Hold FBI accountable
Hold FBI accountable
By by Gail Schoettler
Sunday, June 24, 2001 - Timothy McVeigh has paid for his
monstrous crime. While his execution can never atone for the
suffering of the victims and their families society has held him
accountable. Now, we Americans need to ask, will our premier
law-enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, be
held equally accountable for its irresponsible behavior in this case?
We may not have much sympathy for Timothy McVeigh. But what
if you or I, or one of our children, were accused of espionage, a
crime bearing the death penalty? What if the FBI withheld files
that would prove our innocence? Maybe they wouldn't be so lucky
as to find them just before the penalty was carried out, but only
after an innocent person had died.
It's not just an individual who is now on trial; it is our system of
justice. It is our top law-enforcement agency, the FBI. That the
FBI could behave in such a callous manner when someone's life
was at stake ought to frighten all of us. Because if the FBI could
withhold evidence in Timothy McVeigh's trial, they could do the
same to any one of us, anywhere, anytime, for any reason
We Americans have every right to expect that our
law-enforcement agencies will themselves obey the law. And, in
most cases, they are highly professional, courteous, courageous
and fair. In this case, however, the FBI, for whatever reason -
indifference, incompetence, arrogance - simply didn't obey the law
that it is sworn to uphold. The FBI is not alone. Remember how
the Los Angeles police recently framed innocent people in a
number of drug cases.
It's not that these accused people are upstanding citizens. Most
of them have been in trouble with the law before. But in our
country, you can only be convicted of a crime you committed, not
one that the cops wish you had committed. There must be proof
beyond a reasonable doubt. Framing someone is not only blatantly
illegal but is a threat to our system of justice. It is a threat to the
rights, freedom and safety of every one of us.
In the O.J. Simpson trial, as Alan Dershowitz pointed out, a pair of
bloody socks presented as evidence clearly had been tampered
with. In addition, the defense successfully attacked the credibility
of a key detective in the case. Even jurors who believed Simpson
was guilty had trouble voting to convict a man when they believed
the police themselves had violated his rights in defiance of the
Years ago, the Miranda decision required police to advise us of our
rights when we are arrested. A whole network of laws limit police
power, from illegal searches to abuse of prisoners. Our system of
justice is based on the theory of innocence until you are proven
guilty, on the right to a speedy and fair trial and the right to be
judged by one's peers. It works well if everyone, including
law-enforcement agencies, obeys those laws.
We criticize China and other countries for not respecting human
rights. In China, as in many countries, once arrested you could
reasonably expect the police to manufacture evidence, to torture
you into a confession or to withhold documents that would prove
your innocence. Fortunately, we are not China. Fortunately, we
have a system of justice that is designed to protect the innocent.
What we do not always have, it seems, is a law-enforcement
structure that follows the laws it swears to uphold and defend.
Our law-enforcement agencies must always respect the law and
the Constitution. Whether it's free speech or protecting the rights
of the innocent or ensuring the safety of someone in their
custody, these are essential protections in a democracy. That the
nation's top law-enforcement agency ruthlessly ignored its
responsibility in the Oklahoma bombing trials should be an outrage
to all of us. And it should frighten all of us.
If they could do this in one case, they could do it to any of us.
The FBI needs to be held accountable.
Gail Schoettler (email@example.com) has been a U.S.
ambassador, Colorado lieutenant governor and treasurer, and a
school board member.
The Waco case ought to reopen.
President Bush and Senator Leahy, reopen Waco investigation
WHO WACO? (CONNECTING THE DOTS)
Hillary Rodham Clinton to visit Waco
Justice Department investigation should target UT
Hillary Directed Waco
There are NO Statutes of Limitations on the Crimes of Genocide!
WAR CRIMES - CLINTON IS NEXT?
Cato Blasts Danforth Waco Report
Tuesday, 10 April 2001 17:05 (ET)
Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas
February 28 to April 19, 1993
Another major role for FBI Headquarters' personnel included contacting
various U.S. military components regarding the transportation of agent
and support personnel, and obtaining data about the effective range of
assorted weapons. The FBI also sought technical information about
certain military vehicles. According to DD Clarke, there was concern
and uncertainty as to the types of weapons inside the compound,
particularly in view of the reported presence of .50 caliber rifles
capable of penetrating any tactical vehicle in the FBI's inventory.
As a result of these concerns, the FBI requested Bradley fighting
vehicles from the U.S. Army. Nine of these -- without barrels, pursuant
to an agreement between the FBI and the Army to avoid posse comitatus
prohibitions -- were ultimately provided.
FBI Behavioral Scientists
Throughout the 51-day standoff, agents at the Behavioral Science Unit
and the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime provided advice
to the on-scene commanders and negotiators. The advice was both oral
and written, and included background information that the FBI has
developed on cults, included profiles of cult leaders and followers.
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Oklahoma Bombing Coverup
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