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Weekend Series on Crime: The Patty Hearst Caper

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ifmEBN2BLM

Sen. Baucus’ Nominated Girlfriend for U.S. Atty. Job; She Opts to Live With Him Instead

Sen. Max Baucus/gov photo

Sen. Max Baucus/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — They say “politics makes strange bedfellows” and Sen. Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat, can certainly attest to that.

The news website Main Justice reports that Justice Department official Melodee Hanes, a former Baucus staffer, who is in a relationship with Baucus, withdrew her name as a finalist for the U.S. Attorney job in  Big Sky Country  “in order to live with the senator in Washington.”

Baucus nominated Hanes while he was having a relationship with her and she served  as his  state director, according to Roll Call. She withdrew her nomination, and shortly after stepped down as a Baucus staffer.

Melodee Hanes/facebook photo

Melodee Hanes/facebook photo

Main Justice’s Andrew Ramonas reports that Hanes’ ex-husband Thomas Bennett said: “She was recommended for the position because of a very close and personal relationship with Max Baucus and she withdrew because of a very close and personal relationship with Max Baucus.” Bennett and Hanes divorced in 2008.

To read more about this tangled web, go to Main Justice.

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Column: Fellow From Hudson Institute Says FBI’s Handling of Ft. Hood Case Raises Questions About Abilities to Handle Counterterrorism (NY Post)

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FBI’s Kevin Favreau and Bill Lewis Get New Posts

Kevin Favreau/fbi photo
Kevin Favreau/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – There’s been a little game of musical chairs at the FBI as of late.

Kevin Favreau is leaving the mothership in Washington to become special agent in charge of the FBI’s Las Vegas Division. He was mostly recently assistant director of the Directorate of Intelligence at headquarters.

Bill L. Lewis has been named special agent in charge for the FBI’s Criminal Division in Los Angeles. He was most recently the FBI’s legal attaché in Baghdad.

Bill Lewis/fbi photo
Bill Lewis/fbi photo

Favreau replaces Steve Martinez, who goes from Las Vegas to Los Angeles where he was named assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

Read Press Release on Bill Lewis

Read Press Release on Kevin Favreau

The Salahis Weren’t the First to Embarrass the Secret Service

The publicity seeking Salahis/facebook photo
The publicity seeking Salahis/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
For Sphere.com (A New AOL News Site)

WASHINGTON – The Salahis were hardly the first to embarrass the Secret Service by crashing presidential security. And it will probably happen again.

One man did it twice. The Rev. Rich C. Weber shook hands with President Clinton at his second inauguration, then was back four years later in 2001, welcoming President George W. Bush with a brief conversation.

There were also more frightening incidents — a man who hopped the White House gate with a .38-caliber revolver and got within 50 feet of the residence. Another man crashed a plane into the White House.

But until Tareq and Michaele Salahi attended a state dinner uninvited last week, even posing for pictures, maybe none of the intruders displayed quite the aplomb that Robert Latta did on Jan. 20, 1985.

Latta, a 45-year-old water meter reader from Denver, sneaked into the East Entrance of the White House with the Marine Band about two hours before President Reagan was sworn in for his second term.

For Full Story

Column: Ex-Secret Service Official Says White House Incident Must be Put in Perspective

James G. Huse is a retired assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service and a retired Inspector General for Social Security.

James Huse

James Huse

By James G. Huse Jr.
ticklethewire.com columnist

In the wake of the kabuki surrounding the media focus on the bizarre escapades of White House crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi, one fact stands completely indisputable: there is no such thing as perfect security.

The Secret Service knows this from its long history, and from that, has built its protective operations accordingly. All Secret Service protective operations are woven from inter-locking internal controls (some highly classified) that not only reinforce each other, but provide parallel assurance as well.

In the context of this incident, as the Director of the Secret Service Mark Sullivan testified before the Congress, neither the President’s safety or well-being or that of the Prime Minister of India were jeopardized by the attendance of the non-invited Salahis to the state dinner.

Any security system for public dignitaries that depends on the discretionary judgments of humans, has to accept the risk of human error as a variable.

Indeed, in this incident the failure of these controls at a critical checkpoint allowed the Salahis their uninvited access. How that failure transpired is under intense investigation by the Secret Service, and appropriate adjustments and actions will follow as a result.

Nevertheless, what is not clearly reported, is that other concurrent security operations were successfully performed at the state dinner, that assured the safety of the President and his distinguished Head of Government guest.

The strident critics of the Secret Service do not understand this concurrent security dynamic, or do not care to comprehend this reality because it deflates their various theses that this incident is the result of mismanagement or budget stinginess.

Read more »

Ex-NJ U.S. Attorney Chris Christie Off the Hook as Defense Witness

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie who is now Gov-elect of New Jersey, is off the hook.

Turns out he won’t have to testify as a defense witness in the trial of a white supremacist shock jock Hal Turner, who is accused of threatening the lives of three Illinois federal judges.

The defense had subpeonaed Christie in the trial, which is being held in Brooklyn. The Associated Press reported that the defense decided not to call any witnesses.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday. The case had been moved from Chicago to Brooklyn after a request was made for a change of venue. During trial, evidence showed that Turner worked as an FBI informant.

Suspect in Chandra Levy Murder Charged With Threatening Witness

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The man accused of killing intern Chandra Levy in 2001, has been charged with threatening a witness, a fellow inmate, from testifying against him, the Washington Post reported.

The U.S. Attorneys Office in Washington this week filed a superseding indictment against suspect Ingmar Guandique, 28, adding an obstruction of justice charge in connection with the threat.

The Post reported that authorities moved the the inmate who was threatened. In all, the prosecutor’s office added three new charges in the superseding indictment.

As a result, the trial will now begin in October instead of next month. Guandique is currently serving a 10 year sentence for attacking two female joggers in Rock Creek Park in Washington, not far from where Levy’s remains were found in 2002.

Govt Report Says U.S. Has Spent a Fraction of Money Pledged to Fight Mexican Drug Cartels

The war against the Mexican Cartels is a critical one for not only Mexico but the U.S. as well. The cartels have killed hordes of people in Mexico and the U.S. and successfully bribed Mexican and U.S. officials. This U.S. should be ashamed of the findings in this report. Talk is cheap.

mexico-map-istock

By William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service

MEXICO CITY — The United States has spent a fraction of the money pledged — just $24 million of $1.3 billion appropriated — to help Mexico in its bloody three-year-old battle against the drug cartels that have turned parts of country into a war zone and left 15,000 dead, according to a U.S. government report issued Thursday.

This Story

The Merida Initiative, signed by President George W. Bush and Mexican leader Felipe Calderón in 2007, promises Black Hawk helicopters, night-vision goggles and drug-sniffing dogs, as well as a more robust crime-fighting partnership between the United States and Mexico. So far the United States has delivered 2 percent of the equipment and support promised, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office.

For Full Report

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