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FBI: Bank Robberies Riding Two-Decade Decline, Smaller Payouts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Bank robberies no longer have the glamour of Bonnie and Clyde.

The FBI reports that there were fewer than 4,000 robberies in 2012, according to Fox 40 Sacramento.

That’s compared to 9,400 bank robberies in 1991.

Robbers also are taking off with less money, $7,600 per heist in 2012. By contrast, each robbery netted $12,400, Fox 40 reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Border Patrol Agent Saves Life of Drowning Child in Neighbor’s Swimming Pool

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A quick-acting Border Patrol agent saved a drowning child who fell into a neighbor’s swimming pool over the weekend in McAllen, Tex.,  The Monitor reports.

Agent Carlos Cojelo was at his house when he heard commotion from a neighbor’s house. When he arrived, he saw a mother clutching her 3-year-old child, who was turning blue.

“I pressed on his stomach and water came out of his mouth,” Vasquez told The Monitor. “I pressed again and more came out. I was desperate I didn’t know what to do. That’s when he touched on my shoulder and told me that he knew what to do.”

Cojelo, a former EMT, resuscitated the child while they rushed to the hospital.

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Controversial ATF Agent Vince Cefalu Calls ATF Leadership “A Joke That is Not Funny”

Vince Cefalu

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
As acting director B. Todd Jones faces questioning this week from the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination for director, veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu is weighing in.

Cefalu, who has been described as a whistleblower, and is embroiled in multiple controversial legal actions against ATF, says that the current leadership at the top of ATF is, in his words, is “A joke that is not funny.”

“Not only do we have no Director in place, this climate allows the corrupt middle management at ATF to live on and keep their jobs, ATF needs a total housecleaning and a new direction, not just a figurehead who isn’t even confirmed by Congress,” he said in a statement provided to ticklethewire.com

“Not just ANY Director. DOJ cannot just keep throwing up names without a nationwide search or at least considering nominees with significant law enforcement experience. ATF is an elite law enforcement agency. Merely choosing lawyers who are friendly to the administration does not ensure competency in critical and very dynamic law enforcement operations.”

His spokesman, Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, describes Cefalu as a an agent who “successfully infiltrated the KKK and California biker groups in key cases for ATF” and is known as a whistleblower. Crosby, who runs a media relations firm, says that Cefalu is an activist within ATF, who was responsible for first bringing to light the ill-fated ‘Fast and Furious’ case fiasco.

Crosby says that he is currently employed by ATF while his personal case against ATF is dragging on without a final disposition.

“My case is important to me, but what is more important is that ATF get some real leadership, and that situation dragging on is much more important to the country and the safety of its citizens than my individual case,” Cefalu said.

“As I have said all along, there needs to be accountability for abuses and incompetence. Not reassignments to a locale of the specific managers’ choosing. The agency has dropped to 280 out of 294 in trust in the integrity and honesty in management in the 2012 OPM-sanctioned annual employee survey. The practice of demoting in title only is destructive and sends the message to corrupt managers that ‘We will protect’ retaliation waste fraud and abuse and incompetence. Yet the attacks on complainants and whistleblowers continue. My disputes are now being litigated in multiple venues at great expense to the taxpayers and the public who rely on the Department of Justice to police itself. DOJ has consistently fought vigorously to protect corrupt managers in my case rather than to resolve these disputes and return to serving the public safety.”

 

NSA Leaker Said He Had Civic Obligation to Reveal Surveillance


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man who leaked a massive effort by the National Security Agency to monitor e-mails, texts and other Internet traffic of virtually all Americans is a 29-year-old high school dropout, CNN reports.

Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source during an interview with the British newspaper, The Guardian, saying he regrets nothing and was driven by a moral obligation to break the news.

“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” said Snowden, who went into hiding.

ATF’s B. Todd Jones Faces Tough Questions Tuesday from Senate Judiciary Committee about

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones’s nomination to head the ATF has become mired in congressional politics, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Nearly six months after he was mentioned as a candidate, Jones is expected to face tough questions from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I am looking forward to meeting with the committee and answering all their questions,” Jones told the Star Tribune.

Republicans say they are concerned about his leadership as a temporary ATF head and his positions on gun-control.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

NSA Debate Likely to Extend to Confirmation Hearings of James Comey

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee to lead the FBI, James Comey, is likely to face scrutiny over government surveillance following the discovery that the NSA had access to virtually all Americans’ phones, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That’s because Comey, a former prosecutor, is intimately familiar with surveillance.

In 2004, Comey threatened to resign from the Justice Department after senior White House aides wanted to reauthorize a secret surveillance program over Comey’s opposition.

“I don’t think the Senate will hold up his confirmation, but I do think you’ll have these collateral issues becoming part of the confirmation process,” said Joe Whitley, a former senior lawyer with the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department during the Bush administration. “Both sides of the aisle, I think, will ask questions about it, and one or more senators could say they want answers on this before they move forward with the confirmation process.”