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Archive for January 23rd, 2009

Kansas Senate Votes to Let State and Fed Prosecutors Carry Guns in Court

Well,  maybe defendants will be a little better behaved if prosecutors pack heat. Who knows?

By CARL MANNING
The Associated Press
TOPEKA — Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman thinks allowing prosecutors to carry concealed guns in county courthouses could give them an added measure of protection if they ever needed it.
And on Thursday, the Senate voted 39-0 for a bill that would let county, state and federal prosecutors – including Attorney General Steve Six and his assistants – carry concealed guns into county courthouses.
“The courthouse is our workplace where we come in contact with people who pose us the greatest threat,” said Gorman, who been prosecuting criminals in Kansas City, Kan., for 28 years.
For Full Story

Other Stories of Interest

Georgia Man Gets 2 Years for Bomb Threat at Wal-Mart (AP)

Ex-N.Y. State Sen. Majority Leader Joseph Bruno Indicted

Joseph Bruno/cbs photo

Joseph Bruno/cbs photo

BY GLENN BLAIN
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
ALBANY –Former State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno was indicted Friday on charges of pocketing at least $3 million by steering contracts to select businesses.
Bruno, who retired from the Legislature in July after more than 32 years in office, was charged in an eight-count indictment with taking defrauding the public from 1993 to at least 2006.
Bruno revealed more than a year ago that the FBI was investigating his private business dealings. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Bruno appeared in federal court to plead not guilty.
For Full Story

Internet Child Porn Cases Creates Backlog in FBI Computer Lab

If press releases are any measure, the federal government is being inundated with child porn cases. The Internet, for all its greatness, has created a nightmare in the area of child porn.

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The FBI’s stepped-up effort to fight Internet child pornography has led to an evidence backlog in the bureau’s computer labs, auditors said Friday.
The Justice Department’s inspector general said the number of such cases handled by the FBI rose more than 20-fold between the 1996 and 2007 budget years. As a result, the heavy volume meant it took an average of about two months to examine such evidence in 2007 – and even as long as nine months.
The FBI, which has built a new lab in Maryland to handle the increased demand, agreed with the inspector general’s recommendations to create deadlines to reduce the backlog.
For Full Story

Ex-NSA Analysts Says Agency Targeted Journalists and Honed in On All U.S. Communications

In the comings months we’re likely to hear more and more allegations of improper government eavesdropping. Here we go…
By Kim Zetter
WIRED

Just one day after George W. Bush left office, an NSA whistleblower has revealed that the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program targeted U.S. journalists, and vacuumed in all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic.
Russell Tice, a former NSA analyst, spoke on Wednesday to MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. Tice has acknowledged in the past being one of the anonymous sources that spoke with The New York Times for its 2005 story on the government’s warrantless wiretapping program.
After that story was published, President Bush said in a statement that only people in the United States who were talking with terrorists overseas would have been targeted for surveillance.
But Tice says, in truth, the spying involved a dragnet of all communications, confirming what critics have long assumed.
For Full Story

Feds in Ala. Indict 12 in Nationwide Illegal Steroid Operation

Dangerous steroids continue to pose a problem in this country. Here’s the latest crackdown.

By GARRY MITCHELL
Associated Press Writer
MOBILE, Ala. — A federal grand jury has indicted three owners of a Mobile-based pharmacy, four pharmacists and five others in a $4 million steroid distribution scheme that allegedly operated in at least 10 states, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.
The indictment of Applied Pharmacy Services Inc. owners Samuel Kelley, 42, Jason R. Kelley, 31, and Jodi C. Silvio, 49, and the others was unsealed as six of the defendants faced an initial hearing in U.S. District Court in Mobile.
Authorities said 11 people had been taken into custody and one was a fugitive. All those appearing in court here declined comment after being released. They face arraignment Wednesday.
For Full Stories

Read ticklethewire.com columnist Greg Stejskal’s comments about steroids

Alabama’s First Black Federal Judge Stepping Down

Judge U.W. Clemon

Judge U.W. Clemon

In his resignation letter to President Obama, he wrote: “On a personal note, I am ecstatic over  your election. My exceeding joy springs from my background as a laborer in the vineyards of civil and human rights. It has been my lifelong dream that at some point in the indefinite future, a black American would be elected president of the United States.”

By VAL WALTON
The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s first black federal judge, U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon, will retire from the bench Jan. 31 and return to practicing civil law.
Clemon cited stagnant judges’ pay and changes in the federal courts’ direction that don’t sit well with him as reasons for his decision to leave the bench rather than take senior status, a form of semi-retirement that allows federal judges to hear fewer cases but still earn a full salary.
“It’s time,” said Clemon, who as a lawyer handled landmark civil rights lawsuits before his appointment by President Carter to the bench in 1980. “I have now served 28½ years as a federal judge and I’m 65. There are some other things I’d like to do in life.”
For Full Story

Read Letter of Resignation

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Terrorists Get It: The Government Should too When it Comes to Using the “New Media”

The terrorists get it. The U.S. government should too. The author insists the government needs to take advantage of the New Media for “emergency response, open-source intelligence gathering and the ideological struggle for hearts and minds”.

By Chris Battle
Foreign Policy Journal
WASHINGTON — Talk to some in the national and homeland security environment, and they will tell you — perhaps a bit defensively but usually with a false sense of authority — that they cannot leverage the powerful tools of New Media because to do so might threaten their internal security.
Others simply give you a puzzled look, as if you are asking them whether they go online and share pictures of their families with anonymous college kids. Meanwhile, the world of communications and intelligence — not to mention history’s most deadly generation of terrorists — is passing them by.
Al Qaeda’s propaganda and recruiting capability has obtained an almost mythical status. The group communicates worldwide via the Internet with a miniscule budget and deprived of the complex IT infrastructure available to the United States.

For Full Story