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Archive for September 30th, 2016

Creepy Clown Hysteria Prompts Sheriff to Ask for Help from FBI, Homeland Security

Creepy clown, via Wikipedia

Creepy clown, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A clown hysteria has swept across social media and is now prompting law enforcement to take some drastic – and potentially unconstitutional – measures.

The panic appeared to start in August in Greenville, S.C., where clowns were reportedly luring children into the woods.

“From there, it ballooned into reports of people in clown costumes lurking in parks, assaulting people, chasing people and even threatening to kill people,” reports Network World, which chronicled law enforcement actions in light of the hysteria. 

A sheriff in Kentucky has asked the FBI and Homeland Security to help investigate a “creepy clown” threat. The sheriff in Gallatin County even warned that “clown threats” may face charges of “inducing panic and terroristic threatening.”

This week, Gallatin County Kentucky Schools said it received a “vague threat of violence” from two “clowns” who threaten to shoot high school students. As a result, school attendance plummeted 48%.

Network World wrote that most of the clown reports are rumors or pranks.

Gallatin County Sheriff Josh Neale told people to forward threatening messages from clowns to the police, who were “aggressively looking into each and every message.” Neale said he was consulting with the FBI and Homeland Security over the clown threats. He added, “The person or people making the ‘clown threats’ could face local charges of inducing panic and terroristic threatening.”

Other police have also addressed the clown threat after it was going viral in social media. Wearing a “full clown costume” in public got one man arrested in Kentucky. He was charged with “wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct.” He’s notthe only “clown” who has been arrested.

Kentucky’s Barbourville Police warned that dressing like a clown “can create a dangerous situation.” While “approaching people in a threatening manner” is illegal, so too is “assaulting, shooting, attacking or otherwise injuring someone simple because they are wearing a costume.”

Ex-CIA Official to Lead New National Background Investigations Bureau

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The new National Background Investigations Bureau will be led by the CIA’s former security director.

Charles Phalen Jr., who was working in the private sector after 30 years as a government employee, will start next week as the new bureau’s first director.

The NBIB was established last year to handle the massive government data breach at the Office of Personnel Management, the Associated Press reports. 

Phalen brings a lot of experience. He worked at the FBI and CIA.

The AP wrote:

The break-in at the OPM exposed security clearances, background checks and fingerprint records of more than 21 million current, former and prospective federal employees. That intrusion was widely blamed on China and led to the resignation of the OPM director and drew outrage over changing explanations about the severity of the hack.

The bureau will be part of OPM, but the Defense Department will design and operate the computer system that houses and processes people’s personal information.

Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM, told reporters that the bureau also is working to reduce the time it takes to investigate and issue or deny security clearances. Currently, it takes an average of 170 days to investigate a top-security clearance request, far exceeding the goal of 80 days, she said.

Other Stories of Interest

Donald Trump Speculates – with No Proof – That FBI Granted Clinton Immunity

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that Hillary Clinton was given immunity, along with five of her staffers, during the yearlong FBI investigation into her use of a private email server.

But the Republican presidential candidate, who has a history of lying and misleading voters, couldn’t substantiate his claims that the FBI gave Clinton immunity.

“They gave so much immunity there was nobody left to talk to. There was nobody left, except Hillary,” he said, Politico reports. “They probably gave her immunity, too. Do you think Hillary got immunity? Yeah, she had the immunity. She had something.”

The FBI has denied Clinton was promised immunity.

What is clear is that five Clinton staffers, whom Trump dubbed the “FBI Immunity Five,” were granted immunity in exchange for information about the email server.

“You saw what happened about taking the Fifth Amendment, and her ring leaders getting immunity deals,” Trump said during a rally in Bedford, New Hampshire. “We’ll call them really the FBI Immunity Five.”

More Than 20,000 Guns Purchased by People Deemed Unfit to Own Firearms

gunBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 20,000 guns were purchased by people the FBI deemed unfit to own firearms in the past 15 years because of a disagreement between the bureau and ATF.

A new report from the Office of Inspector General reveals a loophole that allowed people to buy guns, even though they were deemed unfit, the Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The responsibility for running background checks on prospective gun owners belongs to the FBI.

But the ATF and FBI disagree on who qualifies as a “fugitive of justice,” a label that is supposed to prevent prospective buyers from purchasing guns.

The FBI believes anyone with an outstanding warrant should not be allowed to purchase a gun. But the ATF disagrees, saying people who with warrants should be allowed to buy guns in the state where the warrant was issued, but not in other states.

“We recommend that the OLC issue an opinion as soon as possible to clarify the correct definition of the ‘fugitive from justice’ category of the persons prohibited from purchasing a firearm,” the review concluded. “Only then can ATF and the FBI be certain the law is being applied appropriately and as intended.”