Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

January 2021
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for January, 2021

Sen. Hawley Blocks Fast-Tracked Confirmation of Biden’s Homeland Security Pick

Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling

Sen. Josh Hawley blocked the fast-track confirmation process for President-elect Joe Biden’s Homeland Security director pick Alejandro Mayorkas. 

“I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered,” the Missouri Republican said in a statement, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Hawley said he had concerns with Biden’s immigration proposal. 

“Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden’s promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures,” Hawley said. “Just today, he declined to say he would enforce the laws Congress has already passed to secure the border wall system.”

When Biden announced his nominee in November, he said Mayorkas “will play a critical role in fixing our broken immigration system and understands that living up to our values and protecting our nation’s security aren’t mutually exclusive — and under his leadership, they’ll go hand-in-hand.”

Biden was hoping for a quick confirmation because of the numerous national security issues facing the country.

Mayorkas, 61, is poised to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead the department. 

Mayorkas served as deputy homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2016 under President Obama. A former U.S. attorney in California, Mayorkas also served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during Obama’s first term. 

Born in Cuba, Mayorkas and her family arrived as refugees in the 1960s, settling in Southern California. His mother was a Holocaust survivor. Mayorkas graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School. 

Kieran Ramsey Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Portland Field Office

By Steve Neavling

Kieran Ramsey has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Portland Field Office. 

Most recently, Ramsey was the director of the FBI Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell (HRFC) in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In 1998, Ramsey joined the bureau as a special agent in the Seattle Field Office, where he served on a public corruption task force, an organized crime squad, and the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force. Ramsey also was the senior leader of Seattle’s Evidence Response Team and deployed to the World Trade Center after 9/11.

In 2005, Ramsey became supervisory special agent and worked in the Counterterrorism HUMINT Operations Unit at FBI headquarters. 

In 2007, he was promoted to legal attaché in Cairo, where he served as the principal FBI official for U.S. embassies in Egypt, Sudan, and Libya.

In 2019, Ramsey was tapped as supervisory senior resident agent of the New Hampshire offices under the Boston Field Office, where he also directed the New Hampshire Safe Streets Task Force and the New Hampshire Joint Terrorism Task Force. 

In 2013, he became assistant special agent in charge of the Boston’s Counterterrorism Branch and led the Boston Marathon Bombing Task Force.

In 2017, he served as legal attaché in Rome in 2017, covering Italy, The Holy See, and Malta. 

Ramsey was promoted to section chief in 2018 and named the director of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell (MRFC), an interagency that leads the U.S. government’s efforts to recover U.S. national hostages held abroad.

Before joining the bureau, Ramsey was a special agent with the U.S. Customs Service. He received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree from Georgetown University in Washington.

Alejandro Mayorkas Will Pledge to Thwart Future Assaults on U.S. Institutions

Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling

Alejandro Mayorkas, who is President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, plans to tell lawmakers today that one of his top priorities is preventing attacks similar to the Capitol siege, POLITICO reports.

Mayorkas, 61, is to make the pledge during his appearance before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.  

“If I should have the honor of being confirmed, I will do everything I can to ensure that the tragic loss of life, the assault on law enforcement, the desecration of the building that stands as one of the three pillars of our democracy, and the terror felt by you, your colleagues, staff, and everyone present, will not happen again,” Mayorkas, 61, plans to tell lawmakers in his opening statement.

Senate Democrats are hoping to get Mayorkas confirmed as early as this week because of the national security threats. 

Mayorkas is poised to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead the department. 

Mayorkas served as deputy homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2016 under President Obama. A former U.S. attorney in California, Mayorkas also served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during Obama’s first term. 

Born in Cuba, Mayorkas and her family arrived as refugees in the 1960s, settling in Southern California. His mother was a Holocaust survivor. Mayorkas graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School. 

“The love for this country that I learned from my parents made the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol all the more horrifying,” Mayorkas plans to tell senators.

Trump Slammed Comey for ‘Erratic’ Behavior in Previously Unseen Letter

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling

Just days before President Trump fired James Comey in May 2017, he assailed his FBI director for “erratic” and “self-indulgent” conduct in a four-page letter that was never sent because White House lawyers advised against it. 

The letter was finally made public Monday after ABC News received a copy of its contents.

“Your conduct has grown unpredictable and even erratic – including rambling and self-indulgent public performances that have baffled experts, citizens and law enforcement professionals alike – making it impossible for you to effectively lead this agency,” Trump wrote to Comey.

The letter assailed Comey for “spen[ding] too much time cultivating a public image, and not enough time getting your own house in order.”

About half the letter addressed Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That included Comey’s congressional testimony shortly before the letter was penned. In the letter, Trump called the testimony “another media circus full of unprofessional conjecture, bizarre legal theories, and irresponsible speculation.”

The letter then falsely claimed that Comey’s “strange legal decisions and contradictory public statements” had “sowed confusion” and inspired “a near-rebellion by many rank-and-file agents” within the FBI.

The letter also chided Comey’s “failure” to prevent “rampant leaking. 

“You’ve shown a total inability to control leaks, both within and outside the agency. As a result, intelligence — real and fake – has been weaponized into an instrument of partisan warfare,” the letter said.

Trump concluded, “America needs an FBI director who inspires confidence across all layers of government, and who the public believes to be fair, impartial and beyond reproach.”

Happy MLK Day from ticklethewire.com

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”  Martin Luther King Jr.

***********


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

**********

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr


FBI Vetting National Guard Troops Who Are Securing Inauguration

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is vetting all 25,000 National Guard troops who are coming to Washington D.C. to secure the inauguration because defense officials are worried about an insider attack. 

The extraordinary undertaking follows the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and reflects the high level of concern over extremism in the military ranks. 

The Army is coordinating with the FBI to vet the service members, The Washington Post reports.

It’s unclear how extensive the vetting will be. 

“There is no place for extremism in the military and we will investigate each report individually and take appropriate action,” the Army said in the statement. “The Army is committed to working closely with the FBI as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army.”

Comey: Prosecuting Trump for Inciting Riot Will Give Him Attention He Craves

Former FBI James Comey in previous testimony, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey said federal prosecutors shouldn’t charge President Trump for his role in inciting the Capitol riot because it would give him the attention he craves. 

“The country would be better off if we did not give him the platform that a prosecution would for the next three years,” Comey told the British broadcaster Sky News.

“Instead, turn off the camera lights,” said Comey, whom Trump fired as FBI director in 2017 while he was leading an investigation into possible collusion with Russia by Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“I’d like to see some of the lights go out and he can stand on the front lawn at Mar-a-Lago and shout at cars in his bathrobe and none of us will hear it,” he said.

Trump fired Comey as FBI director in 2017, leading to the appointment of Robert Muller as special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. 

Comey, 60, said he supports the Senate convicting Trump as part of the House’s impeachment. But, Comey said, a prosecution would further divide the country. 

“The country needs to find a way to heal itself, and the new president needs the opportunity to lead and heal us — both literally and spiritually,” Comey said. “And that will be much, much harder if the Donald Trump show is on our television screens every single day in the nation’s capita

Weekend Series on Crime History: Spies Who Sold Out America