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February 2013


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Archive for February, 2013

Friday’s Planned Sequester Could Force Big Payroll Reductions at CBP

Steve Neavling 

CBP officials warned Congress that failing to prevent the planned sequester Friday would force the agency to cut hours by the equivalent of a quarter of its workforce – or 5,000 full-time workers, the Arizona Republic reports.

That will mean reduced border security and longer waits at airports and border entries, the CBP cautioned.

For now, the CBP plans to give 14 furlough days for every agent, the Arizona Republic reported.

Overtime hours also will be cut.

Union leaders told the Arizona Republican that agents and their families are encouraged to call Congress about the reductions.

Trial in Cannibalism Case Against NYPD Cop Begins with Testimony from Potential Targets

Steve Neavling

In the cannibalism trial of New York Police Officer Gilberto Valle, the big question is: Was the 28-year-old Queens resident serious about chopping up women and eating them?

“I’m dying to taste some girl meat,” Valley told an online friend, according to an FBI agent during the second day of testimony Tuesday, the Associated Press wrote.

In addition to a charge of conspiring to kidnap a woman, Valle also faces jail time for allegedly illegally accessing a government database for potential victims.

To prove their case that Valle was serious about his plan to kidnap a woman and eat her flesh, prosecutors summoned several potential targets to testify.

Author Speaks Out about New Book That Claims FBI Manufactured Terrorism Cases

Steve Neavling

Investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson has caused quite a stir since the release of his new book, “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism.”

Claiming in his book that most terrorism suspects could never have carried out an attack without the help of the FBI, Aaronson spoke at length with The Atlantic about his research.

Trevor Aaronson: The FBI is looking for what they term “a lone wolf terrorist,” which is someone holed up in an apartment somewhere who sympathizes with Al-Qaeda but may lack the specific means to do that. And so the FBI uses sting operations to [find] these people — these people who may want to commit an act of terrorism, are right on that line from moving from sympathizer to operator — and then through these sting operations, lure them out and get them involved in a terrorism plot that they’re ultimately prosecuted for. 

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American Writer, Leftist Gore Vidal Was Monitored by FBI for Decade

Steve Neavling

American writer Gore Vidal, a political leftist, was trailed by the FBI for about a decade, newly released bureau records show, U.S. News reports.

The FBI even recorded Vidal’s criticisms of then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who was known for his paranoid behavior. One of the criticisms comes in Vidal’s play, “The Best Man.”

In a radio interview, Vidal criticized Hoover for his persecution of suspected communists, the U.S. News reported.

The FBI record begin in 1960, when Vidal ran unsuccessfully for Congress and ended in 1970.

Newspaper to Examine FBI Treatment of Civil Rights Icons in 1960s photo

Steve Neavling

The FBI is releasing dozens of investigative files involving civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers as part of a lawsuit with The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., CNN reports.

Among the files is an investigation of Martin Luther King Jr. while in Memphis in 1968, CNN reported.

The bureau also examined the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and peace and black power movements.

The files are expected to shed light on how deeply the FBI probed the lives of civil rights leaders.

The newspaper won the right to examine the records after reaching a settlement under the Freedom of Information Act.

Illinois Man Charged After Claiming He Was Scammed by FBI in Home Search

Steve Neavling 

An Illinois man complained to local police nearly two weeks ago that two people impersonating FBI agents came into his South Elgin home and examined the contents of his computer.

Now the homeowner, L. John Toth, 51, has been charged with making a false police report, The Courier-News reports.

Turns out, those people were not scammers; they were real FBI agents investigating Toth for possessing child pornography, The Courier-News reported.

“The alleged offender failed to notify the police that he actually knew that the two subjects were actual agents and failed to notify police of specific incidences with the reason the agents were there,” said a statement from South Elgin police.

Border Patrol Agents Accused of Targeting Latinos

Steve Neavling

U.S. Border Patrol agents in Northern Ohio are accused of targeting Latinos and using racial slurs to describe them, WXYC NBC 3 reports.

The station reported that two federal lawsuits claims Latinos are targeted solely based on their race or appearance.

“Agents…are engaged in a pattern or practice of restraining, interrogating, and arresting persons regarding their  immigration status based on their being Hispanic,” attorneys wrote, in a 2009 lawsuit. “These seizures and interrogations have taken place in bus stations, gas stations, retail establishments, during traffic stops, (and) at soccer games.”

In court records, the Border Patrol denied any wrongdoing.