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FBI Warned Garland Police about Shooter Just 3 Hours Before Violence Unfolded

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned Garland police that one of the two gunmen who would open fire outside a cartoon contest to draw Prophet Muhammad in Texas may be targeting the event just hours before the shooting, The New York Times reports. 

“We developed information just hours before the event that Simpson might be interested in going to Garland,” FBI Director James Comey told reporters.

Comey was referring to Elton Simpson, 30, who opened fire with Nadir Soofi, 34.

The FBI had investigated Simpson in the past and reopened the investigation in March flowing tweets about ISIS.

Even before the warning about Simpson, the FBI notified local officials that the cartoon even may be targeted by terrorists.

Report: American Psychological Association Helped CIA with Torture Program, Now Assists FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The American Psychological Association has been complicit in the CIA torture program, violated the ethics code and now appears to be assisting the FBI with similar programs, according to a blistering 60-page report by experts and doctors.

The report, “All the President’s Psychologists,” alleges that the APA, which prohibits psychologists from making judgments on torture, has closely coordinated with the White House, CIA and Department of Defense to help get around ethical lines on torture.

The report alleges that the federal agencies secretly worked with APA to change its ethics policy to align it with the requirements for the CIA’s torture program.

The FBI has not commented on revelations that the APA is working more closely with the bureau.

Justice Department Public Integrity Section Gets New Leader

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s powerful Public Integrity section, which investigates politicians and judges, has a new leader, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

U.S. Attorney Jack Smith, who has been a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, brings a wealth of background and knowledge to the position. Smith was a criminal prosecutor, for example, in the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

Smith has tapped a top deputy – Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Raymond Husler, who has been acting chief of the Public Integrity section.

The Washington Post has more.

Secret Service Adds Sharp Spikes to White House Fence to Stop Jumpers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After several embarrassing failures to protect the White House from jumpers, the Secret Service has added sharp metal spikes to the fence, NBC News reports. 

“The temporary design solution for the White House complex fence is meant to improve security, while minimizing visual impacts and respecting the significance of the White House,” the Secret Service and the National Park Service (NPS) said in a statement.

The Secret Service also plans to add an officer’s booth at the entrance of the White House.

Work is expected to begin today.

Other Stories of Interest

President of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI Addresses Controversy Over FBI Labs and Hair Analysis

Ellen Glasser

By Ellen Glasser
President, Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI
Throughout its history, the FBI has accepted its responsibility to serve and protect the American people. At times, this responsibility draws intense scrutiny. As former agents, we understand and accept such scrutiny because we know the public trust is earned.
 
Last week, the FBI acknowledged preliminary results of an ongoing and transparent effort to address historical issues related to scientific testimony by FBI Laboratory examiners. The FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ), along with the Innocence Project (IP) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), issued an historic, joint statement on the ongoing review of pre-2000 cases involving Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis. The statement reported that, in approximately 500 cases reviewed thus far, scientific testimony in a high percentage of trial transcripts contained erroneous statements.

The FBI has made every effort to be on the leading edge of scientific advancements and to set a worldwide example of excellence to other crime laboratories. Notwithstanding the need to make improvements based on the stated findings, any reasonable scrutiny should consider advances in science, historical context, and the criteria used to categorize error.

Before 2000, prosecutors routinely relied on microscopic hair comparison to link criminal defendants to crimes. In 1996, the FBI Laboratory developed and implemented mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, in conjunction with probative hair analysis, because it was clearly the most effective protocol for the forensic examination of hair, and it provided a more meaningful association than either technique used alone. Thereafter, mtDNA testing became standard to analyze hair in criminal cases. It is important to note that the advent of mtDNA testing did not – and does not – negate the validity of Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis. The latter technique is still used by the FBI Laboratory, and the science of microscopic hair comparisons has never been in question.

Using broad criteria that all parties could agree on, the review largely focused on whether examiner testimony regarding microscopic hair comparison analysis met accepted scientific standards. In trial settings, examiners are qualified as expert witnesses based on their experience. Because the science was not in question, many of the statements were identified in testimony where the experience of examiners may have been used to extrapolate statistical probabilities.

The FBI’s reputation as the premier law enforcement agency in the world is earned every day. The dedicated men and women of the FBI Laboratory have had an undeniable positive impact on public safety. In performing and testifying to countless forensic examinations, they have helped the cause of victims and helped to render justice. Improvements that will result from this review will strengthen our criminal justice system and reinforce public trust in the FBI.

 

Boston Marathon Bomber May Be Sentenced to Most Isolated Prison in U.S.

United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces two likely, grim possibility – the death sentence or life in one of the most destructive prisons in America, “a place so isolating that it has been called a clean version of hell,” NBC News reports. 

The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Colorado, also known as ADX or supermax, is reserved for the most dangerous criminals, such as terrorists.

Tsarnaev’s defense team on Wednesday argued against placing Tsarnaev at ADX, which is a 490-cell prison in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, saying he would become so isolated that he’d be separated from the world forever.

In ADX, prisoners are confined to their cell for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in 12-by-7-foot cells with a little window and thick walls. Meals are handed through a slot in the door.

“It breaks down the human spirit, it breaks down the human psyche. It breaks your mind,” former supermax inmate Garrett Linderman told CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2009.

 

ACLU Raises Concerns About FBI Secretly Using Aircraft to Keep Eye on Baltimore Riots

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has acknowledged that it sent aircraft into the sky to watch over rioting in Baltimore.

The news comes after numerous sightings of aircraft over the city.

The FBI told the Baltimore Sun that the aircraft was intended to monitor criminal activity.

“The aircraft were specifically used to assist in providing high-altitude observation of potential criminal activity to enable rapid response by police officers on the ground,” Amy Thoreson, an FBI spokeswoman, said. “The FBI aircraft were not there to monitor lawfully protected first amendment activity.”

The ACLU was not happy and filed a request for records for more information.

“These are not your parents’ surveillance aircraft,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU analyst. “Today planes can carry new surveillance technologies, like cell phone trackers and high resolution cameras that can follow the movements of many people at once.

“These are not the kinds of things that law enforcement should be using in secret.”

Baltimore Mayor Asks for Full-Scale Civil Rights Investigation of Police Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual move for a city, Baltimore’s mayor is asking for a full-scale civil rights investigation into alleged abuse within the police department following a riot over the police-involved death of Freddie Gray and other black suspects.

“We all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, reports the Baltimore Sun. “I’m willing to do what it takes to reform my department.”

Spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Attorney General Loretta Lynch “is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore.”

The Justice Department has conducted investigations of police departments in 20 cities, including Cleveland and New Orleans.

The investigations typically take 18 to 24 months.