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Ex-Bolivian Drug Chief Busted by DEA Seeks Leniency

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

If a counternarcotics official from another nation profits from trafficking cocaine into the United States, but has a clean criminal record otherwise, should a judge go lenient at sentencing?

That’s what Rene Sanabria is hoping. Sanabria headed a Bolivian drug intelligence unit, but was arrested earlier this year by the DEA in Panama when agents posed as Colombian drug lords. The DEA says he and others helped move thousands of dollars worth of cocaine into Miami. Sanabria pleaded guilty in Miami and is now seeking leniency.  The penalty for the charges ranges from a minimum of 10 years to life, reports the Associated Press.

His attorney lawyer thinks his client should get less than the 10 year minimum, AP reported.

Sanabria denies using his government affiliating to aid in the trafficking.

Sentencing is set for Friday.

Dick Cheney Diplomatically Criticizes U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald.

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former V.P. Dick Cheney isn’t always known for his diplomacy or finesse.

But Monday he was more careful than usual when it came to voicing his opinion. Usually he’s not so circumspect.

But he was when asked about Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald who prosecuted Cheney’s  Scooter Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice in the leak investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Radio station WBEZ reports that Cheney, who appeared Monday at the Union League Club of Chicago as part of his book tour, paused for nine second when asked about Fitzgerald.

“I obviously had some fundamental disagreements with him at one point in the past,” Cheney said.

Cheney called Libby a “very good man” who “did not deserve what happened to him.”

Libby was convicted on four of five felony counts. In 2007, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, but President Bush subsequently commuted his 30-month sentence.

 

Head of Chicago FBI Says al-Qaida Still Obsessed With Planes; Office is Probing Mail Bombs


Robert Grant/fbi photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A decade later and it appears that al-Qaeda members are still trying to turn airplanes into deadly weapons.

“Al-Qaida has been obsessed with airplanes, they continue to be obsessed with airplanes,” said Robert Grant, head of the Chicago FBI., according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “They want to use airplanes to kill people. … It continues to be a desire on their part to bring a plane down.”

Grant also disclosed publicly for the first time that Chicago investigators have been looking into international terrorism plots involving mail bombs sent on Chicago-bound flights from over seas. In October of last year the devices were found hidden in printer cartridges pulled from flights in England and the United Arab Emirates following a tip, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Sent from Yemen, the packages “were addressed to former Chicago area synagogues bearing the names of historical figures as a way to stick it in their eyes,'” reports the Sun-Times.

“The person who built that bomb still remains at liberty, somewhere in Yemen,” Grant said in an appearance before the Niagra Foundation in Chicago, according to the Sun-Times. “He has been hunted for a long time, but he is a very, very skilled bomb-maker.” Officials believe al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch are responsible for the plot, according to the Sun-Times.

Investigators said last year that they found links between the Chicago-bound explosives and the one intended for use by the “underwear bomber” in Detroit.

To read more click here.

FBI’s JTTF in D.C. Will Be Among Those Honored at ADL Awards Ceremony


fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Members and partners of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Washington Field Office, who were involved in a sting that targeted a plot to blow up the Washington area subway system in 2010, will be among those honored Oct. 4 in Washington at the Anti Defamation League’s  second annual SHEILD Awards.

The ADL,  a Jewish organization which bills itself as “one of the nation’s oldest and most respected civil rights and human relations organizations”, created the SHIELD Awards in 2010 to honor law enforcement for protecting the American people from hate crimes and domestic and international terrorism.  ADL works closely with agencies like the FBI and ATF to expose hate groups and their activities.

The ADL anticipates  about 300 law enforcement professionals and community leaders will attend the event.

“Through these Awards, we hope to increase public awareness of the dedication and values of the men and women of law enforcement”  Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach said in a statement. “They transform the principles of our democracy into a reality. They can never be thanked enough for their service.”

Besides members the FBI’s JTTF, others honored will include:

Members of the Baltimore Police Department and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City for the investigation and prosecution of three individuals who assaulted 76-year-old African American man in a hate crime in 2009.

Special Agent Michael Tarantino of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit, who in 2009 identified, located, and arrested a high ranking Argentinean Police official who was wanted for committing war crimes during the Argentinean Dirty War.

Members of the Virginia Beach Police and Fire Departments for preventing a domestic terrorist attack at a local high school, which was scheduled to occur on April 20th, 2009, the 10th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre.

ADL said the awards were determined by a Selection Committee of 18 law enforcement executives, including chiefs of police and other law enforcement officials from D.C., Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

 

First Release of Trailer of Upcoming Film “J. Edgar”

TSA Fires 28 Employees in Hawaii; 15 Others Suspended

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Shakeups at the Honolulu International Airport.

CNN reports that the Transportation Security Administration fired 28 of its employees after a probe determined that bags were allowed on planes without being properly screened. Additionally, three people resigned or retired and 15 were suspended.

All those terminated or suspended “have the right to appeal the decision,” according to the TSA, CNN reported.

CNN reported that in March, Honolulu’s KITV 4 News reported that TSA officers on the morning shift regularly allowed checked bags to be loaded onto flights on nine daily departures without being screened for explosives.

Appeals Court Says Dirty Bomber’s 17-Year Sentence Too Light

Jose Padilla

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The man known as the “dirty bomber”, Jose Padilla, got too soft of a sentence, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

The Associated Press reports that the appeals court vacated the 17-year sentence and ordered a new sentencing.

Padilla, a Muslim convert, was convicted in 2007 along with two co-conspirators of several terrorism-related charges.

The ruling affirmed the convictions of Padilla, Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi on terrorism support and conspiracy charges, AP reported.

Padilla was held as an enemy combatant for three years before he was prosecuted in Miami. He was first arrested in 2002 in the dirty bomb investigation.

 

 

Louie Freeh and Tom Ridge: Angels Protecting Us or Just Hired Guns for the Gambling Industry?

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh and Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Angels protecting us from evil, or just hired guns for the gambling industry?

If you read the press release by FairPlayUSA, you’d think they were here to save us from the evil.

FairPlayUSA announced that Freeh and Ridge have joined its board to help legalize online poker and toughen the ambiguous U.S. laws on the issue.

The website pressofAtlanticCity posted a story saying the two joined the board as part of a campaign launched this summer to build support to legalize online poker. The site reported that start up money came from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International.

The Sept. 15 release from FairPlayUSA said:

“Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, today, announced they have joined the Advisory Board of FairPlayUSA, a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts and others concerned about the failures in current law to put illegal Internet gambling operators out of business, the need to better protect consumers and the need to impose a strict regulatory framework for online poker.”

Tom Ridge

The release added that “millions of Americans regularly engage in Internet gambling on offshore websites that operate in direct violation of federal and state laws, and they play online poker on sites that fail to provide necessary consumer protections. Current laws that attempt to prohibit Internet gambling have failed to stop the illegal Internet gambling market…”

Freeh said in the release: “Current federal laws fail to provide U.S. law enforcement vital tools to address illegal internet gambling, enabling a ‘wild-west’ atmosphere. I am joining FairPlayUSA to improve this environment by clarifying these laws, better empowering law enforcement agencies to crack down on violators and using licensing and regulation to ensure safe and legal online poker.”

Ridge said in the release: “States and tribes have rights that must be protected by authorizing them to decide for themselves whether to accept or prohibit online poker and make use of sophisticated technologies already in use in other industries to enforce those decisions.”