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ICE Employees Complain of Pervasive Discrimination, Mismanagement, Harassment

ICE logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The union representing ICE employees is asking the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of discrimination, mismanagement and harassment from top officials.

“We’ve begged ICE leadership to intervene but they refuse to clean up the agency,” Felix Luciano, a local president of the union in San Diego, said in a PR News Wire release. “If you’re a pregnant female, a veteran, a union representative, or person of color, you’re a target of ICE managers.”

The issues are so pervasive, the union argued, that ICE employees filed 18 discrimination suits in just San Diego.

“Union and non-union employees agree: ICE is a horrific place to work,” said Chris Crane, National President of the union representing ICE employees.

“Mission readiness falls apart when leadership fails, and morale hits rock bottom,” Crane said. “Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are a part of everyday life for ICE employees. Our managers act more like thugs than public servants entrusted to manage ICE’s critical public safety and national security missions.”

Crane said the pervasive issues are causing morale to continue to decline.

Other Stories of Interest

Washington Post: FBI Made Right Decision in Handling of Oregon Occupiers

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.48.16 AMBy Editorial Board
Washington Post

“One more cookie, one more cigarette.” So said David Fry, the last holdout in the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon; and with a final “alrighty then,” he surrendered on Thursday without incident. That there was a peaceful denouement to the 41-day siege that created so much potential for bloodshed is a credit to federal law enforcement authorities. They showed restraint in sitting out the armed activists, but did not waver on the need to bring to account those who so willfully and flagrantly broke the law.

The surrender to FBI agents of the last four anti-government activists who staged a takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest federal land management policy came after tense negotiations that played out live on YouTube. The events gave the public an up-close view of law enforcement at its best in deescalating a volatile situation. It was smart to involve those seen as sympathetic to the protest’s cause, such as a gun-toting Nevada legislator, in the final negotiations for peaceful surrender. The FBI clearly had learned lessons from the bloody sieges in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the 1990s; a patient approach in letting the Oregon siege play out and burn out proved far more effective than a SWAT team assault.

The four people arrested Thursday had been alone at the remote facility since Jan. 26, when organizers of the occupation and others were arrested on their way to a meeting. Sadly, one occupier was killed in that encounter. But notwithstanding the mythology around the incident quickly fabricated by right-wing extremists, it appears from a video released by the FBI that LaVoy Finicum was shot after running a police blockade, refusing demands to surrender and reaching for a gun. The incident is still under investigation, but, as the FBI agent in charge said, “Actions have consequences.”

For those involved in the occupation, that now means facing federal charges.

To read more click here. 

Teen accused of Hacking into CIA Director’s Email And Dumping Records of FBI Was Arrested

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 16-year-old boy accused of hacking into the CIA director’s e-mail account and publicly dumping data about FBI and Homeland Security agents has been arrested.

The UK’s South East Regional Organized Crime Unit arrested the boy on Feb. 9, saying he has been arrested on “conspiracy to commit unauthorized access with intent to commit further offenses contrary to Section 2 Computer Misuse Act 1990 and conspiracy to commit unauthorized acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operation of a computer contrary to Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990.”

The teenager, known as “Cracka,” is accused of breaching the private e-mail account of CIA Director John Brennan by using social engineering techniques.

At the time of the hacking, “Cracka” said he broke into the systems in retaliation for U.S.’s support of Israel.

Iowa Boarding School Accused of Confining Students to Small ‘Isolation Boxes’ for Weeks

Keokuk Iowa

Keokuk, Iowa

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an Iowa boarding school that is accused of routinely confining troubled teenagers to small concrete “isolation boxes” for up to weeks until they could maintain a specific posture for 24 hours, the Associate Press reports. 

Six former students claim they were abused while attending Midwest Academy in Keokuk, Iowa.

According to the allegations, the students were kept in dark, cell-like rooms for days and even weeks.

“You spend your time pounding your head against the wall. You can’t sleep because there is a lot of noise. A lot of girls like to scream in there. You basically look forward to bathroom breaks and those moments when you can get out of your box,” said Emily Beaman, 17, of Wheaton, Illinois.

Beaman said she was kept in isolation for weeks until she cut herself with a bottle cap and implored emergency responders to take her away from the academy.

The investigation began investigating allegations that a staff member sexually assaulted a student. Now the FBI is investigating whether students were tortured by being confined to isolation boxes.

CIA Director Says U.S. Knew ISIS Was Planning Attack on France Days Before Attack

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said U.S. intelligence knew ISIS was planning an attack “just in the days before” terrorists killed 130 people in a series of mass shootings.

In an interview on 60 Minutes, which was aired Sunday, Brennan said his agents were thwarted by the “sophisticated” use of encrypted Internet communication.

“We knew the system was blinking red,” Brennan said “We knew just in the days before that ISIL was trying to carry out something. But the individuals involved have been able to take advantage of the newly available means of communication that are walled off from law enforcement officials.”

Brennan said his agents have to “work harder” to prevent similar attacks.

“We need to have the capabilities, the technical capabilities, the human sources,” Brennan said.

“Believe me, intelligence security services have stopped numerous attacks, operatives that have been moved from maybe the Iraq to Syria theater into Europe,” he added. “They have been stopped and interdicted and arrested and detained and debriefed because of very, very good intelligence.”

Other Stories of Interest

Feds Sue Ferguson Over Police Reforms Aimed at Curbing Misconduct

Ferguson protest.

Ferguson protest.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is suing Ferguson to force police reforms in a city accused of a pattern of unconstitutional conduct by law enforcement.

CNN reports the decision to file a lawsuit came after the Ferguson City Council voted Tuesday to alter a deal negotiated for months to crack down on misconduct.

“We intend to aggressively prosecute this case,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters Wednesday, “and we intend to prevail.”

Lynch added: “The residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights, the rights guaranteed to all Americans, for decades. They have waited decades for justice,” Lynch said. “They should not be forced to wait any longer.”

Ferguson officials declined to comment on the suit, which alleges a common practice violating residents’ civil rights.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Tony Spilotro, The Las Vegas Boss

Patience Was the FBI’s Strategy to End the Oregon Occupation Peacefully

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.48.16 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI played the long game to end the Oregon standoff.

Law enforcement finally surrounded the remaining four occupants 41 days after armed militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve near Burns. The FBI and state police arrested several leaders of the occupation after 25 days.

The Atlantic reports:

But all of these pale in comparison with the time it took to apprehend Cliven Bundy. The father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, two leaders of the Oregon occupation, he was arrested Wednesday night at the Portland airport when he arrived from Nevada. He had flown in to support the remaining group of four, three of whom surrendered shortly after he was taken into custody. For the FBI, the wait to arrest Bundy was longer: almost two years, since Bureau of Land Management agents who tried to remove his cattle from federal land where they were grazing without permits or fees were met by a huge group of armed men who turned them away.

Bundy had been illegally grazing his cattle on federal land for more than 20 years, and since 1998 was ordered by a court to remove his animals.

The FBI hasn’t said much about why it waited long.

“As we have said since day one, our goal has been to end this illegal occupation peacefully, and we are grateful that we were able to do so today,” FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing said in a news release. “I want to make it very clear that we will continue to enforce the law with respect to the refuge and other federal properties. Anyone who chooses to travel to Oregon with the intent of engaging in illegal activity will be arrested. Saying that, I want to reassure those Harney County residents who simply visited the refuge or provided food to the occupiers—we are not looking into those events. We are concerned about those who have criminal, violent intent.”