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ATF Denies Fast and Furious Officials Were Promoted

William Newell

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is denying a report by the Los Angeles Times that said supervisors involved in the controversial and troubled “Operation Fast and Furious” were given promotions, NPR reported.

The ATF said the supervisors were “laterally transferred,” NPR reported.

Under Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell weapons to middlemen or straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels. ATF lost track of a lot of weapons, some which surfaced at crime scenes on both sides of the border.

The Times reported that supervisor William G. McMahon was named  “deputy assistant director of the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. William Newell, who headed the Phoenix field office during Operation Fast and Furious,  became “special assistant to the assistant director of the agency’s Office of Management in Washington” and David Voth, who was the operation’s team supervisor, became “branch chief for the ATF’s tobacco division.”

An ATF press release said the the supervisors from “operational positions” to “administrative roles”, NPR reported.

“They did not receive salary or grade increases nor did they assume positions with greater responsibility,” the ATF statement read.

The LA Times had said it spoke to three ATF employees who characterized the moves as promotions, NPR reported.

Of the three job changes, the one involving William Newell never really seemed like a promotion.

Ticklethewire.com reported that Newell, who had headed the Phoenix Division during Operation Fast and Furious, was supposed to become the ATF Attache in Mexico City.

But his assignment was delayed and he was sent to Washington to help Congressional investigators look into the failed gun operation. The Mexican government was furious about the operation, and according to federal law enforcement sources, had talked about arresting Newell if he came to Mexico.

ATF then changed its mind and decided to keep Newell in Washington in a position that didn’t seem to be promotion — at least not when compared to the attache job.

Secret Service Agent Busted in Iowa for Drunk Driving

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The good news: At least Daneil L. Valencia wasn’t driving the President around.

The bad news: The Secret Service agent, who lives in D.C., was busted in Decorah, Ia. on Saturday for drunk driving after running a red light about 1:30 a.m., according to the Des Moines Register.

President Obama visited Decorah on Monday.

The paper reported that Valencia was alone in the car and had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol. He told the cops he had two drink, the Des Monines Register reported.

A field sobriety test determined he was too intoxicated to drive, the paper reported. He was released from jail on Monday.

Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said the matter had been turned over to the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Ex-Miss. U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton Dies at 60; Office Prosecuted Old Civil Rights Era Cases

Dunn Lampton

By Allan Lengel ticklethewire.com

Former Jackson, Miss. U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton, who was appointed by President Bush in 2001,  and led the prosecutions in some old civil rights case,  died Wednesday of  natural causes, the station WAPT reported. He was 60.

While serving as U.S. Attorney, his office led the prosecution of once-dormant civil rights cases against reputed Ku Klux Klansmen Ernest Avants and James Ford Seale, the station reported.

His office also prosecuted  hundreds of fraud cases after Hurricane Katrina. He retired in 2009.

Top Ten List About Paranoia: FBI Investigating Radical Muslim’s Death Threats Against David Letterman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

If talk show host David Letterman were to put out a “Top 10 List” of reasons to be paranoid, this would be at the top.

The FBI has said it will investigate a death threat made by a radical Muslim, the International Business Times reports.

The radical person called for Letterman’s tongue to be cut out and his neck broken for mocking former al Qaeda leader and former senior al-Qaeda member Ilyas Kashmiri, the publication reported.

“So [al Qaeda] picked a successor to Osama bin Laden, and his name was Ilyas Kashmiri,” Letterman said during his opening monologue on June 8. “Well, guess what: He was blown up by an American drone.”

The International Business Times  reported that “Omar from Basra, Iraq”  posted on the al Qaeda online forum Shumoukh al-Islam: “We pray to Allah to paralyze his tongue, and that the righteous believers will break his neck.”

The International Business Times reported that CBS and Letterman declined comment and that New York police notified CBS and local police wher Letterman lives.

FBI Opens Civil Rights Probe into Teen Who Ran Down Black Man in Miss.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Shades of Mississippi in the 1960s?

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of a black man who Mississippi authorities say was intentionally run down and killed by a white teenager in a pickup truck in June near a Jackson hotel, the Associated Press reports.

Deborah Madden, an FBI spokeswoman in Mississippi, said Wednesday that the bureau is investigating the June 26 death of James Craig Anderson.

A surveillance video shows Deryl Dedmon running over Anderson near a hotel in a green 1998 Ford F-250, AP reported. The video stirred anger across the country. Dedmon is already facing a murder charge.

AP reported that John Aaron Rice has been charged with simple assault for assaulting Anderson before his death. Both teens were 18 at the time.

Mississippi authorities allege that Dedmon and Rice and a group of other teens were searching for a black person to assault.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Statements by Bombing Suspect Tossed After FBI Delayed Reading of Miranda Rights

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The controversy over the FBI reading Miranda rights to terrorism suspects could get some added fuel.

The website Talking Points Memo (TPM) reported that U.S. District Judge Jude Justin Quackenbush in Spokane, Wash., was upset that the FBI did not immediately advise white supremacist Kevin Harpham of his rights after arresting him as a suspect who planted a bomb along the route of the MLK Day Parade in Spokane.

Consequently, prosecutors agreed not to use statements he made prior to being advised of his rights, TPM reported.

Some Republicans of members have been sharply critical of the FBI and the Justice Department for reading Miranda rights too soon.

In December 2009, some criticized the FBI for reading the Miranda rights too soon after agents arrested  “underwear bomber” in Detroit on Christmas day.

The Miranda rights issue surfaced again after suspect Faisal Shahzad was arrested for trying — but failing —  to detonate a bomb in Time Square.

TPM noted the usual critics in the past seemed to be missing this time around, possibly because the suspect in the MLK bombing case was not a Muslim.

Calif. Heroin Dealer Pleads to 22 Years in 2 Overdose Deaths

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s off to prison for more than two decades for a California heroin dealer who authorities say was responsible for two overdose deaths.

David Ryan Tejera, 23, pleaded guilty Monday in Los Angeles federal court in a deal that calls for him to serve 22 years, the Associated Press reported.

Authorities said Tejera injected a heroin and cocaine mixture into a Simi Valley man three times, resulting in his death, AP reported. He also provided heroin to a Thousand Oaks man who overdosed and died.

Prez Jokes that Secret Service Will Protect Daughters From Boys

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service isn’t just there to protect the president from bullets.

President Obama predicted Tuesday that he would get re-elected and joked that he planned to use the Secret Service agents to shield boys from his daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10.

“When I’m reelected, what I’ll be getting them is a continuation of Secret Service so that, when boys want to start dating them, they are going to be surrounded by men with guns,” he said in an interview with CNN.

“That’s their gift,” he said when asked what his daughters could expect if he wins re-election.

(photo above: white house photo)