- According to the Friendly Colonel, one of his friends
who retired from the FBI and became a local police chief has told him that
even in the small city jail he runs they're holding eight suspects under
the terrorism act. They're being kept in a separate wing. It's interesting
the way it works. The federal government picks up the tab. The sheriff
told him that the detainees are not allowed to have any visitors, not even
family. They're not even allowed to call a lawyer or have any contact with
a lawyer. They can't send out mail or receive mail. As a matter of fact,
they're not even allowed to put these guys' names in the computer to say
they're holding them. Their names are kept on a separate hand written piece
of paper that the sheriff has to keep locked up in his safe. These people
are being kept "at the special request" of the Office of Homeland
- Some of the "detainees" have been arrested
locally by the local nickel and dime police guys. They keep getting lists
of names of people that are "wanted." The county sheriff's office
is large enough so they have the ability to get "pink" cables
from the Department of Justice. In other words, they keep getting classified
cables with seemingly endless lists of names. He said there are thousands
- The sheriff's department isn't obligated to go out and
grab them - only if they notice them in their jurisdiction. Thus far, the
only thing that's paid for is a per diem for keeping these guys -- and
that only circuitously because Washington has to jump through hoops to
get them the money and it has to come under the guise of some sort of special
funding program that doesn't really exist. They're not getting paid anything
extra to go out and look for them, but he has said they have received notification
as late as last week that indicated that as soon as "things settle
down" and certain remaining pieces of legislation are passed and incorporated
into the USA Patriot Act that the locals will be paid to go out and get
- And what nationality are these "detainees"?
Perhaps aliens with green cards, or maybe people who wear turbans? Not
at all, the former FBI agent admitted that where the nervousness is coming
from at senior levels in federal law enforcement is that there are thousands
and thousands of people who are being secretly detained in the United States.
There are an awful lot of names on this list that are not Arabs. There
are an awful lot of names on the list like "Smith" and "Jones"
and "Johnson" and "Nelson." And there's no paper trail.
Their names are being kept off computers. Even their families don't know
where they are.
- The Bush Administration is jumping the gun because even
with the authority already given them and with the bills already passed
to date to augment that authority, they don't have all the authority necessary
to detain people and to do what they're doing, that is, detaining so many
people and keeping them incommunicado. They're supposed to wait for the
remaining pieces of legislation that are still outstanding to be passed.
Then they'll have the authority to do what they're doing - but for right
now, they don't. And what the FBI is nervous about is that if this gets
dribbled out into the media or gets exposed in a big way, somebody in Washington
is going to duck for cover and it's going to leave a lot of local guys
with a lot of explaining to do. And they're not going to have any paperwork
in their hands to say, "This is what I was told to do."
- Other sheriffs have done the same thing. They're getting
these confidential lists of names of people they're supposed to place under
detention. They've been ordered to shred them right after. He knows that
he (and a hell of a lot of other sheriffs in this nation, are beginning
to keep these lists because people are getting concerned about covering
their own ass.
- There's a lot of nervousness about who's covering whose
ass. As of now, the Department of Justice is not giving out bounties, just
a per diem comp, just the standard fee which isn't much. They're not paying
them anything extra yet, but they've been told that that's coming, that
supposedly they will be getting paid extra for doing this. One thing that
the feds have to be careful about is that most of the local jails and the
county sheriffs are on a very tight budget.
- They have a special wing of the jail they're using at
Huntsville. It's a special wing devoted to this that used to be their "dry-out
- The media has circulated rumors before that there are
far more people being detained both domestically and overseas than what
the US Government has admitted, but the information in this column is an
exclusive report on the details.
- Like the sheriff said, "How many guys with the last
name of Smith and Jones can have immigration or green card problems?"
- Of course, even though he's a former FBI agent, he doesn't
exactly know the intent of holding all these people who most likely don't
have anything to do with terrorism or most likely aren't even connected
to it. In other words, people are being held who couldn't possibly have
any connection with terrorism. He thinks that a lot of the people they're
holding are "potentially vocal people." He didn't go on to explain
that. Then he said, "How do you think the government has gotten away
with holding so many people for so long with names like Smith or Jones,
completely incommunicado, yet nobody is running to the media. Why isn't
there pressure building? Why aren't family members running to the local
newspapers saying what's happened?"
- The answer is that the people being held are, in some
cases, people who have worked in very sensitive capacities for the US Government
before and perhaps they know enough that they could be a problem down the
line if they started to talk. By and large, these are people who don't
have much family or may be very disconnected from family life. In other
words, they come from family circumstances where they are used to being
missed for months and sometimes years. That would be a normal course of
events for them.
- The FBI is generally familiar with Arabs that the CIA
has associated with, including Arabs in the United States who are considered
to be friendly. What it looks is a massive operation by the CIA to cover
its ass, to distance itself from its own Arab connections. If they're in
prison, they can't talk and say anything if they're held incommunicado.
- It's like the sheriff said - if somebody from the Department
of Justice or even the Department of Defense showed up tomorrow with DoD
or DoJ credentials with a writ signed from the judge for the production
of these eight people, I'd have to release them. I'd have no idea where
they would go after that. All I need to see is the little stamp of Office
of Homeland Security and that's it.
- The sheriffs, when asked to release the detainees, would
not even have the right to be informed as to the ultimate destination where
the people are going.
- The speculation from the FBI old-timers is that there
are probably a variety of reasons why there are so many people being detained,
the least of which is "terrorism." What they suspect is that
by the number of Arab nationals being detained (knowing who these guys
are and knowing their involvement with US intelligence in the past) that
the CIA is doing a lot of housecleaning and covering its own ass.
- He said, "How do you define terrorism?" You
need new definitions - when everything is so interconnected.
- Terrorists, for example, who went out and killed people
or blew up buses full of kids, and who also had relationships with the
CIA - are they then strictly "terrorists"?
- The ambiguity of state-sponsored terrorism, or domestic
terrorism, or international terrorism, then becomes one big muddle.
- The FBI is arresting all these Arabs; then the CIA comes
and grabs them and either lets them go or gets them out of the country
and the FBI isn't even told where they've gone. This is why the FBI is
nervous - because of the chaos of the situation. The FBI old timer says,
"The CIA grabs people from us. The Department of Defense grabs guys
from us that we're arresting. The British show up and we find out that
this terrorist had actually been working with MI6. The French DST shows
up and says, 'hey this of one of our terrorists.'"
- They're not only protecting their own assets, but they're
covering their own asses. Regarding the processing office at the National
Intelligence Division of the FBI, they had a luncheon for some of the retired
guys who were talking with some of the active duty guys getting close to
retirement and they were laughing at how it looks like a mini-U.N. The
British show up to claim their terrorists. The French show up to claim
their terrorists. And then the CIA comes in to get their terrorists. He
says, pretty soon we got nobody left, who actually is supposed to be a
terrorist. He says I thought we had a war on terrorism and we were supposed
to be declaring war on terrorism. But what a selective war it seems to
be when all the supposed enemy targets and would be terrorists get whisked
away by various intelligence agencies of different countries trying to
cover their political liabilities. Everybody in the world shows up to claim
them. He laughs and says that even the Russians have been there.
- It really makes you wonder, though, how all this is getting
financed -- holding all these people in detention. Millions are being spent
looking for all these people that represent a liability to the United States
or one of our allies. Then you look at these appropriation bills getting
jammed through Congress, and Congress is in complete chaos. They're getting
bills passed just about every day. A former Washington insider says that
he doesn't know any member of the House or Senate that has actually read
- What is happening apparently is the old Bushonian trick
of appropriating $20 million, $15 million, or $50 million here and there
for, in some cases, little esoteric subdivisions of divisions of departments,
some of which haven't even been in operation in 40 years. That's the best
scam - appropriating money for defunct agencies. There are legions of little
office buildings outside of the crescent of Washington from Silver Springs
over to Fort Mead and down into McLean, Virginia and Reston. There are
row after row of little office buildings, and they're all leased by different
agencies of the government.
- There was one that was called something like the Appalachian
Relief and Corn Investigation Bureau that was phased out in 1947 and they
still have an office with a sign on the door. There's nothing in it. It's
completely vacant and there's no furniture in it anymore, but they still
rent the office for like $150 per month.
- It reminds me of another story about the way government
accounting works. If the media ever asked any questions, they can always
say, "Oh yes we're aware that that bureau got closed down in 1947,
but its functions were then assumed by Bureau #317-A of the Department
of Agriculture." The when the media goes there and finds out that
that was shut down in 1963. Then they say, "Oh yes, but then their
functions were assumed by this other bureau." And the government can
get away with it because a lot of the appropriations, if they're under
$10 million per year for these esoteric little offices, they just come
out as block spending authority, which isn't specifically listed by bureau
because the government claims that the cost of the paperwork is too high.
So the way it works is there are slush funds within slush funds. But it's
a neat trick the way it's done.
- Only God knows how much money is sucked out of the federal
- Here's another way money is sucked out for purposes other
than what the appropriations have been designated - by using little arcane
one man or two man bureaus, a subdivision of a subdivision of an agency
that has long since been shut down - but continue to get funded.
- Congressman Bill Alexander actually stumbled into this
little bureau that was supposed to be part of the TVA (Tennessee Valley
Authority) that was actually shut down in the 1940s. It supposedly had
to do with the restocking of wildlife and reforestation planning, but it
didn't do anything. It was what they called a "field planning office."
He tracked it down and it ended up that $1.9 million annually still gets
appropriated for it, but it's actually being used to subsidize a variety
of exclusive congressional luxury golf course retreats. Of course, they're
not called that. They're called "congressional study and research
- In other news, it is interesting to report that when
the final 50 odd pieces of legislation related to the USA PATRIOT bill
are passed by Congress, more than likely under administration pressure
before the need of this congressional term, the United States of America
will no longer meet the legal definition of being a "free democratic
state" in accordance with the definition, as put forth by our own
- The old American Republic now falls as Benjamin Franklin
predicted it might -- not with a bang but with a whimper -- of naivete,
apathy and blind "patriotism."
- Hail the New Imperial Republic. . .
- AL MARTIN is America's foremost whistleblower on government
fraud and corruption. A retired US Navy Lt. Commander and former officer
in the Office of Naval Intelligence, he has testified before Congress (the
Kerry Committee and the Alexander Committee) regarding Iran-Contra. Al
Martin is the author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra
Insider" (2001, National Liberty Press, $19.95; Toll FREE order line:
1-866-317-1390) He lives at an undisclosed location, since the criminals
named in his book have been returned to national power and prominence.
His column "Behind the Scenes in the Beltway" is published regularly
on Al Martin Raw: Criminal Govt Conspiracy (http://www.almartinraw.com)