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Ex-DEA Official Mike Braun Says Mexican Cartels Lashing Out “Like Never Before”

Mike Braun

Mike Braun

By Mike Braun
Security DeBrief

William Booth’s article in the Washington Post, “12 Federal Agents Are Slain in Mexico,” highlights yet another act of desperation on the part of the Mexican drug cartels in response to Mexico President Felipe Calderon’s strategy to break the backs of the cartels-once and for all.

The cartels are lashing out like never before, because they are slowly and systematically being backed into a corner from which there is no escape.

President Calderon’s attack has been relentless and unyielding. The cartels have never before experienced the likes of President Calderon, and to say they are feeling the heat is an understatement.

Taking on powerful drug cartels with a global reach is dirty business, and the work ahead for Mexico’s security institutions is most likely going to get even nastier before meaningful signs of improvement are witnessed. However, there is hope.

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Report Says Fed Govt Cybersecurity Falling Behind

It’s been no secret that the federal government is behind in updating it’s cybersecurity. What kind of disaster is it going to take before the government puts it in fifth gear and catches up?

computer1

By Joe Davidson
Washington Post Federal Diary Columnist
WASHINGTON — Sometimes Uncle Sam acts even older than he looks.

When it comes to the quickly advancing world of cybersecurity, for example, Sam can be as modern as a floppy disk.

That was considered the high-tech way of storing data in 1988, the last time one of the government’s computer science job descriptions was updated, according to a new report. The description makes no mention of the World Wide Web, because, of course, that term had not yet been coined.

It’s time for Sam to get with the new world, and the report, released Wednesday by a nonprofit organization and a consultant, is pushing him to do just that. “Cyber In-Security” says the federal government is falling behind in the race to keep its computer operations safe because the workforce has too few well-trained cybersecurity experts.

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And the Answer is: Ex-Rep William Jefferson Won’t Testify at His Trial

After all the speculation and suspense, in the end, the defense played it safe and decided not to let Jefferson take the stand on his own behalf. With 16 counts, the odds are stacked against the Congressman. So it may be hard to tell whether it was the right move.

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — Former Rep. William Jefferson is not expected to testify in his federal corruption trial, his attorney said today, setting up the possibility that the defense could open and rest its case Thursday.

Lead attorney Robert Trout told Judge T.S. Ellis III, that “we do not expect” to call the nine-term Democrat to testify on his on behalf.

Ellis said both sides had assured him they could wrap up the case by mid-day Thursday, when the court will recess for a long weekend, staying out through Monday. Closing arguments could begin when court resumes Tuesday, with the jury getting the case later next week.

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Fewer Immigrants Illegally Crossing Mexico-U.S. Border

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Advocates Elimination of Crack-Powder Cocaine Sentencing in Speech to Black Prosecutors

The sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine has long been a controversial one. Many critics say the law is unfair and targets the black community. But some federal agents and prosecutors argue that crack is far more likely to be associated with violence, and consequently should carry tougher penalties.

Eric Holder

Eric Holder

By Lawrence Buser
Memphis Commercial Appeal
MEMPHIS — The nation’s top prosecutor told members of the National Black Prosecutors Association today that the pursuit of justice should include eliminating sentencing disparities in cases involving crack and powder cocaine.

Speaking to some 200 association members at the Marriott Downtown, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said the Justice Department is reviewing federal sentencing policies, including “the 100-to-1 crack-powder sentencing ratio” adopted in the 1980s.

“Although some may seek to impose the soft-on-crime label on anyone who speaks the truth about this issue, we all know that this egregious difference in punishment is simply wrong,” said Holder, 58, a former federal judge in Washington.

“I have seen first-hand the effect that disparities in drug sentences have had on our communities. In my career as a prosecutor and as a judge, I saw too often the cost borne by the community when promising, capable young people sacrificed years of their futures for non-violent offenses.”

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DEA and LAPD Raid Office of Michael Jackson’s Doctor

You have to wonder if authorities would try nearly as hard to get to the bottom of a death involving an Average Joe.  On the other hand, this probe may once again highlight the dangers of  prescription drugs.

Dr. Conrad Murray/facebook photo

Dr. Conrad Murray/facebook photo

By JUAN A. LOZANO and THOMAS WATKINS
The Associated Press
HOUSTON — A lawyer for Michael Jackson’s doctor says police who searched the physician’s north Houston clinic were searching for evidence of manslaughter.

Dr. Conrad Murray had been interviewed by police as a witness to the pop star’s death, but has not been considered a suspect.

Los Angeles police and agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration searched the Armstrong Medical Clinic on Wednesday for about 2 1/2 hours. Authorities said they were searching for documents.

“The search warrant authorized law enforcement to search for and seize items, including documents, they believed constituted evidence of the offense of manslaughter,” Ed Chernoff, Murray’s attorney, said in a statement posted on his law firm’s Web site.

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-nSCTk5vgg

N.J. Gov. Corzine Attacks His Opponent — Ex-U.S. Atty. Christie in Campaign Ad

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsAg0gIWqx4&feature=player_embedded

Fed Judge Questions Why FBI Interview With Cheney Shouldn’t Be Released

We could use some more info to figure out exactly what happened in the Valerie Plame case. The Justice Department wants to keep some things under wraps. In this case, the right thing to do is to be transparent.

Dick Cheney/meet the press

Dick Cheney/meet the press

By Ben Conery
Washington Times
WASHINGTON — A federal judge questioned Tuesday whether the Justice Department’s request to not release notes from an FBI interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney essentially would require the judge to create new law, something he said he couldn’t do.

The government asked Judge Emmett Sullivan to keep the notes from being made public because, officials say, revealing them may discourage top White House officials from cooperating with future investigations.

Judge Sullivan, however, said adopting the government’s reasoning would essentially create new limits for freedom of information laws.

“What the government is asking this court to do is to create another exemption, to legislate, something judges cannot do,” he said in federal court in Washington. “Why isn’t this a job for Congress? Why aren’t you before Congress asking them to carve out this additional category that you want me to create?”

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