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Archive for January, 2010

Editorial: North Dakota Paper Criticizes Obama For Not Nominating U.S. Atty in N.D. and Other States

white house photo

white house photo

The Grand Forks Herald
Editorial Page
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Sure, the economy and health care reform hurt Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. But in her Senate campaign’s crucial last week, the Democratic candidate made a bad situation worse. Coakley angered Catholics, Red Sox fans and independent voters with her slips of the tongue; and after you’ve turned off those three groups in Massachusetts, you don’t have many people left.

The Obama administration’s “unforced errors” aren’t as bad as Coakley’s. But here’s one such error that the administration could and should correct:

The administration should nominate a U.S. attorney for North Dakota. For that matter, it should speed up a process that now is lagging badly and nominate more U.S. attorneys in other states.

“President Barack Obama enters his second year in office having filled only a third of the 93 top federal prosecutor spots in the nation,” the Houston Chronicle reported last week.

“The Obama administration is well behind where presidents Bush and Bill Clinton were at this point.”

To read more click here.

Underwear Bomber Claimed There was a Second Bomb on Plane

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The badly burned underwear bomber told authorities as he was led away on Christmas Day that there was a second bomb aboard the Northwest plane that have arrived from Amsterdam, when in fact there was not, the Associated Press reported.

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab made incriminating statements to Customs officials on the way to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, and then to the FBI during about 50 minutes of questioning at the hospital, AP reported.  The FBI did not give him his Miranda Rights during that time, the AP reported.

It was during that time he admitted having been trained and instructed by al Qaeda in Yemen, the AP reported. The news agency said law enforcement investigators do not have to read the Miranda Rights to a suspect if they are trying to end a pending public threat to the public.

The FBI interview ended when the suspect was given medication.

“He would not be questioned again for more than five hours,” AP reported. ” By that point, officials said, FBI bosses in Washington had decided a new interrogation team was needed. They made that move in case the lack of a Miranda warning or the suspect’s medical condition at the time of the earlier conversations posed legal problems later on for prosecutors.”

The handling of the suspect has become a flash point of debate. Some Congressional members have argued that he should have been treated as an enemy combatant. They say he stopped talking once he was given a public federal defender.

To read more click here.

Meanwhile, NPR reports that British and U.S. intelligence authorities have linked Abdulmutallab to two men accused of being part of  terrorist plots in the United Kingdom.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Zane Memeger Expected to Get Philly U.S. Atty. Post; Charles Oberly Expected to Get Delaware

Zane Memeger/law firm photo
Zane Memeger/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –After months of speculation and uncertainty, it appears former federal prosecutor Zane D. Memeger, a partner in a big city law firm, is expected to be nominated as U.S. Attorney in Philly, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting.

The Inquirer reports that Memeger was a assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia for 11 years before joining the  law firm of Morgan Lewis in 2006 in its Philadelphia office.

The paper also reported that Charles M Oberly III, a former state attorney general, is likely to get the nod from President Obama for the U.S. Attorney job in Delaware.

To read more click here.

FBI Arrests Suburban Detroit Man Who Posed as Agent Collecting Money for Haiti

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There are those  who are trying to figure out how to help the folks in Haiti. And then there are those who are trying to figure out how scam the charity-minded people.

On Friday, the FBI arrested a suburban Detroit man who impersonated an FBI agent collecting money for Haiti, WDIV news in Detroit reported.

Authorities told WDIV that Kevin Balfour, 34, of Warren, Mi., flashed a gold badge with the letters “FBI” on it and “told people he might be deployed to Haiti and that he was collecting money to help the children.”

The station reported that he also used his FBI credentials to get free food and drinks from a local bar.

OTHER WEEKEND STORIES

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Green River Killer

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WgUIrt1cyA

Late Radio Personality Paul Harvey Was Pals With J. Edgar Hoover

Paul Harvey/facebook page

Paul Harvey/facebook page

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Paul Harvey, the radio personality with the baritone voice who entertained America for generations, enjoyed a 20 year friendship with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, the Washington Post reported.

The paper reported that Harvey, who died last February at 90, often submitted “advance copies of his radio script for comment and approval.”

“Harvey wrote Hoover and his deputies regularly. Hoover, in turn, helped Harvey with research, suggested changes in scripts and showered the broadcaster with effusive praise,” the paper reported.

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

The FBI released nearly 1,400 pages of files to the Post as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

And now for  the rest of the story click here

Ex-High Ranking Secret Service Agent Among Those Busted in FBI Sting Involving 22 Executives

Secret-Service-Badge
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A former high ranking Secret Service agent was among 22 executives of military and law enforcement supply companies indicted this week in an FBI sting involving foreign bribery and sale of small arms, amunition and protective gear to Africa.

Patrick Caldwell, the chief executive officer of Florida-based Protective Products of America, spent 27 years with the U.S. Secret Service, rising to the deputy assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations.

Caldwell was among the 22 executive s charged with paying off a representative of a defense minister of an African nation to land lucrative contracts to supply the presidential guard of an African nation.  But the representative was actually an undercover FBI agent and there was actually no African nation involved.

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith reported that Caldwell and former company CEO Stephen Gerard Giordanella “are alleged to have met with the FBI’s undercover agent at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami to hammer out details of a two-phased contract calling for a total of 3,650 armored body plates. The contract would include a 20 percent “commission” for a man they believed was an African nation’s defense minister.”

“Money changed hands, and in an October 2009 follow-up meeting at Clyde’s, a Washington, D.C., restaurant, Caldwell was told the defense minister “was pleased” with the product,” the columnist wrote. “The ex-Secret Service agent swallowed the undercover sting hook, line and sinker, according to the indictment.”

“He will have difficulty pleading ignorance of the law in the investigation despite the fact he’s only been with the company since January 2009,” wrote Smith. “The decorated Vietnam veteran was once in charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division.

In a July 2009 press release announcing his hiring the company wrote:

“Pat’s vast expertise in federal law enforcement and the military are a natural fit for PPA and we are delighted that he has agreed to step into this important leadership position,” said General Hugh Shelton (ret.), Chairman of the Board. “We continue to work diligently to secure previously delayed and new military contracts as well as bolster our soft armor business where we see significant opportunity in diversifying our revenue stream.”

Newseum in D.C. Has Exhibit on G-Men And Journalists and Top Stories of the FBI’s First Century

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhdoaD2ES_o