Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



News Story

Atty. Gen. Holder Not Going Anywhere For Now

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It’s been anything but smooth sailing for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. since he took the job on Feb. 3, 2009.  In fact, he’s often been a pinata for some key Republicans, who have bashed him at hearings time and again.

Still, despite the shuffling of people in the Obama administration, and the departure of some key figures, it appears Holder is staying put for the time being, according to Josh Gerstein of Politico.

Earlier in the week, he gave a pep talk to some 150 Justice Department employees and laid out his plan of attack in going after crime and terrorism.

“I’ve enjoyed my two years here, which is not to say that every day has been great. There have been disappointments, but there’ve also been substantial victories as well,” Holder told reporters, according to Politico. “My confidence, my faith in this department is constantly renewed as I interact with people in this department, and I see how dedicated they are — the sacrificing they do.”

“We have a long list of agenda items, and I will be pushing those over the next couple of years,” he said. “I’m happy. I’m content. My wife says I’ve got some more time. So long as she’s in the same place, I’ll be around.”

Politico reported that a senior Justice Department official said the move to prosecute Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others before a military commission has freed Holder to speak out.

“In some sense, KSM being finally over is liberating, and that’s why you’re seeing him out now doing other things that he has wanted to do all along as attorney general,” the official said, according to Politico.

“He has been working on other things near and dear to his heart as long as he’s been AG,” but they just always have “been overshadowed by KSM. That shadow is gone now,” said the official.

Editorial Urges Portland Police to Rejoin FBI’s JTTF Squad

fbi photo

By The Portland Tribune
Editorial

PORTLAND, Ore. — In 2005 the Portland City Council voted to pull out of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force – leaving not only Portland, but also the region, with a void of local engagement in investigating and preventing acts of terrorism.

That absence should end this week as the City Council considers a resolution that not only returns Portland police officers to the terrorism task force, but also sets a national model for ensuring that civil rights are protected and local and national laws are followed along the way.

If the City Council needs a reminder of why it is important to act, it need only consider a Beaverton-area resident’s plot late last year to detonate a bomb on the night of the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

But in Portland – a community that seemingly fears imagined threats to civil rights more than the direct threat of terrorism – elected leaders often make strange choices.

To read more click here.

Judge Rules Against Muslim Groups But Blasts Government

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There was good news and bad news for Muslim activists who sued to get FBI files on their activities.

The bad news was that a federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., ruled Wednesday that the groups cannot have access to most of the files because of national security issues, the Associated Press reported.

The consolation prize for the group was that the judge blasted the government for misleading the court about the existence of the files, AP reported.

“The government’s representations were then, and remain today, blatantly false,” Judge Cormac J. Carney wrote. “The government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the court.”

Six Muslim groups and five individuals sued the government in 2007 to gain access to records after they alleged the government was unlawfully targeting Muslims in Southern California, AP reported.

Suspected Terrorists Can Still Legally Buy Guns


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Apparently suspected terrorist have the right to buy guns too.

The Associated Press reported that 247 people with suspected terrorism ties bought guns last year in the U.S. after going through the mandatory background check, according to FBI stats.

AP reported that it is not illegal to buy guns even if you’re on the terrorist watch list.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. has been trying to change the law to address that issue, AP reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Wash. Field Office Gets Piece of Pentagon Wall From 9/11 Attack

James McJunkin/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI agents at the Washington Field Office hardly needed anything to remind them of the devastating aftermath of 9/11,  and the plane crash at the Pentagon that killed 184 folks.

Nonetheless, it was nice gesture Wednesday when the office  was presented with an 800-pound limestone block recovered from the west facade of the Pentagon after the plane crash.

The stone was presented during a military ceremony at the field office in Washington, blocks from the U.S. Capitol. It  will  be displayed in the lobby of the building.  Agents responded to the Pentagon minutes after the crash.

“The relationship we share with the Military District of Washington, Arlington County Fire, and other first responders was formed long before that fateful day,”  James McJunkin, assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said.

“In the years since, these bonds have grown as one of the few positive legacies of September 11. The FBI is stronger now because of these partnerships. What emerged from that scene at the Pentagon ten years ago should instill in every American today a sense of confidence in the skill, courage and keen coordination within of our Nation’s law enforcement and first responders.”

John Perren

“This stone serves as a reminder of the past and is a tribute to the injured and the 184 lives lost at the Pentagon nearly ten years ago,” said Karl Horst, Major General, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region. “Today we remember how our partners at the Bureau reacted with extraordinary heroism when – without warning – they were called upon to perform their duty in the midst of an unimaginable act of terrorism. ”

Mike Rolince/knights of columbus photo

Speakers at the ceremony included former FBI agent Michael Rolince, who was Section Chief, Counterterrorism Division, FBI Headquarters on 9/11 ; FBI Deputy Assistant Director John G. Perren, Criminal Investigation Division, FBI Headquarters , who was a supervisory special agent for the WFO’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on 9/11; Major General Karl R. Horst, Joint Force Headquarters, National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and  McJunkin, who now heads up the FBI Washington Field Office.

FBI Agent Commits Suicide in Maine

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI wasn’t saying much last week about the suicide of an FBI agent, who shot himself  in the Portland, Maine area over the weekend of April 24, according to sources.

The agent was in his early 50s, one source said.

FBI agent Greg Comcowich, a spokesman for the Boston FBI Division, which includes Maine,  told the ticklethewire.com:

“The type of question which you are inquiring (about)is not something the FBI would comment on.”

Last year, an FBI agent assigned to Quantico committed suicide.

IG Report Says Some FBI Agents Lack Skills to Probe Computer Intrusions


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department Inspector General report issued Wednesday says a third of the agents it interviewed, who probe national security-related computer intrusions, lacked certain skills to competently do their jobs.

Specifically, the  report said of the of 36 agents interviewed at 10 field offices, 13 “lacked the networking and counterintelligence expertise to investigate national security intrusion cases.”

“One agent told us that he was assigned his first counterterrorism intrusion case but he did not know how to investigate a national security intrusion case,” according to the report.

The report also said the FBI’s inter-agency cyber security task force sometimes failed to share essential info with its task force members.

Jenny Shearer, an FBI spokeswoman, told Bloomberg news that the report was a snapshot of the FBI’s cyber division taken from a few field offices.

She said Congress has limited appropriations, but the FBI spends more in this area than appropriated, she told Bloomberg.

“We’re working hard on it,” she said.

Read report

San Francisco Chronicle Denies Secret Service Request to Monitor Its Phones During Visit by Napolitano

Janet Napolitano/file photo-bill maher show

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Secret Service may have touched a on a sensitive nerve with the San Francisco Chronicle.

The agency  asked the paper if it could monitor its phone traffic during a visit by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday. She had gone to the paper to talk to the Editorial Board.

The agency wanted to monitor phone numbers, not conversations, in case of a bomb or other type of threat.

The paper denied the request. The paper asked Napolitano during an interview if the request was part of a new protocol.

“I don’t know the answer,” she told the Chronicle, and said she’d look into the matter.

On Tuesday, the Secret Service released a statement to the paper:

“A request for a caller ID device referred to as a ‘phone trap’ is standard operating procedure for sites visited by protectees of the Secret Service in San Francisco in order to quickly identify phone numbers should they call in a bomb threat or other type of threat to a protected site. There is no monitoring of phone conversations nor are there any lists of phone numbers generated.”