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Archive for July 8th, 2010

Column: I Can’t Get Too Excited About Russian Spies

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – In the end, it left me scratching my head.

Russian spies. Huh. So 60s. So Sputnik-era like.

Forgive me, but some how, with al Qaeda and every other hell-bent-to-destroy-America group out there, Russian spies don’t seem all that threatening.

Nonetheless, the FBI arrested 10 last week. And on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the spies pleaded guilty to conspiring to serve as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation.

In exchange, Russia agreed to release four imprisoned people who had contact with Western intelligence agencies. Not a bad trade, I guess.

But I would have held out for a good borscht recipe, too. At this junction, good cold borscht certainly makes far more sense than a warmed over Cold War.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

As Expected, Tim Murphy Becomes 2nd in Command at FBI

Timothy Murphy/fbi photo

Timothy Murphy/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As expected, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III  tapped Timothy P. Murphy to become the second in command at the FBI.

“Tim has consistently shown exceptional leadership and met tough challenges head-on,” Mueller said in a statement issued Thursday. “I have every expectation that he will do the same as deputy director, and I look forward to working closely with him in his new position.”

Murphy, the number three person in the FBI, replaces John Pistole, who was just confirmed as the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

Since 2008, Murphy has served as associate deputy director, overseeing personnel, budget, administration, and infrastructure, the FBI said.

From the onset, when Pistole was nominated to head up TSA, there appeared to be little doubt within the FBI that anyone other than Murphy would  assume the post.

A Trade of a Different Sort: This One Won’t Help Any Teams Win the Championship

spy graphic
By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

Trades in sports like the NBA often garner plenty of attention. But this trade is different: spies for spies.

The New York Daily News reports that a plan is in the works to send the 10 Russian spies arrested last week home in exchange for imprisoned spies who did work for the U.S. and Britain.

The Daily News said  plan could be hatched sooner than later.

To read more click here.

Ex-Mich. Congressman Siljander Pleads Guilty in Connection With Work He Did With Islamic Charity Groups Linked to Terrorism

Mark Siljander/oak park news

Mark Siljander/oak park news

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s pretty typical for Washington politicians to leave public office and cash in the chips in the private sector. Sometimes they go a little too far.

Federal authorities say ex-Michigan Congressman Mark Siljander, who was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, went too far. And on  Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to charges related to work he did for an Islamic charity linked to terrorist groups including al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Specifically, the  conservative Republican  pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

To read more click here for the Detroit Free Press story.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST