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Chief FBI Spokesman Challenges NY Times Editorial on FBI Policy

Michael Kortan is assistant director for public affairs for the FBI in Washington. His letter to the editor is in response to a June 19 Editorial in the New York Times.

Michael Kortan (left) talking to ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh /fbi file photo

By Michael P. Kortan
New York Times Letter to Editor

WASHINGTON — The purpose of the attorney general guidelines and F.B.I. policy contained in the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide is to ensure that F.B.I. activities are conducted with respect for the constitutional rights and privacy interests of all Americans.

Although an effort is under way to revise the prior version of the guide, contrary to the editorial’s statements, the revision will not provide “agents significant new powers.”

The editorial notes that currently specialized surveillance squads may be used only once during an assessment but that the new guide will allow repeated use.

What the editorial does not mention is that surveillance, whether conducted by a specialized squad or a single agent, is tightly controlled during assessments. It can be authorized only for very limited periods of time, and any extension must be separately justified and approved.

To read more click here.

Ex-Conn. FBI Agent Mike Clark Who Arrested Politicians is Running for Congress

Mike Clark

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent Mike Clark, who helped bring down two corrupt Connecticut mayors and a governor  wants to go to Congress.

The Associated Press reports that Clark, 56, has announced his candidacy for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, which includes wealthy Hartford suburbs and cities such as Waterbury and Danbury.

AP reported that he would become the third ex-FBI agent in Congress.

Clark has worked at Otis Elevator as manager of international investigations and compliance since he retired from the FBI in 2004, AP reported.

Clark is credited with helping send two Waterbury mayors to prison along with Conn. Gov. John G. Rowland.

“I’ve got this unique perspective that I’m bringing to the table,” Clark said, according to AP.

He Clark said the public won’t have to harbor concerns that he’ll be a crooked politician.

Authorities Capture Mexican Drug Lord Tied to ICE Agent’s Death

Happy July 4th From ticklethewire.com

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement: An Interview With Ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh

Pot Growers, Sellers and Distributors May be Prosecuted in Medical Marijuana States

dea photo

By Joel Rosenblatt
Bloomberg

Large-scale growers, sellers and distributors of marijuana may be prosecuted in states that have passed laws permitting medical use of the drug, according to a Justice Department memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

The June 29 memo, from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole to U.S. attorneys, says a 2009 memo issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden — referred to as the “Ogden Memo” — remains in effect.

The Ogden letter advised prosecutors that enforcement efforts against people using marijuana to treat cancer or other serious illnesses in accordance with state laws may not be “an efficient use of federal resources,” according to Cole’s memo. The Ogden memo was “never intended to shield” larger scale cultivation, Cole wrote.

To read more click here.

Senate Confirms U.S. Attys for N.C., Ala., Miss, Virgin Islands; Obama Nominates Miss. U.S. Attorney

Thomas Walker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed  Thomas Walker for U.S. Attorney in Raleigh, N.C., according to WRAL.

Three other U.S. Attorneys were also confirmed, according to the website Main Justice: George Beck for the Middle District of Alabama; Felicia Adams for the Northern District of Mississippi; and Ronald Sharpe for the Virgin Islands.

Walker, who was in private practice, and was  previsously an assistant U.S. Attorney and an  assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County, N.C., replaces  Bush-appointee George Holding who announced earlier this month that he will step down on July 8.

Holding stayed in office to oversee the criminal investigation into ex-Sen. John Edwards, who was recently indicted for alleged campaign fund irregularities.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday President Obama nominated Gregory Davis for the U.S. Attorney spot in Southern District of Mississippi.

He has been a member of the law firm Davis, Goss & Williams, PLLC since 1989. From 1987 to 1989, he was an associate attorney for the law firm Stamps & Stamps.

Mass. Gov. Weighs in on Whitey Bulger Case; Ex-Boston FBI Agent Said Some May Worry What the Mobster Has to Say

Gov. Duval/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The governor of Massachusetts is weighing in on the controversial James “Whitey” Bulger case.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday in an interview on WTKK-FM that more damaging information about the FBI could surface now that Bulger has been captured and  is talking.

Bulger was an informant for the FBI before he went on the lam in the mid-90s and one of his FBI handlers, agent John Connolly, is in prison after being convicted of assisting Bulger in a Florida murder. Connolly was supposedly on the take and there were allegations that other agents were as well.

“This case has not reflected well on the FBI,” the governor said on his monthly appearance on WTKK-FM. “There are a whole lot of us wondering if there’s going to be more revelations if Whitey Bulger is going to talk.”

Patrick said he has spoken about the case with state troopers who served on the task force that hunted Bulger for years. “I feel like there’s this whole backstory I have to learn, but some of the stories are really chilling,” he said on WTKK-FM, according to the Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, the New York Times quoted a former Boston FBI agent as saying there are people who might be worried Bulger may talk.

“I think there are a whole bunch of people out there he could probably name” who are worried what he might say, said Robert Fitzpatrick, a former assistant special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office in the 1980s, the Times reported. Patrick had previously testified that he tried nsuccessfully to end Mr. Bulger’s run as an informant.

The Times reported that during Bulger’s 16 years on the lam,  several of his former crime partners testified that he had made payoffs to two dozen Boston police officers and half a dozen FBI agents,  giving them thousands of dollars and rings, a Meerschaum pipe and Lalique glass.

The Times reported that retired Massachusetts State Police Commander Tom Foley, who pursued“” said Tom Foley, a retired state police commander who pursued Mr. Bulger with Ahab-like intensity for years, only to see him elude capture thanks to help from his F.B.I. friends. “It’s  the people who set that up and allowed it to happen, and especially the people who had a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

The Times reported that Foley intensely went after Bulger with “Ahab-like interensity for years,  only to see him elude capture thanks to help from his F.B.I. friends.”

“It’s not always just the guy pulling the trigger who is guilty,” he said. “It’s also the people who set that up and allowed it to happen, and especially the people who had a responsibility to put a stop to it.”