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Archive for January, 2017

ICE Employees to Get Free Gym Memberships Near Washington Headquarters

gymBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government is shopping for a health and fitness center for its employees who work at ICE.

The bids call for a “full-range health & fitness center” for ICE employees, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ. 

One requirement is a gym with “state-of-the-art-fitness equipment” wishing walking distance from one of its offices in Washington D.C.

The agency is accepting bids.

The plan is to pay the bill for employees to receive 1 year of access to the gym. The contract may be extended an additional 3 years.

The spending limit on annual memberships is $200,000.

Homeland Security Warned of ‘Alarming Security Concerns’ with Processing Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The public watchdog for Homeland Security issued an “urgent” alert Monday, saying there are “alarming security concerns” with the long-troubled electronic system that processes immigrants’ applications for citizenship, according to the U.S. News & World Report. 

Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General warned of widespread security flaws, prompting the Electronic Immigration System, or ELIS, to be discontinued.

Among the findings was that the system granted 20,000 green and and 175 applications for citizenship to people with incomplete or inaccurate security and background checks.

“Without sufficient vetting, immigrants could potentially be granted U.S. citizenship although they are ineligible or pose national security threats,” Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth wrote in a Friday memo to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

U.S. News & World Report wrote:

The system entered development in 2009 as a way to ease benefits applications for immigrants, and it was scheduled to be completed in 2013. By the time the program launched in 2012, however, it offered just two of the dozens of the services it was supposed to provide, and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services estimated it would need another three years and $1 billion to complete the program. Subsequent audits made public March, November and January uncovered a raft of security concerns.

However, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General apparently learned that, despite the issues, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services planned to reinstate the program as soon as this month, stoking alarm that the agency had not properly addressed the issues identified in the inspector general’s audit, the full results of which still have not yet been released.

Other Stories of Interest

President Trump Gives FBI Director Comey a Handshake And Pat On the Back

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump acknowledged FBI Director James Comey during a thank you reception for law enforcement and security personnel at the White House over the weekend.

“Oh, and there’s James!” Trump said as he saw Comey across the Blue Room. “He’s become more famous than me.”

Comey, whose decisions regarding Hillary Clinton have been unpopular by both Republicans and Democrats, greeted Trump. The two shook hands, and Trump leaned into Comey to say something.

What remains unclear is whether Trump will ask Comey to step down following his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Sub-Machine Gun Stolen from FBI Agent’s Parked Car

A Heckler & Koch MP5 10 mm, shown here, was stolen from the agent's car.

A Heckler & Koch MP5 10 mm, shown here, was stolen from the agent’s car.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Someone broke into an FBI agent’s car near San Francisco and stole a sub-machine gun, an ammunition magazine and a bulletproof vest.

The San Francisco Chronicle said the theft earlier this month involved a Heckler & Koch MP5 10 mm.  

The FBI said the items were stolen between the evening of Jan. 8 and the morning of Jan. 9.

It wasn’t clear where the weapon was in the car or whether it was locked up as required by California law.

Secret Service Investigates Madonna for Talking about ‘Blowing Up the White House’

Madonna

Madonna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Madonna caught the attention of the Secret Service after she said during the Women’s March On Washington that she has thought about “blowing up the White House.”

During a speech that was broadcast live, Madonna said she’d thought about “blowing up the White House” but knew it “wouldn’t change anything,” AOL News reports. 

The Secret Service has declined to comment on the investigation.

If charges are filed, the decision will be made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“We cannot fall into despair,” Madonna said. “As the poet W. H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War Two, ‘We must love one another or die.’ I choose love. Are you with me?”

Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Johnson to Join New York Law Firm

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson is joining the New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he previously worked.

The New York Times reports that he will be a partner in the firm’s litigation department. 

From 2009-2012, Johnson led Homeland Security as the fourth director in the department’s history.

At the law firm, Johnson will advise clients on crisis management, internal investigations, regulatory matters, government and cybersecurity.

“I am excited to bring my public service experience back to Paul, Weiss, my private practice home since 1984,” said Johnson, who became the firm’s first African-American partner in 1994. “It’s a privilege to return to practice at one of the best law firms in the country, where lawyers are encouraged to serve both their clients and the public and give back to their communities.”

Secret Service Investigating Kentucky woman Over Assassination Tweet

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating a Kentucky woman after she tweeted for someone to be “kind enough” to assassinate President Trump, the New York Times reports. 

“If someone was cruel enough to assassinate MLK, maybe someone will be kind enough to assassinate Trump. #bekind #trump #lovetrumpshate,” Heather Lowrey, of Louisville, tweeted Jan. 17 — three days before Trump was sworn in as the 45th President as the United States.

Lowery’s Twitter account later disappeared.

She tweeted: “If someone was cruel enough to assassinate MLK, maybe someone will be kind enough to assassinate Trump.”

The Secret Service interviewed the 26-year-old and are still investigating the tweet.

“Any time threatening communications like that are made, we always conduct an investigation,” an agent told the Courier-Journal.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Mobsters ” Sam Giancana ” Full Documentary