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American Muslims Claim FBI Placed Them on No-Fly List for Refusing to Be Informants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No one has accused Naveed Shinwari of breaking the law.

But that hasn’t stopped federal authorities from placing him on the no-fly list, which has prevented Shinwari from seeing his wife for the past 26 months, the Guardian reports.

Shinwari said he believes he can’t fly because he’s refused to become an informant for the FBI.

“I’m just very frustrated, [and I said] what can I do to clear my name?” said Shinwari, 30, who has lived in the U.S. since he was 14. “And that’s where it was mentioned to me: ‘you help us, we help you. We know you don’t have a job; we’ll give you money.’”

Shinwari is among four American Muslims accusing the FBI in a lawsuit of retaliating against them for refusing to become informants.
The FBI declined to comment.


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Al Jazeera: Obama Should Commute Stiff Sentences of Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Pres. Obama at state of the union/white house photo

By Daniel Denzir
Al Jazeera

Last month Don McIntosh, a journalist and friend of mine in Portland, Ore., posted on Facebook that his half brother Daniel McIntosh had just been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for selling 954 kilograms of marijuana and money laundering as part of a 16-member pot-selling ring. “Our nation’s drug and mandatory minimum sentencing laws are monstrously unjust,” he wrote. “His mom, his wife and three kids are also punished by this prison sentence.”

It could have been worse. Had federal prosecutors prevailed in convicting Daniel McIntosh of distributing more than 1,000 kilograms, his previous drug convictions would have triggered a sentence of mandatory life without parole. Facing the judge before sentencing, McIntosh reflected on what such a long term would mean. “When you love your children as much as I love mine, sir,” he said, “two days away from them … 10 years, 20 years … I don’t know how my mind can even comprehend that.”

The drug war is in its fifth decade and on its eighth president, yet what befell McIntosh for trafficking a drug that many Americans consider less harmful than alcohol still defies comprehension.

The root of extreme sentencing is legislative: Eighty-three percent of those serving life without parole for a nonviolent offense as of 2012 received a mandatory minimum sentence prescribed by law. Judges protest the harsh sentences even as they hand them down.

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Wisconsin DOJ Let 43 Child Porn Cases Languish While Predators Were Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Wisconsin Department of Justice let at least 43 tips about suspected child pornography languish for four months or longer, compromising the investigations and keeping children in harm’s way, an internal investigation determined.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the number could be a lot higher, revealing a major lapse in judgment by top officials in the state.

The probe resulted in the terminations of Willie Brantley, the former special agent in charge of the Justice Department’s Milwaukee office, and Anna King, a special agent who worked for him. All the cases were shifted from Madison to Milwaukee between 2011 and 2013, the Journal Sentinel reported.

“While there are examples during the three-year period of other (special agents in charge) holding cases between 60 and 89 days, these are outliers and no other (supervisor) ever held a case longer than that,” according to the letter, written by Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John.

In one case, a 26-year-old man “was left free to allegedly molest an 11-year-old boy he was baby-sitting.”

“We still have concern that other cases under your former supervision, which have now been reassigned, may identify additional victims whose suffering might have been averted had you exercised the most rudimentary supervisory principles,” the letter notifying Brantley of his termination says. “This discipline takes into account the ongoing risk to the public safety that was set in play by your actions.”


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More than Third of Released Prisoners Arrested Within 6 Months of Release

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If prison is designed to prevent repeat offenses, it’s failing miserably.

Business Insider reports that more than a third of state prisoners were arrested within six months of being released, and that number jumped to 56.7% within the first year, 67.8% within three years and 76.6 % within five years.

Those numbers were even higher for inmates who were 24 years old and younger.

The staggering statistics raise serious questions about the role of prisons and their ability to rehabilitate offenders.

Property offenders were most likely to land in trouble again, with 82.1% committing crimes within five years of being released from prison.


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FBI’s Reaches 80-Year Anniversary of Botched Attempt to Arrest John Dillinger, His Gang in Wisconsin

John Dillinger/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was a 80-year-old lesson the FBI will never forget.

Tuesday was the 80-year anniversary of the bureau’s bungled attempt to arrest gangster John Dillinger and his gang at Little Bohemia Lodge in northern Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Agents acting on a tip tried to raid the lodge but were met with a gun battle that killed a Civilian Conservation Corps worker.

Another gangster, Baby Face Nelson, killed one agent and sounded another.

The gang escaped.

“The FBI learned a lot from its early years and during the tragic incident of Little Bohemia in northern Wisconsin,” Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Shields Jr. said Tuesday.

“The lessons we learned back then would shape how the bureau trained its agents, prepared tactically and even how we developed important partnerships with local law enforcement in the many years that followed.”

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Justice Department Readies for Unprecedented Campaign to Grant Clemency to Nonviolent Offenders

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration is anticipating thousands of clemency requests from federal inmates imprisoned for drug offenses.

The Washington Post reports that the clemencies are part of an unprecedented campaign to create more equity in criminal sentencing by freeing some nonviolent offenders.

The initiative will last two years and will involve dozens of reassigned lawyers to the pardons office.

“The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness and proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday.

“The Justice Department is committed to recommending as many qualified applicants as possible for reduced sentences.”


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Border Patrol Saves Life of Illegal Immigrant Bitten By Snake in Texas

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Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Border Patrol agents are being credited with saving a man’s life after he illegally entered the U.S. from Honduras.

KSAT.com reports that agents rescued the man in Texas after he called 911 and told the operator he was bitten by a snake.

Agents responded with a helicopter and GPS coordinates from a dispatcher and found the man near Roma.

He was transported to a hospital for further treatment.


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Stowaway Teen Reveals Serious Flaws in Airport Security After He Climbed onto Plane Unnoticed

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More disturbing than a teen’s decision to hide in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii was how easily he was able to slip past layers of security Sunday morning.

The Washington Post reports that the 15-year-old boy, who was running away from home, showed how a determined person could bypass security and sneak onto a plane without notice.

It’s not that surveillance cameras didn’t capture the boy slip past security at San Jose International Airport; it’s that no one saw him on the video screen.

“There’s no way to guarantee security, even if you had one person per video screen,”  Richard Bloom, an airport security expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona

Airport officials said they are reviewing the breach to determine who to avoid a similar failure.


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