• State Dept. Has Lowest Ranking in Government for FOIA Request Replies

    May 13, 2014 // 9 Comments »

    One of the better ideas of modern government in America was the creation in 1966, and amendment in 1974, of the Freedom of Information Act.

    The concept behind it dates right back to the Founding– people in a democracy must know what their government is doing in their names. Such an informed citizenry (in Jefferson’s words) is essential to our system of government. How else can we know how to vote, what to support, what to oppose?



    Freedom of Information Act

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) began with the general premise that except for some obvious categories (serious national security things, personal information and the like) the default position should be that everything the government has should be otherwise available to the public. The ideals behind FOIA were so grand that there wasn’t even a request form created. Citizens would (pre-Internet) simply write a letter to a designated FOIA office at say, the Department of State, saying what records they sought and the federal agency would send those records out to them. The official deadline for response was 30 days. If the records broadly served the public interest there wasn’t even a fee. Otherwise, the only cost was to be for copying.


    FOIA in 2014

    The FOIA system today works very differently. Agencies are generally loath to release anything, and so create roadblocks to legitimate FOIA requests. Some still require original signatures and won’t accept requests online. Others demand hyper-detailed information on the request, such as the precise dates and titles of documents whose dates and titles may be classified and thus unavailable– Catch 22. Most agencies regard the deadline for a response simply as the time period to send out a “request received” note. Many employ very, very few staff to process requests, leading to near-endless delays. The CIA won’t directly release electronic versions of documents; if a digital format is requested, the CIA prints out the original, then scans it into a PDF, significantly raising the costs to the requester while delaying delivery. Even when a request is fulfilled, “free” copying is often denied, and reproduction costs exaggerated, further hurdles to be overcome.

    My own FOIA requests ahead of a possible lawsuit to my then-employer, the Department of State, were routinely returned for “more identifying information” and ultimately were assigned a “fulfillment date” of several years into the future, precluding their use in any legal setting.

    John Young, who runs the web site Cryptome and who is a steadfast FOIA requester, stated “Stonewalling, delay, brush-off, lying are normal. It is a delusion for ordinary requestors and a bitch of a challenge for professionals. Churning has become a way of life for FOIA, costly as hell for little results. In short, it is a confidence game.”

    Individual states have started to follow the federal government’s example. The Michigan Department of Education said the least expensive employee able to fulfill a specific Freedom of Information Act request has a total compensation of $116,917 a year. In 2009, the Michigan State Police said in a FOIA response to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy that materials related to the spending of Homeland Security grants would cost $6.8 million to fulfill.


    What is the State Department Hiding?

    Chief among federal agencies which do not fulfill their legal duties under FOIA is the U.S. Department of State. Of the top fifteen agencies in terms of FOIA requests received (representing over 90 percent of all FOIA requests,) new research shows that State ranks dead last, with a score of 37. Homeland Security bests State with a 51. The Department of Justice beats State with an 81.

    One FOIA case in particular reveals the depth to which the State Department seeks to withhold information from the public.

    In 2012, a Gawker editor filed a FOIA request with the State Department, asking specifically for all the emails between Hillary Clinton confidant/spokesperson Philippe Reines and reporters from 34 media outlets, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. Agencies are required to maintain copies of official communication by the FOIA– a “system of records.” Not having such as system in place is a violation of federal law. Emails are clearly included in what must by law be archived.

    Nearly a year after filing his FOIA request, the Gawker editor finally recieved a response from the State Department. “After a thorough search,” the State Department wrote, “no records responsive to your request were located.” The letter did not explain why the Department could not locate emails between reporters and someone whose job it was to correspond with reporters. Gawker is appealing the action by State.

    Despite State’s inability to locate a single email between Hillary spokesperson Philippe Reines (he is working on Clinton’s “transition staff” at present and is expected to play a major role in her administration) and any reporter, we found one, on the internet. The email exchange is with now-deceased reporter Michael Hastings, concerning Benghazi. Reines concludes the email chain by telling Hastings “And by good day, I mean F*ck Off.”

    But All is Not Lost?

    There is good news. Everyone’s favorite part of the State Department, Diplomatic Security (“Stop Calling Us the Stasi, We’re Not that Organized”) is hiring. Specifically, just this week they listed an opening for a Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Division Chief responsible for planning, managing, directing and supervising the staff, oversees the development of the Bureau’s policies, and develops the Division’s plans and strategies.

    And righteous bucks. Depending on your civil service grade, this job starts at more than $100,000 and zooms up.

    Most Transparent Administration in History

    Obama’s early pledge to oversee the most transparent administration in history is by now a punch line in every pundit’s act. But let’s put some numbers to the joke.

    In the past year, the government cited national security as a reason to withhold information sought under FOIA 8,496 times, a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama’s first year, when it cited that reason only 3,658 times. Even the Agriculture Department cited national security six times, followed by the Environmental Protection Agency doing it twice and even once by the National Park Service. Five years after Obama directed agencies to less frequently invoke a “deliberative process” exception to withhold materials describing decision-making behind the scenes, the government did it anyway, a record 81,752 times.

    Government is not made up of dynamic, freethinkers. Most folks inside the federal government are, or become, a little less bold, a little more gun shy, a lot more concerned about what they say and the consequences of what they do. They are not folks who by and large like to stick their necks out. So a clear pattern of a government essentially refusing to follow the FOIA law isn’t happenstance.

    It’s policy now in Post-Constitutional America.



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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Barrett Brown: The Criminalization of Web Links

    March 7, 2014 // 20 Comments »

    This– A LINK– could have sent me to jail. Another link came very, very close to sending Barrett Brown to jail.

    First, a quick recap of how the internet works. People from all over the world put stuff on the web (“posts”). In many cases you the viewer do not know who posted something, when they did it, where they live or where they obtained the information they posted. It is just there on your screen. If the info is of interest, you can link to it, sending instructions via chat, email, HTML, Facebook or whatever to someone else, telling them where to find the information.

    The act of linking is analogous to saying “Hey, did you see that article in the Times on page 4? Check it out.” It is kind of what the internet is about. Here’s how the government seeks to criminalize linking from one article on the web to another.

    The United States v. Barrett Brown

    Barrett Brown is an internet guy. He may or may not have been involved with web naughty boys Anonymous and most certainly was deeply involved with broad free speech issues online. In 2011 Brown posted a link in a chatroom, pointing to data that was obtained during the late-2011 hack of Stratfor Global Intelligence. The link pointed to the Wikileaks site.

    The government arrested Brown and charged him with a number of offenses, the most significant of which was for posting that link. The link, the government contended, exposed enormous amounts of credit card information, a crime. Not mentioned by the government, the link also documented discussions of assassination, rendition and how to undermine journalists and foreign governments.

    To be clear, neither the government nor anyone else accused Brown of stealing the info himself, or misusing the info to use others’ credit cards, physically possessing the information, hosting it on a server he controlled or anything like that. His crime was simply linking to data that already existed on the internet and which was already available worldwide for viewing.

    (To be further clear, Brown is no choirboy. He was once addicted to heroin, is accused of threatening an FBI agent on YouTube and who knows, may be mean to strangers. And so what. What matters is his actions, not his Match.com profile.)

    Browns Wins, Though Broader Issues Remain

    The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) supported Brown throughout his arrest. Because the government imposed a gag order on Brown speaking publicly about his situation, friends such as the EFF were critical in keeping the case in the public eye. The significance of Brown’s case was made quite clear by the EFF:

    The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas today [March 5, 2014] filed a motion to dismiss eleven charges against Barrett Brown in a criminal prosecution that would have had massive implications for journalism and the right of ordinary people to share links. EFF has written extensively about the case and had planned to file an amicus brief on Monday on behalf of several reporters groups arguing for the dismissal of the indictment.

    Brown, an independent journalist, was prosecuted after he shared a link to thousands of pages of stolen documents in an attempt to crowdsource the review of those documents—a common technique for many journalists. The records came from the US government contractor, Stratfor Global Intelligence and documented discussions of assassination, rendition and how to undermine journalists and foreign governments. They also included thousands of stolen credit card numbers. Brown had no involvement in the hack, but was charged nonetheless with identity theft.


    Looking for a Test Case

    Though the government in its Motion to Dismiss gave no reasons for its decision, the implication is that while the government was clearly looking to set a precendent on the Brown case, it did not want that precedent to be a loss. Better to let a small fry like Brown swim away than risk the greater principle the government seeks.

    Having failed to find any legal or otherwise effective way to deal with sites like Wikileaks, or the publication of classified materials elsewhere on the internet, the government is taking a side-step in seeking to punish those that use, view or handle the material itself.

    U.S. Government Orders its Employees to Not Look at Wikileaks and Others

    For example, when the Wikileaks information first started pouring out across the web, most government agencies blocked access to the data via their firewalls, claiming the content was still classified and thus could not be viewed on a government computer even while it could be viewed on any other web-connected computer from Cleveland to Karachi. Similar blocks have been put in place to prevent much of the Snowden material from being viewed at work.

    Before Barrett Brown, Me

    The attempt by the government to punish people for links to “objectionable” material did not start with Brown. Though I can’t promise I was the first test case, I was certainly an early attempt.

    In 2010 the Department of State suspended the Top Secret security clearance I had held without incident or question for over twenty years because I linked to a supposedly classified document on the Wikileaks site from this blog.

    State referred my linkage to the Department of Justice for prosecution in fall 2010. When Justice declined without reason to pursue the case, State took the non-judicial action of “temporarily” suspending my security clearance indefinitely, because of the link. State claimed that via that link I revealed classified information publicly, a major no-no for cleared personnel and sought to fire me. As in the Brown case, in the end State choose not to pursue charges, again without comment.

    There may be other such link cases out there that we do not yet know of. They may be classified, or the parties involved may be under gag orders as was Brown.



    Who’s Next?

    There appears little question that the government is testing the concept, looking for a case that it can win that would criminalize linking. From the government’s point of view, the win would pay off handsomely:

    – With use of their content criminalized, sites like Wikileaks would slip beneath the world radar. People would be increasingly afraid of reading them, and the crowdsourcing critical to sifting through millions of documents would slow down significantly.

    — In cases the government saw as particularly dangerous, people would disappear into jail. With a precedent set in a “good” test case, winning such prosecutions would be rote work for interns. Is there a link? Did Ms. X create the link? Does the link go to classified information? It’s a slam dunk.

    — Best of all from a control standpoint, prosecuting links will have a chilling affect. Many people will simply be afraid to take the chance of legal trouble and stop creating links or following them. That will certainly be the case among the main stream media, already far too skittish about security matters. One wonders what effect such prosecuting of links will have on search engines like Google, essentially little more than a collection of links.

    Another step toward a post-Constitutionalization of America is the creeping criminalization of everything. If every act is potentially cause for prosecution, the ability of the government to control what people do or say grows.

    So while we still can, better hit these links: Wikileaks, Cryptome, some Snowden. Who could have guessed that in 2014 a click of the mouse would be a subversive act?



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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Deedy Mistrial in Hawaii Shooting; Saga Moves into Third Year

    August 27, 2013 // 27 Comments »

    Hawaiian newspapers reported today that the judge declared a mistrial Monday in the Second Degree murder trial of State Department special agent Chris Deedy. Jurors said they couldn’t unanimously decide whether Deedy is guilty of murder in the early-morning shooting of a customer at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki.

    Hawaii 1st Circuit Judge Karen Ahn set a hearing for Friday to determine a date for a new trial, after mentioning next spring as a potential date. The shooting took place almost two years ago.

    The victim’s family also has a civil suit pending against Deedy in connection with the shooting.

    During closing arguments, the prosecutor called Deedy a “bully with a badge,” telling jurors Elderts, of Kailua, was killed because Deedy interjected himself in a situation that wasn’t any of his business and refused to back down. Defense attorney Karl Blanke acknowledged that Deedy shot and killed Elderts but said it wasn’t murder. Deedy’s “intent was to protect life,” Blanke said in his closing argument. The defense painted Elderts as a hothead who had been drinking heavily and doing drugs. Elderts referred to Deedy as a haole — a Hawaiian term for a white person — in a derogatory way, the defense claimed.

    Deedy’s family, including his parents and his wife, were present throughout the trial. They’re “trying to wrap their arms around the notion he’s still a free man,” one of Deedy’s lawyers said. “He’s still an agent of the United States State Department and has a job to do.”

    Before the mistrial was declared Wednesday, Judge Ahn unexpectedly cleared the courtroom’s spectators for a few minutes without providing a reason. Attorneys on both sides declined to say what was discussed.

    The jurors told the judge that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict after twenty days of testimony and more than five full days of deliberations. A hung jury means the state will set a date to retry the federal agent on the murder charge.

    “I think the defense will file a motion under State vs. Moriwake which the judge will have some say in whether there will be a new trial,” said criminal defense attorney Paul Cunney. “I think there will be some informal polling of the jury and find out how the jury stood numerically.”

    “There’s always the possibility that it will be derailed, but we feel strongly that the right thing to do would be to have a new trial,” said Prosecutor Futa.

    BONUS: We reported previously that within days after the Deedy shooting in 2011, the Department State without explanation classified its long-standing unclassified rules governing the armed conduct of Diplomatic Security agents.

    An alert reader, and God bless the internet, found the rules in unclassified form still alive on line. Have a look at what now only select persons are allowed officially to see (p 40 at the link.)

    Note in particular Section 2.6B(5) which prohibits consumption of alcohol within six hours of use of deadly force, though there is the escape clause noting that the booze must impair judgement or ability.

    While we can never know if this unclassified version of DS firearms policy differs or not from the freshly-classified version, as a Concerned Citizen and a Good German, I encourage Diplomatic Security to immediately shut down Google as a threat to national security. Since the document is actually part of the Congressional Record, I suggest they also immediately shut down Congress as a threat to national security. Since the document was provided to Congress by the State Department, I suggest they also immediately shut down State as a threat to national security.

    Instead, they’ll probably just arrest me for providing the link.



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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    DS BS? State Department Firearms Policy Classified Days After Deedy Shooting

    August 26, 2013 // 11 Comments »

    Curiouser and curioser as they say.

    A reader called our attention to the fact that the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security removed its long-unclassified version of its firearms policy from the web and classified it very soon (11/29/2011) after one of its Special Agents, Chris Deedy, shot a man while off duty in Hawaii (11/5/2011). That trial has entered jury deliberations and a verdict is expected soon.

    There is no paper trail to explain why State made the change, and thus of course no way to demonstrate it is directly related to Deedy. A coincidence, yes?

    State’s firearms policy lived online in the Foreign Affairs Manual, a huge set of rules and regs that govern the work of State. Specifically, the section in question is called 12 FAM 023 FIREARMS POLICY AND REVIEW BOARD (FPRB). That section as available to the public, now reads, in its entirety:

    a. The Diplomatic Security Firearms Policy and Review Board is an ad hoc advisory board to the Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DS/DSS). See 1 FAM for further information.

    b. For the FPRB-revised U.S. Department of State Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, approved by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. on November 29, 2011, and promulgated herein, see 12 FAM Exhibit 023. Additional procedures previously contained in 12 FAM Exhibit 023 have been relocated to 12 FAH-9, available on ClassNet.


    Changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual usually are accompanied by a transmittal notice. Here’s that that says:

    This issuance updates the Department of State’s Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, found in Exhibit 023. Much of the material previously found in this exhibit has been moved to 12 FAH-9, as follows: (My Note: the two sections listed are the FROM and TO portions)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.6 12 FAH-9 H-020 Standards of (Standards of Conduct for Armed Conduct DSS Special Agents)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.5 12 FAH-9 H-030 Prescription (Prescription Medication) Medication

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.10 12 FAH-9 H-040 Firearms Officers (Firearms Officers)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.15 12 FAH-9 H-050 Disciplinary Action (Disciplinary and Other Action)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.4 12 FAH-9 H-110 Qualification (Qualification)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.11 12 FAH-9 H-211 Carrying Firearms (Carrying Firearms on Aircraft) on Aircraft

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.12 12 FAH-9 H-212 Other


    COMMENT: The move of these regulations from unclassified to classified was made formal on November 29, 2011. Deedy shot the guy on November 5, 2011. One wonders exactly when Diplomatic Security started the change-over, and why.

    What this all means is that the State Department’s rules for how its armed Diplomatic Security agents act in public are classified. A jury can’t see them. A defense lawyer can’t see them. You can’t see them.

    One wonders why State’s policies need to be secret. The FBI, in contrast, has a handy online explanation. The broader laws that cover concealed carry by law enforcement are equally available.

    What’s up State? Why did your Standards of Conduct and regs about Prescription Meds need to become classified? Why can’t the public you interact with know whether your agents can carry while affected by their meds?

    The usual web tools (Wayback, etc.) do not pull up the old version of the FAM. Anyone who happens to have an older unclassified version of 12 FAM hanging around may wish to share…



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Deedy Testifies in Hawaii Murder Trial

    August 9, 2013 // 34 Comments »

    Diplomatic Security Special Agent Chris Deedy, accused of second degree murder in the shooting death of a Hawaiian man, took the stand to testify. I was unable to locate a transcript of the testimony. However, the Associated Press’ report on the trial quoted Deedy. Text from that article appears below.

    Video of some of Deedy’s testimony is here, and also here.

    As a public service, I have tried to match up Deedy’s version of events with the video of the events. The video is linked at the end of this post if you want to watch along. Most of the times mentioned below refer to the video running time so you can compare and decide for yourself. The actual time passed on-the-ground is noted when it was possible to learn it. As always, it is up to the jury to decide, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

    Tale of the Tape

    Deedy said he intervened because Elderts was bothering a customer.


    At 1:58 on the video a person wearing a jacket labeled “Security” is seen standing. That same person is present behind Deedy later in the video. The person does not appear to be actively involved in the incident.

    The person allegedly being bothered enters at around 3:48 on the video. Already at the counter, Elderts, whom Deedy shot, appears to be speaking to the person. Both have their backs to Deedy in a noisy restaurant. They are a step apart and do not appear to physically interact. Deedy is seated talking with friends. The counter workers do not appear to stop service, though one briefly extends her arm toward Elderts. This is the situation Deedy states he interceded in.

    Deedy stands up at 4:39. His female friend stands up and approaches Deedy at around 5:30. Deedy does not appear to speak/engage with anyone until 6:29, after Elderts and the other person have left the counter and taken seats. Deedy has his hands in his pockets and does not appear to have flashed his law enforcement credentials on first encounter.

    It is around 8:57 Deedy first appears to show something in his wallet to the seated Elderts. Deedy’s friend Adam Gutowski, who has not been claimed to be a law enforcement official, is also on his feet in front of Elderts. It is unknown if Elderts as a local Hawaiian was familiar with the role of State Department Diplomatic Security as a law enforcement agency with the authority to use deadly force.

    Deedy originally claimed as his defense he was acting in his capacity as a federal law enforcement official, but dropped that defense in favor of self defense.

    At 10:17 Deedy’s female friend and another person appear to back him away from the seated Elderts. A small crowd has gathered. No one appears to be interceding with Elderts. Elderts stands around 10:24. At 10:33 Deedy reaches behind his back and touches what may be his service weapon.


    Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros attacked his friend, Adam Gutowski, the agent testified. “The dark blood on his face, the kicks connecting to his head,” Deedy said. “I needed to stop this assault.”


    This alleged assault of Gutowski does not appear to have been captured on the video from either of the two security cameras. Deedy has been knocked onto the floor at 12:28. He is on his back looking upward.


    Deedy said he rose to his feet after being knocked to the floor and stood to face Elderts with his empty hands in front of him. “I was issuing a warning, a command: ‘Stop, I’ll shoot,’” Deedy said. “As I drew my weapon and put my hand forward, I said ‘freeze.’”


    This appears to be at 12:32. At 14:23 the final series of events between Deedy and Elderts that ended in the shooting takes place. 14:35 shows a seated patron covering his ears. Deedy and Elderts are still standing.

    The unidentified people talking over the video discuss the on-the-ground timing between the start of the events and the person covering his ears. They say four tenths of a second passed. It appears the implication is that the ear covering signifies the first of the three shots Deedy fired. This suggests Deedy’s verbal commands, warning and first shot may have taken place in a very short period of time.


    Deedy used footage from a bystander’s cellphone camera to show that he used his knife to help cut Eldert’s shirt and rendered aid.


    What happened after the shots on the floor cannot be seen on the publicly available video. However, Deedy is seen on his feet and across the restaurant at 16:49 on the video. The commentators say the on-the-ground time at this point is 2:43:11.

    This would suggest approximately one minute passed between the first shot, whatever happened on the ground out of sight, and Deedy stepping away.

    At 17:53 on the video Deedy appears to pick one or two things off the floor and may put them in his pants pocket. This seems to take place before any aid was rendered to Elderts. A person in law enforcement who viewed this video suggested that Deedy may be recovering his spent cartridges, the brass part expelled from a weapon when fired. Recovered brass, if available to the police, can potentially be used a evidence from a crime scene.

    Deedy returns to the prone Elderts. This may be the time when Deedy stated he rendered first aid. Deedy testified that “he used his knife to help cut Eldert’s shirt and rendered aid. He’s heard on the video — amid Hawaiian music playing in the restaurant — imploring Elderts to breathe.”


    More from Deedy’s Testimony

    Deedy said he was shocked to hear he was being arrested for murder after fighting for his life.


    In his testimony shown on video, Deedy stated he first learned he was arrested for murder when he overheard a police officer mention it on a cell phone (or the radio, Deedy said he was unsure which device was used) while in the police car. A person in law enforcement who viewed this video told me that police typically state one’s reason for arrest at the time of arrest, though at times charges can be added later. It is unknown how much time passed between Deedy being arrested inside the restaurant and his overhearing the reason for his arrest inside the car.


    Deedy spent most of his testimony during the first two days speaking about moments displayed on frames of security camera footage. At one point Wednesday afternoon, he gave a hint of fatigue, saying he’d been watching the video for hours but didn’t recall the events in frame grabs.

    A prosecutor began cross-examining Deedy in the afternoon. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janice Futa asked him why he told a nurse at the hospital that he hadn’t been drinking.

    “I don’t recall any of the questions she asked me,” Deedy said. “I just said no to everything.”

    Deedy said in court however he only had about four beers or less over 5 ½ hours that night.


    Comment: I was unable to learn from State’s Diplomatic Security what its regulations are for its agents carrying their service weapon while drinking, or to intervene in things after drinking. Deedy refused to take a sobriety test at the scene and the Hawaiian police did not seek to compel him to do so.

    Hawaii self-defense law contains a provision that outside one’s home one is required to retreat and avoid a confrontation unless in fear of one’s life. At what point the requirement to retreat kicks in and out will likely be a point of law argued in Deedy’s case.

    One source describes the Hawaiian law as:

    You can use deadly force when you believe it is the only viable means necessary to prevent a threat of death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping, rape or forcible sodomy. You have no duty to retreat if these actions take place in your dwelling or place of work. If the threat occurs in a place other than your home or place of work you have a duty to retreat if you are able to do so in “complete safety.”

    The question Hawaiian law seems to demand an answer to is this: Did a Man have to die?



    Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL



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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    New Deedy Video Shows More of What Happened Before Shooting

    August 1, 2013 // 25 Comments »




    If you’re not up-to-date on the Hawaiian murder trial of accused State Department Diplomatic Security Agent Chris Deedy, here is the 411.

    New video of the shooting is now online. Watch the whole thing, but things do get interesting around 4:30 in. Let’s have a look:

    Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

    Here’s the link if you can’t see the embedded video above.

    Some observations:

    — I do not know who is speaking on the video. Maybe a cop and the judge?

    — This video, in comparison to previous releases, shows the interaction preceding the shooting more clearly.

    — “Diamond Head side” and “Ewa Side” are Hawaiian terms roughly denoting East and West.

    — At around 4:30 as Deedy gets up he appears to either scratch his back or touch his weapon.

    — At around 16:00 Deedy may leave the scene; some witnesses and one of the 911 calls support this.

    — It appears several people several times try to back Deedy off, which he appears to resist.

    — Look for the guy in the lower right corner of the screen to cover his ears; this may be the moment of the shots.

    –Anybody know who Jessica West in the video is? She does not appear to be Deedy’s spouse based on other photos.


    Everyone is innocent until proven guilty like they on TV so we wait now for the Hawaiian court to issue a verdict.



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    State Dept Security Agent Deedy Murder Trial (Finally) Underway

    July 18, 2013 // 16 Comments »

    Two years ago State Department Diplomatic Security Special Agent Christopher Deedy was briefly in Hawaii protecting Hillary Clinton. Deedy, off duty, shot and killed a local man. Two years later the case has finally come to trial, with new revelations made public, including an airing of the surveillance camera video of the shooting. For more background on the case, see here. Now, let’s dive in and have a look ourselves.

    Deedy is on trial for Murder in the Second Degree and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony, punishable by a term of life in prison. After various abandoned defense pleadings, including that Deedy acted in his legal capacity as a federal law enforcement official, Deedy’s current defense strategy is to claim he acted in self defense. That argument will require Deedy’s lawyer to convince a local jury that as a trained law enforcement officer from the State Department temporarily in Hawaii for wholly unrelated reasons, after a night on the town with friends, Deedy was required to fire multiple shots at near point-blank range into an unarmed inebriated local man inside a crowded McDonalds at 2:30 am because he was in fear of serious bodily injury or death.

    Now, let’s look at the video of the whole incident. I cannot embed the video here, so promise that after you hit the link and watch it, you’ll come back! FYI, the linked page has two video clips. I recommend you watch the second clip first, a summary, and then look at the whole unedited piece at the top of the page. There is no sound. OK, here’s the link. I’ll be waiting here.

    Thanks for coming back. Here are some observations.

    – A lot more people than we previously knew were directly involved in the incident. It should be easy to establish what was said, and, with the video, what happened. One newspaper suggested over 100 witnesses will be called.

    — The people involved, both those with Deedy and those with the victim, appear to be trying to break up the scuffle. Deedy will need to explain why he continued to fight with the victim instead of allowing his friends to back him away early on.

    — One of Deedy’s friends, the woman with the long black hair, appears to actively try and break up the scuffle. Speculation: if either of the people with Deedy were fellow security personnel, and neither felt the need to draw his/her weapon, that will raise questions about Deedy’s own action.

    — Deedy appears to reach for his weapon fairly early on, but does appear to draw it until later.

    — Deedy’s reason for getting involved in the first place, that the shooting victim allegedly “bullied” another man, seems to have been entirely verbal in nature. The bullied man does not appear to be reacting to whatever was being said to him. There was no physical contact shown. Deedy will be asked to show why as a law enforcement official he was compelled to get involved. Deedy’s own lawyer stated “These [slurs] are now fighting words. This is a threat of violence. This is what Deedy is trained to perhaps respond to, although he wasn’t here to respond to the laws of harassment or bullying. He’s a federal agent and his job is to serve the community.”

    — On Deedy’s supporters’ page, the acts are described as “Chris saw two men harassing a patron of a Honolulu McDonald’s. Chris responded and tried to diffuse the situation. He identified himself to the men as a federal agent and he and his friend were subsequently attacked by the men… Chris observed these men injure his friend, and felt he himself was going to be more seriously injured or killed, so he drew his firearm.” It is unclear from the video at what point if any Deedy’s friend was injured.

    — Deedy appears to throw the first blow, a kick at the victim. Prosecutors have claimed that Deedy instigated the incident.

    — Deedy’s mug shot is shown above. One of the Honolulu police officers involved stated to the court that “there was a ‘strong odor’ of alcohol on the federal agent and that his eyes were ‘red and glassy’ and that Deedy’s footing was ‘uneasy’ as they walked to the police cruiser. That same cop oddly went on to repeat these statements on his personal Facebook page. Deedy’s lawyer’s attempt to block the testimony based on bias was denied by the judge after she determined none of the jurors had seen the Facebook page. Deedy refused a sobriety test on the night of his arrest and the Honolulu police inexplicably did not compel him to take it. Another officer who testified during the case admitted to losing a camera that he used to take photos of the crime scene.




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    State Department Sleaze Accumulates without Real Response

    June 16, 2013 // 56 Comments »


    Breaking Bad! Two new sleazy State Department actions– a sweetheart consulting deal for one of Hillary’s best buds and accusations of an affair and hookers for a senior State official. See below!

    Attempted suicide after a harsh interrogation? Hiring armed guys with criminal backgrounds? Senior officials having sex with subordinates, prostitutes and minors? Investigations into all of the above covered up or halted? That’s the news, not from Gitmo or some banana republic, but from your U.S. Department of State. Better get out the hand sanitizer, this blog post gets filthy fast.

    A Sad Pattern of Sleaze from America’s Diplomats

    Ever since the story broke on CBS News that the State Department covered up numerous allegations of wrong-doing to protect its public image, the details of said wrong-doing have been leaking out.

    The reasons to care about this are many, and all the Hillary-love and attempts to just call it (just) a Republican witch hunt are a smokescreen. The obvious reason to care is that these people represent America abroad, and we need to ask what image they are projecting. In addition, such crimes and personal traits as alleged below make them vulnerable to blackmail, either by other members of the USG (promote me, give me a better assignment, or else…) or foreign intelligence (turn over the secrets or the photos go to the press). The fact that the organization apparently cannot police itself internally raises questions about competence (and the former SecState saying she was wholly ignorant of all this sludge is not a defense that actually makes her look presidential), and about what if anything it is accomplishing on America’s behalf.

    Here’s a roundup to date:

    – As a special shout-out to We Meant Well regulars, USA Today claims it has a memo detailing how Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, allegedly interceded in an investigation by Diplomatic Security into an affair between failed-Iraq ambassador-designate Brett McGurk and Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon.

    — Cheryl Mills again: Mills, a longtime confidante of Hillary, reportedly played a key role in the State Department’s damage-control efforts on the Benghazi attack last year and was also named in accusations that department higher-ups quashed investigations into diplomats’ potential criminal activity. Cheryl Mills, who served in a dual capacity in recent years as general counsel and chief of staff to Clinton, was accused of attempting to stifle congressional access to a diplomat who held a senior post in Libya at the time of the attack.

    — U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.” The ambassador “routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to documents obtained by NBC News. State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered an end to the investigation. “The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team [Note: A State Department team that conducts counterespionage surveillance, watching State Department officials to see if they are being watched by foreign spies] . . . were well aware of the behavior.”

    The ambassador explained that sometimes he fights with his wife, needs air and he goes for a walk in the park because he likes it. The Atlantic reported that the park Gutman trolled, Parc Royal Warandepark, was well-known as a place to pick up adult homosexual and adolescent boy prostitutes.

    A Belgian newspaper described the park: “I see young children go to adult waiting. Later, another adult waits, often to extort money from the victim after. I’ve been awakened by cries and my terrace, I saw someone being beaten. I had my legs were shaking. Time to call the police, I saw the victim painfully get up and go.”

    — A State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards. State’s former regional security officer in Beirut, Chuck Lisenbee, allegedly sexually assaulted guards and was accused of similar assaults in Baghdad, Khartoum and Monrovia. Justine Sincavage, then-director of Diplomatic Security Service, called the allegations a “witch hunt” and gave agents “only three days” to investigate, and no charges were brought, according to USA Today.

    — Members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” a problem the report says was “endemic.” Three members of Clinton’s security detail admitted to hiring prostitutes while on foreign trips and were given suspensions of one day. An investigator for Diplomatic Security launched an investigation into similar allegations against four other members of Clinton’s security detail but was ordered by Kimber Davidson, chief of the special investigations division, and Rob Kelty, his deputy, to shut down the investigation.

    — The State Department has hired an “alarming number of law-enforcement agents with criminal or checkered backgrounds” because of a flawed hiring process, a stunning memo obtained by The New York Post reveals. “Too many people entering the [Diplomatic Security and Information Management] communities end up as subjects of [Special Investigation Division] investigations and HR adjudications, become Giglio-impaired and can play only limited roles thereafter,” according to the memo. “Giglio” refers to a US Supreme Court case dealing with jury notification that witnesses have made deals with the government to induce testimony. Some Diplomatic Security field offices “have major problems just waiting to be discovered,” the memo adds.

    — In one case, aggressive interrogation techniques by Diplomatic Service agents “drove an employee to attempt suicide” when accused of raping his maid in Bangkok, Thailand, a memo suggests. “After “being told he would end up in a Thai prison, his wife would lose her job and his children would be pulled out of school, [the man] attempted suicide by jumping out of the 16th-story window at a hotel in Bangkok.” The guy lived, and was flown back to Washington for in-patient psychiatric care, where the agents continued to harass him. The rape charges were ultimately dropped.

    — The same Diplomatic Security memo cites eight cases involving Diplomatic Security agents who resorted to “false, misleading or incomplete statements in reports,” “privacy-act violations” or “lack of objectivity” in investigations.

    — Diplomatic security agents learned that James Combs, a senior diplomatic security agent in Baghdad and formerly of the DS Office of Professional Standards, was having an extramarital affair with a subordinate and had numerous affairs with men over a 30-year span without the knowledge of his wife. This presented “counterintelligence concerns,” but the investigation never reached a conclusion.

    — A security contractor in Baghdad died of an overdose of methadone, which he was taking to counteract an addiction to the painkiller oxycodone. An underground drug ring may have been supplying the drugs, but State’s regional security officer did not allow a special investigations agent to pursue that possibility.

    — In Miami, agents investigating a car accident by diplomatic security agent Evelyn Kittinger learned that she had been claiming full pay for several years “but had actually only worked very few hours.” State Department supervisors told the investigator to advise her to resign to avoid facing criminal charges and a major fine.

    — Another report states that a top State Department official stymied investigators trying to get to the bottom of four killings in Honduras involving DEA agents and local police. The incident ended in the deaths of two pregnant women and two men last year, after Honduran national police opened fire from a State Department-owned helicopter on a small boat. Honduran police said drugs were involved, but locals said the boat was full of fishermen.

    –ADDED: Sen. Charles Grassley is probing longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s employment status, asking how she got a sweetheart deal to be a private six-figure consultant while still serving as a top State Department official. Abedin, one of Clinton’s most loyal aides, is of course married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who’s in the midst of a vigorous effort to beat off his own sexting scandal and become mayor of New York. Abedin hauled in as much as $350,000 in outside income on top of her $135,000 government salary. She was redesignated a “special government employee” who was able to haul in cash as a private contractor while still on the government dole.

    –ADDED: Consulate General Naples’ Kerry Howard says she was bullied, harassed and forced to resign after she exposed Consul General Donald Moore’s alleged office trysts with subordinates and hookers. “When our diplomats disrespect the Italians by hiring and firing them because they have seen too much — or use them for ‘sex-ercise’ — we have to question why we have diplomats abroad at taxpayer expense,” said Howard. As a senior foreign-service officer, Moore makes as much as $179,700 a year. His first office romance supposedly occurred within days of his arrival in Italy, when he allegedly bedded a consulate employee, a single mom who fell in love with him. Moore was honored as “Consular Officer of the Year” (Barbara Watson Award) in 2005.

    — A Foreign Service Officer, Michael Todd Sestak, 41, has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit bribery and visa fraud. Dude was a senior visa official in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and supposedly pocketed some $2 million dollars for his work.

    It appears that Foggy Bottom has sprung multiple leaks as hard-working folks grow tired of their bosses being allowed to do just about anything without punishment. What is going on? I don’t recall this much garbage coming into the daylight ever before. I assume it was happening all the same forever, but not this much in the public eye. I think it is time for Kerry to say something about at least trying to control his organization.

    And of course someone should throw Under Secretary for Management Pat Kennedy out. He *may* be getting the message that in this internet age if you don’t give people a realistic internal avenue to fix things they’ll just go outside. That’s kinda what I did… So there is no doubt much more to come…


    State Department Responds

    The State Department spokesman said, “We hold all employees to the highest standards.” Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters repeatedly this week that the accusations are “unsubstantiated.”

    So that’s that apparently. No reporter has seen it useful to ask why for more than four and a half years, the State Department has had no appointed inspector general, the longest such vacancy of any federal agency. Or why, during his entire time in office, Obama has not nominated anyone to fill the slot. Or why during her four years as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not demand an inspector general for her organization.

    Hillary Responds

    A spokesman said Clinton was completely unaware of any of the investigations mentioned in the Office of the Inspector General’s reports and memos, including the case involving her personal security detail allegedly soliciting prostitutes. “We learned of it from the media and don’t know anything beyond what’s been reported.”

    It means nothing that a candidate who will no doubt cite her endless efforts on behalf of women everywhere remained unaware of sex crimes occurring, well, under her.

    Opposition researchers and taxpayers alike, once again, Hillary Clinton’s defense is that she was totally unaware of what was going on in the organization she lead and managed, up to and including the actions of her own lifelong advisor and chief of staff, as well senior officials who reported directly to her. She’ll make a great president!

    Oh wait– these are just “allegations.” They need to be investigated. Well, the problem of course is that one of the allegations is that powerful trolls inside State prevented or derailed any investigations, and indeed the over-arching allegation is that Diplomatic Security, charged with investigations, is riddled with political considerations that prevent full and transparent investigations. So that’s a pretty weak excuse to blow off everything said.

    That said, maybe some are false. OK, but if even a small number of these serious accusations are true (rape, murder, minors) then even that suggests an organization operating without internal controls and the best defense its leader can come up with is her own ignorance. Not a good thing.




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Deedy Done It Different

    March 28, 2013 // 20 Comments »

    America’s favorite Diplomatic Security “special” agent Chris Deedy is engaged in what promises to be one of Hawaii’s longest trial processes.

    For those just joining us, recap here. For those too multi-tasked to click on the link, the real short now version is that in November 2011 while in Hawaii protecting then-SecState Hillary Clinton from the APEC conference, Deedy shot and killed an unarmed man in a Waikiki McDonalds. Deedy was arrested by the Honolulu Police Department and charged with Murder in the Second Degree and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony, punishable by a term of life in prison. Despite the whole thing being on both a surveillance videotape and on someone’s iPhone video, along with multiple eye witnesses, the case has not yet come to full trial. Deedy maintained that he acted legally in his capacity as a law enforcement official.

    Until now.

    On March 11 Deedy changed his story, with his lawyer withdrawing the request to dismiss the case on the basis that he was acting as a federal agent at the time of the incident. The new rationale for the killing is self-defense. Withdrawing the motion relieves Deedy of having to testify during a pretrial hearing. It also cancels his desire to have the case transferred to federal court. The change also, finally, clears the way for the actual trial to begin on/about April 2 in Honolulu unless some new delay is introduced.

    There has been no clear explanation/reason as to why the case has taken so long to (almost) reach trial. Deedy has been out on bail since the shooting, working a desk job at the State Department on full salary.

    Deedy also now has a “support” group on the web raising money for him (they’re up to $12k), as well as to provide his side of the story.

    According to the local Honolulu newspaper, in pretrial documents, city prosecutors say Deedy appeared “intoxicated” after a night of drinking and bar hopping and became the aggressor who started an altercation. According to prosecutors, Deedy kicked the deceased Elderts and repeatedly told him he was going to shoot him “in the face.”

    The defense’s position outlined in court documents contends it was Elderts who was the aggressor. Hart’s filings said an intoxicated Elderts called Deedy a “fucking haole” and challenged him to a fight. Hart said Deedy identified himself as a law enforcement officer, but Elderts attacked Deedy, who felt compelled to fire in self-defense.

    Deedy’s self-defense argument will need to convince a local jury that as a trained law enforcement officer from the State Department temporarily in Hawaii for wholly unrelated reasons, after a night on the town with friends, he was required to fire multiple shots at near point-blank range into an unarmed inebriated local man inside a crowded McDonalds at 2:30 am.



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Did Eric Boswell Really Resign over Benghazi Fail? Define “Resign”

    March 18, 2013 // 16 Comments »




    In one of her final acts as Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton accepted the “resignation” of her head of Diplomatic Security, Eric J. Boswell. Boswell was portrayed in the media as the highest ranking State Department official to lose his job over the security failures in Benghazi, Libya that lead to the deaths of four Americans. Clinton sold the resignation to Congress as a sign of accountability over decisions made and mistakes committed. Case closed, right?

    But did Boswell really “resign?” Or is he still employed by the Department of State?

    Define “Resign”

    Before his December 19, 2012 “resignation,” Boswell actually held two jobs: head of Diplomatic Security and Director of the Office of Foreign Missions (DS/OFM) at State. The former position held immediate responsibility for the safety of America’s diplomats abroad, while the latter job covered both the security and administrative needs of foreign diplomats in the U.S. As head of OFM, Boswell was responsible for the safety of say the French Embassy in Washington as well as the duty-free import of cars for the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.

    His celebrated resignation was cleverly worded: he resigned as head of Diplomatic Security (Benghazi accountability!) only. In a December 19 statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she “has accepted Eric Boswell’s decision to resign as Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, effective immediately.” When questioned about whether Boswell really left the State Department’s employ by a cowed media, State would only reissue the carefully crafted statement put out December 19. No one was interested in even a follow-up question– is Boswell still on State’s payroll?

    Where’s Boswell?

    So who is now head of the Office of Foreign Missions at State? Is it Boswell? Turns out that is a hard question to really answer.

    Let’s start with the list of senior officials on the State Department website. That page lists the position of Director of the Office of Foreign Missions as vacant. No Boswell.

    However, on the same main State Department site, a page from the Office of the Historian puts Boswell still in the job, as he has been, since 2008. Another page says he is still in the job. Hmm.

    But, the page for the actual Office for Foreign Missions lists no personnel by name. Curiouser and curiouser.

    The main State Department telephone directory lists no position at all as “Director of the Office of Foreign Missions.” That’s kind of odd, as the office should in fact have a Director, they all do, somebody. Boswell’s name also appears nowhere in the phone book. Hmmm.


    Just Call Them

    So, I just called up the Office of Foreign Missions at the number (202-647-3417) listed in that public directory for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Foreign Missions, the titular number two person there. I spoke with someone named *****, and said I wanted to write a letter to the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions– to whom should I address it? She helpfully said “Eric Boswell.” I asked “Eric J. Boswell?” and she said yes. I asked what salutation/title I should use and she said “Director.” She then helpfully added “But Director Boswell does not often come in to the office so you should in fact contact the Deputy Assistant Secretary.” ***** would not give me her last name.

    Then a concerned citizen still working at State told me on background that Boswell, thanks to a sweetheart deal with Under Secretary for Management Pat Kennedy after the Benghazi hearings, retains his salary and title but basically delegates all of his responsibilities as Director of the Office of Foreign Missions. He did “resign” from one titled position while cleverly keeping his other position, according to my source. Ka-ching!

    Accountability for What?

    About a week after Boswell “resigned” back in December 2012, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said she could not independently confirm a New York Post report claiming Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, remains at the State Department.

    Ros-Lehtinen said “If these reports are correct, they’re pathetic examples of yet another ruse about the tragedy of Benghazi. State Department officials proclaimed to the world that heads would roll after the deception related to the deceitful video excuse and the non existent spontaneous protest outside the consulate. Now we see that the discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs. That will in no way change [the] systemic failures of management and leadership in the State Department.”

    Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, or any journalist, why not contact the Department of State and simply ask “Who is the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions?” and/or “Is Eric Boswell still employed by the Department of State?” Depending on the answers you receive, better follow-up with this question: If indeed no one lost their jobs over the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, exactly what accountability is there?

    And do ask them how the term “resign” is actually defined at the State Department.



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Lamb to Slaughter: Benghazi, Cheryl Mills and Hillary Clinton

    January 4, 2013 // 11 Comments »


    An interesting bit of information, unconfirmed, raises new questions about how close Hillary was to the Benghazi decisions and decision-makers. Here is what we have:

    Lamb to the Slaughter

    One of the high level employees who was reassigned/resigned/was terminated because of Benghazi was Charlene Lamb.

    Ms. Lamb’s initial appointment to her position in Diplomatic Security was opposed by a number of career Department of State employees, we are told. Her biography has been disappeared from the State Department web site but is still alive in the Cloud.

    Sources inside State say objections to Lamb’s hiring were at the time overridden by Cheryl Mills, the Number 4 at State. Ms. Mills is a Clinton political appointee (see below).

    As a result, Lamb was terminated in order to prevent the inquiry from reaching higher, into the Secretary of State’s offices, where one could point the finger at Clinton for insisting on Lamb. Lamb in kind took the fall for Clinton, in what one commentator called a “bureaucratic firewall.”

    As we now know, the Benghazi facilities were CIA, and not State Department, offices. There were no permanent State Department employees assigned to either building in that city. State merely provided the cover story on the ground, over the air via Susan Rice’s lies about that stupid anti-Islam video, and now in person as Congress looks for someone to blame so this can all just go away.


    Where was Hillary?

    Lamb being disappeared also closes off a line of inquiry into exactly what Clinton was doing the night of the attack on Benghazi.

    Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb testified that on September 11, after the “full-scale assault” in Libya — “unprecedented in its size and intensity” — began about 9:40 p.m. Libyan time (4:40 p.m. Washington time), she was “in our Diplomatic Security Command Center [in Washington] monitoring multiple open lines with our agents [in Libya] for much of the attack.”

    A few days later a CNN reporter asked Hillary Clinton what she was doing as the attack occurred, and Clinton responded with a 400-word answer that avoided the question. Here is part:

    QUESTION: … could you tell us a little bit about what you were doing when that attack actually happened? I know Charlene Lamb, who as the State Department official, was mentioning that she back here in Washington was monitoring electronically from that post what was happening in real time. Could you tell us what you were doing? Were you watching? Were you talking with the President? Any details about that, please.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: … I think that it is very important to recognize that we have an investigation going on… So that’s what an investigative process is designed to do: to try to sort through all of the information, some of it contradictory and conflicting… So I’m going to be, as I have been from the very beginning, cooperating fully with the investigations that are ongoing, because nobody wants to know more about what happened and why than I do. And I think I’ll leave it at that.

    QUESTION: Mrs. Secretary, if you could, the question was –

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I know, but I’m going to leave it at that.

    Later that same day, the State Department spokesperson was asked why Clinton hadn’t answered, and provided this response:

    As you know, she’s not that interested in focusing on herself. But obviously, she was here very late that night. She was getting regular updates from both the DS Command Center and the senior NEA leadership in the building, she was making phone calls to senior people, and so she was obviously very much involved. But I think she was not interested in sort of giving a personal tick-tock. It’s not the way she operates.


    Who is Cheryl Mills?

    Cheryl Mills is an interesting person to have her name pop up in connection with covering Clinton’s role in Benghazi. As deputy counsel, Mills sat at the epicenter of the scandals in the Clinton White House for seven years, eventually delivering an impassioned defense of the president during his 1999 impeachment trial. Mills left the White House soon after, but her performance earned her a place in the hearts of the former president and his wife. When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pursued the presidency almost a decade later, she tapped Mills to be her senior adviser and counsel on the campaign. As her campaign imploded, Mills acted as a de-facto crisis manager.

    The Washington Post describes Mills as “close with many of the women in “Hillaryland,” including Ambassador-at-Large for Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer; senior adviser to Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Health Reform Neera Tanden and Judith McHale, undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs.”

    Quick Summary

    David Petraeus, head of the CIA when its offices were overrun in Benghazi, is gone, victim of an FBI email love-trap sting that still makes little sense except as a political assassination. We won’t be hearing from him. Susan Rice, who was voted to try and pass off some lies about an anti-Islam movie to cover this all up, was thrown under the bus and we won’t be hearing from her again. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State at the epicenter, has been incommunicado for over a month with a series of excuses and will be resigning soon.

    Why is it so hard to learn answers to some very basic questions about the decision-making behind Benghazi?




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Price of Security at State Department: Really Freaking’ Expensive

    December 29, 2012 // 22 Comments »

    They say you can’t put a price on safety, but the State Department has: $750 million to hire 150 new security agents.

    Wait– that works out to five million per secure person hired. Where do we sign up?

    Baghdad Bonus

    Following the report on State’s security failures in Benghazi, the Department predictably tried to turn tragedy in cash money, asking for $$$ Congress previously assigned to the security needs of the World’s Most Expensive Embassy, the one in Baghdad. In a flurry of Iraq-induced mania, Congress buried State in cash last year to secure the Embassy in the aftermath of America’s victory in Mesopotamia. Because State had neither the personnel nor the programs paid for to need that much security, they haven’t spent it and want to re-purpose the money to the rest of the world, now also officially insecure and dangerous following the decade-long War of Terror.

    Buying What?

    Now before we start adding up dollars and (non)sense for the State Department, let’s take a tiny, tiny peek back at that report from Benghazi. While the report certainly did ask for more money (“The solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment from Congress to support State Department needs”), it seemed that the bulk of the report’s criticisms focused on non-monetary stuff like leadership:

    Communication, cooperation, and coordination among Washington, Tripoli, and Benghazi functioned collegially at the working-level but were constrained by a lack of transparency, responsiveness, and leadership at the senior levels. Among various Department bureaus and personnel in the field, there appeared to be very real confusion over who, ultimately, was responsible and empowered to make decisions based on both policy and security considerations.

    The Board found that certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability in their responses to security concerns posed by Special Mission Benghazi, given the deteriorating threat environment and the lack of reliable host government protection.


    State Needs Leadership, Not More Money

    Now, it appears that what the State Department really needs is some leaders, people more committed to serving their nation than sucking upward to please their bosses by shaving a few bucks off the security budget in Libya. That kind of thing may be harder to go out and buy, even at five million dollars a head. Indeed, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairm Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) suggested that the State Department might do better to examine its priorities before asking for more money:

    We cannot expect the same bureaucracy at State, whose management failures are now manifest, to objectively review the department’s organization, procedure and performance. Nor can we have any confidence in their assessment of what went wrong and what actions are needed to prevent a repeat.


    Ros-Lehtinen went on to critique Hillary Clinton’s launch this year of a flashy initiative to send American celebrity chefs on goodwill tours abroad, saying it seemed especially misplaced in a time of tight budgets. This blog enjoyed a fine bit of dining out on the stupidity of the chef idea, in a previous posting. Democrats in turn said Ros-Lehtinen was turning tragedy into a political football by turning Ros-Lehtinen’s partisan remark about a partisan remark into a partisan criticism. Whew.

    Where’s Hillary?

    Meanwhile, where’s Slick Hilly?

    Mrs. Clinton, recovering from what must be the World’s Longest Concussion, has not been seen for weeks. With her terrible concussion, she was unable to (again) meet with Congress to discuss her organization’s flop in Benghazi. never mind the uber-flop of Hillary’s blood-thirtsy support for the overthrow of Qaddafi that lead to the deaths in Benghazi that lead, somehow, to the celebrity chefs (I’m not sure of the link but it’s there).

    Hillary had nothing to say about the Benghazi report. Hillary had nothing to say about the Congressional criticism. Hillary had nothing to say about Susan Rice’s self-immolation, Hillary had nothing but a Tweet-length “congrats” to say about John Kerry taking over her job. There remains for Hillary a vague promise to meet with Congress in January.

    Hence, as a public service, here are some questions to ask Hillary if she ever emerges from her concussion, now at three weeks and counting:

    –How much of the State Department’s security budget is spent domestically, on security clearances, admin support, agents with pending murder raps on paid leave, prosecuting State Department employees for extra-marital affairs, domestic staff that never leave DC and the Diplomatic Security sub-offices in places like Miami, Los Angeles and Honolulu?

    –How much of the State Department’s security budget is spent on protecting the Secretary of State? State Department employees know that Hillary does not even travel inside her own building without a security escort. Overseas she gets the full-meal deal with sniffer dogs and sniper teams.

    –How much of the State Department’s security budget is spent on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    –How much of the State Department’s security budget is spent on the growing fleet of contractor-operated helicopters and fixed wing planes State now enjoys?


    –What’s left for the other 180-some overseas posts Hillary?


    The Money Shot

    And, oh yeah, Congress, ask about this:

    The State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security saw its budget expand about tenfold in the decade after the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Contributing to that growth were the U.S.-launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11 attacks. So where’d all that money go to if not into protecting places like Benghazi? Former FSO Bill answers:

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that the increased budget went to increased personnel and better security. Most of the increased funding is dedicated to Special Agent pensions under Public Law 105-382, which establishes age 57 as the mandatory retirement age for Special Agents, and computes their annuity at 2.5% of high 3 average salary times number of years. This is far more generous, and far more expensive than pension benefits for other State employees. In the late 90s, both State and ICE scrambled to get their officers designated as Special Agents, a designation previously limited to fewer agencies. While it was a prestige and morale issue for both agencies, it has had a major impact on budget expenditures. Those who complain that military pensions are too generous should note that DS uses the same formula as the military, but DS average salaries are much higher than military salaries. Once they retire with a really good pension, they can come right back as contractors, who don’t have any requirement to retire at age 57. That’s where the money goes.


    State doesn’t need more money for security. The State Department urgently needs adult supervision over the money it already has, now, before someone else gets hurt.



    .

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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Accused Killer Deedy Loses Motion to Dismiss Case

    October 26, 2012 // 11 Comments »

    The latest in the ever-so-bizarre story of U.S. State Department “special” agent Chris Deedy.

    Everyone’s favorite State Department guy Chris Deedy still has no trial date set for his shooting and killing of a Hawaiian man last November while in the islands as part of Hillary Clinton’s guest appearance at the APEC Summit. Recap here; Deedy shot a guy, guy is dead.The whole thing was videotaped by a McDonald’s surveillance camera.)

    The latest turn of events is that Deedy lost a motion to dismiss the case against him and his lawyer lost another bid to publicly file a videotape of the killing. The motion maintained that Deedy acted in his legitimate law enforcement capacity in shooting the local man, what cops love to call a “righteous shoot.” Court said NO. Deedy’s lawyer wanted the McD’s video released publicly. Court said NO.

    What the court inexplicably did not say is when Deedy will go to trial. The killing took place November 5, 2011, and a grand jury indicted Deedy November 16, 2011. The best the court would say is that the trial would commence next year. At this rate none of us may live long enough to see a verdict.

    Listen to the 911 Calls

    Interesting listening here, the 911 calls from the killing scene. Of particular interest are two separate callers stating Deedy ran away from the scene of what he claimed, unsuccessfully, was a legitimate law enforcement action. Is that what cops do, run away? Other reports, however, say Deedy remained at the McDonalds.


    Cop Talk

    If you’d care to read some macho cop talk (“Sounds like a righteous shoot to me!”) about blasting away in a crowded McDonalds at an unarmed man, there’s plenty to be had at Police Mag.

    Here are some samples to give you an idea of the level of discourse:

    Marshal @ 8/29/2012 7:24 AM
    I think that the media and the prosecutor spokesman should be charged with false reporting and sued for slander. When are we going to take a stand on the bullsh*t that we allow the media to do to people when they know it is wrong or they just don’t care and they don’t research their information and they just want to be the first to report. Freedom of the press doesn’t give them the right to slander someone or give faulty reports.

    ib_da_one @ 10/6/2012 4:29 AM
    Sounds like a clean shoot to me but you have to understand this is Hawaii. Very limited gene pool amoungst potential jurors. I mean you should have seen the memorial they laid out in front o Mcdonald’s for the perp. Absolutely disgusting!


    Meanwhile…

    Deedy remains free on bail, living in Virginia and still fully employed and paid by the U.S. Department of State.



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Libya Just Gets Uglier and Sleazier

    October 10, 2012 // 9 Comments »

    The evidence that State knew of the security issues in Benghazi, and ignored them, continues to accumulate.

    Word is that inside Foggy Bottom everyone is rushing around getting their ducks in line so that someone else takes the symbolic fall for the screw-ups. They’ve got time– the Accountability Review Board will certainly not release anything before the election. Look for a news dump maybe the Friday after Thanksgiving? 2015? The truth will be happily buried, but in reality should be something like this: heavy security cost too much, plus it would make the Clinton narrative that limited-scale intervention in Libya worked look really bad right when her boss is struggling in the campaign. Admitting failure in Libya would also limit options in Syria. So, try and blame it on some video, then on al Qaeda (damn, that always used to work, too) and then find some mid-level person at State to hang.

    It Was the Other Guy

    One person not allowing himself to be the sacrificial lamb is the former State security officer for Libya, Eric Nordstrom, who is running around Washington telling pretty much everyone who will listen that it was State Department official Charlene Lamb who wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low,” according to a memo summarizing his comments to a congressional committee that was obtained by Reuters. Nordstrom has also implicated State Department management robot Pat Kennedy in the bloody decision-making. Such plain speaking will otherwise end Nordstrom’s State Department career, and so we welcome him here into liberated We Meant Well territory. Call us for recommendations for lawyers Eric.

    Kudos no doubt inside State for Susan Rice being willing to take a bullet in the early days to try and save her boss. Bot now even State is doing a little pointless damage control saying there never was a video-related protest in Benghazi. So Susan, what’s being thrown under the bus feel like?

    Whither Diplomatic Security?

    Meanwhile, attention once again focuses on State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the bully boys who seem much better at hassling diplomats for extra-marital sex than protecting them from terror.

    Bureau of Diplomatic Security saw its budget expand about tenfold in the decade after the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Contributing to that growth were the U.S.-launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11 attacks.

    So where’d all that money go to if not into protecting places like Benghazi? Former FSO Bill answers:

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that the increased budget went to increased personnel and better security. Most of the increased funding is dedicated to Special Agent pensions under Public Law 105-382, which establishes age 57 as the mandatory retirement age for Special Agents, and computes their annuity at 2.5% of high 3 average salary times number of years. This is far more generous, and far more expensive than pension benefits for other State employees. In the late 90s, both State and ICE scrambled to get their officers designated as Special Agents, a designation previously limited to fewer agencies. While it was a prestige and morale issue for both agencies, it has had a major impact on budget expenditures. Those who complain that military pensions are too generous should note that DS uses the same formula as the military, but DS average salaries are much higher than military salaries. Once they retire with a really good pension, they can come right back as contractors, who don’t have any requirement to retire at age 57. That’s where the money goes.


    And Hillary?

    On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing “The Security Failures of Benghazi,” featuring Pat “Blood on his Hands” Kennedy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs Charlene “It Wasn’t Me” Lamb, Eric Nordstrom and Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, who lead the security team in Libya until August. Be sure to set your bullshit detectors to stun.

    Expect Kennedy to say something like “who could have anticipated this?” Well, Pat old chum, in a country where you are paying staff 30% additional danger pay, it seems real to expect things.

    But where is Hillary? Turns out her last public statement on the Libya fiasco was October 3, a week ago, another empty promise that “the men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full, accurate accounting.”

    Despite her usual lofty rhetoric, Hillary has had nothing more to say and won’t testify before the House. As soon as the real scrutiny begins, Hillary dummies up.

    Looking ahead to the Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, opposition researchers, please bookmark this page.

    BONUS Editorial

    State needs to make a decision. If State wishes to populate diplomatic establishments in active war zones, it must a) wait to create a permanent secure facility; b) pay for what is needed to create an appropriate temporary facility; or c) simply accept that diplomats will die for these political decisions.

    State instead wants to fulfill the short-term political suck up goal of staffing hot spots without paying the cost of proper security. As such, it is just a matter of time and chance that more places are not overrun.

    State is trying to treat Benghazi as some grand exception/accident when in fact it is just the first of many possibles. Post 9/11 very little has changed in the internal architecture of Diplomatic Security. They are still using the pre-9/11 model of relatively low-key civilian security, host country support and on-the-cheap local guard hires.

    Instead, the nasty truth is that the new model is Baghdad– an armed camp inside hostile territory wholly independent of host government assistance, ’cause there ain’t gonna be none.

    Of course the other idea would be to abandon the wet dream that State needs to staff active war zones. What’s the point anyway? Prior to the Iraq war porn fantasy, diplomats were withdrawn until a country stabilized.




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Deedy Done Delayed

    September 5, 2012 // 10 Comments »

    Everyone’s favorite State Department special agent Chris Deedy still has no trial date set for his shooting and killing of a Hawaiian man last November while in the islands as part of Hillary Clinton’s guest appearance at the APEC Summit.

    (Recap here; Deedy shot a guy, guy is dead. Question is whether the killing was part of Deedy’s law enforcement duty or some version of murder. The whole thing was videotaped by a McDonald’s surveillence camera. The video has not been made public.)

    The Honolulu Star Advertiser (slogan: “Steadfastly Not Really Online”) print edition tells us that the most recent legal move took place August 8, when a Hawaiian court denied Deedy’s request to shift the trial to Federal court and outside of state jurisdiction. Next up is a hearing now set for October 22 where Deedy’s lawyer will seek a motion to dismiss, claiming that Deedy acted in his legitimate law enforcement capacity and in self-defense.

    No date has been set to begin the actual trial. Dead guy is still dead.

    Questions. Jump in, crowdsourcers:

    – WTF? A guy is dead, we know who done him. There are multiple witnesses. The whole thing is on video. Why is no trial date set ten months after the fact? How the hell much more evidence do you need to bring this to a decision?

    — Given the WTF angle, why why why is this case being delayed? As best we know, Deedy is alive and well, back in Virginia, still on the payroll with the State Department but on some form of not-so-special agent duty. It seems in the public interest to resolve his status. If he is innocent, then let’s pay him with our taxpayer bucks to get back to his real work. If he is guilty, let’s take him off the street.


    I know all about “island time, brah,'” the Hawaiian version of manana, later, we’ll get to it, but this all seems beyond that. I am in too good a mood today to bark “conspiracy theory,” but anybody got anything else?



    (Thanks to We Meant Well Hawaiian operative “5-0″ for the local paper scans)



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Breaking/Broke: Ryan Crocker Arrested for DUI

    August 24, 2012 // 19 Comments »

    America’s Ambassador, Ryan Crocker, who midwifed America’s diplomatic wonderfulness in Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as having this very blog named after him in honor of his superior dip-ness, was arrested for drunk driving, according to KXLY in Spokane, Washington.

    KXLY reports that the Crock was seriously crocked, blowing a manly .16 BAC on one test, which is twice the legal limit in Washington State. Another test indicated a .152 BAC. The State Patrol believes he was intoxicated by alcohol, not prescription drugs, due to odor and the high blood alcohol count. Cooler yet, Crock was pinched drunk at 2:05pm, a helluva a way to spend an afternoon as a retiree. Crock spent a night in jail and pleaded not guilty. He shows his face again in court September 12.

    We’ll just throw in that a serious drinking problem would be a pretty good explanation for Crocker’s often bizarre public statements. Crock, for example, said while ambassador in Kabul:

    The greatest concern that Afghans with whom we have regular contact express about the US military presence isn’t that we’re here but that we may be leaving. So it’s simply not the case that Afghans would rather have US forces gone. It’s quite the contrary.


    Now, the next thing we’ll keep an eye out for is State’s Diplomatic Security pulling Crock’s security clearance because of the DUI. I mean, they pulled mine for blogging sober, so driving drunk seems a no-brainer.

    And if, as some more sympathetic commentators have speculated, Crocker is suffering from PTSD or alcoholism related to his years of service in America’s self-created shitholes, then the Crock should exercise some real leadership and speak openly of his challenges to enable others without his status and rank to also acknowledge their need for care. PTSD is a time bomb inside State (and of course, the military), with many sufferers afraid to see a doctor for fear of losing their medical or security clearance, or fear of the public stigma.

    So, so long for now Crocker! We’ll call you for the next war, don’t worry!



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    “Special Agent Deedy was compelled to discharge his gun”

    July 5, 2012 // 3 Comments »

    A few new details on the good times in Hawaii of State Department super “Special” Agent Deedy. Deedy is charged with second degree murder in Honolulu in connection with gunning down a local man. Deedy was in Hawaii as part of a State Department entourage guarding the 2012 APEC meeting. More here if you’re not up to speed on the case.

    According to court documents filed by Deedy’s own defense attorney, Brooke Hart:

    Deedy intervened when he sensed an altercation escalating between the shooting victim, Kollin Elderts, and a customer, Michel Perrine.

    “While at the cashier counter, Elderts began to verbally harass Perrine using racial slurs,” the filing states. “Perrine asked Elderts to leave him alone, not to single him out, and stated words to the effect that he was a `local.'”

    Hart’s characterization of the incident says Deedy was trying to prevent a physical attack. Elderts called the agent a “haole,” the Hawaiian term for white, in a derogatory way, he said.

    “Elderts threatened Special Agent Deedy by saying, `Eh, haole, you like beef?’ or words to that effect,” Hart says in the court papers.

    At one point, Elderts tried to grab Deedy’s gun, according to Hart, and the two men got physical. Deedy drew his gun and told Elderts to freeze, but he continued to advance.

    “Special Agent Deedy was compelled to discharge his gun, resulting in the death of Elderts,” the court papers claim.


    Somewhat oddly, Deedy’s attorney has also previously claimed the agent was acting in self-defense and/or in his lawful capacity as a law enforcement officer.


    Oddly oddly, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that Deedy’s legal expenses in a wrongful death lawsuit pending against him are covered by a renter’s insurance policy issued to Deedy and his wife in Arlington, Virginia in late 2010 by Allstate. A trial in this civil case will likely not begin until after completion of the criminal case.


    Deedy’s defense attorney is also trying to move the case to federal court, preferably outside of Hawaii. To keep things interesting, Honolulu Circuit Judge Karen Ahn denied a renewed push by several media outlets to make public surveillance video and other documents referenced by prosecutors and Deedy’s lawyer. The case will drag on, with the next trial action not scheduled until September 10, unless the case goes to federal court or is otherwise delayed.


    Which it likely will be.




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Your Special Agent Deedy Murderous Update

    June 20, 2012 // 7 Comments »

    A story this blog follows closely is the case of very special State Department Diplomatic Security Agent Deedy (pictured in his mug shot), who appears to have shot and killed a man in Hawaii while Deedy was there protecting someone or something else during the last APEC meeting. You can get the backstory here.

    Rather than retype it all, I will redirect you to a much better blog that follows Deedy’s case very closely. That blog is here.

    If you have the attention span of Justin Beiber and just want the shortest version, it is: On June 15 Honolulu judge Karen Ahn has removed from her calendar a hearing on a motion by the attorney for Christopher Deedy to dismiss the murder charge. This means despite the attempts of Deedy’s lawyer to have the charge thrown out, Deedy is still scheduled to stand trial in Ahn’s court on September 10 on charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm.

    There’s a lot more fluff surrounding the case, so better read the full story.



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Double-Threat: Ted Nugent and Me

    April 23, 2012 // 3 Comments »

    Ted Nugent and I go way back, though the relationship has been somewhat one-sided. For example, I saw the ‘Nuge in concert in 1977 when he was the headliner and I was in high school. It was one of the wicked coolest nights of my life, and I guess Ted enjoyed the show too, least as best I could tell from the back of some 20,000 screaming fans. For an encore, Ted slammed his guitar into an amp stack and sent feedback into the concert hall that must have almost blinded several people. It was cool.

    Yet here we are in 2012, both of us on some US Secret Service watch list.



    Ted’s Problem with the US Secret Service

    Ted got into Secret Service trouble for saying things like this:


    If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.

    Ted also owns more guns than the 82nd Airborne and used to feature a bow hunting kill demo as part of his stage act. He wrote songs like “Wango Tango,” “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” and “Cat Scratch Fever.” Regardless, the Secret Service met with Ted, shook hands and the matter was resolved.

    My Problem with the US Secret Service

    I got into trouble with the Secret Service because of this blog post.

    Based on that blog post, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) notified the US Secret Service about me:



    I own no guns and do not bow hunt. I have never written a song with the word “Wang” in it, to my knowledge. No one from DS or the Secret Service ever met with me to discuss the “threat” and I only learned that I was on the list several months after the fact. I was and still have not been given a chance to clear my name or even understand what threat I supposedly posed. Just a smear tactic, really, part of a series of retaliatory acts by the Department of State because of this blog and my book. A neat example of the use of security to smear an unwanted employee.


    Today We are All Ted Nugent

    But at the end of the day, Ted did speak for both of us when he said:


    By no stretch of the imagination did I threaten anyone’s life or hint at violence or mayhem. Metaphors needn’t be explained to educated people.

    And that is the point. No one seriously believes that Ted Nugent was going to kill the President, and no one seriously could believe I was going to assassinate Hillary Clinton. Yet in our current era, no one can question “security,” so when a has-been rocker speaks out of turn, the Secret Service has to step in to set an example. And when a has-been foreign service officer exercises his right to criticize a government official, State Department Diplomatic Security has to step in and set an example: no free speech on their watch.

    God bless you Ted, and God Bless America. Also, rock on.



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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    More on State Department Diplomatic Security Murder in Hawaii

    March 12, 2012 // 2 Comments »

    (For those unfamiliar with the case of State Department Diplomatic Security “Special” Agent Chris Deedy, who appears to have shot and killed an unarmed man in Hawaii while on duty there for the APEC Conference, see some previous postings.)

    Details on the Deedy case are harder to find than intellectuals at a Gingrich rally. However, one of our Hawaiian operatives offers up a few ideas:

    – Why was Deedy charged with 2nd degree murder instead of 1st? It turns out that in Hawaii, unlike most of the other states, 1st degree murder only applies in very limited cases, with strict definitions. Under Hawaii law, second-degree murder is defined as occurring simply ‘if the person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person,’ while first-degree murder involves specific kinds of victims. First-degree murder would pertain to someone who intentionally or knowingly causes the death of: more than one person in the same or separate incident; a law enforcement officer, judge or prosecutor involved in the prosecution; a witness in a criminal prosecution; a person by a hired killer, in which case the killer and the person who did the hiring would be charged; or a person while the defendant was imprisoned. Deedy is being charged with 2nd degree (Hawaii Revised Statutes, HRS 707-701.5) because Elderts was not a judge, a law enforcement officer, a witness in a case, etc., and because Elderts was the only victim. It has nothing to do with Deedy’s intent or foreknowledge of Elderts.

    — Federal law allows law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons on duty or off, but one of the stipulations is that the officer absolutely may not carry when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, with one exception: if he is undercover and has to enter a bar and have a drink while investigating a suspect during an authorized investigation. Rather doubt such was the case here. I don’t think Deedy identified himself as law enforcement in the first place – if he had done so, wouldn’t they be charging him with negligent homicide rather than murder, and wouldn’t his attorney have brought it up vociferously as a defense against the charges?

    — Deedy is charged with two offenses. The issue of whether Deedy was acting as law enforcement and/or whether or not he was drinking seems to be addressed by the second charge he is facing: Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Hawaii Revised Statutes, HRS 134-21. Surely they would not have charged him with this one if they thought he was acting properly in the role of law enforcement.



    As far as we know, the other details of the case remain unchanged: Deedy is still employed at the Department of State, and his trial in Hawaii is still postponed until September for reasons unknown and unspoken.

    The victim’s family is also suing Deedy, a civil suit in addition to the Hawaii State charge of murder. You can see the full text of their lawsuit online as well.

    Also, at least one of his neighbors likes Deedy because he is nice to his dogs; see the interview here. The neighbor also oddly identifies Deedy’s alleged Arlington, Virginia address for some reason. I guess that info is helpful if you’re looking to avoid a nearby McDonald’s at 3am.




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

    Another State Department Seal

    February 6, 2012 // 3 Comments »

    After the hub-bub over my illicit use of the State Department Seal, I was pleased to receive in my email another Department of State Seal, this time from the Diplomatic Security Office of Security Technology, ironically probably one of the offices within State that has nothing better to do than monitor blogs.

    The take away here is the absolute groovyness of their Seal. Note the righteous American Eagle snarling at the Dragon (representing evil of course, but perhaps Chinese evil????). Meanwhile, the dove of peace is scared shitless and just trying to get out of the way, all posed within an Illuminati-like pyramid.

    Despite appearing to have been designed by a frustrated tattoo artist who saw too many YES album covers stoned as a teenager, this Seal is real, and was in fact created with your tax dollars. No wonder the State Department keeps getting bigger and bigger budgets each year.

    I am unsure of the legal issues, but I am so looking into the idea of having this Seal inked on me somewhere where I’ll feel it everytime I sit down to write this blog.




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    My Weekly Memo from State

    February 2, 2012 // Comments Off

    I get an email like this one every week from the State Department.

    They apparently have someone/someones’ whose job it is to cut and paste articles from this blog into a handy weekly gazette format. Since I am a certified teleworker for the State Department, as well as the author of these blog posts, perhaps I could be tasked directly with making up the gazette each week as a way to save some money in these tough budgetary times, though apparently the State Department has enough people working for it that someone has as their daily duty to read and cut and paste my blog fodder.

    Entry Level Officers at the State Department, be cautious if someone offers you a “social media” job!

    Be sure to see that though the gazette is for last week, they also mention a Financial Times interview with me from December. That one must have slipped through their poorly-worded Google Alert! See, if I was making up the gazette myself I would have definitely caught that one, just saying.

    Of course, why bother to cut and paste the gazette when all the articles are just right here online anyway?
    When I was interrogated about this blog by the big bad wolves in Diplomatic Security, they at least had printed out, in color, the hundreds of articles from this blog’s inception in April 2011, a serious phone book-sized stack o’ dead trees. State and technology have never really gotten along well I guess.

    Plus the gazette format really does not take full advantage of the medium, as it does not include the funny/ironic photos and occasional cartoons I feature on the blog. I mean, this blog post does not work at all without the visuals. Oh well, that’s a bureaucracy for you, no real sense of humor.

    Just for grins, I have today filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all of the past gazettes. Let’s see how long it takes State to respond and if they respond with some sort of Ministry of Silly Walks-like excuse about why they won’t release to me my own writing.

    And finally here’s a cartoon especially for the anonymous troll inside State who compiles my weekly gazette.





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    Diplomatic Security Child Porn Guy Indicted

    October 24, 2011 // Comments Off

    The Diplomatic Special Agent we reported was arrested back in September for kiddie porn was formally indicted on October 19, 2011 for possession and receipt of child pornography.

    He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison on the charge involving the receipt of child pornography, and up to 10 years in federal prison on the possession of child pornography charge.

    Fan of mug shots? Here’s your guy.

    Read the original story if you’d like more details on this outstanding State Department employee.




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    Insecurity: State Department Suspends My Security Clearance

    October 18, 2011 // 1 Comment »

    Feeling safer America? After 23 years of holding a Top Secret security clearance, and without a single security violation in that time, the State Department Stasi, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, suspended my clearance today.

    “Suspension” is another in a long line of government extra-legal actions, in that it cannot be questioned, challenged or appealed. You just suck on it. The best part is that the reason for the suspension is not revealed. Diplomatic Security is not required to tell you in detail why your clearance is suspended, just that it is.

    So why was my security clearance suspended? Let’s try and guess.

    Hillary

    A good friend who works on The Line on the Seventh Floor for Hillary told me that my NY Times profile was not included in Hils’ media summary. Bill called her up to mention it, and she was angry at being kept in the dark and lashed out.

    I Called DS Child Molesters

    Sure, I did help call out Diplomatic Security agents as child molesters and Chinese spies, but do you think they took that personally?

    DS is BS

    I did publicly call out Diplomatic Security as being a bunch of bullies. And that article calling them out was reprinted by CBS News, Huffington Post, Salon, The Guardian (UK), Le Monde Diplomatique, Politico, Mother Jones, Wikileaks Forum, The Nation, Jon Wiener at The Nation, Michael Moore, Guernica, ZNET, The Rebellion,
    Atlantic Wire, American Conservative Magazine, Democratic Underground, Lobelog,
    al-Arab online, War in Context, Gary Null, Open Market, SpyTalk,
    Pacific Free Press, warandpeaceinthemiddleeast.com, Buzzflash.net, Nation of Change. John Brown’s public diplomacy blog, Truthout, Antiwar.com, Oped News, Common Dreams, Daily Kos, Empty Wheel, and American Empire Project


    Wikileaks

    Diplomatic Security accused me of disclosing classified information when I included a link from this blog to a Wikileaks document already online. The State Department refuses to acknowledge that any Wikileaks documents are actual classified material, but draw your own conclusions America. In a way, I should thank DS for bringing this to America’s attention. When the original blog post ran in late August, it garnered a couple of hundred page views. To date, with all the attention, the post has received over 11,000 page views. A lot more people now know of John McCain’s duplicitous stance toward Libya, and that the US sought to supply Qaddafi with military spare parts.

    Can’t Find Their Ass in Iraq
    I did write a piece on Huffington Post claiming that DS will be unable to oversee the $5 billion Iraqi police training programs now underway in that vast sink hole for taxpayer dollars in Baghdad.

    Failure to Redact

    The State Department demanded redactions from my book, which I refused to make. Here is the State Dept fax 9 20 11 to my publisher. Note the requested redactions, and then turn to the chapter in my book called “A Spooky Dinner,” and read the original text. It could be classified! I continue to receive emails asking to buy an unredacted copy of the book “before it is too late,” so thanks DS for those sales as well.

    I Actually Disclosed Something Classified

    Trick question, as I did not ever disclose anything classified. Not now, not in the book, not in my two decades’ long career. Not to Bradley Manning, not to the New York Times, not to my wife, not to you. This is the only valid reason to suspend my security clearance. It does not apply.

    So which is it? Which of the above horrific infractions deemed me insecure?

    Answer is all of them except the last one, as this is an act of revenge by DS for me pointing out their flaws and writing a book State hates, not much more. The funny thing is, it does not matter.

    I have not had access to the State Department classified system since 2005; I have not needed it, as the jobs I have done have not required access. So the suspension accomplishes nothing.

    In Iraq, my access to classified information was through the Army, the same way Bradley Manning read State’s cables. So the suspension accomplishes nothing. Bradley and I actually used the same system, I know, I know, more irony.

    My current work does not require classified access. I am still doing the same job today, without a clearance, as I did yesterday, with a clearance. So the suspension accomplishes nothing.

    If for some reason I had wanted to purposely disclose classified information at any time over the past 23 years, I could have done it. I never did. The secrets I know today I knew yesterday, and they stay secret with me. So the suspension accomplishes nothing.

    So the suspension accomplishes nothing.

    Nothing of course but a bully’s revenge, a last gasp from a sad group of thugs that feels lashing out is pleasurable, that a symbolic, futile gesture is what Cabinet agencies are left to do when their relevance is questioned, their budgets are in question and their very being is apparently threatened by a book.




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    Posted in Democracy, Embassy/State

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