Wednesday April 16, 2014
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I'm going to make this post personal instead of quoting numbers or other data. Because I spend so much time scanning sites on the net, especially the FBI site, I am firmly convinced that if more of us took a moment out to send a tip to the right person, many things could be prevented. And in most cases that "right person" is the local FBI office.
My personal thanks and congratulations go out to whoever it was in Albany, New York, who tipped off the authorities about 17-year old Grant Acord who was making bombs in his home and intended to blow up his high school.
His classmates knew that he was making bombs, or at least that he talked about making them, but not one of them ever said a word to anyone about it.
Inspired by Columbine, the kid had made and hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom:
a. A written plan of the bombing he was going to carry out at his school.
b. A checklist to follow so that no errors would occur.
c. A diagram of the school.
d. Six bombs.
If I told you how many tips have NOT been made that should have been made it would take me the rest of the day to type it. Why just this year an Army MP officer was sentenced to 16 years for trying to sell secrets to the Russians. He told many people who worked with him or for him of his plans, but not one of them turned him in.
You've probably never heard of the case of that MP officer, though, because the only ones you hear of are the ones like the Connecticut school shooting, where those who knew of the strange situation there ever told anyone about it. And so, as so many times before, including the blowing up a building by Timothy McVeigh, and the death of hundreds, a plan became a deadly reality.
McVeigh, by the way wrote farewell letters to friends before he blew up that building, letters that would send shivers down your back if you read them. Had I gotten one of them not five minutes would have gone by before I notified the FBI.
That's what they are for--investigating!
Well, this kid WAS reported and the matter ended without anyone being killed or injured. But think of what he might have done if someone hadn't sent in a tip. Six bombs. A high school full of kids. A carefully thought out plan. A checklist....
Could it be that we are as much the cause of such things as the perpetrators themselves when we don't report something we know?
Sometimes it doesn't do any good to report. I told the right person but when he told his superior, everything went to h--- in a big way.
Personal experience but can't put it on here.
That's particularly true if it happens at the local level. They stick together. That why it's good thing that we have one place we can go to that will look into something no matter where the chips fall.
I just read a book about the FBI, a pretty good book too, but one of the places where the author, who's a journalist, showed his bias when it came to Louie Freeh, who was the Director under Clinton. I have never such evily twisted writing as I ran across at that point.
Louie Freeh is an honest man. He did not want the job running the FBI. He had been an FBI agent earlier in his life, and a very successful one. And he had been an assistant prosecutor for the Southern New York District of the Attorney General's Office, and again a very good one (he was the one who took down some of the Mafia chiefs). H had been selected as a federal judge in the same district and was noted for how well he was doing.
When the offer to run the FBI came he told the person who brought it to him that he was not interested because it was too much of a political post, too high up in DC. When the offer was repeated he flatly stated that he did not want the job, that he would be willing to talk to Clinton about it, but if he didn't get a promise that he would have absolute freedom from politics and total freedom in following the laws of the country he would turn it down.
He was invited to the White House and Clinton spent a long time talking to him, even giving him a tour of the White House. And in the process the question about total freedom to do his job under the law was discussed, and the answer was that he could count on it.
He took the job and found himself in a position where he was constantly having to investigate the President because of all the criminal accusations. When Clinton offered him a special pass to the White House and invited him to dinner with him and Hillary, he turned it down. The pass was one where he could enter the White House without any record of it. He considered what would happen if he ever had to appear before Congress and answer questions about dates and times and the subject of conversations; as an honest man he wanted everything on the record.
The result? For the last 5 years of his 9 year term, since he was not one of the "team" Clinton never communicated with him even once. When it came time for the journalist to write about the FBI, the man twisted everything that went wrong during those years to make it look like Freeh was at fault, yet Freeh had done a great job, and had shown that an honest FBI Director was a boon to the nation and who helped to foster the absolute honesty and fairness now seen there. in fact, he wrote the doctrine they go by.
We all owe Louie Freeh a debt of gratitude for taking an FBI which was being run by an incomptent before he took over, a man accused of abusing his powers, the only FBI Director ever fired.
No one is saying much on this string. Could it be because you're not really ready to place much trust in a law enforcement agency?
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