CRACKDOWN: FBI Arrests Man for Alleged Seizure-Inducing Tweet to Triggered Journalist Kurt EichenwaldPosted: March 17, 2017
The FBI arrested a man accused of sending Dallas reporter Kurt Eichenwald a tweet that Eichenwald claims triggered an epileptic seizure.
The name of the suspect has not yet been released, but FBI spokeswoman Lauren Hagee confirmed that an arrest in the case was made Friday morning.
Eichenwald tweeted that the man who “assaulted” him faces federal charges and is also expected to be indicted by the Dallas district attorney on different charges in the next few days.
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) November 6, 2016
Read more here….
[VIDEO] Bret Baier: Investigators Are Going to Push for an Indictment in Clinton Foundation InvestigationPosted: November 3, 2016
[VIDEO] CNN: Clinton Team ‘Stunned’ by FBI Re-Opening Email Investigation, Didn’t Know Until Plane LandedPosted: October 28, 2016
[VIDEO] James Comey Explains Cheryl Mills’ Immnuity, Why She Was Able to Sit in on Hillary Clinton’s InterviewPosted: September 28, 2016
Journalists Can’t Pose as FBI Agents, but Heck Yeah, FBI Agents Actually Can Pose as Journalists, Inspector General SaysPosted: September 16, 2016
The FBI also did not violate policy when an agent impersonated an editor with the Associated Press in 2007, the Inspector General found.
Alan Neuhauser reports: FBI agents may impersonate journalists while conducting undercover investigations, and an agent who posed as an editor with the Associated Press during a 2007 investigation did not violate agency policies, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General found in a report released Thursday.
“The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007. Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns.”
— Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford, in a statement
The conclusion sparked consternation across social media by journalists, civil rights groups and some legal experts, who have argued that the practice – by its very existence – threatens to heighten public mistrust of reporters, damage journalists’ credibility and have a chilling effect on sources and whistleblowers who may fear that their contacts in the media are actually undercover agents.
“The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007,” Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford said in a statement. “Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns.”
The inspector general’s report acknowledged that the practice calls for “a higher level of approval” by FBI supervisors than was in place in 2007. Policies on impersonating journalists at the time were “less than clear,” it found. However, a new interim policy adopted this June – one that permits agents to pose as journalists so long as they get approval from two high-ranking officials and an undercover review committee at headquarters – meets that requirement.
[VIDEO] ‘You Are Hereby Served’: Representative Jason Chaffetz Grills Panel on Hillary’s Classified Emails, September 12, 2016Posted: September 13, 2016
‘Tear up Texas,’ the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.
“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence.”
“Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.
“U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying… No need to be direct.”
“I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”
That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. Undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases, according to statistics kept by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and civil liberties advocates say some of those charged might not have escalated their behavior without those interventions.
“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation.”
“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence,” Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Daily Beast. “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”
“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation,” he added.
The texts were included in the indictment, released Thursday of Erick Jamal Hendricks of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. The 35-year-old tried to recruit other Americans to form an ISIS cell on secret compounds and introduced an undercover agent to one of the Draw Muhammad attackers, according to the FBI.
But Hendricks did more than make a connection. According to the court papers, he asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court.
The mystery surrounding the hijacking of a Northwest Orient Airlines flight in November 1971 by a still-unknown individual resulted in significant international attention and a decades-long manhunt.
SEATTLE – Forty-five years after an unidentified man parachuted from the rear of a hijacked jetliner and into folklore with $200,000 in cash, the FBI is officially closing its investigation into the famous “DB Cooper” case that has transfixed people around the world ever since.
“Over the years, the FBI has applied numerous new and innovative investigative techniques, as well as examined countless items at the FBI Laboratory. Evidence obtained during the course of the investigation will now be preserved for historical purposes at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.”
— FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams
FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams said Tuesday the still-unsolved case was closed “in order to focus on other investigative priorities.” She called the DB Cooper hijacking case over Western Washington “one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history.”
During the course of the “NORJACK investigation,” as it is known by the FBI, agents reviewed all credible leads, coordinated between multiple field offices to conduct searches, collected all available evidence, and interviewed all identified witnesses, Dietrich-Williams said.
“Over the years, the FBI has applied numerous new and innovative investigative techniques, as well as examined countless items at the FBI Laboratory,” she said. “Evidence obtained during the course of the investigation will now be preserved for historical purposes at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.”
“He boarded the flight in Portland for a flight to Seattle on the night of Nov. 24, 1971, and commandeered the plane, claiming he had dynamite…In Seattle, he demanded and got $200,000 and four parachutes and demanded to be flown to Mexico. Somewhere over southwestern Washington, he jumped out the plane’s tail exit with two of the chutes.”
The mystery surrounding the hijacking of a Northwest Orient Airlines flight in November 1971 by a still-unknown individual resulted in significant international attention and a decades-long manhunt.
The suspect, who called himself Dan Cooper, was later misidentified in media reports as “D.B. Cooper,” and the name stuck. He boarded the flight in Portland for a flight to Seattle on the night of Nov. 24, 1971, and commandeered the plane, claiming he had dynamite. Read the rest of this entry »
Alan Dershowitz writes: FBI Director James Comey’s statement recommending against prosecuting Hillary Clinton was unusual in several respects. First, it is not generally regarded as the job of the FBI to make judgment calls about whether or not to prosecute. Those judgment calls are supposed to be made by prosecutors. The job of the FBI is to investigate the facts and lay them out as objectively and completely as possible so that prosecutors can exercise their discretion and judgment.
Although technically the attorney general in this case could exercise independent judgment, she is unlikely to do so, having already said she would defer to the FBI’s recommendation. So in this instance the FBI found the facts, applied the law and exercised prosecutorial discretion. A strange role for an investigative agency!
“The evidence in this case, as he described it, would not have justified a criminal prosecution. There is simply no precedent for indicting a former secretary of State for carelessness, even extreme carelessness.”
Second, it is unusual for an FBI director to express opinions such as the kind that Comey made in his statement. He said that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of sensitive material. That is not a legal concept, but to lay people it could sound very much like “gross negligence,” which is one of the statutory criteria for bringing a prosecution.
Normally when a prosecutor declines prosecution, all that is said is that there will be no indictment. It is rare, though not unprecedented, for a prosecutor to then go on to excoriate the object of the investigation. The question should be asked: Is that a proper role for the director of the FBI?
Third, Comey used an unusual verbal formulation in discussing classified information. This is what he said:
“Only a small number of the emails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.”
He did not explain what he meant by the words “bore markings.” Does this mean that they were stamped “classified”? Or does it mean that there were indications within the text of the emails that would show that it was in fact classified? The confusion was exacerbated by Comey’s next sentence in which he said the following:
“But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an email, participants who know or should know that the subject is classified are obligated to protect it.”
Comey’s use of the words “marked classified” seems to suggest that there is a distinction between emails that were marked “classified” and emails that “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.”
This use of different verbal formulations suggests that none of the emails were actually marked “classified.” I may be wrong in that surmise, but it is certainly suggested by how Comey used these different formulations. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Former FBI Official: Fellow Agents Worried About Agency’s Reputation After Handling of Clinton CasePosted: July 6, 2016
Nick Gass and Nolan McCaskill report: FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday announced the agency is not recommending the Justice Department bring charges against Hillary Clinton, despite denouncing the former secretary of state and her colleagues for the way they handled classified information through private email servers.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is information that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey told reporters in Washington, D.C., noting that the probe has found that the former secretary of state used several different email servers and numerous devices during her time in office.
[ALSO SEE – FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook by Andrew McCarthy]
Even so, Comey added later, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges.”
“It seems to me that this is what the FBI has done today. It has told the public that because Mrs. Clinton did not have intent to harm the United States we should not prosecute her on a felony that does not require proof of intent to harm the United States. Meanwhile, although there may have been profound harm to national security caused by her grossly negligent mishandling of classified information, we’ve decided she shouldn’t be prosecuted for grossly negligent mishandling of classified information.”
— Andrew McCarthy
Of the 30,000 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department in 2014, Comey announced that 110 emails in 52 separate chains had been determined to contain classified information “at the time they were sent or received.” Of those, he continued, eight included “Top Secret” information, while 36 chains had “Secret” information at the time it was received, while eight contained “Confidential” information, the lowest level of classification. In addition to those, another 2,000 were “up-classified” to make them “Confidential” after they had already been sent.
“I was especially unpersuaded by Director Comey’s claim that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case based on the evidence uncovered by the FBI. To my mind, a reasonable prosecutor would ask: Why did Congress criminalize the mishandling of classified information through gross negligence? The answer, obviously, is to prevent harm to national security. So then the reasonable prosecutor asks: Was the statute clearly violated, and if yes, is it likely that Mrs. Clinton’s conduct caused harm to national security? If those two questions are answered in the affirmative, I believe many, if not most, reasonable prosecutors would feel obliged to bring the case.”
Comey peppered his remarks with an array of judgmental language directed at Clinton and State Department employees, remarking that in general and particularly with respect to its unclassified email systems, the department was “generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.” Read the rest of this entry »
Where would you draw the line between liberty and security?
Stephen Green writes: Here’s the setup.
San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook owned an iPhone 5c, which may have been used — probably was used — in planning and perhaps even executing the holiday party terror attack with his wife, Tashfeen Malik.
That iPhone 5c, just like any other up-to-do-date iOS or Android smartphone, has disc-level encryption baked into the OS for users who want that level of privacy, for good or for ill.
Yesterday,U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to bypass the phone’s security functions, and furthermore “to provide related technical assistance and to build special software that would essentially act as a skeleton key capable of unlocking the phone.”
Here’s what happened next:
Hours later, in a statement by its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, Apple announced its refusal to comply. The move sets up a legal showdown between the company, which says it is eager to protect the privacy of its customers, and the law enforcement authorities, who assert that new encryption technologies hamper their ability to prevent and solve crime.In his statement, Mr. Cook called the court order an “unprecedented step” by the federal government. “We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” he wrote.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond publicly to Apple’s resistance.
The F.B.I. said its experts had been unable to access data on the iPhone 5c and that only Apple could bypass its security features. F.B.I. experts have said they risk losing the data permanently after 10 failed attempts to enter the password because of the phone’s security features.
The Justice Department had secured a search warrant for the phone, owned by Mr. Farook’s former employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, which consented to the search.
Because Apple declined to voluntarily provide, in essence, the “keys” to its encryption technology, federal prosecutors said they saw little choice but to get a judge to compel Apple’s assistance.
Mr. Cook said the order amounted to creating a “back door” to bypass Apple’s strong encryption standards — “something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
Security hawks are on solid ground when they worry (as I do) that Farook’s encrypted iPhone might contain data valuable to government efforts to stop future terror attacks on U.S. soil, or to aid intel efforts to locate, track, and kill Farook’s ISIS contacts overseas.
But that’s not the only worry, as Doug Mataconis explains:
From Apple’s point of view, there seem to be a myriad of issues motivating the decision to take what has the potential to be an unpopular decision given the circumstances of this case. First of all, there is the fact that ever since the company made the decision to strengthen security on its phones in a manner that essentially allows customers to encrypt data in a manner that makes it nearly impossible to access without the appropriate pass code, the concerns about data security have only become more prominent and that providing a backdoor that does not exist right now would only serve to make the data itself less secure overall. Second, as the Post article notes the use of the All Writs Act in this manner appears to be unprecedented and, if upheld, would essentially allow the government to do almost anything in the name of law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Finally, and perhaps most strongly, it’s important to note that law enforcement isn’t asking Apple to provide information that it already has, which is what an ordinary search warrant does. It is essentially asking a Federal Court to compel Apple to do something, in this case create a backdoor that does not exist. This arguably falls well outside the scope of the Fourth Amendment and, if upheld, would give law enforcement authority to compel technology companies to do almost anything conceivable in the name of a purported investigation or surveillance of a target. That seems to go well beyond what the Constitution and existing law permits law enforcement to do.
John Hinderer reports: The Young Conservatives Instagramed this graphic a couple of days ago. I haven’t verified all the numbers, but I checked most of them against FBI data and they appear to be correct. The chart puts current hysteria over homicide and firearms into perspective. The left axis is homicides per 100,000 Americans…(read more)
Source: Power Line
Jonah Bennett reports: The FBI has taken heat for failing to immediately classify the San Bernardino shootings as terrorism, but a new report shows that FBI reluctance could have been due to external pressure from the White House.
“Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict.”
A source told Jack Murphy of SOFREP that the FBI instantly believed the shooting, which left 14 dead, to be a clear act of terrorism. The White House, however, didn’t feel the same way and quickly moved in to squash the terror classification.
“But in this case, because the preponderance evidence so pointed to terrorism, the FBI’s hand was forced, and the agency declared the existence of a terrorism investigation, going against top-down priorities from the White House.”
This source added that as soon as the shooting took place, Obama convened a meeting with the National Security Council and the heads of other federal enforcement agencies to discuss a public relations strategy.
Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] BREAKING: FBI on #SanBernardino Shooting: ‘We Are Now Investigating These Horrific Acts as an Act of Terrorism’Posted: December 4, 2015
BREAKING: FBI on #SanBernardino shooting: “We are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism.”