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Archive for May 27th, 2011

Weekend Series on Crime History: J. Edgar Hoover and Communism

Dir. Robert Mueller Overcame the FBI’s Biggest Threat

By Ronald Kessler
Newsmax

For FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, the biggest threat to the bureau was a movement to do away with the FBI’s counterterrorism effort and replace it with a new terror-fighting agency similar to the British MI5.

Such an agency would have investigative powers but none of the FBI’s law enforcement powers.

Former National Security Agency director William E. Odom, a retired general, first floated the idea back in 2002. In a later Washington Post op-ed headlined “Why the FBI Can’t Be Reformed,” Odom wrote that the bureau’s shortcomings in fighting the terrorist threat were systemic.

“No one can turn a law enforcement agency into an effective intelligence agency,” he said.

To read more click here.

Fed Prosecutors: Barefoot Bandit Should Turn Over Any Profits from Book or Movie to Government

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors feel the infamous “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore who went on a crime spree that included stealing airplanes,  shouldn’t make money off his wild story.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, federal prosecutors said  the government should get all proceeds made from books or movies, SeattlePI.com reported. The claim was included in a new indictment that added a new charge.

“The property forfeited includes … any and all intellectual property or other proprietary rights belonging to the defendant, based upon or pertaining to any narration, description, publication, dissemination or disclosure of information relating to” the crimes charged, prosecutors wrote, the website reported.

Harris-Moore, 20, is set to go on trial in July for a string of nationwide thefts that transpired after he escaped from a group home in April 2008,  the SeattlePI reported. He pulled off the crimes while barefoot. At least on one occasion he was naked.

Authorities claim he stole at least five planes and assaulted law enforcement officers, the website reported.

Authorities said he may end up pleading guilty, the website wrote.

To read more click here.

FBI Raids Home of 91-Year-Old Woman Who Sells Suicide Kits

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents in San Diego raided the home of a 91-year-old woman who was peddling mail order do-it-yourself suicide kits, the station KTLA reported.

FBI agents on Wednesday raided the home of Sharlotte Hydorn, the station reported. Agents seized a computer and three boxes, a neighbor told the station.

The station reported that the kit included a plastic hood and tubing that connects to an inert gas. The gas is not supplied.

She grabbed headlines late last year  when one of her customers committed suicide. She claims the kits are for people who are terminally ill, the station reported.

Ala. U.S. Atty. Leura Canary Steps Down on Friday

U.S. Atty. Leura Canary/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney Leura G. Canary of Montgomery, Ala., who was appointed by President Bush in 2001, will step down on Friday, her office announced.

Canary has served with the Justice Department since October, 1990 when she was hired as a trial attorney. In November 1994,  she became an assistant U.S. Attorney  for the Middle District of Alabama in Montgomery. She later served as a civil chief.

On Sept. 4, 2001, she was appointed interim U.S. Attorney in Montgomery. She was later nominated by President Bush and confirmed on Nov. 6, 2001.

Canary’s office convicted former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, which triggered cries from Democrats that the prosecution was political.

President Obama has nominated George Beck Jr., a white-collar defense lawyer at Capell & Howard, to step in.

Congress Passes Extensions of Key Provisions of Patriot Act; 2 Senators Question Justice Dept. Interpretation of Act


By CHARLIE SAVAGE
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Two senators claimed on Thursday that the Justice Department had secretly interpreted the so-called Patriot Act in a twisted way, enabling domestic surveillance activities that many members of Congress do not understand.

At the same time, Congress and the White House were rushing to enact legislation to prevent a lapse in several of the federal government’s investigative powers under the Patriot Act that were set to expire at midnight.

The Senate passed the bill 72 to 23 late in the afternoon, and within hours the House approved it 250 to 153. In an unusual move, a White House spokesman said that President Obama, who was in Europe, would “direct the use” of an autopen machine to sign the bill into law without delay.

To Read more click here.

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