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Archive for November 21st, 2010

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says TSA Continues to Prove It is “An Inept Agency”

Douglas B. Wolfe was an FBI agent who also worked for Department of Defense and retired as Senior Special Agent, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture. He runs Fidelity Investigations & Consulting in Maryland and recently launched a blog  WorldFamousPrivateEye’s Blog.

Doug Wolfe

By Douglas B. Wolfe

It’s the week before the busiest holiday travel season, and the TSA continues to prove it is an inept agency in search of a mission. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano justifies intrusive policies with simple-minded platitudes, “It’s all about security,” and “everybody recognizing their role.” When did it become the role of a TSA employee to don gloves and grope passengers?

I doubt most TSA screeners envisioned this part of their job description, and MOST don’t want to be the groper. What do I and most airline customers want? We just want to visit Mom for Thanksgiving and not be hassled.

But the TSA must be doing a great job since there have been no hijackings since 9-11, right? Wrong. The whole paradigm of how to act if your plane is hijacked has changed. The “system” taught us for decades to just comply with a hijacker’s instructions and the plane will land safely in Cuba. Now, no self-respecting planeload (read cattlecar) of travellers will ever let a terrorist, a ne’er-do-well, or anybody else take over a plane again. Not without a fight anyway. Bad guys know it, I know it, you know it, but Napolitano and TSA chief John Pistole are determined to give you and me a choice between the high-tech scanner (think of the ads for xray glasses that accompanied the mini comic strip inside the Bazooka bubble gum wrapper), or the low-tech molestation.

Billions of our dollars have been flushed down the drain called “security.” It’s a brilliant strategy by the Bin Ladens of the world if you think about it. They can’t win by force, but they can watch and wave as the United States spends itself into more economic woe.

In the weeks following the 9-11 attacks President Bush boldly re-drew the lines on government organization charts, creating DHS by simply renaming the people already on the job, adding more layers of bureaucracy, and more political positions. Some of the realignments make sense. But it was never essential. The government’s default strategy for problem solving is to reorganize. But it won’t address the real problem

Secretary Napolitano and Mr. Pistole, your first duty is to respect the Constitution and the dignity of both the traveling public AND TSA employees. Do the best you can within reason, to deter evil-doers.

But please, stop hassling us.

$100K Down the Toilet: Scandal Rocks DC Suburb as FBI Investigates

Jack Johnson

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

The former school superintendent is behind bars. County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife are whisked away in handcuffs by FBI agents, after authorities say she flushed evidence in the form of a $100,000 check down the toilet. And a few days later, three county cops are indicted in an FBI probe linked to the county executive — a probe that has all the markings of a much bigger scandal to come.

This is no obscure county in the middle of Nowheresville, U.S.A. It’s Prince George’s County, 498 square miles with more than 800,000 residents, long considered one of the most affluent African-American majority counties in the nation. It’s home to the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field and the University of Maryland. And it borders Washington, D.C.

Still, for all the good in the county, including some first-rate neighborhoods and a major new hotel, shopping and entertainment complex on the Potomac River, it has long fought hard in the public relations game and often come up short, battling nagging negatives.

Over the years, the police department was plagued by allegations of excessive force. The crime rate spiked a few years ago, with homicides hitting a record 173 in 2005, just 21 short of Washington’s tally. In 2008, Schools Superintendent Andre Hornsby was convicted of steering contracts to a girlfriend and a business associate in exchange for money. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

And now this.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: U.S. Attys and AUSAs in Michigan Have Played Key Roles in Shaping “Rule of Law”

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The “rule of law”—What does it mean?

For most of history since its origin in ancient Greece it has meant that the law, however it was created, rules events and relationships not the whim of the sovereign or the government.

But in this country rule of law has evolved through a gradual building process to encompass more than that—equality and certainty in enforcement and the fair and impartial adjudication of rights and liabilities.

The federal courts and the USAOs have had an unrecognized role in this process.

Today I would like to give you just a few examples of USAs and their Assistants and their contributions.

Solomon Sibley was the first USA.

In 1805 the village of Detroit burned to the ground. Sibley was the first mayor. Perhaps where we are today he walked amidst the smoking rubble and thought as one of 3-4 lawyers in the whole Michigan Territory, surrounded by swamps and wilderness, will this place ever amount to anything?

Read more »