Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

August 2013
S M T W T F S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for August, 2013

Justice Department Files First Charges in Attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi

 

Rep. Issa/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly a year after protesters barged into the U.S. consulate in Benghazi , Libya, and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Justice Department filed the first criminal charges in the case, the Washington Post reports

According to numerous reports, the Justice Department filed an unspecified number of counts in the September 2012 attack on the consulate.

“The department’s investigation is ongoing. It has been, and remains, a top priority,” said Justice Department spokesman Andrew C. Ames, who declined to comment further.

Details remain unclear, but members of Congress are pressing the administration for more than charges.

“Osama bin Laden had been criminally charged long before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but was not apprehended,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. “Delays in apprehending the suspected Benghazi killers,” Issa added, “will only put American lives at further and needless risk.”

Deliberations Reach Second Day in Discrimination Suit Involving Missing Arm

Justin Slaby

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jurors may decide as early as today whether Army Ranger Justin Slaby, who had his arm blown off, was unfairly denied a job with the FBI because of his prosthetic arm, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Deliberations of the eight-person jury began Tuesday.

Slaby, 30, says he was fired after the FBI discovered he had a prosthetic arm.

In the trial, the FBI’s attorneys contended Slaby’s prosthetic arm was a hindrance.

Slaby said he performed well on the tests and was unfairly discriminated against.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Racketeering, Murder Trial of Accused Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Goes to Deliberations Today

 

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A jury will begin deliberating today in the nearly month-long racketeering and murder trial against suspected mobster James “Whitey” Bulger after both sides delivered extensive closing arguments Monday, CNN reports.

Bulger, who is accused of participating in 19 murders as the head of the former Winter Hill Gang, was called one of the most “vicious, violent and calculating criminals to ever walk the streets of Boston” by the prosecution Monday.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney questioned the credibility of many of the witnesses, pointing out that some have extensive criminal backgrounds.

“If you cannot say in your deliberation that I personally can believe (prosecution witnesses) beyond a reasonable doubt, then the government cannot prove its case about the alleged murders,” Carney told the jury.

The trial has been marked with colorful testimony and occasional outbursts from Bulger.

Chechen Father Arrives in U.S. to Sue FBI Over Death of His Son in Orlando

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The father of the Chechen man killed during an FBI interview at his home in Florida is suing the bureau for the wrongful death of his 27-year-old son, Time reports.

Abdulbaki Todashev, who lives in Chechnya, arrived in Tampa Monday to begin filing the suit with the help of the ACLU.

Todashev’s son, Ibragim, was killed while being interrogated by the FBI on May 22.

The son was being interrogated about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect when he was killed.

The FBI has refused to say what happened.

“He was shot seven times,” his father told Time. “In the heart and in the head. What is that if not murder?”

Jury to Decide Whether Prosthetic Hand Made Man Unfit for FBI in Discrimination Suit

Justin Slaby

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Was a former Army Ranger who had his hand blown off in a training accident unsuitable for the FBI?

A jury is expected to make that decision today in the discrimination case filed by Justin Slaby, who said he was ejected from an FBI training academy after authorities learned he had a prosthetic arm, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Slaby attempted to show in court that his disabled hand was as capable to fire a weapon and perform other duties as a real hand.

FBI instructors and trainers said Slaby was unable to safely fire a gun, a claim that Slaby denies.

Slaby said after the trial that he’s remaining strong.

“I have no emotions or feelings right now, I’m just kind of focused,” he told a reporter. “I’ve been continually thinking that it’s amazing this had to come this far. It didn’t need to happen.”

Head of U.S. Border Patrol in Blaine Was Removed from His Position

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

John C. Bates, the head of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Blaine Sector, was removed from his post Monday after serving for six years as chief patrol agent for the sector, the Bellingham Herald reports.

The reason, however, remained a mystery this morning after authorities declined to say what happened.

Bates was in charge of protecting the borders of Washington, Alaska and Oregon.

He had been with the agency since 1985.

Blaine is the second leader to be removed from the Blaine sector in the last five years. A deputy chief was arrested for having sex with an underage girl, according to the Bellingham Herald.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Robert Foley, Head of FBI’s Detroit Office, is Stepping Down Because of Family Illness

Robert Foley/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detroit’s FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley, whose family home was custom built in the Motor City when he took the job nearly a year ago, told the Detroit Free Press today that he is stepping down.

But the East Coast native isn’t leaving the FBI; he’s taking a job fighting public corruption in Florida, the Free Press reported.

Foley, whose career with the FBI spans 17 years, said his move was prompted by a recent health issue in his family. He said he’s moving to Florida because he has a lot of family support there.

“I fell in love with the people, their worth ethic, their strength,” Foley told the Free Press of Detroiters. “Despite the many challenging economic issues here … Detroit will turn around. It’s a place full of hope, inspiration and hard work that will get it to turn around.”

Ex-Prosecutor Turned Author Tries to Shield Her Parents from the Steamy Sex Scenes

Featured_leotta_7113
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Allison Leotta, a Detroit native living in the D.C. area, likes to send her parents in Michigan a draft of her new novels — minus the chapters with the steamy sex scenes.

“I take out those chapters,” says Leotta, a Michigan State University graduate.

But her mother, Diane Harnisch, of West Bloomfield, Mich., says at least with the last transcript, her daughter may have forgotten to excise those chapters. Not that it really matters. She says she reads the published books as well.

“I want to know exactly what she’s writing,” says Harnisch. “Of course as a mom, it makes me a little uncomfortable  at times. and wondering how in heavens name does she know that stuff.”

Her parents and grandmother are perhaps her  biggest fans, but certainly not the only ones.

Leotta, 40,  who is married and the mother of two young boys, is on fire in the literary world.

Described in the Providence Journal as a female John Grisham, the former D.C. sex crimes prosecutor will release her third novel “Speak of the Devil”, Tuesday.

It’s part of the ongoing series centering around a fictional sex crime prosecutor named Anna Curtis. On day of the debut, she’ll appear for a book signing at 7 p.m. at Books-A- Million on Southfield Road in Beverly Hills.

The third book isn’t her last.

Leotta recently signed a contract with Touchstone/Simon & Schuster to write two more novels as part of the series, she tells Deadline Detroit.

In her latest book, the main character, prosecutor Anna Curtis gets engaged. That’s the good news.

On the downside, one of her cases takes a vicious turn.  A criminal named Diablo — the Devil — leads an attack on a brothel. It results in an investigation into the dangerous  MS-13 gang, which has roots in El Salvador.  Curtis tries to keep her personal and professional life separate.  But the dangers of the job come to her doorstep.

Leotta says this book is a little darker than previous works, “but it’s a lot more suspenseful. People who have read it have been surprised by all the twist and turns.”

A  sex crimes prosecutor, she left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. in 2011 to write full time.

While working as a prosecutor she wrote her first novel “Law of Attraction.” As policy, the Justice Department had to review the transcript for any security breaches. Leotta wasn’t worried about that. What concerned her was having colleagues having read the sex scenes.

Leotta, who grew up in Franklin and Farmington Hills, and attended Harvard Law School, always can depend on two people to help generate interest in her book signings in Metro Detroit:  Her father, Alan Harnisch of Troy, who is  a former federal prosecutor, and her mother.

“They’re my biggest fans,” she says. “They never fail to pack the bookstore with friends whenever I’m there.”

Her mother says: “I couldn’t be more proud of her or in awe of her ability.”

Interestingly, Leotta says her grandmother has read the books as well — steamy scenes and all.

“With my grandma, she read the published  books, and she said she was shocked, and said ‘ how did you learn all that stuff?”

Besides writing books, Leotta has a blog, The Prime Time Crime Review, which evaluates crime shows for true-to-life  accuracy.