Group responsible for FBI theft comes forward

FBI_Badge_&_gunThe New York Times published an article detailing the account of a group of antiwar dissidents more than 40 years ago and their plan to break into an FBI building in Pennsylvania.  Their plan was to uncover and publicize documents that directly prove FBI corruption.

Their plan worked.

The documents revealed the true motivations of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover at the time, who now has a building named in his honor.  Hoover’s intent was to scare those critical of the war effort, and “get the point across there is an F.B.I. agent behind every mailbox.”  How lovely.

The article details how meticulously the group planned the attack.  They spent months observing the office.  They memorized the schedules of residents in the area.  One of the group’s female members posed as a job hunter in search of opportunities at the FBI for women.  In truth, she was looking around inside the FBI building for apparent signs of a security system.

Read the entire article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/burglars-who-took-on-fbi-abandon-shadows.html

John Kerry concedes Obama’s spy team ‘reached too far’

31049_large_jp-nsa2-superJumboSecretary of State John Kerry surprised many reporters, as well as intelligence, law enforcement and military officials, when he conceded on Friday that some of the U.S. surveillance has gone “too far.” The Obama administration has come under intense criticism from many world leaders including some heads of state from NATO allies, according to Josh Hollander, a former intelligence-division police detective.

Responding to increased questioning by major news organizations, Secretary Kerry admitted that at times the technological surveillance by the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) “have reached too far.”

However, Kerry quickly alluded to the Obama claim of ignorance when he added, “There is no question that the president and I have actually learned of some things that had been happening, in many ways, on an automatic pilot because the technology is there,” Kerry was quoted as saying.

John Kerry, who replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, found himself confronting reports that the U.S. spies had eavesdropped on cell phone calls by world leaders, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. In Merkel’s case, there are allegations that her office telephone was also “bugged” by U.S. spies and that the NSA collected data on tens of millions of phone calls in European countries.

In a direct contrast to statements he made while he served as a Senator during the Bush administration, Kerry actually defended the NSA’s operations during the Obama administration, claiming that U.S. surveillance programs are an “effective counterterrorism tool” that has prevented Islamic and domestic terrorists from bombing buildings, hijacking or bombing passenger airliners, assassinating leaders, and murdering people since the NSA was able to “learn ahead time of the [terrorists'] plans.”

President Barack Obama and members of his administration are being pressured by the international community since June after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed the spy agency’s massive surveillance program which monitors worldwide phone calls and Internet communications as part of the U.S. counterterrorism strategy.

The Obama White House promised it will conduct a full investigation of its global intelligence-gathering operations, but many expect a continuation of most of the intelligence operations in spite of criticism, said Josh Hollander.

Investigation finds FBI jets used for personal travel, costing millions

Article Highlights

  • Expensive Gulfstream jet used for extensive personal travel
  • $11 million spent over 5 years on non FBI-related expenses
  • 88 personal trips taken by Holder and Mukasey, Mueller adds 10
  • Read the official GAO report

According to an investigation released by the Government Accountability Office, the FBI’s Gulfstream jet, leased by the government to provide travel for global counterterrorism efforts, has been repeatedly misused for personal business travel by Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The jet costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every time the wheels leave the ground.  The investigation found that between the years of 2007 and 2011, more than half of the jet’s logged hours were for non-mission related travel activities that cost taxpayers over $11 million.

A whopping 88 personal trips were taken by Holder and former Republican Attorney General Michael Mukasey.  Mueller added 10 personal trips to the count.

Traditionally, the government has required FBI officials to use government-operated jets to maintain security.  However, smaller and less expensive Citation jets are typically used.  Since 2007, Holder and Mueller opted instead for the much more luxurious, and far more expensive, Gulfstream for the majority of their personal travel.

The report added, “However, according to DOJ officials, while the AG has historically been required to use government aircraft for all types of travel, including personal travel, the FBI Director had, until 2011, the discretion to use commercial air service for his personal travel.”

Read the official GAO report.