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Archive for November 10th, 2009

FBI Probing Death Threat of Washington State Rep Over Healthcare

Rep. Brian Baird (left)/official photo

Rep. Brian Baird (left)/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The FBI has taken over an investigation into an alleged death threat aimed at Democratic Rep. Brian Baird of Washington state over the healthcare furor, the Columbian newspaper reported.

The paper reported that the U.S. Capitol Police, which had been investigating the matter, confirmed that the FBI was probing the threat, which was made by phone in August.

Baird appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and said the disruptive behavior at town halls meetings on health care “reminded him of the atmosphere that led Timothy McVeigh to bomb the Alfred R. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995,” the paper reported.

Days later,  Baird’s staff reported that someone called his D.C. office and left the message: “You think Timothy McVeigh was bad, there’s a Ryder truck out there with your name on it.”

For Full Report

President’s Nominee to Head TSA Was Censured as FBI Agent

tsa_logo

This probably won’t be enough to block his confirmation, but it certainly doesn’t help.

By Ed O’Keefe
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s nominee to lead the nation’s airport security officers received a censure from the FBI in 1988 after asking a San Diego police officer to run a background check on his ex-wife’s boyfriend.

Obama tapped Erroll Southers in September to serve as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Southers is currently chief of homeland security and intelligence at the Los Angeles International Airport’s police department and associate director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. He previously served as a homeland security adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.).

For Full Story

ICE Returns 16th Century Hebrew Bible

The Jewish library in Vienna

The Jewish library in Vienna

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

History sometimes has a way of righting  itself — even if it takes a while.

That seemed to be the case Monday when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials returned to Vienna’s Jewish community a 16th Century Hebrew Bible that had been looted by the Nazis 71 years ago during “Kristallnacht”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York said.

ICE officials turned over the book to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan during a repatriation ceremony.

Authorities  said the bible dates back to the year 1561 and was donated to the Jewish community library in Vienna in 1908. On Nov. 9, 1938, the Nazi Gestapo seized the library during “Kristallnacht”, a violent and coordinated attack on Jewish people.

Earlier this year, authorities said, a New York City auction house, Kestenbaum & Company offered the bible up for sale. ICE determined the book had been stolen by the Nazis and the owner of the bible, a Swiss consignor, agreed to turn it over to the Jewish community, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“Seventy one years ago today, on Kristallnacht”, the Nazis carried out a violent and coordinated attack on Jewish people, ransacking the places they lived, worked and gathered,” said New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. :The passage of time does not diminish our remembrance, or the duty to return all surviving works of art and precious symbols stolen by the Nazis.

Baltimore FBI Building to Be Named After Slain Agent Sam Hicks

Sam Hicks/fbi photo

Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s Baltimore field office will be named after agent Sam Hicks, who was killed last Nov. 19 in a shooting in the Pittsburgh area while serving an arrest warrant in a drug case, the Associated Press reported.

The AP reported that Hicks’ wife Brooke and their son Noah will attend a Nov. 23 dedication ceremony in Baltimore.

Hicks, 33,  had been a Baltimore City Officer before joining the FBI.

The woman who shot and killed Hicks, Christina Korbe, is awaiting trial. She has told investigatators that she thought Hicks was an intruder. The FBI had gone to the house to arrest her husband.

FBI Looking for More Victims Tied to Cleveland Serial Killer

Son of CIA Case Officer Takes Charge of FBI Salt Lake City Office

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — James McTighe, the son of a CIA case officer, will take charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Division, replacing Timothy J. Fuhrman, who was recently named special agent in charge of the Mobile, Ala. office.

McTighe had last served as special assistant for deputy director John Pistole at FBI headquarters, the FBI said.

McTighe joined the FBI in 1983 and was first assigned to the Cincinnati Division, where he worked general property crimes, public corruption, fugitives, and drug cases, the FBI said.

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Column: Prediction on Sentencing for Rep. William Jefferson: The Judge Won’t Give him What the Prosecution Suggests

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –  It’s almost judgment day for ex-Rep. William Jefferson,   the New Orleans Congressman who at one time seemed invincible.

That was at one time.  Last year, he lost his seat in a bid for a 10th term.  Then this past summer he was convicted by a federal jury on 11 of 16 public corruption charges in Alexandria, Va.

This Friday the 13th, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III will sentence him in Alexandria. The government is asking for a sentence of  27 to 33 years.  It says that’s what the federal sentencing guidelines call for. Still, I’ll be shocked if the sentence comes any where near that.  I’m predicting something closer to 10 to 12 years. OK, maybe 15 tops. But no more.

I could be off, but here’s my thoughts. Jefferson is 62. That’s got to be taken into consideration. A long sentence  would essentially amount to a life sentence. His crimes are egregious and an insult to the public,  but they’re not worthy of a life sentence.

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