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Tag: Justice Department

IG: Justice Department Repeatedly Failed to Train Employees on Proper Off-Duty Conduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The problems with Justice Department employees getting drunk and acting out 20 years ago have not been sufficiently addressed and are failing to curtail boisterous off-duty conduct, the Inspector General found.

The Washington Times reports that the department never followed through on recommendations from as far back as 1996 to adequately train employees on the responsibilities and consequence of off-duty conduct.

“We found no indication that DOJ had revisited its off-duty conduct policies or training in any comprehensive manner since then, and no indication that DOJ, despite its significant international presence, had established a department-wide policy or training directed at off-duty conduct abroad,” investigators said.

The IG said part of the problem is that many employees don’t know what is unacceptable behavior when off the clock.

FBI Agent: No Direct Evidence Ex-CIA Officer Leaked Info to New York Times

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI agent testified Wednesday that there is no direct evidence that an ex-CIA officer leaked classified information to a New York Times reporter, the Associated Press reports

But the agent said CIA man Jeffrey Sterling was often in contact with journalist James Risen as prosecutors finished up their case based on phone and email contacts. Prosecutors recently declined to force Risen to testify.

Sterling is charged with leaking information about a classified mission that Risen wrote about in his 2006 book “State of War.”

Sterling has long denied being the source.

Justice Department to Pay $134,000 to Woman After DEA Set Up Bogus Facebook Page

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A controversial tactic by federal investigators from the DEA to create a bogus Facebook page using real information from a suspect has turned into a $134,000 settlement for the woman targeted on the social media page, the Associated Press reports.

In the settlement with Sondra Arquiett, the DEA still did not admit wrongdoing.

The case has prompted the Justice Department to review how it handled the case and whether it was appropriate to set up a fake account.

“This settlement demonstrates that the government is mindful of its obligation to ensure the rights of third parties are not infringed upon in the course of its efforts to bring those who commit federal crimes to justice,” Richard Hartunian, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York, said in a statement.

“It also takes into account emerging personal privacy concerns in the age of social media, and represents a fair resolution of plaintiff’s claims,” he added.

FBI, Facebook Partner to Issue Amber Alerts to Social Media Users

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A lot more people are going to learn about missing children after the Justice Department created a partnership with Facebook to send AMBER alerts to its users, WJCL reports. 

A similar deal was reached with Bing.

Attorney General Eric Holder said this is a big step to finding more children before it’s too late.

“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American,” Holder said.  “Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media.  Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response.  The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.”

The complete text of Holder’s message:

“At the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of everyone in this country – and especially our young people.  Over the last two decades, a key tool in this effort has been the AMBER Alert system – an early warning system that helps us find and return abducted children.”

“Since the first AMBER Alert system became operational in 1996, AMBER Alert’s strong network of law enforcement and transportation officials, broadcasters, private-sector representatives – and dedicated ordinary citizens – has helped to rescue and safely return more than 700 abducted children.  Just last month, two young children were recovered.  In one incident, a three-year-old boy who had been taken in a domestic dispute was used as a shield by his abductor.  In another, an infant just 20 days old was abducted by a carjacker.  Fortunately, with the help of the AMBER Alert system, both children were rescued unharmed.”

“Through radio announcements, highway signs, wireless notifications, and Web posts, AMBER Alerts are now capable of rapidly reaching millions of people across the country.  But we have a great deal more to do in order to ensure that we can spread the word about missing children as quickly and as widely as possible.”

“Today – as our nation observes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – I am pleased to announce that we are making two vital additions to our innovative national partnerships in order to expand the reach of the AMBER Alert system.  Facebook, already an AMBER Alert partner, will now begin sending alerts, along with detailed information and photographs, to its members in designated search areas.  And the search engine Bing will begin allowing users to access AMBER Alerts through its online tools.  These cutting-edge tools are available as a result of agreements with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which coordinates our AMBER Alert distribution efforts.”

“Facebook’s geo-targeted alerts and Bing’s online broadcast tools will give AMBER Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence – extending our web of child protection resources into new and critical areas.  I am grateful for their involvement, and for the participation of so many organizations and agencies that have helped to make the AMBER Alert system such an important public safety asset.  And I urge other companies and organizations to step forward and do their part by offering whatever assistance they can provide.”

“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American.  Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media.  Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response.  The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.”

Defiant NYT Reporter James Risen Dodges Testimony in CIA Leak Case After Years of Wrangling

Reporter James Risen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Risen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who pledged to go to jail before revealing a government source, won’t be called to testify in the case of the former CIA officer suspected of being the leak, the Washington Post reports.

Since the ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was charged with leaking the information to Risen, the New York Times reporter was the star witness.

It’s unclear whether enough evidence exists to convict Sterling without Risen’s testimony.

The 2010 case has stalled for years as Risen fought efforts to subpoena him.

The information gathered from the source was used in Risen’s 2006 book, “State of War,” which documented what Risen depicted as a heavily flawed effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapon.

Prosecutors announced their decision not to pursue Risen’s testimony in a court filing Monday.

Denver Post: Justice Department Must End Crusade Against Reporters

By Denver Post 
Editorial Board

All of the conciliatory talk from the Justice Department about leaving journalists out of its war on leaks appears to be just that — talk.

That’s the only logical answer to the question of why New York Times reporter James Risen was on the witness stand in federal court Monday, being asked about confidential sources and stories.

The feds are attempting to prosecute Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former CIA officer accused of giving Risen classified information about a botched operation involving Iran and its nuclear program.

The government’s attempt to pressure Risen is far from the only episode in which the administration has tried to get at those suspected of revealing sensitive information through journalists.

To read more click here.

Former CBS News Correspondent Sues Justice Department Over Alleged Hacking

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former CBS News correspondent is suing the Justice Department for $35 million, claiming the federal government hacked her computers while she reported on important national and international issues, Politico.com reports.

“There is an administrative claim for illegal wiretapping and a lawsuit alleging constitutional violations,” Sharyl Attkisson told POLITICO on Monday.

Attkisson told Fox News she had “pretty good evidence” that the Justice Department played a role in stealing her data and passwords.

Attkisson spent more than two decades at CBS before departing because of what she considered liberal bias.

The Justice Department declined any involvement in the hacking, standing behind it’s 2013 statement: “To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer or other media device she may own or use.”

Bill Would Require Every Police Killing to Be Tallied by Justice Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Without a federal requirement to disclose police killings, it’s impossible to know how many cops kill civilians in any given year.

That could change under new legislation that would require all police departments to report law-enforcement killing to the Justice Department, Essence reports.

Currently the FBI keeps a tally on the number of police killings, but local departments aren’t required to produce the information. A Wall Street Journal analysis found that the FBI’s tally of law-enforcement killings between 2007 and 2012 was missing 550 deaths.

“What we know is that some places have chosen not to report these, for whatever reason,” Cooper told the Journal.

Under the new legislation, introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, all police agencies would be required to disclose every death during police custody.

“Before we can truly address the problem of excessive force used by law enforcement, we have to understand the nature of the problem, and that begins with accurate data,” Rep. Cohen said in a statement.

Called the “National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2014,’ the bill likely will have to be reintroduced in January.