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Archive for January 21st, 2009

A.G. Confirmation Hearing For Eric Holder Delayed For Up to a Week

As expected,  the Republicans want to beat up Eric Holder a little more. Still, his confirmation seems likely.

By JOHN BRESNAHAN
The Politico
WASHINGTON — Eric Holder’s confirmation vote before the Judiciary Committee will be delayed for up to a week as Republican senators continue to press him on his views about interrogation and other Bush administration intelligence methods.
The Judiciary Committee was originally scheduled to vote today on Holder’s nomination as attorney general, but Republicans have objected, and under committee rules they can delay the vote for up to a week. Holder was grilled last week by Republicans on his views about interrogations, Guantanamo Bay and his involvement in the 2001 pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is seeking more information from Holder on whether the Department of Justice will pursue criminal prosecutions of “intelligence personnel” involved in detainee interrogations.
For Full Story

Law Enforcement Pleasantly Surprised: No Inauguration Related Arrests

white house photo
white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – My what a difference four years makes.
At the last presidential inauguration in 2005, when President Bush was being sworn in for a second term, about 20 people were arrested. What’s more, D.C. police reported that 10 of its officers were injured after clashing with anti-war demonstrators.
Tuesday was a much different story.
Federal and local law enforcement in Washington said there were no inauguration-related arrests, which surprised many considering the crowd. Estimates were as high as about 2 million.
Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, called the no-arrest event “a very good day for law enforcement”. D.C. police and U.S. Secret Service echoed similar sentiments Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the Secret Service unveiled its much anticipated new armored presidential limousine.
“Although many of the vehicles’ security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car’s security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world,” Nicholas Trotta, Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations, said in a prepared statement before the car was unveiled.

Senator Judiciary Delays Confirmation Vote on Eric Holder Until At Least Wed. Afternoon

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Eric Holder/law firm photo

WASHINGTON — CNN reports that the Senate Judiciary’s confirmation vote for Atty. General designate Eric H. Holder Jr. has been delayed until at least Wednesday afternoon.
A Judiciary Committee spokesman told CNN that the committee’s senators wanted to attend the national prayer service Wednesday morning at Washington’s National Cathedral. The President is attending the service.  Allan Lengel

Feds Charging Moms and Others With Terrorism Aboard Planes

Is an irate mother aboard a plane who spanks her child a terrorist? Are the feds going too far charging people on planes with acts of terrorism? Could be.

By Ralph Vartabedian and Peter Pae
Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Los Angeles and Oklahoma City — Tamera Jo Freeman was on a Frontier Airlines flight to Denver in 2007 when her two children began to quarrel over the window shade and then spilled a Bloody Mary into her lap.
She spanked each of them on the thigh with three swats. It was a small incident, but one that in the heightened anxiety after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would eventually have enormous ramifications for Freeman and her children.
A flight attendant confronted Freeman, who responded by hurling a few profanities and throwing what remained of a can of tomato juice on the floor.
The incident aboard the Frontier flight ultimately led to Freeman’s arrest and conviction for a federal felony defined as an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act, the controversial federal law enacted after the 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.
“I had no idea I was breaking the law,” said Freeman, 40, who spent three months in jail before pleading guilty.
For Full Story

Read Tamera Jo Freeman Criminal Complaint

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed Grand Jury Indicts Investor For Crashing Plane and Faking Death

This, fair to say, is not your typical federal crime. But it may not be so far fetched to say it would make a good movie. Or maybe a great one.

By Associated Press
PENSACOLA, Fla. — A federal grand jury indicted an Indiana investment adviser Tuesday on charges of deliberately crashing his small airplane in the Florida Panhandle to try to fake his own death as part of a plan to escape financial ruin.
Authorities say Marcus Schrenker, 38, an amateur daredevil pilot and businessman, secretly parachuted to the ground before the crash and sped away on a motorcycle he had stashed away in central Alabama.
A three-day search came to an end on Jan. 13, when authorities finally caught up to Schrenker at a campground near Tallahassee, where they say he tried to take his own life by slashing one of his wrists.
The grand jury also charged him Tuesday with making a fake distress call and he remained jailed after spending a few days in the hospital being treated for his injuries.
For Full Story

Read Government Affidavit

Columnist Says U.S. Better Step Up Efforts to Help Mexico In Violent Drug War

Michael Braun

Michael Braun

Some experts say the U.S. better get more proactive and help the Mexican government fight drugs. The consequences of not helping out enough could be devastating.

By Michael Braun
Security DeBrief

After I read Tony Kimery’s outstanding article in HSToday entitled, ‘Savage Struggle on the Border,’ I could not help but dwell on the irony and absurdity of what’s happening in both Mexico and the United States as a result of this war.
I am stunned by the fact that most Americans have paid little attention, if any at all, to the drug related violence in Mexico, and I’m even more concerned that they have not made the connection to the threat that this sustained bloodbath poses to our national security. If the brave Mexican law enforcement, military and security forces under President Calderon’s direction lose this ‘all or nothing’ fight with the cartels, Mexico will certainly become a narco-state, and life as we know it in both Mexico and the United States will change forever.
There were well over sixty beheadings in Mexico last year, yet the brutality being unleashed by the cartels is seldom deemed newsworthy by America’s media. However, if there were a beheading in Iraq or Afghanistan today by a Muslim extremist group, it would receive international coverage and would certainly receive global condemnation.

Read more »