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Justice Department Spying has ‘Chilling Effect’ on AP Reporters

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The discovery that feds were spying on the Associated Press has had a “chilling effect” on the news agency, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said, the U.S. News reports.

Reporter Martha Mendoza called the snooping “a massive and unprecedented intrusion” into the reporting of more than 20 reporters, the U.S. News wrote.

“These records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls with work and home phone numbers of individual reporters, the general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for the AP’s House of Representatives press gallery,” Mendoza told an audience at an award ceremony for journalists. “Has this had a chilling effect? It’s unbelievable. Yes it has.”

The AP believes the Justice Department seized phone records during an investigation related to a May 2012 story about the CIA preventing an al-Qaida plot to blow up a bomb about a U.S. plane.

FBI Joins Search for Kidnapped Marine, His Family in Mexico

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is searching for the whereabouts of a U.S. Marine reservist, his father and uncle after they were kidnapped from a ranch in Mexico last month, Reuters reports.

U.S. Marine Armando Torres III, who served in Iraq, was in La Barranca, close to the southern tip of Texas, when investigators in Mexico said a dispute over a ranch sale may have prompted the kidnapping, Reuters wrote.

According to investigators, Torres and his two family members were kidnapped shortly after Torres arrived to visit his father’s ranch.

“We’ll take any leads to find this guy safely,” said Erik Vasys, an agent from the FBI’s San Antonio office.

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Randy “Duke” Cunningham To Be Released Tuesday From Prison

Duke Cunningham/gov photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Ex-Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, 71, gets out of prison today.

 The San Diego, eight-term Republican congressman was sentenced to more than eight years in prison in 2006 for accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors that included a luxury house and  yacht. 

He was released early for good behavior.

 

FBI’s Shameful Past Likely to Be Revealed During Trial of Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger

 

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The murder and racketeering trial against mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger likely will reveal an ugly period for the FBI.

While Bulger was wreaking havoc as the leader of a crime gang in South Boston from the 1970s to the early 1980s, he also was acting as an FBI informant. During that time, at least three agents were helping Bulger, Bloomberg reports.

Bulger is accused of 19 murders and racketeering while leading an organized crime gang in South Boston.

Bulger faces life in prison.

Socialite Jill Kelley Sues FBI for Breach of Privacy During Petraeus Investigation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Jill Kelley, whose complaints about threatening e-mails led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, has sued the FBI, saying the agency violated her privacy by divulging her name to the media, the Huffington Post reports.

At the time, federal agents were investigating Petraeus’ extramarital relationship with Paula Broadwell, the author of Petraeus’ biography.

Broadwell told authorities she believed Kelley was competing with her for Petraeus’ affections.

“There was no legally acceptable reason for the government to disclose confidential information about the Kelleys and thereby make them part of the public scandal,” the lawsuit reads.

Violent Crime Increased Last Year for First Time Since 2006, FBI Records Show

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

For the first time since 2006, violent crime rose last year, the FBI said Monday.

Violent crime increased 1.2%, or 3.7% in areas with populations between 500,000 and 1 million, NBC News reported.

The biggest spike occurred in the West, where violent crime rose 3.3%. It fell 0.6% in the Northeast.

The data come from a preliminary analysis of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

Mexican Man Who Killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 to Be Sentenced Sept. 10

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican man who pleaded guilty to killing a Border Patrol agent in 2010 and whose case revealed the botched “Fast and Furious” investigation is to be sentenced Sept. 10, the Associated Press reports.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes is one of five men accused of killing Agent Brian Terry, but he’s the only one to plead guilty. One other suspect is in custody, while the others remain on the loose.

Two rifles found at the scene belonged originated from the “Fast and Furious” investigation.

ATF Agents in Milwaukee Face Disciplinary Action Over Handling of Storefront Operation in Milwaukee

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some ATF agents involved with a botched gun-buying storefront operation in Milwaukee face disciplinary action, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The investigation was so bungled that agents last year had their guns stolen and their storefront pillaged.

The Journal Sentinel discovered through a letter sent to Congress that the Justice Department is conducting personnel investigations in connection with “Operation Fearless.”

According to the letter, the FBI backed off helping because of concerns about how the investigation was run.

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