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Former Homeland Chief Chertoff Says Politics Never a Factor in Raising Color-Coded Terror Alert

Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has said politics played a role in the color-coded terror alerts. It sure seemed that way. Then again, it’s always easy to play it safe and raise the color code. The color code was immediately raised whenever the administration learned of a terrorist threat, even if it was several years old.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

By Chris Strohm
Congress Daily
WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Thursday said politics was never a factor in determining whether the nation’s color-coded terror-alert level should be raised.

“Politics never entered into raising the alert during my tenure in any way, shape or form,” said Chertoff, who led DHS from 2005 until last January.

For Full Story

FBI Tracking Person Who Wanted to Sell “Maine Indian Scalps” on Craigslist

This is obviously an unusual case that smacks of racism.

portland-maine-map

By CLARKE CANFIELD
Associated Press Writer
PORTLAND, Maine — The FBI is trying to find the person who posted online advertisements saying he had two-century-old “Maine Indian scalps” that he wanted to sell to white people.

The FBI executed a search warrant last month at Yahoo Inc. for information related to two e-mail addresses linked to the Craigslist postings, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.

It is illegal to traffic in Native American remains.

For Full Story

Ex-Atty. Gen. Gonzales Backpedaling on Support of CIA Probe

Here’s what Alberto Gonzales originally said: “We obviously worked very hard during the Bush administration to establish ground rules to establish parameters about how to deal with terrorists, because we’re a nation of laws, and if people go beyond that, I think it is legitimate to question and examine that conduct to ensure people are held accountable for their actions, even if it’s action in prosecuting the war on terror and trying to protect America.”

Now he’s backpedaling. Not surprising. It seems everyone  in the Bush administration who criticizes the  administration or goes against its policies ends up recanting or clarifying or correcting what they said.

Alberto Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales

By Ben Conery
Washington Times
WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said Thursday that his previous assertion that it was “legitimate to question and examine” charges of CIA abuses of suspected terrorists did not mean he endorsed such an investigation.

“Contrary to press reporting and based on the information that’s available to me,” Mr. Gonzales said during an interview Thursday with The Washington Times, “I don’t support the investigation by the department because this is a matter that has already been reviewed thoroughly and because I believe that another investigation is going to harm our intelligence gathering capabilities and that’s a concern that’s shared by career intelligence officials and so for those reasons I respectfully disagree with the decision.”

FBI Arrests Ex-Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Eugene Lockhart in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

dallas-cowboysBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Eugene J. Lockhart could be playing football again, but this time behind bars.

The FBI on Thursday arrested Lockhart, 48, whose  nickname was once “The Hitting Machine”, on mortgage fraud charges.

The feds charged Lockhart and eight others in a classic mortgage fraud scheme that involved “straw purchasers” and 54 fraudulent residential property loans totalling about $20.5 million between 2001 and 2005 in the Dallas area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas.

Authorities said that Lockhart was involved in a number of real estate companies with names like America’s Team Funding Group and Cowboys Realty.

Read Press Release

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

2,000 FBI Agents and Staff Hit Yankee Stadium

yankee-stadiumBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Suddenly Yankee Stadium had a lot of folks with guns.

About 2,000 FBI agents and support staff descended on Yankee Stadium on Wednesday for a mandatory annual meeting for the New York FBI office, something that was ridiculed by several agents as an annoying waste of time, according to a New York-based website Gang Land News.

The session apparently ran from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and included free hot dogs and soda. (The Yankees were nowhere to be seen. They were playing in Baltimore.)

“Are they bringing in (FBI Director Robert) Mueller to toss out the first pitch,” the site quoted one attendee.

“It’s not my idea of what we should be doing today,” said another.

Gang Land quoted FBI spokesman Jim Margolin as saying: “It was an annual employee conference mandated by the Department of Justice. Not all employees attended in order to insure that all operational functions were appropriately staffed. The venue was reviewed and approved by FBI Headquarters in Washington. The use of the stadium was offered by the Yankees at no cost. And as a practical matter there was no federal facility that would accommodate that many people.”

Belgian Arms Dealer Busted in Scheme to Ship Jet Parts to Iran

It’s good to see that Iran likes the U.S. for something — even if it is for military parts.

iran-map

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A Belgian arms dealer who allegedly tried to smuggle fighter-jet engines and parts from the United States to Iran has been indicted, U.S. officials announced Wednesday, days after he was arrested in New York City after stepping off a flight from France.

Jacques Monsieur, 56, was charged Aug. 27 by a federal grand jury with six counts of conspiracy, smuggling, money laundering, and violating weapons-trafficking laws and export controls related to a U.S. trade embargo on Iran.

For Full Story

Read Indictment

Report Says More than 70% of Illegal Aliens and Contraband Will Make it Across U.S. Border

The borders at Mexico and Canada continues to present a daunting challenge. It’s obvious that the U.S. should and could be doing a better job at the border. Yet, the answers aren’t easy. More inspections might result in untenable traffic jams.

border-fence-photo5

By Homeland Security Newswire
According to DHS, the vast majority — more than 70 percent — of illegal aliens and contraband attempting to move across our border through official ports of entry will succeed

In fiscal 2008 U.S. Border Patrol officers working at checkpoints that are typically set up along roads and highways 25 to 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border stopped three people “who were identified as persons linked to terrorism,” according to information provided by the Border Patrol to the Government Accountability Office.

“In addition,” says a GAO report released Monday, “the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States.”

For Full Story

Major Dem Fundraiser Accused of More Major Fraud

It’s never good when a major fundraiser for your party is accused of corruption, particularly when it’s a big one like this.

Hillary Clinton/state dept. photo

Hillary Clinton/state dept. photo

By Grant McCool
Reuters
NEW YORK- A fund-raiser for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who was charged last week with defrauding Citigroup Inc (C.N) also defrauded other banks, U.S. prosecutors said.

The allegations against fund-raiser Hassan Nemazee — arrested last week on a bank fraud charge and released on $25 million bail — were not formal charges but were in a letter dated Tuesday from prosecutors to a Manhattan federal court magistrate judge handling the case.

Nemazee, 59, head of a private equity firm, was accused on Aug. 25 of one count of bank fraud for seeking a fraudulent $74 million loan from Citigroup’s banking unit. He said after his arrest that he had repaid the loan.

For Full Story

Woman Goes on Runway and Fires Gun (Courthouse News Service)