Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

FBI believes it is above the law

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My God, this feeling that the law does not apply is spreading. Certainly the law doesn’t apply to Barack Obama, who is free to ignore the treaty requirements (the highest law of the land) in the Convention Against Torture—nor did it apply to the torturers and those who murdered prisoners (apparently CIA). And now we see that the FBI was telling its agents that they could ignore the law. Once the notion is accepted that some, by virtue of their jobs or their offices, are above the law and can break the law publicly and with impunity—well, everyone wants to get on that train. Michael Schmidt and Charlie Savage report in the NY Times:

Training material used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said agents had the “ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others,” but that language has now been removed, according to a briefing the bureau recently provided to Congress.

The language suggesting that agents could bend the law was contained in 876 pages of training materials about Muslims and Arab-Americans the F.B.I. deemed to be offensive or inaccurate and removed after a review of about 160,000 pages of such material over the past six months, according to aides present at the briefing.

Also removed was the admonition that agents should never stare at or shake hands with an Asian, and the assertion that Arabs had “Jekyll and Hyde” personalities making them more likely to have “outbursts and loss of control” than even-keeled Westerners.

A description of some of the material deemed inappropriate was contained in a letter sent on Tuesday by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, to the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III. The letter was first reported by Wired magazine, which last year published similar leaked training materials that prompted the F.B.I.’s broader review.

Michael Kortan, a spokesman for the F.B.I., confirmed the removal of the language suggesting “the ability to bend or suspend the law,” which he described as “inartful.” But — pointing to a set of talking points that apparently accompanied the material — he said the trainers meant that under normal circumstances, agents have the ability to eavesdrop legally on private communications if they obtain wiretap orders from a court.

“I cannot emphasize enough that we disagree with the implication that training attendees, who were analysts, were led to believe that we actually bend or suspend the law or anything like that,” Mr. Kortan said. . . [despite the clear language telling agents that they had the “ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others.” Mr. Kortan is a VERY inartful liar. And it was NOT an “implication”, it was a totally clear and open statement. The scum. – LG]

Continue reading. I guess obeying the law is not so important now in the US. Having power is the thing—like the police officers I blogged yesterday who slammed a guy to the pavement for the perfectly legal act of photographing them making a traffic stop: the cops broke the law, but they will not be punished, because they have power. The guy was obeying the law, but that’s not the point nowadays in the US—at least in some obvious cases. And, in the case at hand (the FBI), the agents were clearly and explicitly told that they were not bound by the law. Great.

I would bet that the top priority in the FBI right now is to find who leaked the documents and do everything possible to destroy him/her and his/her career.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 March 2012 at 4:32 pm

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