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Fri Nov 7, 2014, 04:41 AM

FBI admits agent impersonated AP reporter

Source: AP-Excite

By CHRIS GRYGIEL

SEATTLE (AP) FBI Director James Comey says an agent impersonated an Associated Press reporter during a 2007 criminal investigation, a ruse the news organization says could undermine its credibility.

In a letter Thursday to The New York Times, Comey said the agent "portrayed himself as an employee of The Associated Press" to help catch a 15-year-old suspect accused of making bomb threats at a high school near Olympia, Washington. It was publicized last week that the FBI forged an AP story during its investigation, but Comey's letter revealed the agency went further and had an agent actually pretend to be a reporter for the wire service.

Comey said the agent posing as an AP reporter asked the suspect to review a fake AP article about threats and cyberattacks directed at the school, "to be sure that the anonymous suspect was portrayed fairly."

The bogus article contained a software tool that could verify Internet addresses. The suspect clicked on a link, revealing his computer's location and Internet address, which helped agents confirm his identity.

FULL story at link.



FILE - FBI Director James B. Comey speaks during a news conference in Portland, Ore., in this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo. In a letter ThursdayNov. 6, 2014 to The New York Times, Comey said the agent "portrayed himself as an employee of The Associated Press" to help catch a 15-year-old suspect accused of making bomb threats at a high school near Olympia, Washington. It was publicized last week that the FBI forged an AP story during its investigation, but Comey's letter revealed the agency went further and had an agent actually pretend to be a reporter for the wire service. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)


Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20141107/us-fbi-fake-news-story-276eaa4c75.html

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 05:11 AM

1. Going undercover as a reporter in the hope of stopping another possible school tragedy seems

like acceptable police work, provided that the assumed identity of reporter is not abused to do other things.

I'll be interested in the responses of other DUers who might feel differently.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 06:08 AM

2. "a ruse the news organization says could undermine its credibility."

Their "credibility" was lost a long long time ago.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 06:50 AM

3. It really is about credibility and trust

They want citizens to trust a government that is good and ethical and protective
but deception undermines all of that and more. Undercover sounds fine, but
stings are one example of deception. Would the crime have been committed without
the sting? How much pressure and bait were used? Was it irresistible to the average
citizen, and how do you measure that? Is even that a relevant criteria? How can
someone commit a crime that is fake? The other 'participants' walk away. No actual
crime was in progress.

They could nab a lot of speeders with false speed limit signs. Citizens protest
vociferously when ticketed on a yellow light. Should you turn, or sit on the very edge
of dangerous traffic to wait for green?

These instances undermine citizens' faith in a benevolent government. Any use of
deception begins a slippery slope.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 04:11 PM

13. +1 Glad somebody gets it. nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 08:15 AM

4. LE does this sort of thing..

... all the time. They are under no obligation to be truthful during interrogations or in gathering evidence. Anyone shocked by this has not been paying attention.

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Response to sendero (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 09:36 AM

5. The balance of power is unequal. LE can lie to a suspect and play tricks. But lie to the FBI and

you likely will be charged, even if you didn't commit the offense under investigation.

Some LE go online as 17 year old girls seeking sexual relationships with adults who, when they show up are busted. Apparently legal but sets up a double standard in law.

Scenario #1 - Adult meets 17 year old minor who represents himself/herself to be 18. Belief that the minor is 18 is no defense to statutory rape. What matters is the minor hasn't reached age of consent.

Scenario #2 - Adult meets 35 year old LE agent on line who is pretending to be 17 year old. They meet and adult is busted. Why is it not legal to arrange unpaid sex with 35 year old cop just because the adult is mistaken about the agents actual age?

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Response to 24601 (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 09:40 AM

6. scenario #2 shows an attempt to intentionally commit a crime.

 

Same reason every sting operation, from child pr0n to drugs to murder for hire to bribery--results in convictions.

And usually LE go online posing as 13-15 year olds. Adults who go out looking for 13 year old boys and girls they can prey upon should be locked up.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 10:08 AM

7. I didn't say I liked it...

... or that I think it is fair. That's just the way it is and it has been for a long time.

For example, a long time ago a friend was pulled over in a traffic stop. The cop either smelled or suspected marijuana, so he told my friend "give it to me and I will dispose of it and let you go".

So my friend gave it to him, and was promptly arrested.

My advice, don't believe a word anyone in LE says to you and don't say anything you don't have to.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 10:15 AM

8. They didn't have to use AP, they could have used a fictional news agency. These practices

continue to shred the constitution into tiny pieces and this was just another victory in the war against freedom of press.

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Response to whereisjustice (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 12:58 PM

10. And with a 15-year-old?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 10:56 AM

9. Since most AP "reporters" are impersonating

journalists what's the difference.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 03:42 PM

11. Was his name Agent Smith? n/t

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 04:00 PM

12. minor problem at worst

 

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