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Archive for July 6th, 2010

TSA to Block Workers From Viewing Inapproprate Websites Including Ones With Controversial Opinion

tsa_logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is cracking down on workers’ access to certain materials on the web.

CBS New reports that the agency sent out an email on Friday saying that as of July 1 it was blocking workers from having computer access to websites with “controversial opinions” and other materials.

CBS reported that the memo said employees will be blocked from seeing sites “inappropriate for government access.”

The categories include: Chat/Messaging; Controversial opinion; Criminal activity; Extreme violence (including cartoon violence), gaming and gruesome content.

FBI’s Pete Cullen Who Ran Blago Wiretaps Retires at 61 as Most Senior Agent in the Nation

FBI agent Pete Cullen should have retired in 2006 when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 57. But the FBI wanted to keep him around for his expertise.  He ended up running the wire taps on ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently on trial. Last week, after getting extensions to stay, he finally retired at age 61, which made him the most senior FBI agent in the country.

fbi logo largeBy Natasha Korecki
Chicago Sun-Times

It was a historic day on Dec. 9, 2008; Illinois’ sitting governor had just been arrested and FBI supervisor Pete Cullen found himself keeping watch over Rod Blagojevich.

“He was in his running suit. He was stretching, running in place, animated. I couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t sit still,” Cullen said. “He kept combing back his hair.

“It was almost like he’s awaiting going on camera. But we were just here [in the FBI office] — no one was going to see him.”

For more than two months preceding the arrest, Cullen spent every night coordinating more than 100 agents who, in shifts, monitored at least nine different phone lines belonging to Blagojevich and those in his inner circle.

By FBI rules, Cullen shouldn’t have even been there. He reached the FBI’s mandatory retirement age of 57 in 2006.

But again and again, Chicago’s FBI chief Robert Grant had something else in mind for the longtime agent and supervisor.

To read the full story click here.

Ex-Chicago Fed Prosecutor Joseph Lamendella Who Went After Mobsters Dies at Age 73

ChicagoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Lamendella, a Chicago native and former assistant U.S. Attorney who became an expert in prosecuting mobsters, died at age 73, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The paper reported that Lamendella died in Evanston Hospital from complications resulting from a broken hip.

Lamendella earned a law degree from John Marshall Law School, then worked for the IRS before becoming an assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago in the 1960s, the Sun-Times reported.

During those years, he became one of the experts in the office in prosecuting mobster cases, which included that of famous Chicago mobster Sam Battaglia, Lamendella’s son told the Sun-Times.

“Battaglia was known as the Al Capone of his day,” son Michael Lamendella told the Sun-Times.

To read more click here.

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich and Brother on Trial in Chicago Aren’t So Buddy Buddy

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Chicago, the big circus of the hour is the public corruption trial of ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his co-defendant and brother Robert Blagojevich.

And an interesting side show to the circus is the fact the two brothers don’t seem so  buddy buddy these days, Associated Press reports.

The two are seldom seen talking and they eat separately in the cafeteria, AP reports.

“Their relationship – it’s strained,” Robert’s attorney, Michael Ettinger said, according to AP. “But he still loves his brother.”

To read more click here.

Imam in NY Subway Bomb Plot is Deported

subway-photo-istock
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s adios for a New York imam who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection with an alleged terror plot to blow up the N.Y. subways.

As part of his guilty plea, Imam Ahmad Afzali and his wife left Monday at a 2 p.m. on a flight to live in Saudi Arabia, CNN reported.

He had been cooperating with authorities in the probe into the bombing plot of the New York subway and lied to the FBI about tipping off one of the targets of the plot that the FBI was watching him.

Until his departure, he had been required to wear an ankle monitor.

To read more click here.

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