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Archive for January 8th, 2011

Fed Judge Killed and Congress Member Critically Wounded in Mass Shooting in Tucson; FBI Director Sent to Az

UPDATE: Sunday, 3 p.m. — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said at a press conference that he doesn’t believe a second person wanted for questioning is directly involved in the shooting.

“It was an attack not only against dedicated public servants but against citizens, one being a child,” Mueller said. “This was an attack on our institutions and an attack on our way of life.” CNN, citing sources, said the man has been interviewed and authorities have determined that he has nothing to do with this case.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Arizona’s Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll was killed and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az) was gravely wounded Saturday morning at a mass shooting outside a Tucson grocery store,  authorities said.

Initially it appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, but authorities later said they were actively pursuing a second person, according to CNN.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a statement that “FBI Director (Robert)  Mueller is traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation.”

Robert Mueller

“The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement to investigate today’s events, and I have directed Department prosecutors and law enforcement officials to use every resource necessary to investigate this tragedy, ” Holder said. “I want to assure the people of Arizona and every American that we will hold accountable anyone responsible for these heinous acts.”

CNN reported that in all six  died and 12 were wounded when a gunman opened fire outside a grocery store where the Congress member was conducting a “Congress on Your Corner” neighborhood meeting. A 9-year-old girl died in the attack.

Media outlets identified the shooter as Jared Lee Loughner, 22. A 9mm Glock handgun was recovered at the scene, CNN reported, citing senior law enforcement sources. He was taken into custody.

CNN reported that Dr. Peter Rhee of University Medical Center in Tucson said Giffords had undergone surgery for a single gunshot to the head that passed through her brain. He said he expected her to recover. The Tea Party had targeted her for defeat in this past election, and she barely won.  Giffords opposed Arizona’s controversial immigration law and was an ally of the White House.

Judge Roll was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. He had served as chief judge in Arizona since 2006.

President Obama issued a statement saying: “We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”

Related Stories

Some Criminal Politicians Are Disgraceful til the End

FBI photo of Wilkerson stuffing cash in bra

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some criminal politicians  are disgraceful right up to the end.

Take former Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson who was sentenced Thursday in Boston federal court to 3 1/2 years in prison  for taking $23,000 in bribes to help secure a liquor license for a nightclub and for legislation to grease the skids for commercial development in her district.

You might recall she was photographed in an FBI sting stuffing $100 bills in her bra at a restaurant near the state house. She could have at least asked for a doggy bag instead to sock away the cash.

On Thursday, she said, sure I did wrong but…..

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson

Yes, But. But. But….After sentencing, she told reporters, according to Jonathan Saltzman at the Boston Globe, that federal prosecutors were corrupt and went after her and former Boston councilor Chuck Turner because they were outspoken. Turner was convicted of a taking $1,000 payoff in the same FBI sting.

“Chuck Turner and I have always been about the same business,” she said, according to the Globe. “Some in positions of power were threatened by our actions, and as a result we became targets.”

She went on to blast the “despicable actions of the government and its collaborators,” according to the Globe.

Sadly, Wilkerson was a crook, plain and simple. And sadly, she still can’t fess up to it. There was no noble thing going on. She was just stuffing her pockets (or her bra).  Another crooked politician — and perhaps a delusional one at that.

Sadly, she had had other problems in the past. In 1997, she was convicted for failing to file her income taxes for two years, the Globe reported. And she had other ethical lapses as well.

Maybe prison will give her time to rethink her noble gesture of taking bribes.

See Original Press Conference