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April 2014
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Tag: Obama administration

Ex-FBI Agent Sentenced to 3+ Years for Leaking Intelligence to AP

Steve Neavling 

A former FBI agent who leaked information to the Associated Press was sentenced Thursday to about three-and-a-half years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information, the AP reports.

Donald Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012.

The discovery prompted feds to seize phone records from the AP in search of the source.

“Clearly, you have betrayed your nation,” U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence told 25-year veteran of the FBI, the AP wrote.

The prosecution is part of the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of intelligence leakers.

President Obama to Search for New Homeland Security Secretary to Replace Napolitano


Janet Napolitano

Steve Neavling 

President Obama soon will have to replace Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after she announced Friday that she’s resigning to head the University of California system, the Washington Post reports.

Napolitano plans to resign in September, which gives Obama a little more than a month to find a replacement.

The White House gave no indication of a deadline or about who is in the running, The Post reported.

The next Homeland Security secretary is important because he or she will be responsible for overhauling the immigration system.

Fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry Honored by Specialty Coin

Steve Neavling

A federal group is selling collector’s coins of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, who was killed in a shootout while on duty, to raise money for a foundation created to honor Terry.

Called the “Challenge Coin,” the Border Narcotics Intelligence is selling the coins online for $15.

Terry’s death grabbed national headlines because it revealed the federal government’s botched “Fast and Furious” drug smuggling investigation.  





Al Gore to Twitterverse: Privacy Should be a Priority

Steve Neavling 

Former Vice President Al Gore launched an unusual assault on the Obama administration over the revelation that the federal government is tracking cell phone records, The Washington Post reports.

“In digital era, privacy must be a priority,” Gore tweeted Wednesday. “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”

The tweet follows news that the government is tracking cell phone records of millions of Americans.

Whistleblower Says Obama Administration at Fault for Delayed Benghazi Investigation

Steve Neavling 

The Obama administration’s characterization of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, slowed the down the investigation, a key Benghazi whistleblower said, Fox News reports.

“I definitely believe that it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi,” Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, said during a Congressional hearing Wednesday.

Some Republicans are accusing the administration of downplaying the attack for political reasons.

Democrats scoffed at the idea.

“People who have actually seen the documents, who have actually conducted a real investigation completely reject the allegation that they were made for political purposes,” Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., said.

Obama Administration Considers Making Internet Wiretapping Easier

istock illustration

Steve Neavling

The Obama administration is close to stiffening surveillance laws to make it easier to wiretap people who use the Internet, the New York Times reports.

Saying it’s much easier to wiretap people using traditional phone services, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III wants the federal government to extend the practice to monitor suspects who communicate using the Internet.

The proposal is being reviewed by the White House, the Times wrote.

Privacy advocates aren’t so happy about the proposed change.

“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”

President Obama’s Hunt for New FBI Director Leads to Short List of Likely Candidates

Steve Neavling 

The search for a new FBI director is heating up.

Looking to replace Robert Mueller, whose term has expired, the White House has begun vetting candidates and may be down to a short list of potential successors, NPR reports.

NPR reported that the Obama administration approached Judge Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge in Washington D.C., but he didn’t want the job.

That leaves the White House with a short list of candidates, NPR reported, citing anonymous sources.

Among them are Lisa Monaco, a federal prosecutor; Jim Comey, a former U.S. attorney in New York City; and David Kris, a longtime Justice Department lawyer, NPR wrote.

Feds Won’t Investigate Whether DEA Agents Violated Human Rights in Honduras

Steve Neavling

The state and justice departments have no intention of investigating complaints of human rights violations and other misconduct by DEA agents in Honduras, the Washington Times reports.

At issue is the May 2012 deaths of four Honduran villagers during an anti-drug operation along the Carribean coast.

Some lawmakers and human-rights groups have been demanding to know how much the DEA was involved in the deaths, the Washington Times reported.

More than 55 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have requested an investigation, but the Obama administration appears to be pleased with a report from Honduras that cleared the DEA of wrongdoing, the Washington Times wrote.

“There will be no separate investigation,” a U.S. official told The Washington Times this week.