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President Nominates Deputy FBI Dir. John Pistole to Head Transportation Security Administration

John Pistole/fbi photo

John Pistole/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
tickletehwire.com

WASHINGTON – President Obama on Monday announced plans to nominate FBI deputy director John Pistole — the number two man in the agency — to head up the Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for the safety of the nation’s airport passengers.

He becomes the third Presidential  nominee for that position. The two others withdrew after questions were raised about their background.

“The talent and knowledge John has acquired in more than two decades of service with the F.B.I. will make him a valuable asset to our administration’s efforts to strengthen the security and screening measures at our airports,” President Obama said in a statement.”I am grateful that he has agreed to take on this important role, and I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead.”

Pistole, who has a fair amount of fans over at FBI headquarters, has been the second in command since 2004.

The nomination comes at time the TSA is under increasing scrutiny and pressure to provide safe travels for the millions who pass through the nation’s airports. Pistole, who is regarded as a straight shooter,  is unlikely to face many problems in the confirmation process.  He’s expected to stay in his current post until the confirmation process is complete.

Previously, his name surfaced as one of four candidates being considered to head up the Drug Enforcement Administration. But in the end the nod went to the acting head of DEA,  Michele Leonhart. After that, his name had surfaced as a possible head for ATF, but that idea never went any where.

Read more »

Justice Dept. to Examine New Orleans Police Department

Mayor Landrieu asked for Justice Dept. to intervene/city photo

Mayor Landrieu asked for Justice Dept. to intervene/city photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In response to a cry for help from the newly minted Mayor, the Justice Department announced Monday that it will conduct an evaluation of the New Orleans Police Department to figure out reforms for the troubled agency, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, attending a news conference in New Orleans with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials, said the assessment will start immediately, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Perez wrote a letter to Landrieu saying the Justice Department will “examine allegations of excessive force, unconstitutional searches and seizures, racial profiling, failures to provide adequate police services to particular neighborhoods and related misconduct.”

“We already have boots on the ground right now. We will spend a lot of time here in the weeks and months ahead in the city of New Orleans,” Perez said, according to the paper.

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Shortly after taking office,Landrieu asked the Justice Department to examine the police department. News of the assessment was first reported on Friday by the website Main Justice.

The department has been plagued by problems and tarnished lately by guilty pleas of officers involved in covering up  the infamous Danziger Bridge police shootings after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that left  two people dead and four injured.

The community distrust of the department has a been a running problem.

Ex-FBI Agent Wants Director Mueller to Stand Up for Miranda Warning

Joe Navarro/ photo from his website

Joe Navarro/ photo from his website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A retired FBI agent well versed in interrogating spies and terrorists, says he wants FBI Director Robert Mueller III to speak up and defend the reading of Miranda Warnings to suspects, the website Spy Talk reported.

Retired agent Joe Navarro said the Miranda Warning — giving suspects the right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney — doesn’t inhibit questioning, according to the Spy Talk.

“In 25 years working as an FBI agent, I found that the Miranda decision did not interfere with me in either obtaining usable information or making prosecutable cases,” Navarro wrote in an opinion piece in the weekend Tampa Tribune, according to Spy Talk.

“Miranda doesn’t interfere with making cases,” he added. “Incompetent investigators do.”

“It is unfortunate that the current head of the FBI has refused to step forward and say, ‘This is the law, and FBI agents will abide by it, end of story. We can do our job with Miranda,’ ” Navarro wrote.

“Sadly, few people in government have risen up to set the record straight and demand respect for the law.”

Va. U.S. Atty. Wants to Run With the Big Dogs in Securities Fraud Crack Down

german shephard
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Is the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va., trying to run with the big dogs in New York in the area of securities fraud?

A Wall Street Journal report gives a resounding Yes to that question.

The paper’s Law Blog reports that U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of Virginia “is assembling a new, investigative task force of federal, state and local entities to crack down on financial crime and securities fraud. He has hired several new prosecutors to focus on white-collar crime—and is targeting high-profile cases.”

“We’re stepping up our game, working in close partnership with the Securities and Exchange Commission and others to really make a push to focus on significant, national-impact securities-fraud cases,” Mr. MacBride told the Journal.

The Journal says the Virginia office can claim jurisdiction over such cases because the Securities and Exchange Commission data base is located in Alexandria, “meaning every publicly traded company technically files their accounts in his district.”

Mexican Drug Cartel Had Secret Police Documents Including Info Originating From DEA

Mexico border mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As Mexican president Felipe Calderon prepares to arrive in Washington, word has surfaced that Mexican authorities seized documents from a drug cartel listing Mexican federal agents and their phone numbers and intelligence information that originated from the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the Associated Press.

AP reported that the documents were seized in May 2009 from the car of an associate of Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The discovery was first reported by the newspaper Reforma.

President Felipe Calderon

President Felipe Calderon

The news service said the documents, which appeared to have come from the Mexico’s federal Public Safety Department, has raised concerns anew about public corruption at the  highest levels of the Mexican government.

The drug war is surely expected to be a key issue during Calderon’s meeting with the White House.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

The Roots of Discontent for The NY Car Bomber Faisal Shahzad

Stories like this may provide some insight into the latest attempted terrorist attack involving Faisal Shahzad, a man came from a well-to-do family in Pakistan,who was making a life as an American, but became increasingly angry at the U.S. and its policies.

Faisal Shahzad/cnn

Faisal Shahzad/cnn

By Andrea Elliott, Sabrina Tavernise and Anne Barnard
New York Times

Just after midnight on Feb. 25, 2006, Faisal Shahzad sent a lengthy e-mail message to a group of friends. The trials of his fellow Muslims weighed on him — the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the plight of Palestinians, the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.

Mr. Shahzad was wrestling with how to respond. He understood the notion that Islam forbids the killing of innocents, he wrote. But to those who insist only on “peaceful protest,” he posed a question: “Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows?

“Everyone knows how the Muslim country bows down to pressure from west. Everyone knows the kind of humiliation we are faced with around the globe.”

Yet by some measures, Mr. Shahzad — a Pakistani immigrant who was then 26 years old — seemed to be thriving in the West.

To read full story click here.

FBI Had Discussions About Moving Headquarters to Suburban Maryland

fbi headquarters2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI has had talks about moving its aging headquarters to Maryland, but the tanking economy may have put any plans on hold, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

A lawsuit filed by Greenbelt Ventures against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, says Metroland Developers was “secretly meeting with WMATA and the FBI analyzing a potential use of the WMATA property for the FBI’s relocation” in Greenbelt, a Washington suburb in Prince George’s County, Md, the Post reported. The FBI’s possible relocation was first reported in the Greenbelt News Review.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter told the Post there had been preliminary discussions to move the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW “before the economy tanked.” He said many sites were considered, but he was not aware of the Greenbelt location.

Carter told the Post that Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) had pushed for a Maryland location, and that the National Harbor in Prince George’s County was under consideration.

Carter told the Post talks have not evolved since the economy tanked and that “I’m not aware of imminent plans to relocate the FBI at this time. Nothing has been decided.”

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime: The Russian Mob

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAF33jj61vY