June 16, 2006
Interesting little microcosmic tale of official 9/11 consciousness – private contractor gets caught stealing first responder supplies, but FBI looks the other way ’cause a bunch of government suits were also out there looting. (May explain why the FBI doesn’t want to charge Bin Laden either…) The whistleblowers who told the FBI “lost their jobs, received death threats and were blackballed in the disaster relief industry.” The lead whistleblower later lamented if he knew what would happen he would have kept his mouth shut. Who says this government is not serious about education? – Ed.
(AP) NEW YORK — A disaster relief company that took supplies that were supposed to go to September 11th rescuers at the World Trade Center escaped punishment by the government.
The lead investigators for the FBI and FEMA told the Associated Press that the plan to prosecute Kieger Enterprises for the thefts stopped as soon as it became clear in 2002 that federal employees, including FBI agents, had stolen items from Ground Zero.
The government also didn’t prosecute any of its employees for taking souvenirs, claiming it lacked a policy prohibiting such thefts.
Jane Turner, the lead FBI agent, called it a sad indictment of our justice system that people went unprosecuted “in order to cover up misconduct by federal employees, especially in a prestigious agency like the FBI.”
Turner claimed the FBI tried to fire her for bringing the FBI’s ground zero thefts to light. Turner retired in 2003. The FBI declined to discuss Turner’s claim.
Kieger Enterprises of Minnesota ran a Long Island warehouse for the government that was filled with supplies donated by Americans for the rescue workers.
Records show the FBI had evidence from whistleblowers that the company had sent trucks to the Long Island warehouse and loaded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donated bottled water, clothes and tools to be re-sold for profit.
Dan L’Allier, a Kieger supervisor at the time, told The Associated Press he saw 45 tons of the New York loot unloaded. He and a colleague, Chris Christopherson, complained to a company executive but were ordered to keep quiet.
They went to the FBI, lost their jobs, received death threats and were blackballed in the disaster relief industry.
Federal prosecutors charged KEI and some executives with fraud for overbilling the government in several disasters, but not the 9-11 thefts. The company later went out of business.
(c) 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
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