Author Topic: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000  (Read 5738 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« on: July 27, 2007, 05:42:23 PM »
Apparently the FBI deliberately framed four men--Joe Salvati, Peter Limone, Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo--for murder to protect witnesses who supposedly were FBI sources in efforts against the Mafia. And now, finally, those men each get a part of $101,750,000 (the amount should be 4 times that, imo) that U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner has ordered the FBI to pay to the wrongfully convicted men. Or rather two of the men get a part of the money, the other two parts have to go to family members because Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo died in jail.

This is a prime example of what happens when law enforcement decides that catching the bad guys is their goal rather than the only legitimate goal for law enforcement, protecting people's rights.

For more on the too long overdue vindication of these men, check out the AP story and the Boston Herald story.

And people wonder why I don't trust the government to not abuse the "Patriot Act".
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

Amianthus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7574
  • Bring on the flames...
    • View Profile
    • Mario's Home Page
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2007, 07:38:15 PM »
And people wonder why I don't trust the government to not abuse the "Patriot Act".

The same government that others think should be in charge of our retirement money and all of our health care records as well.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

sirs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27078
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 07:49:56 PM »
And people wonder why I don't trust the government to not abuse the "Patriot Act".

The same government that others think should be in charge of our retirement money and all of our health care records as well.

Touche'  Now, let's watch the comeback to that one   
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2007, 09:54:00 PM »
One would get the impression that this frame up happened recently but it happened 42 years ago under J Edgar Hoover.

I would hope that reforms have been implemented since then.

Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2007, 12:39:28 AM »

One would get the impression that this frame up happened recently but it happened 42 years ago under J Edgar Hoover.

I would hope that reforms have been implemented since then.


Yet the decision from the judge came yesterday. Yesterday as in July 26, 2007. It took that long because the FBI agents responsible apparently spent a lot of time reinforcing their lies. That the frame up happened 42 years ago and the decision from the judge happened yesterday doesn't exactly fill me with trust in the FBI. Whatever reforms might or might not have been implemented, the FBI could have set the record straight at any time. The FBI did not. The FBI claimed they had no responsibility to do so. That is not much of an indication of reform, imo.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2007, 01:21:03 AM »
What it means is the case came up for a review 42 years later. It does not mean that the FBI as an institution spend those past 42 years shoring up the lies. I'll reserve judgment on the FBI as a whole until more data is available.

You are free to cast doubts and distrust as you see fit. What surprises me is that you are an advocate of individual sovereignty and the responsibilities that come with it yet you seem to be quick to cast aspersions on a group if it fits your needs.




Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2007, 02:11:07 AM »

What it means is the case came up for a review 42 years later. It does not mean that the FBI as an institution spend those past 42 years shoring up the lies. I'll reserve judgment on the FBI as a whole until more data is available.


I guess you missed this part in the Boston Herald article:
      The poetic justice of delivering such a historic moment of vindication, almost 39 years to the day of their framing for the murder of a low-level hood named Teddy Deegan, was not lost on Judge Gertner.

Not only did Gertner emphatically conclude the plaintiffs had proven all their accusations, she proceeded to excoriate the culture of the FBI and specifically a pair of rogue former G-Men, H. Paul Rico and Dennis Condon, for the actual gangsters they were.

At every turn, Gertner said, Rico and Condon not only orchestrated the framing of four men - Salvati, Limone, Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo - they knew were innocent, but for decades thereafter they worked to cement the lies, as they celebrated their treachery.

The feds had deliberatly planned to sacrifice four men to protect killers such as Joe ?The Animal? Barboza and Jimmy Flemmi, who were supposedly providing the likes of J. Edgar Hoover with invaluable information in his anemic war against the Mafia.
      


You are free to cast doubts and distrust as you see fit. What surprises me is that you are an advocate of individual sovereignty and the responsibilities that come with it yet you seem to be quick to cast aspersions on a group if it fits your needs.


Am I casting aspersions on the FBI? Am I unfairly libeling the FBI? I think it is not so. The FBI not only framed those men, it intentionally kept secret knowledge that could have exonerated them at any time. And the lawyers for the government have maintained the position that the FBI had no responsibility to do anything about the incarceration of those men. Am I being unfair to say this was not only wrong but extraordinarily wrong? These four men had their basic liberty stripped from them so that Mafia hitmen could go free, and the FBI did nothing stop it, and you say I'm casting aspersions? No, I am not.

While your "cast aspersions on a group" remark is a nice way of trying to make this seem as if I've somehow called every individual person at the FBI a lying cheat, I have in fact not done that. I am sure that many individual members of the FBI have been and are nice and trustworthy people. That does not change the fact that the framing of those four men and the refusal to do anything later was an official decision of the FBI. So no, I see no reason to discard this case as some sort of isolated incident brought about by some rogue individuals. Does that mean I blame every individual member of the FBI? No, of course not. To suggest I have is nonsense.

If you can show me how this case can be separated as somehow not an action of the FBI but of a few individuals, please do so. I will be happy to recant my remarks. I think you cannot do so. If this were a case of a few individuals acting on their own, then your criticism might be reasonable. But this was an official action of the FBI. And the refusal to help these men was an official (non)action of the FBI. So it is not unreasonable to say that the blame lies with the FBI as an organization.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2007, 02:25:05 AM »
Quote
pair of rogue former G-Men

Perhaps that is the part you missed.

Rico and Condon framed the men to protect their informant and enhance their careers.

Perhaps you can point to the part of the article that shows approval for this frame up came from up the line.

And also perhaps you can show where the FBI has jurisdiction to interfere in a state murder case and especially in the after conviction appeals process.

Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2007, 05:09:34 PM »

Perhaps you can point to the part of the article that shows approval for this frame up came from up the line.


How about a second AP article? Will that do?

      A federal judge yesterday ordered the government to pay more than $101 million in the case of four men who spent decades in prison for a 1965 murder they didn't commit after the FBI withheld evidence of their innocence.

The FBI encouraged perjury, helped frame the four men, and withheld for more than three decades information that could have cleared them, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner said in issuing her ruling yesterday. She called the government's argument that the FBI had no duty to get involved in the state case "absurd."
      

That the FBI did not once come forward with the evidence to exonerate those four men says pretty damn clearly to me that the actions of the agents was approved by the FBI. And I note that the judge did not order the agents to pay more than $100 million, but the government. Clearly the judge believes the FBI itself is responsible.


And also perhaps you can show where the FBI has jurisdiction to interfere in a state murder case and especially in the after conviction appeals process.


I was not aware the FBI needed jurisdiction to provide relevant evidence that the men accused were not guilty of the charge of murder. I agree with the judge. The notion that the FBI had no responsibility or duty to get involved is absurd. Four men were wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit. That should be justification enough for the FBI to interfere in a state case. But as I said before, this is a prime example of what happens when law enforcement decides that catching the bad guys is their goal rather than the only legitimate goal for law enforcement, protecting people's rights.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2007, 05:32:19 PM »
From the Hartford Courant:

      During the civil trial that led to the judgment, lawyers for Salvati, Limone and the others put into evidence hundreds of previously secret FBI memos showing that the innocence of the four men was widely known in the FBI and documented in written reports that repeatedly reached the office of then-Director J. Edgar Hoover.      

   [...]

      Gertner, in her decision, said two former FBI agents, Dennis Condon and H. Paul Rico, actively solicited the perjured testimony from Barboza that led directly to the convictions of the four plaintiffs in the wrongful imprisonment suit. But she also spread the blame over the FBI as an institution.

"The FBI agents `handling' Barboza ... and their superiors - all the way up to the FBI Director - knew that Barboza would perjure himself," Gertner wrote. "They knew this because Barboza, a killer many times over, had told them so - directly and indirectly. Barboza's testimony about the plaintiffs contradicted every shred of evidence in the FBI's possession at the time - and the FBI had extraordinary information.
      

   [...]

      However, materials presented to Gertner during the trial showed that although the four were prosecuted in state court, the only significant evidence against them was Barboza's perjured testimony.

And the state prosecutor testified that Barboza was delivered to him by the FBI.
      

The FBI had a responsibility to do something for those four men because the FBI was responsible for those four men being procecuted. And no, this was not a pair of agents acting without the approval of their superiors.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2007, 08:06:30 PM »
Quote
But as I said before, this is a prime example of what happens when law enforcement decides that catching the bad guys is their goal rather than the only legitimate goal for law enforcement, protecting people's rights.

I disagree. I think the courts are charged with protecting peoples rights. The law enforcement guys take their leads from them.

A prime example is Miranda.

I presume there is a statute of limitations on wrongful prosecution, else the f bi  higher ups should have been brought up on charges. The burden of proof is far less in a civil tort case.




Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2007, 11:45:37 PM »

I disagree. I think the courts are charged with protecting peoples rights. The law enforcement guys take their leads from them.


I believe the government is charged with protecting people's rights. That includes the courts and law enforcement. Do we have laws just to give the police something to do? Why do we have a Bill of Rights? Just for giggles?


A prime example is Miranda.


So, are you suggesting that the FBI has no duty to provide evidence of someone's innocence of a crime unless the Supreme Court decides it? Are you in favor of people being falsely charged and incarcerated as "collateral damage" in the course of the FBI or other law enforcement activities?
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2007, 12:03:05 AM »
Quote
So, are you suggesting that the FBI has no duty to provide evidence of someone's innocence of a crime unless the Supreme Court decides it? Are you in favor of people being falsely charged and incarcerated as "collateral damage" in the course of the FBI or other law enforcement activities?

I am suggesting the FBI's role in the scheme of things is far different than the ACLU's .

I am suggesting a soldiers lot is much different than a Red Cross worker.

I am also suggesting that the FBI does not necessarily live in a Pollyanna land, they make real time life or death decisions in a world that is not black and white. Does that excuse it, no. Does it Get Rico and company off the hook? No.

But it does paint a bigger picture than the one you want to paint.

I don't think government as a whole is bad. I think it is as good as the people who staff it.

If the FBI failed, you failed, I failed, the whole friggin country failed.








Universe Prince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3660
  • Of course liberty isn't safe; but it is good.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2007, 05:00:55 AM »

I am suggesting the FBI's role in the scheme of things is far different than the ACLU's .


If I were asking the FBI to provide legal council in court, that might be a valid point. But I'm not and it isn't. I'm not saying the FBI has a responsibility to defend people in court. I'm saying the FBI decided to frame four men and had evidence that the men were not guilty. Evidence the FBI willingly kept secret and probably would still be secret if there had not been an investigation into possible (and now obviously actual) corruption in the FBI's dealings with various Mafia figures. Suggesting the FBI should have, at the absolute least spoken up to exonerate men who has been wrongly imprisoned for a murder they did not commit does not in any way suggest that the FBI should be doing the work of the ACLU. No one suggested the role of the FBI is or should be the same as the ACLU. There is more to defending people's rights than going to court.


I am suggesting a soldiers lot is much different than a Red Cross worker.


No one said it wasn't.


I am also suggesting that the FBI does not necessarily live in a Pollyanna land, they make real time life or death decisions in a world that is not black and white. Does that excuse it, no. Does it Get Rico and company off the hook? No.

But it does paint a bigger picture than the one you want to paint.


Adult male bovine excrement. I'm not arguing for a black-and-white world. I am arguing that what the FBI did was wrong. Some things are still wrong even in a world with plenty of gray. And the agents involved were not, as you imply, making life or death decisions on the fly. They conspired to send four men to jail for a murder those four men did not commit. You can try to frame that any way you like, but it is still a deliberate and calculated decision to violate the rights and ruin the lives of four men. Maybe you're okay with that, but I am not. And I am not being unrealistic to suggest there is something wrong with what the FBI did. There is nothing Pollyanna-ish about having principles of right and wrong. Of the two of us, you're the one trying to gloss over a wrong done and make like everything is okay. Four people were framed for murder, the evidence that would have exonerated them was kept hidden for 30 years, and you're criticizing me for suggesting that the organization responsible might not be the most trustworthy. Acknowledging that the world is full of gray does not mean insisting that framing men for murder is above criticism. And if I were a betting man, I would bet heavily that if you had been framed for murder and sent to prison you would not be so cavalier about it.


I don't think government as a whole is bad. I think it is as good as the people who staff it.


Again you are apparently trying to suggest that I am intending to paint every single individual in government as a villain. I am not, have not, and do not. My distrust of the FBI does not mean I think every person in the FBI or the government is a bad person with bad intentions. Maybe for you distrusting an organization means you distrust every single person in it, but I am not that way. Your continued oversimplification of my position seems rather out of place for someone trying to accuse me of seeing the world in black-and-white. Perhaps you ought to consider a little of your own medicine.


If the FBI failed, you failed, I failed, the whole friggin country failed.


Perhaps so. I personally did not agree to the false imprisonment of people as "collateral damage", but perhaps that part of the social contract some people insist I was signed onto by being born here. In any case, the country does seem to have decided that law enforcement agencies are supposed to catch the bad guys, not protect the rights of individuals. This is why a 17-year-old who gets caught having consensual sex with a 15-year-old can end up as a registered sex offender. This is why we have cops getting tips from drug users and then dressing in SWAT team gear to bash in the doors of people who may or may not actually use marijuana. This is why we have "National Security Letters" that the FBI can abuse by the thousands instead of actual warrants. America has demanded that something be done. We don't care if it's justice or not, just so long as something is done and as fast as possible. People who provide legal council for individuals accused of crimes like sexual abuse or murder or the like, are considered scum. A lot of the same people who holler about habeus corpus and Guantanamo Bay had decided the guilt of Ken Lay and Martha Stewart before the trial dates were even set. Get the bad guys and get them now.

Justice isn't blind. She's just been escorted out of the building because she's inconvenient to the system.

I see story after story of the agents of some law enforcement agency or other abusing individuals in one way or another, and almost without fail, someone chimes in with some asinine argument about how the police or the FBI agents or whoever was just doing their job and how dare any one suggest interfering with that. Wrong, wrong wrong, and wrong again. Framing people for murder, shooting people and covering up the evidence, abusing someone whose house the police have mistakenly broken into is not, I repeat, is not the job of the police or the FBI or any other branch of law enforcement. But yes, they generally get away with it because we not only let them, we demanded they toss aside protecting rights and focus merely on catching the bad guys.

What is unrealistic is insisting that these abuses are to be tolerated because it's just law enforcement doing their job. What is unrealistic is insisting that The FBI or the government is some how above criticism because really the people in the government are good people. I'm sure they are. Dennis Condon and H. Paul Rico probably believed they were good people too, doing good work to bring down the Mafia. As I have before, I am willing to concede that most people in government have good intentions. Being full of good people with good intentions is not enough to excuse the sort of rights abuses that people like Joseph Salvati, Peter Limone, Henry Tameleo, Louis Greco, Cory Maye and Katherine Johnston (to name but a few) have suffered. To excuse all that in the name of "the government isn't all bad" is unrealistic.

I'm not saying anyone has to hate the government or even just mistrust it. If you still trust the government, well, good for you. But don't tell me I'm being unfair or unrealistic to say that I don't have a reason to suspect that the FBI is capable and willing to abuse the law and people. And please don't try to hand me some nonsense about how I'm unfairly casting aspersions on every single member of the FBI by suggesting the FBI was wrong to frame some guys for murder. I know the difference between an agency of the federal government and an individual.

Here is a clue: If I should ever decide to say that all individual members of of a government agency of the government are bad people, I won't hide it or pussyfoot around it. I'll say it outright. Until that time, if I don't say it, I don't mean it.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The F.B.I. ordered to pay $101,750,000
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2007, 05:21:59 AM »
Quote
I am arguing that what the FBI did was wrong.

And i am arguing that certain agents did wrong. Simple as that. You are damning the entire organization.You say the FBI I say Rico and Condon. See the friggin difference. 

And if you see that as BS , too bad.

Quote
This is why a 17-year-old who gets caught having consensual sex with a 15-year-old can end up as a registered sex offender.

Nonsense. Law enforcement arrests, the state prosecute laws legislators have written and judges decide not only the merits of a particular case but other judges decide the merits of the law in question. To damn law enforcement for doing their jobs doesn't make sense.