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Archive for November 30th, 2017

FBI Revives 42-Year-Old Case Involving 2 Missing School Children

Steven Anderson, 17, and David Williams, 12, went missing 42 years ago. Composites of what the boys would look like now provided by the FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two boys with developmental disabilities went missing from their school in New Jersey more than four decades ago and were never found.

Now the FBI is searching a wildlife refuge area about 25 miles from the New Lisbon State School in Burlington County in hopes of solving the 42-year-old case, the Asbury Park Press reports

The FBI declined to comment on the search, which the bureau termed as “investigative activity.”

The search comes one month after the FBI added the two boys, Steven Anderson, 17, and David Williams, 12, to its website as “missing persons.”

According to the FBI, “Both boys lived at the 1,898-acre (New Lisbon) center located off Route 72 in the New Jersey Pinelands. They had diagnosed developmental disabilities and were unable to care for themselves without supervision. The boys, who were roommates, were last seen at approximately 4:15 p.m., walking towards their residence from a nearby ball field where they had been playing with staff members.”

Other Stories of Interest

Mueller’s Team Questioned Kushner about Russian Meeting with Flynn

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, met earlier this month with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and answered questions about his meeting with a Russian ambassador, multiple news agencies report

The questions centered around a meeting between Kushner, the ambassador and incoming national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, whose attorney recently stopped communicating with Trump’s legal team in a move that could mean he’s becoming a witness for prosecutors and strike a plea deal.

The primary topic was Flynn, sources familiar with the meeting told

CNN and the New York Times.

“Mr. Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so,” Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, told CNN.

The meeting lasted less than 90 minutes.

Both the White House and special counsel’s office declined to comment.

Congressional Black Caucus Grills FBI Director over ‘Black Identity Extremists’ Report

Christopher Wray testifies during his confirmation hearing to become the next FBI director.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Black members of Congress confronted FBI Director Christopher Wray over a report that says the bureau is targeting so-called “Black Identity Extremists”over fears of violence against law enforcement.

The Congressional Black Caucus met with Wray for nearly two hours  to discuss concerns about the ambiguous report, which echoed the rhetoric used by the FBI to spy on black activists in the 1960s and 70s.

Rep. Hakeen Jeffries, D-N.Y., told the New York Times that Wray had trouble defending the report and could not identify a black identity extremist group. 

“He was asked to publicly clarify that there is no scintilla of evidence, as far as we can tell, to provide an example of the black identity extremist movement or any groups that fall in that category,” Jeffries said. “That clarification should be made publicly, it seems to many of us, and not privately behind closed doors.”

Elected leaders and civil rights activists have voiced concerns about the intent of the report and whether it was meant to chill free speech.

“The F.B.I. is linking disparate conduct and unconnected groups to come up with a manufactured black race-based ideology for suspicion and investigation,” said Hina Shamsi, the director of the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We’ve seen this kind of shoddy analysis and bias-based conclusions all too often, applied to African-Americans, Muslim-Americans, environmental activists and others.”

Shamsi added, “The F.B.I. has a critical role in protecting civil liberties, but it routinely undermines them by unjustifiably and unfairly targeting minorities and those who dissent.”

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted he never read the report and couldn’t name a single black identity extremist group.

African Americans were subjected to illegal FBI surveillance in the 1960s and 70s because of similar rhetoric under a subversive program called COINTELPRO.

Trump, Breitbart & Conservatives May Have Lied about Border Patrol Agent’s Death

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The details surrounding the death and serious injuries of two Border Patrol agents on the night of Nov. 18 were almost immediately blamed on stone-throwing immigrants.

But the FBI and other investigators are skeptical, saying the agents may have fallen into a ravine. 

Nevertheless, President Trump, Texas politicians and the right-wing site Breitbart spun a tale that claimed Rogelio Martinez, 36, died from injuries sustained in an attack. His partner was critically injured.

A day after the injuries were reported, Trump tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Trump added that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten,” The Texas Observer points out

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, suggested the agents were attacked, though Breitbart acknowledged in its story that “details on the matter are scarce.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, with no information to back up the story, added to the rhetoric, saying the agent had been “killed” in what is “a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.”

The Culberson County Sheriff’s office, which is working with the FBI task force, told the Dallas Morning News on November 20 that the evidence he saw was “very consistent with a fall.”

The Observer wrote:

Top Texas Republicans, however, weren’t going to let ambiguity get in the way of a good story. The state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, was marginally more measured than Cruz, telling a radio interviewer that “at least preliminarily” the incident was an “ambush by drug traffickers,” though he added that the details were unconfirmed. Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, went even further, introducing the idea that “murder” had occurred. In a press release, he announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for Martinez’s “murder,” which Breitbart quickly turned into a story: “Texas Governor Offers $20,000 for Info on ‘Murder’ of Border Patrol Agent.”

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton joined in as well, both sharing inflammatory articles published shortly after the incident. Patrick selected a Fox News article headlined: “Border agent killed, partner injured by illegal immigrants using rocks, report says.” The supposed “report,” the reader finds, is just a quote from a Border Patrol union official given to another media outlet. Paxton chose Breitbart as his own source.

It’s entirely possible that the Breitbart version of events will turn out to be true, but more than a week after the incident became public, the FBI has yet to release any additional information. Jeanette Harper, a spokesperson for the agency’s El Paso field office, told the Observer on Tuesday that the agency is currently looking into tips. She said it would likely be a while before they could say anything further.

DEA to Open New Office to Combat Prescription Painkiller Abuse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is opening if first new field office in nearly 20 years in an effort to combat prescription-opioid abuse.

The DEA’s 22nd office will be based in Louisville, Kentucky, where prescription painkillers have been especially problematic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday.

USA Today reports that at least 90 federal drug agents will be redeployed to the Louisville office to open a new front on the battle against prescription painkiller abuse. 

“I know that this crisis is daunting,” Sessions said, referring to government estimates that 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year. “But we can, and we will turn the tide.”