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Archive for May, 2013

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon White House Tries to Derail FBI Probe Into Watergate

Executive Director of ACLU Says James Comey’s Nomination for FBI Director Needs to Be Scrutinized

Anthony Romero/ aclu photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In coming weeks we’re likely to hear comments — pro and con — for the nomination of James Comey for FBI director.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement Friday saying that that anticipated nomination deserves some scrutiny.

 

‘Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding,” Romero said in a statement.

Here’s his complete statement:

“While the ACLU does not take official positions on nominations to appointed office, there are many questions regarding Comey’s record that deserve careful scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the second-highest ranked Justice Department official under John Ashcroft, Comey approved some of the worst abuses committed by the Bush administration. Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding. He also oversaw the indefinite detention without charge or trial of an American citizen picked up in the United States and then held for years in a military brig. Although Comey, despite tremendous pressure from the Bush White House, deserves credit for courageously stopping the reauthorization of a secret National Security Agency program, he reportedly approved programs that struck at the very core of who we all are as Americans.

“It’s critical that the Senate ensures that the men and women of the FBI know that they have a leader who will demand adherence to the rule of law and will hold those accountable who do not, wherever he or she may find them.”

 

New Rules May Rein In Prosecutors in Leak Investigations

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr./doj file photo

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., under fire over investigative tactics in leak cases, has opened internal discussions over tightening rules on when prosecutors may seek phone logs and other information that could identify reporters’ sources as he began a series of a meetings on Thursday with leaders of news media organizations.

According to an adviser familiar with the deliberations, Mr. Holder has discussed expanding a requirement for high-level review of proposed subpoenas for reporters’ phone records so that it would include e-mails. He is also examining whether to tighten a standard for when officials may seek such records without giving prior notice to the news organization.

President Obama has given Mr. Holder until July 12 to make his proposals, and Mr. Holder wants to complete an overhaul of department regulations on leak investigations before his tenure is over, said the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deliberations are preliminary. Mr. Holder has given no indication that he intends to step down any time soon, however.

To read more click here. 

Funeral Set Today for Border Agent Who Died While Vacationing in Hawaii

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who died while vacationing in Hawaii will be buried today after a funeral service in his hometown of San Diego, KSWT reports.

Kris Gungon, 31, accidentally drowned two weeks ago while swimming near a waterfall.

Gungon is survived by his wife and 5-month-old daughter.

They were not swimming at the time of the drowning, KSWT reported.

FBI Is Investigating Ex-Mobster’s Claims That Agent Demanded Lavish Gifts, Cash

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating one of its agent on allegations of accepting lavish gifts and cash from an informant, ABC World News reports.

Russian ex-mobster Mani Chulpayev, who has been indicted in the murder of popular Atlanta rapper known as Lil Phat, was an FBI informant when he said an agent demanded gifts of cash, watches, jewelry, sports shoes, basketball tickets and hotel rooms.

“The agent obstructed a murder investigation,” his lawyer, George Plumides, told ABC News in an interview.

The FBI confirmed it’s investigating.

Father: Federal Authorities Killed My Son ‘Execution-Style’ in Florida While Investigating Ties to Boston Bombing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Florida man killed while being questioned by federal authorities about his ties to Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot several times, including once to the back of the head, the suspect’s father said, the USA Today reports.

The father of 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, both of whom are Chechens, showed photos of his son’s body that he says proves that federal authorities killed his son “execution-style.”

“They tortured a man for eight hours with no attorney, no witnesses, nobody. We can only guess what was going on there, until there is an official investigation,” the father, Abdul-Baki Todashev, told reporters in Moscow.

The FBI has been mum about the shooting because it’s an ongoing investigation, but at least one report suggests the 27-year-old wielded a knife and admitted to playing a role in a triple murder.

Washington State Man Accused of Sending Ricin-Tainted Letters to President Obama, Federal Judge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 37-year-old Washington state man accused of sending a ricin-laden letter and death threat to a federal judge also is suspected of recently sending the poison to President Obama, the Associated Press reports.

Matthew Ryan Buquet, who is being held without bond in a Spokane jail, has pleaded not guilty to sending a death threat and ricin to U.S. District Judge Freed Van Sickle.

On the same day he is accused of sending those out from Spokane, three poison-tainted letters addressed to President Obama were postmarked from the same location, according to the AP.

The president’s letter was intercepted May 22.

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