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Tag: Justice Department

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.

U.S. Angry Over Release of Mexican Drug Lord Convicted of Torture, Murder of DEA Agent

 

Enrique Camarena

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican drug lord convicted of kidnapping, torturing and murdering a DEA agent in 1985 has been released from jail, a move that has incensed U.S. law enforcement, Slate reports.

The U.S. expressed deep frustration with a three-judge court that decided to overturn Caro Quintero’s sentence on the argument that he should have been prosecuted in state not federal court.

Slate reported that the U.S. is working with Mexican authorities to nab others responsible for the murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.”

The Justice Department is among the U.S. agencies expressing concern with Mexico.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas-R, called the decision to overturn Quintero’s sentence “insulting” and warned of a “negative impact” between U.S. and Mexico relations.

Justice Department Seeks to Overhaul Prison Sentences for Nonviolent Offenders

 

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Nonviolent criminal offenders may serve less time in jail under a Justice Department proposal aimed at overhauling strict anti-drug laws and mandatory minimum prison sentences, CNN reports.

The goal is to give judges more discretion and to offer alternatives to prison, such as drug court.

Even tough-on-crime conservatives are climbing aboard, saying the prison-industrial complex is inflexible and expensive, CNN reported.

Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to address the issue Monday at a speech in San Francisco.

 

Justice Department Files First Charges in Attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi

 

Rep. Issa/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly a year after protesters barged into the U.S. consulate in Benghazi , Libya, and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Justice Department filed the first criminal charges in the case, the Washington Post reports

According to numerous reports, the Justice Department filed an unspecified number of counts in the September 2012 attack on the consulate.

“The department’s investigation is ongoing. It has been, and remains, a top priority,” said Justice Department spokesman Andrew C. Ames, who declined to comment further.

Details remain unclear, but members of Congress are pressing the administration for more than charges.

“Osama bin Laden had been criminally charged long before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but was not apprehended,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. “Delays in apprehending the suspected Benghazi killers,” Issa added, “will only put American lives at further and needless risk.”

Ex-Prosecutor Turned Author Tries to Shield Her Parents from the Steamy Sex Scenes

Featured_leotta_7113
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Allison Leotta, a Detroit native living in the D.C. area, likes to send her parents in Michigan a draft of her new novels — minus the chapters with the steamy sex scenes.

“I take out those chapters,” says Leotta, a Michigan State University graduate.

But her mother, Diane Harnisch, of West Bloomfield, Mich., says at least with the last transcript, her daughter may have forgotten to excise those chapters. Not that it really matters. She says she reads the published books as well.

“I want to know exactly what she’s writing,” says Harnisch. “Of course as a mom, it makes me a little uncomfortable  at times. and wondering how in heavens name does she know that stuff.”

Her parents and grandmother are perhaps her  biggest fans, but certainly not the only ones.

Leotta, 40,  who is married and the mother of two young boys, is on fire in the literary world.

Described in the Providence Journal as a female John Grisham, the former D.C. sex crimes prosecutor will release her third novel “Speak of the Devil”, Tuesday.

It’s part of the ongoing series centering around a fictional sex crime prosecutor named Anna Curtis. On day of the debut, she’ll appear for a book signing at 7 p.m. at Books-A- Million on Southfield Road in Beverly Hills.

The third book isn’t her last.

Leotta recently signed a contract with Touchstone/Simon & Schuster to write two more novels as part of the series, she tells Deadline Detroit.

In her latest book, the main character, prosecutor Anna Curtis gets engaged. That’s the good news.

On the downside, one of her cases takes a vicious turn.  A criminal named Diablo — the Devil — leads an attack on a brothel. It results in an investigation into the dangerous  MS-13 gang, which has roots in El Salvador.  Curtis tries to keep her personal and professional life separate.  But the dangers of the job come to her doorstep.

Leotta says this book is a little darker than previous works, “but it’s a lot more suspenseful. People who have read it have been surprised by all the twist and turns.”

A  sex crimes prosecutor, she left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. in 2011 to write full time.

While working as a prosecutor she wrote her first novel “Law of Attraction.” As policy, the Justice Department had to review the transcript for any security breaches. Leotta wasn’t worried about that. What concerned her was having colleagues having read the sex scenes.

Leotta, who grew up in Franklin and Farmington Hills, and attended Harvard Law School, always can depend on two people to help generate interest in her book signings in Metro Detroit:  Her father, Alan Harnisch of Troy, who is  a former federal prosecutor, and her mother.

“They’re my biggest fans,” she says. “They never fail to pack the bookstore with friends whenever I’m there.”

Her mother says: “I couldn’t be more proud of her or in awe of her ability.”

Interestingly, Leotta says her grandmother has read the books as well — steamy scenes and all.

“With my grandma, she read the published  books, and she said she was shocked, and said ‘ how did you learn all that stuff?”

Besides writing books, Leotta has a blog, The Prime Time Crime Review, which evaluates crime shows for true-to-life  accuracy.

 

FBI Concludes It Could Not Have Prevented Boston Marathon Bombing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Facing mounting pressure to explain how the Boston Marathon bombers eluded suspicion, the FBI concluded Thursday that there was nothing the agency could do to prevent the attacks, the New York Times reports.

The FBI conducted server internal reviews of the bureau’s handling of Russian intelligence that warned the U.S. about one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Some members of Congress have argued the FBI could have done more to investigate Tsarnaev, who was killed during a shootout with police.

FBI officials said federal laws and Justice Department protocols prevented them from conducting a more extensive probe. Agents, for example, couldn’t conduct surveillance , such as wire-tapping, for that kind of investigations, the Times wrote.

The FBI also dismissed criticism that it should have investigated Tsarnaev after he returned from a trip to Russia in 2012 because there was no evidence he was radicalized.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is Saluted

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Bob Mueller was saluted by top Justice Department officials and other colleagues Thursday as he prepares to give up the leadership of the premier federal law enforcement agency — an organization he took over just a week before the Sept. 11 attacks.

“This is a moment we’ve all really been dreading for quite some time: the day we have to try to do our jobs without Bob Mueller,” Attorney General Eric Holder told a crowd of several hundred gathered in the Great Hall at the Justice Department headquarters. “He has, in short, set the standard for what it means to be the director of the FBI.”

The send-off event turned out a who’s who of the U.S. national security apparatus, including former Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet and current Director John Brennan.

To read the full story click here.

Student Who Spent Four Days in DEA Holding Cell with No Food, Water to Receive $4.2M Settlement

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When DEA agents raided a house in San Diego and found ecstasy pills in April 2012, they placed Daniel Chong in a DEA holding cell.

What happened next cost the Justice Department $4.2 million in a lawsuit settlement that is expected to be announced today, the Associated Press reports.

The 23-year-old, who was not accused of any wrongdoing, spent four days in a DEA holding cell without food or water. He drank his own urine and was covered in feces when agents found him.

Chong was an engineering student at the University of California when he was at a friend’s house who was raided, according to the AP.

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