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Justice Department Says It Won’t Reopen Criminal Probe Into Torture Cases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department roiled civil rights advocates on Tuesday by saying it would not reopen a criminal probe into the CIA’s handling of terrorism suspects following a sobering report about torture, the USA Today reports.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report disclosed several types of abuse – water-boarding, extreme sleep deprivation and others – by the CIA.

“The true test of our nation’s character comes now,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. “Will we make excuses and try to defend the indefensible? Or will we finally acknowledge that our nation crossed a terrible line, and start talking about accountability?”

A Justice Department officials told the USA Today that investigators in the probe “reviewed the committee’s full report and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination.”

FBI Issues Bulletin to Law Enforcement Following Release of CIA Torture Report

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI released a bulletin to law enforcement following the disclosure Tuesday that the CIA tortured terrorism suspects.

Here is the bulletin, written by Jeremy W. Francis:

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, law enforcement agencies engaged in the Global War on Terrorism. Police officers, along with firefighters and emergency medical personnel, were the first to respond during the largest loss of civilian life from violent acts of terrorism in America’s history. In the decade following, law enforcement leaders agreed that police departments were not as prepared as they could have been to respond to a terrorist attack.

During the initial response to an incident, no level of administration is more important than the local government. State, county, and municipal law enforcement officers will be the first to respond should an event occur. Therefore, law enforcement agencies should be better prepared today than they were before September 11.

In the author’s survey of 31 municipal and county law enforcement organizations, 41.2% of senior executives—chiefs of police and sheriffs—communicated that they are no better prepared to respond to a terrorist attack today. The majority of leaders reported that their agency’s overall readiness was average or above average; however, 22.5 percent of executives stated that their department’s ability to respond to terrorism measured below average or inadequate. This indicates that improvements are necessary to increase the preparedness posture of law enforcement agencies.

Organizational culture and challenges correlate to terrorism preparedness. One mechanism to improve preparedness in law enforcement agencies is to enhance the culture of operational readiness. When leaders apply change through the organization’s culture, the likelihood of positive results increases.

Tangible, overt, or verbally identifiable elements in an organization are called artifacts. The artifacts of law enforcement organizational culture are examined further as 1) processes— communication, planning, and training; 2) resources—spending and equipment; and 3) personnel. These are the most visible and straightforward elements to increase change in the organization.

The author’s research demonstrated that positive organizational culture improves operational preparedness. This inclination enhances an agency’s ability to respond to a terrorist attack. This occurs because organizational change through culture reduces resistance and increases readiness.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol Once Again Has Lowest Worker Morale Among Federal Agencies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Once again, the Homeland Security Department is the most miserable place to work in the federal government

The Washington Post reports that the department ranked last in overall employee satisfaction and commitment.

The score among employees reached historic lows for the annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson knows morale is a problem and pledged to make it a priority just before his Senate confirmation last year. Since then, the department has created an employee steering committee to honor outstanding workers.

Employee satisfaction and commitment declined three points to 44%.

ATF Gets Tips, Surveillance Videos in Rash of Arson Fires in Ferguson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The ATF may be closer to solving some of the fires that were set in Ferguson on the night of the grand jury decision, CBS St. Louis reports.

With a reward of $10,000 being offered for information leading to the arrest of an arsonist, the ATF has been fielding tips and has received surveillance videos.

“And all of that is very beneficial,” says John Ham, spokesman with ATF.

“Even if it’s just word of mouth, that somebody has started one of these fires, or was associated with one of these fires in any way, that’s information that we would be interested in having,” he says.

The ATF is investigating the more than 20 fires set that night.

Stories of Other Interest


 

 

Senate Torture Report Condemns C.I.A. Interrogation Program

By Mark Mazzetti
New York Times

WASHINGTON — A scathing report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.

The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A.’s operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also provides a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Plans to Take Months to Investigate Chokehold Death of Eric Garner

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s investigation into the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City will take several months and only recently got off the ground, ABC News reports.

The federal government hasn’t set a timeline for the probe, which will be watched nationwide as protests continue to spring up after a grand jury decided not to indict the officer.

The FBI is beginning to collect evidence from the State Island district attorney’s office.

The federal probe is running concurrently with an NYPD internal investigation.

The FBI investigation is focused on whether a hate crime was committed when police officers were engaged in the July 17 altercation, which was caught on cell phone video.

Former DEA Agent Reveals Details of His Undercover Career in New Book

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former DEA agent has uncovered fascinating details of his undercover career in a book entitled, “The Dar Art: Inside the World’s Most Dangerous Narco-Terrorist Organization.”

Ed Follis talked with St. Louis Public radio about the book.

“The book was cathartic,” Follis said. “I finally looked back on all those days and the stuff we did.”

Follis’ career with the DEA spans nearly 30 years when he pursued drug traffickers.

Follis said the war on drugs would be more successful if law enforcement targeted the bigger dealers.

“The war on drugs is somewhat like a number of other wars that we’ve advanced since Vietnam,” Follis said. “I’m not quite sure that we’re pressing in as hard as we should. I did, personally, as an agent. But the war on drugs has to focus emphatically on the larger figures. I never pursued people that were addicted. They’re not victims, but they are in need of extreme assistance. It’s those who exploit them … They’re not concerned about the addicts and the people that are hopelessly addicted.”

Follis said he never used drugs in his career and got by on two things.

“Number one, beyond anything else, you have to have the right access. That’s through informants, of course, because they already have standing with these people. Number two, you have to be like them, because once they trust you, they don’t want to disbelieve their trust with you.”

Stories of Other Interest


Prosecutors Won’t Release Records of Interview with Michael Brown’s Friend

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Few people were in a better position to see what happened to Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a Ferguson police officer, than his friend Dorian Johnson.

But NBC News points out that the FBI never released Johnson’s witness testimony, despite a pledge to disclose all of the evidence.

Johnson was with Brown the day he was killed.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch didn’t say why he omitted the records, which include pre-grand jury statements. His executive assistant, Bob McCulloch, said the federal government urged his office not to disclose records tied to the Justice Department’s civl rights investigation.