FROM THE ARCHIVE
FBI truths subject of probe and Peltier suit
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THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2002

A number of FBI employees with a high-level of security have failed an initial round of polygraph tests, FBI officials acknowledged on Wednesday.

Saying about seven employees out of hundreds flunked, FBI Director Robert Mueller characterized the number as small. "We are heartened that less than 1 percent of the 700 raised issues that require further investigation," he said.

Kenneth Senser, a CIA official serving as the FBI's assistant director of security, quickly added that the employees aren't being pre-judged. Further investigation is warranted to find out the reason for the failures but "not because we think they're spies," he said.

The results came as the officials briefed reporters about the progress of an initiative launched during the Clinton administration in the wake of a spy scandal. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who left last June prior to the end of his 10-year term, started the tests to respond to charges that agent Robert Hannsen was able to bypass security measures to sell secrets to Russia.

Mueller yesterday acknowledged the breaches in advance of a report critical of the FBI's lax safeguards. "I will say, anybody who looks at our organization realizes that security was not a priority," he said.

The news on the failures also comes as attorneys representing imprisoned American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier file a lawsuit today in federal court in Washington, D.C. The complaint accuses Freeh, the FBI Agents Association and numerous past and present officials of spreading lies in their campaign to oppose Peltier's failed bid for presidential clemency.

Freeh is singled out for his "repeated and vociferous written and public statements" against Peltier, the complaint states. In letters to then-Attorney General Janet Reno and former President Bill Clinton, he stated his opposition to clemency.

The lawsuit references information Indianz.Com posted online in December 2000. During a press briefing, Reno, whose run-ins with Freeh were frequent, expressed reservations about her subordinate going public about what she viewed as an executive privilege matter.

Similarly, the FBI association is cited for "articles and advertisements containing knowingly false and unsupported accusations" about the case. In what Peltier attorney Jennifer Harbury characterized during an appearance on Good Morning America as unprecedented, about 500 agents marched to the White House on a rainy day to deliver their personal objections to setting the man convicted of murdering two colleagues free.

In the past, the FBI has defended its views on the Peltier case. On the 25th anniversary of the shootings of agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975, Freeh sent out an agency-wide message decrying the "cold blooded crime."

Peltier was convicted of murder in 1976 and is serving two life sentences in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. All of his appeals and parole requests have been denied.

Get the Complaint:
Peltier v. Freeh, et. al (4/4)

Relevant Links:
FBI - http://www.fbi.gov
Free Leonard Peltier - http://www.freepeltier.org
The Leonard Peltier File, FBI - http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/minn/peltier.htm
The Peltier Trial Transcripts - http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/peltier/trial.htm
The No Parole Peltier Association - http://www.noparolepeltier.com

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