Rot at the core - the FBI

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Interesting revelation - from Wired Magazine - March 28th, 2012:

READ THE FBI MEMO: AGENTS CAN 'SUSPEND THE LAW'

20180704-fbi.jpg

The FBI once taught its agents that they can "bend or suspend the law" as they wiretap suspects. But the bureau says it didn't really mean it, and has now removed the document from its counterterrorism training curriculum, calling it an "imprecise" instruction. Which is a good thing, national security attorneys say, because the FBI's contention that it can twist the law in pursuit of suspected terrorists is just wrong.

And a bit more:

The reference to law-bending was noted in a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller from Sen. Richard Durbin that Danger Room obtained. When Danger Room asked for the original document, the FBI initially declined. On Wednesday, a Bureau spokesperson relented, but refused to say who prepared the document; how long it was in circulation; and how many FBI agents, analysts and officials received its instruction.

The undated piece of instructional material (.pdf) notes that "under certain circumstances, the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others." Those circumstances include "the ability to gather information on individuals which would normally be protected under the U.S. Constitution through the use of FISA [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act], Title 3 monitoring [general law enforcement surveillance], NSL [National Security Letter] reports, etc."

Some surveillance experts were confused by that explanation. Surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or so-called "Title-3" law-enforcement surveillance requires the approval of judges. National Security Letters – administrative subpoenas for records issued by FBI officials, not judges – are troubling to civil libertarians, as the practice is rife for abuse, but the issuance of the letters themselves is legal. In other words, there shouldn't be any suspension of the law.

Rife for abuse indeed. A fake dossier paid for with Clinton campaign funds forms the basis for a FISA approved wiretap on people in Donald Trump's campaign. Abuses like this have been going on since well before 2011 - here is one case from 2007: U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas  John Edgar is spinning in his grave.

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