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FBI: GIVE UP THE SHIP!'
New York Post ^ | 5/22/02 | MARK HOROWITZ

Posted on 05/22/2002 3:27:35 AM PDT by kattracks

Edited on 05/26/2004 5:06:30 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

IF FBI director Robert Mueller had been in the Green Bay Packers locker room at half time during the first Super Bowl instead of Vince Lombardi: "Boys, we're gonna get beat and beat bad, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it."


(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/22/2002 3:27:35 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
If he were in Berlin back in the 80s instead of Reagan, Mueller might have said, "Mr. Gorbachev, please paint this wall!"
2 posted on 05/22/2002 3:38:04 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: kattracks
Whatsamatta, Mark Horowitz... can't handle the truth?

Mueller spoke his mind and spoke of reality.

If anybody thinks we ain't gonna get whacked again

they probably believe in the tooth fairy also.

3 posted on 05/22/2002 3:52:25 AM PDT by johnny7
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To: kattracks
Hmmm. I ain't no great political stategerist- but maybe Dubya could just sack this fella and send out a strong message to the terrorists and their political wing- the democrats- at the same time.
4 posted on 05/22/2002 3:56:14 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: kattracks
Yep, this Mueller guy exudes confidence, eh?
5 posted on 05/22/2002 3:58:33 AM PDT by csvset
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To: johnny7
Hey johnny7, you *are* gonna die some day -- everybody does -- why not just quit now? Okay? That's THE honest thing, ain't it? Who are you trying to kid. Give up already, there's no sense going on. Dr. Jack K is right. Call him today.
6 posted on 05/22/2002 4:05:42 AM PDT by bvw
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To: csvset
yea ..... he's another Wlm. Webster, carter's guy

Remember - Mueller is a Clinton appointee

all together now ~ Let's just move on

From the Wall Street Journal. editorial page 8.1.01:

Asides
The Club Asserts Itself

So President Bush has nominated Robert Mueller to head the FBI, in the face of the indelicate questions we raised last week about the BCCI scandal, which Mr. Mueller handled during the first Bush Administration. The questions remain, and indeed were underlined yesterday in our letters columns; where Ira Raphaelson, a Mueller colleague at the time, preposterously gave him credit for the results of prosecutions conducted or forced by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Our reading is that the bipartisan Beltway Club has once again asserted itself, making sure that the FBI is in the hands of someone who will turn over no rocks and rock no boats.

.

Questions for Mr. Mueller

The Republic has just seen why the Director of the FBI is appointed to a 10-year term. Louis Freeh's era at the bureau had its share of mishaps and errors; no director since J. Edgar Hoover has succeeded in establishing full control of the proud and secretive institution. But Mr. Freeh was farsighted in the world-wide fight against terrorism and courageous in withstanding constant pressure from the Clinton White House and Justice Department on Whitewater, the campaign finance scandal and so on. Whatever else, Mr. Freeh has been a stand-up guy.

[Louis Freeh]
Tough act to follow

These qualities came to mind last week as we watched trial balloons floating over Washington with the names of Robert S. Mueller and George Terwilliger as Mr. Freeh's possible successor. These names set us to perusing the books on one of our long-lasting preoccupations, the Bank of Credit & Commerce International.

The BCCI scandal was the most important corruption story of the 20th century. Crooked international bankers cast a world-wide web of influence. They bought and sold politicians around the globe, ripped off depositors for some $10 billion, laundered drug money, worked with assorted spooks and trafficked with terrorists.

In the U.S., they illegally bought a major Washington bank, First American, and installed Democratic Party icon Clark Clifford as its head. George H.W. Bush headed the CIA during BCCI's early days and was President when its wrongdoing first began to surface. Even George W. Bush bumped up against the outer fringes of the BCCI crowd during his tenure with Harken Energy and in his friendship with Texas entrepreneur James Bath.

BCCI holds important lessons for the future. Our dawning century is one of international criminal gangs operating with increasing sophistication in a shadowy world beyond the control of fragmented national authorities. The banking and political systems are particularly vulnerable to this sort of corruption. BCCI is a prototype for this new form of global crime. As FBI Director, Mr. Freeh got a foothold on these problems; his successor will find them a major preoccupation.

Both Mr. Terwilliger and Mr. Mueller were senior Justice Department officials when BCCI got away. Mr. Terwilliger was Deputy Attorney General; and Mr. Mueller ran the Criminal Division at Main Justice from 1990 to 1993. When it came to making decisions about investigations and prosecutions in the BCCI affair they were the men at the switches. Only the Attorney General and the President had higher federal authority. Mr. Terwilliger apparently is off the short list because confirmation would be complicated by his legal work for Mr. Bush in the Florida election dispute.

This means the presumed front-runner is Mr. Mueller, who took personal charge of the BCCI probe. If he is nominated, a number of questions need to be asked. How did BCCI manage to gain entry into the U.S. banking system and acquire First American? Did the U.S. intelligence community grease the skids for BCCI at critical junctures? Was the Justice Department part of the solution to the BCCI mess, or part of the problem?

When Mr. Mueller took over the Criminal Division, critics in Congress and the media were already raising questions about Justice and BCCI. He stepped into this breach, telling the Washington Post in July 1991 that maybe indeed there was an "appearance of, one, foot-dragging; two, perhaps a coverup." He denied the coverup claims, specifically rejecting a Time magazine report that the U.S. government was seeking to obscure its role in the scandal partly because the CIA may have collaborated with the bank's operatives. Perhaps Justice should have been more enthusiastic and aggressive about the case, he told the Post, but "nobody has ever accused me of lacking aggression."

Still, the problems with Justice persisted. And the timing of some of Mr. Mueller's moves raised eyebrows. In September 1991, Justice indicted six BCCI figures and a reputed Colombian drug lord on racketeering charges. The indictment was unveiled just minutes after then-Congressman Charles Schumer issued a report sharply critical of Justice Department handling of the case. As Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin noted in their authoritative book, "False Profits: Inside BCCI," the indictment was merely "warmed-over information from an investigation that had ended nearly two years before."

Mr. Mueller also engaged in a running series of battles with the Manhattan District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau. According to news reports over the years, Justice prosecutors were instructed not to cooperate with Mr. Morgenthau's office, documents were withheld, and attempts were made to block other federal agencies from cooperating. In July 1992, both Mr. Mueller and Mr. Morgenthau simultaneously but separately indicted Mr. Clifford and his top aide Robert Altman in the BCCI scandal, with Mr. Morgenthau finally winning the right to try the men. Mr. Clifford was later dropped from the case due to infirmity and Mr. Altman was eventually acquitted. The curious and distracting fight over jurisdiction stands to be revisited.

Janet Reno named Mr. Mueller interim U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California in 1998; he was confirmed for the position in 1999. He was sent to reform an office marked by trouble, and his success or lack of it should be closely examined. His position as FBI front-runner, we read, was won by showing the ropes to new Attorney General John Ashcroft when he was home alone at Justice without a confirmed staff.

With Mr. Mueller's splendid paper credentials, we initially thought he must be a top-flight professional, whatever his misfortunes with BCCI. When we sought out some former Justice officials and others whose views we trust, we were surprised by negative returns, BCCI aside. While we hesitate to traffic in anonymous slams, let it be said that informed doubt exists about not only his independence, but his managerial competence.

On general principles, our view is that it would be a mistake to appoint as FBI head anyone who had any role in the failed BCCI probe. Too many important questions remain unanswered, and we clearly need another stand-up guy after the Clinton depredations at Justice. On the evidence we can see, Mr. Mueller would be a peculiar choice indeed.

.

Ask

Orin (Reno Escape) Hatch

.

7 posted on 05/22/2002 4:07:52 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: johnny7
I agree. For a week we hear whining about why didn't the President tell us there was a threat of hijacking.

Now when people start getting "real honest" (i.e. Mueller, Rumsfield, Cheney), people start screaming why are they saying these things.

Fact, if somebody is willing to kill themselves to accomplish their goals, and there are enough of them, there is no way we will be able to stop every terrorist attack.

Look at Israel, small country, very tight security (unlike us) and yet, they admitt, we cannot stop every terrorist attack.

I don't hear anybody yelling about them being defeatists because they face the reality that terrorists attacks (especially in a country as large as ours) are nearly impossible to eliminate.

8 posted on 05/22/2002 4:15:44 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Movemout
Or in Berlin in the '60s instead of Kennedy and said: "I am a Jelly Donut."

Wait, that is what he said. :)

9 posted on 05/22/2002 4:23:10 AM PDT by Quila
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To: dawn53
The United States has the largest budget in the history of the world. Our government spends $2 trillion per year. We can secure the border of South Korea. We can secure the border of Kuwait and send half a million troops to kick Iraq out of Kuwait. We can occupy Bosnia and dozens of other hot spots in the world. Our government can dream up and implement every hair-brained social scheme known to man and spend billions on it. Our government can dictate the amount of water allowed to be flushed in our toilets.

This country has the financial resources to build walls 30 feet high the entire distance of both our north and south borders. We have the resources to monitor every water vessel entering our waters.

To say we can do nothing about allowing terrorists into our country is absolutely preposterous!

The admission by our leaders that we have to grab our ankles and let thousands more die at the hand of terrorists is a clarion call to remove the political leadership of the United States and put some serious adults in charge.

10 posted on 05/22/2002 4:38:44 AM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Elle Bee
Now, now. A smidgen of fairness and realism, if you please.

Whatever his antecedents, whoever his political protectors, Mr. Mueller spoke an unpleasant truth that would apply to any open society with enemies that hated it as much as ours hate us -- that is, whose enemies are willing to die to inflict harm on it. If you're ready, willing, and able to pay the price for what you want -- including the deaths of those you hate -- you can almost always get it.

For this reason, the "defense" of our people and property will almost always be most effectively pursued through offensive means. They want to hurt us, and if given time enough to think about it, they'll find ways to do so. So don't give them the time! Take the battle to them -- locate, close with, and destroy them before they can marshal their forces against us. That's what we've done in Afghanistan, albeit a little tardily, and that's what we must do in the face of the ongoing threat from al-Qaeda and fundamentalist Islam generally.

Any military man will tell you, if you let the enemy conduct his campaign against you on his own terms, waiting in a defensive posture to react to whatever he does next, you're going to need a lot of luck to prevail. Robert Mueller has only told us that we can't count on luck. I respect that.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com

11 posted on 05/22/2002 4:43:13 AM PDT by fporretto
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To: dawn53
For a week we hear whining about why didn't the President tell us there was a threat of hijacking.

Now when people start getting "real honest" (i.e. Mueller, Rumsfield, Cheney), people start screaming why are they saying these things.


You've summed it up nicely.

The thing to do, is to keep the number of casualties to a minimum. We shouldn't be defeatist, any more than cancer researchers are defeatist because they know that people are still dying of cancer.

We should be prepared for the bumps in the road ahead and give the terrorists as hard a time as we can.

Lately this phrase from the Book of Matthew comes to my mind....And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Jesus didn't say be defeatist, but He was realistic. His advice doesn't only apply to the End Times. It can be applied to our daily lives in this imperfect world, too.

12 posted on 05/22/2002 4:46:30 AM PDT by syriacus
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
This country has the financial resources to build walls 30 feet high the entire distance of both our north and south borders. We have the resources to monitor every water vessel entering our waters

You're probably right, if we were willing to isolate our country, sure we could slow down terrorism.

But I don't see that as being a "realistic solution". Back to Israel again, they haven't been able to isolate themselves, and they admitt that even with a barrier they are building, terrorism will not be prevented 100%.

13 posted on 05/22/2002 5:02:07 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: kattracks
Not to defend this negative postion--one I wouldn't have recommended. However, if we had sounded confident about averting one but still suffer from another attack, there would be lawsuits galore, the media would go even more ballistic, and no end to the whining and demanding for compensations.
14 posted on 05/22/2002 5:08:53 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: syriacus
You've got that right. I think these depressing predictions and vague alerts are a direct result of the libs screaming about the Aug memo. Now the Administration is saying "Fine. Be careful what you wish for."
15 posted on 05/22/2002 5:17:57 AM PDT by Coop
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To: fporretto
Fairness??

Mueller is as feckless as Freeh & Webster were/ are

he and the mindlessly politically correct DOT sec., Mennetta, are both useless holdovers from the most inept and corrupt administration since at least Carter

Mueller is also distracted by his treatment for prostate cancer ...... sorry about your problem pal but we don't need another part-time empty-suit now ...... he should go as should Menneta

.

16 posted on 05/22/2002 5:34:29 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: kattracks
We just had 8 years of the Clinton Administration ignoring problems, and using them as election issues in the next campaign. At least the Bush Administration is addressing the problem, and not sugar coating the truth.
17 posted on 05/22/2002 5:39:02 AM PDT by The Scorpion King
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Movemout
Since when is stating the obvious a call for surrender? The security of this nation, in the end is up to all of its' citizens, not just law enforcement. Preventing another attack is highly unlikely, however, a strong response to the attack by citizens can send the message to the terrorists groups that we are not afraid, that we will fight back, and that our military and law enforcement folks are not their only worry.

I don't think ANYONE in this country is willing to surrender - now or ever.

19 posted on 05/22/2002 5:48:58 AM PDT by dixierat22
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To: dixierat22
I'm willing to concede that Mueller didn't mean for his statement to sound so defeatist. A lot of cops are PR challenged. The Fibbies have been floundering for a decade. This does nothing to enhance their image.
20 posted on 05/22/2002 5:52:30 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: Elle Bee
Perhaps he should go, Elle, but that doesn't bear on the essential truth of what he said:
  1. The U.S. is an open society that doesn't track the movements of people within its borders.
  2. Terrorists know this and will exploit it.
  3. They also know that the implements of large-scale destruction can be obtained here with relative ease.
  4. They're willing to die -- some of them, anyway -- to cause harm to Americans.
  5. Ergo, the probability is extremely high that they'll succeed at some point in the future.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com

21 posted on 05/22/2002 5:57:58 AM PDT by fporretto
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To: Movemout
If Mueller were at the Battle of the Bulge: "This is NUTS! We Surrender!"

If Mueller were on the bridge of the Enterprise as it entered Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941: "This war will be over when Japanese is spoken conversationally in every American classroom." or

If Mueller had been convicted to hang by the British during the Revolutionary War: "My only regret is that you have but one life to give for your country, but I'm cutting a deal!"

22 posted on 05/22/2002 6:23:19 AM PDT by gridlock
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To: dixierat22
Since when is stating the obvious a call for surrender?

Finally a sensible comment on this thread. The press, most Dems, and some Republicans have been demanding that the administration tell them all the truth about the dangers of our situation. As a result we can see that, as Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men: 'The truth? You can't handle the truth!'

23 posted on 05/22/2002 6:29:25 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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To: fporretto
I don't think Mueller should be fired, even if he can be fired, but you have to admit, that as a leader, he has at least a modicum of responsibility to rally the troops. Colonel Bowie didn't dwell on the fact that 180+ of his troops at the Alamo were likely dead men walking. He allegedly challenged them to hold Santa Ana at bay until reinforcements arrived. The leaders in Somalia's Black Hawk Down battle didn't tell their troops they were in deep kimshee and some them were going to die. It was unnecessary. The troops knew it. But the leaders exhorted the troops to fight back. We lost about 20, the bad guys lost maybe more than a thousand. There is a way to express a likely negative outcome without sounding a tone of defeat. Mueller should know better.
24 posted on 05/22/2002 6:39:18 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: dawn53
>Now when people start getting "real honest" (i.e. Mueller, Rumsfield, Cheney), people start screaming why are they saying these things.

I blame Mueller because there are prudential, Constitutional measures which have NOT been taken: Securing the borders, deporting illegals from al-queda countries, fixing the INS, SSN, visa loopholes. Instead the agencies are maintaining their interia. They are going to allow the people to take the blow and issue useless warnings rather than actually improve security.

25 posted on 05/22/2002 7:39:56 AM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: fporretto
>The U.S. is an open society that doesn't track the movements of people within its borders.

>Terrorists know this and will exploit it.

Terrorists are not citizens. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. We had better be able to track the movements and identities of foreign visitors.

26 posted on 05/22/2002 7:44:46 AM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
EXCELLENT observations - sent to WH and other gov. idiots!! Hopefully SOMEONE will read it and "think"!!
27 posted on 05/22/2002 7:48:50 AM PDT by Elkiejg
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To: Dialup Llama
"I blame Mueller because there are prudential, Constitutional measures which have NOT been taken: Securing the borders, deporting illegals from al-queda countries, fixing the INS, SSN, visa loopholes. Instead the agencies are maintaining their interia."

The Unprofessional and Unreliable FBI "302" Interview
The purpose of interviews during criminal or civil investigations is to objectively determine everything the person interviewed knows - and doesn't know - about a matter being investigated and properly document it in the best possible way to avoid any later dispute about exactly what was said by the person interviewed and the person(s) conducting the interview. The best way to do that is to conduct the inteview at the earliest possible time and record the interview in its entirety. The most effective way to do it is to use 2 or more recorders, keeping in mind that opposing counsel has the right to listen to the tape, have it examined for possible tape tampering - and to a transcript in the event a duplicate original recording isn't made for that purpose during the interview. An added benefit to duplicate recordings arises when one of the tapes becomes damaged, as sometimes happens. Keep in mind that the investigator's job is to expertly gather evidence - and preserve it.

The FBI 302 Form Interview Procedure
Routinely, two agents conduct the interview, usually one asking the questions while the other takes notes on a pocket pad and sometime later dictates a summary of the interview which dictation is sometime later transcribed on a 302 form which is eventually returned to the agent for review and signature (or any corrections, additions or deletions he might consider appropriate). It's not evidence of what the agents or the person interviewed actually said. At best, it's the agent's recollection of what was said. At worst, it's an invitation to skullduggery and - keeping in mind the information is Intelligence - potentially horrendous peril for all Americans as the obvious Intelligence breakdown prior to the events of 11 September 2001 dramatized.

The 302 procedure guarantees that even the interviewing agents' Supervisors have no way of knowing what was actually said - and not said - by any of those present, much less whether the interview was thorough and complete.

http://www.ntsb.gov/events/TWA800/Transcript_8_23_3.htm
[excerpt][quote] " . . . . . the FBI did not make any transcripts or recordings of these interviews. Documents are written in the words of the FBI agents who prepared them. Some of the documents contain incomplete information or are vaguely worded. In other words, the documents may not always say what the witness said." [end quote]

http://www.law.emory.edu/4circuit/june96/945902.p.html
[excerpt][quote] "Thus, when a government agent interviews a witness and takes contemporaneous notes of the witness' responses, the notes do not become the witness' statement- - despite the agent's best efforts to be accurate- - if the agent "does not read back, or the witness does not read, what the [agent] has written." Goldberg v. United States, 425 U.S. 94, 110- 11 n.19 (1976). And a government agent's interview notes that "merely select portions, albeit accurately, from a lengthy oral recital" do not satisfy the Jencks Act's requirement of a "substantially verbatim recital." Palermo, 360 U.S. at 352. [end quote]

In short, the FBI 302 form interview summaries are not "witness reports" or "witness statements" or "witness declarations" and don't document anything said during the interviews.

Why does the FBI cling to the 302 interview procedure?
To tilt the playing field in the prosecutions' favor in the event of an arrest by avoiding the documentation of any suggestive "leading" questions by the agents and any exculpatory statements that might be made by those being interviewed or even the agents themselves.

Trial lawyers dealing with cases involving FBI 302 form interview summaries instead of recorded interviews and the transcripts of those recorded interviews routinely raise hell about it not just those reasons but also for the the obvious reason that they can neither hear for themselves everything both the witness and the interviewer actually said nor read everything both the witness and the interviewer actually said.

The press is well aware of the problem, as the following documents, but have done a poor job of bringing it to the attention of the public.

http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/1998/jan1598.htm
[quote]
QUESTION: After the Nichols trial, there was some concern on the part of some of the jurors there about the fact -- and this comes up from time to time -- that the FBI does not transcribe interviews, it does this form 302. And every once in a while somebody says, you know, that it is not the best evidence, 302's are summaries of what something thinks somebody said. And people, every once in a while, look at whether the FBI should change that.

Is that anything that is being looked at? During the time you have been Attorney General, has anyone ever suggested that the FBI ought to change that practice?

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I have heard it on occasions and have discussed it with Director Freeh. I cannot discuss it in the context of this particular case.

QUESTION: But as a general matter, is that something that is pretty much a dead letter now?

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: As always, we continue to review each issues, the circumstances of the issue in the context it arises, to see what is appropriate. But, again, with respect to this matter, in this case, I cannot discuss it.

QUESTION: Yes, but as a general matter, does it strike you as a good idea, the way the FBI does the 302's? Do you see any need to change that?

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I think, each case, you have got to look at it on a case-by-case basis, and I think that is what the Bureau does.

QUESTION: Are you saying that they sometimes use a tape recorder?

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Again, I think you have to look at the specific examples of each case and make the best judgment of what is right in that case.

QUESTION: (Off microphone) -- some have suggested the FBI should no longer use this form 302, and should go to a transcription of interviews. Would that be a good idea, in your view?

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Again, you are going to have to look at the whole matter: each case, when you interview, who you interview, what the circumstances are.

QUESTION: But the FBI has a policy that applies to all cases all the time, that they do not tape record their interviews.

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I will be happy to check with Director Freeh and clarify anything that I have said. But, again, I cannot comment on this particular case. And I think you have got to look at the larger picture. [end quote]
__________

Janet Reno obviously chose to engage in wiggleworming when publicly confronted with the indefensible FBI 302 form interview procedure.

Los Angeles Times 7-31-2001 Hearings Open on Mueller
Senate: Bush's pick to head the FBI tells panel his "highest priority" is to restore public's trust in the battle-weary bureau. [excerpt] " . . . . . he said he would consider expanded tape-recording of FBI interviews to give its investigations greater credibility--another idea the bureau has resisted through the years." [end excerpt]

28 posted on 05/22/2002 5:37:46 PM PDT by Asmodeus
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To: johnny7
Whatsamatta, Mark Horowitz... can't handle the truth? Mueller spoke his mind and spoke of reality. If anybody thinks we ain't gonna get whacked again they probably believe in the tooth fairy also.

I don't think that's the point of the article. Sure, we have a high probability of another attack and it could be a doosy; however, what are we doing to mitigate or possibly prevent an attack? I'm at the point where if we know that Al-Queda are in a region in Pakistan, why not drop tactical nukes to eliminate them? It appears it is survival of the fittest.

I would not rule out a "dirty nuke" detonated in NY, Washington, or other major cities. Let's get them before they get us.

29 posted on 05/22/2002 5:48:23 PM PDT by irish_lad
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