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Showing posts with label Justice Department. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Justice Department. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Justice Dept's Kid Gloves Audit of FBI Datamining Unit

The Justice Department essentially put lipstick on a pig Thursday with its audit of a little-known and controversial FBI surveillance program, the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Leak Dogs Are Gonna Bite Obama in the End

One of the salacious ironies of the John Kiriakou case is that the dogs the Obama administration has let loose on leakers are circling back, teeth bared, toward their owners.

“The Obama administration’s vigorous prosecution of leaks may yet cost it dearly,” Steve Coll writes in “The Spy Who Talked Too Much,” his autopsy on the former CIA man who revealed the agency’s torture practices and other secrets, in this week’s New Yorker.

“Recently, FBI agents have been interviewing administration officials about any role they might have had in providing classified information to David Sanger, of the [New York] Times, who last year disclosed the administration’s role in cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear program,” Coll reported.

What’s sauce for the goose is even saucier for the gander. FBI agents on the case, who tilt against liberal windmills anyway, must be smacking their lips.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hot Shots: Law and Order Edition

NIMBY:Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) think Congress should have been consulted before the Justice Department rendered Sulaiman Abu Ghaith to New York for trial (instead of Guantanamo). Maybe the Republican caucus should get its own terrorist-hunting and prosecution unit, too. “I’ve got news for the good senators,” Benjamin Wittes says in an open letter to the solons at Lawfare. “As long as it’s impossible ever to get anyone out of Guantanamo, neither this nor any other administration is going to bring anyone there.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Somalia Asks Kerry for Immunity for Alleged War Criminal in U.S.

In one of its first acts since being granted diplomatic recognition by the United States,  the new government of Somalia wants the Obama administration to shield a former general and prime minister from a suit that found him responsible for atrocities a quarter century ago.

During the 1980s, Gen. Mohamed Ali Samantar commanded military forces that carried out a brutal repression of the Isaaq people in northern Somalia, including countless atrocities, according to the Center for Justice and Accountability, a San Francisco-based human rights group.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Is Lisa Monaco?

Lisa Monaco is a smart cookie, no doubt about that. And a true-blue Democrat.

The Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School grad, who turns 44 in February, has climbed so steadily through the government’s national security ranks that her new job as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama seems almost preordained. Rumors are flying that she may even replace Bob Mueller at the FBI before too long.

Yet it’s almost certain that few people outside of Washington’s insular national security world will ever have heard of her.

That’s because, unlike her predecessor John Brennan, she’s been an oiler in the machinery room of counterterrorism, not a boss man from one of the alphabet agencies -- CIA, FBI, NSA and the like.

But she has had friends in high places, starting with Joe Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Monaco worked there as research coordinator from 1992 to 1994, according to the questionnaire she filled out during her confirmation process 20 years later to be assistant attorney general for national security.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

CIA's Kiriakou To Be Honored With Potrtrait By Whistleblower Group

John Kiriakou never set out to be anybody’s hero. And he’ll be in a dubious spotlight Wednesday when he’s honored with a formal portrait  sponsored by a prominent Washington whistleblowers support organization.

Two days later, he’s scheduled to start serving a 30-month prison term for providing reporters with details about the CIA’s waterboarding program. 

The portrait, the latest in a series of “American’s Who Tell the Truth” by Robert Shetterly, a Maine-based artist who has rendered paintings of civil rights and anti-corruption icons ranging from Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman to Frank Serpico and Howard Zinn.     

The series, Shetterly says, is "dedicated to the belief that a profound sense of citizenship is the only safeguard of democracy and the best defense of our social, economic, and environmental rights."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Australia Whitewashes FBI Undercover Probe of US Navy Whistleblower

A Pink Panther-style undercover FBI operation last year against a former U.S. Navy whistle-blower living in Australia was proper, Canberra’s defense ministry says--a finding promptly rejected by the country’s own federal police.

The rare public row erupted after the redacted defense ministry report was obtained and published over the weekend by Australia’s Fairfax Media organization, owner of the Sidney Morning Herald and several other prominent news outlets.

The defense ministry report claims that the Australian Federal Police, or AFP,  had given permission for an FBI agent to visit the Canberra home of Gwenyth Todd, a former Pentagon, White House and U.S. Navy national security adviser, and question her.

Todd, now married to an Australian military officer, had blown the whistle on a secret plan by top US navy admirals in 2007 to spring a confrontational fleet maneuver on Iran.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Free the FBI Crime Lab

I’ve been writing about problems in the FBI crime lab since 1997, when Playboy published my exposé, “Bad Blood at the FBI.”

The piece exposed the manipulation of evidence in several big cases, focusing on the long and frustrating efforts of FBI Supervisory Special Agent Fredric Whitehurst, a senior explosives expert with a PhD in chemistry, to rid the lab of incompetent and corrupt examiners.

At the time, the FBI lab had spent years fending off critics who said the lab’s lack of outside accreditation was a scientific and criminal scandal. Its reaction to Whitehurst’s revelations was, of course, to try to discredit him. He was virtually frog-marched out of the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover Building headquarters, put under investigation for leaks.

In a later story of mine, Whitehurst raised suspicions that his home had been burgled and bugged.

Whitehurst did accomplish one of his goals, however. After forcing him out, the FBI and Justice Department finally relented and sought outside accreditation. And they announced they would undertake a through investigation of criminal cases where FBI “expert” testimony had wrongly condemned defendants to long sentences, including death row.

Thanks to a masterful investigation last week by The Washington Post’s Spencer S. Hsu, however, we now know that the FBI-DoJ investigation was a sham.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Judge Rips DoJ Conduct in NSA Whistleblower Case, Comparing it to Redcoat Raids in Pre-Revolutionary America

The federal judge in the trial of National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake called the Justice Department’s conduct in the case ”unconscionable,”  according to a transcript obtained and released Friday by the Federation of American Scientists.

Judge Richard D. Bennett singled out prosecutors in the department’s Public Integrity section for taking four years to bring the case to trial, along the way turning Drake’s life upside down, then dropping it overnight.

“It doesn’t pass the smell test,” Bennett said in the transcript, published by Secrecy News, a FAS publication.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Breaking: Subpoena in CIA Torture Case

Federal prosecutor John Durham’s investigation of  CIA torture, seemingly dormant for months, has suddenly sprung to life with the issuance of a grand jury subpoena for “possible violations of federal criminal laws involving War Crimes,” Time magazine is reporting on its Web site.

Although not named in the document, the subpoena may well involve a former CIA interrogator, Mark Swanner, in connection with the 2003 death of Manadel al-Jamadi, a suspected Iraqi terrorist who became known as the Iceman because of  a “bumbled attempt to cool his body and make him look less dead,” according to the exclusive Time story by Adam Zagorin.

The death was ruled a homicide.

The CIA declined to comment.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Holder honors revolving-door woman at Justice Department

Attorney General Eric Holder marked Women's History Month on Wednesday by singling out several female Justice Department officials for praise, including Stacia Hylton, head of the U.S. Marshals Service.

"As a seasoned veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service, Stacia Hylton’s longtime commitment to its mission of justice, integrity, and service -- and to her colleagues across the law enforcement community -- has always been front and center," Holder said.

What Holder failed to mention is that Hylton epitomizes another feminist breakthrough in Washington: women spinning through the revolving door of government and industry as easily as men.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Evidence Grows of Drug Use on Detainees

There can be little doubt now that the government has used drugs designed to weaken the resistance of terrorist suspects to interrogation. Another window opened on the practice last week with the declassification of John Yoo’s 2003 memo approving harsh interrogation techniques. But hard evidence that U.S. interrogators are employing hallucinogens, like the LSD the CIA tested on unwitting subjects for at least 20 years beginning in the 1940s, has yet to surface.

CQ Politics (04/04/2008)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

State Secrets Abuses Come to a Boil

The government's practice of fending off suits by former intelligence agents and civil rights groups by invoking the 'state secrets privilege' is coming under heavy fire.

CQ Politics(02/01/2008)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Justice Department Slams FBI Management of Chinese Espionage Cases

The FBI allowed one of its counterintelligence agents to carry on a sexual affair with his Chinese spy for almost 20 years, despite evidence that she was a double agent secretly working for the communists, the Justice Department reported Wednesday.
See Story

CQ Homeland Security (5/24/2006)