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Archive for September 17th, 2009

Michael Moore for U.S. Attorney? Say What?

Michael Moore/michaelmoore.com

Another Michael Moore/michaelmoore.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael Moore for U.S. Attorney. What’s this world coming to?

Well, it’s not actually the Michael Moore of “Roger and Me” fame, the target of the right.

It’s the other Michael Moore, a former Georgia state senator and a former chief assistant district attorney. He is currently a private attorney.

President Obama has nominated him to be the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, according to the Macon Telegraph.

In other moves, President Obama nominated Ed Tarver for the U.S. Attorney job in the Southern District of Georgia and Carmen Ortiz for the Boston U.S. Attorney post.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Top Aide to Atty. General Ashcroft Takes the Fifth

John Ashcroft/doj photo

John Ashcroft/doj photo

It’s a little painful to see an ex-top aide to the Attorney General take the Fifth while on the witness stand.

By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — A top aide to former Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination Thursday in a trial related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

David Ayers, who was Ashcroft’s chief of staff at the Justice Department during the Bush administration, refused to answer questions under oath about tickets he received from Abramoff’s firm and any favors he may have granted for the firm’s clients.

Ayers was called as a defense witness in the corruption trial of Abramoff deputy Kevin Ring. Ring faces charges that he illegally influenced federal officials by providing them with expensive meals, drinks and tickets to concerts and sporting events.

For Full Story

Ex-FBI Agent O’Neill Talks About Helping Bust FBI Agent Robert Hanssen

FBI Spy Robert Hanssen

FBI Spy Robert Hanssen

Many years have passed since FBI agent Robert Hanssen was busted for being a spy.  But the story is still worth retelling and retelling. That’s what  ex-FBI agent Eric O’Neill, who is now in the private sector,  did the other night.

By Dinara Aprymova
The Tennessee Journalist
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former FBI operative Eric O’Neill shared his experience in catching the most notorious spy in U.S. history Tuesday night at the UC auditorium. O’Neill’s story was depicted in the Universal feature film Breach, starring Ryan Phillippe.

O’Neill graduated from Auburn University in 1995. He then moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant. He realized the consultant position was not where he wanted to be, so he began applying for work with governmental agencies.

O’Neill joined the FBI after going through a long process to determine if he represented upstanding citizenry. As an undercover surveillance specialist, O’Neill was trained to watch, photograph and follow people on the streets of Washington, D.C.

“In 2001, I am called off the street to discuss a case that my superiors thought I’d be just right for,” O’Neill said.

His new assignment was to investigate special agent Robert Hanssen. O’Neill was chosen for this mission because he was a Catholic and a male.

Since the FBI suspected Hanssen of espionage, they built an office for him, gave him an important job and enticed him not to retire.

On the first day of work, Hanssen introduced O’Neill to “Hanssen’s Law”. This “law” stated that “the spy is always where he has access to the information that he knows he can use to do the most damage and get the most money. And he knows how to use it and get away with it.”

For Full Story

Ex-High Ranking U.S. Anti-Drug Official Arrested For Helping Mexican Cartels

mexico-border-signWe keep assuming that the corruption is limited to the Mexican government — and not the U.S. — when it comes to the violent war on drugs in Mexico. But people like Richard Padilla Cramer are a reminder that the problem long ago crept over the border. Greed knows no geographical boundary.

By Sebastian Rotella
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — As a high-ranking U.S. anti-drug official, Richard Padilla Cramer held front-line posts in the war on Mexico’s murderous cartels. He led an office of two dozen agents in Arizona and was the attache for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Guadalajara.

While in Mexico, however, Cramer also served as a secret ally of drug lords, according to federal investigators.

Cramer allegedly advised traffickers on law enforcement tactics and pulled secret files to help them identify turncoats. He charged $2,000 for a Drug Enforcement Administration document that was sent to a suspect in Miami by e-mail in August, authorities said.

“Cramer was responsible for advising the [drug traffickers] how U.S. law enforcement works with warrants and record checks as well as how DEA conducts investigations to include ‘flipping subjects,’ ” or recruiting informants, a criminal complaint says.

For Full Story

Ex-D.C. Cop Charged in Maryland Cocaine Ring

dc-police-patch

Whether they’re still in the department or not, getting busted tarnishes the reputation of a police department. For one, you assume when he was on the department t he was probably crooked. Carter left the department in 2002. The D.C. department has a reputation for having far less corruption than some other big departments.

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer

A former District police officer is among a dozen men charged in a cocaine ring based in Southern Maryland that netted more than $1.5 million, authorities said Wednesday.

Darrell Alphonso Carter, 42, of Abell, Md., and 11 co-defendants are charged in federal court in Greenbelt with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Carter was hired as an officer in 1990 and resigned in November 2002, a District police spokeswoman said.

During raids this month on sites in Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, authorities seized about $200,000 in cash, 11 cars, including a Lexus sport-utility vehicle and a BMW 525, motorcycles worth $50,000, and high-end jewelry that included several Rolex watches. A drag-racing car and two engines also were seized, officials said.

For Full Story

Justice Dept. Investigating Ex-Bush Interior Sec. Gale Norton

It’s good to see corruption is not limited to the Democrats or Republicans in this town. Who says bipartisanship is dead in Washington?  Interior Sec. Gale Norton becomes the first Bush cabinet member to come under official criminal investigation.

Gale Norton/gov photo

Gale Norton/gov photo

By Jim Tankersley and Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating whether former Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton illegally used her position to benefit Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the company that later hired her, according to officials in federal law enforcement and the Interior Department.

The criminal investigation centers on the Interior Department’s 2006 decision to award three lucrative oil shale leases on federal land in Colorado to a Shell subsidiary. Over the years it would take to extract the oil, according to calculations from Shell and a Rand Corp. expert, the deal could net the company hundreds of billions of dollars.

The investigation’s main focus is whether Norton violated a law that prohibits federal employees from discussing employment with a company if they are involved in dealings with the government that could benefit the firm, law enforcement and Interior officials said.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Homeland Sec. Napolitano  Talks About Successes in Border Security (AP)

FBI Searches Suspected Terrorist’s Denver Area Home; Man Insists He’s Not a Terrorist

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Homeland To Back Off Stimulus Funding Until It Reviews Priorities

The spending of stimulus funds should come under intense scrutiny. There’s going to be some misspending of stimulus funds, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to keep waste and misguided priorities to a minimum.

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Facing criticism for her handling of federal stimulus money, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that she would not start any new border construction projects and would review how her department selected projects that would get money.

Napolitano has faced questions since The Associated Press reported last month that Homeland Security officials did not follow their internal priority lists when choosing which border checkpoints would be financed for renovations. Under a process that is secretive and susceptible to political influence, officials planned to spend millions at tiny checkpoints, passing over busier, higher-priority projects.

For Full Story