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Tag: Homeland Security

Border Patrols to be Cut by Half

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Federal budget cuts have manifested themselves in a multitude of ways already. Now, dramatically, the Obama administration plans next year to cut the number of National Guard troops patrolling the US-Mexico border by at least half, reports the Washington Times.

Though the White House is not announcing the plans yet, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter learned of the plan, says half is the minimum number the patrol will have to be cut by, which will mean reshuffling troops already along the border. In Duncan’s state of California, the new plans will mean slashing patrol levels from 264 to just 14.

To read more click here.

 

Louie Freeh and Tom Ridge: Angels Protecting Us or Just Hired Guns for the Gambling Industry?

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh and Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Angels protecting us from evil, or just hired guns for the gambling industry?

If you read the press release by FairPlayUSA, you’d think they were here to save us from the evil.

FairPlayUSA announced that Freeh and Ridge have joined its board to help legalize online poker and toughen the ambiguous U.S. laws on the issue.

The website pressofAtlanticCity posted a story saying the two joined the board as part of a campaign launched this summer to build support to legalize online poker. The site reported that start up money came from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International.

The Sept. 15 release from FairPlayUSA said:

“Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, today, announced they have joined the Advisory Board of FairPlayUSA, a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts and others concerned about the failures in current law to put illegal Internet gambling operators out of business, the need to better protect consumers and the need to impose a strict regulatory framework for online poker.”

Tom Ridge

The release added that “millions of Americans regularly engage in Internet gambling on offshore websites that operate in direct violation of federal and state laws, and they play online poker on sites that fail to provide necessary consumer protections. Current laws that attempt to prohibit Internet gambling have failed to stop the illegal Internet gambling market…”

Freeh said in the release: “Current federal laws fail to provide U.S. law enforcement vital tools to address illegal internet gambling, enabling a ‘wild-west’ atmosphere. I am joining FairPlayUSA to improve this environment by clarifying these laws, better empowering law enforcement agencies to crack down on violators and using licensing and regulation to ensure safe and legal online poker.”

Ridge said in the release: “States and tribes have rights that must be protected by authorizing them to decide for themselves whether to accept or prohibit online poker and make use of sophisticated technologies already in use in other industries to enforce those decisions.”

 

Report on Airport Security Breach is Cause for Heartburn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The stats for our nation’s airport should be cause for major heartburn.

USA Today reports that more than 25,000 security breaches — an average of about seven per day — have occurred at U.S. airports since November 2001.

Citing newly released Department of Homeland Security documents, USA Today reported that more than 14,000 people entered “limited-access” areas by going through airport doors or passageways without permission.

Other breaches included unauthorized people going from airport buildings to planes.

The documents are to be presented at a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, the paper reported.

“It’s clear the airports are not secure,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations said, according to USA Today. “For all the money, time and persistence we have thrown at airport security, it’s a real mess.”

ICE Agent Busted on Charges of Leaking Sensitive Info to Drug Traffickers South of the Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed authorities in Arizona have busted a special agent with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on charges that she illegally accessed, stole and transferred sensitive U.S. government documents to family members and associates with strong ties to drug trafficking organizations south of the border, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Jovana Samaniego Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, Ariz. was charged with computer fraud, theft of government records and making false statements/entries, authorities said. She made her initial court appearance Tuesday in Tucson federal court.

The indictment, which capped a two year investigation, was filed in Tucson federal court.

Authorities said Deas is accused of abusing her position as an HSI special agent to illegally obtain and disseminate government documents classified as “Official Use Only.”

“When it comes to our national security, blood is not thicker than water,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a statement. “This defendant used and abused her position as a special agent to illegally help family members south of the border with ties to drug trafficking organizations. That is a violation of the public’s trust and a breach of our security that, thanks to this very thorough joint investigation, will have serious consequences.”

Deas became a U.S. government employee in June 2003 as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at a Nogales, Ariz., port of entry. In 2008, she became a special agent at the HSI Nogales office.

The two-year investigation of Deas was conducted by FBI and ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) agents at the FBI’s Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force (SACTF).

SACTF agents were assisted y agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, HSI, the U.S. State Department’s Consular Integrity Division and the Brazilian Federal Police.

FBI Warns of Bogus Emails Soliciting Money

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The FBI in Detroit has issued a warning: Beware of emails that display the FBI seal and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III’s name.

The emails, that have been sent to Michigan residents as well as others nationwide, direct people to contact the Department of Homeland Security and send $350 to obtain a Clearance Certificate.

Failure to do so will result in legal action, the email says.

The FBI noted that it does not send out emails soliciting personal information or asking citizens for money.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Bernie Kerik Gets Bad News: Appeals Court Upholds Sentence

Bernie Kerik/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-NY Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who once was considered for the top spot at the  Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration, got some bad news Thursday.

The 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld his four year sentence, saying the judge was fair, the Associated Press reported. His attorneys had argued the judge was too harsh and gave a sentence that surpassed the three years called for under the sentencing guidelines.

Kerik, 55, who is being housed in a federal prison in Maryland,  pleaded guilty in 2009 to tax fraud, making a false statement on a loan application and lying to the White House, which was doing a background on him so he could become Homeland Security chief.

AP reported that the sentencing judge, Stephen Robinson in White Plains, N.Y., was bothered by Kerik’s behavior, and noted that he lied the President to get a cabinet post.

Kerik’s attorney Andrew Shapiro said, according to AP: “We’re very disappointed by the ruling and considering our next steps.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT NEWS

ICE Still Investigating Who Leaked Immigration Info About President’s Aunt Before 2008 Election

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– Who leaked the info on President Obama’s aunt’s immigration status days before the 2008 election campaign?

Well, according to the website Talking Points Memo, the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility still wants to know.

The Office of Professional Responsibility still has an “ongoing law enforcement investigation”, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officer Catrina M. Pavlik-Keenan wrote in response to a FOIA request from the website.

AP reported three days before the 2008 election that Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango was in the country illegally. TPM reported that it was told in August by the Department of Homeland Security that the investigation was wrapping up.

Homeland’s Janet Napolitano Says U.S. at Most “Heightened State” Since Sept. 11 Attack

Janet Napolitano/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Certainly it’s not what we want to hear.

Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security told a Congressional committee Wednesday that the terrorism threat “facing our country has evolved significantly in the last ten years – and continues to evolve – so that, in some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks.”

Appearing before the House Committee on Homeland Security, she said:

“In addition to the direct threats we continue to face from al-Qaeda, we also face growing threats from other foreign-based terrorist groups that are inspired by al-Qaeda ideology but have few operational connections to the core al-Qaeda group.

“And, perhaps most crucially, we face a threat environment where violent extremism is not defined or contained by international borders. Today, we must address threats that are homegrown as well as those that originate abroad.

“One of the most striking elements of today’s threat picture is that plots to attack America increasingly involve American residents and citizens. We are now operating under the assumption, based on the latest intelligence and recent arrests, that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and acts of violence might be in the United States, and they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning.”

To read text of full speech click read more.

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