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Archive for February 1st, 2010

New Orleans U.S. Atty. Jim Letten Recuses Himself From Phone Tampering Scandal

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

New Orleans U.S. Attorney Jim Letten removed himself last week from the phone tampering scandal involving Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper said a press release sent Monday night to reporters stated Letten recused himself from the case because of “various relevant factors.” The release did no specify what those were, but indicated his first assistant Jan Mann would act as the U.S. Attorney for the matter.

The news release said the decision came a day after four men were arrested for tampering with the phones.  Since then, it has become apparent the incident was part of a political conservative prank.

To Read full story click here.

Cong. Conyers Asks Justice to Probe Fatal FBI Shooting of Imam in Michigan

Rep. John Conyers

Rep. John Conyers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI fatal shooting in October of a Muslim imam in suburban Detroit is continuing to generate plenty controversy.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi), chairman of the House Judiciary, is calling for an independent investigation into the shooting of imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Detroit News reported.

An autopsy report released Monday showed the imam had died from 21 gun shot wounds after agents opened fire during a raid at a warehouse in Dearborn, Mi. The FBI has said agents opened fire after the imam shot an FBI dog.

In a Jan. 13 letter to Atty Gen. Eric Holder, Conyers asked that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division investigate the case, the News reported.

“The need to provide a thorough, rigorous and transparent accounting of the shooting here is plain,” Conyers wrote, according to the News.

For Full Story

FBI Dir. Mueller Makes His Acting Chief of Staff John Carlin Permanent

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — John Carlin, the FBI director’s acting chief of staff for the past five months, has gotten the job on a permanent basis, the BLT: Blog of Legal Times reported.

Carlin has served as deputy chief of staff and counselor to the director “advising on a wide range of legal and policy matters in the national security, cyber, and criminal arenas,” according to the FBI.

A Harvard Law School graduate, he previously worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington and as National Coordinator of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program, according to the FBI.

Aaron Zebley takes over as deputy chief of staff, the legal blog reported.

Fed Air Marshal Service Faces Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation

northwest-airlines1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — At a time when the U.S. has called for an increase in federal air marshals, the service is dealing with some serious internal problems, according to the investigative news website ProPublica.

ProPulbica is reporting that the parent agency Transportation Security Administration  “is investigating allegations of discrimination in the Orlando field office after several air marshals complained that supervisors created a “Jeopardy”-style game board with derogatory nicknames for African-Americans, Hispanics, homosexuals and veterans as a way to mete out discipline and undesirable assignments.”

“In Cincinnati, an attorney representing six air marshals asked a federal judge for a restraining order against TSA on Jan. 12, the website reported. “He said supervisors opened a disciplinary investigation against one client after she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit [1] (PDF) and then intimidated witnesses as they prepared to testify on the woman’s behalf.”

To Read More

FBI HQ Promotes Agents Michael Folmar and Tracy Reinhold

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI agents Tracy Reinhold and Michael J. Folmar are moving up the food chain at FBI headquarters.

Reinhold becomes the FBI’s assistant director of the Directorate of Intelligence, rising from the deputy assistant director.

Tracy Reinhold/fbi photo

Tracy Reinhold/fbi photo

Folmar becomes assistant director of the FBI’s Security Division. He most recently served as deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Training Division.

On Reinhold’s appointment, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement:

“Intelligence is the lifeblood of our organization; how we gather, analyze, and disseminate it internally and with our intelligence and law enforcement partners is critical to protecting our national security. Tracy’s leadership and expertise make him well-suited to oversee this crucial function.”

Reinhold became an agent on May 20, 1990 and started out at Columbia, S.C. office.

Folmar entered the FBI in December 1986 and was assigned to the Oklahoma City division.

Michael Folmar/fbi photo

Michael Folmar/fbi photo

Director Mueller had this to say about Folmar in a statement:

“The FBI’s Security Division is charged with ensuring the integrity and reliability of the FBI workforce, preserving a safe and secure work environment for FBI employees, and preventing the compromise of sensitive information. A 23-year veteran of the FBI, Mike Folmar brings a wealth of experience and the leadership skills to head up that effort.”

Read Tracy Reinhold Press Release

Read Michael Folmar Press Release

Justice Dept. Probing to See if Blackwater Bribed Iraqi Govt.

blackwaterlogo2
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The infamous Blackwater Worldwide comapny may have changed its name a while ago, but it hasn’t managed to erase its troubled past.

The New York Times reports that the Justice Department is investigating “whether officials of Blackwater Worldwide tried to bribe Iraqi government officials in hopes of retaining the firm’s security work in Iraq after a deadly shooting episode in 2007, according to current and former government officials.”

The Justice Department’s fraud section opened up the inquiry late last year, officials told the Times.

The company, which garnered so much bad publicity in recent years, changed its name to XE Services last year, though many still refer to it as Blackwater.

For Full Story

Washington Post Editorial: Obama Admistration Screwed Up on Planning 9/11 Trial in NY

new york 2The Washington Post
Editorial

WASHINGTON — THE OBAMA administration did not consult with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on security matters before making the decision to prosecute Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a Manhattan courthouse.

Instead, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. simply gave Mr. Bloomberg a courtesy call on the morning of Nov. 13, just hours before announcing the decision.

The failure to solicit input from the Bloomberg administration is inexcusable. Federal prosecutors normally do not — and are not required to — consult with local jurisdictions before filing charges. But this is not a typical case, and New York is not a typical venue.

To read more click here.