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Archive for October 2nd, 2014

Ex-DEA Informant Awarded $1.1 Million

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge has awarded $1.1 million in damages to a former undercover DEA informant who was kidnapped in Colombia and held captive for more than three months, the Legal Times reported.

The Legal Times reports that a U.S. Court of Federal Claims said the informant, identified in court papers as “The Princess,” “demonstrated that [the DEA’s] breach of contract was a substantial factor in causing the Princess’ kidnapping and captivity, and triggering her multiple sclerosis.”

The informant claimed in a suit that the DEA violated its implied-in-fact contract when it failed to prevent her from being kidnapped and held captive for more than three months, the Legal Times reported.

To read more click here.

ATF Agent Wounded, Suspect Dead in Shootout in Athens, Ga.

By Rhonda Cook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal agent was in critical but stable condition Tuesday night and a suspect was dead after a shooting during an undercover law enforcement operation in Athens. A second suspect has been charged in the case.

State and federal officials told reporters an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was in the intensive care unit at an area hospital recovering from his wounds.

They identified the dead man as 20-year-old Javonta Darden. The other suspect, 21-year-old Steven McKinley, was arrested.

To read full story click here.

Terrorists Have Probably Given Secret Service More Credit Than It Deserves

Director Julia Pierson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

I think the American public in general has been blown away by recent news of the lapses in Secret Service security involving the President.

I have to think, had terrorists any clue that it was so easy to breach security and get into the White House, they would have tried something long ago.

Thank goodness that the perception of a secure White House has trumped the reality. How any one could make it so far into the White House is mind boggling. 

Of the many times I passed the White House, I never once thought it would be easy to get in.  It looked so daunting. So secure. Apparently, not so.

 I’ve known a lot of outstanding Secret Service agents over the years, and I have to believe there’s a collective feeling of shame for the agency.  

Should Secret Service Director Julia Pierson have been fired?

Well, under the circumstances there seemed to be no other choice.  

There had to be an expression of outrage that came from the Hill as well as the White House, not to mention the public.

So, yes, the coach had to be fired when the team performed so poorly. In this case, it’s not a game.  

Now, we have to bring some of the top security experts in the world to evaluate the weak points in the presidential security details, both on the road and at the White House. It wouldn’t hurt to bring someone from Israel, a nation obsessed with security.

 We in America need so be obsessed about this issue. 

 

 

Resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Won’t Fix Troubled Agency

By Boston Globe
Editorial Board

For the federal agency tasked with protecting the president, it’s embarrassing enough that a man could scale the White House fence and make it well into the executive mansion before being apprehended. But the Secret Service’s defensive response to the incident, including withholding key information about the breach, is a sign of deeper trouble within the agency. The announcement Wednesday that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson had resigned her post and that the Department of Homeland Security will conduct an investigation of the service shows that problems within the agency are being taken seriously. But the review shouldn’t just result in further layers of security around the White House. What’s needed is a reexamination of an internal culture that permitted serious security breaches and a failure of communication with the members of Congress who are supposed to oversee the agency.

On Sept. 19, Omar Gonzalez, a war veteran who is believed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, hopped the fence and ran through the unlocked front door into the first floor of the White House. It wasn’t until Gonzalez was in the East Room, well within the building, that an off-duty Secret Service officer was able to tackle him. But that was not the version of events made available to members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before their Sept. 30 hearing with Pierson. According to a press release, Gonzalez was apprehended “after entering the White House North Portico doors.” Neither the White House nor the service clarified that statement. The service also said that Gonzalez was unarmed; in fact, he had a knife. According to Representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, who sits on the panel, the committee was unaware of both of those details before they were reported in The Washington Post.

That incident came on the heels of another security failure, in which an armed private security contractor with three prior assault and battery convictions was allowed to ride in an elevator with President Obama during his Sept. 16 visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Allowing someone with a criminal record, let alone someone who is armed, within arm’s reach of the president is a direct breach of Secret Service protocol. But according to the Post, Obama was not briefed on the incident.

To read more click here.

FBI Busts Seller of Intrusive Cell Phone App That Spies on Users

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Want to spy on someone and have immediate access to their calls, texts and photos?

There’s an app for that – and the FBI has tracked down the maker.

The Daily Mail reports that the FBI shut down a website selling the “spyware” app and arrested a Pakistani national in Los Angeles for selling the technology.

The $59.99 app enabled people to intercept call in real time, while also giving them full access to the phone and its data.

The company says it sold more than 100,000 apps.

Andrew McCabe, assistant director of the Washington Field Office said: ‘This application allegedly equips potential stalkers and criminals with a means to invade an individual’s confidential communications.

‘They do this not by breaking into their homes or offices, but by physically installing spyware on unwitting victims’ phones and illegally tracking an individual’s every move.’

New Technology Will Enable Law Enforcement Officers to Quickly Analyze DNA Swabs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Awaiting DNA results can be frustrating for law enforcement.

But the FBI hopes to change that by expediting the process using the government’s new biometric identification database, Biometric Update reports.

The FBI is accelerating the collection of DNA profiles for the Next Generation Identification System. Law enforcement officers will be able to take DNA swabs from suspects using a portable machine that is designed to create matches within 90 minutes.

That means officers will be able to run tests while temporarily detaining a suspect.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that police officers have the right to capture and analyze a cheek swab just like they have the right to take fingerprints or photographs.