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Ashcroft’s Failures Deserve a Hearing-Joe Conason

Joe Conason On Ashcroft Culpability In Failed Bush Anti-Terror Efforts
In Pre-2001 America, Heads Would Roll
In George W. Bush's America - Corruption, Incompetence Rewarded With MORE POWER
There may come a time to boot Robert Mueller III as F.B.I. director, if Congressional and other investigations eventually prove that his removal is warranted. For now, he is in the difficult position of both defending and reforming an agency left in exceptionally poor condition by Louis Freeh, the former director whose amazing immunity from public criticism soon seems likely to end. Although the current director is responsible for the bureaucratic butt-covering since last September's disaster, he doesn't deserve blame for the interagency bungling that occurred before his watch began.
Yet in Washington's ritualistic bloodletting style, Mr. Mueller is plainly being set up for sacrifice. The Wall Street Journal editorial page calls upon him to resign; right-wing pundit Robert Novak reports that "he is becoming a candidate for the first head to roll." This is premature and patently unfair—and ill-advised at a time when national law enforcement is already in turmoil.
Mr. Mueller may well deserve harsh scrutiny, but there are other Bush appointees who merit such scrutiny even more, and who should likewise be interrogated sharply by Congress and the press. At the top of the list is Mr. Mueller's immediate superior, Attorney General John Ashcroft, who may well be the single most culpable official still in government.
The very least that can be said for Mr. Freeh, after all, is that like other Clinton administration officials held over to serve the new President, he demonstrated deep concern about a probable terrorist attack on American soil. According to most accounts of the months and years preceding Sept. 11, those other worriers included C.I.A. director George Tenet and counterterrorist chief Richard Clarke, whose warnings created no sense of urgency as the White House pursued such irrelevant obsessions as missile defense.
From what we know of Mr. Ashcroft's conduct since he assumed office last year, he shrugged off the terrorist threat in favor of his own small-time agenda. He wanted to prosecute people in California who provide marijuana to cancer patients. He wanted to prosecute doctors in Oregon who assist the suicides of terminally ill patients. He wanted to prosecute pornographers.
No doubt he wanted to stop terrorists, too, but that particular item got priority only when he appeared before Congress or made speeches—not when he allocated funds or issued directives within the Justice Department. He can't say he wasn't warned. As Newsweek reported two weeks ago, Mr. Freeh tried to convince him that additional resources and action were needed to fight terrorism during a conference at the F.B.I. facility in Quantico, Va., but Mr. Ashcroft brushed him off.
Those who are now demanding the head of Mr. Mueller should go back and reread The New York Times' stunning Feb. 28 story about Mr. Ashcroft's first budget, which was submitted to the White House the day before the Twin Towers fell. (At that point, the F.B.I. director had been in office for less than a week.)
As of Sept. 10, 2001, the Attorney General's final budget request for the coming fiscal year asked to increase spending on 68 programs, "none of which directly involved counterterrorism." He had rejected the F.B.I.'s request for funding to hire hundreds of new field agents, translators and intelligence analysts to improve the bureau's capacity to detect foreign terror threats. Moreover, among his proposed cuts was a reduction of $65 million in a Clinton program that made grants to state and local authorities for radios, decontamination garb and other counterterror preparedness measures.
A former F.B.I. official told The Times back in February that it was Mr. Ashcroft's attitude that "really undermined a lot of effort to change the culture and change the mindset" of the bureau. It should be recalled, too, that during the crucial months leading up to the Al Qaeda attack, Mr. Freeh had quit and Mr. Mueller had not yet arrived. In a real sense, Mr. Ashcroft was in charge of domestic security while warnings were ignored or misplaced and opportunities to prevent tragedy were lost.
Now the Attorney General has rewarded his own errors, and those of the agencies under his command, with greatly expanded power to conduct surveillance on the rest of us. Although there's no reason to believe that the 1976 restrictions on domestic political spying hindered the apprehension of the Al Qaeda killers, such curtailments of civil liberty are what Mr. Ashcroft prescribes for the problem he formerly ignored. In a bureaucracy that was already inundated with information that couldn't be sorted into the categories of useful and useless, he proposes to collect still more.
Last year, Mr. Ashcroft challenged the patriotism of anyone who dared question his incursions on traditional freedoms, and his critics quickly backed down. Now it is he who should be challenged, to explain his past approach to terrorism and to justify his present assaults on liberty. And he should not be allowed to hide his answers behind closed doors.
You may reach Joe Conason via email at:  jconason@observer.com

homepage: homepage: http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/conason.asp

REMEMBER WHO MUELLER IS 06.Jun.2002 16:11

the fall guy

NEW CHIEF OF SECRET POLITICAL POLICE
by Sherman H. Skolnick 07/08/01
 http://www.skolnicksreport.com/spoliticalp.html

A unit of America's secret political police has a new Chief Terrorist. Robert Swan Mueller 3rd is the perfect choice to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When you realize what THEY and HE have been into, calling him the new head of a sinister entity will be an acceptable description.

A few items from the memory hole:

[1] In the late 1920s and 30s, the FBI was in the forefront of subverting Freedom of the Press when it came to the new medium RADIO. The Bureau, under dictator J. Edgar Hoover, saw to it that no one critical of the government or harboring dissident views ever was allowed to have a broadcast license. [This fact somehow does not find its way into books and articles critical of FBI yet is known as an established fact by old-timers in the broadcast field. Chicago's WCFL, call letters for Chicago Federation of Labor, always was a joke. It was never allowed to be pro-labor or to speak out forcefully in favor of unions and the working person.]

[2] To attempt to beat down the formation of labor unions as an opposition to corporate greed, the FBI used provocateurs to bomb certain offices and warehouses and such, using the monopoly press to falsely blame it on labor violence and union organizers. The FBI had as their adjunct the "Red Squads", falsely labeling all dissidents as "Reds". [See, for example, "Protectors of Privilege Red Squads and Police Repression in America", by Frank Donner, University of California Press, 1990.]

[3] Through movie-making fakers, the FBI was given the false image of grabbing bank robbers. Such as in the 1930s. Years later, a retired key agent of the Bureau, with nineteen years of direct experience and knowledge, dared relate to me the Bureau's sordid past. That FBI boss Hoover, in important instances, took bribes from certain bank robbers given a pass. The FBI Chief connived with big-time criminals who owned race tracks and were whiskey manufacturers. To feed his ego, they allowed him to corruptly win at horse racing, his favorite pastime. One booze baron, Rosenstiel, actually set up a crooked foundation named for J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI denied there was a mafia in America. Simple reason the criminal cartel used blackmail against Hoover; they had undercover pictures of Hoover's homosexual activities. [Plenty of details in "Official and Confidential The Secret Life of J.Edgar Hoover" by Anthony Summers, Putnam, N.Y., 1993.]

[4] The offices of the Bureau in the southern states were well aware of the Ku Klux Klan and lynchings of blacks, and bombings of Jewish businesses, and outrages against some Catholics. An FBI undercover operative, Gary Rowe, was given immunity and not punished for murdering a civil rights activist, Viola Liuzzo, in the turmoil in Alabama. The FBI, in fact, gave Rowe a reward. [See, for example, "J.Edgar Hoover The Man and The Secrets", Curt Gentry, W.W. Norton, 1991.]

The Bureau, through their COINTEL Program sought to snuff out the Anti-Viet Nam War Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. The FBI played a key role in "Operation Garden Plot", that is, to put peaceniks in the cemetery, by various bloody dirty tricks; plainly, murder. ["The 1960s and COINTELPRO In Defense of Paranoia", NameBase Newsline, No. 10, July-September, 1995.]

[5] The Bureau played a key role in covering up airplane sabotage. Such as in the Watergate Plane crash in Chicago, one month after Nixon was re-elected President, in 1972. Twelve Watergate figures died in the crash, such as Dorothy Hunt, wife of the Watergate burglar, E. Howard Hunt. Together they had blackmailed two million dollars out of the Nixon White House. They had documents of Nixon's role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The details of the aircrash, supported by 1300 pages suppressed government documents, were in a book written by me and stopped in the press cycle by the Rockefellers, major owners at the time of United Air Lines. [Alas! there are no copies of my book from 1973 available, "The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage". I hope to update it someday and post it, at least in part, on my website.]

[6] Books by assassination researchers document the dirty, bloody role of the FBI in covering up the high-level plot to assassinate President Kennedy. [See, for example, a huge heavily-documented book, "Act of Treason", by Mark North, Carroll & Graf, N.Y., 1991. detailing the role of J. Edgar Hoover.] A former FBI official, later Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, covered up the role of the FBI in the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [See, "Orders to Kill", by William F. Pepper, Carroll & Graf, N.Y., 1995.]

As part of this pattern of cover-up and bloodshed, is Robert Swan Mueller 3rd.

===Mueller was a key official in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department during the administration of George Herbert Walker Bush. Mueller supervised the supposed investigation of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland, December, 1988, about six weeks after the Elder Bush was elected President.

A group of eight or as many as fifty CIA covert operatives were onboard Flight 103. Disgruntled, they were returning from a failed mission to attempt to rescue some American hostages in the Middle East. They blamed the failure on the treasonous acts of the Elder Bush as Vice President. As we showed in exclusive stories, in the 1980s, Bush was the secret PRIVATE business partner of Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. Together, they like mafioso, shook down for billions of dollars of "protection" money, the weak, oil-soaked sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf. The secret partnership details were part of the bank records sought to be suppressed by way of an unpublicized federal court suit in Chicago. I was the only reporter attending the hearing. Only one sizeable publication in America dared run my exclusive details, based on interviewing the court participants in the back of the courtroom. A populist newspaper, Spotlight, ran the detailed story on August 19, 1991.

Contrary to CIA regulations, forbidding their people to fly as a group on one airplane, this group of covert units stayed together for what they thought would be their mutual security. At least eight of them were scheduled to finger the Elder Bush for treason in the hostage rescue intentional screw-ups, at secretly arranged hearings set before Congress for early in 1989. Such as, the Elder Bush was a sizeable owner of American LaFarge, the U.S. unit of a French firm, reportedly supplying the ingredients to Saddam Hussein for the making of poison gas to be used against the Iranians in the Iran-Iraq War, 1980 to 1988, and also against Iraq's own Kurdish dissidents. A director of the firm was a little-known Little Rock attorney, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She and her husband, William Rockefeller Clinton, were already part of a scheme to be played out in 1992, to install Clinton as President while shadow-boxing against his CIA mentor, the Elder Bush.

Only one newspaper in North America ran a series after the crash, outlining some of the secret arrangements of the units of the American CIA that were snuffed out by the crash. That was in Canada, the Toronto Star. Prior thereto, by phone hook-up, I did radio shows in Toronto with a relative of the publisher who went on the air under a pen-name.

Some were puzzled how FBI agents showed up at the Lockerbie, Scotland crash site in some instances quicker than local authorities.

As stated in an award-winning film documentary about Pan Am flight 103 "Very strange people were at work very early on. Within a matter of three hours there were American accents heard in the town.Over that night there were large numbers, by which I mean 20, 25, 30 people arrived." As reported by British journalist David Ben-Aryeah, in the documentary by producer Allan Francovitch, "The Maltese Double Cross". Francovitch was later murdered as he was working on related documentaries.

As a member of a local rescue team recalled, "We arrived within two hours [of the crash]. We found Americans already there." As an author of a book pointed out "....as odd as the fact that Lockerbie is over 350 miles from London, which is the nearest point an American FBI agent might be. To reach Lockerbie that night from London, even if traveling by air, would have taken far more than one hour considering the sequence of events that would have had to occur. Assuming timely notification, an American agent in London would have had to have been tracked down considering the late hour, notified to pack up for an investigation, rush to Heathrow, board a waiting airplane, fly immediately to the nearest airport that could land a jet transport, obtain ground transportation from there to Lockerbie, then locate the command center. An effort that would require four to six hours at the minimum." "The Medusa File" by Craig Roberts, an investigator and former law-enforcement official.

>From the details, there evidently was PRIOR KNOWLEDGE by the American FBI and the Justice Department. And who was in charge of all this? Reportedly Justice Department, Criminal Division, honco, Robert S. Mueller 3rd. Mueller is quoted as saying in a public statement, "We have no evidence to implicate another country (other than Libya) in this disaster." [From "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror", by David [M.] Hoffman, Feral House, Venice, California, original edition 1998, page 326 footnote.

By his doings reportedly in the U.S. and Scotland, Mueller falsely shifted the whole blame to Libya and a stop-over in Malta by some Libyans. [Hence the title of the late Francovitch's film documentary, "The Maltese Double Cross".] By so doing, Mueller shifted the focus away from the prior treasonous activities in the Middle-East of the Elder Bush, with the assistance of his sons, Jeb and George W.

The Elder Bush, as President, rewarded Mueller for his treachery on behalf of the Bush Family. Mueller "was named to head the criminal division in 1990, under President George Bush. Dick Thornburgh, then attorney general, says he relied on Mr. Mueller for some of the department's most DELICATE TASKS. Before the invasion of Panama in 1989, for instance, Mr. Bush called Thornburgh in and asked if the drug trafficking case against the Panamanian ruler, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, was solid. Mr. thornburgh says he relied on Mr. Mueller's assurances that the case would stand up; it did. Among the other investigations that Mr. Mueller supervised at the criminal division was the bombing of Pan Am 103, which had crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988." New York Times, July 6, 2001 in a story about Mueller by Neil A. Lewis.(Emphasis added.)

===Shortly after being inaugurated as President, the Elder Bush launched the invasion of Panama in 1989, to kidnap Panama strongman Noriega to shut him up about being lured into private dope trafficking deals with the Elder Bush and sons Jeb, George W., and Neil. Playing a key role in silencing Noriega was Justice Department Criminal Division honcho Robert S. Mueller 3rd. Mueller reportedly arranged to terrorize Florida Federal Judges to lay the groundwork for them absolutely following orders to censor any mention of the Bush Family being implicated in the dope trafficking into which Noriega says he was either inveigled or was entirely innocent of, with Noriega as an Elder Bush arranged CIA operative. Bush had helped Noriega's rise to power by Bush arranging to murder Noriega's predecessor. [The Elder Bush paved the way for Saddam Hussein to the top in Iraq in similar fashion, by arranging to assassinate Saddam's predecessor.]

One of the most outspoken critics of the Justice Department and the FBI on the Federal bench in America was Florida U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings, one of only a very few black federal judges in the South. The FBI, as a reprisal, framed up Judge Hastings on bogus bribery charges. To scare other Florida federal judges that they have to march to the orders of the Bush Family, the Hastings matter was quickly referred to the House Judiciary Committee which voted articles of impeachment. In the impeachment trial in the Senate, contrary to the rules, only a handful of Senators attended or were interested in any way in Judge Hastings plea that he is innocent and was framed by the FBI. The monopoly press, to show him in a bad light, played up a picture of him bending down to get past a barricade blocking the entrance to the Senate as he was on the way to the Senate trial. [Hey, I thought the whole U.S. Senate, not just a couple of them, have to sit as judges in an impeachment trial.] Leave it up to the pressfakers to get a picture of someone they want to demonize, such as prominently showing a pimple on his face. On the other hand, the Rockefellers are always shown smiling and in a good image.

The voters of Florida, however, did not buy the FBI frame up done with the apparent connivance of Criminal Division honcho Mueller. Thereafter, defrocked Judge Hastings was elected and numerous times re-elected as a Democrat Congressman from Florida's 23rd Congressional District. [Another one of the few black federal judges in the South, one from New Orleans, was likewise pickled by the FBI and removed from the bench. An hispanic federal judge in California, after hearing evidence in his court of the treachery of the FBI, pronounced them as the American Gestapo. Within a few months thereafter, as a reprisal, they attempted to send him to jail on bogus federal criminal charges. In that instance, the Judge beat back the FBI/Justice Department frame-up orchestrated by Criminal Division honcho Robert S. Mueller 3rd.

BUT, evidently the federal judge hearing the criminal charges against kidnapped General Noriega got the message. The Judge blatantly and arbitarily ruled that no mention in the court will be allowed of how the Elder Bush and his sons inveigled Noriega, as a CIA operative, into business with them, through the infamous spy-money laundry, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, BCCI. Noriega's lawyers were forbidden to defend him with his role with the Elder Bush and Bush sons, details tending to show Noriega was innocent of the criminal charges. Few in the monopoly press mentioned a fact pertinent to people of the Third World. Noriega as the head of Panama was the ONLY person of color to head up a country in the Western Hemisphere.

===Mueller, as a top honcho of the Criminal Division, was instrumental in suppressing and/or destroying evidence and scaring off and covering up about witnesses to protect the Bush Family from being exposed in their treasonous role laundering assassination funds and funds of sworn enemies of the U.S., through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. U.S. Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) headed a subcommittee investigating dope and weapons smuggling and terrorist activities. In a heavily censored and watered down version of the facts, even the big-time newsfaker, the New York Times, in a story referring to Kerry and Robert S. Mueller 3rd, said "...John Kerry, who was already in his second term as a senator from Massachusetts when the two clashed in 1991 over whether the criminal division, which Mr. Mueller then led, had been aggressive enough in investigating the BANK OF CREDIT AND COMMERCE INTERNATIONAL, a rogue operation that had ties to drug gangs and gunrunning." New York Times, July 6, 2001, in a story by Neil A. Lewis. (Emphasis added.)

Please note. Senator Kerry is no sweet angel. He is an expert reputed blackmailer and cover up artist. He is married to the widow of the late U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, John Heinz, heir to the ketchup and canned beans fortune. Heinz died in a sabotaged plane crash in 1991, just as he was planning to expose U.S. government complicity in several domestic and foreign political assassinations.

As to the infamous BCCI, Sen Kerry himself had a conflict of interest in that he headed a group of U.S. Senators who accepted campaign funds from the worldwide spy-money laundry-murder machine BCCI. Kerry's subcommittee refused to delve into the highly pertinent Chicago branch office of BCCI and their Chicago twin, a branch of Italy's largest bank, owned in part by the Vatican, Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro, BNL. [Suppressed BNL records as to the secret private partnership of the Elder Bush and Saddam Hussein were the subject of my exclusive story, in Spotlight, August 19, 1991, referred to earlier.]

George W. Bush the tainted OCCUPANT and RESIDENT of the White House, chose Mueller to head the FBI. Mueller has repeatedly demonstrated to the satisfaction of the criminally inclined, treasonous Bush Family, that Mueller obediently follows Bush Family orders to whitewash their criminality and treason. The established FBI pattern of covering up political assassinations, falsely blaming bombings onto domestic dissidents, and such, will no doubt continue with America's new GESTAPO CHIEF, Robert Swan Mueller 3rd.

Stay tuned.
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Since 1958, Mr.Skolnick has been a court reformer. Since 1963, founder/chairman, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, disclosing certain instances of judicial and other bribery and political murders. Since 1991 a regular panelist, and since 1995, moderator/producer, of one-hour,weekly public access Cable TV Show, "Broadsides", Cablecast on Channel 21, 9 p.m. each Monday in Chicago. For a heavy packet of printed stories, send $5.00 [U.S. funds] and a stamped, self-addressed business sized envelope [4-1/4 x 9-1/2 #10 size] WITH THREE STAMPS ON IT, to Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, Sherman H. Skolnick, Chairman, 9800 South Oglesby Ave., Chicago IL 60617-4870. Office, 7 days, 8 a.m. to midnight, (773) 375-5741 [PLEASE, no "just routine calls]. Before sending FAX, call.

http://www.skolnicksreport.com/spoliticalp.html
Robert Swan Mueller, III--Old Bush Family Helper