[Ppnews] Justice Dept. Refusing FBI Cases
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 8 08:53:34 EST 2006
Report: Justice Dept. Refusing FBI Cases
By LARA JAKES JORDAN 11.05.06, 6:32 PM ET
The Justice Department increasingly has refused to prosecute FBI
cases targeting suspected terrorists over the past five years,
according to private researchers who reviewed department records.
The government says the findings are inaccurate and "intellectually dishonest."
The report being released Monday by the Transactional Records Access
Clearinghouse at Syracuse University raises questions about the
quality of the FBI's investigations.
Prosecutors declined to bring charges in 131 of 150, or 87 percent,
of international terrorist case referrals from the FBI between
October 2005 and June 2006, according to the report. The study was
based on the most recent data available from the Justice Department's
executive office for U.S. attorneys.
That number marks the peak of generally steady increases from the
2001 budget year, when prosecutors rejected 33 percent of such cases
from the FBI, according to the report.
The data "raise troubling questions about the bureau's investigation
of criminal matters involving individuals the government has
identified as international terrorists," the report said.
It noted that prosecutions in traditional FBI investigations since
2001 - including drug cases, white collar crimes and organized crimes
- have decreased while the number of agents and other employees has risen.
"So with more special agents, many more intelligence analysts, and
many fewer prosecutions the question must be asked: What is the FBI
doing?" the report said.
A Justice Department spokesman disputed the data highlighted by the
Syracuse researchers, noting that terrorist hoax cases that were
quickly dismissed may have been included in the government data.
Additionally, some cases are referred to prosecutors to obtain
subpoenas or other legal orders in investigations that ultimately
never result in criminal charges, spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said. He
said prosecutors rejected 67 percent of FBI international terrorist
cases in the six-month period - not 87 percent.
The FBI's assistant director, John Miller, said the low number of
cases prosecuted reflects changes in how investigations have been
conducted since the Sept. 11 attacks. He said about half of the FBI's
resources go to detection and information gathering of terrorist
networks in cases that do not always result in arrests.
"It's not about the numbers and for TRAC to suggest as much is to be
intellectually dishonest," Miller said.
He added: "The FBI has been very clear about how we have changed the
way we do business since 9/11."
TRAC co-director Susan Long said researchers merely relied on the
Justice Department's own numbers to come up with the conclusions.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
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