Thursday, April 26, 2012

Michael Riconosciuto and Hurricane Carter

Hurricane Carter was a boxer who was racially profiled and wrongfully imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit. They made a movie about his story and Bob Dylan sang a song about him.

Conversely, Michael Riconosciuto is a CIA whistleblower who was wrongfully imprisoned after testifying at a Congressional Hearing. Within a week of Riconosciuto's testimony he was arrested by Federal Agents. Even while under arrest, he was subpoenaed to testify before a U.S. Federal Grand Jury seated to hear the INSLAW case. On Thursday, November 12, 1991 Riconosciuto made a declaration to the court. After the declaration was filed his wife, Bobbie, was arrested in Napa on the eve of his testifying at Federal Grand Jury.

The thing is, everybody knows the CIA has a long standing tradition of arms dealing, drug smuggling and money laundering. Everybody knows about Mena Arkansas. Everybody knows the PROMIS software the CIA sold Canada had a Trojan horse in it. In the INSLAW case Mike testified in, a Federal Bankruptcy Court ruled that the Justice Department was deceitful and stole the $6 million software package. In 1996, Earl W. Brian was convicted on ten counts of fraud and sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in 2002. The problem is, nobody cares. There’s no reason to keep Michael Riconosciuto in prison any more.

The RCMP investigated Michael Riconosciuto and the INSLAW case. They know he was wrongly imprisoned. The frustrated investigating officers said no one outside of law enforcement will ever know what happened because they aren’t allowed to say what they found. Here’s the problem: Keeping an unlawful state secret is unlawful. It makes one an accessory to the crime.

Free Mike!


  1. History Commons has a timeline dedicated to the Inslaw and PROMIS case. Riconoscuito was arrested for what he testified to in March 1991 - to have altered illegal copies of PROMIS for the CIA. Riconoscuito was arrested by the DEA one week after he gave his deposition in the Inslaw case. In Cheri Seymour's 2010 book, "The Last Circle: Danny Casolaro's Investigation into the Octopus and the PROMIS Software Scandal" she relates that Riconoscuito claimed to use computer software to launder drug profits
    through the banking system, enabling the laundered profits to be used to buy
    weapons for the Contras in Nicaragua, the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, and others. In the coming weeks, William Binney - NSA whistleblower - will be in the media warning of a program called Stellar Wind which appears to be a progeny of Inslaw's PROMIS software.

    1. I’ve been reading about The Octopus as a hobby for about the last six months. Ever since I read that MR was out of prison. The history commons timeline is an excellent reference work. Thank you!

  2. William Binney on Stellar Wind, now that is interesting. Thanks for the update. I'm keenly interested in the investment fraud tied to the money laundering that has crashed several banks. History seems to keep repeating itself. Public money becomes private money, then disappears. Greece isn't the only place that has this problem. Cheers.

  3. Stellar Wind: That appears to be the main concern. Using Internet Survelance to spy on journalists, whistleblowers and activists not “terrorists.” It is an abuse of power and a violation of the Contitution.

  4. Here is link to recent Government Accountability Project's recent article on William Binney's shocking revelations about the government's surveillance program: "NSA Spying Continues Under Obama - NSA Whistleblower Makes Explosive Disclosures"

    From the article: Binney’s explosive disclosures over the past few weeks include:

    * The first public description of Stellar Wind, the NSA’s massive domestic spying program, which has the capacity to intercept trillions of domestic electronic communications of Americans, including e-mails, phone calls, and internet activities.

    * Revealing NSA employee Ben Gunn as the organizer of Stellar Wind. A senior NSA analyst who worked with Binney, GAP client J. Kirk Wiebe, also blew the whistle on Gunn’s role, stating: “One day I notice out in the hallway, stacks and stacks of new servers in boxes just lined up . . . I walk in and I almost get thrown out by a guy that we knew named Ben Gunn.”

    * That Stellar Wind gave the NSA warrantless access to telecommunications companies’ massive domestic and international billing records, amounting to an estimated “over a billion and a half calls a day.”

    * That “…after 9/11, all the wraps came off for NSA, and they decided to – between the White House and NSA and CIA – they decided to eliminate the protections on U.S. citizens and collect on, domestically. So they started collecting from a commercial – the one commercial company that I know of that participated provided over 300 – probably, on the average, about 320 million records of communication of a U.S. citizen to a U.S. citizen inside this country.” (18:15 – 18:45)

    *That since 9/11, the NSA has intercepted an estimated “between 15 and 20 trillion” electronic transactions.


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