The Taking of America 123: Two: The Denigration of the FBI

Make no mistake about this. When President Donald Trump starts the process to terminate the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller that will result in the closure of his investigation America will have fallen from the ranks of democratic nations. We will have become a quasi-dictatorship like Russia or Turkey where the person in charge of the country is above the law and those who cross them are killed or jailed.

There will be no way to hold Trump, or perhaps any future president if we keep the presidential system, accountable for crimes committed to get into office or in office. Remember Russia and Turkey were once functioning democracies. Now they are ruled by one party which is ruled by one person.

The ominous signs of the planned takeover have come about in just the last week or so. The Trump team has been sending out messages intended to undermine the rule of law in America. Our nation’s foremost investigative unit has become under attack as never before in our history by the president and his allies. It has been subject to broad barrage of unjust and unwarranted criticism. The integrity of each special agent has been called into question.

Before reading the criticism of the FBI ask yourself if this is normal behavior for a president. After all he has appointed the person who is in charge of the FBI. If a president had problems with the FBI shouldn’t he have discussed it with his guy FBI Director Christopher Wray who he appointed.

What is the purpose of tweeting: ”After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”

Does Trump think everyone forgot how Comey undermined Hillary Clinton a fortnight before the election by announcing he was reopening an FBI investigation on her that he had previously closed? Does Trump believe many do not know while Comey made it public he was conducting an investigation of Hillary he was also conducting an investigation of Russia interfering with the election in order to support Trump but he kept quiet about it? If anything Comey was benefiting Trump but since Trump fired him for his pursuit of the Russian investigation and his unwillingness to give General Flynn a pass he is trying to rewrite history.

It wasn’t just Trump. His television channel joined in on the attack on the FBI. Tucker Carlson of Fox added: ”the point is clear, the FBI is out of control and not just in the Trump investigation but much more broadly. An agency charged with enforcing the law clearly considers itself above the law, and that is a threat to you and every American, no matter who you voted for.”

Trump’s suggesting the FBI reputation is in tatters and Carson suggestion the FBI is a threat to America are lies. But one must ask: “To what end?” The only reason I see behind deprecating the FBI is to set up a future argument which will be to suggest the results of FBI investigations are not trustworthy so don’t believe anything that comes from its investigations; or, in the alternative it is not Trump but the FBI that must be investigated.

If there is doubt about this then see how a professionally responsible act by Robert Mueller has been turned into a further attack on the FBI. Mueller was appointed in the middle of May 2017. When Mueller learned three months later in August that FBI agent Peter Strzok on his team had sent text messages critical of Trump he immediately had him reassigned. He wanted to conduct an investigation that would have no taint associated with it.

The Trump newspaper the Wall Street Journal (both Fox News and the WSJ are owned by Rupert Murdoch a friend of Trump) wrote: ““All of this reinforces our doubts about Mr. Mueller’s ability to conduct a fair and credible probe of the FBI’s considerable part in the Russia-Trump drama.” Then, amazingly, the WSJ states:  “It is no slur against Mr. Mueller’s integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years.” (my emphasis)

Note how Mueller is not supposed to be probing Russia’s  interference on behalf of Trump in the American presidential election but conducting “a credible probe of the bureau. . . ” Trump tweets about this:  “Report: “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE” Now it all starts to make sense!”

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox news has a legal analyst Greg Jarrett who said: “We now know that the Mueller investigation is illegitimate and corrupt. And Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon. And the FBI has become America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night banging through your door.”  As if reading from a script on the same day December 7 Newt Gringrich tweeted: “The level of profound dishonesty that we’re learning about at the FBI is astonishing. The swamp is much deeper than we thought.”

The game plan is to make the FBI look totally incompetent and corrupt. Nothing that it produces can be trusted . This situation must be cleared up. The FBI must  be investigated. Obviously the former head of the FBI can’t do this.  He should be removed.

Clever. Will it work?  Will the people think Mueller is supposed to be investigating the FBI?  If they can pull this off then Trump can easily remove him for not doing this job.


20 replies on “The Taking of America 123: Two: The Denigration of the FBI”

  1. Ouch!

    December 11, 2017
    The interagency CACTUS program served as the conduit between CIA’s Operation CHAOS and FBI’s COINTELPRO
    Even after each agecy’s domestic surveillance programs ended, the CACTUS channel continued their efforts and monitored “the idea of corporate complicity” in American imperialism
    Written by Emma Best
    Edited by JPat Brown
    A little known but extremely important part of the history of domestic surveillance by intelligence agencies is the CACTUS program. CACTUS was a highly classified channel used by agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to transmit information about “the New Left, Black Militants and related matters.” This channel was never disclosed in the Church Committee reports, even when the reports discuss information that was transmitted through CACTUS.
    A review of the available documents also indicates that the program is older than previous FOIA releases indicate, with one federal judge questioning CIA’s good faith in processing FOIA requests relating to the CACTUS channel when the Agency declared it was “still utilized” in the mid-1980s.
    According to a memo released to several researchers, “the CACTUS indicator” was described for FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover by CIA Director Richard Helms on April 22nd, 1970. The conclusion by the very few resources to mention the program has been that the program was first introduced on this date.
    Director CIA to Director FBI April 22, 1970


    The cryptonym CACTUS has been assigned as a teletype action indicator covering teletype communications between this Agency and your Bureau dealing with the New Left, Black Militants and related matters. Use of this indicator will facilitate prompt and effective action on such communications by this Agency.
    A formerly SECRET message between the FBI and CIA Directors shows that the program predates this memo. The message, dated April 18th, 1970, shows that CIA was sending information about Vietnam War protesters to FBI several days before Hoover had the cryptonym explained to him. It’s likely that the explanation was offered in response to a query from Hoover, who apparently was seeing the cryptonym for the first time. Whether the program was new, or simply new to Hoover, isn’t currently clear. A FOIA request to learn more was filed in March of this year, though the FBI has yet to respond (despite having exceeded the legal time limit several times over).
    Notably, one of the people involved in the earliest known CACTUS document was Coretta Scott King. Hardly a “black militant,” she was a civil rights icon and the widow of Martin Luther King Jr – himself infamously targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO efforts.

    The Agency seemed concerned that the campaign might invoke “the idea of corporate complicity” in regards to the Vietnam War. Further tying this monitoring to the COINTELPRO project is the fact that the memo was also signed by Richard Ober, the senior counterintelligence officer at CIA who was directing Operation CHAOS at that time, which was in many respects, the Agency’s equivalent of COINTELPRO. Significantly, the memo was flagged Counterintelligence Special Operations.

    Within a few months of the FBI and CIA’s earliest known use the CACTUS channel, it provided the FBI with a piece of evidence they used in their efforts to manipulate and ultimately destroy the Black Panther Party as part of COINTELPRO. When the Church Committee investigated this chapter, they simply noted that the FBI learned where Leary was. No citation is given, and it’s unclear if the Church Committee had any awareness of the Agency’s role in this instance of the U.S. Government meddling in domestic politics.

    A formerly SECRET teletype between the CIA and FBI Directors, however, reveals that the information came directly from the highest levels of CIA. This support from CIA gave the FBI the information it needed to create and exploit a chain of events that resulted in Cleaver and his people being expelled.

    While this happened when COINTELPRO was still officially authorized, the program is generally believed to have been discontinued just over a year after the CACTUS channel was initiated. After the theft and publication of documents from the FBI’s office in Media, Pennsylvania revealed the existence of COINTELPRO, the Bureau decided that it was too sensitive and operations were to shut down – in theory. A closer reading of the memo issued by Hoover shows that the programs were “discontinued” only in a centralized sense, and laid out a process for authorizing additional COINTELPRO-like projects.

    As pointed out in the Church Committee report, this merely got rid of the designator for these types of actions. After noting several such examples, the Committee concluded that it would take a search of all investigative files to locate additional instances of COINTELPRO-like activity after the program was declared discontinued. The CIA program, CACTUS, was unaffected.

    A formerly SECRET memo shows that nearly a year after COINTELPRO was officially disbanded, CIA was still using CACTUS to transmit and request information on figures in the “New Left” figures such as John Lennon.

    A previously CONFIDENTIAL memo shows that just prior to that, the Agency had been supplying the Bureau with months worth of information about U.S. citizens traveling in Korea, Vietnam or China – including Susan Sontag, on assignment for Esquire.

    Another formerly SECRET memo bearing the CACTUS cryptonym shows that nearly two years after COINTELPRO was officially discontinued, CIA was still providing information on the Eldridge Cleaver faction of the BPP.

    When the BPP tried to sue over this, the Agency deflected and used a form of graymail by attempting to force the Party to reveal the name of every past and present member or contributor. After the BPP refused, the suit was dismissed.
    Other memos show that the Agency was not discriminating in what it decided made someone a “black militant.” While a good case can be made that the BPP had militant members, the Agency also decided that individuals like Ralph Abernathy counted. At the time, Abernathy had a history as a non-violent leader in the Civil Rights movement, and as a friend of MLK. He was also the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Some of the same memos contained information about Noam Chomsky, who the Agency similarly saw as giving aid and comfort to the enemy by advocating against war and criticizing the U.S..

    Regardless of whether or not someone was a respected member of the government, even they weren’t immune to the reach of the CIA and CACTUS. Less than two weeks after she became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bella Abzug’s name was included on a list of “United States Lawyers Appearing on the World Peace Council’s Mailing List” that was sent to the FBI in a formerly SECRET memo as part of its monitoring of the New Left.

    Other memos show that the program wasn’t restricted to issues of national security or foreign involvement. A memo sent from the CIA to the FBI just days before COINTELPRO was ostensibly “discontinued” shows that the Agency was collecting and disseminating information about domestic protests. Significantly, the Agency doesn’t appear to have demonstrated the necessary reasonable belief that these activities were a threat to CIA personnel, installation or facilities to authorize the collection under domestic security concerns.

    Another memo shows that the information wasn’t just being shared with the FBI but to other Agencies, like the Secret Service. It’s unknown what other agencies received CACTUS messages, but there’s a very real chance that every major federal law enforcement agency received one. The police forces of major cities, such as the NYPD, may also have received CACTUS messages in the days before fusion centers.

    In a declaration dated October 28th, 1986 the Agency claimed that releasing additional files would reveal a “CIA administrative methodology used to restrict the flow of sensitive information” which was “still utilized at the present time.” While FBI’s COINTELPRO and CIA’s CHAOS programs had allegedly been shut down, the liaison program linking the two remained in effect for decades. Presently, there’s no evidence that the CACTUS program has been discontinued.
    Significantly, especially in light of the lack of disclosure of CACTUS in either the Rockefeller Commission or the Church Committee, a federal judge noted that the “chain of events raises still more doubt about the care and good faith with which plaintiff’s FOIA requests were processed” in regards to CACTUS.
    Similarly, the FBI seems to have had its own concerns about keeping CACTUS as secret as possible. An inventory in the file on Mark Felt (commonly believed to be the composite character known as Deep Throat) shows that CACTUS had its own handling and dissemination protocols. A copy of this has been requested, and the issue of CACTUS in general requires additional research.
    In the meantime, the CACTUS BPP memo is embedded below, and you can view the 30 CACTUS documents that have been identified and collected so far here.

  2. make mine 2 ughs!

    December 12, 2017
    FBI appears to have investigated – and considered prosecuting – FOIA requesters
    Heavily redacted emails discussing the potential investigation conceal the identities of the FBI officials while exposing personal info of requesters
    Written by Emma Best
    Edited by JPat Brown
    A new FOIA release shows the FBI Director’s Office responded to FOIA requests for known files on deceased FBI officials by presenting options that seemingly included a law enforcement investigation/proceeding against the requesters, with one email calling the requests “SUSPICIOUS.” While the emails are heavily redacted to conceal the identities of the FBI officials involved in the discussions, the Bureau repeatedly left personal information of the different FOIA requesters unredacted, despite having clear guidelines and no privacy waivers.

    The FBI’s Dead List, which compiles a list of FBI files on subjects the Bureau knows to be dead, can be a wonderful resource for FOIA requesters. The list confirms the existence of specific FBI files as well as the subject’s death, removing the need to provide separate proof of death in order to avoid unnecessary redactions. The FBI has recently begun claiming that they can’t locate the updated copy of the file, a claim that the Department of Justice has upheld on appeal. The most recently released copy of the Dead List identified approximately 7,000 deceased FBI officials on whom the Bureau maintained files. Due to the obvious public interest in these files, they were requested.

    To accomplish this, the names of the subjects were extracted from the Dead List and a simple script written to submit FOIA requests for them. The requests were submitted on February 29th 2016, with the script and data made available online so that others could make their own requests and trigger the DOJ’s “rule of three” for frequently requested records, which would see the files posted online by the FBI. The FBI acknowledged a large number of them before they began ignoring them. Over a month later (after the Bureau had exceeded legal time limit), the FBI sent a letter stating that they had “received an exceedingly high volume of submissions” which they would not accept.

    According to the Bureau, fulfilling the FOIA requests would have prevented the FBI from fulfilling FOIA requests. Their letter stated that the “manner of submission interfered with the FBI’s ability to perform its FOIA and PA statutory responsibilities as an agency. Accordingly, the FBI did not accept these submissions on February 29th, 2016.”

    In response, a new FOIA request was filed for:

    All internal memos, letters and emails relating to a voluminous number of FOIA requests that were submitted on February 29th, 2016 and all discussions of how to handle said requests. I also hereby request all email maintenance complaints, logs and other documentation of problems associated with the FBI email system for February and March 2016.
    After ten months (again well outside the legal limit), the Bureau finally responded with 25 pages of heavily redacted emails. The FBI provided no records indicating any problems with their email system for February or March, and withheld no pages in their entirety. Since the FBI’s FOIA office is always thorough in their searches and acts in good faith for David Hardy, the FBI’s relevant Section Chief, is an honorable man, it might be safe to assume that these records do not exist. If they did, the Bureau would surely release them, if only to substantiate Hardy’s claim that the submission method caused interference for the FBI. Since the author’s free Gmail account was able to handle the number of emails involved, it’s hardly surprising that the Bureau’s system would be as well.

    Perhaps the most revealing thing from the emails is that at least one person from the FBI Director’s Office became involved, as indicated by the DO abbreviation. Though the text of their email is redacted except for a single word, if one believes the b(7)e exemption cited by the Bureau, they discussed “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.” There would be no reason to discuss those techniques or procedures in this instance if the Bureau wasn’t considering applying them in response to the FOIA requests.

    Another email shows that the Bureau apparently considered the FOIA requests “SUSPICIOUS.”

    Other emails show that the FBI’s FOIA office consulted a number of people from the Criminal Justice Information Services division. Among other things, CJIS is responsible for the Bureau’s National Crime Information Center, Uniform Crime Reporting, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, and the National Incident-Based Reporting System systems.

    Despite redacting the names and email addresses of the public servants handling the case, the FBI released not only the author’s name and address in the file (technically improper since there was no waiver, albeit understandable) but the name, email address and home address of another requester who also used the script to file requests. Their name along with their email and physical addresses were left unredacted not once, not twice, not thrice – but seven times, not including the email headers, several of which also showed their name and email address.

    It’s hard to imagine that the Bureau, which once hung a sign in their FOIA office instructing people that “when in doubt – cross it out” would fail to redact this information so many times by accident. In context, it’s hard to see it as anything but retaliatory. As Fred Burton (Stratfor’s Vice President of Intelligence) put it, not only is it the sort of pettiness one would expect from the lingering ghost of J. Edgar Hoover – it’s the sort of thing that should be investigated.

    After the FBI threw away the separately filed FOIA requests en masse, including the ones that released emails show they had already processed into their FOIPA system, a separate, single request was filed for the files of deceased FBI Officials which the Bureau had identified in the Dead List. In response, the Bureau identified several preprocessed files that it requested duplication fees for in contrast to their typical policy of providing preprocessed materials without duplication or review fees. The Bureau also denied the author the proper fee category. The FBI insisted, among other things, that there had been no demonstration that the author was a journalist, or that a distinct work could be distributed to an audience, despite the original FOIA request citing previous articles that had individually reached over 100,000 readers.

    This was appealed to the Department of Justice, which not only upheld the Bureau’s decision but cited logic that is faulty and contradicted by both the law. The DOJ’s arguments included stating that there was no “topic for an article of interest to the intelligence community” – despite the FBI being part of the that community. The DOJ also argued, in a single sentence, that there was no “topical thread” connecting the subjects of the request and that they were all deceased FBI employees. The FBI’s internal emails also contradicted their contention that there was no public interest, as the FBI was fully aware that there were already articles about the requests themselves – a fact which obliviates the Bureau’s contention that there would be no public interest in the results of those requests.

    Therefore, the DOJ stated that “the FBI properly categorized you as an “all others” requester for purposes of this request.” [emphasis added] Even according to the DOJ’s own website, this contradicts the law. A second appeal was filed, pointing out that, among other things, “the news-media waiver … focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request.” The courts have also held that if a requester satisfies the news media “criteria as a general matter, it does not matter whether any of the individual FOIA requests does so.”

    Nevertheless, the DOJ upheld their original decision.

    It seems that when it comes to FOIA requests for FBI files on their deceased officials, the law is used to consider investigations or prosecutions against the requesters and to protect the privacy of the Bureau’s personnel, but not the privacy of the requesters or to fulfill the statutory FOIA requirements – which the FBI incredulously claimed they would be unable to fulfill if they had fulfilled the FOIA requests.

    Readers are strongly encouraged to file their own requests for individual files on deceased FBI employees via the list embedded below, or on the request page here.

  3. Blogging is not truth

    Behaviour is truth

    Hello Boys and Girls Welcome to the MTC Irregulars

    Todays Pro Bono word is Volunteer Civilian Police Review
    Board with Subpoena powers

    Can you say ” Volunteer Civilian Police Review Board “?

    Now say it with the word ” subpoena ”

    The word means voters and taxpayers,
    you know them as the primary consumers
    of our criminal justice system

    Would set and enforce standards for our
    criminal justice system

    In other Oliver North news

    I Volunteer to Kidnap Oliver North
    Michael Levine

    Undercover DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was tortured to death slowly by professionals. Every known maximum-pain technique, from electric shocks to his testicles to white hot rods inserted in his rectum, was applied. A doctor stood by to keep him alive. The heart of the thirty-seven year old father of two boys refused to quit for more than twenty-four hours. His cries, along with the soft-spoken, calm voices of the men who were slowly and meticulously savaging his body, were tape-recorded.
    Kiki, one of only three hundred of us in the world (DEA agents on foreign assignment), had been kidnapped in broad daylight from in front of the U.S. Consular office in Guadalajara, Mexico by Mexican cops working for drug traffickers and, apparently, high level Mexican government people whose identities we would never know. They would be protected by people in our own government to whom Kiki’s life meant less than nothing.

    When teams of DEA agents were sent to Mexico, first, to find the missing Kiki, then to hunt for his murderers, they were met by a the stone wall of a corrupt Mexican government that refused to cooperate. To the horror and disgust of many of us, our government backed down from the Mexicans; other interests, like NAFTA, banking agreements and the covert support of Ollie North’s Contras, were more important than the life of an American undercover agent. DEA agents were ordered by the Justice Department, to keep our mouths shut about Mexico; an order that was backed up by threats from the office of Attorney General Edwin Meese himself. Instead of tightening restrictions on the Mexican debt, our Treasury Department moved to loosen them as if to reward them for their filthy deed. As an added insult Mexico was granted cooperating nation in the drug war status, giving them access to additional millions in American drug war funds and loans.

    Somehow a CIA—unaware that their own chief of Soviet counter intelligence, Aldrich Ames, was selling all America’s biggest secrets to the KGB for fourteen years with all the finesse of a Jersey City garage sale—was able to obtain the tape-recordings of Kiki’s torture death. No one in media or government had the courage to publicly ask them explain how they were able to obtain the tapes, yet know nothing of the murder as it was happening; no one had the courage to ask them to explain the testimony of a reliable government informant, (during a California trial related to Camarena’s murder), that Kiki’s murderers believed they were protected by the CIA. Nor did our elected leaders have the courage to investigate numerous other reports linking the CIA directly to the murderers.

    Our government’s sellout of Kiki Camarena, of all DEA agents, of the war on drugs, was such that United States Congressman, Larry Smith, stated, on the floor of Congress:

    “I personally am convinced that the Justice Department is against the best interests of the United States in terms of stopping drugs… What has a DEA agent who puts his life on the line got to look forward to? The U.S. Government is not going to back him up. I find that intolerable.”

    What does Oliver North have to do with this?

    A lot of us, Kiki’s fellow agents, believe that the Mexican government never would have dared take the action they did, had they not believed the US government to be as hypocritical and corrupt as they were and still are. And if there was ever a figure in our history that was the paradigm of that corruption it is the man President Reagan called “an American hero”; the same man Nancy Reagan later called a liar: Oliver North.

    No one person in our government’s history more embodied what Senator John Kerry referred to when he called the US protection of the drug smuggling Contras a “betrayal of the American people.”

    Few Americans, thanks to what one time CIA chief William Colby referred to as the news media’s “misplaced sense of patriotism,” are aware that the Nobel prize winning President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias—as a result of an in-depth investigation by the Costa Rican Congressional Commission on Narcotics that found “virtually all [Ollie North supported] Contra factions were involved in drug trafficking”—banned Oliver North, U.S. Ambassador Lewis Tambs, National Security Advisor Admiral John Poindexter, Presidential Advisor Richard Secord and C.I.A. station chief José Fernandez, by Executive order, from ever entering Costa Rica— for their roles in utilizing Costa Rican territory for cocaine trafficking.

    In fact, when Costa Rica began its investigation into the drug trafficking allegations against North and naively thought that the U.S. would gladly lend a hand in efforts to fight drugs, they received a rude awakening about the realities of America’s war on drugs as opposed to its “this-scourge-will-end” rhetoric.

    After five witnesses testified before the U.S. Senate, confirming that John Hull—a C.I.A. operative and the lynch-pin of North’s contra re supply operation—had been actively running drugs from Costa Rica to the U.S. “under the direction of the C.I.A.,” Costa Rican authorities arrested him. Hull then quickly jumped bail and fled to the U.S.—according to my sources—with the help of DEA, putting the drug fighting agency in the schizoid business of both kidnapping accused drug dealers and helping them escape; although the Supreme Court has not legalized the latter . . . yet.

    The then-President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias was stunned when he received letters from nineteen U.S. Congressman—including Lee Hamilton of Indiana, the Democrat who headed the Iran-contra committee—warning him “to avoid situations . . . that could adversely affect our relations.” Arias, who won the Nobel prize for ending the contra war, stated that he was shocked that “relations between [the United States] and my country could deteriorate because [the Costa Rican] legal system is fighting against drug trafficking.”

    In my twenty-five years experience with DEA which includes running some of their highest level international drug trafficking investigations, I have never seen an instance of comparable allegations where DEA did not set up a multi-agency task force size operation to conduct an in-depth conspiracy investigation. Yet in the case of Colonel North and the other American officials, no investigation whatsoever has been initiated by DEA or any other investigative agency.

    The total “public” investigation into the drug allegations by the Senate was falsely summed up in the statement of a staffer, on the House select committee, Robert A. Bermingham who notified Chairman Hamilton on July 23, 1987, that after interviewing “hundreds” of people his investigation had not developed any corroboration of “media-exploited allegations that the U.S. government condoned drug trafficking by contra leaders . . . or that Contra leaders or organizations did in fact take part in such activity.” Every government official accused of aiding and covering up for the contra drug connection, Colonel Ollie included, then hung his hat on this statement, claiming they had been “cleared.”

    The only trouble was that investigative journalists, Leslie and Andrew Cockburn—after interviewing many of the chief witnesses whose testimony implicated North and the contras in drug trafficking, including several whose testimony was later found credible enough to be used to convict Manuel Noriega—could find not one who had been interviewed by Bermingham or his staff. In fact, the two journalists seem to have caught Bermingham red-handed in what can only be described, at best, as a gross misrepresentation of fact, when he (Bermingham) quoted the chief counsel of a House Judiciary subcommittee, Hayden Gregory as dismissing the drug evidence and calling it “street talk.” Gregory told the Cockburns that the “street talk” comment was taken out of context; that he had not even met Bermingham until July 22 (two days before Bermingham wrote the report) and that he had in fact told Bermingham that there were “serious allegations against almost every contra leader.”

    When President Bush said, “All those who look the other way are as guilty as the drug dealers,” he was not only talking about a moral guilt, but a legal one as well. Thus, if any U.S. official knew of North and the contra’s drug activities and did not take proper action, or covered up for it, he is “guilty” of a whole series of crimes that you to go to jail for; crimes that carry a minimum jail term; crimes like Aiding and Abetting, Conspiracy, Misprision of a Felony, Perjury, and about a dozen other violations of law related to misuse and malfeasance of public office. I’m not talking about some sort of shadow conspiracy here. As a veteran, criminal investigator I don’t deal in speculation. I document facts and evidence and then work like hell to corroborate my claims so that I can send people to jail.

    What I am talking about is “Probable Cause”—a legal principle that every junior agent and cop is taught before he hits the street. It mandates that an arrest and/or criminal indictment must occur when there exists evidence that would give any “reasonable person” grounds to believe, that anyone— U.S. government officials included—had violated or conspired to violate federal narcotic laws. Any U.S. government law enforcement officer or elected official who fails to take appropriate action when such Probable Cause exists, is in violation of his oath as well as federal law; and under that law it takes surprisingly little evidence for a Conspiracy conviction.

    As an example, early in my career I arrested a man named John Clements, a twenty-two year old, baby-faced guitar player, who happened to be present at the transfer of three kilos of heroin—an amount that doesn’t measure up to a tiny percentage of the many tons of cocaine, (as much as one half the U.S. cocaine consumption), that North and his Contras have been accused of pouring onto our streets. Clements was a silent observer in a trailer parked in the middle of a Gainesville, Florida swamp, while a smuggler—whom I had arrested hours earlier in New York City and “flipped” (convinced to work as an informer for me)— turned the heroin over to the financier of the operation. Poor John Clements, a friend of both men, a “gofer” as he would later be described, was just unlucky enough to be there.

    The twenty-two year old guitar player couldn’t claim “national security,” when asked to explain his presence, nor could he implicate a President of the United States in his criminal activities as Colonel North did. John Clements wrote no self-incriminating computer notes that indicated his deep involvement in drug trafficking, as North did; he didn’t have hundreds of pages of diary notes in his own handwriting also reflecting narcotics trafficking. John Clements did not shred incriminating documents and lie to congress as North did; nor was he responsible for millions in unaccounted for U.S. government funds as North was. Clements did not have enough cash hidden in a closet slush fund to pay $14,000 cash for a car, as North did while earning the salary of a Lieutenant Colonel. John Clements only had about $3 and change in his pocket.

    Nor did John Clements campaign for the release from jail of a drug smuggling, murderer whose case was described by the Justice Department as the worst case of narco terrorism in our history, as North did. Poor young John wouldn’t have dreamed of making deals with drug dealer Manny Noriega to aid in the support of the drug smuggling Contras, as North did. No, John Clements was certainly not in Ollie North’s league, he couldn’t have done a millionth of the damage North and his protectors have been accused of doing to the American people, even if he wanted to.

    But John Clements did do something Ollie North never did and probably never will do—he went to jail. A jury of his peers in Gainseville Florida found more than enough evidence to convict him of Conspiracy to violate the federal drug laws. The judge sentenced him to thirty years in a Federal prison. Ollie North on the other hand was only charged with lying to a Congress so mistrusted and disrespected by the American people that he was virtually applauded for the crime.

    Criminality in drug trafficking cases is lot easier than proving whether or not someone lied to Congress and is certainly a lot less “heroic.” Statements like “I don’t remember,” “I didn’t know,” and “No one told me,” or “I sought approval from my superiors for every one of my actions,” are only accepted as valid defenses by Congressmen and Senators with difficulties balancing check books—not American jurors trying drug cases. And when you’re found guilty you got to jail—you don’t run for a seat on the Senate.

    And why would I volunteer to kidnap Ollie? For three reasons: first, kidnapping is now legal; second, I have experience kidnapping; and third, it is the only way those tens of millions of Americans who have suffered the betrayal of their own government will ever see even a glimmer of justice.

    Several years after Kiki’s last tape-recorded cries were shoved well under a government rug, a maverick group of DEA agents decided to take the law into their own hands. Working without the knowledge or approval of most of the top DEA bosses, whom they mistrusted, the agents arranged to have Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain, a Mexican citizen alleged to have participated in Kiki’s murder, abducted at gun point in Guadalajara Mexico and brought to Los Angeles to stand trial.

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

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

    By now you’re probably saying, “Get real Levine you live in a nation whose politicians ripped their own people off for half a trillion dollars in a savings and loan scam, a nation whose Attorney General ordered the FBI to attack a house full of innocent babies, and this is the decade of Ruby Ridge, Waco and Whitewater-gate; your own people sent Kiki Camarena to Mexico to be murdered and then gave aid and comfort to those who murdered him—how can you expect justice?”

    If you aren’t saying these things you should be. And you’d be right. Under the current two-party, rip-off system of American politics with their complete control of main stream media, I expect Ollie North to have a bright future in politics, while hundreds of thousands of Americans like John rot in jail. Ollie North, after all, is the perfect candidate. But there is one faint glimmer of hope remaining, and it isn’t in America.

    Since the democratic and staunchly anti-drug Costa Rica is, thus far, the only nation with the courage to have publicly accused Oliver North, a US Ambassador and a CIA station chief of running drugs from their sovereignty to the United States, I find myself, duty-bound to make them, or any other nation that would have the courage to make similar charges, the following offer:

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

    1. Amen! Ollie is apparently now working directly with Eric Prince assisting Trump. This is deeply troubling at many levels. Most importantly, Ollie, the former NSC Counter terrorism desk officer, has certain unique sensitive insights from the counter terrorism world… insights that we must assume Trump now has. Stand by.

  4. Two pictures are worth two thousand words. “The Trump newspaper the Wall Street Journal (both Fox News and the WSJ are owned by Rupert Murdoch a friend of Trump) …”



    Drain The Swamp.

    1. Guess my puter skills are not up to the task. The links should work to demonstrate the closeness of Murdoch and the Clintons.

      The WSJ has been a neocon citadel for decades. Neocons are Never Trumpers. That being said the WSJ was anti-Clinton through most of the 1990s, but since then it has changed ownership. Buyer Murdoch has been tight with the Clintons for a long time.

  5. Comey handed the election to Trump. The notion that the FBI is pro-Clinton is loopy. The same people spewing venom and hatred at Obama and Clinton are now weeping about the rough treatment accorded to Trump. Boo hoo!

  6. Please, more comments from the Fitzes . . . from all

    I recall guy who wrote a book raking the FBI over the coals. Something about Don’t Embarrass the Family!

    Yes, Trump Derangement Syndrome is a disgrace to America; The Media-Academia-Government (deep state) Antifa, Commies (leftists) and Yuppy-Yippies all ganging up on Trump. I call it the MAGACY complex, pronounced with a soft g…. the magacy complex rhymes with majesty . . .it also is evocative of maggots, pronounced with a hard g . . . You know in America we don’t like Royalty running things, nor do we like maggots or snobs telling us how to think. . . We are a free people

    I liked that 1800 citation to a case that held Congress has the power to hold the FBI (anachronistic phrasing) or anyone else in contempt . . . and the Justice Department must prosecute when it does . . . otherwise our Founding Fathers gave us a toothless branch of government, which they obviously did not intend.

    1. I recall that very same author making crank calls to the Boston FBI office after a State Police Christmas party in Dedham a LONG time ago! Appreciate the sentiments and phonetics….the “G” in Angus King is silent?

  7. Last one from the Fitzgeralds. My sister cannot understand all this Trump hatred. She worries about the impact The Resistance will have on the nation. She writes:

    “The attack on constitutional government, carried on by the weaponized institutions created under it, along with the resistance to the election result and the alliance of the media with one party, should be sufficient to get us all on board to stop this perversion of the remarkable government the framers designed. And boy oh boy, were they ever attuned to the way we could screw it up but even their checks and balances may not be enough if people can’t tolerate losing any, one election. I’ve tolerated that so often I have no sympathy for those who don’t. Part of the deal is we accept we’re not in charge of the whole thing.”

  8. Press reports indicate Ollie North is worung for Trump on intelligence matters. Ollie must have traded something to get the job. Stand by.

  9. Do you have any idea that Connolly’s recruitment of Bulger and Flemmi as Informants (especially Flemmi) is responsible for the take down of the Entire New England Mafia? That Connolly retired one of the most highly decorated agents in its history, early in his carreer, in 1970s spotting and arresting Salemme in New York City?

    Martorano was Mafia, so was Flemmi: Mafia hitmen, maybe not made men!.

    Bulger’s sphere of influence extended from Upham’s Corner to Castle Island,, from a few bars on Dudley Street to Faragut Road.

    You write: “So what if in the future they decide to only protect one side and not the other?”

    So what? If they decide only to protect political liberals like the Clintons and Dershowit’s pals and Epstein et al, and go after Irish and Italian Catholics from South Boston and Dorchester, Probation Officers, Jews from Boston, the young computer genius Aaron Swartz, and black moderate politicians from Boston, City Councilor Chuck Turner, a septuagenarian.

    So what?

    1. Bill C,

      A tactic may be good or bad, depending on its purpose. My concern is with the FBI’s broad discretionary powers to decide which election-illegalities it investigates and makes public during a campaign and which it does not. Those decisions can influence the outcome of a campaign as we just saw in the most recent presidential election.

  10. From this blog post:

    “Does Trump think everyone forgot how Comey undermined Hillary Clinton a fortnight before the election by announcing he was reopening an FBI investigation on her that he had previously closed? Does Trump believe many do not know while Comey made it public he was conducting an investigation of Hillary he was also conducting an investigation of Russia interfering with the election in order to support Trump but he kept quiet about it? If anything Comey was benefiting Trump but since Trump fired him for his pursuit of the Russian investigation and his unwillingness to give General Flynn a pass he is trying to rewrite history.”

    So now the American people are put into the predicament of defending the FBI from Trump when Comey, who we are told is very popular within the FBI, was perhaps directly responsible for Trump’s victory.

    And it’s not just Comey. What about the FBI not even so much as warning the Clinton campaign and other high ranking Democrats their email was under cyber attack from the Russians???


    The bureau repeatedly failed to alert targets of the Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bear despite knowing for more than a year that their personal emails were in the Kremlin’s sights, an Associated Press investigation has found.

    “No one’s ever said to me, ‘Hey Joe, you’ve been targeted by this Russian group,’” said former Navy intelligence officer Joe Mazzafro, whose inbox the hackers tried to compromise in 2015. “That our own security services have not gone out and alerted me, that’s what I find the most disconcerting as a national security professional.”

    The AP identified more than 500 U.S.-based targets in the data, reached out to more than 190 of them and interviewed nearly 80 people, including current or former military personnel, Democratic operatives, diplomats or ex-intelligence workers such as Mazzafro.

    Many were long-retired, but about one-third were still in government or held security clearances at the time of the hacking attempts. ONLY TWO told the AP they learned of the hacking attempts from the FBI. A few more were contacted by the FBI after their emails were published in the torrent of leaks that coursed through last year’s electoral contest. To this day, some leak victims have not heard from the bureau.

    Questions over the FBI’s handling of Fancy Bear’s broad hacking sweep date to March 2016, when agents arrived unannounced at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn to warn her campaign about a surge of rogue, password-stealing emails.

    The agents offered little more than generic security tips the campaign had already put into practice and refused to say who they thought was behind the attempted intrusions, according to a person who was there and spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was meant to be confidential.

    Questions emerged again after it was revealed that the FBI never took custody of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server after it was penetrated by Fancy Bear in April 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey testified this year that the FBI worked off a copy of the server, which he described as an “appropriate substitute.”

    So in an election contest now, the FBI has a key role in protecting the sanctity of our elections and in 2016 the FBI failed to do it.

    So what if in the future they decide to only protect one side and not the other? Sort of like deciding that the Mafia is more of a persistent and enduring threat than Whitey Bulger and the Winter Hill gang, so then strictly and aggressively investigating the Mafia while giving the Winter Hill gang a pass, for a couple of decades, even deputizing a few as informants. It would be pretty hard for even the Mafia to compete against Winter Hill if they are getting three outs per inning at the same time Winter Hill is getting seven outs per inning.

    What if the FBI were to decide to pick sides in an election they way they may have picked sides during Boston’s “gang wars,” aggressively and publicly investigating one side, while not protecting that same one side from illegal “dirty tricks”?

    What does this have to do with the Mueller investigation? Nothing at all. I have confidence that the investigation will be handled honestly and competently, but I am not going to jump on board in the making Comey into some kind of folk hero for finally doing his job, with respect to Trump, after he was already elected. And the same kind of oversight the FBI is receiving for this Trump investigation must be extended to all phases of the 2020 and subsequent elections.

  11. My wife, who follows this minute by minute, reminds me that the FBI and DOJ have refused to respond to congressional subpoenas and are on the threshold of being cited for contempt for failing to provide basic information to those charged with oversight of the DOJ and FBI… I just read an article about the history of this by Turley who concludes..

    “In 1821, in Anderson v. Dunn, the Supreme Court held that absent the power to hold people in contempt, Congress would be “exposed to every indignity and interruption that rudeness, caprice, or even conspiracy, may mediate against it.” That prediction has come true with officials acting as if congressional subpoenas as mere requests and their compliance as mere discretionary choices. Yet, this will be a purely symbolic gesture unless Congress moves to reinforce its contempt authority with actual prosecution. It is time for Congress to reclaim the power to hold contemptuous officials in contempt.”

    Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.

  12. Is this a parody ? Mueller has Struck re-assigned to prevent tainting the investigation? How droll ! Struck and FBI agent wife were rabidly pro-Clinton . It was Struck who amended statutory language , changing ” gross negligence” to “extreme carelessness , in the original FBI report concerning Hillary treating State Dept. e-mail like her personal mail . This avoided obvious embarrassment and made possible the partisan FBI brooming of any possible charges . The Mueller chase of the chimerical colluding co-horts of Trump and Putin , especially in the ironic circumstance of Clinton and Crew actually and demonstrably orchestrating the ” Steele Dossier ” to smear Trump with disgusting allegations of sexual impropriety with Russian prostitutes , is laughably and insanely hypocritical . The FBI took an absolutely false smear report . funded through a Clinton legal cutout by Fusion GPS , to FISA Court. They sought and received , based on a huge dirty tricks product , warrants to investigate Trump operatives pre-election .

    I no longer get irate about the intellectually inconsistent , the philosophically false , the spiritually impoverished rantings of the Democratic Party in this matter . Now, I simply smile. It is an inward smile . It acknowledges people’s passionate capacity for self -delusion in their political journeys , and rejoices that the electoral will of the people prevailed over a highly corrupt attempt to enlist the Nation’s greatest police security force in the pursuit of partisan political interests .

    Bob Mueller has got to go . The investigation was fashioned out of whole cloth from its inception . It is now a deep embarrassment to itself. At the least !

  13. Disagree:
    Mueller picked investigators who (85% of them) donated to Hillary, democratics, and the Clinton foundation. He started out with a biased team. Now we connections to Fusion GPS and Steele, a British agent, who hired Russsian agents to dig up dirt on Trump and make up stories about Trump and Cohen, et al. The more grimey the stories, the more $ Steele gave them.

    Mueller’s Weinstein was at Hillary’s election night victory celebrations party in New York.
    (Parenthetically, A.A.G. Stern who taught at Harvard Law and likely was in touch with Dershowitz, and knew of his unbridled hatred of Bill Bulger and John Connolly (see dust jacket of Howie Carr’s Brothers Bulger) sicced Durham and Wyshak et al on Connolly, et al, to get William F. Bulger; Why go after the man on the lowest rung of the FBI ladder, and to do so while letting off his boss, Morris, an admitted corrupt cop and attempted murderer leaking names, and letting off with lenient sweet deals 4 serial murderers (Martorano, Salemme, Flemmi, Weeks) . . . to get a cop? The politicization of the judiciary and FBI began in the late 1980s and continued unabated until recently. IIn fact, in 1998, when Judge Wolfe ( a good man) heard Cardinale’s motion to drop some charges against Flemmi; both Cardinale and lawyers for the Government, Wyshak et al, painted John Connolly in the worst possible terms. Why, because while Wolfe was hearing Flemmi’s motion, Stern’s other dogs were unleashed before a grand jury seeking an indictment against John Connolly. No one was defending John before Wolfe; both appellant Cardinale and the government appellee (sp?) Wyshak and all were demonizing John Connolly. Wolfe, blindsided made two adverse findings against John Connolly in his 600-page decision (an also de-facto indicted 18 other FBI agents) but I don’t blame the Honorable Judge Wolfe (a good man), he was, as they say in football . . . . what’s word, blocked high and low at the same time by two men from the same team? …. chainsawed? whiplashed? The point is there were two teams on the field and both were against John Connolly and the FBI. But why . . . . to get someone higher up, way high up on the ladder. I forget, but Wolfe may have slightly modified a charge against Flemmi, nothing more or less . . OH, THE KEY PART . . . THROUGHOUT ALL THESE 1998 HEARINGS WHILE FLEMMI WAS UNDER OATH HE INSISTED JOHN CONNOLLY WAS AN HONEST COP WHO NEVER TOOK A DIME, NEVER WANTED ANYONE KILLED, AND HE’D ARREST ANYONE HE THOUGHT COMMITTED VIOLENCE . . . . IN 2003, AGAIN UNDER OATH (READ DAVE BOERI’S 2006 ARTICLES) FLEMMI SAID, SUMMARIZING HIS RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS, JOHN CONNOLLY NEVER DID OR SAID ANYTHIING INTENDING ANYONE BE KILLED, AND IF HE REASONABLY SUSPECTED FLEMMI OR ANYONE ELSE COMMITTED MURDER, CONNOLLY WOULD IMMEDIATELY HFAVE ARRESTED THEM. EXACTLY 5 YEARS LATER IN A MIAMI COURTROOM FLEMMI WAS SINGING AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SONG . . . . IMAGING THE DEAL WYSHAK GOT FOR HIM!

    Anyway If you’re not bothered by what the Stern-Wyshak gang did in Boston . . . siccing (Seig Heil) the FBI dogs on innocent folks like young Mr. Swarz, innocent cops, Kenney Conley, innocent lawyers, etc, etc,. . . . well, you should be bothered.
    The FBI McCabe’s wife who got $750,000 to run for State Senate from Hillary’s Dems . . . seen pictures of McCabe at outdoor public functions wearing his wife’s senatorial campaign t-shirt . . .
    McCabe was the lead guy charged with local agents investigating HIllary and was beholden to her and the Dems.
    Comey let Hillary off the hook. The smuck Stoldz (sp?) changed the phrase Gross Negligence to Extreme Carelessly . . . and Comey liked that change, because he could pretend Hillary didn’t commit a crime and cover for her.
    How about that FBI use of the Dossier?
    Where’s the investigation of the Bill Clinton and Ms. A.G. Lynch tarmac/hanger meeting . . . all swept under the rug.

    I urge all Americans to keep criticizing openly and fearlessly judges, FBI muckety mucks, Agencies, Courts, Kings and Queens . . . In America we have no royalty . . . all government workers, including the President, are Servants of the People.

    We can and must criticize them often and vigorously, while also at the same time acknowledging the good, necessary, sometimes very courageous work they do for all of us on a daily basis.

    Keep your hands up high while punching, don’t let your guard down, and before the first bell and after the final bell, touch gloves, wish your opponents well, and shake hands.

    We’ve all followed boxing or football. When the judges or refs make bad calls, we lambaste them. We should. It helps keep the game honest.
    The FBI, like all government agencies, performs essential functions and usually well and courageously, especially the front line guys . . . but when Politics infect the Judicial System, Prosecutorial System and Investigative Systems of Government, we’re all in trouble .

  14. Matt….your penultimate paragraph speaks for itself…. Ipse Dixit ( Latin for finders keepers?)There is no need for a game plan “to make the FBI look totally incompetent and corrupt. Nothing that it produces can be trusted . This situation must be cleared up. The FBI must be investigated.”
    Anyone who has spent a moment or two watching this current mess or anyone who has followed the history of the FBI ( In Color) would be hard pressed to deny that incompetence and corruption are the hallmarks of that agency.
    Put the accountants/attorneys in the squad cars with the Quincy PD where they might do something of use and perhaps even learn something. Make the agency an FCC style tri-parte leadership, tow appointed by one party, the third by the other party…as it is painfully obvious a single Director cannot be trusted to keep out of politics….then let’s talk a little about the DOJ…..Merry Christmas!

    1. Bill, you are right on. The FBI Answers to no one. (Congress maybe , but they are inept as well. ) Matt is naive that he thinks the FBI has never played politics. Hoover sense of justice was determined by who he liked or disliked. Matt is just playing his Trump is evil and he is tearing down our political institutions. It’s about time they too Media etc were held accountable for their bad behavior. Tom

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