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Justice Department Wants Sheriff Gusman to Stop Operating Troubled Jail

Orleans Parish Jail.

Orleans Parish Jail.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to remove New Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s authority to operate the jail after failing to comply with a 2013 consent decree, the Times-Picayune reports. 

The group of inmates who sued over the jail’s condition also is asking a judge to remove Gusman’s authority to run the jail.

Saying violence is still widespread and underreported in the jail, attorneys for the Justice Department and the plaintiff want the court to hand control over to another, unspecified entity.

“Urgent and extraordinary action is required of this Court to address the immediate risk of harm and death to the men, women and youth in the Jail,” the motion says.

Gusmam is not behind the plan and said he plans to “aggressively defend” the progress he has made.

“We recognize there is more work to be done but will not allow this move by the Plaintiffs to undermine the accomplishments and sacrifices of the hard working deputies and staff at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office,” the statement says. 

AG Loretta Lynch Wants Newly Released Inmates to Be Issued ID Cards

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an effort to make transition from jail to freedom easier for convicts, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is urging governors to provide parolees with state identification cards.

The announcement is part of the nation’s first National Reentry Week, which began Sunday, the Christian Science Monitor reports. 

“National Reentry Week highlights the many ways that the Department of Justice – and the entire Obama Administration – is working to tear down the barriers that stand between returning citizens and a meaningful second chance – leading to brighter futures, stronger communities, and a more just and equal nation for all.”

The move is part of a bigger push for justice reform intended to make it easier for convicts to land jobs and thus stay out of trouble.

Experts to Homeland Security: Don’t Use Color-Coded Terror Threat Index

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After Homeland Security stopped issuing its color-coded terror threat index five years ago, the agency has struggled to find a better way to alert the public.

In 2014, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson proposed a new system of reds, yellows and greens.

But the Institute of Defense Analysis, which was hired to review the new system, said the colors were a “disaster” for communicating terror threats, the Associated Press reports. 

“DHS should learn from its own history and avoid repeating this error,” the consultants said in its 53-page report.

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee also scoffed at the color codes.

“DHS spent $90,000 on a question we already know the answer to,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who has introduced a bill for border metrics. “Measuring the security across our borders is complex and requires sophisticated and consistent metrics — not a series of colors.”

Other Stories of Interest

2 Deputy U.S. Marshals, FBI Agent Shot During Gun Battle at Kansas Hotel

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two U.S. Marshal Service deputies and an FBI agent are recovering from gunshot wounds after coming under fire at a motel in South Topeka, Kansas on Saturday.

The federal agents were trying to arrest Orlando Collins, a person of interest in a holdup and carjacking on Friday and a suspect in two other armed robberies, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. 

An unidentified person was shot and killed inside the County Club Motel. An autopsy will determine whether it is Collins.

Authorities said the federal agents did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

A fire broke out during the gunfight and blazed on into the early morning hours Sunday.

TSA Finds Record 73 Firearms in Carry-On Luggage in 1 Week at Nation’s Airports

body images airportBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA reported that a record 73 firearms were found in carry-on luggage last week, setting a 73-year-old record for most guns found in such a short period.

Newsy reports that most of the guns were loaded, and 27 had a round in the chamber.  

What’s unclear is how many guns made it onto the plane without security noticing. A report last year from that the TSA failed to find an alarming number of prohibited items.

At the time, the TSA had a 95% failure rate of identifying smuggled mock weapons and explosives.

People caught with a firearm in a carry-on face arrest and fines between $1,500 and $7,500.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI: Louisiana Governor in 1960s Gave KKK Money to Quell Racial Violence

KKK members.

KKK members.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Louisiana’s governor in the mid-1960s doled out privately raised money to Ku Klux Klan members in hopes of avoiding racial violence, FBI records show.

The Advocate reports that Klan members were promised money after the 1964 gubernatorial election in exchange for peace.

FBI agents believed that Gov. John J. McKeithen, who received campaign donation from the Klan, was behind the payments.

It’s unclear whether McKeithen’s strategy worked. Federal agencies note that there were at least a half-dozen Klan-related homicides, scores of beatings and dozens of fire bombings in central Louisiana between 1964 and 1969.

McKeithen fell out of favor of the Klan after he began working on pro-civil rights efforts.

Secret Service Paid Trump $150,000+ for Use of His Manhattan Condo Building

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Donald Trump began running for president in 2015, it wasn’t the first time the Republican candidate dealt with the Secret Service.

BuzzFeed reports that the Secret Service paid more than $150,000 over five years to Trump Palace Condominiums in Manhattan. Another contract for $25,296 was signed in February.

The contracts are likely involving the rental of an antenna.

Neither Trump nor the Secret Service would comment on the contract.

The antennas may have been used to investigate financial and cyber crimes in the nation’s financial sector.

Book Excerpt : ‘On Dope: Drug Enforcement and The First Policeman’

Jeffrey B. Stamm, a highly-decorated DEA agent for 31 years, served domestic and overseas assignments in South America and Central Asia. He rose from undercover agent to a member of DEA’s Senior Executive Service. In December 2015 he retired from the DEA to take a job as  executive director of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) based in Kansas City, Mo.  The following is an excerpt from his new book: On Dope: Drug Enforcement and The First Policeman

INTRODUCTION

Civilizations die from suicide, not murder. –Arnold Toynbee

51cai-IUROL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

We are in grave danger of losing the debate against illegal drugs—dope—and, in the process, our very society. Not because of the inherent correctness of the arguments and opinions of those who advocate drug legalization or decriminalization, but due to the near-complete lack of an informed and engaged citizenry pushing back against the demagogues, apologists, and appeasers who peddle, with increasing success, only dangerous myths and false metaphors. 

Their reckless and illegitimate accusations that the current drug control paradigm has not only “failed” but that it is patently “racist” and “oppressive” have served to bully and confuse a sleepwalking population too timid and self-absorbed to argue. In our attempt to be tolerant, sensitive and compassionate, we, instead, exhibit a stultifying weakness in the face of a zealous and committed pro-dope cabal intent on changing the landscape and the laws. Allowing them to succeed will produce catastrophic social and cultural consequences that will require generations, or longer, from which to recover.

Against an unceasing and withering torrent of criticisms against our current legal and political drug-control framework, we seem to have succumbed to the deceptions and propaganda of misguided “experts” who tout “new,” “daring” and “brilliantly innovative” policies in the face of our current “failures.” Through what has become something of a forced compulsion to nonjudgmentalism and pervasive compassion, we are increasingly surrendering to the false hopes of both the utopian liberals and fundamentalist libertarians who preach that “drug prohibition does more harm than good” and, further, that drug use “affects no one but the user himself.” Such views are not only utterly wrong, but destructive and fundamentally incompatible with a free and democratic society. Besides, there is no situation that cannot be made even worse through wrong and foolish policies.

It has been said that you don’t have to be a soldier to understand war, but it sure can help.[2] So, too, is this true in the arena of drug enforcement. Professor James Inciardi has argued that, at least every now and then, those who have the most to say about drug affairs ought to leave their “safe, secure and existentially antiseptic confines” and visit the mean and despairing streets to understand the scope and solemnity of the problem.[3] Indeed, anyone who has had the slightest acquaintance with the unprecedented human carnage brought on by the allure of crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, new potent strains of marijuana, abused opioids, or any number of other substances in the pharmacopoeia of intoxicants misused for cheap “pleasures” understands the insidious and pernicious decay that dope spawns in the individual and in society.

Most “experts” promoting a “bold” or “compassionate” solution, well-meaning as they might be, either claim some expertise in a wholly unrelated field, or—more likely—possess no expertise whatsoever. They are like Saddam Hussein (before he was introduced to his Maker by the United States Army), who claimed some mantle of martial prowess owing simply to his authoritarian stature. Asked once about the dictator’s supposed military expertise, General Norman Schwarzkopf replied: “As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist—he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier.  Other than that he’s a great military man.”[4] Those who stridently demand an end to the so-called war on drugs exhibit remarkable ignorance. They also reveal an arrogant and casual disregard for both the user and our society in order to pander to a temporary and specious desire by a selfish minority intent on exercising “rights” divorced from corresponding duties. Such ideas are not, in fact, new, but actually represent a timid surrender to human weakness and base desires with no regard for the future and only contempt for the lessons of the past.

Jeffrey Stamm

Jeffrey Stamm

Throughout our nation’s one-hundred-year struggle to limit the menace of psychoactive drugs, beginning with the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, we have continuously sought a social and legal equilibrium between maximizing individual liberty and maintaining the essential requirement of public safety and order. Along the way, we have made mistakes. We have allowed excesses and undue pendulum swings at both ends of the spectrum.  We have at times witnessed government missteps, but, far more often, we have experienced tragedy and harm produced by radical self-indulgence and human predation. We constantly strain to find just the right incremental adjustments, just the right balance to maintain both liberty and order. Clearly, our current drug-control paradigm falls far short of complete success. It is, however, like Sir Winston Churchill’s famous observation about democracy: the worst system ever devised by the wit of man—except for all the others![5] Despite the selfish and pedantic complaints from the pro-drug lobby that persist in decrying our current situation, the truth is that, given the state of human nature and the profound allure of pharmacological “pleasure,” all of the activists’ novel alternatives are either politically unfeasible or dangerously irresponsible. The unintended consequences of their simplistic and irrational “solutions” would produce overwhelming social and economic costs, especially to society’s most vulnerable and innocent.

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