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Tag: fbi agents association

FBI Group Calls for End to Shutdown, Saying National Security Is at Stake

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A group representing thousands of FBI agents is calling for an end to the government shutdown, saying national security is at stake.

The FBI Agents Association on Thursday released a petition demanding leaders reopen the government.

“On Friday, January 11, 2019, FBI Agents will not be paid due to the partial government shutdown, but we will continue our work protecting our nation,” the petition states. “We urge our elected representatives to fund the Department of Justice and the FBI because financial security is a matter of national security.”

The FBI is among several federal agencies that must continue to operate without paying its employees as the shutdown reached its 21st day Friday.

The petition said the shutdown will cause a signifiant financial burden on many agents and could make it more difficult for the bureau to recruit future employees.

“The men and women of the FBI proudly serve this nation and are honored to protect our country and Constitution from all threats, foreign and domestic,” the petition reads. “We are confident that our leaders share this commitment to protecting our country and will find a path forward to fund the DOJ and the FBI.” 

It continues, “As those on the frontlines in the fight against criminals and terrorists, we urge expediency before financial insecurity compromises national security.”

In Midst of Government Shutdown, FBI Agents Association Pushes For Better Pay and Tax Breaks For Agents

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the midst of the government shutdown, the FBI Agents Association issued a statement assuring the public agents will continue to do their job.

At the same time, the association in its statement is pushing for better pay and tax relief for agents who are transferred:

“Due to years of pay freezes, federal employee pay lags significantly behind the private sector, and this disparity makes it more difficult to recruit skilled professionals to government service.  At a minimum, the 1.9% pay increase for federal employees that the Senate passed with over 90 votes should become law and applied retroactively to 2019 wages when the shutdown ends.

Special Agents can be transferred to different offices around the country and the world to meet the needs of the FBI.  The 2017 tax law eliminated the moving expense deduction, which offset the relocation expense burden for Special Agents and their families.  As a result, moving reimbursements are now considered taxable income.  FBIAA urges Congress to enact legislation to provide tax relief to Special Agents similar to the bipartisan Relocation Expense Parity Act that was introduced during the last Congress.”

As for protecting the nation, the association stated:

“As the country celebrates the New Year, the American public can be assured that the FBIAA’s membership—which includes nearly 13,000 Special Agents of the FBI  are on the job 24-hours a day, seven days a week to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats. These men and women are doing so while facing a confluence of policies and gridlock that are causing financial hardship for Agents and their families.

FBIAA members and others are currently working without pay or paid leave because of a fourth government shutdown in five years.  The FBIAA calls on elected officials to work together to end the shutdown and restore Agents’ pay.

 

Hunt Continues for Missing FBI Agent Levinson 11 Years After Disappearance in Iran

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

It has been 11 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson was last seen alive.

Levinson, who would have turned 70 years old on Saturday, disappeared while on a CIA operation on Kish Island in Iran.

The Iranian government initially responded that it had detained Levinson but soon backed off that story and has since maintained it has no idea about Levinson’s whereabouts.

“This is something the FBI has never forgotten. His fellow agents have never forgotten Bob,” Tom O’Connor, the head of the FBI Agents Association, told WTOP. “The FBI Agents Association stands with his family and with the FBI in the efforts that everyone is making to reunite Bob with his family.”

The FBI has not given up. O’Connor said.

“There are people that are dedicated to working nothing but the Bob Levinson kidnapping case,” he said.

Some intelligence officials believe Levinson may be dead, but that hasn’t stopped the search.

“By remembering these solemn anniversaries — 11 years is a long time — we hope that somebody will come forward with information. There’s a reward out there, $5 million, for the return of Bob Levinson to his family,” O’Connor said.

“Representatives of the Government of Iran and the United States agreed to cooperate in sharing information which would lead to Mr. Levinson’s return,” the FBI said in a statement on Friday. “The FBI calls on the government of Iran to uphold this commitment so that Mr. Levinson and his family can be reunited.”

In his experience, O’Connor said he’s not giving up hope.

“I’ve worked on hostage cases in the past where someone was held in Iraq for 311 days, and it just was one piece of information that broke and he was reunited with his family,” he said. “People didn’t think that was going to happen and it did, so never give up hope.”

FBI Agents Association Urges Trump Administration to Step Up Efforts to Gain Release of Former Agent Robert Levinson on 10th Anniversary of Disappearance

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 13,000 active and former FBI agents, marked the 10th anniversary of former FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s disappearance on Thursday by calling for the Trump Administration and the international community to increase efforts to gain his release.

“It’s time to bring Bob home to his family,” said FBIAA President Tom O’Connor  said in a statement. “FBIAA urges the Trump Administration and the international community to press Iran for information on his disappearance.  We are encouraged by the recent statement by a White House National Security spokesperson that Bob’s case is a priority and that the U.S. will never cease in its efforts to bring Bob home.  We ask anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to come forward to help reunite Bob with his loved ones.”

Levinson is a retired FBI Agent who served 22 years with the FBI and six with the DEA. He traveled to Kish Island, Iran as a private investigator and has not been publicly seen or heard from since his disappearance on March 9, 2007.

“Our message to Bob and his family is that his former colleagues have not forgotten him,” said O’Connor.  We continue to stand with the Levinson family.  Bob has missed a decade of accomplishments and milestones in the lives of his children and his wife, Christine.  We pledge to the Levinson family that we will not let the world forget Bob’s unjustified imprisonment and we will continue to work for his release.”

FBI Agents Association Says Rep. Mike Rogers “Never Forgot the Men and Women of the Bureau”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI always seemed to appreciate having one of its own in Congress.

So when Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich), the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, announced he was retiring to host a nationally syndicated radio show, the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) wanted to show some appreciation.

President Reynaldo Tariche issued a statement on Monday, saying:

“The FBIAA and our 12,000 active duty and retired Agents thank Chairman Rogers for his many years of public service and for his support of Agents over the years. Agents knew that they had a strong voice in Congress thanks to Chairman Rogers.

“He started his career as an FBI Special Agent and though he left the FBI in 1995 to start his political career, he never forgot the men and women of the Bureau and has been a champion for Agents since his election to Congress. He will be missed and we wish him well in his new career in the private sector.”

FBI Agents Association Throws Weight Behind Bipartisan Spending Plan

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to avoid further cutbacks, the FBI Agents Association is showing its support for a bipartisan spending plan that would avoid more than $700 million in additional sequestration reductions, NPR reports.

The plan, while not ideal for the cash-strapped agency, was announced Tuesday by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

Agents are hoping to avoid furloughs that reduce law enforcement efforts, such as combating terrorism and corruption.

“The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would help alleviate some of these budgetary pressures by lifting the threat of over $700 million in additional sequestration cuts and providing appropriators with additional funds that can be used to support the vital work of FBI Special Agents,” FBI Agents Association President Reynaldo Tariche writes in a letter obtained by NPR.

FBI Agents Association: Looming Cuts Will Make It More Difficult to Fight Crime, Terrorism

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Budget cuts are going to have a big impact on the FBI’s ability to fight crime and terrorism, according to a group that represents 12,000 active and former special agents, Govexec.com reports.

The FBI Agents Association warned at a press conference Wednesday of the effects of looming furloughs, an ongoing hiring freeze and cuts in training.

The group, for example, said the sequestration is likely to force agents to take between 10 and 15 days of furloughs.

“Terrorists don’t get furloughed,” Tariche said. “Cyber hackers don’t get furloughed. Gang leaders are not furloughed and it’s not an acceptable thing to furlough active FBI agents because of the risks posed from both terrorist and criminal threats.”

FBI Tries to Manage During Government Shutdown, Hopes for the Best

FBI Director: James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is worried about the impact the government shutdown will have on investigating crime.

Already hammered by budget cuts and sequestration, the FBI is operating without employees deemed “non-essential,” the Washington Times reports.

A month ago, the FBI Agents Association said in a report that it’s concerned about budget cuts that already froze new training and the hirings of new agents.

“Trying to save money by undermining the FBI’s ability to protect the public is likely to be far more costly to our country in the long run,” the group said.

FBI Director James Comey said he’s shocked by the impact on budget cuts.

“I was very surprised to learn how severe the required cut is and the potential impact on this organization,” he said. “Frankly, as a taxpayer and as an American I was surprised, and it didn’t make any sense to me that the FBI director would be asked not just to cut 3,000 positions but, given what’s on our plate, to send folks home for a couple weeks without pay.”