Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

November 2022
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



News Story

Column by Janet Napolitano: New Airport Screening Devices “Safe, Efficient and Protect Passenger Privacy”

Janet Napolitano

By Janet Napolitano
USA Today

WASHINGTON — Nearly a year after a thwarted terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas Day, the recent attempt by terrorists to conceal and ship explosive devices aboard aircraft bound for the United States reminds us that al-Qaeda and those inspired by its ideology are determined to strike our global aviation system and are constantly adapting their tactics for doing so.

Our best defense against such threats remains a risk-based, layered security approach that utilizes a range of measures, both seen and unseen, including law enforcement, advanced technology, intelligence, watch-list checks and international collaboration.

This layered approach to aviation security is only as strong as the partnerships upon which it is built.

In addition to the more than 50,000 trained transportation security officers, transportation security inspectors, behavior detection officers and canine teams who are on the front lines guarding against threats to the system, we rely on law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the federal government.

We require airlines and cargo carriers to carry out specific tasks such as the screening of cargo and passengers overseas. We work closely with local law enforcement officers in airports throughout the country.

And we ask the American people to play an important part of our layered defense. We ask for cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance in the face of a determined enemy.

As part of our layered approach, we have expedited the deployment of new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units to help detect concealed metallic and non-metallic threats on passengers. These machines are now in use at airports nationwide, and the vast majority of travelers say they prefer this technology to alternative screening measures.

AIT machines are safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy.

To read more click here.

Jack Abramoff Associate Kevin Ring Convicted of Corruption

Jack Ambramoff/ msnbc

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – A reminder of much that is wrong with Washington reared its ugly head Monday when a federal jury in the capital convicted Kevin A. Ring,  who worked with corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, on five counts related to a scheme to corrupt public officials by providing a stream of gifts and favors including all-paid trips, meals and golf outings.

To date, 20 people, including lobbyists and public officials, have pleaded guilty, been convicted at trial, or are awaiting trial in connection with the ongoing investigation into the Abramoff scandal, the Justice Department said. Abramoff pleaded guilty to a variety of charges in January 2006 and was sentenced to four years in prison.

In the Ring case, the jury deliberated three days before finding him guilty of conspiring to corrupt congressional and executive branch officials by providing them things of value, paying gratuity to a public official and three counts of honest services wire fraud.

“Through the talent and hard work of prosecutors from the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity and Fraud Sections, another member of ‘Team Abramoff’ has been held accountable for his actions,” said Mythili Raman, principal deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Divisoin.

“For years, this team of lobbyists schemed to corrupt public officials, and, because of their actions, Americans were denied the honest services of public servants.”

“The public trusts that government processes will be untainted by those who would seek to corrupt them,” added John G. Perren, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Authorities say Ring had clients around the U.S. including Native American tribal governments operating and interested in casinos.

Authorities charged that Ring and his co-conspirators identified public officials who could help those  clients and then provided them things of value which included all-expenses-paid travel, meals, drinks, golf outings, tickets to professional sporting and concert events and an employment opportunity for the wife of a congressman.

Read more »

NY Juror in Gitmo Case Says She Feels Threatened by Fellow Jurors

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Big Apple.  Big trial. Big headache.

The latest big headache in the federal trial in New York of a Gitmo detainee surfaced Monday when a juror on the third day of deliberations, asked the judge to remove her, saying she felt threatened by fellow jurors because she was at odds with them on a verdict, the Associated Press reported.

“My conclusion is not going to change,” the juror wrote the judge, not indicating her position, according to AP. “I feel (I am being) attacked for my conclusion.”

AP noted that the note from the juror raised the possibility of a hung jury.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan called jurors into the courtroom, reminded them of his instructions and told them to continue deliberating, AP reported.

Juries are deliberating the fate of Ahmed Ghailani who is accused of helping al-Qaida buy a truck and components for explosives used in a suicide bombing in Tanzania in 1998. That, along with a simultaneous bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, AP reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

White House Nominates Andrew Traver to Head Up ATF

Andrew Traver/zerocancer.org photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As expected, the White House gave the nod on Monday to Andrew Traver, a 23-year-veteran of ATF, as the nominee to head the agency.

Traver has headed the ATF Chicago field division since 2004. From 2001 to 2004, he served as an assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco office and  supervised criminal enforcement offices in the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.

From 2000 to 2001, he served as the assistant special agent in charge of the New Orleans division and from 1998 to 2000 he was a criminal investigator in the Office of Inspection at ATF headquarters in Washington.

Before that, from 1993 to 1998, Traver worked as a group supervisor in the Philadelphia. He joined ATF in 1987 and first worked in the Chicago office.

Kenneth Melson, a former federal prosecutor, has been in charge of ATF on an interim basis.

Dennis Baker to Head FBI’s St. Louis Office

Dennis Baker/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Native Oklahoman Dennis L. Baker, special assistant to the FBI deputy director, has been picked to head the St. Louis office.

Baker started his FBI career as a special agent in June 1988 and was first stationed in Charlotte where he worked violent crime and drugs.

In 2002, he was promoted as a supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division, International Terrorism Operations Section at FBI headquarters.

Two years later, he transferred to the Phoenix Division as a field supervisor where he supervised an international terrorism squad that included members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In 2007, he returned to headquarters as a team leader in the Inspection Division. And the next year, he was promoted as assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) of the Sacramento Division.

Ted Stevens Prosecutors Won’t Face Criminal Prosecution, NPR Reports

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Stevens is dead and so is one of the prosecutors in the prosecution of  the Stevens case, who committed suicide.

On Monday, the latest twist in a perplexing case surfaced when NPR’s Carrie Johnson  reported that the prosecutors in the bungled 2008 prosecution of the Alaskan senator will not face criminal contempt charges. NPR cited “two sources familiar with the case.”

The case had been a major embarrassment to the Justice Department. After winning a conviction against Stevens just before his re-election bid, Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to have the conviction vacated based on allegations that the government failed to share evidence it should have turned over to the defense. Stevens lost his re-election bid.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who spent many a day scolding the prosecution during trial, had ordered a criminal contempt investigation into their conduct.

NPR reported that Washington attorney Henry F. Schuelke has been interviewing the lawyers and collecting evidence in the case, but is expected to recommend in a report that no government lawyers be referred for criminal prosecution.

NPR said Schuelke and the Justice Department declined to comment when reached Monday by NPR.

Stevens died in an August in an airplane. One of the prosecutors, Nicholas Marsh, 37, committed suicide in September.

Separately, NPR reported that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has conducted it’s own probe into the botched case, but won’t make misconduct findings against William Welch, who led the Justice Department’s Public Integrity unit at the time, or his deputy, Brenda Morris, who was on the prosecution team.

NPR reported that Welch and Morris are appealing a civil contempt finding by the judge.

Bad Few Days in Maryland Suburban County: County Exec and Wife Arrested; 3 Cops Indicted

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– As far as image goes, the past few days have not been good ones for Prince George’s County, a Maryland suburb of Washington.

On Friday, the FBI arrested the County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, Leslie, a county council member, on charges of trying to destroy and hide bribe money from a developer.

And on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that three Prince George’s County cops had been indicted — two allegedly for involvement in untaxed cigarettes and alcohol, and a third for alleged involvement in a drug and gun conspiracy.

“Police officers are given badges and guns to prevent crimes, but these police officers allegedly used them to commit crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The indictment charges that they crossed a bright line from catching criminals to conspiring with criminals.”

Authorities indicated the cop bust and the Johnson investigation were linked, but did not elaborate.

FBI Offers $20,000 to Solve Mysterious Shootings at Military-Related Buildings in Va.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI upped the ante on Monday in the hunt for the person shooting shooting at military-related buildings in Northern Virginia and announced a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction in the case.

“We are following every lead that comes in and continue to call for the assistance of the public in helping us identify the person or persons responsible,” said John G. Perren, acting head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “We are confident that someone out there has additional information that will be helpful to this investigation.”

Since mid-October, the person has shot five times at buildings overnight or in the early morning hours. No one has been injured. Authorities believe the person may have a gripe against the Marine Corps.

The buildings include: the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Pentagon, a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting facility and a U.S. Coast Guard recruiting facility. Ballistic tests have linked the bullets to the same gun.

Anyone with information should contact the FBI’s Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000 or e-mail WashingtonField@ic.fbi.gov.