Report to Congress on Implementation
of Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act
(as required by Section 1001(3) of Public Law 107-56)
September 13, 2004
Office of the Inspector General
Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Patriot Act), Public Law 107-56, directs the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ or Department) to undertake a series of actions related to claims of civil rights or civil liberties violations allegedly committed by DOJ employees. It also requires the OIG to provide semiannual reports to Congress on the implementation of the OIG's responsibilities under Section 1001. This report - the fifth since enactment of the legislation - summarizes the OIG's Section 1001-related activities from December 16, 2003, through June 21, 2004.
The OIG is an independent entity in the DOJ that reports to both the Attorney General and Congress. The OIG's mission is to investigate allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse in DOJ programs and personnel and to promote economy and efficiency in DOJ operations.
The OIG has jurisdiction to review programs and personnel in all DOJ components, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, and other DOJ components.
The OIG consists of the Immediate Office of the Inspector General and the following divisions and offices:
The OIG has a staff of over 415 employees, about half of whom are based in Washington, D.C., while the rest work from 16 Investigations Division field and area offices and 7 Audit Division regional offices located throughout the country.
II. SECTION 1001 OF THE PATRIOT ACT
Section 1001 of the Patriot Act provides the following:
III. CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES COMPLAINTS
The OIG established the Special Operations Branch in its Investigations Division in 2001 to help manage its investigative responsibilities outlined in Section 1001.1 The Special Agent in Charge (SAC) who directs this unit is assisted by two Assistant Special Agents in Charge (ASAC), one of whom has responsibility for Section 1001 and DEA matters and a second who coordinates FBI matters. In addition, Investigative Specialists support the unit and divide their time between Section 1001 and FBI/DEA responsibilities.
The OIG receives civil rights and civil liberties complaints via mail, e mail, telephone, and facsimile. The complaints initially are reviewed by the Investigative Specialist and ASAC responsible for Section 1001 matters, and the complaints are entered into the OIG's investigations database.
One of the initial determinations is whether a complaint alleges the type of abuse of civil rights and civil liberties contemplated by Section 1001 of the Patriot Act. While the phrase "civil rights and civil liberties" is not specifically defined in the Patriot Act, the OIG has looked to the "Sense of Congress" provisions in the statute, namely Sections 102 and 1002, for context. Sections 102 and 1002 identify certain ethnic and religious groups - including Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs, and South Asians - who may be vulnerable to abuse due to a possible backlash from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The more serious civil rights and civil liberties allegations that relate to actions of a DOJ employee or DOJ contractor generally are investigated by the OIG, primarily by Special Agents in an OIG Investigations Division field office. Some complaints are assigned to the OIG's Office of Oversight and Review for investigation.
Given the large number of complaints and the OIG's limited resources, the OIG does not investigate all allegations made against DOJ employees. Instead, the OIG refers for appropriate handling many complaints involving DOJ employees to internal affairs offices in DOJ components, such as the FBI Inspection Division, the DEA Office of Professional Responsibility, and the BOP Office of Internal Affairs. In certain referrals, the OIG requires the components to report the results of its investigations to the OIG.
Many complaints involve matters outside the OIG's jurisdiction because the subjects of the complaints are not DOJ employees. Such complaints that identify a specific issue for investigation are forwarded to the appropriate investigative entity outside DOJ, if one can be identified. For example, complaints of mistreatment by airport security staff are sent to the Department of Homeland Security OIG. We also have forwarded complaints during this reporting period to the OIG at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, we have referred complainants to a variety of police department internal affairs offices which have jurisdiction over the subject of the complaints.
When an allegation received from any source involves a potential violation of federal civil rights statutes by a DOJ employee, OIG staff also discusses the complaint with the DOJ Civil Rights Division for possible prosecution. In some cases, the Civil Rights Division accepts the case and requests additional investigation by either the OIG or the FBI. In other cases, the Civil Rights Division declines prosecution. Even in the event of a declination, the OIG may continue investigating the complaint as an administrative matter.2
From December 16, 2003, through June 21, 2004, the period covered by this report, the OIG processed the following number and types of complaints:
The 208 complaints processed by the OIG during this reporting period that fell within the OIG's jurisdiction (i.e., that state a Section 1001-related claim involving a DOJ component or employee) covered a wide variety of matters. They included allegations of: a) excessive force, verbal abuse, discrimination, retaliation, and other custody-related abuses by BOP staff; b) illegal search and seizure by FBI agents; c) excessive force by DEA agents; and d) racial profiling by FBI and DEA agents.
However, many of the 208 complaints in this category, while within the OIG's jurisdiction and couched as a "civil rights" complaint, did not raise issues that implicate our duties under Section 1001. For example, the OIG received numerous complaints from non-Muslim inmates alleging they are not receiving proper medical care or do not have access to adequate library materials.
With the possible exception of one matter, none of the 208 complaints alleging misconduct by DOJ employees related to use of a provision in the Patriot Act.6
After analyzing the complaints in this category, the OIG identified 13 matters that warranted opening an investigation or conducting a closer review. These complaints, which varied in seriousness, included allegations of racial profiling by the FBI or the DEA, denial of access to counsel, verbal abuse of inmates, and placement of an inmate in solitary confinement without cause.
During this reporting period, the OIG opened three new Section 1001-related investigations, continued seven ongoing Section 1001-related cases, and closed five Section 1001 investigations. A description of the three new matters opened by the OIG follows.
During this reporting period, the OIG referred 10 of the new complaints to internal affairs offices within DOJ components for investigation or for closer review. In one of two complaints referred to the FBI, an inmate alleged he was arrested by the FBI without a warrant and was coerced into signing advisement of rights forms that he did not understand because he did not have a translator. The FBI Inspection Division conducted an investigation and closed this matter after determining that the complainant was interviewed in the presence of his attorney. In the other complaint involving the FBI, an individual who allegedly was questioned by the FBI about terrorism and his immigration status claimed that he was targeted because he is Muslim and an Egyptian national. This matter is under review by the FBI Inspection Division.
One of the 10 complaints was referred to the DEA. The complainant in that matter alleged that a DEA agent sat next to him on an airplane, identified himself as a DEA agent, and questioned him about his place of birth, citizenship, and his travel destination. The complainant alleged he was targeted because of his "Middle Eastern look." The DEA Office of Professional Responsibility closed this matter due to the death of the agent, who was killed in an off-duty automobile accident.
Seven of the 10 new complaints were referred to the BOP this reporting period. They included allegations that staff verbally abused Muslim inmates, placed Muslim inmates in segregation for no apparent reason, denied Muslim inmates special foods requested for religious services, and denied Muslim inmates family visitation. Three of the complaints sent by the OIG to the BOP were designated as "Monitored Referrals," which means the BOP is required to send a report of the investigation to the OIG for its review when it completes its review. Of these three complaints, the BOP closed one matter as unsubstantiated while the other two matters remain open. Four of the matters referred to the BOP were designated as "Management Reviews," which means the BOP has the discretion to handle the matter as it deems appropriate and is not required to provide the OIG with a written report of its findings. The BOP opened investigations on each of these matters.
The OIG has conducted other reviews that go beyond the explicit requirements of Section 1001 in order to more fully implement its civil rights and civil liberties oversight responsibilities. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of its workforce, the OIG can extend its oversight beyond traditional investigations to include evaluations, audits, and special reviews of DOJ programs and personnel. Using this approach, the OIG has conducted several special reviews that address, in part, issues relating to the OIG's duties under Section 1001.
An OIG special review issued in December 2003 (and described in detail in our January 2004 Section 1001 report) examined allegations that some correctional officers physically and verbally abused some detainees held in connection with the Department's terrorism investigation at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York.7 We concluded that certain MDC staff members abused some of the detainees. While we did not find evidence that detainees were brutally beaten, we did find that some officers slammed and bounced detainees against the wall, twisted their arms and hands in painful ways, stepped on their leg restraint chains, and punished detainees by keeping them restrained for long periods of time. We determined that the way these MDC staff members handled the detainees was, in many respects, unprofessional, inappropriate, and in violation of BOP policy.
In addition, we found systemic problems in the way detainees were treated at the MDC, including staff members' use of a t-shirt taped to the wall in the facility's receiving area designed to send an inappropriate message to detainees, audio taping of detainees' meetings with their attorneys, unnecessary and inappropriate use of strip searches, and banging on detainees' cell doors excessively while they were sleeping.
We provided the results of our investigation to managers at BOP Headquarters for their review and appropriate disciplinary action. In a non-public appendix to the report, we recommended to the BOP that it take disciplinary action against 10 current BOP employees, counsel 2 current MDC employees, and inform employers of 4 former MDC staff members about our findings.
With respect to the systemic problems we found at the MDC, we made seven recommendations to the BOP ranging from developing guidance for training correctional officers in appropriate restraint techniques to educating BOP staff concerning the impropriety of audio recording meetings between inmates and their attorneys.
On February 25, 2004, the BOP responded to the OIG's systemic recommendations, and on March 18, 2004, the OIG issued its analysis of the BOP's response. The BOP response and the OIG analysis can be found on the OIG's website under "Special Reports." We concluded in our analysis that the BOP, in general, had taken responsible steps to implement our recommendations. The BOP is continuing to take action to implement and respond to several of the recommendations, and we will continue to monitor the BOP's progress.
In its June 2003 Detainee Report, the OIG made 21 recommendations related to issues under the jurisdiction of the FBI, the BOP, leadership offices at the DOJ, as well as immigration issues now under the jurisdiction of the DHS. During this reporting period, the OIG analyzed the Department's third response to our recommendations. We concluded that the Department had taken responsible steps to implement the recommendations and that only one recommendation directed at the Department and the DHS remained to be implemented. The remaining recommendation calls for the Department and the DHS to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize policies, responsibilities, and procedures for managing a national emergency that involves alien detainees. The Department notified us in May 2004 that negotiations with the DHS over the language of the MOU are ongoing.
On May 5, 2004, the OIG released a report that examined the BOP's procedures for selecting individuals who provide Islamic religious services to federal inmates. The OIG initiated its review in response to concerns from several members of Congress that the BOP relies solely on two Islamic groups to endorse its Muslim chaplains, and that these two groups allegedly are connected to terrorism and promote an exclusionary and extreme form of Islam. Our investigation examined the recruitment, endorsement, selection, and supervision of Muslim chaplains, contractors, and volunteers who work with the approximately 9,000 BOP inmates who seek Islamic religious services.
The OIG review found that while the BOP has made some improvements in how it selects and supervises Muslim religious services providers, a number of deficiencies remained. These problems include:
The BOP uses endorsements from local and national Muslim organizations to help determine whether chaplain, contractor, and volunteer applicants are able to provide appropriate religious services in a prison setting. The OIG's investigation found that the BOP formally requested information and a threat assessment from the FBI in October 2003 on all Muslim national- and local-endorsing organizations that had provided endorsements to the BOP. Pending completion of the FBI's review, the BOP decided not to accept endorsements for Muslim clerics from any endorsing organization. In mid-December 2003, the FBI finished screening the Muslim-endorsing organizations and determined that some of the organizations were "of interest" although most were not.8 In April 2004, the FBI finally shared the information about the screened organizations with the BOP.
The OIG review made 16 recommendations to help the BOP improve its process for selecting, screening, and supervising Muslim religious services providers. These recommendations include improving and increasing the information flow between the BOP and the FBI regarding the radicalization and recruitment of inmates; requiring that all chaplain, religious contractor, and certain volunteer applicants be interviewed by at least one individual knowledgeable of the applicant's religion; implementing additional security screening requirements for religious services providers; supervising more closely inmate-led religious services; using more effectively the expertise of its current Muslim chaplains to screen, recruit, and supervise Muslim religious services providers; and developing a strategy specifically targeted towards recruiting additional Muslim chaplains and contractors.
In June 2004, the BOP responded to the recommendations and in July 2004 the OIG analyzed the BOP's response.9 The BOP's response resolved all but three of the recommendations, and the OIG expects to receive an updated response in October 2004 addressing the three remaining recommendations.
In May 2002, the Attorney General issued revised domestic Guidelines that govern general crimes and criminal intelligence investigations. The OIG is conducting a review of the FBI's implementation of four sets of Attorney General Guidelines: Attorney General's Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants; Attorney General's Guidelines on FBI Undercover Operations; Attorney General's Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations; and Revised Department of Justice Procedures for Lawful, Warrantless Monitoring of Verbal Communications. The objectives of the OIG review are to determine what steps the FBI has taken to implement the Guidelines, examine how effective those steps have been, and assess the FBI's compliance with key provisions of the Guidelines. Because the FBI's adherence to these Guidelines could implicate civil rights or civil liberties issues under Section 1001, we are including a description of this review in our report.
IV. ADVERTISING RESPONSIBILITIES
The OIG continues to meet its Section 1001 advertising requirements in a variety of ways.
The OIG's website contains information about how individuals can report violations of their civil rights or civil liberties. On our website, the OIG also continues to promote an e-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org - where individuals can send complaints of civil rights and civil liberties violations. During this reporting period, the OIG received most of the 1,613 complaints via e-mail.
The OIG previously developed a poster, translated in Arabic, that explains how to file a civil rights or civil liberties complaint with the OIG. An electronic version of this poster is also available on our website.
The DOJ's main Internet homepage contains a link that provides a variety of options for reporting civil rights and civil liberties violations to the OIG. The Civil Rights Division's website also describes the OIG's role in investigating allegations of misconduct by DOJ employees and provides information on how to file a complaint with the OIG.
In addition, several minority and ethnic organizations have added information to their websites about how to contact the OIG with civil rights and civil liberties complaints. For example, the Arab American Institute (www.aaiusa.org), an organization that represents Arab Americans' interests and provides community services, added the OIG's Section 1001 poster to its website of information and resources for the Arab American community. The Institute also has informed its members and affiliates of the OIG's Section 1001 responsibilities through its weekly e-mail newsletter. Similarly, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), one of the largest Arab American organizations in the nation, has posted the OIG's contact information and Section 1001 responsibilities on its website, which at one time averaged more than 1 million hits per month. The ADC also has published the OIG's Section 1001 responsibilities in its magazine, the ADC Times, which is circulated to more than 20,000 people. Furthermore, the OIG's Arabic poster and Section 1001 responsibilities have been disseminated electronically by the Council on American Islamic Relations LISTERV and the National Association of Muslim Lawyers LISTSERV.
In the prior reporting period, the OIG arranged to have the following television advertisement aired with the text spoken in Arabic and scrolled in English:
The Office of the Inspector General investigates allegations of civil rights and civil liberties abuses by U.S. Department of Justice employees. If you believe a Department of Justice employee has violated your civil rights or civil liberties, contact the Inspector General at 800-869-4499. That number again is 800-869-4499.
The OIG purchased blocks of time on ANA Television Network, Inc., an Arab cable television station with outlets around the country. According to the promotional materials, ANA Television Network is the largest Arab-American television network in the country and broadcasts news and entertainment 24 hours a day. The segment aired 48 times during prime time in June and July 2003.
Also in the prior reporting period, the OIG submitted public service announcements to 45 radio stations in cities across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. The text of the PSA read:
The Office of the Inspector General investigates allegations of civil rights and civil liberties abuses by U.S. Department of Justice employees. If you believe a Department of Justice employee has violated your civil rights or civil liberties, contact the Inspector General at 800-869-4499.
Last year, we also purchased airtime for 44 radio advertisements on Arab/Muslim American radio stations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Dallas. These advertisements, which ran in late 2003, were 60 seconds long and included the same script listed above both in English and Arabic.
Previously, the OIG disseminated approximately 2,500 Section 1001 posters to more than 150 organizations in 50 cities. The posters, in English and Arabic, explain how to contact the OIG to report civil rights and civil liberties abuses.
In an earlier reporting period, we also provided the posters to the BOP, which placed at least two in each of its facilities. We have received hundreds of complaints each reporting period from inmates alleging civil rights and civil liberties abuses, many of which we believe were sent to us in response to the posters.
During this reporting period, the OIG purchased additional newspaper advertisements highlighting its role in investigating allegations of civil rights and civil liberties abuses. The display advertisement was placed in an Arab community newspaper and appeared both in English and Arabic.
Flyers have been translated into several commonly spoken languages in the Muslim world, including Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, and Vietnamese. The OIG intends to provide these flyers and a forthcoming flyer translated into Indonesian to the BOP with a request that they be made available to incoming inmates in their native languages.
CIVIL RIGHTS & CIVIL LIBERTIES ABUSES
For more information, call (800) 869-4499 or visit the OIG's website at www.usdoj.gov/oig
|The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of Justice, investigates allegations of civil rights and civil liberties abuses by Department of Justice employees in the FBI, DEA, ATF, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorneys Offices, and all other Department of Justice agencies.
For more information, call (800) 869-4499 or visit the OIG's website at www.usdoj.gov/oig
V. EXPENSE OF IMPLEMENTING SECTION 1001
During this reporting period, the OIG spent approximately $322,800 in personnel costs, $19,762 in travel costs (for investigators to conduct interviews), and $2,105 in advertising and publication costs, for a total of more than $344,668 to implement its responsibilities under Section 1001. The personnel and travel costs reflect the time and funds spent by OIG Special Agents, inspectors, and attorneys who have worked directly on investigating Section 1001-related complaints and on conducting special reviews.