Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

May 2021
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



More Private Prisons Likely if Jeff Sessions Becomes Attorney General

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s decision last summer to stop contracting with for-private prisons may be changed if the Senate confirms Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general.

President-elect Donald Trump spoke highly of private prisons, and Sessions has close ties to the industry, Mother Jones reports. 

Studies have shown that private prisons are less humane and more violent than government-run jails.

Trump’s victory increased the value of shares of the largest private prison corporations.

“I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons,” Trump said last spring. “It seems to work a lot better.”

Over the past two decades, Sessions has spoken favorably of private prisons. When he was attorney general of Alabama, Sessions gave the green light to private prisons in his state.

Trump’s Plan to Build a Wall at Mexican Border Would Skirt Federal Laws

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Robert J. Uram
San Francisco Chronicle

Now that the Trump transition team has signaled to congressional Republicans that the president-elect wants to seek a budget appropriation to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and have Mexico reimburse the cost later, it’s time to think about how he might do that. As president, Donald Trump may propose that Congress give him new authority to set aside laws to expedite construction. Congress set such an ill-advised precedent when it authorized wall construction more than a decade ago. The possibility of a similar request now should concern us all.

In 2005, Congress passed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Hidden away in this enormous appropriations bill was a section of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which gave the secretary of Homeland Security the unlimited right to waive “all legal requirements” he or she deems necessary to expedite the installation of border controls in areas of high illegal entry.

That included environmental protections laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. These are, perhaps, logical waivers to expedite construction of border facilities.

There is, however, nothing in the law that would have prevented setting aside other less germane laws. The secretary could have waived the Freedom of Information Act to allow the project to be built in secret — he or she is only limited by his or her imagination. Not only can federal laws be waived, but all state, local and “other laws” derived from or related to the subject of the federal laws also can be waived. All that was required was publication of the waiver in the Federal Register.

And, as it happened, the Department of Homeland Security exercised its waiver rights five times to build nearly 700 miles of border protection. Literally dozens of laws have been waived, including many environmental laws and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

But that is only half the story.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Calls LBJ About Death of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

Donald Trump Acknowledges Mexico Won’t Pay for the Wall – At least Not for Now

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump pledged repeatedly during the presidential election that he was going to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.

Now the president-elect is backing away from that promise – at least for now – and wants Congress to pay for a wall that may cost more than $10 billion dollars.

After news broke Thursday evening of the plan to ask Congress for the money, Trump once again blamed the news media.

“The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later,” Trump tweeted this morning.

It’s unclear how it’s the media’s fault since Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto, during Trump’s visit during the campaign, said his country had no intention of paying for the wall.

Trump, an Early Critic of Intelligence Agencies, Plans to Restructure the CIA

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump, who has mocked U.S. intelligence agencies, plans to restructure the CIA and reduce staffing at its Virginia headquarters by moving more people into field posts worldwide. 

Sources familiar with the planning told the Wall Street Journal that Trump believes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become politicized and bloated. 

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” said the individual, who is close to the Trump transition. “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Trump has criticized the CIA and other intelligence agencies for what he says are misrepresentations of Russia trying to influence the presidential election.

His criticism of those agencies has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle.

Democrats Declined Requests by FBI to Inspect Hacked Computer Servers

democratic national comitteeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Democratic National Committee wouldn’t allow federal agents to inspect computer servers that had been infiltrated by hackers during the presidential campaign, forcing the FBI to rely on third-party cyber security data, Bloomberg reports. 

The news comes on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump meeting with U.S. intelligence chiefs to get briefed on Russia’s alleged involvement in the hack.

The intelligence agencies went on the defensive this week after Trump repeatedly expressed criticism that senior Russian officials were responsible for the hacking.

“The Democratic National Committee would not allow the FBI to study or see its computer info after it was supposedly hacked by Russia……” Trump said. “So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?”

In a statement, the FBI confirmed Trumps claim.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the agency said. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”

Border Patrol Agents Rescue Mexican National Who Was Drowning

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents spotted a woman struggling to stay afloat in the All-American Canal in California on Wednesday evening after she climbed a fence and fell into the water.

Calexico Border Patrol agents rescued the woman, saving her from drowning, KYMA reports. 

The 29-year-old Mexican national was taken to a medical center in Yuma, Az., where she was treated for hypothermia and anxiety.

After she recovered, she was taken to the Calexico Border Patrol Station for processing and will be returned to Mexico.

The El Central Sector Border Patrol has been credited with rescuing six people since Oct. 1, 2016.

DEA to Open New Office in China to Combat Sale of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to combat China’s role in the drug trade, the DEA is planning to open a new office in Southern China, and a top administrator is visiting the country next week.

The visit will be the first in more than a decade for the DEA, the Associated Press reports. 

DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg plans to visit Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong next week.

China invited the DEA to help crack down on the increasing sale of synthetic drugs to the U.S.

If all goes as planned, two special agents will occupy a new office in the city of Guangzhou.

“Intelligence and investigative information have shown that Guangzhou has strong ties to international drug trafficking organizations operating in China and elsewhere,” Russell Baer, a DEA special agent in Washington, said in an email. “These criminal groups in Guangzhou utilize trade-based money laundering schemes to legitimize drug profits, use the port facilities as a transit point to ship illegal narcotics, and purchase synthetic drugs along with precursor chemicals.”

Other Stories of Interest