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Archive for September, 2013

FBI Agent Who Ran Sex Crimes Task Force Accused of Abusing His Authority

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who operated a sex crimes task force in Georgia is accused of using his position to get out of at least three drunken driving investigations, CBS in Atlanta reports.

Ken Hillman, who ran the northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, abused his authority while being pulled over on suspicions of DUI, according to defense attorney McCracken Poston, who represents some of the child abuse suspects.

Poston showed a dash cam video as evidence.

“Because of his badge and his connections he got out of at least three instances when he should have been investigated for driving under the influence. Maybe more,” Poston told CBS in Atlanta.

Senate Panel Explores Effectiveness of Homeland Security Department on Sept. 11 Anniversary

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How prepared is Homeland Security to handle terrorism threats?

On the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Senate panel will ask that question as it examines the department and interviews former lawmakers and past DHS officials, including the first Homeland Security secretary, Tom Ridge, the Washington Post reports.

The panel plans to review issues ranging from cybersecurity to disaster preparedness.

DHS was created by President Bush and Congress in 2003 in response to the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.

Co-Chairmen of 9/11 Commission: U.S. Needs to Improve Oversight of Homeland Security

Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton
New York Times Op-Ed
 
No single event in the last half-century has had a greater effect on American national security policy than the terrorist attacks that occurred 12 years ago today. When we co-chaired the 9/11 Commission, which was set up in 2002 and issued its report on the attacks in 2004, we investigated the failures that left our country vulnerable and recommended 41 actions to correct them and strengthen our national security.

Nine years after the 9/11 Commission made its case, our country is still not as safe as it could and should be. Though the vast majority of our recommendations have been followed, at least in part, Congress has not acted on one of our major proposals: to streamline the way it oversees homeland security.

In a cumbersome legacy of the pre-9/11 era, Congress oversees the Department of Homeland Security with a welter of overlapping committees and competing legislative proposals. The department was created in 2002 out of 22 agencies and departments. More than 100 congressional committees and subcommittees currently claim jurisdiction over it. This patchwork system of supervision results in near-paralysis and a lack of real accountability.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Retired ATF Official Phillip R. Price Dies at Age 75

Phillip Price

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Phillip R. Price, a 23-year veteran of ATF, died Sunday morning. He was 75 and was from Lancaster, Ky.

After serving in the military, Price returned to his home state of Kentucky to become a state trooper.

In 1967, Price was recruited to join the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the IRS, (known today as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives, or, ATF).

During his 23 year career with ATF, Price held field and supervisory assignments in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Washington,

DC, where he retired in 1988 as the Chief of the Special Operations Division. He retired from ATF in 1988.

After that, he began a second career as an investigator for the U.S. Department of State. He served the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for 25 years until his passing.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Deirdre. He is also survived by his sister, Helen Coburn of

Livermore, CA, his daughter Lori Gibbs of The Plains, VA, his son, Adam, of Washington, DC, his grandson, Matthew Gibbs of Pensacola, FL, his niece, Karen Stanfield of Lexington, his niece, Tammy Thurman of Livermore, CA, and his nephew, Tony Coburn of Sonoma, CA. Also mourning Phillip’s loss is Roxann Stacey of Sherrills Ford, NC, his first wife and the mother of his children, and her husband Anthony Stacey, with whom he remained close. He is preceded in death by his mother, Lilia Mae Price, and sister, Patsy Evans of Prestonsburg.

A viewing is planned for Friday, September 13, 2013 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Spurlin Funeral Home in Lancaster, Ky.Viewing will be followed by a brief service at 8:00pm.

 

 

Retired FBI Official Says of the FBI’s Robert Mueller III: “I Never Doubted His Dedication to This Organization”

As part of an effort to get a broad view of Robert S. Mueller III’s tenure as FBI director, I’ve asked people to write and tell me what they think.  On Monday I published some comments. Later in the day,  I received this from Tom McClenaghan, a retired FBI agent. — Allan Lengel

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Tom McClenaghan

I retired four years ago after 25 years in the FBI. Had the pleasure of being SAC in two field offices and was able to see first hand Director Mueller’s impact on the Bureau.

While I didn’t always agree with some of his decisions I never doubted his dedication to this organization. I wonder if some of his Bureau critics have forgotten how perilously close the FBI was to being broken up into two agencies along the lines of MI5 and Scotland Yard .

At the time, Great Britain was finally realizing the dysfunctional nature of having its domestic intelligence and national law enforcement agencies separated and were making attempts to combine their efforts following the FBI model. Despite this, members of Congress were very close to breaking up the FBI into a likewise organizational mess. I don’t believe anyone other than Mueller could have convinced the Bureau critics in Congress to leave the FBI in its current form.

To read additional comments click here. 

Records: FBI Continues to Investigate Deceased Rolling Stone Journalist Michael Hastings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI continues to investigate Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, who died in a car crash in June, for “controversial reporting,” Al Jazeera America reports.

The bureau opened a file on Hastings on June 11, 2012 “to memorialize controversial reporting by Rolling Stone magazine on June 7, 2012,” according to records obtained by the news agency in a FOIA request.

The story, called “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” featured a lengthy investigation about U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009.

Details of the investigation remain fuzzy, but the FBI documents describe Hastings’ store as igniting “a media frenzy, speculating about the circumstances of [redacted] capture, and whether U.S. resources and effort should continue to be expended for his recovery.”

‘Dirty Old Man’ Charles Bukowski, a Late Novelist and Poet, Was Subject of FBI Scrutiny

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Late novelist and poet Charles Bukowski was not ashamed to admit it – he was a “dirty old man.”

That caught the FBI’s attention, as did Bukowski’s potential ties to the underground press, reports the Los Angeles Times.

More than 100 pages of FBI files from 1968 show agents investigated Bukowski, a postal worker and notorious drunk, but had a hard time finding anything relevant.

The focus was on Bukowski’s recurring column, “Notes From a Dirty Old Man,” which ran in the underground newspaper Open City, a subject of FBI interest.

Former FBI Analyst Gets More Than 4 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Porn

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI analyst was sentenced to more than three years in prison Monday for possessing child pornography, The Washington Post reports.

Keith Dietterle, 28, who admitted to sending a pornographic image to an undercover officer, was nabbed in an undercover sting in November.

Dietterle was busted after communicating through a social networking site with an undercover officer who was posing as the father of a young girl, the Post reported.

Dietterle was sentenced to 42 months in prison and 10 years of supervised released, the Post wrote.