best casino bonuses australian online casino au dollars trusted online gambling internet casino download old information online us casinos las vegas best online casino craps flash casino games mac play online vegas

Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

July 2011
S M T W T F S
« Jun   Aug »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for July 20th, 2011

ATF’s Melson May Have a Second Wind; Should FBI Have Used Violent Gun Smuggler as Informant?

Ken Melson/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the storm surrounding ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious getting more intense by the day, I thought it was time to step back and make some observations.

One: Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who seemed like a dead man walking earlier this monthafter word got out that he was going to be forced to resign —  may have a little life left in him.  There’s a good chance he’ll be sticking around at least a little while longer.

After all, how bad would it look for the Justice Department to give him the boot at a time he’s expressing concern that the Justice Department is trying to  hush him up and keep him from telling the truth about the faulty operation  that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers — all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels.

He won’t survive this in the long run, particularly after some report — perhaps the Office of Inspector General — recommends an across-the-board change at the top at ATF. But he may stir up more mud  and try to salvage his reputation.

In the mean time, his statements on the matter, which have been released by bomb-throwers, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley, have made him look far better than the Justice Department. The Justice Department isn’t looking so good. And the Justice Department can’t paint Melson as some cowboy or  rogue ATF agent. He was one of them. He came from the Justice Department. Now Melson thinks Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s Justice Department sucks — or at minimum, can’t be trusted.

And then there’s the FBI informant ATF said it knew nothing about. Look for that to become a bigger deal and possibly create a little public relations headache for the FBI.

If you haven’t been following that closely: ATF was looking at some guy, who had a reputation as a violent gun dealer for the Mexican Cartels — only to find out that the FBI was using this guy as an informant. So of course, ATF had to back off.

Shades of Whitey Bulger? Well, in some ways no. There’s certainly no indication of any crooked FBI agents involved.

On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, the FBI needs to  draw the line with some informants  (like Bulger) when it appears their crimes out weigh the benefits of getting the information.

In this case, you do the math.  A violent gun smuggler for the the very very violent Mexican cartels. He should  have been behind bars, then coughed up information to get a better deal at sentencing. You shouldn’t let guys like that run their game and live the good  life.  Sure there’s arguments to made that it’s worth dealing with the devil to bring down multiple devils. But sometimes it just ain’t worth it — when death is part of the equation.

Then there’s the issue of doing the right thing. The FBI was dealing with a major gun runner. It should have given ATF a heads up that it was working the guy. It didn’t. Now, with this mess, who knows. The informant may end up dead as a result of this all coming to the surface.

In any event,  this whole mess can’t be good for anybody and it certainly can’t help the already strained the relationship beween the FBI and ATF.

And unfortunately, this whole Fast and Furious mess is only going to get messier.

Stay tuned.

D.C. U.S. Atty. Ron Machen Didn’t Make the Cut

Ron Machen Jr./doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

No surprise here.

D.C. U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. reported for jury duty Monday in D.C. Superior Court, but didn’t make the cut, the Blog of Legal Times reported.

“I appreciated the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty,” Machen said in an e-mail to the Blog of Legal Times. “Much to my chagrin, I did not get the chance to serve on a jury. However, I enjoyed the experience and got to complete a lot of reading.”

The blog reported that Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. reported to jury duty last November in D.C. Superior Court, but got bounced as well.

Here Comes Some Interesting Testimony in Fast and Furious; Hearing Set for Tuesday

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now this should be interesting.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold hearings on Tuesday on Operation Fast and Furious and the witnesses should provide some sizzling testimony.

Those slated to testify include: Carlos Canino, ATF Acting Attaché to Mexico; Darren Gil, ex-ATF Attaché to Mexico; Jose Wall, ATF Senior Special Agent in Tijuana, Mexico; Lorren Leadmon, ATF Intelligence Operations Specialist; William Newell, former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division and William McMahon, ATF Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations (West, including Phoenix and Mexico).

In a press release issued Wednesday, the committee said:

“This Tuesday’s hearing, Operation Fast and Furious: The Other Side of the Border, will feature the testimony of U.S. law enforcement officials who witnessed a different side of the controversial operation. These officials saw the steady stream of Operation Fast and Furious guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and were given orders from superiors not to alert Mexican authorities. Members of the Committee will also have their first opportunity to question ATF supervisors who have defended Operation Fast and Furious and the Justice Department’s decisions to committee investigators.

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee said in a statement: “The Acting Director of the ATF has told congressional investigators that the Justice Department is attempting to shift blame in Operation Fast and Furious away from its political appointees.

“Examining the accounts of witnesses who did not participate in Operation Fast and Furious, but were nonetheless disturbed as they watched it unfold is critical to understanding the scope of this flawed program,” Issa said. “uThis testimony is especially important in light of the Justice Department’s willful efforts to withhold key evidence from investigators about what occurred, who knew and who authorized this reckless operation.”

Column: ATF’s Melson May Have a Second Wind; Should FBI Have Used Violent Gun Smuggler as Informant?

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the storm surrounding ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious getting more intense by the day, I thought it was time to step back and make some observations.

One: Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who seemed like a dead man walking earlier this monthafter word got out that he was going to be forced to resign —  may have a little life left in him.  There’s a good chance he’ll be sticking around at least a little while longer.

After all, how bad would it look for the Justice Department to give him the boot at a time he’s expressing concern that the Justice Department is trying to  hush him up and keep him from telling the truth about the faulty operation  that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers — all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels.

He won’t survive this in the long run, particularly after some report — perhaps the Office of Inspector General — recommends an across-the-board change at the top at ATF. But he may stir up more mud  and try to salvage his reputation.

In the mean time, his statements on the matter, which have been released by bomb-throwers, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley, have made him look far better than the Justice Department. The Justice Department isn’t looking so good. And the Justice Department can’t paint Melson as some cowboy or  rogue ATF agent. He was one of them. He came from the Justice Department. Now Melson thinks Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s Justice Department sucks — or at minimum, can’t be trusted.

And then there’s the FBI informant ATF said it knew nothing about. Look for that to become a bigger deal and possibly create a little public relations headache for the FBI.

If you haven’t been following that closely: ATF was looking at some guy, who had a reputation as a violent gun dealer for the Mexican Cartels — only to find out that the FBI was using this guy as an informant. So of course, ATF had to back off.

Shades of Whitey Bulger? Well, in some ways no. There’s certainly no indication of any crooked FBI agents involved.

On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, the FBI needs to  draw the line with some informants  (like Bulger) when it appears their crimes out weigh the benefits of getting the information.

In this case, you do the math.  A violent gun smuggler for the the very very violent Mexican cartels. He should  have been behind bars, then coughed up information to get a better deal at sentencing. You shouldn’t let guys like that run their game and live the good  life.  Sure there’s arguments to made that it’s worth dealing with the devil to bring down multiple devils. But sometimes it just ain’t worth it — when death is part of the equation.

Then there’s the issue of doing the right thing. The FBI was dealing with a major gun runner. It should have given ATF a heads up that it was working the guy. It didn’t. Now, with this mess, who knows. The informant may end up dead as a result of this all coming to the surface.

In any event,  this whole mess can’t be good for anybody and it certainly can’t help the already strained the relationship beween the FBI and ATF.

And unfortunately, this whole Fast and Furious mess is only going to get messier.

Stay tuned.

FBI Says Pakistan Plotted to Influence U.S. Policy

By CHARLIE SAVAGE and ERIC SCHMITT
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Pakistan’s military, including its powerful spy agency, has spent $4 million over two decades in a covert attempt to tilt American policy against India’s control of much of Kashmir — including funneling campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates, the F.B.I. claimed in court papers unsealed Tuesday.

The allegations of a long-running plan to influence American elections and foreign policy come at a time of deep tensions between the United States and Pakistan — and in particular its spy agency — amid the fallout over the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound deep inside Pakistan on May 2.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation made the allegations in a 43-page affidavit filed in connection with the indictment of two United States citizens on charges that they failed to register with the Justice Department as agents of Pakistan, as required by law. One of the men, Zaheer Ahmad, is in Pakistan, but the other, Syed Fai, lives in Virginia and was arrested on Tuesday.

To read more click here.