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Donald Oswald to Head Minneapolis FBI

Donald Oswald/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI agent Donald E. Oswald, the chief inspector in the office of Inspections, is heading to Minneapolis to head up the bureau’s office.

Oswald, 52, who has a law degree, joined the FBI in 1992 and first served in the Los Angeles Division where he investigated bank robberies and street gang activities and also served as a division legal adviser, the FBI said.

Two years later, he was off to new York, where he investigated complex multi-agency public corruption cases. He also served for more than three years as associate division counsel in the New York Division.

In February 2000, he became a supervisory special agent in the Office of the General Counsel at FBI Headquarters. He was assigned to the Investigative Law Unit.

Read more »

Column: Ex-FBI Official Says New FBI Director Should Be “Someone Who Has Lived the Life of a Law Enforcement and Intelligence Officer”

Anthony Riggio is a former lawyer who went on to work for the FBI for 24 years. He held a number of posts during that time including assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit office. He retired in 1995 as a senior executive at FBI headquarters.

Tony Riggio

By Anthony Riggio
For ticklethewire.com

There is no more important a job in Law Enforcement anywhere on the planet than the Director of the FBI. He is the person whose views, counsel and influence are sought anytime major criminal or terrorist actions occur.

As a retired FBI Agent who has worked for three Directors — having applied during J. Edgar Hoover’s long reign but coming on board just after he died — I have watched the FBI evolve into a worldwide force in both the area of intelligence and criminal investigations.

Each successive Director has built upon the Hoover’s legacy and have brought the FBI to this point in its recognition and reputation.

Each Director has done his absolute best to keep the FBI apolitical in an ever increasing and demanding political environment.

The FBI, must remain free of the influences of politicians who have a tendency to point the finger of blame every time something goes wrong.

The media pundits, who often represent destructive cynicism and reporting, often times, from a wide base of poor information, speculation and hidden agendas, cause the elected officials to get nervous.

The result: the event reported becomes an avalanche heaped upon the dedicated institutions, who are neither Gods nor Prophets, but are human beings with all the frailties of the fallible called upon to deal with super heroic dramas.

Read more »

Ill. State Police Worked With FBI in Blago Case; Pretended Not to Know About Bugs

Blagojevich as governor/state photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When it came to loyalty, the Illinois State Police chose the FBI over Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that in the Fall of 2008, the Illinois State Police, tasked with protecting the governor, passed on a chance to help him find listening devices at his North Side campaign office.

The paper reports that Blagojevich ordered a state police technician to search the campaign office for bugs.

The tech told the Blago staff that no bugs were found, even though there were some and he knew where they were, the paper reported.

The Sun-Times reports that the state police were working with the FBI on the probe and providing critical info.

The Sun-Times reported that Blago and his wife Pattie were surprised by the revelation.

“Wow,” Blagojevich told the paper. He described the State Police security detail as “quasi-family.”

Opening statements are set to begin Monday in ex-governor’s retrial.

Off-Duty Dep. Marshal Shoots Gun-Wielding Man in Chicago

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty deputy U.S. marshal shot and wounded a gun-wielding man on Chicago’s Northwest side on Friday night, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Trib reported that two off-duty deputy U.S. Marshals spotted a 20-year-old man with a gun chasing someone. They approached with their guns drawn and identified themselves, a Chicago Police spokesman said.

When the man turned around with the gun in hand, one of the deputy U.S. Marshals opened fire, striking the man in the upper thigh, the Trib reported. The man was in serious to critical condition over the weekend.

Death of bin Laden Creates Opening on FBI Ten Most Wanted List


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The death of Osama bin Laden will open a spot in on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List.

Bin Laden had been a fixture on the list for years.

As what typically happens now, the FBI  will solicit from its field offices a candidate to replace bin Laden.

Often, dozens of recommendations come in to headquarters. Field offices submit packets with information about the case, including a case file, photos and reasons why the person is worthy of joining the list. Some submissions include endorsements from local police chiefs.

The Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit also solicits input from the media representatives at headquarters.

The candidates for the list are reviewed by a committee of agents from the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders unit, who carefully look over the submissions and case files.

Then higher ups at headquarters decide who makes the list. The FBI director ultimately signs off on it.

The information on the Top 10 list said bin Laden was “wanted for “Murder of U.S. Nationals Outside the United States; Conspiracy to Murder U.S. Nationals Outside the United States; Attack on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death.”

“Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world”

“Bin Laden is the leader of a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda, “The Base”. He is left-handed and walks with a cane.”

Dallas U.S. Atty. Says Holder and Pres. Had No Hand in Decision Not to Prosecute Muslim Leader

U.S. Atty. James Jacks

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney in Dallas has stepped into the controversy over the decision not to prosecute a former founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) claimed Atty. Gen. Eric Holder shut down the probe into former CAIR leader Omar Ahmad for fear of offending Muslim groups.

But the  Dallas Morning News reported that Dallas U.S. Attorney James Jacks, who was involved in the investigation,  said that Holder and President Obama had no hand in the decision not to prosecute, and politics played no part.

“Since late 2007, I am the only attorney in this office that was involved in the investigation he referred to,” Jacks said in a statement to the newspaper. “If someone is telling [King] that the attorney general or the White House intervened to decline a prosecution in this matter, he is being misinformed. That did not happen.”

“The decision to indict or not indict a case is based upon an analysis of the evidence and the law,” Jacks said. “That’s what happened in this case.”

Rep. King told Politico: “I stand by my position entirely.”

Holder recently said Bush Justice Department also passed on the opportunity to prosecute the same person.

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Osama bin Laden is Dead!

Osama bin Laden

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Nearly 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans seemed to have given up hope on ever capturing or killing the ever-elusive Osama bin Laden, the man who had become the devil incarnate to many in the world.

But Sunday night that all  changed.

President Obama late Sunday night announced that bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces in a firefight. He said U.S. forces then took custody of his body.

He had become a figure of evil, but also a punchline for talk shows.

After the U.S. attacked Afghanistan after 9/11, it was long believed that bin Laden was hiding out in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

President George W. Bush got some grief for not killing or capturing him during his two-terms.  And many assumed the trail by now had gone cold and the master of elusiveness would die of natural causes.

Of course, authorities don’t expect for al Qaeda to vanish. However, the death is, if anything, a symbolic victory for the U.S. Others believe it could have an impact on al Qaeda operations.

FBI Agents Association: Mike Mason “Embodies Our Principles” For FBI Director

Reprinted with permission from the website Main Justice.

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Konrad Motyka
President of the FBI Agents Association

With FBI Director Robert Mueller’s 10-year term expiring in September, President Obama faces one of the most important decisions of his presidency in the fight against terrorism: the selection of the next FBI Director. There are already calls for the President to nominate a judge or prosecutor, fields where the majority of the former Directors served before assuming office.

The Bureau’s leadership must evolve just as the challenges facing the Bureau have evolved, and the President should not limit candidates to judges or prosecutors, as accomplished as some of these individuals may be. The first Director selected post 9-11 must continue to enhance the effectiveness of the FBI in i the fight against terrorism, while not compromising the Bureau’s established expertise at both criminal and counterintelligence investigations.

The FBI Agents Association, representing over 12,000 current and former FBI Agents, believes the President should be guided by a new set of principles.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

The FBIAA’s first principle is that a new Director must recognize that FBI Special Agents are Central to the Bureau’s core mission. In the wake of 9-11, there was  a concerted effort to transfer the Bureau’s domestic, intelligence-gathering responsibilities to a proposed M15-styled agency. Quashing that effort, Director Mueller advocated the important linkage between criminal investigative principles and experience, intelligence gathering and analysis, and counterterrorism efforts. While priorities may change, Agents are as essential to the Bureau’s primary mission of protecting our country as they are to combating a wide array of crimes ranging from street gangs to mortgage fraud.

Second, effectively combating 21st century crimes requires bridging counterterrorism and traditional investigative efforts. Therefore, the next Director must have an understanding of more than just criminal prosecutions — he or she must be able to negotiate the unique issues associated with simultaneously working towards intelligence and criminal prosecution objectives.

Third, the new Director must advocate effectively for the Bureau, and therefore must understand and respect the work of Agents. History has show that when the senior-level men and woman who lead the Bureau understand Agents — the obstacles we overcome, the burdens our families endure, and the often life-threatening circumstances we face — the Bureau is a more effective agency.

As the FBIAA developed these principles, one candidate was brought up repeatedly by Agents in the field as someone who embodies them: Michael Mason. While our association is not limiting itself to the candidacy of Mr. Mason, we believe he is the type of person who embodies our principles.

Mr. Mason served the Bureau in a wide variety of positions and locations over his 23 year career, culminating in his assignment as Assistant Director in charge of the Washington Field Office, and ultimately, as the Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI. He has unique private sector experience as director of security for a major international telecommunications company. His experience as a Special Agent in the field and as a leader in a variety of FBI management positions provides him a unique perspective that will enable him to formulate, implement, and communicate policies that maximize the effectiveness of the Bureau.

Just as unexpected challenges confronted Director Mueller when he  assumed his position one week before 9-11, the next Director will have new obstacles to overcome and new opportunities to lead. There are many fine candidates  who will likely be discussed in the coming weeks. In the post9-11 world, special attention should be paid to candidates like Michael Mason, who possess experience in criminal investigation, management of national security and intelligence operations, and who have worked with foreign countries and intelligence community partners.