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Archive for July 26th, 2009

Homeland Security Worker Sues Agency Over Illegal Search

It’s not good p.r. when someone from your own agency sues because of a goof. In Arizona, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is trying to make this go away via a legal motion.  In the end, the government might just have to end up forking some money over to make it vanish.

arizona-map

By Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic

A Department of Homeland Security employee in Yuma is suing his own agency over an illegal search by immigration officers who he said mistakenly stormed his home in search of an undocumented immigrant.

Jimmy Slaughter, a K-9 handler at the U.S. border crossing in San Luis, said in District Court papers that he and his wife, Sheila, have lived in their home for more than a decade and did not know the woman sought by a half-dozen agents who came to his door with guns drawn.

“Is this the agency which protects our country?” Slaughter asked in an affidavit attached to the lawsuit. “… Now my neighbors are wondering or believe I am just another ‘DIRTY COP!’ I have served my country proudly for 23 years in the Marine Corps and six years as a Customs K-9 handler. I bleed Red, White and Blue.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked a judge to dismiss the complaint, arguing that agents left the house once they realized their mistake, so the Slaughters have no basis for a claim.

For Full Story

Read Lawsuit

They’re Baaack! The Folks From the 9/11 Commission Are Back to Nudge Congress and Obama

The 9/11 report was an important document which laid out a lot constructive ideas. Someone needs to keep hammering away and reminding the administration how important it is to implement those recommendations. Let’s not wait for the next disaster.

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief Blog

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

WASHINGTON — Just as they did under the old and more urgent-sounding moniker of the “9/11 Commission,” and then again under the less-urgent and more bureaucratic-sounding “9/11 Public Discourse Project,” Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean are back on the national scene, beating the drums to make sure that the nation continues to maintain a focus on homeland security and evolve it security capabilities.

Today, they are doing it under the auspices of the “National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG).” Which kind of sounds like some internal working group at the Chamber of Commerce or a new lobbying firm in Washington. No matter, it’s an important job, and since the White House and Congress aren’t doing it, somebody has to keep an eye on domestic security.

The 9/11 Commission was the most venerable of various independent and bipartisan ad hoc groups put together to assess what went wrong in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

To Read More

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed Judge in ex-Gov. Blagojevich Case is Actor and Novelist

Blagojevich in happier days

Blagojevich in happier days

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich won’t be the only true character in the courtroom when his public corruption trial begins in June. The judge presiding over the case has quite a background.

MIKE ROBINSON
The Associated Press
CHICAGO – Judge James B. Zagel has meted out justice on the silver screen and masterminded a bank robbery in the pages of a novel.

But the veteran federal court judge who will preside over former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial leaves any theatrics behind when he dons his black robe and takes the bench.

Lawyers whose antics go over the top are swiftly silenced in Zagel’s courtroom , not with a tyrannical thwack of the gavel but with a deft, sly, sarcastic turn of phrase. Those who know Zagel say that approach will serve him well as he presides over Blagojevich’s trial , one of the biggest cases of his 22-year career.

“Nothing gets out of control in Judge Zagel’s court,” says Ronald Safer, a former federal prosecutor who recalls getting this warning when he was too loudly repetitive during a cross examination, at least in Zagel’s view: “First, turn it down about two levels. Second, the lily has been gilded.”

Blagojevich’s trial, set for next June, is Zagel’s second headline-grabbing case in two years. In 2007, he presided over the three-month Operation Family Secrets murder conspiracy trial, Chicago’s biggest organized crime case in decades. The judge sent three reputed mob bosses to prison for life.

For Full Story

History: Weekend Series– Nixon Talks to Atty. Gen. John Mitchell About Vietnam and Ronald Reagan