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

Ex-CIA Legend Leaving Dept. of Homeland Security

By Jeff Stein
SpyTalk
WASHINGTON — CIA legend Charles E. Allen is departing the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 20, according to a colleague, drawing an end to a 50-year career in government intelligence work.
“Charlie,” as he is universally known, joined the CIA in 1958 and spent the next 47 years climbing the ladder through a variety of analytical and managerial roles, culminating in his appointment as the agency’s assistant director for collection.
In 2005 he joined DHS with the title of chief intelligence officer, the department’s first, reporting directly to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
For Full Story

Feds Have Contingency Plan if Mexican Drug Violence Spills Across U.S. Border

With the crazy drug violence in Mexico spreading, U.S. authorities have drawn up a plan to combat any violence that spills over into our borders. Should we be worried?

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL and EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writers
EL PASO, Texas — If Mexican drug violence spills across the U.S. border, Homeland Security officials say they have a contingency plan to assist border areas that includes bringing in the military.
“It’s a common sense extension of our continued work with our state, local, and tribal partners in securing the southwest border,” DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said Friday.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who described the contingency plan in an interview with The New York Times this week, said he ordered specific plans to be drawn up this summer as violence in Mexico continued to mount.
The plan includes federal homeland security agents helping local authorities and maybe even military assistance from the Department of Defense, possibly including aircraft, armored vehicles and special teams to go to areas overwhelmed with violence, authorities said.
For Full Story

Dems Consider Up to $2 Billion in Economic Stimulus For Homeland Security

A billion here. A billion there. It makes you wonder where it all ends.

By Chris Strohm
CongressDaily
WASHINGTON — The economic stimulus package under consideration by key Democrats could include funding for the Homeland Security Department — possibly as much as $2 billion, congressional and industry sources said on Thursday.
Talk has surfaced about the inclusion of hundreds of millions of dollars for Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard, sources said. Funding could be sought to help states comply with the so-called Real ID law, which requires them to issue secure driver’s licenses to their citizens.
The push for the funding appeared to be coming from both lawmakers and the homeland security industry.
“Everything’s in play,” one source said.

For Full Story

Controversial 2001 Congressional Hearing of Clinton’s Pardon of the Infamous Marc Rich

Judge Rejects Bush Admin’s Move to Keep Secret Identities of White House Visitors

Judge Lamberth

Transparency may be coming a little too late as the Bush administration gets ready to ride out of town. But better late than never?

By Pete Yost
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A federal judge yesterday rejected the Bush administration’s latest attempt to keep secret the identities of White House visitors, and he declared that the government illegally deleted Secret Service computer records.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth  (in photo) concluded that the deletions took place before October 2004, when the Secret Service transferred large numbers of entry and exit logs to the White House and then deleted copies of them.
The deletions ceased after the archivist to the United States instructed the Secret Service to stop the practice and after various private organizations went to court in an effort to gain access to the logs, according to papers filed in the case. The deletions date to at least 2001, the government’s papers added, the year President Bush took office.
For Full Story

Read Ruling

Read Ruling II

Opposition Picking Up Steam in Confirmation of Eric Holder as A.G.

Sen. Mitch McConnell/official photo

Sen. Mitch McConnell/official photo

Very early on, it seemed as if the confirmation of Eric Holder, an affable Washington figure, would be a breeze. Doesn’t seem that way any more.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Eric H. Holder Jr. is facing increasing resistance to his bid to become the next attorney general, emerging from President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet nominees as the prime target of Senate Republicans, both because of troubling episodes during his service in the Clinton administration and because of the sensitivity of the post overseeing the Justice Department.
With two days of confirmation hearings set to begin Thursday, Holder must demonstrate his independence from Obama to a vocal chorus of GOP lawmakers who want to warn the incoming president that he should not veer too far to the left on national security and judicial nominations. The attorney general plays a pivotal role in those issues, which are of intense concern to conservatives.
What was considered a smooth path to confirmation has recently been complicated as signs of hostility toward Holder have increased over the past month. Political operative Karl Rove and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for example, singled out the longtime Washington lawyer as the candidate who would face bruising questions.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh Writes Glowing Letter to Judiciary Endorsing Eric Holder for Atty. Gen.

Louis J. Freeh

Louis J. Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – Former FBI director Louis J. Freeh has written a glowing letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsing nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. for Attorney General, saying he “displayed total integrity” as a high-ranking Justice Department official when President Clinton and other senior members were subjects of a grand jury probe.
In a two-page letter dated Jan. 7, Freeh wrote:
“As the Senate Committee on the Judiciary well remembers, my tenure as FBI Director required that the Bureau and I initiate a series of the most sensitive criminal investigations where the President of the United States, who appointed me, and other senior members of the Administration were subjects of grand jury inquiry.
“During this highly-charged time, Eric served as United States Attorney for Washington, D.C., and later as Deputy Attorney General. In my then position of FBI Director , I worked closely and directly with Eric and had the unique opportunity to observe and evaluate all of his actions in connection with the execution of these criminal investigations.
“In all, Eric’s interaction with me as FBI Director, as well as his close coordination with my Deputy and other Assistant Directors, who also had extensive and sometimes daily contact with him, Eric always displayed total integrity, courageous leadership, complete fairness and, once again and most importantly, political independence.”
Freeh said after left the FBI and became the general counsel for MBNA America Bank in Wilmington, De., he retained Holder — who had gone into private practice — as outside counsel for the bank.
“As General Counsel, I could have engaged any lawyer in America to represent our bank. I chose Eric for all the same reasons I described above: his excellent legal skills, complete integrity, sense of fairness, courage, and most importantly, my confidence he would provide me with his independent judgment without fear or favor.”
The Senate Judiciary begins confirmation hearings for Jan. 15 for Holder, 57, who is an attorney in Washington for the law firm Covington & Burling.

Read Louis Freeh Letter to Judiciary

Prosecutors Want Grand Jury Testimony Released For Sentencing To Show Just How Corrupt CIA Official Was

Kyle Foggo/msnbc

Kyle Foggo/msnbc

It seems the public has a right to know. But does that include grand jury material after trial? The prosecutors say yes.

MATTHEW BARAKAT
AP News

Kyle “Dusty” Foggo is the highest ranking officer in the history of the CIA to be convicted of a federal crime, admitting he abused his influence to steer contracts toward an old friend who showered him with vacations, gourmet dinners and other gifts.
But if the public knew the full extent of his misconduct, they would be outraged, prosecutors said Friday as they urged a judge to make public secret grand jury testimony in the case against Foggo.
Foggo was appointed in 2004 to be the agency’s executive director and third-ranking officer under then-director Porter Goss. Foggo resigned in 2006 as he came under investigation.
Prosecutor Jason Forge told U.S. District Judge James Cacheris that the public has a right to know the depth of Foggo’s misconduct and they want the judge to consider the transcripts during sentencing.

For Full Story