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Archive for October, 2009

Weekend Series on Crime History: Chicago Mob Atty. Turned on the Mob

FBI Documents Show VP Cheney Was Hazy on His Role in the Leaking of CIA Operative Valerie Plame

It sounds like a coverup. Or is it? Should we believe Cheney, the wily VP, who has been an outspoken critic of  the Obama Administration? Mmmm. I’m sure plenty people have opinions on whether he’s being on the up and up.

Dick Cheney/meet the press

Dick Cheney/meet the press

By Barton Gellman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Former vice president Richard B. Cheney told a special prosecutor in 2004 that he was unable to recall his role in most of the pivotal events that led to the uncloaking of a clandestine CIA officer in the run-up to the Iraq war, according to newly released FBI records.

A question-by-question summary of Cheney’s May 8, 2004, interview with Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, made public under court order after years of legal maneuvering to keep it secret, portrays a vice president in command of few clear memories about a case that led to great embarrassment for the White House and felony convictions for his chief of staff.

Fitzgerald declared in his closing arguments that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s perjury and obstruction of justice left him unable to pierce “a cloud over the vice president.”

Cheney neither denied nor acknowledged any memory of directing Libby, his chief of staff, to tell reporters that Valerie Plame, the wife of a prominent war critic, was a CIA officer. Nor did he recall any conversation with Libby in which either man referred to their mutual suspicion that Plame had helped dispatch her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, on “a junket” to explore White House accusations that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium from Niger for a nuclear weapon.

Dozens of questions from Fitzgerald produced the same result.

For Full Story

Read FBI Document 1

Read FBI Document 2

Even Madoff Indicates the SEC Was Inept at Catching Him

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The latest evidence that, Yes, the Securities and Exchange Commission was totally inept when it came to investigating Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff comes from Madoff himself.

In a transcript of a jailhouse interview released by the SEC’s Inspector General on Friday,  Madoff says of detecting a Ponzi scheme: “Yes, it’s very easy if you want.” The interview was conducted June 17, 2009 by SEC Inspect. Gen. David Kotz and Deputy Inspector General Noelle Frangipane

Madoff said young investigators spent too much time focusing on emails and missed some elementary steps that would have exposed his wrongdoing.

The SEC document said: “Madoff stated that the SEC could’ve gone to counterparties, and if they had, they” would’ve seen it,” adding, “they didn’t do any of that.” He stated that “it’s the only thing to do,” and clarified, “If you’re looking at a Ponzi scheme, it’s the first thing you do.”

Read Transcript

Read NY Times Story

In Mudslinging NJ Gov. Campaign, Corzine Takes Shot at Christie About U.S. Atty Appointment

Gov. Jon S. Corzine/campaign photo
Gov. Jon S. Corzine/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Slinging mud right til the end, New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Jon S. Corzine told the New York Times he regretted supporting the nomination of  Christopher S. Christie for U.S. Attorney back in 2001.

“New information, new conclusion,” Corzine told the Times about Christie, his Republican challenger for governor . The election is Nov. 3.

Christie, who resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey to launch a campaign for governor and try and unseat Corzine, shot back in a separate interview.

As the Times described it:”Mr Christie, somewhat theatrically, struggled for several moments to name three things the governor had done right,” the Times wrote.

“Let me think,” he told the Times. “Um…I would probably say I think over all his prosecutorial appointments have been good.”

Slain FBI Dog “Freddy” Gets Some Respect

Freddy the FBI dog/fox news photo

Freddy the FBI dog/fox news photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI dog “Freddy”, a Belgian Malinois, may not get a 21 gun salute, but he will get a memorial, his name will be added to a memorial wall and he will be buried in Quantico, Va., an FBI press release said, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Freddy was shot and killed Wednesday during an FBI raid at a mosque in Detroit.  The FBI said an imam at the mosque shot Freddy. The FBI in turn shot the imam.

According to the press release, Freddy was born Feb. 17, 2007 and “entered duty with the FBI on Sept. 8, 2008.”

The release added: “Anyone who wishes to send a card to Freddy’s team members can send them to”:

Freddy’s Team
c/o FBI
477 Michigan Avenue, 26th floor
Detroit, MI 48226

To donate in his memory to a K-9 Law Enforcement Memorial, the release said:

FBI Agents Association
Attn: K9 Fund-Freddy
PO Box 12650
Arlington, VA 22219

Related Stories

Calif. Cop Under FBI Investigation Shot Himself to Death on the Street

burbank-police-caBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A Burbank, Calif., cop who was under FBI investigation as part a wide-sweeping probe into his department’s use of excessive force, shot himself to death Thursday at the corner of a residential street in Burbank, the Burbank Leader reported.

The publication reported that witnesses saw Sgt. Neil Thomas Gunn Sr., 50, shoot himself shortly before noon.

The Burbank Leader reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in September issued a grand jury subpoena for personnel records of 12 Burbank cops for “use of force, defensive tactics, Tasers, pepper spray, or the rules and ramifications pertaining to the use of excessive force or a violation of civil/constitutional rights.”

House Ethics Report Shows More than 30 Lawmakers Under Investigation

Rep. John Murtha/gov photo

Rep. John Murtha/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Perennial skeptics of Congress won’t  be particularly shocked to learn that more than 30 lawmakers and several aides are being scrutinized by House ethics investigators.

For those who had more faith in Capitol Hill, well, sorry bout that. Some of the lawmakers have been under FBI investigation as well.

The Washington Post reports that a 22-page “Committee on Standards Weekly Summary Report” was inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible computer network.

Some of the Congress members in the report include John Murtha (D-Pa.)  Peter Visclosky (D-Ind), C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W. Va.) who has been under federal investigation for failing to report all his real estate holdings.

To read more, click here and here for two separate articles in the Post.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Senate Judiciary Gives the Nod to Mass. and Ga. U.S. Attys

Edward Tarver/campaign photo
Edward Tarver/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Judiciary committee on Thursday gave the nod for U.S. Attorneys in Massachusetts and Georgia.

The U.S. Senate will now vote on the nominations.

The committee’s nod went to Carmen Milagros Ortiz of  Massachusetts and Ed Tarver of the southern  District of Georgia.