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Archive for June 10th, 2013

Controversial ATF Agent Vince Cefalu Calls ATF Leadership “A Joke That is Not Funny”

Vince Cefalu

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
As acting director B. Todd Jones faces questioning this week from the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination for director, veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu is weighing in.

Cefalu, who has been described as a whistleblower, and is embroiled in multiple controversial legal actions against ATF, says that the current leadership at the top of ATF is, in his words, is “A joke that is not funny.”

“Not only do we have no Director in place, this climate allows the corrupt middle management at ATF to live on and keep their jobs, ATF needs a total housecleaning and a new direction, not just a figurehead who isn’t even confirmed by Congress,” he said in a statement provided to ticklethewire.com

“Not just ANY Director. DOJ cannot just keep throwing up names without a nationwide search or at least considering nominees with significant law enforcement experience. ATF is an elite law enforcement agency. Merely choosing lawyers who are friendly to the administration does not ensure competency in critical and very dynamic law enforcement operations.”

His spokesman, Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, describes Cefalu as a an agent who “successfully infiltrated the KKK and California biker groups in key cases for ATF” and is known as a whistleblower. Crosby, who runs a media relations firm, says that Cefalu is an activist within ATF, who was responsible for first bringing to light the ill-fated ‘Fast and Furious’ case fiasco.

Crosby says that he is currently employed by ATF while his personal case against ATF is dragging on without a final disposition.

“My case is important to me, but what is more important is that ATF get some real leadership, and that situation dragging on is much more important to the country and the safety of its citizens than my individual case,” Cefalu said.

“As I have said all along, there needs to be accountability for abuses and incompetence. Not reassignments to a locale of the specific managers’ choosing. The agency has dropped to 280 out of 294 in trust in the integrity and honesty in management in the 2012 OPM-sanctioned annual employee survey. The practice of demoting in title only is destructive and sends the message to corrupt managers that ‘We will protect’ retaliation waste fraud and abuse and incompetence. Yet the attacks on complainants and whistleblowers continue. My disputes are now being litigated in multiple venues at great expense to the taxpayers and the public who rely on the Department of Justice to police itself. DOJ has consistently fought vigorously to protect corrupt managers in my case rather than to resolve these disputes and return to serving the public safety.”

 

NSA Leaker Said He Had Civic Obligation to Reveal Surveillance


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man who leaked a massive effort by the National Security Agency to monitor e-mails, texts and other Internet traffic of virtually all Americans is a 29-year-old high school dropout, CNN reports.

Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source during an interview with the British newspaper, The Guardian, saying he regrets nothing and was driven by a moral obligation to break the news.

“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” said Snowden, who went into hiding.

ATF’s B. Todd Jones Faces Tough Questions Tuesday from Senate Judiciary Committee about

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones’s nomination to head the ATF has become mired in congressional politics, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Nearly six months after he was mentioned as a candidate, Jones is expected to face tough questions from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I am looking forward to meeting with the committee and answering all their questions,” Jones told the Star Tribune.

Republicans say they are concerned about his leadership as a temporary ATF head and his positions on gun-control.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

NSA Debate Likely to Extend to Confirmation Hearings of James Comey

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee to lead the FBI, James Comey, is likely to face scrutiny over government surveillance following the discovery that the NSA had access to virtually all Americans’ phones, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That’s because Comey, a former prosecutor, is intimately familiar with surveillance.

In 2004, Comey threatened to resign from the Justice Department after senior White House aides wanted to reauthorize a secret surveillance program over Comey’s opposition.

“I don’t think the Senate will hold up his confirmation, but I do think you’ll have these collateral issues becoming part of the confirmation process,” said Joe Whitley, a former senior lawyer with the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department during the Bush administration. “Both sides of the aisle, I think, will ask questions about it, and one or more senators could say they want answers on this before they move forward with the confirmation process.”

Pregnant Texas Actress Arrested for Allegedly Sending Ricin-Tainted Letters to President

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A pregnant Texas actress is accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and falsely accusing her husband of sending them, Fox News reports.

During interviews with the FBI, Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, accused her husband of sending the letters and then later claimed he “made her” do it,” Fox News wrote.

Richardson faces up to 10 years in prison on a charge of mailing a threatening communication to the president.

The letters threaten violence against gun-control advocates.

 

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