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May 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Column: We Shouldn’t Forget the 168 Who Died in Oklahoma City Bombing

Timothy McVeigh/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
I can’t help but at least mention that Thursday marks the 17th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building where 168 people were killed.

We’ve come a long way in dealing with terrorism. The face of it has changed.

At the time, the Oklahoma bombing seemed so enormous. I was a reporter at the Detroit News at the time. I worked on the story day and night for three months before I ended up going on strike at the paper. I never returned to the paper.

But I never forgot the 168 people who died, among them 19 children under the age of 6.

Sure 9/11 dwarfed all that, and changed the terrorism landscape forever.

But we can’t lose focus on the local hate groups, on the potential for future lone wolves and haters like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who so desperately needed to have their voice heard.

And we can’t forget the 168 people who died.

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melania trump threatens to sue news outlets

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Oregon Man Says He Was Tortured by Interrogators Working for FBI

By Allan Lengel

An Oregon man claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates by interrogators cooperating with the FBI, which was investigating a Portland mosque, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yonas Fikre said he was arrested in June and taken to an Abu Dhabi prison,according to the Times. It was there he claims he was beaten, threatened and isolated during three months of detention by interrogators working for the FBI.

The story is of particular interest since the FBI has long prided itself on not using torture — unlike the CIA — to glean information from people.

Fikre essentially alleged that the bureau used someone else to do the torture.

The Associated Press reported that the Portland FBI declined comment, but said agents are thoroughly trained as to what is permissible under U.S. Law.


Column: Scandals Need to Vanish Quickly

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel

When it comes to scandals, the best thing is to make them vanish quickly.

Waiting for an Inspector General report takes far too long.

In the case of the Secret Service-prostitution scandal, so far, so good.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, a veteran of navigating Capitol Hill, has done all the right things. He quickly launched an investigation. He’s called for an I.G. investigation. And he’s talked to folks on the Hill like Sen. Chuck Grassley to keep them apprised of the unfolding events.

So far, two agents have resigned and a third has retired. More need to go. The sooner the better.

Not that the agents have committed the crime of the century. In fact, they’ve committed no crime. Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

But when you represent an agency like the Secret Service while abroad, and you’re there on behalf of the President of the United States, more is expected of you.

The Secret Service is wisely delving deeply into the matter.

Bloomberg news reports investigators are trying to determine if any of the prostitutes were spies and whether any classified info was compromised.

If there ended up being something to that, the scandal would only get bigger.

That’s something the President, the Secret Service and the public doesn’t need. Scandals provide plenty of fodder for the press.

But they distract from more important issues at hand.

Today’s project is a continuation of the fight to get justice

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Breaking News: Two Agents Resign and a 3rd Retires in Secret Service-Prostitute Scandal

By Allan Lengel

The Secret Service scandal involving prostitutes in Colombia appears to be moving in a logical direction.

Two Secret Service agents have resigned and a third is retiring, Bloomberg news reported. The men were reportedly part of the advance team for the president.

News agencies have reported that the Secret Service wants to give polygraph exams to those involved.

Escort Recounts Tiff With Secret Service

The New York Times

CARTAGENA, Colombia — A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe a week ago over how much he owed her for the previous night’s intercourse. “I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” the woman said in her first public comments on a spat that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.

The dispute — he offered $30 for services she thought they had agreed were worth 25 times that — triggered a tense early morning struggle in the hallway of the posh hotel involving the woman, another prostitute, Colombian police officers arguing on the women’s behalf and American federal agents who tried but failed to keep the matter — which has shaken the reputation of the Secret Service — from escalating.

Sitting on a couch in her living room wearing a short jean skirt, high-heeled espadrilles and a tight spandex top with a plunging neckline, the woman described how she and a girlfriend were approached by a group of American men at a discotheque. To read full story click here.

FBI: Oregon Shoplifter Enjoyed Suburban Lifestyle; Will Serve a Year in Prison

photo courtesy FBI

Shoshanna Utchenik

Sticky-fingered John Patrick Weismiller will be breaking his habit with a year in prison.

The Oregonian was sentenced last month for making a career out of petty shoplifting, after his prolific thievery caught the eye of the FBI.

According to an FBI press release yesterday, 41-year- old Weismiller was caught on tape stuffing his pockets over 100 times at Safeway alone in 2011. Targeting big chain box stores, he earned $43k reselling the merchandise online, and cost stores $73k in losses.

The FBI reports that industry experts estimate retail criminals, including ‘boosters’ like Weismiller, cost the U.S. about $30 billion a year. The result is higher prices for American consumers and less sales tax revenue for state and local governments.

“This guy was incredibly brazen,” FBI Special Agent Joe Boyer in Portland said in a statement Tuesday. “This was his full-time job. He lived in a nice house in the suburbs with his wife and kids. If you lived next door, you would have no idea he was a thief.”

To read more click here.