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Tag: Janet Napolitano

Rep. Issa Suggests Homeland Chief Napolitano Moved Too Slow in Probe of Dead Border Agent Brian Terry

Janet Napolitano/file photo-bill maher showBy Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It appeared to be Janet Napolitano’s turn to get roughed up by Rep. Darrell Issa, who has been spearheading a probe into ATF’s controversial Operation Fast and Furious, that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing guns to the Mexican cartels.

Politico reports that Issa, at a House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, lit into Napolitano, suggesting she acted too slowly to look into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed last December in Arizona.

At the time, two guns recovered from the scene were linked to the controversial ATF Operation Fast and Furious.

Politico reported that Napolitano had testified during the session that said she had held off inquiring into the relation between the controversial Fast & Furious operation and Terry’s death because that matter was being looked into by the Inspector General at the Justice Department.

Issa pointedly said that Terry was killed on Dec. 14 and the IG probe was requested by Attorney General Eric Holder in February, Politico reported.

That, he said, left a gap for her to explore the matter.

“You had two dead agents…..It has been months and you tell me you weren’t doing it because of an IG investigation,” said Issa, according to Politico.

“Wait just a minute,” Napolitano countered. “That insinuation is not accurate.”

Issa responded: “For three months, you had a dead Border Patrol agent and there was no IG investigation. What did you do between December and February to find out about Fast & Furious?….People on the ground knew those were Fast & Furious weapons found at the scene within hours. It wasn’t something that wasn’t known. It was known at the time.”

Eventually, she said the goal was to find Terry’s killers.

To read more click here.

 

Arizona U.S. Atty.’s Abrupt Resignation Raises Doubts About Political Future

U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — Dennis Burke, one of Arizona’s most prominent and well-connected Democratic political figures, abruptly resigned as the state’s top federal prosecutor Tuesday, stirring doubts about earlier expectations that he might mount a bid for governor, attorney general or U.S. senator.

Burke served in Washington as a senior adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and in Arizona as her chief of staff when she was governor. His departure as U.S. Attorney comes as congressional investigators and an internal Justice Department inquiry are examining how an Arizona-based federal gun-trafficking investigation may have allowed as many as 2,000 guns to flow to criminals.

Many Arizona politicos assumed that Burke was trying to walk in Napolitano’s footsteps by seeking a federal prosecutor’s job, then perhaps the Arizona attorney general’s post and the governor’s office. However, Arizona analysts said those possibilities now seem more remote in the wake of Burke’s sudden resignation and as questions swirl about his office’s handling of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives probe known as “Operation Fast and Furious.”

To read full story click here.

ICE Busts 72 in Crackdown on Child Porn and Child Exploitation

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 72 people in connection with an international network dedicated to the sexual abuse of children and the creation and dissemination of child pornography.

Authorities said it was the largest prosecution of its kind in the U.S.  involving a pedephillia bulletin board.

The investigation, lead by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and  dubbed “Operation Delego”, was launched in December 2009 and targeted the 72 defendants and more than 500 other people around the world who participated in “Dreamboard”– a private, members-only, online bulletin board that promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, authorities said.

To date, 52 of the 72 charged defendants have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad, authorities said.

Authorities said members traded graphic images and videos of adults molesting children 12 years-old and under, often violently, and “collectively created a massive private library of images of child sexual abuse.

“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. in a statement. “This operation marks another important step forward in our work to protect children across – and beyond – this country. Our nation’s fight to protect the rights, interests, and safety of children goes on, and it will continue to be a top priority of this Justice Department.”

“This operation is an example of the good work that DHS, through its principal investigative arm, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), does every year in cooperation with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to protect children,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“As alleged in court documents, Dreamboard was a self-described global ‘community’ of pedophiles dedicated to the relentless victimization and exploitation of children 12 and under,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Using sophisticated methods to evade detection by law enforcement, Dreamboard members allegedly used the power and anonymity of the Internet to motivate each other to commit their horrific acts of sexual abuse of minors and trading in child pornography. “

New Warnings to Replace the Color-Coded Terrorism Ones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Goodbye Code Orange, Code Yellow. We’ll hardly miss ya.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is set Wednesday to announce the new terrorism advisory warnings that will replace the color coded ones many citizens became numb to.

Authorities said they will include a clear statement on the nature of the threat, and will be defined in one of two ways:which will be defined in one of two ways:

Elevated Threat: Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States

Imminent Threat: Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.

“The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly over the past ten years, and in today’s environment – more than ever – we know that the best security strategy is one that counts on the American public as a key partner in securing our country,” Napolitano said in a statement

“The National Terrorism Advisory System, which was developed in close collaboration with our federal, state, local, tribal and private sector partners, will provide the American public with information about credible threats so that they can better protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

ICE Dir. John Morton Vows to Go After Mexican Gunmen Who Killed One Agent and Wounded Another

Dir. John Morton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton on Tuesday vowed to go after the gunmen who fatally shot ICE agent Jaime J. Zapata and wounded agent Victor Avila in an ambush along a road in Mexico last week.

“Together, the United States and Mexico will bring the long, hard arm of the law down on Jaime and Victor’s shooters,” Morton told a crowd at the funeral of Zapata’s at the Brownsville Events Center in Brownsville, Tex. Agent Avila was shot twice in the leg.

“Together we will look after our people. Together we will continue to see that Jaime and Victor’s work is done and that the rule of law triumphs over lawlessness and empty violence. There is no other way. Acquiescing to the rule of criminals consigns our children, Mexico’s children to a hopeless and empty path. My friends: no retreat, no compromise. Our cause is just, our cause is right, there is no other way.”

Morton, who was joined by other dignitaries including Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, continued, according to the text of his speech:

“Jaime died at the hands of gunmen on a highway in the state of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, a long, long way from home. His death was a dark moment – an unspeakable loss for his parents, for his four brothers, for his fiancé Stacye. It was also a dark day for ICE and all of Jaime’s fellow agents and officers.”

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata /ice photo

“I submit to you, however, that as dark as this moment is, Jaime’s life is really all about light. Everyone in this room will eventually meet his or her Maker, and the real question on that day won’t be how we died but how we lived. When it’s my turn, I want to say that I lived like Jaime.”

Nearly 1000 mourners filled the Brownsville Events Center for the mass, according to The Brownsville Herald.  Zapata came from a family of law enforcement members. His father was in law enforcement and one brothers works at ICE and , another in Customs and Border Protection.

Attorney General Holder remarked: “Like so many others who serve this nation in law enforcement, Agent Zapata could have chosen an easier path through life.

“But he was always drawn to public service – and to the work of protecting his fellow citizens and defending America’s security. And he was willing to give what Abraham Lincoln called that “last full measure of devotion” to the nation that he loved – and to the struggle for peace and the cause of justice, within and beyond our borders.”

Mexican Authorities Say Drug Cartel Shot and Killed ICE Agent

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata/ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

No surprise.

Mexican authorities are saying that two ICE agents who were shot in the northern part of the country Tuesday were ambushed on a road about four hours north of Mexico City by drug cartel gunmen, the Washington Post reports. One died and the other was wounded and is stable condition.

The paper reported that the governor of San Luis Potosi, Fernando Toranzo, where the shootings took place, were killed by the same cartel that has wreaked havoc in his state.

The paper reported that the agent killed has been identified as Jaime Zapata, 32. The other agent, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital in Houston. They were assigned to the ICE attache in Mexico City.

The paper reported that the Mexican government bans U.S. law enforcement personnel from carrying guns.

A press release said that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. had decided to form a joint task force, led by the FBI, to track down the perpetrators.

Agent Zapata joined ICE in 2006 and was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Special Agent in Charge in Laredo, Tex., where he served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, ICE said in a statement.

He began his federal law enforcement career with the Department of Homeland Security as a member of the U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Az. A native of Brownsville, Tex., he graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

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.”

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Homeland’s Napolitano Says Crime and Illegal Crossings at Border Down

Janet Napolitano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Despite the contentious political rhetoric, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said crime and illegal crossings along the Mexico-U.S. border have dropped sharply. She attributed the change to an intensified focus on border enforcement and a “smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws.”

“We have strengthened the Southwest border in a way that many would not have thought possible,” Napolitano said in a speech at the University of Texas in El Paso on Monday. “And our partnership with Mexico on border security is strong.

“That’s not to say we still don’t face challenges. We are deeply concerned about the drug cartel violence taking place in Mexico. We know that these drug organizations are seeking to undermine the rule of law in Northern Mexico and that we must guard against spillover effects into the United States.

“Nonetheless, it is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control. This statement—often made only to score political points—is just plain wrong.”

She also said that violent crimes in Southwest border counties have dropped by more than 30 percent “and are currently among the lowest in the Nation per capita.”

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