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Archive for August, 2013

U.S. Blasts Russia for Granting Asylum to NSA Leaker Edward Snowden

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government has expressed deep disappointment over Russia’s decision to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the BBC reports.

The White House is considering a number of moves to express that disappointment, including canceling a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We’re extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and in private to have Mr Snowden expelled to the United States to face the charges against him,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “We’re evaluating the utility of a summit in light of this and other issues.”

Snowden walked out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Thursday with a gray shirt and a dark backpack, the Guardian reported.

“The Snowden story has exposed the impotence of 21st-century US power,” the Guardian wrote.

FBI Concludes It Could Not Have Prevented Boston Marathon Bombing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Facing mounting pressure to explain how the Boston Marathon bombers eluded suspicion, the FBI concluded Thursday that there was nothing the agency could do to prevent the attacks, the New York Times reports.

The FBI conducted server internal reviews of the bureau’s handling of Russian intelligence that warned the U.S. about one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Some members of Congress have argued the FBI could have done more to investigate Tsarnaev, who was killed during a shootout with police.

FBI officials said federal laws and Justice Department protocols prevented them from conducting a more extensive probe. Agents, for example, couldn’t conduct surveillance , such as wire-tapping, for that kind of investigations, the Times wrote.

The FBI also dismissed criticism that it should have investigated Tsarnaev after he returned from a trip to Russia in 2012 because there was no evidence he was radicalized.

Photos Showing Another Side ‘Whitey’ Bulger Includes a Priest Defrocked for Abusing Boys

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

But one photo showed Bulger relaxing on a sofa with a Catholic priest who had been defrocked for abusing young boys, ABC News reports.

The pictures were part of Bulger’s racketeering and murder trial as the defense winds down its arguments.

Other shots include Bulger with NFL hockey player Chris “Knuckles” Nilan holding the Stanley Cup, his two pet dogs and his girlfriend Catherine Greig.

“This is clearly an attempt to salvage his reputation. What other possible purpose is there to filing these kinds of documents?” Prosecutor Fred Wyshak said.

Today, Bulger must decide whether he’ll take the stand.

Muslims Oppose Appointment of Raymond Kelly As New Homeland Security Chief

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The potential nomination of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to the top position at Homeland Security has enraged Muslim-American groups, the Huffington Post reports.

Islamic groups said Kelly, as the head of the nation’s largest police force, oversaw the targeting of innocent Muslim based solely on their religion. Kelly also played a role in an anti-Islamic film, they said.

Kelly is believed to be a top choice of Obama to replace Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.

“Ray Kelly has a proven record of violating Americans’ basic civil rights,” said Glenn Katon, legal director of Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group based in San Francisco. “His willingness to use discriminatory policing methods against innocent citizens should concern Americans of every faith, ethnic and racial background.”

Will Accused Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Testify Today in Racketeering, Murder Trial

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The racketeering and murder trial of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is coming to an end, and the defense is expected to rest its case today.

All eyes are on Bulger, who has not said yet whether he will testify on his own behalf or let the witnesses doing the speaking for him, the Boston Globe reports today.

One of Bulger’s lawyers, J.W. Carney Jr. gave no indication whether Bulger would take the stand.

“Every criminal defendant has until the last witness is presented in the defense to make a decision as to whether he or she would testify,” Carney said.

Carney’s plan early on was to place Bulger on the stand, but the judge has ruled the defendant cannot use an immunity defense while testifying.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 FBI Uses Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects

‘Your Hell Is Just Beginning,’ Victim tells Ariel Castro

‘Security Threat’ Prompts Closure of U.S. Embassies on Sunday

Justice Department to File Civil Charges Against Bank of America

Boston Police Commission Rumored to Be Candidate for Homeland Security Post

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is Saluted

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Bob Mueller was saluted by top Justice Department officials and other colleagues Thursday as he prepares to give up the leadership of the premier federal law enforcement agency — an organization he took over just a week before the Sept. 11 attacks.

“This is a moment we’ve all really been dreading for quite some time: the day we have to try to do our jobs without Bob Mueller,” Attorney General Eric Holder told a crowd of several hundred gathered in the Great Hall at the Justice Department headquarters. “He has, in short, set the standard for what it means to be the director of the FBI.”

The send-off event turned out a who’s who of the U.S. national security apparatus, including former Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet and current Director John Brennan.

To read the full story click here.

Records Show FBI Aware of Potential Plot to Kill Leaders of Occupy Houston

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Were snipers planning to kill leaders of Occupy Houston in 2011?

The Houston Chronicle obtained FBI records that suggest the agency was aware of such a plan.

To be clear, the FBI was not involved, but the records indicate the agency knew about a potentially deadly plot.

FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dulap warned that the records were redacted and raw so they might not be entirely accurate.

According to the document, “An identified (DELETED) as of October [2011] planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identified (DELETED) had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. (DELETED) planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”

Congressman Wants New FBI Director to Reveal Information about Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation

Rep. Keating/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

With a new FBI director in place, at least one influential Congressman is pressing for more answers in the Boston Marathon bombings, the Boston Globe reports.

Rep. William Keating, D-Massachusetts, wants to know about blunders in the investigation, including the failure to properly follow up Russia’s warning about one of the bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

“It has been three and a half months since the terror attack in Boston, and the FBI has yet to answer the pressing questions that would help law enforcement and legislators better prepare against threats in the future,” Keating wrote.

Keating, a former district attorney, dismissed FBI concerns that the disclosures would compromise the case against the alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“As a former District Attorney, I understand the sensitivities surrounding an ongoing investigation; however, none of the questions I have would compromise the integrity of the investigation into the bombings,” Keating said. “I’m not looking to place blame. What I am looking to do is identify our security shortcomings and change them. Without forthright information from the FBI, we are prevented from taking the critical steps needed to protect the American public.”