Friday, April 17, 2015

FBI News Review - Update 4.17.15: Here’s Why Wi-Fi on Planes Could Lead to a Terrifying Disaster | Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing airline tech ... - Fox News | The pseudoscience of countering violent extremism - Al Jazeera America | Ex-FBI Official: Agency Is Hiding Evidence In Anthrax Case | Former FBI Director Talks Cybersecurity - Nextgov


FBI News Review

FBI News Review
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Updates

4.17.15

Here’s Why Wi-Fi on Planes Could Lead to a Terrifying Disaster

» Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing airline tech ... - Fox News
17/04/15 07:27 from fbi - Google News
Fox News Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing airline tech ... Fox News One of the world's foremost experts on counter-threat intelligence within the cybersecurity industry, who blew the whistle on vulnerabilities ...

» The pseudoscience of countering violent extremism - Al Jazeera America
17/04/15 03:04 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Al Jazeera America The pseudoscience of countering violent extremism Al Jazeera America According to the report , a person's “progression along the radicalization continuum” can be signaled by “giving up cigarettes, drinking, gamblin...

» House committee criticizes DEA chief with statement of 'no confidence' - Washington Post
16/04/15 21:50 from james b. comey - Google News
House committee criticizes DEA chief with statement of 'no confidence' Washington Post She doesn't have the same power as FBI Director James B . Comey , who “can and has summarily fired individuals,” Kevin Perkins, an associa...

» Edward Snowden Is Acting Very Strange Inside Russia - UK Progressive Magazine
16/04/15 10:59 from fbi aclu report - Google News
UK Progressive Magazine Edward Snowden Is Acting Very Strange Inside Russia UK Progressive Magazine As editor of agentura.ru, an online “watchdog” of Putin's clandestine intelligence agencies, he has spent the last decade reporting o...


» Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case - Fox News
16/04/15 01:05 from fbi - Google News
WBIR-TV Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case Fox News Lambert headed the investigation from 2002 to 2006, when he transferred to Knoxville to run the FBI office there until his retirement in 2012. His la...


» Probation officers conspired with FBI, cops for illegal searches, suit claims - Chicago Tribune
15/04/15 19:31 from fbi - Google News
Chicago Tribune Probation officers conspired with FBI , cops for illegal searches, suit claims Chicago Tribune Cook County probation officers conspired with the FBI and Chicago police to conduct illegal and warrantless searches in an unc...


» Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: 'I Was Not Protected' - NPR
15/04/15 16:39 from fbi - Google News
Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: 'I Was Not Protected' NPR Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI , where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors who pushed her...

» A new civil rights movement emerging in the wake of police shootings - Raw Story
15/04/15 16:37 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Raw Story A new civil rights movement emerging in the wake of police shootings Raw Story Key players in the movement are the Cato Institute (National Police Misconduct Reporting ), on the libertarian side, and the ACLU , among liberals, ...

» Former FBI Director Talks Cybersecurity - Nextgov
15/04/15 15:52 from fbi - Google News
Former FBI Director Talks Cybersecurity Nextgov From hammering out new cybersecurity responsibilities to successfully transitioning thousands of case files over to a digital system, it was the delegation of responsibility -- not the tech...
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Here’s Why Wi-Fi on Planes Could Lead to a Terrifying Disaster David Stout
Here’s Why Wi-Fi on Planes Could Lead to a Terrifying Disaster
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Yes, having access to Facebook on a long flight helps to pass the time, but it could also be putting passengers in the crosshairs of terrorists and hackers, according to a new report released this week by a U.S. watchdog agency.
In a dossier released Tuesday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said new aircraft may besusceptible to having their inflight computer systems hacked through onboard wi-fi networks or remotely by individuals elsewhere.
“According to cybersecurity experts we interviewed, Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors,” read the 56-page report.
The GAO stated that planes possess firewalls designed to block cyberattacks and protect the craft’s avionics; however, that software is still susceptible to being penetrated.
“Four cybersecurity experts with whom we spoke discussed firewall vulnerabilities, and all four said that because firewalls are software components, they could be hacked like any other software and circumvented,” the report said.
The situation is made all the worse by the prevalent use of smartphones and other mobile devices by passengers and pilots alike on flights worldwide everyday.
“The presence of personal smartphones and tablets in the cockpit increases the risk of a system’s being compromised by trusted insiders, both malicious and non-malicious, if these devices have the capability to transmit information to aircraft avionics systems,” stated the dossier.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it has already begun taking steps to make cockpits safer and is consulting security experts to single out areas of concern.
“This threat will continue to evolve and it is something that needs to be at the forefront of our thinking,” Michael Huerta, the FAA’s administrator, told a Senate oversight panel this week, according to Reuters.
Following the publication of the report, lawmakers demanded that the federal agencies act fast to counter any potential threats to the aviation industry.
“[The FAA] must focus on aircraft certification standards that would prevent a terrorist with a laptop in the cabin or on the ground from taking control of an airplane through the passenger wi-fi system,” Representative Peter DeFazio told CNN.

When the Student Movement Was a CIA Front

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Gloria Steinem went from willing CIA accomplice to feminist icon. 
This book review appears in the Winter 2015 issue of  The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here.
Patriotic Betrayal: The Inside Story of the CIA's Secret Campaign to Enroll American Students in the Crusade Against Communism
By Karen M. Paget
552 pp. Yale University Press $35
In its March 1967 issue,  Ramparts, a glossy West Coast muckraking periodical that expired in 1975, and that strongly opposed American involvement in the war in Vietnam, published an exposé of the close relationship between the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Student Association. This other NSA—not to be confused with the National Security Agency—was then the leading American organization representing college students, with branches on about 400 campuses. Its ties with the CIA were formed in the early years of both institutions following World War II, as the Cold War was getting under way. 
According to  Ramparts, the CIA had been providing much of the funding for the NSA through various “conduits.” NSA officers, many of them wittingly, had served the interests of the CIA by participating actively in international youth and student movements. The NSA’s activities were financed by the Agency both to counter communist influence and also to provide information on people from other countries with whom they came in contact. The disclosures about the CIA’s ties to the NSA were the most sensational of a number of revelations in that era that exposed the Agency’s involvement in such institutions as the Congress for Cultural Freedom; the International Commission of Jurists; the AFL-CIO; Radio Free Europe; and various leading philanthropic foundations. Karen Paget’s new book, Patriotic Betrayal, is the most detailed account yet of the CIA’s use of the National Student Association as a vehicle for intelligence gathering and covert action. (See author’s endnote.)
With the passage of half a century, it may be difficult to understand why so many political and cultural organizations, led by individuals with a generally liberal or leftist outlook, covertly collaborated with the CIA in the 1950s and first half of the 1960s, before exposés in  Ramparts and other publications put an end to most such arrangements. After all, many of the activities of the Agency in that era are among those that we now regard as particularly discreditable. These include the CIA’s cooperation with the British intelligence services in overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953; its cooperation with the United Fruit Company in overthrowing the democratically elected government of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954; and its cooperation with the Republic of the Congo’s former colonial rulers, the Belgians, in overthrowing the country’s newly elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, in 1960. 
Several factors seem to me to have played a part. Press reporting on these events in that era tended not to focus on the role of the CIA. It was only years later, after the Senate’s 1975-1976 Church Committee investigations, after long-after-the-fact investigations by journalists and scholars, and after the mid-1980s development of the National Security Archive and its extensive and effective use of the Freedom of Information Act, that many otherwise well-informed Americans grasped the role of the CIA in these events. 
It was a struggle that had to be won, not only on the military battlefield, but also in intellectual and ideological combat with the communists.
Also during the 1950s and the 1960s, the CIA, paradoxically, was the federal agency that seemed most ready to enlist liberals and leftists in its activities. In contrast, the State Department, which had been the main target of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s attacks on those he accused of being communist sympathizers, probably would not have risked involvement with many of the young people who collaborated with the CIA. Above all, there was the atmosphere created by the Cold War. It was a struggle that had to be won, not only on the military battlefield, but also in intellectual and ideological combat with the communists.
Finally, it may be that covert activities had their own appeal. Those who were in on the secret were an elite, deriving satisfaction comparable to that provided by membership in an exclusive club.
This was also a period in which many other Americans with similar views collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the CIA’s counterpart in the domestic intelligence field. In this era, the Bureau relied extensively on informers to accumulate its vast dossiers on the political associations and personal lives of millions of Americans. When I was executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1970s, we discovered through documents we obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that three officials of the ACLU in the 1950s had given the FBI information on others within the ACLU they suspected of being communists. They seem to have rationalized their conduct, at least in part, on the basis that cooperation with the FBI would help protect the ACLU against irresponsible congressional investigative bodies such as the House Un-American Activities Committee. The FBI’s COINTELPRO, a program the Bureau established secretly in 1956 to foster jealousies and feuds in organizations whose activities the Bureau wished to disrupt, depended in part on its ability to collect personal data from informers within those organizations. The atmosphere created by the Cold War, in which the FBI and its allies in Congress and the media portrayed domestic subversives allied with foreign enemies as being the greatest threat to the United States, probably played a large part in persuading so many Americans to act as informers.
A number of young CIA collaborators who figure in Paget’s story later achieved prominence. One of the book’s virtues is that we get a clear picture of how well-educated and successful young Americans got involved in clandestine activities, and how they conducted themselves. But a frustrating aspect of the book is that, in most cases, Paget does not mention their subsequent careers. At least one leading academic figure’s undisclosed youthful relationship with the CIA could be considered relevant to his later published work.
One of those collaborators Paget discusses is Allard Lowenstein, president of the NSA from 1950 to 1951, who became a leading civil rights and anti-war activist, a one-term member of Congress, and the organizer of the “Dump Johnson” movement that helped deter President Lyndon Johnson from running for re-election in 1968. A charismatic figure, he inspired many others to become activists in the causes that mattered to him. In 1980, Lowenstein was assassinated in his office by a deranged gunman who had become obsessed with him. Though some have previously speculated that Lowenstein initiated the NSA relationship with the CIA, Paget’s research does not support this view. She finds that he may have obstructed such a relationship, and, if it took place when he was a leader of the NSA, he was probably not aware. Following the  Ramparts disclosures, when 12 former presidents of the NSA issued a press release defending the covert relationship with the Agency, Lowenstein did not sign. Among those rumored or confirmed to have covertly collaborated with the CIA, Lowenstein stands out in Paget’s book as the principal figure whom she clears of suspicion.
In discussing Robert Kiley, who was vice president of the NSA from 1957 to 1958, Paget never mentions that he eventually became a leading figure in urban transit, heading New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and then, on the other side of the Atlantic, heading London Regional Transport. Paget discusses only how Kiley as a student leader cooperated closely with the CIA and subsequently went to work directly for the Agency, playing a leading role in identifying Africans who might collaborate with it. During his tenure on the CIA staff, in which he rose to become an aide to Director Richard Helms, Kiley helped manage the relationship with the student organization of which he had previously been an officer, sometimes in what seems a heavy-handed way.
Of those mentioned by Paget as knowing participants in the relationship between the NSA and the CIA, the most lustrous name is that of Gloria Steinem. Her connection has long been known. She acknowledged it following the disclosures by  Ramparts. Steinem then told Newsweek: “In the CIA, I finally found a group of people who understood how important it was to represent the diversity of our government’s ideas at Communist festivals. If I had the choice, I would do it again.” Operating through a CIA front organization, established in cooperation with former NSA officers, Steinem recruited young Americans to participate in the 1959 communist-organized World Youth Festival in Vienna, and did the same a couple of years later when another such festival was held in Helsinki. Apparently, she did her job well, choosing American participants who were very effective in countering the communists. To her credit, Steinem, unlike several others, was candid; and this history hardly implicates the CIA in the rise of feminism.
Paul Sigmund, a longtime professor of politics at Princeton, died last April at the age of 85. He was particularly known for his many books and articles on Latin America, especially Chile. Sigmund wrote extensively about the overthrow of the Salvador Allende regime in Chile, which brought General Augusto Pinochet to power. In a lengthy article in the January 1974 Foreign Affairs, he attributed the September 1973 coup to Allende’s misdeeds. He argued: “What [the Allende government] cannot do is blame all its problems on foreign imperialists and their domestic allies, and ignore elementary principles of economic rationality and effective political legitimacy in its internal policies. No amount of foreign assistance can be a substitute for these, and no amount of foreign subversion or economic pressure can destroy them if they exist.”
According to Paget, Sigmund collaborated with the CIA over a period of several years. His role included drafting a plan for a six-week summer seminar conducted by a front group through which the Agency could screen other students who might be enlisted in its activities. (Sigmund’s relationship to the CIA had come to light in the wake of the  Ramparts exposé, but he did not cite it years later when he wrote about these events in which the CIA played a leading role.) Paget, though, does not mention Sigmund’s subsequent career. She interviewed him and says, “He explained his willingness to cooperate with the CIA in pragmatic terms: ‘It kept me out of Korea.’” Whatever his motivations, the question arises whether Sigmund’s relationship to the Agency in the 1950s affected his subsequent scholarly work. We learned a long time ago that the Nixon administration primarily relied on the CIA to promote the overthrow of Allende. Should the professor of politics at Princeton have acknowledged his own past relationship with the CIA in an essay rebutting allegations of a central U.S. role in what happened in Chile? How would such a disclosure have affected reader assessment of his Foreign Affairs essay and his other writing on the subject?
Among the other NSA leaders named by Paget who subsequently became prominent are James P. Grant, the longtime and widely admired executive director of UNICEF who died in 1995; James Scott, professor of political science and anthropology at Yale who is highly regarded for his writing on Southeast Asia; Crawford Young, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin and well-known scholar of African studies; Luigi Einaudi, an American diplomat who served as acting secretary general of the Organization of American States; and Duncan Kennedy, professor of law at Harvard, whose emergence as a leading critical theorist is mentioned by Paget and who has been open about his onetime association with the CIA. 
Should disclosure of such relationships be considered obligatory for those who present themselves as independent scholars? Certainly, it should be incumbent on someone like Sigmund to disclose his covert connection to the CIA. Even if that relationship was long past, writing an essay exculpating that agency from a charge of subversion without such disclosure raises ethical issues. 
Aside from whether such persons should subsequently disclose that they once had a covert connection to the CIA, there is the question of whether it was appropriate to enter into such a relationship in the first place. Certainly, there was an idealistic component. Countering communism, I believed at the time and still do today, was the right thing to do. Yet doing so by covertly manipulating domestic organizations compromised American freedom of association. This contradiction, as more and more students came to oppose the Vietnam War, led to the eventual rupture of the NSA and its CIA patrons.
We don’t know how the constituents of the NSA would have felt about their officers’ secret relationship with the CIA. What we can surmise, however, is that some would have been strongly opposed. The NSA’s members could not debate whether to enter into the relationship, and those opposed could not express their views because they were not in on the secret. Disclosure would have killed the program. Whatever one thinks about the importance of having had such means to wage the battles of the Cold War, it seems difficult to justify the deception that was central to its operation.
Author’s Note: I was not shocked by the disclosures in Ramparts. Though I lacked definite information, I had been generally aware that there was a relationship between the CIA and the NSA. In 1957, as a student at Cornell, I became national president of the Student League for Industrial Democracy, a small organization with a social democratic bent that had chapters on several college campuses. Paget describes SLID as “fiercely anticommunist.” Yes, but we were also civil libertarians and vigorously opposed the college bans on communist speakers prevalent in that era. In 1959, I took the lead in relaunching SLID as Students for a Democratic Society, but I soon lost influence in SDS to Tom Hayden and others, who took it in a more radical direction. These activities put me in contact with some leaders of the NSA named by Paget. Though I did not know who wittingly collaborated with the Agency, I recall being quite sure that the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs, the main source of funding for the NSA, was a CIA front.
As Karen Paget notes in her “Acknowledgments,” her early work on this book was supported by a fellowship from the Open Society Institute when I was its president.
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Former FBI Director Talks Cybersecurity

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From hammering out new cybersecurity responsibilities to successfully transitioning thousands of case files over to a digital system, it was the delegation of responsibility -- not the technology itself -- that posed a major challenge to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, he said in a recent keynote.
During a government IT conference in Washington, Mueller discussed organizational missteps and lessons learned during his time as head of the FBI between 2001 and 2013.  
When he joined the FBI, for instance, the bureau was starting a multimillion-dollar effort to upgrade its computing system -- replacing hardware, software and networks -- and also to build a completely virtual case file system. Over the next few years, he met with six separate teams working on various aspects of the upgrade and was assured the virtual case system could go live by 2004, he said.
Mueller was skeptical the teams could meet the proposed timeline for deploying the technology, he said, but “I delegated, because I didn’t want to get involved in it, [and] don’t have any background in it,” Mueller said.
Instead, he deferred to technologists, who became increasingly desperate as the scheduled launch date approached, he said.
In the end, he faced two choices: Throw millions of dollars at the project in a last-ditch attempt to meet the deadline or start over from scratch. 
"Neither of the choices are one that Congress is really supportive of,” he said.
The agency eventually pulled the plug on the program in 2005 after spending $170 million. The FBI debuted a new multimillion-dollar digital case-file project, called Sentinel, in 2012.
Mueller admitted it was his responsibility, as director of the FBI, to ask for clarification on these kinds of broad technology projects.  
“You have a responsibility as the head of the organization to know and understand what was going on," he said. "And I didn’t do what I should have done in terms of asking those questions and assuring those answers.”
Another challenge, he said, was defining interagency responsibilities -- in the event of a threat, who is in charge of what. After the 9/11 attacks, he said, the bureau began restructuring to address counterterrorism efforts, and started hiring more staff with cyber expertise, but also met with other federal groups to determine what their staff would do.
“Congress is not always deft in terms of allocating clear responsibility for certain areas,” Mueller said.
During his term, Mueller met with the former head of the National Security Security, Gen. Keith Alexander, and then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to “iron out lanes in the road."
Together, they decided DHS would be responsible for protecting the infrastructure, and setting standards for technology, ensuring those standards were met, and later for resolving issues that may come after an attack has occurred, he said.
The FBI was to oversee domestic intelligence gathering, as well as using the criminal justice system to address attacks, among other realms. NSA was responsible for overseas intelligence-gathering and military actions. 
But the organization chart they drew up didn’t always hold in practice, he said.  
“You can sit down and you can allocate," he said. "The three at the top may think one way. As you go down the ladder, there [are] other ways of viewing it -- but that’s life in Washington.”
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A new civil rights movement emerging in the wake of police shootings

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People march in Washington on Sept. 6, 2014 to protest the killing of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP)
Recent widespread attention to shocking instances of alleged police misconduct – the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and now Walter Scott – have rallied voices across the country in defense of equal protection under the rule of law.
What once had been seen as local law enforcement issues are now national concerns – with every new incident gaining a national spotlight.
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How did this shift occur and, most importantly, what does this signify for the civil rights movement as a whole?
As a recent, wide-ranging academic journal devoted to the Ferguson protests shows, scholars have so far struggled to arrive at a characterization of recent actions: Is this a movement? Will it last? Are more deliberative forms of civic engagement required?

A new kind of civil rights movement may emerge

The present moment of protest may well transform into a new civil rights movement. In the process, the movement may turn to new and different leaders — more wonky, less expressive – with different voices and skills in mobilizing opinion.
In part, the change can be attributed to an increasingly libertarian spirit in criminal justice circles, where ratcheting up criminal liability (as criminal justice scholar Bill Stuntz describes) is no longer seen as a solution. Key players in the movement are the Cato Institute (National Police Misconduct Reporting), on the libertarian side, and the ACLU, among liberals, which champions many aspects ofcriminal law reform.
First, the “old” civil rights movement was not merely a pushback against or “negation” of established law and power.
That sort of analysis is a hangover of the thinking of the old left, which assumes that a dominant social class wields repressive power, and that other classes are innocent objects of control. Martin Luther King Jr. saw through this idea that power is negative and dangerous: “We aren’t engaged in any negative protestand in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men.”
In Ferguson, MO, the Department of Justice found evidence of racism, and evidence that civil rights were violated in order to increase city revenues. Some city officials (including a municipal judge, the city manager, and the chief of police) resigned, but in new municipal elections the turnout was onlyabout 30%.
This is an improvement on earlier elections, where the turnout was even lower, but continued low turnout shows that civil rights protests have not translated into direct political participation.

Less expressive and more ‘wonky’

Second, and counter-intuitively, the “new” civil rights movement can and should be less expressive.
In its old mode of speaking truth to power, when black lives were disrupted by the spectacular violence of lynchings and firebombings, civil rights leaders pointed to terrible brutality simply by being visible: by freedom riding, by sitting in, by preaching, and by being photographed.
This vision of power is out of step with the times. In a largely bureaucratic system such as our own, power is not exerted through violent spectacles. Power today encourages people to conform rather than scaring them into doing so. This soft power is less costly to exercise, more concealed, and less objectionable. But it’s also harder to protest against this insidious soft power.
In part, the current protest rhetoric – “black lives matter,” for instance – can be adapted to hit back at sloppy police work. In the Tamir Rice case, for example, key information was not passed on to the responding officers.
The theatricality of the legal process — such as in high-visibility murder trials — touches a nerve that activists can exploit, but if this civil rights moment is to become a new movement, it must not focus narrowly on the state’s power over life and death, or get hung up narrowly on police discretion. Rather it should look at the totality of legal and social influences that affect our everyday lives.

Protests are too reliant on random events

The change in methods of protest must occur because action-producing spectacles rely too much on accidents.
The successful spectacle demands, for instance, that we validate the imperfect personal character of the victim, calling Michael Brown a “child” or a “gentle giant.” But the broader story is about patterns of poor training and sloppy execution of the laws – what FBI Director James Comey recently identified as two key aims of law enforcement: “collecting and sharing better information about encounters between police and citizens” and avoiding “lazy mental shortcuts.” The most useful tools are anything that makes the patterns more visible.
Among the new tools of protest are videos that can be posted and pictures that can be tweeted. Data-driven essays are the new equivalent of the old civil rights era oration, and they can easily be passed on through social media. Examples include excellent long-form journalism on the drug war, mass incarcerations, and statistical accounts. Key resources are the Bureau of Justice Statistics’National Criminal Victimization Survey; the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report; and reports from the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division on institutional disaster areas such as Ferguson and Albuquerque.
This piece in The Atlantic Monthly by Conor Friedersdorf is an excellent example of the voice and technique of the new civil rights leader. The author challenges the policing techniques used during a videotaped encounter, and, with the benefit of hindsight, offers two different but moderate approaches to ending the encounter between a black man and the police. It is expressive, but it is also policy-oriented, concrete, and of general application.
It may seem odd to advocate routinizing and bureaucratizing the civil rights movement, but that is what may have to be done.
Loud, symbolic protest in the streets will eventually end. What can replace this is the institutionalization of a more responsible – and resilient – understanding of power. This has its risks, for instance, replacing protests with silence.
But the reward is increased “action at a distance” — through magazine readers or law students blogging across the country — that can touch members of a broader community from the local sheriff to a large city’s mayor.
The current protests may mark the beginning of the end of the long 1960s, with its spectacles of violence and resistance, and the beginning of a more mainstream civil rights movement, driven by data and made accessible through social media.
This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.
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'I Was Not Protected' : NPR

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FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI, where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors, who pushed her out and yanked her security clearance.
For the first time, she's speaking out about her situation, warning about how the bureau treats women and the effects of a decade of fighting terrorism.
"Watching everything that&squot;s going on in the world, how I had battled al-Qaida in Iraq, the Taliban ... all my experience, all the time I had put in there, I&squot;m selling lipstick and blush," she said of leaving the FBI.
"Watching everything that's going on in the world, how I had battled al-Qaida in Iraq, the Taliban ... all my experience, all the time I had put in there, I'm selling lipstick and blush," she said of leaving the FBI. Courtesy Robyn Gritz hide caption
itoggle caption Courtesy Robyn Gritz
"When you're fighting terror and you're seeing buildings come down before you, you're passionate and you're emotional, and I think the American people want you to be that way when you're fighting terror and keeping them safe," said Gritz.
That passion fueled her to work weeks on end investigating the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. And for years after, she devoted herself to national security cases that just kept coming.Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl disappeared in Pakistan. A former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, went missing in Iran. And then there were the al-Qaida leaders hiding overseas.
"I wanted to be in the middle of it," she says. "And I wanted to be able to make a difference."
For 15 years, Gritz says, she did. Her bosses at the FBI gave her excellent or outstanding performance reviews, she says. But when a reporter made contact with her last year, she was selling cosmetics at Macy's.
"Watching everything that's going on in the world, how I had battled al-Qaida in Iraq, the Taliban ... all my experience, all the time I had put in there, I'm selling lipstick and blush," she says.
Kobus alerted his managers that a supervisor was allowing favorite employees to take time off for their birthdays, so the government had to pay more for other people at the agency to work overtime. "You know, this is not our money. This is the taxpayers&squot; money, and I want it to be correct," he says.
How did that happen? Gritz says the FBI drummed her out of a job. All because of allegations about fraud on her time card that she says just didn't happen. The FBI also blamed her for not attending a 7:15 a.m. meeting and sending an unprofessional email to an ex-boyfriend.
Now, she's got the ear of people like Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley. The Republican lawmaker from Iowa says he's concerned about what he heard from Gritz and a small but vocal band of female whistleblowers at the FBI.
"When you have seven or eight people who come to you and talk about gender discrimination, I feel like I have a responsibility to raise that issue," Grassley says.
- Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley
So Grassley asked the FBI director about its treatment of female agents at a hearing last year. Grassley said he heard from one woman called emotionally unstable and difficult, all because "she pointed out that her men's size 40 hazardous materials suit didn't fit her."
The senator added: "Another whistleblower claims she was denied a job for which she was ranked first out of six candidates because her male supervisors claimed she was quote-unquote emotionally fragile following a divorce."
The FBI didn't want to talk about Robyn Gritz's case, in part because it's still moving through the system. But officials there say they understand the importance of whistleblowers. And FBI Director James Comey has said he's trying to diversify its largely white male ranks.
That won't come soon enough for Gritz, who says she never wanted to be branded a complainer. After a decade of 24/7 work fighting terrorism, things got rough in her personal life — a hostile divorce caused in part by her work. And then, after she'd gone to work on detail to the CIA, her FBI supervisors started asking about her hours.
Gritz says she tried to resolve the problems short of a lawsuit. Plenty of male agents got away with far worse, she says, with no punishment. But she says the FBI pushed her into a corner.
"I sat there for about a year and a half ... idled, basically ignored, ostracized," she says.
Then, Gritz got a notice that the FBI intended to begin a process to fire her over the time card issues and the inappropriate email she sent.
- Robyn Gritz
"I had given up a marriage, I had given up 16 years of my life of anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, special events, Christmas, all of the holidays," Gritz says.
"I had dedicated my life to protecting the people of the United States ... and then I was not protected and I felt it was because I was a strong female."
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency, worked closely with Gritz to find terrorists overseas. He says it's a shame the FBI let go of someone with years of top national security experience.
"She was one of the really, to me, bright lights and shining stars early on that just kinda got it when it came to the kind of enemy that we were facing and the relationship that was necessary between law enforcement and the military ... and I just thought she was really a real pro," Flynn says.
Gritz, now 46 years old, had to sell her home and move in with her parents. The FBI yanked her security clearance, and she thinks they've been black balling her for jobs in the field. That's how she ended up selling makeup. She recently moved to a better paying position answering phones at a call center.
Even though Gritz has left the government, she says, she still hears from a lot of women, and some men, at the FBI, people who she says aren't getting a fair shake.
After all, Gritz says, "When you can take out an agent that has my credentials, you can do it to anyone."
An inspector general is looking at Gritz's allegations and her case is slowly moving through a backlog in the equal opportunity system.
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House Judiciary Committee Releases Details About Criminal Aliens Released

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House Judiciary Committee Releases Details About Criminal Aliens Released By Obama AdministrationBy: Anthony Kimery, Editor-in-Chief
04/14/2015 (10:35pm)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 30,558 criminal aliens with a total of 79,059 convictions in Fiscal Year 2014, according to information ICE provided by to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
The committee said Tuesday “ICE often claims that the Supreme Court’s decision in Zadvydas v. Davisforces them to release aliens that they normally would not want to release back into the community. However, the total number of convicted criminal aliens released based on theZadvydas decision totaled 2,457 in Fiscal Year 2014, representing only 8 percent of the releases.
Additionally, the criminal aliens released due to Zadvydas committed 16,126, or 20 percent, of the crimes committed by the released aliens.”

Among the convictions of criminal aliens released in FY2014 are 86 homicide convictions, 186 kidnapping convictions, 373 sexual assault convictions, 449 commercialized sexual offenses, 1,194 battery convictions, 1,346 domestic violence convictions and 13,636 driving under the influence of alcohol convictions.
The statistics were disclosed during an oversight hearing on ICE by the committee Tuesday.
Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said, “We just learned that in addition to releasing over 36,000 convicted criminal aliens in FY 2013, ICE released 30,558 convicted criminal aliens in FY 2014 pursuant to its so-called ‘priorities,’” He added that, “The agency released thousands of criminal aliens convicted of offenses involving dangerous drugs, assault and domestic violence, stolen vehicles, robbery, sex offenses, sexual assault, kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter, and even homicide. 27 percent of the aliens released were so called ‘level 1s’ according to the administration – the worst of the worst.”
“As the Obama Administration consistently shrinks the universe of criminal and unlawful aliens that ICE can remove, ICE apprehensions have decreased by 40 percent since this time last year,” Goodlatte said in his opening statement. “ICE administrative arrests of criminal aliens declined 32 percent compared to this time last year. The average daily population (ADP) of aliens in detention facilities has declined to approximately 26,000 beds. This has occurred despite a mandate in law that requires ICE to maintain a 34,000 ADP in detention facilities. And the number of unlawful or criminal aliens that ICE has removed from the interior of the country has fallen by more than half since 2008.”
“Many factors have contributed to the sharp decline of interior immigration enforcement under this administration, including the collapse of issuance and compliance with ICE detainers because of ICE’s own detainer policy issued on December 21, 2012 that limits ICE’s ability to issue detainers, ICE’s failure to defend its detainer authority, ICE’s implementation of its new enforcement priorities announced by [DHS] Secretary [Jeh] Johnson on November 20, 2014, and the demise of the Secure Communities program on this same date,” Goodlatte said.
Continuing, Goodlatte declared, “Detainers are a key tool used by ICE. They are notices issued by ICE and other DHS units that ask local, State and federal law enforcement agencies not to release removable aliens held at their facilities in order to give ICE an opportunity to take them into its custody and put them in removal proceedings … When aliens released onto the streets go on to commit additional crimes yet could have been placed in ICE custody, this administration is responsible.From January 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014, over 10,000 detainers were not honored. The recidivism rate for these aliens was 29 percent. Innocent citizens and law enforcement officers could be injured, maimed or murdered due to a detainer not being issued or honored because of this administration’s policies.”
“When President Obama announced unilateral changes to our immigration system with a wave of his ‘pen and cell phone’ on November 20, 2014, he indicated that he would allow millions of unlawful and criminal aliens to evade immigration enforcement,” Goodlatte said. “He did this with the issuance of new so-called ICE ‘priorities’ for the apprehension, detention and removal of aliens.”
“Under the Obama administration’s new enforcement priorities,” Goodlatte concluded, “broad categories of unlawful and criminal aliens will be beyond the reach of the law even if they don’t qualify for the President’s unconstitutional legalization programs. This means that millions of removable aliens will remain in the US without any risk of removal.”
“I have taken some initial steps to enhance ICE’s ability to achieve its primary goal of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws and keeping our country safe by ensuring we focus our resources on individuals who pose the greatest threat to our national security and public safety,” testified Sarah Saldana, who was sworn in as ICE director on December 23. “Having most recently served as the US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas,” she told the committee, “I have a wealth of experience in enforcing the thousands of federal laws over which I had responsibility.”
Continuing, Saldana said, “Guided by DHS’ enforcement priorities, the approximately 7,300 personnel of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) identify and apprehend convicted criminals and other removable individuals; detain individuals and, as appropriate, supervise them through alternatives to detention; and remove from the United States those priority individuals determined to be illegally present or otherwise subject to removal.”
She said, “ERO enforces our nation’s immigration laws in a manner designed to best promote national security, public safety, and border security, placing the highest priority on the removal of recent border crossers, convicted criminals and those who otherwise pose a threat to our communities.”
“Pursuant to a memorandum issued by Secretary Johnson on November 20, 2014, Priority 1 aliens comprise threats to national security, border security and public safety,” she explained. “Priority 2 aliens include certain misdemeanants and new immigration violators who entered the United States after January 1, 2014. The removal of these individuals from the United States is a national priority that is carried out by a team of just under 5,700 law enforcement officers operating in nearly every jurisdiction of the United States.”
Saldana noted that, “ERO conducted Operation Cross Check VI, a five-day nationwide operation that resulted in the arrest of 2,058 convicted criminals.”
Four Republicans earlier sent a letter to Johnson requesting specific information regarding criminal aliensICE announced were arrested during Operation Cross Check VI.
During the five-day, nationwide operation that targeted convicted criminal aliens subject to removal, ICE said it arrested 2,059 convicted criminals, and that two individuals were added to ICE’s most wanted fugitives list. The roundup raised questions about the administration’s immigration enforcement policies.
Led by ICE Enforcement and ERO, ICE said the 2,059 individuals with prior criminal convictions who were arrested included more than 1,000 individuals who have multiple criminal convictions. More than 1,000 of those arrested have felony convictions, including voluntary manslaughter, child pornography, robbery, kidnapping and rape.
Of the total 2,059 criminals arrested, 58 are known gang members or affiliates, and 89 are convicted sex offenders.
The vast majority of misdemeanor convictions were for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). ICE considers DUI offenders, particularly repeat offenders, to be a significant public safety threat.
Of those arrested during the operation, 476 were illegal re-entrants who’d previously been removed from the US. Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, 163 of those arrested during the enforcement action were presented to US Attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges, including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Last May, a Center for Immigration Studies report disclosed ICE released more than 36,000 convicted criminal aliens in deportation proceedings in Fiscal Year 2013. The released aliens had 88,000 convictions among them, including 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions, 9,187 dangerous drug convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions and 193 homicide convictions (including one willful killing of a public official with gun).
“This enumeration of FY 2013 criminal aliens freed and the criminal convictions tied to these individuals was prepared by ICE in response to congressional inquiries following a report published by the Center for Immigration Studies” that showed ICE officers declined to bring immigration charges in 68,000 cases of criminal aliens they encountered in 2013, said Jessica M. Vaughan, the author of the report and Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“It is important to recognize,” she said, “that the 36,007 criminal aliens counted in this document are a different set of cases from the 68,000 releases reported earlier. The 36,007 criminal aliens counted here are aliens who were being processed for deportation and were freed while awaiting the final disposition of their cases, or afterwards. The 68,000 releases were cases of alien criminals encountered by ICE officers, usually in jails, but who were let go in lieu of processing them for immigration removal charges in that year.”
For its part, ICE responded at the time saying many of the individuals released were done so under orders from US courts. ICE said 75 percent of the people released who had murder convictions were “mandatory releases.” Others released could not be returned to their home country and could not be detained indefinitely in ICE’s custody, the agency said. ICE further said the released undocumented aliens were monitored via GPS, telephone and in-person visits.”
“Others, typically those with less serious offenses,” ICE said, “were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE’s resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security.”
http://www.hstoday.us/briefings/dail...b8831783b.html
NO AMNESTY
DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS
BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP
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Probation officers conspired with FBI, cops for illegal searches, suit claims

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Cook County probation officers conspired with the FBI and Chicago police to conduct illegal and warrantless searches in an unchecked hunt for drugs and guns, according to accusations in a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Orangelo Payne alleges that while he was on probation for a drug offense in 2013, an FBI agent and probation officers found an antique shotgun during an illegal search of his home, which led to his being falsely arrested by Chicago police and imprisoned.
Payne, 35, was held in jail for 16 months before state prosecutors last summer dropped the gun charges against him.
"I did 16 months, and no matter the time you did, you never get that time back. Your freedom is gone," Payne said Tuesday at his father's South Side shoe shine shop.
Payne alleges in his lawsuit that the probation department encouraged misconduct by not investigating or disciplining probation officers who were improperly partnering with law enforcement agencies.
"The actions, omissions, and conduct of the Adult Probation Department Defendants ... were extreme and outrageous," the lawsuit alleges. "These actions were rooted in an abuse of power and authority."
Payne is suing the FBI, Chicago police, the probation department, an FBI agent, and individual police and probation officers. The agencies declined to comment about Payne's allegations.
Payne's suit comes nearly a year after the Chicago Tribune revealed an allegedly rogue unit operating inside the Cook County Circuit Court's probation department.
The Tribune found that for years probation officers improperly worked hand-in-glove with the FBI and others to conduct warrantless and questionable searches, triggering allegations that drugs were planted, money was stolen and probationers were threatened with jail if they did not become informants.
That investigation focused on the probation department's gang unit supervised by Deputy Chief Philippe Loizon.
Loizon, who was placed on desk duty after the Tribune's investigation, is one of 17 individuals Payne is suing. Loizon declined to comment for this story but in the past he has said he did nothing wrong. His supporters have said the probation department's alliances with the FBI and others solved crimes and took illegal guns and drugs off the streets.
Probation officers — unlike police and federal authorities — have the power under the law to conduct surprise searches of probationers' homes without warrants if they have "reasonable suspicion." But the Tribune found that the FBI and police assisted probation officers during searches, gaining access to homes where they might otherwise need a court-ordered warrant.
Eileen O'Connor, Payne's lawyer, said that once probation officers confirmed Payne was home and not in violation of his court-ordered curfew, they should have left.
"There was absolutely no basis to search his home," O'Connor said. "The antique shotgun was the fruit of a warrantless, unlawful search and seizure."
Payne was sentenced to two years of intensive probation in January 2013 after pleading guilty to felony possession of marijuana. Late one night in April, he was in his Bronzeville apartment when probation officers and an FBI agent showed up at his door.
Payne previously told the Tribune that the FBI agent used probation as an excuse to have his apartment searched and to squeeze him for information about the killing of an FBI informant, allegedly by a man who would occasionally stop by the Payne family's business, Mr. P&G Shoe Shine Repair & Apparel.
After officers found a 12-gauge shotgun and shells in a bedroom closet, they charged Payne with illegally possessing a gun and violating terms of his court-ordered probation. As a felon on probation, Payne was not allowed to have weapons or ammunition. He faced the possibility of decades behind bars.
After more than a year, the state prosecutor's office declined to pursue the most serious charges and Payne pleaded guilty to violating his probation — a lesser charge that led to his release within days.
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Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
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Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case | Fox News

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Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case

An ex-director of the FBI’s anthrax investigation says the agency is hiding evidence that casts doubt on its conclusion that Army scientist Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax-filled letters that killed five people and sickened 17 others in 2001.
Richard Lambert made the claims in a civil lawsuit filed April 2 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee. Lambert said Wednesday that the Privacy Act will likely prevent the information’s release unless Congress decides to investigate.
Christopher Allen, an FBI spokesman, said the agency usually does not comment on pending litigation. In December, responding to a General Accountability Office report that anthrax investigators used flawed scientific methods, Allen said the FBI's conclusions were based on "the full evidence before us."
Ivins killed himself in Frederick, Maryland in 2008, as prosecutors prepared to charge him with murder. Jeffrey Taylor, then U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told a news conference eight days prior that “based on the evidence we had collected, we could prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Lambert says in his lawsuit that while Ivins might have been the mailer, the circumstantial case against him would not have been enough to convict him. Lambert claims there is a “wealth” of contrary evidence, "which the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people."
Anthrax investigators, under Lambert’s early direction, focused on another Army scientist, Steven Hatfill, who was eventually cleared. Hatfill received $5.8 million to settle his violation-of-privacy lawsuit against the Department of Justice.
Lambert headed the investigation from 2002 to 2006, when he transferred to Knoxville to run the FBI office there until his retirement in 2012. His lawsuit contends the Justice Department illegally caused him to be fired from a subsequent security job at the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory because he had filed a whistleblower report in 2006 alleging mismanagement of the anthrax probe.
The alleged mismanagement included "the FBI's fingering of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax mailer" and "the FBI's subsequent efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence," Lambert says in his lawsuit.
Lambert says his whistleblower complaints also included understaffing of the investigation; inexperienced team members; restrictions on information sharing; and the FBI laboratory's deliberate concealment from the team of its discovery of human DNA on an anthrax-filled envelope addressed to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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House committee criticizes DEA chief with statement of ‘no confidence’ - The Washington Post

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 April 16 at 8:48 PM
The DEA agents had all the fun, now their boss is paying the price.
They partied with prostitutes and took expensive gifts, but it is the Drug Enforcement Administration chief whose head could roll, while some agents got off lightly.
A strong bipartisan majority of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement of “no confidence” in DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. President Obama nominated her for the job in 2010.
Her answers at Tuesday’s long and testy hearing before the Oversight Committee seriously disappointed its members. The next day they released a statement saying that “Leonhart has been woefully unable to change or positively influence the pervasive ‘good old boy’ culture that exists throughout the agency. From her testimony, it is clear that she lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their position. Ms. Leonhart has lost the confidence of this Committee to initiate the necessary reforms to restore the reputation of a vital agency.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest declined to say whether Obama has confidence in Leonhart, which probably means her days are short. “We do have concerns about what’s been reported by the Office of the Inspector General,” Earnest said. “We do have high expectations for those who serve this government and serve the American people.”
The disgraceful actions also were sharply criticized at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing Wednesday, though Leonhart was not there. Before that session, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), chairman of the subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security, and investigations, issued a statement saying that the DEA “failed to fully investigate the employees who engaged in sex parties funded by drug cartels and as a result, other responsible parties failed to appropriately discipline those involved. In the future, Justice Department employees who purchase sex must be fired. We will not tolerate further episodes of ‘agents gone wild.’ ”
Here is some of what agents did according to DEA information provided by the Judiciary Committee:
•A DEA agent in Bogota, Colombia, a frequent patron of prostitutes, assaulted one in July 2009, leaving her bloody. A case was opened in 2010, and he was he was suspended for 14 days in 2012.
•In February 2010, a DEA employee solicited sex from an undercover police officer in the District. Three years later, he was suspended for eight days.
•DEA agents engaged in sex parties over several years with prostitutes provided by drug cartels, according to the committee. Among those who did not resign, punishments ranged from a letter of caution to a 10-day suspension.
The gifts included Rolex and Corum watches and Mont Blanc wallets and pens, according to a Judiciary Committee aide. Three agents allegedly were given money, expensive gifts and weapons from members of drug cartels, the Justice Department inspector general reported. An Oversight Committee summary of a DEA report, prepared by the Democratic staff, says one gift to an agent was an AK-47 assault rifle. All of this sounds like bribery, though the reports do not use that word.
The lack of authority cited by the Oversight Committee holds ramifications that go beyond the DEA. For a Congress that seems increasingly uncomfortable with the sometimes lengthy due process that must be followed to fire federal employees, the light punishments for DEA agents and Leonhart’s inability to discipline them is reason for Congress to act.
“This is nuts,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) told Leonhart after she said Civil Service laws prevented her from firing staff members.
“I can’t fire,” Leonhart said. “I can’t recommend a penalty. . . . I don’t have the authority to intervene in the disciplinary process.”
She doesn’t have the same power as FBI Director James B. Comey, who “can and has summarily fired individuals,” Kevin Perkins, an associate deputy director, told the Oversight Committee hearing.
To some extent, the members of Congress seemed to hold her responsible for not exercising authority that Congress has not given her. Don’t be surprised if Congress moves to make it easier to fire not just DEA employees but also other federal employees, as it did last year with Department of Veterans Affairs Senior Executive Service members.
But the problems that committee members have with Leonhart, who has been with the agency for 35 years, go beyond her inability to fire. The DEA hindered an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general into sexual harassment and misconduct by federal law enforcement agencies.
“The failure by the DEA and FBI to promptly provide information we requested significantly impeded our review,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the committee. “Both agencies raise baseless legal objections and only relented when I elevated the issue to agency leadership. However, even then, the information we received was still incomplete. We therefore cannot be confident that the FBI and the DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review.”
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), is a strong supporter of civil servants, yet he thinks now might be time to make it easier to fire them.
“We may need to amend Title 5,” he said, referring to the section of the U.S. Code covering most federal employees. “We may have to put in a provision that says that — that holds you [Leonhart] accountable. . . . that said outrageous and/or criminal conduct in direct violation of an agency’s mission would give you the ability to fire somebody.”
Lynch also suggested giving government “the ability to claw back pensions, claw back salary that was accepted by those individuals who were violating the law. . . .
“It’s a shame that we have to get to this, but I actually think that that may be where we are at right now.”
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The Pseudoscience of Countering Violent Extremism

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During a visit to the United States several years ago, I was drawn to a billboard on a New Jersey Transit platform that depicted a train bombing, helpfully labeled “train bombing.” The sign warned that “we’re all on the front lines” and encouraged viewers to report suspicious activity to the New Jersey Transit police via phone call or text message.
Closer inspection of the billboard revealed that the front lines in question in fact belonged to Madrid’s Atocha railway station, site of a 2004 terrorist attack. But hey, it’s a globalized world.
Today, we’re deeper in the trenches than ever before — and there’s more to the paranoia than meets the eye. The mutually reinforcing relationship between hyper-militarization abroad and over-policing at home means now we’re really determined to explore every option, no matter how baseless, in the ostensible pursuit of security.

The CVE industry

Despite the seemingly innocuous nature of government campaigns such as “If You See Something, Say Something™,” the field of domestic terrorism prevention is one of refined Orientalist pseudoscience. Among its guiding texts is a 2007 manual, courtesy of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, which lists signs that an individual may be on a path to “Jihadization.”
According to the report, a person’s “progression along the radicalization continuum” can be signaled by “giving up cigarettes, drinking, gambling and urban hip-hop gangster clothes” or “becoming involved in social activism and community issues.”
Beneath the invented technical jargon is an invitation to unabashed and limitless racial and religious profiling, with the apparent crime of being Muslim further underscored by an expansive list of “radicalization incubators” and “nodes” that can host the radicalization process. In addition to mosques, these include “cafes, cab driver hangouts, flophouses, prisons, student associations, nongovernmental organizations, hookah (water pipe) bars, butcher shops and book stores.”
Meanwhile, given that “urban hip-hop gangster clothes” often trigger other police responses such asstop-and-frisk, it might be helpful if the NYPD sat down and composed a coherent inventory of approved wardrobe items.
No serious government undertaking is complete without acronyms, and here too the counter-radicalization program shines. Take the NSI: the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative — a collaborative effort between the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and SLTT (state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement outfits). As a blog postby American Civil Liberties Union attorney Julia Harumi Mass notes, this has enabled the FBI to collect a colossal database of information, because the state’s “loose standards define practically anything as suspicious.”
Then there’s the trendy business of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), which, among other things, encourages teachers and parents to serve as the eyes and ears of the national security state. The problem here, Harumi Mass writes, is that “under CVE, normal teenage behavior could be an indicator of the potential to engage in terrorism.”
DHS advocates a prevention-focused, community-based approach to CVE, which will ideally render the members of said community “more inclined to share suspicious information with law enforcement.” A CVE working group (CVEWG) led by a CVE Coordinator has been established to oversee operations.
To be sure, there’s no better way to promote resilient and cohesive communities that aren’t susceptible to radical antisocial pathologies than by having residents spy on one another and parents terror-tattle on their children. (Better still when the FBI pays informants to radicalize folks.)
How does one counter violent extremism when so much of what one does qualifies as extreme violence?
Beyond its own immediate battle against Domestic Terrorists and Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs), the U.S. is also deeply concerned with helping other nations confront their problems. In February, the White House Summit To Counter Violent Extremism gathered foreign leaders, United Nations officials, and “a broad range of international representatives and members of civil society” — including those interested in making a buck off the CVE industry.
And many a buck is to be made, judging from the White House’s press release about the summit, which plugs “social media solutions” to violent extremism. According to the release, the US “and our partners in the private sector are organizing multiple ‘technology camps’ in the coming months, in which social media companies will work with governments, civil society, and religious leaders to develop digital content that discredits violent extremist narratives and amplifies positive alternatives.” Google, Facebook and Twitter were all represented at the summit.

Violence and safe spaces

Among America’s illustrious allies in its global counterterrorism effort is the United Arab Emirates, which with the United Kingdom co-chairs the CVE working group at the Global Counterterrorism Forum, launched in New York in 2011. Abu Dhabi also plays host to Hedayah, the International Center for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism, which is listed as one of DHS’s crucial CVE partners.
Never mind that the Emirates’ version of CVE appears to include such dubious actions as deporting resident Shiites en masse and hiring Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater (rebranded as Academi), to form secret mercenary armies. It’s no doubt fitting that the UAE, an eager client of the U.S. defense industry, has been propelled to the vanguard of counter-jihad.
A State Department fact sheet boasting $188 million worth of “ongoing and planned CVE efforts” emphasizes support for Hedayah as well as other initiatives such as those that “seek to create safe spaces for dialogue between women community leaders and law enforcement” and that “amplify … the voices of victims/survivors of terrorism.” Drone-strike survivors need not apply.
This brings us to the question: how does one counter violent extremism when so much of what one does qualifies as extreme violence? Furthermore, don’t one’s own violent acts — drone assassinations, bombing civilians, torturing people and supporting oppressive governments — helpbreed the very violence that must then be countered? Owning up to this arrangement would, of course, mean ceasing to have our cake and eat it too.
In an op-ed for Al Jazeera America on the February summit in Washington, Amnesty International USA director Steven W. Hawkins warned that abusive regimes could take advantage of CVE-mania and use international funding to violate human rights if the U.S. failed to insist on appropriate safeguards.
But this analysis overlooks the fact that CVE programs are already an affront to these rights, right here at home. As the ACLU’s National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi recently emailed me, the CVE strategy “does not include necessary safeguards to protect privacy and constitutional rights [and] risks treating people, especially young people, as security threats based on vague and virtually meaningless criteria.”
In the end, she wrote, the strategy “risks further alienating the very communities it’s meant to engage.” 
Surely it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with CAI, a counter-alienation industry.
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Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing airline tech vulnerabilities

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How vulnerable are planes to virtual hijacking
One of the world’s foremost experts on counter-threat intelligence within the cybersecurity industry, who blew the whistle on vulnerabilities in airplane technology systems in a series of recent Fox News reports, has become the target of an FBI investigation himself.
Chris Roberts of the Colorado-based One World Labsa security intelligence firm that identifies risks before they're exploited, said two FBI agents and two uniformed police officers pulled him off a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 commercial flight Wednesday night just after it landed in Syracuse, and spent the next four hours questioning him about cyberhacking of planes.
The FBI interrogation came just hours after Fox News published a report on Roberts’ research, in which he said: “We can still take planes out of the sky thanks to the flaws in the in-flight entertainment systems. Quite simply put, we can theorize on how to turn the engines off at 35,000 feet and not have any of those damn flashing lights go off in the cockpit.”
His findings, along with those of another security expert quoted in the Fox News reports, were backed up a GAO report released Tuesday.
“If you don’t have people like me researching and blowing the whistle on system vulnerabilities, we will find out the hard way what those vulnerabilities are when an attack happens,” Roberts said.
With increasingly sophisticated attacks on a number of targets, Roberts has consulted with numerous government and private clients to identify threats to financial and intellectual property, customer data and other protected information. He also has served as both an in-house security expert and consultant on IT security, engineering and architecture and design operations for scores of Fortune 500 companies across the finance, retail, energy and services sectors.
He regularly engages with various government agencies on critical security issues of national importance. Ironically, Roberts met with the FBI at the agency’s request three times after the agency asked for his guidance on protecting airplanes from cyberhackers.
Wednesday night, FBI agents confiscated Roberts’ numerous electronic devices and computer files including his laptop and thumb drives and demanded he give them access to his data. They wanted to forensically image his laptop, but it is a company-owned asset with client information, research and intellectual property, some of which is sensitive in nature and encrypted.
So after consulting with his CEO, Roberts told the agents they would need a warrant, something they still have not presented.
FBI agents disclosed to Roberts that they also had questioned fellow passengers and forensically examined the plane to determine if any areas had been tampered with.
“You have one element in the FBI reaching out to people like me for help, but another element doing a hell of a job burning those bridges,” Roberts said. “Those of us who do threat research are doing it for the right reasons, and we work to build relationships with the intelligence community because we want to help them identify weaknesses before they become a problem.”
Roberts flew from Denver to Chicago to Syracuse at the invitation of a defense contractor to speak an aerospace conference about vulnerabilities in airplane systems, a topic Roberts commented on for Fox News in late March, when he said commercial and even military planes have an Achilles heel that could leave them vulnerable to hackers or terrorists on the ground due to flaws in the entertainment and satellite communications systems.
Roberts’ findings were featured on FoxNews.com, on Fox News Radio and on the Fox News show "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" on March 19, 2015, and again on April 15, 2015.
Ruben Santamarta, principal security consultant for IOActive, told Fox News he also discovered a backdoor that allowed him to gain privileged access to the Satellite Data Unit, the most important piece of SATCOM (Satellite communications) equipment on aircraft.
“These vulnerabilities allowed unauthenticated users to hack into the SATCOM equipment when it is accessible through WiFi or In-Flight entertainment networks,” Santamarta said.
There are “multiple high risk vulnerabilities” such as weak encryption algorithms or insecure protocols in SATCOM technologies manufactured by some of the world’s largest companies, Santamarta found.
“These vulnerabilities have the potential to allow a malicious actor to intercept, manipulate or block communications, and in some cases, to remotely take control of the physical device,” Santamarta reported.
The Government Accountability Office also presented a series of threatening scenarios for passengers, saying the same Internet access now available on most commercial flights makes it possible for hackers to bring down a plane in a report published Tuesday.
"According to cybersecurity experts we interviewed, Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors," the GAO report states.
The worst-case scenario is a terrorist with a laptop sitting among passengers and taking control of the airplane using its passenger Wi-Fi, said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who requested the investigation.
"That's a serious vulnerability, and FAA should work quickly" to fix the problem, DeFazio told the Associated Press.
Roberts isn’t sure what will happen next. He had to make his presentation to the defense industry Thursday in Syracuse without his electronics. Friday morning, he was scheduled to fly back to Denver, something he hopes he will be allowed to do. He already has been pre-checked through TSA, another irony he pointed out.
“The TSA has already dug into my background and cleared me for the pre-check program,” Roberts said, noting several other government agencies he’s worked with have done the same.
Paul Bresson, the Unit Chief for the FBI National Press Office at the FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., said in response to a Fox News inquiry about the Roberts’ detainment: “We have no comment on this matter.”
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Barack Obama’s foreign policy doctrine takes shape

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FBI News Review

» Pennsylvania Bank Robbery Duo May Have Military Training, FBI Says - ABC News
17/04/15 12:33 from fbi - Google News
ABC News Pennsylvania Bank Robbery Duo May Have Military Training, FBI Says ABC News Two men wanted in a string of Pittsburgh-area bank robberies may have had military or law enforcement training, FBI officials said. Federal investigator...
» House judiciary committee approve bill that would grant undocumented ... - Charlotte Sun Times
17/04/15 11:45 from house judiciary committee - Google News
House judiciary committee approve bill that would grant undocumented ... Charlotte Sun Times A proposal for a state law that would allow undocumented immigrants living in North Carolina to obtain a drivers' license, if they allow the...
» Daily Kickoff: Biden to attend Dermer's Yom Ha'atzmaut event | Gensler to ... - Jewish Journal
17/04/15 10:58 from james b. comey - Google News
Jewish Journal Daily Kickoff: Biden to attend Dermer's Yom Ha'atzmaut event | Gensler to ... Jewish Journal TOP OP -- "Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum" by James Comey , Director of the FBI: (This ...
» Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing airline tech ... - Fox News
17/04/15 07:27 from fbi - Google News
Fox News Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing airline tech ... Fox News One of the world's foremost experts on counter-threat intelligence within the cybersecurity industry, who blew the whistle on vulnerabilities ...
» House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Innovation Act, Fee-Shifting - The National Law Review
17/04/15 06:38 from house judiciary committee - Google News
The Weekly Standard House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Innovation Act, Fee-Shifting The National Law Review Tuesday, April 14, the House Judiciary Committee convened to discuss H.R. 9, the “Innovation Act,” which was introduced i...
» The pseudoscience of countering violent extremism - Al Jazeera America
17/04/15 03:04 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Al Jazeera America The pseudoscience of countering violent extremism Al Jazeera America According to the report , a person's “progression along the radicalization continuum” can be signaled by “giving up cigarettes, drinking, gamblin...
» David Makol, Known for Pursuit of Insider Trading Cases While at F.B.I., Joins S.E.C.
17/04/15 01:00 from NYT > Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mr. Makol, who helped secure cooperative testimony in cases against the chief of Galleon Group and others, is joining the market-abuse unit at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
» FBI task force works to combat child sex tourism - KPRC Houston
17/04/15 00:41 from fbi - Google News
FBI task force works to combat child sex tourism KPRC Houston To combat a growing trend, the FBI has a task force dedicated to tracking down United States citizens who travel to foreign countries to have sex with children. The FBI refers...
» David Makol, Known for Pursuit of Insider Trading Cases While at FBI, Joins SEC - New York Times
16/04/15 22:51 from fbi - Google News
David Makol, Known for Pursuit of Insider Trading Cases While at FBI , Joins SEC New York Times Before David Makol scared insider trading suspects into cooperating with the F.B.I. , and long before he helped investigate the Boston Marath...
» House committee criticizes DEA chief with statement of 'no confidence' - Washington Post
16/04/15 21:50 from james b. comey - Google News
House committee criticizes DEA chief with statement of 'no confidence' Washington Post She doesn't have the same power as FBI Director James B . Comey , who “can and has summarily fired individuals,” Kevin Perkins, an associa...
» House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Innovation Act, Fee-Shifting - JD Supra (press release)
16/04/15 20:52 from house judiciary committee - Google News
House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Innovation Act, Fee-Shifting JD Supra (press release) Tuesday, April 14, the House Judiciary Committee convened to discuss H.R. 9, the “Innovation Act,” which was introduced in February 2015 by ...
» Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum - Washington Post
16/04/15 20:42 from james b. comey - Google News
Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum Washington Post By James B . Comey April 16 at 7:37 PM. The writer is director of the FBI. This commentary is adapted from a speech given Wednesday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Mus...
» David Makol, Known for Turning Insider Trading Witnesses at FBI, Joins SEC - New York Times
16/04/15 20:40 from fbi - Google News
David Makol, Known for Turning Insider Trading Witnesses at FBI , Joins SEC New York Times Before David Makol scared insider trading suspects into cooperating with the F.B.I. , and long before he helped investigate the Boston Marathon bo...
» ACLU Demands Tulsa County Sheriff Resign Amid Accusations Of Cronyism - news9.com KWTV
16/04/15 17:38 from fbi aclu report - Google News
news9.com KWTV ACLU Demands Tulsa County Sheriff Resign Amid Accusations Of Cronyism news9.com KWTV “We have absolutely zero confidence that Sheriff Glanz has the capacity or willingness to restore trust between his office and the people...
» FBI Looks Into Bethel Incident - Alaska Public Radio Network
16/04/15 16:43 from fbi - Google News
KTUU.com FBI Looks Into Bethel Incident Alaska Public Radio Network FBI staff were in Bethel recently on a fact finding mission related to an incident in which a former Bethel police officer arrested a man in a parking lot. An FBI spokes...
» Could All These New Revenge-Porn Laws Actually Be a Bad Thing? - New York Magazine
16/04/15 16:35 from fbi aclu report - Google News
New York Magazine Could All These New Revenge-Porn Laws Actually Be a Bad Thing? New York Magazine Senator Al Franken — the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee's privacy, technology, and law panel — just published an open ...
» FBI Hunting Violent Pittsburgh Area Bank Robbers - ABC News
16/04/15 15:19 from fbi - Google News
ABC News FBI Hunting Violent Pittsburgh Area Bank Robbers ABC News We'll be threatened to kidnap. The bank employee they've talked about it alluded to the automatic weapons and their vehicle and that they were engaged law enforce...
» FBI doubts computer intrusion at BSU - Muncie Star Press
16/04/15 15:11 from fbi - Google News
Muncie Star Press FBI doubts computer intrusion at BSU Muncie Star Press During his talk to employees, FBI computer specialist Jonathan Sweeny gave examples of digital underground websites offering to sell stolen credit reports, Social S...
» House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Innovation Act, fee-shifting - Lexology (registration)
16/04/15 11:37 from house judiciary committee - Google News
House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Innovation Act, fee-shifting Lexology (registration) Tuesday, April 14, the House Judiciary Committee convened to discuss H.R. 9, the “Innovation Act,” which was introduced in February 2015 by t...
» Edward Snowden Is Acting Very Strange Inside Russia - UK Progressive Magazine
16/04/15 10:59 from fbi aclu report - Google News
UK Progressive Magazine Edward Snowden Is Acting Very Strange Inside Russia UK Progressive Magazine As editor of agentura.ru, an online “watchdog” of Putin's clandestine intelligence agencies, he has spent the last decade reporting o...
» House Judiciary Committee Approves Ratcliffe ALERT Act to Check ... - Gilmer Mirror
16/04/15 10:58 from house judiciary committee - Google News
House Judiciary Committee Approves Ratcliffe ALERT Act to Check ... Gilmer Mirror Washington, D.C.— The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R.1759, the All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act, by a vote of 14-9. The bill re...
» Federal Escapee Apprehended in San Antonio
16/04/15 04:00 from Current
— San Antonio
» Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case - Fox News
16/04/15 01:05 from fbi - Google News
WBIR-TV Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case Fox News Lambert headed the investigation from 2002 to 2006, when he transferred to Knoxville to run the FBI office there until his retirement in 2012. His la...
» F.B.I. Cites ‘Persons of Interest’ in 2008 Times Square Bomb Case
16/04/15 01:00 from NYT > Federal Bureau of Investigation
The bombing, at a military recruitment station, did not injure anyone but was similar to two other attacks on high-profile Manhattan locations in recent years.
» FBI Teen Academy inspires future careers - WBIR-TV
16/04/15 00:08 from fbi - Google News
WBIR-TV FBI Teen Academy inspires future careers WBIR-TV It sounds like a scene from a Mission Impossible movie, but a career with the FBI isn't out of reach. Now a program called the Teen Academy is inspiring future agents. "Wa...
» FBI Cites 'Persons of Interest' in 2008 Times Square Bomb Case - New York Times
15/04/15 23:20 from fbi - Google News
New York Times FBI Cites 'Persons of Interest' in 2008 Times Square Bomb Case New York Times Investigators from the F.B.I. and the New York Police Department said at a news conference that the bombings most likely had no connecti...
» Delaware's Fusion Center poses threat to liberty - The News Journal
15/04/15 22:45 from fbi aclu report - Google News
The News Journal Delaware's Fusion Center poses threat to liberty The News Journal Their purpose is to enlist local police and first responders (known as Terrorism Liaison Officers or TLOs) to spy on fellow citizens and report back t...
» FBI Says It Identified 'Persons of Interest' in 2008 Times Square Bombing - New York Times
15/04/15 20:51 from fbi - Google News
New York Times FBI Says It Identified 'Persons of Interest' in 2008 Times Square Bombing New York Times “Someone knows those responsible for placing this device in the heart of New York City,” Diego Rodriguez, the head of the New...
» FBI investigates $20 million no-bid contract and CPS CEO's role in it - Chicago Sun-Times
15/04/15 20:09 from fbi - Google News
Chicago Sun-Times FBI investigates $20 million no-bid contract and CPS CEO's role in it Chicago Sun-Times The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago have been investigating the contract for more than a year, the source sai...
» Probation officers conspired with FBI, cops for illegal searches, suit claims - Chicago Tribune
15/04/15 19:31 from fbi - Google News
Chicago Tribune Probation officers conspired with FBI , cops for illegal searches, suit claims Chicago Tribune Cook County probation officers conspired with the FBI and Chicago police to conduct illegal and warrantless searches in an unc...
» Local fusion center poses threat to liberty - The News Journal
15/04/15 18:26 from fbi aclu report - Google News
The News Journal Local fusion center poses threat to liberty The News Journal Their purpose is to enlist local police and first responders (known as Terrorism Liaison Officers or TLOs) to spy on fellow citizens and report back to interco...
» Probation officers conspired with FBI, police, for illegal searches, suit alleges - Chicago Tribune
15/04/15 18:21 from fbi - Google News
Chicago Tribune Probation officers conspired with FBI , police, for illegal searches, suit alleges Chicago Tribune Cook County probation officers conspired with the FBI and Chicago police to conduct illegal and warrantless searches in an...
» Harley Pasternak: How to Work Out Like an FBI Agent - People Magazine
15/04/15 18:05 from james b. comey - Google News
People Magazine Harley Pasternak: How to Work Out Like an FBI Agent People Magazine According to the Times, F.B.I. Director James B . Comey believes that “reinstituting the test would send the message about the importance of fitness, str...
» In Child Sexual Exploitation Case, FBI Seeks Man Seen in Photos With Victim - KTLA
15/04/15 17:40 from fbi - Google News
KTLA In Child Sexual Exploitation Case, FBI Seeks Man Seen in Photos With Victim KTLA The FBI requested help Wednesday in identifying a man who may have information regarding a child victim in an ongoing sexual exploitation case. The FBI...
» Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: 'I Was Not Protected' - NPR
15/04/15 16:39 from fbi - Google News
Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: 'I Was Not Protected' NPR Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI , where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors who pushed her...
» A new civil rights movement emerging in the wake of police shootings - Raw Story
15/04/15 16:37 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Raw Story A new civil rights movement emerging in the wake of police shootings Raw Story Key players in the movement are the Cato Institute (National Police Misconduct Reporting ), on the libertarian side, and the ACLU , among liberals, ...
» Former FBI Director Talks Cybersecurity - Nextgov
15/04/15 15:52 from fbi - Google News
Former FBI Director Talks Cybersecurity Nextgov From hammering out new cybersecurity responsibilities to successfully transitioning thousands of case files over to a digital system, it was the delegation of responsibility -- not the tech...
» FBI searching for serial bank robber in Philly - Philly.com
15/04/15 15:23 from fbi - Google News
Philly.com FBI searching for serial bank robber in Philly Philly.com The FBI is searching for two men suspected in separate strings of recent bank hold-ups in the Philadelphia. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to...
» FBI: Man robs second northwest suburban Fifth Third bank - Chicago Sun-Times
15/04/15 14:53 from fbi - Google News
Chicago Sun-Times FBI : Man robs second northwest suburban Fifth Third bank Chicago Sun-Times The suspect is described as a white male, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot, and 180 pounds, according to the FBI . The same man is suspected in a b...
» When the Student Movement Was a CIA Front - The American Prospect
15/04/15 14:31 from fbi aclu report - Google News
When the Student Movement Was a CIA Front The American Prospect Press reporting on these events in that era tended not to focus on the role of the CIA. It was only years later, after the Senate's 1975-1976 Church ... When I was execu...