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Tag: Washington

Secret Service Blasted for Problems That Allowed Fence Jumper to access White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man who jumped over a White House fence and burst into the White House in September managed to avoid security because of a litany of problems with the Secret Service, CNN reports.

A Homeland Security report found numerous failures that allowed Omar Gonzalez to so easily access the White House. The problems involved lack of training, disorganization and miscommunication.

After Gonzalez jumped over the fence, the radio and alarm systems weren’t working as planned. The canine handler responded too late because he was talking on his personal cell phone.

The canine officer “gave Gonzalez the required verbal warning about the canine, caught a glimpse of Gonzalez heading toward the bushes, and gave his canine the command to apprehend Gonzalez,” the review said.

“The canine, however, did not have enough time to lock onto Gonzalez and may not have seen Gonzalez at all,” it said.

The incident drew harsh criticism of the agency.

“A combination of technical missteps, lack of radio discipline, improper use of equipment and aging infrastructure,” as well as an improper setting on the Secret Service’s radio system, contributed to those problems, it said.

Other Stories of Interest


Seattle Times Outraged After Discovering FBI Created Bogus News Site to Capture Suspect

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI created a bogus Seattle Times web page and posted a fake news story in an attempt to plant software on the computer of a juvenile suspected of making bomb threats at a high school in 2007, the Seattle Times reports.

The discovery by the ACLU was revealed on Twitter and comes less than a month after the FBI revealed it created a fake Facebook account using a real person and photos.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the ACLU, said the creation of bogus news site could result in “significant collateral damage to the public trust” if the FBI continues the practice.

Documents show that the FBI attributed the story about bomb threats to the Associated Press.

Once the juvenile clicked on the link, the software sent his location and Internet Protocol information to investigators.

The Seattle Times expressed outrage.

“We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,” said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best.

“Not only does that cross a line, it erases it,” she said.

“Our reputation and our ability to do our job as a government watchdog are based on trust. Nothing is more fundamental to that trust than our independence — from law enforcement, from government, from corporations and from all other special interests,” Best said. “The FBI’s actions, taken without our knowledge, traded on our reputation and put it at peril.”

Army Veteran Who Jumped White House Fence Previously Found with Weapons, Map to White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Army veteran who climbed over a White House fence and made a mockery of security was twice interviewed by Secret Service agents earlier this summer in Virginia and Washington, the Associated Press reports.

Yet during those interviews, the Secret Service determined Omar J. Gonzalez was not a security threat.

The first encounter came during a traffic stop when police found a sawed off shotgun and a map of Washington with a circle around the White House, the AP wrote.

Agents contacted him again after being found near the White House with a small hatchet,

Despite those findings, the Secret Service did not find him a threat.

Other Stories of Interest

Retired Border Patrol Agent Warns of Imminent Threat of Illegal Immigration

Border Patrol Agent, Detainee Not Wearing Seatbelt When Car Veered Off Road

FBI Finds Car Belonging to Cleveland Woman Missing For Month

El Paso to Renew Agreement with CBP to Pay More Staffing Hours at Ports of Entry

Does America Need Homeland Security Department Following Low Moral, Turnover

We May Never Feel As Safe As We Did on Sept. 10, 2001

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thirteen years  ago today, I was walking down Connecticut Avenue NW  in Washington, D.C.,  on my way to work, about to get on the subway, when I ran into a friend who asked if I had heard about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

I hadn’t. By the time I got off the subway at the Farragut North stop downtown, the city was in a panic. I ran into my editor at the Washington Post, who said she had heard that planes had crashed into the Pentagon and the State Department. Rumors were running rampant.

We got to the newsroom and everyone was standing around TVs watching the incredulous events unfold. 

A second plane had already crashed into the World Trade Center and a third had crashed into the Pentagon, not all that far away. We were under attack.

We all got our assignments. I was sent to D.C. Police headquarters on Indiana Avenue NW to hang out all day. I walked there, about 1.5 miles.  On the way over there, you could hear everyone on the street calling loved ones, checking in.

At police headquarters, a  group of reporters stood out front, hanging out. The police chief, Charles Ramsey, (who is now the Philadelphia Police chief) would occasionally drive by and give us updates. A plane in Pennsylvania was still unaccounted for. We kept looking up at the sky wondering if it just might come our way.

The world changed that day. We had been shaken before as Americans. We had the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but this was of a magnitude we had never seen before.

We’ve learned a lot since that time. At first, the FBI, jittery from not unearthing the 9/11 plot, and getting plenty blame for that, followed up on every tip it got, regardless of how silly it might have seemed. In time, it learned to separate the wheat from the chaff. Also, for a while, authorities were overly paranoid about anyone in D.C. taking photos or video of buildings. That eventually changed.

Plus, the government, the White House, the FBI and other agencies,  had a lot to learn about Islam.  The FBI shifted its top priority to terrorism, and we created the Department of Homeland Security, which frankly, the verdict is still out on how effective that has been.

Since that day, Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve become far more aware of  the potential terrorism threat.

Frankly, in the days that followed Sept. 11, 2001, I thought life would never be normal again.  Fortunately, things have returned to some semblance of normalcy.

But we’ll likely never feel as safe as we did on Sept. 10, 2001.

Lengel: We May Never Feel as Safe As We Did on Sept. 10, 2001

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thirteen years  ago today, I was walking down Connecticut Avenue NW  in Washington, D.C.,  on my way to work, about to get on the subway, when I ran into a friend who asked if I had heard about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

I hadn’t. By the time I got off the subway at the Farragut North stop downtown, the city was in a panic. I ran into my editor at the Washington Post, who said she had heard that planes had crashed into the Pentagon and the State Department. Rumors were running rampant.

We got to the newsroom and everyone was standing around TVs watching the incredulous events unfold. 

A second plane had already crashed into the World Trade Center and a third had crashed into the Pentagon, not all that far away. We were under attack.

We all got our assignments. I was sent to D.C. Police headquarters on Indiana Avenue NW to hang out all day. I walked there, about 1.5 miles.  On the way over there, you could hear everyone on the street calling loved ones, checking in.

At police headquarters, a  group of reporters stood out front, hanging out. The police chief, Charles Ramsey, (who is now the Philadelphia Police chief) would occasionally drive by and give us updates. A plane in Pennsylvania was still unaccounted for. We kept looking up at the sky wondering if it just might come our way.

The world changed that day. We had been shaken before as Americans. We had the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but this was of a magnitude we had never seen before.

We’ve learned a lot since that time. At first, the FBI, jittery from not unearthing the 9/11 plot, and getting plenty blame for that, followed up on every tip it got, regardless of how silly it might have seemed. In time, it learned to separate the wheat from the chaff. Also, for a while, authorities were overly paranoid about anyone in D.C. taking photos or video of buildings. That eventually changed.

Plus, the government, the White House, the FBI and other agencies,  had a lot to learn about Islam.  The FBI shifted its top priority to terrorism, and we created the Department of Homeland Security, which frankly, the verdict is still out on how effective that has been.

Since that day, Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve become far more aware of  the potential terrorism threat.

Frankly, in the days that followed Sept. 11, 2001, I thought life would never be normal again.  Fortunately, things have returned to some semblance of normalcy.

But we’ll likely never feel as safe as we did on Sept. 10, 2001.

International Fight Turns Around so FBI Can Arrest Mom in Parental Kidnapping Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was able to get a United Airlines flight to turn around mid-flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Beijing to arrest a passenger accused of parental kidnapping, the Washington Post reports.

The mother, Wenking Liu, was arrested Thursday evening at Dulles International Airport, where the plan returned.

Liu was charged with unlawfully attempting to remover her son from the U.S. with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.

The boy’s father reported the kidnapping, prompting agents to urge the airline to turn the flight around.

 

FBI Joins Search for Missing 6-Year-old Girl in Washington State

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping search for a 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her Washington state home this weekend, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The parents, who took FBI-administered polygraph tests, said they waited a day – Sunday – to report Jenise Wright missing because she often wanders off in the fenced-in mobile home park in Bremerton, across from Seattle on the west side of Puget sound.

“We are harnessing all this manpower and expertise because we are covering all the bases,” Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said. “We only get one chance to do this right the first time.”

Local and state authorities also are searching.

“Anything is possible,” he said. “Children do really surprising things. She could be almost anywhere.”

FBI Refuses to Conduct Pot Background Checks in Washington State Despite Actions in Colorado

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI won’t conduct nationwide background checks on people applying to operate a legal marijuana business in Washington state in stark contrast to the handling of applicants in Colorado, the Associated Press reports.

The FBI’s refusal to conduct the checks surprised officials in Washington because the federal agency does similar background checks in Colorado, where marijuana also is legal for recreational use.

The inconsistent practices of the FBI worries some.

Others in Washington state are worried that people with egregious criminal histories will end up with pot licenses.