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Gun Lobby Keeps ATF Under-Resourced, Beleaguered As Industry Grows

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Following the mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school, attention has shifted to the ATF, the federal agency responsible for regulating the gun industry.

A Washington Post investigation found that ATF is inadequately resourced and so beleaguered that it hasn’t had a director in years.

Sources said the gun industry, particularly the NRA, has blocked resources from the ATF, preventing the agency from accessing computerized records of gun sales, for instance.

Despite the growth of the industry, ATF has fewer officers now than it did nearly 40 years ago, the Post found.

Pentagon: A Top Candidate for Next CIA Director, Michael Vickers, Disclosed Classified Information

Michael Vickers
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, among the possible candidates for the next CIA director, leaked classified information about the hunt for Osama bin Laden to filmmakers of an acclaimed movie, Pentagon investigators have concluded, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

The Justice Department, however, has declined to pursue criminal prosecution since receiving the case in September, McClatchy reported, citing two senior U.S. officials.

Investigators with the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s Office said Vickers disclosed to filmmakers of “Zero Dark Thirty” the name of a U.S. Special Operations Command officer involved in planning the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan.

Revealing classified information is a crime.

Vickers is among the possible candidates to replace retired Army Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director.

“Mike Vickers is an outstanding defense and intelligence professional and is well respected inside the Department of Defense and the intelligence community,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

Florida Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Hacking Celebrities’ Email Accounts for Nude Photos

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida man who hacked into the email accounts of celebrities for nude photos and private information was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a federal judge, Reuters reports.

Christopher Chaney, 36, a former office clerk, said he hacked into the accounts because of an addiction to spying on more than 50 celebrities, who include Scarlett Johansson, actress Mila Kunis, and singers Christina Aguilera and Renee Olstead.

Chaney pleaded guilty to nine felony counts, including wiretapping and unauthorized access to protected computers, for spying on the celebrities from November 2010 to October 2011, Reuters reported.

“I don’t know what else to say except I’m sorry,” Chaney said during his sentencing. “This will never happen again.”

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

FBI Launched ‘Wanted Bank Robbers’ Website to Combat $38 Million in Annual Theft

 Steve Neavling
tickltethewire.com

Bank robbers bagged more than $38 million from banks last year, and the money was recovered in only one in five robberies.

To increase the success of nabbing thieves, the FBI has launched a website, Wanted Bank Robbers, at www.bankrobbers.fbi.gov. It’s dedicated to enlisting the public’s help in identifying suspects, the bureau announced on its site.

The site includes a gallery of suspects and a map of robberies.

All of the information can be searched by name, and location.

Top Assistant New Orleans U.S. Attorney Retires Amid Controversy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

 Jan Mann, the first Assistant U.S. Attorney in the New Orelans office, who was embroiled in controversy, has retired from the office, along with her husband, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Gordon Russell of the Times-Picayune reports:

 Jan Mann was demoted from her dual management posts last month — she had been both first assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the office’s criminal division — after she admitted commenting pseudonymously on stories about federal cases posted at NOLA.com.

The revelation came more than six months after Sal Perricone, another high-ranking member of the office, confessed to authoring a raft of online rants.

The scandal resulted in the resignation of U.S. Attorney Letten.

To read more click here.

ATF: Connecticut Gunman, Mom Visited Shooting Range Before Friday’s Slaughter

Adam Lanza

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Shooter Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, and his mom visited a shooting range before Friday’s tragic events, the Associated Press reports, citing the ATF.

The agency declined to identify the shooting range or give more specifics

What’s clear, according to the ATF and AP, is that Lanza’s mother, Nancy, practiced firing her weapon at a shooting range several times.

Investigators are trying to determine whether her son ever fired a weapon there.

The AP said Lanza shot his mom four times in the head before unloading his gun at the elementary school.

Family of Border Patrol Agent Slain Along Border Sues Federal Government

Brian Terry

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of a Border Patrol agent killed in a firefight along the Arizona-Mexico is suing federal officials, saying the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation put law enforcement authorities at grave danger, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit is the latest fallout from an investigation that allowed gun-smuggling rings to buy weapons and smuggle them into Mexico in hopes of determine.

But two years ago, one of those weapons was found at the scene where Agent Brian Terry was mortally wounded in a firefight.

The suit alleges that federal authorities should have known the investigation would lead to injuries and deaths of civilians and police.

Justice Department Withheld Recommendations on Curtailing Gun Violence Until After November Election

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department compiled a list of ideas to reduce gun violence but it was postponed until after last month’s elections, the Washington Post reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the efforts.

In March 2011, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asked officials to draw up a list of recommendations to reduce gun violence following the shooting of then-Rep Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., the Post wrote.

Holder’s office worked with ATF, local police gun-control advocates, firearm dealers and experts on the FBI’s Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to the Post.

The recommendations, which need legislative approval, however, were shelved until after the election, sources told the Post.