You will remember back in June the AP reported on the FBI’s fleet of planes spying on American? If not here’s a description of how the FBIs wanted to keep the details of the front companies owning the planes a secret.
The FBI asked the AP not to disclose the names of the fake companies it uncovered, saying that would saddle taxpayers with the expense of creating new cover companies to shield the government’s involvement, and could endanger the planes and integrity of the surveillance missions. The AP declined the FBI’s request because the companies’ names – as well as common addresses linked to the Justice Department – are listed on public documents and in government databases.
Well, the FBI continued flying the planes, and -contrary to their previous assertion to the AP – the planes seemed okay.
Then on Wednesday the Detroit Free Press got in on the act, publishing a story on one of the FBI’s planes spending the last week surveilling Dearborn, MI, which just happens to boast the biggest concentration of Arabs in America. Which means that despite the FBI’s claim to the AP they would need to generate new covers….ah, not so much with that:
The 2010 Cessna is registered to a company called OTV Leasing of Bristow, Va. The registration, like other aircraft included in the AP investigation, is linked to a bank of post office boxes in Bristow.
OTV Leasing was among at least 13 fake companies used by the FBI that were identified during the AP investigation.
The chief executive of OTV Leasing is listed on aircraft records as Robert Lindley. The AP reported that Lindley is listed as CEO of several other front companies, and has at least three distinct signatures on aircraft records. The FBI did not disclose to the AP whether Lindley was a U.S. government employee; the news agency could not reach him for comment.
So in addition to president Obama’s Drones Over America program, we now have Secret FBI Spy Planes? Not that, you know, the FBI would ever commit mass surveillance upon a racial or religious communities, nest-ce pas? Why, they even came out and said as much:
The FBI was conducting a specific criminal probe and not investigating credible terror threats nor targeting racial or religious communities, the bureau told community leaders at a meeting Wednesday night.
“Contrary to the suggestion of some recent media reporting, the FBI does not employ aviation assets to conduct mass surveillance nor to target specific communities,” Abbate said in a statement. “Neither does the FBI monitor lawfully protected First Amendment activity. Further, the FBI Detroit Field Office is not aware of any specific or credible threats within the local Detroit Metropolitan area.”
Well, hell, what could possibly go wrong here?
Sure, maybe Dearborn’s residents have nothing to worry about.
But why do I not feel reassured? 1