Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that cell phone video recordings of police officers are interfering with the officers’ ability to do their jobs … and that is why the murder numbers are rising for his city.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that cell phone video recordings of police officers are interfering with the officers’ ability to do their jobs … and that is why the murder numbers are rising for his city.
Emanuel blamed the higher murder rate on “the chilling effects of high-profile protests against police brutality and officers’ fear of cell phone videos of their actions going viral.”
Last week, at a meeting of elected officials and top law enforcement officials, Emanuel said, “We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence.” He then added, “They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”
It’s an interesting claim from a mayor whose city was dubbed the “murder capital” of the nation back in 2012, long before the rise of viral police brutality videos and the popularization of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last month, statistics were released by the FBI showing that Chicago had 411 killings, more than New York’s 333 murders and Los Angeles’ 260 murders. This is despite the fact that Chicago has a smaller population than both of those cities do.
ATF Agent Sends Shockwaves Across Internet With Explosive Allegations About ‘Fast and Furious’ and Brian Terry’s Death
John Dodson, the federal agent who blew the lid off the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal, claims the FBI had ties to the men who killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 near Nogales, Ariz. In fact, Dodson says the Mexican bandits who gunned down Terry were working for FBI operatives and had been sent to the border to do a “drug rip-off” using intelligence gathered by the DEA.
Dodson, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he doesn’t think the FBI was part of the rip-off crew, but the agency was “directing the rip crew.” The explosive claims were made in an interview with The Arizona Republic this week and are already creating some waves across the Internet.
The allegations are also found in Dodson’s recently released book, “The Unarmed Truth,” which chronicles his role as a whistleblower during Operation Fast and Furious. The Obama administration unsuccessfully tried to block the publication of his book.
Author: Alpha Delta
Source: Planet Infowars
Note from the contributor whom syndicated this article to FederalJack: It will be interesting to see what is revealed on this matter. I like to see if this document is really a government document leaked from ICE or the FBI. If this is legit then we shall pursue charges against the FBI for setting up my buddy in the alternative media with child pornography using the eMule virus. If this document is verifiable then it is proof to the entire world that the dirty criminals in the United States of America government has set people up with child porn knowing they are intending to do stuff like this which is criminal. I will not stand around and let my friends in the alternative truth seeking media which used to be the real press in America, be turned into child porn sex offenders. If ICE and the FBI are doing all this then I demand that the corrupt police detectives whom made my friend give a false confession to child porn be overturned and that he get an apology. I demand that he get his hard drives back and all hia lost video interviews he never released on his website. I demand he be given all his vacation photos back as well including videos since they aren’t the planted child pornography. Upon the corrupt police detectives that are minotiring him and read this article, I demand they remove the sh** off his hard drive that they planted or that the virus planted then give him back his d*** hard drives. Sorry for my bleeped out cussing but I have been suspecting the government was behind my friend having child porn charges pending. I kept trying to convince people that it is the truth because it really is but nobody wants to realize the government is setting people up with child porn but rather suspect every suspect of being a child molester. This is disgraceful what they did to Luke Rudkowski and others. This is unforgivable the thuggery pig scum that wear badges and guns!!!!!!
I have a document I wish to share with the American people by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Of course this document was classified and still is today and when I had uploaded it on archive.org, they quickly took down the document within less then one hour before Ben Swann could see it when I had sent him an email on the matter but used archive.org for the file storage as email attachments have got everyone paranoid lately with the tormail.org child porn attacks.
Also when I had tried file hosting sites to a certain degree they were also taken down quickly without sending me a email informing me as to why they would take down such an important document. So I have decided to upload only to these two Onion websites and filehostfree.com.
The documents have been uploaded and the links are found here:
If filehostfree mirror is down then I suspect they are using a system similar to Content ID to ID government document uploads then terminate the files on their server in order to prevent disclosure of government documents through public free file hosting services.
Of course what am I trying to reveal here? A guy claiming to be a FBI agent has sent me this document over Torchat but I was able to verify this man to be a real government agent working for the FBI cyber crimes division working in conjunction with ICE.
This is one of the training notice or training document proposals on new methods the government will use to net child porn suspects. It doesn’t include much information so I suspect it is more of a draft document or proposal. It still reveals quite a lot with why people here and there are mysteriously arrested with child porn then quickly convicted then made a sex offender.
Two new methods have been adopted and have been used for a few years. Of course I am also aware of what happened to Andrew Rose in St. Louis Missouri with being accused of child porn when he was a senior in high school. Also I am aware of hundreds to thousands of families with children all accused of child porn and threatened with sex offender charges with almost life-in-prison sentences over the mere claim of downloading and sharing.
These methods are to distribute and download child pornography on eMule, Kad, Bittorrent, and others. The use of a Trojan horse will be to plant onto anybodies computer whom is even remotely suspected of child porn or on a child porn suspect list that they have no evidence on to get enough evidence fabricated to secure a search warrant. This is used in undercover child porn investigations. So they use the trojan to basically share and download child pornography in order to secure a search warrant from the Internet Crimes Against Children task force or Operation Flicker agents with a joint operation between ICE and the FBI.
The 2nd method would be to stuff child pornography onto movies, music, pirated software, and other digital downloads shared on P2P networks but in a sneaky way so that the user doesn’t detect the child porn. The FBI and ICE monitor the stuffed child porn downloads on P2P to get the IP Addresses then secure a search warrant for a digital and physical search and seizure. I am also not aware of whether they target everybody or whether it was just certain political targets or annoyances by their recorded IP Addresses using their Internet Service Providers.
This of course was approved for use by Operation Flicker with assistance from likely corrupt or secretive police detectives working under the ICAC task force in different states.
With searching up the exact terms “child porn” on Google and have it list only results from a week ago, you will find tens to hundreds of recent news stories of people being either convicted, pleaded not guilty, awaiting trial, or remotely accused of child pornography. Also it lists various ages including early 20 year olds and in some cases underage teenagers if the parents had decided to reach out to the media, and the media decides not to censor the story. Of course I am aware of what all Ben Franklin has done on Federaljack and think it is quite interesting what all he was bringing out and that FJ approves of his articles despite the taboo subject many wanna stay away from. But now the taboo nature of this subject doesn’t matter anymore as many innocent people have been convicted and will be convicted as sex offenders under child porn charges including those involved politically not on the lobbyist payroll. So now the truth must come out and no longer shall these crimes be committed by government without the people being informed as to what their government is doing secretly under the brand of protecting the children or national security.
So right now I suspect the FBI and ICE of setting up people like Luke Rudkowski, Stewart Rhodes, Dan Johnson, Madison Ruppert, and any other individuals in the liberty/truth movement. I also suspect a portion of all child porn raids and busts have been fabricated or have been somewhat of a set up or entrapment. We need a congressional investigation overview into Operation Flicker and the Internet Crimes Against Children task force including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to find out what is really going on here. We need to find out their methods, techniques, and whether they are really just targeting people they have reasonable suspicion(for investigation) and probable cause(for search warrants) to suspect they are pedophiles. Operation Flicker is too much in the dark and too many people have been targeted under this secretive program. I also tried looking for it on Wikipedia and I cannot find a Wikipedia article searching up “Operation Flicker” on Google.
This madness of people being set up and their life ruined with child porn charges must stop. We must go after the real pedophiles instead of the innocence. That is why I am posting this article hoping the truth will get out.
Courtesy of old friend Paul Thacker, former Hill staffer and currently a fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, here’s an interesting addendum to Bloomberg’s highly embarrassing Eric-Holder-Caught-Juking-the-Stats story that came out this Sunday.
It turns out that Barack Obama’s Justice Department, in the person of Attorney General Holder, didn’t just grossly overstate the success of its Mortgage Fraud Task Force. In what at best is a bonehead mistake, the Department channeled 1984 and whitewashed a web page, re-transcribing an old speech of Holder’s to better reflect the “updated” version of the mortgage facts.
By now most people who follow white-collar crime know the backstory. Last year, on October 9th, Mr. Holder gave a press conference in which he touted the efforts of Barack Obama’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, claiming that in a year’s time, the Department had secured “285 federal criminal indictments and informations against 530 defendants for allegedly victimizing more than 73,000 American homeowners –and inflicting losses in excess of $1 billion.”
Two days after that appearance, a pair of pain-in-the-ass Bloomberg reporters, Phill Mattingly and Tom Schoenberg, reported that at least one of the cases Holder was citing was a Bush-era prosecution, and multiple others had been filed long before the Task Force existed. “There is no attempt to fudge the numbers,” an FBI spokesman grumbled lamely at the time.
Subsequently, Bloomberg writer Jonathan Weil continued to follow up, pestering the DOJ for a list of the cases Holder was talking about. He repeatedly asked a DOJ spokesperson for the list, and whether the delay was coming from the FBI (which had the information) or the DOJ, he never got the information he was after.
Last Friday, the reason for that stalling finally emerged. The DOJ issued a revised press release, admitting that it had not, in fact, prosecuted 530 individuals in the program, but 107 – as Weil noted, an 80% decrease. Wrote Weil this weekend, in a piece entitled “Eric Holder Owes the American People and Apology”:
Holder originally said the defendants had victimized more than 73,000 American homeowners. That number was revised to 17,185, while estimates of homeowner losses associated with the frauds dropped to $95 million from $1 billion.
Now, the new, revised DOJ press release came with a big banner at the top announcing their screwup, along with a full-paragraph mea culpa in which they basically admit to gaming the numbers for press purposes in multiple ways. The new press release reads like a Capitol Hill version of horror fiction. Emphasis is mine:
This press release was updated on August 9, 2013.
An extensive review of the reported cases concluded that the original figures included in the Distressed Homeowner Initiative were not just criminal defendants who had been charged in Fiscal Year 2012, as reported, but also a number of defendants who were the subject of other prosecutive actions – such as a conviction or sentence – in Fiscal Year 2012. In addition, the announcement included a number of defendants who were charged in mortgage fraud cases in which the victim(s) did not fit the narrow definition of distressed homeowner that the initiative targeted. As a result, the announcement overstated the number of defendants that should have been included as part of the Distressed Homeowner Initiative. . .
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/doj-compounds-stat-screwup-by-whitewashing-old-eric-holder-speech-20130814#ixzz2byN0Pq3a Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
In a breaking development, the FBI confirms that 1,500 GM Sugar Beet plants were destroyed this month in Oregon, in what they are calling an act of “Economic Sabotage.”
When GM pollen blows into a non-GM farmer’s fields and irreversibly contaminates his crop with ‘biopollution,’ who does the law side with? Historically, Monsanto. Also, it’s not called ‘economic sabotage’ but rather ‘copyright infringement,’ and the victim not the aggressor is threatened with economic ruin.
When Monsanto’s unapproved and therefore illegal GM wheat is found years after open field trials growing freely in an Oregon wheat field, the entire state crop’s export fate is held in limbo, jeopardizing the present and future living of thousands of farmers and their dependents, with Monsanto receiving little more than a reprimand, followed by rapid USDA assurance that despite a lack of approval their GM wheat is “safe.”
Given the unfair rules of the game, no wonder some folks in Oregon, having been treated much like feudal peasants lately, are taking things quite literally into their own hands.
So, when the FBI investigates the destruction of genetically modified sugar beets from two fields in Southern Oregon’s Jackson County this month, the act is immediately labeled “economic sabotage,” presumably against the multinational corporation who owned the plants.
How fitting an FBI description, considering that Monsanto already planted these ‘evil seeds’ of doubt by suggesting their unapproved GM wheat in Oregon was a result of sabotage, and not negligence (or intentional contamination) on their part.
According to the Spokesman Review, “The agency [FBI] said in a statement Thursday that about 1,000 sugar beet plants were destroyed on June 8, and more than 5,000 plants were destroyed on a different plot three nights later.”
The article went on to explain that the plants were owned by the Swiss-based biotech company Sygenta, and that the FBI spokewoman, Beth Anne Steele, would not comment on the manner in which the crops were destroyed “…because we don’t want to encourage copycats.” However, an article published on OregonLive.com demystified the FBI’s account, quoting Paul Minehart, head of corporate communications in North America for Syngenta: “It doesn’t look like a vehicle was used. It looks like people entered the field and destroyed the plants by hand.”
When multinational corporations like Monsanto have already succeeded in genetically modifying the political system, splicing in their ex-executives and ex-lawyers into positions of great power within the government [see image above], how can folks rely on these Monsanto, Dow and Sygenta-influenced regulatory agencies, and the enforcement arms within their control, to make decisions in the interest of their health or basic civil rights?
Some resort to pulling up, burning and otherwise destroying the plants themselves. Are they terrorists or freedom fighters? And if you answer affirmatively to the latter definition, will you yourself be defined as sympathizers to these “economic saboteurs,” or terrorists?
Editors note: I found this earlier today nd thought it would be a great rehashing of the war on whistleblowers
source:By Greg Szymanski
Two ground zero workers go public about finding cockpit and flight data recorders from Flight 11 and 175. Government claims ‘black boxes’ from the doomed 911 flights were never found. 911 Commission ignores information and fails to interview rescue workers. A 911 rescue worker said this week he was told by FBI agents to “keep his mouth shut” about one of the “black boxes” found at ground zero, contradicting the official story that none of the flight and cockpit data recorders were ever recovered in the WTC wreckage. Honorary firefighter Mike Bellone claims he was approached by unknown bureau agents a short time after he and his partner Nicholas DeMasi, a retired New York firefighter, found three of the four “black boxes” among the WTC rubble before January 2002. The pair first claimed to find the data recorders in an August 2003 book entitled “Behind The Scene: Ground Zero” when DeMasi said the “black boxes” were found while he traversed ground zero in his ATV with three federal agents. FBI and New York fire officials have denied ever finding the voice and data recorders. Now Bellone claims agents were adamant about keeping the discovery a secret. “They confronted me and told me to not to say anything,” recalls Bellone, referring to one of three reddish-orange boxes with two white stripes he saw in the back of DeMasi’s ATV. “I said give me a good reason? When they couldn’t, I told them I wouldn’t shut up about it. “Why should I? I have nothing to hide and nothing to gain. It’s the truth and Nick and I are sticking to our story as we always have.” Bellone said he and DeMasi were not the only 911 rescue workers to see the black boxes. He said there were several other witnesses and knows first hand they have been silenced by federal agents. “I know two or three others saw what went down, but they are not talking,” added Bellone. “They got to those guys after they talked to me. The only reason I can figure they are trying to hide the truth is that the government knows it screwed up and the recorders would prove it.” Asked to give names of the other witnesses, he said he wouldn’t break a fellow-worker’s confidence, privacy and firm desire to remain anonymous. “I can tell you this, though, it was all very strange. I worked on the spaceship Columbia clean-up and you know when something important is found and when something is not” he recalled, saying the day the ‘black boxes’ were secretly carted away agents acted like “something big was going down.” Bellone also recalled never learning the FBI names as this type of personal contact and information wasn’t exchanged between the civilian workers and government officials working side-by-side at ground zero. “We worked together, but nobody knew their names,” added Bellone. “They had on their FBI jackets, but I’m sure I could pick them out of a line-up or recognize their pictures.” The pair’s bombshell accusations blows a big hole in the official story as well as the findings in the recent 911 Commission report. In Chapter 1, footnote 76, there is the sole but definitive reference to the airline “black boxes”: “The CVR’s and the FDR’s (voice and flight data recorders) from American 11 and United 175 were not found.” Asked if DeMasi and Bellone were questioned or subpoenaed, Commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said: “I can’t tell you now if he was is one of the 1,200 people we interviewed or if the book was one of the countless ones we researched. We explored every lead, but I will try to find out if we talked with him and get back to you” However, Bellone said he and DeMasi never were contacted by Commission members or asked to appear regarding their statements even though the book was published well before the hearings commenced. And it’s amazing with a story of such importance that in over a year since the book surfaced almost nobody else has called them either. It’s hard to imagine a story with such magnitude has not been thoroughly checked out unless the mainstream press purposely ignored it. “I have been contacted by only one newspaper reporter from the Philadelphia Daily News. That’s it,” he said, referring to an October 2004 story by reporter William Bunch, recapping DeMasi’s book statements as well as the usual official denials. Those close to the 911 investigation said the recovery of the “black boxes” is important, holding vital clues and leading to the truth of what really happened on the morning of 911. The cockpit voice recorder uses a pair of microphones to capture all cockpit sounds for the last 30 minutes of a doomed flight. The flight date recorder is also significant since it records altitude, heading and airspeed. Both recorders are designed to withstand enormous impact and heat. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials said they should have withstood the conditions at the WTC. And finding the boxes after a crash seems to be standard procedure, according to the NTSB. “It’s extremely rare that we don’t get the recorders back,’ said NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz. “I can’t remember another case which we did not recover the recorders.” Bellone is retired and was made an honorary New York fireman for his efforts after 911. DeMasi also recently retired from Engine Co. 261, nicknamed the “Flaming Skulls,” after serving a brief stint after 911 with the fire department’s marine unit.
Author: Ben Franklin
Subject: Porngate Scandal
Related Articles: Hidden Tor website encourages uploading child porn through people’s personal Wifi Routers, setting them up, The Government Is Planting Child Porn On Your Computer, 11 reasons why the sex offender registry fails to protect kids and does more harm to society then good, Any Whistleblowers whom wish to expose Porngate, I ask you to come forth and tell us
Note: As I continue covering the porngate scandal I am asking whistleblowers to do the right thing and still report tips on government corruption regarding child pornography set-ups and statistics padding to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am sure with Anonymous lurking around and making bold statements through mass emailing, they will likely start targeting government employees using internet hacking as that is their specialty then investigate government networks to find evidence that they are moving child porn files around to set people up with. I know many government workers and agents are afraid of getting in trouble and or being arrested on child porn charges themselves for speaking out but this trend cannot keep continuing as many innocent Americans will likely kill themselves or have permanent psychological repercussions as a result of these wrongful child porn raids and sex offender convictions.
Right now it appears that the hacktivist group named Anonymous with the Anonops decentralized branch has claimed that they have sent emails to all of the media around the internet world. They have claimed they will expose and gather evidence that government employees are directly or indirectly planting child pornography on people’s computers to pad the child porn bust statistics, taking care of political enemies in all isles of politics, and keeping up the police arrest quotas as a majority of child porn busts seems to be using local police and detectives for the ICAC while the feds conduct Operation Flicker.
So far the mainstream media has not made a peep which will make it hard to determine if Anonymous had really contacted the media around the internet world as there is so many alternative and mainstream media outlets, the amount of emails this group will need is likely in the tens of thousands however if they are committed to their cause, along with all the volunteer hacktivists, they will likely reach that anywhere between a week to three days.
Here is the pasted content and subject right from an email that appears to be an Anonops email address hosted on Tormail:
Subject: This is Anonymous, with a special Announcement for the Press and the world
Dear Entire News media of the Internet world,
We are now aware that thousands to tens of thousands of innocent children and adults are being set up with child pornography which includes Andrew Rose whom downloaded Mp3 files with child porn attached to the MP3 tags. We watch how so many innocent people are being paraded around in your news programs as child porn watching child molesters and this angers us. We wish to find out the truth then take action. Now the US Government plans to punish whistleblowers and any reporters whom meet with them so that they can continue to plant child pornography on more kids and adults computers to set them up as child sex molesters and offenders then parade them on the news as disgusting child sexing monsters when the truth is they been set up from the gitgo. Then added onto a sex offender registry and beaten and tarnished in their communities. Many to all have to live in dumpsters and homeless because they cannot find a job once they are tarnished on the registry.
We’ve heard the story of Andrew Rose and other mainstream media and alternative media reporters, political activists, and even small bloggers are being targeted and framed with child porn, drugs, or other felony conviction level contraband or people being paid off to start infighting or making violent political statements as a result of the corrupt establishment by the Bilderberg Group that has taken over various government and police departments throughout the world including the United States. These child porn busting task forces are a fraud. They didn’t even prosecute the over 5,000 Pentagon employees for their purchasing and downloading of child porn on the tax payers dime. These people don’t care about stopping child exploitation and are only used as a political tool of destruction to destroy good and innocent people’s lives through the corrupt and costly criminal injustice system which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars just to prove innocence with attorney fees. Poor folks can’t even get an attorney until they are indicted and forced to sit in jail for months and months until the prosecutor is satisfied with making innocent people suffer like hell. Some form of justice we’ve got eh!
We’ve sent emails to every alternative media, mainstream media, and other activists emails we got through various email collecting agents to get the message of Anonymous out to everyone.
Anonymous IRC chats and other mediums of contact had to keep turning away people begging us to prove them innocent of child pornography and they were set up by a trojan or virus that shares child porn. We hated this and now we have decided to send a message to the entire Internet World and to the corrupt FBI.
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Operation Flicker, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other tragedy law enforcement agencies, WE KNOW YOU ARE PLANTING CHILD PORN ON INNOCENT PEOPLE’S COMPUTERS using trojans, physical file set-ups using flash drives and sd cards, putting child porn inside the MP3 tag headers of music files on Limewire and eMule to entrap music downloaders as child porno possessors, and we know all the child porn fighting organizations get kickbacks and sustained funding for every arrest and prosecution you get according to various documents we have received through our agents we have everywhere in every level of government. How shameful you make money off of ruining people’s lives forever including twelve year boys, 17 year olds and other little kids and teens. You FBI people must love putting all your enemies on sex offender registries, that must really make you enjoy yourselves thinking of us all rotting in prison with the dumb juries doing blanket convictions on innocent people just for being accused of pornography.
We have a message for you, We will find out the truth!!!! We will find out who in the government is planting child porn on innocent people’s computers then we shall publish all their names on the real “Anonymous sex offender registry” which lists every government employee that has set up innocent people with child pornography and this also includes police officers on the task forces. This will also go out to all the media and all the child porn sharers in the force that had innocent people condemned to mandatory sex offender reporting, the truth will be known about ya. Beware you aren’t Anonymous crooked cops and agents whom enjoy setting up people with child pornography. You must be proud of yourselfs pedomakers or pedobuilders.
To all child exploiting government people whom set the innocents up: We shall expose the truth on YOU
We are Anonymous
We never forgive
We never forget
We are legion
Little does Anonymous realize that my friends alternative media website is no longer but nevertheless Anonymous wants the whole world to get their message that they are sick and tired of innocent people begin set up with child pornography including a autistic teen named Andrew Rose whom got in trouble when he was around 17 years old. Andrew’s family has run a support group on Facebook and amount of membership has grown exponentially since the Porngate scandal investigating articles started coming out on alternative media website with the exception of big name ones like Infowars and Activistpost as those are the most reputable and will take to research and confirm things before those websites start writing articles about the next big government scandal since Bengazigate, Climategate, IRSGate, and Watergate.
On the eve of a major address by President Barack Obama on his counterterrorism policy, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that drone strikes since 2009 had killed four Americans overseas – one of whom, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was targeted in Yemen because he’d planned and was planning terrorist attacks on the United States – principally the plot to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Eve 2009.
Three others who were not “specifically targeted” were killed in circumstances the administration did not explain.
The revelation came in a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to congressional leaders and chairmen of key congressional committees in which Holder said, “the president has directed me to disclose to you certain information” about the number of Americans killed by U.S. counterterrorism operations outside of areas of active combat such as Afghanistan.
Holder said the U.S. government was “aware of three other U.S. citizens who have been killed in such U.S. counterterrorism operations over that same time period (since 2009): Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi, and Jude Kenan Mohammed. These individuals were not specifically targeted by the United States.”
Jude Kenan Mohammed was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and the FBI notice said, “On July 22, 2009, a Federal Grand Jury in North Carolina indicted Jude Kenan Mohammad for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons in a foreign country. Mohammad is at large and a federal warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina, for his arrest.”
The FBI notice also said, “Mohammad speaks English and very limited Pashtun. Mohammad is believed to be in Pakistan.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
On al-Aulaqi, Holder said, “it was al-Aulaqi’s actions — and, in particular, his direct personal involvement in the continued planning and execution of terrorist attacks against the U.S. homeland — that made him a lawful target and led the United States to take action.” Holder also told congressional leaders that secret information proves “al-Aulaqi’s involvement in the planning of numerous plots against U.S. and Western interests and makes clear he was continuing to plot attacks when he was killed.” The origins of this information are being kept secret to protect U.S. intelligence methods and sources.Holder’s letter said, “Today’s disclosure builds on the Administration’s effort to pursue greater transparency around our counter-terrorism operations, including the President’s commitment in this year’s State of the Union. This disclosure was also intended to coincide with the speech the President will give tomorrow, in which he will discuss our broader counter-terrorism strategy.”
The horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon, to hear the FBI and the Boston Police tell it, is solved: One bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is dead, gunned down by police and then run over for good measure by his fleeing brother Dzhokhar, who was captured a day later in a citywide manhunt, after being hit by a fusillade of police bullets fired into a trailered pleasure boat he was hiding in.
Among the reasons law enforcement sources are so confident they “got” their men were video surveillance photos from a Lord & Taylor storefront area showing the two brothers as they arrived at the finish-line area, each wearing a backpack, allegedly carrying what the FBI now says were two identical 6-quart steel pressure cookers marketed by the Canadian corporation Fagor. Fragments of those pots, which the FBI says were packed with black powder (gathered from a collection of fireworks) as well as nails and BBs, were recovered at the scene.
Besides the photos of the two brothers wearing their packs, the FBI also has released a photo of the remnants of one of the backpacks, allegedly the black, or dark-colored, one worn by the elder Tamerlan Tsarnaev. There is also a photo of what is described as a white backpack, which was placed on the street side of a metal crowd-control fence. It was said to contain the second bomb, which exploded 10 seconds later, further from the finish line. This is presumed to be the same light-colored pack Dzhokhar is seen wearing in the store video as he arrives on the scene.
There are a number of serious problems with this supposedly damning evidence, however.
First of all, nobody looking at the evidence to date has tried loading up one of these Fagor pots with the amount of weight that would have been created by a big four or five quarts’ worth of black powder, perhaps two quarts of nails, and perhaps a pound or two of BB shot, to see what it would look like in a basic unstructured book bag of the type the two men were wearing.
WhoWhatWhy decided to do that.
The first problem was buying the pot. This reporter looked it up online and found that it was being sold by Macy’s. Going to the nearest Macy’s at the Montgomery Mall in Montgomeryville, PA, we discovered that the cookware section had no pressure cookers. The store clerk in charge of that section was asked where pressure cookers were.
“We don’t sell pressure cookers,” she said.
“How can a cookware section not sell pressure cookers? Anyhow, your website says you sell a line of Fagor pressure cookers.”
She replied, “We stopped selling them after the Boston Bombing.”
So it goes. Guns—even the gun used in the incident, still get sold in stores after the Newtown, CT, school massacre, but when someone makes a bomb with an ordinary kitchen implement, they are taken off the shelves. (What’s next, a demand for licenses to buy canning equipment?)
Luckily, we found several of the Fagor six-quart pots in a nearby Sears store, and purchased one, on sale for $76.00. The dimensions of the kettle are 10 inches in diameter and 7.7 inches bottom to top, not counting the handle (which cannot be detached without exposing four bolt holes through the top and side of the lid).
After getting a calculation that a quart of black powder weighs about two pounds (a very general measurement, because the compound changes weight according to the humidity, and can be loosely or densely packed like any powder), and testing a bag of small nails to find that they weigh about six pounds per quart, and after weighing the pot itself, we found that the whole contraption, fully loaded with four to five quarts of powder, two quarts’ worth of nails and BBs, and a battery and ignition device, would weigh about 30 lbs. So we put a sufficient number of exercise weight plates into our container, shut the lid, and tried carrying it in two backpacks similar in construction to the ones on the two brothers’ backs.
The results were instructive.
If you look carefully at the first set of photos, showing the surveillance photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the model wearing a similar pack containing the loaded pot, both packs being slung over the right shoulder using the right strap only, you can see a dramatic difference. There are stress wrinkles under the jacket of the right image on the model, caused by the 30-lb. weight pulling downward, but Dzhokhar’s jacket can be seen to be completely smooth under the strap. His pack is clearly extremely light on his shoulder (which may be why he’s not wearing it slung over both shoulders). As well, you can see that the weight of the pot, pulling down and outward in the model’s bag on the right, is causing a downward sloping of the top of the backpack, and is also causing many vertical stress lines on the face of the bag itself. Dzhokhar’s bag, however, is flat across the top, indicating no such downward pulling force, and it does not exhibit any downward wrinkles on its side. Whatever he is carrying, it is clearly not a 30-lb., or even a 20-lb. cylinder.
Here’s a close-up image of the shoulder straps on Dzhokhar’s and the model’s right shoulders:
Moving to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, check out the model’s slightly larger pack, which like Tamerlan’s is being worn with both straps over the shoulders. Again, the pack on the right, containing the loaded pot, is causing obvious wrinkles on the winter coat where the straps are bearing down on a small section of padded coat. Once again the weight of the straps of the shoulder— this time 15 lbs. per strap—can be seen causing prominent wrinkling on the winter coat worn by the model underneath the straps. The downward sloping of the face of the backpack, and also the vertical stress wrinkles are prominent and clearly visible also. In the video surveillance photo of Tamerlan, however, his coat can be seen to be unwrinkled under the straps, and there are again no vertical stress lines on the face of his pack. Again, it is hard to imagine a 30 or even a 20-lb. weight in the bottom of that pack.
There are other questions too, that need to be asked, and that demand answers.
First of all, there is the matter of the photo released by the FBI of an exploded backpack, said to have contained one of the pressure cooker bombs. The material is dark black, and it is not because of charring, because the color is uniform, and also there are white images on it, including a white square (more on that later). That would have to have been Tamerlan’s pack, given that Dzhokhar’s is white or light-colored. But looking at the image of Tamerlan wearing his pack, and contrasting the light color of the pack relative to his clearly black winter coat, it appears that the pack is more of a gray than a black. It’s possible that it’s a matter of the lighting and the quality of the video, but it does not seem to be a jet black color, especially as there are much darker lines on it that appear to be real black, along the seam lines. So was that exploded pack really Tamerlan’s?
As for Dzhokhar, the photo of a pack set on the sidewalk in front of a bunch of spectators, in the spot where bomb number two exploded bears no resemblance to the pack he was photographed wearing, which had wide black seam lines and zippers.
Meanwhile, there were people on the scene near the finish line who were wearing backpacks that were both very dark black and large enough and full-enough looking to be containing a loaded pressure kettle. These men were observed and photographed wearing baseball caps and shirts bearing the uniquely drawn white skull logo of a Houston, TX-based mercenary-for-hire firm called Craft International Security (whom no governmental agency will admit to having hired). Curiously, images of several of the men wearing those packs show them to have an unusual white square image on the top of the pack, quite like the white square visible in the FBI’s image of the exploded black pack. The Craft personnel’s packs are made of material that looks remarkably similar to whatever was used to make the exploded pack. (The man on the right below is photographed before the bombing. He is also seen, in an image taken after the explosion, running alongside a second identically-dressed Craft man wearing a pack and the company’s logo-emblazoned hat. Note that the left runner, interestingly, now no longer has on his pack. Where did it go?)
Note: Stay tuned for more information on Craft, its origins, management and relationship with the US government. We will try to determine what these private “soldiers” were doing at the end point of the marathon wearing large backpacks (or mysteriously losing those large backpacks) right around the time of the explosions. Of course it’s possible there is some benign explanation. It’s equally possible they were hired to guard against some threat that runners and spectators were never cautioned about, which could explain all the secrecy now about them.
Some may argue that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has confessed to the crime, and even that two days ago his written confession was found scrawled on the inside wall of the boat he was captured in. But while the corporate media is reporting that as evidence, let’s not rush to judgment here. Those reports of a confession have been sourced by the media only to unnamed “law enforcement sources” and there have been many such leaks and statements that have turned out to be false, such as the report of a 7-Eleven being robbed by the brothers, and a lengthy shootout between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and police before he was captured in the boat (unarmed).
Since Dzhokhar has not said a word since he was finally provided with a lawyer, these “law enforcement sources” are reporting things that Dzhokhar would have had to have said during an unrelenting 16-hour interrogation by the FBI’s crack post-9/11 terrorist interrogation unit, who interrogated him while he was in serious condition from having been shot multiple times, including through the neck, possibly blowing off part of his tongue, after he had suffered massive blood loss and shock, and while he was heavily sedated and handcuffed to his bed. We’re supposed to accept that “confession” without question?
A copy of the transcript of a hospital bedside visit to Dzhokhar in Beth Israel Hospital by Federal Judge Marianne B. Bowler, who had finally called a halt to the interrogation (all conducted without a lawyer or witness present, despite reports that Dzhokhar had repeatedly requested and been denied an attorney), gives a good idea of how aware and capable of talking he actually was:
The Court: I will ask the doctor whether or not the patient is alert.
You can rouse him.
Dr. Odom: How are you feeling!
Are you able to answer some questions?
The Defendant: (Defendant nods affirmatively)
There follow a series of questions and answers between judge and attorneys, and then some questions to Tsarnaev, which are only answered by nods.
Later, the Judge asks:
The Court: Can you afford a lawyer?
The Defendant: No.
The Court: Let the record reflect that I believe the defendant has said “No”.
This is the quality of “conversation” of which Dzhokhar was capable almost a week after his capture, at a time when the hospital was listing him in “fair” condition. Just what level of “conversation” did he likely have with his FBI interrogators in secret when he had just been captured and was listed in serious condition and when there was some question as to whether he would even survive his shooting ordeal?
Meanwhile, the purported writing on the inner hull of the boat was not reported for several weeks, until CBS Senior Correspondent John Miller—himself a former FBI spokesman—broke the story. Was it really written by a frightened and severely wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev while he was on the lam from a city-wide manhunt? Or is it perhaps some cop’s prank? At this point who knows? As far as we know, nobody has tried to match the scrawl with his own handwriting to date.
So that brings us back to those two backpacks. What could have been in them for them to be hanging so lightly on the two suspects’ backs? And if it wasn’t two explosive-laden pressure cookers—if—then who put those bombs at the finish line?
These are precarious times. We owe it to ourselves to fully investigate all aspects of this singular affair, not to take anyone’s word for what we should think.
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The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don’t need a search warrant to review Americans’ e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal.
Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they’re not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail. The IRS, on the other hand, publicly said last month that it would abandon a controversial policy that claimed it could get warrantless access to e-mail correspondence.
The U.S. attorney for Manhattan circulated internal instructions, for instance, saying a subpoena — a piece of paper signed by a prosecutor, not a judge — is sufficient to obtain nearly “all records from an ISP.” And the U.S. attorney in Houston recently obtained the “contents of stored communications” from an unnamed Internet service provider without securing a warrant signed by a judge first.
“We really can’t have this patchwork system anymore, where agencies get to decide on an ad hoc basis how privacy-protective they’re going to be,” says Nathan Wessler, an ACLU staff attorney specializing in privacy topics who obtained the documents through open government laws. “Courts and Congress need to step in.”
The Justice Department’s disinclination to seek warrants for private files stored on the servers of companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft continued even after a federal appeals court in 2010 ruled that warrantless access to e-mail violates the Fourth Amendment. A previously unreleased version of an FBI manual (PDF), last updated two-and-a-half years after the appellate ruling, says field agents “may subpoena” e-mail records from companies “without running afoul of” the Fourth Amendment.
The department did not respond to queries from CNET Tuesday. The FBI said in a statement that:
In all investigations, the FBI obtains evidence in accordance with the laws and Constitution of the United States, and consistent with Attorney General guidelines. Our field offices work closely with U.S. Attorney’s Office to adhere to the legal requirements of their particular districts as set forth in case law or court decisions/precedent.
Not all U.S. attorneys have attempted to obtain Americans’ stored e-mail correspondence without a warrant. The ACLU persuaded a judge to ask whether warrantless e-mail access has taken place in six of the 93 U.S. Attorneys’ offices — including the northern California office that’s prosecuted an outsize share of Internet cases. The answer, according to assistant U.S. attorney Christopher Hardwood, was “no.”
Still, the position taken by other officials — including the authors of the FBI’s official surveillance manual — puts the department at odds with a growing sentiment among legislators who insist that Americans’ private files should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. They say the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards that require police to obtain search warrants before examining hard drives in someone’s living room, or a physical letter stored in a filing cabinet, should apply.
(Credit: U.S. Senate)
After the IRS’s warrantless e-mail access policy came to light last month, a dozen Republican and Democratic senators rebuked the agency. Their letter (PDF) opposing warrantless searches by the IRS and signed by senators including Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said: “We believe these actions are a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Steven Miller, the IRS’ acting commissioner, said during a Senate hearing that the policy would be changed for e-mail. But he left open the possibility that non-email data — Google Drive and Dropbox files, private Facebook and Twitter messages, and so on — could be accessed without a warrant.
Albert Gidari, a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm who represents technology companies, said since the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2010 ruling in U.S. v. Warshak, the Justice Department has generally sought court warrants for the content of e-mail messages, but is far less inclined to take that step for non-email files.
Before the Warshak decision, the general rule since 1986 had been that police could obtain Americans’ e-mail messages that were more than 180 days old with an administrative subpoena or what’s known as a 2703(d) order, both of which lack a warrant’s probable cause requirement and are less privacy protective. Some e-mail providers, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook, but not all, have taken the position after Warshak that the Fourth Amendment mandates warrants for e-mail all over the country.
The 180-day rule stems from the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which was adopted in the era of telephone modems, BBSs, and UUCP links, and long before gigabytes of e-mail stored in the cloud was ever envisioned. Since then, the appeals court ruled in Warshak, technology had changed dramatically: “Since the advent of e-mail, the telephone call and the letter have waned in importance, and an explosion of Internet-based communication has taken place. People are now able to send sensitive and intimate information, instantaneously, to friends, family, and colleagues half a world away… By obtaining access to someone’s e-mail, government agents gain the ability to peer deeply into his activities.”
A phalanx of companies, including Amazon, Apple, AT&T, eBay, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Twitter, as well as liberal, conservative, and libertarian advocacy groups, have asked Congress to update ECPA to make it clear that law enforcement needs a warrant to access private communications and the locations of mobile devices.
In November, a Senate panel approved the e-mail warrant requirement, and acted again last month. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat whose district includes the heart of Silicon Valley, introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.
The political pressure, coupled with public petitions and increased adoption of cloud-based services, has had an effect. In 2011, James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, warned that requiring search warrants to obtain stored e-mail could have an “adverse impact” on criminal investigations. By March 2013, however, Elana Tyrangiel, an acting assistant attorney general, indicated that the department would acquiesce on some privacy reforms.
“They dropped their opposition in Congress, but they’re going to try to wiggle out from under the Fourth Amendment whenever possible,” says the ACLU’s Wessler. “They probably realize that they couldn’t figure out a way to respond to hard questions from Congress anymore.”
Separately, the New York Times reported Tuesday evening that the Obama administration may embrace the FBI’s proposal for a federal law mandating that tech companies build in backdoors for surveillance. CNET reported last year that the FBI has asked the companies not to oppose such legislation, and that the FBI has been building a case for a new law by collecting examples of how communications companies have stymied government agencies.
Last week, FBI former counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente told CNN that, in national security investigations, the bureau can access records of a previously-made telephone call. “All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not,” he said. Clemente added in an appearance the next day that, thanks to the “intelligence community” — a likely reference to the National Security Agency — “there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past.”