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Archive for November 26th, 2008

New York Reacts To Reports al Qaeda Considered Attacking Mass Transit

It’s been a while since we’ve heard about these threats. Is this one worthy?

By JAMES GORDON MEEK in Washington and ALISON GENDAR and LARRY McSHANE in New York
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

The city subway system received an infusion of additional police protection Wednesday after reports that Al Qaeda terrorists had considered targeting local mass transit with suicide bombers.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint warning to state and local officials on Tuesday night about the terrorist threat, said DHS spokeswoman Laura Keehner.
The warning followed “plausible but uncorroborated information that Al Qaeda may have discussed targeting the transit system in or around New York City,” Keehner said.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said police were aware of the terrorist threat, and responded by sending additional cops throughout the subway system.
For Full Story

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Admits Shouting “Tyrant” During A.G. Mukasey’s Speech

Justice Richards/official photo

Justice Richards/official photo

Apparently fainting wasn’t the only news event the night Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey fainted.

By Adam Wilson
The Olympian
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington State Supreme Justice Richard Sanders
acknowledged Tuesday that he shouted “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!” during a speech by the nation’s attorney general last week.
U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed about 15 minutes later as he addressed the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C. The incident made headlines that initially overshadowed a controversy about who had heckled him as he defended the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies.
Sanders said Tuesday: “It kind of irked me that this is making fun of the Geneva Conventions. … To make a joke about it, when we’re a signator to this convention which prohibits torture.”
For Full Story

Congress Wants to See if Feds Were Out to Get Ex-Gov Eliot Spitzer

Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer had a bright political future. The question isn’t whether he screwed up, but rather was the federal government out to get him?

Eliot Spitzer/official photo

Eliot Spitzer/official photo

By Danny Hakim
New York Times
ALBANY – Eight months after a federal investigation into a prostitution ring brought about the downfall of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the question persists in some circles: Was the federal government out to get Mr. Spitzer?
No evidence has surfaced to support such an assertion, and the prosecutor in the case has said that politics played no role in the pursuit of Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat. But that has not put to rest suspicions, expressed on left wing blogs, that Mr. Spitzer, a zealous pursuer of Wall Street wrongdoing who some thought could one day be president, had been singled out.
Now, a congressional committee is pursuing what would be the first public examination of the events that prompted the initial inquiry into his bank transactions, which showed he was sending money to a front company for Emperor’s Club V.I.P.
The House Financial Services Committee intends to take up the matter early next year and tentatively plans to hold hearings that could include testimony from the United States Treasury’s law enforcement unit, along with Mr. Spitzer’s bank, North Fork, and HSBC, a bank used by a company connected to the prostitution service.
“The question was: Why were they looking for this? Is this political retribution?” said Representative Michael E. Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat and a member of the committee who has been critical of the increased scrutiny of banking transactions, which increased greatly under the passage of the Patriot Act.
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Release of FBI Anthrax Documents Show Wrong Suspect Took Cipro Around the Time Fatal Letters Were Mailed

There was a time during the anthrax probe that the head of the FBI investigation advocated indicting scientist Steven Hatfill. One of the things that bothered some investigators was that Hatfill was taking Cipro at the time of the letter attacks. But the U.S. Attorney’s office shot down any suggestions of an indictment.

By LARA JAKES JORDAN

Steven Hatfill/fox news

Steven Hatfill/fox news

The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Pharmacy records and writings initially _ but wrongly _ helped lead the FBI to Army scientist Steven Hatfill in the 2001 anthrax attacks, Justice Department documents released Tuesday show.
Responding to a judge’s order, the government released 78 pages of affidavits and search warrants in the now-closed case of Hatfill, who was cleared of the attacks earlier this year. The documents raise questions about Hatfill but provide no evidence that he masterminded the biological attacks that killed five people, sickened 17 and frightened a nation still shaken by the deaths of 9/11 only a few weeks earlier.

Ultimately, the government focused on another Army scientist: Bruce Ivins, who killed himself in July as prosecutors prepared to charge him in the case. Both Ivins and Hatfill worked at the Army’s infectious diseases laboratory in Frederick, Md. Hatfill was never charged, and the Justice Department in June agreed to pay him $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit he brought against the government for wrongly implicating him.

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See FBI Documents

Suburban D.C. School Superintendent Gets 6 Years in Prison

Andre Hornsby/channel 7

Andre Hornsby/channel 7

Andre Hornsby came in as a school reformer and left as a convicted felon. Tuesday he got 6 years. Now that’s a lesson the kids can use.

By Nick Madigan
Baltimore Sun
GREENBELT, Md. — Former Prince George’s County schools Superintendent Andre J. Hornsby was sentenced today to a total of six years of prison time in a federal corruption case.
“I’m totally embarrassed by what situation I’ve put myself into,” Hornsby told U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messite. “I understand the seriousness of my actions. I understand mistakes were made. I understand decisions were made. This has taken a toll on myself, my family, my friends and my colleagues.”
Messite also directed Hornsby to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison and pay a $20,000 fine and $70,000 in restitution to the Prince George’s schools. Hornsby also will need to enroll in alcohol treatment and cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service in a probe of his tax returns, the judge said.
“Judge Messite was fair,” Hornsby told reporters after the sentencing. “He could have definitely sentenced me to a lot more.”

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