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Archive for December, 2008

Fed Leaked Info to the Press About the NSA Eavesdropping On Private U.S. Citizens

Depending on  your perspective, Thomas M. Tamm is a hero who exposed some wrongdoing at the highest levels of government. Or he’s a traitor who tried to undermine the war on terrorism. Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff presents a fascinating tale.

By Michael Isikoff
Newsweek
WASHINGTON — Thomas M. Tamm was entrusted with some of the government’s most important secrets. He had a Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance, a level above Top Secret. Government agents had probed Tamm’s background, his friends and associates, and determined him trustworthy.
It’s easy to see why: he comes from a family of high-ranking FBI officials. During his childhood, he played under the desk of J. Edgar Hoover, and as an adult, he enjoyed a long and successful career as a prosecutor. Now gray-haired, 56 and fighting a paunch, Tamm prides himself on his personal rectitude. He has what his 23-year-old son, Terry, calls a “passion for justice.” For that reason, there was one secret he says he felt duty-bound to reveal.
In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies-a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.
For Full Story

Convicted Private Eye Anthony Pellicano Leaves a Trail of Scars

Famous people like to leave legacies. Convicted private eye Anthony Pellicano left a legacy that will go down in Hollywood history for his world-famous, underhanded snooping. Today he’s scheduled to be sentenced.

Anthony Pellicano/youtube photo

Anthony Pellicano/youtube photo

By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Victims of former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano say they have never been able to free themselves from the emotional and financial fallout caused by crimes he committed while wiretapping the rich and famous.
A former reporter says she has nightmares about being hunted and raped. A mother says her daughter is mocked by other kids and their parents. An actress who once appeared in a popular television series says she has found little work since.
They are among the victims who have submitted letters to the federal judge who is scheduled to sentence Pellicano on Monday. The former private investigator is already in custody since being convicted of a total of 78 counts, including wiretapping, racketeering and wire fraud, in two separate trials earlier this year.
Federal prosecutors have recommended in court documents that Pellicano, 64, serve nearly 16 years in prison for running a criminal enterprise and for becoming a “high-priced thief who fraudulently obtained prominence through the harm that he wantonly inflicted on others.”
For Full Story

Read Victims’ Letters

Aberrant Behavior at Airports Takes No Holiday: 21 Guns Seized in One Week

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — As we approach Christmas, it’s clear aberrant behavior at our friendly airports isn’t taking a holiday.
The latest figures from the Transportation and Safety Administration show that 21 firearms were found at checkpoints between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7 and 17 passengers were arrested due to suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents.
What’s more, two “artfully concealed prohibited items” were found at checkpoints and there were 15 incidents involving a checkpoint closure, a terminal evacuation or sterile area breach.

Republicans Preparing to Give A.G. Nominee Eric Holder a Hard Time

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Republicans see enough flaws in the Eric Holder noiminee to at least give the new Obama administration a little heartache before the inevitable: his confirmation.
David Ingram and Joe Palazzolo
Legal Times
The disagreement on the Senate floor last week was ostensibly over timing.
While congressional leaders negotiated behind closed doors over proposed loans to Detroit automakers, several Republicans took the floor Wednesday and Thursday to discuss Covington & Burling’s Eric Holder Jr. They called for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to delay the Jan. 8 confirmation hearing for Holder, who of late has been dogged by his involvement in pardoning fugitive financier Marc Rich in the waning hours of the Clinton administration.
But the comments from Republicans went further. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama questioned Holder’s fitness to be attorney general. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said he wanted to delve into Holder’s career in private practice. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma threatened to prevent a vote.
Republicans have also asked the Justice Department to hand over reams of documents from Holder’s time as U.S. Attorney and deputy attorney general, touching on subjects as seemingly arcane as his involvement in the Clinton administration’s decision to allow an American aerospace company to export a communications satellite to the Chinese.
For Full Story

Saturday Night Live Weighs in on the Blagojevich Scandal

Hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers Gather For Memorial Service For Slain Pitts. FBI Agent Sam Hicks

Unfortunately, it was only after he was killed that the public got to know what kind of FBI agent Sam Hicks was. Hundreds gathered Friday to pay respect.

FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Dan Majors
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
OAKLAND, Pa. –Many of the hundreds of law enforcement officers attending yesterday’s memorial service for FBI Special Agent Samuel S. Hicks did not know him. But the personal anecdotes that his friends shared from the pulpit of St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland confirmed what they did know.
He was one of them.
More than 750 friends, family and law enforcement representatives from throughout southwestern Pennsylvania gathered to honor and remember Agent Hicks, who was slain in the line of duty last month.
“It’s a testament to Sam Hicks that he got the deserved recognition in death that he never sought in life,” said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, who addressed the congregation. “Sam believed that the best was expected of the FBI, and that is what he gave every moment of every day.”
Agent Hicks, 33, a native of Alverton, Westmoreland County, who had been living in Richland, was fatally shot Nov. 18 in an Indiana Township home while serving an arrest warrant for drug charges.
For Full Story

Gov. Blagojevich Could Decide By Monday Whether to Resign

With his political lifelines running out, Gov. Blagojevich may have little choice. If he decides to step down, he can make it look like he made the decision, not the state’s attorney general or the court.

BY NATASHA KORECKI AND CHRIS FUSCO
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Gov. Blagojevich will decide early next week — perhaps as early as Monday — whether he should resign, a source close to the governor told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“He was blindsided by this,” the source said. “He needs some time to digest what’s going on. He’s going to make his position clear shortly.”
On Friday, in his first public comments since his arrest, the governor did not rule out the possibility he might resign. As he left the federal courthouse after a visit to the pretrial services office, a reporter asked the governor, “Do you have anything to say to the people of Illinois?”
He replied, “I will at the appropriate time. Absolutely.”
For Full Story

Justice Dept. Attache -Rome

EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY (GS-905-15)
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ATTACHE – ROME, ITALY
OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (OIA)
CRIMINAL DIVISION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, DC

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER: 10-CRM-DET-004
Closing Date: February 4, 2010


About the Position: The United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs (OIA) is seeking an experienced attorney to be detailed as OIA’s representative in Italy stationed at the United States Embassy in Rome. The Attorney will work as a member of OIA’s European team responsible for extradition and mutual legal assistance requests between the U.S. and Italy, and will serve as the principal representative of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in Italy, working directly with U.S. and Italian law enforcement authorities on issues related to criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as supporting the Department in the formulation and execution of bilateral and multilateral criminal justice programs and policies.

Responsibilities and Opportunity Offered: The responsibilities of this position include:

· Developing and facilitating the execution of U.S.-Italian requests for extradition and legal assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions, and resolving problems regarding those requests;

· Working directly with Italian judges, prosecutors and the most senior Italian law enforcement authorities on criminal investigations and prosecutions, and serving generally as liaison with those offices and federal, state and local prosecutors and police agencies in the U.S. to ensure the law enforcement interests of the United States and the Department of Justice are understood and given adequate consideration by Italian authorities;

· Serving as legal advisor to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement attaches and other U.S. law enforcement personnel stationed at the Embassy on operational and case-related issues, including the conduct of joint investigations with Italian authorities;

· Developing expertise in the criminal laws and procedures of Italy to assist U.S. authorities with questions on law enforcement matters, and assisting Italian authorities with questions regarding U.S. criminal laws and procedures, with the goal of achieving better coordination and cooperation through mutual understanding;

· Working closely with Embassy and senior Department of State (DOS) officials on international criminal maters, ranging from major organized crime and narcotics initiatives to terrorism and fraud cases, with a particular view towards clearly articulating the interests of the Department of Justice, and working toward effective integration of those interests with the policies and priorities of the Embassy and the Department of State;

· Representing the Department of Justice in multilateral fora on issues relating to law enforcement issues;

· Serving as liaison between and among the Office of International Affairs, senior representatives of the Italian Government, U.S. federal officials, and state and local agencies in connection with international criminal matters.

This appointment is for two years with the possibility of a one year extension and is expected to begin in the Summer of 2010.

Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, territory, or the District of Columbia, have at least five (5) years of post-J.D. legal experience, and be a current employee of the Department of Justice with significant experience in federal criminal prosecutions and international matters. Applicants should also have:

1. Significant experience in federal criminal cases involving international extradition and mutual legal assistance;
2. Significant experience dealing with complex legal and policy issues;
3. Working knowledge of federal and state judicial systems, prosecution, investigative and regulatory agencies;
4. Ability to establish and maintain harmonious relations with state and federal law enforcement agencies, representatives of foreign governments and the public;
5. Experience dealing with foreign governments and officials, and international organizations in law enforcement matters;
6. Understanding of, and ability to work within, US Missions abroad;
7. Familiarity with federal regulatory and investigatory agencies;
8. Ability to implement and effectively advocate Departmental policies on all matters relating to the assigned areas of responsibility;
9. Professional proficiency in the use of spoken and written Italian.

Travel: Routine travel as necessary.

Salary Information: The salary range is for a GS-15 position.

Location: Rome, Italy

Appropriate relocation and housing costs in Rome will be paid by the Department of Justice. If the individual selected is detailed from outside the Criminal Division, salary, benefits and travel costs will be reimbursed to the employing organization.

Submission Process and Deadlines: All interested attorneys should submit a resume to:

U.S. Department of Justice
Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs
1301 New York Ave., NW
John C. Keeney Building, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20530
Attn: Rome Attache Position

We encourage applications and resumes to be submitted by e-mail to Position, Rome on your DOJ Global Address Book, or Rome.Position@usdoj.gov Applications and Resumes may also be telefaxed to 202-514-0080. Submissions must be postmarked or received by February 4, 2010.

Internet Sites: This and other attorney vacancy announcements can be found at: http://www.justice.gov/oarm/attvacancies.html

For more information about the Criminal Division, visit the Criminal Division Web page at: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/

Department Policies: The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace, and the person selected will be required to pass a drug test to screen for illegal drug use. Employment is also contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background investigation adjudicated by the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.