Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

January 2009
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for January 5th, 2009

Former Atty. Gen. Griffin Bell Dead at Age 90

Griffin Bell
Griffin Bell

He was a man who brought justice to Justice.

By TOM BAXTER
Special to the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Griffin Boyette Bell, who served as Jimmy Carter’s attorney general and whose South Georgia drawl and lawyerly mannerisms disguised an unusually innovative legal mind, died Monday morning. He was 90.
“He was thinking outside the box before there was a box,” said Bob Steed, senior partner at King and Spalding, which Bell molded over six decades into a politically connected law firm with a national client list.
Bell died at about 9:45 a.m. at Piedmont Hospital, according to family members. Bell had been suffering from kidney disease, pancreatic cancer and pneumonia.
A grave-side service will be held for Bell on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the historic Oak Grove Cemetery in Americus. On Friday, a memorial service will be held in Atlanta at 11 a.m., at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Rd. N.E.
“Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Griffin Bell,” former President Carter said in a statement released through the Carter Center.
For Full Story

Read Statement from Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Obama to Nominate David Ogden for Dep. Atty. General

David Ogden

David Ogden

By Alland Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – As expected, private attorney David Ogden, a former Justice Department lawyer under President Clinton, will be the nominee for Deputy Attorney General.
President elect-Barack Obama made the announcement Monday morning.
Obama also  announced that he planned to nominate three other people from the Clinton administration to key posts: Elena Kagan for Solicitor General; Tom Perrelli for associate Attorney General and Dawn Johnsen for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.
According to the Obama press release:
  • Elena Kagan is currently the dean of Harvard Law School. She first started teaching as a visiting professor in 1999 and was appointed dean in 2003. Under Clinton, she served as associate counsel to president and later as deputy assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
    Tom Perrelli is currently Managing Patner of Jenner & Block’s Washington office and is co-chair of the firm’s Entertainment and New Media Practice. From 1997 to 1999 he served as counsel to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno.
    David Ogden is a member of the Department of Justice Agency Review lead for the Obama transition team, is  a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Under the Clinton administration, he served as assistant Attorney General, Civil Division from 1999 to 2001. Prior to that he served as chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno.
    Dawn Johnsen is currently a professor at Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington where she teaches constitutional law. She previously served in the Office of Legal Counsel for the Justice Department as acting assistant attorney general and as deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton Administration.

The Troubled Life of Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

The mystery behind the anthrax attacks lingers. Here’s more about the man the FBI believes was behind the fatal mailings in 2001.

Bruce Ivins

Bruce Ivins

By Scott Shane
New York Times
FREDERICK, Md. – Inside the Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, the government’s brain for biological defense, Bruce Edwards Ivins paused to memorialize his moment in the spotlight as the anthrax panic of 2001 reached its peak.
Dr. Ivins titled his e-mail message “In the lab” and attached photographs: the gaunt microbiologist bending over Petri dishes of anthrax, and colonies of the deadly bacteria, white commas against blood-red nutrient.
Outside, on that morning of Nov. 14, 2001, five people were dead or dying, a dozen more were sick and fearful thousands were flooding emergency rooms. The postal system was crippled; senators and Supreme Court justices had fled contaminated offices. And the Federal Bureau of Investigation was struggling with a microbe for a murder weapon and a crime scene that stretched from New York to Florida.
But Dr. Ivins was chipper – the anonymous scientist finally at the center of great events. “Hi, all,” he began the e-mail message. “We were taking some photos today of blood agar cultures of the now infamous ‘Ames’ strain of Bacillus anthracis. Here are a few.” He sent the message to those who ordinarily received his corny jokes and dour news commentaries: his wife and two teenage children, former colleagues and high school classmates. He even included an F.B.I. agent working on the case.
For Full Story

Race is On For U.S. Atty. Job in Charlotte

All around the country ambitious attorneys are throwing their names into the race for U.S. Attorney. Here in Charlotte the race is on.

Attorney Anne M. Tompkins

By Gary L. Wright
Charlotte Observer
CHARLOTTE — Three former federal prosecutors from Charlotte – Pete Anderson, Anne Tompkins (photo to left)  and Thomas Walker – are among at least four people hoping to become the next U.S. attorney for Charlotte and the Western District of North Carolina.
Each would have to gain the support of incoming Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan to have a chance of replacing Republican U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert, who was selected for the post in 2003 by President Bush.
Hagan will recommend Shappert’s successor to President Obama. The Democratic president will nominate the replacement, who must then be confirmed by the Senate.
For Full Story

U.S. Starting to Pour Hundreds of Millions into Mexico To Stop the Violent Expansion of Drug Traffickers

The drug war south of the border is out of control. At a recent law enforcement conference in Southern Calif., law enforcement officers were warned not to cross into Mexico for fun.
By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON – The U.S. has begun pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Mexico to help stanch the expansion of drug-fueled violence and corruption that has claimed more than 5,000 lives south of the border this year.
The bloodshed has spread to American cities, even to the heartland, and U.S. officials are realizing that their fight against powerful drug cartels responsible for the carnage has come down to this: Either walk away or support Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s strategy, even with the risk that counter-narcotics intelligence, equipment and training could end up in the hands of cartel bosses.
Both nations agree that the cartels have morphed into transnational crime syndicates that pose an urgent threat to their security and that of the region. Law enforcement agencies from the border to Maine acknowledge that the traffickers have brought a war once dismissed as a foreign affair to the doorstep of local communities. The trail of slayings, kidnappings and other crimes stretches through at least 195 U.S. cities.
For Full Story

Story of Texas Activist Who Worked As FBI Informant During Republican National Convention

By Renee Feltz
Texas Observer

Brandon Darby, a well-known Austin activist fingered as an FBI informant has acknowledged that he provided information leading to the arrest and felony indictment of two Austin men who participated in protests last September at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN.
“The simple truth is that I have chosen to work with the Federal Bureau of investigation [sic],” Brandon Darby said in an open letter he sent this week to friends he has worked with since 2002.
Darby’s activist network stretches from Austin to New Orleans, where he co-founded Common Ground Relief, a grassroots reconstruction effort that drew thousands of volunteers from around the country. In 2004, he helped organize and was arrested during anti-Halliburton protests in Houston. His letter suggests that he disagreed with tactics some members of the Austin Area Affinity Group planned to use to disrupt the Republican Convention. Darby was a member of the group.
For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

Read New York Times Version

Enron Exec Free After Serving Less than 2/3 of Sentence

There are many lesson here. Here’s one: It pays to commit a big big financial crime if you cooperate, and do it first.

By Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — Michael Kopper, a former Enron Corp. executive convicted of helping ex-Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow skim millions of dollars from the energy trader, was released Friday from federal custody after serving less than two-thirds of his sentence.
Kopper, 43, was the first Enron executive to cut a deal, pleading guilty to two conspiracy counts and cooperating with prosecutors pursuing other company officials. In 2006, a federal judge who heard Kopper testify sentenced him to 37 months, compared with the 15-year maximum term he agreed to in his plea.
He was released from a Houston halfway house, where he had been since late October, said Linda Thomas, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Kopper served about 23 months of his sentence, mostly in low-security prisons in Texarkana and Big Spring.
Kopper was Fastow’s top lieutenant and managed daily operations and negotiations for LJM2, a Fastow-controlled partnership the two men used to steal millions from Enron. Prosecutors said Kopper’s assistance was crucial in obtaining charges against Fastow, who also pleaded guilty and is serving a six-year sentence in Oakdale, La.

Feds Gearing Up For Biggest Security Event Ever on Jan. 20

Security issues are nothing new to Washington, which has seen every type of demonstration and gathering possible. Still, this presidential inauguration is being treated differently.

By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Authorities are organizing what appears to be the largest security operation ever for an inauguration, bringing in thousands of extra police, agents and troops to handle crowds as President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in.
Security officials are bracing not just for the ceremony and parade Jan. 20 but also for at least 70 concerts, balls and other events surrounding the inauguration. Those include the welcome celebration featuring Obama on Jan. 18 at the Lincoln Memorial, which could draw 500,000 people, according to the D.C. mayor’s office.
“You’ve gone from a one-day event to a four-day event,” said Joseph Persichini Jr., head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which will bring in about 20 percent more employees than usual for the activities.
For Full Story