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Archive for August 29th, 2011

NY Times Editorial: Didn’t FBI Learn Anything from Whitey Bulger Case?

Whitey Bulger/fbi

By The New York Times
Editorial Page

Cutting deals with criminal informants may, at times, be a necessary if unsavory part of law enforcement. But the benefits must outweigh the costs, and it is not clear the F.B.I.’s Boston office has mastered that balance.

A police wiretap referred to in documents filed in a Boston court shows the Mafia capo Mark Rossetti telling his F.B.I. handler that “he knows he will be protected for the crimes he has been committing with the knowledge of his handler.”

The crimes he was talking about include running a heroin and loan-sharking ring, for which Massachusetts indicted and locked him up last year. He is also being investigated for six murders. The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts State Police only learned about his link to the F.B.I. through its wiretaps of Mr. Rossetti.

To read more click here.

FBI Informant Who Infiltrated KKK Dead at Age 94

fbi photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI informant Stetson Kennedy, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, passed away this weekend near St. Augustine, Fla., at the age of 94, reports the International Business Times. Kennedy had been in hospice care at a nearby hospital.

Kennedy, using the name of a deceased uncle and former klansman, gained membership and trust within the Ku Klux Klan throughout the 1940s and 50s, spilling secrets about and ridiculing in books and radio the secret rituals and views of the klan, the publication reported. Rejected for military service, Kennedy sought to fight “homegrown racial terrorists” instead.

Kennedy provided information to the FBI, IRS, the Anti-Defamation League and Washington Post columnists Drew Pearson, and testified in the grand jury about the klan’s involvement in the bombing death of NAACP leader Harry T. Moore, all of which helped to weaken the racist organization, the publication reported.

Nearly 10 Years After 9/11, Plenty Folks Still Bring Guns to Airports

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hard to believe. But nearly 10 years after the nation was tramautized by the attacks of 9-11, plenty people are still bringing guns to airports.

As part of the ticklethewire.com’s occasional story on guns-at-airports, we looked at the stats for the week of Aug. 15 to 21 compiled by the Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA stats show 27 firearms were found at airport checkpoints at U.S. airports during that week alone.  On top of that, two “artfully concealed prohibited items” were found that week at checkpoints and four passengers were arrested after TSA looked into the suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents.

Over the years, TSA officials say law enforcement and hunters have been among those who have forgotten they were in possession of weapons when they passed through security.

In the first five months of 2010, more than 260 guns were found at airport checkpoints, according to TSA stats. In 2009, 890 weapons were detected; the year before, 908.

Book Review: Chineses Spies, the FBI and Sex

By TARA McKELVEY
New York Times

In May 2004, the F.B.I. special agent James J. Smith found himself in an uncomfortable spot: he had to tell a federal judge about an affair he’d had with an informer, Katrina Leung, a San Marino, Calif., businesswoman with “jet-black hair,” while his wife and son were sitting in the courtroom. “Argh!” he later wrote to friends.

In “Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War With China,” David Wise writes about the ineptitude of American agents. Not only was Smith having an affair with Leung, Wise says, but so was another F.B.I. man, William Cleveland, who was the head of a Chinese counterintelligence squad in San Francisco. Neither seemed to know that Leung was sleeping with the other, nor did they know that she was working for Beijing’s Ministry of State Security. Double argh.

With this case and others, Wise documents not only the adroitness of Chinese agents, but also how China has for several decades “penetrated” the United States, as he puts it. “Penetrate” and “penetration” are two of his favorite words, appearing at least a dozen times, often in connection with Leung, who, despite the fact that she was taking classified documents from Smith’s briefcase during their trysts, was seen as “his prize asset.” Wise’s language, particularly in the descriptions of Leung, gives parts of his book a quasi-­pornographic feel.

To read more click here.

FBI Helps Hunt Ex-NBA Player Wanted for Murder

Javaris Crittenton/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Javaris Crittenton, who was suspended by the NBA in a gun incident in Washington in 2009, was not the most sought after player in the league.

But now he feels more wanted — by the FBI that is.

The Associated Press reports that the FBI is helping Atlanta and Los Angeles police search for the former NBA player on charges of murder.

AP reports that Crittenton is wanted in the fatal shooting of Jullian Jones, 22, a mother of four who was murdered on Aug. 19 in Atlanta. AP reported that she was not the intended target when Crittention opened fire from an SUV.

Authorities say Jones likely was not the intended target when Crittenton fired shots from an SUV. Authorities say Crittenton was retaliating for an April robbery in which he was a victim.

Crittenton had a limited career, having played a total of 113 games for teams like the Washington Wizards and the Memphis Grizzlies.

In 2010, he pleaded guilty and got probation for a gun possession charge after he and then-Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas pulled guns on each other in the locker room over a gambling debts.  Both were suspended, but he never returned to the Wizards.

He eventually ended up playing for the Dakota Wizards, a minor league basketball team.

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