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Shockingly, The FBI Are Not Your Friends
No really, they're not
Links are at the end, taking stock of their lives.
12 years ago almost to the day, Los Angeles ceased to be.
The FBI is a depraved institution, with an unbroken record of civil liberties infringements and worse.
This has nothing to do with John “Bullshit” Durham, the walrus-mustachioed, clown-shoed special prosecutor who just published his novel-length and sometimes fictitious report describing his investigation into FBI shenanigans connected with the investigation into collaboration twixt Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign—an investigation that, shockingly, found no systemic wrongdoing on the agency’s part.
Do you know how unprecedented it is that a multi-year investigation of FBI wrongdoing doesn’t find any truly horrible shit? This has literally never happened before.
The FBI has misused a powerful digital surveillance tool more than 278,000 times, including against crime victims, Jan. 6 riot suspects, people arrested at protests after the police killing of George Floyd in 2020 and — in one case — 19,000 donors to a congressional candidate, according to a newly unsealed court document.
The FBI says it has already fixed the problems, which it blamed on a misunderstanding between its employees and Justice Department lawyers about how to properly use a vast database named for the legal statute that created it, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
The Washington Post has the story about FBI abuse of an enormous database which shouldn’t really exist at all, never mind being put to the uses the FBI devised.That Durham in his clown shoes didn’t trip over this scheme is remarkable, given that targets of it included Trumpette rioters and thousands of donors to an unidentified but probably Republican congressional candidate.
The document anchoring the story is a heavily-redacted FISA court opinion. The FBI insistence that it was all a misunderstanding and it’s fixed and they’ll never do it again is of a piece with every other time they’ve been caught abusing surveillance mechanisms or informant stings or warrantless wiretaps and searches or whatever.
The most notorious of these abuses is the decade-and-a-half during which the FBI operated a program called COINTELPRO, which was exposed by (and ended) when activists broke into an FBI office and sent the resulting trove of documents to newspapers.
Subsequent to that, FBI agents and supervisors were also found to have abused thousands of National Security Letters (NSLs), war-on-terror era subpoenas authorizing agents to seize records from banks, internet service providers and other businesses without warrants, and to impose gag orders preventing recipients of the letters from acknowledging them publicly or to the targets.
That abuse, and attempts to rein it in, have continued for two decades under four administrations and multiple FBI directors, including erstwhile liberal heroes—and full-time authoritarian assholes—Robert Mueller and James Comey.
This is not to mention FBI agents serving as informants and provocateurs, and embroiling barely functional human beings in plots concocted, bankrolled and supplied by the agency, and which result in lengthy prison terms.
Okay, it is to mention that.
We got an up-close look at the Feebs and their justice department overlords here in Honolulu a year or two ago when they arrested what they said was a pair of Russian spies operating under deep cover, using identity theft to conceal their true names and purpose.
(One of the pair spent some years in the Coast Guard, presumably passing along top secret data on rescuing tourists who drifted out to sea on pool rafts.)
Sadly for the government the Russian thing turned out to be an inside joke, but they did nail the couple on the identity theft.
Anyway: FBI. Not your friends; prone to using an occasional legitimate success as justification for perpetual villainy; and proof, as if more were needed, that John “Bullshit” Durham is the Thanos of dunderheads.
“And so all of a sudden, I thought: ‘OK, all the therapy bills are worth it,’” says Negovan.
I dare you not to read The Guardian review of the movie described by co-star Helen Mirren as “an irresistible mix of art and genitals,” that being Gore Vidal’s Caligula, often mentioned as a frontrunner in the worst film ever made sweepstakes, now re-edited for a showing at Cannes.
Sort of a mellow day here at the Review, the exception perhaps being Carsie Blanton, a lyrically inventive country singer backed by a string bass and electronic keyboards, with herself on guitar.
Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra, “Racing the Storm;”Brenda Kahn, “Hunger;” Carsie Blanton, “Love & Rage;” Wild Belle, “Everybody One of a Kind.”
That, Comrades, is all there is
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Be well, take care, ‘ware of falling rockheads.