Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for October, 2014

First-Amendment Lawyer: AG Eric Holder Has Some Wrongs to Correct Before Leaving

By David A. Schulz
For Washington Post

As Eric Holder reflects on his six years as attorney general, one disturbing aspect of his legacy should give him significant pause. On Holder’s watch, legal protections traditionally afforded to communications between reporters and sources have been torn down, potentially damaging for years to come the media’s ability to uncover and report on government missteps. The attorney general should acknowledge the problems and address them before leaving office.

Holder has faced harsh criticism for pursuing two related strategies that undermined reporter-source communications. The first denied that any “reporter’s privilege” exists — and just this year the Supreme Court let stand an appellate court ruling adopting Holder’s position.

That ruling came in response to a prosecutor’s demand that Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James Risen disclose his source for a report on the CIA’s effort to subvert Iran’s nuclear program. Although a reporter’s privilege has been recognized for decades in other contexts, a divided court of appealsaccepted the Justice Department’s argument that no evidentiary privilege allowed Risen to refuse to identify his source in a criminal prosecution. Under this ruling, the question of whether to require a reporter to reveal a source rests with the prosecutor alone.

The ruling is an unflinching rejection of a reporter’s right to make a binding promise of confidentiality in exchange for information. It is a direct assault on the foundation of trust needed for effective investigative reporting and threatens to limit severely disclosures by government whistleblowers. That Holder’s Justice Department fought for just this ruling caused some media lawyers to label this administration “worse than Nixon” for the free press.

The impact of this ruling is compounded by a second Holder strategy: relaxing regulations limiting prosecutors’ surreptitious surveillance of reporters’ communications.
To read more click here.

Attorney General Holder Says Ferguson Police Department Needs ‘Wholesale Change’

Courtesy of DOJ

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson Police Department, the Associated Press reports. 

Holder sad in a question-and-answer session with a newspaper at the Washington Ideas Forum that serious changes are needed.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the need for wholesale change in that department is appropriate.”

But Holder didn’t elaborate or discuss leadership changes at the department.

Holder defended his 2009 remarks that America is a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race, saying the country is “still reluctant to talk about issues of race.

Holder said he hopes his legacy involves improving the country.

“As a person who tried to make the country better and used the power of his office to raise issues that too often were not addressed,” Holder said.

Video: Right-Wing Artist Interviewed by Secret Service over Bizarre Tweets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service paid a visit to an anti-Obama artist because of some unusual tweets.

And most of the interview was caught on video.

Th artist known as Sabo  aroused suspicion following several tweets.

One of them involved bringing Harvey Lee Oswald back from the dead as a zombie.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Seattle Times: FBI ‘Obliterated a Line That Should Have Never Been Crossed’ with Fake News Site

By Seattle Times
Editorial Board

The Associated Press has a well-earned reputation as an independent, credible government watchdog. That’s why the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s appropriation of that credibility in a 2007 case obliterated a line that should never have been crossed.

The laudable end — conviction of a student making school bomb threats — does not justify the government’s outrageous disregard of the role of the press in a free society. In fact, it utterly undermines that role at a time when media companies are struggling to remain strong in the face of government abuses over the last two presidential administrations.

On Monday, Seattle Times reporter Mike Carter reported that, in 2007, the FBI mocked up a fake Associated Press story. The intention was to trick a suspect in a series of bomb threats at Lacey’s Timberline High School to click on a link sent to his MySpace account. All this was done under the authority of a federal warrant.

When the suspect clicked on the link, hidden FBI software revealed the suspect’s location to agents.

Initially, Carter found documents suggesting the FBI had nestled the AP story in an email that looked like it was from a Seattle Times’ website. But FBI officials waited almost a full day after Carter’s story was published Monday evening to suggest that, while using The Times name was contemplated and mocked up, the link to the AP story was not sent using a Times email.

The bomb-threat case was serious, no question, and deserved vigorous enforcement efforts. But agents could have tricked the student in other ways — a free concert ticket or free video game. They should not have assumed the identity of a media organization.

The damage matters: “This ploy violated AP’s name and undermined AP’s credibility,” said Paul Colford, director of AP media relations.

To read more click here.

FBI Agents Impersonated Repairmen to Gain Access to Computers in Las Vegas Hotel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents acted against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney and impersonated repair technicians at a Las Vegas hotel to investigate online sports betting, the Associated Press reports.

The agents shut off the Internet at a Las Vegas hotel to make it appears as though the computer and hardware needed to be repaired.

Now defense attorneys representing some of the suspects are asking a federal judge to throw out the case because agents didn’t receive consent to examine the equipment being used by the suspects.

The hotel tipped off the FBI of a possible illegal gambling operation.

By gaining access to the computers, agents were able to get valuable evidence of an illegal online gambling operation.

 

Homeland Security Official Who Investigated Prostitution Scandal Accused of Hiring Prostitute

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
A federal investigator in charge of a prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service in 2012 has stepped down after surveillance allegedly caught him with a prostitute in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.
 
Homeland Security investigator David Nieland resigned Aug. 9, ostensibly for health reasons. But federal officials said Nieland wouldn’t discuss the allegations against him before stepping down. 

According to investigators, Nieland was seen in a building that was under surveillance for prostitution. A prostitute eventually identified Nieland as a client.

Nieland was the lead investigator probing the 2012 scandal in which Secret Service agents were accused of bringing back hookers to their hotel rooms in Columbia.

FBI Reaches 1M Followers on Twitter, Continues to Combat Crime with Social Media

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI announced Tuesday that it has reached 1 million followers on Twitter.

That’s quite an achievement for a federal agency that uses social media to help capture suspects, locate missing children and warn of dangers.

 

Rob 2 or More Banks in California And You Get a Nickname Courtesy of a Special Agent

File photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Plain Jane Bandit. Gone Plaid Bandit. Grandma Bandit.

Anyone who robs two more more banks in Los Angeles gets a nickname, Vanity Fair reports.

The idea is to help people keep track of the numerous bank robbers that are on the loose.

The practice began in the 1980s when Los Angeles was nicknamed “The Bank Robbery Capital of the World.”

The man who gets to nickname the robbers is Special Agent Steve May, the bank robbery coordinator for the bureau’s Southern California territory.

May names every robber and then adds the monickers in a database.

Other Stories of Interest