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FBI Employees Face Criminal Probe Over Patriot Act 217

Posted by Zonk
from the keep-your-fingers-to-yourself dept.
DevanJedi writes "According to an article at Wired.com , several FBI agents are under investigation for illegally acquiring information an American citizens. Overzealous agents used 'misleading emergency letters' obtain phone records of thousands of Americans. This marks the first time government officers have been prosecuted for misuse of the Patriot Act. From the article: 'Unit employees, who are not authorized to request records in investigations, sent form letters to telephone companies to acquire detailed billing information on specific phone numbers by falsely promising that subpoenas were already in the works. According to a third source, FBI officials also said at the meeting that some bureau employees have already been granted immunity from prosecution in the investigation. The third source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, did not recall, however, that FBI officials described the investigation as "criminal."'"
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FBI Employees Face Criminal Probe Over Patriot Act

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  • Wow...just wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:46PM (#19842579)
    "FBI officials also said at the meeting that some bureau employees have already been granted immunity from prosecution in the investigation."

    If this is true, I honestly don't know what to say anymore.

    I'm moving to Antarctica.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "FBI officials also said at the meeting that some bureau employees have already been granted immunity from prosecution in the investigation."

      If this is true, I honestly don't know what to say anymore.


      I do. It's high time the American people hold the government accountable for its actions and use its power of the vote to alter the course of American history.

      Pity no one gives a damn enough to do it, though.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by cromar (1103585)
        For some of us, who no one listens to and don't speak very well, the only course is to wait for a revolution.

        I do what little I can and I vote. It hasn't been working for shit.
        • Re:Wow...just wow (Score:4, Insightful)

          by russ1337 (938915) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:34PM (#19843135)
          >>>the only course is to wait for a revolution.

          You'll be waiting a long time my friend. Anyone vocal enough to suggest starting a revolution becomes the enemy.... or disappears.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by CrackedButter (646746)
            They're sent to Siberia aren't they? Oh wait, you're talking about the USA?
            • by Amouth (879122)
              yea so we jsut send them to that government sponsored resort in cuba

              by the way - nice sig
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by CrackedButter (646746)
                I forgot about that place, wow, the parallels are even more scary now between the USSR and the USSA.
          • Re:Wow...just wow (Score:5, Insightful)

            by rbanffy (584143) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @09:20PM (#19844825) Homepage Journal
            I am pretty sure suggesting a revolution or anything similar would qualify someone as a terrorist under the Patriot Act or some other law that may be passed under the same spirit.

            Despite that, revolutions have a pretty high probability to go awfully wrong. Just because one went right doesn't guarantee the next will.

            You know the drill - register as a voter and mobilize your community (visit your neighbors, propose meetings and other forms of discussion where you can explore your differences and inform yourselves about all candidates) so everyone in it can and will exercise their right - and duty - to vote well.

            It's your country and your laws. Take them back.
    • Re:Wow...just wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:54PM (#19842695)
      Immunity is usually granted in exchange for testimony. If they're granting immunity from prosecution to someone who knew about it but did not participate, or small offenders to convict a big offender, I can live with this. They should still be fired, but I'd rather punish the big offenders than every small fish.
    • Re:Wow...just wow (Score:5, Informative)

      by beheaderaswp (549877) * on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:01PM (#19843411)
      "If this is true, I honestly don't know what to say anymore.

      I'm moving to Antarctica."

      This isn't anything new.

      The last time we had anything like this going on was during and after the Nixon administration. In those days it was an FBI program called COINTELPRO- which infiltrated (CIA style) and collected evidence against a semi-terrorist organization called the "Weather Underground". In fact their evidence was so tainted by rights violations, that with the exception of David Gilbert, who got a life rap for murder, they all walked.

      Gilbert of course was involved in an armored car robbery in New York, and charged in New York, so even he walked in regard to the COINTELPRO charges.

      The others, who used to blow things up (though they warned people about the bombs so that no one would get hurt), were summarily released one after another once the federal courts got hold of the evidence of FBI wrong doing.

      In fact, the evidence that freed them, was in fact STOLEN by them out of an FBI office in Mississippi (If memory serves).

      This is nothing new. And under this administration not suprising. And the courts did the right thing... evidence that is "fruit of the poisoned vine" should never be allowed.

      Let's hope this latest flap is far less agregious.
    • I honestly am divided on this. If the situation warranted it (i.e. Emergency situation that required immediate information to save lives) then I could understand this. But if this was just routine intelligence gathering I have to say I am disappointed at these agents. As someone said a few comments down this kind of abuse can lead to a serious mistrust of the organization and eventually continued abuses will lead to a level of oversight that will hurt the agents that follow the rules. Intel oversight is a g
      • (i.e. Emergency situation that required immediate information to save lives)

        Outside of "24" and other spy genre forms of entertainment, the "ticking time bomb" does not exist. But hideous breeches of privacy and civil rights are allowed to continue because people insist that they be allowed to cling the the myth of the ticking time bomb. If we had to accept that the FBI is just freely data mining using whatever means they can manage, basically doing the equivalent of door to door warrantless searches, well

  • Pardons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by athloi (1075845) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:51PM (#19842655) Homepage Journal
    Do the little guys get pardons too? It sure would be embittering to see Scooter Libby go free when salt of the earth NWO grunts got sent to prison.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Do the little guys get pardons too? It sure would be embittering to see Scooter Libby go free when salt of the earth NWO grunts got sent to prison.
      Cue Abu Ghraib: It's just a few bad apples.
      This was not official policy.
      No Officers will go to jail.

      Though I hope the Administration isn't dumb enough to try that line again.
      Congress is much more inclined to apply its oversight powers these days.
    • Re:Pardons (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ArcherB (796902) * on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:00PM (#19842777) Journal
      Do the little guys get pardons too? It sure would be embittering to see Scooter Libby go free when salt of the earth NWO grunts got sent to prison.

      Well, there is a big difference between what Scooter Libby did and what these guys are doing. Scooter was prosecuted for perjury. His "recollection" of a conversation was different than that of the guy he spoke with. No one was in danger over what Scooter did.

      What these FBI guys are doing is unforgivable. They are literally endangering the lives of all of us. By abusing the PATRIOT Act, they are risking having it taken away from those agents who would use it legally to prevent some sort of terrorist attack from happening again.

      That is inexcusable... or unpardonable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by forrestt (267374)
        By abusing the PATRIOT Act, they are risking having it taken away

        Then I, for one, say keep abusing it!!!
      • Re:Pardons (Score:4, Informative)

        by terrymr (316118) <terrymr@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:10PM (#19842885)
        I thought the claim was that scooter kept changing his testimony in order to obstruct the investigation.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ArcherB (796902) *
          Here is the quote from the actual indictment: [cnn.net]

          When LIBBY spoke with Tim Russert of NBC News, on or about July 10,
          i. Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife worked for
          the CIA, and told LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and
          ii. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was surprised to hear that
          Wilson's wife worked for the CIA;

          According to Russert:

          i. Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife
          worked for the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew
          it; and
          ii. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that
          Wilson's wife worked at the CIA; in fact, LIBBY had participated in
          multiple prior conversations concerning this topic, including on the
          following occasions:...

          Now it seems to me that this indictment assumes that it was Scooter who leaked the name. We now know that it was Armitage, who was never charged.

      • They are literally endangering the lives of all of us. By abusing the PATRIOT Act, they are risking having it taken away from those agents who would use it legally to prevent some sort of terrorist attack from happening again.

        I hope it, the PATRIOT Act, is gotten rid of. It's not needed. And I was against it to begin with as well as against renewing it. They already had all the power needed to reduce the risk of terrorist attackes. Yes, I said "reduce the risk", as the risk can't be eliminated even in a police state run by a military dictator.

        Falcon
        • Someone please respond to this post with a verifiable example of a terrorist action that was stopped by using provisions of the Patriot act. So far I have only seen it being used to lock up Americans doing stuff totally unrelated to terrorist activities and infringe on peoples privacy and liberty.
          • Someone please respond to this post with a verifiable example of a terrorist action that was stopped by using provisions of the Patriot act. So far I have only seen it being used to lock up Americans doing stuff totally unrelated to terrorist activities and infringe on peoples privacy and liberty.

            You'll never hear the FBI, or this admin, give a single example of a terrorist attcks that was thwarted by intel that could only of been gotten by the PATROIT Act. The Act was not needed!

            Falcon

          • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:43PM (#19843771)

            Someone please respond to this post with a verifiable example of a terrorist action that was stopped by using provisions of the Patriot act. So far I have only seen it being used to lock up Americans doing stuff totally unrelated to terrorist activities and infringe on peoples privacy and liberty.
            I wouldn't hold your breath. Not because its not possible that the PATRIOT Act hasn't been used to do what it was sold to do but simply because anyone who's in the know isn't likely to publicly publish anything about it. Consider that this is all about Intelligence and much of the handling of that involves "need to know" practices. Even vague details about what was collected or how it was collected can betray far too much information.

            I don't doubt someone, somewhere out there knows how the PATRIOT Act has been used to combat terrorism. But that misses the point. The real issue here is one of abuse or, at the very least, risk of abuse.

            If we could trust that power wouldn't be abused, we wouldn't have to worry about civil rights. We could allow those entrusted with our welfare complete power, safe in the knowledge that their actions weren't being guided by personal gain or bias. We'd know that they carefully considered their actions before taking them. And we'd be safer for it.

            The reality is that people are human - even those who are entrusted with the duty to safeguard us all. As such, they are prone to all the bias and temptations people are always confronted with. Our laws, complete with checks and balances, are there to not only safeguard the population but to give pause to those who are entrusted with authority and take action against those who abuse that authority (or prove to be otherwise unworthy).

            In short, the issue with the PATRIOT Act isn't whether it's effective against terrorists. It's a matter of whether it has the right checks-and-balance to ensure that it is both effective as well as resistant to abuse. History is proving abuse is widespread. And critics already point out that much of the power involved in the Act already existed... we've just stripped away the checks that are designed to curtail abuse. Odd, that.
            • by Chris Burke (6130)
              I wouldn't hold your breath. Not because its not possible that the PATRIOT Act hasn't been used to do what it was sold to do but simply because anyone who's in the know isn't likely to publicly publish anything about it. Consider that this is all about Intelligence and much of the handling of that involves "need to know" practices. Even vague details about what was collected or how it was collected can betray far too much information.

              Actually, at least a Congressional committee did hear of examples where US
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by ResidntGeek (772730)
            What, do you expect the government to release a statement saying "Check it out guys, we stopped some terrorists who were trying to blow up three major metropolitan areas with nukes Russia lost track of back in '82... no need to panic, or grab all your guns and head for the hills, or start lynching brown people, kthxbye!"
          • Patriot Examples (Score:3, Informative)

            by Descalzo (898339)

            Someone please respond to this post with a verifiable example of a terrorist action that was stopped by using provisions of the Patriot act.

            This page [nationalreview.com] lists several instances in which the provisions of the Patriot act have helped fight terrorism. Several of the facts on the page have links to corroborating stories. The one I most wanted to read is on the uscourts.gov site and was timing out.

            I had heard before that the Patriot Act had more to do with inter-agency cooperation than with anything else, but

        • by ArcherB (796902) *
          I hope it, the PATRIOT Act, is gotten rid of. It's not needed. And I was against it to begin with as well as against renewing it. They already had all the power needed to reduce the risk of terrorist attackes. Yes, I said "reduce the risk", as the risk can't be eliminated even in a police state run by a military dictator.

          I've met a couple people in the FBI and this is a paraphrase of what they've told me about 9-11.

          We knew something was coming. We didn't know what, how, where or even when. We could tell because of an increase in chatter, which we couldn't listen to, and activities that we couldn't watch. For example, we would get a tip that there would be a meeting of a terrorist cell at this location at this time. That tip would not be enough for us to get a warrant or it would not give us enough time to conduct surveillance. It was so bad that if a known terrorist came into a restaurant where I was eating and sat at the table next to me, I would have to leave because I would not have a warrant to listen in.
          So yeah, we knew something was coming, but there was not a damn thing we could do about it.

          And that is what the PATRIOT Act is supposed to fix. According to those I spoke with, they

          • the FBI does not want to spy on you if you are not planning a terrorist act.

            BS, they spied on Martin Luther King Jr. As director of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover [wikipedia.org] kept secret files on a lot of people from equal right activists to peace activitists.

            Falcon
            • by ArcherB (796902) *
              BS, they spied on Martin Luther King Jr. As director of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover kept secret files on a lot of people from equal right activists to peace activitists.

              Uh, right. That was before I was born. I'm talking about anti-terror stuff since 2001. I'm sure the FBI did some questionable stuff during WWI looking for Kaisers as well, but we should move beyond that.
              • BS, they spied on Martin Luther King Jr. As director of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover kept secret files on a lot of people from equal right activists to peace activitists.

                Uh, right. That was before I was born. I'm talking about anti-terror stuff since 2001. I'm sure the FBI did some questionable stuff during WWI looking for Kaisers as well, but we should move beyond that.

                I lived through it and what happened once will happen again. Hell, it's happening now, that's what tfa is all about. And just like the

              • by Taevin (850923) *

                I'm sure the FBI did some questionable stuff during WWI looking for Kaisers as well, but we should move beyond that.

                Umm, how can I put this simply? *-*-*NO*-*-*

                The entire point of studying history is to learn from the past. There are countless examples throughout recorded human history that show that the more power you give to a government, the more likely it is to become corrupt. We're just supposed to note this, say "huh, that's interesting," and just "move beyond" and take nothing of substance fr

                • by ArcherB (796902) *
                  I guess we differ on our views of abuse of power. I figured that abuse would mean for something personal like, to get rich or to get more power or maybe even to get laid. But I've never figured all this stink would be over to do your job better. I mean, is that really abuse? Granted, it's not what the intended, and I will agree that it should be watched over closely, I don't know if I'd call it abuse. Earlier today at work, I was swapping out a monitor. I removed it from the desk and set it on the cha
                  • by Thing 1 (178996)

                    But I've never figured all this stink would be over to do your job better. I mean, is that really abuse?

                    Sorry, YES!!!!?

                    Can't find the quote, but it's something like "when government efficiency outweighs individual rights, we get fascism."

          • You have got to be VERY young or very ignorant of history. Read a non high school version of a US history book, you know, the ones where the civil war was about states rights not slavery little stuff like that.
            • by ArcherB (796902) *
              You have got to be VERY young or very ignorant of history. Read a non high school version of a US history book, you know, the ones where the civil war was about states rights not slavery little stuff like that.

              I didn't mention the civil war. Where did you get that?

              Other than you either responding to the wrong post or the "parent" button on your post took me to the wrong place, you are absolutely correct about the one of the causes for the civil war being states rights. For that matter, it's still an issue
          • by moeinvt (851793)
            "Trust me, the FBI does not want to spy on you if you are not. . ."

            -speaking out against the government
            -a peace activist
            -espousing politically incorrect views

            Trust me, when they ignore reports from one of their own agents claiming that a certain few Middle-Eastern men are taking flying lessons but opting out of the "How to Land the Aircraft" class, The Patriot Act isn't about counter-terrorism.
      • by crotherm (160925)

        No one was in danger over what Scooter did.
        What he covered up was far more dangerous than this abuse by the FBI, but by your .sig I bet you would not think so.

        What these FBI guys are doing is unforgivable. They are literally endangering the lives of all of us.
        ROTFLMAO.... So tell me, what does your gut tell you about the impending terrorist attack?
      • by Chyeld (713439)
        The real difference in what Scooter did and these guys is that these guys can't dish any dirt on the actual heads of Administration, where Scooter was in a position to leave his bosses twisting in the winds.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 7-Vodka (195504)
        I'm sorry but what scooter fucking libby did was to 'out' a CIA field agent on behalf of dick 'the dickhead' cheney. He then lied about it and tried to obstruct the investigation.

        Believe it or not, when you 'out' a CIA agent, you could be putting in danger the lives of many potential assets as well as any other agents who have in any way interacted with the one you outed. And then the chain continues, if one of those agents is discovered in connection with her, all of their assets and connections are also

        • If Scooter Libby "outed a CIA field agent" why wasn't he, or anyone else, charged for it? Valerie Plame was not a covert agent. Just because people say something over and over again, that doesn't make it true.
        • by joshki (152061)
          Amazing how people love to spout even when they obviously won't even bother to read about a situation. At least read the news -- your assertions have no basis in fact, and everybody, including the special prosecutor, knows it. Libby was a convenient wrap-up to a failed investigation of a non-event so the special prosecutor could say he did something.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by soren100 (63191)

        Well, there is a big difference between what Scooter Libby did and what these guys are doing. Scooter was prosecuted for perjury. His "recollection" of a conversation was different than that of the guy he spoke with. No one was in danger over what Scooter did.

        That's ridiculous, and a lie in itself. Outing an undercover CIA agent endangers the lives of everyone else abroad who ever associated with that CIA agent or other undercover agents working for the same front company and their associates too. People

  • I am glad... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cromar (1103585)
    I am glad some small parts of our oppressive nanny state are breaking, at least. I hope it not too little, too late.

    I'm so sick of this shit.
  • "According to an article at Wired.com, several FBI agents are under investigation for illegally acquiring information [on] American citizens. Overzealous agents used 'misleading emergency letters' [to] obtain phone records of thousands of Americans. This marks the first time government officers have been prosecuted for misuse of the Patriot Act. From the article: 'Unit employees, who are not authorized to request records in investigations, sent form letters to telephone companies to acquire detailed billing
  • by foodnugget (663749) <eric-slashdot@noSPAM.ericfeldman.com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:54PM (#19842699)
    This is my main argument against the whole "we know what we're doing with this power" argument being put forward.

    We, as citizens, have no idea why these records were sought, and what was done with them. Were they altered? Were the requests ultimately put to use that saved lives or harmed them? How many made it through without being caught? How will we ever know for sure?

    The example for restricting power I like to put forward for arguments sake:
    Lets say you're, say, 35 years old, recently divorced, ready to move on and find yourself a new girl. Looking around, you meet someone in a bar, she's recently divorced too. Things are going well for the two of you, when all of a sudden, some charges are brought up on you.
    Turns out, her former husband is employed at [pick your favorite cloak and dagger agency], and not happy about his wife dating again.

    Are these charges real? are they made up?

    Of course, I'm not proposing that this searching power will only be used for such purposes, or that fraudulent data could be put in, but where is the recourse for when some unhinged person attempts to abuse their position?

    Similarly, lets say you're in a car accident with the son/daughter of a similarly employed person. They have unknown, potentially damaging power to affect your life and cause you serious trouble in an effort to change the outcome of the situation/extract revenge.

    This kind of unchecked power *will* be abused. BOFHs aren't just in server rooms, they're in every employment position imaginable, and there is a nonzero percentage of them who will abuse their position for any reason. I've only given two, I'm certain you can think of many, many more!
    • by fohat (168135)
      I swear man I didn't know she was your daughter!
    • by blhack (921171)
      Wasn't this a scene in hackers, and the plot of a few billion dollars worth of summer blockbusters?
    • by grcumb (781340) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:29PM (#19843655) Homepage Journal

      Lets say you're, say, 35 years old, recently divorced, ready to move on and find yourself a new girl. Looking around, you meet someone in a bar, she's recently divorced too. Things are going well for the two of you, when all of a sudden, some charges are brought up on you. Turns out, her former husband is employed at [pick your favorite cloak and dagger agency], and not happy about his wife dating again.

      Are these charges real? are they made up?

      Congratulations! You just described The Trial [wikipedia.org] , by Franz Kafka. The story was written in Czechoslovakia, just prior to the rise of Fascism in Europe, but I'm sure that the purest coincidence.

  • by mytrip (940886) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:54PM (#19842703) Homepage Journal
    There is no chance of anyone getting more than a slap on the wrist over this. The government hasnt let the law gets in its way yet.
  • by c_jonescc (528041) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:56PM (#19842727)
    The abstract claims that this is the first prosecution of Patriot Act abuse, however, the article claims only that this is an investigation that has the POSSIBILITY to lead to the first prosecution.

    And looking at prosecutions of government abuse under the current admin, I wouldn't exactly count on it happening.

  • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:59PM (#19842763) Homepage Journal
    Someone said that they think a few people who were probably working for the FBI may have done something that could have been construed as illegal, and that there may, or may not be an investigation, and that if there were an investigation it could possibly be of a criminal investigation nature, all of which may be rendered moot because someone thought they heard someone else say that the people that someone thought might have committed a crime may have already been granted immunity?

    I'm all for the investigation of the allegations, removal of the perpetrators from the FBI, as well as imprisonment for any of them that are convicted of committed criminal offenses. But how about we wait 15 minutes before printing this story and figure out what the hell is actually going on first?!?

    -Rick
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:08PM (#19842859)

    The third source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity,

    Sure would be nice if the US Press Core grew a pair. Everywhere else in the world, officials put their name to their comments because the press won't print comments without any name; there's no accountability, so people have no incentive to tell the truth, so there's no point in printing the comments. I'm so fed up with US politicians and officials covering their asses with "anonymous" comments, and the press core lapping it up.

    For chrissakes, some of these people are even telling the press exactly how to "anonymously" describe them: Cheney, for example, always demands to be quoted as "a senior Bush administration official." [npr.org]

    • anonymous sources (Score:3, Insightful)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      I'm so fed up with US politicians and officials covering their asses with "anonymous" comments, and the press core lapping it up.

      So, you want to get rid of anonymous sources then? Perhaps you didn't live through Watergate [wikipedia.org] which eventually led to Nixon's impeachment. "Follow the money" said one source to a newspaper reporter.

      Falcon
      • by FleaPlus (6935)
        So, you want to get rid of anonymous sources then? Perhaps you didn't live through Watergate which eventually led to Nixon's impeachment. "Follow the money" said one source to a newspaper reporter.

        The thing is, in the past reporters tended to at least do some other digging to corroborate the information from the anonymous sources. Nowadays they seem to just take their anonymous info at face value, which can have unfortunate results, as in the (totally fake) "flushed Koran" controversy.
    • Cheney, for example, always demands to be quoted as "a senior Bush administration official."

      Wait, doesn't that, by his own admission, make him part of the executive branch?

      (BTW, it's "corps")
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RepelHistory (1082491)

      I'm so fed up with US politicians and officials covering their asses with "anonymous" comments, and the press core lapping it up.

      While on principle I agree with you, I imagine government officials would be far less likely to talk to the press if they knew their identities would be revealed - especially in an administration such as this, where complete lockstep is required from everyone in the executive branch. The recent testimony [slashdot.org]) of the former surgeon general is a perfect example of this - he described

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Phleg (523632)
      Repeat after me: "corps".
  • Prediction. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nick_davison (217681) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:10PM (#19842871)
    Wow, if only there was some way we could have predicted this?

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
    • by Valdrax (32670)
      I never saw it coming. Not the actual crimes mind you, but the pre-2008 accountability.
      Seeing the crimes coming was just a matter of knowing history and applying logic.

      Even so, I should've seen the weak accountability coming. Immunity to prosecution? What a gyp. Well, I'd like say that maybe we'll see some Supreme Court action as a result of the prosecution of this, but I don't hold high hopes for that working out well after last month's run of rulings.
  • Politics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:10PM (#19842875) Homepage Journal
    Please Please Please, let one of the FBI agents be working on request of the whitehouse staff.

    I'd hate to see it be just average schmoes just stalking their ex-girl/boy friends.

    Also, subpoenas first you lame ass telcos, checks and balances....

  • Bush Fatigue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:10PM (#19842877) Homepage Journal
    I'm getting tired of seeing so many stories about the illegal activities of the Bush Administration here at Slashdot.

    But not nearly as tired as I am of having a president and vice president who have corrupted the entire structure of the Executive Branch and who have weakened the foundation of our Nation.

    To those of you who think these stories don't belong at a site that's for "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters", I'd say that while the illegality and corruption of the Bush Administration, and their poisonous use of technology to take away our rights and consolidate power is no longer "news", it certainly qualifies as "stuff that matters".

    I invite any of you who don't think that both Bush and Cheney should be removed from office to please explain. Today, I learned from the Wall Street Journal that there are still 26% of the population (Harris Poll) who support the President. I really need to know why. I have enough faith in the fairness and decency of the American people that it surprises me that Bush's support is still in double digits.

    • They support Bush because they believe that either what he's doing is being done for a worthwhile goal or because they believe he's a good person.
      The first reason is a restatement of the end justifying the means: if they believed that it was necessary to light babies on fire to keep America safe, they'd approve of him lighting babies on fire.
      The second is simply admiration/fanboyism.
      Both blind people to the consequences of actions, and both are (part of ) the reason that laws, and following the written laws
    • Re:Bush Fatigue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yppupcinataS.> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:42PM (#19843217) Journal
      Your faith is based on the assumption that the majority of people are intellectually honest enough to change their opinion in the face of new evidence.

      The bulk of those who are still solid bushies are living in a persistent fantasy world. They think the war in Iraq will be "won"...whatever the hell that means, since we still don't seem to have a defined goal other than it going away. They think we went there in the first place for the "right reasons." They think the reason the terrists haven't blown up the Sears tower is because we're "fighting them over there" and not just because terrorists as a whole tend not to be all that successful.

      I don't think anything would convince them they're wrong. I mean literally anything; if he was caught on tape having sex with an underage boy, they'd say it was a liberal framejob. There is practically nothing they won't believe is someone else's fault. They're emotionally wedded to their position. If things were reversed, we'd see a similar number of liberal weenies blaming it all on the conservatives.

      It's sad to say, but there just aren't a lot of free-thinkers in the world. It just shows up more here because things have gotten so polarized.
      • Re:Bush Fatigue (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @07:41PM (#19844225) Homepage
        Your faith is based on the assumption that the majority of people are intellectually honest enough to change their opinion in the face of new evidence.

        I have no idea about majority, but a lot of people are, even if they are reluctant to do so. After Bush started his second term, support for Bush and the War was hovering at around 60%. Now it's more like 25%. So a majority of those who supported the war were able to change their minds about it, with the result that the Republicans lost control of Congress and next year perhaps the Presidency if they don't put forward an anti-war candidate (sorry McCain).

        I just wish they had changed their mind before giving Bush another four years to fuck things up. I've been reading Iraq-related news constantly, and while sure the upswing in sectarian violence starting the with mosque bombing in early 2006 was a bad sign, overall the picture doesn't really look any worse to me than it did in 2004 -- a mismanaged clusterfuck quagmire that at best ends in civil war after we leave and the puppet government collapses. But I do suppose that even if you support the war you can only hear "stay the course" so many times before you wonder when this course is actually going to get you somewhere.

        But better late than never, right? People change their minds, but most of us are hesitant to admit we were wrong, and BOY were they wrong.
    • But not nearly as tired as I am of having a president and vice president who have corrupted the entire structure of the Executive Branch and who have weakened the foundation of our Nation.

      Don't you keep up with the news? The vice-president isn't a member of the Executive Branch.

    • It comes down to this, most of the stories turn out to be like Dan Rather's Texas Air National Guard story, "false, but accurate".
  • According to a third source, FBI officials also said at the meeting that some bureau employees have already been granted immunity from prosecution in the investigation.

    And in the end, they'll all get immunity for testifying against each other. At which point, the charges will be dropped because there aren't any defendants left. Of course, the records will be sealed for national security so we'll never know.

    The third source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, did not recall, however, that FBI o

  • Slashdot editors make it look like the administrative assistants, custodians, and assembly line workers are evil or something. Call it like it is: try "agents".
    • Slashdot editors make it look like the administrative assistants, custodians, and assembly line workers are evil or something.

      Um, the "employees" bit is a direct quote from TFA, so if someone is distorting something by calling them that, its not "Slashdot editors".

      Call it like it is: try "agents".

      The involved employees in the part quoted were apparently from an analytical support unit that did not have the authorized power to conduct its own investigations; it is not at all clear to me that "agents" is a pr

  • ...granted immunity from prosecution
    ...did not recall
    ...criminal

    *Sigh* Same old, same old for the US government.

  • by TomorrowPlusX (571956) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:37PM (#19843169)
    One of the tags for this article is "slashdotliberalwhining".

    Just seeing that broke my heart, makes me want to cry. What have we come to when holding our officials responsible for their actions accounts to "liberal whining"?

    I know we'll never hold Bush accountable, nor Cheney nor any of the real players in this situation. But still, America is supposed to be free, and part of that is punishing police, soldiers, fbi agents, or even presidents when they break the law. The idea that somehow they are above the law, the very *idea* that they are above the law kind of obviates the whole fucking spirit of freedom and why America was founded.

    Let me say this exactly once: These FBI agents are *citizens*, and so are soliders, and so are Bush and Cheney. They are not above the law.

    I'm not saying this as a liberal ( though I am one ) nor as a libertarian ( though I also sort of am one ) but as a human being, and as an american. A deeply frightened and ashamed-for-my-countrymen american.
  • We have this thing in the US called the "legal system". Folks are actually innocent till proven guilty. As opposed to al you you lynch mobbers ready to hang anyone who happens to not subscribe you your ideas or ideals.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:35PM (#19843691)
    What I want to know is when do we get to spend $70 million in taxpayer dollars and sick a Ken Starr-like special investigator on the current administration? Somehow 70m spent on finding out if our president lied about spooging on an interns dress seems kinda foolish and contrite compared to the antics of this current crop of criminals.(oops I meant politicians) Although, I wish Bill had thought of executive privilege when it came to his admin being forced to testify. Seems to work well for Bush/Cheney & Co.
  • by teebob21 (947095)
    Of all the places to get busted for doing something criminal at work, I'd imagine the FBI has to be one of the worst.

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