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Archive for May, 2012

Former Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice “Singing His Heart Out” to DEA on Corruption in Chavez Gov.

Eladio Aponte photo correodelorinoco.gob.ve

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

U.S. officials report a break-through in tackling drug trafficking from South America, according to the Associated Press.

A former Venezuelan Supreme Court justice Eladio Aponte may be seeking permanent refuge in the U.S. for himself and his family in exchange for evidence linking Venezuelan officials to drug trafficking and corruption, and linking Venezuela with Colombian rebel group FARC. His accusations could lead to “tougher U.S. action against purported drug trafficking networks” AP reports.

The former judge fled to the U.S. a month ago after being expelled from the court by the Venezuelan National Assembly for allegedly helping a drug trafficker. It remains to be seen if he’s seeking immunity for his participation in the drug trade, or simply wants protection for his family. If proven, Aponte’s accusations would discredit the anti-U.S. Chavez government and, most likely, illicit its wrath.

To read more click here.

 

U.S. Atty Who Went After Edwards Wins Republican Nomination for Congress in N.C.

U.S. Atty. George Holding

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

While once-presidential hopeful John Edwards stands trial in Greensborough N.C. for campaign finance violations, the U.S. Attorney who secured his indictment celebrated a different kind of victory 75 miles down the road in Raleigh Tuesday.

George Holding won the Republican nomination for Congress in North Carolina this week, purportedly riding the coattails of former Sen. John Edwards’ infamy, reports Politico.

While losing opponents former Wake County commissioner Paul Coble got 34% of the vote and Navy veteran Bill Randall trailed behind at 22%, Coble echoed questions raised by Edwards’ attorneys about Holding’s path to glory.

Did the Bush appointee and former aide to the late GOP Sen. Jesse Helms pursue the high-profile Edwards case solely for political and personal gain? Holding says no.

He told Politico, “When I was the United States Attorney, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and everything I did was an effort to comply with that oath.”

Holding is favored to win the congressional race against Democratic opponent Charles Malone, a former journalist and Army veteran, due to the make-up of the newly drawn 13th district.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Director Says Bomb Plot is Reason to Renew Electronic Surveillance Powers

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Jordy Yager
The Hill

WASHINGTON — The head of the FBI on Wednesday used a recently thwarted bomb plot to press Congress to extend the agency’s ability to spy on foreigners abroad without a warrant.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told a panel of House lawmakers that some of the surveillance provisions, which are set to expire at the end of the year, are “absolutely essential” to stopping terrorists from attacking the United States.

One of the particular provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows U.S. officials to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant on foreigners living abroad whom they suspect of being engaged in terrorist activities.

Earlier this week, the CIA thwarted a bomb plot hatched by al Qaeda in Yemen that was aimed at exploding a commercial airliner headed to the United States.

To read the full story click here.

Bryant to Head St. Louis FBI Office

Dean Bryant/fbi

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Dean C. Bryant is taking over the St. Louis FBI office.

Bryant, the chief of the Critical Incident Response Group’s Hazardous Devices Operations Section near Quantico, Va., was the senior FBI executive and chairman of the Joint Program Office responsible for coordinating with the interagency and the White House’s National Security Staff.

He started with the FBI in 1991, and was assigned to the Miami division, where he worked public corruption, violent crimes and fugitives.

In 2000, he transferred to the Mobile Field Division’s Monroeville Resident Agency.

In 2003, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in and assigned to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters.

He was als deployed to Qatar and Iraq in support of the FBI’s mission.

In 2005,  Bryant became the supervisory senior resident agent of the Springfield and Joplin, Missouri Resident Agencies, which are part of the Kansas City Field Office. He was responsible for FBI investigations of all violations in 32 counties within Missouri and Kansas. During this assignment, Mr. Bryant served as the FBI’s deputy on-scene commander in Iraq in support of the Counterterrorism Division.

In 2008, Byant was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, where he supervised the Aviation, Surveillance, and Technical Programs.

 

Suspected Killer Fills Last Vacancy on FBI’s Most Wanted List

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After a great deal of deliberation, the FBI has filled the final vacancy in its Ten Most Wanted fugitive list, the agency announced Wednesday,

Adam Christopher Mayes, wanted in connection with the kidnapping last month of a mother, Jo Ann Bain, 31, and her three daughters in Tennessee, has been added to the list, replacing Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who was captured last year in California along with his girlfriend.

Authorities said bodies of two of the kidnap victims — the mother and the oldest daughter Adrienne, 14, —  were found last week buried behind a mobile home where the Mayes family lived in Guntown, Miss.

The two other daughter, 8 and 12, are still missing.

“We believe Mayes could be anywhere in the United States, and we are extremely concerned for the safety of the girls,” said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI Memphis office. “Anyone who has any information about this case, of if you’ve seen Mayes or the girls, please contact your nearest FBI office or the local police immediately.”

Senate Passes Bill to Rename Border Station After Slain Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now all that’s  missing is the president’s signature.

On Tuesday night, the Senate passed legislation that will allow authorities to rename the United States Border Patrol Station in Bisbee, AZ to honor the memory of slain border Agent Brian Terry.

Terry was shot to death while on duty in December 2010.

His slaying raised quite a bit of controversy when it was learned that two weapons found at the scene were sold to straw purchasers as part of a failed ATF Fast and Furious operation.

Rep. Darrell Issa, who sponsored the bill to rename the station after Terry, said in a statement:

“All of Washington mourned with the Terry family when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry gave his life in the line of duty in 2010. Today we stand just as unified for the purpose of honoring and preserving his legacy.

“The unanimous support with which the Brian A. Terry Memorial Act passed the United States Senate is a tribute to Agent Terry’s career of service to our country and to the Border Patrol’s distinguished history of intrepidity and sacrifice for the sake of homeland security.

 

Republican Lawmakers Want to Defund Program Requiring Rifle Reporting in Border States

atf file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The combustable combination of  politics and guns continues in the election year.

The Republicans screamed about a failed ATF program — Fast and Furious — that let guns into Mexico.

Now, the House Republicans, who claim President Obama is anti-gun, is trying to cut off funding for a program that requires firearms dealers in border states to report multiple sales of certain rifles that could end up in the hands of the Mexican cartels, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The paper reports that Obama has vowed to veto the House’s plan, which is contained in a larger $51 billion spending package.

“The Obama administration fundamentally dislikes guns, and more importantly it distrusts gun owners,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., author of the de-funding provision, according to the paper. “They also know that a frontal assault on the Second Amendment would be political suicide, so instead they’ve sought to undermine gun rights more subtly.”

To read the full story click.

 

Should Secret Service Agents Take Polygraphs After Being Hired?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Should Secret Service agents be polygraphed after they join the agency?

Ronald Kessler of Newsmax seems to suggest that.

He writes that agents must take a poloygraph test to get the job. But not after that.

In contrast, he reports that FBI employees are polygraphed every five years, and counterintelligence agents, sometimes more often.

To read the full story click here.