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Secret Service: Mike Pence’s Motorcade Struck, Injured Police Officer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A motorcade for Vice President-elect Mike Pence struck a D.C. police reserve officer, according to the Secret Service.

The motorcar hit the officer while he was conducting traffic control in northwest Washington on Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press reports. 

The police officer sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the motorcade to strike the officer.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI, Other Agencies Investigating Possible Russian Aid to Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been investigating whether Russia secretly provided money to help President-elect Donald Trump win the November election.

Two sources familiar with the matter told McClatchy that investigators are trying to determine how money may have been moved from Russia to help Trump. 

Included in the investigation is whether some email hackers in the U.S. were covertly paid by the Kremlin.

Among those investigating are the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the director of national intelligence.

The agencies are investigating a few Americans “who were affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire an of multiple individuals from Russia and other former Soviet nations who had similar connections,” sources told McClatchy.

Black Secret Service Agents Reach $24M Agreement in Discrimination Lawsuit

Secret-Service-BadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An agreement has been reached over a long-running lawsuit that alleged the Secret Service discriminates against black agents.

More than 100 agents have reached an agreement with Homeland Security and the Secret Service, NPR reports. 

The pact still needs approval from a court.

Under the agreement, the Secret Service would pay $24 million, but the agency wouldn’t be required to admit wrongdoing. Included in the settlement are lump sum payments as high as $300,000 per agent.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he was “pleased that we are able to finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us.”

“Had the matter gone to trial,” it would have required that we re-live things long past, just at a time when the Secret Service is on the mend,” Johnson wrote in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in 2000 on behalf of agents who claimed they were routinely denied promotions as less-qualified white agents received better jobs.

Obama Denies Clemency for Native American Convicted of Killing 2 FBI Agents

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama will not grant clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who was found guilty of killing two FBI agents during a shootout at a South Dakota reservation in 1975.

The president denied Peltier’s application for clemency, the Washington Times reports. 

The clemency was “not warranted,” the administration’s Office of the Pardon Attorney told Peltier’s attorney.

“Your client’s application was therefore denied by the president on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision,” the notice stated.

Peltier is 72 and seriously ill.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

The FBI Agents Association President Thomas O’Connor  issued a statement:

The FBI Agents Association agrees with the decision of the Obama Administration to deny Leonard Peltier’s petition for executive clemency. In well over a dozen appeals, twice reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, every aspect of Mr. Peltier’s trial has been reviewed in detail. Mr. Peltier has never taken responsibility for his crimes while imprisoned.

Our thoughts today are with the families of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, who were killed by Mr. Peltier in 1975.  The FBI Agents Association will continue to counter efforts by Mr. Peltier’s legal and public relations team to portray him as anything other than who Leonard Peltier really is: an unremorseful, cold-blooded killer. Mr. Peltier should remain in prison and not be shown a mercy he refused to offer to Agents Coler and Williams in 1975, and has denied to their families and friends over the past four decades.

I would like to thank FBIAA members, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and former FBI Supervisory Agent Ed Woods for their advocacy efforts against executive clemency for Mr. Peltier.

Border Patrol Operation Leads to Arrest of 1,000+ Migrants in Southern California

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 people accused of illegally crossing into the U.S. have been arrested since mid-October as part of an operation to thwart human smuggling near Dulzura in southern Californian.

More Border Patrol agents and resources were sent to the Otay Mountain area to combat illegal crossings, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

“Smugglers are exploiting the most rugged terrain in the county, and we’re countering with this effort,” said Matthew Dreyer, Border Patrol agent and commander of the new task force. 

Because of the treacherous conditions, Border Patrol agents often have to rescue migrants.

“Oftentimes the migrants are not prepared by the smugglers for how difficult the terrain is,” Dreyer said. “Oftentimes they’re left behind when they’re injured, and we’ll have to rescue them.”

CIA Documents Show Spy Agency Used to Rely on Psychics

psychicsThe CIA developed a project intended to use psychic and supranational phenomenon for spying and military uses, according to new documents released by the agency.

Known as Project Star Gate, the project sought to use the supernatural because it is “passive,” “inexpensive” and there is “no known defense,” the Independent reports. 

Among the psychic powers used were “psychoenergetics” and telekinesis.

The documents suggest that the CIA believed the psychic powers had some success.

But the project ended in 1995, when the CIA finally concluded psychics weren’t proven to be useful.

Other Stories of Interest

Tampa Bay Times: Trump’s Justice Department Can’t Ignore Bad Policing

police tapeBy Editorial Board
Tampa Bay Times

The Justice Department’s thorough report detailing the Chicago Police Department’s systemic disregard for civil rights is a sickening account of excessive force and abuse. It also is just one of the depressingly familiar federal investigations of police departments throughout the nation that have used discriminatory tactics. Yet President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, has criticized such federal efforts as overreaching. Whether it’s civil rights or voting rights, Washington cannot look the other way when there is nowhere else to turn for help.

The Chicago situation is breathtaking in its scope, brutality and cynicism. The Justice Department’s report says police officers routinely use unnecessary force, from firing their guns at cars or during foot chases to using Tasers in nonthreatening situations. It describes officers taking gang members to the neighborhoods of their rivals in an attempt to force them to talk. And it recounts an instance when an officer pointed his gun and then handcuffed teens who were trespassing on their bikes. No wonder the police have difficulty getting cooperation from residents as the city’s murder rate soars.

In such a dysfunctional situation, it’s also understandable that the federal report describes a Chicago Police Department that is demoralized, lacks discipline and fails to follow its own policies. That is exactly why the Justice Department has to step in to protect the rights of citizens, independently spotlight the abuses and help change the system. Under the Obama administration, the department has investigated police department abuses and negotiated reforms in cities from Baltimore to Cleveland. It intends to do the same in Chicago, where the city appears incapable of repairing the situation itself or stemming the rampant gun violence in the poorest neighborhoods.

A Justice Department led by Sessions may not be so vigilant. During his Senate confirmation hearing last week, he expressed skepticism about the two dozen “pattern-or-practice” investigations the Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights Division opened during the Obama administration. Sessions was much more concerned that those investigations could hurt police morale and suggested the bad behavior could be from just a few rogue cops. That misses the point entirely and glosses over the systemic police misconduct in Chicago. And Baltimore. And Cleveland. And Seattle. And Ferguson.

To read more click here. 

FBI: Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooter Says He Was Inspired by ISIS

Esteban Santiago

Esteban Santiago

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The 26-year-old man who killed five people and injured six more in a shooting at Ford Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this month told authorities the attack was inspired by ISIS.

During Esteban Ruiz Santiago’s bond hearing Tuesday, FBI agents testified that the military veteran said he spoke with other jihadis online before the shooting, Business Insider reports. 

What’s unclear is whether he was working directly with ISIS.

FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo said Santiago maintained he was under some form of government control.

If convicted, Santiago could face the death penalty.