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Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Suspends Classes, Education

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An enormous law enforcement center in southeast Georgia has suspended classes and sent a vast majority of its employees home because of the government shutdown, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which is so large that it has its own ZIP code, is mostly quiet.

The building in Glynco, GA., has 18 firearms ranges and holds armed drills.

Of the more than 1,000 employees who work there, about 45 were not furloughed.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Tries to Manage During Government Shutdown, Hopes for the Best

FBI Director: James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is worried about the impact the government shutdown will have on investigating crime.

Already hammered by budget cuts and sequestration, the FBI is operating without employees deemed “non-essential,” the Washington Times reports.

A month ago, the FBI Agents Association said in a report that it’s concerned about budget cuts that already froze new training and the hirings of new agents.

“Trying to save money by undermining the FBI’s ability to protect the public is likely to be far more costly to our country in the long run,” the group said.

FBI Director James Comey said he’s shocked by the impact on budget cuts.

“I was very surprised to learn how severe the required cut is and the potential impact on this organization,” he said. “Frankly, as a taxpayer and as an American I was surprised, and it didn’t make any sense to me that the FBI director would be asked not just to cut 3,000 positions but, given what’s on our plate, to send folks home for a couple weeks without pay.”

Queens Man Claims FBI Placed Him on No Fly List for Not Acting As Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Queens man said the FBI put him on the no-fly list in retaliation for not acting as an informant, the New York Daily News reports.

Muhammad Tanvir is accusing FBI agents of barring him from air travel because he refused to act as an informant to get intelligence on Muslim neighbors.

To get off the list, Tanvir was told, he must snoop, according to a lawsuit he filed against the FBI.

The bureau declined to comment.

 

Justice Department Official Who Resigned in Protest in ’80s Dies at 83

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Arnold I. Burns was a top Justice Department official in the 1980s when he and others resigned in protest of Attorney General Edwin Meese III’s handling of Iran contra and a number of other issues.

Burns died of cardiac arrest and complications from Parkinson’s disease, the New York Times reports. He was 83.

Burns rose rapidly through the ranks of the Justice Department under President Reagan.

But he and others resigned after allegations also surfaced that Meese was under investigation for project spending that benefited a friend and families, The Times wrote.

Under Meese, Burns said, the Justice Department had become “a world of Alice in Wonderland – a world of illusion and allusion: a world in which up was down and down was up, in was out, out was in, happy was sad and sad was happy.”

Man Who Stabbed Border Patrol Dog in Neck Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Guatemalan man who stabbed a Border Patrol dog in the neck was sentenced to six months in prison Tuesday, The Monitor reports.

Luis Gilberto Cruz Solis also will be deported.

Solis was with a group of about 30 people who illegally crossed the border in May, according to the Monitor.

As everyone dispersed, Solis was fleeing when he stabbed Dinie, a 2-year-old German shepherd, in the neck.

The wound was about 2 inches deep. Luckily, Dinie survived and returned to work soon after.

Homeland Security Remains without a Leader As Authorities Struggle to Find Nominee

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

With Janet Napolitano out, Homeland Security is without a nomination for a new chief.

Maybe that’s because it’s a thankless job that can spoil a reputation, the Washington Post reports.

“It’s a high-risk job,” one observer told the Post. “If something happens on your watch, you’re done.”

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Agents Talk About the Harmful Impact of Budget Cuts

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Budget cuts are taking a bite out of FBI operations, and harming the fight against all types of crimes,  from corruption to counterterrorism to battling gangs and violence.

The FBI Agents Association on Monday released a new report — Voices from the Field — that provides FBI Agents’ first-hand accounts of the impact of the budget cuts on daily operations and investigations.

“As FBI Agents, our commitment to our work is unwavering,” the association’s President Rey Tariche said in a statement “We will continue to make the personal and professional sacrifices to do our jobs and protect this country. However, we are releasing Voices from the Field to ensure that Congress, the Administration, and the public are aware that the resources available to support the work of FBI Agents have been stretched to the breaking point.”

The report notes that even agents’ basic transportation needs are being compromised and some agents are being told they can’t use official FBI vehicles because there is no funding for gas.

The following are some testimonials  in the report from agents in the field:

Undermining Counter-Terrorism Investigations

“I … work International and Domestic Counterterrorism. Budget restrictions have and will continue to limit the resources available to include personnel and equipment. … Restrictions in surveillance technology means the necessary facilities used for terrorist communications won’t be monitored.”

Exposing Vulnerable Populations to Greater Risk

“Here is how the sequester will affect my little slice of the Bureau. …No gas means cases don’t get worked – period. Nothing is close to anything on the reservation. Witnesses and victims don’t have phones. We have to drive to them. They are too poor to drive to us. … Fewer guys – fewer cases get worked. That is the cruel truth. Real people won’t get justice. The face of the sequester is a molested Navajo kid or a beaten Apache woman, neither of whom will see justice. Our victims are the poorest, most vulnerable … people in this country.

Halting Counter-Intelligence Cases

“We have approximately 10 very important CI cases that we would open … but we can’t open them because we don’t have the [Special Agents] to work the investigations and the other agents on the squad already have full case loads. These are national security cases that could lead to the loss of highly sensitive classified information if we don’t address them. … It will only get worse with furloughs.”

Closing White Collar Cases

“I work white collar/fraud/public corruption. … The impact of the sequestration is already being felt and will continue to hinder our productivity. I am closing cases and not looking to open new ones. …Current investigations and informant development have been hindered because of lack of funds.

Limiting Mortgage/Financial Fraud Cases

“The hiring freeze has prohibited our team from adding new agents to combat the significant surge in investment fraud and mortgage loan modification fraud. Resources are stretched and not able to completely address the financial losses experienced in our area of responsibility. With the loan modification fraud, many victims lose their home and life savings because of the scheme. … Several new targets have recently been identified; just this past week, four known fraudsters were advertising in the classifieds for employees to expand their current fraudulent schemes, however, with our lack of resources and now the additional cuts and furloughs, we are not able to address the progressing schemes.

Constraining Use of Official Vehicles

“In the beginning of March when the sequestration began, the division was told we are now on a strict gas budget and were pretty much not allowed to use our [Bureau] cars. This severely affected work performance and disrupted investigations as we did not have enough money to put gas in a work car to go do something as simple as an interview, let alone anything else of significance with regards to investigative matters.”

Losing Informants

“I … investigate street gangs. Recently … we have been facing funding shortages on the criminal side for the last couple of  years. There are certain gangsters I can’t go after with a Confidential Human Source (CHS) or any other way as ‘drug buy’ money is not sufficient. These subjects are at a certain point where the CHS can’t buy small amounts of drugs. Most of our larger targets only sell in big amounts. With dwindling resources, we have had to let these subjects go as investigation against them would be futile. … Being that most of my gang CHS’s motivation are financially driven, I am running the risk of the CHS’s turning back to a life of crime if I can’t make payments for their services. 

Impeding Surveillance

“The existing hiring freeze and budget restrictions have forced my squad to conduct investigations in a less effective manner. Many interviews are now conducted telephonically; thus, limiting the agent’s interaction with the person being interviewed. This limited interaction also minimizes the intelligence that can be obtained throughout the interview. The limited communication has also minimized opportunities for Source development and information collection. Surveillances have also been cut short and completely eliminated because of financial restrictions or lack of agents to conduct the surveillance.

Harming Local Cooperation

“The impact on local law enforcement is completely negative because we can’t support where we have traditionally. [Local law enforcement] depend[s] on us for support in larger cases and we depend on them for support and back-up because we are a small office. Once we walk away from working traditional criminal programs … we will lose the support of local law enforcement.”

Reducing Field Time

“The administrative burden that is now put on Agents … that was previously handled by support personnel has caused Agents to  spend an unprecedented amount of time at their desks versus being out on the street conducting interviews and recruiting [Confidential Human Sources].

Increasing Retirements

• “For the first time in my 10 year FBI career, I am strongly considering ending my FBI employment and going back to theprivate sector.”

• “I am actively seeking to retire and move on to my next career sooner than I want to because of the issues in Washington. I have four more years left before … mandatory retirement. If I retire, that leaves two criminal agents in the [Resident Agency].”

 

ACLU Recommends Budget Cuts Amid Imminent Government Shutdown Threats

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

New FBI Director James Comey may have to make big cuts to the bureau’s budget because of a government shutdown and last year’s sequester.

The ACLU has some ideas about “programs that deserve to get the axe, because they’re ineffective, undermine innocent Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, or simply offend American values.

The recommendations are: Stop identifying neighborhoods by race in order to investigate them; quit collecting information on innocent Americans a part of “Domain Management;” end intrusive programs called “assessments” that target people or groups without any reason to believe they broke the law; do away with the new database, eGuardian, because it encourages racial discrimination; and end the collection of all U.S. telephone call data.

“Spying on innocent people rarely helps find guilty people,” the ACLU wrote. “We hope that by giving Director Comey a few ideas about FBI programs that can be cut to save expenses, he can turn his attention to other abusive FBI practices documented in the ACLU report. Ending practices that violate civil liberties won’t necessarily put the FBI’s budget back in the black, but it is still the right thing to do.”