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News Story

Atty. For Slain Border Agent May Sue Government

Brian Terry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry may sue the government.

Fox News reports that the family attorney Paul Chartlon said: “If the evidence shows Brian’s death was proximately caused by the negligence of the federal government, there may be a cause of action.

Guns from ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of the crime in December 2010. He was killed in southern Arizona allegedly by an illegal immigrant working for the Sinaloa Cartel, according to Fox.

To date, there has been no evidence that has surfaced publicly to indicate that the guns from the ATF operation were actually used to kill Terry.

Operation Fast and Furious has become the target of Congressional inquiries. The operation involved encouraging gun dealers in Arizona to sell to middlemen or “straw purchasers” — all with the hopes of tracing them to the Mexican cartels.

Critics say ATF lost track of some guns that showed up at crime scenes.

The White House has condemned the program.

Dealing With Possible Airport Threat of Surgically Implanted Bombs

Could Dept. of Homeland Security Be Buying $300 Mil in Worthless Radiation Detectors?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a case where the intent may be good, but the execution could be costly and worthless.

According to the The Washington Post, an unreleased Government Accountability Office report shows that the Department of Homeland Security plans to spend more than $300 million over the next four years on radiation-detection equipment that hasn’t been fully tested and may not work.

The Post reported that in January the National Academy of Sciences reported that it wasn’t possible to know whether the machines,ASPs, worked.

To read the full story click here.

Families of Whitey Bulger’s Victims Speak Out

Michigan Prof Sues FBI and CIA; Claims Bush White House Tried to Smear Reputation

Prof. Juan Cole

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

University of Michigan History Professor Juan Cole wants to take a peak at CIA and FBI files — and for pretty good reason.

Last month, according to the New York Times, former CIA official Glenn Carle said the Bush White House wanted to smear Cole’s reputation and discredit him because he was critical of the administration’s Middle East policies. Cole, who lives in Ann Arbor, writes a blog on Middle East issues.

The CIA’s Carle, according to the Times, said his supervisor asked him: “Does he (Cole) drink? What are his views? Is he married?” And, “What do you think we might know about him, or could find out, that could discredit him?”

Cole asked the CIA and the FBI to look at any of his files, but never got a response, according to the Detroit Free Press.

So on Wednesday, Cole and the American Civil Liberties Union and a University of Michigan professor filed a lawsuit in Detroit federal court,  asking that he see any files relating to any alleged scheme to discredit him, the Free Press reported.

“In a democratic society, the secret police should not be spying on citizens for simply criticizing government policy,” said Michael Steinberg, legal director of the Michigan branch of the ACLU, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press reported that the FBI could not be reached for comment and  CIA spokesman Preston Golson said: “The CIA does not, as a rule, comment on pending litigation.”

Republicans Want More Documents in ATF’s Fast and Furious: Think Scandal Reaches in Highest Levels of Justice Dept.

atf file photo

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Believing that the Operation Fast and Furious scandal reaches into the highest levels of the Justice Department, congressional Republicans asked the attorney general’s office to turn over a sweeping trove of emails, documents and other material to determine Washington’s role in the “reckless” operation that allowed U.S. semiautomatic weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels.

“As our investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has progressed, we have learned that senior officials at the Department of Justice, including Senate-confirmed political appointees, were unquestionably aware of the implementation of this reckless program,” they said in a letter to Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. made public Tuesday. “Therefore, it is necessary to review communications between and among these senior officials.”

The investigation is led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The request for carte blanche access to “emails, memoranda, briefing papers and handwritten notes” could spark a political and legal fight over what, if anything, will be turned over.

To read more click here.

Fed Grand Jury Looking at CIA Agent Linked to Abu Ghraib

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal grand jury in Virginia has been looking at a CIA officer who oversaw the agency’s interrogation program at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Steve Stormoen, who is now retired, pushed for increasingly harsh tactics.

AP reported that he supervised an unofficial program that involved the CIA interrogating men, whose names were not entered into Army books.

AP reported that the so-called “ghosting” program was not sanctioned by CIA headquarters.

To read full story click here.

People Keep Sending Fake Anthrax Letters; Man Pleads Guilty in Ala.

Sen. Shelby received fake anthrax letter

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Not since the Fall of 2001 has anyone sent real anthrax through the mail.

After the 2001 attacks, the Postal Service set up a system that is supposed to detect dangerous biological agents like anthrax that come through the mail processing centers.

That being said, there are folks like Clifton Lamar Dodd, 39, of Lincoln, Ala., who insist on sending fake anthrax through the mail.

Dodd pleaded guilty Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., to sending a series of hoax anthrax letters last year to officials including Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on March 8, 2010.

Other recipients of the white-powder letters included Alabama Sen. Jim Preuitt of Talladega, two Talladega County state court judges, Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard, several Talladega County Jail inmates who were in the jail at the same time as Dodd, and police investigators from both the Lincoln and Oxford police departments who previously had interviewed Dodd, authorities said.