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Tag: book

Chair of U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Gets Book Deal about Terrorism

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul is writing a book about his experience chairing the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Associated Press reports.

Entitled “Failures of Imagination: The Deadliest Threats to Our Homeland – and How to Thwart Them,” the book by the Texas Republican explores the dangers of terrorism and potential solutions.

Crown Publishing Group calls the book a “compelling and action-packed narrative.”

McCaul, 53, said the “greatest threat to America’s homeland is a failure to imagine the worst-case scenarios.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Spied on African American Novelist James Baldwin for More Than Decade

James Baldwin/Wikipedia

James Baldwin/Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

James Baldwin, a famous African American writer, was pursued for more than a decade by the FBI because of paranoia about his politics, according to a new biography, “All the Strangers” by Douglas Field.

Baldwin, who is best known for his novels, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “Another Country,” was pursued by the FBI during the era of illegal surveillance, The Intercept reports. 

Intercept writes:

Why did the FBI spy on Baldwin? He was a novelist, essayist and critic, one of the most distinguished writers and thinkers of his time. His skin was black, his sexuality fluid, and his politics tended toward the left, a combination that was enough to turn him into a target for the FBI.

Agents began spying on Baldwin in 1960 because of fears he was “connected to several Communist Party front groups.” His role in civil rights also caught the attention of the FBI.

Book Chronicles FBI Special Agent’s Death in Shootout in 1935

Book by William E. Plunkett

Book by William E. Plunkett

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Bill Plunkett knows a thing or two about criminal investigations.

The former FBI special agent put those skills to use to investigate the death of FBI Special Agent Nelson B. Klein, who was killed in a shootout in Indiana in August 1935.

After scouring hundreds of news articles and FBI files, Plunkett published a book chronicling the life and death of Klein.

The book is called, “The G-man and the Diamond King: A True FBI Crime Story of the 1930s.”

The idea for the book came after Plunkett came across a Klein’s toppled gravestone.

The book chronicles how Klein’s life ended after a run-in with a suspect in a car-theft ring.

One of Secret Service’s First Female Agents to Protect President Writes Book

behind-the-shades-book-e1429300770480By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service agent has published a book about her experience as one of the first women on the presidential protection force, The Hill reports.

Sue Ann Baker’s memoir, “Behind the Shades,” details becoming one of the first five female agents in 1971 – long after the Secret Service was launched more than a century ago.

“I was the first ‘girl agent,’ as they called us back then,” Baker told the Hill.

Seeing female agents wasn’t easy for a lot of them men, Baker said.

“There were a lot of guys that clearly didn’t want us there.”

The Secret Service also didn’t make it easy, she said

“When we first were brought into the White House police, the Executive Protective Service, first of all, they never thought to issue us uniforms,” Baker, 69, said. “So we really couldn’t do what the men did, you know, standing in the guard shacks around the White House, because no one would have ever acknowledged any of our authority because we’re standing there in skirts of varying lengths. No pants then.”

Other Stories of Interest

Judge: FBI Had No Right to Pose As Internet Repairmen to Get Evidence

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents crossed the line when they posed as Internet repairmen to get access to computers in a Las Vegas Strip hotel last summer during an investigation into online gambling, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon in Las Vegas dismissed the evidence collected during the sting, leaving federal prosecutors with a potentially dead investigation, the Associated Press reports. 

The evidence won’t convict Malaysian businessman Wei Seng “Paul” Phua, defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Thomas Goldstein said.

“There’s no more evidence from anywhere,” said Chesnoff, who has alleged investigative and prosecutorial misconduct and cast the case as a fight for people in their homes to be free from prying eyes of the government.

U.S. attorneys declined to comment.

It’s not yet whether the case will survive without the evidence .

Records: FBI Spied on Numerous African American Authors, Scholars for Decades

J. Edgar Hoover

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and its notoriously paranoid director J. Edgar Hoover spied on prominent African American writers for decades, monitoring their activities and critiquing their work.

The Guardian reports that newly declassified documents from the FBI show extensive surveillance of black writers and scholars, including Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Claude McKay.

The records were obtained by William Maxwell, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who was shocked when the FBI turned over 1,884 pages of documents on 51 well-known black writers. His request included 106 black writers, which means nearly half were monitored by the feds.

“I suspected there would be more than a few,” said Maxwell. “I knew Hoover was especially impressed and worried by the busy crossroads of black protest, leftwing politics, and literary potential. But I was surprised to learn that the FBI had read, monitored, and ‘filed’ nearly half of the nationally prominent African American authors working from 1919 (Hoover’s first year at the Bureau, and the first year of the Harlem Renaissance) to 1972 (the year of Hoover’s death and the peak of the nationalist Black Arts movement). In this, I realised, the FBI had outdone most every other major institution of US literary study, only fitfully concerned with black writing.”

Maxwell is revealing the findings in a book entitled, “FB Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature.” The book hits the shelves on Feb. 18.

The book says the surveillance was prompted by Hoover’s “personal fascination with black culture.”

What was Hoover afraid of?

“Hoover was exercised by what he saw as an emerging alliance between black literacy and black radicalism,” Maxwell said.

“Then there’s the fact that many later African American writers were allied, at one time or another, with socialist and communist politics in the U.S.”

 

Former FBI Agent Reveals Tricks of Influencing People in Everyday Life

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A good FBI agent can make friends with just about anyone. 

Now a former agent, Jack Schafer, is sharing the tricks of the trade in a new book, “The Like Switch,” which is written for people to use in their everyday lives.

Schafer, who worked as behavioral therapist for the bureau for seven years, said people are too caught up in themselves and don’t have a lot of the skills to make friends.

“We are too busy focusing on ourselves and not the people we meet,” he writes.

“We put our wants and needs before the wants and needs of others. The irony of all this is that other people will be eager to fulfill your wants and needs if they like you.”

Schafer shows how nonverbal cues impact how people see us.

Former DEA Agent Reveals Details of His Undercover Career in New Book

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former DEA agent has uncovered fascinating details of his undercover career in a book entitled, “The Dar Art: Inside the World’s Most Dangerous Narco-Terrorist Organization.”

Ed Follis talked with St. Louis Public radio about the book.

“The book was cathartic,” Follis said. “I finally looked back on all those days and the stuff we did.”

Follis’ career with the DEA spans nearly 30 years when he pursued drug traffickers.

Follis said the war on drugs would be more successful if law enforcement targeted the bigger dealers.

“The war on drugs is somewhat like a number of other wars that we’ve advanced since Vietnam,” Follis said. “I’m not quite sure that we’re pressing in as hard as we should. I did, personally, as an agent. But the war on drugs has to focus emphatically on the larger figures. I never pursued people that were addicted. They’re not victims, but they are in need of extreme assistance. It’s those who exploit them … They’re not concerned about the addicts and the people that are hopelessly addicted.”

Follis said he never used drugs in his career and got by on two things.

“Number one, beyond anything else, you have to have the right access. That’s through informants, of course, because they already have standing with these people. Number two, you have to be like them, because once they trust you, they don’t want to disbelieve their trust with you.”

Stories of Other Interest