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Homeland Security Worker Sues Agency Over Illegal Search

It’s not good p.r. when someone from your own agency sues because of a goof. In Arizona, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is trying to make this go away via a legal motion.  In the end, the government might just have to end up forking some money over to make it vanish.

arizona-map

By Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic

A Department of Homeland Security employee in Yuma is suing his own agency over an illegal search by immigration officers who he said mistakenly stormed his home in search of an undocumented immigrant.

Jimmy Slaughter, a K-9 handler at the U.S. border crossing in San Luis, said in District Court papers that he and his wife, Sheila, have lived in their home for more than a decade and did not know the woman sought by a half-dozen agents who came to his door with guns drawn.

“Is this the agency which protects our country?” Slaughter asked in an affidavit attached to the lawsuit. “… Now my neighbors are wondering or believe I am just another ‘DIRTY COP!’ I have served my country proudly for 23 years in the Marine Corps and six years as a Customs K-9 handler. I bleed Red, White and Blue.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked a judge to dismiss the complaint, arguing that agents left the house once they realized their mistake, so the Slaughters have no basis for a claim.

For Full Story

Read Lawsuit

They’re Baaack! The Folks From the 9/11 Commission Are Back to Nudge Congress and Obama

The 9/11 report was an important document which laid out a lot constructive ideas. Someone needs to keep hammering away and reminding the administration how important it is to implement those recommendations. Let’s not wait for the next disaster.

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief Blog

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

WASHINGTON — Just as they did under the old and more urgent-sounding moniker of the “9/11 Commission,” and then again under the less-urgent and more bureaucratic-sounding “9/11 Public Discourse Project,” Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean are back on the national scene, beating the drums to make sure that the nation continues to maintain a focus on homeland security and evolve it security capabilities.

Today, they are doing it under the auspices of the “National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG).” Which kind of sounds like some internal working group at the Chamber of Commerce or a new lobbying firm in Washington. No matter, it’s an important job, and since the White House and Congress aren’t doing it, somebody has to keep an eye on domestic security.

The 9/11 Commission was the most venerable of various independent and bipartisan ad hoc groups put together to assess what went wrong in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

To Read More

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed Judge in ex-Gov. Blagojevich Case is Actor and Novelist

Blagojevich in happier days

Blagojevich in happier days

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich won’t be the only true character in the courtroom when his public corruption trial begins in June. The judge presiding over the case has quite a background.

MIKE ROBINSON
The Associated Press
CHICAGO – Judge James B. Zagel has meted out justice on the silver screen and masterminded a bank robbery in the pages of a novel.

But the veteran federal court judge who will preside over former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial leaves any theatrics behind when he dons his black robe and takes the bench.

Lawyers whose antics go over the top are swiftly silenced in Zagel’s courtroom , not with a tyrannical thwack of the gavel but with a deft, sly, sarcastic turn of phrase. Those who know Zagel say that approach will serve him well as he presides over Blagojevich’s trial , one of the biggest cases of his 22-year career.

“Nothing gets out of control in Judge Zagel’s court,” says Ronald Safer, a former federal prosecutor who recalls getting this warning when he was too loudly repetitive during a cross examination, at least in Zagel’s view: “First, turn it down about two levels. Second, the lily has been gilded.”

Blagojevich’s trial, set for next June, is Zagel’s second headline-grabbing case in two years. In 2007, he presided over the three-month Operation Family Secrets murder conspiracy trial, Chicago’s biggest organized crime case in decades. The judge sent three reputed mob bosses to prison for life.

For Full Story

History: Weekend Series– Nixon Talks to Atty. Gen. John Mitchell About Vietnam and Ronald Reagan

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io41ScoJubo

Building a Secret Service Agent: It Ain’t Easy

Secret Service photo

Secret Service file photo

Yes, as you might expect, the training is rigorous, the requirements are tough.  Here’s the details.

By Laura Blumenfeld
Washington Post Sunday Magazine

LESSON ONE: Get Ready To Die

The teacher walks into the mat room.

“Good morning, Mr. Mixon,” the students say in unison.

“Cut that [expletive] out. Don’t act like you give a crap about my morning.”

Steve Mixon smiles, or maybe it’s a snarl. Before he became an instructor at the Secret Service training camp outside Washington, Mixon served as a team leader on President George W. Bush’s Counter Assault Team.

“Everyone’s going to leave today in some degree of pain,” Mixon tells the special agent trainees.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Depart. Anti-Trust Chief Meeting Resistance From Obama Officials (New York Times)

HBO Host Bill Maher and Homeland Sec. Napolitano Have Something Just Short of a Love Fest

Janet Napolitano on Bill Maher Show
Janet Napolitano on Bill Maher Show

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

HBO tv host Bill Maher can be downright tough as an interviewer.

But Friday night was just short of a love fest when Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano appeared via satellite on his 11 p.m. show “Real Time With Bill Maher”. She must have the right touch.

After several questions — mostly softballs — Maher ended the the brief interview by saying : “Well again, I thank you so much for being here and I thank what you’re doing for our country.”

One of the tougher points Maher tried to make went like this: “GAO investigators recently smuggled bomb making materials, well, as a test into 10 high-security federal buildings including a Homeland Security Building, the Justice Department, the State Department and they got in everywhere and they said it cost them $150 to buy the materials off the Internet and they assembled them in four minutes.”

Napolitano responded: “What it tells me is what we’re doing to protect some of these federal buildings is not adequate and we’re busy at work now looking at what’s been done in the past and reforming that entire system.”

Maher was downright playful at times, complaining at one point about having to check in luggage because of airport bans on liquids.

“Between arriving two hours early and having to check baggage and having to put the pot in my deo…” He stopped. Laughter erupted in the audience.

“Boy did I say that to the wrong person. Ok, forget that quote,” he said.

Napolitano took it all good naturedly and responded: ” “What we find is Americans overall are understanding of why these restrictions are on.”

If she appears on the show two years from now and still gets the same warm and fuzzy reception, it’s probably because she’s done a darn good job as chief of Homeland Security.

Time — and possibly Bill Maher — will tell.

Ex-U.S. Atty. Christie Could Benefit From News of Latest N.J. Corruption

Public corruption has long plagued New Jersey. Now it’s certain to come up in the governor’s race.

Christopher Christie

Christopher Christie

Claire Heininger, Josh Margo and Josh Margolin
Newark Star-Ledger

A week ago, Gov. Jon Corzine was riding high, beaming onstage as President Obama heartily endorsed his re-election.

Yesterday, a grim-faced Corzine stepped to another podium to address a very different topic: political corruption — a hammer his Republican opponent, Chris Christie, has been using for months.

The allegations leveled against a host of public officials roiled the landscape of an already contentious governor’s race between Corzine and Christie, the former U.S. attorney who built his reputation on sending politicians to jail.

While both candidates shied away from talking about the politics of the arrests, officials in both parties said Christie will benefit from the return of corruption to the headlines in a race dominated by the economy.

Christie already leads Corzine by double digits in several recent polls.

“Christie doesn’t even have to talk about public corruption — public corruption is what people are going to see, hear about and hear more about for the next month at least,” said New York-based Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who has worked in New Jersey.

For Full Story

Christie’s Anti-Corruption Ad

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QQO3pQUOA4

Drug Czar Says Feds Are Not Pulling Back on Busting Marijuana Farms

Confusion continues to reign over the nation’s policy on marijuana. California lawmakers want to tax the crop. The feds are against legalization. In Fresno County, Calif., federal and local agents in the past 10 days have seized more than $1 billion in marijuana crops and arrested 82 people.

By Marc Benjamin
The Fresno Bee

The federal government is not going to pull back on its efforts to curtail marijuana farming operations, Gil  marijuana-umledu2Kerlikowske, director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Wednesday in Fresno.

The nation’s drug czar, who viewed a foothill marijuana farm on U.S. Forest Service land with state and local officials earlier Wednesday, said the federal government will not support legalizing marijuana.

“Legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary, and it’s not in mine,” he said.

Kerlikowske said he can understand why legislators are talking about taxing marijuana cultivation to help cash-strapped government agencies in California. But the federal government views marijuana as a harmful and addictive drug, he said.

“Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit,” Kerlikowske said in downtown Fresno while discussing Operation SOS — Save Our Sierra — a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County.

Marijuana plants valued at more than $1.26 billion have been confiscated and 82 people arrested over the past 10 days in Fresno County. The operation started last week and is continuing.

For Full Story