Tag: FBI

WA State Department Of Labor And Industries To Remove Art By Convicted Cop Killer Leonard Peltier

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

wa-labor-n-industries-logoLast week I featured an article describing how the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries engaged in promoting and displaying the artwork of imprisoned capital murderer Leonard Peltier at its headquarters. The article and enquiries I made to various law enforcement officials and the former FBI Agent’s Association generated a considerable backlash against the agency for its actions.

On Friday I met with KING-5 News reporter Drew Mikkelson and Former FBI Agent Ray Lauer representing the Seattle Chapter of the Retired FBI Agent’s Association at the behest of its national headquarters, for interviews on this controversy. The story was featured on the medium’s 6:30 broadcast.

Leonard Peltier was convicted of two counts of murder in the deaths of FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams, both twenty-eight years old at the time. On the fortieth anniversary year of the deaths, Labor and Industries hosted the artwork of Leonard Peltier which sparked outrage among former FBI agents, the law enforcement community, and family members of the deceased agents.

In an interview, L&I’s spokesman Tim Church explained that his agency did not intend to further Peltier’s cause by displaying his art, yet his agency did just that by its promotion. The Washington agency further claimed that his paintings were part of the Native American contribution to the art during a Native American Heritage Month celebration.  The agency was displaying a selection of other works, however displayed Mr. Peltier’s art more prominently in the main rotunda of the headquarters next to the main entrance. Moreover the government provided flyers and cards attached to the paintings directing the viewer on how to contact the gallery. Though I saw and photographed these promotional materials during my first visit to the headquarters, the department removed these prior to our arrival for the interviews.

Continue reading “WA State Department Of Labor And Industries To Remove Art By Convicted Cop Killer Leonard Peltier”

FBI Agent’s Testimony Shredded In Boston Bomber Trial

220px-BostonSuspect2146px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal.svgCriminal defense attorneys have long objected to “experts” produced at trials by the Justice Department who often seem to closely follow trial theories rather than scientific or forensic data. I have handled cases where experts used by the Justice Department gave almost laughable testimony filled with errors in national security cases but courts continue to admit their testimony. This week, one such expert, FBI Special Agent Steven Kimball, fell apart on the stand when confronted with clearly conclusions over basic and easily ascertainable facts.

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An Upside Down World of Justice

220px-JMR-Lady Justice

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty, (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

In our sometimes upside down world, it can seem that the lives and secrets of our intelligence service employees and their agencies are worth more than the lives and physical and mental well-being of the countless prisoners who were tortured by the CIA .  That is the same torture that was authorized and approved at the highest levels of our government.

Let’s also not forget the many instances of allegedly criminal activity by large banks and their employees that resulted in civil fines or no action at all, notwithstanding the lives that were shattered in the meantime.

Recently it was disclosed that the Department of Justice and the FBI have recommended that Gen. David Petraeus be criminally prosecuted for allegedly passing his classified CIA email account and exposing state secrets to the biographer/author he was having an affair with.  This is the very same Department of Justice, along with the Obama Administration that claims it did not have enough evidence to file charges against admitted torturers and those that authorized the torture and destruction of evidence. Continue reading “An Upside Down World of Justice”

The CIA Lost Its Soul and Took Ours With It

220px-John_Brennan_CIA_official_portrait

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

This past week’s news reports of the Senate report on the CIA Torture program were both distressing and enlightening.   I was dismayed to not only read what the full extent of the CIA’s Torture program was, but also when I read pundits and former CIA officials claim that rectal rehydration was merely a medical procedure! I was further discouraged when commenters on this blog made claims that waterboarding and other torture tactics were either necessary or what the devils deserved.

Very few pundits or commenters seem to care if the so-called Enhanced Interrogation techniques were legal or ethical when the CIA resorted to them shortly after 9/11.  This “debate” over the actions taken in our name by the CIA has gone from a report based on the CIA’s own words to denials that the techniques were torture, to claims that great intelligence value was gained using the torture and claims that it was a biased report written by Democrats. Continue reading “The CIA Lost Its Soul and Took Ours With It”

Encryption and the Spymasters: Is Privacy Dead?

Submitted by Charlton Stanley (aka Otteray Scribe) Guest Blogger

ImageImageFirst there was WikiLeaks, then there was Edward Snowden. The drip, drip, drip of information about secretive spy agencies continues. There have been bombshell revelations about the extent to which government agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA and others are invading our most private communications. Of course, spies do what spies do, and that is to spy on whoever or whatever they can get away with. Few people understood the implications of PRISM when news of the program was leaked. Additionally, I suspect that despite revelations of its existence, the full extent of its capability and reach will never be known by the public.

The NSA reportedly paid tech companies millions of dollars to cover the cost of compliance with their “requests” for back-door access to the software package.

Another program to keep in mind is the FBI Stingray operation that sucks up wireless telephone communications. Last May, in the first litigation where the government admitted having Stingray, Arizona Federal District Judge David Campbell dismissed a motion to suppress.  Judge Campbell is a George W. Bush appointee. PDF of his ruling is here.  Last July, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in the Northern District of California, in an effort to learn more about Stingray, and if it is scooping up domestic phone calls.
Continue reading “Encryption and the Spymasters: Is Privacy Dead?”