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Archive for July 5th, 2011

FBI Agent Robert Foley to Head Up Administrative Division at Washington Field Office

Robert Foley/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert Foley is leaving FBI headquarters to move several blocks away to the Washington Field Office where he’ll become special agent in charge of the Administrative Division.

Foley, who most recently served as section chief of the Employee Development and Selection Program, Human Resources Division at headquarters, joined the FBI in September 1996.

He was first assigned to the Bridgeport Resident Agency, New Haven Division where he  investigated gangs and narcotics. matters. He was also a member of the New Haven Division SWAT team and served as a firearms instructor.

Foley transferred to the San Juan Division in 1999, where he investigated police corruption, gangs, and narcotics crimes.

Read more »

Is ATF Concerned About Sending “Fast and Furious” Official to Mexico as Attache?

William Newell

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Last October in Orlando, at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the heads of the ATF field offices gathered for a SAC meeting. It was there where it was announced that  William Newell, head of the Phoenix office, would become the ATF’s attache to Mexico.

Newell, an up and comer in the agency, seemed like a good choice. He was fluent in Spanish or as one person said “he spoke Spanish like professor.” And he had experience  dealing with the Mexican cartels.

In fact, he was helping head up a little known program at the time called “Operation Fast and Furious”, which encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell weapons to “straw purchasers” — all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartel.

It was a bold program and a highly ambitious one.

But months later, it became a very controversial one after  word got out that some weapons were showing up at crime scenes, including in the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.

Congressional inquiries started. An Inspector General probe was launched.  A media frenzy ensued.

Now, eight months after the announcement in Orlando, Newell has been holed up in Washington instead of Mexico supposedly to help the Congressional inquiries into Operation Fast and Furious. His post in Phoenix has already been filled and his assignment as ATF’s Mexican attache has been put on hold.

Word inside ATF, according to one knowledgeable person, is that some in the agency have voiced concerns about sending Newell to Mexico as an attache because the Mexican government, which is fuming over Fast and Furious, might pursue criminal charges and arrest Newell.

Fox News reported Tuesday that  the Mexican government is furious about Fast and Furious and wants to extradite American officials for prosecution.   Sending Newell might make that all too easy for the Mexicans.

Whether Mexico goes that far is unclear.

Nonetheless, sending Newell isn’t likely to sit well in Mexico.

But an ATF official on Friday tried to dispel any notion that Newell won’t be headed south of the border.

“As far as his assignment to Mexico City, it’s still in place but it’s been temporarily postponed so that he can assist with the Congressional inquiries and the OIG (Office of Inspector General) review,” the official told ticklethewire.com.

Newell did not respond to an email asking for comment.

When asked for comment more than a week ago, the Mexican embassy in Washington asked that ticklethewire.com submit questions in writing. There was no response.

On Friday, a spokesman did call back and left a voicemail. But the spokesman could not be reached after that.

The embassy spokesman did not immediately return the call on Tuesday for comment.

Threatening Graffiti Targeting DEA Found in Mexico


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A sign of the ongoing hostile feelings of Mexican drug gangs toward the DEA surfaced last week.

The New York Daily News reports that a Mexican drug gang spray-painted a message Friday near a school in Chihuahua, about 220 miles from the U.S. border:

“Gringos (D.E.A.), We know where you are and we know who you are and where you go. We are going to chop your [expletive] heads.”

Officials did not immediately comment on the message, the Daily News reported.

The Daily News reported that the message was discovered the same day Mexican marines battled suspected members of the Zeta drug cartel, and killed 15 cartel suspects. Six marines were injured.

The Daily News reported that on Texas authorities over the weekend urged Americans not to cross into the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo because they had info the Zetas could be targeting Americans.

“According to the information we have received, the Zetas are planning a possible surge in criminal activity, such as robberies, extortions, car-jackings and vehicle theft, specifically against U.S. citizens,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a statement, according to the Daily News.

Secret Service Probes Hacking Into Fox Website Saying Obama Was Assassinated

Pres. Obama at press conference/white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

These Tweets  got the Secret Service’s attention.

CBS News reports that the Secret Service said Monday it will investigate and try to figure out who hacked into Fox’s political Twitter account and posted multiple Tweets claiming President Obama had been assassinated in Iowa and the shooter was unknown.

CBS reported that Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said the agency will conduct the probe.

In a statement posted on its website, Fox News called the tweets “malicious” and “false”, CBS reported.

“We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts,” said Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital.

Ex-FBI Agent Denies Klan Leader Had Mole Inside FBI

Early Days of KKK ./ fbi via national archive

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-FBI agent is dismissing allegations by an informant that former  Mississippi Ku Klux Klan leader Sam Bowers said he had a tipster inside the FBI during the civil rights movement, who disclosed which Klansmen were talking to the bureau, according to Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

The paper reported that, according to FBI documents, an informant told the FBI in the fall of 1964 of the allegations.

But the paper reported that former FBI agent Jay Cochran, who was there at time laughed and said: “That’s a new one on me. I don’t think there’s even a remote possibility of that.”

But the paper reported that the Klan may have gotten help from state troopers. A Jan. 5, 1965, FBI memo stated that a highway patrolman told a Klansman there was an FBI informant in Lincoln County getting paid $500 a month.

The paper reported that statements were included in 40,000 pages of FBI documents related to the investigation of the Klan’s June 21, 1964, killings of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

Chief FBI Spokesman Challenges NY Times Editorial on FBI Policy

Michael Kortan is assistant director for public affairs for the FBI in Washington. His letter to the editor is in response to a June 19 Editorial in the New York Times.

Michael Kortan (left) talking to ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh /fbi file photo

By Michael P. Kortan
New York Times Letter to Editor

WASHINGTON — The purpose of the attorney general guidelines and F.B.I. policy contained in the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide is to ensure that F.B.I. activities are conducted with respect for the constitutional rights and privacy interests of all Americans.

Although an effort is under way to revise the prior version of the guide, contrary to the editorial’s statements, the revision will not provide “agents significant new powers.”

The editorial notes that currently specialized surveillance squads may be used only once during an assessment but that the new guide will allow repeated use.

What the editorial does not mention is that surveillance, whether conducted by a specialized squad or a single agent, is tightly controlled during assessments. It can be authorized only for very limited periods of time, and any extension must be separately justified and approved.

To read more click here.