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Archive for June 11th, 2012

FBI Reports: Crime in 2011 Dropped to Near Historic Lows

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Crime rates in 2011 fell to near historic lows, according to the FBI.

Preliminary figures released Monday show violent crimes and property crimes reported dropped in 2011 compared to the previous year.

Specifically, violent crimes fell 4 percent and property crimes dropped 0.8 percent.

In the violent crime offenses category, murder was down overall 1.9 percent from 2010 figures; forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault all fell 4.0 percent.

The FBI said there was an increase in murder in the Midwest (0.6 percent) and an 18.3 percent jump in murder in cities with populations of less than 10,000.

Political Bickering Heats Up Over Contempt Vote for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.P

Holder wearing badge and ribbon/aft webpage

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The politicization over ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Attorney General Eric Holder’s response to turning over subpoenaed documents continued to heat up on Monday.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has been leading the charge, says he plans to hold a contempt vote for Holder next week (June 20), saying Holder has been withholding documents for no legit reason.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) weighed in as well, saying:

“The Justice Department is out of excuses. Congress has given Attorney General Holder more than enough time to fully cooperate with its investigation into ‘Fast and Furious…. Either the Justice Department turns over the information requested, or Congress will have no choice but to move forward with holding the Attorney General in contempt for obstructing an ongoing investigation.”

Under Operation Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hope of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels. Problem was, ATF lost track of many of the guns and some surfaced at crime scenes.

But Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, shot back, saying:

“It is unfortunate that the Committee scheduled a contempt vote against the Attorney General when federal law prohibits him from turning over many of the subpoenaed documents, but I am guardedly optimistic that a path forward exists that will serve the legitimate interests of the Committee in conducting rigorous oversight, protect the legitimate interests of the Department in its ongoing investigations and prosecutions, and avoid the needless politicization of this very serious issue.”

The bickering is only expected to get louder.

NYPD’s Ray Kelly and His Battles With the FBI

NYPD Commissioner Kelly/nypd photo

By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek

There’d been a crucial break in one of Manhattan’s most infamous unsolved murders. One after another, reports from NYPD detectives popped up on the New York City police commissioner’s BlackBerry. Ray Kelly was on a quick work trip to London, and here, by the Thames in the predawn hours of May 24, the case of a little boy who had disappeared 33 years earlier suddenly loomed large on his handheld screen. It was a grim flashback to times when New York was a nearly bankrupt metropolis with streets that reeked of refuse and echoed with gunfire. As the sun rose in London, the emails kept coming.

Kelly, indefatigable even at 70, had spent the previous 48 hours meeting with British police and intelligence officials, studying security and antiterrorism preparations for the upcoming London Olympics. There had been discussions about underwear bombs undetectable by magnetic scanners and Scotland Yard had showed off its collection of infernal devices cobbled together by terrorists: explosives disguised as basketball shoes and computer-printer cartridges. It was the stuff of 21st-century nightmares.

Since he took over as police commissioner in the aftermath of 9/11, Kelly’s most critical mission has been to thwart all terrorist threats against the city, and he’s aimed to do that, in some cases, even before a plot is entirely clear to the plotters themselves.

To read the full story click here.

 

Hispanic voters favor Obama despite immigration policies

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So far President Obama’s immigration policies are unlikely to woo Latino voters, especially after Homeland Security reported last week that too few deportations are being halted under the administration.

Now pressure is building for Obama to loosen his policies in hopes of gaining more support from Latinos, who overwhelmingly supported the president in 2008, according to the New York Times.

Critics believe the president has failed on his pledge to focus deportation efforts on criminals rather than illegal immigrations with clean records, the Times reported.

Under Obama’s watch, fewer deportation cases are being dismissed and new measures are netting more detainments, reports the New York Times.

Still, polls show Hispanics favor Obama over Republican candidate Mitt Romney by 67% to 26%.

Holder Faces Possible Contempt of Congress Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Oversight Committee will take the unusual step this week of deciding whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents in the controversial Fast and Furious weapons sting investigation, CBS News reports.

Republicans say the Justice Department is withholding tens of thousands of pages of documents that would shed light on a sting operation that put guns in the hands of thugs and drug dealers.

Holder can prevent a contempt hearing by handing over the documents, CBS News reports.

But the Justice Department said it has been open and cooperative about requests for records.

If the committee takes action, it will be Congress’ fourth contempt action against a presidential cabinet member in 30 years.

Former DEA Agent: Legalize Drugs

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former federal investigator called for the legalization of drugs during a Libertarian Party of Texas convention over the weekend, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Saying the war on drugs has spread needless violence and wasted billions of tax dollars, Sean Dunagan, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, also told the audience that money would be better spent on prevention and treatment programs.

“There is a huge collateral impact by the drug war,”  said Dunagan a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a Massachusetts-based group of law enforcement authorities who support the legalization of drugs, the paper reported. “We spend at the federal level about $26 billion a year fighting this war, and we really have nothing to show for it. Ten years ago, 8.3 percent of the population reported using illegal drugs. Today it’s 8.9 percent.”

While Dunagan said he does not advocate drug use, he believes the ban on drugs violates civil liberties, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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