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Tag: mike mason

Column: Retired FBI Official Says Ray Kelly’s Criticism of FBI Unfair

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI. His column is in response to former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s criticism of the FBI in a New York Times article. Kelly suggested the FBI should have shared information regarding its suspicions about one of the Boston Marathon bombers before the bombing ever took place.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

 
By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

I am a big fan of Ray Kelly. I believe he is an innovative, thoughtful police executive. But I think his criticism of the FBI is seriously misplaced.

Precisely what would the FBI have shared with Boston, that in a steady-state environment would have led to them in engaging in any different actions toward the suspects? There are suspicions about hundreds of suspects that exists every day of the week.

Does anyone really think the FBI could have told Boston authorities, “Hey, we think these two guys are targeting the Boston Marathon for a bombing incident?” That is patently absurd.

It’s really time to stop the “blame game” in the aftermath of terrible events such as the Boston Marathon bombings. It is way too easy to say “We should have known anything you had about those suspects” after they have engaged in a heinous act against innocent civilians.

So, are we suggesting that the FBI should share all the information it has on every subject of interest who might potentially engage in a criminal act in the territory of any police agency?  I can assure you that is not the sharing environment we want.

The media needs to press officials when they complain of not receiving information from the FBI in a timely manner by asking two simple questions: 1) What is the precise information you are suggesting the FBI did not share with you in a timely fashion? and 2) In a steady-state environment, i.e. before the bad act has occurred, precisely what would you have done with the information you claim was not share with you in a more timely fashion.

Ray Kelly

Over the course of my career the offices I ran had an interest in hundreds of suspects. However, to share that information would have been utterly meaningless unless there was something to be accomplished by doing so.

I had outstanding relationships with the entire law enforcement community because I assured them I would share any actionable information as soon as I received it. However, the interest we had in the vast majority such “suspects” eventually waned without any additional actions being taken by my office.

I hope the time for using the FBI as an information hoarding piñata every time something bad happens in this country soon goes the way of the dinosaurs.

Retired FBI Official Michael Mason: Arming Teachers? Dumbest Idea Ever Proposed

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

The recent mass shooting in Connecticut was an act of incomprehensible evil.

However, in the wake of this tragedy we need to ensure we come together to present thoughtful and effective ideas to reduce the probability of such an act ever occurring again. Arming teachers is categorically not a recommendation that should enjoy any consideration at all.

The probability of having an active shooter incident at any particular school is infinitesimally small. The ridiculous suggestion of arming teachers would actually increase that probability simply by virtue of putting thousands of guns in schools which today have none.

There is a huge difference between handing someone a gun and ensuring they receive the proper training to effectively engage that gun when required to do so.

Training is not a once and done endeavor, it must be continuous, and be required.  It is difficult enough to hit a paper target that is not shooting back at you.

Imagine the average teacher having to use that gun under the most adverse circumstances imaginable. We expect Ms. Jones, a great, compassionate, effective teacher, to now become an extension of the police department’s SWAT team?

We expect her to run to the sound of gun fire, through all the chaos and noise and effectively use that gun that has been locked in her drawer for the past 11 years? Really, can there be a more absurd notion circulating around the country.

Owning a gun and genuinely being prepared, psychologically and physically, to use it are two entirely different concepts.

I carried a gun for 23 years and in that time only experience one occasion during which I thought I was going to have to shoot another man. I did not think, “Go ahead…make my day.”

I clearly remember thinking, “Please don’t make me shoot you.” Although I was committed to doing so, I remain grateful to this day I did not have to shoot that individual. My point is that the concept of going from teacher one moment to effectively deploying deadly force in the next moment goes far beyond simply having access to a firearm.

The mass shooting in Connecticut absolutely demands that we address the issue of gun control. It is equally important that we not simply react, but rather engage in intelligent, thoughtful discussions to develop solutions that will genuinely impact this horrendous situation. Arming teachers is simply a dumb idea which deserves not a second more of serious consideration.

 

 

Ex-FBI Agent Mike Mason Expresses Concern About Sabotage in Verizon Strike

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI official Mike Mason, who heads up security at Verizon, is voicing concern about the strike by company workers on the east coast that has resulted in the sabotage at some facilities including a police department and hospital.

“I consider that an unpatriotic act,” Mason, a former executive assistant director of the criminal division  at the FBI, told the Associated Press. “These cuts aren’t just affecting a faceless, monolithic company.”

The AP reports that Verizon has discovered 90 acts of sabotage since the strike began last week involving 45,000 landline employees from Massachusetts to D.C.  The FBI is involved in the investigating the matter.

An FBI spokesman said the agency is involved in the probe.

“Because critical infrastructure has been affected, namely the telecommunications of both a hospital and a police department, the FBI is looking into this matter from a security standpoint as part of our security efforts leading up to the 9-11 anniversary,” Special Agent Bryan Travers said in an email, according to AP.

Candice Johnson, a union spokeswoman from the Communications Workers of America, said:

“CWA does not condone illegal action of any kind, and instructs its members to conduct all strike activities in accordance with labor law.”

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FBI Agents Association: Mike Mason “Embodies Our Principles” For FBI Director

Reprinted with permission from the website Main Justice.

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Konrad Motyka
President of the FBI Agents Association

With FBI Director Robert Mueller’s 10-year term expiring in September, President Obama faces one of the most important decisions of his presidency in the fight against terrorism: the selection of the next FBI Director. There are already calls for the President to nominate a judge or prosecutor, fields where the majority of the former Directors served before assuming office.

The Bureau’s leadership must evolve just as the challenges facing the Bureau have evolved, and the President should not limit candidates to judges or prosecutors, as accomplished as some of these individuals may be. The first Director selected post 9-11 must continue to enhance the effectiveness of the FBI in i the fight against terrorism, while not compromising the Bureau’s established expertise at both criminal and counterintelligence investigations.

The FBI Agents Association, representing over 12,000 current and former FBI Agents, believes the President should be guided by a new set of principles.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

The FBIAA’s first principle is that a new Director must recognize that FBI Special Agents are Central to the Bureau’s core mission. In the wake of 9-11, there was  a concerted effort to transfer the Bureau’s domestic, intelligence-gathering responsibilities to a proposed M15-styled agency. Quashing that effort, Director Mueller advocated the important linkage between criminal investigative principles and experience, intelligence gathering and analysis, and counterterrorism efforts. While priorities may change, Agents are as essential to the Bureau’s primary mission of protecting our country as they are to combating a wide array of crimes ranging from street gangs to mortgage fraud.

Second, effectively combating 21st century crimes requires bridging counterterrorism and traditional investigative efforts. Therefore, the next Director must have an understanding of more than just criminal prosecutions — he or she must be able to negotiate the unique issues associated with simultaneously working towards intelligence and criminal prosecution objectives.

Third, the new Director must advocate effectively for the Bureau, and therefore must understand and respect the work of Agents. History has show that when the senior-level men and woman who lead the Bureau understand Agents — the obstacles we overcome, the burdens our families endure, and the often life-threatening circumstances we face — the Bureau is a more effective agency.

As the FBIAA developed these principles, one candidate was brought up repeatedly by Agents in the field as someone who embodies them: Michael Mason. While our association is not limiting itself to the candidacy of Mr. Mason, we believe he is the type of person who embodies our principles.

Mr. Mason served the Bureau in a wide variety of positions and locations over his 23 year career, culminating in his assignment as Assistant Director in charge of the Washington Field Office, and ultimately, as the Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI. He has unique private sector experience as director of security for a major international telecommunications company. His experience as a Special Agent in the field and as a leader in a variety of FBI management positions provides him a unique perspective that will enable him to formulate, implement, and communicate policies that maximize the effectiveness of the Bureau.

Just as unexpected challenges confronted Director Mueller when he  assumed his position one week before 9-11, the next Director will have new obstacles to overcome and new opportunities to lead. There are many fine candidates  who will likely be discussed in the coming weeks. In the post9-11 world, special attention should be paid to candidates like Michael Mason, who possess experience in criminal investigation, management of national security and intelligence operations, and who have worked with foreign countries and intelligence community partners.

FBI Agents Association Endorse Ex-FBI Agent Mike Mason as New Director

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI Agents Association has endorsed ex-FBI agent Mike Mason to replace the soon-to-retire FBI Director Robert Mueller III.

The association, which represents more than 12,000 active duty and retired agents, said Tuesday that it had submitted the recommendation to the Obama Administration.

“While the FBIAA is not limiting itself to the candidacy of Mr. Mason, we believe it is important to provide an example of the type of person who embodies our principles,” wrote FBIAA President Konrad Motyka in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

“In the wake of 9-11, there was a concerted effort to transfer the Bureau’s domestic, intelligence-gathering responsibilities to a proposed MI5-styled agency,” wrote Motyka. “Quashing that effort, Director Mueller effectively explained the important linkage between criminal investigative principles and experience, intelligence gathering and analysis, and counterterrorism efforts.”

“While priorities may change,” continued Motyka, “Agents are as essential to our primary mission of protecting our country as they are to combating a wide array of threats ranging from Bloods street gangs to mortgage fraud to Russian sleeper cells…The next Director must remain committed to the centrality of the Special Agent to the Bureau’s mission.”

Mason would become the first African-American FBI director. He was a popular figure at the FBI. He was an agent for nearly 23 years and left to head up Verizon’s security in 2007. He held a number of positions during his tenure. He headed up the Sacramento and Washington field offices and retired as executive assistant director for the criminal division at headquarters.

The endorsement of an ex-agent comes as no surprise. The association generally prefers a law enforcement agent in the job. Robert Mueller, the current director, is a former federal prosecutor and the previous director,  Louis Freeh had been an agent at one time.

Mason declined comment on Tuesday when asked by ticklethewire.com  about his endorsements.

The endorsement doesn’t guarantee anything, but it could raise the profile of Mason as a candidate. Others names that have surfaced include U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago, former deputy Attorney General James Comey,  ex-FBI agent John Pistole who heads the Transportation Security Administration, Frances Fragos Townsend, a top Bush terror adviser during the Bush administration,  NYPD  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and former Justice Department official Ken Wainstein.

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