Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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New Yorker contributor Evan Ratliff tells about the role of confidential informants in the FBI. His article “The Mark” is in the May 2 issue of the New Yorker.
It's a bit cynical for Rep. Michael Grimm and his political associates to have been rabidly calling for the release of Obama's birth certificate, but now they stonewall and refuse to agree to the release of NYPD and FBI docs that supposedly show Grimm innocent of being a racist? What do the documents really show? Doesn't the public have the right to know whether or not their elected representative is a racist and an out-of-control thug? Grimm, release those files.
LEONARD/EVAN - great interview!It is too bad that so much of the story was cut from the Evan's magazine article before it reached publication.
PATRICK...It is not that there are more or less Confidential Informants being used now, every once in a while, a CI gets out of control and lands up in the news...
JOSEF MEYERS also know as PRINCE JOSEF FRANS PRACH VON HABSBURG LOTHRINGEN had been a felony fugutive absconder for decades in Florida and wanted in Michigan for back child support(all while working as a PAID INFORMANT for the FBI).
The defense team discovered that Meyers/VonHabsburg was a fugitive hiding (in plain sight) in downtown NYC, but it was not until the trial was winding down that they gained permission from their client to notify Oakland County Michigan law enforcement authorities of Meyers/VonHabsburg's location.
Afterward the Oakland County Michigan law enforcement authorities had tried for years to have arrested him but could not receive cooperation from the either the NYPD or the FBI-NY to pick him up.
The Oakland County Sheriff Department and Prosecuting Attorney were finally able to get Meyers/VonHabsburg arrested on the felony interstate warrant and extradited to Michigan as a direct result of a story by Charlie Leduff (now with FOX News - Detroit) that was published on the front page of The Detroit News on January 25th, 2010.
When Leduff went to NYC to research for his story, he talked to neighbors and left his business card on "the prince" door" regarding the pending The Detroit News article, it caused Meyers/VonHabsburg to relocate from his $8000/month SoHo residence.
The Detroit News article lifted the blanket that had been protecting "the prince" for over 20 years, HOWEVER, even after being exposed in the local press, Michigan law enforcement still could not get help from the FBI-NY. The Sheriff Dept was now able to gain support from the the US Marshal's Office in Detroit, who in turn had the the fugitive squad of the US Marshal's NYC Office agreed to arrest "the prince" for Oakland County - even though FBI-NY still would not respond to Oakland County's request for help with the felony arrest of Meyers/VonHabsburg.
Now that Meyers/VonHabsburg is convicted and in a Michigan State Prison for the next 3-1/2 to 15 years, and has received nationally news coverage thanks to Evan's THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE article, it is opening up another pandora's box - - - just as it happened when FBI Informant WHITEY BOLGER was exposed in the news.
The BOLGER news coverage resulted in the then Attorney General, Janet Reno, revising the FBI CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT POLICY - maybe it is once again time for a policy review.
Why would an objective news reporter ask another reporter's personal opinion about the election of someone who was part of a supposedly unbiased report? Would he have asked that question if the person in mind was a liberal? Definitely not!
Excellent interview. Todd Terry, Stephen Rambam and Robert Kowalkowski should have been mentioned. They were the investigators who uncovered and jailed the criminal informant.
Michael Grimm's FBI and military experience was a major element of his Congressional campaign (when he wasn't ranting about the Ground Zero mosque, that is).
I'm guessing that Michael Grimm is the Rep. Congressman from Staten Island/Bay Ridge - are you all going to point this out?
Are there more informants than previously?
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Leonard Lopate hosts the conversation New Yorkers turn to each afternoon for insight into contemporary art, theater, and literature, plus expert tips about the ever-important lunchtime topic: food.
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