… between white supremacist and islamic extremists
Published on AlterNet, by Mark Levine, July 9, 2009.
… In the era of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI actively spied on civil-rights activists and those opposing the Vietnam War. They bugged Martin Luther King and set up COINTELPRO to infiltrate and disrupt civil-rights and anti-war movements. But here, where the FBI could actually spy on and disrupt a racist terrorist group bent on murdering Americans, it quickly shelved the investigation.
Why? The answer is more mundane than Hoover’s machinations but, in some respects, more troubling. The FBI of today is not so much racist as it is interested in covering up its rampant illegality and its regular violations of American civil liberties.
It seems the Tampa Office had made a slight error, easily repairable, in taping the conversation between the two extremists. The third person in the room, the FBI informant, had briefly excused himself for a few minutes. (It is not clear exactly why, but presumably “nature calls,” even to the most hardened of FBI agents.) But during these few minutes, the informant’s hidden microphone continued to record the conversation between the White Supremacist and the Islamic Extremist …
… As of today, a copy of the fated transcript of the summit meeting between the Islamic Extremist and the White Supremacist still sits in a locked safe in Senator Grassley’s office. The public is forbidden from seeing any part of a transcript of a conversation that the FBI claims posed no danger and warranted no investigation. As of today, not a single agent in the FBI has been disciplined for misconduct in this case: none for lying to investigators, none for falsifying documents, none for failing to investigate the incipient foreign/domestic Islamic Extremist/White Supremacist Alliance, and certainly none for the regular practice of covering up illegal wiretapping.
Only one agent in the FBI has been punished in this whole sordid matter: straight-arrow Mike German, who dared to insist the FBI follow the law. (German now works for the ACLU and is promoting his book Thinking Like a Terrorist.) German has learned the hard way that the FBI and the Mafia actually have a lot in common. In both organizations, the greatest transgression an operative can do is to insist his boss follow the law.
As for the White Supremacist and Islamic Extremist leaders, they are almost certainly aware by now that their conversation was taped, placing the career (and quite possibly the life) of the FBI informant who recorded them in grave jeopardy. Next time, the White Supremacist and Islamic Extremist will be more careful. They will bide their time. In the War Against the Jews, they can be patient. They can meet in another city and carefully coordinate their terrorist attacks without being under the watchful eye of the United States Government.
They are lucky that the FBI cares more about covering up its illegal surveillance methods than it does about using legal surveillance methods to stop terrorism.