ‘Who cares about stupid bears’ is the rallying cry of heartless ignoramuses everywhere. They’d rather us be worried about our own petty day-to-day existences. The back and forth, stuck in traffic, want more money, pay less taxes, fear of far off ISIS daily grind of the right wing soundtrack. Or when the tinny siren song of that ever-more-stuffed-with-straw appeal fails it’s back to the old — pretend it’s not happening — trick. Starving polar bears so desperate that they’re now forced to hibernate in summer to conserve energy must be photo-shopped by some imaginary government agency after all, right?

    Deny as deniers do, for the bears it’s all too real. For one bear in particular, recently filmed in the above video, it was a life and death struggle. Not some narcissist’s thrill like the needless poaching of innocent wild lions for blood-sport in Africa. No, for this bear, success in the hunt meant a continuation of blessed life. A second chance to keep going, to keep living in the great world. Failure meant weakness, fading, pain and death.

    The bear, in dire need of food, was forced to hunt in a way it was not adapted to — by stalking in the water. It was forced, in desperation to swim toward near-water seals. And it was forced to hold its breath underwater. Hold it for longer than any polar bear ever witnessed. Hold it for a full 3 minutes where a mere 72 seconds was the previous record. It was as if the starved bear had been forced to perform impossible feats — or die. That’s the situation the callous greed and disregard of some have put them in. Do the impossible, or just die.

    Gaunt and Emaciated Polar Bear that Broke Diving Record

    (The gaunt, emaciated and obviously starving polar bear that broke the recent diving record in a photo by Rinie van Meurs. Image source: Meurs Study and The Weather Network.)

    This bear’s struggle is not one occurring in isolation. It’s not just the struggle of a single individual. But the struggle of an entire race that is now being torn from the fabric of existence.

    The cliche phrase to say at this time is that we are all responsible. That we all share the guilt. But it’s not true. In fact to say such a thing is a terrible lie providing an out for the real perpetrators of this egregious harm. There are some of us who want to change the bear’s situation. Some of us who want to improve its chances. Some of us who want to cut the destructive fossil fuel threads that bind the bear and us all to a terrible and ever worsening ecocide. The ones who want to help are not the problem. The ones attempting again and again to stop the ongoing damage are not the guilty party.

    But the deniers and the fossil fuel industry the deniers wittingly or unwittingly serve are entirely different. They don’t care one whit about bears suffering an all-too-real existential crisis. And it seems they don’t care about their own children’s rising existential crisis either. They are the ones who deserve blame. For they are the authors of this great harm.

    also see

    Killing of Detroit Imam by FBI agents in 2009 Described As “Nothing Less Than a Cover-Up”
    Murtaza Hussain

    Aug. 9 2015, 8:49 a.m.

    On October 28, 2009, dozens of heavily armed FBI agents swarmed a warehouse in Dearborn, Michigan, to execute an arrest warrant against Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, and several other men, who had been accused of fencing stolen merchandise. What exactly happened next remains in dispute, but the raid resulted in Abdullah being shot more than 20 times and dying on the scene.

  5. Ms : DOOBIES DOOBIE DO 🙂 … You posted a couple of good bookmarks there, Ms.

  6. Of Myths and Men
    Leonard DiMuzio: Tell me about the Rembrandts George
    George Reissfelder: Shuddup Lenny

  7. yawn….

    some irregularities from the MTC irregulars whisper stream

    The Unquiet Grave Quotes by Cyril Connolly – Goodreads…/85742-the-unquiet-grave-a-word-cycle-by-…
    23 quotes from The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus: ‘While thoughts exist, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into …

    also see

    Why did the FBI detain Bob Graham?

    Friday, August 7, 2015 5:29pm

  8. Matt- After viewing the still shots and video, it is of poor quality and visibility, yields nothing of any hardcore close-up facial shots. It would of been much more effective if they would release the names of the 2 dead guys that they claim they know stole them. Robert Gentile re-run episdoe is getting old. P.S Matt, we got rid of our corrupt mayor in fall river, ma if you have time google first recall in mass history. We are now stuck with a goofball former DA who is just as bad, just not as stupid. Take care, Blog is still the best game in town!!

  9. ★ ” Premature verbalization ” … Quite quite Witty … and recognizably Freehdian Analysis …Always liked scene in ZELIG where Woody Allen’s historically ubiquitous character, Zelig, hunkers down in comfy shrink chair and with complete academic mockery redirects Shrink’s questions ( Diane Keaton Saviour figure) back to her. They were in the middle of FREEH ASSOCIATION …. Get it … Get it …

  10. The MTC irregulars gathered around the Green Mountain coffee
    dispenser all had that PDR Classic vacant stare you normally
    see on people who have seen Titicut Follies and the Milgram
    Obedience Experiment back to back.

    Enid, the check out cashier at Flying Pond Variety was ready to call in for
    help at Psychiatric First Responders, based out
    of our local Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Dept.

    Unfortunately they were unavailable , to busy watching
    the new training film Who’s Stealing Your Vote? A Documentary

    Just about then the Walla Walla started and one could hear
    the talking drums coming off Eaton mountain saying Matt
    had a premature verbalization and would cut his August
    Journey into the Desert short.

    Elbows Wychulis was wild with joy when he heard the news ,
    rolling on the floor, speaking in FBI Evangelical tongue.

    Suddenly junior spotted Howie Carr out in the parking lot
    plastering car windshields with Boston Herald flyers that said

    LOS ANGELES Friday, August 7th 2015 10:05
    Read this First! Before You Blow the Whistle, Here’s What No One Ever Tells You


    07 Aug 2015
    Written by John Kiriakou

  11. Art is long and Life is short. Hillary says … ” What does it matter at this point whether this was just some guy walking in and smoking a doobie with Abath that night, or whether he was a professional art thief on a shakeout run for ripping off these art treasures ??? 🙂

    1. I have always wonderwd what you would call the Doobie
      brothers smokin a doobie….

      for the uneducated and uneducable

      COINTELPRO Documents

      History Genius

      Jean Seberg Memo
      Federal Bureau of Investigation
      From: Richard Wallace Held

      Date: 4/27/70

      TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (100-448006)

      FROM: SAC, LOS ANGELES (157-4054) (P)


      Re San Francisco airtel to the Bureau date 4/23/70,

      Bureau permission is requested to publicize the pregnancy of Jean
      Seberg, well-known movie actress by (name deleted) Black Panther (BPP)
      (deleted) by advising Hollywood “Gossip-Columnists” in the Los Angeles
      area of the situation. It is felt that the possible publication of
      Seberg’s plight could cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her
      image with the general public.

      It is proposed that the following letter from a fictitious person
      be sent to local columinists:

      “I was just thinking about you and remembered I still owe you a favor.
      So —- I was in Paris last week and ran into Jean Seberg, who was
      heavy with baby. I thought she and Romaine [sic] had gotten together
      again, but she confided the child belonged to (deleted) of the Black
      Panthers, one (deleted). The dear girl is getting around!

      “Anyway, I thought you might get a scoop on the others. Be good and
      I’ll see you soon.


      Usual precautions would be taken by the Los Angeles Division to
      preclude identification of the Bureau as the source of the letter if
      approval is granted.
      Description 1 Contributor ?

      A 1970 memo from the FBI planning to plant in newspapers the false story that the father of actress Jean Seberg’s impending baby was a Black Panther, rather than the actual father, her husband; the reason was because she had been a financial supporter of the Panthers. This memo was picked up by gossip columnists. The resulting stress led to a suicide attempt, premature delivery of the baby, and its death after only two days. Seberg herself committed suicide in 1979.

      also see

      Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt
      Jack Olsen – 2001 – ‎Law
      He said he wanted Hanlon to meet M. Wesley Swearingen, a retired FBI agent. … was the son of Richard G. Held, an associate FBI director who was accused of …

  12. One wonders what these recent FBI actions represent. Wild guesses include the following :

    1. Retiring Boston FBI agent Vincent Lisi asked FBI Director James Comey for permission to put on “a good show” for new AG Loretta Lynch before retiring.

    2. Retiring Boston FBI agent Vincent Lisi was instructed by FBI Director James Comey to put on “a good show” for new AG Loretta Lynch before retiring.

    3. Retiring Boston FBI agent Vincent Lisi was instructed by FBI Director James Comey to put on “a good show” for new AG Loretta Lynch before both Lisi and Comey retire or leave.

    4. The FBI wants Lynch–and any AG–to stay the hell out of its way, so it “puts on a good show” for Lynch.

    5. The FBI cares only about “putting on a good show” on its own schedule, AG and the public be damned. It doesn’t matter how silly a fundamental examination makes the FBI actions appear; it matters only that the Globe and others of its shameless ilk kiss up to “the Bureau.”

    1. More important questions you might ask is how
      big is the FBI Pubic Relatios Bureau budget
      and who are the former journalists now working
      for the FBI Manufacturing Consent PR Department
      Did I mention the FBI psychologists assigned to
      help the FBI journalists by embedding fear with news
      on a behaviour modification schedule?
      As always funded by our tax dime!

      As I was googling FBI in the news these past
      2 days I was struck on how the media portrayed
      FBI agents as solving the Strad Violin crime, eh?

      The missing Gardiner Rembrandt is one of my favorite
      Rembrandts. The powerful image of the raft, tossing about in a
      swelling sea.
      Whenever I visited the Gardiner I would go to the Rembrandt first
      then the Vermeer.
      For some reason I always thought Myles Connor
      committed the crime.

      in other news

      Attorneys: FBI paid $41K to ISIS terror case informant ‘Rover’
      Issues Riham Feshir · Aug 6, 2015

      Attorneys for the six men accused of trying to flee the Twin Cities to
      join the terrorist group ISIS are demanding federal prosecutors
      identify an informant who played a key role in cracking the case.

      The FBI paid an informant who went by the name “Rover” and was
      identified in court documents as CHS. CHS was paid more than $41,000
      from January 2014 to May 2015, according to documents filed Thursday
      in U.S. District Court by Minneapolis-based attorney Andrew Birrell.

      Attorneys for Hamza Ahmed, Adnan Farah, Abdurahman Daud, Zacharia
      Abdurahman, Hanad Musse and Guled Omar, question the informant’s
      credibility. They say investigators

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