Friday, March 09, 2007

US Justice Department Accuses FBI Of Using The Patriot Act To Violate US Civil Rights

In what should come as no surprise to anyone who's been harassed by the FBI and its COINTELPRO operations, the U.S. Department Of Justice has announced recent findings that the FBI utilized the Patriot Act to abuse the civil rights of a number of American citizens, and in the process also broke the law.

The DOJ's admission of FBI criminality is atypical, since this organization has a very long history of covering up crimes perpetrated by the Bureau, rather than holding those responsible accountable for their actions. It has been this complete lack of checks and balances that has enabled the FBI to get away with serious civil rights' violations for nearly a century, and at this point one must wonder if the DOJ will just give this agency another meaningless slap on the wrist, or instead, make some significant changes to ensure that it's no longer able to freely abuse its outrageous power in the future.

The following are some quotes from Laura Jakes Jordon's Associated Press article:

"The FBI also used so-called 'exigent letters,' signed by officials at FBI headquarters who were not authorized to sign national security letters, to obtain information. In at least 700 cases, these exigent letters were sent to three telephone companies to get toll billing records and subscriber information. "

"'In many cases, there was no pending investigation associated with the request at the time the exigent letters were sent,' the audit concluded. "

"The letters inaccurately said the FBI had requested subpoenas for the information requested - 'when, in fact, it had not,' the audit found."

"Senators outraged over the conclusions signaled they would provide tougher oversight of the FBI - and perhaps limits its power."

""I am very concerned that the FBI has so badly misused national security letters,'" said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversees the FBI. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., another member on the judiciary panel, said the Sreport "proves that 'trust us' doesn't cut it."

While I tend to doubt it, I would hope that Congress and the DOJ are turning over a new leaf here -- one in which they will no longer aid and abet the FBI and its criminal protocols, but instead severely admonish it when it abuses its authority.

In summary, I've found Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez' statement in regard to the importance of the Inspector General's report to be not only hypocritical, but also a shameful attempt at grandstanding for his own personal aggrandisement; especially since Gonzalez as a Bush Administration appointee, has been well aware from the beginning, of this administration's gross abuse of American civil liberties with the passage of the most fascist legislation that this country has ever seen (the Patriot Act). And all under the pretense of the Bush Administration's excuse for doing whatever it cares to without accountability to Congress or the American people -- its so called war on terror.

The following article is the latest on this unfolding story:

The following is the Office Of The Inspector General's 2007 Review of the Federal Bureau Of Investigation's use of National Security Letters -- The Inspector General's Findings Include Criminal Acts Which Have Been Perpetrated By The FBI As Well As Numerous Violations Of Civil Rights. Please Share This Information With Everyone You Know Since The FBI Through Its Abuse Of The Patriot Act Has Become A Threat To All Of Us!


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