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Archive for November, 2014

FBI Letter to MLK Reveals How Much J. Edgar Hoover Hated the Civil Rights Leader

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s well-known that notorious FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover loathed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

That has never been made clearer than in an uncensored letter from Hoover to King that was recently found among the former director’s archives, the New York Times wrote.

In the letter, Hoover calls King “a colossal fraud” and “a dissolute, abnormal moral imbecile.” The letter is based on King’s lively sex life, which had been known only by his inner circle.

“You are finished,” Hoover wrote. “It is all on the record – your sexual orgies.”

Hoover warned there was “but one way out for you,” possibly referring to suicide.

“You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”

Despite Hoover’s obsession with spoiling King’s reputation, history tells a different story. King is remembered as a vigilant leader of nonviolence and equality. Hoover, on the other hand, has a reputation as a bully with little concern for civil liberties.

Law Firm: Alabama Prison System Rife with Abuse, Should be Investigated by DOJ

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Widespread corruption, misconduct and abusive behavior were found in Alabama’s prison system following a six-month investigation by a nonprofit law firm.

Now the firm, the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, is urging the Justice Department to conduct a formal investigation, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Alleging extreme violence, security problems and a culture of fear at the prisons, the firm filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Corrections last month.

EJI Director Bryan Stevenson said the problems are widespread and won’t change until the Justice Department gets involved.

“It’s not adequate to say we don’t have the money to do better,” Stevenson said. “A lot of these problems reflect cultural problems, leadership problems and management problems that don’t directly relate to the budget.”

John Doar, a civil rights fighter for Justice Department in 1960s, dies at 92

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Few people in law enforcement played as key a role as John Doar in protecting civil liberties of African Americans.

A top civil rights lawyer for the Justice Department in the 1960s, Doar died Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

He was 92 and had congestive heart failure in New York.

Doar served as a civil rights lawyer from 1960-67 and rose assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s Civil Rights Division.

One of Doar’s most memorable times was escorting James Meredith onto the campus of the University of Mississippi when the governor and angry crowd tried to maintain segregation at the school.

Doar also was the lead prosecutor in the successful case against white thugs who killed three civil rights workers.

“This was the first time that white persons were convicted for violent crimes against blacks in Mississippi. It was a historic verdict,” Doar said in a 2009 C-SPAN interview.

Attorney General Eric Holder described Doar in a statement as a “giant in the history of the rights movement” as well as “a personal hero and an embodiment of what it means to be a public servant.” President Barack Obama described him as “one of the bravest American lawyers of his or any era.”

Mother of Teen Shot by Border Patrol Wants Name of Agent to Be Made Public

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Should the name of a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican teen be released to the public?

A federal judge is expected to hear arguments Thursday from the family of the teen who wants the agent to be identified, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The mother of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez filed suit against the agent over the summer, alleging violations of the fourth and fifth amendments.

The Government said it would identify the agent but only if the name remained sealed until a court decision was made on whether to name him.

Both sides are expected to make arguments Thursday.

“It’s yet another version of the same old story,” said James Lyall, an attorney with the Arizona Civil Liberties Union of Arizona based in Tucson.

“An agency that tries to resist transparency and accountability even in a situation where the courts and public expects this kind of information to be made public,” he said.

Opinion: Loretta Lynch Is Experienced, Skilled & Ready to Lead Justice Department

By Democrat & Chronicle
Editorial Board
 
After the shellacking that President Obama took in last week’s midterm elections, the last thing he needs is another fight. That’s why he was wise to nominate Loretta Lynch as the nation’s next attorney general.

The Senate, which switches to Republican control starting in January, should have little difficulty confirming Lynch, who has a track record of being a top-notch federal prosecutor.

And because Lynch has been given Senate clearance twice in recent decades to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Brooklyn-based Eastern District, and was found to be apolitical for the most part, she should be confirmed before year’s end.

Otherwise, there could be a protracted confirmation process next year that, no doubt, could have much more to do with GOP disdain for retiring Attorney General Eric Holder than Lynch.

Obama, cognizant of how disliked Holder is among Republicans, chose in Lynch someone who, unlike his current attorney general, is not close to him. Rather, the Harvard Law School graduate’s record of accomplishment speaks volumes for her.

The highest profile case Lynch guided was the successful prosecution of New York police officers accused of beating and sodomizing a Haitian immigrant in the late 1990s. But her legal portfolio is wide-ranging, including major cases involving public corruption, terrorism, civil rights, financial fraud and cybercrime.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns about Lynch’s preparedness to leap from being a U.S. attorney to taking over as U.S. attorney general. Yes, it is a considerable jump in scope. But having served as a U.S. attorney both during the Clinton years and the past four under Obama has given Lynch solid executive experience that equips her for the top job.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest

Prosecutors Defend FBI’s Ruse to Send Agents into Hotel Suites As Internet Repairmen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors defended the FBI’s controversial decision shut off the Internet connection to three luxury Las Vegas suites in a ruse to send in undercover agents to “fix” the problems, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden and two other government lawyers filed a lengthy court filing defending the practice.

The response comes after the defense asked a judge to dismiss the evidence gathered in the illegal gambling case against eight suspects.

“Law enforcement has long been permitted to obtain consent by posing as a confederate, business associate, or service provider. In fact, the government uses ruses every day in its undercover operations,” the prosecutors wrote in defense of the FBI operation.

The prosecutors said the ruse was legal because it still gave the defendants a choice of letting in the agents.

“Disruption of the (high speed Internet) did not — in any legitimate sense — require immediate attention,” prosecutors wrote.

FBI Denies Pressuring Witness to Back Off Testifying in Oklahoma City Bombing Case

Timothy McVeigh

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Did Timothy McVeigh act alone when he detonated a bomb in Oklahoma in 1995?

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue believes there’s video evidence to prove that McVeigh had help.

But the FBI, after many delays, finally issued a report that shows the bureau did not pressure a government operative into not testifying, the Associated Press reports.

The records indicate the former operative, John Matthews, didn’t want to testify and asked not to be a part of the case.

FBI inspectors concluded Matthews was never discouraged from testifying after they reviewed five recorded phone conversations between Matthews and an agent.

According to one transcript, Matthews was insistent he didn’t want to testify.

“I’m going to sit there on the stand and say I don’t recall anything,” he said.

 

GOP Senate Chairman Pledges to Crack Down on Immigration with Border Security Bill

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President Obama is preparing to take executive action on immigration, an incoming GOP Senate chairman has pledged to create a stronger border security bill, the Associated Press reports.

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is about to become chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

His plan is to introduce legislation that would discourage illegal immigration.

Republicans fear Obama plans to remove the threat of deportation for millions of immigrants.

“Regardless of what President Obama does I’m going to move forward with a very strong border security bill,” Johnson said. “I hope President Obama doesn’t take that executive action because I think for many people that will poison the well and certainly make it more difficult to solve the immigration problem.”

Johnson said he plans to waste no time and will act “as quickly as we can” once Congress convenes in January.