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Tag: President Obama

Secret Service Incident in Netherlands Was on Heels of Car Wreck during Obama’s Miami Trip

secret service photo

By Carol D. Leonnig, David Nakamura and Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Secret Service arrived in the Netherlands last weekend for a presidential trip, managers were already on high alert to avoid any further em­barrassing incidents involving agents.

The agency’s director had admonished supervisors after two counter-sniper officers suspected of drinking were involved in a March 7 car accident during a presidential visit to Miami, according to several people with knowledge of the incident. The driver passed a field sobriety test and was not arrested.

So in Amsterdam on Saturday night, Secret Service supervisor George Hartford had the Miami incident in mind when he issued a warning to a group of agents gathered for dinner: Go out if you want, but stay out of trouble.

By the next morning, Hartford was pounding on the hotel door of a 34-year-old junior agent who had passed out drunk in a hallway and later had to be lifted into his room by several hotel employees, according to a hotel spokesman and two other people familiar with the incident. The agent claimed to have no memory of the events.

To read full story click here. 

 

Here We Go Again: Washington Post Reports that 3 U.S. Secret Service Agents Sent Home From Amsterdam For Drinking


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well, this won’t help the U.S. Secret Service if it’s trying to shake it rep as a party-and-get-crazy agency.

Carol D. Leonnig and David Nakamura of the Washington Post report that three Secret Service agents on the presidential detail this week in Amsterdam were sent home and put on administrative leave Sunday after going out for a night of drinking.

The paper, citing “three people familiar with the incident,” said one of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway.

The Post wrote that hotel staff alerted the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands after finding the unconscious agent Sunday morning, a day before President Obama arrived in the country.

To read the full story click here.

 

Secret Service Looks for Proposals for Next-Generation Presidential Limousines

secret service photo

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama already has a sweet ride.

But Homeland Security is looking for the next-generation presidential limousine for Obama’s replacement in 2017.

It can’t be just any car, according to the proposal.

“Phase 1, armor development, is currently underway. Phase 2 work will include integration of the armor design developed during Phase 1 of the program. Phase 2 requirements will include selection and integration of final automotive components, chassis, interior, exterior, and test vehicle fabrication and automotive component testing. Phase 3 will be focused on automotive validation and Phase 4 production of vehicles.”

The proposal also must come from a major domestic U.S. auto manufacturer.

The Obama administration plans to award the contract by Aug. 29.

Updated: War of Words Heats Up in Controversy Over DEA’s Leonhart’s Criticism of Obama’s Remarks

Michele Leonhart/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The war on drugs has turned into a war of words.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FlEOA)is publicly defending DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, who criticized President Obama’s remarks downplaying the dangers of pot. He said it was no more dangerous than alcohol.

The Marijuana Policy Project has called for her head and is petitioning the White House to fire her.

In a press release that mocks the marijuana organization, FLEOA stated: “The pot-loving MPP group concluded, perhaps while under the influence of a mind altering substance, that Administrator Leonhart should be replaced because she allegedly disagreed with comments made by President Obama.”

“Demonstrating an alarming form of hypocrisy, the MPP seeks to trample on the Administrator’s freedom of speech — a Constitutional right — while trumpeting their new-found Colorado freedom to get high in public and spread the stench of their smoke,” the press release said.

FLEOA National President Jon Adler said in a statement: “Administrator Leonhart is one of the best enforcement leaders in our country, and she continues to do a commendable job leading the premiere agency that enforces our nation’s drug laws.”

Updated Tuesday, 4:55 p.m.

RESPONSE:

Dan Riffle, Director of Federal Policies for the Marijuana Policy Projected responded with this statement:

Much like Ms. Leonhart, the FLEOA doesn’t have their facts straight. We’re not calling for her to be fired because she disagrees with President Obama. We’re calling for her to be fired because she either doesn’t understand or is intentionally ignoring basic scientific facts, and it’s her job to make decisions based on those facts. Marijuana is less addictive, less toxic, less harmful to the body, and unlike alcohol, doesn’t cause violent behavior. It is objectively less harmful than alcohol, yet Ms. Leonhart has obstructed efforts to remove marijuana from its current classification as a “Schedule I” drug alongside heroin and methamphetamine. In other words, she is disregarding the obligations of her job, and undermining her employer’s commitment to scientific integrity in policy-making.

We’re also not trying to trample her First Amendment freedom of speech rights. If Ms. Leonhart would like to proclaim the world is flat, that’s her right, but the American public shouldn’t be force to hand over $165,000 of their hard-earned tax dollars to pay her an exorbitant salary for doing so.

One thing the FLEOA is correct about is that under Ms. Leonhart’s leadership the DEA has amassed an “impressive record.” They have an impressive record of giving guns to Mexican drug cartels, using NSA data to illegally spy on Americans, concealing evidence from defendants, prosecutors and judges, and jailing someone without food or water for days costing taxpayers $4.1 million in a legal judgment.

Understandably, Americans aren’t very impressed with that record, which is perhaps why more than 18,000 people have signed our petition calling for her removal. I urge the FLEOA to join them.

 

 

Pro-Pot Group Calls for Obama to Fire DEA Chief Over Statements About Marijuana

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is so out of step with the nation and President Obama on marijuana that the agency’s chief should be fired, a leading marijuana reform group said.

The Huffington Post reports that the Marijuana Policy Project’s call for resignation comes after DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart spoke out firmly against marijuana legalization last week.

The criticism of legalizing pot appeared to be a response to Obama comparing marijuana’s dangers to alcohol.

“Whether Ms. Leonhart is ignorant of the facts or intentionally disregarding them, she is clearly unfit for her current position,” Dan Riffle, the group’s director of federal policies, said in a statement.

“The DEA administrator’s continued refusal to recognize marijuana’s relative safety compared to alcohol and other drugs flies in the face of the president’s commitment to prioritizing science over ideology and politics,” the statement continued. “She is neglecting the basic obligations of her job and fundamentally undermining her employer’s mission. This would be grounds for termination in the private sector, and the consequences for Ms. Leonhart should be no different.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


President Obama: Marijuana No Worse Than Drinking Alcohol; Laws Should Be More Equitable

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama said smoking marijuana is no worse than drinking alcohol.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama said in an interview with the New Yorker. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Obama also showed support for legalizations of marijuana in Colorado and Washington and said it would create a more equitable justice system.

“It’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished,” Obama said.

President Obama to Announce Safeguards to Prevent Abuse of Domestic NSA Data

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A secret court must grant permission for the NSA to tap into its vast database of telephone data under a new requirement expected to be announced by President Obama today, the New York Times reports.

The move comes after Obama’s administration came under intense criticism for how easily the NSA could access a trove of domestic phone information.

“The president will say that he is ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 telephone metadata program as it currently exists and move to a program that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity to preview a part of the 11 a.m. speech in advance.

“The president believes that the 215 program addresses important capabilities that allow us to counter terrorism but that we can and should be able to preserve those capabilities while addressing the privacy and civil liberties concerns that are raised by the government holding this metadata,” the official added.

Obama also is expected to announce to an audience of the Justice Department that the administration will provide more safeguards for foreigners, such as heads of state, the Times wrote.

Obama’s Nominee for Civil Rights Post in Justice Department Faces Heated Criticism from Foes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee for head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has drawn strong criticism from opponents of the appointment of Debo Adegbile, Fox News reports.

They’ve described the former NAACP lawyer as “radical,” “dangerous” and “outside the mainstream.”

Now he’s being criticized for playing a role in overturning the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

Asked about the overturned sentence, Adegbile responded: “It’s important, I think, to understand that in no way does that legal representation, zealously as an advocate, cast any aspersion or look past the grievous loss of Sergeant Faulkner.”