Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Friday, May 15, 2020

FBI Miscues?


I ran across this list on Quora A writer named "Terry Terhune: had written it and it was brilliant.  I also remember how the F.B.I handled the Richard Jewell and the Centennial bombing in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and they crucified him with "accidental leaks" to a friendly local AJC reporter and the resulting feeding frenzy as they tried to set this poor guy up as the bomber when he was the hero to begin with was beyond the pale.  The FBI has done a lot of good stuff, the "G" men were legendary, but I wonder of the luster is worn a bit.  I don't want to bash them, because you need a federal agency that can cross state lines to go after bad guys who cross state lines to get away from State agencies.  I am not sure what it will take.    The Following is the quote I pulled of Quora:

It won’t affect the FBI directly as a Federal Law Enforcement Agency, however, it will in how the FISA Court has recently said that they now can’t trust the Bureau and wants to examine all prior FISA applications to see if they were intentionally duped like they were in the Carter Page FISA application. It will affect the general public perception that the FBI can’t be trusted.
The FBI’s current director, Christopher Wray, recently said his first priority is to “try to bring a sense of calm and stability back to the bureau.” However, the FBI is facing one of the greatest tests of its 110 years. It must fix a culture of internal problems, rebuild its trustworthiness with the law enforcement community. Worst yet, this comes at the same time many Americans are asking themselves: Can the American trust the FBI after the McCabe findings have shaken the FBI. The FBI has massive power, and as a result, it has strict rules. Lying to FBI investigators is considered a dire breach in an organization built on trust. The referral to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which emerged after the report was released will probably result in charges against McCabe of making a false sworn statement. He has challenged the findings, disputing even the most basic elements, like how many people were in the room. The IG said it did not find many of his objections credible, with some elements contradicted by notes taken contemporaneously by other agents. McCabe previously called his firing part of a “war on the FBI” and the Russia investigation. However, viewed against the facts of Horowitz reports, McCabe’s rule-breaking is part of a much larger internal problem. Horowitz found that bureau investigators had allowed employees with negative polygraph results to keep their top-secret clearances for months or even years, posing “potential risks to U.S. national security.” In one instance, an FBI IT specialist with top-secret security clearance failed four polygraph tests and admitted to having created a fictitious Facebook account to communicate with a foreign national, but received no disciplinary action for that. Horowitz found that the FBI was getting information it shouldn’t have had access to when it used controversial parts of the Patriot Act to obtain business records in terrorism and counterintelligence cases.
Just as troubling are recent FBI missteps not yet under the IG’s microscope. At 2:31 p.m. on Jan. 5, the FBI’s round-the-clock tip center in West Virginia received a chilling phone call. The caller gave her name and said she was close to the family of an 18-year-old in Parkland, Fla., named Nikolas Cruz. Over 13 minutes, she said Cruz had posted photos of rifles he owned and animals he mutilated and that he wanted “to kill people.” She listed his Instagram accounts and suggested the FBI check for itself, saying she was worried about the thought of his “getting into a school and just shooting the place up,” according to a transcript of the call. The FBI specialist checked Cruz’s name against a database and found that another tipster had reported 3½ months earlier that a “Nikolas Cruz” posted a comment on his YouTube channel saying, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” But neither tip was passed on to the FBI field agents in Miami or local officials in Parkland. After Cruz allegedly killed 17 people with an AR-15 rifle at his old school just six weeks later, the bureau admitted that it had dropped the ball and ordered a full review. “You look at this and say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” says Anderson, the former FBI official.
The Parkland shooting was only the latest in a string of devastating misses. After Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people at the nightclub Pulse in Orlando in June 2016, the FBI said it had investigated him twice before on terrorism suspicions, but shut the inquiries for lack of evidence. The year before, after Dylann Roof shot to death nine African-American parishioners at a South Carolina church, the FBI acknowledged that lapses in its gun background-check system allowed him to illegally buy the .45-caliber handgun he used in the massacre. In 2011, the FBI received a tip from Russian intelligence that one of the Boston Marathon bombers had become radicalized and was planning an overseas trip to join radical Islamic groups. The FBI in Boston investigated him but found no “nexus” to terrorism.
The Orlando shooting provoked more problems for the bureau. In late March, when the shooter’s widow, Noor Salman, was acquitted on charges of aiding and abetting him and obstructing justice. The jury foreman pointed to inconsistencies in the FBI’s accounts of the disputed admissions that agents said Salman had made, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The judge also reprimanded the bureau after an FBI agent contradicted the government’s earlier claims that Salman and Mateen had cased the club.
The serious concerns about FBI testimony in a major terrorist prosecution underscore a larger question: Are people less likely to believe what the bureau says these days? A federal judge threw out all the criminal charges against renegade Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a supporter who had been in an armed standoff over unpaid grazing fees. Judge Gloria Navarro accused the government of “outrageous” and “flagrant” misconduct, citing failures by both prosecutors and the FBI to produce at least 1,000 pages of required documents. The judge said the FBI misplaced–or “perhaps hid”–a thumb drive revealing the existence of snipers and a surveillance camera at the site of the standoff.
A related case in Oregon, growing out of the 2016 takeover of a wildlife refuge by Bundy’s sons and their followers, has not gone well for the FBI either. An agent at the scene, W. Joseph Astarita, is now charged with five criminal counts after prosecutors say he falsely denied shooting twice at an occupation leader who was fatally shot by police, who said he appeared to be reaching for his handgun during a roadside encounter. The Bundy sons and five supporters who helped in the takeover were found not guilty of conspiracy and weapons charges, in another jarring setback for the government.
The on-going string of not guilty verdicts as a sign that jurors and judges are less inclined to take what the FBI says in court at face value. The evidence support that conclusion. The court statistics shows a surprisingly low rate of success for the thousands of cases the FBI investigates and sends to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. The Justice Department has won convictions in fewer than half the cases the FBI referred for prosecution, with a conviction rate of 47% the data showed. That fell well below the average of 72% for all other government agencies. Prosecutors themselves have rejected many of the FBI’s referrals before they ever got to court. The bureau’s low success rate in these cases has remained largely unchanged in recent years.
In a national case, Gina Nichols, says she never had strong impressions one way or the other about the FBI until her daughter Maggie Nichols, who was a member of the national gymnastics team, reported three years prior that team physician Larry Nassar had molested her. Gina waited anxiously for the FBI to contact her and interview Maggie. But no one in the FBI did so for over a year as the case languished among different FBI field offices in Indianapolis, Detroit and Los Angeles. Nassar is believed to have molested dozens of additional victims over the course of that same time frame.
The FBI had opened an internal inquiry to determine why the Nassar investigations appear to have dragged on for so long. John Manly, a Southern California lawyer representing many of the female victims, says he is angry that no one from the FBI has contacted the victims to explain the delay. “Knowing that the best law-enforcement agency in the world knew exactly what he was up to and did nothing can’t be explain that to them,” Manly says. “You’ve got people who were really hurt here and the FBI took their time until the heat was on them.”
Then there is Mueller’s Russia probe has found that Moscow’s operation against the 2016 election first got under way in 2014, but the FBI failed to grasp the scope and danger of what was unfolding. The bureau missed the significance of the damaging 2015 hack of the DNC database. Then when the Russian operation began to heat up in the summer of 2016, the FBI was always a step behind the Russians, struggling to understand intelligence reports they were getting about possible connections between Moscow and Trump aides. The bureau also sat on the disputed “dossier” prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Then now we find out that the FBI knew Carter Page was a CIA agent and intentionality left the exculpatory evidence out of the FISA application thereby duping a FISA Judge. The FBI then sought three additional renewals of the highly classified FISA warrant. To make matters worse, Carter Page was never charged or indicted because he was actually telling the truth that he was spying on the Russians for the CIA and not colluding with them to help Trump won the 2016, election.
A report released by the House Intelligence Committee found that the FBI was slow to confront the election meddling, especially in its failure to notify U.S. victims of Russian hacking quickly enough. The committee also charged that the bureau’s decision to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was influenced by politics and biased FBI agents. At the same time, the IG has pointed to text messages between FBI special agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which were critical of Trump as well as many Democrats to argue the bureau is fundamentally rotten to the core and needs a complete overhaul to fix their serious internal cultural problems.
The most important thing is how can the FBI be fixed when they don’t even follow their own internal regulations they teach new agents at Quantico as noted in their Bible called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide “DIOG. In the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe ahead of the 2016 election, Comey acted without telling the Justice Department what he planned to do. He then stripped the case from a field office and kept it in the headquarters and had the same agents working on it and all other high profile cases and the Russian collusion probe at the same time. Comey is the main culprit who came under fire in the IG report for breaking with Justice Department rules and norms by assuming authority usually held by prosecutors and speaking in public about a case that did not produce criminal charges. What was disclosed is Comey allowed the Bureau to be weaponized by the Obama Administration.
At FBI headquarters, agents and supervisors are currently saying that they are keeping their heads down and focusing on their jobs and investigations while the building is crumbling around them and the criticism of the Bureau is blowing the shingles off the roof.
Trump’s attacks on the FBI was proven to be true after the IG released his reports. Some worry that the damage to the FBI may take years to fix. Trump’s public attacks on the Bureau is having an effect on the public’s confidence in the FBI. The serious problems of the FBI and their sad state of affairs is on a severe lack of leadership and transparency at headquarters in owning up to recent blunders and gross misconduct. Those damaging failures have just about pushed an incredible organization over the brink. For now, everyone inside and out who cares about the reliability of law enforcement in America is left hoping that the Bureau can rebuild itself as a premier law enforcement agency.

4 comments:

  1. And most LEOs at the local level can't stand the FBI, hate to work with them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Old NFO;

      I know, there is a common comment that cooperation with the Feebies is a one way street. They take your information but pass none back to you.

      Delete
  2. I cant help but wonder how many people with Dr.Scholls foot powder went to prison for cocaine, after the FBI lab confirmed it was cocaine..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Justin;

      I wonder about that also, If I ever have any doing with the feebies or any law enforcement, it will be with a good lawyer. I have seen people get railroaded by either being too trusting or by being too cheap and going with "Court Appointed".

      Delete

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