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February 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for February 19th, 2010

Weekend Series on History: LBJ Said J. Edgar Hoover Hated JFK and Robert Kennedy

FBI Releases 92-Page Report on Anthrax Attacks and Officially Closes the Case

The FBI hopes the latest disclosure will convince people they fingered the right guy. Of course, there are some who still believe that the elements found in the anthrax could not have come from the Maryland lab where suspect Bruce Ivins worked.

Suspect Bruce Ivins

Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Scott Shane
New York Times

WASHINGTON — More than eight years after anthrax-laced letters killed five people and terrorized the country, the F.B.I. finally closed its investigation of the matter on Friday. The bureau released a 92-page report adding eerie new details to its case that the attacks were carried out by Bruce E. Ivins, an Army biodefense expert who killed himself in 2008.

The report describes the evidence against Dr. Ivins in far greater detail than before, revealing his equivocal answers when a friend asked him in a recorded conversation whether he was the anthrax mailer.

“If I found out I was involved in some way.” Dr. Ivins said. “I do not have any recollection of ever doing anything like that,” he said, adding: “I can tell you, I am not a killer at heart.”

The report also describes the F.B.I.’s theory that Dr. Ivins, who was fascinated by codes, embedded a complex coded message in the notes that he mailed with the anthrax. The coded message, based on D.N.A. biochemistry, alluded to two female colleagues with whom he was obsessed, the bureau said.

The report describes how a hidden F.B.I. surveillance agent watched in 2007 as Dr. Ivins threw out a book and an article that might reveal his interest in codes, then came out of his house at 1 a.m. in long underwear to make certain that the garbage truck had in fact taken his trash.

“I can hurt, kill, and terrorize,” Dr. Ivins wrote in a 2008 e-mail message to a friend. “Go down low, low, low as you can go, then dig forever, and you’ll find me, my psyche.”

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To read report

Justice Dept. Opens Civil Rights Inquiry in Oregon Into Controversial Police Shooting of Black Man

portland_BadgeBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened a civil rights inquiry into a controversial shooting in Portland, Ore, which has the black community up in arms.

The Associated Press reports that the investigators are looking into the shooting of Aaron Campbell, an African American, who was shot in the back by a white police officer “after emerging from an apartment with his hands over his head Jan. 29.”

The officer said he thought Campbell was reaching for a gun, AP reported.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton and Oregon’s top FBI agent Special Agent in Charge Arthur Balizan announced the preliminary inquiry on Thursday.

Ex-Pitts. U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan Shaking Up Airwaves in Her Congressional Bid

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

By Allan Lengel

Some people seek out controversy or controversy finds them. In the case of ex-Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, who’s tenure as U.S. Attorney was filled with controversy, it’s probably both.

Buchanan, 46, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in November, is making a bid for Congress. On Thursday, her confrontation with a local radio personality may have been a preview of what’s to come.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Buchanan got testy with radio personality Marty Griffin on KDKA-AM over statements that the failed and highly controversial prosecution of medical examiner Cyril H. Wecht during her tenure cost the taxpayers $20 million.

Wecht had called the show and mentioned the figure, according to the paper.

The paper reported  that Buchanan called the show on Thursday and told Griffin “he was ‘running afoul’ of defamation law and to ‘shut up.'”

“You repeat [the $20 million figure] and that is just flat-out wrong,” Buchanan said, according to the paper. “And you know, we still have defamation laws in this country. To the extent that you keep repeating things that are flat-out wrong, you’re running afoul. That case could not have cost the government more than $500,000 and that’s on the outside.”

“So you’re saying you’re going to sue me, is that what you’re saying Mary Beth?” the radio host Griffin shot back, according to the paper.

Ahh. Politics. Ain’t it great.

To read more click here.

Attacks on IRS and its Employees Too Common, Washington Post Reports

Maybe it’s not surprising that in an economic downturn where people are afraid of losing their money, some people who are unstable are taking their frustrations to the next level.


By Ed O’Keefe
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Attacks on the Internal Revenue Service and its employees similar to Thursday’s small plane crash in Texas are common, according to federal records and investigations.

“There is a direct correlation between increased IRS enforcement efforts and the number of threats made against IRS employees,” said J. Russell George, who heads the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. His office handled more than 1,200 threat and assault case referrals from the IRS and its employees between fiscal 2001 and 2008. The cases resulted in more than 167 indictments and at least 195 convictions, he said.

The nation’s economic downturn and Americans’ frustrations with their civic responsibilities have inspired many of the incidents, George said. The agency has stepped up enforcement efforts since Commissioner Douglas Shulman took over in 2008.

For Full Story

Retired FBI Agent Joseph Perritte Dead at Age 88

fbi-globeBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Joseph L. Perritte, a retired FBI agent who ended his 30-plus year career as crypto systems unit chief of the electronics section of the FBI Laboratory, died late last month in Bethesda, Md., of prostrate cancer at age 88, the Washington Post reported.

Perritte, a resident of Silver Spring, Md, started in FBI in 1942 as a student fingerprint classifier and later went on to the FBI Laboratory, where he was assigned to the radio engineering section, the Post’s Pat Sullivan wrote.

He entered the Navy in 1944, “serving as a top-secret communications officer at the headquarters of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,” the Post reported. “He later was an electronics officer at the Joint Communications Activity on Guam.

After his discharge, he became a special agent in 1946 and worked primarily in communications intelligence and security, the Post reported. He retired in 1976.

Michael Morehart to Head FBI’s Richmond, Va. Office

Michael Morehart/fbi photo

Michael Morehart/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Michael Morehart, the FBI’s deputy assistant director of the Security Division at headquarters, is moving down the road to take over as special agent in charge of the Richmond division.

Morehart started as an agent in October 1986, and was first assigned to the Columbia, S.C., bureau before going to Houston, the FBI said.

In 1995, he was promoted to supervisor in the Inspection Division’s Audit Unit at FBI Headquarters. Three years, later he became a supervisor of a white collar crime squad in the Memphis Division.

In February 2001, he became the assistant special agent in charge in El Paso and three years later he returned to headquarters as chief of the Terrorist Financing Operations Section in the Counterterrorism Division.

In 2007, he was named special agent in charge of the Administrative Division for the FBI’s Washington Field Office. In 2008, he returned to FBI Headquarters as deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Security Division.