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April 12, 2007


"At least half of the USAs who signed the letter are now gone--less than 8 months later. Some of these--like Deborah Wong Yang--definitely left on good terms (who wouldn't, if you were given $1.5 million not to prosecute a case?)."

Or, more to the point, if you ACCEPTED $1.5 million to not prosecute a case. We know some USAs who probably wouldn't...

So why did McNulty have such serious reservations about this Linx system? I am still fearful that someone somwhere is after McNulty and wants to cast clouds over the upcoming Aipac/rosen/espionage trial which has been delayed 4 times.

Some shit is going to hit the fan in a big way. And I believe A*P*C will do anything to delay or get this trial dismissed. Taking McNulty out would put quite a dent in this trial.

If you have not seen the four part series on Israeli spying and the Israeli communication systems that were under investigation watch this at Information clearing house. This four part series was forced off of Fox News after 9/11 in 2001


Interesting though, Kathleen, I hadn't thought of it.

My first take--and one I'd still embrace--is that Rove or someone else has a designated contractor readied to take a second stab at the $600 million gravy train. An MZM in disguise, if you will. Imagine how fun it would be to have the back door to all the criminal prosecution data in the country! (Damn, these guys make one cynical.) But that's just a guess--that's why I bolded the reference to contractors smelling a big payout.

I mean, SAIC is one of the best connected contractors going. And I'm sure it's easy for them to suck along a $600 million contract. Who was up to replace them?

From personal experience in my career in IT, there is nothing -- NOTHING -- that will destroy progress as quickly as someone who has no idea of what they are talking about. That someone usually has a vested interest in seeing some other solution used, no matter how well the preferred software works. Knowing how this administration has worked, with so many people having their hands out to get a part of the US Treasury, I wouldn't be surprised if that is not what it is all about.

I am still loving your coverage here!

That McNulty, he's been quite a fixer during the reign of bush jr. At several steps along the way, he's come in to finesse the message (or limit the investigation... whichever...) Anyhow, Laura Rozen recently noted allegations that McNulty quieted "a DOJ report that would have been damaging to clients of Jack Abramoff". Around the same time, an article hit regarding AIPAC and some recent court filings. This quote caught my eye:

The memorandum describes a Feb. 16, 2005 conversation between Abbe Lowell, Rosen’s lawyer, and Nathan Lewin, AIPAC’s lawyer.

The U.S. Attorney in eastern Virginia at the time, Paul McNulty, “would like to end it with minimal damage to AIPAC,” the document quotes Lewin as telling Lowell. “He is fighting with the FBI to limit the investigation to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman and to avoid expanding it.”

The filing is compiled from notes by the defense lawyers. The Lewin-Lowell conversation took place during a conference call, according to the memorandum.

(allegedly) Limiting the Larry Franklin probe to protect AIPAC? (allegedly) Stifling a DOJ report that may have been damaging to clients of Abramoff? For whom has he been working during his tenure? For what other reasons would he want to limit intel sharing? Was he protecting something, or just politicking as usual?

Anyhow, his name has been coming up in curious ways.

This problem with the FBI is a big deal, they are unable to comprehend technology. That's okay, but they also don't comprehend management of the project to introduce the new technology. If they had established an independent panel prior to the process to watch over things, and listened to the advice of these experts, the design and testing of the system would have been at most $60million. Putting in equipment, who knows how much. But never trust software vendors, like myself, that make pie-in-the-sky claims about what the system can do, and how easy it is to get it working. Paper and file cabinets are easy to understand, software isn't.

So when $600million is spent, and there is no major blow back, you know you have a sucker. The FBI is a huge sucker, and they will get all kinds of advice to keep them going along the same sucker track. Something like we have with Iraq. The beautiful cloths are transparent.

Monica Goodling also served under him in the ED of VA when McNulty was USA there.

I think the contracting idea makes the most sense. Or maybe there was something they didnlt want the USA's to find out?
Is there a single governmental function these crooks haven't perverted?

Marcy, Rowley actually has a great deal more to say on why FBI does not want to automate files. (Remember she ran for Congress last year, not very successfully -- not really cut out to be a Politician we found out) but there seem to be two reasons.

1)Typing or Keyboarding is considered women's work, and in the FBI it is just not sufficiently Macho to know how to do it. Terms such as "my girl" and "your girl" are still common in that agency, with all it reflects. FBI is very hierarchial, there are apparently 8 or 9 levels between "street agent" or "Brick Agent" and true management, and at least in the top three, no one types. Any reform of FBI worth the effort would begin by eliminating half of these levels of authority -- and changing the criteria for promotion away from simply opening and closing cases (easy to count) to evaluations based on acquiring and developing speciality skills.

2) Any Automated File System would allow for evaluation of accuracy in collecting investigative data or evidence. You only have to read through some of the older files that have been released for historical reasons to see how much simply inaccurate information is in the FBI file system, and in all too many cases, just gets copied from file to file. 302's -- records of interviews -- are simply not trustworthy for historical purposes, let alone for evidence in court.

I'll give you an example. My College was "targeted" by J. Edgar Hoover as part of Cointel. A major reason was because Coretta Scott King was an Alumni, and active in the larger Antioch Community. Beginning in the 50's and up till the 1980's (records I have personally read), the 302's have a style that begins with driving directions from the nearest FBI Field Office to the target -- in this case it would have been Yellow Springs Ohio. But many many of the 302's have instructions for driving from Cincinnati, that if you follow them would take you to Ohio Wesleyan in Deleware. They copied these instructions for 25 years, and forgot that in the meantime Interstates had been built. They also mixed up their informants -- people at one college were described as being at another. Students they were following (such as Lawyer Historian Peter Irons) were placed in the wrong college, and wrong major. At one point they even changed Coretta's school. I mean it is a total hoot -- and if their file accuracy were electronically filed, many of these errors would be caught. They don't want that possibility. Files that have been made available under FOIA are chock full of stuff like this, and any historian who uses the stuff has to validate everything. In fact the practice is that once a mistake is in the system -- you don't correct it, because that might reflect badly on a supervisor who had a hand in an earlier 302. Any electronic file system would allow for quality review -- and that is not exactly what they want.

Now, many FBI agents do decent and good work, and bring investigations to successful conclusions -- either by closing them, or getting indictments that are clean and successful. But there is a whole lot of rot, that remains to this day. (I can only imagine the problems with the liberal use of the National Security Letters.)

The only AG who I think came close to understanding the problem was Janet Reno -- remember when she personally went out to the training academy and laid her hands on missing evidence and files about Waco -- but then called in Jack Danforth to be a sort of special investigator on why the Waco evidence and files had been moved out of FBI headquarters? Obviously someone told Janet where the stuff was so she could "go find it" -- but she also knew she didn't have the political credentials to deal with why evidence was wrongly "filed." Remember the mess that was uncovered when the findings of the FBI labs were questioned -- and they had to make a costly settlement with the whistleblower, and recognize that many cases were deeply flawed because of bad forensic science? It is all part of a piece.

Before you said anything, I knew exactly why a system like this would not be put in place, and then you said it...

And here's the description for why DOJ is letting an offer for more pilots of this lapse.

...mid level bureaucrat nay-sayers at FBI, DEA, ATF, Main Justice and an array of consultants who sniff lucrative contracts are picking us apart.

Absolutely. Follow the green. If they had several consultants sniffing around, they knew that was worth up to a cool million or so in Repub contributions for a $200+ million contract. No way they'd let a working system get in front of that. Full story, nuff said. Give half the mil to Grover, he'll launder it. They are a criminal organization based on theft; or as we say here, "they are such whores" for always selling us out.

And furthermore, this potential contractor payoff may be yet another major factor they wanted to get rid of they folks they did- get rid of the advocates who knew a good alternative was sitting there, waiting to be tried out.


One more thing to add to what you said.

Remember that the only basis for the claim of insubordination wrt Paul Charlton in AZ was that he was aggressively pushing a plan to tape interrogation sessions--particularly as it related to the many investigations on Native American reservations (where ESL is a real problem). Same issue though--FBI (and DEA and the Marshalls and Border Patrol) didn't want to have to tape interrogations. But the big push seems to have come from FBI, because they didn't want their interrogation methods to be known. Honestly, it doesn't sound like an abuse. Rather, it seems they were trying to hide incompetence.

EW, This story of incompetence is one more asset Keith Ellison took with him to Congress. Remember, before he was elected 5th District Congresscritter, he was a state legislator with a small legal defense office on the side, and before that, full time a defense lawyer dealing with (among others) our substantial Somali Community that needed legal services for immigration as well as defense. He dealt with a number of cases that turned on poor translation during FBI, ICE and local police interviews of all sorts, and won several appeals on these grounds. That was one of the quiet reasons the DFL nominated him. It is one thing to do it case by case in court, it is quite another for FBI and other agencies to sit at a witness table and have someone who knows the score asking the questions. It will take a few years and seniority of sorts, but forcing competence will only come when Congress demands it. And Congress will only make such demands if they understand such work was part of why they got elected in the first place.

It is one thing to say an interview must be taped -- but quite another to tell FBI and CIA that a certain percentage of their agents and officers need to be bi or multi lingual. Recruit to that end, or send them to language school -- you have two years to perform. Demand a count every 6 months on moving toward that goal. Subtract the budget authority for all unrealized bi or multi-lingual agents or officers each year. Don't just advise, get direct and tough and use budget authority.

The FBI has fewer Arabic speakers today than it had on 9/11. Bad personnel policy.


You assume that it is easy to steer a contract to a particular contractor. This may or may not be true in the case of a black contract, where the general public cannot easily learn what has occurred.

Not true for the type of public contracting involved in seeking a computer system for the FBI.

Most contracting professionals take their responsibilities seriously. Furthermore, disappointed bidders can file legal challenges.

For the past 30 years, many, many Federal contracts for software have gone awry. The costs of software development are difficult to predict, and it has proven difficult to manage the development of software -- especially for large, integrated software systems. Anyway, disaster in software contracts is not necessarily the result of malfeasance.

I conduct 99% of my work on a computer, in digital form. It all seems so easy. But this ignores the complexity of real life. Somehow I think that the line FBI agents understand the difference between a digital file and something you can spread out, tack up on a cork board, write on, make notes in margins, and as noted in the reporting: take their files into the field.

I had the same reaction to the electronic voting. Centralized digital storage is much more vulnerable to abuse than individual paper ballots. A digital file is great for information that nobody has any reason to manipulate.

None of this means that you can't have a digital system to integrate, but paper is good. Similar to the IRS: you file essentially a digital summary. But if they ever come around to ask questions, you have to have a hard copy.

I'm particularly interested in the issue of voting fraud with regard to Indian Reservations. Remember when John Thune ousted Daschle in SD? There were charges at that time of voter suppression on the reservations [contributing largely to Thune's "victory"], but, surprise, nothing was done about it.

We all know that the 2000 election was stolen by Bush. What about a number of Congressional ones, in 2000, 2002,and 2004 that provided the Repubs with the numbers, particularly in the Senate, to do all the items on their dastardly agenda?

I wonder how Sandra Day O'Connor feels now about those swell decisions of hers: to vote with the snakes on the Court to install Bush, and then to resign so he could put Alito in.


Well, that's the other close predictor of who got axed: McKay, Charlton, Iglesias, and Chiara were all on the group overseeing Native American issues. Heffelfinger (the guy they ousted in MN to make room for Paulose) had been chair. In 2005, DOJ was saying there was no budget for the NAIS to meet. Somehow Chiara not only saw that it took place in 2006, but managed to chair it before they ousted her.

One more thing--two of the new replacements have tribal bar licenses. That may well be a good thing. Or it might mean they've been helping corporations extract the resources from reservations. In any case, that aspect bears watching not JUST for the voting reasons, but all teh Abramoff-related ones too.


Is your reference to the "11-character name" the one in Harriet Miers email to Kyle Sampson on Sept. 13, 2006? If so, it should be to a 10-character name. I think I have that one figured out. It's not Fitzgerald, either. Take a close look at page 23 of DOJDocsPt1-3070319.pdf (DAG 000000545). You will see that they didn't completely redact the last letter of the name. Blow it up to 800% in Adobe Reader and you can see that there is a serif exposed. Given the font, that letter has to be a lowercase g (well it could be q, but that's unlikely). I now suspect that the questions that Miers was asking were:

Kyle, any current thinking on holdover U. S. attorneys? Any recent word
on Debra Yang's intentions?

In some ways, that's more interesting than if she was asking about Fitzgerald. The middle of September would have been when Debra Wong Yang was mulling over that job offer. Why was the WHCO interested in that? Why did Sampson feel compelled to avoid email for his response to that question?

Nope, there's another one, WO, I don't have the reference right off, but it's November 2006. It says something to the effect of "Paul taked to [5-character name] and said [11-character name] shouldn't be fired, though there's a scandal I'm hearing that concerns me greatly." At that point, I believe DeGabrielle was the only 11-character last name among the USAs. It's quite possible it's a first and last name, though IIRC, the other names in the email are all just last names.


Though I agree, it's damned interesting that Yang had to mull over a $1.5 million offer. I wonder if they ended up sweetening the pot for her? Though she is openly talking about leaving in an email as early as the summer.


The other one is a reference to Jim McDevitt. It's how he got taken off the list. I have to run off to a meeting, but I'll follow-up on how I arrived at that conclusion.

quick update:

Your reference is on page 34 of the same document as above (DAG 556). Note the order that the USAs are listed (alpha by state, except Iglesias is out of order). Now look at the contact list in Step 2. Those are in the same order (Domenici is even listed last). Now, notice that there's only one space between Ensign and Domenici. The only explanation for that is that the missing USA is from the same state as McKay (that's how they did it with Lam and Ryan on the final list).

I think I know the scandal they're talking about as well.

ew - I send you the post below as an email. It had so many hyperlinks Typepad thought it was spam.
- - - - -
I read the letter from the 17+1 USAs to McNulty the night of the first 3000 page document dump and did some reading on LInX. Undated response from McNulty to USAs:

"Dear Colleages: I just finished reading your letter on the law enforcement information sharing issue, and I must say I am quite disappointed that you have chose to communicate with me this way. It appears that you are trying to force me to take specific actions. It reads like a letter from Capital Hill, not friends on the same team. This is particularly distressing because it is shared with folks outside of the Department. This is not the way we should be working through difficult issues. [...] I hope you realize that the Department may not be able to deliver on all that you seek. There are other important considerations in this matter.Does anyone see the problem with the Department "endorsing" a specific brand of info sharing when there are other types being used with success in various regions? That is why it's best to talk these things through a bit before laying down a challenge in writing which will set the Department up for failure. [...]" (document release 1-3, pg. 1, House Judiciary)

I believe there were two pilot infomation sharing programs according to this 12/21/06 letter from Deputy AG McNulty to all USAs (PDF, pg 2):

"In August 2005, for example, the Department launched an infonnation-sharing pilot program with the Northwest Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX) in Seattle, Washington.Approximately seven months later, in March 2006, the Department entered into a partnership with the Automated Regional Justice Infonnation Sharing (ARJIS) system in San Diego, California"

The two competing law enforcement databases were:

LInX - run by NCIS in Seattle and designed by Northrop Grumman.

ARJIS - run by an umbrella group of San Diego, CA area law enforcement, run by the San Diego Data Processing Corporation "the outsourced technology arm of the City of San Diego" and designed by Sun Microsystems

ARJIS has posted one public quarterly report on their website since 2003 (Q3 2003) but at that one meeting staff from Rep. Hunter, Rep. Filner and Sen. Feinstein attended. House members Rep. Issa and Rep. Duke Cunningham attended in person along with Ruben Barrales from the White House. According to FedSpending.org ARJIS got $411,441 in contracts from 2003-2006. There may be more money under San Diego Data Processing Corporation or the municipal agencies that comprise ARJIS. In FY '07 Rep. Bilbray, who replaced Rep. Cunningham, announced two grants to his district worth href=".735 million related to ARJIS ($650K to San Diego Public Safety Technology Initiative, $985K to Police Records Management System for the City of Escondido). Background - The San Diego Data Processing Corporation that runs ARJIS (according the a WHOIS search) is a cesspool of corruption, a kind of municipal version of 'The Dukestir'. From the San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/11/04:

'Executives of the city-owned San Diego Data Processing Corp. have been drinking, partying, traveling and dining at taxpayer expense, according to a report by the city auditor. The auditor's report, completed Friday, said executives spent corporation money on alcoholic beverages, dining club memberships, holiday parties, executive retreats, charitable donations, a spouse's travel and other expenses not clearly related to Data Processing's function of providing computer services to the city.'

Hmm. I wonder if Issa and Cunningham were tipping back any of those beverages. SDDPC's Talamantez was later charged with 3 misdemeanors by the San Diego County attorney, something widely condemned as very light. My understanding is San Diego reformers want to kill off the SDDPC as inefficient and unaccountable but aren't having much luck. I wonder if SDDPC/ARJIS has some guardian angels in the House GOP and beyond that the DoJ?

joejoejoe, of course it didn't help matters that Carol Lam was on to Sun Microsystems big time.

See, related story about Texas Gov. Perry's "Department of Homeland Security" citizens' database, maintained out-of-state in Kentucky, under his "personal" control, not that of Texas state police authorities'.


mainsailset - I can't find the Carol Lam/Sun Microsystems connection on the Google, there is too much noise from the Lurita Doan/Sun Microsystem boondoggle clouding the results. Was Carol Lam investigating Sun as USA?

OT - HOUSEKEEPING: Is there a way to change the typepad settings or change something in the way TNH is weblished, so that the lines that separate comments do not wind up with authors on the opposite side of the line from their comments?

It's a very poor design. I often find myself trying to figure out who made which comment, and I ultimately have to scroll up to the top to see whether the first comment has an author above it or below it.

While we're on the topic of blog-formatting, Marcy, have you noticed that the image of your book at the top of the DKos home page doesn't load properly? At least it doesn't load properly at my office or at my house. I have very recent IE on both computers, but I didn't load them, so it's not that I've done something wrong in setting it up. I posted about this during last night's DKos Diary Rescue, and a few people commented back that they have trouble too.

The issue is that the image loads part way, so that you see "Anatomy of" and then the tops of the letters of "Deceipt", but nothing below that.

Well, looks like good ole Gold Bars is at it again.

According to CNN, Karl Rove had fully cooperated with Fitz when Fitz realized that Rove hadn't turned over all his email. Fitz apparently had already subpoenaed the RNC servers and the BC '04 servers. Luskin says that prior to '05, when KR deleted an email from these servers that it was also deleted from the server, but KR didn't know that. Rove has voluntarily turned over his personal laptop and let the feds image it.

So I guess all the juicy stuff must have been from pre-2005, and I guess it's really gone.

joejoejoe-I went back myself to Yahoo which is where I thought I had seen a piece and could not find it. So until I do find the piece and get the link I'm going to apologize to the world for misspeaking. Sorry all.

FIVE MILLION e-mails were lost by the White House according to a just released report from CREW called "WITHOUT A TRACE: The Missing White House Emails and the Violations of the Presidential Records Act." FIVE MILLION...that's insane.


"In an abundance of caution," he writes, "we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system."


So how does this make the sweat glisten on Gonzales' brow? We all know about the 12 hour gap, that twilight zone between the evening of September 23, 2003 (when Gonzales was informed of the order to preserve evidence) and September 24, 2003 (when Gonzales actually gave the order to retain evidence). But it's not just a 12 hour gap that provided a chance to tamper with the evidence. It's a two week gap.



Mr Fitzgerald gets my award for "Understatement of the Year". I doubt if anybody else can come close to the subtle beauty of this statement.

I'm quoting from Georgia10's diary because Gonzales is involved again. And this many gaps are adding up to a colossal, bottomless chasm of perfidy.

Rove undoubtedly did what he could to cleanse his systems before handing them over... he enjoys the game. However, a computer system is obsolete by the time you've paid for it and legacy by the time you get it into your car's trunk. Someone earning 100K/year almost certain upgrades yearly. These guys usually lease their cars and upgrade them annually... I just can't see them using Windows95 on a brick. When showing off their Blackberries and iPod lists, they demonstrate their acquisition of the latest technologies.

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