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Archive for October 12th, 2010

Ronald T. Hosko Named Head of Criminal Division at FBI Wash. Field Office

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ronald T. Hosko, who served as acting special agent in charge of the St. Louis division, has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Hosko joined the FBI in July 1984, and was first assigned to the Jackson, Miss., division where he investigated white-collar crime, organized crime and drug case. He also served on the Jackson Division SWAT team.

In August 1988, he went off to the Chicago Division and spent several months undercover in the “Sourmash” investigation, which targeted fraudulent commodities trading at the Chicago Board of Trade, the FBI said.

In September 1995, he became the term supervisor of the Chicago Violent Crimes Task Force and one year later the stationary supervisor of the same squad.

Read more »

U.S. Marshal Service Admin. Officer Admits to Stealing $104,000

marshalsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A former U.S. Marshals Service administrative officer in Washington responsible for payroll matters pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to stealing $104,000 in government funds, the Justice Department announced.

Sno H. Rush, 40, of Upper Marlboro, Md., worked as an administrative officer for the Marshals Service in D.C. Superior Court, the city court, and handled payroll-related matters, authorized payment to employees and outside entities, drafted and signed U.S. Treasury checks for expenditures, authorities said.

Under the plea, Rush admitted that between April 2006 and February 2009 she illegally used a government credit card for personal expenses totaling approximately $15,000.

Additionally, she created a fictitious employee for the payroll and falsified time-and-attendance records for the employee, resulting in the theft of $31,000.

She also stole $58,000 in U.S. Treasury checks to pay down the balance on a personal credit card, authorities said. She faces up to five years in prison.

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Justice Dept. Wants to Bar Indicted Miss. FBI Agent From Alleging U.S. Attorney Had a Vendetta

Mississippi Road SignBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is asking a federal judge in Mississippi to stop defense attorneys for an indicted FBI agent from alleging that the charges stem from a vendetta from the former U.S. Attorney, the Associated Press reported.

The agent, Hal Neilson, was indicted in January for allegedly failing to disclose his ownership of an Oxford, Miss. office which he headed up, and then lying about it. Trial is set for Nov. 8 in Aberdeen, Miss.

AP reports that the government in a motion asked that the judge bar Neilson from alleging that the indictment is the result of a vendetta by Jim Greenlee, who was U.S. attorney at the time the charges were filed.

Prosecutors argued Neilson should bring that claim up with the judge, not the jury, AP reported.

Neilson has alleged that the the U.S. Attorney came after him after he criticized investigations into nearly 150 north Mississippi residents of Middle Eastern origin and questioned a probe of a beef plant.

Did the Prez Really Say That About Nominees for U.S. Attorney and Marshals?

The President in Louisiana/white house photo

The President in Louisiana/white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — While Washington may be our nation’s capital, it’s not likely to be mistaken for the capital of sincerity.

Which brings us to the endless stream of press releases the White House  issues when announcing the nominations of U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals.

Take, for example, on June 9, when the White House issued a press release announcing the nomination of six U.S. Marshals, President Obama was quoted as saying: “Throughout their careers these individuals have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice.”

On the same day,when the White House announced the nomination of Robert O’Neill for U.S. Attorney in Florida, President Obama said: “Robert O’Neill has shown an unwavering commitment to justice throughout his career.”

On July 14, in nominating four U.S. Marshals, the President said in a press release: “These individuals have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to public service throughout their careers.”

On July 21, the White House issued another press release announcing the nomination of three more U.S. Marshals and President Obama was quoted as saying: “Throughout their careers these individuals have shown a deep commitment to public service.” On Aug. 4, in announcing three more U.S. Marshals, the President said: “Throughout their careers, these dedicated law enforcement professionals have shown an unwavering commitment to public service.”

Get the point?

In other words, the White House just loads the press releases with boilerplate quotes that are in all likelihood written by someone else. In fact, don’t be surprised if the president never saw — let alone uttered those words before they went into the release, media experts say.

Reporters see the quotes as nothing more than boilerplate quotes, quotes to be ignored. They seldom end up in print or on the air unless there’s a need to fill some space.

NBC's Michael Isikoff/ meet the press photo

NBC's Michael Isikoff/ meet the press photo

“These are pretty much assembly line press releases churned out by some junior staffer toiling in the white house boiler room,” says Washington investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, formerly of Newsweek and now of NBC News.

The quotes, he said,  “generally go to the delete pile.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a written request for comment.

Don Goldberg, a former Clinton White House staff member and former investigative reporter for the late columnist Jack Anderson, said the boiler plate language is meant more for the families and relatives  to see.

Goldberg, a partner in Qorvis, a Washington corporate communications firm, said it’s likely someone on a lower level makes up some of the quotes and gets approval from someone higher up in the communication department.

After that, he said, ” they probably have a standard quote they use over and over again. The notion that they would spend time with the president or even the chief of staff on this, it’s just not what they do.”

Fed Law Association Produces Video on ATF Agent Accused of Murder in Virgin Islands; Calls For Oct. 13 Rally to Support Agent

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says U.S. Must Close Case on USS Cole

uss-cole-crest-234x300Ali H. Soufan was an F.B.I. special agent from 1997 to 2005.

By ALI H. SOUFAN
New York Times Op-Ed

TEN years ago, Qaeda terrorists blew a hole in the side of the Navy destroyer Cole in Yemen, killing 17 sailors. Yet the attack’s mastermind still hasn’t been prosecuted, and many of the men tried and imprisoned for the bombing are again free.

As Washington debates whether to increase aid to Yemen, it should first remember its duty to seek justice for those sailors — and to heed the broader national-security lessons from the attack.

As soon as the F.B.I. received news of the Oct. 12 bombing, I flew to Yemen with a team to investigate. The bodies of sailors draped in flags on a blood-stained deck, guarded by teary-eyed survivors, formed a heartbreaking image that motivated us during the following months.

Our investigation faced difficulties from the beginning. Yemen’s weak central government’s on-again, off-again relationship with extremists meant that Al Qaeda had influential sympathizers in positions of authority, as well as among powerful tribes in the country’s vast desert. As a consequence, we regularly faced death threats, smokescreens and bureaucratic obstructions.

To read more click here.

ATF Offering $5,000 Reward in Arson of Indianapolis Cop’s Home

indianapolis policeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is offering a $5,000 reward in the arson fire of an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer’s home on Sept. 20.

Authorities say someone set fire to the home shortly after 1 a.m. on Chateaugay Drive while the officer and his family were inside. All escaped unharmed.

The home was destroyed and damages were in excess of $100,000, ATF said.

“This act of violence endangered a police officer and his family. Thankfully no one was injured by this cowardly violent act,” Chris Sadowski, special agent in charge of the ATF office in Columbus, Ohio said in a statement.

It’s Official: DiCaprio to Play Hoover in Clint Eastwood Film

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s official: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio will play J. Edgar Hoover in director Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film on the legendary FBI director.

Eastwood told Reuters news service that “it’s a great role for” DiCaprio and that he was in the process of signing a contract with the popular actor.

Eastwood Monday shot down rumors that actor Joaquin Phoenix would be in the film and play Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s right hand man.

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

Commenting on Hoover, Eastwood told Reuters:

“He was a very complex person. The homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems. But he was also very clever, whether rightfully or wrongfully, he was very clever about keeping himself in a certain position in life, so it is an interesting study.”

Should be interesting– and controversial.

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