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House Approves Bill That Paves the Way for FBI Director Mueller to Extend Term 2 Years

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The inevitable is becoming inevitably closer.

The U.S. House, as expected, voted by voice Thursday night to approve legislation that would allow FBI Director Robert Mueller III to extend his 10-year-term by two years, the Associated Press reported. The Senate approved the bill last week.

The bill will now go to the President, who, without question, will sign the bill. After all, he was the one who suggested Mueller extend his stay as director two years beyond this year.

The bill paves the way now for the President to send the Mueller nomination for the two year extension back to the Senate for approval. Without the bill, the President could not have sent the nomination to the Senate since current law forbids an FBI director from serving more than 10 years.

And yes, that will be approved without question.

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TSA Officer at LAX Busted for Stealing Expensive Watches and Credit Card

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The folks who protect our nation’s airports — the Transportation Security Administration — don’t need this kind of publicity.

The feds in Los Angeles on Friday indicted TSA officer Paul Yashou, 38, for stealing watches and a prepaid credit card worth $1,000 at Los Angeles International Airport.

The indictment alleges that Yashou stole four watches and the debit card from luggage going through security screening in Terminal 1 at LAX.

The indictment specifically alleges that Yashou stole an IWC GST chrono perpetual calendar moonphase watch valued at about $15,000, a Breitling Crosswind worth about $5,000, a $1,000 Antima watch and a $1,000 Movado watch.

Authorities said the probe began when the owner of the IWC watch saw his watch up for sale on eBay.

Ex-FBI Contractor Sues Bureau and Atty. Gen. For Blocking Publication of Book

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Sibel Edmonds, an FBI contractor who founded the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, has sued the FBI and Attorney General for blocking publication of her book, Courthouse News Service reported.

Edmonds claims her book does not contain any classified information.

The website reported that Edmonds worked for the FBI for 6 months as a contract monitor and linguist. She said the FBI hired her two days after Sept. 11, 2001, and fired her after she “reported a number of whistleblower allegations to FBI management officials.”

To read the full story click here

Ex-Interim Philly U.S. Atty. Suspended for 100 Days

Ex-U.S. Atty. Laurie Magid

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Philly interim U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid, who is now an assistant U.S. Attorney, has agreed to a 100 day suspension without pay for violating federal restrictions on political contributions in connection with fund-raisers for U.S. Rep. Patrick L. Meehan and former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The paper reported that the settlement, completed Thursday in the ethics case, was investigated by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

The penalty was part of a settlement completed Thursday that concluded an ethics case pursued by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal agency. The suspension is slated to begin Sept. 6.

“I have spent my life devoted to public service, and I am looking forward to continuing my work as a prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Magid said Friday in a statement to the newspaper.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has alleged that as a government employee Magid improperly held fundraisers for Sen. Arlen Specter in 2008 and one for U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan in 2009, and solicited funds from subordinates at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the fundraisers, according to the counsel’s Feb. 15 document.

The special counsel recommended disciplinary action for violating the Hatch Act law. which limits political activity by federal employees.

Magid was the first assistant U.S. Attorney from summer 2005 until July 2008 when she became acting U.S. Attorney. From February 2009 to May 2009 she was the interim U.S. Attorney and then was replaced.

The Office of Special Counsel document stated that in 2008, Magid’s husband was hosting a fundraiser at their home for Sen. Arlen Specter.

The document alleged that she helped her husband and invited eight assistant U.S. attorneys (AUSAs) for the Sen. Specter fundraiser.

“At least one one AUSA expressed concern that he felt pressure to attend this political fundraiser,” the document said.

In early 2009, the husband threw a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Patrick Meehan, the former U.S. Attorney, who eventually decided to run for Congress. Magid helped her husband with the invite list, which included 35 of her subordinate employees. Of those, about 18 got the invitations at their official U.S. Attorney address, the document said.

“When invitations were received, performance evaluations were in progress,” the document said. “Several of respondent’s subordinate employees expressed concerns that they felt pressure to attend this political fundraiser or make a financial contribution.”

Washington Post Editorial: The FBI’s New Tools; Not Everyone is Onboard

By The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — RUMMAGING THROUGH a garbage can may yield important clues about an individual — from reading habits to monthly bills to telltale signs of drug abuse. The unglamorous technique has long been part of the investigative arsenal for a reason: It gets results.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI has given the thumbs up to trash digs to check the credibility of possible informants — so long as agents go through only garbage that has been left on the curb. This determination is one of many in a new set of rules the bureau is scheduled to unveil soon to govern the activities of agents in the field.

Some civil liberties groups condemn the guidelines as giving agents extraordinary new powers. They note that the bureau would allow lie detector tests for possible confidential witnesses and permit agents to search FBI and commercial databases to mine information about a potential suspect without having to open an investigative file.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Declines to Re-investigate Malcolm X Assassination

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mystery surrounding the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X may remain just that — a mystery.

The New York Times reports that the Justice Department has declined to reinvestigate the assassination. It said the statute of limitations had expired on any federal laws that might apply.

“Although the Justice Department recognizes that the murder of Malcolm X was a tragedy, both for his family and for the community he served, we have determined that at this time, the matter does not implicate federal interests sufficient to necessitate the use of scarce federal investigative resources into a matter for which there can be no federal criminal prosecution,” the department said.

The Times reported that historians have long considered the assassination in New York in February 1965 unsolved. It said some feel a bungled investigation resulted in the imprisonment of the wrong people while allowing the guilty to go uncharged.

The Times reported that a new book,  “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention”, has prompted some some advocates to push for a reopening of the case.

To read more click here.

Boston U.S. Atty. Carmen Ortiz Quickly Becomes High Profile

U.S. Atty. Carmen Ortiz

By Milton J. Valencia
Boston Globe

BOSTON — She is the United States attorney who barked back at former city councilor Chuck Turner, and it was her administration that convicted former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, once one of the most powerful political figures in Massachusetts.

US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz took office only 18 months ago and already she has amassed a list of successes, highlighted by the new flier in her office listing notorious fugitive James “Whitey’’ Bulger as captured.

Her next goal, she says with a smirk: to crack the mysterious Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

“I’m still holding out hope on that one,’’ said Ortiz, tapping the wooden coffee table in her ninth-floor office in the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse, overlooking Boston Harbor.

“Knock on wood,’’ she added. “I always knock on wood.’’

To read full story click here.

Ex-FBI Agent and Author John Wills Wins Prize for Fiction Novel Category in Las Vegas

John Wills

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent John Wills, who recently published his third suspense novel, “Targeted”,  won First Place in the fiction novel category at the 2011 Writing Competition held by the the Public Safety Writers Association in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Wills, whose book  “Targeted” was part of his “Chicago Warriors Thriller” series, is a former FBI agent and former Chicago cop.

Founded in 1997 as the Police Writers Club, the Public Safety Writers Association is open to both new and experienced, published and not yet published writers.

Members include police officers, civilian police personnel, firefighters, fire support personnel, emergency personnel, security personnel and those who write about public safety including mystery writers, magazine writers and journalists.

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