Roland Carnaby / Alan Premel
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|Roland Carnaby, AFIO president, gunned down by Houston police dept. --- Alan Premel, Carnaby's business partner. top|
|Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Wed 04/30/2008 Section: A
Page: 1 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
1. MYSTERY SURROUNDS POLICE SHOOTING VICTIM / Man known to his friends as a federal intelligence officer killed after a high-speed chase
Mystery continues to envelop a man shot and killed by Houston police Tuesday morning after a high-speed chase that ended near the Galleria.
The victim was identified by friends as Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, of Houston. But who he really was - or more precisely, what he was - is something police are still trying to piece together.
Carnaby held himself out as a federal intelligence agent but was sometimes cagey about his precise job and employer. At times he mentioned the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security. He was the president of the local chapter of the Association for Intelligence Officers, a legitimate national organization whose board contains luminaries such as former President George H.W. Bush. Friends said they have seen him in the company socially of local law enforcement officials and high-level CIA bureaucrats.
The CIA told KHOU that Carnaby was not an employee of the intelligence agency.
Car dealer Alan Helfman met Carnaby more than a decade ago when "a mutual friend high in law enforcement" brought him by the dealership. "He bought eight or nine cars from me over the years," Helfman said.
Carnaby told Helfman he was a federal officer who worked in intelligence. The two men struck up a close friendship.
"He was always teasing me about being a reserve constable," said Helfman, who volunteers for Harris County Precinct 7.
Friends insist Carnaby was very much who he said he was, even if he was less than specific about his duties. One recalled a recent party in Washington that they both attended for retired intelligence agents.
`A blank page'
"Most of what he does is so classified that regular homicide (detectives) will come up with a blank page and then a question about why you are asking," said Fred Platt, the vice president of the local chapter of intelligence agents. "He's here because of homeland security. The port and the airport. He knows everybody on the command staff of every agency."
Local law enforcement officials, however, say they don't know him, including Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas. The local FBI office also claims to have no knowledge of him.
Hurtt said he'd attended a function held by the Association last year and may have met Carnaby there. He said he did not remember him well, though the two were photographed together.
"I don't know the gentleman," he said.
Carnaby traveled frequently for work, Helfman said, but whenever he was in Houston, he visited the dealership on a daily basis. Helfman said Carnaby spoke seven languages and always carried an arsenal of weapons, including several guns and a knife.
"He was always showing me his knife tricks," he said. "He was real good at karate, too."
Carnaby was tight-lipped about his work and his private life, and Helfman said he didn't question him.
"His entire life has always been clandestine. His girlfriends didn't even know what he was doing," Helfman said.
Even mundane details of Carnaby's life were tinged with mystery. His address listed with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is a private mailbox at a UPS Store near downtown. The address at which he registered his Jeep Commander was a different UPS Store in Pearland.
Whatever his real story, Carnaby's life came to an end about 11 a.m. after police forced his vehicle to a stop. He didn't acknowledge the officers who encircled him with guns drawn. And he "refused to put his hands where the officers could see him," said Houston Police Sgt. John Chomiak.
"The driver refused to comply, talk or roll down the window," Chomiak said.
He opened the driver's side door only after one of the officers smashed the passenger-side window, police said.
"He stepped out of his vehicle, turned around and reached under the seat," Chomiak said.
When he did, two officers each fired one time, authorities said. The officers were identified by police officials as HPD Sgt. A.J. Washington and Officer C.A. Foster. Carnaby was later pronounced dead at Ben Taub Hospital.
The incident lasted most of an hour. It began with a routine traffic stop when Carnaby was pulled over for speeding along Texas 288 near Orem. Carnaby raced away after the officers learned he had a license to carry a concealed weapon, police said.
With the officers in close pursuit, the Jeep raced north along the South Freeway, with speeds reaching 120 mph toward downtown Houston before heading west on the Katy Freeway. Carnaby then headed south along the West Loop, exiting at Woodway where the chase finally came to an end.
Harris County medical examiners said the autopsy will probably be performed today.
Washington, a 22-year HPD veteran, and Foster, who has been on the force for about 15 years, later told investigators they fired because they were in fear for their safety, police said.
Police said the shooting was apparently captured by the dashboard cameras of the HPD patrol cars.
Carnaby slumped to the ground after the officers began firing. He was motionless when they placed him in handcuffs.
`This doesn't smell right'
Although an initial examination revealed no weapons inside the man's car, that changed once it was taken into custody for a more detailed search.
"We have located three weapons inside the vehicle - two pistols and a shotgun," said HPD spokesman John Cannon. "At least one of them was within reach of the suspect."
The frontage road was closed for several hours Tuesday as investigators questioned the officers behind long lines of crime scene tape.
"What's going on?" a passing motorist shouted out as he crawled along the clogged West Loop.
That's the question his friends want answered. They say Carnaby had no reason to run or disobey police. Platt said he had dined with Carnaby both Saturday and Sunday and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Carnaby was engaged to be married, he said, and led a happy life.
"I can't fathom any reason why he would be running from the police because he is the police," Platt said. "This doesn't make any sense. I can't understand him running or why they opened up on him. This doesn't smell right."
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Wed 04/30/2008 Section: A Page: 1 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
Police initially found no weapons in the Jeep SUV driven by Roland Vincent Carnaby. When it was taken into custody for a more detailed search, they discovered two pistols and a shotgun.
3. FINAL MOMENTS OF THE MAN CIA WON'T CLAIM / Carnaby, set to be held as possible impersonator, made calls to FBI, HPD as he fled Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Fri 05/02/2008 Section: A Page: 1 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
By LINDSAY WISE, DALE LEZON Staff
The patrol officer who stopped Roland Carnaby for speeding Tuesday morning was about to detain him as a possible CIA agent impersonator when he took off in his SUV, Houston police said Thursday.
Two days after officers shot Carnaby to death at the conclusion of a high-speed chase, more details emerged about the bizarre chain of events, including phone calls Carnaby made after he was pulled over.
First Carnaby called an acquaintance in Houston Police Department's internal affairs division, trying to get someone to vouch for him to the patrolman. Later, as he raced away from pursuing officers at speeds up to 120 mph, the man who had for years projected the persona of a federal intelligence officer apparently called a contact he knew in the FBI.
Carnaby initially had thought that by showing an ID card bearing the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency he could be on his way. But the officer who stopped him along Texas 288 near West Orem, already suspicious because of Carnaby's nervous behavior, did not recognize the ID card and told Carnaby he would check it out, HPD homicide Capt. Steve Jett said.
"The officer went back and checked the guy, and when he checked the license, the handgun permit came up and he was like, `Why does a federal agent need a concealed handgun permit?' " Jett said.
Increasingly suspicious, the officer asked Carnaby for proof of his connection with the CIA.
"He asked him questions like who's your supervisor? Do you have a contact number you can call and verify? And the answers weren't very good," Jett said.
That was when Carnaby called someone he knew at HPD's internal affairs division. The officer asked the acquaintance if Carnaby really worked for the CIA.
"The answer was `possibly yes,' " Jett said. "But the officer was obviously not inclined to just let him go. He was being very thorough and probably was going to write him a ticket, if not put him in jail for something, probably for not presenting a concealed handgun permit when he was stopped."
State law requires holders of concealed carry permits to present them when stopped by police if they have weapons in the car.
Doubts about Carnaby's true identity were compounded by conflicting information, Jett said. The officer also had contacted HPD's criminal intelligence and major offenders divisions to ask them to check Carnaby's credentials, he said.
"They told him `No, we think he's a fraud,' " Jett said. "Something apparently triggered on his name, but again nobody was sure. Nobody's still sure. They'd heard his name before and they thought no, he's not (CIA)."
The officer was told to "find something to arrest him on; you can't arrest him for speeding," Jett said.
Carnaby had not shown his concealed weapon permit, which was sufficient violation to hold him. But when he was asked to step out of his SUV, Carnaby sped away, Jett said.
As HPD patrol cars began their pursuit, Carnaby called a friend on his cell phone. The friend, described by Jett as "possible FBI," urged Carnaby to pull over and obey police.
HPD investigators are still trying to get in touch with the friend to talk to him, Jett said. Local FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap declined to comment, saying it is inappropriate for the FBI to discuss an ongoing HPD investigation.
Autopsy video refused
Carnaby's lawyer, Kenneth Brooten, said the fatal shooting, which occurred after Carnaby exited his car at the end of the chase, did not appear necessary.
"All of this has a smell factor," Brooten said. "What was the justification for the use of deadly force? Was this man a felon that was fleeing the scene of an armed robbery? Had he pulled a gun on them previously? That's a public policy issue. That affects every person who drives around Houston or lives there."
Brooten said he sent a letter to the Harris County Medical Examiner's office asking that Carnaby's autopsy be videotaped, but county attorney Barbara Callistien wrote him back to say HCME does not videotape autopsies.
Brooten also wants the Texas Rangers to examine the case and the FBI to look at whether evidence has been tampered with.
A former chief counsel of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations, Brooten met Carnaby several years ago and served as an attorney for the Houston branch of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, which Carnaby headed. He said he attended an annual symposium for the AFIO at the CIA headquarters at Langley with Carnaby, who seemed well-known there, albeit under the pseudonym of "Tony."
"I recall people coming out recognizing him, `Hey Tony, how are you?' This is what I saw. Did I know those people personally? No. Was I introduced by Tony? Yes."
One of Carnaby's most obvious signs of legitimacy came through the AFIO. Carnaby had led the revival of a dormant Houston chapter, which periodically hosted banquets that featured speakers well known in the intelligence community and were well attended by local law enforcement officials.
The executive director of the AFIO, Elizabeth Bancroft, said she met Carnaby several years ago at the group's functions held near McLean, Va.
The organization, which is open to U.S. citizens, holds an annual symposium and monthly luncheons.
Bancroft said Carnaby never mentioned being a former CIA employee, and the stories about his connection to the agency shocked her. "Is this genuine or is this a very overactive fantasy life?" she said.
Carnaby was a very eager, enthusiastic AFIO member, Bancroft said. When she told him that the group's Houston chapter had been inactive for years, he volunteered to get it going again.
She said he was an excellent organizer and boosted chapter membership to about 200 members. He also had extensive contacts with law enforcement, which helped him book speakers for the chapter's meetings.
HPD defends officers
Carnaby asked the national headquarters if he could name the Houston chapter after CIA agent William Francis Buckley, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Lebanon in 1985.
"He talked about Buckley, how much he admired him and the bravery it must have taken to endure that type of torture that ends your life," she said.
For a person who was so supportive of law enforcement, Carnaby's final agony angers lawyer Brooten, who criticized the officers present for handcuffing him instead of administering medical care.
"All of this other stuff (about Carnaby's mysterious life) is all very interesting, but it is of no consequence when you consider a man is dead and he died handcuffed and nobody tried to stop the bleeding or anything," Brooten said. "You know what you call that? You call that an assassination."
Jett defended the officers at the scene, saying they are not trained to assist people with serious gunshot wounds.
"We would handcuff people and try to get them comfortable, but we're not paramedics, and most officers don't know about giving first aid like that other than CPR, and you don't want to give CPR to a gunshot victim," he said.
Investigators later found three weapons in Carnaby's car, police said. One pistol was under the passenger-side floormat. A second was between the seats. On the back seat floorboard lay a pistol-grip shotgun with a round in the chamber and the safety off.
Brooten said he has no idea why his friend and client ran from police, but he has a difficult time believing HPD's account.
"Maybe he thought he was being set up. That's speculation only," he said. "The answer is no, I don't know. But there are multiple reasons why an experienced professional would feel threatened. And given the actions after the shooting, maybe his instinct was correct."
CIA repeats its denial
The CIA on Thursday reiterated its denial that Carnaby had no connection with the intelligence agency.
"This individual was not a CIA officer, and I have seen no indication whatsoever that he had a contract with the CIA," said agency spokesman George Little.
True or not - his friends claim disavowing any affiliation is standard procedure in clandestine intelligence work - Carnaby had certainly been successful at constructing the appearance of a longtime intelligence officer and a well-connected guy.
His Pearland home contains several photos of him taken with local dignitaries, including former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt. Both insist they do not know him.
4. CHASING THE TRUTH / The police pursuit that ended in ROLAND CARNABY’S death left behind a puzzle - how to tell the facts of his life from fiction / Was it a spy in the SUV, or a would-be secret agent?
By LINDSAY WISE, DALE LEZON, MIKE TOLSON, MIKE GLENN, STEWART M. POWELL, MATT STILES STAFF
Much about Roland Carnaby's life speaks to a long career as a devoted intelligence officer - from his effort to build a local chapter of the professional association to his personal friendships with current and former members of the intelligence community to his respect and affection for law enforcement and its dignitaries.
His home in Pearland is filled with pieces of his patriotic past. Plaques honor his years of service to the Central Intelligence Agency. A book written by former CIA Director George Tenet is inscribed with a warm and playful message. Photos of him at CIA headquarters, in front of military aircraft and with various dignitaries are prominently displayed.
A small room off the front foyer was Carnaby's study. There's an American flag on the wall and a "CIA" coffee mug on the desk.
Now, in the wake of his strange death Tuesday at the conclusion of a high-speed police chase, doubts have been raised about his oft-projected persona as a CIA operative by the agency itself. It bluntly disavowed employing him. Might the denial be little more than standard operating procedure, as his wife suggests? Or could it be that he spent years constructing an elaborate fraud, with a home filled more with artifice than artifacts?
When his wife, Susan, was asked if she now thinks it possible her husband could have been lying to her for more than a decade, she hesitated.
"How would you know?" she replied quietly. "How would you know if what anybody told you was true?"
As family and friends gathered to mourn his loss, her wavering confidence loomed large. A day after police shot him as he made an ill-advised move upon exiting his SUV, the Carnaby that so many thought they knew had become a shadowy figure, one who apparently concealed from his wife his true whereabouts and from his friends many of the pertinent details of his private life. Even some who stand by him admit they never got to know him really well.
"He never really wanted to talk about his personal life," said one friend who asked not to be named. "Obviously there are some missing pieces."
This friend, and others, remain loyal, both to the warm and engaging man they knew and to the intelligence agent he claimed to be. They insist his bona fides were too solid and his recognition by former intelligence personnel too genuine for him to be a fake. A caller identifying himself only as "Chuck" and responding to an inquiry sent to chapters of the Association for Intelligence Officers insisted Carnaby worked with the CIA in the 1980s in its Soviet Union unit.
The CIA disputes this, which if true means that the agency identification he carried with him at the time of his death and which he occasionally flashed to friends and law enforcement officers would have been bogus.
"While we do not as a rule publicly deny or confirm employment, I will tell you in this case that Mr. Carnaby was not an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said. "He was never a CIA officer."
Wife doubts CIA denial
Of course, the denial doesn't prove that the agency never used him as a contractor. Carnaby was fluent in many languages, family and friends say, including Arabic and French, and could have been useful in the Mideast, especially in the waning days of the Cold War.
Susan Carnaby does not put much stock in the CIA denial.
"No, because why would they even admit it?" she said. "How many cases could that blow? I think that's not their policy to make comments on that type of thing. Roland always told me that if anything ever happened to him don't expect anyone to stand up and say that's what he did for a living. They keep these things undercover for a reason."
A former wife, however, is less convinced. Sha'rie Burch, who lives in Willis, said much about her ex-husband struck her as odd when they were married. He told her he worked with the CIA and even had a small badge, but never explained what he did. If she asked for more details, she said, he'd get defensive and not answer.
"He had very big, tall stories that were hard to believe," Burch said. "It was kind of a suspicious thing."
Port Authority connection
On the other hand, he was friends with local federal agents and they often came to the couple's Spring home for dinner, Burch said. The couple had private dinners with the head of the Houston Port Authority, she said, and Carnaby also was close friends with former Harris County Sheriff Johnny Klevenhagen, who she said was best man at their wedding in 1986. Klevenhagen died in 1999.
The Port Authority connection could make sense for a strictly commercial reason. Carnaby's family, which used the different spelling of Karnabe, was involved in the shipping industry, which was the apparent source of his considerable but undetermined income. He paid cash for his cars.
Burch said she first met him when she was about 19. Friends introduced them. He was 10 years older, drove a Ferrari and boasted about his family homes in New York and Geneva.
He was the son of a wealthy Lebanese family that owns a shipping business, she said. She said he told her that he was born and raised in New York City.
His father, Vincent Said Carnaby, was a Lebanese ambassador to several countries, she said, and son Roland worked for the family business and often traveled for business.
He and Burch divorced in 1993. Part of the reason, she said, was his hot temper.
By the time of their divorce, Carnaby already had another romance brewing. A petite woman with curly brown hair and glasses, Susan Carnaby teaches eighth grade in Northshore. The 56-year-old met her husband about 17 years ago when she worked as the manager of a men's store in the Galleria.
She described him as a gentleman, worldly and traveled.
"He's one of those people who's very unique, very vibrant, the life of the party, knows everybody," she said. "He likes to be around people. He's a people person."
He told her he was a CIA agent and she had no reason to doubt him, she said.
After dating for about five years, the couple married in Las Vegas on Nov. 10, 1997. "He planned the whole thing," she said.
Susan Carnaby said her husband often traveled overseas, leaving for months at a time. If he was in Washington, he would tell her, but most of the time she had no idea where he had gone, she said. It was top secret, he told her.
The last time she saw her husband was in March, she said.
The news that he was in town when he was supposedly traveling, and the mention of a supposed fiancee, stunned her when she learned it after his death. She said she and her husband were not separated.
"Not as far as I know," she said, adding that the couple just moved into their new house in Pearland last June. "All his things are here."
Police Wednesday were still trying to fit together the series of events that ended when Carnaby was shot by officers who surrounded his vehicle after a chase that ended near the Galleria.
During the chase, Carnaby called a friend on his cell phone. The friend, whom police have not identified, was supposed to have lunch with Carnaby that day.
"The guy was telling him, `You need to pull over. You need to do what the officers are telling you,' " said Capt. Steve Jett, commander of HPD's homicide division. "His answer was, `I can't.' "
Tapes back HPD's account
Police don't know why Carnaby felt unable to comply with the officers' demands. He appeared shaky and nervous when pulled over for speeding on Texas 288 near West Orem. He presented a card identifying himself as a CIA employee.
The card was laminated and bore the seal of the espionage agency.
Police said they are waiting for federal officials to determine if the document was legitimate or a fabrication.
Investigators said the three weapons discovered in his car appeared to be Carnaby's and were legally owned. One pistol was under the passenger-side floor mat while a second was between the seats. A pistol-grip shotgun was on the floor board of the back seat. Jett said a round was in the shotgun and the safety was off.
"All he would have to do was reach over the console and pick it up," Jett said.
The officers told investigators they feared for their safety when he reached back into the Jeep for what turned out to be a "shiny" personal assistant-cellular phone.
Jett said there is video and audio that backs up the officers' contention that Carnaby acted "erratically," before making a "very quick overt move" toward an officer.
He said the HPD would probably seek to prevent release of the audio and video until the investigation concludes.
"We have no idea why he ran. We are investigating that," he said. "He was very nervous. The officer said that he was shaking, and the officer didn't understand because most law enforcement would have been friendly."
A review of public records showed that Carnaby had a clean record save for two speeding tickets, including one last summer in Fairfax, Va.
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Sat 05/03/2008 Section: B Page: 5 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
By DALE LEZON, LINDSEY WISE Staff
The wife of a man fatally shot by Houston police and who claimed to be a CIA agent filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the city, accusing the officers of violating his civil rights.
Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, was killed after he led police on a high-speed chase after a traffic stop Tuesday morning. The CIA has denied that Carnaby was connected to the agency.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Houston, also names Houston Police Department Sgt. Andrew J. Washington and Officer Charles Foster. Both fired at Carnaby.
It states that the officers violated Carnaby's right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure and his right to due process.
Police actions defended
The shooting was unjustified, Randall Kallinen, the attorney for Susan Carnaby, said in a news conference after filing the suit.
HPD spokesman Victor Senties said the department does not comment on pending litigation and directed questions to the city attorney's office.
"I think (the officers) operated the way they should have according to proper police procedures and according to constitutional requirements," said Arturo Michel, Houston city attorney.
Police officials said Washington and Foster fired because they were in fear for their safety.
Excessive force alleged
After the chase ended, Carnaby stopped and was getting out out of his Jeep Commander but refused officers' commands to put his hands in plain sight, officials said. Carnaby then reached under the driver seat and grabbed an object as he began to get out of his car, police said. That's when the officers fired.
"When a person has their back to you, the officer cannot be in reasonable, objective fear for his life," Kallinen said.
Kallinen said Susan Carnaby hopes the suit will make the city change its methods about use of excessive force on suspects. She is also asking for unspecified monetary damages.
Police said the chase started after Carnaby was stopped for speeding along Texas 288.
Hard to verify
The officer who stopped him became suspicious when Carnaby appeared nervous and claimed to be connected to the CIA. Police were trying to determine if Carnaby's claim was true when he sped off.
Officers chased the Jeep north along the South Freeway, with speeds reaching 120 mph, toward downtown Houston and then west on the Katy Freeway. Carnaby then headed south along the West Loop, exiting at Woodway, where the chase ended.
Police said officers would find three weapons in Carnaby's SUV, including two pistols and a pistol-grip shotgun.
Dozens of blog posts refer to Carnaby as a noted intelligence service veteran. The blog posts have been difficult to verify.
Kallinen said that questions surrounding Carnaby's life do not justify his death.
He also said that the officers who shot him have had several disciplinary problems at the department.
Foster, who has been on the force for about 28 years, has been reprimanded twice for rules violations, according to city records.
City records show that Washington, on the force for about 22 years, has been suspended once for five days for striking a suspect and once for one day for speeding.
He also was suspended for three days for insubordination and violating department rules. That suspension was reduced to one day in arbitration.
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Sat 05/10/2008 Section: B Page: 3 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
6. Police review first-aid training / Fatal shooting of man who claimed to work for CIA prompts new look
By LINDSAY WISE Staff
Houston Police Department officials said Friday it is too early to draw any conclusions in their investigation into the death last week of Roland Carnaby, a man who claimed to be a CIA agent before leading officers on a high-speed chase.
However, the department will be looking into whether its officers could do more to aid shooting victims while waiting for paramedics to arrive, said Asst. Chief Michael Dirden of HPD's criminal investigations command.
Officers fatally shot Carnaby, 52, at the end of the 120-mph chase when he stepped out of his SUV and reached back under the seat for a shiny object that turned out to be a personal assistant cellular device.
Carnaby, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the lower back, lay handcuffed on the pavement for 12 minutes after the shooting. He was later pronounced dead at Ben Taub General Hospital.
"We recognize that we can do a better job in trying to ensure first aid is administered swiftly," Dirden said.
Dirden said it is HPD policy for officers to get medical attention for the wounded, but officers are trained only in basic first aid and are not equipped to treat serious gunshot injuries.
He added that the officers involved were traumatized and "may not have been in a situation emotionally" to administer aid to Carnaby immediately.
Carnaby's wife, Susan, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, accusing the officers of violating her husband's civil rights.
`Nobody shot at them'
Her attorney, Randall Kallinen, said he found Dirden's comments about the emotional state of the officers in the aftermath of the shooting "to be an extremely odd statement."
"Nobody shot at them," he said. "That's not even credible."
The bizarre chain of events began when Carnaby was stopped for speeding on Texas 288 on April 29.
The officer became suspicious when Carnaby appeared nervous and claimed to be connected to the CIA. Police were trying to determine if Carnaby's claim was true when he sped off. The CIA has since denied he ever worked for the agency.
Officers pursued Carnaby's Jeep to the West Loop feeder road near Woodway, where the chase ended as Carnaby slowed to a stop in traffic.
After the shooting, officers found three weapons in Carnaby's SUV, including two pistols and a pistol-grip shotgun. Police said Friday that investigators have determined Carnaby bought both pistols at a local sporting goods store. They have not determined where he obtained the shotgun, they said.
The HPD's homicide and internal affairs divisions, the Harris County District Attorney's Office and the medical examiner's office are investigating the shooting.
"HPD regrets the loss of life and it's paramount that ... we do a thorough investigation to try to understand all the factors involved," Dirden said.
Both veteran officers who fired at Carnaby, Sgt. Andrew J. Washington and Officer Charles Foster, are back on duty.
7. Blogs, `CIA brother' spin zest into Carnaby mystery / Friend's ex-wife calls claims about spy work hogwash
By MIKE TOLSON Staff Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Sun 05/11/2008 Section: B Page: 1 MetFront Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
When it comes to Roland Carnaby, the truth is out there - way out there. So far out that you reach the blogosphere before finding anything that publicly connects him to his beloved Central Intelligence Agency, which he claimed to still patriotically serve when Houston police shot him down at t he end of a crosstown chase on April 29.
But even that obscure, blog-world confirmation is not what it seems to be, which is pretty much what you get with Carnaby, the curious 52-year-old son of Lebanese parents who spent much of his time in bars and restaurants dropping broad hints that he was somebody, or something, else.
The "proof" of his tie to the CIA - denied repeatedly by the agency itself - comes indirectly through a Houston man, Alan Premel, who supposedly served with him and who has been linked to him on numerous Internet sites. If one believes the various posts about him, Premelis a former CIA wunderkind who won the agency's highest award for valor before a nasty separation and lawsuit that netted him a multimillion dollar settlement.
Those posts are made on obscure blogs that ceased shortly after posting articles about Premelor in the reader comment sections of better-known, ongoing blogs. A few appear in comment sections of legitimate stories posted on mainstream news media sites.
Taken together they give a whiff of credibility to the assertions of Carnaby's friends that he was the agent he claimed to be, especially considering they were made long before Carnaby was killed.
One of them, at the short-lived papparazzipress.com, refers to Carnaby as one of "CIA's most experienced, talented and high-profile clandestine officers." Another mentions Premel as a "battle hardened and battle tested CIA war hero" who was "the youngest supervisor to ever head a task force."
Shortly after Carnaby's death, Premel's personal page on MySpace.com displayed a photo of him with Carnaby - or "Tony" as he was known to most of his friends - pasted in front of a CIA seal along with the words: "We lost Tony. RIP my great brother. I will see you soon."
Plenty impressive. But is any of it true?
Premel's former wife spent years enmeshed in his claims of being a spook and his sly mentions of CIA intrigue that was too sensitive to divulge. She is familiar with many of the references to Premel and Carnaby in cyberspace, all made through anonymous bloggers or pseudonymous blog readers. She has a simple description for it all.
"A bunch of hogwash," she said.
Amy Carter was married to Premelfrom 2001 to 2006 and confirmed that he was indeed a friend of Carnaby, whom she recalled meeting at least a dozen times. But not for a minute did she buy into their claims of a secret life of government service. At least with respect to her husband, the entire notion was literally incredible.
A fantasy world
"He brought lying to a new level," Carter said in an interview. "He lives in a fantasy world. As long as everybody follows along with that, he's OK. But when you challenge it, he falls apart."
As for Carnaby, she claimed to know little. But she doubted much.
"I didn't like him," she said. "If for no other reason, he was perpetuating what I knew to be a lie."
At the time Carter was hopeful of saving her marriage. She said she wanted Premel to own up to the CIA fantasy and pushed counseling sessions in the hope of moving past it.
"He never once admitted to the lie," she said. "I have no idea where it originated."
Premel , 32, lives in Atascocita. He would not agree to an interview. But through messages sent in response to queries to his MySpace page, he still vouches for Carnaby's CIA work, at least up until recent months when he said they drifted apart.
"Not only is he what he says he is but he is deeply connected," Premel wrote. "There is a smear campaign out there. CIA is misunderstood as an intelligence agency. What it really is is a covert action agency. Even through death CIA will deny not only officers but professional civilian contractors."
Premel said Carnaby was in Houston because of "shipping stuff" and "port security." He added that the truth about Carnaby's life would be "one of the greatest stories ever told, (but) no one will be hearing it anytime soon."
Conspiracy blogs are not bothering to wait. Carnaby's odd death, combined with Internet references linking him to Premel and top positions at the CIA and an already ingrained suspicion of government and law enforcement, have been more than enough to keep Carnaby alive indefinitely as another piece of an ever-enlarging puzzle.
Among the more interesting claims: He was chasing a suitcase nuclear bomb that had arrived in the U.S. from Israel when he was killed; or he was murdered because he had infiltrated a local Mossad ring.
Carnaby had no shortage of friends in Houston standing up for him in the days following his death. They said he knew too many local law enforcement officials to be a fraud. And he seemed to be too devoted to spycraft and the mission behind it for it to have been a casual interest.
"I mean he lived and ate and slept it, and he could never really get his mind off it," said his brother-in-law, Rob Kouts. "Took his work with him wherever he went, family holidays or whatever. He was just obsessed with his work and his country."
Kouts said he understood why the CIA might have disavowed him, but it nonetheless pained him and his sister, Carnaby's wife Susan. That rejection made it seem as if they had no clue about what sort of person he really was.
" `We don't know him.' Yeah, right. Then why did they give them this plaque and several like it?" Kouts said, gesturing at a tabletop crowded with CIA mementoes."We always knew that if something happened to him, nobody was going to come forward, at least not with any details. At the end of the day, I don't think they're going to deny it forever."
Not even good fakes
For the agency to say anything at all is unusual. It did not respond to queries about Premel. In Carnaby's case, however, it took the unusual step of denying any current or former association with him. Those of conspiracy bent saw a hidden significance to the quick denial. After all, they say, surely all the plaques of recognition speak louder than official statements to the press.
To Robert Baer, longtime CIA agent turned bestselling author and technical adviser for the Hollywood film Syriana, the plaques in question mean nothing. Shown photos of them via e-mail, Baer said they were fakes, and not even good ones. And for the record, he said he has never heard of Carnaby or Premel, even though the latter's name had been dropped by someone into Baer's Wikipedia biography.
To Sha'rie Burch, one of Carnaby's ex-wives, his life was a case of a fantasy running amok. She never bought his claim to a CIA connection or saw any evidence beyond his assertions. She said whenever she challenged him he would get angry and defensive.
To Carter, Premel's ex, the obsession with spy work and the accumulated props sound all too familiar. She said her ex-husband also had plaques and identification badges.
Premel did not have the money to disappear for long periods of time as Carnaby apparently did, which may explain why Carnaby's wife thought he was out of the country when he actually was in Houston hanging out with friends and reportedly carrying on a romance with another woman.
The Premel of Internet lore - created entirely by anonymous Web postings - is not unlike the vaguely romantic and exciting figure that Carnaby was to his friends. Not only was Premel a CIA hero, but he was writing a book to be titled Way of the Ghost, consulting on Hollywood scripts along with Baer and dating Paris Hilton, actress Rachel McAdams and a former Houston adult movie performer.
He was such a fascinating figure that CNN National Security Correspondent David Ensor did a lengthy interview with him. Never mind that Ensor had left the network at the time the interview supposedly took place.
The porn connection
At least there was some truth to dating a one-time porn actress. Her screen identity, borrowed without permission from an old high school friend, was Syvette Wimberley. Her actual name is Laura Madden, and she met Premel through friends. They went out a few times before she cut off the relationship, said Madden's attorney, Kent Schaffer.
He said he had to send a threatening letter to Premel to stop him from bothering her.
"He boasted about being a government agent, and he was able to disappear people and all that sort of stuff," Schaffer said. "He scared her. She believed him. I sent him a cease and desist letter, and she never heard from him again."
Where all the postings about Premel came from is a mystery. Carter figures she has a pretty good idea.
"In reality, he's a 32-year-old guy who lives at home with his parents," she said. "He has no money. He has a lot of time. The fantasy world in his head is a lot better than the world he lives in."
Premel does have one connection to the government. He has been charged in county court with misdemeanor theft. He was accused of stealing Apple iPods while a FedEx driver this year and has a court date next week.
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Fri 05/23/2008 Section: B Page: 2 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
By MIKE GLENN Staff Archive is the same as the original article
The lawyer representing Roland Carnaby's widow in her lawsuit against the city said the Houston Police Department violated its own policies when officers pursued the man who claimed to be a CIA agent on a crosstown chase that turned deadly.
The policy, which came into effect about two weeks before the April 29 high-speed chase, mandates that officers must "reasonably believe" that immediately apprehending the suspect outweighs any possible risk to the public.
One of the factors to be considered, the policy states, is whether police can gather sufficient information about the person to file an arrest warrant. If so, officers "will be expected to discontinue the pursuit," the policy states.
"They knew exactly who he was and where he lived," said attorney Randall Kallinen. "They knew his criminal record. He had never been arrested for a crime."
Another factor, according to the policy, is the seriousness of the original offense.
Carnaby, 52, was stopped for speeding along Texas 288 near West Orem. He fled after showing the officer an identification card that he claimed came from the CIA.
On Thursday, Police Chief Harold Hurtt said the department is continuing to investigate.
Police said Carnaby failed to present his permit to carry a concealed weapon when officers pulled him over. They later found three weapons inside his Jeep SUV - including a pistol and a shotgun.
Kallinen also criticized the officers' decision to surround Carnaby's vehicle once the chase ended on the southbound 610 West Loop feeder road near Woodway.
"You must get verbal communication once a pursuit has been ended and there is a person in the car (but) they did not," Kallinen said. "They attacked the car with batons."
Carnaby was fatally shot after stepping out of the vehicle, turning around and reaching under the seat for a shiny object that turned out to be a cell phone.
Although the CIA maintains that Carnaby had no connection with the organization, Kallinen said Carnaby's past assignments for them and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI will come to light during the upcoming lawsuit.
"We will prove that Mr. Carnaby worked for the security interests of the federal government and was paid for it," Kallinen said.
Hurtt said he was told by the FBI that Carnaby "may have" been an informant at one time for them but had no other details about the relationship.
On Thursday, Houston FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap said the agency "cannot confirm nor deny the names of people who provide us with information."
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Sat 05/24/2008 Section: B Page: 2 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
9. Judge issues orders to city in Carnaby suit / He says evidence normally discarded must be preserved
A federal judge on Friday ordered the city of Houston to preserve all evidence related to the fatal shooting last month of a man who claimed be a CIA agent and led officers on a high-speed chase.
Randall Kallinen, the lawyer representing Roland Carnaby's widow in a federal suit accusing the officers of violating her husband's civil rights, asked U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison to force the city to retain items, including 911 tapes and data transmissions that the department normally discards after a few months.
"The condition of the guns are very, very critical to the case," he said.
Annie Teehan, a senior assistant city attorney, said she didn't know if the guns had been discharged since the April 29 fatal shooting.
"I doubt it has been discharged by the officer," she said, though it "may have been in the homicide's investigation."
Carnaby, 52, was stopped for speeding along Texas 288. He showed the officer an identification card that he claimed came from the CIA, but fled after police learned he had a license to carry a concealed weapon.
The CIA maintains Carnaby was not connected to it.
Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said this week that the department is continuing to investigate.
The lawsuit alleges that police used excessive force on Carnaby and submitted him to unreasonable search and seizure. Susan Carnaby seeks HPD policy changes as well as unspecified monetary damages.
During a hearing Friday morning, Teehan confirmed that the Secret Service is looking at Carnaby's laptop.
The judge also declined Teehan's request for a gag order.
"I think counsel is trying his case in the media already," she said, referencing Kallinen's news conference Thursday about HPD policies. "He's doing it now and when we get closer to trial, I just feel it will be even worse and poison the potential jury pool."
Kallinen said he's just exercising his First Amendment right.
"The city of Houston has come out with several press conferences about how they do things correctly," Kallinen said. "I am merely responding to those."
Also, Kallinen filed an amended complaint that provides the correct name of both officers accused who discharged their guns. They are Andrew J. Washington and Cecil Foster - not Charles Foster, who is retired.
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Fri 07/25/2008 Section: B Page: 3 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
10. No indictments in death of man claiming CIA ties / 2 officers shot driver after chase; civil suit continues
A Harris County grand jury Thursday declined to indict two Houston police officers in the shooting death of a man who claimed to be a CIA agent.
Roland Carnaby was fatally wounded on April 29 after fleeing from a traffic stop and leading police on a high-speed chase through the city.
Carnaby was killed after stepping out of his vehicle on a feeder road off Loop 610 West, turning around and reaching under the seat for a shiny object that turned out to be a cell phone.
The grand jury declined to indict Sgt. Andrew Washington and officer Cecil Foster, said Donna Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
"Fatal shootings involving law enforcement are referred directly to a grand jury," Hawkins said. "After careful consideration, the grand jury chose not to indict the two officers involved."
Initially placed on administrative leave, both officers returned to duty days after the shooting.
Carnaby, 52, of Pearland, was stopped for speeding on Texas 288. He showed the officer an identification card that he claimed was issued by the Central Intelligence Agency but fled after police learned he had a license to carry a concealed weapon.
The CIA insisted that Carnaby was not connected to the agency. His widow, Susan Carnaby, has maintained that Carnaby was a longtime CIA employee who frequently left the country on assignments.
Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt has said he was told by the FBI that Carnaby "may have" been an informant at one time for them but had no other details about the relationship. At the time, a Houston FBI spokeswoman said the agency "cannot confirm nor deny the names of people who provide us with information."
Susan Carnaby has filed a lawsuit against the city saying HPD violated its own policies when officers pursued him.
Her attorney, Randall Kallinen, said it was unfortunate the two officers were not indicted, but the no-bill does not preclude the city from liability.
If the officers were acting in the scope of their duties, their employer would be liable for the death instead of the officers individually, Kallinen said.
Kallinen also said Carnaby was an independent contractor for the CIA, the FBI and the Secret Service. He said Carnaby's ability to speak seven languages enabled him to do in-depth background checks for the federal agencies.
He also said HPD's chase policy is "highly flawed." Hurtt said the department is reviewing the policy.
"Anytime we have an incident like that, we go back and look at training policy and procedures. If there are changes that need to be made or training that needs to be improved, we do that," Hurtt said. "It appears that they (the officers) did a pretty fair job of following what our policy states and what the law was."
11. Carnaby shooting lawsuit on hold / Judge awaits details in city's plea for secrecy Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Thu 08/07/2008 Section: B Page: 1 MetFront Edition: 3 STAR R.O. By MARY FLOOD Staff
The city of Houston wants a federal judge to order a widow to keep secret her husband's homicide report and the internal investigation of the police who shot him.
The request was made in the federal civil lawsuit filed by Susan Carnaby, the widow of 52-year-old Roland Carnaby, a man who claimed to be a CIA agent and was shot in April after leading police on a high-speed chase. The widow asks for damages but also seeks changes in police customs and practices.
"Susan Carnaby does not want other people to suffer as she did through the death of her husband," said her attorney Randall Kallinen. "Only public outcry will change the policy so other people won't be put in danger. The documents will show what they did and whether there is some excuse for what they did."
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison heard arguments on Wednesday from both sides and gave the lawyers two weeks to find precedent to support their arguments. Two Texas media law experts said it seems likely the reports will be made public.
Roland Carnaby was fatally wounded after fleeing from a traffic stop and leading police on a chase. He was killed after stepping out of his vehicle on a Loop 610 feeder road, turning around and reaching under the seat for a shiny object that turned out to be a cell phone.
Susan Carnaby sued the city and Houston Police Department Sgt. Andrew Washington and officer Cecil Foster, who each fired at her husband. A Harris County grand jury declined to indict Washington and Foster in late July.
Annie Teehan, a senior assistant city attorney, argued that because Texas open records laws would keep the city from publicly disclosing investigatory reports on an incident that did not result in a conviction, a federal judge should not allow the reports, 911 calls and the dispatch tapes to be made public in this case.
She said internal documents, like the internal affairs division report on the shooting, would also be kept private under the Texas records laws.
Teehan said the city is willing to provide this material to the widow and her lawyers but "my concern is with the dissemination of the information."
"There is no legitimate reason for (Susan Carnaby's) alleged need to disclose this information to the public. Public disclosure of the information and documentation produced in this case could affect the ability of the parties to have a fair trial and the ability to seat a fair and impartial jury," Teehan wrote in court papers.
But Kallinen said his client filed a lawsuit in part to make sure the public is aware of HPD actions, policies and procedures, and she wants to bring light to police shootings.
"I believe the public has a right to know the details of the investigation, especially when the police department is investigating itself," Susan Carnaby said in an affidavit to the court. "I am sure my husband would have wanted as many of the actual circumstances as possible regarding his shooting by the Houston Police, as well as the investigation by the Houston Police, to be open and not hidden."
Her attorneys agreed that they will not disseminate personal information such as phone numbers, Social Security numbers or information that would harm a particular witness.
Two media lawyers who work with the state open records laws and lawsuit discovery said the law may be on the widow's side.
"The public information act doesn't apply to case discovery and protective orders. And if you look at this in terms of the larger issue, the information is relevant to public health and safety," said Houston lawyer Joe Larsen, who has handled cases for the Houston Chronicle and other local media.
Larsen said the city needs to better explain what government interest could trump the public interest in this case.
Pete Kennedy, a media lawyer in Austin, said a federal judge could consider the Texas open record laws but would not be bound by them.
Both Larsen and Kennedy said the government's concern about a biased jury pool can be addressed in other less restrictive ways like questioning potential jurors.
"There are other ways to get a fair trial rather than suppressing government information," said Kennedy.
12. Shootings: More light, fewer suits Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Sun 08/10/2008 Section: B Page: 1 MetFront Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
By RICK CASEY Staff
The city of Houston doesn't want you to see the report of its investigation of the police shooting of Roland Carnaby, the self-described CIA agent.
Such secrecy is a long-standing tradition in the way Texas cities tend to handle police shootings.
Police investigate their own officers. The district attorney presents the findings to a grand jury in secret sessions. The grand jury declines to indict.
The only way much information comes out tends to be through lawsuits.
Lived in the shadows
There's a better way, which I will describe below.
Carnaby's life is clouded in mystery, since the CIA denies that he was an agent, though his widow and some friends maintain that he was.
He was shot and killed by police officers after leading them on a high-speed chase last April.
Now the city seeks to make sure his death is also shrouded in as much secrecy as possible.
Susan Carnaby, his widow, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that forces the city to give her copies of the Police Department's investigation report together with some other material.
But as my colleague Mary Flood reported last week, the city attorney's office has asked U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison to order her and her lawyers to keep the information from the public.
Seattle's better way
Their argument is that public disclosure "could affect the ability of the parties to have a fair trial and the ability to seat a fair and impartial jury."
That sounds noble, but doesn't explain why the city is also asking the judge to require Carnaby and her lawyers to return all the materials when the lawsuit is concluded and to mandate that the order "will remain in effect permanently, regardless of the outcome of this case, unless modified or dissolved by the Court."
In King County, Wash., which includes Seattle, they have a better way. It was instituted in 1982 after they, like many cities, experienced heated public protests involving shootings of minority citizens by police officers.
The traditional "trust us" approach still followed by Texas did not help, so they decided to try something new.
Every death at police hands or in the custody of law enforcement officials (including jailers), led to a public proceeding called an inquest.
It took place in the equivalent of state district court. An assistant prosecuting attorney would collect and present evidence, including the police investigative file, and question witnesses under oath.
After the prosecutor finished, the witnesses would face questioning by attorneys for both the family of the deceased and the police officers.
At the end of the inquest there would be no closing arguments. The jury of six would retire to consider a number of questions presented by the judge designed to determine whether jurors believed the evidence to show the officers had sufficient reason to use deadly force.
The jury's finding was purely advisory, the proceeding having no purpose other than to help the prosecuting attorney decide whether to seek an indictment and to give the public confidence that the death was fairly investigated.
It wasn't a gun
As it happens, I covered the first such inquest.
It was a sad case involving a mentally ill man under a street light who pulled from his pocket what police thought to be a gun. When they searched his body it turned out to be a can opener. The jury voted 4-2 that the police did not act inappropriately.
In the 26 years since, dozens of inquests have been held. Not one has led to a jury finding that the officers involved were at fault. And not one officer has been indicted for actions in the course of duty.
Some activists criticize the procedure, partly because of this startling statistic. They also note that police have the benefit of experienced, publicly paid attorneys, while the families of the deceased, usually poor, get spotty representation.
The police still don't like the proceedings either, says King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.
"The cops feel like they're on trial," he said.
But the police also face fewer lawsuits where they actually are on trial.
"Our experience is that many times the suits don't materialize because the family's attorney gets to see the circumstances of the death and the contributions of the deceased to the situation," he said.
When families do file suits, they more often are settled without trial.
"They usually end up settling because both sides have had a chance to assess the evidence through the inquest process," he said. "They can better predict what a subsequent jury may find."
In addition, the inquests "clear up a lot of rumors and untrue suspicions" by the public, Satterberg said.
"We give officers tremendous license to use force," he said. "I don't think it's too much to ask that when someone dies that we bring some sunshine to the matter."
More sunshine, fewer lawsuits. Sounds good to me.
13. Filling in the blanks / Public should have access to details of the investigation of a controversial police shooting.
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Sun 08/17/2008 Section: Outlook Page: 2 Edition: 3 STAR
THE facts and fictions surrounding a high-speed police chase that led to the fatal shooting of self-proclaimed intelligence agent Roland Carnaby in May make it one of the most puzzling incidents in HPD history.
Now that his family has filed suit in federal court, city of Houston lawyers have asked Judge Keith Ellison to keep the offense report and internal affairs investigation of Carnaby's death confidential. The judge will decide the issue.
Given the numerous questions surrounding Carnaby's background and conduct, and the tactics of his police pursuers, sealing the record would be a mistake. All official documents that can cast light on this troubling incident should be made available to the public and the subject of testimony in open court.
The incident began with a routine stop of Carnaby's speeding Jeep by officers on Highway 288, but swiftly entered a law-and-order twilight zone. When Carnaby produced an ID card supposedly issued by the CIA, the officer held him while checking out its validity with superiors. Carnaby called a contact in HPD Internal Affairs and tried to get someone to vouch for him.
When asked to step out of his vehicle, Carnaby then drove away and led police on a chase with speeds reaching 120 mph. During the chase he apparently called a contact in the Houston office of the FBI and asked for help. When he was finally stopped again on the West Loop, officers approached and smashed a window when Carnaby ignored orders to step out of the jeep. He exited the vehicle, then reached back to grab a cell phone under a seat.
Officers said they thought the device was a weapon and opened fire. They handcuffed the dying Carnaby, and he lay on the pavement for more than 10 minutes before receiving medical attention. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Ben Taub Hospital. Two pistols and a shotgun were recovered from Carnaby's vehicle.
Although a Harris County grand jury declined to indict the two officers who shot Carnaby, the lawyer for his widow, Susan, questions whether the high-speed chase was necessary and in line with HPD regulations.
The lawyer, Randall Kallinen, contends that in pursuing Carnaby, officers violated a newly instituted department rule designed to cut down on the number of innocent bystanders killed or injured in high-speed chases.
The policy requires officers to weigh whether the risk to the public of a hot pursuit is justified. If a suspect poses no immediate danger and enough information is available to issue an arrest warrant, officers are expected to discontinue the pursuit. In Carnaby's case, that did not happen.
The death of Roland Carnaby was a tragedy brought on by his own irresponsible actions coupled with questionable police responses:
Why did HPD officers ignore a policy that had been designed to reduce the collateral damage from high-speed chases? With the suspect in contact with law enforcement officers who knew him, why was no attempt made to negotiate with him? Why was a man who had been shot multiple times handcuffed and allowed to bleed on the pavement for 10 minutes?
The city's position that release of investigation reports would bias a civil trial jury is unconvincing. Cases with far more pre-trial publicity than this one have been tried by impartial juries selected without difficulty.
It is more important that the public find out what led to the death of Roland Carnaby, how HPD is enforcing its hot pursuit policy and whether it will alter police behavior that has contributed to the needless deaths of innocent motorists and bystanders.
14. Carnaby had no drugs, alcohol in his system / Man who claimed to be CIA agent shot after fleeing police
Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: Fri 08/22/2008 Section: B Page: 3 Edition: 3 STAR R.O.
A man who held himself out as a CIA agent and led Houston police on a lengthy chase before being shot when he exited his vehicle had no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system, according to autopsy results released Thursday.
Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, was killed by a single gunshot to the back that pierced his spine and caused massive internal damage. Police said at the time that two officers fired at Carnaby after he a made a move to retrieve something from his SUV, which turned out to be a cell phone. Medical examiners found only one wound.
A Harris County grand jury declined to indict HPD Sgt. A.J. Washington and officer C.A. Foster of any wrongdoing in the April 29 incident, which began as a routine traffic stop. Police said the two fired because they feared for their safety.
After the chase ended, Carnaby stopped and was getting out out of his Jeep Commander but refused officers' commands to put his hands in plain sight, officials said. He then reached under the driver seat and grabbed an object as he began to get out of his car. That's when the officers fired.
Carnaby's widow, Susan, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
The CIA denied any connection to Carnaby. His widow, family and some of his friends insist he did work for the agency. His death has become a subject of interest to conspiracy theorists who suspect he was killed because of his activities as a covert intelligence officer.
Officers disciplined in Carnaby shooting By DALE LEZON Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Nov. 18, 2008, 10:05PM
The Houston police officers involved in the shooting death of a man who claimed to have ties to federal law enforcement were disciplined for not trying to talk to the man before they approached his car after a high-speed chase earlier this year, according to the department's investigation of the case.
However, the investigation concluded that the officers were justified in shooting Roland Carnaby last April 29.
Randall Kallinen, attorney for Carnaby's widow, who has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the officers and the city, said the outcome of the investigation shows the officers are liable for Carnaby's death because they violated department policy.
Kallinen also said that in sworn testimony in depositions the officers said they had acted as they had been trained.
In letters to the officers dated Nov. 5, the department's internal affairs division found that Sgt. Andrew J. Washington and Officer Cecil A.T. Foster did not use sound judgment and did not follow department policy in the incident.
Failure to follow policy Disciplinary records filed with the Civil Service Commission state that Washington and Foster did not follow department policy when they left their positions of cover and approached Carnaby's vehicle without trying to talk with him first. The records also state that Washington did not properly supervise Foster.
Chief Harold Hurtt suspended Washington for one day and gave Foster a written reprimand. Washington has appealed his suspension while Foster has filed a grievance.
The department referred questions about the case to the Houston Police Officer's Union.
"The guys do the best they can in dangerous situations," said Chad Hoffman, a union attorney who is representing the officers. "The department should not second-guess every single split-second decision officers must make."
High-speed chase The shooting occurred after Carnaby flashed what appeared to be a CIA identification badge during a traffic stop on Texas 288 near Orem. The officer who stopped him became suspicious and asked him to step out of his Jeep.
Carnaby, 52, drove away and led police on a chase with speeds reaching 120 mph. He eventually ran out of gas and rolled to a stop on the southbound 610 West Loop feeder road near Woodway.
Video shot from two patrol cars shows Carnaby getting out of his SUV on the driver's side as an officer bashes in the passenger side window with a baton. Carnaby then reaches back into the car for a "shiny object" that turned out to be a cell phone, police said.
Thinking Carnaby had a weapon, Washington and Foster fired. Carnaby was hit once in the back.
A grand jury declined to indict the officers in July.
The Ghost of Roland V. Carnaby
Ghost Haunts the Central Intelligence Agency
That ghost, a Central Intelligence Agency program linked the former spy to Rendition, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a terrorist cell in Houston Texas known as the 'Post Oak Cell'. Carnaby's connections marries the spy agency to not only CIA and a long history of covert operations but to Alan Premel in a multitude of ways through a private Houston firm. For the protection of foreign nationals, key networks and active programs, Carnaby had to be instantly denied by CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano in order to protect sensitive connections and silent relationships. Instantly, Roland Carnaby was linked through his firm.
Now that the firm has been shut down, agency officials and investigators have latched onto the idea of collecting clandestine data to justify the CIA's covert fundraising activities through the firm, even Premel's competence--indeed, his very existence--is being questioned. After Houston police shot and killed (Roland Carnaby),the alleged CIA spy, Premel was left to answer all the difficult questions about a private firm which ran in exclusive, quiet and dark circles.
It is no secret that dozens of U.S. corporations--from Fortune 500 companies to small, high-tech firms--are secretly assisting the CIA and they have for decades, allowing the agency to place full-time officers from its operations divisions into corporate offices abroad. Is what was uncovered in Houston an example of such covert work? To get to the bottom of it we not only reached out to veteran and retired CIA officers but also examined the definitions of officers and the roles they play and to try to find out who they were. CIA denied Carnaby repeatedly but never once denied Premel. So how can a 30 year supposed veteran of the CIA get denied and his young apprentice, who is directly under him not be denied.
Lets look first at the role of someone like Premel. And why he is in this situation. In first contacting Alan Premel, he expressed outrage being tied into the Carnaby story at all since Mike Tolson of the Houston Chronicle broke Premel's name into the case. "I shouldn't have been a part of it, it was about his mysterious last hour and his wild 100 mph chase and not about me. I was tied in through some BS internet postings and Tolson linked me in that way. It was extremely unfair", Premel stated in June 2008. Chronicle Tolson article
CIA personnel can serve under what is referred to as "nonofficial cover" and at CIA they refer to them as (NOC's), CIA officers pose as American businessmen in friendly countries, from Asia to Central America to Western Europe. There, they recruit agents from the ranks of foreign officials and business leaders, pilfer secrets, and even conduct special operations and paramilitary activities. This is a very broad description but as we have learned from the investigations that the front business, Patriot Oil, which was shut down before the Carnaby assassination, was in part a paramilitary operation in Central and South America. They used a south Texas firm to buy tractor parts and four of the officers including Carnaby were trained in paramilitary operations at Camp Peary near Williamsburg Virginia. All were involved in training of rebels in base camps set up in remote mountainous regions.
We know they (Carnaby's firm) actively recruited officers because Premel and one of his female officers have already publicly come out and talked about the firm. Overnight, Patriot Oil, became the focus of thousands of civilians and conspiracy theorists so everything disappeared on the web about the firm, instantly. That was all knowledge pre-Carnaby assassination. After Carnaby is killed, flags are raised and questions are being asked about Aspyr Global, a private global intelligence firm started up post Carnaby retirement and pre-Caranby assassination.
After Carnaby retires and before he is killed, Carnaby worked for a small private firm out of the same town of Houston Texas as a "consultant." Premel was listed as a co-owner of the firm and within days of it being viewed all over the web it mysteriously disappears along with all the other postings on Premel. Now, there are no records of any firm even existing, which is why many of the references you see to the firm are just titled and called, 'the firm.' The story of the CIA's NOC (pronounced "knock") program, revealed here for the first time, raises serious questions about the CIA at a time when the agency is already beset by scandal after scandal in every generation, most recently with Extraordinary Rendition. Yet the NOC program has grown to its present bloated size without any public scrutiny--and with no open discussion within the companies whose interests could be harmed by a spy scandal.
We know that NOC programs exist in major corporations abroad but how about smaller US corporations and what about in US domestic cities? We contacted the CIA Public Relations office and they stated that they do not define anything domestically. Then why through the death of a supposed CIA officer did we find ties to former Deputy Director of Operations James Pavitt? It was confirmed to be a legitimate front company used for CIA in the Central America and South America to aide in drug operations and the training of small armed rebel groups, all CIA sponsored, backed and now public knowledge that Pavitt ran the show and approved budgets. Aspyr Global was legit, it was legal. It was an actual business until Carnaby was slain, watched by thousands on live tv. (Carnaby HPD Shooting Video). Carnaby was the Houston chapter President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and partner in two private firms who accepted funds from the US government to startup their endeavors. When we questioned Premel who always gave prompt responses, was professional, and always had answers. He frankly just knew too many details on everything from exact contracts, he knew the names of the forms, he knew all the numbers, names of people involved and he checked out.
Alan Premel, went on to describe a system of businesses set up to finance, train and assist different operations. Some were for economic reasons, some for paramilitary and some for counter-terrorist. Premel referred to the startup money as "seed money." Congress designates and sets aside such covert funds every year and the American tax payer has no idea where it goes. It goes to companies such as the two we mentioned previously to support the US intelligence community.
To date, there are nearly 23,000 members of 86 chapters of a federal program that began in 1996 to aid the FBI in enhancing homeland security. The "InfraGard" program deputizes members of private sector industry to work with state and federal law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security to provide advance information on criminal activity that threatens domestic security. These civilians also receive advance warning of terrorist threats before the rest of the public is notified."
Matthew Rothschild of the Progressive reported Feb. 7, 2008, "One business executive who showed me his Infragard card told me they have permission to ‘shoot to kill’ in the event of martial law. So was Carnaby apart of 'InfraGard?'
The interesting angles do not stop there. Roland Carnaby was also tied and linked to Austin Texas through the private intelligence firm Stratfor, and its owner George Friedman. Stratfor since its inception has been known as the "Quasi CIA."
So we have Carnaby tied to these three of these companies. Two of them confirmed to be former undercover and front business organizations for CIA. We also have him tied publicly to another private firm, which is deeply in bed with CIA and has made no secret about it. The first firm was ran by James Pavitt, a known CIA official who came out publicly when he took over the Directorate of Operations as its Deputy Director of Operations and Alan Premel, also a character who after a year of being out in the public has not been denied by CIA. And the third firm, Stratfor, works along with government business but mostly in the intelligence with private business and has tremendous CIA influence. We are completely convinced that Alan Premel was employed by the CIA.
After Carnaby's name was smeared through press for months we found out that his real name was not even Tony, or Roland Carnaby. It was close, Karnabe with a 'K'. That Karnabe family name was linked to a major business in the UK and a shipping line in Beirut? Not only was he linked to the businesses they ended up being family businesses that his father ran. And there are deep pockets and CIA connections that go back 50-60 years and directly ties Roland Carnaby to the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri. Hariri, as we have discovered in the months after investigating, owned commercial real estate and towers in Houston. He personally financed Roland Carnaby and his Houston firm along with 'Seed Money' from CIA.
To illustrate, they start a company or a firm and they want to join the ranks and work with the CIA, where do you start? According to intelligence sources, by joining the CIA in clandestine activities, a company tacitly willfully accepts that some of its employees could routinely break the law in another country and, if exposed, embarrass the company and endanger its other overseas employees.
Unlike most CIA officers, who are stationed abroad disguised as U.S. State Department employees, military officials, or other U.S. government personnel attached to an American embassy, NOCs operate without any apparent links to the U.S. government, none what-so-ever. They are able to approach people who would not otherwise come into contact with a U.S. embassy official. The CIA's operations within terrorist, drug trafficking, and arms dealer networks often involve NOCs who can move more easily in such circles without raising suspicion.
After Carnaby's death, alarming details came out that he was involved in criminal activities through shipping and identity theft. The Secret Service seized his laptop and found that he was raising money privately for alleged companies taking $15,000-70,000 per victim. We saw in the case against Premel, that Premel accepted ipods from Roland Carnaby on behalf of the company and passed them out as gifts throughout the 2007 year. Premel was arrested in 2008 for ipod theft after Premel failed to name the source of the ipods. When we questioned Alan Premel on why he never gave up Carnaby's name he stated "He's not the type of guy you turned in, he's not the type of guy you screwed over. I feared that my body would never be found and floating face down"
It was discovered that Carnaby was actively engaged in criminal operations from 2006-2008, Premel attributes this behavior to the death of Rafik Hariri. Hariri, a Lebanese billionaire and former Prime Minister who was not only steeped into intelligence activities, but also was very well known in Houston as a prominent businessman and owned several hi-rise buildings. Roland Carnaby as the story goes, worked as a right-hand man to Hariri in interests dealing in Lebanon and in the United States. So when Hariri was assassinated in 2005, funding and financing dried up in 2006 for Carnaby. And that is when you start seeing a pattern of criminal behavior for the next two years.
When we queried Alan Premel on Carnaby starting up a business and raising money he was very quick to answer and in great detail. He stated, "you mean, GPS, Global Protection Services LLC. It was a private security and protection firm that was going to be funded by Hariri in Houston and provide Hariri protection when he traveled to the United States as well. Premel also stated that to his knowledge GPS was never started, there was no money raised and he even said that he wrote the business, financial and marketing plans for GPS.
Premel's background in college was that of a business major and he attended the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Houston. Premel says, "The GPS never got off the ground because after Hariri died their was no more money, we couldn't expect his sons to invest in it."
In returning to the issue of NOCs, they have increasingly turned their attention to economics. Using their business covers, they seek to recruit agents in foreign government economic ministries or gain intelligence about high-tech firms in computer, electronics, and aerospace industries. They also help track the development of critical technologies, both military and civilian.
NOCs frequently stay five or ten years in one place. During that time, the NOC is truly "out in the cold." Their contacts with control officers in the CIA station are strictly limited; they do not have access to embassy files; and they must report through secret communications channels and clandestine meetings. Premel stated that his cover changed every two years and was always part-time work. Such a pattern is more indicative of a CIA case officer, opposed to a NOC. However, it is still a pattern that closely fits a cautious officer working covertly.
"As a NOC officer you are truly alone," says John Quinn, who spent much of the 1980s as a NOC in Tokyo. "The sense of isolation and loneliness is difficult to describe to those who have never experienced it." Sources close to Carnaby also describe an even more lonely tale of the operational side of his life. Because NOCs do not have the diplomatic immunity that protects CIA officers operating under embassy cover, if they are exposed they are subject to arrest and imprisonment. They can be executed as spies. enlarge .... go to Alan Premel page
Another reason why I believe that Premel is a NOC. We saw him come out in mid 2007 publicly, and then suddenly entire interviews taken off the web, videos disappearing overnight and reporters and producers vouching on record that they have never heard or seen of the man. And in late 2007, Premel testified before a closed session of congress with CIA's Director, General Hayden. Many, including myself believe Premel, has knowledge about the extremely controversial program, Extraordinary Rendition.
Now, it would not matter, the U.S. Congress in July 2008 passed new laws for rendition. They made it illegal to prosecute and hold CIA officers or U.S. Military personnel tied to the program in a court of law. President Bush and Congress granted retroactive immunity to those U.S. officers who were awaiting rendition charges.
For months Premel was off the radar and then after Congress broke from its holiday break and came back in January. Premel resurfaced in Washington for more detailed talks on rendition. It was revealed that not only did he have knowledge about rendition activites and flights into eastern Europe, also that he was a CIA supervisor. A month later, Alan Premel, was arrested after investigators ransacked him residence and found the stolen ipods that Roland Carnaby had given to Premel.
One could easily conclude from all this that if Premel was active CIA, he would not have been arrested for rendition and he wasn't. The simple fact that he was subject to arrest proves that he was a NOC. The agency even admits that he is on his own. Carnaby could have been a NOC as well? Not likely, a NOC cannot employ another NOC. A NOC can recruit and bring people in to work and make money. However, Roland Carnaby would not be able to recruit Alan Premel on his own and bring him in.
Now, fast forward a couple of months. Since Roland Carnaby's death, the people who were getting scammed and businesses from his criminal endeavors never received any more calls and emails, we never saw any more suspicious Roland Carnaby strange postings to Wikipedia pages on certain individuals. Premel said "Everyone pointed the finger at me and said I was responsible for postings, hell, Carnaby had access to my computer, he had access to everything I had, I trusted this man." Alan Premel went on to tell a tale about a business owner in the Houston Galleria who also was conned out of tens of thousands by Carnaby, all in cash with no proof of receipt. She even told a tale of she and her husband both catching him snooping around and sneaking onto their computer. "The reasons behind why he would have planned something to this magnitude are beyond me. I can only think that it was some kind of setup and it is easy to think that."
The other interesting fact in this case is all the internet postings started in August 2007. Coincidence that it is the same month that CIA and FBI computers are busted publicly nationally for changing Wikipedia pages and making false statements online", Premel stated.
And which is true if you research, that summer, CIA computers were verified in changing pages. Alan Premel was entered onto Bob Baer, George Tenet and John McLaughlin's Wikipedia pages. It points directly to this same case. No changes have ever been made since the death of Roland Carnaby everything has ceased. So why are we still pointing the finger at Alan Premel? Since Carnaby's death Mike Tolson of the Houston Chronicle has not written any negative articles on Premel. Premel's name has been out now for a year and a half and it has been six months since Carnaby's death. Alan Premel has never been denied by the CIA. And also, many have vouched for him and we have seen pictures of him all over the world. Some of the most interesting facts on the case of who Alan Premel is lays on some impressively stunning facts.
1.) Premel was arrested with credentials. So why wasn't he charged for impersonating a federal officer? This could have resulted in a 25 years sentence upon conviction.
2.) Pictures of Premel have him all over the world. in front of the pyramids, in front of the Eiffel Tower and clearly on assignment working with others. Only to find out that his passport has only seen one trip to Mexico in the last decade which was before this timeline starts. Before they were pulled, the pictures linked him to at least 20 countries.
3.) Why is there a man with no military record photographed in and around everyone who is military?
Premel went on to add as we closed out, "I was asked by my attorneys and my family not to come out and speak. There was media everywhere, reporters and government investigators. So I respected the wishes of my family first and foremost. I would have gone quietly into the night and never talked about it but I am a Christian, I do believe in the truth and I believe in Susan Carnaby. Roland's widow deserves the truth and what really happened. She already had to listen to months and months of banter about her husband being a fraud, all of it to protect foreign connections and contacts, no way, that's not right. I do agree with CIA that they have to deny him across the board. But after 6 months you have had your time to move sources, protect systems, networks and ensure safety for the hundreds this man was attached and connected to."
We are truly witnessing something spectacular with this case. It shows us that dark people exist. Not only do they exist but it exposed an active network inside the United States that was set up to work independently inside. It showed us the names and faces of active members and we saw them disappear overnight, companies disappear and articles and videos disappear. We saw the effects of how damaging it is for names of silent and secret people get out. We saw not only one man with no record of service and contracts linked to CIA senior officers, former Directors and a former President since Former President Bush owns the office Roland Carnaby worked out of. Yet, CIA never knew him. Bush Sr. is a former CIA Director. Premel, who has equally, no ties through social security number to anything knows people, we've seen him in photos and he knows explicit details on operations, contracts and contact information to people involved. These men were not undercover. These men were covert. To get a taste of what it would be like watch the movie 'The Departed,' and you can start to get a feel of what it must have been like to not have certain people you work with know your identity and others who did. And at the time when you need it most, someone to stand and verify and vouch who you are.
So now six months later we are seeing officer after officer stand up and vouch for not only one of them but for both of them. It is sad that it has taken this long and it has had to destroy so many lives in the process by a discrediting media who will follow the directives of CIA so closely with no regard to the reputations and lives of the people they write negatively about. So will we ever truly know if they were NOC's. We will not and never will. And that is something we will have to remember and consider when covering and reading this case. We have to respect the rights and privacy of these patriots and their families if they want to be anonymous and protected. They served our country not only overtly, but covertly. For the men and women who served silently with Roland Carnaby who's names and faces did not come out publicly and Mike Tolson could not joke about you being the 'FedEx bandit', thank you for your service and dedication to the mission.