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[casi] J. Edgar Mueller

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Dear Moderator and all,
     You mentioned the many unsubscribers lately. I suggest that if they are from the US, the 
following article that appeared in the NY times might be a reason. It was written by William 
           June 3, 2002
       by William Safire

     Under the police powers it operated under last year, and with the lawful cooperation of a 
better-managed C.I.A., an efficiently run F.B.I. might well have prevented the catastrophe of Sept. 
11. That is the dismaying probability that Congressional oversight(it should be called undersight) 
will begin to show this week.

    To fabricate an alibi for his nonfeasance, and to cover up his department's embarrassing  cut 
of the counterterrorism budget last year, Attorney General John Ashcroft- working with his 
hand-picked aide, F.B.I. Director "J. Edgar Mueller III -has gutted guidelines put in place a 
generation ago to prevent the ABUSE OF POLICE POWER

     They have done this deed by executive fiat: no public discussion, no Congressional action, no 
judicial guidance. If we had only had these new powers last year, goes their posterior-covering 
pretense, we could have stopped terrorism cold.
      Not so. They had the power to collect the intelligence, but lacked the intellect to analyze 
the date the agencies collected. The F. B. I.'s failure to share information to absorb the Phoenix 
and Minneapolis memos was compounded by the C.I.A.'s failure to share information it had about two 
of the Arab terrorists in the U.S. who would become hijackers(as revealed by Newsweek today).
     Thus we see the seizure of new powers of surveillance is a smokescreen to hide failure to use 
the old power.
     Ashcroft claims he is merely allowing the feds to attend public events, or to surf the 
Internet. That's a masterful deceit:under the former anti-abuse guidelines, of course the F.B.I.  
could send an agent into a ballpark, church or political rally. All it needed was "information or 
an allegation whose responsible handling required some further scrutiny"-not even probable cause to 
investigate a crime, but a mere tip about possible wrongdoing.
    Same with surfting the Net or reading a newspaper or watching  television news. Often that's 
how F.B.I. agents in the field have been alerted to a potential crime and could then open a 
preliminary inquiry. If a lead showed "reasonable indication of criminal activity," agents could 
initiate a full investigation without going through Washington headquarters-hiring informants , 
staking out a house, seeking wiretaps and search warrents.
     But under the new Ashcroft-Mueller diktat, that necessary hint of potential criminal activity 
is swept away. With not a scintilla of evidence of a crime being committed, the feds will be able 
to run full investigations for one year. That's aimed at generating suspicion of criminal conduct - 
the very definition of a "fishing expedition."
     Not to worry- say government perps- we won't collect data in dossiers on individuals or social 
or political clubs or church groups - the sort of abuse that suppressed dissent in "the bad old 
days." Do they think the public is totally ignorant of the ability of today's technology to combine 
surveillance reports , names on membership lists on law abiding Americans?..........
        The article goes on. William Safire is playing with the reverence to J.Edgar Hoover who 
abused the FBI powers of law abiding citizens . It could be for something as simple as 
participating on this list. For those on the list who are american please write your elected 
officials about the Cabinet Office of Security Bush wants to create. It has the potential to create 
these abuses that Safire talks about . It has in the past with much less power.
Sincerely, Peggy

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