The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.
Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed to lawmakers that the FBI owns several unmanned aerial vehicles, but has not adopted any strict policies or guidelines yet to govern the use of the controversial aircraft.
“Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mr. Mueller during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Yes,” Mueller responded bluntly, adding that the FBI’s operation of drones is “very seldom.”
Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to elaborate, Mueller added, “It’s very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident where you need the capability.” Earlier in the morning, however, Mueller said that the agency was only now working to establish set rule for the drone program.
Mueller began answering questions just after 10 a.m. EDT and has also touched briefly on the recently exposed NSA surveillance program that has marred the reputation of the United States intelligence community as of late. Mueller said 22 agents have access to a vast surveillance database, including 20 analysts and two overseers.
When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) asked Mueller later in the morning if he’d consider being more open about the FBI’s surveillance methods, the director decried being much more transparent that the bureau already is. Mueller said the FBI has and will continue to weigh the possibility of publishing more information about its spy habits, but warned that doing such would be to the advantage of America’s enemies.
Read more here.
Barack Obama condemned the IRS scandal earlier this week saying,
“I have got not patience for it… I first learned about this from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.”
But now we know… The Obama administration knew about the IRS targeting scandal in June 2012 – before the November elections.
The New York Times reported:
The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.
At the first Congressional hearing into the I.R.S. scandal, J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel of his audit on June 4, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly thereafter.”
It remained unclear how much the disclosure would affect the broader debate over the I.R.S.’s problems. Complaints from Tea Party groups that the I.R.S. was singling them out became public in 2012, through media accounts.
Mr. George told Treasury officials about the allegation as part of a routine briefing about ongoing audits he would be conducting in the coming year, and he did not tell the officials of his conclusions that the targeting had been improper, he said.
They are all Muslims except perhaps one or two. Just as it was right after 9/11, Muslims still are the most wanted terrorists in America…and likely, the world.
Frontpage Magazine In the wake of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing, media, politicians and left-wing commentators have gone to extraordinary lengths to opine on every possible motive and affiliation of the terrorists responsible — every motive except Jihad. Yet as the FBI’s official “Most Wanted Terrorists” list glaringly illustrates, there is no mystery behind the agenda of those compelled to commit mass atrocities against American citizens.
Read more here.
WND recently reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has purchased well over a billion rounds of ammunition over the past year.
The magnitude of the federal government’s ammunition buildup has made headlines as members of the military, police departments and consumers find shelves bare.
But the full impact may yet to be seen, as WND has uncovered a plan by the FBI to spend up to $100 million over five years on millions of rounds for its machine guns and pistols.
According to a solicitation revised and released March 25 that WND discovered during routine database research, the FBI is gathering the ammunition “to be carried and fired [by FBI Special Agents] in defense of life” as well as for training purposes.
The ammunition includes a combination of field-ready Glock 9mm rounds as well as reduced-lead training ammo. Weapons listed in the Statement of Work, or SOW, are Glock Model 17, Glock Model 19, Glock Model 26, SIG Sauer P226, SIG Sauer P228, Heckler and Koch MP5 9mm submachine gun (K, A2, A3, SF and SD versions).
“The FBI is the federal government’s principal agency responsible for investigating violations of more than 260 federal statutes,” the SOW points out. “As the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI Special Agents (SA), in the pursuit of duty, may be involved in high threat assignments where deadly force may be used in the face of violent confrontations.”
Contractors are peppering the bureau with questions as they jockey for position to secure the lucrative contract, the amended solicitation indicates. Once the FBI decides on a provider, that contractor will deliver the ammunition within 60 days to FBI facilities and “other approved federal government locations” in the continental U.S. as well as Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.
Hundreds of millions of rounds likewise are being ordered by the Department of Homeland Security, with more than a quarter-billion of them slated specifically for Customs and Border Protection training over five years.
Read more here.
The U.S. Federal Investigation Bureau released records it was keeping on celebrated journalist and late ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent Mike Wallace, who died on April 7, 2012, at the age of 93.
The files include a look into whether Wallace was involved in communist activities as well as an investigation of a threatening letter sent to him by an emotionally disturbed World War II veteran titled ‘Communist Control of the Press.’
Wallace, late ’60 Minutes’ creator Don Hewitt and three others took a trip to Cuba in the summer of 1970 to document the country, according to the files.
The group departed from Mexico with 22 pieces of luggage weighing about 770 pounds and returned with 26 pieces of luggage weighing about 904 pounds. An educated guess would be Cuban cigars, other souvenirs or additional camera tape from the embargoed island.
Wallace, who was 52 at the time, was not discovered to be a communist member or sympathizer.
A separate investigation into a bizarre and threatening letter from April 4, 1977, identified the sender as Donald P. Hale — a disabled World War II veteran and a former prisoner of war.
‘I have solid proof that you are a pro-communist anti-American traitor,’ the letter reads. ‘We will expose you, convict you, and hang you.’
Hale’s letter also includes references to his dog puking on the rug and ‘piddling’ in Wallace’s eye through the television screen.
The U.S. Attorney’s office decided against prosecuting Hale for extortion, stating that his letter did not appear to have criminal intent and that Hale told investigators he meant no harm and was suffering from ’emotional problems.’
Read more here.
Birthmarks, be damned: the FBI has officially started rolling out a state-of-the-art face recognition project that will assist in their effort to accumulate and archive information about each and every American at a cost of a billion dollars.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reached a milestone in the development of their Next Generation Identification (NGI) program and is now implementing the intelligence database in unidentified locales across the country, New Scientist reports in an article this week. The FBI first outlined the project back in 2005, explaining to the Justice Department in an August 2006 document (.pdf) that their new system will eventually serve as an upgrade to the current Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) that keeps track of citizens with criminal records across America .
“The NGI Program is a compilation of initiatives that will either improve or expand existing biometric identification services,” its administrator explained to the Department of Justice at the time, adding that the project, “will accommodate increased information processing and sharing demands in support of anti-terrorism.”
“The NGI Program Office mission is to reduce terrorist and criminal activities by improving and expanding biometric identification and criminal history information services through research, evaluation and implementation of advanced technology within the IAFIS environment.”
The agency insists, “As a result of the NGI initiatives, the FBI will be able to provide services to enhance interoperability between stakeholders at all levels of government, including local, state, federal, and international partners.” In doing as such, though, the government is now going ahead with linking a database of images and personally identifiable information of anyone in their records with departments around the world thanks to technology that makes fingerprint tracking seem like kids’ stuff.
According to their 2006 report, the NGI program utilizes “specialized requirements in the Latent Services, Facial Recognition and Multi-modal Biometrics areas” that “will allow the FnewBI to establish a terrorist fingerprint identification system that is compatible with other systems; increase the accessibility and number of the IAFIS terrorist fingerprint records; and provide latent palm print search capabilities.”
Is that just all, though? During a 2010 presentation (.pdf) made by the FBI’s Biometric Center of Intelligence, the agency identified why facial recognition technology needs to be embraced. Specifically, the FBI said that the technology could be used for “Identifying subjects in public datasets,” as well as “conducting automated surveillance at lookout locations” and “tracking subject movements,” meaning NGI is more than just a database of mug shots mixed up with fingerprints — the FBI has admitted that this their intent with the technology surpasses just searching for criminals but includes spectacular surveillance capabilities. Together, it’s a system unheard of outside of science fiction.
Read more here.
According to Homeland Security News Wire, the federal government considers “extremist domestic organizations” as dangerous, if not more so, than foreign terrorist organizations. The FBI and federal law enforcement are stymied in detecting these groups by the First Amendment and political opposition “suspicious of the government’s motives,” the website reports.
The portrayal of military veteran and suspected Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page as a white supremacist has given new credence to the Department of Homeland Security’s debunked report on “rightwing extremism.” The 2009 report, initiated during the Bush regime, characterizes returning veterans as fodder for hate groups supposedly below the government’s radar.
“What is clear from the FBI surveillance and analysis of extremist groups in the United States, surveillance which intensified after 9/11, is that the U.S. government has considered neo-Nazi and white supremacists as genuine threats for many years,” the Homeland Security News Wire reports. Declassified FBI documents released through FOIA requests show that the government considers “these groups as threats for decades — so long in fact, that it has been lost on many that white supremacists, in the form of the Ku Klux Klan, pioneered modern homegrown terrorism.”
Left unmentioned is the well documented fact the FBI has established and run many of these racist organizations. On August 6, we posted a story detailing the connections between the FBI (and the Southern Poverty Law Center) and a number of white supremacist groups. During the trial of Hal Turner, supposedly a noted racist, it was revealed he worked for the government and was regarded as a “National Security Intelligence” asset.
The FBI has controlled racist and white supremacist groups since the 1960s. Under COINTELPRO, the FBI “subsidized, armed, directed and protected the Ku Klux Klan and other right-wing groups,” Brian Glick writes. Racist groups were used to create a strategy of tension by attacking groups on the so-called left, including anti-war, Chicano and Puerto Rican activists and nationalists.
Read more here.
Why Speaking Out Is Necessary
My experiences of working undercover with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force have been well-documented by the media, as has my conversion from a prominent left-of-center activist to a tea party activist who advocates for law enforcement and for our nation.
I was an operational human source, commonly referred to by the public as a type of informant, for the FBI. The FBI has had special agents testify under oath that I was trustworthy and reliable and that my information was always accurate and never deceptive. They also testified under oath that my motivations were deemed to be moral and ideological, not financial. These factors categorized me as a “trusted source,” meaning my words were capable of initiating the FBI to assign resources to request warrants be issued. I have refrained from speaking on issues surrounding my experiences with the FBI, except in matters they have chosen to make public or otherwise ensured me would not have an effect on an ongoing investigation. I have also refrained from discussing any involvement with the FBI since the much-publicized 2009 trial of far Left would-be bombers in which I was the star witness for the FBI and the United States Attorneys’ Office.
It’s no secret that I have retained relationships within the FBI and that I have utilized these relationships for the purposes of helping citizens report crimes or terroristic activity. I have not discussed the fact that I was reactivated as an operational human source for the purpose of aiding the FBI’s efforts to stop human trafficking. In other words, I went back undercover. I am now speaking out without the approval or consent of the FBI due to the gross lack of concern or action from the Justice Department overall to stop known cases of children being trafficked by criminals for the purposes of sex and profits. Another former FBI human source, Dottie Laster, joins me in an effort to hold the DOJ accountable for neglecting the children we know to be sex slaves. Defending the men and women who serve in the FBI and other agencies under the United States Department of Justice has been a central effort in my life since my identity was revealed in connection with the aforementioned trial. I have, however, refrained from defending the politically appointed leadership and their executive managers within the organizations. It is unfortunate that my conscience now mandates I speak out about the leadership’s decisions and priorities. It is unfortunate that I must break from keeping with the culture of silence so prevalent in federal law enforcement agencies under the DOJ.
Untangling the Knots
Laster, a longtime advocate for the victims of human trafficking, contacted me seeking understanding as to why the Justice Department seemingly had little interest in pursuing investigations where slavery was involved. She initially asked me why I would defend such entities when they were refusing to help the victims she worked with. I explained to her that there was surely something we could do as citizens, and I began to research the matter. I discussed the issue with various federal agents and others employed by or otherwise under the umbrella of the DOJ. I learned that the majority of law enforcement agencies did not take on human trafficking investigations due to complications arising from interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Agencies that received federal funding were required by federal law to inform ICE of any such investigations and cooperate with them. Unfortunately, ICE would frequently act unilaterally and raid the facility that was being investigated. This made any substantial long-term investigation impossible. ICE has a very thin charter, and removing possible illegal aliens took priority over prosecutable cases. If ICE engaged in a raid too soon, the local agency investigating the possible human trafficking was left with little evidence for prosecutions and therefore wasted much needed dollars and work hours. The end result of this dynamic was human traffickers walking away with little consequence, free to continue their enterprise, and law enforcement agencies that shied away from launching such investigations.
Read more here.