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May 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Book Review: SECURING THE CITY Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force — The NYPD

After Sept. 11, 2001, New York City assembled one darn impressive counter-terrorism unit.  Christopher Dickey, a Newsweek correspondent, takes an in depth look at the department in  his latest book.

New York Times Book Review

Roland Emmerich’s 1998 remake of “Godzilla,” starring Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno, was a hapless piece of moviemaking, panned by critics and largely rejected by American audiences.
In the third world, though, the movie touched a chord. Among those who loved it were Qaeda sympathizers and hangers-on in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The scenes of Godzilla stomping across New York City, crushing everything in its path, were mesmerizing and inspiring. One captured terrorist later warned of an attack against “the bridge in the Godzilla movie.” Interrogators had to go rent Mr. Emmerich’s film to find out what he meant: the Brooklyn Bridge.
It is both comical and scary to witness the degree to which terrorists (and would-be terrorists) have been in thrall to American action movies. Richard Reid, the failed shoe bomber, used the pseudonym Van Damme, after the B-grade martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Another terrorist was obsessed with “Air Force One,” the Harrison Ford president-in-peril film.
Weirdest of all, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – the pudgy 9/11 plotter who will be forever remembered for his disheveled mug shot – was supposedly an amusing guy when he attended an agricultural state university in North Carolina. His nickname? “B’lushi.”
In his revealing and nerve-rattling new book, “Securing the City,” a look inside the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism division, Christopher Dickey recounts the details of dozens of terrorist plots against New York City and elsewhere.

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Prosecutors Say Barry Bonds Used Designer Steroids and a Female Fertility Drug to Trick Tests

Now that the government has released a barrage of documents, the question remains: What’s Bond’s defense? It better be good.

Lance Williams and Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — Former Giants slugger Barry Bonds used the BALCO designer steroid “the clear” during the 2003 baseball season and also was taking a female fertility drug that can mask drug use on steroid tests, federal prosecutors say.
Also in 2003, Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, was secretly tape-recorded describing the regimen of undetectable banned drugs that baseball’s all-time homerun leader was using, federal prosecutors say.
In documents unsealed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the government laid out what it hopes will be the core of evidence it will present to a jury next month in Bonds’ trial on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges.
He is accused of lying when he told a grand jury in 2003 that he had never knowingly used steroids.
For Full Story

Read Prosecution Documents

Fed. Prosecutors Widen the Net into Allegations of Torture Involving Chicago Cops

By Steve Mills and Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors continue to investigate decades-old allegations that Chicago police routinely tortured murder suspects, focusing on a half-dozen detectives following the recent indictment of former Cmdr. Jon Burge, the alleged ringleader, sources said.
Subpoenas served on the city show that prosecutors are looking at detectives long linked to Burge and the South Side precincts where he worked mostly during the 1980s. Among them: former Sgt. John Byrne, considered Burge’s right-hand man, and former detective Peter Dignan.
It is not surprising that the investigation has widened beyond Burge. Last October, when prosecutors announced Burge’s indictment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said the charges “should serve as a warning” to those officers who worked for him and took part in alleged brutality.
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Atty Fired Under Bush Regime After Rumors of Being A Lesbian is Rehired

Things are quickly changing at the Justice Department — quicker than expected.

By Ari Shapiro
All Things Considered
WASHINGTON —  On Monday, the Justice Department undid a small part of the damage that top officials caused in a scandal of politicized hiring and firing during the Bush administration. The department rehired an attorney who was improperly removed from her job because she was rumored to be a lesbian.
NPR first broke the story of Leslie Hagen’s dismissal last April, and the Justice Department’s inspector general later corroborated the report. Now, Hagen has returned to her post at the department’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
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He’s Back: Ex-Gov. Blago Takes Some Hits on Letterman



Some Investors Suspected Madoff of Wrongdoing But Didn’t Care (Bloomberg)

Could Missing FBI Agent Robert Levinson Be Part of Prisoner Swap?

Criminologist Who Looks Like Biker Opening Law Enforcement’s Eyes About Drug Dealers

"The Wire" Depicted Life of the Drug DealerBy Suzanne Smalley

The image of a drug dealer driving a Mercedes is a Hollywood favorite, so maybe it’s not surprising that the African-American preacher, speaking on a panel about how to shut down urban drug markets, went for the cliché. It’s hard to get the dealers off the corners and into straight jobs, said the preacher, since selling drugs pays so well. A voice piped up. “This is not true,” said David Kennedy. “They’re scraping by, living at home.” Kennedy offered advice: when confronting dealers who say they’re getting rich, tell them, “I’m calling bulls—.”
Kennedy is a rail-thin white man with weary eyes, a goatee and hair down his back; he resembles country singer Willie Nelson. He has never been a cop, and, as one friend says, he “looks more like a biker than a professor.” He has no Ph.D. or masters in criminology; he studied philosophy as a Swarthmore undergrad. But in the hotel ballroom packed with police and U.S. Justice Department officials, everyone was listening-because Kennedy is the only person who has ever come up with a consistently viable (and cost-effective) strategy for helping the inner city with its chronic blight and shame, the dope dealer on the corner.
For Full Story

The Latest “Oops Award” Goes to New York Fed Judge P. Kevin Castel

By Jerry Capeci
Gangland News

Federal Judge P. Kevin Castel is a stickler for the rule of law and proper courtroom decorum.
Two weeks ago, the judge’s words, and common courtesy, failed the jurist miserably when he tweaked a federal prosecutor twice about his failure to stand up to address the court.
Had the judge exhibited the common courtesy to look down from the bench he would have realized the prosecutor can’t stand up. He’s a quadriplegic.
See Gangland News