Vulgar Betrayal: Federal Bureau of the Insidious
July 14, 2004
It’s been a bad PR year for the FBI.
A letter from a high-ranking FBI internal affairs chief is about to make it worse.
The letter, by John Roberts, recently retired Unit Chief of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, makes serious allegations about top FBI brass and their misconduct in trying to "take out" an FBI agent for investigating terrorists.
The agent, Bob Wright, a handsome, young lawyer from Indiana, never wanted to be a counterterrorism investigator. But in the early ‘90s, when he was assigned to the FBI’s Chicago office, Wright began to uncover a wide network of Hamas and Al-Qaeda financiers across the United States.
Wright’s investigations documented the terrorist money-laundering activities of Hamas political director Musa Abu Marzook and the Holy Land Foundation, now shut down by President Bush for financing Hamas terrorism. By investigating US companies like BMI, Wright uncovered the financial links between Hamas funding and Al Qaeda banker Yassin Al-Qadi, now a U.S. "Designated Terrorist". Wright’s efforts resulted in the "global terrorist" designation of several U.S. residents and entities which financed Hamas homicide bombings.
But for all of Wright’s efforts, his solid documentation, and strong recommendations for prosecution of these individuals and companies, FBI politics shut him down every step of the way. Wright’s investigation would embarrass the Saudis and interrupt FBI "intelligence gathering," one agent said laughingly.
Justice Dept. officials tried to return $1.4 million Wright had seized from Bin Laden financier Al-Qadi. Mohammed Salah—a Wright investigatee—remained free, as a Chicago college professor after being publicly designated as a terrorist by the US. Hamas political director Marzook was indicted only after was indicted on December 18, 2002 -- only after the FBI learned Agent Wright would appear the next night on ABC’s "PrimeTime" to complain about Marzook. The US deported him to safety in the Middle East, despite Wright’s insistence on keeping him in custody for prosecution. Marzook lives freely in terror-host Syria, evading extradition.
Months before 9/11, Wright complained on several occasions to FBI officials that Americans would die because of the closing of his investigation and the incompetence of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit. Wright was told to "let sleeping dogs lie." Each time he complained, trumped-up investigations were initiated against him, of all of which he was cleared.
But shutting down Wright’s fruitful seven-year investigation was not enough. The FBI wanted him out and silent.
The agency stalled Wright’s appearance before the 9/11 Commission until it was too late for him to appear before its public hearings. Then, they initiated an investigation of him for appearing on ABC News decrying known, publicly-designated terrorists, such as Salah, walking free in America.
A letter from Roberts, the FBI internal affairs superior charged with investigating alleged "misconduct" by Wright, shows the lengths to which top FBI personnel were willing to go to silence Agent Wright.
Not only did the FBI initiate an investigation of Wright, they instructed internal affairs Unit Chief Roberts to lie about it, he wrote. Roberts says FBI Assistant Director Robert Jordan and Deputy Assistant Director Jody P. Weis told him to prepare trumped-up investigation documents which "deceive, misrepresent, and hide" from the Justice Department investigators the true nature of Agent Wright’s "improper" behavior. With the apparent knowledge of FBI Director Robert Mueller, the men wanted to keep the Wright investigation inside the FBI and away from Justice, so that they could "take him out," Roberts claims they said. Roberts said Wright’s TV appearance, at most, deserved a censure letter, as no classified information was disclosed.
Since the FBI refused to pursue Wright’s terrorism investigation, it was assumed by David Kane of the U.S. Customs Service. Where the FBI shut down Wright, Kane and Customs proceeded expeditiously, raiding companies owned by Saudi Sheikh Al-Qadi, the Al-Qaeda financier Wright investigated. Indictments of companies in Northern Virginia linked to Qadi and Soliman Biheiri, another Wright investigatee have since resulted.
But now, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding, signed by John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge, the FBI has taken back all terrorism investigations from Customs (now the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement). And a Justice Department investigation of Wright’s TV appearance continues.
Before 9/11, Wright wrote a book about the FBI’s KO of his counterterrorism investigations. He was not allowed to publish it, despite FBI acknowledgment that most of the information is public.
Based on what Agent Wright has said in media interviews, thus far, it appears classified information about ongoing intelligence-gathering and protecting the Saudis is not the real concern. The concern is the embarrassment it will cause the FBI and how it ignored Al-Qaeda terrorism funding at the expense of American lives.
Wright’s now-defunct terrorism investigation was called "Operation Vulgar Betrayal."
But the real "Vulgar Betrayal" is what the FBI did to Bob Wright and the American people.