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FBI

Boston Mobster Says His Girlfriend Was Murdered Because She Knew of the Mob’s Ties to FBI

The Rifleman/dateline nbc photo
The Rifleman testifying in Miami in murder trial of FBI agent John Connolly  /dateline nbc

The Soprano-like testimony in court continues to expose the shady side of the FBI in Boston during a very dark era. The testimony is part of a civil trial involving families suing the government for failing to stop mobsters/FBI informants from killing relatives. Dateline NBC had a great segment on the Boston mob and the FBI last Friday.  Click here to see a sampling of the show.

By Jonathan Saltzman
The Boston Globe
BOSTON — The gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi insisted yesterday that he helped arrange the murder of his girlfriend because she knew about the corrupt relationship he and his longtime partner, James “Whitey” Bulger, had with a rogue FBI agent, not because she had met another man.

Under cross-examination by a Justice Department lawyer in Flemmi’s third and final day on the witness stand in US District Court in Boston, the convicted mobster discounted a suggestion that he set up the Sept. 17, 1981, murder of Debra Davis, 26, because she had recently fallen in love with a businessman during a trip to Mexico.

“She could have left anytime she wanted,” he testified in response to a question from Lawrence Eiser, the Justice Department lawyer.

“Why did you kill her?” Eiser asked.

“I explained to you, Bulger killed her,” Flemmi said, in the bristling tone he has often exhibited on the stand. “He was concerned. She was aware of my relationship with [FBI agent John] Connolly.”

For Full Story

Prosecution Witness Tesitifies ex-Rep. Jefferson Told Him He Didn’t Think He was Doing Anything Illegal

Sure Jefferson is trying to say that he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. But he’ll have to find some way to explain to the jurors why, when he spoke to an FBI informant who was wearing a wire, he used a code word for money (“African art”) and sounded as if he was doing something very illegal.

William J. Jefferson

William J. Jefferson

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A prosecution witness testified Monday that former Rep. William Jefferson told him in 2002 that as a Harvard-educated lawyer he believes his involvement with international business deals was legal as long as he didn’t legislate on those projects.

George Knost, president of Baton Rouge-based Arkel International, said Jefferson’s comments came in response to a question he asked the congressman about the international projects he heard that Jefferson was involved with, in addition to promoting a Nigerian sugar refinery sponsored by an Arkel subsidiary, Arkel Sugar.

Jefferson’s comments, which Judge T.S. Ellis III allowed to be described to the jury over prosecution objections, seem intended by his attorneys to show he had a clear vision on what activities were legitimate and which were not.

The issue is important. Jefferson’s attorneys argue that the allegations in the government’s 16-count corruption indictment focus on private business deals not covered by the federal bribery statute.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Says There’s No Reports of Terrorist Threats Involving All Star Game in St. Louis

Busch Stadium in St. Louis/fbi photo
Busch Stadium in St. Louis/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI, which is helping provide security for the Major League All-Star Game in St. Louis Tuesday, said Monday night that there is no indication of any planned terrorist attacks at the event where President Obama is scheduled to toss out the ceremonial first pitch.

“We have no intelligence that indicates that anything will happen,” John V. Gillies, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the St. Louis office said in a phone interview with ticklethewire.com. “We expect everything to go off without any issues and everyone will have an enjoyable time.”

Gillies said the FBI has “dozens and dozens” of agents, including analysts and bomb techs, who have been working on the security, which is being headed up by the St. Louis Police Department. He said preparations began several months ago.

He said agents are helping perform background checks on people working and volunteering for the game and events leading up to it, and the FBI has brought from Washington a mobile command post or “field office on wheels” to help monitor the mass gathering.

“Analysts are sorting through a ream of intelligence reports and looking for any bit of intelligence to determine any connection to the the All-Star venues,” Gillies said.

“While the police department will have a visible presence, most of what the FBI will be doing will not be seen, but we’ll be out there,” he added.

He said the bureau is also working closely with the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting President Obama at the game. Some other agencies involved in the All-Star Game security include ATF,  the Transportation Security Administration and the Postal Inspection Service.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley, declined to comment on specifics,  but said Monday night that his agency has been doing the usual advance work and communicating with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in preparation for the president’s arrival.

Female FBI Agent in Guantanamo Says She Was Ostracized For Not Partaking in “Spring Break” Activities

It’s understandable in such an isolated environment people do things to keep their spirits up. But it sounds like this female FBI agent feels things went too far.

spring-break

By TIM HULL
Courthouse News Service
BOSTON – The first full-time female FBI agent to be stationed at Guantanamo says she was made to bunk with vermin that gave her a tropical disease and was ostracized because she refused to join in a “spring break” atmosphere in which agents were encouraged to drink, date, and frolic when not interrogating alleged terrorists.

She says FBI agents attended parties dressed in “mocking imitation of Arab or Afghan attire” and in orange detainee jumpsuits. And she says she has photos to prove it.

Theresa A. Foley, 43, requested a transfer to Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay in 2003, and says that from the moment she arrived she found a “generally sexist, discriminatory and ‘boys club’ atmosphere” at the island prison.

For Full Story

Read Lawsuit

Robert Mueller and John Ashcroft Considered Resigning Over Warrantless Wiretaps

The story behind the warrantless wiretaps is not one the prouder moments for the Bush administration, which sometimes saw the laws as more of an inconvenience than anything else.

John Ashcroft/doj photo

John Ashcroft/doj photo

By Noel Brinkerhoff
AllGov

President George W. Bush’s insistence on continuing the warrantless wiretapping program in 2004 almost forced the resignations of some of top law enforcement officials in the administration, according to federal inspectors of the government’s top intelligence agencies.

The report by the inspectors general of the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Agency and other offices reveals that multiple officials in the Department of Justice, including Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, were seriously considering stepping down because Bush was adamant about maintaining the domestic spying program without approval from the Justice Department.

To Read More

FBI to Probe Murder of Forbes Editor in Russia

Could this be a sign of more things to come involving cooperation between the U.S. and Russia?

forbes-mag-russia1

Mark Franchetti
Sunday Times
MOSCOW — FIVE years after the high-profile murder in Moscow of American magazine editor Paul Klebnikov, Russian authorities have agreed to co-operate with US investigators and grant the FBI access to the investigation.

The unprecedented concession was made in the wake of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Russia last week, a summit that was billed as an opportunity to “reset” strained relations between the two countries.

Ever since Klebnikov, an American of Russian descent who moved to Moscow to launch the local edition of US business magazine, Forbes, was gunned down outside his office in July 2004, his family has lobbied for the FBI to be allowed to offer its expertise to Russian investigators. Despite Washington’s numerous offers for a joint inquiry, the Russians consistently refused to co-operate.

After a five-year investigation, and a botched trial in which two suspects were acquitted, the Russians told Klebnikov’s family last week that they had closed the murder case.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Feds Louis Freeh and Michael Garcia to Testify in Supreme Crt. Nominee’s Hearing

Louis Freeh

Louis Freeh

Ex-U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia

Ex-U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Two big-name ex-feds scheduled to testify on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are former FBI director Louis Freeh  and former N.Y. U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia.

The hearing begins Monday at 10 a.m.

The witness list, according to the Judiciary Committee,  is as follows:

For the Majority:

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York
Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police
David Cone, former Major League Baseball pitcher
JoAnne A. Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law, on behalf of the National Association of Women Lawyers
Louis Freeh, former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Michael J. Garcia, former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Patricia Hynes, President, New York City Bar Association
Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General, State of Arkansas
Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York County, New York
Ramona Romero, National President, Hispanic National Bar Association
Congressman Jose E. Serrano, New York Sixteenth District
Theodore M. Shaw, Professor, Columbia Law School
Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Minority Witnesses

Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity
Sandy Froman, Esq., former President, National Rifle Association of America
Dr. Stephen Halbrook, Attorney
Tim Jefires, Founder, P7 Enterprises
Peter Kirsanow, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
David Kopel, Esq., Independence Institute
John McGinnis, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
Neomi Rao, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
Frank Ricci, Director of Fire Services, ConnectiCOSH (Connecticut Council on Occupational Saftey and Health)
David Rivkin, Esq., Partner, Baker Hostetler
Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor, Georgetown University School of Law
Ilya Somin, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
Lieutenant Ben Vargas, New Haven Fire Department
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life

Report Says Law Enforcement Deaths Up 20% in 2009

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Agent Paul Sorce died in March 2009

FBI Agent Paul Sorce died in March 2009

WASHINGTON — In the line of duty deaths for law enforcement officers jumped 20 percent in the first half of 2009 after hitting a 50-year low during the same period a year ago, according to a report released Sunday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

Specifically, 66 law enforcement officers died between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2009, compared to 55 during the same period last year. All were men. Among those who died on duty was Detroit FBI agent Paul Sorce. He was killed in a car crash in March.

Even with this year’s upswing, the law enforcement organization said the 2009 figures still represented the second lowest total since 1965.

“While it is encouraging that officer fatalities remain comparatively low, the 2009 figures do present some cause for concern,” said NLEOMF chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd in a press release.

“Officers continue to face serious threats from armed offenders who don’t think twice about opening fire on law enforcement. That was tragically illustrated by the horrific multiple-death incidents this year in Oakland, Pittsburgh and Okaloosa County, Florida,” he said.

“Those dangers, coupled with the fact that far too many law enforcement officers are dying on our roadways in traffic-related incidents, many of which involve drunk drivers, show that we still have a long way to go in ensuring that our officers can do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.”

Read Report