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FBI Whistleblowers Nail the Bureau at House Panel on Weaponization Hearings

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 05.03.2023

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, dubbed by some lawmakers a new Church Committee, is pushing ahead with its investigation of alleged misconduct and political bias by US government agencies.

Just the News, a media outlet founded by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon, obtained some transcripts of the committee’s hearings which demonstrate that a growing number of FBI whistleblowers have stepped forward to expose the agency’s alleged misdeeds.

In particular, retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst George Hill testified that the Washington Field Office exerted pressure on other field offices to probe US citizens for activities protected by the First Amendment.

Hill revealed that the Washington office pressed his own Boston Field Office to open cases on 140 people who, according to the retired analyst, were “guilty” of riding buses to DC in order to attend then President Donald Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021.

The former FBI employee noted that on a nationwide phone call of all 56 FBI field offices, then-chief of the Domestic Terrorism Operations Center Section Steve Jensen asked the Philadelphia Field Office about the status of a lead on American individuals that had been sent by the agency’s DC office. The individuals in question posted on social media about being pro-Second Amendment and anti-abortion. According to Hill, Jensen described those persons as “bleeping terrorists” even though social media posts appeared to be their only fault.

FBI whistleblower Garret O’Boyle testified before the House GOP committee that he was suspended by the agency after making “protected disclosures” to Congress.

O’Boyle also told the House GOP committee that following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade (which used to regard abortions a constitutional right in the US), the FBI prioritized possible threats against the justices from “pro-lifers,” i.e. those who are against abortions.

The whistleblower wondered at the time as to why the bureau was targeting pro-lifers when it was “pro-choice” people who threatened violence in front of justices’ houses. “I was like, why would this person know about those threats? He’s pro-life. Like, he’s not the one going and threatening the Supreme Court Justices,” O’Boyle testified.

Former FBI special agent Steve Friend, a former SWAT team member, testified before the committee that the bureau apparently misused heavily armed SWAT teams to arrest January 6 defenders who were not accused of violent crimes and did not have a criminal record. He particularly referred to a January Sixer who was cooperating with the FBI and willing to surrender voluntarily. Friend was concerned that the bureau wasn’t using the least intrusive methods possible to arrest them.

When Friend met with two senior officers he was “pushed back on” his concerns and was told that even though he had a right to raise them, he also should “follow through on the orders” which he was given.

Friend filed a whistleblower complaint to the US Office of Special Counsel last year concerning the apparent misuse of SWAT teams to arrest January Sixers accused of misdemeanors. He was suspended from his duties by the agency after that.

Speaking to Sputnik in January, Friend highlighted that “any objective observer can see that the FBI is concentrating its attention and resources to investigate and prosecute citizens holding opposing views to the current administration.”

Following his interview with Sputnik, Friend was forced to leave the FBI after he had been denied a paycheck for 150 straight days as his security clearance was placed under review in the wake of his whistleblower complaint. Speaking to US journalists in February, the former FBI agent said that after leaving the bureau he had accepted a job offer from a private nonprofit organization that will be conducting investigations of the FBI.

According to the US media, House Judiciary Democrats on Friday lashed out at the FBI whistleblowers in a 316-page report. The Democratic lawmakers claimed that the whistleblowers had “limited firsthand knowledge” and “did not present actual evidence of any wrongdoing at the Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” In response, the House GOP committee on weaponization lambasted their Democratic peers for disclosing the content of confidential witness depositions.

The House GOP’s new “Church Committee” follows in the footsteps of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, which was a congressional body that investigated abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS in 1975.

The shocking revelations back in 1975 reportedly included Operation MKULTRA, human experimentation on mind control involving the drugging and torture of unwitting US citizens; COINTELPRO, which envisaged the surveillance and infiltration of American political and civil rights organizations; and Operation Mockingbird, a propaganda campaign run by the CIA in coordination with domestic and foreign journalists and US media outlets, to name but a few.

March 5, 2023 - Posted by | Civil Liberties | , ,

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