A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing
I don’t need to tell you that, what determines a man’s legacy is often what isn’t seen.
J. Edgar Hoover
Back in an age when people actually read newspapers dirt got buried on Saturdays. It was said to be the most unread copy of the week. When compromising stories couldn’t be spiked by the brass in public relations—from Wall Street to the Pentagon—they’d scheme to adjust a revelation’s timing. Damage control everywhere found the seventh day holiest. That ploy is a little dated—dailies presently take themselves a lot more seriously than readers might. In any case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation came up in two different articles in the December 5 Washington Post. Neither of them was anything the alpha-bureaucrats at 935 Penn wanted in circulation.
The first story US seeks prison term for former FBI lawyer, from page A-2, concerned defendant Kevin Clinesmith. He admitted falsifying a statement that was used seeking a renewed FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Clinesmith claimed ignorance of the full facts in altering an official email and pled guilty. This is from defense counsel Justin V. Shur in a sentencing request cited in the Post article:
“By altering a colleague’s email, he cut a corner in a job that required far better of him. He failed to live up to the FBI’s and his own standards of conduct,”
The other article from the 5th leaves you asking, what “high” standards? It brings up an institutional failure with stakes of life and death—for scores of women. The undue, politically motivated, surveillance of one man is paltry by comparison.
The front page piece Indifferent Justice Part 2: Fatal flaws in the system left a killer on the loose, covers Samuel Little. This is the man—you may have heard—now recognized as the deadliest serial killer known yet in US history. By 1985 he had lengthy rap sheet across numerous states. Many of the offenses were violent and he’d been tried twice for murder. After near deadly rape attacks on two different women in San Diego Little received a 19 month sentence that reportedly “devastated” prosecutor Gary Rempel. Starting with paragraph 12 after the jump, the FBI gets mention:
“Rempel called the FBI in July 1985 and asked Little be added to ‘their nationwide crime profile,’ according to a typewritten summary of the case he prepared at the time. Kenny Mack, a Florida sheriff’s investigator aware of Little’s connection to several murders in the South, said he, too, flagged the FBI in the mid-1980’s.
Neither man ever heard back, and it is unclear what steps, if any, the FBI took to investigate Little. At the time, the agency was in the process of launching the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, designed specifically to identify serial killers and rapists.”
Later in the report, although the source is unclear, Little had reputedly confessed to 60 dead victims way back in the 80’s, Mack and the FBI resurface in the story:
“…Mack, the retired Alachua County, Fla., sheriff’s investigator who worked the Mount case, says he called the FBI’s national Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, Va., about the 60-women story – as well as the killings in Gainesville and Pascagoula and Ocala, Fla., killing in which Little was suspected. Little has since confessed to all three.
Mack remembers an analyst saying the agency would look into it. He figured an FBI agent might reach out at least to get fingerprints, photos or background information. But, he said, ‘we never heard another word.’”
Does any of this sound unfamiliar? National stories where the Bureau comes out looking sharp—or adequate— are the exception to my reading experience. We could really use an official score keeper. Conventional media is not up to the job. Ineptitude in American hierarchies tends to be treated as anomaly no matter how common it is. If the Feds were being tried on a charge of competence they’d be acquitted for lack of evidence.
Article from LewRockwell