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Archive for January, 2010

Column: Terrorists in Civilian or Military Court? Some Are Missing the Point

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – There’s been a lot of screaming and finger pointing lately here in Washington about charging the underwear bomber and the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court rather than a military one.

The complaints go something like this: We’re being too soft on terrorism. We’re giving up too much. We’re losing valuable intelligence. These people don’t deserve the same rights as Americans.  They should be charged in military courts. Period!

You can’t be totally dismissive of these opinions. But people are missing the point.

This isn’t about bending over backwards to be fair to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It’s not about the underwear man. Frankly, it’s  hard to care about either one.

But it is about us as a nation that prides itself on following laws, of due process, of trying to be transparent for the world to see that justice can be achieved in a fair way. A civilian court seems to be the best way to show the world transparency and the American justice system.

We did it with the shoe bomber Richard Reid , we did it with the supposed 20th 9/11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui during the Bush years. It worked.

Even in Iraq, a public trial was held for mass murderer Sadaam Hussein. The Americans or the Iraqis certainly could have justified putting a bullet in his head right as he popped his head out of the crawl space. Few would have complained or cared.

But a public  trial was held and a just ending resulted. There was something gratifying to see justice work. Don’t we deserve at least the same kind of justice we’ve paid so dearly for to try and have in Iraq?

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Calif. ATF Opens New Office in Imperial City to Help Combat Gun Trafficking to Mexico

govt photo

govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles  has opened a new office in Imperial, Calif.,  to focus on Project Gunrunner, which targets illegal trafficking of arms to Mexico.

The ATF said the office, located  in the Southern California desert,  will include special agents, industry operations investigators and an intelligence research specialist.

“With the opening of our new office and the additional personnel assigned, ATF is significantly increasing its presence in the Imperial Valley,” Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres said in a statement. “We see ourselves as being part of this community and encourage the public to join us in a combined effort to rid our neighborhoods of gun traffickers and violent criminals.”

Column: Ex-CIA Chief Michael Hayden Says Govt. Got it Wrong With Detroit Bomber

Hayden was the CIA Director from 2006 to 2009.

Michael Hayden/gov photo

Michael Hayden/gov photo

By Michael V. Hayden
Washington Post Op-Ed Page

In the war on terrorism, this country faces an enemy whose theory of warfare ends the hard-won distinction in modern thought between combatant and noncombatant.

In doing that for which we have created government — ensuring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — how can we be adequately aggressive to ensure the first value, without unduly threatening the other two? This is hard. And people don’t have to be lazy or stupid to get it wrong.

We got it wrong in Detroit on Christmas Day. We allowed an enemy combatant the protections of our Constitution before we had adequately interrogated him. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not “an isolated extremist.” He is the tip of the spear of a complex al-Qaeda plot to kill Americans in our homeland.

To Read more click here.

Autopsy Report Says Agents Shot Detroit Muslim Imam 21 Times During FBI Raid

dearborn mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents shot a Muslim imam 21 times and then handcuffed him during an October FBI raid in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb, a yet to be released autopsy report concluded, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Free Press reporter  Ben Schmitt, who attributed the information to a “person familiar with the case”, also wrote that the source said the handcuffing “was in line with procedure.”

Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Detroit imam, was shot and killed Oct. 28 at a Dearborn warehouse during a shoot out with agents, who had come to arrest him and ten others for allegedly dealing in stolen property, the paper reported.

The FBI, which has publicly defended the shooting, has said the cleric opened fire first, killing an FBI dog.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

He’s Back! San Diego FBI Says “Geezer Bandit” Struck Again

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi photo

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For Aol News

Six bank robberies and five months later, the FBI in San Diego is still hunting for a mystery man in his 60s or 70s who’s been famously dubbed the “Geezer Bandit.”

His latest stickup came on Wednesday at the San Diego National Bank around 5:50 p.m. According to the FBI, the notorious robber was armed with a silver and black semiautomatic pistol when he handed the teller a demand note.

He walked off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Rail-thin, clad in a baseball cap and brandishing a gun, the man held up his first bank in San Diego County on Aug. 28. Up until mid-November, he had been robbing a new bank in San Diego County every two to four weeks, authorities said.

But this time, he waited about two and a half months before pulling off another robbery. His last heist had been Nov. 16 at a Bank of America branch.

For Full Story

Weekend Series on History: JFK, The Assassination, The Mob and Cuba

Retired DEA Agent Praises Nomination of Michele Leonhart for DEA Administrator

Ralph Lochridge is director of communications for D.A.R.E America (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). President Obama has nominated  Michele Leonhart for administrator of DEA, the top post. She is currently the acting administrator.  The Senate must still confirm her.

Ralph Lochridge
Ralph Lochridge

By Ralph Lochridge
Retired DEA Agent

As a retired DEA agent and having had Michele Leonhart work in an undercover capacity for me and having worked for her when she was head of the Los Angeles DEA field office, she is absolutely the best choice to lead the DEA.

She has excelled at every executive level position along the way to the top.

Smart. Assertive. Professional. Her experience and background just add to the mix that will help the DEA and the nation in this fight against international drug traffickers and money launderers.

Maryland Gang Leader Who Produced “Stop Snitching” Videos Convicted in Baltimore Fed Court

stop snitching 2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ronnie “Skinny Suge” Thomas, a Maryland gang leader who produced and starred in the infamous “Stop Snitching” videos was convicted Thursday in Baltimore federal court of being part of an organization that was involved in drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit murder and robbery.

Authorities alleged that Thomas and another gang member  Sherman Pride, who was also convicted Thursday,   were part of the Tree Top Piru Bloods (TTP Bloods).  Twenty five other people have been charged in the case.

“Many dangerous criminals have been convicted and removed from Maryland as a result of superb work by police and prosecutors on the TTP Bloods investigation,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. “Racketeering cases often are time-consuming, but they make a dramatic contribution to public safety.”

The “Stop Snitching” videos became quite popular and advocated violence against those who cooperated with police.

Authorities say the TTP Bloods is an offshoot of “the Bloods”, which began in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the Maryland TTPs began in the Washington County Detention Center in Hagerstown, Maryland in about 1999.

“The gang was formed for mutual protection in response to the aggression of other inmates from Baltimore and spread throughout Maryland mostly by recruiting from inside Maryland prisons,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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