- May 30, 2002
National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Klayman, Larry, Chairman, Judicial Watch
Schippers, David, Counsel, Schippers and Bailey, Judicial Watch
Wright, Robert, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Wright accuses the FBI of obstructing investigative efforts that
might have prevented some of the September 11 attacks.
Good morning. My name is Larry Klayman. Im Chairman and General
Counsel of Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates
and prosecutes government corruption and abuse. Standing to my right
is the President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton. Standing at my left
is Special Agent Robert Wright of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
Chicago Field Office.
We are here
today to conduct this press conference because Special Agent Wright
has material information about FBI negligence and recklessness with
regard to not investigating terrorism leading up to the events of
9/11. He is the first active FBI agent to appear before the cameras
to speak directly to the American people about the breakdown at
the FBI. Special Agent Wright is an American hero. Special Agent
Wright is coming forward on behalf of the American people at great
risk to himself and to others who work with him and are around him.
met Special Agent Wright several weeks, in fact months, before 9/11.
We met him in the office of David Schippers. You might remember
David Schippers of the law firm of Schippers and Bailey. He was
the House of Representatives impeachment counsel during the impeachment
of William Jefferson Clinton. He asked us to participate as co-counsel
on behalf of Robert Wright because of the important information
that Special Agent Wright had to provide to the American people.
very beginning, Special Agent Wright asked Judicial Watch and asked
David Schippers to do everything that was appropriate under FBI
procedure and policy to allow him to speak to the American people.
And, again, this was before 9/11. To alert them that our government
was not doing enough to fight terrorism in the United States. As
a result, we wrote a series of letters to the FBI and we are going
to make those letters available to you today, under their policies
and procedures, asking for clearance for Special Agent Wright to
be able to speak. He had written a book. His book was called Fatal
Betrayal with regard to the intelligence mission of the FBI.
He wanted to get this book out to the American people so they could
read it, so they could demand change so perhaps things like 9/11
would never happen but it did happen.
9/11 happened, I was instructed to contact Attorney General John
Ashcroft on behalf of Special Agent Wright and to offer Special
Agent Wrights assistance to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, of
which I am a proud alumnus. Unfortunately, we were met with resistance.
The chief of the criminal division, Michael Chertoff, responded,
Weve had enough of conspiracy theories. We
are not interested in talking to Special Agent Wright.
we contacted members of Congress, both the Senate and the House,
and we offered Special Agent Wrights assistance in trying
to reform the FBI this is nine months ago right after
9/11, to prevent further terrorist attacks and to shore up the lack
of national security apparatus which had left us so exposed. Instead
of being allowed to talk to Congress, the FBI threatened Robert
Wright from coming forward effectively threatened him with
his job. And to this date, has never responded to our letters allowing
him to testify, to come forward to Congress or to speak to the American
people - that is not responded positively.
recent letter came at 5 PM yesterday evening. It was addressed to
Dave Schippers, our co-counsel and was also faxed to Larry Klayman
of Judicial Watch. Thats me. And its a very interesting
letter and its a very troubling letter, in addition to being
threatening. Because just yesterday, the Director of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, undoubtedly in a cover
your derrière type of public policy pronouncement, a PR pronouncement,
said that in fact that he was very grateful for agents coming forward,
agents like Coleen Rowley in Minnesota, who we applaud. She is a
very brave lady. And she did a lot a good for this country by being
able to expose the breakdown with regard to Zacarias Moussaoui and
the lack of following up on this individual, getting training at
flight schools, as other FBI memos suggest, to crash planes into
the World Trade Towers and other national monuments and buildings.
Agent Rowley. Bob Wright wanted to come forward long before Agent
Rowley even thought of it. But instead of praising Robert Wright
and let me read you the praise that was given to Coleen Rowley.
This is by the Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, quote
let me take a moment to thank Agent Rowley for her letter,
Mueller said in front of cameras Wednesday. Quote It
is critically important that I hear criticisms of the organization,
including criticisms of me, in order to improve the organization.
We must be open to criticism from within and from without and to
admitting and learning from our mistakes Unquote.
of following this new policy of openness at the FBI, an FBI who
hid from the American people for nine months, that in fact they
did have intelligence, that there were Islamic radicals training
to crash planes into World Trade towers and other monuments. This
new policy of the FBI obviously was not sincere because at 5 PM,
we got this letter. And Im going to read it to you.
This is a
letter from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation,
John E. Collingwood, Asst. Director Office of Public and Congressional
Affairs. As a past Justice Dept. alumni, I can assure you that this
was cleared by the Director of the FBI.
Mr. Schippers. This is in response to your correspondence to Special
Agent in Charge, Thomas J. Nair, dated May 22nd, 2002, concerning
the intent of your client, Special Agent Robert G. Wright, to comment
publicly about his duties and responsibilities. I would like to
thank you for providing the FBI with advance notice of your clients
intentions, so we can provide appropriate guidance concerning his
rights and obligations. Your letter indicates that you and Special
Agent Wright believe that the value of the speech outweighs the
interests of the FBI and is, therefore, protected under the First
Amendment. The FBIs pre-publication review process recognizes
that employees have First Amendment rights and attempts to appropriately
balance those rights with the sensitivity of information in FBI
files that an employee may acquire by virtue of being employed
by the FBI. An authorized disclosure of this type of information
could impair national security, place human life in jeopardy, deny
subjects of FBI investigations due process or otherwise prevent
the FBI from effectively discharging its responsibilities.
what they are writing here is, just as Special Agent Rowley of Minnesota
revealed, would have put lives in jeopardy and jeopardized national
security. Yet, the Director of the FBI is praising her for coming
forward but writing a letter to Special Agent Wright effectively
threatening him. And listen to hear these threats, as I read this
the FBIs manual of administrative and operational procedures
makes clear, an employee is obligated not to disclose any information
within the scope of his employment agreement without written permission
to do so. Neither the employee nor his lawyer, therefore,
they are talking to us at Judicial Watch and Dave Schippers
of Schippers and Bailey may decide when information
otherwise prohibited from disclosure may be publicly disseminated.
The FBI is
threatening not just Robert Wright. The FBI is threatening his counsel
as well, at the same time that Mueller is praising Coleen Rowley
for coming forward after FBI gross negligence and recklessness is
exposed and the public is in an outcry.
Please note no objections to disclosure or publication
is being interposed solely because of Special Agent Wrights
comments may be critical or disparaging of the FBI, the government
or its employees. Instead, our focus has been on advising
Spec. Agent Wright that there is certain information which he is
prohibited from disclosing, pursuant to his employment agreement
and FBI policy. As we have detailed in correspondence, dated March
29 and May 10, 2002, the review the FBI and U.S. Attorneys Office
has conducted of Spec. Agent Wrights submissions, indicates
that the material concerns an open investigation....
talking about an open investigation. They are still investigating
occurring before a federal grand jury,
there are criminal proceedings underway with regard to Moussaoui.
law enforcement techniques, intelligence information and additional
material otherwise prohibited from disclosure. Because his request
was so inextricably intertwined with protected information, we will
unable to authorize him to publicly disseminate this material.
disseminate it. Thats what they are telling Spec. Agent Wright.
same holds true for any oral public comments Special Agent Wright
may make regarding the subject matter described in our March 29th
and May 10th, 2002 letters.
we blast faxed all over creation information that we were going
to hold this press conference today, including writing to the Attorney
Generals office. We wanted him to know.
to his employment agreement and FBI procedures, Spec. Agent Wright
is still not authorized to publicly disseminate information, we
have previously advised, is prohibited from disclosure at this time.
the guidelines further indicate, and we feel obligated to inform
you, - and this is key- breach of an employees
employment obligations may be grounds for disciplinary action, a
civil suit, or both. In some instances, unauthorized disclosure
may also constitute cause for revocation of a security clearance
or be a criminal offense. We sincerely hope that this sort of action
will not prove necessary. We want you to know that the FBI does
take Special Agent Wrights allegations seriously and we have
encouraged him to report any concerns he might have to an investigative
entity with appropriate jurisdiction.
So you, the
media, the members of the fourth estate, are not entitled to know
anything. The FBI gets to decide what is the appropriate jurisdiction,
as the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Office of the
Inspector General, or the relevant Congressional Committees that
are investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Sincerely
yours, John E. Collingwood, Asst. Director, Office of Public and
hypocrisy, if not illegality in threatening Special Agent Wright
for coming forward and talking to you, just like Special Agent Rowley
of Minnesota talked about Zacarias Moussaoui.
Special Agent Wright, what he has to say is even more damning of
the FBI than the testimony of Coleen Rowley. Because Special Agent
Wright had ten years of experience in dealing with the FBI. And
as you are going to hear from him, he was thwarted, thwarted from
doing his job in investigating Islamic money laundering in the United
States, which monies went to finance terrorist activities here and
overseas. The monies primarily were laundered by Hezbollah and Hamas,
groups which have been protected by successive American administrations
because of the administrations coziness with Yassar Arafat.
These are the groups that support Yassar Arafat. These are the groups
which support the man, favored by our Secretary of State, Colon
Powell, to lead the negotiations on behalf of Palestinian Authority
in the Middle East.
Now, we have
tried before now, before this press conference, to get this information
out. Special Agent Wright had gotten to know a reporter at the New
York Times and that reporter was actually wanting to write a story
about what he had to say many months ago. And it was in that context
that we asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not only to clear
the manuscript, the book, that Special Agent Wright is writing about
the betrayals of the intelligence community, but also to clear certain
questions. The FBI would not clear those questions. And the article
was never written.
But we are
in front of you today to make as much disclosure as we possibility
can, without jeopardizing Special Agent Wright, without subjecting
him to criminal prosecutions, without subjecting him to further
threats and intimidations by a Director of the FBI, who simply,
and this is my opinion, did not do his job and let the country down.
By an administration, which despite being elected on the basis of
restoring national security, slept for nine months and did virtually
nothing to shore up the inadequacies of the FBI. And by an administration
which comes forward yesterday only to cover their backsides, after
it becomes apparent that they hid information from the American
people for nine months material information, as to how in
the new admission of FBI Director Robert Mueller, the 9/11 attacks
could have possibly have been prevented.
than allowing Special Agent Wright to come forward and speak, like
Colleen Rowley, who is now being disingenuously praised by the FBI
Director, our client is being threatened. He is going to say as
much as he can and we produce certain materials to you, which are
public. And we are available to answer questions to the extent we
can, particularly council. We thank you for coming. And its
important that you as members of the media, members of the fourth
estate, get the information out to make this story as important
as the Coleen Rowley story because it is complementary of that story
and to hear what Special Agent Wright has to say about the
so-called reorganization of the FBI, because all it is is cosmetic
simply putting icing on an otherwise stale cake. There needs
to be a total reorganization. There needs to be a new agency, as
youll hear. The FBI is incapable of fighting terrorism. And,
in fact, we are now hearing predictions on almost a ten-minute basis
of new terrorist attacks, statements by the Vice President himself
that we are powerless to prevent nuclear and biochemical attack.
Just this morning, statements by the U.S. Customs Service that we
will not be able to restrain containers containing nuclear devices
coming into this country.
And I ask,
as Chairman of Judicial Watch and as representative of the American
people, what have you, the Bush Administration been doing for the
last nine months that just now you are advising the American
people that we dont have the defenses, even after having lost
I now introduce
you to Special Agent Robert Wright. And I want to introduce you
to our co-counsel, David Schippers, who has been instrumental and
a true American hero in his own right, in bringing, no pun intended,
Special Agent Wright to the attention of the America people. David
Schippers has some comments. He is in his office in Chicago, Illinois.
I turn you over to Dave Schippers and then Bob Wright.
Good morning, everybody. Im not going to take much time but
I have not seen that letter that Larry just read because Ive
been out of town. I just got back last night and I talked to Larry
and he told me about the letter and about the same threats that
we have been getting from day one.
man, Robert Wright, is, in my opinion, a great American because
hes had the courage to come forward. We have dotted every
I and crossed every T. Weve done everything that the FBI requires
before an individual comes out and talks publicly. At every stage,
weve been completely dismissed. Weve been dismissed
by the Congress. Weve been dismissed by the Attorney General.
Weve been dismissed by the FBI, indeed we have been threatened
by the FBI and by the Attorney Generals office. At one point,
when Mr. Wright was going to talk to a representative of the Congress,
he was told that both he and his lawyer could find themselves in
great difficulty if he made one wrong statement. This is the type
of thing and this is the way the FBI over the years has kept people
from any kind of criticism.
will note at the end of that letter, we were told that there are
appropriate people that we can go to with our complaint. What was
it? Bob can tell you, I think it was six or eight months ago, Bob,
before 9/11, Bob filed a formal complaint with the Inspector Generals
Office against the FBI and against the manner in which they were
conducting or not conducting their anti-terrorist activities. Very
recently, within the last two weeks, I finally received acknowledgment
from the Dept. of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. The
individual is charged by statute and by executive order with investigating
any complaints by FBI agents or other whistleblowers within the
I was told
that the Inspector Generals office, quote, does not have the
facilities to conduct an investigation of this scope. Therefore,
we are going to send it over to the joint committee of the Congress,
the Senate and House Joint Committee. Now, I dont know if
they have sent it over there or not, but I havent heard word
one from the Senate or the House about Robert Wright and what he
has. It seems to me that this is just the typical method
throwing it over to the Congress, tell the Congress that they can
investigate and then tell Agent Wright he is not allowed to divulge
anything to the Congress.
When I heard
Director Mueller yesterday, congratulate an agent for coming forward,
I thought perhaps that maybe there is a new aura in the bureau and
maybe things are going to change. They may change in Mr. Muellers
mind but the bureaucracy will never change. And by adding to that
bureaucracy, all it does is give them more individuals that they
can hide stuff with and places to place the blame. Im going
to let you talk to Bob. Bob, be very careful, because you are in
their crosshairs, as am I, again, and just dont go into any
specifics, any particulars about any case even though, you
and I both know, that there is no case, but they claim there is.
So, well follow their guideline, the same guideline that put
3000 people on the street dead in New York. Go ahead.
Let me add, Dave, before we get into that, that despite the fact
that Bob is being prevented from speaking, specifically just like
Agent Rowley has been praised for speaking, look at Rowleys
letter. If you were to take the letter that we received yesterday
evening from the FBI and it had to have been reviewed by the FBI
director at this point, because they knew Bob was out there, if
you had taken this letter and juxtaposed it with Rowleys letter,
Rowley would likely be criminally prosecuted, be put away for life.
You can see the hypocrisy in what they are saying. And the double
hypocrisy is that when Bob started to try to get his story out to
the New York Times, a reporter by the name of Judith Miller, a Pulitzer
prize, award-winning reporter, I might add, one of the top reporters
on terrorism, was that the FBI flew people in to meet with her and
gave her what ever information, of course in a twisted way, that
she desired. But yet Bob was not allowed to talk to with her. Thats
why ultimately, one of the reasons that she didnt write the
story. So you can see the hypocrisy here and what Director Mueller
said yesterday was just words.
And, of course, as a consequence, they are in the crosshairs. Go
And we have some corroboration here today that we are going to provide.
First of all I would like to say that I am not representing the
FBI. Anything I say is not supported by the FBI or the opinions
of the FBI. These are my own personal opinions.
What I am
about to read to you, I had submitted for pre-publication review
and it was approved. This was back in February.
of 1999, Ive been working to legally expose the very real
and foreseeable Middle Eastern terrorist threats to the American
citizens at home and abroad. From 1993 to 1999, I was assigned to
the Chicago Divisions Counter Terrorism Task Force. In this
capacity, I became familiar with the techniques used by international
terrorist organizations to surreptitiously move money, launder money
in and out of the United States, including the use of domestic financial
institutions in support of terrorist and paramilitary activities
and operations in the United States and abroad, including the State
of Israel and elsewhere.
wishes of some at the FBI in 1995, when I uncovered criminal violations
in several of my cases, I promptly initiated active terrorism criminal
investigations on these subjects. I developed probable cause to
believe that some of these transfers or transmissions had been of
money intended to be used in the support of domestic and international
terrorism activities. The illegal transfers that supported specific
terrorist activities involving extortion, kidnapping, and murder,
and at least one Israeli citizen.
investigation, which was code-named Vulgar Betrayal, V-U-L-G-A-R
Betrayal, led to the June, 1998 seizure of $1.4 million dollars
in Middle Eastern terrorist funding. This seizure was the first
occasion that the United States government utilized the civil forfeiture
laws to seize assets in the United States. These funds were linked
directly to Saudi businessman, Yassine Koty (phonetic spelling).
On October 12th, 2001, approximately one month after the attack,
Yassine Koty was designated by the United States government as a
financial supporter of Osama bin Laden.
unqualified success of the investigation of the Middle Eastern terrorists,
FBI management failed to take seriously the threat of terrorism
in the United States. Specifically, FBI management intentionally
and repeatedly thwarted and obstructed my attempts to launch a more
comprehensive investigation to identify and to neutralize terrorists.
lack of support for the Vulgar Betrayal investigation was obvious
to my new supervisor. In 1998, who after only four months of being
on the squad, wrote, quote, Agent Wright has spearheaded this
effort despite an embarrassing lack of investigative resources available
to the case, such as computers, financial analysis software and
a team of financial analysts. Although far from being concluded,
the success of this investigation so far has been entirely due to
the foresight and perseverance of Agent Wright close quote.
the Vulgar Betrayal investigation had been proposed for designation
as a major FBI case because of its far-reaching scope, in 1999 in
an effort to further the terrorist investigation, I had to purchase
much needed software, computer software and a scanner with my own
funds since I was unable to obtain enough necessary funding from
to communicate my experiences, as Larry had said and Dave had said,
to Congress and others in the public interest, following the September
11th attacks. However, a threat was leveled by a Dept. of Justice
official against me through my attorneys to prevent me from meeting
with members of Congress during the week following September 11th.
It came from the Attorney Generals office.
In fact, the following morning, in order to prevent me from traveling
to Washington, D.C. from Chicago on my own time, I was told by the
FBI Division that I could not travel outside of Chicago without
permission from the FBI.
have always been geared towards neutralizing the terrorist threats
focused on taking the lives of American citizens, in addition to
harming the national and economic security of America. However,
as a direct result of the incompetency and, at times, intentional
obstruction of justice by FBI management to prevent me from bringing
the terrorists to justice, Americans have unknowingly been exposed
to potential terrorist attacks for years.
1999, I have been working to legally expose the FBIs incompetence
and dereliction of duty in the terrorism arena. As a result, starting
in August of 1999, I began writing a manuscript. It was single-spaced
500 pages. It was entitled, Fatal Betrayals of the Intelligence
Mission. The manuscript outlines the FBIs intentional,
at times, failures to pursue the terrorists and thereby to prevent
terrorist attacks. Ironically, I completed the text of the manuscript
two days after the September 11th attack. On September 10th, I had
all but the last three pages completed.
on November 5th, 2001, through my attorneys, a 38-page complaint
was filed with the United States Dept. of Justice, Office of Inspector
Generals Office, for (quote) "dereliction of duty by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, failing to investigate and
prosecute terrorism, and obstruction of justice in retaliating against
Special Agent Robert Wright, Jr."
January 14th, actually February of 2002, through my attorney, David
Schippers, a 118-page complaint was filed with the United States
Dept. of Justice, Office of Inspector General, detailing whistleblowing
retaliation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation against myself.
and regulations prohibit me from disseminating these documents to
anyone, including Pres. Bush and members of Congress before submitting
the written material to the Pre-publication Review Unit of the FBI.
Therefore in a good faith effort to legally share the contents of
all these documents with the President, members of Congress and
the American people, I have abided by the FBIs established
rules and submitted the manuscript and complaints to the FBIs
Pre-publication Review Unit for review.
On June 9th,
2001, after questioning by friends, co-workers and family members
regarding my motive for writing this manuscript and for exposing
the Bureaus dereliction of duty in the terrorism arena, I
drafted a mission statement which was completed ninety-one days
before September 11th. And I will read that to you now. That also
was reviewed by FBI Headquarters and approved.
The FBI is Americas top law enforcement agency and as such,
its mission is to protect America and its citizens at home and abroad.
The strength of the FBI has always been in the publics trust
and integrity in the quality of the FBIs investigations. However,
in light of the many FBI mistakes which have surfaced during the
past decade and additional mistakes which will be exposed in future
legal actions and a book Im writing, entitled, Fatal
Betrayals of the Intelligence Mission, Americas confidence
level in the FBI will further erode.
as a nation, we must work together in seeking to regain the confidence
level we once had in the FBI to achieve its vital mission of protecting
the safety and welfare of its citizens at home and abroad. The FBI
is going through a difficult time. However, I am confident that
the FBI and the American people can overcome these difficulties.
Together we can and must resolve the difficult issues surrounding
the problems within the FBI. America cannot afford to have its top
law enforcement agency continue to be lax in areas fundamental to
the national security of this country.
I love America
and I love the FBI, particularly its purpose and its mission. However,
the mission has been seriously jeopardized in my opinion to the
point that American lives have been needlessly lost. Accordingly,
I am seeking a thorough review and complete housecleaning to identify
and fix the FBIs problems, whether they be managers, agents,
procedures, policies, and/or inadequate laws.
In my opinion,
there are a combination of reasons why the FBI has failed to maintain
the public trust. These include the lack of quality managers, the
lack of program goals and objectives, the lack of modern computer
technology, the failure to modernize investigative objectives, the
agency is overwhelmed with too many investigative violations, a
lack of independent oversight of the agency any by that,
I mean incompetent managers are not held accountable for mistakes.
There are serious intelligence vs. criminal investigative conflicts
which have contributed to the preventable deaths of American citizens.
The FBIs duplication of investigative jurisdiction of other
federal law enforcement agencies, such as the DEA and the ATF.
As an eleven
year veteran of the FBI, it is my opinion that the management of
the FBI is incapable of resolving these issues on its own. Any cosmetic
attempt by the FBI to fix itself is not realistic, in my opinion.
Little would actually change, mainly due to the mentality of the
poor FBI leadership. And again, this was written before Director
Mueller became the director.
in the interest of Americas national and economic security,
I believe President Bush and Congress should work together to implement
a task force made up of experts from outside the FBI to conduct
a top to bottom review of the FBIs hiring procedures, investigative
procedures, outdated or unnecessary investigative violations, information
technology, records management, overall organizational structure
and the FBIs mission.
And many of these have been addressed since this was drafted. The
task force should include experts, in my opinion, from state and
local law enforcement offices, computer technology experts, management
information specialists, and state and federal prosecutors. I believe
that anyone who is affected by or relies upon the FBI should be
involved in this critical and necessary restructuring of the FBI.
collected by the FBI should be utilized to effectively protect American
citizens and the national and economic security of America. I believe
a significant portion of the criminal activity investigated by the
FBI is linked directly to the sale or use of illegal drugs. The
FBI has even established drug squads throughout the country to investigate
drug-related matters. However, in my opinion, there is a separate
federal agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the DEA, which already
exists. Therefore, I believe such a taskforce investigating the
FBI for restructuring, should seriously consider consolidating the
DEA into the FBI. More importantly, the task force must seriously
consider removing the terrorism investigative matters from the hands
of the FBI. For reasons of consistency, reliability and national
security, these responsibilities should be assigned to a new federal
anti-terrorism agency. Simply switch the terrorism responsibilities
of the FBI with the drug enforcement responsibilities.
I know, and again this was written ninety-one days before the attack,
knowing what I know, I can confidently say that until the investigative
responsibilities of terrorism are removed from the FBI, I will not
feel safe. The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify
and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its
citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort
on the part of the FBIs national terrorism unit to neutralize
known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.
Unfortunately, more terrorist attacks against American interests,
coupled with the loss of American lives will have to occur before
those in power give this matter the urgent attention it deserves.
more American lives are going to be needlessly lost, no one should
expect me to consciously sit idly by and to pretend to forget the
things I know. By sharing what I know, the terrorism problems plaguing
America may be corrected. Knowing what I know, I truly believe I
would be derelict in my duty as an American, if I did not do my
best to bring the FBIs dereliction of duty to the attention
of others. Therefore, in an effort to prevent more deadly terrorist
attacks against American interests at home and abroad, I have made
it my mission with the legal assistance of Attorney David Schippers
to legally expose the problems of the FBI to the President of the
United States, the United States Congress and to the American people.
objective of the manuscript theres going to be people
who say that this is for profit and that's just not the case
it was to be made available to Congress so changes could be made.
And the manuscript outlines in very specific detail what I believe
allowed September 11th to happen. Yes, it was written before September
11th, except for the last three pages. And I dont know if
Congress is aware of it, if the Bureau has made Congress aware of
it or not, but thats part of the purpose of todays press
conference so that they are well aware of it. I believe that
they need to review this, whoever is the investigative arm does
need to review this document, in my opinion.
To the families
and victims of September 11th, on behalf of John Vincent, Barry
Carmody and myself, were sorry.
The reference to John Vincent and Barry Carmody are references to
other FBI agents who want to come forward to tell the truth. Im
going to introduce you in a few minutes to Tom Fitton, formerly
our president, who is going to read a sworn affidavit by Barry Carmody,
dealing with one aspect of this whole sordid affair and how the
FBI failed to do its job.
I want to
point out that under FBI regulations, after Judicial Watch and Dave
Schippers requested clearance for Special Agent Wright to talk to
the American people and you can see that he was trying to make the
change inside the FBI before 9/11 happened. The FBI had this information,
the Attorney General most likely had this information, John Ashcroft,
but they wouldnt even give him clearance and they had 30 days
to give him clearance. Thats the regulation. Instead of giving
him clearance, they jerked him around. And they continue to do more
than jerk him around by threatening him with criminal prosecution
for coming forward. And now Ill turn it over to Tom Fitton
who is going to read you the sworn statement of Barry Carmody. They
will be more FBI agents coming forward. And they will be doing it
in short order. Because they represent the American people before
they represent bureaucratic hacks in Washington D.C.
Good morning. My name is Tom Fitton. Im president of Judicial
Watch. Before I read Mr. Carmodys declaration, Id like
to read an excerpted portion of a sworn statement made by our client
Mr. Wright, that was released to Mr. Wright, under the Freedom of
Information Act. Its a public document. Its approved
for release with some excisions by the Dept. of Justice and the
April of 1999, Spec. Agent, the name is blanked, had telephoned
and advised me that a friend of his worked as an accountant for
a company upon which I had served the company president and vice
president with federal grand jury subpoenas. He also advised me
that the accountant was concerned about harming his application
which he had submitted to the FBI to become a translator. Through
the course of my investigation, it had been determined that this
company had received financing from, the name is blanked, a United
States-designated Hamas terrorist, blanked. Each of the aforementioned
mentioned are Muslim.
weeks later, I received another telephone call from the Special
Agent. He advised me that he had been telephoned by the accountant,
who stated that the president of the company was aware of his relationship
with this agent. The president inquired of the accountant to arrange
a meeting between the Special Agent and the company president regarding
the Chicago investigation. The accountant then mentioned his concerns
to Special Agent (Blank) that the funds the accountant was transferring
overseas on behalf of the company may have been used to finance
the Embassy bombings of Africa. In addition, the accountant recounted
unusual events following the receipt of the subpoenas. One of the
events that was highly unusual to him involved a friend of his coming
to the United States, from a Middle Eastern country and secretly
meeting with the company president and vice president.
Special Agent asked if I desired him to speak with the president
of the company. I advised him that I desired him to have the meeting
and to wear a concealed recording device or wire to record what
transpired. I then went to the United States Attorneys Office
and discussed this matter with them and they agreed that the wire
would be of great interest to our investigation. When I returned
to the office, my supervisor summoned me to the office and advised
me that this Special Agent was not going to wear the wire and that
I should forget about it.
while at the United States Attorneys Offices on other matters,
the question of the Special Agents wearing the wire was brought
up by one of the attorneys. The Asst. U.S. Attorney still desired
the Special Agent to wear the wire. A conference telephone call
was then arranged between three Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a fellow
FBI Special Agent, and myself, calling from Chicago, Illinois and
speaking with the Special Agent and his supervisor in Dallas, Texas.
The Assistant U.S. Attorneys expressed to this Special Agent the
importance of the investigation and the wire. The Special Agent
stated that he would only record the individual if he told him that
he was wearing a wire. One of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys told
the Special Agent that they would get a meeting location and wire
it so the Special Agent would not have to wear the wire. This was
not acceptable to that Special Agent, who then proposed placing
a tape recorder on a table and then speaking with the individual.
When this was deemed unacceptable by those present, the Special
Agent advised he would meet with the individual and report the meeting
on an FD302, which is an official report form, as he had done before
in response to a similar request, from the FBI in Tampa.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys present advised that this is not what they
desired and inquired what the root of the objection was to wearing
the wire. Special Agent advised that told them he feared for his
safety. When he was told that the FBI could protect him, the Special
Agent said that he did not trust the FBI to protect him. The Assistant
U.S. Attorneys continued to ask why the Special Agent would not
wear the wire. And he stated, A Muslim does not record another
thereafter, the U.S. Attorneys believing that this telephone conference
would be revisited, drafted a document describing the events discussed.
I believe this was done, as they felt the decision reached would
come into question at a later date and they desired to have a record
of his position. I believe this document may also have been signed
by the United States Attorney and is maintained by his office.
while speaking about a different matter to a Special Agent in the
FBI Washington field office. I explained the problems I was having
in getting the Special Agent to wear a wire. I was informed that
his office had problems with the Special Agent previously and I
was advised that his office had drafted a document and sent it to
the FBI Dallas office expressing their concerns about the Special
Agent contacting subjects of their investigations and not disclosing
these contacts to the Special Agents conducting the investigations.
I was told to speak with a particular Special Agent in Tampas
Special Agent is a friend of Mr. Wright and he related that the
subject of one of his investigations, who is Muslim, had once reached
out to this Special Agent that we are talking about and he refused
to wear a wire when they requested.
We have here
the declaration, in addition to the document that I just read to
from, the declaration of Barry Carmody, which is sworn to under
oath, which is signed today.
Oh, and Wrights is sworn to under oath as well, the document
that you all have.
Carmody, a resident of Hillsboro County, Florida, hereby declare
I am a retired, thirty-four year veteran Special Agent of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation. During my service with the FBI, I was charged
with conducting criminal and foreign counter-intelligence investigations
pursuant to Dept. of Justice regulations and U.S. law. From 1995
through February of 2000, and in the course of conducting a lawful
investigation within the jurisdiction of the FBIs Tampa Office,
I had the occasion to seek the assistance of a FBI Special Agent
who was assigned to the Dallas FBI Office. I asked Special Agent
(blanked) to record a telephone conversation during a meeting with
an individual involved in an open FBI criminal investigation. Special
Agent (blanked) refused to record this telephone conversation, saying
he would make the call but would not record it. I said that this
was unsatisfactory. It had been discussed with the United States
Attorneys Office in Tampa and we required a recorded conversation.
He still refused to record the conversation. The refusal to record
the telephone conversation may have negatively impacted the conduct
of the FBIs investigation. I informed FBI Headquarters twice
about this incident, in 1998 and again in 2000. I am aware of no
disciplinary action being taken against him in this matter. In fact,
I have been told that Special Agent Robert G. Wright, Jr., had a
similar experience with Special Agent (blanked) in the course of
a subsequent investigation he pursued.
and signed in the presence of the undersigned witnesses on May 30th,
2002 and its signed here by Barry Carmody.
In conclusion, let me thank the excellent work of David Schippers,
who has become a national advisor to Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch
is in the process of opening a Chicago office. We are working together
on this matter. As you can see, its not just a question of
Special Agent Rowley, its not just a question of Special Agent
Wright, but there are many FBI agents that are willing to come forward
and will come forward to tell the story about what is happening
at the FBI. And despite, politically convenient statements that
the FBI is being reorganized, only after these agents either came
forward or it was known that they were going to come forward, it
was known that Special Agent Wright was going to come forward today,
before Director Mueller decided he was going to announce an FBI
reorganization yesterday. Not a coincidence at all. Despite all
of that, these are simply cosmetic reforms as Special Agent Wright
has talked about. Jurisdiction needs to be removed from the FBI
because the corruption is too endemic to allow them to continue
to allegedly - allegedly protect the American people. The FBI has
not protected the American people. Special Agent Wright was prevented
from doing his job. He wished that he could have done his job. You
can see the emotion. He broke down in tears at the end of this press
conference because he believes that if the FBI had performed as
it was supposed to perform, it is very likely that we would not
have had September 11th. Unfortunately, even the FBI Director and
the Attorney General, despite covering up what happened for almost
nine months, have now been forced to admit the same thing.
We look to
you, the members of the media to force the FBI to take action, to
make full disclosure, to come forward to allow Special Agent Wright
and others to speak freely and fully, without threat of criminal
prosecution, so the American people - we the people by the people,
that the constitution can have control of their own destiny,
before thousands, according to predictions of the Vice President
Cheney, millions of Americas needlessly lose their lives through
nuclear and biochemical and other types of terrorist attacks in
this country. Thank you for your attention. We look forward to working
with you to get the information out to the American people.
(mostly inaudible) What specific things - that actually foreknowledge
of --- that would help Hamas ---- Im sure there is more to
it, but can you lay it out?
Well, I can lay it out in general. I cant lay out the actual
investigations, the FBI has threatened criminal prosecution. The
issue here, and we would have laid it out and are prepared to lay
it all out, the press conference was scheduled to last an hour and
a half. But, in essence, what we are talking about here is what
this administration has admitted is the foundation of terrorist
activities both domestically and internationally. And that is the
funding of terrorism. And Bob Wright conceived of and was in on
the ground floor of investigating radical Islamic money laundering
in the United States through Islamic charities, banks and other
If that investigation
had been allowed to run its course and be conducted in a professional
manner, the monies to fund terrorist operations, such as 9/11, would
have been cut off. Thats what he was looking into.
to Hezbollah and Hamas, these are the groups which primarily are
engaged in the money laundering in the United States, contrary to
the statements of our Secretary of State Colin Powell, the implications
of Collin Powell, who is a tacit supporter of Yasser Arafat, these
are not benign organizations. These are organizations that are funding
terrorism here and overseas. And if you cut that money off, theres
a good chance that you would cut off the monies that ultimately
went to 9/11 and other terrorist operations. You will see throughout,
what Bob Wright had to say, that 9/11 wasnt the only terrorist
event here in the United States. Some of them are classified. Some
of them are not known. The FBI has knowledge about many other terrorist
attacks that the American people have never been informed of in
this country. So thats in essence what we are talking about.
And he wanted
to come forward long before 9/11. We were taking those steps beginning
last summer to do that. The FBI had 30 days to allow that to occur.
They violated their own regulations. They covered it up just like
they covered up what was going on in Minnesota. And the result is,
nine months after 9/11, a brave agent by the name of Coleen Rowley
comes forward and says I dont care what the FBI does to me,
Im going to talk. She created such a groundswell that she
brought the FBI Director and the Bush White House to its knees and
they are now thanking her. But if they go by the letter that they
just sent to Special Agent Wright, they would be prosecuting her,
probably asking for life imprisonment because she did talk about
what was going on in her investigation.
Do we know what the FBI did to thwart this follow-up investigation
other than, number one, not providing enough computer technology
and number two, this Special Agent refusing to wear a wire when
someone interceded? Can you tell us what the FBI...
I can talk generally. I cant get into specifics. The general
aspects of this concern, obviously not having adequate resources
to conduct terrorism reviews, not having adequate equipment, not
having managers who were willing to take strong actions as Bob Wright
just spoke to about this. The mentality of the FBI is once you get
an investigation, you milk it, you keep it going because you worry
that if you dont keep it going, in the typical government
bureaucratic way, the funding may be cut off and you may ultimately
be demoted or sent to the outer banks of Alaska, not to mention
the outer banks of Maryland, you know for purgatory. This is the
mentality there. And its what Rowley was talking about as
well, a lack of wanting to take risks. The political correctness
with this Muslim agent, dont question that he is being disloyal
to the United States because if you do, you might offend Muslims
in this country. Well, if that was the case, how would we ever have
caught Jonathan Pollard. Jonathan Pollard was Jewish and they used
Jewish agents to capture him. And how would you ever catch Asian
terrorists or Asian agents if you didnt use Asians. This isnt
a question of political profiling or political correctness; this
is a question of doing what is effective. And you need Muslim agents
to be undercover to do the work and when those agents say they are
not going to do their job because they are more loyal to Muslims
then they are to the United States then the FBI should be taking
action and removing them from their post, at a minimum. This is
the mentality of the FBI. It is the walking wounded of the bureaucratic
Washington, D.C. Its spends more time on Mondays and Fridays
planning their vacations than doing their job. It has created the
mentality for 9/11.
Did anybody ever specifically ask for whistleblower protection ----
No response. He is a whistleblower. As alluded to by Special Agent
Wright, David Schippers asked for that status file a whistleblower
complaint. I can get you the date. I dont have it right now.
What do you care whether the FBI is threatening you with criminal
Well, Im a lawyer. I have to follow the instructions of my
client. And my client values his FBI career. And my client loves
the agency and my client has instructed me not to assist him in
releasing information about the investigations. So, as a lawyer,
as a lawyer I have to obey my clients instructions. And what
we are asking of you, of the media, is to demand that Bob Wright
be allowed to come forward just like Coleen Rowley and not be retaliated
against. So we can say what it is he has to say. And we are prepared
to have other press conferences and make you available to Special
Agent Wright. But we need that media groundswell and the public
groundswell to protect this man. His career depends on what he has
put into the FBI and we cant jeopardize that as his counsel.
Can you tell us a little bit more just exactly what it was Agent
Wright uncovered, was it a few individuals, an extensive network
and was there clear evidence the monies were being used for terrorist
extortion and murders and such?
I cant get into specifics but there were names mentioned in
the, in the recitation of Special Agent Wright. He talked about
the Saudi businessman that he obviously had focused on and this
businessman, it turned out, the administration had to admit it after
9/11, was actually the right-hand money launderer of Osama bin Laden.
Bob Wright was focused on this individual years earlier. And they
tried to prevent him from doing his job, in investigating and prosecuting
this particular person, this Saudi businessman. His name is in the
(mostly inaudible) House and Senate do most of their work
in secret -- there are however public committees in progress headed
by people that I would think would only be too anxious to sink their
teeth into this --- do you --- that somebody up in Congress is going
to raise the implications?
We have, we are in the process of doing that. But remember that
Special Agent Wright, when we went to contact Congress, because
we were bringing him to Washington to meet with a particular Congressman,
in particular, who would have furthered Wrights interests.
Right after we did that, he was threatened by the FBI not to travel
outside of Chicago. This has been a constant threat to him. And
he does value his career. And we did get the information out in
a press release a number of months ago. But now the fact that he
is appearing in front of the cameras and thats something which
even Special Agent Rowley didnt do. She is obviously still
quite fearful of what might happen to her. And we sympathize with
her and are available to help her if she ever needs the help.
coming forward and I hope that his face on television and the written
press will cause the American people to demand Congress to utilize
his services. And also, if you didnt hear me, I went specifically,
I called the Attorney Generals office just days after 9/11.
I said Dave Schippers and I represent a Special Agent of the FBI
Chicago Field Office who has years of information about how the
FBI did not do its job, did not in any way investigate in a meaningful
way the money laundering in the United States. You are now claiming
you want to do this. Id like to make him available to you,
Attorney General Ashcroft. And I was met with a response by Michael
Chertoff, head of the Criminal Division, We are tired of conspiracy
theories. Now here is somebody, Chertoff, frankly who bears
a lot of responsibility for not getting the job done since 9/11.
And the people
in and around John Ashcroft bear that responsibility, including
the Attorney General himself, who in my opinion, has been derelict.
Now that he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he is giving
press conferences. But up until now, he has been sleeping for the
last nine months.
As a follow-up, Congressional committees do have subpoena power,
do you know of anybody in Congress who might be willing to go up
against the FBI on that?
I would guess that somebody like Senator Shelby would be interested
in that. I have contacted individuals on the intelligence committee,
such as Senator Arlen Specter and others. And I would hope that
they would have the courage to go more strongly at this than they
had the courage to go after Chinagate, which wasnt very much
courage at all.
(Mostly inaudible) - how do you define corruption in this context?
Corruption is knowing when something is not being done, knowing
when the American people are being left unprotected and when you
make a decision not to do something to protect the American people
which, in fact, you are required to do under the Constitution of
the United States to protect the American people from tyranny foreign
and domestic. And you effectively allow 9/11 to occur. That is the
ultimate form of government corruption dereliction of duty.
Thats subject in the military to prosecution, to court martial.
And I suggest that some of these bureaucrats should think seriously
about whether they have risen to the level of being even liable
legally for what they have not done to protect the American people.
Thats corruption. Thats one form of corruption. Its
no less than being bribed. Its no less than sharing classified
information with the enemy. It rises to the level of significant
government corruption. Frankly, if not treason.
Right now, he has been demoted to a level. Hes not being allowed
to work on terrorism investigations.
Hes working on innocuous, meaningless things. Thats
what he is doing. Hes a paper-pusher.
Its in the Dirksen Building. Yea, I suggest you check with
the FBI and ask them why one of the most knowledgeable people in
terrorism is now being demoted to being a paper-pusher.
He didnt meet with any Congressmen. I cant reveal that.
That was confidential communication.
Okay (inaudible) this was filed when?
Yes, we filed a lawsuit two weeks ago to force the FBI to allow
the manuscript to be made public. Again, they had 30 days to approve
it and theyve had many months to approve it. We are asking
the courts to order the FBI to follow its own regulations.
What was that date?
It was filed two weeks ago tomorrow.
That should be investigated and that was, in fact, hampered from
being investigated. Its not in dispute that monies were raised
and laundered by Islamic charities in the United States. Some of
them tied with Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden for use against
Americans and others in terrorist acts. Thats not in dispute.
In fact, it was Judicial Watch who filed the first complaint against
the Islamic charities. You can find it on our website at judicialwatch.org,
with the Internal Revenue Service, who spent the last eight years
investigating critics of the Clinton Administration but would not
audit these Islamic charities. Now after Judicial Watch made an
issue of this and after Special Agent Wright and others issued meager
press releases and the press got onto it, finally the Bush Administration
got around to seizing some of the assets of these charities both
in Texas and the Mid -West, and most recently in Herndon, Virginia.
But it is not in dispute.
And its no coincidence that initially the financing aspects
of the investigations were run out of the Chicago office of the
FBI. Special Agent Wright and his collegues there had laid the groundwork
for what now the Administration attempting to do in going after
the financing. And he has been kept out of the loop on that.
He was demoted in and around the time period leading up to 9/11
when he was requesting clearance for his book. When he requested
clearance for his book, he was yanked off of the terrorism investigations
and basically reduced to chief cook and bottle washer of the FBI.
What has happened to the Muslim FBI agent who refused to wear a
wire? You stated that a Muslim does not record another Muslim
are these words and actions consistent with FBI policy - agreements
that an FBI (inaudible)
To the best of our knowledge, nothing has happened to that agent.
Special Agent Wright and others requested action. Nothing was taken.
And with regard to your second question, if that was the standard
of whether one investigates as an FBI agent, then I guess the Jewish
agents wouldnt have caught Jonathan Pollard, which they did.
(mostly inaudible) ---was he wired?
There was several witnesses to that statement.
(mostly inaudible) - - and because of his refusal to wear a wire.
What the consequences of that? (inaudible)
Yeah, we cant get into what was or was not obtained by that.
But obviously, when the FBI conducts an investigation, its
doing it with the eye on prosecution and it needs evidence for that
prosecution. And one way that they get that evidence is through
wiring people. And one way that you get people to talk is to have
agents who are wired or individuals who are wired that that target
feels comfortable with. So, if you cant get somebody that
the target with talk with, you cant get the evidence and you
cant then likely bring a successful prosecution.
(inaudible) talk about that aspect of the case in a circumspect
way, I mean there was a case in Tampa (inaudible)
Thats as far as we can go. Yeah, the reason we went that far
is because we actually had a document that was released under the
Freedom of Information Act which set forth the parameters of what
Mr. Fitton just read to you. We have to do that because we are representing
Bob Wright. These people mean business. And unless you play this
story up big and I hope you do, Special Agent Wright is going to
wind up behind the eight ball and Special Agent Rowley is going
to wind up becoming Assistant FBI Director.
He is courageous
to come forward with the mentality in Washington, D.C. these days
where any whistleblower is retaliated against. And let me tell you
a little story about - we represent a number of whistleblowers from
people who blew the whistle on UN corruption to individuals who
blew the whistle on the Los Alamos compromise. We have a lawsuit
against Louis Freeh, former FBI director, which the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals has upheld. Thats going forward against Louis
Freeh. And let me tell you what they did to Truloc. They seized
his computer these are FBI agents at the direction of Louis
Freeh, broke into his house, hit his dog over the head with a gun
butt thank God he didnt have any children in there
at the time. These are the ways these people respond. So, yes, Agent
Wright is courageous and Agent Wright prays, and I pray for him,
that nothing happens to him.
When will (inaudible) come out?
As soon as the FBI will clear it.
He doesnt have a publisher yet.
If you get a subpeona from a member of Congress or a Congressional
committee, would that free him up, would that override the FBI regulations?
Would he then be free to talk at least to that committee, if not
Technically it wouldnt but I assure you that the FBI would
throw the towel in as quickly as Director Mueller became a believer
in Coleen Rowley.
Im confused by the need for a subpoena. The letter that read,
the threatening letter that you read, indicated the places that
he could go including the Inspector General, I seem to recall that
it also listed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which
is where Agent Rowley sent her information.
Thats a good question. That is a new thing that they added
into this letter. If you read the letters, youll see that
they never before mentioned Congress. This is the first time.
But my question is, I mean, Agent Rowley didnt hold a news
conference. She sent her information to the House and Senate Intelligence
Committees, which are enabled to receive classified information.
What Im wondering is why Agent Wright hasnt send his
information to those committees?
Actually, that is something that I cant get into but, shall
we say that Judicial Watch and Agent Wright are thorough, they dont
leave any rock unturned. We have been working on this for months
and you can be assured that there are people in Congress who havent
done their job either. Congresss new found interest is just
that as well. The hypocrisy of Congress equals that of the Bush
Well, you can see this one individual Kadeeb. He obviously
was implicated in and around Osama bin Laden and the American government
is investigating to see whether or not he had any role in September
11th. But he was into people like that. You see, who were involved
in the money laundering, who may have links to bin Laden, who may
have, of course we know he did stand behind the tragedy at the World
Yeah, the FBI became a recent believer in doing that. Wright was
urging them to proceed criminally against these organizations. They
did not do so until Judicial Watch and others raised a public outcry
as to why Islamic money laundering in the United States was not
being dealt with. This is a new phenomenon. And part of the reason
for this phenomenon, I believe, as Chairman and General Counsel
of Judicial Watch, is because these monies were going through some
very powerful U.S. banks with some very powerful interests in the
United States. These banks knew or had reason to know that these
monies were laundered by terrorists. And there are very significant
potential conflicts of interests in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations
-with the country primarily responsible for funding these charities,
mainly Saudi Arabia. We have both Clinton and Bush and in particular
this Bush Administration, who is as tight with Saudi Arabia as you
can get. The Presidents father used to stay with the bin Laden
family when he would go to Saudi Arabia. So, I dont know.
I dont know what the exact answer is. But that may help explain
why the federal government, why the FBI agents were nervous about
getting into this stuff, when the rich and powerful of Washington,
D.C. are in fact doing business with some of these entities.
Larry, in Agent Wrights investigations, did he ever run across
any kind of plans for attacks, just general plans for any kind of
terrorist attacks aimed at the United States?
I cant get into specifics but you can assume yes.
Larry, was his expertise (inaudible)
That was the leading field office.
and youre from Chicago. Congratulations.
Bob Wright played a significant role in conceiving of these investigations.
They are his baby. And you can see, you dont get an FBI agent
to break down in tears easily. They are pretty tough people. But
this was his life.
How many years did he specialize in (inaudible)
Hes been doing this for at least a decade, at least a decade.
Do you see him now spending the rest of his career in shadow (inaudiable)
as a paper-pusher, denied all promotions and perhaps not blatantly
fired but encouraged to leave simply by isolating him. I mean thats
happened before (inaudible)
Well in the words of Clint Eastwood make his day. Because
he is going to be a very rich man if they try that. And thats
one of the reasons why Schippers and Judicial Watch are representing
(mostly inaudible) Did one of these investigations involve - a Chicago
area Im sorry I dont remember the name of the
group, but maybe you guys do, was he related to that investigation?
I cant say. I cant say. But you know what, after you
guys get your story out, hes going to be able to tell everything
and its going to be a matter of days.