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DEA Paid Amtrak Insider $854,000 for Passenger Data It Could Have Gotten for Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA forked over $854,460 to an Amtrak secretary for confidential information the agency should have gotten for free, according to an internal investigation.

The DEA paid the employee to be an informant despite the agency’s right to obtain the information at no cost as part of a joint drug enforcement task force, the Associated Press reports.

The payments were made over a two-decade span, the investigation found.

The Amtrak secretary provided passenger information without the proper approval, but the information was available through the proper channels, the inspector general found.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Opens Civil Rights Investigation of Fatal Shooting By Cops of Unarmed Teen

The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation to determine what prompted a police officer to shoot an unarmed blacked teenager in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday afternoon.

The New York Times reports the inquiry into Michael Brown’s death came on the third day of protests. Ferguson, a city of 21,000 residents, has a history of racial issues. Although black people make up a majority of the residents, the local government and police are predominately white.

When the all-white school board suspended a black superintendent, protests broke out.

“The community is still highly segregated,” said Karen Knodt, interim pastor of the Immanuel United Church of Christ, whose congregation has 800 members, only four of whom are black. “The institutions of power don’t yet reflect the changing demographics of the county.”

The city also has been under a Justice Department investigation following claims of racial disparities for juveniles in Family Court.

 

FBI Sketch Artist Writes Tell-All Book About Tracking Down Criminals

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former sketch artist for the FBI has written a tell-all book about his 32 years working with the bureau, the New York Post reports.

Gene O’Donnell, who is shopping his book “Faces of Crime: Memoirs of an FBI Forensic Artist,” said he’s had a lot of bizarre experiences at the bureau, but the strangest may have been drawing a face based on visions of a psychic.

“Officially, I don’t believe that the FBI has ever really admitted to using psychics, but I can assure you that they do. Rarely, but every once in a while, the real FBI looks more like Mulder and Scully’s FBI,” said O’Donnell, referring to “The X-Files.”

O’Donnell, who retired in 2009, started working with the FBI after studying commercial art.

In one his more well-known sketches, O’Donnell helped capture the Russian handler of spy Aldrich Ames.

O’Donnell also helped sketch the face of a man who had been badly decomposed.

Secret Service Gives Child ‘Timeout’ for Slipping Through White House Fence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service agents are used to the jumpers – the people who hop over the White House fence.

But Thursday night was different when a toddler slipped through the gate in site of arms officers trained to protect the president, the Associated Press reports.

His discipline?

Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said the boy was given a “timeout” before being returned to his parents.

Donovan joked that the FBI will wait until the boy learns to walk before questioning him.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

NAACP Calls for FBI Investigation into Killing of Unarmed Teen Near St. Louis

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil unrest over the fatal shooting of a black teenager by police turned into looting and vandalism Sunday evening as investigators try to piece together what happened.

The Associated Press reports that the St. Louis County chapter of the NAACCP is urging the FBI to take over the case of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was killed after a scuffle with police in the predominately black suburb of Ferguson.

“He was running this way,” Brown’s grandmother, Desiree Harris, said. “When I got up there, my grandson was lying on the pavement. I asked the police what happened. They didn’t tell me nothing.”

Brown’s stepfather held a sign outside his house that read, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!”

Police confirmed a police officer shot Brown but didn’t elaborate. Witnesses said Brown was unarmed when he was shot.

The FBI’s involvement is important “to protect the integrity of the investigation,” said John Gaskin, a member of the St. Louis County NAACP.

Attorney General Eric Holder said attorneys in the department’s civil rights division will monitor developments related to the shooting.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Opinion: A Border Patrol Without Borders

By John Stossel
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If I drive across a U.S. border, I expect to stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint. But imagine driving to the grocery store, or Mom’s house, well inside America, and being stopped by the Border Patrol. Many Americans don’t have to imagine it — it’s how they live.

Even as the federal government fails to control the southern border, it sends the Border Patrol farther into the interior, where Americans complain that agents harass people who are already U.S. citizens.

And it’s legal. The Supreme Court ruled that the Border Patrol can set up “inland” checkpoints anywhere up to 100 miles from an external border of the United States. That’s what government now considers a “reasonable distance” from the border.

But that means the zone within which you could be stopped and searched includes much of Florida and California and all of Maine and New Hampshire. Two-thirds of America’s population lives that close to the border.

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer James Lyall argues, “Interior checkpoints fundamentally fly in the face of what it means to live in a free society, where you don’t have to answer to federal agents when you’re going about your daily business.”

The Supreme Court ruled that Border Patrol agents at these checkpoints can “conduct brief stops for the limited purpose of verifying residence status” but cannot “conduct searches of individuals or the interior of their vehicles.” But the experience of members of my staff and videos on YouTube show that

Border Patrol agents do exactly that. They often demand answers to lots of questions and search cars, too.

To read more click here.

Protesters Crawl Under Border Patrol Truck in Attempt to Stop Arrest

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Protesters crawled under a Border Patrol vehicle to stop agents from transporting a driver who was taken into custody for being in the U.S. without documentation, the Tuscon News Now reports.

The incident happened at 2:45 p.m. when Tucson police pulled over a driver for making an improper turn.

Saying the driver had no license to drive a car and was illegally in the U.S., police contacted Border Patrol, which sent an unmarked SUV to take the driver into custody.

Protesters arrived soon after, with two of them crawling under the SUV.

They were pulled out.

Retired-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns Open Letter to Congress

Jay Dobyns

To the Honorable Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

My name is Jay Dobyns. In January of this year, I retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after twenty-seven years of decorated service.

Today is the six-year anniversary of the arson of my home. My wife and two children were inside when the fire was set. They were lucky to escape and survive, although my home and all of our belongings were destroyed by that criminal act.

Leading up to that conclusive and somewhat predictable event, my family and I had already endured years and dozens of credible and validated death and violence threats issued from violent crime suspects and based on my work as an ATF Agent. Each time those events were summarily dismissed by ATF’s leadership as unworthy of attention.

After investigating the August 10, 2008, arson, two of the nation’s leading arson investigators determined that I was not involved. ATF’s leadership, both nationally and locally, ignored the determinations of their own experts and maliciously pursued me as the sole suspect, implicitly categorizing me as an ATF agent willing to murder his own family by fire. The managers and executives involved were known to be corrupt, despised by ATF agents, and among those who planned and implemented ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious.

Those mangers ignored real-time investigative leads and true suspects while instead illegally recording my telephone calls and attempting to gather intelligence on me. None was to be found because I was not involved and innocent. One of ATF’s investigators, an Agent trusted to investigate the Olympic Park bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School massacre, the 9/11 terrorist attack and countless other crime scenes told ATF – “I’ve investigated Jay, he’s clean, let me go find the people who did this.”

ATF’s manager George Gillett (of Fast and Furious infamy) immediately removed that agent and his partner from the case. Their investigation did not fit his agenda.

ATF intentionally scuttled their investigation before contaminating a hand-off to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Under the guidance of the Department of Justice, the most flagrant destruction of one federal agent’s career and reputation ever publicly known took place. Now six years later the trail has gone cold and the real arsonist(s) remain at large having attempted to murder a federal agent and his family without pursuit.

When that conduct was challenged in court, both agencies used every tactic available to them, some illegal, some merely unethical and despicable, to cover-up their conduct. Attorneys for the government were fired for their actions in this case; their bad acts never acknowledged or remedied. The unethical tactics used by the government included the destruction and withholding of critical evidence and providing false sworn testimony at depositions and at trial.

The highest levels of leadership at each of these agencies are fully aware of the truth, yet they continue efforts to ensure it is never exposed. That is the system now firmly entrenched at the United States Department of Justice and at ATF – do anything necessary to do to keep your job, displace blame onto others, and if you must, hide and misrepresent the facts and truth from public and courtroom examination.

I respect the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches defined by our Constitution. As I await the findings of the court with patience and hope, I honor those laws. The truth is going to come out, whether ATF, DOJ, and their leaders Eric Holder and B. Todd Jones, care for it or not.

My biggest disappointment is that facts and evidence revealed during my lawsuit have been publicly available and brought to your attention for a considerable amount of time. Our nation’s elected officials, appointed Justice Department and ATF leaders, mid-level managers, federal prosecutors, and every internal ethics mechanism within those agencies, just doesn’t care.

Read more »