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Petition Calls for Termination of Secret Service Agent Under Fire for Trump Comments

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service agent who said she would not take a bullet for President Trump should be immediately fired, according to a petition circulated by spouses of several Secret Service agents.

The spouses, whose names have remained anonymous, said they don’t believe Special Agent Kerry O’Grady can safely lead the Denver district office.

The online petition urges Secret Service Director John Clancy to “act now and terminate Kerry O’Grady from the duties she badly stated she will not perform.

“This petition is to make known the sincere concerns that many special agents’ wives, loved ones and American citizens have with the written statements made by Kerry O’Grady regarding her unwillingness to conduct herself in a professional manner and to uphold the oath she willingly took 23 years ago,” the petition states.

O’Grady was placed on leave pending an investigation.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Data: Terrorists Using Border with Canada to Gain Entry into U.S.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While President Trump focuses on security at the U.S.-Mexico border, he may want to shift his focus to the northern border with Canada.

The Daily Beast reports that “far more suspected terrorists try to enter the country from the northern border with Canada than from the south.”

The media outlet analyzed monthly domestic encounter reports from the FBI Terrorist Screening Center, which details encounters with terrorists.

“We are looking the wrong direction,” said a senior DHS official familiar with the data. “Not to say that Mexico isn’t a problem, but the real bad guys aren’t coming from there—at least not yet.”

President Trump has claimed that jihadis are “pouring” into the country, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to disclose any evidence.

FBI data shows there is more urgency at the northern border with Canada.

“We often hear about security concerns on the Southern border, but bad actors intent on entering our country will always seek the path of least resistance, so we must have the necessary tools and resources to secure both the northern and southern borders,” Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

Judge Rejects New York Mafia Informant’s Lawsuit Against FBI

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Barone was a former Mafia informant for the FBI when he spent 19 months in a Brooklyn prison before a federal jury acquitted him in 2010.

Barone, now 55, sued the FBI, saying the bureau wanted to discipline him for refusing to trick a gangster from the Gambino crime family into confessing criminal activity, Reuters reports.

But on Monday, a New York judge ruled against Barone, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to provide that agents conspired to discipline him by charging him with a crime he didn’t commit.

Barone was accused of participating in a murder-for-hire plot.

Judge Andrew J. Peck ruled that the FBI did nothing wrong and had probable cause to arrest Barone.

Justice Department Defends Trump’s Travel Restrictions in Appeals Court

Protest at Wayne State University in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Protest at Wayne State University in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is defending President Trump’s travel restrictions, saying the executive order was a “lawful exercise of the president’s authority” and did not amount to a ban on Muslims.

The Justice Department filed a 15-page brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is taking up the case today to determine whether a federal judge in Seattle made the right decision to lift the travel restrictions nationwide.

The federal judge said Trum’s executive order violates the constituent’s guarantee of due process and discriminates on the basis of religion.

“But even if some relief were appropriate, the court’s sweeping nationwide injunction is vastly overbroad,” the Justice Department argued in the brief.

Trump made an unprecedented attack on the independent judiciary, saying the Seattle judge was putting Americans in danger.

“If something happens blame him and court system,” Trump tweeted.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also is expected to determine whether the Seattle judge had the authority to lift the ban nationwide.

No Arrests Made After Suspects Exchange Gunfire with Border Patrol Agents

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four days after Border Patrol agents exchanged gunfire with two people inside a van near the Rio Grande in San Benito, no one has been arrested.

Agents attempted to stop the van, which authorities said contained bundles of narcotics, KRGV reports. 

The van managed to flee in the direction of Mexico.

No one was injured.

“We had an agent and a trooper receive gunfire back in December,” Border Patrol spokeswoman Marlene Castro said. “Although the agent was not hurt because he was wearing his bullet proof vest, the trooper was struck in the hip area.  Both are doing fine now. DPS is in charge of that investigation.

“These types of incidents, narcotics smuggling and assaults on agents, do happen beyond the fence.  The main reason being that smugglers are willing to do anything to protect their drug load.  They often attempt to drive their narcotic-laden vehicles into the river to avoid having them seized by law enforcement and ruthlessly resort to assaulting agents to avoid arrest.”

Parker: The Scary Opiate Tales from the Emergency Room

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Opiate Tales from the Emergency Room

The mind numbing opiate epidemic is not news, but the number of overdose deaths keeps climbing, and DEA agents say that we are still on the uphill side of the worst drug crisis in U. S. history. Until the opiate epidemic invades you or your family or friends, it is easy to underestimate the intransigence of the scourge.

Emergency room physicians and nurses have to cope with the unending tide of hopeless and desperate patients who are wheeled into the ER every day.  These are stories from a typical urban hospital where all classes, ages and races end up unconscious on their front door step. The fact that the stories are so unexceptional illustrates the extent to which the drug has a death grip on the country.

One ER doc relates that at the beginning of his twelve-hour shift a young woman comes in close to death in an opiate overdose. The medical team uses their best efforts to revive her, and they are successful. The doctor and a nurse both advise her strongly that the next incident may not have a good outcome and that she needs to remain in the hospital for a full medical work-up by an internist as well as counseling and treatment. But she signs herself out of the hospital AMA (Against Medical Advice) before he or anyone else in the hospital can do anything to prevent her from leaving.

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The ER doc’s shift proceeds with other patients. An hour before the shift ends, the same young woman is wheeled into the hospital with her second overdose. Again she is revived. Physicians are trained to make no moral judgments about their patients’ lifestyles, but frustration pervades the atmosphere of the facility. What’s the point?

At a different hospital an ER physician tells a story that is going around ERs about a practice of opiate addicts driving to the hospital parking lot, leaving the car in drive with their foot on the brake and taking their drug of choice. If they remain conscious during the “high,” they keep that foot on the brake until they can drive away to another destination. If they overdose and lapse into unconsciousness, their foot slips off the brake, and the car crashes into something stationary, another car, a wall or such. Hospital security then finds the overdosed driver and rushes him or her into the ER for emergency treatment.

How Much Is Too Much?

A third doctor relates a post-overdose conversation she had with a chronic user. The problem, the user explained, is that the most euphoric effect comes only when he is close to slipping into unconsciousness. So users, at least the ones who want to live, must gauge what amount will reach this point without unintentionally going too far. Could the doc give him a little advice on this problem?

Each drug, used legally or not, has a Therapeutic Toxic Ratio or Therapeutic Index, which is a comparison of the amount of drug that causes the effect sought to the amount that causes toxicity. There is a safety continuum between effectiveness and a lethal side effect. The user who was seeking advice was saying that the best high is one which occurs as close to the toxicity point as possible without going too close to a lethal overdose.

The problem with this over simplistic analysis is that there are so many factors and unknowns in the context of illegal drugs that predicting this point is impossible. Using recreational drugs doesn’t happen in the hospital laboratory. The unknown mixture of different drugs (e.g., heroin and fentanyl) prevents this assessment by a user. Also the strength and purity of the drug(s), user tolerance, and contaminants affect the reaction to the drug and change the safety continuum.

So, even if the doctor was inclined to have this discussion, it would have been impossible to do so.  Instead the answer was that any time the user took a drug he was spinning a deadly roulette wheel. The unknown factors were the ones which could kill him or her. Even the same dose of a single drug can be effective one time and kill the user another time. The practice is inherently and unpredictably dangerous.

These are stories of a public emergency sliding toward a cataclysm, one not being addressed by policymakers and politicians. Appreciating its grim tenacity is only the first step to finding an answer to the epidemic.

Ex-FBI Agent: The Truth about Trump and Russia’s Relationship Must Come to Light

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Ex-FBI Agent Susan Surftone
Advocate

When I was a young FBI special agent assigned to the New York field office working on a foreign counterintelligence squad, another agent asked me if I wanted to meet Dr. Death. Of course I did, and I soon found myself shaking hands with Robert Hanssen, the notorious American spy.

Hanssen was called Dr. Death by fellow agents because of his affinity for black suits and his Frankensteinesque appearance. Little did we know. My duties included sitting on wiretaps, surveilling Soviets in New York on diplomatic assignments who were KGB or GRU agents, following the money, and, on one occasion, a little undercover work. In the world of espionage I was on the defensive team. Our job was to shut them down. It was often not glamorous. Whoever heard of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence)? You can imagine my surprise when, after all these years, the GRU made the headlines and there was talk in the news of Russian compounds outside of American cities. Nothing new to me. And when BuzzFeed made the now-infamous dossier on President Trump public, boy, did I jump on that. So what does this old Cold Warrior think? Well, plenty.

What struck me the most about the dossier was the description of methods used by the Russians in regard to potential recruitment of the target as an asset and to move money. My initial thought was that after all these years, nothing has changed. It was very familiar. I know nothing more than you do as to whether or not the allegations are true (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants an investigation into whether Trump can be blackmailed over what’s alleged in the dossier). It’s my opinion that some details aren’t and there is a good chance some are. I base that on the reputation of the source of the dossier, the former MI6 agent now in hiding and the fact that our intelligence agencies made the call to add a two-page synopsis of the allegations to their classified report sent to President Obama and then President-elect Trump. Believe me, this was not a decision made lightly.

When making an assessment about the allegations, keep in mind that with regard to intelligence work the standards of proof and verification are not the same as in a court of law or in journalism. It is impossible to meet those standards due to the necessary protection of sources. It is literally life or death in many cases, and there is no witness protection program. You need your sources to be able to continue to function as conduits of information. The goal isn’t arrest and conviction in a court of law. It is to impartially weigh the information, assess the risks, and shut down activity harmful to the interests of the United States.

To read more click here. 

Former Secretaries of State, Tech Companies Oppose Trump’s Travel Ban

Protest at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Protest at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s immigration order, which was halted by a federal judge, has come under fire by two former secretaries of state and nearly 100 Silicon Valley tech companies that say they are losing some of the brightest minds.

The federal court’s halt on the immigration order is expected to be taken up today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the Washington Post reports. 

Now Homeland Security must determine “check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY,” Trump tweeted.

How that will happen has not been publicly discussed by Homeland Security, which did not return calls to the Post.

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” Trump wrote. “If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

Trump came under fire for attacking the independent judiciary.