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Archive for October 29th, 2009

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.

Controversial Pitts. U.S. Atty. Mary Pat Buchanan to Step Down Nov. 16

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan
Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Mary Pat Buchanan, who  bumped up against her share of controversy during her eight-year reign, and gained notoriety for prosecuting comedian Tommy Chong’s drug paraphernalia shop, is stepping down Nov. 16, the Associated Press reported.

The news agency said Buchanan, a Bush appointee who was going to be replaced anyways by the Obama administration, was looking forward to the next chapter in life, whatever that may be.

Last year, Buchanan  had expressed a desire to stay on as U.S. Attorney, but that never seemed like a possibility. The Justice Department recently launched an investigation into complaints of  improper behavior after she stated publicly that a local medical examiner was guilty of various charges even after her office dropped the charges.

Updated Report on Detroit FBI Shooting of Imam at Mosque

Helicopter With FBI Dog Lands In Front of Detroit Suburban Vet Office; News Photographer Beaten

Madison Heights Police Chief Kevin Sagan
Madison Heights Police Chief Kevin Sagan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI fatal shooting of an Imam in Detroit on Wednesday took on many surreal fronts.

First off, during the raid on a Detroit mosque, the FBI alleged that the Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah pulled out a gun and shot an FBI dog. The FBI in turn shot and killed the Imam.

Then there was the matter of a helicopter landing in Madison Heights, a Detroit suburb,  in front of a veterinarian hospital.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the chopper triggered a large volume of calls and prompted the Madison Heights Police Chief Kevin Sagan to fire off a press release explaining that it was all for the FBI dog who was shot in the raid. The dog died.

Court documents show that the Imam, who was shot, espoused hatred for the U.S. government and advocated a violent takeover.

Meanwhile, later in the day, after the raids, a Detroit News photographer Ricardo Thomas suffered minor injuries after he was attacked outside the mosque.

“They told him to stop taking pictures; he said, ‘I’m just doing my job,’ and then they set upon him,”  said Detroit News reporter Charlie LeDuff, who witnessed the assault and was quoted in his newspaper.

The paper said Thomas’ lip was split and his glasses were broken. He drove himself to the hospital for treatment.

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Retired FBI Agent Says Baseball Slugger Mark McGwire Used Steroids

Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Ticklethewire.com’s own columnist Greg Stejskal is stirring up a little controversy in major league baseball.

The retired Michigan FBI agent, who became one of  the FBI’s expert on steroid use in sports, told the N.Y. Daily News earlier this week that one time slugger Mark McGwire used some type of steroids while he played.

“The FBI agent who led a landmark steroid investigation said investigators obtained information that former home run king Mark McGwire – who is ending a self-imposed exile to return to the St. Louis Cardinals as the team’s hitting coach – had used performance-enhancing drugs in the early 1990s,” The Daily News reported in Monday’s edition.

“We had information, after Operation Equine had finished, that we believed to be credible info that McGwire did in fact use steroids,” Stejskal told the Daily News. “And then you look at the physical changes. Based on a certain amount of expertise, his physical development would indicate steroid use.”

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Monday that McGwire will join the coaching staff.

DEA Crackdown Causes Elderly Pain

Laws are designed to protect people, not harm them. In this case, it’s causing harm and unnecessary pain. The Justice Department, DEA and legislators have to figure out a way to strike a balancepills

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Heightened efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down on narcotics abuse are producing a troubling side effect by denying some hospice and elderly patients needed pain medication, according to two Senate Democrats and a coalition of pharmacists and geriatric experts.

Tougher enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, which tightly restricts the distribution of pain medicines such as morphine and Percocet, is causing pharmacies to balk and is leading to delays in pain relief for those patients and seniors in long-term-care facilities, wrote Sens. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

The lawmakers wrote to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. this month, urging that the Obama administration issue new directives to the DEA and support a possible legislative fix for the problem, which has bothered nursing home administrators and geriatric experts for years.

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