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Tag: George Bush

Ex-Secret Service Agent Answers Question: Is Barack Obama A Nice Guy?

Jason Wells (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

While working a detail, Secret Service agents act professionally. But internally, they have opinions of the people they protect.

Jason Wells, a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, knows a thing or two about the Obamas. He is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who worked a detail protecting the Obama family, and answers the question about the family in a story posted on the website, VT, a news and entertainment outlet:

“With that stated…. Senator Obama, Mrs. Obama and their two daughters were always extremely cordial and appreciative for everything that we provided them.”

“They were engaging with us, asking us about our families and making sure that we were provided for. On numerous occasions, Mr. Obama would ask me how my wife was doing (she was pregnant with our first child), and wished her the best.

Wells Linkedin page says this:

Provided physical protection to senior executive leadership of the United States of America including President Obama, Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and families, Vice President Biden and family, Former Vice President Cheney and family; as well as security for foreign dignitaries hosted in the United States (including Prime Minister Tony Blair). Provided physical protection to US leadership and dignitaries during international assignments, liaising with foreign security details to ensure that security protocols were in compliance with international regulations

Trump Considers Appointing First Woman to Lead 82-Year-Old FBI

Fran Townsend, via Twitter

Fran Townsend, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is reportedly considering appointing the first woman to head the FBI after firing Director James Comey earlier this month under suspicious circumstances.

Politico confirmed that Fran Townsend, the former homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush, was approached by the Trump administration about the coveted job. 

“I’ve talked to folks in the administration about it,” she said.

Acknowledging that her candidacy is “history-making,” Townsend would be the first woman to take the helm of the FBI since the bureau was founded in 1935. “The fact that women are in that mix says a lot about how far we’ve come. That hasn’t been true before,” she said. “Regardless of whatever decision is made, we have begun to shatter a glass ceiling about what is the population of people who are qualified and competitive to hold such a position.”

Asked whether she’d take the job if its was offered, Townsend dodged the question.

As for whether she’d take the job if offered, the former Bush official demurred: “You know what? I learned in the White House I don’t do hypotheticals,” she said, “but I will say I was quite honored and quite flattered to be approached.”

Secret Service Failed to Fix Former President Bush’s Residential Alarm

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For more than a year, former president George H.W. Bush’s home had a broken alarm system and Secret Service failed to fix it, the Washington Post reports. 

Although the alarm system monitors the property and the house, the agency rejected requests to replace it since 2010, according to an inspector general report.

For at least 13 months, the 20-year-old alarm system didn’t function and wasn’t fixed. It wasn’t until November or December of 2014 that the replacement was made.

Although the Secret Service provided an agent to take place of the broken alarm, the report said that was insufficient.

Agency officials said technology problems are common.

“The service, supported by the department, is making it a priority to go through all of the security systems for all of the protectees, whether they are current officials or former presidents,” said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s the department’s and the service’s job to always be concerned about their security, particularly in light of recent things we’ve learned.”

Other Stories of Interest


Secret Service Failed to Fix Alarm at Former President Bush’s House for 1+ Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For more than a year, former president George H.W. Bush’s home had a broken alarm system and Secret Service failed to fix it, the Washington Post reports. 

Although the alarm system monitors the property and the house, the agency rejected requests to replace it since 2010, according to an inspector general report.

For at least 13 months, the 20-year-old alarm system didn’t function and wasn’t fixed. It wasn’t until November or December of 2014 that the replacement was made.

Although the Secret Service provided an agent to take place of the broken alarm, the report said that was insufficient.

Agency officials said technology problems are common.

“The service, supported by the department, is making it a priority to go through all of the security systems for all of the protectees, whether they are current officials or former presidents,” said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s the department’s and the service’s job to always be concerned about their security, particularly in light of recent things we’ve learned.”

Other Stories of Interest


A Free Man, Ex-NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik Now Pushes for Prison Reform

Bernie Kerik/ photo from his website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

What’s Ex-NY Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik up to since he was released from federal prison after serving about three years?

For one, he’s back to running the Kerik Group, that provides security and countterrorism services internationally.

He’s also pushing for prison reform.

Kerik emailed a press release Sunday stating that he’s pushing for prison reform, and plans to deliver a speech on Jan. 29 at the Arlington Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA, to talk about a prison system he says is in dire need of repair.

His press release states:

Too many people are being sent to prison for non-violent offenses. The US has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. One in 31 Americans are behind bars, on probation or on parole. Our system of justice is too costly to the taxpayers and to family and friends of those being  incarcerated. Bernard Kerik has had a bird’s eye view and has come out of prison with specific recommendations.

In 2004, President George W. Bush nominated Kerik to serve as  Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A week later, he withdrew his name after admitting he failed to pay payroll taxes for his children’s nanny.

He ended up pleading guilty to income tax charges and lying to the federal government. He was sentenced to four years in prison and ended up serving about three years. He was released from federal custody last Oct. 15.

Last November, Matt Lauer of the Today Show interviewed Kerik about his life behind bars. (See the interview below).

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sampling of What Publications Are Saying About James Comey for FBI Director

James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s reported pick of former Justice official James Comey for FBI director has triggered many reports in the media.  Here is a sampling of some of those.

The Christian Science Monitor:

With the reported pick of James Comey to be the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, President Obama appears to have hit a political sweet spot.

Mr. Comey is a Republican and aggressive prosecutor who served in senior Justice Department positions in the administration of George W. Bush. He donated to John McCain’s and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns. To read more click here.

Associated Press

Republicans said Thursday they see no major obstacles to Senate confirmation of James Comey, the former deputy attorney general in the Bush administration who is expected to be nominated by President Barack Obama as the next FBI director.

Comey, who would replace Robert Mueller as head of the national security organization, is certain to face tough questions about his work as a counsel for a major hedge fund and his ties to Wall Street as well as how he would handle current, high-profile FBI investigations.

But Republicans and Democrats said the former prosecutor’s strong credentials and sterling reputation suggest his path to confirmation should be relatively smooth.

To read more click here.

U.S. News & World Report:

President Barack Obama plans to nominate James Comey as director of the FBI, administration officials said Wednesday. Comey is a Republican and former deputy attorney general under George W. Bush.

The nomination is a signal of bipartisanship from Obama, who has had difficulty seeing his nominees confirmed, and is likely to garner support from both parties in the Senate. Comey, a former hedge fund manager and former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, would take over the position from Robert Mueller. Mueller’s term expires in September, and FBI officials hope Obama will formally make the nomination and leave ample time to confirm Comey before the post must be vacated.

Comey is most well-known for an incident in 2004, when he was standing in for Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was hospitalized with pancreatitis. As acting attorney general, Comey refused to reauthorize the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and White House counsel Alberto Gonazles attempted to sidestep Comey and appeal to Ashcroft while he was disoriented in the hospital. Comey beat them to Ashcroft’s hospital room and prevented the program from being approved, and was widely praised for adhering to the law.

Comey testified before Congress on the indicident in 2007, saying, “I was angry. I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me. I thought he had conducted himself in a way that demonstrated a strength I had never seen before, but still I thought it was improper.”

To read more click here.

USA Today 

Nearly two years ago, when Obama administration officials were just beginning a search for a successor to FBI Director Robert Mueller, James Comey was on the short list.

His broad law enforcement experience — as the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan and later as the deputy attorney general in charge of the daily operations of the sprawling Justice Department — was a biography that all but spoke for itself.

But what some analysts say makes him the ideal choice now, just as the White House and Justice Department are entangled in a series of national security controversies, is an unusual brand of independence rooted in his role as a former appointee of the George W. Bush administration.

To read more click here.

 

New York Times Editorial: The Phony Tough-on-Terror Crowd

By The New York Times
Editorial Page

Republicans and Democrats are championing bills to further militarize the prosecution of terrorists, beyond anything even President George W. Bush proposed.

They want Americans to believe the legislation will keep the country safer. In fact, these bills could end up tying the hands of F.B.I. agents and other law enforcement officials trying to disrupt terrorist plots. They are likely to deprive prosecutors of their most powerful weapons in bringing terrorists to justice. And they come perilously close to upending the prohibition, which dates back to Reconstruction, against the military’s operating as a police force within the United States.

There is no sign that the White House tried to stop the House from passing a particularly awful version of these bills, which would move most, if not all, terrorism cases from civilian courts to military tribunals. And there is no sign the White House tried to stop the Senate Armed Services Committee from approving only a slightly better one.

To read more click here.

New York Times Editorial: When it Comes to Basic American Rights, FBI Going Backwards

By The New York Times
Editorial Page

The Obama administration has long been bumbling along in the footsteps of its predecessor when it comes to sacrificing Americans’ basic rights and liberties under the false flag of fighting terrorism. Now the Obama team seems ready to lurch even farther down that dismal road than George W. Bush did.

Instead of tightening the relaxed rules for F.B.I. investigations — not just of terrorism suspects but of pretty much anyone — that were put in place in the Bush years, President Obama’s Justice Department is getting ready to push the proper bounds of privacy even further.

Attorney General John Ashcroft began weakening rights protections after 9/11. Three years ago, his successor, Michael Mukasey, issued rules changes that permit agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use highly intrusive methods — including lengthy physical surveillance and covert infiltration of lawful groups — even when there is no firm basis for suspecting any wrongdoing.

To read full editorial click here.