"Oh, Really?! Oh, Really?!": FBI News Review | Mike Nova dares (how horrible, how can he do this?!) to comment and to free associate

FBI News Review

Last Update: 8:23 AM 11/6/2013


» Spy Court Fast Facts - CNN
05/11/13 16:05 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Spy Court Fast Facts CNN February 12, 2003 - The ACLU , along with a coalition of other civil liberties groups, asks the Supreme Court to overturn new, more lenient standards for wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations. It would ...

(CNN) -- Here's a look at what you need to know about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was created in 1978.
It exists to oversee and authorize activities carried out under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).
About the Court:
Before the Patriot Act, foreign intelligence had to be a primary purpose of the investigation. Now, foreign intelligence has to be a significant purpose.
The Court meets in a high security room, on the 6th floor of the Justice Department.
All proceedings of the court are secret.
The court has two parts: a lower court and a Court of Review.
The lower court has a rotating panel of 11 Federal District Court judges. At least three of the judges must live within 20 miles of the District of Columbia.
Currently the judges are: (Source: FAS)
Rosemary Collyer
Raymond Dearie
Claire Eagan
Martin Feldman
Thomas Hogan
Mary McLaughlin
Michael Mosman
F. Dennis Saylor
Reggie B. Walton (Presiding)
Susan Webber Wright
James Zagel
The Court of Review consists of three judges. Currently only two are appointed.
The judges are:
William Bryson (Presiding), Federal Circuit
Jose Cabranes (Second Circuit)
The Chief Justice of the U.S. appoints all of the judges.
October 26, 2001 - President George W. Bush signs into law the USA Patriot Act, after the attacks of September 11th.
May 17, 2002 - FISC turns down the Justice Department's request to allow intelligence agents and criminal prosecutors more freedom to work together on cases. According to the New York Times, this is the first time in its 24-year history that the court turned down a request from the Justice Department.
May 17, 2002 - The court identifies 75 cases in which the FBI and Justice Department submitted false information in order to gain approval for surveillance. All of the cases occurred during the administration of Bill Clinton.
August 22, 2002 - The Justice Department appeals the ruling handed down by the lower court in May.
September 9, 2002 - The Court of Review meets for the first time in its history. The judges hear arguments from Solicitor General Theodore Olson that the USA Patriot Act of 2001 has expanded the scope of FISA and allows for greater cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement agencies. No other opinions are heard, as per the rules of the Court.
September 10, 2002 - The Senate Judiciary Committee calls on the Court of Review to make public all transcripts from the September 9 hearing, as well as the Court's decision. Senator Patrick Leahy, head of the Judiciary Committee, says, "We need to know how this law (the Patriot Act) is being interpreted and applied.''
November 2, 2002 - The Court of Review overturns a key court ruling which had placed limits on the government's use of wiretaps targeting suspected spies and terrorists.
February 12, 2003 - The ACLU, along with a coalition of other civil liberties groups, asks the Supreme Court to overturn new, more lenient standards for wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations. It would have been the first time for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of such wiretaps, known as FISAS for the act they are named after - the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
March 25, 2003 - The Supreme Court turns down the request by the ACLU without comment.
December 15, 2005 - The New York Times reports that President Bush signed a presidential order in 2002 allowing the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans and others in the US (on international calls) without obtaining warrants through FISC. The newspaper reports that up to 500 people in the U.S. are being monitored at any one time and between 5,000 and 7,000 people overseas are being wiretapped.
December 16, 2005 - In his live weekly radio address, President Bush acknowledges that he has authorized wiretaps without warrants but defends the action as "fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities."
December 19, 2005 - At a news conference, President Bush defends the warrant-less wiretapping by saying, "This program is carefully reviewed approximately every 45 days to ensure it is being used properly. Leaders in the United States Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this program. And it has been effective in disrupting the enemy while safeguarding our civil liberties. This program has targeted those with known links to al-Qaida. I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill our American citizens."
December 19, 2005 - Lower court judge James Robertson resigns, via letter to Chief Justice John Roberts. According to the Washington Post, the resignation is in protest of President Bush's actions concerning the warrant-less wiretaps.
August 17, 2006 - Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, of U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division, strikes down the NSA warrant-less wiretapping program, saying that it violates free speech and privacy rights.
January 17, 2007 - The Bush administration announces that it will allow the court to oversee its domestic surveillance program and will seek the court's permission before eavesdropping. This reverses the position held by the administration since the secret wiretapping program was revealed in 2005.
August 5, 2007 - President Bush signs into law the Protect America of 2007 which updates the Foreign Surveillance Act of 1978, but only for a period of six months. The new law gives the attorney general or the director of national intelligence the authority to approve surveillance of suspected terrorists overseas, bypassing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
April 30, 2008 - The Justice Dept. announces that FISC approved 2,370 warrants in 2007, a 9% increase over 2006.
April 2011 - The Justice Dept. announces that FISC approved all of the 1,511 surveillance applications put before it in 2010. Five cases were withdrawn by the government.
June 5, 2013 - British newspaper The Guardian publishes a top secret FISA court order requiring Verizon to turn over millions of its customers' telephone records to the National Security Agency. According to the report, the order was requested by the FBI and gives the NSA blanket access to the phone records of millions of Americans.

» What Powers Does the Civil Liberties Oversight Board Have? - American Civil Liberties Union News and Information (blog)
04/11/13 11:11 from fbi aclu report - Google News
What Powers Does the Civil Liberties Oversight Board Have? American Civil Liberties Union News and Information (blog) By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:28am. At a time when the ... ...

What Powers Does the Civil Liberties Oversight Board Have?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:28am
At a time when the Snowden revelations have focused new attention on the question of oversight over our giant national security establishment, many are closely watching the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). The PCLOB is a brand new organization and still quite small, but it holds great promise as a truly independent mechanism for much-needed oversight over the national security state. In coming months and years, we will see whether it is able to live up to that potential.
So far the PCLOB seems to be doing a commendable job with limited resources in tackling the biggest privacy issue confronting us today, NSA surveillance. Today they’re holding a public hearing on NSA and FBI spying that will feature officials from those agencies and the Justice Department, as well as some outside experts.
What powers does the PCLOB have? We issued a report in late 2009 about how the United States needs institutions equivalent to the privacy commissioners that nearly every other advanced-industrial democratic nation has. In writing that report, we evaluated this new institution (as reconstituted by Congress in 2007; see timeline) and its powers (which are set out in Section 801 of this law).
Like many independent federal commissions (FCC, FTC, etc), the PCLOB consists of a chairman and four additional members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They serve for overlapping six-year terms with no more than three members being from the same party.
The board’s mandate is to “analyze and review actions the executive branch takes to protect the Nation from terrorism, ensuring that the need for such actions is balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties” and to “ensure that liberty concerns are appropriately considered in the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism.”
Note that this mandate appears to restrict the board’s oversight powers to the government’s anti-terrorism programs, and that its oversight role does not extend to other areas that can raise civil liberties issues such as the War on Drugs, crime prevention, or benefits programs.
The PCLOB is directed by Congress to fulfill five primary functions:
  1. Provide “advice and counsel on policy development and implementation” by reviewing proposed legislation, regulations and policies.
  2. Provide oversight by “continually review[ing]” implementation of the regulations, policies, and procedures, “information sharing practices,” and “other actions” of the executive branch.
  3. Work with the privacy officers and civil liberties officers of federal agencies—receive reports from, make recommendations to, and “when appropriate,” “coordinate the activities” of those officers.
  4. Submit semiannual reports to Congress and the President.
  5. Inform the public by releasing its reports “in unclassified form to the greatest extent possible,” by holding public hearings, or through other methods.
Powers and limitations
Congress gave the board significant powers to access information. The statute directs that “If determined by the Board to be necessary” to carry out its functions, the PCLOB “is authorized to”
  • “Have access from any department, agency, or element of the executive branch” to “all relevant” records or material, “including classified information consistent with applicable law. “
  • “Interview, take statements from, or take public testimony from personnel” of any element of the executive branch.
  • “Request information or assistance from any State, tribal, or local government.”
  • Compel testimony by subpoena from persons “other than departments, agencies, and elements of the executive branch,” a majority of the board can submit a written request to the Attorney General to issue a subpoena on behalf of the board. Within 30 days, the AG must either comply or provide a written explanation for a denial to the board and to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. This is a strangely contorted way of giving the board subpoena power, and inserts a powerful executive branch official whose agency may be a subject of the board’s oversight into the process—but at least it only applies to subpoenas directed outside government.
What Congress did not give the PCLOB the power to do, unfortunately, is challenge agencies’ secrecy powers when it finds those powers have been abused to cover up wrongdoing or incompetence or to prevent legitimate public debate. At a time when such abuses of secrecy powers are widespread, it is not clear how the PCLOB would or could proceed if, for example, it uncovers brazen violations of the law that are classified (as they most likely would be).
The PCLOB also has no enforcement power. Other than by going to court like anyone else, it cannot order any government agency to change its practices or otherwise enforce the law. Other countries give their privacy commissioners such powers; in 2008, for example, the Italian government decided to publish the income tax returns of all Italian citizens on the Internet. The Italian data protection authority did not just condemn the action, or hold hearings, or file a court case—it ordered the information taken down, and it was. In some countries, such as Slovenia, the data protection commissioner also has the power to unilaterally declassify information.
Ultimately, as we laid out in our 2009 report, we would like to see Congress bolster those powers—broadening its mandate, giving it powers against overclassification, and giving it enforcement powers. It’s also, as I’ve saidbefore, crucial that the board be given resources to grow into its giant task of overseeing our $80 billion national security establishment. But for now we are glad to see the PCLOB off to such a promising start in making use of the powers it has been given.

» FBI “Suspicious Activity Reports” Target Political Dissent | Global ...
01/11/13 09:02 from fbi - Google Blog Search

» ACLU Report: FBI Has No Safeguards to Protect Against Constitutional Violations - ticklethewire.com
31/10/13 11:40 from fbi aclu report - Google News
ticklethewire.com ACLU Report : FBI Has No Safeguards to Protect Against Constitutional Violations ticklethewire.com The FBI's lack of safeguards in collecting suspicious activity leads to privacy violations as well as racial and rel...

» FBI program's lack of safeguards allows civil liberties violations: ACLU - The Japan Times
31/10/13 02:40 from fbi aclu report - Google News
FBI program's lack of safeguards allows civil liberties violations: ACLU The Japan Times WASHINGTON – An FBI program that collects reports about suspicious activity in the United States does not have adequate safeguards and leads to ...
» FBI's 'eGuardian' Program For Reporting Suspicious Activity Raised Civil ... - Huffington Post
30/10/13 14:47 from fbi aclu report - Google News
FBI's 'eGuardian' Program For Reporting Suspicious Activity Raised Civil ... Huffington Post ACLU officials said the documents confirm that the programs give law enforcement officials broad discretion to collect information o...

» FBI program's lack of safeguards allows civil liberties violations, ACLU ... - Washington Post
30/10/13 12:08 from fbi aclu report - Google News
FBI program's lack of safeguards allows civil liberties violations, ACLU ... Washington Post In a new report , “ ACLU Eye on the FBI ,” the organization said that its examination of the FBI's eGuardian system, which collects “sus...

» Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents - American Civil Liberties Union News and Information (blog)
30/10/13 10:33 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents American Civil Liberties Union News and Information (blog) It is an interesting choice of words, given that just last month the ACLU published Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI's Unche...


» Mark F. Giuliano Named Deputy Director of the FBI
05/11/13 02:00 from Current
— Washington, D.C.

» Mark Giuliano To Be Named FBI's Deputy Director - Huffington Post
05/11/13 14:00 from fbi - Google News
Washington Post Mark Giuliano To Be Named FBI's Deputy Director Huffington Post Getty File. WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) — A 25-year veteran of the FBI , Mark F. Giuliano, will become the bureau's new deputy director, overseeing...

» FBI chief Comey names new deputy director - Washington Post (blog)
05/11/13 14:51 from james b. comey - Google News
Washington Post (blog) FBI chief Comey names new deputy director Washington Post (blog) FBI Director James B . Comey has named 25-year FBI veteran Mark Giuliano to be the agency's new deputy director, overseeing all domestic and inte...

FBI chief Comey names new deputy director

President Obama and new FBI director James Comey at the latter's installation ceremony. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama and new FBI director James Comey at the latter’s installation ceremony. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
FBI Director James B. Comey has named 25-year FBI veteran Mark Giuliano to be the agency’s new deputy director, overseeing all domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities, the bureau announced Monday. He begins Dec. 1, when current deputy Sean Joyce retires.
Giuliano, who began his career here as a special agent at the Washington Field Office, has a broad background in national security and counterterrorism and served as the FBI’s on-scene commander in Afghanistan, supporting U.S. Special Forces. Since August 2012, Giuliano been the special agent in charge in Atlanta.
» Former FBI agent Mike German talks about the NSA - Daily Caller
05/11/13 01:53 from fbi - Google News
Former FBI agent Mike German talks about the NSA Daily Caller Mike German is a 16-year veteran of the FBI , where he served as a special agent in domestic terrorism. His work led him to resign in 2004 after the implementation of the 9/11...

» Snowden Shakes Up Washington - The American Conservative
05/11/13 01:09 from fbi aclu report - Google News
The American Conservative Snowden Shakes Up Washington The American Conservative It was the exposure that forced them to respond with outrage and that could lead to serious diplomatic strife—already the affected counties are demanding a ...

» Is LAX shooting the result of anti-government hatred? - Los Angeles Times
04/11/13 20:50 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Is LAX shooting the result of anti-government hatred? Los Angeles Times It's depressing, but there is probably no way to fully protect the public against people like 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, who, according to the FBI , was c...

» FBI Seeks Information Regarding Several Cyber Fugitives
05/11/13 02:00 from Current
— Washington, D.C.

» Monday Morning Skeptic: In Boston Bombing, FBI Fights for Public's Right to ... - WhoWhatWhy
04/11/13 10:19 from fbi - Google News
WhoWhatWhy Monday Morning Skeptic: In Boston Bombing, FBI Fights for Public's Right to ... WhoWhatWhy For more than six months, WhoWhatWhy has been asking questions about the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath, pursuing our consti...

» Retired FBI agent Phil Torsney returns to tackle unsolved murder of Amy Mihaljevic - Plain Dealer
04/11/13 10:10 from fbi - Google News
Retired FBI agent Phil Torsney returns to tackle unsolved murder of Amy Mihaljevic Plain Dealer That's why Torsney found himself standing on an isolated road in rural Ashland County just a few months after he capped off his FBI caree...

» The Buzz: Did carelessness lead to leak of FBI document? - The San Luis Obispo Tribune
04/11/13 03:45 from fbi - Google News
The San Luis Obispo Tribune The Buzz: Did carelessness lead to leak of FBI document? The San Luis Obispo Tribune Among the questions in the developing Ron Calderon corruption investigation: Just how did the media get hold of an FBI affid...
» GPS Tracking Requires Warrants, US Appeals Court Rules - Huffington Post
03/11/13 22:28 from fbi aclu report - Google News
GPS Tracking Requires Warrants, US Appeals Court Rules Huffington Post But police, working with the FBI , soon put a GPS device under his bumper and closed in on the van after another burglary. They found Katzin ... "This case in ou...

» FBI probes motives of Los Angeles shooter - Aljazeera.com
03/11/13 21:21 from fbi - Google News
Raw Story FBI probes motives of Los Angeles shooter Aljazeera.com FBI agents are probing the background and possible motivation of a man who opened fire at a packed terminal at Los Angeles International Airport and shot dead an unarmed f...

» NRA backs ACLU suit over gun registry fears - Tribune-Review
02/11/13 20:44 from fbi aclu report - Google News
NRA backs ACLU suit over gun registry fears Tribune-Review It was the ACLU's head lobbyist in Washington that contacted the NRA, showing the gun-rights group FBI training manuals on how to collect firearm records. “I reached out to (...


NYT: Obama Reassures F.B.I. at Ceremony for New Director

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
New F.B.I. Director Is Introduced: President Obama welcomes James Comey, the newly sworn-in head of the F.B.I.

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WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday assured employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he would fight to keep politics from interfering with their mission as the agency struggles to contend with budget shortfalls.


James B. Comey in 90 Seconds

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Judge John Walker issued a ceremonial oath of office to F.B.I. Director James B. Comey at the bureau's headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Speaking at the agency’s headquarters at a ceremony recognizing James B. Comey as the new director of the F.B.I., Mr. Obama said it was unfortunate that the broad spending cuts known as sequestration have affected the agency’s resources as it tries to adjust to constantly changing threats.
“I’ll keep fighting for those resources because our country asks and expects a lot from you,” Mr. Obama said, “and we should make sure you’ve got the resources you need to do the job.”
A current hiring freeze at the F.B.I. is projected to leave a few thousand positions vacant by late next year. The agency has also made significant cuts to training and other expenses, including deciding to shutter its offices for about 10 days in the coming year, in the face of shrinking resources.
Mr. Obama praised Mr. Comey as a director with broad appeal and experience, having served as a former deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush. John Ashcroft and Michael B. Mukasey, former attorneys general in the Bush administration, attended the ceremony on Monday.
“It’s just about impossible to find a matter of justice he has not tackled, and it’s hard to imagine somebody who is more uniquely qualified to lead a bureau that covers all of it — traditional threats like violent and organized crime to the constantly changing threats like terrorism and cybersecurity,” Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Comey said that as director he will instruct new agents to visit the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, in addition to continuing to visit the Holocaust Museum, as a way of keeping in mind their unique responsibility.
“I think it will serve as a different kind of lesson, one more personal to the bureau, of the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability,” he said.
Mr. Comey was sworn in during a private ceremony on Sept. 4., taking the reins from Robert S. Mueller III. During Mr. Mueller’s 12-year tenure, which began just before the 2001 terrorist attacks, he oversaw the F.B.I.'s shift to intelligence and counterterrorism, including a focus on cybersecurity. Under law, Mr. Comey will serve a 10-year term at the F.B.I.
The Senate voted almost unanimously to approve the nomination of Mr. Comey, a Republican, in July. While serving as acting attorney general when his boss, Mr. Ashcroft, was ill in 2004, he notably refused to reauthorize a program of warrantless eavesdropping, an episode that made him a more appealing choice to Democrats.

A version of this article appears in print on October 29, 2013, on page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: President Reassures F.B.I. Workers At Ceremony for New Director.

Last Update: 10.1.13 

By "free associating", my dear friends, I did not mean associating with all sorts of undesirable people (never did that and never will, even if some of you might have difficult time really understanding this); not at all; but I meant "free associations" as a type of thinking process, which is indicated by the attached to this expression hyperlink. And if some misunderstanding about this expression did arise, believe me, it is not due to the lack of clarity on my part (I hope, I know what I am writing about, and please, my dear friends, do not try to be even more hypocritical than you really are) but due to the lack of basic knowledge on the part of those who might have misunderstood this (see more details regarding intellectual aspects of FBI culture below). 

In my strictly personal and based on my personal experience, not extensive but direct, and not very humble opinion, FBI is one of the most intellectually deficient, (e. g.: 

  • "After more than fifty years of rivalry, Agency people are still perceived by FBI agents as intellectual, Ivy League, wine drinking, pipe smoking, international relations types, sometimes aloof. The Bureau's people are regarded by CIA as cigar smoking, beer drinking, door-knocking cops. What kind of restructuring might overcome such stereotypical perceptions especially when they are generally true?")

arrogant, primitively vindictive - against their own and our own people, but not necessarily and not always against the criminals (I will explain this in my following post), and inept American institutions. The only thing that stands a notch below FBI in this respect is the city psychiatric hospital, with which I also did have some experience, both extensive and direct. I feel very bad for the FBI young people (fbi mistrains - GS; see for example:

 "a joint review between the US Justice Department, the national Innocence Project out of New York, and the NACDL of cases where potentially flawed microscopic hair analysis may have been introduced as evidence and produced false convictions. According to Reimer, out of 310 DNA exonerations nationally, 72 of them (23%) included faulty microscopic hair analysis, often layered on top of other flawed evidence as corroboration. I'd not seen that figure, but it's repeated in the press release below. That would make hair microscopy perhaps the most significant source of forensic science error in DNA exoneration cases. You can imagine that, layered on top of a mistaken eyewitness, such forensic corroboration could be very powerful testimony.")

and my most grave concern is the counterintelligence matters which might suffer (see: fbi counterintelligence is flawed - GS; e.g.: 

OIG Special Report: A Review of the FBI's Progress in Responding ... 

www.justice.gov/oig/special/s0710/‎ : ... sources involved in the Hanssen case and FBI counterintelligence activities, ... in the FBI's counterintelligence program and a deeply flawed internal security ...


Special Report: A Review of the FBI's Performance in Deterring ...

www.justice.gov/oig/special/0308/final.pdf‎ :problems in the FBI's counterintelligence program and a deeply flawed FBI internal security program. C. FBI Analytical and Investigative Penetration Efforts: 1978 ...)

due to these deficiencies (real or just perceived by me subjectively; ACLU report is more in line with the first "scenario"). I wonder how many robert hanssens they still have in their midst. They are obsessed with the issue of control, however I doubt that they really know what the true control is and how to practice it. I also doubt that they are able to understand in depth the human nature which is or should be their primary subject, not the most dazzling technical advances. No wonder that at least more than one third to one half, depending on a type, of all violent crimes could not be investigated successfully and solved


  • In the nation in 2011, 47.7 percent of violent crimes and 18.6 percent of property crimes were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.
  • When considering clearances of violent crimes, 64.8 percent of murder offenses, 41.2 percent of forcible rape offenses, 28.7 percent of robbery offenses, and 56.9 percent of aggravated assault offenses were cleared.
  • Among property crimes, 21.5 percent of larceny-theft offenses, 12.7 percent of burglary offenses, and 11.9 percent of motor vehicle theft offenses were cleared.
  • 18.8 percent of arson offenses were cleared by arrest or exceptional means in 2011.
  • 32.7 percent of arson offenses cleared involved juveniles (persons under age 18); this was the highest percentage of all offense clearances involving only juveniles.

My impression is, and I think, I shared it several times earlier, that one of the main problems is the FBI institutional culture; the sick shadow of sick Jay Edgar Hoover still hangs over them and permeates all modes of their existence and work;  it seems to me, the FBI culture comes from largely limited in its intellectual scope although quite straightforward and hopefully honest police culture. I think, and now it is in my very humble opinion of a person with rather limited experiences and impressions of their work, FBI will benefit from a deep and broad reform, from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. I think, again IMVHO, that it will benefit from the influx of talented and well trained professionals from the military, intelligence and academic-scientific communities; and if it is appropriate and if I am asked, I will definitely try to help FBI with this reform to the best of my abilities. The style and level of their work has to correspond to and has to respond to the ever more and more complex demands of our times and our age. I would guess that rage and frustration in this brief statement of mine are probably quite palpable, but, I hope that my deep sympathy to this great institution is been felt also. The problem is that it is not just my personal frustration and rage; this rage is felt and expressed by many and on many different levels, from the Congress to the press to the ordinary people and to ACLU in their report (despite some troubling questions about the true nature of authorship, origins and inspiration for this report). And do not try to brand me as a "leftist" or a "commie" also, and also quite hypocritically, to justify your actions or misactions - they cannot be justified; and I am not any of these things at all, although I do not even have to waste my emotions and to explain my historical interests to those who simply are not capable to understand them due to their lack of intellectual curiosity and their lack of historical knowledge. I am  what I am and I said what I said, and I said what I felt like; and believe me, I will not hesitate one single minute and one tiny little bit to say it again if I feel like saying something and if I feel that I have to say it. My dear friends, you are not going to control us (the great and free American society and culture), we will control and reform you. And do not try to present your entirely selfish, institutional, parochial and extremely counterproductive for the whole country interests, and your sick and counterproductive selfish and purely human and entirely self-serving and arrogant "need for control and domination" as something more, bigger and grander than it really is. Look at yourselves in a mirror: truly historical and whole country scale mirror and try to understand who you really are and what you are really doing and not doing: just yesterday (historically) street cops (whom I love and have enormous respect for) who took too much upon themselves, do not really understand the changed and changing times and enormous challenges that you are facing and who are not really able to meet these challenges and to do their jobs adequately, substituting it sometimes, according with old crazy COINTELPRO recipes with some type of self-gratuitous entertainment, cheap on the personal needs level, but very and unnecessarily expensive on a national and on a national pocket levels. And I do have any right to say this as a citizen of the United States of America - my adoptive country but my only country which I do love very much, just like most of us. 

Michael Novakhov (Mike Nova) 

"Oh, Really?! Oh, Really?!"

FBI News Review: Mike Nova dares (how horrible, how can he do this?!) 

FBI News Review

Google Searches: 

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Other Searches: Federal Bureau of Investigation - NYT Search 

Other Relevant Websites and Web Pages: 

House Judiciary Committee - C-SPAN Video Library

FBI Oversight - Jun 13, 2013: 
C-Span Video: Robert Mueller testified at an FBI oversight hearing. Among the topics he addressed were the Boston Marathon bombings, the disclosure of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs by a former CIA ..

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» ACLU faults 'suspicious activity' reporting by law enforcement - Reuters
19/09/13 22:12 from fbi aclu report - Google News
ACLU faults 'suspicious activity' reporting by law enforcementReuters"What's driving the suspicion is not the photography, but bias against the person taking the picture, which generates the report," said ACLU senio...

» ACLU Posts Fed-Collected 'Suspicious' Activity Reports Online - NPR
19/09/13 11:42 from fbi aclu report - Google News
NPRACLU Posts Fed-Collected 'Suspicious' Activity Reports OnlineNPRACLU Posts Fed-Collected 'Suspicious' Activity Reports Online. by Martin Kaste. September 19, 2013 3:59 AM ... Once, two FBI agents showed up at his door,...

» ACLU to New FBI Chief Jim Comey: Welcome, Now Fix This ...
18/09/13 17:00 from fbi aclu report - Google Blog Search

» ACLU: James Comey, New FBI Director, Must End 'Unchecked Abuse Of Authority' - Huffington Post
16/09/13 21:02 from fbi aclu report - Google News
ACLU: James Comey, New FBI Director, Must End 'Unchecked Abuse Of Authority'Huffington PostThe ACLU report cited those programs, as well as the use of national security letters to demand private information without a warrant, spy...

James B. Comey Sworn in as FBI Director

James B. Comey was sworn in today as Director of the FBI during a ceremony at the Department of Justice. Comey becomes the seventh FBI Director in the Bureau’s modern era. Attorney General Eric Holder administered the oath of office at 4:32 p.m.
“I know Jim brings an impeccable sense of judgment, a commitment to innovative methods and tools, and a lifetime of experience to this new role—which is critical to the protection of our nation and its citizens,” said Attorney General Holder. “As a seasoned prosecutor, a proven leader, and a faithful advocate for the American peopleand for the rule of lawI am confident that Jim Comey will continue to uphold the standards of excellence and integrity that the FBI’s outgoing Director, Bob Mueller, helped to establish.”
President Barack Obama nominated Comey in June for the FBI’s top job, and the Senate confirmed his nomination in July. Comey succeeds Robert S. Mueller, III, who served as FBI Director for 12 years.



» House Committee Votes To Define 'Journalists' and Delay Access to Certain ... - Michigan Capitol Confidential
13/09/13 06:36 from house judiciary committee - Google News
House Committee Votes To Define 'Journalists' and Delay Access to Certain ...Michigan Capitol ConfidentialThe House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved House Bill 4770, which among other things, attempts to define what a jou...

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Washington PostFBI's Comey focused on violent home-grown extremists, global spread of terrorismWashington PostThe new FBI director, James B. Comey, said Thursday that terrorism has become his biggest concern as he settles into the jo...

Comey also responded to a recent report by the American Civil Liberties Uniontitled “Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority.” The report called on the Obama administration and Congress to rein in the increasing power of the FBI, calling the agency “a secret domestic intelligence agency,” especially in light of the massive government surveillance programs revealed by a former contractor for the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden.

“I saw that they said we were a domestic intelligence agency and my response was, ‘Okay, good,’ ” said Comey, who was relaxed and had shed his jacket in a roundtable gathering with 18 reporters. “I think that’s one of my responsibilities, to continue [former FBI director] Bob Mueller’s work to transform the bureau into an intelligence agency.”

Robert S. Mueller III became FBI director shortly before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and oversaw the transformation of an FBI focused on fighting crime to one with terrorism as its first priority.

Comey said he recently encountered ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero at a farewell ceremony for Mueller and encouraged him to continue being a watchdog.

“I said to Tony Romero . . . ‘Look, keep banging on us. I may not agree with you, but there’s always a risk as a leader you’ll fall in love with the sound of your own voice. So, it’s good to have that push from the outside,’ ” said Comey, who added that he had not reviewed the ACLU report. “But I’m going to read it with an open mind.”

When he spoke about the budget cuts the FBI is facing because of sequestration, Comey became visibly frustrated.

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New York Daily NewsA New FBI Director Prepares to Take the ReinsNew York TimesBy SARAH WHEATON and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT. Published: August 22, 2013. WASHINGTON — James B. Comey will begin shadowing the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller II...

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ACLU urges more control, accountability for the FBIUPI.com11, 2001, the FBI has morphed into a domestic surveillance agency with little accountability, a report said. The American Civil Liberties Union Tuesday released "Unleashed an...

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Washington PostACLU Report Documents FBI Abuse Since 9/11American Civil Liberties Union News and InformationWASHINGTON - Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been granted by Congress ...

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A new ACLU report shows how the Bureau's domestic surveillance program has exploded since 9/11

September 19, 2013 2:05 PM ET
The FBI has vastly expanded its domestic spying powers since 9/11, often justifying surveillance and infiltration of activist or religious communities under the banner of fighting terrorism, according to a new report by the ACLU. Requirements for opening investigations into groups or individuals have been repeatedly watered-down over the past decade, and the report documents many examples of FBI investigations based on what seems to be protected First Amendment activity.

"Before 9/11, the FBI operated within rules designed to focus its investigative efforts on people reasonably suspected of wrongdoing. These rules didn't always prevent abuse, but at least when abuse was discovered the agency could be held to account," says Mike German, the former FBI agent who authored the ACLU report. "What has changed since 9/11 is that Congress and successive administrations loosened the rules and at the same time increasing secrecy demands reduced oversight opportunities."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/is-the-fbis-domestic-spying-out-of-control-20130919#ixzz2fR1QYk7l



Mike Nova comments: 

Who really is "Mike German"? Are things much more complex than they appear to be at a first glance? I reproduced his book review, an article Manufacturing Terroristsbecause it appears to be blackened out on its original page, 
and it is good to have it at hand as an additional piece of information, just in case if it gets lost. 
The content of it, though, should be taken with a certain grain of salt, methinks. 
See, for example, this: 

» NSA scandal: time has come for FBI - The Voice of Russia
20/09/13 02:44 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Washington PostNSA scandal: time has come for FBIThe Voice of RussiaIn its 63-page report "Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI's Unchecked Abuse of Authority," the ACLU is putting new pressure on the FBI, calling on the US...

This piece of writing appears to be objective on a surface, but you can feel its barely concealed glee. A lot of questions and issues do arise. Is there any single and the same pattern or design which links this event with the previous ones? Should we not look into this possible connection(s)? One thing does not exclude the other. The real issues raised by the ACLU report should not obscure its use by hostile forces and their possible, at this time hypothetical role in production or some type of a collaboration in preparation of this report. It makes sense to look into this very carefully. 

See also my previous posts: 

Рыбкин, Иван Петрович - 002, aka Edward Snowden! ...

Operation "Skyfall" - a message from "The Blue Sepia Lady"


mike german aclu - GS

Mike German - ACLU biography

Uploaded on Sep 9, 2011
"The government has no right to pick through your private information just because that's technologically possible," says American Civil Liberties Union policy counsel and former FBI agent Mike German. "The laws are now so lax that they can."

German sat down with Reason.tv to discuss the top threats to civil liberties after 9/11. They range from new interpretations of the Fourth Amendment to law enforcement's fascination with vast empires of data to "fusion centers" that pool sources among intelligence agencies and local police.

About 6.30 minutes.

Produced by Paul Detrick. Shot by Joshua Swain. Edited by Detrick and Tracy Oppenheimer.

See also: The FBI Secrets [FULL VIDEO] - YouTube

Manufacturing Terrorists

The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, by Trevor Aaronson, Ig Publishing, 256 pages, $24.95
Imagine a country in which the government pays convicted con artists and criminals to scour minority religious communities for disgruntled, financially desperate, or mentally ill patsies who can be talked into joining fake terrorist plots, even if only for money. Imagine that the country’s government then busts its patsies with great fanfare to justify ever-increasing authority and ever-increasing funding. According to journalist Trevor Aaronson’s The Terror Factory, this isn’t the premise for a Kafka novel; it’s reality in the post-9/11 United States.
The Terror Factory is a well-researched and fast-paced exposé of the dubious tactics the FBI has used in targeting Muslim Americans with sting operations since 2001. The book updates and expands upon Aaronson’s award-winning 2011 Mother Jones cover story “The Informants.” Most readers likely have heard about several alleged conspiracies to attack skyscrapers, synagogues, or subway stations, involving either individuals whom the FBI calls “lone wolves” or small cells that a credulous press has tagged with such sinister appellations as the Newburgh 4 or the Liberty City 7. But they may be astonished to learn that many of these frightening plots were almost entirely concocted and engineered by the FBI itself, using corrupt agents provocateurs who often posed a far more serious criminal threat than the dimwitted saps the investigations ultimately netted.
Drawing on court records and interviews with the defendants, their lawyers, their families, and the FBI officials and prosecutors who oversaw the investigations, Aaronson portrays an agency that has adopted an “any means necessary” approach to its terrorism prevention efforts, regardless of whether real terrorists are being caught. To the FBI, this imperative justifies recruiting informants with extensive criminal records, including convictions for fraud, violent crimes, and even child molestation, that in an earlier era would have disqualified them except in the most extraordinary circumstances.
In addition to offering lenience, if not forgiveness, for heinous crimes, the FBI pays these informants tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, creating a perverse incentive for them to ensnare dupes into terrorist plots. Aaronson quotes an FBI official defending this practice: “To catch the devil you have to go to hell.”
Such an analysis might make sense when police leverage one criminal to gain information about more-serious criminal conspiracies—in other words, to catch a real “devil.” But Aaronson’s research reveals that the targets in most of these sting operations posed little real threat. They may have had a history of angry anti-government rhetoric, but they took no steps toward terrorist acts until they received encouragement and resources from government agents.
Aaronson describes the case of an unemployed and practically homeless 22-year-old named Derrick Shareef, befriended by an FBI informant with an armed robbery conviction who gave him a place to live. When Shareef couldn’t (or wouldn’t) raise the money to buy weapons needed for a plot suggested by the informant, he was introduced to a faux weapons dealer who was willing to trade four hand grenades and a pistol for Shareef’s used stereo speakers. The fact that Shareef believed a real weapons dealer would accept such a barter provides a clue as to his criminal experience. 
Aaronson correctly takes pains to avoid portraying those caught in the stings as completely innocent of malice. But he demonstrates that they almost universally lack violent criminal histories or connections to real terrorist groups. Most important, while they may have talked about committing violent acts, they rarely had weapons of their own and, like Shareef, usually lacked the financial means to acquire them. Yet the government provided them with military hardware worth thousands of dollars that would be extremely difficult for even sophisticated criminal organizations to obtain, only to bust them in a staged finale. 
This aspect of Aaronson’s narrative is most troubling to me, as a former FBI agent who worked undercover in domestic terrorism investigations before 9/11. Prior to September 11, 2001, if an agent had suggested opening a terrorism case against someone who was not a member of a terrorist group, who had not attempted to acquire weapons, and who didn’t have the means to obtain them, he would have been gently encouraged to look for a more serious threat. An agent who suggested giving such a person a stinger missile or a car full of military-grade plastic explosives would have been sent to counseling. Yet in Aaronson’s telling, such techniques are now becoming commonplace. 
My concern is partly that the artificially inflated scale of the threat in these cases seems designed to overwhelm judges, jurors, and the general public, who might otherwise view such methods as illegal entrapment. The FBI often announces these arrests with great fanfare, highlighting the scope of the damage that could have been caused by weapons provided entirely by the government. Such pretrial publicity creates a climate of fear that is likely to influence judges and jurors. 
Indeed, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon severely criticized the investigation that led to the 2009 arrest of James Cromitie, a small-time ex-con from Newburgh, New York, whose apparent reluctance to join a fake missile plot was overcome when an informant offered him $250,000 to participate. At his sentencing, Judge McMahon observed that “only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.” Yet McMahon let the jury’s conviction stand and sentenced Cromitie to 25 years in prison. Of 150 defendants charged in these schemes, Aaronson documents only two acquittals. 
The exaggerated significance of these manufactured terrorist plots also raises the possible penalties for those charged, due to “terrorism enhancement” sentencing provisions. The majority of defendants plead guilty to mitigate draconian penalties, raising an additional question of whether the purpose of this government tactic is to avoid judicial and public scrutiny altogether. Law enforcement has no business staging theatrical productions that intentionally exaggerate the seriousness of a defendant’s criminal conduct.
Even more unsettling is the flawed reasoning that drives the use of these methods. FBI agents have been inundated with bigoted training materials that falsely portray Arabs and Muslims as inherently violent. The FBI also has embraced an unfounded theory of “radicalization” that alleges a direct progression from adopting certain beliefs, or expressing opposition to U.S. policies, to becoming a terrorist. With such a skewed and biased view of the American Muslim community, the FBI’s strategy of “preemption, prevention, and disruption” results in abusive surveillance, targeting, and exploitation of innocent people based simply on their exercise of their First Amendment rights.
Aaronson fails, however, to recognize that these tactics are neither new to the FBI nor exclusively used against Muslims. The FBI’s earliest documented use of agents provocateurs with criminal backgrounds was revealed during congressional investigations of labor “radicals,” pacifists, and socialists in 1918. The bureau’s investigations of radicals led to nationwide warrantless raids, resulting in thousands of arrests and hundreds of deportations, yet solved no terrorist bombings and discovered less than a handful of firearms. Although reforms were implemented, decades later the Church Committee’s inquiries revealed that covert operations conducted as part of the FBI’s COINTELPRO investigations had targeted civil rights and anti-war groups because of their First Amendment–protected activities from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Recalling this history is important because in both cases, reform of these improper practices was implemented by restricting FBI intelligence activities and requiring a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before initiating investigations. These restrictions have once again been relaxed, and the rapid increase in sting operations under the Obama administration that Aaronson documents is directly attributable to amendments made to the FBI’s guidelines in 2008, authorizing the use of informants without requiring any factual predicate of wrongdoing. The FBI also has used these dubious tactics against aged anti-government militiamen and misfit anarchists, so Muslims are not the only targets in its crosshairs.
Without reforms to FBI guidelines, anyone holding unorthodox views or challenging government policies could find himself targeted by overzealous federal agents using unscrupulous informants. The FBI should be investigating violent crime, not inventing it.  



Mike Nova comments on ACLU Report: 

If you aspire to be an American KGB, at least do it skillfully and do not get caught. 

Further associations: 

bizarre - GS

to go bananas - Thesaurus

to go bonkers - 

horrible - GS

arrogant - GS

incompetent - GS

grossly incompetent (no records) - GS

inept - GS (many instances, very unfortunately)

what goes around comes around - W

reeking to high heaven - GS

no finesse - GS

a lot of unneeded bells and whistles - GS

a state within a state - GS - a real danger!

"give me poison" (just an expression, por favor do not take it literally, if it is possible; 
see "finesse" above) - GS

Be aware of Cat's Paws and others' propensity to Pull the Chestnuts Out of the Fire 

Cointelpro - GS

edgar hoover's fbi legacy - GS

Post Traumatic (9.11) Stress Disorder, both individual, and, 
by extension, institutional-cultural - GS

The worst is over now and we can breathe again(?) - GS

Catharsis - GS

Thank you, ACLU! - GS

Recuperation - GS and Restoration - M-WD

The new leader - the new style - GS

I said my piece - GS


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