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Given the FBI’s skill at cultivating terrorists to arrest and indict, you’d think it would have done a better job handling the planned terrorist attack in Garland, Texas. The two shooters were killed by local police before they could kill any attendees at a “Draw Mohammed” event thrown by anti-Muslim activist (and bumbling litigant) Pam Geller. The FBI appears to prefer “hunting” terrorists who are about 90% talk and 10% insolvent. The list of FBI terrorism busts includes senior citizens, people with cognitive disabilities, and wannabe ISIS militants so terrifying they can’t even talk their mom into giving them their passport back so they can go fight for ISIS. When faced with suspects with coherent plans and firepower, the FBI simply motors away from ground zero. Literally. A 60 Minutes investigation into the Garland shooting reveals the FBI was on top of the suspects for several years, but failed to prevent the attack from being carried out. Elton Simpson, one of the shooters, was in constant contact with an FBI informant, and had been tracked on and off by the feds since 2006.
Dabla Deng spent three years pretending to be Simpson s friend, and was paid $132,000 by the FBI. He taped more than 1,500 hours of their conversations and finally recorded him talking about traveling overseas to wage jihad. Simpson lied to the FBI about it and got three years probation.
The time and money spent were ultimately useless. The FBI closed its file on Simpson in 2014, but reopened it after Simpson began talking up terrorism in social media posts. Less than three weeks before the 2015 Garland attack, the FBI was back undercover, in contact with Simpson. These details were uncovered by a lawyer for Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem. Kareem was a friend of Simpson’s and was convicted on material support and conspiracy charges. Multiple pages of declassified text messages not only showed the FBI was in contact with Simpson in the weeks leading up to the attack, but was actually present at the event that drew the attack.
[T]his past November, [attorney Dan] Maynard was given another batch of documents by the government, revealing the biggest surprise of all. The undercover FBI agent was in a car directly behind Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi when they started shooting.
Faced with an actual terrorist attack, the FBI agent took off, leaving local police to fend off the well-armed attackers. The undercover agent was arrested at gunpoint by cops a short distance away. Now, there may be legitimate reasons for an undercover not to get involved in a shootout. He may not have had the proper training or the weapons on hand to make a difference. But it’s definitely not a good look to arrive on scene of an attack featuring suspects you’re intimately familiar with and drive away when the bullets start flying. Especially not when the agent has stopped long enough to see the suspects exit their vehicle with weapons and, for some reason, to take a cell phone photo of the two people who would be shot at first: a school security guard and a local police officer. The FBI won’t explain what happened or why it happened. It refuses to discuss the closed investigation and claims no one at the agency had any advance knowledge of the planned attack — which presumably includes the special agent working undercover and present at the scene.
This would be the same agent whose text messages have been turned over to attorney Dan Maynard. Those appear to show the FBI had some advance knowledge of the planned shooting. The only obvious explanation for the FBI’s claim that there was no foreknowledge (other than the agency is just lying) is that it saw the communications but wasn’t convinced they were serious enough to act on. There’s a lot of gray area between talking big and being willing to carry out a terrorist attack. The FBI is never going to be able to make the correct judgment call in every situation. The problem is the FBI definitely appears to prefer pushing trash talkers into making terrorist attack supply runs at the local Wal-Mart or plane tickets to Turkey and busting them as soon as it ticks enough boxes for a successful prosecution. In doing so, its anti-terrorism skills aren’t improving. Real threats will slip through while people who would find it difficult to hold down a job, much less plan and carry out a terrorist attack, are being indicted, convicted, and served up as testaments to the FBI’s anti-terrorism skills. But in Garland, Texas — where real terrorists with a sizable supply of weapons and a coherent attack plan opened fire — the FBI was not only on the scene, but left as soon as it became obvious there was an attack taking place. No matter the reason, this isn’t a good look for an agency whose counterterrorism reputation is built on dozens of super-safe busts.
- ^ cultivating terrorists (www.techdirt.com)
- ^ bumbling litigant (www.techdirt.com)
- ^ 10% insolvent (www.techdirt.com)
- ^ senior citizens (www.techdirt.com)
- ^ with cognitive disabilities (www.techdirt.com)
- ^ talk their mom into giving them their passport back (www.foxnews.com)
- ^ reveals the FBI was on top of the suspects for several years (www.cbsnews.com)
The Washington Post has revealed that to fund the border wall and private prisons, the Trump administration is weighing cuts to the Coast Guard, airport security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is nothing short of stunning. Not only will the wall be an absolute waste of funds and an environmental disaster, it will also be a real infringement on property rights. More importantly, it will not work. Ask any Israeli how well their walls work (or don t), and those are placed where they can really be tended and watched. As envisaged, President Donald Trump s beautiful wall is a horrendously expensive boondoggle. To be clear, the only help we ll likely be getting from Mexico is their concrete which we will be paying for. The numbers are there for anyone who wants to look at them. Net Mexican migration is south. The majority of current undocumented immigrants are those who overstay their visas. This is not the spending we need. Our infrastructure is collapsing bridges are rated C-minus or D, our airports are considered third world, our railways rivals India s.
There are other, less expensive ways to monitor the border electronics, aerostats and such. It is appalling that the growth of exploitative private prisons are included in this package. If you follow the money, private, corporate prisons have been the heaviest lobbyists in favor of draconian border laws. It is astounding that the party of Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall is backing this. And if it s such a great idea, why beggar the Coast Guard, which protects our mariners, and FEMA, which is there for real emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes.
Raise the taxes and pay for it put the proposal on the floor of Congress and defend the proposal.
For 40 years, Dr. Russ Randall’s patients have received more than an alignment at their office visits. The Grass Valley chiropractor’s visitors will likely get a story, a joke, maybe even a song. One way or another, he’s going to get them smiling.
“I really believe you have to have confidence in your doctor,” said Randall, who at 66 still works six days a week. “That’s the most important part. But laughter and fun and smiling are so important, I think. People come in with all the trauma and stress of life, it’s so nice to make people feel good not only with music but with treatment.”
It was April 1, 1977 when the 26-year-old chiropractor who had spent four years as an associate with a practice in Roseville after graduating at 21 from Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa first hung his shingle on Hughes Road. He’s been in his current offices at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Clark Street since November, 1990.
“I put in the The Union newspaper a month before, a little 2-by-2 ad saying I was going to open,” he said. “The first month I was here I had 200 office visits, because there were only about six chiropractors in town. Now there’s like 30 or 40.”
Randall has no immediate plans to retire. He said he’d like to keep his practice active until 2022, when he’ll celebrate 50 years in chiropractic medicine. MODEST BEGINNING
Those 200 visits weren’t enough to get him out of the office around the clock. When Randall opened his practice, he couldn’t afford both the office space and an apartment. So he slept on one of his adjustment tables before marrying his wife of nearly 40 years, Char, in June, 1977.
“I’d set the alarm so I was awake in time for patients,” he said. “I had the straightest back in town.”
During his four decades in Grass Valley, Randall has expanded his practice with more specialized degrees. In 1982, he started driving to the Bay Area on weekends. He spent two-and-a-half years earning his Diplomate in Chiropractic Orthopedics from the Los Angeles Chiropractic College. He later took a course on disability evaluation so he could work with workers compensation patients, something he still does occasionally.
“I just love people and I don’t like to play judge and jury, so I cut back on that,” he said. “But the extra credentials really opened a lot of doors, because the more you have, the more people acknowledge you.”
TURN UP THE MUSIC
When talking to Randall, it’s difficult to get him to stay on chiropractic medicine. His passion is music, and that’s where the conversation always leads. He’s from Rockford, Illinois, birthplace of Cheap Trick. Guitarist Rick Nielsen, two years Randall’s senior, went to a rival high school. In ninth grade Randall watched Nielsen perform in a basement.
He’s been playing guitar for 50 years and currently plays in Rewind Press Play, a local rock group that features primarily 50s and 60s hits.
“People will come in and say, ‘I’m having a bad day,’ or, ‘It’s my birthday,’ and I’ll say, ‘What would you like to hear?’ and they’ll say, ‘How about some Zeppelin?”
Dr. Randall then retrieved a guitar from a storage area adjacent to his main exam room and started strumming the opening of “Stairway to Heaven” before a segue into singing and playing some of Cheap Trick’s “Heaven Tonight.” He wrapped up his impromptu set with a quick sample of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Randall’s multitasking doesn’t end there. He moonlights for Gold Country Security at the fairgrounds, weddings and other events. It’s a little side gig that pays for his expensive music collection, which features almost 30 guitars and 10 Marshall amplifiers.
“I left here last night at 6 p.m. and I got home at 3 a.m. They call me the Terminator. Do I look tired to you? I’ve been doing this for 45 years. It’s because I like people. I like diversity. I like challenges. And the thing is, if you have different hats throughout the day, it makes life fun.”
To contact Staff Writer Stephen Roberson, email