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May 2013


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Archive for May, 2013

Column: Was the Nation Not Ready for a Woman FBI Director?

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel

In the end, President Obama opted for a white guy — and a lawyer at that — to head the FBI.

It appears America is not quite ready for a woman, or a black person for that matter, to head what the White House and some others clearly see as the most important federal law enforcement agency in the country.

I was skeptical that the President would pick a woman to head the FBI, even though the DEA,  U.S. Secret Service,  U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security are headed up by women. It just seems like one last hurdle — be it psychological or chauvinistic — presidential administrations have not been willing to jump over.

The press is reporting that Obama will pick James Comey, a former Justice Department deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush. Lawyers seem to be a popular choice to head the FBI. Robert S. Mueller III is a former federal prosecutor. So was Louis Freeh, though Freeh was also a former FBI agent and federal judge. Though it’s not hard to find FBI agents who were critical of either Freeh or Mueller, or both.

There had been speculation that a woman might get the nod.

Lisa Monaco

Specifically, Lisa O. Monaco had been mentioned as a front runner.  She is a former federal prosecutor who currently serves as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Another woman’s name that had  popped up was Jana Monroe, the former FBI special agent in charge of the Phoenix division, who is now Director, Corporate Security & Business Continuity Management at Southern California Edison in the Los Angeles area.

Whether Monaco or Monroe were actually the best choice is another question. Who knows?

Mike Mason, an African American ex-FBI official, who was the choice of the FBI Agents Association two years ago, didn’t seem to be in the mix this time around. This year, the association pushed for U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent.

If Comey is confirmed, and serves out his 10-ear term, that will take us to 2023.

Will the country be ready for a woman to head the FBI then?

We shall see.

Then again, if it were up to J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau still might not have women agents.


Comment from stvnbrwn54

Who knows about the nation’s readiness for a woman director, whatever the hell that means. I do know the nation is “ready” for idiodic journalists obsessed about gender to get a life!


Comment from Joe Bravo

Another lost opportunity. Another disappointment. And this, after re-election.


Comment from  craigmonson

The nation elected a black president, “the DEA, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security are headed up by women” and yet there is some “psychological” or “chauvanistic” hurdle against a woman to head the FBI? Given the facts quoted in the article, I find it extremely hard to accept the author’s conclusion.

Rather, I think the decision is based on a number of factors–qualifications, political correctness, ease of confirmation, public image, etc. etc. I doubt gender or race played any negative role at all in the decision….


 Comment from jbeckman

Unbelievable obssession with gender and race. The dynamics of racism are quickly reversing. A “white guy” is now a dissapointment in any position. This reporter could learn something from this President who has not used race in his agenda. Perhaphs some day the country will be ready for less “white guy” journalists and more women and minorities. Weak attempt at journalism and reporting. I am glad I stumbled onto this one.


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FBI Agent’s Stolen Car Is Found with Colt M-4 Rifle, Ammunition Still in Trunk

Steve Neavling

The New York FBI has recovered an agent’s car that was stolen in Queens. They were relieved to know no one removed from the trunk a Colt M-4 rifle, four loaded 20-round magazines and a bulletproof vest, ABC 7 reports.

The 2011 Toyota Camry was stolen Tuesday, prompting fears that the high-powered rifle would be taken.

The trunk’s interior was locked with a padlock, ABC 7 News reported. The car was recovered in the  Forest Hills section of Queens.

No arrests were made as of Thursday morning.

Homeland Security at Risk of Losing Millions Over Handling of Chemical Tracking

Steve Neavling 

Homeland Security’s struggle to track high-risk chemicals at plants like West Fertilizer Co. could result in the federal agency losing $9 million, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The threat by the U.S. House comes a month after the deadly fire and explosions at the Wester Fertilizer plant in Texas.

Homeland Security officials are under pressure to do a better job tracking dangerous chemicals, especially after government reports recently found oversight problems.

Officials: Chechen Man Shot in Apartment by Federal Agent Was Unarmed

Steve Neavling

A Chechen man killed by an FBI agent during an interview about his relationship with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was unarmed, the Washington Post reports.

What remains unclear is what instigated the fatal shooting by a federal agent.

“The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a statement Wednesday. “The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”

At the time of the shooting, Ibragim Todashev was being interviewed in his apartment on the morning of May 22 about a triple murder.

Furloughs? Overtime cuts? Border Patrol Agents Still Don’t Know What’s Looming

Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are in the dark about a lot of things these days.

With the fiscal year halfway through, agents still don’t know whether they will have furlough days or overtime reductions, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

A plan submitted by Customs and Border Protection to Congress seeks to eliminate the need for furloughs.

“However, other effects of sequestration will remain and will continue to have serious impacts on CBP’s operations, including nearly $600 million in cuts,” Jenny Burke, CBP spokeswoman, wrote in an email statement to the Star.


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