Thursday, September 18, 2008

More on the Senate hearing

Webcast of the hearing can be viewed here

Remember Senator Grassley's 18 questions about the case, posed to the FBI on August 7? They have still not been answered. Senator Grassley was very impressive during the hearing: logical, refusing to be sidetracked, steady like a bulldozer. He also submitted a Statement for the Record, from which the following is taken:
Dozens and dozens of serious questions remain unanswered...there needs to be a substantive, in-depth, and independent inquiry of the sort that only Congress can conduct at this point. I challenge Director Mueller to embrace this sort of scrutiny and open the FBI's files on this matter for inspection by representatives of the American people. I challenge the leadership of the Senate and this Committee to put the time, resources and energy necessary into conducting a thorough review in which the public can have confidence.

I have a question for FBI Director Mueller. During both hearings he noted how much he "abhors leaks." Then why did FBI try to convince us of Ivins' guilt using a crescendo of leaks? Many were unsubstantiated, while some of the leaked events had been orchestrated by FBI. Then, following criticisms of the 'leak method' in the media, FBI official John Miller apologized.

If Mueller so abhors leaks, why has no one been punished for them, and why have they been so carefully aligned with the FBI's game plan for this case? The Bureau looks more like a public relations agency than a law enforcement agency these days. How much farther can its credibility fall?


Anonymous said...

What Is The FBI Hiding?

It's apparent that the FBI wants to avoid outside scrutiny of their investigation to identify individuals who had access to the RMR-1029 anthrax batch, and the subsequent investigation of those individuals. Its also apparent that an independent study of the FBI's investigation is absolutely essential to determine the validity of the FBI's conclusions that Bruce Ivins was solely responsible for the anthrax attacks.

The reluctance of the FBI to allow scrutiny of their investigation suggests the FBI is hiding something.

Perhaps the FBI is protecting (or didn't investigate) a person or group of people for political reasons. It's also possible the answer is somewhat more mundane; perhaps the FBI's investigation involved something more than "checking lab books, doing interviews, things of that nature". Perhaps there were illegal wiretaps, illegal monitoring of internet activities, things of that nature. Maybe both, and/or perhaps something else.

Regardless, the public is entitled to an accounting of the FBI's investigation of the anthrax attacks.

The FBI is hiding something. The public and Congress are entitled to know what it is.

Elizabeth Ferrari/ San Francisco said...

I've been attending to the media manipulation / blackout imposed by the Feds around Hurricane Ike and so, am a little behind. It's been lifted somewhat. But, even today as search parties work through the debris for the first time, FEMA is holding a press conference to manage the message.

That's what this administration does, apparently. They can't deliver ice to Houston but their PR apparatus is ready to go.

After the 4pm briefing, I have to catch up on the Senate hearing but I see Mr. Mueller continues to try to position himself as somehow above the behavior of the bureau he is leading.

daedalus2u said...

If the “leaks” were authorized, they were not leaks. If Mueller knew about them, and/or authorized them, they are not leaks. For him to call them leaks is lying. A flat-out, bold-face lie.

Journalistic ethics generally require that sources who manipulate the journalist by giving them false or misleading information have forfeited their right of confidentiality and that the public interest requires disclosure of the source who provided the disinformation.

If the FBI can require witnesses to sign non-disclosure agreements so that witnesses can’t talk about their own testimony, it is quite disingenuous and dishonest for the FBI to then selectively “leak” information which is not correct.

If the FBI is prepared to trot out some “witnesses” and let them talk about their “testimony” in press conferences that the FBI has staged, the FBI should allow all witnesses to talk about their testimony irrespective of confidentiality agreements.

Selective enforcement of witness confidential agreements is a quite blatant effort to manipulate the information that the public has access too. It is clearly an attempt to convict Ivins in the court of public opinion with no cross examination, with no test of veracity, with no one under oath, and where all witnesses that might testify as to his innocence are prevented from telling their story on pain of FBI prosecution for violating the confidentiality agreements they were forced to sign.

Anonymous said...

And the next leak is...

Remember all those inscrutable outside scientists? You know, the ones whose work Mueller is reluctantly suggesting be reviewed by NIS?

It could take a lot of heat off the FBI if a leak pointed to some mistake by those scientists just as NIS is getting ready to do its work. No need to look into the FBI's work if those outside scientists have already messed things up.

Oh, Bruce Ivins was a scientist too.

Ennealogic said...

It is depressing once again to realize that the stonewall beats rocks, paper and scissors all.

I have no doubt that some in the FBI are covering up a deadly serious crime. And if you think about it at all, the picture you see when you connect the dots is quite plain.

What other conclusion can we come to?

The harder question is, what can we do about it?

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

Compare anthrax attacks to 9/11 hijackings. The anthrax attacks are perfect. Every envelope in anthrax attacks is perfect. Every letter. There are no mistakes, before or after. Even after the whole thing, its perfect.

The 9/11 hijackings we had one of them before it happened. We had the laptop. We had warnings. We had a presidential PDB. After the fact, we see how we could have stopped it all.

The anthrax attacks are pure perfect before and after. This looks like it was done by professionals who worked as a team and checked their work to make it perfect.

The anthrax attacks are something any intel agency in history would consider one of its most perfect operations. People would get medals and bonuses for the perfect execution of the envelopes, mailings, etc. There really are only 2 organizations that could have done them?

Anonymous said...

What to do? Break up the FBI. Remove all domestic intelligence from it and put it in a new agency, like the NSA, whose work emphasis is investigative, not prosecutorial.

Everything about the way the leaks were managed and corroborated by innuendo played like a prosecutor's case with it's innuendo "zinger of the day."