Category Archives: Indefinite detention

Police State USA and the NDAA: Creating American Terrorists

Police State USA and the NDAA: Creating American Terrorists

by Philip Giraldi

Global Research, Council of the National Interest, January 22, 2012

Defenders of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, which declares the entire world to be a “battlefield” against terrorism and authorizes the U.S. military to detain indefinitely anyone suspected of being a terrorism supporter, have claimed that the White House will only use its new power carefully and with due process. Opponents note that the White House has never hesitated to use any new authority, no matter how outrageous, and that the trend of law enforcement and security agencies is to expand on powers granted, not to rein them in or limit them.

The track record of the Obama administration on civil liberties is particularly bad, as it has broadened its definition of war powers, reneged on its promise to close Guantanamo Prison, and supported numerous dubious terrorism prosecutions. It has also become adept at silencing critics through the repeated exploitation of the state-secrets privilege, which effectively dismisses any case accusing the government of abuse or malfeasance.

So let us accept that the government now has the power to send a team of military police to anyone’s home in any state in the Union and can demand that that person surrender without any recourse to a lawyer or judicial due process. The military can then detain the individual incommunicado for any length of time and can presumably send him to Guantanamo for special confinement, claiming that the reason for the detention is support of terrorism, which can be almost anything, including a letter to the editor of the local paper complaining about the goonery of the Transportation Security Administration. Once in detention, the suspect only has such options as are granted to him by the military. He cannot see a lawyer, cannot invoke habeas corpus or other constitutional privileges, cannot confront any witnesses against him, and cannot challenge any information prejudicial to him even if it is hearsay or fabricated. In other words, the accused can be arrested for no reason and held indefinitely without any protections that enable him to push back against being detained. Most people would consider a criminal justice system that permits such detention ipso facto a police state.

Now let us accept for a moment that the White House and Justice Department are well-intentioned and will not use their newfound authority to detain anyone in a questionable fashion. The expanded powers will only be used to detain foreign terrorists who are caught in flagrante, more or less. That would be fine, perhaps, but for one small problem. Because the definition of a terrorism supporter has become enormously elastic, it can be stretched to include anything. If the whole world has become a battlefield, speaking out or acting against powerful vested interests can be dangerous because those interests can turn around and exploit the system to label one a terrorist. And once you are labeled a terrorist, your constitutional rights vanish and you might as well sit around and wait for that knock on the door — or, rather, for the door to be kicked in.

That is what House Resolution 3131 is all about. It is titled, in part, “To direct the secretary of state to submit a report on whether any support organization that participated in the planning or execution of the recent Gaza flotilla attempt should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization….” The bill then goes on to assert that the two flotillas in 2010 and 2011 opposing Israel’s blockade of Gaza were terrorist actions. But the only problem is that it relies on information from the Israeli Intelligence and Information Center to do so, meaning that Congress is deferring to a foreign government organization to make a judgment that directly impacts that selfsame government. And the Israelis are not shy about calling someone a terrorist, if it suits the narrative they are trying to present. They describe a Turkish organization involved in the first flotilla in 2010, known by its acronym IHH, as linked to al-Qaeda and Hamas based on evidence that no one else in the world accepts, apart from Congress, that is. The Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara was clearly aiming to take on the Israeli navy, armed to the teeth with “100 metal rods, 200 knives, 50 wooden clubs, and a telescopic sight for a gun.” In reality, the rods were torn from the ships rails when the heavily armed Israeli commandos boarded at night from helicopters. The knives were pocket knives and utility knives from the vessel’s galley, and the clubs were broken from deck chairs to repel the attackers. I will not speculate on the telescopic sight, but there was not a real weapon anywhere on board. The Israelis killed nine Turks, shooting several in the head at close range, including an American citizen. Congress has yet to express its outrage at the Israeli action — quite the contrary — and Hillary Clinton’s State Department has been silent, apart from warning the subsequent 2011 flotilla that the American embassy would do nothing to protect U.S. citizens aboard.

Regarding the second flotilla of July 2011, HR 3131 goes on to state that “Greek authorities boarded ships and took into custody several individuals, including Captain John Klusmire of the ship Audacity of Hope as it violated Greek Coast Guard orders by setting sail without permission.” Klusmire is a U.S. citizen who was not breaking any American law, it should be noted. He was later released by the Greek authorities.

The bill concludes with its “Sense of Congress,” surely an oxymoron if there ever was one: “the secretary of state shall submit … a report on whether any support organization that participated in the planning or execution of the recent Gaza flotilla attempt should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization … [to] include information on … the sources of any logistical, technical, or financial support for the Gaza flotilla ships, including the Audacity of Hope, that were to set sail from Greece on July 1, 2011.”

I personally know a number of organizations that provided material or financial support to one or both of the Gaza flotillas. I also personally know that none of those organizations support violence against the state of Israel and that the people behind them believed then and now that they were exercising their constitutional rights in speaking out and acting nonviolently against what they and most of the world regard as an illegal and immoral blockade of Gaza. But, if the bill passes in Congress, a bureaucrat in the U.S. Department of State will now be able to call those people and their associated groups “terrorists,” and Hillary Clinton will be able to confirm that judgment to Congress. Next step is the MPs at the door.

If people cannot see what a slippery slope all of this is, they not thinking very clearly. HR 3131 is admittedly still sitting in congressional committee, but it has some very powerful sponsors, including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee and is a rabid supporter of Israel. The bill not only indicts whole groups of people exercising their constitutional rights and labels them “terrorists,” it even names one American who was, at the time, breaking no U.S. law. Klusmire’s only crime was to “set sail without permission” — in Greece. It was clearly a bogus charge manufactured to suit by a vulnerable Greek government desperately needing international loans and under pressure from the United States and Israel.

Klusmire’s real crime was to oppose a powerful interest group, the Israel Lobby. To do so these days is to invite a charge of terrorism support with the option of being arrested by the Pentagon and locked up somewhere at the pleasure of the president of the United States. How low have we sunk, Mr. Obama? You portray yourself as a man of honor and a defender of constitutionalism, but you have opened the gates to lawlessness and authoritarian rule. And even if you are as benign as you depict yourself, you have provided the legal tools for those who might follow you — the Gingriches, the Perrys, the Bachmanns, and the Santorums — to possibly do much, much worse.

Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support.

When Concentration Camps become an Instrument of “Democracy”: The Railroading of Omar Khadr

When Concentration Camps become an Instrument of “Democracy”:
The Railroading of Omar Khadr

By Becky Akers, Global Research

This time, it’s not just liberty’s lovers excoriating Our Rulers: their persecution of so-called “child-soldier” Omar Khadr has infuriated many international elites, albeit for the wrong reasons. 

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen whose family travelled back and forth between there, Afghanistan and Pakistan throughout his boyhood. Omar’s late father may actually be among the world’s very few real members of Al Qaeda, as opposed to those the Feds manufacture to substantiate their silly war: he was a friend and financier to Osama himself. 

In 2002, Mr. Khadr agreed when an associate asked if Omar could travel with him as a translator. Tragically, this adventure put Omar in the wrong place — a “compound with . . . a mud wall surrounding a homestead with buildings and animal pens” outside a small Afghan village — at the wrong time: just as American troops attacked. Their excuse? The handful of men — sorry, militants — the Americans had spied inside with their AK-47s in view refused “our boys'” order to surrender. 

The ensuing battle turned Omar the Translator into Omar the Terrorist whom the Feds allege to have murdered — not simply killed — an American sergeant. Reports disagree about exactly what happened during that skirmish eight years ago, but no one disputes that “our boys” initiated things. 

What are we doing in Afghanistan? Why are we invading this sovereign country, let alone its citizens’ farms? What gives Americans wearing funny hats and bulky clothes the right to pester villagers on their own turf, let alone disarm them? Oh, of course: might makes right. Well, guys, listen up: you’re already in the wrong here. You were wrong the day you headed to the recruiter’s office and signed up to kill people; you’re still wrong no matter how many Afghanis shoot back when you trespass. 

Eventually, at least 100 American troops surrounded the farm while F-18 Hornets flew to their rescue and “dropped two 500-pound bombs” on the place. Yet “our” butchers still failed to massacre everyone inside: 15-year-old Omar and a badly wounded man survived the lop-sided battle. 

Some of the hundred troops secured the farm after this glorious victory, while others covered them by tossing grenades. Those reconnoitering the devastation discovered the wounded man “moving” — writhing? — near an AK-47, so one of them finished him off. 

Shrapnel had hit Omar’s eyes during the fight and permanently blinded the left one. The troops found him “sitting up facing away from [them] leaning against brush.” One shot him twice in the back. 

That’s according to the shooter himself. The Pentagon suppressed this admission until 2008, when it “inadvertently released” it. No wonder Our Rulers “covered [the report] up”: it contradicts the less-damning “official” account in which Omar “pack[s] a pistol in the rubble of a suspected al Qaeda compound” and hurls a grenade despite the shrapnel in his eyes. That’s why they shot him — in the chest, mind you, not the back. 

Despite the “friendly” grenades falling around the troops, the Feds insist the one that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer at this point came from Omar. If so, he’s a boy of remarkable resources, as wearers of contact lenses can attest. When an errant speck finds it way between plastic and eye, the excruciating pain pretty much disables the victim: you can think of nothing else, not even self-defense or survival. Imagine the agony should shrapnel sharp enough to blind you embed itself. Now imagine you’re also 15 and have just survived Armageddon. Are you up for lobbing grenades? 

But even if Omar did throw it, since when is self-defense a crime? OK, let’s rephrase that since the anti-Second Amendment wackos have indeed made it so. Since when is firing back at attacking armies a crime? As the New York Times notes, “Usually in war, battlefield killing is not prosecuted. But the United States contended that Mr. Khadr lacked battlefield immunity because he wore no uniform, among other requirements of the laws of war.” Yo, kiddies: if you’re ever caught in the Amerikan Empire’s crossfire, cadge a uniform before defending yourselves. 

And so the same sociopaths who dismiss waterboarding as a “dunk in water,” who contend that torture is perfectly Constitutional if the intent is to elicit information rather than to punish, who pretend that 9/11 resulted because Moslems “hate our freedoms” rather than as predictable payback for a century of meddling in other countries’ business — these same sociopaths accused Omar of murder. Then they imprisoned him at Guantanamo Bay. 

Meanwhile, they withheld medical treatment (after initial triage and surgery) as well as sunglasses to protect his injured eyes, refused him all contact with his family except for a couple of phone calls, “locked [him] in solitary confinement for more than two years with no relief from the overhead fluorescent lights,” short-shackled his hands and feet to the floor for hours, beat him, ridiculed him, threatened him with dogs, with gang-rape, and with transfer to nations where torture is a blood-sport. 

Like Gitmo’s other inmates, Omar endured years there before the Feds bothered charging him. That directly violates the Constitution: its Sixth Amendment orders government to give “the accused” — all accused, without regard to their politically invented and convenient status of “enemy combatant” — a “speedy and public trial.” Ah, the Feds might protest with a crafty smile, but the phrase “the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed” indicates that the Sixth pertains solely to citizens. If so, then the amendment also implies that the government may arrest and imprison only on American soil. 

Beginning in 2004, Our Rulers embarked on a series of military tribunals, legal memos, and motions to convict Omar, to justify their abuse of him without the hassles of that “speedy and public trial.” Ever notice that the more illegal, unconscionable, and inhumane police states become, the greater their appetite for legality, rules, and procedures? But our poor, prevaricating politicians hit snag after snag, including the universal outcry against the military tribunals as patent charades. 

Then, in 2010, “after working for a year to redeem the international reputation of military commissions, Obama administration officials [were] alarmed by the first case to go to trial under revamped rules: the prosecution of a former child soldier whom an American interrogator implicitly threatened with gang rape.” Yeah, that does tend to undermine a kangaroo court’s credibility. And so Our Rulers indulged in “a complex flurry of negotiations” to save face, not justice. Last week, we saw the fruits of their corruption when Omar, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, agreed to the Feds’ lies against him. 

The government suborned him as it has so many other defendants with a plea deal: “Look, we both know we’re lying, that you’re innocent of what we allege, but save us the trouble of `proving’ you guilty, and we’ll steal fewer years from your life.” In this case, no more than an additional 8 years beyond the 8 Omar has already languished in Gitmo, rather than the rest of his life. 

Thus did the Feds finally succeed in coercing Omar to lie. He pled guilty “to committing murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, providing material support to terrorism, conspiracy, and spying.” (Spying? When he’s been incarcerated since he was 15? What exactly are they smoking over there at the Pentagon?) Dennis Edney is a Canadian lawyer representing Omar; he said his client has “`not much choice’ but to plead guilty to avoid a trial because, he claimed, the proceeding at [Gitmo] would be `unfair.’ `That’s not my comment; it’s the comment of former military prosecutors,’ he said in reference to two who resigned from the military commission prosecution office in recent years.” Not surprisingly, Mr. Edney added, “There is no justice here.” 

Instead, there’s a boy horrifically wounded while defending himself from invaders whom the Feds have imprisoned sans a conviction for eight years despite the Constitution’s insistence on habeas corpus. They’ve tortured him the while, again despite the Constitution. He finally caves to the government’s bribery and confesses to “crimes” that aren’t and that he almost surely didn’t commit. Can the Feds possibly add to their mockery here of all that’s just and decent? 

Yes! No evil is too difficult for our subhuman Feds! After Omar’s “confession,” they wasted more of our taxes on the travesty of a “sentencing hearing”: “in all military commissions” the Department of Unlimited War to Extend the Amerikan Empire—sorry, Defense explained, “a panel of military officers known as `members” determines the sentence,” — now there’s a model of objectivity– “regardless of whether the plea was guilty or not guilty.” . . .the defense and prosecution will each . . . present evidence and argument to the members to aid them in determining a sentence.” 

As if to prove the world’s suspicions of this sham, Our Rulers’ “evidence” included the widow of the sergeant Omar supposedly slew and a “forensic psychiatrist” (sic for “witch doctor”) who read Omar’s mind and assured the “members” that Omar must remain in prison because he seethes with plots against the West. Ahem: can we blame him? 

The Widow Speer provided the heart-wrenching spectacle Americans now accept in lieu of justice from courts dispensing “fairness.” She described the “harrowing” horror of telling her daughter, then not even four years old, of her father’s death. She read letters from the girl and her 8-year-old brother that discuss growing up without their dad. The lady herself praised her husband as a “good man.” And she regurgitated the “official” story on Omar despite the conflicting testimony a notoriously deceitful Pentagon stifled and the likelihood of “friendly fire” as her husband’s killer: she denounced Omar as a “murderer” and someone “so unworthy” to have ended Sgt. Speer’s life. 

Some will say she’s entitled because she’s lost her husband. But the widow also has $102 million at stake: several years ago, she and the American soldier who claims he shot Omar in the chest filed a lawsuit against Omar’s father, the late financier (apparently, the American genius for making money never sleeps, even among the grieving). Need I add they won? And so “the [Khadr] family’s assets, which are of unknown value, have been frozen by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control [yes, our taxes actually fund such a monstrosity as part of the Treasury Department].” While awaiting the thaw, those hoping to get rich quick toe the line though an innocent man rots in prison. 

Mrs. Speer also made much of Omar’s “choice,” by which she meant he could have left the farm at the beginning of the skirmish, as did several women and children. But can’t we say the same of her husband? Sgt. Speer enlisted 9 years before his death, when he was 19; he had plenty of time to reconsider his utterly immoral, inherently dangerous career. Ditto for Mrs. Speer, who could have pleaded against his re-enlisting. And if she “supported” his wickedness, well, widowhood is part of what she’s advocating, not only for herself but for all the women whose husbands died that day. 

Just as tainted a witness is the “forensic psychiatrist.” Dr. Michael Welner despises Moslems, according to an article he published in 2005: he compared them to a drug addict “living next door” while condemning their “Islamo-chaos.” As if his own bias weren’t sufficiently rabid, Welner’s statement against Omar relied heavily on the opinions of a Danish psychologist. Nicolai Sennels believes that being “raised in a Muslim environment — with Muslim parents and traditions — includes the risk of developing certain antisocial patterns” and that “the Muslim concept of honor transforms especially their men into fragile glass-like personalities that need to protect themselves by scaring their surroundings with their aggressive attitude.” For the Feds to pay this bigot to babble about Omar is akin to soliciting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assessment of Anne Frank. 

Yet Welner apparently convinced Omar’s jury of military officers that he’s “highly dangerous.” On November 1, they sentenced him to 40 more years in prison (his plea-deal reduces that to 8). 

Look closely, and alongside Omar as a victim of the Feds’ atrocities you’ll see our battered, bloodied, dying Constitution.

Indefinite detention in Canada

July 6, 2005 — Hassan Almrei marked Canada Day for the fourth year in a row in his solitary confinement cell at Metro West Detention Centre, where he has been held without charge or bail since October, 2001.


Update July 2005

Canada Day in Solitary Confinement: Year 4

Hassan Almrei, Almost Four Years in Solitary Confinement and Now on Day 13 of a Hunger Strike, Seeks Release on Bail

Alexandre Trudeau, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and Heather Mallick Join Hassan's Bail Community

Three Jail Guards Testify About Hassan's Trustworthiness and Character

July 6, 2005 — Hassan Almrei marked Canada Day for the fourth year in a row in his solitary confinement cell at Metro West Detention Centre, where he has been held without charge or bail since October, 2001. While Canadians listened to political pieties about freedom and democracy, for Hassan it was just another day in his 9 X 12 concrete cell, on hunger strike (in day 13 on July 6) to demand the same rights as other federal detainees, especially the need for an hour a day outside his cell to exercise an ailing knee.

Canada Day ended a week that began with Hassan's appearance in a Federal Court in downtown Toronto seeking release on bail. A prior attempt had been turned down based entirely on secret evidence neither he nor his lawyers was allowed to see. An appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal ended with a rejection and, to add insult to injury, the claim that it was "premature" to call three and a half years in detention without charge "indefinite detention."

Hassan was able to apply for bail due to a change in circumstances, stemming from a Federal Court finding that a governmental decision to deport him to torture had been made unlawfully, was "patently unreasonable," and was in fact "perverse." Because the government screwed up and must make a new determination on the deportation issue, it adds months and months to the amount of time Hassan spends behind bars awaiting decisions both on the potential for bail (to be heard at the Supreme Court) and whether deportation to torture is legal.

And so on Monday, June 27, here he was again in court, with a group of supporters from Edmonton, Montreal and Durham among his friends in Toronto. The hearing itself was a study in contrasts. The first day was a collection of half-truths and what one might delicately conclude were outright lies presented by a spokesman for the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and for the paid-to-be-paranoid group of spies at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS.

Day two was marked by a much more hopeful collection of testimony from people who have become Hassan's friends: Alexandre Trudeau, Diana Ralph, and Hassan Ahmed, as well as from three of the guards from Metro West Detention Centre, who spoke to Hassan's trustworthiness and good character.

Like many such hearings, it was like going through a connect the dots game in which one knows there will be bumps along the way. If you ask certain questions, objections will be made by the government, which will claim "national security" privilege in demanding the question either not be answered or withdrawn. There is also the usual collection of howlers from the CSIS agent, who this time, despite being a self-proclaimed expert, didn't seem to know that the U.S. funded the resistance to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

But there were also fine moments of integrity and humanity, especially on day two, where a variety of forms of courage were on display when individuals came forward to say Hassan is not some shadowy figure in a faded passport photo, but a real human being, a funny, compassionate man who has been wrongly incarcerated for years on end to suit a bizarre political agenda. Indeed, he is our brother, our friend, and many of us love him as we would a member of the family.

What will happen next is up to the Court, and to all of us. For the court, it must now set a date for a secret hearing to hear more "evidence" against Hassan, and then determine what may be released to him and his lawyer for further submissions. There is also an outstanding request for a CSIS officer who actually knows something about Hassan's case to testify as well.

As for the rest of us, Hassan Almrei is on his sixth hunger strike
in four years, demanding the same rights as federal detainees.
Specifically, he wants to be able to get out of his cell, where he is cooped up for 24 hours a day, for one hour per day to exercise his ailing knee. The jail's doctor has ordered him to exercise, but the jail is so far not going along with it. He wants an end to interference with his mail and books that are ordered for him, and he would like a radio or television in his cell (rights which are accorded, for example, to one of the most reviled prisoners in Canada, Paul Bernardo).

Details on what you can do to help Hassan appear at the bottom of this email.
Below is a sketch of some of what took place over his two days of hearings.

The Monday hearing begins with one of Almrei's lawyers, Barb
Jackman, offering up affidavits for new individuals who have come forward to be part of Hassan's proposed bail community. They are writers including Alexandre Trudeau, Naomi Klein, Heather Mallick and Avi Lewis. There is a buzz in the court as the names are read out, and the judge wears a "what kind of case am I getting involved with" look.

The government then calls as its first witness Louis Dumas, the
Manager of Security Review at the Canadian Border Services Agency, and no stranger to such proceedings. A former Immigration Control Officer (since renamed in Orwellian fashion "Immigration Integrity Officer), one of his former jobs was working with local governments and airlines to detect what he calls "fraudulent travel to Canada" from Palestine (which really means
trying to prevent refugees from getting on planes and declaring refugee status in Canada).

Dumas's testimony is embroidered with the kind of diplomatic public relations language which should come as a tribute to the work of people across Canada who have committed themselves to ending secret trials. The language is far more "caring" and "aware" than it has been at prior hearings. Indeed, the decision to deport someone to torture, once described blithely as another part of the job, is now, especially in light of United Nations criticism of Canada in May, "not something to be taken lightly."

Indeed, Dumas says that in their attempt to make a final decision
about whether to deport, his department goes through extensive
documentation and "we leave no stone unturned," which sounds good on paper until one remembers that in three separate judicial reviews of such deportation decisions, his department was found legally wanting for its sloppy work, which left many stones quietly gathering moss.

Dumas's testimony is peppered with niceties such as "an individual's fate is at stake here," "I think it is important that due
process takes place," and "we owe it to the individual that the process is as fair as possible." He even says at one point that he is working within the parameters of an immigration act which "does not allow permanent detention," a surprise to people like Hassan, held almost four years, Mahmoud Jaballah, held almost five years, Mohammad Mahjoub, who began his sixth year of indefinite detention the last week in June,  Mohamed Harkat,
held since Human Rights Day of 2002, and Adil Charkaoui, held almost two years before release under strict house arrest conditions.

Part of this hearing is to determine whether Hassan would be "removed within a reasonable time" from Canada (one of two criteria to be met in the bail question, the other being the alleged "risk" he might pose to Canada). And so Dumas's testimony is full of ironic statements about improved efficiencies in a process which is slow and cumbersome, leaving individuals such as the Secret Trial Five to languish behind bars.

Part of the problem here is Canada is operating outside of the law, and its refusal to abide by the law, problematic in and of itself, also adds years to the time spent in detention for the secret trial detainees.

Although Canada is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, which absolutely prohibits deporting anyone where there is a substantial risk of torture or worse, the federal government insists it has the right in special circumstances to do just that, even where its case is based wholly on secret evidence. Unfortunately, the immigration bureaucrats are not going to fall in line with their legal obligations until ordered to do so by the Supreme Court, a process which could still take a number of

And so the government continues going through a process whose
ultimate conclusion will likely be the same as it was in the last round of legally wanting removal orders: despite the risk of torture, these men should be deported, even though there is not enough evidence against any of them to put together a criminal charge. This will require further court challenges before the issue can make its way to the Supreme Court.

If the government were to comply with its legal obligations and end this deportation business, it could shave years off the detention of the four men still behind bars.

 The language Dumas uses is instructive, both for what he says and for what he doesn't. He never refers to Hassan by name, for to do so would be to recognize the Syrian refugee's humanity, his pain, his suffering. He is only referred to as "the individual."

The government lawyers take Dumas through the process of making an individual  "removal ready," like trash about to be taken out to the curbside for pickup. He talks of travel documents, of leasing a private plane, all this to "allow this person to return to his country."

It all sounds so simple. The government making the necessary
arrangements to "allow" someone to return to his country. It would all be so simple if what awaited this person in his country of birth were not torture or death. Why, the secret  trial five have always asked, do you think they would stay for years behind bars if they could in fact go back and be safe in their countries of origin?

But to the government, it is a simple matter of choice: indefinite
detention here in Canada, or torture abroad. The choice is presented to the detainees like a coke/pepsi taste test. Free to choose, eh? The Canadian way.

"Is there an impediment to Hassan Almrei asking to leave Canada?" government lawyer Toby Hoffman inquires.


"Has Mr. Almrei ever made that request?"

"I do not believe so."

The not so subtle message here is clear. The prison door will open if Hassan offers himself up to electric shocks, beatings, and suspension from the ceiling as an introductory starter to the torture chambers in Damascus.

John Norris, lawyer for Hassan Almrei, cross-examines Dumas.  Much of the testimony deals with timelines about how long the government needs to make a new determination about whether, following a balancing act, it still feels Hassan should be deported. Historically, the government sends people like to Dumas to court with hopeful predictions of three weeks or one month to complete a task which then takes months longer than predicted.

Dumas shows up again hopeful that the reports will be done soon, but it all sounds so much like testimony given at similar hearings in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

There is the occasional objection from government lawyer Donald
MacIntosh  such as when Norris asks whether in the new disclosure from the government, CBSA sought foreign sources of information.

"That could touch on classified information," MacIntosh  declares.

Norris rephrases his question, and then asks why a "danger memo," which often takes months and months of work to prepare from the government side, is allowed only 15 days of perusal by Hassan's lawyers.

"Would you agree 15 days is rather short?" Norris asks.

"I would have to agree with you," Dumas nods.

"And when the 15 day clock starts to run, that decision is regardless of whether counsel has time, of whether counsel needs to gather evidence, or if counsel is on vacation…"

"We are aware that the individual is in detention," Dumas responds diplomatically. Again, he reminds the court in Kafkaesque fashion, the process is meant to protect the individual's rights.

Norris asks how extensions to the 15 day period to examine the memo take place. Dumas says an extra 15 days is usually granted but, beyond that, their concern (ahem) is that the individual is still in detention, so efforts to have more examination time on his behalf by his lawyers are seen as a potential violation of his rights!!!!!

Dumas says he is unaware of the fact that Hassan is currently on
hunger strike, but assures the court his department stays in touch with health problems at the jail (a surprise to all of us–many in the court have had to arrange for doctors to visit the facility because immigration never gets involved in the health problems of those it "houses" in detention centres.)

Norris asks what is involved to make Hassan ready for deportation, and Dumas assures him, "We're in the business of removal." Norris wonders if Dumas is aware of Hassan's numerous hunger strikes, of the fact that even Justice Blanchard, in an earlier decision, founds conditions at Metro West "not ideal."

Dumas reports "no knowledge of his conditions of detention."

He is pressed on whether he is aware of United Nations concerns
regarding Hassan's arbitrary detention, Dumas answers that he is, and is asked what steps CBSA has taken to remedy the situation.

"CBSA has taken steps… We could arrange for a doctor, or if
someone needs to see a psychiatrist [if there is a problem] we take every step to reach a solution."

It is bizarre language. Apart from being untruthful, it sounds like
that of the warden about to enter someone into the execution chamber. We make sure the detainee on death row is taken care of before we give him the juice. Here it is similar: we take steps to ensure good health so the individual can be received into the hands of torturers.

But the detainees report they have never seen someone from CBSA regarding their conditions.

 "Has CBSA or Immigration Canada taken steps to find an alternative to detention in solitary confinement?" Norris asks.

"It's being actively discussed. It would be imprudent not to take
this into consideration. We need to look at alternatives to removal."

"You recognize that alternatives must exist?"

"IRPA does not allow for indefinite detention."

Norris asks about those options: are they maximum security versus some other form of detention, "or is there some point where detention must end?"

"It must come to finality –that's why we need to have removal,"
Dumas says.

Dumas says such discussions continue to take place, but "what
appears to be easy solutions are hard to put in place. We know solitary is not preferable, perhaps it is better to be in general population."

"Are those the only options if he remains detained?"



In the afternoon, a CSIS agent, identified only as "P.G.," takes
the stand. It is very close to, but does not match, the J.P. of another agent. Perhaps CSIS is changing the initials because J.P. became the subject of a satirical Christmas song, "PJ the Agent."

PG sounds more reasonable, like the kind of film you can take the
kids too and they won't be too grossed out. It is always funny how CSIS analysts, who are essentially paper pushers who do not carry guns, just use initials for security reasons. Everyone in court can see what they look like. If they were really concerned about their security, perhaps they should wear paper bags over their heads.

This PG is an "intelligence analyst" who prepares reports for the
government. He is arrogant and complacent, and not shy about the fact that he speaks 12 languages. Formerly a worker at the super-secret Communications Security Establishment (CSE), he failed to complete a doctorate at University of Toronto, and calls attention to his honors BA in French and Spanish and Masters in Spanish.

He "provides training on Mideast and Islamic extremism" to all
levels of government."

He explains that Al-Qaeda is composed of three groups: a core, a
group of associates, and a group of people inspired by the ideology. He talks about a man named Khatab, involved in Chechnya, as someone "involved in insurgency or terrorism, depending on your perspective." It's a telling statement, given that this all depends on perspective.

He says if bin Laden were to be killed it would have little or no
effect on Al Qaeda. He opines that there is a direct threat to Canada that "will be with us for the forseeable future," a great job opportunity that never ends!

He is asked if, even if the allegations against Hassan were true,
public disclosure would have a deterrent effect.

PG says no, for, you have to realize that once someone is under the spell of Al Qaeda ideology, it is something so powerful that one never, never never, ever ever ever gives it up. They hold it till death. He provides no empirical basis for such an astounding claim (nor does he note that CSIS could fit that psychological profile as well).

"Each individual adapts his or her own path to extremism," he says, recalling JP's earlier testimony about "do it yourself" terrorism that does not require wise words from bin Laden. It all sounds like CSIS continues to make this stuff up on the fly, largely in response to court decisions. Indeed, whenever a decision is made that is positive for a detainee, CSIS takes the contrary position, and dredges up some obscure U.S. "expert" to back up its case.

For example, in the Charkaoui release decision, the judge was
impressed by the amount of public support Charkaoui had received and pointed to the importance of strong family ties. So in the Mahjoub case, CSIS says Mahjoub's family ties are what makes him a risk.

What role could Almrei play if he were released, Norris asks.

"There are people out there looking for a cause," PG explains. "If
they find a persuasive person," he explains, that might turn them into an extremist, even though PG has never met or spoken with Hassan.

PG says CSIS does not believe lengthy detention proves a deterrent. He cites as "proof" 10 people from Guantanamo who returned to Afghanistan and took up the fight against the occupation (without asking whether that is in fact logical: illegally invaded and occupied, sending completely innocent people to Guantanamo, and then expecting them to pretend nothing has happened–wouldn't you want the occupiers out of your country too?)

As per usual, PG knows next to nothing about Hassan.  In fact, he only read part of the file the previous Friday. He is not familiar with documents from October, 2001, or November, 2002, and has never met or interviewed Hassan.

Norris cross examines him, asking whether he is aware that many
people took part in jihad (struggle) against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan who were not bin laden followers.

"I have no direct knowledge of that," he replies. He later says
there is "a great deal of information that is classified that supports the allegations that Almrei supports the ideology of Osama bin Laden."

"Is there anything in the public record?"

"Nothing in the open documents supports it."

Norris continues. "You maintain these people maintain a devotion to the cause as long as they live. Upon what empirical studies is that conclusion based? Does CSIS believe it is impossible to renounce this commitment?'

"Nothing is impossible, it's highly improbable….I am not aware of
anyone who has credibly renounced terrorism. I have undertaken studies that I am not at liberty to reveal on individuals who embrace al-Qaeda."

"What is it about this ideology that makes it so lifelong?"

He says Al Qaeda views itself as in a struggle for survival.

Norris asks if there is anything in the public record to show
Hassan has been involved in violence.

"He was in jihad," PG responds, but since he knows nothing of
Hassan's background, he does not discuss Hassan's role as a leader of prayers in Afghanistan during summer vacations.

Norris asks if he is aware that the jihad was funded by the United

"I'm not in a position to comment on that."

Norris takes PG  through the allegations. He asks if, in the
newspaper clippings and other primarily useless information that is gleaned as "evidence" there is anything that CSIS would include that is "inaccurate".

"I assume that is safe to say."

Then why is it, Norris asks, that there is a major boo boo in the
so-called disclosure. CSIS says they have no idea about the whereabouts of Nabil Al-Marabh, and yet in their list of newspaper articles they show that Nabil is in Syrian detention. Nabil is the guy Hassan helped procure a false passport for and who was subsequently picked up in the post Sept. 11, 2001 hysteria. Labelled a terror kingpin and detained in the U.S., Nabil was eventually deported under a minor immigration violation, with no terror allegations actually brought forward, and is currently detained incommunicado in Syria.

Despite the fact that the U.S. government has no interest in Nabil (if it did, why was he deported?), CSIS believes Hassan's acquaintance with him poses a threat (without providing public reasons for why).

PG suggests a fear that if released Hassan would contact Nabil.

"Wouldn't it be difficult to contact Al-Marabh if he is in Syrian
detention?" Norris asks,

After a very long pause, PG replies, "Slightly difficult."

Norris politely but firmly shreds the CSIS case, which also claims
Hassan might hook up with Chechans fighting the Russians. The CSIS documents contain an article which show that the number of mercenary fighters in that country has gone from 3,000 to 60.

"The pickings are pretty slim if he would want to hook up with
anyone there," Norris notes.

Norris asks PG if he knows anything about two other individuals
named in the CSIS disclosure, and PG says no.

"Despite your work as a senior analyst?"

"That is correct."

PG claims that Hassan is "preoccupied" with security and
clandestine behaviour, but says the specifics about that information "remain classified."

He says Hassan could serve as an inspirational recruiter for jihad,
that lifelong philosophy you can never drop.

"Is this something  you thought of yourself or have you discussed
it with your colleagues?" an incredulous Norris asks.

PG blathers on some nonsensical answer and says he is not aware of the specifics of Hassan's work in Afghanistan, where he went to volunteer as an imam.

Norris treads into dangerous territory with the next questions.

"Are Hassan's contacts monitored?"

Objection on national security grounds.

Are his telephone calls monitored?

Objection on national security grounds.

Are his personal contacts monitored?

Objection on national security grounds.

Is his correspondence monitored?

Objection on national security grounds.

John asks PG if he knows how CSIS comes to the conclusion that no release under terms and conditions would be possible for Hassan.

"No, I'm not aware."

"Are you aware of Canadians who have been targetted by Al Qaeda?"

"I cannot divulge that information on grounds of national security."

PG is asked whether he knows if any of the so-called three-digit
terror suspects — referred to in Senate testimony earlier this year by the head of CSIS when asked how many terrorists are in Canada — are detained or under security certificate.

"I cannot answer that due to lack of knowledge and due to national

Norris concludes by asking PG if he realizes that under a number of sections of the criminal code an individual may be released on a recognizance to prevent alleged acts of terrorism.

"Not at all, no."

Barb Jackman rises and tells the court, "PG is a nice man who
probably does his job well, but he doesn't know anything about Hassan Almrei's case." She asks the court to compel a CSIS witness who is familiar with the file; the judge reserves her decision.

On Tuesday morning, Alexandre Trudeau takes the stand. He talks of how he has met Hassan at Metro West on two occasions, found him to be a likable guy and that they got along very well. "I was sympathetic to his condition," he says, adding he learned about the Charkaoui case in January, and "I was surprised by the existence of security certificates."

He discusses his substantial contact with the Muslim community in Canada and the Middle East, and of his travels to Iraq and Israel/Palestine.

Asked about Hassan, Trudeau says "I found him to have faith, and also to be tolerant, which is the majority of Muslims."

How can we be sure Hassan wasn't pulling the wool over his eyes?

"I've learned to put my trust in people in the Middle East," Trudeau says, adding, "I presume he's innocent."

There's that presumption of innocence thing again. Surely, if the
government had something against Hassan, they would charge him and try him in an open court. But Canada's spy agencies don't do well in open court–look at how CSIS was criticized for gross negligence in the Air India case.

Why is Trudeau prepared to come forward with a $5,000 surety?

He says he is doing it "for my country. It's in the interest of
Canada to not be detaining people without charge."

Trudeau is also asked if he knew that Hassan lied when he was first asked a few questions by CSIS.

Trudeau explains that people seeking refuge are often under duress and that, unfortunately, the process sometimes requires lying, for when you face being returned to torture you will do whatever you can to escape that. One lie is an unfortunate reality, he says, but it does not take away from the integrity of one's case.

Diana Ralph is then called to the stand. She has gotten a list of
neighbours who would also be willing to accompany Hassan if he were to be released on bail. She talks of the extensive renovations she and her partner Jean Hanson have made to their house to make an apartment available for Hassan. She offered support at first on principle but then got to know him quickly. "I got the idea from [watching government lawyer Donald MacIntosh ask questions at the 2003 hearing]" she says of her idea that she could help supervise Hassan if released.

"Hassan is gentle, kind, funny, thoughtful, intelligent," Ralph
explains. She says Hassan has been frank with her about his history, about the initial lies he told, and about the misunderstandings in the CSIS summary of allegations.

"You cannot fake the kind of compassion that I see him showing
consistently," Ralph says, explaining that her partner, Jean, recently had knee surgery, while Hassan's knee causes him no end of pain. "But he doesn't talk about his own  knee, instead he calls us and sings to Jean, and tells her, 'Give me your pain,  I can bear it!'"

She recalls their discussions about her being a Jewish lesbian and
how, while he disagrees with homosexuality, Hassan welcomes both Jean and Diana as mothers, and says "It is up to God to judge, not me."

Ralph talks about Hassan's family, where the education of girls has a high priority. She also discusses her research on Afghanistan and the creation of bin Laden as a CIA asset. This is objected to, after which Barb Jackman says, "I think she has as much expertise as P.G." noting a lot of stuff gets entered in this court which is hardly expert opinion.

"This is a man who loved Canada from the moment he got here," Ralph concludes. She notes that Hassan has no dreams that don't involve jail, so there is no relief even in his sleep. "He's losing touch with his family, with his Arabic language, he's losing himself daily."

Almrei's old friend Hassan Ahmed testifies again, relating that he
was scared after Hassan's arrest in 2001 to visit the jail. Ahmed's
apartment had been raided by the RCMP and he had been the focus of much CSIS interrogation. "I was told by the RCMP that I was innocent but presumed guilty by association with Hassan," he says.

He says he is here to provide conditional bond for Hassan, noting
that he is an honest and trustworthy person.

Then come the three guards from the segregation unit. They
testified about the freezing conditions when Hassan was on his marathon hunger strike in the fall of 2003 for heat and a pair of shoes.

The jail is a very different world, a different culture, and breaking the code of silence that often permeates the place  is an act of

John Delarge has spent 18 years at Metro West, 5 and a half of them in solitary. He describes the lack of programs at the jail, noting cutbacks closed even the limited programs that did exist. He notes that Hassan's cell is the smallest in the segregation unit, and that it looks out onto a courtyard with no greenery or plants. There is a hatch to look in and a small hatch to place food through. There are no stools and there's a concrete bed with a metal frame.

He describes how Almrei has no choice but to be in segregation.
"His reputation precedes him, so if he went to a unit he would be hurt." Because Hassan has worked as a cleaner in segregation, he has, in the eyes of other inmates, helped the guards. He also helped a guard who was attacked by another inmate. "People still remember that 2 years later–the stigma will never leave."

The jail at large is a violent place with drugs and weaponry
fashioned from plastics and metals, and there is a lot of tension in units built on hierarchy.

"A lot of inmates play a game of being friendly to the guards to
manipulate them–that's not [Hassan]" he says.

Delarge's honesty is forthright and refreshing. He recalls being
reluctant to communicate with Hassan at first, especially given his reaction to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. "But I observed him praying and eating, and over a period of time I trusted him as an inmate. I have not found that he has taken advantage of my trust."

Delarge notes there is a note on Hassan's door that says he needs to be walking, "but he hasn't been walking."

He talks of having been a Christian missionary in Senegal and
Guinea and dealing for the first time with Muslim culture. "I came back from there with an understanding of how the West views them. We are largely ignorant." of Islam, he says.

He also describes an incident with a devout Muslim driver who was not honest about his license plates while journeying abroad. He knows Muslims wish to tell the truth, but the man told him, "If I don't lie I don't eat," so he understands the context for the lies Hassan told in 2001.

John O'Connor has spent 20 years at the West. Like DeLarge, he sits confidently but quietly in the stand.

"He's an unusual inmate, he's not part of the criminal subculture,"
O'Connor says of Hassan. "We don't usually have people in segregation for four years. " He says Hassan is friendly and trustworthy.

"We're with him 24/7. I've dealt with thousands of inmates who put on an act all the time, who lie all the time. I've never felt him to be untruthful or not genuine. A few years ago he told me he lied and the reasons for it. It made sense to me at the time."

O'Connor goes so far as to point out that when Hassan was on a
40-day hunger strike for shoes, "we tried to slip him the shoes, but he refused. He wanted to go to court to make sure he got them legally."

He is asked if, from what he understands about Hassan's past, he
would have any hesitation having Hassan as a neighbour.

"No. From everything I've seen of him he's a very honourable man, I would trust him."

Finally there is guard David Goba, who rates Hassan on the risk
level as "very low." "I don't know how he's kept it up for this long, some people can't even stand it for one day."

The hearing ends with the announcement that a date will be set for a secret hearing from which Hassan and his lawyers will be absent. It's scary how easily those words pass through the judge's lips. A Secret Hearing. In a "democratic" country.

Hassan gets cuffed and taken out a back door by the RCMP as he heads back for another night in solitary, where his dreams are only of the world inside the jail.

In the meantime, he has not eaten in almost two weeks. He is asking friends and supporters to contact the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to demand that he get an hour outside of his cell every day to walk. After all, it's doctor's orders.

Monte Kwinter
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th floor, 25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y6
Phone: (416) 325-0408
Fax: (416) 325-6067


Security Certificates – Campaigns

Update- March 23, 2005

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Just Another Busy Day in the Land of Secret Trials

– Mahmoud Jaballah Wins Judicial Review on Deportation to Torture;
– Security Certificate Upheld in case of Secret Trial Detainee Mohamed Harkat;
– Bail Hearing Continues for Secret Trial Detainee Mohammad Mahjoub;
– Security Certificate Hearing for Secret Trial Detainee (now under house arrest) Adil Charkaoui Suspended Pending new Protection Decision;
– Hassan Almrei marks 41 Months, Six Days in Solitary Confinement in Toronto Detention Facility

March 23, 2005–It was just another busy day in the land of secret trials yesterday. In a Toronto courtroom, eloquent arguments were heard in calling for the release on bail of secret trial detainee Mohammad Mahjoub, held without charge on secret "evidence" almost five years in a Toronto detention facility. Government lawyers pressed their case to deport him, knowing full well the torture or death which awaits him if returned to Egypt. The hearing is set to conclude April 22, with a decision hopefully within a month or two afterwards.

Meanwhile, the secret trial security certificate against Algerian refugee Mohamed Harkat, held since his arrest on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2002, was upheld on the basis of secret evidence. This will mean further jail time, and more court time, arguing that he, like Mahjoub and the other detainees, should not be deported given the cruel and unusual treatment which would be their fate.

Harkat's case has had a number of "too coincidental to be coincidental" coincidences. His arrest was timed to appear in the papers the day that then-Solicitor General Wayne Easter went to Washington D.C. in 2002 to tell the Yankees how well Canada was doing in the "war on terror." And yesterday's decision is perfect timing for Prime Minister Paul Martin who, in meeting today with George W. Bush, is perhaps throwing the Harkat decision as a bone to the "Pissed-that-y'all-didn't-join-us-in-star-wars" President.

The Harkat decision came one day after the security certificate hearing for Montrealer Adil Charkaoui was suspended pending a new determination on his application for protection from deportation to torture.  The original decision of the federal government — to deport Charkaoui to torture in Morocco — was suddenly withdrawn two weeks before a planned judicial review of the decision, perhaps based on the fear that a judge would find that this decision, like two others before it in related cases, would be deemed unlawful and unreasonable.

During the Monday Charkaoui hearing, further CSIS malfeasance came to light (in this case, CSIS claims that the so-called "millennium bomber," Ahmed Ressam, had fingered Charkaoui as being in an overseas "training camp." As was revealed Monday, Ressam could not have identified Charkaoui overseas because Ressam himself was not overseas;  Ressam was in fact in Montreal at the alleged time, stealing computers and wanted by Montreal police. Ressam is currently detained in the U.S., trading "information" for a reduced sentence.) It's one more piece of the bulging CSIS portfolio of
unacceptable negligence (as was found in the Air India case), untruths, and reliance on information gleaned from torture and jailhouse snitches.

As March 22 came to a close, some good news arrived at Metro West Detention Centre for Mahmoud Jaballah, held without charge or bail since August, 2001. In a stinging rebuke to the Canadian "secret trial and deportation to torture" bureaucracy, Federal Court Judge Andrew  MacKay
has called the decision to deport Mahmoud Jaballah to torture in Egypt "not lawfully made" and "was patently unreasonable based upon a finding of facts made without appropriate regard to all of the evidence and circumstances of the case."

It is the third such decision in which the immigration minister's decision to deport to torture has been labelled "unreasonable," "unlawful" and, in one instance, "perverse" by federal court judges. Similar decisions were reached in the cases of secret trial detainees Mohammad Mahjoub and Hassan Almrei, and the government, perhaps sensing a real embarrassment on its hands, has withdrawn its deportation decision in the case of Adil Charkaoui just two weeks before a judicial review would likely have resulted in a similar setback.

It is also good news for secret trial detainee Mohamed Harkat of Ottawa, whose security certificate was upheld yesterday as "reasonable" in a 75-page decision by Judge Eleanor Dawson. While the certificate being upheld kicks into motion the deportation process, Harkat must also undergo a risk assessment, and will likely benefit from these precedent cases which are ultimately testing the legality of deportation to torture, a fate which likely awaits him if returned to Algeria.

 It is increasingly important to note that the upholding of the certificate does NOT provide proof that Harkat poses a risk to national security. All it means, in the end result, is that the Judge found "reasonable grounds" to believe that the signing ministers had "reasonable grounds" to sign the certificate. It's a very low threshold (nothing like the "beyond a reasonable doubt" threshold in the Air India case).

 In the Jaballah decision, MacKay seems perturbed by the ease with which decisions are now being made by the Canadian government to deport to torture, despite our signatory status to the Convention Against Torture,  which prohibits such a practice. He notes, with a fairly disapproving
tone, that a decision by the immigration ministry's pre-removal risk assessment branch that Jaballah faces "a risk of death or torture if he were returned to Egypt" was "accepted, with some apparent reluctance, by the Minister's delegate who determined on December 30, 2003 that Mr. Jaballah's application for protection should be refused."

It is quite disturbing to read that such a hearing would even be taking place, as MacKay notes "both parties [i.e., government and Jaballah] accepted that there is no longer any question that there is substantial  risk of death or torture faced by Mr. Jaballah if he were returned to Egypt."

As in the Almrei and Mahjoub cases, MacKay found that the the immigration decisionmaker in Jaballah's case did NOT have all the relevant information necessary to make an assessment of Jaballah's alleged risk to the security of Canada. In a subtle jab at the political bias in the decision making, Mackay also notes that the minister's delegate quotes only a part of the Supreme Court of Canada "Suresh" decision (which talks of "exceptional circumstances" that would justify deportation to torture).

In an interesting analysis, Mackay finds that the oft-abused quotation allowing such exceptions has perhaps been overblown because of what he calls a simple clerical error in mistakenly assigning a paragraph number to the citation. "The effect may be to give undue emphasis to the Supreme Court's acknowledgement that the possibility is not excluded, in exceptional circumstances, of deportation to face torture." He also finds that the Minister's delegate, in quoting the Suresh decision, "omitted words which, in my view, provide context for the passages quoted. The
words omitted are these:

 "The Canadian rejection of torture is reflected in the international conventions to which Canada is a party. The Canadian and international perspectives in turn inform our constitutional norms. The rejection of state action leading to torture generally, and deportation to torture specifically, is virtually categoric. Indeed, both domestic and international jurisprudence suggest that torture is so abhorrent that it will almost always be disproportionate to interests on the other side of the balance, even security interests."

 A fairly important omission, but nonetheless one which is regularly made in the rush to deportation to torture.

 MacKay also deals with Jaballah's argument that consideration should be given to the best interests of his six children, two born in Canada, one in Pakistan, three in Egypt, "There was no consideration that one of those children, born in Pakistan, may have no status in Egypt,"MacKay writes, adding, "Whatever their status in Canada, simply to conclude, as the decision does, that Mr. Jaballah's 'proposed deportation from Canada would not deprive his children of his emotional and financial support any more than his current detention has,' implicitly ignores the substantial risk of death or torture facing Mr. Jaballah if he be deported to Egypt, and the effect that may be expected to have upon his family members, including children born in Canada or in Pakistan….Simply put the decision, in my opinion, does not adequately take into account the best interests of any of Mr. Jaballah's children, who would be directly affected by a decision that he is, or is not, a person in need of protection at this time."

 MacKay also finds that in the determination of alleged risk to Canada,  "there is no reference to circumstances facing Canada or its security, other than the [unsupported] conclusion that it is endangered by  Mr. Jaballah's presence in Canada." Again, it appears to be a political decision based on fear, racism and the unjustified labelling of Mr. Jaballah, not on any factual basis.

 MacKay closes his reasons by reminding us that for a decision to be lawful, it must be made within the law. With that obvious-sounding caveat (which nevertheless appears to elude the immigration ministry), Mackay concludes with a cautionary note about the need  to canvass the issue of "the full implications of Parliament's inclusion of paragraph 3(3)(f) of the IRPA [Immigration and Refugee Protection Act] that 'this Act is to be construed and applied in a manner that…(f) complies with international human rights instruments to which Canada is a signatory."

 As the Jaballah protection decision is remitted for a new determination, it is hoped that years of litigation will not be required to further battle the question of deportation to torture, and that finally, someone within the ministry will make a decision based not on Islamophobia, CSIS pressure, or plain old-fashioned racism, but on the law, which, as MacKay states, is clear: Canada's immigration decisions MUST comply with international human rights instruments to which this country is a party.
We are a party to the Convention Against Torture, which prohibits return to torture. The Secret Trial Five are facing a substantial likelihood of torture if returned. So put an end to these horrible proceedings to deport  to torture, provide protection, and release the remaining four on bail.

For Hassan Almrei, yesterday was a relatively quiet day in his 9 X 12 solitary confinement concrete cell, his home since October, 2001. No court decisions, no media frenzy, just another day in the land of secret trials, awaiting word on whether Canada will come up with a new decision to deport him to a fate even worse than that which awaited Maher Arar in Syria. Hassan is also appealing his denial of bail to the Supreme Court;the Federal Court of Appeal recently declared it "premature" to label his three and a half years of detention without charge indefinite detention.

 Demonstrations are scheduled in Toronto and Ottawa today at 5 pm to protest the Harkat decision; a major march against secret trials takes place this Saturday in Montreal.

 Also on the drawing board is "24 Hours Against Torture," a round-the-clock vigil at Immigration Minister Joe Volpe's office to secure his commitment to end deportation to torture. On Monday, April 4,Toronto's Lula Lounge hosts a major benefit for the campaign to stop secret trials, with readings from Kafka's The Trial by Ann-Marie Macdonald, Nino Ricci, Avi Lewis, Gordon Pinsent, Charmion King, Heather Mallick, Linda McQuaig, Bernard Behrens and Stuart McLean. (Tickets available at 416-651-5800).

And on April 22, Monia Mazigh comes to Toronto to join Mona Elfouli and Ahmad Jaballah for an evening against secret trials at Bloor Street United Church, 7:15 pm.

 To support our ongoing efforts to end secret trials, donations are gratefully accepted at Homes not Bombs, PO Box 73620, 509 St Clair Ave., West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0.

 (report from Matthew Behrens of the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada)


Feb 18- Charkaoui Free on Bail

On February 17, 2005 Adil Charkaoui, a permanent resident detained under a security certificate for more than 20 months, was granted conditional liberation on bail. This gives us a lot of hope. At the same time, the struggle is far from over. Though the Federal Court has ordered that he be liberated on condition, Adil is still under an (in)security certificate and he is subject to a large number of conditions: he must be at his home  from 8:30pm to 8am, must be accompanied by specified people when he leaves his house, cannot leave the island of Montreal, cannot use a cellphone or computer (the only phone he can use is his home phone), must carry an electronic monitoring device, cannot communicate with certain people, must report to CBSA once a week or more, must allow any CBSA officer into his home at any time.

A hearing on the "reasonability" of the certificate will began on Monday. The judge will have to determine, based on secret evidence and hearsay, whether the allegations are possibly true. This is the first step towards determining whether Adil will be deported and there is no appeal to this decision. It is very important that the government be shown that many people are actively opposing secret trials and the oppression of Muslims, refugees and immigrants.

Jose Padilla: No Charges and No Trial, Just Jail

Jose Padilla is the U.S. citizen who supposedly plotted to detonate a "dirty bomb." Since his capture — not on the battlefields of Afghanistan or Iraq, but at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport — he has not been charged with any crime. Yet, for more than a year, Padilla has been held incommunicado in a South Carolina military brig.
August 21, 2003

Jose Padilla: No Charges and No Trial, Just Jail

by Robert A. Levy

Robert A. Levy is senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute.

Jose Padilla is the U.S. citizen who supposedly plotted to detonate a "dirty bomb." Since his capture — not on the battlefields of Afghanistan or Iraq, but at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport — he has not been charged with any crime. Yet, for more than a year, Padilla has been held incommunicado in a South Carolina military brig.

 Padilla’s indefinite detention, without access to an attorney, has civil libertarians up in arms. That’s why the Cato Institute, joined by five ideologically diverse public policy organizations — the Center for National Security Studies, the Constitution Project, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, People for the American Way, and the Rutherford Institute — filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Padilla v. Rumsfeld, now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.

 Consider this specious logic, endorsed by the Bush administration: Under the Sixth Amendment, the right to counsel does not apply until charges are filed. The government has not charged Padilla. Ordinarily, U.S. citizens cannot be detained without charge. But the administration has avoided that technicality by designating Padilla as an "enemy combatant," then proclaiming that the court may not second-guess his designation.

 Essentially, on orders of the executive branch, anyone could wind up imprisoned by the military with no way to assert his innocence. That frightening prospect was echoed by J. Harvie Wilkinson, the respected and steadfastly conservative chief judge of the Fourth Circuit. In a case involving another U.S. citizen, Yaser Hamdi, Wilkinson warned, "With no meaningful judicial review, any American citizen alleged to be an enemy combatant could be detained indefinitely without charges or counsel." Judge Wilkinson upheld Hamdi’s detention but pointedly noted that Hamdi’s battlefield capture was like "apples and oranges" compared to Padilla’s arrest in Chicago. "We aren’t placing our imprimatur upon a new day of executive detentions," Wilkinson cautioned.

 An unambiguous federal statute and the U.S. Constitution both prohibit the executive branch from doing to Padilla what it is now doing. More than three decades ago, Congress passed Title 18, section 4001(a) of the U.S. Code. It states, "No citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress." Today, we have not had from Congress any statute that authorizes Padilla’s detention.

 Yes, Congress enacted the PATRIOT Act, which says that non-citizens suspected of terrorism can be detained, but only for seven days. After that, they have to be released or charged, unless the attorney general certifies every six months that they present a security risk. Two months earlier, Congress had passed a resolution empowering the president to use all necessary force against the 9/11 terrorists. But that resolution surely did not give the administration unfettered discretion to detain citizens without charge. If it had, then the ensuing PATRIOT Act would have afforded more protection to aliens than to citizens. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, that proposition is incredible.

 Reasonably construed, Congress’ resolution on the use of military force triggered the president’s commander-in-chief authority. He could then order seizure of enemy soldiers and detention of persons found in a zone of active combat. But he could not order the imprisonment, without charge, of an unarmed non-soldier far from active combat, especially a U.S. citizen on our own soil.

 Nor is the administration justified in its reliance on Ex parte Quirin, the Supreme Court case involving eight Nazi saboteurs, one of whom was an American citizen. The executive branch acted in Quirin in accordance with congressional authorization. The eight Nazis were represented by counsel, charged, tried, and convicted. Here, by contrast, Padilla has been denied any chance to defend himself. He has seen no lawyer; he has not been charged, much less tried and convicted. And he has been imprisoned notwithstanding a 30-year-old statute that expressly forbids the unauthorized detention of U.S. citizens.

Padilla may deserve the treatment he is receiving — perhaps worse. That is not the point. When Americans are taken into custody, they have the right to retain an attorney. Congress must first set the rules. Then an impartial judge, not the president, should make the ultimate decision as to whether the arrest and imprisonment comport with the Constitution. James Madison, in Federalist No. 47, put it succinctly: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

This article was published in the Chicago Sun-times, Aug. 11, 2003.

Indefinite detention without trial in the U.K.

Prisoner ‘A’: no charge, no trial, no conviction and no release date. Welcome to Britain’s war on terror

In the first interview with a detainee under the government’s emergency powers, Martin Bright reveals the life of a father trapped in legal limbo

Sunday August 29, 2004
The Observer

An Algerian in his late thirties walks nervously into a prison chapel at Woodhill high-security jail in Milton Keynes. For some reason, the authorities have decided that a Christian place of worship is the best place for this devout Muslim to tell his story.

But the venue is the least of the problems for Mr A, who has been certified by Home Secretary David Blunkett as a terrorist: an Islamist extremist with links to Chechen rebels, Algerian armed groups and at least one known al-Qaeda suspect held in Britain.

We cannot name Mr A because his anonymity is protected by a court order to guarantee the safety of his family in Britain and Algeria. Along with 11 other foreign detainees incarcerated under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, he exists in a penal no-man’s-land and can be kept in jail indefinitely.

He is charged with no offence by a British police officer, convicted of no crime by a jury, but judged such a risk to the public by MI5, the security service, that he can be detained until Blunkett judges the ‘war on terror’ is over. No hard evidence has to be produced to back the intelligence service claims.

‘Just imagine a British man held indefinitely in Algeria,’ he says. ‘This is a slow death and they are destroying my mind.’

Dressed in a green T-shirt, beige chinos and trainers, Mr A looks tidy and well groomed. Close-cropped beard and neat, curly black hair also suggest he is keeping body and soul together. But throughout the two-hour interview one leg jigs unconsciously with nervous ten sion, a sign of the well-documented trauma which comes from indefinite detention.

Unlike convicted terrorists, who leave prison at the end of their sentences, this father of five could be in jail for ever.

After two-and-a-half years in custody, Mr A has finally been authorised to talk to the press after a long legal battle by The Observer and the Guardian; he is the first detainee held in a high-security prison to do so. He has not been interrogated by police or the intelligence services about his activities. Neither has he been told what evidence they possess for his alleged links to international terrorists.

The paradoxes of his situation are multiple. He has been detained without trial precisely because there is not enough evidence against him to bring before the courts. He cannot be deported because the UK authorities judge he would be at risk of torture or death if he returned to Algeria, yet can choose to return voluntarily to his home country whenever he wishes. He is a certified international terrorist, but he can choose to leave for a country other than Algeria if one will accept him.

The case against Mr A was discussed in May in open sessions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), the tribunal that deals with deportation cases involving national security issues. At its heart was the allegation that he supported the Chechen struggle against the Russian government, a claim Mr A does not deny.

According to witnesses, Mr A provided boots, a sleeping bag and satellite phone equipment to the rebels in the breakaway Caucasus republic. It was even admitted that such support would not have been classed as terrorism before the suicide attacks in America. Intelligence officers pointed out that, had the equipment been provided to Chechen separatists themselves, then Mr A would not have been committing a crime. But they claimed that, as the boots and sleeping bag were destined for a small group of Arab fighters with known links to al-Qaeda, his actions do constitute international terrorism.

Mr A remains proud of the work he did for the Chechen cause: ‘Because of the conflict, people are driven from their homes. It is our duty to help them. We sent many things, not just boots – clothing for the poor and needy.’

The government claims Mr A also associated with known Islamist extremists and supports militant groups in Algeria, which he violently denies.

Last October, SIAC decided that Mr A had procured material for Arab Islamists fighting in Chechnya and was a supporter of an extremist faction in Algeria and concluded: ‘We have reasonable grounds for believing that A is an international terrorist as defined by the 2001 Act and for believing that his presence in the United Kingdom is a risk to national security.’

Mr A says: ‘I am not a terrorist, but I am a member of a group: five kids and a wife.’

He just wants to talk about his family. He has not seen his teenage daughters for two years and does not like his wife and younger children visiting him in prison.

‘Imagine this environment for anyone who has not done any crime. I was scared even to bring [my family] to prison. It will have a great impact seeing all the officers and dogs.’

Mr A’s wife, a European convert to Islam, has been diagnosed as clinically depressed. His children have become desperate. In a letter to their ‘Abee’ (Daddy) this month, they wrote: ‘It is unfair for you to be there, and we wish you were here to look after us. We dream about you a lot and you’ve been there for too long and we need you here so much. Inshallah, you’ll arrive home soon and our family will be complete again.’

Mr A says his children have told him that almost every night they dream of seeing him walking through the door. He claims they are still traumatised by the dawn raid in December 2001, when they were woken to see their father dragged off to prison. His wife was eight months pregnant and, despite begging that he be allowed to stay until she gave birth, he was taken to the Belmarsh high-security prison in London and has been in jail ever since.

He finds it particularly difficult not to see his youngest son, born while he was in custody, and finds the child’s rare visits with his mother deeply upsetting: ‘My son doesn’t know me. He screams when he sees me. I can’t hold him and can’t hug him because he is screaming all the time.’

Mr A himself, in common with many other detainees, is on antidepressants. Already Abu Rideh, a Palestinian prisoner, has been transferred to Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital, and three other detainees at Belmarsh are said to be in a state of serious psychiatric collapse.

Belmarsh and Woodhill have been described as ‘Britain’s Guantanamo’, but Mr A says the everyday living conditions are not the problem: ‘They look after you, give you a cell on your own. But is it me or my family who is punished? They have driven my wife mad.’

The problem for Mr A is the unknowns. How long will he be held? What is happening to his family? As a certified terrorist, will anyone who tries to help him be labelled an extremist in their turn? ‘If they cannot try me in a court of law, give me other options. Just let me be somewhere with my family.’

In his desperation, Mr A has decided that he may even now risk torture or death to return to Algeria if he fails to get bail at his next attempt. He says his fellow detainees have been shocked by his decision because of the danger he and his family will face on their return. But he can no longer bear being separated from his family.

He comes from near the eastern Algerian coastal city of Annaba, close to the Tunisian border, hard hit by the civil war between the government and Islamists which has cost more than 100,000 lives. ‘It’s a beautiful town by the sea,’ he says. ‘I can’t wait.’

Incredibly, his family in Algeria does not know he is in prison. He still speaks to them regularly over the phone from Woodhill and tells them everything is all right. When relatives ask to speak to the children, he says he is calling from the office.

He knows that he will be questioned by the authorities when he arrives in Algeria, but says anything will be preferable to not knowing his fate: ‘In Algeria there is a proper legal system. All these political games are not for me. I want to find a way of being with my family. I want to leave this civilisation.’

Blunkett has argued that 11 September 2001 necessitated a new approach to the threat of international terrorism and that the legislation which followed was a response to the exceptional circumstances now faced in the war against terror.

Yet supporters of the detainees point out that in their 30 months of detention no attempt was made to debrief any of them about what they might know, despite allegedly being some of the most dangerous international terrorists in Britain.

Two months ago each man received a letter from the Home Office asking if he would be prepared to co-operate with MI5. The letter, dated 3 June, states: ‘The security service would welcome the opportunity to discuss any knowledge you may have of international terrorism in the United Kingdom or overseas.’

So far, no one has agreed to co-operate because no one admits to being a terrorist.

Mr A says he is grateful to the British people who have campaigned for the detainees and was particularly touched by a Nottingham priest who spoke against indefinite imprisonment in a service.

Asked what he would like the British people to know about the detainees, whose names they are not even allowed to know, Mr A says: ‘The government you vote for is a democratic government, but is abusing its power. It holds people without trial and without sentence for an indefinite period. They have damaged our children and wives.’

He says he would still like to see his children grow up in Britain, but knows that the chance is fading by the day.

‘I cannot see my family destroyed under my eyes. I divorce you, Britain,’ he says, before leaving the chapel for his cell.

Scores of Muslim Men Jailed Without Charge

In the report below, HRW states:

"Haste, incompetence and prejudice played a role in these detentions," said Anjana Malhotra, the report’s author and Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union.

HRW’s above conclusion is highly subjective and attempts to deflect the real reason for these detentions which, according to the Webmaster, had nothing to do with haste, incompetence and prejudice.  Their detentions appear to be part of a deliberate policy by the US authorities to maintain the myth that the security of Americans is threatened by Muslim terrorism.  It suffices to note the lack of any evidence to support these detentions, the refusal to let the defendants and the press see the evidence, the failure of the US authorities to convict any of these people of terrorist acts or complicity, the silence surrounding the release of these people and the absence of victims of Muslim terrorism in the U.S. to question HRW’s conclusions.

ED (Webmaster)

Scores of Muslim Men Jailed Without Charge


27 Jun 2005 01:55:20 GMT

Source: Human Rights Watch

(New York, June 27, 2005)-Operating behind a wall of secrecy, the U.S. Department of Justice thrust scores of Muslim men living in the United States into a Kafkaesque world of indefinite detention without charge and baseless accusations of terrorist links, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a report released today. Following the September 11 attacks, the Justice Department held the 70 men-all but one Muslim-under a narrow federal law that permits the arrest and brief detention of "material witnesses" who have important information about a crime, if they might otherwise flee to avoid testifying before a grand jury or in court. Although federal officials suspected the men of involvement in terrorism, they held them as material witnesses, not criminal suspects.

Almost half of the witnesses were never brought before a grand jury or court to testify. The U.S. government has apologized to 13 for wrongfully detaining them. Only a handful were ever charged with crimes related to terrorism.

"These men were victims of a Justice Department that was willing to do an end run around the law," said Jamie Fellner, director of Human Rights Watch’s U.S. Program. "Criminal suspects are treated better than these material witnesses were."

The 101-page report, "Witness to Abuse: Human Rights Abuses under the Material Witness Law since September 11," documents how the Justice Department denied the witnesses fundamental due process safeguards. Many were not informed of the reason for their arrest, allowed immediate access to a lawyer, nor permitted to see the evidence used against them. The Justice Department evaded fundamental protections for the suspects and the legal requirements for arrested witnesses. Their court proceedings were conducted behind closed doors, and all the court documents were sealed.

"Haste, incompetence and prejudice played a role in these detentions," said Anjana Malhotra, the report’s author and Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. "Muslim men were arrested for little more than attending the same mosque as a September 11 hijacker or owning a box-cutter."

The Justice Department has refused to reveal how many material witnesses it has detained in connection with its counterterrorism investigations and has largely ignored repeated Congressional inquiries. After a year of extensive research, Human Rights Watch and the ACLU have confirmed 70 such material witnesses. Sixty-four were of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent; 17 were U.S. citizens, and all but one was Muslim.

The report details how the Justice Department relied on false, flimsy or irrelevant evidence to secure arrest warrants for the men and to persuade courts that they were flight risks who had to be incarcerated. Almost all the men, in fact, had cooperated with federal authorities before their arrest. Many proved to have no information relevant to a criminal proceeding.

"On the domestic front, the Justice Department’s unlawful use of the material witness statute is perhaps the most extreme but least well-known of the government’s post-September 11 abuses," said Lee Gelernt, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. "The material witness abuses are a prime example of what happens when there is no public scrutiny of the government’s actions."

Witnesses were typically arrested at gunpoint, held around the clock in solitary confinement, and subjected to the harsh and degrading high-security conditions usually reserved for prisoners accused or convicted of the most dangerous crimes. Corrections staff verbally harassed the detainees and, in some cases, physically abused them.

The report found that one-third of the 70 confirmed material witnesses were incarcerated for at least two months. Some were imprisoned for more than six months, and one actually spent more than a year behind bars. According to the report, the Justice Department apparently used the material witness statute to buy time to conduct fishing expeditions for evidence to justify arrests on criminal or immigration charges. When there was no such evidence, the Justice Department simply held the men under the material witness law until it concluded that it had no further use for them or until a judge finally ordered their release.

The report also documents the long-term effects of the Justice Department’s material witness policy on witnesses and their families. While recovering from the trauma of being jailed in harsh conditions, witnesses often continued to live under a specter of suspicion. They faced lingering questions in the community about their ties to terrorism, even in cases when the government apologized. Many lost businesses and job opportunities, and some had to move to new communities to restart their lives.  

Testimony from Material Witnesses and Attorneys:  

"They treated us like professional terrorists. They put us in cars and had big guns-as if they were going to shoot people, as if we were Osama bin Laden. They didn’t let us speak, they didn’t let us ask why we were in detention. I never knew for how long we would stay in jail. It felt like we would stay forever ? I didn’t even know why I was in jail." -Tarek Omar, an Egyptian national arrested as a material witness in October 2001 with seven friends and relatives who had immigrated together from Egypt. The eight men later received an apology from the FBI for wrongful arrest.  

"Five to six cars surrounded my car. The agents pulled out shotguns and told me to get out of the car or they will shoot me. They told me they were about to shoot me. ? I asked what’s going on? I’ve been so helpful. But three guys told me to put my hands on the car, they patted me down and shackled me. I asked what am I arrested for? Am I charged with something? ? I got no answer. They shoved me against the car and handcuffed me. ? They didn’t tell me why I was arrested-they said they’d explain in the main office. They didn’t read me Miranda rights. ? I got in the car. They were so disrespectful and so rude. They told me to ‘shut the fuck up.’" -Mohdar Abdullah, a Yemeni national arrested as a material witness on September 21, 2001 in San Diego, California.  

"It’s hard to argue about a national security argument. Anytime I ask[ed] what the basis was it would be a canned national security argument. I would ask: ‘What’s the justification?’ The government responds: ‘National security.’ I would say, ‘What does that mean?’ The government would say: ‘I can’t tell you.’" -Susan Otto, an attorney who represented material witness Mujahid Menepta in Oklahoma.  

"I was transferred ? to solitary confinement in the Special Housing Unit, or the ‘ninth floor hole.’ The room was maybe six-by-five feet. I was in a small cell for twenty-four hours a day with the lights on. Guards came every ten to fifteen minutes and banged on the door. They look through the hole and stare and looked at me. For two months, I left the cell only for interrogations. Later I was allowed outside after two months but they would leave me out in the freezing cold. I didn’t sleep for one or two months. The guards would bang on the door all night. They would say, ‘This is the guy-the Taliban guy,’ or call me ‘Khan Taliban.’ The guards said so many bad things. They told me: ‘You won’t ever see your family. You’re going to die here. Do you smell the WTC [World Trade Center] smoke? You’re gone. How would you like to die? With the electric chair?’ … [Whenever I was taken out of my cell] they would twist my hands. My feet were shackled and guards would step on chains. I got a deep cut on my feet. I was stripped too many times to remember and hit on the back. I would be pushed against the wall. Whenever they took me to the FBI, guards would twist my hands and fingers and tell me to ‘Just shut up.’" -Ayub Ali Khan, an Indian national arrested as a material witness on September 12, 2001 in San Antonio, Texas and held in the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York  

"They were threatening me with capital charges. ? They believed it was me. They pretty much told us, ‘We have enough to indict you but not enough to prosecute.’" -Brandon Mayfield, a U.S. citizen arrested in May 2004 as a material witness after federal officials believed they matched his fingerprint to one found near the site of the March 2004 bombing in Madrid. He later received an apology from the Justice Department for a wrongful arrest.  

"[A]fter we were released we were in hell, you tell yourself, okay, well they released us so everyone should understand we are innocent, but that was not the case. Because I mean there are some people who support you and stuff like this but everyone is curious: did you snitch on somebody else, or did you make a deal with the government, or why were you released, or did you really do something or not. ? It’s just like all this doubt in people’s mind. ? At the time we lost about 30 to 40 percent of our business and then it kept getting worse and worse. And even when we got the apology and the newspaper wrote about it we thought we were going to be slammed because it’s an apology on the first page of the newspaper. And [business] is slow. But people remember we were caught and this kind of thing and [business got even] slower. Then the Evansville Courier made a poll on the internet where they asked people did [they] talk enough about the apology enough in the newspaper to give these people their dignity back. It was so funny to get the response because most of the response from people was, yes, they had enough, okay, they are innocent, [but] let’s go back to our life, if they don’t like it let’s tell them to go back to their home, we are trying to make the country safer." -Tarek Albasti, an Egyptian national arrested as a material witness in October 2001 as one of the "Evansville Eight" to whom the federal government ultimately apologized for the wrongful arrests.

U.S. prepares long-term plan for jailing indefinitely terror suspects

San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. prepares long-term plan for jailing of terror suspects
More permanent approach sought for indefinite detainment

Dana Priest, Washington Post

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Washington — Administration officials are preparing long-range plans for indefinitely imprisoning suspected terrorists whom they do not want to set free or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries, according to intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.

The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for potentially lifetime detentions, including for hundreds of people now in military and CIA custody whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts. The outcome of the review, which also involves the State Department, would also affect those expected to be captured in the course of future counterterrorism operations.

One proposal under review is the transfer of large numbers of Afghan, Saudi and Yemeni detainees from the military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center into new U.S.-built prisons in their home countries. The prisons would be operated by those countries, but the State Department, where this idea originated, would ask them to abide by recognized human rights standards and would monitor compliance, the senior administration official said.

As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence, according to defense officials.

The new prison, called Camp 6, would allow inmates more comfort and freedom than they have now and would be designed for prisoners who the government believes have no more intelligence to share, the officials said. It would be modeled on a U.S. prison and would allow socializing among inmates.

"Since global war on terror is a long-term effort, it makes sense for us to be looking at solutions for long-term problems," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "This has been evolutionary, but we are at a point in time where we have to say, ‘How do you deal with them in the long term?’ ”

The administration considers its toughest detention problem to involve the prisoners held by the CIA. The CIA has been scurrying since Sept. 11, 2001, to find secure locations abroad where it could detain and interrogate captives without risk of discovery and without having to give them access to legal proceedings.

The CIA is believed to be holding fewer than three dozen al-Qa’ida leaders in prison. The agency holds most if not all of the top captured al-Qa’ida leaders, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Abu Zubaida and the lead Southeast Asia terrorist, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali.

The CIA had floated a proposal to build an isolated prison with the intent of keeping it secret, one intelligence official said. That was dismissed immediately as impractical.

One approach used by the CIA has been to transfer captives it picks up abroad to third countries willing to hold them indefinitely and without public proceedings. The transfers, called "renditions," depend on arrangements between the United States and other countries, such as Egypt, Jordan and Afghanistan, that agree to have local security services hold certain terror suspects in their facilities for interrogation by CIA and foreign liaison officers.

"Renditions are the most effective way to hold people," said Rohan Gunaratna, author of "Inside al-Qa’ida: Global Network of Terror." "The threat of sending someone to one of these countries is very important. In Europe, the custodial interrogations have yielded almost nothing" because they do not use the threat of sending detainees to countries where they are likely to be tortured.

COINTELPRO – FBI surveillance system

COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO’s of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them. (The House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy). When a series of Supreme Court rulings in 1956 and 1957 challenged these committees and questioned the constitutionality of Smith Act prosecutions and Subversive Activities Control Board hearings, the FBI’s response was COINTELPRO, a program designed to "neutralize" those who could no longer be prosecuted. Over the years, similar programs were created to neutralize civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups, all said to be "communist front organizations." As J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it

The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.

The FBI conducted more than 2000 COINTELPRO operations before the the programs were officially discontinued in April of 1971, after public exposure, in order to "afford additional security to [their] sensitive techniques and operations."

“FBI freely sells its information and services to selected bidders”

The Dickheads Are Still Desperate

by J. Orlin Grabbe

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "dickhead" means "a stupid person" as in "But I lost that job, it was alright, I deserved to lose it, I was a dickhead" (A. Bleasdale, Shop thy Neighbour, 1983). The FBI employs a lot of dickheads, such as Special Agent David "Killer" Keller, whose recent pronouncements include these gems:


  • "Well, it’s pretty singular in nature when you pull all of the data from the J. Orlan Grabbie internet, the things that he has published over the last–well, just since it has been–that I have been able to retrieve. But the–a lot of the information has been singular in nature. It has been information that has been recently developed, as recently as within the last seven to 10 days that all of the sudden appear on the–on the internet under the name of J. Orlan Grabbie."


  • "I have been in–I have been in touch with the U.S. Customs as early as yesterday. . . . I didn’t even talk to them. I was getting my information through facsimile. I was in communication with the facsimile, and also with Bob Rawlins, the Assistant U.S. Attorney that is handling that particular litigation, was the go-between between me and the U.S. Customs yesterday. . . . There were a series of telephone calls facsimiled between our office and U.S. Customs within last two days that centered on the internet publications."
  • What makes the FBI dangerous is not just that it employs stupid people–dickheads–but that it is an un-Constitutional organization, not chartered by Congress, that harbors malevolent people with guns who lie and kill and falsify evidence.

    Although the FBI in recent years has specialized in beating the drums for ever more authority to spy on, and wiretap, American citizens, the evidence continues to mount that the FBI is itself an out-of-control domestic terrorist organization . What are some of the facts in this regard?

  • The World Trade Center in New York City was bombed on February 26, 1993, killing six people and injuring more than a thousand. (When the explosion occurred, I was one block away at 222 Broadway, in a room with a view of one of the World Trade Center towers.) Subsequently I learned that the bombing was done by a group already under FBI surveillance. The FBI did not need more powers to spy on citizens: what it needed was a sense of responsibility and morality. The person who built the bomb was an FBI informer. Either the FBI negligently allowed the bombing to take place, or else allowed it as a deliberate act for their own purposes:


    Two cassette tape recordings, obtained by SHADOW reporter Paul DiRienzo of telephone conversations between FBI informant Emad Salem and his Bureau contacts reveal secret U.S. Government complicity in the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City….

    After careful deliberation, the SHADOW believes the question regarding the bombing boils down to the following: Did the FBI do the bombing, utilizing informant Salem as an "agent provocateur" or did it allow to fail or prevent an independent Salem and his associates from doing it? The taped conversations obtained by the SHADOW seem to indicate the former:


    FBI Informant Edam Salem: "…we was start already building the bomb which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the DA and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case!"


    (combined report by Paul DeRienzo, Frank Morales and Chris Flash, Who Bombed the World Trade Center?" The Shadow, Oct. 1994/Jan. 1995).


  • At the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, the FBI utilized guns and a tank to shoot, crush, and burn more than 80 men, women and children. An FBI spokesman said the Branch Davidians were "thumbing their nose at the law". So the FBI taught them a good lesson by killing all of them. David Koresh was supposedly guilty of a firearms violation. So the FBI even more guiltily marshaled firearms to kill him and those around him. Someone spread the rumor that there was child abuse going on at the compound. So the FBI put a stop to that by burning the children to death. You can view the pictures in the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum, made available by Carol A. Valentine on the Internet at This is one Internet page that David Keller seems to have missed. But perhaps he thinks Carol Valentine is also Chuck Hayes.


  • At Ruby Ridge, Idaho, the FBI brazenly murdered a woman armed with nothing more dangerous than her child. They killed Randy Weaver’s fourteen-year old son, the family dog Striker, and Randy’s wife Vicky. The FBI shot Vicky Weaver in the doorway of the Weaver cabin as she cradled her baby in her arms. "It was as if her skull had exploded. She was almost unrecognizable. Her jaw was blown half off, and blood seemed to be pumping out from everywhere on her head. Elisheba [her baby] was covered in blood …" (Jess Walter, Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth & Tragedy of Ruby Ridge & The Randy Weaver Family, HaperCollins, 1995, p. 198). I do not apologize for referring to FBI agents as "murderous bastards".


  • PhD chemist and FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst has complained about sloppy practices, evidence contamination, slanted reports and inadequate training at FBI laboratories. "Science," he said, "cannot be a whore to the political process" ("Explosive Charges," Time, Nov. 4, 1996). He was moved to make this statement not only because of an FBI record of evidence fabrication and falsification, but also due to the quite obvious fact that the FBI is a whore to the political process. Anyone who doubts this can read the books Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI, by Ross Gelbspam, and FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose, by M. Wesley Swearington.


  • In the more recent Filegate affair, the FBI admits to having turned over more than 900 confidential FBI files to the White House. (Around 900 is the acknowledged count. Private information I have says the number of files turned over to the White House was actually in the neighborhood of 2045. These files were contained in the White House "Big Brother" Data Base- -WHODB). These supposedly confidential files were made available for political purposes to various individuals, most of whom did not even have security clearances.


  • Not that the security clearances mean that much, anyway. In a related matter, an FBI agent named Gary Harlow admitted to police that he faked White House security clearances. Harlow was sentenced in May of this year to six months in jail for stealing over 100,000 rounds of ammunition, plastic explosives, hand grenades and night vision gear from the FBI. Agent Harlow was arrested one night after his house burned down under mysterious circumstances. He was caught cruising the neighborhoods, looking for his wife, with nearly a dozen fully automatic machine guns in his car with him. One needs to protect oneself from FBI lunatics like Agent Harlow.


  • The House Judiciary Committee has recently said it will investigate the operations of the FBI, including its handling of a news leak about Richard Jewell, when it secretly informed newspapers he was a suspect in the Olympic bombing in Atlanta ("House Judiciary panel to probe FBI operations," USA Today, Dec. 27, 1996).


  • The simple fact is that the FBI freely sells its information and services to selected bidders. Consider the matter of the FBI giving the Colombian Cali cocaine cartel access to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) files. As reported by The New York Post:


    "The head of the FBI’s Bogota, Colombia, office is under scrutiny because sensitive intelligence was leaked to drug lords running the infamous Cali cartel, The Post has learned.

    "FBI Special Agent Dwight Denny is suspected of misconduct that led to the cartel’s infiltration of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s central computer about nine months ago, federal law enforcement officials said. . . .

    "The Naddis computer contains top-secret information dating back to 1973 about hundreds of thousands of suspected drug traffickers, as well as leads on drug operations and files on current investigations, the sources said.

    "DEA agents worldwide rely on the centralized computer system, which also stores details of arrests, memos and teletypes the agency receives, the sources said." ("Colombian cartel mole burrowed into DEA computer files," The New York Post, August 22, 1996).


  • The FBI appears to view the American public with contempt as one large playground for its own amusement. Former FBI informer Frank Varelli explains how he was asked to seduce a nun as part of his infiltration of a group called CISPES. According to Varelli,


    "I was told that the Bureau wanted to get an apartment. So I could start seducing this nun that is the head of the CISPES group. Her name is Linda Hay and they wanted to-

    "Q: They wanted you to seduce a nun?

    "A: Yes. Yeah. Because she was the head of CISPES and one of the most outspoken persons that I’ve known. . . . And-and that the Bureau was going to provide an apartment with cameras and you know…With sound equipment and everything. So we could film the nun in very compromising position because as Dan Flannigan put it, `Once we do it, we have her in our hand.’" (From New York On-Line, A Radical Electronic Resource).


    Not long ago, Clinton political advisor James Carville said, in reference to Paula Jones, "You drag $100 bills through trailer parks, and there’s no telling what you’ll find." Carville’s insult implied that women in rural America who live in trailer parks are whores, that there was no telling what they will do for $100.

    Yet, more recently, in the FBI fabrication of its case against Chuck Hayes, an unidentified undercover FBI agent– according to the Affidavit of David "Killer" Keller–said he had killed a man (John Anthony Hayes) for a minimal advance payment of $100 in expenses. Now this unidentified undercover agent really hadn’t done that (which makes him an admitted liar). Yet, at the same time, he apparently expected to have credibility when he said he had done the dastardly deed. He expected someone to believe he was slimy enough to kill for $100.

    And why shouldn’t we believe him? When you drag a hundred dollar bill in front of an FBI agent, you’re likely to attract the services of a social maggot who will sell his soul for something far more contemptible than simple sex.

    Earlier this year the astute, knowledgeable payroll computer in Oklahoma terminated FBI Director Louis Freeh because the "FBI is an unchartered organization". It is time an equally knowledgeable and astute U.S. Congress put this terrorist organization out of business.

    January 12, 1997
    Web Page:

  • Nothing Vague About FBI Abuse: Here are the Dossiers


    Nothing Vague About FBI Abuse:
    Here Are the Dossiers

    excerpted from the book

    Wizards of Media OZ

    by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen

    Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

    May 10, 1995

    As the White House pushes to expand FBI powers, some press reports are sounding cautionary notes usually vague allusions to the FBI’s history of harassing political groups and movements.

    Missing from most accounts are specifics. This column offers a few of the many horrifying details.

    Although President Clinton says stepped-up FBI infiltration will help prevent violence, the record shows that FBI spying has actually abetted violence.

    * DICK GREGORY: In 1968, the activist/comedian publicly denounced the Mafia for importing heroin into the inner city. Did the FBI welcome the anti-drug, anti-mob message? No. Head G-man J. Edgar Hoover responded by proposing that the Bureau try to provoke the mob to retaliate against Gregory as part of an FBI "counter intelligence operation" to "neutralize" the comedian. Hoover wrote: "Alert La Cosa Nostra (LCN) to Gregory’s attack on LCN."

    * FREEDOM RIDERS: In 1961, black and white civil rights workers boarded interstate buses in the North and headed south in an effort to desegregate buses nationwide. The FBI learned that when the freedom riders reached bus depots in Alabama, the state police were going to give the Ku Klux Klan "15 uninterrupted minutes" to beat activists with baseball bats, clubs and chains. The Bureau allowed the violence to occur; activist Walter Bergman spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed.

    * VIOLA LIUZZO: The white civil rights volunteer from Detroit-a mother of five-joined Martin Luther King’s 1965 Selma (Ala.) campaign aimed at securing the right to vote for blacks. She was shot and killed after being chased 20 miles at high speed by a carload of four Klansmen. In the car was Gary David Rowe, a well-paid FBI informant inside the Klan; the violence-prone Rowe had played a big role in the beatings of freedom riders years earlier. "He couldn’t be an angel and be a good informant," commented one of his FBI handlers.

    * FRANK WILKINSON: A lifelong civil libertarian who led the campaign to abolish the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, his FBI surveillance file spans 30 years and 132,000 pages. Estimated cost to us taxpayers: $17 million. Wilkinson never advocated or committed violence, but the file shows that the Bureau burglarized his offices and encouraged beatings of him. The FBI once heard of a right-wing scheme to assassinate Wilkinson-but took no action to inform him or protect him.

    * MARTIN LUTHER KING: For years, the FBI used spying and infiltration in a relentless campaign to destroy King- to wreck his marriage, undermine his mental stability and encourage him to commit suicide. The Bureau created dissension among King’s associates, disrupted fundraising efforts and recruited his bookkeeper as a paid agent after learning the employee was embezzling.

    The FBI utilized "media assets" to plant smear stories in the press – some insinuating that King was a Soviet agent. One FBI media asset against King in the early 1960s was Patrick Buchanan, then an editorial writer in St. Louis.

    The FBI once hatched a scheme to "completely discredit" King and have him replaced by a civil rights leader the Bureau could control. The one individual named by the Bureau as "the right kind of Negro leader" was lawyer Samuel Pierce-who years later became the only black in President Reagan’s cabinet.

    King was hated and regularly threatened by white supremacists and extremists-but the FBI developed a written policy of not informing King about threats to his life. Why? Because of his "unsavory character," "arrogance and "uncooperative attitude."

    * PETER BOHMER: For months in the early 1970s, this economics professor and other antiwar activists in San Diego were terrorized-with menacing phone calls, death threats and fire-bombings-by the Secret Army Organization, a right-wing paramilitary group. On Jan. 6, 1972, gunshots were fired into Bohmer’s house, wounding a friend.

    After a bombing months later, a trial revealed that Howard Barry Godfrey, co-founder of SAO in San Diego and one of its most active and violent members, had all along been a paid FBI informant. Godfrey testified that he had driven the car from which the shots were fired; afterward, he took the weapon to his FBI supervisor, who hid it.

    * BLACK PANTHER PARTY: Some critics are denouncing the new movie Panther as an anti-FBI fantasy. But the hard facts about the FBI’s war on the Panthers were published in 1976 by the Senate Intelligence Committee chaired by Frank Church. Using paid infiltrators and faked documents, the Bureau routinely tried to goad militant groups or street gangs to commit violence against the Panthers.

    In southern California, FBI agents helped provoke Ron Karenga’s militant US group into attacks on Panthers and boasted about it in memos to headquarters. When the FBI learned that the Panthers and US were trying to talk out their differences, agents did their best to reopen the conflict. Four Panthers were ultimately killed by US members, two on the UCLA campus.

    In Chicago, the FBI office forged and sent a letter to the Blackstone Rangers gang leader saying the Panthers had a "hit out" on him. The FBI’s stated hope was that he "take reprisals against" the Panther leadership.

    Although that plan failed, Chicago Panther chief Fred Hampton (age 21) was killed months later in a predawn police assault on his apartment. Hampton’s bodyguard turned out to be an FBI agent-provocateur who, days before the raid, had delivered an apartment floor-plan to the Bureau-with an "X" marking Hampton’s bed. Most bullets were aimed at his bedroom. The infiltrator received a $300 bonus: "Our source was the man who made the raid possible," stated an FBI memo.

    Among the hundreds of schemes detailed in FBI memos were plans to contaminate the Panther newspaper’s printing room with a noxious chemical; to inject a powerful laxative into fruit served to kids as part of the Panthers’ free breakfast program; and to target smear campaigns at various Hollywood celebrities who had come to the Panthers’ defense.

    * CENTRAL AMERICA ACTIVISTS: Many recent news accounts say that FBI abuse pretty much ended with J. Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972, and that the Bureau has been in check since the Justice Department issued new guidelines in 1976. Not true. FBI disruption of lawful dissent has continued-though the terminology has changed, from counterintelligence (COINTELPRO) to "counterterrorism."

    During the 1980s, groups critical of U.S. intervention in Central America were surveilled, infiltrated and disrupted by the FBI. Political break-ins occurred at churches, offices and homes-and material from the burglaries ended up in FBI files. In the guise of monitoring supporters of foreign terrorists, the FBI compiled files on clergy, religious groups and thousands of nonviolent anti-intervention activists. The investigation produced not a single criminal charge. The whole sordid story is detailed in Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI, a book by former Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan.

    At the center of this spying was FBI official Oliver "Buck" Revell. Today, Revell (now retired) makes the rounds of TV news shows, complaining that the FBI is too hamstrung to track terrorists.

    The truth is that the FBI has always had the power to infiltrate terrorist groups. The problem has been the Bureau’s diversion of resources to monitor and harass activists whose only "crime" was working for social change.

    Lynne Stewart Convicted of Collusion with CIA Created Terrorists

    Friday, February 11, 2005

    Lynne Stewart Convicted of Collusion with CIA Created Terrorists

    By Kurt Nimmo

     The following sends a message on the heels of Ward Churchill’s timely persecution: the attorney Lynne Stewart was convicted yesterday “of helping the mastermind [Omar Abdel-Rahman] of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing spread terror messages to his jihadi warriors around the globe,” as the New York Post characterizes it.

    Here’s the message sent, via the corporate media: there are terrorists and radical, “anti-American” traitors in our midst.

    Considering the history lesson below, the New York Post should have written: Lynne Stewart convicted of passing messages to the CIA.

    If we know anything about Omar Abdel-Rahman, it is that he was heavily involved with the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service in Afghanistan. “He became famous traveling all over the world for five years recruiting new mujaheddin,” explains Wikipedia. “But he never hid his prime goals, which were to overthrow the governments of the US and Egypt.”

    In other words, the CIA and the U.S. government had a good idea what this guy was all about but used him anyway. “One of the big problems here is that many suspects in the World Trade Center bombing were associated with the Mujahadeen,” investigator Jack Blum told a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee. “And there are components of our government that are absolutely disinterested in following that path because it leads back to people we supported in the Afghan war.”

    See The CIA’s “Operation Cyclone” – Stirring the Hornet-‘s Nest of Islamic Unrest.

    So important was Abdel-Rahman, the CIA made sure he was issued a visa and entered the United States in 1990, the country he supposedly hated. Abdel-Rahman went on to head the al-Salaam Mosque in Jersey City. Consider the following quote from The Covert Cowboys (see the Jack Blum link above and page citation):

    During a conversation between a 20-year veteran FBI agent and one of his top undercover operatives, the operative asked:

    “Why aren’t we going after the Sheik [Adbel Rahman]”?demanded the undercover man.

    “It’s hands off,” answered the agent.

    “Why”? asked the operative.

    “It was no accident that the Sheik got a visa and that he’s still in the country,” replied the agent, visibly upset. “He’s here under the banner of national security, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA.”

    The agent pointed out that the Sheik had been granted a tourist visa, and later a green card, despite the fact that he was on a State Department terrorist watch-list that should have barred him from the country. “He’s an untouchable,” concluded the agent.

    An Egyptian by the name El Sayyid Nosair, who was jailed in 1995 for the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the Jewish Defense League, was connected to Adbel-Rahman and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. “At his trial, Mr. Nosair claimed that the reason he had military manuals was that he was being trained by the US, not because he was intent on terrorism,” Andrew Marshall wrote for the Independent on November 1, 1998.

    It is said Nosair was trained by a former Egyptian soldier named Ali Mohamed, allegedly with connections to al-Qaeda. “Yet Mr. Mohamed, it is clear from his record, was working for the US government at the time he provided the training: he was a Green Beret, part of America’s Special Forces. … [Mohamed’s recruits, under the auspices of Operation Cyclone] received brief paramilitary training and weapons instruction in the New York area, according to evidence in earlier trials, before being sent to fight with [Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar [a major CIA asset in Afghanistan]. Even Sheikh Abdel-Rahman had, apparently, entered the US with the full knowledge of the CIA in 1990. (For more on Hekmatyar, see Gary Leupp’s Meet Mr. Blowback: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, CIA Operative and Homicidal Thug.)

    As for the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, the FBI knew about the plot and allowed it to happen.

    “Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer [Emad Salem, a former lieutenant colonel in the Egyptian Army] said after the blast,” Ralph Blumenthal reported for the New York Times.

    But according to Paul DiRienzo, based on recorded telephone conversations between FBI informant Emad Salem and his Bureau contacts, it is possible Salem was an “agent provocateur” who allowed the bombing to go forward, at the behest of the government. In the recording, Salem admits that the bomb used in the plot was “built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the DA and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built.” As an informant, Salem was close to Abdel-Rahman. “Informant Salem organized the bomb plot with the ‘supervision’ of the FBI and the District Attorney as part of a classic entrapment setup,” DiRienzo speculates.

    According to Ron Kuby, a partner of the late William Kunstler, who defended El Sayyid Nosair, Salem served as a classic agent provocateur. “The FBl officially acknowledges that Emad Salem began to work for them in November 1991, during the trial of Sayyid Nosair, at which Nosair was found not guilty of murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane,” Kuby told Husayn al-Kurd. “It was at that point that he infiltrated himself into the group supporting Sayyid Nosair. It was Emad Salem, as early as December of 1991, who was telling groups of these people that they should become more militant. At one point Emad Salem suggested they throw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue, at which the people listening were absolutely horrified and refused to have anything to do with him. After that, he toned down his rhetoric.” The FBI is famous for such tactics, most notably during the reign of its notorious COINTELPRO. Moreover, as Kunstler told Paul DeRienzo during a radio interview in 1993, “[Salem] also received money from Kahane Chai, Rabbi Meir Kahane’s group. Probably from a lot of other people. [Israel’s secret service,] the Mossad is not someone to exclude.”

    “The New York Times reported that the evidence that Sheikh Rahman even knew of the plan to bomb the World Trade Center, and other buildings in New York, is scant,” Enver Masud writes for the Wisdom Fund. “The government’s primary witness against Sheikh Rahman is an FBI informant, Mr. Emad Salem, who confessed to lying under oath in a previous trial.”

    Andreas von Bulow, former State Secretary at the Ministry Of Defense in Germany from 1976-1980, summarizes:

    In the middle was the bombmaker, a former Egyptian officer. He had pulled together some Muslims for the attack. They were snuck into the country by the CIA, despite a State Department ban on their entry. At the same time, the leader of the band was an FBI informant. And he made a deal with the authorities: At the last minute, the dangerous explosive material would be replaced by a harmless powder. The FBI did not stick to the deal. The bomb exploded, so to speak, with the knowledge of the FBI. The Official story of the crime was quickly found: The criminals were evil Muslims.

    Of course, in the barrage of corporate media reports and op/ed pieces over the next few days, excoriating Lynne Stewart as a terrorist collaborator, none of these shady connections and dealings “between Omar Abdel-Rahman, El Sayyid Nosair, Ali Mohamed, Emad Salem and the CIA, NSA, FBI, Egyptian intelligence and possibly Mossad” will be mentioned.

    It is, I believe, no mistake that the “radical” lawyer Stewart was framed for conspiring with “evil Muslims,” as it was no mistake Ward Churchill was accused of carrying a torch for al-Qaeda, itself a CIA contrivance.


    Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is the author of Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America, a collection of essays published by Dandelion Books. Visit his weblog at

    Wrong conviction of Black Panther leader

     "We have a common enemy … that’s the biggest criminal gang in the history of the United States, and it’s called the FBI." ? Geronimo ji jaga

    Geronimo ji jaga’s release after 27 years, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, was a landmark moment in the fight against FBI disruption.  It was Richard Held who masterminded the attack on the Los Angeles Black Panther Party that ended in Geronimo’s imprisonment and the deaths of a number of Panther party members.

    Geronimo vows that the settlement of his civil case against the FBI is only the beginning.  He and attorney Johnny Cochran are working to open up hearings not only on the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation against the Panthers, but also the CIA’s Operation CHAOS and the National Security Agency’s mind-control operation (dubbed Operation MINARET) which also targeted the Black Panthers.


    Final Report on Governmental Covert Operations






    OF THE






    APRIL 26 (legislative day, April 14), 1976



    The Committee finds that covert action programs have been used to disrupt the lawful political activities of individual Americans and groups and to discredit them, using dangerous and degrading tactics which are abhorrent in a free and decent society.


    (a) Although the claimed purposes of these action programs were to protect the national security and to prevent violence, many of the victims were concededly nonviolent, were not controlled by a foreign power, and posed no threat to the national security.

    (b) The acts taken interfered with the First Amendment rights of citizens. They were explicitly intended to deter citizens from joining groups, "neutralize" those who were already members, and prevent or inhibit the expression of ideas.

    (c) The tactics used against Americans often risked and sometimes caused serious emotional, economic, or physical damage. Actions were taken which were designed to break up marriages, terminate funding or employment, and encourage gang warfare between violent rival groups. Due process of law forbids the use of such covert tactics, whether the victims are innocent law-abiding citizens or members of groups suspected of involvement in violence.

    (d) The sustained use of such tactics by the FBI in an attempt to destroy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., violated the law and fundamental human decency.

    Elaboration of the Findings

    For fifteen years from 1956 until 1971, the FBI carried out a series of covert action programs directed against American citizens. 1 These "counterintelligence programs" (shortened to the acronym COINTELPRO) resulted in part from frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government’s power to proceed overtly against dissident groups. 2

    They ended formally in 1971 with the threat of public exposure. 3  Some of the findings discussed herein are related to the findings on lawlessness, overbreadth, and intrusive techniques previously set forth. Some of the most offensive actions in the FBI’s COINTELPRO programs (anonymous letters intended to break up marriages, or efforts to deprive people of their jobs, for example) were based upon the covert use of information obtained through overly-broad investigations and intrusive techniques. 4 Similarly, as noted above, COINTELPRO involved specific violations of law, and the law and the Constitution were "not [given] a thought" under the FBI’s policies. 5

    But COINTELPRO was more than simply violating the law or the Constitution. In COINTELPRO the Bureau secretly 6 took the law into its own hands, going beyond the collection of intelligence and beyond its law enforcement function to act outside the legal process altogether and to covertly disrupt, discredit and harass groups and individuals. A law enforcement agency must not secretly usurp the functions of judge and jury, even when the investigation reveals criminal activity. But in COINTELPRO, the Bureau imposed summary punishment, not only on the allegedly violent, but also on the nonviolent advocates of change. Such action is the hallmark of the vigilante and has no place in a democratic society.

    Under COINTELPRO, certain techniques the Bureau had used against hostile foreign agents were adoped for use against perceived domestic threats to the established political and social order. 7

    Some of the targets of COINTELPRO were law-abiding citizens merely advocating change in our society. Other targets were members of groups that had been involved in violence, such as the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Panther Party. Some victims did nothing more than associate with targets. 8

    The Committee does not condone acts of violence, but the response of Government to allegations of illegal conduct must comply with the due process of law demanded by the Constitution. Lawlessness by citizens does not justify lawlessness by Government.

    The tactics which were employed by the Bureau are therefore unacceptable, even against the alleged criminal. The imprecision of the targeting compounded the abuse. Once the Government decided to take the law into its own hands, those unacceptable tactics came almost inevitably to be used not only against the "kid with the bomb" but also against the "kid with the bumper sticker."

    Subfinding (a)

    Although the claimed purposes of these action programs were to protect the "national security" and to prevent violence, many of the victims were concededly nonviolent, were not controlled by a foreign power, and posed no threat to the "national security."

    The Bureau conducted five "counterintelligence programs" aimed against domestic groups: the "Communist Party, USA" program (1956-71); the "Socialist Workers Party" program (1961-69); the "White Hate" program (1964-1971); the "Black Nationalist-Hate Group" program (1967-71) ; and the "New Left" program (1968-71).

    While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the "national security" or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a "potential" for violence — and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave "aid and comfort" to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause. 11

    The imprecision of the targeting is demonstrated by the inability of the Bureau to define the subjects of the programs. The Black Nationalist program, according to its supervisor, included "a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as black nationalist but which were in fact primarily black." 12 Thus, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference was labeled as a Black Nationalist-"Hate Group."

    Furthermore, the actual targets were chosen from a far broader group than the titles of the programs would imply. The CPUSA program targeted not only Communist Party members but also sponsors of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee 14 and civil rights leaders allegedly under Communist influence or not deemed to be "anti-Communist". 15 The Socialist Workers Party program included non-SWP sponsors of antiwar demonstrations which were cosponsored by the SWP or the Young Socialist Alliance, its youth group. 16 The Black Nationalist program targeted a range of organizations from the Panthers to SNCC to the peaceful Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and included every Black Student Union and many other black student groups. 17 New Left targets ranged from the SDS 18 to the InterUniversity Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy, 19 from Antioch College ("vanguard of the New Left") 20 to the New Mexico Free University and other "alternate" schools, 21 and from underground newspapers 22 to students protesting university censorship of a student publication by carrying signs with four-letter words on them. 23

    Subfinding (b)

    The acts taken interfered with the First Amendment rights of citizens. They were explicitly intended to deter citizens from joining groups, "neutralize" those who were already members, and prevent or inhibit the expression of ideas.

    In achieving its purported goals Of protecting the national security and preventing violence, the Bureau attempted to deter membership in the target groups. As the supervisor of the "Black Nationalist" COINTELPRO stated, "Obviously, you are going to prevent violence or a greater amount of violence if you have smaller groups. 24 The chief of the COINTELPRO unit agreed: "We also made an effort . . . to deter recruitment where we could. This was done with the view that if we could curb the organization, we could curb the action or the violence within the organization." 25 As noted above, many of the organizations "curbed" were not violent, and covert attacks on group membership contravened the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom to associate.

    Nor was this the only First Amendment right violated by the Bureau. In addition to attempting to prevent people from joining or continuing to be members in target organizations, the Bureau tried to "deter or counteract" what it called "propaganda" 26 — the expression of ideas which it considered dangerous. Thus, the originating document for the "Black Nationalist" COINTELPRO noted that "consideration should be given to techniques to preclude" leaders of the target organizations "from spreading their philosophy publicly or through various mass communication media." 27

    Instructions to "preclude" free speech were not limited to "black nationalists;" they occurred in every program. In the New Left program, for instance, approximately thirty-nine percent of all actions attempted to keep targets from speaking, teaching, writing, or publishing. 28

    The cases included attempts (sometimes successful) to prompt the firing of university and high school teachers; 29 to prevent targets from speaking on campus; 30 to stop chapters of target groups from being formed; 31 to prevent the distribution of books, newspapers, or periodicals; 32 to disrupt or cancel news conferences; 33 to interfere with peaceful demonstrations, including the SCLC’s Poor People’s Campaign and Washington Spring Project and most of the large anti-war marches; 34 and to deny facilities for meetings or conferences. 35

    As the above cases demonstrate, the FBI was not just "chilling" free speech, but squarely attacking it.

    The tactics used against Americans often risked and sometimes caused serious emotional, economic, or physical damage. Actions were taken which were designed to break up marriages, terminate funding or employment, and encourage gang warfare between violent rival groups. Due process of law forbids the use of such covert tactics whether the victims are innocent law-abiding citizens or members of groups suspected of involvement in violence. The former head of the Domestic Intelligence Division described counterintelligence as a "rough, tough, dirty, and dangerous" business. 36 His description was accurate.

    One technique used in COINTELPRO involved sending anonymous letters to spouses intended, in the words of one proposal, to "produce ill-feeling and possibly a lasting distrust" between husband and wife, so that "concern over what to do about it" would distract the target from "time spent in the plots and plans" of the organization. 37 The image of an agent of the United States Government scrawling a poison-pen letter to someone’s wife in language usually reserved for bathroom walls is not a happy one. Nevertheless, anonymous letters were sent to, among others, a Klansman’s wife, informing her that her husband had "taken the flesh of another unto himself," the other person being a woman named Ruby, with her "lust filled eyes and smart aleck figure;" 38 and to a "Black Nationalist’s" wife saying that her husband "been maken it here" with other women in his organization "and than he gives us this jive bout their better in bed then you." 39 A husband who was concerned about his wife’s activities in a biracial group received a letter which started, "Look man I guess your old lady doesn’t get enough at home or she wouldn’t be shucking and jiving with our Black Men" in the group. 40 The Field Office reported as a "tangible result" of this letter that the target and her husband separated. 41

    The Bureau also contacted employers and funding organizations in order to cause the firing of the targets or the termination of their support. 42 For example, priests who allowed their churches to be used for the Black Panther breakfast programs were targeted, and anonymous letters were sent to their bishops; 43 a television commentator who expressed admiration for a Black Nationalist leader and criticized heavy defense spending was transferred after the Bureau contacted his employer; 44 and an employee of the Urban League was fired after the FBI approached a "confidential source" in a foundation which funded the League. 45

    The Bureau also encouraged "gang warfare" between violent groups. An FBI memorandum dated November 25,1968 to certain Field Offices conducting investigations of the Black Panther Party ordered recipient offices to submit "imaginative and hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling the BPP." Proposals were to be received every two weeks. Particular attention was to be given to capitalizing upon differences between the Panthers and US, Inc. (an other "Black Nationalist" group), which had reached such proportions that "it is taking on the aura of gang warfare with attendant threats of murder and reprisals." 45 On May 26,1970, after U.S. organization members had killed four BPP members and members of each organization had been shot and beaten by members of the other, the Field Office reported:

    Information received from local sources indicate[s] that, in general, the membership of the Los Angeles BPP is physically afraid of US members and take premeditated precautions to avoid confrontations.

    In view of their anxieties, it is not presently felt that the Los Angeles BPP can be prompted into what could result in an internecine struggle between the two organizations. . . .

    The Los Angeles Division is aware of the mutually hostile feelings harbored between the organizations and the first opportunity to capitalize on the situation will be maximized. It is intended that US Inc. will be appropriately and discreetly advised of the time and location of BPP activities in order that the two organizations might be brought together and thus grant nature the opportunity to take’her due course. 46 [Emphasis added.]

    A second Field Office noted:

    Shootings, beatings and a high degree of unrest continues to prevail in the ghetto area of Southeast San Diego. Although no specific counterintelligence action can be credited with contributing to this overall situation, it is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this program. 47

    In another case, an anonymous letter was sent to the leader of the Blackstone Rangers (a group, according to the Field Offices’ proposal, "to whom violent-type activity, shooting, and the like are second nature") advising him that "the brothers that run the Panthers blame you for blocking their thing and there’s supposed to be a hit out for you." The letter was intended to "intensify the degree of animosity between the two groups" and cause "retaliatory action which could disrupt the BPP or lead to reprisals against its leadership." 48

    Another technique which risked serious harm to the target was falsely labeling a target an informant. This technique was used in all five domestic COINTELPROs. When a member of a nonviolent group was successfully mislabeled as an informant, the result was alienation from the group. 49 When the target belonged to a group known to have killed suspected informants, the risk was substantially more serious. On several occasions, the Bureau used this technique against members of the Black Panther Party; it was used at least twice after FBI documents expressed concern over the possible consequences because two members of the BPP had been murdered as suspected informants. 50

    The Bureau recognized that some techniques used in COINTELPRO were more likely than others to cause serious physical, emotional, or economic damage to the targets. 51 Any proposed use of such techniques — for example, encouraging enmity between violent rival groups, falsely labeling group members as informants, and mailing anonymous letters to targets’ spouses accusing the target of infidelity — was scrutinized carefully by headquarters supervisory personnel, in an attempt to balance the "greater good" to be achieved by the proposal against the known or risked harm to the target. If the "good" was sufficient, the proposal was approved. For instance, in discussing anonymous letters to spouses, the agent who supervised the New Left COINTELPRO stated:

    [Before recommending approval] I would want to know what you want to get out of this, who are these people. If it’s somebody, and say they did split up, what would accrue from it as far as disrupting the New Left is concerned? Say they broke up, what then. . . .

    [The question would be] is it worth it? 52

    Similarly, with regard to causing false suspicions that an individual was an informant, the chief of the Racial Intelligence Section stated:

    You have to be able to make decisions and I am sure that labeling somebody as an informant, that you’d want to make certain that it served a good purpose before you did it and not do it haphazardly…. It is a serious thing … As far as I am aware, in the black extremist area, by using that technique, no one was killed. I am sure of that. 52a

    This official was asked whether the fact that no one was killed was the, result of "luck or planning." He answered: "Oh, it just happened that way, I am sure." 52b

    It is intolerable in a free society that an agency of the Government should adopt such tactics, whether or not the targets are involved in criminal activity. The "greater good" of the country is in fact served by adherence to the rule of law mandated by the Constitution.

    Subfinding (d)

    The sustained use of such tactics by the FBI in an attempt to destroy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., violated the law and fundamental human decency.

    The Committee devoted substantial attention to the FBI’s covert action campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King because it demonstrates just how far the Government could go in a secret war against one citizen. In focusing upon Dr. King, however, it should not be forgotten that the Bureau carried out disruptive activities against hundreds of lesser known American citizens. It should also be borne in mind that positive action on the part of high Government officials outside the FBI might have prevented what occurred in this case. 53

    The FBI’s claimed justification for targeting Dr. King — alleged Communist influence on him and the civil rights movement — is examined elsewhere in this report. 54

    The FBI’s campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began in December 1963, four months after the famous civil rights March on Washington, 55 when a nine-hour meeting was convened at FBI Headquarters to discuss various "avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader." 56 Following the meeting, agents in the field were instructed to "continue to gather information concerning King’s personal activities … in order that we may consider using this information at an opportune time in a counterintelligence move to discredit him." 57

    About two weeks after that conference, FBI agents planted a microphone in Dr. King’s bedroom at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. 58 During the next two years, the FBI installed at least fourteen more "bugs" in Dr. King’s hotel rooms across the country. 59 Physical and photographic surveillances accompanied some of the microphone, coverage. 60

    The FBI also scrutinized Dr. King’s tax returns, monitored his financial affairs, and even tried to determine whether he had a secret foreign bank account. 61

    In late 1964, a "sterilized" tape was prepared in a manner that would prevent attribution to the FBI and was "anonymously" mailed to Dr. King just before he received the Nobel Peace Prize. 62 Enclosed in the package with the tape was an unsigned letter which warned Dr. King, "your end is approaching . . . you are finished." The letter intimated that the tape might be publicly released, and closed with the following message:

    King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you . . . 63

    Dr. King’s associates have said he interpreted the message as an effort to induce him to commit suicide. 64

    At about the same time that it mailed the "sanitized" tape, the FBI was also apparently offering tapes and transcripts to newsmen. 65 Later when civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins and James Farmer went to Washington to persuade Bureau officials to halt the FBI’s discrediting efforts, 66 they were told that "if King want[s] war we [are] prepared to give it to him." 67

    Shortly thereafter, Dr. King went to Europe to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The Bureau tried to undermine ambassadorial receptions in several of the countries he visited 68 and when he returned to the United States, took steps to diminish support for a banquet and a special "day" being planned in his honor. 69

    The Bureau’s actions against Dr. King included attempts to prevent him from meeting with world leaders, receiving honors or favorable publicity, and gaining financial support. When the Bureau learned of a possible meeting between Dr. King and the Pope in August 1964, the FBI asked Cardinal Spellman to try to arrange a cancellation of the audience. 70 Discovering that two schools (Springfield College and Marquette University) were going to honor Dr. King with special degrees in the spring of 1964, Bureau agents tried to convince officials at the schools to rescind their plans. 71 And when the Bureau learned in October 1966 that the Ford Foundation might grant three million dollars to Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, they asked a former FBI agent who was a high official at the Ford Motor Company to try to block the award. 72

    A magazine was asked not to publish favorable articles about him. 73 Religious leaders and institutions were contacted to undermine their support of him. 74 Press conference questions were prepared and distributed to "friendly" journalists. 75 And plans were even discussed for sabotaging his political campaign in the event he decided to run for national office. 76 An SCLC employee was "anonymously" informed that the SCLC was trying to get rid of her "so that the Bureau [would be] in a position to capitalize on [her] bitterness." 78 Bureau officials contacted members of Congress, 79 and special "off the record" testimony was prepared for the Director’s use before the House Appropriations Committee. 80

    The "neutralization" program continued until Dr. King’s death. As late as March 1968, FBI agents were being instructed to neutralize Dr. King because he might become a "messiah" who could "unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement" if he were to "abandon his supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white liberal doctrines’ (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism." 81 Steps were taken to subvert the "Poor People’s Campaign" which Dr. King was planning to lead in the spring of 1968. 82 Even after Dr. King’s death, agents in the field were proposing methods for harassing his widow 83 and Bureau officials were trying to prevent his birthday from becoming a national holiday. 84

    The actions taken against Dr. King are indefensible. They represent a sad episode in the dark history of covert actions directed against law abiding citizens by a law enforcement agency.


    1.  Before 1956 the FBI engaged in activities to disrupt and discredit Communists and (before World War II) Fascists, but not as part of a formal program. The Bureau is the only agency which carried on a sustained effort to "neutralize" domestic groups, although other agencies made sporadic attempts to disrupt dissident groups. (See Military Surveillance Report; IRS Report.)

    2.  The Bureau personnel involved in COINTELPRO link the first formal counterintelligence program, against the Communist Party, USA, to the Supreme Court reversal of the Smith Act convictions, which "made it impossible to prosecute Communist Party members at the time". (COINTELPRO unit chief, 10/16/75, p. 14.) It should be noted, however, that the Court’s reversal occurred In 1957, the year after the program was instituted. This belief in the deficiencies of the law was a major factor in the four subsequent programs as well: "The other COINTELPRO programs were opened as the threat arose in areas of extremism and subversion and there were not adequate statutes to proceed against the organization or to prevent their activities." (COINTELPRO Unit Chief, 10/16/75, p. 15.)

    3.  For further information on the termination of each of the programs, see The Accountability and Control Findings, p. 265 and the detailed reports on the Black Panther Party and COINTELPRO.

    Although the programs have been formally terminated, Bureau witnesses agree that there is a "grey area" between "counter-intelligence" and investigative activities which are inherently disruptive. These investigative activities, continue. (See COINTELPRO Report: "Command and Control — The Problems of Oversight.")

    4.  Information gained from electronic surveillance, informant coverage, burglaries, and confidential financial records was used in COINTELPRO. p. 275.)

    5.  Moore, 11/3/75, p. 83.

    6.  Field offices were instructed that no one outside the Bureau was to know that COINTELPRO existed, although certain persons in the executive branch and in Congress were told about — and did not object to — efforts to disrupt the CPUSA and the Klan. However, no one was told about the other COINTELPRO programs, or about the more dangerous and degrading techniques employed. (See p. 275.)

    7.  As the Chief of the Racial Intelligence Section put it:

    "You can trace [the origins of COINTELPRO] up and back to foreign intelligence, particularly penetration of the group by the individual informant. Before you can engage in counterintelligence you must have intelligence. . . . If you have good intelligence and know what it’s going to do, you can seed distrust, sow misinformation. The same technique is used, misinformation, disruption, is used in the domestic groups, although in the domestic groups you are dealing in ’67 and ’68 with many, many more across the country … than you had ever dealt with as far as your foreign groups." (Moore, 11/3/75, pp. 32-33.)

    Former Assistant Director William C. Sullivan also testified that the "rough, tough, dirty business" of foreign counterintelligence was "brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate." (Sullivan, 11/1/75, pp. 97-98.)

    8.  For example, parents and spouse, of targets received letters containing accusations of immoral conduct by the target. (Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/30/70; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Minneapolis Field Office, 11/4/68.)

    9.  Huston, 9/23/75, Hearings, Vol. 2, p. 45.

    10.  Moore, 11/8/75, p. 37.

    11.  New Left supervisor, 10/28/75, p. 69.

    12.  Black Nationalist Supervisor, 10/17/75, p. 12.

    13.  omitted in original.

    14.  For example, the entire Unitarian Society of Cleveland was targeted because the minister and some members circulated a petition calling for the abolition of HUAC, and because the Church gave office space to the "Citizens for Constitutional Rights". (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office, 11/6/64.)

    15.  See Finding on "Overbreadth" p. 181.

    16.  For instance, the Bureau targeted two non-member students who participated in an anti-war "hunger strike" at Oberlin, which was "guided and directed" by the Young Socialists Alliance. The students’ parents received anonymous letters, purportedly from a friend of their sons. One letter expressed concern that a group of "left wing students" were "cynically using" the boy, which would lead to "injury" to his health and "damage to his academic standing". The other letter also stated that it was motivated by concern for "damage" to the student’s "health and personal future" and "the belief that you may not be aware of John’s current involvement in left-wing activities." (Memorandum from FBI headquarters to Cleveland Field Office, 11/29/68.)

    17.  One proposal sought to expose Black Student Union Chapters as "breeding grounds for racial militancy" by an anonymous mailing to "all institutions where there are BSU chapters or incipient chapters". (Memorandum from Portland Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/3/68.)

    18.  For example Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office, 10/31/68.

    19.  An anonymous letter was sent to "influential" Michigan political figures, the mass media, University of Michigan administrators, and the Board of Regents, in an attempt to "discredit and neutralize" the "communist activities" of the IUCDFP. The letter decried the "undue publicity" given anti-war protest activities which "undoubtedly give ‘aid and comfort’ to the enemy" and encourage the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese in "refusing to come to the bargaining table". The letter continued, "I wonder if the strategy is to bleed the United States white by prolonging the war in Vietnam and pave the way for a takeover by Russia?" (Memorandum from Detroit Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/11/66; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters, to Detroit Field Office 10/26/66.)

    20.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cincinnati Field Office, 6/18/68.

    21.  The New Mexico Free University was targeted because it taught such courses as "confrontation politics" and "draft counselling". (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Albuquerque Field Office, 3/19/69.) In another case, an "alternate" school for students "aged five and beyond", which was co-sponsored by the ACLU, was targeted because "from the staff being assembled, it appears that the school will be a New Left venture and of a radical revolutionary nature". The Bureau contacted a confidential source in the bank financing the school so that he could "take steps to discourage its developments". (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office, 7/23/69.

    22.  See e.g., Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Pittsburgh Field Office, 11/14/69.

    23.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Minneapolis Field Office, 11/4/68.

    24.  Black Nationalist supervisor, 10/17/75, p. 24.

    25.  COINTELPRO unit chief, 10/12/75, p. 54.

    26.  COINTELPRO unit chief, 10/12/75, P. 54.

    27.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all SAC’s, 8/25/67.

    28.  The FBI was not the only intelligence agency to attempt to prevent the propagation of ideas with which it disagreed, but it was the only one to do so in any organized way. The IRS responded to Congressional and Administration pressure by targeting political organizations and dissidents for audit. The CIA Improperly obtained the tax returns of Ramparts magazine after it learned that the magazine intended to publish an article revealing Agency support of the National Student Association. The CIA saw the article as "an attack on CIA in particular and the Administration in general." (CIA memorandum re: "IRS Briefing on Ramparts," 2/2/67.)

    29.  For instance, a high school English teacher was targeted for inviting two poets to attend a class at his school. The poets were noted for their efforts in the draft resistance movement. The Bureau sent anonymous letters to two local newspapers, the Board of Education, and the school board. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Pittsburgh Field Office, 6/19/69.)

    30.  In one case, the Bureau attempted to stop a "Communist" speaker from appearing on campus. The sponsoring organization went to court and won an order permitting the lecture to proceed as scheduled; the Bureau then investigated the judge who issued the order. (Memorandum from Detroit Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 10/26/60; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Detroit Field Office, 10/27/60, 10/28/, 10/31/60; Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to A. H. Belmont, 10/26/60.)

    31.  The Bureau tried on several occasions to prevent the formation of campus chapters of SDS and the Young Socialist Alliance. (See, e.g., Memorandum from San Antonio Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/1/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office, 5/1/69.)

    32.  For example, an anonymous letter to a state legislator protested the distribution on campus of an underground newspaper’s "depravity", (Memorandum from Newark Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/23/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Newark Field Office, 6/4/69) and the Bureau anonymously contacted the landlady of premises rented by two "New Left" newspapers in an attempt to have them evicted. (Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/9/68; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 9/23/68.)

    33.   For example, a confidential source in a radio station was contacted In two successful attempts to cancel news conferences. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office, 10/1/65; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office 10/4/65; Memorandum from Boston Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/5/64; Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 6/25/64.)

    34.  For instance, the Bureau used the standard counterespionage technique of "disinformation" against demonstrators. In one case, the Chicago Field Office duplicated blank forms soliciting housing for demonstrators coming to Chicago for the Democratic National Convention, filled them out with fictitious names and addresses and sent them to the organizers. Demonstrators reportedly made "long and useless journeys to locate these addresses." (Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 9/9/68.) The same program was carried out by the Washington Field Office when housing forms were distributed for demonstrators coming to the 1969 Presidential inaugural ceremonies. (Memorandum from ]FBI Headquarters to Washington Field Office. 1/10/69.) Army Intelligence agents occasionally took similar, but wholly unauthorized action, see Military Surveillance Report: Section Ill: "Domestic Radio Monitoring by ASA: 1967-1970."

    35.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego field office, 9/11/69.

    36.  Sullivan, 11/1/75, pp. 97-98.

    37.  Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/14/69.

    38.  Memorandum from Richmond Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/26/66.

    39.  The wife who received this letter was described in the Field Office proposal as "faithful . . . an intelligent respectable young mother who is active in the AME Methodist Church." (Memorandum from St. Louis Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/14/69.)

    40.  Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/30/70.

    41.  Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/19/70.

    42.  When the targets were teachers, the intent was to prevent the propagation of ideas. In the case of other employer contacts, the purpose was to stop a source of funds.

    43.  Memorandum from New Haven Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/12/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego Field Office, 9/9/69.

    44.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cincinnati Field Office, 3/28/69.

    45.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Pittsburgh Field Office, 3/3/69.

    45a.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Baltimore Field Office, 11/25/68.

    46.  Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI headquarters, 5/26/70, pp. 1-2.

    47.  Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI headquarters, 9/15/69.

    48.  Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI headquarters, 1/12/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office, 1/30/69.

    49.  See, e.g., Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/30/69.

    50.  One proposal to label a BPP member a "pig informer" was rejected because the Panthers had recently murdered two suspected informers. The victims had not been targets of a Bureau effort to label them informants. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cincinnati Field Office, 2/18/71.) Nevertheless, two similar proposals were implemented a month later, (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Washington Field Office, 3/19/71; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Charlotte Field Office, 3/31/71.)

    51.  At least four assaults — two of them on women — were reported as "results" of Bureau actions, (See COINTELPRO Report, Section IV: Wartimes Technique Brought Home.)

    52.  New Left supervisor 10/28/75, pp. 72, 74.

    52a. Moore, 11/3/75, p. 62.

    52b.  Moore, 11/3/75, p. 64.

    53.  See pp. 275-277 and 205-206 of this Report for a detailed discussion of which officials were aware or should have been aware of what the Bureau was doing to Dr. King and how their action or inaction might have contributed to what went on.

    54.  See Martin Luther King Report, Section III, "Concern in the FBI and the Kennedy Administration Over Allegations of Communist Influence in the Civil Rights Movement Increases, and the FBI Intensifies the Investigation: October 1962-October 1963." See generally, Finding on Overbreadth, p. 175.

    55.  The August 1963 march on Washington was the occasion of Dr. Kings "I Have a Dream" speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. (See memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 8/30/63, characterizing the speech as "demagogic".)

    56.  Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 12/24/63. Although FBI officials were making derogatory references to Dr. King and passing personal information about Dr. King to their superiors. (Memorandum from Hoover to Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach, 8/13/63.) Prior to December 1963, the Committee had discovered no document reflecting a strategy to deliberately discredit him prior to the memorandum relating to the December 1963 meeting.

    57.  Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 12/24/63.

    58.  The microphone was installed on January 5, 1964 (Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 1/6/64.), just days after Dr. King’s picture appeared on the cover of Time magazine as "Man of the Year." (Time Magazine, January 3, 1964.) Reading of the Time magazine award, the Director had written, "They had to dig deep in the garbage to come up with this one." (Note on UP release, 12/29/63.)

    59.  FBI memoranda make clear that microphones were one of the techniques being used in the effort to obtain Information about Dr. King’s private life. (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan 1/28/64.) The microphones were installed at the following places: Washington: Willard Hotel (Jan. 1964) ; Milwaukee: Shroeder Hotel (Jan. 1964) ; Honolulu: Hilton Hawaiian Village (Feb. 1964) ; Detroit: Statler Hotel (March 1964) ; Sacramento: Senator Motel (Apr. 1964) ; New York City: Park Sheraton Hotel (Jan. 1965), Americana Hotel (Jan. and Nov. 1965), Sheraton Atlantic Hotel (May 1965), Astor Hotel (Oct. 1965), New York Hilton Hotel (Oct. 1965).

    60.  FBI summary memorandum, 10/3/75; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/26/64; memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 2/22/64; and unsigned memorandum, 2/28/64.

    61.  Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/27/64; memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/2/64; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William Sullivan, 7/14/65.

    62.  Sullivan 11/1/75, pp. 104-105, staff summary of a special agent interview, 7/25/75. Three days before the tape was mailed, Director Hoover had publicly branded Dr. King "the most notorious liar in the country" and Dr. King had responded with a criticism of the Bureau. (Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 11/18/64; telegram from Martin Luther King to J. Edgar Hoover 11/19/64.)

    63.  This paragraph appears in a document in the form of a letter which the FBI has supplied to the Committee and which the Bureau maintains was discovered in the files of former Assistant Director Sullivan. (FBI memorandum to the Select Committee, 9/18/75.) Sullivan stated that he did not recall the letter and suggested that it may have been "planted" in his files by his former colleagues. (Sullivan 11/1/75, p. 104.) Congressman Andrew Young has informed the Committee that an identical paragraph was contained in the letter which was actually received by Dr. King with the tape, and that the letter the committee had, supplied by the Bureau, appears to be an "early draft." (Young, 2/19/76, P. 36.)

    Sullivan said that the purpose of sending the tape was "to blackmail King into silence . . . to stop him from criticising Hoover; . . . to diminish his stature. In other words, if it caused a break between Coretta and Martin Luther King, that would diminish his stature. It would weaken him as a leader." (Sullivan, 11/1/75, 11/26/75, p. 152.)

    64.  Young, 2/19/76, p. 37, Time magazine had reported earlier in the year that Dr. King had attempted suicide twice as a child. [Time magazine, Jan. 4, 1964.]

    65.  Several newsmen have informed the Committee that they were offered this kind of material or that they were aware that such material was available. Some have refused to Identify the individuals who made the offers and others have said they could not recall their identities. Former FBI officials have denied that tapes or transcripts were offered to the press (e.g., DeLoach testimony, 11/26/75, p. 152) and the Bureau maintains that their files contain no documents reflecting that this occurred.

    66.  Staff interviews of Roy Wilkins, 11/23/75, and James Farmer, 11/13/75.

    67.  Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 11/27/64; staff interview of James Farmer, 11/13/75. Three days after Wilkins’ meeting with DeLoach, Dr. King asked to see the Director, telling the press "the time has come to bring this controversy to an end." (UPI release, 12/1/64) Dr. King and Hoover met the following day; the meeting was described as "amicable." (Memoranda from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 12/1/64 and 12/2/64.) Despite the "amicable" meeting, the Bureau’s campaign against Dr. King continued.

    68.  Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 11/30/64; memorandum from Legat to FBI Headquarters, 12/10/64. Steps were also taken to thwart a meeting which Dr. King was planning to have with a foreign leader during this same trip (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 11/10/64; memorandum, from FBI Headquarters to Legat, 11/10/64), and to influence a pending USIA decision to send Dr. King on a ten-day lecture trip in Africa after receiving the Nobel Prize. (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 11/12/64.)

    69.  The Bureau was in touch with Atlanta Constitution publisher Ralph McGill, and tried to obtain the assistance of the Constitution’s editor, Eugene Patterson, to undermine the banquet. (Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 12/21/64; staff summary of Eugene Patterson interview, 4/30/75.) A governor’s assistance was sought in the effort to "water down" the "King day." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/2/65.)

    70.  The Bureau had decided it would be "astounding" for Dr. King to have an audience with the Pope and that plans for any such meeting should be "nipped In the bud." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 8/31/64.) When the Bureau failed to block the meeting and the press reported that the audience was about to occur, the Director noted that this was "astounding." (FBI Director’s notation on UPI release, 9/18/64). FBI officials took immediate steps to determine "if there could possibly have been a slip-up” (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 9/17/64.)

    71.  The Bureau had decided that it would be "shocking indeed that the possibility exists that King may receive an Honorary Degree from the same Institution (Marquette) which honored the Director with such a Degree in 1950." With respect to Springfield College, where the Director had also been offered an honorary degree, the Bureau’s decision about whom to contact included the observation that "it would not appear to be prudent to attempt to deal with" the President of the college because he "is very close to Sargent Shriver." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/4/64; and 4/2/64; memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 4/8/64.)

    72.  Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to Clyde Tolson, 10/25/66 and 10/26/66. At about the same time, the Bureau leaked a story to the press about Dr. King’s intention to seek financial assistance from Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa because "[d]isclosure would be mutually embarrassing to both men and probably cause King’s quest for badly needed funds to fail in this instance” (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 10/28/66.)

    The Bureau also tried to block the National Science Foundation (NSF) from dealing with the SCLC. "It is incredible that an outfit such as the SCLC should be utilized for the purpose of recruiting Negroes to take part In the NSF program, particularly where funds of the U.S. Government are involved." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 12/17/64.)

    73.  Memorandum from Special Agent to Cartha DeLoach, 11/3/64.

    74.  "It is shocking Indeed that King continues to be honored by religious groups." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 2/1/65.) Contacts were made with representatives of the National Council of Churches of Christ, the Baptist World Alliance, the American Church in Paris, and Catholic Church, (Memoranda from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 6/12/64, 12/15/64 and 2/16/64; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 2/18/66; memorandum from Chicago Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/24/66, and memorandum from Legat, Paris, to FBI Headquarters, 4/14/66 and 5/9/66.) The Director did disapprove a suggestion that religious leaders be permitted "to listen to sources we have" (FBI Director’s note on memorandum from Jones to Thomas Bishop, 12/8/64.)

    75.  Memorandum from Charles Brennan to William C. Sullivan, 3/8/67. The Bureau also disseminated to "friendly media sources" a newspaper article which was critical of Dr. King’s position on the Vietnam war. The stated purposes were to "publicize King as a traitor to his country and his race," and to "reduce his income," (memorandum from George C. Moore to William C. Sullivan, 10/18/67.) "Background information" was also given to at least one wire service (memorandum from Sizoo to William C. Sullivan, 5/24/65).

    76.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office 5/18/67. There had been rumors about a "peace ticket" headed by Dr. King and Benjamin Spock.

    77.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office, 4/13/64; memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/2/64.

    78.  Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 8/14/65; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 1/10/67.

    ‘Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 1/22/64; memorandum from Nicholas Callahan to John Mohr, 1/31/64. On one occasion the testimony leaked to other members of Congress, prompting the Director to note, "Someone on Rooney’s Committee certainly betrayed the secrecy of the ‘off the record’ testimony I gave re: King." (Director’s note on memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 3/16/64.)

    81.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all SACs, 3/4/68.

    82.  Memorandum from George C. Moore to William C. Sullivan, 3/26/68.

    83.  Memorandum from Atlanta Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/18/69.

    84.  Memoranda: From George C. Moore to William C. Sullivan, 1/17/69; and from Jones to Thomas Bishop, 3/18/69. Steps were even taken to prevent the issuance of "commemorative medals." (Memorandum from Jones to Thomas Bishop, 5/22/68.)

    Informants and agents provocateurs

    Official Misconduct in Indian Country:

    The U.S. Department of Justice



    Most if not all of the tactics identified in exhibit 2 were used against the American Indian Movement in the 1970s.  With AIM, however, the tactics used took unique twists & turns.

    Malicious or Vindictive Prosecution

    Records show that activists in the 1960s & 1970s were repeatedly arrested “on any excuse” until “they could no longer make bail”. 

    In the case of AIM, however, virtually every known AIM leader in the United States was incarcerated in either state or federal prisons since (or even before) the organization’s formal emergence in 1968, some repeatedly.  Organization members often languished in jail for months as the cumulative bail required to free them outstripped resource capabilities of AIM & supporting groups.

    After the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee in South Dakota (Part 2), the FBI caused 542 separate charges to be filed against anyone thought connected with the Wounded Knee occupation.  This resulted in only 15 convictions.  Most charges were dismissed because of court rulings that the U.S. military was illegally used to suppress the occupation. Organization members were tied up in criminal prosecutions that were intended to destroy the Movement. This in part caused Amnesty International to call for investigations into the use of the criminal justice system by the FBI for political purposes.


    The most pervasive surveillance technique traditionally used by the FBI is the informant.  

    In a random sample of domestic intelligence cases in 1976, as reported to the Church Committee, 83 percent involved the use of informants.  Informants often were used against peaceful, law-abiding groups; they collected information about personal & political views & activities.  Not surprisingly, the FBI also used informants in their domestic intelligence operation against the American Indian Movement.

    However, as revealed by the Church Committee & subsequent congressional inquiries, there were concerns about the conduct of informants & their FBI handlers.

    FBI informants, often quite violent & emotionally disturbed individuals, were used to present false testimony to the courts & frame COINTELPRO targets for crimes the FBI knew they did not commit.  In some cases the charges were quite serious, including murder.

    In addition, to maintain their credentials in violence-prone groups, some informants involved themselves in violent activity.  This phenomenon is well illustrated by informants in the Ku Klux Klan.  One such informant was present at the murder of a civil rights worker in Mississippi & subsequently helped to solve the crime & convict the perpetrators. Earlier, however, while performing duties paid for by the FBI, he had previously “beaten people severely, had boarded buses & kicked people, had [gone] into restaurants & beaten them [blacks] with blackjacks, chains, [and] pistols”.  Although the FBI requires agents to instruct informants that they cannot be involved in violence, it was understood that in the Klan, “he couldn’t be an angel & be a good informant”.

    This misuse of informants wasn’t limited to the FBI?s investigations & surveillance of political dissidents, however.  For example, in November 20, 2003, a congressional report issued by the House Committee on Government Reform detailed misconduct by agents of the FBI & their supervisors (right up to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), in the 1965 murder of Edward “Teddy” Deegan.  Evidence had emerged that showed that the FBI cultivated a Mafia hit man as a star informant & government witness, & then silently watched as he falsely accused four innocent men of the Deegan murder.  Internal FBI documents showed that agents & their supervisors knew the identities of the real killers.  Not only did the FBI & federal prosecutors fail to prevent the wrongful conviction of the four innocent men, but they also took “affirmative steps” to make sure that they “would not obtain post-conviction relief & that they would die in prison”.  As a result, murderous government informants were protected over a 38-year period and, tragically, two innocent men died in prison.  When asked by the congressional committee how he felt about the wrongful imprisonment of one of the four men, i.e., Joseph Salvati, for more than 30 years, retired FBI agent H. Paul Rico replied, “What do you want?  Tears?”

    The Agent Provocateur

    As with many dissident groups, the FBI relied on the use of informants to “neutralize” AIM, but also used a different type of informant, the agent provocateur, to cause disruption within the organization & by so doing render it ineffective.

    These informants played a wider & more insidious role within organizations the Bureau investigated.  At the direction of FBI handlers, agent provocateurs raised controversial issues at meetings to take advantage of ideological divisions; promoted enmity with other groups; or incited the group to violent acts, even to the point of providing them with weapons.  More importantly, over the years, this type of informant repeatedly urged & initiated violent acts such as forceful disruptions of meetings & demonstrations, attacks on police, bombings, etc.


    Douglass Durham ? who showed up at the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973 (see page 11) claiming he was of Indian descent (one-quarter Chippewa) & carrying press credentials from a leftist newspaper ? was one such agent provocateur. 

    Durham was immediately suspected by many AIM members of being an informant.  This was largely a matter of style, but also because he had what was considered unusual contacts & methods.  He also was familiar with airplanes & electronics, as well as firearms & cameras. 

    However, Durham proved useful & even invaluable on a number of occasions to AIM co-founder Dennis Banks who came to rely on Durham’s resourcefulness.  Durham then was able to isolate Banks from the rest of the AIM members & slowly interject himself to the activities of & policy decisions made by AIM.

    Durham often encouraged rash & inflammatory acts that might have destroyed AIM.  Failing this, given the opportunity, Durham created what bad press that he could for AIM, & also disrupted fundraising efforts.

    As AIM?s first security director & the coordinator of the WKLDOC (Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee, see Part 2) office during the trial of Dennis Banks & Russell Means for charges stemming from the Wounded Knee takeover, Durham had been the only person besides the defendants & their lawyers who was privy to stratagems of the defense ? information that made its way into the hands of government prosecutors.  It is believed that the FBI, in appreciation, raised Durham’s salary from $900 to $1,100 a month; this money was in addition to the $100,000 that AIM people estimate he stole from the Movement while in charge of all incoming contributions. 

    As it happened, rampant FBI & prosecutorial misconduct led not to a mistrial in the Banks-Means case, but to Judge Nichols? dismissal of all remaining charges against the defendants.  The judge chastised the prosecutor for over an hour, & voiced his bitter disappointment at the behavior of FBI agents.

    During the Banks-Means trial, federal prosecutors & FBI agents had steadfastly denied the presence of an informant.  In late 1974, however, irrefutable evidence (a report signed by Durham related to another WKLDOC case) was discovered by one of the WKLDOC attorneys. 

    In 2003, attorneys for Leonard Peltier discovered ? amongst documents withheld by the FBI for 26 years ? evidence that, despite Durham’s presence, the FBI in fact had another informant (as yet unidentified) who was a member of the actual WKLDOC legal team.

    AIM leaders watched Durham very carefully during the next several months, even following him to a FBI debriefing in Miami during December 1974.

    In March 1975, AIM leaders confronted Durham who eventually admitted to working for the FBI.  He was then publicly exposed as an FBI informant by the AIM leadership at a press conference on March 12, 1975.

    Durham had a history of being a blackmailer, thief, & cheat.  A former police officer in Iowa, Durham had been dismissed from the force when a police psychiatrist diagnosed him as a “paranoid schizoid” personality with “violent tendencies” & termed him “unfit for employment involving the public trust” after the unexplained death of his first wife, in 1964.  Durham also had been the major culprit in a police corruption scandal in 1972, according to the findings of a Des Moines grand jury.

    Durham’s public exposure as an agent provocateur attracted the attention of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Senator Frank Church.  The Church Committee staff questioned Durham on May 2, 1975.  Durham was then subpoenaed to appear before the full committee, but he never did so.  Events during the summer of 1975 suddenly ended the Committee’s investigation of COINTELPRO & AIM.

    “Snitch Jacketing”

    Another COINTELPRO tactic was “snitch jacketing” where the FBI intentionally made the target look like a police officer, federal agent, or an informer.  This served the dual purposes of isolating & alienating important leaders, often, as well as increasing the general level of fear & factionalism in the group.  “When a member of a nonviolent group was successfully mislabeled as an informant, the result was alienation from the group.  When the target belonged to a group known to have killed suspected informants, the risk was substantially more serious.  On several occasions, the Bureau used this technique against members of the Black Panther Party (BPP); it was used at least twice after FBI documents expressed concern over the possible consequences because two members of the BPP had been murdered as suspected informants.”

    Effects of COINTELPRO Tactics

    Any one of these three approaches (standard informant, agent provocateur, or “snitch jacketing”) alone might have been effective in “neutralizing” AIM.  But the concurrent use of these COINTELPRO tactics had a particularly deleterious effect on the Movement. 

    External oppression, i.e., the unjust exercise of authority & power by one group over another, was (and some would argue, still is) a fact of life for American Indians.  The belief systems, values & life ways of the dominant U.S. population were imposed on Native Americans daily over the course of their lifetimes, generation after generation.  In psychological terms, over time, external oppression became “internalized oppression” when the Indigenous people came to believe & act as if the dominant culture’s beliefs, values, & way of life were reality.  “Internalized oppression” ? or “internalized racism” (also known as “self-hatred”) ? resulted in shame & the disowning of individual & cultural reality.  

    Despite the cultural reawakening that AIM represented to Native peoples in the U.S. during the 1970s, on an individual level, “internalized oppression” meant that the government often had to exert only minimal pressure to achieve the desired effect.  The FBI discovered that Native Americans would readily destroy themselves & each other.  Why?  Divide & conquer worked.  The FBI understood this all too well. 

    “Snitch jacketing” was a particularly effective device when combined with “internalized oppression” & produced severe paranoia among some AIM members.  The discovery of FBI operatives, informants, & agent provocateurs in their midst intensified that fear.  This fear led to tragic events that all but destroyed the American Indian Movement.  The impact of such events is still felt today.


    Official Misconduct in Indian Country

    Official Misconduct in Indian Country:

    The U.S. Department of Justice



    In recent years, throughout the entire United States, miscarriages of justice have been uncovered at an alarming rate.  Many wrongful convictions are the result of simple human error.  However, many instances of official misconduct also have come to light with respect to wrongful convictions (exhibit 1, parts A & B).

    Law enforcement personnel are most often the first to investigate crimes.  Through the use of improper techniques, coercive tactics, poor investigation, & sometimes fabrication of evidence, police officers & federal agents can & do contribute to the incidence of wrongful conviction.

    Forensic laboratories play an integral role in developing cases for prosecution & also have been shown to engage in misconduct.  State laboratories across the nation have come under scrutiny for poor scientific techniques & handling of evidence, providing misleading data to juries or skewing data to support prosecution claims, or providing completely false testimony & fabricated evidence. 


    Overzealous & untruthful prosecutors also have caused wrongful convictions. 


    While the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is generally assumed to be the model for Americ criminal justice systems, the Department is not immune to such official misconduct.  It has its own problems ? also at all levels.


    Given the incidence & prevalence of such official misconduct, it can no longer be argued that these are isolated occurrences perpetrated by misguided individuals.  Instead, in many instances, the clusters of occurrences indicate the presence of a systemic problem at the DOJ ? top-down & widespread.


    In the case of the DOJ, the misconduct exhibited today often has its roots in attitudes that emerged between 1956 & the mid-1970s, when formal covert operations were used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Such operations were investigated by the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, known as the "Church Committee" (named after its chairman Frank Church), during the post-Watergate period.

    Beginning in January 1975, the Church Committee took public & private testimony from hundreds of people, collected huge volumes of files from the FBI & many other federal agencies, & issued 14 reports. 


    Since the passage of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act in 1992, over 50,000 pages of Church Committee records have been declassified & made available to the public.  These files contain testimony & information on the FBI?s counter-intelligence programs & related topics.


    As discovered by the Church Committee & reported in 1976, the goals of the COunter INTELligence PROgrams of the period from 1956 to the mid-1970s were to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" those persons or organizations that the FBI decided were "enemies of the State".  


    The COINTELPROs were designed to "disrupt" groups & "neutralize" individuals deemed to be threats to domestic security.  The law ? in particular, the U.S. Constitution ? was simply ignored.  There was a general attitude that intelligence needs were responsive to a higher law.  "Whatever opinion one holds about the policies of the targeted groups, many of the tactics employed by the FBI were indisputably degrading to a free society."


    Sometimes the harm caused by intelligence operations was readily apparent ? destruction of marriages, alienation from friends, or the loss of jobs.  Sometimes the attitudes of the public & of government officials responsible for formulating policy & resolving vital issues were influenced by distorted intelligence.  But the most basic harm was to the values of privacy & freedom which the Constitution seeks to protect & which intelligence activity infringed upon on a broad scale.


    The most notable exclusion from the list of dissident groups targeted by the FBI & investigated by the Church Committee was the the American Indian Movement (AIM) ? an Indigenous rights group founded in 1968 & committed to uniting all Native Peoples in an effort to uplift their communities, promote cultural pride, & ensure tribal sovereignty.  Nearly three decades later, the work first undertaken by the Church Committee can be complete only if a full investigation of the intelligence operation launched by the FBI against AIM is conducted, as the Committee had intended to do in 1975.


    To make a start, a case study of the FBI?s activities vis-

    Examples of Official Misconduct

    Official Misconduct in Indian Country:

    The U.S. Department of Justice

    EXHIBIT 1A: 

    Examples of Official Misconduct

    at the State & Local Levels

    • Since the late 1990s, the Innocence Project (founded by Barry Scheck & Peter Neufeld) has been responsible for over 100 exonerations using DNA evidence.  Many of the convictions had occurred before DNA techniques became available.  However, alarmingly, the Innocence Project has reported that over half of its first 70 exonerations also had involved police misconduct & nearly 50 percent of them had involved prosecutorial misconduct.

    • However, most occurrences of wrongful conviction do not involve DNA evidence.  According to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity, since 1970, individual judges & appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in over 2,000 cases.  In another 500 cases, appellate judges offered opinions ? either dissents or concurrences ? in which they found misconduct warranted a reversal.  In thousands more cases, judges labeled prosecutorial behavior inappropriate, but upheld convictions using a doctrine called "harmless error".  The nature of the questionable conduct includes:  courtroom misconduct; mishandling of physical evidence (hiding, destroying or tampering with evidence, case files or court records); failing to disclose exculpatory evidence; threatening, badgering or tampering with witnesses; & using false or misleading evidence.

    • In January 1999, the Chicago Tribune published a five-part series of articles that found, in the paper’s own words, "nearly 400 cases where prosecutors obtained homicide convictions by committing the most unforgivable kinds of deception.  They hid evidence that could have set defendants free.  They allowed witnesses to lie.  All in defiance of the law.  Prosecutors swear to seek the truth but instead many pursue convictions at any cost. The premium is on winning, not justice."  The series, reported & written by Maurice Possley & Ken Armstrong, documented 381 cases, going back to 1963, in which courts reversed murder convictions because prosecutors presented evidence they apparently knew to be false, or concealed evidence suggesting innocence, or both.

    • Then, in November 1999, the Tribune published another in-depth series by Armstrong & reporter Steve Mills that examined murder cases in which Illinois prosecutors, mostly in Cook County (Chicago), had charged a defendant with a capital crime & asked for the death penalty.  The journalists identified 326 reversals attributed in whole or part to the misconduct of the prosecutors.  As in the first series, the reporters named names ” of prosecutors, forensic scientists, & others within the criminal justice system.  They wrote about how prosecutors used confessions extracted through police torture, used perjured testimony of jailhouse informants seeking rewards, or used unreliable analyses from law enforcement forensic laboratories.  In addition to changing perceptions, these reporters & their editors changed public policy.  Most notably, in 2003, Illinois Governor George Ryan took the unprecedented action of commuting the sentences of everyone on death row to life imprisonment.