August 29, 2003
Dear Attorney General Ashcroft:
On August 19, 2003 you announced that repealing the USA PATRIOT Act, which you claim boosts law enforcement's ability to investigate terrorism, would endanger Americans. You stated, "to abandon this tool would disconnect the dots, risk American lives, sacrifice liberty and reject September 11's lessons." You announced a national campaign to defend the act and your plan to visit more than a dozen cities, but you would not hold public forums. Your speeches will be choreographed tightly before law enforcement officials only. You are quoted as stating, "If we knew then what we know now, we would have passed the Patriot Act six months prior to September 11TH…for Congress to have done less would have been a failure of government's basic responsibility…to preserve life and liberty."
As a retired Senior Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Memphis, Dallas and Los Angeles divisions, I am compelled to distribute the enclosed January 7, 2003 report that contains information furnished to me by Mr. Michael Riconosciuto on January 3, 4 and 5, 2003. This report was sent to your office on January 28, 2003. I am now distributing it to the Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, city councils and the news media in the cities that have been or will be visited by you in the next few days, according to your published schedule. Attached to this report is my ADDENDUM dated August 29, 2003, with several itemized exhibits.
In January 2003, I furnished this report to 155 senators and members of Congress, every committee on the hill, Mr. Lee Hamilton, cochairman of the President's 9-11 committee and numerous members of the executive branch of the United States (U.S.) government. President Bush was furnished a copy last April.
To summarize, in January 2001, eight months prior to 9-11, Mr. Michael Riconosciuto, who has been a U.S. intelligence agent for years, developed information about imminent terrorist attacks against the United States. On March 20, 2001 he furnished FBI Special Agent (SA) Keith Cutri of the FBI's Williams-port, PA Resident Agency the identity of an individual in Patterson, NJ who:
a) Was coordinating forthcoming terrorist attacks on the United States.
b) Had information on the movement of Soviet-made shoulder-fired missiles into the United States.
c) Was coordinating forthcoming skyjackings.
d) Was coordinating bombings and espionage.
e) Knew the identities of "sleepers" in the United States and overseas.
Mr. Riconosciuto also furnished information that 6 planes were to be hijacked by 30 terrorists, and the targets, other than those hit on September 11, 2001, were the Capitol Building, the Statue of Liberty and the White House. He also furnished information about a false identification ring in Montreal, Canada and New Jersey, and advised that he could furnish the true names and false identities of the 30 terrorists who had been chosen for actions inside the United States, if he and his contacts were given immunity. (Redactions beginning on page 2 of the enclosed January 7, 2003 report are for protection of Mr. Riconosciuto's confidential source and his allies. You have a copy of the uncensored report.)
Mr. Riconosciuto also told SA Cutri about 37 Soviet-made missiles that were being smuggled into the United States and stated there was a 30- hour window of opportunity to confiscate them. He warned that terrorists were taking flight training in various types of aircraft. Mr. Riconosciuto believed, by furnishing this information to the FBI, he had prevented a terrorist attack against the U.S.
Two days after 9-11, on September 13, 2001, FBI SA Cutri returned with another agent and met with Mr. Riconosciuto. The FBI agents:
(a) Wanted to know why Mr. Riconosciuto was bothering the FBI and wasting its time.
(b) Accused Mr. Riconosciuto of seeking publicity.
(c) Accused Mr. Riconosciuto of being "anti-FBI" and "anti-government".
(d) Called Mr. Riconosciuto a "conspiracy theorist".
(e) Called Mr. Riconosciuto a "know-it-all".
(f) Called Mr. Riconosciuto a "hoaxer" and threatened him with prosecution.
(g) Stated that the FBI discontinued inquiry into the information Mr. Riconosciuto gave in March because information Mr. Riconosciuto gave him about a staff member at FCI Coleman was untrue.
(h) Stated that Mr. Riconosciuto was still under investigation because of threats he made against a staff member at Coleman. Riconosciuto took this as a threat by the FBI against him.
The fact that Mr. Riconosciuto knew about imminent terrorist activities in the U.S. in advance of 9-11 is documented in his February 5, 2001 letter to his attorney, Mr. Don Bailey. This letter was sent certified mail, #7000-0600-027-1175-1175, postal stamped Whitedeer, PA on February 6, 2001 (see Exhibit "A" of the enclosed report). On page 3 and 4 of Mr. Riconosciuto's letter to Mr. Bailey, he stated:
(a) "Things have now come to a head! I now have contact with an operative that is in an Arabic group known as The Base. They are presently engaged in preparation for a major attack in the US."
(b) "We have an insider to this group that handles false ID and passports for the groups' operations. I also have contract with one of the parties that supplies explosives materials to this group."
(c) "As soon as we learned that an actual attack was in the works we realized we can't fool around with this. On the other hand we don't want to get screwed by the government."
From September 23, 2001 to early May 2003, this author wrote several letters to U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA) and he, in-turn, wrote several times to the FBI in an effort to document that the FBI inter- viewed Mr. Riconosciuto in March 2001. During this period, the FBI responded several times without acknowledging or admitting they met with Mr. Riconosciuto prior to 9-11.
A year and a half later, by letter dated May 22, 2003, FBI Assistant Director Larry A. Mefford confirmed that the FBI interviewed Mr. Riconosciuto on March 20, 2001. Mr. Mefford further stated at no time has Mr. Riconosciuto "provided any credible evidence or indication of a federal violation within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI." Mr. Mefford stated, "Mr. Riconosciuto's allegation was investigated and no 'fruitful' information was developed." Mr. Mefford advised that Mr. Riconosciuto is not considered a credible source. (Note, according to Mr. Riconosciuto, when FBI SA Cutri reinterviewed him on September 13, 2001, SA Cutri stated that the FBI did not investigate his allegations.)
Mr. Riconosciuto furnished detailed information 6 months in advance, concerning the terrorists' planned attacks that subsequently occurred, and Mr. Mefford claims he is not credible? I have worked with Mr. Riconosciuto for years. He and his father, Marshall, were U.S. intelligence agents for decades. Their firm, Hercules Manufacturing in Silicon Valley, CA, handled confidential government contracts during the 1970s and 1980s. His contributions to the national security of our country are too numerous to detail in this letter. (See Mr. Riconosciuto's involvement with the Inslaw Inc.'s PROMIS software, as stated in my introduction to the January 7, 2003 report and documented on several websites, including www.totse.com and www.copi.com/articles/inslaw, as well as Mr. Riconosciuto's testimony and sworn affidavit furnished to the Committee on the Judiciary, House Report 102-857: The Inslaw Affair, 102d Congress, 3d Session, September 10, 1992, [USGPO, Wash., DC].)
I would like to point out, sir:
• The FBI not only knew in advance of the car bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993, they furnished the ingredients for the bomb (The New York Times, October 28, 1993);
• An inside investigator informed me that at least 11 other individuals, besides McVeigh and Nichols, were involved in the Oklahoma City bombing; and
• Regarding 9-11, I have been told by a credible source that New York City firemen on the 76TH and 84TH floors radioed their commanders and reported that bombs were going off prior to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. I have photographs available proving that the towers were imploded. These photographs are from NBC News' live television video footage (30 frames per second, with each frame numbered and broken down) the morning of September 11, 2001. They are available upon your request.
As a result of 9-11, we now have Homeland Security and the USA PATRIOT Act. The U.S. Department of Justice, Homeland Security and who knows how many other alphabet agencies will be able to "legally" keep track of all credit card records, bank transactions, car rental receipts, gun purchases, passport applications, magazine subscriptions, medical prescriptions, academic grades, bank deposits, trips everyone books, events we attend, drivers licenses, bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, rental car records, telephone records, internet traffic and complaints by nosy neighbors to the FBI. It has been publicly announced that one in every 10 Americans are expected to become informants for the U.S. government. The Pentagon has developed an urban surveillance system that can track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a "foreign" city. And what about searches of our neighbors' and our property without a search warrant? And randomly tapping our phones and seizing our property?
Initially, when quizzed, representatives of your department denied that USA PATRIOT Act II had been authored by the U.S. Department of Justice. Thanks to a loyal American within your ranks, the 87-page document was "leaked." Although it has not been presented to Congress, if passed, anti-war activists could be jailed without due process. This is in direct conflict with the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Sir, I was trained as a FBI agent in anti-terrorism and counter- espionage matters. Therefore, I am well qualified to declare: There is no way our intelligence community did not have advanced informa-tion about 9-11. Do we need legislation that encumbers and restricts the freedom of law-abiding citizens or do we need more effective, efficient and honest law enforcement? Those who allowed 9-11 to occur should be identified, arrested and prosecuted for treason.
You claim the USA PATRIOT Act will preserve our liberty and freedom? Instead of preserving our freedoms, this legislation has been implemented to destroying them. In my opinion, the inappropriately named USA PATRIOT Act was devised to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is touted as legislation to protect our unalienable and constitutional rights; on the contrary, it is a giant step toward a police state.
Speaking of a police state, I can document that the FBI has attempted to "frame" me on a drug operation, and they have "planted" an informant, Stewart Webb, on me. I have copies of his letter and his video statements that he is an FBI informant! Since I disseminated my January 7, 2003 report in Wash-ington D.C., I have been under surveillance and burglarized in my Los Angeles apartment. I made a police report, concerning the April 3, 2003 surveillance, and reported the incident to President Bush by letter, April 24, 2003. (This letter and today's letter to President Bush reporting the burglary are in the enclosed January 7, 2003 report ADDENDUM.)
Upon returning from a trip on August 23, 2003, I documented the break-in and burglary. The building is secured by keys that are only issued to the tenants. The apartment burglary was surreptitious, a tactic used by the government for decades. There was no physical evidence of a break-in: my files, new tape recorder and new cellular phone were stolen. I am filing a police report concerning this.
Was the break-in and burglary committed under the auspices of the USA PATRIOT Act? Am I targeted and labeled a terrorist by the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and others because of my investi- gations of the Oklahoma City bombing and 9-11?
I applaud the 165 communities nationwide and over 16,000,000 people in 26 states who have passed resolutions condemning the USA PATRIOT Act. I encourage other communities to follow these examples. In your lecture tour you are only addressing law enforcement. Why aren't you addressing the public in the 165 communities?
As you know, every U.S. government employee who enters on duty, every soldier and military who volunteers to serve, every federal judge, every U.S. Cabinet member, and also, of course, the President of the United States, are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the U.S. Public servants who defend and support the USA PATRIOT Act are in direct conflict with the Constitution and in violation of their oath of office which states that they must "protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic." The USA PATRIOT Act is a tool being used by those who wish to eliminate our freedoms and are the enemies of our country.
This letter and the enclosures shall be posted on my website today. Soon, my network and I shall release a public protest petition urging America's public to demand that each member of Congress immediately repeal the so-called USA PATRIOT Act or resign before July 4, 2004, due to their violation of their oath of office.
My network and I are establishing a nonpartisan organization, TAKE BACK AMERICA, NOW!!! We are seeking volunteers throughout the United States to further expose the corruption in our country. Those interested in assisting us should email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ted L. Gunderson
cc All of America's city police chiefs, city councils, county sheriffs, county supervisors, and media (local, state and national), plus the 3,000+ murder victims' families.