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Archive for October, 2013

President of Victims Group for Pan Am Flight 103 Hopeful for Justice

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 said he is hopeful the FBI will continue vigorously investigating the 1998 terrorist bombing, Syracuse.com reports.

The attack killed 270 people, and the only person convicted of the murders has been released from prison.

The FBI identified seven co-conspirators earlier this year, said the group’s president, attorney Frank Duggan.

“We don’t know how many of them are alive today,” Duggan told Syracuse.com. “That’s 25 years ago. The FBI never rests. They say they always get their man.”

But, he acknowledged, “We’re pretty far down the list.”

Justice Department Urges Court to Toss Lawsuit Filed by Florida Socialite Jill Kelley

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Florida socialite whose complaint to the FBI led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus, Lawyers.com reports.

Jill Kelley claims in a lawsuit that her reputation was tarnished when the government allegedly leaked her private e-mails to the media.

Some of the messages, according to leaks to the media, were sexually explicit.

The Justice Department claims the suit should be tossed because Kelley failed to substantial her claim that the government violated her privacy, Lawyers.com reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTERST

Border Patrol Accused of Excessive Force, Illegal Searches in Arizona

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are accused of using excessive force and conducting illegal searches on people in southern Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports.

The ACLU claims the abuses are occurring without any explanation and said scores of people have complained.

The ACLU is delivering an administrative complaint Thursday morning.

The complaints come just two weeks after the ACLU settled a lawsuit over similar Border Patrol methods in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

ATF Agent, Whistleblower Criticizes Agency for Blocking His Book from Being Published

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The ATF’s reason for blocking his book about the botched and deadly Operation Fast and Furious is “absurd,” the author said, the Dallas Morning News reports.

John Dodson, an ATF special agent who blew the whistle on the operation, said the book reveals important information about missteps in the agency.

“I think what happened, what we were doing, what the agency was doing, the Phoenix field division, operation itself, I think that is what is harmful for morale,” Dodson said. “I think that is what is a detriment to not only our relationships with other federal agencies, but our relationships with the American people and their trust in us.”

The AFT maintains it has the right to bar Dodson from writing the book “for any reason” because he’s a federal employee.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Hate Group Files Suit for Permission to Post Controversial Anti-Muslim Ads on Buses

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An anti-Muslim group is suing King County for refusing to let it post controversial FBI advertisements on Metro buses, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

The anti-terrorism ads previously ran until the FBI pulled them following complaints that the image, which depicts mostly non-white, Muslim terrorism suspects, perpetuated a negative stereotype of Muslims.

The New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative claims King County violated its first amendment rights to free speech by refusing to let the ads run, the Post-Intelligencer wrote.

The county did not comment.

Civil Rights Group Gets Access to Phone Secret Surveillance Unit Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New documents reveal more about the FBI’s cell phone surveillance group, which has the technology to listen to anyone’s calls, Slate reports.

The surveillance method was revealed in new documents received by the civil rights group, Electronic Privacy Information Center, using the Freedom of Information Act.

The technology, most commonly referred to as “Stingrays” are portable surveillance transceivers that trick phones into transferring onto a fake network, Slate wrote.

The FBI maintains it uses the phones to track information of individual suspects, but the group believes the surveillance may violate the federal Communications Act because it interferes with the cellphone signals.

Government Shut Down Leaves Justice Department Understaffed

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The government shutdown has made life difficult for the U.S. Department of Justice.

With just a fraction of the staff working, attorneys said they are overwhelmed by work, ABC News reports.

The shutdown forced so-called nonessential employees to stay home

“What bothers me the most about the entire situation is this whole idea that there are nonessential employees in the U.S. Attorneys office. None of my people are non essential,” U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance told ABC.

The Federal Public Defenders Office continues to operate, but only because it had reserve funds that are about to run out.

“Those funds are becoming depleted and will be depleted shortly. Once those funds are depleted, we will continue to represent the indigent,” Public defender Kevin Butler told ABC. “We will continue to provide quality representation. We simply will not be paid for our services.”

 

Air Force Staffer in Illinois Possessed Pipe Bombs Intended for Sex Offenders

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A 24-year-old Air Force staffer in Illinois is accused of having pipe bombs that he intended to use to attack sex offenders, the Associated Press reports.

Justin Vangilder, who also said he was feeling suicidal, was charged Friday with three felony counts.

Authorities said they found three pipe bombs, which he said he fantasized using on child molesters, the AP wrote.

Vangilder is assigned to Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois.