Archive for FBI

Maddow Demonstrates How Clueless The CIA Really Is

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

InspectorClouseauw254h204

When there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Well if you're in the real world. it's not Ghostbusters. And it's certainly not the CIA. You'd have more luck turning on CNN or MSNBC.

Last night Rachel Maddow eviscerated the CIA for a number of hugely important blunders -- their ignorance of major events that affected our nation and our security. In case you missed the royal Rachel M. dress-down, here's a sampling:

It's hard to believe this organization whose middle letter "I" stands for intelligence could be so inept. So out of the loop. So totally ineffective. Oh, and did I leave out, so costly. For 2013, the CIA alone was budgeted for $14.787 billion.

From Rachel's report, it would have been cheaper by $14.787 billion to just turn on CNN. What's that cost, 30 bucks a month as part of basic cable?

How we spend our tax money is important. And what we do in the name of national security is paramount. So this report of incompetence is shocking.

And so is this little tidbit that was reported this morning on Talking Points Memo:

The CIA has launched an internal review after members of Congress complained that the CIA may have been monitoring Senate Intelligence Committee staffers who worked on a report about the agency's detention and interrogation program, according to reports.

This review by the CIA of a review by Congress reminds me of this classic moment:

I'd like to reassure those congressional members who think the CIA has been spying on them that even if they are, Congress has nothing to worry about. It's the same CIA who's been failing at competency reviews for years. They're more Casablanca's Inspector Renault than TV's Inspector Columbo. Now if it was CNN or MSNBC's Rachel Maddow who was running a congressional investigation, perhaps then they should be shaking in their boots.

The GOP have a new catchword, one they're using about Obama and his foreign policy. It's "feckless."

feck·less: lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible; "a feckless mama's boy"
synonyms: useless; worthless; incompetent; inept; good-for-nothing

Maybe the GOP neo-cons and their puppets are using the right word, but just in the wrong context.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Wednesday Links

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Wednesday Links from The Political Carnival
links
Goodbye to All That - Why I Left the Academic Life

Who Gives a F*ck what Ted Nugent Thinks?

How Wolves Change Rivers

FBI Arrests Georgia Militia Terrorists Attempting to Buy Bombs to Attack Feds (Updated)

Mississippi House passes sales tax holiday for guns

Credit Suisse 'aided' US tax evaders

Amanda Knox's ex finds her behavior odd, as appeals case looms

Baltimore County police investigating videotaped arrest incident

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, As Angry As The Birds

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

pigs fly

"When pigs fly," so the expression goes. That's when something greatly anticipated will happen. Is it that time now?

It may be right around the corner, according to U.S. National Intelligence Director, James Clapper. In case the name isn't all that familiar, he's the guy who lied to Congress on whether or not the NSA was spying on all of us. Still need a little more intel on Director Clapper?

Washington Post:

"Director Clapper continues to hold his position despite lying to Congress under oath about the existence of bulk data collection programs in March 2013," the letter reads. "Asking Director Clapper, and other federal intelligence officials who misrepresented programs to Congress and the courts, to report to you on needed reforms ... is not a credible solution."

Sometimes you just don't know who you can trust. I have been a fan of the game, Angry Birds for a few years now.
AngryBirdsw392h244
I love that game. I find it's addictive. In case you haven't tried it, the app is simply you launch angry birds via slingshot to topple the structures that house the pigs. Kind of like the Tea Party launching their assaults on human rights housed within the confines of Capitol Hill.

Sadly though, whether we like it or not, Director Clapper is looking for a scapegoat for his incompetence on the job. After all, on his watch, Edward Snowden took off with millions of data bits on US spying. And Clapper doesn't want to bear the brunt of his failure and the breach on his watch, so he's tossing around a few Angry Bird bombs on his own, trying to take down the pigs around him.

His latest Angry Birds? He's livid that Edward Snowden revealed this cockamamie scheme by the NSA to perform unwarranted spying on us through a smartphone game.

So self-admitted liar Clapper has gone on the offense. Instead of copping to the infringement on our personal lives that most certainly has no justification (unless it's mandatory for all spies, foreign and domestic to play Angry Birds) the Dapper Mr. Clapper has proffered this, according to The Daily Beast:

Thanks to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the world now knows that America’s intelligence agencies snoop on people through smartphone apps like Angry Birds. The U.S. intelligence community is now saying that this story, along with another disclosure of the U.S. “black budget,” has placed spies in grave danger.

So, the prevaricating NSA director expects us to rise up in arms and become angry with Snowden -- kind of his attempt to make us angry birds for the intelligence community. All this because some hotshot at the spy agency sold Clapper and his cohorts on a scheme to spy on us via a playful video game.

Clapper is taking this distraction from his own truncated dance with the truth quite seriously. He's sounding the "call to arms" by all the Angry Birds.

During a Senate hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asserted that the damage done by Snowden “includes putting the lives of members or assets of the intelligence community at risk as well as our armed forces, diplomats, and citizens.” He made this claim in his opening statement on behalf of the leaders of the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Counter-Terrorism Center.

I think the only one hurt by this reveal could be Rovio -- the company that made billions when producing this game. But that hasn't stopped the Director from pulling back his slingshot, loading it with an angry bird and firing it at the pigs.

Clapper provided no evidence or specifics to back up the charge in his public testimony. But a senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that two specific Snowden disclosures led to the new assessment. This official pointed to the documents published this week by the New York Times about the NSA’s efforts to hack into popular smart phone apps like Angry Birds.

So, perhaps the alarms that Clapper's sounding off are just distractions. Or even worse, he's actually telling the truth. But sadly, once you lie before Congress, it's very hard to be taken seriously -- especially when you're dealing with Angry Birds, feisty pigs and a director who looks much more like the latter and is behaving like the former.

Do we believe him?:

James Clapper

 

Or him?:

angry bird pig

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

FBI Admits Complicity In Record Levels Of Criminal Activity

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

FBI ID

This sounds like a startling statistic to me. According to HUFFPO:

In a Jan. 14, 2013, letter to Justice Department officials, obtained by The Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, FBI officials disclosed that its 56 field offices authorized informants to break the law at least 5,939 times during the 2012 calendar year. USA Today reported earlier this year that the bureau allowed its informants to break the law 5,658 times in 2011.

Think about it.  Nearly 6,000 crimes. That's a lot of criminal activity for the FBI to turn it's back on. And keep in mind, that's the number of crimes the bureau is admitting to. How many more were there they complicit in that somehow didn't get reported?

What's also a bit startling is that the number of "ordained" or "forgiven" infractions of the law increased 5% from the year before. Did this substantial bump result in greater safety for us? The FBI doesn't seem to keep stats on that -- we really don't know what the ratio of crimes allowed to major busts is statistically -- if it can even be quantified.

But if I'm a victim of one of these FBI approved crimes, I'd sure hate to think the G-men were covering it up. Or worse, condoning that crime ahead of time, knowing I or someone else would be a victim.

To get a glimpse of the oversight to these crimes the FBI allows, the following might be an eye-opener:

The breakdown of how many crimes were authorized by each individual FBI field office were redacted from the 2012 report, which is known as the Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. The FBI's fellow federal law enforcement agencies -- the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- do not track how often their sources commit crimes.

There must be a set of guidelines on this Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. And I'm sure there are some sacrifices that we, the public are called upon to make (even involuntarily) for the public good, but it sure would be nice to know where the line is drawn and what kind of oversight is mandated. Is it just non-violent crimes? Is it physical assaults?

Actually, it goes much farther than small infractions. It even includes murder.

Whitey Bulger

...the Boston field office allowed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger to continue to operate his crime ring because he was providing information to the bureau.

Whitey Bulger, just in case you missed it, was indicted and found guilty this year on 19 murder charges. Nineteen. And many of them were committed during his time as an informant. How far should we allow this program to go unbridled? Where do we draw the line? After someone commits one ordained murder? Three? Nineteen?

"It sounds like a lot, but you have to keep it in context," former top FBI official Shawn Henry told the newspaper. "This is not done in a vacuum. It's not done randomly. It's not taken lightly."

So the FBI says this is not taken lightly? Bulger committed at least 19 murders? I beg to differ with FBI Official Henry. They absolutely did take it lightly. So lightly they didn't care at all. I guess he was just a bad guy killing other bad guys -- and women. And he didn't just kill them, he had them tortured, then dismembered and tossed away like garbage.

To top all of that off, Whitey, for all the FBI's oversight, slipped away and disappeared for 16 years. So much for things not being done in a vacuum. Maybe it they really had been, he wouldn't have been given so much rope to hang so many other people.

Just like with the NSA spying, it would be better to set the rules BEFORE innocent people become the victims, not afterward.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare