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Archive for April, 2012

Feds Indict 11 Mobsters and Associates in NY

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to making a buck, the wise guys don’t seem to be so God-fearing.

The feds alleged that the Genovese Crime Family preyed on vendors at the feast of San Gennaro, New York City’s biggest, most famous and longest running religious festival.

On Wednesday, the  the U.S. Attorney’s office announced an 18-count indictment in Brooklyn on Wednesday for 11 members of the crime family and its associates for crimes ranging from shaking down vendors at the religious fest to gambling to extortion, union embezzlement and shaking down building subcontractors.

Authorities said the Genovese family holds key positions in the International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (IUJAT) in New York, and allegedly exploited these and other connections to pad their pockets.

The U.S. Attorney’s office described its ongoing fight against organized crime infiltrating NYC unions and businesses in a press release.

“Where others saw a city festival, urban renewal, and job growth, these defendants allegedly saw only a chance to line their pockets at the expense of hard working individuals. And when law enforcement began to probe their actions, one defendant allegedly went so far as to try to block that investigation,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Organized crime figures and union officials who seek to earn money by corrupting legitimate industry will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Column: We Shouldn’t Forget the 168 Who Died in Oklahoma City Bombing

Timothy McVeigh/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
I can’t help but at least mention that Thursday marks the 17th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building where 168 people were killed.

We’ve come a long way in dealing with terrorism. The face of it has changed.

At the time, the Oklahoma bombing seemed so enormous. I was a reporter at the Detroit News at the time. I worked on the story day and night for three months before I ended up going on strike at the paper. I never returned to the paper.

But I never forgot the 168 people who died, among them 19 children under the age of 6.

Sure 9/11 dwarfed all that, and changed the terrorism landscape forever.

But we can’t lose focus on the local hate groups, on the potential for future lone wolves and haters like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who so desperately needed to have their voice heard.

And we can’t forget the 168 people who died.

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melania trump threatens to sue news outlets

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Oregon Man Says He Was Tortured by Interrogators Working for FBI


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An Oregon man claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates by interrogators cooperating with the FBI, which was investigating a Portland mosque, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yonas Fikre said he was arrested in June and taken to an Abu Dhabi prison,according to the Times. It was there he claims he was beaten, threatened and isolated during three months of detention by interrogators working for the FBI.

The story is of particular interest since the FBI has long prided itself on not using torture — unlike the CIA — to glean information from people.

Fikre essentially alleged that the bureau used someone else to do the torture.

The Associated Press reported that the Portland FBI declined comment, but said agents are thoroughly trained as to what is permissible under U.S. Law.

 

Scandals Need to Vanish Quickly

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to scandals, the best thing is to make them vanish quickly.

Waiting for an Inspector General report takes far too long.

In the case of the Secret Service-prostitution scandal, so far, so good.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, a veteran of navigating Capitol Hill, has done all the right things. He quickly launched an investigation. He’s called for an I.G. investigation. And he’s talked to folks on the Hill like Sen. Chuck Grassley to keep them apprised of the unfolding events.

So far, two agents have resigned and a third has retired. More need to go. The sooner the better.

Not that the agents have committed the crime of the century. In fact, they’ve committed no crime. Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

But when you represent an agency like the Secret Service while abroad, and you’re there on behalf of the President of the United States, more is expected of you.

The Secret Service is wisely delving deeply into the matter.

Bloomberg news reports investigators are trying to determine if any of the prostitutes were spies and whether any classified info was compromised.

If there ended up being something to that, the scandal would only get bigger.

That’s something the President, the Secret Service and the public doesn’t need. Scandals provide plenty of fodder for the press.

But they distract from more important issues at hand.

Column: Scandals Need to Vanish Quickly

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to scandals, the best thing is to make them vanish quickly.

Waiting for an Inspector General report takes far too long.

In the case of the Secret Service-prostitution scandal, so far, so good.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, a veteran of navigating Capitol Hill, has done all the right things. He quickly launched an investigation. He’s called for an I.G. investigation. And he’s talked to folks on the Hill like Sen. Chuck Grassley to keep them apprised of the unfolding events.

So far, two agents have resigned and a third has retired. More need to go. The sooner the better.

Not that the agents have committed the crime of the century. In fact, they’ve committed no crime. Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

But when you represent an agency like the Secret Service while abroad, and you’re there on behalf of the President of the United States, more is expected of you.

The Secret Service is wisely delving deeply into the matter.

Bloomberg news reports investigators are trying to determine if any of the prostitutes were spies and whether any classified info was compromised.

If there ended up being something to that, the scandal would only get bigger.

That’s something the President, the Secret Service and the public doesn’t need. Scandals provide plenty of fodder for the press.

But they distract from more important issues at hand.

Today’s project is a continuation of the fight to get justice

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Breaking News: Two Agents Resign and a 3rd Retires in Secret Service-Prostitute Scandal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service scandal involving prostitutes in Colombia appears to be moving in a logical direction.

Two Secret Service agents have resigned and a third is retiring, Bloomberg news reported. The men were reportedly part of the advance team for the president.

News agencies have reported that the Secret Service wants to give polygraph exams to those involved.