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User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.0.1) Gecko/20020823 Net
Subject: Re: FBI sloppiness
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 16:07:14 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 17:02:52 EDT
A Friend was shadowed by (at least) two clean cut types to the VA
Tuesday last week.That's 160 miles round trip. Why? Maybe he was too
critical of Muslims and he is a perceived target. Who knows!
> FBI memo details pre-9/11 sloppiness
> By Ted Bridis - WASHINGTON (AP) - Oct. 9, 2002
> FBI agents illegally videotaped suspects, intercepted
> e-mails without court permission and recorded the wrong
> phone conversations during sensitive terrorism and
> espionage investigations, according to an internal
> memorandum detailing serious lapses inside the FBI more
> than a year before the Sept
> The blunders -- roughly 15 over the first three months
> of 2000 -- were never made public but garnered the
> attention of the ‘‘highest levels of management" inside
> FBI, said the memo written by senior bureau lawyers and
> obtained by The Associated Press.
> Lawmakers reviewing FBI missteps preceding the terror
> attacks expressed surprise Wednesday at the extent of
> errors detailed in the memo, which focused on sensitive
> cases requiring warrants under the Foreign Intelligence
> Surveillance Act.
> The mistakes extend beyond those criticized in a rare
> public decision this summer by the secretive U.S. court
> that oversees the surveillance warrants. That court
> admonished the FBI for providing inaccurate information
> in warrant applications.
> The April 2000 memo -- marked ‘‘immediate" and
> classified as ‘‘secret" -- describes different problems
> from those cited by the court. It describes agents
> conducting unauthorized searches, writing warrants with
> wrong addresses and allowing ‘‘overruns" of electronic
> surveillance operations beyond their legal deadline.
> ‘‘The level of incompetence here is egregious," said
> Rep. William D. Delahunt, D-Mass., a member of the
> House Judiciary Committee who obtained the memo from
> the FBI and provided it to AP.
> Said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy,
> D-Vt.: ‘‘Honest mistakes happen in law enforcement, but
> the extent, variety and seriousness of the violations
> recounted in this FBI memo show again that the secret
> FISA process breeds sloppiness unless there's adequate
> The FBI's deputy general counsel, whose office approves
> requests for national security warrants, acknowledged
> Wednesday the mistakes led to broad concern inside his
> agency long before Congress began investigating whether
> the bureau missed signs of Sept. 11.
> ‘‘There's always going to be mistakes," said M.E.
> ‘‘Spike" Bowman. ‘‘We looked at those incidents very,
> very hard. We found no common thread. A lot of it was
> inattention to detail."
> These warrants are among the most powerful tools in the
> U.S. antiterrorism arsenal, permitting secret searches
> and wiretaps for up to one year without ever notifying
> the target of the investigation.
> The court approved 1,012 such warrants in 2000.
> Bowman said the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility
> investigated the problems. No FBI agent lost his or her
> job as a result of the internal inquiry, Bowman said,
> and the FBI has not had the same number of mistakes
> since. It averages now about 10 mistakes a year in such
> cases, he said.
> The FBI also notified the U.S. court about the warrant
> problems, and the response from judges was ‘‘a lot of
> head scratching over how this could happen," Bowman
> ‘‘It's important to understand that government doesn't
> abuse these secret authorities we get," Bowman said. The
> FBI has never detected an agent intentionally violating
> a special surveillance warrant, he added.
> Lawmakers approved changes last year under the USA
> Patriot Act giving new powers to use these special
> terrorism and espionage warrants. But some lawmakers
> have since complained they were not adequately informed
> of problems under the old rules.
> ‘‘As the Justice Department pushes the Congress for more
> powers, we should first be sure that these problems are
> being corrected and that existing laws are being used
> responsibly," Leahy said.
> Delahunt predicted Congress will press the Bush
> administration for explanations about such mistakes
> before it is asked to extend new surveillance powers
> from the Patriot Act set to expire in December 2005.
> The memo cites examples in specific cases ordinarily
> kept from public view. It describes the FBI eaves
> dropping on conversations long after the subject of one
> surveillance gave up a cell phone and its number was
> reassigned to an innocent person.
> The new owner spoke a different language than the FBI's
> target, and an interpreter notified investigators. FBI
> agents did nothing ‘‘for a substantial period of time"
> and failed to report the problem to headquarters, the
> memo says.
> The memo, which was approved by then-FBI Deputy Director
> Thomas Pickard and other senior officials, also describes
> agents in other cases videotaping a meeting of suspects
> and intercepting e-mails without the court's permission.
> Bowman said that in one instance, FBI agents searched a
> storage locker even though they did not have permission
> in the warrant; an earlier, expired warrant had included
> permission to search the same locker. He said that in
> other cases, telephone recording equipment was not shut
> off at the time specified by the warrant.
> Another memo from the same period, disclosed months ago
> under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, described
> the FBI mistakenly intercepting e-mails of innocent
> citizens during an investigation in Denver by its
> bin Laden Unit and International Terrorism Operations
> It indicated the FBI incorrectly used its ‘‘Carnivore"
> Internet surveillance software, now called ‘‘DCS-1000,"
> and captured too many e-mails. That memo's author wrote
> to Bowman that describing an oversight official at the
> Justice Department as unhappy about the incident ‘‘would
> be an understatement of incredible proportions."
> found at :
> much more :
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