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Archive for December, 2010

Jack Abramoff Finishes Sentence; Stops Working at Baltimore Kosher Pizzeria

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who made his fair share of doe working politicians on the Hill, is finished working at a kosher Baltimore pizza joint now that he’s finished his sentence and is on supervised release, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Abramoff, who was convicted on corruption, fraud and conspiracy charges, was released from fed prison on June 8, and then went on home confinement, which just ended on Dec. 3, according to the Bureau of Prisons records.

While on home confinement, he worked for Tov Pizza on marketing and customer outreach. The Hebrew word “tov” means good in English.

Tov Pizza owner Ron Rosenbluth told AP that Abramoff might occasionally stop by.

GAO Report Finds U.S. Attorneys Declined 50% of Cases in Indian Country

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A government report found that U.S. Attorney’s Offices declined 50 percent of the cases from American Indian reservations from 2005-2009, the Associated Press reported.

The Government Accountability Office report found that Federal prosecutors resolved 9,000 of the 10,000 cases they got during that period. Half were declined for prosecution and the others were prosecuted or administratively closed, AP reported.

“The most frequent reason for declining cases was weak or insufficient admissible evidence, followed by no evidence of a federal crime, witness problems and a lack of evidence that a suspect had criminal intent,” AP reported.

AP reported that the report came as a result of congressional inquiries in the declination rate.

AP reported that H. Marshall Jarrett, director of the Department of Justice’s executive office of U.S. attorneys, said the declination rates was not indicative of the efforts to imrpove public safety in Indian Country.

“Each case must be evaluated on the evidence available to the prosecutor,” he said in a letter responding to the findings. “Accordingly, it would not be appropriate to use the data contained in this report to promote any kind of prosecutorial quota system or incentives to prosecute a higher number of individuals.”

U.S. attorneys in Arizona, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and North Dakota received 73 percent of all Indian Country criminal matters, AP reported.

To read report click here.

Filmmaker Michael Moore Defends WikiLeaks Founder and Posts $$$

Michael Moore/m.m. website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Controversial and seldom-at-a-loss-for-words filmmaker Michael Moore is stepping into the fray and defending WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — and putting up money too.

In a statement posted on his website Tuesday morning, Moore wrote:

“Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.”

“Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

“We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.”

Some Congressional lawmakers have called Assange a traitor and a spy and have demanded that he be prosecuted. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. recently announced that a criminal investigation into the leaks was underway.

To read Moore’s full statement click here.

Murder Trial Underway for ex-FBI Agent in Las Vegas

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Trial is underway in Las Vegas for retired FBI agent Edward Preciado-Nuno, who is accused of murdering his son’s girlfriend in November 2008.  His son had been trying to evict the girlfriend from the home.

Preciado-Nuno, 63, claims he killed girlfriend Kimberly Long after she attacked him with a hammer. He claims he then picked up a hammer in self defense and hit her, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Preciado-Nuno retired from the bureau’s San Diego office in 2003 and has worked in New York, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas and Argentina, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

To read about the trial click here.

Bernie Madoff Won’t Attend Son’s Funeral

 

Mark Madoff/facebook photo

 
 
 
 
 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Convicted swindler Bernie Madoff won’t be attending the funeral of his son Mark, who committed suicide in his  Manhattan home over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Mr. Madoff will not be attending the funeral out of consideration” for his family, attorney Ira Sorkin told the Journal.  Madoff will have his own private ceremony at his North Carolina prison.

Details of the funeral were still unclear and Mark Madoff’s  body remained in the New York City morgue on Monday, the Journal reported. In the Jewish faith, a body is buried as quickly as possible.

NBC’s Today Show reported that the son had not talked to the parents in a long time and that Ruth Madoff, Bernie’s wife, was angry at her husband over the suicide, saying he had blood on his hands.

Mark Madoff and his brother denied ever knowing that their father ran a sham operation, though some are skeptical of those claims.

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Texas Guns Dealers Top U.S. Suppliers List to Mexican Cartels

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — America profits from the murderous ways of the Mexican cartels when it comes to supplying weapons.

Washington Post reporters James V. Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz, in a year long investigation, uncovered the names of the top 12 U.S. gun dealers of guns traced to Mexico in the past two years, with eight coming from Texas, three from Arizona and one from California.

The Post reports that Houston appears to be the number one city for guns traced to Mexican crimes.

“One of the reasons that Houston is the number one source, you can go to a different gun store for a month and never hit the same gun store,” J. Dewey Webb, special agent in charge of the Houston field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the Post. “You can buy [a 9mm handgun] down along the border, but if you come to Houston, you can probably buy it cheaper because there’s more dealers, there’s more competition.”

To read more click here.

FBI Director’s Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel W. Lee Rawls Dead at Age 66

W. Lee Rawls/ u of va. photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — W. Lee Rawls, who served as chief of staff and senior counsel to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III until 2009, died earlier this month of acute leukemia in Washington, the Washington Post reported. He was 66.

The Post reported that he had previously served as assistant attorney general for legislative affairs under President George H.W. Bush and, from 2003 to 2005, as chief of staff to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)

In the course of his career, Rawls also served as  vice president of the lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Kelly, and led government relations efforts for Pennzoil and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Post reported.

He also taught at the National Defense University in Washington and the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Paper Fame Defends WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971,  defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“If I released the Pentagon Papers today, the same rhetoric and the same calls would be made about me,” Ellsberg said, according to the news organization Democracy Now! “I would be called not only a traitor—which I was then, which was false and slanderous—but I would be called a terrorist… Assange and Bradley Manning are no more terrorists than I am.”

Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst who was working for the RAND Corporation, ignited a controversy when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top secret document that discussed government policy about Vietnam.

He was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. He was put on trial in federal court in Los Angeles in 1973, but U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne, Jr. ended up dismissing the case due to government misconduct.

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