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jimbot

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  1. I don't think this has been brought up. http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/303808

     

    Understanding this calls for some “inside baseball” about how the Justice Department works. In particular, you’ll want to introduce yourself to “OCDETF,” a term near and dear to the DOJ heart, though one unknown to the public — and boy, does the administration ever want to keep it that way.

     

    OCDETF stands for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. It was created during the Reagan administration to throw the coordinated muscle of Justice’s component investigative agencies — especially the FBI and the DEA — at domestic and international organized crime, a scourge that had been dramatically exacerbated by unprecedented drug-trafficking millions.

     

    I was working at the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan at the dawn of OCDETF — which at DOJ is referred to as if it were a word, “Osedef.” In those days, with New York City both the notorious capital of La Cosa Nostra and the target market of Colombian drug cartels, I was fortunate to be assigned to some of the original “Osedef cases.”

     

    Very soon, everybody wanted to work on them, and investigative agencies jabbed their sharpest elbows in the competition to have their prize investigations designated OCDETF. The reason was straightforward: OCDETF cases were the cases the Justice Department cared about, meaning: They were the cases that got bottomless funding and extensive resources.

     

    OCDETF cases are Justice’s crown jewels: the investigations that go on for months (sometimes more than a year) and result in vast arrest sweeps, bells-and-whistles press conferences, high-profile trials, and epic convictions and sentences. To carry such cases off demands mega manpower. Besides developing and exploiting informants, the agencies infiltrate criminal conspiracies with undercover agents, use the information gathered as the basis for wiretaps, and coordinate this eavesdropping with physical surveillance. It takes scores of agents to monitor bugs, conduct sometimes 24/7 spying on multiple subjects, and manage informants, who tend to be very high-maintenance. This costs money, lots of money.

     

    OCDETF money pours out, but not without one very big string attached: the involvement of Justice Department headquarters in Washington — known as “Main Justice” in DOJ circles.

     

    The vast majority of federal criminal investigations have virtually nothing to do with Main Justice. They are run exclusively by the local district U.S. attorney’s offices (of which there are 94 throughout the country), working in each case with the field offices of a federal investigative agency: FBI, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, postal inspectors, etc. Almost never do these mundane cases involve wiretaps or multiple agencies conducting extensive surveillance. When they end successfully, the investigative agency and the U.S. attorney may put out a press release to the local media, but no one in Washington ever hears about them.

     

    OCDETF cases are very different. They get to the front of the line when it comes to resources, particularly wiretapping — one of the only investigative techniques for which federal law requires approval by the attorney general or his designee (a top DOJ official) before the investigating agency and the district U.S. attorney may seek court approval. (For example, no Main Justice green-light is needed to seek a search warrant, make an arrest, flip an informant, convene a grand jury, issue a subpoena, or collect evidence in sundry other ways.)

     

    Moreover, as you might expect, given that the “OC” in OCDETF stands for “Organized Crime,” OCDETF investigations almost always contemplate — and frequently indict — racketeering charges under RICO (the statute outlawing “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations”). RICO is one of the few federal laws under which a district U.S. attorney needs permission from Main Justice before indicting.

     

    Why go through all of this detail? Because the Obama administration has offered a palpably false narrative about Fast and Furious. It is this: Acting on their own, recklessly irresponsible ATF agents in Arizona — under the ostensible direction of the local U.S. attorney, who was actually asleep at the switch — dreamed up the Fast and Furious investigation, with its rogue “gunwalking” tactic. Against all government protocols, thousands of firearms were allowed to be transferred from “straw purchasers” to violent Mexican drug gangs, in the vain hope that they’d turn up in crime scenes and searches of high-ranking cartel operatives, enabling the U.S. government to make spectacular cases against the kingpins rather than the low-ranking nobodies.

     

    This went on for a time with inadequate supervision, and, predictably, when the arsenal fell into the hands of the savage criminals, it resulted in violent crimes, including murders — murders that tragically included Agent Terry’s. Finally, word of the operation slowly made it across the country to Washington, where Obama DOJ appointees raised concerns with top ATF officials. Though they may be faulted for moving too slowly, eventually these DOJ appointees alerted their boss, Attorney General Holder, who was horrified and acted decisively to shut the operation down.

     

    Bunk. In fact, Fast and Furious was an OCDETF case. That made it a Main Justice case, not the orphan Arizona debacle of media portrayal.

     

  2.  

    So did Haldeman and all the rest of Nixon's cronies, well after the original break in. Didn't help Nixon any. Holder's resignation now may slow the firestorm to come, but Melson resignation well after the investigation starting isn't going to cut it now.

     

    Well, "Since Nixon Did Watergate Obama Did F&F" is certainly a new dog in this hunt. Let's see how he pans out.

     

    I double checked on Melson. He didn't resign, he was transferred. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62320.html

     

    Rather than stringing him up by his balls, they gave him a nice cushy job where he doesn't have to make any decisions.

  3. Yea, MSNBC,CBS and ABC are not biased at all.

     

    I think Obama is naive in his tactics. Alan Simpson, recalling from memory, I once saw say that "a lie unrefuted is a lie believed". Simpson's a hard bitten old vet at this stuff, Obama is a rook. He thinks, or at least certainly at the beginning of his administration thought, that this is not a Machiavellian game. Perceived weakness can be as bad as real weakness.

     

    Yeah, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves, and you can fall back on a rope-a-dope, but sometimes...as Clemenza put it: "You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never let him get away with that, they was just asking for trouble."

    If the person in charge of this had been canned, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If Nixon had fired some of his CREEP people at the beginning, he would have served his entire term. In both administrations, it will be the coverup that will bring them down.

     

    Melson has resigned. What cover up are you referring to?

    So did Haldeman and all the rest of Nixon's cronies, well after the original break in. Didn't help Nixon any. Holder's resignation now may slow the firestorm to come, but Melson resignation well after the investigation starting isn't going to cut it now.

  4. Yea, MSNBC,CBS and ABC are not biased at all.

     

    I think Obama is naive in his tactics. Alan Simpson, recalling from memory, I once saw say that "a lie unrefuted is a lie believed". Simpson's a hard bitten old vet at this stuff, Obama is a rook. He thinks, or at least certainly at the beginning of his administration thought, that this is not a Machiavellian game. Perceived weakness can be as bad as real weakness.

     

    Yeah, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves, and you can fall back on a rope-a-dope, but sometimes...as Clemenza put it: "You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never let him get away with that, they was just asking for trouble."

    If the person in charge of this had been canned, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If Nixon had fired some of his CREEP people at the beginning, he would have served his entire term. In both administrations, it will be the coverup that will bring them down.

  5. We can be fairly certain that the President reads media sources other than the Washington Post, because

    thing in "the press."

     

    What they

    he read those press reports.

     

    Another question that has been bugging me is: The President is learning shit like this in the press???? Do his underlings treat him like a mushroom or something, keeping him in the dark and feeding him shit?

     

    Well, since your new hero, Melson, claims that he didn't know what his own department was doing, how would the president know?

     

    He may not have known, but Holder did know about "gun runner". Check the date of the speech.

    http://www.justice.gov/ag/speeches/2009/ag-speech-090402.html

     

    Project Gunrunner predated Fast & Furious. It started in 2005. I should hope that Holder was aware of it.

    Mission creep? I believe that F&F used the same personnel.

  6. We can be fairly certain that the President reads media sources other than the Washington Post, because

    thing in "the press."

     

    What they

    he read those press reports.

     

    Another question that has been bugging me is: The President is learning shit like this in the press???? Do his underlings treat him like a mushroom or something, keeping him in the dark and feeding him shit?

     

    Well, since your new hero, Melson, claims that he didn't know what his own department was doing, how would the president know?

     

    He may not have known, but Holder did know about "gun runner". Check the date of the speech.

    http://www.justice.gov/ag/speeches/2009/ag-speech-090402.html

  7. Fairness doctrine is NOT the solution. Corporate money is going to flow into robo-calling, web campaigns, cable broadcasts, print in record numbers. We have sold out America to the highest bidder and the corporatist have won.

     

    Hopefully, this ruling will be like the Dred Scott decision, awakening the populace against it. Perhaps we will be able to generate enough grass roots support to amend the constitution and enact real campaign finance reform.

     

    Of course, it will be a huge uphill battle, considering the corporatists have almost unlimited resources and now the ability to use them against it.

     

    I don't quite buy the comparison to Dredd Scott myself.

    I caught Olbermanns show last night and I

    think he's lost it a bit.

     

    I'm not completely convinced of the ramifications.

    As things are now with cable, a corporation can

    be set up to spew political opinions and shill

    for political parties at will. Just have to call

    it "News" and that's that.

     

     

     

    a bit?? :)

     

    You mean the world, as we know it, isn't coming to an end?

  8. It's done. and there isn't much you can do to abridge it directly. This means that George Soros won't have to funnel his money thru different organizations. but can buy the politicians directly. So, what can we do to minimize the mischief?

     

    1. Pass laws that give shareholders more control over what the CEO does. A large amount of stock is owned by pension funds (including unions and public employees) that represent a large voting block for most companies. If the company starts financing outrageous ads, let the shareholders deal with it.

     

    2. Pass a law that requires all outlays for political operations (ads, direct contributions, etc.) be listed in the annual report with major fines for non compliance. Require this report be posted on the internet.

     

    3. Pass stricter laws on campaign contributions. No more anonymous donors or bundled contributions. If you give money to a candidate (even $1.00) you will need to sign for it.

     

    4. Post lists of all contributors to a candidate on the internet. Lists to updated daily. Major fines for non compliance.

     

    If we're going to have politicians being bought and sold, I want to know who is doing the buying. The more informed we are about the candidates, the better decision we can make when voting.

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