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Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit
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The Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU) is an privately owned but government funded organization used by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) to amass files on private citizens while evading the United States Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It is designed, ostensibly, to enable state and local law enforcement agencies to share information. Despite the effective control of and use by the government, LEIU claims it is not subject to FOIA because it is a citizen-owned company. The files on citizens which the USDOJ keeps in LEIU have been made available to other law enforcement agencies at the USDOJ's discretion since LEIU's inception in 1956. Numerous instances of corruption within the agency were uncovered by the FBI in the 1960s, and passed along to the press by that same FOIA.
It began with 26 members and has since expanded to include roughly 250 members, mostly in the United States but also in Canada, Australia, and South Africa. The organization is divided into four zones: Eastern, Central, Northwestern, and Southwestern. According to its website, LEIU's Purpose is to "gather, record, and exchange confidential information not available through regular police channels, concerning organized crime and terrorism."
Since the LEIU is not a government agency, it is not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act or its equivalents in other countries.
In 1975, at which time the LEIU national chairman said their target was "travelling organized crime hoodlums", they were being funded by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, previously the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance (1965â€“1968). In 1982 the LEAA became the Office of Justice Assistance, Research, and Statistics (1982â€“1984) and the Office of Justice Programs (1984â€“) thereafter.
LEAA included the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, which had its functions absorbed by the National Institute of Justice.
All of the incarnations and related agencies of LEAA were or are subsidiaries of the USDOJ
In June 2003, the annual meeting of the LEIU in Seattle, Washington, at which Tom Ridge, head of the Department of Homeland Security, was scheduled to speak, was protested by approximately 400 people, resulting in 12 arrests, and pepper spraying of demonstrators. A member of the Freedom Socialist Party (WP) attended the demonstration, and was interviewed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
When President Gerald Ford made a promise in 1975 to enact "tough laws to prevent illegal invasion of privacy in both government and private activities" it was discovered that the USDOJ had already sent its files on citizens to the FBI, CIA and a computer at MIT (despite orders to destroy those files in 1971), and that the LEIU not only had files on citizens, but that it claimed it could not be subjected to the same laws of disclosure.
LEIU, a private company in the service of the USDOJ, was leaky like a sieve, at least during the 1960s; evidence, if any were needed, that it is not security concerns that drives the government to withhold their information and take everyone else's. They've been hoarding information that they then carelessly lost, for years. Freedom of Information documents passed by the FBI to the United Press International in 1978 showed that a LEIU-associated agency in Las Vegas, Nevada were kicked out of LEIU for passing information to "hoodlums", as the FBI called them, and agencies in Kansas City, Missouri, and Denver, Colorado had been corrupted and were also kicked out. The FBI report also contained the extraordinary claim that the entire police force of Pueblo, Colorado "was controlled by hoodlums and that the LEIU data received by the Pueblo police had, in turn, been passed along to the underworld"
The question is, what would "hoodlums" be doing with government files on citizens anyway? It recalls the CIA plot to use the Mafia to kill Castro, but on a massive scale, and systematically.
- Intelligence Unit Amasses Files Lakeland Ledger, May 14, 1975
- Police Intelligence Group Plagued By Leaks Of Of Information To Mob Bangor Daily News - Google News Archive - Nov 24, 1978
- Records of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. National Archives. URL accessed on 2007-06-10.
- Seattle protest turns ugly
- Department still has files despite orders to destroy
- F.B.I. IS CONCERNED ABOUT CRIME FILES; Reports by Bureau Say Organized Crime Figures Have Obtained Data From Police Unit Evicted From Intelligence Unit Dallas Officer Is Blamed WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 1978