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Archive for July 21st, 2014

Issa: Special Prosecutor Needed for Uncompromised IRS probe

Rep. Darrell Issa

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) wrote this column for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

By Darrell Issa

In May 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an investigation into efforts of an Internal Revenue Service division, which under the supervision of former Director Lois Lerner, systematically selected organizations with conservative sounding names for delay and enhanced scrutiny. But despite evidence of wrongdoing and criminal acts, more than a year later there have been no indictments. Media leaks from the investigation have even pointed to a predetermined outcome that no one will end up facing criminal charges. Amid concerns that numerous factors have compromised the investigation, top U.S. Department of Justice officials continue to rebuff bipartisan calls for a special prosecutor.

This past Thursday, the Department of Justice’s number two official, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, testified before Congress about his department’s criminal investigation of the IRS targeting scandal. What little the Justice Department would share about what it says is an ongoing effort raised more concerns that the current investigation suffers from political interference, conflicts and a stunning lack of competence.

To read more click here. 

Head of Homeland Security Investigations for ICE Started Career Chasing Crack Dealers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Peter Edge, who became head of Homeland Security Investigations for ICE in May, began his law enforcement career began chasing crack cocaine dealers in Newark, NJ.com wrote in a feature about Edge.

“He had a very calm demeanor,” said Robert Laurino, who worked with Edge in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. “Nothing ever shocked Peter.”

Now Edge is responsible for more than 10,000 employees and a $2 billion budget.

“When you start out like that, nothing surprises you,” said Edge, who took over the top job in May after serving as the deputy associate executive director. “You’ve been in a situation where you don’t know what’s behind door No. 1. In this job you’re constantly dealing with problem sets that have to be solved.” Now Edge has some new threats to worry about.

“Criminal networks are increasingly sophisticated in taking advantage of the many ways in which the internet can streamline communications, financing and logistics — just as it does for legal enterprise,” Edge said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Is Michigan Man, 71, A War Criminal or Simply an Ice Cream Man

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Is Mahmoud Bazzi, 71, a Lebanese native who operates an ice cream truck in Dearborn, a war criminal?

Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press headed to Ireland for a detailed report on the whole ordeal.

Schaefer reports that folks in Dublin say Bazzi was responsible for the murder in 1980 of Derek Smallhorne and Thomas Barrett, who were part of the Irish Defense Forces working for the United Nations peace keeping forces in Lebanon. A third Irish private, John O’Mahony, was shot twice but survived.

Schaefer writes that there are two eye witnesses linking him to the murders. Bazzi, through interpreters, denies it all.

Schaefer reports that on Tuesday, U.S. Homeland Security officers arrested Bazzi at his apartment in east Dearborn. He’s due this week in federal court in Detroit where authorities plan to start the deportation process to send him to his native Lebanon.

Schaefer reports that Bazzi is being held on an immigration violation. He used someone else’s passport to enter the country 21 years ago, Schaefer reports.  U.S. authorities won’t say whether he will face charges linked to the shootings.

To read more click here.

Read full-version at the Detroit Free Press. 

 

Documentary, ‘Newburgh Sting,’ Explores Whether FBI Went Too Far in Prosecuting Men for Terrorism

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new documentary, “The Newburgh Sting,” chronicles the story of four New York men who were snared by the FBI in a terrorism scheme, the New York Daily News reports.

The film, which airs today on HBO, tells the story of four Muslim converts who joined an FBI-fabricated plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx and shoot military planes from the sky.

The filmmakers question the FBI’s decision to create a plot and get the struggling men to go along with it.

The men received 25 years in prison.

“This case is often cited as an example of entrapment, but in making this film, I’ve come to believe it was something much, much worse,”producer David Heilbroner said.

“The FBI committed a fraud on Congress and the American people by taking our tax dollars and creating a terrorist threat that, without the FBI, never would have existed at all,” he added.

 

FBI: Scams Target Families of Central American Children Captured Along U.S. Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating two scams that target some of the families of the tens of thousands of Central American children who have been captured recently trying to sneak into the U.S., Al Jazeera America reports.

The telephone scams involve asking families for money for phony travel costs.

“One fraud scheme involved individuals who claimed to be representing a charitable or non-profit organization, which they claimed assists in processing and reuniting the children with their families,” Special Agent Michelle Lee told Reuters.

The scam has bilked families out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars, the FBI said.

The FBI is warning Texans to be skeptical of people claiming to be nonprofit workers.

Officials: Border Patrol Under Heavy Fire from Mexican Cartels Near Texas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents came under heavy fire from the Mexican side of the border Friday night, Fox News reports.

Authorities believe .50-caliber rounds were fired at the U.S. side of the riverbank near Rincon Peninsula across from Reynosa, Mexico. Sources told Fox News that the gunfire likely came from Mexican drug cartels.

“We don’t have any armor that can stop a .50-caliber round, so our Border Patrol agents had to take cover when the rounds were richocheting around them,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas said.

“When the shooting stopped, about 40 to 50 people came out on the U.S. side and turned themselves in. So clearly the rounds were being fired to suppress every effort to stop anybody intervening with anyone or anything coming across,” Gohmert added. “We have no idea what or how many or whom came across with the other illegal immigrants.”

The shooting comes at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of an immigration crisis involving unaccompanied children from Central America.

Report: Obama Administration Ignored Warnings of Brewing Border Crisis

white house photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly a year before a flood of unaccompanied children from Central America created a crisis along the border, the Obama administration was warned that the U.S. was not adequately prepared for such a situation, the Washington Post reports.

A team of Border Patrol agents was assigned to the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and was alarmed by the potential for problems.

This year, more than 57,000 Central American migrants were caught entering the U.S. illegally, and President Obama has declared a humanitarian crisis.

The administration could have better managed the problem had it acted soon, the Post found during interviews with experts and former government officials.

Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief, said the crisis was “not on anyone’s radar” and was considered a “local problem.”