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FBI crimes and torts

by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Crimes and torts by 10 U.S. government agencies, masterminded and led by the FBI, recounted in this book-length opinion, of the U.S. court. First, some law {642 F.Supp. 1357, 1418}:

S.D.N.Y. seal

“ Regarding the substantive law to be applied, it has been held that the FTCA does not comprehend federal constitutional torts – i.e., violations of constitutional rights – in its reference to the ‘law of the place’ in § 1346(b). {Citation omitted}.

In connection with the FBI’s disruption activities, the SWP relies on the theory of ‘prima facie tort’. This doctrine was discussed to some extent in an earlier decision in the present case denying the Government’s motion to dismiss certain claims. Socialist Workers Party v. Attorney General, 463 F.Supp. 515, 522-24 (S.D.N.Y. 1978).

New York applies prima facie tort. New Jersey and California have comparable rules, although not under that name.

The general principle is that harm intentionally inflicted is prima facie actionable unless justified. Prima facie tort is designed to provide a remedy for intentional and malicious actions that cause harm and for which no traditional tort rule offers a remedy. This rule is affirmed in the New York cases. {Citations omitted}. As to New Jersey, the Superior Court has stated:

‘We have no difficulty with the theoretical concept, expressed in various ways by modern jurisprudents, that intentional, willful or malicious harms of any kind are actionable unless justified.’ {Citation omitted}.

The court clearly had in mind prima facie tort, as evidenced by its citation to a law review article on that subject. The California Supreme Court has stated:

‘There is an established principle at common law that an action will lie where the right to pursue a lawful business, calling, trade, or occupation is intentionally interfered with either by unlawful means or by means otherwise lawful when there is a lack of sufficient justification.’ {Citation omitted}.

In commenting on the statement in Willis, a California Court of Appeals case stated that the doctrine is comparable to prima facie tort. {Citation omitted}.

The elements of prima facie tort in New York are (1) the intentional infliction of harm, (2) which results in special damages, (3) without any excuse or justification, (4) by an act or series of acts which would otherwise be lawful. {Citation omitted} {642 F.Supp. 1357, 1419}

There can hardly be a more compelling case for applying the prima facie tort doctrine than the present one. The FBI embarked on a series of actions with the express purpose of harming the SWP by causing internal mistrust and strife, by weakening its alliances with other groups, by hampering its scheduled activities and by other means. There was no legal authority or justification for such operations.”

FBI seal (WDC)“The Mission of the FBI is to uphold the law through the investigation of violations of federal criminal law; to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States.”


Socialist Workers Party v. Attorney General of U.S., 642 F.Supp. 1357, 1418-1419 (S.D.N.Y. August 25 1986, Judge: Thomas Poole Griesa) (damage awards against the U.S. Government for 45 years of: burglaries; thefts; unlawful opening and theft-copies of first class mail; surreptitious “poison-pen” criminal libel to provoke termination of employment; unlawful wiretaps; unlawful use of informants; unlawful acquisition, retention, and use of more than 1-million pages of stolen papers; etc), bold-face, links, and text in {braces} added, via WestLaw (399 kb), and Lexisfollowed by this: 666 F.Supp. 621 (S.D.N.Y. August 17 1987, Judge: Thomas P. Griesa) (injunctions against the U.S. Government, including these 10 U.S. Government Agencies which participated directly in these unlawful actions, and in this trial, prohibiting further use of the stolen information without the Court’s explicit permission, following a full contested hearing with prior notice to the plaintiff-victims, to wit:– FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation, CIA: Central Intelligence Agency, NSA: National Security Agency, SS: Secret Service, DIS: Defense Investigative Service, INS: Immigration and Naturalization Service, IRS: Internal Revenue Service, DoS: State Department, OPM: Office of Personnel Management, and the Postal Service), via WestLaw (38 kb), and Lexis.


No U.S. Attorney-General or U.S. Attorney has ever prosecuted themselves or any other of the hundreds of U.S. Government officials who knowingly participated in this FBI-led U.S. official criminal enterprise against the SWP. Likewise, no New York State prosecutor, in a New York State criminal court– though these FBI-led crimes were New York State crimes as well as U.S. federal crimes by officials of the U.S. Government– a ‘Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization’.

Accordingly, U.S. Government officials have every reason from this U.S. Court decision to feel heartened: They need fear no personal consequences to themselves from continuing to participate in such unlawful enterprises: no fines, no time in jail, no loss of job. And, they have every reason to continue to do so– if they want to keep their jobs, indeed impress their superiors for advancement. And how many nickels-and-dimes the U.S. Government has to pay decades later – to the few victims who can afford the million-dollar legal fees to press their claims – is no personal concern to them, whatsoever.

Hence this – FBI-led – which U.S. Government officials did during the course of the SWP case, and following it: Ross Gelbspan Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War Against the Central America Movement (South End Press, 258 pages, 1991), excerpts – a book I haven’t read but presumably recounts some of the many FBI-led crimes and other unlawful harassments by U.S. Government officials in many U.S. Government Agencies against U.S. citizens who opposed the unlawful U.S. war against Nicaragua (1981-1990), and opposed the complicity of the United States in the violent crimes of the Contras in Nicaragua and in the death-squads and other criminal terrorism of the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, financed and tactically-assisted by U.S. officials.

For example, to Judge Griesa’s above list of 10 FBI-led law-breaking U.S. Government Agencies, you can add number-11: the U.S. Treasury’s Customs Service which, on orders from the FBI, confiscated from U.S. citizens, when returning to the U.S. from Nicaragua, their address books, diaries, notes, papers, books, magazines, and such; photocopied them; and gave it all to the FBI.

Like this {807 F.2d 208, 209}:

U.S. eagle seal

“ Edward Haase is a broadcast engineer and freelance journalist from Kansas City, Missouri. As a journalist, he has taken an active interest in Nicaraguan affairs and has written articles critical of United States policy toward that country. He is also active in organizations that share his opposition to U.S. policy in Central America.

Haase has traveled to Nicaragua on several occasions and on January 16, 1985, was returning to the United States from one such trip. Upon arriving at Miami International Airport, he presented himself at Customs and was asked a number of routine questions. The customs inspector circled certain information on his declaration card (including the country visited, the length of his stay, and the fact that he was declaring books, magazines, and newspapers acquired in Nicaragua) and directed him to a secondary inspection station. At that station, another customs inspector searched Haase’s bags and separated some {807 F.2d 208, 210} books and magazines from Haase’s other possessions. Because of uncertainty as to whether some of the books and magazines might be seditious, the inspector conferred with his supervisor, who decided to obtain FBI assistance in determining whether these materials might be excludable under 19 U.S.C. § 1305(a) (1982).

The FBI dispatched an agent to the airport in response to Customs’ request. At some point prior to the agent’s arrival (the record is unclear as to whether this occurred before or after the FBI was summoned), the second customs inspector found a list of names and addresses that appeared to have been hidden behind a picture frame. The inspector photocopied this list and gave the copy to the FBI agent when he arrived.

The FBI agent briefly questioned Haase and then began to search his luggage for subversive materials. Among the items removed from Haase’s bags were his personal address book, a diary containing thoughts recorded during his sojourn in Nicaragua, two articles he had written while out of the country, more magazines, and a five-page list setting forth the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of organizations and individuals concerned about Central American affairs. The FBI agent and a customs officer photocopied these materials and returned the originals to Haase, who was then allowed to pass through Customs and continue his trip to Kansas City.”

Haase v. Webster, 807 F.2d 208, 209-10 (D.C. Cir., No. 85-5816, Dec. 9 1986), affirming in part, reversing in part 608 F.Supp. 1227 (D.D.C., 85-CV-0587, May 14 1985), added by CJHjr: bold-face, links, text in {braces}, hightlighting. See also Haase v. Sessions, 893 F.2d 370 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 16 1990), via WestLaw (52 kb) and Lexis.

And, like this {681 F.Supp. 1445, 1446}:

Seal, C.D. Calif.

“ Plaintiffs in this action (“Plaintiffs”) are all United States citizens from whom written materials were seized upon their reentry into the United States from Nicaragua {plaintiffs, from footnote-1: Heidy, Manuel, Miller, Rabinowitz, Rose, Walker, Rogers}. In some instances, an initial review was made by Customs officials to determine whether the questioned materials urged “treason or insurrection” in violation of Section 1305 (“Section 1305 Review” or “Review”). In others, Customs sought the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation {681 F.Supp. 1445, 1447} (“FBI”) in making its determination.

Photocopies were made of some of the detained materials. In addition, in some, if not all cases, the agency conducting the review made permanent records reflecting at least the identity of the person from whom the materials were seized, a description of the contents of the materials reviewed, the place from which the materials were being imported, the purpose of the review, and the determination made by the reviewer. None of the materials reviewed, however, were ultimately determined to violate Section 1305.

After the Section 1305 Review was completed, most of the original materials were returned to Plaintiffs, and in most cases, the copies were not retained by Customs. The records, reports and/or notes relating to materials found not to be prohibited by Section 1305 (“Records of Non-Violation”), however, were not returned to the Plaintiffs, and thus were retained by Customs and other agencies, including the FBI. ...

Indeed, it is the FBI’s stated policy that originals or copies of any such documents which come into FBI possession may be retained if relevant to any FBI investigation and that documentary evidence will be returned to the owner only after it is determined that the item no longer has any evidentiary, prosecutive, or investigative value. ... {681 F.Supp. 1445, 1452}

Once a determination has been made that there has been no violation of Section 1305, and the Section 1305 Review has produced no other evidence of crime, Records of Non-Violation can serve only a purpose which is peculiarly obnoxious under the first amendment — that of preserving a permanent record of persons who might be deemed to be “subversive” or “anti-administration” based solely upon a presumption that what Plaintiffs read reflects what they think. While the Policy Directives give more precision to the procedures by which materials may be seized at the border for further review, there can be no doubt that materials seized under the Directives would reflect political views of some kind. The mere existence and retention of the Records of Non-Violation, therefore, threaten Plaintiffs with future seizures and can have no effect but to impermissibly “chill” Plaintiffs’ conduct in the future as to their constitutionally protected expressions. {681 F.Supp. 1445, 1453}

Finally, it must be noted that the Policy Directives propose absolutely no limit on the kinds of Records of Non-Violation which Customs is permitted to keep. The Court is not required to go so far as to hold that no carefully drawn policy could withstand constitutional scrutiny. Under the Policy Directives, however, there is no limit on the kinds of records which may be made and included as Records of Non-Violation. It must be noted that in the past, in the absence of policy, personal diaries, phone books and personal notes were seized “for completeness” once some materials had been discovered which met the threshold test for seizure. Under the Policy Directives there is still the possibility that such associated materials may be seized along with the materials which justified the more intrusive Section 1305 Review, and that permanent records also may be retained of these very personal matters which have absolutely no connection with the legitimate purposes of Section 1305. The chilling effect of this risk upon the exercise of first amendment rights of law-abiding citizens cannot be defended on the basis of any legitimate statutory purpose, and therefore also is constitutionally impermissible.”

Heidy v. U.S. Customs Service, 681 F.Supp. 1445, 1446-7, 1452-3 (C.D.Ca. March 2 1988, Judge: John Spencer Letts) (Customs Service ordered to destroy copies of written materials seized under 19 U.S.C. § 1305(a) from seven plaintiffs, on the pretext that such might be ‘seditious’ and later confirmed not to be so, and to retain no record of the content of the writings or from which the plaintiffs’ identity “may be ascertained”, but may provide copies to the FBI which itself is bound by this same restriction as to its own copies and identifying records), added by CJHjr: bold-face, links, text in {braces}, hightlighting.

The Customs Service and the FBI remain free, without violating Judge Letts’ Order, to continue their past unlawful practice against all other travelers. As to future seizures from these seven plaintiffs only, Judge Letts ordered the Customs Service (p.1453) to withhold the originals and copies from the FBI unless the FBI first agrees to return them after the FBI determines them not to be seditious. But the Judge entered no orders against the FBI, however, which therefore remains free, without violating the Judge’s Order, to make secret copies and records in violation of any agreement it may make with the Customs Service.


FBI seal (WDC)

These cases are about FBI intervention into domestic U.S. politics on orders of the President: aggressively harassing, disrupting, and combating peaceable political opposition by U.S. citizens to the President’s policies.

The FBI cannot lawfully barge into your home and seize your computers and papers without a warrant from a Judge. But, there’s a special rule at the nation’s borders. There, without a warrant, they can order the Customs Service to seize these very same items from you, if you happen to have them with you when you return to the USA from a foreign trip. They have to give them back to you after a couple of weeks, but meanwhile they’ll make a copy of everything, including your lap-top computer hard-drive(s) and all your names and addresses. They’ll keep their copies; and they can code your name into their computers, and the names of all your friends and contacts, so that you and they can be assured of more of the same in the future.

Judge Letts held this to be unconstitutional – not the warrantless seizure by the Customs Service, but – retaining copies and records of the citizens. But Judge Letts is a lone voice in the wilderness; his order applied only to the affairs of seven plaintiffs.

The pretext for this seizure by the Customs Service is an Act of Congress prohibiting importation into the USA of ‘seditious’ or ‘obscene’ material. 19 U.S.C. § 1305(a). And this power to seize without a warrant is what all Government officials crave. If you’re a political opponent of the Administration, the FBI can trigger these seizures by simply entering a code-letter, or plain-text message, keyed to your passport number into the database interrogated by the Customs computer system, indicating you are suspected of importing such items and directing the seizure. Or, if you simply traveled to a country disfavored at the moment by the Administration.

It makes not the slightest bit of difference that nothing you have is either seditious or obscene. That’s merely a pretext. And it works like this: When you arrive at the customs hall, from your foreign trip, the Customs Officer is, of course, unable to form an opinion, in the heat of the moment and the flurry of business, that all of the written and recorded material in your possession is not ‘seditious’ and not ‘obscene’. So Congress provides for the seizure and a later review by others (eg: the FBI). And we’re talking all your books, magazines, typewritten papers, handwritten papers, diaries, notebooks, audio-tapes, video-tapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, floppy-disks, and your lap-top computer, with its hard-drive(s).

Your personal address-book and lists of names and addresses are an exception, because they’re obviously neither seditious nor obscene. The authority of the Customs Officer to seize without a warrant is in aid only of preventing prohibited items from entering the country, and not general law enforcement. So if s/he wants to seize your address book and contact-lists lawfully, s/he would have to get a warrant from a Judge. But s/he’ll probably seize them anyway, asserting s/he doesn’t have time to examine them, and claiming to believe there could be something seditious in them, perhaps in code. And later, that’ll sound to a Judge like s/he’s exercising ‘due care’ in the performance of the duties of a Customs Officer – one of those exceptions you can’t sue the U.S. Government for.

The real reason, of course, is that names and addresses are what the FBI values most, so they can fatten their list of political enemies. And, if you make a ruckus about it, s/he’ll call Security and have you arrested, and they’ll take them away from you and photocopy them anyway while you’re in lock-up. S/he might lend you a match so you can burn them, rather than import them, but I doubt it – s/he wants them. And, I don’t recollect any public incinerators in the customs hall.

A few weeks later, you get a notice you can now collect your items at your expense within a certain number of days, otherwise they’ll be destroyed (ie: a Customs Officer will keep them and take them home). And, if you live a thousand miles away, pity: it’ll cost you some decent money to get them back.

But, you’ll not be able to collect the copies which the FBI has made (their ‘Record of Non-Violation’), because the FBI has had better things to do than to actually look at all that yet, and therefore they can’t be certain that you or someone on your list of names and addresses hasn’t committed a crime or might do so in the future, or somebody whom they, in turn, might know.

You can sue them, if you’re a millionaire and can afford 3-5 years of litigation (if they don’t want to establish a precedent by losing on appeal), or 10-15 years (if they think they can win). And if you do, you could expect to win, because another Judge Letts in the Middle-of-Nowhere SomewhereElse USA will doubtless agree with Judge Letts and order them to destroy their copies, but you’ll never know if they actually did it, and if they made a second copy in the meantime:

FBI officials don’t like to testify under oath because they’ve got a lot to hide and they fear a perjury charge, though they have no fear of prosecution for their actual crimes; so they have other ways of telling their tale to the Judge:– unsworn assertions by their U.S. Government lawyers, and unsworn letters and hearsay affidavits from people with no personal knowledge of the facts. And, if your lawyer can manage to persuade the Judge to summon a live witness, the FBI will produce a right-handed day-shift person who will testify with absolutely certainty about the facts but, on cross-examination of course, s/he won’t know what the left-handed night-shift person did when s/he wasn’t there, and the two of them won’t know what the week-end people did, and on orders from whom; and then there’s the matter of files being misidentified and misindexed on the computer system and, of course, people who might have borrowed the files from time-to-time, because anybody can, and they can’t remember or imagine who all that might be. Get the picture?

And, of course, there’s the question of all those new files and records they’ve meanwhile made of all your friends and contacts on your address-lists.

And, if you’re a big enough political fish, or a noisy enough political pest, opposing the Government’s policies of the day too noticeably, they’ll send in their shock-troops: FBI Agents, to interview your friends, neighbors, business associates, and social acquaintances – dropping hints that you’re a terrorist suspect and enough details about your life to suggest their investigation is deep and intensive, reinforcing the impression that you’re a big-time criminal and the FBI is surveilling you, and all those you come into contact with, including them and every other person named in your personal address-book and lists of contacts which, of course, they have a copy of.

Pretty soon, you can find your boss has fired you, your landlord won’t renew your lease, your banker asks you to bank elsewhere, your friends and business associates shun you.

And these things the FBI did – and with these consequences – to people who opposed the unlawful U.S. war against Nicaragua (1981-1990) and opposed the other violent crimes of U.S. officials complicit in other Central American crimes.

This, to silence you, and your friends, and especially on-lookers, from becoming too active or too vocal in opposing your Government’s policies. And if you’re bold and indignant enough to sue them in Court, then that’s what they’re hoping you’ll do; because now – win or lose – they can bankrupt you as well, with legal fees, as their Government lawyers delay, oppose, obfuscate, and appeal, usually for a decade or more. The more publicity your case gets the better they like it, and your financial ruin is icing on their cake, as the on-lookers they’re trying to impress appreciate the lesson you’re too stubborn to learn: don’t mess with Uncle Sam.

And finally, when you go to collect your items, you can’t know whether the FBI has made their ‘Record of Non-Violation’ (ie: a copy of everything in your possession), because Judge Letts’ Order in the Heidy case applied only to those seven plaintiffs, and not to you. And that’s why they don’t care if they win or lose; they can carry right-on doing the same as before to everybody else. (The FBI likely ordered the Customs Service to create the notion of a ‘Record of Non-Violation’, and probably for the benefit of Judge Letts, because the FBI’s legal authority to retain such copies is derivative from, and thus no greater than, the Customs Service’s own authority; the Customs Service is drowning in paper-work and the very last thing they want is your non-seditious and non-obscene papers adding to their misery, especially as your papers and hard-drive(s) have no earthly connection with the responsibilities of the Customs Service).

Exhausted from the fight, maybe now, at last, you yourself might even finally learn the lesson they’ve been teaching you all along: Uncle Sam is above the law: U.S. Government officials do what they please because they fear no personal punishment for their wrong-doings, provided only that they obey orders.

Records of Non-Violation’. Let’s see if I understand this: The FBI wants to maintain a list of all good citizens who have not committed a crime and the precise details of exactly what it is they did which was not a crime, and a list of all the books and magazines they may have read, and a copy of all the papers they may have written or read, which did not violate any law, and their hard-drives and CD-R/RWs, and a list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of everyone allied with them who did not participate with them in the crimes they did not commit.

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950) could only wish he had dreamed that one up when he wrote 1984 – truly, a masterpiece of BigBrother NewSpeak. Sadly, I can but regard it as UnGood, as it doth remind me TooGood of its OldSpeak name: a ‘Political Enemies List’.

The Heidy case, and the assertions of U.S. Government lawyers, FBI officials, and Customs officers, is a lesson to all citizens to keep this fact in the forefront of their minds: That there be no shortage of U.S. Government officials, without honor and without moral character, who – in fear of their jobs, in pursuit of personal advancement, and to cover-up their unlawful activities – will come forward and earnestly advocate that we believe the unbelievable.

‘Records of Non-Violation’. They’ve convinced me. This is a desirable Government Record and, though secret and internal to the U.S. Government and not shared with the rest of the American citizens, it’s nevertheless available to the real Americans, those who matter, the true patriots, who work for the U.S. Government. And I’m sure that, like me, all good citizens will hope that one day, all in good time, their names too will appear on that secret list, so that the people in America who matter, these true patriots, will know that they are good citizens, and so too all their friends, acquaintances, and contacts, provided they’re good citizens too.


Legal fees? For this, the U.S. Government can spend money without limit. Accordingly, U.S. Government lawyers facilitate the ongoing activities of the few of the many U.S. Government RICO criminal enterprises which victims discover and are financially able to sue – keeping them in operation, while postponing a decision on the merits – overpowering the limited resources of nearly all of their victims. The SWP complaint, for example, was filed on July 18 1973, and U.S. Government lawyers pummeled the plaintiff-victims for 14 long years, though losing on every principal issue, at every stage of the case, before finally losing finally, in the last, final decision in the case, on Aug. 17 1987 – provoking 5 published trial court opinions, 3 published appeal court opinions, and 3 trips to the U.S. Supreme Court, with 1 published opinion: District Court: 387 F.Supp. 747 (1974), 458 F.Supp. 895 (1978), 458 F.Supp. 923 (1978), 463 F.Supp. 515 (1978), 642 F.Supp. 1357 (1986); 666 F.Supp. 621 (1987); Court of Appeals: 510 F.2d 253 (1974), 565 F.2d 19 (1977), 596 F.2d 58 (1979); Supreme Court: 419 U.S. 1314 (1974) (denial of stay), 436 U.S. 962 (1978) (certiorari denied), 444 U.S. 903 (1979) (certiorari denied).


All of the above, because there’s not enough of this:


“Washington DC, June 12 1990, Page A1

John M. Poindexter was sentenced to six months in prison yesterday by a federal judge who said the one-time national security adviser to former president Ronald Reagan was ‘the decision-making head’ of a scheme to deceive Congress in the Iran-contra affair and to ‘invalidate the decisions made by elected officials’. Poindexter, 53, a retired Navy rear admiral and the highest-ranking Reagan administration official brought to trial in the Iran-contra affair, showed no emotion and maintained his silence. ...

{Richard W.} Beckler, Poindexter’s chief lawyer, asked {U.S. District Judge Harold H.} Greene not to imprison the 33-year Navy veteran, whom Beckler described as an ‘honorable man’ who has already ‘suffered enough’. Poindexter resigned as national security adviser when the scandal erupted in late 1986.

But Greene said that sparing Poindexter a prison sentence ‘would be tantamount to a statement that a scheme to lie to and obstruct Congress is of no great moment’ and would ‘encourage others in positions of authority and secrecy to frustrate laws that fail to accord with their notions of what is best for the country, and to carry out their own private policies in the name of the United States’.”

–Joe Pichirallo © Copyright 1990 The Washington Post Company

Joe Pichirallo ‘Poindexter Gets 6 Months in Prison: Ex-Reagan Aide Sentenced for Lying to Congress on Iran-Contra Affair’ (Washington Post, June 12 1990, p.A1, chargeable archive), excerpts, bold-face, links, and text in {braces} added added. Judge Greene (151 kb pdf) was not a Nazi Judge, but he was German, born Heinz Grunhaus on Feb. 6 1923 in Frankfurt. His family left Nazi Germany in 1939 and – via Belgium, Spain, and Portugal – arrived in the U.S. in 1943. He was a U.S. Government lawyer and a U.S. federal Judge the whole of his career. He died Jan. 29 2000, survived by his German wife of 51 years, two children, and three grandchildren.

Poindexter (a political appointee) was sentenced only because he was prosecuted (by a Special Prosecutor, not by the Attorney-General), and only because he lied to Congress – and not for the crimes he lied about (complicity in the violent crimes of the Contras). Ordinary U.S. Government officials, who have no occasion to lie to Congress, pay close attention to what he was not prosecuted for. Ditto, the gentle prosecutions of Oliver North and others, none of whom even got prison sentences.

Poindexter’s conviction was reversed on appeal, not because he didn’t lie to Congress (he did), but on a technicality about a grant of immunity to him.

United States v. Poindexter, 951 F.2d 369 (D.C. Cir., No. 90-3125, Nov. 15 1991, Panel:  Douglas Howard Ginsburg, David Bryan Sentelle, Abner Joseph Mikva (dissenting)), via 1991 U.S.App. Lexis 26824 (196 kb), certiorari denied 506 U.S. 1021 (Dec. 7 1992).

President George H. W. Bush pardoned six of the king-pins in Iran-Contra (Dec. 24 1992) and Poindexter was not retried. President George W. Bush rehired him to head another secret project. This time, a Defense Department program to capture personal data from all Americans, their bank accounts, credit-card purchases, email, and such. Congress denied funding for Poindexter’s new scheme, for the time being, pending further information about it. (Poindexter resigned in 2003):

Walter Pincus ‘Bush Pardons Weinberger in Iran-Contra Affair, 5 Others Also Cleared, Angry Walsh Indicates a Focus on President’ (Washington Post, Dec. 25 1992, p.A1, chargeable archive); Robert O‘Harrow Jr. ‘U.S. Hopes to Check Computers Globally System Would Be Used to Hunt Terrorists’  (Washington Post, Nov. 12 2002, p.A4).

‘Hard time’. It’s the only answer to willful, intentional violation of the law by government officials. (Though, granted, the all-expense-paid vacation paradise at ‘Club Fed’ is not exactly ‘hard time’). Fines are useless; they would otherwise harm the innocent families of the criminal Government officials, except that the CIA will pay the fines secretly instead, via a short-term bogus consulting contract from their bottomless slush funds: no harm done.

This is more like it:


“Boston, September 17 2002, Page A1

The end came quickly yesterday for retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. Ten years in prison, starting now. No time for goodbyes, no time to go home and get his affairs in order. Just 18 minutes after his sentencing hearing began in U.S. District Court in Boston, it was over, and a seemingly stunned Connolly was blowing a kiss to his wife as he was whisked out of the courtroom by federal marshals.

A pained look flashed across his face as the judge ordered him to serve 121 months in prison, the maximum called for under federal sentencing guidelines, for breaking the law to protect his notorious gangster informants, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi.

Connolly, 62, who never took the stand in his own defense during his trial in May for racketeering and obstruction of justice, remained seated next to his two lawyers yesterday when invited by U.S. District Joseph L. Tauro to speak. ‘I have no comment, your honor,’ he said.

The revelation in 1997 that Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI informants who were protected from prosecution for years triggered protracted federal court hearings, a congressional investigation, the overhaul of the guidelines governing informants, and lawsuits from victims’ families seeking nearly $2 billion.

News of the betrayal also prompted some of the gangsters’ closest cohorts to cooperate with the government, leading to the discovery of several hidden graves and charges that Bulger and Flemmi murdered 22 people between them throughout the 1970s and 1980s.”

–Shelley Murphy © Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company

Shelley Murphy ‘Connolly sentenced to 10-year maximum’ (Boston Globe, Sep. 17 2002, p.A1), excerpt, bold-face and link added.

What Connolly did, he did with the advance, fully-informed approval of the head-office of the FBI, as documented by the Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives:

The FBI’s Controversial Handling of Organized Crime Investigations in Boston: The Case of Joseph Salvati (U.S. Congress 107-1, House Committee on Government Reform, Hearings, May 3 2001, Serial No. 107-25) {344kb.txt, 4046kb.pdf (with images)}; Investigation into Allegations of Justice Department Misconduct in New England, Volume-1 {802kb.txt, 9571kb.pdf (with images)} (U.S. Congress 107-1 and 2, House Committee on Government Reform, Hearings, May 3, Dec. 13 2001, Feb. 6 2002, Serial No. 107-56), Volume-2 {481kb.txt, 15000+kb.pdf (with images)} (U.S. Congress 107-2, House Committee on Government Reform, Hearings, Feb. 13, 14, 27 2002, Serial No. 107-56), Volume-3 {461kb.txt, 5966kb.pdf (with images)} (U.S. Congress 107-2, House Committee on Government Reform, Hearings, May 11, Dec. 5-6 2002, Serial No. 107-56). Committee report: Everything Secret Degenerates: The FBI’s Use of Murderers as Informants {9684kb.pdf} (U.S. Congress 108-1, House Committee on Government Reform, Report, Nov. 20 2003).

And seeThe search for Whitey Bulger,’ an extensive Boston Globe special on this case. United States v. Connolly, PACER case number 1:1999cr10428, region Massachusetts, criminal search, chargeable access to the docket sheet, visited Oct. 4 2002 (D.Ma. Boston, filed Dec. 22 1999, jury trial May 6–21 2002, jury verdict May 23 2002, sentenced Sep. 16 2002, Judge Joseph L. Tauro), appealed (1st Cir., No. 02-2201, Boston).


For new documentation of the FBI’s successful unlawful offensive efforts to disrupt, discredit, and quell peaceable lawful political movements and a conspiracy to discredit and defame university professors and officials and conspiracy to terminate their employment (a ‘prima facie tort’ and a violation of First Amendment rights, for which punitive damages are available) in the 1960s and 1970s – and the relentless 17-year effort by the Justice Department and FBI in the 1980s and 1990s – to conceal their unlawful conduct, and that of the CIA and other U.S. Government Agencies, see this, with documents showing FBI redactions to conceal these unlawful activities and the same documents after U.S. Courts ordered the FBI to un-redact them:


“San Francisco, June 9 2002,
Special Report

Seth Rosenfeld ‘Reagan, Hoover and the UC Red Scare: Secret FBI files show how the bureau’s covert campaign to disrupt the Free Speech Movement and topple UC President Clark Kerr helped to launch the political career of an actor named Ronald Reagan’” (San Francisco Chronicle, Jun. 9 2002, special report section), numerous articles, time-lines, documents, and links. And see Rosenfeld v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 57 F.3d 803 (9th Cir. Jun. 12 1995), via WestLaw (94 kb) and Lexis affirming 761 F.Supp. 1440 (N.D.Ca. Mar. 29 1991), via WestLaw (112 kb) and Lexis.


And, for the same unlawful FBI activities in the 1990s, see this:

The Jury’s Message: Analysis of the $4.4 Million Verdict for Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in the Earth First! vs. FBI Case

On June 11, 2002 a federal jury returned a stunning verdict in favor of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in their landmark civil rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers.

The jury clearly found that six of the seven FBI and OPD defendants framed Judi and Darryl in an effort to crush Earth First! and chill participation in Redwood Summer. That was evident in the fact that 80% of the $4.4 million total damage award was for violation of their First Amendment rights to speak out and organize politically in defense of the forests.

‘The jury exonerated us,’ said Darryl Cherney. ‘They found the FBI to be the ones in violation of the law. The American public needs to understand that the FBI can’t be trusted. Ten jurors got a good, hard look at the FBI and they didn’t like what they saw.’ ...”

Summary of Damage Awards

Total damages $4,400,000

1st Amendment $3,525,000 (80.1%), 4th Amendment $875,000 (19.9%)

FBI defendants $2,399,000 (54.5%), OPD defendants $2,001,000 (45.5%)

Compensatory $2,450,000 (55.7%), Punitive $1,950,000 (44.3%)

Judi Bari $2,900,000 (65.9%), Darryl Cherney $1,500,000 (34.1%)

Punitive damages $1,950,000

FBI defendants $1,300,000 (66.7%), OPD defendants $650,000 (33.3%)”

The Judi Bari Web Site (http://www.judibari.org) with trial documents and court opinions and orders, and see the two pre-trial appeals denying the FBI and city officials the immunity they sought for their unlawful official actions: Mendocino Environmental Center v. Mendocino County, 14 F.3d 457 (9th Cir. 1994), via WestLaw and Lexis and Mendocino Environmental Center v. Mendocino County {copy} (87 kb), 192 F.3d 1283 (9th Cir., No. 97-17375, Sep. 24 1999). Bari v. United States, PACER case number 4:1991cv01057, region California Northern, chargeable access to the docket sheet, visited Oct. 3 2002 (N.D.Ca. Oakland, filed April 9 1991, jury trial April 8–May 17 2002, jury verdict June 11 2002, post-trial motions pending, Judge Claudia Ann Wilken).


U.S. Senate seal

See also Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (the “Church Committee”) (U.S. Congress 94-1, Senate Report No. 94-755, April 14 1976, 6 volumes) {SuDoc: 94-2:S.RP.755, Serial Set: 13133-3,4,5,6,7,8, CIS: 76 S963-1,2,3,5,6,7, LCCN: 76601758, OCLC: 2347318, DL, WorldCat}, volumes 2-3, posted by Paul Wolf  CoIntelPro, the FBI’s ‘counter-intelligence programs’: http://www.cointel. org. All 14 volumes of the Church Committee report are available in pdf format, page-by-page online and also for download by segment, here: ‘Church Committee Reports’, http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/ reports/contents.htm, including Federal Bureau of Investigation (Hearings, 18 Nov.-Dec. 11 1975, 1,000 pages, Senate Report No. 94-755, vol. 6, Apr. 14 1976, U.S. GPO 1976, Serial Set 13133-8) (AARC: Assassination Archives and Research Center, Washington DC).

Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans–Book II

I. Introduction and Summary (73 kb)

II. The Growth of Domestic Intelligence: 1936 to 1976 (421 kb)

III. Findings (4 kb)

(A)  Violating and Ignoring the Law (94 kb)

(B)  Overbreadth of Domestic Intelligence Activity (61 kb)

(C)  Excessive Use of Intrusive Techniques (97 kb)

(D)  Using Covert Action to Disrupt and Discredit Domestic Groups (51 kb)

(E)  Political Abuse of Intelligence Information (103 kb)

(F)  Inadequate Controls on Dissemination and Retention (42 kb)

(G)  Deficiencies in Control and Accountability (88 kb)

IV. Conclusions and Recommendations (182 kb)

Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on
Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans–Book III

  1.  COINTELPRO: The FBI’s Covert Action Programs against American Citizens (240 kb)

  2.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Case Study (349 kb)

  3.  The FBI’s Covert Action Program to Destroy the Black Panther Party (120 kb)

  4.  The Use of Informants in FBI Intelligence Investigations (148 kb)

  5.  Warrantless FBI Electronic Surveillance (277 kb)

  6.  Warrantless Surreptitious Entries: FBI ‘Black Bag’ Break-ins and Microphone Installations (61 kb)

  7.  The Development of FBI Domestic Intelligence Investigations (605 kb)

  8.  Domestic CIA and FBI Mail Opening (388 kb)

  9.  CIA Intelligence Collection about Americans: CHAOS Program and the Office of Security (167 kb)

10.  National Security Agency Surveillance affecting Americans (168 kb)

11.  Improper Surveillance of Private Citizens by the Military (165 kb)

12.  The Internal Revenue Service: An Intelligence Resource and Collector (296 kb)

13.  National Security, Civil Liberties, and the Collection of Intelligence: A Report on the Huston Plan (212 kb)


This document is not copyrighted and may be freely copied.

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.


Posted Sept. 1 2002. Updated May 18 2008.


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