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Archive for August, 2011

Column: The Feds Leak Investigation: Probe or Payback?

By Len Levitt
NYPD Confidential

The Justice Department’s bullseye on the FBI and NYPD via a grand jury probe into leaks in terrorism cases appears to have been prompted a year ago by a news story about an Al Qaeda mastermind, sources said.

The story was an Associated Press exclusive from Washington about the impending indictment of Adnan Shukrijumah, who had recruited Najibullah Zazi and his Flushing High School pals to blow up New York subways in 2009.

The indictment of the fugitive Shukrijumah, in New York’s Eastern District, linked the Zazi subway plot to another Al Qaeda terrorist plot in Manchester, England.

But the AP published its story before Shukrijumah’s indictment was announced.

The story forced law enforcement officials overseas — in Norway, of all places — to scramble and speed the arrests of two suspects in Oslo. The pair had been under surveillance for a year.

To read more click here.

Judge Lets Justice Correct Anthrax Filing that Created PR Mess

One of the real anthrax letters in 2001/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge has allowed the Justice Department to correct a court filing that created an embarrassment and public relations goof for the agency in the anthrax case.

ProPublica reported Friday that U.S. District Judge David Hurley of West Palm Beach, Fla., gave the ok to the government to withdraw a court filing that mistakenly said that the late scientist Bruce Ivins did not have access to “specialized equipment” to make the deadly anthrax, when in fact he did.

The revised filing says Ivins had access to a refrigerator-sized machine known as a lyophilizer, which can be used to dry solutions such as anthrax, ProPublica reported.

The filings were in response to a lawsuit filed by the wife of National Enquirer photo editor Robert Stevens, who died as a result of an anthrax mailing. She contends the government did not do enough to protect the anthrax supplies from being used against citizens.

The erroneous filing created a stir in the media, which printed stories saying the Justice Department had undermined its own claim that Ivins was to blame for the attacks. Ivins committed suicide in July 2008 before authorities could file criminal charges against him.

The erroneous filing provided more fodder for critics who are skeptical that Ivins was in fact the one who mailed the letters.

Say it Ain’t So Joe: VP Biden Charging Secret Service for Rent

govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of: Mmmmmm. Something doesn’t seem right.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Secret Service, which protects  VP Joe Biden,  is paying Biden $2,200 a month to rent a cottage next to his suburban Wilimington, Del., home.

Records show Biden has collected more than $13,000 since April on the cottage, and is eligible to collect up to $66,000 before the contract expires in 2013, AP reported.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told the Washington Times:  “It’s a rental property so we pay rent there.”

Citizens Against Government Waste’s Leslie Paige said you would think with Biden so deeply involved in the deficit talks that he would think twice about charging the government agency, AP reported.

Yes, you would think.

Column: New Orlean’s U.S. Atty. Jim Letten Speaks of Diversity and the Arab-Muslim Community

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

By Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney
New Orleans Times-Picayune Op-Ed Page

NEW ORLEANS — As we approach the 10th anniversary of the tragic Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and continue to defend against those who wage their vicious campaigns against us and our freedoms, it is essential that we look forward.

That is not to say that we need not remain ever more vigilant by fiercely, courageously and intelligently defending this great nation. It does mean, however, that our uniquely American way of life and our freedoms must be preserved as well — intact and for all who lawfully and in good faith embrace it and seek its protection and freedoms.

I write this piece as an American and as U.S. attorney — and to fulfill a promise I readily made to our friends and neighbors in our local Arab-Muslim community. I can proudly say that the citizens here in Southeast Louisiana have displayed the best of the American spirit in the tolerant, highly diverse gumbo of cultures that is quintessentially reflective of America as a whole.

But even in the greatest country in the world, assimilation can often be difficult and fraught with challenges. Nowhere has that cultural blending been tested more than with our Arab-Muslim neighbors. The consequences of an ongoing global war that we and our allies have waged against terrorists have at times included a backlash often directed against Arab and Muslim Americans.

To read full column click here.

Authorities to Add Ted Bundy’s DNA to FBI Database

fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Florida authorities are working to add serial killer Ted Bundy’s DNA profile to the FBI’s national database by mid-August, a move that could help detectives in Tacoma, Wash., determine if Bundy was responsible for the abduction of 8-year-old girl Ann Marie Burr in 1961, The News Tribune reported

The paper reported that Tacoma detectives hope to compare the DNA to evidence that was never analyzed. Authorities say it could also help solve other murders.

“From a historical standpoint, there is this belief that Ted Bundy could be responsible,” said detective Gene Miller, who leads the Tacoma Police Department’s cold case unit, told the Tacoma paper.

The paper reported that it took years for authorities to come up with a complete DNA profile of Bundy.

To read more click here.

Column: Injured FBI Agent Still Hopes for Justice

FBI agent Theresa Foley was the first full-time female FBI agent to be stationed at Guantanamo. She has filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department, saying she was made to bunk with vermin that gave her a tropical disease. Theresa Foley has undergone multiple surgeries since contracting the disease and has been disabled and is living with her parents. She claims her disease was made worse when the FBI refused to let her stand and instead made her kneel in the traditional stance during firearms qualification.The lawsuit also says she was ostracized for refusing to join in a “spring break” atmosphere in which agents were encouraged to drink, date and frolic during off hours.

Her lawsuit alleges sexual discrimination and harassment, employment discrimination based on disability and gender and retaliation. Her mother Irene Foley says Director Robert S. Mueller was unresponsive to the family regarding her daughter’s problems.

Theresa Foley/family photo

By Peter Gelzinis
Boston Herald

BOSTON — All that FBI Special Agent Theresa Foley hopes for in this life can be summed up in one word: justice.

Justice for this 45-year-old Roslindale woman would be the ability to walk on her own once again, free of the pain left by two spinal fusions, six other major surgeries and the effective loss of her right leg.

It would mean living without a morphine drip, or those powerful oxycodone patches, or the help of her elderly parents.

But these days, Terry Foley’s notion of justice goes well beyond the physical devastation that has befallen a woman who once ran marathons and took great pride in becoming an FBI agent.

After seven years of living as an invalid, of watching her family petition members of Congress with letter after letter, Terry Foley has given up waiting for the FBI to offer her some expression of justice.

So, she is suing the Sons of Hoover to get some.

To read full column click  here.

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