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Archive for December, 2009

Ex-Kennedy Staffer Indicted in Scheme to Get More Than $75,000 Extra in Pay and Bonuses

istock photo

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– A former office manager for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy was indicted Tuesday in a scheme to get more than $75,000 extra in salary and bonuses, the Justice Department said.

Ngozi T. Pole, 39,of Waldorf, Md., was charged in a six-count indictment that alleged that as office manager for Kennedy between 2003 and 2007 he “repeatedly submitted paperwork causing the Senate to pay him larger salary and bonus payments than had been approved by either the chief of staff or Senator Kennedy,” a Justice Department press release said.

FBI Arrests NY Man for Pirating “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

x_men_origins_wolverine_movie_poster4By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Film pirating is serious business in California.

The latest turn in the never-ending problem came Wednesday morning when FBI agents arrested a New York man for unlawfully distributing  a pirated copy of the movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” before it was officially released in theaters.

The FBI said it  arrested Gilberto Sanchez, 47, at his home in the Bronx without incident. A federal grand jury in Los Angeles had indicted him on Dec. 10.

Authorities allege that Sanchez had uploaded  the copyrighted “X-Men Origins: Wolverine to www.Megaupload.com last spring.

“The  film was uploaded prior to its theatrical release,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller in Los Angeles. ” The investigation into the initial compromise of the film is continuing.  Additional arrests have not been ruled out.”

Uploading a copyrighted work to the Internet carries a statutory maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the
gross gain or gross loss attributable to the offense, whichever is greater, authorities said.

NY FBI to Form Squad to Help 9/11 Prosecutors

Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Khalid Sheik Mohammed

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The feds are taking the upcoming 9/11 trial quite seriously.

Richard Kolko, an FBI spokesman in New York,  said the agency will be forming a squad to assist the prosecutors in preparing the case against alleged mastermind of the plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others.

The squad, he said,  will include “agents, analysts and other professional support with a wide variety of experience working on major trials and investigations. Many of the personnel have worked the 9/11 investigation since the beginning.”

“The squad will function as a task force with members from NYPD, PAPD, FDNY and several other agencies,” Kolko said in a prepared statement. “Their role will be to provide investigative support throughout the legal proceedings. We will provide additional information on this squad in the near future.”

Kolko said the squad will currently have more than a dozen people, but that could grow if necessary.

Another Couple Crash Invite-Only White House Event — Sort Of

white house big photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Apparently party crashers Tarek and Michaele Salahi aren’t the only ones who can get into the White House without an invite.

The Associated Press reported a Georgia couple showed up to the White House a day early for a tour and ended up at an invitation-only breakfast with President Barack Obama and wife Michelle on Veterans Day.

“It left the White House once again explaining how people who were not on an event guest list wound up being ushered into the presidential mansion anyway,” AP reported.

Read more »

Feds Crack Down on Counterfeit Goods

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

D.C. Judge Releases Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 28 Years: Expresses Anger over Faulty FBI Analysis

washington-dc-map2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A D.C. judge on Tuesday angrily criticized the government for relying on  erroneous testimony of an FBI analyst in a case in which a man was imprisoned for 28 years for a rape/murder he didn’t commit, the Washington Post reported.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Fred B. Ugast ordered Donald Eugene Gates, 58, released after DNA evidence showed someone else killed Catherine Schilling, 21, a Georgetown University student in the city’s sprawling Rock Creek Park in 1981.

The FBI analyst incorrectly linked two hairs belonging to an African American to Gates. They were found on the victim, the Post reported.

To Read the full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Transportation Security Admin Official Says “No Acceptable Excuse for TSA’s Recent Blunder”

Tom Blank

Tom Blank

By Tom Blank
Security DeBrief

As the House Homeland Security Committee prepares to hear testimony from Acting TSA Administrator Gale Rossides tomorrow (Wed), it should be reiterated that there is absolutely no acceptable excuse for TSA’s recent blunder in posting classified Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for passenger and baggage screening on the Internet.

While the agency’s response that the inadvertently posted SOPs are out of date is an accurate statement, it’s a disingenuous explanation that attempts to mask the nature of the breach. I understand that Secretary Napolitano has taken personnel actions in the aftermath of the breach – as well she should.

I make these comments as the former TSA head of policy where I had responsibility in 2002 for creating the first baggage screening SOPs to comply with the statutory requirement to screen all bags using Explosive Detection Systems by December 31 of that year.

To Read More

R

Sen. Chuck Grassley Critical of Housing Guantanamo Inmates in Ill.

Sen. Grassley/official photo

Sen. Grassley/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As expected, not everyone is happy with the Obama Administration’s decision to house Guantanamo Bay prisoners at a correctional facility in Thomson, Ill., about a two hours drive from Chicago.

The White House announced on Tuesday that it planned to purchase the facility and also hold military trials there.

In response, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released a critical statement:

“I don’t agree with bringing terrorists anywhere in the United States, let alone a stone’s throw from Iowa. There are a number of serious concerns with moving these terrorists to United States soil, including the legal, immigration and constitutional rights they will be afforded, along with a host of national security concerns and risks that would obviously come with moving people to the heartland who wish to kill Americans.

“On top of all that, experts say many of the jobs at the prison will need to be filled by specialized personnel who would be moved into the area instead of the jobs going to local residents.”

“I’m all for filling this facility with federal prisoners, but that can be done without bringing 75-100 terrorists, who have worldwide terrorist connections, to it.”