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FBI Lays Out What It Wants for New Headquarters

By Jonathan O’Connell
Washington Post

It was 35 minutes past the scheduled start time when everyone had finally made their way through the security and Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator of the General Services Administration, took the podium.

He assumed by the size of the crowd — an estimated 350 people, some of them watching on a screen in an overflow room — that there was a lot of interest in building a new headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “I think that bodes pretty well for this project,” he said.

Six weeks after issuing a broad search for ideas of how and where to build a consolidated headquarters for the FBI, developers, Tangherlini and his staff reiterated why they wished to swap the J. Edgar Hoover building property on Pennsylvania Avenue for a new consolidated FBI headquarters: the Hoover building is obsolete and the government has limited capital to build a replacement.

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FBI Agent Tells of Sex in the Philippines But Says he Didn’t Pay for It

By Hailey Branson-Potts
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — A day after meeting a pretty young woman working at a karaoke club in the Philippines, Marc Napolitano started getting text messages from her, he said.

The woman, named Maui, wrote that she missed him, loved him and wanted to see him. Within days of their first meeting, Maui went to Napolitano’s hotel room, where they had sex, he said.

The room was paid for by American taxpayers, he said. So was the cellphone on which he got her messages, and so were the trips that took him to the Philippines.

Napolitano, an FBI agent, traveled to Manila several times in 2010 and 2011 while working on cases involving weapons trafficking from the Philippines to the United States. He was posing as a club patron while providing security for another undercover FBI agent.

On Friday, he testified in a federal courtroom in downtown Los Angeles as part of a defense motion seeking to throw out criminal charges against three Filipino nationals charged with weapons smuggling.

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Weekend Series on Crime: Bugsy Siegel

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Justice Department Slammed for Not Checking References for Job Applicants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department was sharply criticized Thursday for rarely checking references for law-enforcement candidates, according to a report by the agency’s inspector general, the Washington Post wrote

The report said all government agencies are encouraged to conduct reference checks when choosing new employees, the report said.

The Justice Department only mandates those background searches for new attorney applicants, according to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

Horowitz said that some in charge of hiring “are simply not bothering to check references.”

Rep. Issa Calls President’s Nomination for ATF Director a “Slap in the Face”

Rep. Issa/gov photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) said Friday that President Barack Obama’s nomination of B. Todd Jones to permanent director of ATF is a slap in the face.

“Acting Director Jones was at the helm of ATF as many troubling problems from the fallout of Operation Fast and Furious festered,” Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. “His specific decisions on a number of Fast and Furious related issues raise concerns about his judgment and ability to lead the agency. While I continue to believe that ATF needs to have a Senate confirmed Director, President Obama has a responsibility to find a nominee who can win confirmation and is not saddled by a string of bad decisions related to the agency’s greatest recent failure.”

“Jones was first brought into the job of ATF Acting Director in the middle of the Fast and Furious scandal after Justice Department officials had falsely denied reckless conduct and allegations by his predecessor that there was an effort underway to shield the Department’s senior political appointees from the scandal. Because of the numerous ATF mistakes during his tenure as Acting Director pertaining to Fast and Furious, his nomination is a slap in the face to the family of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Mexican citizens whose murder has been linked to Fast and Furious weapons, and ATF whistleblowers whom he failed to support.”

Jones has been acting director since 2011.

Issa, in a press release wrote that his specific concerns included:

  •  · Failure to hold all the ATF personnel responsible for Operation Fast and Furious accountable – Nearly two years have gone by since the congressional investigation began. Still, several key individuals identified by both Congress and the Inspector General as having played prominent roles in using reckless tactics remain with the agency.
  • Read more »

Defense: FBI Terrorism Sting Went Too Far and Targeted ‘a Kid’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The defense attorney for a man accused of plotting to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Oregon said his client was coerced by over-enthusiastic undercover FBI agents who were bent on getting a terrorism arrest, the AP reports.

The trial continued Thursday in the case of Mohamed Mohamud, who thought he was detonating what turned out to be a phony bomb devised by the FBI. 

The prosecution’s narrative of the case was hammered by the defense who had pointed to recorded conversations between the FBI and Mohamud.

“We are fortunate in this case that the government forgot to turn off its microphones,” federal public defender Steve Wax said, the AP reported.

The case continues today.