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Official raps treatment of FBI whistle-blower



Published: Thu, February 27, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Official raps treatmentof FBI whistle-blower

WASHINGTON -- An FBI manager, John Roberts, was passed over for promotion after criticizing the bureau on national television -- leaving the clear impression of retaliation, the Justice Department's internal watchdog says.

Inspector Gen. Glenn Fine concluded Monday that Roberts' boss, assistant director Robert Jordan, exercised poor judgment in passing Roberts over for promotion and by leaving the impression that his subordinate could be investigated or asked to leave.

Roberts had obtained FBI approval to appear on CBS' "60 Minutes" program last October. He repeated his previous congressional testimony that rank-and-file FBI workers received harsher treatment than senior managers in a double standard of discipline.

The report said there was no evidence that FBI Director Robert Mueller had a role in Jordan's actions or statements, but found that Deputy Director Bruce Gebhardt sent an e-mail critical of Roberts.

"If we have internal problems then I would rather find solutions and fix them, rather than tell the world on '60 Minutes,"' he wrote. "In my opinion, Roberts brought discredit to the FBI badge, and the 27,000 employees of the FBI."

Oldest man in U.S. dies

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The oldest living American man died Monday from heart failure. He was 113.

John McMorran, of Lakeland, considered coffee his elixir and quit cigars at age 97. He was born June 19, 1889, in a log cabin in Michigan. He was the fourth-oldest person in the world.

He briefly held the title of the nation's oldest person, but researchers confirmed Mary Christian of San Pablo, Calif., was born June 12, 1889, according to the California-based Gerontology Research Group, a nonprofit collection of volunteer demographers.

The oldest person in the world is 115-year-old Kamato Hongo of Japan. She was born Sept. 16, 1887, according to the research group.

McMorran's eyesight failed in his final years, and people needed to shout for him to hear them. Otherwise, relatives said, he enjoyed good health until last week, when he was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center for complications related to pneumonia.

"He was never sick," a 35-year-old great-granddaughter, Lisa Saxton, told The Ledger of Lakeland. "He lived a great life. Obviously, he was well put together. He smoked cigars, drank beer and ate greasy food. He was an amazing man."

Snow in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM -- A rare snowstorm swept across the Middle East today, closing highways and schools in Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, cutting power and blanketing the steeples and palm trees of Jerusalem in wintry white.

Forecasters said the storm will continue through Wednesday and is expected to deliver the heaviest snow since 1950. By midmorning today, one foot had fallen in Jerusalem. Snow also covered northern Israel, the hills of the West Bank and the mountains of Lebanon.

Israelis and Palestinians welcomed the respite from a 29-month-old conflict that has claimed nearly 3,000 lives. Many cherished a rare feeling of normalcy; for a change, the weather led the news.

"It's a moment of relief for all of us," said Avital, an Israeli woman in her 20s, as she built a snowman -- complete with a broom and carrot nose -- on a traffic island in downtown Jerusalem.

Just to the south, in Bethlehem in the West Bank, residents enjoyed the idea of being kept indoors by the weather rather than the customary Israeli military curfews. "It [the snow] is making us happy," said Hana Hania, 25, who lives across from Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity.

Associated Press




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