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Archive for October, 2009

FBI Report Says 41 Law Enforcement Officers “Feloniously Killed” in 2008 inclduing Pitts. FBI Agent

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2008

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — A Pittsburgh FBI agent was among 41 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 during arrests, tactical situations, surveillance, ambushes or domestic violence, according to an FBI report released Monday.

The number of deaths marked a significant decline from 2007 when 58 officers were killed in what the FBI terms “feloniously killed”. Of those killed in 2008, 37 were men and four were women.

Among those killed was Sam Hicks, an FBI agent in the Pittsburgh field office, who was serving an arrest warrant in Indiana Township, Pa.  on Nov. 19, 2008. The FBI says a woman in the house who was under the influence of drugs fired a single shot and struck Hicks in the chest just above his bullet proof vest.

Here’s some details as listed in an FBI press release:

*Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 19 states;
*The average age of officers feloniously killed was 39 years; the average length of service was 10 years;
*35 were killed with firearms; 29 of them, including Special Agent Hicks, were wearing body armor when they were fatally shot;
*The average age of the alleged offenders was 32;

*36 of the 42 alleged offenders had prior criminal arrests.

Read more »

Feds to Issue New Policy on Medical Marijuana

marijuana-umledu2With the Mexican Cartels spreading their violent tentacles in the U.S., and bullets still flying at  your local crack corner, it’s very smart to prioritize and layoff the medical marijuana users.

DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Federal drug agents won’t pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.

The guidelines to be issued by the department do, however, make it clear that agents will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law or use medical marijuana as a cover for other crimes, the officials said.

For Full Story

Indicted Ex-Gov Blago to Appear on “The Celebrity Apprentice”

celebrity-apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who became a household name after being indicted for trying to sell President’s Obama’s Senate seat, seems to be doing quite fine while he awaits federal trial next June 3.

For one, he’s written a book “The Governor”, which likens his fall to a Shakespearean tragedy. And now he’s going to appear on the “The Celebrity Apprentice” in what promises to a be a battle of dueling hairs: His against the Donald’s.

Of course, the only reason worth noting this is to mention the comment by Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live Update, who said of Rod Blagojevich and others joining the upcoming “The Celebrity Apprentice”:

“I think we’ve finally reached the point in our society where ‘celebrity’ just means ‘mammal’.”

Atlanta Latino Gang Ripping Off Mexican Cartels

atlanta-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mexican drug cartels, which have flourished in the U.S. and made fortunes, are now bumping up against a little problem in Atlanta: they’re being ripped off by local a local Latino gang that has been known to cut  off  the ears of children, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

FBI Agent John Houston of the Atlanta office told the paper that law enforcement is concerned about the situation, saying the cartels are responding by arming themselves heavily.

Authorities say the a Latino gang in question is “violent, brash and increasing in numbers”, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Fla. City Commissioner Was FBI Informant for 4 Years

It’s an interesting tale how the commissioner in this little community outside of Ft. Lauderdale kept her status as an FBI informant secret for four years.  Or at least that’s what she says. Some say she didn’t really keep it secret. Either way,  it’s not a giant leap to believe that she would cooperate with law enforcement considering that she’s also a state prosecutor.

Sheila Alu/city photo

Sheila Alu/city photo

By Susannah Bryan and Tonya Alanez
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
SUNRISE, Fla. – She is the first to admit that secrets have a short shelf-life around her.

Yet Sheila Alu, a Sunrise commissioner and state prosecutor, managed to keep her role as an FBI informant secret from her family for four years, not even confiding in her mother or boyfriend.

“It was stressful,” Alu, a prosecutor with the Broward State Attorney’s Office, said in an interview with the Sun Sentinel. “I kept secrets from my family and the people I love.”

Some debate whether her work with the FBI was a closely guarded secret. More than a few folks at the courthouse say Alu confided – even boasted of – her collaboration with the feds.

Alu, 47, scoffed at the claim. “Are you kidding me? How effective would I have been if I’d told everyone?”

For Full Story

Secret Service Agent Maurice Martineau Who Testified on Kennedy Assassination Dies in Ill. at Age 95

secret-service-logo1

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Maurice G. “Marty” Martineau, a U.S. Secret Service agent from 1941 to 1972, who coordinated security at the 1968 Democratic Convention and testified before Congress on the Kennedy Assassination, has died at age 95, the Chicago Tribune reported on Sunday.

During his 31-year career, Martineau protected every president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lyndon B. Johnson, the paper reported.

He died Oct. 8, 2009 in Winfield, Ill.

The Michigan State University grad became a Secret Service agent in 1941, the paper reported. He worked in a number of field offices including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Kansas City.

The Tribune reported that he was the assistant special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Office from 1963 to 1969 and coordinated security at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

He also testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations as part of the Warren Commission probing into the JFK assassination, the Tribune said.

He retired in 1972.

Is Our Homeland Any Safer With Homeland Security?

tom-ridge-2-book

Author Edward Alden talks about books by former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff and raises some legitimate questions about the direction of the sprawling agency. Is it working? Was it worth creating a whole new bureaucracy?

By Edward Alden
Washington Post Outlook Section

In a single week last month, the U.S. government broke up an alleged al- Qaeda cell in Colorado, rushed aid to flood victims in Georgia and opened fire on three vans filled with illegal immigrants trying to break through the nation’s busiest border crossing.

The incidents were all reminders, as if we needed any, of the many threats to what we now call “homeland security,” a big, sprawling idea that spawned a big, sprawling department to stop bad things from happening and clean up when they inevitably do.

Just over six years since its creation, the Department of Homeland Security is still too young for any definitive verdict on its success or failure.

michael-chertoff-book

With its component agencies scattered around D.C. and some of its operations outsourced to private companies in Virginia, it has yet to become a whole that adds up to more than its parts. Its first two secretaries, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, left no consistent legacy to guide what the government’s third-largest department should be doing — and more important, why. For Janet Napolitano, the secretary now sorting through that inheritance, the reflections of her predecessors leave more questions than answers.

To Read More

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Atty. Gen. Holder Decries Anti-Semitism and Anti-Muslim Sentiments in Las Vegas Speech to Anti-Defamation League

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. delivered a speech in Vegas that not only  focused on anti-Semitism, but also touched on the anti-Muslim sentiments in this country. It might help if both groups realized how much they had in common.

A.G. Eric Holder

A.G. Eric Holder

By HILLARY LEILA KRIEGER
Jerusalem Post Washington Correspondent
US Attorney-General Eric Holder decried the continued phenomenon of anti-Semitism in America as well as the stigma felt by many Muslim Americans, in an address at an Anti-Defamation League dinner Saturday night.

“The stubborn persistence of anti-Semitism saddens me – for it undeniably still exists. We deny this at our peril,” he said. “Whether in a casual joke made in private when the speaker thinks no Jewish person is listening, or in shocking public acts of violence, its heartlessness and ugliness should scald the conscience of every American.”

Holder, speaking in Las Vegas, pointed out that religiously motivated attacks are the second most-common category of hate crimes following race-based incidents.

For Full Story

Read Text of Speech