Sunday, September 11, 2005

FEMA Chief Worked for McVeigh's Lawyer

by Fintan Dunne,, 10 Sept 2005

Disgraced FEMA chief, Michael Brown once worked for Stephen Jones, the prominent Oklahoma lawyer who was the lead defense attorney in the Timothy McVeigh case.

And Jones is someone with a very interesting background himself. He has represented many ex- and retired spies, and previously worked for Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller and Donald Rumsfeld.

Jones has acted for former employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Security Council staff.

But that's just the workaday rountne of a carreer mired in state security issues. He has defended cases involving allegations of terrorism, domestic subversion, espionage, electronic surveillance, wiretapping, and computer surveillance.

His bio states:
He was also involved in consulting work with various targets, defendants, or persons of interest to the Federal Government for alleged acts of terrorism in the Philippines, the Far East, and September 11. He has also represented individuals accused of disloyalty to the United States and/or the unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information or classified government information.
Of topical interest is that Jones was once a legislative assistant to Congressman (now Secretary of Defense) Donald Rumsfeld. And back in the last century, Jones was a personal research assistant to Richard M. Nixon, and represented Nelson Rockefeller's political Interests in Oklahoma. He also worked on Rockefeller's 1964 and 1968 national campaigns for the presidency.

It's an impressive biography. It must have made Timothy McVeigh feel that with representation like that, he had absolutely nothing to worry about.

Big mistake.

Almost as big a mistake as appointing Mike Brown to be head of FEMA.

If it was truly a mistake --and not just a clever contrivance, the more skeptical of you might say.

Because, in retrospect, Jones is now scathing of Brown's talents when working for him. He told Time magazine:
"He did mainly transactional work, not litigation," says Jones.
"There was a feeling that he was not serious and somewhat shallow."

Jones sang a similar song to the St Petersburg Times:
"He was average. Maybe that's the best way to put it."

Brown was pleasant enough, if a bit opportunistic, Jones said, but he did not put enough time and energy into his job. "He would have been better suited to be a small city or county lawyer," he said. Jones was surprised Brown was being considered for job at FEMA but figured it wasn't impossible he could have risen high enough in local and state government to be considered for a job directing FEMA operations in Oklahoma.

The agents quickly corrected him. This was a national post in Washington, deputy director of FEMA, the arm of the federal government that prepares for and responds to disasters around the United States.

Jones looked at the agents, "You're surely kidding?"
With ex-employers like that --who needs enemies. Not Brown.

Now I know that you 'conspiracy theorists' will be also saying to yourself that Stephen Jones might be a safe pair of hands for such a sensitive case as McVeigh's. Not to mention being safe hands for the many cases involving national security he has handled. You probably reckon he must be pretty well connected -where it matters.

Here's an example of this thinking:
Gerry Spence, one of the best criminal lawyers in the country, [and] Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz [have] also been highly critical of Jones' abysmal defence. One defence lawyer said he's seen lengthier defences for drunken driving.

Jones was paid, or paid off, somewhere in the region of ten million dollars by the government to "defend" McVeigh. A strong incentive not to rock the boat.
So you might well be suspicious of the motives behind what he is saying about Brown.

And I'll bet you've got him marked as some kind of a Rockefeller stooge too.

I knew you would. It's very naughty of you.

But maybe you figure that all this helps you understand why it was that Michael Brown got the unenviable job of being the pre-arranged fall guy for Katrina.

And maybe it does.