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Archive for December, 2014

Border Patrol Agents Intercept Invasive Insects from Latin American Cargo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol agents aren’t just worried about illegal immigrants and terrorists entering the U.S.

Fox News reports that CBP agriculture specialists intercepted invasive insects coming from in on container ships.

“Keeping these insect pests out of the United States is of grave concern for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and our agriculture specialists take their job very seriously,” Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia, said in a press release. “Holding the line against destructive insects at our nation’s borders protects America’s varied agricultural industries, and saves our nation’s economy the expense associated with eradicating and recovering from new invasive species.”

Because many bugs can be dangerous to humans, livestock and ecosystems, the U.S. has stringent rules on the types of bugs allowed into the country.

One of the recent seizures involved a seed bug that came from a shipment in Costa Rica. It poses serious risks to crops, shrubs, grains and trees.

Suspected Drug Smuggler Sues U.S. After Border Patrol Dog Mauls Him

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A drug smuggler mauled by a Border Patrol dog while trying to bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border is suing the federal government, The Week reports.

Jose Manual Marino-Najera, 31, said he crossed the border into Arizona and fell asleep under a tree when the dog mauled him.

The lawsuit claims the agents “ignored his cries for help.”

Marino’s attorney said the lawsuit is possible, even though the defendant was in the country illegally, because he was in the U.S. at the time of incident.

The suit seeks lost income and compensation for severe pain and suffering.

Stories of Other Interest

 

 

FBI Director Refuses to Say “Never” When It Comes to Agents Impersonating Reporters

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James Comey said he’s unwilling to pledge an end to agents posing as reporters, but emphasized that such a tactic should be rare and “done carefully with significant supervision, if it’s going to be done,” the Seattle Times reports.

The comments at a round-table discussion with reporters came after recent revelations that an FBI agent posed as an Associated Press reporter in 2007 to investigate high school bomb threats.

The AP asked that the tactic stop.

“I’m not willing to say never,” Comey responded. “Just as I wouldn’t say that we would never pose as an educator or a doctor or, I don’t know, a rocket scientist.”

The AP argues that posing as a reporter degrades a news agency’s “legacy of objectivity, truth, accuracy and integrity.”

Comey said that he’s not familiar with any other instances in which agents posed as reporters.

“I think it’s something that ought to be done carefully with significant supervision if it’s going to be done,” he said. “But I’m not in a position to say never.”

 

Justice Department Says It Won’t Reopen Criminal Probe Into Torture Cases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department roiled civil rights advocates on Tuesday by saying it would not reopen a criminal probe into the CIA’s handling of terrorism suspects following a sobering report about torture, the USA Today reports.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report disclosed several types of abuse – water-boarding, extreme sleep deprivation and others – by the CIA.

“The true test of our nation’s character comes now,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. “Will we make excuses and try to defend the indefensible? Or will we finally acknowledge that our nation crossed a terrible line, and start talking about accountability?”

A Justice Department officials told the USA Today that investigators in the probe “reviewed the committee’s full report and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination.”

FBI Issues Bulletin to Law Enforcement Following Release of CIA Torture Report

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI released a bulletin to law enforcement following the disclosure Tuesday that the CIA tortured terrorism suspects.

Here is the bulletin, written by Jeremy W. Francis:

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, law enforcement agencies engaged in the Global War on Terrorism. Police officers, along with firefighters and emergency medical personnel, were the first to respond during the largest loss of civilian life from violent acts of terrorism in America’s history. In the decade following, law enforcement leaders agreed that police departments were not as prepared as they could have been to respond to a terrorist attack.

During the initial response to an incident, no level of administration is more important than the local government. State, county, and municipal law enforcement officers will be the first to respond should an event occur. Therefore, law enforcement agencies should be better prepared today than they were before September 11.

In the author’s survey of 31 municipal and county law enforcement organizations, 41.2% of senior executives—chiefs of police and sheriffs—communicated that they are no better prepared to respond to a terrorist attack today. The majority of leaders reported that their agency’s overall readiness was average or above average; however, 22.5 percent of executives stated that their department’s ability to respond to terrorism measured below average or inadequate. This indicates that improvements are necessary to increase the preparedness posture of law enforcement agencies.

Organizational culture and challenges correlate to terrorism preparedness. One mechanism to improve preparedness in law enforcement agencies is to enhance the culture of operational readiness. When leaders apply change through the organization’s culture, the likelihood of positive results increases.

Tangible, overt, or verbally identifiable elements in an organization are called artifacts. The artifacts of law enforcement organizational culture are examined further as 1) processes— communication, planning, and training; 2) resources—spending and equipment; and 3) personnel. These are the most visible and straightforward elements to increase change in the organization.

The author’s research demonstrated that positive organizational culture improves operational preparedness. This inclination enhances an agency’s ability to respond to a terrorist attack. This occurs because organizational change through culture reduces resistance and increases readiness.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol Once Again Has Lowest Worker Morale Among Federal Agencies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Once again, the Homeland Security Department is the most miserable place to work in the federal government

The Washington Post reports that the department ranked last in overall employee satisfaction and commitment.

The score among employees reached historic lows for the annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson knows morale is a problem and pledged to make it a priority just before his Senate confirmation last year. Since then, the department has created an employee steering committee to honor outstanding workers.

Employee satisfaction and commitment declined three points to 44%.

ATF Gets Tips, Surveillance Videos in Rash of Arson Fires in Ferguson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The ATF may be closer to solving some of the fires that were set in Ferguson on the night of the grand jury decision, CBS St. Louis reports.

With a reward of $10,000 being offered for information leading to the arrest of an arsonist, the ATF has been fielding tips and has received surveillance videos.

“And all of that is very beneficial,” says John Ham, spokesman with ATF.

“Even if it’s just word of mouth, that somebody has started one of these fires, or was associated with one of these fires in any way, that’s information that we would be interested in having,” he says.

The ATF is investigating the more than 20 fires set that night.

Stories of Other Interest


 

 

Senate Torture Report Condemns C.I.A. Interrogation Program

By Mark Mazzetti
New York Times

WASHINGTON — A scathing report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.

The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A.’s operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also provides a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.

To read the full story click here.