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FBI Investigates Death of Black Teen Shot 16 Times by Chicago Cop

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the October 2014 fatal shooting of a black teenager in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the bureau opened an investigation into the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot by on officer 16 times.

The FBI is leading the criminal probe with the help of the state’s attorney’s office and the Independent Police Review Authority.

Chicago is expected to reach a $5 million settlement over McDonald’s death.

The officer who fired the shots said he was in fear of his life.

Other officers, who were investigating McDonald for allegedly breaking into cars, never pulled a trigger and trailed McDonald until another cop opened fire.

FBI Investigates Former Top Military Aide for Alleged Promises

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former top military aide and his company are under investigation following claims they made promises of expedited U.S. Green Cards to fund a giant hotel complex in New Orleans, ABC News reports.

Air Force Col. Timothy Milbrath told ABC News that the accusations again him and his firm “are not correct.”

The FBI has already conducted interviews and seized documents.

“The investigation centers on a project set up under a controversial U.S. immigration program known as EB-5 which allows foreign investors to obtain visas, and eventually Green Cards, if they invest at least $500,000 in projects that will create American jobs,” ABC News wrote.

Videos used to attract foreign investors also boasted of Milbrath’s ties to the White House.

Travelers Left Behind $635,000 in Change at TSA Checkpoints in 2013

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ever search under your sofa cushions for change and find enough money for lunch?

The change adds up.

It did in a big way for the TSA last year, when travelers abandoned more than $635,000 in coins in the bins and bowls at airport checkpoints in 2013, The Business Insider reports.

That compares to $107,000 in 2012 and $150,00 in 2011.

FBI Agent: Divine Intervention Led to Arrest of Timothy McVeigh 20 Years Ago

Timothy McVeigh

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A retired FBI agent who played a key role in the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing credits more than talent or good training on capturing Timothy McVeigh.

In an interview with the Oklahoman, Special Agent R. Scott Crabtree said divine intervention played a role in McVeigh’s capture.

“At the risk of sounding a little corny, it’s like I was supposed to be there at that time,” Crabtree told The Oklahoman in a telephone interview for the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

Crabtree’s idea to quickly get a sketch of the person who had picked up the bomb truck led to McVeigh’s arrest two days after the bombing. And Crabtree was the lead interviewer of McVeigh’s close friend, Terry Nichols.

“I believe to a great degree there was some guidance from somewhere, some divine power or fate — whatever you want to call it — that had me there,” Crabtree said.

 Other Stories of Interest

FBI Incensed Over Justice Department’s Leniency in Blackwater Security Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is not happy with how prosecutors handled the indictment of Blackwater security contractors involved in a deadly shooting in Iraq, saying political appointees in the Justice Department intentionally undermined the case. The FBI wanted to have charges filed that could have sent the defendants to prison for life.

Citing internal emails, The New York Times reports that the FBI also expressed serious concerns with Justice Department officials’ decision to refuse to bring two machine-gun charges, each of which carries a maximum 30 years in prison.

In part, officials were not comfortable with the mandatory minimum sentences.

“We are getting some serious resistance from our office to charging the defendants with mandatory minimum time,” Kenneth Kohl, a federal prosecutor, told the lead F.B.I. agent on the case, John Patarini, before the  grand jury to vote on an indictment in December 2008.

Patarini was not happy: “I would rather not present for a vote now and wait until the new administration takes office than to get an indictment that is an insult to the individual victims, the Iraqi people as a whole, and the American people who expect their Justice Department to act better than this.”

In 2007, Blackwater security contractors shot machine guns and grenade launchers into a crowded square in Baghdad, killing 17 people and wounding many others.

 

 

 

Justice Department Negatively Impacted by Delay in Confirming Lorreta Lynch

Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The partisan delay in confirming Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general is beginning to impact promotions and policy decision at the Justice Department, The Los Angeles Times reports.  

The delay has prompted DOJ officials to question whether to hold a major intentional meeting on cybersecurity this spring.

“There is a constant complication about committing to things,” said Robert Raben, a former assistant attorney general who is advising Lynch on the nomination and remains in touch with department officials. “For April and May, there are an enormous amount of things that are on hold. It’s impossible for the leadership to know what to commit to, because they do not know if Ms. Lynch is going to have a different view.”

The Senate returns this week but it’s unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, will hold a vote.

“There are major policy decisions that are on hold,” said one department official who was not authorized to speak publicly about internal matters.

Both Republicans and Democrats have called for delays.

Another Secret Service Embarrassment: Child Breaches White House Fence

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the latest embarrassment for the embattled Secret Service, a 4-year-old managed to breach the White House fence in broad daylight Sunday, forcing a lockdown.

The Weekly Standard reports that an unidentified child climbed under the fence.

“4 year old child climbed under temporary bike rack along PA Ave. Child was fine and was safely reunited with parents,” Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told the White House pool reporter.

Here’s an earlier pool report detailing the incident:

“Pool loaded the vans at 12:38 pm and motorcade is rolling at 12:51 pm to an undisclosed location.

“As the pool was initially gathering at the north doors of the Palm Room, security agents suddenly rushed to the north lawn with their weapons drawn and pool was told to get back inside. It turned out to be a non-incident, in which an individual jumped over the small bike fence outside the White House gate. After a few moments, pool was able to gather again. Your pooler has reached out to Secret Service for more details.”

Then came the update: “Update on brief security scramble at the White House prior to departure: It was just a child.”

Did FBI ‘Whitewash’ Investigation of Saudi Connection to Sept. 11 Attacks?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About two weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, a well-connected Saudi family left their luxury home in Sarasota, Fla., leaving behind expensive possessions without letting neighbors or the mail carrier know.

The New York Post reports that a couple made a hasty, suspicious retreat back to Saudi Arabia.

A subsequent investigation found that at least one of the family members trained at the same flight school as some of the hijackers.

The investigation was active for years and included the FBI’s Tampa field office and the bureau’s office in New York and Washington.

The New York Post wrote:

The Saudi-9/11 connection in Florida was no small part of the overall 9/11 investigation. Yet it was never shared with Congress. Nor was it mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Now it’s being whitewashed again, in a newly released report by the 9/11 Review Commission, set up last year by Congress to assess “any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission.” Though the FBI acknowledges the Saudi family was investigated, it maintains the probe was a dead end