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Archive for October 6th, 2009

Serious FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Delivers a Little Humor From Time to Time

Robert Mueller III in Denver/fbi photo
Robert Mueller III in Denver/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
DENVER — In the halls of FBI headquarters, FBI Director Robert Mueller III isn’t exactly known as a kidder.

The words “stoic” and “serious” often come to mind. Let’s face it: the guy is always under a lot of pressure, particularly when it comes to preventing a domestic terrorism attack. Guess who’s going to get blamed if something happens?

But on occasion, while delivering a speech around the country, he sprinkles in a little humor. That happened Monday when he delivered a speech here to the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference, emphasizing cooperation between the feds and locals.

He started out his speech by saying:

“Year after year, I look out at all of you, and I ask myself the same question. Could I handle the challenges you face, day after day? Could I do the jobs you do with the same success? And the answer is no, for one simple reason: I could never bring myself to wear anything but a white shirt.”

“Your former president, Ron Ruecker, is now serving as our Director of Law Enforcement, and he is doing a great job. Several weeks ago, I asked Ron if he knew any good jokes to warm up the crowd. He suggested self-deprecating humor. And I said, ‘Sounds great. What are my weak points?’ And Ron said, ‘Well, sir, you’re only speaking for 15 minutes…so let’s just hit the highlights.’ I am sure that Ron will enjoy his new post in Yemen.”

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Column: We Shouldn’t Become Complacent About Terror Attacks

Ellen Howe

Ellen Howe

By Ellen Howe
Security DeBrief

The Heritage Foundation is holding an interesting series this week focusing on Homeland Security and bringing together a number of people who have served in the early years of the department to share enlightening dialogue on their insights and expertise.

One thing is for certain, it is hard to take credit for what hasn’t happened. In the years since September 11, 2001, twenty-four terror plots have been disrupted in the United States. This is top of mind given recent arrests in Denver and New York. The thwarted plot looks a lot like a very well planned out attack on major transit that was well along in the planning and, perhaps, even close to the execution phase

Despite these recent developments, the American public suffers from complacency. As the years pass it is very easy to get in the “it couldn’t happen to me mode.” The American public should fight this urge – it is essential that we not become complacent.

To Read More

Ex-D.C. U.S. Atty Joe diGenova Back in the Limelight

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The once-high profile D.C. U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova who went on to private practice, is stepping back into the limelight.

To avoid the appearance of any conflicts, Maricopa County Prosecutor Andrew Thomas has appointed diGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing to prosecute county supervisor Don Stapley, the Arizona Republic reports.

The couple will have access to a grand jury to prosecute the county supervisor on charges of fraud, perjury and theft, the paper reports.

As U.S. Attorney from 1983 to 1988, phoenix-map his office dealt with such high profile cases as Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan.

His wife is a former Justice Department attorney and former counsel to Sen. Barry Goldwater.

The Man Who Helped Develop Bio-Sniffing System After Anthrax Attacks

The anthrax attacks came as the second punch after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The postal service has taken steps to address the threat and so have some major cities. The question now is: What else needs to be done?

Anthrax letter sent to Sen. Daschle/fbi photo

Anthrax letter sent to Sen. Daschle/fbi photo

Steve Sternberg
USA Today

A ringing telephone startled Tom Slezak from a sound sleep. It was 1 a.m. on Oct. 6, 2001. The caller gave Slezak three hours to pack for a chilling, top-secret mission: to protect Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities from a major bioterror attack.

For all Slezak knew, an attack had begun. Hours earlier, a Florida photo editor named Bob Stevens had died after inhaling anthrax powder sent by mail, jolting a nation that was still reeling from the 9/11 hijackings. At the time, the scope of the anthrax attacks that eventually killed five people and sickened 17 others wasn’t clear.

Slezak got the call because he helped pioneer the genetic analysis of biological agents at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Today, eight years after the anthrax attacks, the system Slezak’s research team started, known as BioWatch, is quietly operating in more than 30 cities.

For Full Story

Fed Judge Orders Man Who Videotaped ESPN Reporter Naked to Ankle Bracelet and No Internet

If there were the Creep of the Year Award given out , this guy would be vying for it with the guy who tried to blackmail David Letterman. Tough choice.

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

By Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Monday ordered an electronic ankle bracelet and no Internet for the suburban man accused of stalking and secretly videotaping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews.

Michael David Barrett, 47, of Westmont sat quietly in federal court in Chicago in his orange prison jumpsuit, his short hair graying around his temples. The traveling insurance salesman had whispered conversations with his lawyer but never turned toward the roomful of reporters at the bond hearing.

He was later released from the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center on his own recognizance after being outfitted with the electronic monitoring device.

For Full Story