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Archive for March 5th, 2013

Lead FBI Agent in Rep.William Jefferson Case Speaks Out About the Victories and Near Misses


Lori Mody

By Gordon Russell
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Were it not for Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody’s skillful undercover work, William Jefferson would probably still be representing Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington, according to the FBI agent who oversaw the case against the longtime Democratic congressman.

It was Mody who first brought Jefferson’s corruption to the attention of federal investigators, Special Agent Tim Thibault says. And more importantly, it was Mody’s zeal for the case and mastery of hidden-wire work — as well as her willingness to put her own money at risk — that made the case.

Thibault conceded that Mody was an imperfect government operative, referring obliquely to her “personal issues.” What he didn’t say was that the FBI learned just days before Jefferson’s 2009 trial was to begin that she had slept with one of the case agents, causing federal authorities to decide to keep her off the witness stand. She had been penciled in as the star witness.

To read full story click here.

FBI Investigates Special Agent After Police Say He Used Badge to Avoid Arrest

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating one of its own after he allegedly used his badge to avoid arrest for drunken driving in Georgia, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

Fort Oglethorpe police say Special Agent Ken Hillman received special treatment after getting pulled over for drinking and driving.

For the first time, the FBI acknowledged its investigating Hillman, who also is under fire for allowing a civilian to work on the Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Free Press wrote.

“The FBI is aware of the allegations made against one of our special agents and we have launched an investigation into those allegations,” agency spokesman Stephen Emmett told the Free Press.

Homeland Security Reaches 10th Anniversary But Has its Trials

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks revealed flaws in the U.S.’s national security.

So on March 1, 2003, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act, which created the Homeland Security Department.

Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano described it as “the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense,” wrote Fox News. The department was designed to “protect our homeland,” then-President George Bush said. 

“I don’t think people understand what (DHS) does and no part of it really wins any respect from the public,” Ben Friedman, a research fellow in defense and homeland security studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, told Fox News.

Since Sept. 11, the department has received nearly $800 billion, according to MSNBC.

Since its creation, the department has been criticized for numerous reasons.

The Homeland Security Department Stands to Lose $3.2 billion Because of Sequestration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If sequestration cuts aren’t restored, they will cost the Homeland Security Department about $3.2 billion this fiscal year, Fierce Homeland Security reports.

To make up for the lost money, the department, which reached 10 years old March 1, would need to cut more than 5% across the board.

Other federal agencies face big losses. Customs and Border Protection is set to lose $595 million, while ICE cuts could total $295 million.

“Sequestration would roll back border security, increase wait times at our Nation’s land ports of entry and airports, affect aviation and maritime safety and security, leave critical infrastructure vulnerable to attacks, hamper disaster response time and our Surge Force capabilities, and significantly scale back cyber security infrastructure protections that have been developed in recent years,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wrote in a letter to the House Homeland Security Committee.

Former DEA Officials: Go After States That Legalized Pot for Recreational Use

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the federal government doesn’t act soon, it may lose the chance to stamp out recreational pot laws in Colorado and Washington, cautioned eight former DEA officials, the Associated Press reports.

Although voters legalized small amounts of possession last year in those states, the law still conflicts with a federal ban on marijuana.

The DEA heads plan to issue joint statements to President Obama’s administration Tuesday, the AP wrote.

“My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing,” said Peter Bensinger, one of the former DEA administrators said. “If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”

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