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Archive for March 27th, 2014

Secret Service Incident in Netherlands Was on Heels of Car Wreck during Obama’s Miami Trip

secret service photo

By Carol D. Leonnig, David Nakamura and Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Secret Service arrived in the Netherlands last weekend for a presidential trip, managers were already on high alert to avoid any further em­barrassing incidents involving agents.

The agency’s director had admonished supervisors after two counter-sniper officers suspected of drinking were involved in a March 7 car accident during a presidential visit to Miami, according to several people with knowledge of the incident. The driver passed a field sobriety test and was not arrested.

So in Amsterdam on Saturday night, Secret Service supervisor George Hartford had the Miami incident in mind when he issued a warning to a group of agents gathered for dinner: Go out if you want, but stay out of trouble.

By the next morning, Hartford was pounding on the hotel door of a 34-year-old junior agent who had passed out drunk in a hallway and later had to be lifted into his room by several hotel employees, according to a hotel spokesman and two other people familiar with the incident. The agent claimed to have no memory of the events.

To read full story click here. 

 

Report on FBI’s Shooting of Ibragim Todashev Draws Critics, More Questions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not everyone is satisfied with how the FBI handled Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen man who had ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing shooters and was killed by an agent during an alleged confession.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that state prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton and others, including civil rights groups, have some qualms with the FBI’s handling of the affair.

Boston Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis said the 161-page report on Todashev’s death was a “whitewash,” adding, “Once again the FBI waltzes away from a mess. No harm, no foul.”

The account of Todashev’s death was finally released this week after a 10-month hold during which the FBI blocked access to the medical examiner’s report, CSM reported.

“The central question of whether the killing of Mr. Todashev was justified remains frustratingly unanswered,” Baylor Johnson, an American Civil Liberties Union spokesman, told NPR after the report was released Tuesday.

Congress Introduces Bill to Increase Oversight of Border Patrol Following Deadly Confrontations

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A bipartisan bill in Congress is aimed at addressing questions about the use of force by Border Patrol agents.

AZCentral.com reports that the bill is designed to increase oversight of CBP and the Border Patrol following widespread criticism of deadly confrontations with immigrants at the border.

But political experts said the bill may not find traction.

According to AZCentral, the bill would:

  • Create an independent border-oversight commission.
  • Establish an ombudsman’s office within the Department of Homeland Security to handle complaints about border and immigration issues.
  • Create a liaison office to improve relations with border communities.
  • Require significantly more transparency about the outcomes of investigations of deadly use-of-force incidents; and provide additional training and resources to officers, agents and supervisors.

Will it pass? Unlikely, says some political observers.

“The Republicans control the House, this is an anti-immigration crowd and a pro-enforcement crowd,” said Michael O’Neil, president of Tempe polling firm O’Neil Associates. “Secure the border first, that’s their answer to everything.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


New York Murder Suspect, Gang Memer Added to FBI’s Most Wanted List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A man accused of killing a New York mom and her toddler execution-style in 2010 is the latest fugitive to be added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, CNN reports.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for the arrest of Juan Elias Garcia, whom the FBI refers to as an “enthusiastic murderer.”

“Garcia’s callous disregard for human life resulted in the senseless murder of a young mother and her helpless 2-year-old son,” said George Venizelos, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, on the agency’s website.

Garcia, who is believed to be hiring in El Salvador, is an alleged member of the violent MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, gang.

FBI Makes Arrests, Raids in Public Corruption Cases in North Carolina, California & New York

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Separate corruption investigations led to the arrests of two public officials in North Carolina and California and to the raid of the office of a New York state senator, the Washington Post reports.

Hundreds of federal agents descended on offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, arresting several people including state Democratic Sen. Leland Yee and a former head of a Hong Kong-based crime syndicate.

In the North Carolina sting, FBI agents arrested Democratic Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, charging him with theft and bribery. He’s accused of soliciting and accepting bribes, the Post reported.

And in New York, Assemblyman William Scarborough’s offices were raided, and he was questioned in his Albany hotel room. He was questioned about per diem reimbursements, he told reporters.