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Book Review: The Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel

By Lisa Sweetingham
LA Weekly​

William C. Rempel, who for 36 years worked as an investigative reporter and editor at the L.A. Times, has written the book At the Devil’s Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel, which came out last month. The insider in question is Jorge Salcedo, the former head of security for the Cali Cartel in Colombia, who secretly turned on his employer in the late ’90s by becoming an informant for the DEA.

Rempel discusses and signs his book at Vroman’s Bookstore tonight, but if you can’t make it to Pasadena, here are seven astounding revelations about Colombian drug lords from the book.

7. The vicious blood feud between the Cali Cartel in the south (headed by the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers) and the Medellín cartel in the north (Pablo Escobar) all started in the late ’80s in New York City, when a pair of mid-level cocaine traffickers had a fatal feud over a woman. The dead man’s friends were allies of Escobar. The shooter sought sanctuary with Cali boss Hélmer “Pacho” Herrera. When neither side would back down, Escobar vowed to his former comrades: “Then this is war — and I’m going to kill every one of you sons of bitches.”

6. Herrera, the youngest of the four Cali godfathers, oversaw the most brutal wing of killers in the entire cartel. He was also openly gay, looked as if he had just stepped off the pages of GQ, and lived in an all-white compound with white marble floors, white walls and ceilings, and white leather furniture.

To read more click here.

FBI Opens Investigation into Murdoch’s Reporters

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is now looking into the scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s Brit reporters to see if they tried to access cellphone record messages and records of 9/11 victims, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The FBI has opened up a preliminary probe into the scandal that has rocked Great Britain, and raised questions about the future of Murdoch’s prosperous media empire, News Corp.

The Times reported that U.S. officials said the FBI is trying to determine whether to launch a full-fledged investigation.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

TSA Under Attack

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Prosecution Goofs: Judge Declares Mistrial in Roger Clemens Case

Roger Clemens/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

That was quick.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial Thursday on the second day of testimony in D.C. federal court in the perjury trial of pitching legend Roger Clemens, who was accused of lying about steroid use.

MSNBC reports that the judge declared the mistrial after the prosecution introduced evidence against his orders.

The Washington Post reported that the judge will hear arguments in coming weeks about the possibility of a retrial.

The Post’s Del Quentin Wilber reported that the mistrial request came from the defense after the prosecution mistakenly played a portion of Congressional testimony.

The testimony, the Post reported, had a reference to the wife of former pitcher Andy Pettitte, a friend and former teammate of Clemens.

The Post reported that Pettitte told Congressional investigators Clemens confided in him about taking performance-enhancing substance.

The Post also reported that Pettitte told told Congressional investigators he mentioned that to his wife Laurie, who ended up providing an affidavit to Congress.

The Post reported that Walton had barred prosecutors from mentioning Laurie Pettitte’s statements in trial because it would be unfair to Clemens.

Gun Owners Express Outrage Over New ATF Rules

Ex-U.S. Atty. Who Charged John Edwards to Run for Congress

U.S. Atty. George Holding

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It didn’t take long for Raleigh U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding — who charged ex-Sen. John Edwards with campaign violations shortly before stepping down this month — to figure out what he wants to do next.

The former U.S. Attorney announced Wednesday that he plans to run for Congress in the 13th District in North Carolina, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. The seat is currently held by Dem Brad Miller.

“I’m committed to run for Congress,” Holding, 43, said, according to the paper. “Our nation faces its greatest problems ever, and the only way to solve them is to stop sending politicians to Washington and start sending public servants to Washington.”

Holding resigned July 8.

He was appointed the U.S. Attorney by President Bush in 2006.  The Obama administration let him stay on for more than 2 years so that he could complete the investigation into ex-Sen. John Edwards without interruption.

The trial is pending for Edwards.

Stretch of Calif. I-8 to Be Dedicated to Slain Border Agent

Robert Rosas Jr.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A five mile stretch along I-8 in California in the San Diego area will have signs honoring Robert Rosas Jr., a popular border patrol agent who was killed in an ambush two years ago, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

A ceremony to unveil the signs is set for the fall, the paper reported. The memorial was cleared by the state legislature, and the National Border Patrol Council has pledged the $4,500 for the signs, the Tribune reported.

“Robert Rosas we a true hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice in safeguarding our country,” said state Sen. Joel Anderson, according to the paper.

The Tribune reported that Rosas, 30, was on patrol on the night of July 23, 2009 along the Shockey Truck Trail when he was ambushed by a group of smugglers out to rob him.

Atty. For Slain Border Agent May Sue Government

Brian Terry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry may sue the government.

Fox News reports that the family attorney Paul Chartlon said: “If the evidence shows Brian’s death was proximately caused by the negligence of the federal government, there may be a cause of action.

Guns from ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of the crime in December 2010. He was killed in southern Arizona allegedly by an illegal immigrant working for the Sinaloa Cartel, according to Fox.

To date, there has been no evidence that has surfaced publicly to indicate that the guns from the ATF operation were actually used to kill Terry.

Operation Fast and Furious has become the target of Congressional inquiries. The operation involved encouraging gun dealers in Arizona to sell to middlemen or “straw purchasers” — all with the hopes of tracing them to the Mexican cartels.

Critics say ATF lost track of some guns that showed up at crime scenes.

The White House has condemned the program.