'Extremely alarming': RCMP charge head of intelligence unit ... - 1:50 AM 9/15/2019
- Other Apps
13 hours ago - Unbelievable! Cameron Ortis, the Canadian law enforcement official heading up the money laundering investigation connected to the ...
Unbelievable! Cameron Ortis, the Canadian law enforcement official heading up the money laundering investigation connected to the Magnitsky murder was arrested last night in Ottawa for alleged espionage and working with a foreign power. Same thing happened in Switzerland
8:25 AM - 14 Sep 2019
|Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠|
|Cameron Ortis - Google Search|
CBC.ca-10 hours ago
Members of the Five Eyes intelligence bloc are already raising questions about the type of information accessible to Cameron Ortis as the ...
Top Canadian Intelligence Official Charged With Leaking ...
The New York Times-10 hours ago
RCMP official charged with breaching official secrets law ...
The Globe and Mail-14 hours ago
Intelligence official charged seemed to be 'exemplar of ...
International-CTV News-7 hours ago
The Globe and Mail-16 hours ago
Good morning. Wendy Cox here. Cameron Ortis was always the guy at the party who didn't have an answer to the social question: “So what do ...
RCMP intelligence expert Cameron Ortis accused of ...
<a href="http://Straight.com" rel="nofollow">Straight.com</a>-Sep 13, 2019
'Extremely alarming': RCMP charge head of intelligence unit ...
National Post-Sep 13, 2019
Charged RCMP intelligence official spent years in BC
International-CTV News-Sep 13, 2019
RCMP charge Cameron Ortis under official-secrets law
Local Source-Ottawa Sun-Sep 13, 2019
Intelligence community reeling after RCMP director accused of ...
International-CBC.ca-Sep 13, 2019
|Cameron Ortis - Google Search|
a day ago
|Cameron Ortis - Google Search|
5 hours ago - A senior RCMP official arrested in a case that sent shockwaves through Canada’s national security community on Friday was uncovered by U.S. authorities who tipped off Ottawa, a source told Global News.
10 hours ago - Members of the Five Eyes intelligence bloc are already raising questions about the type of information accessible to Cameron Ortis as the director of an intelligence unit within the RCMP, diplomatic sources tell CBC News.
11 hours ago - A top intelligence official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who had access to a wide array of highly sensitive information gathered by Canada and its allies has been charged with passing along or offering secrets.
16 hours ago - Good morning. Wendy Cox here. Cameron Ortis was always the guy at the party who didn't have an answer to the social question: “So what do ...
7 hours ago - Cameron Ortis can be seen in this artist rendering from his court appearance on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
13 hours ago - Unbelievable! Cameron Ortis, the Canadian law enforcement official heading up the money laundering investigation connected to the ...
1 day ago - Cameron Ortis faces a total of seven charges, including five federal secrecy charges, for alleged offences dating back to 2015.
7 hours ago - Cameron Ortis can be seen in this artist rendering from his court appearance on ... He says that after Ortis took up his RCMP position in Ottawa, ...
1 day ago - Cameron Ortis is a senior member of the Ottawa-based National Security Criminal Investigations unit of the RCMP and faces five charges.
2 days ago - Canada's top police organisation has charged one of its senior officials with violating national security laws. Cameron Ortis, a civilian member ...
1 day ago - Cameron Ortis is accused of intentionally and without authority ... Ortis is also charged with "obtaining, retaining, or gaining access to ...
1 day ago - “NIGHTMARE”: Cameron Ortis Allegations Could Be Worst National ... has been sharing more details of the allegations against Cameron Otis, ...
Royal Canadian Mounted Police fear Cameron Ortis stole 'large quantities of information, which could compromise an untold number of investigations'.
1 day ago - Cameron Ortis, the Director General of an RCMP intelligence unit accused of allegedly leaking operational info wrote a thesis on cybersecurity ...
1 day ago - The national police force charged Cameron Ortis, 47, with three counts under the rarely-used Security of Information Act which governs how ...
1 day ago - Cameron Ortis, a director general with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's intelligence unit, faces three charges under a little-used 2012 ...
4 hours ago - Diplomatic sources told CBC, on condition of anonymity, that the alliance fears that Cameron Ortis has had access to some sensitive ...
1 day ago - OTTAWA — Cameron Jay Ortis, a senior RCMP intelligence official, made a brief court appearance Friday on charges of breaching Canada's ...
|Top Canadian Intelligence Official Charged With Leaking Secrets - The New York Times|
|Reports: Top Canadian Intelligence Official Who Oversaw Magnitsky Probe Charged With Leaking Secrets - Google Search|
2 hours ago - Canada's top intelligence official who reportedly oversaw a ... Official Who Oversaw Magnitsky Probe Charged With Leaking Secrets.
10 hours ago - OTTAWA — A top intelligence official with the Royal Canadian ... and its allies has been charged with passing along or offering secrets.
7 hours ago - Arrested Canadian police official oversaw Russia probe: media ... Cameron Ortis, who was arrested Thursday, was a top advisor to former ... Montreal (AFP) - A senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) intelligence officer arrested this ... of stolen Russian funds, Canadian media reported on Saturday.
1 day ago - A top Canadian police intelligence officer has been charged with ... a Canadian naval officer who handed over secrets to Russia for more than ... Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown.
1 hour ago - Arrested Canadian intelligence officer oversaw Russia probe: reports ... of stolen Russian funds, Canadian media reported on Saturday. ... was revealed by Russian tax advisor Sergei Magnitsky who went public with ... The 47-year-old Ortis was a top advisor to former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, ...
Reports: Top Canadian Intelligence Official Who Oversaw Magnitsky Probe Charged With Leaking Secrets. – Related articles from other sources. Reports: Top ...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's top adviser quit on Monday amid allegations ... has been rocked by the meddling allegations first reported by the Globe and Mail, ... Trudeau's government in crisis after minister quits over corruption probe ...... a senior RCMP intelligence officer has been arrested for leaking national ...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government decided on Tuesday to ..... Canada probes suspected foul play in pork shipment that led to China ban .... Ortis, the RCMP employee charged with several offences under official-secrets law. ... that a senior RCMP intelligence officer has been arrested for leaking national ...
Reports: Top Canadian Intelligence Official Who Oversaw Magnitsky Probe Charged With Leaking Secrets. Radio Free Europe - Everything - United States.
A former foreign policy advisor to Trump was arrested in July for lying to the FBI ...... Whitaker will not recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's probe of Russian ..... officials for trying to hack anti-doping agencies in the U.S., Canada and Europe. ..... The former Air Force contractor who leaked a top-secret government report ...
PEOPLE ALSO SEARCH FOR
This is a timeline of events in 2019 related to investigations into links between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials that are ..... The article charges Trump with obstructing justice by firing James Comey. ... The New York Times reports that the FBI opened counterintelligence and criminal investigations against ...
Belgian Foreign Minister Reynders Faces Corruption Probe: FT ... Deccan Herald - Karnataka Top Stories - India ... Canadian pot firm 'depleted' in fraud scheme, regulator alleges ... Schiff Letters to Acting Director of National Intelligence. Lawfare ... RCMP official charged with breaching official secrets law oversaw Russian ...
For the Mueller report itself, see Mueller investigation. ... However, no Americans were charged with colluding with Russia. ... —Vladimir Putin on Donald Trump, before he became the official GOP nominee .... Trump's first real estate venture in Toronto was a partnership with two Russian-Canadian entrepreneurs.
Aug 20, 2019 - Incident Two: Pressuring FBI Director Comey and the Intelligence Chiefs ... The relevant pages of the original Report are listed at the top of each summary for reference. .... The Office did not bring charges against Trump Campaign officials ..... Akhmetshin then spoke about the Magnitsky Act and how Russia ...
Nov 27, 2018 - In the report, all 17 intelligence agencies unanimously assessed that Russian ... Trump's team continued to have secret meetings with Kremlin-linked operatives .... In 2012, the United States enacted the Magnitsky Act; the law ...... Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still ...
Dec 7, 2017 - In addition, the special counsel indicted the former Trump campaign chair Paul ... deals; potential intelligence intercepts of communications between Trump ..... for overseeing the Justice Department's criminal appellate docket; Lisa ...... aimed to enlist top officials to have Comey curtail the bureau's probe.”.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff has subpoenaed .... The former NSA contractor who leaked highly classified information will tell us ... Cameron Ortis, the Canadian law enforcement official heading up the money ... BREAKING: RCMP official charged with breaching official secrets law oversaw Russian ...
1 day ago - Point of origin: Schiff accuses top intel official of illegally withholding 'urgent' ... 15
|Reports: Top Canadian Intelligence Official Who Oversaw Magnitsky Probe Charged With Leaking Secrets|
Canada’s top intelligence official who reportedly oversaw a multi-million-dollar Russian money-laundering scheme that was first uncovered by lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and allegedly run by senior Russian officials was arrested this week in the nation’s capital of Ottawa.
|Arrested Canadian intelligence officer oversaw Russia probe: reports | News | DW|
A senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police intelligence officer who was arrested for allegedly stealing sensitive information supervised an investigation on the laundering of stolen Russian funds, Canadian media reported on Saturday.
The allegations against Cameron Ortis are that he attempted to disclose classified information to a foreign entity, though the authorities did not say to whom — that he "obtained, stored, processed sensitive information, we believe with the intent to communicate it to people that he shouldn't be communicating it to," prosecutor John MacFarlane said.
Connection to Russian corruption case
Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reported that Ortis' arrest was connected to a major corruption case that was revealed by Russian tax advisor Sergei Magnitsky who went public with information surrounding a $230-million (€206-million) fraud scheme allegedly run by senior Russian interior ministry and tax officials.
As recently as August, Ortis was said to have been tasked to see whether some of that money was funneled through Canada, the Globe said.
"Ortis, director-general of the RCMP's National Intelligence Coordination Centre, was planning to meet for a second time with the legal team pursuing the matter alleging more than $14-million in Russian fraud proceeds were tied to Canada," the Globe and Mail reported, citing an unnamed source.
Arrested on breach of trust
The 47-year-old Ortis was a top advisor to former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, and was responsible for counter-intelligence operations.
He was arrested in the capital Ottawa on Thursday and faces five charges — three under the Security of Information Act and two criminal code provisions, including breach of trust, the RCMP said.
Russian Court Finds Dead Lawyer Guilty
Ortis will appear in court for a hearing next Friday.
Concerns of "threats" from "foreign actors"
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on the campaign trail, "I can assure you that the authorities are taking this extremely seriously," without saying more.
His Conservative opponent Andrew Scheer called it "extremely concerning," that "a senior RCMP intelligence officer has been arrested for leaking national security information."
"This is another reminder of the threats we face from foreign actors," Scheer continued.
The RCMP is concerned that Ortis stole "large quantities of information, which could compromise an untold number of investigations," according to Global News, which first reported the arrest.
Canada is a part of the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance, alongside the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
EU court says Russia violated Sergei Magnitsky's rights
Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.
mmc/aw (AFP, AP)
|Deutsche Welle: DW.com - Top Stories: Arrested Canadian intelligence officer oversaw Russia probe: reports|
A high-ranking RCMP officer has been arrested for attempting to disclose classified information to a foreign entity. The man's arrest is connected to a major Russian corruption case.
Deutsche Welle: DW.com - Top Stories
|Trump’s new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted: "Trump’s clumsy efforts to engineer regime change in Venezuela..." - 12:25 AM 9/15/2019|
|Trump’s new world disorder - Google Search|
|Trump’s new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted | US news|
It was, by all accounts, a furious row. Donald Trump was talking about relaxing sanctions on Iran and holding a summit with its president, Hassan Rouhani, at this month’s UN general assembly in New York. John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, was dead against it and forcefully rejected Trump’s ideas during a tense meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.
Big mistake. Still angry over the humiliating collapse of his secret Camp David weekend summit with the Afghan Taliban, which Bolton had also opposed, Trump was in no mood to listen to his aide’s notoriously hardline views. “I disagreed strongly with him,” he said later. Trump lost his temper – and Bolton lost his job, summarily dismissed by tweet.
Bolton’s brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel.
The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.
Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.
The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush’s famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America’s first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched.
The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president’s erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.
Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. “Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs … all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos,” the New York Times noted last week.
Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump’s behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.
“The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed,” Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal. “Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] … should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy.”
This pending crisis stems from Trump’s crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don’t apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible.
As a result, the US today finds itself at odds with much of the world to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. America, the postwar global saviour, has been widely recast as villain. Nor is this a passing phase. Trump seems to have permanently changed the way the US views the world and vice versa. Whatever follows, it will never be quite the same again.
Clues as to what he does next may be found in what he has done so far. His is a truly calamitous record, as exemplified by Afghanistan. Having vowed in 2016 to end America’s longest war, he began with a troop surge, lost interest and sued for peace. A withdrawal deal proved elusive. Meanwhile, US-led forces inflicted record civilian casualties.
The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled. It was classic Trump. He wanted quick ’n’ easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along.
All sides are now vowing to step up the violence, with the insurgents aiming to disrupt this month’s presidential election in Afghanistan. In short, Trump’s self-glorifying Afghan reality show, of which he was the Nobel-winning star, has made matters worse. Much the same is true of his North Korea summitry, where expectations were raised, then dashed when he got cold feet in Hanoi, provoking a backlash from Pyongyang.
The current crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme is almost entirely of Trump’s making, sparked by his decision last year to renege on the 2015 UN-endorsed deal with Tehran. His subsequent “maximum pressure” campaign of punitive sanctions has failed to cow Iranians while alienating European allies. And it has led Iran to resume banned nuclear activities – a seriously counterproductive, entirely predictable outcome.
Trump’s unconditional, unthinking support for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s aggressively rightwing prime minister – including tacit US backing for his proposed annexation of swathes of the occupied territories – is pushing the Palestinians back to the brink, energising Hamas and Hezbollah, and raising tensions across the region.
With Trump’s blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria’s Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely.
Yet Trump, oblivious to the point of recklessness, remains determined to unveil his absurdly unbalanced Israel-Palestine “deal of the century” after Tuesday’s Israeli elections. He and his gormless son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be the only people who don’t realise their plan has a shorter life expectancy than a snowball on a hot day in Gaza.
Another prominent aspect of Trump world is his sinister, personal alliance with Vladimir Putin. There’s no doubt Russia’s president meddled in the 2016 US election to Trump’s benefit, as the Mueller report states. There’s no doubt Trump has gone easy on Putin over Crimea and Ukraine, over war crimes and chemical weapons attacks in Syria, over the Salisbury poisonings, and over his vicious assaults on Russia’s democratic opposition. Trump is even pushing for Russia to be readmitted to the G7. Exactly why he acts this way is much less certain.
Whether Trump is attacking Nato, insulting Europe’s elected leaders, unhelpfully taking sides on Brexit, ignoring India’s repression in Kashmir, plotting regime change in Venezuela, ignoring egregious human rights abuses from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia, undermining the UN and international law, wrecking nuclear arms control treaties, plundering the Arctic, or opposing efforts to combat climate crisis and environmental degradation, he is consistently out of line, out on his own – and out of control.
This, broadly, is Trump world as it has come to exist since January 2017. And this, in a nutshell, is the intensifying foreign policy crisis of which Professor Cohen warned. The days when responsible, trustworthy, principled US international leadership could be taken for granted are gone. No vague change of tone on North Korea or Iran will by itself halt the Trump-led slide into expanding global conflict and division.
Historians such as Stephen Wertheim say change had to come. US politicians of left and right mostly agreed that “the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America’s image – has failed and cannot be revived”, Wertheim wrote earlier this year. “But agreement ends there … ” he continued: “One camp holds that the US erred by coddling China and Russia, and urges a new competition against these great power rivals. The other camp, which says the US has been too belligerent and ambitious around the world, counsels restraint, not another crusade against grand enemies.”
This debate among grownups over America’s future place in the world will form part of next year’s election contest. But before any fundamental change of direction can occur, the international community – and the US itself – must first survive another 16 months of Trump world and the wayward child-president’s poll-fixated, ego-driven destructive tendencies.
Survival is not guaranteed. The immediate choice facing US friends and foes alike is stark and urgent: ignore, bypass and marginalise Trump – or actively, openly, resist him.
Here are some of the key flashpoints around the globe
Trump is deeply hostile to the UN. It embodies the multilateralist, globalist policy approaches he most abhors – because they supposedly infringe America’s sovereignty and inhibit its freedom of action. Under him, self-interested US behaviour has undermined the authority of the UN security council’s authority. The US has rejected a series of international treaties and agreements, including the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal. The UN-backed international criminal court is beyond the pale. Trump’s attitude fits with his “America First” isolationism, which questions traditional ideas about America’s essential global leadership role.
Trump rarely misses a chance to bash Germany, perhaps because it is Europe’s most successful economy and represents the EU, which he detests. He is obsessed by German car imports, on which protectionist US tariffs will be levied this autumn. He accuses Berlin – and Europe– of piggy-backing on America by failing to pay its fair share of Nato defence costs. Special venom is reserved for Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, most likely because she is a woman who stands up to him. Trump recently insulted another female European leader, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, after she refused to sell him Greenland.
Trump has made a great show of unconditional friendship towards Israel and its rightwing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has skilfully maximised his White House influence. But by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, officially condoning Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrawing funding and other support from the Palestinians, the president has abandoned the long-standing US policy of playing honest broker in the peace process. Trump has also tried to exploit antisemitism for political advantage, accusing US Democrat Jews who oppose Netanyahu’s policies of “disloyalty” to Israel.
Trump’s evident liking for Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has been the cause of endless puzzlement, given Moscow’s hostility to Nato and the western democratic alliance, its support for Bashar al-Assad and alleged Syrian war crimes, and its illegal intervention in Ukraine. Trump’s attitude may stem from Putin’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which benefited him. But the affinity between them may be better explained by shared autocratic tendencies. Putin is an authoritarian nationalist, like similar rightwing politicians in China, Turkey, Brazil and India whom Trump admires – and would like to emulate.
During his presidential campaign in 2016, Trump provocatively declared China a bigger problem than jihadi terrorism. He claims that China has enjoyed unfair advantages in two-way trade for decades due to its notional designation as a developing country, supposed currency manipulation, and America’s own failure to protect manufacturing industry. He has levelled similar accusations at the EU, Japan, Canada, India and other trading partnersothers. But his remedy – unilateral punitive tariffs and sanctions – has disrupted international commerce, shaken global economic confidence and strained political relations with Beijing without demonstrably improving US fortunes.
Trump’s clumsy efforts to engineer regime change in Venezuela and impose a Washington-approved version of democracy mark a regression to the bad old days of the cold war when the US regarded Central and Latin America as its “backyard” and exclusive sphere of influence. So far, Trump’s attempt, masterminded by John Bolton, to replace the regime of Nicolás Maduro with a pro-American technocrat, Juan Guaidó, has failed miserably. Undeterred, he continues to sanction Maduro’s ideological allies in post-Castro Cuba and to exacerbate the Central American migrant crisis, meanwhile enthusiastically embracing Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president.
Trump made his first overseas trip as president to Saudi Arabia, signalling the importance he attaches to close relations with the energy-rich, autocratic Gulf kingdom. He has since strengthened the alliance in opposition to Iran, deploying troops to Saudi Arabia and supplying advanced weaponry for its war in Yemen. The Saudi connection has also come to symbolise Trump’s indifference to human rights abuses, whether in the Philippines, Russia or on the US-Mexico border. When the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered by Saudi agents, Trump defended senior figures in Riyadh such as its crown prince who allegedly ordered the killing.
When Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister, visited the White House recently, Trump boasted he was ready to mediate in the long-running dispute over divided Kashmir. It was a vainglorious gesture, reflecting Trump’s ignorance. When, shortly afterwards, India imposed direct rule on Kashmir, effectively detaining its population, Trump did nothing. Whether the issue is the Delhi-Islamabad nuclear standoff, the unending Afghan war, Chinese attempts to gain strategic leverage in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, or the Rohingya refugee tragedy in Bangladesh, Trump’s south Asia policy, like that in sub-Saharan Africa, is ineffectual and near non-existent. Maybe they are lucky.
Since you’re here...
... we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.
The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.
Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.
We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as £1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.
|Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠: Wanda Vázquez requests the resignation of Erik Rolón | How FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Put Trump in Office - 11:51 PM 9/14/2019|
|Wanda Vázquez requests the resignation of Erik Rolón|
|How FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Put Trump in Office|
Mike German, a former FBI special agent, had four years on the job when he took an assignment that would change his life forever. It was 1992. A jury in Simi Valley, California, had just acquitted a group of mostly white Los Angeles police officers for the videotaped beating of a black construction worker named Rodney King. Decades of pent-up anger directed at one of the nation’s most notoriously racist police departments spilled out on city streets in a six-day convulsion that left more than 60 people dead. Amid the unrest, white supremacists in southern California saw an opportunity, believing that the riots could be used as cover to launch a race war.
The FBI’s Los Angeles office got wind of the plans, and when his supervisor floated the idea of infiltrating the groups, German, who was in his late 20s at the time, enthusiastically volunteered. For more than a year, German lived undercover, embedded in a network of neo-Nazi skinheads plotting the bombing of a popular African-American church and the assassination of prominent Jewish and black figures, including King himself.
German’s investigation led to multiple prosecutions on federal weapons and bomb-making charges and marked the beginning of a series of undercover operations inside the world of far-right American extremists that spanned more than 12 years. It was a critical time for the FBI, with the trifecta of Ruby Ridge in 1992, Waco in 1993, and Oklahoma City in 1995 having called into serious question the bureau’s domestic counterterrorism tactics and the blowback they had incurred. By the time the new century rolled around, it seemed that the FBI was on track for critical reforms.
A bright, clear morning in September 2001 changed that.
German was assigned to the FBI’s Atlanta office when the planes hit the Twin Towers. Three years later, he was a civilian, having resigned from the FBI after he blew the whistle on a terror investigation gone wrong and became the target of an internal retaliation campaign. In the decade and half since, he has emerged as a critical voice in the post-9/11 era, challenging the war on terror at home and abroad.
Former FBI agent and writer Michael German photographed near Wall Street, in downtown Manhattan, on September 13, 2019.
Photo: Sasha Maslov for The Intercept
As a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, German has been a go-to source for journalists (The Intercept included) on the civil liberties beat, consistently providing nuanced analysis on matters of law enforcement and justice, often as they pertain to his old employer. In his new book, “Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy,” German brings his insights to a wider audience, telling the story of how FBI leadership capitalized on the September 11 attacks, escaping a much-needed internal reckoning to become the most powerful and secretive domestic intelligence agency the country has ever known.
Image: Courtesy of The New Press
In an interview with The Intercept, German explained that the idea for the project began taking shape years ago, as he grew increasingly concerned about the media’s coverage of the FBI. “It was very sporadic,” German told me. “An abuse here, an abuse there.” Nobody seemed to be digging into the structural problems in the FBI. If they did, German explained, they would see that these seemingly one-off events were indicative of patterns linked to the bureau’s institutional history, its self-perception and attitude following September 11, and the demographic composition of its workforce.
While his personal experiences are deployed as needed, the real story in “Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide” is German’s methodical and damning account of a powerful American institution chronically failing to live up to its mission. The book comes at a critical moment. Driven by a series of high-profile attacks and the president’s ties to white nationalism, the FBI’s relationship to German’s old beat — domestic counterterrorism investigations involving white supremacists — has returned to the media spotlight. At the same time, former FBI directors Robert Mueller and James Comey, who ran the FBI during its troubled post-9/11 years, have ascended to near god-like status in some liberal corners for their respective roles in the Russia investigation affair.
“We live at an interesting time where there’s such polarization over every issue but particularly over the FBI and what role it plays in our society, where liberals who previously had been skeptical of the FBI now are sort of champions of the FBI, and conservatives who were full supporters of empowering law enforcement are now skeptical,” German said. “I’m hopeful that a more nuanced view that isn’t influenced by the politics of either side, but is rather just presenting facts on how this agency actually works, and the problems that are created as a result, will be helpful to a larger effort to conduct a comprehensive examination of where we are almost 20 years after 9/11.”
Demonstrators hold an upside down American flag as they stand in the street while protesting the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on November 22, 2014.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Targeting Political Dissent
As an army brat who came of age during the Vietnam War, German writes that he “had no illusion that the government always did the right thing, or did it well.” Still, from the time he was a kid, an FBI agent was all he ever wanted to be. German was moved by President Theodore Roosevelt’s original 1909 vision of a Department of Justice investigative agency established to “secure the conviction of the wealthiest and most formidable criminals” in the country, especially those protected by “wide political and social influence.” He writes: “The idea of using the law to protect the most vulnerable in society is what drew me to the FBI.”
At its heart, German’s book is about the FBI’s failure to reflect those principles.
He documents how in the wake of 9/11, FBI leadership embraced a discredited theory of radicalization that had the convenient side effect of ignoring the bureau’s own shortcomings in the run-up to the attacks, while simultaneously laying the groundwork for demands for expanded powers and authorities. The FBI also turned on its own, particularly in cases when agents raised concerns about the legality of operations or failed to match up with the bureau’s overwhelmingly white male demographics. In case after case, German offers examples of the FBI zeroing on agents, particularly Muslim agents and those of Asian descent, as potential threats and would-be turncoats, railroading promising careers without a whiff of evidence.
German chronicles the FBI’s shift from a law enforcement agency concerned with criminal investigations, to an intelligence agency primarily concerned with counterterrorism. He focuses heavily on the bureau’s impact in Muslim communities, where civil society groups were targeted as supporters of terrorism, precarious immigration status became a tool to push people into becoming informants, and agents used their expanded authorities to open “assessments” on individuals in the absence of suspected crimes. It was during this same period, German observes, that the FBI began accepting and integrating the discredited theories of an “Islamophobia network” in its official training materials, sending a message to bigots across the country that anti-Muslim hatred was a government-condoned philosophy.
While the September 11 attacks brought new powers, the FBI of the last two decades has also carried on its longstanding tradition of targeting leftists, anarchists, and environmental activists, German writes. So-called eco-terrorism, he points out, was for much of that time the FBI’s No. 1 domestic terrorism priority, despite the fact that the movement has never claimed a life. For German, that contradiction is precisely the point of the book. While the FBI has devoted enormous time, energy, and resources to filling unconstitutional watchlists with Muslim names and directing its agents to focus on bogus national security threats such as “black identity extremists,” important crimes that the bureau is supposed to enforce have fallen by the wayside.
War without end, the impotence of Congress, and the financial collapse have all contributed to Americans’ plummeting faith in the government, German notes, but the FBI’s post-9/11 evolution also deserves a place on that list. “I believe the FBI contributed to this breakdown of public trust in government institutions, not just by who it chose to target for disruption but, just as important, who it didn’t,” he writes.
Take the torture program. German writes that experienced FBI interrogators, who understood that torture produces unreliable information in addition to being illegal, were well-positioned to take the investigative lead following 9/11. Instead, the FBI took a back seat to the CIA, even as it became clear — at times through concerns raised by its own agents in the field — that the intelligence agency was breaking the law. But it’s not just the classified programs devised behind closed doors in Washington, D.C. The FBI has a mandate to enforce civil rights violations by police officers. According to German, if data on police killings and violence disproportionately impacting people of color says anything, it’s that the FBI could keep itself quite busy investigating police abuses — if that’s what FBI leadership wanted to do.
Instead, recent history has shown the FBI targeting Black Lives Matter and partnering with a private intelligence company that infiltrated the Standing Rock protests. In the case of Standing Rock specifically, German notes, it’s worth remembering that it’s also part of the FBI’s mandate to prosecute crimes against Native Americans on reservations — there, too, the bureau has fallen short. “Though too often ignored as crime victims,” German writes, “Native Americans draw unwarranted law enforcement attention when they protest government policies that negatively impact their communities.”
From Pine Ridge to Wall Street, the FBI’s prioritization problems run deep, German argues. In 2004, he writes, FBI headquarters received repeated warnings that mortgage fraud was an “epidemic” with the potential to trigger an economic crisis. As FBI director, Mueller had transferred hundreds of white-collar crimes investigators to counterterrorism. “Congress denied the FBI’s requests for more agents,” German writes, meanwhile, “Mueller refused to reprioritize his national security assets.” Even when there was evidence that financial institutions were engaged in actual criminal activity, German writes, executives didn’t go to prison.
“Like J. Edgar Hoover’s bureau,” he argues, “The new FBI saw protecting the establishment as its mission and disrupting the political mobilization of dissident and disenfranchised communities as its most potent weapon.”
Left/top: Members of the Ku Klux Klan are escorted out of a planned rally protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Charlottesville, VA, on July 8, 2017. Right/bottom: Members and supporters of the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US, hold a rally on April 21, 2018 in Newnan, Georgia.Photos: Chet Strange/Getty Images; Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The Rise of the Right
In 2016, German witnessed something disturbing. A Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California, was interrupted by a group of anti-racist protesters. Three protesters were stabbed by a Klansman. Initially, five Klansmen were arrested, though the police later released them, taking the position that they had acted in self-defense. Meanwhile, seven of the protesters were charged with a variety of crimes.
In years past, law enforcement would keep racist groups and anti-racists apart. In this case, they didn’t. As this pattern repeated itself again and again through the election and after Donald Trump’s inauguration, it became clear to journalists and researchers that the same far-right figures, some with records of serious criminal violence, were popping up again and again at the events. And yet the FBI appeared loath to take action. With scenes from Ferguson and Standing Rock still fresh in the public consciousness, German writes, “It was perplexing to watch convicted felons engaging in unpoliced violence at these white nationalist rallies and, rather than being arrested, becoming featured speakers at the next rally.”
In telling the story of the FBI’s failure to confront the threat of white supremacist violence, German argues that it’s not a lack of authorities, but an absence of institutional interest in recent years to take basic steps to understand the problem — let alone bring and close cases. “After 9/11, I noticed the FBI officially de-emphasizing white supremacist violence,” German writes, despite the fact that extremists typically described as part of the far right “kill more people in an average year than any other terrorist groups.”
During the Obama administration, which saw a surge in far-right group membership and activity, FBI analysts were reporting a decline in white supremacist violence even as outside researchers, like the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, were reporting the exact opposite. For German, the resurgence of far-right violence and Trump’s rise to power cannot be divorced the security politics and failures of post-9/11 America. “The Trump campaign grasped that fifteen years of political polarization and constant terror warnings had created an appetite for a strongman candidate, which he could whet with messages of fear and anger,” he writes.
The operations floor at the National Counterterrorism Center in Tysons Corner, Virginia, June 8, 2011.
Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Bound up in the narrative of Trump’s ascent is, of course, one of the biggest FBI stories of all time: the Russia investigation. Here, German argues, the FBI’s running list of post-9/11 failures ascended to new heights. German’s assessment of former director Comey’s actions through this period is perhaps the most withering section of his book. Not unlike Trump, Comey had a tendency to take a blowtorch to the norms and obligations he was bound by. On top of that, German writes, “The available evidence suggests Comey’s FBI did not pursue allegations that Russia was illicitly supporting the Trump campaign with the necessary urgency, at least if you believe that a hostile foreign nation’s effort to influence a U.S. presidential election presents a national security threat of the highest dimension.”
In German’s view, the Russian government either successfully conspired with the Trump campaign to undermine the most important presidential election in modern American history, or it didn’t. “If it did, the FBI’s and its partner agencies’ inability to interdict the plot before a corrupted election elevated an illegitimate president to power is an intelligence failure of a magnitude rivaled only by the failure to quickly bring the conspirators to justice afterward,” he writes. “If not, the FBI and other intelligence agencies have used their covert intelligence powers to undermine a duly elected U.S. president and his administration in ways that would make J. Edgar Hoover blush. Either possibility suggests a significant part of our government has forfeited its legitimacy and is no longer serving in the public interest.”
As for Trump himself, German sees in the president a man whose entire life and business history, not to mention his associates, reeks of potential criminal liability. And still, he seemed to generate a considerable amount of wealth and obtain the most powerful position in the world without a serious look from the FBI along the way. “The practical immunity Trump and his retinue enjoyed as they amassed wealth and power also gives lie to his supporters’ contention that Mueller, Comey, and the FBI somehow had it in for Trump and manufactured a case against him,” German writes. “The failure to prioritize the economic crimes of the politically powerful left the nation vulnerable to a hostile foreign nation’s effort to delegitimize U.S. elections. This is exactly the sort of threat a domestic intelligence agency is supposed to protect against.”
German still believes in the FBI’s capacity to be a force for good. At the same time, he recognizes that many people in the advocacy community he’s become a part of in the last 15 years do not. “It’s easier for me to have more confidence in the ability to reform law enforcement institutions because I’m not the prime target of abusive law enforcement actions,” he acknowledged. German sees his role in building a more just future as discreet — he knows the FBI and has a deep understanding of where its problems come from. What members of civil society do with that information is up to them.
“We can’t work on effective solutions if we don’t really understand the problem,” German said. “My goal with this book was to make sure that we’re understanding the structural and attitudinal problems that allowed the FBI to be a threat to democracy rather than protective of it.”
|Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠ How FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Put Trump in Office - Google Search - 10:06 AM 9/14/2019|
|How FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Put Trump in Office - Google Search|
2 hours ago
|How FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Put Trump in Office - Google Search|
The Intercept-2 hours ago
How the FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Helped Put Trump in Office ... The FBI's Los Angeles office got wind of the plans, and when his ...
Foreign Policy Journal (blog)-Sep 11, 2019
What we have learned in these 18 years since 9/11 is that ... of experts with hard evidence cannot prevail over a transparent official lie. ... the report into the news, the last place the perpetrators want it to be. ... evidence of Mueller's misuse of his office to protect an official lie. ... I Feel Sorry for President Trump.
Washington Post-Sep 11, 2019
His office has released fewer such statements to the press over time, ... Sasse also didn't speak out after Trump tried to bring the Taliban to Camp David on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, ... But it also made Sasse significantly more likely to win a second term by undercutting any primary challenge.
BuzzFeed News-Aug 23, 2019
For years, Felix Sater — an associate of President Donald Trump's who ... an assistant US attorney in the office who is now a New York state ... It contains even more details about Sater's work for the US ... She wrote that Sater provided the FBI with information on bin Laden's location after the 9/11 attacks as ...
|How FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Put Trump in Office - Google Search|
2 hours ago - Mike German, a former FBI special agent, had four years on the job when he took an assignment that would change his life forever. It was 1992.
2 days ago - President Trump honors 9/11 victims and heroes .... The move to disclose the name came a day after the 18th anniversary of the attack, which ...