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Archive for February 11th, 2016

FBI Director Comey Promotes Agents to Key Leadership Positions in Agency

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey on Thursday announced several changes at the top of the food chain at the FBI.

David Bowdich (file photo)

David Bowdich (file photo)

David Bowdich, who has served as the head of the Los Angeles FBI, has been named associate deputy director of the FBI at headquarters. He will oversee the FBI’s non-operational branches and divisions.

Michael Steinbach, the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, will assume the position of executive assistant director for the National Security Branch at headquarters. He is replacing John Giacalone, who is retiring at the end of February.

James Turgal, the assistant director of the Human Resources Division, has been named executive assistant director for the Information and Technology Branch at headquarters.

Deirdre L. Fike

Deirdre L. Fike

Deirdre Fike, who served as the head of the FBI’s Anchorage Division, has been named assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office, replacing David Bowdich.

David Schlendorf, assistant director of the Resource Planning Office, has been named assistant director for the Human Resources Division.

Military Prosecutor Agrees with Senate Report about CIA Prisoners Being Tortured

guantanamobayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An eye-opening Senate report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices is accurate, said the chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay.

The Washington Post reports that the prosecutor’s statements contradict those made by former CIA officials and congressional Republicans, who have insisted the report was strewn with errors.

Brig. Mark Martins made the statements in a motion filed Friday in the case against five people accused of helping carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

“While the opinions and conclusions of the [Senate report] are irrelevant to these proceedings, the factual recitations of what occurred to the accused are gleaned from the very same Executive Branch documents the Prosecution has reviewed, or is in the process of reviewing, in its own holdings,” Martins wrote.

“As such, the Prosecution will stipulate that the facts contained within the Executive Summary occurred,” Martins stated.

The Senate report described brutal treatment of prisoners held by the CIA around the world. According to the report, the CIA beat and water-boarded prisoners.

  

Other Stories of Interest

Four Remaining Occupiers in Oregon Surrender, Ending 41-Day Siege

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon ended peacefully after 41 tumultuous days.

The four remaining occupiers surrendered to authorities Thursday morning.

Three of the four occupiers were taken into custody without incident, but one occupier stayed behind and insisted he would not come out of the refuge “unless my grievances are heard,” The Washington Post reported. 

The lone holdout, identified as David Fry, was agitated and said on a telephone call that he didn’t “want to be put behind bars” and was having suicidal thoughts.

Shortly after, authorities converged on Fry and arrested him.

FBI agents decided to surround the final occupiers Wednesday afternoon after one of them drove outside of the group’s encampment in what appeared to be a stolen all-terrain vehicle.

“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully,” Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Oregon division, said in a statement. “However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area.”

Gun-Toting Conservative Helped Negotiate End of Occupation at Wildlife Refuge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was an intervention from the unlikeliest of people – Michele Fiore, a gun-toting politician who has supported the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

On Wednesday Fiore was acting as a negotiator between the FBI and the four remaining occupiers, who may turn themselves in this morning.

Much of the credit for potentially ending the occupation belongs to Fiore, a 45-year-old Nevada state assemblywoman, who spoke to occupiers over the phone Wednesday night, the Washington Post reports. 

Whatever Fiore told the occupiers appears to have prompted them to tentatively agree to turn themselves in Thursday morning.

“Fiore has really given the holdouts a sense of purpose,” tweeted John Sepulvado, a reporter covering the standoff for Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Regardless of what you think of her politics — [she] clearly diffused the situation.”

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI

los angeles sheriffBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former Los Angeles County sheriff who lied about helping hide an inmate-turned-FBI informant from his federal handlers pleaded guilty to making a false statement, his attorney said Wednesday.

ABC7 reports that former Sheriff Lee Baca was trying to hinder a federal investigation into civil rights abuses at county jails.

In April 2013, Baca also lied to the bureau about sheriff’s officials threatening to arrest an FBI agent at her in 2011.

As part of a plea agreement, Baca admitted he knowingly made a false statement about sheriff’s officials confronting an FBI agent at her home.

“Today’s charge and plea agreement demonstrate that illegal behavior within the Sheriff’s Department went to the very top of the organization,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said. “More importantly, this case illustrates that leaders who foster and then try to hide a corrupt culture will be held accountable.”

The federal investigation involved LASD Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who is accused of overseeing a secret plot to hide an inmate who became an FBI informant so that investigators couldn’t find him.

FBI Pumps Up Enforcement of U.S. Companies That Win Contracts Through Bribery

bribeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has pumped up its enforcement of overseas bribes made by U.S. companies to win contracts.

Bloomberg reports the bureau has added 40 lawyers and agents who will sniff out foreign bribes.

Anti-bribery units have begun working to uncover crooked deals in places like Africa, Asia and South America.

“We’re trying to leverage” companies into reporting suspected bribes by their workers “because often only they have the ability to get that information,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We expect that with new agents and our prosecutors out there,” companies “will think significantly about self-reporting.”

The FBI is using wiretaps and informants to help infiltrate crooking dealings.

“I’m a big fan of all sorts of tactics, including wiretaps, to build a case,” George Khouzami, the assistant special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office, said in an interview. “We’ve had significant success in recent public corruption cases where it’s easy to play the tape and prove the crime. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of that now when doing FCPA cases?”