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Archive for October 26th, 2010

FBI Investigating Gun Shots at Buildings in Northern Virginia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI said Tuesday it has opened an investigation into three mysterious shootings at buildings in Northern Virginia since Oct. 17,  including the Pentagon. No one has been injured.

The FBI said it has confirmed that shots fired at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., involved a single weapon.

It added that ballistics testing is underway for an overnight shooting that took place on Oct. 25 or Oct. 26 at the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Chantilly, Va.

The incident at the National Museum of the Marine Corps took place during the early morning hours on Oct. 17, the FBI said.  A similar incident occurred at approximately 5 a.m. on Oct. 19,  at the Pentagon.

Right after the shooting at the Pentagon’s exterior walls, authorities said it appeared to be a random event.

Now, who knows?

Drug Cartels An Inherent Danger in Atlanta

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Announces New Initiative to Address Law Enforcement Safety

Holder delivers speech in Orlando/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO — Concerned about the rising tide of law enforcement deaths on duty, Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. announced Tuesday a new  Justice Department initiative called “VALOR” to address law enforcement safety.

Speaking before a crowd of federal, state and local law enforcement  at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in Orlando, Holder said the Justice Department initiative  “will support much-needed research and analysis of violent encounters, and officer deaths and injuries.”

“And we’ll use this information to provide law enforcement with the latest information, and most effective tools and training, to respond to a range of threats – including ambush-style assaults.”

“VALOR also includes an award of $800,000, made earlier this year, to develop training and technical assistance programs to help officers learn how to anticipate and survive violent encounters,” Holder said.

Holder noted that since last October, 163 officers have been killed in the line of duty nationwide – with more than a third of them killed by gunfire.

“These losses – of mothers and fathers, spouses and siblings, children and colleagues – represent an alarming increase in police officer fatalities,” he said. “After reaching a 50-year low in 2009, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty has surged.”

“Without question, the work before us is great,” he added. ” And it couldn’t be more urgent.  If current trends continue, 2010 could end as one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in more than two decades.”

Fed Judges Gone Wild

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Zack Cohen
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Federal judges are considered among the elite in the judiciary world, appointed by the president for a lifetime, regarded as being beyond reproach. But in recent times there has been a crack in the almost king-like facade.

One judge, G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans, was just convicted in the Senate on articles of impeachment  on a variety of  allegations including taking gifts and meals from lawyers and bail bondsmen.  Another, Samuel Kent of Texas is behind bars for lying to investigators about sexually assaulting his staff. And Jack T. Camp, 67, of Atlanta was busted in early October for buying drugs from an undercover agent to share with a stripper he was carrying on affair. On Friday, Nov. 19, Camp pleaded guilty to drug charges and to providing a government issued  laptop to the stripper.

“They are human just like everyone else,” said Alan M. Gershel, a professor  at the Thomas  M. Cooley Law School in Michigan, who added that these isolated incidents do not reflect on the integrity of the entire judicial system.

Still, it’s an embarrassment.

Judge Kent

The latest case involving Judge Jack T. Camp has all the makings of the sleazy movie.

Camp,who is on senior status,  was arrested on a recent Friday night near Sandy Springs, Ga., after he bought $160 worth of cocaine and Roxycodone, a narcotic pain killer, from an undercover agent, according to authorities.

The Reagan appointee planned to use the drugs with an exotic stripper, who had told authorities that the judge used illegal drugs with her, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The paper said the judge had bought a private dance from the stripper and eventually paid for sex and started a relationship.

Authorities said they also found two guns in the front seat of his car.

Porteous, 63, was just ousted by the Senate, which convicted him on articles of impeachment on a variety of allegations that included taking cash, expensive meals and other gifts from lawyers and bail bondsmen, filing for bankruptcy under a false name and lying to Congress. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who headed the five-member House team,  prosecuted  the Louisiana judge for violating public trust and “making a mockery of the court system.”

Porteous’s defense team  argued that his actions reflected how things are done in the judicial system in New Orleans and said that if Porteous was impeached then the rest of the judges deserved the same fate.

Judge Thomas Porteous

Kent, 61, is behind bars, serving a 33-month sentence for obstruction of justice after he was caught lying about allegations involving groping and sexual assault of two female court employees.

Randolph Mclaughlin, a professor at Pace University of Law, agrees with Professor Gershel,  and says these isolated incidents aren’t reflective of the federal judiciary and don’t raise any real questions about the selection process for federal judges.

“I don’t think that overall the judges on the federal bench lack integrity,” said Mclaughlin. “While some corrupt judges slip through, if you were to examine the percentage of judges who have been impeached with the number of politicians who have been convicted of crimes, you would see that many more politicians are convicts.”

Strong Gun Lobby Hurts ATF’s Efforts to Regulate Gun Ownership, Washington Post Reports

atf file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is operating on a short leash, hamstrung by limited resources to regulate gun ownership, much in part due to the strong gun lobbying efforts, the Washington Post reports.

“Concerns about government regulation of gun ownership have limited the resources available to the ATF, led to strict regulatory restrictions and left the agency without leadership, according to interviews with dozens of former and current ATF officials and examination of thousands of pages of internal documents,” Sari Horwitz  and James Grimaldi of the Washington Post report.

“The ATF is supposed to regulate the gun industry, but many within the bureau say it is the industry that dominates the agency,” the Post reported. “Unlike the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service or the U.S. Marshals, the ATF must contend with a powerful lobby that watches its every move and fights its attempts to gain resources and regulatory power.”

To read more click here.

Feds Charge Hawaiian Man With Lying About Trying to Join Taliban

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds have arrested a Hawaiian man who traveled to Pakistan, hoping to join the Taliban or a similar group, the Associated Press reported.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 21, a U.S. citizen, who was arrested Friday in Honolulu, was charged with making false statements relating to international terrorism, AP reported. The criminal complaint was unsealed Monday in New York.

Authorities say Shehadeh was living on Staten Island in New York in early 2008 when he made a plan to join the Taliban or a similar group in Pakistan.

Shehadeh actually flew from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 13, 2008, but was denied entry an returned to the U.S., AP reported. He originally told  FBI agents and New York police detectives that he traveled to Pakistan to visit an Islamic university and attend a friend’s wedding, but later confessed to his true purpose.

He also allegedly tried to recruit others, authorities allege, according to AP.