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FBI

Washington Post Editorial Edorses 2 Ex-Justice Dept. Lawyers — Ken Wainstein and James Comey– to be Next FBI Director

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Washington Post editorial on Tuesday praised FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and endorsed two people who have been mentioned as possible replacements when Mueller’s 10-year term expires in September.

Kenneth Wainstein

The Post said the White House should seriously consider as replacements former deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who worked under President George W. Bush, and Kenneth Wainstein, a former D.C. U.S. Attorney, who also worked as first chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The editorial mentions that Comey and Mueller were among those who protested the the Bush administration’s policies regarding its terrorist surveillance program.

The Post wrote: “Mr. Mueller was joined in that protest by then-Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who is said to be under consideration for the director’s slot. It was Mr. Comey, who spent years as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia, who first rebuffed White House attempts to skirt the surveillance issues. This kind of backbone in the face of enormous political pressure speaks well of Mr. Comey’s prospects for keeping the bureau above the political fray should he get the nod.”

As for Wainstein, the editorial stated:

“The administration is also wise to consider Kenneth L. Wainstein, who is perhaps the candidate most closely associated with Mr. Mueller. Mr. Wainstein, a respected veteran federal prosecutor, has the most wide-ranging national security experience — an important characteristic for any director. Mr. Wainstein worked at the FBI under Mr. Mueller, first as general counsel and later as the director’s chief of staff. He became U.S. attorney in the District and fully burnished his national security credentials as the first chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and as President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser.”

Read editorial

“Talib Islam” Gets 28 Years in FBI Sting After Trying to Blow Up Fed Courthouse in Ill.


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man nicknamed the “Talib Islam” was sentenced to 28 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to attempting to bomb the federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill., in September 2009, authorities said.

Michael C. Finton, 31, a U.S. citizen from Decatur, Ill., was busted in an FBI sting. He was sentenced in East St. Louis, Ill., federal court.

According to the plea agreement and court documents, Finton met on several occasions with someone  he thought was linked to al Qaeda, when in fact the person was an undercover FBI agent.

During a meeting on July 29, 2009, Finton proposed targeting the federal building in Springfield and using two vehicles: the first to do the initial damage, and the second to attack the responders, authorities said.

Finton also suggested that if the bomb was big enough it might also “take out” the office of the congressman across the street from the federal building, authorities said.

Finton admitted traveling on Sept. 23, 2009,  from Decatur to Springfield where he took control of a truck he thought contained a bomb with about one ton of explosives. The the bomb was actually fake.

Finton drove the truck to the Paul Findley Federal Building and Courthouse at 600 East Monroe Street in Springfield, and parked it immediately outside the building and across the street from where a U.S. Congressman had an office.

After Finton parked the van and armed the device, he locked the truck and got into a vehicle with an undercover FBI agent agent whom he believed was associated with the al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

Finton tried using a cell phone to try and detonate the bomb after he and the undercover agent had driven a safe distance away.

“Michael Finton is one of a number of young Americans over the past two years who, under the influence of a radical and violent ideology, have sought to carry out acts of terrorism in the United States,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Todd Hinnen said in a statement.

“Although a coordinated undercover law enforcement investigation thwarted Mr. Finton’s plot to destroy the federal courthouse in Springfield, this case underscores the need to remain vigilant against the threat posed by homegrown extremism.”

100 Ex-FBI Agents Still Pushing to Free Convicted Boston Agent John Connolly

John Connolly

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One hundred retired FBI agents — including two deputy directors — aren’t giving up their fight to try and exonerate and free convicted ex-Boston agent John J. Connolly Jr., whose relationships with the Boston mob landed  him in big trouble.

The Los Angeles’s Times Richard Serrano reported that the agents, known as Former FBI Agents for Justice For John, are pushing the Florida state courts to overturn his conviction for second-degree murder after having had no luck overturning his federal conviction for racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Connolly Jr., now 70,  was convicted of murder in Florida state court after allegedly tipping off Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen Flemmi that World Jai Alai President John Callahan was likely to implicate them in a murder, the Times reported. Hitman John Martorano killed Callahan in 1982.

Connolly’s supporters have pointed to the great disparity in sentences between Connolly and Martorano, who confessed to killing 20 people and served 12 years, the Times reported.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Connolly will leave federal prison next month after 9 years, but will go right to state prison in Florida to begin serving a 40 year sentence for the murder. They say the lengthy sentence amounts to a death sentence.

Ex-agent Richard Baker, who is leading the charge, told the Times:

“I have no problem doing this. John was wrongly convicted. And he’ll be dead after just two years in that Florida system. He’ll be shanked or killed once they figure out he was an FBI agent.”

The Florida prosecutor Michael Von Zamft who convicted Connolly says of the ex-agents: “John Connolly wore a badge. He was an FBI agent, and he swore to uphold the law. And yet he became one of the criminals and, maybe worse, he was hiding behind that badge.”

In March, the Associated Press reported that the ex-agents, including the one whose undercover work inspired the movie “Donnie Brasco,”  filed two petitions with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. “demanding appointment of a special counsel to investigate the 70-year-old Connolly’s prosecution, raising a grab-bag of claims spanning many years, some of which have been previously rejected by courts and aired in congressional hearings. They include allegations of questionable tactics by prosecutors, evidence that a key witness lied during Connolly’s 2002 federal corruption trial and contentions there was a rigged result in his 2008 Florida murder case.”

Other ex-agents pushing for Connolly include FBI deputy directors Weldon L. Kennedy and Bruce J. Gebhardt, the Times reported.

To read more click here.

Atlanta Fed Judge Who Had Affair With Stripper Released From Prison Monday

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

UPDATE:  Monday, 4:30 p.m.: The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said that Camp was released from prison this afternoon.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. District Judge Jack Camp Jr. of Atlanta, who created a big scandal after carrying on an affair with a stripper and getting busted for drugs in an FBI sting,  is scheduled to be released from a federal prison in El Reno, Ok. on Monday.

Camp — aka. inmate number  62216-019–   was sentenced to 30 days in prison on drug charges and for giving his government-issued laptop to a 27-year-old stripper who had a drug felony conviction and was working with the FBI.

His light sentence caused a stir and drew criticism from some people in the Atlanta community who felt he was given special treatment. Other critics claim the Justice Department screwed up the plea agreement, which opened the way for a lighter sentence.

Camp must serve 400 hours of community service and repay more than $30,000 for the cost of his case.

He will be on  supervised release for a year.

The Reagan appointee lost his lifetime judicial appointment and surrendered his law license.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT STORIES

2 Ex-FBI Officials Pen a Book on Management Tips Learned on the Job


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI officials Kathleen McChesney and William Gavin become the latest ex-agents to pen a book.

The two have teamed up to write a book — “Pick Up Your Own Brass: Leadership the FBI Way”, which offers 50 ” essential leadership lessons based on challenges that FBI officials have faced over the course of their careers” while working at the FBI.

The authors claim the “book can help anyone—established leaders, aspiring leaders, minority leaders, and even ‘accidental executives’ who find themselves managing more than they imagined—build a culture of leadership.”

The two have paid their dues.

McChesney, of Los Angeles, the only female special agent to be named the Bureau’s executive assistant director, left law enforcement after 31 years to take on a leadership position at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Walt Disney Company. She is currently a consultant for businesses and non-profit organizations.

Kathleen McChesney

William Gavin

Gavin, a 28-year veteran of the FBI, who resides in Boston, reached the position as assistant director in charge. Since then, he has held executive positions in the health care industry and for a security services provider. He has been a commentator for MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN and is currently a business consultant.

The book will be available on Amazon on May 31. For more info on the book click here.

FBI Documents Show Boxing Great Rock Marciano Received Threats to Lose Fight in 1954

By Allan Lengel
ticklthewire.com

FBI documents show that someone wrote letters to boxing legend Rocky Marciano threatening to kill his wife and child if he didn’t lose a fight to underdog Ezzard Charles on June 17, 1954, according to the Enterprise of Brockton.

“Listen Cocky Rocky,” one letter dated March 9, 1954 began, according to the publication. “We mean business.”

It went on to urge him to lose the fight or “or we will bump off your wife and little child…We’ll get them sooner or later…You bet on that.”

It was signed “Desperate Duo.”

The paper went on to report that FBI documents showed Marciano’s father received an an extortion letter, and his manager Al Weill received repeated calls threatening to kill him and Mariano.

The documents show a man named Joseph Hannigan, 23, of Glenolden, Pa., was arrested for writing the letters. He explained that he wrote them because he was for the underdog.

Marciano won the bout in 15 rounds.

FBI Following Up on White Powder Letters Sent to 29 D.C. Schools

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The white-powder scare always seems to stir up a frenzy.

The FBI said  Friday it was following up on white powder letters that were mailed to 29 schools throughout Washington, D.C. on Thursday and some additional ones on Friday. The letters contained the words “AL AQEDA-FBI.” The material proved to be harmless.

“The FBI continues to investigate who is responsible for mailing at least 29 letters Thursday, and additional letters this morning, to Washington, D.C. schools, causing some school evacuations and tying up hundreds of hours of police and law enforcement resources,” the FBI said in a statement issued Friday.

“Pursuant to protocol, each item packaged will be analyzed for hazardous substances by an approved regional lab before it is transported to the FBI’s Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia,” the FBI said.

“Experts there will perform a variety of tests in an effort to determine who sent the letters and whether the letters are linked to any other pending investigation.”

“Initial indications are that the letters were mailed from the Dallas area and are similar in style and content to other suspicious letters under investigation by Dallas FBI and U.S. Postal Inspectors. In addition, they are similar to other letters received at some Washington, D.C. area schools in October of 2010.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

What’s Next for FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III?

Atty. Gen. Holder (left) and FBI Director Mueller /fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As his 10-year term comes to an end, rumors and speculation are popping up as to what  FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III will do in life.

People who know Mueller say one thing is for certain: He won’t be getting a white belt and white shoes and heading down to Florida to play shuffle board, race to the early bird dinner specials and attend $1 movies.

They say Mueller, who will turn 67 in August, about a month before he steps down,  still wants to stay active professionally.

One rumor — and certainly unconfirmed — is that he has an interest in landing a federal judgeship in California.

One person speculated that he might also have an interest in becoming attorney general if Eric Holder Jr. were to step down after President Obama’s first term.  (Of course, Holder would almost have to if Obama isn’t re-elected).

Another person suggested that Mueller might be a good candidate to take over as baseball commissioner if Bud Selig steps down. Selig first started serving as acting baseball commissioner in 1992 and became the permanent commissioner in 1998.