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Tag: Leaks

Justice Department Vows to Crackdown on Leakers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some critics have said President Donald Trump has often been more obsessed with leaks than the substance involving possible improprieties.

Now, the  the Justice Department is responding, vowing to aggressively prosecute government officials who leak classified information, the Daily Beast reports.

 

“As the Attorney General has said, the Department of Justice takes unlawful leaks very seriously and those that engage in such activity should be held accountable,” an official told The Daily Beast.

 

Trump Slams FBI for Being Unable to Contain Leaks about His Administration

donald trump rallyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump once again blasted the intelligence community, this time slamming the FBI for failing to prevent leaks inside the bureau.

“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security “leakers that have permeated our government for a long time,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW.”

Trump fired off the tweets a day after it was discovered that his administration tried to get the FBI to undermine evidence of ties between his campaign team and Russia during the presidential election.

This is just the latest round of attacks aimed at the intelligence community.

Homeland Security ‘Spilled’ Classified Information 100+ Times Last Year

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security “spilled” classified information more than 100 times lat year, and 40% of those breaches came from one office, Bloomberg View reports.

Lawmakers and authorities warned that classified information is at risk until Homeland Security can better protect sensitive intelligence.

A “spill” is “the accidental, inadvertent, or intentional introduction of classified information into an unclassified information technology system, or higher-level classified information into a lower-level classified information technology system, to include non-government systems,” a Homeland Security official explained.

That may mean using a personal e-mail to send or receive classified material, using the wrong kind of copier or failing to properly classify sensitive information.

An internal document obtained by Bloomberg View revealed 119 classified spills in fiscal year 2015. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Washington had the most spills. 

Secret Service Furious Over Leaks to Media As Agency Struggles with Image

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Times are tense at the Secret Service.

The Business Insider reports that “the normally tight-lipped agency is now consumed by an intense, high-level guessing game over who was motivated to leak information to the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig,” who first published accounts of misconduct at the agency.

Secret Service officials are angry and want to know who is leaking the information.

“There’s a lot of speculation,” said an insider, calling the leaks “problematic.”

Because the accuracy of some of the reports have been called into question, some officials are questioning whether the leaker is a disgruntled employee.

“Someone or some group of people who really have a bone to pick with the agency overall,” a government source said.

Justice Department Accuses Ferguson Officials of ‘Inappropriate Effort to Influence Opinion’

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department accused some Ferguson officials of leaking information to the media in an effort to support Officer Darren Wilson, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In recent days, details of the investigation have appeared in local and national news coverage at a time when a grand jury decision is imminent on whether Wilson will be charged in the killing of an unarmed black teenager.

The Justice Department called the leaks “irresponsible and highly troubling.”

“There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence opinion about this case.”

The information is supposed to remain a secret through the Grand Jury process.

“There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these ‘leaks’ ….This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media,” said Ferguson protester and resident Patricia Bynes. “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

 

Feds Misbehavin’ in 2013

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Every day, thousands of federal law enforcement agents wake up, grab their gun and badge and a cup of java, orange juice or tea and go out into the world to protect the public and enforce the laws.

Unfortunately, every year, a few step over the line — way over the line — and break the law.

As the year draws to an end,  ticklethewire.com takes a look at some of the more interesting cases of Feds Misbehavin’ for 2013. As in the past, money and sex was involved in some allegations. And this year, unfortunately, so was death.

Too Much Booze: FBI agent Adrian Johnson got 18 months in prison this year after he was convicted of multiple charges including vehicular manslaughter after he drove drunk and crashed into a car in suburban D.C., in Prince George’s County. He killed an 18-year old and man and seriously injured the man’s friend in 2011.

Not So Secret Service: Secret Service agents are getting quite the rep for being serious party people. Supervisors Ignacio Zamora Jr. and Timothy Barraclough, aren’t doing much to change that image. The Washington Post reported in November that the two, who were managing security for the president, have been removed from that detail because of alleged misconduct involving women. 

In one instance in May, Zamora allegedly tried getting back into a woman’s room at the Hay-Adams hotel, near the White House, to get a bullet he had left behind. He was off duty and had removed the bullets from the gun while in the room, the Post reported. He had met the woman at the hotel bar and joined her in her room, the Post reported. The Post reported that the guest refused to let Zamora back in,  and he identified himself to hotel security as a Secret Service agent. The hotel alerted the White House about the odd behavior, the Post reported.

During an internal investigation, investigators also found that the two agents had allegedly sent sexually suggestive emails to a female subordinate, who is an agent.

Hands in the Cookie Jar: Oklahoma FBI agent Timothy A. Klotz confessed to dipping into the FBI cookie jar. Authorities allege that he embezzled $43,190 that was earmarked for confidential informants for tips on criminal activities from 2008-2011.  He acknowledged in a signed statement that he falsified 66 receipts during a scheme that went undiscovered for more than four years. He was sentenced earlier this month to six months in prison and three years of supervised released. He was also ordered to pay a restitution of $43,190.

Let The Dice Roll –– FBI agent Travis Raymond Wilson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., apparently had a little gambling jones and didn’t want the big guys at the FBI to know. Unfortunately for him, he got busted. Wilson pleaded guilty to structuring financial transactions in violation of the federal Bank Secrecy Act.

The feds say between January 2008 and February 2013, Wilson regularly gambled at casinos in California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia, authorities said. In total, Wilson structured more than $488,000 in cash.  Sentencing is set for March 3. 

Hookers, Cash and Luxury Travel: Human temptation. Need you say more. John Bertrand Beliveau Jr., 44, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), apparently failed that test. He pleaded guilty earlier in December to participating in a massive international fraud and bribery scheme. He admitted sharing with a foreign Navy contractor confidential information about ongoing criminal probes into the contractor’s billing practices in exchange for prostitutes, cash and luxury travel, the Justice Department said in a press release. His case is part of a big scandal.

Ethics Still Applies When You Depart: Kenneth Kaiser, former head of the FBI’s Boston office, found that ethics still apply when you leave the bureau.  The choked up ex-agent appeared in court where he was fined $10,000 for violating an ethics charge. Kaiser was accused of meeting with former FBI colleagues about his company that was under investigation. Federal law prohibited him from having professional contact with former FBI colleagues within a year of leaving government service.

“I lost something I valued the most — my reputation,” Kenneth W. Kaiser, 57, of Hopkinton, Mass. said, according to the Boston Globe.

Helping the Wrong Side –  Border Patrol Agent Ivhan Herrera-Chiang took advantage of his position and helped smugglers bring meth, cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. He was sentenced in Phoenix in November to 15 years. He reportedly even helped smugglers find their way around underground sensors and lock combinations.

“You have done about the worst thing a law-enforcement agent could do, especially a Border Patrol agent, and that is passed confidential information,” U.S. District Judge Paul Rosenblatt said.

A Fatal Shot — FBI agent Arthur “Art” Gonzales of Stafford County, Va.  is charged with shooting  his estranged wife to death in April. He told dispatchers he was acting in self-defense when he shot his 42-year-old wife, Julia Sema Gonzales. He says his wife attacked him with a knife.

Gonzales was a supervisory special agent-instructor at the FBI’s National Academy at Quantico.  Court records show bond was granted. Trial has been set for March.

 

ICE Agent ICED:Veteran ICE agent Juan Martinez, 47,  has suddenly got a lot on his plate. He is accused of extortion and accepting bribes. Authorities alleged that he conspired with others to shake down a Colombian construction company. The group allegedly told the firm that it was under investigation, when it was not, and that the U.S. Treasury was about to add the company to a list known as Specially Designated Nationals (SDN). The designation by Treasury can result in the freezing of bank accounts and other action harmful to a business. Martinez’s group said it could keep the company off the list, and for that, it received more than $100,000. He is also accused of illegally bringing in people to this country, claiming falsely that they were witnesses in an ongoing narcotics investigation.   His attorney says the allegations are false.

Leaky Pipes: Plumbers aren’t the only ones who concern themselves with leaks. FBI agent Donald Sachteren who leaked information to the Associated Press was recently sentenced to more than three years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information. Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012. What made him a far less sympathetic character in this whole mess was the fact he was also sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in an unrelated case.

 

 

 

Ex-FBI Agent Sentenced to 3+ Years for Leaking Intelligence to AP

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former FBI agent who leaked information to the Associated Press was sentenced Thursday to about three-and-a-half years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information, the AP reports.

Donald Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012.

The discovery prompted feds to seize phone records from the AP in search of the source.

“Clearly, you have betrayed your nation,” U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence told 25-year veteran of the FBI, the AP wrote.

The prosecution is part of the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of intelligence leakers.

FBI Planted Informant Inside WikiLeaks for Information on the Secret-Revealing Group

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An Icelandic man is the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks, a secret-revealing website.

Wired.com reports that Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson was an informant for three months in 2011 when he worked for WikiLeaks and the FBI. Ticklethewire.com mistakenly printed that Julian Paul Assange was the informant.

He reportedly received $5,000 for his undercover work.

“It’s a sign that the FBI views WikiLeaks as a suspected criminal organization rather than a news organization,” says Stephen Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. “WikiLeaks was something new, so I think the FBI had to make a choice at some point as to how to evaluate it: Is this The New York Times, or is this something else? And they clearly decided it was something else.”