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Archive for December, 2013

With Terrorism And Other Crimes, Chicago’s FBI Struggles to Find Resources to Combat Violent Crime in Chicago

Robert Holley

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI’s Chicago office continues to make terrorism a top priority, the bureau is facing pressure to help quell violence in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

But Robert Holley, the special agent in charge in Chicago, said his office lacks the staff to adequately combat violent crime. In addition to terrorism, his 850 agents, analysts and support staff,  also are tied up investigating cyberattacks, financial fraud, political corruption and bank robberies. About half of the 850 are actually agents.

Holley pointed out that budget problems mean a hiring freeze.

“We will go after the worst of the worst, and we will go after the gang leadership. That has to be our focus,” said the 18-year FBI veteran, who has met with Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and plans to speak with Mayor Rahm Emanuel next month. “(But) if I put more resources on violent crime, I’d have to take away from other things… I’m not prepared to accept that risk right now.”

 

New York Times: New Homeland Security Head Jeh Johnson Needs to Fix Immigration Enforcement

New York Times 
Editorial

The Senate has confirmed Jeh Johnson, once the Pentagon’s top lawyer, to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Johnson brings a sharp legal mind and reputation for probity to the job. He will need both to manage the department, a daunting agglomeration of agencies and missions and chronic management problems.

Every year the Government Accountability Office publishes a “high-risk list” of federal agencies and departments that it considers “most in need of transformation.” Homeland security has appeared on that list, year after year, for failing to become “a single, cohesive and effective department that is greater than the sum of its parts.” It has many parts: 22 agencies were folded into homeland security in 2003; today the department has more than 240,000 employees handling terrorism prevention, disaster response, immigration (legal and illegal) and many other things. Staffing vacancies are high. Morale is low.

What most needs fixing is immigration enforcement. Under Mr. Johnson’s predecessors, the department’s continually shifting strategies against illegal immigration had two things in common. They were ineffective and cruel. The administration of George W. Bush specialized in high-profile deportations. In one notorious instance, the government professed itself shocked to find Hispanics without papers working in a meat plant in Iowa, so it swooped in and removed them, devastating scores of families and the town they lived in.

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Merry Christmas From ticklethewire.com

The FBI Listed ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ As Communist Propaganda Intended to Malign the Upper Class

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a Christmas classic that has brought countless families together since the film’s release in 1946. 

But the FBI saw something far more sinister – Communist propaganda that “deliberately maligned the upper class,” according to Quartz.com., which cites a 1947 FBI report.

You see, Mr. Potter, the depraved banker who brings George Bailey close to bankruptcy and suicide “represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture.”

According to the FBI, it’s “a common trick used by communists.”

What the FBI apparently neglected to note was that George and Peter Bailey also are bankers.

“I think Mr. Capra’s picture, though it had a banker as villain, could not be properly called a Communist picture,” film critic John Charles Moffitt testified at the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. “It showed that the power of money can be used oppressively, and it can be used benevolently.”

It wasn’t uncommon in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s for the FBI to accused filmmakers of creating Communist propaganda.

httpv://youtu.be/frXklECPkD0

Former FBI Agent Takes Key Role in Oversight of Billions of Dollars in Settlement Money from BP Oil Spill

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former FBI agent will oversee the Deepwater Horizon Court-Supervised Settlement Program, which is responsible for paying out billions of dollars in private claims following the 2010 BP oil spill the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

That job goes to David Welker, who served as special agent in charge of the FBI’s New Orleans office until he retired in April 2012.

David Welker

Before the promotion, Welker was the claims program’s director of fraud, waste and abuse, a position he had held since June 2012.

FBI: Michigan Man Had Nothing to Do with Capture of Osama Bin Laden in 2011

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

In case you were wondering, a Michigan gem dealer had nothing to do with the capture of Osama bin Laden.

So says the FBI after Grand Rapids resident Tom Lee claimed he gave accurate information about the terrorist’s whereabouts in 2003, MLive.com reports.

Lee’s information was “not actionable” and “did not contribute” to his capture and death in Pakistan in May 2011, FBI spokesman David Porter said.

Therefore, Lee is not entitled to a $25 million reward for bin Laden’s capture, MLive wrote.

Lee made news in the past after his Chicago lawyers claimed his client provided critical information to tracking down bin Laden.

ATF Officials Defend Use of People with Mental Disabilities in Storefront Stings Nationwide

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Top ATF officials said they did nothing wrong by using people with mental disabilities in storefront stings nationwide, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The comments came during a meeting with The Arc, a disability rights group, that was outraged by the discovery that ATF agents used rogue tactics to conduct storefront stings.

The people with disabilities were often used to promote the operations and then arrested, the Journal Sentinel found last week.

ATF officials said they used “common sense” and acknowledged it was difficult determine who has mental disabilities.

“When we pointed out that perhaps everybody would be in a better position if they had training to recognize the characteristics or red flags that they are dealing with someone with a diminished capacity, they simply agreed that it would be worthwhile and appropriate, that ‘common sense’ could be more well-informed,” Peter Berns, head of The Arc, told the Journal Sentinel.

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Sen. McCain Still Unsatisfied with Senate’s Confirmation of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Already, the new Homeland Security secretary and Sen. John McCain have gotten off on the wrong foot, the Arizona Republic reports.

After missing the Senate’s 57-37 vote to confirm Jeh Johnson, McCain said he would have voted against the nomination. 

Johnson was tapped by President Obama to replace Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who left in September to take a university position.

McCain said he’s frustrated with Johnson’s refusal to explain the metric behind measuring the effectiveness of border security.

“My question to him was, ‘When you are the secretary, will you give me that information?’ ” McCain said Thursday. “And he refused to say that he would, which is really very unusual.”