"House of Death" Update


Glenn Greenwald has more on the horrifying story I posted yesterday involving a torture and murder house in Mexico. The place was run by the Juarez cartel, and U.S. officials allowed it to continue to operate instead of giving up their informant (who, incidentally, participated in the killing).  When one scrupulous DEA agent protested the abhorrent misplacement of priorities in a letter, he was forced to resign.

As if the story itself weren't awful enough, Greenwald finds that the reporter who originally broke the story for the Narco News website was then intimidated by federal agents.  Bill Conroy is the reporter. He works for the San Antonio Business Journal, and freelances at Narco News.

According to Conroy's lawyer, Ron Tonkin, a former assistant U.S. attorney specializing in drug cases, around 6 p.m. on May 23, a man and woman identifying themselves as internal affairs agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement visited Conroy's home. Conroy was still at work and his wife answered the door. At the behest of Conroy's wife, Agent Carlos Salazar gave her a phone number for Conroy to call him, then he and the unidentified agent left.

After receiving a call at work from his wife, Conroy phoned the number Salazar provided and left a voicemail, Tonkin said.

The Current called Salazar's number several times over the course of four days, but no one answered, nor was there voicemail.

Salazar didn't call Conroy back, but the next day, he and a male agent showed up at the Business Journal. Conroy escorted them to a conference room, where Salazar reportedly said, "I want to know your source" of a leaked, yet unclassified DHS memo that had been the centerpiece of one of Conroy's Narco News stories. Tonkin said Conroy refused to give up his source and told Salazar that if they planned on continuing to question him, he would record the conversation.

The agents left the conference room, reportedly asking Conroy, "Does your boss know you write for Narcosphere?"

The agents then took Conroy's boss into a conference room, where, according to Tonkin, he told them Conroy had done the work on his own time for another publication and there was nothing he could do for them.

Greenwald is calling for a Congressional investigation.  I think that's appropriate.  Not only do you have federal government agencies complicit in the murder of a U.S. citizen (and about a dozen Mexican citizens), you have ensuing cover-ups, intimidation, forced resignations, and bureaucratic turf wars.  This goes fairly high up the chain of command at the Justice Department, far enough that Congressional oversight seems not only appropriate, but the only type of investigation detached enough to investigate appropriately.