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Holocaust Museum Shooter James W. von Brunn Still Too Ill To Appear in Court

holocaust-museum-2By Rachel Leven
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The arraignment for James W. von Brunn, charged with fatally shooting a Holocaust Museum guard, was postponed Tuesday after prosecutors indicated that the white supremacist was still not healthy enough to make a court appearance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Waid told U.S. Magistrate John M. Facciola that von Brunn’s D.C. Department of Corrections doctor said he was still not in good enough health since being shot during the incident earlier this month.

Von Brunn faces a first-degree murder charge.

After the proceeding, defense attorney A.J. Kramer declined to comment on specifics. However, he said that 88-year-old von Brunn was bed ridden. He also confirmed his previous remarks that von Brunn was responsive to statements.

The judge rescheduled the von Brunn’s appearance for July 10 at 9:30 a.m.

Von Brunn is charged with fatally shooting Holocaust Museum guard Stephen T. Johns on June 10. Von Brunn was shot in the face during return fire. He is currently at Greater Southeast Community Hospital.

U.S. Atty. Paralegal in Detroit Suspected of Leaking Secret Info in City Hall Probe

detroit-city-limitsYes, this is the scandal that keeps on giving.

Paul Egan
The Detroit News
DETROIT — A paralegal at the U.S. Attorney’s Office is suspended after officials suspected she leaked confidential information to Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle while he was under criminal investigation, people familiar with the investigation said Monday.

Wendolyn Greene, formerly Wendolyn Johnson, answered “no” Monday when asked if she still worked for the federal prosecutor’s office in Detroit, where she was a paralegal in the special prosecutions unit. She then hung up her home phone.

“We had an employee by that name; I don’t know her status,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Gina Balaya said Monday when asked about Greene. Balaya later called back to clarify, saying Greene “is still an employee of this office.” Beyond that, “we can’t discuss her status at all,” she said.

People familiar with the investigation said the controversy arose about a year ago, close to the time that news of the Synagro Technologies Inc. bribery scandal became public. Riddle had dated Greene and federal officials suspected he got information from her relevant to an ongoing federal investigation, sources said.

For Full Story

Feds Investigating 10 of Madoff’s Associates

Bernie Madoff/youtube

Bernie Madoff/youtube

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Surprise. Surprise. It looks like good old Bernie Madoff — one of the great ripoff artists of the 21st Century — didn’t act alone.

The Associated Press is reporting that the feds are investigating 10 people associated with Madoff.

The news service, attributing the report to “a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity” said the person would not provide details on whether the targets include Madoff’s family members or former employees.

Who knows, if Madoff cooperates, maybe the feds will knock off 10 years off his 150 year sentence he got on Monday.

Lawmaker Calls Federal Air Marshals “Useless”

us-air-marshals

The question many ask: Would the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks have happened had we had Air Marshals aboard those planes?


By Anthony L. Kimery
HS Today

During a five minute speech on the House floor June 19, Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) declared that the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS) is “probably the most needless, useless agency in the entire federal government.”

Duncan said the $860 million in the fiscal year 2010 homeland security appropriations bill “for this needless, useless agency … is a total waste … we will appropriate $860 million for people to sit on airplanes and simply fly back and forth, back and forth. What a cushy, easy job.”

Continuing his dissing of FAMS, Duncan asserted he “know[s] with absolute certainty that this $860 million we are about to give them could be better spent on thousands of other things. As far as I’m concerned, it is just money going down a drain for the little good it will do. When we are so many trillions of dollars in debt, a national debt of over $13 trillion, we simply cannot afford to waste money in this way.”

For Full Story

FBI Informant in Jefferson Case Sent Email to Agent Likening Herself to a “Star”

William J. Jefferson

William J. Jefferson

The defense hopes to show that then Congressman Jefferson was simply dealing with the FBI informant as a business person, not a Congressman. He’s got an uphill battle in this area. But as a defense, it’s worth a shot.

By Bruce Alpert
Washington bureau
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — In an e-mail message to the lead FBI agent in the William Jefferson corruption case, government informant Lori Mody likens herself to a “star” awaiting reviews from the critics.

The Mody e-mail, dated May 13, 2005, was sent the day after she and Jefferson shared a $1,023 dinner in which conversations were secretly recorded by the FBI. The contents of the message were provided by defense attorneys as part of a brief filed Monday.

In the filing, Jefferson’s attorneys ask Judge T.S. Ellis III for permission to play excerpts of tapes not being presented by the U.S. Justice Department in the former congressman’s trial, which entered its ninth day of testimony Monday.

During the dinner, in which Jefferson’s attorneys say “considerable amounts of wine” were consumed, Jefferson allegedly wrote on a piece of paper that he wanted an 18 percent to 20 percent share of a company Mody had created to develop a telecommunications project in Nigeria. The government has labeled that a bribe solicitation.

For Full Story

How the FBI Broke Saddam Hussein

FBI Agent fingerprints Saddam Hussein/fbi photo
FBI Agent fingerprints Saddam Hussein/fbi photo

I remember hearing George Piro speak once and one thing he said was that Saddam Hussein loved Saddam Hussein. I guess there was a reason for a country full of Saddam statues.

By James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News
WASHINGTON –Saddam Hussein loved to talk – and to b.s. his sole interrogator, FBI Supervisory Special Agent George Piro.

But Piro – backed up by a team of FBI agents and crack CIA analysts – knew Saddam’s history too well. Where there were gaps, Piro was able to parry with the imprisoned leader to get credible answers. “High Value Detainee-1” was soon blabbing so freely it was hard for him to keep his lies intact.

As the weeks wore on, Saddam opened up more and more as the FBI-CIA team leveraged its strategy to “overwhelm” – and break – him by confronting the deposed dictator with evidence of his crimes against humanity.

He was soon boasting of terrible misdeeds against his own people – in order to set the historical record straight, which Piro had encouraged.

For Full Story

Read Saddam Hussein Interrogation Reports as Posted by the N.Y. Daily News:

FBI-Baghdad 302 interrogation reports from Mar. 3 – May 1, 2004
FBI-Baghdad Mar. 21, 2004 progress report on interrogations
Read How the FBI Broke Saddam – Part 1
Read How the FBI Broke Saddam – Part 2

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBLhU-4WsMI

Adios Bernie: Judge Gives Madoff 150 Years, Says “Sorry Is Not Enough”

Well, 150 years is a lot, but quite appropriate. There’s no way to make up for the damage he did.

By Thomas Zambito, Jose Martinez and Corky Siemaszko
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Ponzi king Bernie Madoff got the max Monday – 150 years in prison – for engineering a $65 billion fraud scheme that made his name synonymous with unbridled greed.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Denny Chin threw the book at Bernie after Madoff finally apologized and told the court, “I’m sorry is not enough” after the swindler was savaged by the victims of his scheme.

“I have left a legacy of shame,” Madoff said after a dozen of his dupes begged a judge to let him rot in jail. “This is something I will live in for the rest of my life.”

Madoff also defended his wife Ruth, who while not charged with a crime has become a reviled figure in the tragedy.

For Full Story

Victims Speak Out

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

Federal Judges Beginning to Equalize Punishment for Crack Cocaine

This has long been one of the unfair disparities in sentencing. No question crack cocaine has plagued urban America and destroyed neighborhoods and lives. But should crack have ever been treated differently than powdered cocaine when it came to sentencing?

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
crack-cocaine-deaWASHINGTON — Federal judges are beginning to equalize punishment for crack and powder cocaine crimes, resulting in shorter prison terms for crack dealers and putting pressure on Congress to address a wide disparity in how the legal system handles cocaine-related offenses.

In two recent rulings and interviews, a federal judge in the District and one in Iowa said they had policy differences with Congress and a judicial commission that they said did not go far enough to change the guidelines for crack sentences in 2007.

For Full Story

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