- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Whistleblower asked to reveal illegal FBI acts
Question of the Day
The FBI has engaged in unlawful acts while carrying out a Bush administration intelligence-gathering program that allows surveillance of U.S. citizens without warrants, says an a well-known FBI whistleblower who has been asked to air his allegations to the Justice Department.
The accusations by Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef, who oversees the FBI’s role in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless surveillance program, are the first to emerge publicly about the bureau’s role in the program.
Mr. Youssef, who has an unrelated lawsuit pending against the bureau, has been asked by the Justice Department’s inspector general (IG) to be interviewed as part of an investigation that began in 2006 into the department’s role in the program.
The Washington Times obtained two letters between Youssef’s attorney Stephen Kohn and Assistant Inspector General Carol F. Ochoa in which the parties are at odds over the conditions of the interview.
That Mr. Youssef has made accusations is included in one of the letters, but there were no specifics. Mr. Youssef refused to be interviewed by The Times. The NSA surveillance program is top secret, which bars Mr. Youssef from speaking about it.
The FBI declined to comment on Mr. Youssef’s accusations.
The program is so closely guarded that the mere revelation of its existence brought protests from the White House in 2005.
Many of the program’s details remain unknown, including the FBI’s role. Broadly, the program allows the government to monitor without a court order international phone calls, e-mails and other electronic communications of people in the U.S. thought to be in contact with al Qaeda operatives or terrorism suspects. The FBI is one of the agencies that does that monitoring.
The chief of the communications analysis unit within the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Mr. Youssef has testified before Congress and filed a discrimination lawsuit against the bureau.
“We anticipate that Mr. Youssef will provide testimony that members of the FBI violated the law, rules and/or regulations when they engaged in actions related to the National Security Agency terrorist surveillance program,” Mr. Kohn wrote to the IG’s office in a letter dated Nov. 7.
In a letter dated Oct. 20, Miss Ochoa wrote to Mr. Kohn that he would not be allowed to attend his client’s interview about the program because of its top-secret classification.
According to Miss Ochoa’s letter, Mr. Youssef previously spoke to the IG’s office about his involvement in the program for about an hour in January 2007. The IG’s office told Mr. Youssef that they wanted to meet with him again for a formal interview but said his attorney would have to wait outside the interview room and could consult with him only on unclassified matters.
Mr. Kohn’s Nov. 7 letter asked the IG to reconsider that decision. He wrote that in similar situations in the past, the department has allowed him to remain in the room with his clients and that he left the room briefly when the questioning related to classified information.
The IG’s office declined to comment on Mr. Kohn’s letter.
“Moreover, we are concerned about retaliation against Mr. Youssef,” Mr. Kohn wrote. “In the past, Mr. Youssef has suffered swift and career-ending retaliation when he made protected disclosures to appropriate authorities within the government.”
About the Author
Ben Conery is a member of the investigative team covering the Supreme Court and legal affairs. Prior to coming to The Washington Times in 2008, Mr. Conery covered criminal justice and legal affairs for daily newspapers in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He was a 2006 recipient of the New England Newspaper Association’s Publick Occurrences Award for a series of articles about ...
By Matt Kibbe
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow