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FBI

Secret Service to Unveil Hybrid Limo for Obama

Good to see there’s some sense of energy conservation going on.

By Mike M. Ahlers and Eric Marrapodi
CNN
WASHINGTON
— As a candidate, Barack Obama promoted hybrid cars.
As president, he’ll be handed the keys to one. Sort of.
Shortly after taking the oath of office, Obama will climb into the Mother of All Hybrids — part car, part truck and, from the looks of it, part tank.
In keeping with recent tradition, the Secret Service will place a brand-new presidential limousine into service January 20 to drive the new president on the 2-mile jaunt down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade.
Already, spy photos of the limo — with patches of gray primer — have leaked out. And already, the reviews:
“Ugly as sin,” says one car enthusiast on an auto Web site. “Can’t we make a hotter ride for our pres?”
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ronald Ruecker to Head FBI’s Office of Law Enforcement Coordination

Ronald C. Ruecker has been named the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Office of Law Enforcement Coordination (OLEC).
He replaces Louis F. Quijas, who retired to take a position in private industry, the FBI said.
Prior to taking his new post, Ruecker was the Director of Public Safety for the City of Sherwood, Oregon, the FBI said. He is also the former President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was also with the Oregon State Police for 31 years, and ended his reign there as superintendent, the FBI said.
“Mr. Ruecker is a highly respected law enforcement leader who brings a wealth of experience and a record of accomplishment to the FBI,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller III in a statement. “He will be a valuable asset in our continuing efforts to foster cooperation and strengthen relationships with our law enforcement partners.”

Unsealed FBI Affidavit Provides More Gruesome Details in Blackwater Guard Killings in Iraq

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – An FBI affidavit unsealed Monday provides a few new details of gruesome allegations against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards charged in the 2007  shootings in Baghdad that left at least 14 Iraqi civilians dead and 20 wounded.
Washington FBI agent John M. Patarini , in a 3-page affidavit, wrote that witnesses reported that a convoy of four “heavily armored Blackwater vehicles entered the Nisur Square traffic circle just outside the International Zone in western Baghdad around noon on Sept. 16, 2007 and positioned their vehicles in a manner to stop the flow of civilian traffic from all directions.” The four vehicles were occupied by a total of 19 Blackwater Independent contractors.
While at the circle, according to witnesses, “one or more of the turret gunners in the Blackwater vehicles opened fire into a small white Kia sedan that had approached the intersection from the south, fatally wounding the driver,” the affidavit said.
“Heavy machine gunfire continued from the Blackwater convoy directed at the white Kia Sedan and other vehicles in the traffic lanes south of the circle and eventually toward unarmed civilians attempting to run to safety.”
“The witnesses also observed the convoy fired several grenades into civilian vehicles and over the fences of a nearby middle school. The white Kia sedan burst into flames and the two occupants of the vehicles were killed,” the affidavit said.
“As the convoy departed from the intersection, the witnesses observed the Blackwater independent contractors continue to fire at pedestrians to the east of the traffic circle, and at a red bus and unarmed civilians to the west of the circle. As the convoy proceeded back to the International Zone on a road to the north of the circle, other eyewitnesses observed members o f the convoy open fire again into the rooftops, windshields, and trunks of three vehicles, wounded at least three other civilians,” the affidavit said.

Read more »

The Job Market May Suck But There’s a “Hiring Blitz” at the FBI With About 3,000 Job Openings

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — In these gloomy days of cutbacks and layoffs and what not, it may sound a bit strange to hear an organization announcing a “Hiring Blitz”.
Well, those are the words being bandied about at the FBI these days.
The agency announced a “Hiring Blitz” Monday to fill more than 2,100 professional staff vacant positions which includes everything from auto mechanics to language specialists and nursing and counseling professionals.
On top of that, the agency plans to fill about 850 FBI agent jobs, most of which were vacant as a result of attrition, the agency said.
The agency said Monday that it needs to maintain a certain number of employees. It said the jobs need to be filled by the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.
Aside from the agent jobs, the FBI  said it has openings for the followings posts: administrative/clerical, automotive mechanic, compliance and quality assurance professionals, electronic technicians, engineering professionals, fingerprint examiners, general education and training professionals, finance/accounting/budget analysis professionals, IT/computer science professionals, intelligence/analytical professionals, language specialists, management and program analysis, nursing and counseling professionals, physical/natural/social science professionals, records management professionals, security professionals, physical surveillance professionals and human resources professionals.
The agency said it has special needs for people with skills in such languages as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, Somali and Vietnamese.
Anyone interested in applying for these jobs should go online at fibjobs.gov.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

The Troubled Life of Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

The mystery behind the anthrax attacks lingers. Here’s more about the man the FBI believes was behind the fatal mailings in 2001.

Bruce Ivins

Bruce Ivins

By Scott Shane
New York Times
FREDERICK, Md. – Inside the Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, the government’s brain for biological defense, Bruce Edwards Ivins paused to memorialize his moment in the spotlight as the anthrax panic of 2001 reached its peak.
Dr. Ivins titled his e-mail message “In the lab” and attached photographs: the gaunt microbiologist bending over Petri dishes of anthrax, and colonies of the deadly bacteria, white commas against blood-red nutrient.
Outside, on that morning of Nov. 14, 2001, five people were dead or dying, a dozen more were sick and fearful thousands were flooding emergency rooms. The postal system was crippled; senators and Supreme Court justices had fled contaminated offices. And the Federal Bureau of Investigation was struggling with a microbe for a murder weapon and a crime scene that stretched from New York to Florida.
But Dr. Ivins was chipper – the anonymous scientist finally at the center of great events. “Hi, all,” he began the e-mail message. “We were taking some photos today of blood agar cultures of the now infamous ‘Ames’ strain of Bacillus anthracis. Here are a few.” He sent the message to those who ordinarily received his corny jokes and dour news commentaries: his wife and two teenage children, former colleagues and high school classmates. He even included an F.B.I. agent working on the case.
For Full Story

Story of Texas Activist Who Worked As FBI Informant During Republican National Convention

By Renee Feltz
Texas Observer

Brandon Darby, a well-known Austin activist fingered as an FBI informant has acknowledged that he provided information leading to the arrest and felony indictment of two Austin men who participated in protests last September at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN.
“The simple truth is that I have chosen to work with the Federal Bureau of investigation [sic],” Brandon Darby said in an open letter he sent this week to friends he has worked with since 2002.
Darby’s activist network stretches from Austin to New Orleans, where he co-founded Common Ground Relief, a grassroots reconstruction effort that drew thousands of volunteers from around the country. In 2004, he helped organize and was arrested during anti-Halliburton protests in Houston. His letter suggests that he disagreed with tactics some members of the Austin Area Affinity Group planned to use to disrupt the Republican Convention. Darby was a member of the group.
For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

Read New York Times Version

Feds Gearing Up For Biggest Security Event Ever on Jan. 20

Security issues are nothing new to Washington, which has seen every type of demonstration and gathering possible. Still, this presidential inauguration is being treated differently.

By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Authorities are organizing what appears to be the largest security operation ever for an inauguration, bringing in thousands of extra police, agents and troops to handle crowds as President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in.
Security officials are bracing not just for the ceremony and parade Jan. 20 but also for at least 70 concerts, balls and other events surrounding the inauguration. Those include the welcome celebration featuring Obama on Jan. 18 at the Lincoln Memorial, which could draw 500,000 people, according to the D.C. mayor’s office.
“You’ve gone from a one-day event to a four-day event,” said Joseph Persichini Jr., head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which will bring in about 20 percent more employees than usual for the activities.
For Full Story

Breaking News: NBC Reports that Gov. Bill Richardson Withdrawing Name for Commerce Sec. Because of FBI Probe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his nomination as Commerce secretary because of a pending FBI investigation into a major political contributor who landed lucrative state contracts , NBC reported Sunday afternoon.
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported that Richardson concluded that the probe would delay his confirmation and he did not want to interfere with the administration’s plans.
The FBI in New Mexico is probing whether  political contributions from CDR Financial of California helped  the company land more than $1.4 million in state contracts.
“Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact,” he said, according to NBC. “But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”
NBC also reported that he said: “I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country.”
The FBI declined comment Sunday afternoon.
Obama issued a statement in response.
“Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office. It is a measure of his willingness to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a candidate for the Cabinet to avoid any delay in filling this important economic post at this critical time. Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson’s decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration.”