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Tag: president

Check Out Secret Service’s Most Telling Code Names

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has come up with some interesting code names of the people they are paid to protect.

Here is a partial list compiled by Vanity Fair:

Roger Clinton: The half-brother of President Bill Clinton, notorious for his attempts at influence-peddling and a conviction for cocaine use, got the nickname “Headache” for obvious reasons. “I don’t have a choice of being first brother,” he recently told The New York Times.

Senator Ted Kennedy: Back when the late Lion of the Senate was but a wee brother of the president, his pale Irish complexion didn’t mix well with the summers playing flag football in Hyannis Port, or his penchant for drinking. Hence, the name “Sunburn.”

Dick Cheney: The former vice president usually went by “Angler,” both for his love of fly fishing and his tendency to take favorable angles on things like invading Iraq. (He was also known as “Backseat,” because really, he was the ultimate backseat driver.)

George W. Bush: Speaking of invading Iraq, Bush’s code name was “Tumbler,” assigned to him back when he was just the son of George H.W. Bush. (Bush had a notorious drinking problem while his father was vice president, making the code name especially cruel if it wasn’t randomly assigned.) When he became president, he changed it to “Trailbazer,” which is more manly and sounds less like women’s gymnastics.

Click here to see the rest of the list. 

Drunken Secret Service Agents May Not Have Interrupted Investigation at White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Serious claims launched against Secret Service agents may not be true.

CNN interviewed law enforcement officials who contradicted a Washington Post story that asserted two Secret Service agents crashed through a crime scene at the White House.

But according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation, the agents did not interrupt an active investigation.

CNN also took issue with the Post’s claim that a senior supervisor prevented law enforcement from taking a field sobriety test.

“There is a sense now that that might not be true,” one of the sources said.

Federal officials, including lawmakers, are looking into the case.

Other Stories of Interest


White House Didn’t Invite FBI Director to Conference on Curbing Violent Extremists

Director James B. Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A three-day conference on quelling violent extremism this week did not include the nation’s most senior official tasked with preventing terrorist attacks – FBI Director James B. Comey.

The reason the White House didn’t invite him: The administration doesn’t want too much of the focus on law enforcement, The New York Times reports.

Oddly, the administration still invited Comey’s Russian counterpart, Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Russian Federal Security Service, the post-Soviet K.G.B.

The meeting in Washington D.C. “has been criticized as ineffectual and irrelevant, and not focused on immediate and tangible solutions to stop terrorists,” The Times wrote.

An administration official defended the actions.

“While the F.B.I. works tirelessly to keep the country safe, this conference was not centered on federal law enforcement.”

So what was the focus?

Anti-terrorism efforts “are premised on the notion that local officials and communities can be an effective bulwark against violent extremism, and most of the participants — spanning community leaders, local, law enforcement, private sector innovators, and others — reflected this bottom-up approach.”

The FBI declined to comment.

 

Republicans Use Paris Terror Attack to Go After Obama’s Immigration Plan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Not even six hours passed before politicians began injecting the terrorist attack in Paris into budget debates. 

CNN reports that Republicans are trying to add ammunition to their upcoming budgetary battle with Democrats by claiming President Obama’s new immigration policies hamper Homeland Security’s fight against terrorism.

Republicans are expected to unveil their bill Friday.

President Obama has threatened to veto any efforts by Republicans to limit his immigration reforms.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans may resort to a Homeland Security funding bill.

“There are terrorists around the world who are intent on killing Americans and other freedom loving individuals around the country. I believe that the President’s executive action with regard to immigration are outside of the Constitution and outside of his power and I believe that we can deal with that issue in the Department of Homeland Security bill without jeopardizing the security of our country.”

Other Stories of Interest


Armed Intruder Makes It Deeper Inside White House Than Previously Disclosed

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Omar J. Gonzalez was armed with a knife when he managed to make it much deeper into the White House mansion than previously disclosed, the New York Times reports.

The 42-year-old made it to the ceremonial East Room after overpowering a Secret Service agent inside the North Portico entrance.

Gonzalez finally stopped after trying to enter the Green Room, said Rep. John Chaffetz, R-Utah.

The New York Times writes that the discovery “will set the stage for an explosive congressional hearing on Tuesday when lawmakers” plan to question Secret Service Director Julia Pierson.

The focus of the hearing is a series of security blunders over the past several years.

One law enforcement official told the New York Times that Secret Service officers failed to follow several protocols that made it possible for Gonzalez to nearly reach the Green Room.

Secret Service Looks to Beef Up White House Security After Embarrassing Blunder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was an embarrassment and failure of the Secret Service.

An Army veteran with a pocketknife scaled the White House fence and entered the executive mansion Friday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Secret Service is reviewing ways to better protect the White House.

The suspect on Friday, Omar J. Gonzalez, sprinted across the north lawn and reached the unlocked doors of the North Portico, raising serious concerns about the level of security.

One place to start may be portions of the fence that date back to 1818, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“If the Secret Service wanted to stop fence jumpers, it could close Pennsylvania Avenue and there wouldn’t be any,” one law-enforcement official said. “But that’s not reasonable.”

The issue is a delicate balance between security and preserving public access and architectural integrity, the Wall Street Journal wrote.

Other Stories of Interest



Feds Misbehavin’ in 2013

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Every day, thousands of federal law enforcement agents wake up, grab their gun and badge and a cup of java, orange juice or tea and go out into the world to protect the public and enforce the laws.

Unfortunately, every year, a few step over the line — way over the line — and break the law.

As the year draws to an end,  ticklethewire.com takes a look at some of the more interesting cases of Feds Misbehavin’ for 2013. As in the past, money and sex was involved in some allegations. And this year, unfortunately, so was death.

Too Much Booze: FBI agent Adrian Johnson got 18 months in prison this year after he was convicted of multiple charges including vehicular manslaughter after he drove drunk and crashed into a car in suburban D.C., in Prince George’s County. He killed an 18-year old and man and seriously injured the man’s friend in 2011.

Not So Secret Service: Secret Service agents are getting quite the rep for being serious party people. Supervisors Ignacio Zamora Jr. and Timothy Barraclough, aren’t doing much to change that image. The Washington Post reported in November that the two, who were managing security for the president, have been removed from that detail because of alleged misconduct involving women. 

In one instance in May, Zamora allegedly tried getting back into a woman’s room at the Hay-Adams hotel, near the White House, to get a bullet he had left behind. He was off duty and had removed the bullets from the gun while in the room, the Post reported. He had met the woman at the hotel bar and joined her in her room, the Post reported. The Post reported that the guest refused to let Zamora back in,  and he identified himself to hotel security as a Secret Service agent. The hotel alerted the White House about the odd behavior, the Post reported.

During an internal investigation, investigators also found that the two agents had allegedly sent sexually suggestive emails to a female subordinate, who is an agent.

Hands in the Cookie Jar: Oklahoma FBI agent Timothy A. Klotz confessed to dipping into the FBI cookie jar. Authorities allege that he embezzled $43,190 that was earmarked for confidential informants for tips on criminal activities from 2008-2011.  He acknowledged in a signed statement that he falsified 66 receipts during a scheme that went undiscovered for more than four years. He was sentenced earlier this month to six months in prison and three years of supervised released. He was also ordered to pay a restitution of $43,190.

Let The Dice Roll –– FBI agent Travis Raymond Wilson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., apparently had a little gambling jones and didn’t want the big guys at the FBI to know. Unfortunately for him, he got busted. Wilson pleaded guilty to structuring financial transactions in violation of the federal Bank Secrecy Act.

The feds say between January 2008 and February 2013, Wilson regularly gambled at casinos in California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia, authorities said. In total, Wilson structured more than $488,000 in cash.  Sentencing is set for March 3. 

Hookers, Cash and Luxury Travel: Human temptation. Need you say more. John Bertrand Beliveau Jr., 44, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), apparently failed that test. He pleaded guilty earlier in December to participating in a massive international fraud and bribery scheme. He admitted sharing with a foreign Navy contractor confidential information about ongoing criminal probes into the contractor’s billing practices in exchange for prostitutes, cash and luxury travel, the Justice Department said in a press release. His case is part of a big scandal.

Ethics Still Applies When You Depart: Kenneth Kaiser, former head of the FBI’s Boston office, found that ethics still apply when you leave the bureau.  The choked up ex-agent appeared in court where he was fined $10,000 for violating an ethics charge. Kaiser was accused of meeting with former FBI colleagues about his company that was under investigation. Federal law prohibited him from having professional contact with former FBI colleagues within a year of leaving government service.

“I lost something I valued the most — my reputation,” Kenneth W. Kaiser, 57, of Hopkinton, Mass. said, according to the Boston Globe.

Helping the Wrong Side –  Border Patrol Agent Ivhan Herrera-Chiang took advantage of his position and helped smugglers bring meth, cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. He was sentenced in Phoenix in November to 15 years. He reportedly even helped smugglers find their way around underground sensors and lock combinations.

“You have done about the worst thing a law-enforcement agent could do, especially a Border Patrol agent, and that is passed confidential information,” U.S. District Judge Paul Rosenblatt said.

A Fatal Shot — FBI agent Arthur “Art” Gonzales of Stafford County, Va.  is charged with shooting  his estranged wife to death in April. He told dispatchers he was acting in self-defense when he shot his 42-year-old wife, Julia Sema Gonzales. He says his wife attacked him with a knife.

Gonzales was a supervisory special agent-instructor at the FBI’s National Academy at Quantico.  Court records show bond was granted. Trial has been set for March.

 

ICE Agent ICED:Veteran ICE agent Juan Martinez, 47,  has suddenly got a lot on his plate. He is accused of extortion and accepting bribes. Authorities alleged that he conspired with others to shake down a Colombian construction company. The group allegedly told the firm that it was under investigation, when it was not, and that the U.S. Treasury was about to add the company to a list known as Specially Designated Nationals (SDN). The designation by Treasury can result in the freezing of bank accounts and other action harmful to a business. Martinez’s group said it could keep the company off the list, and for that, it received more than $100,000. He is also accused of illegally bringing in people to this country, claiming falsely that they were witnesses in an ongoing narcotics investigation.   His attorney says the allegations are false.

Leaky Pipes: Plumbers aren’t the only ones who concern themselves with leaks. FBI agent Donald Sachteren who leaked information to the Associated Press was recently sentenced to more than three years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information. Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012. What made him a far less sympathetic character in this whole mess was the fact he was also sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in an unrelated case.

 

 

 

U.S. Secret Service Scandal Brews in Colombia Over Prostitutes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service, which normally tries to stay in the background and garner as little attention as possible, is causing an international stir.

CBS News reports that a dozen Secret Service agents were sent home from Colombia before the President arrived Friday for the Summit of Americas. The New York Times later reported the number as being 11. It reported that it included agents and officers.

A Secret Service source told CBS News that one or more of the officers were involved with prostitutes and that there was a dispute over payment.

CBS reported that one prostitute went to the police, who notified the State Department. CBS reported that two were supervisors and the other were assigned to logistics.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed the removal of personnel, according to CBS News and said in a statement: “There have been allegations of misconduct made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia prior to the President’s trip. Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel.”

To read more click here.