Roving Wiretaps

Larry C. Johnson

"The claim by President Bush that he needs to ignore the FISA process in order to nab terrorists shows that he either does not understand that this law has been used to actually capture a terrorist based on a phone call from a foreign country or he is hiding something. In 1989 an Avianca plane exploded in mid-air in Colombia. The culprit? A henchman of Pablo Escobar, Dandeny Munoz-Mosquera. Mosquera was arrested in New York City on 21 September 1991. Here is the press account, which appeared in the Washington Post on 27 September 1991:

Federal authorities reported the arrest in Queens of , described as a leading assassin, and said they stopped a plot to kill a "very important target," possibly a world leader attending the U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Robert Bryden, chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office, said Munoz-Mosquera, 24, was "the single most trusted assassin" for Colombia’s Medellin cocaine cartel. He said officials did not know Munoz-Mosquera’s target.

Munoz-Mosquera is suspected of killing 40 Colombian police officers, setting 12 car bombs and masterminding the murder of a Colombian presidential candidate in 1989, authorities said.

DEA agents staked out a pay telephone in Queens Wednesday night, according to court papers. A man later identified as Munoz-Mosquera got out of a car, made a phone call and was arrested, authorities said. "We have a lot of eyes and ears in New York in the Colombian community," Bryden said.

Now for the real story.

Mosquera was grabbed thanks to a roving wiretap. I’ve heard the story from friends who were involved with the operation. DEA officials learned that Mosquera’s mom was going to call him. They moved quickly to set up a roving wiretap. They knew he was in New York but did not know where. Mosquera took many precautions, including having the in bound call bounce around the United States. He sent a third party to answer the phone. When he left his vehicle, DEA agents closed in and put a major league killer in jail. He was later convicted and is serving a long sentence in a high security US penal facility. The FISA authorization was obtained subsequently.

So, President Bush is wrong. You don’t have to break a law to get quick action. Not only can you catch terrorists using FISA, we have caught terrorists. The real story behind the unauthorized wiretaps authorized by President Bush probably concerns the source of the info. It appears the most likely explanation is that the Bush Administration did not want to have to tell a Federal judge that they were using information obtained from interrogations that violated the spirit and the letter of the Geneva Conventions. Instead of protecting the nation the President is covering his derrier."

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Roving Wiretaps

  1. Eric says:

    Sorry Larry:
    The derriere is high in the air.
    P.T. Barnum would be especially impressed:

  2. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Thank you for the Truth.

  3. HCT says:

    Mr Lang, I have lurked for a long time, reading your posts with much interest. Although I’m not an American and my country is not currently in your situation, history cannot be overlooked. I feel that the only bastion against a fascist society is knowledge. The articles by you and your partners are illuminating. Thank you.

  4. J says:

    Why FISA was created in the first place.
    Congress in 1978 set up a secret court that the Executive Branch must — by law — go through to seek wiretaps or surveillance of foreigners or Americans ‘suspected’ of espionage or terrorism. FISA was created in the wake of repeated Nixon abuses upon the Constitution.
    FISA was passed by the Congress to prevent the kind of abuse that we are witnessing coming from the corrupt Bush admin..
    If the secret court always approves White House requests for surveillance, wiretapping, and searches, why did the Bush admin. need to use illegal spying upon Americans citizens in thousands of cases, especially if the court so easily approved their requests? That is the 64 dollar question of the day — why was it so important for the Bush admin. to break the law?
    Bush, sadly has all the earmark traits of various dictators of recent history, he is a law unto himself and he rules as how he sees fit (wheither its legal or not). Bush has proven by his actions, that he cares not for liberty safeguards, let alone the U.S. Constitution.
    The 64 dollar question of the day — why was it so important for the Bush admin. to break the law? So ‘whom’ was on the Bush admin.’s ‘illegal’ surveillance list of thousands? Most probably their ‘poliical enemies list’, much like Nixon had.
    Those who do not learn from history will watch it repeat itself over and over again. Bush is Nixon part deux, Executive Branch corruption at its worst — chapter 2.
    Now the ball is in the court of the Congress to either protect our Constitution, or to watch it continue to be shredded by a corrupted Bush Executive Branch.

  5. John Howley says:

    A most serious situation. I agree that the names on the list are the keystone. Here’s a hopeful scenario. We (the people) keep the heat on Congress. In January, the Judiciary Committee puts the heat on Alito regarding presidential violations of FISA. (If the Judge does not denounce Bush’s actions, then he does not belong on the Court.) If Alito can be forced to side with us (the people) on the FISA matter, then the next step would be an independent bi-partisan commission to investigate Bush’s actions and that would include reviewing the names on the wiretap list. Once those names are revealed (even if only indirectly via the commission) then the discussion about impeachment can start. This is one feasible route to impeachment. I’m not attaching any probability to it yet. Picking a fight with that loudmouth in Teheran would short-circuit this process, of course.

Comments are closed.