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FBI to Take Off 10 Weekdays a Year to Combat Budget Cuts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Tough times mean desperate measures for the FBI.

To absorb budget reductions, the FBI plans to close its headquarters and offices nationwide for about 10 weekdays over the next year, The New York Times reports.

On the furlough days, the FBI will maintain a small crew with the ability to call back agents in the event of a terrorist attack or some other serious crime, the Times wrote.

The FBI spends $16 million a day to pay employees.

FBI Trailed U.S.-born al-Awlaki Nine Years Before He Was Killed by Drone

al-Awlaki

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the six hours before radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki entered the Pentagon for a luncheon in February 2002, he was being tracked by the FBI’s elite surveillance unit, Fox News reports.

Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the bureau’s Special Surveillance Group trailed al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Fox News wrote that al-Awlaki was delivering a controversial religious lecture to Defense Department officials after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The surveillance didn’t reveal much, Fox News reported, but it raised questions about whether the FBI saw al-Awlaki as an asset before the U.S. killed him nine years later.

 

 

Columnist Argues Congress Should Get Rid of Beleaguered DEA

Bill Piper
The Seattle Times

Note: Piper is the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Already plagued by scandals, the agency has recently been revealed to be collaborating with the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on unsuspecting Americans. More than 120 groups from across the political spectrum and around the globe have called on Congress to hold hearings on the DEA.

There is no doubt the agency should be reformed. It is also worth asking if it should continue to exist.

According to a Reuters investigation, the DEA has been gathering information from other agencies, as well as foreign governments, for years. The DEA has also been collecting its own arsenal of data; constructing a massive database with about 1 billion records.

This information is shared in secret. By hiding the origins of its data from defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges, the agency and its partners effectively are undermining the right of the people it targets to a fair trial.

To read more click here.

Book Explores Relationship Between FBI Informant and Mobster ‘Grim Reaper’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A new book explores the secret world of FBI informants, questioning the extent of bureau protection for killers and other criminals, U.S. News & World Report said.

“Deal With the Devil: The FBI’s Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer” is written by investigative reporter and former ABC correspondent Peter Lance, who exposes the bureau’s questionable relationship with mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr., AKA the “Grim Reaper.”

Scarpa “was the most vicious killer in the history of La Cosa Nostra,” a notorious crime organization in the U.S. and Italy.

Because of deals with the FBI, Scarpa served a total of 30 days “in over 40 years of murder and racketeering.”

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Former Fox2 Reporter Simon Shaykhet Leaves Detroit FBI to Return to TV

FBI spokesman Simon Shaykhet being interviewed by WXYZ.

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — After 1 year and 10 months as the FBI spokesman in Detroit, Simon Shaykhet — the guy with the hard to spell last name — is returning to TV as a reporter.

“The FBI was a terrific experience and I was proud to be able to represent such a prestigious law enforcement organization,” Shaykhet told Deadline Detroit.

Shaykhet, 32, who worked for Fox2 for 5 1/2 years before joining the FBI, has joined WXYZ-TV as a general assignment and investigative reporter. He did an internship with WXYZ back in 2003.

Shaykhet, a Detroit native, was first hired at the FBI by Andy Arena, who then headed up the Detroit office. Arena was very outgoing and considered very press friendly. When Arena departed to head up the Detroit Crime Commission, he was replaced by Robert Foley III, who seemed less at ease with the press and was considerably lower profile. Foley transferred weeks ago to Florida.

Shayket insists both Arena and Foley were great to work for, acknowledging that each had a different style.

“Channel 7 was an excellent fit for me,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for me to go back to journalism, and it happened to occur just as my boss at the FBI was transferring to another position. ”

To read more click here.

ADL To Hand Out Awards to Law Enforcement that Battled Hates Crimes and Terrorist Threats

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish organization in Washington, will honor law enforcement heroes who have protected the public from hate crimes and terrorist threats.

The fourth annual ADL SHIELD Awards will be held on Monday, Sept. 23rd in Washington and the recipients will include members of the FBI Washington Field Office. The ADL works closely with agencies like the FBI and ATF to battle hate crimes and terrorism.

“The Award gives us an opportunity to publicly recognize and express our appreciation to those who protect our nation and its values,”Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach and Communal Security, said in a statement.

The 2013 ADL SHIELD Award recipients will include:

  • Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for the year-long investigation and subsequent prosecution of Amine El Khalifi, who attempted to bomb the U.S. Capitol building. On June 22, 2012, El Khalifi pled guilty to using a weapon of mass destruction in a terrorist operation and he was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
  •  Leonardo Johnson and Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Evidence Response Team, and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for their response to and investigation and prosecution of Floyd Lee Corkins, II, who on August 15, 2012, opened fire at the Family Research Council and shot Leonardo Johnson. On February 6, 2013, Corkins pled guilty to charges of committing an act of terrorism while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition. Leonardo Johnson will be attending and speaking at the ceremony.
  •  Special Agents Mia Winkley and Kevin Comiskey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Baltimore Field Office and United States Department of Justice Trial Attorney AeJean Cha for the investigation into and prosecution of individuals responsible hanging a dead raccoon by a noose on the porch of a black family in Maryland. They identified five suspects, all of whom plead guilty to civil rights charges for their involvement in the conspiracy to commit a hate crime.
  •  Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division, Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team, and Kabul Country Office, and the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division, Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section for the investigation and prosecution of Haji Bagcho, one of the world’s most prolific drug traffickers whose proceeds helped fund the Taliban. On June 12, 2012, Bagcho was sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment and ordered to forfeit more than $250,000,000 in drug proceeds and his property in Afghanistan.
  •  

Column: Homeland Security Exposes Constitutional Loop Hole to Conduct Searches

Dale McFeatters
The Eagle-Tribune

The Founding Fathers valued privacy enough to specify in the Fourth Amendment that the people had the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures unless a warrant was issued.

Among other items, they specified “papers.” In a rare moment of shortsightedness, they failed to specify laptops, cellphones and thumb drives. The feds, if they had any clue that these electronic devices might contain incriminating information, could of course go to court and obtain a warrant.

But the Department of Homeland Security has found a way around that constitutional technicality, as in the recent case of David House, who came to the feds’ attention for having raised funds for the defense of secrets-leaker Chelsea Manning, formerly Pfc. Bradley Manning. No telling what secrets House may have had, but it apparently wasn’t worth the hassle of going to court to find out.

Instead, according to the Associated Press: “U.S. agents quietly waited for months for House to leave the country, then seized his laptop, thumb drive, digital camera and cellphone when he re-entered the United States. They held his laptop for weeks before returning it, acknowledging one year later that House had committed no crime and promising to destroy copies the government made of House’s personal data.”

To read more click here.

Long-Serving Border Patrol Chief to Retire After 25 Years, Reflects on Advances

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com


Chief Enrique “Henry” Mendiola Jr., whose 25 year of service makes him one of the longest-serving agents of the Border Patrol RGV Sector, is retiring, ValleyCentral.com reports.

Mendiola was only 20 years old when he joined the Border Patrol in 1988.

“When I came in we were still doing ink fingerprints, we had no databases, not even computers,” Mendiola said.

A lot has changed since then. The number of agents has increased 500%, and apprehensions have declined, he told ValleyCentral.com.

“We have made a lot of progress.  Apprehensions are well under the million range where they were back then,” Mendiola said.

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