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Archive for November 11th, 2008

Thirty Retired FBI Agents Call For Pardon of 4 Navy Men Convicted of 1977 Rape

It’s not everyday you get 30 retired FBI agents to come to your defense or write a letter to the governor on your behalf asking for a pardon.

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
RICHMOND, Nov. 10 — A group of 30 retired FBI agents added their voices Monday to the campaign calling for full pardons for four Navy men convicted in the rape and murder of a woman in Norfolk in 1997.
The men have come to be known as “the Norfolk Four,” and they have been the focus of a television documentary and a new book, “The Wrong Guys,” published this month. All four confessed involvement in the rape and stabbing death of 19-year-old Michelle Moore-Bosko inside her apartment, later recanted those confessions but were convicted anyway. Three are serving life sentences for murder, and the fourth was convicted of rape and has completed serving his 8 1/2 -year term.
The retired agents, members of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, sent Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) a letter in July seeking pardons for Joseph Dick, Derek Tice, Danial Williams and Eric Wilson. After they received no response, they decided to hold a news conference here Monday, led by Jay Cochran Jr., who headed the Virginia State Police criminal investigations bureau and was commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police after a 29-year FBI career.
For Full Story

Things Are Hopping at Our U.S. Airports- 32 Firearms Found In One Week

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — You may think those TSA security folks look bored and really never find much these days. Think again.
Just in a week’s time, from Nov. 3 to Nov. 9, 9 passengers were arrested because of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
Plus, TSA workers found 32 firearms at checkpoints and 1 “artfully concealed prohibited item”. On top of all that, there were 16 incidents that involved a checkpoint closure, terminal evacuation or “sterile area breach.”
And the week before, up in the skies,  a United airlines crew had to use duct tape to keep a passenger in her seat after she went berserk and started swearing and hitting people, including a blind passenger.

Larry Austin Named Fed. Security Director For Louis Armstrong Intl. Airport

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Larry Austin, a former Florida Highway Patrol commander, has been named federal security director for Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.
“Larry’s hands-on experience in law enforcement and his demonstrated ability to lead will be an asset to TSA’s operations in New Orleans,” Lee Kair, TSA assistant administrator for security operations, was quoted as saying.

Defense Attacks in Ft. Dix Terrorism Trial Could Hurt Govt. Case

The defense in the Ft. Dix terrorism trial is punching some holes in the government case. The big question is: Will the government’s case hold up?

wcbstv.com

wcbstv.com

By George Anastasia
PHILADELPHIA Inquirer
CAMDEN, N.J.–The chief FBI informant in the Fort Dix terrorism investigation said yesterday that at least one of the defendants in the case considered him “the brains” and the leader of the plot to attack the military complex.
And, in a comment that seemed to support the defense theory of the case, he said that two other defendants, brothers Dritan and Shain Duka, “wanted nothing to do with the matter” when he first alluded to it during a fishing trip in August 2006.
By that point, according to earlier testimony and evidence, informant Mahmoud Omar, 39, had held several in-depth discussions with defendant Mohamad Shnewer, 23, about the plan and had been assured by Shnewer that the Dukas, including a third brother, Eljvir, were committed.
“I was surprised of [the Dukas’] lack of knowledge of anything we had discussed,” Omar said in recounting the reaction of Dritan and Shain Duka to comments he made during the fishing trip.
For Full Story

See Daily Transcript Of The Trial and Videos

ICE’s John Torres Expected To Take Over the Agency

John Torres/ice photo

John Torres/ice photo

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief
WASHINGTON — John Torres, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is expected to take the helm after yesterday’s announcement that Assistant Secretary Julie Myers is stepping down.
For More

Also Read 10 Most Important Jobs to be Filled at the Dept. of Homeland Security (Security DeBrief)

Beware: Justice Dept. Moving in on Secret Swiss Bank Accounts

Hiding money in Swiss banks may not be what it’s cracked up to be, or for that matter, be worth the risk.

By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has chipped new holes in the secrecy of Swiss bank accounts, obtaining the names of American clients of the banking giant UBS as part of an investigation into the use of foreign banks to evade taxes.
In an unusual move, the Swiss have turned over information on about 70 UBS clients for use by Justice Department investigators, a source close to the case said.
The Swiss were responding to a Justice Department request for information on Americans who held “undeclared” accounts at UBS in Switzerland — accounts that they had not revealed to the Internal Revenue Service, the source said.
Meanwhile, criminal investigators have obtained the names of an additional 30 or so American holders of undeclared UBS accounts from other parties, and people with inside knowledge of the bank have been giving federal prosecutors information about UBS’s conduct, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.
For Full Story

FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Kept Tabs on the Late Norman Mailer

For the second time in less than a week we learn that the FBI kept tabs on a famous writer. Last week, the FBI released files on the late journalist David Halberstam. Now the Washington Post has obtained files on the late Norman Mailer. And last month, the FBI released its files on the late investigative columnist Jack Anderson who was despised by J. Edgar Hoover.

Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer

By Joe Stephens
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — In the summer of 1962, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was scanning his morning Washington Post when an item on Page A15 caught his eye. Norman Mailer’s most recent article in Esquire magazine had mocked Jacqueline Kennedy for, among other things, being excessively soft-spoken for a first lady.
Hoover scribbled a note: “Let me have memo on Norman Mailer.”
Over the next 15 years, FBI agents closely tracked the grand and mundane aspects of the acclaimed novelist’s life, according to previously confidential government files. Agents questioned his friends, scoured his passport file, thumbed through his best-selling books and circulated his photo among informants. They kept records on his appearances at writers’ conferences, talk shows and peace rallies.
For Full Story

Ex-IRA Militant Who Was Nabbed in Texas Faces Deportation

Texas is probably not the first place someone might look for a former IRA militant. But here you have it.

By Christopher Sherman
Associated Press Writer
RAYMONDVILLE, Tex.(AP) –A former IRA militant and escaped political prisoner who has lived in immigration limbo for 25 years in California may see it all unravel from inside a South Texas federal detention center.
Pol Brennan, convicted member of the Irish Republican Army and escapee from a notorious prison outside Belfast, was nabbed with an expired work permit in South Texas in January. He has been detained ever since, awaiting a hearing Wednesday and Thursday on whether he’ll finally earn legal residency or be deported to Northern Ireland, where his wife says he’ll face retaliation.
For Full Story