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FBI Tracked Journalist David Halberstam For Decades

The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover kept a watchful eye on journalist David Halberstam. Was there a good reason for it? The FBI isn’t saying.

Released FBI Document

Released FBI Document

By Associated Press
NEW YORK —  The FBI tracked the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam for more than two decades, newly released documents show.
Students at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism obtained the FBI documents by filing a Freedom of Information Act request. The university posted the documents on its Web site Thursday.
The FBI monitored Halberstam’s reporting, and at times his personal life, from at least the mid-1960s until at least the late ’80s, the documents show. The agency released only 62 pages of a 98-page dossier on the writer, citing security, privacy and other reasons.
Halberstam won a Pulitzer in 1964 for his coverage of the Vietnam War while working as a reporter for The New York Times. In 1972, he wrote “The Best and the Brightest,” a best-selling book critical of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.
For Full Story

Read More on the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism website


IG Says FBI Terrorism Tracking System Better, But Still Needs To Improve

Tracking terrorism is an imprecise science. The Justice Department Inspector General says the FBI has improved, but could still do better. After all, it doesn’t take much to miss a credible clue.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The FBI’s main electronic system that tracks terrorist threats and suspicious incidents amounts to a “significant improvement” over earlier computer packages, but the bureau could do more to improve its accuracy, the Justice Department inspector general said yesterday.
The system stored 108,000 threats and suspicious incidents between July 2004 and November 2007, the “overwhelming majority” of them bum leads, according to the report by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. Agents ultimately opened 600 criminal investigations based on the tips.
Fine said that the bureau generally handled high-priority tips quickly. Still, his report faulted the bureau for allowing low-priority incidents to remain in the computer tracking system for longer than a month. He also said that FBI supervisors should have reviewed more of the false leads before line agents decided to close the cases.
For Full Story

Read Full Report

Read FBI Response

Ex-Niagra Falls Mayor Indicted On Corruption Charges

Romance and Marilyn Monroe’s 1953 movie “Niagra” are things people often think of when mentioning Niagra Falls. But locally, in recent days,  residents have been thinking about their former mayor who was indicted Friday.

By Dan Herbeck
Buffalo News
BUFFALO — Former Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello was indicted by a federal grand jury today, and a prominent businessman who gave him $40,000 in no-interest loans took a plea deal.
Anello is charged with felony counts of conspiracy and scheming to deprive Niagara Falls citizens of the right to honest services from a public official, U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said this afternoon.
The Anello indictment was made public about two hours after Joseph “Smokin’ Joe” Anderson, one of Niagara County’s most successful businessmen, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of scheming to deprive citizens of honest services from a public official.
For Full Story

D.C. Federal Magistrate Judge’s Son Charged With Intent to Distribute Heroin

Some how getting charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin seems like a much bigger deal when your mother (pictured in photo) is a federal magistrate judge in Washington.

Judge Deborah Robinson/photo beverly rezneck

By Jeffrey Anderson
Baltimore City Paper
BALTIMORE — U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein filed a criminal complaint on Nov. 7 charging 21-year-old Morgan State University student Phillip Robinson Winkfield with possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Winkfield’s mother is Washington, D.C., federal magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, whose 20-year career behind the bench has brought numerous luminaries before her as defendants, from drug lords and an NBA star to high-level White House officials and a former D.C. mayor (“Just Family,” Mobtown Beat, May 15).
For Full Story

Rumors Run Rampant About Who Will Become Atty. Gen.

Eric Holder

Eric Holder

Gov. Napolitano

Gov. Napolitano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Rumors as to who will become the new Attorney General are flowing in this town like after-work beers at the legendary Tune Inn bar on Capitol Hill.
Names being mentioned in the media and by law enforcement  sources include: Eric Holder, a former U.S. Attorney and deputy Attorney General under Clinton; Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a former assistant U.S. Attorney; and Rep. Arthur Davis (D-Ala.). There is also talk that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is on  President-elect Obama’s economic transition team,   could be a dark horse candidate.
Meanwhile, change is certainly in the air . Some may call it angst.
Short-timer Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey announced that his chief of staff Brian Benczkowski and Lee Lofthus, assistant Attorney General for adminstration, will lead the internal transition activities.
Mukasey also announced the resignation on Friday of  Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Barnett of the Antitrust Division.
Mukasey, in a statement about Barnett said: “Under his leadership, the Antitrust Division has increased cartel enforcement to record levels with unprecedented fines and prison sentences, improved the efficiency and efficacy of its merger enforcement, and enhanced cooperation with our foreign counterparts.”
David Ogen, former chief of staff under Atty. Gen. Janet Reno , is leading the transition team for Justice for the Obama camp.

Ex. Gov. Spitzer Off The Hook In Hooker Scandal

Ex. N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer, whose libido and appetite for pricey hookers strangled his promising career, won’t be charged in the prostitute scandal after all.

By Tom Hays and Adam Goldman
Associated Press
NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that they will not bring criminal charges against Eliot Spitzer for having sex with prostitutes, removing a legal cloud that has surrounded the former governor since his epic downfall eight months ago.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said that investigators found no evidence that Spitzer misused public or campaign funds for prostitution, meaning prosecutors had very little ammunition in bringing a case. The federal government typically does not prosecute clients of prostitution rings.
For Full Story

See Spitzer’s Resignation In March 2008

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JYEUhIobuk

Hackers Hacked Into Obama And McCain Computers

Hackers apparently knew no bounds in the 2008 campaign.

By Newsweek
The computer systems of both the Obama and McCain campaigns were victims of a sophisticated cyberattack by an unknown “foreign entity,” prompting a federal investigation, NEWSWEEK reports today.
At the Obama headquarters in midsummer, technology experts detected what they initially thought was a computer virus-a case of “phishing,” a form of hacking often employed to steal passwords or credit-card numbers. But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret Service came to the campaign with an ominous warning: “You have a problem way bigger than what you understand,” an agent told Obama’s team.

For Full Story

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-FBI Agent Convicted of Murder in Mob Case

Ex-FBI agent John Connolly was convicted in a long drawn out trial that was an embarrassment to the Boston FBI.

Ex-Agent Connolly/cbs news

Ex-Agent Connolly/cbs news

By David Ovalle
Miami Herald
MIAMI — Jurors have found ex-FBI agent John Connolly guilty of second-degree murder for his role in helping Boston mobsters assassinate an accountant in South Florida in 1982. He was found not guilty of a second charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Connolly was a star agent in the FBI’s Boston office, developing criminal informants and helping dismantle the New England Mafia.
But in a closely followed saga in Boston and one the FBI’s most embarrassing scandals, Connolly’s two star informants corrupted him, prosecutors said.
The allegation: James ”Whitey” Bulger and Stephen ”The Rifleman” Flemmi ordered the murder of John Callahan based on a tip from Connolly.
For Full Story