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Archive for September 15th, 2009

Inspector Gen. Report Says FBI and ATF Still Feuding Over Bomb Investigations

As Rodney King once said: “Can we all get along?” There has been a tradition of tension between the FBI and ATF. In Washington alone, there have been high-profile cases in which agents have from both agencies have had their differences. This report will only validate what’s already been reported, including a May 2008 report in the Washington Post.

Burning car

By Devlin Barrett
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Agents of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are feuding over bomb investigations — racing each other to crime scenes, failing to share information and refusing to train together, according to a draft report obtained by The Associated Press.

The report says Justice Department bosses have repeatedly failed to fix the problem.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General, Glenn Fine, has drafted a preliminary report on the two agencies’ repeated squabbles to claim jurisdiction in investigations of explosives incidents across the country — from Times Square in New York City to Arizona and the West Coast.

The most recent documented spat came last December when the FBI protested a local prosecutor’s request to use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to investigate a blast that killed a state bomb technician and a police officer in Woodburn.

For Full Story

Las Vegas U.S. Atty. Gregory Brower to Resign in October

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Atty. Gregory Brower

U.S. Atty. Gregory Brower

Las Vegas U.S. Attorney Gregory  Brower announced Tuesday that he’ll resign on Oct. 10.

“It has been a privilege to serve my fellow Nevadans as U.S. Attorney over the last two years,” he said in a prepared statement. “I am extremely proud of our accomplishment sin support of the mission of the U.S. Department of Justice in Nevada.”

Brower, who began serving as U.S. Attorney in January 2008. Previously, he had served as General Couhnsel to the Government Printing Office and as the agency’s Inspector General.

Ex-Gov Blago Blames Fed Prosecutor Fitzgerald for Suicide of Fundraiser

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich never misses a chance to take a shot at his nemesis, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. This time is no different.

gov-blagojevich-plane

By Amanda Carpenter
Washington Times

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich blamed federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for the suicide of his friend Christopher Kelly and likened the attorney’s tactics to those used by a Soviet spy service in an interview with the Washington Times’ American Morning News on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald has accused the governor of engaging in a “political corruption crime spree” and had him arrested last year in order, he said, to stop him from selling President Obama’s vacated Senate seat. Mr. Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois legislature in January, but has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.

When asked how he felt about Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Blagojevich said he was holding him personally responsible for the suicide of his former fundraiser Kelly who was also charged in the corruption case. “His allegations are false, flat out false and his tactics, his tactics are very, very much open to question,” Mr. Blagojevich said. “Somebody now has taken his life because the pressure he felt to lie about me.”

For Full Story

NY Daily News Says NY Raids Linked to Denver Based Terror Cell

It makes sense that there are still groups planning to attack the U.S. And you assume 9/11 is the bench mark for success and that FBI is not going to hold back at the hint of any possible threat.

denver-map

BY James Gordon Meek In Washington and Rocco Parascandola and Larry Mcshane In New York
NY DAILY NEWS
NEW YORK — The massive FBI probe that triggered raids in Queens is focused on a Denver-based terror cell plotting another attack on the scale of 9/11, the Daily News learned Tuesday.

Hundreds of FBI agents are on the ground in Colorado, conducting round-the-clock surveillance on five suspects – including a man who recently visited Queens, sources told The News.

New York authorities searched three Flushing apartments and detained several men – later released – after getting a warrant to look for bomb-making components, explosive powders and fuses.

“The FBI is seriously spooked about these guys planning another 9/11,” a former senior counterterrorism official told the News. “This is not some … FBI informant-driven case. This is the real thing.”

For Full Story

Soon to be a Motion Picture? Hollywood Husband and Wife Producer Team Convicted of Bribing Thai Official For Film Festival

Yes, bribing foreign officials is illegal. The husband and wife producer team gave the Thai tourism authority $1.8 million in bribes to secure contracts for a local film festival there. Can they at least make a movie out of this?

hollywood

By Ben Fritz
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGLES –– Hollywood may be in for tighter government scrutiny of its overseas operations.

Producers Gerald and Patricia Green were found guilty late Friday on charges of bribery and money laundering related to their running of a local film festival in Thailand, a decision that experts say could lead to further investigation into the huge amounts of business film studios do overseas.

The two were convicted of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, eight counts of violating the act and seven counts of money laundering. In addition, Patricia Green was found guilty on two counts of falsifying U.S. tax returns related to the bribes.

For Full Story

Read Original Complaint and FBI Affidavit

Iowa U.S. Atty. Candidate’s Father Serving Time for Meth Conviction

It’s heartening to see that people can rise above such impediments. But if given the U.S. Attorney job, people are certainly going to be watching how he treats drug cases.

Nicholas Klinefeldt/law firm photo

Nicholas Klinefeldt/law firm photo

By Andrew Ramonas
Main Justice
WASHINGTON — The Midwest has been hit hard by meth. Law enforcement devotes significant resources to combatting the illegal drug.

All of which puts Des Moines lawyer Nick Klinefeldt, who is Sen. Tom Harkin’s choice for Iowa Southern District U.S. Attorney, in an unusual position.

Klinefeldt’s father, Michael Arthur Klinefeldt, is serving a 10-year sentence on a methamphetamine conviction, according to court records. Nick Klinefeldt declined to comment. A spokesman for Harkin said the candidate’s father’s conviction isn’t an issue.

For Full Story

Detroit Prosecutor Skeptical of FBI Stats Showing Drop in Crime

Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy

Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy

There may be a dearth of employment, department stores and movie theaters in Detroit, but there’s certainly no shortage of crime. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, whose office is in downtown Detroit,  is skeptical of the FBI stats on crime. And probably for good reason. Some police departments have figured out ways to downgrade crimes and play with the numbers.

By Paul Egan and Doug Guthrie
The Detroit News
DETROIT — FBI statistics released Monday that show crime fell last year in communities across the nation were met with skepticism in Detroit.

The numbers “just don’t make sense,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. And the way the FBI collects and reports the data — not just in Detroit but across the country — needs to change, Worthy said.

“I don’t think people are telling the truth, and it’s not just here,” she said. “Crime can’t be going down when all of us are struggling to catch up. The public knows those numbers aren’t true. Ask anybody in the neighborhoods, in Detroit.”

For Full Story

See FBI Crime Stats

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

K.C. FBI Agent Bob Herndon Will be At NY Movie Premiere of “The Informant”– And for Good Reason

Many dream of having an aspect of their life made into a movie. FBI agent Bob Herndon can stop dreaming and down some popcorn as he sees one of his cases go Hollywood.

By ROBERT W. BUTLER
Kansas City Star
Matt Dameon in The Informant

Matt Dameon in The Informant!

KANSAS CITY –– There’s reality. And there’s Hollywood  reality.

The difference was only too clear to FBI Special Agent Bob Herndon as he settled into his seat at an Olathe movie theater the other day to watch “The Informant!”, the new Matt Damon film directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh.

This was more than a movie to Herndon. It was his story.

And he was concerned about what Hollywood had done to it.

For Full Story