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FBI’s Mueller Said After “Some Reflection” He Agreed to Take on Extension

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After “some reflection” and consulting with family and people inside and outside the FBI, bureau Director Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday he agreed with the White House proposal to stay on for two years.

Mueller appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering a bill that would extend his 10-year term two more years. His term currently is set to expire in September.

While there were some questions raised as to whether the extension could be constitutionally challenged, and therefore undermine the director’s effectiveness,  the reception was generally welcoming and complimentary.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) thanked  Mueller for his “tremendous service” and said it was no small fete that there had been no major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)  said of  the proposed legislation to extend Mueller’s term:  “I assume it will pass.”

Leahy added that Mueller’s wife should be thanked, considering she doesn’t get enough credit for her support of the director.

Mueller said his wife appreciates and the “much deserved” acknowledgement.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) asked about criticism of agents in management who feel its unfair that Mueller is about to get an extension while they were not allowed to stay on in their current management post.

The policy that has so irritated agents surfaced after Sept. 11, 2001. It requires FBI supervisors to move on after seven years and compete for another managerial post, retire or get demoted at the same field office with a pay decrease.

Mueller said Wednesday it was difficult decision to implement the policy, and the agency lost some good people. But he said the move has helped develop a pool of good managers.

Mueller also testified that he planned to continue focusing on terrorism and cyber crimes along with other pressing issues like the violence and drug trafficking along the Southwest border.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Mueller before the President decided to extend Mueller’s term,  testified before the committee, calling  Mueller “one of the finest public servants this nation has ever seen.”

Comey said he supported the current 10-year term limit,  but said the potentially dangerous times call for an exception at this time, and he therefore supported the extension of Mueller’s tenure.


U.S. Park Police Officer Shoots and Wounds Armed Man


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Park Police officer shot and wounded an armed man early Tuesday morning in Southwest Washington, D.C.  at Hains Point, the Associated Press reported.

The Park Police said an officer was patrolling the park about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when he spotted a man in a car with a gun in his hand, AP reported.

The officer ordered the man to drop the gun, but he refused and the man was shot outside the car, AP reported. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Column: Ex-Justice Dept Official Says It’s Time for FBI Dir. Mueller to Move On

William Yeomans served as Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Justice Department official. He is now a law professor at American University.

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

By WILLIAM YEOMANS
Politico

Robert Mueller has had a stunning record of success in transforming the FBI into a domestic surveillance and security agency. That success should disqualify him from service beyond the expiration of his term in September.

That’s right, you did not misread this.

Extending Mueller’s term beyond the 10-year limit imposed by Congress — as President Barack Obama now proposes — may serve to weaken an important, and still necessary, protection designed to prevent any director from accumulating the power that J. Edgar Hoover misused.

Equally important, Mueller’s continuing as director would delay evaluation of the FBI’s profound transformation since Sept. 11, 2001.

To read more click here.

Greek Police Arrest Teen Suspecting of Hacking FBI and Interpol Computers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hackers are everywhere.

CNN reports that Greek police on Wednesday announced the arrest of an Athens teen suspected of hacking into the electronic systems of the FBI and Interpol.

The 18-year-old also hacked into personal computers and stole data that he used to get credit cards, CNN reported. His name was not released.

A raid on the teen’s home turned up 120 credit cards and thousands of euros, CNN reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Guns From Controversial ATF Gun Program Linked to Shooting of Mexican Military Helicopter, CBS reports


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now comes another example of just how problematic ATF’s “Operation Fast and Furious” program has become.

CBS News reported that there is a link between the ATF program and a recent incident in which a Mexican military helicopter was fired upon by drug cartel suspects and forced to land.

CBS reported that authorities seized more than 70 assault rifles and other weapons from the suspects, some of which were purchased in the ATF sting.

The program, which has come under intense criticism, encouraged gun dealers in Arizona to sell to straw purchasers — all with the hopes of authorities tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels.

Unfortunately, some of the guns have been involved in crimes.

Estimated 1 in 4 Hackers are Informants

By Ed Pilkington
The London Guardian

NEW YORK — The underground world of computer hackers has been so thoroughly infiltrated in the US by the FBI and secret service that it is now riddled with paranoia and mistrust, with an estimated one in four hackers secretly informing on their peers.

A Guardian investigation today reveals how cyber policing units have had such success in forcing online criminals to co-operate with their investigations through the threat of long prison terms that they have managed to create an army of informants deep inside the hacking community.

In some cases, popular illegal forums used by cyber criminals as marketplaces for stolen identities and credit card numbers have been run by hacker turncoats acting as FBI moles. In others, undercover FBI agents posing as “carders” – hackers specialising in ID theft – have themselves taken over the management of crime forums, using the intelligence gathered to put dozens of people behind bars.

So ubiquitous has the FBI informant network become that Eric Corley, who publishes the hacker quarterly 2600, has estimated that 25% of hackers in the US may have been recruited by the federal authorities. “Owing to the harsh penalties involved and the relative inexperience with the law that many hackers have, they are rather susceptible to intimidation,” Corley told the Guardian.

To read the full story click here.

Man Convicted in Chicago of Conspiring to Kill Fed Prosecutor and DEA Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former university research technologist was convicted Monday in Chicago of conspiring to kill a federal prosecutor and DEA agent, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The paper reported that it all began two years ago when Frank Caira told a friend that he wanted to make the prosecutor Shoshana Gillers and DEA agent Patrick Bagley, who were pushing his drug case, go away. From there, the plot began to develop.

The plot also included a plan to kill a dog belonging to attorney Jed Stone,who had represented Caira on charges of manufacturing drugs in his Downers Grove, Ill. home, the Tribune reported.

Authorities learned of the plot from a gang member, the Trib reported.

To read the full story click here.

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Snitching for the FBI Can Be Big Bucks

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Being an FBI informant can be big bucks — even if you’re not the most angelic individual.

In a murder trial in Douglas County, Nebraska, testimony surfaced that witness Jorge Palacios, a gang member, was paid more than $300,000 over five years from the FBI to help agents investigate drug trafficking, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

The paper reported that Palacios received those payments even though the FBI knew he was a suspected accomplice in an August 2004 shooting of a rival gang member in Los Angeles and that he had been accused — but never charged — in the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

To read more click here.