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Archive for June, 2009

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald on the Attack About a Book that “Defames Me”

Patrick Fitzgerald/file photo

Patrick Fitzgerald/file photo

Talk to prosecutors around the country and you’ll often hear them say Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is top notch, the gold standard. But Fitzpatrick is obviously worried about protecting that reputation and is going after a book he feels casts him in false light.  It’s an interesting story.

By Michael Isikoff
NEWSWEEK

Patrick Fitzgerald may be the most feared prosecutor in the country, but even as he’s racked up headlines for big-name convictions (Scooter Libby) and indictments (Rod Blagojevich), the hard-charging U.S. attorney from Chicago has been waging a private crusade: trying to kill a book he believes maligns his reputation.

In the past year and a half, Fitzgerald has written four letters to HarperCollins-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.-demanding it “cease publication” and “withdraw” copies of Triple Cross, a 2006 book by ex-TV newsman Peter Lance that criticizes Fitzgerald’s handling of terror cases in New York in the 1990s.

Fitzgerald raised the temperature even more last week, aiming to halt a paperback version. “To put it plain and simple,” he wrote in a June 2 letter obtained by NEWSWEEK, “if in fact you publish the book this month and it defames me or casts me in a false light, HarperCollins will be sued.”

For Full Story

Justice Dept. Quietly Transfers Two Integrity Section Prosecutors Tied to Tainted Case Involving Alaska Lawmakers

The Justice Department should be applauded for such action. No action would send a signal that this isn’t a big deal — and it is.

scales-of-justice1

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Justice Department leaders quietly transferred two career prosecutors under fire for their work in Alaska corruption cases out of the department’s public integrity section this week as scrutiny of the troubled unit intensifies, according to two sources.

Prosecutors Nicholas Marsh and Edward Sullivan received notice of their reassignment Thursday, the same day that department officials petitioned an appeals court to release from prison two Alaska legislators convicted of bribery and extortion offenses, said the sources, who requested anonymity to speak about the personnel issue.

The criminal convictions of Peter Kott, former speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, and longtime legislator Victor Kohring will be sent back to a lower court for review. Justice Department officials disclosed late Thursday that they had uncovered evidence-sharing lapses in the cases similar to those that demolished their case against long-serving Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in April.

For Full Story

The Weekend Dose of Humor: A New Twist on the FBI’s Most Wanted

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUM1BZocWpc

Obama Admin. Unveils New Anti-Narcotics Plan for U.S.-Mexico Border

This plan is long overdue. The problem along the Mexican border is out of control. The question is: How long will it take to upgrade and get this all in motion? Unfortunately, there have been times in the past where it has taken way too long to implement big ideas.

mexico-border-sign

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer

The Obama administration released yesterday a counternarcotics strategy for the U.S.-Mexico border that calls for deploying new technology, stepping up intelligence gathering and increasing interdiction of ships, aircraft and vehicles that are smuggling drugs, gun and cash.

Among other things, the 65-page White House Office of National Drug Control Policy document says federal agencies should modernize airborne sensors and extend surveillance of boats “from the coast to beyond the horizon.” It also calls for improving tracking devices that can be hidden in illegal shipments and, when necessary, allowing more banned items to move through smuggling networks to expose their leaders.

For Full Story

Nationwide Manhunt on for Man Who Threatened to Kill Pres. Obama

utah

Most people discuss things like interest rates or certificates of deposits with bank employees.  Daniel James Murray was different. He told employees at a Utah bank “We’re on a mission to kill the President of the United States”, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

It doesn’t matter if he was serious or not. Authorities are dead serious about his comment.

BY Glenn Blain In Rexford, N.Y., James Gordon Meek In Washington and Corky Siemaszko In New York
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A nationwide manhunt was underway Friday night for the “Cape Man” of Blue Jay Way – a gun-loving goofball from upstate New York who threatened to kill President Obama.

Daniel James Murray, who got G-men on his tail by telling a Utah bank manager he was “on a mission to kill” Obama, was last seen heading east in a blue 2001 Buick LeSabre with New York plates.

Murray’s pursuers are concerned because he has eight registered semiautomatic pistols and revolvers.

For Full Story

Read Criminal Complaint

Justice Department Launches Probe into Death of Abortion Doctor

Scott Roeder/sedgwick co jail photo

Scott Roeder/sedgwick co jail photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Atty. in Kansas have launched a federal proble into the murder of  abortion doctor George Tiller, who was killed in church last Sunday.

“The Department of Justice will work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime, and to ensure that anyone who played a role in the offense is prosecuted to the full extent of federal law,” said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in a prepared statement issued Friday afternoon.

“We will conduct a thorough investigation that will complement and build upon the fine work of the Sedgwick County District Attorney and other state and local law enforcement agencies,” she said.

The Justice Department said it will look at any potentional violatons of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) or other federal statutes.

Scott Roeder, 51, has been charged with one count first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault in death of Dr. Tiller.

FBI Dir. Mueller Says Agency in “Dire Need” to “Consolidate and Digitize Records”

fbi file photo

fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Thursday that the agency is in “dire need of a Central Record Complex” to consolidate and digitize records “now dispersed among 265 FBI locations worldwide.”

The central records complex, he said, “will enable us to efficiently locate and access all of our records quickly, thus allowing us to more effectively process name checks, as well as provide critical case and administrative data that can be used for intelligence and investigative purposes.” He said $9 million has been earmarked for the 2010 budget to help accomplish this.

Mueller’s remarks came in a statement delivered to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

To Read the full text of his statement click here.

Outspoken Ex-FBI Agent Colleen Rowley Says FBI Could Have Done More to Try and Stop Abortion Dr. Killing

Opinions vary on whether the FBI could have stopped this from happening. But outspoken ex-FBI agent Colleen Rowley of post-9/11 fame, seems to think the agency could have at least tried harder. Is she right?

FBI Agent Colleen Rowley/ photo ia.ucsb.edu

Ex-FBI Agent Colleen Rowley/ photo ia.ucsb.edu

By Zachary Roth
TPMmuckraker

We told you earlier about questions over whether the FBI responded aggressively enough to detailed information it got about Scott Roeder, who’s charged with killing Kansas doctor George Tiller.

And one prominent former bureau veteran says the answer is no.

Colleen Rowley — who made the cover of Time magazine in 2002 after blowing the whistle on the FBI’s failure before 9/11 to follow up on information about the so-called “20th hijacker” — told TPMmuckraker that the Roeder case “should have been jumped on much more aggressively,” given Roeder’s prior record, and the information the FBI appears to have received about him in the days before Tiller’s murder.

A worker at an abortion clinic, Jeffrey Pederson (a pseudonym to protect his identity), has said that Roeder was seen twice in the week before the Tiller shooting trying to glue shut the clinic’s doors. Pederson reported both incidents to the FBI. And Roeder served jail time after being convicted in 1997 of having bomb-making parts in his car.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST