Constructing Truth: the FBI’s (non)recording policy

What do John Gotti and the FBI have in common? They both have seemed to be made out of Teflon; only, for the FBI, (and not, eventually, for Gotti), the protective coating has stuck.

President Obama recently surprised many in both parties by extending current FBI director Robert Mueller’s term by two years, intoning that “in his 10 years at the FBI, Bob Mueller has set the gold standard for leading the bureau.” For Obama at least, that “gold standard” has apparently retained its sheen despite a fundamental flaw in the FBI’s truth-gathering apparatus that Mueller (and, to be fair, his modern predecessors as well) supports: the long-defended Bureau-wide policy of not recording interrogations and interviews, a practice that allows the FBI to manipulate witnesses, manufacture convictions, and destroy justice as we once knew it.

Instead of electronically recording its interviews and interrogations, the FBI’s policy is to rely on agents’ typewritten “section 302 reports,” crafted to reflect the supposed substance of the exchange. At such sessions, one agent takes notes by hand while the second agent—in the traditional two-agent FBI interviewing team—conducts the interview/interrogation.

via Constructing Truth: the FBI’s (non)recording policy

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Here’s how things look on Samsung’s new CHG90 super-ultrawide monitor – BI

Samsung’s new CHG90 monitor is so wide it’s almost ridiculous.

And for many of your everyday computing activities, it’s not exactly ideal.

Standard monitors these days typically have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the relative proportion of their width to their height. Ultrawide monitors have a 21:9 aspect ratio.

via Here’s how things look on Samsung’s new CHG90 super-ultrawide monitor – BI

The Story of This One Gun Is the Story of a Straw Purchaser | National Review

The Washington Post offers a well-reported, detailed odyssey of how one 9mm Glock 17 pistol changed hands several times and was used in multiple shootings and crimes within just a few nights in 2014.

The gun was purchased in Manassas by Jamal Fletcher Baker, a young man with no criminal record or record of mental illness. But Baker lied on the required paperwork, Federal Form 4473, and declared he was buying the gun for himself when in fact he was purchasing it for an unemployed aspiring rapper nicknamed “Stunna.”

If we want to stop gun crimes, we probably need to stop letting straw purchasers off the hook. As my colleague Kevin Williamson points out, prosecutors may have understandable reasons to be less than fully enthusiastic about pressing charges in some of these cases: “the nature of the people making straw purchases — young relatives, girlfriends who may or may not have been facing the threat of physical violence, grandmothers, etc. — made prosecuting those cases unattractive.” Kevin points out that if you put some gang member’s grandmother in jail for a long time, you may actually deter future use of grandmothers as straw purchasers.

via The Story of This One Gun Is the Story of a Straw Purchaser | National Review

Trump probe Mueller’s elite prep school revealed | Daily Mail Online

Smiling alongside John Kerry at their elite New Hampshire boarding school, this is Robert Mueller decades before before he began investigating Donald Trump’s election campaign.

Mueller, who was born Robert Swan Mueller III, was a star student in the class of 1962 at St Paul’s in Concord where fees today cost $60,000 a year.

Mueller, now 72, was part of the Missionary Society, a member of the Library Association and the vice president of the athletic association.

The future director of the FBI became the lacrosse captain and played hockey with Kerry, the future Democratic presidential candidate, yearbook pictures obtained by DailyMail.com show.

The contrast with Trump’s childhood is stark – although it is the difference not between wealth and poverty, but between the son of a scrappy self-made man from Queens and the son of an establishment insider.

via Trump probe Mueller’s elite prep school revealed | Daily Mail Online

Supersized scandal: ‘Fat Leonard’ probe widens to ensnare more than 60 US navy admirals | South China Morning Post

Most of the admirals are suspected of attending extravagant feasts at Asia’s best restaurants paid for by Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based maritime tycoon who made an illicit fortune supplying navy vessels in ports from Vladivostok, Russia, to Brisbane, Australia. Francis also was renowned for hosting boozy after-dinner parties, which often featured imported prostitutes and sometimes lasted for days, according to federal court records.

via Supersized scandal: ‘Fat Leonard’ probe widens to ensnare more than 60 US navy admirals | South China Morning Post

General Mike Flynn, Rudolph Contreras and The Increasingly Sketchy FISA Application… | The Last Refuge

For those following the increasingly curious case against General Mike Flynn, events took another unusual turn yesterday as Special Counsel Robert Mueller -with agreement from all parties- filed a motion for a protective order to seal documents. These are documents compelled on behalf of the defense, by Judge Emmet Sullivan, prior to sentencing.

On November 30th, 2017, Mike Flynn signed a guilty plea; ostensibly admitting lying to investigators. The plea was accepted by Judge Rudolph Contreras; who is also a FISA court judge. Six days later, December 7th, 2017, Judge Contreras “was recused” from the case without explanation. The case was reassigned to DC District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The Contreras recusal always seemed sketchy. If the conflict existed on December 7th, wouldn’t that same conflict have existed on November 30th, 2017?

via General Mike Flynn, Rudolph Contreras and The Increasingly Sketchy FISA Application… | The Last Refuge

Rice Email Reveals Plan: Don’t Tell Trump He’s Being Investigated | National Review

The Rice email outlines Obama’s strategy to withhold key details of the Russia investigation.

On her way out the White House door and out of her job as national-security adviser, Susan Rice writes an email-to-self. Except it’s not really an email-to-self. It is quite consciously an email for the record.

Her term having ended 15 minutes before, Rice was technically back in private life, where private people have private email accounts — even notepads if they want to scratch out a reminder the old-fashioned way. Yet, for at least a few more minutes, Rice still had access to her government email account. She could still generate an official record. That’s what she wanted her brief email to be: the dispositive memorialization of a meeting she was worried about — a meeting that had happened over two weeks earlier, at which, of course, President Obama insisted that everything be done “by the book.”

via Rice Email Reveals Plan: Don’t Tell Trump He’s Being Investigated | National Review