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Archive for October 29th, 2019

Secret Service Agent Participates in 100K Race While Battling Cancer

Javelina Hundred Endurance Run, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Just a month after Secret Service Agent Rodney Wellman began radiation for tumors that spread to his brain, the 49-year-old father took part in a grueling 100K race in the Arizona desert.

His goal was to challenge himself and to raise awareness about lung cancer.

Last October, Wellman became seriously ill. Believing he had a bad chest cold, he went to see a doctor and learned he had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to his brain and lymph nodes.

The diagnosis shocked him because he had never smoked. Now he wants people to know that even non-smokers can get lung cancer.

“People automatically assume that people who have lung cancer must have smoked, and you did this to yourself,” Wellman told Runner’s World. “There’s a lot of people like me where that is not the case, yet it seems to get pushed down the funding lists.”

Wellman began training for the Javelina Hundred Endurance Run, a difficult trek for even veteran runners. Some of his Secret Service colleagues joined him. The idea was to raise money for lung cancer awareness and research.

Over the weekend, Wellman gave it a go. About three-quarters into the run, he had to stop because of severe cramping.

“This is a long fight, and we’re just getting started,” Wellman told CBS News.

Debates Rage on over Removing J. Edgar Hoover’s Name from New Headquarters

Current FBI headquarters, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Plans to build a new FBI headquarters have been in limbo under President Trump, but that hasn’t stopped lawmakers and others from debating whether to remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from a new building.

The Washington Times talked to lawmakers and former FBI officials to get their take. Some lawmakers scoff at the legacy of Hoover, the bureau’s first and longest-serving director. They say he discriminated against gay workers and squashed the civil liberties of black protesters, citing his obsession with Martin Luther King Jr.

“J. Edgar Hoover was an abomination on our history,” said Rep. Karen Bass, California Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “I think they should find a name more reputable than J. Edgar Hoover. I mean, all that came out about him after his death: the way he threatened people, what he did in the African American community, what he did to Martin Luther King, what he did to the LGBT community, I could go on and on.”

Former agents say he was a crime-busting and national security hero and transformed the FBI into an effective, modernized federal agency.

“As a former agent, I am disappointed in the FBI for not doing more to defend Mr. Hoover’s legacy,” said William D. Brannon, a 30-year FBI veteran and chairman of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes Hoover’s legacy with scholarships to underprivileged college students.

“He really is the father of modern law enforcement,” said John F. McCaffrey, director of the J. Edgar Hoover Institute and a former agent. “We need to recognize that. He did things like establish an identification division, he brought science to law enforcement. He may have had his shortcomings, but his accomplishments were tremendous, and we want to see him recognized.”

One Congressional Black Caucus member, Rep. Val Butler Demings, D-Fla., said agents should be able to decide the name of the new headquarters.

“I think it’s really important to understand how the men and women of the bureau feel about the first FBI director,” she said. “I think it’s really important to listen to them.”

But first, the federal government has to decide on a plan for a new headquarters. The current one is decrepit, can’t accommodate a lot of new technology and constitutes security concerns.

Until Trump came along, federal officials had narrowed down the locations for a new headquarters to Maryland and Virginia. Congress had even security a third of the funding.

But six months into his administration, Trump officials abandoned the previous plans, and the project has been in limbo since.