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New Records Reveal final Moments of Ibragim Todashev’s Life During FBI Probe

Ibragim Todashev

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What happened in the final moments of Ibragim Todashev’s life has been the subject of intensive investigations and a lawsuit.

Boston.com reports that new information suggests Todashev was “calm and respectful” when the FBI and Massachusetts State Police entered his apartment in Florida.

By night’s end, Todashev, who was a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was dead after being shot seven times.

An acquaintance said Todashev “lost control easily.”

According to the reports, Todashev was confessing to an unsolved murder just before he lunged at an FBI agent with a broomstick handle, causing a head injury that would require nine stitches.

The agent shot Todashev seven times.

FBI Probes Rash of Intentional Cuts to San Francisco Area’s Fiber Optic Cable

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine whether a series of deliberate cuts of fiber optic cable in the San Francisco area are related and were intended to be an act of terrorism.

IDG News Service reports that telecom cables were intentionally cut in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Berkeley and San Jose 10 times over four separate nights.

“We are hoping for anybody that has seen anything out of the ordinary,” FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said. The perpetrators may have worn uniforms to make themselves look like workers, “so even if it looked like normal uniforms, we’d like to hear so we can vet them out.”

Massive Computer Hack May Have Compromised 400,000 Workers, Contractors

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A massive data breach that targeted Homeland Security may have compromised the security of nearly 400,000 former and current employees, contractors and job applicants.

The Associated Press reports that the computer hack was discovered in September but many employees weren’t made available until April 27.

This is a separate hack than the one that attacked the Office of Personnel Management.

Files on as many as 48,000 government workers may have ben compromised.

Parker: Happy Birthday, Magna Carta

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. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Ross Parker

 

Eight hundred years ago today, a group of rebellious English barons met with despotic King John at Runnymede near the Thames River and agreed to a peace treaty , the Magna Carta. Negotiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the charter was meant to settle an aristocratic uprising over the unpopular king’s tax levies. It lasted two months before it was annulled.

The fact that the Magna Carta failed in its initial purpose has not dimmed its eight century luster as an iconic symbol of freedom and the rule of law. Proponents of measures to assure the rights of individuals over the arbitrary authority of the governments have long relied on the document’s mythic status in Anglo American history.

For most of those eight centuries the Magna Carta has stood for the right of free men to a fair and free trial. What women got out of the charter was the right to inherit as widows and to not be compelled to re-marry against their wishes. All in all, not an insignificant step toward gender equality.

However, during the same centuries historians have questioned the authenticity and significance of the document as a basis for all the principles it has come to stand for. Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell referred to it as the “Magna Farta,” a tag that would be considered almost sacrilegious to the constitutionalists in Britain and the United States who reverently consider the document to be the very foundation of our individual liberties.

Nevertheless it remains fashionable to poke holes in the document as having been distorted in order to achieve the ends of centuries of legal reform. They point out that technically the overwhelming majority of its Latin clauses have been repealed, refined, and replaced by subsequent legislation. But these protests are largely ignored by the real world.

Perhaps no groups have relied on the Magna Carta more assiduously than the American colonists and, later, revolutionaries and Constitution drafters. To them the document was the common law basis of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, and trial by jury.

Perhaps its most far reaching provision is the one that promises: “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Moreover, whether by myth or historical reality, the document has come to mean much more than its words and original purpose.

Chief Justice Roberts recently quoted the Magna Carta (“To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice.”) in support of the historical basis for the principle of judicial integrity. Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, 575 U.S. __ (2015) (upholding a Florida law which prohibited judges from personally soliciting campaign contributions).

Read more »

Former DEA Agent Indicted For Fraud in a Case In Which He Posed as an FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former DEA agent has been charged with fraud in a scheme in which he allegedly posed as an active FBI agent and helped a person who posed as a former federal prosecutor defraud a man who enlisted their help to recover money in a fraud scheme.

David Garcia Herrera, 70, of Torrance,Calif. was arrested last week at Los Angeles International Airport by the FBI last week.

Herrera is one of two defendants. The second defendant, —Jerome Arthur Whittington, 65, of La Quinta, Calif. who who allegedly posed as a successful attorney and told at least one victim that he was a former federal prosecutor.

A press release issued last week stated:

In the indictment filed last week, Whittington and Herrera allegedly joined forces to defraud two victims, one of whom lost money in fraudulent investments, and another who was trying to obtain immigration benefits for his wife.

In the first scheme, Whittington posed as an attorney and Herrera pretended to be an FBI special agent as they falsely promised the victim they could help him recover losses in fraudulent schemes related to two companies, Pacific Property Assets and Medical Capital Corporation. Whittington and Herrera told the victim that they were able to seize assets from the two fraudulent companies, but the victim needed to provide money that would be used to “post bonds” that were required prior to seizing the assets. After Whittington claimed that he had obtained a $4 million judgment, Whittington told the victim that representatives from the companies and other victims were very angry and that he should leave the country to avoid confrontations and harassment.

Read more »

Border Patrol Agents Absolved of Every Shooting But 3; Others Under Investigation

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has absolved agents of 64 of 67 shootings, according to a recently completed review, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The shootings, which resulted in 19 deaths, were considered justifiable use of force.

Three cases are still under investigation and involve shootings.

Charges have not resulted from any of the cases. In one case, two agents were disciplined and received oral reprimands.

“Turning the page doesn’t mean burying the past,” said Chris Rickerd, a border security expert at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. “There is no assurance to border residents that agents who have used excessive, improper lethal force aren’t on the job in their communities.”

Looking Ahead for TSA After Study Found Serious Surveillance Issues

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Now that many see the TSA as a failure,  what’s next next for the beleaguered agency?

Give the task back to the airlines?

The Hill offers insight, saying private competition may drive down prices but you get what you pay for.

More than 13 years after 9/11, we are still struggling to ensure the continued security of America’s airliners, which suggests that this is not an easy task. Most of the problems seem to be in human performance. This is not because TSA agents are not up to the task. Screeners work hard to do their best, and they regularly uncover guns and other weapons that passengers attempt to conceal. Their failure is not owed to the fact that passengers have observed them taking breaks or occasionally joking with one another. The checkpoint is their workspace. Effective security does not require visible hardship or a scowling demeanor.

Screeners have a difficult task to perform under often terrible conditions. They have to deal with crowds of soon-to-be passengers, who are often apprehensive about flying or missing flights or complain about being told by some stranger to take off their shoes or their belts or empty their pockets. Every move the screeners make is watched by hundreds of people who view the screeners as adversaries.

Andrew G. McCabe Takes Over As Assistant Director in Charge of Washington Office

Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Andrew G. McCabe, who recently held the FBI’s top national security post, has taken over as assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office.

McCabe now heads up the bureau’s second largest field division, which includes Northern Virginia.

McCabe’s FBI career began in 19996, when he was assigned to the New York Field Office. After collecting experience with organized crime, McCabe began to focus on counterterrorism when he was promoted to the Counterterrorism Division.

According to the FBI: 

In 2008, Mr. McCabe was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Counterterrorism Division, where he managed several programs, including the National Capital Response Squad, Rapid Deployment Team, domestic terrorism squad, cyber‐ counterterrorism targeting squad, and extraterritorial investigations squad.

Mr. McCabe was selected as the first director of the High‐Value Interrogation Group in 2009. In 2010, the Director of National Intelligence certified Mr. McCabe as a senior intelligence officer.

In 2011, Mr. McCabe returned to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters, where he served as deputy assistant director and assistant director.

Most recently, Mr. McCabe served as executive assistant director of the National Security Branch. Overseeing all FBI national security programs, including the Counterterrorism Division, the Counterintelligence Division, the Intelligence Division, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, the Terrorism Screening Center, and the High-Value Interrogation Group, Mr. McCabe ensured the FBI successfully executed its primary mission to defend the United States against national security threats.

Before entering the FBI, Mr. McCabe worked as a lawyer in private practice. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law.