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Archive for October, 2015

Weekend Series on Crime Movies: Joe Pesci in Good Fellas


FBI Investigates Unregulated Fantasy Sports Industry That Is Exploding in Popularity

sports bettingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has opened an inquiry into daily fantasy sports websites amid complaints about insider information and predatory lending, the New York Times reports. 

The focus, according to players contacted by the FBI, was on Boston-based DraftKings, where an employee won $350,000 at a rival site.

The FBI also wants to know whether money was involved in states that prohibited betting on fantasy games.

Fantasy sites have become part of a billion-dollar industry that is unregulated but exploding in popularity.

FBI Agents Angry That President Obama Tried to Downplay Clinton’s Email Scandal

obama-official-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama incensed FBI agents when he downplayed the classified information from Hillary Clinton’s personal email before an investigation was even complete, the New York Times reports.

“I don’t think it posed a national security problem,” Mr. Obama said Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Trouble is, the FBI is still trying to determine the contents of the email and whether the information posed a national security risk.

“Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fact-finding inquiry leaves a foul taste in the F.B.I.’s mouth and makes them fear that no matter what they find, the Justice Department will take the president’s signal and not bring a case,” said Ron Hosko, a former senior F.B.I. official who retired in 2014 and is now the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.

Official Record of Police Shootings Has Major Omissions, Including Eric Garner, Tamir Rice

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Their killings prompted nationwide protests about the use of force by police but their names are missing from a federal government’s official database of homicides by officers, the Guardian reports. 

The absence of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford’s names raises new questions about the government’s official record of police shootings.

FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said the database is voluntary for police departments.

“We have no way of knowing how many incidents may have been omitted,” Fischer told the Guardian in an email.

A review by the Guardian found many flaws and omissions.

“It’s just another part of the cover-up and erasing of his murder from the record,” said Eric Garner’s daughter, Erica Garner.

Computer System That Checks Passengers Against Terrorism Watch Lists Goes Down

airport-people-walkingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security computer system designed to raise red flags about airline passengers on the terrorism watch lists stopped working at five airports on Wednesday night, The Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The system went down for about 90 minutes but did not appear to be malicious, according to CBP.

CBP officers used alternative methods to check for suspicious passengers.

It wasn’t immediately clear which airports were impacted, by NBC News reported security screening problems at John F. Kennedy Airport and airports in Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Baltimore.

Other Stories of Interest

Wall Street Journal: Obama Should Not Lobby FBI About Hillary Clinton Investigation

president obama state of unionBy Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal

President Obama’s interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday has rightly received attention for his defensiveness about Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria. But the President made other news that deserves more attention: to wit, his legal advice to the FBI and Justice Department about Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The FBI has acknowledged it is investigating the former Secretary of State’s use of a private server for official communications, especially her mishandling of classified information. Though she denied in April that classified material had crossed her server, we now know that was false. Hundreds of emails sent to or from her server contained national secrets, some highly classified. She used her own email system in violation of the Federal Records Act and in order to protect her emails from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and this evasion made her emails vulnerable to foreign hacking.

Yet when Steve Kroft asked if the server posed a security risk, Mr. Obama dismissed the idea by saying “I don’t think it posed a national security problem.” But how would he know unless his lawyers are filling him in on the investigation? Mr. Obama must know as a lawyer how inappropriate it is for a President to comment on a case being conducted by executive-branch officials who work for him.

FBI Director Comey Offers to Help Cities Deal with Escalation of Violence

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey expressed an urgency Wednesday in cracking down on a surge in violent crimes in inner cities.

Comey said he’s committed to helping local agencies with investigations and other tools, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. 

The violence, he said, was affecting “younger men of color killing each other … and there are no lives that do not matter.”

Comey noted an escalation of violence in Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago and Washington D.C.

“There are cities with nothing in common where this is happening,” said Comey, who was appointed to a 10-year term in 2013. “We have hit historic lows for violent crime recently, and if we let it slide back, we will need to explain to those who come after us what we did or didn’t to let that happen.”

Comey called for cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

“I’m not here announcing any big initiative or program … but we have a lot of smart people who we brought on board after 9/11 who may be able to help look at the issue differently,” Comey said. “We definitely need to bring more folks to bear.”

Complaints Paint Disquieting Portrait of Border Patrol Misconduct

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.Drivers routinely complain about misconduct at Border Patrol checkpoints near the Mexican border, according to newly released information, the New York Times reports. 

Among the complaints are verbal abuse, racial profiling and improper use of guns.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has accumulated 6,000 pages of complaints, statistics and other records related to alleged misconduct.

The New York Times reported:

Collectively, the documents, detailing encounters between motorists and border agents from January 2011 to August 2014, portray an agency whose fractured oversight system has enabled at least some agents working along the southern border to stretch the limits of law and professional courtesy while rarely facing meaningful consequences.

Among the 142 complaints obtained by the A.C.L.U., only one seems to have resulted in disciplinary action: An agent received a one-day suspension for unjustifiably stopping a vehicle, apparently driven by the son of a retired Border Patrol agent.

James Lyall, an A.C.L.U. lawyer dedicated to the border, said the records not only confirmed the types of stories his office regularly heard from border residents, but also suggested that Customs and Border Protection had underreported the number of civil rights complaints it had received.