MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

The Bill of Temporary Privileges

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2022

By Andrew P. Napolitano

Today, if you call your cousin in London, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court can authorize the NSA to spy on you. And if you then call your sister-in-law in Kansas, FISC can allow the NSA to spy on her and on the folks she calls and the folks they call.

Earlier in the summer, the Director of National Intelligence, the data-gathering and data-concealing arm of the American intelligence community masquerading as the head of it, revealed that in 2021, the FBI engaged in 3.4 million warrantless electronic searches of Americans. This is a direct and profound violation of the right to privacy in “persons, houses, papers, and effects” guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

For the past 60 years, the Supreme Court has characterized electronic surveillance as a search that can only be conducted pursuant to a warrant issued by a judge based on probable cause of crime, which itself must be presented under oath to the judge. The warrant must specifically describe the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.

By failing to comply with these constitutional requirements, the FBI violated the natural and constitutionally protected right to be left alone of millions of Americans.

Yet, all of this was perfectly lawful. How can government behavior be both lawful and unconstitutional at the same time and in the same respect?

Here is the backstory.

The Fourth Amendment was written in 1791 while memories of British soldiers searching colonial homes were still prevalent. The British used general warrants to justify their violation of colonists’ privacy. A general warrant was not based on probable cause of crime. It was generated whenever the British government persuaded a secret court in London that it needed something from foreign persons, the colonists. The British government did not even need to identify what it needed.

General warrants authorized the bearer to search wherever he pleased and to seize whatever he found. The Fourth Amendment was written expressly to outlaw general warrants and warrantless searches.

After President Richard Nixon used the FBI and the CIA to spy on his political opponents, Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which prohibited warrantless domestic surveillance. Since the Fourth Amendment did so already, the prohibition was superfluous.

It was also toothless, as the new law set up a secret court — the FISA court — which issued surveillance warrants based not on probable cause of crime as the Fourth Amendment requires, but on probable cause of communicating with a foreign person. And the court, over time, kept modifying its own rules to make it easier for the National Security Agency –America’s 60,000 domestic spies — to spy on Americans.

See the rest here

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How the Sept 11th Victims’ Families Search for Answers Was Met With Stonewalling, Lies and Political Theatre

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2022

By Ray McGinnis
Propaganda in Focus

FBI, CIA, and America’s 750-billion-dollar defense establishment failed to prevent the attacks. Instead, Vice-President Dick Cheney said the nation couldn’t afford to divert funds on an investigation while fighting the War on Terror.

Introduction

On November 24, 2007, September 11th widow Lorie Van Auken whose husband Kenneth W. Van Auken had died in the North Tower spoke before an audience at the Episcopal Church-in-the-Bowery. In support of a campaign for the City of New York to investigate the ‘attacks,’ she remarked:

“It turns out almost everything about 9/11 was out of the ordinary, including the fact that it was never properly investigated…. The reason that we need an investigation into 9/11 is because we never actually had one. The 9/11 Commission was not a real investigation. It was political theatre. The family members who were involved with the commission actually had more questions after the 9/11 independent commission was completed than we had before it was begun” [1].

Lorie Van Auken was one of a dozen members of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, families went to memorial services for their loved ones and grieved in private. Many waited for the Bush White House to announce an investigation into why the FBI, CIA, and America’s 750-billion-dollar defense establishment failed to prevent the attacks. Instead, Vice-President Dick Cheney said the nation couldn’t afford to divert funds on an investigation while fighting the War on Terror. In May 2002, U.S. Senate leader Tom Daschle told reporters he was concerned that on “several occasions” Cheney has asked that Congress not launch any investigation at all [2].

Families Press For Truth

Families rallied on June 11, 2002, at the Capitol buildings in Washington D.C. to press for the government to look into the attacks [3]. Lorie Van Auken, along with Mindy Kleinberg, Patty Casazza and Kristen Breitweiser each lost their husbands on September 11th. They became known as “The Jersey Girls” and appeared in a PBS special hosted by Gail Sheehy, news stories in the New York Observer, Chris Matthews’ Hardball, and more [4][5]. On September 18, 2002, Kristen Breitweiser testified before the Joint Inquiry of the U.S. Senate and Congress [6]. One staff member with the White House said of the victims’ family lobby, “There was a freight train coming down the tracks.” Bowing to pressure, in November 2002 President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Henry Kissinger to head a 9/11 Commission the White House never wanted. After a meeting with members of the Family Steering Committee (FSC) over concerns about conflicts of interest – such as having bin Laden family business clients – Kissinger abruptly resigned instead of disclosing his client list [7].

Kissinger was replaced by former Republican Governor Thomas Kean, a director of the oil consortium company Amerada Hess which was eager to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. As well, Kean had business ties with Khalid bin Mahfouz, a billionaire suspected of funneling money to al Qaeda. [8] Kean’s co-chair was Lee Hamilton, a longtime best friend of Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Hamilton was a former chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran and in 1992 the House October Surprise Task Force. Both were viewed by critics as part of a coverup [9]. At first, only $3 million was allotted to investigate events surrounding the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. This contrasts with $50 million to investigate the January 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle crash [10] and the $80 million devoted to investigating the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal in the 1990s.

Enter Executive Director Philip Zelikow

On March 2, 2003, newly appointed Executive Director of the inquiry, Philip Zelikow, sent a five-page memo to the eighty new 9/11 Commission staff. The memo was entitled “What Do I Do Now?” In his book The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Commission, author Philip Shenon details how Zelikow instructed staff members on how to go about their jobs on the Commission. The memo prescribed this controversial protocol. “If you are contacted by a commissioner, please contact [deputy executive director] Chris [Kojm] or me. We will be sure that the appropriate members of the Commission’s staff are responsive.” This disturbed experienced staff members who had worked on other federal commissions. Zelikow was shutting down any lines of communication that didn’t go through him or his deputy. Zelikow didn’t want the staff to speak directly with the 9/11 commissioners who they were responsible to [11].

It was Zelikow who decided who would testify before the 9/11 Commission, and seldom under oath. Zelikow made sure the dubious scholarship of Laure Mylroie – who asserted that Iraq attacked America on 9/11 (a contention echoed in President George W. Bush’s Authorization For Use Of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of October 2002) – was given ample air time before the 9/11 Commission [12][13]. As were other “Iraq attacked America on 9/11” witnesses. Zelikow had authored the paper that advanced the doctrine of pre-emptive war to bolster President Bush’s case to attack Iraq [14]. But whistleblowers like Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who wanted to testify about the DIA data mining project Able Danger, were among those passed over by the 9/11 Commission [15].

Remarkably, in March 2003, Philip Zelikow had already co-authored an outline of the 9/11 Commission Report. Though the inquiry had yet to hold its first public hearing, the outline offered a narrative. It happened that the 9/11 Commission Report released in July 2004 mirrored most of the chapter headings and sub-headings of the outline. The outline, according to Senior Counsel Ernest May, was “treated as if it were the most classified document the commission possessed.” Zelikow had the outline stamped “Commission Sensitive” on the top and bottom of each page. When the outline was leaked in the spring of 2004, many staff were shocked [16]. Did the outline establish in advance what the 9/11 Commission Report would conclude? For Bob McIlvaine, whose son Bobby died on 9/11, the existence of an outline for the official story before the first public hearings were even held was scandalous. He said, “That’s monumental news. The outline of the investigation of my son’s murder was out before the first day they started the investigation” [17]. At the first public hearing 9/11 Commission chairman Thomas Kean stated “our fundamental purpose will not be to point fingers.” The inquiry was not going to “assign blame.” Kean said, “In the parlance of Congress this is not an investigative hearing, but an informal one” [18].

A National Scandal

One 9/11 Commissioner who was judged by the families to be the most dedicated to getting to the bottom of what happened was Max Cleland. He was appointed to the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and resigned in December 2003. Before he left the Commission, Cleland told reporters that the inquiry was “a national scandal.” He told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! that “the White House had played cover-up and a slow walk to this game from the beginning” [19]. Cleland pointed to the lack of access to government documents. He was also upset others on the 9/11 Commission didn’t want to probe into the Iraq War. Was it just a coincidence that a President who wanted a war in Iraq happened to have a political event unfold that gave him cause to preemptively go to war? Cleland also compared the 9/11 Commission to the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. When Max Cleland resigned, the Family Steering Committee and other Sept 11 families lobbied for a replacement they could trust. The replacement of Democrat Cleland was up to Democrat Senate minority leader Tom Daschle.

The families wanted 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser on the panel. Other suggestions the families offered were former Pentagon Inspector General Eleanor Hill and former Senator Gary Hart. Instead, Daschle appointed Vietnam Veteran and probable war criminal Bob Kerrey. Vietnamese and military witnesses claimed Kerrey ordered the slaughter of 21 unarmed women and children in a raid on the tiny hamlet of Thanh Phong in February of 1969 [20]. Kerrey was also a member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) dominated Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Kerrey’s appointment contributed to the commission’s continued focus on Iraq as being complicit in the attacks. The dozen members of the Family Steering Committee presented over a thousand questions, and subsets of questions, to the 9/11 Commission in March 2003. Commissioner Jamie Gorelick told the press that the families’ questions would provide the inquiry with “a road map” to proceed with their task [21]. However, few public hearings took place. And 70% of the FSC questions were ignored.

September 11 Families Issue Report Card

In September 2003 the Family Steering Committee issued a Report Card on the progress of the 9/11 Commission. [22] They gave the inquiry a “D” for Investigative, Informative Open Hearings. The FSC noted only three public hearings had taken place in nine months. Kean and Hamilton had initially committed to holding monthly public hearings. Additionally, while the Joint Inquiry (Senate and Congress) had issued regular Interim Reports, none were being released by the 9/11 Commission. The FSC gave the inquiry a “D” for Staff Director Interim Reports. Without interim reports, it was hard for the public to verify that the 9/11 Commission was on track with their task. The FSC gave the inquiry a “D” for Structure and Conduct of Open Hearings. The families were “shocked” with the use of “minders” when witnesses came forward to testify from different government agencies.

The FSC wrote, “despite the Commissioner’s similar objection to minders, as stated at the last press conference, minders continue to be present during witness examination and questioning. The FSC does not want minders present during any witness examination and questioning; it is a form of intimidation and it does not yield the unfettered truth. Also (we are concerned about) the failure of this Commission to swear witnesses in prior to their testimony. Without sworn testimony, witnesses cannot be held accountable for what they testify about before the Commission” [23].

Alarm at the slow progress of the 9/11 Commission was reflected in an FSC press release on September 10, 2003:

“Since no substantive information about the investigation has been released, we are being asked to take on faith that an in-depth investigation is taking place and that it will not be a whitewash. But trust began to die when President Bush opposed an independent investigation for more than a year. We should not have had to fight our government for an independent Commission. Each subsequent misrepresentation or manipulation of facts by government officials has caused further erosion of trust. Lingering questions, and those that have been answered with half-truths or omissions, do not promote trust. Instead, they lead to conjecture and discontent” [24].

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FBI Drops Investigation After Discovering Trump’s Top Secret Nuclear Documents Were Just Print-Outs Of Hillary Clinton Emails

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2022

https://babylonbee.com/news/fbi-drops-investigation-after-discovering-trumps-top-secret-nuclear-documents-were-were-just-printed-out-hillary-clinton-emails

WASHINGTON, DC — Officials running the FBI investigation into former President Donald Trump’s possession of allegedly classified nuclear documents were sent scrambling to halt their work after learning the documents in question are actually just printed-out emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server.

“We were all set to see this through to the end and hopefully indict Mr. Trump on very serious charges, but we are now officially ending the investigation,” said Special Agent Owen Gaffney in a prepared statement. “We discovered that these sensitive documents were, in fact, printouts of emails originally belonging to Hillary Clinton, and we’re just not going anywhere near that.”

After learning about the abrupt end of the investigation, Trump lashed out on his Truth Social account. “There is a clear double standard of justice in this country, and it’s truly a shame,” Trump said. “My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago, was unjustly raided by swarms of corrupt FBI agents, but Crooked Hillary Clinton can illegally store tens of thousands of classified emails and get away with murder — literally — without any consequences. Sad! Stop murdering people, Hillary!”

When pressed for more information as to why the FBI would not be moving forward with the investigation, Agent Gaffney grew visibly nervous. “Look, Hillary Clinton, her family members, her staff, and anyone who works with her are completely innocent, ok? And that goes for President Biden, his son, Hunter, and basically any high-ranking Democrat. Ok? Do you hear me? Just don’t make me talk about it! I don’t want to die!”

At publishing time, the press was attempting to learn more about the situation, but FBI agents responded by screaming and running for cover anytime the name “Hillary Clinton” was mentioned.

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How Trump Caused A Meltdown At The FBI

Posted by M. C. on September 1, 2022

One US State Department Memo Be How Trump Beat The Trump Raid

George Webb

https://georgewebb.substack.com/p/how-trump-caused-a-meltdown-at-the

Donald Trump very well may have stopped the Trump Raid witch hunt with one memo from a University in Texas to the US State Department that was Top Secret, then delassified.

The document in question was written by a University of Texas Medical Branch researcher named Virginia Benassi to the US State Department to trigger a “Germ Team” to travel to Wuhan in September 2019 to start collecting biological samples and blood.

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Upon information and belief, the author, George Webb Sweigert, believes Virginia Benassi sent this email to the US State Department from her World Health Organization email, benassiv@who.int, not her UTMB email, to mask the fact she worked at UTMB. The author has four witnesses at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Ft. Belvoir that can verify the existence of such a 9/11 memo.

After six years of research and world travel, I can say that email connected to the NATO dropbox benassiv@who.int. The benassiv@who.int dropbox was used to destroy Trump’s economy and throw a Chicago Fire of pandemic into the lap of Trump by Deep State Trump Russia fanatics. This dropbox was used to hide the virus and vaccine truths from Trump, and this same dropbox was used by a NATO cabal at the Atlantic Council to profit in the billions while keeping these facts from Donald Trump.

See the rest here

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The Totally Not-Political FBI Pressures Facebook

Posted by M. C. on August 29, 2022

By Tom Woods

What they did do, Zuckerberg said, was downgrade posts about the Hunter Biden laptop so that fewer people would see them. When Rogan asked for specific numbers, Zuckerberg said he didn’t know them off the top of his head but conceded that the downgrading was significant.

From the Tom Woods Letter:

Two items for you today.

(1) Although the Big Tech platforms don’t exactly seem like they have to be dragged kicking and screaming into suppressing unpopular opinions, we keep learning about ways the federal government has been pressuring them to do so.

We found out quite recently that the federal government pressured Twitter to drop Alex Berenson, for example.

The latest case came just the other day, when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Rogan asked him about the Hunter Biden laptop story, and we found out that the FBI had approached Facebook cautioning it against allowing the free dissemination of what it of course called Russian propaganda.

Zuckerberg said:

“The FBI basically came to us, some folks on our team, and was like, hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert. We thought there was a lot of propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that there is about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that, so just be vigilant.

“So our protocol is different from Twitter’s. What Twitter did is they said you can’t share this at all. We didn’t do that.”

What they did do, Zuckerberg said, was downgrade posts about the Hunter Biden laptop so that fewer people would see them. When Rogan asked for specific numbers, Zuckerberg said he didn’t know them off the top of his head but conceded that the downgrading was significant.

Zuckerberg went on: “We just kind of thought, hey, look, if the FBI, which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country — it’s a very, very impressive law enforcement — they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously.”

You think there’s the tiniest chance that the FBI is a political organization?

One favorable development has come from all this, at least: the right side of the ideological divide has rapidly shed its superstitious reverence for agencies like the FBI.

(2) On another note: in case you missed episode 2183 of the Tom Woods Show, I had a chance to speak to Mikkel Thorup, an expert on international relocation and expat issues, having visited 100 countries himself and lived in nine, and an expat himself for over 20 years.

I myself am too much of a homebody to leave the U.S., but I know for a fact that more of my readers than ever are considering their international options, whether that’s outright relocation or measures short of that, like second citizenships and the like.

See the rest here

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The FBI Was Always This Bad; Ruby Ridge Turns 30

Posted by M. C. on August 24, 2022

by Jim Bovard

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-fbi-was-always-this-bad-ruby-ridge-turns-30/

In the wake of the massive raid at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, politicians and pundits are hectoring Americans to blindly trust the FBI.

“The men and women of the FBI,” Attorney General Merrick Garland proclaimed, “are dedicated, patriotic public servants.” But the FBI would be more credible if it didn’t claim a right to secretly wield almost unlimited power.

Most Americans (53%) view the FBI as “Joe Biden‘s personal Gestapo,” a recent Rasmussen poll found. FBI actions 30 years ago at Ruby Ridge help explain the G-men’s fall from grace.

Randy Weaver and his family lived in an isolated cabin in the northern Idaho mountains. Undercover federal agents targeted him and entrapped him into selling a sawed-off shotgun. The feds sought to pressure Weaver to become an informant, but he refused.

After Weaver was sent the wrong court date and (understandably) failed to show up, the feds used any and all means to take him down. On Aug. 21, 1992, six US Marshals outfitted in full camouflage and toting automatic weapons trespassed onto Weaver’s property. Marshals circled close to the Weaver cabin and threw rocks to provoke the Weavers’ dogs.

Weaver’s son, Sammy, 14, and Kevin Harris, a 25-year-old family friend living in the cabin, ran to see what the dogs were barking at. Marshals killed one of the dogs, and Sammy fired in their direction. As Sammy was leaving the scene, a marshal shot him in the back and killed him. Harris responded by fatally shooting a marshal who had fired seven shots.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Post

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Nolte: Majority of Americans Now See FBI as ‘Joe Biden’s Personal Gestapo’

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2022

You see, nothing would make Democrats happier than dissolving all local and state police departments and replacing them with a centralized federal police force they can control and corrupt. Democrats would love to do to policing what they have already done to education, as well as environmental and fiscal policy — which is to nationalize it into a one-size-fits-all Utopian hellscape for anyone who doesn’t kneel before Black Lives Matter, trade beef for bugs, hand in their guns, accept gay porn in elementary schools, and believe 2+2=5.

By John Nolte
Breitbart

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/08/18/nolte-majority-americans-now-see-fbi-joe-bidens-personal-gestapo/

A majority of 53 percent of Americans now see the FBI for what it really is: Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo.

This is according to the latest polling of Rasmussen Reports, which found only bad news for America’s fascist FBI:

Rasmussen Reports finds that 44% of Likely U.S. voters say the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home made them trust the FBI less, compared to 29% who say it made them trust the bureau more. Twenty-three percent (23%) say the Trump raid did not make much difference in their trust of the FBI. …

Fifty percent (50%) of voters have a favorable impression of the FBI, including 26% who have a Very Favorable view of the bureau. Forty-six percent (46%) now view the FBI unfavorably, including 29% who have a Very Unfavorable impression of the bureau.

Roger Stone, an adviser to former President Donald Trump, has said there is “a group of politicized thugs at the top of the FBI who are using the FBI … as Joe Biden‘s personal Gestapo.” A majority (53%) of voters now agree with Stone’s statement – up from 46% in December – including 34% who Strongly Agree. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree with the quote from Stone, including 26% who Strongly Disagree.

Only 50 percent view the FBI favorably. That is stunningly low. In May 2020, even after the FBI’s corrupt role in protecting Hillary Clinton and launching the Russia Collusion Hoax against Trump, that number sat at 60 percent favorable. But it’s today’s “trust” and “Gestapo” issues that are the FBI’s real problem.

Using the judicial system to punish your political enemies, which is what His Fraudulency Joe Biden and embittered Attorney General Merrick Garland almost certainly did with the Trump raid, is as ugly, corrupt, un-American, and norm-violating as it gets. Raiding the home of a former president just months before a national midterm election… Well, that’s something a political party would only dare do when they know they have billions and billions of corporate media dollars on alert to protect them against any outrage they commit.

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How to Keep the FBI Out of Your House (for Patriots)

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2022

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Donald Trump and the Espionage Act

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2022

A grab bag to prosecute anyone for anything.

Originally designed to jail critics of Woodrow Wilson’s WW I entry policy and instituting the draft.

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Sweeps Week on FBI TV!

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2022

National news media and federal law enforcement are now as indistinguishable in America as in any autocratic country anywhere

Matt Taibbi

CNN Newsroom anchor Jim Acosta, famed for being the WWE version of a media tough guy during the Trump years, curled up like a kitten last weekend when interviewing Phil Mudd, onetime head of the FBI’s National Security Branch. Also a former CIA man, Mudd is now an Acosta colleague, a “senior intelligence analyst” on the CNN payroll.

“You know, there are real consequences,” said Acosta, “when people go out and trash the integrity of the FBI…”

It was less question than invitation, and Mudd jumped at it. The FBI man seethed that even if you’re upset about the raid of Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, if you think state police can deal with the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, white collar crime, mortgage fraud and cyber-porn involving kids, you suck.

“If you say defund the FBI,” he went on, “let your kid be abused by an adult!”

“Yeah,” said Acosta. “It doesn’t add up.”

Mudd — who’s supposed to be both retired from law enforcement and a member of the media now — then went on about how difficult things are for FBI agents now that the unredacted warrant was out, releasing names and robbing agents of their birthright anonymity just as “our kids are going back to school.”

“Yeah…” said Acosta again. “They want to intimidate people in law enforcement.”

As they spoke, CNN flashed a graphic of mean things people said online about the FBI last week, like “kill all feds.” Acosta noted, as if spontaneously, that this reminded him of the atmosphere before January 6th (I thought of the “kill all cops” memes, but what do I know?) before asking Mudd if he was worried about another “spasm” of “domestic terrorism. Mudd said yes, America is filled with extremists like the ones “abroad,” and “I think we’re going to see a catastrophic event” like January 6th.

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