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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

IG Says FBI Misled Public and Congress About Surveilling Anti-War Rally in 2002

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The FBI including the director gave inaccurate and misleading statements to Congress and the public about reasons why an agent conducted surveillance at an anti-war rally in 2002 at the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, according a report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General.

The report concluded that the FBI had no legitimate basis to believe that someone in a terrorism investigation would be present at the rally, contrary to what the FBI said in statements and the testimony Director Robert S. Mueller III delivered before Congress.

“We do not believe that the Director intentionally misled Congress,” the report concluded. “We found no evidence that he received information that should have given him reason to doubt the accuracy of the briefing material he relied on in preparing to testify.”

“Yet, it is clear that FBI personnel took insufficient care to ensure that Director Mueller was given accurate information. In this case, the Director was poorly served by those responsible for the contents of routing slip and press response.”

The FBI on Monday referred to a Sept. 14 letter written by FBI Deputy Director Timothy P. Murphy included in the report, which said: “The FBI regrets that incorrect information was provided regarding this matter.”

But it also applauded the findings of the overall report, which focused  on the FBI’s investigations on certain domestic advocacy groups.

“We are pleased the Report concludes the FBI did not target any groups for investigations on the basis of their First Amendment activities,” the letter said. ” As noted in your Report, (t)he FBI’s investigations of these individuals were generally predicated on concerns about potential criminal acts by these individuals, not their First Amendment rights.”

To read report click here.

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