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Family of Murdered Border Patrol Agent Files $25 Million Lawsuit Against ATF

Dem Lawmaker Accuses Rep. Issa of “Election Year Witch Hunt” in Congressional Probe

Rep. Elijah Cummings/govt. photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,  on Thursday accused Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican committee chair, of an “election year witch hunt” in going after the Attorney General and the Justice Department during a Congressional probe into the flawed Operation Fast and Furious.

Referring to a minority staff committee report released this week — which indicated Holder and other top Justice officials  never gave the green light for Fast and Furious — Cummings accused Issa of “escalating unsubstantiated allegations” during his Congressional probe.

Cummings accusations came during a hearing on Fast and Furious, an ATF program out of Phoenix that encouraged straw purchasers to buy guns from dealers, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels. ATF lost track of many weapons, some of which showed up at crimes scenes on both sides of the border.

Cummings pointed out that the “gun walking” operations out of Phoenix began five years ago — even before Fast and Furious —  during the Bush years and while Michael Mukasey was attorney general.

Cummings went on to say to Issa: “Mr. chairman, although you deserve credit for exposing these operations over the last five years, we part ways in to what we should  do next. You now appear intent on escalating controversy and promoting unsubstantiated  allegations in a campaign that looks more like an election year witch hunt  than an even handed investigation. This is the sixth time, the sixth time, the attorney general has testified on these issues.”

“In contrast, you never once called the former head of the ATF  to testify at a public hearing even though ATF was the agency responsible for these reckless programs. And although Attorney General Holder has answered questions repeatedly, you refuse to even interview former Attorney General Mukasey.”

Republican committee members took sharp aim at Holder during his appearance before the committee, accusing him of withholding documents to cover up something, and of failing to discipline anyone in the Justice Department for Fast and Furious. Issa has accused the Justice Department of being less than forthright in cooperating with his probe into the gun walking matter.

Democrats defended Holder.

Buerkle to Atty Gen. Holder: You Must be Held Accountable for Fast and Furious and Agent Terry’s Murder

 

NYC Councilman Regrets Comments About FBI

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A New York city councilman is recanting comments he made over the weekend critical of the FBI, reports the New York Post

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Queens) likened an FBI investigation looking into the campaign finances of his friend Comptroller John Liu  to “political entrapment” on a radio show over the weekend. “The FBI used some sting operation, they offered cash to people,” Koo said. “It’s like political entrapment to me.”

But talking to the Post this week, Koo said he “didn’t mean to criticize the FBI.”

“It’s one of the most respected law-enforcement agencies in the country and the world,” said Koo. “Maybe I misused the word,” he said, referring to the entrapment comment.

To read more click here.

State Legislator Concerned Over DEA Questioning About Her Over Marijuana

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Montana state legislator claims the DEA is investigating her because of her support of medical marijuana laws.

Diane Sands, a Democratic in the State House, told the Missoulian that a possible witness in a DEA investigation into medical marijuana businesses was asked if she was  part of a conspiracy to sell medical marijuana. DEA Agents from Billings, Mont., asked the questions, Sands learned from the witness’ attorney.

Sands has worked on and supported medical marijuana laws in the past.

“So now, if you’re a state legislator who has been working on medical marijuana laws, you are somehow part of a conspiracy,” she said. “It’s ridiculous, of course, but it’s also threatening to think that the federal government is willing to use its influence and try to chill discussion about this subject.”

To ead more click here.

 

U.S. No Fly List Doubles; Underwear Bomber Appears to Have Contributed to Spike

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The man dubbed the “Underwear Bomber”, who tried blowing up a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day in 2009, may have contributed more to this country than we think.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. no fly list for suspected terrorists has more than doubled in the past year, and the bump seems to coincide with the Underwear Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed attempt to blow up the airplane.

AP reported that the “the flood of new names began after the failed Christmas 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound jetliner. The government lowered the standard for putting people on the list, and then scoured its files for anyone who qualified. The government will not disclose who is on its list or why someone might have been placed on it.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

 

Issa threatens Holder with contempt over Mexico gun probe

file photo/doj

By Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY

The chairman of the House’s chief investigative committee today threatened Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress if he failed to provide additional documents in the panel’s ongoing inquiry into allegations that federal agents allowed hundreds of weapons to flow to Mexico and into the hands of drug cartel enforcers.

In a four-page letter, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., charged that the Justice Department was actively attempting to “obstruct” the panel’s investigation and that documents sought under an October subpoena be delivered by Feb. 9.

“If the department continues to obstruct the congressional inquiry by not providing documents and information, this committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress,” Issa wrote.

To read more click here.

Oops! FBI in Mass. Busts into Wrong Apartment During Raid and Points Guns

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ooops!

Make that two Ooops!

The Associated Press reported that the FBI last week used a chain saw to cut open an apartment door during a drug raid in Fitchburg, Mass., in Worcester County. Only thing is, it was the wrong apartment.

Agents also pointed guns at the people inside, AP reported.

The news service reported resident Judy Sanchez said she was terrified when she stepped into her kitchen and saw chainsaw blade cut through her door.

AP reported that she was held face down on the floor at gunpoint for at least 30 minutes while her 3-year-old daughter cried in another room.

AP reported that the FBI apologized and is paying for the damage.

 

Border Agent Fires Shot in Drug Smuggling Incident

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A US Border agent fired a shot along the Arizona-Mexico border on Monday morning while breaking up a drug-smuggling attempt–a shot that may have injured at least one person in Mexico, reports Reuters.

“A Border Patrol agent fired a service weapon east of Nogales while responding to illegal narcotics activity. Authorities are investigating claims that at least one subject was injured,” the statement said, according to Reuters.

The incident occurred near a border fence in Nogales, Arizona, according to Reuters.

Local, federal and international authorities are investigating.

To read more click here.