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Archive for June 13th, 2013

FBI Director Robert Mueller Defends Snatching Massive Phone Records

FBI Director Mueller testifies on Thursday.

By GINGER GIBSON
Politico

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the amassing of widespread phone records, before a House Committee, saying had it been in place before the Sept. 11 attacks, the attacks could have been “derailed” and that it was used to track a friend of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Monitoring calls between a Yemen safe house and an organizer in San Diego, “could have derailed the plan, in any case, the opportunity was not there,” Mueller told the House Judicary Committee. “If we had this program that opportunity would have been there.”

He said the phone program was also used to track Ibragim Todashev, who was shot by agents while being interrogated, saying he was found through means “including one of the programs that is under scrutiny today.”

“We came upon him in a variety of ways,” Mueller said.

To read the whole story click here.

FBI Director Mueller Faces Tough Questions in Final House Committee Meeting


Robert Mueller

Steve Neavling
ticklthewire.com 

FBI Director Robert Mueller is expected to undergo tough questions today as he nears the end of his 12 years at the helm, the Associated Press reports.

In what likely will be his final appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller likely will be grilled about the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, the Benghazi attacks and the recent disclosure of massive government surveillance on millions of Americans.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed troubling national security leaks and have learned that the Obama administration seems to be bending the rules in place that protect the freedom of the press in its investigations,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said.

 

NSA Director Defends Surveillance Programs As Critical Tools in Fight Against Terrorism

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The director of the National Security Agency forcefully defended the surveillance programs Wednesday that kept tabs on Internet activity and collected millions of telephone records, the Associated Press reports.

The once-secret programs, which was disclosed this month to an incensed public, were invaluable tools in the fight against terrorism, said NSA Director and Army Gen. Keith Alexander.

But Alexander declined to disclose any details of the thwarted terrorist attacks during the congressional hearing, the AP wrote.

“I do think it’s important that we get this right and I want the American people to know that we’re trying to be transparent here, protect civil liberties and privacy but also the security of this country,” Alexander told a Senate panel.

 

Feds Ready to Endorse Monitor over NYPD If Stop-And-Frisk Is Ruled Unconstitutional

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

If a judge declares that the New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices are unconstitutional, the U.S. Justice Department says it would strongly support a federal monitor to oversee reforms to change that practice,  the New York Times reports.

The so-called statement of interest was filed Wednesday in Federal District Court.

“The experience of the United States in enforcing police reform injunctions teaches that the appointment of an independent monitor is a critically important asset,” the department said.

The statement added: “A court-appointed monitor in this case would help the court ensure that, if any pattern or practice is found to exist, it is effectively and sustainably remedied.”

The Times wrote that the court is expected to make a ruling in the coming months.

Border Patrol Agents Save More than 175 People in Scorching Arizona Desert

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

More than 175 people trying to find freedom in America were rescued while trying to traverse the scorching Arizona border over the past month, the Associated Press reports.

Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector made the rescues.

The AP wrote that more than 250 agents also are trained as EMTs and first-responders.

Border Patrol has 22 rescue beacons in the area, the AP reported.

Defense Opens Trial Telling Jurors ‘Whitey’ Bulger Was Never an FBI Informant

Whitey Bulger/fbi

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was never an FBI informant, his attorney said during opening statements in a trial that alleges 19 counts of murder, U.S. News & World Report writes.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney said Bulger never worked as an FBI informant against Italian mob rivals.

“Number one, James Bulger is of Irish descent,” Bulger’s defense attorney J.W. Carney said in court. “And the worst thing an Irish person could consider doing is becoming an informant.”

Bulger was arrested in June 2011 after spending 12 years on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list.