from the how-is-that-making-us-safer? dept
A couple years ago, it was revealed that the FBI noted in one of its "counterterrorism training manuals" that FBI agents could "bend or suspend the law and impinge upon the freedoms of others," which seemed kind of odd for a government agency who claimed its "primary function" was "law enforcement." You'd think that playing by the rules would be kind of important. However, as John Hudson at Foreign Policy has noted, at some point last summer, the FBI quietly changed its fact sheet, so that it no longer says that "law enforcement" is its primary function, replacing it with "national security."
Of course, I thought we already had a "national security" agency -- known as the "National Security Agency." Of course, while this may seem like a minor change, as the article notes, it is the reality behind the scenes. The FBI massively beefed up resources focused on "counterterrorism" and... then let all sorts of other crimes slide. Including crimes much more likely to impact Americans, like financial/white collar fraud.
Between 2001 and 2009, the FBI doubled the amount of agents dedicated to counterterrorism, according to a 2010 Inspector's General report. That period coincided with a steady decline in the overall number of criminal cases investigated nationally and a steep decline in the number of white-collar crime investigations.
"Violent crime, property crime and white-collar crime: All those things had reductions in the number of people available to investigate them," former FBI agent Brad Garrett told Foreign Policy. "Are there cases they missed? Probably."The article correctly notes that this has had a big impact:
The reductions in white-collar crime investigations became obvious. Back in 2000, the FBI sent prosecutors 10,000 cases. That fell to a paltry 3,500 cases by 2005. "Had the FBI continued investigating financial crimes at the same rate as it had before the terror attacks, about 2,000 more white-collar criminals would be behind bars," the report concluded. As a result, the agency fielded criticism for failing to crack down on financial crimes ahead of the Great Recession and losing sight of real-estate fraud ahead of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.The article accurately notes how the FBI has basically started ignoring a tremendous amount of financial/white collar crime, but unfortunately never bothers to do the flipside: to look at whether or not the FBI has been even remotely effective in the whole "national security" aspect that is now its "primary function." Because, from the evidence we've seen, it seems like a disaster. Rather than tracking down and capturing actual terrorists (remember how the FBI knew all about the Boston bombers, but did nothing about them?), it seems like the FBI has been coming up with ways to keep itself busy that have nothing to do with really protecting national security.
So... what has the FBI been doing? Well, every time we hear anything about the FBI and counterterrorism, it seems to be a case where the FBI has been spending a ton of resources to concoct completely made up terrorism plots, duping some hapless, totally unconnected person into taking part in this "plot" then arresting him with big bogus headlines about how they "stopped" a terrorist plot that wouldn't have even existed if the FBI hadn't set it up in the first place. And this is not something that the FBI has just done a couple times. It's happened over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And those are just the stories that we wrote about that I can find in a quick search. I'm pretty sure there are a bunch more stories that we wrote about, let alone that have happened.
All of these efforts to stop their own damn "plots" screams of an agency that feels it needs to "do something" when there's really nothing to be done. Thousands of agents were reassigned from stopping real criminals to "counterterrorism" and when they found there were basically no terrorists around, they just started making their own in order to feel like they were doing something... and to have headlines to appease people upstairs. The government seems to have gone collectively insane when it comes to anything related to "terrorism."
If the organization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looked at over the course of its history beginning with the control over the FBI by J. Edgar Hoover for fifty years, it can be clearly observed the FBI has morphed into the Military-Industrial complex's corporate security. As the article above illustrates, the FBI isn't a "law enforcement" agency ostensibly as part of the U.S. Government, rather, its priority is to protect "national security", and that national security has more to do with protecting any threat to corporate interests.
In 1971 under J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, "whistle blowers" broke into a local FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, stealing documents they handed over to the press proving the FBI were involved in spying, infiltration, sowing seeds of discord and paranoia, dissent-quashing and what has now come to be known as Cointelpro (Counter Intelligence Program). The purpose was to destroy the lives and reputations of all those who were politically dissenting. In effect, a state corporate police agency essentially answerable to no one. To view a video of the "whistle blowers" who broke into the local FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania in 1971, the article can be read and a video viewed at the following link:
Watch Ed Snowden's 1971 precursors discuss burglarizing the FBI
This morphing of the FBI into a type of corporate Military-Industrial complex security asset in the name of "national security", can also be seen in the conversion of the U.S. Military under the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that has developed to protect American corporate interests outside of the United States. SOCOM is expected to grow from 3-5 percent a year with manpower levels being discussed allegedly to go to 72,000. Right now, SOCOM are deployed to 120 countries around the world in what has become a "secret army" with very few people knowing what SOCOM is doing in all these 120 countries other than probably protecting American corporate interests.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also has teams that have been highly trained in combat probably receiving their training with the military, or more precisely what are called "tactical techniques." While it is assumed the FBI handles a "variety of criminal activities", its first priority ostensibly is "terrorism and terrorist attacks." Although now it has been shown that the FBI has been involved itself in plotting these very "terrorist" schemes in America as the Russia Today article further below discusses.
The rise of the military’s secret military
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
“Dude, I don’t need to play these stupid games. I know what you’re trying to do.” With that, Major Matthew Robert Bockholt hung up on me.
More than a month before, I had called U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with a series of basic questions: In how many countries were U.S. Special Operations Forces deployed in 2013? Are manpower levels set to expand to 72,000 in 2014? Is SOCOM still aiming for growth rates of 3%-5% per year? How many training exercises did the command carry out in 2013? Basic stuff.
And for more than a month, I waited for answers. I called. I left messages. I emailed. I waited some more. I started to get the feeling that Special Operations Command didn’t want me to know what its Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force commandos — the men who operate in the hottest of hotspots and most remote locales around the world — were doing.
Then, at the last moment, just before my filing deadline, Special Operations Command got back to me with an answer so incongruous, confusing, and contradictory that I was glad I had given up on SOCOM and tried to figure things out for myself.
On a related note, in a recent disheartening article put out by naked capitalism yesterday, one gets the impression after reading the article above on the FBI, that the FBI is organized now to protect their allies and operatives, such as corporations and corporate CEOs in the Military-Industrial complex and to protect its own budget which was US$8.1 billion (2012) with 35,902 employees as of August, 2012. With that budget and number of employees, this would also make the Federal Bureau of Investigation larger than most U.S. Corporations relative to budget and manpower.
The following article is how neoliberalism took over America and it certainly seems as though the FBI are protecting neoliberalism which includes free trade with special emphasis on the FBI's participation considering the FBI upper levels of management are vetted by the Senior Executive Service (SES), a quasi-government corporation operating under corporate law. It would seem the FBI is organized with its mission perimeters to protect "national security" for neoliberal corporate policies and privatization.
Neoliberalism is a political philosophy whose advocates support economic liberalizations, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and enhancing the role of the private sector in modern society. Today the term is mostly used as a general condemnation of economic liberalization policies and its advocates._________
Source: naked capitalism
The Three Card Monte of Generational Warfare
January 7, 2014
by Yves Smith
Stock speculator Jay Gould remarked, “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” That, sports fans, is the real foundation of the generational warfare propaganda effort.
It’s being openly pushed on college campuses by billionaire and long term heavyweight Republican donor Stan Druckemiller, and is apparently being worked hard through media channels. I was surprised to see a website that has often featured cogent, articulate political analysis serve up a boomer-blaming piece that was all broad stereotypes, and a couple of tidbits presented as evidence when they were at most decoration (I’m not about to dignify it by linking to it). If anyone had tried running a similarly hate-mongering piece about blacks or gays, they would have been called out. At least this post got some pushback in comments.
We have two events happening that may simply be coincident in time in their genesis, but they are working synchronistically in a nasty way. And the driver of one is unquestionably class, not generational. I can’t get over the way young people are falling hook, line and sinker for the efforts to divert attention from the real perps, which are overwhelmingly the top wealthy and their allies and operatives, such as CEOs and C-level executives at large companies, and the large cohort of neoliberal pundits. (Not all are on board; for instance, I know a private equity firm head who loves annoying people in his industry by telling them they need to pay a ton more in taxes and donates generously to “progressive” candidates, but people like him are few in number).
It really comes down to the FBI working to continue receiving funding to maintain its annual budget of US$8.1 billion (2012) with several sources suggesting that the FBI have been master minding terror plots in the U.S. rolling out a new terrorist threat every two months. Terrorism: FBI corporate policy. As an example of the FBI and other government organizations including now the U.S. Navy in its cover-up of the Naval Yard shooting, the Navy mistakenly sent FOIA plans to a local NBC News reporter this week detailing how it intended to try and deter requests the reporter had filed under the Freedom Of Information Act. This kind of tactic goes on all the time including within the FBI.
FBI organizes almost all terror plots in the US
August 22, 2011
If you think that’s a few spies too many — spies earning as much as $100,000 per assignment — one doesn’t have to go too deep into their track record to see their accomplishments. Those agents are responsible for an overwhelming amount of terrorist stings that have stopped major domestic catastrophes in the vein of 9/11 from happening on American soil.
Another thing those agents are responsible for, however, is plotting those very schemes.
The FBI has in recent years used trained informants not just to snitch on suspected terrorists, but to set them up from the get-go. A recent report put together by Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkley analyses some striking statistics about the role of FBI informants in terrorism cases that the Bureau has targeted in the decade since the September 11 attacks.
The report reveals that the FBI regularly infiltrates communities where they suspect terrorist-minded individuals to be engaging with others. Regardless of their intentions, agents are sent in to converse within the community, find suspects that could potentially carry out “lone wolf” attacks and then, more or less, encourage them to do so. By providing weaponry, funds and a plan, FBI-directed agents will encourage otherwise-unwilling participants to plot out terrorist attacks, only to bust them before any events fully materialize.
Additionally, one former high-level FBI officials speaking to Mother Jones says that, for every informant officially employed by the bureau, up to three unofficial agents are working undercover.
The FBI has used those informants to set-up and thus shut-down several of the more high profile would-be attacks in recent years. The report reveals that the Washington DC Metro bombing plot, the New York City subway plot, the attempt to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower and dozens more were all orchestrated by FBI agents. In fact, reads the report, only three of the more well-known terror plots of the last decade weren’t orchestrated by FBI-involved agents.
Rethinking John Lennon's Assassination: The FBI's War on Rock
The Logical Song
"Efrem, this is J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI. Efrem, how would you feel about having an FBI television series of your own?"