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“F-bombs” Fly After Witness Calls Whitey Bulger a Rat

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When you put two gangsters in a courtroom, and one is testifying against the other, what do you get sometimes?

“F-bombs.”

On Tuesday, star prosecution witness Kevin Weeks, James, “Whitey” Bulger’s right-hand man, testified against Bulger, saying he watched Bulger kill four men and one woman, according to Richard A. Oppel Jr., a reporter for the New York Times.

During cross examination, Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. tried portraying Weeks as a lying, selfish thug, who got a sweet deal from the feds for testifying, the Times reported.

Weeks said: “What did I win? Five people are dead. We killed people that were rats,” the Times reported.  Weeks also said “and I had the two biggest rats right next to me,”  a reference to Bulger and gangster Stephen Flemmi.

Then the Fbombs started flying.

According to a court transcript published by BuzzFeed, Bulger blurted out: “You suck.”

Weeks responded: “Fuck you, okay.”

Bulger: “Fuck you, too.”

The judge intervened to restore order.

 

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston and pleaded not guilty. It was his first appearance since  he was arrested in April. 

Tsarnaev was charged in a  a 30-count indictment in connection to the April 15 bombing and subsequent manhunt.

The charges are punishable by death.

Three people were killed and 264 injured in the marathon bombing.

To read more go to Boston Herald.

 

Opinion: Comey Shows Fierce Independence But Supports Phone, Internet Sweeps

James Comey

Michael E. Schmidt
New York Times

President Obama’s nominee for F.B.I. director, James Comey, faced a mostly friendly Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and he is almost assured confirmation given strong bipartisan support. But his tenure as deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration raises important questions about his commitment to civil liberties and his independence in an office that demands unstinting devotion to both principles. As has been made all too clear in recent weeks, the relationship between American citizens and the government’s law-enforcement and intelligence agencies remains deeply damaged.

A short version of Mr. Comey’s work in the Bush administration might run like this: He did several highly questionable things and one unquestionably good thing — his effort in 2004 to stop President Bush’s chief of staff and the White House counsel, who had skulked into the hospital room of the ailing attorney general, John Ashcroft, to wrest his signoff on the administration’s warrantless data collection program.

Justice Department Investigates Miami Police for Its Handling of Some Shootings

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department will monitor the Miami Police Department because of several police-involved shootings over the past four years that didn’t appear to be justified, the Miami Herald reports.

The review, which included police shootings from 2008 to 2011, is part of a civil rights investigation of the Miami police force.

Of the 33 shootings reviewed, three were “unjustified” and an unspecified number involved excessive force, the Herald reported.

The excessive force “may have resulted from tactical and training deficiencies” within the police department, according to the letter of findings by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez.

 

Privacy Rights Group Sues Federal Government Over NSA Surveillance Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A privacy rights group is suing the Obama administration over its NSA surveillance program, the USA Today reports.

The Electronic Privacy Center has taken the case to the Supreme Court to argue the program is unconstitutional.

In its petition to the court, the group said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ‘exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation.”

The Obama administration already is catching staunch criticism for its widespread surveillance of phone and email records.

The NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, is believed to still be in a Moscow airport in legal limbo.

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James Comey Defends US Surveillance Practices at FBI Confirmation Hearing

 

James Comey testifies Tuesday.

By Spencer Ackerman
The Gaurdian

President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the FBI forcefully argued to the Senate that the oversight mechanisms on the government’s widespread surveillance of phone records and online habits sufficiently protect Americans’ privacy.

James Comey, the former US deputy attorney general, said Tuesday that the secret surveillance court that approves wiretapping requests is “anything but a rubber stamp”, even though the so-called Fisa court approves nearly every surveillance request by the government.

“I think folks don’t understand that the FBI operates under a wide variety of constraints,” Comey testified during his confirmation hearing to succeed Robert Mueller as the second director of the bureau since 9/11. The combination of the Fisa court, investigative guidelines from the US attorney general, congressional scrutiny and internal inspectors general are “very effective” at checking FBI abuse, Comey argued.

To read more click here.

 

Mexican Police Chief killed with Rifle lost in ATF’s Fast and Furious

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON—A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF’s Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico.

Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.

Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons — rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region.

To read more click here.