September 27th, 2002, 12:41 AM
FBI’s "Perverse Culture"
In the year that has passed since a rash of anthrax attacks terrorized our nation, the FBI has failed to name a credible suspect. Using methods that could best be described as dubious, the Bureau has identified a "person of interest," Dr. Steven Hatfill. For his part, Hatfill protests that he is an innocent, patriotic American whose reputation has been ruined by defamatory leaks by the FBI, driven by institutional desperation to produce some evidence of progress in its investigation.
The anthrax probe is yet another FBI scandal in the making, and the official in charge, Van A. Harp, is a veteran of previous Bureau catastrophes. Harp, reported the August 24th Washington Post, "was accused of misconduct and recommended for discipline for his role in a flawed review of the deadly Ruby Ridge standoff...." A confidential report filed in 1999 by Richard M. Rogers of the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended suspending or censuring Harp for his role in misrepresenting the source of the illegal "shoot to kill" orders resulting in the death of Vicki Weaver in August 1992. Assistant Attorney General Stephen R. Colgate rejected that recommendation in January 2001.
The August 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge resulted in the deaths of Sammy and Vicki Weaver, as well as U.S. Marshall William Degan. Vicki was standing in the doorway of the Weavers’ ramshackle mountain cabin, holding her infant daughter, when she was killed by FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi (who has never been brought to trial for the shooting, and who played a key role in the April 1993 federal slaughter of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas).
Harp was a member of the FBI’s 1993 investigative team that produced a report "tilted to justify the shooting of Vicki Weaver," noted the Post. A subsequent investigation revealed that then-Assistant Director Larry Potts composed the illegal "shoot-to-kill" orders. A follow-up inquiry discovered that Harp and his supervisor, FBI Inspector Robert Walsh, "failed to ensure that their inquiry was complete," and that they sought to "‘protect some subjects of the investigation,’" reported the Post (citing the contents of that still-confidential report).
Posing as the victim of malicious, illicit press leaks, Harp complained: "Actions such as this impugn not only my integrity but also the judgment of FBI and DOJ [Department of Justice] officials in the decision-making process. My actions have been scrutinized at the highest levels of the FBI and DOJ, and no wrongdoing was found." Former FBI lab official Frederic Whitehurst offers a different perspective. In a letter co-written with Kris Kolesnik, director of the National Whistleblower Center, Whitehurst told current FBI Director Robert Mueller that Harp’s case illustrates a "perverse culture" at the Bureau: "The wrongdoers keep rising to the top. Meanwhile, those who refuse to look the other way face a dead-end in their careers."
This Soviet-style institutional culture, in which agents like Harp are promoted because of institutional loyalty, rather than devotion to our Constitution and laws, has done much to nullify the FBI as an effective counter-terrorism agency. Nothing illustrates this better than the fact that, rather than face suspension, Harp was put in charge of a key investigation in the "war on terrorism."
Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”
September 27th, 2002, 01:09 AM
Maybe the wrong-doers spoken of are promoted by the very same people that gave them the green light or instructions to carry out the actions in the first place ... a reward for silence/cover-up ?
Slightly off the subject, why in this day and age do law enforcement agencies resort to lethal force when there are so many non-lethal solutions to gain compliance - specially on one's own citizens ... I know there are occasions where this is not possible - but not in all cases, surely - definitely cause for concern and intense scrutiny.