We state over and again Clinton/Bush/Obama was ROBBER BARON few decades where that 5% to the 1% black, white, and brown global Wall Street players were allowed to lie, cheat, and steal because they were moving all of US wealth from US Treasury to 99% of citizens' pockets to the global 1% ---while allowed to pocket some billions if tied to corporations and some millions if patronage players. It is that breakdown is sovereign laws and derelict duty from our public officials that allows a GREAT GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE TO FAIL.
While the Clinton/Bush/Obama global 1%ROBBER BARON 5% are carting off cash in the trillions in a global illlegal cartel operation ----CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE, DERELICTION OF DUTY, MASS PUBLIC MALFEASANCE, AND WE SAY 'TREASON' because this ROBBER BARON period is staged to hand control of our US governance to a global foreign NGO-----WORLD BANK/IMF/UNITED NATIONS for no other reason then WE THE PEOPLE were looted by massive organized crime from that 5% and global 1%.
Meanwhile, all that police and city/state attorney office time and money that should have HELD ROBBER BARONS at bay were spending all their time arresting low-income black citizens loitering, dropping cigarette butt to ground, simply driving in low-income communities. Indeed, our US city police department also have a hard job in REAL street crime and violence=====but ZERO TOLERANCE was deliberately staged to direct police and FBI funding for white collar crime to ineffective petty disturbances. This is what caused police department corruptions to soar----as police are told to look the other way while local politicians and our central institutions are openly criminal----all government agencies fill with this same corruption and that 5% sociopath that thrive in illegal activities.
“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning'.
Below we see what that ASSANGE/MANNING DATA RELEASE OF MILITARY DOCUMENTS allowed international justice groups to analyze---and it is what we have shouted these few decades---BUSH/CHENEY/BLACKWATER-ZE WITH THE DE VOS-----all of that wealth today's global 2% SAY they have-----the FAKE BILLIONAIRES is of course gains no better made then our BLACK GUERILLA GANG.
August 19, 2016 / 11:08 AM / a year ago
U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds
Scot J. Paltrow Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.
U.S. army soldiers are seen marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.
As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”
Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.
The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money.
The new report focused on the Army’s General Fund, the bigger of its two main accounts, with assets of $282.6 billion in 2015. The Army lost or didn’t keep required data, and much of the data it had was inaccurate, the IG said.
“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.
The significance of the accounting problem goes beyond mere concern for balancing books, Spinney said. Both presidential candidates have called for increasing defense spending amid current global tension.
An accurate accounting could reveal deeper problems in how the Defense Department spends its money. Its 2016 budget is $573 billion, more than half of the annual budget appropriated by Congress.
The Army account’s errors will likely carry consequences for the entire Defense Department.
Congress set a September 30, 2017 deadline for the department to be prepared to undergo an audit. The Army accounting problems raise doubts about whether it can meet the deadline – a black mark for Defense, as every other federal agency undergoes an audit annually.
For years, the Inspector General – the Defense Department’s official auditor – has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”
In an e-mailed statement, a spokesman said the Army “remains committed to asserting audit readiness” by the deadline and is taking steps to root out the problems.
The spokesman downplayed the significance of the improper changes, which he said net out to $62.4 billion. “Though there is a high number of adjustments, we believe the financial statement information is more accurate than implied in this report,” he said.
“THE GRAND PLUG”
Jack Armstrong, a former Defense Inspector General official in charge of auditing the Army General Fund, said the same type of unjustified changes to Army financial statements already were being made when he retired in 2010.
The Army issues two types of reports – a budget report and a financial one. The budget one was completed first. Armstrong said he believes fudged numbers were inserted into the financial report to make the numbers match.
“They don’t know what the heck the balances should be,” Armstrong said.
Some employees of the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), which handles a wide range of Defense Department accounting services, referred sardonically to preparation of the Army’s year-end statements as “the grand plug,” Armstrong said. “Plug” is accounting jargon for inserting made-up numbers.
At first glance adjustments totaling trillions may seem impossible. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. Making changes to one account also require making changes to multiple levels of sub-accounts, however. That created a domino effect where, essentially, falsifications kept falling down the line. In many instances this daisy-chain was repeated multiple times for the same accounting item.
The IG report also blamed DFAS, saying it too made unjustified changes to numbers. For example, two DFAS computer systems showed different values of supplies for missiles and ammunition, the report noted – but rather than solving the disparity, DFAS personnel inserted a false “correction” to make the numbers match.
DFAS also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system. Faulty computer programming and employees’ inability to detect the flaw were at fault, the IG said.
DFAS is studying the report “and has no comment at this time,” a spokesman said.
What has exploded besides the total disregard to Federal agency laws tied to oversight and accountability as to where US Treasury funds go----but outsourcing all local and state government agencies these few decades is tied to massive and systemic PAY-TO-PLAY and patronage buying of support from crony political machines in all US cities deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES as in Baltimore. Now, Baltimore has always been DARK AGES in its corporate plantation colonial economic and social structures as too New Orleans-----but CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ROBBER BARON few decades opened the door to TAMMANY HALL BOSS TWEED systemic corruption in government contract awards at Federal, state, and local level. We saw from the previous post the military leads in these illegal PAY-TO-PLAY corruptions including the nepotism and cronyism---what has happened to our US city police departments these few decades? First the training of police officers was outsourced to global military police corporations and then our local police hiring which always avoided hiring from military police because CIVILIAN policing is different from MILITARY policing----today there is a direct line from military into our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zone police departments.
There is no city filled with PAY-TO -PLAY and government contract award fraud then our Baltimore Board of Estimates and Public Works ----when we allow those public officials to skim millions because larger institutions in Baltimore are skimming billions all in illegal activities----then our institutions tied to public safety and justice have employees thinking they can do the same.
IF WE ALLOW SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL BY THE 5% AND GLOBAL 1% ----ALL AGENCIES BECOME CORRUPT.
It is our Baltimore City Attorney and Maryland State's Attorneys that should have super-sized their white collar criminal agencies when they simply look away. Some of this is BALTIMORE CITY HALL and MARYLAND ASSEMBLY not funding our justice agencies for white collar criminal investigations so the ROBBER BARONS are free to ROB---none of that is legal of course.
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as by company owners, officers, executives – even their spouses
and dependent children.
The stakes for noncompliance are high. Just one
personal campaign cont
ribution to a covered
officeholder, candidate, or party
committee can lead to the severing
of contracts, disqualification
of bids, fines, and criminal penalties. In
fact, the New Jersey S
upreme Court upheld the
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on dollar project because a few months earlier
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the last few years. About 20 states now have
pay-to-play laws at the state or
local levels. States that have
adopted pay-to-play laws include
Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, New
Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and
Virginia. Major municipalities include Houston, Lo
s Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San
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The political cronyism that came with CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA in the form of rigged elections also crimes against the state----are of course what created the ECONOMY OF STEALING FROM THE POOR----robbing Federal agencies sending Federal funding tied to social benefit.
Below we see an article written in 2012 looking just like articles written in 1990s------that naked capitalism far-right wing global 1% neo-liberal economics LETTING ANYONE DO ANYTHING TO GAIN WEALTH AND POWER of course meant the global 1% will do anything they want to gain wealth and throw some billions out to buy those 5% GLOBAL WALL STREET PLAYERS.
When we talk about soaring STREET CRIME in low-income cities ---we are watching the consequence of these ROBBER BARON few decades where total dis-investment of US cities deliberately allowed surrounding communities to become FAILED STATES ---none of that done LEGALLY BY THOSE 5% AND GLOBAL 1%.
Today, we are watching as those same global 1% Wall Street pols and players PRETEND to care about the 300 black men killed in these surrounding communities from which these 5% players have looted for decades.
WHAT HAPPENS TO US CITY POLICE DEPARTMENTS WHEN THE CITY IS FILLED WITH WHITE COLLAR CRIMES IN BILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF TAXPAYER MONEY WRAPPED AROUND PAY-TO-PLAY TO KEEP CRONY, CORRUPT POLITICAL MACHINES IN PLACE THESE FEW DECADES OF CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA?
The city police departments become loaded with employees tied to political machines protecting political and corporate TURF----ergo, the police corruption over planted guns, drugs, RICO crimes, real estate/business protection money.
White Collar Crime and the United States' Economy
White Collar Crime
This paper attempts to study white collar crime and its economic impact. A close focus will be given to areas often not looked at in enough detail when putting a
price tag on white collar crime.
White collar crime is a widespread problem that doesn’t receive a lot of attention. It is often not dramatic, exciting, or interesting to hear about, and many people don’t understand what
white collar crime actually is.
Everyone knows what a murder, robbery, or rape is, and
can process these emotional events that evoke feelings of anger, disgust, and sadness within people
of all ages and classes. Unfortunately, white collar crime does not have this same reaction. Securities fraud or corrupt loans do not stir up feelings of rage and disappointment in most
people; more feelings of confusion instead.
This often means white collar crime does not receive
a big focus, both in the media and when crime prevention budgets are formed. Blue collar crime is horrific,
and deserves its fair share of focus, both in this paper and in
society. It is expensive, emotional, and can ruin a person’s life forever. The reason white collar crime is such a problem compared to blue collar or violent crime however, is because of its impact. Blue collar crime often only impacts one family or a small portion of a community. People in surrounding areas
will most likely hear about a murder that takes place in Boston, all dependent on the media and local news coverage, but other areas probably don’t even know it occurred. People living
in Chicago are not going to be hearing about a Boston murder, it is not applicable and most people would rather hear about things that have a direct impact on their own lives.
White collar crime has such a high financial impact on business and society that it becomes far more widespread. When a company shuts down due to a criminal act, there are jobs lost
at all levels, as well as investors who lose money, upset consumers, and years’ worth of litigation involved.
The sheer impact of scandals such as AIG and Lehman Brothers is a great example. Almost everyone knew someone
was affected by these corporate failings.
So, Baltimore's BLACK GUERILLA GANG exists because Baltimore's WHITE GUERILLA GANG exists---Global Baltimore Development and global hedge fund Johns Hopkins are those WHITE GUERILLA GANGSTERS moving billions to themselves and global 1% and they decide what our Baltimore Police Department looks like------if these two institutions did not want police department corruption----there would be no police department corruption.
As ROBBER BARON few decades created open looting of our Federal agencies and US Treasury by 5% and that global 1%-----all agencies tasked with white collar criminal oversight and accountability were DEFUNDED AND DOWNSIZED under the Bush-era WAR ON TERRORISM----
Those reductions in funding for white collar crime were mirrored at state and local level----and this extends to funding for police department oversight and accountability. Here in Baltimore we KNOW our police department have employees who work for our corrupt political machines and planting guns and drugs is a known tactic in silencing DISSENT by a 99% in this case black citizens but it hits our brown and white citizens as well. This has been open and growing these few decades with ever-larger numbers of US citizens being sent to jail or prison never having committed a crime.
Whether political machine motives or whether global Baltimore Development and global hedge fund Johns Hopkins wanting to clear populations from communities slated for development----the expanded use of our US city police departments by 5% to the 1% white, brown, and black global Wall Street pols and players drives what we are seeing in media today----and it is ALL DELIBERATE.
Terrorism probes cut deeply into other FBI work
SHOWCASE | April 11, 2007
A six-month investigation reveals that thousands of white-collar criminals aren't being prosecuted because some 2400 agents, now assigned to counter-terrorism squads, haven't been replaced.
This story and several sidebars ran in the April 11 issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. They are the result of an investigation of more than six months.
By PAUL SHUKOVSKY, TRACY JOHNSON AND DANIEL LATHROP
© 2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Thousands of white-collar criminals across the country are no longer being prosecuted in federal court -- and, in many cases, not at all -- leaving a trail of frustrated victims and potentially billions of dollars in fraud and theft losses.
It is the untold story of the Bush administration's massive restructuring of the FBI after the terrorism attacks of 9/11.
Five-and-a-half years later, the White House and the Justice Department have failed to replace at least 2,400 agents transferred to counterterrorism squads, leaving far fewer agents on the trail of identity thieves, con artists, hatemongers and other criminals.
Two successive attorneys general have rejected the FBI's pleas for reinforcements behind closed doors.
While there hasn't been a terrorism strike on American soil since the realignment, few are aware of the hidden cost: a dramatic plunge in FBI investigations and case referrals in many of the crimes that the bureau has traditionally fought, including sophisticated fraud, embezzlement schemes and civil rights violations.
"Politically, this trade-off has been accepted," said Charles Mandigo, a former FBI congressional liaison who retired four years ago as special agent in charge in Seattle. "But do the American people know this trade-off has been made?"
Among the findings of a six-month Seattle P-I investigation, analyzing more than a quarter-million cases touched by FBI agents and federal prosecutors before and after 9/11:
- Overall, the number of criminal cases investigated by the FBI nationally has steadily declined. In 2005, the bureau brought slightly more than 20,000 cases to federal prosecutors, compared with about 31,000 in 2000 -- a 34 percent drop.
- White-collar crime investigations by the bureau have plummeted in recent years. In 2005, the FBI sent prosecutors 3,500 cases -- a fraction of the more than 10,000 cases assigned to agents in 2000.In Western Washington, the drop has been even more dramatic. Records show that the FBI sent 28 white-collar cases to prosecutors in 2005, down 90 percent from five years earlier.
- Civil rights investigations, which include hate crimes and police abuse, have continued a steady decline since the late 1990s. FBI agents pursued 65 percent fewer cases in 2005 than they did in 2000.
- Already hit hard by the shift of agents to terrorism duties, Washington state's FBI offices suffer from staffing levels that are significantly below the national average.
While other federal agencies have stepped in to pick up more of the load in drug enforcement, and the FBI has worked to keep agents on Indian reservations, the gaps created by the Bush administration's war on terrorism are troubling to criminal justice experts, police chiefs -- even many current and former FBI officials and agents.
"There's a niche of fraudsters that are floating around unprosecuted," said one recently retired top FBI official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They are not going to jail. There is no law enforcement solution in sight."
In most cases, local law enforcement agencies haven't been able to take up the slack.
Seattle police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said his department isn't as equipped to handle complex white-collar investigations -- particularly when officers must also join anti-terrorism efforts and when federal funding for local police departments has shrunk.
Whether the solution is to hire more FBI agents or shift some away from the counterterrorism effort, he said, more resources should be devoted to solving white-collar crime.
"This is like the perfect storm," Kerlikowske said. "It's now five years later. We should be rethinking our priorities."
A solution can't come soon enough for a growing number of discouraged fraud victims: A 75-year-old Issaquah woman who was allegedly swindled out of more than $1 million. A cancer patient whose identity was stolen from a Seattle hospital. People who fell victim to a nationwide investment scam worth about $70 million.
They all sought the FBI's help. They got little or none.
"As far as I'm concerned, the FBI has no interest in protecting people from these kinds of crimes," said Lloyd Martindale Jr., a Bellingham man who put $500,000 into an investment con and is still fighting to get some of it back. "They were not responsive to this at all."
If the FBI had continued investigating financial crimes at the same rate as it had before the World Trade Center came down, about 2,000 more white-collar criminals would be behind bars, according to the P-I analysis, which was based on Justice Department data from 1996 through June 2006. Since 9/11, the number of white-collar convictions in federal courts has dropped about 30 percent.
White-collar crimes often affect the people least able to afford it -- lower-income and elderly people, according to Peter Henning, a former Justice prosecutor who teaches law at Wayne State University in Detroit. "If you keep it small, and act quickly and get out of the jurisdiction, you can avoid being prosecuted," he said. "Scam artists know that."
Large numbers of FBI agents also were transferred out of violent-crime programs because bureau officials knew that local police -- who have overlapping jurisdiction in violent crimes -- would have to help.
The retired FBI official said the Bush administration is forcing the bureau to "cannibalize" its traditional crime-fighting units in the name of fighting terrorism.
"The administration is starving the criminal program," the former official said.
'Fairly awful situation'
Margarita MacDonald, a 75-year-old widow who has Parkinson's disease, may never get back more than $1 million from a man who helped her with household tasks and then allegedlcy betrayed her trust.
She was nearly deaf, all alone and living in Canada when he befriended her. He began helping her with chores and errands in exchange for room and board. He won her trust and persuaded her to move to Issaquah with him.
The man told her that he had her best interests at heart, but he began manipulating her, persuading her to sign documents and threatening that he wouldn't bring her food or medicine if she didn't do what he wanted, MacDonald stated in court documents.
He gradually stole about $1 million from her, buying furniture, electronics, jewelry -- even vacations to Banff, Alberta, and Hawaii, she wrote.
Larry Gold, a lawyer in Vancouver, B.C., who represented her, called the Seattle office of the FBI in January 2005. The duty officer seemed interested and told him to put the information in writing, he said.
Gold did. In several carefully detailed pages, he explained that the man stole most of MacDonald's savings and even got his hands on $400,000 worth of gold she kept in a safe deposit box in Canada. He said the FBI never responded.
"It was a fairly awful situation, and I thought they might be interested in it," Gold said. "What can I say? They weren't."
Frustrated, Gold sought help from Issaquah police, but Lynnwood attorney John Tollefsen took over the case and made getting MacDonald's money back, not prosecution, his main priority. He is still fighting to help MacDonald get back her savings.
A judge ordered the man to pay MacDonald more than $1.4 million last year. The man filed for bankruptcy. He hasn't been charged with a crime.
'Dead on arrival'Tensions were growing inside Robert Mueller's inner circle. In the months after 9/11, when the first waves of agents were funneled into counterterrorism, the FBI director was made aware of the consequences to come.
Without a major influx of new agents, there was no way to maintain the bureau's grip on a long list of traditional crimes, particularly time-consuming fraud investigations.
Mueller asked for help from two attorneys general -- John Ashcroft and his successor, Alberto Gonzales -- only to be rebuffed each time.
"We were told to do more with less," said David Szady, a former FBI assistant director who stepped down last year as head of counterintelligence.
"There was always discussion on backfilling," Szady said. "Always the push that we need to ask for more bodies."
Dale Watson, who left in 2002 as the FBI's executive assistant director over counterterrorism programs, also blames the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Justice Department for failing to heed the warnings.
"The budget should be backfilled with additional agents," Watson said. "We've got to do this. But you could request 2,000 agents for white collar, and it would never see the light of day at OMB."
By the time the bureau started putting together its fiscal 2007 budget in mid-2005, "we realized we were going to have to pull out of some areas -- bank fraud, investment fraud, ID theft -- cases that protect the financial infrastructure of the country," the retired top FBI official said.
Also in 2005, the FBI sent a five-year, strategic plan to the Justice Department that Szady called "the director's attempt to get this agency where it needed to be, including a robust criminal footprint. I know for a fact that the Justice Department beat that down. It was dead on arrival."
A report in September 2005 by the department's inspector general asserted that in addition to the 1,143 agents transferred away from traditional crime programs, the FBI used 1,279 agents on counterterrorism work, even though they were on the books as criminal-program agents. The inspector general concluded that the FBI "reduced its investigative efforts related to traditional crimes by more than 2,400 agents."
More recently, scaled-back staffing requests weren't granted. In fiscal 2006, the bureau sought 250 to 350 new agents. It was given money for fewer than 75, a former official said. Over the past eight years, the ranks of FBI agents have increased, from about 11,000 to 12,575, and virtually all have been assigned to anti-terrorism duties, records show.
Officially, the Justice Department and the Office of Management and Budget assert that traditional criminal enforcement by the FBI hasn't suffered in the wake of 9/11. They say federal law enforcement agencies are working more efficiently to compensate for the continuing emphasis on homeland security.
"The administration strongly disagrees that the FBI has been anything less than effective in the years since 9/11 in combating domestic crime issues," said OMB spokesman Sean Kevelighan. "We have worked to achieve a balance between the FBI's homeland security and criminal investigative missions."
"We'll just abide by what the president's budget is," said FBI Assistant Director Chip Burrus. "We work a lot smarter than we have in the past."
Mueller, Gonzales and Ashcroft declined to be interviewed for this story.
Burrus acknowledges that the bureau has reduced its efforts to fight fraud. He likened the FBI's current fraud-enforcement policies -- in which losses below $150,000 have little chance of being addressed -- to "triage." Even cases with losses approaching $500,000 are much less likely to be accepted for investigation than before 9/11, he said.
There is "no question" that America's financial losses from frauds below $150,000 amount to billions a year, Burrus said. The top security official for a major American bank agreed, saying unprosecuted fraud losses easily total "multibillions."
Citing the new policy, an informed source said the Seattle FBI office would have rejected the MacDonald case, despite the million-dollar loss, because she was the only victim.
Experts say American consumers are paying for banks' and businesses' fraud losses; they are passed on through higher interest rates, bank fees and retail prices.
Enforcing civil rights laws has been a core FBI mission since the Johnson presidency, but after 9/11 those efforts declined substantially. The number of cases brought by the FBI to federal prosecutors for any reason -- from getting subpoenas to seeking charges -- fell 65 percent between 2000 and 2005, the P-I found.
While the FBI disputes the degree of the decline, the bureau's own figures show drops in cases investigated, indictments and convictions -- particularly hate crimes. Civil rights cases against local police -- including allegations of brutality and misuse of power -- also dropped following 9/11, but FBI data show a rebound in indictments and convictions since 2005.
There were 24 percent fewer agents working on civil rights cases in 2004 than in 2000, according to the 2005 inspector general's report.
Sarah Dunne, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, said the decline in civil rights investigations means "people's rights are not protected."
"It's been sort of sad to see," said Dunne, a former trial attorney in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "What type of message is the Bush administration sending if they say this is not a significant concern?"
Increasing counterterrorism and security efforts may actually lead to more situations in which police are violating people's civil rights, said James Bible, president of the Seattle-King County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
"We're essentially put in a place that we're sacrificing civil rights in the name of security," Bible said. "It would seem that, as we build one, we necessarily have to build the other."
John McKay, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, said he is surprised that the FBI's post-9/11 trade-offs weren't addressed years ago.
"I can't figure out for the life of me why, with the war on terror, asking for more FBI agents isn't a priority," said McKay, who was one of eight U.S. attorneys fired last year by the Bush administration. "If the president of the United States, a law-enforcement Republican, is not going to propose an increase in FBI agents -- what Democrat will? There's plenty of blame to go around."
One leading Democrat, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, introduced legislation in February that aims to address the problem. The bill calls for hiring 1,000 agents at a cost of $160 million a year.
"There's no doubt that fighting terrorism should be a top priority for the FBI, but we can't forget about the risk to our neighborhoods from everyday crime," Biden told the P-I.
"To add insult to injury, President Bush hasn't replaced the FBI agents who transitioned over from working criminal cases to counterterrorism," he said. "The FBI is at a breaking point. ... They're overworked and overburdened and, frankly, they need some relief."
Eric Drew was near death when someone stole his identity. Weak and in intense pain from leukemia and chemotherapy, he was about to have a bone-marrow transplant at a Seattle hospital in 2003 when collectors began calling, demanding payments on credit-card accounts he'd never opened.
He got little response from Seattle police and called the FBI. There, he said, a duty officer told him the FBI was focused on national security and didn't deal with fraud anymore.
"Basically, I was in the hospital dying, and nobody would lift a finger or even take a statement from me," he said.
Drew was furious. After his transplant, though sick and weak, he tracked down the culprit himself. He got the Seattle addresses where some of the fraudulently purchased merchandise had been shipped, and he found surveillance footage from a hardware store where some had been bought.
A local TV station picked up on his cause and aired footage of the thief using a credit card opened in Drew's name. Tips flooded in to Seattle police, and the guy turned himself in, Drew said.
The culprit was Richard Gibson, a hospital worker at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance who had had regular contact with Drew during his hospital stay.
Drew, 39, said the FBI finally took the case -- but only after it became a public spectacle that a dying man couldn't get law enforcement to help him. Once the FBI took over, Gibson was swiftly prosecuted.
Drew, who is now cancer-free after a 2004 stem-cell transplant, believes that the FBI is the best agency to handle most identity-theft cases because they often cross state lines.
But for now, he said, the message from the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies is unsettling: "It's a risk-free crime. Go out and steal identities. No one will come after you."
Crime squads tapped
In the late 1990s, the FBI in Seattle had at least 16 agents working on two white-collar crime squads.
"It was like one-stop shopping," said Jason Moulton, a former FBI official who ran one of those squads. "SPD was there, the IGs were there, the Department of Financial Institutions was there. IRS was there. They all had desks in the space. We were running (wiretaps), doing complex cases."
All of the agents "were extremely busy," and there were still plenty of cases they couldn't get to, Moulton recalled.
By last summer, the effect of shifting agents to anti-terrorism squads was clear: The FBI's white-collar effort had been whittled down to four agents statewide. Hard-pressed agents are now routinely urging banks or lawyers representing victims to do most of the investigating themselves. Even then, the FBI won't necessarily pursue criminal charges.
A few years ago, a Shoreline couple with a home-repair business allegedly used phony financial information to get Columbia Bank to loan them more than $2 million and then stopped paying it back.
The bank sued, and a King County Superior Court judge ordered the couple to pay more than $1.6 million. The couple moved to Colorado and declared bankruptcy. There, a judge found that the man -- and to a lesser extent, the woman -- purposely deceived the bank.
A dogged Columbia Bank investigator put the case together in a nice package to hand off to the FBI for possible criminal charges, according to an FBI agent. The bureau, however, declined to take the case.
The FBI also declines to investigate most cases of an increasingly common financial crime that can leave victims financially and emotionally drained: identity theft.
"When cases come in that you have to decline, you are supposed to find a home for them," an FBI agent in Seattle said. "But you've got a lot of balls in the air. You have so much you are trying to do with so little resources."
Seattle police say they have been investigating more white-collar crime cases in recent years -- partly because the FBI is handling fewer, and partly owing to an explosion in identity theft and Internet-related crimes.
"We're now really having to make hard decisions about which cases will get worked, and when," said Lt. Mike Edwards, who supervises the Fraud, Forgery and Financial Exploitation Unit.
King County sheriff's detectives have also struggled to investigate an increasing number of fraud cases without FBI help, Sgt. John Urquhart said.
There are many reasons why federal agents are better suited than the locals to conduct complex fraud investigations. The FBI has agents around the nation and the world to run down leads. Even if a local detective could get her chief to approve an investigative trip across country, she has no jurisdiction in another state.
If agents need to subpoena business records, they simply call a federal prosecutor, who can get an order easily. That's not true in many state jurisdictions, including Washington, where it can take a couple of days for the prosecutor to prepare documentation and present it to a judge for a subpoena. Federal agents can obtain warrants for wiretaps; local officers in Washington cannot, except in rare circumstances. Locals need a court order for a body wire; federal agents don't. FBI agents can record telephone calls if one party consents without going to a judge; locals can't.
And federal sentences for white-collar crimes are generally tougher than those meted out in state courts. In Washington, for example, the average federal money-launderer was sentenced to 35 months in prison in 2006, while the average state court sentence was probation.
The difference in penalties means that not only are fewer people getting prosecuted for white-collar crimes, they are also serving less time behind bars. And just when coordination among state, local and federal law enforcement in Washington and other states needed to be at its best, there were signs of major breakdowns.
In 2001, the FBI office in Seattle launched the King County Fraud Investigation Team, which included investigators from the Seattle and Bellevue police departments, the King County Sheriff's Office and the Secret Service. Less than two years later, the bureau dissolved it, according to a Seattle-area fraud investigator.
About the same time, FBI supervisors in Seattle also stopped attending monthly meetings where they talked about fighting fraud with executives from major retailers, such as Nordstrom and Costco.
Said one agent: "What did we bring to the table? We got out of that game. Why go and give them a no?"
But the bureau's new mantra of doing more with less seems to be paying off in the handling of bank robberies. The five FBI agents in Seattle that had been assigned to bank heists have been reduced to one, but there are no complaints of languishing cases. The conviction rate last year was a lofty 85 percent.
Special Agent Larry Carr now works with local detectives to coordinate the investigations and determine whether defendants will be prosecuted in state or federal court. Increasingly, the cases are going to King County Superior Court.
"It is a testament to doing a lot more with a lot less," Carr said.
Scam artists unpunished?
A few years ago, more than 1,000 people across the country invested roughly $70 million in a scam known as Resource Development International, led by two men who set up headquarters in Tacoma.
Though victims in Washington urged the FBI to investigate, the two men didn't face federal charges -- or even a criminal case here in Washington, where they ran the scam.
The district attorney's office in Santa Clara County, Calif., ended up taking on the case after an elderly victim in the San Jose area came forward. Deputy District Attorney Paul Colin prosecuted the kingpins, John and David Edwards, a father-and-son team who are now serving 27-year sentences in state prison, and two other men who had sold the investments to people in California.
But dozens of others were involved in the scam -- six to eight people who worked in the Edwardses' office, and 50 to 100 people who sold the phony investments across the country, Colin said. Most haven't faced charges. That includes nine Washington men who, according to the state Department of Financial Institutions, sold more than $6.6 million worth of the sham investments to 53 people in Washington.
"If the feds had taken this on, it might have been caught sooner, and more of the people who assisted the Edwardses might have been brought to justice," Colin said. "These scams happen every day to the rich and the poor, and they should be a priority of law enforcement -- particularly at the federal level."
After trying several times, Lloyd Martindale Jr., one of the Washington victims, finally got an FBI agent to meet with him in August 2002. The agent showed up late, explaining that he'd been out late dealing with terrorist activities and border issues, he said.
"He wanted my evidence and a description of my role," he said. "It sounded like the FBI was going to take this thing."
Mike Urban / P-I
Tacoma retiree Dick Mansfield put money into an investment that promised 4 percent interest each month and that turned out to be a sham. He told a special agent in the FBI's Tacoma office of investing $175,000 from his state pension. "She did listen to me," he said, "but nothing ever came of it."
Retired Tacoma schoolteacher Dick Mansfield, who said he was persuaded by one of the scam's "slick operators" to invest $175,000 from his state pension, also finally got a special agent at the FBI's Tacoma office to hear his story.
"She did listen to me," he said, "but nothing ever came of it."
Gina Davis, supervisory special agent of the Tacoma office, said they didn't act because an FBI office in California was already investigating the investment scam. But John Gliatta, supervisory special agent in Fresno, Calif., said their investigation was limited to two men in the Fresno area. One was charged with perjury and sentenced to probation.
Mansfield and Martindale believe that many more people should have been prosecuted, and Mansfield still struggles to explain how devastating it is "to have your future ripped off."
"I feel angry that we don't have a culture that sees the horror of financial theft," he said. "It is horrendous. It is not taken seriously."
So, all of the agencies once tasked with white collar crime investigation are defunded and dismantled ---here we see the FBI is folded into HOMELAND SECURITY -----our Maryland Assembly APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE and pols defund the white-collar side of Maryland State's Attorneys office----while Baltimore City Hall and Mayor does the same to City Attorney's office---
KEEP IN MIND---THESE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY POLS AND BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL POLS/GOVERNOR AND MAYOR ARE THE ROBBER BARON POLS BEING ALLOWED TO DISMANTLE GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES FOR CHECKS AND BALANCES.
So, when we hear groups shout that our US government structure is tied to institutional racism and classism----we are shouting---IT IS NOT THE STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT ----it is the fact that 99% of WE THE PEOPLE allow these structures to be CRIMINAL AND CORRUPT.
Third world nations have this same governance structure where a 5% working for those developing nation rich are allowed to be totally criminal and that police department protects that criminality. Third world dictators and their machines WANT police to create fear, civil unrest, distrust, making sure 99% of citizens cannot keep any wealth----WE KNOW THAT IS THIRD WORLD STRUCTURE AND WE KNOW THAT IS CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ----ERGO, our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones operating as overseas developed nations ----third world.
When our Maryland Assembly APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE is allowed to defund our Baltimore City Elections Board to such a degree that disallowed our local Election staff to operate in oversight of elections JUST BEFORE THE 2016 ELECTIONS-----we see that systemic criminal and corrupt system that again spills over to our police department which was allowed to transport ballot boxes and ballots outside the election staff chain of command. NONE OF THAT WAS LEGAL---IT WAS SIMPLY DONE.
FBI Drops Law Enforcement as ‘Primary’ Mission
The FBI’s creeping advance into the world of counterterrorism is nothing new. But quietly and without notice, the agency has finally decided to make it official in one of its organizational fact sheets. Instead of declaring "law enforcement" as its "primary function," as it has for years, the FBI fact sheet now lists "national security" ...By John Hudson
| January 5, 2014, 11:57 PM
The FBI’s creeping advance into the world of counterterrorism is nothing new. But quietly and without notice, the agency has finally decided to make it official in one of its organizational fact sheets. Instead of declaring "law enforcement" as its "primary function," as it has for years, the FBI fact sheet now lists "national security" as its chief mission. The changes largely reflect the FBI reforms put in place after September 11, 2001, which some have criticized for de-prioritizing law enforcement activities. Regardless, with the 9/11 attacks more than a decade in the past, the timing of the edits is baffling some FBI-watchers.
"What happened in the last year that changed?" asked Kel McClanahan, a Washington-based national security lawyer.
McClanahan noticed the change last month while reviewing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the agency. The FBI fact sheet accompanies every FOIA response and highlights a variety of facts about the agency. After noticing the change, McClanahan reviewed his records and saw that the revised fact sheets began going out this summer. "I think they’re trying to rebrand," he said. "So many good things happen to your agency when you tie it to national security."
Although a spokesman with the agency declined to weigh in on the timing of the change, he said the agency is just keeping up with the times. "When our mission changed after 9/11, our fact sheet changed to reflect that," FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told Foreign Policy. He noted that the FBI’s website has long-emphasized the agency’s national security focus. "We rank our top 10 priorities and CT [counterterrorism] is first, counterintel is second, cyber is third," he said. "So it is certainly accurate to say our primary function is national security." On numerous occasions, former FBI Director Robert Mueller also emphasized the FBI’s national security focus in speeches and statements.
FBI historian and Marquette University professor Athan Theoharis agreed that the changes reflect what’s really happening at the agency, but said the timing isn’t clear. "I can’t explain why FBI officials decided to change the fact sheet… unless in the current political climate that change benefits the FBI politically and undercuts criticisms," he said. He mentioned the negative attention surrounding the FBI’s failure in April to foil the bomb plot at the Boston Marathon by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Whatever the reason, the agency’s increased focus on national security over the last decade has not occurred without consequence. Between 2001 and 2009, the FBI doubled the amount of agents dedicated to counterterrorism, according to a 2010 Inspector’s General report. That period coincided with a steady decline in the overall number of criminal cases investigated nationally and a steep decline in the number of white-collar crime investigations.
"Violent crime, property crime and white-collar crime: All those things had reductions in the number of people available to investigate them," former FBI agent Brad Garrett told Foreign Policy. "Are there cases they missed? Probably."
Last month, Robert Holley, the special agent in charge in Chicago, said the agency’s focus on terrorism and other crimes continued to affect the level of resources available to combat the violent crime plaguing the city. "If I put more resources on violent crime, I’d have to take away from other things," he told The Chicago Tribune.
According to a 2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigation, the Justice Department did not replace 2,400 agents assigned to focus on counterterrorism in the years following 9/11. The reductions in white-collar crime investigations became obvious. Back in 2000, the FBI sent prosecutors 10,000 cases. That fell to a paltry 3,500 cases by 2005. "Had the FBI continued investigating financial crimes at the same rate as it had before the terror attacks, about 2,000 more white-collar criminals would be behind bars," the report concluded. As a result, the agency fielded criticism for failing to crack down on financial crimes ahead of the Great Recession and losing sight of real-estate fraud ahead of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.
In many ways, the agency had no choice but to de-emphasize white-collar crime. Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI picked up scores of new responsibilities related to terrorism and counterintelligence while maintaining a finite amount of resources. What’s not in question is that government agencies tend to benefit in numerous ways when considered critical to national security as opposed to law enforcement. "If you tie yourself to national security, you get funding and you get exemptions on disclosure cases," said McClanahan. "You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don’t get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe."
The American people are told this is just politics as normal but is REALLY, REALLY is not. The US had this similar corruption during the last ROBBER BARON FRAUDS of ROARING 20s that fraud controlled by the same US FED actions with Wall Street brought that same 5% to the 1% to instill systematic corruption.
We stated the degree to where our US city police departments are drawn into these corrupt actions whether corporations or large institutions illegally misappropriating funds by the billions or those local 5% political machines controlling communities through HARDBALL policing corruption.
WE KNOW THAT IS WHAT HAS BEEN POLICING HISTORY IN BALTIMORE EVEN BEFORE THESE FEW DECADES OF ROBBER BARON CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA.
Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality
Paperback – January 20, 2015
Public funds spent on jets and horses. Shoeboxes stuffed with embezzled cash. Ghost payrolls and incarcerated ex-governors. Illinois' culture of "Where's mine?" and the public apathy it engenders has made our state and local politics a disgrace.
In Corrupt Illinois, veteran political observers Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson take aim at business-as-usual. Naming names, the authors lead readers through a gallery of rogues and rotten apples to illustrate how generations of chicanery have undermined faith in, and hope for, honest government. From there, they lay out how to implement institutional reforms that provide accountability and eradicate the favoritism, sweetheart deals, and conflicts of interest corroding our civic life.
Corrupt Illinois lays out a blueprint to transform our politics from a pay-to-play–driven marketplace into what it should be: an instrument of public good.
Republicans literally laughed when a politician from Chicago---OBAMA ---was installed as a Democratic primary candidate as that extended these ROBBER BARON years to yet another US President. The ROBBER BARON frauds of ROARING 20s was built the same way today's US FED/Wall Street built the current systemic frauds---the difference is this-----these frauds are playing for keeps-----that ROBBER BARON fraud of ROARING 20s required the rebuilding of American economy keeping the US Constitutional, Bill of Rights, common law, Federal law and precedence in place----today the goal is eliminating US national sovereignty to create COLONIAL INDEPENDENT FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
When a city's political machines and institutions are corrupt---so too will be those police departments and those police departments will be working to protect those crony 5%----NOT WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%. By allowing local corruption in these few cities go unaddressed we now have international corruption with 5% players far more tied to violence and mayhem then the American people have seen.
Corrupt Illinois: Not A Few Bad Apples
by Steve Bartin 02/26/2015
Despite a huge advantage in name recognition, massively more money, and a lift from President Obama, Rahm Emanuel failed to avoid a run-off Tuesday. It seems many Chicago residents are beginning to realize that our present system – and leaders – are leading us off a precipice.
In the adopted home of a President and the most fabled political machine in the country, the issue here is the factors that drive political decisions. It is increasingly clear that the old political science sense that politicians are less self-interested than regular people – suckers, taxpayers – is dead wrong. Many American political scientists will claim with enormous conviction that those engaged in the marketplace are more self-interested than those involved in the political process. Liberal scholars and the mainstream media constantly complain about market failure; much less attention is paid to political failure.
Not all academics studying politics have been so naïve about the political process. Over 100 year ago FDR’s influential progressive advisor Frederic C. Howe, in his long forgotten book, Confessions of a Monopolist explained the essence of politics:
This is the story of something for nothing—of making the other fellow pay. This making the other fellow pay, of getting something for nothing, explains the lust for franchises, mining rights, tariff privileges, railway control, tax evasions. All these things mean monopoly, and all monopoly is bottomed on legislation.
Seeking special privileges, Howe reasoned, leads to corruption. By the 1960s this notion was explored by economists Gordon Tullock and Anne Krueger, who developed the concept of “rent-seeking.” They saw how politics represents often merely an investment towards plundering the taxpayers for private gain.
Now we have a modern day examination of this phenomena, particularly in the crony capital of the world, Illinois. Political scholars Thomas Gradel and Dick Simpson have written a path breaking book from The University of Illinois Press on corruption in the state of Illinois. This book is the most comprehensive survey of corruption in the state of Illinois ever published. The lessons here are useful well beyond Illinois. You’ll never understand, for example, Barack Obama’s political career unless you read this book. Gradel and Simpson also remind us that Chicago isn’t the only corrupt place in Illinois. The corrupt politicians, judges, police, and government bureaucrats are catalogued here and backed by empirical evidence.
Illinois’ biggest town was corrupt from the start. Even the incorporation vote to start Chicago was fraudulently conducted. Chicago’s City Council is the epitome of the place’s corruption. Gradel and Simpson present the evidence:
Thirty-three Chicago aldermen and former aldermen have been convicted and gone to jail since 1973. Two others died before they could be tried. Since 1928 there have been only fifty aldermen serving in the council at any one time. Fewer than two hundred men and women have served in the Chicago city council since the 1970’s, so the federal crime rate in the council chamber is higher than in the most dangerous ghetto in the city.
Those Chicago Aldermen who went on to commit crimes represent all elements of society. White, black, college graduates, rich, poor, felonies on the job, felonies off the job, and more. But, Chicago’s city council isn’t the only corrupt place. Chicago’s police department has faced its’ share of negative publicity:
Since 1960, more than three hundred Chicago police officers have been convicted of serious crimes, such as drug dealing, beating civilians, destroying evidence, protecting mobsters, theft, and murder. However, this doesn’t include all the illegal and unethical activities that have gone undetected or were covered up internally by the police department.
The Emanuel administration still has to deal with police behavior from decades ago. Commander Jon Burge, Chicago’s most infamous police torturer, has already cost the city $120 million in settlements and legal fees with the meter still running. William Hanhardt, who was elevated to Chief of Detectives after joining the police force in 1953, rose through the ranks to be the Chicago Mob’s most important asset on the force. He was eventually indicted for running a nationwide jewelry theft ring. This was not any ordinary theft ring. As U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar clearly stated:
"Hanhardt’s organization surpasses in duration and sophistication -just about any other jewelry theft ring we've seen in federal law enforcement." Chicago’s City Council never held hearings on who Hanhardt promoted in his long career and the long racketeering enterprise he ran.
This isn’t the fantasy land Barack Obama of apologist David Maraness, or Jonathan Alter (whose mother was the first woman to be slated for Cook County office by Mayor Richard J. Daley) concocts.
The big question: Was Barack Obama separate from the ethical swamp of Illinois politics? Obama was a foot soldier of the Daley machine when Congressman Bobby Rush had the nerve to run against Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1999, Daley needed to send Congressman Rush a message. The Daley operation “encouraged” Illinois State Senator Barack Obama to challenge Congressman Bobby Rush. Obama lost, but won the loyalty of Mayor Daley. The Chicago machine pushed Obama for the Illinois State Senate, the U.S. Senate, and then the Presidency. Barack Obama was there when the chips were down. As one Obama observer explained, he endorsed Daley last time in 2007 despite the corruption and the many civil rights violations. Daley, for his part, backed Obama in his successful run for the white House.
President Obama previously taught constitutional law classes at one the country’s most prestigious law schools, the University of Chicago. Given President Obama’s civil rights knowledge as a law school professor, President Obama’s 2007 endorsement of Daley for mayor remains even more perplexing. Recent revelations about a Chicago police “black site” – much along the lines of CIA interrogation centers --- seem to have done little to change his embrace of the machine.
Clearly the cord to the machine has hardly been cut. Just look at who President Obama hired as top staff members. Daley fundraiser Rahm Emanuel served as Chief of Staff. Mayor Daley’s brother William followed him as Chief of Staff. Another powerful figure is Mayor Daley’s deputy Chief of Staff, Valerie Jarret. The head of the less than successful Chicago Public School system, Arne Duncan, got promoted Secretary of Education. Chicago machine donor and housing fraudster Penny Pritzker got appointed to Secretary of Commerce.
But don’t rely just on me. Read Thomas Gradel and Dick Simpson— you may realize the price we all, not just in Chicago or Illinois pay, for not confronting the culture of corruption.
IT IS NOT THE PUBLIC THAT MAKES THE JOB DEGRADING---IT IS THE ADMINISTRATION------
For those citizens who love our police officers and respect their charge of law and order----public safety---THE 99% OF WE THE PEOPLE black, white, and brown citizens are not doing our jobs as citizens when we allow our citizens wanting to serve as police officers to face this ROBBER BARON few decades of corruption and in some regions of US the lower-level of corruption.
84 months ago
I just recently retired as an Officer in New Hampshire. I have been offered numerous other LE jobs and I'm here to tell you that I will never ever put a uniform on again. It is not the public that makes the job so degrading but the administration. Chief Rod Collins, now of the Mashpee, Ma Police Department is the main reason I hate the profession so much. He sets double standards, one for him and his pals on the force and then another standard for all the others. His list of accomplishments are distinguished. He got a NH State Trooper suspended after he begged the trooper to let him go on a Drunk Driving charge (which the poor trooper did), has appeared in a sex tape involving one of his former dispatchers, has involved himself in extramarrital affairs and has been forced to leave all three New Hampshire police departments where he served as police chief. He surrounds himself with a few close friends, one of which is now his Captain (from NH of course). How he got hired in Mashpee is beyond me as they obviously failed to conduct a proper background investigation, otherwise the above mentioned items would have been uncovered. Oh, that's right one of his friends was serving as interim chief at the time in Mashpee.
My point is, your career will be dictated by administrators such as Chief Rodney, do as I say and certainly not as I do. I am proud to have served but disgraced to have served under Chief Rodney Collins. To those who are looking and just have to take on the career, find a big city department, stay under the radar and click off your years.
We have shown any number of article showing the corruption within Baltimore Police Department uncovered by outside agencies ---not our local or state attorney offices or FBI---SWAT teams mistakenly breaking down doors because they received a tip that residence dealt drugs ending with no drugs found but guns planted for illegal gun charges for example.
ZERO TOLERANCE and arrest quotas are often the blame---but the goals of MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE clearing communities for development ANYWAY GLOBAL WALL STREET WANTS TO----is a far-larger factor. It is the adoption of third world policing tactics allowed in overseas FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES where sovereign citizens do not have the rights as US citizens do----that is breaking down our civil liberties and civil rights----
ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA NOT SEEING THOSE FEDERAL DOCUMENTS STATING 'WE THE PEOPLE' HAVING INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
'Prosecutors acknowledged that investigators mistakenly cleaned the gun as part of the process of test-firing it before it could be tested for DNA or fingerprints',
So, in Baltimore there is a long history of police planting guns and drugs----of police coverups for rogue police brutality ----procedures that tell a police officer he/she can shot to kill simple if a person resists arrest with that 'resist arrest' becoming more and more blurred.
The other US civil right disappearing is the PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE where people having a record for selling drugs or illegal handgun are openly allowed to be searched and face constant police contact having done no crime----these are the incidents often leading to citizens facing police gunfire when they are FEARFUL OF POLICE and not necessarily DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL.
Justin FentonContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
February 11, 2016
Baltimore man who accused police of planting gun is acquitted of assault, gun charges
A Baltimore man, whose attorney alleged police had planted a gun on him after he was shot five times by an officer last April, was acquitted of assault and gun charges by a jury Wednesday.
But jurors convicted Dawan Hawkins, 28, of one count of reckless endangerment, and Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams sentenced him to three years in jail.
Hawkins was shot April 18 in the 2700 block of Baker St., about a mile west of a rally for Freddie Gray on the day before Gray's death. Police said Hawkins was a passenger in a vehicle that fled from police during an attempted traffic stop, and that he jumped out and ran after the vehicle stopped.
Officer David Bodine testified that he saw Hawkins with a gun in his waistband, pursued him, and shot several times when he saw Hawkins raise the gun in his direction. Bodine said he feared for his life and fired until the threat was over.
Baltimore man who accused police of planting gun is acquitted of assault, gun charges
Prosecutors acknowledged that investigators mistakenly cleaned the gun as part of the process of test-firing it before it could be tested for DNA or fingerprints,.
Hawkins' attorney, public defender Martin Cohen, noted that Bodine never said over the police radio that he had seen a weapon while pursuing Hawkins, and that Hawkins can be heard in the background saying he didn't have a weapon.
Cohen suggested that the gun was planted to cover up an accidental shooting, which Assistant State's Attorney Adam Chaudry called a wild conspiracy theory.
Hawkins, who has a prior conviction for having an illegal gun, already has served 10 months of his three- year sentence and could be released in the next few months, Cohen said.
Cohen contended that Hawkins did not have a gun and said the verdict should show "police are not above the law."
Asked whether cleaning the gun could have been a procedural mistake, Cohen said of police: "I'm doing my job, so you'll be better next time."
Hundreds of black citizens in low-income communities were shot by police with evidence that these citizens had no weapons nor had they committed any crime. When WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% allow these kinds of abuses to exist because we are tied to RACE AND CLASS---while heading to third world policing----we KNOW EVERYONE WILL BE IN --NO ONE OUT of consequences of third world police corruption.
We reported a few years ago that Baltimore homeless citizens were being threatened by Baltimore police with planting a gun on that homeless person's possessions if that homeless person did not leave a gentrifying community. We heard this account so many times we can be sure it was a policing procedure. So, the threat of gun and drug planting in Baltimore has a long history and has elevated with MOVING FORWARD US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE development where police are being given wide berth in pushing one population out to move another in.
Our 5% to the 1% are right in there with these policing procedures ----being winners in these developments gentrification over human rights/civil rights are taking hold ----what drives third world government corruption and policing? This very thing. We now have citizens in Baltimore feeling they have to run fearful they will be framed for a crime they did not commit----hundreds of thousands of Baltimore citizens over decades fall into this policing corruption abyss.
Consent Decrees, Racial Bias and Policing
By THE NEW YORK TIMESAUG. 10, 2016
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that the Justice Department is rethinking its approach to the federal agreements, known as consent decrees, that have been reached with dozens of law enforcement agencies.
The re-examination could lead to a retreat by the Trump administration on the consent decrees that the Obama White House used to overhaul troubled police departments.
In the past, the investigations leading to the agreements have uncovered widespread patterns of racial bias, use of excessive force, tactical blunders and poor oversight.
A sampling of the reports shows how systemic bias plays out.
Zero-tolerance policing that was adopted by many city police departments in the early 2000s has led to aggressive tactics. By cracking down on minor offenses, often called the broken windows approach, the thinking went, major crimes would be deterred.
In 2013, a federal judge ruled that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy.
The Justice Department found that the Baltimore police stopped pedestrians more than 300,000 times from January 2010 to May 2015. It said the precise number of those stops was “likely far higher due to underreporting.” The department found that most stops by the police were made in predominantly black neighborhoods without “reasonable suspicion.”
The report said:
In the five-and-a-half years of data we examined, African-Americans accounted for 95 percent of the 410 individuals B.P.D. stopped at least 10 times. One African-American man in his mid-50s was stopped 30 times in less than four years. Despite these repeated intrusions, none of the 30 stops resulted in a citation or criminal charge.”
The Justice Department found in its investigation of the Seattle police in 2011 that the police focused largely on minority neighborhoods of the city in its street stops. Its report said:
In the East precinct, nonwhites make up only 33 percent of the population; however, they made up 64 percent of the street checks. Similarly, in the West precinct, nonwhites only make up 26 percent of the population but made up 47 percent of the street checks. In the Southwest precinct, nonwhites make up 32 percent of the population but made up 49 percent of the street checks.
The most common interactions between residents and the police are traffic stops. Members of minority groups stopped by the police face far more searches, as well as arrests and fines. Philando Castile, 32, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minn., on July 6, had been pulled over 49 times in 13 years.
African-Americans accounted for 82 percent of all vehicle stops by the Baltimore police, though the group made up 60 percent of the driving-age population in the city and 27 percent of the driving-age population in the greater metropolitan area, according to the Justice Department’s report.
• Ferguson, Mo.
African-Americans accounted for 86 percent of traffic stops in 2013 but make up 63 percent of the population, according to recent data published by the Missouri attorney general.
Black drivers were more than twice as likely to be searched after being stopped as white drivers were, according to the Justice Department’s report in 2015. But officers found contraband in the possession of African-Americans 26 percent less frequently than they did in the possession of white drivers. The report on Ferguson notes that the data suggests that “officers are impermissibly considering race as a factor when determining whether to search.”
Excessive Use of Force
In a number of cities, the Justice Department has found that routine encounters with the public often escalate unnecessarily into violent situations.
The Justice Department asserts that when Seattle police officers use force, “they do so in an unconstitutional manner nearly 20 percent of the time.” For example, the report said, when the police “use batons, 57 percent of the time it is either unnecessary or excessive.”
The report also says that the Seattle police “escalate situations and use unnecessary or excessive force when arresting individuals for minor offenses. This trend is pronounced in encounters with persons with mental illnesses or those under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is problematic because S.P.D. estimates that 70 percent of use-of-force encounters involve these populations.”
In January, the Justice Department found reasonable cause that Chicago police “engaged in a pattern or practice of unreasonable force in violation of the Fourth Amendment” and attributed the deficiencies to a number of things, including training, supervision and accountability.
In interviews with the Justice Department, Baltimore residents said “that even when they believe they have done nothing wrong, they flee from interactions with officers, believing that it is better to run at the sight of an officer rather than take the risk that an interaction with the officer will result in unnecessary and excessive force being used against them,” according to the report.
The report added:
The Baltimore Police Department uses unreasonable force against people who present little or no threat to officers or others. Specifically, B.P.D. uses excessive force against (1) individuals who are already restrained and under officers’ control and (2) individuals who are fleeing from officers and are not suspected of serious criminal offenses.
Force used on restrained individuals: We found many examples of B.P.D. officers using unreasonable force on individuals who were restrained and no longer posed a threat to officers or the public.
In May 2015, the Cleveland Police Department agreed to accept close federal oversight of its practices, including how and when its officers were allowed to use force.
The Justice Department found that the Cleveland police routinely used stun guns inappropriately, punched and kicked unarmed people and shot at people who posed no threat. The episodes were often unreported and not investigated, the inquiry found.
A case from 2012, described in the report, illustrates the problem.
An officer’s gun discharged when he struck a suspect in the head with it. The officer, who was off-duty and dressed in civilian clothes, observed what he believed to be a drug transaction take place involving two vehicles and about six suspects. The officer approached them without calling for backup and told them to leave. When “Eric” got out of one of the cars, the officer drew his handgun, pointed it at Eric, and ordered Eric to the ground, identifying himself as a C.D.P. officer but not showing a badge. A witness reported that she saw a man, later identified as the officer, holding a gun to Eric’s face while Eric asked repeatedly for the officer to show his badge and expressed disbelief that he was an officer.
The Ferguson police used Tasers and dogs in excess on African-American suspects, according to the Justice Department report. In 2013, one black man was chased down and bitten by an officer’s dog even though the officer had frisked him and knew the man was unarmed. The officer’s supervisor later justified the use of force with a patently untrue statement, suggesting that the officer feared “that the subject was armed,” the report said.
The police used lethal force in 37 cases s from 2010 to 2014. In them, 23 people were killed and 14 were wounded, an usually high number for a city of about 550,000, the Justice Department report said.
Among the cases cited in that report: Police officers once fired a stun gun at a deranged man who had doused himself in gasoline, setting him ablaze. Another time, they fired one at a man who yelled, “Bang, bang,” as the officers approached. They also fired a stun gun at a 75-year-old homeless man for refusing to leave a bus stop, at a 16-year-old boy for refusing to lie on a floor covered in broken glass and at a young man so drunk he could not get up from a couch.
The Justice Department found that the police often treated minorities with heightened suspicion in pedestrian and traffic stops, leading to unlawful searches.
The police “regularly escalate” encounters with residents through illegal searches, the Justice Department’s report said, by frisking people without a reasonable suspicion they are armed and dangerous and by conducting strip or body searches in public before an arrest.
In a typical case, an officer frisked an African-American man during a traffic stop. The man was the passenger in the vehicle and was frisked, the officer said, because the driver, who was stopped because his headlights were off, looked nervous as the officer approached the car. The frisk of the passenger included a public pat-down of his groin.
In another case, officers stopped a woman for driving a car missing a headlight. A female officer searched under the woman’s shirt and in her anal cavity, in public view. The woman was released without charges.
In some communities, police and court officials focused on generating revenue from municipal fines, often issuing expensive fees for minor offenses.
Excessive fines were a tactic most prevalent in the Justice Department’s investigation of the Ferguson police department. The report said:
A 90-year-old man had a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to pay in a timely manner the five citations the Ferguson Police Department issued to him during a traffic stop in 2013.
An 83-year-old man had a warrant issued against him when he failed to resolve his Derelict Auto violation.
A 67-year-old woman told us she was stopped and arrested by a Ferguson police officer on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay a trash-removal citation. She did not know about the warrant until her arrest, but the court ultimately fined her $1,000, which she continues to pay off in $100 monthly increments despite being on a limited, fixed income.
Poor Supervision, Inadequate Reporting
Poor documentation of police officers’ interactions with civilians and lack of supervisory review of reports was another thread found in the Justice Department reports.
Investigators said the analyses of use-of-force incidents by police supervisors was superficial at best and, at worst, appeared to be intended to justify the unreasonable use of force by their subordinates.
An episode in which an officer punched a 13-year-old boy in the face three or four times while the teenager was handcuffed illustrates the problem. The officer weighed twice what the handcuffed boy weighed. There was at least one other officer present who could have helped control the situation. The supervisor who reviewed the episode noted the weight difference, the presence of at least one other officer and the fact that the boy was handcuffed, yet nevertheless found that the use of force against the boy was “arguably the best response.”
Investigators found that community policing as a driving force had declined and attempts to restore it have failed. To succeed, the report said, the Chicago police “must build up systems throughout the department, to support and bolster this community-focused approach to policing.” It will fail, the Justice Department found, “if it remains a series of disconnected initiatives, no matter how well-meaning and well-executed.”
The Justice Department raised concern about a lack of accurate records in tracking the use of stun guns or Taser weapons by the police. It also noted that much use of force — like “physical blows and baton strikes” — was not reported, which “raises the possibility that the pattern of unreasonable force is even greater than we found.”
We want to keep this week's discussion of corruption in policing, forensic agencies, courts local since we have many times addressed the growing AUTHORITARIAN, MILITARIZED policing tied to HOMELAND SECURITY/NSA/CIA----but we want to remind folks-----the third world policing corruptions that had all sovereign citizens running for cover and fearful start with bringing militarized policing to local community policing.
This is what Mexico, Philippines, Ghana et al as third world nations with soaring police corruptions and brutality had as a start-----and this is to where we KNOW MOVING FORWARD US cities deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES allowing these same global militarized policing policies to exist will go.
Baltimore has always had that crony political machine, pay-to-play, 5% to the 1% controlling deeply impoverished 99% BOSS TWEED kinds of policing----what we see today is MOVING FORWARD those militarized policing structures having created all the civil unrest/civil wars overseas as Foreign Economic Zones were installed.
OUR CITIZENS TIED TO RACE AND CLASS--BLACK, WHITE, AND BROWN CITIZENS MUST WAKE UP---THIS IS NOT ONLY ABOUT A QUICK AND EASY WAY TO GENTRIFY---IT IS TAKEN FROM IRAQI CLEARING OF ENEMY COMBATANT STRATEGIES.
There are no winners in allowing our low-income 99% of citizens lose all rights as citizens----as today's middle-class have over ROBBER BARON FRAUDS---
Remember, US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones WILL be able to ignore all US Constitutional rights, Bill of Rights, Common Law, Magna Carta legal protections for citizens' properties, assets et al----because these zones are being said to be OUTSIDE OF US JURISDICTION----of course these few decades of ROBBER BARON FRAUDS were only the start of this----it becomes far more brutal as breakdown in our US civil society MOVES FORWARD.
Has The Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?
If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies.
by John Whitehead
June 17th, 2014
“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison
“Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant
If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.
The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”
In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.
A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.
To Kenny’s list, I will add the following: The menace of a national police force, a.k.a. a standing army, vested with so much power cannot be overstated, nor can its danger be ignored. Indeed, as the following list shows, just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police agencies in the form of grants.
Militarizing police and SWAT teams.
The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, “paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams.” The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war—and the citizenry are the enemy combatants.
Spying on activists, dissidents and veterans.
In 2009, DHS released three infamous reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” and another entitled Operation Vigilant Eagle, outlining a surveillance program targeting veterans. The reports collectively and broadly define extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.” In 2013, it was revealed that DHS, the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies, and the private sector were working together to conduct nationwide surveillance on protesters’ First Amendment activities.
DHS, along with other government agencies, has been stockpiling an alarming amount of ammunition in recent years, which only adds to the discomfort of those already leery of the government. As of 2013, DHS had 260 million rounds of ammo in stock, which averages out to between 1,300 to 1,600 rounds per officer. The US Army, in contrast, has roughly 350 rounds per soldier. DHS has since requisitioned more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, “enough,” concludes Forbes magazine, “to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.”
Distributing license plate readers.
DHS has already distributed more than $50 million in grants to enable local police agencies to acquire license plate readers, which rely on mobile cameras to photograph and identify cars, match them against a national database, and track their movements. Relying on private contractors to maintain a license plate database allows the DHS and its affiliates to access millions of records without much in the way of oversight.
Contracting to build detention camps.
In 2006, DHS awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to build detention centers on American soil. Although the government and Halliburton were not forthcoming about where or when these domestic detention centers would be built, they rationalized the need for them in case of “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs” in the event of other emergencies such as “natural disasters.” Viewed in conjunction with the NDAA provision allowing the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone, including American citizens, it would seem the building blocks are already in place for such an eventuality.
Tracking cell-phones with Stingray devices.
Distributed to local police agencies as a result of grants from the DHS, these Stingray devices enable police to track individuals’ cell phones—and their owners—without a court warrant or court order. The amount of information conveyed by these devices about one’s activities, whereabouts and interactions is considerable. As one attorney explained: “Because we carry our cellphones with us virtually everywhere we go, stingrays can paint a precise picture of where we are and who we spend time with, including our location in a lover’s house, in a psychologist’s office or at a political protest.”
Carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities.
Each year, DHS funds military-style training drills in cities across the country. These Urban Shield exercises, elaborately staged with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims, fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers, bystanders and the media into thinking it’s a real crisis.
Using the TSA as an advance guard.
The TSA now searches a variety of government and private databases, including things like car registrations and employment information, in order to track travelers’ before they ever get near an airport. Other information collected includes “tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information.”
Conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners.
Under the direction of the TSA, American travelers have been subjected to all manner of searches ranging from whole-body scanners and enhanced patdowns at airports to bag searches in train stations. In response to public outrage over what amounted to a virtual strip search, the TSA has begun replacing the scanners with equally costly yet less detailed models. The old scanners will be used by prisons for now.
Carrying out soft target checkpoints.
VIPR task forces, comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams have laid the groundwork for the government’s effort to secure so-called “soft” targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc. Some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools. DHS’ Operation Shield, a program which seeks to check up on security protocols around the country with unannounced visits, conducted a surprise security exercise at the Social Security Administration building in Leesburg, Fla., when they subjected people who went to pick up their checks to random ID checks by federal agents armed with semi-automatic weapons.
Directing government workers to spy on Americans.
Terrorism Liaison Officers are firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees who have received training to spy on and report back to government entities on the day-to-day activities of their fellow citizens. These individuals are authorized to report “suspicious activity” which can include such innocuous activities as taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk.
Conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers.
Data collecting agencies spread throughout the country, aided by the National Security Agency, fusions centers—of which there are at least 78 scattered around the U.S.— constantly monitor our communications, collecting and cataloguing everything from our internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails. This data is then fed to government agencies, which are now interconnected: the CIA to the FBI, the FBI to local police. Despite a budget estimated to be somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion, these fusion centers have proven to be exercises in incompetence, often producing irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence, while spending millions of dollars on “flat-screen televisions, sport utility vehicles, hidden cameras and other gadgets.”
Carrying out Constitution-free border control searches.
On orders from the DHS, the government’s efforts along the border have become little more than an exercise in police state power, ranging from aggressive checkpoints to the widespread use of drone technology, often used against American citizens traveling within the country. Border patrol operations occur within 100 miles of an international crossing, putting some 200 million Americans within the bounds of aggressive border patrol searches and seizures, as well as increasingly expansive drone surveillance. With 71 checkpoints found along the southwest border of the United States alone, suspicionless search and seizures on the border are rampant. Border patrol agents also search the personal electronic devices of people crossing the border without a warrant.
Funding city-wide surveillance cameras.
As Charlie Savage reports for the Boston Globe, the DHS has funneled “millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a ‘surveillance society’ in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost.” These camera systems, installed on city streets, in parks and transit systems, operating in conjunction with sophisticated computer systems that boast intelligent video analytics, digital biometric identification, military-pedigree software for analyzing and predicting crime and facial recognition software, create a vast surveillance network that can target millions of innocent individuals.
Utilizing drones and other spybots.
The DHS has been at the forefront of funding and deploying surveillance robots and drones for land, sea and air, including robots that resemble fish and tunnel-bots that can travel underground. Despite repeated concerns over the danger surveillance drones used domestically pose to Americans’ privacy rights, the DHS has continued to expand its fleet of Predator drones, which come equipped with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. DHS also loans its drones out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for a variety of tasks, although the agency refuses to divulge any details as to how, why and in what capacity these drones are being used by police. Incredibly, the DHS has also been handing out millions of dollars in grants to local police agencies to “accelerate the adoption” of drones in their localities.
It’s not difficult to see why the DHS has been described as a “wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast.” If it is a beast, however, it is a beast that is accelerating our nation’s transformation into a police state through its establishment of a standing army, a.k.a. national police force.
This, too, is nothing new. Historically, as I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the establishment of a national police force has served as a fundamental and final building block for every totalitarian regime that has ever wreaked havoc on humanity, from Hitler’s all-too-real Nazi Germany to George Orwell’s fictional Oceania. Whether fictional or historical, however, the calling cards of these national police agencies remain the same: brutality, inhumanity, corruption, intolerance, rigidity, and bureaucracy—in other words, evil.