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Archive for August, 2013

Retired Federal Michigan Judge Wendell A. Miles Dies at 97

Judge Miles

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Retired U.S. District Judge Wendell A. Miles of the Western District of Michigan died last Wednesday. He was 97.

Miles was appointed to the bench in 1974 by President Richard Nixon. Twelve years later, he took senior status and continued to hear cases until the end of 2008 when he took inactive status, according to an obituary posted at the funeral home of Metcalf &Jonkhoff.

In 1989, he was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a seven year term.

His full obituary is included below. It was posted on the website of Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service.

MILES, WENDELL The Honorable Wendell A. Miles, retired United States District Judge for the Western District of Michigan, age 97, of Grand Rapids, passed away on July 31, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mariette B. Miles in 2009.

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New Documentary on JFK Assassination Suggests Secret Service Accidentally Shot JFK

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The endless search for answers in the JFK assassination was the impetus for yet another film.

“JFK: The Smoking Gun” pursues this question: Did a Secret Service Agent accidentally shoot President Kennedy in Dallas in November of 1963?

The docudrama that will air on ReelzChannel is based on the book, “Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK,” reports the Associated Press.

The film suggests that agent George Hickey was driving behind the president when he accidentally shot the president after Lee Harvey Oswald fire his first shot.

“What we’re saying is that we believe it was a tragic accident in the heat of that moment,” McLaren told the Television Critics Association on Sunday.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Closing Arguments to Begin in Murder, Racketeering Trial of ‘Whitey’ Bulger

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The murder and racketeering case against accused mobster James ‘Whitey” Bulger may have reached its final days as prosecutors and defense attorneys prepare to present lengthy closing arguments today, the Associated Press wrote.

The nearly eight-week trial will give way to closing arguments after jurors heard testimony about 19 killings in which Bulger is accused of being involved.

It has been a long time coming. The 83-year-old man fled Boston ahead of an indictment, and he remained one of the most wanted fugitives until he was found in California in 2011.

Judge Denise Casper has given each side three hours and 15 minutes to present closing arguments.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday.

Federal Agencies Complain of Being Unable to Access NSA’s Surveillance Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal intelligence agencies have been complaining of a lack of access to the NSA’s trove of surveillance information, creating what the New York Times called “turf fights.”

The Times reports that the NSA has been rejecting numerous requests for information from agencies working on cases that range from cyberattacks to money laundering.

NSA investigators said the requests were rejected because the cases weren’t considered high priority enough.

NSA officials maintain they have been careful about violating Americans’ privacy rights.

“It’s a very common complaint about N.S.A.,” said Timothy H. Edgar, a former senior intelligence official at the White House and at the office of the director of national intelligence. “They collect all this information, but it’s difficult for the other agencies to get access to what they want.”

 

Report: FBI Background Checks Are Riddled with Inaccuracies That Cost People Jobs

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As employers increasingly rely on FBI background checks before hiring prospective employees, a new report shows the process is riddled with errors and omissions, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The report from the Employment Law Project estimates that 1.8 million workers are subjected to faulty background checks.

“As millions of workers struggle to navigate a still-challenging job market, the FBI must avoid creating wrongful barriers that cause unnecessary job loss and financial harm,” the report’s authors wrote. “The FBI is more than a mere receptacle of information; the imprimatur of the FBI marks the records as authoritative and trustworthy.”

That’s not good news for the increasing number of people who are subjected to FBI background checks. In the past decade, the number increased six times to 17 million last year.

USA Today Exclusive: FBI Allowed Informants to Commit 5,600 Crimes

By Brad Heath
USA Today

WASHINGTON — The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation’s top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.

The U.S. Justice Department ordered the FBI to begin tracking crimes by its informants more than a decade ago, after the agency admitted that its agents had allowed Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to operate a brutal crime ring in exchange for information about the Mafia. The FBI submits that tally to top Justice Department officials each year, but has never before made it public.

Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies. FBI officials have said in the past that permitting their informants — who are often criminals themselves — to break the law is an indispensable, if sometimes distasteful, part of investigating criminal organizations.

To read the full story click here.

Ex-F.B.I. Agent Is Charged In Plot to Sell Documents


Robert Lustyik Jr.

By Benjamin Weiser
New York Times
A former F.B.I. special agent has been accused of conspiring to sell confidential bureau documents to a Bangladeshi man who was seeking to harm the reputation of a political rival in his native country, authorities said Friday

The former agent, Robert Lustyik, was with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in late 2011 when he began plotting with a friend, Johannes Thaler, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Friday in Federal District Court in White Plains, N.Y.

“I will work my magic …. We r sooooooo close,” Agent Lustyik wrote in an exchange of text messages with Mr. Thaler, the complaint said.

“I know,” Mr. Thaler replied. “It’s all right here in front of us. Pretty soon we’ll be having lunch in our oceanfront restaurant.”

To read full story click here.

 

Read the press release 

Weekend Series on Crime: How Hackers Changed the World

httpv://youtu.be/Rj35GguOAGE