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Archive for November, 2009

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales Puts Va. Home Up For Sale

Alberto Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is leaving behind more than just a shaky legacy.

The Atty. General, now a professor and administrator at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Tex.,  has put his McLean, Va.  hamlet up for sale for  1.075 mil, according to the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column.

The Post reports that the home, which was purchased for $1.05 million in 2005, has five bedrooms,  four-bathrooms “two-car garage, gorgeous views, finished basement, granite countertops — and a sophisticated security system with video-monitored entrances, and a safe room off the master bedroom, behind a thick metal door.”

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Weekend Series on History: J. Edgar Hoover Gives Kennedy and Nixon FBI Badges

Hoover Presents Nixon With FBI Badge

Prosecutors Want Harsh Sentence For Ex-Rep Jefferson: They Also Fear he May Flee Country

Jefferson Could Be Saying Goodbye for a long time/official photo
Jefferson Could Be Saying Goodbye for a long time/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors still have no faith in convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana. They fear he may flee the country and that he may have secretly stashed away cash in a foreign land.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., prosecutors not only recommended that Jefferson, 62, go to prison for 27-33 years, but that he be tossed in the can immediately after sentencing next Friday. As his luck would have it, sentencing lands on Friday the 13th.

“First the defendant is 62 years of age and a significant sentence may result in his release from prison as an elderly man,” assistant U.S. Attorney Mark D. Lytle wrote in the memorandum. “Consequently, there is a substantial risk that the defendant  may attempt to avoid his sentence by fleeing.”

“Moreover, the defendant may have the financial means necessary to sustain any flight from custody in spite of his recent bankruptcy filing,” the memo said.

Read more »

Iowa’s U.S. Atty. Matthew Whitaker to Step Down

U.S. Atty. Whitaker/doj photo
U.S. Atty. Whitaker/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Des Moines  U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker, a former All-American football player for the University of Iowa, has announced his resignation, effective when his successor is officially appointed.

“Being United States Attorney is the greatest professional experience and honor of my life, ” Whitaker said in a prepared statement ”  I am very proud of what we have accomplished in this office.”

Whitaker had served as U.S. Attorney since June 2004.  He played for the University of Iowa’s last Rosebowl team in 1991.

Nick Klinefeldt is expected to replace Whitaker.  The Senate Judiciary Committee just gave Klinefeldt the nod, but he has yet to be confirmed by the full Senate.

Read Whitaker’s Press Release

FBI to Reconstruct Shooting Scene at Ft. Hood

The presence of the FBI shows the thoroughness of the investigation. It’s good the agency is reconstructing the shooting, but more importantly the Department of Defense needs to find better ways to detect when someone on a base or in  a combat zone is displaying danger signs, no matter their rank or job.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan/dod photo

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan/dod photo

By Sharon Jayson, Dan Reed and Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY

FORT HOOD, Texas — The FBI on Friday dispatched a special team of investigators from Washington, D.C., to re-create the Fort Hood shooting in an attempt to learn how the attack was carried out.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who had counseled troops and was upset about being deployed to Iraq shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire on an unarmed crowd at the Army base Thursday afternoon, military officials said. Thirteen people died and 30 were wounded.

FBI spokesman Eric Vasys said among the goals of the “shooting team” is to establish the exact location of the shooter at the time of the attack, a time-line reflecting the order in which the victims were shot, how many rounds were fired and how the suspect, Hasan, was ultimately stopped by a civilan police officer.

Read Full Story

Ex-Phone Co. Worker Convicted of Perjury and Lying to FBI Agents in Connection to Rogue LA Private Detective Pellicano

Anthony Pellicano/youtube

Anthony Pellicano/youtube

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The scandal involving rogue L.A. private detective Anthony Pellicano, who illegally wiretapped some of the Hollywood’s biggest stars like Sylvester Stallone, continues to show life.

A Los Angeles federal jury earlier this week convicted former SBC phone company employee Joann Wiggan, 56, of Burbank, of perjury and lying to FBI agents about information she provided from the company data bases to a former phone employee, Ray Turner. Authorities say Turner used the info to help Pellicano illegally wiretap stars.

In closing arguments, prosecutors alleged that Wiggan, a facilities technician with access to the phone company’s mainframes in Los Angeles, was the person physically connecting the illegal wiretaps at  the direction of  Turner and Pellicano, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

In 2006, a federal jury acquitted her on four counts alleging  perjury before a federal grand jury.  A mistrial was declared on the fifth count. Earlier this week, prosecutors tried her on that unresolved fifth count, plus new charges of lying to FBI agents in 2004 and committing perjury during her 2006 trial.

Sentencing is set for Feb. 22.

Pellicano is serving 15 years in prison.

Column: Former Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey Questions Wisdom of Nixing Military Trials for Suspected Terrorists

Atty. Gen. Mukasey/doj photo

Atty. Gen. Mukasey/doj photo

By Michael B. Mukasey
The Washington Post

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who by his own account came to this country most recently in 2001 to help organize a second wave of attacks after the Sept. 11 atrocities, received a jail sentence on Oct. 29 that could free him within six years.

This again prompts the question of whether it is wise for the administration to cancel the military trials of those held at Guantanamo Bay and charged with planning the Sept. 11 attacks and, instead, to bring them to the United States to be charged anew and tried in civilian courts.

Marri acted on the direct order of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of Sept. 11 among other accomplishments, to enter the United States not later than Sept. 10, 2001.

To Read More

Full Senate Confirms 3 More U.S. Attorneys

Edward Tarver/campaign photo

Edward Tarver/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The way-too slow process of confirming newly minted U.S. Attorneys around the country continued on Thursday.

The full Senate confirmed Carmen M. Ortiz for U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts, Ed Tarver for the Southern District in Georgia and Benjamin Wagner for the eastern District of California, the news website Main Justice reported.

To date, 23 U.S. Attorneys have been confirmed, according to Main Justice. There are 93 U.S. Attorney jobs in the nation.

The administration could stand to step up the process a little.

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