Washington Post and NY Times Play “Let’s Pretend”

2013 France-3000_1598I suppose it is only natural to expect our home country media would be sleeping on this story. It’s hard to believe they have just discovered it since I’ve noted earlier a former big chief in the FBI spoke about not only being able to know the metadata of the call but the contents.

On June 5 the Guardian broke this story about the NSA sweeping in every Americans telephone records. The home country newspapers figured since it is out of the bag perhaps we should report about it also. I wonder if their reluctance comes from the fear instilled by the Obama Administration on America’s media.

The Washington Post picked it up as did the NY Times pretending they have just learned about it. I hate to say it but what they are telling us is not really big news. What is being done by the NSA and other intelligence units including the FBI is something that they have been doing since at least the 1960s.

When I was dealing with wiretaps we would routinely get this information from the telephone companies. It just shows a past happening. It is a record of one telephone of a specific number having called another, the date and time the call was made and the length of the call. It does not tell anything about the contents of the conversation.

It was also easy back then for the feds to get what was called a pen register to record that information as it was happening. It was useful when you wanted to show a connection between individuals to add to other facts to support one’s statement of probable cause. Otherwise, it was rather benign information.

What is being done now and has been for years is more of a convenience to and protection of the telephone companies. It also makes the government agencies work a little easier since the information is right at hand and no one has to go to the trouble of writing a letter to get it.

It is not considered a violation of the 4th Amendment because the seizure is not of things that a person should have a reasonable expectation will be kept private according to our courts. I used to get the information by sending a letter. I’m sure the feds got it the same way. They have to get court permission to do a pen register but the showing they had to  make was minimal; I could not do a pen register without doing a full-blown affidavit that also allowed me to intercept the contents of the call so I never used them.

So this sweep of information doesn’t surprise me or trouble me because it would have always been available had our government agencies decided to get it. However, if the government is storing the contents of these calls, as retired FBI assistant director Tim Clemens indicated, that is indeed something to worry about. I’d like the national news media to follow-up on that.

Speaking of going overseas to find out what is happening in this country we also saw our members of Congress travel to Russia to see what the FBI knew about our recent terrorist attack?  They were led on their Russian trip by one of the top members of our State Department, Steven Seagal.  What has become of my country when our elected national representatives need to find a guy who acted in movies to help them out?

The Washington Post to its credit did put the statements by the leader of the delegation, the ever quotable news hound Dana Rohrabacher, in proper perspective.  However, I have to admit I was bothered by the juxtapositions in its editorial of these statements. In the beginning it noted that Rohrabacher said “quite reasonably, that the United States and Russia could have done nothing specific to prevent the Boston bombing,”  Later it said, “The congressman displayed ignorance and naivete.”

It seems the Post wants the give the same person credit when he says something it likes (like the FBI can’t be faulted) but wants to blast him when he says something disagreeable (the Russians are good guys). But how could Rohracacher’s statement be reasonable when Congressman Keating who was there with him said we could have done something. More so when the Washington Post has no idea what the FBI did after it received the tip from Russia.

The Post should go back a few days and read its editorial about the FBI’s cover-up in the Todashev killling.  It is over two weeks since he was killed in a room filled with at least six cops. Incredibly, there is no FBI statement about how it happened. It is still investigating the simplest of all crime scenes. No mainstream media source is bothered by this?

It’s almost two months since the April terrorist attack. The mainstream media is also not bothered that we know so little about what the FBI did after the Russians tipped us off. Something is not right. I get the feeling that all our national media is intimidated by the FBI. That seems to be the big elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. We go on playing “let’s pretend.”

 

14 thoughts on “Washington Post and NY Times Play “Let’s Pretend”

  1. Dear Matt,
    My brother saw two hit cars. Whitey’s car was in the alley behind my brother’s car. You might remember the Stop and Shop fish company. Whitey and his accomplice came from a car parked in the adjacent alley. Who was in the car closest to the Pier Resturant? Kevin Weeks gave an interview to David Boeri where he said John Connolly was the scapegoat. Weeks said Whitey told him he had six FBI agents ready to hop in his car with a machine gun. Did an FBI agent shoot Donahue’s car for Whitey?
    That morning my brother and I enjoyed a ride in my boat. It was moored in Fort Point Channel. He was going back to the boat with his wife and children when a car drifted in front of his car. That was Michael Donahue’s car. A car close to the Pier Restaurant hit Michael Donahue’s car with a machine gun. It used a silencer because my brother heard no gun shots.
    Kevin Weeks testified he was in the Anthony’s Pier 4 Resturant parking lot watching the Pier Resturant with binoculars. When Halloran left the Pier Restaurant, he said in a walkie talkie, “The balloon’s in the air.”
    Weeks wrote in his book that he knocked out two hundred people. I grew up in Southie. Weeks knocked nobody out. He had a couple fights, but he didn’t win. Weeks is known in Southis for having no balls. When the shooting started, you can bet Weeks was too afraid to quickly leave the safety of parking lot.
    After Donahue’s car was hit with the machine gun, it drifted diagonally across the street. It drifted in front of three buildings. Weeks couldn’t see Donahue’s car, unless he’s Superman with X-Ray vision.
    Donahue’s car hit a parked car, almost hit my brother’s car. The car closest to the Pier Resturant drove forward and kept my brother from driving around Donahue’s car. My brother couldn’t drive forward. Whitey and his partner hurried past my brother’s car. Whitey’s partner jumped on the hood of Donahue’s with a pistol (my brother said it was a .45) and shot several times through the windshield to kill Donahue.
    Halloran jumped out the door and Whitey dropped him with a couple shots. My brother watched Whitey torture Halloran. For two minutes both of them yelled obscentities. Whitey started shooting Halloan’s ankles and slowly moved up to his chest. Halloran wore white pants and my brother watched the red dots rise up Halloran’s legs. My bother said Halloran flapped like a flounder as the bullets entered his body.
    If my brother’s family wasn’t in the car, I’m sure Whitey would have killed him because he was a witness.
    The only way those two FBI agents found my brother at his girlfriend’s home, either they followed him from the murder scene, or one of the Whitey gang followed him and contacted the FBI.
    There is no statute of limtations to accessory to murder. Those two FBI agents should be indicted. The question is – how can we obtain justice for the Halloran and Donahue families? Also, how can we keep Weeks from testifying?
    The only hope seems for you to write another powerful newspaper article and bring attention to this matter. The FBI used Joseph Barboza as a witness, someone they know committed perjury. Now they are using Kevin Weeks as a awitness, someone they know committed perjury. It seems the federal seal placed on my brother’s Boston Police Witness Statement concerning the Michael Donahue and Brian Halloran murders deserves an explanation. We don’t live in Russia, this is America. How can we bring awareness to that smoking gun?

    1. Afraid:

      All we can hope for is to set out the facts that you have shown. There is no way that Weeks will not be used as a witness. It is his word and the word of the prosecutors against your brother. I’m sure that the sealed report is in the hands of Carney and Brennan. They will have a chance to use it against Kevin Weeks. Not only is the government using Weeks who committed perjury it is also using Flemmi and Morris both of whom have admitted they have often perjured themselves. Even though it is like the Barboza case, there we had defendants who were in the Mafia and as you know there is always some fondness for those people; here we have a POOF – a person out of favor – who no one will ever care about. I’ve said before that the government can bring on the liars and could put on the jury the relatives of the victims and no one would care. As I wrote today, Whitey knows his goose is cooked.

  2. Matt, inspired by AFRAYEDofFBI’s comments and his posted-letter about how the FEDS hounded his brother (witness Parker) into a hospital bed, I thought I’d share the first part of the following letter I wrote to Justice Souter. The letter was marked “Personal” and addressed to Suffolk Law, where Souter taught, and the Appeals Court, where he practiced in his retirement. I BET NEITHER FORWARDED THE LETTER TO HIM (I’ll tell you why some other day. Briefly, Suffolk Law’s Dean office returned the letter to me with an unsigned note on a scrap of paper: We have no forwarding address for Justice Souter. I’ll copy you on the Appeals Court Clerk’s inscrutable letter later.)
    HERE’S THE LETTER’S FIRST PART:
    From: William M. Connolly, MPH, JD (retired)
    To: The Honorable Justice David H. Souter April 5, 2013
    c/o (1) the United States Court of Appeals & (2) Suffolk University Law School

    Dear Justice Souter:
    We are both retired, you more gainfully and significantly than I: History repeats itself.
    Please consider this letter as a citizen’s informal petition to redress grievances. You may recall that I humbly sat before you while lead counsel Chester Darling eloquently argued the St. Patrick’s Day parade case, John “Wacko” Hurley v. Irish American Gay Group (1995).
    I respectfully call to your attention several errors, I believe, in the recent decision on Judge Stearns’ recusal.
    (1) John Connolly was never convicted of taking “bribes”. He was acquitted of taking a bribe (a ring) and acquitted of two acts (sounding under both RICO and Obstruction) of transmitting bribes from James Bulger to John Morris. During his 23 years as an FBI agent, the Boston jury convicted him of just one criminal act (sounding twice) of transmitting a case of wine from Bulger to Morris within which was hidden an envelope containing cash. (I’m told that Morris gave two different versions of where the envelope was stashed: in Boston he said the envelope was between cardboard separators in the middle of the case and in Miami he said the envelope was in the bottom of the case of wine.) The other four acts he was convicted of occurred five to ten years after he had retired from the FBI and while he was in civilian employment.
    John Connolly has never been charged with taking any money for himself! His reputation has been unfairly sullied by the press, other media and prosecutors. The DOJ and some judges have been insensitive to his reputation and rights, in my opinion, as I’ll briefly explain below.”
    I shared the entire two-page letter with the Presidents of the Student Law Reviews at Harvard, B.U., Suffolk, and Tufts, and indirectly with the New England School of Law.

    1. Bill:

      As some would say: “thanks for sharing” the letter. You must recognize by now that John Connolly is one of the forgotten victims of the FBI and Whitey. No one wants to go back and open up that bag of worms. Rightfully or wrongfully his final story is engraved in granite. Until his conviction for being involved in the murder of John Callahan is reversed, your attempt to set the record straight in the case where he has already served his sentence will be of little interest to anyone. It’s the murder conviction that everyone sees.

  3. Matt, it seems to me the FBI and other FEDS (DOJ), HOmeland Security, CIA perhaps, join with the Mass Mainstream Media to propagandize the American People follows: “We, the US and Russians, could have done nothing to prevent the terrorist attacks in Boston which killed four, maimed scores, seriously injured about 300 and subjected persons within the entire Greater Boston Area to varying degrees of Post Traumatic Stress.” Here’s what it could have done to prevent the atrocities: (1)Not admit people to AMerica who are on anyone’s “Watch List” 2. Evict, Deport anyone on anyone’s Watch List. 3. Not allow the Older Brother back into the country after he voluntarily left; 4. Not pander to and spoil (with free EBT cards, welfare, educational subsidies) Healthy Young Adults (The killers and their whole families, including the drug selling sister in New Jersey are all on the dole and they hate us and want to kill our families, grandmothers, wives, girlfriends and our children. 5. Don’t allow anyone in AMerica who can’t provide for themselves; 6. Deport any healthy adult who seeks Welfare, Food STamps, EBT cards or any other governmental assistance, unless he’s a citizen who has been in the country for at least 5 years. 6. Fire any FED who says or believes the Terrorist Brothers acted alone. Now there’s Six (6) REASONABLY SIMPLE THINGS THAT THE U.S. FEDS COULD HAVE DONE TO KEEP THESE KILLERS OUT OF AMERICA. But did they do any of them? No! Why not? Because the FEDS worship at the FAlse Gods: Tolerance, Diversity, “No profiling.” and because the FEDS are ideologues, not public servants, who toe the official party line of the TRIOKA: The FED/MEDIA/leftist-Academia Troika: “There’s nothing we could have done to prevent these Two Lone Wolves from killing and attempting to kill hundreds of our children, mothers and grandmothers. Nothing we could do.” My recommendation: FIRE 50% of FBI/HOmelandSecurity employees and 50% of the DEFense Department’s Civilian Employees, and cut all federal employees’ salary and benefits by 25% and make the cesspool swampland Imperial City (Washington D.C.) into the small backwater it was supposed to be. SMall, non-Imperialistic; small, a servant of the people; small, and responsive to the people. Small, not an intrusive omnipresent Big Brother. Return 50% of any savings from cutting the FEDS in half to local law enforcement agencies. I feel safer with the Boston POlice protecting me than the inept, bloated FEDS.

    1. William:

      You write like you have a heart made of stone. We can always protect society by locking everyone up in prison but that’s not the American way. We don’t want the brutes controlling the agendas. We’ve already filled our prisons to capacity so some must be doing their jobs. Most of the people on these so-called Watch lists are put there by – do you know? Is there any due process to being on the list? Don’t they contain hundreds of thousands of people who you’d strip of their rights based on an unknown people filling the list based on unknown criteria. America is not the land where those who have made it should come but those who seek the opportunity to make it. If we can try to rebuild countries around the world after we destroy them and spend billions trying to change cultures that can’t be changed surely there’s some extra money for those struggling through difficult times. Who is it who is going to do what you suggest? You’re asking people who are beneficiaries of government handouts – I’m not talking the minor amounts we give out on food stamps, welfare or EBT cards, but the hundred times more benefits we give to people who are part of the military/industrial/homeland defense fields who are employed by government or private industry using government funds to give up their way of life. If you fire all those people, where will they work?

    2. “5. Don’t allow anyone in America who can’t provide for themselves”

      Wow. Does that include elderly and disabled people and children? Plus you want to kick anyone on a watch list out of the country? Do you know how many people get put on watch lists by accident?

      You’re describing a very cruel and authoritarian country. I’d rather be dead than live in a place like that.

    1. Jon:

      I’ve pointed out this is a problem that all the people, right, middle and left should understand and be alert to. The article you pointed to was in 2009 and a year or so later Alwaki is killed by drone because he is so bad a guy. The FBI drops the ball repeatedly. Sometimes they try to put the blame on the JTTF even when that has nothing to do with it. Thanks for the article. I’d like to think things will change but I doubt it. As I said no one investigates the FBI so that means it can never be held accountable.

    1. Boston:

      It’s a good article with all the flaws. The reporter again cites unnamed sources telling us the NY Times version is correct. I’m tired of unnamed sources. The reporter buys into the idea you have to take more than a couple of hours to investigate a shooting of an unarmed man in the presence of six or more cops. The FBI shows it is above all and not responsible to any. That’s what the KGB was.

      1. I’m sick of the anonymous sources too, but I got a different point from the article. I thought the author was trying to show there is something fishy with the Todashev shooting, because in other cases the FBI has made clear statements.

        1. Boston:

          I agree. I thought the author was clever in showing how different this is from the usual FBI procedure. I don’t know who will believe the FBI if and when it ever gives us its version of the story.

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