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Tag: Justice Department

Justice Department Watchdogs Did Nothing to Investigate Complaints about NSA Surveillance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

When federal judges repeatedly complained about the government misleading them about NSA’s secret domestic surveillance, the Justice Department never sprang into action, the USA Today reports.

According to the USA Today, newly released records show the Justice Department’s internal ethics watchdog never investigated allegations of the NSA having surveillance on Americans’ phone calls and Internet connections.

At least two judges who oversee the spying programs delivered sharp rebukes after learning federal officials misrepresented the surveillance, the USA Today reported.

Although the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with investigating allegations by judges, no such probe ever occurred, according to the USA Today.

Audit: Justice Department Overstates Terrorism Conviction Statistics

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department grossly overstated the number of terrorism convictions and made other inaccuracies because of shoddy record keeping, a federal audit has found, the Washington Post reports.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz concluded in a report that the federal agency, which has 93 U.S. attorneys’ offices, over-reported the number of defendants who had been found guilty of terrorism.

The number was overstated by 13% in 2009 and 26% in 2010, the Post wrote.

The investigation found other significant errors in record keeping, according to the Post.

FBI Director James Comey Added to Revised NSA Surveillance Lawsuit

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A lawsuit alleging that the National Security Agency violated the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens now includes claims against new FBI Director James Comey, Bloomberg reports.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the original lawsuit in July, alleges the NSA, with the help of the Justice Department and FBI, surreptitiously collected information about “all telephone calls transiting the networks of all major telecommunication companies.”

Comey was added to the suit as a defendant.

The DOJ declined to comment on the amended complaint.

The lawsuit, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. National Security Agency, was filed in federal court in San Francisco.

Justice Department Ends Long Battle with States Over Marijuana Use

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has announced an end to challenging state laws that permit residents to use marijuana for recreation and medical use, the USA Today reports.

The directive was sent to federal prosecutors nationwide.

But there are conditions. The Justice Department, for example, will still go after anyone who sells pot to minors or use the sales as a cover for trafficking operations, the USA Today wrote.

Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington state also allow for recreational use by adults.

Justice Department Launches Probe into Report That NSA Supplied DEA with Domestic, Non-Terrorism Intelligence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal lawmakers are calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to respond to a Reuters report that showed the NSA was supplying the DEA with surveillance information about domestic, non-terrorism cases, Reuters reported Monday evening.

Five Democrats in the Senate and three congressmen want to know if the DEA – as reported – passed NSA intelligence to other agencies, including the FBI, IRS and Homeland Security. The instructions: Never reveal your source, even in court, according to Reuters.

“These allegations raise serious concerns that gaps in the policy and law are allowing overreach by the federal government’s intelligence gathering apparatus,” wrote the senators – Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

The Justice Department confirmed it is investigating.

 

 

Mexican Drug Cartel Activity in U.S. Said to be Exaggerated in Widely Cited Federal Report

By Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich

WASHINGTON –– When Sen. John McCain spoke during an Armed Services Committee hearing last year on security issues in the Western Hemisphere, he relayed a stark warning about the spread of Mexican drug cartels in the United States.

“The cartels,” the Arizona Republican said, “now maintain a presence in over 1,000 cities.”

McCain based his remarks on a report by a now-defunct division of the Justice Department, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), which had concluded in 2011 that Mexican criminal organizations, including seven major drug cartels, were operating in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.

But the number, widely reported by news organizations across the country, is misleading at best, according to U.S. law enforcement officials and drug policy analysts interviewed by The Washington Post. They said the number is inflated because it relied heavily on self-reporting by law enforcement agencies, not on documented criminal cases involving Mexican drug-trafficking organizations and cartels.

To read more click here.

NAACP: Launch Federal Investigation of Racist Rodeo Clown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The NAACP isn’t clowning around.

The group is outraged after a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair donned a mask of President Obama while an announcer riled up the crowed by suggesting that the bull should run down the clown, Opposing Views reports.

“The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our president are serious and warrant a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Department,” NAACP State President Mary Ratliff said in a statement. “Incidents involving individuals acting out with extreme violent behavior in movie theaters, schools, churches, political appearances and outdoor events in general speaks volume to the irresponsible behavior of all the parties involved with the incendiary events at the Missouri State Fair.”

Turns out, the clown had been banned for life from rodeos.

The controversy has prompted the resignation of the head of Missouri’s rodeo-clown organization.

Reporter: Why Did FBI Target Me If Justice Department Not Going After Reporters?

By James Ball
The Guardian

Would you trust a politician if your liberty depended on it?
Day to day, it’s something journalists in America are having to do, whether they’re aware of it or not. The politician in question is Attorney General Eric Holder, and the key quote in question is his vow to Congress: “As long as I’m attorney general, (the Justice Department) will not prosecute any reporter for doing his or her job.”

That memo doesn’t quite seem to have filtered down to federal agencies, if a recent report to Slate is to be believed. Ryan Gallagher, one of the site’s security writers, has produced a long account of the strange tale of Sigurdur Thordarson, who became a WikiLeaks insider as just 17 years old, who then preceded to voluntarily turn FBI informant.

To read more click here.