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Archive for March 1st, 2010

Author J.D. Salinger Doesn’t Rate an FBI File

catcher in the ryeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sorry J.D. Salinger, you may have made a big splash with your words, but you weren’t worthy of an FBI file.

The Associated Press reports that the FBI said it never opened up a file on Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye”, who died in January at age 91.

The AP discovered this after filing a request for the files under the Freedom of Information Act.

Salinger was not known to be very political over the years, the AP reported. Conversely, the FBI had files on authors like Norman Mailer.

Hazmat Teams Respond to Utah IRS Center After Suspicious Letter Found

ogden utah
UPDATE: Mon.- 9 p.m. (EST) — ABC 4 News in Utah reports that the suspicious powder was not hazardous.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A suspicious powder letter in a mail facility set off a series of events Monday  at the Ogden, Utah IRS center.

ABC 4 News  in Utah and the Associated Press report that hazmat teams and FBI and other agencies responded to the scene and some people are being decontaminated. One report said a person had been taken away on a stretcher and AP reported that some parts of the building had been evacuated while other parts were locked down.

In the past, ever since 2001, the suspicious letters with powder that have gone through the post office have been found to be harmless.

In the past, some people have had panic attacks when being exposed to the letters.  Every letter that goes through the U.S. Postal Service passes through a biohazard detector, which should detect such substances as anthrax. In other words, if it passed through the postal service, it’s unlikley the substance is dangerous.

Time will tell.

The Ever Elusive Finish Line for the Multi-Billion $$$$ U.S.-Mexico Virtual Fence

Protecting the U.S.- Mexican border has always been a challenge. And this this is only adding to the challenge.

istock photo

istock photo

By Jeffrey Anderson
The Washington Times

WASHINGTON — A multibillion-dollar “virtual fence” along the southwestern border promised for completion in 2009 to protect the U.S. from terrorists, violent drug smugglers and a flood of illegal immigrants is a long way from becoming a reality, with government officials unable to say when, how or whether it will ever be completed.

More than three years after launching a major border security initiative and forking over more than $1 billion to the Boeing Co., the project’s major contractor, Homeland Security Department officials are re-evaluating the high-tech component of the plan in the wake of a series of critical Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports warning lawmakers that the expensive undertaking is deeply flawed.

The program now places the Obama administration in a quandary, foretold by lawmakers who witnessed Boeing and Homeland Security publicly mischaracterize the nature of the contract, according to GAO, after government officials, watchdogs and contractors privately discovered that it was destined to fail.

For Full Story

Column: Retired Fed Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson Says 9/11 Trial Should be Held in D.C.

Thomas Penfield Jackson was a U.S. District Court judge in D.C. for 22 years before retiring in 2004.

Thomas Penfield Jackson/st. mary's college photo

Thomas Penfield Jackson/st. mary's college photo

By Thomas Penfield Jackson
Washington Post Column

For reasons I have some difficulty appreciating, the city of New York has rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Manhattan.

True, the trial will be expensive, but much of the cost will be borne by the federal government, not the city hosting the trial. And true, the trial would once again make New York an enticing target for a terrorist attack, but New York is always an appealing target for attack.

For that matter, so is Washington — but I submit that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is the most appropriate alternative forum for this trial. KSM’s crimes were committed against the entire nation, and it is fitting that the nation’s capital should host his trial.

To Read more click here.

Atty. Gen. Holder Decides Against Death Penalty in Case Against Ex-N.J. Fed Prosecutor

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The good news for ex-assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Bergrin is that he won’t be facing the death penalty.

The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey reports that Atty. Gen. Eric Holder has decided not to seek the death penalty against the prominent defense attorney in his pending case in which he’s accused of arranging the murder of a witness in a federal drug case.

The paper reported that Newark U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman wrote in a one-sentence letter to U.S. District Judge William J. Martini that the death penalty was not going to be in play.

“We’re pleased we can focus on the allegations and do not have to worry about the death penalty,” one of Bergrin’s attorneys, Lawrence Lustberg, said in a telephone interview with the paper.

“He still recognizes that while the death penalty is off the table, his life is on the line,” Lustberg said.

For Full Story

FBI Interivews N.Y. Mets’ Jose Reyes About Canadian Doctor Under Investigation for Selling Illegal Healing Drug

new york metsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has interviewed New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes about a Canadian doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug known as Actovegin, an extract from calf’s blood used to speed healing, the Associated Press reported.

Reyes said he was interviewed last week about Dr. Anthony Galea at the Mets spring training camp in Florida, the AP reported.

“They just asked me basically how I met the guy and stuff like that and what he put in my body,” Reyes said, according to AP. “I explained to them what he [was] doing . . . I don’t worry about anything. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

A report over the weekend said several atheletes can expect grand jury subpoenas in the case.