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Archive for March 12th, 2013

FBI and Secret Service Probing How Info of Big Names Landed on Internet

white house file photo

By Carol Cratty
CNN Senior Producer

Washington – The Secret Service and FBI are investigating how personal information purported to relate to first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former first lady Hillary Clinton ended up on an Internet site, officials said Tuesday. It was not clear how much of the information was accurate and whether it was obtained through hacking or by scrutinizing public records.

Asked about the hacking in an interview Tuesday, President Barack Obama couldn’t confirm the details of the incident, but said “we should not be surprised that if you’ve got hackers who want to dig in and devote a lot of resources, that they can access peoples’ private information. It is a big problem.”

To read more click here.

 

Dallas County DA Under Fire for Decision to Seek Charges Against Oil Heir

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are investigating Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins in connection with his decision to seek criminal mortgage fraud charges against an oil heir, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Questions are swirling about whether Watkins leveled charges against oil heir Al Hill II in 2010 as a favor to political contributors, according to the Morning News.

Watkins was found in contempt last week for refusing to testify under oath about the circumstances leading up to his decision to seek charges.

A judge dismissed the mortgage fraud charge, the Morning News reported.

The FBI and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas are investigating Hill.

FBI Investigates Who Posted Personal, Financial Information on Government Officials, Celebrities

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is trying to determine who posted private financial and personal information on a website about top government leaders and celebrities such as Mel Gibson and Jay-Z, the Associated Press reports.

Even the Social Security number, address and credit report of FBI Director Robert Mueller were posted on the site, which included Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. Some information also was posted about Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the AP wrote.

The site, which was not identified, did not reveal why the people were targeted.

“The best word I can use to describe it is creepy,” Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith told the AP. “It’s a creepy thing to do.”

TSA Draw Criticism for New Policy That Would Allow Knives, Golf Clubs on Planes

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The announcement by the Transportation Security Administration last week that knives and other prohibited items will be permitted in airline cabs has incensed some travelers, lawmakers, aviation professionals and TSA employees, CNN reports. 

“I am aware of the argument that anything can be made into a weapon, but knives make it easy,” Nikki Stern, who lost her husband in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, told CNN. “The rules are so enormously confusing for the passenger and so arbitrarily applied.”

The new rule would allow knives with blades 2.36 inches or shorter on airline cabins, but blades cannot be fixed or locked into place.

Passengers also will be permitted to carry sports equipment such as two golf clubs, toy bats, ski poles, hockey sticks and pool cues.

The rules are to go into effect April 25.

Border Patrol Workers Face Up to 40% Pay Cuts under New Budget Reductions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol employees will lose up to 40% of their pay if they are forced to take 14 days of unpaid leave and eliminate overtime, Tucson News Now reports.

The agency released a statement:

“In order to address the more than half a billion in budget cuts imposed by sequestration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection must take significant budget reduction actions.  CBP will continue to make every effort to minimize the sequester’s impact on public safety and national security, but expects that planned furlough of employees, along with reductions to overtime and hiring freeze will increase wait times at ports of entry, including international arrivals at airports, and reduce staffing between land ports of entry. Even with these cuts though, individuals apprehended illegally crossing the southwest border will still be processed as usual.  CBP continues to evaluate further impacts of sequestration on our operations.   Because the length of the sequestration as well as funding levels through the end of the fiscal year are unknown at this time, it is difficult to project the impact of the reductions on individual employees or job occupations.”

Employees said the cuts add up.

“I mean that’s astronomical,” Tucson Border Patrol Union President, Art DelCueto, told Tucson News Mow. “I don’t know how anybody especially now a days, no matter how much money you’re making. I don’t know how anybody can take a 40% cut.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Overreaches to Set Up Potential Terrorists in Phony Attacks

By Business Insider
Opinion

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has busted an impressive number of homegrown terror plots over the past decade, but many people don’t realize how these plots materialize. In some cases, they are hatched not from a cave-dwelling fanatic, but actually from the Bureau itself.

Ever since 9/11, the task of thwarting terrorist plots has consumed the majority of the FBI’s budget — $3.3 billion compared to $2.6 billion for organized crime, according to Mother Jones.

The once exclusively investigative bureau has morphed into a counterterrorism agency, with field agents tapping into a nationwide network of informants that infiltrate mainly-Muslim communities.

The FBI targets the “disgruntled few” who would participate in a terrorist plot if given the opportunity, according to Mother Jones. In many cases, the FBI recruits potential terrorists and provides them with plans, equipment, and weapons — before finally shutting them down and getting credit for thwarting another attack.

To read more click here.