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.Designed as a case-management system for prosecutors, PROMIS has the ability to track people. "Every use of PROMIS in the court system is tracking people," said Inslaw President Hamilton. "You can rotate the file by case, defendant, arresting officer, judge, defense lawyer, and it's tracking all the names of all the people in all the cases."
What this means is that PROMIS can provide a complete rundown of all federal cases in which a lawyer has been involved, or all the cases in which a lawyer has represented defendant A, or all the cases in which a lawyer has represented white-collar criminals, at which stage in each of the cases the lawyer agreed to a plea bargain, and so on. Based on this information, PROMIS can help a prosecutor determine when a plea will be taken in a particular type of case.
But the real power of PROMIS, according to Hamilton, is that with a staggering 570,000 lines of computer code, PROMIS can integrate innumerable databases without requiring any reprogramming. In essence, PROMIS can turn blind data into information. And anyone in government will tell you that information, when wielded with finesse, begets power. Converted to use by intelligence agencies, as has been alleged in interviews by ex-CIA and Israeli Mossad agents, PROMIS can be a powerful tracking device capable of monitoring intelligence operations, agents and targets, instead of legal cases.
—Richard L. Fricker, Wired magazine, 1993, "The INSLAW Octopus"
Inslaw had two limited contracts to provide Promis to Justice in 1982 and 1983. Neither application had anything to do with tracking terrorist activities. Hamilton's suits charged that Reagan Administration officials, including Edwin Meese, pirated the software, modified it for intelligence and financial uses and made millions by selling it to the governments of Israel, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and other friendly nations. After the installation of a CIA-created "back door" into the program, Israel, using its lifelong Mossad agent Robert Maxwell, reportedly sold the software to "unfriendly" nations and then secretly retrieved priceless intelligence data.
At about noon on August 10, 1991, housekeeping staff discovered Casolaro naked in the bathtub of Room 517. His wrists had been slashed deeply. There were three or four wounds on his right wrist and seven or eight on his left. Blood was splattered on the bathroom wall and floor; and according to Ridgeway and Vaughn, "the scene was so gruesome that one of the housekeepers fainted when she saw it."
Under Casolaro's body, paramedics found an empty Milwaukee beer can, two white plastic liner-trash bags, and a single edge razor blade. There was a half-empty wine bottle nearby. Ridgeway and Vaughan write that nothing was placed in the bathtub drain to prevent debris from draining away, and none of the bathwater was saved.Other than a gruesome scene, the hotel room was clean and orderly. There was a legal pad and a pen present on the desk; a single page had been torn from the pad, and a message written on it: "To those who I love the most: Please forgive me for the worst possible thing I could have done. Most of all I'm sorry to my son. I know deep down inside that God will let me in."
Based on the note, the absence of a struggle, no sign of a forced entry, and the presence of alcohol, police judged the case a straightforward suicide. After inspecting the scene, they found four more razor blades in their envelopes in a small package. Police interviews further revealed that no one had seen nor heard anything suspicious. The Martinsburg police contacted authorities in Fairfax, Virginia, who said they would notify Casolaro's family.
Bin Laden's reported possession of Promis software was clearly reported in a June 15, 2001 story by Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper. That story went unnoticed by the major media. In it Seper wrote, "The software delivered to the Russian handlers and later sent to bin Laden, according to sources, is believed to be an upgraded version of a program known as Promis - developed in the 1980s by a Washington firm, Inslaw, Inc., to give attorneys the ability to keep tabs on their caseloads. It would give bin Laden the ability to monitor U.S. efforts to track him down, federal law-enforcement officials say. It also gives him access to databases on specific targets of his choosing and the ability to monitor electronic-banking transactions, easing money-laundering operations for himself or others, according to sources."