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Tag: Obama

Column: FBI Deserves Praise in Boston Marathon Probe

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When all is said and done, the FBI deserves praise for its swift resolution in the Boston Marathon bombing.

As one agent told me, the FBI showed what it’s made of by kicking some butt. 

Critics say the agency dropped the ball. They say the FBI had reason to suspect that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been radicalized, and it should have been more aggressive about tracking his activities. Easy to say in retrospect.

One federal official, who is not with the FBI, put it best when he said to me:  The FBI can’t surveil every nut just because they have radical thoughts. He said the brothers hadn’t done anything illegal or suspicious to justify surveilling them around the clock for months, if not years. 

“This was the FBI’s finest hour,” he insisted.

President Obama seems to agree.

“There are going to be times where individuals decide they want to cause harm to people for crazy reasons, for no good reason, for ideological reasons,” he said, according to an Associated Press report.

He pointed out that it’s harder to track self-radicalized people who are not part of a broad network of terrorists. In law enforcement circles they’re known as “lone wolves.”

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t review the case and examine how information was shared, or not shared.

Regardless,  the FBI does deserve credit for solving a case so quickly, a case that brought so much anxiety and fear to this country.

Obama: FBI Did Not Mishandle Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama is dismissing criticism that the FBI mishandled the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the Associated Press reports.

The comments come as Republicans prepare for an oversight hearing on the investigation. 

“There are going to be times where individuals decide they want to cause harm to people for crazy reasons, for no good reason, for ideological reasons,” Obama said.

The AP wrote that Obama said it’s difficult to track would-be attackers who are “self-radicalized” with no ties to terrorism groups.

Charges Dismissed Against Mississippi Man Accused of Sending Ricin-Tainted Letters to President, Others

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Charges have been dropped against the Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and other public officials, NBC News reports.

“I respect President Obama and love my country. I would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official,” Paul Kevin Curtis said at a news conference Tuesday following the dismissal of charges. “This past week has been a nightmare for myself and my family. My mother has suffered, as well as my children. I would like to get back to normal, which for me means being the best father I can to my children.”

A search of Curtis’ home turned up no evidence of ricin , investigators said.

Just hours after Curtis was released, authorities searched another Mississippi home, NBC News reported.

ATF Nominee B. Todd Jones Faces Inquiry Following Retaliation Claims

  

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An independent watchdog group for the Justice Department is investigating claims that President Obama’s nominee to head the ATF retaliated against a whistleblower, the Roll Call reports.

B. Todd Jones is accused of suspending an employee in retaliation for lodging a complaint.

Carolyn N. Lerner, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, is heading the investigation.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Letter to President Obama Tests Positive for Ricin

Pres. Obama at press conference/white house file photo

 
Aaron C. Davis and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A letter addressed to President Obama containing a substance that initially tested positive for the toxin ricin was intercepted Tuesday by authorities at a remote White House mail screening facility, according to the FBI.

The letter follows the discovery Tuesday of a ricin-laced letter sent to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and came as authorities were investigating suspicious packages in and near the offices of members of Congress.

Edwin Donovan, deputy assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service, did not identify the substance. However, he said the Secret Service is working closely with the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI.

To read more click here.

Obama’s Crackdown on Whistleblowers

Haskell was upset about Obama's election

white house photo

By Tim Shorrock
The Nation

In the annals of national security, the Obama administration will long be remembered for its unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers. Since 2009, it has employed the World War I–era Espionage Act a record six times to prosecute government officials suspected of leaking classified information. The latest example is John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer serving a thirty-month term in federal prison for publicly identifying an intelligence operative involved in torture. It’s a pattern: the whistleblowers are punished, sometimes severely, while the perpetrators of the crimes they expose remain free.

The hypocrisy is best illustrated in the case of four whistleblowers from the National Security Agency: Thomas Drake, William Binney, J. Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis. Falsely accused of leaking in 2007, they have endured years of legal harassment for exposing the waste and fraud behind a multibillion-dollar contract for a system called Trailblazer, which was supposed to “revolutionize” the way the NSA produced signals intelligence (SIGINT) in the digital age. Instead, it was canceled in 2006 and remains one of the worst failures in US intelligence history. But the money spent on this privatization scheme, like so much at the NSA, remains a state secret.

To read the full story click here.

 

President Obama to Appoint Veteran Secret Service Official to Oversee Agency

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama plans to appoint a veteran Secret Service official to oversee the agency, Reuters reports.

David O’Connor, a former assistant director of investigations who retired last year, is Obama’s pick for the post, which protects the president and other top federal officials, Reuters wrote.

Senate confirmation is not required.

Reuters wrote that O’Connor will replace Mark Sullivan, who retired in January after nearly three decades with the agency.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Threats to President Obama Lands Washington Man in Jail


Pres. Obama at state of the union/white house photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Washington state man is in custody after the FBI notified the Secret Service of emails threats against President Obama, Reuters reports.

The Secret Service described the emails from Anton Caluori, 31, as alarming but didn’t elaborate.

Agents found Caluori brandishing a shotgun when they arrived at his home south of Seattle on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Caluori was charged with threatening the president and assault of a federal agent, according to Reuters.