When I was a “Brick Agent” working in the FBI’s Violent Crimes Program, in the NYO (New York Office), if there was a “Bonnie and Clyde” type movie on TV Sunday, you could almost bet there would be a he/she Bank Robbery on Monday! If there was a movie about a Bomb used in a robbery we would shudder because the chance for a copycat Bomb Case just skyrocketed! Fortunately, that was nowhere near the frequency of the regular 500 BR’s we had per year but we did handle quite a few bomb cases with only one blowing up unexpected! Fortunately no one was hurt!
We, myself and another Agent, nickname Goober, and a new guy, responded on a Saturday to Manhattan for a BR/hostage, bomb case. When we got there NYPD was running the show; there was an armed NYPD Officer trapped in the Bank and a young man with a vest he called a bomb, holding everybody hostage. Finally the subject was told to remove the vest and prone out on the deck. He refused 3 times and the officer killed him with a single chest shot. We rushed the bank to remove all the hostages …the “bomb” was a very realistic looking bomb but was a fake! The veteran officer was devastated but he was told by all that he had no choice He shot to save not to take!!
We went to the Manhattan Morgue to fingerprint the subject…not the first time for me and Goober but the first for the 3rd. They shut off the air-conditioning on the weekends and it’s not pleasant, as the new guy found out. Before you laugh at Goober’s nickname…he and another Agent were pinned down on a staircase in Brooklyn in a gunfight, for hours, before they were “rescued”, by NYPD and our Squad. It takes a pretty tough lawman to do what they did! But to us …he was still Goober.
The week before the Manhattan “Bomb” robbery attempt there was a lot of news that involved Bombs used instead of guns…several papers did stories about similar cases …sort of a new trend. We just knew that would “blow up “ in our faces…so to speak…and it did! Time and time again the press ran stories…ALL of the press…almost glorifying COP killers like the Panthers and BLA and especially the freaking Weathermen Underground led by Hussein Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers and his killer wife Bernadine Dorn and their bombings of College Laboratories, armored car and Bank Robberies!
This was late 60’s early 70’s vintage and we did things a LOT different then, than today…thank goodness! Today the “brass”, would be all over everything we did…back then we usually handled everything ourselves…no bosses…unless it was one of the “cast of thousands” big deal cases. Like a major kidnapping, top ten fugitive, bad-ass BR gang (talk about exciting), or a Skyjack case. They would show up, screw up, and then find some poor Agent to blame for their mistakes.
We didn’t make mistakes…much…because we actually did the work, got dirty, had the experience whereas the bosses mostly did not!
I’ll give you a good example…in the “Dog Day Afternoon Al Pacino” Bank robbery, we could have taken out both subjects with zero risk to anybody but the 2 subjects. The “bosses”, FBI and NYPD said ,”NO”…resulting in an Agent risking his life by driving the van with bad guys and hostages to the airport, with a shotgun pointed at the back of the Agent’s head all the way to the airport. A code had been worked out so when the Boss approached the van “from the right” if he answered the Agent’s prepared question with a,”Yes”, with a silent count of three, the Agent was to shoot the subject behind him and a sniper would take out the other. When the Boss approached the van from the left, the wrong side… in order for the Agent to take the shot he had to grab and swing the barrel of the shot gun towards the boss. After asking the same question again and getting an emphatic ,”Yes”, Jimmy, the Agent had no choice but to swing the 12 gauge towards the boss and take out the subject with one shot . The other ass hole gave it up!
The point is this, the power of the Press is incredible, it’s like putting a loaded AR in an untrained, inept, dishonest reporter’s hands.
The reason the Bosses didn’t allow the snipers to take out the two bad guys was because they didn’t want the press to film and then feature the FBI and NYPD killing two armed, dangerous, bank robber, hostage takers, on National TV which is exactly what the lowlife press would have done without hesitation…hey… it’s all about ratings and money…open reporting my ass!
The point of this whole column is there needs to be Responsibility and Truth in reporting…there is none of either. These moron, wannabe, fame, glory and riches seeking reporters put just that, fame and riches, before all else in life and death. It’s all about money and nothing else…oh… sex does also play a part…just ask NBC’s Dateline Matt Lauer.
We don’t need more gun laws but we do need Truth and Responsibility legislation in Reporting. There must be accountability in reporting lies and opinions as the truth, when they are not. If a news media puts out a report that libels anybody to the point it damages their reputation and ability to make a living, they must reveal the identity of their sources. A ‘high ranking official” or anonymous source” doesn’t cut it! We cannot use anonymous sources for search warrants without substantiating the information. The court will always ask if we substantiated the information and how we did it , if not spelled out in a warrant, for example. Why the hell should the press be allowed to print, unsubstantiated, BS that has serious implications on our society and get away with it? That is NOT freedom of the press…that is abuse by the irresponsible press. If the irresponsible press, prints that an anonymous source said he saw something illegal, immoral or otherwise damaging to a citizen, without the ability to defend himself against an anonymous source…they must be forced, by legislation, to avail their source to the accused or face mandatory jail time and severe fines!
That’s sort of like taking the reporters’ “gun” away…isn’t it!?
If Law Enforcement has to substantiate source information why should the Press get away with false reporting?
We will all see VERY SOON what happens when law enforcement provides false info and lies, to the courts…the press should face the same scrutiny and accountability…